I will try my best to provide detailed info on various cars and what is like to live with them, I have already produced a few for Jaguar-car-forums, I will do my best to be unbiased, but it will be hard for some cars. I will re-produce press releases and copy from other motoring news.

Friday, 22 February 2013

Pricing and spec announced for UK built Toyota Auris

  • British-built Auris Touring Sports pricing and specification announced
  • Range starts from £15,595 for Auris Touring Sports Active 1.33-litre Dual VVT-i
  • Auris Hybrid Touring Sports Icon priced from £21,095, with CO2 emissions from a range leading 85g/km*
  • 1.33-litre Dual VVT-i, 1.4 D-4D and 1.6 Valvematic engines also available
  • Line-up mirrors new Auris hatchback naming: Active, Icon, Sport and Excel
  • Offers class leading load space and Easy-Flat seat system
Pricing and specification details have been announced for the British-built Auris Touring Sports. This is the first time the Toyota Auris has been introduced to a wagon car body style. It’s also the first model in its class to offer the choice of a full hybrid powertrain, marking further diversification of Toyota’s Hybrid Synergy Drive technology.
Auris Touring Sports is built exclusively by Toyota Motor Manufacturing UK (TMUK) at its factory in Burnaston, Derbyshire, alongside the Auris hatchback and Avensis models.

The range starts from £15,595 for the Active, which is available with either a 1.33 Dual VVT-i petrol engine or a 1.4 D-4D diesel, both with six speed manual transmission. The model includes the following specifications:
  • Roof Rails
  • 15” steel wheels
  • Follow me home headlamps
  • Automatic single-zone air conditioning
  • 4 speaker radio/CD with USB connectivity
  • Two way, roller type luggage net
  • Class leading load space
  • 7 airbags
  • Vehicle Stability Control
  • Hill Start Assist Control
The feature model of the new Auris Touring Sports range is the Icon, priced from £18,245. The full range of engines is available on the Icon, including the 1.8-litre hybrid system. A 1.6-litre Valvematic petrol is also available, with a choice of six speed manual or Multidrive S continuously variable transmission. Extra specification above the Active grade includes.
  • 16” alloy wheels (15” alloy wheels on hybrid)
  • Front fog lamps
  • Double level boot floor and storable tonneau cover
  • Toyota Touch touchscreen entertainment system, including Bluetooth connectivity
  • DAB Radio
  • Rear view camera
Sport models add sporting design cues to the interior and exterior, and are available from £19,345 for the 1.6-litre Valvematic petrol, or £20,345 for the 1.4-litre D-4D diesel. Sport adds the following items.
  • 17” alloy wheels (16” alloy wheels with 1.4 D-4D diesel)
  • Sport grille, rear diffuser and exhaust finisher
  • Rear privacy glass
  • Sport front seats
Excel models are priced from £20,345 for the 1.6-litre Valvematic petrol, and offers the highest standard specifications available, including:
  • 17” alloy wheels (16” alloy wheels with 1.4-litre D-4D)
  • Rain sensing wipers
  • Dusk sensing headlamps
  • Power fold mirrors
  • Black velour seat trim with leather bolsters and seat heating function
  • Dual-zone climate control air conditioning
  • Smart entry and start system
  • Intelligent Park Assist
  • Cruise Control with speed limiter (only on 1.6-litre petrol model)
A range of options are available for Auris Touring Sports, giving owners a cost-effective way of adding items of specification that are important to them.

Toyota Touch and Go satellite navigation is available on Icon, Sport and Excel, and is priced at £650.
Toyota’s Intelligent Park Assist system is available as an option for Icon and Sport grades, priced at £350.
A comfort pack can be specified for Icon and Sport grade, priced at £550. The pack adds a range of comfort and convenience specification, including:
  • Rain sensing wipers
  • Dusk sensing headlamps
  • Electrochromatic rear view mirror
  • Smart entry and start system
  • Power fold wing mirrors
A ‘Skyview’ panoramic roof is also available on Excel models, priced at £550.
Pricing details
Active1.33 Dual VVT-i6MT£15,595
Active1.4 D-4D6MT£16,945
Icon1.33 Dual VVT-i6MT£18,245
Icon1.6 Valvematic6MT£18,595
Icon1.4 D-4D6MT£19,595
Icon1.6 ValvematicMultidrive S£19,595
Icon1.8 Hybrid Synergy DriveE-CVT£21,095
Sport1.4 D-4D6MT£20,345
Sport1.6 Valvematic6MT£19,345
Sport1.6 ValvematicMultidrive S£20,345
Excel1.4 D-4D6MT£21,345
Excel1.6 Valvematic6MT£20,345
Excel1.6 ValvematicMultidrive S£21,345
Excel1.8 Hybrid Synergy DriveE-CVT£22,845

Mazda MX-5 and Mazda 2 venture editions adds hightec equipment for great value.

  • Enhanced Mazda2 ‘Venture Edition’ with premium high-tech equipment from £13,295 (OTR)
  • Three new ‘Venture Edition’ Mazda MX-5 models priced from £18,895 (OTR)
  • TomTom® navigation, integrated Bluetooth®, climate control air-conditioning as standard
  • Representative 0% APR finance with Zero deposit and monthly payments from £212

To offer even greater value to customers in 2013, Mazda is introducing four new special versions of its best-selling model in the UK, the Mazda2, and its iconic Mazda MX-5 – the world’s best-selling two-seater sportscar.

