This is an indication of what Chinese influence on car design will bring: Chinese Peugeots, oh dear oh dear oh dear

 

DONGFENG PEUGEOT NEW 308 SEDAN (4)

Just speechless!

DONGFENG PEUGEOT NEW 3008

the 3008 is for China only (thankfully)

DONGFENG PEUGEOT NEW 308 SEDAN (1)DONGFENG PEUGEOT NEW 308 SEDAN (2)

DONGFENG PEUGEOT NEW 308 SEDAN (3)

 

Dongfeng Peugeot unveils new 308 Sedan and restyled 3008

 

  • All-new China only 308 sedan unveiled
  • Comprehensively redesigned China only 3008 unveiled
  • Both vehicles leverage Peugeot’s future design direction

Peugeot, and its Chinese partner Dongfeng, has unveiled an all-new 308 sedan and a redesigned 3008 SUV for the Chinese market at the Beijing Motor Show.

Both vehicles signal a significant global product assault by the PSA Groupe, with 34 global models to be launched by 2021.

Commenting on the unveilings, Kai Bruesewitz, General Manager for Peugeot Australia said the vehicles demonstrate the significant investment being made in new models as part of the PSA Groupe’s “Push to Pass” plan.

“These models clearly demonstrate the commitment of PSA Groupe to reach its targets of 34 new global models by 2021,” said Bruesewitz.
“From a design perspective the 308 sedan provides a glimpse into the future design direction of Peugeot vehicles, while the 3008 leverages styling cues of previous concept vehicles,

“While neither of these vehicles will reach Australian shores, they signal the beginning of an exciting period in Peugeot’s history – one dominated by a renewed business focus and all-new product.” Said Bruesewitz.

DONGFENG PEUGEOT 308 Sedan

Athletic silhouette, muscular tension, and vertical radiator grille, perfect balance of proportions: At the Beijing Motor Show, DONGFENG PEUGEOT is revealing the exterior style of the future 308 Sedan.

Building on the EMP2 platform, PEUGEOT engineers have placed efficiency at the heart of this future DONGFENG PEUGEOT 308 Sedan’s design.

It will be the core product of the DONGFENG PEUGEOT sedan range, on the market segment with the highest volume in China – segment C three-box sedans.

The 308 sedan is due to launch in the 2nd half of 2016.

DONGFENG PEUGEOT 3008

After more than 200,000 cars sold in China in 3 years, the DONGFENG PEUGEOT 3008 has been comprehensively restyled.

From the front, a new vertical grille dominates the update with a lion adorning the centre of a chequered flag radiator grill, the new DONGFENG 3008 has a strengthened force of character with an athletic profile. 

At the rear, a new light signature, with three strokes on a black background, offers a very contemporary and immediately recognisable design.

Inside, the new DONGFENG PEUGEOT 3008 introduces driving aids which are brand new to China – Visio-Park II offering a 360° view around the vehicle and collision risk alert.

After the new PEUGEOT 2008 presented in Geneva, the new DONGFENG PEUGEOT 3008 is the second PEUGEOT SUV – of 5 – to be launched in the world this year.

MINI CONVERTIBLE: Still a Gay Icon, Still Cool

 

MINI Cooper S Convertible - 2016 gaycarboys (2)

Forget expensive Italian and German sports cars, says Brent Davison, because Mini’s latest Convertible makes standing-out in the crowd a relatively inexpensive exercise that doesn’t diminish the fun factor.

HIS NAME WAS WRITTEN proudly in that kind of brash, bold script a young man might use.

“Cooper S” it said in a manner designed to capture the attention in the same way the topless look captured the imagination and I knew he was the one I wanted to drive. Drive crazy, that is.

It was love, it was lust, it was the need to have a good old down and dirty fling, it was the vibe….. Hang on, it’s all starting to get a bit “The Castle” here when I was really chasing a bit of Mills and Boon.

Never mind, because whichever way you choose to look at, this was auto eroticism in a whole new way and no matter how you look at Mini’s latest Convertible, it always comes up with the same few descriptive words: Fun, Mischievous and Cheeky.

The launch of this third-generation Mini Convertible shows that cheeky has gotten better, the fun factor has been ramped-up and the mischief quota is just as high as it always was.

Not surprisingly, it has become a weeny bit more civilised and easy to use but it still has a bit of a larrikin streak engineered in and that means never going unnoticed in the little jigger.

