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, 20 November 2015

Pure performance and pure fun, that will be the new SEAT Ibiza Cupra, even more power to play with.

  • Outstanding performance, thanks to power increase from 180 PS to 192 PS and significant 70Nm hike in torque
  • Exclusively available with six-speed manual gearbox on Ibiza SC
  • 0-62 mph in just 6.7 seconds
  • New premium interior – distinctive, powerful design
  • Optimum connectivity with Full Link
  • UK pricing and specification to be confirmed closer to launch in January 2016
The new Ibiza CUPRA shows the essence of the SEAT brand in its purest form – emotional design, outstanding performance and state-of-the-art technology, combined to create one of the most dynamic cars in the hot supermini class. 
With its compact format and excellent functionality, the Ibiza CUPRA is the perfect sports car for everyday use. 
The performance generated by the 1.8-litre TSI engine is impressive – acceleration from nought to 62 mph in just 6.7 seconds, a top speed of 146 mph – paired with exceptional efficiency. 
The new interior creates an extraordinary feeling of quality, while SEAT Full Link, the SEAT DriveApp and the SEAT ConnectApp enable optimum connectivity. 

In one area, however, there was very little room for improvement – the Ibiza’s emotional and dynamic design, which is still cited as the main reason for purchasing the compact Spanish model.
“The new generation of the Ibiza CUPRA displays the strong character of the SEAT brand. With its unique design and exceptional performance, the Ibiza CUPRA is the epitome of sheer driving fun,” says Luca de Meo, President of SEAT S.A. “SEAT is a brand in motion and the Ibiza CUPRA is one of its icons. 
Innovative connectivity, a significantly upgraded interior and further improved quality are just a few key areas that demonstrate how fast and consistently our brand is moving.”
A success story starts a new chapter. The first generation of the Ibiza CUPRA hit the roads in 1996, with every generation since building on the highly dynamic capability of its performance arm, to become a core element of the SEAT brand. 
The next chapter of this story is being written by the new Ibiza CUPRA: 192 PS, XDS electronic differential lock, high-performance brakes, CUPRA Drive Profile with adjustable damping – the high level of technology in the new Ibiza CUPRA is as much as given as the extensive equipment with innovative details. 
One example is the new SEAT infotainment systems, which offer exclusive solutions for optimum smartphone integration with Full Link and the SEAT DriveApp.
“Responsive, powerful acceleration, extremely precise handling, good traction and fade-free brakes guarantee the kind of driving fun that the CUPRA name stands for,” says Dr. Matthias Rabe, Vice-President for Research and Development at SEAT S.A. 
“The new Ibiza CUPRA is a perfect example of how we at SEAT bring together the very latest technologies from the Volkswagen Group to create a unique and highly distinctive overall package.”
Exceptional performance, state-of-the-art technology
The new 1.8 TSI engine with turbocharger and combined direct / indirect injection is a compact piece of hi-tech kit that guarantees exceptionally refined performance. Power is up by 12 PS to 192 PS compared to its predecessor, but arguably its greatest advance comes in the form of its boosted torque. 
Instead of the previous 250 Nm, there are now 320 Nm on call – across an extremely broad rev range, from 1,450 to 4,200 rpm. This delivers incredibly forceful pulling power in any given situation. 
A 0-62 mph sprint of 6.7 seconds and top speed of 146 mph put it in the premier league of hot superminis.
During the development of this engine, particular attention was dedicated to the combustion process. 
In addition to FSI petrol direct injection, the 1.8 TSI uses an indirect injection system that injects the fuel at the end of the intake manifold close to the tumble flaps, where it swirls intensively with the air. 
Indirect injection comes into play under partial load, lowering fuel consumption and reducing particulate emissions.
Hi-tech in detail
The rail pressure in the FSI system has been increased from 150 to 200 bar. Direct injection is active during start-up and under higher loads and can deliver two to three individual injections per cycle. 
