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, 8 November 2014

New engines push Qashqai further ahead of its rivals.

  • New DIG-T 163 1.6-litre turbocharged petrol engine joins Qashqai range
  • Fully compliant with strict new EURO6 emissions regulations
  • Fuel consumption from 48.7mpg (with 16/17" wheels) CO2 from 134g/km
  • Fastest Qashqai in the current range with 0-62mph in 9.1 seconds
  • Qashqai petrol range complete with new Xtronic gearbox on 1.2 DIG-T
  • Available to order now with deliveries from January 2015
Nissan is expanding its acclaimed Qashqai range with the addition of an advanced new DIG-T 163 petrol engine. Fully compliant with strict EURO6 emissions regulations, the new 1.6-litre four-cylinder turbocharged unit combines sharp performance with low CO2 output and exceptional fuel economy.

Tuned specifically for the Qashqai, the new DIG-T 163 engine features advanced turbocharging technology and a host of additional features designed to maximise performance and economy. 

The new unit develops 163PS (120kW) of power at 5,600rpm and 240Nm of torque between 2,000 and 4,000rpm. These impressive figures highlight Nissan's downsizing philosophy and prove that you don't need a large capacity to deliver strong acceleration and in-gear flexibility.

As with all engines in the new Qashqai range, the new DIG-T 163 is equipped with Start/Stop ignition system and delivers the kind of smooth, responsive and high quality driving experience that Nissan customers have come to expect. Acceleration from 0-62mph can be achieved in just 9.1 seconds – making it the fastest Qashqai in the range – while top speed is rated at 124mph.

Even more impressive are the new DIG-T 163's fuel efficiency and emissions figures. Models equipped with the new engine return from 48.7mpg on the EU Combined cycle, while CO2 emissions are from 134g/km for models equipped with 16" and 17" wheels, and 138g/km for models equipped with 18" and 19" wheels.

The new DIG-T 163 engine is available in front-wheel-drive form and equipped with a six-speed manual transmission.

Broadest choice ever for Qashqai buyers

The arrival of the new DIG-T 163 powerplant completes the Qashqai's petrol engine line-up and sits above the existing 1.2 DIG-T unit. Developing 115PS (85kw), this Alliance-developed four-cylinder unit packs a real punch, offering sharper acceleration and greater flexibility than many 1.6-litre naturally aspirated engines.

Equipped as standard with Start/Stop, it is packed with fuel-saving technologies, including a regenerative alternator, optimised gear ratios and special low-viscosity oils.

For those who prefer the ease and simplicity of automatic transmission, the 1.2 DIG-T unit is now available with Nissan's advanced Xtronic gearbox. Based on the principle of a constantly variable transmission, the Xtronic gearbox been engineered to deliver a smoother, more natural driving experience.

Unlike conventional variable transmissions, the Qashqai's Xtronic gearbox mimics the behaviour of traditional, multi-ratio automatic gearboxes during hard acceleration, with stepped changes. In gentler driving, the ratios are subtly adjusted to give ultimate smoothness. 

This means the Xtronic transmission offers the best of both worlds for drivers, with ultra-smooth low-load power delivery and direct performance during higher acceleration driving.

First Restored Corvette, the "Blue Devil" is the first finished car after sinkhole damaged eight cars.

TMW COMMENT - This is great news to see that the cars have been restored to their former glory, I am a little upset that the entire batch of damaged cars will not be repaired, as these cars should be kept in the condition before the hole appeared, this is our fourth post on the sink hole, please read the others here.

Corvette ZR1 ‘Blue Devil’ debuts at SEMA Show on way back to museum

Chevrolet today unveiled the restored 2009 Corvette ZR1 that was damaged earlier this year when a sinkhole developed beneath the National Corvette Museum. It’s on display this week at the SEMA Show, before heading back to the museum in Bowling Green, Ky.

The ZR1, nicknamed the “Blue Devil,” is the first of the eight cars swallowed by the sinkhole to be restored. One of two show cars used to introduce the all-new Corvette ZR1 in January 2008, the car was on loan from Chevrolet to the National Corvette Museum when the sinkhole developed.

Museum personnel were alerted about motion detectors going off in the Skydome area of the facility on the morning of Wednesday, Feb. 12. They arrived to find a sinkhole measuring about 45 feet wide, 60 feet long and up to 30 feet deep – and it had swallowed eight Corvettes.

Three weeks later, the ZR1 was pulled out of the sinkhole. Despite falling nearly 30 feet, it started and drove out of the Skydome under its own power.

