Shell Eco marathon – the green challenge

Posted in Ferrari

‘The fastest, the furthest, and everything in between’
This film demonstrates how Shell pushes the boundaries of both performance and efficiency in an epic journey across Europe. It highlights Shell’s technical partnership with Ferrari, as well as its hosting of the annual Eco-Marathon, whose record holders covered over 3300 km on the equivalent of 1 litre of fuel.

The Shell Eco-marathon challenges the world’s greatest young engineering minds to design, build, and test vehicles that travel further using less energy.

Watch the video of the epic journey across Europe, showing Shell’s involvement with the fastest, furthest and everything in between.

Volvo V70 and S80

Posted in Volvo
The five-cylinder 2.5-litre Flexifuel engine, the 2.5FT, produces 231 hp (170 kW) and 340 Nm of torque.

At the same time, Volvo’s engine experts have succeeded to cutting fuel consumption by between five and six percent depending on transmission.

“This technical advance shows that we can give buyers of our larger cars an attractive combination of enhanced driving pleasure and better environmental properties. Few, if any, of our competitors can match our ever-wider and more efficient green-car model range,” says Magnus Jonsson, Senior Vice President, Product Development at Volvo Cars. He adds:”The new 2.5FT variants will be a particularly attractive choice for company car customers. Since the hike in torque gives far better pulling power, driveability in both the Volvo S80 and Volvo V70 gets a real boost. At the same time, fuel economy is noticeably better. Fuel consumption will drop most significantly among cars that cover long distances on the highway and motorway.”

Available from June 2009
The upgraded 2.5FT engine will reach the market in the Volvo S80 and Volvo V70 in June 2009. Both variants are available with a choice of manual or automatic transmission.

Fuel consumption (EU, mixed driving cycle on petrol) for the upgraded 2.5FT is 8.8 l/100 km (V70) and 8.6 l/100 km (S80) with manual transmission, and 9.7 l/100 km (V70) and 9.6 l/100 km (S80) with automatic transmission.

This is an improvement of about 5 percent for the manual versions and almost 6 percent for cars with automatic transmission.

When running on E85, fuel consumption increases by about 30 percent since bioethanol contains less energy. The exact difference depends on factors such as driving style, ambient temperature and variations in fuel specification.

Higher boost pressure and lower engine revs
The increase in the 2.5FT engine’s torque and power output was made possible by adopting new software that raises the turbocharger’s boost pressure.

Fuel economy has been improved by cutting engine revs in specific driving conditions. In cars with manual transmission, this takes place by fitting a “longer” gear set, that is to say an increased span between first and sixth gear. In this way, fifth gear has the same ratio as the previous sixth gear, while sixth is now a pure overdrive ratio.

In the automatic version, the reduction in fuel consumption has been achieved with a new gearchanging program that changes up earlier at lower engine revs.

One of the most extensive ranges of E85 models
Volvo Cars has one of the car world’s broadest ranges of Flexifuel models. All told five models – the Volvo C30, S40, V50, V70 and S80 – can be specified with one or a choice of two E85 engines.

In addition to the turbocharged 2.5FT engine, both the Volvo V70 and the S80 have since the end of 2007 been available with a four-cylinder 2-litre Flexifuel variant (2.0F) producing 145 hp (107 kW) and offering 185 Nm of torque. Fuel consumption (EU, mixed driving cycle on petrol) is 8.6 l/100 km (V70 2.0F) and 8.3 l/100 km (S80 2.0F).

The Flexifuel variants of the Volvo S40, V50 and C30 have a four-cylinder 1.8-litre engine (1.8F) that produces 125 hp (92 kW) and torque of 165 Nm. For these models, the fuel consumption (EU, mixed driving cycle on petrol) is 7.3 l/100 km (C30 1.8F) and 7.4 l/100 km (S40 1.8F and V50 1.8F).

Seat Ibiza Boganegra – A True Collector’s Edition

Posted in Seat
SEAT created an icon with the SEAT 1200 SPORT “Bocanegra”. More than 30 years later, the Spanish brand has reverted to the same exclusive nomenclature to create the new SEAT Ibiza Bocanegra, a vehicle whose innovative design language, especially centred around its characteristic front end, oozes character and sportiness. It instantly becomes, without a doubt, a true collector’s edition.

