Saturday, October 13, 2012

BMW 5 ActiveHybrid, 2013

  • BMW 5 ActiveHybrid, 2013

The BMW takes the development of intelligent hybrid drive systems to the next level with the introduction of the BMW 5 ActiveHybrid - another series-produced model in which a combustion engine and electric motor join forces to enhance both efficiency and the brand's hallmark driving pleasure. 
The BMW 5 ActiveHybrid brings together a BMW TwinPower Turbo six-cylinder in-line engine, an electric drive system and an eight-speed automatic gearbox for the first time. The latest generation of BMW ActiveHybrid technology also adds precisely controlled - and therefore extremely effective - energy management to the mix. All of which gives the BMW 5 ActiveHybrid an exceptional balance of performance and fuel economy for the premium executive car class. Its drive system generates combined output of 250 kW/340 hp, allows the car to be driven on electric power alone up to 60 km/h (37 mph), accelerates the BMW 5 ActiveHybrid from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 5.9 seconds, limits average fuel consumption to between 6.4 and 7.0 litres per 100 kilometres (44 - 40 mpg imp) and has CO2 emissions of just 149 - 163 grams per kilometre (figures according to EU test cycle, may vary according to the tyre format specified).

The 225 kW/306 hp six-cylinder in-line engine with BMW TwinPower Turbo technology in the BMW 5 ActiveHybrid is the same unit renowned for its free-revving capability, pulling power and efficiency in the BMW 535i. The electric motor, meanwhile, develops 40 kW/55 hp and is supplied with energy by a high-performance lithium-ion battery integrated into the luggage area.

A harmonious blend of power from the two drive systems is transferred to the rear wheels by the eight-speed automatic gearbox. In addition to its full-hybrid construction, which enables purely electric and therefore emission-free driving in urban conditions, the BMW 5 ActiveHybrid boasts not only the sportiest performance in its market segment but also a double-digit percentage improvement in fuel economy over the BMW 535i.

In order to fully exploit the potential of the BMW ActiveHybrid technology, the intelligent energy management of the power electronics in the BMW 5 ActiveHybrid uses a host of innovative functions to ensure the drive system runs efficiently. The lithium-ion high-performance battery is charged when the car is coasting or braking, the electric motor performing the role of a generator feeding energy into the high-voltage battery. By contrast, under acceleration the electric motor takes on a boost function. Here, it assists the petrol engine by generating an ultra-dynamic burst of power, lending the sedan's sporty driving experience a noticeably sharper edge. Added to which, while coasting at speeds of up to 160 km/h (100 mph) in ECO PRO mode, the combustion engine can be switched off and fully decoupled. 

This coasting mode combines comfortable driving with optimum utilisation of the kinetic energy already generated. To avoid periods with the engine running at idle - at junctions or in traffic tailbacks, for example - the BMW 5 ActiveHybrid is equipped with a hybrid start-stop function. Plus, the power electronics in the BMW 5 ActiveHybrid are linked up with the standard-fitted navigation system Professional. This allows forward-looking analysis of the driving situation, enabling the drive components to be primed to deliver maximum efficiency (the effect may vary according to the quality of the available navigation data). All the hybrid-specific components of the drive technology and energy management systems have been developed specially for use in the BMW 5 ActiveHybrid. The result is an extremely well-rounded overall concept, which also provides a convincing demonstration of the BMW ActiveHybrid technology's qualities out on the road. Needless to say, all of the new hybrid components are designed to last for the life of the vehicle.

The BMW 5 ActiveHybrid sees the sporty yet elegant body design of the BMW 5-Series Sedan complemented by bespoke touches which highlight the identity of its drive technology. The "ActiveHybrid 5" lettering on the C-pillars, BMW kidney grille with galvanised slats and exhaust matt chrome tailpipes set the exterior apart from the other models in the range. Available as an option, meanwhile, are 18-inch Streamline light-alloy wheels displaying exceptional aerodynamic efficiency. The BMW 5 ActiveHybrid is the only model in the BMW 5-Series line-up to be available in the exterior paint shade Bluewater metallic, and it also stands out visually from all other 5-Series variants with door sill strips bearing "ActiveHybrid 5" lettering, an aluminium plate on the centre console with the same ID, a bespoke engine cover and the visible "ActiveHybrid Power Unit" inscription on the special casing for the high-performance battery accommodated in the luggage area.

The selection of interior colours, upholstery and interior trim elements reflect the range offered for the other BMW 5-Series Sedan variants. And added to the standard-fitted array of comfort-enhancing features is not only the navigation system Professional, but also a 4-zone climate control system with stationary air conditioning. A wide range of driver assistance systems and BMW ConnectedDrive mobility services, as well as virtually all the other optional extras available for the conventionally powered BMW 5-Series Sedan, can also be specified for the BMW 5 ActiveHybrid.

Innovative combination: award-winning six-cylinder in-line engine, newly developed electric drive system.
This is the first time that a six-cylinder in-line engine has been included as part of a BMW ActiveHybrid system. The 3.0-litre petrol unit, which develops 225 kW/306 hp and peak torque of 400 Newton metres (295 lb-ft), represents a passport to increased driving pleasure and efficiency. The BMW TwinPower Turbo technology of the six-cylinder engine, which has already won the international Engine of the Year Award two years in succession, comprises a twin-scroll turbocharger, High Precision Direct Injection and VALVETRONIC variable valve timing.

The synchronous electric motor of the BMW 5 ActiveHybrid is integrated into the housing of the eight-speed automatic gearbox, saving space. The link-up between the electric motor and gearbox is controlled by a clutch and the motor's operating temperature is regulated by the combustion engine's cooling system. The electric drive system develops 40 kW/55 hp and makes 210 Newton metres (155 lb-ft) of torque available from rest. The motor is supplied with energy by a lithium-ion high-performance battery, likewise specially developed for the BMW 5 ActiveHybrid. The high-voltage battery is encased in a special high-strength housing and positioned between the wheel arches in the luggage area, providing it with optimum protection. It consists of 96 cells, has its own cooling system and offers usable energy capacity of 675 Wh. The integration of the lithium-ion high-performance battery into the luggage area reduces the load capacity of the BMW 5 ActiveHybrid to 375 litres, 145 litres lower than that of a BMW 5-Series Sedan variant powered purely by a combustion engine.

The BMW 5 ActiveHybrid has both a conventional 14-volt power supply and a high-voltage supply with an operating voltage of 317 volts. They are linked up by a voltage transformer ensuring that maximum electric energy can be used to enhance driving dynamics and comfort in any operating phase. Like the electric motor, the air conditioning compressor is also fed with power from the lithium-ion high-performance battery exclusively via the high-voltage supply. This ensures a pleasant interior climate, even when the combustion engine is switched off - i.e. when the car is at a standstill, operating purely on electric power or in coasting mode. In addition, the stationary climate control function can be used to cool the interior before the engine is started up.

Intelligently controlled hybrid technology: unprecedented precision for superior efficiency.
Up to a speed of 60 km/h (37 mph), the BMW 5 ActiveHybrid can operate in all-electric mode for zero emissions in town. The lithium-ion high-voltage battery can store sufficient energy to give an all-electric driving range of up to four kilometres (approx. 2.5 miles) at an average speed of 35 km/h (22 mph).

