Saturday, September 1, 2012

BMW M135i Concept, 2012

  • BMW M135i Concept, 2012

Simultaneously with the world premiere of the first BMW M Performance automobiles, BMW's concept study of a further model from this new product category will be showcased on the media days at this 2012 Geneva International Motor Show. The BMW M135i Concept consistently utilises the dynamic potential of the new BMW 1-Series for the concept of the first BMW M Performance automobile featuring a straight six-cylinder petrol engine. The body design of the BMW M135i Concept assigns the youthful and sporty looks of the new BMW 1-Series to a three-door compact model, complementing it with the distinctive athleticism so typical of a BMW M Performance automobile.

Concept study with characteristics typical of a BMW M Performance automobile.
With its sporty appearance, the compact three-door car authentically conveys the typical qualities of BMW Performance automobiles to yet another vehicle segment. BMW M Performance automobiles offer an ideal symbiosis of outstanding performance and everyday suitability. Using the expertise gained by the BMW M division from decades of motor racing experience, the supreme performance of its tremendously powerful engines specifically designed to suit each model, the meticulously modified suspension technology and the aerodynamic characteristics are all combined into a harmonious overall concept. As a result, BMW M Performance automobiles have noticeably increased agility, precisely controllable handling characteristics and an emotional design. One look at the BMW M135i Concept and the qualities crucial to that characteristic M Performance feeling are instantly evident.

The employment of a straight six-cylinder petrol power plant featuring M Performance Twin Power Turbo technology with a power output of more than 300 hp creates the ideal prerequisites for maximum dynamics in the premium compact segment and, in conjunction with rear-wheel drive concept still unique in this vehicle class, ensures unsurpassed driving pleasure so typical of a BMW.

Moreover, the characteristic handling precision of BMW M Performance automobiles is obtained through model-specific suspension technology that includes an M sports braking system and is perfectly adapted to match the supreme road performance. 18-inch M light alloys with a double spoke design additionally complement the concept car's sporting character.

Body features typical M athletic design.
The front apron of the concept car boasts a typical M design, signalising intensive road-orientation, its large air intakes designed to match the cooling requirement of the powerful engine, ancillary components and large brakes. The three-dimensionally designed flaps on the air intakes give indication of the car's direct association with motor racing.

In addition to intense road-orientation, the specific design of the rear end of the BMW M135i Concept emphasises above all the vehicle's width. This is supplemented in particular by the three-dimensional modelling of the surfaces and the lower section of the rear apron finished in Dark Shadow metallic. Furthermore, the rear apron accommodates the exhaust system's double tailpipe that features a dark chrome trim.

The BMW M135i Concept's exterior mirror caps in Ferric Grey and side window surrounds in BMW Individual High Gloss Shadow Line are a further feature of BMW M Performance automobiles.

Dynamic, stretched appearance. Concept study of the three-door BMW 1-Series.
Compared with the silhouette of the five-door BMW 1-Series, the three-door BMW M135i Concept makes an even more sporting and elegant statement. On the whole, the car has a more dynamic and elongated appearance. Viewed from the side, the car's athletic, low-slung appearance and its nearness to the road are even more intensely expressed by an entirely horizontal contour line in the area of the doorsills. A dynamically rising character line symbolises the BMW M135i Concept's urge to move forwards.

The wide doors are a further characteristic feature of the BMW M135i Concept's body design. Together with the rear side windows, the frameless windows form a coherent window surface reaching back to the rear end, accentuating the body's dynamically stretched appearance.

In addition, the surface design in the area of the rear side panels helps above all to emphasise the powerfully flared wheel arches. The visual accentuation of this part of the body directs the eye to the rear wheels, where the power of the six-cylinder power plant is transformed into driving dynamics in typical BMW manner.

Attractive prospects for the further development of the BMW 1-Series model range.
Thanks to a distinctively sports-oriented appearance, the BMW M135i Concept offers attractive prospects for the further development of the BMW 1-Series model range. At the same time, a clear signal has been given for the expansion of the new product category of BMW M Performance automobiles. The BMW M Performance automobiles being presented at the Geneva Motor Show and shortly to be launched are powered by the world's most high-performing six-cylinder diesel engine available for series production vehicles. The petrol-fuelled models in this product category will also assume a similar unique position. The pre-series concept car BMW M135i Concept offers a fascinating outlook on a corresponding offer in the premium compact segment.
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Friday, August 31, 2012

Audi A3, 2013

  • Audi A3, 2013

In 1996, Audi launched the premium compact segment with the A3 - now the third generation of the successful model is ready at the starting line. The new A3, which will debut at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show, is a high-tech car full of innovations in all areas. Versions with hybrid and alternative drive systems such as natural gas and Audi e-gas are currently in development. A version with an exceptionally efficient 1.6 TDI engine will launch on the market in 2012; it consumes just 3.8 liters of diesel/100 km (61.90 US mpg), which is equivalent to 99 g/CO2 (159.33 g/mile).

Audi ultra lightweight technology has helped to trim weight in the body of the appealing three-door car - compared to the previous model, the new A3 is now 80 kg (176.37 lb) lighter. The chassis is tuned for a sporty and agile driving style. The engines are powerful yet highly efficient, the interior offers an ambience of dynamic style. In driver assistance systems and infotainment, the new A3 offers a portfolio of technologies that redefines standards in the segment.

The car's styling visualizes the sporty character of the new A3; it gives the 4.24 meter (13.91 feet) long three-door model a powerful stance on the road. Sharp edges provide the outlines for dynamically curved sheet-metal surfaces. The overall vehicle length was kept identical to the previous model, while the wheelbase grew to 2.60 meters (8.53 feet), and the angle of the C-pillars was made low like that on a coupe. The single-frame radiator grille that is typical of Audi dominates the look of the front end. As an option, Audi can supply headlights in xenon plus technology together with LED daytime running lights; in this case, the taillights are also equipped with LEDs. Later on, full LED headlights will extend the range of features - and will be a first in the compact car segment.