But its exclusive exterior design is not its only strength – the interior has also been modified compared to the rest of the models in the range to create an even more sporty passenger compartment filled with distinctive detailing. The new SEAT Ibiza Bocanegra will be equipped with either the 150 or 180 hp twin charged 1.4 TSI engine found on the FR and the CUPRA versions.

Unique, exclusive silhouette

The new Ibiza Bocanegra has very clearly been created to provide a thrilling driving experience. Its new exterior design, whose masterful lines appeared on the SportCoupé “Bocanegra” prototype presented at the 2008 Geneva Motor Show, puts SEAT’s new vehicle firmly in the spotlight. This is indeed a unique version aimed at customers who want an exclusive Ibiza.

The main characteristic of the new Ibiza Bocanegra is found on the front of the car. As its name suggests, the black volume at the front is reminiscent of a mask, which strengthens the stylishness of SEAT’s new model.

The top half of the front on the Ibiza Bocanegra is emphasised by completely black double headlights and the central grille with its honeycomb mesh and black surround, including innovative air vents at the base. The bumper combines black with the body colour, while a broad grille beneath that takes care of cooling the engine. The fog lights are built into the bumper, which is bigger at the bottom and over the wheel arches, and its muscular volume contributes toward the car’s unmistakably sporty appearance.

Other elements that combine perfectly to further add to the Ibiza Bocanegra’s image are the door mirrors with their black housing, the sunroof and the attractive 17 inch “Sira” rims which, on the CUPRA version, feature a brake assembly with AP-Racing callipers, and low profile 215/40 R17 tyres.

The rear of the vehicle also features honeycomb mesh on the side grids, an impressive spoiler, chunky wheel arches and a tinted window. But what really identifies the personality of the car is the “Bocanegra” badge centred on the hatch door, a characteristic trait of SEAT’s most exclusive versions.

The sporty body colours available on the new Ibiza Bocanegra are Dakota Red and Candy White, and both clearly highlight all the stunning design differences found on the model.

Highly personalised, ergonomic passenger compartment

Building on the sporty interior of the FR and CUPRA versions, several significant modifications have been made to the passenger compartment of the SEAT Ibiza Bocanegra, much to the delight of discerning customers.

As is usual on SEAT’s sportiest models, the first things that get your attention on the Ibiza Bocanegra are the seats, which are upholstered with specific fabric made up of rhomboids stitched together in red to generate a definitively sporty look.

The upper part of the seats sport the logo that identifies this version – a capital “B” stitched in red – and the sporty Ibiza range models feature comfortable, ergonomic seats that provide the driver with the highest level of safety.

Another eye-catching element in the interior is the three-spoke steering wheel, which is flattened at the base, sports a capital “B” for Bocanegra in aluminium in the middle of the vertical spoke and the seven-speed DSG shift paddles at the ends of the horizontal spokes for easier gear changes without releasing the steering wheel; whereas the DSG gear gaiter has red stitching to match the seats.

Different shades of black prevail in the interior, especially Brillante Black on areas of the dashboard soft-pad, the door panels and the central tunnel; or Carbono Black on the steps, the lower A pillars, the wheel arches and the specific floor mats, which also have red borders.

The Bocanegra logo on the instrument panel distinguishes it from the FR and CUPRA versions. Furthermore, the binnacle hood and radio casing feature Carbono Black, and the brake and accelerator pedals boast aluminium trim.

1.4 TSI engine and XDS system

The new Ibiza Bocanegra is equipped with the twin charged 1.4 TSI engine, either in its 150 or 180 hp version. This new generation engine is powerful and reliable, and guarantees brilliant performance levels and reduced consumption figures.

Other standard equipment on the Ibiza Bocanegra is the XDS system, which combines with ESP and TCS and functions as a self-blocking differential without the need for any additional mechanical elements. The system anticipates traction loss to the wheels and limits tractive force to the wheel expected to lose grip, preventing the inside wheel from skidding, especially around curves, and the car from understeering.

