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.

Saturday, 20 July 2013

Ford India sells 30,000 EcoSports in 17 days

  •  Ford India records 30,000 bookings for Ford EcoSport in 17 days
  • Ford EcoSport’s captivating design and smart package draws buyers from different vehicle segments and demographics 
  • Ford dealerships are witnessing a significant surge in footfalls 
Indian consumers have recognized the compelling value proposition the all-new Ford EcoSport offers them, resulting in the SUV attracting over 30,000 bookings in just 17 days of its launch. Having witnessed unprecedented enquiries and growing order bank for the Ford EcoSport, Ford India is working hard to optimize deliveries and reduce the waiting time for delivery.

Joginder Singh, president and managing director, Ford India said, “We had high expectations of  the Ford EcoSport and the unabated response post the launch has been truly gratifying. Consumers are appreciating the value-for-money proposition that we are offering in the EcoSport’s compelling and smart package. We thank our customers for their overwhelming response and appreciate their patience. The Ford India team is working closely with the  suppliers at our Chennai facility to enhance output of the Ecosport to reduce the waiting period and to meet the high demand.”

Ford EcoSport’s unique positioning, combined with its versatile “power of choice” with three engine options available, has been increasingly drawing the attention of consumers from varied demographics and those consider purchasing vehicles of other bodystyles. The Ford EcoSport delivers the feel and dynamics of a car wrapped in an SUV bodystyle and epitomizes Ford India’s product-led transformation.
Since the launch of EcoSport last month, Ford India is experiencing a significant rise in footfalls at dealerships across all regions and most dealerships are witnessing record levels of daily bookings, with enquiries extending to other Ford nameplates as well. Out of the 260 dealer touch points in 138 cities, 40% cover Tier II and III, and these have been in readiness for this overwhelming demand for the Ford EcoSport.

Joginder Singh added, “We are happy to see consumers spending time in our showrooms, wanting to know more about our vehicles and acknowledging the value proposition we have been always offering on our other nameplates also – Ford Figo, Ford Classic, Ford Fiesta and the Ford Endeavour.”   
The Ford EcoSport was launched on June 26, 2013 with its entry-level variant priced at Rs. 5.59 lakh (ex-showroom, New Delhi). Offered in 10 variants across four trims, three engine options in manual and a petrol automatic transmission option, and seven colours, the EcoSport also comes with an array of smart segment-first features like Ford SYNC® and Emergency Assistance.

Ford also offers its globally acclaimed EcoBoost technology with the patented 1.0-litre EcoBoost engine on the all-new Ford EcoSport. The award-winning three-cylinder engine delivers power and performance of a traditional 1.6-litre engine with a class-leading fuel economy of 18.9 km/L. The revolutionary engine has won the ‘International Engine of the Year’ award twice consecutively in 2012 and 2013. Additionally, the SUV is also available with the proven, fuel-economical 1.5-litre petrol engine with twin independent variable camshaft timing delivering 15.8 km/L, and the proven 1.5-litre diesel engine that delivers 22.7 km/L. 

The Ford EcoSport highlights the fruition of Ford’s additional investment of US$ 142 million towards capacity expansion at its integrated manufacturing facility in Chennai -- the home of this urban SUV. The design and technology of this Chennai-built vehicle from Ford’s global platform reflects the evolving tastes and requirements of the Indian consumer.

VW Beetle GSR pricing released, from $30,000

  • Pricing starts at $29,995 for GSR® with manual transmission and $31,095 with the DSG® automatic
  • Classic 1970s Beetle serves as inspiration for the GSR model
  • Limited edition of just 3500 worldwide
  • Leather-trimmed sport seats and unique GSR trim mark out the interior
Volkswagen of America, Inc., announced that pricing of the 2014 Beetle GSR® will start at $29,995 for models equipped with a six-speed manual transmission; the base price for the version equipped with the six-speed DSG dual-clutch automatic is $31,095.

Just 3500 of these striking yellow-and-black GSR models will be built globally. Taking its cue from the GSR (“Yellow Black Racer”) of the 1970s, the new car also has a yellow-and-black color scheme: the body and R-Line® bumpers are finished predominantly in yellow; the hood is mainly black; and the trunklid, roof, and the exterior mirror caps are black. The car has yellow/black stripes with “GSR” lettering above the side skirts and a large rear spoiler to complete the look. The GSR rides on 19-inch “Tornado” aluminum-alloy wheels shod with 235/40 tires and also features black-painted brake calipers.