The internal combustion engine is only started when the driver requires more power: it is then engaged automatically. The electric motor provides a "boost" function to supplement the engine when accelerating. Maximum combined power is 250 kW/340 hp, with maximum torque of 450 Newton metres. Under combined ICE/electric power, the BMW 5 ActiveHybrid delivers a 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) acceleration time of 5.9 seconds.

Hybrid-specific Auto Start-Stop function and coasting mode.
Thanks to the specially designed Hybrid Auto Start-Stop function, there are no compromises on comfort even when the vehicle is stopped in traffic for longer periods - after the internal combustion engine is shut off, the automatic climate control simply runs off the lithium-ion battery. When the driver releases the brake, the vehicle will restart on either the electric motor alone or the electric motor and the petrol engine, depending on the high-voltage battery's current charge level and on how much power the driver wants.

Other innovation being pioneered in the BMW 5 ActiveHybrid further improves efficiency by shutting the internal combustion engine down not only when the vehicle is stationary, or when driving in town, but also on overrun. In the BMW 5 ActiveHybrid, this coasting mode is available at any speed up to 160 km/h (100 mph). Coasting mode switches off the petrol engine and disconnects it from the drive shaft. From this point on, the BMW 5 ActiveHybrid continues moving soundlessly, with zero emissions and with no engine braking effect. The potential efficiency improvements are further enhanced by tyres with reduced rolling resistance. In coasting mode too, as with all-electric mode for urban driving, all safety and comfort functions remain fully operational.

Intelligent energy management with proactive analysis of the driving situation.
The advanced power electronics coordinate the operation of the internal combustion engine and electric motor with precise reference to the driving situation. For even more efficient energy management in the BMW 5 ActiveHybrid, this functionality has been extended to include proactive analysis of the driving situation. To support this, the power electronics are integrated with the standard-fitted Professional navigation system, which means they can access and analyse data indicating an upcoming change in external conditions or driver requirements at a very early stage. Based on this analysis, the vehicle can be prepared in advance for the relevant requirements so that all powertrain systems and the on-board electronics are managed appropriately and in such a way as to make the most efficient possible use of the available energy.

Factors that may cause a change in powertrain operating strategy include the topography of the route and speed limits. For example, if the system knows that a hilly stretch is coming up soon, the BMW 5 ActiveHybrid can invest all the high-voltage battery's electrical energy in providing supplementary driving power, since the battery will be recharged "at no cost" during the subsequent descent. On longer downhill sections the electric motor's generator function, too, can be enlisted to recharge the high-voltage battery with no loss of speed. The operating strategy can also be managed so as to ensure that the high-voltage battery is as fully charged as possible when nearing the end of the journey, thereby increasing the electric driving range on the "last lap".

The operating status of the powertrain components is shown in intuitive, model-specific displays in the instrument cluster and in the Control Display of the BMW 5 ActiveHybrid. As well as the energy flow and energy recuperation display, these include a further gauge next to the rev counter which shows the boost effect being provided by the electric motor during acceleration. A display in the iDrive interface provides a variety of information - for example on the lithium-ion high-voltage battery's current charge level and the power-sharing between the internal combustion engine and the electric motor in the course of a journey.

Exceptional hybrid model, typical BMW 5-Series: highest standards of driving dynamics, safety and comfort.
The chassis specifications of the BMW 5 ActiveHybrid include a double-wishbone front axle and integral rear axle, electromechanical power steering including the Servotronic speed-sensitive power assist function, a high-performance brake system and 17-inch alloy wheels. Dynamic Damper Control, featuring electronically controlled damping, is optionally available. The Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) system, which stabilises the vehicle by applying braking pressure and reducing engine power, also incorporates functions such as Dynamic Traction Control (DTC), the Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Cornering Brake Control (CBC), Dynamic Brake Control (DBC), Brake Assist, Fading Compensation, a Dry Braking function and Start-Off Assistant.

The hybrid-specific safety features, which protect the lithium-ion high-voltage battery and the power electronics, are integrated in the BMW 5-Series' elaborate integrated active and passive safety concept. In a collision, high-strength structural components and large deformation zones help to keep impact forces away from the passenger cell and also from the hybrid drive components. Other standard safety systems on the BMW 5 ActiveHybrid include front and side airbags, side curtain head airbags for both rows of seats, three-point inertia-reel belts on all seats, belt force limiters and belt latch tensioners on the front seats and ISOFIX child seat attachments in the rear.

In the BMW 5 ActiveHybrid, too, the standard-fitted Driving Experience Control switch offers not only Sport+, Sport and Comfort set-ups (as well as Comfort+ mode if the optional Dynamic Damper Control is specified), but also ECO PRO mode. The latter supports a particularly relaxed and fuel-efficient driving style, and makes more frequent use of all-electric mode. As an alternative to the standard-fitted automatic transmission, a sports automatic with faster shift times is optionally available.

BMW ConnectedDrive systems optionally available for the BMW 5 ActiveHybrid include Park Distance Control, a rear-view camera, Surround View, Adaptive Headlights, High-Beam Assistant, Speed Limit Info, BMW Parking Assistant, Lane Change Warning, Lane Departure Warning, BMW Night Vision with pedestrian recognition and the BMW Head-Up Display. Innovative technologies also allow in-car integration of the Apple iPhone, other smartphones and music players, and use of the Real-Time Traffic Information and Apps functions.

To further enhance comfort and individuality, the standard-specification 4-zone automatic climate control and navigation system Professional can be supplemented by options such as active seats, active seat ventilation, Comfort Access, the Smart Opener for the tailgate, the Soft Close Automatic function for the doors, a power-operated glass roof and high-end audio and rear entertainment systems.

BMW 5 ActiveHybrid: intelligent technology points the way forward.
The BMW 5 ActiveHybrid features newly developed hybrid components that are combined for the first time with a six-cylinder BMW TwinPower Turbo engine, and innovative functions for further improved efficiency and driving enjoyment. At the same time it broaches yet another market segment, taking BMW's hybrid development work a further step forward. As always, BMW ActiveHybrid technology is offered in a form which is optimally adapted to the requirements of the particular vehicle concept and market segment.
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Acura ILX, 2013

  • Acura ILX, 2013

The 2013 Acura ILX compact sedan is an all-new model that is positioned as the gateway into the Acura brand. The primary target customers for the new Acura ILX are Generation Y - successful 20 and 30-somethings moving into the luxury car ranks but looking for high-value propositions in their purchases.

Sleek and sporty, the Acura ILX combines luxury, performance and efficiency. While maintaining a strong emphasis on stylish and aerodynamically efficient exterior design, the ILX features a large and airy greenhouse that provides excellent outward visibility. As a five-passenger luxury sedan, the Acura ILX combines compact proportions with a spacious passenger interior and ample cargo space - perfect attributes for young professionals on the go.

The Acura ILX will feature three advanced, sporty and efficient powertrain choices, including Acura's first-ever gas-electric hybrid. The entry-level ILX will be powered by a 2.0-liter inline 4-cylinder engine producing 150 horsepower at 6,500 rpm and 140 lb-ft of torque at 4,300 rpm. Paired with a Sequential SportShift 5-speed automatic transmission, the ILX 2.0L will deliver an EPA estimated city/highway fuel economy of 24/32 mpg.

