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, 21 February 2015

Happy 50th birthday to the best-known & most beautiful Pullman saloon ever, the Mercedes-Benz 600.

The 50th birthday of the best-known Pullman saloon of them all, the Mercedes-Benz 600, is set to coincide with a special debut at the Geneva Motor Show: the launch of the new Pullman. Mercedes-Maybach's second model will assume the top-of-the-range position, with vis-à-vis seating in the passenger compartment and high-end automotive luxury that is traditionally associated with Maybach.

Its length of 6.5 metres alone is a sign of the special status of the Mercedes-Maybach Pullman. It provides space for a generously-sized and tastefully-appointed club lounge in the rear, which has a multitude of creature comforts fitted as standard. This chauffeur-driven limousine is more than equal to today's demands for the ultimate in exclusivity and luxury. The VIP occupants sit on two standard-specification executive seats facing the direction of travel. 

They can enjoy the greatest legroom in the segment; and can get into and out of the car with the greatest of ease and comfort. As is typical for a Pullman, the four passengers can sit facing each other in the compartment with an electrically-operated partition window. The prices for unarmoured models start at around half a million euros; the first customers will be taking delivery of their vehicles, which of course offer unrivalled scope for individualisation, at the beginning of 2016.

With its new model, the company is now extending its unique position in this demanding segment: "Quite apart from providing stately and stylish seating for high-ranking passengers in the comfort and spaciousness for which it is famed, the new Mercedes-Maybach Pullman is of course the embodiment of exclusivity at its highest level," commented Ola Källenius, Member of the Daimler AG Management Board responsible for sales and marketing of Mercedes-Benz Cars. "One can sense the significance and greatness of it in every detail."

The Mercedes-Maybach Pullman provides extremely spacious seating combined with unique features characterised by their extraordinary and perfect craftsmanship. It goes without saying that Mercedes-Maybach offers its customers unique opportunities to individualise the appointments of their top-class limousines. The exquisite Maybach paint finishes, which are applied in several layers, count as part of this specification.

With a length of 6499 mm, the Pullman is another 1053 mm longer than the Mercedes-Maybach S-Class. The wheelbase is an impressive 4418 mm. Furthermore, at 1598 mm in height, the Pullman is more than 100 mm higher than a Mercedes S-Class, resulting in a tangible increase in headroom. 

The absolute top-of-the-range model is the Mercedes-Maybach Pullman S 600. Its V12 biturbo engine has an output of 530 hp. With displacement of 5980 cc, the maximum torque of 830 Nm is available from 1900 rpm.

The name Pullman was originally applied to railway carriages with luxurious open-plan compartments manufactured by the American Pullman Palace Car Company. This name was soon also applied to the motor cars from Mercedes-Benz which were based on an extremely long wheelbase and offered a very generously-sized passenger compartment. In the rear, separated from the driver's area by a partition, there was space for four passengers to recline regally in four single seats facing each other.

Extremely spacious seating in the rear, entire vehicle interior is leather-clad

As its name suggests, the four seats in the rear of the Mercedes-Maybach Pullman are arranged vis-à-vis. The owner and VIP guests are seated in the direction of travel on two executive seats which are part of the standard specification; other passengers can sit on the fold-down seats facing backwards. If specifically requested, the Pullman can also be delivered in an exclusive version without the additional seats.

The executive seats offer a unique level of comfort thanks to their special adjustment kinematics. In contrast to the norm, the backrest is adjusted separately while the footwell and seat reference point remain unchanged. The cushion can be adjusted separately, with inclination and horizontal adjustment combined. For the executive seats, the maximum backrest angle is 43.5 degrees. 

The most upright backrest position of 19 degrees allows relaxed working in the rear. The reclining seats feature a calf support, which is freely adjustable for length and angle. The luxury head restraints come with an extra cushion as standard. The two first-class travellers in the rear have the greatest amount of legroom of any car in the segment, as well as 60 mm more headroom than in a Mercedes-Maybach S-Class.

There is one design difference compared with the existing Pullman model: in the new model, all seats are easy to get to. This improvement was achieved thanks to the large rear doors and the position of the passengers on the executive seats, which is even further to the rear.