The GSR has a unique interior with a yellow/black theme, sport seats, and a leather-wrapped sport steering wheel. The black-trimmed leather seating surfaces and high-grip leather-wrapped steering wheel have contrasting yellow stitching. Other interior changes include an R-Line dash pad, a GSR shift lever, a leather-wrapped handbrake lever, and black floormats with contrasting yellow embroidery. A badge on the steering wheel is marked with the special-edition number (1 through 3500) to emphasize the uniqueness of the car.

The new GSR model’s EA888 turbocharged and direct-injection 2.0-liter TSI® engine makes 210 horsepower and 207 pound-feet of torque, enabling the car to accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in just 6.6 seconds and to reach an electronically governed top track speed of 130 mph. Most impressively, the engine delivers peak torque from as low as 1700 rpm, giving smooth, effortless acceleration in all the gears. The GSR comes standard with a six-speed manual transmission, but a dual-clutch DSG six-speed automatic transmission is optional.

Since the GSR is based on the R-Line with Sunroof and Sound with Navigation model, it comes comprehensively equipped with the Fender® Premium Audio System; a panoramic sunroof; the RNS 315® navigation system; Keyless access with push-button start; Bi-Xenon headlights with LED DRLs; LED license-plate lighting; heatable front seats; Bluetooth® connectivity; a Media Device Interface (MDI) with iPod® cable; three-color ambient lighting; aluminum-alloy-look pedals; and three auxiliary instruments that include a clock with a stopwatch function and a boost gauge.

Audi Q5 names as one of the best Luxury SUV's

• Editors hand-picked a selection of first-class SUVs for consumers who crave style, comfort and lavish amenities
• Kbb.com editors admire the 2013 Q5 design as well as the vehicle’s performance and ease

Today, Audi of America announced that the 2013 Audi Q5 was named one of the 10 Best Luxury SUVs of 2013 by Kelley Blue Book www.kbb.com, the leading provider of new car and used car information. Kbb.com editors chose the 2013 Audi Q5 for its combination of richly modern design with dynamics that deftly balance comfort, performance and ease.

“We’re pleased that the Audi Q5 – the best-selling Audi crossover– has received the Kbb.com stamp of approval,” said Mark Del Rosso, Chief Operating Officer, Audi of America. “With June year to date sales up 35.2% compared to last year, it’s clear that consumers are continuing to respond positively to the Audi Q5’s sportiness and sophistication, spaciousness and functionality.”

Admired for its smooth and efficient 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine, the Q5 also was highlighted for its V6 and hybrid variants, giving buyers options that suit their needs. For 2013, the Q5 received a freshened design that includes new unmistakable LED headlamp design, new front grill, bumper and new rear tail lamps and lift gate. The interior received some additional changes that gave the vehicle a richer feel by adding chrome and alu-optic finishes on the window and MMI controls respectively.

The Q5 features an award-winning 3.0T Supercharged engine that delivers 272 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque, or the fuel efficient and powerful 2.0T engine available as the entry to the Q5 model line. The Q5 combines the sports appeal of a sedan with high variability of its interior space and many practical solutions for recreation and everyday driving.

For more information on the 2013 Audi Q5, please visit http://www.audiusa.com/models/audi-q5.

Revolutionary foam blocks unwanted noise in 2014 Jeep Cherokee

  • Revolutionary acoustic foam formula contributes to weight-reduction and fosters sustainability
  • Blocks unwanted cabin noise; enhances all-new Jeep Cherokee driving experience
  • Lower viscosity enables easier application for greater assembly-line efficiency

The 2014 Jeep Cherokee is all-new, inside and out, including a revolutionary body sealer that helps deliver a tranquil driving experience while contributing to weight-reduction, cost-savings and sustainability.

The Toledo Assembly Complex, home to the all-new Jeep Cherokee, features special applicators that inject a unique acoustic foam into strategic locations of the vehicle’s body structure. The foam blocks unwanted noise from entering the vehicle cabin, but because its density is lower than conventional acoustic material, it affords weight savings of up to 1.5 lbs. per vehicle, which contributes to improved fuel economy and better handling.

