Saturday, November 17, 2012

Volkswagen Golf Cabriolet, 2012

  •  Volkswagen Golf Cabriolet, 2012

Like the more than 680,000 units of previous VW Golf cabriolets built, the new Volkswagen Golf Cabriolet also has a classic soft top - that is, a fabric top. Why fabric and not steel as on the Eos? A glance at the new model is telling: at a length of 4,246 mm, the Golf Cabriolet has a significantly more compact construction than the 4,423 mm long Eos. The two vehicles take fully independent approaches to styling, positioning and cabriolet design.

The top of the Volkswagen Golf Cabriolet
Though Volkswagen is using a fabric top on the Golf, the four-seater is one of the quietest of cabriolets. Its soothing quiet ride is attributable to the sophisticated design of the fabric roof as well as new window and door seals. Wind noises in the high frequency range above 5,000 Hz are perceived as especially annoying, since they make it difficult hold a conversation while driving (articulation index). Volkswagen examined this articulation index in-depth and evaluated experiences in other vehicles. The results: the Golf Cabriolet actually sets new standards for acoustics in cabriolets.

The soft top itself consists of a linkage, a roofliner, insulating filler layer throughout and exterior cover. Perfection in everyday practicality: the development team designed the joints of the longitudinal seams of the exterior cover fabrics (centre panel and two side panels) so that they serve as an additional drip rail. Perfection in aerodynamics: mounted between the longitudinal frames of the top linkage are a total of 4 roof cross bows and the so-called front roof bow (the first large transverse element behind the windscreen frame). In turn, the soft top is joined to the roof bows by screw-fastened fabric retention strips. Consequently, even at higher speeds, the fabric roof does not fill with air. And that has a positive effect on aerodynamics.

When the roof is stowed, the upper surface of the front roof bow covers the top surface of the storage box. This eliminates the need for a separate cover. The results: the standard fully-automatic electro-hydraulic top opens (9.0 seconds) and and closes (11.0 seconds) faster. In addition, it does not need to descend as deeply into the larger bootspace (250 litres with roof up or down).

The top is operated from a central switch on the centre console. Opening and closing are even possible while driving - at speeds up to 30 km/h. Two hydraulic pumps activated by a central switch generate the necessary pressure. Even in this area, special care was taken to ensure that the least possible noise is generated; for example, the hydraulic unit is enclosed by insulation. Unlatching and latching of the Volkswagen Golf Cabriolet's soft top is handled by an electromechanical locking system. It operates fully automatically. This means that no additional manual unlatching or latching is necessary. The system senses, via 2 microswitches, whether the roof is completely opened or closed, and it informs the driver of the OK status by an acoustic signal and a visual message (in the multifunction display).

To ensure a good view behind the car, the top's heated rear glass window was designed to be especially large for a cabriolet; it is joined to the soft top by what is known as high-frequency welding.

Safety in the Golf Cabriolet
Rollover protection: Since 1979, when the first Volkswagen Golf Cabriolet was presented, all generations of this model series have had a roll bar. That had to be, because in the early years of the Golf Cabrio automatically deploying rollover protection systems had not yet been invented. When the first such systems appeared at the end of the 1980s, they were hardly suitable for affordable cars such as a Golf Cabriolet. This changed in 2003, when Volkswagen presented the New Beetle Cabriolet with rollover protection that could be deployed from behind the rear seats. The system was modified for the Eos, and - in its latest development stage - it now protects occupants of the Volkswagen Golf Cabriolet as well.

The rollover protection element implemented in the Golf races upward behind the rear headrests within 0.25 seconds of the vehicle exceeding a predefined transverse acceleration or tilt angle. The system's two rollover modules consist of one fixed aluminium profile and one moveable aluminium profile within it that is pretensioned with a spring. The inner profile is held in its rest position by a magnetic switch. When triggered by the airbag controller in reaction to an impending rollover, the solenoid opens a holding detent and releases the inner profile. While it shoots upward, a support detent overruns a toothed track mounted to the inner profile and prevents the inner profile from dropping downward.

The highlight of the system redesigned for the Golf: the 2 deployable modules were designed to be significantly more compact. For the first time on a Volkswagen cabriolet with deployable rollover protection, it was possible to implement a cargo pass-through with a width of 526 mm and a height of 381 mm, including a folding rear seatback. Previously, there was just a ski pass-through in this area.

Body reinforcements: The Golf Cabriolet offers maximum all-round safety thanks to its rollover protection system, a reinforced windscreen frame and numerous other structural modifications (underbody, side panels, crossmembers, doors). Due to its numerous reinforcements, the 4.25 metre long, 1.78 metre wide and (top up) 1.42 metre tall Golf Cabriolet also exhibits extreme torsional rigidity. Some of these reinforcements are visible when the cabriolet is viewed from below, such as when the Cabrio and a "normal" Golf stand side by side on a raised platform. In a visual comparison, the observer can see significant differences in the underbodies. In front, the cabriolet has an engine enclosure made of aluminium; together with its mounting brackets, which increases rigidity. In addition, the engine mount, acting as a vibration damper, adds refinement at the front end. On each side of the car, 2 lateral reinforcements in the sill area and 2 diagonal braces, front and rear, as well as the reinforced rear subframe joint lead to further gains in rigidity and a significant reduction in resonant body vibrations.

What is referred to as the coefficient of static torsional rigidity reaches a value of over 13,500 Newton metres per degree; the first resonant torsional frequency lies above 17.5 Hz - first-class for a cabriolet. And this rigidity, which is also a crucial factor for optimal driving stability and driving comfort, is quite noticeable. Meanwhile the galvanised body protects the car from rusting.

Cabriolet-specific airbags: The protective systems on the Volkswagen Golf Cabriolet are completed by reinforcements in the doors and standard front and side head-thorax airbags. The latter are specially designed for a cabriolet, since of course it is impossible to mount side head airbags in the roof area. The head-thorax airbags integrated in the lateral sections of the seatbacks therefore deploy next to the driver and front passenger over the entire interior height of the Golf Cabriolet. A standard knee airbag has also been incorporated on the driver's side. In conjunction with the safety belt, this airbag absorbs energy from the pelvic area and the legs, which leads to reduced occupant loading. Taking it further: thanks to the knee airbag, the driver is integrated in the vehicle's deceleration mode sooner via the thighs and pelvis. This initiates upper body rotation precisely, so that the driver's airbag can make contact with and support the upper body at an optimised angle. The knee airbag's mode of operation illustrates the true complexity of the networking of safety systems.

Styling of the VW Golf Cabriolet
Front end: Viewed from the front, this cabriolet is of course a typical Golf. Nonetheless, the cabriolet has an even sportier image from this perspective, because of the swept-back windscreen. An especially dynamic image results when the Cabrio is ordered with the optional bi-xenon headlights. In this case, the daytime running light formed by 15 LEDs is automatically integrated in the dual headlight housing.

Rear: The smoked LED rear lights were adapted from the three- and five-door Golf. Naturally, designers and engineers redesigned the rear section itself. The cabriolet's bootlid extends low into the bumper, and it swings far upward, making it easy to stow suitcases or shopping items. An elegant chrome trim strip forms a visual contrast between the lower edge of the soft top and the bootlid; this continuous chrome strip extends up to the A-pillars.

Side profile: In side profile, 3 styling characteristics of the cabriolet are especially appealing to the eye: the more swept-back windscreen, the visually very short boot and the soft top integrated in these style lines. When the soft top is down, the Golf Cabriolet has an elegant, extended look. With the top up, the compact and crisp styling lines around the imaginary C-pillars and the boot reflect the unmistakable character of the previous model and transfer it to contemporary times - spanning over an entire decade.

