Saturday, July 27, 2013

Peugeot 2008, 2014

  •  Peugeot 2008, 2014

Peugeot innovates by designing the first urban crossover that is easy, exciting and brings an enhanced driving experience:
  •     An innovative cockpit, structured around the small steering wheel, combining high-quality instrumentation and touch screen - as is the strategy for the brands products,
  •     A dynamic behaviour synonymous with enjoyment, with Peugeot's ride and handling expertise,
  •     Freedom to go on mixed terrain due to raised ground clearance, protection and Grip Control.

An international concept
On all continents, the world is changing, becoming more urbanised. The new generation of people love the city as much as they like to escape from it. Dynamic, flexible, they move constantly from one configuration to another life. Regardless of their continent, they are looking for products to enhance their image and enchant their lives.

With the mind, the brand has developed a specification of ambitious targets. The crossover by Peugeot combines a unique driving experience, with strong design and benefits of use. The challenge was to integrate this DNA design across three geographic areas for a vehicle for a global clientele. The Peugeot 2008 sold in Europe is produced in the factory in Mulhouse (France).

With the 2008, Peugeot capitalises on its expertise acquired with the success of the 3008 Crossover to create an innovative vehicle for the B segment. Set to go on sale in spring 2013, it joins in the dynamic of the offensive successfully initiated by the 208.

At just 4.16m long and 1.74m wide, Peugeot 2008 innovates by combining uniquely exciting driving, the robustness of an SUV with the practicality of space, comfort and modularity so to enjoy each moment. Equally at home in town and on the road, it can escape the restrictions of a city with confidence and ease due to its enhanced traction of Grip Control.

A unique style for a new territory
The Peugeot 2008 reinvents the standards of large volume vehicles in the small car segment. Innovative from first glance, it successfully merges the worlds. The strong stylistic trend affirms its identity contributing to practicality, volume and driving experience.

With its raised posture, the 2008 runs on 'Mud&Snow' tyres and 17'' alloy wheels in a matt finish. The special shape of the wheel arch surrounds give the Peugeot 2008 a good stance of clear capability. The black bumpers and body sills protect it, together with stainless steel front and rear off-road protection panels with chromed side mouldings.

The front face adopts the stylistic codes of the Marque. The components are adjusted precisely, all surplus material removed. Finely sculpted, the bonnet demonstrates the protection, strength and lightness of the 2008. The floating grille is cut from a block and is set upright with an expression which is both refined and full of power. The innovative headlamps are designed precisely to the technical functions. Sharp, they act with the bodywork to outline a cat's pupil. Sculpted, they are one with the front face, giving it an even more expressive, technological and individual character. This look is emphasised by LED day running lamps. The bonnet and wings complete this reassuring impression of precision, protection and strength, yet still lightweight.

The new urban crossover has very elegant and sophisticated sculpted wings and sides, indicating clear athletic qualities. The generous glazed surfaces, including the panoramic roof, promise a spacious interior open to its surroundings. The rear elegantly combines strength with dynamism. The boot volume, with a low loading sill, has above it a roof with dynamic curves, inspired by the RCZ. The wide tailgate is framed by lamps secured solidly to the bodywork. Floating inside their housing, the three luminous claws lit at their base by LEDs appear suspended.

The dynamic and elegant movement of the roof is also a feature of the profile. A roof wave emerges above the rear seats and sets the scene for an exclusive decoration as if cut into the metal. As if crimped to the bodywork, it is the origin of the spoiler in an extension of the same part, on the surface. The precise design of the roof bars puts the finishing touches to the concepts of dynamism and leisure expressed by the Peugeot 2008.

An innovative driving experience in the crossover segment
From first glance, the interior of the Peugeot 2008 takes its driver on a journey along new roads. Grip Control dial and aircraft type handbrake arranged on an exclusive console, new Brundy trim with an earthy tone … the driver is transported in an elegant ambiance with striking colour schemes. A true invitation to touch, the fascia capping is covered in a silky material. Satin chrome parts brighten this space: vents, handbrake lever, small steering wheel lower decoration, gear lever knob ears, touch screen trims.

On the higher levels, two versions of the console are available. The first offers paint of very intense depth, combining mat and metallic flecks. The second has a network of graduated fine lines. This design is obtained by means of a very precise laser engraving process. The fascia trim, the front and rear door crossbars are also adorned with this design.

As on the outside, the light signature is a constituent part of the passenger compartment of the 2008. So the atmosphere on board is like no other. Ideally placed in the line of vision, the head up dials on the higher versions are surrounded with blue LED backlighting whereas they are chromed on the other versions.

The panoramic glass roof, fitted with its electric shutter, allows natural light into the passenger compartment. When the lights are switched on, the LED guides emit a dimmed blue light. However, even with the steel roof, the Peugeot 2008 offers a unique light signature. In fact, it innovates with a roof adorned with motifs of a very precise design obtained by laser engraving. At night, the Peugeot LED Track is lit with a soft white light emitted by LEDs.

With the international success of the 3008, Peugeot acquired extensive expertise in the crossover which it has decided to combine with its driving experience expertise. The 2008 benefits from benchmark handling in the segment being the first crossover with the driving characteristics of a hatchback. Anticipating the road thanks to his high position, the driver controls the vehicle by means of a small steering wheel. As the reactive steering provides consistent information about the road, he places the Peugeot 2008 with precision and agility.

The suspension and wheels have been adjusted precisely to take advantage of the limited weight of 1045kg. The fine-tuning related to the pseudo-McPherson front axle and the rear suspension with deformable crossmember with springs and dampers which have been specially calibrated, as has the power steering. So, the 2008 achieves an excellent combination of comfort, stability and dynamism. The driver can therefore take pleasure in reactive driving while guaranteeing the comfort of his passengers.