Or not-so-little jigger because the jigger has gotten bigger, a little noticeable on the outside, a lot more noticeable on the inside. In real life it is 98mm longer and 44mm wider than the outgoing car with most of the growth pushed inside with a wider, longer cabin giving 36mm more knee room for back seat passengers. Still modest, but better.

MINI Cooper S Convertible - 2016 gaycarboys (1)The big improvement? Luggage capacity, which is up by 45 litres to 215 litres with the roof raised. Still not vast though and two small suitcases and two laptop bags was enough to hit “slam it hard and hope for the best” levels.

Carrying capacity can be increased by folding one or both of the standard 50/50 split-fold rear seat backrests though which neatly sidesteps the issue of backseat passengers complaining about being cramped so it isn’t all doom and gloom, is it?

By the way, in case you thought I was suggesting Mini was now a much bigger car then take heart in the fact it is still a sub-4.0-metre car (3821mm long) which, with its 1727mm width, is still small enough to park in a broom cupboard.

Every open-topped car needs to become a closed one at some stage or another and Mini Convertible is no different. Yet it is very different to many of its market rivals.

For starters, it is a folding cloth-top, not a folding metal roof and it stows mostly above the waistline of the car rather than folding completely into the boot. And instead of offering-up a low, sleek roofline that makes for difficult and undignified entry and exit, Mini’s roof makes life easy getting in, getting out and while you are in there.

So generous is the headroom you could probably wear a top hat while the roof was raise (although I’m not MINI Cooper S Convertible - 2016 gaycarboys (3)sure why you’d want to) and couples with a desperate need to, um, couple can do so without needing to roll back the canvas, so to speak. Try doing that in a Mazda MX-5 or Fiat 500C!

As a bit of a bonus the roof can be opened (or closed) in 18 seconds using either an interior switch or a button on the remote control unit. Even better, it can be operated at speeds of up to 30km/h which means no more waiting at traffic lights or trying to pull over in traffic when the rain comes.

The roof also boasts a positive and a negative. The positive is that it features a sunroof design which allows the bit above the front seat to be opened while the rest stays closed. The negative is that it creates a huge blind spot at the rear quarter, not good for drivers wanting a quick head check before changing lanes.

With that bit of excitement out of the way we should probably turn to Mini’s mechanical motivation and the fact that, along with higher equipment levels and astoundingly lower prices, this third-generation car gets a pair of sweet new turbocharged engines paired with new automatic transmissions.

MINI Cooper S Convertible - 2016 gaycarboys (5)The first new engine, for the entry-level Cooper model, is a 1.5 litre, three-cylinder unit that delivers a very healthy 100 kilowatts of power at 4400rpm and 220 Newton metres of torque at a ridiculously low 1250rpm, enough to take it from 0-100km/h in 8.7 seconds and achieve a 5.3 litres/100km average fuel consumption figure.

The 2.0 litre, four-cylinder engine in the sportier Cooper S develops 141 kilowatts from 5000 to 6000rpm and 280 Newton metres from 1250rpm all the way through to 4600rpm, giving a 7.1 second 0-100km/h time and 5.8 litres/100km combined fuel consumption number.

Both Cooper and Cooper S come with a standard six-speed automatic transmission which is quick and easy, with ratios designed to match each engine’s torque and power curves. Cooper S’s transmission also gets steering wheel-mounted shift paddles and yes, if you really are a masochist, Mini will swap the luvverly auto for a six-speed manual complete with clutch pedal for no extra (or lesser) cost.

In fact this latest Mini drop-top also shows that it can go beyond the old “something for nothing” claim by offering higher equipment levels for the reduced price. Talk about having your cake and eating it too!

Take the Cooper model for example. It spoils its owners with a reversing camera, dual-zone, climate-control air-conditioning, dynamic cruise control, Bluetooth connectivity for mobile phone and music pairing, multifunction steering wheel and park distance control warning buzzers.

Cooper S takes everything from the Cooper and adds a funky leather-wrapped steering wheel, powerful LED headlights and foglights, sporty front bucket seats with combination cloth and leather trim, satellite navigation, a head-up speed display and adjustable driving modes that let drivers set for ‘Green’, ‘Mild’ or ‘Sport’ performance settings.

Both cars, not surprisingly, boast safety features that include dynamic stability control, anti-lock brakes, a fully-integrated rollover protection system, four airbags, automatic rain-sensing windscreen wipers and auto-on headlights.

For this model Mini has also moved the speedometer from the huge central housing to a compact one right in front of the driver so no longer does your nervous passenger (or the truck driver three back) need to know how rapidly you are proceeding.

