Volkswagen Group Australia voluntary recall announcement

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Volkswagen Group Australia said today that Federal Government approval has been received for a further 61,000 vehicles affected by the voluntary recall.

The company said that software solutions are immediately available for more than 35,000 of these newly approved vehicles with the balance to come online shortly.

With this announcement Volkswagen Group Australia said total government approvals now numbers 70,000, including the 9,000 Amarok utes recalled earlier this year.

The software solution could shortly be implemented in as many as 35,000 diesel vehicles – a number which also includes the Amarok.

The update implements changes to the software which manages the vehicle’s engine and, in some vehicles, involves a minor hardware update. Performed by a Volkswagen dealer technician, it is expected to take less than an hour. It is free of charge.

“Major progress has been made in this process,” Volkswagen Group Australia Managing Director Michael Bartsch said.

“Our confidence in this solution is based on the experience of thousands of Amarok owners in Australia and more than 1.7 million customers internationally who have had the update implemented.

“The type approval authorities in Europe conducted a review and certified that following the update, the fuel figures and Co2 emissions originally listed by the manufacturer were confirmed. Engine performance, maximum torque and noise emissions were unaffected.”

Owners of affected vehicles will receive a letter from Volkswagen Group Australia, inviting them to make an appointment with their local Volkswagen dealer.

Volkswagen Group Australia is working closely with its national dealer network to ensure the issue is resolved for its customers as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Customers should wait until they receive the letter from Volkswagen Australia before booking a dealer appointment. Volkswagen and ŠKODA customers who remain unsure if their vehicle is affected can enter their Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) via a link on the relevant brand websites: www.volkswagen.com.au, www.skoda.com.au and www.volkswagencommercial.com.au

Customers can also contact a dedicated customer care number on 1800 504 076.

Yep, it’s a Volkswagen: Mad Max-styled concept revealed as Amarok V6 in disguise

 

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  • Mad Max-inspired,one-of a kind shell for the new V6 Amarok
  • Concept car nicknamed ‘Korama’ test-driven by several off-road and motorsport experts as part of a blind test drive

Sydney: After a week of consternation and hypotheses following a series of leaked images online, the ‘wolf in another wolf’s clothing’, the top secret concept car dubbed ‘The Korama’, has been revealed as the new V6 Amarok in battle armour. 

Tough comes from within: the Volkswagen Amarok has long been lauded for its toughness and sophistication in even the most adverse driving conditions. With the arrival of the new 550Nm V6 turbo diesel engine in the updated Amarok earlier this month, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles and its creative agency DDB Sydney embarked on a new marketing campaign as a follow-up to its highly successful and critically awarded Naked Ute campaign, which presented the Amarok stripped bare and free from any recognisable panels.

Designed by the reclusive Mad Max: Fury Road vehicle mastermind, the Korama conjures images of a VW_korama (2)dystopian high-performance SUV; resplendent with large air intakes, an armour-like rear and a ferocious ‘mouth’ in front. When pictures taken on location at the ad filming surfaced online, predictions from the public as to which car company was behind the monster ranged from an Italian supercar company to a local manufacturer.
In keeping with the blind test drive approach used for the Naked Ute campaign, the Korama was test-driven in a secret location by a number of unsuspecting motorsport and off-road experts who praised the Korama, or rather the Amarok, for its power, its performance and its drivability.

Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles’ marketing manager, Ralph Beckmann, relished the opportunity to once again delve deep into the heart of the Amarok’s capabilities: “The Naked Ute was one of the most VW_korama (3)successful campaigns we’ve ever had, and the opportunity to once again showcase the Amarok’s inherent toughness in an unexpected way was too good to pass up.”

On the back of unprecedented customer demand for the new V6 Amarok, which saw over 7,300 customers register their interest in the new German-built ute before its launch, the marketing and advertising campaign which heralds the arrival of the new V6 engine went live on Tuesday 29th November.

Director of Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, Carlos Santos, praised his team for the bold, unconventional approach to launching the new Amarok V6 to the Australian market “Ute advertising in Australia is typically all the same; and while the Naked Ute campaign touched on the universal truths that all ute buyers look for in a vehicle – such as toughness and versatility – it did so in an unexpected way.”

“It’s not an easy thing to follow-up such a successful campaign with a sequel, but the Korama evokes the kind of cult fanaticism that utes perpetuate in this country. Having Mad Max: Fury Road’s mad genius design the Korama for us was a real coup and I think what was created has captured all of our imaginations. After all, who else could design something as tough as the Amarok?” Mr. Santos continued.

Hyundai Motorsport unveils new car for a new WRC era

 

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  • Hyundai Motorsport has revealed its 2017 challenger, the Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC, at a static media event in Monza, Italy
  • New car has been designed to meet WRC’s revised technical regulations which come into force for 2017, Hyundai Motorsport’s fourth season in the sport
  • Team aims to build on its most competitive season to date in 2016 and show its ability to fight for the 2017 Manufacturers’ Championship title.