The interior of the Mercedes-Maybach Pullman is upholstered in leather throughout as standard. Not only is the roof liner upholstered in high-quality leather, but also the door frames and seat consoles. As one would expect of a Maybach, there are three analogue instruments in the roof liner informing passengers in the rear of the outside temperature, speed and time.

The partition wall between the rear and the driver's area ensures discretion. The glass partition wall can be lowered electrically. It can also change from transparent to opaque at the touch of a button. This allows – in combination with the equally standard-specification curtains for the rear windows – for different levels of privacy. The standard-fit 16:9 format 18.5-inch (47 cm) monitor located in front of the partition can also be extended electrically.

The Burmester® high-end 3D surround sound system has been further optimised. Hand-selected loudspeakers, improved membranes and tuning exclusively to the preferred listening of each individual customer guarantees the ultimate in hi-fi listening pleasure. The appearance of the high-end audio system has also been further improved.

The history: Pullman limousines from Mercedes-Benz

Happy Birthday: the best-known Mercedes Pullman, the Mercedes 600, is celebrating its 50th birthday in 2015. Mercedes-Benz first started offering the prestigious-looking variant in this model series as a "series-production vehicle" in 1965. Having said that, the tradition of offering exclusive limousines with the Pullman name goes back even further at Mercedes-Benz:

Three special-design examples of the model 300 in Pullman dimensions, referred to in the vernacular as the "Adenauer Mercedes", were made in 1960. And following on from the W 100 model series, in subsequent years there were Pullman versions of the S-Class 109 and 126 model series (special production) as well as the 140 and 220 (both standard production).

The all new Skoda Superb, the time for a revolution starts here and NOW.

  • New ŠKODA Superb revolutionises ŠKODA design
  • Best interior space in its class
  • MQB technology offering optimum safety, best environmental values, great connectivity
  • Market launch of the third-generation model in June; UK deliveries September
The new ŠKODA Superb rolled into the spotlight today with a spectacular world premiere at the Forum Karlín in Prague. The new ŠKODA Superb revolutionises the brand’s design. 

Generous dimensions, innovative safety assistance systems, a focus on the environment and comfort, plus powerful EU6 engines and ŠKODA-typical ‘Simply Clever’ features have moved the brand’s flagship to the upper end of the automotive mid-class. The new Superb is the best ŠKODA ever and the highlight of the company’s largest-ever model campaign.

ŠKODA CEO Prof. Dr. h.c. Winfried Vahland said: “This car marks the beginning of a new era for ŠKODA. In recent years, we have renewed and expanded our model range. The new ŠKODA Superb demonstrates our aspirations in the automotive mid-class. 

In terms of creativity and technology, it reaches a new level of performance, shows ŠKODA’s reclaimed position and leads the way into the future of the brand. This fantastic car will attract new private and business customers to ŠKODA.”

The world premiere of the new ŠKODA Superb took place in Forum Karlín in Prague, in front of 800 guests – ŠKODA welcomed international media representatives as well as guests from the group, the company, politics, business and society. The new ŠKODA Superb was the star of the evening. Its first appearance was accompanied by the world premiere of the ‘Superb Symphony’ with the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra. Other highlights included performances from soul legend Chaka Khan and singer Aura Dione.

ŠKODA intends to continue the success story of the brand’s top model range with the third-generation Superb. To date, more than 700,000 first- and second-generation Superbs have been delivered to customers.

Elegance, strength, dynamism –revolutionary ŠKODA design

With its new design, the new ŠKODA Superb demonstrates the brand’s emotional strength, bringing the exciting design language of the ‘ŠKODA VisionC’ show car into production. “The wheelbase has been increased by 80 mm and at the same time the front vehicle overhang is 61 mm shorter than before. This new architecture provides the car with dynamic elegance,” said ŠKODA’s Head of Design Jozef Kabaň. At the same time, the new Superb offers further improved functionality and even more space.

The front conveys power and self-assurance. The striking grille, distinctive headlights and the deeply-drawn front-end architecture – all of this has been designed for increased optical width. The bonnet has powerfully shaped contours. The side view appears dynamic and elegant. The razor-sharp tornado line stretches the vehicle and, together with additional lighter surfaces, creates effective contrasts between light and shade. 

The car’s narrow pillars, the precision-cut window outline and the gently sloping roofline give the vehicle a coupé-style look. The large wheels and the striking wheel arches emphasise the exclusive appearance.

