Saturday, August 4, 2012

Brabus smart fortwo electric drive, 2012

Brabus smart fortwo electric drive, 2012

For 10 years already smart Brabus has stood for dynamism and sportiness. Since 2002 the company founded by smart and the tuning specialist Brabus from Bottrop have brought top versions of the popular car brand to the market. At the 2012 Geneva Motor Show the Brabus version of the smart fortwo electric drive will show what these look like in the era of electric mobility. The dynamic character of the car is not only expressed in its appearance, but also in enhanced performance.

Dynamic and powerful acceleration: the smart Brabus electric drive
Zero local emissions but maximum driving fun: the smart Brabus electric drive proves that cutting-edge urban mobility can be combined with lively agility and a sporty look. The electric motor is based on the state-of-the-art drive technology of the new smart fortwo electric drive and has an output of 60 kW. The smart Brabus electric drive delivers maximum torque of 135 Nm, which means that it almost always wins when pulling away at the traffic lights. The new Brabus sports suspension makes a decisive contribution to driving fun by bringing the vehicle approximately ten millimetres closer to the asphalt. The sporty character is accompanied by a special Brabus sound to match, generated by a sound module. The smart Brabus electric drive comes with a Brabus sports steering wheel with steering wheel gearshift as a standard feature. Recuperation can be regulated with the help of the shift paddles.

The smart Brabus electric drive has a dynamic look that also signals environmental friendliness: the tridion safety cell and door mirror caps are painted in electric green whilst black dominates on all other body parts - even the front grille. Dark Brabus headlamps, Brabus "Monoblock VII" alloy wheels measuring 16" at the front and 17" at the rear, and Brabus Xclusive aerodynamic body styling parts (a front spoiler and a special rear apron insert with double reflectors) round off the sporty look.

In the interior accent trim parts and contrast components also come in electric green. Numerous Brabus Xclusive components, including the instrument panel and interior door trim in leather look, leather seats, stainless steel sports pedals with rubber nubs, Brabus hand-brake handle and Brabus dashboard instruments (cockpit clock and rev counter) lend the interior a dynamic and exclusive look.
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Friday, August 3, 2012

Audi Q3 Jinlong Yufeng Concept, 2012

  • Audi Q3 Jinlong Yufeng Concept, 2012

At Auto China 2012 in Beijing, Audi is presenting two themed vehicles based on the Q3 - the Q3 jinlong yufeng and the RS Q3 concept. Both cars interpret the character of the compact SUV, which will launch on the Chinese market this year, in a very special way - the one is recreationally oriented and rugged while the other was systematically designed for dynamic performance.

2012 is the Chinese year of the dragon. Jinlong yufeng means "Golden Dragon in the Wind." In this way, jinlong yufeng fits in with the character of the themed vehicle. It follows the Detroit showcar and the RS Q3 concept as another variant of the compact Audi Q3 SUV and is based on the trendy and fast-moving sport of kitesurfing, in which the objective is to fearlessly control the power of the wind.

Mounted to the roof of the Audi Q3 jinlong yufeng are two kiteboards made of carbon fiber-reinforced polymer (CFRP). The designers developed a flat outdoor pouch as a special cargo floor liner. It not only provides protection against dirt, but can also be used to stow wet beach articles or can even be used as a sun umbrella or a seat cover. The kite itself can be stowed in a kite pouch, which was also specially designed for this themed vehicle. Two rugged and compact fun sport cameras known as "Audi Cams" are stored in the left side wall of the cargo space.

Kite surfers can mount the Audi Cams to the sail bar, their equipment or a helmet with an elastic band. The images are transmitted to the car via a strong WLAN router connection. From there, they can be sent with Bluetooth car phone online to any receiver via UMTS - a new unconventional idea within the range of features of Audi connect.

Zest for life and energy: the exterior
The Audi Q3 jinlong yufeng is an off-road vehicle for young, active sports enthusiasts. Its paint finish is Liuli Yellow, a luminous monochrome color that expresses a zest for life and high energy. The body add-on parts, many of which match those of the off-road package for production cars, are painted in matt quartz; this paint, built up from different gray pigments, has a natural look and is slightly rough to the touch. The high-gloss package adds small highlights around the windows.

Vertical aluminum struts in the single-frame radiator grille extend over its full height; they form a wave shape in the area where the logo appears on the production cars. The struts match the two-tone color scheme of the Audi Q3 jinlong yufeng: their sides are painted in a quartz color, while their front edges have a high-gloss finish. Certain areas inside the xenon plus headlights are tinted in anthracite, and aluminum panels cover the upper sections of the air intakes. The underbody guard protecting the engine is made of aluminum.

Flared wheel arches and brushed stainless steel running boards are prominent features on the sides of the Audi Q3 jinlong yufeng; these items will soon be added to the Q3 accessories program. The front cross-bar of the aluminum roof rail integrates small LED spotlights for illuminating the area around the car. The two flush tailpipes of the dual-branch exhaust system are integrated in the diffuser, which is partly made of aluminum - as is the rear underbody guard.

Yellow as contrasting color: the interior
Three colors dominate inside the themed vehicle, - black, gray and yellow. The roofliner consists of titanium gray Alcantara; many of the interior surfaces are black in color. The instrument panel is upholstered in black Fine Nappa leather and is decorated with yellow contrasting seams.

Fine aluminum accents glisten in the instrument cluster; cross-ribs and small fins give the dials and pointers a sculpted look. The leather-trimmed steering wheel has contrasting yellow seams, and behind it there are two large shift paddles for control of the seven-speed S tronic. The sturdy foot rests and pedal set are made of stainless steel with rubber caps.

The seats are upholstered in woven leather - narrow strips of leather just a few tenths of a millimeter wide are interwoven with yarn. The material is accentuated by yellow piping and contrasting seams. The side panels of the seat cushions and seatbacks are bright in yellow Velvet leather - a material whose look is similar to that of nubuck leather, but with a finer grain. Yellow Velvet leather is also integrated in parts of the door trim panels.

Stainless steel mesh is used for decorative inlays. Other decorative panels in high-gloss black appear all around the instruments and in large areas of the center console and tunnel; display elements and controls appear to hover in front of them. The gear selection lever has an aluminum plate with the "Q3" signature, and yellow seams decorate its shift boot.

High performance: the powertrain
The Audi Q3 jinlong yufeng employs a powerful engine. The 2.5 TFSI, a five-cylinder unit with direct injection and turbocharging, produces 228 kW (310 hp) from 2,480 cc engine displacement. The cylinder numbers are marked, and the valve cover is painted red. A cover panel conceals sections of the engine.

Power from the turbocharged five-cylinder engine flows to a seven-speed S tronic and then to the quattro permanent all-wheel drive. The Audi Q3 jinlong yufeng sprints from zero to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) in 5.5 seconds and can keep accelerating to a top speed of 250 km/h (155.34 mph).

The five-arm wheels are 8.5 J x 20 in size; their faces are machine-polished, while their sides are painted in matt quartz paint, similar in appearance to the single-frame grille. The off-road tires are 255/45. The front and rear track widths are 40 millimeters (1.57 inches) wider than those of the production version, while the ride height of the body is about 30 mm (1.18 inches) higher.
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Audi Q3, 2012

  • Audi Q3, 2012

Audi is venturing into a new market segment: The Audi Q3 is a premium SUV in a compact-class form. It is sporty, efficient and versatile - a vehicle that is equally comfortable on or off the road. Every aspect of the Q3 showcases Audi technology - the body, the drivetrain, the chassis and the assistance and multimedia systems. Many of its solutions are straight from the luxury class.

The Audi Q3 is immediately recognizable as the youngest member of the large Audi family. The coupe-like lines are an expression of its sporty character. Sharp edges frame elegantly arched sheet metal surfaces, and distinctive lights accentuate the front and rear. The wedge-shaped headlights are optionally available with xenon plus units and LED daytime running lights, which Audi also combines with LED tail lights.