Grip Control for improved traction
The system patented by the Group optimises traction in conditions of poor grip. It combines with the 16cm ground clearance an advanced traction control system and 'Mud&Snow'; tyres, fitted on wheel rims of distinctive style combining a diamond cut finish and a matt finish.

Versatile and flexible, Grip Control adapts to the terrain encountered by acting on the front wheels with the driver always in control. Indeed, they can decide at any time to select from Standard mode using the dial located on the centre console, for: Snow, Off-Road, Sand, ESP Off conditions.

On the 2008, Grip Control is available with two sizes of tyres: 215/60 R16 or 205/50 R17.

Park Assist, making parking a pleasure
By automating parking manoeuvres, this technological equipment exploits the compactness of the Peugeot 2008 to make moving around town easier. After activating the function, the driver selects the manoeuvre to be carried out on the touch screen, parallel parking on the left or right-hand side of the road. Then the ultrasound measures the spaces to indicate to the driver the first space available. The Park Assist then parks the vehicle by action of the electric power steering, the driver no longer having to do anything but check the progress of his vehicle and surrounding objects.

To leave the space, nothing could be easier. Simply call on the intelligence of the Park Assist once more, even on a hill thanks to the Hill Assist function, available on all engines with the exception of the 1.4-litre e-HDi 68 and the 1.2-litre VTi 82 5-speed manual.

Safety of the highest level: primary, secondary and tertiary
In a vehicle, safety begins with a comfortably seated driver, at one with his environment. The intuitive architecture of the 2008's instruments and controls has been developed to achieve this objective. The small steering wheel is the symbol of this; it illustrates the ease of taking control of the 2008 and the driving precision. The head up instrument panel reduces the time needed to obtain information. The large 7" touch screen, at the driver's fingertips, minimises commands for control of the audio/navigation. The driver can also count on the cruise control-speed limiter which is standard on all versions, on the chassis adjustments and on a range of other equipment. The Peugeot 2008 creates an alliance never experienced until now, combining safety, reactive driving and ease.

All versions of the 2008 are fitted as standard with an ESP, disconnectable up to 50km/h / 30mph, which combines several functions: anti-skid regulation (ASR), stability control (CDS), emergency braking assistance (EBA) and electronic brake force distribution (EBFD). The whole acts on four brake discs regardless of the version chosen. However, they are adapted to the different engines for improved characteristics (performance and durability). So, at the front, the ventilated discs are of two different sizes: 266 x 22mm and 283 x 26mm for the most powerful versions. At the rear, the range is equipped with non-ventilated discs of 249 x 9mm.

The structure of the Peugeot 2008 is designed for optimum deformation in the event of an impact. In this case it diffuses the energy in the force channels which guarantee the integrity of the passenger compartment. The occupants are protected by a set of six airbags - two front, two side, two curtain. The side air bags are installed in the front seat backs. So, the front occupants are provided with optimum protection, regardless of the adjustment of the seats. For the safety of children, the passenger's front airbag can be disconnected to permit the installation of a "rear facing" child seat while the rear side seats are equipped with Isofix mountings with three fixing points.

The active footrest and the collapsible steering column contribute to the protection of the driver, while the connection between the front doors and the centre pillar is guaranteed by a retention pin.

The 2008 also benefits from Peugeot's leadership in terms of tertiary safety. When equipped with the Independent Telematic Unit, the urban crossover offers the Peugeot Connect SOS and Peugeot Connect Assistance services free of charge and with no time limit. In the event of an incident, the vehicle is geolocated and the assistance process triggered.

Since its launch in 2003, more than 760,000 Peugeot vehicles in 10 European countries have been equipped with these services. They have permitted rapid attendance of the emergency services in more than 6,500 serious situations.

A large volume, easy to use
With its wheelbase of 2.54m, the Peugeot 2008 offers interior characteristics of a high level. The rear passengers have a generous amount of space, thanks to the thinner front seat backs, and a 12v socket for the connection of a portable device. Without leaving their seat, they can access the boot even when the vehicle is moving. To permit this, the front part of the load space cover pivots.

From the outside, access to the large boot is just as easy with a large rectangular opening and a low loading sill, just 60cm high, trimmed with a brushed stainless steel protector. The 1/3-2/3 modular bench seat allows you to change the volume from 360 to 1194dm3, of which 22dm3 are under the floor, with a single gesture. One press on the control at the top of the rear seat back is all it takes to fold the seat back, the seat cushion retracts automatically.

To make handling objects easier, the floor has five rails which run from the sill to the front seats. Six chromed hooks allow them to be secured safely. Practical down to the smallest detail, the boot offers two storage areas on the sides, with a retaining strap and a storage net, and an additional space of 22-litres under the boot mat.

Wherever they are sitting, passengers find numerous storage compartments, well designed and easy to locate thanks to the front and rear courtesy lamps: front door trays, glove box, tray and can holder near the gear lever, console closed storage compartment, pockets on the front seat backs. In total, the storage volume is 24-litres. So, keys, smartphones and other everyday objects always find a place in the 2008.

An efficient range of engines
Taking advantage of the light-weight design, aerodynamic silhouette and the wide range of engines makes it possible to have low fuel consumption and low emissions from just 3.8 l/100km / 61.8mpg and CO2 from 98g/km.

The expertise and technological innovation of the Group - introduction of the Stop&Start on the petrol engines, Diesel e-HDi engines, new generation 3-cylinder petrol engines - position the Peugeot 2008 as the leader in its segment by successfully combining protection of the environment and driving pleasure.

New generation 3-cylinder petrol engines
Designed entirely by the Group, the new generation of 3-cylinder petrol engines has already proved its efficiency in terms of consumption and emissions of CO2. But it is also compact and light with, for the 1.2 VTi, a reduction of 21kg compared to a 4-cylinder engine of equivalent power.