“At Chrysler Group, we are working on a number of initiatives that further our sustainability efforts while also addressing key product goals, such as on-road refinement combined with off-road ruggedness for the all-new 2014 Jeep Cherokee,” said Bill Hall-Director of Sustainability and Business Continuity. “This new foam not only helps deliver noise reduction and improved fuel efficiency, but its renewable content minimizes the impact on the environment.”

Developed with and supplied by Dow Automotive Systems, BETAFOAM™ Renue features a soy-based product instead of the petroleum normally used in such material. And because its density is lower than that of conventional material, less foam is required to achieve the desired performance, which translates to reduced cost.

The new foam bolsters 10 locations of the Cherokee’s body structure, including the A- and B-pillars and rear wheelwells. Because of its lower viscosity, it also is easier to work with than conventional acoustic material – a decided advantage on the assembly line.

In addition, the new foam affords greater logistical flexibility for the plant because its six-month shelf life is two times longer than that of commonly used foam.

The new foam was first used early this year at Chrysler Group’s Sterling Heights Assembly plant, home to the 2013 Chrysler 200 and Dodge Avenger midsize sedans. Existing equipment was adapted to accommodate the injection process there, whereas the Toledo site features all-new equipment.
Contact Information

The 2014 Chevy Impala receives the highest 5 star safety score.

The 2014 Chevrolet Impala has received the highest possible five-star Overall Vehicle Score for safety as part of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s New Car Assessment Program.

“Safety is a key consideration for all car buyers, and Impala sets a new benchmark for Chevrolet’s flagship sedan,” said Gay Kent, GM general director of Vehicle Safety and Crashworthiness. “The 2014 Chevrolet Impala is designed to provide excellent crash safety, and offers customers several safety technologies not previously available in Chevrolets.”

The redesigned, full-size sedan presents one of the most comprehensive collections of standard and available safety features in the segment. It employs advanced technologies – including radar – to help avoid crashes. Visual and audible alerts, depending on the alert feature, help drivers identify potential crash situations and even intervene when a crash threat appears more imminent. The alerts are designed to identify potential threats with sufficient warning to give the driver time to react and make changes.

The available safety features and benefits include:

  • Full-speed-range adaptive cruise control – Radar technology senses traffic in front of the Impala to adjust vehicle speed, including stopping the vehicle in heavy traffic and accelerating again. It is the first application in a Chevrolet.
  • Crash imminent braking – Another Chevy first: Radar technology detects a possible crash threat and alerts the driver. If the driver does not appear to react quickly enough or doesn’t react at all, this feature intervenes to apply the brakes in an effort to avoid the crash.
  • Forward collision alert – Camera technology detects a possible crash threat and alerts the driver, giving him or her time to stop and/or change course.
  • Lane departure warning – A camera-based lane detection system warns the driver of unsignaled lane changes. The camera, mounted near the inside rearview mirror, identifies traffic lane markings and provides audible alerts.
  • Side blind zone alert – Using radar sensors on both sides of the vehicle, the system “looks” for other vehicles in the blind zone areas of the Impala and indicates their presence with light-emitting diode, or LED-lit symbols in the outside mirrors.
  • Rear cross traffic alert – Based on the radar sensors of side blind zone alert, it warns the driver of vehicles in traffic when backing out of a parking spot – including angled parking. Visual and audible alerts are triggered if moving vehicles are detected.
  • Rear vision camera with dynamic guidelines – With a display in the center stack infotainment system, the camera provides a view of objects directly behind the Impala, while the dynamic guidelines provide a reference that helps make parking and other maneuvers easier.
  • Ultrasonic rear park assist – Uses sensors in the rear bumper to detect objects directly behind the vehicle and alerts the driver.
  • Brake pre-fill feature – To quicken the response time of the brakes and help shorten stopping distances, this features “loads” the brake calipers in anticipation of hard braking by slightly increasing the hydraulic pressure in the brake lines whenever the driver lifts off the accelerator pedal. This feature is included on models equipped with adaptive cruise control and collision mitigation braking.
  • Hill hold/start assist – Applies the brakes for about 1.5 seconds to prevent roll-back when the driver moves his or her foot from the brake to the accelerator pedal.