Audi's consistent application of its ultra lightweight construction principle has produced a new A3 1.4 TFSI that weighs just 1,175 kg (2,590.43 lb) - making it significantly lighter than cars of the competition. The front fender and engine hood are made of aluminum; the car body also integrates a high share of ultra high-strength and hot-formed steels.

The completely redesigned interior of the Audi A3 appeals with the horizontal lines of an instrument panel that appears to float, trendsetting quality of materials and workmanship as well as clear ergonomics. The four round air vents, elegant control panel of the standard air conditioning system and the instrument cluster are all highlights here.

The color display of the driver information system (standard on the Ambition and Ambiente equipment lines) presents graphics in highly detailed 3D images.

The electrically retractable MMI monitor - with a seven-inch diagonal in the top version - is only eleven millimeters thick (0.43 inches). The new electromechanical parking brake creates space on the console over the center tunnel for the terminal of the optional MMI operating system. In its full version - MMI navigation plus with MMI touch - the upper side of its rotary pushbutton is designed as a touchpad - another ergonomic innovation. The driver can input letters and numbers by finger motion as in the Audi full-size class.

Audi is offering the Attraction, Ambition and Ambiente equipment lines as selections on the new A3; they let the customer choose the specific vehicle character they are looking for. Designers have developed attractive colors and materials for each of the versions. Customers can choose from among many sporty and convenient options that extend up to adaptive lighting, magnetic ride suspension and a panoramic glass sunroof.

Another technical area in which the new Audi A3 is extending its leadership role is in its new high-performance driver assistance systems. They range from radar-assisted adaptive cruise control to Audi side assist, Audi active lane assist, traffic sign detection, park assist and the Audi pre sense basic safety system. None of our competitors offers a similar portfolio of such systems.

In the infotainment area too, the innovative modular architecture hosts a whole array of components. It includes the sound system from Bang & Olufsen and MMI navigation plus. They are ideally complemented by the Bluetooth online car phone with WLAN hotspot. It gives passengers access to the Internet while traveling; for the driver, there are customized online services that make up the Audi connect package. The new Audi A3 will launch with three four-cylinder engines, all of which are essentially new developments. The two TFSI engines and the TDI work with 1.4, 1.8 and 2.0 liters of displacement. Their power levels are 90 kW (122 hp), 132 kW (180 hp) and 110 kW (150 hp). Compared to the previous model, fuel economy of the new A3 was improved by about 12 percent on average - with some engines the savings are even greater.

The 1.8 TFSI operates together with a standard seven-speed S tronic; the 1.4 TFSI and 2.0 TDI are paired with a six-speed manual gearbox. In each case, engine power is always transferred to the front wheels; quattro permanent all-wheel drive - and other engines, including a 1.4 TFSI engine with innovative cylinder on demand technology from Audi - will follow over the course of the next few months.

The chassis of the new A3 combines sporty driving fun with good comfort and impressive stability. The wheel suspensions form the foundation here, and the finely tuned power steering system has a highly efficient electromechanical drive. The ESC stabilization control integrates the electronic limited slip differential - which makes handling even more fluid and safe at performance limits when driving through curves.

The optional Audi drive select system (standard on the Ambition line) lets the driver vary the operating modes of key components - such as steering, the accelerator pedal and transmission characteristics (with S tronic) - for a customizable driving experience. It also incorporates the optional adaptive shock absorbers; they utilize magnetic ride technology from Audi. Wheels range from 16 to 18 inches in diameter.

The new Audi A3  sale in the spring, and first deliveries to customers will be this summer. The base price of the A3 with the entry-level engine, which will follow around the end of the year, will be 21,600 euros in Germany.

Exterior design
The new Audi A3 was designed with succinct lines, and its dimensions are compact. Its length of 4,237 mm (13.90 feet) and height of 1,421 mm (4.66 feet) are practically the same as on the previous model. And yet its proportions are sportier: The car's wheelbase grew by 23 mm (0.91 inches) to 2,601 mm (8.53 feet). Its front overhang is now shorter, and its width increased by 12 mm (0.47 inches) to 1,777 mm (5.83 feet).

The A3's progressive formal language visualizes all of the passion with which Audi engineers produces automobiles. The defining element at the front is the very sculptural single-frame radiator grille with its six corners; the engine hood continues its lines. Large air intakes at the front reflect the power of the engines.

The headlights are flat and integrate a wave-shaped lower edge. As an option, Audi can deliver xenon plus units; the LED bands that form the daytime running lights make the A3 unmistakable - especially at night.

On the sides of the body, the sharply delineated tornado line - another classic element of Audi design - gives structure to the area below the windows. Above the side sills, this dynamic line rises sharply upward.

Dynamically flared metal surfaces and large wheel arches lend a powerful appearance to the new A3. The low angles of the slender C-pillars and the roof that sweeps back into a modest spoiler convey the sporty look of a coupe.

Styling at the rear with the spoiler edge above the diffuser emphasizes the width of the new premium compact. The split taillights - in LED technology when equipped with xenon plus headlights - show a variation on the inner architecture of the front headlights. The trunk lid has a sculpted, three-dimensional look. The new A3 sports either one or two tailpipes on the left side in its diffuser insert, depending on the engine type.

13 paint colors are available, and an optional high-gloss package offers visual highlights. The S line exterior package with its distinctive accents will appeal to sport-oriented customers in particular.

The Audi ultra lightweight construction principle
Ultra lightweight construction has long been a success formula and a hallmark of the Audi brand. By no means is it limited to a specific material; instead, the motto is: "The right material in the right place for optimal function." True to this maxim, engineers developed a multi-material body for the new A3.

Components made of form-hardened and hot-formed steels form a strong structure in the underbody area, A- and B-pillars and the roof arch. In many other body areas, high-strength and ultra-high-strength steel grades are used. The engine hood and fenders are made of aluminum, which saves over nine kilograms (19.84 lb) in weight.

