A Sport X-over for All Seasons, All Occasions
Suzuki’s brand new SX4 is a distinctive 5-door hatchback that blends the characteristics of sporty compacts exemplified by the Swift, with those of lightweight SUVs such as the recently launched Grand Vitara, to create an exciting small car alternative. The resulting ‘sport X-over’ combines responsive driving dynamics, 4x4 capability, high levels of practicality and styling that suggests a freestyle approach to life.
The initial UK line-up comprises three models powered by a 107 PS 1.6 litre VVT petrol engine: a front-wheel drive model in either GL or GLX grades and the 4GRIP GLX with selectable/automatic four-wheel drive. They will be joined later in the year by a 120 PS 1.9 litre DDiS diesel derivative which uses a highly flexible engine supplied by Fiat.
Following Swift and Grand Vitara, the SX4 represents Suzuki’s third global strategic model. It also forms the basis for its new World Rally Championship challenger (see separate press release issued today, Tuesday, February 28).
The all-new SX4 is the result of a joint development agreement between Suzuki and Fiat Auto S.p.A., with Suzuki taking the initiative for the project management from concept to mass production. SX4 models sold in Europe are built at Magyar Suzuki Corporation in Hungary where 60,000 units will be produced during 2006, 40,000 for Suzuki’s European markets and 20,000 for Fiat.
UK sales commence in early April with the diesel derivative joining the line-up in the summer alongside a 4-speed automatic option for the 1.6 GLX.
Expressive, confident exterior
Dynamism of SUVs and the elegance of passenger cars
GL and GLX grades
The Suzuki SX4 is styled to look good in any setting. Fusing the dynamism of SUVs with the elegance of passenger cars resulted in poise and presence beyond the model's compact size. A flowing form, which is elegant in its simplicity, sits atop a purposefully dynamic and substantial underlying structure. A low, rising waistline
and large, triangular windows ahead of the front doors give rise to a characteristic sporty wedge shape indicative of dynamic performance, while the pronounced wheelarches and wide tracks help create an appearance of stability and traction. The compelling design suggests potential unseen in conventional compacts and is pure Suzuki in nature: exciting, multi-dimensional, and, visually, highly appealing.
Two distinct model grades enable customers to find the Suzuki SX4 right for them. GLX and 4GRIP models are distinctly SUV in appearance with alloy wheels, wheel arch extensions, side protection mouldings, side under protection mouldings and front and rear skid plates. The GL grade emphasises the passenger car characteristics with fewer SUV elements.
Bold and refined interior
"X-over" interior combines boldness and refinement
The "X-over" design continues inside. Soothing curves and forms gently wrap around the occupants and add to the quality look and feel of the materials and fabrics. Circular motifs and a flowing centre panel – used to critical acclaim in other Suzuki models – hint at the car's dynamic performance and an active lifestyle.
The two-tone interior is predominantly black highlighted with metallic coloured accents and wedge-shaped motifs, for a look that is both refined and aggressive. The ergonomic design of the instrument panel affords intuitive use of key meters and controls. The large three-dial cluster provides important information at a glance and echoes the metallic, circular motifs of the side air outlets and other controls, bringing cohesion to the overall dynamism.
The centre panel houses an audio system, climate control dials, and other amenities in a striking example of functionality and format. The large dials of the optional fully automatic air conditioner have ring lights, which make them easier to see and use while adding to the interior's refined feel. Both the standard air conditioning (automatic on GLX models) and audio system are flush with the surface in keeping with the sophistication and quality levels.
Balance of form and function
Designed for enhanced visibility, access, and comfort
The Suzuki SX4 comfortably accommodates up to five people and their luggage needs, while retaining its sleek and stylish look. The 4x4 models have exterior length-width-height dimensions of 4,140 mm x 1,755 mm x 1,620 mm (4x2 models: 4,100 mm x 1,730 mm x 1,565 mm (1605 mm with roof rails). The efficient dimensions and a minimum turning radius of 5.3 metres help drivers to negotiate narrow urban streets with relative ease and park in spots too small for bigger SUVs.