On sale now, the enhanced Mazda2 Venture Edition five-door hatchback is priced at £13,295 on-the road (OTR).  For 2013, this 84ps, 1.3-litre model gains 16-inch Bright Finish alloy wheels, black mirror housings, rear parking sensors, dusk-sensing lights and rain-sensing wipers, new sporty seat trim with red stitching, two unique exterior colours (Zeal Red Mica and Meteor Grey Mica) and special ‘Venture Edition’ badges.

The generous standard specification for this Mazda2 model already includes: a sports styling kit, front fog lamps, privacy glass and a rear bumper sports trim.  Inside, there are front, side and curtain airbags, leather steering wheel with audio controls, CD radio with Auxiliary jack and four speakers, plus a TomTom® navigation with a 5.8-inch touch screen, integrated Bluetooth® hands-free kit, climate control air-conditioning and electric rear windows to create a genuine premium car ambience.

“The availability of the enhanced Mazda2 Venture Edition, with its unique combination of advanced technology, sports styling, a premium interior and even greater added value, will attract new customers to our showrooms,” comments Peter Allibon, Sales Director, Mazda UK.  “In its latest form, Mazda2 combines superior ride comfort, superb handling and quality with the spirited and fun-to-drive attributes for which Mazda is renowned.

“Fun-to-drive characteristics are at the very heart of our legendary and immensely popular Mazda MX-5 sportscar.  That popularity will be enhanced by the three new Venture Edition vehicles which are based on the 2013 upgraded MX-5 and come with additional features to make them even more distinctive as ‘stand-out’ sportscars which can be used everyday of the year,” adds Allibon.

The Mazda MX-5 Venture Edition is also on sale now, upgrades include: new design 17-inch Bright Finish alloy wheels, heated tan leather sports seats, tan leather door inserts and (on the soft-top model) a tan fabric roof.  A choice of four exterior colours is offered – Brilliant Black, Copper Red Mica, Meteor Grey Mica and Stormy Blue Mica – plus Venture Edition badges.

Prices start at £18,895 (OTR) for the 126ps, 1.8-litre Venture Edition soft-top with five-speed manual transmission and peak at £22,295 for the 160ps, 2.0-litre Venture Edition Roadster Coupe with powered folding roof. The 1.8-litre Roadster Coupe sits in the middle of the range.

Until the end of March 2013, Mazda is offering a great combination of offers on its new ‘Venture Edition’ vehicles.  Customers have a choice of Representative 0% APR* or 5.9% APR** finance with zero deposit and low-cost monthly payments from just £212 (Mazda2) and £286 (MX-5).  In addition, customers buying their new car with a Mazda PCP will be offered a generous deposit contribution of £219 (Mazda2) and £1,155 (MX-5).

Restyled C3 to be launched at Geneva.

  • World premiere of newly restyled Citroën C3 at Geneva Motor Show
  • New styling, interior designs, technology & improved engine performance
  • PureTech petrol engines offer 15% power increase & 25% cut in fuel consumption
  • Almost 3 million Citroën C3 models sold worldwide since 2002

The new Citroën C3 will make its world debut at the 83rd Geneva Motor Show next month. Having sold almost 3 million examples since the model’s launch in 2002, this already popular model now has fresh features to strengthen and enhance its appeal.

This latest Citroën C3, which is set for launch in early summer 2013 in the UK, reasserts its unique qualities with;‘Créative Technologie’ in the shape of the panoramic Zenith windscreen, a proven success with customers that provides best-in-class visibility.

Efficient engines to deliver CO2 emissions as low as 87g/km, with the option of the brand’s new PureTech 3-cylinder petrol powerplants that deliver up to 15% more power and a 25% reduction in fuel consumption compared to the previous generation 4-cylinder units they replace
More personality with assertive styling, a revitalised front end and new tail lights
Even more occupant comfort with enhanced upholstery choices and new equipment including a reversing camera to make manoeuvres easier


The exterior of the new Citroën C3 combines soft curves with dynamic taut lines. A restyled front end creates a new ‘face’ with updated chevrons and bumper-mounted LED daytime running lights. There are expressive new tail light clusters combined with new reflectors set underneath the rear bumper. A new Ink blue body paint is also available, expanding the range’s palette to a total of nine colours.

Inside, the cabin is finely crafted with top-quality materials, including chrome detailing and a thermo-coated soft-touch dashboard. This can be underlined with new dashboard strips in matt black, a warm brown or Moondust grey, which coordinate with the new style upholstery. The instrument cluster is also backlit in white for a contemporary look and easier-to-read driving information.


One of the most compact vehicles in its segment - 3.94m long & 1.71m wide - with a 10.8m turning circle, the new C3 is perfectly proportioned for city driving, and also offers a spacious and practical interior.

The 300-litre boot is among the largest in its class and there is an abundance of storage compartments, including in the central console, glove box and central armrest. The semi-high seats make for easy access and give occupants a commanding view of their surroundings.


The new Citroën C3 retains the unique Zenith windscreen - a standout feature of the model - which provides best-in-segment visibility and is a true technological feat for a whole new driving experience. The Zenith windscreen increases the upward field of vision for front passengers by 80° and combines with ultra-slim pillars to give a panoramic view of the road ahead. The screen also provides solar protection at the top, which gradually merges into clear glass for an optimum field of vision.

Engineered for comfort on the road, with a cabin that is well insulated against external noise and vibration, the new Citroën C3 is even available with an integrated air freshener that gives all occupants a real sense of well-being.

