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.

Sunday, 21 April 2013

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, Jeep designers must be blind.

  • Jeep® Cherokee sets a new standard for mid-size sport-utility vehicles
  • Jeep Grand Cherokee – the most awarded SUV ever – gets even better
  • Jeep Wrangler Rubicon celebrates 10th anniversary with new model

The all-new Jeep® Cherokee raises the bar and is ready to take the mid-size SUV segment by storm – on any continent. Following close behind its world premiere in New York last month, the Jeep Cherokee has its international debut at the 2013 Shanghai Auto Show on April 20.

“Jeep is our global brand and, since its inception, the all-new Jeep Cherokee was conceived and developed not only for our home market of the U.S. but also for world markets,” said Mike Manley, President and CEO of Jeep Brand, Chrysler Group LLC, and Chief Operating Officer for Asia Pacific Region, Fiat S.p.A. “The new Jeep Cherokee will become a benchmark in the global mid-size SUV segment by combining the segment-first nine-speed automatic transmission, refined on-road manners and fuel efficiency with the capability that only Jeep can deliver and that our customers have learned to trust.”

The Jeep Cherokee, which will be known in China as “Zi You Guang,” will arrive in volume to dealer showrooms in the China market by the end of 2013.

“China is the largest market for the Jeep brand outside of the U.S., and one out of every five vehicles in the mid-size SUV segment is sold in China. Hence, it just makes sense that the new Jeep Cherokee has its international debut in Shanghai,” said Manley.

Boasting a segment-first nine-speed automatic transmission, the Jeep Cherokee delivers up to 30 percent fuel consumption improvement over the outgoing model. At launch in China, two innovative 4x4 systems will be available for all-weather capability: Jeep Active Drive I with a one-speed power transfer unit (PTU) and Jeep Active Drive II with a two-speed PTU and low range.

Housing all this efficiency and capability is a new exterior designed for the future with global appeal. Jeep designers were inspired to create a vehicle that moves Jeep into the next era with a shape that is efficient without losing Jeep DNA and design heritage. The all-new Jeep Cherokee is a vehicle that not only looks efficient and capable, but is efficient and capable – in all on-road, trail and weather conditions.

The interior of the Jeep Cherokee is modern and sophisticated, incorporating high-quality materials and precision craftsmanship alongside high-tech features, such as an available 7-inch full-color reconfigurable instrument cluster and award-winning 8.4-inch touchscreen multimedia command center.

For international markets, the Jeep Cherokee will be also available with a diesel powertrain in both left- and right-hand-drive versions.

Jeep Asian Premieres
Two more Jeep vehicles will have their Asian premieres in Shanghai: the new Jeep Grand Cherokee and the Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 10th Anniversary Edition.

The newest Jeep Grand Cherokee becomes the most fuel-efficient Grand Cherokee ever, courtesy of an all-new eight-speed automatic transmission, powerful yet thrify engines and the new Eco Mode feature. Grand Cherokee also offers renowned all-terrain, all-weather capability and class-leading refinement through its premium design and technology features.

The Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 10th Anniversary Edition is the most capable factory-produced Jeep Wrangler ever. Created as a tribute to 10 years of Wrangler Rubicon history and to the Jeep brand’s most passionate enthusiasts, the special model is available in select exterior colors, with a striking red leather interior, and a host of standard off-road equipment seen for the first time on a production vehicle.

China’s current Jeep product portfolio comprises Compass, Grand Cherokee, Wrangler, Wrangler Unlimited and Patriot. Now, the all-new Jeep Cherokee joins the lineup to become the benchmark for mid-size SUVs.

Jeep brand sales in China in 2012 set a record with more than double the prior year’s result and led by the Jeep Compass. Jeep brand was the first to create a foreign joint venture in China in 1983 with the creation of Beijing Jeep Corporation, and today, Jeep remains the fastest-growing mainstream brand in this critical market.

A4 wins award midsize luxury sedan award.

Best Value automobiles offer the best financial value of all vehicles USAA evaluates as part of a broader rating system called USAA Preferred, which uses quantitative data to evaluate vehicles’ cost, safety and reliability, among other key factors. There are nearly 70 cars, trucks and minivans that are currently designated as USAA Preferred vehicles, and the Best Value list represents the vehicles that rose to the top of each category.

“We’re honored that a reputable organization USAA recognizes the intrinsic value of the Audi A4,” said Scott Keogh, President, Audi of America. “This award joins the praise our best-selling model has already earned for safety, advanced technology and performance.”

“The goal of the list is to give members an easier way to determine value as they shop for vehicles,” said Steve Thompson, vice president responsible for the USAA Car Buying Service. “This year we raised the bar on the importance of safety standards by requiring vehicles earn a top safety pick award from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety to qualify as USAA Preferred, and the 2013 Audi A4 rose to the top in its category for offering the best overall value.”

The 2013 Audi A4 features the groundbreaking turbocharged 2.0-liter, four-cylinder, TFSI® engine, which provides 211 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque with an EPA estimated fuel efficiency of 24 city / 31 highway/ 26 combined MPG. The chassis of the A4 is striking with its sporty precision, high ride comfort and superior safety. To ensure exceptional grip on wet or dry roads, the A4 offers the available quattro® all-wheel drive system.

The 2013 Audi A4 features the award-winning infotainment system Audi connect®, which enhances the driving experience by providing the benefits of access to information and content, when needed, through interfaces that are designed for the in-vehicle environment. Audi is the first company worldwide to feature factory-installed wireless Internet, allowing up to eight wireless devices to be connected at once. With Audi connect, the onboard Audi MMI Navigation system is enhanced with Google Earth™ maps and real-time SiriusXM® Traffic information for a true aerial view of the route.

Kelly's Blue Book names LEAF as best green car of the year for 2013.

"The 2013 Nissan LEAF marks a turning point in the electric vehicle movement with increased content at a reduced price that makes the vehicle competitive with traditional cars in its segment. We're seeing buyers diversify beyond early adopters, and, as the global leader in electric vehicles, Nissan is committed to providing affordable zero-emission options for the mass market," said Erik Gottfried, Nissan director of electric vehicle sales and marketing.

Now in its third model year, Nissan LEAF is the world's best-selling, pure electric vehicle with nearly 60,000 sold worldwide. Recently redesigned to feature numerous customer-focused refinements and upgrades, the 2013 LEAF provides quicker available charging, improved range and more equipment levels. The 2013 LEAF range has an EPA range of 75 miles at a blended (or 'average') 90 percent charge, and customers who fully charge may get up to 83 miles of range. The range of available trim levels includes both a more attainable version and models with more premium amenities such as leather seating and BOSE energy-efficient audio.

