Saturday, May 4, 2013

BMW M6 Coupe, 2013

  •  BMW M6 Coupe, 2013

Classical proportions, the sporty yet elegant lines of the BMW 6-Series and the familiar design language of BMW M Automobiles form the foundations for the eloquent body design of the BMW M6 Coupe and BMW M6 Convertible. Powerfully taut surfaces and precise contours underline the athletic aura of the two models. In addition, a model-specific interpretation of hallmark M styling cues includes design details which are influenced directly by technical considerations - such as the cooling air required, chassis geometry and aerodynamics - and therefore further highlight the cars' outstanding performance attributes. This is a fine example of how the ultra-dynamic character which marks out these sportiest versions of the luxurious Coupe and exclusive Convertible is authentically expressed through their design.

Front view: large air intakes, newly designed M kidney grille.
Wide air intakes, stunningly contoured headlight units and large, smooth surfaces shape the front end of the new BMW M6 Coupe and the new BMW M6 Convertible. Another eye-catching element of the car's nose is its newly designed M kidney grille, which bears an "M6" badge. The grille's black, paired kidney grille slats take their cues from the characteristic double-spoke design of the M light-alloy wheels. The 30-millimetre increase in track width over the two cars' respective 6-Series stablemates is complemented by powerfully flared front wheel arches, which sit flush with the wheels. This extra width offers a clear nod to the optimised roadholding of these high-performance sports cars. The three-dimensional shaping of their air intakes and race-inspired flaps designed to optimise airflow to the outer air intakes likewise underline the cars' forward-surging, dynamic character.

An LED accent light cuts across the tops of the Adaptive LED Headlights fitted as standard on both models. Their bright white, three-dimensional LED light rings are levelled off to striking effect at the top and lower edges. Dipped beam and main beam use both light rings. Providing the light are LED units, which are placed on a horizontal rib running through the centre of the units and feed their light into the reflectors in front of them. This ensures that the distinctive appearance of the twin circular headlights comes across clearly in every situation. The direction indicators - in the form of horizontally arranged LED units - are integrated into the headlight units below the light rings.

Side view: athletically flared wheel arches, side gills, forged M light-alloy wheels.

The familiar M athleticism of both models is also clearly visible from the side. The front side sections of the car feature familiar M gills. Their threedimensional shaping, wide chrome frames and indicator bars - which also bear the M logo - give them an extremely deep-set look. In tune with the wider wheel arches, the character lines around the gills are suitably prominent. Eye-catching creases on the likewise model-specific side skirts sweep upwards, diverting the gaze to the rear wheels.

The new BMW M6 Coupe and the new BMW M6 Convertible are fitted with 19-inch M light-alloy wheels as standard. The forged wheels feature seven double-spokes in a two-tone finish. The optional 20-inch M light-alloy wheels, meanwhile, hint at reduced weight with their five intricate double spokes and allow a clear line of sight through to the powerful braking system.

Powerfully shaped rear, typical M twin exhaust tailpipes.
Broadening towards the road and incorporating horizontal lines and generous surfaces, the design of the rear end hints at the stable roadholding and powerful poise and assurance of the new BMW M6 Coupe and new BMW M6 Convertible. The reflectors, positioned immediately below the L-shaped rear lights, provide an individual expression of sportiness.

The clearest pointer to the unmistakable identity of the two high-performance sports cars are the familiar M twin exhaust tailpipes positioned to either side of the diffuser integrated into the rear apron. The outer air intakes reflect the design of the front apron in their format and the contours of their surrounds.

CFRP roof and soft-top in unmistakable design.

Like its predecessor, the roof of the new BMW M6 Coupe is made from carbon fibre-reinforced plastic as standard. The dark colouring of the roof gives the two-door car's silhouette an extremely elongated look, which is further emphasised by a dynamic recess in the centre of the roof. The use of the lightweight material for the roof allows the car's centre of gravity to be lowered, enhancing agility. BMW Individual High-gloss Shadow Line trim (standard) draws attention to this optimised weight balance, its dark colouring covering the side window borders (or the waistline in the case of the BMW M6 Convertible) and the base and lower section of the aerodynamically optimised M exterior mirror caps.

The exclusive looks of the new BMW 6-Series Convertible are underlined by the "fin" architecture of the high-quality soft-top roof. Projecting into the rear section, the fins accentuate the car's dynamically sweeping silhouette. The heated, vertical glass rear window, which is situated just behind the rear seats, retracts independently of the soft-top itself.

Customers can choose from one non-metallic and eight metallic shades (including four exclusive M finishes) for the exterior paintwork of both models. The soft-top for the new BMW M6 Convertible is available in Black and Beige, or - as an option - in Anthracite Silver effect.

Drivetrain: Power and character.
The new BMW M6 Coupe and new BMW M6 Convertible showcase their individual style with a raft of unique styling touches and tweaks to the character of the driving experience. But they draw the output required to serve up their inspirational performance from the same source: a high-revving V8 engine with M TwinPower Turbo technology, longitudinally mounted at the front of the car, whose power is channelled to the rear wheels via a sevenspeed M Double Clutch Transmission with Drivelogic.