For those who seek a more dynamic driving experience, the Acura ILX can be equipped with a 2.4-liter engine with an output of 201 horsepower at 7,000 rpm and 170 lb-ft torque at 4,300 rpm. Mated to a close-ratio, six-speed manual transmission, the ILX 2.4L will deliver an EPA estimated city/highway fuel economy of 20/29 mpg.

Marking the debut of Acura's first ever hybrid model, the ILX Hybrid makes use of a 1.5-liter inline engine and an Integrated Motor Assis electric motor. Paired with a Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT), the Acura ILX 1.5L Hybrid will deliver an EPA estimated city/highway fuel economy rating of 35/38 mpg.

The hybrid drivetrain uses the gasoline engine as the primary power source, while an electric motor provides additional power when needed. A lithium-ion battery pack is used to capture and store electricity for the 20 horsepower electric motor. Together, the gasoline engine and electric motor produce 111 horsepower at 5,500 rpm and 127 lb-ft of torque between 1,000-3,000 rpm. During braking, the gasoline engine deactivates and the electric motor acts as a generator to recharge the battery pack. At a stop, the 1.5-liter engine can enter idle-stop mode to save fuel and reduce emissions. The engine remains off until the brake pedal is released.

The Acura ILX chassis utilizes advanced MacPherson strut front and multi-link rear suspension systems, along with new Amplitude Reactive Dampers. The dampers operate in two distinct performance parameters to simultaneously provide superior ride comfort and precision handling. In addition, Motion Adaptive Electric Power Steering is used for excellent steering feel and improved fuel efficiency. The result is a chassis with a high level of refinement, confident handling and a nimble and sporty driving experience.

The Acura ILX will feature a high-quality, well-appointed interior that is smart, spacious and sporty. It will offer a number of new, high-value features including a standard Keyless Access System with smart entry and pushbutton start, along with Pandora® internet radio interface and SMS text message function for smart connectivity with the world.

As with all Acura models, the ILX will have a long list of standard features, multiple trim levels (a Premium Package and Technology Package), and excellent standard safety features - including Acura's acclaimed Advanced Compatibility Engineering (ACE) body structure, front, side and side-curtain airbags, 4-channel anti-lock brakes and Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA). Although yet to be tested, Acura anticipates that the Acura ILX will achieve top crash safety ratings from both the NHTSA and IIHS.

The available Premium Package features leather seating surfaces, heated front seats, an upgraded 360 watt stereo system, a rear view camera and an Active Sound Cancellation system to make for a quieter cabin.

Building on the Premium Package, the available Technology Package adds Acura's award winning ELS Surround audio system and a full complement of relevant technologies, including AcuraLink Satellite Communication System, Acura Navigation System with Voice Recognition, AcuraLink Real-Time Traffic with Traffic Rerouting, and AcuraLink Real-Time Weather™ with radar image maps. The navigation system makes use of a hard disk drive (HDD) with 60 gigabytes of storage capacity - including 15 gigabytes that can be specifically allocated for music storage. With the available Premium or Technology Package, a new multi-view rear camera is used.

The Acura ILX will be manufactured (using U.S. and globally sourced parts), exclusively at the company's state-of-the-art Greensburg, Indiana plant, one of only three plants worldwide to receive J.D. Power and Associates' 2011 Platinum Award for outstanding product quality, and the top award for any factory in North America.
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Friday, October 12, 2012

Audi RS Q3 Concept, 2012


  •  Audi RS Q3 Concept, 2012

At Auto China 2012 in Beijing, Audi is presenting a themed vehicle based on the Q3 - the Audi RS Q3 Concept. It interprets the character of the compact SUV in a very special way - systematically dynamic.

The blue painted Audi RS Q3 Concept is a vehicle based on the theme of thrilling dynamic performance. Its engine, a 2.5 TFSI with 265 kW (360 hp) of power, and its body - lowered about 25 mm (0.98 inches) and widened with sharp visual details - explore the potential of the Q3 model series in a new way.

Brushed and polished aluminum trim frames the Audi RS Q3 Concept's single-frame radiator grille. Its black grille insert exhibits a new geometry - the honeycombs are slightly offset to one another deeper inside, creating a distinct three-dimensional effect. The lower area of the grille integrates another sculpted feature - a silver quattro signature. The headlights are slightly tinted; inside them, some chrome parts are dark or covered by panels of carbon fiber-reinforced polymer (CFRP).

The bumper was redesigned; there are now powerful edges around the outer air intakes. They are subdivided into two segments - the inner sections have honeycomb screen inserts, while their outer sections, made of CFRP, have a smooth funnel shape. The front spoiler is also made of CFRP. Its lower section is matt black. The entire lower section of the bumper is coated with blue clearcoat paint.

The same combination of black and blue tinted areas is repeated on the sides of the Audi RS Q3 Concept - on the trim strips of the doors and sills and on the add-on parts of the wheel housings. The door mirror housings consist of black CFRP, while matt aluminum trim frames the side windows. The roof spoiler runs a long way towards the rear; its middle section has been slightly shortened compared to its outer sections. It is painted in the body color Ordos Blue - a matt blue with a slight yellow tint.

At the rear, the lower bumper section has a sporty and angular style. The diffuser insert, which integrates the two large elliptical tailpipes in typical RS look, has been shifted far upward. Here too, Audi designers chose a combination of blue clearcoat and black CFRP. The rear lights and auxiliary lights in the bumper are tinted in anthracite and are made of clear glass.

Blue and black: the interior
In the interior of the Audi RS Q3 Concept, which gets plenty of light through a glass sunroof, cool black is the dominant color - on the roofliner, floor carpet, floor mats, leather-upholstered instrument panel and on large areas of the seat upholstery, which consists of Fine Nappa leather. Dark blue Alcantara is used as a contrasting element on the seat covers.

The contrasting blue color is used in an inventive way in the CFRP decorative panels - the panel material was produced by weaving brilliant blue luminescent glass fibers into it. The steering wheel has large control stalks made of CFRP, which are framed by aluminum accents. Most of the wheel is covered with black Velvet leather - a leather that gives the hands a secure grip and repels dirt very well. In the door trim panels, there are surfaces in blue Alcantara.

The inside door handle has a perforated lightweight construction look as in every RS model. In the tachometer, Chinese characters replace the usual Arabic numerals. RS Q3 badges adorn the instrument cluster, the seatbacks, door sill plates and floor mats.

The styling of the engine compartment is also extremely sporty in appearance. A layered-carbon trim panel covers the area around the five-cylinder engine that sports a red valve cover, and two laterally arranged ventilation screens feed air to the engine. As is the practice in car racing, the cylinder numbers are marked on their spark plug covers. An aluminum housing holds the open sports air filter, and the filtered air tube is made of stainless steel.

Powerful: the drivetrain
The extremely powerful 2.5 TFSI in the Audi RS Q3 Concept combines two classic Audi technologies - gasoline direct injection and turbocharging. From 2,480 cc of engine displacement, it generates 265 kW (360 hp) of power. The car catapults itself from zero to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) in 5.2 seconds, and its propulsive force takes it to a top speed of 265 km/h (164.66 mph).