Nissan announced earlier this year that U.S. pricing for the 2013 LEAF starts at $28,800, reducing the cost by 18 percent compared to the previous model year. Depending on location, some consumers may acquire the vehicle for as low as $18,800 by qualifying for federal and state tax credits, which makes LEAF competitive with gas-powered vehicles of its size. Nissan LEAF currently may be leased for $199 per month with $1,999 down for 36 months. Nissan now assembles the LEAF and the battery that powers it both in Tennessee.

As a leading provider of new and used car information, Kelley Blue Book's KBB.com's 10 Best Green Cars list is released just in time for Earth Day for eco-friendly drivers in the market for a new car. To see KBB.com's full list of the 10 Best Green Cars of 2013, visit http://www.kbb.com/car-reviews-and-news/top-10/10-best-green-cars-2013/.

Citroen makes China it's number one priority.

  • Dual offensive for Citroën in China; the Brand’s number one international priority
  • Two joint ventures in place; DPCA with Dongfeng for the C line & CAPSA with Changan for the DS line   
  • Recent launch of DS line & new C line models underpin dual strategic offensive to win more customers
  • New corporate showcases, retail outlets & increased sales strengthen Brand’s position in world’s leading automotive market

With more than 20 years’ presence in the country, Citroën acquired new scope in China in 2012 with the market launch of the DS line. In 2013, three new C line sedans are being introduced - the C4L, the New C5 and C-Elysée.

Thanks to joint ventures with Dongfeng for C-line and Changan for DS models, this dual strategic offensive is enabling Citroën to strengthen its presence in the world’s largest automobile market and to win even more customers.


In April 2011, Citroën chose the Shanghai Motor Show for the world premiere of DS5. Two years later the DS line - DS3, DS4 and DS5 - have now been launched in China through a dedicated DS network with 27 sales outlets currently in cities including Beijing, Shanghai, Canton and Shenzhen. By the end of the year there will be 60 DS Stores in 50 cities. In a few months DS5 will also be produced at the Shenzhen production facility.

The very first DS World - a showcase dedicated to the DS line - has just been inaugurated on Nanjing Road, in one of Shanghai’s most prestigious locations.

Following DS5 and Numéro 9 concept premieres at the Shanghai Motor Show in previous years, the 2013 expo will see the world debut of a new DS concept - Wild Rubis - which will be revealed and displayed on the DS Stand.

DS (CAPSA) Stand at Auto Shanghai 2013: Hall E6 - Press Conference at 9:00am on 20 April.


Dongfeng Citroën, the Brand’s initial joint venture, delivered 224,000 vehicles in 2012, an increase of 2.5%. The restyled C-Quatre achieved record sales of nearly 120,000 units for the year, while the C5, which has also recently been restyled, enjoyed a strong year, with China now its largest market.

Reflecting the popularity of Citroën sedans with Chinese customers, a new model was added to the line-up in early 2013 - the Citroën C4 L - which targets the upper end of the compact car segment. Produced locally at the Wuhan plant, more than 9,000 sales were recorded by the end of March. The C-Elysée, which is scheduled for launch in the second half of this year, will further enlarge the portfolio for Chinese customers.

The dealership network is growing, with 56 new outlets in 2012 for a total of 404 sites. The Citroën Experience Centre - a new corporate showcase on Nanjing Road in Shanghai - was also inaugurated in December 2012.

Chevy introduces the UK to the new TRAX, and compact SUV

  • Trax exhibits SUV toughness and capability in a small package
  • Well-organised, flexible passenger cabin
  • Chevrolet MyLink connected radio provides enhanced connectivity
  • Three engines: 1.4L turbo and 1.6L petrol engine, 1.7L turbo-diesel
  • On-demand all-wheel-drive system enhances traction
  • Chassis control systems include Hill Start Assist and Hill Descent Control

In 1935, Chevrolet invented the SUV with the introduction of the Carryall Suburban. At the time, few people would have guessed that the Chevrolet Suburban would eventually hold the record for being the longest-running vehicle nameplate in the world.

Today, some 78 years later, Chevrolet is launching its first entry in the small SUV segment, the Trax. “Trax is a modern, highly versatile yet fuel-efficient small SUV, that offers car-like handling and all-wheel drive,” said Susan Docherty, President and Managing Director of Chevrolet and Cadillac Europe. “It is the modern expression of one of Chevrolet's core competencies, which is building and selling great SUVs.”

Chevrolet SUV family nameplates have stood for capable, practical and dependable vehicles and have often been at the forefront of safety and technical innovations. Early models saw the introduction of hydraulic brakes, safety glass and independent front suspension in 1937, while later models premiered energy-absorbing steering columns (1967) and antilock brakes (1988).

With Trax, Chevrolet is ready to embrace the group of car buyers that has been fuelling the significant growth the SUV-B segment has seen in recent years (Sales in the segment increased from130,214 cars in 2008 to around 264,000 in 2012). These urban customers tend to be image-conscious individualswith active lifestyles. Many of them desire a vehicle that matches their off-the-grid individual status.

Trax gives buyers many of the benefits of a full-blooded SUV while combining the driving dynamics and fuel economy of a smaller car. Above all, Trax offers a maximum of versatility, from its flexible modern passenger cabin to all-wheel-drive to Chevrolet MyLink enhanced connectivity.

The looks and flexibility of a true SUV

Conveying muscularity, athletic agility and movement, Trax embodies the latest example of Chevrolet's expressive design vocabulary. At 4.2m long, 1.7 m wide and 1.6 m high, the brand’s new entry in the SUV-B segment projects a well-planted, confident stance.

A dual port grille with the iconic Chevrolet bowtie, pronounced wheel arches and muscular rear haunches, and a fast, rearward-swept roofline that flows into the integrated spoiler are key elements that define Trax’ exterior appearance.

The interior is characterised by flowing lines, modern design cues and a well-organized cabin. The rear seat row incorporates a regular 230V socket that can be used for recharging laptops and other electronic devices without the need for an adapter.

Storage amenities are plentiful. The loading space can be extended to accommodate a maximum of 1370L, with further space available under the cargo floor.

A host of storage compartments includes an available under-seat storage tray and two glove boxes, one of which contains outlets for USB and auxiliary devices that enable discrete connectivity for iPods, smart phones, and other electronic devices.

Additional cargo can be carried externally. The Chevrolet Trax features standard roof rails, has a roof load capacity of 75 kg and can tow trailers weighing up to 1200kg.

Chevrolet MyLink technology leverages your smartphone

With the Chevrolet MyLink connected radio, a standard feature on upper trims of the Trax, drivers will have a system at their fingertips that is easy to use and allows them to access media including specialist apps from compatible portable devices.

