Saturday, January 26, 2013

Bentley Mulsanne, 2013


  •  Bentley Mulsanne, 2013

Bentley is introducing a range of new luxury features to its flagship model, the Bentley Mulsanne, which will make their debut at the 2013 Geneva International Salon d'Auto, with customer orders commencing in April 2013.

A new Comfort Specification, including comfort headrests, footrests and duck down filled loose cushions has also been introduced to reaffirm Bentley Mulsanne's reputation as a truly bespoke grand tourer.

The enhancements include privacy curtains, which promise to broaden the experience for the Bentley Mulsanne rear cabin occupants, allowing them to maximise work or rest as they travel.

An Entertainment Specification incorporates the latest in technological developments, with picnic tables designed for an iPad and wireless keyboard, with the cabin of the Bentley Mulsanne becoming a Wi-Fi Hotspot.

Another additions include three new paint options, extending the Mulsanne palette, and new bespoke fitted luggage.

Commenting on the new range of options for the Bentley Mulsanne, Member of the Board for Sales, Marketing and Aftersales Mr Kevin Rose, said: "The new features of the Mulsanne blend striking design with the latest in technology integration, enabling our pinnacle model to offer the grandest of touring experiences. The Mulsanne presents unrivalled luxury and effortless performance, and these enhancements will help broaden the appeal of the Bentley Mulsanne in new and emerging markets."

Comfort and convenience
The new Comfort Specification includes new comfort headrests, with manually adjustable wings for lateral support to aid relaxation when chauffeur-driven. The super-soft headrests are designed to fold neatly, avoiding any creasing of the hide, while also extending lower than standard headrests to ensure maximum comfort for an even greater range of passenger statures.

New footrests are now available, trimmed in flat-cut cabin carpet and hide to match each individual vehicle. Designed to blend in and provide unobtrusive additional comfort, especially when rear seats are reclined. The footrests can be stowed under the front seats when not in use.

Seat comfort is extended with fine duck down filled loose cushions, trimmed using the same traditionally-tanned hide as the seats, included with the Comfort Specification. The design incorporates Bentley Winged Emblems, but also bespoke stitching or piping can be specified.

Further cabin revisions have been made, with a new rear door armrest storage compartment introduced as standard. This hide-lined compartment, in each rear door, can conveniently hold mobile phones, personal items or Bluetooth headphones for Rear Seat Entertainment.

Maximising privacy
Whether relaxing or working in the luxurious surroundings of the rear cabin, privacy can be attained through the touch of a button, with new privacy curtains offered as a Crewe-fitted option. Controlled from the driving seat or rear compartment via the window-lift switches, the curtains are fully integrated into the rear doors and rear windscreen surround.

Available in either Black or Ivory, the soft, opaque material gives the rear cabin a feeling of opulence and complete privacy, via one-touch operation with anti-trap protection.

Entertainment on demand
The new Crewe-fitted Entertainment Specification option offers a full menu of communication, entertainment and information, with rear picnic tables designed for an iPad and wireless keyboard.

Once deployed, the picnic tables reveal a smooth hide-trimmed writing surface, and at the touch of a button, the surface lifts to reveal a dedicated space for an iPad and keyboard, ready to connect to a web browser via the on-board Wi-Fi router.

Crafted in solid metal, fine veneer and hide, the tables feature an adjustable screen angle with an anti-trap sensor to protect fingers. An iPad can be charged when the ignition is on, yet is fully detachable but also out of sight once stowed.

The Entertainment Specification is further enhanced with twin, eight inch LCD headrest screens, incorporating a 20 GB hard drive and DVD player, played through a 'Naim for Bentley' premium audio system, while two sets of Bluetooth headphones and a remote control puts the power in the hands of the occupants.

Connectivity at the touch of a button
Connectivity is boosted with the introduction of a Wi-Fi router with a high speed Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS) phone module and SIM card reader, located in the glove box, providing a rolling Wi-Fi hotspot for internet access which can be accessed by eight Wi-Fi enabled devices simultaneously.

There is a dedicated antenna housed in the boot lid, outside of the vehicle's steel frame, giving improved signal strength versus a handheld device.

Extending the palette
Increasing Bentley Mulsanne's leading choice of colours are three new additions to the palette, Dark Cashmere, Portofino and Damson.

Dark Cashmere is a versatile and sophisticated warm grey, while Portofino takes a new slant on Pale Sapphire, an already highly successful Bentley colour. Lastly, Damson is a rich, opulent colour with a velvet quality, deep tones and the subtle sparkle of rare purple diamonds.

There are also three additional hide colours, Damson, Saffron and Brunel. Damson is a rich, dark red designed to complement the new Damson paint, while Saffron is a warm, rich colour inspired by saffron bread. Finally, Brunel is a warm technical grey, designed to perfectly complement exterior colours in the grey and blue spectrum.

Bespoke Mulsanne Fitted Luggage
Intended for the discerning traveller, a range of bespoke Mulsanne luggage pieces hand made by renowned Italian luggage specialists Schedoni are now available.

The full collection is made of six pieces, two large cases, two small cases and two foldable garment bags. The overall shape of the luggage is inspired by the inner door panel design of the car, with the frame surrounding the main side panels echoing the main feature frame of the door with its characteristic twin ridge.

The frame also serves to neatly guide the luggage in position into the boot of the car whilst also protecting the handle.

The pieces are hand-made to customer's specification, featuring monogram Bentley lining and embossed Bentley logos on the main panels and use the same hides that go into a Bentley car. The items can be purchased as a full 6 piece set, single or multiple bags.

