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, 26 February 2016

Mercedes-AMG has added another sporty model to its C-Class family: the new C 43 4MATIC Coupé.

The Mercedes-AMG C 43 4MATIC Coupé
Mercedes-AMG has added another sporty model to its C-Class family: the new C 43 4MATIC Coupé. 
For the highly dynamic driving experience that is the hallmark of the brand the Affalterbach-based development teams have put together a scintillating engineering package: the 270 kW (367 hp) 3.0-litre V6 twin-turbo engine is combined with the new 9G-TRONIC automatic transmission that provides agile gearshifts. 
Together with the AMG Performance 4MATIC all-wheel drive and the model-specific chassis technology, this provides the optimum basis for high agility and exhilarating lateral dynamics. Thus the new C 43 4MATIC Coupé also fulfils the brand promise of 'Driving Performance' in every respect.
Dynamic growth characterises the corporate philosophy of Mercedes-AMG. A key component is the continual extension of the product range to include all-new models, which were hitherto not part of the portfolio. 
"The extension of the C-Class family to include the new C 43 4MATIC Coupé is another component in our growth strategy. It not only enriches the wide line-up of the C-Class family, but also starts the introduction of a whole series of new ‘43’ models this year," says Mercedes-AMG GmbH chairman Tobias Moers. 
"The ‘43’ models boast the characteristic AMG genes, which are also included in our GT and ‘63’ vehicles, and thus consistently interpret our brand essence of 'Driving Performance' in their segment." Sports car technology and motor racing flair thus become more attainable and appeal to a broader customer base.
The 3.0-litre V6 twin-turbo engine provides impressive performance with its 270 kW (367 hp) maximum power and peak torque of 520 newton metres: sprinting from rest to 100 km/h in 4.7 seconds, its speed is electronically limited at 250 km/h. The newly developed front axle, the taut elastokinematics and the highly precise steering make a substantial contribution to the agile driving experience.
The key data
Mercedes-AMG C 43 4MATIC Coupé
EngineV6 twin-turbo
Displacement2996 cc
Output270 kW (367 hp)
at 5500-6000 rpm
Peak torque520 Nm
at 2000-4200 rpm
Fuel consumption, NEDC combined8.0-7.8 l/100 km
CO2 emissions183-178 g/km
Efficiency classD
Acceleration 0-100 km/h4.7 s
Top speed250 km/h*
* Electronically limited
The highlights
  • 3.0-litre V6 twin-turbo engine with modified engine control unit, increased boost pressure and far higher dynamics and high-revving
  • 9G-TRONIC automatic transmission with double-declutching function when shifting down and exhilaratingly short response times in "Sport Plus" mode
  • AMG Performance 4MATIC all-wheel drive with rear-biased torque distribution of 31 to 69 percent (front axle to rear axle)
  • AMG RIDE CONTROL sports suspension with adaptive variable damping in three stages, mode can be selected via button, adopted from Mercedes-AMG C 63
  • AMG DYNAMIC SELECT switch for dynamic, individually selectable driving experience with five drive modes and AMG-specific parameterisatio
  • Three-stage Electronic Stability Program ESP®
  • Front axle with newly developed steering knuckles and load-bearing joints on the spring link. Elastokinematic adjustments to the links have been adopted from the Mercedes-AMG C 63
  • Rear axle with elastokinematics tailored to higher driving dynamics
  • Large braking system with internally ventilated compound brake discs, perforated at the front with a diameter of 360 mm, and with a diameter of 320 mm at the rear
  • AMG styling with distinctive front and rear apron as well as special exhaust tailpipes
  • Diamond radiator grille with chrome-plated pins and louvre in high-gloss black
  • 18" AMG light-alloy wheels in 5-spoke design, painted high-gloss black with a high-sheen finish
  • AMG instrument cluster with chequered flag design with 280 km/h scale and AMG main menu
  • Multifunction sports steering wheel in leather with deep embossing in grip area, flattened bottom section, with red contrasting topstitching
  • Upholstery in ARTICO man-made leather / DINAMICA microfibre in black with sports seat upholstery layout and red topstitchin
AMG-specific: the 3.0-litre V6 twin-turbo engine
The new 3.0-litre V6 twin-turbo engine is part of the BlueDIRECT engine family from Mercedes-Benz. Technical advances including a modified boost pressure allowed the AMG engineers to increase the engine's power output and torque as well as its dynamism and flexibility to typical AMG levels. With 270 kW (367 hp) and 520 Nm, the V6 engine sets new standards in its segment. 

