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, 5 March 2016

GENEVA - Volvo wins the Production car, Design Of The Year award for the beautiful S90 Saloon.

Volvo Cars’ S90 premium saloon has been voted Production Car Design of the Year 2015 by a panel of professional car designers from around the globe.
The award, presented by Car Design News, represents the pinnacle of automotive design awards. The jury is made up of 18 top car designers from around the world, from companies such as Bentley, Daimler, Ferrari and McLaren.

“Our use of high-end materials, classic proportions and controlled surfacing reflects our intention to forge our own path. We don’t want to fit in, we want to stand out,” said Thomas Ingenlath, Senior Vice President of Design at Volvo Car Group.
Volvo Cars’ interiors have received a lot of attention in recent times thanks to the serene nature of the design and the use of key design elements, exemplified by the elegant air blades and control surfaces in the new S90.
The Volvo S90 was chosen by the 18-strong panel of judges from a list of 20 contenders. The premium saloon received praise for its great proportions, authentic use of materials and timeless design.
Commenting on the award, Car Design News editor Owen Ready said that the S90 was recognised “for its priority of clear, calm design over the ‘styling entertainment’ that has been plaguing the industry for too long”.
The award was presented at a ceremony hosted by Car Design News in Geneva.

GENEVA - Aston Martin pushes into it's Second Century with the launch of the stunning DB11

A new chapter in Aston Martin’s history began at the 86th International Geneva Motor Show with the unveiling of the DB11. The first product launched under the company’s ‘Second Century’ plan, DB11 is the bold new figurehead of the illustrious ‘DB’ bloodline and an authentic, dynamic sporting GT in the finest Aston Martin tradition.

The DB11 showcases a fresh and distinctive design language, pioneering aerodynamics and is powered by a potent new in-house designed 5.2-litre twin-turbocharged V12 engine. Built upon a new lighter, stronger, and more space efficient bonded aluminium structure, DB11 is the most powerful, most efficient and most dynamically gifted DB model in Aston Martin’s history. As such, it is the most significant new Aston Martin since the introduction of the DB9 in 2003.

