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, 25 September 2015

All New Sportage gets the rough treatment with extended hot testing in Death Valley, USA.

  • Extreme hot weather test for Sportage, in one of the hottest places on Earth
  • Comprehensive ‘Hot Test’ allows development of class-leading heating, ventilation and air-conditioning systems
  • All-new Sportage undergoes Kia’s most rigorous global test programme yet

Kia Motors has today revealed details of the intensive hot weather development tests for the all-new Kia Sportage – as part of the most extreme and rigorous vehicle testing programme ever devised by the company.

The all-new Sportage made its global debut at the 2015 Frankfurt International Motor Show earlier this month, and will go on sale globally in the first quarter of 2016.

Now entering its fourth-generation, Kia’s all-new compact SUV is undergoing the final stages of its development, with engineers testing the Sportage in Death Valley – one of the hottest places on Earth, with temperatures rising as high as 56ºC (132ºF) in the summer months.

This stage of testing means Kia can develop cars designed to operate in the harshest environments. For the all-new Sportage’s hot weather test, particular focus has been placed on developing its class-leading heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems.

Kia turns the heat up for class-leading air conditioning performance

Among the various individual hot weather testing methods, three gruelling tests are often employed by Kia’s vehicle test engineers, placing huge demand on the HVAC systems and the effects they have on engine and transmission cooling when used in the extreme heat.

The first of these tests is the up-hill climb, in which the vehicle is soaked in the midday sun for an hour to bring the cabin temperature over 50ºC (122ºF). The Sportage is then driven from sea level to almost 5,000 feet elevation through the aptly-named Furnace Creek area of Death Valley, a steady climb over 27 kilometres (17 miles) at 100 kph (62 mph). 

The test is designed to ensure that the additional load placed on the engine has minimum impact on the car’s ability to cool itself and its occupants.

The second test, the stop-and-go drive, simulates typical conditions in a congested urban centre. Engineers drive the all-new Sportage at 40 kph (25 mph) for two minutes through Furnace Creek, before stopping and idling for another two minutes. 

The process is repeated several times, and – again – is designed to put additional strain on the engine, transmission and HVAC systems and eliminate any possible flaws.

The final test devised by Kia’s engineering teams for the all-new Sportage is a slow drive, which takes place at the lowest point in North America, Badwater Basin – around 86 metres (282 feet) below sea level. 

After another one-hour heat soak, the all-new Sportage is driven at 40 kph (25 mph) for 30 minutes at a time, allowing vehicle engineers to verify – and improve – the capacity of the HVAC system when there is a dramatically reduced level of airflow to the air conditioning condenser unit.

Mojave Desert: Kia’s California proving ground

In addition to the demands placed on the car by the extreme conditions of Death Valley, Kia also carries out a series of hot weather tests at the company’s own North American testing facility – the Mojave Proving Ground. 

Located deep within the Californian Mojave Desert, the Proving Ground demonstrates the lengths to which Kia goes to ensure the quality and durability of every new car it creates, including the all-new Sportage.

Established in 2004, the Mojave Proving Ground is around 177 kilometres (110 miles) from Los Angeles. 

The 17.4 km2 (6.7 square miles) centre carries out extensive on- and off-road testing across numerous types of surface, and – in this notably hot, dry part of the world – the facility also enables development teams to put car materials and components through some of the most strenuous climatic conditions.

The Proving Ground is made up of 120 km (75 miles) of paved and off-road routes, including a 10.3 km (6.4-mile) high-speed oval, gravel off-road tracks, high-vibration road surfaces, brake test facilities and different gradients. Each of these enable engineers to evaluate and refine the ride, handling, brakes and NVH of prototype and production vehicles.

The Mojave site also houses a material weathering facility, where full cars and a variety of parts are exposed for a full year to the continuous UV radiation from the California sun’s intense rays. 

This exposure is accelerated through different testing equipment, ultimately ensuring that the various parts and components of Kia’s vehicles do not deteriorate under extreme heat, and remain intact throughout the whole life of a vehicle.

Kia’s most rigorous global testing programme yet

The fourth-generation Kia Sportage is almost at the end of a worldwide development programme, which has seen a fleet of development test vehicles subjected to numerous durability and reliability tests, equivalent to a cumulative mileage of more than 5.5 million kilometres – approximately 137 circulations of the Earth around the equator, and a far greater distance than many motorists will cover in a lifetime of driving.