The advanced, crash-avoidance technologies complement the Impala’s occupant protection features, including 10 standard air bags:

  • Dual-stage frontal passenger air bags with passenger sensing system
  • Driver and front passenger side-impact air bags
  • Driver and front passenger knee air bags
  • Rear outboard side-impact air bags
  • Head curtain air bags with rollover sensing for front and rear outboard positions
  • Safety belt pretensioners
  • Child seat restraint system.
  • Impala also employs systems that enable greater vehicle control, including standard StabiliTrak electronic stability control system, all-speed traction control, four-wheel disc brakes with four-channel antilock brakes and electronic brake force distribution, which ensures optimal braking force at both axles for maximum stability under heavy braking.

OnStar is standard. It uses GPS and cellular phone technology to automatically call for help in the event of crash. OnStar service also includes MyLink mobile apps, which offer vehicle information and OnStar services via the customer’s smartphone.

Infiniti announces US pricing for QX60 and QX70

Infiniti today announced U.S. pricing on the 2014 Infiniti QX70 and QX60, which are on sale now at Infiniti dealers nationwide. Starting Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Prices (MSRP)* for the QX70 (formerly known as the Infiniti FX) remain unchanged from the 2013 models, while prices for the QX60 (formerly known as the Infiniti JX) increase just $300 USD.

2014 Infiniti QX70
Infiniti’s iconic performance crossover embodies all things Infiniti – premium design and craftsmanship, relevant performance, innovative technology and unrivalled Japanese hospitality. That continues in the 2014 model year with a range of three well-equipped QX70 models that once again prove that luxury doesn’t have to be dull – in look, interior indulgences or the driving experience.

The Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Prices (MSRP)* for the 2014 Infiniti QX70 are:

2014 Infiniti QX60
The popular Infiniti QX60 luxury crossover receives a new Hybrid powertrain later in the 2014 model year. It will be available in two models – QX60 Hybrid and QX60 Hybrid Premium in FWD and AWD configurations. Pricing for QX60 Hybrid models will be announced at a later date.

A number of other enhancements are offered for 2014 QX60 3.5-liter models, including splitting the previous Premium Package into Premium and Premium Plus Packages and the addition of power up-folding 3rd row seats to the Deluxe Touring Package. An auto-dimming inside mirror with HomeLink® Universal Transceiver is now standard on all models. The Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Prices (MSRP)* for the 2014 Infiniti QX60 are:

For full information on the 2014 Infiniti QX70 and QX60, please go to InfinitiNews.com.

Three new MINI Concepts, time to relax and chill !

The trio each reflect different aspects of the rise in popularity of camping and festivals, creating a choice of premium home-from-home options for the enthusiastic traveller.

  • The MINI Clubvan Camper is the world’s smallest luxury camper van, packed with practical solutions that make it ideal accommodation for an individual on a weekend away.
  • The MINI Cowley is a compact yet comfortable caravan for two people, equipped with a twin-ring gas stove, fridge and sink.
  • The MINI Countryman ALL4 Camp with its innovative roof-top tent is the getaway car for an adventurous couple, evoking images of African safari and expedition vehicles.
  • All three models have been styled with MINI’s much-loved design cues to the fore. They display the character and fun personality which motorists have come to associate with MINI, and which have made the brand such a global success.

The cars have been developed around the ‘maximum touring pleasure with minimal footprint’ philosophy, and illustrate the principle of creative space utilisation for which MINI is renowned.

They have been created as concept vehicles to showcase the depth of the MINI range, as well as the creativity and skill within the company’s design and engineering staff. There are no plans to offer them as production vehicles at this stage.

The MINI Clubvan Camper: good things come in small packages

The freedom of the open road, a dynamic driving experience and everything you need with you – the MINI Clubvan Camper has it all.

It’s arguably the world's smallest luxury camper van, a MINI Clubvan which has been transformed into a versatile home on wheels. Behind the solid side windows there is a spacious sleeping berth for one person, plus a small, extendible kitchenette complete with propane stove and chest fridge.

On-board facilities includes the MINI Navigation Portable XL sat-nav, which will help drivers find their way to the most remote spots. If the weather is unkind a television can provide entertainment and chilly mornings can be made more comfortable thanks to an auxiliary heater.

A particular highlight is the Clubvan Camper’s roof. The small glass panel can be opened for ventilation or star-gazing, while the storage rack above means owners can travel with equipment for outdoor pursuits.