The architecture of the luggage allows the possibility to offer a colour split between the frame and the main panel. Each set can be colour personalised, matching the primary hide colour of the interior of the car or the secondary, or even combining both.
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Friday, January 25, 2013

BMW 640d xDrive Coupe, 2013

  •  BMW 640d xDrive Coupe, 2013

BMW is set to add another variant of the Coupe and Convertible to the BMW 6-Series line-up with the arrival of the BMW 640d xDrive Coupe and Convertible in spring 2012. Intelligent all-wheel drive - making its debut in the BMW 6-Series - teams up with a six-cylinder in-line diesel engine featuring BMW Twin Power Turbo technology to take driving pleasure to another new level. The combination of a diesel engine and BMW xDrive all-wheel drive, which will also be found in the BMW 640d xDrive Convertible, gives the BMW 6-Series a spread of abilities none of its rivals can match.

The new BMW 640d xDrive Coupe accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in just 5.2 seconds. The 230 kW/313 hp diesel power plant uses BMW Twin Power Turbo technology to ensure outstanding efficiency, and joins forces with the standard-fitted eight-speed Sports automatic gearbox to deliver exceptionally low fuel consumption and emissions. The xDrive system distributes the power generated by the engine precisely between the front and rear wheels as the situation demands. Pulling the strings behind the scenes is an electronic control unit which links xDrive up with the DSC (Dynamic Stability Control) system to ensure unbeatable traction, maximum safety, top-class handling and optimum power development in all weather and road conditions. The average fuel consumption of the BMW 640d xDrive Coupe stands at 5.7 - 5.8 litres per 100 kilometres / 48.7 - 49.6 mpg imp (in the EU test cycle, depending on the tyre format), while CO2 emissions are 149 - 153 grams per kilometre.

6-cylinder in-line diesel engine with BMW Twin Power Turbo technology in the BMW 6-Series.

The instantaneous responses and pulling power of the diesel unit fitted in the BMW 6-Series enable it to do everything required of an engine fitted in a car with a sharp sporting focus. The output characteristics, acoustic profile, low vibrations and efficiency of the six-cylinder unit offer clear evidence of BMW's expertise in the development of diesel engines.

Rewinding a generation, the introduction - for the first time - of a diesel variant into the previous BMW 6-Series likewise lent an extra dimension to the range. The new BMW 6-Series adds further lustre to the alluring profile of the exclusive and sporty, yet also economical, premium-class Coupe by taking performance and efficiency to new heights and, for the first time, offering the additional benefits of xDrive.

The latest generation of the most powerful diesel engine boasts displacement of 3.0 litres, a low-weight all-aluminium crankcase and the latest development of BMW TwinPower Turbo technology. This package of technology comprises multi-stage turbocharging and common-rail direct injection whose piezo injectors work with maximum pressure of 2,000 bar. The car's two-stage turbocharging generates instantaneous and forceful power delivery, while the injection system sprays the fuel into the cylinders in precisely measured quantities to ensure clean and efficient combustion.

2-stage turbocharging with optimised efficiency.
The latest multi-stage turbocharging technology responds more precisely than ever to the demands of different driving situations. At low revs a smaller turbocharger is activated, its low moment of inertia allowing it to go to work extremely rapidly. The compressed air from this small charger is sent directly to the combustion chambers via a bypass line. As the air no longer flows through the large charger, loss-free development of charge pressure is assured. Only when the driver asks for more power do the electronics prompt the bypass unit to bring the larger turbo into play. Added to which, variable turbine geometry for the smaller of the two turbos optimises the effectiveness of the turbocharging system in responding to the power requirement at any one time.

The result is an ultra-fast response to every movement of the accelerator. The engine delivers its peak torque of 630 Newton metres (465 lb-ft) as low down as1,500 - 2,500 rpm, with maximum output generated at 4,400 rpm. Powerful acceleration from a standstill and dynamic mid-range sprints are therefore dispatched with equal ease. The eight-speed Sports automatic gearbox is tuned precisely to the performance characteristics of the engine, and so allows the driver to exploit its impressive torque - maintained across a high rev band - to the full, for a sporty yet smooth driving experience. By contrast, in ECO PRO mode (likewise standard) the power reserves of the sporty diesel engine play a prominent role in ensuring a relaxed and extremely efficient driving style at low engine speeds.

BMW Efficient Dynamics package of technology and Driving Experience Control come as standard.

ECO PRO mode, which is activated via the standard-fitted Driving Experience Control switch, carries out adjustments to the engine management, accelerator mapping and the shift characteristics of the automatic transmission. In addition, the output of electrically operated functions such as the climate control system, as well as the seat and exterior mirror heating are carefully regulated to ensure extremely efficient energy management. Special displays inform the driver of the extra range, in kilometres, achieved as a result. The BMW Efficient Dynamics technologies fitted as standard on board the BMW 640d xDrive Coupe also include Brake Energy Regeneration, the Auto Start-Stop function, need-based operation of ancillary units and active air flap control.

The Driving Experience Control switch can also be used to call up SPORT, SPORT+ and COMFORT modes, and - if the optional Dynamic Damper Control or Adaptive Drive are selected - COMFORT+. As well as the accelerator progression, engine responses, power steering characteristics, intervention thresholds of the DSC stability control system and shift dynamics of the automatic transmission, this also allows the driver to adjust the damper settings and anti-roll control. Whichever mode he chooses, the driver is activating a pre-configured and coherent overall set-up which includes reproduction of the engine sound. Here, a sound module is used to enhance the engine's natural acoustic components to suit the driving situation and the Driving Experience Control mode selected, and this soundtrack is then transferred into the interior. The system's digital signal processing technology exchanges data directly with the engine management and adjusts its output to the engine's revs, the amount of torque being produced and the car's speed over the road. This gives the driver an impressively accurate impression of how hard the engine is currently working and of the power being unleashed, and provides an even clearer window into the car's responses on the road.

Intelligent all-wheel drive raises driving pleasure another notch.
The introduction of the BMW xDrive all-wheel-drive system into the BMW 6-Series range adds another alluring dimension to the driving experience on board a top-class premium coupe.

