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, 22 September 2013

Great news, SAAB is back, test vehicles have been produced.

Saab's new owner, National Electric Vehicle Sweden (NEVS), has built two Saab 9-3 test cars at the brand's Trollhattan assembly plant in Sweden ahead of a production launch later this year.
The vehicles, which left the production line on Wednesday, are the first Saabs to be built at the plant since it closed in April 2011 ahead of the automaker filing for bankruptcy eight months later.
NEVS say the cars are primarily intended to assist in calibrating production line systems and to test new components ahead of full production.

"Prior to our decision to start production of Saab cars, we need to finalize a few remaining dialogues to build partnerships with suppliers. We now know that the plant is ready for production," Mattias Bergman, acting president of NEVS, said in a statement on Wednesday.
NEVS plans to start output of the 9-3 powered by a gasoline turbocharged engine later this year. The model will be very similar to last Saab produced in 2011, Mikael Oestlund, a spokesman for NEVS, told Automotive News Europe.
An electric variant planned for production in 2014 will feature a new face-lifted exterior, Oestlund said.
Future Saab cars will not have the distinctive griffin head badge seen on previous Saabs after NEVS failed to acquire the rights to use the badge when it bought Saab out of bankruptcy last August.

Former owner Spyker, which bought Saab from General Motors, failed to revive the brand after trying unsuccessfully to arrange several deals with Chinese investors.
Phoenix architecture
NEVS has said previously it also plans to build cars based on the Phoenix architecture developed by Saab before the automaker went bankrupt. The platform will have to be modified to remove the 20 percent of parts sourced from GM.
The company plans to build 120,000 units of the 9-3 a year by 2016, according to a report by Bloomberg in January. That target would come close to the brand's 2006 peak of 133,000 autos.
NEVS says the 9-3 will be sold in Europe and China initially with U.S. sales possible later.

Heritage design continues to prove the Toyota FJ is a hit with buyers

  • Heritage Design Combines With Trail-Proven Off-Road Performance
  • 260-HP V6 And Choice Of Manual Or Automatic Transmissions
  • Two 4WD Systems Offered

With its unique combination of off-road heritage, capability and design, the Toyota FJ Cruiser maintains a loyal following. Fully capable of traversing California’s famed Rubicon Trail, the FJ Cruiser is also well suited for everyday driving, offering plenty of utility for all types of activities.
The FJ Cruiser borrows design cues from Toyota’s famed FJ40 4x4 utility vehicle, sold in the U.S. from 1960 to 1983 and now sought after by collectors. The thoroughly modern FJ Cruiser updates the classic theme in a contemporary way. The front grille with two round, five-inch headlights recalls the FJ40’s frontal styling, and other heritage design cues include the hood and fender contours and a rear-mounted and exposed full-size spare tire with an off-center license plate mount.
The FJ Cruiser design offers plenty of functionality. The side access doors open 90 degrees in clamshell fashion for easy rear-seat ingress and egress. A swing-up glass hatch is incorporated into the side-hinged tailgate, opening independently and also useful for accommodating longer items.
The angular wheel arches open to provide maximum clearance for the FJ Cruiser’s large 32-inch tires at full suspension deflection. The arches are edged by flexible fender flares that resist damage during trail driving and also from opening doors of adjacent parked vehicles. Three wiper arms provide nearly complete coverage of the wide windshield. FJ’s elevated air intake and protected electrical components can keep out water up to 28 inches deep.

Once again, there will be a special edition Trail Teams Package FJ Cruiser, which will be available early next year.  Details will be released at a later date.

Performance and Efficiency
The Toyota FJ Cruiser is powered by a DOHC, 4.0-liter V6 engine that specifies regular-grade fuel. This powerful, responsive V6 incorporates dual independent Variable Valve Timing with intelligence, (variable phasing for both the intake and exhaust cams) and produces 260 horsepower and 271 lb.-ft. of peak torque. The broad torque curve facilitates easy cruising on or off-road. The FJ Cruiser meets the stringent LEV II/Tier 2 Bin 5 emissions certification.
The 2014 FJ Cruiser is available in 4x2 or 4x4 configurations. The 4x2 model is equipped exclusively with an electronically controlled five-speed automatic transmission, while the 4x4 model offers the choice between a six-speed manual transmission and five-speed automatic. The automatic transmission varies the shifting pattern based on road conditions and driver input.
A Flex Lock-Up feature allows the clutch in the torque converter to maintain a half-engaged position, enhancing fuel efficiency and increasing the lock-up clutch's operational range. The driver can manually shift the automatic transmission using a console-mounted, gate-type shift lever. The gearshift position is also displayed in the instrument panel.

With the optional Class Four receiver hitch, the FJ Cruiser can tow up to 4,700 pounds (per SAE J2807 standards), enough to take the fun with you, such as a pair of watercraft, a powerboat, dirt bikes or even a racecar.

Capability, Handling and Ride
With the 4x4, each transmission is teamed to a different type of 4WD system, each of which is also equipped with a two-speed transfer case with a 2.566 low range. With the manual transmission, the transfer case uses a TORSEN® limited-slip center differential for full-time 4WD with a locking feature. The differential distributes the engine’s power 40:60 under most driving conditions. The TORSEN unit varies power distribution as needed, based on steering angle and wheel slippage. In the Lock position, the differential switches to a 50:50 power distribution.
The 4x4 FJ Cruiser with the automatic transmission employs a part-time four-wheel drive system with a 3.727:1 rear differential ratio and provides a 33.76:1 crawl ratio. With the manual transmission, the front and rear differential ratio is a lower 3.909:1 for a crawl ratio of 41.84:1, an attribute that helps the FJ Cruiser traverse some of the toughest trails in America.
An electronic-locking rear differential is standard with the manual transmission and optional with the automatic transmission. The ring gears in the 4x4 FJ Cruiser’s front and rear differentials measure eight inches. The 4x2 model comes standard with a virtual automatic limited-slip differential, provided and operated by an advanced traction-control system to enhance traction of both rear wheels in slippery driving conditions.

Toyota engineered the FJ Cruiser for serious trail driving capability. Its tough, wide stance is based on a boxed steel ladder-braced frame to which the welded steel body is mounted. Skid plates for the engine, transfer case (4x4 models only) and fuel tank are standard. Double-wishbone independent front suspension offers 7.87 inches of wheel travel for outstanding suspension articulation. Its geometry is optimized for excellent road feel and ride comfort.
The solid rear axle uses a four-link coil-spring suspension system with a lateral rod, tubular shock absorbers and a stabilizer bar and provides 9.1 inches of wheel travel. The four-wheel disc brake system uses ventilated 12.6-inch front and 12.3-inch rear rotors. The FJ Cruiser employs a variable-ratio, hydraulically assisted rack-and-pinion steering system. Standard wheels are 17-inch steel with P265/70 R17 tires; aluminum-alloy wheels are available.
With the FJ Cruiser's standard 32-inch tall tires, ground clearance is 9.6 inches (8.7 inches for 4x2 models). Approach and departure angles are 34 degrees and 31 degrees, respectively, for the 4x4 model, and 32/30 for the 4x2.

