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.

Saturday, 11 April 2015

Ford unveils the stylish new C-Max and Grand C-Max, with advanced technologies.

  • Stylish new C-MAX and Grand C-MAX offer enhanced family appeal with improved fuel efficiency and CO2, advanced driver assistance technology  and segment-first convenience features
  • Parents carrying shopping, toddlers or luggage can access boot with a kicking motion using segment-first Hands-Free Tailgate; Active Park Assist supports parking in parallel and side-by-side spaces
  • Active City Stop automatic braking now operates at speeds of up to 30mph; Adaptive Front Lighting System optimises night-time visibility
  • Both vehicles feature bold new face of Ford, an intuitive, beautifully crafted interior, and higher levels of comfort, refinement and ride quality
Ford’s new fuel-efficient, flexible and stylish C-MAX and Grand C-MAX offer active families advanced driver assistance technologies, convenience features, and higher levels of comfort and safety.

The new five-seat C-MAX and seven-seat Grand C-MAX Multi-Activity Vehicles (MAV) provide enhanced refinement and ride quality with revised chassis, body and interior designs. 

The C‑MAX family also offers segment-first Hands-Free Tailgate that enables customers to access the boot with a simple kicking motion, and an enhanced version of the Active City Stop system designed to help avoid or mitigate incidents.

“C-MAX has earned a reputation for providing a balance of great fuel economy, responsive, sporty handling and a flexible, roomy interior package,” said Roelant de Waard, vice president, Marketing, Sales & Service, Ford of Europe. “The new Ford C-MAX family also delivers levels of refinement often found in larger, more upmarket vehicles, while all powertrains benefit from CO2 improvements without sacrificing the car’s great driving dynamics.”

Efficient and powerful engines

The new C-MAX and Grand C-MAX combine reduced running costs with significantly improved fuel efficiency and CO2 emissions, while retaining high performance and responsiveness with downsized engines including:
  • Ford’s new 1.5-litre TDCi diesel engine, offered with 120PS, delivers 105g/km CO2 – a 12 per cent improvement in CO2compared to the 1.6-litre diesel it replaces, while delivering 5PS more power
  • 100PS and 125PS versions of Ford’s 1.0-litre EcoBoost petrol engine, the first engine ever to be awarded the International Engine of the Year trophy three years in a row
Auto-Start-Stop technology is offered as standard on the 2.0-litre TDCi diesel engines for the first time, helping deliver up to 17 per cent reduction in CO2 emissions, with power increased by 7 per cent.

Driving Dynamics

The new Ford C-MAX family delivers class-leading driving dynamics:
  • Stiffer suspension bushes help deliver a more controlled and intuitive driving experience, and reduced body roll
  • Retuned dampers help enhance the agile steering feel while maintaining ride comfort and feature a new valve design that reduces squeaks and rattles to improve interior refinement
  • Electronic Power Assisted Steering tuned to deliver greater steering precision and stability
Sensor technologies

The C-MAX and Grand C-MAX are equipped with advanced Ford technologies and equipment designed to help avoid or mitigate incidents – from scrapes and bumps while parking to potentially more serious, higher speed collisions.

Ford’s Active City Stop collision avoidance system pre-charges the brakes and – if the driver still does not respond – reduces engine torque and automatically applies the brakes to reduce the impact of collisions. The system has been enhanced to operate at speeds of up to 30mph, compared to 19mph with the previous version.

Ford is also introducing the Pre-Collision Assist system to the new C-MAX models. This works in a similar way to Active City Stop but with a much greater vehicle detection range of between 5mph and 112mph. It supports drivers at higher speeds, for example on the motorway, by issuing warnings and applying braking as required.

Also new to the C-MAX family is Ford’s Adaptive Cruise Control technology which enables drivers to maintain a set distance from the vehicle ahead, even when that vehicle is travelling slower than the selected cruise speed. 

For occasions when Adaptive Cruise Control is not active, Distance Indication enables drivers to set a preferred distance they would like to maintain from the vehicle ahead. Should the driver get any closer, the system issues a three-stage dashboard display warning – from grey to yellow to red.

Ford’s Active Park Assist system takes the stress out of parking by locating suitably-sized parking spaces and, at the push of a button, steering into the space – while the driver controls the accelerator and brake. Both new models add Perpendicular Parking capability that helps drivers reverse into spaces side-by-side with other cars.

The extra sensors also enable two additional technologies that help drivers as they manoeuvre out of parking spaces:
  • Cross Traffic Alert gives peace of mind to drivers reversing out of parking spaces by warning of vehicles that may soon be crossing behind them. Operating with radar at a range of up to 40 metres, the system will issue three warning signals if it detects a vehicle approaching from either side
  • Park-Out Assist helps drivers as they exit a parallel parking space. After the driver has chosen either the left- or right-hand side the system operates the steering while the driver operates the accelerator and brake
Lighting the way

New lighting technologies offered for the C-MAX and Grand C-MAX help drivers see, and be seen, more clearly at night or in poor visibility conditions.