The BMW 640d xDrive Coupe showcases the latest incarnation of the intelligent all-wheel-drive system. In addition to the variable transfer of power to the front and rear wheels, this technology also includes Performance Control, which divides drive between the right and left-hand rear wheels to suit the situation at hand.

In contrast to conventional all-wheel-drive systems, the electronically controlled BMW xDrive is set up not only to optimise traction on low-grip surfaces, but also to enhance dynamic performance through corners. The link-up of the all-wheel-drive system with the DSC (Dynamic Stability Control) function within the ICM (Integrated Chassis Management) system enables all situations on the road to be identified and evaluated to allow the necessary control interventions to be made at an early stage. These can be carried out by xDrive either on its own or in combination with Dynamic Stability Control or Performance Control. The power is distributed quickly and with great precision to where it is needed, ensuring that the driver enjoys the handling characteristics expected of a BMW - even under extremely dynamic cornering.

The xDrive system has been specially tuned for service in the BMW 6-Series, taking into account the car's specific properties and characteristics. This bespoke set-up is underpinned by the principle of blending the traditional rear-wheel-drive qualities of BMW cars harmoniously with the benefits of distributing power between all four wheels. As with every all-wheel-drive BMW, 60 per cent of the engine's power is sent to the rear axle in normal conditions and 40 per cent to the front wheels. This torque split can be adjusted in an instant to suit changing conditions.

Linking up to allow proactive analysis and precise interventions.

Identifying the risk of traction loss at a very early stage allows wheel spin to be prevented at one or more wheels by varying power distribution. xDrive can therefore be described as an "intelligent" all-wheel-drive system.

This proactive analysis of the driving situation takes into account the data from the engine management system and information on accelerator position, steering angle, wheel speeds and lateral acceleration stored in the ICM system. Based on this extensive information, xDrive is able to finely control the distribution of power between the front and rear wheels to ensure that engine output is fully utilised at all times. This allows xDrive to nip oversteer or understeer in the bud - unlike conventional all-wheel-drive systems, which only react when at least one wheel is already spinning. If the car is threatening to understeer, a greater proportion of drive power is immediately sent to the rear wheels.This makes for sharper turn-in on the entry to a corner; in other words, xDrive improves stability before the driver is even aware of the need. Similarly, the system's proactive capabilities allow it to correct oversteer tendencies at the earliest possible stage by directing surplus power to the front wheels. That means the benefits of all-wheel drive can be enlisted even before traction loss actually occurs.

Intelligently varied power distribution also has benefits for ride comfort; due to the stabilising effect of xDrive, DSC now only needs to intervene in extreme situations. Only when optimal drive power distribution alone is insufficient to keep the vehicle on track does DSC intervene by reducing engine power and selectively braking individual wheels.

Electronic control enables extremely rapid reactions.
The xDrive system's electronic control system allows the power split between the front and rear wheels to be altered almost instantly to suit changing driving conditions. It does this by adjusting the multi-plate clutch in the central transfer case, using a stepper motor. The higher the pressure on the clutch plates, the more power is transferred to the front wheels via a gear system. Conversely, when the clutch is completely open, all power goes to the rear wheels. The electronic control system is capable of varying the torque distribution in record-quick time: it takes just 100 milliseconds to fully open or fully close the clutch.

Performance Control improves these driving dynamics even further. Working with the xDrive control function, this electronic system uses precisely controlled braking and variable torque distribution to counteract the onset of understeer on low-traction surfaces and under particularly dynamic cornering, thereby improving agility. As soon as understeer is detected, the integrated electronic control functions of xDrive and DSC selectively brake the rear wheel on the inside of the corner. The resultant loss of propulsion is compensated for by an increase in drive power.

BMW xDrive now also destined for success in the BMW 6-Series.
BMW has offered its customers all-wheel-drive vehicles for more than 25 years. From the outset, BMW used the transfer of power to both axles not only to optimise traction on loose surfaces and in adverse weather conditions, but also to enhance dynamic performance through corners. Over the years, all-wheel drive has developed from an option initially limited to selected models to a growth driver for the ongoing expansion of the model range.

The worldwide success of xDrive has also been aided by the introduction of the BMW X models. With the BMW X5, BMW X6, BMW X3 and BMW X1, the range now includes four models which set the benchmark in their segments in terms of agility and driving pleasure. In these models, as elsewhere in the BMW range, the all-wheel-drive system not only gives drivers a traction and stability advantage, but also plays a key role in delivering stand-out dynamic performance. Alongside the triumphant progress of the BMW X models, the number of all-wheel-drive variants in other model series has also grown consistently. Today, xDrive models can be found in the BMW 3-Series, BMW 5-Series, BMW 7-Series and now, for the first time, the BMW 6-Series range.

The new BMW 640d xDrive Coupe injects an extra dose of variety into the BMW 6-Series, and the intelligent all-wheel-drive system is also fitted in the BMW 650i xDrive Coupe. In this model, xDrive divides the power generated by a V8 engine with BMW TwinPower Turbo technology between the front and rear wheels. The power unit underneath the bonnet of the BMW 650i xDrive Coupe develops maximum output of 300 kW/407 hp and peak torque of 600 Newton metres (443 lb-ft), and again links up with the eight-speed Sports automatic gearbox. With the added benefits of xDrive on board, the car can sprint from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 4.8 seconds.

BMW 6-Series Coupe offers greater variety.
With three engine variants (bearing the BMW 640i, BMW 650i and BMW 640d badges), a choice between BMW's traditional rear-wheel drive and intelligent all-wheel-drive technology, state-of-the-art chassis technology and an array of innovative and - in some cases - unique equipment features, BMW brings an exclusive product package to the premium luxury-class coupe table.