This powertrain combines construction features taken directly from motor sport with innovations developed under the banner of Efficient Dynamics. Its globally unparalleled package of technology comprises two turbochargers working according to the twin-scroll principle (including a cross-bank exhaust manifold), High Precision Direct Petrol Injection, VALVETRONIC variable valve timing and Double-Vanos continuously variable camshaft control. The engine is also served by an extremely powerful cooling system and a wet sump oil supply optimised to work under high lateral forces.

Output increased by 10 per cent, peak torque boosted by 30 per cent, fuel consumption and emissions cut by more than 30 per cent.

The unmistakable, typically M performance characteristics of the 4.4-litre powerplant are defined by its lightning-quick responses and forceful, linear power delivery maintained into the higher reaches of the rev range. Indeed, peak torque of 680 Newton metres (502 lb-ft) is on tap between 1,500 and 5,750 rpm. The V8 achieves its maximum output of 412 kW/560 hp between 6,000 and 7,000 rpm and can spin on to 7,200 rpm. All of which means the rev band available in the new models to generate maximum performance is almost three times wider than that of the engine powering their predecessors.

This instantaneous and sustained power delivery is the key to unlocking the cars' intoxicating acceleration. The new BMW M6 Coupe dashes from rest to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 4.2 seconds, while the new BMW M6 Convertible reaches the same speed just 0.1 seconds later. The top speed of both models is electronically limited to 250 km/h (155 mph). Specifying the optional M Driver's Package raises this barrier to 305 km/h (189 mph).

The advances in engine development enshrined in M TwinPower Turbo technology are also reflected in the two new models' significantly greater efficiency compared to their predecessors. The high operating effectiveness of the engine, the standard-fitted Auto Start-Stop function and other examples of Efficient Dynamics technology, such as Brake Energy Regeneration and the volume-controlled oil pump, help to reduce fuel consumption and emissions by some 30 per cent. The new BMW M6 Coupe cards average fuel consumption of 9.9 litres per 100 kilometres (28.5 mpg imp) in the EU test cycle and CO2 emissions of 232 grams per kilometre. The corresponding values for the new BMW M6 Convertible are 10.3 litres per 100 kilometres (27.4 mpg imp) and 239 grams per kilometre.

Harnessing the high output to dynamic effect: the seven-speed M Double Clutch Transmission with Drivelogic.

Tuned seamlessly to the performance characteristics of the V8 engine, the M Double Clutch Transmission with Drivelogic converts the powerplant's impressive thrust extremely effectively into rapid acceleration. This capability is underpinned by the DCT design principle, which effectively combines two gearboxes in one housing - yet with virtually no size or weight penalty over a conventional manual transmission. Inside the transmission, the torque is transferred via two oil-cooled wet clutches, which are engaged alternately. This allows zero interruption in the flow of power when the driver accelerates, even during gear changes.

M DCT Drivelogic offers the driver three different shift programs, both in automated mode (D) and in manual mode (S). These programs alter the transmission's shift characteristics in terms of efficiency, shift comfort and sportiness and can be activated using the rocker switch located behind the selector lever on the centre console. Added to which, the electronics also provide a Launch Control function ensuring unbeatable acceleration from a standing start, Low Speed Assistance for easier low-speed operation, and the Auto Start-Stop function for increased efficiency.

The special M gear selector is used for selecting D and S modes and for engaging reverse gear. In S mode the driver changes gears manually in a sequential format. The new BMW M6 Coupe and Convertible are also equipped as standard with a newly developed M leather steering wheel, complete with multifunction buttons and fixed gearshift paddles. In typical M configuration, the driver pulls the right-hand paddle to shift up and the lefthand paddle to shift down.

Chassis: Supreme precision in any situation.
The motor sport technology in the new BMW M6 Coupe and new BMW M6 Convertible paves the way for imposing performance on the race track, but also treats the driver to a captivating driving experience on everyday journeys from A to B. The dynamic character of both models is defined not only by their acceleration from standstill but also by their mid-range agility, the precision of their turn-in and traction when accelerating out of corners, their precisely controllable handling under intense lateral forces and their stopping capability. Paving the way for this is the model-specific chassis technology in conjunction with the Active M Differential, an ideal weight balance and optimised aerodynamic properties.

The precise interplay of the powertrain, chassis and body has been honed in detail as part of extensive testing on the NürburgringNordschleife. The upshot is an unmistakable M feeling of a particularly intense kind. As the latest innovation to optimise handling in ultra-dynamic driving situations, the optional M carbon-ceramic brake system marks its debut in the new BMW M6 Coupe and new BMW M6 Convertible.

M-specific chassis technology, Dynamic Damper Control, M Servotronic, DSC with M Dynamic Mode.

The chassis of the new BMW M6 Coupe and new BMW M6 Convertible has been developed to M specification and therefore combines outstanding performance attributes with the comfort-enhancing features drivers appreciate on an everyday basis. Like the integral rear axle, whose subframes are bolted rigidly to the body, the double-wishbone front axle boasts specific kinematics and newly developed components made from forged aluminium. Chassis mountings using large panels at the front and rear axle ensure dynamic forces are passed evenly through to the body, making for highly precise wheel control.

The standard equipment of both models also includes electronically controlled dampers. The M-specific Dynamic Damper Control system adjusts damping force electrohydraulically to provide the required responses for the driving situation at hand and fulfil the wishes of the driver. A choice of three settings allows drivers to adjust the damper characteristics to their needs and preferences.

