Cars

Cars

Pininfarina Sergio Concept – fitting tribute to a legend

Pininfarina unveiled the Sergio concept car at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show – as a tribute to the Italian design house’s president who passed away last summer. The name of Sergio Pininfarina was inextricably linked to the union with Ferrari which began 60 years ago – so the concept car was therefore also conceived as a celebration of Pininfarina’s contribution to the history of the designs from the illustrious Italian sportscar brand. The Sergio, adopting Ferrari 458 Spider underpinnings, presents an interpretation of a mid-engined two-seater barchetta which fuses the modern with classical themes designed to evoke the spirit of Pininfarina’s best achievements for Ferrari in the ’60s and ’70s. With a nod to racing cars, the radical design does away with a traditional windscreen in favour of a virtual one created by an aerodynamic deflector in front of the cockpit, which deviates the air flow, protecting the passengers from turbulence. Nonetheless, custom-designed helmets are provided for both occupants. The Sergio’s front end was influenced by the headlight integration of the 1965 Dino Berlinetta Speciale – which shares the stand in Geneva. Clean lines are achieved using cylindrical LED projectors in aluminium, embedded in a block of Plexiglas that diffuses light. Pininfarina claims the Sergio to be stiffer then the standard 458 Spider, thanks to a reduction in the size of the doors, and in its total weight of about 150 kg. Acceleration from 0-62 mph is estimated at below 3.4 seconds with a top speed approaching 200 mph. Although the Sergio has been developed on a production car platform, there are currently no plans for production.

Read More »

Audi A1 and A3 get 1.4 TFSI 140 HP engine with cylinder deactivation

Audi has released new petrol-powered variants of its A1 and A3 models utilising Cylinder-on-Demand (CoD) technology for improved economy and emissions. Capable of switching between two cylinder and four cylinder operation in 13 milliseconds, the new petrol-powered models can cruise on just 2 cylinders, but also immediately draw on 140PS when required. The new 1.4-litre TFSI 140PS CoD models carry a premium of £850 over their continuing 1.4 TFSI 122PS equivalents in both ranges, positioning them as lower cost alternatives to the 2.0-litre TDI variants. All versions of the A1 and A1 Sportback are equipped initially with the seven-speed S tronic twin-clutch transmission, and all versions of the A3 and A3 Sportback with a six-speed manual gearbox. Both transmissions will become available for all A1 and A3 CoD models later this year. Delivering its peak 140PS output at 5,000rpm and a maximum of 250 Nm of torque between 1,500 and 3,500 rpm, the new unit gives 0-62mph acceleration times of 7.9 and 8.0 seconds in the A1 and five-door A1 Sportback equipped with S tronic transmission. The A3 and A3 Sportback with manual transmission complete the sprint in 8.3 and 8.4 seconds. Top speeds are 132mph in all cases. According to the official combined cycle test the Sport, S line and Black Edition versions of the A1 can return up to 60.1mpg, equating to CO2 output of 109g/km. A1 Sportback Sport versions also match their three-door counterparts at 60.1mpg and 109g/km, while S line and Black Edition versions of the five-door run them close with 57.6mpg potential and 113g/km output. In the A3, combined economy tops out at 60.1mpg and CO2 output at 109g/km regardless of the specification chosen, with the A3 Sportback only fractionally behind at 58.9mpg and 112g/km. In all versions, an engine start-stop system cuts in when the cars are waiting at traffic lights and junctions because no-cylinder operation is even more efficient than two-cylinder operation. The new CoD models are available to order from this week priced from £16,740 OTR in the A1 and £20,055 OTR in the A3.

Read More »

Land Rover confirms all-new Range Rover Sport to debut in New York

The all-new Range Rover Sport will make its global premiere in a live drive through Manhattan, New York, on 26 March. The drive will take place on the streets of the Range Rover Sport’s largest market and be broadcast live to global audiences via a dedicated microsite – www.newrangeroversport.com - on the eve of the 2013 New York Auto Show. Those registering on the site will receive a personal invitation to watch the live reveal on 26 March as well as exclusive extra content and information. More Range Rover Sports are sold in New York than any other metropolitan area in the world and the model is North America’s best-selling Land Rover product. The new Sport is described as the company’s fastest, most responsive and most agile vehicle to date. The all-new Sport is the latest addition to the new Range Rover family of vehicles and the third model to be launched in two years, following the Evoque in 2011 and the all-new Range Rover in 2012. John Edwards, Land Rover Global Brand Director, said: “The all-new Range Rover Sport takes the model to another level.  It is Land Rover’s most dynamic vehicle yet and showcases the best of British design, engineering and technological innovation.” Full details of the all-new Range Rover Sport will be revealed on 26 March at 23:30 (GMT).