The lightweight body and downsizing engines produce large secondary effects in the overall vehicle; many components of the chassis, the exhaust system and interior have reduced weights. The A3 1.4 TFSI weighs just 1,175 kg (2,590.43 lb) - which is 80 kg (176.37 lb) less than the previous model and sets an impressive standard in the premium compact class.

The body of the Audi A3 exhibits other strengths. It has a high degree of impact safety; it is rigid and acoustically comfortable; a sound-insulating windshield is standard equipment, and numerous other measures were taken to reduce interior noise in the new A3, even at high speeds.

Aerodynamic refinements, including a covered underbody and engine compartment, result in a low Cd value of 0.31.

Interior and equipment
The sporty-progressive lines of the exterior are also reflected in the interior of the new A3. As in large Audi models, the cockpit wraps around the driver in a curve. The instrument panel is slender and level; it appears to hover above the visually lightweight centre console that is angled towards the driver.

The high-end impression conveyed by the interior of the new A3 was created by the capable hands of Audi designers who selected its colors and materials, and it is a reflection of the Audi's stringent quality standards. The interior layout is different for the different equipment lines - Attraction is the modern, Ambition the sporty and Ambiente the luxurious variant.

Audi delivers the interior in the quiet colors black and titanium gray; as an alternative, fresh accents are created by pashmina beige, chestnut brown and capri orange. There are optional seat covers in different qualities of leather and a leather/Alcantara variant. The S line sport package offers many exclusive details and a black look throughout the interior. The Audi design selection capri orange opens up a new, highly contemporary color world.

The rear seating area of the new Audi A3 offers space for three persons, and easy entry is a standard convenience feature. The newly developed front seats offer excellent support and contours; their low mounting positions emphasize the sporty character of the three-door car. The driver takes a seat behind a new steering wheel design that has three or four spokes, depending on the equipment line, and shift paddles; multifunction keys are available as an option.

Fine details highlight the interior. The four large, round air vents in jet design are classic elements, and they serve a secondary innovative function: Simply by pulling the nozzle along its axis, the air stream can be adjusted from draft-free wide dispersion to a directed stream of ventilation air. The air conditioning control panel has a fascia in Piano finish black.

The new type of molded decorative panels on the contoured front of the instrument panel and in the doors can be delivered in aluminum as an option.

Intuitively simple user interfaces - this is one of Audi's competence domains. All of the buttons, switches and controls are positioned precisely where one expects them. The display of the driver information system (in color on the Ambition and Ambiente lines) positioned between the two large round instruments shows all key information, some in richly detailed 3D graphics - which generates a fascinating effect.

The trunk of the new Audi A3 offers a basic capacity of 365 liters (12.89 cubic feet); cargo capacity grows to 1,100 liters (38.85 cubic feet) when the split rear seatbacks are folded. The cargo floor can be placed on two levels - either for maximum volume or alternatively as a level cargo floor. As an option, Audi can supply a load-through hatch with ski sack, a reversible mat and a storage package for the interior and the trunk.

In all equipment lines, the new Audi A3 offers a standard air conditioning system with manual control, height adjustable front seats, on-board computer with efficiency program and a full package of safety restraint systems; the seven airbags include a knee airbag for the driver. In the A3 Ambition, standard features include front fog lights and highly adjustable sport seats.

Audi also offers many attractive extras. They include the LED interior lighting package (standard in the Ambiente), a panoramic glass sunroof, sport seats, heated seats, convenience key for keyless vehicle access, deluxe automatic air conditioning with economy mode, auxiliary heating and adaptive light for the xenon plus headlights, which can be supplemented with variable headlight range control.

The new Audi A3 will arrive at dealers in Germany starting in summer 2012. The entry-level version, which will follow around the end of 2012, is listed at a price of 21,600 euros.
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Audi RS3 Sportback, 2012

  •  Audi RS3 Sportback, 2012

Big performance in a small package - the Audi RS3 Sportback is the newest member of the dynamic Audi RS family. Its turbocharged 2.5-liter five-cylinder engine pumps out 250 kW (340 hp) and delivers 450 Nm (331.90 lb-ft) of torque. The unit accelerates the Audi RS3 Sportback into the league of powerful sports cars while consuming just 9.1 liters of fuel per 100 km on average (25.85 US mpg).

Power from the 2.5 TFSI is transmitted to the road via a seven-speed S tronic and quattro permanent all-wheel drive. 19-inch wheels and fenders made of carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic (CFRP) underscore the Audi RS3 Sportback's position of distinction.

Mighty five-cylinder gasoline engines have a long legacy in the service of the four rings. In the 1980s, they gave many Audi cars an edge on the competition. The brand is now carrying on the classic line: The 2.5-liter with FSI direct gasoline injection and turbocharging technology gives the Audi RS3 Sportback its blazing performance.

Named "Engine of the Year" in 2010, the 2.5 TFSI delivers 250 kW (340 hp) from a displacement of 2,480 cc. Its specific output is 100.8 kW (137.1 hp) per liter. The peak torque of 450 Nm (331.90 lb-ft) is continuously available over a broad rev range between 1,600 and 5,300 rpm.

The Audi RS3 Sportback accelerates from a standing stop to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) in 4.6 seconds - a best-in-class performance figure. The limited top speed of 250 km/h (155.34 mph) is merely the official figure. Even so, the dynamic compact car uses on average just 9.1 liters of fuel per 100 km (25.85 US mpg) and emits 212 g CO2 per km (341.18 g/mile). This efficiency is due in large part to a delivery-on-demand oil pump and a recuperation system that recovers energy as the car decelerates.

The powerful five-cylinder unit is extremely compact and lightweight. Its large turbocharger compresses the intake air at pressures of up to 1.2 bar, and an intercooler lowers its temperature at full load. When the driver pushes the standard Sport button on the center tunnel, a flap installed in the left exhaust tailpipe renders the characteristic growling of the exhaust even more intense while allowing the engine to respond with even more punch.

