الثلاثاء، 20 فبراير 2018

New Tesla Roadster on display at Tesla HQ lobby

By Lembarkilog   Posted at  فبراير 20, 2018   No comments

Now that Elon Musk's own cherry red Tesla Roadster Mk1 is certifiably older than yesterday's news and sent far away from our blogosphere, it's time to bring the Mk2 back into the limelight. Before the recently posted launch videos, it had been a while since we heard anything about the new generation electric car, which was presented at the same time as the Tesla semi truck. Then, just yesterday, we got to see the new car launch.

And now, the red car is on display at Tesla's headquarters in Palo Alto, CA. The 122 photos embedded above were posted on Imgur by a Tesla employee, and they offer a good look inside the car. There's not much more inside than a Knight Rider KITT style steering wheel and a tall infotainment display splitting the dashboard in two; outside, the car lacks rear-view mirrors, which are probably replaced by cameras. InsideEVs also reported having seen the car on the road earlier this year, so despite the concept-like interior it appears to be useable even beyond launching it hard from standstill. Where did we see that before?

2018 Aston Martin DB11 Volante First Drive Review | The speed of style

By Lembarkilog   Posted at  فبراير 20, 2018   No comments

If you're not a car designer, chances are you've tried to draw a sportscar, and realized just how hard it is to get those proportions just right. One false line, and the sleek coupe of your imagination looks like a kumquat. So you can imagine that transforming the striking V8-powered Aston Martin DB11 coupe into an equally stunning Volante ragtop was harder than it looked, a task which required Aston designers and engineers to nip and tuck everything past the windshield.

"There were lots of healthy, heated debates," lead designer Julian Nunn says of how the DB11 Volante – fancy speak for convertible – was packaged. As it sits before us on a brisk winter morning in Southern France, the British drop-top has a sleek, fleet look thanks to the elegant rake of its nose, the sharp arc of its roofline, and the taut contours of its derriere.

Aston's designers nailed the proportions – it's a stunner. How they got there was a game of millimeters, starting with a minuscule lift of the haunches to accommodate the eight-layer folding soft top. To soften the look of those lifted surfaces, the wheel arches are faceted slightly inboard, lending them more depth and dimension. The convertible loses the air vent at the rear, since there's no roof to create lift; as such, the so-called AeroBlade feature which ducts air through the C-pillar is also gone. But the rear spoiler remains, automatically deploying for downforce with a speed-dependent algorithm based on driving mode. The stack height (that is, the vertical space occupied by the folding roof) measures 10 inches, the lowest in its class, which helps the DB11 achieve its graceful looks with the added benefit of keeping the center of gravity low. The top takes 14 seconds to lower, and will drop at speeds up to 31 mph.

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A Volante with its top down puts Aston's typically gorgeous cabin on full display: the door's brogued leather details surrounded by an improbably shaped veneer surround; the complex curvature of the veneer around the capacitive touch-sensitive infotainment interface; the improbably generous swaths of leather and Alcantara upholstering the dashboard and A-pillar surfaces. There's even, for the first time, veneer on the backs of the front seats. The tiny rear seats come with ISOFIX car seat attachments, a first in a Volante. I could go on about the DB11's unusual and intriguing aesthetic choices, but I've also got a persistent gripe with the electronic instrument cluster. Though it works well, with a data-rich display and crisp graphics, something is lost by abandoning the jewelry of conventional gauges, especially in the abandonment of Aston's traditional counterclockwise-rotating tachometer.

Regardless, there's also an undeniable specialness to the cockpit. Push the engine start button and bring the AMG-sourced 4.0-liter twin turbo V8 to life, and you'll notice a customized intake and exhaust sound that, to a familiar ear, betrays its AMG origins. The 503 hp, 513 lb-ft mill has lost its dry-sump oiling system, but it's still torquey and smooth, pulling strong from low rpms and charging hard as it reaches a soft rev limiter at 7,200 rpm. Drop the top in Sport and Sport + modes and the engine note takes on a considerably more aggressive tone, barking with unburnt fuel pops and sharp rev-matched blips from the ZF-sourced eight-speed automatic.

In motion with the top up, the DB11 operates quietly and quickly, adhering to its grand touring roots by delivering a controlled but supple ride in GT mode. Select Sport or Sport + via the steering wheel-mounted button, and the adaptive dampers stiffen accordingly along with steering feedback and throttle response, offering a noticeably firmer ride that amplifies road irregularities and makes the DB11 feel smaller and more maneuverable in the corners.