A complete Stop&Start range: e-VTi petrol and e-HDi Diesel
This technology was introduced successfully by the e-HDi engines on the 508 and 308 before being popularised by the 208. Today, the e-VTi engines launched by the 2008 allow customers choosing petrol to enjoy the same benefits.

Fitted on both the petrol and Diesel engines, this technology, which reduces consumption and increases the comfort of use, is now available on 6 of the 9 engines of the Peugeot 2008 range. The 1.2 e-VTi is coupled with a development of the automated gearbox which offers a creep-drive function and reduces CO2 emissions to only 99g/km. For Diesel, the range starts at 98g/km.

New Turbocharged 3-cylinder engines
In the months following its launch, the engine range will be expanded versions of the supercharged three-cylinder gasoline engine. Two power levels are available; 1.2-litre e-THP 110 and 1.2-litre e- THP 130 offer smooth driving characteristics, due mostly to its high torque, respectively of 205 and 230Nm.

With a high degree of technical sophistication, the 1.2-litre e-THP is 12kg lighter, compared to a 4- cylinder naturally aspirated equivalent engine, even though it has a turbo, a larger cooling system and that it offers performance with 45% more torque. The fuel consumption improvement is between 15 and 20%, depending on the version.
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Friday, July 26, 2013

Opel Adam Rocks Concept, 2013

  •  Opel Adam Rocks Concept, 2013

Showcasing how Adam's unique personalization program can get another twist, the Rocks Concept has been created for those seeking personal freedom 'off the beaten track' beyond the urban landscape. Inspired by Parkour urban athletes, it is higher and wider on its wheels, tougher and more compact in appearance. The Adam Rocks' special feeling of personal freedom is further emphasized by its cabrio looks and fabric roof that offers a free view of the sky above. The fabric extends across the entire width and length of the roof, right back to the C-pillars.
Offering 61,000 exterior variations and nearly 82,000 for the interior, as well as a state-of-the-art IntelliLink infotainment system, the lifestyle Opel Adam is the true champion of individualization - and the best connected small car around. But that is not enough for Opel. At the 2013 Geneva Motor Show, Opel shows that it explores ways of further enhancing Adam's individualization and reveals an urban mini-crossover study called Adam Rocks. With its new 3-door body style, its 3.70 meters in length, muscular proportions, fierce design and open-air capability, Opel Adam Rocks also is a proposal for opening a new segment of the market.

Parkour fun on four wheels
The Rocks Concept embodies the characteristic strengths of current Adam models: just like them, it is an athletic small, urban lifestyle car with exciting design, unrivalled personalization and connectivity possibilities, and the best of German engineering. Its mature new crossover body style is supported by a chassis that is raised by 15 mm with a 40 mm wider stance. Agile "Parkour" athletes, who give city spaces another twist and dimension, were the inspiration for the Adam Rocks sporty urban crossover concept. Its look is emphasized by impressive 'elbow and knee pads': protective cladding around the side sills, as well as a centrally-located exhaust tailpipe in OPC style. The Opel Adam Rocks' assertive looks - with a prominent grille structure and LED headlamps - show this car means business. The boomerang shaped turn indicators, enclosing the fog lamps highlight this effect and, when off, they shimmer in opaque glass. This makes the Adam Rocks' styling even more individual - just like the additional blinkers in the front side sills.

The car rides on large 18-inch wheels in Twister design featuring visible Brembo disc brakes. These wheels, which are fitted with innovative exchangeable wheel clips, are already available in Adam's production program. But the Rocks Concept's clips get a new, bolder, even more expressive design and a selection of new colors makes them stand out in contrast to the body's various grey tones. Neon-blue stripes highlight the tire tread. This color motif is echoed in the interior and around the roof.

Clear view of the sky
The high-quality level of individualization is also reflected in the Adam Rocks' interior. Elegant Nappa leather upholstery in a Brandy-colored tone from the Cascada gives the Adam concept cabin the premium feel of Opel's new mid-size convertible - all within just 3.70 meters length. In typical Adam style, the neon-blue piping contrasts superbly with the warm, light-brown leather. The piping is also used on the leather steering wheel and the gear shift lever. Additional splashes of color on the instrument panel, center console and door panel molding of the Rocks Concept add a dashing touch - exactly that unmistakable design flair which distinguishes each and every Adam.
The major benefit of this layout is that passengers can enjoy open-air driving fun without losing trunk space. The electric roof folds back via remote control in front of the C-pillars and does not protrude into the tailgate, leaving unrestricted access to the trunk's full capacity. The additional weight caused by this system is minimal compared to a traditional, pure cabrio concept - a major criteria for a car of that size. The 'networked' roof's special appeal is its intelligence: a special weather app, displayed on the color driver-information-center of the IntelliLink infotainment system, knows when a weather front is imminent and automatically initiates closing of the roof. Clever if, on a hot summer day, you leave your car open in front of your house and a storm arrives.

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Thursday, July 25, 2013

Nissan Friend-ME Concept, 2013

  •  Nissan Friend-ME Concept, 2013

Nissan Friend-ME Concept is a four-passenger sedan designed for a generation with a very different automotive outlook. With an assertive, imposing exterior featuring boldly flowing sculpted lines, Friend-ME is a confident creature of the night, meant to be seen in bright city lights.

The concept is applicable globally, but the genesis of Friend-ME was Nissan's research into the aspirations of customers destined to emerge as the world's largest single market segment: the "Balínghòu", which is how around 240 million Chinese born in the 1980s are known. Specifically, Friend-ME addresses the social dynamics of Chinese men in their mid-20s.

For a generation that grew up without siblings, leisure time shared with peers is treasured.

Edgy, but mannered enough to go with the flow

The car asserts an imposing presence - solidity and flowing lines give it an edgy muscularity.

The Nissan Friend-ME features a low and wide stance with short front and rear overhangs giving a chunky, aggressive and sporty impression. The design's energy flows from the 'V-motion' shaped grille and streams through the bonnet and shoulder lines while the headlamps and rear combination lamps are accentuated by its unique boomerang-shaped lighting signature.