Engineered to meet the needs of a global customer base, the Sportage has been subjected to high altitudes, sandstorms, monsoons, congested city centres, alpine passes, and extreme weather material testing covering temperatures as low as -35ºC (-31ºF) and as high as 110ºC (230ºF). Extensive testing carried out across the world’s diverse roads will make the Sportage a truly global car when it goes on sale.

All Kia models undergo testing to ensure the highest possible durability in all conditions, with the all-new Sportage undertaking the company’s most extensive – and intensive – testing programme to date.

As with every Kia sold in Europe, the all-new Sportage benefits from Kia’s unique 7-Year, 100,000 mile warranty.

Fancy a driving tour of France's famous race tracks with Norman Dewis OBE, well, now you can.

Jaguar’s legendary test driver Norman Dewis OBE is to host a special tour to the famous Hotel de France between October 28th and November 1st. 

Drivers will be able to join Norman on a 5-day trip that will take them to the circuit at Lohéac, the famous motoring hotel, where they will spend three nights, and Le Mans, where he raced for Jaguar.

The tour is being run by specialist tour operator Classic Grand Touring and spaces are still available.

Owner of the Hotel de France Martin Overington said: “This is a unique opportunity to spend time with one of motoring’s legendary drivers and to hear from him about his racing and driving experiences as we explore the Loire Valley, one of France’s most beautiful regions.”

On Saturday evening, after a day of driving and visits to the principal chateaux in the Loire, Norman will talk about his experience with Jaguar, driving in the Mille Miglia and delivering the E-Type to the Geneva Motor Show in 1961.

Situated in the town of La Chartre-sur-le-Loir, around 40km away from Le Mans, the Hotel de France is famous for its long association with motor sport and the Le Mans 24 hour race. From the 50’s to the 80’s, many drivers such as Stirling Moss, Caroll Shelby and Derek Bell, and victorious teams would use the hotel as headquarters, preparing their racing cars in the courtyard and then driving them to and from the circuit on public roads.

The Loire Valley is famous for its picturesque towns, chateaux and country roads, which are regarded as some of the most beautiful in France. Drivers will have the opportunity to visit these magnificent chateaux as well as enjoy sampling at the local vineyards

Rolls Royce had its best Goodwood Revival ever, with more visitors and invited guests than ever before.

Rolls-Royce Motor Cars celebrated a record Goodwood Revival over the weekend. The manufacturer of super-luxury motor cars hosted customers, prospects and VIPs and also entertained the tens of thousands of visitors to the world’s most popular historic motor race meeting in true Rolls-Royce style.

The Rolls-Royce Radford building at the March Motor Works – this year titled ‘March Mews SW1’ – presented an appropriate tribute to the ‘Finishing Shop’ of Harold Radford (Coachbuilders) Limited, South Kensington. 

Harold Radford & Co Limited were long-established retailers of Rolls-Royce motor cars who, under G H Radford, developed a bespoke coachbuilding business in the late 1940s named Harold Radford (Coachbuilders) Limited. 

The coachbuilding business became synonymous with amendments to suit the rural lifestyle of the landed gentry, developing their ‘Countryman’ range of conversions to Rolls-Royce motor cars.

A ‘new’ Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud was displayed in the ‘Finishing Shop’ – a factory Standard Steel bodied car fitted out with all the Radford embellishments that created the sensational ‘Countryman’, featuring many of the range of over 40 luxury optional extras as offered in Radford’s brochure. 

A raised boot improved the capacity of the luggage compartment and a most convenient addition were the split folding rear seats, which allowed owners to stow bulky luggage for continental trips. The car presented is exceptionally rare, being the finest surviving example of only three originally built and a past Pebble Beach concours winner.

Rolls-Royce was represented on the Motor Circuit throughout the event by a handsome 1954 Rolls-Royce Silver Dawn Drophead Coupé by Park Ward, finished in Brewster Green, with Dark Green hood and Green hide. 

One of only 28 Silver Dawn Drophead Coupé models to be built, this model was one of only eight to feature ‘high line’ wing styling, making it an exceptionally rare motor car. The car was very kindly loaned for the occasion by a customer of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars.

