My thoughts on all things motoring, press releases, reviews & techie stuff, from around the world.
Please note that the pictures of vehicles within this blog are used as examples of the specific press releases, on occasions, due to the lack of available official pictures, examples are re-produced.
ANY AND ALL PROFANITIES WILL BE REMOVED AND THE PERSON/S RESPONSIBLE WILL BE BANNED, NO EXCEPTIONS.
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.
New Vantage defined by bold new look, intensified performance and dynamics
Powered by 4.0-litre, 510PS/685Nm twin-turbo V8 mated to eight-speed ZF transmission
Maximum speed 195mph. 0-60mph in 3.5 seconds
First Aston Martin to be fitted with an Electronic Rear Differential (E-Diff)
Deliveries scheduled to begin second quarter of 2018
Vantage. An evocative name for a magnificent bloodline of thoroughbred sports cars. For seven decades the heartbeat of Aston Martin’s purest models, the Vantage nameplate has been worn by some true icons. First used in 1951 on a high-output engine option for the DB2, Vantage was quickly established as a model in its own right. Highlights include the William Towns-designed V8 Vantage, spectacular twin-supercharged V600 Le Mans and the much-loved V8 Vantage. Today this formidable sporting dynasty is poised to hit new heights with the introduction of the new Vantage.
A spectacular new Aston Martin sports car demands a bold and distinctive design language. Pure, sculptural forms create an athletic, predatory stance, while the minimal front and rear overhangs, muscular flanks and broad haunches express the agility and dynamism inherent within the car. New head and tail lights form dramatic new signatures giving the Vantage unmistakable road presence and contribute to a strong and individual identity within the growing Aston Martin model range.
Aerodynamic performance was central to the Vantage design concept: the front splitter directs airflow underneath the car, where a system of fences channels cooling air where it is needed, and also ensures the rear diffuser is fed with clean airflow. The design of the diffuser creates an area of low pressure air, while simultaneously preventing turbulence generated by the rear wheels from disrupting the flow of air exiting centrally from beneath the rear of the car.
Together with the new side gills, which have been integrated into the body surface and bleed air pressure out from the front wheel arches, and the pronounced upswept rear deck lid, the Vantage generates a significant level of downforce - a rarity on any production car and a first for a core production Aston Martin model.
The design story continues inside the Vantage, with a dynamic and focused sports car cockpit that rejects long, fluid curves in favour of sharp, focused lines denoting the more aggressive nature of the car. A high waist interior theme and lower driving position creates a more immersive driving experience, and contributes to significant gains in occupant space and significant improvement in headroom compared with the outgoing Vantage. A combination of rotary and toggle style controls have been used for their tactile and intuitive functionality. Likewise, the PRND transmission buttons have been moved into a triangular formation so as to cluster major controls into clearly defined zones. The interior also offers generous stowage space, with useable room behind the seats and generous double-tier storage areas.
The heart of the Vantage is Aston Martin’s potent new alloy, 4-litre twin-turbo V8 engine. Set low and as far back in the chassis as possible for optimal centre-of-gravity and perfect 50:50 weight distribution, this high performance, high efficiency engine returns a CO2 figure of *245g/km yet develops 510PS at 6000rpm and 685Nm from 2000-5000rpm. With a dry weight of 1530kg this gives the Vantage formidable power-to-weight and torque-to-weight ratios - something vividly demonstrated whenever the throttle is squeezed. Detailed tuning of the induction, exhaust and engine management systems has given the Vantage a truly intoxicating character and soundtrack.
The Vantage deploys its impressive power and torque to the rear wheels via a rear-mounted ZF eight-speed automatic transmission. Capable of accelerating from 0 to 60mph in 3.5 seconds and on to a maximum speed of 195mph, it employs a sophisticated suite of integrated electronic systems to offer maximum control and driver enjoyment. These include Dynamic Stability Control and Dynamic Torque Vectoring. The speed-dependent electric power steering has 2.4 turns lock-to-lock for an outstanding combination of responsiveness and precise, intuitive control.
For the first time on an Aston Martin the new Vantage also features an Electronic Rear Differential (E-Diff). This differential is linked to the car’s electronic stability control system, so it can understand the car’s behaviour, and react accordingly to direct the engine’s power to the relevant wheel. Unlike a conventional LSD, it can go from fully open to 100% locked in a matter of milliseconds. At higher speeds, the Electronic Differential’s speed and sensitivity of response enables the system to take very fine control of the car’s dynamic behaviour. It makes the car feel much more composed both in terms of its straight-line stability and its cornering performance, providing the driver with increased levels of confidence to explore and enjoy the car’s capabilities to the full.
