Citroen Unveils Stunning CXPERIENCE CONCEPT ahead of 2016 Paris Motor Show

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Citroen will unveil its CXPERIENCE CONCEPT, a sleek new four-door car with a 200-kilowatt plug-in hybrid power unit, at October’s Paris International Motor Show.

The two-box saloon, measuring 4.85m in length, merges Citroen’s extensive design history with modern technologies to deliver a new take on the executive saloon, a territory that is close to the brand and its past.

With its distinctively unique body style, this new concept car has aerodynamics that overturn established codes while illustrating the benefits of the ’Citroën Advanced Comfort®’ programme, its design emphasising every detail.

“The whole Style team pulled in the same direction to create a new executive saloon with international reach, breaking with conventional codes to express the brand’s values: Optimistic, Human and Smart,” said Alexandre Malval, Citroën Design Director.

Inspired by architecture and furnishings, the cabin of CXPERIENCE CONCEPT is a work of clean, contemporary lines. Featuring premium materials, it is clad in a citrus yellow shade synonymous with a fresh, optimistic mindset.

The single-spoke steering wheel gives a nod to the brand’s history and the floating dashboard is a horizontal design with a three-dimensional appearance featuring a sculpted, tubular cut-out flowing in a single piece from the right rear door to the left rear door.

The drive experience leverages Citroen’s know-how and history and is the latest demonstration of the ’Citroën Advanced Comfort ®’ programme, designed for the well-being and comfort of vehicle occupants.

In line with the ‘Advanced Comfort’ programme, the cabin of the concept car is designed as a true ’cocoon’, a second ’home’ in a large executive saloon conveying an impression of immediate, intense ultra-comfort for both the driver and passengers as soon as they step inside.

Uniquely, the CXPERIENCE includes Citroen’s personal ’sound bubbles’ which allow each passenger to select their personal sound medium via a network of integrated microphones and speakers.

Outside, the CXPERIENCE CONCEPT stands apart with its V-shaped headlamps blending seamlessly into Citroen’s trademark grille, rear-hinged ‘autoclave’ doors that rise to the top of the roof at a 90-degree perpendicular angle (in line with the wheels) and a concave rear window punctuated by V-shaped, laser fibre optic 3D rear lights that reference the frontal lighting signature.

Citroën’s CXPERIENCE CONCEPT delivers outstanding dynamic performance and can be driven in all-electric mode in the city as a ZEV (Zero Emission Vehicle) with a 60 kilometre range. This is supplemented by a petrol engine developing between 110 and 150-kilowatts with an additional energy boost of up to 80kW provided by the electric motor.

On the open road, fuel consumption can be limited by using the two forms of energy together in successive acceleration phases and on the motorway the internal combustion engine takes over to deliver real performance at the wheels with total power output of up to 200kW (272bhp).

The architecture of Citroën CXPERIENCE CONCEPT is ingenious and unique. The 8-speed electronic automatic gearbox is placed transversely between the internal combustion engine and the electric motor and a compact battery is positioned under the cabin to deliver electric power to the rear axle motor, the design maintaining both passenger space and boot capacity.

“The Citroën CXPERIENCE CONCEPT car challenges convention to express a new vision of executive saloons. It also fits in perfectly with the ambitions of the ’Citroën Advanced Comfort® programme,’ ” said Citroen Chief Executive Officer, Linda Jackson.

“CXPERIENCE CONCEPT illustrates the brand’s capacity to deploy its ’Be Different, Feel Good’ promise in this segment,” she added.

  • BOLD, EXCEPTIONAL DESIGN
  • A strong identity

With its unique and distinctive body lines, the CXPERIENCE CONCEPT car expresses a new take on the codes of executive saloons, a territory that is close to the brand and its history. It is an aerodynamic concept car whose design reflects the emphasis placed on every detail. The shape lines and graphics belong solely to Citroën, making them easy to identify and remember.

Designed by Citroën Styling at the company’s Velizy Design Centre near Paris, CXPERIENCE CONCEPT expresses the brand’s new aesthetic codes. An innovative vehicle, it is inspired by the high-tech world on the outside and by furnishings and travel on the inside.

The CXPERIENCE CONCEPT car is immediately recognisable. With its two-box style and cleverly designed rear-hinged doors, it looks ready to leap forwards. The bold lines express power while the generous curves and smooth volumes express the car’s own stylistic language.

A vehicle of imposing proportions (4.85m long and 2m wide) with a very low roofline (1.37m tall) and short overhangs (3m wheelbase), the CXPERIENCE CONCEPT car allies its majestic stature with flowing lines. The pearlescent sea green ’Mizuiro’ bodywork is modern, relaxed and sober, the upmarket looks of the car further underlined by large 22-inch wheels and five-spoke covers.

At the front, the pure lines of this concept car are very much in evidence with an original light signature expressing a new take on the layered headlights that are part of Citroën’s identity. Other attributes of CXPERIENCE CONCEPT include a smooth front-end and special grille with chevrons that accentuate the vehicle’s width with chrome-finished bars angling out to the headlights.

The observer’s eye is drawn in particular to the V-shaped daytime running lights which give the car a high-tech look. They are made up of fine 3mm-wide strips with the indicators elegantly positioned in between. Further down, the light signature is completed by three LED directional headlights positioned either side of the vehicle.

For greater efficiency the controlled air intakes – mobile flaps designed to open and close – are integrated with the front bumpers and positioned either side of the vehicle, contributing to aerodynamic performance on the road while also improving manoeuvrability. 

The rear end of the concept car also makes a statement with strongly marked wings and a concave rear window with a mobile fin at the bottom for improved aerodynamics.

The 3D rear lights, featuring laser fibre optics, are also V-shaped. Indicators are positioned in the centre under a slim one-way panel, giving CXPERIENCE CONCEPT a unique, high-tech identity.

The light system is fitted in a black technical block with lines following the cut-out of the boot to underline the width of this large saloon. Like the brand’s most recent vehicles, the chevrons at the rear of the concept car feature a black lacquer finish.