The new BMW 6-Series Coupe can also be equipped with a specially developed M Sport package. The aerodynamic, exterior and interior components designed in familiar M style clearly showcase the sports car character of the 6-Series Coupe. Equipment includes an M aerodynamics package with bespoke body components for the front end, side sills and rear apron, exhaust tailpipe embellishers in Chrome Dark, LED front fog lamps and 19-inch light-alloy wheels in M double-spoke design. 20-inch light-alloy wheels in M double-spoke design can also be ordered as an option. Inside, features such as M-specific Alcantara/leather sports seats in Anthracite with Blue contrast stitching, an M leather steering wheel with multifunction buttons and gearshift paddles, and Aluminium Hexagon interior trim strips all play their part in creating a full-blooded driving experience. The M Sport package also includes door sills bearing the M logo, as well as an M driver's footrest.

The BMW 6-Series Coupe offers seating for four immersed in a luxurious ambience, while its 460-litre boot can accommodate three 46-inch golfbags or two medium-sized hard-shell suitcases plus a flight case. The comfort-enhancing equipment fitted as standard in the new BMW 6-Series Coupe includes 2-zone automatic climate control, a multifunction steering wheel, electric steering column adjustment, electrically adjustable and heated exterior mirrors, Cruise Control with braking function, a rain sensor with automatic headlight range control, a HiFi audio system and the control system iDrive with a freestanding Control Display in flatscreen design. Among the highlights on the options list are Adaptive LED Headlights and the Bang & Olufsen High End Surround Sound System.

A rich variety of driver assistance systems and mobility services from BMW ConnectedDrive also help to give the new BMW 6-Series Coupe its innovative character. Enhancing convenience during a journey, for example, are services such as a personal assistant who is at your service around the clock and searches for addresses, inputting them as destinations directly into the navigation system. The Real-Time Traffic Information function, meanwhile, transfers extraordinarily precise data and diversion recommendations to the navigation system.

Other supportive functions include Active Cruise Control with Stop & Go function, Speed Limit Info, a rear-view camera, Surround View and BMW Parking Assistant. The scope of in-car infotainment, meanwhile, enters a new dimension: the Apps option and BMW Connected application allows Apple iPhone owners to use Facebook, Twitter and the web radio function inside their BMW 6-Series Coupe. And the office functions enable calendar entries, for example, or e-mails on a smartphone to be shown in the vehicle display and read out to the driver. ConnectedDrive features also help to improve safety. The new-generation BMW Head-Up Display offers optimised display quality, with a full spectrum of colours now available for the graphics, allowing extremely realistic-looking symbols to be projected onto the windscreen. Other functions include Advanced Emergency Call with automatic position finding and accident severity detection, BMW Night Vision with pedestrian recognition, the Lane Change Warning System and the Lane Departure Warning System.
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Thursday, January 24, 2013

Porsche Cayenne Turbo S, 2013

  • Porsche Cayenne Turbo S, 2013

The new Porsche Cayenne Turbo S assumes top position in the Porsche SUV model range with its engine power of 550 hp (405 kW). With its complex active chassis, the top athlete in SUV clothing surpasses the driving performance of many sports cars. All of the basic Cayenne properties such as versatile offroad capabilities, high ride comfort and superior towing power have been preserved without exception. Its NEDC fuel consumption of 11.5 litres per 100 km is the same as that of the Cayenne Turbo, which makes it more fuel-efficient in relation to its engine power. The new Turbo S model has an extra 50 hp of power compared to the Cayenne Turbo, as well as a torque boosted from 700 Nm to 750 Newton metres, and it converts them into faster acceleration and a higher top speed. The sprint from zero to 100 km/h takes just 4.5 seconds (-0.2 seconds), and the SUV accelerates to a top speed of 283 km/h (+ 5 km/h).

The Porsche Cayenne Turbo S was systematically configured for maximum dynamic performance. Therefore, it incorporates all relevant control systems as standard equipment. From the Cayenne Turbo it takes the combination of an air suspension and active PASM damping control. Then there is Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control (PDCC), which reduces the roll angle in curves to practically zero, improving agility and comfort equally. Porsche Torque Vectoring Plus (PTV Plus), which is also standard, operates with torque vectoring at the rear wheels together with an electronically controlled rear differential lock, which improves traction and therefore offers more agility in every driving situation. The new Cayenne Turbo S is also equipped with the Sport Chrono package as standard.

The exterior and add-on equipment of the Porsche Cayenne Turbo S live up to the high standards of a top model. Numerous exterior features such as the air inlet screens, headlight housings and mirror parts are painted in high-gloss black. The standard 21-inch 911 Turbo II wheels with coloured Porsche badges were exclusively designed for the Cayenne Turbo S; their inside surfaces are painted in high-gloss black.

Porsche designers created bi-colour leather packages in new colours and colour patterns specifically for the new Porsche Cayenne Turbo S. These interior features are available in black/carrera red or black/luxor beige colour combinations. The bi-colour leather packages that are reserved for the new top model were extended by adding decorative seams in the contrasting colours carrera red and luxor beige. The Carbon interior package complements the leather features and highlights the sophistication of vehicle and materials.

In Germany, the Porsche Cayenne Turbo S is priced at 151,702 euros including VAT and deliveries begin in January 2013.
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Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Aston Martin V12 Vantage Roadster, 2013

  •  Aston Martin V12 Vantage Roadster, 2013

Aston Martin is lifting the lid on an extreme new sports car with the global debut of the Aston Martin V12 Vantage Roadster.

The new sports car, available as a limited edition in selected markets worldwide, immediately becomes the most potent example of the open-top Vantage range and mixes the breath-taking power of Aston Martin's naturally aspirated 6.0-litre V12 engine with the established thrills of Vantage Roadster driving for what is an unforgettable sports car experience.

