Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Autocar Online - News

Autocar Online - News

Electric Volkswagen e-Golf details emerge

Posted: 20 Feb 2013 05:54 AM PST

The Volkswagen e-Golf will have a 109-mile range and a top speed of 84mph

More details and pictures of the first all-electric Volkswagen Golf have emerged ahead of the car's official reveal at next week's Geneva motor show.

The Volkswagen e-Golf will have a 109-mile range and is claimed to take five hours to charge from a household socket. The 26.5kW battery is mated to a 114bhp, 199lb ft electric motor. According to reports, the new technology adds around 250kg to the standard car's kerb weight.

The report says the e-Golf will take 11.8sec to reach 62mph from rest and can achieve a limited 84mph top speed.

Three drive modes will be available: Normal, Eco and Range. Eco limits peak power to 95bhp and the top speed to 74.5mph, while Range deactivates the air conditioning and limits the maximum speed to 59mph. 

The e-Golf is part of a new model offensive which will see Volkswagen launch seven new derivatives of the C-segment hatchback.

Toyota launches 2013 Le Mans racer

Posted: 20 Feb 2013 02:28 AM PST

Toyota's TS030 racer will compete in the eight-round World Endurance Championship

Toyota Racing has unveiled its competitor for the 2013 World Endurance Championship, which includes Le Mans. The TS030 Hybrid has begun testing at Paul Ricard ahead of the season opener at Silverstone on 14th April.

Toyota will field two cars in this year's championship. The number 7 TS030 will be driven by Alex Wurz, Nicholas Lapierre and Kazuki Nakajima. A driver line-up of Anthony Davidson, Sebastien Buemi and Stephane Sarrazin will compete in the number 8 TS030.

The TS030 uses a 3.4-litre naturally aspirated V8 and a super capicator-based hybrid system. There is 523bhp available from the internal combustion engine with a 296bhp boost on offer through the hybrid assistance.

With regulations due to change for the 2014 World Endurance Championship, Toyota has introduced a raft of change to the drivetrain, chassis and aerodynamics for its 2013 car. The changes aim to improve overall power and efficiency.

Spyker marks resurgence with Geneva concept

Posted: 20 Feb 2013 01:38 AM PST

Production set to resume in relocated factory with new B6

Dutch firm Spyker will exhibit a new concept car at next month's Geneva motor show. The B6 concept is expected to be smaller and lighter than the C8 Aileron, and is being touted as a rival to the Porsche 911.

Furthermore, Spyker is expected to imminently resume car production following the transfer of its manufacturing equipment from Coventry to Zeewolde in Holland.

As production gets under away once again, focus will shift towards the joint ventures between Chinese firm Youngman and Spyker agreed to last year. The first is a project called 'Spyker P2P B.V.', a luxury SUV based on the Spyker D8 Peking to Paris concept. With investment from Youngman in development, a launch in late 2014 is expected.

Youngman and Spyker are also collaborating on front-drive cars built on the Phoenix platform developed by Saab just prior to its bankruptcy. This project has been named 'Spyker Phoenix B.V.' and aims to produce a range of premium cars that could be built in Europe or China.

McLaren P1 to produce 903bhp - official

Posted: 20 Feb 2013 01:00 AM PST

McLaren reveals power, torque and CO2 emission data for the new McLaren P1 hypercar

The hybrid powertrain in the new McLaren P1 hypercar will produce 903bhp and emit less than 200g/km of CO2, the company has revealed. Power will come from a mid-mounted twin-turbocharged 3.8-litre V8 producing 727bhp at 7500rpm and a 176bhp electric motor mounted directly onto the engine.

McLaren also confirmed the P1 engine's torque figure of 531lb ft at 4000rpm and the electric motor's instantly available 192lb ft. Peak combined torque of 664lb ft arrives at 4000rpm.

The electric motor's 176bhp is also available instantly through a specially developed boost system called Instant Power Assist System (IPAS). It is operated by a steering wheel-mounted button and, McLaren says, gives the car the throttle response of a normally aspirated engine.

The engine, which is a revised version of the M838T unit from the MP4-12C, and electric motor drive the rear wheels through a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox. The P1 will be able to cover up to six miles on electric power alone, drawing on a 96kg battery pack described as having a greater energy density than that of any other car's.

