Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Rolls-Royce Phantom Coupe, 2013

  •  Rolls-Royce Phantom Coupe, 2013

The launch of the Rolls-Royce Phantom on 1 January 2003 was much more than the reveal of a new ultra-luxury car; it signalled the 21st Century renaissance of the world's most famous luxury automobile brand and the first glimpse of a masterpiece that quickly established itself at the pinnacle of automotive excellence.

For the preceding five years, under BMW Group ownership and in the absence of publicity, designers, engineers and skilled production staff had overseen the birth of a flagship Rolls-Royce motor car and state-of-the-art production facility on the Goodwood Estate in Southern England. Without parallel in the car industry, the achievement was all the more astonishing for a brand which shouldered the weight of historic ups (and occasional downs) and for which expectations for the future were rightly high.

From launch, the Rolls-Royce Phantom proved itself a worthy recipient of the famous Spirit of Ecstasy figurine. From Pantheon grille to long rear overhang, the design was clearly a Rolls-Royce. Every angle revealed a bold yet elegant car with road presence that was second to none.

For such an imposing car, Phantom surprised drivers with its agility and precision in motion while its ride was described by the company at the time as 'designed to lower the pulse'. The magnificently sublime ride, famed through model generations, had returned and waftability re-affirmed itself in the company lexicon.

At the car's core lay a ground-breaking, lightweight aluminium space-frame with power supplied by a sophisticated, direct-injection V12 engine, married to a six-speed auto gearbox. And complementing this excellence in engineering was Phantom's beautiful interior, presenting hand-stitched sumptuous leathers, fine veneers and exquisite detailing, a combination that marked the car as something uniquely special.

The New Phantom variants were added, starting with Phantom Extended Wheelbase in 2005. In 2007, Phantom Drophead Coupé revealed the ultimate in luxurious open-top motoring, while Phantom Coupé, Rolls-Royce's sophisticated grand tourer, joined the family in 2008. All were warmly received.

A new world - Phantom Series II in summary
Today, Rolls-Royce presents Phantom Series II, a family of pinnacle cars that have been thoughtfully updated with the introduction of cutting-edge technology, enhancements to an already peerless drive-train and improvements in connectivity that reflect the changing world in which we live.

Rolls-Royce Phantom's striking and modern front end best encapsulates the essence of changes that lie beneath, with re-styled bumpers and rectangular light apertures that frame full-LED light clusters. These allow the integration of new technologies like curve light functionality, where headlamp beams are reflected in the direction of travel to provide greater illumination of the road ahead when cornering. And adaptive headlamps, where light patterns change automatically and - of course - effortlessly in response to different driving speeds.

Phantom's already sublime drive-train has also been enhanced. The addition of a new 8-speed automatic gearbox and rear differential perfectly complement the V12 direct injection engine, improving exemplary dynamics, as well as the famous Rolls-Royce promise of a magic carpet ride. Fuel consumption improves by 10 percent on the combined cycle and CO2 emissions fall from 385 to 347g/km as a consequence (388 to 349 for Phantom Extended Wheelbase).

Effortless is a word that perhaps best epitomises the Phantom experience, both for drivers and their passengers. So an improved user interface, as well as the addition of new driver assistance technologies, have been built on the foundation of a new electronics' platform for Phantom Series II. The satellite navigation system, for example, has been fully updated with functions that include 3D map display with landscape topography, guided tours, as well as enhanced points of interest and composite route planning.

Audio visual content, satellite navigation maps and driver information is presented on Phantom's new 8.8 inch control centre display, underlined by eight programmable bookmarks in chrome for optimum convenience in selecting key functions. Front, rear and top-view camera systems, further augment Phantom's ease of use particularly when driving in tight urban environments. When reverse parking for example, rear path prediction automatically deploys on-screen.

These significant changes add further substance to a reputation Phantom has proudly built since launch of the signature Rolls-Royce back in 2003. It is a new world. But it's a world in which the Rolls-Royce Phantom family will occupy a pinnacle position for many years to come.

Like a piece of inspirational music, the Rolls-Royce Phantom continues to delight an audience. Familiar melodies - classic design cues that can be traced through the model generations - are brought to life by an orchestra of craftspeople working at the Home of Rolls-Royce in Goodwood, where attention to the finest detail delights in every car.

Familiar themes begin with the famous Spirit of Ecstasy, proudly adorning each model's Pantheon grille leaning into the wind with fluttering gown, while in side profile all Phantom family members present a long rear over-hang and classic two-to-one wheel to body height.

The thin-rimmed steering-wheel is reminiscent of elegantly engineered multifunction helms of the Phantom II and III, while further cues in the form of bulls-eye air vents and organ-stop plungers further hint at past masterpieces.

But 21st Century design cues also delight owners, as well as those for whom a glimpse of a Rolls-Royce is a rare moment to be treasured. The interlocked double-R Rolls-Royce monogram in the hubcaps, for example, which remain upright at all times. And coach doors with soft close function, which house Teflon-coated umbrellas to provide the grandest form of disembarkation from any motor car, whatever the weather.

Nearly ten years from launch, the design team responsible for creating a modern masterpiece remain at Rolls-Royce. And for Director of Design Ian Cameron, updating a 21st Century classic would start with one priority: a harmonious, timeless design to embrace state-of-the-art technological improvements.

The new, modern front-end for Phantom Series II, perhaps best exemplifies changes that are more than skin deep. Recessed behind new rectangular light apertures and re-designed front bumpers are fully LED light clusters. The signature is an elegant and dramatic bar, capturing the simple elegance of a continuously lit element, a feature complementing Rolls-Royce tail light design. For balance and proportion, this is integrated horizontally across the centre of Phantom's four-compartment headlamp.

Rolls-Royce Phantom Coupé and Drophead Coupé now come with a single piece grille surround, presenting a smoother, more contemporary front end that arch into sculpted front wings, while Phantom saloon features a new rear bumper incorporating a polished stainless steel highlight.

Rolls-Royce Phantom Saloon and Extended Wheelbase wear a new front wing R-R badge with repeat indicator while three new wheel options, including painted, part-polished and polished, add to the range of 21" wheels, the largest fitted as standard to any production car.

Simplicity of design and the very finest materials contribute to the timeless architecture of any Phantom, where touch points are exclusively wood, chrome and leather and where feet can easily be lost in deep, lambswool rugs.

Arguably the best place to experience Phantom's luxury is from the rear seat of Phantom Saloon where passengers - elevated by 18 mm - are presented with an inspirational view down the long sweep of the bonnet and onto the Spirit of Ecstasy. A reduction in the number of seat flutes in front and rear, from five to three, gives a more modern complement to the car's sumptuous natural grain leather and flutes are also added to Drophead Coupé and Coupé seats for Phantom Series II.