Dynamic par excellence: the drivetrain and suspension
A seven-speed S tronic comes standard in the Audi RS3 Sportback. The compact dual-clutch transmission shifts gears almost imperceptibly, with extreme speed and comfort. Seventh gear is very tall - a measure that reduces fuel consumption. In addition to two automatic programs, a manual mode is available, which can be controlled with optional paddles on the steering wheel. The launch control system manages maximum acceleration from a standing start.

The quattro permanent all-wheel drive grants the Audi RS Sportback outstanding traction, fascinating dynamics, and superb stability. Its centerpiece is an electronically controlled multi-plate clutch, mounted at the rear to achieve a favorable weight distribution. If the situation calls for it, the clutch diverts torque from the front axle to the rear axle within a few milliseconds.

The chassis of the powerful compact car has an extremely sophisticated design. A four-link suspension capable of handling longitudinal and lateral forces separately is used at the rear. With a gear ratio of 16.2:1 the electromechanical rack-and-pinion steering is extremely direct, combining fine precision with highly efficient operation. The stiff sports suspension lowers the body by 25 millimeters (0.98 in) compared with the A3.

The Audi RS3 Sportback has 19-inch wheels. The front tires are size 235/35, whereas the tires at the rear are 10 millimeters (0.39 in) narrower to further enhance handling. The internally ventilated brake disks measure 370 millimeters (14.57 in) in diameter at the front and 310 millimeters (12.20 in) at the rear. The front friction rings are perforated.

They are connected by hollow pins to the aluminum brake disk covers and gripped by four-piston fixed calipers painted in black. The electronic stabilization program (ESP) has a sport mode and can be switched off partially or entirely.

The Audi RS3 Sportback hints at its enormous potential from the very first glimpse. Its front and rear aprons have been prominently modified, and a large roof spoiler sits atop the rear end. The flared front fenders are made of carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic (CFRP) - an expression of Audi expertise in lightweight design.

The dynamic style is matched in the interior, entirely black and sporting a number of RS3 logos. Sport seats with Fine Nappa leather upholstery are standard; the inlays sport a Piano finish. A boost pressure indicator, an oil thermometer and the lap timer are all included in the driver information system. The instruments and the selector lever are specially designed.

A flat-bottomed leather multifunction sport steering wheel, a two-zone deluxe automatic air conditioner, the chorus radio system and xenon plus headlights with LED daytime running lights round out the array of standard equipment. Audi offers customers a range of optional features: black 19-inch alloy wheels with a red rim flange, bucket seats, inlays in the new Aluminum Race material and styling packages in black or matt aluminum.

The Design and body
The new, dynamic top-of-the-line model in the A3 series reveals its potential from the very first glimpse. The single-frame grille, the defining element at the front of the car, features a high-gloss anthracite-colored insert with diamond-patterned styling. A frame in matt aluminum look encircles the grille, and an RS3 badge adorns it. Xenon plus lights are standard on the Audi RS3 Sportback, with integrated LED daytime running lights that form a striking contour.

The air intakes beneath the headlights have been significantly enlarged. Their boldly protruding edges direct air into the engine bay in a targeted manner - toward the seven-speed S tronic through the left intake, toward an additional radiator through the right intake. The turbocharger obtains its intake air through the upper part of the single-frame, and the intercooler sits behind the bottom segment of the grille. The fog lights are gone. The front apron also has a new look, with a horizontal splitter that raises the output shaft on the front suspension.

When viewed from the side, the broadly flared front fenders on the Audi RS3 Sportback immediately catch the eye. Made of carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic (CFRP), they provide a weight savings of 2.1 kilograms (4.63 lb) compared with standard steel-panel fenders. Chiseled side sills further accentuate the styling. The outside-mirror housings with integrated LED turn signals feature a matt aluminum look.

The redesigned rear bumpers on the RS3 Sportback include a high-gloss black diffuser insert that encircles the two large, elliptical exhaust tailpipes. Next to the license plate is an RS3 badge, and a long roof spoiler extends across the rear windshield. In perfect aerodynamic form, its middle segment is somewhat shorter than the two outside segments.

For customers who want even more ways to customize their car, Audi has put together two design packages. With the matt aluminum styling package, a number of parts - such as the rims around the air intakes and the upper edge of the diffuser insert - feature a matt aluminum look. With the black styling package from the Audi exclusive range, the Audi single-frame and the exhaust tailpipe trim come in high-gloss black.

The choice of finishes includes five exterior colors - Ibis White, Suzuka Gray metallic, Misano Red pearl effect, Daytona Gray pearl effect and Phantom Black pearl effect - in addition to an unlimited array of custom paints.

The Audi RS3 Sportback is 4.30 meters (14.11 ft) long, 1.79 meters (5.87 ft) wide, and 1.40 (4.59) meters high. It achieves a drag coefficient of cd 0.36 and has a frontal area of 2.16 sq m (23.25 sq ft). Its curb weight is 1,575 kilograms (3,472.28 lb). In its normal configuration, the luggage compartment has a capacity of 302 liters (10.67 cubic ft), but with the rear seatbacks folded down, it holds an impressive 1,032 liters (36.44 cubic ft). As options Audi also offers practical components, including a luggage compartment package and a load-through hatch with or without a ski bag.

A distinctive interior design with sporty circular air nozzles, perfect ergonomics and a no-holds-barred approach to quality in the selection and use of materials - these are all typical traits of the Audi A3 model line. In addition to these, the Audi RS3 Sportback comes with a host of special features.

The entire passenger compartment, including the roof lining, is a study in black. Inlays in Piano finish black are standard. Alternatively, the new Aluminium Race material and a selection of classy woods from the customization range are available as exclusive options. Silver piping borders the floor mats. The door sills, the tachometer, the seats, the steering wheel and the selector level for the seven-speed S tronic all feature RS3 badges. The pedals gleam with an aluminum finish.

The sport seats with prominent side bolsters provide excellent support for the body. They are upholstered in Fine Nappa leather with silver contrasting stitching. Featuring a heavily contoured rim, the triple-spoke leather multifunction sport steering wheel is flat-bottomed and wrapped in perforated leather complete with contrasting stitching. The shift paddles have a matt aluminum look.