The chassis is an evolution of the latest generation bonded aluminium structure first seen on the DB11, though some 70 per cent of the structure’s components are new for Vantage. Balance, strength, rigidity and weight efficiency were all priorities in the new Vantage design, as was handling purity and consistency. Highlights of the chassis include a solidly mounted rear subframe for an enhanced feeling of direct connection for the driver, new Pirelli P Zero tyres developed specifically for new Vantage and the latest generation Adaptive Damping System which incorporates Skyhook technology and offers the choice of Sport, Sport Plus and Track modes.
Thanks to full integration of engine, transmission, E-Diff, Dynamic Torque Vectoring, Dynamic Stability Control, Adaptive Damping and the electric power steering systems, each mode optimises every area of the car as one. With each step the Vantage gains in agility and responsiveness, its character becoming progressively sharper, more vocal and more exciting. This is the essence of the Vantage driving experience - a car that’s never less than connected and engaging with the breadth of capability to revel in challenging roads and bare its teeth on track.
The Vantage features a high level of standard equipment, including keyless start/stop, tyre pressure monitoring system, parking distance display, park assist and front and rear parking sensors. The In-Car Entertainment system - controlled and viewed via a centrally mounted 8” LCD screen - comprises of the Aston Martin Audio System, Bluetooth® audio and phone streaming, iPod®, iPhone® and USB playback and an integrated satellite navigation system.
Being an Aston Martin, the new Vantage also features a high level of craftsmanship, evidenced by flawless paintwork, luxurious Alcantara® and leather upholstery and the levels of finish optimised through the use of tactile natural materials of the highest quality. There is also extensive scope for personalisation via a generous choice of options. These include forged alloy wheels in a variety of finishes, Sports Plus Collection (comprising Sports Plus seats and Sports steering wheel), carbon fibre interior and exterior detailing and a Premium Audio System.
Aston Martin President Chief Executive Officer, Dr Andy Palmer said: “It speaks volumes for the outgoing Vantage that it is the single most successful model in Aston Martin’s history. Creating a worthy successor has been a challenge to relish and a huge source of motivation. I’m enormously excited by what we’ve created: a new Vantage that’s more explicit in looks and intent, wrapping heart-pounding performance and dazzling dynamics into an everyday usable package. A true sports car with a sharper look and a keener dynamic edge, the new Vantage is the Aston Martin pure driving machine enthusiasts have been waiting for.”
The new Vantage is on sale now with a recommended retail price from £120,900 in the UK, €154,000 in Germany and $149,995 in the USA. Deliveries are scheduled to begin during the second quarter of 2018.
10.74 million customers chose a vehicle from the Volkswagen Group in 2017
CEOMatthias Müller: “We are grateful to our customers for their We will continue to do everything we can to meet and exceed the expectations of our customers all over the world.”
999,800 vehiclesdeliveredin December (+8.5 percent)
The Volkswagen Group delivered more vehicles than ever before in fiscal year 2017: 10.74 million customers worldwide chose a vehicle from the Volkswagen Group. As a result, Group deliveries rose 4.3 percent compared with the previous year.
At almost one million units, deliveries in December were up by a clear8.5 percent. MatthiasMüller,CEO of the Volkswagen Group, said: “The all-time record for deliveries is above all attributable to a strong team performance by all Group brands and employees.
We are grateful to our customers for the trust these figures reflect. We will continue to do everything we can in 2018 to meet and exceed the expectations of our customers all over the world.”
The Group handed over 4.3 million vehicles to customers in Europe in the full year 2017, representing growth of 3.3 percent. 338,700 new vehicles were delivered in December (+3.1 percent), of which 97,500 (+5.0 percent) were handed over to customers in the home market of Germany.
Recovery in the Russian market had a positive impact on the performance in Central and Eastern Europe, and led to growth of 13.2 percent for the full year 2017. 21,000 vehicles (+25.8 percent) were delivered to customers in Russia in December.
Group deliveries in the North America region rose by 4.0 percent to 976,400 units in 2017, of which 625,100 vehicles (+5.8 percent) were handed over to customers in the U.S. market. In line with the overall trend on the passenger car market in the U.S., Volkswagen Group deliveries in December were down 2.7 percent to 91,500 units.