The FJ Cruiser’s comprehensive standard safety package includes front seat-mounted side airbags and first- and second-row roll-sensing side curtain airbags. A front driver and passenger Advanced Airbag System deploys based on impact type and severity.
Additionally, the FJ Cruiser is equipped with active headrests for the front seats. In certain rear collisions, a cable-actuated mechanism in the active headrest moves the headrest upward and forward to help limit the movement of the occupant's head. The LATCH child-restraint system secures child seats.
As with all Toyota models, the FJ Cruiser is standard equipped with Toyota's STAR Safety System™ that includes Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), Traction Control (TRAC), an Antilock Brake System (ABS), Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD), Brake Assist (BA) and Smart Stop Technology (SST), Toyota’s brake override system. When roll-sensing side-curtain airbags detect a potential rollover, it signals the VSC system to help reduce a lateral skid. In addition, the rollover sensor is designed to signal the standard seat-mounted side airbags and side curtain airbags to deploy.

Interior Designed for Comfort and Rugged Adventure
The FJ Cruiser's interior combines a heritage-inspired design with the comfort and convenience of a modern Toyota SUV. Large control knobs provide easy grip, even when wearing gloves. Switches for major functions, including climate and audio controls, and the optional locking rear differential, are mounted in the center dash panel within easy reach for the driver.
The driver’s seat is eight-way adjustable, while the front passenger seat offers four-way adjustment. Seating materials are not only water-repellant, but also provide excellent ventilation. The seating fabric is backed by a special breathable resin coating, which helps it to shed liquids and make cleanup easier. Even the stitched seams of the seat covers are treated with sealant to prevent liquids from penetrating. The FJ Cruiser's floor surfaces are covered with an easy-to-clean rubber-like material.

The rear seatback is split 60/40, with folding (removable) bottom and back cushions that convert to a nearly flat cargo floor. The rear cargo area is equipped with cargo-net hooks, multipurpose grocery-bag hooks and sturdy, floor-mounted cargo tie-down anchor points. A 120-volt accessory power outlet is available.

Toyota Value
The FJ Cruiser’s long list of standard features includes air conditioning, power windows and door locks, water-resistant seats, tilt steering wheel, four cup holders and two bottle holders, rear-window defogger, rear-door-mounted full-size spare tire, front- and rear-tow hooks, and mudguards.
The standard audio system in the 2014 FJ Cruiser includes an AM/FM CD player with MP3/WMA playback capability, six speakers, SiriusXM  Radio (includes 90-day trial subscription), auxiliary audio jack, USB port with iPod® connectivity, plus hands-free phone capability and music streaming via Bluetooth® wireless technology. The steering wheel integrates audio system and Bluetooth controls.

The 2014 FJ Cruiser offers two main option packages. The Convenience Package equips the vehicle with a remote keyless entry system, cruise control, power outside mirrors with illuminated markers, rear wiper, exterior spare tire cover and privacy glass on rear side, quarter, and rear door windows.
Adding the Upgrade Package expands the FJ Cruiser’s off-road prowess and its comfort. The package includes 17-in. alloy wheels with P265/70R17 tires, Active Traction Control (A-TRAC) (4x4 models only), electronically controlled locking rear differential, 115V/400-watt AC power outlet, JBL® AM/FM 6-disc CD changer with 11 speakers in seven locations including subwoofer, leather-trimmed steering wheel, exterior color-keyed door trim inserts, floating-ball Multi-Information Display with inclinometer, compass, and outside temperature, shift and transfer levers with silver accents (automatic transmissions only, transfer lever on 4x4 model only), and rear parking assist sonar.
Toyota dealers offer a catalog of available accessories, including auxiliary driving lights, rock rails, roof rack, brush guard, taillight guards, sport exhaust system, receiver hitch and harness, wind deflector with off-road lights, a cargo mat and all-weather or carpeted floor mats.

All features are standard on the 2014 Toyota Land Cruiser

  • All Features Standard in This Premium-Luxury Vehicle.
  • Seating For Up to Eight.
  • 381-hp V8 and 8,500-lb. towing capacity.
  • Advanced Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System
A constant in Toyota’s U.S. model lineup for more than 50 years, the Land Cruiser has evolved from a simple off-road utility vehicle into a premium-luxury, full-capability SUV with seating for up to eight and advanced chassis systems. A rare combination of power, room, towing capacity and Toyota reliability explain the Land Cruiser’s extremely loyal following.
The Land Cruiser received exterior and interior design enhancements for 2013 and made all previously optional features standard. The customer has only to select exterior and interior colors.
Land Cruiser’s 5.7-liter V8 DOHC engine produces 381 horsepower at 5,600 rpm and 401 lb-ft of torque at 3,600 rpm. With 90-percent of peak torque available at just 2,200 rpm, the engine makes the Land Cruiser an outstanding tow vehicle. Towing capacity is 8,500 pounds. The Land Cruiser uses regular-grade (87 AKI) gasoline and is ULEV-II certified.

The engine’s advanced dual independent Variable Valve Timing with intelligence (VVT-i) system controls valve timing and overlap on both the intake and exhaust valves. An Acoustic Control Induction System (ACIS) switches the length of the intake tract in two stages, based on RPM and throttle angle, to optimize torque across the engine speed range. A water-cooled oil cooler helps control oil temperature while towing.

The six-speed automatic transmission is designed to handle high torque while performing with luxurious smoothness. The transmission’s control unit estimates road conditions to select the appropriate gear ratio for the vehicle’s speed and driving conditions. A sequential shift mode allows the driver to select gears manually.

Capability, Handling and Ride
The Land Cruiser’s body-on-frame construction provides rugged durability in extreme driving conditions, plus impressive ride isolation characteristics. The front of the frame features a three-stage crush structure, so in the case of frontal impact, frame damage to other areas of the vehicle is minimized. Underbody panels are designed to protect the engine and transmission and to help the vehicle traverse rocky terrain smoothly. These underbody panels also smooth the airflow under the vehicle to help minimize drag and turbulence.
The high-mount double-wishbone front-suspension provides a high level of off-road driving capability and suspension articulation while maintaining outstanding on-road driving comfort. Approach and departure angles are 30 degrees and 20 degrees, respectively. At the rear, the reliable and proven four-link, coil-spring with lateral-rod format provides a long suspension stroke.
A key to Land Cruiser’s uncanny combination of off-road capability and on-road ride comfort is found in the Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System (KDSS), which hydraulically adjusts the lean resistance provided by the front and rear stabilizer bars.
Using hydraulic cylinders acting on each stabilizer bar, linked by a pressure-sensing valve, KDSS reduces the degree of sway stiffness provided by the stabilizer bars in response to changing road conditions and driver inputs. In off-road driving situations, KDSS allows the wheels on each axle to move with a larger degree of side-to-side independence, helping to minimize any tendency for wheel lift. During on-pavement cornering, when both front and rear cylinders are compressed, no fluid is flowing in the system, and the stabilizer bars work conventionally to help reduce body lean by as much as 50 percent.

