Saturday, November 9, 2013

Ferrari La Ferrari, 2014

 
 
 
 
  • Ferrari La Ferrari, 2014
The hybrid technology used, known as HY-KERS, represents the perfect combination of maximum performance and lower emissions. La Ferrari in fact emits just 330 g/km of CO2 but without resorting to electric-only drive which would not fit the mission of this model. The HY-KERS system is, however, designed so that in future applications a car can be driven using exclusively electric power for a few kilometres and, during development testing, a full-electric version of LaFerrari achieved just 220 g/km of C02 emissions on the combined cycle.

For Ferrari the development of a limited-series special like the La Ferrari represents an opportunity to experiment with all the technological solutions that will later filter down onto the production cars. Of particular significance in this context is the introduction of the hybrid system which, making full use of the Scuderia Ferrari's F1 KERS know-how, has resulted in a solution that exalts Ferrari's fundamental values - performance and driving thrills.

The La Ferrari is equipped with dynamic controls that are integrated for the first time ever on a Ferrari road car with active aerodynamics and the HY-KERS system. Thanks to Ferrari's proprietary logic which govern all the systems, the car can achieve absolute levels of performance, aerodynamic efficiency and handling without any form of compromise in any area. A very advanced and uncompromising approach was also taken with the interior design which features an HMI inspired by F1 single-seaters.

Architecture
The LaFerrari's architecture posed the first challenge for the Prancing Horse team at the planning stage of the design. The aim was to achieve ideal weight distribution (59% at the rear) and a compact wheelbase despite the extra bulk of the hybrid system. The result is that all of the masses are situated between the car's two axles and as close as possible to the floor to lower its centre of gravity (by 35 millimetres) and thereby guarantee dynamic handling and compact dimensions.

The layout of the cabin made a significant contribution in this regard. The seat is fixed and tailored to the driver while both the pedal box and steering wheel are adjustable. The driving position is similar to that of a single-seater and was designed after consultation with the Scuderia Ferrari drivers, Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa, who played an active role throughout the entire development process.

The LaFerrari's chassis features no less than four different types of carbon-fibre, all hand-laminated and autoclave-cured in the racing department using the same design and production methods as the Formula 1 car. This helped optimise the design: various functions were integrated (e.g. seats and battery compartment) into the chassis to improve torsional rigidity (+27%) and beam stiffness (+22%) whilst cutting weight.

Powertrain
The LaFerrari is the first car in Ferrari history to be powered by the HY-KERS system. The ICE represents the pinnacle of engine development and research, with a 6262 cc V12 that punches out 800 CV and revs to a maximum of 9,250 rpm, a record for an engine of this displacement. It also features a very high 13.5:1 compression ratio and a high specific output equal to 128 CV per litre. The engine is coupled with a 120 Kw (163 CV) electric motor, giving it a combined power output of 963 CV.

The high torque levels available at low revs from the electric motor allowed the engineers to optimise the internal combustion engine's performance at higher revs, thus providing a constant supply of exceptional power throughout the rev range. Total torque generated is in excess of 900 Nm. The hybrid system is composed of two electric motors developed in collaboration with Magneti Marelli - one powering the driven wheels and the second the ancillaries - and a battery pack attached to the floor of the chassis consisting of cells that are assembled in the Scuderia Ferrari department where the KERS for the F138 is also made. The Scuderia's expertise allowed considerable savings in weight and size of the individual components and the batteries weigh just 60 kg while providing the highest energy density possible for this kind of application.

The batteries are charged in different ways: under braking (even hard braking with the ABS active) and every time the V12 produces more torque than required, such as in cornering. In the latter instance, rather than the being sent to the wheels, the excess torque is converted to energy and stored in the batteries.

The electric motor is coupled with the F1 dual-clutch gearbox to the benefit of optimal weight distribution, but also to boosting energy efficiency as torque is instantly available to the wheels and, vice versa, from the wheels to the electric motor in recharging.

Aerodynamics
Active aerodynamics play an essential role, as they allow a complete adjustability of the car's configuration to attain LaFerrari's exceptional performance.

The engineers' aim was to deliver the highest degree of aerodynamic efficiency ever achieved with any road car, with a coefficient of nearly 3, thanks to technical solutions honed with CFD analysis and fine-tuned in the F1 Wind Tunnel.

To boost efficiency, the LaFerrari sports active aerodynamic devices front (diffusers and guide vane on the underbody) and rear (diffusers and rear spoiler) which generate downforce when needed without compromising the car's overall drag coefficient. These devices deploy automatically on the basis of a number of different performance parameters which are monitored in real time by the car's dynamic vehicle controls, thus guaranteeing the ideal configuration on the basis of the driving conditions.

Control systems
One further innovative aspect of the LaFerrari is the integration of its active aerodynamics and hybrid system with the other dynamic control systems aboard. This means the car responds intelligently to driver inputs, making for a seamless blend of unprecedented performance and unparalleled driving emotions.