2 December 2016 – Hyundai Motorsport has today unveiled its Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC, a brand new car with which the team will compete in the 2017 FIA World Rally Championship (WRC).
The car, which has been designed to meet WRC’s raft of new technical regulations, was unveiled during a static media event at the Autodromo Nazionale Monza.
For Hyundai Motorsport, the three-door Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC represents the team’s third new car since its debut in the Championship back in 2014 – following the Hyundai i20 WRC (2014-15) and the New Generation i20 WRC (2016). Entering its fourth season, the team hopes to continue a positive period of Hyundai_Motorsport_has_revealed_its_2017_challenger_the_Hyundai_i20_Coupe_WRC (2)growth in recent years as it embarks on a new era for the sport.
The technical new regulations for 2017 have been introduced to enhance the overall spectacle of WRC even further than before, with cars sporting an aggressive new look. While changes have centred on improving aerodynamic and mechanical grip, there has been an increase in engine power from 220kW to 280kW, a reduction in the overall weight of the car, and the re-introduction of the active centre differential.
Hyundai Motorsport started testing its new car in April, alongside its ongoing 2016 WRC campaign. The car had already accumulated 6,000km of testing prior to the launch, with further tests planned ahead of its competitive debut at Rallye Monte-Carlo in January 2017.
With the new car, the team hopes to build on its most successful season to date, in which it secured two victories and an additional ten podium finishes. Hyundai Motorsport crews finished in the top-three in 10 out of 13 rallies last season.
Team Principal Michel Nandan said: “We are heading into a new era for the sport with the biggest change to the regulations for some time. It’s a great new technical challenge and one that we have tackled with enthusiasm. It’s an opportunity to put into practice everything we have learned and experienced in the past three seasons. All teams are starting from scratch so we are on equal footing. Having finished in second position in 2016, we want to demonstrate our ability to fight for the Championship in 2017 – and we are confident the Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC will help us do just that.”
There will be an unchanged driver line-up for 2017, which will offer the team important stability with the introduction of a new car. Thierry Neuville, Hayden Paddon and Dani Sordo will contest all rounds of the Championship alongside their respective co-drivers Nicolas Gilsoul, John Kennard and Marc Martí.
The team is also delighted to announce an extension to its partnership with title sponsors Shell and Hyundai Mobis. The agreements expand on the successful long-standing relationships with both companies. The continuation of these partnerships is particularly poignant as WRC enters an exciting new period.

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New sporting regulations for 2017 mean that manufacturers will be able to field up to three cars in each round, with the two top classified finishers scoring points for the Manufacturers’ Championship. After three seasons of competing with two separate team names, Hyundai Motorsport’s three crews will run under a unified banner in 2017: the Hyundai Shell Mobis World Rally Team.
Nandan added: “We have a very strong, consistent and versatile driver line-up. We had a competitive season in 2016, with victories, podiums, stage wins and Power Stage points. To have all of our drivers involved in such a close fight for second right up to Australia showed just what strength in depth we have. We built positive momentum, particularly in the second part of the Championship, so we want to continue that into 2017. We have the confidence in the team to compete at the front and to be seen as genuine contenders in WRC’s new era.”
Neuville and co-driver Gilsoul were one of the standout crews in 2016, taking victory in Sardinia and an impressive string of podium results. Finishing second in the Drivers’ Championship, the Belgians want even more in 2017.

 

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Neuville said: “I have high hopes for our new Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC, which is the product of a lot of hard work from everyone in the team. I am optimistic it will help us to continue our momentum in the competitive WRC. My initial impressions of the car in testing were very positive. The changes in regulations have allowed us to make improvements in key areas, such as aerodynamics and rear stability. The increase in power is incredible while the additional grip and driveability gives us more confidence to push. For the spectators, there will be a visibly marked difference in terms of the car’s speed. I can assure you we will be able to feel it in the car too! We had a very positive 2016 season, and I was delighted to finish the season second in the Championship. Of course, from here there is only one place to go, and we want to be firmly in the fight for the title in 2017.”
Paddon claimed an impressive maiden WRC win in Rally Argentina in 2016, with further podiums in Sweden and Poland. The Kiwi and his compatriot co-driver Kennard will be aiming for a more consistent Championship in 2017.
Paddon commented: “My target for 2017 is to continue the improvements we showed during this past season. I want to start challenging for more rally wins and demonstrate more consistent speed throughout the year. The Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC is enjoyable to drive and I think it will be more exciting for the spectators too. I like that the cars will be more tuneable to each driver and driving style. The new regulations will help to make the sport even more appealing to a new generation of motorsport fans. With more radical looking and sounding cars, I think we will be able to attract a younger fan base that may not have been so familiar with rallying before. On a personal note, I feel happy to remain part of the Hyundai Motorsport family. We all know each other very well and we grow stronger all the time. There is a great team spirit and it’s amazing to work with such a highly motivated group of people.”
Second-placed podium finishes were the highlights of a consistent 2016 season for Sordo, alongside co-driver Martí. The Spaniard has his sights set on more of the same when the new-look WRC gets underway in 2017.
Sordo said: “We are all looking forward to this new season. It will be a fascinating one for everybody with the new technical and sporting regulations. With such a significant change, we will have to wait until the first rallies of the Championship to see how things develop, but I am confident. When I first tested the Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC, I was taken aback by the speed of the car. The more powerful engine and increased grip from the aerodynamics are impressive. I am sure this will be an exciting season to be a WRC spectator as well as for us inside the car! It’s very special for me to remain part of the Hyundai Motorsport team. It’s more than just team; it really is like a family. We work very well together and the atmosphere is incredible. The people in this team are some of the best in the business, so we have everything we need for a competitive car and a successful 2017.”
Following today’s launch, Hyundai Motorsport will remain in Italy for the popular Monza Rally Show this weekend, in which the team will participate with a New Generation i20 WRC car, driven by Dani Sordo.