A seven-speed S tronic transfers the forces of the sonorous 2.5 TFSI to the quattro permanent all-wheel drive. Generally, it directs these forces almost exclusively to the front wheels. When slip is detected there, it can redistribute forces to the rear axle via a hydraulic multi-plate clutch with electronic control - instantaneously and variably.

The alloy wheels of the Audi RS Q3 Concept continue the dynamic RS Q styling and have the dimensions 8.5 J x 20. The front surfaces are high-gloss, while the sides are sandblasted. The tire size of 255/30 is not exactly typical for an SUV, but certainly for an RS model.
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Volkswagen Cross Coupe TDI Concept, 2012

  •  Volkswagen Cross Coupe TDI Concept, 2012

Research - regardless of the area of research - always aims to identify solutions that point the way to the future. In December 2011, it was the VW Cross Coupé - a concept vehicle from Volkswagen - which with a fuel consumption value of just 2.7 l/100 km (equivalent to 62 g/km CO2) illustrated a technical approach to implementing an SUV that can be extremely fuel-efficient despite its high performance and all-wheel drive system. This plug-in hybrid concept was driven by two electric motors and a turbocharged petrol direct-injection engine (TSI). Now, Volkswagen has conceptualised an even more fuel-efficient Cross Coupé. It is powered by an alliance of a turbodiesel direct-injection engine (TDI) and two electric motors. Its combined fuel consumption in the New European Driving Cycle (NEDC) is a sensationally low of 1.8 l/100 km. This is equivalent to CO2 emissions of just 46 g/km. Noteworthy here is the fact that the Cross Coupé is a powerful SUV with a top speed of 220 km/h, 225 kW / 306 PS of power (system power) and a kerb weight of 1,858 kg. Volkswagen is presenting the concept with a TDI plug-in hybrid in a world premiere at the Geneva International Motor Show (08 to 18 March 2012).

Efficiency and driving fun meld together
High-tech network. Technically, the SUV is based on the new Modular Transverse Matrix (MQB) from Volkswagen AG.
Within the MQB, there are certain design parameters that are standardised across model series and brands - such as the distance between the accelerator pedal and the front wheel axis and the mounting position for all engines. There are also variable parameters that make it possible to optimally and individually develop a wide variety of models. They include such parameters as the wheelbase, track widths and wheel sizes, for example.

In the new Volkswagen Cross Coupé, MQB elements for a future generation of SUVs - in this case, the MQB front and rear suspensions, 140 kW / 190 PS TDI of the new EA288 engine series and a 6-speed DSG. They were merged with electrical components that are also "made by Volkswagen", and they include the lithium-ion battery in the centre tunnel, front E-motor with 40 kW and rear E-motor with 85 kW.

Breadth of variations. The Cross Coupé also impressively demonstrates the large breadth of variations that can be implemented based on the MQB. It should be noted that the modular systems used in the concept car could theoretically have been used, just as easily, to produce a full hybrid (without external interface) or a vehicle with only an internal combustion engine or only an electric drive instead of the plug-in hybrid (battery with external interface for charging) that was actually implemented.

Efficiency and dynamic performance. Efficient drive technologies can offer extreme levels of dynamic performance. The new Cross Coupé demonstrates this par excellence. Its combination of cutting-edge fuel efficiency and exceptional dynamic performance demonstrate that an all-round vehicle of a sporty kind has been created here like never before. The Volkswagen Cross Coupé being shown in Geneva accelerates to 100 km/h in just 6.5 seconds, and its TDI develops a torque of up to 400 Nm from very low revs - from approx. 1,600 rpm. Practically at the press of a button, the two E-motors deliver 180 Nm of torque in front and 270 Nm at the rear. During boosting - which involves full use of both motors and the engine - the drive system supplies a maximum system torque of 700 Nm. This performance positions the concept car in the field of today's high-performance sports cars, yet the vehicle consumes less fuel than any other small car!

Intelligent networking of drive systems
Zero emissions thanks to electric motors. In pure electric mode - in this case its speed is limited to 120 km/h -, the concept car can cover up to 45 km. This is sufficient driving range for most of the world's commuters to drive to work with zero emissions. In pure E-mode, the driver can choose whether the focus should be on optimising electric driving range or dynamic performance. This is implemented by the combination of E-mode and CITY mode and the combination of E-mode and SPORT mode. In the electric driving range maximising E-mode (CITY), only the E-motor on the rear axle powers the car. In the dynamic E-mode (SPORT), the electric drive system powers both the rear and front wheels. In pure electric driving, the turbodiesel is decoupled from the drivetrain by disengaging the clutch, and it is shut off. The clutch on the gearbox side remains closed, and the 6-speed DSG is engaged. The E mode is activated by pressing what is knowna s the EV mode button (EV: electric vehicle) next to the gear shift lever. The Cross Coupé then drives like a purely electric vehicle. Even during fast driving, the internal combustion engine is not engaged, provided that the battery is sufficiently charged. As soon as the power of the TDI is needed again, either because of the battery's charge state or other parameters, the engine engages without any jolt, and it is once again actively coupled to the drivetrain within fractions of a second.

Battery in the centre tunnel. In pure electric driving, the E-motors are supplied with energy from a lithium-ion battery that consists of eight modules. The battery has an energy capacity of 9.8 kWh and is located in the centre tunnel of the Cross Coupé. Power electronics operating at a voltage of approx. 370 Volt, which is integrated in the front engine compartment, manages the flow of high-voltage energy to and from the battery and the electric motors. Meanwhile, the 12 Volt electrical system is supplied with power via a DC/DC converter. The electric drive system does not impose any space limitations on the interior. The battery can be charged either from external power sources (230 Volt connection) or while driving.

Charging also at push of a button. The driver can intentionally switch to CHARGE mode (by pressing another button next to the gear shift lever) to charge the battery via the TDI engine while driving. This mode might make sense, for example, if the driver wishes to drive in certain designated environmental zones that might be toll-free for electric vehicles operating with zero emissions. The momentary electric driving range and total range of the Volkswagen Cross Coupé are continually displayed in the instruments. An engine controller regulates the overall energy and drive management system under consideration of the specific load demanded by the driver. The driver can choose from a total of five driving modes: CITY (an eco mode with minimal fuel consumption), SPORT (high dynamic performance), OFFROAD (continuous all-wheel drive), E-mode (pure electric driving) as EV-CITY or EV-SPORT, or CHARGE (via the TDI). In parallel, the Cross Coupé utilises different operating states, in which the motors/engine and drive axles are coupled or decoupled as a function of driving needs:

Zero emissions by 'sailing'. As soon as the driver lifts his or her foot from the accelerator, both electric motors and the engine are shut off and decoupled from the drivetrain - provided that the battery is sufficiently charged. This is referred to as 'sailing'. Zero emissions are generated in this case as well.

Zero emissions in battery regeneration mode. If the driver takes his or her foot off the accelerator pedal or brakes, and the battery is not sufficiently charged, the two electric motors are operated as generators to feed energy recovered from braking into the lithium-ion battery. The TDI is also shut off and decoupled in this operating state.

Boosting. When driving should be especially sporty in nature, the E-motors form an alliance with the TDI. In the professional jargon of the hybrid world this joining of forces is known as 'Boosting'. The Cross Coupé is driven by all four wheels in this mode.

