Saturday, May 25, 2013

Peugeot 4008, 2013

  •  Peugeot 4008, 2013

In line with Peugeot's range enhancement and development strategy, the Peugeot 4008 will be launched initially outside Europe, in the market which will represent 70% of its sales.

With its distinctive, elegant appearance and its 4X4, SUV features, the 4008 is a modern response to the needs of all-terrain vehicle customers, in a very prominent market segment.

At the heart of a very dynamic world market in the C segment of all-terrain SUVs, the Peugeot 4008 will be distributed to more than 50 countries.

Presented as a world premiere at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show, the Peugeot 4008 will go on sale initially outside Europe starting in April 2012. First in Russia and the Ukraine, then among other places in China, Australia, New Zealand, Argentina and in Europe from May 2012.

Listening to customers
The world market of all-terrain SUVs has been growing strongly since 2005, in particular in the C and D segments which in 4 years have almost doubled in Russia and tripled in Europe.

In Russia, all-terrain vehicles have long been predominant accounting for 20% of the market, the majority being vehicles of the compact SUV segment C.

In China and in Western Europe the market share of SUVs has reached 10%, and covers a variety of expectations. In Europe, this market share of the SUVs in segments C and D is increasing to the detriment of the SUVs of the E segment.

In China, it is the attraction of the vehicle's status that is sought after. In Europe, it fulfils the desire for distinctive multipurpose vehicles, compact and with an environmental impact comparable to that of a conventional saloon.

With the 4008, Peugeot is continuing its international offensive to win new customers by offering a young, modern and upmarket range which is the perfect response to the changes in these markets.

A response to varied markets with common signs of change
Firmly rooted in the world of the SUV, the Peugeot 4008 combines strength, power and driving safety in all circumstances. Thanks to its four-wheel drive, which is always available, it gives a feeling of freedom and greater peace of mind when driving. Comfortable, compact and manoeuvrable, the Peugeot 4008 SUV is also perfectly suited to the urban environment.

In addition, the 4008 plays the card of differentiation with its modern style, expressing both vivacity and reactivity, and its highend elegance.

A combination of temperament, elegance and spontaneity, the Peugeot 4008 emits an attractive, driving energy able to draw together a wide target customer base.

With its unique style, strong and distinctive, its handling qualities, its versatility of use and its equipment, the 4008 is the reflection of a modern and upmarket vision of the all-terrain vehicle which will have the ability to win over the new sensibilities of 4X4 SUV customers.

A complete range of all-terrain vehicles
With this new 4X4 SUV, Peugeot completes its range of vehicles suited to the various expectations of all-terrain customers. With its strong personality, for international destinations, the Peugeot 4008 is aimed both at customers who already own an all-terrain vehicle and at those looking for an alternative to saloons or MPVs, a vehicle synonymous with leisure and driving pleasure.

In Europe, it is targeted more specifically at customers who appreciate a strong and dynamic ability, with dimensions suited to multipurpose use and efficient fuel consumption.

In addition to the 4007, but also the 3008 and its HYbrid4 version, the Peugeot 4008 fulfils the expectations of the different markets showing strong growth in the compact SUV segment.

The strength of the stylistic design of the 4008 lies in the combination of dynamism and aesthetics. Its proportions and its lines hollowed out as close as possible to the mechanics suggest its dynamic qualities as a vehicle conceived and dimensioned for the road and action.

Its structured and pure style blending sportiness and neat aesthetics gives it a positive energy, upmarket and modern, without arrogance.

A strong personality, obviously a Peugeot!
The Peugeot stylists wanted to give the 4008, born out of the PSA Group & Mitsubishi partnership, a strong personality firmly rooted in the world of the Marque.

A successful gamble, you see at a glance the originality of its style and the new stylistic codes of the marque which are judiciously adapted, like the floating grille and the feline design of the lamp units with visual signature: at the front, a line of LED daylight running lamps that complement the headlamps and three red claws sculpted rear lamps.

The off-road character has been emphasised by adopting a vertical design of grille, the inclusion of body sill protectors and prominent wheel arch protection trims, to accommodate large wheels enhanced by the sophisticated design of the wheel rims.

The almost-horizontal bonnet grooves and the style line - which extends to the rear wing where it descends again crossing the lamp - are a distinctive feature and appear to hollow out along the body side, accentuating the strong and dynamic aspect of the Peugeot 4008.