High-Capability 4WD and More Control in the Driver’s Hands
The Land Cruiser is equipped as standard with a highly capable full-time four-wheel drive system, supported by an array of advanced chassis control technologies, to enable travel over rugged trails.
The lightweight, compact transfer case provides full-time four-wheel drive with a low-range 2.618:1 ratio for traversing challenging driving surfaces, such as steep inclines. A TORSEN® limited-slip locking center differential distributes power 40:60 front-to-rear, directing more power to the wheels with the best grip should slippage occur. Traction control (TRAC) employs both brake and throttle intervention to help control wheel spin. Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), with a cut-off switch, helps maintain directional control during cornering.
With the Land Cruiser’s Multi-terrain Select system, the driver can select the terrain and the system will control wheel slip to match the terrain. In loose terrain such as mud and sand, more-than-normal wheel slip is permitted, allowing wheel-spin to work in the vehicle’s favor. On bumpy moguls, or solid rock, wheel slip is minimized and the system acts more like a limited slip differential. The Mogul setting is for any extremely uneven terrain, such as V-ditches, slopes, and ridges, uphill or down.
A five-setting CRAWL Control with an Off-Road Turn Assist feature helps make traversing difficult terrain easier. With the transfer case shifted into low range, CRAWL Control regulates engine speed and output, along with braking force, to propel the vehicle forward or reverse at one of five driver-selectable low-speed settings. With CRAWL operating, the driver can then maintain focus on steering over extremely rough level ground or steep grades, without having to modulate the throttle or brake pedals.
The Off-Road Turn Assist feature applies slight brake pressure to the inside rear wheel, creating a pivot point and helping the vehicle make tighter turns when maneuvering through tight quarters on rugged terrain.
Downhill Assist Control (DAC) is designed to augment the low-speed descending ability of low-range by helping to hold the vehicle to a target speed with practically no driver intervention. Hill-start Assist Control (HAC) provides additional control for off-road driving by helping to keep the vehicle stationary while starting on a steep incline or slippery surface.
Land Cruiser rides on P285/60 R18 mud-and-snow tires mounted on 18 x 8.0-inch aluminum alloy wheels with a high-gloss finish (including a full-size spare). The brake system employs 13.4-inch ventilated discs with four-piston calipers up front and 13.6-inch ventilated discs at the rear. Variable gear ratio power-assisted rack-and-pinion steering requires just 3.1 turns lock-to-lock. The Gear ratio is set larger around the steering center and smaller around the end position.
The Land Cruiser is equipped with a towing connector and sub-wiring harness to connect a commercial trailer-brake controller. Standard Trailer Sway Control uses the Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) to help counteract handling forces applied to the truck in an effort to minimize the impact of trailer sway.

Versatility and Impeccable Luxury – All Standard
Land Cruiser seats up to eight, with three-across seating in the second and third rows. Interior luxury remains impeccable in the Land Cruiser, with perforated leather trim, heated/ventilated front seats and a heated steering wheel with power tilt and telescoping with memory.
Beneath the bright Optitron instrument gauges, a multi-informational display shows gear selection, odometer, tripmeter, fuel consumption, individual tire pressures and cruising range. The center console features a cooler box, USB port and cup holders.
Middle-row seating is luxurious and versatile, with perforated leather trim and multi-stage heating. The 40/20/20 split is combined with a reclining feature and a one-touch tumble mechanism for easier third-row ingress and egress. The second-row seats slide forward and aft 4.1 inches for more passenger comfort and cargo storage versatility. Maximum cargo capacity is 81.7 cubic feet with the middle and rear seats folded.

With 28 total air vents, the four-zone automatic climate control system is designed to bathe occupants in comfortable air -- even during extreme heat -- rather than simply projecting streams of cool air. For extreme cold situations, the Land Cruiser’s auxiliary Positive Temperature Coefficient (PTC) heater warms air instantly by passing it over an electrically heated ceramic element. The system also includes a micro-dust and pollen filter, and seven-level blower control.

Other standard features include rear privacy glass, Smart Key keyless entry with push-button start that allows the driver to unlock or start the vehicle without inserting a conventional key; anti-theft security system; engine immobilizer; cruise control; power moonroof; auto-dimming rearview and side mirrors; HomeLink® universal garage-door/gate opening system and steering wheel-mounted audio controls.
The Land Cruiser body structure makes extensive use of high-strength sheet steel, especially in the A-, B-, C- and D-pillars, and in the rocker area. Like all Toyotas, the Land Cruiser comes standard with the STAR Safety System™. A four-wheel multi-terrain anti-lock braking system (ABS) automatically selects the optimal ABS profile to provide the most suitable brake force for on- and off-road driving surfaces. Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD) balances braking forces between the front and rear brakes, while Brake Assist (BA) provides auxiliary force to assist the driver during emergency braking.
Active Traction Control (A-TRAC) helps maintain traction during acceleration by controlling engine output and braking forces to the wheels. Vehicle Stability Control (with a cut-off switch) helps maintain directional control during cornering by manipulating engine torque and individual wheel-braking influence if it detects tire slippage.
Land Cruiser features 10 standard airbags: driver and front passenger Advanced Airbag System; driver and front passenger knee airbags; driver and front passenger seat-mounted side airbags, second-row outboard seat-mounted side airbags and three-row Roll-sensing Side Curtain Airbags (RSCA) with a roll-sensing cutoff switch. All eight seating positions feature three-point seatbelts.

Active headrests on the driver and front passenger seats move up and forward almost instantly in the event of certain rear-end collisions to help reduce the distance between the occupant's head and the headrest. The advanced seatbelt system is designed to retract the front seatbelts when the brakes are suddenly applied or when tire slippage is detected by the VSC system.
A direct tire pressure monitor system (TPMS) helps to alert the driver to severe pressure drops in any of the tires, including the full-size spare. The standard parking sonar system uses ultrasonic sensors on the front and rear bumpers to sense obstacles.

The standard Pre-Collision System is designed to detect other vehicles and obstacles in its path and help optimize the restraining performance of the front passenger seatbelts if a collision is imminent.
The Land Cruiser comes standard with the Safety Connect™ telematics system. Available by subscription (first year of service is included in the new vehicle purchase price), Safety Connect offers four safety and security features: Automatic Collision Notification, Stolen Vehicle Location, Emergency Assistance Button (SOS), and enhanced Roadside Assistance, which adds GPS data to the already-included warranty-based Toyota roadside service.
In case of either airbag deployment or severe rear-end collision; Automatic Collision Notification is designed to automatically call the response center. If the response agent cannot communicate with the occupants, the agent can contact the nearest emergency-services provider to dispatch assistance.
Pushing the “SOS” button can summon help in an emergency and for a wide range of roadside assistance needs. If a Land Cruiser equipped with Safety Connect is stolen, the system can help local authorities locate and recover the vehicle once a stolen vehicle report is filed.