Hygiene is always a key part of any weekend away and MINI’s ingenious design engineers have even got that covered. The Camper’s generous specification also includes an integrated hand-held shower, with a water tank housed underneath the load floor.

The MINI Cowley: a new style benchmark in compact towing

The pleasure that millions of caravanners around the world enjoy is the ability to stop and stay anyway in comfort and safety. Now it’s possible to do that MINI-style with the Cowley caravan.

The compact tourer has been named after the historic factory – today known as Plant Oxford – which is home to much of the current MINI range. It was also where the classic BMC/Austin Mini was built and is this year celebrating a centenary of car manufacturing.

The Cowley caravan is a luxurious overnight solution and all the mod cons are fitted, including two comfortable sleeping berths, a twin-burner gas stove and a water tank complete with pump and sink facility. A solar module charges the on-board battery and there’s a 230-volt connection to power the fridge, TV/DVD and audio equipment.

Styled with typical MINI flair, the teardrop-shaped trailer is a genuine head-turner. In silhouette it’s reminiscent of the curved lines of the MINI panels, and the doors have sliding windows on both sides – a standard feature in the classic Mini up to 1969. The sumptuously trimmed veehicle is only 12 centimetres wider than a MINI Clubman including exterior mirrors and weighs just under 300 kg.

With exceptional manoeuvrability, the MINI Cowley ensures that the hallmark MINI driving fun can still be enjoyed while towing, irrespective of the distance travelled.

The MINI Countryman ALL4 Camp: safari-style accommodation for the adventurous spirit

Finding overnight accommodation can be a real headache, especially for drivers who have taken a spontaneous trip to a festival or beach. But there’s no need to worry about finding the perfect place to bed down when travelling in this MINI. Even when completely off the beaten track, all the owner has to do is head upstairs.

The innovative roof-top tent is showcased above a MINI Countryman which, thanks to its intelligent all-wheel drive system ALL4, is well-suited to travelling over rough terrain. But this simple and practical sleeping solution can easily be mounted on a MINI or MINI Clubman. The upper half of the tent is simply folded out of its storage box. Plump up the pillows and two occupants are ready to relax, then wake up to a perfect view of the ocean, mountain or valley.

How about an early morning ride out to buy breakfast? It’s easily done because a mountain bike can be easily transported on the specially fitted bicycle rack.

The roof-top tent quickly folds away into its box when it’s not needed. The exterior has been painted in Absolute Black metallic with white stripes to match the car beneath.

Dacia Duster Black Edition available for UK customers to order now

  • Dacia Duster Black Edition available for UK customers to order now
  • One-off special edition smart-buy SUV released to celebrate July’s Goodwood Festival of Speed
  • Award-winning SUV comes with meaner, more sporty look and is packed with extras

The ‘shockingly affordable’ Dacia Duster is now available in a Goodwood Festival of Speed special Black Edition.

Having taken the UK by storm since arriving at the start of this year, with over 4,000 orders to date already, the award-winning smart-buy SUV now looks even meaner for the price.

The Dacia Duster Ambiance dCi 110 4x2 Black Edition is loaded with extras, including a striking brushed black vinyl wrap finish, luxurious ash leather interior, hi-tech Kenwood media system and stylish 18” alloy wheels.  The media system includes a 6” high resolution screen, Garmin satellite navigation with TMC traffic information, DAB, Bluetooth with hands-free calling, ipod connectivity, DVD playback and rear USB connection.

With an on-the-road price of just £17,575, the Romanian SUV continues to blow the competition away when it comes to value for money.

The Black Edition was a one-off creation released to celebrate the historic Goodwood Festival of Speed – the largest car culture event in the world held in July.  Overwhelming interest at the event has resulted in the car now being available to be ordered by UK customers with first deliveries from October.

Phil York, Dacia’s UK Marketing Director, said: “The Dacia Duster Black Edition is a mean, more upmarket version of what is already a great selling vehicle. I challenge anybody to drive home such a great looking SUV, with or without 4x4, with so much kit for anywhere near the money.”

Already the nation’s “most affordable SUV” by a mile, Dacia Duster is also winning over more fans after being hailed one of its least depreciating new cars.