Ford’s Adaptive Front Lighting system adjusts the headlight beam angle to one of seven settings depending on traffic and road conditions. For example, when cornering at lower speeds the system will project a beam towards the side of the road to make cyclists and pedestrians more visible. The system will also support drivers cornering at higher speeds by directing light further into the bend.

Both models offer Bi-Xenon HID headlamps designed to optimise the driver’s view of the road, while during the day LED Daytime Running Lights increase the visibility of the vehicles for other road users.  

Safety, convenience and comfort

Ford’s new C-MAX and Grand C-MAX interiors offer families more safety, convenience and comfort than ever before, and deliver flexibility for varied and active lifestyles.

Both models offer practical solutions to help keep occupants safely strapped in, including new “i‑Size” child restraint mounting points that are compatible with the latest generation-ISOFIX child seats and offer improved protection for the head and neck during side and front impacts. 

A dashboard alert indicates whether any of the seatbelts are undone. A wide-angle rear view mirror offers a comprehensive view of the rear cabin area, and pets can now be restrained in the boot space with a dog guard.

Parents returning to their vehicle with arms full of shopping, pushchairs or toddlers can easily access the bootspace using Ford’s Hands-Free Tailgate technology. The seven-seat Grand C MAX features Ford’s innovative twin sliding doors and ‘walk-through’ seat design offering easier access, greater convenience and more space.

The redesigned interior for both models offers more than 20 smart stowage spaces for items such as toys, books and snacks:
  • The new centre storage console offers more space and features a sliding, integrated armrest for driver comfort
  • The new adjustable console accommodates a variety of bottles and cups with the capacity to simultaneously hold a one-litre water bottle and a 0.4-litre cup
  • A redesigned glovebox makes items stored inside easier to access
  • A deeper upper storage area significantly improves capacity within the dashboard top for belongings, with two USB connection points for integrating and charging mobile devices 
The overall interior design is cleaner and more intuitive, with fewer controls and switches, while the new black satin trim and chrome detailing contribute to a cleaner, more modern look. Functions are simpler to use, such as the air-conditioning controls, which now features buttons that are easier to recognise and distinguish.

Passengers of all ages will find it easier to relax in interiors offering greater comfort and refinement.  Ford engineers have reduced noise, vibration and harshness through the use of thicker side glass and more absorbent seals around the tailgate and rear view mirror. 

The engine bay heat shield has been filled with acoustic damping material to reduce powertrain noise, and diesel cars are equipped with extra acoustic seals to further reduce noise intrusion.

Under the bonnet, a specially balanced flywheel helps to reduce shaking forces when accelerating, while new engine mounts deliver smoother operation of the Auto‑Start-Stop system. On the outside, stiffer, noise- and vibration-optimised alloy wheels have been designed to reduce resonant vibrations.

In addition, both vehicles will be offered with higher quality trims across the entire range, a heated steering wheel, door-sill scuff plates and load-net fitting points behind both the first and second row seats.

A light, spacious and airy interior feel is enhanced by an optional panoramic glass roof that uses solar reflective glass to keep the cabin cool and protect occupants from harmful ultra-violet rays, while an electrically operated blind can provide shade where required.

Better connected with SYNC 2

The new C-MAX family is equipped with Ford’s SYNC 2 voice-activated connectivity system that helps keep driver’s eyes on the road and hands on the wheel. The advanced system features a high-resolution, eight-inch colour touch screen and advanced voice control for hands-free operation of audio, navigation, climate control and connected mobile phone functions.

Supported by map services provider HERE, SYNC 2’s navigation system offers a split‑screen display with detailed intersections, spoken street names, 3D highway junction and landmark views alongside the MICHELIN guide. The system also enables drivers to issue simpler “one-shot” navigation destinations, and to ask SYNC 2 to “play” a desired artist. Drivers can access a list of local restaurants by saying: “I’m hungry”.

Offered for the first time on C-MAX,Ford’s MyKey technology enables customers with older children to restrict reduce the maximum volume of the audio system when they borrow the family car. MyKey also can disable the audio system altogether if driver and passengers are not using safety belts, limit the top speed, and prevent the driver from deactivating safety technologies such as traction control.

Modern and dynamic styling

Restyled to reflect the One Ford global design language with the distinctive trapezoidal grille, the new C-MAX family has a stronger, sleeker front end. Washer jets are concealed beneath the windscreen, complementing the cleaner look of the restyled bonnet, and sleeker, more chiselled front headlamps and more rectangular, elongated fog-lamps add to the bolder front end.