The Aston Martin V12 Vantage Roadster's 6.0-litre engine, mated as in the Coupe to a six-speed manual gearbox, generates 517 PS at 6,500 rpm and a muscular 570 Nm of torque at 5,750 rpm. It has been intelligently packaged into the Vantage Roadster's compact form to fully exploit the sports-orientated model's ample natural agility.

The naturally-aspirated V12 provides high levels of power and torque yet it delivers a flexible, refined driving experience illuminated with the potential for truly electrifying performance. The 0-62 mph sprint is dispatched in just 4.5 seconds while this most potent Aston Martin Roadster is capable of 190 mph.

While the Roadster naturally shares much of the technical and specification features of the V12 Vantage Coupe, some elements are redesigned to take account of the Roadster's neat packaging and engaging dynamics.

The Aston Martin V12 Vantage Roadster features a redesigned rear boot lid and lower front air intake to maintain a level of dynamic performance that's fully in keeping with the V12 Coupe, while there are also a number of unique chassis revisions. These include a modified rear damper set-up, front and rear damper valve tuning and a new rear spring design.

These changes, in conjunction with Aston Martin's use of Pirelli P Zero Corsa tyres, ensure the sports car delivers dramatic straight-line performance as well as outstanding handling.

Styled to be as beautiful as it is potent, the new Roadster boasts a number of eye-catching additions that underline its sporty characteristics. Carbon fibre side strakes; a carbon fibre front splitter and rear diffuser; carbon fibre mirror caps and carbon fibre rear lamp infills - plus the new forged alloy wheel design - should leave the sports car cognoscenti in no doubt that this is a truly exclusive Aston Martin.

At the rear, the boot lid on the Aston Martin V12 Vantage Roadster incorporates a more pronounced 'flip' to reduce rear lift and improve stability at high speeds. The V12's diffuser houses a large, centre-mounted oil cooler and two large tail-pipe finishers.

As with the front splitter, the carbon fibre rear diffuser is hand-made to ensure the direction and consistency of the weave and ensure the best possible finish.

Inside, there are other distinguishing features that make the new car stand out from its illustrious siblings in the sought-after Aston Martin V8 Vantage and V12 Vantage line-up. Subtle additions such as the use of glass switches in the lower centre stack elevate yet further the luxurious ambience in the Aston Martin V12 Vantage Roadster cabin.

While for those seeking the ultimate in Aston Martin V12 Vantage Roadster personalisation, a package of interior trim comprising carbon fibre facia and carbon fibre gearshift surround is available.

Unique to the V12 Vantage and new V12 Vantage Roadster is the engine's "Sport" mode button, which enables the driver to select between two different powertrain modes.

Normal mode is the default from start-up and provides not only a more relaxed throttle response but also a quieter, more refined exhaust note. This creates a more progressive throttle response, suited to 'everyday' situations such as when driving in heavy traffic.

Sport mode, meanwhile, is designed for use in more dynamic driving situations where sharper responses are required. It has a number of tangible effects on the powertrain including a sharper throttle response, with the engine delivering more torque during the early stages of throttle pedal travel. Exhaust system bypass valves are also kept open for longer to create a particularly sporty exhaust note.

Aston Martin Chief Executive Officer Dr Ulrich Bez said: "The V12 Vantage models are, first and foremost, driver's cars - inviting and fully rewarding the driver's full involvement.
Available to order in selected markets, the new Aston Martin V12 Vantage Roadster is priced at £150,000 RRP in the UK.

Technical Specifications
        Two-door, two-seat layout
        VH bonded aluminium structure
        Aluminium, magnesium alloy, composite and steel body
        Extruded aluminium door side impact beams
        High Intensity Discharge headlamps (dipped beam)
        Halogen projector headlamps (main beam)
        LED rear lamps

        All-alloy quad overhead cam 48 valve 5,935cc V12
        Compression ratio 10.7:1
        Front mid-mounted engine, rear-wheel drive
        Fully-catalysed stainless steel exhaust system with active bypass valves
        Power: 517 PS at 6,500 rpm
        Torque: 570 Nm at 5,750 rpm
        0-62 mph (100 km/h): 4.5 seconds
        Top speed: 190 mph (305 km/h)

        Rear mid-mounted six-speed manual gearbox
        Alloy torque tube with carbon fibre prop shaft
        Limited-slip differential
        Final drive ratio 3.71:1

        Rack and pinion
        Column tilt and reach adjustment

        Length: 4,382mm
        Width: 2,022mm (including mirrors)
        Height: 1,256mm
        Wheelbase: 2,600mm
        Fuel Tank: 80 l
        Weight: 1,760kg

   Front: Independent double wishbone incorporating anti-dive geometry, coil springs, anti-roll bar and monotube dampers
   Rear: Independent double wishbones with anti-squat and anti-lift geometry, dual-rate coil springs, anti-roll bar and monotube dampers

    Wheels and tyres
        Front: 9J x 19" Pirelli P Zero Corsa 255/35 ZR19
        Rear: 11J x 19" Pirelli P Zero Corsa 295/30 ZR19
        Tyre repair kit

        Front: Ventilated carbon ceramic discs - 398 mm diameter with six-piston calipers
        Rear: Ventilated carbon ceramic discs - 360 mm diameter with four-piston calipers
        Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) with Track mode
        Anti-lock braking system (ABS)
        Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD)
        Emergency Brake Assist (EBA)
        Traction Control