“After that unprecedented event, the ZR1 was the first car to be lifted out of the sinkhole,” said Jim Campbell, U.S. vice president, performance vehicles and motorsports. “It was great to recover it, bring it back to Chevrolet and begin the restoration of this significant Corvette.”

The ZR1 remained on display at the museum until September, when it was returned to Chevrolet for restoration. The damage included:
  • Cracked carbon-fiber ground effects and a broken passenger-side rocker panel
  • Damaged passenger front fender, as well as cracks in both doors
  • Cracked windshield, hood window glass and passenger headlamp assembly
  • Bent rear control arms on the driver’s side
  • Cracked oil lines to the supercharged LS9 engine’s dry-sump oiling system.
Six weeks after work began, the restored ZR1 was started for the first time at the General Motors Heritage Center.

Two other cars will be restored next year – the 1-millionth Corvette and a 1962 Corvette – while the other five will remain in their as-recovered state to preserve their historical significance. They will become part of a future display at the museum.

USA - Nissan now produce the Murano in the USA for the first time.

Nissan's Canton Vehicle Assembly Plant has gone global as the company rolls the first all-new 2015 Nissan Murano off the line today, marking the first time the model has been produced in the U.S. Nissan Canton is now the company's worldwide hub for Murano production, expanding export opportunities from the plant to more than 100 markets.

Bringing Murano production to the United States is part of Nissan's broader strategy to build where it sells, and it moves Nissan closer to achieving its goal of having 85 percent of the vehicles it sells in the United States produced in North America by 2015.

"The strategic investments that Nissan has made in Canton serve as a testament to the flexibility, efficiency and talent of our workforce and suppliers," said John Martin, Nissan's senior vice president, Manufacturing, Supply Chain Management and Purchasing. "In Canton, we build high-quality vehicles that compete and win globally, and the bold new Murano will build on that reputation."

Murano is the eighth model currently built at the Nissan Canton Vehicle Assembly Plant and will be assembled on the same line as Xterra, Frontier, Titan and Armada.

"Since I started with Nissan 11 years ago I've watched this plant grow, and I've had the opportunity to work on some of Nissan's most popular vehicles," said Christina Doss, Nissan Canton technician and member of the Murano launch team. "It's amazing to see how far we've come, and now that we're producing the Murano here, I get to tell friends and family that I work on vehicles that are shipped around the world."

Nissan added 1,300 jobs—including nearly 400 supplier jobs—in Canton to support Murano production. Since its opening in 2003, Nissan has grown the Canton Vehicle Assembly Plant from a regional manufacturing facility to a global one, investing nearly $2.8 billion in the plant. With the addition of these jobs, the plant has grown to support more than 6,000 manufacturing jobs for the first time in its 11-year history.

"More than 11 years ago, Nissan propelled Mississippi's automotive industry into the global spotlight, and since that time, the company has served as the cornerstone of the industry in our state," said Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant. "Today's debut of the first Murano manufactured in the U.S. once again puts Mississippi on the global stage and helps us further demonstrate to the world that we have a business environment that spurs success and a quality workforce that takes pride in a job well done."

Since the first U.S.-assembled Nissan vehicle, a white pickup truck, rolled off the assembly line in June 1983, the company's U.S. manufacturing footprint has steadily grown. The combination of vehicle assembly plants in Canton and Smyrna, Tennessee, as well as Nissan and Infiniti powertrain plants in Decherd, Tenn., have produced nearly 13 million vehicles, 8 million engines and created more than 16,000 manufacturing jobs in the United States. Nissan's U.S. footprint also includes a design center in San Diego, financial operations in Dallas, research and development facilities near Detroit and Phoenix, and its North American headquarters in Nashville, Tennessee.

About the 2015 Nissan Murano

Nissan brought a concept car to life with the third-generation Murano, incorporating bold design elements including the V-motion front end, LED boomerang lights and the unique floating roof.

The breakthrough exterior design carries into the interior, which offers an engaging social lounge feel with a refined instrument panel, wide center console, NASA-inspired Zero Gravity front and outboard rear seating and the airy atmosphere created by the large windows and available oversized Power Panoramic Moonroof.

Responsive driving is provided by a standard 3.5-liter DOHC V6 connected to an advanced Xtronic transmission. Murano is available in front-wheel drive or Intuitive All-Wheel Drive.

A host of technology features are available, including NissanConnect with Navigation and Mobile Apps, Around View Monitor, SiriusXM Satellite Radio (SiriusXM subscription required, sold separately), 11-speaker Bose premium audio system (including dual subwoofers), Remote Engine Start with Intelligent Climate Control (from key fob), Bluetooth Hands-free Phone System and Streaming audio via Bluetooth.