The tailgate has been given a smoother and more sophisticated one-piece appearance using the latest laser-brazing technique, which applies cleaner and exceptionally strong welds to thin sheets of metal. A compact tail lamp design completes the contemporary look.

The range of exterior colours now includes Red Rush and Caribou.

“C-MAX and Grand C-MAX deliver a more relaxing experience with chassis and interior enhancements, and sophisticated driver assistance technologies,” Baumbick said. 

“The ability to see more clearly in challenging conditions, to detect potential accidents and to keep less experienced drivers safe, provide additional assurance and reduce stress for drivers whether at the wheel or not.”

Volkswagen adds new Factory Fit Packs to make buying your car an easier experience.

Volkswagen’s award-winning online configurator, which allows customers to design their perfect car from the comfort of their own home or on the move via a tablet or smartphone, is designed to make choosing a new car as easy as possible.  

But even once the right car is configured there’s the question of optional extras – those finishing touches which make the perfect car perfect.

To aid the selection of the right personalisation, Volkswagen has bundled frequently ‘bought together’ factory-fitted options into packs which are then offered at a competitive prices, saving customers at least 20 per cent on the price of buying the options individually.

A new brochure, which is available at Volkswagen Retailers, details options packs for four of Volkswagen’s best-selling models: the up!, Polo, Golf and Tiguan.  When configuring a car online, these packs are automatically suggested to ensure the customer gets the best value option.  A range of packs are available, including:
  • up! – Park and Convenience Pack – which combines City Emergency Braking, parking sensors and Maps & More for £695 (£870 when bought separately)
  • Polo – Convenience Pack – combines Light & Sight Pack (auto dimming rear view mirror, automatic headlights, coming/leaving home function and rain sensor) plus electrically foldable door mirrors) for £225 (£310 separately)
  • Golf – Parking Pack with Park Assist, rear-view camera and multifunction colour display; Tech Pack with ‘Dynaudio Excite’ sound pack and Discover Navigation Pro (prices depend on model)
  • Tiguan – Convenience Pack – which combines Keyless Entry, Lane Assist with cruise control and electrically foldable door mirrors for £950 (£1,205 when bought separately)
Volkswagen’s Product Marketing Manager, Simon Lynch, comments: ‘We know our cars come with plenty of features as standard, but we recognise customers also want to personalise their cars, choosing the options which are right for them and suit their lifestyle, needs and requirements.  

To make this easier and offer greater value, we’ve looked at the most popular options and bundled them into packs – and reduced the prices.  This means customers spend less time as well as money when choosing the perfect Volkswagen.

Shell and Gordon Murray combine to build a new type of car.

Shell, in collaboration with the legendary race and road car designer Professor Gordon Murray and engine specialist Osamu Goto, will co-engineer an ultra-compact, efficient car for city use based around the internal combustion engine. 

The Shell car is scheduled to be unveiled in November 2015 and people will be able to follow the development of the car through the website www.shell.com/Projectm.

The Shell concept is intended to be a simple, practical global city car; drawing together the most innovative aspects of light-weight engineering, streamlining, and driveline efficiency and work brilliantly whether you are in a city where mass-motoring is a relatively new thing or already a century-old. Once built, the car will be tested on-the-road.

The concept is intended to inspire thinking about maximising personal mobility while minimising energy use*, helping people get around the world’s ever-more congested cities where, by 2050, up to three quarters of the world’s estimated nine billion people could be living**.

Initiated by Shell, the collaboration, which is called Project M, brings together Shell’s Lubricant’s Technology Team, The Gordon Murray Design Group and engine specialist Geo Technology. This technically intimate co-engineering relationship between the three expert teams means that the development of the lubricants, engine and vehicle will be completely integrated delivering results neither group could achieve by working apart.

Shell provides the fluids for the car specifically ‘designing’ the motor oil that complements and enhances the overall efficiency of the vehicle. Most people would naturally assume that oil, greases and fuels are simply added at the end of a concept-car build project like this, but the Shell car aims to show what can be achieved when its products are integrated into the design, right from the start.

“Since working with the Gordon Murray Design team on the T.25 car in 2010, we have given further thought on how to deliver a complete rethink of the car, using as little energy as possible. We believe this Shell car will demonstrate how efficient a car can be when Shell works in harmony with vehicle and engine makers during design and build, supplying fuels and lubricants technical expertise. Shell is excited to be working with such top calibre partners and invite others to join us for the remaining part of this exciting journey.” 

Selda Gunsel – Vice President Lubricants Technology
The three parties last collaborated in 1988 on Ayrton Senna’s and Alain Prost’s Honda™-powered, Shell- fuelled race cars that won all but one Grands Prix that season, a record that still stands. Shell and Professor Gordon Murray go back way further; Shell sponsored the first car and engine Professor Gordon Murray ever built, in South Africa, when he was just 19.