An oasis of calm, Rolls-Royce interiors are the perfect environment in which to relax and unwind in welcoming silence. But they can also be a centre for entertainment. Phantom Saloon's theatre configuration adds two monitors within veneered picnic tables for rear seat passengers which are linked to a multi-media player, mounted in a compartment at the rear of the centre console. The inclusion of AV connectors, a six-DVD changer housed in the lower glove box and USB port in the centre console, means occupants can view separate content wherever they may be seated, front or rear.

The LOGIC7 surround sound system by Harman can create a truly cinematic experience on any journey. Seven individual sound signals are processed specifically for the car and its interior conditions using a combination of speakers that include subwoofers housed within resonance chambers in the space created by Phantom's double floor. A nine-channel amplifier delivers supreme clarity, clearly placing musical instruments, sound effects and dialogue at different depths giving the impression of sitting in row one or 20 of a concert.

At the touch of a button, Phantom's elegant analogue clock flips to reveal a new control centre display. The screen has increased in size from 6.5 to 8.8 inches with enhanced pixel density providing a more refined image, as well as split-menu display for more intuitive access to different functions.

A stylish new chrome controller, discreetly hidden within the centre console and rear-centre arm rests when not in use, is flanked by function keys such as menu, telephone and navigation to allow easier access to infotainment functions.

Eight functional bookmarks are now included beneath the monitor. These can be programmed to present desired information at the touch of a chrome key, for example the preferred orientation for satellite navigation maps, to present favourite television channels, pre-set radio stations or to access Phantom's telephone menu.

All Rolls-Royce Phantom family cars now benefit from improved interfaces and interaction with wireless technology. Finding a restaurant, booking a table, then being guided to its location, for example, comes courtesy of the improved functionality and inter-connectivity of Phantom's new satellite navigation system. Further enhancements to navigation functions include guided tours: at the Home of Rolls-Royce, which is situated next to the historic town of Chichester in England, drivers may choose to select a 45 minute tour taking in Roman Britain.

For Rolls-Royce Phantom Series II the telephone cradle has been replaced by a standard fit smart phone cradle which connects directly into the car antennae. The centre recess now also includes USB, Aux-in and 12V power sockets. Additionally, music can be copied directly onto the car's hard-drive, thanks to the addition of a USB port in the glove compartment.

"Lit in a different way" - new LED light technology
Rolls-Royce has a long history of technological firsts and is now the first car manufacturer to offer full LED headlamps as standard for Phantom models. As well as drawing less power from the engine, the characteristic whiter light provides a clearer view of the road ahead, helping prevent tiredness for drivers during long journeys on dark roads.

New light clusters comprise four compartments surrounded and finished with a polished, stainless steel bezel. Continuously lit, an elegant bar runs through the centre forming Phantom's LED daytime running lamps. LEDS in the top two pockets form dipped lights while full beam illuminates LEDs in the lower two. A separate, rectangular indicator strip sits below the headlamps.

LEDs present the opportunity for technologies that better manage the way light is projected, including curve light functionality and adaptive headlamps. The first uses electronically-controlled reflectors in upper and lower headlamp pockets, to improve the sweep of illumination when cornering. More of the road in the direction of travel can be seen as reflectors rotate by up to 15° in direct response to steering wheel turns.

Adaptive headlamps automatically change beam patterns according to driving conditions. Light is dispersed more widely for driving speeds below 50km/h to enable better views of cyclists and pedestrians. Between 50 and 120km/h the light cone extends and is skewed towards the near side to reveal potential hazards on a driver's side of the road, while for motorway driving at speeds in excess of 120km/h, the beam has a longer range and is more intense. Where windscreen wipers have been operating for more than two minutes in poor weather, dipped beams are automatically illuminated.

The convenient activation of headlight adaption is a further benefit, now being accessed directly via the rotary controller, rather than a switch located under the bonnet. This allows headlight settings to be switched between right-hand and left-hand drive markets, for example when driving from the UK to France, increasing comfort for those used to crossing borders.

Camera system
Everything about owning and driving Phantom models should be effortless, including manoeuvring in tight urban environments. Today, a new camera system is offered as standard for all Phantom Series II. Cameras are positioned in five locations, two in the curves of the front bumper, two on the underside of each wing mirror and one in the trunk lid.

These combine to present a fish-eye view at blind junctions or to provide ground images with obstacle recognition and reverse path prediction when parking This automatically deploys on the control centre display when reverse gear is selected and highlights the optimum reversing trajectory as well as the location of obstacles, helping prevent scuffs and alloy damage preserving the high value of a client's investment - and the inherent beauty of the car.

Additionally, all Phantom models carry six buttons that sit either side of the centre console's functional bookmarks; the button to the furthest on the right takes drivers immediately to a split image revealing objects at either side at the front of the car.

Engineering excellence
Originally conceived by the Rolls-Royce engineering team, an advanced aluminium spaceframe retains its position at Phantom's core, serving as the foundation for the car's extraordinary driving prowess. Strong, lightweight and as rigid as a Formula 1 car, the spaceframe has been further reinforced, with the addition of brace bars that enable a dynamic package to be offered as an option for Phantom Saloon for the first time.

Epitomising the Rolls-Royce marriage of cutting-edge technology with fine craftsmanship, each spaceframe is entirely hand-welded, then finished as if it were a precision instrument. Every morning, skilled welders perform a 300mm test to check for atmospheric effects on the material with which they will work. More than 200 box sections of cast aluminium extrusion are then formed to create the frame, which is checked for accuracy to within a millimetre by laser. Finally, the largest computer-guided machining platform in the auto industry sets to work on the complete structure, milling critical points with pinpoint precision.

Precision might also be the best word to describe the manner in which Phantom drivers place their cars through corners. But, of course, handling cannot come at the expense of the famous Rolls-Royce magic carpet ride. Fortunately, thanks to its double insulated floor, the spaceframe only augments inner tranquillity helping eliminate noise, vibration and harshness.

Its inherent safety benefits are also enhanced by other systems controlled by Phantom's ISIS (Intelligent Safety and Information System). This takes readings from sensors located throughout the car and, in the event of an impact, makes up to 4,000 calculations a second to establish its severity, deploying safety systems as necessary. These include intelligent braking and restraint systems such as Dynamic Stability Control, Dynamic Traction Control and seat belt pre-tensioners.

Complementing Phantom's reassuring safety features are changes to front door side pockets. These are now slightly smaller, due to the addition of a crash pad, for more even distribution of forces in a 30° side-impact test.

