Wednesday, 26 February 2014

First Look: 2015 Porsche Macan


Porsche just introduced its second SUV at an event before the 2013 Los Angeles auto show and for the purists who already hate it, we've got one thing to say: get over it. With the Cayenne Porsche's best-seller, the 2015 Porsche Macan will help boost the automaker's bottom line so it can pay for more pet projects like the 918 Spyder. Though based on a Volkswagen platform, the Macan is full of Porsche DNA. The styling is pure Porsche, with plenty of 911 an 918 touches, as well as Cayenne traits. As expected, the Macan's interior feels both sporty, and luxurious. 

On the face of it, Porsche purists have every reason to be scared of a product like the new 2015 Macan. Not only is it yet another SUV, but the Macan is built on Volkswagen's corporate MLB platform, which it also shares with most of Audi's lineup, including the Audi Q5 and the A4. Yet Porsche has done a bang-up job of making the 2015 Macan stand apart from its Q5 corporate sibling. It shares only about 20 percent of its parts with the Audi, and some Porsche DNA is evident in its bespoke powertrains, chassis revisions, and of course, its 911 and 918 Spyder-inspired sheetmetal. At the heart of the new 2015 Macan are two new gas engines. The 2015 Porsche Macan S is powered by a version of the 2014 Panamera's 3.0-liter twin-turbo V-6 making 340 hp, while the 2015 Porsche Macan Turbo is powered by a 3.6-liter twin-turbo V-6 (itself a stroked version of the Macan S mill) making 400 hp. Porsche hasn’t released torque figures for either engine. Both the Macan S and Macan Turbo route their power to Porsche's Porsche Traction Management (PTM) all-wheel drive system via the standard seven-speed dual-clutch PDK transmission. While the Macan is capable of sending up to 100 percent of its power to either the front or rear axle, it's fitted with a rear-biased all-wheel drive system. A Sport mode that sharpens throttle response, transmission shifts, and the electric power steering rack is standard, while the Sport Chrono package, which includes a launch-control function, is optional.

As for performance claims, Porsche says the Macan S 'high-revving twin-turbo 3.0-liter V-6 will help it accelerate from 0-60 mph in 5.2 seconds, or 5.0 seconds with the Sport Chrono pack available. Top speed is electronically limited to 156 mph. The 2015 Macan Turbo can propel the cute 'ute from 0-60 mph in 4.6 seconds, or 4.4 seconds with the Sport Chrono pack. The Macan Turbo's top speed is 164 mph. Being a Porsche, the Macan's handling performance was just as important to the automaker as its outright speed. Porsche engineered the Macan to have the lowest center of gravity possible, while still having enough clearance for a comfortable ride and light off-roading (more on that in a sec).The air suspension sits a little more than a half-inch lower than on a Macan with traditional springs, and can be lowered to ease entry and exit, or raised for light off-roading, providing just more than nine inches of ground clearance.

Handling braking duties are six-piston front brakes and floating-caliper rear brakes. The Macan S' brake discs are 13.78 inches in diameter up front and 12.99 inches in back, while the Macan Turbo S gets larger 14.17 inch brakes up front and 14.02 inch brakes in back. The 2015 Macan comes shod with staggered 19-inch wheels, with optional wheels ranging in size from 18 to 21 inches.

As for off-road capability, all 2015 Porsche Macans come standard with an Off-road mode. The mode is optimized to provide the greatest traction in dirt and snow. Engaging it changes the PDK's shift points, as well as pre-tensions the all-wheel-drive system's clutch, allowing the engine to send power to the front axle more quickly. When equipped with the air suspension, off-road mode also automatically raises the suspension. With the Macan raised up, the Porsche's approach angle is 26.6 degrees, departure angle is 23.6 degrees, and breakover angle is 19 degrees. Without the air suspension, the Macan's approach, departure, and breakover angles are 24.8/23.6/17.1 degrees, respectively. Non-air suspension models have just 7.8 inches of ground clearance.