MINI Cooper S Convertible - 2016 gaycarboys (4)MINI Cooper S Convertible - 2016 gaycarboys (6)

The downside? The “switches everywhere” layout, with some of the switchgear on the lower edge of the dashboard and some mounted above the rear-vision mirror, has been carried over from previous models.

Mini, please! It just isn’t funky, cool, classy or retro to do that anymore, it is just plain stupid!

As a true drivers’ car, the convertible Mini has taken a couple of really big steps. The first is the extra performance sparkle added by the new family of engines. The three-cylinder is anything but underdone and the four-cylinder borders on being weapons-grade in a small, tactical thermo-nuclear device kind of way.

The second big step is in chassis development which might sound a bit boring but really is not.

The chassis and body structure is already a fairly rigid affair and suspension is independent all-round with front MacPherson struts and a multi-link rear design.

Convertibles suffer a problem though and it is that cutting-off the roof makes a nice stiff sedan into a floppy convertible and most of us know what that feels like.

To get around that, Mini’s designers have added triangular bracing elements from the front back and from the back forward with the top of the front one attached beneath the engine and the rear one at the axle and the broadest part of each triangle attached beneath the side sills, stiffening the body without adding too much weight. Brilliant!

Things to make your Mini cool? Take the roof. The standard one is black fabric but in a nod to its British origins, it is also available with an integrated woven graphic featuring a black and grey Union Jack motif as an option.

Exterior personalisation is huge, with a range of 10 metallic and four solid colours available, 15 choice of alloy wheel pattern and a number of interior personalisation packs covering dash and trim colours.

Pricing? Mini Cooper Convertible comes in at $37,900 which $4800 cheaper than the outgoing car and Cooper S Convertible starts at $45,400, an astonishing $5750 below its predecessor.

So there you have it. New Mini Convertible is cheaper, quicker, greener, bigger, better equipped and a little bit sexier on the one hand and just as silly and annoying in some respects on the other.

It still handles like a go kart but the ride is smoother and the interior is surprisingly quiet when the roof is raised.

Most importantly Mini is still a rebel in many ways, makes even a mundane drive memorable and leaves you smiling at the end.

And isn’t that what auto erotica is all about?

Subaru’s diesel Outback: Tons of Room, Tons of Tech

MY16 Subaru Outback 20D Premium gaycarboys (1)

MY16 Subaru Outback 20D Premium gaycarboys (2)MY16 Subaru Outback 20D Premium gaycarboys (3)

MY16 Subaru Outback 20D Premium gaycarboys (4)MY16 Subaru Outback 20D Premium gaycarboys (5)

We drove the Outback last year and loved it. Read about it here.

While it may seem an unusual choice for a car to suit the gay community, many of us travel great distances, have sporty aspirations, or just like to carry lots of stuff. The specs remain the same for last year’s models but the prices have had a small increase. Not bad considering the tech and performance that’s standard.

The Outback diesel isn’t a high speed track machine. A leisurely 9.7 to 100kph from the 110kw 2.0L diesel belies the tugging power of the 350Nm of torque. Towing a jet ski would be a doddle.

The chances of gay boys having a huge family to cart around is minimal, but this much room for this price can’t be understated. The rear cargo area has enough space for a veritable cornucopia New Year Sale goodies.

Just to recap: the cabin feels spacious and an infotainment system that responds quickly. In the year since we last drove Outback, many manufacturers have started to roll out audio systems which include Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. As new models are updated or replaced, most companies will include their versions of the phone integration system. Subaru have unveiled their systems at the NY car show so it is only a matter of time before the Australian models are so equipped.

Eyesight® is Subaru’s version of forward facing obstacle detection. If an object gets too close you get a warning. If you do nothing, your Subaru chucks out the anchors. It’s a mitigation system only and isn’t meant to replace good driving. Only yesterday, I was stopped at the lights waiting to enter the Eastern Distributor. I was looking around as one does, and noticed a young woman looking down at the phone resting on her steering wheel. NO sooner had I thought “that stupid berk is going to cause an….,” and she ran right up the date of an attractive young man going about his business. Despite millions in advertising, threats of punitive fines, and of course, common sense, she still managed to embed herself in a stranger’s Mercedes. She is, of course, 100% at fault. I hope she remembered to pay her insurance, or her day was taking an awful turn. Had she been in an Outback, she’d have been unexpectedly jolted forward in her chair, but no damage would have been done.

I shouldn’t be so judgy, but there we are. You can’t protect stupid people from themselves. It is however very unfair that attractive people should have their days shattered.