For added user convenience, the new Citroën C3 is available with a reversing camera and parking sensors, together with equipment such as an RD4 MP3 audio system, Connecting Box (Bluetooth® hands-free kit, jack plug and USB socket), eMyWay navigation and a powerful HiFi System®.


At ease in the city or out on the open road, the new C3 offers well-balanced road manners, closely controlled kerb weight, optimised drag of only 0.30 and a range of responsive and efficient engines.

The new C3 can be powered by Citroën’s new-generation PureTech 3-cylinder petrol engines with a 1.0 or 1.2-litre capacity. Lively and responsive to drive, but fuel and CO2 efficient, some 52 patents were filed in the development of the new engines to help bring down weight and bulk, optimise combustion and reduce friction with the aim of improving fuel and CO2 efficiency by around 25%.

The VTi 68 and VTi 82 PureTech engines achieve impressively low fuel consumption, between 62.8 and 65.7mpg, and CO2 emissions between 99 and 104g/km. A VTi 120 engine is also available with a manual or automatic gearbox.

In addition, the new Citroën C3 will be available in the UK with four diesel engines - HDi 70, e-HDi 70, HDi 90 and e-HDi 115. The three powerplants with the brand’s micro-hybrid e-HDi technology boast the most efficient Stop & Start system on the market with some of the best fuel efficiency and lowest CO2 emissions in the class - from as low as 87 g/km.

Porsche to be central attraction at Goodwood 2013

  • Porsche 911 marks 50 years with memorable ‘Central Feature’ display at Goodwood
  • Stunning line-up of 911 race and road cars to star at the 2013 Festival of Speed, 11-14 July
  • Goodwood is a key part of the global anniversary celebrations of the Porsche 911 in 2013
  • Further special announcements from Porsche planned during the event

Goodwood is honouring one of the world’s most versatile and popular sports cars – the Porsche 911 – with the main Central Feature at the 2013 Festival of Speed from 11-14 July. The bespoke 911-inspired sculpture promises to be a highly distinctive ‘art installation’ and will be displayed, as has become the tradition, prominently outside Goodwood House.

For five decades, the 911 has been at the heart of the Porsche brand. Few other cars in the world can look back on such a long tradition and continuity as the Porsche 911. It has been inspiring car enthusiasts around the world since its debut as the model 901 at the IAA International Automotive Show, Frankfurt, in September 1963. Today it is considered by its many devoted fans as the quintessential sports car, the benchmark for all others. The 911 is also the central point of reference for all other Porsche series. Every Porsche is the most sporting automobile in its category, and each one carries a piece of the 911 philosophy.

Porsche at the Goodwood Festival of Speed

Over 820,000 Porsche 911s have been built since 1963, and examples of each of its seven generations will be present at the 2013 Festival of Speed.  From the very beginning the car has been at home on race circuits and rally stages all over the world, earning a reputation as a quick and dependable winner. In fact, two thirds of the 30,000 race victories achieved by Porsche to date have been recorded by the 911.

With support from the Porsche Museum in Stuttgart, private collectors and enthusiasts, a number of significant editions of the 911 are set to be in action at the Festival. Further examples of significant Porsche competition cars including the 356, 908, 917 and 962 are also anticipated.

Porsche is also sending a 1967 model 911 to Goodwood as part of a world tour. Over the course of the year, this classic car will travel to five continents. In addition to the UK, it will visit Pebble Beach, California, China, France, and Australia.

As an ambassador for the Porsche brand, this vintage 911 will attend many international fairs, historical rallies and motor sport events. Fans and enthusiasts can keep up to date with the car’s progress at porsche.com/follow-911.

Furthermore, during the summer the Porsche Museum will be marking ‘50 years of the Porsche 911’ with a special exhibition from 4 June to 29 September.

20 years of the Goodwood Festival of Speed

Marking the first half-century of the Porsche 911 at Goodwood is hugely appropriate in the 20th anniversary year of the Festival of Speed.  To date, the legendary sports coupe has featured at every single Goodwood Festival, from the first event in 1993 – when an unexpectedly high 27,500 enthusiasts turned-up– to the 185,000+ visitors that attended the world’s greatest celebration of car culture last year.

Whether in action in road and race form on the testing 1.16-mile Goodwood hillclimb, sliding sideways around the gravel Forest Rally Stage, sitting serenely on the Cartier ‘Style et Luxe’ concours lawn, or as part of the regular Porsche displays, the 911 has played a key role in helping put the Festival of Speed on the map over the last two decades.

Thursday, 21 February 2013

Congratulations Mercedes on another award

The new A-Class was announced as ‘AM New Car of the Year’ at last night’s prestigious AM Awards.

Tim Rose, Managing Editor of AM, commented: ‘The new A-Class has the style, dynamism and technology that's required to punch its weight in this highly competitive sub-segment.  It’s an all-round performer and just the product that Mercedes-Benz dealers need to entice new customers into their showrooms.’

The announcement of the win for the new A-Class has added to the momentum behind the new model which has been met by significant demand not just in the UK but throughout Europe, with 90,000 pre-orders for the car ahead of its market introduction.

Marcus Breitschwerdt, President and CEO of Mercedes-Benz UK commented: ‘This is a significant win that reflects not only our investment in innovation but also our commitment to listening to existing and potential customers and giving them exactly what they want.  We have an exciting year ahead for the new A-Class, and this is a great start.’

‘From the innovative interactive marketing campaign through the style and technology packed into the car itself, to how our network is marketing and selling this great car, everything about the way we’re approaching the A-Class is new.  This Award is great recognition of those efforts.’