Drive-train and suspension
"For my team this was a question of what we could do to improve a drive-train that we believed was close to perfection, both in terms of its dynamic performance and outstanding ride characteristics," - Helmut Riedl, Director of Engineering

At its heart, every Phantom family car hosts a hand-assembled, naturally aspirated 6.75 litre V12 engine. This sophisticated direct-injection petrol engine develops 531lb ft of torque (720Nm) more than three quarters of which is available at 1,000 rpm. The torque curve remains largely flat between 1,000 and 3,000 rpm - an important prerequisite for effortless city driving - and moves occupants from 0 to 60 in 5.7 seconds and onto an electronically limited top speed of 149mph (155mph for Phantom Coupé) where market conditions allow.

Rolls-Royce Phantom's power reserve gauge is another of those trademark Rolls-Royce design cues that always raises a smile. In operation, it casually reveals the enormous power potential at a driver's disposal should he or she require it. But, in most circumstances, Phantom's performance is simply a matter of seamless, effortless progress.

For Rolls-Royce Phantom Series II, Rolls-Royce has improved the drive-train by incorporating a new 8-speed auto ZF-gearbox for all variants. This is electronically controlled to manage the extraordinary power delivered by the V12 power plant. The longer ratio in the new rear differential compensates shorter ratios in some gears of the new 8-speed gearbox, maintaining the same engine speed to augment 'waftability', while improving fuel economy.

The result is powerful serenity. Effortless gear changes come as a consequence of a better match of gear to engine speed, improving efficiency from power generation to where it is needed at the wheels. Fuel economy improves by 10 percent on the combined cycle and CO2 emissions fall from 385 to 347g/km as a result.

Double-wishbone front suspension complements the drive-train, featuring optimised mounts to minimise vibrations through the steering wheel, while multi-link rear suspension complete with anti-lift and anti-dive technology aids stability under heavy acceleration and braking.

Spring dampeners and anti-roll bars maintain comfort without loss of agility while self-levelling air struts compensate for different loads within the car, making continual adjustments as the weight of fuel decreases, giving drivers the ability to place the car through turns with absolute precision and passengers a ride of supreme comfort.

It takes 60 pairs of hands and more than 450 hours to design, construct and craft each Rolls-Royce motor car. At the Home of Rolls-Royce in Goodwood there are around 1,000 employees, including craftspeople working in wood and leather shops, making the world's finest cars. And just two robots in the paint shop to provide a seamless quality of finish. Only the finest materials are used and these are painstakingly prepared so their inherent beauty is displayed to best effect.

Rolls-Royce continues the grand tradition started centuries ago by the coach-building industry: at least five layers of paint and clear lacquer coating are applied to each Phantom, seven if the car is two-tone. Between each layer technicians sand the body by hand. Following application of a final coat, the body is meticulously hand polished for five hours to achieve the glassy lustre normally associated with a grand piano. Through the Bespoke programme, any chosen paint colour can be specified. Initially, this could be chosen by the client through the Phantom iPad App, capturing the colour of a favourite tie or lipstick for example and applying it to their virtual car. In keeping with Rolls-Royce traditions single or double coach-lines can also be applied - by hand of course. Each five metre line takes three hours to apply using only the finest squirrel and ox hair brushes.

Wooden features blend the skills of cabinet makers and boat builders with modern technology. Depending on specification, up to 43 wooden parts are used in every Phantom, each constructed from up to 28 layers of wood. These are interspersed with thin sheets of aluminium for strength and to prevent splintering in an impact. Multiple layers are pressed, bent and hand-finished before craftsmen cut and apply matched veneers, which are subsequently detailed, lacquered, hand polished and highlighted. All veneers come from one log and these are carefully selected and laid out so that the grain detailing is mirrored across the interior of each car.

Inspired by J-class yachts of the 1930s , the beautiful teak-decking in Phantom Drophead Coupé is a fine example of the marriage between Rolls-Royce traditions and the best in engineering. Teak is used because of its hardy properties and resistance to moisture and decay, but special techniques have been developed to preserve the appearance of a fresh, unprocessed finish, the aim being a final deck that closely resembled natural timber. Each deck, comprised of more than 30 wooden pieces, features precisely machined grooves and is protected by a specially formulated blend of oils. As with all woods and veneers used by Rolls-Royce, it is sourced by a team of specialists.

Only the finest hand-selected hides from Alpine bulls are used by Rolls-Royce. The healthy environment and open meadows without thorn or barbed wire result in far fewer natural marks. The leather is drum pigmented to allow the durable Rolls-Royce leather to retain its famous soft and supple feel, giving a rich, uniform colour while maintaining the natural feel, softness and grain. Each of the 450 leather parts that comprise an interior is cut by laser before being hand sewn by the artisans in the company's own workshop.

Rolls-Royce customers expect their cars to be as unique as their own fingerprint and the Bespoke service delivers on these high expectations. More than eight in ten Rolls-Royce Phantom models delivered globally to clients in 2011 included some element of bespoke design from individual paint colours, veneer inlays, tread plates and coach lines, to the most flamboyant and individual of whole vehicle designs.

In 2011 for example, Rolls-Royce designed a car for a Middle Eastern customer that incorporated an intricate and beautiful falcon motif within the headrests. Taking 40 hours of embroidery and using 11 different threads, the design featured 21,000 stitches.

Perhaps one of the most delightful and popular of Rolls-Royce bespoke features is the starlight headliner, which integrates more than 1,600 tiny fibre optic lights which are hand-woven into the leather roof lining to create a beautiful starry sky within a Rolls-Royce Phantom Saloon or Phantom Coupé.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Renault Koleos, 2012

  •  Renault Koleos, 2012

A renewed version of Renault Koleos is to be released in late 2011. The chief changes concern the model's exterior styling and interior trim, plus appreciable CO2 and fuel consumption savings in the case of its diesel engines. The model reasserts its high-end status by building on the strengths that were widely acclaimed at the time of its launch in 2008, namely its remarkable comfort, versatility and modularity, as well as the speed with which owners are able to familiarise themselves with their new car.

Robust, more dynamic looks
The front end of Renault Koleos has been revised with a view to reasserting its forceful character. The air-intakes positioned either side of the Renault logo on the previous version have made way for an elegant chrome grille, while the dynamism of the model has been reinforced by new, slimmer headlights. The more modern door mirrors now incorporate LED indicators.

The side view expresses the robustness associated with the world of 4x4 motoring thanks to cues such as high ground clearance, prominent wheel arches and new, modern, sporty wheels. The initial version's distinctive rear-end styling has been carried over, including the steeply-raked rear window which suggests forward movement and provides the model with a particularly original stance. New Renault Koleos will also be available in a new dynamic body colour: Cayenne Orange.

