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, 17 January 2014

Dacia celebrates first birthday in the UK, with exceptional sales.

2013 might have been a turning point for the economy, but cost-conscious Brits, from all classes, continued to make their money work harder than ever. With old school “value for money” sweeping the high street, 12 months ago, one fledgling brand, Dacia, embarked on its mission to shake up the UK car industry with its unique take on “shockingly affordable” motoring.

And what a record-breaking year it’s been. Western European buyers have been snapping up Dacias in their thousands for years. But, because of their stunning success, aside from “eye spy” Dacia spots in sunnier climes, like typical Brits, while the French and Germans, among others, eagerly filled their boots, we’d queued up patiently to see what all the fuss was about. All that changed on 17th January, as the Duster and Sandero burst onto the scene. Literally. On that day, the ‘Dacia don’t do frivolity. You Do The Maths’ media campaign hit every media channel, and all main Dacia Retailers had their first Duster SUV and Sandero supermini demonstrator cars available.

Right up until launch, the word on the street and the internet was that there was no way the brand’s bullish aim of offering a new supermini for “significantly less than £7,000”, let alone a spacious, family SUV for “under £10,000” would stack up in the real world. Or, at least with them making a profit. Oh, how wrong they were. With customers queueing up at its showrooms in their droves, awards pouring in, plus two more new models up its sleeve for release later in the year, Dacia fast became the envy of many established rivals right from the start.

Much of it didn’t come as a huge surprise to parent company, Renault. The Dacia brand, already the darling of the automotive industry, continues to ride the crest of a wave. Bucking the trend in many countries with falling sales and ever-decreasing profit margins, it had cleverly carved out its own niche, filling a void left behind by other brands who had their hearts set on becoming more upmarket.  

Of course, plenty of us had already seen Dacias and the brand’s value phenomenon sweep across Europe and the Euromed. But, for most, aside from the inimitable James May’s obsession with the brand, this was their first chance to see, touch and drive them for themselves.

The brand came to the UK with one mission. To shake up the long stagnant new and used UK car markets by offering “shockingly affordable” vehicles with high levels of quality and unrivalled space and equipment for the money. A car from one class for the price of the one below if you like. Or, in the case of Duster, two below. And boy, did the Great British public grasp the concept. With both hands.

Amidst a publicity blitz in true ‘break the rules’ style at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in July 2012, surrounded by some of the finest supercars and most valuable classic cars the world has to offer, Dacia brazenly slapped “from £8,995” decals on the side of its Duster SUV and set about offering the eager British public their first taste of what it had to offer. Less than hour into the event, unprecedented demand meant extra staff had to be drafted in to help on the stand and the waiting list grew longer and longer for those desperate to get behind the wheel.

While plenty of other car marques struggled, with a winning combination of attractive models, impressive quality and straightforward pricing, Dacia already boasted 5,000 orders for its Duster SUV and Sandero within just eight weeks of them arriving in showrooms in January.

In April and May, it put the cat amongst the pigeons with two more milestones. First, it confirmed prices for its Volvo-estate load-rivalling Logan MCV (Maximum Capacitiy Vehicle). A steal from just £6,995, it continues to undercut anything close by thousands of pounds. Then in May, the chunky Sandero Stepway supermini crossover hit UK showrooms, from only £7,995.

And the success didn’t end there. The brand immediately hit the awards trail, driving off with some of the most prestigious titles in the car industry. In its first year. Even before most had even seen one, Duster picked up the overall Scottish Car of the Year trophy, while its smaller sibling, Sandero followed up the SUV’s success, by snaffling “Best Budget Car” several months later. The new car buyers’ bible, What Car?, wasn’t slow to spot the brand’s potential either. In only its launch month it honoured Sandero with “Best Supermini under £12,000”. Among other noteworthy trophies throughout the year were several for Duster’s 4x4 and towing abilities, including Caravan Club and Towcar, plus a hat-trick from Carbuyer.co.uk, including Car of the Year, for its “sensational value”.

In pure sales terms, the figures speak for themselves in 2013:

  • Dacia - the fastest growing car brand in UK, overall and in retail
  • The most successful UK car brand launch in retail ever (based on initial 12 months sales)
  • 17,146 sales with a market share of 0.76% - with only two models initially (Duster and Sandero). Sandero Stepway arrived in May and Logan MCV in September 
  • With a full four-model line up in the final four months of the year it outsold brands like Mazda and Volvo in retail
  • 96.7% of Dacia sales are in the retail market where it has a share of 1.4%

So, the best-selling Dacia in 2013 was? Unsurprisingly, given its unrivalled price, size and 4x4 versions, Duster led the way with 7,830 sales. Following not far behind was the all-new Sandero. Offering supermini levels of space for city car cash, unsurprisingly, the “UK’s most affordable new car”, went down a storm, finding 5,025 homes. Both got chased down rapidly by Sandero Stepway too, after its launch in May, with 3,770 sales. The last one to join the “shockingly affordable” fold, the load-swallowing Logan MCV estate, notched up 521 in its initial 14 weeks in showrooms.

The omens aren’t looking too shabby so far for Dacia in 2014 either. Funny that. Having sold more than 17,000 cars in 2013, with an ever-growing fanbase and four models available to tempt British buyers for the full year, it’s setting its sights on smashing that figure this year.

David Brown Automotive, a new brand for classic British motoring.

An all-new, British luxury automotive brand is to be launched in April 2014, promising to refresh the classic British sports car, for the 21st Century.

Successful British businessman and car enthusiast, David Brown, has created a brand in his own name – David Brown Automotive – to deliver his vision for a new take on the British sports car.

David has sought out key industry talent to create the new car.  An experienced design team is led by Alan Mobberley, who was Chief Designer at Land Rover for 19 years, until 2005, while automotive engineering experts, Envisage Group, have developed the car, for production.

David has not settled for an update of any existing model. He has commissioned a completely original exterior and interior design, sourced bespoke British suppliers for interior trim and materials and the car has been thoroughly engineered for low-volume production, combining the latest manufacturing techniques with traditional craftsmanship.

David explained: “I wanted all the impact and style of a classic sports car, but with modern capabilities and conveniences. This is what I want in a car, but it’s not something anyone really offers. So, I’ve created it myself.”

The result – codenamed “Project Judi” – will be revealed in April 2014 and will be made available for sale, in strictly limited numbers. It will combine a classically-inspired exterior design, with the latest in performance, dynamics, technology, comfort and refinement.

“I thought that if I’m looking for this, others might be too,” commented David.

More details on the new car, including its name, will be announced closer to the car’s launch date. In the meantime, anyone can register their interest to receive more information at: www.davidbrownautomotive.com.

Caterham cars breaks export sales record for 2013

Caterham Cars has sold more vehicles to overseas buyers in 2013 than in any other year in the firm’s history. Its export sales now represent over 61 percent of all units sold.

Thanks to its expanding export team, the British sportscar marque has notched up over 300 export sales of its famous two-seater Seven model in 2013, outstripping last year’s total by 25 per cent.

Outside of the UK, Caterham Cars’ largest market is France accounting for almost a third of its overseas sales in 2013.  Japan follows closely, almost doubling its sales year on year. More progress is expected in the Japanese market, thanks to the introduction of the new Seven 130*.

Meanwhile Swiss dealer Kumschick Sports Cars cemented its 30-year relationship with the iconic British sports car with the most successful sales year in over a decade; the best-selling model being the Seven 485.

Caterham’s profile also continues to rise across the Atlantic, thanks to the success of its partnership with Dyson Racing which imports the SP/300.R racer. Caterham recently announced Superformance as its sole new North American importer for its Seven products and the appointment has already seen a positive impact on sales. Caterham intends to see USA sales volumes rise over the next three years as it further develops the local market.

Overseas expansion continues further afield with new dealers already appointed in South American markets Chile, Peru and Colombia.