Another characteristic styling feature contributing to the unique personality of the CXPERIENCE CONCEPT is the rear-hinged ‘autoclave’ door design. The doors rise to the top of the roof and open to a 90-degree perpendicular angle (in line with the wheels), making for easy entry and exit and providing an excellent view of the spacious, upmarket cabin. Comfort takes centre stage, issuing an invitation to travel.

  • An interior designed to showcase the flowing design lines

Inspired by architecture, decoration and furnishings, the cabin of CXPERIENCE CONCEPT is a work of clean, contemporary lines. Featuring premium materials, it is decorated in a citrus yellow shade synonymous with a fresh, optimistic mindset.

Alongside the single-spoke steering wheel – a nod to the brand’s history – the horizontal floating dashboard design brings a three-dimensional appearance and features a single-piece sculpted tubular cut-out extending from the right rear door to the left rear door.

This presentation reinforces the immediate impression of space, lightness and amplitude, the yellow tones of the interior ambience enhancing the original sense of visual continuity between each of the areas dedicated to the driver and passengers.

Considerable emphasis has also been placed on seat design with the seats upholstered in a padded-effect yellow mesh fabric and the backrests featuring walnut wood in an elegantly light shade to match the dashboard.

Designed to resemble alcoves, the inner door panels are also made from high-quality materials with sea-green geometric fabric matching the body colour and contrasting with the interior ambience.

The flat foam floor has been made to measure and is covered in dark, textured leather with a deconstructed design. Broad, chrome-finish sills on either side underline the careful emphasis placed on interior colours and materials.

02. THE CITROËN ADVANCED COMFORT® PROGRAMME DEPLOYED ON AN EXECUTIVE VEHICLE

Comfort is a concept that has always been closely linked to Citroën and ’Citroën Comfort’ has become a true brand signature. Today, this concept has become part of a broader approach with a range of criteria including brightness, space, ergonomics and connectivity. All these criteria contribute to well-being in body and mind and promote discussion and sharing on board the CXPERIENCE CONCEPT car.

  • Contributing to well-being in body and mind

Through the Citroën Advanced Comfort® programme, which guided the design of CXPERIENCE CONCEPT, Citroën is reviewing its approach to comfort in the light of its modern vision and expertise.

Designed as a true “cocoon”, CXPERIENCE CONCEPT filters out the outside world along with the bumps and dips of the road and employs a progressive hydraulic cushions advanced module. Came out many weeks ago, this exclusive Citroën technology significantly improves the filtration system regardless of the defects road ensuring an outstanding driving comfort. The result : a purely Citroën sovereign comfort.

Entirely  focused on the well-being of the occupants,  this large executive saloon conveys an impression of immediate, intense ultra comfort, for both the driver and passengers, when they step on board.

The interior was designed to promote well-being, as illustrated by the seats, the part of the car with which passengers are in closest contact. The generous, body-hugging seats of CXPERIENCE CONCEPT provide unique comfort and support. Made from flexible shape-memory foam, they invite the occupants to enjoy a new travelling experience.

In row 1, both the driver and passenger have wide, welcoming seats. The enveloping seats in row 2 reflect the same “living room” mindset. A physical sensation amplified by the alliance of warm, natural materials. To make every journey a friendly, relaxing experience, the front seats feature tapered backrests and openwork headrests to provide greater visibility for passengers in the rear.

Adding a final touch to this peaceful ambience, CXPERIENCE CONCEPT features generous interior space and ingenious storage compartments to make life easier.

The dashboard creates an impression of space with its transverse graphics and the centre console, with its flowing design lines, includes a functional storage compartment at the front and a second compartment for smartphone induction charging. Other storage compartments positioned conveniently around the cabin also contribute to the comfort of the occupants and their day-to-day wellbeing.

The emphasis placed on light, another part of the ’Citroën Advanced Comfort®’ programme, also contributes to the sense of onboard wellbeing. Each occupant enjoys an area bathed in light with a wide lateral glazed area around the cabin and the two ‘cielos’ running the full length of the roof.

The ambient lighting and air purifier also contribute to making the cabin a ’feel good’ area, a haven of wellbeing where the occupants can relax and decompress.

Finally, to ensure peace of mind for the driver and to reduce the cognitive load, useful driving information is projected into the driver’s field of vision on a wide ’head-up’ display panel.

  • Promoting sharing and discussion

In tune with its times and in phase with the ’Citroën Advanced Comfort ®’ programme, the Citroën CXPERIENCE CONCEPT car is welcoming, comfortable and hyperconnected. CXPERIENCE CONCEPT is a car apart, with an intuitive human-machine interface designed to provide continuity between digital worlds for the driver and passengers.

Intelligent technologies promote interaction and contribute to smoother use of the vehicle and its equipment. Available to everybody and present at both front and rear, these technologies underline the brand’s efforts to place particular emphasis on passengers, who play a full role in each journey.

Dramatically integrated in the middle of the dashboard is a 19-inch rectangular display screen with a 16/3 format. It is the key onboard feature and functions as the vehicle’s control centre, clearing superfluous controls from the dashboard and reinforcing the impression of width and space.

Easy to use because of its size, the screen groups all the onboard functions such as air-conditioning, driving aids, navigation and media sources.

The key touchscreen is split into parts, putting the emphasis on the driver as well as the passengers thanks to its configurable ’multi-fenestration’ in 1/3 – 2/3 or 2/3 – 1/3 or in full-screen mode, depending on the desired onboard experience.

The infotainment options enable easy browsing by all the occupants who can find information on their journey, select their own music or watch their favourite film.

To maintain a link between the vehicle and the outside world, CXPERIENCE CONCEPT features a range of connected services, enabling the driver to open the gate from a distance, for example, or receive home deliveries.