Visually, the 2015 Macan looks like a cross between the Cayenne, 911, and 918 Spyder, says Porsche. The Macan's nose is clearly inspired by the Cayenne, with similarly shaped headlights and an almost identical lower front fascia, but with Boxster bits – like the air intakes -- thrown in. The Macan's profile reveals a window silhouette reminiscent of the 911, and what Porsche calls Sideblades at the bottom of the doors. Inspired by the 918 Spyder, the Sideblades are painted black on the Macan S, and are body color on the Macan Turbo. Carbon-fiber Sideblades are optional all around. The tail end of the 2015 Macan sports a clamshell tailgate, 918-inspired LED taillights, and a rear diffuser flanked by dual exhausts. The 2015 Porsche Macan's interior will feel immediately familiar to anyone who's spent any time in a late-model Porsche. The interior features a sloping center console complete with all the buttons you could ever dream of pressing. The instrument panel is also traditional Porsche, with a center-mounted tach flanked by three conventional gauges, and a 4.8-inch multi-function color display. The Macan's interior features sport seats, and a brand-new sport steering wheel that'll likely find its way onto other models in the Porsche lineup.

The 2015 Porsche Macan is expected to hit Porsche dealers in the spring of 2014, with prices estimated to range from $ 52,000 - $ 62,000.

      2015 Porsche Macan

BASE PRICE: $52,000-$62,000 (est)
LAYOUT  :Front-engine, AWD, 5-pass, 4-door SUV
ENGINE : 3.0L/340-hp, 3.6L/400 DOHC twin-turbo 24-valve V-6
TRANSMISSION: 7-speed dual-clutch automatic
0-60 MPH 4.4-5.2 seconds
WHEELBASE: 110.5 in
LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT:  184.3 x 75.7 x 63.9 in
CURB WEIGHT: 4200-4400 lb (est)
ON SALE IN U.S. : Spring 2014

First Look: 2015 Ford Focus


Since the Focus' redesign for 2012, global sales – it is built in eight plants and sold in 140 countries -- rank it the world's bestselling nameplate. To sharpen its focus on the globally dominant C-segment, Ford is restyling the car's front and rear, spiffing up the interior, and upgrading the infotainment and driver-assistance gear for 2015. The changes will be unveiled on the hatchback in March at Geneva, with the sedan following in April at the New York show. The new face of the Ford family of fine cars finally arrives on the Focus, with the familiar grille set in a new fascia framed by a revised hood and those currently fashionable bulging headlamps, with projector beams and chrome-accented LED fogs on fancier-spec variants. The design emphasizes a horizontal, lower, wider aspect and is said to improve the car's drag coefficient slightly. Out back, the hatch is also new, and is now laser-brazed for a smoother appearance. The rear fascia and taillamps have also been retooled, but the doors, fenders, and roof remain the same.

Inside, the center stack is cleaned up and simplified. Sync will now be fitted to all Foci, controlled by a standard 4.2-inch or an optional 8-inch touch screen that's new to the Focus. A standard rear-view camera also utilizes these screens to warn of danger behind. There's more and better storage and cupholders, and owners wielding iOS or Android smartphones will now be able to enjoy more than 60 apps with more on the way, thanks to the developer-friendly enhanced Sync AppLink system. These apps can access onboard vehicle data such as speed, acceleration, odometer, and location information -- the last of which can be considerably more accurate than phone-based GPS info.

The direct-injected 2.0-liter continues as the base engine, backed by a five-speed manual or six-speed dry-dual-clutch automatic, but the optional engine is the multiple-award-winning 1.0-liter EcoBoost three-banger that already accounts for 32 percent of sales of the current Focus in other markets. We've been impressed with this engine's smoothness and power output in the Fiesta SFE. As in that application, no automatic will be offered, but the manual gets an extra cog in the Focus, for six total. No further numbers have been provided, but expect to pay extra for the 1.0-liter. We hope it costs less and/or makes more output than in the Fiesta SFE, where a $995 premium buys 123 hp and 148 lb-ft of torque. That might be a tougher sell against a base engine that currently makes 160 hp and 146 lb-ft, even though the EcoBoost fuel economy is expected to eclipse the current Focus SFE's 28/40 EPA city/hwy. The Focus EV will continue and will share the upgrades made to its gas brethren.

Monday, 24 February 2014

First Look:2015 Chevrolet Corvette Z06


It's wide and low, yellow and black, and absolutely menacing to look at, even if it doesn't have an engine under its hood. Or an interior, for that matter. The 2015 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 sitting here in a stark white Michigan photo studio is just a styling buck, a body with wheels and tires designed to give us the visual impression the Z06 will make when it hits Chevy showrooms in late 2014.