Read More »

Aston Martin enhances Rapide with new S model

Aston Martin did its part to beautify the Geneva motor show with the debut of the racy new Rapide S. 2014 Aston Martin Rapide S The reinvigorated grand tourer presents subtly but pleasingly revised front- and rear-end styling, handsome 20in wheels and a package of carbon-fibre exterior pieces. And the aesthetic enhancements extend to the interior, with piano black trim and two-tone red and black seats. The big news, however, lies under the skin. The Rapide’s 6-litre V12 receives a power bump of 17% for “S” duty; an extra 80 horsepower and 14 pound-feet of torque bring peak numbers to 550hp and 457lb-ft, sufficient to enable a 4.7-second sprint to 60mph and a 190mph top speed. Despite the additional power, Aston claims the engine achieves lower emissions and improved fuel economy. The revised engine sits a not-insignificant 19mm lower, dropping the four-seater’s centre of gravity and improving its already keen agility. Tweaks to the car’s adaptive damping suspension system allow the driver to choose between three driving modes: relaxed Normal, edgier Sport and race-ready Track. Not merely a new top model, the Rapide S supplants the standard Rapide in the Aston Martin lineup. The marque’s 146 worldwide dealers will begin taking orders in April, and although pricing has not yet been announced, it is safe to expect a modest nudge on the outgoing model’s $208,000 starting figure. Agencies

Read More »

Silex Power Chreos is a 4400 Nm electric sedan from Malta

Silex Power, a Chinese automaker, claims that an electric car they designed called the Chreos EV, achieves several jaw-dropping feats, including a driving range of over 600 miles, a charge time of ten minutes, and can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in under 3 seconds. Everybody else can go home now; Silex Power has won the electric car. To wit, the exact specifications of this wunder-EV are; 621 miles (1,000 km) of driving range. Acceleration from 0 to 60 mph in 2.9 seconds. 10 minute charge time. 4,400 Newton-metres (3,245 pound-feet) of torque. So, Silex Power solved all the EV issues except cost? Sounds outstanding, and almost certainly not true. Let’s count the reasons why. 10 Minute Charge Time This is highly unusual, but it is perfectly possible, and such battery technology is in the prototype stage. There are, however, multiple technologies that come close to this charge time, and one which blows it out of the water. The Toshiba SuperCharge (lithium titanate) battery is already on the market, and charges in 15 minutes. A battery was developed at MIT which charged in 20 seconds (no, that wasn’t an error, it really is 20 seconds). But has Silex Power also developed the technology to charge such a massive battery pack in so little time? 621 Miles of Range This is also highly unusual, but might be possible via the use of an extremely large battery bank, or, more likely, a new and improved battery technology. Technology developed at Stanford that can store ten times as much energy as typical lithium-ion batteries can probably achieve this. That said, being able to add more than 600 miles of range to a car in ten minutes or less seems highly, highly suspect. If such technology existed, why haven’t any other automakers developed similar results? One answer could be immense cost, or a very short-lived battery.

Read More »

Suzuki add limited edition Swift SZ-R

Following the Swift SZ-L Special Edition, Suzuki has released details of the new Swift Sport SZ-R Strictly limited to 100 cars, Suzuki says the SZ-R is aimed at buyers who want to own a Swift Sport with a distinctive look, but still want the sporty, fun-to-drive experience of the standard Swift Sport. While the SZ-R has alternative styling, it keeps the performance attributes of a standard Swift Sport – a 0-62mph time of 8.7 seconds on to a top speed of 121 mph and comes with a 136HP VVT engine which provides 44.1mpg combined. Each SZ-R is finished in Cosmic Black with contrasting Ablaze Red roof, rear spoiler and door mirrors plus SZ-R side badging. Inside, each of the 100 cars has uniquely numbered door sill guards, red accented gear shift knob and red trimmed carpet mats. Swift Sport also includes, as standard, seven airbags, auto air conditioning, cruise control, Bluetooth connectivity and USB port, rear privacy glass and 17-inch wheels as well as HID Projector headlamps for low and high beam. The Suzuki Swift Sport SZ-R is available from 1st March, priced at £14,249 – £500 more than a standard Swift Sport. Source:NewCarNet

Read More »

Ford EcoSport SUV debuts in Barcelona

Ford has revealed the European production version of the all-new EcoSport SUV at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona Built on Ford’s small car platform, the compact SUV offers advanced technology through Ford SYNC voice-activated in-car connectivity system, and will also be among the first Ford vehicles in Europe to offer Ford SYNC AppLink system that enables drivers to voice-control smartphone apps from the driver’s seat. The SUV ‘delivers the agility and fuel efficiency of a small family car with the flexibility, spaciousness, high driving position, and “go anywhere” appeal of an SUV’ says Ford. “We are entering the age of the connected car and debuting EcoSport at Mobile World Congress underlines just how important advanced vehicle technology is to customers and to Ford,” said Paul Mascarenas, Ford chief technical officer and vice president, Research and Innovation. The EcoSport will be the second SUV to be launched in Ford’s European range, following the recently-launched Ford Kuga and there are also plans to bring to Europe the larger, more premium utility vehicle – the Ford Edge, which is already popular in the U.S. and other markets. “The role of the car is evolving,” said Paul Mascarenas. “Customers want to be able to safely enjoy the same level of connectivity in their cars as they would do at home, and SYNC AppLink enables then to do just that. By maximising the potential of apps, Ford can offer customers a class-leading range of smartphone app capabilities while on the move.” Ford SYNC with Emergency Assistance directly connects the vehicle occupants to local emergency services operators after an accident, in the correct language for the region using information from the vehicle’s on-board GPS unit, and mobile network to pinpoint accident location and choose the appropriate language in which to deliver an introductory message. The all-new EcoSport will be available with Ford’s 125 PS 1.0-litre EcoBoost engine, a 110 PS 1.5-litre petrol engine or a 90 PS 1.5-litre diesel engine and will also offer further driver assistance technologies including Electronic Stability Program and Hill Launch Assist. The Ford EcoSport goes on sale at the end of this year, prices to be announced. Source:NewCarNet

Read More »