I like the Outback very much. It isn’t aimed at me as such, but it’s merit is obvious. We like to do something new each time we take a car out, and this time we shoved 3 beefy lads onboard and headed, rather unusually, to a baby shower. The relevance will become obvious. I was particularly keen to show the Outback to the lesbian couple having the shower. Unbelievably, they own a shiny new Forester. You wouldn’t credit it would you? Lesbians with a Forester!

As we were leaving, they gave the Outback a quick inspection. As luck would have it, their car was the same metallic red as our test car, and had the same level of spec. They liked it very much and had only glowing reports of their ownership experience. They were thrilled when I pointed out they could leave their ignition key secreted about their person. They hadn’t read the user guide and didn’t know they could lock their car simply by pressing the little button on the door. I felt my work was done.

I’ve long said the current styling at Subaru having come leaps and bounds from the not very attractive cars of recent times. I’d go so far as to say the Outback is a handsome devil. The package looks the business. Remember, this is marketed as an SUV but is a soft-roader only. All Subaru’s sold here have the asymmetric AWD system, and Subaru has won a shedload of rally trophies with it. With that in mind, I have no doubt you’d penetrate a reasonably challenging landscape if you were brave enough to try. There are drive modes to assist both on and off-road that most of us probably won’t bother with. However, it’s nice to know they’re there. You can sporty-up your steering and throttle too, but frankly in a diesel powered car the difference is negligible.

No matter, this is a continent-crossing vehicle of great comfort. Subaru are very keen on emphasizing the lineartronic™™™™ CVT (with 4 trademark symbols) on their website. And, to their great credit, the CVT isn’t the awful sloppy mess most CVT transmissions are. Most of the time the Outback performs like a normal CVT with the revs staying the same while the speed increases. It’s unnerving and I don’t like it. You can fix this by planting your loafer into the carpet. When you do, Subaru’s Lineartronic ™™™™ will simulate gears like a regular auto transmission. Apparently it’s the new “thing” because Holden’s new Spark does it too. You’ll remember that I liked Spark’s CVT at launch. This means it is worthy of each of the 4 ™ symbols Subaru has lavished on it.

Subaru reckons Outback will get 5.0L/100km on the highway making that roadtrip about 1,200km between fills on a good day. If you can’t live with a CVT, the diesel can be had with a 6 speed manual. The manual is slightly spritelier to 100kph (9.7 manual, 9.9cvt) and uses a touch more fuel (5.7L/100km manual, 6.3 L/100km manual CVT), but this is a CVT I could live with if I had to.

All Outbacks score 5 stars for safety when tested (presumably at, or soon after launch in Australia).

Here is a short list of some of the equipment: AWD, Blind Spot Monitor, Lane Change Assist, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Stability Control, electronic brakeforce distribution, brake assist, traction control, TCS limited slip, active torque vectoring, collision protection, hill hold and a rear view camera.

The audio system has a full, rich, premium sound to it, but will be much improved when it mirrors your smart phone using Apple CarPlay.

I enjoyed throwing such a big old chunk of metal into corners. It handles far better than it has any right to. It’s reasonably quiet regardless of road surface and you can only hear the engine with you give it a bit of welly.

Conclusion:

I like Outback. It isn’t exciting but it is very practical, and Subaru has an excellent reputation for quality and build. They also last a long time without going wrong every five minutes.

The price reductions a few years ago made Subaru good value. Despite tiny increases since, that is still true now.

This is the kind of car you could visit your grandma at her farm, your uncle in the mountains, and your siblings interstate, all in equal comfort. I’ve got friends who take a couple of dogs everywhere they go, so their bags go in the back seat. Admittedly their Outback is an old one, but it still does a first class job.

I’d have no hesitation in recommending the Outback if the looks appeal. I particularly like the level of equipment.

Would I buy one: Yes, if I was in the market for a large SUV/Soft-roader

Engines: 2.5i 129kw/239Nm, 3.6R 191kw/350Nm, 2.0L (diesel) 110kw/350Nm

Performance: 2.5i 10.2sec, 3.6R 7.6sec, 2.0L (diesel) 9.7sec

Fuel Consumption: 2.5i 7.3L/100k CVT , 3.6R 9.9L/100k CVT, 2.0L (diesel) 5.7/6.3 manual/CVT

Transmission: 2.5i CVT, 3.6R CVT, 2.0L (diesel) 6 sp man or CVT

Price: 2.5i $40,914/Premium $47,094, 3.6R $53,909, 2.0L (diesel) $40,399/Premium $47,094

Nissan axes the tiny Micra and Pulsar hatch

Nissan Motor Co. Australia Statement Regarding Product Line-Up Changes

MELBOURNE, Australia (22 April 2016) – Nissan has today announced changes to its product line-up in the Australian market.