The battery is mounted on the underside of the P1's carbonfibre chassis. It can be fully charged in two hours using a plug-in charger that's stored in the car's luggage compartment.

McLaren has also confirmed the P1 will feature a Formula 1-inspired Drag Reduction System (DRS) . The DRS, which is operated by a button on the steering wheel, can reduce the rear wing's angle to lower drag by up to 23 per cent at higher speeds.

New Bentley Flying Spur puts more focus on refinement

Posted: 19 Feb 2013 04:01 PM PST

Bentley has increased the performance from its Continental Flying Spur, but not at the expense of refinement

The new Bentley Continental Flying Spur is faster, more powerful and more efficient — and company bosses say they have resolved the refinement issues that hindered the outgoing model.

Pictured here, the new Flying Spur will be displayed at the Geneva motor show, where prices will be revealed. It will go on sale this summer.

The 6.0-litre twin-turbo W12 now delivers 616bhp at 6000rpm (up from 552bhp) and 580lb ft from 2000rpm (up from 479lb ft). It is linked to a new eight-speed ZF automatic gearbox that shifts in under 200 milliseconds. The top speed remains 200mph but economy and CO2 emissions have improved by 13 per cent to 19.2mpg and 343g/km.

The styling has been tweaked inside and out. The focus has been on making the exterior look lower, wider and more aggressive. details such as lEd headlights also contribute to this, as do the new lines, which Bentley design boss luc donckerwolke says are among the boldest and sharpest it has ever created.

Extensive use of new, stronger, lightweight materials also means that the new Flying Spur weighs 50kg less than the outgoing model despite being four per cent more rigid. The more rigid body is also said to provide a better foundation for noise and vibration suppression. Additional sound-deadening materials have also been used, including underfloor acoustic panels, acoustic glass, new exhaust mufflers and new door seals that better reduce wind and road noise.

New 19-inch tyres have higher sidewalls to improve ride comfort. The air suspension's spring settings are significantly softer to improve ride comfort further and the anti-roll bars are softer to improve single-wheel impact absorption, while the suspension lever bushes are 25 per cent softer. In harder cornering, however, the spring stiffness is increased, to reduce heave, pitch and roll. drivers can select from four suspension settings.

"We have put a big focus on comfort," Bentley head of engineering Rolf Frech told Autocar. "We have looked at everything to reduce noise and ensure the cabin is as good a place to be as it can be."

Inside, only the sun visors, grab handles, armrests and some front console and controls have been carried over from the outgoing car. The focus has been on improving comfort and sound isolation, especially in the rear seats, which can be adjusted in 14 different directions and are heated and cooled. The car is available in four-seat and five-seat configurations.

Bentley has also greatly improved the in-car technology on offer. Front seat occupants have an eight-inch touchscreen, through which they can control the sat-nav, Bluetooth and entertainment systems. Rear seat passengers can use a new remote control for all the car's systems, from the climate controls to the entertainment systems.

Customers can also spec a connectivity unit that allows them to connect to the car's onboard wi-fi and work using two 10-inch screens fitted to the backs of the front seats.

Audi RS Q3 revealed

Posted: 19 Feb 2013 03:00 PM PST

Audi's hottest compact SUV, the RS Q3, packs a 306bhp punch and offers 0-62mph in 5.5sec

Audi has added the first in what company insiders suggest will eventually be an extended range of SUVs to its high performance RS line-up with the unveiling of the 306bhp turbocharged 2.5-litre five-cylinder powered RS Q3.

Set to get its first public outing at the Geneva motor show in early March, the new RS Q3 crowns the popular Q3 line-up with performance that puts it at the sharp end of the compact SUV ranks, ahead of competition such as the 242bhp turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder BMW X1 for outright straight line pace.

But with more athletic competition in the form of Mercedes-Benz's upcoming GLA45 AMG, which is set to receive the same 354bhp turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine as the recently revealed A45 AMG, looming, the powered up Q3 won't be starved for direct rivals.