As standard, the Golf Cabriolet leaves Volkswagen's Osnabrück factory with weight-optimised 16-inch steel wheels with attractive full wheel covers and 205 tyres. Five different alloy wheels are also available as options (one 16-inch, three 17-inch, one 18-inch).

Interior of the Golf Cabriolet
Very clearly - the cabriolet version of the Golf follows the high styling and material quality standards of the classic hardtop Golf 1:1 in its interior. This results in a level of sophistication that is otherwise only offered in significantly more expensive cabriolets. Like the Eos before it, the Golf sets itself apart from many other cabriolet cars in the compact class in one key aspect of its interior: the windscreen frame is refreshingly short, optimising the Cabrio feeling. In addition, the Volkswagen Golf Cabriolet offers the largest interior length in its class. Guests in the rear will especially notice the 833 mm of effective legroom.

Similar to the design implemented in the Eos, the top activation switch is integrated in the centre console between the driver and passenger seats. Redesigned features include the rear bench seat and seat upholstery materials. The Golf Cabriolet also has a practical Easy Entry function of the front seats as standard; this makes it easier for rear passengers to enter and exit the car.

There are practical bag hooks in the side panels of the 250 litre boot; located right next to the hooks are the remote latch release mechanisms for folding the 50:50 split rear seatback. When the seatback is folded, this adds additional stowing capacity thanks to the very large pass-through opening.

Democratisation of the cabriolet
Back in 1979, Volkswagen had already democratised open-top driving with the first VW Golf Cabriolet. Laying the foundation for this democratic movement, thirty years earlier, was the Beetle Cabrio. The new Golf Cabriolet also embodies this philosophy. Another aspect links it to its legendary predecessors as well: it breaks free of class boundaries. So, attempting to determine the bank balance of its female or male driver is really a waste of time.

Standard features of the Golf Cabriolet
At its market launch in Germany, the model starts at a price of 23,625 euros (VW Golf Cabriolet 1.2 TSI with 77 kW / 105 PS). That is naturally more than a comparably equipped Golf Trendline with sunroof, but it is significantly less than most other four-seat cabriolets in this class. The price differential compared to the classically constructed "hard top" Golf is due to body reinforcements and the soft top activation system, including the sophisticated electro-hydraulic drive and active rollover protection system. So, the new Golf makes it easier to choose to drive all year-round in a cabriolet. And its inventory of standard features is already quite long.

What exactly does one get for 23,625 euros? A four-seat cabriolet with fully automatic soft top, automatically deploying rollover protection, an extremely strong windscreen frame, an effective network of airbags and ESP including Hill Climb Assist, countersteering support and trailer stabilisation, as well as daytime running lights. That is a brief sketch of its safety-related features. Yet, the Golf Cabriolet 1.2 TSI has even more to offer...

Like the Eos, Passat CC, Touareg and Phaeton, Volkswagen is intentionally also offering just one equipment line for the cabriolet Golf. Therefore, the comparison to the hard top Golf Trendline is not a perfect one, since the Cabriolet has features, inside and out, which are either advanced developments or were adapted from the higher equipment lines of the cabriolet's hard top counterpart.

Standard exterior features: In front, the Volkswagen Golf Cabriolet is equipped with chrome trim strips on the radiator grille fins, and at the rear it features smoked LED rear lights and a sports-style bumper. Running from A-pillar to A-pillar, a chrome band encircles the side windows and the soft top. Also standard: green-tinted thermal insulating glass, 205 tyres in 16-inch format with weight-optimised wheel covers, and naturally the electro-hydraulic drive of the soft top.

Standard interior features and functionality: Many of the car's basic interior features include details that have a positive effect on life aboard. They include the climate control system, reading lights in front (2), Hill Climb Assist, length and vertical adjustment of the steering column, and - in BlueMotion Technology models - a Stop/Start system and a system for recovering braking energy (battery regeneration). Standard features also include electric door mirrors, electro-mechanical power steering, wireless remote control of the central locking and a dust and pollen filter with an activated carbon insert. Also always standard: height-adjustable comfort seats (in front) in "Scout" upholstery, chrome accents on switch keys for the electric windows, decorative chrome bezels around the instruments and air vents, numerous storage compartments, Easy Entry for rear passengers and a 3-spoke steering wheel that offers good grip. The glovebox can also be cooled, and the rear seatback folds with a 50:50 split.

Buyers who add the RCD 310 radio-CD system to the car configuration for 655 euros - with 6 loudspeakers, 4 x 20 Watts of audio power, MP3 function, multimedia AUX-IN power and dual tuner - pay a total of 24,280 euros and really have everything they need to enjoy life in the cabriolet.

Optional features of the Golf Cabriolet
Nonetheless, there must be sufficient room to further customise a car, because that too represents a bit of freedom. Along with the classic individual extras, 7 preconfigured packs are available with the new Golf Cabriolet, each offering a bundled price advantage: the "Performance," "Design & Style," "Comfort," "Technology," "Light & Sight", "Mirror" and "Winter" packs.

Buyers of the new cabriolet can choose between the 2 packs "Performance" and "Design & Style." "Design & Style" is essentially the first expansion level for making the Volkswagen even more exclusive and sporty. "Performance," meanwhile, includes all features of the "Design & Style" pack and adds many other details such as leather upholstery. Both packs are coupled with alloy wheels.

"Design & Style pack"
Those choosing the "Design & Style" pack (910 euros) are treated to features such as sport seats with new upholstery styles in Alcantara (centre seat panel) and "Catch Up" upholstery (seat lateral supports), a 3-spoke steering wheel in "Cool Leather" (heats up less in sunlight), pedals with stainless steel caps, leather-trimmed parking brake grip and gearshift grip, chrome bezel on the rotary light switch, chrome accents on the switches for door mirror control, "Black Stripe" decorative inserts for the dashboard and door trim, storage pockets on the backs of the front seats and lumbar supports in front.

"Performance pack"
The "Performance pack" (3,295 euros) contains, beyond "Design & Style" details, features such as leather upholstery in "Vienna" style ("Cool Leather") with seat heating and lumbar supports in front, woven floor mats, a rain sensor and the automatically dimming rear-view mirror, stainless steel pedals, other exterior chrome details and bi-xenon headlights with LED daytime running lights, dynamic and static cornering lights, automatic switching of the running lights with "Leaving home" and "Coming home" functions, licence plate illumination in LED technology and front fog lights with chrome trim. The "Performance pack" is coupled with one of the audio systems.

"Comfort pack"
The "Comfort pack" (455 euros) consists of a wind deflector, front centre armrest with storage box and 12-Volt accessory outlet, a storage compartment in front of the rear seating area, a second 12V outlet in the boot and cruise control system.

"Technology pack"
For just 65 euros, the "Technology pack" adds a rain sensor for the windscreen wipers, automatically dipping rear-view mirror, 2 lamps in the footwell area, automatic running light switching with "Leaving home" and "Coming home" functions and Light Assist automatic main beam control (automatically dips headlights when oncoming traffic is present or traffic in front of the car is near). The "Technology pack" is coupled to the ParkPilot (540 euros) and the multifunction display "Plus" (55 euros).

"Light & Sight pack"
For those who do not wish to include the Park Pilot, multifunction display "Plus" or Light Assist system (individual price: 142 euros) in the "Technology pack" can order the "Light & Sight pack" separately for 175 euros. It consists of the rain sensor, automatically dimming rear-view mirror, lights in the footwell and automatic running light switching with "Leaving home" and "Coming home" function.