The low roof line, which begins dropping rather early, and the very flat D-pillars underscore the dynamics of the Audi Q3. Add-on parts are available in a number of variants - customers can choose between black, anthracite or the body color. There is also a choice of two exterior packages.

The base version of the Audi Q3, which will be available somewhat later, weighs 1,445 kilograms (3,186 lb). Its rigid, safe and quiet occupant cell integrates a number of ultra-high-strength steels. Both the engine hood and the tailgate are made of aluminum. As is typical of the Q models from Audi, the undivided tail lights are integrated into the tailgate, which wraps around the pillars. At just 0.32, the coefficient of drag is unusually low. The compact SUV is 4.39 meters (14.40 ft) long, 1.83 meters (6.00 ft) wide and 1.59 meters (5.22 ft) high.

The Audi Q3 offers ample room for all five passengers and sets new standards for ergonomics and workmanship. A wide variety of materials and colors for the interior offers customers countless possibilities for expressing their own personal style. The wrap-around, a large arc extending from one front door to the other, is a design feature borrowed from the large Audi model series.

The luggage compartment of the compact SUV has a capacity of 460 liters (16.24 cu ft), which can be increased to 1,365 liters (48.20 cu ft) by folding down the split rear seat backs. A roof rail is standard. Many useful options, including a luggage compartment package and a pass-through hatch, make the Q3 even more versatile and convenient in everyday use.

Numerous highlights: the equipment
The Audi Q3 comes generously appointed with a long list of standard equipment, including the chorus audio system, air conditioning and a comprehensive package of restraint systems. Audi also offers a choice of optional equipment taken directly from the luxury class, including the adaptive light system for the xenon plus headlights, the high-beam assistant, the panoramic glass roof, the LED interior lighting package and power-adjustable front seats.

The range of driver assistance systems redefines the compact SUV class. The park assist system maneuvers the vehicle into tight parking spots autonomously. All the driver has to do is apply the gas and the brakes. The system also detects and warns the driver of obstacles to the sides. Audi side assist employs radar to help change lanes, and Audi active lane assist makes slight steering corrections as necessary to help stay in the lane. The speed limit display recognizes and presents important traffic signs.

Audi offers a comprehensive range of modular infotainment components. Topping the range of options is the hard-drive navigation system MMI navigation plus, which displays high-resolution 3D graphics on a fold-out 7.0-inch color monitor. The Bose surround sound system delivers 465 watts of power to 14 speakers.

Coming soon - under the heading of Audi connect - is the Bluetooth online car phone paired with a WLAN hotspot to provide the Q3 with Internet connectivity. The new Audi online traffic information service provides the driver with precise, current information about how heavy traffic is on the selected route.

Initial lineup: one TDI, two TFSI engines
The Audi Q3 is being launched with a choice of three engines - one TDI and two TFSI units. All three four-cylinder engines combine direct injection with turbocharging, and will feature not only an energy recovery system but also a start-stop system. With power outputs ranging from 125 kW (170 hp) to 155 kW (211 hp), these engines are as efficient as they are powerful. Scheduled to appear somewhat later, the Q3 2.0 TDI with 103 kW (140 hp) and front-wheel drive will average less than 5.2 liters of fuel per 100 kilometers (45.23 US mpg).

Audi combines all three of the initial engines with quattro permanent all-wheel drive, which works with a hydraulic multi-plate clutch. The seven-speed S tronic is standard in all models equipped with the most powerful TDI and TFSI engines. The ultra-compact and fast-shifting dual-clutch transmission showcases an innovation that enhances efficiency even further. When coasting, it allows the Audi Q3 to free-wheel when the "Efficiency" mode of Audi drive select is active. Shift paddles on the steering wheel are optionally available.

The chassis of the Audi Q3 - featuring a four-link rear suspension, electromechanical power steering and wheels measuring between 16 and 19 inches in diameter - is the fruit of great design labor. An electromechanical parking brake and hill hold assist are standard, with hill-descent assist to be available later. Audi drive select enables the driver to adjust various technology modules, including the optional active shock absorbers, in four stages to suit his or her individual driving style.

The Audi Q3 - which rolls off the assembly line in Martorell, near Barcelona in Spain - went on sale in June 2011. The Q3 2.0 TDI with 103 kW (140 hp) has a base price in Germany of €29,900.

Exterior design
Robust, powerful, sporty - the Audi Q3 has a distinctive road stance. Its progressive design is tightly integrated into the brand's design language. Audi is known for bringing many ideas and innovations from its show cars to production vehicles. The Q3 takes up the concept of the 2007 Cross Coupé quattro showcar.

Its dimensions express the dynamic lines in numbers. The compact SUV is 4,385 millimeters long (14.39 ft) long and 1,831 millimeters (6.01 ft) wide, but only 1,590 millimeters (5.22 ft) high (without antenna and roof rail). The wheelbase measures 2,603 millimeters (8.54 ft); the overhangs are short. The coupe-like roof line and the sharply sloped D-pillars give the Q3 a thoroughly sporty silhouette.

The front end of the vehicle is intensively sculpted and sets strong accents. The upper corners of the single-frame radiator grille are beveled, and the lattice is dominated by the vertical elements. Two rising lines on the side carry over into the engine hood. The large air inlets with the horizontal bars underscore the powerful appearance of the compact SUV and harbor the standard fog lights.

Like its big brothers, the Q5 and the Q7, the headlights of the Audi Q3 are wedge-shaped. They are set deeply into the body, and the turn signals are located behind an intricate fascia vapor coated with aluminum.

As with every Audi, daytime running lights are standard with the standard halogen headlights. With the optional xenon plus units, the daytime running lights are implemented as two light-emitting diodes that together consume only 10 watts and whose light is radiated via a light guide. The light guide forms a flat, U-shaped clasp that is open to the outside.

The headlights can be paired with the optional high-beam assistant - a first in the compact SUV segment. The system uses a small camera to detect other vehicles and automatically changes between the high and low beams. Another high-end option is adaptive light, the dynamic cornering light.

In the style of a coupe: the roof
The side view is dominated by the flowing, coupe-like roof that quickly begins sloping back downward. It flows into an unusually flat D-pillar reminiscent of the A3 models. The pillar lends the rear an energetic look that is further accentuated by the long roof spoiler. The sheet metal to greenhouse ratio of two-thirds to one-third is also typical of Audi's sporty design language. The pronounced wheel arches with the offset wheel wells house wheels up to 19 inches in diameter.

Sharply drawn lines on the flanks frame athletically arched sheet metal surfaces. Their wedge-shaped path gives the Q3 a lean and fast appearance. The defining shadow contour is the tornado line. It begins at the headlights and runs below the edge of the window to the tail lights. The dynamic line above the side sills is also an element of the Audi brand library. Another line in the area of the sills further heightens the tension. The door handles are distinctly bow-shaped, and the housings of the side mirrors sport LED turn signals.

The wrap-around tailgate emphasizes the width of the Q3's rear end - a characteristic feature of the Q model series. The tailgate has a three-dimensional look, drawing back several centimeters above the license plate. The electric button to unlock the tailgate is located beneath this edge.

The large, undivided tail lights - another distinguishing feature of the Q models - have a wedge shape similar to the headlights and feature a three-dimensional look that is continued in their interior.

Audi offers LED tail lights in combination with the xenon plus headlights. Two high-performance LEDs which require just two watts of power generate the rear light - a flat bar in the style of the daytime running lights - by means of light guides. 21 yellow LEDs are used for the turn signal, 18 red ones for the brake light - whose immediate response provides added safety for drivers following behind.

An underbody guard caps the bottom of the rear end, giving the compact premium SUV a sturdy road stance. The exhaust system terminates in dual tailpipes on the left. The entire exhaust system is very lightweight thanks to the low wall thicknesses made possible by high-grade stainless steels.