Two other control features, a smartphone and a mobile tablet, maintain digital continuity and activate a number of onboard functions. At the front, a central console houses a dedicated smartphone stand. Induction-rechargeable and connected to the screens, the smartphone starts the car and activates a range of control functions (comfort, photos and videos).

At the rear, passengers have access to a mobile tablet. Presented in a refined case, the tablet lets the occupants adjust the seats and air conditioning at the same time as well as providing access to media sharing through the new ‘Share with U’ app as part of a fun and intuitive approach.

With this new service they can share media files (games, music and videos) with their travelling companions and use them onboard! Don’t miss the opportunity to test this new feature at the Paris Motor Show!

Citroën CXPERIENCE CONCEPT opts for high-tech rear vision with cameras, the conventional exterior door mirrors replaced by two discreet side cameras sending pictures to small digital screens. Featuring chrome surrounds, these small screens are positioned along the inner door panels and have the same trim features as the audio speakers and air vents.

The driver has a 360-degree view of the vehicle’s immediate environment, making driving and manoeuvring easier. A hyper-connected car in tune with the times, CEXPERIENCE CONCEPT also features the ConnectedCAM™ Citroën premiered as a world-first on the new Citroën C3.

Located just behind the interior rear-view mirror, this wide-angle, high definition, connected camera records whatever the driver sees on the road. A witness to the driving experience, it captures life’s moments in pictures and on video to keep or share on social networks.

To promote onboard discussion and exchange, the designers also placed considerable emphasis on sound spatialisation. The Citroën Styling teams working on the ’sonification’ applied the same principle used for the Citroën AIRCROSS concept car, an SUV which premiered at last year’s Shanghai Motor Show. The open-work front and rear headrests feature two loudspeakers with integrated bass sound and microphones.

These sound bubbles let everybody choose who they want to communicate with or simply lets them sit and listen to their own audio programme, each journey setting the scene for either lively discussion or individual relaxation.

For easier discussions or to keep an eye on young children, integrated cameras make it possible to see each passenger or even take part in a video conference.

03. A PLUG-IN HYBRID PETROL SOLUTION FOR A LIMITLESS DRIVING PLEASURE

The emphasis on intelligent technology can also be seen in the choice of a plug-in hybrid solution for a relaxed drive. A true invitation to travel, Citroën CXPERIENCE CONCEPT features a plug-in hybrid drivetrain allying efficiency with performance.

Based on the expertise of the PSA Group, this plug-in petrol-electric hybrid technology allies power and versatility.

Citroën CXPERIENCE CONCEPT delivers outstanding dynamic performance with a petrol engine developing between 110 and 150kW (150 and 200bhp) with up to 80 kW (109bhp) of additional energy provided by the electric motor.

CXPERIENCE CONCEPT can be driven in all-electric mode in the city as a Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) where it has a range of 60km. On the open road, fuel consumption can be limited by using the two forms of energy together in successive acceleration phases and on the motorway the internal combustion engine takes over to deliver real performance at the wheel, with total power of up to 220kW (300bhp).

The Citroën CXPERIENCE CONCEPT has a 3kWh battery that can be charged in just a few hours, from 4.5 hours with a standard charging system to less than 2.5 hours with an ultra-simple charging solution based on a 6.6kW charger designed for connection to a 32Ah socket.

The attractive, functional signature of this drivetrain can be seen on top of the bonnet in the form of two battery charge indicators extending the line of each DRL.

The architecture of Citroën CXPERIENCE CONCEPT is ingenious and unique. The 8-speed electronic automatic gearbox is placed transversely between the internal combustion engine and the electric motor and a compact battery is positioned under the cabin to deliver electric power to the rear axle motor, the design maintaining both passenger space and boot capacity.

This plug-in hybrid’s new solution invites users to enjoy a new driving experience whereby they can travel from city centres to the most isolated areas without restriction, receiving exceptional dynamic performances thanks to the electric motor’s additional energy while also respecting the environment.

Reflecting the brand’s ability to plan for the future and deploy its positioning and values in very different territories, two ’Citroën Advanced Comfort®’ showcases will be present on the stand at the Paris Motor Show:

  • the C3, the new brand offensive in the B-segment
  • the CXPERIENCE CONCEPT car, expressing Citroën’s approach to comfort and executive vehicles.

TECHNICAL CHARACTERISTICS:
Length: 4.85m
Width: 2m
Height: 1.37m
Wheelbase: 3m

PERFORMANCE:
Electric range: 60 km
Power (EEC): between 180 and 220kW

Aston Martin announces Vanquish Zagato Volante at Pebble Beach

 

 

Vanquish-Zagato-Volante-news

Friday 19 August, 2016, Pebble Beach, CA: To accompany the North American debut of the Vanquish Zagato Coupe at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, Aston Martin is proud to announce a striking partner for this very special car; the Vanquish Zagato Volante.

Driven by overwhelming customer interest for the previously revealed Coupe, the Vanquish Zagato Volante will be strictly built to a limited production run of 99 cars at Aston Martin’s headquarters in Gaydon, England,

Vanquish Zagato Volante is the latest creation from a collaboration that reaches back over nearly six decades, beginning with the beautifully muscular DB4 GT Zagato race car of 1960 and includes the DB7 Vantage Zagato of 2002, 2011’s V12 Vantage Zagato and the most recent Vanquish Zagato Coupe announced earlier this year.

Previous Aston Martin Zagato convertibles have included the striking V8 Vantage Volante, first shown in Geneva in 1987 and the DB AR1 in 2003. Developed as an open-topped Zagato-bodied DB7 and also limited to 99 units, DB AR1 was similarly designed for the North American market and is considered today an established collectible by automotive connoisseurs worldwide.

The Vanquish Zagato Volante will be a powerful addition to the Aston Martin and Zagato lineage, embodying Aston Martin’s inherent refinement and capabilities, as well as Zagato’s characteristic design details. Both cars share an enhanced version of Aston Martin’s iconic V12 powertrain, increasing its output to 592bhp with a projected 0-60mph time of 3.7 seconds.

