Category Archives: New Cars

The Audi prologue show car – launching into a new design era

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Ingolstadt/Los Angeles, November 19, 2014
Audi is launching into a new design era: At the Los Angeles Auto Show, Marc Lichte, Head of Design, is presenting the Audi prologue concept car. Lichte is giving the Audi brand a new styling direction in the large coupe.
“When he moved to Audi, Marc Lichte launched a design offensive,” says Prof. Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg, Board Member for Development, who brought him to Ingolstadt in 2014. “His clear philosophy and precise understanding of Audi DNA let him develop a design strategy that is opening up entirely new perspectives for us. It is progressive and highly emotional; it expresses the technological competence and quality claim of the brand perfectly. The Audi prologue is its first proponent – it is a ‘signature car’ for Audi.”
Marc Lichte himself describes the character of the show car in this way: “Audi stands for sportiness, lightweight design and the quattro permanent all-wheel drive. In the Audi prologue, we are expressing this know-how in a new form – we have put the sportiest car in the luxury segment on wheels. Our team took new approaches in both exterior and interior design.”
Audi design is now expressing progressive technology even more powerfully. The two-door coupe has a flowing, elegant shape in a sporty and taut design. Its forms and lines are unmistakable and introduce many new ideas. In the clear and unobstructed interior, the architecture melds with the display and operating concept to create a new type of unit. The entire front of the instrument panel is a large touch display, and a portion of the user interface operates with a new type of OLED display made of organic LEDs.
The show car’s technology combines power, comfort and efficiency. The 4.0 TFSI produces up to 445 kW (605 hp) of power and 750 Nm (553.2 lb-ft) of torque; it accelerates the Audi prologue from 0 to 100 km/h (62.1 mph) in 3.7 seconds. Its dynamic all-wheel steering, in which the rear wheels can turn up to five degrees, makes the large couple extremely responsive and stable while driving.
Harmonious proportions: exterior
The Audi prologue is somewhat shorter and flatter than today’s production A8* with a length of 5.10 meters (16.7 ft), wheelbase of 2.94 meters (9.6 ft), width of 1.95 meters (6.4 ft) and height of 1.39 meters (4.6 ft). A dominant feature at its low front end is a Singleframe displaying the four rings that is integrated into the automobile architecture. The large radiator grille has been widened much more, and it is positioned lower than on today’s production models. Its strong horizontal effect expresses an image of powerful dynamics. The cross bars have a finely structured diamond pattern, and their ends are split.
The headlights – shaped like wide, flat wedges – are located with their tips above the Singleframe. They present high-resolution Matrix laser technology: an innovation from Audi which opens up new approaches to headlight design and enables completely new functionality. The pupils of the headlights are formed by a projection lens with a laser light source – they generate a matrix that illuminates the entire street in high resolution. Hovering beneath this element are five plastic lenses that are supplied with light via a glass fiber bundle, which are mounted to a lightweight structure and further extend the high-beam light. The new laser technology lets lighting designers create an extremely lightweight, compact and elegant eye-shaped form.
Audi quattro DNA visualized
Also new is the sculptural form of the air intakes under the headlights – the distinctive air intakes have diamond pattern screens in their interiors. A dynamically contoured blade, which is clearly separated from the bumper by a gap, elicits associations to motor sport. Mounted to it are two additional spoilers in glossy black, which give the show car an even stronger and wider stance on the road.
In side profile, its flowing silhouette expresses the character of forward motion in the Audi prologue. Balanced proportions put equal emphasis on the front and rear wheels – a clear reference to the quattro DNA of Audi. The powerful 22-inch wheels are set in widely flared wheel arches. They are fitted with tires of size 285/30. Each wheel’s ten intertwining Y spokes project a filigreed, three-dimensional and powerful image.
Aluminum components in hand-finished quality