To further optimise the charge cycle, the valve control now also has a greater degree of freedom. The valvelift system, which adjusts valve lift in two stages, operates on both the exhaust and the intake camshaft. Both shafts can be adjusted by either 30 or 60 degrees of crank angle.
The four-cylinder offers further innovations with its state-of-the-art thermal management system. Coolant flow is regulated by two high-speed rotary valves integrated into a single module and driven by worm gear connected to an electric motor. This plays a major role in bringing the engine oil up to operating temperature as quickly as possible following cold start. 
The cooling water remains stationary in the crankcase for a relatively long time and the interior heating runs via the separate circuit for the cylinder head. This means that the main radiator, which dissipates heat into the surroundings without any benefit, does not come into play until as late as possible.
Perfect for efficiency and performance
The new rotary valve module can adjust the water temperature in accordance with load and engine speed between 85 and 107 degrees Celsius, meaning it always achieves the best compromise between minimum internal friction and thermodynamic efficiency. 
Throughout the entire cooling system, switchable valves manage the flow of heat between the engine, the transmission heat exchanger and the car’s interior. This concept was helped by the
integration of the exhaust manifold into the cylinder head and its water cooling system. It also lowers the temperature of the exhaust gas, meaning the 1.8 TSI does not require the widely used enrichment of the fuel/air mixture under full load. As a result, fuel consumption during sporty driving is significantly reduced.
The 1.8 TSI’s turbocharger too, is a completely new design. Its main features are a turbine rotor made from a new alloy that can withstand exhaust temperatures of up to 980 degrees, the lambda sensor upstream of it, a pulsation-noise damper, a compressor rotor machined from solid and an electric wastegate actuator that regulates charge pressure extremely quickly and precisely, thus further improving fuel economy.
Systematic lightweight design for greater dynamics and lower consumption
The engine is incredibly light, weighing just 133.4 kilograms and thus substantially assisting the performance and handling of the Ibiza CUPRA. 
The technology highlights include the new turbocharger/exhaust manifold module, a new casting process for the cast-iron crankcase with wall thicknesses of around three millimetres and the crankshaft with four instead of eight counterweights and smaller main bearing diameters. 
The pistons are made from a new, stronger alloy. The oil sump features lightweight plastic and many fasteners are aluminium.
Internal friction has also fallen drastically – due to a new kind of coating on the piston skirts and anti-friction bearings on both balancer shafts, which compensate for second-order forces of inertia. The regulated oil pump consumes very little energy, with a high-precision electrical system operating its oil-spray cooling.
CUPRA Drive Profile
The Ibiza CUPRA comes as standard with 17-inch alloy wheels and suspension tuned for maximum agility and precision. One new standard feature is the CUPRA Drive Profile, which allows the driver to adapt the car’s steering and suspension at the touch of a button. 
The system offers two settings, comfort suspension and sport suspension, and also modifies steering behaviour. The XDS electronic differential lock improves handling characteristics, especially under fast cornering.
The ESC (Electronic Stability Control) system comprising Hill Start Assist, Multi-Collision Brake, Tyre Pressure Warning and Tiredness Recognition, all come as part of the Ibiza CUPRA’s standard safety package. Fatigue at the steering wheel is still the cause of many and serious accidents. 
The new drowsiness warning in the SEAT Ibiza identifies from steering behaviour when the driver’s attention is lapsing and emits a warning sound. Another new safety system is the Multi-Collision Brake. Following a serious collision, it automatically slows the car down to dissipate any remaining kinetic energy. 
If the airbag is activated by the first collision, the electronic stability control brakes the car and switches on the hazard lights. The Ibiza has been awarded the highest five-star rating in the Euro NCAP crash test.
Expressive design with powerful lines
The new Ibiza CUPRA has a powerful and muscular stance. The edgy line of the standard bi-xenon lights is a typical element of the SEAT design language, perfectly integrated into the Ibiza’s sculptural form. 