Offroad with 'electric propshaft'. As soon as the driver chooses to activate OFFROAD mode, all four wheels are once again driven. However, in this mode the front electric motor, now supplied with energy by the TDI, is the sole source of electrical power for its counterpart at the rear axle. Since the energy for the rear electric drive is by wire and does not flow mechanically, this is referred to as an 'electric propshaft'. Since the TDI powers the rear electric motor via the front electric motor in OFFROAD mode, the all-wheel drive system is fully functional, even if the lithium-ion battery is in a low charge state.

Driving with the TDI. If the TDI is powering the vehicle by itself, the Cross Coupé is a pure front-wheel drive vehicle. In driving states in which greater fuel efficiency is possible by load boosting, the E-motors act as generators to charge the battery. When all of the on-board energy reserves are utilised, the vehicle's combined fuel consumption value is 1.8 l/100 km; the vehicle's 55 litre fuel tank thus enables a theoretical driving range of 1,287 km.

The new TDI of the Cross Coupés
Engines of the MQB. As noted, the TDI of the Volkswagen Cross Coupé is an engine developed especially for use in the Modular Transverse Matrix (MQB). A key characteristic of the MQB is a uniform mounting position for all engines. Therefore, Volkswagen developed two new engine series - the EA288 series was created for the diesels, and the EA211 series for the new petrol engines. Within the MQB, these two engine series and relevant electric motors make it possible to implement any classic, alternative or hybrid drive system.

Range of turbodiesels. The new TDI engines of the MQB will be available in versions with 1.6 and 2.0 litre displacement and will span a power range from 66 kW / 90 PS to the 140 kW / 190 PS of the concept car in Geneva. The diesel engines are not only exceptionally low-emitting, fuel-efficient and torque-strong. They are also exceptionally refined and smooth running. Consider the 2.0 TDI of the Cross Coupé: two balancer shafts are used. They eliminate system-induced free inertial forces that naturally occur in a reciprocating engine. Meanwhile, the toothed belt drive for the oil and vacuum pump, which operates in the sump oil, and the engine's encapsulated injection nozzles also have a positive effect on acoustic comfort.

SUV styling meets coupé dynamics
More streamlined than other SUVs. At a length of 4,357 mm, the Cross Coupé is longer than a Golf and shorter than a Tiguan. The vehicle's width (1,868 mm) and height (1,523 mm) are positioned exactly between these two bestsellers as well. The concept vehicle's wheelbase of 2,630 mm is clearly long relative to its overall length (52 mm longer than in the Golf, 26 mm more than the Tiguan). This makes the body overhangs short (855 mm in front, 860 mm at rear), and in the interplay of all dimensions the car's overall proportions are extremely attractive. The vehicle's large track widths of 1,585 mm (front) and 1,613 mm (rear) emphasise its powerful appearance. More important to driving on unpaved trails are parameters such as the vehicle's approach/departure angles and its ramp angle. The approach angle in front is a good 24.2 degrees, while the departure angle at the rear is 32.5 degrees - excellent for offroad driving. The ramp angle, which is important for driving over hilltops, is 15 degrees.

Precisely shaped coupé silhouette. Defining the look of the Cross Coupé are its very long bonnet, new front end styling, passenger compartment shifted significantly towards the rear, and very streamline line of windows compared to conventional SUVs. Overall, the designers also gave the vehicle muscular, athletic and yet very clean lines. In keeping with the powerful appearance of the Volkswagen Cross Coupé, it is equipped with 20-inch alloy wheels fitted with 265/45 tyres. Towards the rear, a large-volume coupé-like C-pillar is built over the wheel housings.

Impressive front end. The characteristic horizontal lines of the 'Volkswagen face' forge a link between present and future on the Cross Coupé. Different than on today's models, the designers have physically merged the xenon dual headlights and chrome ribs of the radiator grille. Specifically, the headlights join to two overlapping chrome strips. Chrome wings ascending towards the outside emphasise the vehicle's width and are part of a new type of lighting concept; the lower of the two chrome wings contains the daytime running light, while the upper wing houses the direction indicators. The LED fog lights are mounted in the bottom section of the bumper.

Rear of a SUV coupé. The rear is also typified by a streamlined line of side windows. Typical of a coupé is the rear window that is worked in at a low angle. At its top, the boot lid terminates in a spoiler, which visually extends the roof surface and technically optimises aerodynamics as a trailing edge. The rear lights have a narrow profile. Typical of an SUV, meanwhile, is the brawny rear bumper, in which dual tailpipes are integrated to the outer left and right.

Sporty interior with rugged qualities
The best of two worlds. The SUV and coupé worlds form an exciting alliance in the Cross Coupé. In the four-seat interior, this has resulted in all design details being much sportier than in conventional SUVs. Consider the instruments: they have the dynamically precise lines of a coupé, but they are positioned up high as in an SUV. The surfaces of the instruments are very sophisticated in their construction, but they are designed to be very rugged. This ruggedness is also reflected in user controls, handles and the general feel of interior elements. Take the centre console, for example: two aluminium dials make control of powertrain and climate functions quick and easy. Located between these two dials is the button for the electronic parking brake, and in front of it are the gear shift grip of the 6-speed DSG, also in aluminium. Integrated in front of this, in turn, is the start button for the drive system. To the right and left of the gear shift lever, there are sturdy yet elegant grab handles and, on the right side, the selection buttons for pure electric driving and active battery charging. Further up, there is a touchscreen display, on which onroad and offroad navigation and all relevant vehicle features up to and including the audio system are shown.

Programmable instruments. Arranged behind the three-spoke steering wheel is a user-programmable instrument cluster display. A control wheel to the left of the gear shift lever can be used to dynamically change the display contents between the modes 'SPORT', 'CITY' and 'OFFROAD'. The functionally different display mode contents are activated based on this selection - a gyrometer, compass and topographic map are shown in OFFROAD mode, for example. All three modes have unique layouts, and they also have different colour schemes. Centrally positioned between the two round instruments is another multifunction colour display for showing vehicle information, the telephone menu, audio information and other navigation data as well as a 3D offroad view.

Ergonomics for long trips. The Volkswagen Cross Coupé is equipped with four individual seats, each designed as a shell with a permanently integrated head restraint. These seats exhibit very balanced ergonomic properties. There is ample room for all four occupants - to their sides, in front of them and above them. The backrests of the rear seats and front passenger's seat can be folded forward completely to load surfboards, paragliders or other bulky equipment in the Cross Coupé. Helpful here: the backrests have exterior plastic shells; folding them produces a durable cargo surface. The boot behind the rear seats has a volume of 380 litres (up to the height of the window sill). When the interior is filled to the backs of the front seats and all the way to the roofliner, cargo capacity increases to 1,230 litres - a lot of space for a car that only consumes 1.8 l/100 km!
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Thursday, October 11, 2012

Hyundai Elantra GT, 2013

  •  Hyundai Elantra GT, 2013

The Hyundai Motor America introduced the all-new 2013 Elantra GT in a North American debut at the 2012 Chicago Auto Show. Hyundai Elantra GT brings five-door functionality and European driving dynamics to the expanding Elantra lineup and is slated to hit dealerships in summer 2012. The lineup now includes Elantra Coupe and the popular Elantra sedan, the 2012 North American Car of the Year. Hyundai Elantra GT is based on the new-generation i30 model designed for the European market.