Broad palette: 11 paint colors
Audi finishes its compact SUV in 11 colors. The solid finishes are Amalfi White and Brilliant Black; the metallic and pearl-effect colors go by the names of Ice Silver, Glacier White, Caribou Brown, Cobalt Blue, Monsoon Gray, Phantom Black, Platinum Beige, Samoa Orange and Sphere Blue.

The add-on parts - the wheel wells and the front and rear underbody guards - are available in a choice of three colors. They come standard in black, but Audi offers both anthracite and the body color as options. Another option is tinted privacy glass for the rear windows. The high-gloss package that comes standard on all models equipped with the two most powerful engines provides elegant touches around the windows.

Two large packages round out the lineup. The Audi exclusive off-road styling package lends the Audi Q3 a particularly wide and powerful appearance. The trim strips on the doors and the flared wheel wells are Stone Gray, and grilles with impact strips are mounted in the air inlets.

The underbody guard is made of stainless steel, and the bottom of the rear bumper has been redesigned. Special 18-inch wheels from the Audi exclusive line complete the robust look.

The S line exterior package, on the other hand, has classic appeal to particularly sporty customers. It includes modifications to the front apron and the bottom of the rear bumper, into which a diffuser is integrated. Chrome elements add sparkle to the fog lights, the vertical struts of the single-frame grille and the exhaust tips. The air inlets are black, while the door trim strips and bumpers are finished in the body color. The front bumpers and the door sills sport S line badges.

The body of the Q3 establishes the foundation for the high build quality, the sporty handling, the acoustic comfort of the cabin and safety. Large portions of it are made of high-strength steels, which are a decisive factor for the high static and dynamic rigidity. Two torsion rings - in the area of the rear seats and the cutout for the tailgate - also make significant contributions here.

Audi once again demonstrates its competence in "ultra" lightweight construction with the Audi Q3. The front-wheel drive version of the compact SUV, scheduled to appear somewhat later, weighs 1,445 kilograms (3,186 lb), with the body-in-white accounting for just 301 kilograms (664 lb). Even the add-on parts are lightweight. The engine hood and the wrap-around tailgate are made of aluminum. They weigh just 8.8 and 10.8 kilograms (19.40 and 23.81 lb), respectively - nearly 50 percent less than corresponding parts of steel sheet. The engine hood is secured to the body by two releases, allowing a crash-optimized construction with low sheet thicknesses and high geometrical stability.

The occupant cell integrates numerous panels with tailored thicknesses (tailored blanks). 74 percent of all panels in the body are made of high-end steels. Topping the materials pyramid are the hot-shaped steels. The blanks are heated in a furnace to over 900 degrees Celsius (1,652 degrees Fahrenheit) and shaped immediately thereafter at around 200 degrees Celsius (392 degrees Fahrenheit) in a water-cooled pressing die.

The abrupt change in temperature imbues the finished panels with a tensile strength of up to 1,550 megapascals - the same as the cables of a suspension bridge. A single wire with a cross-section of one square millimeter can suspend a weight of 150 kilograms (331 lb). The martensitic structure of the panels can only be machined with a laser or diamond-coated tools.

Hot-shaped steels, which because of their strength require only relatively low wall thicknesses, make up 13 percent of the body. They are used in the transition from the front end to the occupant cell, at the center tunnel, in large areas of the roof frame, for the interior sills and for the B-pillars. The latter are each formed from a single blank, but undergo different heat treatments in different areas. As a result, their strength varies in three zones so that the B-pillars offer optimal protection in a side-impact collision.

One factor for enhanced rigidity is 74 meters of structural adhesive. The adhesive bonds supplement the 4,400 weld points and provide for strong and tight connections, often eliminating the need for additional sealing and corrosion protection measures - which in turn saves weight.

The seam around the water outlet at the trunk and the invisible seam between the side panel and the roof - two particularly problematic areas - are made using the laser beam or the plasmatron brazing process. Audi performs both high-end processes with exacting precision. The roof joint strips are eliminated. Laser welds also join the frame and the interior portions of the doors.

Carefully matched: vibrational comfort
The development engineers precisely matched the resonant frequencies of the body and those of the add-on and internal components to give the Q3 its excellent vibrational comfort and acoustics. Bulkheads and lightweight materials such as foams and spray insulation divide large cavities like the D-pillars and have a calming effect on the large sheet metal surfaces. In addition to the good acoustic properties, these measures offer the added advantage of saving two to three kilograms (4.41 to 6.61 lb) of weight compared to thick film coatings.

Particular attention was focused on sound radiation in all areas where the driver and front-seat passenger are in contact with the car, such as the seats, parts of the floor and the steering wheel.

The engineers use state-of-the-art simulation tools and computational methods in all fields of work. For example, they were used to develop a reinforcement for the tailgate latch with molded bulkheads that significantly reduces the sound radiation of the tailgate. Another factor contributing to the low noise level on board the Audi Q3 are the sophisticated seals at the doors and windows, plus numerous geometric details of the body. Audi also offers an acoustic windshield with a noise-damping intermediate film as an option.

Enhanced safety: excellent occupant protection
The Audi Q3 is also at the head of its class when it comes to passive safety. There are three load levels in the front end. The lowest one comprises the subframe for the front axle. Two longitudinal members are used on the middle level. Connected to one another via the front cross-member, they distribute the load in an offset crash to both sides of the occupant cell. On the top level, two additional members dissipate energy via the fenders.

The ultra-high-strength B-pillars provide outstanding protection in a side-impact collision. Large overlaps brace the doors against the pillars and the triple-shell sills. Two cross-members reinforce the floor structure. The longitudinal members absorb energy in the event of a rear-end collision. Their strength gradually decreases moving forward. The members can be replaced in sections, which reduces costs.

Five crash sensors that react to acceleration and changes in air pressure stand guard in the Audi Q3. One of them is located at the center of the front end, the other four in the area of the B- and C-pillars. They provide detailed information to the airbag controller, which itself includes three sensors.

The compact premium SUV comes standard with two front airbags, thorax-pelvis side airbags in the backs of the front seats and curtain head airbags. Pyrotechnic belt tensioners up front, belt force limiters and the integral Audi head restraint system, which mitigates the consequences of a rear-impact collision, round out the package. Side airbags in the rear are optionally available.

Isofix child seat anchor points in the rear are standard. Sensors monitor whether the rear safety belts are fastened. Isofix child seat anchor points for the front passenger seat together with deactivatable airbag are optionally available. The accessories line includes child seats for every age group.

Audi's latest model also represents the state of the art when it comes to pedestrian protection. The front bumper and the cross-member behind it, the energy-absorbing foam between the two components and the aluminum engine hood make for an effective package.

Low-speed collisions - the standard insurance category crash and the bumper crash, both of which are important for determining the comprehensive insurance category - result in no major damage. The front cross-member and the crash boxes bolted to the longitudinal members are closed, extruded sections of aluminum. They form a structure that provides effective protection for expensive components such as the radiator and air conditioning units, as well as the welded body structure. The bumper is made up of three parts, each of which can be replaced individually.

Extremely sophisticated: the aerodynamics
The base version of the Audi Q3 boasts a coefficient of drag of 0.32 - tops among its competition. It has a front surface area of 2.44 square meters (26.26 sq ft). The low lift at the axles ensures superior stability at high speed.

The aerodynamic specialists at Audi performed exhaustive fine-tuning with their virtual tools and at the Wind Tunnel Center. They reduced the coefficient of drag by 0.16 from the first design model of the Q3. This resulted in a reduction in fuel consumption of 0.6 liters per 100 km in the EU cycle. At 130 km/h, the result is an even more impressive reduction of 2.3 liters per 100 km.