Previewed in concept car form at last year's Beijing motor show, the RS Q3 is distinguished from lesser Q3 models by a series of traditional RS design elements. Included is a high-gloss black honeycomb grille insert, matt aluminum grille frame, deeper front bumper with sizeable air ducts for the engine bay and front brakes, coloured keyed wheel arch flares, deeper sills underneath the doors, matt aluminium look exterior mirror housings, more prominent spoiler atop the tailgate, deeper rear bumper with integral diffuser unit and larger chrome tailpipe.

The new front and rear bumpers add one inch to the length over the standard Q3, extending it to 173.6 inches, or 4.41m.

At the heart of the new go-fast SUV is Audi's turbocharged 2.5-litre five-cylinder petrol engine, as used in the TT RS and recently discontinued RS3. In the RS Q3, the transversely mounted unit kicks out 306bhp at 5200rpm along with a sturdy 310lb ft of torque on a band of revs between 1500 and 5200rpm.

Up until now the most powerful Q3 model has been the 2.0 TFSI. Its turbocharged 2.0-litre petrol engine delivers 208bhp at 5000rpm and 221lb ft torque from between 1800rpm and 4900rpm.The heady reserves are channelled through a standard seven-speed S-tronic dual clutch gearbox offering three drive modes: D (drive), S (sport) and M (manual). Also included is a launch control function designed to provide optimal traction under hard standing-start acceleration.Drive is permanently transferred through an electro-hydraulic operated multi-plate Haldex style clutch four-wheel drive system to each wheel with the distribution between the front and rear varying depending on the amount of available grip.

Audi claims the 1655kg RS Q3 sprints from 0 to 62mph in 5.5sec and hits a top speed limited to 155mph. With the adoption of automatic stop/start – a first for Audi's turbocharged 2.5-litre five-cylinder engine – Ingolstadt's latest performance model is also claimed to return 32.1mpg on the combined European test cycle, giving it an average CO2 emission rating of 206g/km.By comparison the Q3 2.0 TFSI boasts figures of 6.9sec, 143mph, 36.7mpg and 179g/km.

The increase in performance has seen myriad changes to the suspension, which has been lowered by 25mm over other Q3 models and is fitted with stiffer springs and dampers and larger diameter anti-roll bars for added body control. The RS Q3 rides on 19-inch wheels as standard, with a selection of three different 20 inch rims available as an option. The brakes have also been upgraded with 365mm steel discs featuring a distinctive wave design that is claimed to reduce weight and eight piston calipers sited up front.

Inside, the new Audi receives grey faced instruments, leather trimmed sport seats with RS Q3 logos embossed into the seat back, a leather bound flat bottom three spoke multi-function steering wheel with contrasting stitching, matching gear lever trim, black piano finish trims, aluminium pedals and foot support and a black headlining. A driver information system provides information on turbocharger boost pressure, oil temperature and lap timer.

The RS Q3 is the fourth new RS model to be confirmed for introduction in 2013, following on from the RS5 cabriolet, RS6 Avant and RS7, in the process boosting Audi's line-up of high performance models to eight – more than ever.

Audi has confirmed the new RS model will reach showrooms during the third quarter of 2013. UK pricing is yet to be officially announced but it's expected to be in the region of £42,000 – some £11,000 more than the Q3 2.0 TFSI S-line.

Peugeot 2008 details released ahead of Geneva debut

Posted: 19 Feb 2013 07:08 AM PST

Peugeot's small crossover will compete with the Nissan Juke and Mini Countryman

Peugeot has released full details of its 2008 crossover, to be unveiled at the Geneva motor show. Highlights include a lowest kerbweight of 1045kg, a range of 'Connected App' services and CO2 emissions from 98g/km.

Set to rival cars like the Nissan Juke and Mini Countryman, the 2008 is designed for urban dwellers who also like to explore outside the city limits. It is ostensibly based on the 208 supermini, but also draws on the success of the larger 3008, and incorporates that car's Grip Control off-road system.

At 4.16m long and 1.74m wide, the 2008 is around 20cm longer and 5cm wider than the 208 on which it's based. This creates more space for five passengers inside, and a boot capacity of 360 litres (1194 litres with the rear seats folded). For the driver, the small steering wheel of the 208 is carried over, intended to enhance a sense of agility.

A head-up display and seven-inch touchscreen are also standard inside the 2008. The latter gives access to Peugeot Connect Apps, which uses 3G to give live information such as weather conditions, traffic and local attractions at any time. The 2008 will be launched with 11 apps and Peugeot will eventually introduce an app store with additional content such as social media, email and Wikipedia.