The hydraulic rack-and-pinion steering ensures unbeatable precision and a high degree of comfort. This system has a variable ratio, which enhances straightline stability and reduces the number of steering wheel turns required when parking and turning off a road. The likewise standard Servotronic speedsensitive power assistance is specially tuned to M specification and allows drivers to choose a personal configuration with the help of three set-up options.

In addition to applying brake impulses and reducing engine output to stabilise the car, the DSC stability control system of the two high-performance sports cars also employs the services of the Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Cornering Brake Control (CBC) and Dynamic Brake Control (DBC), along with a Brake Assistant, the Brake Drying function and Start-Off Assistant. M Dynamic Mode (MDM) can be activated to override the basic setting by pressing the DSC button. By raising the intervention thresholds of DSC, this mode makes it easier to move off on snow or loose sand with slightly spinning driven wheels. MDM mode also paves the way for the familiar M self-steering response. "DSC Off" mode can likewise be activated at the touch of a button.

Active M Differential delivers outstanding traction in dynamic driving situations.

The new BMW M6 Coupe and new BMW M6 Convertible also impress by offering optimum traction in tricky road and weather conditions and under dynamic acceleration out of corners. Working behind the scenes to this end is an innovative variable locking differential in the rear differential. The Active M Differential allows the engine's power to be split precisely and quickly between the left and right rear wheel according to the requirements of the driving situation at any particular moment.

An electronically controlled multi-plate limited-slip differential helps to reduce the rotational speed differences between the rear wheels, which is needed to optimise traction. The Active M Differential control unit is linked up to the DSC stability control system, allowing every driving situation to be precisely analysed and a loss of traction at one wheel to be detected at an early stage. The locking effect generated in response can be varied between 0 and 100 per cent, enabling wheel spin to be prevented on slippery surfaces, in instances where the left and right rear wheel have widely differing friction coefficients, in tight bends and when changing direction extremely dynamically.

An innovation for precise handling: M carbon-ceramic brakes.
The latest version of the compound high-performance braking system helps give the new BMW M6 Coupe and new BMW M6 Convertible outstanding stopping power. Its stand-out features include even lower weight, excellent feel and fade-free performance even under heavy loads. The diameter of the inner-vented and perforated brake discs is 400 millimetres at the front and 396 millimetres at the rear. The six-piston fixed-calliper brakes at the front axle - painted dark blue metallic and complete with the M logo - are radially bolted to the pivot bearing.

The M carbon-ceramic brakes available for the first time for the new BMW M6 Coupe and new BMW M6 Convertible (in conjunction with 20-inch M light-alloy wheels) take the cars' stopping power to another new level. The brake discs measure 410 millimetres in diameter at the front axle and 396 millimetres at the rear. Made from a new type of carbon-fibre compound ceramic, the discs boast even greater resistance to heat and combine this with significantly reduced rotating masses. The M carbon-ceramic brakes are 19.4 kg lighter than the standard-fitted items, yet the innovative material also displays exceptional resistance to wear, and the operating life of the discs is many times that of conventional equivalents. The optional M carbon-ceramic system also sees six-piston fixed-calliper brakes at the front teaming up with single-piston floating-calliper brakes at the rear. The callipers can be identified by their special gold-coloured paint finish.
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Friday, May 3, 2013

Bentley Continental GT Speed Convertible, 2014

  •  Bentley Continental GT Speed Convertible, 2014

Bentley Continental GT Speed Convertible, the new open-top performance flagship of Bentley - and the world's fastest four-seat convertible - makes its international debut at the 2013 North American International Auto Show, Detroit.

The new Bentley Continental GT Speed Convertible combines the sensory pleasures of roof-down luxury touring with the shattering performance of a 625 PS (616 bhp) twin-turbocharged 6.0 litre W12, while delivering a fifteen per cent improvement in fuel efficiency. The close-ratio eight-speed transmission, uprated and lowered suspension and retuned steering provide exhilarating acceleration and sharp, communicative handling without detriment to the renowned ride comfort of Bentley's Continental convertible. Permanent all-wheel drive ensures optimum traction and power delivery whatever the road conditions.

Taking its place at the pinnacle of the Bentley Continental range, the new GT Speed Convertible has a top speed of 202 mph (325 km/h) and in true Bentley style, no compromises have been made in craftsmanship, luxury or refinement to deliver this unrivalled performance.

Subtle sporting design cues include exclusive 21-inch alloy wheels, dark-tint grilles and 'rifled' exhaust tail pipes. Inside its handcrafted cabin, the GT Speed convertible features the Mulliner Driving Specification as standard, blending contemporary luxury with a distinctly sporting character.

Commenting on the new Continental GT Speed Convertible, Bentley Chairman and Chief Executive Dr Wolfgang Schreiber said: "Following the recent successful introduction of the GT Speed, the new GT Speed Convertible will appeal to drivers who seek the sensory thrills of the world's fastest four-seat soft-top and the practicality of a year-round grand tourer, together with unrivalled levels of luxury and refinement. It is designed for those who accept no compromise."