Aston Martin Chief Executive Officer, Dr Andy Palmer said: “We aspire to make the most beautiful cars in the world.  DB11 is the absolute embodiment of what an Aston Martin should be and we have worked tirelessly to ensure that DB11 combines both exceptional design with the latest technology throughout. A brand new bonded aluminium platform, clever aerodynamics, a new characterful twin-turbo V12 and class-leading infotainment systems are just a few aspects which make this the sports car that will proudly spearhead Aston Martin’s second century plan.”
Heralding a new design era for Aston Martin, DB11 is the latest landmark in a remarkable aesthetic journey; one that gave us icons such as the DB2/4, DB5 and, most recently, the DB10 developed specifically for James Bond. DB11 re-imagines the relationship between form and function with a series of fresh design signatures. 
Foremost amongst these are the front-hinging clamshell bonnet, distinctive LED headlights and accentuated lines of the iconic Aston Martin grille. The profile is equally dramatic, thanks to the roof strakes that flow uninterrupted from A-pillar to C-pillar. The clean lines continue at the rear, with a sloping decklid that smoothly blends into boldly sculpted tail-lights to create a new and unmistakable graphic.
Innovative aerodynamics play their part in this aesthetic revolution with clever management of airflow both over and through the bodywork aiding stability while preserving the DB11’s uncluttered surfaces. 
Front-end lift is reduced by the gill-like Curlicue which releases high-pressure air from inside the wheel arch via a concealed vent within the redesigned side-strake. 
Meanwhile, rear-end lift is reduced by the Aston Martin AeroBladeTM; a virtual spoiler fed by discreet air intakes located at the base of each C-pillar. Air is ducted through the bodywork, before venting as a jet of air from the aperture in the rear decklid.     
Like every Aston Martin, the heart of the DB11 is found beneath the bonnet, though unlike any Aston Martin before it, the DB11’s heart is a 5.2-litre twin-turbocharged V12. 
Designed in-house this new engine develops 608PS1 (600BHP1) and 700Nm1 of torque, making DB11 the most powerful production DB model ever. Naturally, it’s the most dynamic and most accelerative too, with a top speed of 200mph1 and a 0-62mph time of just 3.9sec1. Thanks to intelligent bank activation and stop-start technology that potency is matched by greatly improved efficiency.
To exploit the advantages of its new body structure and harness the immense performance of the new twin-turbo V12 engine, the DB11’s chassis, suspension, steering and electronics have been re-imagined  and key new technologies embraced. 
Multiple driver-selectable dynamic modes - GT, Sport and Sport Plus - progressively intensify the response of the engine, 8-speed automatic ZF transmission together with the new electric power steering and Torque Vectoring by braking while increasing the firmness of the adaptive damping for a greater sense of agility. 
The result is a driving experience that combines exemplary ride comfort and true sports car agility, for an extraordinary breadth of dynamic capability.
As a true 21st century Aston Martin the DB11 combines the very latest technology developed in conjunction with technical partner, Daimler AG, with the finest quality and hand craftsmanship. 
Using a full-colour 12” TFT LCD display, the all-new instrument cluster presents primary vehicle information with absolute clarity, while a second, centrally-mounted 8” TFT screen is dedicated to infotainment. Controlled via an intuitive rotary control, with an optional touchpad offering character recognition, multi-touch and gesture support, the new satellite navigation and audio system have never been more effective, sounded better or been easier to operate. 
A newly implemented auto-park assist feature and 360-degree birds-eye view camera helps provide safe maneuvering at slow speeds and is also operated via the car’s infotainment system. 
With wider door apertures, significantly increased occupant space - especially head and legroom in the rear - fully integrated rear ISOFIX mounting points for a pair of child seats plus a luggage compartment large enough to accommodate two large holdalls plus carry-on baggage, the DB11 is a genuine Grand Tourer. 
Thanks to an inspiring palette of colours and a vast array of detailing options, its interior can be perfectly in-tune with your unique personal style. 
From calming, carefully co-ordinated tones to sharp contrasts in hue and texture, your choices are virtually limitless. Nexus quilting and Celestial perforation add layers of beautiful complexity and intrigue, while ornate leatherwork, such as intricate brogue detailing, creates areas of visual and tactile delight.
Dr Andy Palmer said: ““This is not only the most important car that Aston Martin has launched in recent history, but also in its 103-year existence. The DB11 rightfully places Aston Martin once again as a leading brand in the luxury automotive market”.
Recommended Retail Price from £154,900 in the UK2, €204,900 in Germany2 and $211,995 in USA3, first deliveries of the DB11 car are scheduled to begin during the fourth quarter of 2016.

UKCOTY - Jaguar’s XE sports saloon named Best Executive Car in the 2016 UK Car of the Year Awards

  • Jaguar’s XE sports saloon named Best Executive Car in the 2016 UK Car of the Year Awards
  • The XE was hailed for its superior driving abilities, its fine looks and its strong range of engines
  • The win is the latest in a long series of major accolades for the Jaguar XE
The Jaguar XE has seen off the competition to emerge triumphant in its class at the UK Car of the Year Awards, being named 2016’s Best Executive Car.
The UK Car of the Year Awards are voted for by a panel of 27 of the UK’s leading and most-read motoring journalists, with the judges hailing the XE for its fantastic driving ability, styling, engines and its outstanding total cost of ownership.