Careful attention has been paid to the quality and finish of the cabin. A selection of new upholsteries and trims have enhanced the original vehicle's elegance and refinement, while the dashboard and instrument lighting have evolved, too, with the introduction of a modern, more stylish speedometer housing and display.

CO2 emissions savings for a safe crossover which is at home on all types of road

Depending on market, new Renault Koleos can be ordered with the 150hp or 175hp version of the M9R diesel engine, or with the 170hp (TR25) petrol engine. All three deliver dynamic, high-quality performance under the bonnet of this crossover which measures 4.52m in length and 1.85m in width.

Work on the vehicle, engine and gearbox has produced appreciable CO2 emissions savings for the diesel versions of Koleos. The CO2 emissions of the 4x2 version powered by the dCi 150 engine are just 148g/km, which means it is no longer subject to the eco-surtax applicable in France. The emissions of the bigger dCi 175 engine have also been reduced to 166g/km.

The versatility of new Koleos means that it is as much in its element on city streets as it is on twisty country lanes. The Nissan-developed all-wheel drive transmission of the 4x4 version ensures genuine off-road ability, while the model's carefully-honed volumes, precise steering and stability ensure surefooted agile handling in and about town.

Meanwhile, Renault's expertise in the realm of active and passive safety saw the brand's crossover earn a five-star EuroNCAP crash test rating at the time of its launch thanks to features such as ESP, emergency brake assist, programmed structural deformation, six airbags and seat belt pretensioners.

?Exemplary comfort and modularity, plus high-end technologies
New Renault Koleos boasts segment-leading cabin space and comfort, while the interior layout benefits from the extensive expertise of the MPV's pioneer. Everything has been thought through to make sure that all five occupants feel perfectly at ease, including segment-topping headroom and knee room in the front, and an excellent balance between elbow room and headroom for rear passengers.

Practical and modular. The interior of new Renault Koleos features stowage space of up to 70 litres. Access to the large boot (450dm3 VDA) is facilitated by the split-opening tailgate, the bottom section of which forms a robust bench when lowered. The 60/40-split rear bench seat is equipped with the Easy-Estate system, which means it can be folded in one quick movement to free up a flat floor and boot space of 1,380dm3 VDA. The panoramic opening roof makes the cabin even brighter and more enjoyable.

Technologies for enhanced comfort and safety. New Renault Koleos is available with a raft of useful, reassuring and user-friendly high-end features, including hands-free entry and ignition, an electronic parking brake, automatic headlight and windscreen wiper activation and a joystick-operated Carminat TomTom navigation system. The 4x4 versions of new Renault Koleos also incorporate Hill Start Assist and Hill Descent Control.

Use of the audio, navigation and dual-zone climate control systems is perfectly intuitive and their controls fall readily to hand. Meanwhile, careful attention has been paid to eliminating mechanical and road noise which means that occupants are able to fully appreciate the premium Bose® sound audio system which has been tailor-engineered to match the characteristics of the cabin.

Renault Koleos: an international calling and an image-building flagship for the brand

Renault Koleos is marketed in some 40 countries on five continents. It was the first vehicle to benefit from Alliance-wide input since it was designed by Renault, features Nissan technologies and is manufactured at the Renault Samsung Motors plant in Busan, South Korea. Thanks to this fruitful collaboration, it has emerged as a spearhead of the Renault range in several markets.

Renault's first crossover has carved out a place in what is a constantly expanding and fiercely competitive segment:
    An international calling. Thanks toKoleos, Renault enjoys a real place in this growing, image-enhancing segment, notably in China and Latin America. More than 70 percent of Koleos sales were outside of Europe in 2010.
    In Europe, where its strengths are readily recognised,Koleos has succeeded in defending its position. Indeed, sales have increased significantly over the first four months of 2011 with a 65 percent rise in Koleos registrations across Europe between January and April over the same period in 2010.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, 2012

  •  Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, 2012

It is the most successful race car on earth: The Porsche 911 GT3 Cup. With over 2,200 units sold, it is the undisputed number one amongst customer racing teams all over the world. Now, the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup features a 100-litre FT3 safety fuel tank, which is filled via an opening in the front bonnet. Compared to its predecessor, the vehicle is now suitable for an even wider range of endurance racing. Moreover, the new fuel tank contributes to a further improvement of the high safety standards.

The 2012-spec Porsche 911 GT3 Cup is based on the lightweight 911 GT3 RS (997) street sports car. The power unit is largely identical to the production engine of the 911 GT3 RS with the same output of 450 bhp and the same maximum engine speed of 8,500 rpm. A race exhaust system with a controlled catalytic converter keeps emissions to a minimum.

The flared wheel arches at the front axle accommodate light alloy rims measuring 9.5Jx18 with 25/64-18 Michelin race tyres. The light alloy rims at the rear measure 12Jx18 with 30/68-18 tyres. Depending on the type of racing, the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup features different rim specifications. The blade-type anti-roll bars at the front and rear are adjustable in seven positions allowing an extremely precise set-up for each race track. Exclusive to the Porsche Mobil1 Supercup which runs as support to Formula 1 is the PCCB Porsche Ceramic Composite Brake. This is also available for Porsche's road models. Compared to the composite cast brakes in the Carrera Cups and the GT3 Cup Challenges, PCCB reduces the weight of the car by around 20 kilograms.

The cockpit of the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup caters for the needs of the driver. The controls for the info display are positioned on the steering wheel which houses six switches. As in the production car, the reach and height of the steering wheel can be adjusted. The Porsche 911 GT3 Cup will be delivered to teams around the world from September and run in this specification for the 2012 and 2013 race seasons in selected one-make cup series. The price is 161,750 Euro plus value-added tax of the respective countries.

Currently, the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup competes in 19 Porsche brand trophy series worldwide. Moreover, it is run in various GT race series and at long distance events. The 911 GT3 Cup is the basis model of Porsche's racing vehicle range. Additionally, Porsche Motorsport offers the 911 GT3 R for championships complying with GT3 regulations and the 911 GT3 RSR built according to GT2 rules.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Pontiac G6, 2009

  •  Pontiac G6, 2009

Pontiac has announced that it is ringing in the new year with a fresh look for its best-selling line of G6 mid-size vehicles. Additional fuel-saving powertrain options, more aggressive exterior styling, and a sleek new instrument panel highlight the 2009.5 model Pontiac G6, which begin arriving in the dealerships in January 2009.

All Pontiac G6 models, including sedans, coupes and convertibles, receive the interior upgrades. The uniquely styled Pontiac G6 GXP models will not be affected by the exterior or powertrain changes.