The Audi lunar quattro is ready to head for the Moon

 

Part-Time scientists und Audi lunar quattro ready to head for the moon

· Development of “Audi lunar quattro” moon rover completed

· German space travel team “Part-Time Scientists” signs agreement on rocket launch

· More partners from business and research recruited for the project

Ingolstadt, December 1, 2016 – It has shed eight kilograms in weight, while also gaining Audi e-tron power: following extensive tests the “Audi lunar quattro” rover is ready to tackle one of the most difficult terrains of all in exploring the Moon. As well as the development of the lunar vehicle, the mission has now also achieved a further landmark: The German space travel team “Part-Time Scientists” announced yesterday at Audi City in Berlin that it plans to complete the 385,000 km trip to the Moon from the end of 2017 using a launcher booked with Spaceflight Inc. As an early technology partner and ambassador of the Part-Time Scientists’ mission, Audi has been instrumental in generating extensive publicity for the project and bringing other strong partners on board.

Audi and the German group of engineers announced their partnership in early 2015. Their common objective: to bring together the technological expertise of both partners in getting a rover to travel about on the Moon, under the auspices of the Google Lunar XPRIZE competition. A group of 16 Audi experts has since been supporting the Part-Time Scientists with expertise in a large number of technical areas and has optimised the rover for the lunar mission. Audi was above all able to contribute its quattro experience, knowledge of lightweight construction and expertise in e-tron and design in helping the Berlin team with the development of the unmanned lunar vehicle.

“We are proud that we have given the moon rover important aspects of the four rings’ DNA: It is a quattro, has an e-tron battery on board, drives in piloted mode and offers an intelligent mix of materials,” said Michael Schöffmann, Head of Audi Transmission Development and Development Coordinator of the Audi lunar quattro.

“The collaboration with the Part-Time scientists is also very enriching for us: We are breaking new technological ground with the Audi lunar quattro and can learn much about how automotive components behave in extreme conditions.”

Over the past few months Audi’s experts have been working on the rover’s intelligent all-wheel-drive power distribution, optimising its high-performance electronics and contributing their piloted driving expertise to the development process. In order to boost stability and increase the contact surface, the engineers and designers enlarged the rover and its wheels. Meanwhile they reduced its weight from 38 to 30 kilograms by adopting an optimum mix of materials and using aluminium 3D printing.

Sophisticated tests, for instance in the Audi sun simulation chamber, were also run to simulate the extreme conditions on the Moon and examine the suitability of the rover’s components.

On the Moon, the Audi lunar quattro will have four cameras to help it find its way around. It will use them to examine objects and take 3D and 360° pictures. One popular motif will be the rover from the Apollo 17 mission, which still stands in the Valley of Taurus-Littrow. ALINA, the landing module of the Part-Time Scientists, will touch down close to the 1972 landing point with two Audi lunar quattro vehicles on board. The probe will travel to the Moon on a launcher such as a Falcon 9 and has a total transport capacity of 100 kilograms. As well as the two rovers, the Part-Time Scientists will therefore also be able to take research equipment to the Moon for other partners. In this context, project partners such as the U.S. space agency NASA, the European Space Agency ESA and Wikipedia were recruited because of their substantial scientific interest in the mission.

The Part-Time Scientists plan to set off for the Moon from late 2017. Before then, they will still need to conduct extensive stress testing of the two Audi lunar quattro vehicles and the landing probe. To that end the team will be simulating the entire mission in the Middle East over the next few months, and is now performing some final fine-tuning.

The Part-Time Scientists came together in late 2008 on the initiative of IT expert Robert Böhme and are based in Berlin. They now number 35 engineers on three continents. Working together with international space experts, their aim is to make the lunar mission become a reality and gather as much knowledge as possible to promote technological development and advance scientific progress.

The Google Lunar XPRIZE, worth more than USD 30 million, is a space travel competition aimed at engineers and entrepreneurs from all over the world. To win, a private team must get a rover on the moon, drive it at least 500 metres and send high-resolution pictures back to earth. From an original field of almost 30 challengers, there now remain five leading teams in the race to head off for the moon. The Part-Time Scientists are the only team from Germany.

Jaguar F-Pace: Not Just a Pretty Face Grafted to an SUV.

 

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Above and below: Iphone snaps

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Above right: frozen system, Left : ready to go, Below: mood lights

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Above: Audley weir café, Below: lunch in the park

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Above: perching on the rear floor, Below: Bald Hill Lookout

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Below: Pictures from Jaguar

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No indeed, Jaguar pushed the boat out on their chic new SUV. They’ve ensured it was more than just a handsome face and bum grafted on to an generic SUV. Don’t be fooled by the shape, this is a real Jaguar, and, a real SUV.

