2010 Fiat Punto Evo

Posted in Fiat

The Fiat Punto Evo, the evolution of the Grande Punto, will make its debut at the next Frankfurt Motor Show. It is destined to repeat the success of its predecessor and become the new pacesetter for innovation, safety and style, thanks to its many innovative features.

The epithet “Evo” identifies a level of car design that is capable of satisfying even the most demanding customers in terms of technology, driving pleasure and respect for the environment.

The Punto Evo expresses its technical excellence first and foremost through a wide choice of Euro 5 engines, including a 1.3 second generation Multijet diesel and a 1.4 petrol engine with the revolutionary MultiAir technology developed by Fiat Powertrain Technologies and eventually to be incorporated in all Fiat Group engines. Fiat’s innovative and conventional powerplants are also joined by dual-fuel methane and petrol units to create the most complete and ecological range of engines in the segment. With reduced consumption and emissions in mind, the new Punto Evo also offers Start&Stop, the system that switches off and restarts the engine in stop-and-go traffic. Start&Stop is being introduced as standard on all Euro5 petrol and diesel engines. Another system making its first appearance on the Punto Evo is “Blue&Me–TomTom”, the new portable satellite navigation unit that lets you manage telephone, navigation and information functions on a practical colour touch-screen.

In the area of safety, the Punto Evo sets new standards thanks to 7 airbags, including a driver knee airbag. The Punto Evo is one of very few cars in its segment with a driver knee airbag fitted as standard on all versions. Other innovative safety systems are also available, including Hill-Holder to help with hill starts, adaptive ‘cornering’ front fog lights that switch on automatically with dipped headlights according to the angle of steering, and Fiat’s tried and tested ABS, EBD (Electronic Brake force Distribution) and ESP (Electronic Stability Program) systems.

Finally, the new Punto Evo is even more attractive thanks to the work of Fiat’s Centro Stile. The interiors (fascia, seats and instrumentation) have been completely renewed to become even more prestigious and elegant, and the outside has been given a thoroughly restyled look too.

The Fiat Punto Evo goes on sale in the second half of October with the precise objective of consolidating its role as one of Europe’s market leaders in the highly important compact segment.

Technical innovation

The Punto Evo expresses its technical excellence first and foremost through a wide choice of engines Euro 5, including petrol units equipped with the revolutionary MultiAir system and second generation Multijet diesels.

Developed and patented by FPT – Fiat Powertrain Technologies – MultiAir technology will gradually be adopted by all engines fitted to Fiat Group cars. The heart of MultiAir is a new electrohydraulic valve management system that reduces fuel consumption by controlling air directly via the inlet valves (without using the throttle). MultiAir reduces emissions (thanks to improved combustion control) and also improves performance by boosting both power and torque.

Similar results have been achieved in diesel versions thanks to the adoption of second generation Multijet units across the range. These engines incorporate new common rail injectors that, thanks to a balanced hydraulic servo-valve, control the quantity of fuel injected into the combustion chamber with improved precision, and in a faster and more flexible sequence than in the past.

The choice of engines available for the Punto Evo is the most complete and ecological in this market segment, and even includes two alternative fuel engines, a methane and an LPG unit.

The new Punto Evo is even equipped with the latest version of the Blue&Me system. “Blue&Me–TomTom” is a fully integrated infotainment system that lets you manage telephone, navigation and information functions on a practical colour touch-screen. The system is the result of a partnership between Fiat Group Automobiles and TomTom, European leader in portable navigation systems, and integrates with the car’s other systems thanks to the Blue&Me system developed in conjunction with Magneti Marelli. The new system also incorporates “eco:Drive Info” for real time information on your driving style and useful suggestions for reducing environmental impact and optimising consumption by changing gear and using the accelerator to suit the nature of the route.

Respect for the environment

At Fiat, innovation means greater respect for the environment too. In fact, the environment is one of the main issues driving product development, and ensures that the Fiat range is the greenest in Europe. The Punto Evo is no exception to this rule.