David Ridley, Chief Commercial Officer of Caterham Cars, said: “Caterham’s ethos - to deliver accessible fun – is well-known by the motoring public in the UK, but we are now applying that philosophy across Europe and beyond. It’s satisfying to see consistent demand in our established markets like France, Japan and the USA, and it’s also very encouraging to see a growing demand from our new territories. Our on-going participation in Formula One is, in part, to thank for our growing global brand awareness”

“Caterham is the sort of brand which attracts genuine fans who are passionate about its heritage and potential. These unique qualities and a growing demand for genuine British products have helped us to steadily expand sales overseas. Several new models at the top and entry point of the range have also attracted new customers to the brand.”

Contributing to the strong export performance are new models which conform to strict EU6 regulations, including the powerful, 240ps Seven 485 and the innovative entry-level Seven 165. Caterham’s one-make racing championships also continue to develop strongly in markets outside of the UK.

Known for its extreme performance, handling finesse and low weight, the Seven range starts at £14,995** in the UK and €19,995 in mainland Europe (+ local taxes).

The Caterham Group – formed by a team led by Tony Fernandes – incorporates Caterham Cars, Caterham F1 Team, Caterham Technology & Innovation, Caterham Composites and the recently-announced Caterham Bikes division.

Jaguar Design Director Ian Callum named Industry Innovator of the Year

  • Jaguar Design Director Ian Callum named Industry Innovator of the Year at Motorcity Automotive Industry Night (MAIN) Event
  • Jaguar products praised for distinct design language, use of advanced technology and outstanding vehicle dynamics

Jaguar Design Director Ian Callum has this week been named ‘Industry Innovator of the Year’ at the 2014 Motorcity Automotive Industry Night (MAIN) Event Awards.  Jaguar was recognised by the MAIN Event Executive Committee as the ultimate definition of automotive luxury and praised for its distinct design language, use of advanced technology and outstanding vehicle dynamics.  The ceremony took place at Orchestra Hall, Detroit, in front of an audience of over 700 automotive executives, designers and international media.

Presenting the trophy to Ian, Keith Nagara, Executive Committee Chairman said: “Jaguars are beautiful vehicles that all generations aspire to own.  They epitomise the ultimate in automotive luxury, desirability and craftsmanship.  Ian Callum has led the design revolution at Jaguar that has helped transform the brand, most recently demonstrated by the launch of the stunning F-TYPE Coupé.  This is a brand that is going from strength to strength.”

Ian Callum said: “It is an honour to receive this award.  It is with the benefit of having such a great team around me that we have been able to deliver the cars and designs that define Jaguar today.”

Ian Callum has been at the forefront of the transformation of Jaguar's design aesthetic since joining the brand in 1999. Born in Dumfries, Scotland, he studied Industrial Design at the Glasgow School of Art.  Upon graduating, Callum opted to specialise in vehicle design, enrolling at the Royal College of Art (RCA) on the Automobile Design course, and has since received five honorary doctorates from universities around the world. Callum is responsible for Jaguar design language created over the past decade, which includes the current Jaguar XK, XF, XJ and the recently launched F-TYPE sports car.

Staged in Detroit on the eve of the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS),the annual celebration of automotive excellence allocates four awards across design and industry.  Each year two industry executives whose achievements have made a substantial global impact, leading their institutions to set new standards of industry innovation, are recognised at the awards. Celebrating not only established excellence, the next generation of automotive talent is selected by the MAIN Executive Committee from current design students at Lawrence Technological University.

All-new Range Extended Electric Metrocab taxi for London.

  • All-new Range Extended Electric Metrocab taxi for London – trials launched this week
  • >75mpg and over three times more fuel efficient than comparable current London taxi
  • >75% less CO2 than comparable current London taxi, <50g/km CO2
  • >560km combined range
  • Significantly lower running costs, typically saving a London cabbie £30 – £40 per day
  • Zero-emissions mode and home charging via standard mains outlet
  • Evolutionary design, sympathetic to iconic London taxi silhouette
  • >10 years in development and over a million engineering test kilometres
  • Six passenger seats (plus optional seventh passenger seat in the front)
  • Fully compliant with London Public Carriage Office (PCO) regulations


Frazer-Nash and Ecotive, the companies behind the all-new, purpose-built Range Extended Electric (REE) Metrocab taxi confirm the vehicle’s full specification.

The British designed, engineered and built Metrocab, from Mytchett Surrey-based Ecotive and Frazer-Nash, is a new generation zero-emissions electric-powered taxi for London, and represents the cutting edge of green transport technology with a design both evolutionary and sympathetic to the iconic black cab silhouette.

Metrocab Chairman Sir Charles Masefield said:

“The all-new Range Extended Electric Metrocab has been in development since the mid-2000s with several prototypes built and over a million kilometres of engineering tests completed.  Instantly recognisable as an iconic London Hackney Cab, with a panoramic glass roof for views of the city, our new all-British London cab offers, for no price premium, completely new levels of economy, emissions and passenger comfort and is ready to enter service this year, benefitting the passenger, driver, city and environment alike.”

Ready now, Metrocab launches a campaign this week inviting London taxi drivers to register with the company for real-world trials in the new zero emissions capable taxi, demonstrating significant cost savings, environmental benefits, easy ownership and maintenance and enhanced passenger experience.

The Metrocab from Ecotive and Frazer-Nash is the latest in a long line of electric powered transport solutions they have marketed and developed over the last 25 years with world-class highly efficient, optimised and fully-integrated digital-electric and hybrid-electric powertrains.  Priced competitively to enter the taxi market, the Metrocab is powered by a lithium-ion polymer battery pack with an electric motor to each of the rear wheels.

Following the in-market trials this year, the Metrocab will be rolled out in London and other key cities in the UK and internationally.

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Volvo's latest concept wins two awards at the NAIAS in Las Vegas.

The Volvo Concept XC Coupé won two prestigious design awards this week, further raising the excitement around Volvo Car Group’s (Volvo Cars) new design language. The Concept XC Coupe was awarded the title “Best Concept Car” at the 2014 EyesON Design Awards at the 2014 Detroit Motor Show, while Volvo’s latest concept vehicle also won the award for “Best use of Color, Graphics and Materials”.
The 2014 North American International Auto Show in Detroit hosts the world premiere of Volvo Cars’ new Concept XC Coupé – the second of three concept cars that showcase the company’s future design direction. Like the highly acclaimed and award-winning Volvo Concept Coupé, the Concept XC Coupé demonstrates the design possibilities of Volvo Cars’ new Scalable Product Architecture (SPA) that will underpin most cars from Volvo Cars in the future, starting with the all-new Volvo XC90 that premieres later this year.
“I’m honored and very happy of course. This is very encouraging and it shows that Volvo’s new design direction is appreciated not only by the general public and the press, but also by the leading people in the car design business. And Volvo Cars has only just started its exciting new journey with a brand new design language,” says Thomas Ingenlath, senior vice president design at Volvo Cars.

The EyesOn Design Award ceremony is an annual event that takes place in conjunction with the Detroit Motor Show. The EyesOn Design Award jury contains of a prominent group of designers and from auto makers and academia.

USA - Range Rover wins POLK Automotive Loyalty award for 9th time.

Land Rover North America is proud to announce today that the 2013 Range Rover has once again been awarded the Polk Automotive Loyalty Award in the Luxury Full Size SUV category.

This is the ninth overall Polk Automotive Loyalty Award for the Range Rover, and the sixth consecutive win in their segment, which includes having won its category in 2004, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012.

“It's a fantastic achievement and testament to the Land Rover brand for the fourth generation Range Rover to be honored once again with the Polk Automotive Loyalty Award,” said Kim McCullough, Brand Vice President, Land Rover, North America. “To win an award based upon the satisfaction of our customers is exceptionally rewarding, they are our greatest ambassadors.”