There is a well-developed design language across the JLR (Jaguar Land Rover, just in case you’re wondering) portfolio: sexy and luxurious quality, with a unifying face.

The F-Pace has been ages in coming, and was launched internationally in a spectacular full sized loop-the-loop. See it below.

Our Supercharged 3.0L V6 pumps out 280kw and 460Nm through a delicious 8 speed auto. It does the 0-100 dash in 5.5 seconds while drinking only 8.9L/100k. Yeah, I believe all of it until I get to the fuel consumption claims which were a trifle optimistic as it turns out.

Outside:

The familiar Jaguar front end continues an evolution from the gorgeous but old fashioned, to the luxurious and cutting edge. The adaptive LED headlights with inbuilt “J-blade” daytime running lights brings a sharp look that began with the XF all those years ago. Since 2007, the company has gathered a Euro-like look to use on every model, and it has paid off. The large slightly retro grille evokes an era of the early XJ saloons crossed with a bit of E-Type, but if I squint very hard, I can also see a tiny bit of Audi.

Huge 22” wheels should make the ride rubbish, but this is a jag, and it doesn’t. The rump sports a smart set of XF-like LED tail lights which wrap well around the sides.

Also accessible from the outside is F-Pace’s party trick. Along with your keys, you get a rubber wrist band. You can wear it in the water so no longer do you have to hide your car keys when you go for a surf.

Here’s how it works: take your key from your pocket and stow it somewhere inconspicuous like the glove box. Attach the wrist band, get out of the car, and make sure all the doors are shut. Go around to the rear and place the front of the wrist band on the letter “J” in Jaguar. The car will lock while disarming the key you left inside. Even if it is stolen, the key is useless. When you come back to your car, hold your wrist over the “J” and press the unlock tab as if you were going to open the tailgate. Voilà, the car is unlocked and the key re-engaged. It is a stroke of genius. Think of the many times you’d be afraid of losing your keys and now don’t have to.

Inside:

It looks and feel likes an XF or XE. The console, dash board, seats, and materials all feel familiar. F-Pace has the new audio system which is still a little buggy. Mostly easy to use, it will come over all moody and sulk between commands. Some actions may need to be done several times before the system decides to co-operate, and at speed, this can be annoying.

Apart from those little foibles, F-Pace is perfection. As usual there are a fistful of pricey options to allow customisation. They come in packs to “save money” which is a bit of a ferfy in a car costing <$100k. The main point about the cabin is that it feels exactly like any other Jag, with the advantage of a little extra head height and ground clearance.

There are touches of would grain or metal depending on how you choose your trim. The seats have more buttons than mission-control (seat back and bottom, lumbar up/down/in/out, Squab and bolsters), with the mirrors, windows and door lock button on the doors close by. It means one hand can access all controls without having to reach.

There also are controls and settings in the centre driver’s LCD as well as in the infotainment system. I’d like to see all controls in the centre console. It seems silly to have them split so the driver sometimes has to play a guessing game to find lesser-used options. If all settings were found in the centre stack, the steering wheel buttons and driver’s LCD could just be auxiliary controls. However, we all remember how awful the first I-Drive was in the Bangle 7 series don’t we?

Having said that, many functions have been subsumed into to infotainment system. Settings such as Interior coloured mood lighting, and seat heating can be found in the menu system. You can swipe side to side like a mobile phone, and use a “pinch” action on the map screen. Jaguar has done a lot to make this jaguar-fpace-supercharged-v6-gaycarboys (2)as user friendly as possible, but there are a few hiccups to be ironed out in future software updates. The infotainment system is responsible for making the centre console look so clutter-free. There are some rear seat controls for the multi zone air conditioning, and the zones can be synced in the menu system.

It wouldn’t cricket to move on without mentioning the gear selector which is a rotary dial. When the starter button is pressed, the dial rises out of the console. When the engine is switched off, the system selects “park”, lowers the dial, and activates the parking brake. This system is also used in Jeep Grand Cherokee, and has resulted in people being injured or killed by not using the parking brake. One of the Star Trek actors was killed when his Grand Cherokee pinned him down after he got out to close gates. It is believed the system jumped into gear, and without the brake, started moving. However, others say he left the car in either drive or neutral and the Hill Start Assist held the car long enough for him to jump out. It then let go allowing the Jeep to roll forward. Either way, the safest car in the world won’t fix stupid. Always use the parking brake, always.

The pictures show a clean, luxurious interior that feels well planned and well made. I particularly like the soothing blue lighting which bathes the cabin in the evenings. It even makes a special guest appearance in the scuff plate on the floor inside the rear hatch too. It’s the sort of touch whose absence you wouldn’t notice, but looks elegant and tasteful being present.

The Drive:

It’s a Jaguar.

Oh, you want more? Yes, I see you point.