"Mirror pack"
This pack supplements the "Light & Sight pack" with an electrically folding door mirror, activatable passenger-side mirror lowering for reversing and surroundings illumination.

"Winter pack"
The "Winter pack" that is traditionally offered in many Volkswagens, and is very frequently ordered, makes driving in the coldest season easier. This pack features automatically heated windscreen washer nozzles, headlight cleaning system, heated front seats and warning lamp for low washer water level. Price: 415 euros. When ordered together with the leather interior or xenon headlights, the price is reduced to 285 euros; those choosing leather and xenon pay just 55 euros.

16-, 17- and 18-inch alloy wheels
The 16-inch alloy wheel in the programme is the "Atlanta" with 5 dual spokes and 205 tyres. In 17-inch format, Volkswagen offers 3 wheel designs for the Volkswagen Golf Cabriolet: "Seattle" (5 double spokes), "Porto" (10 spokes) and "Salamanca" (10 spokes). The 18-inch wheel is the "Charleston" (5 double spokes) with black painted rim base. All 17-inch alloy wheels are delivered with 225 tyres.

Individual features
The individual features of the packs are also available separately. Those wishing to increase further the degree of customisation can order nearly any of the extras available in the Golf with a hard-top roof. Key options here are technologies and systems such as ParkPilot (acoustic signal and visual display via the audio system when parking), sport chassis (15 mm lower), automatic climate control system ("Climatronic"), leather-trimmed multifunction steering wheel, MEDIA-IN (USB port), the RCD 310 radio-CD system or radio-CD-navigation systems RNS 315 (navigation function for RCD 310) and RNS 510 (including DVD drive, 30-GB hard drive, touchscreen, traffic sign display and SD card slot) as well as 2 different mobile telephone preps.

Colours and seat versions
Exterior paints: Buyers of the Golf Cabriolet can choose from 9 exterior colours at market launch. They begin with the flat paint "Pure White" (standard). This is followed by 7 optional metallic hues: "Dark Purple," "Shark Blue," "Sunset Red," "Reflex Silver," "Tungsten Silver," "United Grey" and "Night Blue." Also offered is the pearl effect paint "Deep Black," which is of course also a special option.

Seat covers: 9 different seat covers visually complement the exterior colours. The standard upholstery for the cabriolet is "Scout" in "Titan Black." At the next level, the seat upholsteries "Scout / Merlin" are available as options in the colours "Titan Black" and "Pearl Grey," where the lateral seat supports are in "Merlin" design and the seat surfaces in the textured "Scout" fabric.

Those choosing the "Design & Style" pack automatically get ergonomically designed sport seats upholstered in an Alcantara/fabric combination ("Catch Up" fabric pattern) with the colour hue "Titan Black" or "Titan Black / Sunset Red." In this case, the inner surfaces of the lateral seat supports are in "Catch Up" fabric (for "Sunset Red" the seat's decorative seams are also red).

"Vienna" leather upholstery in Cool Leather is available as an option in conjunction with the "Performance pack" in the Golf Cabriolet, which includes front sport seats. The leather may be configured in one of the 4 colour hues "Truffle," "Black," "Ceramique" or "Salsa Red."

Sustainable performance is feasible
The 6 turbo direct-injection engines are ideal for cruising with a cabriolet. They cover a power range from 77 kW / 105 PS to 155 kW / 210 PS. Also fun is the fast and fuel-efficient high-tech dual clutch transmission (DSG), which is available with 4 of the engines. One petrol engine (TSI) and both diesels (TDI) will be available with energy-saving BlueMotion Technologies (battery regeneration and Stop/Start systems). Illustrating just how efficiently the new Volkswagen utilises fuel is the Golf Cabriolet 1.6 TDI with 105 PS with BlueMotion Technology: it offers a combined fuel consumption of just 4.4 l/100 km (equivalent to 117 g/km CO2).

1.2 TSI with 77 kW / 105 PS
The turbocharged 1.2-litre four-cylinder engine observes the TSI downsizing principle with just 1,197 cm3 engine displacement. It offers maximum power with minimal fuel consumption. The BlueMotion Technology pack is available as an option in this Volkswagen Golf Cabriolet version. The 77 kW / 105 PS Cabrio accelerates from a standstill to 100 km/h in 11.7 seconds. Its top speed is 188 km/h. This contrasts with fuel economy and emission values that set standards for open-top cars with petrol engines: 5.9 l/100 (139 g/km CO2) in the standard version or 5.7 l/100 km and 132 g/km CO2 with BlueMotion Technology. The 1.2 TSI outputs its maximum power at 5,000 rpm. Its maximum torque of 175 Newton metres is available between 1,550 and 4,100 rpm. The 1.2 TSI is delivered with a 6-speed manual gearbox as standard.

1.4 TSI with 90 kW / 122 PS
At the next power level, the new Golf Cabriolet is driven by an efficiently operating 1.4-litre TSI with 90 kW / 122 PS (at 5,000 rpm). This engine may be combined with a 7-speed dual clutch transmission as an option. Both versions will follow this autumn. The four cylinder engine develops its maximum torque of 200 Newton metres between 1,500 and 4,000 rpm. (All fuel economy and driving performance data for the Golf Cabriolet 1.4 TSI with 122 PS cited in this press release are forecast values.)

With a combined fuel consumption of 6.4 l/100 km (equivalent to 149 g/km CO2), the turbo engine makes the cabriolet with manual gearbox one of the most fuel-efficient cars in its power class. The 122 PS TSI can attain a top speed of 197 km/h. This Golf Cabriolet covers the classic 0-100 km/h sprint in 10.5 seconds. Driving performance is identical in the DSG version; its combined fuel consumption is even better at 6.3 l/100 km (147 g/km CO2).

1.4 TSI with 118 kW / 160 PS
The twincharger with 118 kW / 160 PS (at 5,800 rpm), which is boosted by both turbocharging and supercharging, may also be combined with a 7-speed DSG. It is exactly as fuel efficient as the smaller 1.4 TSI. Combined fuel consumption with a manual gearbox is 6.4 l/100 km (here: 150 g/km CO2); when shifted by DSG, fuel consumption is reduced to 6.3 l/100 km (148 g/km CO2). The TSI develops a maximum torque of 240 Newton metres between 1,500 and 4,500 rpm. In both transmission versions, the Volkswagen Golf Cabriolet with this engine reaches 100 km/h in 8.4 seconds; its top speed is 216 km/h.

2.0 TSI with 155 kW / 210 PS
At the highest power level, the Golf Cabriolet is driven by a 155 kW / 210 PS (at 5,300 rpm) TSI. In this case, the engine's power reaches the front wheels via a 6-speed DSG as standard. And it does so very fuel efficiently, despite the added power: per 100 km it consumes 7.5 litres (equivalent to 175 g/km CO2), which is directly injected into the up to 280 Newton metres (from 1,700 rpm) torque-strong 16-valve engine. Despite this, it attains a top speed of 235 km/h. The Golf Cabriolet 2.0 TSI covers the sprint to 100 km/h in 7.3 seconds. (All fuel economy and driving performance data for the Volkswagen Golf Cabriolet 2.0 TSI cited in this press release are forecast values, since this version will also follow in late autumn.)