Premium Audio with Entune®
Land Cruiser comes standard with Toyota’s Premium HDD Navigation system with Entune®and JBL®. The system includes an eight-inch touch/split-screen with an integrated backup camera display, AM/FM CD player with MP3/WMA playback capability, 14 JBL speakers including subwoofer, SiriusXM®Satellite Radio capability (includes three-month trial subscription to XM Select Package); HD Radio™ with iTunes® Tagging, USB port with iPod® connectivity and control, vehicle information, hands-free phone capability, phone book access, advanced voice recognition, and music streaming via Bluetooth® wireless technology.
Toyota’s Entune multimedia system leverages the user’s mobile smartphone to provide a richer in-vehicle experience with fully integrated access to navigation, entertainment and information services. Entune provides support for engaging mobile apps, such as Bing™, OpenTable®, and MovieTickets.com, along with accessing useful travel-related services, such as live weather, traffic, fuel information (location and price), stocks, and sports. Entune brings an immense selection of music options into the vehicle, including iHeartRadio’s 750+ stations, and Pandora’s®personalized music service (access to Entune services is complimentary for three years).

Toyota's Sequoia adds Entune® to 2014 models

  • Full-size, full-capability SUV with seating for up to eight
  • New standard Entune® Audio
  • Standard 381-hp V8 and four-wheel independent suspension
  • Up to 7,400 lbs. tow capacity

After debuting a Toyota first factory-installed Blu-Ray®rear seat entertainment system for 2013, the family-friendly Toyota Sequoia steps up multimedia for 2014 with new Entune® Audio. With seating for up to eight, this full-size, full-capability sport-utility vehicle (SUV) is available in SR5, Limited and Platinum grades, with a 381-hp 5.7-liter V8 standard for all models and up to 7,400 lbs. towing capacity.
The Sequoia offers roomy seating for up to eight in three rows. For 2014, the Sequoia SR5 grade adds the new Entune Audio Plus system, while the Limited gets Entune Premium Audio and the Platinum grade has Entune Premium JBL® Audio. The latter is an option for the Limited.
Entune Audio leverages the user’s mobile smartphone to provide a richer in-vehicle experience with fully integrated access to navigation, entertainment and information services. Entune features engaging mobile apps, including Bing™, iHeartRadio, MovieTickets.com, OpenTable®, Pandora®, Yelp, and Facebook Places, plus real-time traffic, weather, fuel prices, sports and stocks.

Toyota builds the Sequoia on an exclusive body-on-frame platform that features four-wheel independent suspension to help provide exemplary ride quality, handling and straight-line control. The Sequoia model line offers the choice of 2WD and 4WD. In select areas, Sequoia 4x4 models feature E85 Flex Fuel capability.

The standard iForce DOHC 5.7-liter V8 comes teamed to a six-speed electronically controlled automatic transmission. The 5.7-liter engine produces 381 hp at 5,600 RPM and 401 lb.-ft. of torque at 3,600 RPM. Dual independent Variable Valve Timing with intelligence (VVT-i) and an Acoustic Control Induction System (ACIS) ensure ample torque across the engine speed range. The ACIS system switches the intake tract length in two stages, based on engine RPM and throttle angle. Underscoring traditional Toyota value, the Sequoia uses regular-grade fuel.
Compliant with the SAE J2807 towing standard, the powerful V8 enables the Sequoia to tow up to 7,400 lbs., depending on model grade and equipment. Producing 90 percent of its peak torque at just 2,200 rpm, the 5.7-liter V8 makes an outstanding towing partner. Other features reinforce the Sequoia’s towing capability, including a towing hitch integrated into the frame as a single unit and a selectable Tow/Haul mode that modifies transmission shift points for optimal performance. The Trailer Sway Control system uses the Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) to help counteract handling forces acting on the SUV in an effort to minimize the impact of trailer sway.
Toyota’s flexible torque converter lock-up control enhances the six-speed automatic transmission’s efficiency, with lock-up occurring in fourth, fifth and sixth gears. The available Multi-Mode four-wheel-drive system uses a two-speed transfer case with a lockable TORSEN® limited-slip center differential to power the front and rear wheels. The transfer case is shifted electronically via a rotary knob, and it locks with the push of a button.

Handling and Ride
The four-wheel independent suspension uses upper and lower A-arms and coil springs at each wheel. The Sequoia Platinum model is equipped with Adaptive Variable Suspension (AVS), which adjusts damper response with settings for Comfort, Normal and Sport. The Platinum grade’s Electronically Modulated Air Suspension also augments the Sequoia's ability to tow and haul heavy loads while maintaining an appropriate ride height and chassis attitude. The SR5’s standard 18-inch aluminum wheels have 275/65 R18 tires; 20-inch aluminum wheels with 275/55 R20 tires are standard for the Limited and Platinum grades, with the wheels on the Platinum featuring a diamond-cut finish.

The Sequoia’s 38-foot turning circle is one of the tightest in the class. Sequoia uses 13.9-inch ventilated front disc brakes and 13.6-inch ventilated rear disc brakes. Four opposed pistons – two per side – ensure optimal braking performance and fade resistance.

Like all Toyota models, the 2014 Sequoia is equipped with Toyota's STAR Safety System™, which includes Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), an Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD), Brake Assist (BA), Traction Control (TRAC) and Smart Stop Technology (SST). On 4WD models, TRAC is replaced by A-TRAC (Active-Traction Control).
The 2014 Sequoia is equipped with a dual stage advanced front air bag system, seat-mounted side airbags for the driver and front passenger, roll-sensing side curtain airbags for all three seating rows, plus driver and front passenger knee airbags.

Comfort and Convenience
The SR5 grade comes ready to work and play hard with a standard towing package, an eight-way power driver’s seat, fog lamps, running boards, power tilt/slide moonroof, a roof rack and rear spoiler, and a leather-trimmed steering wheel with audio and climate controls.

The Sequoia SR5 is undoubtedly one of the best-equipped vehicles in its class, featuring standard eight-passenger seating; tilt/telescoping steering wheel; engine immobilizer with alarm; direct tire pressure monitoring system; automatic tri-zone air conditioning; illuminated entry system; power windows, locks and sliding back window; keyless entry; rear wiper and defogger; cruise control, and mud guards.

Standard audio on the SR5 includes the Entune Audio Plus system with a high resolution 6.1-inch touch-screen display, AM/FM CD player with MP3/WMA playback capability, eight speakers, SiriusXM Radio (includes a 90-day trial subscription to XM Select Package), auxiliary audio jack, USB port with iPod® connectivity, hands-free phone capability and music streaming via Bluetooth® wireless technology. Entune App Suite expands music choices with Internet radio, including iHeartRadio and Pandora.
The Sequoia Limited adds functionality with front and rear parking sonar; power rear liftgate with a sliding window; power folding and reclining 60:40 split third-row seat, and 20-inch alloy wheels. Luxury takes a big step up with a standard power tilt/slide moonroof; heated front leather-trimmed seats, second- and third-row retractable sunshades and a eather-trimmed tilt/telescopic steering wheel with audio, climate, and Bluetooth® hands-free phone controls.
The Limited grade also features standard 10-way adjustable power driver’s seat; a leather-trimmed steering wheel and gear shift knob; Optitron gauges; and a multi-information display. A standard-equipped auto-dimming electrochromic rear-view mirror integrates a compass and a map lamp, plus a 3.3-inch monitor in the rear-view mirror for the backup camera (when not equipped with a navigation system).
The Sequoia Limited grade’s Entune Premium Audio system combines an AM/FM 6-disc CD changer with MP3/WMA playback capability, 14 speakers including subwoofer, SiriusXM Radio (includes three-month trial subscription to XM Select Package), auxiliary audio jack, USB port with iPod® connectivity, hands-free phone capability and music streaming via Bluetooth®wireless technology.
At the top of the Sequoia line, the Platinum grade comes with standard Dynamic Laser Cruise Control, which can help maintain a set distance from vehicles ahead. A standard rear seat Blue-Ray entertainment system combines a nine-inch LCD screen with a separate rear seat audio system, including dual wireless headphones.