As a result of a regular review of its passenger car line-up, Nissan has decided that there is no longer an adequate business case for offering Micra for sale in the Australian market.

Nissan will also rationalise its Pulsar offering, concentrating on its Pulsar sedan models and removing the hatch grades from the Pulsar range.

The Patrol wagon (Y61) and Patrol cab chassis (UY61) have also now entered ‘run out’ phase, succeeded by the Patrol V8 (Y62) that launched in the Australian market in February 2013.

Affected models remain on sale in Nissan dealerships across Australia, with the expectation that remaining stock will sell out in the latter part of the 2016 calendar year.

All three decisions are only relevant for the Australian market and do not affect any other Nissan markets globally.

“These decisions are in line with our commitment to running a robust business in Australia, led by strong products including QASHQAI, X-TRAIL and Navara,” said Nissan Motor Co. (Australia) Managing Director and CEO Richard Emery.

“Complete after-sales service and technical support for the affected models will continue to be available from our Australian authorised dealer network.

“Nissan is committed to maintaining a strong and healthy business in Australia, which includes our national sales company, Nissan Financial Services, Nissan Casting Australia plant, field quality centre and motorsport activities.”

The new TT RS Coupé and new TT RS Roadster unveiled at the Beijing Motor Show

 

Audi TT RS Roadster, Audi TT RS Coupé

Audi TT RS CoupéAudi TT RS Coupé

Audi TT RS Coupé

 

  • Redeveloped lightweight 2.5 TFSI engine produces 294kW / 480Nm
  • The performance of a supercar: 0-100km/h in a stunning 3.7sec
  • For the first time, the stunning Matrix OLED tail lights are available

Beijing, 25 April, 2016 – The newest model in the exhilarating Audi Sport range is being unveiled, in the new TT RS. With its distinctive five-cylinder sound, a tremendous 294 kW of power and limitless traction thanks to quattro all-wheel drive, Audi is presenting its Coupé and its Roadster at the Beijing Motor Show for the first time.

“The new aluminium five-cylinder engine delivers 400 hp (294 kW), which is 60 hp (44 kW) more than its predecessor,” says Dr.-Ing. Stefan Knirsch, Audi Board Member for Technical Development.

“Together with the quattro drive, it ensures sporty driving pleasure with maximum traction. Audi uses Matrix OLED technology in the rear lights for the first time.”  

Impressive performance: the new five-cylinder engine

A jury of international motor journalists has voted the 2.5 TFSI “Engine of the Year” six times in a row. Now Audi has further developed the five-cylinder engine in all areas – with lightweight construction measures, reduced internal friction and increased power delivery. As a result, the turbo engine gains a good 17 percent increase in performance at an unchanged capacity of 2,480 cc. At 294 kW (400 hp), it is more powerful than ever before. The maximum torque of 480 Nm (354.0 lb-ft) is available between 1,700 and 5,850 rpm. It ensures fantastic pulling power, which accompanies the unmistakable sound. Cylinders positioned directly beside each other and farthest away from each other fire in alternation. This brings with it a very special rhythm. The TT RS Coupé accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in 3.7 seconds, the Roadster in 3.9 seconds – this corresponds to the performance of a supercar. Audi regulates the top speed at 250 km/h, or at 280 km/h upon request.

For the best traction and plenty of driving pleasure: the quattro drive

The forces of the 2.5 TFSI engine flow via a seven-speed S tronic, which shifts at lightning speed, to the quattro permanent all-wheel drive.

Its multi-plate clutch distributes the power freely between the axles. This provides strong grip and immense driving pleasure. The wheel-selective torque control makes handling even more agile and safe. Using the Audi drive select system, the driver can influence the quattro drive and other components such as the steering, S tronic, engine characteristic and exhaust flaps. The four modes available for this are comfort, auto, dynamic, and individual.

Pure dynamics: the chassis

In addition to its light weight, the Audi TT RS has its sporty chassis to thank for its outstanding handling. The direct steering provides close contact with the road and makes it a pleasure to drive challenging winding stretches.

At the front axle, ventilated and perforated steel discs are in action behind the 19-inch wheels – or 20-inch forged lightweight wheels as an option. Alternatively, lighter and particularly abrasion-resistant carbon-fibre ceramic discs are available. At the back, a steel monoblock disc is used.