The roomy interior offers plenty of legroom and shoulder room, even for the rear passengers. Nonetheless, comfort is taken to a higher level without relying solely on space. The seats' configuration and positioning afford natural seating postures, a key factor in comfortable long-distance travel. Additionally, ideal seat heights, large door openings, and high ground clearance ease access. The rear seats are slightly higher, so even the rear occupants enjoy a liberating field of vision.
The rear seats are split 60:40 to enable stowage of long items while still seating one or two rear passengers. They can be tumbled forward to create an almost fully flat load floor. Boot capacity is 270 litres (VDA), which increases to 625 litres (VDA) when the rear seats are folded.
Discreet storage compartments throughout the cabin add further convenience. All doors have large pockets and large bottle holders.
Pure driving exhilaration
First in its class to offer a combination of a 4x4 system, 6MT, and diesel engine
The Suzuki SX4 was engineered from the outset to be 4x4-capable yet still deliver sharp, dynamic performance. The DNA of sporty compacts comes through in the form of responsive driving dynamics and comfortable long-distance travel, while Suzuki's extensive experience in 4x4 technology comes out in all-wheel traction more than adequate for everyday situations. Of note, the Suzuki SX4 is the first car in the class that features a combination of a 4x4 system, six-speed manual transmission, and diesel engine.
Engines and transmissions
1.6 litre petrol and, later, 1.9 litre diesel derivatives
Standard diesel particulate filter for diesel models
Close ratio 6MT brings out the diesel engine's full potential
Advanced powerplant and drivetrain technologies enable fun, dynamic performance in any environment. SX4 is initially launched in the UK with a 107 PS 1.6 litre VVT (variable valve timing) petrol engine, with a 120 PS 1.9 litre Fiat DDiS diesel engine joining the line-up during the summer.
As well as VVT, the petrol engine also features drive by wire throttle control for good drivability and response. It powers the 4x2 models from 0 to 62 mph in 10.8 seconds and the 4GRIP model in 11.2 seconds. 4x2 models can also stretch a gallon of fuel to cover 41 miles in the Combined cycle, while the SX4 4GRIP achieves a comparable figure of 39.8 mpg.
The 1.9-litre intercooled turbocharged direct-injection diesel engine boasts a flat torque curve guaranteeing powerful acceleration and smooth performance throughout the rev range. Its common-rail direct-injection system helps cut down emissions, while making the engine one of the most powerful in the class. The engine generates 120 PS at 3,500 rpm and 280 Nm torque at 2,000 rpm. A diesel particulate filter is fitted as standard.
Both engines comply with Euro 4 regulations.
A six-speed manual transmission newly developed by Suzuki is paired to the diesel engine, its close-ratio set up allowing the engine’s potential to be fully realised. Of note, the Suzuki SX4 will be the only car in its class to feature the combination of diesel, 6MT and 4x4. The petrol engine is equipped with a five-speed manual.
i-AWD (intelligent All Wheel Drive)
3-mode 4x4 system with Electric Control Coupling Device
The signature feature of the Suzuki SX4 4GRIP GLX model is its i-AWD switchable three-mode 4x4 system. An Electric Control Coupling Device provides 4WD-Auto, 4WD-Lock, and 2WD modes to deliver superb traction and a reassuring sense of security when grip deteriorates.
Under normal driving conditions while in 4WD-Auto mode, there is no torque transfer to the rear, and the SX4 4GRIP effectively operates as a front-wheel drive vehicle. However, as soon as there is pronounced front wheel slip, torque is automatically apportioned to the rear wheels to produce all-wheel traction so enhancing stability. The 4WD-Lock mode is maintained up to around 40 mph for full traction, before automatically switching over to the 4WD-Auto mode for smooth cruising. The 2WD mode offers excellent fuel economy.