The Vanquish Zagato Volante shares its proportions with the Coupe, a quintessential Aston Martin form with a classic Zagato twist, evoked by round tail light reflectors that use the same ‘bladed’ LED technology as the Aston Martin Vulcan supercar. The twin cowls on the rear deck blend into the leading edge of the luggage compartment, concealing a bespoke folding hood derived from the mechanism used in the Vanquish Volante. Carbon fibre sills around the lower body create a pronounced horizontal emphasis that runs from front to rear.

“Just like the Coupe, we have emphasised the way surfaces change and intersect to create a muscular form. We’ve endeavoured to create an elegant, flowing shape that really works to emphasise the car’s sculpted rear haunches” says Aston Martin’s EVP and Chief Creative Officer, Marek Reichman.

Inside, the Vanquish Zagato Volante continues the fine tradition of Aston Martin craftsmanship. Aston Martin’s specialist ‘Q’ division can add further personalisation and enhancement to a cabin finished with rich and highly luxurious materials, including herringbone carbon-fibre, anodized bronze detailing and the finest Bridge of Weir leather. The Volante features the unique signature ‘Z’ quilt pattern stitch on both seat and door sections, as well as the celebrated trademark Zagato ‘Z’ embossed on the headrests and stitched into the centre console.

“The Vanquish Zagato Volante illustrates the ways in which Aston Martin design can evolve in collaboration with such a trusted and long-standing partner,’ says Reichman. “Vanquish Zagato Volante continues Aston Martin’s new century of innovation and creativity, strengthening the association between these great automotive marques in the process”.

Customer deliveries are set to begin in 2017.

BMW Team SRM on the pace in Sydney

BMW Team SRM on the pace in Sydney gaycarboys

 

BMW Team SRM will start tomorrow’s Sydney Motorsport Park 101 from 11th position, after a promising opening day of running for Steven Richards and Max Twigg.

Richards and Twigg kick-started a packed day of track action by going sixth fastest in this morning’s first practice session. It was a confidence-boosting result ahead of two qualifying sessions that, combined, would determine the grid for tomorrow’s second round of the Australian Endurance Championship.

Twigg jumped behind the wheel of the #100 BMW M6 GT3 for the first 20-minute qualifying session, setting the 16th fastest time in a competitive group that was split between the pros and the amateurs.

Richards then took over for session two. A stunning run at the end of the session rocketed him from eighth to fifth position, before a final blast saw the M6 GT3 jump to third on its final flying lap.

With the times combined and then averaged, the BMW Team SRM M6 GT3 will start tomorrow’s 101-lap race from 11th position.

“The car was good. We’ve definitely made some progress, which is great,” said Richards.

“When we went out it was quite dry, but there was a little bit of rain which made it a bit slippery mid-way through. We pitted at exactly the right time, put on the second set of tyres and made a small adjustment to the car, and the car was obviously better.

“We’re in a good position, and we can see that we’re making solid progress.”

“The car has improved,” added Twigg. “The whole package is working well. I was a tiny bit off the pace in my session, my time was a bit off what I was hoping to do. So there’s a little bit of time there too.

“But we’ll be right tomorrow, I’m positive about it. We have a good starting spot and it’s a long race. I’m looking forward to it.”

The Sydney Motorsport Park 101 starts at 8:05am local time tomorrow.

Paris world premiere for all-new Kia Rio

 

4th Generation Kia Rio Exterior Front Quarter Rend

4th Generation Kia Rio Exterior Rear Quarter Rendering
4th Generation Kia Rio Interior Rendering

 

(SEOUL) August 24, 2016 – The all-new, fourth-generation Kia Rio will make its world premiere on September 29 in Paris, at the 2016 Mondial de l’Automobile.

The Rio’s progressive new exterior and interior design was led by Kia’s design centres in Germany and California, in close collaboration with the company’s main design centre in Namyang, Korea. Straight lines and smooth surfacing give the car a distinctive new character, while a longer front overhang and bonnet, longer wheelbase, and upright C-pillar give the car an even more confident and balanced appearance than its predecessor.

The all-new Rio will offer buyers class-leading practicality and safety technology, the latest connectivity features, and more assured and engaging ride and handling characteristics.

The Kia Rio is the Korean manufacturer’s global best-selling model, with more than 473,000 sold around the world in 2015. The next generation will enter production towards the end of 2016 for Europe, with production timings for other regions to be announced closer to launch.

Kia’s 2016 Mondial de l’Automobile press conference will start at 14:45 CET on September 29. Kia’s stand will be located in Hall 3 of the Paris Expo Porte de Versailles.

Jaguar’s Big, Bold and Beautiful XJ Saloon is More than the Sum of its Parts

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Jaguar started life as the Swallow Sidecar Company, and was known as SS. SS became rather unpopular during the late 30’s for obvious reasons, so the name Jaguar was adopted and soon became synonymous with British motoring luxury. The XJ is the official car of the British royal family, and the British PM so, it is dead posh.

The iconic XJ nameplate was launched in 1968, but Jaguar has used XJ or X as internal project numbering since the beginning. The current Saloon is the X351. The 1968 XJ was the last to have had Sir William Lyons input, and I’m sure the company founder would be very happy with the 2016 version.

The current model was launched in 2009 and has had several updates since. Jaguar keeps models around for about 7 to 8 years so the current XJ is in her twilight years.

Under laudable head designer Ian Callum, 20 designers brought the XJ to life. The exterior “theme” was penned by Adam Hatton. He drew the design using good old-fashioned pen and ink, starting with the wheels to “set the design”. He wanted a “homage to classic jaguar with 21st century appeal”. For too long Jaguar looked like it belonged to a different era, and attractive as that was, failed to get the new buyers in.

So the new era started with the XF sedan, then the XJ.