The Polk Automotive Loyalty Awards presented by IHS Automotive recognize OEMs that demonstrate a manufacturer's ability to retain owners over repeat buying cycles, and are the only fact-based awards in the industry based on owner loyalty. Loyalty is determined when a household that owns a new vehicle, returns to market and purchases or leases another new vehicle of the same model or make. The 2013 awards are based on an analysis of more than 7.4 million households that purchased new vehicles during the 2013 model year.

“Jaguar Land Rover’s success in our annual awards is proof that they’re executing well-focused initiatives with their owner loyalty programs,” said Jeffrey Anderson, Director of Loyalty and Source of Sales Solutions at Southfield, Mich.-based IHS Automotive, a division of research and analytics firm IHS.  “It’s great to see such an emphasis on this important initiative toward customer retention.”

The lighter and stronger 2013 Range Rover takes luxury and capability to a new level, with greater refinement and enhanced performance and handling on all terrains. As the fourth generation of the Range Rover line, this model was developed from the ground up, capturing the innovative spirit and iconic design of the original model which changed the world of motoring when it was launched over 40 years ago. The new Range Rover was launched in October of 2012 to acclaim, receiving over 20 awards and accolades globally to date. It is the world's first aluminum unibody SUV, weighing around 700lbs lighter than the outgoing model.

New AUDI tablet puts in car entertainment in the palm of your hand.

Portable Audi Smart Display unveiled at Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas links seamlessly to systems both in and out of Audi models

  • Audi Smart Display demonstrated in prototype form at this month’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, USA
  • Tablet interfaces with infotainment and navigation systems and can display car’s operating status
  • Connects to the internet at ultra-fast LTE speeds via WLAN connection - gives access to over 950,000 apps plus books, movies etc
  • Brushed aluminium casing, 10.2-inch full-HD display, Android operating system, powerful NVIDIA Tegra 40 processor

Audi has applied its world-renowned flair for technological innovation to the development of a new portable tablet that could open up a wealth of new possibilities for networking between the car, its driver and the Internet.

Shown in prototype form at this month’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, USA, the Audi Smart Display slickly combines the latest technology from the consumer electronics world with the robustness and reliability of a component designed specifically for automotive use. With a 10.2-inch full-HD display encased in brushed aluminium, the portable tablet can facilitate access to, and operation of, the car’s infotainment system, but its capabilities also extend far beyond this.

Through a secure and stable WLAN interface, and via the very familiar Android operating system, the Smart Display can connect seamlessly with the car and enrich it with the state-of-the-art computing and graphics power of its Nvidia Tegra 40 processor.

Passengers in the front or rear seats can use the touchscreen to control the radio, media and navigation systems, and also call up data on the car’s operating status. Equally importantly they can also enjoy access to the Internet at optimal Long Term Evolution (LTE) speeds – which significantly outpace more familiar broadband connections - via the Audi connect system.

Via the Smart Display passengers have access to more than 950,000 apps plus movies, music, audio books and eBooks through Google Play, the Android app store.

The unit’s internal storage serves as an audio and video jukebox, but the Audi Smart Display can also receive video from the MMI navigation plus system. One notable advantage of its portability is that a film that could not be watched in full on a particular journey can be resumed back at home in the living room at the exact point where it was paused in the car.

The Smart Display uses the Audi sound system to play back sound in perfect quality. External headphones can also be connected via Bluetooth or a standard headphone jack. The Smart Display also supports NFC (near field communication) technology, making it particularly easy to connect to Bluetooth headphones and mobile devices in general. Thanks to its integrated camera the Smart Display can also be used for Skype video calls.

The Audi Smart Display was systematically developed for use in cars – it can easily withstand extremes of temperature and its robust hardware makes it crash-proof – but it also means that for the first time the innovative technology that is synonymous with the Vorsprung durch Technik brand can now touch many other areas of life.

Start of production Golf 7 in Mexico

  • Mexican Secretary of Economy, Dr. Guajardo, and Volkswagen CEO, Prof. Dr. Winterkorn, inaugurate production of the new Volkswagen Golf at the Puebla plant
  • The Volkswagen Group is investing US$7 billion in new products and modern production facilities in North America in period to 2018
  • Volkswagen de México celebrates 50th anniversary

Production of the new Volkswagen Golf1 began today at the Volkswagen plant in Puebla, Mexico. The facility is to build further models from the Golf family for the North America region going forward. Dr. Ildefonso Guajardo, Mexican Secretary of Economy, Rafael Moreno-Valle, Governor of the State of Puebla, and Prof. Dr. Martin Winterkorn, Chairman of the Board of Management of Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft, inaugurated Golf production on the occasion of the ceremony marking the 50th anniversary of Volkswagen de México. 700 guests from politics and industry attended the celebrations.

“Volkswagen de México has a proud history and a promising future. One car in particular is a symbol of that: The new Golf,” Prof Dr. Martin Winterkorn said in Puebla. “The start of Golf 7 production will give Volkswagen a big boost in the North America region. And it underscores our commitment to Mexico as an automotive location. That is further confirmed by the US$7 billion our Group will be investing in North America in the period to 2018.”

The intelligent lightweight construction of the Golf, the “World Car of the Year 2013”, is based on the technological innovations of the Modular Transverse Toolkit (MQB), and the vehicle will be exported from Mexico to the USA and Canada. The new Volkswagen Golf will hit North American roads from mid-year as it continues its global success story. Volkswagen has invested some US$700 million in new production plant and modern infrastructure for the Golf in Puebla. The first Golf sedan to be built in Mexico is a red Golf GTI2. Production of further derivatives such as the Golf station wagon for the North and South America regions will begin during the course of the year. Golf production at the Puebla plant has a capacity of 700 vehicles per working day.

CEO of Volkswagen de México, Andreas Hinrichs, underscored the major significance of the Puebla location for Volkswagen: “Our Puebla factory is today one of the Group’s highest exporters and one of its largest plants worldwide. Over 10 million vehicles have already been shipped from here to customers all over the world.”

In addition to the new Golf, the Puebla plant also builds the coupé and cabriolet versions of the Volkswagen Beetle plus the Volkswagen Jetta. In terms of technology, these models also belong to the Golf class and are to be adapted to the structure of the Modular Transverse Toolkit (MQB) in the medium term. Furthermore, Volkswagen began manufacturing modern TSI engines at the Silao engine plant in early 2013. The Audi facility in San José Chiapa will strengthen the Volkswagen Group’s production network in North America from 2016.

The vehicles manufactured in Pueba and the engines produced in Silao are built in accordance with the state-of-the art environmental standards of the Volkswagen brand’s “Think Blue. Factory.” programme. This programme aims to optimise resource efficiency at all Volkswagen plants and to continually improve the environmental compatibility of the production process. 50 years of success unite Volkswagen and Mexico. Volkswagen began exports to Mexico back in 1954. 50 years ago, on January 15, 1964, the Wolfsburg-based company founded an import, production and sales company called “Volkswagen de México S.A.” The Beetle began rolling off the assembly line at the new plant in Puebla in 1967, with production of this model only finally coming to an end in 2003. Alongside the Bulli, the Beetle motorized Mexico for decades.

In 1997, Puebla became the only plant in the Volkswagen Group to build the New Beetle, exporting the model all over the world. Production of the fourth Jetta generation commenced at the same time. Both models lent key growth momentum to export business at Volkswagen de México. From 1964 to the present day, the Volkswagen Group has already invested a total of US$8 billion in Mexico.

Toyota passes the six million mark for hybrid sales, all in just 16 years.

The progress of Toyota’s hybrid power technology has reached another landmark with cumulative global sales of Toyota hybrid vehicles reaching 6.072 million units at the end of December. Notably the latest million-milestone has been reached in the fastest time yet, just nine months since the figure moved past five million.

Toyota recognises that its cleaner, efficient technologies can only truly make a positive impact if they are widely used, hence its on-going efforts to encourage the mass-market take-up of its hybrid vehicles.