The LED daytime running lights trace the line of the headlamp to form a unique light signature, as do the LED rear lights. 
The side view of the three-door Sports Coupé is brought to life by the sharply executed lines and edges. The accentuated rear shoulders and exclusive 17-inch alloy wheels underline its performance. 
The high-gloss black door mirrors set a clear contrast to the Ibiza CUPRA’s paintwork, while at the rear its broad bumper frames a substantial matt-black diffuser which incorporates the trapezoidal tailpipe.
Extensively upgraded interior
The upgrades in the new Ibiza CUPRA’s redesigned interior are immediately apparent. The cockpit’s horizontal proportions and driver focus make a compelling statement through the optimum layout of all elements and the soft-touch finish. 
The attention to detail, with simple and clear functionality is apparent in the new steering wheel from the Leon family, air vents, new instrument panel and latest infotainment systems.
The CUPRA front sports seats come with new upholstery in an elegantly sporty combination of black fabric with light-grey inserts, while Alcantara upholstery is as an option. The leather steering wheel is standard, as are aluminium-look pedals.
Perfect connectivity with Full Link
Alongside MirrorLinkTM, the SEAT Full Link connectivity solution incorporates the functions of Apple Car PlayTMand Android AutoTM. 
Users can be online, while retaining full concentration on the road, and make use of the various permitted functions conveniently and safely via the touchscreen in the new Ibiza. 
In the case of Apple CarPlay, those functions currently cover phone, messaging, music and maps, with more to follow in future. MirrorLink is another perfect technology that enables the safe operation of smartphones and many of their functions and apps via the Ibiza CUPRA’s infotainment system by “mirroring” the smartphone screen on the touchscreen in the redesigned Ibiza cockpit. 
This works seamlessly with a growing number of MirrorLink-compatible Android smartphones.
Android Auto provides quick and easy access to navigation, communication and music applications and services in a way that is safer than accessing these apps on the phone screen while driving.
New SEAT DriveApp
The new SEAT DriveApp has been developed exclusively for users of SEAT Full Link and MirrorLink. It offers a whole range of innovative functions that can be used either in or outside the Ibiza CUPRA. For instance, the vehicle’s touchscreen can be personalised with local weather reports or contacts. 
Plus, the SEAT DriveApp uses “text to speech” to read out the latest posts from Facebook or Twitter, while “Challenger” offers interesting challenges to optimise driving skills, leading to a more efficient driving style. On leaving the vehicle, the “where is my car” function stores the Ibiza’s current position and finds it again whenever necessary.
New SEAT ConnectApp “powered by Samsung”
The Spanish car maker has agreed a cooperation with Samsung for the development of innovative connectivity solutions and is offering the new SEAT ConnectApp as an initial step. It makes perfect use of MirrorLink integration – the driver is “always on”, yet remains fully concentrated on the traffic. 
One new and exclusive function is gesture control, enabling functions such as calls or contacts to be called up on the SEAT Media System touchscreen. 
The welcome screen of the SEAT ConnectApp can be individualised to display information such as the current weather forecast or appointments. With “smart tips”, the app learns personal preferences such as frequent destinations and can issue appointment reminders. 
A wide range of other functions are already available at launch of the SEAT ConnectApp, with regular updates scheduled to maintain currency going forward. Data security is absolutely guaranteed. 
Aside from e-mail address and vehicle specification, the backend of the ConnectApp stores no personal details – they remain entirely on the owner’s smartphone.
Extensive equipment
With its extensive range of standard equipment, the new Ibiza CUPRA boasts a comprehensive package of safety and comfort elements. It also features 17-inch alloy wheels, bi-xenon headlamps with cornering lights and LED daytime running lights and LED rear lights, climate control, cruise control and tinted glass on the side and rear windows.