Requirement and range enhancement
The work carried out by the Peugeot Design Style team, down to the smallest detail, gives the Peugeot 4008 a high class elegance in line with its positioning.

The exterior is, among other things, set off with chromed components, one surrounding the floating grille, two others surrounding the side air intakes and a bead adorning the tailgate.

The interior ambiance is enhanced by the choice of materials, like the soft texture fascia, to the instrument panel visor and the lacquered black decoration of the centre console.

A panoramic glass roof provides extensive light for the occupants of the passenger compartment, a feeling of space and wellbeing, and for greater exclusivity adjustable ambiance lighting offers the occupants pleasant night lighting by means of amber side LEDs.

The instrument panel, back-lit both day and night, incorporates round and deep counters, which impress a dynamic style and make the information easier to read. It offers a multifunction screen, amber or colour depending on the level of finish. The steering wheel is padded or leather trimmed and permits control of the audio functions, cruise control and Bluetooth hands-free kit.

Its features, in particular the roadholding, and its equipment - like the Open & Go system, 18" alloy wheels, a touch screen navigation system and a reversing camera … - are all present in this modern and high class all-terrain vehicle.

The platform of the 4008, taken in part from the 4007, has been reduced in length by shorter front and rear overhangs (- 30 cm in length). Its long wheelbase (2.67 m) and its wide tracks (Front: 1.545 m and Rear: 1.540 m) have been retained to guarantee good occupant space in the front and rear, as well as a generous boot volume of 416 dm3 VDA 210 with spare wheel and up to 442 dm3 with puncture repair kit.

These characteristics and its exterior dimensions - 4.34 m long, 1.80 m wide with a height of 1.63 m - make the Peugeot 4008 particularly versatile. Its compactness - a promise of true manoeuvrability - and its occupant space, among the best in the segment, make it a vehicle suitable for everyday use, including in town, and for leisure journeys or family holidays. 4X4 transmission "on request"

- the 2WD two-wheel drive mode for use on a dry tarmacked road on which the driver considers there is no risk of loss of grip, in this case the vehicle operates with front wheel drive only for optimised consumption;

- the 4WD four-wheel drive mode is the normal and regular mode of use of the vehicle, the distribution of the torque between the front and rear axles being controlled by the electronic unit. This guarantees optimum roadholding, regardless of the conditions of grip. For example, at a constant speed of 50 mph (80 km/h) on a dry road, 85% of the traction will be provided by the front axle, whereas the rear wheels will be used more in the case of sharp acceleration or when the surface becomes slippery;

- the Lock four-wheel drive locking mode should be used in conditions of reduced grip, the transmission to the 4 driving wheels becomes permanent with even greater distribution of torque to the rear wheels than in 4WD mode. This is particularly the case at low speed when 50% more torque, with a maximum of 82%, will be distributed to the rear compared with the automatic 4WD mode.

This type of transmission will represent more than 80% of sales of the 4008. Peugeot's new SUV will in fact only be offered in a 4X4 version in certain countries, including those of Europe.

An adapted and powerful range of engines
Environmental efficiency, performance and liveliness were taken into account in the choice of a range of engines adapted to the expectations of the different markets.

So, the Peugeot 4008 benefits from power trains combining modernity, performance, pleasure and protection of the environment: petrol and diesel engines, complying with Euro 5 or Euro 4 standards, 5 and 6 speed manual or automated (CVT) gearboxes with steering wheel paddles.

To optimise consumption, the STOP & START system is available on most of the engines - the 2 diesels and the 1.6 l petrol - and the manual gearboxes have a gear shift indicator on the instrument panel. There will be 4 engines:
        1.6 l 86 kW (115 hp) 152 Nm, 5-speed manual;
        2.0 l 113 kW (150 hp) 198 Nm, 5-speed manual or CVT.
    HDi Diesel
        1.6 l HDi PEF 84 kW (115 hp) 270/280 Nm with Overboost, 6-speed manual;
        1.8 l HDi PEF 110 kW (150 hp) 300 Nm, 6-speed manual.

For Europe, the 4008 offered with the two HDi diesel engines. In the other countries, it marketed with the most appropriate power train(s).