The profile of the vehicle completely describes the progressive translation of 'Distilled Da Qi'. The thin and light floating roof and kick-up shape around the C-pillar resonates well and produces sophisticated harmony. Likewise, the Neon Grey exterior colour - specially developed to appeal to tech-savvy youthful tastes - shows its lines to full effect at night.

'Oracle stone' empowers shared adventure

Inside, front and back, driver and passenger, all four seats are separate with the same high-tech style and status, because in this cabin all aboard are peers - equals. And all share the same information as the driver: speed, navigation, fuel remaining - everything.

Empowering all four adventurers is a unique centre console stretching from the dash to between the rear seats - an iconic monolith in an onyx-black finish. Screens visible from each seat blend seamlessly with the surface, only becoming apparent as they display whatever contents the buzz of the moment demands. Whoever finds cool content can transfer it from his mobile to the on-board screens so all can share in the fun.
A dream within reach
Nissan Friend-ME has been carefully designed as a dream within reach of young customers in China. Based on an existing Nissan sedan architecture, it requires a minimum of unique components. The ecologically efficient PureDrive hybrid powertrain envisioned for Friend-ME would deliver more than enough zip for city driving.

That's the dream Nissan Friend-ME delivers, thanks to the collaboration between design teams from Nissan Design China (NDC) - the Beijing studio established in 2011 - and Nissan Global Design Center (NGDC) under the leadership and direction of Shiro Nakamura, Nissan's Senior Vice President and Chief Creative Officer. One of NDC's most ambitious designs so far, Friend-ME is one of many in-depth explorations of China's customer needs and aspirations now underway.
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Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Mercedes-Benz A-Class UK-Version, 2013

  •  Mercedes-Benz A-Class UK-Version, 2013

Mercedes-Benz has started completely afresh for the third generation of its compact front-wheel drive A-Class. The latest Mercedes-Benz A-Class is based on all-new vehicle architecture and assembly techniques and introduces sportier and more dynamic design with greater emotional appeal. It is powered by an updated family of turbo-charged direct-injection petrol and diesel engines delivering up to 211 hp with CO2 emissions as low as 98 g/km.

The new A-Class is available with Mercedes-Benz' first double-clutch seven-speed automatic transmission (7G-DCT), and the range also advances the company's policy of ensuring that as many people as possible enjoy the protection of advanced safety features, with the innovative Collision Prevention Assist headlining a comprehensive list of active and passive protection features fitted as standard.

The new Mercedes-Benz A-Class is the second model in what will eventually become a family of compact front-drive cars from Mercedes-Benz, which began with the latest B-Class. But while the B-Class is focused on family usage, providing the space of a much larger saloon within a compact-car footprint, the A-Class has a more dynamic role to play, as is evident in its dramatic styling.

Mercedes-Benz has also introduced a new 2.0-litre direct-injection turbo-charged petrol engine to its Mercedes-Benz A-Class range generating 211 hp - sufficient to propel the car from zero to 62 mph in 6.6 seconds and on to a 149 mph top speed. This is standard with the exclusive range-topping Engineered by AMG specification, as is the 7G-DCT double-clutch automatic transmission, along with AMG-inspired styling, trim, equipment and chassis tuning.

Two new diesel engines also make their debut in the third-generation A-Class, giving the car potential fuel economy of 74.3 mpg with CO2 emissions down to 98 g/km.

At the other end of the spectrum, the 2.2-litre 220 CDI engine generates 170 hp and 350 Nm of torque. In conjunction with the standard 7G-DCT transmission, it accelerates the A-Class from 0-62 mph in 8.2 seconds. It meets the EU 6 emissions standard not due to come into force until 2015, while posting a combined fuel economy of 64.2 mpg and CO2 emissions of just 115 g/km, demonstrating that with the new Mercedes-Benz A-Class, performance and efficiency are not mutually exclusive.

Designers and engineers are rarely given the luxury of a completely blank sheet of paper when starting work on a new car, yet that is precisely the opportunity Mercedes-Benz engineers were given for the new A-Class. Longer, wider and lower than the previous two versions, the latest model is a more emotive and dynamically engaging car that's little changed from the radical Concept A-Class given a wildly enthusiastic reception at the 2011 Shanghai Auto Show.

It is a progressive and highly sculpted five-door two-box model, now based on a monocoque construction rather than the sandwich floor assembly of the previous two generations. This not only dramatically reduces the overall height of the car, but it also lowers the seating position of the occupants by 174 mm, which in turn brings down the centre of gravity by 24 mm to allow much more dynamic and agile driving characteristics. These are even more emphatic in the 15 mm lower AMG Sport and specifically tuned Engineered by AMG versions.

The exterior cleverly mixes sharp edges and tautly drawn convex and concave surfaces which seem to constantly change with the angle of the light, particularly along the sides. The long, bold front leads into a pronounced V-shape, culminating in the radiator grille with the central Mercedes-Benz star between double slats, or a single slat dividing a unique diamond grille in the Engineered by AMG version. The headlamps and the light functions within them are key elements of the design concept.

The design emphasises the class-leading aerodynamics of the new Mercedes-Benz A-Class, with its drag coefficient of Cd 0.27. This is especially apparent in the smooth arc of the roof, which finishes in a flat edge, and a spoiler which conveniently hides the aerials. The tailgate is another interplay of convex and concave surfaces which further demonstrates the interaction between design and aerodynamics: the surface of the tail lights improves airflow around the car through defined break-away edges.

The interior of the A-Class represents a dramatic step forward in the quality of materials used, as well as the consistency of design. The front of the cabin adopts an aviation-inspired theme, with the dashboard shaped like the wing of an aircraft and the round air vents reminiscent of jet engines. Meticulous attention to detail is apparent everywhere, from the 'cool touch' real metal electroplated trim embellishers to the free-standing display screen with a black piano lacquer-look front panel and a flush-fitting silver frame.