The displays on the instrument cluster - black dials, white numbers and red needles - are designed with the RS styling. When the ignition starts, the needles on the speedometer and tachometer rise up briefly to their highest position, then fall back into place. The standard driver information system features an exclusive RS menu, with digital displays for the boost pressure and oil temperature, along with a lap timer for timing laps on the racetrack.

For decades, gasoline engines with turbocharging technology have been the domain of Audi - the five-cylinder TFSI in the Audi RS3 Sportback carries on the tradition of high-performance engines. From 2,480 cc of displacement, it draws 250 kW (340 hp) of power, which is available between 5,400 rpm and 6,500 rpm. Its specific output is 100.8 kW (137.1 hp) per liter of displacement. The maximum torque is 450 Nm (331.90 lb-ft) - it is readily available at the low end of the rev range, around 1,600 rpm, and remains constant up to 5,300 revolutions.

The strengths of the five-cylinder engine, which celebrated its debut in the TT RS in 2009, have impressed expert audiences. Last year, a jury of 71 international journalists named the 2.5 TFSI "Engine of the Year" in the 2.0 to 2.5-liter category, giving Audi its sixth consecutive category win in the competition. In the five previous years, the 2.0 TFSI had taken the award.

A five-cylinder unit is an exceptional engine from its very concept. It has a firing interval of 144 degrees and a firing order of 1-2-4-5-3, with widely spaced cylinders firing in alternation with adjacent cylinders. This, supported by the intake and exhaust system, creates the unique rhythm and sound of the engine - the guttural roar that is the legendary spine-tingling sound of an Audi.

Located at the front end of the crankshaft is a torsional-vibration damper containing a viscous fluid. It compensates the "free moments" produced by the unit.

The 2.5-liter engine is ultra-compact. Just 494 millimeters (19.45 in) in length, the long-stroke unit (bore x stroke 82.5 x 92.8 millimeters (3.25 x 3.65 in) is ideally suited for transverse installation. Its features an 88-millimeter (3.46-in) spacing between cylinders, and of the six crankshaft main bearings, the ones on the outside have been offset slightly toward the inside. The engine's weight of 183 kilograms (403.45 lb) also sets a record. It keeps the Audi RS3 Sportback's total weight in check and pays off big in terms of axle-load distribution and, ultimately, handling.

The crankcase in the five-cylinder engine is made of vermicular-graphite cast iron. Audi is the first carmaker in the world to use this high-tech material, which is otherwise used only in diesel units, in a standard gasoline engine. The graphite included in this material, known as GJV-450, forms wormlike (vermicular) structures that increase the tensile strength. This enables the walls to be made thinner than with conventional gray cast iron, resulting in a lower weight. Reinforcements on the main-bearing pedestal and main-bearing cap further enhance the block's loadability.

The pistons in the 2.5 TFSI are made of cast aluminum with a heat-resistant alloy. Each weighs only 492 grams (17.35 oz), including the rings and pins. The pistons are designed for maximum loading. Tiny, perfectly arranged asymmetries on the barrels and slightly sloped skirt walls further increase their strength. The connecting rods are forged components. Sodium-cooled exhaust valves and hardened valve seat inserts are located inside the cylinder head, which is cast from an aluminum alloy.

Blazing acceleration: 0 - 100 km/h (62.14 mph) in 4.6 seconds
The Audi RS3 Sportback accelerates from a standing stop to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) in 4.6 seconds - faster than any competitor in the compact category. Its superb pulling power allows it to pass other cars without the slightest effort. Top speed electronically is limited to 250 km/h (155.34 mph). Underneath the hood lies the engine with its red cylinder-head cover exposed - a fascinating piece of technology and a treat for the eyes.

In terms of fuel consumption, the powerful five-cylinder engine is frugal, using on average just 9.1 liters of fuel per 100 km (25.85 US mpg) and emitting 212 g CO2 per km (341.18 g/mile). This efficiency, which puts the Audi RS3 Sportback clearly ahead of its main competitors, can be attributed to the combination of FSI direct injection and turbocharging, two core competencies of the brand with the four rings. In motorsport, the toughest test laboratory in the world, TFSI technology has powered the Audi R8 to five final wins in the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

The injection system in the 2.5 TFSI is state-of-the-art. In a highly precise measuring method, the pressure sensor in the intake manifold performs load sensing for the control unit. Five individual flaps, which are actuated by negative pressure, mix the incoming air in a calculated configuration in the combustion chamber.

The common-rail system injects fuel into this tumble at pressures of up to 120 bar. The fuel swirls intensely in the combustion chamber, which in turn cools the walls. This solves an old problem with turbo technology - the tendency toward early spontaneous ignition of the mixture at hot spots in the combustion chamber. This "knocking" combustion is brought about by strong heat build-up at high compression. The cooling effect of the direct injection facilitates a high compression ratio of 10 : 1 along with a correspondingly high efficiency ratio.

The two camshafts in the head of the five-cylinder unit also enhance the efficiency of the filling. Each one is adjustable by 42 degrees of crankshaft rotation. They are driven by a two-stage chain drive consisting of an extremely quiet inverted tooth chain, a roller chain and an idler gear.

Turbo throughput: 335 liters (11.83 cubic ft) of air per second
The large turbocharger is generously sized, with a compressor wheel that measures 64 millimeters (2.52 in) in diameter at the outlet. At full load, the charger is able to compress up to 335 liters (11.83 cubic ft) of air and generates boost pressures of up to 1.2 bar. Its housing has a separate oil supply, and a dedicated water pump provides cooling. The intercooler lowers the temperature of the compressed air at full load, thereby achieving an efficiency of over 80 percent. Much effort has gone into optimizing the entire intake path to minimize pressure loss.