The door mirrors are small aluminum sculptures: The mirror housings in the form of a shell create a flowing transition to the window slot trim. They also integrate the open-door sensor surfaces. The doors have no handles, and they are opened electromechanical when the illuminated sensor surfaces are touched.
Vast areas of the stiff multi-material body of the Audi prologue consist of aluminum and ultra-high-strength steel. The windows are framed by matte and polished aluminum trim strips. At the end of the low roof dome, the window framing transitions into a solid surface of aluminum; its workmanship illustrates the handcraft-like manufacturing quality of Audi, and it enables lowering of the windows despite the C-pillars. This area integrates the fuel tank lid on the right side of the show car. It has an electric opening mechanism and can be lowered completely into the C-pillar by pressing a button in the interior. For enhanced convenience in refueling, the tank closure does not have a cap. The paint is a light diva gray, a new type of pearl effect paint, which has a warm and elegant appearance.
Entire front of instrument panel becomes a display
A radically new type of display and operating concept is embedded in the elegant architecture. Across its full width, the front of the instrument panel is designed to be a display surface which integrates three touch displays. The driver-oriented display to the left of the steering wheel is used to control functions for lighting and assistance systems. The driver-oriented operating unit to the right contains media controls. The front passenger faces a widescreen display that is integrated into the full surface of the instrument panel; it is used to individually and conveniently control entertainment features.
The new type of front passenger display enables digital interaction between the driver and front passenger for the first time. A wiping movement by the passenger is all it takes to send pre-configured routes to the driver’s display and input them into the Audi virtual cockpit future.
On the console of the center tunnel, there is a fourth flexible touch display that is ergonomically adapted to the driver; it is used for climate control, handwriting input and other vehicle settings. This display consists primarily of an extremely thin, bendable OLED film (OLED: organic light emitting diodes), and it displays extremely sharp images that are rich in contrast. When not in use, the OLED display is integrated flush to the center console and is nearly invisible. When the car is started, the flexible display stands up. The fact that it bends ensures a constant distance to the hand which makes for better ergonomics. When operating the display, the wrist rests on the low-positioned gear selector lever of the eight-speed tiptronic.
Designers have also redesigned the shift-by-wire lever. It is now integrated seamlessly into the center console. Cup holders and smartphone slots are installed under lids on the center console, to the left and right of the console support element.
New five-link wheel suspensions
In the chassis, the adaptive air suspension sport – an air suspension with controlled damping – offers a large adjustment range between smooth rolling and very tight handling; it also varies the show car’s ground clearance over several levels. The front and rear suspensions are engineered as lightweight five-link designs. The large carbon-fiber ceramic brake discs decelerate the show car powerfully. On the 20-inch front brakes, they are gripped by six-piston fixed calipers.
A technology highlight of the Audi prologue is its dynamic all-wheel steering – it boosts driving dynamics and ride comfort by an intelligent combination of dynamic and all-wheel steering. The driver therefore can enjoy an automobile with extremely good handling. In the lower speed range, this is made evident by better agility and turning ability. In the higher speed range, developers improved the car’s responsiveness which leads to greater vehicle stability. Overall, dynamic all-wheel steering – with rear wheel steering angles of up to five degrees – makes it easy to maneuver when parking and offers precise and sporty steering on country roads and impressively comfortable steering on freeways.
Fuel consumption of the models named above:
Audi A8:
Combined fuel consumption in l/100 km: 11.3 – 5.9** (20.8 – 39.9 US mpg);
Combined CO2 emissions in g/km: 264 – 144** (424.9 – 231.7 g/mi)
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GOLF R 400 CONCEPT CAR MAKES NORTH AMERICAN DEBUT AT THE 2014 LOS ANGELES AUTO SHOW