New Powertrain Options
For the first time, the Pontiac G6 coupe available with GM's fuel sipping, 164-horsepower 2.4L four-cylinder Ecotec engine. Linked to a six-speed automatic transmission, the coupe's new powertrain combo is capable of the same 33 miles per gallon fuel efficiency as the current Pontiac G6 sedan and also incorporates a new TAP shift manual shift system with steering wheel-mounted paddle controls.

In those areas where E85 ethanol-based fuel is readily available, a Flex Fuel version of the 219-horsepower 3.5L V6 available as a no-cost alternative to the standard 3.5L engine on all body styles.

The optional 222-horsepower 3.9L V6 for the Pontiac G6 convertible remains unchanged, as does the standard 252-horsepower 3.6L V6 in all GXP models.

Sportier Exterior
Inspired by the sporty front end styling of the new Pontiac G8 performance sedan, the new G6 front fascia features chrome surrounds for the signature Pontiac dual port honeycomb grille. This same grille pattern is carried to an updated lower air dam.

Also new are a revised headlight design with clear park/turn lenses and amber lamps, body color mirrors and painted rockers on the sedan and coupe. An updated spoiler is available for base model sedans and is standard on the GT models.

New rear fascias unique to the sedan and coupe/convertible accommodate both single and dual exhaust, as well as larger diameter exhaust tips.

17-inch chrome wheel covers are now standard equipped on all four-cylinder, six-speed automatic sedans and coupes. An updated 17-inch wheel will be standard as a part of the popular Sun-and-Sound package.

Refreshed Interior
A revised center stack is the most obvious interior enhancement of the 2009.5 model Pontiac G6, sporting all new HVAC controls and an updated AM/FM/CD/MP3 radio with auxiliary audio input jack. The driver information center has moved to the gauge cluster, which has also been enhanced with new graphics and lighting.

The 2009.5 Pontiac G6 will also benefit from the integrated info-tainment opportunities in GM's optional MY LINK enhanced communication package. MY LINK integrates audio system, Bluetooth telephone, XM satellite radio and OnStar navigation functions in one simple package. It includes an upgraded USB-equipped radio system, allowing for direct control of various portable music players, plus provides a full year of both XM radio and On Star Directions and Connections services.

Other interior changes include new dark satin nickel trim accents on the steering wheel, door panels, and shifter plate. New two-tone seats in an ebony-light taupe color combination are available in either cloth or leather for all models, offering an option to the standard ebony seats. A new optional ebony-titanium color leather seating package is also available on all GT and GXP models.

Pricing for the new Pontiac G6 coupe with the four-cylinder, six-speed automatic powertrain combo starts at $22,890, including $670 destination and freight charges (DFC). A comparably equipped Pontiac G6 sedan starts at $23,875.

The E85-capable FlexFuel 3.5L equipped Pontiac G6 sedan starts at $24,125, with the GT coupe starting at $25,280. The 2009.5 Pontiac G6 retractable hardtop convertible starts at $32,970.

A special value-priced Pontiac G6 base sedan with a standard equipment package start at $19,945.

All Pontiac G6 models are covered by GM's five-year, 100,000-mile powertrain warranty, and three-year, 36,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Opel Astra GTC, 2012

  •  Opel Astra GTC, 2012

The new Opel Astra GTC´s sculpted shapes with precise accents and dramatic proportions make it the ultimate expression of Opel´s design language. And on the road, all Opel Astra GTC versions benefit from a premium front axle layout with HiPerStrut - High Performance Strut - that ideally combines with the clever Opel patented Watt's link rear axle to provide unmatched stability and the sharpest driving precision. Other innovations in the new Astra GTC include driver assistance systems based on the second generation Opel Eye front camera with expanded functionality and the new, fourth generation Bi-Xenon Advanced Forward Lighting (AFL+).

Unlike many three-door versions of existing compact hatches, the GTC will be a standalone model in Opel's range and the ultimate Astra in design and driving dynamics. It does not share any exterior element with other members of the Astra family, except for the outside rear view mirror housing and the rod antenna. Six of the seven 17- to 20-inch wheel designs on offer are also GTC-only features.

Also exclusive for the new Opel Astra GTC is the panoramic windscreen. For the unique feature, which successfully made its production debut 2006 in the previous Astra GTC generation, Opel engineers filed a total of 11 patents during its development. The large panoramic windshield extends seamlessly from the hood up into the roof as far as the B-pillar. With no cross-member to spoil the view, it offers driver and passengers a unique driving experience and a completely new sense of space and visibility with an almost unlimited field of vision, similar to the view from a jetplane cockpit.

Sharp looks enhance Opel's design language
The Opel Astra GTC manages to combine the best of both worlds: on the one hand passion and emotion, on the other a high degree of utility in day to day usage. Its sleek looks are very striking and are the very essence of Opel's design language. The atmosphere of the roomy interior is sporty and classy. The loading capacity (1.165 liters) is considerably greater than that of its direct competitors. "The Astra GTC expresses our passion for cars," the Opel/Vauxhall Vice President for Design, Mark Adams, explains. "This represents our most emotional vehicle so far, yet it does not sacrifice on the emotional with the functional side."

In contrast to many other coupés which are often merely hatchback variants of a sedan, the Opel Astra GTC is a standalone car within the Opel product spectrum. It is the sharpest looking Astra when it comes to design and the very essence of what a coupé should be, because of its extraordinary usefulness in day to day situations. None of the components in the Astra GTC have been lifted from other Astras, apart from the mounting of the rear mirror and the aerial.

The design team was tasked with giving a new and dynamic expression of its mission statement of "sculptural artistry meets German precision". They came up with a car that is as uncompromising as a wild cat, crouching down on the street, ready to leap. However, at the same time it can be gentle and playful. "The essence of the new Opel design language is to reduce everything to the maximum. And the Opel Astra GTC is our most radical interpretation of that," says the Opel Exterior Design Director, Malcolm Ward. "We wanted to create a really attractive car made up of only a few key dynamic lines."

There are only three lines that create tension and define the outline of the silhouette.

A fine, crisp line sweeps downward from the front door to the bottom of the rear fender and energizes the body side. A second line encapsulates the door handle and stretches to the rear, emphasizing the GTC's dramatic stance by spreading the surfaces to a fine undercut and a broad shoulder. The third line follows the clean, sporty silhouette of the roof.

No compromising on design
The designers' unwillingness to compromise, particularly when designing the GTC shoulder area, put the whole engineering team up against a challenge. The sheet metal sections needed to be pressed unusually deeply to enable realization of the wide shoulder and dominant wheelhouses from the sketch and clay model. Just a few years ago, this would have been technically impossible. A "real" door made of steel was built earlier than usual, so that new production methods could be tested - and to help determine if the final car could do justice to the initial vision. And it did.