The F-Pace feels special in a way that most SUVs don’t. You might well ask why Jaguar has bothered when Land Rover and Range Rover already make excellent SUVs. That’s a very good question. The answer is a simple one: any brand that doesn’t have an SUV range probably won’t exist in 10 years’ time. Sure, there are a few exceptions, but the love affair with bulky bodies is raging out of control. Jaguar knows this. They’ve been smart by getting in now to get buyers used to the idea of a “Growler” on the grille of a soft roader, and sales have been good. Jaguar has sold 2,452 units so far this year, compared to 965 this time last year. F-Pace accounts for a staggering 566, second to the striking XE which has sold 1,333 units. Remember, F-Pace has only been on sale a short while. Jaguar is up 64% this month on the same month last year, and an astonishing 151% compared to this time last year.

F-Pace and XE are Jag’s biggest sellers so buyers obviously think JLR has the cars just right. More-over, it means Jaguar always needed cars in this price range, and in these segments. The punters were gagging for it and have voted droves.

F-Pace performs well at low speed. It is easy to park despite the bulk. You can take full advantage of parking spots with the cameras that allow tight low-speed moves. It is only a matter of time before cameras become mandatory. In fact Emergency Autonomous Braking (AEB) probably will too. It will certainly be required for 5 star safety ratings.

The V6 is lively enough in standard mode, but changing the drive mode to Dynamic brings the throttle to life. You can sprint away at the lights like Flash Gordon, not that you should of course because that would be very very wrong.

As impressive at it is around town, F-Pace is brilliant on the highway. It’s ghostly quiet until you hit a god-awful section of chip-tarmac. Although quieter than most cars on the road, the rough surface still causes a bit of a ruckus. I sense that most people who buy an F-Pace won’t be driving terribly far, and a gravel drive at the weekender is no problem. But, F-Pace is AWD, not 4WD so eventually you’ll run out of puff off-road.

In the tight bends, F-Pace feels completely at home. It is as joyous as any Jaguar. Occasionally you notice there is a bit more bulk than you’d normally have in a sports saloon, and the handling feels slightly different to an F-type coupe. Well of course it is. It’s twice the height of an F-Type isn’t it?

You often hear people talk about the two-piece tailgate that you can sit on a polo matches, right? When I say “often”, I mean those people on TV, and they insist you can’t sit in a normal SUV without a two-piece hatch. So, I did exactly that. I stopped at the weir café at Audley for a coffee-and-roll lunch, then took it deep into the Royal National Park. I found a clearing at the side of the road to stop. With the engine off, the only sound was the water burbling over the rocks a few metres below, and the odd bird nearby. I perched on the back and tucked in to my roll. Here’s the thing: it was more comfortable than the two-piece tailgate, and because there is a full hatch overhead, you’re protected from light showers too. This picture was soon ruined by a chopper overhead. Shortly after, a procession of bikers roared past, but instead of detracting from my day, I enjoyed the spectacle. Then, it was back to burbles and chirps. Tell me again that you can’t have a picnic in an F-Pace?

Conclusion:

I took a few snaps on the road as mementos of the ride, and apart from the colour, I loved this car. The gold is a halo colour for Jaguar but it is a retro step too far. Pick something like Red, or white if you fancy another light colour.

This master stroke by JLR has done wonders for sales, and rightly so. What I like about F-Pace is that unlike other car makers, Jaguar makes every model a hot(ish) model. There is no 100kw cheap entry turbo 3 cylinder to appease the tightwads. You get what you pay for, and F-Pace is a cracker.

The options are pricey, and the Halcyon Gold just doesn’t do it for me, but you can’t have everything.

Would I buy one? Yes, I love it.

VEHICLE FACTS

17MY F-PACE First Edition S 35t

VIN 057541

ENGINE 2995cc V6 Supercharged Petrol

MAX POWER (KW) 280 @ 6500rpm

MAX TORQUE (NM) 460 @ 4500rpm

MAX SPEED (KPH) 250

0-100KPH (SECS) 5.5

FUEL ECON (L/100KM) 8.9

WEIGHT (KGS) From 1861

STANDARD FEATURES

Adaptive Dynamics

JaguarDrive Control™ (Includes 4 modes: Dynamic, Normal, ECO & Rain Ice Snow)

Torque Vectoring by Braking (TVbB)

All Surface Progress Control (ASPC)

Dynamic Stability Control & Traction Control

Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) & Lane Departure Warning

Hill Launch Assist &Trailer Stability Assist

Airbags (driver & front passenger, w/- seat occupant detector for passenger, front side, full length side window curtain)

22″ Alloys (Double Helix 15 Spoke w/- Grey Finish & Contrast Inserts)

Spare Wheel – Space Saver

Tyre Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS)

Electric, Heated, Auto-Dimming, Power Fold & Memory Door Mirrors

Sliding Panoramic Roof

Adaptive LED Headlights with ‘J’ blade Daytime Running Lights, turning light & automatic high beam