As of this month, Toyota Motor Corporation sells 24 hybrid passenger car models and one plug-in hybrid in approximately 80 countries and regions around the world. In the UK, home to production of the hybrid versions of Auris and Auris Touring Sports, the range extends to 10 Toyota and Lexus hybrids, plus Prius Plug-in.

Within the next two years, Toyota will launch 15 new hybrids. It will continue to develop its product range and the number of markets where its hybrid models are available.

Toyota calculates that, as of 31 December 2013, Toyota hybrid vehicles have reduced the amount of CO2 entering the atmosphere – believed to be a cause of global warming – by approximately 41 million tonnes, compared to the impact the same number of equivalent petrol-powered vehicles would have. On the same basis, it also estimates its hybrids have saved around 15,000 million litres of petrol.

Toyota entered hybrid vehicle production in August 1997 with the launch in Japan of the Coast Hybrid EV bus, followed in December by the first generation Prius, the world’s first mass-produced hybrid car. Since then Toyota’s hybrids have enjoyed increasing support from customers around the world.

Toyota’s hybrid system is designed as a core technology that can be used in different forms to create environmentally efficient vehicles for different customer requirements. The company will continue to work to raise performance, reduce costs and expand its product line-up – including the introduction of environmentally efficient non-hybrid vehicles.

Toyota hybrid vehicle sales – all brands

(1 = 1,000 units)

Cumulative sales of Toyota hybrid passenger vehicles

(1 = 1,000 units) * Including Prius Plug-in; ** including Auris Hybrid Touring Sports.

Happy 20th birthday to the Toyota RAV4.

The 1994 Geneva motor show marked the arrival of a new kind of vehicle, one that would transform the global car market. At the time few can have anticipated the impact the Toyota RAV4 would make, its world debut setting in train a success story that’s still going on today.

The original Recreational Activity Vehicle with 4-wheel drive pioneered a new segment for compact, highly manoeuvrable SUVs, part of the market that has developed from a niche to become a fundamental feature of the motoring mainstream.

Toyota had modest ambitions for its new model, expecting initial worldwide demand of only around 4,500 units. When 8,000 orders flooded in in the first month alone, production volumes had to be doubled.

In the UK, sales of the “small, light, sporty and affordable” RAV4 kicked off in June. Initially it was available only as a three-door with a 2.0-litre petrol engine and either five-speed manual or four-speed automatic transmission. Equipped with independent suspension all-round, a monocoque body and measuring just 3.96m long (little more than today’s Yaris), it was unlike anything else on the market.

The public had an appetite for the newcomer, however, and the following year – RAV4’s first full year on sale – almost 6,800 were sold, quickly establishing it as the fourth best-selling model in Toyota’s 14-strong UK line-up.

Where it all began

The first evidence of the direction Toyota was taking to create a compact SUV was the RAV-FOUR concept, unveiled at the 1989 Tokyo motor show. It may have been just a design study, lacking the detail of a genuine development model, but it was warmly received by the public. Two years later Toyota gave the project the green light, and work began in earnest on creating the first RAV4.

The development challenge

Chief Engineer Masakatsu Nonaka soon discovered he had a tough job convincing other Toyota departments of the feasibility of creating a mass production car for a market segment that didn’t yet exist. The term “sport utility vehicle” wasn’t in common use, and many people within the business found it hard to understand the concept of such a compact 4×4.

At one point the project ground to a halt, only to be revived thanks to intervention from an unexpected source. Toyota’s Japanese and European sales divisions came to the rescue, their close contact with the market convincing them that the time was right for this new type of car. Together they put the project back on track, and soon had their faith rewarded.

From niche model to global car

Toyota can rightfully claim to have created the compact SUV market with RAV4’s introduction in 1994. That year it sold 53,000 worldwide; the following year saw double that number reach the road, and by 1995 the total had tripled.

Global sales have grown with each of the four generations of RAV, with more than five million now having been sold – 1.3 million in Europe and more than 167,000 in the UK. As a testament to Toyota’s reputation for building hard-wearing, reliable vehicles, more than 90 per cent of the RAV4 ever sold are still on the road today.

The sales performance is all the more noteworthy given the increase in competition. By 2010 other manufacturers had followed Toyota’s lead, increasing choice in the compact SUV segment to 10 models; today there are 19.

This reflects the fact that the segment is one of the few to show sustained growth in Europe, with sales rising by 36 per cent in the last five years. Last year it attracted 848,000 sales in Western Europe, with a further 387,000 in Russia.

Fourth generation

The compact SUV market hasn’t only grown since 1994, it has also evolved and matured in line with customers’ changing requirements and preferences. At the outset this new type of car was regarded as an alternative to sporty hatchbacks and coupes; today its popularity is among families wanting an alternative to MPVs and estates that’s more fun and fashionable.

In each development of RAV4, Toyota has worked to keep the model firmly at the heart of its segment, without sacrificing the fun-to-drive quality that defined the original model. When it came to creating the latest, fourth generation modeel, it talked to existing RAV4 customers around the world to understand what the liked best about their car. They cited its good manoeuvrability, ease of access, elevated view of the road ahead, ingenious packaging, versatility and reassuring capability, even when the going gets tough.

As a result, today’s RAV4 reflects a stronger emphasis on family use, while retaining the core values of handling, versatility and on and off-road performance that have underpinned its continued popularity. The result is a car that is stronger and more sophisticated with sharper styling, a more spacious cabin and loadspace, greater comfort and higher levels of safety and versatility.

Customer choice is wider than ever before, with the UK range extending to nine models, offering both two and all-wheel drive, four diesel and petrol engines and three transmissions. Its all-wheel drive capability is more sophisticated than ever before, with Toyota’s Integrated Active Drive System developed to offer a more engaging “sport” mode, with Dynamic Torque Control monitoring and automatically adjusting the amount of drive torque distributed between the front and rear axles.

Toyota RAV4 milestones

  • 1994 The first generation RAV4 makes its debut at the Geneva motor show. It’s powered by a transverse-mounted, 2.0-litre, 127bhp petrol engine and has full-time all-wheel drive. Five-speed manual or four-speed automatic transmission is available, but with no transfer box or low-range ratios. The car has a unitary, monocoque construction and features independent suspension front and rear.
  • 1995 A five-door model is made available in the UK.
  • 1997 Production of an electric-powered RAV4 is launched, continuing until 2000. A number of RAV4 EV are recruited for tourist transport on Jersey.
  • 1998 A three-door soft-top RAV4 is offered in the UK.
  • 2000 The second generation RAV4 is introduced. The three and five-door models are longer than their predecessors (+55mm and 40mm respectively) and are available with 1.8 and 2.0-litre petrol engines. The AWD system adopts a limited-slip centre differential, with a Torsen LSD provided as an option on the rear axle.
  • 2002 The first diesel RAV4 is launched.
  • 2006 The third generation RAV4 is built on a new platform and is exclusively a five-door model, but with different wheelbases in different world markets. The car is significantly longer: +190mm for the short wheelbase version and +475mm for the long wheelbase. It features a new AWD system  with an electronically controlled coupling; Downhill Assist Control and Hill-start Assist Control are also introduced.
  • 2010 A new RAV4 EV concept is developed in the USA with Tesla.
  • 2013 The fourth generation RAV4 is, again, a five-door only model, offered with a single wheelbase worldwide. It’s longer by 235mm compared to the previous SWB model. The latest model marks the debut of the Dynamic Torque Control AWD system.

World Premiere Qoros 3 Hatch behind the scenes photoshoot

  • World premiere of brand’s second production model: Qoros 3 Hatch
  • New body style offers greater lifestyle practicality
  • Displays subtly evolved signature Qoros design cues for a more compact, dynamic, sporty look
  • Features excellent connectivity, generous interior space and equipment
  • Based on the same platform that earned Qoros 3 Sedan the title of Euro NCAP’s ‘safest car of 2013’

A year after the debut of new international car brand Qoros and its first production car, the company will stage the world premiere of its second production model, the Qoros 3 Hatch, at the 84th Geneva International Motor Show on 4 March 2014.