The rear provides generous room for three passengers, despite looking as though it has only two individual seats. A 341-litre luggage area can be expanded to 1,157 litres with the rear seats folded. In all models the seat backrests are split 2/3:1/3.

Altogether, there are seven direct-injection turbo-charged engine options in the new A-Class, all characterised by high specific outputs, flexible performance thanks to strong torque across a wide rev range, outstanding efficiency and excellent refinement.

In addition to the new 211 hp 2.0-litre petrol unit (A 250 BlueEFFICIENCY) and the new 109 hp 1.5-litre (A 180 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY) and 170 hp 2.2-litre (A 220 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY) turbodiesels, there are two further petrol units (A 180 BlueEFFICIENCY and A 200 BlueEFFICIENCY) and two more diesels (A 180 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY 7G-DCT and A 200 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY), which were introduced with the latest B-Class. All engines feature ECO start/stop as standard.

The A 180 BlueEFFICIENCY is powered by a 1.6-litre 122 hp engine, while the A 200 BlueEFFICIENCY uses a 156 hp version. The diesel engines are 1.8-litre units; a 109 hp option is fitted in conjunction with the 7G-DCT transmission in the A 180 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY, and a 136 hp variant in the A 200 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY.

A six-speed manual gearbox is standard with the A 180, A 200, the 1.5-litre A 180 CDI and the A 200 CDI, while the A 250, the 1.8-litre A 180 CDI and the A 220 CDI have the 7G-DCT transmission. This is an option with the A 180, A 200 and A 200 CDI. Fuel consumption has been reduced by up to 35 per cent compared with the preceding models, despite considerable power increases.

The petrol engines are all-aluminium M 270 turbo-charged direct-injection 16-valve four-cylinder units. They are extremely versatile engines which are already being phased into larger Mercedes-Benz models to help bring down fuel consumption and emissions. They employ technology first introduced in 2010 with the ultra-modern BlueDIRECT V6 and V8 engines for the S-Class. The combustion process is based on third-generation Mercedes-Benz direct- injection technology with highly precise, multiple piezo-injections.

With the exception of the new 1.5-litre engine, now in its sixth generation and specially adapted by Mercedes-Benz for use in the A-Class, the diesel engines are developments of the OM 651 fourth-generation 2.2-litre four-cylinder unit premiered in 2008. Since then the OM 651 has been setting standards for performance, torque, economy, emissions and smooth running. It is in more widespread use than any other Mercedes-Benz diesel engine.

The instantaneous response of the engines and the slick operation of the six-speed manual and triple-mode (Economy, Sport and Manual) 7G-DCT transmissions in the new A-Class is complemented by the agile chassis, which features a four-link rear axle, electro-mechanical power steering, powerful all-round disc brakes and advanced driver assistance functions such as specially tuned ESP® Electronic Stability Control.

There are three different suspension tunings, with a comfort set-up for standard, SE and Sport models, a sportier 15 mm lower arrangement for AMG Sport variants and the ultimate AMG-tuned system in the A 250 BlueEFFICIENCY Engineered by AMG.

All benefit from the more dynamic new proportions and lower centre of gravity of the latest Mercedes-Benz A-Class. During development, the engineers made intensive use of the driving simulators at the Mercedes-Benz development centre in Sindelfingen to create a digital profile of the driving dynamics of the new A-Class. This enabled them to achieve the right balance of agility, nimbleness, stability and comfort required for each version before a single prototype had been built.

In keeping with every new model introduction from Mercedes-Benz, the latest A-Class extends the protection afforded by advanced safety technology to as many people as possible by offering features that are the preserve of only the most expensive cars from some brands.

In the A-Class, this starts with an extremely robust body shell incorporating extensive areas of high-strength and ultra-high-strength steels for rigidity with lightness, and includes the innovative radar-based accident warning system, Collision Prevention Assist, which is fitted as standard. This gives visual and audible warnings to alert a distracted driver to the possibility of a nose-to-tail collision, and prepares the standard Adaptive Brake Assist feature for the most effective braking response as soon as the driver hits the brake pedal.

The Attention Assist feature to recognise and alert a drowsy driver is also standard, along with Adaptive Brake Assist incorporating Hold and, on manual models, Hill-Start Assist. This primes the brakes for maximum stopping effect in a possible emergency, adds to convenience by holding a stationary car without the driver having to keep a foot on the brake pedal and prevents the car from rolling backwards when setting off on uphill gradients. Seven airbags, including a driver's knee airbag, and an Active Bonnet to provide additional pedestrian protection are also fitted to every Mercedes-Benz A-Class as standard.

Available features include Lane-Keeping Assist and Blind Spot Assist, Speed Limit Assist, Active Park Assist with Parktronic, Distronic Plus autonomous acceleration and braking to maintain a gap to the car ahead, the Mercedes-Benz Intelligent Light system and the anticipatory Pre-Safe® occupant protection feature.

The new A-Class is optionally available with COMAND Online in-car internet services, and in 2013 it will be offered with seamless integration of the Apple iPhone® in conjunction with a revolutionary new user interface design. Highlights include advanced navigation software from Garmin, with internet-based real-time traffic information, online destination searches and 3-D map display.

COMAND Online provides internet access via a web-enabled mobile phone, plus various Mercedes-Benz services on the move. These include weather information, news, and a special destination search via Google, as well as the option of downloading a route previously configured on a PC using Google Maps.

Mercedes-Benz has taken a dramatically different approach to the design of the new A-Class. Where the previous two models were essentially pragmatic - ingeniously packaging the space of a large saloon into a car with the footprint of a city runabout - the new A-Class adds rewarding elements of dynamism and excitement to elevate it above its compact front-wheel-drive five-door hatchback rivals.