The 2013 Elantra GT will compete with the Ford Focus, Mazda3 and Volkswagen Golf, featuring more interior volume than these models, unsurpassed fuel economy and Hyundai's Driver Selectable Steering Mode.

Hyundai Elantra GT is the third vehicle in Hyundai's 7/11 product initiative (seven new or redesigned models in the next 11 months). The first two vehicles in the initiative were the Veloster Turbo and refreshed Genesis Coupe. The fourth vehicle is the Elantra Coupe.

The Hyundai Elantra GT represents further evolution of the Hyundai form language, 'Fluidic Sculpture' - the company's distinctive design DNA. The 'Fluidic' essence provides the Elantra GT with a slippery .30 coefficient of drag. Everything about Hyundai Elantra GT is aerodynamic from the aggressive profile and low overall height, to the sleek side mirrors. Tire gaps are minimized while rocker panels are streamlined. Lower wind resistance translates into better fuel economy and a smoother ride.

Up front, Hyundai's signature hexagonal grille with chrome accents flows into the hood. The bodyside graphic features a chrome beltline molding to keep up with the sleek character lines. Sharp projection headlamps, fog lights and available 17-inch alloy wheels with chrome spears complete the modern design.

Hyundai Elantra GT's standard fuel economy is an estimated 28 mpg city, 39 mpg highway and 32 combined with the six-speed automatic transmission or manual transmission. These figures give Elantra GT a highway-only driving range of more than 500 miles and combined city/highway driving range of up to 448 miles.

Hyundai Elantra GT's widespread use of high-strength steel provides a 37 percent increase in body stiffness at a lower body weight when compared to the outgoing Elantra Touring model. High-strength steel allows the suspension to work optimally. At 2,784 pounds, the automatic transmission Elantra GT is lighter than its competitors, while offering more interior room than Focus, Mazda3, Golf and Matrix. Elantra GT is the lightest five-door hatchback in the compact segment. It is 175 pounds lighter than Focus, 151 pounds lighter than Mazda3 and 222 pounds lighter than Golf. This weight-efficient unibody architecture allows for Elantra to achieve an estimated 39 mpg EPA highway rating, without the need for a special eco model. Hyundai Elantra GT's best-in-class fuel efficiency is driven by the Blue Drive strategy. A key to Elantra GT's extensive use of high-strength steel is an $8 billion dollar investment Hyundai made to become the only global automaker with its own fully integrated steel plant. Hyundai has 400 metallurgists focused on the task of developing optimized steel recipes for every part and panel in new vehicle architectures.

Under the hood, Hyundai Elantra GT is powered by a 1.8-liter Nu four-cylinder engine with 148 horsepower and 131 lb-ft of torque (145 horsepower and 130 lb-ft of torque for Elantra PZEV). Thanks to advanced clean engine technology, most Elantra GTs sold in California, Oregon and several Northeast states are certified as Partial Zero Emission Vehicles (PZEV) by the EPA. The PZEV Elantra GT is as clean as many hybrid electric vehicles, helping Hyundai meet its environmental commitments. Elantra is also available as an Ultra Low Emission Vehicle (ULEV). Additionally, Hyundai Elantra GT has an ActiveECO System that modifies engine and transmission control to smooth out throttle response and increase real-world fuel economy by up to seven percent.

The Nu engine features an aluminum cylinder head, crank and block with a cast iron cylinder liner. The 1.8-liter Nu also offers Dual Continuously Variable Valve Timing (D-CVVT) camshafts and hydraulic engine mounts for optimum power, efficiency and refinement. Using CVVT on both camshafts has several advantages when compared with using it just on the intake camshaft. With D-CVVT, there is a two percent improvement in performance (increased volumetric efficiency), two percent improvement in fuel economy (reduced pumping loss) and a 30 percent reduction in hydrocarbon emissions. In the valvetrain, roller swing arms and hydraulic lash adjusters reduce valve driven friction to improve fuel economy by one percent, compared with direct valve driving. The Nu engine also features a maintenance-free silent timing chain system to enhance durability and improve Noise Vibration and Harshness (NVH).

The application of a composite resin two-stage Variable Intake System (VIS) versus aluminum, enables switching between long and short intake manifolds, resulting in a four percent improvement in performance, a 15 percent reduction in cost and a 30 percent reduction in weight.

Another tool Hyundai engineers have incorporated into Elantra GT is an electronic throttle control. The electronic throttle control replaces the conventional cable and mechanical linkage with fast responding electronics. This system accurately controls air intake and engine torque, improving drivability, response and fuel economy.

The Nu four-cylinder engine also has an offset crankshaft design that reduces friction between the piston and cylinder wall for a one percent improvement in fuel economy.

The 2013 Elantra GT can be equipped with a six-speed manual (M6CF3-1) or automatic (A6GF1) transaxle with SHIFTRONIC® manual control. Hyundai Elantra GT's six-speed manual transmission provides short, crisp shifts and further optimizes engine performance. These crisp shifts are courtesy of triple-cone synchronizers for first and second gears, double-cone for third gear and single-cone for fourth, fifth and sixth gears.

Maximizing interior volume and delighting customers with various seating layouts are hallmarks of Hyundai engineering and translate into more cabin room, cargo space and versatility. The Elantra GT features seating layouts that can comfortably seat five people or accommodate four passengers, plus long items like golf clubs or snowboards. Fold down two seats, to seat three people and hold larger packages or fold all of the back seats to get CUV-sized cargo space. These options allow customers to discover that Elantra GT has more interior volume than Matrix, Mazda3, Ford Focus and VW Golf and even more cargo capacity than the Nissan Juke crossover, thanks to fold-flat rear seats and rear seat cushions than can flipped upward.

The Hyundai Elantra GT includes a number of convenient, standard stowage and storage features, including a sunglasses holder, two front and two rear cupholders, door bottle holders, cooled glove compartment, central console storage, sliding armrest, front storage tray, front seatback pockets and a cargo area under-floor storage. The cargo area also has a 12-volt outlet for consumers who desire an outlet to plug in their portable electronic devices.

Elantra GT is fitted with a MacPherson strut front suspension, with coil springs and gas shock absorbers. The rear suspension is comprised of a light weight coupled torsion beam for enhanced steering stability and monotube shock absorbers. A 22 mm diameter front stabilizer bar helps reduce body roll when cornering. Hyundai Elantra GT is tuned for added feel, responsiveness and control, while the Elantra sedan is tuned for comfort. Modifications to the GT include higher rear spring rates, a stiffer twist beam and Sachs dampers for improved body motion control. These changes create driving dynamics which are sporty and comfortable. In addition, two suspension packages were developed to optimize tuning for the two different tire sizes. The Elantra GT's Style package offers a sportier suspension calibration that is optimized for its lower-profile P215/45R17 tire.