The design of the rear is self-confident and powerful. Horizontal lines are also accentuated here. The two-part, broad and narrow taillights feature LED technology as standard and intensify the ŠKODA-typical ‘C’ shape of the lights. At the same time, crystalline elements provide the taillights with additional luminosity. The completely redesigned interior continues the essential design details of the exterior. 

This includes the emphasis on horizontal lines, which gives the already spacious interior an even more generous feel. Clear shapes, precise workmanship and the use of high-quality materials result in a premium appearance.

Upgrade – a new dimension of comfort and space

The space of the new Superb has once again increased in comparison to the already generous values of the previous model. The driver and front seat passenger enjoy 39 mm more elbow room and more headroom. With 157 mm legroom the rear space is almost stately. This is about twice as much as in the nearest competitor model. The headroom measures 980 mm; no other model in the segment can offer this. The rear elbow room has increased by 69 mm. The 625-litre boot capacity is the top value in its segment, 30 litres more than in the second-generation Superb.

The new ŠKODA Superb is the brand’s first model offering adaptive Dynamic Chassis Control (DCC) including Driving Mode Select. New air-conditioning systems, including for the first time three-zone air conditioning, provide optimum temperature control and air quality. An electric sliding and tilting panoramic roof is optional. Auxiliary heating, heated seats, wireless heated windscreen and heated washer jets are available for the colder months. The rain/light sensor switches the windscreen wipers on and off automatically and automatically switches between daytime running lights and dipped beam as required.

Instead of one umbrella in the rear left door there is now one umbrella in each of the front doors. The new, electric tailgate is particularly convenient and can be complemented with an optional virtual pedal, where the customer can open the boot by waving a foot under the rear bumper. 

The electric tailgate and virtual pedal work in combination with the KESSY automaticlocking and starting system. The new Superb comes with the latest generation of Park Assist for automatically driving in and out of parking spaces. In addition, the car features a rear-view camera for the first time. The traditional handbrake is replaced by an electric parking brake as standard.

Perfectly connected

Connectivity features make their entrance in the third-generation ŠKODA Superb. There is a total of four, completely new infotainment systems based on Volkswagen Group’s MIB technology (Modularer Infotainment-Baukasten). The Columbus top model is optionally available with an integrated high-speed internet connection based on the LTE standard. This is a first for ŠKODA.

The ŠKODA Superb can be connected to a smartphone for the first time and selected apps can be operated from the infotainment system’s screen. SmartLink includes MirrorLinkTM, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The SmartGate interface, developed by ŠKODA, allows certain vehicle data to be accessed and on the user’s smartphone apps. The new ŠKODA Media Command app and the Wi-Fi hotspot integrated into the Columbus system allows the infotainment system to be controlled remotely from the rear seats for the first time. The Canton Sound System with 12 speakers and 610 W output turn the new ŠKODA Superb into a concert hall on wheels.

A new dimension of ‘Simply Clever’

The new ŠKODA Superb is the cleverest ŠKODA ever. 29 ‘Simply Clever’ features make life easier for driver and passengers. Some 23 solutions are new in the Superb, 10 of these are completely new for the brand. The new ‘Simply Clever’ solutions include practical items such as a mechanically retractable towing device, a tablet holder in the rear, a tablet storage compartment in the front centre armrest, a USB port and 230 V socket in the rear, cup-holders that allow single-handed opening for 0.5-litre bottles and an extra high-visibility vest storage compartment in all four doors. 

Both front and both rear doors will each hold a 1.5-litre bottle. The interior’s versatility is increased by the option to fold down the back seats from the boot. The passenger seat can also be folded forward. New cargo fasteners secure loose objects in the boot. An ice scraper in the fuel filler flap is standard. In addition, there are new storage nets on the inside edges of the front seats, a removable LED torch in the boot and misfuel protection.

Top efficiency

The new ŠKODA Superb’s new engines offer up to 30 per cent lower fuel consumption values and emissions. The ŠKODA Superb GreenLine consumes just 3.7 l/100 km (76.4mpg) and emits 95 g CO2 per km. The vehicle is up to 75 kg lighter and the aerodynamics have been improved. The combination of up to 20 per cent more power, reduced air resistance and a reduction in weight also result in remarkable driving dynamics.