In Brazil, 24,700 customers (+2.4 percent) took delivery of a new Group vehicle. Driven by the recovery in the Brazilian market, deliveries by the Volkswagen Group in the South America region for the full year 2017 were 23.7 percent higher than 2016.
Group deliveries in the Asia-Pacific region in 2017 rose by 4.3 percent compared with the previous year to 4.5 million, of which 4.2 million new vehicles (+5.1 percent) were delivered to customers in China during the twelve-month period.
There was a strong boost in deliveries in the largest single market at the end of the year: 460,100 new vehicles were handed over to customers in China in December – an increase of 17.8 percent.
“We are making decisive investments in the mobility of tomorrow, using funds from our own resources: in e-mobility, autonomous driving, new mobility services and digitalization. At the same time, we continue to systematically develop present technologies and vehicles. The excellent delivery figures confirm that this is the right approach”, Müller commented.
4th consecutive year of improvement in Groupe PSA sales
Successful SUV product offensive supporting the Group’s profitable growth
Strengthening European leadership in Light Commercial Vehicles (LCV) for PEUGEOT and CITROËN, with a 20.2% market share
ThePush to Passplan’s SUV offensive accelerates and the five SUV models launched in the past 18 months have enjoyed growing success. Overall, SUV sales accounted for 23% of consolidated sales at the year-end.
PEUGEOT brand sold nearly 600,000 SUVs in 2017 worldwide and ranks 2nd in the SUV European market with a strong expansion of nearly 60%.
With 259,300 PEUGEOT 3008 SUVs sold globally in 2017, the PEUGEOT brand enjoyed sustained demand for the model, which was named Car of the Year 2017 in Europe and recognised by 38 additional awards worldwide. PEUGEOT also benefited from the success of the new PEUGEOT 5008 launched in March 2017, with 85,900 units sold, and the positive performance of the PEUGEOT 4008 in China, with 51,500 units.
In autumn 2017, CITROËN kicked off its SUV offensive in China with the C5 Aircross, launched in September, and in Europe with the C3 Aircross, launched in October. Each model sold around 22,700 and 35,400 units, respectively, and will be rolled out worldwide in 2018.
At the end of February 2017, DS Automobiles debuted its first SUV, DS 7 CROSSBACK, and opened up online reservations for the La Première limited edition model. In October, the brand launched its exclusive network in parallel with order taking for all the line-up’s versions. The first deliveries are set for February 2018.
In 2017, OPEL and VAUXHALL rationalized the channel mix, in line with PACE! turnaround plan and led a record-breaking product offensive in 2017, with two new SUVs, the Crossland X and Grandland X, launched in May and September with sales of 33,900 and 18,700 units, respectively.
In 2017, Groupe PSA reported its best LCV sales ever, with 476,500 units sold, up 15% on 2016. And with Passenger Car derivatives (PEUGEOT Traveller and CITROËN SpaceTourer for example) these are 658,000 units sold by the Group in 2017.
The PEUGEOT and CITROËN brands strengthened the Group’s leadership status in Europe, where it holds a market share of 20.2% in LCV (1.3 point market share gain) allowing the Group to capture more than 50% of European LCV market growth thanks to the new PEUGEOT Expert and CITROËN Jumpy/Dispatch.
Outside Europe, the Group’s LCV offensive also began to deliver results. In Eurasia, sales were up 55% before the start of local production of new PEUGEOT Expert and CITROËN Jumpy/Dispatch planned in the first half of 2018. In Latin America, sales increased 13% and a full range of renewed products and a complete range of services will be offered in 2018.
The rise of aEuropean champion
Consolidated sales in Europe came in at 2,378,600 units, representing a year-on-year increase of nearly 450,000 vehicles (up 23.2%), of which 376,400 OPEL and VAUXHALL units since 1 August 2017.
Groupe PSA’s market share increased in all of the Group’s main host countries, excluding the United Kingdom. For the first time since 2010, the Group added 0.3 points to its market share (11.1%) from PEUGEOT, CITROËN and DS sales alone.
On top of increased sales of SUVs and LCVs, the Group benefited from the successful launch of the PEUGEOT 308 (166,000 units sold), CITROËN C3 (217,000 units sold), and OPEL Insignia, available in three models, the Sports Tourer, Grand Sport and Country Tourer (total 40 600 units sold from August to December 2017).