Front Fog Lights

Configurable interior mood lighting

Red Brake Calipers & Bright Sport Pedals

Houndstooth embossed Windsor Leather seats w/- Tonal Double Stitch

Windsor Leather door trim

Suedecloth Headlining

10×10 Electric front seats with Memory with 4-way Electric Lumbar Adjust

Electrically reclining rear seats

Split fold rear seat – 40:20:40

Two-zone climate control with automatic solar sensing & mist sensing

Roof rails – Gloss Black

Carpet mats – First Edition

Loadspace storage rails

Illuminated Metal Tread plate & Loadspace scuff plate

Bluetooth® telephone connectivity & audio streaming

Meridian™ Sound System – 380W, 11 speakers (incl. sub)

12.3″ HD virtual instrument display

InControl Touch Pro (SSD) Navigation – 10″ capacitive touchscreen, 60GB Solid State Drive, & additional USB socket (replaces AUX In), Text to speech, HDMI, Jaguar Voice

5 Power sockets (12V in 1st row, 2nd row and trunk with 2x USB in 2nd row)

COLOUR/TRIM

Halcyon Gold/Light Oyster – ‘Houndstooth’ embossed Windsor leather

RRP

$ 117,164

OPTIONS FITTED

Practicality Pack (includes Rear seat remote release levers, Gesture Tailgate, Loadspace safety partition net. Lockable cooled glovebox, Air Quality Sensor & Keyless Entry)- $3 660

Head up display pack – $2 510

Blind Spot Monitor with reverse detection system and close vehicle sensing – $1 120

Privacy Glass – $900

Heated Front seats – $800

Leisure Activity Key – $640

PRICE AS TESTED

$ 126 794 + ORC

(Please note that ORC are dependent on which state is registered, driver history, age, etc.)

BMW Group expands successful BMW i Ventures concept and steps up collaboration with start-ups

 

Own venture capital fund with up to € 500 million over ten years

o Widened scope of investment
o Greater independence
o Presence in start-up hub Silicon Valley

Munich/Mountain View. The BMW Group is expanding the successful concept behind its venture capital unit and creating a venture capital fund of up to 500 million euros over ten years. This will allow BMW i Ventures to make investments in a wider range of areas, such as autonomous driving and digitalisation, and to secure continued access to the technologies of the future.
BMW i Ventures, which was founded in New York in 2011 with an initial venture capital of 100 million dollars, is relocating its headquarters to Silicon Valley, the main hub for start-ups in the US. With a high level of autonomy, the venture capital unit will be able to make swift investment decisions and win successful and promising start-ups worldwide as partners.

Investments in start-ups have proven extremely promising, both from a strategic and an economic perspective, and create sustainable value for the BMW Group. The BMW i Ventures unit, formed as part of BMW i, underlines BMW i’s role as a spearhead of innovation within the BMW Group and secures the company’s standing as a technology pioneer. With the expansion of BMW i Ventures, the BMW Group is now taking the next logical step in implementation of its Strategy Number ONE > NEXT.

“These days, more and more innovations come from the start-up scene. Venturing allows us to tap into this potential at an early stage. To achieve this, we are now giving BMW i Ventures a much broader footing and will expand our involvement in Europe and Asia, as well as at our new location in Silicon Valley,” explained Peter Schwarzenbauer, member of the Board of Management of BMW AG, responsible for MINI, BMW Motorrad, Rolls-Royce and Aftersales. “The atmosphere of radical openness and idea-driven exchange that

characterises the start-up scene is particularly fruitful for an innovation leader like BMW,” he added.

The BMW Group’s venturing approach is based on exchange in both directions:

Outside-in: Minority holdings by BMW i Ventures in the best, most innovative start-ups provide the BMW Group with external access to innovations and secure the company’s role as a technology pioneer.

Inside-out: BMW i Ventures not only provides financial support for start-ups, but also contributes internal non-monetary resources or “smart capital”, such as technical expertise and access to the network of an established global player.

“The mobility of the future and our industry is being defined by the increasingly rapid pace of technological change. Anyone who wants to succeed must shape this change and have access to the best ideas,” according to Klaus Fröhlich, member of the Board of Management of BMW AG, responsible for Development. “BMW i Ventures keeps us close to trendsetters from all different fields and their innovations. The benefit for our partners is in access to the experience that comes from 100 years of car-building and managing complex topics and processes. Together, we can speed up the pace of change and development,” Fröhlich continued.

Going forward, BMW i Ventures will operate independently and globally under the leadership of two managing partners – Ulrich Quay and Uwe Higgen – and will report on its activities to a BMW Group Steering Board, comprising three Board of Management members and the head of Corporate Planning and Product Strategy. This will give BMW i Ventures considerable autonomy and allow it to make investment decisions quickly, as necessitated by the industry.

“We are dealing with a constantly growing range of topics that extend far beyond automotive manufacturing. We have to be willing to explore new directions and invest in promising innovation drivers,” said Dr. Friedrich Eichiner, member of the Board of Management of BMW AG, responsible for Finance.

BMW i Ventures’ previous focus on mobility services and electro-mobility will be expanded to cover the BMW Group’s full innovation spectrum in all areas of Strategy Number ONE > NEXT, even those outside of the traditional automotive value chain. Future topics for exploration will focus on “Enabling Technology and Digital Vehicle Technology”, “Mobility and Digital Services”, “Customer Experience” and “Advanced Production Technology”.

