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    This past 18 July I woke up at 3.15 in the morning to drive to Tustin, California, home to two of the largest free-standing wooden structures in the world. They stand 17 storeys tall, are 1000ft long and cover about seven acres of enclosed space. They were built after the attack on Pearl Harbor as hangars for blimps, or LTAs (‘Lighter Than Aircraft’) as the Navy called them. These airships were used to patrol the California coast, looking for enemy submarines. The hangars were built entirely out of wood because steel was in short supply during the war.

    / #2020-Chevrolet-Corvette / #2020-Chevrolet-Corvette-C8 / #2020 / #Chevrolet-Corvette-C8 / #Chevrolet-Corvette / #Chevrolet /

    I was invited to this historic site because the new mid-engined Corvette was to be unveiled here. The official unveiling was going to be happening 13 hours in the future, but I was given the honour of being the first person to get behind the wheel of this ground-breaking new car. It really is ground-breaking for a number of reasons. Number one is the price, starting below $60,000.

    Like most people, I have envisioned that Corvette would become a brand in itself, with a number of cars in its line-up. We have just assumed that General Motors would continue to make an entry-level, traditional Corvette with a front engine and that a mid-engined C8 would be its high-end supercar. After all, isn’t that what most manufacturers do?
    Most manufacturers are afraid of alienating their fan base, so they keep making a new version of the same thing over and over. Think Harley Davidson and Porsche, for example. The shock of the new is not something most traditional car enthusiasts crave. To paraphrase Mark Twain, I like progress; it’s change I don’t like. Anyway, we were wrong. It’s going to be mid-engined or nothing. I immediately assumed, given the price point, that it would have some sort of torque-converter automatic transmission, with the usual excuse of ‘we did it because it’s lighter in weight’. But no, the transmission is bespoke and it’s a dual-clutch, just like the big boys have. And if you pull both paddles simultaneously you can rev the engine and dump the clutch.

    One feature that I love, and as far as I know nobody else has in such sophisticated form, is a front-end lift which has a GPS connection, and you can programme up to, literally, 1000 different locations to lift the front end automatically as you approach. How cool is that?

    My favourite thing about this Corvette launch was that everybody I spoke to, including the CEO, Mary Barra, is an engineer. Hers was a degree in electrical engineering. Mark Reuss, the president of General Motors, has a degree in mechanical engineering and is also head of the performance division. He’s been driving and testing the C8 from the beginning, and not just on Woodward Avenue in Detroit. On the Nürburgring, too.

    Talking with executive chief engineer Tadge Juechter and chief Corvette engineer Ed Piatek is like hanging around with your car buddies in Cars ’n’ Coffee. The only difference is that these guys actually know what they’re talking about. There were no marketing guys or PR people listening in over their shoulders, ready to jump in and correct some ‘mis-statement’. Another cool feature they’re very excited about is the electronically adjustable braking. Chevy calls it ‘eBoost’ braking. The driver can adjust the brake feel depending on what mode the car is in. It also saves space and weight by combining the master cylinder, vacuum booster, vacuum pump and electronic brake module all into one unit.

    Something I find truly fascinating is that with a normally aspirated 495bhp engine, this C8 is quicker to 60mph than last year’s top-of-the-line, 775bhp, supercharged ZR1. How is that possible? Once again, by some very clever engineering. In the old days it would have been done with cubic inches and massive amounts of brute horsepower. This time it was done with science and engineering. Moving the driver six-and-a-half inches forward and putting the engine behind him/her helps, as well as all-new suspension. Gone are the transverse leaf springs of old (albeit made of high-tech composite in later years), replaced with coil springs. Combine that with the eight-speed dual-clutch transmission and some cutting-edge Michelin tyres, and you have an extremely sophisticated sports car to rival the best of Europe’s at a third of the price.

    The last time GM moved the engine behind the driver, it was called the Corvair and was considered the most European car America had ever produced. GM is taking a big risk by bucking tradition with this C8. Among the Corvette faithful it has really upset the apple cart. Oh, and the top comes off too. So, how do you like them apples? Is there still Corvette in their cores?

    ‘GM IS TAKING A RISK WITH THIS C8. AMONG THE CORVETTE FAITHFUL IT HAS REALLY UPSET THE APPLE CART’
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    992’S TICKET TO ENTRY

    PORSCHE reveals base #Porsche-911-Carrera-992 / #Porsche-911-992 / #Porsche-911-Carrera / #Porsche-992 / #Porsche-911 / #Porsche / #Porsche-992 / #2020-Porsche-911-Carrera-992 / #2020

    It’s very fast

    While the eighth generation Porsche 911 Carrera S has been public knowledge for some time, details on the base Carrera and Cabriolet remained guarded secrets... until now.