In the twin-scroll exhaust branch, development engineers focused on achieving low exhaust gas back pressure. The left tailpipe has a flap built into it. When closed, it forces the exhaust gas to take an alternate path, flowing over the rear muffler and exiting through the right tailpipe. It opens when the driver accelerates in higher load and rpm ranges. Now the exhaust takes a direct route to the outside, creating an even more robust, intense sound.

The driver can actuate the flap at any time by pressing the standard Sport button on the center console, thereby boosting or relaxing engine responsiveness.

The Audi RS3 Sportback is fitted as standard with a recuperation system that significantly lowers fuel consumption. During the coasting and braking phases, an intelligently regulated alternator converts the kinetic energy into electrical energy by increasing its secondary voltage. Then, when the Audi RS3 Sportback accelerates again, current flows out of the battery and back into the onboard electrical system. This relieves the load on the alternator, which can now operate at a lower voltage, and the engine doesn't have to sacrifice as much power for it.

Another efficiency technology in the 2.5 TFSI is the regulated oil pump. Smaller in terms of delivery rate, the volumetric-flow-controlled oil pump operates only as needed, and no longer needs to circulate oil continuously.
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Thursday, August 30, 2012

Citroen DS4, 2012

  •  Citroen DS4, 2012

Citroën has released first details for the new Citroën DS4, a unique and attractive blend of creativity, dynamism, exclusivity and versatility. DS4 is the second model in Citroën's distinctively-styled DS line.

The Citroën DS4 brings an alluring mixture of premium design codes and a bold approach to automotive styling, with an emphasis on driving pleasure and advanced vehicle architecture. DS4 is a model with a multitude of talents, effortlessly responding to a broad range of owner needs, while enhancing the appeal and vitality of the motoring experience.

Citroën DS4 combines sophistication and refinement with a dynamic coupé-like body, creating exceptional versatility and day-to-day practicality within a compact design - 4.27m (l), 1.81m (w) & 1.53m (h).

Citroën DS4 delivers a new "at-the-wheel" experience with unrivalled driving sensations and outstanding agile on-road handling. With its slightly raised stance and taut lines, Citroën DS4 is a unique and eye-catching addition to the segment.

Finely crafted to convey a prestigious presence both inside and out, Citroën DS4 offers meticulous detailing from carefully applied chrome touches to premium cabin materials - such as the finest quality leather seats. A large panoramic windscreen, offering enhanced occupant visibility, illuminates the driver-focused cockpit, creating a bright and welcoming environment.

Combining coupé style with 2+2 door practicality, Citroën DS4 offers three full-sized rear seats, accessed by rear doors with hidden handles that are seamlessly integrated into the body's flowing lines. Citroën DS4 also benefits from a capacious 370-litre boot and a host of clever storage solutions.

Citroën DS4 comes with a choice of five refined and efficient engines - two HDi diesels and three petrol powerplants.

All engines deliver a combination of powerful performance - including a new to Citroën 200hp petrol unit - and ecologically sensitive motoring. Citroën's new e-HDi drivetrains for example deliver improved fuel economy and lower CO2 emissions.
Citroën DS4 will be revealed at the 2010 Paris Motor Show and is expected to go on sale later in 2011.

An example of truly creative design, Citroën DS4 boldly blends a mix of the most desirable styling references to create an exciting new automotive proposition. Marc Pinson, DS4's chief stylist, comments, "Reinterpreting cues opened up new possibilities, bringing practical and surprising solutions to automotive mobility".

Compact and muscular, the DS signature on the bonnet is complemented by a striking LED light signature around the front fog lights. The LEDs are illuminated both day and night. The eye-catching profile, featuring a chrome-finished waistline surrounding dark tinted windows, is enhanced by muscular wheel arches - that emphasise the large wheels (up to 19") - and is crowned by a tautly drawn roofline with a spoiler for added vitality. The lower part of the rear bumper is finished in chrome and the horizontal detailing on the rear light clusters highlights their innovative boomerang design.

As with its prestigious exterior, Citroën DS4's cabin exudes power, dynamism and refinement. The driving position is enveloping, with chrome-surround dials focused directly towards the driver's eye-line. The characterful, sculptured dashboard also uses high quality materials for a superior tactile feel.

DS4's cabin is dominated by the large panoramic windscreen that extends backwards into the roofline. Offering up to 45° of upward vision, the panoramic glazed area combines with Citroën DS4's slightly raised stance, to provide optimised visibility for the driver, with a bright yet intimate, airy cabin environment for passengers.

Allowing owners to personalise the interior, DS4 is available with a choice of five leather combinations, including two-tone options. Range-topping models are also equipped with high quality leather on the dashboard and door panels - complete with a 'Bracelet' design on the seats, evoking the links of a watch strap.

For an added touch of luxury, there is chrome detailing on the air vent surrounds, instrument cluster, gear lever and parts of the central console. Aluminium pedals, embossed leather door handles and ambient lighting are further evidence of Citroën DS4's attention to premium detail.

With its high-set, taut and agile stance, Citroën DS4 is tuned for dynamic performance, appealing to drivers looking for an involving motoring experience. "We really wanted drivers to feel like they have the road at the tips of their fingers", says Jérémie Maestracci, DS4's project manager.

On the road, Citroën DS4 exercises exemplary control, giving occupants a reassuring sense of safety in all circumstances. Fitted with a MacPherson type suspension assembly at the front, a flexible transverse beam at the rear and hydraulic steering with an electric pump unit, the platform is a tried and tested solution tailored for the distinctive set-up of the car.

Depending on trim level, DS4 is fitted with large-diameter (340mm) ventilated disc brakes and, as standard, with dedicated braking control systems, including ABS with Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD) and Emergency Brake Assist (EBA). Ensuring optimal vehicle control in the most demanding driving situations, Citroën DS4 also features intelligent traction control with ESP.