1.6 TDI with 77 kW / 105 PS
Entry to the TDI programme is offered by the 1.6-litre four cylinder engine with 77 kW / 105 PS (4,400 rpm) and a maximum torque of 250 Newton metres (1,500 to 2,500 rpm). As an option, this TDI version may be equipped with the BlueMotion Technology (BMT) pack (Stop/Start system and battery regeneration). The combined fuel consumption of the Golf Cabriolet 1.6 TDI plus BlueMotion Technology is just 4.4 l/100 (equivalent to 117 g/km CO2). Corresponding values without BMT are 4.8 l/100 km and 125 g/km CO2. In each case, the open-top Golf 1.6 TDI is the most fuel-efficient Volkswagen cabriolet ever. Both versions reach the 100-km/h speed mark in 12.1 seconds; and their top speed is 188 km/h.

2.0 TDI with 103 kW / 140 PS
The most powerful common rail TDI of the Golf Cabriolet is a 1,968 cm3 displacement four cylinder engine with 103 kW / 140 PS (at 4,200 rpm); this TDI is combined with the BlueMotion Technology pack as standard. The engine being introduced this autumn will be available with 6-speed DSG as an option.

From a low 1,750 rpm, the TDI develops a maximum torque of 320 Newton metres (up to 2,500 rpm). These key performance parameters of the four cylinder engine accelerate the VW Golf Cabriolet to 100 km/h in just 9.9 seconds; its top speed is 207 km/h. For the DSG version, the top speed is slightly less at 205 km/h. As would be expected, the combined fuel consumption of the Golf Cabriolet 2.0 TDI is exceptionally low: 4.5 l/100 km with manual gearbox, 5.1 litres in the DSG version. The equivalent CO2 values are 119 g/km and 134 g/km (DSG). (All fuel economy and driving performance data for the Golf Cabriolet 2.0 TDI cited in this press release are forecast values, because this version will also follow in late autumn.)

BlueMotion Technologies in detail
Stop/Start system: The driver approaches a red light, brakes the Volkswagen Golf Cabriolet to a stop, shifts into neutral and takes the foot off the clutch (with DSG it is sufficient to press the brake pedal). This causes the engine to shut off momentarily. In the multifunction display the text "Start (A) Stop" appears. As soon as the traffic light turns green again, the driver depresses the clutch (or with DSG simply releases the brake), and the engine starts, the "Start (A) Stop" text is cleared, the driver engages a gear and resumes driving. Essentially, the driver does not need to perform any extra operating steps compared to a conventional car, yet saves up to 0.2 l/100 km in the city using the Stop/Start system.

Unlike vehicles without the Stop/Start system, the BlueMotion Technology models have an extra battery data module (for acquiring momentary battery charge status), a heavy-duty engine starter, a DC/DC converter (guarantees voltage stability in the vehicle's electrical system) and an exceptionally durable deep-cycle glass mat battery on board.

Battery regeneration: Regeneration helps to utilise the energy expended in driving as ideally as possible. During coasting and braking phases of the Golf Cabriolet - i.e. whenever the driver releases the accelerator pedal or brakes - the system elevates the voltage of the alternator (generator), and this electricity is used to bulk charge the vehicle's battery. Thanks to this alternator control as a function of engine efficiency, and the optimally charged battery that results, the voltage of the alternator can be reduced whenever this is desirable - e.g. when accelerating or while constantly maintaining a desired speed. The alternator may even be shut off entirely. This relieves engine load, which in turn reduces fuel consumption. In addition, the battery - always optimally charged - supplies the vehicle's electrical system with sufficient energy during the stopped phase of the engine (e.g. at traffic lights). Battery regeneration requires special software for energy management and modified engine controller software.

6-speed and 7-speed DSG
Except for the TSI and TDI with 77 kW / 105 PS, all other engines of the new Golf Cabriolet may be combined with a dual clutch transmission (DSG). It is either a 6-speed or 7-speed DSG, depending on engine torque values. Both DSG versions are characterised by maximum economy and shifting dynamics, which have never been attained to this extent before. Besides having different numbers of forward gears, another way in which the DSG systems differ technically is in their clutch types. While two dry clutches are used in the 7-speed DSG, the dual clutch of the 6-speed DSG runs wet in an oil bath. True of both gearboxes: even the most experienced professional drivers do not shift at nearly the speed of the DSG versions. More than any other automatic, the dual clutch gearboxes have the potential to reduce fuel consumption and thereby emissions. Compared to an automatic with torque-converter clutch, fuel efficiency gains may be as much as 20 percent, depending on the engine.

History of the first Golf Cabriolet
Here is something that hardly anyone knows: the first 'Generation I' prototype of the VW Golf Cabriolet - like the new Golf Cabriolet - had no fixed roll bar. That is reason enough for a brief historical review and a closer look at the first prototype of the 1970s. The cabriolet was created at Karmann in Osnabrück. Today, the plants belong to Volkswagen. So, like all previous generations, the new Golf Cabriolet will once again be produced in Osnabrück.

A leap back through time: the Golf experienced a fantastic launch in 1974, and in 1976 the model line-up was extended with the GTI that would later become legendary as well as a pioneering diesel model. In the same year, it became clear that the Golf would storm the last bastion of the Beetle - as a cabriolet version. "As soon as the Golf appeared on the scene, Karmann entered into talks with Volkswagen about developing the cabriolet prototype. In parallel, Volkswagen began its study work," recalls Anton Konrad, who was Volkswagen's PR director back then. A cabriolet based on a compact? Even though the segment of four-seat cabriolets was as good as dead in Europe since the end of the 1960s? This was not really a risky gamble, rather it was a logical step, according to Klaus Bischoff, Head of Design of the Volkswagen brand today: "Only the best cars that stand out from the masses are viable candidates for a cabriolet. And that is why the Golf I - at that time the most expressive Volkswagen model - had the power to instil new life to the segment."

In December 1976, the first prototype was created at Karmann; it was intended to assume this role. The white cabriolet had the angular bootlid of the saloon; its cornerstone was the famous C-pillar crease penned by Giorgio Giugiaro, the designer of the first Golf. "Unlike on the Beetle Cabriolet, the windscreen and triangular window were also adopted from the base model here. Finally, the Golf Cabrio had to be sold at an attractive price," explains Rüdiger Folten, a member of the Volkswagen design team since 1973. Even without a fixed roof, the prototype of the A1C - the car's internal code name - exhibited all of the key traits of the Golf.

The mechanical design of the top stacked remarkably flat on the short rear section - but at a price that is only justifiable on prototypes. That is because the large rear window glass is fastened along its lower border with hinges and simply folds inward when the roof is lowered. The rear side windows could be rolled down completely, and they cut a very good figure with their chrome frames when fully cranked up. Yet, all of these aspects are just side notes compared to the characteristic that gave the later production model its nickname: the "handle" of the "strawberry basket" is missing.

So, how did the roll bar make its way into the later production model? Anton Konrad provides the answer: "At that time, vehicle safety was a prominent topic at Volkswagen. Our head of development at the time, Professor Ernst Fiala, was later known as the "Pope of Safety." He insisted that the bar be installed, in part with an eye toward upcoming legislation in the USA."

As an aside, the roll bar-free prototype harbours an interesting secret: hidden behind the rear side trim panels are heavy-duty threaded fittings for mounting a roll bar; right from the start, tests were conducted on both versions, and in the end a modified version with a roll bar prevailed. When the first production models rolled off the Osnabrück assembly line in June 1979, the cabriolet looked as though it had been cast from a single mould: it had an elaborate yet uncomplicated roof design with a 5 layer fabric-lined top, an attractive smooth surface at its rear, and it offered plenty of open-air fun with 4 full-size seats at an affordable price. In parallel, Karmann continued to build the Beetle Cabrio for about 6 months longer. 