Radical, progressive and emotive, it brings the sculpted look and feel of the latest Mercedes-Benz design idiom to the compact car class.

The key dimensions are in themselves enough to show just how much the A-Class has changed. At 4,292 mm long, 1,780 mm wide and 1,433 mm tall, it is 409 mm longer, 16 mm wider and almost 180 mm lower than the model it replaces.

Its radical form language was first seen in the Concept A-Class at the Shanghai Auto Show of 2011. That highly acclaimed design has now been transferred to the production model - a huge challenge in a car of compact dimensions, which had to match its rakish and exciting appearance with a usable and practical five-seater interior.

Design at Mercedes-Benz always begins with an internal competition among all the company's designers. The winning entry for the exterior of the Mercedes-Benz A-Class came from Englishman Mark Fetherston, a graduate of Coventry University's School of Transport Design, who has worked at Mercedes-Benz since 1999. Fetherston has excellent design form at Mercedes-Benz - he also designed the exterior of the SLS AMG gullwing supercar.

For the flowing, sculpted shape of the A-Class, he was influenced by the patterns of sand dunes and winter landscapes - and even the sleek lines of the Concorde - and was able to take advantage of the encouragement given to the design team by the Mercedes-Benz Board to be more progressive.

The sides of the new A-Class are characterised by sharply defined edges and tautly drawn convex and concave surfaces, which seem to constantly change as the light catches them. The pronounced front end meets in a prominent V-shape, with the Mercedes-Benz star mounted in a two-louvre grille in either chrome, silver, black or body colour, depending on model.

There are three lower air intakes in the bottom section of the bumper. The A-Class Engineered by AMG has a single-louvre diamond-pattern grille and black edges around the air intakes, with a red highlight line in the central section.

The headlamp units are a key element of the frontal design. The light modules have been arranged to deliver a flare-effect for the daylight running lamps and turn indicators, creating an instantly identifiable visual signature for the new A-Class. Bi-xenon headlamps and LED daytime running lights are fitted to the A-Class Engineered by AMG.

The new A-Class has a class-leading drag co-efficient figure of Cd 0.27. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the dynamic and smooth arc of the roof, which finishes in a spoiler that neatly hides the aerials and lends structure to the whole assembly.

Along the flanks, a rising beltline in either black or chrome enhances the car's pronounced wedge profile, while another line rises from the mid-point of the front wheel arches to create powerful shoulder muscles at the rear, giving the new Mercedes-Benz A-Class a coupé-like stance. Between these two crisp lines are sensuously moulded sculptured panels.

Dynamic sills add an athletic finishing touch, particularly pronounced in the A-Class AMG Sport, which rides 15 mm lower than other models, and the A-Class Engineered by AMG with its AMG sports suspension.

The interplay of convex and concave surfaces and taut edges is repeated at the rear. The tail lights - LED units in the A-Class Engineered by AMG models - continue the line of the muscular shoulders back towards the rear. Their horizontal orientation emphasises the greater width of the new model.

The tail-light clusters are also pointers to the superior aerodynamics of the new A-Class: not only are they a design feature in themselves, but their carefully shaped break-away edges have been designed to improve airflow from the rear of the car.

The interior of the new A-Class was also inspired by two concept cars. The starting point was the Mercedes-Benz Aesthetics No 2 sculpture revealed at the 2011 Detroit Auto Show. This was then incorporated into the Concept A-Class, which was created at the Mercedes-Benz Advance Styling Studio in the northern Italian city of Como in time for the Shanghai Auto Show in September of the same year.

If the dash area, vents and instruments were inspired by the world of aviation then the seating areas, space, quality and attention to detail have been designed to give the spacious feel of a far larger car.

The objective was to complement the sleek look of the exterior while giving the Mercedes-Benz A-Class a high-quality appearance and feel unique in its segment through the design and the choice of materials, colours and textures.

The sweep of the dash continues the aircraft wing-inspired theme of other recent new models from Mercedes-Benz. It incorporates five circular air vents with electro-plated outer rings on SE versions and above. Airflow through these vents is controlled by cruciform nozzles reminiscent of jet engines. In the A-Class Engineered by AMG these vents feature a red insert matching the car's front lower centre grille. The electro-plating process gives the nozzles a tactile metal finish with a cool-touch effect, and has been extended to all trim elements.

The instrumentation and control screen appear in the upper part of the dash, while a broad lower section contains the switchgear and control buttons. The production process used for the lower section allows a wide diversity of soft-touch surfaces to further emphasise the quality and attention to detail within the cabin.

The instrument cluster is made up of two large round dials, each with a smaller dial set within. The dial faces are either black or silver with a chequered flag design, depending on model. Likewise, the dial needles are red or white, according to the trim level.

To the right of the instrument panel is a free-standing 5.8-inch tablet-style colour display screen with a black piano lacquer-look front panel and a flush-fitting silver frame. This is linked to the Audio 20 entertainment system or the option Audio 20 system with Media interface.

The new A-Class has been configured so that an Apple iPhone® can be fully integrated into the operating and display system via the Drive Kit Plus special app.

For all its rakish looks and compact dimensions, the A-Class is a full five-seater hatchback, but the rear accommodation has cunningly designed to look like two individual seats. All models from SE have sports seats with integrated head restraints, and sports pedals with rubber studs.

A sports three-spoke multi-function steering wheel with leather trim, perforated in the grip areas, is fitted to SE and Sport versions of the new Mercedes-Benz A-Class, while AMG Sport and Engineered by AMG versions have a flat-bottomed sports steering wheel trimmed in nappa leather.

The rear seat backrests are split 2/3:1/3 and the two sections can be folded individually to expand the standard 341-litre luggage are to a maximum of 1,157 litres. The luggage area allows items more than a metre wide to fit between the wheel housings.

