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.

Friday, 19 December 2014

Spyker Supercar makers has been declared bankrupt.

Today the District Court of Midden-Nederland, at the request of the administrator, converted the moratorium of payment, granted to Spyker N.V. and its wholly owned subsidiaries Spyker Automobielen B.V. and Spyker Events & Branding B.V. (collectively “Spyker” or the “Company”) on December 2nd, last, to bankruptcy. The cause for this conversion was that the committed bridge funding did unfortunately not reach the company in time. The administrator will continue his work but now as receiver.

Victor R. Muller, Founder and Chief Executive Officer said: “None of the ambitions we had when we founded Spyker 15 years ago, has vanished as a result of today’s events. In 2000 we set out to establish a super sports car business from scratch with a global distribution and we achieved that. Over the years we undertook some daring ventures that left their marks on the company which in turn contributed to today’s demise.
However, I would like to make clear that as far as I am concerned “this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning” to quote Winston Churchill. I will relentlessly endeavour to resurrect Spyker as soon as practically possible and, assuming we will be successful, pursue our goal to merge with a high performance electric aircraft manufacturer and develop revolutionary electric Spykers with disruptive sustainable technology.
This is the moment to express my gratitude to our customers, dealers, suppliers and of course our employees and Board. Their loyalty and support was vital to build the brand over the past decade and a half. They can count on us continuing to live by the Spyker axiom “Nulla Tenaci Invia est Via” (Latin for “For the tenacious no road is impassible”).”

Ford shuts Genk, Belgium facility with the loss of nearly 12,000 jobs.

Ford Motor produced the last car at its plant in Genk, Belgium, today, closing the site which produced some 14 million vehicles over the past 50 years.
The company decided in late 2012 to shut the factory, which employed about 4,000 people, and relocate production of the Mondeo, S-Max and Galaxy models to Valencia, Spain.

"It seems so unreal. I think I'll only notice after the holidays. It's winter time, you're at home and have no idea what to do. That's when it will hit," said 60-year-old Rudi Beys on his way to one of his final shifts, adding he felt too young to retire.According to a study carried out by the nearby University of Hasselt, the closure of the plant will cost some 11,800 jobs in the greater region, as suppliers to Ford also have to make cuts.
The final car to roll off the production line on Thursday was set to be a white Galaxy van, which will be emblazoned with the signatures of factory staff and will be donated to a charity.

The final shift ended at 2 p.m. local time. The company will keep a few hundred of its staff over the coming months to dismantle assembly lines.
Following the Genk closure and that of an Opel factory in Antwerp in 2010, Belgium now has just two vehicle assembly plants: Audi in Brussels and Volvo Cars in Ghent.


IRELAND - All-New Ford Mondeo takes Fleet Car Of The Year at the InBusiness Editor’s Choice Awards in Dublin.

The All-New Ford Mondeo has been named Fleet Car of the Year 2014 at the In Business Editor’s Choice Awards in Dublin.
"We’re absolutely delighted to receive this award, particularly as our new Mondeo has only recently been launched in Ireland," said Ciaran McMahon, Chairman and Managing Director Designate of Ford Ireland. “The Ford Mondeo has been a key model in the fleet sector for many years and I think the new version will take that on to a new level.”

“For business drivers, Mondeo offers the best driving experience in the class while for fleet managers it delivers low cost of ownership, low running costs and excellent residual value,” Mr McMahon went on. “That all adds up to a car with impeccable fleet credentials, as hundreds of companies around Ireland would vouch for.”
The All-New Ford Mondeo is available as a 5-door and estate with a five year warranty from €28,995*. A range of new technology options are available including Active Park Assist, dynamic LED headlights, inflatable rear seatbelts and Ford SYNC 2 hands-free technology.
The InBusiness Editor’s Choice Awards, in association with Chambers Ireland and in its third year, recognise and honour Irish businesses with exceptional innovation and business achievements. Winners are selected based on profile of business, growth, range of services and customer care.