The new MultiAir engines prove the point. Compared to a conventional petrol engine of the same size, a MultiAir engine develops more power (up to 10%) and torque (up to 15%), while consuming significantly less (up to 10%) and emitting less CO2 (up to 10%), less particulates (up to 40%) and less NOx (up to 60%).

In the same way the second generation of Multijet diesel engines also offers more accurate combustion, with benefits for consumption, emissions, NVH and drivability. This has been achieved through a new common rail injector that modulates fuel injection into the combustion chamber and gives, for the Euro 5 engines, an improvement of around 2% in consumption and CO2 emissions on the homologation cycle, and a reduction in NOx emissions of up to 30%.

Still with reduced consumption and emissions in mind, the new Punto Evo will also offer Start&Stop, the system that switches off the engine when you stop and restarts it for you to move off again (at traffic lights for example). Start&Stop will be standard on all Euro5 petrol and diesel engines.

The methane-fuelled engine is not only the most ecological dual fuel engine in segment B, producing only 115 g/km of CO2, but is also the most economical thanks to record running costs of under 4 Euros per 100 km. Among other advantages, methane-fuelled engines benefit from the highest government incentives in Italy: 5,000 Euros if combined with a contribution for scrapping your old car.

Then there is the LPG-fuelled version, developed using Fiat’s longstanding experience in alternative fuels to respond to the extraordinary growth seen in this market. The Punto Evo GPL boasts record autonomy of 1,500 km in the extra-urban cycle, and running costs up to 50% lower than a petrol equivalent.

Safety

The Punto Evo is designed and built to achieve the highest levels of safety. The model boasts a large number of safety systems (standard or optional depending on market and version) starting from those dedicated to passive safety: 2 front airbags, 2 front side airbags, 2 window bags and a driver knee airbag (the Punto Evo is one of the few cars in this segment on which this device is standard on all versions).

The Punto Evo is also one of the few cars in its class equipped with adaptive ‘cornering’ front fog lights that switch on automatically with dipped headlights according to the angle of steering. And don’t forget that the new Punto Evo also guarantees constant and reliable road holding thanks to electronic dynamic control systems for braking and steering. The ABS system that is available across the complete engine range incorporates EBD (Electronic Brake force Distribution), ESP (Electronic Stability Program) and Hill-holder to help with hill-starts.

Style and comfort

The Punto Evo is more stunning than ever thanks to the work of Fiat’s Centro Stile. In particular, the interiors of the new model have been completely redesigned to represent the most evolved expression of Italian style, with top quality materials and superb attention to detail. The result is a bright and elegant cabin with completely renewed fascia, seats, storage compartments and instrumentation.

On the outside, both the front and the rear have been thoroughly restyled, as shown by the attractive lines of the new bumpers and the incorporation of innovative and original headlights and taillights. The latest design has also “stretched” the car to a total length of 406 centimetres, so that its winning characteristics of driver and passenger comfort remain unchanged. The other external dimensions remain the same, with a width of 169 cm, a height of 149 cm and a wheelbase of 251 cm.

2010 Maserati GranCabrio

Posted in Maserati

The Maserati GranCabrio, the first four-seater convertible in the Trident carmaker’s history, will make its world wide debut on September 15 at the upcoming Frankfurt Motor Show. The introduction of the GranCabrio – the Trident’s third prong – completes Maserati’s product line-up that now consists of three different families of models: Quattroporte, GranTurismo, GranCabrio

The GranCabrio represents the very essence of Maserati in terms of open-top cars. It’s a Maserati in the purest sense of the word: from the unmistakable style by Pininfarina to the spacious interior, from the craftsmanship of each detail to the driving pleasure and performance. The Maserati GranCabrio enriches all five senses in a shared open-air experience, without sacrificing comfort and performance. A dream car designed and built for men and women who love to live life in an understated – though sophisticated – manner. Like all the made in Maserati open-top convertibles: special cars aimed at refined connoisseurs.