Paul Hudson, UK Car of the Year judge and Deputy Head of Cars at Telegraph Media Group, said of the XE:“Few cars were as strongly anticipated as the XE. It’s such a tough market and therefore difficult to crack. The Jaguar XE makes you feel special. It’s got good engines, an excellent ride even on larger wheels, and is great to drive. It makes a fine private or company car purchase.”
Tim Pollard, Digital editor-in-chief of parkers.co.uk and carmagazine.co.uk, agreed, saying: “The XE relaunches Jaguar into the executive heartland with a highly competitive, attractive product.”
The Jaguar XE has picked up a host of awards since its launch, having also recently been named as one of only seven cars on the shortlist for the European Car of the Year award.
Jaguar Design Director Ian Callum said: “The executive car class is a fiercely competitive and long established one in the UK, but when we launched the XE we were confident it had what it needed to appeal to a demanding set of buyers. It looks sporty, and is stylish and elegant inside and out. We are honoured that the UK Car of the Year jurors, some of the most influential car experts in the UK, have endorsed the XE with the title of Best Executive Car for 2016.”
Already hailed as the best driver’s car in its class, the updates to the XE for the 2017 model year have enhanced this further. It now comes with key specification additions; including an all-wheel drive (AWD) system, which is available to order on the 2.0-litre 180PS diesel variant. The AWD enhance vehicle dynamics and improve traction, and Adaptive Surface Response (AdSR) to optimise the AWD system by changing the powertrain and Dynamic Stability Control system mapping according to the conditions.
The 2017 model year XE also comes with a state-of-the-art InControl Touch Pro infotainment system with a 10.2-inch tablet-style touchscreen that offers intuitive operation, super-fast response times and intelligent navigation. The system offers a Wi-Fi hotspot for up to eight devices, and is compatible with an Apple Watch app, that offers remote functions including fuel level check, lock and unlock, and even remote engine starts.

UKCOTY - Mazda MX-5 Takes the Best Open Top car award, and the Mazda2 best Supermini.

  • Iconic roadster takes top honour; also named best Open Top Car
  • Skoda triumphs in two categories with Superb
  • Volvo’s XC90 claims SUV of the Year prize
  • BMW, Ford, Jaguar, McLaren, Smart and Vauxhall also winners
The Mazda MX-5 has emerged as the overall winner at the UK Car of the Year Awards 2016, which are supported by Cox Automotive – whose UK brands include Manheim and Motors.co.uk. Having triumphed in the Best Open Top Car of the Year category, the latest generation of the world’s best-selling sports car beat off strong competition in the final round of voting to claim overall victory. 
The Japanese company achieved triple honours at the awards, with the Supermini of the Year title for the Mazda2 joining the MX-5’s twin accolades.

Launched in 2014, the UK Car of the Year Awards are judged by 27 of Britain’s most-read motoring journalists. Each judge uses their expertise to pick out the top performer in 12 vehicle categories, before deciding the overall winner from their favourites in each class. New for 2016 was a media driving day featuring all category winners, hosted by Cox Automotive at its Manheim Bruntingthorpe auction centre in January.
“With the latest MX-5, Mazda has created the perfect roadster. A lightweight engaging, simplistic and even practical vehicle, which is an absolute pleasure to drive,” said John Challen, director of the UK Car of the Year Awards. Fellow director, Alisdair Suttie, commented: “The fourth generation is true to the original spirit of the MX-5: light, nimble and enormous fun.”
Commenting on Mazda’s success in the UK Car of the Year Awards, Jeremy Thomson, Mazda Motors UK managing director said: “I’m delighted that the all-new Mazda MX-5 has added another prestigious award to its growing tally of accolades. The MX-5 embodies all that is great about our products. Its fun to drive character has earned it a place in the hearts of driving enthusiasts the world over.”
The MX-5’s huge appeal was underlined by many members of the UK Car of the Year Award judging panel. CAR’s Tim Pollard commented: “No other car launched in 2015 advanced the class standards so comprehensively: the Mk4 Mazda captures the essence of MX-5ness brilliantly. It’s a fabulously polished – and democratic - sports car”. BusinessCar’s Paul Barker added that the MX-5 is: “Still peerless in its ability to provide motoring joy on a budget.”
The Express’ Nat Barnes declared the MX-5: “The best car I drove in 2015. The 1.5-litre is perfect in almost every way,” while judge Anthony ffrench-Constant exclaimed: “Delicious to gaze upon, beautifully engineered, eminently affordable, and positive proof that motoring pleasure need not be predicated on pure power alone.”
In a tightly-fought contest for Overall UK Car of the Year 2016 – the contenders ranging from the Smart Forfour to the McLaren 570S – the Mazda MX-5 triumphed over the Volvo XC90, with the Skoda Superb Estate taking third place.
Full list of UK Car of the Year Awards 2016 winners:
Best City Car – Smart Forfour
Best Supermini – Mazda2
Best Small Hatch – Vauxhall Astra
Best Family Car – Skoda Superb
Best Executive Car – Jaguar XE
Best Luxury Car – BMW 7 Series
Best Estate Car – Skoda Superb Estate
Best MPV – Ford S-Max
Best SUV – Volvo XC90
Best Coupe – Ford Mustang
Best Open Top Car – Mazda MX-5
Best Performance Car – McLaren 570S