Optimally matched suspension and a body with high levels of bending and torsional rigidity
Wide track and large tyres for stable performance and ride
Fine-tuning of suspension and brakes conducted in Europe
The Suzuki SX4 provides crisp, predictable handling that should more than satisfy European driving tastes. This has been achieved by carefully matching the suspension characteristics to the highly rigid platform.
The body has evolved from the fundamental design that helped carry the Suzuki Swift to numerous awards throughout the world, including Car magazine’s Car of the Year. Its high levels of bending and torsional rigidity and reinforced suspension mounts allow the front MacPherson struts and rear torsion beam suspension to perform to their full potential. Wide 1,500 mm tracks (1,495 mm for 4x4 models) and large 205/60R16 tyres help add to the already stable ride feeling.
Ventilated front discs and leading-and-trailing rear drums actuated by a 10-inch booster provide sure stopping power and a brake feel that many will appreciate.
Extensive fine-tuning of the chassis was conducted in Europe to ensure the type of performance Europeans demand and need.
The Suzuki SX4 has an extensive array of safety features engineered to inspire confidence. Active safety features include an anti-lock braking system (ABS) with electronic brake-force distribution (EBD), which is standard on all models.
Overall SX4 has an outstandingly crashworthy structure which has been awarded 4 Stars for occupant protection by Euro NCAP. It features extensive use of high tensile steel and tailored blanks to achieve strength without the penalty of added weight.
Passive safety features start with the commanding driving position that provides a wide field of vision and a reinforced body that provides class-leading levels of protection. Front and rear crush zones absorb impact energy, while the frame design directs much of the impact energy away from the highly reinforced cabin.
The Suzuki SX4 is also designed to provide high levels of protection for pedestrians and smaller passengers, measures which have received 3 Star Euro NCAP pedestrian and child protection ratings respectively, particularly impressive for a compact car.
Other standard safety features include: a front airbag system and front 3-point seat belts with pretensioners and force-limiters, side and curtain airbags, 3-point ELR (emergency locking retractor) rear seatbelts, ISO FIX-compliant child seat anchors, and a high-mount stop lamp.
* Stylish, practical and great value for money
* Five or seven seat configurations with through ‘fold flat’ feature
* Front or all-wheel drive
* All-new 2.0 litre 150PS diesel engine
The new Chevrolet Captiva brings a new dimension to the SUV market in the UK. From the manufacturers of the very first SUV back in 1935, Captiva is the latest in a long line of authentic sport utility vehicles offering great value for money in a stylish and practical package. Designed specifically for the European market, it will be available with front or all-wheel drive, five or seven seats and with a 2.4 litre petrol or leading-edge 2.0 litre diesel engine and will appeal to a wide range of customers. Captiva will be on sale in the UK from September 2006.
Chevrolet – driven by value
The new Captiva underpins Chevrolet’s driving force – value for money. From the entry level 2.4 litre petrol-engined front wheel drive LS to the fully equipped 2.0 litre 150PS diesel automatic LT, Captiva leaves nothing to be desired at any level. It will also appeal to a wide range of customers, from established families looking for a more stylish alternative to a seven-seat MPV to those with an outdoor lifestyle desiring a practical load carrier with good road manners and soft-road capability for those weekends in the country.
New generation design
Coming in close behind value is striking design and Captiva excels here too. It heralds the introduction of a new-style generation of Chevrolet products for Europe and, both inside and out, features design cues that will become familiar on future models. Examples include the strong ‘face’ of the brand incorporating a prominent Chevrolet logo; the facia design with integrated in-car entertainment and unambiguous controls, clear and informative instrumentation and details on the door cases, seats and console. Add the use of new high quality materials and even closer attention to fit and finish and you have a high quality product that belies its great value pricing.
On the outside, Captiva also adds the durable and rugged look of integrated ‘skid’ panels in front and rear bumpers and contrasting dark sill and wheel arch mouldings. Twin exhaust tailpipes on all models also add a sporty touch.