Available safety and security systems include Moving Object Detection, Blind Spot Warning, Predictive Forward Collision Warning and Forward Emergency Braking. The new Rear Cross Traffic Alert system uses radar to detect a moving vehicle behind the Murano approaching from either side of the parking space.

Mazda gives the go ahead for a global race series for its new MX-5 (Miata)

The Mazda MX-5 Miata is the best-selling roadster in history, and the most road-raced car in the world.  With the recent unveiling of the fourth generation MX-5, the most frequently asked question is “Where will it race?”  

Mazda gave the first part of that answer at the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) tradeshow in Las Vegas today, as the company announced that the new 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata will be raced in a new Global Cup series, in North America, Europe and Asia. 

Starting in 2016, there will be multiple Mazda Global MX-5 Cup series around the world, all using identically prepared cars.  

Full details of the Global MX-5 Cup, including which countries will be involved and when the races will take place, will be announced as they are confirmed.  The Global MX-5 Cup will culminate at the end of 2016 with a Global Shootout at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, Calif., to crown the series champion.  

Among other prizes, the series champion will receive a one-day test in Mazda’s top-level TUDOR United States SportsCar Championship SKYACTIV prototype racecar.

“Since the first Mazda MX-5 Miata took the green flag back in 1990, the car has been the ideal platform for both veterans and rookies alike,” noted John Doonan, director of motorsports for Mazda North American operations.  “Because the MX-5 is inherently such a good car to drive, it is an ideal platform to learn basic and advanced race-craft, and this has made the professional MX-5 Cup series very successful to date.”

“We’re excited to take the elements of success of the existing Mazda MX-5 Cup series, and introduce them to a new global audience,” added Masahiro Moro, Managing Executive Officer in charge of Global Sales, Marketing and Customer Service for Mazda Motor Corporation.  “It has long been our goal to see Mazda fans around the world competing in identical MX-5s, and the launch of the 2016 MX-5 Miata is the perfect time to make this goal a reality.” 

While Mazda did not release final specifications, equipment or technical partners for the car, it was confirmed that the Global MX-5 Cup racecar will be equipped with a 2.0 liter SKYACTIV-G four cylinder engine.  Beginning this winter, Mazda Motorsports will undertake a development period to select the optimum tires, suspension and powertrain and safety modifications.  The final specifications will be announced in 2015 when Mazda is ready to accept orders for the 2016 series.

In a first for Mazda, the Global MX-5 Cup racecars will be sold “ready to race” from a single supplier.

For 2015, the third generation MX-5 will be utilized for its final season of professional racing in North America.  The 2015 Battery Tender Mazda MX-5 Cup Presented by BFGoodrich Tires will kick off at Sebring in March, and conclude at the Petit Le Mans Powered by Mazda at Road Atlanta in October.  For 2016 and beyond, the existing third-generation MX-5 Cup racecars will be eligible to compete in club racing only. 

Infiniti Starts Local production in CHina, with the Q50L and QX50L

  • First localised model Infiniti Q50L to meet Chinese consumers’ needs
  • Another milestone to further grow in China and globally
  • Expands Infiniti’s global manufacturing footprint
Infiniti starts local production in China today at the Xiangyang Plant in Hubei Province, as the first Infiniti Q50L officially rolls off the assembly line. The long-wheelbase version of the Q50 premium sports saloon is Infiniti’s first localised model in China dedicated to Chinese consumers.  

The start of local production signifies an important milestone for Infiniti to become a mainstream player in the Chinese premium automotive market.

“Today we are here to witness Infiniti’s big step forward in China.  We continue to expand our business in China and develop Infiniti as a truly global premium brand,” says Dr. Daniel Kirchert, president of Dongfeng Infiniti Motor Co., Ltd and managing director of Infiniti China. “Local production demonstrates Infiniti’s long-term commitment to the Chinese market. We will bring Infiniti’s renowned global quality standards and its premium experience even closer to Chinese consumers.”

With commencement of Infiniti local production at the Xiangyang Plant, China has become the third country for Infiniti’s global manufacturing footprint in addition to Japan and the U.S. It marks the next step in Infiniti’s global growth plan to expand the brand’s portfolio while establishing a broader global manufacturing footprint. It also underlines its determination to turn China into Infiniti’s second volume hub globally.

The Xiangyang plant is a manufacturing complex jointly established by Dongfeng Motor Corp. and Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. The plant boasts an annual production capacity of 250,000 vehicles, 60,000 of which are dedicated for Infiniti production.  

The plant has many years of manufacturing experience and has undergone substantial upgrades to meet Infiniti’s local production requirements. The Xiangyang Plant applies Infiniti’s global manufacturing standards and received Infiniti manufacturing certification in March, 2014.