    Porsche has finally revealed how much its base 911s will cost, how fast they’ll go and what they look like, gifting the sportscar world a new benchmark to measure itself against. The 911 Carrera Coupe starts from $229,500 in Australia, with the Cabriolet costing an extra chunk for $251,000. Or a $3050 and $3500 increase, respectively, on the previous generation’s PDK-equipped base models.

    For that, customers get plenty as standard, including lane change assist, 14-way heated seats, a BOSE sound system, and metallic paint. Mechanically it is very similar to both its predecessor and the more powerful Carrera S that’s already been revealed, powered by a 3.0-litre twin-turbo flat-six producing 283kW and 450Nm.

    That’s 48kW/80Nm less than the Carrera S but 11kW more than the previous base Carrera. Acceleration from 0-100km/h is claimed to take 4.2sec for the Coupe, or 4.0sec when optioned with Sport Chrono, while top speed is 293km/h.

    Braking is provided by 330mm discs and four-piston calipers at both ends, while the wheels are an inch smaller than on the S, measuring 19s on the front and 20s at the rear wrapped in 235/40 and 295/35 tyres respectively. An eight-speed dual-clutch is currently the only available transmission, but we’d expect a seven-speed manual to appear at a later date.

    Like its more powerful sibling, the 992 Carrera uses the widebody shell which allows for expanded tracks and a larger footprint on the road. Despite its extra size an increase in the amount of aluminium and high-strength steel makes the body lighter than its predecessor, though weight has crept up to 1505kg when empty.

    The biggest alterations have taken place inside, where the base Carrera apes the S by adopting a brand new interior design with substantially upgraded connectivity, a 10.9-inch touchscreen display and a pair of digital displays that flank the iconic central analogue tachometer.

    The new 911 Carrera is available to order locally now, with deliveries expected to commence in Q4 this year.

    BELOW Drop-top takes two tenths longer in the (0-62mph) 0-100km/h stakes
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    BASHING THE 911 WITH THE UGLY STICK

    / #2020-Porsche-911-992 / #2020-Porsche-911 / #2020 / #Porsche-911 / #Porsche / #2020-Porsche-911-Carrera-4S-992 / #Porsche-911-Carrera-4S-992 / #Porsche-911-Carrera-4S

    Words fail. The 911 has never been a particularly attractive sports car, in the way that a Ferrari or Lambo is, but the new #Porsche-992 / #Porsche-911-992 really has been bashed with the ugly stick. It looks like one of those car cartoons, with pumped up bodywork and exaggerated, angled wheels beloved of the Max Power brigade in poster and (bizzarely) ceramic form. It's not especially pretty from any angle, but from the rear three quarter view it appears as though the 911 silhouette as we know it has been reversed into a bulbous blob. A bulbous blob, which is in fact the bloated rear arches and rear apron, which clearly have to be that size to accommodate the ludicrous 21in wheels. As the catchphrase goes: 'Does my bum look big in this?' Yes, it does, bloomin’ enormous in fact.

    It's not much better at the front. Indeed, on first glance it just looks like a Panamera and it can't be much narrower either. I can only imagine that this extra girth will be required to accommodate the batteries and other hybrid gubbins that is apparently coming sooner rather than later to what was once a compact 2+2 sports car.

    The constant evolution of the 911 has been a wondrous thing, but perhaps it's possible to evolve too far. The 911’s shape has always been dictated – to a degree – by its layout and Porsche's desire to 'keep it in the family', but the simplicity of the original has been utterly lost. It's time to stop, preferably now, and reconsider the concept of the 911, because it really shouldn't be allowed to evolve to the point that moving its bulk around becomes a challenge. If it were an animal it would be considered to be some sort of freakish mutation. Enough is enough.

    New 992 is too big says reader, Leonard Harding. Below: 911&PW’s midengined fleet
    • Oof, you don't like the 992 then, Lee? I would say, let's wait until we've driven it, but that's not going to shrink it any. See this month's 'modern'Oof, you don't like the 992 then, Lee? I would say, let's wait until we've driven it, but that's not going to shrink it any. See this month's 'modern' 911 test for our view on these things   More ...
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    There are forms that can only be changed very cautiously, because icons must be immediately recognizable as such. If there is a revolution, then please especially under the sheet metal and in the interior, where Porsche wants to surprise us with a new operating concept and additional assistance systems. #Porsche-911-992 / #2019-Porsche-911-992 / #Porsche-992 / #Porsche-911 / #Porsche / #2019 / #Porsche-911-Turbo / #Porsche-911-Turbo-992 / #Porsche-911-Carrera / #Porsche-911-Carrera-992 / #2020 / #Porsche-911-Carrera-S / #Porsche-911-Carrera-S-992

    An icon at the crossroads: How do innovations like the plug-in hybrid and digitization change the rear-engined classic with the sawing voice and the impossible weight distribution? We have the story - for those who do not want to wait until October 2018.