UKCOTY - Not only did the Astra take the European car of The Year, it takes UK Small Hatch of the year too.

Vauxhall’s all-new Astra has been recognised in the Small Hatch category at the UK Car of the Year Awards.
The Astra topped its extremely competitive category, with the judges (made up of 27 influential UK motoring journalists representing fleet, consumer and trade titles) praising the model for its design, performance and equipment. 

This year has already proven to be positive for the model, with this award the latest in a list that also includes a Family Car category win at the What Car? Awards and being named Scottish Car of the Year.
John Challen, UKCOTY co-founder, commented: “Vauxhall has shaken up the C-segment with the Astra. Big improvements in refinement, quality and driving dynamics are to be applauded.” Elsewhere, the Astra was described as “a consummate all-rounder thanks to space, comfort and quality in combination with a refined drive and great handling,” by consumer motoring journalist and also co-founder of the UK Car of the Year Awards, Alisdair Suttie.
“We’re delighted the Astra has been recognised by the UK Car of the Year judges, as they reflect all areas of the UK motor industry,” said Rory Harvey, Vauxhall’s Chairman and Managing Director. “This year is the new model’s first full year of sales, and it has already been well-received.”
The all-new Astra is available with the new-generation IntelliLink infotainment system and OnStar, a comprehensive package, which includes a high-speed 4G LTE mobile network, emergency response notification and stolen vehicle recovery technology. OnStar has received plaudits of its own recently, winning the Auto Express Technology and the BusinessCar Techies Awards.

Honda confirms European sales of the All New Supercar, NSX will begin in the Autumn.

  • Prices starting from approximately £130,000
  • Europe confirmed as the lead export region for NSX
  • European deliveries to commence during Autumn 2016
Following the clamour and excitement of its official launch in the US, Honda UK today announced further launch details for the all-new Honda NSX with prices starting from approximately £130,000.

Honda has confirmed that Europe will be the leading export region for sales of NSX, and will be sold through a limited network of authorised dealers in key European locations. Deliveries of the first NSX in Europe are to commence during Autumn 2016.

Specifically created to bring a “New Sports eXperience” to the supercar segment, the NSX challenges prevailing beliefs about supercars as much as the first generation did a quarter of a century ago. The NSX features classic low and wide proportions married to modern and alluring surfacing, an aggressive front design, and rear lights.

At its heart is an all new longitudinally mounted twin-turbo V6 engine that is mated to an all-new, Honda developed 9-speed DCT with an electric motor that applies its torque directly to the crankshaft for higher output with immediate power delivery to the rear wheels.

The NSX will be manufactured exclusively at the Performance Manufacturing Centre (PMC) in Marysville, Ohio, where approximately 100 highly-skilled low-volume production specialists will conduct full body construction, paint, and final assembly.

GENEVA - Dacia beings special editions and it's first automatic gearbox on the Duster SUV.

  • Dacia presents a new series of affordable, smart and comfortable limited-edition versions
  • Easy-R – Dacia’s first automated gearbox – is now available with the brand’s dCi 90 diesel engine. This competitively-priced transmission is already available with the TCe 90 petrol powerplant
  • Dacia’s online community continues to expand as the number of the brand’s Facebook fans surpasses the threshold of three million
  • Record sales in 2015: more than 550,000 vehicles registered worldwide, an increase of almost eight per cent
Dacia has enjoyed another buoyant start to the year. After achieving record sales in 2015, the brand has just seen its number of Facebook fans exceed the three-million mark as members of its fast-growing community continue to share their passion for Dacia both on and offline.
In addition to the announcement of the Easy-R transmission with its dCi 90 diesel engine (6 gear automated transmission), the 2016 Geneva Motor Show sees Dacia take the wraps off a new series of limited-edition versions.