In addition, the PEUGEOT 2008 and OPEL Mokka ended the year second and third, respectively, in their segment.
DS Automobiles continued to develop its network, with 150 locations now dedicated to marketing the first-ever second generation DS model, the DS 7 CROSSBACK.
In the Middle East & Africa, profitable growth ahead of targets
Consolidated sales in the Middle East & Africa region up a sharp 61.4% year on year at 618,800 units, of which 26,800 for the OPEL brand.
This performance was driven by the Group’s development in Iran (444,600 units sold in 2017) and higher sales in Turkey, Israel and the French overseas departments. The Group’s overall market share in the region came in at 11.6% and has steadily risen since 2015, on target with the Push to Pass plan objective of selling 700,000 vehicles by 2021.
Groupe PSA has continued its product offensive in the region, where it has successfully launched the new CITROËN C3 (awarded the “Best Urbanite” title in Israel), the new PEUGEOT 3008 SUV (voted “Family Car of the Year” in South Africa and “Car of the Year” in Israel), and the new PEUGEOT Pick Up, which marks the brand’s history-making return to its legitimate place in the segment.
OPEL is in the midst of a product offensive in the region having recently launched the new Insignia and Crossland X and with the launch of the new Grandland X scheduled for early 2018.
For the DS brand, 2017 marked the development of a dealer network across the region ahead of the market launch of the DS 7 CROSSBACK in the coming months.
The year also saw the production start-up and market launch of the PEUGEOT 2008 SUV in Iran, and the creation of an Iranian joint venture between CITROËN and SAIPA based at the Kashan plant. The Group continued to expand its manufacturing base, breaking ground on the Kenitra plant in Morocco, starting up local production in Kenya and Ethiopia, and signing a memorandum of understanding to set up a new plant in Oran, Algeria.
Signs of a sales recovery in China & Southeast Asia
In a difficult economic environment, the Group sold 387,000 vehicles in the China & Southeast Asia region. Showing the first signs of a sales recovery, the Group has seen a rise in sales since July, and a market share gain of 0.3 points in second-half 2017 compared with the first half. The SUV line-up proved to be a triumph, with the successful launch in 2017 of the PEUGEOT 4008 and 5008, and the CITROËN C5 Aircross. It is worthy to note that sales volumes for the new PEUGEOT 308 and the CITROËN C5 and C6 were stable versus 2016, despite weaker demand in this market segment.
In Southeast Asia, Groupe PSA has been accelerating its development, particularly in Vietnam with the successful launch of the PEUGEOT 3008 and 5008 SUVs. The vehicles are now produced locally at THACO’s plant in Chu Lai, just nine months after a new assembly agreement was signed.
In June 2017, Groupe PSA signed an agreement to step up its cooperation with ChangAn Automobile, establishing a solid foundation for faster expansion of the DS brand. Presented at Auto Shanghai, the DS 7 CROSSBACK will be brought to market at the start of the Beijing Motor Show.
Further rebound in Latin America, with sales climbing 12.2% to 206,300 units
In Latin America, PEUGEOT sales rose 11.1% due to strong momentum in most of the region’s markets. The PEUGEOT 3008 and 5008 SUVs were launched very successfully in every country and sales have exceeded targets. The PEUGEOT Expert, recently launched in Brazil and Argentina and produced in Uruguay, also promises to be a success.
CITROËN’s sales were up 13,8% in most of the region’s markets. For example, sales in Chile jumped 47% thanks to the tremendous success of the new CITROËN C3 and the solid performance delivered in the LCV segment, with Berlingo leading the way. The CITROËN Jumpy/Dispatch, produced in Uruguay and marketed in Brazil and Argentina, has been well received, suggesting that demand for the vehicle will be strong in 2018.
DS Automobiles recorded sales growth of 21.6%, led by Argentina’s performance, where the brand ranks fourth in the premium automotive market thanks to the DS 3, the leading vehicle in its class for the fourth year in a row. The DS brand opened two DS Stores at the end of the year and is set to accelerate the expansion of the network in 2018. In the coming months, the brand will launch the DS 7 CROSSBACK.
