BMW is clearly on a rampage at the moment, as are a number of other manufacturers, to fill every possible niche market. And the BMW X4 is just the latest proof of their intent.
It’s smaller and cheaper than the similarly shaped X6, more expensive and less practical than the X3 on which it is based, and it doesn’t really have much in common with the X3′s larger clone, the X5. The X4 is aimed at buyers who… Oh forget it. Who knows anymore? Customers walking into the showroom will either like it or they won’t. BMW is just making sure they have every base covered.
In terms of size, the X4 is 0.6 inches (14 mm) longer than the X3, and 1.5 inches (37 mm) lower. The coupe-like roof line means it looks a little more sporty, but that comes at the expense of space and practicality. Rear seat passengers will notice the difference more than those in the front, and cargo space – with the rear seats upright – is reduced by about a third when compared to the X3.
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Jaguar has just revealed all the details regarding their all-new XFR-S Sporbrake. It’s the first high-performance estate car (wagon) the company has ever produced, and it utilizes the exact same drivetrain as the impressive XFR-S saloon. That means that mounted up front is a 5.0 litre V8 engine which produces 550 horsepower and 501 lb-ft (680 Nm) of torque. It also means the XFR-S Sportbrake can hit 60 mph in just 4.6 seconds, and continue on to an electronically limited top speed of 186 mph (300km/h). Now that’s supercar territory.
The transmission is an 8-speed unit with something Jaguar calls ‘Quickshift’ functionality – enabling it to provide optimal acceleration throughout the speed and rev ranges. When downshifting (either manually or when in Sport mode) the engine management system automatically blips the throttle too, to keep the car balanced, while simultaneously sounding amazing.
To cope with the extra weight over the rear axle, the XFR-S Sportbrake’s rear suspension has been specifically calibrated for the car, with different spring rates and damper settings. The active electronic differential and Dynamic Stability Control settings have also been tuned to work with the XFR-S Sportbrake’s redesigned rear suspension.
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What do you get if you remove the rear two doors from an S-Class? Well, up until recently all you’d get is one very enraged S-Class owner. But now, there’s another option. The all-new S-Class Coupe.
The Mercedes-Benz S-Class Coupe will be making its worldwide debut at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show in March. And just like the four-door S-Class sedan, it’s packed with gadgets and technology. The car is designed to act as a replacement for the CL-Class – which was itself a replacement for the S-Class Coupe some 20 or so years ago.
Ola Källenius, Member of the Board of Management, Sales and Marketing Mercedes-Benz Cars said of the car: “The breathtaking design of the Concept S-Class Coupe marked by sporty-classic proportions and sensual purity is transferred to the series-production S-Class Coupe virtually unaltered. The large coupe has always been the supreme pinnacle of our model range and that’s why it’s now called the “S-Class” again.”
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The BMW 3 Series/4 Series range has just got a little bit more complicated. The full lineup of BMW models in the two overlapping ranges now includes the BMW 3 Series Sedan, the 3 Series Touring, the 3 Series Gran Turismo, the 4 Series Coupe, the 4 Series Convertible, and now the 4 Series Gran Coupe.
It’s more than a bit confusing that BMW has decided to name the 4 Series Gran Coupe as it has, because it was only recently that they explained to the world how their new naming format would use odd numbers for four-door vehicles, and even numbers to denote two-door vehicles – well at least that’s what I took from their new naming strategy outline. Also, seeing as how the 3 Series Gran Turismo and 4 Series Gran Coupe are more or less the same vehicle – except the 4 Series somehow manages to be supremely better looking and way more desirable – why didn’t they just replace the 3 Series Gran Turismo with the new model.
Continue reading ‘2015 BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe – the best 3 series?’ »
At the upcoming Geneva Motor Show, nanoFLOWCELL AG – a high-tech research company based in Liechtenstein – will unveil their first research vehicle. Called the QUANT e-Sportlimousine, the vehicle is designed to showcase the company’s latest innovations in the field of charge transfer, electrical storage and recuperation.