As an option, Audi supplies RS sport suspension plus adaptive dampers in magnetic ride technology. In this case, the damping characteristics can be influenced electronically. The control technology is integrated into the driving dynamics system known as Audi drive select.

New feature: Matrix OLED lights

For the first time in a series-production Audi, Matrix OLED technology (organic light emitting diode) is used in the rear lights as an option. These emit an extremely homogeneous, high-contrast light. The light can be continuously dimmed, it does not cast any shadows and does not require any reflectors – this makes the OLEDs in 3D design efficient, light and visually impressive. Each rear light contains four wafer-thin units which become smaller from the inside out. The biggest bears the TT logo and the four Audi rings. The TT RS has LED rear lights and LED headlights as standard. Alternatively, the latter are available as intelligently controlled Matrix LED units. 

Athletically streamlined: the exterior design

Large air inlets, a Singleframe grille with a newly designed honeycomb grille and quattro logo, a fixed rear wing and two large, oval exhaust tailpipes – the new TT RS Coupé and the new TT RS Roadster exude concentrated power. Along the flanks, aerodynamically-shaped side sills emphasise the dynamic design. Both models measure 4.19 metres in length, 1.83 metres in width and 1.34 metres in height.

Inspired by racing cars: the cockpit

Controls and display in the new TT RS are focused completely on the driver.

All information is displayed as standard on the fully digital Audi virtual cockpit with 12.3-inch screen. The driver can choose from three views, including a special RS screen that highlights the rev counter and provides information on tire pressure, torque, and g‑force, among other things.

The Audi virtual cockpit also displays a shift light which informs the driver that the engine speed limit has been reached. For the first time in the RS portfolio, the RS sport leather steering wheel with shift paddles has two operating satellite buttons for turning the engine on and off as well as the driving dynamics system known as Audi drive select, in addition to multifunction buttons. This means that the driver’s hands stay on the wheel at all times. The driver can influence the exhaust flap control via the sound button on the center console.

Best entertainment: infotainment and Audi connect

Audi also offers a huge amount of high-end infotainment technology. The options include MMI navigation plus with MMI touch including free text search and natural voice control, as well as the Audi connect online module with Wi-Fi hotspot. Using Audi phone box, compatible cell phones can be charged inductively and paired with the onboard antennae for optimal reception. The new Audi smartphone interface technology displays selected apps from the cell phone directly in the Audi virtual cockpit. The Bang & Olufsen sound system is a highlight for fans of excellent acoustics.

Australian information

The new Audi TT RS will arrive in Australia in mid-2017. Further details, pricing and specification will be announced closer to launch.

Peugeot unveils next-generation i-Cockpit

 

Peugeot i-Cockpit® an innovative cabin driving concept GAYCARBOYS (1)Peugeot i-Cockpit® an innovative cabin driving concept GAYCARBOYS (2)

  • Peugeot unveils next-generation i-Cockpit cabin
  • Previews interior of future passenger vehicles
  • Designed for an instinctive, safer and natural driving experience
  • 2.2 million vehicles worldwide features first generation i-Cockpit  

Peugeot i-Cockpit®: an innovative cabin driving concept

Peugeot believed for many years that the in-car cabin environment is just as important as the driving experience. This led to a rethink in the way Peugeot designs its interiors – with the driver placed at the centre of the cabin design.

This thinking has led to an innovative interior layout, dubbed i-Cockpit®. It includes the following essential elements:

  • A compact steering wheel which offers more agile manoeuvrability and improved driving sensation, turning the act of driving into an intuitive pleasure. With arms no longer needing to be so open and wide to grasp the steering wheel, the breadth of movement during manoeuvres is reduced, thus making the driver more responsive and agile, in a more relaxed driving position.
  • A head-up instrument panel that displays all relevant information in front of the driver. The driver does not need to look away from the road and can fully concentrate on driving. This ergonomic position, made possible due to the compact proportions of the steering wheel, increases driver comfort by reducing tiredness.
  • A large touchscreen that intuitively displays all comfort controls (radio, air conditioning, and more) and offers natural control of all the vehicle’s information and equipment.

The result is an incredibly streamlined, modern and technologically informing instrument panel. The lack of buttons, along with the choice of high-grade materials and high manufacturing quality, enhances the specificity of the Peugeot i-Cockpit® and increases driving pleasure, agility and driver concentration.