    Beetle, Mini, Land Rover, 911. All classic without expiration date - or the last Mohicans before the big paradigm shift towards E-Mobility and autonomous driving?

    Probably something of both. Porsche has to take care of the 911 without scare the purists and ignore the signs of the times. "In the 911 there will be no four-cylinder in the medium term," promises chief conductor Oliver Blume. "But we are working on a plug-in variant and will probably use it later." What Blume does not say: Model 992, which debuts at the LA Auto Show in late 2018, is the last of its kind. Because the generation after next generation is already based on the completely new, in all essential elements scalable sports car platform of the future (SAZ), which was developed earlier this year. Lamborghini remains initially out, but Bentley, Audi and probably even Bugatti are considered set in the SAZ network.

    Before the eighth in Zuffenhausen conceived rolls from February 2019 to the dealers, Porsche still wants to tell the story of the 991 to an end.

    The penultimate chapter takes place in March at the Geneva Motor Show, where the winged GT3 RS, which is said to have 520 hp, celebrates its premiere. As part of the racing reunion, a classic event scheduled for September near Paris, Porsche wants to draw the last 991 derivative from the hat in the form of the strictly limited Speedster GT.

    After the 911 T, the Speedster is the second model in the Heritage range. The next 911 generation hears the abbreviation 992 and builds in essential elements on the current series. So it remains at the rear engine - the rumored exchange of boxer and transmission should be completed in 2025 with the so-called Ferrari Fighter (Project 960), the future of course, is still uncertain. Since the duo 996/986, Elfer and Boxster / Cayman share a modular architecture. This constructive approach is in principle, but it is still unclear to what extent the successors of Cayman and Boxster are knitted after the proven pattern and whether Audi is allowed on board. As of December 2017, everything from the big facelift to the radically innovative electric sports car is in the realm of possibility.

    The new 911 is born in uncertain times. As early as next fall, legislators are tightening the exhaust gas standard for gasoline engines with the Otto Particulate Filter (OPF). The measures to comply with the two-stage RDE (Real Drive Emissions) limits cost engine power and money. Quite possibly, that's why Porsche also takes the BMW M-way in the next step and has to provide the expensive water injection. Against the background of the exhaust gas discussion, the classic naturally aspirated engines of GT3 and GT4 inevitably become discontinued models.

    Because at the same time more stringent noise protection regulations threaten, also the intake and exhaust systems must be quieter. A tightening on a broad front brings the upcoming fleet norm of on average only 95 g CO2 / km. But do not worry: the enemy picture of a 911 with four-cylinder boxer without e-module is a chimera, at least in the medium term.

    The graduated start-up of the 992 is based on its predecessor:

    • Carrera 2S and Carrera 4S Coupé, Presentation 10/2018, launch 2/2019;
    • Carrera 2S and 4S Cabriolet, presentation 1/2019, sale from 4/2019;
    • Carrera 2 and Carrera 4 as coupé and convertible, presentation 4/2019, at the dealer 7/2019;
    • 911 Turbo Coupe and Carrera GTS, presentation 9/2019, start of sales 2/2020.


    Together with the new car, a revised engine generation (EA9A2) goes into production.

    The 3.0-liter boxer mobilizes as #MHEV (Mild Hybrid) 15 kW more power and 70 Newton meters more torque, provides additional variability in the mixture preparation and reduces the already hardly measurable particulate matter emission by a factor of 10. The base Carrera 400 PS Strong twin-turbo propellant brings it in the S versions to 450 hp. From 2022 will be increased as part of the facelift again by 20 hp.

    In the GT3 successor it remains at 3.8 liters of displacement, but the first-ever artificially ventilated six-cylinder in the sharpest 911 should increase in the first stage of development from 500 to 550 hp. Spearhead of the series remains the 911 Turbo; he stands with up to 620 bhp / DIN even better in the feed than before. In most cases, a new eight-speed double clutch (8DT 80HL) from ZF will provide the power transmission.