The X351 is all aluminium. Stamping aluminium is not like working with nasty old steel. Making sharp corners and crisp lines almost impossible, so you’ll notice a gentle edge treatment giving the XJ a hand crafted look. The bends and bumps that give the panel strength also allow a certain amount of spring. Adam Hatton used this to his advantage to design a slippery but strong coupe shape. It allows the air to slide along the surface of the car, then be flicked off at the “separation point” by an inbuilt lip on the boot lid. There is a corresponding lip under the grille at the front to perfectly balance it. Jaguar says keeps the XJ perfectly balanced at cruising speed because it uses the reverse plane-wing principle to keep it glued to the road. The underside of the car is designed to be as smooth as Michael Bublé.

There was much riding on the lithe design of the X351. After a string of owners and decades of decline, Jaguar was in deep financial strife, so it was sold by Ford for a peppercorn  to Indian car giant Tata. Tata, of course, had the debt to deal with, but was not going to cheap-out on the new flagship.

No expense was spared in ensuring each panel is perfectly stamped then hand inspected. They are hand adjusted by  using gauges lined up by eye. It’s the kind of craftsmanship robots alone can’t match. Luckily, XJ has the kind of body you can’t help but caress..

The designers were able to sit inside a virtual car using the Automotive 3D Cave, which was the most advanced in the world at the time, and probably still is. They can touch the switches and look at the dials, then stand outside the car and spin it through all 3 axis then move through any of the mechanical parts.

Such care is taken during manufacture that hard plastic covers are put on the outside panels to prevent scratches, and the 2.7km wiring loom is kept under heat lamps so it is pliable during installation.

The engine blocks come from the best manufacturers available and are assembled onsite at the Castle Bromwich plant. Once mated to the 8 speed auto, the “marriage” takes place where 36 bolts are used to fasten the body and the drivetrain.

Rather amusingly the XJ is considered a “full sized” saloon.

Just for giggles here is the XJ/XJ-L (long wheelbase) compared to Australia’s hefty Holden, the Caprice. Caprice looks big because it is big, but the standard XJ is a mere 30mm shorter with a wheelbase that’s 23mm longer. That means the room is in the cabin where you want it. The XJ-L wheelbase is almost 150mm longer than Caprice, with the overall length 95mm longer. So, even the “short “XJ is Caprice size.

 

XJ

XJ long wheelbase

Holden Caprice

length

5,130

5,255

5160

Width (excl mirros)

1,899

1,899

1898

wheelbase

3,032

3,157

3009

height

1,460

1,460

1470

wieght

1,765

 

1,891

The XJ is almost 130kgs lighter than a Caprice because it is all-aluminium, despite having electric motors throughout, including the door locks and boot lid. Aluminium is much lighter than steel while being much stronger. The body is made using 3,000 rivets and 150 metres of adhesive in a process called rivet bonding. This is the same process used in the aerospace industry. Aluminium has 1/3 of the density of steel with a weight equal to12,000 worth of recycled drink cans in every XJ. At the end of its life, 85% of the car can be recycled.

The last makeover brought stunning new LED headlamps. There is no high beam as such. The switch merely causes the LEDs to drop their focus so as not to blind the oncoming drivers. The rear lights adopted an L shaped swish instead of the 3 claw-like scratches previously seen at night. The evening display is glorious.

The is smart entry and start, which means the audio system can be started by pushing the “on” switch. You don’t need to press the engine-start button. The cleverness continues with the “virtual dash” which is an IT Geek way of saying “an LCD screen instead of traditional dials”. The centre stack has the slick infotainment system with its touch screen display.

Most of it is intuitive and makes navigating the menus fun. The Satnav, while mostly efficient, still wants you to input the address by suburb, then street, then number. This can be a pain if you haven’t got the suburb quite right. You need to google the address to see what other possibilities there are.

The sound from the high end system in our XJ R-sport is sublime. There are a choice of surround modes, and a subwoofer that will make the air in your lungs vibrate.

The cabin feels uber luxurious. The leather is butter-soft and the overhead lining feels like velvet, but not in that tacky 70’s way. The front seats have electric adjustment. Even the headrests go up and down with the touch a button. Front and back seats are heated and cooled and comes complete with 4 zone climate control. You can set the temperature of your very own set of vents. There are storage bins everywhere and the rear armrest has little cubby holes for things you don’t want burglars to find. Of course there are rear controls for the air conditioning with video controls in some models.

Overhead, the touch control cabin lights will keep the little kid in all of us happy for hours.

The supercharged 3.0L V6 puts out 250kw/450Nm and does the sprint to 100 in 5.9 seconds. The supercharged V8 only manages to do it 1.1 seconds faster.

There are various drive modes, and the rotary gear selector has a “sports” setting, but frankly why bother. In fact, you’re not even going to use the steering wheel paddles because the car does a great job of anticipating the needs of the average driver.

The real magic starts when you engage drive and begin to move. Considering the 20” wheels, the ride is incredibly smooth. In fact, the ride is smooth, period. Jaguar came late to the “electric power steering” party, but come they did, so you now have semi-automated parking too. Since the power is only supplied when the driver turns the wheel, the maker claims a 3% power saving because the belt isn’t continually draining the engine. I dare them to try and prove it.

Despite her ample bosom, the XJ is a doddle around town. She really doesn’t feel anywhere near her size. Between the rear cameras and the sensors, you’re never out of your depth, and if you decide to park yourself, the side mirrors dip to make sure you don’t hit the gutter.

In an otherwise perfect car, the wires that heat the windscreen are a trifle annoying especially once the glass is a bit dirty. Also, the centre arm rest can get in the way of really spirited cornering. We gave the city, the highway, and the mountain passes a thorough workout, and there is no part of the experience that isn’t sheer magic.

You’d expect a big car to be a handful in the city, but it isn’t. You waft to Coles, then you waft to dinner, then you waft to the movies. On the highway, again, you waft, but in a super-sporty kind of way. That’s the true marvel of a Jag XJ, it always feels super light. When I say light, I mean small city-car kind of light. I’ve commented many times on how heavy some rides feel. The steering, the body, the suspension all feel a bit cumbersome and ungainly. It’s the combination of light precise steering, fast engine response, extra-rigid body that allow the suspension to do its job far better than something this size has any right to.