The Infiniti Q50L has a stretched overall length of 4852mm/191.0in and stretched wheelbase of 2898mm/114.1in, adding nicely to the rear passengers’ sense of premium comfort with the biggest legroom in this segment. 

The locally produced Infiniti Q50L is equipped with the same level of high-tech features as in the imported standard-wheelbase Q50, including some of Infiniti’s most innovative technologies, such as the world’s first steer-by-wire Direct Adaptive Steering (DAS). Powered by a 2.0 litre turbo-charged engine, Q50L strikes a perfect balance between power performance and fuel economy.

In addition to the Infiniti Q50L, Infiniti will also soon start producing the localised QX50 long wheelbase version at the Xiangyang Plant.  Both vehicles are tailored for the Chinese market, expanding Infiniti’s product portfolio for the Chinese consumers.

China is one of Infiniti’s most important growth markets. Earlier in September, the joint venture Dongfeng Infiniti Motor Co., Ltd. was established with local partner Dongfeng Motor Corp. to jointly expand in China’s premium car market.  

The brand aims to raise sales in China to 100,000 vehicles by 2018, over half of which will be locally produced models. In the first three quarters of 2014, Infiniti has been the fastest growing premium auto brand in China as its sales increased by 91% year-on-year to nearly 20,800 vehicles. 

All Wheel Drive Jaguar F-Type partners up with Bloodhound SSC team

  • Jaguar announces major partnership with British World Land Speed Record Team
  • Bloodhound SSC to make World Land Speed Record attempt in 2015 then target 1,000 MPH in 2016
  • All-wheel-drive is one of a number of performance enhancements to the Jaguar F-TYPE range – the new F-TYPE range will debut at the LA Auto Show on 19 November 2014
  • AWD Jaguar F-TYPE R carries out key communications test on the Hakskeen Pan in the Northern Cape, South Africa
The new all-wheel-drive Jaguar F-TYPE R Coupé ensured the Bloodhound SSC World Land Speed Record programme passed a significant high-speed testing milestone, the test marks the start of a major technical partnership between Jaguar and The Bloodhound Project. 

With the ultimate aim of raising the world land speed record above 1,000mph and to assist in inspiring the next generation of scientists and engineers, which is the overall objective of the project. The current record stands at 763.035mph and was set by Andy Green in Thrust SSC in 1997. Andy will drive the Bloodhound Supersonic car.

On the relatively soft surface of the Hakskeen Pan desert in the Northern Cape of South Africa, the stability of the AWD F-TYPE R Coupé and its dynamic ability - it will reach 60mph in just 3.9-seconds with a limited top speed of 186mph - enabled the successful completion of a vital communications test for the Bloodhound SSC team.

Ian Hoban, Vehicle Line Director, Jaguar said: “Our target with engineering the all-wheel drive F-TYPE was to maintain the engaging rear-drive character that’s so important to Jaguar sports cars, yet offer even greater dynamic capability. The result is a controllable, exploitable and blisteringly fast performance car in all weather and road conditions.”

The AWD F-TYPE R Coupé was driven flat-out by Bloodhound Project Director and former World Land Speed Record holder, Richard Noble who said: “We are absolutely delighted to announce Jaguar as a Main Partner to the Bloodhound Project. This is a very fine match – Jaguar is very strong on innovation and with its huge drive in advanced technology, education and motorsport track record, we have the perfect partner. Together we have developed outstanding inter-team synergy and this is a very special relationship.  We are proud to carry the Jaguar branding on Bloodhound SSC.”

Fitted with the same radio equipment as the jet and rocket powered Bloodhound SSC, the F-TYPE was driven head-to-head at top speed with a similarly equipped jet flown at 500mph and just 50 feet above the ground. The combined closing speed of almost 700mph enabled the successful test of the system that will allow communications between the ground crew and Andy Green in Bloodhound SSC, which will run for the first time on the Hakskeen desert just twelve months from now.

The addition of all-wheel-drive is one of a number of performance enhancements to the award-winning Jaguar F-TYPE range which will grow from six to 14 derivatives in 2015 – the full range will debut at the LA Auto Show on 19 November. 

The Jaguar Land Rover press conference will take place at 14:40 PST (22:40 GMT).  Also at the press conference will be Andy Green, who will confirm the full extent of the technical collaboration between Jaguar and the Bloodhound Project.