With the 1.6 l petrol and HDi diesel engines, the Peugeot 4008 achieves record environmental performance in the segment. From 119 g/km of CO2 in 4X2 mode and 129 g/km in 4X4 mode with the HDi 115 hp engine and from 135 g/km with the 1.6 l petrol engine, the 4008 is economical to run, particularly given its low consumption from 4.6 l/100 km in 4X2 mode and 4.9 l/100 km in 4X4 mode, and attractive as regards company car tax. So, the Peugeot 4008 merits its status as a modern SUV and its place in the heart of our cities, just as much as a conventional saloon.

The 4008 benefits from a high level of primary safety, thanks to its road holding and its equipment, in particular:
    the ESP fitted as standard incorporating the anti-skid and traction control functions;
    as regards the lighting, equipment which is standard or optional according to country and level of finish: automatic switching on of the lights, headlamp wash, fog lamps as standard from the Active level, Xenon headlamps with headlamp wash and automatic height adjustment.
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Friday, May 24, 2013

Nissan Almera, 2013

  •  Nissan Almera, 2013

The all-new Nissan Almera, launched at the 2012 Moscow International Autosalon, has been designed specifically to meet the unique demands of the Russian market.

It combines exceptional roominess and genuine refinement with a robust chassis and proven drivetrain, while the design mixes contemporary Nissan styling cues with classic features to create a modern yet timeless look.

In addition to its size, features and its Japanese badge, the new Nissan Almera  also be a highly affordable, rational and aspirational purchase matched by an unequalled ownership experience.

The car  built on a newly installed line in Togliatti operating in full compliance with global production standards.

The new Nissan Almera in detail
Nissan Almera is a classic four-door, five-seat saloon with a timeless body design showing clear Nissan DNA. The long wheelbase helps to create a spacious cabin while the roomy luggage area is cleverly disguised by the sweep of the roofline and rear window which blends into the trunk lid.

At the front, Nissan's familiar wide four bar grille is chromed - as are the door handles - to underline the quality image. But showing the attention to detail that has helped to create the new Almera, the chrome incorporates anti-corrosion technology which was specially developed by Nissan.

It has a unique trivalent chrome compound which withstands attack from the chemicals used to de-ice the roads in Russia to maintain the premium chrome look.

Biggest interior in the class
Four wide-opening doors allow easy access to the interior which is notably larger than class rivals. In fact, the rear compartment knee room is actually more generous than that offered in some premium D segment cars and is easily capable of carrying three adults in comfort. As well as providing more interior space than rivals, at 500 litres Nissan Almera's luggage trunk is among the largest in its class.

The luggage area itself is another example of the care that has gone into the car's design. A wide opening lid reveals a deep and practical load space, free from obstructions - the trunk lid hinges, for example, are hidden while the tool roll and jack are also stored away so as not to interfere with the load space.

A handle mounted on inside the lid means the trunk can be closed without the need to touch the invariably dirty exterior of the car. And under the boot floor, there's ample space for the full sized spare wheel.

Nissan Almera is 4,656mm from bumper to bumper and has the longest wheelbase in the class, a full 2,700mm.

Proven, robust chassis
Integral to Nissan Almera's capability to withstand the local conditions is its chassis. Almera's enhanced chassis features a strong strut-type front suspension allied to a rear beam axle.

A front anti-roll bar improves handling performance while the bar, the rear beam axle and the coil springs have all been stiffened to provide a highly comfortable ride allied to an inherent strength to ensure the car can withstand the conditions.

During test development, engineers from Nissan Technical Centre Europe (NTCE) have driven hundreds of thousands of kilometres over varied roads in the region to fine tune the springs and dampers to the conditions.

At the same time, noise reduction programmes have resulted in the use of thicker steel for the platform to reduce stone chipping and splash noise, while the upper body structure has been strengthened and stiffened giving both refinement and durability improvements.

The result is a car that provides class-leading comfort and handling at the same time as being capable of withstanding severe winter conditions and meeting the needs and requirements of the Russian customers.

Underbody protection
Further proof of Nissan Almera's durability can be found under the car. Offering extra protection against poor road surfaces, the bottom of the engine bay is covered by a 2mm thick steel plate while potentially vulnerable brake and fuel pipes running under the car are also covered by a steel plate.

With a generous ground clearance of 160mm - reducing to 145mm only at the steel plate protecting the engine - Nissan Almera is, once again, one of the best in class.

Also found under the car is a small but highly effective aero deflector which improves the car's aerodynamics for better high-speed stability.