Both the Ibiza FR Bocanegra and Ibiza CUPRA Bocanegra include equipment that is identical to the standard versions: ESP, TCS + EBA, ABS, Hill Hold Assist, low tyre pressure warning, driver and passenger airbag, head-chest airbag, trip computer, cruise control, climate control, CD radio with MP3 + 6 speakers + Aux-in connection, sports suspension and cornering foglights are just some of the features.

The new SEAT Ibiza Bocanegra features unique styling and personality, combining a distinctively innovative design with large doses of exhilarating vitality, values that SEAT applies to all its models, but with even more new meaning on the Ibiza Bocanegra.

A look at the past

The design of the new Ibiza Bocanegra that SEAT is presenting at the Barcelona Motor Show is reminiscent of the first SEAT SportCoupé launched, the 1200 SPORT/SPORT 1430 “Bocanegra”. Even though more than 30 years separate the launch of the two models, both feature innovative styling and magnificent performance figures, and both ooze character and sportiness. The following are the main characteristics of the first “Bocanegra”.

• The launch of the SEAT 1200 SPORT in 1975 was a milestone in the Spanish brand’s history since it was the first model to be wholly-developed at the SEAT Technical Centre in Martorell.
• The model was called “Bocanegra” for its characteristic front end with integrated plastic bumpers. It featured a two-door body, four-speed gearbox and 67 hp 1.2 engine that gave the 1200 SPORT “Bocanegra” a top speed of 157 km/h.
• The design language of the SEAT 1200 SPORT was groundbreaking from any angle, characterised by sharp straight lines at a time when rounded contours were fashionable. Its interior design was also ahead of its time, and included a control panel made from a single piece.
• The main qualities of the SEAT 1200 SPORT “Bocanegra” were its innovative design, excellent performance and recognised stability.
• The range was later extended with the addition of the SEAT SPORT 1430, whose 77 hp delivered a top speed of 164 km/h. Equipped with the engine found on the SEAT 1430, this model was barely different on the outside or the inside compared to the 1200 SPORT version.
• Production of the SEAT 1200 SPORT began in 1976 and stopped in 1979 (with a total of 11,619 units sold), while the SEAT SPORT 1430 went on the market a year later in 1977 (7,713 units sold). In total, sales of both models reached 19,332 units, which were made exclusively in the Spanish market.

Alfa Romeo sales trend

Posted in Alfa Romeo

According to March and April’s new registration statistics from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, Alfa Romeo has recorded a positive percentage change in its new car sales, with industry-leading results in each month, and a massive 76.8% increase in April – 55% higher than any other manufacturer for the month.

The Italian sporting marque is also one of only two manufacturers to be credited with increased year-to-date sales figures compared to 2008.

Alfa Romeo in 2009 has been boosted by the introduction of the sporty, compact Alfa MiTo which has extended the manufacturer’s appeal into a new market segment. The technologically advanced and fun-to-drive addition to the range has been an instant hit with young and image conscious motorists keen to take advantage of Alfa Romeo’s competitive pricing and low insurance ratings.

Novitec supercharges the Maserati GranTurismo S for 600hp

Posted in Alfa Romeo, Maserati

Some people believe in tuning exotics, some prefer to leave them alone. But everybody’s got to respect Novitec. The German tuning house, now celebrating its 20th anniversary, is one of the established names in tuning Italian exotica. The company’s Novitec Rosso line is known for strapping superchargers to Ferraris to delirious effect, but a couple of years ago they turned out a decidedly low-key modification to the Maserati Quattroporte. Now the Novitec Tridente line is back at work on the GranTurismo S, producing the supercharged super-coupe you see here.

By adding a supercharger, tinkering with the ECU and replacing the exhaust system, Novitec has managed to coax out an extra 165 horsepower from the Ferrari-sourced 4.7-liter V8 for a whopping 600 ponies. Managing all that extra power is a retuned KW suspension gripping massing 20 and 21 inch wheels front and back, which team up with the carbon fiber body kit to add even more aggression to one of the industry’s meanest-looking GTs. See for yourself in the gallery below.