The design and engineering of the compact (C-segment) Qoros 3 Hatch draws heavily on the brand’s first model, the Qoros 3 Sedan. While it is similarly inspired by contemporary European automotive styling themes, it displays a subtle, youthful evolution of the distinctive signature Qoros design cues to inject greater sportiness to the car’s appearance.

“The new Qoros 3 Hatch will appeal to the modern metropolitan always-connected customer who needs a little extra versatility provided by the hatchback body style," says Vice Chairman of Qoros, Volker Steinwascher. “It offers those with active outdoor lifestyles or young families extra practicality, combined with added coolness thanks to its more spirited, sporty look.”

As well as rear lamp clusters and tailgate specific to the hatchback, the Qoros 3 Hatch features subtle visual changes at the front that differentiate it from the Sedan – notably to the front grille, front bumper and front fog lights. These create a bolder ‘face’ and a more compact, dynamic, sporty appearance that will appeal to a new, more lifestyle-oriented group of customers.

Inside, key ergonomic features, refinement, understated quality and equipment are shared with its sedan compatriot, although new upholstery colour combinations and materials will provide a fresh, new ambience.

Each Qoros 3 Hatch will be fitted as standard with the brand’s innovative eight-inch touchscreen infotainment system – Qoros MMH™ (multimedia hub) – which is operated via smartphone-type multi-gesture finger swipe inputs for minimal driver distraction. The hardware, software and graphics were designed and developed in-house by Qoros with the support of world-leading systems specialists.

As part of Qoros’ strategic objective to be creative in meeting the lifestyle needs of the modern metropolitan ‘always-connected’ consumer, the majority of the line-up will feature QorosQloud™, which delivers a comprehensive suite of free-for-life services with 3G connectivity, including vehicle monitoring, social networking and enhanced navigation. It brings a new perspective to the way motorists interact with their vehicles, seamlessly integrating with other digital devices through a dedicated website and smartphone apps.

The Qoros 3 Hatch is based on the same innovative modular platform as the Sedan. However, the Hatch features new C-pillars, roof, rear side panels, and tailgate, plus a new rear roof cross-member to maintain the car’s exceptional torsional rigidity. Built using the same high-strength steels and structural design that resulted in the Qoros 3 Sedan being ranked by Euro NCAP as the ‘safest car’ of 2013, the new Hatch has the same wheelbase, width and height, but the rear overhang and overall length are reduced by 177mm.

With a long wheelbase, short overhangs and a coupé-like silhouette, the 4438mm- long new hatchback will deliver unusually generous interior space for a vehicle in the compact segment.

The Hatch also shares with the Sedan its highly-efficient 1.6-litre naturally-aspirated and turbocharged engines and six-speed manual and dual-clutch automatic transmissions.

The Qoros 3 Hatch will be manufactured in the brand’s all-new, highly-efficient and environmentally-sustainable assembly plant in Changshu, China, on the same production line as the Qoros 3 Sedan.

The new range of Qoros models is being designed and engineered by an international team of experienced specialists and new, young automotive talent.

Aston Martin: 100 Years of Sports Car Excellence

  • Millions witness exceptional centenary events around the world
  • New models celebrate brand’s success; a concept car looks to its future
  • The most valuable collection of Aston Martins ever assembled is created for one day only in London
  • The Aston Martin Yearbook is available at www.astonmartinyearbook.com  

The Aston Martin centenary celebrations throughout 2013 were a glamorous global showcase of all that makes the luxury British sports car maker one of the world’s most admired, and desired, brands.

As the centenary year draws to a close, the exclusive band of owners past and present, along with many of the brand’s enthusiasts worldwide can look back on an unrivalled 12 months of activity.

The marque has compiled a digest of its centenary year highlights and is creating a special section on its website: www.astonmartin.com/100 – that acts as a digital store for its centenary memories.

Events to celebrate the brand’s 100th birthday started in London’s Henniker Mews on 15 January 2013. A ceremony was held outside the premises in Chelsea where Lionel Martin and Robert Bamford took the momentous decision to found what was to become one of the world’s most renowned sports car companies. A plaque now hangs at the site of the firm’s first premises in Chelsea.

Just a few days later the centenary focus moved to Dubai where the ultimate GT, the Vanquish, made history by becoming the first car to be airlifted onto the helipad of the iconic Burj Al Arab hotel. The sports car was placed precisely 1,000ft above the ground, in front of some of the region’s most important dignitaries, media and enthusiasts. The video of that exceptional feat has since gone on to receive more than half a million views on YouTube.

In March, came celebrations in Switzerland as the brand unveiled perhaps the most tangible, and exclusive, of its centenary activities: the Centenary Edition sports cars at the Geneva International Motor Show. Limited to just 100 of each model – Vantage, DB9, Rapide S and Vanquish, these cars feature details carefully created to honour Aston Martin’s 100 years of craftsmanship.

At the Nürburgring 24 Hours in Germany in May, the 200,000-strong crowd of spectators at what is one of the most gruelling races in the world witnessed a number of centenary-themed occasions.

First came the global public debut of the exceptional CC100 Speedster Concept. Created as a stunning celebration of 100 years of sports car excellence, the CC100 looks both to the past and the DBR1 – Aston Martin’s 1959 Le Mans and World Sportscar Championship winning car – and to the future with its teasing glimpses of potential future design direction.

Just ahead of the start of the 41st Nürburgring 24 Hours, a cavalcade of more than 100 Aston Martins took to the infamous road circuit for a celebratory parade lap.

Led by the CC100, the parade comprised cars from the marque’s glittering past and stylish present with numerous VIP drivers and scores of enthusiast owners who had travelled across Europe to take part in the iconic gathering.

Among the 100 models making the 22 km lap were the DB5 used in the James Bond film, Skyfall, a One-77, the 1959 Nürburgring 1000 km-winning DBR1 with its original driver Sir Stirling Moss at the wheel, and a Centenary Edition Vanquish bearing the number plate ‘100 YRS’.

Also in May the focus returned to the UK, and to the historic home of the marque at Newport Pagnell, where Aston Martin Works hosted the Aston Martin Centenary Sale. The annual Bonhams auction of Aston Martin and Lagonda cars, the 14th to be held at Works, celebrated 100 years of the marque and saw the unique Bertone Jet DB4GT achieve a world record price of £3,249,500, the highest price ever paid at auction for an Aston Martin.

June witnessed Aston Martin’s annual pilgrimage to the world’s most famous 24 hour race at Le Mans, with Aston Martin Racing fielding a strong team for the endurance classic.

On Friday prior to the race, members of the Aston Martin Owners Club from around the world journeyed to the Hotel de France in La Chartre-sur-le-Loir, their traditional pre-event meeting spot and home to numerous Aston Martin racers over the years including the race-winning team of 1959. On race day itself a selection of rare and historic Aston Martin sports cars from across the years paraded around the circuit ahead of the start in front of hundreds of thousands of spectators.

It was back to the track in July as the Aston Martin Centenary Festival brought race cars ranging from classics such as the DB4 Lightweight up to the DBR9 and the latest Vantage GT3 onto the Brands Hatch GP circuit. In the same month the brand took the starring role at the Silverstone Classic, a long-weekend of amazing motorsport memories billed as “the world’s biggest classic motor racing festival”.

Meanwhile, the exceptional CC100 Speedster Concept was running demonstration laps throughout the quintessentially British Goodwood Festival of Speed. The 6.0-litre V12-powered concept car made its UK dynamic debut in West Sussex as a special centenary treat for the fans of the famous event.

Completing the British brand’s participation at Goodwood was Aston Martin Racing’s World Endurance Championship car – the Vantage GTE – piloted by AMR Works drivers, Darren Turner and Bruno Senna.

July also witnessed what was, perhaps, the highest profile activity in its centenary year with a public celebration in Kensington Palace Gardens, London.