Power comes from another tried and trusted source, Nissan's proven 1.6-litre, 16-valve petrol engine developing 75kW (102hp) and 145 Nm of torque for competitive performance and economy. Nissan Almera will be available with either a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic transmission.

Winter performance is enhanced by a powerful heating and ventilation system (heated seats and door mirrors are available depending on the model grade) while cold start performance has been optimised. The wipers have been engineered to clear as much of the large windscreen as possible and are aided by a large 5-litre washer tank that needs less frequent refilling... though when it does it is easily accessible in the engine bay.

Three grades
Following established Nissan practice Almera will be available in three grades: Welcome, Comfort and top-of-the-range Tekna.

Standard equipment on Comfort models, expected to be the biggest selling grade, includes remote central door locking, heated power door mirrors, fog lamps, a trip computer and height adjustment for the driver's seat.

There are chromed accents to the air vents while the trim material is patterned. Large door mirrors are finished in body colour and the door handles and trunk finisher are chromed while the front seats are heated to provide extra comfort in winter months. Air conditioning and alloy wheels are available as options.

Top Tekna models have air conditioning as standard, along with power windows at the rear, four speakers, a leather wrapped steering wheel and 15-inch alloy wheels. The audio system is a fully integrated double-din AM/FM tuner with single disc CD player and Bluetooth connectivity for mobile phones. An Aux-in jack socket to connect a MP3 player is also standard.

The sophisticated Nissan Connect communications system is available as an option on Tekna models, making Nissan Almera the only car in its class available with a fully integrated navigation system.

Nissan Connect has a five-inch full colour touch screen with 2D/3D mapping and voice guidance. Updates can be downloaded from the Internet and uploaded to the system via USB. The audio system includes a single disc CD player, an AM/FM tuner, an Aux-in jack and Bluetooth connectivity for mobile phones and audio streaming.

All grades have active and passive safety features including anti-lock brakes, plus driver and front passenger airbags as standard.

The colour palette has seven exterior body colours - a solid white and six metallic shades.
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Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Mercedes-Benz G350 Bluetec, 2013

  •  Mercedes-Benz G350 Bluetec, 2013

The most powerful and quickest Mercedes-Benz G-Class since it was launched in 1979, and a comprehensive upgrade of the interior and specification of the range head a list of changes to Mercedes-Benz' enduring all-roader.

The new G 63 AMG, powered by a 544 hp 5.5-litre biturbo direct-injection V8 engine, joins the revised Mercedes-Benz G350 BlueTEC turbodiesel in the line-up. Both cars are capable of crossing the most inhospitable terrain on the planet, but each has its own area of expertise.

The G 63 AMG can accelerate from 0-62 mph in 5.4 seconds, a time good enough to match that of many high-performance sports saloons, yet it is 15 per cent more fuel-efficient and has 13% lower CO2 emissions than the G 55 AMG KOMPRESSOR it replaces. The Mercedes-Benz G350 BlueTEC, which now develops 211 hp (a 1 hp increase over the previous model) and 540 Nm of torque, benefits from BlueTEC technology and an AdBlue® additive so that it considerably reduces harmful emissions, particularly of nitrogen oxides.

There are subtle revisions to the timeless, functionality-oriented exterior design, which has stood the G-Class in good stead since its introduction in 1979. Far more comprehensive changes are to be found in the interior appointments and standard specification, which raise the status of the G-Class as a true luxury go-anywhere car to a new level.

There is a redesigned dashboard with a new instrument cluster and a completely new centre console. The G-Class now comes with COMAND Online with Media Interface as standard, which includes a 7-inch centrally mounted colour display, hard disk drive navigation with 3D map display and Traffic Message Channel (TMC), Speed Limit Assist, Linguatronic voice control and in-car internet access.

Heated leather front and rear seats and the Mercedes-Benz Parktronic system of audible and visual parking alerts are also standard, as is a powerful Harman Kardon® Logic 7® surround-sound system with Dolby Digital 5.1 and 12 high-performance speakers plus an additional amplifier.

Unique identifying features of the G 63 AMG include a unique AMG radiator grille with twin chrome fins running through the black mesh grille, an AMG bumper, AMG flared wheel-arches in vehicle colour, stainless steel side running boards, side protective strips with stainless steel inserts and a bespoke AMG sports exhaust system with chromed twin tailpipes. Inside, there is an AMG instrument cluster with colour TFT screen and designo leather upholstery with ruffled leather door panelling.