The rest is history: the Golf I Cabrio was a global success, with total sales of 388,522. And by the time it was replaced by the Golf III Cabrio (1993), discussions of the roll bar took on a new tone. The fact is that the "handle" had long matured from a mere annoyance to an aesthetic style element - and the roll bar-free prototype remained on the drawing board. Until 1 March 2011. That is when Volkswagen presented the new Golf Cabriolet at the Geneva Motor Show - without a roll bar thanks to automatically deploying rollover protection modules. And that, if you will, ennobled the prototype of the very first VW Golf Cabrio prototype 35 years on.
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Wiesmann Roadster, 2006

  •  Wiesmann Roadster, 2006

The Wiesmann-Roadster which is manufactured since 1993, has been adapted permanently to the latest technical development. It's a dynamic and powerful sports car, made for convertible enthusiasts, taking its very own market position, supported by an ever growing fan community. The Wiesmann brand is established.

In succeeding years the Wiesmann-Roadster has been continuously developed and kept up-to-date with engineering progress. With almost 500 examples now having been built, a quality of finish has now been achieved which is unequalled among comparable small-scale manufacturers.

In 2003, on the 10th anniversary of the factory, Wiesmann gave the models a facelift: from the 300th. Roadster, all vehicles leaving the factory had a number of optical and technical detail alterations. The classic shape of the car body, which became very successful and is particularly loved by Wiesmann customers, retained unchanged. Improvements to the interior and modest alterations to the Roadster's external appearance were signs of the continued logical development of the vehicle concept.

Additional options allow the customers to individualise their own hand-made dream car. Individuality is the magic word! After all, the customer wants a car that is individually equipped, tailored to his wishes, crafted to suit him and make him satisfied and happy.

The Wiesmann-Roadster is available with two powerful engines:
MF 30 - 170 kW/231 HP - 2,979 cc
MF 3 - 252 kW/343 HP - 3,246 cc
Wiesmann Roadster

Even though the performance of the normally-fitted engine with 3 litres and 231 HP (achieving a power-weight ratio of 4.67 kg/HP) is adequate for a sports car, this was not always sufficient to fulfil all our customers' wishes for engine performance. This culminated in the offer of a further engine from the BMW stable, the M engine from the 3-series.

The driving qualities of the Roadsters with this engine, with its output of 343 HP and 365 Nm (resulting in a power-to-weight ratio of the car at its empty weight of 1,180 kg of 3.44 kg/HP) combined with a sequential manual 6-speed gearbox are driven to the very peak of driving enjoyment.

The extension of standard equipment covers the following new features:

Standard equipment
+ BMW M3-Motor 252 kW/ 343 HP and 365 Nm
+ Dynamics switch (throttle valve control selectable sporty/ comfortable)
+ New design of the rear light-clusters and the front flashers
+ Additional side blinkers in the sills
+ Redesigned door-lock
+ New switch design in the central console
+ New control lights display
+ New design for the instrument panel
+ Interior improvements with leather elements in cross-stitch pattern

Special equipment available at an extra price
+ Sequential 6-speed gearbox (SMG II) with switch on the steering wheel (2 driving modes: manual gear-change with steering wheel switch or with the gear stick; automatic mode)
+ Drivelogic (6 different driving programmes for comfortable driving through to sporty driving)
+ Acceleration assistant (for optimum vehicle acceleration at sports car racing level)
+ Control light display with gear indicator
+ DSC Dynamic Stability control (manual cut-out)
+ Modification of the front lighting units (additional xenon or H7 headlights)
+ Wider wheels (255/30 on 9.5x19" front, 295/30 on 11x19" rear)

The optical and aerodynamic developments, in combination with the modified standard equipment and great variety of individual possibilities, once again enhanced the attractiveness of the Wiesmann-Roadster.

Base price:
Wiesmann Roadster MF 30 € 91.000 incl. VAT
Wiesmann Roadster MF 3 € 96.000 incl. VAT
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Friday, November 16, 2012

Peugeot Urban Crossover Concept, 2012

  •  Peugeot Urban Crossover Concept, 2012

The Peugeot Urban Crossover Concept will be presented in turn at the Beijing Motor Show in April 2012 and at the Paris International, in October 2012, so as to illustrate the product of this reflection in a global perspective.

Elegant and cheeky, refined and charismatic, sporty and seductive, with Urban Crossover Concept, Peugeot offers a new vision of a compact Crossover that is modern and relaxed, dynamic and seductive.

At that start of the decade, 30 cities in the world had populations of more than 10 million. By 2050, 5.3 billion inhabitants of the planet will live in mega-conurbations. Peugeot, aware of changes in the world around it, led a reflection on a multi-role compact vehicle, equally at ease in the urban infrastructure, as on the open road.

Cities are changing, mobility as well
From Sao Paulo to Shanghai, from London to Kuala Lumpur, from Cape Town to Moscow, the city lives, changes, grows. Humanity becomes more and more urban, at a rate not seen before. A new generation of city dwellers is being born.

The international teams from Style Peugeot in Paris, in Shanghai and in Sao Paulo have created a new type of vehicle: the Peugeot Urban Crossover Concept. Urban by its contained dimensions (with a length of 4.14m and a width of 1.74m), adventurer by its athletic and sleek style, conferring on it an extraordinary and universal power of seduction. Crossover, it is the vehicle which marries the elegance and refinement of a saloon, the cheekiness, the mischievousness of an SUV, with the multi-role capability and unusual spaciousness for this market segment.

A reflection on the Crossover in the B segment, which draws on considerable expertise in production and concept cars

Peugeot, with its strong credibility in the field of compact cars (15 million units produced in the 200 series) and a legitimacy that is recent, but already remarkable in the Crossover field, with the success of 3008 (368 000 units have been sold in the world to date) and the presentation of the SXC concept at the Shanghai Motor Show in 2011, wanted to develop the reflections and marry these two areas of excellence in a concept car.

Peugeot Urban Crossover Concept wants to be the synthesis of Peugeot's know-how in creating a small vehicle combining agility, compactness, multi-role ability and confident styling at the service of young city dwellers that like the city, live the city, creating the city, while still loving to escape from it.

A unique Style unique, marrying elegance with robustness
Peugeot Urban Crossover Concept naturally embodies Peugeots new styling cues. With its athletic and classy lines, Urban Crossover Concept imposes its audacious posture which shakes up and reinvents the standards of large vehicles for the small vehicle segment.

Peugeot Urban Crossover Concept associates aspects that are normally different and separate:
  • the height and the robustness of a modern SUV, concerned to be light and aerodynamic
  • the finesse, the elegance and the dynamism of the new Peugeot saloons
  • but also, the multi-role ability of a large vehicle that knows how to remain compact

The front end is at the same time refined and full of power. Models that are sensual and with a highly sculpted bonnet or front wings give a reassuring impression of protection and robustness.

The smiling grille, always floating, offers a massive outline, shaped in metal. It is associated with a sophisticated dual-aspect treatment of the image of Peugeot's new badge.

This care in the treatment of details can of course be found in the precise and original design of the headlamps which further refreshes the Peugeot look. Its lower edge closely follows the technical functions showing a keen pupil of the feline, so giving it an even more expressive and singular character.

In profile, the smooth flow between the raked windscreen and the line of the roof continues to the spoiler, creating a profiled and very dynamic outline. The lines of the side, laid out in the direction of the road are evocative of a car that is lively, classy and very dynamic.

Peugeot Urban Crossover Concept presents a sculpturing of the wings and side that is very sensual and sophisticated evocative of natural athletic qualities. The rounded shape of the wheel arches symbolises the qualities of agility associated with all road vehicles.