DS4 will be launched with a choice of five refined and highly efficient Euro 5 engines. The two HDi diesels - an HDi 110 (also available as an e-HDi version) and an HDi 160 - are both fitted with Citroën's Diesel Particulate Filter System. The three petrol powerplants - VTi 120, THP 155 and the new THP 200 - were co-developed with BMW. The new THP 200 - based on the 1.6-litre engine - delivers flexible power delivery and performance thanks to its power output (147kW), plentiful torque (275Nm at 1,700rpm) - with low CO2 emissions of just 149g/km. All engines are available with manual or EGS six-speed gearboxes.

Special attention has been given to the car's internal acoustics, retaining the refined atmosphere on-board by minimising engine vibration, wind and road noise. This has been achieved by specifying a laminated panoramic windscreen with damping film, fitting additional sound absorbent material around the engine compartment and enhanced sealing barriers on the body and doors.

Citroën DS4 was designed from the start to have a reduced environmental footprint - especially evident in its construction - by using top-quality components, an ecologically focused manufacturing process and the use of 'green materials' - around 15% of the 200kg of plastic used in DS4 vehicle is derived from 'green materials.'

Citroën DS4 can be specified with Citroen's micro-hybrid e-HDi technology, which is available from launch on versions powered by the HDi 110 engine.

The e HDi system comprises of:
  •     an economical HDi Euro 5 diesel power plant
  •     a new generation Stop & Start system, which instantly cuts out the engine when the car comes to a halt (red lights, traffic jams).
  •     a second-generation reversible alternator and an e-booster function that restarts the engine instantly (0.4 seconds)
  •     an electronically controlled alternator that recovers energy during braking;
  •     an Electronic Gearbox System (EGS) with optimised gear changes.

All required features such as the radio, air-conditioning and steering functions remain in operation when the engine is stopped by the system. This innovative technology can reduce the fuel consumption and CO2 emissions by as much as 15% in built-up urban environments.

Citroën DS4's compact exterior belies a spacious and luxuriously comfortable cabin, which can be easily accessed by the car's 2+2 door layout. To make it easier to access the rear seats - often seen as a weak point for some sporty models - DS4 features seamlessly integrated rear doors with handles hidden in the door frames.

Thanks to its optimised design, the front doors of Citroën DS4 have been made narrower and lighter, making them easier to open and close, promoting easy access at the front.

Another asset in terms of versatility and roominess is DS4's 370-litre (VDA) boot, which is similar in volume to that of many conventional saloons.

Citroën DS4 also has numerous storage compartments for extra travelling comfort, including a large, well lit glove box; door pockets big enough for 1.5-litre bottles; and even a drawer under the front passenger seat. The intelligent architecture of the high-level central console (available on models fitted with EGS) also provides spacious storage areas. The largest of these - which is cooled, illuminated and protected by a sliding cover - can hold up to four 50-cl bottles and houses a connectivity area with an audio-jack, a USB port and a 12-volt socket. The large compartment located under the front armrest also features an additional power source.

Beyond its distinctive styling and dynamic performance, Citroën DS4's cabin overflows with 'Créative Technologie', providing equipment, functionality and innovative features for first-class travelling comfort and ultimate user convenience. Features available include an advanced audio system with processing software for effective soundscaping, delivering high quality, authentic sound evenly throughout the cabin. For ultimate driving luxury, massaging front seats are available with electric lumbar adjustment in the front passenger's and driver's seat backs.

Another example of the tailored DS4 experience, drivers can select their own on-board ambience from four ranges of polyphonic sounds - Classic, Crystal Symphony, Jungle Fantasy & Urban Rythmik - for alerts and reminders; select from three air-conditioning flow levels - soft, average & intense; and choose from an array of colours for the instrument panel - spanning from white to blue.

Drivers can access all key driving and comfort controls - which are clearly visible and even backlit for night-time use - without taking their hands off the wheel.

For complete peace-of-mind, Citroën DS4 is also equipped with a range of safety-enhancing technologies:
  •     The Citroën eTouch Assistance System automatically or manually makes emergency or assistance calls, using a built-in SIM card, for rapid intervention in the event of an accident or if the car is immobilised.
  •     Front fog lamps with static cornering lights provide an extra beam that increases visibility when turning - by up to 75° to the left and right of the vehicle. The lights automatically illuminate when the driver indicates or turns the wheel to an angle of more than 60°.
  •     A blind-spot monitoring system - based on the same technology as reversing parking sensors - the four ultrasound sensors alert the driver if a vehicle is in their blind spot ( an area stretching to around 5m behind the rear bumper and 3.5m from each side of the car). The driver is alerted by means of a pictogram displayed in the wing mirrors.
  •     Programmable cruise control with speed limiter also allows drivers to pre-set cruising and top speeds for added safety and convenience on the open road.

When launched, DS4 will be available with first-class customer service. Citroën FreeDrive, first introduced with DS3, is a distinctive package for Citroën DS4 owners, providingcomplete peace-of-mind with an extensive range of services that can be personalised to meet the specific needs of the customer. FreeDrive contracts can be tailored to cover:
  •     scheduled and annual servicing
  •     periodic maintenance
  •     replacement of wear and tear items
  •     Citroën Assistance (Roadside/At Home/Recovery/Onward Travel/European Cover)
  •     replacement vehicle during regular servicing, MOT Testing
  •     valet cleaning during servicing.

FreeDrive also offers optional tyre replacement cover, a 'Pick-up' service from the customer's home or workplace, or a 'Pick-up & Delivery' service.
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Citroen DS3 R3, 2011

  • Citroen DS3 R3, 2011

In addition to Citroën Racing's official participation in WRC, where it has won five FIA World Championship Constructors' titles, Citroën Racing has always offered products designed for customers. The champion team has now furthered this rich tradition with Citroën DS3 R3, a model set to make its rallying debut at the end of 2010. Versatile, high performance and yet affordably-priced, Citroën DS3 R3 is set to become the new leader in its category.

Based on the FIA's new Group R3T regulations, Citroën DS3 R3 features the same structural design and appearance as the production model, with the production steel body shell reinforced by a welded, multi-point roll cage, improving the resilience of the chassis and safety for the driver pairing.