Practical, safe and secure
For all customer groups, the ‘fold flat’ facility for all seats will be a boon when carrying long or bulky loads. When seven seats are specified, the third row folds completely flat into the floor. Third row seat folding is also carried out with ease in a one handed operation that the slimmest member of the fairer sex will really appreciate. This is achieved through a spring assisted fold-up/down mechanism where the headrests also pop up or fold away automatically with seat operation.
Safety and security are a given in the 21st century and Captiva leaves no stone unturned even at this price. On the entry LS model, twin front and curtain airbags are standard, head restraints and full three-point belts are fitted on all seats (including the third row), front seat belts feature pre-tensioners and a smart seat belt reminder and there are ISOFIX fittings for child seats in the rear. Side airbags are specified on the LT models. All models are equipped with deadlocking and a Thatcham Category 1 alarm system.
* Innovative application of environmental and efficient technologies that enhance both on- and off-road performance
* Real world solutions that will be available on Land Rovers progressively in the next few years
* Potential for 30 per cent improvement in fuel economy
* New technologies could reduce emissions to an approximate 150g/km CO2 (on a vehicle similar in size to a Freelander)
Land Rover is showcasing a catalogue of innovative technologies – collectively known as the e-Terrain System – that reduce both fuel consumption and CO2 emissions while also improving the outstanding breadth of capability of Land Rover’s 4x4 vehicles.
The efficient technology initiatives are all illustrated by Land_e, Land Rover's e-Terrain Technology Concept. Together, they contribute to a potential 30 per cent improvement in fuel economy over a current vehicle of similar size and performance. And most of the technologies will be available on Land Rover production models starting in the next few years.
The key to Land_e's importance is that it shows available and relevant technologies – plus some new systems that are unique to Land Rover – in the most innovative and effective way possible. It combines mechanical and electrical advances to make gains in areas ranging from transmission function to cooling efficiency, and from battery power management to power steering efficiency – all without compromising the breadth of on- and off-road capability that defines all Land Rover products.
"The e-Terrain technologies are practical, feasible, real-world solutions," says Matthew Taylor, managing director of Land Rover. "In every case, they preserve – and in most cases improve – our breadth of capability. We are not prepared to dilute the essence of Land Rover. But we are committed to improving fuel economy and reducing CO2 emissions."
Over the past nine years, Land Rover’s cross-range emissions output has fallen by 13 per cent, compared with the motor industry’s overall average improvement of 9.7 per cent. Indeed, the Freelander Td4 diesel’s CO2 emissions compare with many hot hatches, and the seven-seater Discovery 3 TDV6 has CO2 emissions to match many saloons. Furthermore, the CO2 emissions from the latest 2006 Range Rover V8 have been improved by 11 per cent over those of the outgoing 2005 model.
In addition, more than 90 per cent of all Land Rover vehicles currently sold in Europe are diesel powered, combining the versatility of a 4x4 with the economy of a typical family car.
But the Company is committed to going much further. While adhering to Land Rover’s core abilities as versatile, all-terrain vehicles, the Land_e technologies target a sub 150g/km CO2 figure which equates to a combined fuel economy figure approaching 50mpg or 5.65l/100km – in a vehicle similar in size to the current Freelander. Such CO2 emissions levels are comparable with a typical petrol B segment or diesel C segment car, representing an almost 30 per cent improvement on today’s figures.
The technologies that Land_e showcases are:
* Integrated Electric Rear Axle Drive
* ISG Integrated Starter-Generator
* Innovative Propshaft with Seamless Re-connect
* Terrain Response e-Mode
* Bio-diesel capability
* ITP Intelligent Thermal Programme
* EPAS Electric Power Assisted Steering
* IMES Intelligent Management of Electrical Systems
Integrated Electric Rear Axle Drive: provides electric drive alone at low speed, plus improved 4x4 ability in tough conditions
Integrated Electric Rear Axle Drive – used in conjunction with the ISG Integrated Starter-Generator system (as described below) – improves both urban emissions and off-road ability.