The raised body and large wheels reveal the true multi-role qualities for family or working life, while also contributing to the reading of a car that is light, respectful of its environment.

The soft wave of the roof underlines the exclusive upper finishers, crafted in metal. It appears to be set in the body and directly inspired by the RCZ coupé. This refinement is found in the precise design of the roof bars, evocative of both speed and the leisure use of the vehicle.

At the rear, with the dynamic design with the lamps embedded with precision in the body, it presents a luminous Peugeot signature with 3 floating claws using LED technology.

The rear volume is monolithic, a symbol of controlled power and solidity. It is associated with lines that are dynamic in character and sculpted models.

Finally, the aluminium spoiler and roof double bubble are reminiscent of the sporty and elegant aspect of the RCZ.

In this way, Peugeot Urban Crossover Concept posses a pronounced personality, associating:
  • power and robustness by its posture and its contours
  • elegant, sensual and very dynamic lines
  • refinement and technology in the treatment of exclusive details

Peugeot Urban Crossover Concept transcends border. The borders of vehicle style and segmentation. The borders of the needs of future generations of customers. The borders between the city and nature. The borders between continents

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Morgan Plus 8, 2013

  • Morgan Plus 8, 2013

The new Morgan Plus 8 makes use of technology from the aircraft industry to achieve an unladen weight of only 1100kgs. This makes the Morgan Plus 8 the lightest V8 passenger car in the world approved to European safety standards. The car also has one of the stiffest chassis of all the convertible roadsters available today.

The car is the ideal companion on country and urban roads. It responds immediately to a driver's input yet you can also have fun with a clear conscience knowing that the car's impact on nature is kept at a minimum. Wheel speed sensors inform the Electronic Control Unit to get the best possible performance from the engine and to provide a crisp throttle response. The Morgan Plus 8 has been described as 'a true drivers car' yet it is also surprisingly economical to run.

The car is the most comfortable classic Morgan that the company has ever built. The convertible mohair roof is easy to erect with a double thickness liner for insulation. There is plenty of space for the tallest of drivers. Air conditioning is standard equipment in the luxurious leather lined cockpit which includes a lockable stowage compartment. A radio/CD player is standard equipment with a high quality speaker system.

The Morgan Plus 8 is also the only Classic Morgan available with a six speed automatic transmission. This can be operated in two modes, 'Sport' and 'Auto'. In 'Sport' mode the engine holds its gear to maximum revs of 6500rpm and 'blips' the throttle before making a down shift. The steering and the ABS brakes are power assisted.
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Thursday, November 15, 2012

Plymouth Hemi Barracuda, 1971

  • Plymouth Hemi Barracuda, 1971

As 1970 rolled around, another redesign was in order for the Barracuda. The performance version was badged and advertised as the 'Cuda. This year's new design looked quite a bit different from the previous models. One of the reasons was that it was now built on a new, slightly shorter, wider, and sportier version of Chrysler's existing B platform, the E-body. This new generation eliminated the fastback, but kept the two-door coupe and convertible versions. It also had a Dodge near-twin known as the Challenger; however, not one body panel interchanged between the two cars and the Challenger had a slightly longer wheelbase. Both were aggressively and cleanly styled, though they were clearly influenced by the first-generation Chevrolet Camaro. After the switch to the E platform, which featured a larger engine bay than the previous A-body, Chrysler's famous 426 in³ (7.0 L) Hemi would now be available from the factory in the Barracuda. The HemiCuda had about a factory rating of 6 MPG, and was sold without warranty.

Race car drivers Swede Savage and Dan Gurney drove identical factory-sponsored Barracudas in the 1970 Trans-Am Series, although with no success. With the 440-6 and 426 Hemi, the performance from these production Barracudas ended up being legendary. The 1/4 mile times for these were 13.7 s @ 103 mph and 13.4 s @ 108 mph - both among the fastest times of the day. These engines were very easy to slightly modify and drop into the 12s, but either way - stock or modified - one could virtually have a 5-passenger race car. Barracudas also came with decal sets, hood modifications, and some unusual colors ("Go Mango", "Plum Crazy", and "Panther Pink").

The Barracuda was changed slightly for 1971, with a new grille and taillights. This would be the only year that the Barracuda would have four headlights, and also the only year of the optional fender "gills". The 1971 Barracuda engine options would remain the same as that of the 1970 model, except for the fact that a 4-barrel carbureted 440 engine was not available; all 440-powered Barracudas had a six-barrel carburetor setup instead. The 426 Hemi option would remain, and the Hemi-powered 1971 Barracuda convertible is now considered one of the rarest and most desirable collectible automobiles.

In 1970 and 1971, two options were available that are now highly sought-after by collectors. They are the shaker hood and the Spicer Dana 60 rearend. The shaker hood was available on 340ci Six-Pack, 383ci, 440ci and Six-Pack, and 426ci Hemi-equipped 'Cudas. The heavy Dana 60, with a 9 3/4 inch ring gear and considered nearly indestructible, was standard on manual transmission 440 Six-Pack and 426 Hemi equipped 'Cudas, and was optional on those with the automatic transmission.

After another grille and taillight redesign in 1972, the Barracuda would keep its overall look the same through 1974, with dual headlights and four circular taillights. But like other pony cars of the time, these years showed a major decrease in the Barracuda's power due to stricter emission laws. The largest available engine in 1972 was the 340 4bbl; a 360 was available in 1974. New safety regulations would also force the vehicle to have large front and rear bumper guards in 1973 and 1974. The Barracuda hung on through 1974, after which it was discontinued in the midst of the 1973 oil crisis. Production ended ten years (to the day) after it had begun. Although today they are sought-after collector cars, the third generation was a marketplace failure and never successfully competed with rival offerings from Ford and General Motors. The rarity of specific models and combinations today is primarily the result of low original-buyer interest and production.
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Mini Roadster, 2013

  • Mini Roadster, 2012
The driving fun sewn into the fabric of every MINI never fails to bring a smile to the face. And now it can also be enjoyed - with the roof up or down - in the first model from the brand designed strictly for two people. The MINI Roadster, the sixth model in the British premium carmaker's current line-up, gives the small car segment another innovative shot in the arm. The typically MINI interpretation of a compact roadster embodies unadulterated sportiness and spontaneous urban driving fun under the open sky. Powerful engines and sophisticated chassis technology with model-specific tuning see to it that the characteristic MINI go-kart feeling is always on tap. And the MINI Roadster's classical soft-top roof, which can be easily opened and closed manually, ensures open-top driving pleasure can be lapped up at every opportunity.

The faithful reproduction of the hallmark MINI design language within the proportions of a roadster gives the first open-top two-seater in the history of MINI an unmistakable and irresistible charisma. Even with the roof closed the MINI Roadster displays an elegant, sweeping silhouette, with the transition from soft-top to rear end highlighting its characteristic three-box design particularly clearly. This layout encompasses a clear visual separation of the car's boot (capacity: 240 litres) from the passenger compartment, while a wide through-loading system behind the seats enhances practicality.

The MINI Roadster will be available with a choice of four powerful yet also efficient petrol and diesel engines from launch. The model line-up ranges from the MINI Cooper Roadster (90 kW/122 hp), via the MINI Cooper SD Roadster (105 kW/143 hp) and MINI Cooper S Roadster (135 kW/184 hp), to the sharpest performer of all, the 155 kW/211 hp MINI John Cooper Works Roadster. A quality of chassis technology unparalleled in the small car segment, including Electric Power Steering and Dynamic Stability Control (DSC), combines with the torsionally rigid body (complete with special strengthening elements) and the car's lower centre of gravity to deliver addictive agility and unbeatable active and passive safety. Meanwhile, front and head-thorax airbags, an extremely rigid windscreen frame and polished stainless steel roll-over bars fixed to the body join forces in the name of occupant protection. The aerodynamic balance of the MINI Roadster is optimised by an active rear spoiler.

