Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Brand new Fiat Panda 2012 model revealed

New Fiat Panda 2012 front view

The third generation of the admired Panda model in its 31year history has just been officially revealed by Fiat and it has a more flexible exterior design with rounder lines but its power still remains under the 90 HP barrier.

New Fiat Panda 2012 side view

According to the automaker, the new Panda model comes with four airbags, anti-lock, daytime running lamps, sunroof and electric power steering, some of them as standard, a few available as an alternative, Fiat didn’t say which is what yet.

New Fiat Panda steering view

The 2012 Panda is powered by Twin Air two-cylinder petrol engine delivering 64 BHP in the 0.9 Aspirated TwinAir form and 84 BHP in the 0.9 liter Turbo. A larger 1.2 liter and 68 BHP petrol unit is also existing, along with the 1.3 liter Multijet diesel which is developing 74 BHP.

New Fiat Panda Seats view

The engines will be affiliated to Fiat’s Dualogic robotized manual transmission and the stop/start system will also be available.

The building quality of the new Panda generation will be enhanced by using 603 state-of-the-art robots and the new 2012 model will come in production in winter 2011 at the Giambattista Vico plant in Naples.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Seventh Generation Camry was Introduced by Toyota

toyota camry logo

Toyota introduces today the all-new, seventh-generation Camry, America's best-selling car for nine years running & 13 of the past 14 years.

Camry Reinvented for 2012

The 2012 Camry introductions a bold, sophisticated new design with a wider interior, improved driving dynamics and an even quieter ride than before. Since from Introduce, Toyota has sold more than 15 million Camry models world-wide.

Toyota division group vice president bob carter

"The all new 2012 Camry blends a development of the car's values such as comfort, efficiency, reliability and safety with a more attractive design and engaging driving experience," said Bob Carter, Toyota Division group vice president and general manager.

The Toyota Camry once again offers three power train choices, all of which have been enhanced for 2012 to give better fuel economy and more responsive performance.

All Camry models with the revised 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that offer 178 horsepower, an increase of nine hp, and 170 lb.-ft. of peak torque.

EPA-estimated fuel economy figures are 25 mpg city/35 highway, and the 28 mpg combined is two more than the earlier generation Camry. The 2.5-liter engine employs Dual VVT-i (Dual Variable Valve Timing-intelligent), which controls valve timing on both the intake and exhaust camshafts for optimal performance and efficiency at all engine speeds.

Interior of the Toyota Camry for 2012

The Acoustic Control Induction System (ACIS) help optimize torque over a broad engine speed range.

To tease out the Camry’s claim to improved performance, Toyota proclaimed that the 2012 model would be the official pace car at the Daytona 500 Nascar race next year.

Denny Hamlin, who drives for Joe Gibbs Racing in the Sprint Cup series, piloted a Camry appareled in pace-car livery onto the Paramount Studios lot during Tuesday’s presentation.

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Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Maruti Suzuki expect New Swift sales in Festival Season

Maruti Suzuki doesn't anticipate cutting vehicle production in September as the forthcoming festival season and an upgraded version of the Swift hatchback will likely drive more customers to its showrooms.

"I don't think we'll involve to cut production beyond August," Mayank Pareek, managing executive officer for sales and marketing at Maruti, said at the introduction of the upgraded Swift hatchback.

Two month long festival season, which begins in the last week of September, is considered auspicious to make new purchases in India.

India's largest car maker Maruti by sales, fell 5% in the April-July period to 317,187 autos. That compares with a 4% arise in total sales of cars and sport-utility vehicles in India to 785,204 autos.

"The Swift has been a bestseller since it’s established. We wait for even better demand for the new Swift," said Shinzo Nakanishi, chief executive and managing director.

Maruti introduced Swift small car in May 2005, and since sold more than 600,000 units of the model. The Swift is one of the Maruti's bestselling models with a waiting period of up to six weeks.

Maruti has already got orders for 50,000 units of the upgraded Swift, Mr. Pareek said, adding that the company will lift production capacity for the car because of the strong demand. Also he added that Maruti will raise Swift's production to 17,000-18,000 a month by November from about 12,000 currently.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Audi to show urban concept electric city car at Frankfurt auto show

Audi car brand logo

Connection the race to conduct a new generation of city cars, Audi urban concept will demonstrate a 1+1 seat electrically propelled urban vehicle at next month’s Frankfurt auto show (IAA).

The German premium car maker said in a press release that the urban concept car, which will be made of lightweight carbon fiber, will blend “elements of a racing car, a fun car and an urban car.”

audi urban concept carbon fiber electric city carRival BMW recently also unveiled a new city car, the i3, which will seat four.

Other car brands are also developing smaller, electrically driven vehicles that will provide to urban habitants. The moves are activated by prospect that more people will live in megacities and that concerns over air pollution will trigger a sharp rise in electric vehicles in those cities.

audi urban conceptAudi said its concept car is not based on any earlier model. The two-seater will contain controls and materials that will all be ultra light. The driver can adjust the steering wheel and pedals and the roof slides open to the rear to let in passengers.