The NANOSLIDE® coating of the cylinder liners is also used in the Formula One engines of MERCEDES-AMG PETRONAS. Especially tough and, therefore, wear-resistant, this coating also reduces friction, thereby contributing to higher efficiency. The AMG powerplant can be identified by the red aluminium insert in the engine cover.
Short shift times, high efficiency: 9G-TRONIC
The 9G-TRONIC automatic transmission is especially matched to the demands of the Mercedes-AMG C 43 4MATIC. Thanks to the model-specific software application, the AMG developers managed to reduce substantially the shift times of the 9-speed transmission. The multiple downshift allows even faster short bursts of speed, while the double-declutching function in the "Sport" and "Sport Plus" transmission modes makes for an even more emotive driving experience. Defined ignition adjustments also provide faster gearshifts in the "Eco" and "Comfort" modes.
"Manual" mode can be enabled by pressing a button on the centre console. The gear changes are based on the selected transmission mode, and the driver can now change gear using the paddles on the steering wheel. Moreover, the transmission stays in the selected gear and does not automatically shift up when the engine speed reaches the limit.
With automatic variable damping: the sports suspension
The Mercedes-AMG C 43 4MATIC Coupé offers the optimum conditions for high driving dynamics and outstanding comfort on long journeys thanks to the standard-fit AMG RIDE CONTROL sports suspension. The four-link front axle is fitted with special steering knuckles and load-bearing joints; all components have been optimised in terms of rigidity.
A more negative camber on the front axle and on the multi-link rear axle enhances lateral dynamics. The elastokinematics of both axles have been designed to be more rigid in general. All these measures improve agility, and boost the dynamics. In addition, the driver benefits from reduced body roll, higher lateral acceleration, better traction, and strong neutral handling at the limit.
The driver can select the automatic adjustable damping system's three suspension modes "Comfort", "Sport" and "Sport Plus" using a button on the centre console to fully customise the driving impression.
Characteristics at the tap of a finger: AMG DYNAMIC SELECT
With the five AMG DYNAMIC SELECT transmission modes "Eco", "Comfort", "Sport", "Sport Plus" and "Individual", the driver can tailor the characteristics of the C 43 4MATIC Coupé to individual preferences at the tap of a finger. The available range extends from efficient and comfortable to very sporty. This modifies key parameters, such as the response of the engine, transmission, suspension set-up and steering.
The "Sport Plus" mode in particular delivers impressive hallmark AMG dynamics and enhances the emotional appeal: partial cylinder suppression during gear changes by means of a momentary and precisely defined retardation of ignition and injection under full throttle allows for even faster gear changes, and is also audible to the driver. This is perfectly complemented by the emotive double-declutching function when downshifting.
In order to increase efficiency, the ECO start/stop function and the 'sailing' function reduce fuel consumption in "Eco" mode: when the driver releases the accelerator in a speed range between 60 and 160 km/h, the clutch is disengaged and the engine is decoupled from the powertrain. The electronics reduce the engine speed to idle level, and the driving resistance is reduced by the compression and frictional forces of the engine in overrun mode.
Direct and with clear feedback: speed-sensitive sports steering
The speed-sensitive sports steering assists the agile cornering of the new C 43 4MATIC Coupé with its variable ratio. It stands out with its precise, highly authentic feedback. The servo assistance can be varied in the "Comfort" or "Sport" setting. The relevant characteristics are automatically activated depending on the selected DYNAMIC SELECT transmission mode or can be personalised in "Individual" mode.
Muscular with an emphasis on width: the exterior design
The Mercedes-AMG C 43 4MATIC Coupé is likewise sporty in appearance, making it instantly recognisable as a member of the AMG family. Characteristic features include the distinctive AMG styling as well as the specific light-alloy wheels. They underscore the brand's progressive nature and performance. The engine cover with red aluminium insert accentuates the strengths of the new twin-turbo six-cylinder engine.
The AMG styling includes the front apron with sporty distinctive air intakes, diamond meshes, silver chrome trim, as well as the rear apron with matt iridium silver diffuser insert. The diamond radiator grille features chrome-plated pins, a louvre in high-gloss black and the AMG lettering. Down below, the silver chrome front splitter ensures an optimal flow of air to the cooling modules.
Additional highlights include the black exterior mirror housings, the high-gloss black waistline trim strip and window frame, as well as the two chrome-plated tailpipes with centre divider. Further striking features come courtesy of the new "BITURBO – 4MATIC" lettering on the front wings and the "AMG" (left) and "C 43" (right) lettering on the boot lid.
Customers can choose the complementary optional Night package, which adds heat-insulating dark tinted glass rearward of the B-pillar, high-gloss black front apron trim, a high-gloss black diffuser-look insert at the rear, and two black tailpipes with centre divider.
AMG 5-spoke light-alloy wheels painted in high-gloss black with a high-sheen finish round off the design visually. Size 225/45 R 18 tyres on 7.5 x 18 light-alloy wheels are fitted at the front, while the rear axle comes with 245/40 R 18 tyres on 8.5 x 18 wheels. 48.3 cm (19") light-alloy wheels in various designs are optionally available for even greater individualisation.
Sporty look with model-specific details: the interior design
The interior reinforces the consistently dynamic bias with numerous specially designed details. Ideal for a committed driving style, the multifunction sports steering wheel in black leather features a flattened bottom section and red contrasting topstitching, and sits perfectly in the hand.
The driver finds a secure position in the sports seat even driving at speed thanks to the improved lateral support. The ARTICO man-made leather / DINAMICA microfibre upholstery and the instrument panel trimmed with ARTICO create a very sporty ambience. The man-made leather is also used on the upper edges of the body, the armrests, the door centre panels and the centre console. Red contrasting topstitching, designo red safety belts and black floor mats with red edging add attractive highlights. The aluminium trim pieces with light-tone longitudinal grain embedded in the instrument panel and the doors provide effective contrasts.
The AMG instrument cluster delivers all relevant information in a clearly arranged layout optimised for a dynamic driving style. An authentic sports car look and feel is provided by two tube-shaped round dials, 11.4 cm (4.5-inch) multifunction colour display, RACETIMER and 280 km/h scale in chequered-flag design.