Chevrolet MyLink technology provides easy access to phone books, personal playlists, photo galleries (through USB key or iPhone) and videos (through USB key or aux-in)1, and other stored media.

The system can store the pairing information of up to five smartphones at one time. Mass storage devices, including MP3 players, iPod, iPad can also be connected through USB. There is a dedicated plug-in outlet for personal music devices and smartphones that do not use USB or Bluetooth connections.

MyLink users can take advantage of a selection of dedicated smartphone apps that will make their lives and driving more comfortable. With the help of BringGo, they can easily navigate using their phone, but without having to spend the kind of money that integrated navigation systems usually cost.

In addition to featuring 3D maps, lane guidance and live traffic updates, which require an active network connection through the smartphone, BringGo has the ability to store maps on the smartphone. This gives users access to locations and turn-by-turn directions even when the phone signal is poor (no data streaming/roaming charges).

Users who purchase the BringGo embedded smartphone app for the MyLink connected radio are also able to locate emergency information or use local search via Google.

Customers with a compatible iPhone running iOS 6 can ask Siri2, an intelligent assistant, to perform a number of tasks while they safely keep their eyes on the road and their hands on the wheel. An Eyes Free mode enables drivers to interact with their iPhones using nothing more than their voice while keeping the device's screen from lighting up.

Owners can use Siri in Eyes Free mode to make voice-activated, hands-free calls to contacts on their iPhone, play songs in their iTunes libraries, switch music sources automatically from AM/FM radio to iPod mode, or listen to or send an iMessage or text message to a phone number or anyone in saved contacts.

On top of that, Chevrolet MyLink users can utilise theTuneIn smarthpone app, a streaming audio powerhouse that provides seamless connectivity to live local, international and internet radio and links listeners to a global network of 70,000 stations3.

Finally, owners of a Chevrolet MyLink-equipped Trax can opt to stream their favourite podcasts, radio shows and news to their Chevrolet vehicle by using Stitcher. This app enables them to create their own personalised, on-demand stations or discover new shows based on their listening preferences3.

Three fuel-efficient engines and on-demand AWD system

The engine line-up will comprise a 1.4L turbocharged petrol unit, a 1.6L petrol engine and 1.7L turbo-diesel engine. All manual transmission variants come with Stop/Start functionality. Both the 1.7L turbo-diesel and the 1.4L turbo petrol engine can also be offered with a six-speed automatic gearbox.

Mated to a six-speed manual transmission, the 1.4L cranks out 140 hp (103 kW) and produces a maximum torque of 200 Nm while the 1.7L turbo-diesel engine will deliver a power output of 130 hp (96 kW), and a maximum torque of 300 Nm.

The 1.7L turbo-diesel engine is the most frugal of the three and will return 62.7 mpg when mated to a manual transmission (FWD), while fuel consumption of the 1.4L turbo with the manual transmission will average 44.1 mpg. CO2 emissions are 120 and 149 g/km, respectively.

The AWD system which is available on variants equipped with the 1.4L turbo petrol or the 1.7L turbo-diesel engine automatically adapts to the prevalent road conditions and significantly improves traction on slippery or gravelled roads.

Driving the Trax is an enjoyable experience. Chevrolet’s latest entry has been tuned to deliver distinct European driving dynamics and boasts sophisticated electronic aid systems.

A front/rear track width of 1540 mm and a wheelbase of 2555 mm ensure well-planted stability. The Trax' tight body-frame-integral structure, a MacPherson strut-type front suspension and a rear compound crank suspension all contribute to the vehicle's responsive ride and handling characteristics.

The Trax features Electric Power Steering (EPS) with integrated wear compensator for precise steering action over the life of the system.

Rock-solid safety

The strength of its structural design make Trax one of the safest small SUVs in Europe. Should the car roll over, it has been engineered to carry more than four times its own weight.

Trax is equipped with a comprehensive range of modern chassis control systems which includes Hill Start Assist and Hill Descent Control. Other standard features include ElectronicStability Control, Traction Control, four-channel Anti-Lock Brakes (ABS) with Electronic Brake Force Distribution, Hydraulic Brake Fade Assist, and roll-over Mitigation.

Six airbags, three-point seatbelts in all five seating positions, ISOFX anchoring systems for children’s safety seats and a collapsible pedal are equally part of standard safety features onboard the Trax.

Jaguar dealers in the UK take delivery of the first cars.

  • Jaguar UK dealers are first in the world to take delivery of F-TYPE demonstrators
  • 59 new F-TYPEs depart Ricoh arena in Coventry amassing a total of 7,141 miles before reaching respective Jaguar UK dealerships
  • The 1.5-mile long F-TYPE procession, worth a total of £4.7m, circled the Coventry ring road before dissipating
  • Event reminiscent of “Drive Away” event conducted with the E-type in Coventry in 1961.


On April 19th 2013 The first Jaguar F-TYPE sports cars arrived in dealerships having been presented to an enthusiastic dealer network following a ceremonial handover at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry. The Jaguar UK dealers are the first in the world to take delivery of their F-TYPE demonstrators and to mark the occasion 59 of their vehicles were arranged in a giant “F” in the car park of the Coventry landmark before embarking on a 1.5-mile long procession around the Coventry ring road. The F-TYPE convoy was lead by the spiritual predecessor to Jaguar’s new sports car − the last example of the iconic E-type ever produced.


The £4.7m procession comprised 60 cars and produced a combined total of 23,560 PS. By the time the F-TYPE demonstrators reach their respective dealerships they will have amassed a total of 7,141 miles. The nearest dealer, Guy Salmon Jaguar, Coventry, had a mere 3.5 miles to travel, while Peter Vardy Jaguar, based in Aberdeen, had 440 miles to cover.

The event is not without precedent – in 1961 Jaguar staged a similar dealer delivery event at Browns Lane in Coventry, with 60 Jaguar E-type sports cars. Robin Sturgess, whose son Chris is now dealer principal at Sturgess Jaguar of Leicester (recently named Motor Codes Franchise Dealer of the Year), was present at the 1961 event and took his place in the Jaguar E-type at the head of today’s historic convoy. The grandson of Jaguar founder Sir William Lyons, Michael Quinn, was also in attendance on behalf of RA Creamer Jaguar, Kensington.

Bentley wows the crowds with new cars and the fastest ever Bentley at Shanghai.