The MINI Roadster underlines its premium character with a high-quality range of standard equipment, including air conditioning (MINI Cooper S Roadster, MINI Cooper SD Roadster, MINI John Cooper Works Roadster), speedsensitive steering assistance, electrically adjustable exterior mirrors, Park Distance Control, height-adjustable seats and an audio system with MP3- compatible CD player and AUX IN connection. Levels of comfort and individuality can be further enhanced by specifying attractive options such as xenon Adaptive Headlights, black headlight housing, Comfort Access and the Always Open Timer. And the MINI Roadster also offers in-car use of innovative MINI Connected infotainment and communications functions.

The roadster, MINI-style: unique and unmistakable
The MINI Roadster is not only the sole premium model of its kind in the small car segment, it also ranks as the only open-top two-seater in the brand's history. The principles of the MINI design language are faithfully reflected in the body design of the new concept. For example, the athletically taut surfaces, harmonious curves and parallel lines typical of MINI cars are complemented by a sloping windscreen frame raked by an extra 13 degrees over the MINI Convertible, a short passenger compartment distilled around two seats, and a flat boot lid. A waistline rising up slightly along the length of the body to the clearly stepped boot and the deliberately low-slung silhouette - even with the roof closed - give the MINI Roadster an elegantly stretched appearance. At the same time, the new model wears its brand identity on its sleeve thanks to unmistakable design features like the hexagonal contours of its radiator grille, the black border around the lower part of the body, chrome trim strips and surrounds, large circular headlights, vertically stacked rear lights positioned on the outer extremes of the rear end, and the eye-catching surrounds of the side indicators on the front side panels.

The exterior length of 3,734 millimetres (MINI Cooper Roadster: 3,728 millimetres, MINI John Cooper Works Roadster: 3,758 millimetres), wheelbase of 2,467 millimetres and width of 1,683 millimetres, the dimensions of the MINI Roadster largely mirror those of the MINI Convertible. Standing just 1,390 tall (MINI Cooper Roadster: 1,384 millimetres, MINI John Cooper Works Roadster: 1,391 millimetres), i.e. more than 20 millimetres lower than its four-seater soft-top stablemate, the new two-seater cuts a distinctive, low-slung and elegantly stretched figure from the side. A windscreen frame that is more heavily raked and tapers upwards more sharply than that of the MINI Convertible also gives it a clearly distinguishable appearance when viewed head-on.

Clean, classic, opens and closes with the flick of a wrist: the manually operated soft-top roof
Another example of the faithful transposition of MINI design into the compact roadster template comes in the form of the robust, all-season durability of the soft-top roof. When closed, the roof - which shares the simple style of classic British roadsters - "cascades" downwards, broadening as it heads towards the body and underlining to fine effect the typically MINI, powerful over-the-wheel stance. When opened, the roof folds down flat behind the seats, keeping the car's elegantly sweeping lines intact. And since the outer skin of the roof faces upwards, there is no need for any additional cover.

The manual opening and closing mechanism of the soft-top roof allows the driver to usher in his next dose of open-top driving pleasure without a second's thought. And the roof can be closed again equally quickly to protect the driver and passenger from less welcome weather. The roof is opened by turning the release lever on the windscreen frame though 130 degrees and swivelling the soft-top back in a single movement behind the seats, where it locks into place. The process for closing the roof again is triggered by pressing a button positioned between the roll-over bars, which allows the roof to extend back out of its anchorage points assisted by gas-pressure springs. It can then be pulled forward with the help of the release lever and fixed in place again against the windscreen frame.

Bespoke range of exterior paint finishes, Sport Stripes and interior design elements offer the key to individuality
A range of two non-metallic and six metallic paint shades are available for the exterior of the MINI Roadster. In keeping with British roadster tradition, the roof remains in black. Sport Stripes, available in three colours for the bonnet, boot lid and rear apron, allow owners to add an extra personal touch. The light-alloy wheels fitted as standard on the MINI Roadster come in 15, 16 or 17-inch formats, depending on the model variant. A selection of other light-alloy wheels are available as an option in the same sizes.

The customary MINI variety of seat and upholstery variants includes ultraexclusive piped sports seats in the colour shade Toffy. Added to which, black sports seats are also available in Punch Leather with beige-coloured perforations. Trim strips can be ordered in any of six variants, while an extra Chili Red option is also offered for the MINI John Cooper Works Roadster. A choice of five Colour Lines is also available, and customers may likewise choose to explore the additional, extremely exclusive interior design options offered by the MINI Yours range.

A well-rounded concept delivering driving fun without compromises
The absence of a rear seat bench allows the MINI Roadster to offer 240 litres of luggage space. Plus, the high-opening tailgate and low boot sill makes it that much easier to load up items of luggage, while a 36 cm (14 in.) wide and 20 cm (approx. 8 in.) high through-loading system that can also be opened from the driver's or passenger's seat provides added versatility. The MINI Roadster also comes with larger door bins, three cupholders, and a cross-rack behind the seats.

Another stand-out feature of the MINI Roadster are the stainless steel rollover bars, the front of which are padded. Together with the reinforced windscreen frame, they provide optimised occupant protection in the event of the car turning over. Dynamically formed contours ensure that the roll-over bars and windscreen frame combine to impressive effect in terms of design, too. The safety equipment on board the new MINI Roadster also includes front airbags and head-thorax airbags integrated into the outer sides of the seat backrests, three-point inertia-reel seat belts including belt force limiters and belt tensioners, and a Tyre Defect Indicator.

Bodyshell stiffening at the rear increases the torsional rigidity of the body and combines with extra-sturdy side sills to enhance the strength of the passenger cell. In addition, the MINI Roadster also features built-in innovative pedestrian protection measures and special stiffening elements in the front section. These result in a slightly higher front axle load rating compared with the MINI, which gives the front wheels extra traction. In addition, the use of a comparatively lightweight, manually operated soft-top roof lowers the car's centre of gravity. The impressive body rigidity of the MINI Roadster and its dynamically favourable weight distribution provide the ideal platform for agile and precise handling.

Optimised aerodynamic properties also play their role in a vehicle concept geared to enjoying driving fun to the full. The heavily raked A-pillars and windscreen reduce the frontal area of the body and therefore levels of drag. Added to which, the MINI Roadster is fitted with an active rear spoiler. Integrated into the tailgate, the spoiler extends automatically as soon as the MINI Roadster reaches 80 km/h (50 mph). When the car's speed drops back below 60 km/h (37 mph), a four-part control mechanism returns the spoiler to its rest position. The active rear spoiler, which can also be operated manually using a button in the control panel on the windscreen frame, provides 40 kilograms (88 lb) of extra downforce when travelling at maximum speed.

Airflow has been optimised to an even greater degree on the MINI John Cooper Works Roadster. The most powerful member of the Roadster line-up is fitted with a John Cooper Works aerodynamic kit as standard in a nod to its exceptionally dynamic performance capability.

Latest-generation four-cylinder engines: addictive sportiness, impressive efficiency
The MINI Roadster is available with the three most powerful petrol engines and the highest-output diesel unit in the brand's line-up. The state-of-the-art engines all boast sporty power delivery combined with exemplary efficiency, and all variants of the MINI Roadster carry the Cooper name in their model titles. This reference to legendary ex-Formula One racing car designer John Cooper, who used to race the classic Mini, marks out a car with particular sporting capability.