The greatest challenge proved to be the rear of the car, the zone in which the flow of air has to break off cleanly. The large spoiler with the integrated third brake light over the rear window extends the roof contour by 32 centimeters (12.60 in). Two "aero strips" to the left and the right of the window form lateral spoiler lips. Their black, high-gloss finish lends them a subtle and elegant appearance. The vertical contours in the tail lights serve similar purposes.

Very sophisticated aerodynamic tuning also went into the side mirrors. With their elegant design and slender base, they contribute just 3.1 percent of the total wind resistance. The noise generated at the mirrors remains low, and the glass barely fouls in the rain. The water-catching strips at the A-pillars keep the side windows clean by diverting the rain water pushed in their direction by the windshield wipers downward or upward.

The underbody also plays a major role in the aerodynamics concept. Except for the exhaust system and the back of the vehicle, it is covered by a plastic liner that protects it against salt and stone chipping and provides for a more aerodynamic flow of air. Small spoiler lips are integrated in front of the wheels. The aerodynamic underbody lowers the coefficient of drag by 0.03 or nine percent, and is precisely matched to the flow separation at the rear of the vehicle.

The aerodynamics experts also pared further valuable percentage points from the flow of air through the engine compartment. The single-frame grille and the surrounding area are completely sealed so that the inflowing air reaches the radiator with almost no losses rather than becoming turbulent.

The interior of the Audi Q3 mirrors the exterior design's sinewy and muscular styling. The wrap-around, a large arc above the dashboard and extending from one front door to the other, is a design feature borrowed from the brand's large model series. The elegantly sweeping, horizontally stepped instrument panel features a large inlay on the passenger side.

The broad center console is asymmetrical and inclined slightly toward the driver. The clean layout and intuitive operation of all switches and controls on it - the control unit for the audio or MMI system, the strip with the secondary switches and the terminal for the air conditioning - are exemplary.

Manual air conditioning is standard. Deluxe two-zone automatic air conditioning that considers the position of the sun and humidity is available as an option. The large controls, which are spring-loaded, are an optical and tactile highlight. A display indicates the temperatures in each zone. The transition to the center console is home to the start-stop button for the ignition, which Audi packages with the optional convenience key.

The 6.5-inch or 7.0-inch display (standard with the concert radio and upwards), is retracted into the instrument panel. If you tap the top edge of the retracted monitor, it extends upward in a gentle, even motion into an excellent position where it can be read quickly. The fold-out monitor with its high-gloss black frame is a visual and technical highlight in the compact SUV class.

The instrument cluster beneath the rounded cowl also speaks the elegant Audi design language. The speedometer and the tachometer, into which the coolant temperature and fuel level indicators have been integrated, have black dials, white numbers and red needles. At night the instruments are lit in white, the buttons red.

Between the instruments is the center digital display. The optional Audi driver information system is available with a white or color display. The system pools all key information from the audio sources, the telephone, the vehicle and the navigation system. It is broken down into three display areas. An intelligent tab concept makes it very easy to use.

Integrated into the driver information system is the on-board computer with efficiency program. The computer gives the driver tips for fuel-efficient shifting. In models with a manual transmission, an enlarged representation of the gear-change indicator indicates when it is appropriate to shift gears. Another function provides information on which on-board consumers, such as the air conditioning or the rear window heating, are active and how they affect fuel consumption.

The Audi Q3 showcases the new generation of steering wheels that debuted in the A8 luxury sedan. They can be adjusted over a range of 50 millimeters (1.97 in) vertically and horizontally, feature a lightweight magnesium skeleton and come wrapped in leather as standard.

The split bottom spoke of the three-spoke sport steering wheel is an eye-catching and exclusive feature of the Q model family. The two upper spokes can be optionally equipped with paddles, buttons and rotating cylinders that the driver uses to control the on-board computer, the telephone and the audio system. Shift paddles for S tronic are another option.

Firm hold: the seats in the Audi Q3
The front seats in the Audi Q3 offer excellent hold, guidance and support for persons of all sizes. Height-adjustable seats are standard. Options include power lumbar supports, heating and full power adjustment. The strongly bolstered sport seats feature adjustable seat cushion rake and length and come standard with a power lumbar support.

The rear seats are also comfortably shaped and upholstered for a pleasant, upright seating position. Their head restraints can be extended particularly far and lowered far enough so as not to impair the view in the rearview mirror. Despite the sloping, coupe-like roof line, even tall passengers enjoy sufficient headroom in the back, and there is also ample room for feet, knees, shoulders and elbows. Getting in and out of the vehicle is easy thanks to the raised seating position. The stepless door stops are very helpful in garages and narrow parking spots.

The Q3 offers plenty of storage at all of the seats. The console of the center tunnel is home to two cup holders, a 12-volt outlet and a storage bin. There are large pockets in the doors capable of holding 1.5-liter bottles, and there is a small, fold-out compartment to the left of the steering wheel. The base model has an additional compartment on the instrument panel rather than the on-board monitor. A height-adjustable center armrest is optionally available.

The optional storage package offers even more convenience. It includes fold-down compartments under the front seats, storage nets on the front seat backs, a multi-purpose retaining hook in the passenger foot well and a locking glove box.

Premium: the build quality
Evidence of the premium character of the Audi Q3 can be seen in every last detail in the interior - in the selection of the materials, in their processing and in the tight, even gaps. The surface of the instrument panel is softly backed with foam and elegantly textured. All buttons and controls move precisely. The subtle click sounds they make when actuated give audible expression to their technical perfection.

The finely honed interior is visually impressive. Many control elements are available in either standard or optional aluminum-look finishes, including the knobs of the automatic air conditioning, the knob for the lights, the trim around the power window switches and the frames around the door openers and the air vents. A leather-covered shift/selector lever with aluminum inlays is standard.

The round knob on the short selector lever of the S tronic lends it a particularly robust appearance.

Another exclusive solution in this segment is the LED interior lighting package - a technology that bathes the interior in dramatic light. Efficient white light-emitting diodes provide the cabin and reading lights. They illuminate the doors, the headlining, the foot wells, the vanity mirrors, the storage compartments and the air vent thumb wheels. LED light guides even accentuate the cup holders. With the Bose surround sound system, the frames of the woofer/mid-range speakers in the front doors form elegant rings of white light.

A tasteful hand when it comes to color and trim is also a matter of honor for Audi. Five interior color combinations are available - black/black, black/chestnut brown, black/chennai brown, black/titanium gray and truffle beige/pistachio beige. Audi Q3 customers choosing the base version can order platinum-colored applications. Seats in pistachio beige have inlays in truffle beige.

Monometallic plastic inlays are standard. Audi also offers a choice of optional materials that underscore its leadership in interior design. The structure of the dark brown, open-pored larch wood has an authentic look and feel. The material 3D aluminum mesh uses a wire mesh to achieve a silvery-transparent look with a three-dimensional effect. Walnut and Aluminum Satellite - made from perforated aluminum - are other options.

There is also a wide choice of seat coverings. Besides the standard cloth, Audi also offers a second cloth variant and two grades of leather: Milano and Fine Nappa. The sport seats are also available in Pearl Nappa leather/Alcantara.

One upscale option is the S line sport package, which immerses the entire cabin and headlining in dynamic black. The floor mats feature gray piping, the door panels are covered in cloth, and inlays are available in a choice of brushed aluminum or piano finish.

The cloth seats feature embossed coverings in Sprint cloth and leather, and are optionally available in leather/Alcantara or Fine Nappa leather. The leather sport steering wheel and shift knob feature a special design, and S line logos adorn the door sill strips.

Exterior features of the S line sport package are 18-inch wheels from Audi exclusive, a sport suspension that lowers the body 20 millimeters (0.79 in) and badges on the front fenders. An exclusive Daytona Gray metallic finish is also available.

Practical: cargo area
The cargo area of the Audi Q3 can be used very efficiently. Its side walls are virtually plane, and at 781 millimeters (30.75 in), the loading lip is relatively low. Because the shock absorbers are located far to the outside in the body, the compartment is very spacious, offering a pass-through width of 1,067 millimeters (42.01 in).