Dacia’s stand at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show features the Duster Essential which introduces a new series of limited-edition versions of the Duster, Sandero and Logan MCV as well as other models available outside the UK. The name of this series of limited editions will vary depending on market and in certain countries.
These competitively-priced limited-edition versions combine a smart look with enhanced travelling comfort. Exterior features include a new body colour (Chestnut Brown) and new alloy wheels, along with specific badging and body colour bumpers. Inside, passengers benefit from Bluetooth and USB connectivity, electric front windows and central locking.
Like all Dacias, these limited-edition versions come with a three-year/100,000km (60,000 miles) warranty.
The markets where this series of limited-edition Dacias will be available include Austria, Belgium, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Luxemburg, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. 
Easy-R was launched at the end of 2015 mated to Dacia’s TCe 90 Stop&Start petrol engine. For the same price, Dacia’s first automated transmission can now be specified for dCi 90 diesel versions of the Logan, Sandero, Sandero Stepway and Logan MCV (depending on market). Mated to this diesel engine, Easy-R will feature six forward gears for optimised driving enjoyment and fuel consumption comparable with that of a manual gearbox.
To combine reliability with lower running costs, the all-new design of this automated transmission is founded on electro-mechanical rather than hydraulic technology. To ensure the highest standard of quality, the Easy-R gearbox underwent the equivalent of 750,000km of road testing and all units are carefully inspected after assembly.
Reliable and affordable, Easy-R automated transmission eliminates the need for a clutch pedal and is calibrated to optimise everyday driving enjoyment, especially in congested traffic and urban areas. Gear shifts are smooth and automatic, while its crawl function is ideal for manoeuvring or when inching forward in traffic jams by simply releasing the brake pedal. The system also holds the vehicle at a standstill to facilitate pulling away on slopes.
Easy-R is much more competitively priced than a conventional automatic transmission and benefits from particularly low running costs.
There are no current plans for the Easy-R automated transmission to be available in the UK.  
Dacia’s stand at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show, which starts on Tuesday 1st March, is in Hall 2.

GENEVA - Hyundai launches three special editions to showcase the UEFA Football championships.

  • With the GO! Special Editions, Hyundai Motor is offering “Real Deals for Real Fans” for the UEFA EURO 2016 championship in France
  • The GO! Special Editions make the Hyundai i10, i20 and i30 even more appealing and bring unique design features to each model
  • At the 2016 Geneva Motor Show the GO! Special Edition models will be showcased in the colours of the French flag: blue, white and red
With GO! as their motto, Hyundai i10, i20 and i30 Special Edition models will share the limelight at the Geneva Motor Show 2016. Hyundai Motor is showing every single new GO! Special Edition, the i10, i20 and i30, in one of the colours of the French flag - blue, white and red - to go with the UEFA European soccer championships that France is hosting this summer and Hyundai is again supporting as an official sponsor. The GO! Special Edition models offer a great customer benefit.

With exclusive blue and white accents in the interior, lightweight alloy wheels and privacy glass from the B pillar on, the GO! Special Edition models set themselves visually apart from the standard models. In addition, special design details give the individual editions a personal touch. That makes them the first choice for all customers whose main focus is on individuality.
The i10 GO! features privacy glass and blue stitching on seats, steering wheel and the gearshift lever as well as a glossy black finish on the centre console. For the i20 GO! the cabin’s blue and white stitching highlights are complemented by blue surrounds for the gearshift and outer air vents. Black headlining adds a sporty ambience, and new design alloy wheels complete the picture. 
The i30 GO! sets itself apart with a stylish exterior that includes a premium front grille and 17-inch alloy wheels. Inside, drivers will find gunmetal finish on the steering wheel, centre console, air vents and doors as well as black headlining and metallic front-door scuff plates.
The launch of the GO! Special Edition models in Europe is market specific and accompanied by the Europe-wide “Real Deal for Real Fans” advertising campaign.
GO! Special Edition prices and specifications vary by market.