Citroen Racing announces it's plans for the next few years, OUT goes WTCC IN comes WRC.

Unveiling its future in motor sport, Citroën has announced that it will be taking part in the World Rally Championship from 2017.The team’s entry will be based on cars designed in line with the FIA’s new technical regulations. 
In order to dedicate as many resources as possible to development of the new car, the Citroën Racing team will be putting its involvement in the WRC on hold next season. 
In 2016, the Citroën Total team will defend its FIA WTCC world titles with two Citroën C-Elysée WTCCs, driven by José María López and Yvan Muller.

Citroën has won an incredible fifteen world titles over the last twenty-two years, between 1993 and 2015: five in the Cross Country Rally World Cup, eight in the WRC and two in the WTCC.

The brand’s success in the motor sport industry has become a key component in developing Citroën’s new brand image, while contributing to the growth of the company.

As the 2015 season draws to a close, Citroën outlined plans for its next challenge, focusing on the brand’s core values: team spirit, pushing yourself to the limit and creativity. In line with the strategy defined by Carlos Tavares, Chairman of the PSA Peugeot Citroën Management Board, the brand will concentrate its sporting commitments on a single worldwide programme.
After reviewing all of the current motor sport categories, Citroën has chosen to compete in the FIA World Rally Championship due to the brand's past success in the sport and future opportunities available that will reaffirm the brand’s position in the industry.
“With eight world titles and a record 94 wins, Citroën has certainly enjoyed unrivalled success in the WRC,” commented Linda Jackson, Chief Executive Officer of the Citroën brand. “Rallying is a fascinating sport, which tests the performance, reliability and solidity of the cars and drivers in some magnificent settings. 
The category is taking off again, with increasingly widespread live television coverage and the arrival of China on the calendar in 2016. In 2017, the appearance of a new generation of cars will coincide with our renewed involvement. 
Everything will therefore be in place for us to write a new chapter in the brand’s history. Given Citroën’s rich heritage, this challenge had to be ambitious with new objectives that will motivate the team and ensure continual success.”
The 2017 generation of World Rally Cars will be more impressive with more powerful engines and imposing aerodynamic features. This radical change in the regulations will enable Citroën Racing to compete on equal terms with its rivals, after devoting 2016 to the development of the new model.
“We have always been interested in the 2017 WRC regulations and the entire team is extremely motivated by this new challenge,” commented Yves Matton, Citroën Racing Team Principal.

“We’re excited by this new level of freedom to make the cars more spectacular, but also the possibility of reusing development work done on the Citroën C-Elysée WTCC’s engine. 

With a view to managing our resources efficiently, we have decided to focus all our efforts on designing and developing our new World Rally Car. This is why Citroën will not be competing in the 2016 World Rally Championship as a works team. 

We will obviously be keeping a close eye on the WRC, both with the organisation of the FIA Junior WRC and with the WRC2 programme for Quentin Gilbert, this year’s JWRC Champion*.”

Citroën Racing does not intend to stay out of racing altogether next year. 
After starting in 2014, the FIA WTCC programme will conclude at the end of a third season. As the category leader since it entered the WTCC, the Citroën Total team will be aiming to successfully defend its manufacturers’ and drivers’ titles. 
Two Citroën C-Elysée WTCCs will be entrusted to two drivers who have claimed six of the category’s last eight world titles*: the Argentinian José María López and the Frenchman Yvan Muller.
“Still determined to make the most of our resources, we will de defending our titles with a team of two works cars,” said Yves Matton. “With the arrival of a new, ambitious manufacturer, we’re expecting the competition to be even tougher next year. 
Pechito and Yvan are used to working together and making the success of the team their number one priority. 
Next year, they will need to be even more together to enable Citroën to conclude its programme successfully. Other Citroën C-Elysée WTCCs may be entered by the Sébastien Loeb Racing team for private drivers.”
“The last two years have undoubtedly been the greatest of my career. I am therefore delighted to be able to continue competing with Citroën Racing in 2016,” commented Pechito López. “We are going to keep working, all together, so that the Citroën C-Elysée WTCC remains the category’s leading car. And our goal is to defend our titles!”
“I’m proud to have taken part in building what is currently the best team in the FIA WTCC. I’m also honoured to have been chosen to continue competing on behalf of Citroën,” added Yvan Muller.

“We have to adjust to the new shape of the team, but we can count on the talent and experience of the team to maintain the same level of excellence.”