The new ŠKODA Superb comes with direct-injection turbocharged engines based on MQB technology (five TSI petrol, three TDI common-rail diesel). All powertrains comply with EU6 standards and have Stop-Start technology and brake energy recovery as standard. The petrol engines have a power output of between 92 kW (125 HP) and 206 kW (280 HP), the diesel engines between 88 kW (120 HP) and 140 kW (190 HP). Except for the entry-level petrol version, all engines are available with modern dual-clutch transmission. Four engines are available with all-wheel drive based on the Haldex 5 clutch.

No compromise on safety

The top-level safety of the new ŠKODA Superb is impressive. Electronic Stability Control including Multi-Collision Brake is standard. The additional standard equipment for EU countries includes: Front Assist with Emergency Brake, electronic Tyre Pressure Monitor, seven airbags, and five three-point automatic seat belts with fastening alerts as well as safety headrests. Rear side airbags are optional. Also standard: XDS+, a function of the electronic differential lock. From the Ambition trim line upwards, a Speedlimiter is fitted as standard.

Optional assistance systems are also available. Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) keeps the vehicle at a safe distance from the vehicle ahead. With the enhanced Crew Protect Assist,driver and front passenger are ‘prepared’ for an impending collision. 

Lane Assisthelps the vehicle stay in lane. Traffic Jam Assist, available for the first time for the model and for the brand, increases safety and comfort in traffic and during stop-start driving. The new Emergency Assist activates the brakes, should the driver become incapable of driving, automatically bringing the vehicle to a standstill.  

The completely new Blind Spot Detect system supports the driver in changing lanes safely by alerting them to vehicles in their blind spot. A core component of Blind Spot Detect is the Rear Traffic Alert function which is available for the brand and model for the first time. Driver Alert guards against driver fatigue. Travel Assist with Traffic Sign Recognition, available for the first time in the ŠKODA Superb, constantly informs the driver about the current traffic situation.

The headlights are fitted with halogen technology or with bi-xenon lights including AFS function and LED daytime running lights. The high beam can be electronically controlled via Light Assist or via the extended Smart Light Assist function (masked high beam). Striking rear LED lights are standard in the new Superb, and there are alsotwo reflectors on both sides of the rear bumper.

The new Superb’s completely redeveloped chassis with MacPherson strut front and multi-link rear axle provides optimum driving stability even in demanding situations.

All-New Hyundai Tucson gets world Debut at 85th International Geneva Motor Show 2015.

  • All-New Tucson represents significant step forward for Hyundai
  • New model follows one million Hyundai SUV sales in Europe, over 116,600 in the UK
  • Bold and athletic exterior creates unique appearance
  • Refined interior combines elegance with ergonomics and generous cabin space
  • Convenience and connectivity features tailored to customer needs including New Navigation with TomTom Live services and seven-year free subscription
  • Comprehensive active and passive safety technologies
  • Wide choice of engines; power range from 115 PS to 184 PS
  • All models for Europe to be built in Europe
With its worldwide public debut just weeks away at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show, the All-New Hyundai Tucson is set to redefine the Hyundai brand’s C-SUV offering – featuring the highest levels of design, quality and technology which are poised to lead the segment.

“The All-New Tucson is a bold new car that represents another leap forward for Hyundai,” commented Tony Whitehorn, President & CEO, Hyundai Motor UK. “With a fantastic design and advanced technologies, it makes a strong statement about where the Hyundai brand is heading and provides a highly competitive vehicle in the important C-SUV segment.”

New model follows SUV sales success

Since the first Santa Fe went on sale in 2001, Hyundai Motor has delivered more than one million SUVs to European customers, with over 116,600 UK deliveries, affirming the company’s credentials in the growing SUV market. The All-New Tucson will be of high importance to Hyundai’s business in the UK, as the C-SUV segment accounted for 20.5% of the company’s sales in 2014.

Bold and athletic exterior creates unique SUV appearance

“Design expresses our progressive spirit and passion, and it is transforming our brand. The All-New Tucson has a bold and athletic presence achieved through refined, flowing surfaces, bold proportions, sharp lines and most importantly, our newest generation hexagonal grille – our brand signature,” said Peter Schreyer, President and Chief Design Officer at Hyundai Motor Group.

While the All-New Tucson adopts an SUV profile and strong proportions, the design team have worked to ensure a sleek and agile look.  