First deliveries of the new A-Class commenced in January following on from a series of innovative and vibrant regional roadshows throughout 2012, raising awareness among potential buyers and demonstrating its bold new direction as well as its advanced comfort, safety and dynamic systems fitted as standard. Prices start at £18,945 OTR – images and detailed information on the new  A-Class can be found here.

In what was a successful evening for Mercedes-Benz, the innovative My Dash system also won an Award – being named ‘Best Digital Initiative’.

Third dealership in India shows the way forward

  • Rolls-Royce celebrates opening of a brand new showroom in Hyderabad, India’s fourth largest city
  • Hyderabad showroom part of an expansion drive ahead of further showroom openings in Chandigarh and Ahmedabad, signalling Rolls-Royce’s confidence in the Indian super-luxury car market
  • Home for Rolls-Royce Motor Cars in Hyderabad reignites significant historical connection to the brand
Rolls-Royce Motor Cars’ presence in India continues to grow with the official opening of a third showroom in the South Indian commercial capital of Hyderabad, following the appointment of its authorised dealer, Kun Motoren Private Limited to represent Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Hyderabad.

Situated on the second floor of Kun Motoren’s luxury car hub in Hyderabad, the 5,400 square foot, three-car showroom also boasts a carefully crafted bespoke lounge where customers are able to select the intimate detailing of their Rolls-Royce car.
Paul Harris, Asia Pacific Regional Director said, “We are excited to be working with Kun Motoren as our dealer partner in a region rich with Rolls-Royce history and passion for the brand. Establishing a new retail facility will allow us to reach our customers with the same high standards available elsewhere in the country. The new showroom conforms to the brand’s latest global standards, and is both an impressive and luxurious space.”

“Legend has it that the former Nizam of Hyderabad – famously named as the all-time richest Indian, and the one of the wealthiest men to have ever lived – owned over 50 Rolls-Royce motor cars. This colourful history, our current customer base and continued level of demand is why Hyderabad was the natural choice for this new showroom.”
Rolls-Royce cars are the epitome in super-luxury motoring. Customers can now visit the new showroom and bring their personal, creative desires to life. Each car is designed with the bespoke capabilities only Rolls-Royce craftsmanship can offer.
Vasanthi Bhupati, Director, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Hyderabad said: “We are committed to delivering beautiful hand-built motor cars to our highly successful customers. In this elegant new showroom, customers can enjoy the creative process that comes with commissioning each and every Rolls-Royce vehicle. We are looking forward to this new and exciting chapter in Rolls-Royce history.”

Herfried Hasenoehrl, Rolls-Royce General Manager for Emerging Markets Asia added: “Today we see yet another extension of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars presence in India. I am happy we have partnered with Kun Exclusive, whose excellent track record bodes well for its role as new ambassadors for Rolls-Royce’s return to Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Kerala.”
“We expect Kun to set a benchmark for our customers in the state, with its track record of excellent customer attention and service.”

188mpg Audi A3 e-tron, yet another fuel efficient car from VAG

Plug-in hybrid provides a  realistic glimpse into the future of Audi, as the new A3 e-tron makes its debut at the Geneva Motor Show
  • Electric power makes 188mpg and CO2 emissions of 35g/km possible
  • Top speed of 81mph, with a 31-mile maximum range in electric mode
  • Capable of 0-62mph in 7.6 seconds, with 204PS and 350 Nm of system torque 
Audi will make all the right connections next month when the A3 e-tron petrol/electric hybrid – capable of  up to 188mpg – adds to the roster of highlights on the Audi stand at the Geneva Motor Show. Integrating a conventional petrol engine and an electric motor, the advanced plug-in hybrid offers impressive performance, exceptional efficiency and, equally crucially, complete freedom from 'range anxiety'. 

The electrification of the drivetrain, above all using plug-in technology, will play a decisive role in the model strategy of the Vorsprung durch Technik brand. This latest development is designed to give some insight into how the technology will take shape in the Audi models of the future.
A modified 1.4-litre TFSI unit, in this application featuring a peak power output of 150PS, provides the more 'conventional' input for the A3 e-tron. A clutch links this to a 75kw electric motor, which is integrated into a newly designed six-speed 'e-S tronic' transmission sending power to the front wheels. Combined, the two power units generate 204PS of system power and 350PS of system torque, good for a 0-62mph sprint of 7.6 seconds and a top speed of 138mph. Peak torque from the electric motor is instantly available from rest to around 2000 rpm, and maximum torque from the TFSI engine is on hand between 1,750 and 4,000 rpm.
Equally importantly, according to the ECE standard for plug-in hybrid cars, the A3 Sportback-based e-tron is capable of covering up to 188mpg with CO2 emissions of just 35g/km.

The Audi A3 e-tron can run exclusively on electric power for up to 31 miles at speeds of up to 80mph, or can be powered by petrol combustion alone. Alternatively, the hybrid mode brings both units into play, and the driver can choose to run these simultaneously – a function known as 'boosting'. When the driver stops accelerating in this mode, both motors temporarily deactivate, eliminating motor braking torque and allowing the car to glide to conserve fuel and recuperate energy. 

10 Awards in three months for Range Rover - Well done !

  • All-new Range Rover wins 10 awards in just three months of production
  • Top for technology: Latest honour comes from AUTOBEST naming Range Rover ‘TECHNOBEST 2012’
The all-new Range Rover, the world’s most refined and capable SUV, has notched up 10 international awards in just three months since production began.