In fact the GranCabrio is continuing the Maserati tradition in open-top cars, joining models that have played such an important part in the Modena carmaker’s history such as the 1950 A6G Frua Spyder, 1960 3500GT Vignale Spyder, 1964 Mistral Spyder, 1968 Ghibli Spyder and 2001 Spyder designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro, the car that marked Maserati’s return to the United States. In the footsteps of tradition, the GranCabrio opens a new chapter, because never before have four-seater top-down models ever been produced at the Viale Ciro Menotti Maserati factory. Four proper seats, so that the rear passengers are not merely supporting actors, but co-stars of the journey.

The GranCabrio is powered by a 4.7 litre V8, 323 kW engine and is the convertible with the longest wheelbase on the market. The GranCabrio’s roof is strictly canvas-made, emphasizing the link with the Maserati tradition.

The Maserati GranCabrio will be marketed starting next winter, and experienced by customers the world over from the following spring.

Alfa Romeo 159 New Turbo Engines

Posted in Alfa Romeo

Alfa Romeo 159 New Turbo Engines
Alfa Romeo’s 159 is spreading its wings. With the announcement of two extra engines plus, additional trim levels, Alfa’s favourite compact executive is gearing up to take on its rivals. Adding to the existing line-up, both new engines will offer increased torque and power with lower emissions and greater fuel efficiency.

The first of the two new engines is a 1750i turbo petrol, the lightweight, direct injection turbocharged engine develops an impressive 200 bhp along with 320 Nm of torque. And this means 0-62mph takes 7.7 seconds. while C02 emissions are limited to 189g/km with efficiency rated at 34.9mpg.

The second of the two new units is a 2.0 JTDm diesel engine. Producing 170bhp, the oil burner takes 8.8 seconds to travel from 0-62mph, while C02 emissions are only 142g/km and efficiency is given as 52.3mpg.

But it’s not just new engines bolstering the 159’s appeal. To coincide with the launch of these new engines, Alfa Romeo has also introduced a new range structure which now features five trim levels. Starting with the entry-level Turismo there’s now a Turismo Sport, Elegante, Lusso and TI.First at the top of the pile.

Out of the two new trim levels, Turismo Sport offers drivers sporty upgrades including 17” sport alloy wheels, sports seat cloth, sports leather steering wheel, and sports dials. While the new Elegante trim adds additional style to the already highly specified Turismo equipment including rear parking sensors, visibility pack and luxury Alfatex interior.

Prices start from £21,800 for both new engines in entry-level Turismo trim.

2010 Porsche 911 GT3 RS

Posted in Porsche

The heart of the new 911 GT3 RS, the power unit, is based on the engine already featured in the 911 GT3. Like the latter, the RS power unit now displaces 3.8 instead of 3.6 litres, delivering even more power and revving up even faster and more dynamically.

The engine featured in the new 911 GT3 RS delivers 15 bhp more than its counterpart in the 911 GT3, that is maximum output of 450 horsepower from the fast-revving naturally-aspirated power unit. This means specific output of more than 118 bhp per litre from the six-cylinder, an extremely high figure for natural-aspiration technology even in the strictest worldwide comparison. And unlike many other high-performance engines, the power unit in the new 911 GT3 RS remains fully suitable for everyday use.

The new 911 GT3 RS comes exclusively with a six-speed manual gearbox optimised for short gearshift travel, low weight and high efficiency. To enhance the level of performance throughout the entire range of engine and road speed, the gears come with a shorter transmission ratio than on the 911 GT3, deliberately making concessions in terms of even higher top speed.

To further improve its sporting behaviour, the new 911 GT3 RS comes for the first time with a purpose-built and specially set up PASM suspension, with wider track not only at the rear, but also on the front axle. Accordingly, the body of the new 911 GT3 RS is wider not only at the rear, but also at the front through the use of additional wheel arch covers.