Nothing illustrates the new, more dynamic character of the latest A-Class more than the way it is constructed. In place of the sandwich-floor assembly of the previous two generations, there is now an advanced steel monocoque layout that brings about significant reductions in the height of the car and the seating positions which, in turn, lowers the centre of gravity. The outcome is sharper, more agile, nimbler handling with uncompromised passenger accommodation.

There are three all-independent suspension options which adjust the balance between sportiness and handling to suit the various model packages. All versions have fuel-saving electro-mechanical power-assisted steering, powerful all-round disc brakes incorporating the Mercedes-Benz Hold function, an electronic parking brake and the latest driver assistance systems.

The sandwich-floor body construction of the previous two generations of A-Class, which placed the engine partly in front of and partly beneath a twin-floor passenger cell, has been replaced by a sophisticated steel monocoque in the latest model. This has not only brought about a significant reduction in the car's overall height, which has been reduced by 160 mm, and seating positions, which are 174 mm lower, but it has lowered the centre of gravity by 24 mm - an ideal starting point for a car engineered to deliver more dynamic and agile handling.

This is underscored by the structural design of the body-in-white, which features 67 per cent high-strength or ultra-high-strength steels. This increases the rigidity of the chassis from a dynamic behaviour perspective and ensures the new A-Class more than meets the stringent Mercedes-Benz safety standards, which far exceed anything demanded by legislation anywhere in the world.

There is a new bulkhead and floor, an integral support frame as a deformation element, a length of 435 mm over which to dissipate crash energy and load distribution over several planes. Altogether, three longitudinal planes allow impact energy to be absorbed in a controlled manner.

The support frame is the attachment point for the front axle and steering assembly as well as the torque support for the transversely mounted engine and gearbox. It is made up of several steel plates and a hydroformed tube, and is connected by two aluminium struts to the aluminium radiator mount.

A plastic crash wedge at the rear of each front wheel arch prevents the wheel from sliding beneath the door in an impact, thus ensuring that the doors are still capable of being opened after an impact.

Mercedes-Benz has developed what it calls 'skate runners' to discharge frontal impact forces into the floor, which features four straight longitudinal members. To protect the passenger cell in a side impact there are rigid structures which include a pole support fitted diagonally between the central tunnel and the floor sidewalls. This is intended to prevent the floor being torn open even in a side impact with a tree.

High-strength steels in the upper part of the B-pillar minimise intrusion, but the lower part of the pillar is made from softer steels so that crash energy is dissipated in a controlled manner. The B-pillars also house something referred to by Mercedes-Benz engineers as 'vampire's teeth' - small tooth-like recesses which prevent the seat-belt retractor from causing cracks that might affect the body's structural integrity in a crash.

The new A-Class has all-independent suspension with three different levels of tuning to strike the ideal balance between comfort and sportiness according to the model variant. Suspension engineers made extensive use of the driving simulators at the Mercedes-Benz development centre in Sindelfingen, compiling a digital profile of the car's dynamic responses as part of the development process before a single prototype was built.

All three suspension arrangements rely on a redesigned MacPherson strut system at the front and a new four-link rear axle developed for the new Mercedes-Benz family of compact front-wheel-drive cars. This, combined with the lower centre of gravity of the latest Mercedes-Benz A-Class, provides a perfect platform for excellent dynamic behaviour.

The four-link rear axle is configured so that forces are absorbed by three control arms and one trailing arm per wheel. This means that longitudinal and lateral influences on the suspension are absorbed virtually independent of each another. The wheel carriers and spring links are made of aluminium to reduce unsprung weight. The goal was to achieve high lateral agility with high straight-line stability and the minimum of slip on the rear axle.

All three suspension configurations deliver exemplary levels of comfort with precise, agile responses, low degrees of roll and low start-off pitch. The A-Class has been set up introduce mild understeer at higher degrees of lateral acceleration so that the driver can control changes in direction with low steering input but high steering precision.

Standard comfort suspension is fitted to A 180, SE and Sport models. AMG Sport versions have the Dynamic Handling Package (optional on Sport), which lowers the ride height by 15 mm and introduces firmer springs and dampers plus AMG multi-spoke 18-inch alloy wheels. Direct-Steer is also part of the Dynamic Handling Package, adding an extra element of agility and precision. Engineered by AMG models feature modified AMG sports suspension.

The latest ESP® Electronic Stability Programme includes Torque Vectoring Brake, which helps to control any tendency towards oversteer in fast cornering by applying slight brake pressure to the outer rear wheel. It has been designed to intervene gently so that skilled and experienced drivers can extract maximum enjoyment out of the car without ever reaching a potentially critical situation.

The new A-Class features redesigned electro-mechanical steering, engineered to give drivers maximum enjoyment by delivering fast, accurate responses while saving fuel by drawing power assistance from the engine only when the car is turning. A turning circle of just 11 metres adds to the practicality, especially in urban driving conditions, of the A-Class.

The electric motor, which provides servo assistance, is mounted directly on the steering gear. The steering permits various assistance functions in conjunction with the ESP® control unit. For example, it can compensate for the effect of crosswinds and cambered roads, counter the torque-steer effect found in some front-wheel-drive cars, keep the car straight when braking on surfaces where the levels of grip differ from left to right, and counter-steer should the car nudge towards oversteer.

It also makes the optional Active Park Assist with Parktronic. Active Park Assist with Parktronic measures potential parking spaces through two ultrasonic sensors on the front bumper. If the space is large enough for the car, the system operates the electro-mechanical power steering while the driver works the accelerator and brake.

AMG Sport and Engineered by AMG versions of the A-Class come as standard with Mercedes-Benz' Direct-Steer system, which provides variable hydraulic assistance that reduces as speed increases and adds a variable ratio that changes according to the steering angle.