The world's first SUV with a lightweight all-aluminium body, the new Range Rover takes luxury and capability to a new level, with even greater refinement and enhanced performance and handling on all terrains. The new Range Rover also heralds significant advances in sustainability.
The most recent honour came from the AUTOBEST group of motoring writers, naming the all-new Range Rover ‘TECHNOBEST 2012’. Recent awards also include ‘Dream Machine’ from Autoweek, ‘Luxury Car of the Year’ from both What Car? and Top Gear magazines and ‘Best Cars – Import Category’ from Auto Motor und Sport. The model was also crowned ‘4x4 Category Winner’ in The Sunday Times’ Top 100 Cars 2012, among others.
Land Rover Global Brand Director, John Edwards, said: “We are proud of the recognition the Range Rover is receiving from international motoring organisations and publications. It is a fantastic achievement and a great endorsement for the model, which has only been in production for three months.
“Its revolutionary lightweight construction is the result of unprecedented investment in technology and engineering which makes it the most refined, most capable Range Rover ever. It is enormously satisfying to see that international judges, as well as customers, are recognising this too.”
The all-new Range Rover was launched last October to critical acclaim and is the world's first aluminium monocoque SUV, which is around 420kg lighter than the outgoing model. The Range Rover is built at Land Rover's new low-energy Solihull facility and there is already strong demand across global markets.


Volkswagen has confirmed that its XL1 Super Efficient Vehicle, the most fuel-efficient production car in the world, with a fuel consumption value of 0.9 l/100 km (approx. 313 mpg) will go into production at the company’s Osnabrueck factory in Germany.  Thanks to its plug-in hybrid system, the two-seater can also cover a distance of up to 50 km in all-electric mode and therefore with zero local emissions.

The XL1 from Volkswagen is the most fuel-efficient production car in the world, with a fuel consumption value of 0.9 l/100 km. Thanks to its plug-in hybrid system, the two-seater can also cover a distance of up to 50 km in all-electric mode and therefore with zero local emissions.

Most aerodynamic car ever

Efficiency of pure design principles. The XL1 is an automotive hero that follows pure sports car 
design principles: low weight (795 kg), perfect aerodynamics (Cd 0.189) and a low centre of gravity 
(1,153 mm high). This gives the efficient Volkswagen the ability to cruise on the road at a constant 
speed of 100 km/h using just 6.2 kW/8.4 PS. In all-electric mode, the XL1 requires less than 0.1 kWh 
to cover a driving distance of over one kilometre.  

Efficiency and driving fun

Electronically limited to 160 km/h. High-tech lightweight design, perfect aerodynamics 
and a plug-in hybrid system – consisting of a two-cylinder TDI engine (35 kW/48 PS), E-motor 
(20 kW/27 PS), 7-speed dual clutch gearbox (DSG) and lithium-ion battery – all make it possible 
for the new Volkswagen XL1 to emit just 21 g/km of CO2

If necessary, the XL1, with a top speed of 160 km/h, can accelerate to 100 km/h in just 12.7 seconds. Clearly, 0.9 l/100 km fuel consumption is a record figure that has not been achieved by any other vehicle to date, and it illustrates how 
Volkswagen is redefining what is technically feasible in carmaking.

Third evolutionary stage of a vision

2002, 2009, 2013. Conceptually, the XL1 represents the third evolutionary stage of Volkswagen’s 
1-litre car strategy. When the new millennium was ushered in, Prof. Dr. Ferdinand Piëch, who is today 
Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Volkswagen AG, formulated the visionary goal of bringing 
to market a production car that was practical in everyday use with fuel consumption of one litre per 
100 km. In the two-seat XL1, this vision has become reality. Despite the tremendous efficiency of 
the XL1, developers successfully came up with a body concept, which delivers more everyday utility 
than in the two previous prototypes. While the driver and passenger sat in a tandem arrangement 
for optimal aerodynamics in the L1, the 1-litre car presented in 2002 and in 2009, in the XL1 two 
occupants sit slightly offset, side by side, nearly as in a conventional vehicle.

Shorter than a Polo, lower than a Porsche Boxster

 Future in the present. The XL1 is 3,888 mm long, 1,665 mm wide and just 1,153 mm tall. By usual 
automotive standards these are extreme dimensions. For comparison: a Polo has a similar length 
(3,970 mm) and width (1,682 mm) but is significantly taller (1,462 mm). Even a purebred sports 
car like today’s Porsche Boxster is 129 mm taller (1,282 mm). So, the XL1 will make a spectacular 
appearance – a car of the future, built today

Diesel Golf heads to Geneva and readying itself for launch.

Some 30 years after the original model introduced European car drivers to an intoxicating blend of practicality, high performance and abstemiousness, Volkswagen is readying the latest Golf GTD, which is set to make its debut at the Geneva Motor Show next month.
Back in 1982, the first Golf GTD was revolutionary, being a compact hatchback with sporty tuning, the style of the Golf GTI and low diesel running costs.  The new GTD, based on the seventh generation Golf, is the most powerful ever, and like the original it blends performance with fuel-efficiency to make it a great long-distance touring car.  

With a six-speed manual gearbox, the Golf GTD, powered by a 2.0-litre common rail turbodiesel producing 184 PS and 380 Nm of torque from 1,750 rpm, consumes just one gallon of fuel every 67.3 miles, making for CO2 emissions of only 109 g/km.  With the optional six-speed DSG, fuel consumption is 60.1 mpg (three-door: 119 g/km CO2; five-door: 122 g/km CO2).  Acceleration from zero to 62 mph takes just 7.5 seconds, while the top speed is 142 mph.
The Golf GTD comes with smoked LED rear lights with LED licence plate illumination, along with chrome dual tailpipes, 17-inch alloy wheels with 225/45 tyres, side skirts, a rear diffuser, sports suspension and a large roof spoiler.