BMW i Ventures was founded in New York City in 2011 under the BMW i sub- brand, alongside mobility services, as part of the strategic realignment of the BMW Group. Since its formation, BMW i Ventures has completed more than 15 successful investments in various mobility-related start-ups.

Since 2014, for example, BMW i Ventures has held a minority interest in San Francisco-based technology start-up RideCell. Since April of this year, as the systems partner of ReachNow, the BMW Group’s premium car-sharing service in the United States, RideCell has been responsible for the IT platform and all customer interfaces used for reservations and billing.

Another example is Chargepoint, headquartered in Campbell, California, which is another of BMW i Ventures’ portfolio companies. Chargepoint, with its more than 31,000 charging points, successfully cooperates with ChargeNow, the BMW Group service that provides easy access to a steadily growing network of public charging stations. In a joint project with BMW and another manufacturer, Chargepoint has also installed 95 rapid charging stations on the East and West coast of the US.

BMW i Ventures’ most recent investment, in Silicon Valley-based company Carbon3D, already reflects the venture capital unit’s expanded focus and provides the BMW Group with access to 3D printing for production of automotive parts.

Jaguar: The XF 2.5t Ticks Every Box, and Then Some

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We liked the diesel very much. Read about it here.

It’s a seductive mix of luxurious materials lavished with gay abandon. That partially explains the equally lavish price, but Jaguar isn’t just about price, it’s about heritage.

Think Jaguar, and many “wonderful things” are conjured. The lord of the manor wafting down a gravel drive to the dulcet tones of The Magic Flute. But, his lordship wasn’t the only Jaguar lover in the British countryside, oh no. The racetrack was home to more than one Jag, and the Cray brothers loved their MKII. In fact the MKII was the preferred getaway car for the quintessential 60’s British malefactor.

Jaguar built a reputation for quality, luxury and speed. There were a couple of so-so decades in there, but now the renaissance is complete. The XF signals the start of the second generation of an unrivaled time of success for the Indian-owned British car maker.

The XF 2.5t R-sport starts at $89,515, but ours has been lovingly endowed with a fairly staggering $29,080 worth of delicious goodies. That, ladies and germs, is a fairly decent family hatch. Our test car topped out at $118,595, plus on-road costs. That’s an awful lot of bikkies. For the substantial outlay, you get a significant car.

It still has the panache of the much-loved MKII, but we have moved on from the 60’s and that panache is now matched with cutting edge tech and 21st century safety. There is still that hint of gentlemen’s lounge, but now it is wrapped in a chic aluminium shell. Although the shell is still adorned with both the “leaper” and “growler” Jaguar symbols, the elegant bonnet “leaper” ornament has been banished. Funnily enough, the wowsers who dish out the safety stars weren’t that fussed on chromed animals skewering pedestrians.

The “black pack” looks great, but I’d rather have an extra week in Marbs than fork out for the 2 grand Rhodium paint job. Unusually, I liked the dark wood trim. If it wasn’t real, it certainly looked it.

If a turbo 4 with 177kw sounds insufficient, remember the XF weighs a shade under 1,600 kilos and will do 0-100 a mere 7.5seconds.

Before I move on to the drive, I want to make a few comments on the cabin. The Virtual Cockpit is a single LCD screen in front of the driver. It displays all of the driver information on an LCD screen instead of the usual speedo/tacho/fuel gagues. One day all instruments will be like this.

I’d like the display to be more user configurable. For example, you can show the map as a full screen but it requires going into the settings rather than a single toggle on the steering wheel. The test car had the laser-powered Heads Up display option. It too can be configured to show speed and directions when SatNav is active. It is a more than a useful gadget, and is one you soon can’t live without. It means in theory you could have music on the centre console LCD, the map on the Driver LCD and the speed on the HUD.

The newest of the Jaguar Land Rover infotainment systems features a nice big 8” screen with a pinch/swipe action like smart phones, and can be upgraded to a 10.2”LCD as part of an optional pack. 10.2” seems a bit mean considering less expensive opposition has a full 12.2”, and in my opinion 2 inches makes a world of difference.

One thing I found irritating was having the settings split between the centre LCD and the Driver’s LCD. There didn’t seem to be any rhyme or reason to the layout. Why can’t the driver decide where he wants things displayed?

The Audio system software is a bit buggy. It was prone to freeze, or run slow, or require many swipes to respond. Every now and then I had to reset the system by restarting the car. The audio system was superb with concert hall-like reproduction that was so crystal clear you felt the instruments could be in the room with you.

I particularly love the subtle blue mood lighting. As you drive into you garage, the lights come on and the bright breezy cabin is transformed into a moody gent’s club.

The ride was smooth and luxurious, and for the most part, was extremely quiet. It was just as you’d expect a Jaguar to be. The large diameter wheels means the occasional bumping over particularly nasty roads allowed noise to penetrate the otherwise rarified atmosphere of the cockpit.