    Inside there's an exciting mixture of classic and modern. Porsche was the only mechanical round instrument to rescue the centrally positioned tachometer into modern times. Although it remains at a total of five clocks, but the two displays on the left and right of the heart rate monitor can be partially configure freely. We know the big touch screen and the panel for the air conditioning from the Panamera. New are the optional head-up display and a long list of comfort and safety features. For example, the adaptive laser light, which illuminates far into the next bend, cleverly avoids reflections and self-glare, selectively illuminates pedestrians and animals, and works its way 700 meters into the darkness wherever it is possible.

    Starting in 2022, the countdown for the 911 #PHEV is underway, but the market launch has not yet been fixed. This model integrates two propulsion concepts: the gasoline rear engine and the electric motor, which turns this 911 into a low-emission 4x4 coupe when needed. The compact E-package consists of four elements: power electronics, lithium-ion battery with 10.8 kWh, Stromer with 70 kW and 310 Nm and a special e-transmission with eight gears, freewheel and recuperation. In total, extrapolated 485 hp and 760 Nm are available. That should be enough to track to (0-62MPH) 0-100 kmh in less than 3.5 seconds and to be 315kph fast.

    Depending on the driving style, the electric range should be up to 50 kilometers. If you like rushing rather than gliding, you can boost for 20 seconds at the touch of a button or swear all the drive components up in Sport Plus for maximum performance - then the Sport Response Button finally makes sense.

    The #Porsche-911-992 has to be able to do better than its predecessor, has to be faster and more agile, at the same time wilder and more confident, quieter and - in spite of the Otto particle filter - more efficient. The means to an end: less weight, a stiffer body and a new eight-speed #PDK for the more powerful boxer. There's a new infotainment and various assistance systems. First test runs from February 2019 .
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    Rethinking BMW. CO2 out NOX ago - the desire for luxury is growing. Therefore, BMW has to expand its range of representative vehicles, designed for clearly contrary to the original planning a new generation of V8 engines. The aggregates propel noble coupés, convertibles and SUVs. But that's not all. #2020 / #BMW / #BMW-9-Series / #BMW-X7 / #Pininfarina

    The design of the coupe is based more on Vision Future Luxury Concept as the Gran Lusso Coupé Concept by Pininfarina.

    Forget Efficient, mainly Dynamics - added, quite as strong has BMW in ten of the Efficient Dynamics strategy not turn things around. Especially since the likelihood of valid from 2020 CO2 limit for vehicle fleets of 95 g / km falls, about as high as that of a sudden onset of diesel boom in the USA. But: Just from there, but also from the strong capital market in the Middle East is increasingly the desire for representative, high-performance vehicles. It is known that BMW has already responded and announced in 2018 the seven-seat giant SUV X7, which is intended to encourage the purchasers of Mercedes GLS, Toyota Land Cruiser V8 and Cadillac Escalade to change planes. However, this alone is no longer enough. Everything above the sevens is covered by Rolls-Royce? Opens only conditionally.

    The sporting image of BMW, projected onto a large, elegant coupe - that want some markets. So the Bayern build their offer, sort first six coupe and convertible from. Their successors will be positioned as a new eight-row higher. What does this mean for the growth in size?

    Less than feared, because a current six stretches already to 4.89 meters. The roller grouped with 5.01 meters in length between five and seven a - and pretty much next to the Mercedes S-Class Coupe (5.03 meters).

    Dear distinguished itself

    The width corresponds approximately to the sevens, ie just above 1.90 meters. Why the two-door does occur massive? However due to the very shallow headlight that the characteristic of all BMW models to be medium. Basically, the revived series takes (debut: the end of 2018 as a coupe, 2020 as a convertible) the design of the four-door study Vision Future Luxury on and not that of the Gran Lusso Coupé Concept - it was at Pininfarina, but BMW Group chief stylist Adrian van Hooydonk and his team would prefer to look after themselves at this prestigious project.

    That leaves the question of the appropriate engine. "Even three years ago were here all convinced that we simply have to develop only the existing V8s. That's enough now probably no longer, "says an employee of BMW's Research and Innovation Centre (FIZ). Already, grab more than half of all US customers when X5 and X6 to V8 gasoline engine, the proportion of M-versions is up to 30 percent. When sevens also provide most customers with the six-cylinder unit satisfied. Now, if so complete even the eight-row and the X7 the listing, an entirely new V8 engine must be found, which sets new standards in terms of efficiency.