In its standard configuration, the luggage compartment has a volume of 460 liters (16.24 sq ft). A two-piece, removable cargo area cover hides the contents from view. The split rear seat backs can be folded down quickly and easily in just one step without having to remove the head restraints. When loaded to the roof, cargo volume in this configuration increases to 1,365 liters (48.20 cu ft).

The tailgate opens electronically, including via the remote key fob, and swings up very high. A handle running the width of the tailgate makes it very easy to close again, and it latches with a satisfyingly solid sound. Its clasp has a spring-loaded cover that keeps it from getting dirty - another typical Audi detail, just like the high-quality coverings on the side walls and the cargo floor.

Many features make the cargo area even more practical. Two large hooks, four lashing eyes and a small storage compartment in the left wall are standard. Options available from Audi include a reversible cargo floor with a tub on the reverse side, a reversible mat, stainless steel loading edge trim and a cargo area package that includes a luggage net, a side-mounted net, a 12-volt outlet and a second light.

Another option is the pass-through hatch in a package with an armrest and cup holders. It can be supplemented with a ski bag. Customers who often transport large, bulky objects can order the passenger seat with a folding seat back. The optional trailer hitch has a swiveling ball neck that can be conveniently unlocked using a button in the cargo area.

The Audi Q3 has a maximum towing capacity of two metric tons, depending on the engine. The maximum roof load is 75 kilograms (165.35 lb). The standard roof rail, which comes in either black or anodized aluminum depending on the engine, can be fitted with a wide range of racks for bikes, skis, kayaks and other sports equipment from the Audi accessories program.
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Thursday, August 2, 2012

Audi A8 L Security, 2012

  • Audi A8 L Security, 2012

The Audi is introducing a new, exclusive model - the Audi A8 L Security. The long-wheelbase high-security version of the A8 meets the strictest guidelines in force for civilian vehicles, with a host of special security features available in addition to its heavy armoring. At sales launch Audi will offer the W12 engine, with another unit to follow in 2012. Both engines combine superior power with high efficiency.

At 5.27 meters (17.29 ft) in length, the Audi A8 L Security is a large, representative luxury sedan, hardly distinguishable to the eye from the production version. The LED headlights, which use light-emitting diodes for all functions, lend a striking expression to its front. They are part of the standard package in the Audi A8 L Security W12.

When developing the basic design for the A8 model line, Audi engineers already had the high-security version in mind from the very outset. The result is a totally integrated concept far superior to any retrofit solution currently available on the market. All of the major components were analyzed with regard to their deformation properties, giving the Audi A8 L Security an excellent crash performance that is also mindful of the other party involved.

The armored sedan's custom security modifications are performed by hand in a small, well-guarded workshop - on a production floor with specially secured doors, where the use of cellular phones is strictly prohibited. The basis for the high-security car is a previously modified aluminum production body constructed at the Neckarsulm plant as per the Audi Space Frame (ASF) principle. Specially trained technicians put in roughly 450 hours of work to incorporate the security features - in the uncompromisingly high quality Audi is known for. When this stage of the process is complete, the car returns to the factory for final assembly.

The Audi A8 L Security has been officially certified by a German-government ballistics testing facility in Munich for compliance with the class VR 7 ballistic protection standard (tested as per BRV 2009 guidelines). The abbreviation BRV stands for Bullet Resistant Vehicles. The car's resistance to explosions was tested as per ERV 2010 guidelines (ERV = Explosion Resistant Vehicles). Class VR 7 ballistic protection imposes the strictest standards on civilian high-security sedans. The sheet metal and glazing in the passenger cell must withstand firing with NATO hard-core ammunition. In certain areas, the armoring on the Audi A8 L Security even complies with the criteria for class VR 9 and VR 10.

Integrated as a unitized component of the body, the high-security sedan's safety cell features a convergence of extremely tough, resistant materials - hot-formed armored steel, aramide fabric, ceramics, special alloyed aluminum and multilayer glass. Overlapping protective materials at the joints provide the utmost level of security throughout the occupant cell. The interior armoring weighs approximately 720 kilograms (1,587.33 lb).

The aluminum side sills have solid steel sections built in. These provide increased protection against explosive weapons - an area that has seen a marked stiffening of requirements in recent years. Made of an innovative aluminum alloy, the car's armored floor serves the same purpose. The Audi A8 L Security is capable of withstanding an attack with a military hand grenade.

Even an explosive charge defined from the test program does not pose a lethal threat to passengers, as demonstrated by measurements taken during testing on dummies.

The side windows, windshield and rear window are all made of special glass with a polycarbonate coating in the inside to prevent spalling. Optional electromechanical window openers operate the side windows, allowing them to be lowered nearly all the way. The excess weight of the windows amounts to just over 300 kilograms (661.39 lb). A closing assist feature comes standard for the doors - which weigh an additional 360 kilograms (793.66 lb) altogether. A door-stop function holds each door open in any desired position.

A key area in the Audi A8 L Security is the "communication box" in the luggage compartment. In addition to the control units for the vehicle and communications electronics, it holds the optional components that further enhance the passengers' safety, along with the additional battery. The heavily armored communication box is novel in another way: It has comparatively light ceramic doors, and its frames are made of aluminum. Customers can also request special protection for the battery and the fuel tank.

A standard two-way communication system allows passengers in the Audi A8 L Security to communicate with the outside world when the windows are closed. The system makes use of a speaker in the single-frame grille as well as microphones for the cabin and exterior.

Despite the high level of security it offers, the Audi A8 L Security is a relatively light armored car. As is always the case in an Audi, the lightweight design plays a central role here. Outfitted with the W12 engine, the Audi A8 L Security is the lightest vehicle among its peers.

High-security features
For Audi A8 L Security customers, a multitude of special options are available for enhanced security. Among these is the emergency exit system, a technology patented by Audi. When the driver or rear passenger presses a tamperproof switch and pulls one of the inside door handles, pyrotechnical separating screws in the hinges detach the door from the body. The door can then be knocked out with a slight push.

Another security feature is the fire extinguisher system, which is activated via heat sensors or by pushing a button. The extinguishing agent flows from two canisters installed in the luggage compartment through two tubes running along the underfloor. Nozzles spray the agent into the wheel arches, onto the underfloor, onto the tank, and into the engine compartment.

The emergency fresh-air system operates with two oxygen cartridges housed in the protected area. At the push of a button, the system supplies fresh breathing air to the interior via vents in the roof lining. The supply lasts long enough for the car to pass through a danger zone or get out of a danger zone it is currently in. The system works by generating positive pressure in the vehicle interior to prevent toxic gases from penetrating the cabin. Yet another option is what Audi calls security start - a feature that allows the driver to start the engine remotely via a radio signal.

Numerous additional solutions round out the offering: a smoke extractor for the passenger compartment, an LED signaling system for convoy travel, flashing lights, a siren, a preparation for professional mobile radio systems, a flag holder, a permanently installed telephone, an accident data recorder, an additional rearview camera and a heated windshield plus partially heated side windows. Going beyond all of this, Audi will also ensure customers' special requests are taken care of an individual basis.

The interior of the Audi A8 L Security is captivating, with its spacious design and workmanship on a craftsman's level. The comfort on board is first class - the standard package includes a four-zone climate control system with an ionizer to freshen the air, electric rear blinds, the sonorous Bose surround sound system and a TV tuner. In the rear are two individual, seats with power adjustment. Also featuring a versatile adjustment range, the front comfort seats offer heating as well as optional massage and ventilation functions. In addition, the Audi A8 L W12 Security comes with a standard full-leather package.

On request Audi will install the "relaxation seat" - a widely adjustable right-hand rear seat with a power-adjustable footrest, heating and massage. Also available is a full-length center console with large storage compartments, complemented by the rear seat entertainment system with two 10.2-inch displays. Optional features such as a folding table, a refrigerator and a parking heater make the time spent in the car even more pleasant.