  • Ultimate luxury sedan Flying Spur makes China debut at Auto Shanghai
  • Joined by flagship Mulsanne and fastest production Bentley model ever
  • Bentley reinforces commitment to Greater China with expansion plans

At the Auto Shanghai 2013, Bentley introduces the new Flying Spur to Greater China, alongside the Continental GT Speed, Bentley’s fastest production model ever and its pinnacle flagship model, the ultra-high luxury Mulsanne. Bentley also announces its plans to grow the dealer network in Greater China, reinforcing China as a key market for Bentley’s continued success as the company heads for double digit growth again in 2013.

Dr Wolfgang Schreiber, Bentley’s Chairman and Chief Executive, comments:

“China is a key market for Bentley and we are enjoying great sales success and growing customer interest. To continue to achieve these results, we have a significant expansion plan in place. This starts with the new Flying Spur, previously our best-selling model and we expect 60 per cent of the new Flying Spur sales to be delivered to customers in China.

“Our customers have one thing in common; they want quality, attention to detail and performance whether this is a watch or a bespoke suit. Exactly these principles are at the heart of the new car being presenting today, for its Greater China premiere.”

Success in the Far East

Reinforcing Bentley’s position as the number one luxury car maker in the world, 2012 saw a 23 per cent sales growth in China, with the region becoming Bentley’s second biggest market. Bentley established an official importer at the start of 2013, Bentley Motors China, to manage all key operations from its headquarters in Beijing. The company’s growth plan includes major network expansion to build on the current 26 locations and continue to provide every Bentley customer with a first-class service. 12 new dealer locations are opening by May this year, with plans for 45 dealerships covering all key cities in Greater China to be in place by 2015.

Establishing a new luxury sedan benchmark
With its unrivalled blend of effortless driveability, exquisite luxury and craftsmanship, sculpted design and state-of-the-art technology, the new Flying Spur, shown in the Far East for the first time, takes the worldwide success of its iconic predecessor even further.

Bentley’s styling team has developed an athletic design for the new Flying Spur that combines traditional Bentley styling cues with a dynamic stance and contemporary details. Sharp feature lines complement muscular rear haunches, while LED day-time running lights, dipped headlights and taillights complement the front and rear profiles. The interior designers have created a luxurious, spacious cabin that dresses advanced acoustic and electronic technologies in exquisite hand-crafted leather hides and wood veneers.

Driver and passengers alike interface with the car and the outside world through touch-screen infotainment, mobile connectivity including Wi-Fi, a Rear Seat Entertainment suite and a new bespoke hand-held Touch Screen Remote which allows rear-cabin occupants to control an extensive range of features from the comfort of their seat. An eight-channel, eight-speaker audio system with Balanced Mode Radiators provide high quality sound clarity, with the 1100W Naim® for Bentley premium system available as an option.

Powering the new Flying Spur is Bentley’s renowned 6.0-litre, twin turbo W12 engine, coupled to a ZF eight-speed transmission. Developing 616 horsepower and 590 pound feet of torque, the new Flying Spur features more power than any other Bentley four-door in history. A 14 per cent improvement in the power-to-weight ratio over the outgoing model delivers a breath-taking 0-60 mph time of 4.3 seconds and a top-speed of 200 mph. In the modern Bentley tradition, power is delivered to the road via all-wheel drive with a 40:60 rear-biased torque split for a sure-footed, engaging drive in all road and weather conditions.

Bentley Mulsanne: the pinnacle of British luxury motoring

Bentley’s showcase of luxury, performance and technology continues with the Mulsanne,

A celebration of the company’s passion for craftsmanship, those commissioning a Mulsanne enter a world of choice that is unmatched in the car industry, working with the Bentley team of world-class craftspeople, including coachbuilders, electronics specialists and cabinetmakers, to create a car that can be personalised to their individual tastes and personal requirements. The unrivalled choice of veneers, leather hides, paint colours and finishes ensures that the needs of all customers can be perfectly matched.

Under the bonnet lies a twin-turbocharged 6¾-litre V8 engine that delivers extreme levels of performance, developing 512 PS (505 bhp/377 kW) with torque of 1020 Nm (712lb ft) delivered at 1750rpm.

With a 0-60 mph sprint time of just 5.1 seconds (0-100 km/h in 5.3 seconds) and a top speed of 184 mph (296 km/h) the 505 bhp (512 PS/377 kw) Mulsanne offers thunderous levels of performance for an ultra-luxury sedan.

Bentley GT Speed coupe: the fastest-ever Bentley road-car
Completing Bentley’s presence at Auto Shanghai is the new 205 mph (330 km/h) W-12 engined Continental GT Speed, the fastest road car Bentley has ever produced. As Bentley’s new performance flagship, the Continental GT Speed coupe appeals to driving enthusiasts who place a high value on outright performance and agile handling.

The GT Speed develops 616 bhp (625 PS / 460 kW) at 6000 rev/min with 800 Nm (590 lb.ft) of torque available from 2000 to 5000 rev/min for instantly accessible high performance. Coupled with a new ZF eight-speed close-ratio automatic transmission and state-of-the-art engine management software, the GT Speed dispatches the zero-to-sixty sprint in 4.0 seconds (0-100 km/h in 4.2s), reaching 100 mph (160 km/h) from a standing start in just 9.0 seconds.

In-gear acceleration is equally breath-taking. The advanced software of the close-ratio 8-speed transmission enables quick-shifting in Sport and Tiptronic modes. The gearbox also features ‘block-downshifting’, enabling combined downshifts for maximum acceleration. Typically, when cruising in eighth gear, full acceleration is achieved by dropping straight down to fourth.

While this puts the GT Speed at the very top end of automotive performance, the new model retains the driving refinement, supreme comfort, peerless craftsmanship and contemporary luxury associated with Bentley cars.

VW show concept SUV in China, Why don't they just build it.

The five-seat CrossBlue Coupé is 4,889 mm long, 2,015 mm wide and just 1,679 mm high: dimensions that give it a low-profile, wide appearance (for comparison, Touareg: 4,795 / 1,940 / 1,732).  Factor in the wide track (1,709 mm front, 1,726 mm rear), 2,980 mm wheelbase (Touareg 2,893) and 22-inch alloy wheels (with 285/44 tyres) and you have a car with a distinctively muscular and sporty appearance.

At the front, the radiator grille trim – consisting of two polished aluminium struts and the VW logo – is a 3D element extending into the headlights.  The lateral ends of the upper strut are used for the daytime running lights, creating a distinctive light signature.

Along the side – under the steeply raked C-pillars – the ports for the fuel tank and battery were uniformly integrated into the design of the CrossBlue Coupé.  As is usual with Volkswagen, the fuel filler neck is located under a lid on the right side of the vehicle, while the cover for the electrical outlet is located symmetrically on the left side.  It consists of one socket for charging the high-voltage battery and another for connecting electric devices; this interface (16 A, 230 V) makes the CrossBlue Coupé a generator, too.