Sporting 21-inch wheels, the Audi concept car will be impelled by two e-tron electric motors that will be motorized by a lithium-ion battery.

Coolest thing about the Audi urban concept car is? Sporting 21-inch wheels.

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Monday, August 8, 2011

Chevrolet Beat Diesel Car Faces a New Challenge

Chevrolet logo

General Motors India (GMI) has recently established the diesel version of its most popular hatchback Chevrolet Beat, which has acknowledged rave reviews and gushing response. Chevrolet Beat's petrol model and LPG version have already received warm welcome from Indian customers.

Chevrolet Beat embelem

GMI has great hopes from the newly launched Beat Diesel model and anticipates that it will certainly add to its reputation. At the launch of the diesel variant, GMI President and MD, Karl Slym said, “Offering a diesel engine developed for Indian consumers in our most popular model is a momentous achievement for GM India.”

Chevrolet Beat diesel car concept

The Beat Diesel was designed with the goal to effectively cope up with the fuel worries as it provides the ARAI certified mileage of 24 kmpl. Beat Diesel accompanies 1.0 XSDE SMARTECH Engine, designed specifically for Indian market by the Bangalore based GM Technical Centre in partnership with GM Power-train Europe. It renders 58.5 PS at the rate of 4000 rpm with 150 Nm torque. Furthermore, Beat Diesel will prove to be economical as the engine oil will need to be changed only once in 1.5 years. The car allows better fuel economy and superior emission performance too.

The model's 65% high-strength steel body cage provides better resident safety. The sleek and stylish interior of the model is complemented by an advance in-dash integrated ice-blue lit music system. Additionally, the new Chevrolet Beat Diesel model costs between Rs. 4.40 lacs and Rs 5.5 lacs and comes with three years or 1 lac kilometre warranty.

Chevrolet Beat diesel car back side view

GMI has great hopes from Beat Diesel and expects it to touch new borders of success; however, the way is not as smooth as it was speculated. The dynamics of auto business will surely change after the government indicated on Thursday that dual pricing of diesel may be introduced to remove the subsidy enjoyed by car owners.

Finance Minister, Pranab Mukherjee, affirmed in the Lok Sabha that passenger cars were consuming about 15% of the diesel supplied in the country and that "we can try to work out mechanism, so that this section is not subsidised".

Chevrolet Beat inside view

Oil Minister, Jaipal Reddy, also supported the Finance Minister's concern about the subsidised diesel. Besides, all these statements are coming at a time when most of the car manufacturers are working hard to maximize their share of the domestic diesel car market. Moreover, the number of sales of diesel cars has risen over the last few years only as diesel is cheaper than petrol.

All the car manufacturers have voiced their bear on as any change in policy or an additional tax on the fuel would harm an already sulky auto market. Besides, domestic car sales has already faced constant decline, which is 10% year-on-year in July. This is the worst statistics since the 7% decline in January 2009.

Karl Slym GMI President and MD with Chevrolet Beat

General Motors India President Karl Slym said "We are for market-driven price of diesel. Already the sales of car and passenger vehicles are sluggish in the domestic market and any change in policy will further impact it". However, GMI is not taking it as a fatal issue, as the Vice President of GM India, P. Balendran, adds, “We have diesel models, but diesel has other advantages than simply being a cheaper fuel. Diesel technology today is cleaner and fuel efficiency of diesel vehicles is higher. We would rather let the consumer choose according to his requirements”.

There are lot of hurdle race in the way, but GMI hopes that all these issues will not hurt Beat Diesel sales that much as it is ready to face all challenges boldly.

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Thursday, August 4, 2011

BMW introduces new i3 and i8 hybrid concepts

BMW logo

BMW has fully dedicated itself to the battery-electric driving revolution by setting up a whole new sub-brand - BMW i - devoted to emission-free motoring. Now, the i group has released details of two concept cars that appear set to become production models within a few years.

The i3 concept is a fully-electric city car with an everyday driving range of about 160 km (100 miles) per charge, and the i8 is a sporty 4-seater plug-in hybrid that combines electric and petrol drive to give a good compromise among emission-free commuting and petrol-powered range and performance.

Both cars make widespread use of carbon fiber-reinforced plastic (CFRP) to keep weight down, and both offer a raft of fascinating new driver assist and efficiency initiatives that look likely to make it throughout to the real world.

BMW i3

The BMW i3 - all-electric city boy

First up is the town car getabout - the i3. As a fully electric car, it's mainly aimed at urban commuting, but its battery range is conditioned to a level a little beyond that. On the FTP72 cycle, it's rated for 225 km (140 miles), but BMW says the car's everyday range, being driven by regular lead-foot clowns like you and I, is more like 160 km (100 miles).

Acceleration is in the range of 8 seconds to 100 kph (62 mph), but it should be fairly zippy off the line, as it develops 100 percent of its torque from a standstill. Top speed should be about 150 kph (93 mph) - but that's electronically limited, because autobahn speeds can be brutally draining on most electric vehicles.