    Standard equipment
        Glass switches
        Carbon fibre door pulls
        Leather trimmed steering wheel
        Memory seats and exterior mirrors (three positions)
        Sports seats with 10-way electric adjustment, including height, tilt and lumbar adjustment
        Dual Stage Driver and Passenger Front Airbags
        Side Airbags (Sports seats only)
        Heated rear screen
        Automatic temperature control
        Trip computer
        Cruise control
        Hard Disk Drive (HDD) satellite navigation system
        Bluetooth telephone preparation
        Powerfold exterior mirrors
        Rain-sensing wipers
        Rear parking sensors
        Automatic headlamps
        Auto-dimming interior rear view mirror
        Tyre pressure monitoring
        Alarm and immobiliser
        Remote-control central door locking
        Battery disconnect switch
        Tracking device (UK only)
        160W Aston Martin Audio System
        MP3 player connectivity

    Optional equipment
        Carbon Fibre Interior Pack (comprising carbon fibre facia and gearshift surround)
        Lightweight seats with six-way adjustment, including front and rear height adjust (does not include side airbags or passenger airbag cut-off switch)
        700W Aston Martin Premium Audio System with Dolby® Pro Logic II®
        Bang & Olufsen BeoSound 1000W Audio System
        Black Bang & Olufsen speaker grilles and acoustic lens towers
        Black finish grille
        Bright finish grille
        Black exhaust tailpipes
        Black bonnet and side strake meshes
        Personalised sill plaques
        Garage door opener (Europe only)
        Tracking device
        First aid kit
        Ashtray and cigar lighter
        Boot-mounted umbrella
        Front parking sensors
        Reversing camera
        Heated seats (Sports seats only)
        ISOFIX and fixed-height passenger seat (Sports seat only)
        Battery conditioner
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Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Aston Martin DB9, 2013

  •  Aston Martin DB9, 2013

The Aston Martin has revealed full details of the latest major enhancements to its iconic Sports GT car, the luxurious and potent DB9.

Appearing hot on the heels of the all-new Vanquish Super GT, the introduction of 13 Model Year Aston Martin DB9 gives the British luxury sports car maker the perfect opportunity to further enrich the appeal of its mainstay in the GT sector, with significant developments affecting styling inside and out, plus key changes under the new DB9's classically beautiful 'skin'.

The styling changes see Aston Martin DB9 adopt an even more lithe, fluid and pure form reminiscent of the outgoing Aston Martin Virage which ceases production with immediate effect. Taking a classic Aston Martin GT silhouette as its base, the new DB9 adds a more pronounced rear boot 'flip' to further enhance the aerodynamic performance of the car.

The exterior design of the DB9 communicates a powerfully assertive yet elegant character. The surfaces display taught lines and subtle muscular forms that point to the underlying power of this renowned Sports GT.

Aston Martin DB9 sits low and wide, visually 'planting' the car on the road, communicating a clearly athletic stance. The car's inherent width is accentuated by the 'light catcher' feature which runs from the lower front bumper and continues along the sill of the car creating a chiselled, determined look.

Available from launch in either Coupe or Volante body styles, DB9 13MY clearly has a strong breadth of appeal.

Bi-xenon headlamps provide the car with a clear focus, while subtle feature lines run along and underneath the headlamps, visually widening the car.

A large lower front grille feeds air into the standard Carbon Ceramic Braking system, while the front splitter also serves to visually widen the car. For those DB9 buyers in search of an even more sporty appearance there is now a carbon fibre front splitter available as part of the exterior Carbon Pack.

Look a little closer and the true beauty of the Aston Martin DB9's details becomes apparent. The front grille, for instance - inspired by the design of Aston Martin's sold-out One-77 hypercar - features five horizontal vanes which are chamfered to create an aerofoil profile. Meanwhile the bonnet vents are authentic zinc with distinctive vanes. These, along with the new grille and pronounced side strakes, are classic Aston Martin design cues.

Aston Martin DB9 13MY also features Aston Martin's integrated side strake and LED side-repeaters. The long strake accentuates the lean, long lines of the DB9's nose. Once again, Aston Martin's craftsmanship is clearly demonstrated in the use of metal grilles and clean lines of the polished metal castings.

At the rear of the car, the Aston Martin DB9's wide track width and muscular rear haunches clearly communicate the power delivered at the rear wheels.

The inside, as out, the revised DB9 becomes yet more elegant and more luxurious. Unmistakably Aston Martin, the Sports GT's opulently-appointed interior boasts authentic materials and the highest levels of attention to detail.

For instance, Aston Martin DB9 13MY comes with a stunning leather welt feature first seen on Virage. Inspired by luxury leather goods, the welts have been designed and developed by Aston Martin's master craftsmen. Requiring meticulous levels of control to hand stitch and specially-developed manufacturing facilities, the welts are created by sandwiching a narrow strip of leather between two opposing leather seat panels, and fixed using precise stitching.

A further demonstration of Aston Martin's renowned attention to detail and craftsmanship can be seen in the jewel-like glass switchgear used throughout the interior of the revised DB9. Details such as these glass switches clearly demonstrate the luxury sports car maker's commitment to the use of authentic, high value materials.

Those DB9 buyers seeking an even more sporting ambience inside might be tempted by an additional interior option on 2013 Aston Martin DB9 - Aston Martin's lightweight seats. These are available when the 2+0 seating option is selected and use a state-of-the-art carbon fibre and Kevlar® composite structure.

When specified, the seats save 17kg per car as well as offering occupants more support at the shoulders. This improves comfort and reduces stress on the back during long stints of focused dynamic driving in particular.

Aston Martin Chief Executive Officer Dr Ulrich Bez said: "I am very excited to be unveiling the new DB9 now. My team here at Gaydon has been working hard for many months to improve and update key aspects of this superb Sports GT - the mainstay of our sports car range - and I believe the results to be exceptional.

Aside from the undeniably beautiful exterior styling and now even more luxurious interior, there are many important and impressive engineering changes that demonstrate Aston Martin's renowned ability to create compelling cars in the modern era.