 This car is  a lot more balanced than ZR1." The new 6.2-liter LT4 engine is based on the Stingray's LT1 architecture with an emphasis on low-end torque," explains Jordan Lee, chief Chevy Small Block engineer. "There's still a lot of work to do, but it'll have 625 horsepower plus -- emphasis on the 'plus' -- and 635-lb-ft of torque." Guess that wasn't a typo after all.  Titanium intake valves, dry-sump oiling, direct injection, cylinder deactivation, and continuously variable valve timing are all found here. So is an ultra-compact Eaton R1740 TVS supercharger with an integrated air-to-water intercooler, both located in the valley between the V-spaced cylinder heads, allowing the engine to sit just 1 inch taller than in the LT1. The intercooler is 2 percent more efficient than the LS9's, and low-end torque is significantly improved over the infamous ZR1. The hood of the Z06 is carbon fiber with larger vents and more clearance to accommodate the blower.


If the supercharger doesn't get to Z06 purists, the transmission might. Yes, a seven-speed manual (with auto rev-matching) is still offered, thank goodness, but for 2015, you'll be able to order an eight-speed (torque converter) automatic.

The car in the studio is outfitted with the Z07 performance package, which adds  larger, lighter carbon-ceramic brakes and ultra-sticky Michelin Pilot Sport Cup tires to the equation. There is also "Stage 3 aero package." Wait, what?  There are essentially three stages of aero performance available on the Z06. The first stage is standard equipment and includes a Z51 Stingray rear spoiler, a front splitter, and spats at the front wheel arches. Stage 2 is optional and includes a slightly more aggressive front splitter molded from carbon fiber, carbon rocker panel extensions, and a larger rear spoiler (also carbon fiber) with fixed Gurney flap aero tabs on the back for increased downforce. The Z07 package is the only way to get the Stage 3 kit. Order the package, and your car will arrive looking mostly like a Stage 2 car, but in the trunk you'll find a carbon front splitter with extra-large winglets and a clear center Gurney flap segment that bolts to the rear spoiler for even more downforce. That center piece is clear to improve rear visibility—and it's adjustable up and down, with changes of just a quarter-inch said to have been noticeable to test drivers.

Apparently, engineers have made the car's aluminum superstructure so rigid that even with the carbon-fiber roof removed, the C7 Z06 is 20 percent stiffer than its predecessor. It's 60 percent stiffer than the old car with the roof in place. The frame is now built in-house at Corvette's Bowling Green, Kentucky, plant and will be virtually identical to that in the C7.R. Magnetic Selective Ride Control dampers are standard and driver-adjustable, as in the Stingray, and the electronic limited-slip differential is also included, with three calibration modes. Though the interior design isn't yet finalized, a flat-bottom steering wheel, upscale and unique materials, and a choice of GT or highly bolstered Competition Sport seats (a la Stingray) will be available. The steering remains essentially the same system as used in the Stingray, but with a minor "recalibration." It's safe to say that when the C7 Z06 arrives in showrooms in late 2014, it'll be vying for the title of quickest production Corvette to date. I can't wait to find out.

                            2015 Chevrolet Corvette Z06

BASE PRICE : $85,000 (est)

VEHICLE LAYOUT: Front-engine, RWD, 2-pass, 2-door hatchback

ENGINE : 6.2L/635-hp (est)/645-lb-ft (est) supercharged OHV 16-valve V-8

TRANSMISSIONS : 7-speed manual; 8-speed auto

CURB WEIGHT: 3450 lb (MT est)

WHEELBASE: 106.7 in

LENGTH X WIDTH X HEIGHT 176.9 x 75.9 x 45.3 in
0-60 MPH 3.4-3.6 sec (MT est)

EPA CITY/HWY FUEL ECON:15/25 mpg (est)

ENERGY CONSUMPTION, CITY/HWY:225 kW-hrs/100 miles (est)

CO2 EMISSIONS 1.06 lb/mile (est)

ON SALE IN U.S. Fall 2014

Sunday, 23 February 2014

Peugeot RCZ R will be available in the coming week

Already next week, the French begin sales of the hot car in the lineup, - Peugeot RCZ R , which is the first, as usual, consumers will see the British car market. The starting price trends, the world debut of which, we recall, was held in the framework of the summer festival of Speed ​​at Goodwood, will start with a price tag to 31,995 pounds.