BMW i3 electric car

The i3's large battery pack sits under the floor of the vehicle in a slab that's protected from crash damage by a number of buffer zones in the structure. As batteries are typically the most expensive part of an electric vehicle, you'd surely want to protect them.

The 170 hp electric motor, single-gear drive system and differential are located over the driven rear axle, and there's room there for an optional range extender - a high efficiency petrol engine that putts away and brings forth electricity to charge the batteries. With the range extender on board, you can roughly double the i3's range, and fill up at any petrol station.

BMW i8

The BMW i8 - a clean, hybrid all-rounder

While the i3 is best suited to round-town usage, the i8 has broader dreams. It uses the same electric motor as the i3, this time mounted over the front axle, in conjunction with a three-cylinder, 220 horsepower petrol engine over the rear axle. Blended, you're looking at a 354 horsepower all-wheel-drive with 550 Nm of torque.

All wheel drive isn't altogether accurate though - the i8 constantly proportions the power between the front and rear drive systems according to how the car is being driven. With a much smaller battery system than the i3, the i8 can only manage around 35 km (20 miles) in full electric drive mode - but then, that would cover an emission-free commute for the majority of people.

The true value of the hybrid system comes with longer range driving, where on the EU cycle, the i8 carries off a banging 104 miles per gallon (2.7 liters per 100 km). Driven hard, the fuel consumption will double, but don't forget that the Toyota Prius is advertised as a 50 mpg hybrid and is nowhere near as much fun.

BMW i8 electric car

Like the i3, the i8's top speed is electronically governed, but this time at a very sporty 250 kph (155 mph), so it'll hold its head high on any autobahn. The i8 will hit 100 kph (62 mph) in a brisk 5 seconds or less, decent sports car territory there, and the car's entire underbelly is totally enclosed to boost aerodynamic efficiency and cut down fuel consumption.

Common features

BMW introduces new i3 and i8 hybrid concepts

The i3 and i8 share a contrive philosophy and a number of characteristics worth talking about.

LifeDrive component separation and CFRP

Both cars are built on the LifeDrive philosophy, which separates the drive and passenger components and treats each differently. The Drive components, including engines, suspension, structural and crash protection functions, are chiefly housed in aluminum structures, while the Life elements - effectively the passenger cell - are designed using high strength, featherweight, carbon fiber-reinforced plastic (CFRP).

Accelerator/Decelerator pedal and regenerative braking

Even as they incorporate it in different ways, both cars feature a regenerative braking system to hold the battery topped up and cut down wear on the conventional brake system.

On the i3, this comes in the form of an accelerator/decelerator pedal, with which you're either on the gas, coasting, or braking depending on how far the pedal is pressed down. BMW approximations that around town, you can do as much as 75 percent of your braking this way - that is,without lifting your foot and hitting the brake pedal at all - and in our experience with other regenerative braking systems, that's not far off the mark. The regenerative braking system can contribute back up to 20 percent extra range to the battery charge, and it's very sensitive to use.

The press release is less clear about how the system works on the i8 - or how it works in with the petrol engine - but we assume it's somewhat similar, including a brake pedal which seems to use the regenerative system for the first part of the pedal travel, and the conventional disc brakes beyond that.

Intelligent Electronics: Proactive Front Protection, Parking Assistant, Traffic Jam Assistant

Driver aids abound on the i3 and i8, including frontal collision warning systems that flash, beep and eventually hit the brakes for you if they find out you're going to hit something.

Parking Assistant is a press-button parallel parking system that not only manages the steering to lead you into your parking spot, but also handles the accelerator, brake and gear changes for you, even if the park takes a few moves.

Traffic Jam Assistant is a wonderful stress-saver that holds a constant distance from the car in front, all the way from standstill to 40 kph(25 mph), and actually provides active steering input as well to keep you inside your lane. You just need to keep one hand on the steering wheel as you drift off to sleep.

Smartphone integration

Equally with all things in the future, the i3 and i8 will be highly integrated with your smartphone. You can use your phone to find your car,lock it, unlock it, make it beep its horn or flash its lights.

Your smartphone can also tell you where the nearest charging stations are, and through integration with the navigation system, it can tell you where to walk once you've parked your car to get to your destination.

ECO PRO mode

ECO PRO mode immediately changes the accelerator response characteristics so that you're constantly using less power for a given throttle application. It caps top speed at anywhere between 90 and 120 kph (56 and 75 mph), and it reduces the effectiveness of heating and cooling systems so they consume less too.

Whenever things get really scary, ECO PRO+ mode sets in and basically closes down everything except the absolute essentials, like demisters and whatnot. Top speed is reined in to 90 kph (56 mph) and you can be certain you're getting maximum mileage.

It'll be fascinating to see what alterations on these two concepts if and when they hit the market - but it looks fairly clear that through its i division, BMW is serious about emission-free motoring and ready to get into the game with some pretty competitive products.

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