Debut at the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show

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  • Ultimate concept version of the Golf R has 394-horsepower 2.0-liter TSI engine
  • Accelerates from 0 to 62 mph in 3.9 seconds, top speed of 174 mph
  • Vehicle’s design and performance inspired by VW’s motorsport experience
  • Power is put to the blacktop via 4MOTION all-wheel-drive system

Los Angeles, CA
After making its global debut at the Beijing Auto Show earlier this year, Volkswagen of America is presenting the exciting Golf R 400 concept car for the first time in North America at the Los Angeles Auto Show. Developed by R GmbH, the Golf R 400 concept shows just how far the Golf R can be taken using the experience gained from VW’s involvement in World Rallycross (WRC). The “400” in the name refers to the vehicle’s 400 PS (394 horsepower) 2.0-liter TSI® engine, which propels the car from zero to 62 mph in 3.9 seconds and on to an electronically limited top speed of 173 mph.
The Golf R 400, including its all-wheel drive system, weighs just 1,420 kilograms (3,130 pounds) thanks in part to its compact high-performance engine and lightweight dual-clutch gearbox. Its weight-to-power ratio is a stellar 7.72 pounds per horsepower (3.55 kg per PS). The 4MOTION permanent all-wheel drive system is one of the most fuel-efficient systems of its kind and the Golf is also exceptionally aerodynamic, even in R 400 form. The car is painted in “Silver Flake” and features a glossy black roof, carbon-look front splitter, and genuine carbon mirror caps. Inside, additional carbon accents further reiterate the Golf R 400’s sporty nature.

R 400 Drivetrain
The Golf R 400 is powered by a 2.0 TSI four-cylinder engine with the technical genes of VW’s WRC racing engine. Compared to the 292-hp engine in the production Golf R, the Golf R 400 develops more than 100 additional horsepower—394 hp, delivered at 7,200 rpm. The specific power output of around 200 hp per liter is on the same level as a supercar’s. The engine’s maximum torque was increased to 332 pound feet, up from 280 lbft, available between 2,400 and 6,000 rpm.
In this car, the 4MOTION all-wheel drive system is coupled with a six-speed manual transmission. The all-wheel drive system, which features a Haldex-5 coupling, is activated even before slip occurs. Under low load conditions, or during coast-down, the front wheels handle most of the propulsive power, while the rear axle is decoupled, saving on fuel. If necessary, the rear axle of the Golf R can be variably engaged in fractions of a second. This is done by means of the Haldex coupling that is activated by an electro-hydraulic oil pump.
Along with the Haldex coupling—which acts as a center differential—the electronic differential locks (EDS) integrated in the Electronic Stability Control (ESC) system act laterally. In addition, the Golf R 400 is equipped with the XDS+ system on both the front and rear axles, which brakes the inside wheels and optimizes steering response. The Golf R 400 also has an “ESC Sport” function like that of the production car, activated via a two-stage switch on the center console. When the driver presses the button briefly, the “ESC Sport” mode is selected. When engaged in spirited driving in this mode, the ESC does not intervene as frequently. If the ESC button is held down more than three seconds, “race mode” is engaged, designed for high-speed track driving.
The production Golf R’s sport suspension, which is lowered by 0.8 inches compared with a regular Golf, did not have to be changed for the Golf R 400. In front, the two Golf Rs each have a strut-type layout with lower control arms, with a multi-link suspension at the rear. The aluminum-alloy wheels of the Golf R 400 are based on the 19-inch “Cadiz” production wheels, but they were highly modified and equipped with high-gloss black inserts which are designed as air vanes to help to cool the brake system. Like the production Golf R, the tires are sized 235/35 R19.