Nissan celebrates European sales success of its crossover range with ‘Premium Concept’ Qashqai & X-Trail.

  • Nissan celebrates European sales success of its crossover range with unique ‘Premium Concept’ versions of the Qashqai and X-Trail
  • Premium and dynamic design showcases how tailored features and customisation could extend each car’s customer appeal
Nissan will showcase two striking special versions of its best-selling crossovers, the Qashqai and X-Trail, at the forthcoming Geneva Motor Show. Taking the current models as a starting point, Nissan has explored how a more premium and dynamic design interpretation could enhance and extend the appeal of its award-winning crossover range in the future.

The two cars are called the Qashqai Premium Concept and the X-Trail Premium Concept. While they are separate models, the colours, materials and themes which run through them mean they are unmistakably a pair. The Qashqai Premium Concept has been created by Nissan Design Europe (NDE) in the heart of London, while the X-Trail Premium Concept is the work of Nissan’s Global Design Centre (GDC) in Japan.
With crossovers playing such an integral part in Nissan’s continuing success across Europe, these two Premium Concepts showcase Nissan’s desire to extend the target market while acknowledging customer diversity.
Shiro Nakamura, Senior Vice President, Design and Chief Creative Officer, Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. commented: “We allowed the creativity of our design teams to shine through in this two-car project. Ultimately we settled on two designs – which are contrasting but share common themes – as they reveal a new premium character in our crossovers.”
From how the Nissan design language is expressed to the advanced materials are used, both cars offer a fresh take on the widespread appeal of a premium Nissan crossover. Considering the concept of the urban explorer, each Premium Concept has a unique execution and is designed to appeal to a very different customer. 
The Qashqai has been designed for the ‘Premium Urbanite’, who dreams of a weekend absorbing the cultural highlights of a European destination city such as Geneva, Paris or Rome. The X-Trail is targeted for the ‘Premium Adventurist’, who will be thinking of mountain adventures in the Alps or the Pyrenees.
Common to both cars is a simple yet vibrant colour palette; the stark appeal of black and white, contrasting with a premium golden copper which brings elegance and warmth to the crossover.
Qashqai Premium Concept
Using a contemporary matt black as its dominant colour, the Qashqai Premium Concept cleverly blends design, colour and new materials. 
High quality premium golden copper-coloured detailing accentuates various points on the body shell – on the wheel arches, around the window line, in the headlamp clusters and on the roof rails – and contrasts sharply with the black to enhance the dynamic silhouette of the exterior. 
It is further highlighted by the authentic carbon fibre used in lower sections, as well as the bold technical detail of the machined 20-inch wheels. 
The bumpers and side sills add an overall feeling of sporting performance and integrated quality. The enhanced ‘V-motion’ grille gives purpose to the car’s nose, and is a bold design statement about its premium positioning.
The interior of the Qashqai redefines premium quality in the compact crossover segment, using soft white Nappa leather upholstery, which is usually found in luxury cars, with quilting finish on the central section of seat back and base. 
The expression of quality is further enhanced by the use of a unique premium golden copper gold weave carbon fibre throughout the interior, with a striking black satin chrome and liquid gloss black on the steering wheel and gear shifter.
X-Trail Premium Concept
In stark contrast to its sibling, the X-Trail Premium Concept uses a matt white paint as its main colour. The bonnet and roof are crafted with deep black matt carbon fibre, giving the car a truly premium yet tough feeling, as well as a lightweight impression. 
The high contrast of the white and black emphasises the line which starts from the ‘V-motion’ grille and continues through the bonnet and side to the rear of the car. This contrast also reflects the rugged ‘go-anywhere’ nature of the adventurous X-Trail. 
The premium golden copper colour is featured on the front skid plate – drawing the viewer’s eye towards it, to enhance the feeling of protection – and on the 20-inch wheels. The body claddings and over fenders are painted in gloss black, a sophisticated touch which lifts the X-Trail beyond other adventure-oriented crossovers.
The interior upholstery is premium leather, with a natural tan and black colour scheme that reflects the car’s appeal to adventurous customers. 
The seats are tailored in a combination of premium leathers; tan coloured leather with a ‘cloud effect’ design on the head rest and seat sides, plus Ultrasuede® accentuated with gold pearl leather piping on the central section of seat back and base. 
On the dashboard and door trim, black carbon fibre finishing and matt chrome black are used, giving the interior space a premium sports appeal.
Thanks to the close collaboration between Nissan’s Japanese and European design studios, the Qashqai Premium Concept and X-Trail Premium Concept explore the potential of an exciting new level of personalisation in the crossover sector, promoting a much greater level of self-expression within the ownership experience. 
The result is that every occupant in either car – whether they are a passenger or the driver – receives an identical premium and dynamic experience.
Mamoru Aoki, Executive Design Director, Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. added: “As the pioneer of this sector, Nissan will continue to push the boundaries and explore creative solutions to fulfil the broad range of the needs of the aspirational customers in Europe.”