Distinctive GTD features distinguish the interior: along with tartan sports seats, a black rooflining, sports steering wheel, stainless steel pedals, there is also a GTD-specific gear lever, trim strips and instrument cluster.  Comfort is guaranteed thanks to features including progressive steering, white ambience lighting, ‘Climatronic’ climate control, front and rear parking sensors and a winter pack.  
The new Golf GTD is available in Germany at an entry-level price of 29,350 euros, and orders begin on 5 March.  UK sales are expected to start in April, with deliveries in the summer.  Pricing and specification is yet to be confirmed.

Golf GTD – key facts
  • Market launch in Europe starting June 2013
  • Front transverse engine, 1,968 cc
  • Bore/stroke: 81.0/95.5 mm; compression ratio 15.8:1
  • Power: 135 kW / 184 PS at 3,500 to 4,000 rpm
  • Torque: 380 Nm (280 lbs ft) at 1,750 to 3,250 rpm
  • Gearbox / drive: Six-speed manual; optional six-speed DSG / front-wheel drive
  • Fuel consumption / CO2 (manual): 67.3 mpg (4.2 l/100 km); 109 g/km CO2
  • 0-62 mph 7.5 sec; top speed 142 mph (230 km/h)
  • Unladen weight: 1,377 kg (incl. driver [68 kg], luggage [7 kg] and 90% filled fuel tank; calculated according to 92/21/EEC
Fuel consumption and emissions figures are preliminary and subject to confirmation.

Vauxhall extends range on Government funding offer.

Vauxhall customers can now benefit from free installation of a home charging unit for their cutting-edge Ampera extended-range electric vehicles.
Yesterday, the Government announced funding for owners of electric vehicles (EVs) where they will cover 75 per cent of costs for home charging unit installations up to a maximum of £1,000 including VAT. Vauxhall will meet the remaining 25 per cent on the same basis for new retail customers taking up the offer.
The Government’s £37 million package of benefits also includes additional measures for local authorities to install on-street charging posts and rapid chargers. Train operators can also claim for charge point installations at railway stations for EV commuters.

“We fully support the Government’s announcement and are very happy to meet the remaining home charging installation costs for Ampera customers,” said Ian Allen, Vauxhall’s Environmental Strategy Manager and Chairman of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders’ Electric Vehicle Committee. “Vauxhall welcomes a nationwide plan as it means all Ampera drivers will have the cost of their home charging solution covered, not just those who live in certain geographical areas.”
The Government’s announcement is great news for Vauxhall and its revolutionary Ampera. Arriving in UK showrooms last year, Ampera has a real-world battery range of between 25-50 miles, after which a small range-extender motor intervenes to provide up to an additional 300-plus mile range. At all times, the Ampera’s wheels are electrically driven, setting it apart from conventional hybrid vehicles.
Ampera pricing starts at £29,995 on-the-road (including £5,000 government grant) for the Earth model. The car is available through a network of 24 specialist Vauxhall dealers and is covered by the manufacturer’s industry-leading Lifetime Warranty.

Pioneering customers are also given further peace of mind thanks to the Love It or Return It campaign available on Ampera whereby if purchasers find that within the first 30 days/1500 miles of ownership Ampera isn't right for them after all, they can return it to Vauxhall.
The revolutionary vehicle is also offered on the 3-Day Test Drive programme through which company car drivers can test a Vauxhall for three days, without paying a penny more than the electricity and/or the fuel used.

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Volvo #3 - New R & D dept for Volvo in Gothenburg

Geely Holding, majority owner of Volvo Car Corporation (Volvo Cars) and Geely, will establish a Research and Development Centre in Gothenburg, Sweden. The Centre will develop a new modular architecture and set of components for future C-segment cars, addressing the needs of both Volvo Cars and Geely. The Centre will be run by Mats Fägerhag, currently Vice President at Product Strategy within Volvo Cars, and leverage on the Volvo technology leadership within Geely Holding. The new R&D Centre will employ approximately 200 full-time employees.
“Our group has ambitious goals to increase the competitiveness of our brands,” states majority owner and Chairman Li Shufu. “Geely will continue to improve its product quality in the years to come and can learn from Volvo Cars. However, the sharing of knowledge and technology has to be done without jeopardising brand integrity and individual product development. We believe a stand-alone, yet joint R&D Centre with a focused approach is the best way to achieve this,” says Li Shufu.
“An international team has been given the task of taking cross-brand modular strategy to a new level. It should deliver on all the premium aspects a brand like Volvo requires in order to grow in the global premium segment. Geely shall meet the demands of the high volume segment in China and selected international markets, which requires a new level of technology,” concludes Li Shufu.  
The R&D Centre will be located in Gothenburg (Lindholmen Science Park), building on the extensive automotive competence established in the region. The new R&D Centre will employ approximately 200 full-time engineers from Sweden and China. Recruitment of engineers is ongoing and the centre will be fully operational towards the end of 2013. The modular architecture and set of components will not only deliver world-class product technologies and attributes, but also considerable cost savings in terms of development, testing and sourcing, leading to the realisation of significant economies of scale.
Mats Fägerhag, CEO of the new R&D Centre, comments: "The modular design allows several different vehicle platforms to be developed from one single architecture, thereby ensuring tailor-made solutions for both brands. This will be a showcase for cooperation between a Western world premium car manufacturer and a thriving Chinese automotive company.”
“With Geely as a partner, we secure that Volvo Cars will be in full control of the development of our next generation C-segment cars. We will not have to compromise in a way that is inevitable when partnering with an external OEM,” says Peter Mertens, Senior Vice President Research & Development at Volvo Cars.
Mats Fägerhag and his team will be supported by senior executives from the managements of Volvo Cars and Geely. Carl-Peter Forster, chief advisor to Geely Holding and member of the Board of Directors at Volvo Cars, will ensure that the development of the modular architecture and set of components will meet the individual brands' specific requirements for different cost and attribute levels.
In parallel, the development of the Volvo Cars architecture for larger segments (SPA) continues within Volvo Cars’ own R&D organization. The first SPA vehicle will be launched in 2014.