Exterior design
Volkswagen Design made wide-ranging changes to the Golf R 400. The body was widened by 0.8 inches on each side to accommodate the 19-inch wheels that are further outboard due to their larger wheel offset. In front, the designers developed an entirely new front bumper, which—harking back to the Ralley Golf G60 of 1988—is significantly flared. Similarly, the rear fenders were also flared over the wider rear wheels. In addition, the lower sides of the car are characterized by a wrap-around splitter made of carbon-fiber that doubles as a motorsport-style aerodynamic element.
Beneath the high-gloss black radiator grille with “Lemon Yellow” accents, there’s a slot that serves as an air intake to address the Golf R 400’s elevated cooling requirements. On the bumper, the central air inlets are surrounded by C-shaped wing-like elements with high-gloss black inserts. Nestled between these design elements is a protective screen whose honeycomb structure—like so many details of the Golf R 400—is reminiscent of motorsport vehicles. There is also a motorsport-style splitter at the front, with a cabon-fiber look.
At the rear, the wrap-around motorsport splitters transition into a diffuser that protrudes slightly from the body. Two exhaust tailpipes are integrated into the diffuser, recalling the Golf R32—the original R-series model that debuted in 2002. However, in the R 400, the inside of the tailpipes has a honeycomb-look that ties in to the design on the front of the car. The rear bumper has been redesigned with C-shaped carbon inlays at each end, with a reflector in the lower horizontal part of each inlay and the vertical part protruding slightly. The designers have also worked in whee-larch exhaust vents. On top, the black roof transitions into a roof spoiler with an integrated LED light bar.

Interior
Inside the Golf R 400, the driver and front passenger have motorsport-style bucket seats with integrated head restraints, openings for seat-belts, and “R” badges embroidered on the back. The cross-quilted middle seat panels are finished in Anthracite colored Alcantara; the seat bolsters, headrests, and lower lateral supports are covered in exclusive “carbon leather”. The divided rear seats also have carbon leather outer areas, with Alcantara seating surfaces in the center.
Carbon is used as the dominant material for accents in the doors and on the passenger’s side of the dashboard—in contrast to the exterior, however, it is glossy rather than matte clear-coat. The center console accents, cockpit surround and trim around the air nozzles are designed with a glossy “Piano Black” piano. Contrasting stitching in the car’s signature yellow accent color is used also throughout the interior. There is white ambiance lighting around the door accents and the stainless steel door sill plates.

The new Mercedes-Benz B-Class of 2014

B-Class Campaign 2014
Alternative drive systems – A pioneer in terms of efficiency, too
Mercedes-Benz has given the already successful B-Class a thorough facelift, giving particular attention to an upgrade of the interior. With the addition of the B-Class Electric Drive and the B 200 Natural Gas Drive the portfolio from now on includes two models with alternative drive systems. Both feature the modular “ENERGY SPACE” body shell concept: the under body houses either the lithium-ion battery (B-Class Electric Drive) or one large and two smaller natural gas tanks and a 12‑liter petrol tank (B 200 Natural Gas Drive).
In terms of their exterior design, the B-Class Electric Drive and the B-Class Natural Gas Drive combine refined sportiness and aesthetics with powerful, taut lines.

 

B-Class Electric Drive: locally emission-free, chargeable in three hours
With its torquey electric motor, the B-Class Electric Drive offers lively and effortlessly superior fun at the wheel over a range of around 200 kilometers – all locally emission free. Full climate control for the interior as standard and some innovative optional extras, such as the recuperative braking system with radar support or the RANGE PLUS range extender, add to the car’s ride comfort and everyday practicality. The B-Class Electric Drive will be available to order from 3 November, with deliveries starting before the end of the year.
For the standard sprint from zero to 100 km/h, too, the electrically powered B-Class requires only 7.9 seconds.
Model
B-Class Electric Drive
B 200 Natural Gas Drive*
Number of cylinders/arrangement
4 in-line
Displacement (cc)
1991
Rated output (kW/hp at rpm)
132/180
115/156 at 5000
Rated torque (Nm at rpm)
340
270 at 1250-4000
Fuel consumption, combined, from
16.6 kWh/100 km
4.3 kg (4.2 kg)
Combined CO2 emissions from (g/km)
0
117 (115)
Efficiency class
A+
A (A)
Acceleration 0-100 km/h (s)
7.9
9.2 (9.1)
Top speed (km/h)
160
200 (200)
*Figures for model with 7G-DCT in brackets