Behind the wheel, drivers benefit from Hyundai's all-new Driver Selectable Steering Mode. With three operating modes to select - Comfort, Normal and Sport - this innovative system allows drivers to adapt Hyundai Elantra GT steering characteristics to varying driving preferences and road conditions any time they choose. Comfort level offers the greatest ease of steering and is ideal for city and parking environments. Sport is optimized for higher-speed highways or winding roads, while Normal is ideal for a mix of driving conditions. The Driver Selectable Steering Mode not only adjusts power assistance levels in each mode, but also on-center build-up feel and steering build-up curves throughout the steering range, for a very natural, progressive feel. Steering damping characteristics, active return gain, and high frequency friction levels have also been optimized for Elantra GT in this system. Even more, Elantra GT's turning diameter of 34.8 feet is better than Matrix, Focus and Golf.

The all-new Hyundai Elantra GT rides on a 104.3-inch wheelbase and has an overall length of 169.3 inches. The height is 57.9 inches and the width is 70.1 inches.

Cabin refinements on the all-new Elantra GT are inspired by the high standards of the entire Hyundai lineup. Located in the center console, the available navigation system is displayed via a seven-inch touch-screen and incorporates the rearview camera screen. Elantra GT's rearview camera is like no other. This mechanized camera is hidden behind the Hyundai flying H badge on the rear hatch and only appears when needed.

Dual-zone climate controls ensure a comfortable environment for all occupants during long journeys, and the addition of a panoramic sunroof provides increased natural light within the cabin. The Dual-zone climate controls also incorporate an automatic defogging system, which detects humidity levels using a sensor and removes it from the windshield. Another premium feature in the Hyundai Elantra GT is a CleanAir Ionizer that automatically cleans the air when the heater or air conditioner is running.

Elantra GT comes standard with a 172-watt AM/FM/Satellite Radio/CD/MP3 audio system with six-speakers and iPod®/USB/auxiliary input jacks. A Bluetooth interface is also standard. The sound system plays compact discs, accesses digital music files via Bluetooth streaming audio or allows driver and passenger to access their personal listening devices through the iPod/USB/auxiliary inputs. The SiriusXM Satellite Radio interface is also integrated into the navigation unit and features channel logos, real-time NavTraffic and Data services, such as NavWeather®, Stock Ticker and Sports Ticker. Users can even upload personal pictures from a USB rather than a CD to be displayed on the system's home screen.

Elantra GT offers many premium features, such as:
    Standard cooled glove box
    Standard heated front seats
    10-way power driver's seat including power lumbar support
    Clean Air Ionizer
    Leather seating surfaces
    Automatic headlights
    Side mirrors with integrated turn signal indicators
    Standard steering-wheel-mounted audio and cruise controls
    Standard Bluetooth hands-free system with voice recognition

Hyundai Blue Link is standard on the 2013 Elantra GT. "Blue Link combines safety, service and infotainment into a complete package that works to both help simplify Hyundai owners' lives and reduce distracted driving," said Barry Ratzlaff, director of customer satisfaction and service business development, Hyundai Motor America. "We've carefully studied how drivers rely on smart phones and navigation systems as an innovative link to the outside world. Blue Link brings that seamless connectivity directly into the car with technology like voice-to-text messaging, POI web search download, turn-by-turn navigation, and monthly vehicle reporting. Our agent-assisted advanced voice recognition system offers a 21st century solution to performing POI searches in the vehicle. This unique and innovative approach enables Hyundai to deliver fast, accurate searches and downloads of POIs to vehicles without traditional operator-only type systems of our competitors."

Blue Link-equipped vehicles include core safety services for an introductory period. These key safety services include: Automatic Crash Notification (ACN) and Assistance, SOS Emergency Assistance, and Enhanced Roadside Assistance. After the introductory period, owners of Blue Link-equipped vehicles can choose to extend these and other services as desired.

Blue Link Assurance further expands Hyundai's industry leadership formerly established by Hyundai Assurance, the industry's most comprehensive suite of new-vehicle protection.

The all-new Hyundai Elantra GT features the latest active and passive safety technologies to ensure maximum protection for its occupants. Active safety features include ESC (Electronic Stability Control), ABS (anti-lock braking system) with Electronic Brake-force Distribution and Brake Assist and VSM (Vehicle Stability Management). In terms of passive safety, the Elantra GT will be fitted with seven airbags as standard - front, side and curtain including an Elantra-first driver's knee airbag.
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Kia Ceed, 2013

  •  Kia Ceed, 2013

Making its global premiere at the 2012 Geneva International Motor Show is the all-new Kia cee'd. More sophisticated, more efficient, more refined and with a more engaging driving experience than its predecessor, new cee'd is expected to build on the success of the original model, further establishing Kia as one of the leading automotive brands in Europe.

Launched in 2007, the original cee'd was a landmark and game-changing model for Kia. Designed, developed and built in Europe, cee'd was the first model to establish Kia as a serious contender to the established brands. Winning praise from media and public alike for its all-round ownership proposition, cee'd claimed fourth place in the European Car of the Year Awards that year - the highest ever ranking for a Kia vehicle.

New cee'd five-door goes on sale across Europe from the second quarter of 2012, depending on market, and will play a significant role in driving Kia's sales in Europe even higher. Further information about other models in the new cee'd family - including the SW version displayed at Geneva - will be made available later this year.

Longer, lower and more streamlined
New cee'd is both longer and lower than its predecessor, giving the five-door hatchback a more sporty profile. Overall length is increased by 50 mm (to 4,310 mm) and overall height has been reduced by 10 mm (to 1,470 mm) by lowering the ride height. Despite being based on a completely new platform, new cee'd carries over the 2,650 mm wheelbase, one of the longest in the C-segment, from its predecessor.

This more athletic appearance is further enhanced by a wider track. While the overall bodyshell is 10 mm narrower, the front and rear track have been increased (by 17 mm and 32 mm, respectively). The impact on the car's aesthetics is heightened by the availability of 17- and 18-inch diameter alloy wheels, resulting in a minimal gap between tyres and bodywork.

The new model's sleek silhouette was shaped by extensive testing in the state-of-the-art wind tunnel at Kia's R&D centre at Namyang, Korea. A reduced windscreen angle, smooth covers beneath the engine bay and the central floor, a rear spoiler above the tailgate and carefully profiled rear lamp clusters all help new cee'd achieve a Cd figure of just 0.30, placing it among the best-in-class, and helping to reduce fuel consumption and cabin noise.

New Kia cee'd will be manufactured exclusively at Kia's Zilina facility in Slovakia in a range of 10 exterior colours - including five new - and will be among the first models to bear the new-look Kia badge on its bonnet. Simpler, sleeker and with a more modern appearance, the new badge design echoes the premium feel of new cee'd and incorporates the Kia script in a single raised section for greater legibility.

Powerful and efficient engines with six-speed transmissions
In developing new cee'd, Kia's engineers had a strong focus on reducing fuel consumption and emissions without sacrificing engine response or power output. Updated engines and various small but impactful changes have resulted in an average fuel consumption improvement of four per cent across the model range.

Depending on individual market preferences, the new cee'd will be available with a wide choice of engines offering power outputs from 90 to 135 ps. Across most of Western Europe there will be two petrol engines - a 1.4 MPI and a 1.6 GDI producing 100 and 135 ps respectively - plus two diesels - a 1.4 WGT with an output of 90 ps and 1.6 VGT diesel offered in two states of tune (110 and 128 ps). Certain markets in Europe will also offer a 1.6 MPI petrol unit producing 130 ps.