Land Rover’s unique electric drive is different from the hybrid technology used by some 4x4 rivals. They use electric drive only to the rear axle, significantly reducing off-road capability. Integrated Electric Rear Axle Drive enhances off-road performance by augmenting rather than replacing the mechanical drive.
Off-road, the Integrated Electric Rear Axle Drive system can provide additional torque, as required. And because electric power can offer maximum torque from standstill, it is most effective from virtually zero mph/km/h. This offers better low-speed control and enhanced pull-away in difficult situations – such as on slippery surfaces or when towing.
On-road, the additional low-speed torque input from the Integrated Electric Rear Axle Drive offers multiple advantages. It allows electric-powered 'traffic creep' and low-speed acceleration up to 20mph or 32km/h, without restarting the engine, benefiting fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. Whenever required, the ISG
system restarts the engine, and the vehicle is then propelled by a combination of electrical and conventional engine power. The combined effect of delaying the restarting of the engine plus the continued assistance of electric drive, significantly reduces fuel consumption.
When quicker acceleration is required, the engine can be restarted immediately, so both the conventional engine and the Integrated Electric Rear Axle Drive system supply power from rest. In this case, the electric torque boost provided by the Integrated Electric Rear Axle Drive significantly improves acceleration without adversely affecting either fuel consumption or CO2 emissions.
The additional low-speed electric torque boost not only gives extra off-road ability, it also improves efficiency by using stored energy from the additional high-voltage battery system. Completely separate from the normal 12-volt battery system, this is a high capacity lithium-ion battery pack which is charged by regenerative braking energy.
The regenerative braking puts otherwise wasted braking energy back into the high-voltage storage battery system. When slowing the vehicle, pressing the brake pedal causes the driveshafts and propshaft to transfer energy from the wheels to the Integrated Electric Rear Axle Drive system, decelerating the vehicle and transferring the 'braking' energy to the storage battery. For harder braking and for emergency stops, the conventional braking system is retained and fully operational, working in conjunction with the regenerative braking function.
ISG Integrated Starter-Generator system improves emissions in traffic
One of the simplest yet most effective CO2-reducing features highlighted on the Land_e is the ISG Integrated Starter-Generator. The ISG package replaces the
conventional alternator and continues to take its drive from the normal ancillary belt. It is a ‘micro-hybrid’ system that allows the engine to be stopped automatically whenever the vehicle stops, as in traffic, and under the control of the ECU it restarts the engine quickly and smoothly when required. The engine does not idle unnecessarily when the vehicle is stationary, to the further benefit of both fuel economy and CO2 emissions.
Together the engine stop-start function of ISG, plus the regenerative braking function, provided by the Integrated Electric Rear Axle Drive offer the potential of a 20 per cent reduction in CO2 emissions. The outstanding multi-terrain ability that is at the core of Land Rover is also enhanced.
Propshaft with Seamless Re-connect enhances driving experience, and improves economy
Seamless re-connect is a system that significantly reduces fuel consumption by cutting mechanical losses. Drive to the rear wheels is automatically disconnected when conditions allow, such as cruising on a dry surface. Yet unlike hybrid and selectable 4x4 systems, there is instant access to Land Rover’s full range of four-wheel drive abilities. The Propshaft with Seamless Re-connect allows the Propshaft and rear drive components to come to rest, avoiding unnecessary rotational losses.
When rear drive is required – when, for instance, the system detects slippery conditions – the system reconnects the rear axle automatically and virtually instantaneously. The system not only re-engages full 4x4 much faster than rivals, it also offers much better 4x4 capability when connected. Re-engaging drive seamlessly also has safety benefits. It does not affect the car’s dynamic balance in the same way as a slower and less progressive re-connection.