Powertrain: 12 cylinders, 625 PS (616 bhp) and 8 gears
The Bentley Continental GT Speed convertible shares its powertrain specification with its Bentley stablemate the GT Speed coupé. The 625 PS (616 bhp) twin-turbocharged, 48-valve, W12 engine powers the new convertible to 60 mph in 4.1 seconds (0-100 km/h in 4.4 s.) and onto a top speed of 202 mph (325 km/h). Nought to 100 mph (160 km/h) is despatched in only 9.7 seconds. Peak torque - an impressive 800 Nm (590 lb.ft) - is reached at just 2000 revs/min and maintains that level through to 5000 revs/min for effortless, refined performance at all times.

The latest ME17 engine management system, capable of performing 180 million individual calculations per second, provides enhanced turbocharger control and torque management, enhancing driveability. In common with all W12-engined models, the GT Speed convertible features an energy recuperation system. Together with a close-ratio, quick-shifting eight-speed transmission, this has resulted in a 15 per cent improvement in fuel economy and CO2 emissions compared with the first generation Speed, with a commensurate increase in tank range.

The new Bentley Continental GT Speed Convertible's powertrain is even more tractable than its Speed predecessor, and just as fuel-efficient as the new W12 Continental GT. Switching the gear selector to 'Sport' mode however demonstrates the dual personality of the new GT Speed convertible, delivering a sharper throttle response, gear-shifting at higher engine speeds and faster 'block shifting' (eg 8th direct to 4th gear) for instantly accessible acceleration. The enhanced performance is accentuated by a glorious baritone snarl from the free-breathing exhaust, a thrilling soundtrack to the magnificent powerhouse under the bonnet.

Chassis; lower, sharper and more involving
With torsional stiffness a class-leading 22,500 Nm/degree, the bodyshell of the Bentley Continental GT Speed convertible is exceptionally rigid, laying the perfect foundation for a more engaging driving experience. The aluminium double-wishbone front suspension and trapezoidal multi-link rear setup feature revised air suspension springs and dampers for improved agility and body control with little sacrifice in ride comfort.

The self-levelling system is set 10 mm lower than the 575PS Continental GT convertible. Stiffer suspension bushes ensure sharp, communicative handling, while uprated anti-roll bars optimise the handling balance. The result is improved body control under hard cornering together with greater agility and, because steering plays an essential role in feeding response and grip back to the driver, the Servotronic steering has also been recalibrated for the Speed specification.

The Electronic Stability Control (ESC) system is optimised for the new engine management system to deliver both outstanding safety and greater driver involvement. The ESC system retains the "Dynamic Mode" setting that allows increased wheel slip at higher speeds, with engine torque reinstated more quickly after a system intervention. Together, these systems give the keen driver more opportunity to exploit the full potential of the new chassis set-up and higher power output.

Exterior - the darker side of Bentley design
From outside, the Bentley Continental GT Speed convertible is distinguished by a matrix radiator grille and bumper air intakes in a dark-tint chrome finish. The 21" Speed alloy wheels are unique to this model, and are available in silver or an optional dark tint. Large, elliptical exhaust tailpipes feature a rifled interior, while a further, subtle design touch is revealed when the bonnet is opened - the black inlet manifold is unique to the Continental Speed models. As with the GT Speed coupé, the winged 'B' badge which crowns the radiator shell is set upon a black enamel background.

The front wings of the Bentley Continental GT Speed Convertible are created in superformed aluminium, their seamless form and crisply-defined body creases creating an impression of tension and muscularity. The 10 mm lower suspension and unique 21" wheels accentuate the wide, low and poised stance. Despite the supercar performance, additional spoilers are unnecessary - the gentle lip on the double-horseshoe bootlid generates all the downforce the GT Speed Convertible needs, even at over 200 mph (325 km/h).

Interior: sumptuous, exclusive luxury and advanced technology
Inside, exclusive treadplates featuring the 'Speed' legend welcome you to a four-seat cabin that features the hand-craftsmanship of the Mulliner Driving Specification, with its distinctive diamond-quilted hide upholstery. For the Continental GT Speed models Bentley offers an exclusive Dark Tint Aluminium 'engine spin' finish, inspired by the dashboards of the Le Mans winning Bentleys of the 1920s. Its understated shade is the perfect complement to the exterior's dark tint chrome radiator and bumper grilles. Other optional finishes include the full range of fine wood veneers and a satin-finish Carbon Fibre option for fascia and centre console.

The infotainment system features Bentley's latest software upgrades, which vary from region to region but include refinements such as point of interest mapping, optional satellite landscape imagery, live traffic data and, where the infrastructure supports it, digital radio. The system features 15 Gigabytes of available music space, as well as the facility to play music via an iPod, MP3 player, the car's own six-disc CD changer or SD card.

Flat panel Balanced Mode Radiator (BMR) speakers, which combine the functions of separate tweeter and midrange speakers in one unit, direct the sound with accuracy and provide greater clarity across the audible spectrum. Alternatively, the audiophile Naim for Bentley system, incorporating custom-built speakers and eight individual Digital Sound Processing modes, is available as an option. As a thoughtful touch, the audio balance settings automatically alter when the roof is lowered to compensate for the change in listening environment.

The thrill of the open road, 365 days a year
The new Bentley Continental GT Speed Convertible offers the luxury and refinement of a coupé yet transforms into a head-turning open tourer at the touch of a button. The four-layer hood ensures high levels of refinement and acoustic insulation. Exhaustively tested in all conditions from -30°C to +50°C or more, it resists even monsoon-force rain and maintains comfortable, draft-free warmth even on the coldest days.