The prominent tailpipes are designed in stainless steel, and are integrated into a polished aluminium trim panel that runs horizontally along the back of the coupé.  Beneath this is a rugged anthracite-coloured area, in which a stainless steel underbody protection panel has been designed, like at the front end.  The boot lid opens and closes electrically, revealing a load space that can hold up to 1,101 litres of luggage (or 537 litres with all seats upright).

As well showcasing the future for Volkswagen design, the CrossBlue Coupé also highlights future drivetrain possibilities, in this case a plug-in hybrid system consisting of a V6 turbocharged direct injection petrol engine and two electric motors (40 kW front and 85 kW rear), together producing up to 415 PS (305 kW).  Via a six-speed DSG gearbox, that power enables this 4,889 mm-long SUV to accelerate like a sports car: zero to 62 mph takes a mere 5.9 seconds, and the top speed is 146 mph.  Even with this level of performance, fuel economy is impressive with a combined cycle figure of 3.0 l/100 km, or 94.1 mpg.  In hybrid mode, with a depleted battery powered by the TSI engine, the CrossBlue Coupé returns 6.9 l/100 km (40.9 mpg).  This efficiency gives the CrossBlue Coupé, with its 80-litre fuel tank, a theoretical range of 1,190 km (740 miles).

The CrossBlue Coupé is based on Volkswagen’s new Modular Transverse Matrix (MQB) components set.  This would give any production version a large amount of flexibility when it comes to potential power: conventional drive systems with four- or six-cylinder engines could also be used, configured for a variety of fuels (petrol, diesel, CNG).

The TSI engine produces 500 Nm (368 lbs ft) from just 1,800 rpm, while the electric motors produce their torque – 180 Nm (133 lbs ft) at the front and 270 Nm (199 lbs ft) at the rear – immediately.  Combined, the system can produce up to 700 Nm (516 lbs ft).

Powered by its battery alone, the CrossBlue can cover up to 33 km/20 miles as an EV.
In E-mode, only the rear electric motor propels the vehicle and the TSI engine is shut off and decoupled.  At up to 75 mph, the engine is not engaged as long as the battery has sufficient charge.  As soon as there is a need for TSI power, it is coupled to the drivetrain again, within fractions of a second.  The battery can be charged by external power sources or by the engine while the vehicle is moving.

The driver can switch to a charging mode by pressing a button on the centre console.
The TSI engine charges the battery while driving to store enough electrical energy for EV operation later in the journey, for instance in an urban area.  There are also a number of other modes, as detailed below.

  • Coasting: When the driver releases the accelerator pedal, the engine and electric motors are decoupled from the drivetrain, provided there is sufficient battery charge.
  • Battery regeneration: When the accelerator is released or the brakes applied, the electric motors act as generators and feed energy recovered from the brakes into the battery.  In this case, the TSI is also shut off and decoupled from the drivetrain.
  • Boosting: When more performance is required, the electric motors form an alliance with the TSI engine known as ‘boosting’.  In this mode, all four wheels are driven.
  • Off-road(‘propshaft by wire’): All four wheels are driven.  In this case the front electric motor (supplied with energy by the TSI engine) operates as a generator and a power source for the electric motor at the rear.
  • TSI only: In this mode, the CrossBlue Coupé is a pure front-wheel-drive vehicle.

There are no current plans for the CrossBlue Coupé to enter production.

Key facts

  • Five-seat SUV concept
  • Innovative petrol-electric plug-in hybrid powertrain offers fuel economy of
  • 3.0 l/100 km (94.1 mpg)
  • Concept is built using the MQB Modular Transverse Matrix components set
  • Range in all-electric mode is 20 miles
  • 415 PS; 700 Nm (516 lbs ft); 0 to 60 mph estimated at 5.9 seconds
  • Dimensions: length 4,889; width 2,015 mm; height 1,679 mm;
  • track widths: front/rear 1,709 mm/1,726 mm
  • Unladen weight: 2,220 kg (concept car with battery system)
  • Drive units / power / transmission: V6 TSI 220 kW; E-motors: front 40 kW, rear 85 kW; system power (TSI + battery) 305 kW; 6-speed DSG
  • Battery: eight lithium ion modules; energy capacity 9.8 kWh

Fiat hits the million in Poland

The one millionth Fiat 500 produced in Poland has rolled off the Fiat Auto Poland production line at the Tychy factory today (19 April). This iconic model, launched in 2007, is marketed in 83 countries around the world including Italy, UK, Brazil, South Africa, Poland, US and Japan.  In addition to Poland, since 2011 the Fiat 500 has also been produced at the Mexican factory in Toluca, thus bringing total production to 1,100,000 units.

Destined for the Italian market, the record-breaking example is a powerful white 135 HP Abarth 500 1.4  which, like all those produced so far, represents an 'almost unique' piece, thanks to the thousands of possible combinations of versions, colours, trims, engines, fuel systems and equipment. Of the more than one million units produced it is difficult to find two identical Fiat 500s.

To confirm the wide range of customisations, the number '999,999' Fiat 500 produced by the Polish factory is a 95 HP S version 1.3 MultiJet, in red, for an Italian customer, while number '1,000,001' is a light blue Fiat 500C, Lounge trim level, equipped with the 69 HP 1.2. It will be delivered to a German customer in the next few days.

Tychy's prestigious milestone, achieved in just five years and nine months from launch, marks another page in the story of Fiat 500, an all-Italian invention that has won over the public and international critics, as demonstrated by more than 40 international awards and 325,000 fans on the official Facebook fan page: https://www.facebook.com/fiat500.

A true icon of Italian style, the Fiat 500 was recently revamped with the 2013 range, introducing new body colours, new versions such as Colour Therapy, and other style details which enhance the fun-loving spirit of the car. The Fiat 500 currently offers many trim levels – Pop, Colour Therapy, Lounge, S – and engine versions, including 1.2, 0.9 TwinAir, 1.4 16V, and 1.3 MultiJet 16V.

Volkswagen and Apple combine to make the iBeetle.

Two iconic products will be forming an alliance later this year: the iPhone from Apple and the Beetle from Volkswagen. As a result, the smartphone will interface with the Beetle and Beetle Cabriolet’s vehicle functions via a specially developed app (‘Volkswagen Car Net The Beetle’) and a docking station.  This makes the Beetle the first model in the Volkswagen Group in which the iPhone will become an integrated component.