Additional standard features exclusive to the Sequoia Platinum grade include a 12-way adjustable power driver’s seat and simulated wood-trim; 20-inch diamond cut-finish alloy wheels; rear load-leveling air suspension; power seat memory package; second-row heated seats, and steering wheel with simulated wood trim.
The Platinum grade also features a voice-activated touch-screen DVD with integrated backup camera display, Entune Premium JBL Audio with Navigation and App Suite AM/FM 4-disc CD changer with MP3/WMA playback capability, 14 speakers including subwoofer, SiriusXM™ Radio with NavTraffic™ (includes three-month trial subscription to XM Select Package and NavTraffic™), auxiliary audio jack, USB port with iPod® connectivity, hands-free phone capability and music streaming via Bluetooth®wireless technology. Entune services are subscription free.

With its extensive list of standard features, the 2014 Sequoia offers just a small menu of factory options. The SR5 grade offers a Sport Appearance Package that includes second-row captain seats, 20-inch super chrome alloy wheels, color-keyed grille, and black seat fabric. Exterior colors for the Sport Appearance Package are limited to black, white and silver.
A Premium Package available on SR5 models includes a leather-trimmed and heated 10-way power-adjustable driver's seat; four-way power-adjustable front passenger seat; a leather-trimmed 40/20/40 split sliding, reclining, fold-flat second-row seat with one-touch access to the third-row seat; a leather-trimmed 60/40 split, power reclining, fold-flat third-row seat; and an auto-dimming rearview mirror with an integrated backup camera monitor, compass, map lights and HomeLink® universal transceiver.

The Limited offers a DVD navigation system with a backup camera, with another package including a Rear Seat Entertainment System with Blu-Ray player, rear audio controls, 115V outlet and the Entune Premium JBL Audio with Navigation and App Suite. That package can be specified with captain seats to replace the standard second row bench seat at no additional charge.

Exterior Design
The Sequoia’s 0.36 drag coefficient (Cd) is comparable to some smaller crossover-type vehicles. The vehicle's mirrors, wipers, A-pillars and roof header are shaped to help maximize aerodynamic efficiency and minimize wind noise. Vehicle underside airflow is optimized to reduce drag and wind noise and to help improve directional control.

Headlamp washers are standard on all Sequoia grades for improved visibility. On the Limited grade, the large side-view mirrors feature power retraction, automatic glare-resistance, and turn-signal lamps. In addition to these features, the Platinum grade mirrors also include puddle lamps, position memory and reverse-linked tilt functions.
The wide rear door-opening angle provides easy passenger ingress/egress and child seat installation. Standard front and rear parking sonar sensors on the Limited and Platinum models emit an audible warning to alert the driver of the position of solid objects and their distance from the vehicle.

Interior Design
The Sequoia dash features a finish similar to that in fine luxury cars. Each of Sequoia's eight seating positions provides space sufficient to comfortably accommodate people well above normal height. The same efficient packaging that allows exceptional interior comfort also allows carrying items up to 11 feet long. Folding the second- and third-row seats flat opens the cargo area to 120.1 cubic feet of carrying capacity.
The second-row bench-type seat is split 40:20:40 and is equipped with a seat-slide mechanism that offers an adjustment range of 5.9 inches. This seat can also be folded flat and uses a one-touch easy-slide action to allow passenger access to the third-row seat. Second-row captain seats are available for a seven-seat cabin.
The third-row seat is split 60:40, has a seatback reclining mechanism and can be easily folded flat. A power tilting and folding mechanism is available. The rear liftgate sliding glass can be opened and closed for easy loading with the turn of a key. The cargo area is equipped with handy hooks for grocery bags. Sequoia provides 16 extra-large cup/bottle holders (18 on the Platinum grade), as well as convenient storage spaces.
All three grades offer two interior color choices of Graphite and Sand Beige. A Red Rock interior is also available on the Platinum grade, and the SR5 Sport Appearance Package uses an exclusive black interior.

Limited Warranty
Toyota’s 36-month/36,000 mile basic new-vehicle warranty applies to all components other than normal wear and maintenance items. Additional 60-month warranties cover powertrain for 60,000 miles and corrosion with no mileage limitation. Toyota dealers have complete details on the limited warranty. The Sequoia will also come standard with Toyota Care, a complimentary plan covering normal factory-scheduled maintenance and 24-hour roadside assistance for two years or 25,000 miles, whichever comes first.

F-Type takes another awrd to add to its ever growing collection.

The Jaguar F-TYPE has been voted the winner of the Autonis design award by the respected German motoring magazine,Auto Motor und Sport, following a poll of its readers.

The F-TYPE, which has been available in Germany since May of this year, was judged in the convertible segment - one of eight categories - taking top-spot with an outstanding 32 percent of almost 18,000 reader votes.

Jaguar Director of Design, Ian Callum, and Peter Modelhart, CEO of Jaguar Land Rover Germany, accepted the prize at an awards ceremony at Hohenheim Castle yesterday evening.

Speaking from the ceremony, Ian Callum said: "Creating the F-TYPE has given both my team and I great satisfaction. Working on a sports car that holds true to Jaguar's design values - beauty of line and purity of form - has been a great privilege, and I'm honored the readers of Auto Motor und Sport have recognized our work with this award."

Datsun to produce a new model for Indionesia

  • Datsun continues to unveil models developed for its key launch markets and introduces a second all-new car, developed for Indonesia - Datsun GO+
  • Datsun confirms the introduction of another new model - Datsun GO to Indonesia in 2014
  • Both distinctive and practical Datsun GO+ and agile Datsun GO will be priced below 100 Million Indonesian rupiah
  • Datsun GO+ will create an all-new segment in Indonesia, being the only model with three rows of seats in this price range
  • Both cars will be produced at Nissan Motor plant in Purwakarta, Indonesia

The Datsun brand is expanding its global footprint rapidly with today's world premiere of the all-new Datsun GO+ in Jakarta. Datsun also confirmed that the Datsun GO hatchback will become the second product in the brand's Indonesian range from 2014, with specific tailoring for the needs of Indonesian customers. Today's world premiere represents the Datsun model line-up debut in Indonesia.

"With the return of the Datsun brand, we are changing mobility. And we're ensuring greater access to the pride, independence and opportunities that car ownership provides. It's exciting to know that, for many Indonesians, the first new car they buy will be a Datsun," said Carlos Ghosn, Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. President and CEO, unveiling the cars.

The Datsun GO+ is a 5+2 MPV developed as a move-able cozy family lounge able to accommodate all family members in one car for the journey.