A new generation high-tech Peugeot i-Cockpit®

The new generation of i-Cockpit® benefits from technological advances that improve comfort and safety, and that engage all the senses of the vehicle’s occupants.

Peugeot’s engineers and designers made it real by making a sculpture representing the front of a passenger compartment.

The highly accomplished and perfectly functional new Peugeot i-Cockpit® retains all the existing codes, with a resolutely intuitive arrangement.

  • The steering wheel is even more compact and re-designed to free up more of the driver’s field of vision and leg space.
  • The head-up instrumentation display is a 12.3-inch high-resolution digital screen with futuristic graphics. It is fully customisable and displays everything the driver needs, within the field of vision. The aesthetics of each configuration are heightened by animations and transitions that are a pleasure to behold.
  • The large 8-inch touchscreen is like a tablet set against the middle of the instrument panel, and comes with interactive technology for increased responsiveness and practicality when used.

All these features are rounded off by a centre console of high-end design. A set of elegant chromed toggle switches attract the occupants’ eyes, while their soft and metallic feel exudes high quality. This sensation continues with the modern and ergonomic gear lever, which responds to light pushes.

Everything in the i-Cockpit® interior flatters the senses, exudes quality and introduces innovation. Be it the design of certain components in satin chrome, the figure-hugging seats, the design of the door panels, the audacious choice of materials, like the grey fabric, or the precision of assembly, the cabin is incredibly accomplished: an invitation to futuristic driving pleasure!

Of course this new Peugeot i-Cockpit® concept is compatible with the best technologies currently available on the market:

  • 3D navigation, connected to voice recognition, and the possibility of transferring navigation and direction indications directly onto the head-up screen;
  • Hands-free device with voice commands, automatic management of text messages (reading, sending);
  • Information on a number of available driving aids;
  • Connectivity due to the Mirror Screen function and the Apple CarPlayTM, Mirrorlink® and Android Auto technologies.

And it does not stop there! With instinctive driving featuring as one of Peugeot’s core values the new Peugeot i-Cockpit® pushes sensory experience even further. At the simple press of a button, nearly all senses are immediately engaged;

  • Sight, by playing on the intensity of lighting and the possibility of changing the inner chromatic atmosphere;
  • Hearing, with musical atmospheric settings;
  • Touch, with the seats offering multipoint massages and the buttons a delight to use;
  • Smell, with a fragrance diffuser.

Two atmospheres are offered as standard to the occupants: “Boost”, for dynamic driving, and “Relax”, for a calmer driving experience. Both atmospheres are entirely customisable, making it possible to go beyond the driver’s and passengers’ pleasure and make their on-board experience unique, engaging and unforgettable.

The new Peugeot i-Cockpit® goes further in all fields. More quality in its presentation, more technology in its design, better connected, more intuitive, and taking excitement and personalisation even further: it is the embodiment of what future driving cabins will be, and the materialisation of tomorrows’ Peugeot interior.

i-Cockpit – an unquestionable success

In the past four years this core signature has been rolled out on Peugeot’s three best-selling models, which this year all feature in the European top three of their respective segments:

  • The 208, renewed and re-energised last year;
  • The 2008, whose new version has just been revealed at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show;
  • The 308, Peugeot’s overall best-seller.

Since 2012, over 2.2 million customers have enjoyed the characteristic Peugeot i-Cockpit®.

All client surveys conducted in Europe and China agree: driving in a Peugeot i-Cockpit® vehicle is a rewarding and stimulating experience.

The concept is now becoming known as the major distinctive feature of Peugeot’s recent creations. Yet Peugeot wants to go further still and explore new sensory concepts, so that driving a Peugeot really does become a unique, unforgettable, compelling and addictive experience.

Kia Launches Tiny Picanto in Canberra

2016 Kia Picanto front 3/4.

2016 Kia Picanto group shot.2016 Kia Picanto group shot.

2016 Kia Picanto rear 3/4.

2016 Kia Picanto audio and phone control in steering wheel.2016 Kia Picanto interior detail, cupholders.

2016 Kia Picanto interior.2016 Kia Picanto interior.

 

On a slightly moody Canberra autumn day, Kia revealed its new Picanto to the press corp. It debuted 5 years ago overseas and is due to be replaced by a brand new model sometime next year. Kia has taken this bold move to deliver the current model in time to give it a chance to become a familiar model here prior to replacement.

Kia’s new entry model is a single level single trim, $14,990 drive-way, city-car. Outside you get a pretty standard city-car shape. There are steel wheels with plakky wheel covers, note: A quick look at Kia’s website shows Rio starting at $13,990. Rio is a size up in the rage so Kia will be “repositioning” Rio in light of Picanto’s pricing.