Better Fuel consumption, more power and better looks, that will be the refreshed AUDI Q3

  • Up to 17 percent lower fuel consumption and up to 10 hp more power 
Since its market launch in November 2011, the Q3 model series has been a successful model for the Audi brand. The new Audi Q3 and RS Q3 models not only feature a refreshed design, they also boast a number of technical innovations.
The three TFSI and three TDI clean diesel four‑cylinder engines boast higher output combined with reduced fuel consumption. CO2 emissions have been reduced by as much as 17 percent. They displace 1.4 or 2.0 litres and produce between (120 hp) and (220 hp). All are turbocharged, direct-injection units and comply with the limits of the Euro 6 emission standard. These consumption and CO2 reductions are made possible in part by the Audi cylinder on demand technology. Thanks to their efficiency, the 1.4 TFSI COD and the 2.0 TDI bear the “Audi ultra” badge.

The chassis of the Audi Q3 combines agile handling, supreme safety, and enhanced comfort. Audi drive select enables the driver to adjust key technology modules, including the optional active dampers, to suit his or her personal preferences. Wheels range in size from 16 to 20 inches in diameter, and the suspension has been tuned for increased comfort. Hill‑descent assist is available as an option.
The premium character of the redesigned Audi Q3 is apparent at first glance. The Audi designers have honed the details of the coupe‑like lines with the characteristic wrap-around tailgate. 
The sculpted Singleframe grille is the defining element at the front of the car. The redesigned headlights come standard with xenon plus technology and LED daytime running lights. The optional LED headlights are particularly bright and energy‑efficient. Audi offers them in combination with the dynamic turn signals integrated into the likewise redesigned LED taillights.
In its base configuration, the luggage compartment of the Audi Q3 has a capacity of 460 litres by folding down the split rear seatbacks, this can be increased to 1,365 litres. Many clever options make the SUV even more versatile and easier to use. These include the luggage compartment package, a pass-through and the power tailgate. Roof rails and a new, extensible luggage compartment cover are standard.
Equipment and trim
The new Audi Q3 features a generous list of standard equipment. This can be supplemented with features taken directly from the luxury class, such as the LED interior lighting package and the power-adjustable front seats. With respect to driver assistance systems, the secondary collision brake assist is standard.
Customers can order the following  assistance systems described below as options. With Audi side assist, a yellow LED indicator illuminates in the housing of the outside mirror if another vehicle is in the blind spot or is approaching rapidly from the rear. Audi active lane assist works with video cameras that detect the lane markings. It gently intervenes in the steering to help the driver return to the lane if he or she comes too close to a line without indicating. The camera-based traffic sign recognition system shows speed limit signs – and now also no passing signs – as graphics in the driver information system display.
MMI navigation plus is the high‑end infotainment solution from Audi. The ideal complement to MMI navigation plus is Audi connect including car phone, which connects the Audi Q3 to the Internet. Passengers can use the integrated to WiFi hotspot to surf or e‑mail, while the driver can enjoy the tailored services from Audi connect. These include the web radio Audi music stream, online traffic information, and navigation with Google Earth and Google Street View.
Sales of the redesigned Q3, which Audi builds at its Martorell plant outside Barcelona, Spain, will begin in February 2015. 

USA - New Honda Heritage Centre opens in Marysville, Ohio.

The Honda Heritage Center in Marysville officially opened its doors today, offering the world a glimpse of the innovative history and growth the company has achieved in Ohio and North America during the past 55 years.
"The new Honda Heritage Center is a collection of Honda dreams in the form of products that are responsible for millions of customer relationships," said Takuji Yamada, chief operating officer of Honda's North American regional operations. "The great variety of products on display – including powersports, power equipment and automobiles, as well as aviation and robotics – together with the major milestones highlighted, tell the stories of Honda associates in Ohio and from throughout North America."
Ohio Gov. John Kasich joined Honda officials and state and local community leaders to celebrate the opening of the new $35 million, 160,000-square-foot facility, which includes a museum, Technical Development Center and office space for Honda North America.