The front axle comes with nine-inch-wide wheels running on 245/35 ZR 19 sports tyres, the rear axle features twelve-inch-wide wheels incorporating 325/30 ZR 19 sports tyres.

The dynamic engine mounts featured as standard also serve to improve the car’s driving dynamics to an even higher level. Depending on driving conditions, the mounts change in their stiffness and damping effect, improving the connection between the engine and the body when driving under very dynamic conditions.

As yet a further point the car’s aerodynamics develop even more downforce than on the GT3, again benefiting the qualities of the car on the race track. Racing qualities are also why Porsche is introducing another new option in 2010, a lithium-ion battery delivered with the car and, replacing the conventional lead battery, reducing weight by more than 10 kg or 22 lb.

The new 911 GT3 RS shows its close connection to motorsport also through the dynamic looks of the car borne out in particular by its low ride height, the new, extra-large carbon-fibre rear wing with its specifically designed wing supports made of aluminium, the characteristic dual tailpipes on the extra-light titanium sports exhaust, as well as special front and rear parts exclusive to this model.

Sales of the new Porsche 911 GT3 RS are starting in Germany in January 2010. The Euro base-price is Euro 122,400.- without value-added tax and national specifications.

2010 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Estate

Posted in Mercedes-Benz

From November 2009, Mercedes-Benz is launching the Estate version as another highly distinctive member of the E-Class family. Like the Saloon and Coupé, the Estate, which is available now, combines unique design with leadership in safety, comfort, quality and practicality. The new E-Class marks the debut of a number of technical innovations which no other car in the world in this category is able to offer – from drowsiness detection to automatic emergency braking when an accident is recognised as imminent, and from Adaptive Highbeam Assist to the Active Bonnet. Naturally the Estate also features all these innovations. Plus air suspension with self-levelling at the rear as standard and unique new load compartment management features.

The E-Class Estate is seen as the progenitor of the premium lifestyle estate segment more than 30 years ago. Since the launch of the first Estate in 1977, more than one million customers have discovered their enthusiasm for this most practical way of driving a Mercedes luxury car. This success story is set to be continued by the fifth generation of the E-Class Estate – following up on the successful launch of the Saloon. Only introduced in Europein spring 2009, the E‑Class Saloon had already achieved world-wide market leadership in its segment by May 2009. Some 40,000 new E-Class models have now been delivered to customers.

The performance of the Saloon and Coupé in the 2009 AutoBild Design Awards shows how well the striking lines of the E-Class have been received: more than 100,000 readers of this German motoring publication recently voted the four-door model the most beautiful car in the world, and gave the two-door model first place in the Coupé/Cabriolet category.

Design: new Mercedes hallmarks combined with E-Class styling features

The new Estate immediately makes an athletic and practical, but also effortlessly superior and safe impression. Its distinctive design character is based on the new Mercedes style, which had its debut in the S-Class and is now also represented in the C-Class. One of its main features is the interplay between concave and taut surfaces, which are delimited by dynamic edges and structured contours.

The side view reveals many new elements, leaving no doubt about the identity of the new Estate. The B- and C-pillars appear to merge into the background thanks to glossy, black trim panels, making the entire side window area look like a single entity. This leads to a taut arch leading from the filigree A-pillar to the dramatic roof line and the downward-tapering D-pillar, all resting on the athletic shoulder line of the Estate. The intriguing design of the door sill panels, which are visually understated in the centre but feature a prominent light-catching contour towards the wheel arches, accentuates the dramatic overall effect of the side aspect. This is additionally emphasised by the muscular, sweeping line on the rear side panel in front of the rear wheel.