The "G" in G-Class stands for Geländewagen, meaning cross-country vehicle. It is the longest-running model series in Mercedes-Benz history and for more than three decades has overcome any obstacle in its path. In that time it has both won the Paris-Dakar Rally outright and also been used to transport two Popes, testimony to its multi-faceted abilities.

Since 1979 it has delivered an unrivalled combination of all-road ability and exceptional luxury. The latest model retains the drive-it-anywhere capability while raising the bar for luxury and comfort.

Over its extended history Mercedes-Benz has constantly refined its most capable off-roader with a high-class interior and road-going qualities on a par with premium saloons. The G-Class has provided the gene pool for other Mercedes-Benz off-roaders, and the latest comprehensive range of measures ensures this classic cross-country car remains in a class of its own on or off the beaten track.

These include a new engine for the G 63 AMG, a significantly extended range of appointments, a new and even more luxurious interior and a few discreet external modifications that further enhance the timeless, classic design.

The external modifications include LED daytime running lamps and new exterior mirrors. The AMG version also features a new, characteristic AMG radiator grille with twin chrome fins running through the black mesh grille, plus distinctive new bumpers with large air intakes. Red brake calipers and, for the first time, 20-inch AMG wheels in a five-twin-spoke design add sporty finishing touches.

All G-Class models benefit from a redesigned instrument panel and centre console including new controls and exclusive trim elements. A TFT colour display in the instrument cluster between the two round dials now shows information relating to the assistance systems from the on-board computer.

A further large colour screen, conveniently positioned high in the centre, is part of the standard-fit COMAND Online system. The COMAND controller is located in the centre console unit, near to the armrest.

To ensure that the G-Class has lost none of its rugged character or functionality, especially for extreme off-road use, specific design elements have been preserved. These include the grab handle on the front-passenger side, the switches for the three differential locks - aligned within the driver's field of vision and highlighted with silver-coloured trim - and the redesigned gear shift lever in the lower section of the centre console.

The ESP® Electronic Stability Control system has been completely revised and now includes Trailer Stability Assist on cars ordered with a tow bar, and a Hold function. New optional safety options include Distronic Plus and Blind Spot Assist.

Since 1979 the design of the Mercedes-Benz G-Class has been a perfect reflection of the car's immense breadth of capabilities. It is how it appears - a robust 4x4 designed to shrug off the challenges posed by the most inhospitable terrain on earth, while retaining all the luxury and comfort associated with a Mercedes-Benz.

It is one of the few genuine go-anywhere cars in the world, and that is as much down to its design as its engineering. It is based on a sturdy ladder-frame construction with short overhangs, high ground clearance and a robust, well-protected body so that it can tackle whatever lies in its path. Vertical sides, large window areas and a high seating position give the driver a commanding view all around. It was a trend-setter in the off-road vehicle class when launched in 1979 and has gone on to become a design icon.

So, with the latest refresh there was no need to make wholesale changes. Subtle upgrades - to meet new legislation and bring the G-Class into line with other models in the Mercedes-Benz portfolio - were all that were needed. The upgrades include new electric heated and folding exterior mirrors with integral direction indicators and front area lighting, now painted in body colour. The warning signal for the optional new Blind Spot Assist system is also integrated in the mirrors. A memory function allows up to three drivers to store their personal settings.

The AMG version of the G-Class, the G 63 AMG, is further distinguished by its wheel-arch flares, stainless steel side running boards and side protective strips with stainless steel inserts. A 'V8 BITURBO' logo on the front wings and a 'G 63 AMG' plate on the rear door are other instant identifiers, as are the AMG chromed twin exhaust tailpipes.

With both models, the design continues to convey the car's sense of purpose. The side view is characterised by clear, straight lines and broad, flat surfaces. The side skirts, beltline, rubbing strip at door handle height and the roof edge are parallel and deliberately functional.

This is echoed at the front of the Mercedes-Benz G350 BlueTEC by the distinctive three-louvre radiator grille featuring Mercedes-Benz' central three-pointed star, the steeply raked A-pillars and the upright windscreen. The G 63 AMG is distinguished from the Mercedes-Benz G350 BlueTEC by a high-gloss black twin-lamella radiator grille with four chrome inserts and a new AMG bumper with three large cooling air inlets.