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The DB11 sprint to 62 mph in 4.1 seconds, and can reach a terminal velocity of 187 mph. There's a general feeling of eagerness and capability when driving the DB11, with the engine dishing up copious thrust throughout the powerband. And there's a great deal of chassis capability during most conditions we encountered while maneuvering through the Route Napoleon's famously tight corners; torque vectoring helps aim the nose in the right direction, and the engine's rearward position makes the 4,133 pound car rotate. The steering won't knock you over your head with feel, sensations which are likelier saved for the upcoming V8 Vantage, a car designed to go head-to-head against the Porsche 911. The prevailing mood here is rarified restraint, one that isolates the rudeness of the world's imperfection while enabling swift, graceful transport. Also appreciated is the hush within the cabin during high speed runs; fold down the retractable windscreen behind the front seats, and you'll get a blast of turbulent air that reveals just how much noise you're being shielded from.

As effectively as the DB11 Volante acquits itself on squiggly pavement, compromises from the open-air conversion also become evident at higher speeds. Due to the myriad of chassis stiffening components, a total of 242 pounds were gained on top of the coupe, which senior vehicle dynamics manager Ian Hartley says were part of the reason we likely won't see an open-air V12 version.

2019 Mercedes-AMG GT 4-door spied sporting flames

By Lembarkilog   Posted at  فبراير 20, 2018   No comments

We don't have long to wait to see the fully revealed Mercedes-AMG GT four-door, since it will be shown in a few weeks at the Geneva Motor Show. As such, Mercedes has been pretty relaxed about people seeing prototypes, having released a few images itself of camouflaged examples. But the real sign that Mercedes doesn't mind people checking out the car now is the car pictured above with wild fluorescent green flames.

Flame paint schemes usually only look good on classic hot rods, but somehow, this actually kind of works on the Mercedes. That or we're so shocked to see such a flamboyant livery on a production Mercedes that we're not thinking straight. Maybe a combination of the two. Either way, we now sort of hope Mercedes will offer a line of flamed GT four-doors.

The wild color scheme isn't the only interesting thing about this prototype. We also spy what appears to be a fixed rear wing on the rear hatch. We know the GT will have a retractable spoiler thanks to some official wind tunnel photos, but this is taller and more aggressive. It's also too wide to actually fit within the hatch. There's a subtle lip spoiler just below the wing, too.

The rear fascia is slightly different from what we've seen on other prototypes. Instead of the simple round exhaust tips, the ones on this prototype are larger and shaped to fit the outlet in the bumper. The bumper has a faux diffuser design, too. The wing and more aggressive tail seem to suggest Mercedes will have at minimum a styling package for the car, and at most, a slightly hotter version of the AMG GT four-door similar to the difference between a normal AMG GT coupe and the AMG GT S coupe.

All these questions should be answered at the Geneva Motor Show. We'll also finally learn what's powering these sedans. We expect them to use the twin-turbo 4.0-liter V8s from the GT coupe line.

Next-generation Kia K900 teased

By Lembarkilog   Posted at  فبراير 20, 2018   No comments

Introduced for the 2015 model year, the current Kia K900 hasn't been around especially long, but Kia is already on the cusp of launching a second-generation of the full-size flagship sedan. An official reveal date wasn't provided by Kia, but we won't have to wait long to see the fully revealed car. The company said the sedan will go on sale in select markets during the second quarter of 2018. So expect to see it in a few months.

In the meantime, Kia released the above teaser image. From what we can tell, the new K900, which was developed by both the Korean and U.S. branches of Kia, will look much leaner and better emphasize the car's rear-drive layout. A major contributor to this is how the base of the A-pillar is much farther away from the front wheels, providing a long nose that highlights the longitudinal engine up front. The trunk is more pronounced than on the current model, further making the car look longer and lower. The headlights should be distinctive with unique LED accents, and they don't sweep back along the fender like the current model, either, making the front look more blunt and tough.

We expect the K900 to share its platform with the Genesis G90, just as the current one did with the old Hyundai Equus. That also means it will probably be available with both the twin-turbocharged 3.3-liter V6 and the naturally aspirated 5.0-liter V8 in rear- and all-wheel-drive configurations.