Many external styling cues from other models in the Peugeot range feature on the 2008. The 'claws' in the tail lights, first seen in the 508, make an appearance whilst the new Peugeot grille is also prominent. The headlights are said to resemble cats' eyes.

At launch, the 2008 will be available with two petrol and three diesel engine choices, all available with a stop-start system. The petrol range comprises a 1.2-litre VTi with 81bhp and a 118bhp 1.6-litre version. The diesels range in output from 67bhp to 113bhp. The petrol range will be bolstered in the near future with a  turbocharged three-cylinder powerplant. Offering either 109 or 128bhp, Peugeot claims the engine is 12kg lighter than a four-cylinder equivalent.

All 2008s will come with six airbags, electronic brake force distribution, electronic brake assist, anti-skid regulation and traction control. It will be available to order in Peugeot dealers from June, with deliveries expected to begin later in the summer.

Holden facelifts Commodore range

Posted: 19 Feb 2013 03:28 AM PST

Holden Commodore VF-series saloon, estate and pick-up receive a light visual tweak and significant interior improvements

Holden has taken the wraps off the new VF-generation of its Commodore saloon, Calais V Sportswagon and Ute pick-up. An extensive facelift of the previous VE-series cars, the VF introduces a raft of new technology to the Commodore range.

From the front, each Commodore receives has a revised bumper, grille and bumper and a new range of alloy wheels are available. On all three variants, the rear remains unchanged from the VE-series Commodore.

The engine line-up is also directly carried over from the previous-generation car. The three Commodores will be offered with two V6 engines (either 3.0 or 3.6-litres) and a range-topping 6.0-litre V8. With a reduction in kerbweight of around 50kg and a reduction is drag co-efficient from 0.33cd to 0.30cd, Holden claims fuel economy of around 35mpg for the 3.0-litre V6. The engines can also be run on E85 biofuel, but the VF-series Commodore won't be offered with anything smaller than a V6 or a diesel option.

The most significant revisions over the previous Commodore range are found inside. Standard equipment now includes a head-up display and eight-inch infotainment touchscreen. Higher quality plastics, a greater use of leather and ice blue ambient lighting complete the upmarket refresh.

An increased quota of safety equipment features a lane departure warning, blind spot monitors and a forward collision warning system. Holden boss Mike Devereux says the VF-generation Commodore range will challenge "some of the broader perceptions people have about the traditional Australian-made car."

The Commodore VF saloon, Sportwagon and Ute are expected on sale in Australia this May. It will also be sold in America as the Chevrolet SS.

Volkswagen Polo BlueGT

Posted: 19 Feb 2013 02:18 AM PST

The warm Volkswagen Polo BlueGT promises both performance and efficiency, offering a halfway house between conventional and GTI models The Volkswagen Polo BlueGT owes its existance to the eco-minded Polo BlueMotion from 2006 as it does from a long line of performance models, culminating in the current Polo GTI.Its certainly a product of rising fuel prices and ever-increasing taxes for polluting vehicles. Its 138bhp motor emits 107g/km, but still enables a 7.5sec 0-62mph time to be recorded. The former has much to do with the car's cylinder cutoff technology - which turns off two of the four cylinders when cruising - while the former is aided by a healthy 184lb ft of torque.If ever proof were needed of the benefits of downsizing and the march of eco-technology, the Polo BlueGT is it. Its performance matches that of the 2006 Polo GTI, but emissions have been reduced by 42 per cent, and fuel economy is improved to the tune of 25mpg using official figures.Of course, you'll not find the fizziness of a hard-tuned petrol engine here. Those thrills are reserved for the hotter GTI.But as a car that blends hot hatch performance of a few years ago with eco car economy, it impresses strongly.But therein lies the rub. It is a compromise between frugality and fun. The harder-edged GTI is offered for those wanting to eek out the maximum fun from every journey. The BlueGT is more of an all-round package offering warm performance.Nevertheless, the subject of this is review remains a fascinating prospect: a warm supermini with more power than a Peugeot 205 GTI, oodles more torque and the potential for diesel-like economy. Read on for our full Volkswagen Polo BlueGT review.

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