Joining the Course Director’s entourage, special guests of the Company were conveyed in period luxury, with the silence of the Silver Dawn’s ‘magic carpet ride’ only marginally disturbed by the ticking of the original mechanical clock.

Departing the Revival, invited guests returned to the current day in contemporary luxury, as they were conveyed in exquisite Rolls-Royce Phantom, Ghost and Wraith motor cars hand-built at the Home of Rolls-Royce, located within the Goodwood Estate, a short distance from the Motor Circuit. 

The unmistakable sound of wartime vintage aircraft continued after the Revival, with more than 40 Spitfires and Hurricanes taking off from Goodwood Aerodrome on Tuesday to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain. Aircraft from across the UK, US and Europe took off over the Rolls-Royce head office and manufacturing plant, before making onward journeys for flypasts of airfields linked to the battle.

Secretary of State for Transport Patrick McLoughlin statement on Volkswagen and vehicle emission testing.

Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said:
“The government takes the unacceptable actions of VW extremely seriously. My priority is to protect the public as we go through the process of investigating what went wrong and what we can do to stop it happening again in the future."

“We have called on the EU to conduct a Europe wide investigation into whether there is evidence that cars here have been fitted with defeat devices.
“In the meantime we are taking robust action. 

The Vehicle Certification Agency (VCA), the UK regulator, is working with vehicle manufacturers to ensure that this issue is not industry wide.

“As part of this work they will re-run laboratory tests where necessary and compare them against real world driving emissions.”

Land Rover Discovery scoops yet more glory at the The Caravan Club’s Towcar of the Year 2015 Awards.

  • Land Rover Discovery scoops yet more glory at the The Caravan Club’s Towcar of the Year 2015 Awards
  • Discovery wins overall Towcar of the Year, as well as the 1800kg+ and £50,000+ categories
  • Ninth and tenth class wins for Discovery in nine years following its success in the Tow Car Awards in June
Land Rover Discovery has taken three top honours at The Caravan Club’s Towcar of the Year Awards 2015. The club’s judging panel voted the Discovery HSE Luxury its overall winner as well as the top model in two classes – for all-wheel-drive vehicles of more than 1800kg and for vehicles priced in excess of £50,000.

At an awards ceremony at the RAC in London, the judges gave strong praise for the model, with special mention for its “rock solid stability, master-class hill start, and its electric parking brake, which holds really well and releases automatically when pulling away”.
The Caravan Club tested 39 cars for this year’s competition, carried out by caravan journalists, national motoring journalists and Caravan Club members, with the aim of providing drivers with sound advice for all their towing needs. The judges assess each car’s towing abilities including acceleration, braking and coping with hill starts.
Land Rover Discovery is available with a number of intelligent technologies to enhance the towing experience. Trailer Stability Assist detects the presence of a trailer and, above 37mph, monitors the trailer and uses selective braking of the appropriate wheels to help correct any problems. Towing Assist, a next-generation reversing aid, is also available with the optional Surround Camera System. Towing Assist predicts the trajectory of vehicle and trailer, providing guidance when coupling a trailer and a predicted path for the vehicle on the touch-screen when reverse is selected.
Earlier this month Land Rover previewed how the future of towing may look with world-first Transparent Trailer and Cargo Sense research concepts. Transparent Trailer uses a series of cameras that enables the driver to view a see-through rendering of their trailer in the rear-view mirror, enhancing visibility.
Cargo Sense, provides the driver with live data on the condition of storage or livestock during transportation. Pressure pads provide details of movement within the cargo area and temperature sensors ensure that an optimum ambient temperature is maintained throughout the journey.
Jeremy Hicks, Managing Director of Jaguar Land Rover UK, said, “2015 is proving to be another fantastic year for Discovery. It has been at the top of the judge’s lists of capable towing vehicles consistently for the last nine years. Along with our recent research concept announcements, we are demonstrating our strong ability to develop ground breaking technologies that put the needs of our customers first. Innovation and capability are cornerstones of our DNA and Discovery continues to lead the way in these areas.”

Ford guarantees the future of it's Bridgend Engine Facility, Wales, with a £181 Million Investment for new engines.