Volvo XC40 crossover gets new 3-cylinder engine, Inscription trim

By Lembarkilog   Posted at  فبراير 20, 2018   No comments

Volvo has introduced its new three-cylinder Drive-E engine for the XC40, its new compact crossover and first vehicle built on its Compact Modular Architecture platform. It's the first three-cylinder engine in the company's 91-year history, and Volvo says it was designed for integration with its Twin Engine plug-in hybrids, meaning a PHEV XC40 is coming. A pure-electric variant is also in the works.

A Volvo spokesman confirms there are no plans to bring the 1.5-liter direct-injection engine, which will be mated to a manual six-speed transmission and offered next year with an automatic eight-speed, to the U.S. At any rate, Volvo developed the engine using the same modular design as its four-cylinder Drive-E engines and says it'll roll off the same production lines as its four-cylinder gas and diesel engines.

"The 3-cyl engine is the most efficient engine to use for a PHEV since it, in combination with the electric motor, provides the performance level that fits this size of car," Volvo spokesman Russell Datz wrote in an email. He adds that the electric motor will be fitted to the front axle in the XC40 plug-in hybrid, meaning the company needed a more compact engine as part of the package. The three-cylinder will also provide improved fuel economy, he said. 

It joins Volvo's 150-horsepower D3 five-cylinder diesel and 190-hp T4 gasoline engines as options in the XC40.

One thing we know for sure is coming for U.S. customers is Inscription trim, the highest level offered. It offers a choice of unique 18-, 19- or 20-inch rims, new chrome on the side windows and mesh grille and model-specific body colors. Inside, there's a new crystal gear knob and driftwood inlays.

Pricing and availability for the XC40 Inscription are to be announced later. Volvo is making the XC40 its first vehicle offered under its Care by Volvo subscription service, which includes insurance, service and maintenance for 24 months. It costs $600 a month for the T4 Momentum package and $700 for the T5 R-Design.

Watch as Hennessey Exorcist summons an unholy 217 mph run

By Lembarkilog   Posted at  فبراير 20, 2018   No comments
For speed that makes your head spin, better call the Exorcist — the 1,000-horsepower Hennessy Exorcist Camaro. Hold the green pea soup, please. After all, that'd make quite a mess at 217 miles per hour, which is the terminal velocity recorded by Brian Smith, director of the Ford Performance Driving School (yes, we see the irony here, too) at the 8.5-mile oval at the Continental Tire Proving Grounds in Uvalde, TX, in a brand-new Exorcist.

At such high speeds, you can't rely on a car's stock speedometer for accuracy. So, Hennessey validated the Exorcist Camaro ZL1's 217-mph run with a Racelogic Video VBox GPS data logger. That top speed is higher than the 2019 Chevy Corvette ZR1 – not to mention the McLaren 720S, Porsche 911 GT2 RS, Ferrari 812 Superfast, Lamborghini Huracan, as helpfully pointed out by John Hennessey – and unlike your typical supercar, it's capable of such ludicrous velocity with four passengers on board.

"It's kind of like having a new ZR1 Corvette with room for 4 people – but faster," says Hennessey. Not just faster, either, but also much more powerful. Hennessey reports an even 1,000 horsepower, 883 pound-feet of torque, a 0-60 time of 3.0 seconds and a quarter-mile run of 10.0 flat. And the modifications to the ZL1's V8 engine, which include a larger 2.9L supercharger, CNC ported cylinder heads, camshaft and valvetrain upgrades, and long-tube stainless steel headers, are covered by a three-year/36,000 mile warranty.

The Camaro's 10-speed automatic transmission, 20-inch forged wheels, and Goodyear Eagle F1 Supercar tires were left stock for this test. The 217-mph top speed was achieved in ninth gear. Want one? You'll have to fork over $119,950 for the privilege of owning one of the 100 planned Exorcist units, 20 of which have already found homes.

The Lotus 3-Eleven 430 is the fastest street-legal Lotus built

By Lembarkilog   Posted at  فبراير 20, 2018   No comments

You're looking at the fastest street-legal Lotus ever built. Weighing in at 2,028 pounds, the new Lotus 3-Eleven 430 can hit 60 mph in just 3.1 seconds and continue all the way to 180 mph. It's a fitting tribute for 40 years of Lotus cars.