Volvo gives the V40 and Cross Country a new front look, now sporting the "Thor's Hammer" headlights.

Volvo Cars gives its bestselling V40 and V40 Cross Country the new face of Volvo for Model Year 2017, with trim updates across the range. Central to the model year exterior updates are new LED ‘Thor’s Hammer’ headlights, resulting in a confident new look shared with Volvo’s new XC90, S90 and V90. 
In the UK, these all-LED lights mark the V40 and V40 Cross Country out as the first models in the segment to get LED headlights as standard across the range. Also new are grille meshes featuring the updated and more visually striking Volvo Iron Mark.

“The V40 is the best-selling Volvo model in the UK, making it a vital car for the company. With the updates for Model Year 2017, we’re making this already very successful model even more attractive to customers,” said Nick Connor, Managing Director of Volvo Car UK.
The exterior update includes the addition of eight new wheels across the V40 and V40 Cross Country models, and five new colours to the V40 range, including the completely new Amazon Blue and Denim Blue, as well as three colours already used by other models in the Volvo Car UK portfolio: Bursting Blue, Mussel Blue and Luminous Sand.
Continuing its innovative approach to powertrain engineering, Volvo has reduced CO2 emissions on its popular D2 manual powertrain to just 89 g/km in all trim level and wheel options.
The V40's trim structure has also been changed in line with that of the new XC90. Customers can now choose from Momentum and Inscription versions, along with the sports-inspired R-Design and the rugged Cross Country.
In a cue taken from the award-winning Volvo Concept Estate, a new upholstery called City Weave will be added. Several new interior panel trims will also be offered: Milled Aluminium, Black Grid Aluminium and Stealth Aluminium. New tread plates will be added for the R-Design and Inscription trim levels, and an updated key fob with the new Volvo logo will be available.
Volvo On Call
The Volvo On Call smartphone app, which allows remote access and control over a wide range of in-car features, receives a substantial update. Volvo On Call already delivers wearable connectivity (Apple Watch/Android Wear), and the new Microsoft Band 2 connectivity now enables voice-control for certain features when using Windows 10-based smartphones.
Other updates to Volvo On Call include a calendar integration function that connects your personal calendar to the mobile app, allowing it to send calendar appointment destinations directly to your navigation on request. For 2016, Volvo On Call will broaden its scope and provide support for up to 10 Volvo vehicles, giving access to all the usual functions across a fleet of cars.
Volvo will also introduce Flic button compatibility with Volvo On Call. Flic allows you to program a single physical ‘smart button’ to perform several tasks, such as locking your car, and can be used as a shortcut to Volvo On Call services.
Volvo now also offers support for Windows 10 with a new version of the Volvo On Call application that can be used on regular PCs and tablets to interact with your car.