The ambitious event, jointly organised by Aston Martin, the Aston Martin Owners Club and the Aston Martin Heritage Trust – and staged in partnership with The Royal Parks and The Royal Household – saw rare and historic cars exhibited, together worth more than £1 billion.

A Centenary Timeline display took visitors to the event on a 100-year journey from the origins of the marque in Henniker Mews, Chelsea, to the current global headquarters in Gaydon, Warwickshire. Every iconic Aston Martin road car was represented from ‘A3’, the oldest surviving car, to the most current models.

A Centenary Selection display comprised a diverse collection of cars rarely seen outside private collections including a brace of bespoke Zagatos and the trio of Bertone Jets. Aston Martin’s 50-year ‘love affair’ with James Bond was celebrated in fine style as seven of the movie cars were on display, including the iconic DB5 from Skyfall.

Aston Martin owners from across Europe got their chance to participate in the centenary festivities by joining an epic 1,000-mile rally. Travelling through seven countries in just five days the route took in some of the most scenic drives in Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg and France before arriving at July's Aston Martin centenary celebrations in London.

July also saw a special Centenary Week of activities at the brand’s global headquarters in Gaydon. Conceived for owners and enthusiasts to be involved as never before, events included factory visits, design master classes, exhibitions and an unprecedented “Dine on the Line” pop-up restaurant delivering Michelin star-standard cuisine at the very heart of the production line.

In August, the brand’s American fans had their chance to witness centenary celebrations at the 2013 Pebble Beach Automotive Week, where Aston Martin had the honour of being a featured marque.

CC100 made its North American debut and shared the limelight in California with two of Aston Martin’s newest models – the extreme V12 Vantage S and luxurious Vanquish Volante.

Also that month, the brand’s Chinese dealers offered their own take on 100 years of sports car success. China’s first Aston Martin rally set off for Hong Kong from the marque’s impressive showroom in Pudong, Shanghai.

Participants travelled through nine cities over the course of nine days finishing in Hong Kong with a dramatic closing ceremony held with the amazing view of Victoria Harbour as its backdrop.

Into September, and the centenary focus once again turned to Europe, with the eyes of the automotive world on the Frankfurt Motor Show. Aston Martin chose to emphasise both the historic, and the modern, with the DBR1-inspired CC100 Speedster Concept sitting alongside examples of the Vanquish Volante and V12 Vantage S in Germany.

Meanwhile, back in Britain and back on the track, the marque was stealing the show at the Goodwood Revival where the Aston Martin Project 212 car was driven to victory in the Revival’s blue riband event, the Royal Automobile Club Tourist Trophy Celebration race.

In November Aston Martin was once again in the news, this time courtesy of its place at the historic pageant, the Lord Mayor’s Show. No fewer than six of the brand’s sports cars – including a unique Vanquish dressed in the livery of the British Government’s ‘GREAT’ campaign – made their way through the city’s streets as tens of thousands of admiring spectators looked on.

Aston Martin’s centenary artist-in-residence, James Hart Dyke, encapsulated the spirit of the centenary by unveiling the exceptional works he created over the course of the year to record the celebrations for posterity.

Hart Dyke’s works were previewed by luminaries from the world of art in W-One, the exclusive Aston Martin brand centre in London’s Mayfair.

Of course there have been a myriad of other celebration activities around the world during 2013 as owners, enthusiasts and dealer partners have taken every opportunity to display their affection for this great British luxury sports car maker.

Summarising the highlights, Aston Martin Global Brand Communications Director, Janette Green, said: “Condensing 100 years of achievement into 12 months of celebration brought many planning and logistical challenges as we organised a multitude of events and activities around the globe. However as the centenary year draws to a close everyone associated with the brand can reflect proudly on the fun, commitment and passion displayed by Aston Martin staff, owners and enthusiasts worldwide.”

The Aston Martin Yearbook includes exclusive content of some of the most iconic Aston Martins from the past 100 years, as well as full pictorial coverage of the celebrations throughout 2013. The centenary souvenir is available to order at www.astonmartinyearbook.com

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

USA - Cadillac introduces the 2015 ATS

  • Cadillac’s first compact luxury Coupe, infused with ATS sedan’s agility
  • 2.0L Turbo model is segment’s lightest, with increased torque for faster acceleration
  • Launching in summer 2014, continuing Cadillac’s ongoing expansion

Cadillac today introduced the all-new 2015 ATS Coupe, a quicker and more personal addition to the award-winning ATS product line. Designed to be lighter, more agile and more engaging than its competitors, it extends Cadillac’s product-driven growth and the brand’s tradition of dynamic luxury Coupes.

Cadillac’s first-ever compact luxury Coupe goes on sale this summer, offering drivers the choice of rear-wheel drive or all-wheel drive, and the power from a 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder or a 3.6L six-cylinder. In all combinations, ATS Coupe takes advantage of its lightweight and strong structure to deliver exhilarating performance with efficiency, with a segment-leading power-to-weight ratio.

“The 2015 Cadillac ATS Coupe is a natural step in the brand's progression, and another fun-to-drive and technologically advanced product for a new generation of drivers extending our target groups,” said Uwe Ellinghaus, chief marketing officer, Global Cadillac. “It is an exclusively distinctive American alternative, unique in its class, yet delivering a sporty and sophisticated driving experience rivaling the world's best.”

Like the sedan, the ATS Coupe’s driving dynamics are rooted in mass efficiency, which helps make it one of Cadillac’s lightest and most agile models ever – and the lightest car in the compact luxury Coupe segment. The 2.0L Turbo engine is upgraded from the current ATS sport sedan to deliver nearly 14 percent more torque, taking it to 295 lb-ft (400 Nm). This gives the standard ATS Coupe an advantage in power and weight over similarly equipped Coupes such as the BMW 428i.

Greater torque means greater pulling power, for a greater feeling of responsiveness at low speeds, and helps the ATS Coupe achieve an estimated 0-60 time of 5.6 seconds.

“More power with less weight is always a better combination for performance, and the ATS Coupe offers one of the best power-to-weight ratios in the segment, making it feel lighter, more direct and responsive,” said David Leone, Cadillac executive chief engineer. “Engineers vetted the ATS’s performance on the track, and the Coupe benefits from that exhaustive validation – all matched with Cadillac’s trademark refinement.”

Elements that contribute to the ATS Coupe’s balanced performance and responsive characteristics include:

  • Nearly perfect 50/50 weight balance and low center of gravity
  • Five-link independent rear suspension featuring lightweight, high-strength steel and efficient straight link designs
  • A multi-link double-pivot MacPherson-strut front suspension with direct-acting stabilizer bar
  • Underbody aerodynamic shields
  • Premium, belt-driven electric variable-effort steering gear from ZF Steering Systems
  • Brembo front brakes
  • Eighteen-inch aluminum wheels
  • Available all-wheel drive.

A driver-adjustable FE3 sport suspension is available and includes Magnetic Ride Control, a mechanical limited-slip differential, high-capacity engine cooling system and 18-inch summer-performance tires. Magnetic Ride Control is a real-time damping system that delivers more precise body motion control. It “reads” the road and can change damping every millisecond.

Design details

The 2015 ATS Coupe rides on the same 109.3-inch (2,775 mm) wheelbase as the sedan, but features its own bodywork. The roof, doors, rear fenders and trunk lid are unique to the Coupe, along with a specific front fascia and front fenders that accommodate a wider track than the sedan. It is also the first production model to wear Cadillac’s revised crest.

The Coupe also has an aggressive stance, with wider front/rear tracks than the sedan, enhanced by short overhangs and sheet metal that wrap tautly around the tires. Standard 18-inch wheels are exclusive to the Coupe.

Bold lighting elements are a Cadillac signature feature and the ATS Coupe advances that tradition with available light-emitting diode, or LED, headlamps with Adaptive Forward Lighting. Base models feature projector-beam headlamps, while high-intensity-discharge headlamps and front vertical LED light signatures are included on all but the standard model. Illuminating outside door handles on Performance and Premium collections lend technologically advanced style and function to the distinctive Coupe. All models feature LED taillamps and rear-center stop lamp.