The round bi-xenon headlamps of both models have range adjustment and incorporate automatic LED daytime running lights, while the oval foglamps integrated into the front bumper of the Mercedes-Benz G350 BlueTEC add cornering lights.

With its broad track and distinctive wheel arch lining, the G-Class has an equally solid appearance from the rear. The fog lamp and reversing lamp are integrated into the rear bumper. The load compartment is accessed through a large single door, hinged on the left, which carries the spare wheel prominently mounted on the outside.

Among the 21 colour options are three new shades - Magnetite Black, Tenorite Grey and Indium Grey. Of the 21 paint choices, 19 are metallic and eight are from the designo range.

The Mercedes-Benz G350 BlueTEC runs on 18-inch five-twin-spoke light-alloy wheels, while the G 63 AMG has new Titanium Grey five-twin-spoke 20-inch alloy wheels.


The functionality applied to the exterior of the G-Class is carried through to the design layout of the interior through a low window line, large glass areas and raised seating position, but the fundamental character of an off-road car is now infused with the high-grade luxury, technology and safety appointments typical of a Mercedes-Benz.

This is headlined by the introduction of a redesigned dashboard with a new instrument cluster and a completely new centre console. The instrument cluster consists of two round dials plus the new TFT display, which shows information relating to the assistance systems from the on-board computer.

In addition, the latest G-Class now comes as standard with COMAND Online with Media Interface, which includes a 7-inch centrally mounted colour display, hard disk drive navigation with 3D map display and Traffic Message Channel (TMC), Speed Limit Assist, Linguatronic voice control and in-car internet access.

Three Mercedes-Benz apps are available to customers for use with COMAND Online. Drivers can call up weather forecasts and maps; conduct a local search from Google for Google Street View images or Google Panoramic photos; or search for destinations in the Google archives. All COMAND Online users also have access to a Facebook app.

There is also an SD card slot, a 10 GB music register and MP3 compatibility. Media Interface allows connection and control of portable music devices. It is controlled via the COMAND controller on the front of the armrest. A powerful Harman Kardon® Logic 7® surround-sound system with Dolby Digital 5.1 and 12 high-performance speakers plus an additional amplifier is also standard.

New in the revised G-Class are heated leather seats for all passengers and the Mercedes-Benz Parktronic system of audible and visual front and rear parking alerts.

The essential character of the interior of the G-Class remains largely unchanged, however - as seen in features such as the large grab handle for the front passenger, the switches for the three differential locks - positioned in the driver's field of view and highlighted in chrome - and a redesigned gear selector lever in the centre console.

Just a glance, or a touch, is enough to recognise that only the finest materials have been used. Every detail is an example of meticulous craftsmanship. At night, mood lighting enhances this luxurious ambience.

The driver sits behind a new, electrically adjustable four-spoke steering wheel with a leather rim (designo in the G 63 AMG) and 12 operating buttons for the multi-function system. The steering wheel automatically pivots upwards to make getting in and out of the car easier.

The stylish detailing includes generous use of high-quality trim. The Mercedes-Benz G350 BlueTEC is fitted as standard with Anthracite Poplar wood trim, while the G 63 AMG has a designo Black Piano Lacquer finish.

The all-round heated leather seats include a memory function for the driver, and Neck-Pro anti-whiplash head restraints for the driver and front passenger. The front seats also include electric lumbar support. In the G 63 AMG, the seat leather is complemented by ruffled leather door linings.

G350 BlueTEC
The diesel version of the G-Class is powered by a 2,987 cc turbo-charged V6 engine with twin overhead camshafts and 24 valves. It now develops 211 hp at a relaxed 3,400 rpm, and 540 Nm of torque from 1,600-2,400 rpm. It employs Mercedes-Benz BlueTEC technology to minimise emissions of harmful nitrogen oxides (NOx).

The generous torque developed by the V6 turbodiesel engine in the Mercedes-Benz G350 BlueTEC is sufficient to accelerate this 2,570 kg car from standstill to 62 mph in 9.1 seconds and on to a top speed of 108 mph. The Mercedes-Benz G350 BlueTEC returns 25.2 mpg and 295 g/km CO2 on the combined cycle with the help of the acclaimed Mercedes-Benz 7G-TRONIC Plus seven-speed automatic transmission.