Another practical feature, the neck warmer, makes open air driving an appealing and comfortable prospect even on the cooler days of spring and autumn. With the hood down, the Bentley Continental GT Speed convertible offers sensational performance with the sensory amplification of open-air motoring. Hood up, it's as practical a year-round proposition as its coupé stablemate.

As with every Bentley Continental model, the GT Speed convertible offers the reassuring stability of permanent all-wheel drive, biased 60:40 in favour of the rear so the spirited driver can control the car's line with the throttle. The rear-biased torque split also minimises understeer during hard cornering while the system varies torque between the front and rear axles for optimum grip in all road and weather conditions.

The result is an exhilarating combination of performance and practicality; a Bentley that can tackle sun-drenched boulevard or snowy alpine pass with equal aplomb.
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Thursday, May 2, 2013

Acura RLX, 2014

  •  Acura RLX, 2014

Acura took the wraps off its all-new 2014 RLX luxury-performance sedan - the most powerful, spacious, and technologically advanced Acura sedan, ever. In keeping with the Man-Machine Synergy direction of the Acura brand, the RLX utilizes an all-new direct-injection engine, lightweight body structure, and the first-ever application of Acura Precision All-Wheel Steer™ to deliver a new and dynamic driving experience unlike that of any other luxury performance sedans. The next-generation AcuraLink® cloud-based connected car system makes its debut on the new Acura RLX, offering a broad range of convenience, entertainment and security features.

The 2014 Acura RLX is powered by an all-new 310-horsepower direct-injected SOHC 24-Valve i-VTEC® V-6 engine with Variable Cylinder Management, and is expected to earn best-in-class estimated EPA fuel economy ratings of 20/31/24 mpg (city/highway/combined). The new Acura RLX delivers full-size interior space in a nimbler, mid-size luxury sedan package and boasts the best rear-seat legroom (38.8 inches), longest tandem seating distance (36.4 inches), and best front and rear shoulder room in the mid-luxury class.

Precision All-Wheel Steer™ (P-AWS) is the world's first technology to feature independent and continuous control of the left and right rear-wheel steering (toe) angles to achieve new levels of handling agility, high- and low-speed maneuverability, and confident handling control for a two-wheel-drive luxury sedan.

As previously announced, a version of RLX featuring Acura's new Sport Hybrid Super Handling All-Wheel Drive® (Sport Hybrid SH-AWD®) technology, producing 370 horsepower with expected fuel economy ratings of 30 city/30 highway/30 combined, will debut later in 2013.

The new Acura RLX will confidently compete in the high-end luxury sedan market with an incredible array of leading-edge technologies - including the next-generation AcuraLink™ connectivity system with AcuraLink Real-Time Traffic™ featuring freeway traffic and all-new surface street conditions, the Lane Keeping Assist System and Forward Collision Warning safety systems, and new driver-assistive technologies such as Adaptive Cruise Control with Low-Speed Follow, Agile Handling Assist dynamic braking technology and Jewel Eye™ LED headlights.

The 2014 Acura RLX is slated to go on-sale at U.S. Acura dealers nationwide in the spring of 2013 and will be available in five grades - the well-equipped RLX, the RLX with Navigation, the feature-packed RLX with Technology package, the Acura RLX with Krell Audio package, and the top-of-the-line RLX with Advance package. Pricing details will be announced closer to launch.

Exterior Design and Function
The RLX follows an "aero-fused" exterior design motif with its wide and athletic stance, sharp upswept bodylines, aerodynamic greenhouse, and distinctive new Jewel-Eye™ LED headlights offering improved down-the-road illumination. The RLX's sleek upper body and numerous other aerodynamic features result in aerodynamic efficiency to best-in-class levels.

Seven spoke 18x8J aluminum-alloy wheels and 245/45 R18 all-weather tires are standard, while Technology, Krell and Advance grades feature 19x8J wheels and 245/40 R19 tires. The Acura RLX's alloy wheels also feature a noise-reducing design that lowers tire noise by 7 decibels across the audible frequency range.

Additional exterior features available on the RLX include an acoustic glass windshield and door glass, integrated power rear sunshade, front and rear parking sensors, heated and auto-dimming side mirrors, and rain-sensing windshield wipers.

Interior Design and Function
The Acura RLX interior features premium, soft touch materials throughout, with the tasteful application of premium metal and wood-grain accents. A stitched leather instrument panel, center console and steering wheel, along with available Milano perforated leather seats, communicate a new level of craftsmanship and refined luxury appeal in Acura's top-of-the-line sedan.

Luxury form and function are smartly integrated in the RLX's new center console, featuring dual screens - an 8-inch Navigation screen and a 7-inch On-Demand Multi-Use Display™ touch screen - that provide easy and direct one-touch access to key functions, including audio, air conditioning, navigation and text-to-voice SMS text message function. The sliding, leather-trimmed armrest conceals a storage compartment with USB connectivity, 12-volt accessory power outlet and space to store a tablet device.

Additional interior comfort and convenience features include push-button start, power tilt and telescoping steering, power sunroof, tri-zone automatic climate control, and Bluetooth® HandsFreeLink®.