I set her an impossible task. I pushed the old girl through the Royal National Park and Macquarie just like I did the F-Type a few months earlier. The response was stunning. It just wouldn’t let go. It did the job with the aplomb of a cheeky convertible. Country roads can be a challenge but the Jag barely blinked at the pot holes and wild undulations. Out the back of Bowral, home of “The Don”, the roads feel like they were made to shake cocktails. The handling begs you go faster, yet she remains unflappable. I’ve driven many XJ’s and loved them all. Even the awful XJ40 had some redeeming features, but the X351 is perfection, even as her time comes to an end.

Conclusion:

Sometimes, a car is just a tool to extend our capacity, and is merely way to get from one place to another. The Jaguar XJ is more than that. It has a sense of arrival, and with it, a sense of occasion and and success. There were many admiring comments, and anyone who rode in it fell in love with it. On one occasion, the rear seat passenger was very put out that I hadn’t got the model with extra legroom. After I pointed out that the long wheelbase version also has personal video screens, and pull out tray tables, the 10-year-old involved got into a right huff. I’ve never seen such pouting! For the record, the big Jag was 100% Ollie-Approved.

Then we turn to the handling. In moves that would make Jeeves want to decapitate you with a cake slice, the XJ excelled. She was thrown into tighter and tighter corners and changed direction without hesitation or protest. One can only imagine what a beast the supercharged V8 powered XJ-R is. Mind you, how much better than perfect can it be?

Each time I tucked her into her cosy car park, I noticed that she only just fits into the average sized spot. Luckily the touch-opener for the boot is on the driver’s side of the rear, so you can go quite close to a wall and still get to your things from the side. The closing button on the boot lid is also on the driver’s side. Very thoughtful indeed. I got into the habit of pressing the button on the dash board so that when I got around to the back, the boot was open to welcome me.

The fuel consumption is where you’ll expect me to deliver the death blow, but not a bit of it. The figures are not too different from the maker’s claims. We averaged at just over 10.5L/100km for our combined city/highway runs which is amazing considering the sporty sections were, shall we say, lively.

Although she tempts you to sink the boot in, you find yourself wanting to tune the DAB to “Buddha” and chill. The XJ is the one and only car ever that has made me feel cool and calm in Sydney traffic. In fact, bumper to bumper was a pleasure.

We had the mid-range short wheelbase model, so there was no Blind Spot, Cross Rear Traffic alert, radar cruise control with queue assist, and lane departure? Forget it. That’s all an option on this model. For near on $250,000 (on-road) I’d have liked those thrown in. You can get them standard in a 40 grand Kia for goodness sake.

You can opt out of the heated windscreen and if you live in Australia, ice is a rare thing. Why pay for something you don’t need? I’d ditch the steering wheel heater too. The button was right behind the phone buttons on the left hand side of the wheel. My hands often got unexpectedly hot and not in a good way. It reminds me of a Peugeot with a poorly placed massage button. You sat on it every time you got into the passenger’s side front seat. After a while your bum started to feel like a pair of overripe avocados.

There are thoughtful touches of design for the sake of beauty and convenience. All doors have soft close, so gently push the door to the first click, and a little motor closes it and secures the lock. The speedo and tacho only show the area directly around the current speed/revs, and there is a digital speedo if you’d prefer it.

Apart from the missing goodies, there is nothing I would change. The XJ is magnificent and impressive as it is luxurious and comfortable.

Would I buy one? Yes, and I’d sell my mother to do it. But, I’d be happy to sell her regardless!

 

ENGINE

MAX POWER (kW)

MAX TORQUE (NM)

MAX SPEED (KPH)

0-100KPH (SECS)

FUEL ECON (L/100KM)

WEIGHT (KGS)

3.0L V6 Supercharged Petrol

250 @ 6500rpm

450 @ 3500-4000rpm

250 (limited)

5.9

9.1

1,775

PRICE AS TESTED

$ 232 895

PLUS ONROADS

Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6

Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6, 2016

Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6 gaycarboys (1)

Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6, 2016

Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6, 2016

 

 

Stuttgart/Pebble Beach. Every August classic car fans from around the world converge on Pebble Beach in California for a very special beauty contest. This gathering of magnificent classic cars is the perfect place to premiere the exclusive Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6, a sensational luxury-class coupé. The 2+2-seater is a homage to the glorious age of the aero coupés and consciously carries this tradition forward into the future. The coupé reinterprets classic, emotional design principles in an extreme way, following the Mercedes design philosophy of sensual purity.  

The Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6, which measures almost six metres in length, is designed as an electric car. The drive system has an output of 550 kW (750 hp). The shallow underfloor battery allows a range of over 500 kilometres according to the NEDC (over 200 miles according to EPA).

The large coupé is set to make its debut at Monterey Car Week, which will take place on the Monterey Peninsula between 16 and 21 August 2016. The final event on 21 August will be the Pebble Beach Concours D’Elégance.

With its sensual, emotional design (“hot”) and intelligent details (“cool”), the Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6 represents the ultimate in luxury. The classic aesthetic proportions of the show car – the extremely long bonnet, the low roof line and the rearward positioning of the greenhouse – recall the aero coupés of days gone by. But this is not retro design – this is a reinterpretation of classic, aesthetic principles.

At the same time the design is something unexpectedly new – cool, technoid and reduced. This is exemplified by the aerodynamically intelligent basic shape. Even without aids such as spoilers, the airflow hugs the contours of the vehicle body and only breaks away very late at the tail end of the vehicle. Then there is the surprisingly technoid character of the narrow lights, the partially transparent rims and the split rear window.