When shaping the rear end, the Mercedes designers took care to give expression to the high practicality of the new model. They did this by emphasising horizontal lines, for example the band formed by the tail lights and the chromed tailgate handle. The new LED tail lights are based on a two-piece design, and create a visual continuation of the side wall into the tailgate. Both by day and night, their distinctive design is a major recognition factor for the E-Class Estate. This is the largest estate car in the premium segment, and it makes no secret of the fact.

Practicality: top marks for load capacity and ease of operation

One particularly special feature of the load compartment management system is the option of opening the standard-fit EASY-PACK tailgate automatically by using the ignition key or pressing the handle if the car needs to be loaded from behind. The innovative “quickfold” system enables the rear seat backrests to be folded down from the load compartment. Neither the head restraints nor the rear-seat cushions need to be adjusted beforehand in order to be able to do this. The two backrest sections are unlocked and folded down by a cable pull, creating a level loading surface. As another useful feature, either the left or right backrest sections, or both together, can be folded down. This enables the rear seat unit to be used by passengers even when long and bulky items are being carried. The backrest sections can also be unlocked and folded down from the side.

It is now also much easier to use the combined luggage compartment cover and retaining net, which is attached at beltline level for the first time, making it far simpler to install and remove in various positions.

With a load capacity of up to 1950 litres, the new E-Class Estate (length/width/ height: 4895/1854/1471 millimetres) sets the standard in its class. Apart from the load compartment capacity itself, other dimensions of great practical importance – such as the rear aperture, load compartment sill and maximum load compartment length – demonstrate the expertise of Mercedes-Benz when it comes to estate car engineering.

It is not only in the load compartment that the generous dimensions of the preceding model have been improved even further in many respects. Two examples in the interior illustrate this: the elbow width in the rear has been increased by 50 millimetres to 1505 millimetres. Rear headroom with the large tilting/sliding sunroof installed has also improved by 50 millimetres to 1010 millimetres, and is almost as generous as in versions with no sunroof (1012 mm).

An exemplary load management system is specified as standard. For example, the automatically opening and closing EASY-PACK tailgate with automatic raising of the load compartment cover, or the EASY-PACK folding load compartment floor. The latter considerably increases the usable height of the load compartment. It can be folded up and secured in various positions. Standard equipment also includes the EASY-PACK load compartment cover with a load securing net. When extended, the load compartment cover can be hooked into electrically powered carriers on the D-pillars. When the tailgate is opened, the load compartment cover is automatically raised to allow unobstructed loading and unloading. The optional folding bench seat for the load compartment is also unique in this vehicle segment.

Safety: nine airbags as standard, plus innovative driver assistance systems

Mercedes-Benz has consolidated its leadership in safety even further with the new E-Class. Around one dozen new or modified driver assistance systems help to prevent road accidents or at least reduce the severity of the impact. These include the standard ATTENTION ASSIST drowsiness detection system, the optional DISTRONIC PLUS proximity control and the optional PRE-SAFE® Brake, which is able to initiate partial and full emergency braking autonomously. For the first time, PRE-SAFE® is also able to use only the information received from the short-range sensors in the front bumper to tension the front seat belts at the last moment before an accident recognised as unavoidable, thereby reducing the loads exerted on the driver and front passenger during the crash.

With nine airbags fitted as standard, four belt tensioners and belt force limiters, and NECK-PRO crash-responsive head restraints for the driver and front passenger, the new E-Class offers an even more extensive package of safety equipment than its predecessor. The airbags, which can deploy in a matter of milliseconds in the event of an accident, include two adaptive airbags for the driver and front passenger, a kneebag for the driver, two sidebags in the front-seat backrests and two large windowbags which extend from the A-pillar to the C‑pillar during a side impact. Pelvisbags for the front occupants are also included for the first time. These reduce the loads acting on the torso and pelvic area during a lateral collision.

Sidebags for the rear seat passengers can also be installed as optional extras. As a further safety innovation, Mercedes-Benz also offers optional, self-adaptive belt force limiters for the rear. These adjust to the size and weight of the passengers, and also become available for the Saloon with the introduction of the Estate.