Hyundai adds a sixth engine to the best selling Tucson range of Sport Utility Vehicles.

  • Hyundai’s best-selling Tucson compact SUV gains additional powertrain
  • An efficient 1.7-litre diesel with seven-speed double clutch transmission (7DCT) and front wheel drive will be added to the existing five powertrains
  • With a total of two petrol engines and now four diesel options the Tucson has one of the widest powertrain ranges it its class
Hyundai’s All New Tucson compact SUV, introduced to the European market in late 2015, will now offer a sixth powertrain option for the Tucson. An efficient 1.7-litre  diesel with seven-speed double clutch transmission (7DCT) will be added to attract even more customers.
The All-New Tucson is Hyundai Motor’s fastest-selling European model with more than 115,000 cars ordered in Europe.The powertrain range of the compact SUV - already one of the widest in the segment - is now further extended with the addition of the dynamic 104 kW (141 PS) 1.7-litre turbo diesel engine.

In combination with the efficient seven-speed double clutch transmission (7DCT) and front wheel drive it emits only 129 g of CO2 and consumes a moderate 4.9 litres of diesel per 100 kilometres (combined). The turbo diesel engine provides a maximum torque of 340 Nm over a wide rev range of 1,750 rpm to 2,500 rpm.
20% higher fuel efficiency
Hyundai Motor’s in-house developed 7DCT system offers a choice between fully automatic operation and sequential manual gear changes, selected with the gear lever for greater driver involvement. The 7DCT provides 20% higher fuel efficiency and lower CO2 emissions compared to a six-speed automatic transmission. 
For further efficiency the new powertrain also comes with the Integrated Stop & Go (ISG) system as standard, which is also available for the 1.7-litre (low power), and the 2.0-litre standard-power diesel engines as well as the 1.6-litre petrol engine.
Five star safety
The Tucson is one of the safest vehicles in its segment and received the maximum five-star Euro NCAP safety rating. It benefits from a solid body structure featuring 51% of ultra-high strength steel for improved torsional rigidity and impact resistance and a host of innovative passive and active safety features like Autonomous Emergency Braking with pedestrian recognition that stops the car automatically if a crash is predicted. 
The Tucson’s list of safety features also includes a Blind Spot Detection alerts the driver to approaching vehicles, Rear Cross Traffic Alert which scans a 180-degree area behind the vehicle alerting the driver if there is approaching cross-traffic and the Lane Keeping Assist System applying steering correction in case of unintended lane departure. Additionally the Active Hood cushions the impact shock in case of a frontal collision.
Made in Europe for Europe
Hyundai Motor manufactures 100% of Tucson models sold in European markets at its facility in the Czech Republic – a key part of its commitment to the region. Hyundai’s confidence in its European build quality means that every All-New Tucson will come with the company’s industry-leading Five Year Unlimited mileage Warranty as standard.
All-New Tucson 1.7-litre turbo diesel with 7DCT
Body and chassis
The All-New Tucson is a five-door compact SUV (C-SUV), with a high-strength steel construction body shell. Customers have the choice between two petrol and four diesel transversely-mounted engines driving the front wheels, or all four wheels via a six-speed manual or automatic as well as a seven-speed double clutch transmission (7DCT). Details for the 1.7-litre turbo diesel with 7DCT follow:
Engines / Petrol
U2 1.7 CRDi (HIGH) 141 PS7DCT
TypeU2 1.7 CRDi four cylinders in line DOHC with 16-VALVE
Capacity1685 cc
Bore x stroke77.2 x 90 mm
Compression ratio15.7
Power(104 kW) 141 PS @ 4,000 rpm
Torque340 Nm @ 1,750~2,500 rpm
Maximum speed (km/h)185
0 to 100 km/h acceleration (seconds)11.5
Fuel consumption urban5.4
Fuel consumption extra urban4.7
Fuel consumption combined4.9
CO2 combined (g/km)129