It is a modern distinctive car with sleek, dynamic silhouette and strong shoulder line. The clean and robust body styling will undoubtedly make it stand-out from the crowd. With its compact dimensions, the car is versatile and practical five-door three-row MPV with smart front-seating configuration. Depending on the family-customers' needs, the new Datsun GO+ will offer extra two seats in the back or an additional cargo space.

The car will be offered with Datsun Mobile Docking Station - the practical solution of smart-phones integration into the car.

The light-weight Datsun GO+ is equipped with a 1.2L engine and 5-speed manual transmission, tuned for fuel efficiency and good acceleration, whilst delivering agility on congested roads. And, its suitability for demanding city conditions is reinforced by its compact dimensions, with an overall length of 3,995 mm, width of 1,635 mm and a height of 1,485 mm. Its wheelbase is 2,450 mm, the key to its spacious interior.

The name of the car - Datsun GO+ - clearly highlights its membership of the new Datsun family, but at the same time refers to its extended capabilities.

Central to Datsun's philosophy is the principle that the cars' development and refinement is to be carried out by the engineers in the region following a careful study of the needs, lifestyle and driving patterns of local customers. The entire development process has been undertaken using the same processes and best practices to meet Nissan Motor's global technical standards.

By offering two models Datsun not only opens the door to personal mobility to a wide number of the up-&-coming families who will now be able to realize the dream of owning a new and modern car, but moreover creates a choice of practical 5+2 MPV or agile five-door hatchback without sacrificing any important features & qualities.

With launch of these two cars onto Indonesian market, the Datsun brand aims to account for up to 50% of the total Nissan Motor sales in 2016 in Indonesia and contribute to Indonesia's continued motorization and the governmental initiative aimed for boosting of domestic vehicles and components' production and introduction of accessible and eco-friendly cars in Indonesia.

Both cars will be priced below 100 Million Indonesian rupiah - a price point where very limited propositions exist at the moment.

As in all other markets where Datsun will be launched, the customers in Indonesia will get a worry-free ownership experience at competitive total cost, as well as accessible and transparent services.

Both Datsun GO and Datsun GO+ for the Indonesian market will be locally produced at the Nissan Motor plant in Purwakarta, 80 km east of Jakarta, Indonesia and will go on sale during 2014.

2014 Acura TSX sedan and Sport Wagon continue sporting streak.

With engaging, athletic handling, the 2014 Acura TSX Sedan and Sport Wagon continue a well-established sporting streak. And with comfortable space for five passengers coupled with compact exterior dimensions, the TSX also hits the sweet spot for drivers with an enthusiast's mindset.

The TSX model lineup carries over for 2014, starting with the 4-cylinder TSX Sedan with a manufacturer's suggested retail price (MSRP) of $30,635, including a Sequential SportShift 5-speed automatic transmission. An available Technology Package adds a range of desirable features.

The TSX Special Edition Sedan is available with either a 6-speed manual transmission or a Sequential SportShift 5-speed automatic transmission, and adds an ebony interior with red stitching, red instrument illumination and other upgrades. The TSX V-6 with Technology Package tops the sedan lineup. The TSX Sport Wagon is powered exclusively by the TSX Sedan's 4-cylinder engine paired with a Sequential SportShift automatic transmission, and has a MSRP of $31,9851. The Technology Package is the sole available upgrade to the TSX Sport Wagon.

The TSX Sedan goes on-sale today; the TSX Sport Wagon goes on-sale September 27.

The TSX fully looks the part of a sport sedan, with bold lines and a wide, powerful stance. The 2014 TSX comes well equipped with standard features such as Xenon High Intensity Discharge (HID) headlights and a glass moonroof. With the TSX Sport Wagon model, sport-sedan styling and added utility join to create a perfect mix for those who lead an active lifestyle.

The 2.4-liter 4-cylinder models (Sedan and Sport Wagon) feature standard 17-inch, 5-spoke aluminum wheels, while split 5-spoke, 18-inch aluminum wheels are standard on the TSX Sedan with 3.5-liter V-6 engine.

The TSX Special Edition Sedan augments the exterior with sport-minded front, side and rear underbody spoilers.

Inside, the TSX blends sport sedan style with inviting comfort, with standard leather seating highlighted by handsome contrasting-color stitching. An 8-way power driver's seat with adjustable lumbar support and a passenger seat with 4-way power adjustment are standard.

For those who are considering the purchase of a compact SUV - but who value the higher fuel efficiency and dynamic performance of a sports sedan, the TSX Sport Wagon offers a generous 66.2 cubic feet of rear cargo area (with rear seats folded down; 31.5 cu. ft. with the seats up), allowing the Sport Wagon to accommodate bulky items such as large boxes, furniture, bicycles, four full-size golf bags or surfboards.

Acura is known for its powerful, intuitive technology, and the 2014 TSX delivers on this concept. The TSX with the available Technology Package includes an LED backlit full VGA navigation screen, rearview camera, Song By Voice (SBV) user interface, and the ability to download 15-gigabytes of personal music (more than 3,500 songs) to the TSX's hard disk drive (HDD). Grammy® award-winning recording engineer and producer Elliot Scheiner helped design the Acura/ELS Surround®3 Premium 10-speaker Sound System to reproduce music the way it is heard in the recording studio.

The 2014 TSX Sedan model range offers two powerful engine choices: a responsive 201-horsepower 2.4-liter inline 4-cylinder engine4 and a 280-horsepower 3.5-liter V-65. Both engines are paired with a Sequential SportShift 5-speed automatic transmission with steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters. The 4-cylinder TSX Special Edition Sedan offers the alternate choice of a 6-speed close-ratio manual transmission as a no-cost option.

Standard safety equipment on all Acura models includes Vehicle Stability Assist™ (VSA®) with traction control, ABS, dual-stage/multiple-threshold front airbags, front-side airbags, side curtain airbags for all outboard seating positions, front seatbelts with automatic tensioning system and load limiters, Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS), and Daytime Running Lights (DRL).

The 2013 TSX earned the top-level rating of GOOD in the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) moderate overlap frontal barrier crash test, side impact crash test and roof strength test. It was also named a 2013 Top Safety Pick by the IIHS.

Nissan USA announces pricing for 2014 Quest

Nissan today announced U.S. pricing for the 2014 Nissan Quest, which is on sale now at Nissan dealers nationwide. Pricing remains unchanged from 2013, with a starting M.S.R.P.* of $25,990 USD.

For 2014, the Nissan Quest minivan once again offers an extensive list of family-friendly features - from its bold styling with full surround glass that provides an airy, open interior environment to one-touch power sliding doors, quick release fold-flat 2nd and 3rd row seats, Advanced Climate Control System and an always-available rear storage well. Two new exterior colors are added for 2014: Titanium and Gun Metallic.

Key features of the Nissan Quest minivan include standard Nissan Intelligent Key® with Push Button Ignition and optional one-touch power-sliding doors, which unlock and open the side door with the simple touch of a button; quick-release fold-flat 2nd and 3rd row seats - the 3rd row folds forward unlike any other minivan, so there is no stowing required; available Advanced Climate Control System (ACCS); and a standard Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) with Easy Fill Tire Alert.