The most expensive Range Rover ever, now available for, wait for it....... £180,000.... WOW

  • Unique Holland & Holland Range Rover embodies craftsmanship of two iconic British marques, both associated with luxury outdoor pursuits
  • Builds on Range Rover luxury with a set of features specifically designed for Holland & Holland customers
  • The most expensive Range Rover ever benefits from a raft of SVO-designed exclusive features to complement outdoor pursuits.
  • The new car builds upon a long and successful association between the two Royal Warrant-holding luxury marques.
The Holland & Holland Range Rover builds upon the strengths of the two iconic British brands to provide the perfect vehicle for the sporting gun manufacturer’s customers. Thanks to the skill and craftsmanship of the team at Special Vehicle Operations, the new car is able to combine the unrivalled off-road capability of the Range Rover with an extensive range of bespoke features. 

Both Land Rover and Holland & Holland hold Royal Warrants and the collaboration between them has resulted in the most luxurious, and most expensive, Range Rover ever.

Based on the Range Rover Autobiography Black, the summit of the Land Rover model portfolio, the new model has been designed by Land Rover Special Vehicle Operations (SVO), which will build 40 units per year over a three-year period. The collaboration demonstrates the new division’s rapidly growing and ambitious repertoire of high-end luxury bespoke commissions, as well as extreme performance vehicles.

John Edwards, managing director of Jaguar Land Rover Special Operations, said, “The whole SVO team is very proud of this car, a bespoke design, which perfectly meets the very particular needs of Holland & Holland’s customers. This shows the huge potential of SVO, which encapsulates both off- and on-road performance as well as luxury and craftsmanship.”

The Holland & Holland Range Rover is available with a choice of powertrains: the diesel-powered 4.4-litre SDV8, which delivers 339PS and the 510PS petrol-powered 5.0-litre V8 Supercharged.

Both SVO and Holland & Holland represent the very pinnacle of craftsmanship, and the new car is where their collective skills combine. It is instantly discernable from a distance, even among other Range Rovers, thanks to the unique Holland & Holland Green of the full bodywork, mirrors and bonnet vent. The grille is painted in the same deep green and has chrome highlights.

Holland & Holland badging can be found on the lower accent door badges of both long and standard wheelbase versions, as well as on the tailgate.

On the inside, the Range Rover Autobiography Black has been tailored to accommodate the lifestyle pursuits of Holland & Holland’s customers. The Executive Class seating package in the long wheelbase car makes the most of the additional 186mm (7.3 inches) of legroom and 17 degrees recline available to the rear seat passengers. 

Two individual fully adjustable seats are complemented by an extended and re-designed centre console with electrically deployable walnut tables, integrated USB charging sockets, enhanced stowage and bespoke lighting.

In the Holland & Holland car, the interior is upholstered with the softest tan and espresso leather hides, with precision leather detailing including Holland & Holland embroidery on the front seats. Even the sides of the transmission tunnel are trimmed in the same shade of leather. This is perfectly complemented by the sustainably-sourced French walnut veneer, subtly polished to resemble the oil-finished gunstocks for which Holland & Holland’s craftsmen have been famous since the company’s foundation in 1835. 

To mark this, their logo is inlaid into the front centre console.  The car’s woodwork is made from a single huge piece of walnut, 1500mm long by 500mm wide, to ensure that every veneer is perfectly matched.

The engraver’s art is well represented too, with Holland & Holland’s brand-defining acanthus scroll turning the internal door handles into works of art. The fascia letterbox panels are decorated with gunstock checkering and the exquisite engraving of the centre console panel has been inspired by Holland & Holland’s distinctive forend diamonds.

What really sets the new Holland & Holland Range Rover apart, though, is located in the boot. A stunning leather-trimmed aluminium loadspace cabinet – debossed with the Holland & Holland logo – has been designed especially for this car. Its espresso Alcantara-trimmed interior can be precisely fitted to safely transport the owner of the car’s pair of Holland & Hollands - although it is also removable when maximum luggage capacity is required.

It sits on a deployable loadspace floor, engineered from aluminium and carbon fibre and finished with leather and wood veneer. The floor components are machined and cut to produce a unique platformthat slides out with a perfectly damped action, to ensure that the cabinet is easily accessible, even when the tailgate is open. 

The sliding floor is also designed to be load-bearing so that it can still be sat upon when owners wish to change their footwear or stop for a brief picnic.  When floor and box are in their travel position, they sit low and well back in the boot to ensure that there is still plenty of room for luggage or sports equipment.

Daryl Greatrex, managing director of Holland & Holland, commented: “This project represents two great British brands working together to produce a car that perfectly represents our shared brand values. Stunning form and perfect functionality unite in a car that is supremely fit for purpose.”

The recommended retail price (RRP) for the Holland & Holland Range Rover will be £180,000.