The standard 10-speaker ELS® audio system includes HD radio™, XM radio, Pandora® interface, USB connectivity, and an auxiliary jack. The RLX with Technology package is equipped with a 14-speaker Acura/ELS® Studio premium audio system. The Krell Audio and Advance grades receive an all-new Krell ultra-premium system that sets a new benchmark for high-fidelity sound in a luxury vehicle.

Chassis Technology
Whether on a serpentine mountain pass, congested city street, or cramped airport parking deck, and in all weather conditions, the Acura RLX with Precision All-Wheel Steer™ (P-AWS™), is designed to deliver an unprecedented level of handling precision and control.

Working in concert with Vehicle Stability Assist® (VSA®) with Traction Control and Agile Handling Assist dynamic braking system, P-AWS™ provides enhanced vehicle stability, maneuverability, and control. The RLX's handling performance is further elevated by its new double-wishbone front and multi-link rear suspension system with Amplitude Reactive Dampers, and new high-output, belt-type electronic power steering.

All RLX models have 4-wheel disc brakes with high-friction pads and a 4-channel anti-lock braking system (ABS), along with new Hydraulic Brake Boost that improves brake pedal feel. New Electric Parking Brake with Automatic Brake Hold, and high-efficiency Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA) are additional firsts for Acura.

New Direct Injected VTEC V-6 with VCM
The 2014 RLX is powered by an all-new 3.5-liter direct-injected SOHC i-VTEC® V-6 engine with Variable Cylinder Management. Rated at 310 horsepower and 272 lb.-ft. of torque, the engine delivers exceptional drivability, with more than 90-percent of its peak torque produced from 2000 rpm to 6600 rpm. Variable Cylinder Management™ with 3-cylinder and 6-cylinder operation works in concert with the VTEC valvetrain to deliver superb cruising efficiency. The engine is mounted to a lightweight and rigid aluminum front subframe using a vibration-canceling Active Control engine Mount (ACM) system.

The new engine is mated to a reengineered Sequential SportShift 6-speed automatic transmission with revised gearing, an intuitive selector and steering-wheel-mounted shift paddles. A driver-selectable Sport mode provides more aggressive shift points and more pronounced engine braking during deceleration, along with manual operation.

Acura Link Connectivity System
The Acura RLX is equipped with the next-generation of the AcuraLink® connectivity system, delivering a bevy of new information, media, convenience, and security services via embedded two-way communications and web-enabled devices. AcuraLink® leverages the Aha™ by Harman cloud-based interface to provide users with thousands of customizable media and connectivity choices. Next-generation AcuraLink® also delivers an array of available security and convenience features, such as AcuraLink Real-Time Traffic™ featuring freeway traffic and all-new surface street traffic, airbag deployment notification, stolen vehicle tracking, remote locking and unlocking, security alarm notification and 24-hour personalized concierge services for restaurant reservations and more.

Advanced Safety, Visibility, and Driver Assistive Technology
The Acura RLX offers a comprehensive list of leading-edge technologies, including Lane Departure Warning, Lane Keeping Assist system, Forward Collision Warning and Collision Mitigation Brake system safety technologies, Adaptive Cruise Control with Low Speed Follow driver assist system, and Blind Spot Information and Multi-Angle Rearview Camera with Dynamic Guidelines enhanced visibility systems.

Featuring Acura's next-generation Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ II (ACE™ II) body structure, the RLX is anticipated to earn top-level safety ratings, including a 5-star NCAP Overall Vehicle Score, and IIHS 'Top Safety Pick' rating as well as a GOOD rating in the new IIHS small overlap frontal crash test.

Additional details on key advances and technologies for the all-new 2014 RLX:
  •     Class leading interior space based on the Acura RLX's longer wheelbase and efficient packaging. At 196.1 inches, the RLX is similar in length to the outgoing RL, but it has a two-inch longer wheelbase and is nearly two inches wider, placing the new RLX well above the norm in the mid-luxury class. The flagship RLX sedan has up to three inches more rear legroom than competing models, including the BMW 535i, Lexus GS350 and Audi A6.
  •     Extensive use of lightweight materials includes the application of high-strength steel to 55 percent of the body, and the intensive use of aluminum—for the front fenders, hood, steering hangar beam, front and rear bumper beams, front subframe, and front and rear door outer panels (mated to steel inner panels). The RLX weighs in at 3,933 pounds. Static bending and torsional body rigidity are up 52 percent and 46 percent, respectively.
  •     Jewel-Eye LED headlights (an Acura first) LED lamps enhance the Acura RLX's modern and distinctive appearance while providing outstanding light distribution and improved down-the-road illumination.
  •     Acura Navigation System with Voice Recognition offers a wide range of search options including local search functionality and AcuraLink Real-Time Traffic™ for both highways and surface streets.
  •     Agile Handling Assist (an Acura first) uses active braking to help the driver smoothly and easily trace the desired line through a curve with smaller steering inputs.
  •     Electric Parking Brake (an Acura first) provides one-touch parking brake activation.
  •     Automatic Brake Hold (an Acura first) maintains the vehicle's position when the driving or parking brake are released until the throttle is depressed.
  •     Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) with Low-Speed Follow (an Acura first), allows the RLX to independently maintain a set following distance in low-speed traffic situations, including stop and go traffic, and to initiate vehicle braking when necessary.
  •     Forward Collision Warning (FCW) uses a camera mounted in the upper portion of the windshield to detect vehicles ahead of the Acura RLX and audibly and visually alert the driver when it determines a frontal collision with a detected vehicle is possible.
  •     Lane Departure Warning (LDW) uses the same windshield-mounted camera to detect lane markings on the road and alerts the driver if the vehicle is wandering from a detected lane.
  •     Front seatbelt e-pretensioners use electronic control to reduce belt tension under normal driving conditions, while also enabling automatic belt tensioning in hard cornering maneuvers or in the event of a collision.
  •     Multi-angle rearview camera with dynamic guidelines uses guidelines that reflect steering wheel inputs on the display to aid in backup maneuvers.
  •     Capless fueling (an Acura first) eliminates the fuel cap and improves ease of fueling.
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Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Volkswagen Beetle GSR, 2013