There are two routes to acquiring the interface: first as an optional feature, and second as a standard feature on the new iBeetle and iBeetle Cabriolet.  The German carmaker will be launching these special models on the market in parallel with the iPhone 5 integration at the beginning of 2014.  The app, docking station and iBeetle will celebrate their world premiere at the 2013 Shanghai Auto Show (20th to 29th of April).

The interface

Located centrally on the dashboard of the Beetle is the newly designed docking station (cradle), in which the iPhone is integrated by simply snapping it in – similar to a mobile navigation system. Once in, essentially, all iPhone functions can be used in the Beetle; the iPhone can be used to navigate, telephone via a hands-free unit, listen to music from the media library via the audio system’s amplifier and loudspeakers, and much more.

The Beetle app

When the app is launched, it can either connect the iPhone to the Beetle docked or undocked.  As soon as the iPhone connects to the Beetle’s data network via the app and the docking station (docked), a menu with the following functions is available: “Spotify”, “Expert”, “Trainer”, “Reader”, “Postcard”, “Photo”, “Post” and “Milestones”.

“Spotify” lets users stream media such as new songs, customised playlists or online radio stations directly to the iPhone and from there into the sound system of the Beetle.  Those who wish can post their favourite music directly to friends.  In addition, users in the Beetle can switch between “Spotify” and iTunes at any time.

Under the “Expert” menu, the app offers five functions which make the iPhone an extended on-board instrument.  Offered here are a G-Meter (for measuring transverse acceleration), oil and coolant temperature gauges for the engine, a chronometer and a compass.

The “Trainer” can be used to compare driving times, distances and fuel economy values for different routes between any two destinations.  Here too, tips can be posted via social networks like Twitter and Facebook – such as which route leads quicker to the university or to a work destination.

The (social) “Reader” lists the latest messages from social networks like Facebook.  There is also a practical function for having iPhone messages read aloud here.

Another communication function is offered by “Postcard”.  In response to a touchscreen command, the app sends the current location of the Beetle to friends as a digital postcard with a map motif and sender identification: “Sent with the Beetle App”.

A photo can be taken from the interior of the Beetle by iPhone camera and sent to social networks with the “Photo” function. Simply activate it, and the app does the rest.

In the “undocked” mode, the “Milestones” menu is available. Here the app rewards its users with virtual ‘milestone stickers’ for the Beetle when certain tasks have been completed.  This is how the app guides users through the range of possible applications.

The iBeetle

Volkswagen conceived the iBeetle for the debut of iPhone 5 integration and, available as a coupe and cabriolet, it is one of the first cars in the world to have a genuine integrative interface for the iPhone that was coordinated with Apple.  The colours and equipment features of the iBeetle are stylistically linked to the Cupertino-based US company, bringing the icons of its smartphones into harmony with what is certainly one of the world’s most iconic automotive designs.

The iBeetle, which will be available at the beginning of 2014 (advance sales begin in October 2013), will not just be delivered to its owners with the standard iPhone interface, but with other customised features as well.  On the exterior, they include standard features such as 18-inch “Disc” alloy wheels (painted in “Galvano Grey” with chrome wheel covers), door mirror housings and side trim panels in “Galvano Grey”, black door sill plates with “iBeetle” signature, “iBeetle” chrome badges and a “Chrome pack” (includes chrome trim strips on the sides).  The iBeetle can be ordered in “Candy White”, “Oryx White Mother of Pearl Effect”, “Black Monochrome”, “Deep Black Pearl Effect”, “Platinum Grey” or “Reflex Silver”.

Inside, the steering wheel accents are in “Galvano Grey”.  This colour is also used for the horizontal instrument pad which is such a key Beetle design feature.  The iBeetle is also upgraded by a customised gear shift grip, black sport seats in exclusive “Vienna” leather and contrasting seams in light “Ceramique”.

MG again shows the world it does not care about European sales with lackluster MG3

MG has used the Shanghai Motor Show to preview the exciting new MG3 supermini, in advance of the UK and European launches later this year.

Carrying forward the styling cues first illustrated on the MG ZERO concept vehicle, the new European MG3 is a distinctive statement of modern British style designed to target young and style conscious buyers, wanting something that’s fun to drive and own.

This unique and contemporary style was brought to the super-mini segment by the design and engineering team at the MG Birmingham site in Longbridge, UK. The MG3 will become the second in a new generation of MG vehicles to leave the assembly line at the Birmingham factory.

At launch, customers will be able to personalise both the exterior and interior of this new supermini MG making it fun to buy and own, as well as the MG trademark of being fun to drive.

British Style fun

MG’s UK-based design team have given the new MG3 a cheeky touch of flair from every viewing angle.

How do I look from the front? - With a flash of style from the ‘hockey stick’ LED daytime running lights on every trim level, a full-width black mesh grille, and black A-Pillar and ‘visor’ wraparound style windscreen, the MG3 is unmistakable on the road.

Is this my best side? The  dual colour side skirts echo the design of the MG ZERO, lowering the stance of the car and hinting at just how much fun the MG3 could be to own. Diamond-cut, dual colour wheels give a real touch of class on the higher trim levels.

And from the rear? There is an echo of the fun and sportiness that lies at the heart of the MG brand. With a rear valance insert inspired by generations of MG racing cars, a unique superelliptic tail pipe finished in chrome and a body-coloured tail spoiler, the MG3  looks distinctly sleek and sporty – a designer’s dream.


Normally this is where the compromise comes on small sporty cars – but not with MG3.  Fun, entertaining and easy to live with, the MG3 combines style and enjoyment with practical spaciousness. The designers and engineers have combined to create an exceptional amount of space and versatility in a very compact five-door package.

Extensive work from the MG Design and Engineering team on the architectural package has resulted in interior packaging that rivals or surpasses anything in its class.  In a 4m long package, the MG3 will easily accommodate four 6ft individuals; a level of accommodation typically associated with larger cars that mirrors the spaciousness of the MG6 range.

The MG3’s ‘rolled and raised’ front dashboard design creates an airy forward cabin space and increased legroom, while allowing excellent access to primary and secondary controls. This theme is continued in the rear of the car, where the front seats are sculpted to allow rear passengers excellent space to travel in comfort.

Class-leading rear headroom is another characteristic which sets the MG3 apart. Many cars in this sector compromise on interior space, particularly in the rear. But rear headroom in the MG3 is more than generous.


Designed with the core value of being fun to drive, the MG3 chassis has been honed from hundreds of thousands of miles of testing on European roads.  Intended to deliver impressive levels of body control, sharpness and a willingness to corner to engage keen drivers, MG’s world class team of chassis engineers have also delivered sure footed handling and impressive ride comfort. Together this makes the MG3 suitable for every journey, from crowded urban routes, to flowing British B-roads or cruising on a European motorway.