Assistance and multimedia systems
For the high-security version of the A8 L, Audi offers virtually the entire gamut of advanced technologies available for the production version. The standard MMI Navigation plus system works with a large hard disk, a high-resolution eight-inch monitor and a fast 3D graphics processor. Its groundbreaking feature, however, is the touchpad - the MMI touch. It gives the driver intuitive control of many functions. The navigation destination, for example, can be entered by tracing the letters on the pad with a finger.

MMI navigation plus is tightly integrated with the assistance and safety systems in the Audi A8 L Security. It reads the road ahead and provides the data to the control units for the automatic transmission, the headlights and the optional adaptive cruise control with stop & go function. With their increased intelligence, these systems can recognize complex scenarios and predictively support the driver.

The Audi pre sense safety system can reduce the severity of accidents and their consequences in many cases. The Audi A8 L Security comes equipped with the pre sense basic version of the system, combined with the pre sense rear feature, which is coupled with the Audi side assist lane-changing system. Other optional systems enhance safety and comfort even further. These include Audi pre sense front as a component of ACC stop & go, night vision assistant with highlighting of detected pedestrians and Audi lane assist, which detects boundary lines on the roadway.

A standard high-end feature is park assistance plus with Audi Top View - a system consisting of four cameras mounted on the car to monitor its surroundings. A computer compiles images from the cameras and presents them in various views on the onboard monitor. The Cornerview function gives the driver a glimpse of traffic crossing in front of the sedan - a practical aid when maneuvering through narrow exits, for example.

Audi also offers many attractive multimedia modules. The Audi A8 L Security is outfitted with the Bluetooth car phone online as standard.

A complete, fast connection to the Internet is established via an integrated UMTS module, and a partnership with Google endows the car with innovative, intelligent functions. Passengers can connect their mobile terminal devices to a WLAN hotspot. For discreet telephoning, separate telephone handsets are available as an option.

Audi is launching the new Audi A8 L Security with a superb engine - the W12. The direct-injected gasoline engine owes its name to the W-shaped layout of its cylinders - four rows of three cylinders each, merged into two banks. From a displacement of 6.3 liters, the compact, lightweight W12 pumps out 368 kW (500 hp) of power and 625 Nm (460.98 lb-ft) of torque, with the latter readily available at 4,750 rpm.

The W12 is captivating, with its smooth running performance, its subtle, musical sound and its power. It accelerates the Audi A8 L Security from 0 to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) in 7.3 seconds. In consideration of the tires, top speed is limited to 210 km/h (130.49 mph). The high-security sedan consumes just 13.5 liters of fuel on average per 100 km (17.42 US mpg) - by far the lowest figure among its direct competitors (performance and consumption figures are preliminary). Compared with the predecessor model generating 331 kW (450 hp), fuel consumption has dropped by 3.0 liters per 100 kilometers - that's an improvement of 18 percent.

In the coming year, Audi will offer a second engine version, which will combine outstanding pulling power with surprising efficiency. Its average consumption of 10 to 11 liters per 100 km (23.52 to 21.38 US mpg) will earn it a best-in-class ranking in terms of fuel efficiency.

In both engine variants, power is transmitted via an eight-speed tiptronic featuring a large overall gear spread. Its control system is electronic, operated with an elegant selector lever or rocker switches at the steering wheel. The quattro permanent all-wheel drive system conducts the power from the engine to all four wheels. In the standard configuration, the sporty drive is emphasized at the rear; if the situation calls for it, the drive system redirects a majority of the torque input to the axle with the better traction.

The Audi A8 L Security provides luxurious ride comfort. Audi developed its chassis, brake system and electronic control systems specifically for the increased weight; in the wheel control arms, for example, the tensile strengths, materials and wall thickness have all been recalibrated. The adaptive air suspension with controlled damping is integrated in the Audi drive select system, which enables fine-tuning of a number of parameters. The optional dynamic steering rounds out the range on offer.

The high-security sedan is fitted with standard 19-inch forged wheels featuring a semipolished, two-tone finish. The specially sized 255/720 tires have a high load index of 117. Synthetic rings on the rims allow the vehicle to continue traveling at speeds up to 80 km/h (49.71 mph) even after a malfunction has occurred.

A tire pressure monitoring system that continuously checks the settings is also part of the standard equipment. Audi offers a full-size spare tire as an option.

The Audi A8 L Security W12 will be ready for delivery in late summer of 2011. An additional engine will follow in 2012. Audi supports its customers with an extensive range of services and a special training course for drivers and owners.
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Aston Martin V12 Zagato, 2013

  •  Aston Martin V12 Zagato, 2013

With the final design signed-off and engineering development work progressing apace, Aston Martin reveals the first images of the new Aston Martin V12 Zagato (road car) scheduled for production later in 2012.

The Aston Martin V12 Zagato is the pinnacle of the Vantage range. It is also the latest expression of a successful creative collaboration that has given rise to a series of striking GT cars over the last half-century, the original and most iconic of which being the DB4GT Zagato. Not only does this masterpiece rank amongst the most desirable, collectable and valuable cars in history, its 50th anniversary provided the inspiration for the V12 Zagato.

Though commemorating a great Aston Martin of the past the Aston Martin V12 Zagato could be no mere pastiche of the original. Instead the project was seen as the perfect opportunity to take Aston Martin's ethos of technology and tradition to a new and exciting level. To this end the V12 Zagato combines the modern ideas, materials, processes and technology pioneered on One-77, while remaining true to the purity and craftsmanship of its illustrious forebear.

For Aston Martin's CEO, Dr Ulrich Bez, the V12 Zagato is "a celebration of both Aston Martin's heritage and its future". He continues: "Our relationship with Zagato stretches back more than 50 years. Together in that time we have created a series of very special cars. The first - the DB4GT Zagato - is a true icon: fast, beautiful and incredibly desirable. In the V12 Zagato I believe we have captured the spirit of that car and combined it with a confident twist of modernity to give it a character all of its own."

The initial design concepts for the Aston Martin V12 Zagato were explored in early 2010. Inspired by Zagato's bold and individual styling signatures Aston Martin's Director of Design, Marek Reichman, and his Gaydon-based design team relished the challenge of shaping the V12 Zagato, creating a car that pushes the boundaries of Aston Martin's design language, yet pays tribute to the DB4GT Zagato. Demonstrating Aston Martin's ability to rapidly bring ideas to fruition the Zagato programme quickly gained momentum, the design team working hand-in-hand with engineers and artisans to complete the build of a pair of concept cars in the spring of 2011.

May 2011 saw the Aston Martin V12 Zagato make its world debut at the prestigious Villa d'Este concours. Entered in the Concept Cars and Prototypes class, the V12 Zagato wowed the judges and the crowd, taking first place against impressive opposition. In June the Villa d'Este winner - along with the second prototype car - made the Aston Martin V12 Zagato's world racing debut at the gruelling 24 hour endurance race held at the Nürburgring. Both cars completed the ultimate durability test, continuing Aston Martin's 100 per cent finishing record in this notoriously tough race.

After an overwhelmingly positive response from customers, the decision was made in July 2011 to build a strictly limited run of V12 Zagatos. Since then, Aston Martin's design team have worked to refine the sports car's detailing and aerodynamic performance while staying faithful to the original design concept. At the same time engineers based at Gaydon have been putting prototypes through the company's rigorous development programme to ensure the V12 Zagato performs as well as it looks.

Every Aston Martin is a unique combination of advanced materials, technology and time-honoured craftsmanship. The Aston Martin V12 Zagato takes this philosophy to a level previously seen in the company's exquisite One-77 supercar, which completes its build run this year. Built at Aston Martin's global headquarters in Gaydon, Warwickshire, production of the V12 Zagato will be strictly limited to no more than 150 cars.