India-Pacific reports 26,100 cars sold and 31% growth ahead of India market launch in 2020
In Japan, the Group grew by 20% and recorded its best performance in more than 20 years. A sales recovery is under way in Australia and New Zealand, where two new importers have been appointed, resulting in sales almost tripling compared to 2016. Sales for the French Pacific overseas territories continued to rise sharply (up 40%) and South Korea’s performance was in line with that of 2016.
PEUGEOT contributed significantly to this growth, reporting a 37% increase in sales driven by the successful launch of the PEUGEOT 3008 and 5008.
CITROËN’s sales also rose sharply (up 36%) thanks to strong demand for the new C3.
DS continued to build its brand in the region. In Japan, the DS 7 CROSSBACK was warmly received at the Tokyo Motor Show. In addition, DS Automobiles opened three DS STORES and DS SALONS and will continue to develop its network in 2018.
Sales up 45% in Eurasia, outpacing the auto market
The Group made headway in the region’s major markets, including Russia (up 38%) and Ukraine (up 62%), with a total of 15,200 units sold.
Sales of the new PEUGEOT 3008 SUV were significantly ahead of the previous generation’s performance, accounting for 21% of the brand’s volumes, and helping to drive its volumes up 50.7%. The momentum in sales for CITROËN’s Grand C4 Picasso (up 126%), particularly in the BtoB segment, also pushed up the brand’s sales, by a strong 33.4% in Eurasia.
Groupe PSA’s LCV segment sales rose 55%. Local production of the PEUGEOT Expert, CITROËN Jumpy/Dispatch, PEUGEOT Traveller and CITROËN SpaceTourer in Kaluga, Russia as from 2018 is expected to enable the Group to achieve even faster sales growth in Eurasia.
Jean-Philippe Imparato, Chief Executive Officer, PEUGEOT, said: “2017 was an exceptional year, with record high results for PEUGEOT. We beat our target of selling two million vehicles, largely due to strong demand for our SUV and light commercial vehicle lineups, on top of solid performances from our conventional PEUGEOT 208 sedan models and the new 308. The brand increased volumes sold as well as market share in five out of six regions. PEUGEOT has successfully moved upmarket and is continuing to expand internationally with sales outside Europe now representing 45% of the worldwide total.”
Linda Jackson, Chief Executive Officer, CITROËN, said: “2017 unleashed the momentum driven by CITROËN’s new product offensive: it was the first full year for the new C3, the new Jumpy/Dispatch and the SpaceTourer, but also the year we launched the C3 Aircross SUV in Europe and the C5 AIRCROSS SUV in China. The result was that, in Europe, we achieved our highest level of sales in six years and won back market share in both passenger cars and light commercial vehicles. Excluding China, our worldwide sales rose 7.5%! We have the necessary strengths to sustain and intensify this sales momentum in 2018, thanks to the global roll-out of our most recent launches, but also to major upcoming launches. Visit the Geneva Motor Show to find out more!”
Yves Bonnefont, Chief Executive Officer, DS Automobiles, said: “2017 was a crucial milestone in the development of the DS brand, with the opening of orders for the DS 7 CROSSBACK, the first DS of second generation, the debut of the DS exclusive network and the deployment of ‘Only You’. We are delivering on our global strategic roadmap.”
Peter Küspert, Executive Vice-President, Sales, Marketing & Aftersales at OPEL/VAUXHALL, said: “2017 was a transitional year for OPEL/VAUXHALL involving an unprecedented product offensive that will allow us to offer a young line-up over the full 2018 year and be present in all major segments, in particular with the X family of vehicles, which includes the Mokka X, Crossland X and Grandland X, on top of the Insignia GSi, Corsa GSi and the brand new Combo.”
Groupe PSA in 2017
Consolidated world sales by regions
1 102 230
1 173 465
1 930 258
2 002 262
1 930 258
2 378 642
Middle East & Africa **
China & Southeast Asia
India & Pacific
1 919 460
2 119 845
1 140 941
1 055 676
3 146 382
3 228 381
3 146 382
3 632 314
PCD : Peugeot/Citroën/DS
OV : Opel/Vauxhall
*Europe = EU + EFTA + Albania + Bosnia + Croatia + Kosovo + Macedonia + Montenegro + Serbia
**including 443,000 vehicles produced in Iran under a Peugeot licence in 2017
1 As from 1 August 2017, the Group’s scope of consolidation includes the sales volumes of OPEL and VAUXHALL, together representing 403,900 units sold between August and December