“Our glamorous coupé, the Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6, represents the ultimate in contemporary luxury. It is hot and cool”, states Gorden Wagener, Head of Design at Daimler AG. “With its intelligent appeal and reduced, technoid look, it perfectly embodies our design philosophy of sensual purity and our pursuit of aerodynamic efficiency”. 

Reinterpretation of classic, aesthetic principles: the exterior design

Clearly defined contours and organically formed wings stand in contrast to the sharply drawn, extended feature line on each side which defines the upper vehicle body from the radiator grille across the entire length of the vehicle to the rear. Below this, the main body has a bulging, muscular look, extending across the entire flank. There is also a striking contrast between the Maybach red paintwork and the chrome strips which sit above the wheel arches and in the centre of the bonnet and boot lid.

A reinterpretation of the Mercedes-Maybach radiator grille with its fine, vertical struts accentuates the front end. The grille was inspired by a pinstriped suit. The radiator grille rests on two aerodynamically shaped supports on the outer right and left of the bumper.

The distinctive 24-inch wheels are a development of the aero rim from the Concept IAA (Intelligent Aerodynamic Automobile). A transparent shield in the vehicle colour provides a view of the aluminium spokes behind it.

A further highlight is provided by the gullwing doors, a hallmark Mercedes design element which has been brought up to date. They underline the sporty character of the vehicle’s silhouette and feature innovatively designed aluminium trim. The exterior mirrors designed as cameras are supported on the wings.

The extended, round “boat tail” format of the Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6’s rear recalls a luxury yacht, and narrow tail lights which emphasise the width of the vehicle are integrated in its outer edges. Above this sit the two extremely shallow rear windows (“split window”). Further distinctive features at the rear include the diffuser with aluminium frame and the air outlets behind the wheel arches.

Luxurious 360° lounge featuring new materials: the interior design
The interior of the Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6 is a synthesis of intelligence and emotion and combines traditional Mercedes-Benz values with a new high-tech experience.

The dashboard wing curves across the door trim into the seat landscape, creating a 360° lounge. The new “inside out” spatial design adds a particular touch of finesse. The sitting surface forms a horizontal, which transitions into the vertical of the doors and finally becomes the underside of the dashboard wing.

In addition to the flowing contours, the material composition produces a luxury experience of the highest order. Authentic materials and colours such as rose gold are used to create luxurious accents. The interior, with its high-quality leather trim, has a cool colour scheme which perfectly underlines the digital innovations. The sitting surfaces have a Chesterfield look. In the doors and dashboard the traditional wood trim softens the appearance of the digital control and display interfaces. As a contrast to the digital world of the displays, elm is used in the floor area, creating a refined yachting look. Elm is the palest open-pore wood which Mercedes-Benz is currently working on for series use.

In the front luggage area of the Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6 is a set of two suitcases, exclusively created for the vehicle. Here too the designers have followed the sensual, pure design idiom of Mercedes-Benz. Plenty of space has also been provided for further additions such as picnic accessories or personal items.

Dipping into the future: a fusion of analogue and digital experience
Ever since Mercedes-Benz invented the car 130 years ago, driving has been a source of enjoyment and delight. With the increase in digitisation comes a simultaneous need for sustainable analogue solutions, the design of which has been emphasised and in places exaggerated in the concept car. In the Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6 this can be seen above all in the “hyperanalogue” instruments with needles and circular, crystal-look displays.

The classic circular instruments are combined with deep displays and act as a reference to the unique history of Mercedes-Benz. In contrast, other display elements are digitally integrated into a continuous glass trim part. Information about the seat, for example, can be shown on this digital strip. Map information is also shown in the front area of the strip. Menu content is extended along a digital line which extends to the sides as far as the occupants, who can set their own content ergonomically using touch control.

The front windscreen serves as a transparent display: driving-related data and geographical information is shown across its full width, augmenting the outside world with additional information. This information can be controlled and adjusted by the occupants using gestures.

The luxury padded leather upholstery is a particular highlight. Its traditional look is combined with future technology here – the buttons which would normally be trimmed in leather have been replaced in the upholstered surfaces by miniature “body sensor displays”. These scan the passengers and monitor, for example, their vital functions. As a result, comfort features such as seat climate or the massage function, for example, can be activated or the seat settings adjusted to the passenger. The sensors embedded in the upholstery also record the incidence of light, the colour of the occupant’s clothing and the ambient temperature. This information can be used to trigger new, emotional lighting effects in the interior.

The concept car aims to embody the ultimate in luxury, and this is underlined by the fact that the driver can switch to digital/autonomous mode. Another highlight is offered by the floating, transparent centre tunnel, which visualises the drive system’s electrical energy flow for the occupants.

Emission-free driving: electric drive system generating 550 kW (750 hp)
The side sills, illuminated by LED light strips, clearly underline the fact that the Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6 is designed as an electric car. Thanks to its four compact permanent magnet synchronous electric motors, it features all-wheel drive. The output of the drive system is 550 kW (750 hp). The shallow underfloor battery has a usable capacity of approx. 80 kWh. This not only allows performance characteristics typical of a sports car (acceleration from 0-100 km/h in under four seconds, top speed electronically governed at 250 km/h) but also a range of over 500 kilometres according to the NEDC (over 200 miles according to EPA).

Vision: add an extra 100 kilometres to the range in just five minutes
The quick-charge function is also visionary: as a result of DC charging based on the CCS standard, the system allows an impressive charging capacity of up to 350 kW. In just five minutes enough power can be charged to achieve an additional range of around 100 kilometres.

The battery can either be charged via a cable connection at a public charging station or a conventional domestic outlet or, for even more convenience, it can be charged wirelessly, via an electromagnetic field.

The wow effect: visionary show cars with long-term prospects
With its impressive dimensions, the Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6 (length/width/height: 5700/2100/1328 millimetres) is the first luxury coupé in the series of visionary design show cars from Mercedes-Benz. These include the Vision EnerG-Force (Los Angeles, November 2012), AMG Vision Gran Turismo (Sunnyvale, 2013) and Vision Tokyo (Tokyo, 2015). Thanks to the global nature of the Mercedes-Benz Design function, these concept vehicles take cues from local trends in design, culture and mobility and make these the focal point of the respective mobility concept. At the same time these show cars are looking far into the future.