Panoramic windscreen offers unique vistas
The Opel Astra GTC is a standalone car in its own right and its striking design re-enforces that impression. The Vice President of Design, Mark Adams, wants to avoid what he calls the "Russian Dolls" effect, where all models look the same and just differ in size. He states that "It is important that each vehicle in our portfolio has its own personality, because each has a unique role in our portfolio and appeals to different customers."

Therefore the panoramic windscreen was reserved exclusively for the Opel Astra GTC within the Astra family. The windscreen gives the racy compact coupé a dynamic look and a luxurious note. The large front windscreen stretches all the way to the middle of the car roof and gives the driver and the passengers an extraordinary visual, space and driving experience. In contrast to other glass roof solutions, in this case there is no transverse spar that reduces visibility. On the contrary, the roof boosts the roominess of the interior, thus improving the driving experience. The driver, his co-pilot and the passengers in the rear are able to enjoy a vista, similar to what pilots experience under the light plane canopies.

From the outside, the panoramic windscreen together with its black metallic steel roof looks like a continuous surface. The A and B pillars are also coated in black as well as the roof liner, reinforcing the impression of a homogenous surface. In the event of very powerful sun rays a roller blind can be lowered inside the cabin which sits under the panoramic glass. This helps create a pleasant atmosphere. The device which is continuously variable can be easily adjusted and then may be attached with a turning handle. The solar protection comes complete with an integrated sun visor which even in its opened state disappears behind the rear roof component.

Athletic powerhouse with practical strengths
In contrast to its competitors, the Opel Astra GTC is not handicapped by its coupé pedigree to deal with every situations on the road. The flexible boot that can load between 380 and 1.165 liters, comes in addition to the room for five passengers. The storage space inside the cabin was increased by 50 percent in comparison to its predecessor. In the Cosmo variant, the electric parking brake (EPB) is a basic feature and contributes to an efficient space distribution in the Opel Astra GTC. Specifically in the central console, where storage capacity is normally much in demand, the EPB pays off. It means that depending on which features have been added to the car, there are up to 19 storage facilities on board.

The flowing and sculptural shape of the outside body work is continued on the inside with curved surfaces and circular features. The wing-like instrument panel embraces the front seats in a wide arc. Similar to wing tips the upper segments of the door panels give the impression of a broad span that offers protection. The sickle shape, associated with Opel, is also reflected in the design features, for example in the shape of the shiny, chrome door knobs and the gear stick cover. The elegant central console has been fitted with a flat angle, creating a harmonious, flowing transition from the dash board to the gear box.

This in turn enhances the roominess of the interior. The overall atmosphere is very pleasant thanks to décor details such as the chrome instrument fittings and knobs or the juxtaposition of the user-friendly surfaces and the pleasant back-lighting.

New materials, colors and patterns give a further boost to the very sporty nature of the Opel Astra GTC. For example, the color combinations include Imola, Red/Morrocana, Black or Imola, Black/Morrocana, Black for the middle seat segments and the side panels. They are the ideal combination with the décor panels which are painted in piano-lacquer style. Further leather accessories are also available, including the elegant velour leather "Dinamica-Black". The sports steering wheel which is easy to grip is part of the basic features and fits perfectly with the nature of the Opel Astra GTC. The front seats have the highest degree of flexibility in the segment in order to do justice to every style of driver. Another optional extra is the ergonomic sports seat which can be adjusted in eight different positions. The seat carries the quality seal from the German healthy back association "Aktion Gesunder Rücken e.V."

Bespoke layout for the ultimate driving experience
Like its predecessor, the new Astra GTC is a standalone model in its own right within the Opel product spectrum. Its breathtaking looks and dynamic handling were the focal points at the development stage. The bespoke chassis layout of the sporty compact car delivers a sense of fun and precise handling. The chassis of the new GTC is 15 millimeters lower than that of the 5-door Astra, while the wheelbase has grown by 10mm, from 2685mm to 2695mm. Both tracks are wider, too, at 1584mm (+40mm) front and 1588mm (+30mm) rear. The end result is that the Opel Astra GTC has a strong presence on the road.

High-tech front suspension appeals to sports fans
Right from the start of the GTC's development program the target was to deliver a driver-oriented feel to the car. The precise response of steering and dampers should not reduce comfort and performance in daily traffic. The solution is called HiPerStrut (High-Performance Strut). In all its versions, the Opel Astra GTC possesses this exclusive high-performance suspension strut. It is based on the system currently seen on the 239 kW/325 hp Insignia OPC. In its newly adapted form to the compact coupe, the new front suspension provides better handling and more responsive steering - just what sports car drivers are looking for. The HiPerStrut uses the same pick up points, but achieves a reduction of the inclination angle by 44 percent and shortens the spindle length (kingpin offset) by 46 percent with a reduced lever arm. This helps prevent torque-steer - a trait of many powerful front-wheel-drive cars - allowing drivers to make more use of the GTC's performance without the steering being corrupted.

Rear axle with Watt's link optimizes comfort and car handling
The combination of compound-crank axle and Watt's link which has proven successful in the 5-door Astra, is also being used in the Opel Astra GTC. This rear axle system is lighter and more compact than a multi-link rear suspension and provides better lateral stability. The Watt's link is fitted to a small cross-member attached to the underside of the car, just behind the rear wheel center line. It comprises a short, pivoting center link with a ball joint at each end, to which the lateral links from the wheels are bolted. In a straight line, the set up ensures excellent stability, but during cornering it minimizes lateral deflection in the same way a modern multi-link system would do. Opel's engineers estimate that the linkage absorbs around 80 percent of all lateral loads on the rear suspension. In addition, the Watt's link allows for softer bushings, which no longer have to compensate for toe changes at the rear of the car, and thus there is a reduction in annoying factors such as vibration from the road surface and noise level.

In summary: the unique combination of lateral and camber stiffness, especially when driving in bends, give the Opel Astra GTC steering precision and stability. Friction is reduced within the suspension, while elasticity in the direction of travel mean the vehicle is well sprung and ensures good absorption.

Mechatronic FlexRide boosts safety and driving fun
The lay out of the Astra GTC chassis has been designed to perfectly integrate Opel's intelligent, fully-adaptive FlexRide chassis control system. FlexRide links the separate electronic driving assistance components to one another, including the ESC stability control and the adaptive dampers, CDC. In this way, the chassis automatically adapts to road conditions, cornering speed, vehicle movements and individual driving style. Better handling and vehicle balance also enhance driving safety in emergency situations. In addition, the driver can chose from three different FlexRide settings at the touch of a button: one can choose anytime between the balanced Standard mode, the comfort-oriented "Tour" mode or the more active "Sport" mode.