There are different modes that alter the throttle and steering, as well as a Sport setting for the 8 speed auto. If you’re so inclined, you have paddles on the steering wheel to change gears manually. In the sportier sections of the Royal National Park, a combination of manual shifts, and sports mode catapulted the big saloon out of corners. The torque vectoring brakes the outer wheels in extreme cornering. It is a strange feeling at first. You feel a slip and grip unlike normal stability control systems.

Unless you’re extremely careless, the computer nannies will sort your daily foibles without you knowing it. You might think turning off these systems makes you just like the chaps on TV, but it doesn’t. It’s just daft and invariably means you’ve overestimated your own talents and underestimated the road.

The Dynamic Drive mode coupled with the transmission’s Sport setting makes a huge difference. The engine sings and the auto quickly goes between gears in a way that a driver just can’t manage. The Jaguar is using sensors for pitch, yore and speed, as well as braking and acceleration information to learn what the driver is doing over time. When you then enter hills and twists, the transmission knows exactly how you’ll be performing and selects gears to match. It’s quite uncanny. It sounds complex but you’re not aware that all that alchemy is going on under the bonnet.

On the highway however, the XF was quick, quiet, and very economical. The boot isn’t huge, but there is still plenty of room for a couple of decent size bags and lot of bits and bobs. I liked the sunroof but at speed was a bit noisy. Personally, I’d leave it out.

The acceleration feels brisk yet controlled. The turbo delivers the power in a blast once it spools up. It feels slightly old-school in a good way as you “whoosh” forward. We spent a lot of time with the roof open and windows down when doing the National Park. With the music turned down, the whistle from under the bonnet was far more entertaining. Imagine soft Vivaldi as the dappled light flashes through the roof.

Conclusion:

The XF felt luxurious and sure-footed. The stunning exterior is complimented by an equally stylish interior. Everything feels as if it is made to last.

The woodgrain and metal trim is tasteful, and the leather is butter-soft. Although the price and number of options is vast, it allows a buyer to properly customise their new ride precisely to their needs and pocket. It is sad to think some might miss out on the joys of an HUD, but the automated parking comes as part of the standard package, so all is not lost.

I expected an elegant, leggy saloon that I could chuck into corners needing more effort than wafting along a highway, and that’s what I got. Sir Bill would have been proud.

Would I buy one? Yes and I’d throw in a few option packs for good measure.

The standard features are extensive:

17MY XF R-Sport 25t

1,999cc i4 Turbocharged Petrol

MAX POWER (kW) 177 @ 5500rpm

MAX TORQUE (NM) 340 @ 1750-4000rpm

MAX SPEED (KPH) 248

0-100KPH (SECS) 7.0

FUEL ECON (L/100KM) 7.5

WEIGHT (KGS) From 1,590

STANDARD FEAUTURES

8-Speed Automatic Transmission w/ Jaguar Sequential Shift

Cruise Control w/ Speed Limiter

Torque Vectoring by Braking (TVbB)

Electric Power Assisted Steering (EPAS)

JaguarDrive Control w/ Eco, Dynamic, Normal & Winter Mode

Intelligent Stop/Start

Tyre Pressure Monitoring System

Sport Suspension

R-Sport Body Kit incl. Sport Front Bumper, Side Sills & Boot Mounted Spoiler

Metal Treadplates w/ R-Sport Branding

Multi-Function Steering Wheel w/ R-Sport Branding

18” Space saver Spare Wheel

10 Way Electric Front Seats w/ 4 Way Electric Lumbar adjust

Dual Zone Climate Control

Front & Rear Parking Aid

Park Assist

Rear View Camera

Jet Headliner

Keyless Entry

Lane Departure Warning & Autonomous Emergency Braking

COLOUR/TRIM Rhodium Silver/Jet/Light Oyster

RRP $89 515

Options fitted:

Active Safety Pack $4270 (Adaptive Cruise Control w/ Queue Assist, Lane Keep Assist & Driver Condition Monitor, Blind Spot Monitor & Reverse Traffic Detection) –

Electric tilt/slide Sunroof – $3300

InControl Touch Pro SSD Nav Pack $2630 (InControl Touch Pro 10.2”, Touch-screen, 12.3” HD Virtual Instrument Display, SSD, Navigation Tuner & Meridian™ Digital Sound System (380W)) –

Head Up Display w/ Infrared Reflective Windscreen – $2580

Rhodium Silver Metallic Paint – $2060

20” Star 5 Twin Spoke Sparkle Silver Wheels – $2060

Power Convenience Pack (Powered Electrical Boot Lid & Two

Additional Power Sockets) – $1360

Black Pack $1350 (Gloss Black Radiator Grille & Surround, Side Power Vents, Bootlid Finisher, Side Window Surround & Body Kit Blades) –

360 Parking Aid – $1240

Sports Taurus Leather Seats – $1130

Gloss Figured Ebony Veneer – $1030

DAB+ Radio – $930

Privacy Glass – $930

14-Way Electric Front Sport Seats – $820

Cooled Glove Box – $820

Heated Front Seats – $820

Driver & Passenger Memory Seat – $640

InControl Apps – $590

Heated Steering Wheel – $520

PRICE AS TESTED $118 595 plus on-road costs

(Please note that ORC are dependent on which state is registered, driver history, age,etc.)