The new museum, which will open to the public in January, pays tribute to Honda's unique tradition and highlights products and significant milestones in the history of Honda in North America, including a natural focus on the role of Honda's operations in Ohio. A vision to dream big is evident throughout the museum, exemplified by the visible evolution of the motorcycles, automobiles and power equipment on display.  In addition, the space honors groundbreaking new Honda technologies such as a replica of the humanoid robot ASIMO and the HondaJet, which will begin customer deliveries in 2015.
In addition to the Honda museum, the building is home to a new Technical Development Center, which is focused on advancing the skills of Honda engineers, equipment service technicians, and production associates involved in auto production at Honda plants in Ohio and throughout North America. This will help prepare Honda and its associates for the 21st century of manufacturing where success will be defined by the successful interaction between associates and advanced technology.
According to Tom Shoupe, chief operating officer and executive vice president of Honda of America Mfg. Inc., the Technical Development Center is significant as Honda's North American operations take on an even greater role in the development and production of global Honda models.
"Honda is committed to investing in its team of associates and this new training center will allow our associates to continually develop their manufacturing skills so that they can lead the production of critical global models," Shoupe said. "As we introduce more sophisticated technologies in our products and in our plants, we are working to ensure that our associates are equipped with the skills required for the manufacturing demands of the future. We view this investment in Honda people as critical to our future success."
The Technical Development Center, supported with a grant from JobsOhio, features five dedicated classrooms and includes robotic manufacturing cells designed to give technicians more hands-on experience. The curriculum provides instruction in basic fundamentals such as fluid power, maintenance math and frequency drives as well as advanced training for specialized areas, such as die molds and machining.
"Honda's Heritage Center showcases this global company's extraordinary growth, including right here in Ohio," said John Minor, JobsOhio President and Chief Investment Officer. "We are proud that Ohio is home to this impressive facility, which will serve as an important hub for Honda and enhance workforce development in the region."

USA - 2015 Dodge Challenger gains five stars overall in NHTSA satey rating program.

  • 2015 Dodge Challenger coupe earns five stars overall, the highest possible score in NHTSA’s safety rating program
  • More than 70 safety and security features, including new for 2015 class-exclusive Forward Collision Warning, adaptive cruise control, Blind-spot Monitoring and Rear Cross Path detection
  • All-new 2015 Dodge Challenger starts at $26,995 (excluding tax, destination and title)
The all-new 2015 Dodge Challenger has earned a five-star overall safety rating from the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

Five stars is the highest possible safety rating given by NHTSA.

“The new Dodge Challenger coupe further demonstrates our commitment to broaden the proliferation of advanced safety technologies, such as driver-assist features,” says Scott Kunselman, Senior Vice President-Vehicle Safety and Regulatory, FCA-North America.


In its assessment of the new Challenger, NHTSA notes the availability of Forward Collision Warning (FCW), which features forward-facing sensors programmed to detect the potential for certain types of frontal collisions. If detected, the driver is alerted with visual and audible warnings.
The 2015 Dodge Challenger is the only car in its segment with such capability.

FCW is among more than 70 available safety and security features on the 2015 Dodge Challenger. Others include Blind-Spot Monitoring and Rear Cross-Path Detection, which was pioneered by FCA US LLC.

Among the individual crash-tests in which the Challenger scored five stars were front- and side-impacts.

“The 2015 Challenger checks all the boxes,” Kunselman says. “It affords premium safety and security in a stylish package that delivers a sporty driving experience.”

And it does so for $26,995, excluding tax, destination and title.

Building on the 2014-model’s legacy of honors that include Edmunds.com’s Best Retained Value Award and winner three years’ running J.D. Power’s APEAL Award for overall ownership enjoyment, the 2015 Dodge Challenger ups its game with:

  • New 1971-inspired exterior and interior design features
  • An unmatched array of personalization options, including a wide range of colors, stripes and wheels to create the perfect combination of fun, nostalgia and power
  • Segment-first and segment-exclusive TorqueFlite eight-speed automatic transmission, which delivers world-class precision and up to an 11 percent improvement in fuel economy, compared with the outgoing gearbox
  • Significant new technology upgrades such as the all-new Uconnect Access system with standard touchscreen, standard new 7-inch multi-view TFT gauge cluster, new performance electronic shifter, Keyless Enter ‘n Go with push-button start.

Last month, the Challenger recorded its best-ever November sales total with 4,157 deliveries. That’s a 52-percent jump compared with the same month in 2013.

MINI at the North American International Auto Show 2015.