Carefully optimised gearing ensures the Mercedes-Benz G350 BlueTEC is as much a calm and comfortable on-road cruiser as it is a go-anywhere off-road vehicle. The 7G-TRONIC Plus automatic transmission, now in its sixth-generation, has once more been extensively revised to ensure the optimum fuel consumption and driving comfort.

Mercedes-Benz has adopted a multi-stage approach to emissions reduction, all of which is evident in the G350 BlueTEC. It begins with optimisation of the engines and their combustion processes to reduce untreated emissions as far as possible. These measures include electronic engine management, four-valve technology, third-generation common-rail direct-injection with piezo-electric injectors, a turbo-charger with variable turbine geometry and exhaust gas recirculation.

Oxidising catalytic converters are used to minimise emissions of carbon monoxide (CO) and unburned hydrocarbons (HC). And as the model designation implies, the diesel version of the G-Class employs advanced Mercedes-Benz BlueTEC technology to minimise harmful emissions, particularly of nitrogen oxides (NOx).

BlueTEC technology involves the addition of AdBlue®, an aqueous urea solution that is injected into the flow of exhaust gases. The resulting chemical reaction releases ammonia from around 170 degrees Celsius, which converts up to 80 per cent of the NOx into harmless nitrogen and water within the Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) catalytic converter. The engine management system controls the injection of AdBlue® in such a way that the ammonia reservoir of the SCR converter always contains some but never too much ammonia. This is monitored by a NOx sensor.

The AdBlue® process is fully integrated into the fuel supply system of the G-Class, with the filler cap for the AdBlue® tank located next to the diesel fuel filler for ease of use. One fill of AdBlue® is sufficient for around 7,500 miles.

AdBlue® injection is particularly advantageous in large vehicles as the engine does not need to operate with an intermittent, rich combustion mixture which would be necessary with a storage-type NOx catalytic converter.

Subtle exterior changes and a stylish new interior
Since 1979 Mercedes-Benz has constantly refined its most capable off-roader to ensure it remains in a class of its own on or off the beaten track, all without losing its timeless, classic design. The latest external modifications include LED daytime running lamps and electric heated and folding door mirrors with integral indicators and front area lighting.

Far more comprehensive changes are to be found in the interior appointments and standard specification, which raise the status of the G-Class as a true luxury go-anywhere car to a new level.

The instrument panel and centre console have been completely redesigned to include new controls and exclusive trim elements. These give the interior a fresh and sophisticated look. A TFT colour display in the instrument cluster between the two round dials now shows information relating to the assistance systems from the on-board computer.

A further large colour screen, conveniently positioned high in the centre, is part of the COMAND Online system. The COMAND controller is located in the centre console unit, near to the armrest. COMAND Online with Media Interface includes a 7-inch centrally mounted colour display, hard disk drive navigation with 3D map display and Traffic Message Channel (TMC), Speed Limit Assist, Linguatronic voice control and in-car internet access.

Heated leather front and rear seats and the Mercedes-Benz Parktronic system of audible and visual parking alerts are also standard, as is a powerful Harman Kardon® Logic 7® surround-sound system with Dolby Digital 5.1 and 12 high-performance speakers plus an additional amplifier.

To ensure that the G-Class has lost none of its character or functionality, especially for extreme off-road use, specific design elements like the grab handle on the front-passenger side, the switches for the three differential locks - aligned within the driver's field of vision and highlighted with silver-coloured trim - and the redesigned gear shift lever in the lower section of the centre console have been preserved.
Read More

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

McLaren P1, 2014

  •  McLaren P1, 2014

McLaren Automotive has confirmed that the global debut of the production-ready McLaren P1™ will be at the 83rd International Motor Show in Geneva, and taken the opportunity to give a glimpse of the, so far unseen, interior. The latest insight confirms that the McLaren P1™ will adopt a race-inspired digital dash readout, and gives further information relating to the levels of performance that can be expected with a highly-focused 'Race' mode.

The visuals demonstrate what the driver will see as the McLaren P1™ transitions into a fully-focussed track car. On selecting Race mode, the large double element adjustable 'active' rear wing extends, and the pitch of the wing alters into an optimal aerodynamic position. In Race mode the screen includes a bank of lights across the top, which illuminate green, followed by red and finally blue. These act as a shift indicator, as in a Formula 1 car.