  •  Volkswagen Beetle GSR, 2013

Volkswagen launches a Beetle designed solely with dynamics in mind: the new GSR. The exclusive, powerful 155 kW / 210 PS model will take centre stage at its world premiere at the 2013 Chicago Auto Show. Limited edition: 3,500 cars; worldwide. GSR - a quaint abbreviation with a legendary predecessor: the "Yellow/Black Racer" based on the Beetle 1303 S. And only 3,500 cars of the earlier model were produced as well. Exactly 40 years ago, the sportiest series production Beetle of all time made its debut. Its yellow/black body made it instantly recognisable. In 2013, Volkswagen is writing a further chapter in the history of the iconic car with the new Volkswagen Beetle GSR. Just like its predecessor, the current version is also being launched as a two-colour model. Orders for the VW Beetle GSR can be made from May onwards; the cars will be delivered from the autumn. Price in Germany: € 30,300.

With respect to the look of the Beetle GSR, Volkswagen has systematically re-interpreted the concept of the 1970s GSR for the modern era. Just like the GSR from days gone by, the body of the new version is yellow. The bonnet and the boot lid of the 1973 Beetle were painted in matt black, as were the bumpers. Black trim strips underneath the side windows and black/yellow side stripes above the doorsills rounded off the look. Now, yellow and black are the link between old and new - the bonnet and the boot lid of the new Volkswagen Beetle GSR are black once again, however the roof and the exterior mirror trims are also black on the new model. Black/yellow stripes with "GSR" lettering ensure a unique silhouette above the side sills. Yellow painted bumpers in new R-Line design and a yellow/black rear spoiler complete the GSR look. As opposed to the older Beetle, the Beetle GSR can also be ordered in "Platinum Grey / Black" as an alternative.

The 15-inch steel wheels (with 175 size tyres) which were commonly used 40 years ago, even for sporty cars, and the "Tornado" 19-inch alloy wheels (painted black) with 235/40 tyres on the VW Beetle GSR are worlds apart.

The black/yellow interior of the GSR from days gone by featured a leather sports steering wheel and sports seats for an extra-dynamic Beetle performance.

Four decades later, it is the ergonomically sophisticated, R-Line racing track sports seats (with fabric covers and contrasting yellow stitching; US version in black leather), a high-grip leather sports steering wheel (again with contrasting yellow stitching) with R-Line logo and a limited edition badge with the special edition number (1 to 3,500) which give the GSR its special character. The car also boasts an R-Line dash pad (designer panel for the dashboard), GSR gear stick, leather handbrake lever and black floor mats with contrasting yellow embroidery.

40 years ago, the yellow/black Beetle needed precisely 50 PS to turn the world of compact cars on its head. But this world has long been turning much faster. The new Volkswagen Beetle GSR with its 210 PS engine needs just 7.3 seconds to accelerate to 100 km/h (0-60 mph in 6.6 s). It has a top speed of 229 km/h (130 mph). The torque characteristic of the VW Beetle GSR is even more impressive than the pure road performance. From as low as 1,700 rpm, the turbo engine achieves its maximum torque of 280 Nm; the value remains at this high level up to 5,200 rpm. However, despite this, the car records an average consumption of 7.3 l/100 km which is low in view of its dynamic performance. As an option, the new Beetle GSR can also be ordered anywhere in the world with an automatic 6-speed, dual-clutch gearbox (DSG) as an alternative to the 6-speed manual gearbox.

The combination of performance, design, equipment and the limited number of cars will ensure that the Volkswagen Beetle GSR will quickly become a collector's item. The same was also true of the Beetle 1303 S - today it is one of the most expensive and most sought-after 1970s versions of what was then the most successful car in the world. It will therefore be interesting to see what the VW Beetle GSR will be valued at in the year 2053.
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Sunday, April 28, 2013

Tramontana Tramontana, 2007

  •  Tramontana Tramontana, 2007

Chassis, 100% carbon fibre
It has never been seen in the automotive history a street sports car which resembles so much a Formula 1 like the Tramontana does. It is the first time in the sports car market that it has been incorporated a 100 % carbon fibre monocoque chassis inspired in the design of a Formula 1 and manufactured with the same criteria, guaranteeing a high protection for its passengers. Moreover, it introduces a new structural system that combines an indeformable central zone (cockpit) with a weight of 128kg with other 8 deformable zones calculated for the absorption of the impact energy. In fact, the results extracted of the Crash Test (according to the FIA regulation) confirm that the structural calculation guarantees the integrity of its passengers displacing the lateral components toward the outside. This shows the high impact resistance of the carbon fibre used in the vehicle.