Dacia, a subsidiary of the French carmaker Renault, has made an enemy of the unnecessary and makes a simple range of cleverly designed, high quality vehicles which unashamedly favour function over frivolity. Its jaw-dropping prices are clear and straightforward, whether you buy online at the Dacia Store on www.dacia.co.uk or through its nationwide retailer network.

Dacia only launched officially in the UK in January 2013, but has already cleaned up nine major awards, including a hat-trick of trophies at the carbuyer.co.uk 2013 awards, including Car of Year and 4x4 of the Year, plus Scottish Car of the Year for Duster, and Best Supermini under £12,000 for Sandero with What Car?.

2013 Which? Car Survey reveals that Mazda MX-5 is UK’s most reliable new sportscar

  • 2013 Which? Car Survey reveals that Mazda MX-5 is UK’s most reliable new sportscar
  • Mazda MX-5 praised by magazine as the ‘automotive equivalent of a double espresso’
  • Mazda3, Mazda6 Estate and Mazda2 score more than 90 percent for reliability

The Mazda MX-5 has been named as ‘Britain’s most reliable new sportscar’ in the 2013 Which? Car Survey – the biggest survey of car satisfaction and reliability conducted in the UK.

Achieving a reliability score of 97.4 percent (for models up to three years old) and 91.1 percent (models over three years old) the Mazda MX-5 beat a host of rivals to claim first and second places in the age-related categories – while earning high praise from the Which? editorial team.

“For a sportscar that will last for years and won’t cost a fortune in repairs, head to your local Mazda garage.  The MX-5 has the lowest number of faults and no annual repair costs in the first three years,” states Which?

For MX-5 models between 1998-2005 the magazine comments: “The Mazda MX-5 is the automotive equivalent of a double espresso.  Near-telepathic steering and handling make other cars (even some sportscars) feel woolly and dull by comparison.  You can pick-up a decent used MX-5 for just £1,500.  We suggest you do.”

Demonstrating the excellent reliability for which the Mazda brand is famed, other Mazda models also scored well in the Which? survey.  Mazda3 was rated as 91.9 percent reliable and topped the table for medium cars (over three years old), generating the comment: “The Mazda3 costs owners less in annual repair bills than the majority of new cars that are still within their three-year warranty period.”

The Mazda6 Estate placed second in the Estate cars (up to three years old) category scoring 97.2 percent, while the Mazda2 ranked fifth among Superminis with a 96.4 percent score.

Overall, the Mazda brand was ranked by the Which? team as equal-ninth out of 31 alongside Volkswagen in its Best Car Brands section, which merges the staff’s road-test opinions with the Car Survey results. The magazine stated: “It looks like you can’t go wrong if you buy a new Mazda.”

Jeremy Thomson, Mazda UK managing director, commented: “The 2013 Which? Car Survey findings are a wonderful endorsement of our products and our brand.  I’m sure that our all-new Mazda6 and Mazda CX-5 compact SUV with their innovative SKYACTIV technology will claim top rankings in future Which? surveys.  Meanwhile the iconic MX-5 is still winning friends more than two decades after its introduction, recently being nominated as ‘Best Convertible‘ by Carsite.co.uk and earning the title ‘Most Popular Roadster‘ in the Honest John Awards earlier this year.“

Compiled annually, the 2013 Which? Car Survey was based on information supplied by more than 47,000 drivers relating to over 57,000 cars.

Limited edition Mégane Renaultsport Red Bull Racing RB8 on sale now

  • Limited edition Mégane Renaultsport Red Bull Racing RB8 on sale now, priced £28,245 on-the-road
  • Only 30 of the cars celebrating Renault and Red Bull Racing’s third Formula 1 Constructors’ world title available in the UK
  • New flagship hot hatch inspired by Red Bull Racing’s Formula 1 identity with exclusive Twilight Blue finish and Platinum detailing
  • Additional equipment includes Red Bull Racing branding, Recaro front seats, R-Link Multimedia system and TomTom Live navigation system, Bridgestone Potenza RE050A tyres (from the 265 Trophy), plus the latest on-board Renaultsport Monitor v2.0

The Mégane Renaultsport is already hailed by many as the ultimate hot hatch, so the arrival of a new Formula One inspired and Red Bull Racing-branded limited edition is set to ensure it flies even more than the standard model.