Volvo #2 - S80, V70 and XC70 have a thorough refresh

  • Focus on elegant, sophisticated design and attention to detail
  • Fuel consumption down to class-leading 68.9mpg in the Volvo S80
  • New, intuitive Sensus Connected Touch system
  • Enhanced IntelliSafe systems
  • Active High Beam Control for more relaxed driving at night
"The new features in the new Volvo S80, V70 and XC70 are based on our human-centric approach, which has been a Volvo hallmark for more than 85 years. They take the elegant sophistication of our largest models to a new level," says Lex Kerssemakers, Senior Vice President, Product Strategy & Vehicle Line Management at Volvo Car Group. He continues: "We pave the way for our future model line-up by bringing the three models visually closer to each other. The renewal is one of the most extensive in our history, with the main focus on improved quality and attention to detail."
The new Volvo S80 - enhanced exclusive sophistication
A number of new exterior design cues reinforce the sophisticated contemporary presence of the new Volvo S80. The front and rear bumpers create a ‘stretched' effect to make it look wider and lower. Rectangular Daytime Running Lights at the front give the S80 nose a more contemporary look, while the rounded off classic Volvo lights at the rear visually pull the car down to the ground.

"The whole effect adds a sophisticated elegance to the car," explains Fedde Talsma, Design Director, Exterior. "We have created a wider proportion on the front grille and added more detail such as chrome exterior highlights to give the car an elegant and upmarket feel."
It is the attention to detail that gives the S80 its enhanced sophistication. The S80 Executive interior offers the highest level of all-inclusive luxury, blending craftsmanship with technology, while the Inscription options offer bespoke details that gives the customer the opportunity to truly design the car to his or her personal taste.
"We are very proud of having Bridge of Weir in Scotland as a supplier of our quality leather seats. Their genuine cowhide has far less surface treatment than that in other premium cars, making it feel softer and more natural," says Lena Jiseborn, Design Director, Colour and Trim.

"The quality of the seats and other materials used in the car give the car a true Scandinavian feel," she continues.
And under the skin, at the heart of the best driving experiences is a great chassis. The S80 buyer can choose from two chassis types - Comfort Chassis and Four-C (Continuously Controlled Chassis Concept).
The new Volvo V70 - emphasised elegant presence
"We've been creating wagons since 1953, when the ‘two cars in one' Volvo Duett was launched. Six decades on, our new Volvo V70 carries on the tradition of combining form and function beautifully," says Fedde Talsma.
This ultimate, spacious family car offers families first-class comfort and sophistication combined with an impressive 575 litres of load space.

The rear seats can be folded down in three 40/20/40 segments, giving more options to configure the space. With all of the rear seats folded flat, the load space grows to a cavernous 1,600 litres. The power-operated tailgate, operated remotely via the key fob or the dashboard, is another human-centric detail.
The two outer rear seats can also be fitted with integrated two-stage child seats - with one simple movement, booster cushions pop up from the seat giving a comfortable and safe ride height for children from the age of three and upwards.
The refined design emphasises the elegant contemporary presence of the V70.
"We have created a wider proportion on the front grille, as well as more detail work and Daytime Running Lights, and added chrome touches to lift the detail and give the car a more upmarket and luxurious feel," explains Fedde Talsma. "The new car looks more elegant, with a more road-hugging stance."

The V70's rear features a new rear bumper, tailpipes and added chrome details as well as redesigned rear lights. The car is also available with wheels up to 19 inches in diameter.
The new Volvo XC70 - rugged sophistication for all-terrain adventures
Volvo Cars paved the way for a totally new segment with the V70 Cross Country in 1997.
"Our main focus in the continuous development of the XC models has been to create a very comfortable on-road car with capable, off-road potential. The rugged and refined contemporary look reflects the XC70's underlying strength and capability. Think of it as an exclusive goose down jacket, designed around those who like their adventure with a true feeling of sophistication," says Lex Kerssemakers.

All-Wheel Drive and Hill Descent Control are a further boost to the XC70's go-anywhere potential.
A number of new exterior design cues sharpen the XC70's contemporary road presence. These include a front grille with a bold, wider proportion, a new bigger ironmark, and details such as the Daytime Running Lights and added matte silver touches. The XC70 is available with wheels up to 19-inches in diameter.
"Our aim is to emphasise the luxurious feel with a more road-hugging stance. The XC70 should look perfectly at home in any environment, whether it's in the middle of the open country or a country club car park," says Fedde Talsma.
The XC70 also features improved off-road design cues such as skidplates that protect the car on really uneven surfaces. The protective black body-cladding below the belt line now extends to surround the front fog lights giving them a purposeful, functional feel. The rear lights have also been redesigned.