The ratio is indirect when steering straight ahead, thus ensuring exceptional stability, but increases rapidly once a five-degree steering angle has been applied, becoming extremely direct from a steering angle of 100 degrees. As a result, the driver need make only relatively small steering movements when manoeuvring in confined areas or through a series of tight corners. The variable ratio is achieved through a steering rack with different teeth profiles.
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Sunday, July 21, 2013

Lexus RX 350 F Sport, 2013

  •  Lexus RX 350 F Sport, 2013
Lexus revealed the all-new 2013 RX 350 F Sport, making debut at the 2012 New York International Auto Show, North American
Available in All-Wheel Drive (AWD), the Lexus RX 350 F Sport features an eight-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters, F Sport-tuned suspension, unique sport front bumper and mesh grille, 19-inch split five-spoke wheels in a Dark Graphite finish, and exclusive interior enhancements.

The Lexus RX 350 F Sport teams a 3.5-liter V6 engine with an eight-speed Electronically Controlled Transmission with intelligence (ECT-i) for an output of 270 horsepower at 6,200 rpm. Dual Variable Valve Timing with intelligence (VVT-i) is used to control both intake and exhaust camshafts independently; optimizing engine performance at many speeds and loads.

The Lexus RX 350 F Sport's eight-speed automatic transmission has paddle shifters as standard equipment. It yields quick shifting response with help from miniature high-flow linear solenoids that allow more precise clutch operation. The torque converter uses a low-speed lockup damper to enable lock-up from first to eighth gear to help improve the fuel economy.

The RX 350 F Sport model features an electronically controlled Active Torque Control AWD system. Active Torque Control AWD uses an electronically controlled coupling ahead of the rear differential to vary torque distribution anywhere from 100:0 to 50:50 front to rear, depending on driving dynamics and road conditions. When accelerating, or starting off on a low-grip surface, torque is quickly provided to all four wheels. At steady speeds, torque is sent only to the front wheels, enhancing fuel efficiency. The model is expected to earn EPA ratings of 19 mpg city, 25 mpg highway, 21 mpg combined.

The F Sport suspension provides firmer shocks and springs for a more engaging driving experience. A unique lateral performance damper system absorbs and minimizes body vibrations, resulting in a more linear steering feel and enhanced ride comfort. In lieu of conventional fixed bracing, this system features a front performance damper and a rear damper connecting the left and right sides of the rear structural frame. The eight-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters, allows for more driver input, while increasing fuel efficiency.

VDIM handling technology is standard on the Lexus RX 350 AWD F Sport. VDIM anticipates loss of vehicle control and governs all of the vehicle's dynamic handling systems - the Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Brake Assist (BA), Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) and Traction Control (TRAC) - with the electronic throttle control system. The system employs them collectively and seamlessly to help make corrections while allowing higher dynamic capability.

The RX F Sport  exclusively equipped with 19-inch split five-spoke wheels with 235/55R/19 tires.

A New, Sporty Appearance Inside and Out
The new distinctive and contemporary front of the RX F Sport is highlighted with Lexus' signature spindle grille and a bolder sport bumper, featuring an F Sport exclusive mesh design. The upper edge of the grille is set lower than the upper edge of the headlamp assembly to establish a more aggressive look. The standard LED daytime running lights and combination rear lamps reflect the "L" design motif. Fog lamps are integrated into the sculpted lower front bumper fascia.

Pronounced front fenders flow into the doors, and integrated rear fender flares neatly sweep around to pull together the taut rear corners of the vehicle. The lower body emphasizes the standard 19-inch wheels. Distinctive F Sport exterior badging adorns the sporty exterior.

The RX F Sport features a unique interior design treatment with perforated black leather-trimmed seats with white perforation holes. White contrast stitching accentuates the seats, center console and door armrests. A new Ebony Bird's Eye Maple trim adds a touch oF Sporty elegance. A black headliner, a perforated leather-wrapped steering wheel showcasing the "F" logo, and aluminum pedals complete the interior enhancements.

Multimedia Capabilities
The Lexus RX F Sport can accommodate a variety of music sources, providing auxiliary and USB inputs, Bluetooth® Audio wireless connectivity and a standard integrated SiriusXM Satellite Radio receiver (90-day trial subscription included). Standard voice recognition and Bluetooth® technology allow phone calls to be made and received once paired with a compatible smartphone. When an iPod® is attached via the USB port, information such as artist name, track and album can be displayed on the available navigation or headunit, while the iPod can be controlled through the audio system. The large center console storage box easily accommodates a variety of electronic devices while keeping wires out of sight.

The available next generation Hard Disc Drive (HDD) navigation system eliminates the need for DVD map discs and offers a unique voice recognition system, which accepts casual-language inputs on certain functions. The system includes Lexus Enform® with Safety Connect® (includes complimentary one-year trial subscription), Voice Command casual-language voice recognition, HD Radio with iTunes tagging and automatic Bluetooth phonebook download. The system is controlled by a new, second generation Remote Touch Interface (RTI) that is more intuitive in its design and use. The Remote Touch allows the user to operate the climate, audio, phone controls, navigation system and more. The screen menus are selected with a controller conveniently located within easy reach on the center console. Remote Touch also reduces eye movement and helps users operate functions with reduced effort and distraction.

Lexus Enform® with Safety Connect® now comes with the next-generation Lexus Enform® Application Suite, the system that leverages the customers' mobile phone technology to provide a new level of connectivity and information management. A complimentary one-year trial subscription is included. Users can conduct local searches through Bing, or utilize voice-enabled apps to make restaurant reservations through OpenTable, get movie tickets via or tap into internet radio, including Pandora® or iHeartRadio.

Users will also appreciate the ability to check-in on Facebook places, and search for various business reviews including restaurants on Yelp. SiriusXM data services offer information on stocks, traffic, weather, sports and fuel prices. Enform® is supported on iPhone, Android and Blackberry. SiriusXM data services offer a complimentary one year trial subscription. Separate audio and data subscriptions are required.
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