Kia anticipates that its top of the range diesel - the highly-efficient 1.6-litre variable geometry turbo unit - will be the most popular choice in most markets. Generating 128 ps and 260 Nm, the engine will be offered with a choice of six-speed manual or automatic transmissions and will accelerate the new cee'd to 100 kph in less than 11 seconds. Fuel consumption will be just 4.1 l/100 km on the combined cycle (3.7 l/100 km in cars fitted with Kia's EcoDynamics technologies), and CO2 emissions start at just 97 g/km.

The 'Gamma' petrol engines also offer an excellent balance between performance and economy. The most powerful, the 1.6-litre Gamma GDI engine introduced in the Kia Sportage, features direct injection to maximise power (135 ps) and torque (165 Nm) while minimising fuel consumption and emissions. With this engine, new cee'd will accelerate to 100 kph in 9.9 seconds while delivering fuel consumption of 5.8 l/100 km (5.2 l/100 km with EcoDynamics), and tailpipe CO2 emissions from 119 g/km.

All engines will be offered with a choice of manual or automatic six-speed transmissions. Depending on version, the 1.6 GDI will also be available with Kia's all-new six-speed Dual Clutch Transmission (DCT), which improves fuel efficiency and delivers smooth automatic gear shifts for maximum comfort.

Developed by Kia's in-house transmission development team in partnership with a German-based engineering firm, the DCT makes the Korean brand one of a very small number of car makers in the world to produce its own dual-clutch transmission.

The DCT combines two manual transmissions within a single housing, each with its own dry clutch. One transmission shaft is dedicated to 2nd, 4th, 6th and reverse gear, while the other operates with 1st, 3rd and 5th gears.

Working in parallel, one shaft prepares to engage the next ratio, while the other is still engaged with a gear. Electric motor-driven actuators controlled by the Transmission Control Unit (TCU) execute gear selection and clutch engagement, resulting in swift and precise gear changes and uninterrupted torque transfer to the driven wheels, with a minimum of the efficiency loss normally associated with conventional automatics (with a torque converter).

As with other Kia models in Europe, new cee'd will be available with fuel-saving technologies developed under the company's EcoDynamics™ sub-brand to optimise efficiency and lower emissions. These technologies, which will be available on both diesel and petrol models with manual transmission, include ISG (Start/Stop), low-rolling resistance tyres and an alternator management system (AMS).

Smoother ride with improved handling, plus variable power steering

Ride and handling for new cee'd was benchmarked against class-leading competitor vehicles from near-premium brands.

Fully-independent, subframe-mounted suspension with MacPherson struts at the front and a multi-link set-up at the rear exploit the newcomer's wider track to deliver improved handling and road-holding.

The hugely increased torsional rigidity of the new cee'd bodyshell (45 per cent stiffer than the original model), has also enabled Kia's engineers to introduce numerous small changes to components, springs and shock absorbers that influence ride quality, refinement and NVH.

Improvements to the front suspension include an increased castor angle (from 4.4 to 5.2 degrees) for greater straight-line stability, larger wheel bearings in a reinforced hub, and larger diameter bushes for the subframe attachments. At the rear, geometry changes ensure more accurate tracking, the trailing arms have larger bushes and friction has been reduced throughout the system.

The standard steering system employs electric power-assistance and requires 2.85 turns lock-to-lock for a 10.34-metre turning circle. New cee'd is also available, on certain models, with an all-new Flex Steer™ system for improved driving dynamics. This system introduces three operating modes - comfort, normal and sport - allowing the driver to vary the level of steering assistance and the weight of feedback, in order to best suit the current driving conditions and the driver's personal preferences.

Less cabin noise, more cabin space
Kia's engineering team was determined to achieve significant improvements over the previous model in terms of cabin refinement and NVH. Measures adopted include fitting 14 per cent thicker front door window glass, low-drag exterior mirror housings, new vibration-damping engine mounts, hollow drive shafts, stronger bodyshell joints between the sills and B-pillars, double-layer door seals, and increased foam-filling in the A-, B- and C-pillars. As a result of these measures, cabin noise levels have been cut to match class-best standards.

Although the 2,650 mm wheelbase is carried over for new cee'd, the increase in overall length contributes to more interior space for people and cargo. Front seat occupants have 12 mm more headroom and 21 mm more legroom, while rear passengers gain 5 mm of shoulder room. Cargo capacity is boosted by 12 per cent to 380 litres (up 40 litres) with the rear seats upright and the split-folding rear seats can be made fully flat for maximum versatility.

High-quality equipment and advanced technologies
Higher quality cabin materials and a broader range of high-tech equipment will ensure the interior of new cee'd matches the premium exterior appearance.

Primary and secondary controls are grouped in a driver-oriented layout for intuitive ease of use, while new standard equipment will include tilt and telescopic steering wheel adjustment, iPod, Aux and USB support, six speaker audio system and a multi-mode trip computer.

A choice of bright chrome, piano black and anodized metal trim accents will be offered, while indirect LED lighting of the centre console and sweeping 'vertical fin' door handles establish an upmarket ambience for the cabin. The seat and cabin trim will be available in a choice of two colours as standard - black one-tone and stone beige two-tone - in cloth, with a full leather interior available on high specification versions.

The features will include enhanced instrumentation - with a TFT 'Supervision' Cluster delivering high-definition resolution clarity of the instrument binnacle, dual-zone climate control, powered driver's seat adjustment with memory and a full length (1,045 mm long) powered panoramic glass sunroof.

New Kia cee'd will be available, depending on version, with LED daytime running lights, fixed cornering lamps (illuminated depending on steering angle), and advanced HID headlamps that turn the low beam to match curves in the road and enhance the driver's night vision.

Parking can be made easier with the new Parallel Park Assist System (PPAS). This features front, side and rear sensors and automatic steering control by an on-board computer to safely perform parallel parking. The driver remains in control of the accelerator and brake.

Safety structure and features target maximum rating
Kia continues to make safety a top priority and the new cee'd features advanced active and passive safety technologies to ensure maximum protection for its occupants and other road users. Kia is determined to achieve the maximum rating when tested by EuroNCAP with this new model.

Available active safety features will include ESP (Electronic Stability Program), ABS (anti-lock braking system), BAS (emergency Brake Assist System), HAC (Hill Assist Control) to prevent roll-back, VSM (Vehicle Stability Management) and ESS (Emergency Stop Signal) which flashes the brake lights when the system detects that the driver is making an emergency stop.

In terms of passive safety, the bodyshell is constructed using a high percentage (57 per cent) of ultra high-tensile steel and features numerous improvements to enhance impact resistance. New transverse cross-members are fitted to link the front and rear suspension mounts, new pressings link the rear trunk floor to the tailgate opening and the rear roof rail is connected to the C-pillars and a new floor cross-member to create an extremely strong 'safety ring'.

Side impact protection is enhanced with 50 per cent thicker door beams, plus a stronger roof cross-member between the B-pillars and side sills made from ultra high-tensile steel.

Each new cee'd is fitted with six airbags as standard - front, front side and full length curtain. Pedestrian safety is improved with the adoption of collapsible headlamps, a stiffer lower bumper lip, and shock-absorbing structures in the hood and its hinges.
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