On the other hand, the monocoque, especially developed for the Tramontana, contributes a lightness and maximum rigidity to the whole, factor that together with its suspension system, unique on its market of double wishbones with pushrod and a great length of arms, improves the dynamical aptitudes of the vehicle. All this elaborated with materials of last generation of aerospace technology like the steel to the cromolibdenium, magnesium and duraluminium. Without doubt in the Tramontana the efficiency of the geometry and the weight has been tested, obtaining as result an unequalled performance.

The structure of the monocoque carried out in carbon fibre offers a high torsion resistance, which makes the driver feel like going on a rail.

In the assembly process have been adopted handcraft techniques like the obsession by pre-impregnate and cured in autoclave to 120 ºC, that provides an exceptional finish level and makes the construction of light and strong pieces easier.

Engine, from the competition to the asphalt
Among the final solutions of the Tramontana, we find a new electronic system and a central gasoline engine V12 Biturbo capable to offer a power from 550 Hp to 720 Hp, selectable through a switch situated in the dashboard.

Associated to a 6-speed gearbox, specially developed for the Tramontana, this 12 cylinders propeller in V reaches the 720 Hp to 5.750rpm with a maximum pair torque of 920nm at 4.000rpm. The result, 345 km/h of top speed and 3,7 seconds to reach the 100 km/h from stopped departure.

The weight-power relation is elevated to the 1,7 Kg/Hp, significant data that allow us to discover the kind of sensations that this fantastic assembly of chassis and engine can offer us.

The development of the electronic switchboard is made to measure, in a craft process of more than 2000 hours, that includes full silver wiring and a power map capable to obtain the maximum performance of the engine. Moreover, for the first time in a street car, lifelong relays, fuses and protections have been replaced by a module with just one connector that has only one terminal that brings together all the functions of a conventional device. This innovative system has reduced the wiring, the complexities of the consoles of relays and the fuses, avoiding any electromechanical deterioration.

Car body, beauty and functionality
Without doubt, the design of the Tramontana combines the curves of a fighter with a narrow front and a wider rear of big dimensions and finished in first quality leather and wood imported of the classics of the Spanish automotive industry. This aesthetics remains totally clear thanks to the design of the hardtop, which covers and protects the passengers, and to the rear and front spoilers, in the form of an airplane wing, that assures a great beauty and an excellent support at the same time. In short, a perfect harmony between sensuality, fine materials and elegant lines, an authentic jewel for the collectors.

All the pieces of the Tramontana car body are also elaborated in carbon fibre, assuring the maximum lightness of the vehicle with a total weight of 1.250 kg.

Thanks to the dynamic study carried out by a.d. Tramontana, the pieces that form part of the car body have been created by considering its functionality and the important vehicle performance.

The result is some compacted forms, an expressive front and a suggestive aerodynamic outline with a marked silhouette. Everything in the Tramontana transmits force, character, personality and, above all, sportsmanship, nevertheless the new model is a worthy heir of the sports tradition of the Formula 1.

Suspensions, balance between sportsmanship and comfort
One of the key items of the Tramontana is its system of suspensions of double wishbones with push-rod and its great length of arms, elaborated with a sort of steel of aeronautical and competition specifications of the latest generation.

Two special programs have been used for the development, which have permitted the static and dynamic simulation of the whole vehicle. Different defined adjustments in theoretical calculations have been projected and experienced on it in order to analyze the performance before proceeding to the validation and arriving this way to the definition of the suspensions rates. Finally, a.d. Tramontana has bet on a suspension system that provides a better control, driving comfort, smaller oscillation and better speed cornering, due to the distance between axes, identical to that of a Formula 1.

In the same way, the Tramontana has a system of double electronic height regulation especially developed for the Tramontana, which allows the driver to raise or to lower the height of the vehicle according to the driving needs. It has been looked for a balance between the performance of a street car (at 130mm) and a sports car (at 85mm) considering the different driving styles.

Aerodynamics, the exigency of the geometry
The engineers team from a.d.Tramontana has worked very hard to find the maximal exigency and perfection regarding the aerodynamic performance of the Tramontana, an aesthetical reasoning as similar as possible to a Formula 1.

The aerodynamic performance is though to great speed cornering and, at the same time, get a minimum air penetration coefficient Cx=0,4.

The air intakes and cooling of the motor they have been designed with the objective to minimize the friction of the air and to optimize the performance of the motor.

Moreover, the vehicle has a laminated sheet situated under the vehicle, that eliminates turbulences and improves the drag.

In the same way, the wishbones, designed in the form of drop of water, they help to minimize this coefficient. In fact, all the external elements that stand out from the vehicle are thought to obtain the minimum air resistance. This is the reason of the airplane wing profile of the wishbones.

The front spoilers offer a higher lift compared with the rear ones to avoid loss direction sensations. In this sense, there is an important work to obtain a ground effect thanks to the air flow that penetrates in the lower part of the vehicle. This generates a negative lift toward the ground, making driving to high speeds easier.

Finally, another remarkable factor, has been the study to situate the centre of gravity of the Tramontana as low as possible to increase the cornering speed.
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