All 2014 Quest models feature a standard VQ-series 3.5-liter DOHC V6 rated at 260 horsepower and 240 lb-ft of torque, and an advanced Xtronic CVT® transmission that provides a smooth driving experience. Fuel economy is rated at 19 mpg city/25 mpg highway. Quest also features 4-wheel independent suspension, 4-wheel disc brakes and vehicle-speed-sensitive power steering.

Quest is offered in four well-equipped models: S, SV, SL and LE. Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Prices* (MSRP) for the 2014 Nissan Quest:

Quest 3.5 S $25,990 USD
Quest 3.5 SV $29,740 USD
Quest 3.5 SL $33,520 USD
Quest 3.5 LE $42,640 USD

Destination and Handling $860.

One Million cadillacs from one plant in 12 years, not bad going

The millionth Cadillac built at the Lansing Grand River Assembly Plant rolled off the line today. Fittingly, the milestone vehicle is an early model of the redesigned 2014 CTS sedan, which goes on sale in October.

Lansing Grand River, or LGR as it is known, has been a dedicated rear wheel-drive assembly plant since it opened in late 2001. Every CTS ever made has been built there.

In addition to the CTS, the plant also assembles the award-winning ATS sport sedan, the CTS Coupe and Wagon, and the CTS-V high performance models. Cadillacs from Lansing are exported from Michigan to 11 destinations worldwide.

“One million Michigan-made Cadillacs is a great milestone for Lansing and for luxury car-building in America,” said Bob Ferguson, senior vice president Global Cadillac. “Lansing Grand River is an essential ingredient of Cadillac’s growth. It is a benchmark for luxury car manufacturing in North America, which takes another step forward today with the launch of the new CTS.”

The celebrated 2014 CTS sedan is painted in Red Obsession Tintcoat. The 2014 CTS is elevated and expanded, with more luxury, performance and technical sophistication. The third generation luxury sedan is larger and more spacious, but lighter because of advanced design and materials. The low mass approach is expected to enable CTS to deliver the most agile and engaging driving performance in the midsize luxury class.

A total of 1,541 employees are divided among two shifts at Lansing Grand River, a 2.5 million square foot facility on 111 acres.

General Motors has invested extensively in LGR in the past three years -- $190 million for the production of the Cadillac ATS and $88 million for the new CTS.

Since its completion 12 years ago, Lansing Grand River has produced more Cadillacs than any other plant. The Escalade sport utility vehicle is produced at the Arlington Assembly in Arlington, Texas. The ELR luxury coupe begins production later this year at GM’s Detroit-Hamtramck facility in Hamtramck, Mich.

Dacia UK does it again, a great offer for the Duster SUV

Dacia’s set the UK car market alight in recent months with its “shockingly affordable” four-model range. Now it’s looking to clean up completely with a stunning Duster deal from under £100 per month.

Rampant Dacia is offering Brits arguably the ultimate new car “smart buy” with the chance to get behind the wheel of its multi-award-winning flagship for just £99 per month*. Or, to put it another way, a chunky, family-friendly SUV for the price of a one-litre, three-door Volkswagen up! city car**.

The jaw-dropping offer, available through Dacia Finance, is for the Duster Access 1.6 4x2 over four years. What’s the catch? There isn’t a cash one. The only condition is that each Duster’s got to be ordered and registered by the end of 2013.

For only £20 more per month, buyers can upgrade to attractive Ambiance 4x2 spec with the fuel-sipping 1.5 dCi 110 engine. The mid-level version brings a series of creature comforts such as 4x20W radio CD, Bluetooth, AUX/USB connection and electric front windows.

The range-topping Lauréate, simply priced at a further £20 per month for the 4x2 dCi 110 version, offers a heady mix of air conditioning, front and rear electric windows, heated and electrically adjustable door mirrors and leather steering wheel. Its chunky looks are beefed up with the addition of alloy wheels, plus satin chrome styling touches and roof bars too.

Incredibly, for unbeatable peace of mind motoring, all Dusters even come with free servicing (3 years/60,000 miles).

Dacia has clearly struck a chord with budget-conscious new and used car buyers up and down the country. Year-to-date, Duster is already in fifth place for retail SUV sales (C-SUV segment), outselling well-established competitors such as the Ford Kuga and Skoda Yeti.

Its success undoubtedly comes down to more than mere affordability though. Its stylish SUV scores high on practicality and reliability, together with low-running costs and fuel-efficient engines. It’s got a roomy cabin and huge boot to round off its tempting package. Plus, the bonus of rugged off-road capability in its 4x4 guises.

New caterham concept debuts at Singapore GP

  • First glimpse of new road model to arrive in 2014
  • Co-designed and developed by the complementary divisions of the Caterham Group
  • Styling and engineering concepts reflect direction for future Caterham models

Caterham Cars has today unveiled the AeroSeven Concept at the SingTel Singapore Grand Prix – an exciting new performance concept road car.

As the first model designed with significant input from all of the Caterham Group’s specialist business arms, the AeroSeven Concept signals the brand’s intentions in terms of product engineering processes, speed to market, as well as a hint to its styling direction for future models, including the all-new sportscar being developed in conjunction with Renault and due for release in early 2016.

The AeroSeven Concept, which draws heavily on methods used by the F1 team, will be the first ever Caterham model to be fitted with traction control. Thanks to a newly developed Caterham Engine Management System, drivers will be able to enjoy fully-adjustable traction and launch control functionality.

Based on an updated interpretation of the highly acclaimed Seven CSR platform, the carbon-fibre bodied concept vehicle, which will reach 100kph (62.5mph) in under 4 seconds, will initially draw its power from the normally-aspirated, EU6-approved, 240ps (237bhp) engine developed by Caterham Technology & Innovation for the recently launched Caterham Seven 485. Other engines are also being assessed for suitability.  

The AeroSeven Concept is stacked with race car-inspired features, including aerodynamic styling, an exclusive steering wheel with driver-focussed functionality, and an intuitive fully active Graphical Display Unit (GDU).

Graham Macdonald, Managing Director of Caterham Cars, said: “Over the coming years, we will be expanding our range of sportscars as we look to meet the differing needs and desires of potential customers – from the lifestyle customer to the ultimate thrill-seeker. The AeroSeven Concept is the first model in that journey.”

Delivery of the production version of the concept model will begin in autumn 2014.


It is in the car’s full bodywork styling that the most striking differences to past Caterham products lies.

The stunning design of the two-seater balances function and form to increase downforce while vastly improving the drag coefficient; the new body shape also imparts subtly different handling characteristics to complement the revised chassis.  

Using inputs from Caterham F1 Team performance director, John Iley, and the CTI design team, the fundamental shape of the car was created. Ongoing optimisation continues to take place using Computational Fluid Dynamics expertise from the F1 aerodynamic group, in conjunction with circuit and wind tunnel testing.

The AeroSeven Concept incorporates a completely new rollover structure, to aid safety and improve aerodynamic performance and enhance aesthetics.

At each corner, the AeroSeven Concept will sit on Avon’s acclaimed CR500 tyres, the motorsport-inspired performance rubber that is also the OE fit on a number of Caterham’s high performance-orientated Sevens.