Engineering - great British innovation
This Aston Martin DB9 sees the introduction of the new generation AM11 V12 engine. The new V12 takes some of the 'Gen4' VH architecture hardware technology developed for Aston Martin's forthcoming all-new super GT, the Vanquish, but has been tuned to suit the character of DB9. The result is an engine with effortless torque of up to 620 Nm and peak power of 517 PS - both significantly improved versus the outgoing unit.

Key features of the AM11 unit include a revised block and new head including dual variable valve timing, enlarged throttle bodies, uprated fuel pump, revised intake manifold and machined combustion chambers.

Meanwhile, DB9 13MY achieves compliance with the latest European pedestrian protection regulations and does so in a new way that is without any compromise to the exterior design of the car and does without the need for otherwise surplus deployable systems.

To accomplish this, Aston Martin's designers and engineers have worked together to make significant changes to the underbody structure of the car including a lowered engine, new bonnet, front bumper construction and grille surround moulding.

Their resulting design is the subject of patent pending applications and enables the grille to move rearwards on impact, whilst the central and outboard chin stiffeners give rigidity to the lower structure and support achievement of the leg impact regulations. Cut-outs on the front wing catwalks contribute to the achievement of the headform regulation.

This means Aston Martin is able to avoid conventional solutions such as the use of plastic grilles and straightforward nose cone bumpers that stretch up in front of the bonnet. Instead, it has created a clever new and bespoke solution that preserves the unmistakable visual appeal of the VH architecture leading edge bonnet and its extruded aluminium grille.

Dr Bez said: "The new AM11 V12 engine together with our unique and patent pending solution for enhanced pedestrian protection - these are clear examples of the engineering excellence that continues to make Aston Martin the creator of the most desired and admired luxury sports cars in the world."

Chassis - important upgrades all round
The 2013 Aston Martin DB9 boasts a number of important enhancements over the outgoing car's already impressive inventory. The braking system, for instance, now uses as standard Carbon Ceramic Matrix (CCM) discs and calipers supplied by acknowledged global brake experts Brembo.

While this DB9 offers a refined, comfortable sports GT drive experience, the new carbon brakes provide the confidence and reassurance of reduced brake fade when pressing the car to its sports capability.

CCM consists of a compound of carbon fibre which is impregnated with silicon, injected into a mould and baked at ultra-high temperature. The resulting material is not only much tougher than conventional cast iron discs but also dissipates heat more rapidly to provide reduced fading.

The brake rotors, (398mm diameter at the front, 360mm at the rear), are mounted onto the bespoke disc bells using a 'floating disc' system. This allows the discs to flex relative to their mountings thereby making them less prone to 'judder'.

The discs are cross-drilled to help keep the brake pads clean while also helping to ensure that gases emitted by the pads during braking do not build up between the pad and disc surface. The holes also help to cool the surface of the pads and the discs themselves. Air intakes mounted behind the lower front grille also force feed air into the brake discs to aid cooling.

Saving around 12.5 kg versus a conventional cast iron system the Aston Martin DB9's CCM brakes not only reduce overall vehicle weight but also mean that a better balance between ride comfort and handling can be struck. The lower rotational mass also gives improved acceleration, braking and steering feel.

The luxury sports car also boasts Aston Martin's 'Gen4' VH architecture version of the brand's Adaptive Damping System (ADS). This next generation ADS has been enhanced to include three modes: Normal, Sport and Track.

In 'Normal' mode, the damping is set to deliver the greatest ride comfort, with the electronically controlled dampers automatically adjusting to provide the optimum settings to suit driver input, speed and the road surface quality. In 'Sport' mode, the damping is set-up to be more focused at delivering sharper handling and control during dynamic driving while in the 'Track' mode the damping operates within the range of its stiffest settings.

The different damping modes available help appreciably broaden DB9's character, adapting its set-up to suit the driver's requirements in different contexts. It can be a comfortable and compliant GT car in Normal mode as well as being a firm and direct sports car in Sport setting and offering highly precise flat cornering in Track mode.

Equipment - luxury comes as standard

As befits a luxury GT in this class 2013 DB9 of course features convenience items such as automatic headlights, now operated by a new master switch unit control panel located on the lower instrument panel beneath the driver's side air-vent.

Automatic windscreen wipers are also a standard-fit feature, with their operation triggered by a rain sensor built into the header pod in front of the rear-view mirror.

Arch-filling 20-inch alloys wheels in a variety of designs, full-grain leather interior, leather sports steering wheel, electrically adjustable Sports seats with side airbags, memory seats and exterior mirrors, satellite navigation, automatic temperature control, trip computer and Organic Electroluminescent (OEL) displays - the DB9 13MY's list of standard equipment is suitably generous while buyers keen to further enhance the luxury look and feel of their Aston Martin sports car can select from an extensive range of optional equipment features.

Aston Martin DB9 13MY features the optional reversing camera currently available on the Rapide four-door sports car and forthcoming Vanquish super GT. The camera - standard in the US market - is integrated into the rear boot lid above the number plate, with the image visible on the LCD screen folding out of the centre stack. The reversing camera is activated when reverse gear is selected and is deactivated once the car is driving forwards at more than 5 mph.

Meanwhile there are two Carbon Packs introduced on DB9 13MY - one exterior and one interior - to offer further personalisation possibilities. All of the carbon fibre has a 2 x 2 twill design that is finished with a clear lacquer.

The exterior pack comprises carbon fibre front splitter and rear diffuser, carbon fibre mirror arms and caps and dark tailpipes with a graphitic finish. The interior pack offers a carbon fibre upper facia, carbon fibre gear selector paddles and carbon fibre door pulls.

Buyers can opt for either Aston Martin wings or DB9 headrest embroidery. The DB9 embroidery design has been refreshed and also has a new stitch pattern on 13MY cars.

Finally, a leather headlining is now available as an option on Aston Martin DB9. The large central panel of the headlining can be finished in leather, while the cant rail trim and header trim remain Alcantara-coloured.