Creating each V12 Zagato is a painstaking process that takes approximately 2,000 man-hours to complete. Just like the One-77, the V12 Zagato is constructed from a combination of hand crafted aluminium and carbon fibre. The bonnet, signature 'double-bubble' roof and doors are hand-crafted aluminium, while the front and rear fenders, door sills and boot lid surround are made from carbon fibre.

The finished body is then painted in the same dedicated area as the One-77. Four unique colours have been created for the Aston Martin V12 Zagato: Scintilla Silver, Alloro Green, Alba Blue and Diavolo Red. The painting process alone takes some 100 hours to complete and is followed by the marriage of the body and the drivetrain within the sports car production area. From there the V12 Zagato is transferred to the standalone facility originally built to house One-77 production, where the build is completed.

This serene, laboratory-like space is perfectly suited to the task of creating special cars such as the V12 Zagato. It is here that time is lavished upon the fitment and installation of an array of bespoke components, including the side glass and the distinctive rear window, which features a curved surface that continues the sculptural lines of the 'double-bubble' roof. All the exterior brightwork around the windows has a contemporary black finish to compliment the exposed carbon fibre components. Fitment of the hand-crafted interior and upholstery is also completed in this dedicated build area.

Like all Aston Martins when viewed as a whole the Aston Martin V12 Zagato is an artful composition of powerful lines and compelling proportions, but when viewed up close it reveals sophisticated, sculptural surfaces and jewel-like details. The exposed elements of carbon fibre on the front splitter, A-pillars, rear lamp pods, diffuser, door mirror cases and rear wing all display the same perfectly symmetrical weave and smooth resin finish. Likewise the bold new grille is formed in a unique three-dimensional composite material mesh that echoes Zagato's famous 'Z' moniker.

More delights are found inside. Seven Bridge of Weir hides - in semi-aniline finish to offer durability while preserving the natural texture of the leather - are used to trim the V12 Zagato's interior. Hand-stitched quilting of a unique design creates a flowing pattern that evokes a dynamic sense of movement across the seats and headlining, while 'Z' embroidery in the headrests and rear parcel shelf add a further flourish. Satin-finish carbon fibre on the dashboard and centre stack is perfectly complimented by piano black accents and satin black rotary switchgear. Carbon fibre sill plaques with 'V12 Zagato' inlaid metal script provide a distinctive finishing touch.

A work of art built by skilled craftsmen to be driven and enjoyed by the world's most discerning car collectors, the Aston Martin V12 Zagato is a fitting tribute to its illustrious ancestor. On-sale now priced at £330,000 (plus local taxes) the production specification V12 Zagato will be showcased at the Geneva Salon International in March 2012. First deliveries are scheduled for Autumn 2012.
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Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Ford Focus ST, 2013

  • Ford Focus ST, 2013

The covers finally came off the production version of the dramatic new Focus ST five-door at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show, revealing the performance car that enthusiasts around the globe are waiting for.

European customers can also choose a stylish wagon version of the Focus ST, which will launch alongside the five-door model in 2012.

The Focus ST is Ford's first truly global performance car, building on the heritage of previous Focus ST models in Europe and evolving it to allow drivers around the world to experience and enjoy the exhilarating performance, unrivaled handling, addictive sound and muscular sports design that the ST badge represents.

With innovative design and technology throughout, the new Focus ST will be more powerful and surprisingly fuel efficient, raising the bar once again when it comes to handling too. For drivers who want refinement for everyday use but with exhilarating performance on tap, the passion, enthusiasm and expertise of Ford's Global Performance Vehicles group shines through and makes the new Focus ST the most rewarding and obvious choice.

The Ford ST Global DNA
Beneath the skin of the new Focus ST is a detailed DNA for the ST range, established in Ford's exciting global performance car strategy. Working together, the Global Performance Vehicles group - made up of Ford Team RS in Europe and the Special Vehicles Team (SVT) in the United States, along with input from Ford experts in the Asia Pacific and Africa region - devised a strategy that all future global performance Ford cars will adhere to.

Like all future ST models, the new Focus ST has key physical DNA attributes like the aggressively enhanced front and rear bumpers, the addition of a rear spoiler and sideskirts plus a unique signature colour.

In both five-door and wagon form, the scintillating Focus ST delivers the same driving attributes that makes all Ford 'Sports Technologies' models stand out amongst the competition. The chassis, engine, sound and comfort of the vehicle are tuned harmoniously to deliver a truly sporty experience with a level of refinement rarely seen in this sector of vehicle. These same attributes will form the genetic code for future models bearing the ST badge.

Ford's First Global Performance Car
The One Ford approach to working together across geographic boundaries has already seen successful global launches of the Fiesta and new Focus for the company. This approach is the great enabler for performance versions to be readily developed for a global market.

According to Capito and Tonn, performance vehicle customers around the world desire the same things from a car no matter on what types of road or in what weather conditions they drive. This is the insight that Ford's Global Performance Vehicles group gained and it forms the guiding principles for the company's global performance car strategy.

Destined to reach over 40 markets on six continents, the five-door Focus ST will bring affordable, everyday performance to the world. Only the smallest changes - to meet with regional legislation - will be implemented. In effect, no matter where in the world a driver gets behind the wheel, the new Focus ST five-door will deliver the same sensation of power, poise and refinement as for anybody else across the globe.

For Europe, where wagon derivatives are extremely popular in many markets, the opportunity to develop a stylish Ford Focus ST Wagon as a niche model was irresistible.

More Power and Economy
For global customers, Focus ST is powered by the 2.0-litre Ford EcoBoost engine, which offers an uncompromising mix of performance and efficiency. Ford's lightweight, all-aluminum EcoBoost engines provide the power of a larger engine in a fuel-efficient smaller displacement, utilising three key technologies.

High pressure direct injection, low-inertia turbocharging and Twin-independent Variable Cam Timing (Ti-VCT) all help to create an advanced combustion system which brings new levels of performance and fuel efficiency to Ford's petrol engines.

Ford's Global Performance Vehicles group has taken this technology and developed a 250PS high-output derivative of the 2.0-litre Ford EcoBoost engine for Focus ST.

Redesigned intake and exhaust systems with unique engine calibration deliver the ideal level of power and responsiveness.

The engine has a maximum output of 250PS and strong torque levels in a broad, flat torque curve peaking at 360Nm. The responsive torque output, a trademark of Ford EcoBoost engines, is maintained despite the impressive peak figures.

Compared to the 2.5-litre, 5-cylinder engine in the previous-generation European Focus ST, the new 4-cylinder engine offers increased performance, but its smaller capacity and innovative technology also allow it to be more fuel efficient.

The EcoBoost 2.0 in the Focus ST is expected to cut both CO2 emissions and fuel consumption by more than 20 per cent from the previous-generation European model when fuel consumption data is certified.

Mated to the 2.0-litre engine is a 6-speed manual transmission, which has specially revised gearing to produce the maximum punch from each throw of the gear shift. The Global Performance Vehicles group spent significant attention to detail to ensure the ratio of sixth gear was perfectly in tune with the Focus ST, giving the driver optimum performance while remaining long enough to help maintain excellent fuel economy on longer runs.

Sensational Sound
The previous generation Focus ST was acclaimed for its particularly sporty 5-cylinder engine sound. With the introduction of a 4-cylinder Ford EcoBoost engine into the new Focus ST, the Ford sound engineers were keen to ensure the audible delights from this totally different engine keep enthusiasts just as excited.

A significant part of this process is the reworking of the famed sound symposer, first found on the previous Focus ST and subsequently employed to devastating effect on the previous generation European Focus RS and RS500 models.

It's not only the engine note that sounds fantastic on the new Focus ST. The exhaust system - with unique centre exit tailpipes - has been tuned to deliver a perfectly balanced audible experience. Enthusiastic drivers will be rewarded with an orchestra of sporty sounds to heighten their driving adventure, but should they want a more relaxing drive, the refinement of the cabin and tuning of exhaust and engine note will give them exactly that at lower RPM.