The Formula 1 World Championship winning partners have again joined forces by making just 30 Mégane Renaultsport Red Bull Racing RB8s available to the UK market, priced at £28,245 on-the-road.

The flagship Mégane Renaultsport takes its inspiration from Red Bull Racing’s Formula 1 identity, featuring an exclusive Twilight Blue finish with Platinum Grey detail.

Packed with cutting edge technology, the only thing missing is wings. The striking hot hatch includes Recaro seats, R-Link Multimedia system and TomTom Live navigation system, Bridgestone Potenza RE050A tyres, plus the latest on-board Renaultsport Monitor v2.0.

The exciting opportunity to own just one of 30 destined for the UK follows hot on the heels of the first images and details of Renault’s 2014 Formula One engine, the 1.6-litre V6 turbocharged Energy F1-2014, unveiled at the Paris Air Show.

Renault and Red Bull Racing this year celebrated their third Formula 1 Constructors’ world title and the new Mégane looks another sure-fire winner.

The exclusive Twilight Blue finish takes its inspiration directly from the race team’s famous colours, while Red Bull Racing graphics at the rear and on the sides are further tell-tale hallmarks of this limited edition car. In addition to its sporty credentials, it stands out as particularly elegant, too, thanks to exterior Platinum details (F1 blade, door handles, door mirror housing and rear lip spoiler) which contrast with the striking Twilight Blue paintwork. Last but not least, a monochrome laurel on the rear side windows celebrates the team’s 2012 Constructors’ world title.

Inside, the new limited edition version comes with a number of exclusive features, including Red Bull Racing branding on the numbered aluminium kickplates and carpet mats. The same logo appears on the headrests of the Recaro front seats which are trimmed in a new leather/fabric upholstery.

Looking to break records? Mégane Renaultsport Red Bull Racing RB8 is shod as standard with the same Cup chassis and Bridgestone tyres that helped Mégane Renaultsport 265 Trophy to establish a new lap record for the Nürburgring. These high-performance tyres are fitted to exclusive 19-inch gloss black ‘Steev’ alloy wheels with platinum coloured rims.

Advanced on-board technology : Renault R-Link and Renaultsport Monitor v2.0

This limited edition version marks the availability of the built-in, connected R-Link multimedia tablet for the Mégane Renaultsport range. The system’s six functions (navigation, telephony, multimedia, vehicle information, system settings and R-Link Store applications catalogue) are controlled using either the touch screen display, the voice command function or the joystick situated on the centre console.

Along with R-Link, there is now also the latest version of Renaultsport Monitor which fans of sporty driving will particularly appreciate. Owners will no longer need to choose between using the navigation or on-board telemetry systems thanks to the fact that the TomTom Live navigation system is built-in.

New for Renaultsport Monitor 2.0:

A new, more user-friendly and intuitive interface which uses R-Link’s seven-inch colour display

  • GPS tracked lap timing
  • Special Red Bull Racing home page
  • Certain information displayed in 3D form
  • Data can be saved on a USB stick
  • Plus the usual real-time access to power output data, 0-62 mph times, G-Force diagram, etc.
  • A Mégane Renaultsport first and foremost

The limited edition version packs the same fundamental features as Mégane Renaultsport 265 Cup, including stiffer springs, dampers and anti-roll bar, a limited slip differential, grooved discs with red Brembo front callipers and the potent two-litre-turbocharged 265hp engine with Stop&Start and trademark Renaultsport technologies.

Visit www.renault.co.uk for more information and to order now.

Kia's Zilina factory at full capacity for first time.

  • Zilina manufactured 158,900 vehicles from January to June 2013
  • Output represents six per cent growth for the first half of 2013
  • Kia Slovakia is currently at full production capacity for the first time in its history
Kia Motors Slovakia recorded a six per cent year-on-year increase in output, producing 158,900 cars at its
Zilina, Slovakia facility during the first half of 2013. The company started production of the all-new Kia pro_cee’d three-door model in February, followed by the higher performance Kia pro_cee’d GT and five-door Kia cee’d GT models at the end of May.  The plant is now operating at full production capacity for the first time ever.

Kia Motors Slovakia also produced more than 253,200 petrol and diesel engines for the first six months of 2013, a 6.7 per cent increase over the same period last year.