Under the bonnet lies a four-cylinder 1.6-litre THP (high pressure turbo) engine, which has been developed using the PSA production engine. Specific racing parts (air box, camshaft, pistons, connecting rods, exhaust and turbo systems, electronic unit, etc.) have been deployed to boost the car's power to 210bhp. In addition to its overall power, special attention has been given to increasing the engine's torque to improve traction, one of the key factors in delivering efficient driving performance. With 350Nm, the Citroën DS3 R3 engine offers unrivalled flexibility on the road.

Citroën DS3 R3 has benefitted from the extensive expertise acquired by Citroën Racing through its involvement in the World Rally Championship. As with the C4 WRC, the six-speed gearbox features semi-automatic sequential control, enabling gear changes to be made twice as quickly as with a manual gearbox, whilst also improving the reliability of the car's powertrain.

The suspension system uses the very latest technologies and has been designed for all road surfaces, from rough gravel to smooth tarmac. A wide variety of setup options are available, allowing Citroën DS3 R3 to be adapted to all driving styles. Citroën Racing recommends the use of BFGoodrich tyres.

Built using production-derived components and specific racing parts, Citroën DS3 R3 is available at an affordable price and will be marketed by Citroën Racing in kit and ready-to-race versions.

Citroën Racing has deployed its extensive expertise in passive safety and chassis rigidity on Citroën DS3 R3. The standard monocoque chassis is lighter because it does not have the supports used on the production model. It has been re-welded and fitted with a multi-point roll cage made of over 45 metres of steel tubing. The industrially designed roll cage is pre-assembled outside the car, which means the welding is of a higher quality. Various details of the chassis design, such as the harness cross-member and the door crossbars, help to improve safety for the driver pairing. The monocoque chassis is delivered with all the brackets and mountings required to assemble the car, which reduces the construction time and cost.

In order to improve weight distribution, the battery and automatic fire extinguisher are positioned behind the seats. A steel skidplate protects the underside of the engine and also helps to lower the car's centre of gravity. The flexible, FIA-homologated fuel tank remains in its original position.

Citroën DS3 R3's efficiency on all road surfaces stems from the quality of its suspension system, designed to make full use of the Group R regulations. At the front, the production sub-frame has been altered so that tubular wishbones can be fitted. The axle is both lighter and stronger than on the production model. Developed in conjunction with BOS, the shock absorbers boast several innovative features:
  •     The aluminium struts are lubricated in an oil bath, which improves the consistency and lifespan of the suspension.
  •     The lower, frontally-offset anchor point helps increase the travel and the guiding length of the shock absorber.

In order to adapt its road handling to all driving styles, Citroën DS3 R3 offers a variety of setup options: three track shock absorbers (low and high-speed compression and rebound, adjustable hydraulic bump stop), camber and toe (front and rear), track width and castor (front).

At the rear, the production cross-member has been reinforced and altered to make it easier to fit the anti-roll bar. The removable rear wheel hubs allow the camber and toe settings to be adjusted independently.

The braking system features a 'pedal box' assembly with two master cylinders. The discs are held in place by four-calliper pistons at the front and two-calliper pistons at the rear. The handbrake is hydraulic.

For the first time ever, Citroën Racing has produced a customer-racing product fitted with a turbocharged engine. The experience acquired by the brand in WRC for almost ten years has been put to good use in its design. The 1.6-litre THP (high pressure turbo) engine is very closely related to the production model used throughout the PSA Group. Fitted with a regulation-compliant 29mm turbo flange, it develops 210bhp of power and generates a torque of 350Nm (with commercially available fuel). This second value improves traction and delivers excellent versatility at all engine speeds.

In accordance with the regulations, many parts have been taken or derived from the production model. For example, the intake and exhaust manifolds, turbocharger, injectors and injection pumps are identical to those used on production models. The air filter, camshaft, pistons, connecting rods and engine flywheel are, however, specific racing parts. To avoid oil surges during long corners and to increase ground clearance, the oil sump has been altered and fitted with a composite partition. The exhaust and turbocharger system is also specific; the catalytic converter is similar to the one used on C4 WRC. Citroën DS3 R3's engine ECU also includes a data acquisition system that is able to check a large number of parameters.

One of the main innovations on Citroën DS3 R3 concerns its gearbox. For the first time, a customer-racing product has been fitted with a semi-automatic gearbox, which reduces the time spent changing gears and increases reliability. The electronic management system only authorises gear changes when the engine parameters allow it. Once again, the expertise developed by Citroën Racing in WRC enabled this cutting-edge technology to be adapted to Citroën DS3 R3.

Inside the cabin, the composite fibre steering wheel-mounted paddles are just as ergonomic as on C4 WRC: the driver flicks the paddle backwards to move up the gears and flicks it forwards to move down the gears. The clutch pedal is still present, but is only used to drive off. During subsequent gear changes, the clutch is automatically controlled.

Under the bonnet, the specific elements of the semi-automatic control (solenoid valves, actuators and pressure unit) have all been taken from the production model and adapted to the six-speed gearbox. The housing for the twin-disc clutch has been cast in aluminium, whilst the gearing casing has been cut from the block.

After twelve months spent in Citroën Racing's design office, Citroën DS3 R3 made its first outing at the end of August 2009. To check the sturdiness of the various components, initial testing was carried out on 'rough gravel' test tracks, typical of the road surfaces seen in Mediterranean rallies. Development testing continued on tarmac, the ideal surface to test performance, and on flowing gravel roads. In total, Citroën DS3 R3 covered over 10,000km in development testing, split evenly among the different types of road surfaces.

Several drivers took part in the tests. They all had varying levels of experience, different preferences and driving styles, which meant that the engineers could accumulate data that will benefit future Citroën DS3 R3 owners. All of the drivers agreed that the car was easy to drive and highlighted three strengths: the torque of the 1.6-litre engine, the semi-automatic gearbox and the suspension. Citroën DS3 R3 offers impressive performance levels and looks set to become the new leader in its category in rallying.
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