Tag Heuer and Tesla create unique roadster

March 2nd, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

Swiss watch manufacturer TAG Heuer is celebrating its 150th anniversary this year and to mark the occasion is working in with Tesla to create a special edition Roadster. The unique vehicle is set to make its debut today at the 2010 Geneva Motor Show and marks the beginning of a new worldwide partnership between the two firms.

The one-off collector’s car includes a interior penned by Tesla design chief Franz von Holzhausen that plays host to a specially designed centre console for a new watch concept to be revealed later this month in Basel, Switzerland.

Other Tag Heuer touches include a Meridiist mobile phone as well as a one-fifth second Heuer Limited Edition stopwatch. The roadster’s exterior color scheme is also unique to this particular model and unsurprisingly includes Tag Heuer graphics.

Following the grand reveal in Geneva, the Tag Heuer Tesla Roadster will be driven to Baselworld, which is the world’s largest watch exhibition, for the unveiling of Tag Heuer’s watch concept on March 18.

2011 Porsche Cayenne photos and details released

February 26th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

Following leaked images onto the internet the all-new 2011 Porsche Cayenne has now been officially revealed ahead of its world debut at the Geneva Motor Show.

The second-generation Porsche SUV is set to go on sale in Europe from May and will offer more room, improved technology, and increased performance but most notably significantly less weight and fuel consumption.

Every model in the Cayenne range from the entry-level V-6 to the top-spec Turbo will have improved performance while using less fuel and producing fewer emissions than the previous generation.

The big news is undoubtedly the Cayenne S Hybrid, which features an advanced parallel hybrid drive system that combines a supercharged 333 horsepower 3.0-litre gasoline V-6 engine with a 47 horsepower electric motor running on lithium-ion batteries. The combined result is a V-8 like 380 horsepower and 427 pound-feet of torque, which is available from a low-down at 1,000 rpm. With correct driving conditions, either the supercharged V-6 or electric motor can operate independently or together. This means that the Cayenne S Hybrid can cover short distances running solely on electric power alone, up to speeds of 70kph.

In terms of the gasoline-only Cayennes, Porsche are claiming that on average they are 23% more fuel-efficient than the current Cayenne range, although no official fuel economy figures have been released yet.

When it comes to power the figures are tidy, the base Cayenne with a 3.6-litre V-6 engine will get 300 horsepower, while the Cayenne S gets 400 horsepower from its 4.8-litre V-8 unit. The king-pin Cayenne Turbo stays with a twin-turbocharged 4.8-litre V-8 engine and 500 horsepower.

All Cayennes will be offered with an eight-speed Tiptronic S automatic transmission as standard. A low-speed transfer case has been dropped, making the new Cayenne even more of an on-road vehicle than the outgoing model. A stop-start system and thermal management of the engine and transmission are also set to help improve fuel economy.

While there isn’t a massive power increase for the new Cayenne it does weigh on average 180kg less than its predecessor. The weight saving has come from a new construction processes the increased use of aluminum and the removal of the two-speed transfer case.

In terms of size, the Cayenne is grown slightly in length and wheelbase.

Sales of the Cayenne in New Zealand begin on July 24. Initial models to go on sale will be the Cayenne S, S Hybrid and Turbo. These will be joined later by the V6 Diesel and V6 Petrol models.

New Zealand specification and pricing is still yet to be confirmed and will be announced nearer to the arrival date.

Mansory uses ugly stick on Rolls-Royce Ghost

February 26th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

German tuners Mansory are hell-bent on proving that no one can destroy the understated charm of the Rolls-Royce Ghost as well as them. Painted in gold and blue, the car is designed to attract the eye of customers in the United Arab Emirates, Middle East, and parts of Eastern Europe.

While the rest of the world is left asking why, they will still take notice of the performance upgrades on offer. Horsepower is pushed up by over 26% to a massive 710 hp from the standard 562 hp, and torque is increased from 780 Nm to 1,020 Nm. These figures are achieved by larger turbos, a sports manifold, new catalysers, and a remapped computer.

The upgrades have lead to a 0-100 km/h sprint time of just 4.4 seconds, shaving a half-second off the same measure for the stock Ghost. The Mansory Ghost can apparently hit a top speed of 310 km/h.

New blinging monoblock wheels measure 9×22 at the front and 10.5×22 in the back. The gold wheels are shod in Dunlop SP SportMaxx tires. If you can ever look further than the paintwork other exterior mods include changes to the front, side, and rear skirting. A new spoiler and exhaust system has also been fitted.

Interior appointments include quilted leather, suede roof liner, and trick LED lighting. There is bamboo trim inside that is matched on the steering wheel.

The Mansory Rolls Royce Ghost is set to debut at the Geneva Motor Show in the next few days. Get your order in later this year.

Revised Gumpert Apollo heading to Geneva Show

February 25th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

Following in the recent tradition of the Apollo Sport and Speed, Gumpert is returning to next month’s Geneva Motor Show with a upgraded variant of its supercar.

Few details are known yet but a new black and white paint scheme is on the cards, as is the first availability of right-hand drive. The reworked beast is set to get a revised carbon fiber aerodynamics package and a bump in output to 750 horsepower.

As the Speed variant produces over 800 horse from its twin-turbocharged 4.2-litre Audi-sourced V8, it’s a little confusing why there is a drop in power, but when you’re already running to 100 kph in three seconds and topping out at 360 kph how much more power do you really need.

More details will be revealed next week, till then check out some images in the gallery below.