Ford has approved an investment of £181 million at its Bridgend Engine Plant in South Wales to produce a family of all-new, technologically-advanced, fuel-efficient petrol engines. The investment includes Welsh Government support of £14.67 million, with production planned to start in late 2018.
The Ford announcement was welcomed by Welsh Economy Minister Edwina Hart: “Ford is a Welsh Anchor Company and the Bridgend Engine Plant plays a key role in the economy of South Wales. In a climate of stiff global competitiveness, we have been actively seeking to win a share of this investment for Wales and so we are delighted with today’s announcement.

“Ford’s decision to manufacture its new innovative engine here in Wales is a tribute to the reputation of the local management team and the quality and loyalty of the Welsh workforce and will safeguard more than 750 skilled Welsh jobs for many years.”
Teams from the Ford Dunton Technical Centre in Essex, as well as Ford’s Technical Centre in Merkenich Germany, and the Ford Research and Innovation Centre in Aachen, Germany, have worked together on the design and development of the all-new engine family.
Earlier this year, Ford built its 5 millionth vehicle worldwide equipped with a fuel-efficient EcoBoost petrol engine, and in Europe more than one-in-four of all Ford vehicles sold are fitted with an EcoBoost engine. The 1.0-litre EcoBoost engine – winner of the International Engine of the Year for an unprecedented three years in succession – is the most popular EcoBoost version in Europe, with one-in-five vehicles sold in the region being equipped with the engine.
Notes for Editors:
  • The Bridgend Engine Plant has benefitted from a total £1.8 billion investment since it opened in 1980.  It builds six-cylinder and eight-cylinder engines for customers and, together with Ford four-cylinder engines, total production is currently 3,400 engines a day, or one every 24 seconds off the busiest line.
  • Bridgend’s success has been encouraged through a partnership with the Welsh Government who have committed to maximising the potential of Ford’s own investment.  The Welsh Government supports the plant with an annual grant for training of £50,000.
  • Ford Bridgend total production now exceeds 19 million engines and its products power the Ford Fiesta, B-MAX, Focus, C-MAX, Kuga and Mondeo models. 
Plant OpenedMay 1980
Number of Employees1,860
2014 production701,392 total
Plant size141,702 sq m on 60 acres
Plant managerIan Pearson

USA - America's work truck, re-invented - The All-New Super Duty from Ford is the toughest model yet.

  • Toughest: All-new, high-strength steel frame; segment-first, high-strength, military-grade, aluminum-alloy body; stronger axles, springs and suspension create the only Built Ford Tough heavy-duty truck lineup that works as hard as Super Duty customers
  • Smartest: 16 class-exclusive new features and up to seven cameras make Super Duty the ultimate tow vehicle; adaptive steering technology makes maneuvering easier
  • Most capable: Ford-engineered, Ford-built gasoline and diesel engines and transmissions power all-new Super Duty lineup that tows and hauls more than ever
Ford, America’s truck leader, today introduces the all-new 2017 Ford F-Series Super Duty – the toughest, smartest, most capable Super Duty truck lineup ever.
“Ford Super Duty is the truck America’s hardest-working men and women trust and depend on,” said Joe Hinrichs, Ford president, The Americas. “We are helping these customers build a better world by delivering a new generation of pickups that set new benchmarks in capability, performance and efficiency.”

Using advanced materials to reduce weight, 2017 F-Series Super Duty pickup truck and chassis cab feature all-new, segment-exclusive smart technology to help increase customer productivity, comfort and convenience.
“While Super Duty is America’s best-selling heavy-duty truck, we never take our leadership for granted,” said Raj Nair, Ford group vice president, Global Product Development and chief technical officer. “Our team is using relentless innovation in materials, technology and Built Ford Tough engineering to deliver customers our best Super Duty yet.”
The backbone is an all-new, fully boxed frame comprised of more than 95 percent high-strength steel that offers up to 24 times stiffer than the previous frame – enabling the most towing and hauling capability ever delivered by Super Duty. The new truck line features heavier-duty four-wheel-drive components, driveline, axles and towing hardware.

For the first time, the Super Duty body uses high-strength, military-grade, aluminum alloy, which is more dent- and ding-resistant than the outgoing steel body and not subject to red rust corrosion.
Together, high-strength steel and high-strength aluminum alloy help reduce weight by up to 350 pounds while Ford is reinvesting additional weight savings everywhere it counts, to give customers more towing and hauling capability than ever before.
Super Duty chassis cab features an all-new, high-strength steel frame with an open-C-channel design behind the cab to enable easy aftermarket body upfit and modification.
Towing is core to the Super Duty mission. All-new advanced coaching and camera technology makes conventional and gooseneck/fifth-wheel towing easier and more efficient than ever.