The front of the All-New Tucson is dominated by the Hyundai signature hexagonal front grille, which connects with the LED headlamps to create a distinctive face.  The front bumper features a wing-shaped appearance, which incorporates the LED daytime running lights, giving the car a unique style and provides a visual reference to its wide track.

In moving the A-pillar back from its conventional location, it becomes visually disconnected from the long bonnet, accentuating the sleek profile. The directional shape of the wheel arches contribute to the agile and dynamic appearance, even when stationary, while the expressive ‘Z’ character-line above the rear wheel arches creates a sculptured side profile and a powerful stance. The rear has a clean design with horizontal lines that flow from the rear wheel arches and accentuated by slim tail lights.

Refined interior combines elegance with intelligent ergonomics

As well as introducing new soft-touch, high-quality materials across cabin surfaces, the interior has undergone extensive ergonomic testing to ensure ease of use and a pleasant experience. The modern simplicity of the centre console is underlined by its horizontal orientation, and there is an optional ‘Wine Red’ leather to bring further sophistication to the cabin (dependent on market specification).

Generous space from efficient packaging

The All-New Tucson is built on a completely new platform which features generous interior dimensions. Clever packaging ensures an excellent exterior-to-interior dimension ratio, optimising the space that is afforded to passengers and luggage. Comfortable and airy inside, All-New Tucson delivers a substantial 513 litres of luggage capacity with all the seats up.

Convenience and connectivity features are tailored to customer needs

New convenience features offered with the All-New Tucson include heated and ventilated front seats, with longer seating cushions for enhanced support and comfort. A smart powered tailgate (which opens at the approach of the key-holder) and Smart Parking Assist System (SPAS) with parallel and bay parking function both increase everyday usability.

The new-generation navigation system is more than three times faster than the previous version fitted in other Hyundai models and comes with a seven-year free subscription to TomTom LIVE services (subject to market specification).

Comprehensive active and passive safety package

Where safety features are concerned, the introduction of new technologies ensures that All-New Tucson is one of the best equipped vehicles in its segment. These include an Autonomous Emergency Braking system – with three operation modes: pedestrian, city and inter-urban – which triggers automatic braking whenever it detects an unsafe closing speed with a person or vehicle in front, and operates from low to high speeds.

In addition, a Lane Keeping Assist System proactively corrects the steering to avoid unintended lane departure, and the Rear Traffic Cross Alert system uses radar to scan a 180-degree area behind the vehicle, alerting the driver to any approaching cross-traffic. 

In addition, Blind Spot Detection helps monitor traffic around the car, while the Speed Limit Information Function monitors local overhead and roadside speed limit signs and provides reminders. The Active Bonnet System raises the vehicle’s bonnet to cushion the impact shock in any frontal collision with a pedestrian or cyclist.

Wide ranging choice of efficient powerplants

The All-New Tucson will be available with one of the widest powertrain ranges in its class. These include two gasoline engines: 135 PS (1.6-litre GDI) or 176 PS (1.6-litre T-GDI) – plus three diesel options: 115 PS (1.7-litre), 136 PS (2.0-litre standard power) or 184 PS (2.0-litre high power). The new turbocharged 176 PS 1.6-litre T-GDI engine can be paired with either a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission (7DCT) or a six-speed manual. (Engine options may differ between European markets).

All engines have been enhanced to offer improved driveability and fuel efficiency, as well as meeting Euro6 emission standards.

Every All-New Tucson for Europe will be made in Europe

Hyundai Motor will manufacture 100% of All-New Tucson models sold in European markets at its facility in the Czech Republic – a key part of its commitment to the region. Hyundai’s confidence in its European build quality means that every All-New Tucson will come with the company’s industry-leading Five Year Unlimited Mileage Warranty as standard.

After making its public World Premiere at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show, the All-New Tucson will go on sale in Europe during the second half of 2015.

Preliminary technical data

Exterior dimensions (mm)

All-New Tucson
Overhang (front)910
Overhang (rear)895

*excluding exterior mirrors
Engines and transmissions

GasolinePower outputTransmission available
1.6-litre GDI135 PS6MT
1.6-litre T-GDI176 PS6MT / 7DCT
1.7-litre115 PS6MT
2.0-litre standard power136 PS6MT / 6AT
2.0-litre high power184 PS6MT / 6AT