One year after the US premiere of the new MINI, the British premium manufacturer presents another spectacular addition to the model range at the 2015 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit. The new MINI John Cooper Works is raring to go and now sees its world premiere at the Mecca of the US automotive industry. This model takes hallmark MINI driving fun - already intensified in the latest generation - to a level of irresistible racing passion. A particularly powerful turbo engine, suspension technology precisely attuned to the race track and an aerodynamically optimised body design give the new MINI John Cooper Works outstanding performance properties.
The new top athlete combines the enthusiasm for top performance embodied by the John Cooper Works brand with the consistently refined quality of the latest MINI generation. At NAIAS 2015, the new version of the original in the premium small car segment will demonstrate that it not only offers extreme driving fun but also provides the perfect basis for fresh diversity. In addition to the new MINI 3 door, the limelight will also be on the new MINI 5 door at the motor show in Detroit. What is more, visitors to the exhibition from January 17th - 25th 2015 will have the opportunity to see the latest additions to the program of MINI Yours special equipment features as well as a particularly fascinating concept study. 

The North American International Auto Show traditionally marks the start of the sector's global motor show calendar. It is now one of the most outstanding auto shows in the world and will be held for the 27th time in 2015. More than 200 companies will be presenting their current new models, products and technologies at the Cobo Center in Detroit. Like last year, the organisers expect NAIAS 2015 to attract more than 800,000 visitors. 
World premiere for the top athlete: the new MINI John Cooper Works.
The new MINI John Cooper Works offers extreme temperament subject to precise control, making for especially fascinating driving fun in day-to-day traffic. Typical of the John Cooper Works models, these characteristics are created by developing and harmonising technology details for the engine, suspension, body and cockpit based on in-depth racing expertise and geared towards top performance.

The most important components of this overall package are the powerful 4-cylinder turbo engine, a sports suspension including Brembo sports brake system and exclusive John Cooper Works light alloy wheels, the John Cooper Works aerodynamics kit and particularly large air inlets on the front section of the vehicle as well as a model-specific interior in sports car style. With its exclusive design and equipment features, the new MINI John Cooper Works is set more clearly apart than ever from the other models of the MINI family. It achieves significantly improved driving performance figures and a further reduced level of fuel consumption as compared to its predecessor model.
MINI Superleggera Vision: British style meets Italian flair.
Future-oriented technology and tradition-steeped automobile craftsmanship are combined in the concept study of a compact roadster created as a collaborative venture between MINI and the Italian design and body manufacturing specialist Touring Superleggera. The MINI Superleggera Vision presents a modern interpretation of a classic open-top two-seater merging British style with Italian flair. Elaborately crafted by hand, the study has an electric motor under the bonnet. The vehicle concept and design are focussed entirely on the essentials: driving fun and aesthetic appeal.

The roadster's characteristic MINI proportions derive a fascinating charismatic touch from the unmistakable Touring Superleggera lines and surface finish. The lightweight construction used for the body - another characteristic feature - contributes to pure driving fun, enthralling agility and groundbreaking efficiency. In the interior of the MINI Superleggera Vision, purist and therefore timeless aesthetic appeal is created by means of generous surfaces and high-quality materials which are especially authentic since they have largely been left in their original state.

Alfa Romeo Giulietta Sprint introduced to celebrate 60th anniversary of 1954 Giulietta Sprint

  • New Alfa Romeo Giulietta Sprint introduced to commemorate 60th anniversary of original 1954 Giulietta Sprint
  • Exclusive features include bespoke “Sprint” wing badges, “Sprint” logos embroidered in the headrests, sporty detailing and unique 17-inch wheels
  • Powered by a new 150hp 1.4 MultiAir Turbo Petrol engine and six-speed manual created specifically for the Sprint
  • On sale in early 2015 priced from £20,490 OTR
The new Alfa Romeo Giulietta Sprint celebrates a key moment in Alfa Romeo’s heritage: the 60th anniversary of the launch of the original Alfa Romeo Giulietta Sprint, a car that struck a chord with the public thanks to its stunning looks and relative affordability, resulting in Alfa Romeo’s transition from a low-volume specialist manufacturer to that of a successful “premium” car brand, long before the term had entered the automotive lexicon.