As with the V70, the rear seats can be folded down in three 40/20/40 segments. Fold all of the rear seats flat and the load space grows from 575 litres to 1,600 litres. Another human-centric detail is the power-operated tailgate.
The outer rear seats can be fitted with integrated two-stage child seats - booster cushions that offer children from the age of three and upwards a comfortable and safe ride height.
Enhancements across the new V70, XC70 and S80 range
Lower fuel consumption
Volvo Car Group continues to lead the industry when it comes to fuel efficiency and CO2 actions across the model and engine range.
The fuel consumption of the 115 hp, four-cylinder D2 diesel in the new Volvo S80 with an automatic gearbox is 68.9mpg, with class leading emissions of 109 g/km (preliminary figures) - unthinkable in a car of this size only a few years ago. To emphasise the scale of the engineers' achievement, this is the same CO2 emission level for Volvo's largest saloon as for the company's smallest car, the C30 DRIVe, only three years ago.
The new Volvo V70 D2 also offers class-leading fuel consumption of 65.7mpg (112 g/km) with the automatic gearbox (preliminary figures).
The automatic D3 (136 hp) and D4 (163 hp) versions of the Volvo S80 now have CO2 emissions of 129 g/km (57.6mpg). The corresponding figures for the V70 D3 and D4 are 130 g/km (57.6mpg).
In the new Volvo XC70, both the D5 (215 hp) and the D4 (163 hp) versions with manual gearbox and All Wheel Drive come with fuel consumption at 53.3mpg (139 g/km).
Full information on all engine and gearbox variants will be available in the Technical Specification section of the Volvo Car UK Media Site (www.media.volvocars.co.uk).

Sensus Connected Touch - new connectivity possibilities
The HMI (Human Machine Interface) functionality Sensus is extended with an optional accessory that adds intuitive all-new technology that enables connectivity and Internet in the car. The Sensus Connected Touch turns the 7-inch display into a state-of-the-art infrared, beam-scanned touch screen that can be used even when wearing gloves - a world first in cars.
The driver goes online either via a car-mounted 3G/4G dongle or a personal mobile phone and the features include:
  • Internet streaming of music
  • A global choice of Internet radio via TuneIn and Orange Live Radio
  • Full Internet browsing (except when driving)
  • On-line Google Map with Google Search
  • Embedded Connected 3D navigation with online traffic info and dangerous zone warnings
  • Free Parking locator
  • TripInfo that reads out Wikipedia information about interesting points along the route
  • Native and web applications and App Store for new functions and updates
  • Weather information and forecasts
  • A Volvo service locator
"The voice-activation system works on all music sources connected to the Connected Touch," says Project Director Patrik Widerstrand, adding: "It is also possible to share a WiFi network with everyone in the car."
It is also possible to fit Connected Touch to previous model years where Sensus is fitted.

Adaptive Digital Display
The Adaptive Digital Display, which debuted in the all-new V40, uses an active TFT (Thin Film Transistor) crystal display to bring the driver personalised information.
The Active TFT screen is fitted as standard on SE Lux and is available as an option on all other specifications.
There are three themes to choose from: Elegance, Eco and Performance.
The default mode Elegance has a classic look and layout.
The Eco mode has a green colour theme and is designed to encourage and reward a fuel-efficient driving style. The Eco meter on the left displays current and accumulated fuel consumption - and optimal eco-driving is rewarded with a green E light.
Performance features red illumination, and a rev counter scale replaces the speedometer displayed in the Elegance and Eco versions, while the vehicle speed is shown digitally. On the right, a power meter shows how much engine power is available, which is a very useful tool for overtaking.
Lighting and new details
The Active High Beam Control helps the driver use high beam more efficiently. It also offers automatic switching between high and low beam at the right moment.
Inside, an all-new Ambient Light enhances driving at night. It illuminates key features such as cup holders, door releases, seat controls, and luggage and storage areas. Cars equipped with the automatic gearbox also feature a new gearshift knob with piano-black inlay.

Heated windscreen
Cars equipped with a rain sensor can now also get an electrically heated windscreen for rapid de-icing on cold winter days.
Heated steering wheel and paddle shifters
Volvo now offers drivers in cold climates extra comfort, with the introduction of an optional heated steering wheel. Cars with an automatic transmission can also be specified with paddle shifters, enabling the driver to shift gear manually with both hands on the wheel.  The heated steering wheel is available on all engines/specification levels and paddle shifters can be ordered on D2, D5 and T6 on all specification levels.  If specified with a heated steering wheel or paddle shifters, the standard 4-spoke steering wheel is replaced by a 3-spoke steering wheel.
IntelliSafe systems supporting the driver
IntelliSafe, Volvo's blanket name for all active safety systems, is an important part of the driver-centric approach in the S80, V70 and XC70.
The world-first City Safety technology is fitted as standard, and this advanced safety system now works at speeds of up to 31 mph. All three models can also get Pedestrian Detection with full auto brake, which watches out for people walking into the car's path and automatically brakes the vehicle if there is an impending impact.

Road Sign Information supports the driver by displaying road signs on the instrument display.
"As the leader in automotive safety, we have reduced the risk of being involved in an accident or being injured in one of our latest car models by around 50 per cent since the year 2000. By continuously introducing new preventive and protective systems, we keep moving towards our safety vision that nobody should die or suffer serious injuries in a new Volvo car by the year 2020," says Thomas Broberg, Senior Safety Advisor at Volvo Car Group.