Achieving a delicate balance between inspiring performance and stringent EU6 emissions regulations, the 240ps (237bhp) Ford Duratec-based engine which will power the vehicle initially delivers its peak power at 8,500rpm, helping to propel the AeroSeven Concept to 100kph in under 4 seconds.

The engine – which also powers the European-homologated Caterham Seven 485 – is one of the world’s highest revving EU6-compliant engines. The two-litre unit is mated to Caterham’s six-speed manual gearbox driving the rear wheels.

Over the coming months, project engineers will be assessing a number of powerplant options for the final production version.


With expertise drawn from each corner of the Group to develop the bold AeroSeven Concept, the new car features a number of exclusive technologies and attributes not seen on any previous Caterham.

Based on the acclaimed Caterham Seven CSR chassis – featuring fully independent rear and F1-style inboard (pushrod) front suspension – new dampers, springs and anti-roll bars harmonise the car’s aerodynamic characteristics to deliver Caterham’s legendary agility and handling finesse. 

Driver focussed chassis control systems debuting on the AeroSeven Concept include Caterham’s fully variable traction and launch control functions. Caterham is also analysing the feasibility of using Bosch’s race-derived anti-lock braking system.

The Caterham Engine Management System is completely adjustable via steering wheel mounted controls. The system, which can be completely disengaged, has been developed by Cateham Technology and Innovation to enhance the AeroSeven Concept’s performance while giving complete control to the driver.
Inside, more innovations give a firm nod towards Caterham’s future ambitions.

A brand new fully active graphical display unit (GDU) developed by Caterham Technology & Innovation integrates all display and instrumentation in a high-resolution, centrally mounted unit. It displays information such as engine speed, gear selection, vehicle speed, traction and brake  settings, fuel and oil levels in a smart, intuitive ‘next-generation’, real-time 3D rendered display.
Additionally, the race-inspired steering wheel incorporates ‘Road’ mode, ‘Flash-to-Pass’ and ‘Pit Lane Speed Limiter’ functions.

The car’s default setting is ‘Race’ mode, the reverse of even the most track orientated vehicles. When the steering wheel-mounted button is depressed, ‘Road’ mode is engaged, altering the engine’s character by reducing peak power through a reduced rev limit.

The manufacture and tooling of components for the AeroSeven Concept will be split between Caterham Technology & Innovation in Hingham, Norfolk and Leafield, Oxon, Caterham F1 Team’s base. Production models will be constructed at the Caterham Cars factory in Dartford, UK. 

New European Test Centre officially opened at iconic Nürburgring location for Hyundai

  • New European Test Centre officially opened at iconic Nürburgring location
  • Hyundai Motor invests more than €6,6 million in its new facility
  • Purpose-built site to conduct more accelerated durability tests

Hyundai Motor has officially opened its brand new European Test Centre at the Nürburgring in Germany, the company’s latest investment in its regional infrastructure. An opening ceremony marked the completion of the €6,62 million purpose-built vehicle testing facility, boosting the brand’s R&D operations in Europe.

The company’s new test centre provides it with a full-time presence at the iconic Nürburgring circuit, allowing it to further evaluate and develop the durability and driving dynamics of its vehicles more effectively and more often.

Construction of the striking 3,622m2 Hyundai European Test Centre began in June 2012 and was completed in less than 15 months. The unique glass and steel building houses workshops, office spaces and hospitality areas over four floors. The Nürburgring facility is an extension of Hyundai’s European R&D centre in Rüsselsheim, Germany, where the brand’s European design and engineering teams have been based since 2003.

Hyundai’s accelerated durability tests are conducted from the European Test Centre. Each car taking part in the tests laps the Nürburgring 480 times in both dry and wet conditions, simulating over 100,000 miles of rigorous driving in less than six weeks.

Throughout each lap, data parameters are continually monitored, assessing steering input and vehicle course, suspension movement and ride and handling characteristics. The results are given directly to the vehicle development team based at the circuit, enabling Hyundai’s engineers to quickly make changes and tailor cars’ characteristics to the demands of European drivers.

Allan Rushforth, Senior Vice President and COO of Hyundai Motor Europe commented: “The Nürburgring is a unique challenge for any vehicle, so it is the perfect location for our new facility.  The new European Test Centre is a natural extension of our Technical Centre in Rüsselsheim, and enables Hyundai Motor to more quickly and more accurately test the reliability and drivability of our vehicles. The emotional appeal of being ‘tested at Nürburgring’ will also help to further build the brand’s reputation across Europe.”

The Nürburgring is widely recognised as one of the most challenging tracks in the world, with 73 corners – 33 left and 40 right –spread across 12.8 miles of tarmac. With a difference in height of almost 300 metres between the lowest and the highest points, it features uphill and downhill gradients of 11 and 17 per cent respectively.

Vauxhall’s Insignia Country Tourer is available to order now from £25,349 OTR

  • Vauxhall’s Insignia Country Tourer is available to order now from £25,349 OTR
  • £5,000 cheaper than the Audi A4 Allroad, £2,400 less than a VW Passat Alltrack
  • Two trim levels with excellent standard spec: Country Tourer and Country Tourer Nav
  • Two 2.0 CDTi powertrain options with either 163PS or 195PS BiTurbo

Vauxhall’s rugged SUV-inspired all-purpose Insignia Country Tourer is available to order now with prices starting from £25,349 on-the-road, up to £5,000 cheaper than its D-segment crossover rivals.

Known as the Insignia Country Tourer, and based on the Sports Tourer model, but with all-wheel drive, higher ground clearance and tougher styling, the new addition to Vauxhall’s highly-acclaimed Insignia range received a rapturous reception when it was unveiled at the Frankfurt Motor Show last week.

Customers can choose between two trim levels, Country Tourer, priced from £25,349 to £29,709 on-the-road, and Country Tourer Nav, priced from £26,499 to £30,859 on-the-road.

Country Tourer trim features generous standard spec including bi-xenon adaptive front lighting, power tailgate and front and rear parking sensors. On top of this, Country Tourer Nav gets Navi 900 IntelliLink sat nav with 8-inch colour touch screen, multi-function touch-pad controller and an 8-inch digital instrument cluster as standard.

Each model has a choice of two powerful 2.0 CDTi engines, including a 163PS with start/stop and a hot 195PS BiTurbo unit. The 163PS engine is available with either a 6-speed manual or 6-speed automatic transmission, and the BiTurbo comes with the automatic gearbox only.

Crucially, entry-level Insignia Country Tourer Nav pricing undercuts that of key D-segment crossover rivals including the Audi A4 Allroad by over £5,000 and the Volkswagen Passat Alltrack by £2,400.

“With competitive pricing and generous standard equipment levels, the Insignia Country Tourer looks set to shake up the D-segment crossover sector,” said Stuart Harris, Vauxhall’s Head of Carline Brand.  “The Insignia Country Tourer is perfect for a winter holiday, on snowy roads, or simply when the going gets tough. Even on urban roads its robust looks give it strong stand-out appeal.”

First deliveries of the Insignia Country Tourer are due in dealers in January.