In addition to a wide range of body colours a range of personalisation options will be available, allowing the MG3 to be tailored to the individual behind the wheel. Roof, side and bonnet graphics will allow owners to personalise their own MG3. Interior trims, wheels, vents, surrounds and mats will all be available in a choice of designs, colours and finishes allowing you to make your MG3 truly personal.


Our new baby will be powered by a healthy 105PS version of our own VTi-TECH petrol engine, joining the MG6 DTi-TECH and TCi-TECH engines in the European family.  The dynamic and responsive VTi-TECH engine is mated to a 5-speed manual transmission that makes this little baby perfectly suited to nipping in and out of city traffic or enjoying a great British B road.


Guy Jones, Sales & Marketing Director of MG Motor UK, said: “This new MG3 is a great package for the increasing number of European customers looking for a stylish small car, that’s affordable and practical to own.

It’s got a distinctive cheeky style and will be fun to buy, own and drive, yet still affordable for a wide range of people. It’s the modern interpretation of a small fun MG and shows how we will take the essence of this iconic brand into the future.

At just 4-metres long and with five doors, MG3 is really easy to drive and park and very practical. It has a distinctive stance and the ‘hockey stick’ daylight running lights help give the MG3 a front ‘face’ unlike any other car.

“The reaction to the MG3 has been extremely positive from both male and female customers and it will also mean that MG dealers in Britain will soon have a second all-new model in the showrooms.”

Jones concluded: “This is a car that that MG enthusiasts and dealers across Europe have been waiting for, but more significantly it will bring a whole new group of customers to the MG brand for the first time.”

Hyundai previews new concept for China only car - a chunkier looking i40 saloon.

  • The Mistra concept, a preview of Hyundai’s latest China-exclusive model, makes its world debut at the motor show
  • Hyundai to accelerate efforts in becoming a leading brand in China

Hyundai unveiled the Mistra concept at the Shanghai New International Expo Center today. The debut comes ahead of the company’s launch later this year of Mistra (Mingtu, or 名图 in Chinese), the production-version of the concept. Hyundai also introduced its Grand Santa Fe premium SUV to the Chinese market today.

The Mistra, which is positioned between the Sonata and Elantra, fully reflected Chinese customers’needs and preferences during the development process, and is expected to boost Hyundai’s presence in China’s mid-sized segment.

Despite its relatively late entry into the Chinese market in 2002 with the establishment of Beijing Hyundai Motor Co. (BHMC), a 50-50 joint venture between Hyundai Motor and Beijing Automotive Industry Holding Co., Hyundai has been growing rapidly for the past ten years to become one of the country’s mainstream brands, inspiring media to coin the term ‘Hyundai Speed.’ Facing the decade ahead, Hyundai aims to accelerate its brand management for the next ten years.

“Hyundai has achieved remarkable growth in the past decade, in line with the Chinese auto market’s rapid growth,” said Sung Kee Choi, President of BHMC, during a speech. “The Mistra and Grand Santa Fe will lead us towards another successful era. We will prepare against fiercer competition in the Chinese market through our strategy of brand innovation based on quality.”

Besides the two new cars, Hyundai reinforced its modern and sophisticated image by displaying its eco-friendly models such as the ix35 Fuel Cell, and Sonata Hybrid, as well as its in-vehicle IT service, Blue Link, to promote its advanced technologies. Within its premium zone, located at the centre of the booth, Hyundai’s high-end models such as the face-lifted Equus Limousine and HCD-14 Genesis concept were exhibited. The face-lifted Equus will go on sale in China in the first half of this year.

Mistra concept

The Mistra concept, a joint project between Hyundai Motor Group’s R&D Center and the Beijing Hyundai Technical Centre, offers significant insight into the styling of the production version, which is scheduled to go on sale later this year.

The mid-sized sedan concept has an overall length of 4,710 mm, overall width of 1,820 mm and overall height of 1,470 mm, as well as a 2,770 mm-long wheelbase. It also has 19-inch aluminum alloy wheels.

The concept of its exterior design is ‘Grand,’ which consists of three sub-concepts: Modern Simplicity, Understated Sportiness and Smart Luxury. Reflecting local customers’ preferences, an enchanting and elegant jade green body colour, called ‘Frost Jade,’ was applied.  

A wide radiator grille gives a bold first impression, while unique fog lamps and a wide intake hole contribute to a stable image. The harmony among the long hood, sleek daylight opening side window and sloping side character lines complete an understated sporty profile. The voluminous rear bumper, with its two-tone colour, adds a sporty image, while the futuristic full-LED rear combination lamps give it a sophisticated look.

The source of inspiration for the name of this new upcoming strategic model, Mistra, is the beautiful city in the Laconia region of southern Greece where the ruins of the Byzantine Empire is located. Mistra signifies beauty, nobility and mystery. Its Chinese name, Mingtu, signifies integrity and quality, in hopes of presenting customers with a blueprint for a bright and successful future.

The Mistra was designed to meet the diverse needs of the mainstream urban population, providing them with even more comprehensive and diverse choices. Its main target customers are young parents in their 20s and 30s.  

Grand Santa Fe

The Grand Santa Fe, a long-wheelbase, three-row version of Hyundai’s premium SUV, Santa Fe, also made its Chinese debut today. Building on the momentum created by the third-generation Santa Fe, which has been posting strong sales in China since its launch in January this year, the Grand Santa Fe will further enhance Hyundai’s market share in the growing premium SUV segment. The Grand Santa Fe will begin sales in China in the first half of this year.

Based on the design concept of Storm Edge, which is part of Hyundai’s Fluidic Sculpture design philosophy, the side and rear views have been redesigned with a wider quarter glass for more openness. The wider rear view offers stability and poise. It has an overall length of 4,915mm, overall width of 1,885mm, overall height of 1,690mm, and a 2,800mm wheelbase.

The Grand Santa Fe comes with three types of engines. The LambdaⅡ 3.3 GDI and 3.0 GDI engines deliver maximum outputs of 286ps and 264ps, and maximum torque of 34.4kg.m and 31.2kg.m, respectively. Hyundai also offers a 2.2-litre diesel R engine, delivering a maximum output of 197ps, and maximum torque of 44.5kg.m.

The Grand Santa Fe is 225 mm longer than the Santa Fe, giving passengers in the second and third rows more space. The luggage capacity is also increased to 630 litres, an optimal size for family trips. The independent second row seats offer more comfort, while at the same time providing easier access to third row seats.