Summarising the significantly enhanced appeal of the 2013 DB9, product manager Andy Haslam said: "DB9 has, rightly, been positioned at the hub of our GT segment offerings for some years now.
The introduction of this significantly enhanced 13MY car means Aston Martin buyers have a very clear and compelling model line-up from which to choose.
Taking the best elements of Virage, adding important new upgrades and combining these with the iconic DB9 nomenclature we have created a compelling new Sports GT that sits proudly at the very heart of the Aston Martin sports car range.

With the exceptional new Vanquish super GT occupying the top of the range, there is now a clear and logical step from DB9.

Aston Martin DB9 13MY is available to order now through Aston Martin dealers worldwide, with the first cars making their market debuts in UK and Western Europe in October. Prices are confirmed as £131,995 (UK RRP); €174,994 (German RRP); $185,400 (USA MSRP); and 21,995,000 JPY (Japan RRP).
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Monday, January 21, 2013

Ford Atlas Concept, 2013

  • Ford Atlas Concept, 2013

Ford unveiled the Ford Atlas Concept to showcase the design, capability, fuel efficiency and smart technologies that will define future pickup trucks.

"The Ford Atlas Concept previews the innovations that will transform what people expect from their pickup," said Raj Nair, Ford group vice president, Global Product Development. "With 36 years as America's best-selling pickup, we are absolutely committed to setting the agenda in the truck market."

Design with purpose
The Ford Atlas Concept is inspired by decades of listening to customers at the places they work and play. The result is a purpose-driven design with prominent wheel arches, a wide stance and chiseled grille - all to reinforce its functional Built Ford Tough® image.

"We wanted the concept to reflect how Ford trucks help customers in both their worlds - professionally and personally," said J Mays, Ford group vice president and chief creative officer. "Every surface and feature in the vehicle has been crafted for purpose and capability while retaining an unmistakable Built Ford Tough look."

Designers enhanced truck functionality, while creating new advanced features(see infographic here). For example, multiple tie-down points are integrated within the cargo box walls and load floor, along with 110-volt electrical outlets in the cargo box to charge power tools. An integrated roof carrying system and hidden extendable ramps give the truck unique functionality for a variety of jobs.

The interior is themed with structural styling cues and features the latest thinking in comfort, utility and refinement. Innovative, thin, lightweight seating in comfortable leather allows for extra legroom for rear passengers - along with integrated storage for smaller items. "Floating" instrument pods and glove-friendly buttons and controls keep the interior functional and ruggedly stylish.

Leading fuel efficiency
The Ford Atlas Concept features a next-generation EcoBoost® powertrain, which introduces truck-enhanced Auto Start-Stop engine shutoff technology. Auto Start-Stop shuts off the engine when stopped in traffic to save fuel - and smartly suspends the feature when the truck knows it is towing.

EcoBoost engines use gasoline direct injection and turbocharging to deliver fuel-economy gains of up to 20 percent and reduction of CO2 emissions of up to 15 percent, compared with larger-displacement engines. More than 500,000 EcoBoost engines have been sold globally, including 250,000 in the Ford F-150.

The Ford Atlas Concept goes further to save fuel through a combination of active aerodynamic elements that reduce wind resistance. They are:
  •     Active Grille Shutters: Automatic shutters behind the grille stay open when extra engine cooling is needed, such as during low-speed stop-and-go driving or while working in hot weather. The shutters automatically close to improve aerodynamics when cruising on the highway at steady speeds
  •     Active Wheel Shutters: Automatic shutters in the wheels are hidden to improve style at rest and low speeds, but automatically close at highway speeds to improve aerodynamics. Self-charging batteries use energy from the wheels' motion to power the shutters
  •     Drop-Down Front Air Dam: A drop-down front wind spoiler lowers at highway speeds to improve underbody airflow. The air dam is raised at low speeds to improve ground clearance - helpful for off-roading
  •     Power Running Boards: Auto-deploying running boards help passengers enter the truck at rest and tuck up against the truck when it is moving to improve aerodynamics and ground clearance

The combination of these fuel-saving features saves more than 2 mpg on the highway without diminishing towing or hauling capability.

Work and play smarter, not harder
Ford Atlas Concept is a rolling showcase of features that improve capability, durability and productivity to meet the diverse needs of pickup truck owners. Features:
  •     Dual-Purpose Tailgate Step and Cargo Cradle: The acclaimed Ford Tailgate Step goes a step further by adding the ability to also act as a cargo cradle - lifting and holding extra-long cargo items above the truck and freeing valuable bed spaceTrailer Backup Assist: This segment-first innovation allows drivers to back a trailer with the twist of a knob. Ford research shows that backing a trailer is often the most intimidating task a truck customer can face
  •     Dynamic Hitch Assist: Hitching a trailer can be time consuming and difficult. Dynamic Hitch Assist helps precisely line up the truck's hitch with the trailer coupling, eliminating maneuvering guesswork by showing visual cues in the truck's center display screen
  •     360-Degree Point-of-View Camera: A Ford truck first, the system gives a bird's-eye view of the truck to help position the vehicle in tight places or when there are obstacles near the truck - such as on a busy job site or grocery store parking lot
  •     LED Headlamps and Taillamps: Advanced LED lighting offers better road illumination than conventional halogen or HID lights and lasts longer. LED lamps also offer near-instant response, giving valuable extra warning time for following traffic
  •     LED Cargo Box and Side Mirror Lighting: Advanced, powerful yet efficient LED lighting brightly lights the cargo box and job site after the sun goes down with minimal battery drain compared to standard headlights or plug-in lights
  •     Hidden Cargo Ramps: Lightweight, durable loading ramps stowed below the cargo box can be quickly removed and set up to assist with loading wheeled items into the bed - from landscaping equipment to dirt bikes
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