Project M is being launched at the Americas round of Shell Eco-marathon, a global series which challenges student teams to design, build and test ultra-energy-efficient vehicles. Shell Eco-marathon America is in Detroit on 9-12 April 2015.

Uber Rare Crayford Wolseley Hornet Competition winner car comes up for auction.

‘Heinz 57’ Crayford Wolseley Hornet soup competition prize set to whet collectors’ appetites at Barons’ Spring Classic sale

The rare Bentley R-Type Continental Fastback ‘barn find’ restoration project and the Rolls-Royce Phantom V which belonged to the Queen Mother’s ‘stable’ of motor cars sit at the top of the entry list for Barons’ April 21stSandown Park sale in terms of prestige and price. 

However, there are some highly desirable and unusual lots for collectors who are big on enthusiasm if smaller on budget.

One charismatic little rarity is the 1966 Crayford Wolseley ‘Heinz 57’ Hornet. Just 57 of these convertibles were built, as unique prizes for the ‘Greatest Glow on Earth’ soup competition, run by Heinz Foods.

From the original planning meeting between Crayford’s David McMullan and Jeff Smith and the Heinz directors in a greasy spoon café to the emergency storage of the 57 cars in a nudist colony, the story of the 57 prize cars is fascinating and highly entertaining. The example on offer at Barons now has red paintwork, as opposed to the original winners’ choices of Birch Grey or Toga White, but remains a charming piece of motoring – and Heinz – history. Estimate: £7,000-£9,000.
Equally appealing is the 1935 Austin 7 APD/E Military Tourer, one of just 11 such cars known to exist. The APD model was produced entirely for military use, and featured a rifle cradle. The car in Barons’ sale began life as an APD but was switched during production to an APD/E. It still has holes in the tunnel between the two seats to take a Lee-Enfield. Estimate: £8,500-£10,500.

A bigger, and more recent, Austin comes in the form of the 1951 FL1 Hire Car. A four-door limousine version of the FX3 Hire Car, it boasts a front bench seat but is without the ‘For Hire’ roof sign of the FX3. This particular example has been restored by the vendor and is now in very good condition. Estimate: £5,000-£8,000.

Ford Escorts are always popular in the saleroom, and Barons’ has a cracker for April 21st. The beige 1968 Mk I Escort 11 De Luxe is in absolutely original condition and has covered just 18,000 miles. Estimate: £8,500-£10,000.

Finally, if the ‘barn find’ Bentley R-Type Continental Fastback is a bit of a stretch at £200,000-£400,000, how about the 1961 Mercedes 180 Ponton ‘shed find’? This car is in good condition, in spite of spending the last 15 years unused in a shed. 

The interior is particularly good, though beneath the dust it is evident that the exterior paintwork is a little faded. With a little more TLC this could be a fabulous family classic. Estimate: £4,000-£6,000.

USA MARCH SALES - SUBARU - Continued growth shows no sign of slowing.

  • Record March - monthly sales increase 10.4 percent over March 2014
  • 40th consecutive month of year-over-year growth
  • Best March ever for Forester, WRX/STI, Legacy, Outback and XV Crosstrek
  • 16.8 percent increase YTD over 2014
  • Legacy 68 percent increase YTD over 2014
  • 20th consecutive months of more than 10,000 Foresters sold
  • 13th consecutive months of more than 10,000 Outbacks sold
  • 150,000th XV Crosstrek sold
Subaru of America, Inc. this week reported record sales for March 2015 totaling 49,111 vehicles, a 10.4 percent gain over March 2014. The company also reported year-to-date sales of 131,281, a 16.8 percent gain over the same period in 2014.

March marked the 13th consecutive month of 40,000+ vehicle sales for the company. Forester, WRX/STI, Legacy, Outback and XV Crosstrek sales were notably strong as each model line achieved its best March ever. Legacy sales for March 2015 increased 90 percent over the same month in 2014. The Forester, WRX/STI, Outback and XV Crosstrek also enjoyed gains over March 2014.

Subaru of America, Inc., distributors and retailers were today celebrating the best first quarter in the company’s 47 year history. “We are very pleased to be able to continue our sales momentum into 2015,” said Thomas J. Doll, president and chief operating officer, Subaru of America, Inc. “We are well on our way to making 2015 our seventh consecutive record year thanks to the tireless efforts of our retailers in satisfying the many needs of our customers.”

“We have hardworking retailers who have made these record results possible; and we have the right products for consumers,” said Jeff Walters, senior vice president of sales, Subaru of America, Inc. “The Subaru line-up of vehicles delivers safety, durability and all-wheel drive confidence. It is a winning combination that will continue to drive sales.”

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