    Concretely, this means an approximation of the motor system, from the date only series engines were derived. This reduces the displacement from 4.4 to 4.0 liters, but the power remains the same in the smallest expression 450hp. What does this mean for consumption? In aerodynamically shaped aft should NEDC around 7.5 l / 100 km can be realized, which must X7 undercut the 9.0 liter / 100 km mark. Still less would of course be a plug-in hybrid variant, but also BMW must rethink well.

    Until now believe the Bayern that a four-cylinder turbo engine with sufficient additional electric power for both the X5 and for the sevens (see right). The problem: From X5 40e, which is available since late last year, have so far sold more copies in the Netherlands than in the United States. "In America, the customers just want power, even if only to impress their friends. Nothing has changed, "it says in the corporate headquarters on Petuelring.

    More power for the hybrid

    So it's a stronger powertrain with a turbocharged six-cylinder? Quite possible. That would also fit perfectly into the roller, whose serial production for two reasons will specifically address: First, it does not look as if it alone could succeed the sevens that to push Mercedes S-Class from the throne of the segment. And secondly, the two-door derivative of the competitor sell simply too good - not only quantitatively and qualitatively. Should read: Alone in a convertible, the proportion of exclusive AMG variant at about 50 percent.

    Which brings us to the issue of power again. If the M GmbH is ready with the new BMW V8, he does not pay under 600 horsepower, up to 630 hp should be possible. In addition, a M8 would prima fit into the new motorsport strategy of Bavaria, the amplified based on GT3 cars. Within this rather permissive regulations large coupes are a good basis for a perfectly balanced aerodynamics.

    And the weight? As already mentioned, the rules are fairly lax, a weight reduction is therefore more a question of cost. Aside: Even the production vehicle is expected despite larger dimensions to the current six (1.9 tons) in this regard rather somewhat lower than on offer.


    Even more niche models
    The higher positioning of the Coupé and Convertible also creates clearer conditions in the model range; the six currently sitting on the fence being evil. Gets it really need not be filled? First, in any case only as a four-door GT with a large tailgate, two-door variants are not described, but also not excluded. Previously has the new five, of which the six GT derives, show that it can hold at the usual high suspension comfort the competition at bay with greater agility. course In its home market, the expected mid-2017 Touring plays the major role. From a higher specified version, with the Audi (Allroad) For years the road and is also planned at Mercedes (E-Class All Terrain) and Volvo (V90 Cross Country), BMW wants to know nothing - yet. "Now we look at once, such as the Mercedes arrives, then we'll see," said one manager.

    You can look but do not touch? The accusation, once observed only competition, BMW does not want to put up, however.

    Admittedly, in the vehicles themselves are currently busy, the important earnings pillar three (coming in 2018 completely new) again clearly to position and five in the competitive environment and thus to make the regulars happy. Besides the Group is able to expand its lead in infotainment and connectivity (see box right).

    Now, and with models such as the hatchback SUV X4 and X6 BMW occupied an interesting segment long before Mercedes, Audi hesitates here still. Incidentally, in the MRP for the 360 bhp X4 M40i Bayern underestimated the German market dramatically: instead of at a portion of the series in the low single-digit percentage range of impressive agile, however uncomfortable SUV is now up clearly in the double digits.

    M Performance as a fixture As these so-called M Performance models have also been established as a fixture with more solvent clientele in ones and twos, even the next three closed the gap between 340i and M3.

    A success of the seventh generation of the middle class model can be almost non-stop, because the goals are clearly defined: a little more space with almost identical dimensions, less weight, more agility, attractive comfort - and no great experiments in the design. Here, the roller definitely a bigger challenge.

    Can it as a coupe and convertible satisfy the desire for status in some markets as well? he nevertheless remains in appearance restrained enough for the European customers access? How much momentum can withstand the clientele really? And not to forget: How complicated is that the new series moves sufficiently efficient is? The answer comes late 2018th

    FIVE TOURING Only when the all-terrain sold variant of the E-Class, BMW pulls.

    CONCLUSION Emotion vs. reason

    Whether BMW has slept? No. Perhaps hesitated a little longer than others. Only the sunniest optimist would have a few years ago predicted that the demand continues to grow for performance and luxury in the car buyers. With compact models and their efficient even in everyday use drives BMW, meanwhile, has a broad base, the clear positioning of the core series of three and five may be considered completed. Only the upper class remains a construction site, perhaps from uncertainty - Keyword Bangle-sevens. Now Bayern have to prove something more courage well again. It be trusted them.

    AFT CONVERTIBLE Why should sell only Mercedes convertibles great? Just. Five meters long, soft top.

    X7 end of 2018 starts the large SUV. Especially in the US market powerful motors are required.
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