Nine-time World Rally Champion with Citroën, Sébastien Loeb is also one of the most versatile drivers ever seen in the history of motor sport. 24 Hours of Le Mans, F1, GT, Pikes Peak and, of course, the WTCC all feature among the experiences of this prodigiously talented racing driver. 
For his next challenge, Sébastien Loeb has chosen to take on the Dakar Rally, alongside his long-time co-driver Daniel Elena as part of the Peugeot Sport team. 
PSA Peugeot Citroën’s iconic ambassador, the Frenchman is switching from red to blue but with the change comes a new chapter that is about to begin.
“This marks the end of one chapter for me, but what I want to focus on today is my satisfaction at having participated in Citroën’s success in the WRC and WTCC,” said Sébastien Loeb. 
“Apart from the figures and the records, we have shared some magnificent experiences together. It’s hard to believe that most of the members of this amazing team started fifteen years ago! I’ll miss their hunger for success and limitless motivation, but I won’t be far away. 
I’m staying within the PSA Peugeot Citroën group to take on a new challenge.”
“In the last fifteen years, Sébastien Loeb and Citroën have made history together. It has been an absolutely incredible period that will leave a lasting mark in the world of motor sport. 
We would like to thank him for all these wins, titles and records, which have helped to renew the brand and boost its international reputation,” emphasised Linda Jackson. “Sébastien is now about to embark on a new adventure with another brand in the group. We wish them lots of success together, starting with next year’s Dakar Rally.”
5 world titles
36 wins
i.e. 86% of races
4 Dakar Rally wins
1991, 1994, 1995 and 1996
8 world titles
2003-2005 and 2008-2012
94 wins
38 consecutive podiums (record)
Mexico 2008 – GB 2010
29 one-two finishes
78 wins for Sébastien Loeb (record)9 world titles
for Loeb/Elena (2004-2012)
2 world titles
36 wins
i.e. 80% of races
21 pole positions
i.e. 91% of meetings
* Subject to publication of the official results by the FIA.

The Ford Focus ST Range has grown by nearly 300% this year, with new petrol and diesel options.

  • Ford Focus ST sales have soared by 270 per cent in the UK since the expanded petrol and diesel powered line-up debuted this year
  • Demand is evenly split: 45 per cent choose new 185PS diesel option and 55 per cent select 250PS EcoBoost petrol model
  • Diesel Focus ST now offered with six-speed dual-clutch PowerShift transmission, available to order for delivery in early 2016
  • PowerShift model is Ford’s quickest ever diesel car, with 0-62mph in around 7.7sec
Ford Focus ST sales have leapt by 270 per cent since the introduction of new petrol and diesel powertrains. Almost 6,700 diesel and petrol Focus STs have been sold in the UK so far this year, compared with 2,460 for the whole of last year.
Demand in Britain is evenly split between the two engine options, with 45 per cent choosing the new 185PS diesel Focus ST and 55 per cent selecting the 250PS EcoBoost petrol variant.

The UK’s appetite for Focus ST, with the ST170 in 2002 has driven sales beyond 50,000.
Ford is further expanding the Focus ST powertrain line-up to offer a six-speed dual-clutch PowerShift transmission with the diesel engine, available to order now for delivery in early 2016.
“New Focus ST has been a runaway success with customers spoilt for choice between our latest petrol and diesel power units,” said Roelant de Waard, vice president, Marketing, Sales and Service, Ford of Europe. “Diesel drivers now have the additional option of the Ford PowerShift transmission, which allows them to swap between quick-shifting automatic and sporty manual to suit their mood.”
The new Focus ST diesel PowerShift model will be Ford’s fastest accelerating diesel car ever, targetting 0-62mph in 7.7sec – 0.4sec quicker than the manual variant – and delivering CO2 emissions of 119g/km and combined fuel economy of up to 61.4mpg.
The Ford PowerShift transmission provides Focus ST diesel customers with the choice of driving in full automatic mode, or selecting gears manually using paddles mounted behind the steering wheel.
Drivers can also select a Sport mode by moving the gear lever to the S position, which offers a more dynamic driving experience with a sports shift programme that changes up at higher engine speeds and shifts down under braking for enhanced control.
In addition to the expanded engine line-up, Ford’s latest Focus ST offers an even more responsive, balanced and refined driving experience with optimised chassis control technologies, tuned suspension and steering, and bespoke tyre specification. The sporty new five-door and Estate models also offer advanced driver assistance technologies and connectivity features including the SYNC 2.