Proprietary Ferrari algorithms deliver optimal integration of the electric motor and V12 for instantaneous response. In cornering, for instance, the HY-KERS keeps the V12's revs high to guarantee better acceleration on exit.

The LaFerrari's Brembo braking system is also integrated with the hybrid system, and incorporates several new features, including new lightweight callipers designed to guarantee correct cooling and carbon-ceramic material (CCM) discs featuring a new composition.

The car's extreme performance potential called for a different tyre set-up, with 265/30 R 19 Pirelli P-Zeros on the front and 345/30 R 20s on the rear.

All in all the car guarantees maximum driving thrills in every situation and performance levels are top level: 0-100 km/h in less than 3 seconds and 0-200 km/h in under 7 seconds, a lap time at Fiorano of under 1'20" - 5 seconds faster than the Enzo and over 3 seconds faster than the F12berlinetta. LaFerrari is thus the fastest road car in Maranello's long history.

Styling The Ferrari design team led by Flavio Manzoni developed the LaFerrari's styling working in close synergy with the engineers to emphasise the exacting link between form and function. The result is an extreme, innovative design which retains close links to the marque's tradition. This is most evident in its side profile: the car has a sharp, downward-sloping nose and a very low bonnet which emphasises its muscular wheelarches, a clear nod to the gloriously exuberant forms of late-1960s Ferrari sports prototypes.

The LaFerrari's body has been given a sculptural treatment heavily influenced by its clearly F1-inspired aerodynamics and a tail section that exudes uncompromising sportiness.

Inside there's a newly-designed steering wheel sporting all the major commands, and the gear-shift paddles are now longer and more ergonomic. The signature bridge on which the F1 gearbox functions are clustered has taken on a sleek, suspended wing-like shape. The whole interior, in fact, has a fiercely track-inspired, pared-back allure.

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS
    HY-KERS system
        Total maximum power: 963 CV
        Total maximum torque: >900 Nm
        V12 maximum power: 800 CV @9000 rpm
        Maximum revs: 9250 rpm
        V12 maximum torque: 700 Nm @6750 rpm
        Electric motor output: 120 Kw (163 CV)
        CO2 emissions: 330 g/km

    Performance
        Maximum speed: over 350 km/h
        0-100 km/h: <3 sec
        0-200 km/h: <7 sec
        0 - 300 km/h: 15 sec

    ICE
        Type: 65-deg. V12
        Bore and stroke: 94 x 752 mm
        Total displacement: 6262 cc
        Compression ratio: 13.5:1
        Specific power: 128 CV/l

    Dimensions
        Length: 4702 mm
        Width: 1992 mm
        Height: 1116 mm
        Wheelbase: 2650 mm
        Weight distribution: 41% fr, 59% r
    Gearbox: 7-speed DCT

    Suspensions
        Front: double wishbones
        Rear: multi-link

    Tyres: Pirelli P-Zero
        Front: 265/30 - 19"
        Rear: 345/30 - 20"

    Carbon ceramic brakes (Brembo)
        Front: 398 x 223 x 36 mm
        Rear: 380 x 253 x 34 mm

    Electronic controls
        ESC: stability control
        High performance ABS/EBD: Sistema frenata anti bloccaggio prestazionale /electronic brake balance
        EF1-Trac: F1 electronic traction control integrated with the hybrid system
        E-Diff 3: third generation electronic differential
        SCM-E Frs: magnetorheological damping with twin solenoids (Al-Ni tube)
    Aerodynamics: active
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Monday, November 4, 2013

Chevrolet Malibu, 2014

 
 
  •  Chevrolet Malibu, 2014

The new and enhanced features:
  • Revised front-end appearance
  • Roomier rear seat with 1.25 inches (31.7 mm) more knee room
  • Redesigned center console
  • New 2.5L engine with variable valve lift control and start/stop technology helps deliver estimated fuel economy of 23 city / 35 highway - a 5-percent improvement in city mileage and 3-percent greater highway efficiency
  • Nearly 14 percent more torque from the available 2.0L turbo engine - 295 lb-ft of torque (400 Nm) - engineered for a greater feeling of power on demand
  • Suspension enhancements derived from the all-new 2014 Impala engineered to contribute to a more refined driving experience
  • New available Side Blind Zone Alert and Rear Cross Traffic Alert safety featuresChevrolet unveiled the 2014 Malibu - a roomier, more refined and more efficient execution of its midsize sedan. Updated styling, a revised interior, a new 2.5L standard engine and suspension enhancements highlight the changes. It goes on sale in the fall of 2013.

Chevrolet Malibu's revised front-end appearance is influenced by the all-new Impala, creating a more cohesive look across Chevrolet's sedan lineup. The front fascia features a new, more prominent lower grille and the hood extends down and over the leading edge of a narrower upper grille. The grille openings - with black grille texture - are wider and accented with chrome.

Inside, redesigned seats contribute to greater rear-seat space and greater comfort. The front seatbacks are shaped to improve rear-seat knee room, while new cushion sculpturing and revised cushion material allow passengers to sit deeper in the rear seats. Approximately half an inch was trimmed from the front of the rear seat cushion, for greater comfort behind passengers' legs.