This sports car is based on a modified version of a simple RCZ 2013. Model with a hot R index was developed with the participation of the sports division of Peugeot Sport, and has absorbed all the best achievements obtained during the 2-year history of European racing monoserii RCZ Cup. In the outer guise Peugeot RCZ R visible features of the concept car Peugeot Onyx, which was presented to the public last year at the Paris auto show.

The main difference from the standard RCZ her brother is charged under the hood. Here at R-version, you’ll find an upgraded four-cylinder 1.6-liter THP designed concern PSA jointly with BMW.Thanks to the modifications of the engine delivers power to 270 horsepower (at the usual RCZ power is 200 hp).

The front-drive car is different from the stock RCZ coupe lowered by 10 mm suspension, a fixed rear spoiler, diffuser and newly designed alloy wheels 19 inches in diameter, behind which are hidden 380-millimeter brake discs. The company noted that the stopping distances at a speed of 130 km / h in just 61 meters. The interior of the coupe’s designers set sports seats with combination skin (leather / Alcantara), as well as more compact steering wheel and gear lever, which is topped with an aluminum knob.

They have been specifically designed to accommodate the new Big brakes and optimization of cooling, and red lettering adorns the front calipers Peugeot Sport. new car is available in 4 colors: Moroccan Red, Nera Black, Mercury Grey and Opal White.

Brabus unveils tweaked Mercedes Benz CLA

Studio Brabus has announced a program of improvements for the sedan Mercedes CLA, which debuted earlier this year in Detroit. In a tuning package will include sport springs, exhaust system with four pipes and wheels at 18 and 19 inches are available in 5 variants of design.

And the hatchback and sedan which is also called the four-door coupe got sport springs in the suspension, Quadruple exhaust system, 18 – or 19-inch wheels and a slightly more aggressive appearance.

Revised exterior to limit the application of neat bumper with diffuser and overlays on thresholds. Hatch received an additional and compact rear wing on the trunk lid. But the work of the powertrain engineers Brabus intervened a little more seriously.
And the sedan and hatchback received by the whale named PowerXtra. But if in the case of the Mercedes CLA engine power has grown a little more than 30 hp – Up to 245 horses, then increase the diesel unit A-Class hatchback turned more impressive. Instead of 170 hp and 350 Nm it now develops 210 hp and 410 Nm, which allows it to accelerate to 100 km / h in 7.9 seconds.

Brabus did not publish photos of the car interior, but the company noted that customers can choose their own materials and finishes, creating your interior design. Recall that in the Russian market Mercedes-Benz CLA is offered with one engine – a 1.6-liter four-cylinder and a power of 156 hp as low as 1.27 million rubles. In general, fans stand dedicated.

Mitsubishi Pajero turns into a hybrid



Mitsubishi is finally headed for the hybridization of the lineup. In the management of the company believe that the market hybrids and electric vehicles through stricter environmental regulations will continue to grow, which means it will grow and the number of such models in the line of the brand.

Over the next three years, the automaker will increase sales in the global market by at least 29% – to 1.43 million vehicles. Mitsubishi intends to increase sales is primarily due to the issuance of new crossovers, which form the basis of the model range of the brand.President Osamu Masuko Mitsubishi, without going into details, said that among the new products will be a hybrid version of Mitsubishi crossover Pajero. The unit will include a powerful internal combustion engine, elecric motor and battery pack, which can be recharged while driving as well as the parking lot from the usual outlet.
Issue rechargeable version will be part of the new Pajero Mitsubishi Motors plan to strengthen its presence in the segment of crossovers and SUVs, as well as on the development of electric and hybrid propulsion systems.
In addition, the Japanese will focus on the development of new sedans and electric vehicles through a partnership agreement with the alliance Renault-Nissan. Cooperation involves the exchange of technology and sharing of production capacity.
Masuko also said that electric car Mitsubishi i-MiEV will be more dimensional than the model of the current generation.
“We are not sure that the next generation i-MiEV will have the same dimensions. The next electric car to be somewhat larger than its predecessor,” said Masuko. Overall length of this electric car is 3680 mm, width – 1585 mm, height – 1615 mm, and the wheelbase is 2550 millimeters.
Release a hybrid version will be part of the new Pajero Mitsubishi Motors plan to strengthen its presence in the segment of crossovers and SUVs, as well as on the development of electric and hybrid propulsion systems.