The ATS Coupe also includes capless fueling.

Inside, the sedan’s driver-focused cabin carries over to the Coupe, featuring handcrafted cut-and-sewn upholstered interior combinations, decorative stitching and authentic materials, including leather, aluminium, carbon fiber and wood, intended to enhance the emotional connection to the driving experience.

Choices of many interior color themes, each with unique accent trim materials, ranging from light, open and warm to dark and serious, to bold technical and sporty.

Available interior features include:

  • OnStar 4G LTE connectivity with built-in Wi-Fi hotspot
  • Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity with natural voice recognition
  • Text-to-voice that converts incoming text messages to speech and reads them over the audio system speakers
  • USB, auxiliary and SD memory card ports
  • SiriusXM Satellite Radio with three-month trial subscription
  • Reconfigurable 5.7-inch, three-window instrument panel cluster display
  • Full-color reconfigurable head-up display.

A Bose ® premium audio system with Active Noise Cancelation technology is standard on all models and includes electronic sound enhancement on models equipped with the available premium surround sound audio system. Exclusive to ATS Coupe and differing from other manufacturers’ systems that pipe recorded engine sounds through the audio system; Cadillac’s system enhances only the car’s authentic powertrain sounds to enhance the performance experience.

The 12-speaker surround sound upgrade is available on Standard and Luxury, and it is included with Performance and Premium collections. It includes Bose Audio Pilot, which continuously monitors ambient sounds and adjusts the music volume and program content to make the most of the listening experience.

Additionally, a navigation system is available on Luxury and Performance collections, and it is standard with the Premium Collection.

Enhanced Cadillac CUE leads technologies

Cadillac CUE is the centerpiece of the ATS Coupe’s comprehensive collection of technologies designed to enhance the driving experience and complement customers’ increasingly connected lifestyles. It is available on base models and standard on Luxury, Performance and Premium collections, with enhanced connectivity and convenience for 2015, including a new Text-to-Voice feature for smartphone users with Bluetooth profile (M.A.P.) and Sire Eyes Free for iPhone iOS 6 and iOS 7 users to enhance connectivity and convenience. Each enables voice-controlled connectivity – and helps keep the driver’s hands on the wheel.

The heart of CUE is the eight-inch LCD multi-touch sensitive screen, integrated into the top of the central instrument panel and featuring a motorized, fully capacitive faceplate at the bottom concealing a 1.8L storage area. CUE’s vibrant liquid crystal display, or LCD, screen resembles a smartphone screen with large, easy-to-target icons to execute commands.

Complementing CUE is OnStar 4G LTE connectivity, featuring a new built-in Wi-Fi hotspot that can connect up to seven devices at once. The new 4G LTE connection can also be used to power CUE Collection, a new in-car app marketplace coming to Cadillac vehicles this year.

Additional technologies that make life with the ATS Coupe more convenient include the capability to remotely start the engine or lower the windows with the key fob or the owner’s smartphone. EZ Key passive entry and push-button starting is standard, too, so the key never needs to leave the driver’s pocket or purse.

Power-dense powertrains

The engine lineup includes a standard 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder and available 3.6L V-6. The award-winning 2.0L Turbo is rated at 272 horsepower (203 kW) and 295 lb-ft of torque (400 Nm). The award-winning 3.6L V-6 is rated at 321 horsepower (239 kW) and 275 lb-ft of torque (373 Nm).

At 136hp/L, the 2.0L Turbo is one of the most power-dense engines in the industry, topping engines from European competitors. It also delivers 90 percent of its peak torque from 2100 rpm to 5400 rpm and the full 295 lb-ft of peak torque (400 Nm) from 3000 to 4600 rpm. The broad torque band is supported by boost levels as high as 18 psi (1.26 bar) in the speed range, which is designed to give the lightweight ATS Coupe an exhilarating feeling of immediate power on demand.

Both engines feature direct injection and dual overhead camshafts with continuously variable valve timing, which help optimize power and efficiency, as well as reduce emissions. And each is matched with the Hydra-Matic 6L45 six-speed automatic transmission with tap-shift control. A six-speed manual is also available with the 2.0L Turbo.

Advanced safety features

ATS Coupe delivers the same safety technologies found in the ATS Sedan. Additionally, Cadillac provides available advanced safety based on Cadillac’s “control and alert” strategy, which employs up to two cameras, eight ultrasonic sensors and six radar signals to help prevent crashes.

The safety features bolster driver vision and awareness of road hazards, and can even help the driver avert potential crashes. In certain situations, Cadillac’s advanced crash-avoidance systems, such as automatic braking, can pre-fill and automatically apply braking in response to potential hazards.

Among the most sophisticated of the features is Front and Rear Automatic Braking. It relies on radar, camera and ultrasonic technology to help the driver prevent front and rear low-speed collisions via a progression of alerts that extend to complete braking, if necessary.

Many of the advanced safety features are bundled in the Driver Awareness and Driver Assist Packages. The Driver Awareness package is available on Luxury and included in Performance and Premium Collections. It includes:

  • Safety Alert Seat
  • Forward Collision Alert
  • Lane Departure Warning and Lane Keep Assist – new to Cadillac for 2015
  • Intellibeam ® high-beam control
  • Front and rear park assist
  • Rear-vision camera with dynamic guidelines.

The Driver Assist package is available on Performance and Premium collections and includes all of the Driver Awareness package content, plus:

  • Full-Speed Range Adaptive Cruise Control
  • Automatic Collision Preparation
  • Motorized safety belts
  • Electronic Park Brake
  • Front and Rear Automatic Braking
  • Enhanced Side Blind Zone Alert – new to Cadillac for 2015
  • Rear Cross-Traffic Alert
  • Full-color head-up display.

The advanced technologies complement other ATS safety features, including eight standard air bags, safety belt pretensioners and load limiters, StabiliTrak electronic stability control system with full-function traction control and four-wheel disc brakes with four-channel ABS, patented rotor coating protection and auto-dry functionality.

USA- - Jaguar announces three renowned actors to appear in its first super bowl commercial launching “British Villains” campaign for new F-Type coupe

  • Renowned British actors Sir Ben Kingsley, Tom Hiddleston and Mark Strong to star in Jaguar’s cinematic “Rendezvous” spot, filmed by Oscar-winning British director Tom Hooper
  • The 60-second ad will debut during Super Bowl XLVIII, February 2 on Fox
  • Spot launches “British Villains” campaign, running through July, and raises the bar of automotive advertising to cinematic caliber for the introduction of the F-TYPE Coupe, Jaguar’s all-new, high-performance sports car
  • Robust, multi-channel campaign includes broadcast, digital, print, OOH and innovative Super Bowl week activations
  • Jaguar grows U.S. sales by 41 percent in 2013 on power of F-TYPE convertible and new all-wheel drive XF and XJ models

Today, Jaguar North America announced the three renowned actors to appear in “Rendezvous,” its 60-second television advertisement to debut during the second half of Super Bowl XLVIII, and revealed details of its largest-ever brand and product marketing campaign, called “British Villains,” which introduces the Jaguar F-TYPE Coupe (on sale spring, 2014). “Rendezvous” stars Sir Ben Kingsley, Tom Hiddleston and Mark Strong, and was filmed by Oscar-winning British director, Tom Hooper, in London. It is Jaguar’s first Super Bowl TV advertisement.

“With ‘British Villains,’ Jaguar will present itself on the Super Bowl stage as a challenger to the usual luxury car suspects, with a unique cinematic expression of our modern British style,” said Jeff Curry, Brand Vice President, Jaguar North America. “With the three renowned actors, Sir Ben, Tom and Mark, who have all played memorable film rogues, we have brought together the best of British film to star in a major motion picture caliber campaign that addresses the simple cultural observation that Brits often play the best villains in film. This talent, coupled with the direction of Academy Award-winner director Tom Hooper, enables us to launch our campaign for the F-TYPE Coupe in a manner that captures the new spirit of the entire brand inspired by our latest sports car.”