The McLaren P1 has a clear goal: to be the best driver's car in the world on road and track. In order to achieve this, performance and handling are key, but to extract the best from the aerodynamic bodyshape and the groundbreaking technology beneath the carbon fibre exterior, the driver has to feel comfortable and in control. For this reason, the cabin of the McLaren P1™ is fully focused on the driver, and is clear from clutter and distraction as these first images show.

The interior of the McLaren P1™ offers the driver and passenger a cocooning, efficiently packaged, comfortable cabin. The interior feels like the cockpit of a fighter jet, complete with glass canopy overhead and, with a windscreen deeper than it is wide, visibility is optimised. This makes the car all the easier to plant on road and track.

Light weight - as with the rest of the car - is a priority, and switchgear is kept to a minimum, yet the McLaren P1™ retains luxury features such as full climate control, satellite navigation and a bespoke sound system, developed from the outset with Meridian.

McLaren is a pioneer in the use of carbon fibre, and it features extensively throughout the McLaren P1™, not least in the MonoCage chassis and the aerodynamically-shaped body panels, but also inside the two-seat cabin. It is the lightest possible material, while offering the strength desirable for safety and structural integrity, and is used for the dashboard, floor, headlining, doors, rockers and a single piece is shaped for the central control unit to further optimise weight. Attention to detail within the interior of the McLaren P1™ is such that, to further reduce weight, the top layer of resin has been removed, to leave the carbon non-lacquered for a more natural look… and saves a further 1.5kg.

The amount of trim covering within the cabin has been minimised, leaving as many parts as exposed as possible, and there is no interior sound deadening in order to optimise weight saving even further. Carpet is offered, as an option, but when chosen, it is fitted with a special lightweight backing.

The racing bucket seats use the minimum amount of foam, are encased in ultra-thin carbon fibre shells, and mounted on lightweight brackets and runners, contributing to an overall weight of just 10.5kg each. The seat backs are fixed to 28 degrees from the vertical, but can be set to 32 degrees to make them more suitable for racing as it will give more helmet head room. The height of the seat will be custom set to suit the driver and passenger, and can be subsequently adjusted in the workshop. Fixings for a six-point race harnesses are in place, in addition to inertia reel seat belts.

The steering wheel diameter is as technically precise as a McLaren racing driver's wheel. This is because past McLaren world champions' grips were modelled on a CAD system and scanned to produce an exact replica. The rim is finished in Alcantara, with carbon fibre inserts.
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Monday, May 20, 2013

Mazda 3 MPS, 2013

  •  Mazda 3 MPS, 2013

One of Europe's most powerful compacts just got a bit sportier. Featuring assorted new body accents, the 191 kW/260 PS Mazda 3 MPS stands out with richer contrasts and a more dynamic overall look for the new model year.

The upgraded Mazda 3 MPS retains the previous model's exceptionally responsive handling and performance, and highlights the stunning exterior design by sporting new gunmetal finish for the 18-inch alloy wheels, whilst the inner roof spoiler (beneath the unique MPS wing), door mirror housings and lower rear bumper trim are finished in a sleek Black Mica finish.

Each Mazda 3 MPS is fitted with the immensely powerful and responsive 2.3-litre MZR DISI Turbo petrol engine. It generates maximum power of 260PS and 380Nm of torque (at just 3,000rpm) and drives the front wheels via a six-speed manual transmission with wider spaced gear ratios and a Limited Slip Differential. The dual exhaust pipes deliver a suitably sporty rasp at low revs, but give a 10dB noise reduction at engine speeds over 5,000rpm for improved levels of comfort when driving on open roads.

For enhanced 'active' safety appropriate for a high-performance model, the Mazda 3 MPS comes with Bi-Xenon headlights with swivel-type Adaptive Front Light System (AFS), front fog lamps, a radar-based rear vehicle monitoring (RVM) system and larger, 320mm diameter ventilated front disc brakes.

The upgraded Mazda 3 MPS will be available in a choice of four metallic/mica/pearlescent colours - Aluminium Silver, Black Mica, Crystal White Pearlescent and Velocity Red - free of extra charge.

What hasn't changed is the exceptional handling and performance, care of the inspiring turbocharged direct injection 2.3-litre DISI petrol powerplant under the bonnet. Generating 380 Nm of torque at 3,000 rpms, it propels the 5-door Mazda 3 MPS from a standstill to 100km/h in only 6.1 seconds and a top speed of 250km/h (governed).
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