The MINI Cooper Roadster represents an extremely lively entry point into the Roadster line-up. Its 1.6-litre four-cylinder engine boasts a fully variable valve control system - based on the VALVETRONIC technology used in BMW engines - which sharpens the engine's responses yet also lowers fuel consumption and emissions. With output rising to 90 kW/122 hp at 6,000 rpm and maximum torque of 160 Newton metres (118 lb-ft) generated at 4,250 rpm, the powerplant accelerates the MINI Cooper Roadster from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 9.2 seconds and on to a top speed of 199 km/h (124 mph). Its average fuel consumption in the EU test cycle stands at 5.7 litres per 100 kilometres (49.6 mpg imp), while CO2 emissions come in at 133 grams per kilometre.

In addition to fully variable valve control, MINI TwinPower Turbo technology also features a twin-scroll turbocharger and petrol direct injection - a technology package that makes the 1.6-litre engine in the MINI Cooper S Roadster the world's most efficient in its displacement class. The powerplant develops its maximum output of 135 kW/184 hp at 5,500 rpm. Peak torque of 240 Newton metres (177 lb-ft) is available as low down as 1,600 rpm and can hit 260 Newton metres (192 lb-ft) in a short burst courtesy of the Overboost function. All of which means the MINI Cooper S Roadster powers from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 7.0 seconds on the way to a top speed of 227 km/h (141 mph). These performance figures contrast with average fuel consumption in the EU test cycle of 6.0 litres per 100 kilometres (47.1 mpg imp) and CO2 emissions of 139 grams per kilometre.

The latest model variant from MINI's John Cooper Works sub-brand showcases its sporting potential with even greater intent. The MINI John Cooper Works Roadster is powered by a 155 kW/211 hp four-cylinder engine with MINI TwinPower Turbo technology. The 1.6-litre unit generates its maximum output at 6,000 rpm, with peak torque of 260 Newton metres (192 lb-ft) on stream at 1,850 rpm. The Overboost function briefly pushes this figure up to 280 Newton metres (207 lb-ft). 6.5 seconds is all it takes the MINI John Cooper Works Roadster to blast from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph). Top speed is 237 km/h (147 mph). Added to which, with average fuel consumption in the EU test cycle of 7.3 litres per 100 kilometres (38.7 mpg imp) and CO2 emissions of 169 grams per kilometre, the MINI John Cooper Works Roadster boasts extraordinary efficiency for an open-top car in this output class.

Leading the way in terms of torque and economy, the 2.0-litre diesel engine with MINI TwinPower Turbo technology under the bonnet of the MINI Cooper SD Roadster is the ideal addition to the range of petrol units. The four-cylinder powerplant features an aluminium crankcase, a turbocharger with variable intake geometry, and common-rail direct injection with solenoid-valve injectors, and develops 105 kW/143 hp at 4,000 rpm and peak torque of 305 Newton metres (225 lb-ft) between 1,750 and 2,700 rpm. All this allows the MINI Cooper SD Roadster to dash from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 8.1 seconds and on to a top speed of 212 km/h (132 mph). The diesel Roadster headlines its outstanding efficiency with average fuel consumption of 4.5 litres per 100 kilometres (62.8 mpg imp) in the EU test cycle and CO2 emissions of 118 grams per kilometre.

The MINI Cooper Roadster and MINI Cooper SD Roadster are equipped as standard with extensive MINIMALISM technology. This further reduces their fuel consumption and emissions thanks to features including Brake Energy Regeneration, the Auto Start/Stop function, Shift Point Display, Electric Power Steering and ancillary components working according to need. The MINI Cooper Roadster, MINI Cooper S Roadster and MINI Cooper SD Roadster can also be specified with an optional six-speed automatic gearbox with Steptronic function as an alternative to the six-speed manual item fitted as standard across the MINI Roadster range.

Agile, precise, stable: go-kart feeling in a roadster wrapping
Teaming up with the powerful engines and customary MINI front-wheel drive, chassis technology of a quality unparalleled in the small car segment imbues the MINI Roadster with the brand's hallmark driving fun. MacPherson struts at the front axle, a multi-link rear axle, Electric Power Steering with speedsensitive assistance, powerful brakes offering excellent feel, and bespoke tuning for all chassis components come together to produce a new interpretation of the time-honoured MINI go-kart feeling. Sports suspension, which brings stiffer damper characteristics, sturdier anti-roll bars and upgraded springs, is available as an option.

A Sport Button on the centre console, standard in the case of the MINI John Cooper Works Roadster and optionally available for all other model versions, allows the driver to adjust the car's steering characteristics and accelerator responses. If the optional six-speed automatic gearbox is specified, pressing this button also shortens shift times.

The standard DSC (Dynamic Stability Control) system selectively brakes individual wheels and reduces engine power to prevent a front or rear-end slide. The system includes ABS anti-lock braking, EBD (Electronic Brakeforce Distribution), CBC (Cornering Brake Control), Brake Assist and Hill Start Assistant. DSC also adds DTC (Dynamic Traction Control) with EDLC (Electronic Differential Lock Control) for the driven axle as standard on the MINI John Cooper Works Roadster and as an option on all other model variants.

MINI Roadster: premium two-seater with high-quality standard equipment and exclusive options
The interior of the MINI Roadster features - in typical brand style - a large Centre Speedo and a rev counter positioned directly behind the steering wheel. The sports seats fitted as standard in the MINI Cooper S Roadster, MINI Cooper SD Roadster and MINI John Cooper Works Roadster offer outstanding lateral support through quickly-taken corners. Standard specification also includes air conditioning (MINI Cooper S Roadster, MINI Cooper SD Roadster, MINI John Cooper Works Roadster), Park Distance Control with rear sensors, height-adjustable seats and electrically adjustable exterior mirrors.

The comfort and individuality of the MINI Roadster can be further enhanced with items from the range of high-quality options, some unique in the small car segment. For example, Adaptive Headlights and black headlight housing are available in conjunction with the optional xenon headlights. Among the other options customers can choose from are Comfort Access, an on-board computer, a multifunction steering wheel, the Always Open Timer, automatic climate control, heated seats, automatically dimming rear-view mirror and exterior mirrors, an armrest, the storage package, and preparation for a rear luggage carrier rack. Also available as an option are Recaro sports seats in a leather/Dinamica combination with optimised lateral support, extended thigh support, integrated head restraints and an embossed John Cooper Works by Recaro logo. Customers can also dip into the selection of exclusive options available from the MINI Yours range and ultra-sporty John Cooper Works options and accessories.

Only from MINI Connected: innovative entertainment and communications functions
The MINI Roadster comes as standard with the radio MINI CD audio system (MINI John Cooper Works Roadster: radio MINI Boost CD), while an extra dose of entertainment pleasure can be specified in the form of the Harman Kardon hi-fi loudspeaker system and USB audio interface. The radio MINI Visual Boost and MINI navigation system link up with a 6.5-inch, highresolution colour display in the Centre Speedo. If these options are specified, MINI Connected allows Apple iPhone owners access to internet-based services inside the car. The MINI Connected App opens the door to a web radio function, use of Google services, Facebook and Twitter, reception of RSS news feeds, the MINIMALISM Analyser, Mission Control and Dynamic Music functions, as well as the latest Driving Excitement functions, such as Condition Check, Force Meter and digital sports instruments.
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