Precise steering with electric power steering
Precision, feedback and confidence: these were the three target elements for the GTC's bespoke steering program. The challenge was to optimize the Rack-assist electric power steering REPS in such a way that it would feel lighter at lower speeds while at the same time offering closer contact with the road surface at higher speeds. The Opel Astra GTC uses a rack and pinion steering system with speed sensitive assistance. But in order to provide drivers with a more precise steering response, the system's electric motor was mounted directly on the steering rack, as opposed to the base of the steering column. At higher speeds, the power steering assistance is automatically reduced so that the driver can steer in a more precise fashion than with conventional power steering. The second important benefit is that, because it does not require an energy consuming hydraulic pump and responds directly to the amount of power needed at any speed, fuel consumption is also reduced.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Noble M400, 2004

  •  Noble M400, 2004

Anyone who has driven a Noble M12 on a race circuit attest to the car's polished handling, user-friendly nature and - of course - its vivid performance. But there's an irony here, because the M12 was always designed as a comfortable and breathtakingly fast road car first, with track-day competence thrown in as a bonus.

This has led Noble Automotive to develop the M400, a car that takes full advantage of the scope left in the M12's chassis and engine for drivers who seek even more focus in their performance and dynamics. With a power to weight ratio of 400bhp per tonne (hence the name), the M400 is not only substantially more powerful than the other cars in the M12 range, but it also showcases a variety of unique features not seen in other Nobles.

At £55,995, the M400 is not only one of the fastest production cars of its type, but its chassis - which in standard M12 form uniquely marries high-speed composure with low-speed ride compliance - has now been sharpened to give the driver even greater control of the car at speed.

But none of this has been achieved at the expense of the M400's road manners. Thanks to completely new, highly sophisticated dampers, the M400 has lost little of the M12's ride quality, which means that it is still as usable as any other M12 on the public road. Make no mistake, the M400 is so much more than just a 'track-day special'.

425bhp, 390lb ft
High-lift camshafts
Forged pistons
Larger turbochargers
Bespoke engine map
Oil cooler
Improved engine cooling
Larger-capacity, baffled oil sump
New gearshift mechanism

At the heart of the M400 is the 3.0-litre, 24-valve V6 engine that can be found in the current M12 range. However, power is now increased by 21 per cent to 425bhp and torque by 11 per cent to 390lb ft.

Internally, the engine has been modified with higher-lift cams and forged, rather than cast pistons, for extra strength. The forged pistons have been included as a safety feature for the engine, rather than out of necessity: in fact, the development car that spawned the M400 has covered many thousands of reliable miles on cast pistons with an even higher output than the production M400. Add to this the usual tuning recipe that goes into each and every Noble engine, and owners can be assured of plenty of durable high-performance.

The M400 retains the twin-turbocharged arrangement of the standard GTO-3 and 3R models, but now has a brace of larger Garrett T28 turbochargers, which produce maximum boost at 0.85bar, replacing the standard cars' T25s. A revised fuel pump and larger injectors cater for the M400's improved performance.

Working with leading automotive engineers, Roush Technologies, Noble has developed a bespoke engine map for the M400, which makes full use of the power and torque available in the mid- to top-end of the rev-range, allowing the 3.0-litre V6 to pull strongly right up to its 7200rpm limiter. The maximum 425bhp of power is now produced at 6500rpm (300rpm up on other models) and the maximum 390lb ft of torque at 5000rpm, with 75 per cent of this figure available from just 3500rpm.

Since Noble expects a majority of M400 owners to drive or compete with their cars on race circuits, it has also incorporated the following as standard:
+ Air-cooled oil cooler
+ Enlarged side air-scoops for improved engine bay cooling
+ Enlarged front air-intakes to allow a greater volume of air into the radiator
+ A single, dual-function oil pressure/oil temperature gauge, located next to the turbo-boost gauge on the dash-centre (the location of the pre-production press car's gauge differs slightly)
+ A baffled 'track-day' oil sump with larger, 8.5-litre capacity, which is a cost option on other Noble models.

Completing the drivetrain upgrades is a completely new gearshift mechanism for the six-speed manual gearbox, which uses low-maintenance, dry-running polymer bearings. The gearlever is now mounted slightly higher in the cabin and moves through a far quicker and more precise gate than before, making committed driving on circuit or road a pleasure.

High-performance dampers and springs
Revised steering rack allowing more lock
Softer-compound, road/race tyres
Front anti-roll bar
Reduced kerbweight
Revised brake bias valving

Noble has targeted three key areas while developing the M400's chassis:
1. To improve levels of grip at high speeds without losing the inherently progressive breakaway characteristics for which the standard 3R is renowned;
2. To build in even greater degrees of body composure as the car approaches its limits, making it more predictable and controllable on the road and track;
3. To closely approach the on-road ride quality of the standard M12.

In order to achieve this, Noble started by replacing the 3R model's dampers with highly sophisticated, bespoke Dynamic Suspensions units, supplied by Multimatic Technical Centre Europe. These coil-over dampers were chosen after objective testing on Multimatic's 4-post test rig, followed by subjective evaluation on road and track, including Germany's famous Nurburgring.

The dampers are monotube units, featuring an impact-extruded aluminium body to minimise weight, and have 45mm sintered pistons and 14mm shafts, incorporating a proprietary low friction-sealing system to optimise performance. Damping levels are fixed, though a threaded external body does allow the M400's ride height to be adjusted, if required. As with all Nobles, double wishbones are fitted all round.

Complementing the Dynamics dampers is a revised steering rack, which allows a further 0.8 of a turn between locks, while retaining the same ratio found on other Nobles (to make this possible, the footwell has been re-designed and is now double-skinned, adding further strength to the car's structure). There are now 2.5 turns from lock to lock (standard M12: 1.7 turns) which gives drivers potentially more control if the car is oversteering on a track. Naturally, this revision has also allowed improved manoeuvrability at lower speeds.

All Nobles are famed for their phenomenal roadholding, but the M400 raises the bar even higher. Replacing the M12 model's Bridgestone SO-3 tyres, are Pirelli P-Zero Corsas of identical size. The Pirellis are directional and asymmetric in design and their softer compound offers increased levels of grip and steering feel. The M400's high-speed control has also been enhanced by the Pirelli's stronger sidewalls, which have a high resistance to flex under extreme cornering forces.

The M400 is the first Noble production car to use an anti-roll bar (ARB), which is fitted to the front suspension only. Designed in-house, the ARB weighs just 6kgs, thanks to hollow components which have been laser-cut and CNC-machined. While no road-going Noble has ever been fitted with an ARB before, Martin Short's Rollcentre team is currently using the factory-designed system on its GT Cup Noble M12 this season, and is convinced of its worth under race conditions.