Citroen shows off High Rider DS concept

February 24th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

Citroën has released first details of its latest concept design that will be unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show.

DS High Rider is the second concept associated with Citroen’s innovative and distinctively styled DS model line, which will make its New Zealand debut in August when the Citroen DS3 arrives.

The concept combines compact dimensions with generous internal volumes, strong performance, and a flash of style.

Unlike traditional 4-seater coupes, with their long, low design, the High Rider is compact and bulky. ¨¨It features a sleek flowing windscreen that soars over the heads of front occupants creating a bright cabin environment. The apparently continuous glazed area of the side windows connects the A-pillars to the sloping roof line of the rear.

Planted on 19″ alloy wheels the concept vehicle’s profile is characterised by a high waistline. The front end looks purposeful with gaping air intakes, long incisive headlights and defined creases on the bonnet.

When it comes to power motivation the High Rider will make use of a ‘Full Hybrid’ diesel drivetrain that combines Citroen’s HDi DPFS engine under the bonnet with an electric motor located on the rear axle. Under certain conditions, both engines combine to deliver additional power with additional torque transmitted to the rear wheels.

Check back as we bring you details of more concept vehicles heading for the Geneva Motor Show.

2011 Audi RS5 revealed with 331kW V8 engine

February 23rd, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

Following a recent media leak, Audi has now released official specifications on its new RS5.

Audi’s newest RS vehicle will be again powered by a 4.2-litre V8 with output increased to 331 kW and 430 Nm of torque. The eight-cylinder will remain naturally aspirated and will be connected to a seven-speed S tronic transmission allowing the 1,725 kilogram coupe to accelerate to 100 kph in just 4.6 seconds, before topping out at an electronically limited 250 kph. For those with a death wish, Audi can remove the speed limiter to enable the car to hit 280 kph. Fuel economy is equally impressive with the RS5 only consuming 10.8 liters of petrol per 100 km.

To further the car’s handling abilities, Audi has installed a new crown-gear center differential. The self-locking crown-gear will vary the torque distribution between the front and rear axles. If necessary, it can transfer up to 70 percent to the front or as much as 85 percent toward the rear. When extra traction isn’t required, the unit has a standard 40:60 rear-biased split.

Other performance tweaks include a revised braking system with a ceramic carbon-fiber brake package an available option, a modified electronic stabilisation program which can be disengaged, and a recalibrated speed-dependent servotronic steering system.

In the looks department, the RS5 features an aggressive body kit, a 20mm lower ride height over the standard A5 and 19-inch five-spoke alloy wheels. Other aesthetic highlights include twin oval exhaust pipes feeding out of the rear bumper and a rear spoiler which automatically extends at 120 kph and retracts again at 80 kph.

Cabin appointments include leather/Alcantara sports seats, a sport steering wheel, carbon fibre trim and piano black and aluminum accents.

The RS5 is due to go on sale in Germany mid-year, with global sales starting soon after.

Mercedes-Benz F800 Style concept revealed

February 22nd, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

The Mercedes-Benz F800 Style concept car is set to debut at next month's Geneva Motor Show and is claiming major green-car tech, but what's probably of greater interest to many is its styling, which is a first look at what shape the next-generation CLS-Class sedan is going to take.

At the front lays a nose section whose grille straight off the SLS AMG, plus plenty of razor-sharp lines all around. The rear doors slide back, because it's a concept car, and so people can see into the sci-fi inspired cabin.

Mercedes-Benz is also talking up the concept's flexible powertrain platform. One likely option for the vehicle is a plug-in hybrid system similar to the V6 light-hybrid setup found in the S400 sedan. Mercedes says this new plug-in gas-electric system, will put out 400 combined horsepower, and give the car an impressive EV-only driving range of 29km. The automaker has announced that this new plug-in system is headed to the next-gen S-Class.

The F800 concept will also debut two new safety technologies that will probably appear in upcoming models. Distronic Plus Traffic Jam Assistant is an enhanced version of Mercedes' active cruise control system, which can now steer the car through curves as long as it's traveling under 40kph. That still doesn't mean its safe to fall asleep at the wheel… yet. Another new feature is the Pre-Safe 360-degree system, which expands the existing Pre-Safe electronic collision detection system to the rear of the car. If Pre-Safe senses that a rear-end impact is imminent, it'll apply the car's brakes to keep it from getting into an additional frontal accident involving other cars or pedestrians.

The Mercedes-Benz F800 Style will be unveiled in Geneva in a few weeks.

VW CrossPolo to join range

February 22nd, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

Volkswagen will be using the stage at this year's Geneva Motor Show to widen its Polo range, which now includes a high-efficiency Bluemotion model, the GTI version unveiled last week and the CrossPolo revealed today. The latest generation CrossPolo borrows from the hatchbacks sharp new styling and gives it the crossover treatment with black plastic molding around the wheel arches, across the sills and bottom of each door, as well as on the front and rear bumpers. The front bumper gets a wide honeycomb styled low air intake and integrated silver anodized roof rails feature up top. The look is finished off with new 17-inch two-tone wheels.

Globally, Volkswagen will offer no less than six engine options, although it's unlikely all of them will make it to NZ. There are three gas-powered engines that include a 1.2- and 1.4-litre four-cylinder, as well as a 1.2-litre TSI engine that features direct injection and turbocharging. For European customers there are also three diesel engines available and a choice of a six-speed manual transmission or 7-speed DSG automatic.

Check back as we bring you more updates on the upcoming Geneva Motor Show