Fastest Electric car in the world premiers at Shanghai

  • Limited-edition SP:01 is world’s fastest pure-electric production sports car – 155 mph (249 km/h) top speed and 0-62 mph (0-100km/h) in 3.7 seconds
  • SP:01boasts a carbon-fibre body, luxurious and high-tech interior, and range of over 180 miles
  • Customer orders already confirmed

The Shanghai event is the first time that members of the public have been able to view the SP:01’s bold design and innovative EV technologies first-hand.  Since it went on sale in early April, interest in the sports car has been impressive, with 35 orders being placedwithin an hour of the car going on sale.

SP:01 – ‘Pure Electric Excitement’

The new SP:01 was launched under the brand’s mantra of ‘Pure Electric Excitement’ at the company’s headquarters in Detroit on 3 April.  Boasting an impressive 155 mph (249 km/h) top speed and covering the 0-62mph (0-100km/h) sprint in a blistering 3.7 seconds, the SP:01 is the world’s fastest pure-electric production car.

The SP:01’s exceptional performance is owed in large part to its excellent power-to-weight ratio.  The rear-wheel-drive SP:01 features a compact, mid-mounted 201 bhp electric motor (delivering 166 lb ft of torque), a lightweight, purpose-designed battery pack and all-new carbon-fibre bodywork.  Total weight is just 2,354 lb, contributing to the SP:01’s superior driving dynamics and class-leading handling.

The vehicle is based on a strong yet lightweight aluminium platform, and is being launched following a five-year development and road-test programme.  As well as the all-new carbon-fibre bodywork, similar to that used in Formula 1 vehicle chassis, the SP:01 also features specialised performance-tuned suspension, steering and brake systems to provide class-leading ride and handling characteristics.

To deliver instantaneous torque for breath-taking acceleration, the SP:01’s innovative powertrain creates an electromagnetic field around the rotor shaft, which then spins at varying speeds to drive the wheels.  Drivers can select one of four gear ratios for optimal acceleration, but unlike a manual shift in a conventional car, there is little need to change gear regularly to ensure brisk progress.

With an impressive energy storage capacity of 37 kWh, the battery gives the SP:01 a range of almost 190 miles between recharges, when tested to the New European Driving Cycle (NEDC) standard.  Detroit Electric’s home charging unit will enable drivers to charge their SP:01, with full charge achieved in 4.3 hours.  Rigorously tested by Detroit Electric for use in the SP:01, the battery technology also has been deployed successfully in other highly demanding applications, notably in helicopters and submarines.

“The SP:01 will be exclusive, luxurious andtechnologically advanced,” said Albert Lam, Detroit Electric’s Chairman and Group CEO.  “It is a milestone in the history of the Detroit Electric brand, but also a significant development for the international EV sector.  The car will allow us to demonstrate to the world our ability to build an exciting and innovative product, one that displays outstanding performance coupled with strong green credentials, and which delivers an exhilarating driving experience.”

Emotive design

The SP:01’s bespoke bodywork is constructed entirely of carbon-fibre.  Styled by Detroit Electric’s Head of Design, Jerry Chung, the SP:01’s angular lines and muscular stance give the car a bold, imposing design while also optimising aerodynamic efficiency.

The one-piece front panel features a sharply contoured bonnet and angular front fenders with imposing air-intakes to emphasise the car’s power and prowess.  The compact rear light cluster is reminiscent of high-performance American sports cars of the past, while the integrated side cooling ducts enhance the car’s distinctive profile.  To accentuate the SP:01’s pure electric credentials, a transparent inspection window displays the vehicle’s impressive battery technology.

The interior of the vehicle hints at the essence of the Detroit Electric brand by combining luxurious refinement with advanced technology – highlighted through the use of carbon-fibre and specially selected leather finishes.

Unique SAMI infotainment system

The cabin of the SP:01 is packed with innovation, being the first to use smartphone applications to manage the complete in-car infotainment system.  Named ‘SAMI’ (Smartphone Application Managed Infotainment system), SAMI provides access to a wide range of functions, including music player, satellite navigation, interior lighting adjust and vehicle systems status – such as the level of battery charge, range to recharge and other vehicle telemetry.  It can, of course, also be used to make mobile phone calls.

The inspiration does not just stop here.  SAMI can also act as a remote control unit (via GSM), enabling the user to locate the vehicle, turn on the climate control system and check the charge status.

More than just a sports car

“Our research engineers at Detroit Electric have taken steps to break the mould,” adds Mr Lam.  “SP:01 is more than just a sports car, it is a mobile energy unit, allowing the user to use its stored battery energy to power not just the car but even an entire home.  SP:01 is equipped with bi-directional charge and discharge capability, allowing it to release its stored electrical energy to power a home.”

The SP:01’s bi-directional charge and discharge feature is made possible through the patented Detroit Electric home charging and power back-up unit, named ‘360 Powerback’.  It is a smart home-charging and power back-up unit that enables the SP:01’s battery to be charged at the rate of 8 kWh (240V@32A). This smart unit can also detect any power failure of the grid and provide the option to the user – via SAMI and the GSM network – to instruct the vehicle to restore power to the home using its stored energy.

“360 Powerback is the next level of innovation and shows our determination to provide additional value proposition through our EVs, uniquely elevating us from others in the segment,” added Mr Lam.

Power preserved

An all-disc braking system, coupled with ABS (anti-lock braking) and ESP (Electronic Stability Control) is fitted as standard, ensuring excellent stopping power.  But it is the SP:01’s Regenerative Braking technology that sets the car apart, underpinning superb stopping performance while ensuring greater energy efficiency.  The car’s energy recovery mechanism uses the motor as a generator, recovering kinetic energy when acceleration is interrupted and using it to recharge the vehicle’s battery packs, while imitating the retardation characteristics of a gasoline engine.

Production and pedigree

The SP:01 sports car is the first production vehicle to be marketed under the Detroit Electric brand since 1939.  On sale in many of Detroit Electric’s target markets by end of August, the SP:01 will herald a new family of all-electric production cars, including two other high-performance models that will enter production by the end of 2014.

The price of SP:01 starts at around RMB 1,250,000 after  additional  local taxes and duty.

Each SP:01 will come with a three-year, 30,000-mile warranty with an optional extension for the battery to five years and 50,000 miles.

The SP:01 will be produced at the new Detroit Electric production site in Wayne Country, Michigan.  The dedicated facility will have an annual capacity of 2,500 vehicles and create over 180 manufacturing and sales-related jobs over the next year.

The original electric car innovators, Detroit Electric began life in 1906 and established itself as the market leader and most prolific manufacturer of electric cars.  Detroit Electric went on to make some 13,000 vehicles by 1939 and holds the electric vehicle production world record for the twentieth century.