Like the original Giulietta Sprint, the new version is also powered by an engine of less than 1,400cc in capacity, but for 2014 it is equipped with MultiAir valve management and an intercooled turbocharger to boost its power output to more than twice that of the original Sprint’s 1.3-litre twin-cam engine. The new 1.4-litre TB MultiAir petrol engine produces 150hp and 250Nm of torque and can propel the new Giulietta Sprint from 0-62mph in just 8.2 seconds and on to a top speed of 130mph, while its combined-cycle fuel efficiency figure is 49.6mpg and its CO2 emissions are just 131g/km.
Apart from the 150hp engine, the new Sprint also comes equipped with a number of other unique features, including new 17-inch, five-hole design alloy wheels; special badging on the front wings; carbon-effect door panels and dashboard surround; a sports, leather-wrapped steering wheel with red stitching and new seats with cloth and Alcantara®-upholstery, red stitching and “Sprint” logo embroidered into the headrests. Sprint enhancements also include sports rear bumper side skirts and dark-tinted windows. The new Alfa Romeo Sprint goes on sale in early 2015, priced from £20,490 OTR.
Giulietta Sprint Equipment:
(Bold signifies added equipment vs Progression version)
  • New 17-inch, five-hole alloy wheels with 225/45 R17 tyres (with space-saver spare)
  • Cloth & Alcantara seats with “Sprint” logo, height adjustable on driver’s side
  • Alfa D.N.A. (Vehicle’s dynamic control switch)
  • Uconnect™ five-inch touchscreen with DAB, Bluetooth®, voice commands, SMS reader, USB port, music streaming and six speakers
  • Black window surrounds and dark-tinted windows
  • Darkened headlight surrounds and front fog lamps with dark anthracite bezels
  • Dark Anthracite exterior finishing on the grille, mirrors and door handles
  • Manual air conditioning
  • LED Daytime Running Lights and LED rear light clusters
  • Electric windows front and rear plus electrically heated and adjustable body-coloured mirrors
  • Rear spoiler and Sports rear diffuser with oversized exhaust trim
  • Body-coloured bumpers and side skirts
  • Sports instruments with white illumination, multifunctional display and trip computer
  • Carbon effect dashboard and door panels plus darkened interior headlining
  • Sports leather-wrapped steering wheel with red stitching and remote controls
  • Floor mats with red stitching
  • VDC (ABS + ASR + EBD + EBA) + Hill Holder, TPMS and Electronic Q2 differential
  • 6 Airbags – Driver, passenger, front side & window with front passenger deactivation
  • Remote central locking with deadlocks, immobiliser and alarm
  • Sprint badge
Special/Metallic Paint - £510
Electric Double Sunroof - £1,200
Bi-Xenon Headlamps with Washers - £930
Rear Parking Sensors with Multifuctional Display - £260
Dual Zone Climate Control - £450
Cruise Control - £260
Visibility Pack (dusk & rain sensors, electro-chromatic mirror, power-folding mirrors) - £320
Aluminium Sports Pedals £160
Uconnect™ 6.5-inch colour touchscreen infotainment system with satnav - £1,050
BOSE ten-speaker Hi-Fi system - £820

Alfa Romeo Giulietta 1.4 TP 150 HP S&S
ENGINELayout, cylinders, capacityIn-line transverse 4-cyl  1,368cc
Bore × stroke72×84mm
Compression ratio9.8:1
Max power150hp @ 5,500 rpm
Peak torque 250Nm at 2,500 rpm
Timing system (control)Toothed belt, hydraulic tappets, MultiAir intake system
SupplyMPFI turbo-charging, MultiAir direct valve control system, intercooler
Fuel tank60 litres
TRANSMISSIONDrive, GearboxFront, Manual six-speed
WEIGHTSKerb weight1,290 kg
Max. towable braked/unbraked500 / 1,300 kg
PERFORMANCETop speed130 mph
0-62 mph (1 person + 30 kg)8.2 seconds
Urban cycle MPG37.2 MPG (7.6 L/100km)
Extra-urban cycle61.4 MPG (4.6 L/100km)
Combined cycle49.6 MPG (5.7 L/100km)
EMISSIONSCO2 (Certification)131 g/km (Euro 6)