Eek-hee Lee, President and CEO of Kia Motors Slovakia said; "Despite the less than favourable situation in some markets, European customers still appreciate Kia’s offer that combines top quality, attractive design and great value for money.

“That has enabled us to achieve a six per cent year-on-year production increase, with almost 160,000 cars manufactured in the first half of the year.  We believe that the new models launched this year will support us remaining at full production capacity,” he added.

Kia’s Zilina facility produces the second-generation Kia cee’d, the Kia Sportage sport utility vehicle, and the practical B-segment MPV, the Kia Venga.  Kia Sportage accounted for almost 48 per cent of the overall production output in the first half of 2013.  The remainder 42 per cent is made up of the Kia cee'd models, while the Kia Venga represents 10 per cent of production.  Most of these cars were exported to Russia (24 per cent), the UK (14 per cent), Germany (nine per cent), France (five per cent) and Italy (five per cent).  Almost one per cent of output is sold in Slovakia.

In the first half of 2013, Kia also manufactured 133,100 petrol engines (53 per cent of total engine output), the most popular variant being the 1.6-litre GDi petrol engine, and over 120,100 diesel engines (47 per cent).  Of total engine production output, 47 per cent was supplied to sister company, Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Czech, in the Czech Republic.

Thursday, 18 July 2013

Audi A3 number three million

Incredible success of Audi premium compact hatchback is highlighted by three millionth example to leave the line in Ingolstadt

  • Audi A3 number three million – a Sportback 2.0 TDI quattro – left the production line in Ingolstadt, Germany this week
  • Pioneer of the premium compact hatchback class started life 17 years ago and is now in its third generation
  • Latest, all-new car is the first to be available in saloon form

17 years of enduring global appeal have just culminated in the production of the three-millionth Audi A3, the car which in 1996 stole a march on the German prestige ‘establishment’ by spearheading the creation of the now flourishing premium compact class. Car number three million is a 2.0 TDI quattro version in five-door Sportback form, one of three attractive body styles currently available in the all-new, third generation A3 range, which for the first time also includes a four-door saloon option. More variants are set to follow.

“Three million automobiles in the compact class is quite a performance,” said Dr. Frank Dreves, Board of Management Member for Production at AUDI AG. “This success is backed by a strong team and an efficient production system. With the Audi A3, we have created a new brand segment – we have been setting standards in the compact class with innovative technology and first-class quality for 17 years now.”

In 2012, Audi produced a total of 152,993 A3 series cars at its plant in Ingolstadt, Germany. This total included A3 and A3 Sportback models, as well as S derivatives. The new Audi A3 Sportback, launched in 2013, has accounted for the highest proportion of this production volume: Each day, about 700 examples of this immensely popular variant roll off the assembly line.

Approximately 913,000 examples of the first Audi A3 were sold. That worldwide success continued with the second generation (2003-2013), which underscored the Vorsprung durch Technik brand’s domination of this segment in terms of technology and quality. Nearly two million of these second generation cars were delivered to customers.

In late 2012, the completely new third generation car made its debut, and again set new benchmarks for quality, build integrity and technological sophistication at this level. Last month, the new A3 Saloon joined the three-door and Sportback variants, and later this year the new 300PS S3 and S3 Sportback will make their UK debuts, followed in early 2014 by the S3 Saloon.

All three A3 ranges offer a choice of exceptionally efficient, highly refined engines, including the 1.4 TFSI with Cylinder-on-Demand technology and 60.1mpg potential and the 1.6 TDI which pares CO2 output back to 99g/km. They combine these with fit, finish and equipment worthy of an executive class car, and also offer the opportunity to upgrade with sophisticated options such as Audi magnetic ride damper control, a ‘hands-free’ parking assistant, swivelling adaptive cornering lights, a 705-watt Bang & Olufsen audio system, MMI touch fingertip data entry and Audi connect, bringing internet-based services to the car. In the near future, high-tech all-LED headlights will also be added to this list as an alternative to the more familiar xenon units.

Next year the A3 range will also embrace the future with its first hybrid variant – the petrol-electric A3 e-tron, capable of covering up to 188mpg while emitting as little as 35g/km of CO2 (according to the NEDC test). In the meantime, prices for the existing A3 range start from £18,280 and rise to £29,160, with the S3 and S3 Sportback priced at £30,640 and £31,260.