There are 16 segment-first new features – from LED lighting to adaptive cruise control – that assist Super Duty drivers to make driving and work situations easier and more comfortable.
As many as seven cameras help customers see more angles and monitor conditions surrounding the truck, and provide better trailering than ever before.
A center high-mounted stop lamp camera provides visibility into the cargo box, especially for easier hook-up of gooseneck/fifth-wheel trailers. A 360-degree camera system uses four digital, high-definition cameras to give the driver a bird’s-eye view surrounding Super Duty. Trailer reverse guidance provides visual cues and tips to help ease backing up a trailer. A first-ever, factory-available trailer camera can be attached to a trailer to improve visibility backing up.
Customers will benefit from a segment-first, in-cab trailer tire pressure monitoring system from the comfort of the cab while stopped or on the highway.
Adaptive steering provides for increased confidence to help make towing the heaviest of loads easier and brings greater ease to navigating job sites and parking lots – with or without a trailer. The technology reduces the amount of steering input needed to change direction at low speed, while reducing sensitivity to steering input at higher speeds.
The all-new F-Series Super Duty is available with numerous driver-assist technologies:
  • SYNC® 3 – Ford’s all-new communications and entertainment system features faster performance, conversational voice recognition and an easier-to-understand graphical interface, along with an intuitive smartphone-like 8-inch touch screen
  • Blind Spot Information System with trailer tow is optimized for Super Duty to include the length of the trailer; BLIS® uses radar sensors in the taillamps to monitor areas that may not be visible to the driver
  • Lane departure warning provides a warning when a driver strays from a lane through a series of steering wheel vibrations that mimic rumble strips
  • Adaptive cruise control and collision warning with brake support use sensors to detect slower vehicles moving in the same direction.  If another vehicle is too close, red lights flash on the windshield and a warning sound chimes. If the driver does not hit the brakes, the brake system is pre-charged to stop faster when the brake pedal is pressed
Advanced light-emitting diode technology sheds light all around the new Super Duty, including:
  • New LED sideview mirror spotlights enable illumination surrounding the truck to light up a work site or camp site
  • Class-exclusive quad-beam LED headlamps and taillamps
  • New LED cargo box lighting
Most capable
Light-weighting and improved capability work hand-in-hand in the all-new Ford F-Series Super Duty.

“As we remove weight, we’re making Super Duty more productive by giving our customers better towing and payload capability,” said Craig Schmatz, Super Duty chief engineer. “We’re backing up improved capability with a stronger gasoline and diesel Super Duty engine lineup.”
The second-generation Ford-designed, Ford-built 6.7-liter Power Stroke® V8 diesel engine is available for pickup trucks and chassis cabs providing the highest combination of horsepower and torque ever.
The 6.2-liter V8 gasoline engine comes equipped with the new TorqShift-G transmission for the F-250 pickup – allowing for improved capability.
The Super Duty chassis cab lineup offers a choice of 6.7-liter Power Stroke V8 diesel, 6.8-liter V10 gasoline or 6.2-liter V8 gasoline engines.
“The bottom line is Super Duty customers will be able to tow and haul more than ever before,” said Schmatz.
Interior and cargo box
All three cabs – Regular Cab, SuperCab and Crew Cab – are longer and feature a new interior design, including dual compartment glove box, overhead console-mounted auxiliary switches to operate aftermarket equipment, and completely flat SuperCab and Crew Cab second-row floors that make loading large items in the cab easy. Vital controls are close at hand, with the integrated trailer brake controller switch located even closer to the driver.

Customer accessibility and ease of use extend outside the truck as well, with the cargo box offering customers these class-exclusive features:
  • BoxLink: Ford-patented combination of metal brackets and custom cleats that can be used to secure a variety of accessories in the cargo box
  • Remote tailgate lock and release: Tailgate can be locked/unlocked and opened with the key fob, eliminating manual locking and increasing convenience and security. The tailgate is damped – dropping gently down, hands-free, to a flat position when opened

There are five models in the Super Duty lineup – XL, XLT, Lariat, King Ranch and Platinum.
The all-new Super Duty will be built at Kentucky Truck Plant, and goes on sale late next year.