“Jaguar is truly a beloved British brand and it’s exciting to help them make some noise as they debut in a beloved American event, the Super Bowl,” said Sir Ben Kingsley. “As for being known for playing the roles of renowned villains, I’ll have to ponder that one – I think I’m flattered?!”

The campaign creative, developed with a cinematic vision, centers around the new “Rendezvous” television commercial. In addition to the 60-second spot to air in the Super Bowl, a 30-second preview of “Rendezvous” will debut online on January 28 and run on high-profile, digital channels throughout February. Jaguar also previewed its Super Bowl spot with “The Setup,” staring Sir Ben Kingsley, during the CBS and FOX NFL Divisional Playoff games, January 11 and 12. At the end of the commercial, viewers were invited to view “The Setup” on the campaign’s dedicated landing page, www.BritishVillains.com, and use the unique hashtag, #GoodToBeBad to engage with the brand throughout the campaign. The original score for “Rendezvous” was composed and conducted by Alexandre Desplat, who worked with Tom Hooper on The King’s Speech and recorded by The London Symphony Orchestra at the iconic Abbey Road studios.

The “British Villains” campaign and its many supporting assets were produced specifically for the launch of the F-TYPE Coupe around the broadcast of the 2014 Super Bowl and builds on the momentum of Jaguar following the successful launch of the F-TYPE convertible and a 41 percent sales increase in 2013.

“2014 will continue a very significant period in the growth of the Jaguar brand, marked by quickly rising sales, and new beautifully designed products coming to market, like the F-TYPE Coupe this year, and in the future, an all-new compact sports sedan,” added Curry. “This is perhaps the brand’s most memorable marketing campaign and deserves to appear in one of the most-watched sporting events, the Super Bowl.”

“British Villains” captures the premise that Brits have long made the best villains in landmark films, combining intelligence with charm, restlessness with calm, and always confident. In the world of pop culture, villains disrupt the status quo and challenge the establishment, while living one step ahead of, and better than, the pack. The campaign asks the question, ‘Have you ever noticed how in Hollywood movies, all the villains are played by Brits?’ It was filmed by Hooper in London in a creative partnership with his Smuggler Films production house.

“This is one of those jobs that can really be a lot of fun, so I was quite happy to oblige when Jaguar asked me to be a part of their first Super Bowl commercial,” said Hooper. “To work with the caliber of great actors we cast in this project is a truly special experience on its own and reflects the cinematic approach that we took in the production with Jaguar.”

SPARK44, the lead strategic communications partner for Jaguar, was responsible for the creative positioning and strategy behind the campaign, while Mindshare managed the communications planning and buying. In addition to broadcast, the multi-channel campaign will feature unique outdoor creative throughout New York City, print, digital and consumer activations hosted with a wide array of media partners, and special events in the week leading up to the Super Bowl.

During the game, Jaguar aims to be the most real-time engaged advertiser during the Super Bowl through a unique physical space called “The Loop,” developed by Mindshare, where multiple screens will monitor real-time consumer data and translate it into actionable insights, and ultimately, rapid marketing decisions, or “Adaptive Marketing.”

“The Loop” is the first real-time marketing tool to impact paid media – whereby media dollars can be quickly shifted and redeployed to leverage opportunities uncovered by the data. Rapid, relevant and responsive, “The Loop” puts data at the center and creates a channel-agnostic, holistic approach to real-time marketing in an unprecedented manner.

Other marketing assets from Jaguar’s “British Villains” campaign include:

  • New York City out-of-home placements, including an innovative F-TYPE wrap of 10 subway cars on the F-Train line (CBSOutdoor) and 20 street level wild postings in New York City, January 13 through February 9
  • Cable TV run of the 30-second “Rendezvous” spot on networks such as BBC America, IFC and ESPN, February 3 through February 23
  • Print ads break in early February (March/April books) in top national lifestyle and auto enthusiast publications such as Motor Trend, Car and Driver and Sports Illustrated
  • Digital Advertising (banner ads) breaks on January 20
  • A BritishVillains.com landing page will launch on JaguarUSA.com, hosting “in-character” five-second sound bites from Sir Ben, Tom and Mark, that speak to capabilities of Jaguar’s high-performance R models and an in-depth behind-the-scenes making of “Rendezvous;” it also will allow users to view additional content, share content on social media sites and gather information about the F-TYPE Coupe and the R line of performance cars
  • Media buys with BBC America.com for their “Anglophenia” blog, and with NFL.com for “The 6 Borough Experience
  • Integrated partnerships with IFC, Gawker, Sports Illustrated and Pandora that includes:
  • IFC to present “Villains on Villains” Double Feature Film Night on February 10, featuring Silence of the Lambs and A Clockwork Orange, iconic films starring British villains
  • Gawker Media is producing and publishing a themed kinja page, http://goodtobebad.kinja.com/, and is hosting a co-sponsored event in the week leading up to the Super Bowl
  • Sports Illustrated will host British Villains advertising on SI.com, while Jaguar will sponsor an original video series about infamous sports villains
  • Jaguar will team up with Pandora Radio to invite subscribers to contribute to the GoodToBeBad Mixtape – a crowdsourced compilation of the best of British music for release on January 20.
The new all-aluminum F-TYPE Coupe, including the first F-TYPE R model, expands the Jaguar lineup beginning in spring 2014 and starting at $65,0001. Available in three versions, the F-TYPE R Coupe is powered by a 550hp 5-liter supercharged V8 engine and will reach 60 mph in 4.0 seconds, and a top speed of 186 mph (electronically limited)2. The F-TYPE S Coupe and F-TYPE Coupe are powered by 3-liter supercharged V6 engines in 380hp and 340hp forms respectively, going 0-60 mph in 4.8/5.1 seconds and top speeds of 171/161 mph2.

Biographies of Jaguar’s “British Villains” campaign stars:

Sir Ben Kingsley is recognized as one of the finest British actors and first earned international fame for his performance in the 1982 movie, Gandhi. His performance as "Mahatma Gandhi" earned him international fame. He has won multiple awards, including an Oscar for Best Actor, a Golden Globe, BAFTA and London Film Critics' Circle Awards. Kingsley has appeared in countless other acclaimed films, including Schindler's List, The Tale of Sweeney Todd and Anne Frank: The Whole Story, for which he won a Screen Actors' Guild Award. Throughout his career, Kingsley has played many “villainous” roles, including those in the films Sexy Beast and Iron Man 3. He was awarded Knight Bachelor in the Queen's New Year's Honors List in 2002. In 2010, Kingsley was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Tom Hiddleston is a young British actor and is best known for playing the character of Loki in the Marvel Studios films Thor, The Avengers and Thor: The Dark World. Other notable roles have included Steven Spielberg's World War I film War Horse, Jim Jarmusch's Only Lovers Left Alive, the British drama The Deep Blue Sea, Woody Allen's romantic comedy Midnight in Paris, the 2012 BBC series Henry IV and Henry V. He is currently playing Coriolanus at the Donmar Warehouse at Covent Garden theatre in London's West End. Tom won the MTV Movie Award for ‘Best Fight’ and ‘Best Villain’ in 2013 for his role in The Avengers.

Mark Strong is a British actor who is best known for his roles in Sherlock Holmes, Body of Lies, The Young Victoria, Syriana, Kick-Ass, Green Lantern, Zero Dark Thirty, Robin Hood, and John Carter. He often portrays villains or antagonists. Strong is also a familiar face on British television, where he has had starring roles in two BBC drama series, including Our Friends in the North and The Long Firm, for which he earned a BAFTA nomination.

Tom Hooper is an Academy Award-winning British film and television director best known for his work in The King's Speech (2010), Les Miserables (2012) and The Damned United (2009) and TV mini-series John Adams.