The Malibu's redesigned center console has a longer armrest designed for greater comfort, along with a pair of cup holders and dedicated storage for two cell phones.

More efficient, powerful powertrains
An all-new Ecotec 2.5L Intake Valve Lift Control DOHC four-cylinder engine with direct injection is the 2014 Malibu's standard engine. Its variable intake valve actuation enhances efficiency and helps lower emissions, while also enhancing low-rpm torque, for a greater feeling of power at lower speeds. When the iVLC system operates in low-lift mode, the engine pumps only the air it needs to meet the driver's demand. The system switches to high-lift mode at higher speeds or under heavy loads, providing the full output capability of the engine.

New start/stop technology shuts down the 2.5L engine to save fuel when the Chevrolet Malibu stops momentarily, such as at stoplights, contributing to an estimated 5-percent increase in city fuel economy. The engine automatically starts again when the driver takes his or her foot off the brake. An auxiliary battery powers electric accessories such as the climate system, power windows and radio during engine restarts.

The new 2.5L is SAE-certified at 196 horsepower (145 kW) and 186 lb-ft of torque (253 Nm). Revised transmission shift points and quicker shifts also enhance the feeling of performance - while delivering greater refinement.

Additionally, the 2014 Malibu's available 2.0L turbo engine delivers nearly 14 percent more torque than its predecessor. It is SAE-certified at 295 lb-ft (400 Nm). New engine calibration and tuning account for the improvement, making the Chevrolet Malibu 2.0L turbo's torque the best in the segment, even among competing six-cylinder-engines. The result is a stronger feeling of acceleration from a stop and a greater feeling of power on demand in almost all driving conditions.

The 2.0L turbo also produces an SAE-certified 259 horsepower (193 kW).

Chassis refinements
Chassis and suspension updates inspired by the all-new 2014 Impala also contribute to the 2014 Malibu's more refined driving experience, including rebound springs that are internal to the struts. They enable more refined calibration of the dampers for a smoother overall ride, while also improving body roll control and weight transfer during acceleration or turning. That helps keep the wheels planted, contributing to a more precise, controlled feel - especially while cornering.

Fuel-saving electric power rack-and-pinion variable-effort power steering is standard and enables nearly effortless low-speed maneuvers and a higher degree of steering feel at higher speeds. Revised, higher-effort calibrations for 2014 were engineered to improve the overall steering feel. Also, the Chevrolet Malibu's brake system has been revised to provide a more confident feel.

Additional chassis control technologies include four-channel anti-lock brakes, full-function traction control, four-corner electronic stability control, electronic brake force distribution, brake assist system, corner brake control, hydraulic brake fade assist and drag torque control.

Enhanced safety
New Side Blind Zone Alert and Rear Cross Traffic Alert safety features are offered, adding to the protection from a car that received a 5-Star Overall Vehicle Score in the New Car Assessment Program from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and a 2013 Top Safety Pick by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Both are the highest ratings possible.

Chevrolet Malibu also comes with 10 standard air bags and an available rearview camera system.
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Sunday, November 3, 2013

Mazda MX-5 Roadster Coupe, 2013

 
 
  •  Mazda MX-5 Roadster Coupe, 2013

Mazda's technology specialists fine-tuned the acceleration management program (on manual shift models) to improve acceleration control and with it the linear response to throttle input, especially at lower speeds. By optimising the vacuum brake booster, meanwhile, they also enhanced brake return control. The upshot here is better handling thanks to superior front-rear load distribution. Drivers will appreciate these advancements most when braking into or accelerating out of curves. The Mazda MX-5, which has always excelled on winding roads, now reacts even more faithfully.

The facelifted Mazda MX-5 is more fun to drive than ever. The latest version of the best selling roadster in history not only features more responsive acceleration and braking, but also an aggressive front-end design as well as enhanced pedestrian safety.

Preventing pedestrian injuries
The facelifted Mazda MX-5 is ahead of the curve in other ways, too. The new active bonnet system automatically raises the hood during an impact with a pedestrian, enlarging the crumple zone to prevent or at least diminish the severity of injuries, particularly to the head. The lower section of the front bumper has also been reinforced to better protect people's legs. The Mazda MX-5 is thus ready for stricter EU pedestrian safety standards.

When adding these safety features, designers also reworked the front-end of Mazda's legendary two-seater. The deeper grille and new bumper design express a lower, wider stance and a more assertive face, while the new fog lamp bezels and chin spoiler improve aerodynamics. Available as a retractable hardtop coupe or classic soft-top convertible, the new MX-5 comes in a choice of eight body colours including one stunning new option: Dolphin Grey. Inside, the glossy dark grey steering wheel spokes and panel d├ęcor provide a refined sporty optic.

Powered either by a 126 PS MZR 1.8-litre coupled to a five-speed manual or the 160 PS MZR 2.0-litre with a choice of automatic or manual six-speed transmissions, the facelifted Mazda MX-5 is introduced in Europe, starting in fall 2012.
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