Mercedes-Maybach: perfection blends with exclusivity
Mercedes-Maybach stands for the ultimate in exclusivity and individuality. The target group is made up of status-oriented customers. The current vehicles include the Mercedes-

Maybach S 500 and S 600 models, launched in February 2015, which blend the perfection of the Mercedes-Benz S-Class with the exclusivity of Maybach. A special protection version, the Mercedes-Maybach S 600 Guard, is the world’s first passenger car to meet the highest ballistic protection level for civilian vehicles, VR10.

The most recent model is the Mercedes-Maybach S 600 Pullman with face-to-face seating. Launched at the beginning of 2016, it adopted the mantle of absolute top-of-the-line mode

First Automaker to Launch Amazon Alexa Skill for a Heightened Luxury Experience

 

Genesis G90 and G80 gaycarboys

 

  • Genesis Connected Services links the Alexa service built into Amazon Echo, Tap, Echo Dot and Fire TV with the Genesis G80 and G90 to send remote car commands from inside homes
  • Amazon Alexa skill for Genesis features at launch include:
  • Remote engine start with climate control
  • Remote door lock/unlock
  • Remote horn/lights
  • Genesis G90 owners receive a complimentary Amazon.com Gift Card, which can be applied toward an Amazon Echo*
  • Genesis vehicles are equipped with three years of complimentary Genesis Connected Car Services

FOUNTAIN VALLEY, California, 18 August 2016 – “Did I lock the car?” “How can I warm up my car on a snowy morning without going outside, get my news and still get to work on time?” These are questions that can leave many car owners feeling frazzled. But not G80 and G90 owners, as Genesis is the first automaker to launch an Alexa skill, allowing remote voice commands to control connected cars. Genesis Connected Services can take care of these tasks and more from inside the home using the Alexa voice service on Amazon Echo, Echo Dot and Amazon Tap. The new Alexa skill for Genesis is available today across Alexa-enabled devices.

“We’re excited to bring the convenience of voice and Alexa to the Genesis G80 and G90,” said Steve Rabuchin, vice president, Amazon Alexa. “With this innovative Alexa implementation, customers can now start their car, and get the heat going all just by asking Alexa from the comfort of their own home. We can’t wait for our customers to try it out.”

Additionally, Genesis G90 owners will receive a complimentary Amazon.com Gift Card redeemable towards an Amazon Echo.
“The Amazon Alexa skill for Genesis demonstrates our progressive commitment to technology that is intuitive and customer-focused. It aligns with our belief that time and convenience are the ultimate luxuries,” said Erwin Raphael, general manager of Genesis in the U.S. market. “From remotely locking your car from your living room, to starting your G90 and setting the temperature from your bedroom, the Alexa skill for Genesis offers a new level of ease for owners.”

How It Works
Amazon Alexa allows customers to send remote commands to their car from inside their home using simple voice interaction through Genesis Connected Services and an Alexa-enabled device. To send commands to Genesis vehicles via Alexa, users must enable the Genesis skill in their Alexa app available on iOS, Android and Fire tablets, and then link their existing Genesis Connected Services Account within the Alexa app. Voice commands will only be sent to Genesis vehicles after Alexa prompts owners for their Genesis Connected Services Personal Identification Number (PIN).

How to Start Genesis Amazon Alexa

Example User Statement to Alexa

Example Alexa’s Response to User

“Alexa, open Genesis.”

“Welcome to the Genesis skill.”

Genesis Amazon Alexa Skill: Remote Services

Remote Services

Examples of Voice Commands to Alexa

Remote Start with Set Temperature

“Alexa, tell Genesis to start my car at 70 degrees.”

Remote Start

“Alexa, tell Genesis to start my Black G90.”

Remote Stop

“Alexa, tell Genesis to stop my Gray G90.”

Remote Lock

“Alexa, tell Genesis to lock my car.”

Remote Unlock

“Alexa, tell Genesis to unlock my car.”

Remote Lights

“Alexa, tell Genesis to flash the lights on my G80.”

Remote Horns and Lights

“Alexa, tell Genesis to honk the horn on my car.”

Genesis Connected Services
Genesis vehicles are equipped with three years of complimentary Genesis Connected Car Services. Genesis Connected Services bring seamless connectivity directly into the car with technology like Remote Start with Climate Control, Destination Search powered by Google®, Remote Door Lock/Unlock, Car Finder, Enhanced Roadside Assistance, and Stolen Vehicle Recovery. Genesis Connected Services can be easily accessed from the buttons on the rearview mirror and center stack, the Web or via an exclusive Genesis owners’ smartphone app.
Connected Care package:

  • Automatic Collision Notification (ACN) and Assistance
  • SOS Emergency Assistance
  • Enhanced Roadside Assistance
  • Monthly Vehicle Health Report
  • Maintenance Alerts
  • Automated Diagnostic Trouble Code Notification (DTC)
  • Service Link
  • Genesis App (smartphone)
  • On-Demand Diagnostics
  • Driving Information

Remote package:

  • Remote Start with Climate Control
  • Remote Door Lock/Unlock
  • Remote Horn and Lights
  • Car Finder via Mobile App
  • Stolen Vehicle Recovery/Slowdown/Immobilization
  • Vehicle Safeguard Alerts:
    • Geo-Fence
    • Valet Alert
    • Speed/Curfew Alert

Guidance package:

  • Destination search powered by Google®
  • Destination Send-to-Car by Google®

“Managing items we interact with on a frequent basis, like a thermostat with voice commands, is becoming second nature to Americans,” said Raphael. “We plan to integrate our platform with the right connected home products to maximize the connected car experience for our customers, paving the way for the new definition of luxury.”

* Amazon.com is not a sponsor of this promotion.