Unprecedented Driving Dynamics
Incredible driving dynamics are at the heart of the Focus ST. Innovation and technology combine to create a chassis capable of exceeding the expectations of even the most demanding driving enthusiast, while giving even novice motorists an unforgettable drive.

From the driver's seat, customers will experience the newly-developed Ford Sport Steering System. The variable ratio steering rack is designed to increase the agility of the Focus ST on winding roads yet still inspire the same high-speed confidence.

The unique system makes steering less sensitive when driving in a straight line, but increases the sensitivity during cornering. Drivers can keep their hands firmly gripped on the steering wheel through tight hairpins, maximising their control over the vehicle. It also has benefits in slow-speed situations such as tight parking manoeuvres, with less input needed from the driver to direct the vehicle into the space.

The Focus ST's Electronic Power Assisted Steering (EPAS) is also enhanced with Ford's Torque Steer Compensation (TSC) system.

More aggressive tuning of the TSC allows Focus ST drivers to accelerate at full throttle and yet still find grip on roads with uneven surfaces or uneven levels of grip. The TSC system detects the torque steer that those conditions can create and communicates with the EPAS software, which then counteracts the effect to virtually eliminate the sensation for the driver.

Further enhancements have also been made to the Focus ST's Electronic Stability Programme (ESP), with emphasis put on driver enjoyment. Drivers will have three modes of ESP to choose from. These can be selected according to weather and road conditions or simply to match the driver's desire for help from additional driving aids.

In the first instance the ESP works much the same way as the innovative system found in the base model Focus, although for the ST it is tuned to be non-intrusive to the driver. This standard mode supports the driver on all surfaces, whether dry, wet or snowy, giving them the confidence to drive safely no matter what the weather.

The driver can opt to select the second mode, called reduced or wide-slip mode, in which the traction control is turned off. Traction is handled by the driver here, while the ESP is programmed to intrude only as absolutely necessary.

Of course, the ESP system can also be switched off completely resulting in the Focus ST in its purest form, giving full control of the sublime chassis to the driver when is a position to exploit it, such as on a race track. Only the sub-features such as the Enhanced Dynamic Cornering Control (EDCC) remain active, optimising the enjoyment of the Focus ST's abilities.

Enhanced Torque Vectoring Control
Through the corners, Enhanced Torque Vectoring Control is an essential help for Focus ST drivers, a tuned version of the Torque Vectoring Control found in the base model Focus. The standard system uses torque vectoring by braking, in which brake torque is applied to the inner wheel of the Focus through a corner, reducing the understeer behaviour and allowing for more traction, much like a traditional limited slip differential.

The Focus ST system applies this more aggressively and also adds Cornering Under Steer Control (CUSC), which applies torque to create yaw torque based on the vehicle's understeer behavior prior to ESP, both in power-on and power-off conditions. Combined, they ensure that Enhanced Torque Vectoring Control is a crucial element in helping the front-wheel-drive Focus ST be a true driver's machine, able to tackle any corner with supreme confidence.

Sports Suspension
Working in harmony with the advanced driver assistance features is the finely tuned suspension setup of the new Focus ST. Uprated shock absorbers and springs lower the ST chassis by 10mm for a more aggressive stance while the centre of gravity is brought closer to the road, which aids precise cornering.

The rear suspension has been revised with a number of new parts developed specifically for the Focus ST. Key components are the uprated suspension knuckles and an all-new anti-roll bar design, both the result of the development team's desire to give drivers an outstanding amount of feedback and control.

The rear suspension of the five-door and the wagon versions of Focus ST differ slightly. The wagon features angled shock absorbers - as in the base model - to maintain the optimum amount of capacity in the luggage compartment.

Ultimately, both Focus ST bodystyles offer the same handling characteristics that will have drivers searching out twisty roads.

Iconic Alloy Wheels
The iconic Y-shaped spoke design of the previous generation Focus ST has evolved for the new incarnation. A set of 18-inch alloy wheels carry on the recognised Focus ST style but subtle revisions bring them up-to-date for 2012.

ST customers will now have an additional 'Performance Pack' option which offers the wheels in black with a high contrast red finish on the performance brake calipers.

Wrapped around the alloy wheels are high performance 235/40R18 Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric 2 tyres, developed after rigorous testing on all kind of road surfaces and conditions, including the infamous Nürburgring Nordschleife in Germany.

Bold and Muscular Outside
Globally the new Focus ST will be available in five-door hatchback bodystyle with European markets also able to order the newly-revealed wagon version. Both models build on the striking kinetic design of the standard Focus, yet add the muscular presence and specific performance cues associated with a Ford ST model.

The performance intent of the Focus ST is evident even from a glance. The new signature production colour, Tangerine Scream, reflects the exciting and energetic character of the Focus ST, but even in the other available colours - Performance Blue, Race Red and White - the car will shout performance. This is emphasised by the bold and muscular styling of the Focus ST.

From the striking one-piece design interpretation of Ford's signature trapezoidal grille at the front, through the sculpted side skirts and the dynamic rear bumper with prominent diffuser-style vents in the lower fascia, the Focus ST's design adds aggression and aerodynamic stability compared to the base models.

Drivers following the Focus ST will notice the highly effective roof spoiler on both models, optimised to deliver improved high-speed stability and reduced drag. They will also witness the unique centre-exit exhaust with a stunning tailpipe design influenced by the exclusive hexagonal mesh of the front bumper.

Around the world, the sporty design of the Focus ST will leave other drivers in no doubt that they are seeing something that boasts incredible performance beneath that impressive metal.

Stylish and Sporty Inside
The exhilarating drive of the new Focus ST will have customers spending as much time behind the steering wheel as possible. With that in mind, Ford's designers have worked hard to ensure the interior of the Focus ST is a great place to be, helping the driver to feel as connected to the vehicle as possible.

The interior of the core Focus model is already designed with a "cockpit" feel, giving any Focus driver a sporty sensation. In the ST variant, though, that sporty feeling is heightened with everything the driver touches and feels reinforcing that it is unmistakably an ST.

Details range from specially designed pedals, steering wheel and gearshift to the unique Recaro seats. The darker headlining and trim on the pillars, an integral part of the ST's design DNA, adds to the performance driving feel.

With the seats, Ford worked closely with Recaro to give ST customers the ultimate in comfort and support. The seats will not only hold the driver in place tightly during spirited driving, but will offer exclusive premium features like cushion tilt, plus length adjustment which is a unique option in this class of vehicle. A lower seating position has also been achieved to give drivers improved ergonomics and the perfect place from where to exploit the ST's performance.

Rear seat passengers aren't forgotten. An all-new rear bench has been developed for the ST, sculpted using special foam. This will help rear passengers feel as secure as those passengers in the front, highlighting not only the sporting intentions of Focus ST but also the practical considerations that are part of its core DNA.

New Focus ST will be offered to European customers in three distinct trim options - ST1, ST2 and ST3. This approach is already familiar to owners of the previous Focus ST in the UK.

While precise details of feature availability for each trim option will vary by market, ST1 is the standard model, offering the key features like cloth Recaro seats, keyless start, front door scuff plates with ST logo and standard ST rear bench with centre armrest.

Focus ST2 builds on this with the addition of partial leather Recaro seats and dual zone Electronic Automatic Temperature Control (EATC). For right-hand drive markets, ST2 will also include unique ST floor mats, automatic headlamp control, auto-dimming rear view mirror and automatic wipers, features that are standard on left-hand drive ST1 models.

The top spec Focus ST3 increases the features with the inclusion of those exclusive heated leather Recaro seats with 8-way adjustability and pull out cushion, plus the newly developed Recaro rear bench. ST3 customers also benefit from Bi-Xenon headlamps to keep the road ahead in total clarity throughout the night.
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