In order to arrive at the M400's 400bhp per tonne power to weight ratio, Noble has managed to shave 20kgs from the M12's already slender kerbweight by removing the air conditioning pump and its assorted plumbing. While air conditioning is a cost option on the standard 3R model, no cars have left the factory without it, hence its inclusion in the 3R's kerbweight figure. However, Noble anticipates that M400 owners will be more likely to forgo this feature in favour of a superior power to weight ratio. Air conditioning will remain a cost option on the M400.

Brakes are 330mm diameter discs all round, with four-pot callipers, taken from the current M12 range. The M400 adds a revised pressure control valve, which sends more bias to the rear brakes.

Full Alacantara trim
New Sparco multi-adjustable race seats
Four-point race harnesses
Oil temp/pressure gauge

In keeping with the M400's 'race-car meets road-car' remit, all models  trimmed throughout in high-quality black Alcantara and fitted with all-new Sparco race seats. The seats themselves are trimmed in a hardwearing black jaquard fabric, and fitted with an anti-slip cushion, as well as removable backrest and under-thigh pads. Both seats are fore and aft adjustable, and can be tilted backwards and forwards for maximum comfort. As with all Nobles, the steering column can also be adjusted for reach.

Bearing in mind that the M400  popular among circuit drivers, Noble has moved both seats in towards the centre of the car by 15mm to allow more headroom at the side of, and above, occupants' heads, especially if they're wearing crash helmets. This re-positioning has also removed the slight pedal offset found in standard M12s. All M400s come as standard with four-point race harnesses, as well as a conventional inertia-reel safety belt for road use.

While the basic dash architecture be familiar to current M12 owners, the M400's cabin also receives a combined oil temperature and pressure gauge incorporated into the central switch-panel and 'M400' badging on the steering wheel boss.

'M400' badging
Anthracite-coloured alloy wheels
Anthracite-coloured rear wing supports
Larger front and side scoops
'M400' graphics

The M400 is instantly identifiable from the outside by its black or red (depending upon body colour) graphics running along each door, and its anthracite-coloured wheels and rear-wing supports. No other Noble goes like it - or looks like it.

'M400' badging adorns the rear panel and the car is also defined visually by larger air-scoops at the side and the front (see Engine & Drivetrain).

Body colours for the M400 are:
Monza red (with black graphics)
Portofino Blue metallic (with red graphics)
Diamond Black metallic (with red graphics)
Larch Silver metallic (with red graphics)
Azure Blue metallic (with red graphics)
Titanium metallic (with red graphics)

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Morgan Aero Coupe, 2012

  •  Morgan Aero Coupe, 2012

The Morgan Aero Coupe is an advanced supercar designed for practical long distance touring. The strong and rigid vehicle is inspired by the GT3 Aero that has enjoyed a number of racing victories. The enclosed cockpit of the Coupe body style takes the Aero experience onto the next level in terms of comfort with a large and secure boot in the rear for luggage.

Constructed entirely from aluminium which is a third of the weight of steel, the Morgan Aero Coupe combines performance with environmental responsibility and a high level of safety. The fixed roof and enclosed cabin give a sense of security and silence which is only interrupted by the intoxicating purr of the BMW V8. A stiff aluminium chassis cradles the 4.8 litre BMW V8 engine and the 6 speed manual or automatic transmission. The individual alloy parts are formed from tooling and hand assembled by skilled craftsmen at the foot of the Malvern hills. The pioneering Aero platform continues to demonstrate British engineering at its very best and over 1000 examples of this technology are in regular use by drivers around the world.

A Morgan Aero Coupe is a car that is designed to be durable with proven chemical coating and treatments of the rigid bonded chassis and body. Following research by the company on the road, the race track and in automotive laboratories the design of this versatile platform has been consistently improved and re-engineered. Now the Morgan Motor Company is a class leader in this chassis and car body technology.

The cockpit of the Morgan Aero Coupe is a delightful place to be. The sensation of speed is exaggerated by the enticing view down the elegant bonnet. The view to the rear makes the car easy to manoeuvre and to park. Every detail is special to Morgan and is a pleasure to behold. Ash hardwood surrounding the cockpit and doors can be hand polished in a colour of your choosing. The controls are luxurious to touch. The leather work is stitched with twin needles and combined with suede effect panels for contrast and a dynamic sporty feel. Pressure point reclining seats support the occupants strongly and great care has been taken to ensure that the driver has a masterful position from which to control the car. Reliability is ensured with the BMW V8 and a six speed automatic transmission. This can be operated in two modes, 'Sport' and 'Auto'. In 'Sport' mode the engine holds its gear to 6500 rpm and 'blips' the throttle before making a down shift. The power to weight ratio is around 320 bhp per tonne and a 0-62 mph (0-100 km/h) of 4.5 seconds combined with a top speed of 170 mph (273 km/h) is effortlessly achievable. The Morgan Aero Coupe comes with a full specification as standard. A powerful standard sound system creates audio definition as crisp as the lines of the exterior. However the Morgan Aero Coupe can also be customized to a person's individual taste and the choices are virtually inexhaustible.

Technical Specification
    Manual Transmission
        Engine: 4799 cc v8
        Max power: 270 kW (367 bhp) or 291 kW (390 bhp) with sports exhaust
        Max torque: 490 Nm (370 lb/ft)
        Power to Weight: 311 bhp/tonne or 330 bhp/tonne with sports exhaust
        Performance: 0-62 mph (100 km/h) in 4.5 seconds
        Top speed: 170 mph (273 km/h)
        Fuel tank: 55 litres
        Fuel consumption
            Urban: 16 mpg (18.2 l / 100km)
            Extra urban: 32 mpg (8.7 l / 100km)
            Combined: 23 mpg (12.1 l / 100km)
        CO2: 282 g/km
        Chassis: Aluminium bonded and riveted

            Length: 4147 mm
            Width: 1751 mm
            Height: 1248 mm
            Dry weight: 1175 kg

    Automatic Transmission
        Engine: 4799 cc v8
        Max power: 270 kW (368 bhp) 291 kW (390 bhp) with sports exhaust
        Max torque: 490 Nm (370 lb/ft)
        Power to weight: 312 bhp / tonne
        Performance: 0-62 mph (100 km/h) in 4.2 seconds
        Top speed 170 mph (273 kph)
        Fuel tank: 55 litres
        Fuel consumption
            Urban: 17 mpg (16.4 l / 100km)
            Extra urban: 36 mpg (7.9 l / 100km)
            Combined: 26 mpg (11.0 l / 100km)
        CO2: 256 g/km
        Chassis: Aluminium bonded and riveted
            Length: 4147 mm
            Width: 1751 mm
            Height: 1248 mm
            Dry weight: 1180 kg
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