Geneva will be the place to be if you want to view the new Hyundai IONIQ hybrid.

  • World’s first vehicle platform with three electrified powertrains, making low- to zero-emission mobility accessible to everyone
  • Innovative IONIQ offers customers uncompromised driving experience and design
  • Unveiling of the IONIQ line-up at the Geneva Motor Show is available as live stream
At the Geneva Motor Show 2016, Hyundai Motor is introducing the All-New Hyundai IONIQ line-up, consisting of: IONIQ Hybrid, IONIQ Electric and IONIQ Plug-in. The world’s first model offering three electrified powertrains, IONIQ will make low-to zero-emission mobility accessible to everyone. The new approach of Hyundai Motor delivers an uncompromised design and driving experience through innovative technology, and offers customers the latest connectivity and safety technologies.

The All-New Hyundai IONIQ is an important milestone of Hyundai Motor’s sustainability strategy, bringing to market new innovative technologies and extending the company’s product range to support further organic sales growth in Europe.
Jochen Sengpiehl, Vice President Marketing at Hyundai Motor Europe, said: “IONIQ is an important step forward for our brand.  We are bringing a unique new approach to e-mobility, with no compromise on design, driving pleasure and connectivity. And we’re making it accessible to more customers, further extending our product line-up.”
The IONIQ Hybrid and IONIQ Plug-in both feature the new Kappa 1.6-litre GDI, direct injection petrol, four-cylinder engine with a class-leading thermal efficiency of 40 per cent delivering 105 PS and 147 Nm of torque. The engine has been tailored to the hybrid application and is combined with the direct responding, smooth shifting six-speed double clutch transmission – differentiating the IONIQ from its competitors with a more dynamic driving experience. The mated electric motor enables pure electric driving and delivers instant torque as the chassis with rear multi-link suspension greatly enhances driving dynamics.
The IONIQ Hybrid’s electric motor delivers 32 kW (43.5 PS) with maximum torque of 170 Nm, powered by a lithium-ion polymer battery with 1.56 kWh capacity positioned under the rear seats. In combination with the 1.6-litre GDI engine IONIQ Hybrid offers a system output of 103.6 kW (141 PS) and up to 265 Nm of torque accelerating to a top speed of up to 185 km/h (115mph) with targeted CO2 emissions as low as 79 g/km (combined).
Drivers choosing the IONIQ Plug-in can safely rely on approximately over 50 kilometres (31 miles) of estimated pure electric driving range powered by the potent 8.9 kWh lithium-ion polymer battery. The 45kW (61 PS) electric motor together with the 1.6-litre  GDI four-cylinder Kappa engine targets CO2 emissions as low as 32 g/km.
The IONIQ Electric offers pure e-mobility through a 28 kWh Lithium-ion Polymer battery for an estimated range of over 250 km (155 miles). The instantly available maximum torque of 295 Nm is delivered by the electric motor with maximum output of 88 kW (120 PS) through the single-speed reducer transmission accelerating the car up to 165 km/h (103mph).
The customer experience inside the IONIQ line-up is enhanced through state-of-the art connectivity features like Android Auto, Apple Car Play as well as Tom Tom live services and wireless charging of your smartphone. Furthermore, the driving experience becomes digital through the 7-inch TFT instrument cluster displaying all key driver information.
A holistic and innovative safety package including Autonomous Emergency Braking, Lane Keep Assist System, Blind Spot Detection, Rear Cross Traffic Alert and Smart Cruise Control ensures high safety levels for drivers and passengers alike.
All versions feature the sleek aerodynamic silhouette with a class-leading Cd value of 0.24. A fluid exterior shape and natural air flow channels emphasize the aerodynamic body lines and volumes.
Blue accents on the IONIQ Hybrid and IONIQ Plug-in emphasize specific elements on the exterior and in the interior for a seamless design.  The IONIQ Electric features exclusive copper coloured accents to signify electricity flowing through the car’s interior.
Thomas A. Schmid, Chief Operating Officer at Hyundai Motor Europe, said: “With our pioneering ix35 Fuel Cell electric vehicle and several hybrid and plug-in hybrid models sold around the world, Hyundai Motor already has a proven capability in electrified powertrains. Now, with the launch of our first dedicated model, we are taking the lead as the only car manufacturer with hybrid, electric, plug-in hybrid and fuel cell vehicles in production.”