As expected, the "430" in its name refers to its power output. There's no four-banger screamer in the 3-Eleven 430: The supercharged, Toyota-sourced 3.5-liter, 24-valve V6 produces 430 hp and 324.5 lb-ft. of torque. There's a lightweight carbon-composite body on an extruded-bonded aluminum chassis, and the carbon side panels are partially exposed for that cool carbon look. You also get variable, six-position traction control, with five levels ranging from 1 percent slip to 12 percent slip to off. Lateral acceleration while cornering is a respectable 1.5 g.

At the Hethel test track, the new 3-Eleven 430 has reportedly beaten previous Lotus efforts. With a lap time of 1:24, it's 0.8 seconds quicker than an Exige Cup 430, and it also completely obliterates the previous, 2015 3-Eleven by shaving off 2 whole seconds.

Only 20 units will be built, so few people will get to experience the 430 at maximum attack. Lotus has priced the 3-Eleven 430 at £102,000 on the road in the UK, which corresponds to $142,525.

King of Korea: Kia K900 Lives to Second Generation

By Lembarkilog   Posted at  فبراير 20, 2018   No comments

BIRMINGHAM, MICH. — The 2018 Honda Ridgelineis up for anything. It's well-rounded and 
offers just enough capability for most pickup buyers. That's stating the obvious, but after a few weeks behind the wheel of the Ridgeline, I'm impressed with Honda'sbalanced approach to the ultra-competitive midsize truck segment. I call it the pocketknife pickup. It's smaller than full-sized monsters like the Ford F-150and its rivals, but the Honda punches above its weight. Here are three observations after ruminating on the Ridgeline, which joined the Autoblog long-term fleet, this winter.

It has plenty of capability:

For everyone who simply wants but doesn't absolutely need a pickup, this will get the job done. It's a sentiment we've expressed since our First Drive review back in 2016. I tossed an oversized recliner from the late '90s into the back of the Ridgeline, no problem. Picture one of those overstuffed things on which you probably watched Home Improvement or zoned out to Pearl Jam back in the day. I tied it down snugly and there was plenty of room left over, should I have needed to haul something else.

This is why many consumers buy a pickup – to occasionally haul or tow something. The 280-horsepower V6 is solid. And with a towing capacity of 5,000 pounds and a payload rating of 1,499 pounds, the Ridgeline offers all the grunt you need, most of the time. Sure, there's a segment of buyers who regularly need more capability – for the folks that actually need a work truck, the full-size segment has plenty of options. But for errands, the Ridgeline is ace: I also took it to Costco, trekked across town in a blizzard and put the dog in back to run errands. The pickup fulfilled its utilitarian duties to the fullest.

It's a strategic consumer choice:

In a segment with a lot of strong personalities, the Ridgeline makes its case by being a bit vanilla. The inside feels like almost any Honda, and the outside is nebulous enough that this could pass as a Volkswagen or Hyundai.
  • Image Credit: Jeremy Korzeniewski

الأحد، 16 يوليو 2017

BMW рассказала, сколько будет стоить ее новая модель

By Zawali   Posted at  يوليو 16, 2017   2 comments
В прошлом месяце немецкий автопроизводитель премиум-класса BMW подтвердил информацию о запуске серийного производства концепт-кара Gran Coupe Concept (GCC), показанного в этом году на международном автосалоне в Пекине. Теперь член совета директоров BMW Клаус Дрегер сообщил о том, что производственная версия модели увидит свет в 2012 году, через год после премьеры нового поколения Coupe 6-серии, с которым BMW GCC будет делить платформу и прочие составляющие. Также он заявил о том, что оба автомобиля будут одинаково стоить. Напомним, что в Европе базовая версия BMW 630i стоит от 70,5 тыс. евро.

Компактвэн Volkswagen Touran обзавелся вседорожной версией

By Zawali   Posted at  يوليو 16, 2017   1 comment
Компания Volkswagen анонсировала «вседорожную» версию недавно обновившегося компактвэна Touran. Причем в Германии модификацию CrossTouran уже можно заказать у любого дилера — цены на новинку начинаются с 27,7 тысячи евро.
От базовой модели CrossTouran отличается увеличенным дорожным просветом (на 20 миллиметров), а также наличием защитного обвеса кузова из неокрашенного пластика. Кроме того, новинка получила 17-дюймовые колеса разной размерности спереди и сзади: на переднюю ось установлены шины шириной 215 миллиметров, а на заднюю — шириной 235 миллиметров. Полноприводная трансмиссия для этого автомобиля не предусмотрена.

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