Suspension: automatic self-levelling at the rear as standard

Outstanding comfort on long journeys in the Estate is ensured by the newly developed DIRECT CONTROL suspension, which features the adaptive damping system as standard. The likewise standard self-levelling rear suspension sees to it that the Estate always remains at the same level, even when fully laden. The Estate’s suspension setup has also been adapted to suit the modified body geometry, with slightly stiffer shock absorber settings and torsion bar stabilisers, making the Estate just as agile as the Saloon without having to make compromises in terms of road roar and tyre vibration characteristics.

Engines: considerable reduction in fuel consumption and emissions

The fuel consumption and emissions of the new Estate have been considerably reduced by new engines and numerous optimisation measures (aerodynamics, weight, energy management, reduced resistances). One prime example is the E 250 CDI with an output of 150 kW and a peak torque of 500 Nm, whose fuel consumption is only 5.7 litres per 100 km, with CO2 emissions of 150 g per km.

The engine line-up available for the new Estate at launch comprises five units developing between 125 kW/170 hp and 285 kW/388 hp. Though with a lower displacement, the new and modified engines generate more output than their predecessors, while impressing with fuel consumption figures that were previously only found in the compact class. This was made possible by numerous innovations, for example spray-guided direct injection for the E 350 CGI BlueEFFICIENCY petrol model. The four-cylinder CDI engines partly owe their exceptional status to newly developed piezo injectors and two-stage turbocharging. All the powerplants meet the requirements of the EU5 emission standard. The E-Class Estate can be ordered now. All of the engines available at launch, the accompanying transmissions installed as standard and the basic prices at a glance:

Diesel

E 220 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY: 4-cylinder in-line, 2143 cc, 125 kW/170 hp, 5.7-5.8 l per 100 km, CO2 150-153 g/km, 6-speed manual transmission, from € 44,803.50
E 250 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY: 4-cylinder in-line, 2143 cc, 150 kW/204 hp, 5.7-5.8 l/100 km, CO2 150-153 g/km, 6-speed manual transmission, from € 47,719
E 350 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY: V6, 2987 cc, 170 kW/231 hp, 7.0-7.3 l/100 km, CO2 185-192 g/km, 7-speed automatic transmission, from € 54,204.50

Petrol
E 350 CGI BlueEFFICIENCY: V6, 3498 cc, 215 kW/292 hp, 8.6–8.9 l/100 km, CO2 200-208 g/km, 7-speed automatic transmission, from € 55,156.50
E 500: V8, 5461 cc, 285 kW/388 hp, 11.1–11.2 l/100 km, CO2 258-260 g/km, 7-speed automatic transmission, from € 70,150.50
The following additional models are available from the first quarter of 2010 onwards:

Diesel
E 200 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY: 4-cylinder in-line, 2143 cc, 100 kW/136 hp, 5.7* l/100 km, CO2 150* g/km, 6-speed manual transmission, from € 41,947.50
E 350 CDI 4MATIC BlueEFFICIENCY: V6, 2987 cc, 170 kW/231 hp, 7.6–7.7 l/100 km, CO2 200-203 g/km, 7-speed automatic transmission, from € 56,941.50

Petrol
E 200 CGI BlueEFFICIENCY: 4-cylinder in-line, 1796 cc, 135 kW/183 hp, 7.7* l/100 km, CO2 179* g/km, 6-speed manual transmission, from € 42,721
E 250 CGI BlueEFFICIENCY: 4-cylinder in-line, 1796 cc, 150 kW/204 hp, 8.0-8.2 l/100 km, CO2 185-191 g/km, 5-speed automatic transmission, from € 47,719
E 350 4MATIC: V6, 3498 cc, 200 kW/272 hp, 10.2-10.3 l/100 km, CO2 238-241 g/km, 7-speed automatic transmission, from € 56,941.50