The QUANT e-Sportlimousine is powered by an intriguing electric-drivetrain dubbed the nanoFLOWCELL drive. The company say it features an entirely new electrical energy storage system and is set to generate new and innovative ideas for ongoing research into battery development, specifically in the field of flow-cell technology.
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The latest version of the Mercedes-Benz S 600 has just made its world debut at the 2014 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Being the top-spec model in the S-Class range, it comes as no suprise the S 600 comes well armed, with both power and refinement featured in equal measure. Ola Källenius, Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Mercedes-Benz Cars said of the new S 600: “The S-Class has always been the embodiment of our claim to deliver the very best in terms of both technology and design. And our flagship model, the S 600, epitomises the focus of our development work, the ‘Essence of Luxury’, in a way that no other model can. Our customers in North America and Asia in particular will enjoy this new top model with its exciting V12 engine.”
With an output of 530 hp, the V12 biturbo engine in the S 600 packs a bigger punch than its predecessor did with 517 hp. The displacement of the engine has increased from 5,513 to 5,980 cc. The maximum torque of 830 Nm is available from 1,900 rpm. The S 600 now for the first time features the ECO start/stop function as standard, which contributes to the car reaching the Euro 6 emissions standard.
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If you’re after a high-performance SUV, then your options just got a little bigger. Mercedes-Benz have given the new GLA an AMG makeover which sees it turn from a tidy-looking luxury crossover, into a tire scorching, sports car embarrassing, monster.
Under the hood of the Mercedes-Benz GLA 45 AMG is a turbocharged 2.0 litre four-cylinder engine. That might not sound like much, but in fact it’s capable of producing 355 horsepower and 332 lb-ft (450 Nm) of torque. That allows for a zero-to-sixty time of just 4.8 seconds. Top speed is an electronically limited 155 mph. The transmission is a seven-speed dual clutch unit with Manual, Sport and Comfort settings. Under normal conditions power is sent to just the front wheels, however when required it can shunt up to 50 percent to the rear wheels.
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After announcing back in December that they were going to be bringing a performance-orientated Q50 concept called the “Eau Rouge” to the 2014 North American International Auto Show in Detroit later this month, Infiniti have intentionally let slip yet another photo of the car, this time from a much more revealing front 3/4 angle.
The Infiniti Q50 Eau Rouge, a high-performance design concept based on Infiniti’s Q50 premium sports saloon, draws inspiration for aerodynamic design from the technical collaboration between Infiniti and four-time Formula One World Champions Infiniti Red Bull Racing.
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For 2014 the Mercedes-Benz C-Class is all-new. New body, new chassis, new interior, new engines. It’s larger, lighter, better equipped and more efficient than its predecessor. The C-Class is the biggest-selling model series from Mercedes-Benz. Sales of the preceding model, which was launched in 2007, total over 2.4 million worldwide.
The C-Class has grown in size, with an 3.1 inch (80-mm) increase in the wheelbase compared with the previous model, the vehicle is 3.7 inches (95 mm longer) and 1.6 inches (40 mm) wider. But it’s also roughly 100 kgs (220 lbs) lighter. Mainly because of a new lightweight aluminium hybrid body. The proportion of aluminium used in the bodywork and chassis has risen from under 10 percent in the last model, to nearly 50 percent in the new car.
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Alcraft Motor Company, a new British design and engineering business has just announced its arrival. The company says it is dedicated to creating custom vehicles which have a unique sense of British style. The company will focus on developing exterior and interior styling products for brands which originate from the UK, such as Range Rover, Land Rover, Jaguar and Aston Martin.
Despite their slightly OTT emphasis on Britishness – constantly refering to British style, British heritage and British values when you’re trying to launch a brand-new aftermarket tuning company starts to sound a bit sycophantic after a while – the company have roped in some big names to their cause. And to be fair, their first attempt at a modified Range Rover looks better than most.
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