There are 7 colours, such as the imaginatively named Honey Bee and Dazzling Blue and Signal Red. The diminutive package weighs just 994 kgs, so it’s practically a bicycle.

2016 Kia Picanto headlamp detail.Entry is via a push button key fob. You also need the key to star the car. The profile is pretty much what you expect from a super-mini. The monochrome screen to the audio system, and the 4-speed auto transmission feel slightly last decade. The 1.2L 4 cylinder is sans turbo and with only 4 gears, buzzes at cruising speed.

You probably won’t be doing long stretches at highway speeds. Picanto is a city car, that’s the not-so-new catchword for decently priced uber-compact round-town motoring. You don’t have to be too precious about where you park them, and if you spill the odd drive-through Maccers lunch, it isn’t the end of the world.

2016 Kia Picanto rear detail.The cabin is up to Kia’s current standards. The panel fit is tight both inside and out, and the controls layout is easy to use.

I particularly like the dash layout. It doesn’t feel luxurious, but in no way does it feel cheap and nasty. My only criticism, and it’s a matter of taste, is that I’d prefer piano black instead of the two-tone effect. The metalised lower dash and steering wheel highlights look a bit wrong. Is that picky? No. We all have likes and dislikes right?

There is no Cruise Control, but as I don’t see the mini Kia in any way a “cruiser”. I don’t think cruise-control will be missed. There is currently no reversing camera, but Kia says it’s working on a few option. We should see alloy wheels, probably 14” like the steel wheels they’d replace, and a reversing camera in the options list. They would be dealer-fitted options so the only way to get an LCD reverse camera display would be a rearview mirror mounted model.

I was glad to see 6 direct select radio station buttons where I would immediately tune my 2 favourite stations. The 4 speaker sound is more than adequate for a daily commuter. The buttons have a nice amount of resistance which gives them a quality feel. Kia has done a good job of upping quality across their range. This is a nice surprise, because micro cars have a bad habit of feeling like a down-at-heel, poverty-stricken 4th floor walk-up flat. Picanto has the Euro influence you see in the rest of their models so Kia should be fairly pleased with themselves.

There is a geometric fabric design for the seat covers. The seats are a bit tight for larger boned lads. None the less, they are easily adjustable and comfy with a good driving position. The cabin feels positively capacious considering the exterior dimensions. With a taller driver, the rear legroom becomes a little too bijou to be useful for adults. 4 smaller occupants would have an easier time of it. This is typical of super-minis.

On the road, it quickly becomes obvious that you need to keep the revs up.

As long as you do, you have no trouble keeping up with traffic. The ride was a bit of a surprise. Picanto soaked up all but the worst of the ACT’s roads. Once out of town, there was fun to be had. Picanto showed an unexpectedly frisky side during enthusiastic cornering, and when you accelerate early to get out the other side, you might even feel a slight sportiness in the experience. Keeping the revs up dispatched hills with great alacrity. It feels remarkably well sorted for a such a small car.

The tiny underpowered 4 cylinder, and a slightly outdated 4 speed auto turned out to be so much fun, but there it is. Of course I’d prefer a 6 speed manual, but Kia says city cars do much better with auto transmissions. The sad truth is most newly qualified drivers cannot use a clutch. Kia learnt this lesson the hard way when their fabulous Pro_ceed GT failed to capture the imagination of buyers. At launch, the GT could only be had with a 6 speed manual. Most vehicles sold in Australia are auto whether we like it or not.

Kia knows its new baby will be: a shopping cart, a dosshouse for students, or cut price transport for cranky septuagenarians all of whom are price sensitive.

The world would probably have a lot more space available if urbanites all drove cars like this one, so the idea definitely has merit. Of course the usual inclusions like air conditioning, power windows and a mass of airbags make Picanto both safe and well equipped.

Competitors such as Mica, Yaris and Spark are all jostling for the affections of the same buyers so anything to get an edge will snag the sale, and 7 years’ worth of transferrable warranty might do the trick.

Would I buy one: I might, but I’d have to consider Holden Spark which comes in a manual and has Apple Carplay Audio as standard.

Engine: 1.2 in-line 4 cylinder, 63kw/120Nm, Petrol, naturally aspirated (no turbo), Euro 5

Econ: 5.3 L/100 km, regular unleaded, 35L fuel tank

CO2:125 gm/kg

Kerb weight: 994 kg

Price $14,990 drive away