The technology also reinforces Land Rover’s fundamental principle to ‘Tread Lightly’. By ensuring that front and rear wheel speeds are correctly matched, and with the additional control of the Integrated Electric Rear Axle drive, the drive layout virtually eliminates wheel slippage, which in turn reduces soft-surface damage – for instance on grass.
The ISG Integrated Starter-Generator, Integrated Electric Rear Axle Drive and the Seamless Re-connect propshaft are fully compatible with all Land Rover engine and transmission options, and could be adapted for any model and any market.
Terrain Response e-Mode, for improved fuel economy in town
Land_e shows six Terrain Response modes:
The e-Mode is shown for the first time and focuses principally on on-road use. This configures all the vehicle’s e-terrain systems for optimised fuel economy. It always retains instantaneous access to Land Rover's four-wheel drive capability but adopts soft throttle responses, and delivers early shift points.
The other five modes are already available on some Land Rover products – General Driving; Sand; Mud and Ruts; Grass, Gravel and Snow; and Rock Crawl. In the Land_e, all use combinations of normal engine and Integrated Electric Rear Axle Drive. In all off-road modes, the engine is never shut down, even if the vehicle is stationary.
In Sand mode, primary power is supplied by the engine; the Integrated Electric Rear Axle Drive system monitors torque to detect either wheelspin or bogging-down, and intervenes as necessary, either to stop tyre slip or to provide additional torque to deal with soft, deep sand.
In Mud and Ruts mode, primary power is again supplied by the engine, while additional torque is available from the Integrated Electric Rear Axle Drive system for heavier mud or deeper ruts.
In Grass, Gravel and Snow mode, control is more important than power, so engine power is fed in only once the vehicle is underway. Integrated Electric Rear Axle Drive is used for driving away without wheelspin even on very slippery surfaces – by constantly monitoring torque and intervening rapidly to prevent tyre slip. In this mode, the Integrated Electric Rear Axle Drive can respond to wheelspin even more quickly than the engine management, and can cancel the initial slippage within one-eighth of a wheel rotation – a critical figure that is small enough to regain grip and prevent permanent damage even on wet grass. No other system achieves this.
In Rock Crawl mode, speeds are typically below 5mph/8km/h. Integrated Electric Rear Axle Drive now provides the primary power source, boosted as necessary by normal engine torque. In all cases, the great advantage of Integrated Electric Rear Axle Drive is that an electric motor offers maximum torque at the lowest wheel speeds, for the ideal mix of power with control.
Bio-diesel moves towards a lower carbon fuel
An increasing emphasis on diesel power is clearly important to overall CO2 reductions, and bio-diesel capability extends the potential advantages. Bio-diesel is a fuel derived from renewable and sustainable sources, such as natural oils from soya beans or other easily cultivated vegetable or cereal crops. It is currently commercially available as a blend of bio-derived diesel and petroleum-derived diesel, in varying proportions, and bio-diesel offers reduced emissions compared with petroleum-derived diesel.
Currently, a five per cent bio-derived content is typical with forecourt diesel. Potentially, a vehicle could operate on a 25 per cent bio-diesel mix, which is a realistic goal within a few years, and one supported by the oil industry and governments. A vehicle running on 25 per cent bio-diesel mix could potentially reduce its CO2 emissions by up to 25 per cent. Next generation bio-fuels made from crop wastes are also being developed, and these will deliver even greater CO2 reductions, as well as being more sustainable.
Other important technologies can make a difference
Beyond the efficiency-enhancing drivetrain technology, the Land_e showcases other fuel saving technologies.
The ITP Intelligent Thermal Programme controls engine parameters including exhaust heat management and cooling system function. Through heat exchangers, the EHRS (Exhaust Heat Recovery System) utilises what is normally wasted heat from the exhaust system to promote faster engine and gearbox warm-up from cold, with several advantages. In a production application, ITP could also control Active Aero Vanes, which would allow specific sections of the radiator aperture to be closed under certain operating conditions. That would reduce high-drag airflow through the radiator core and engine bay when cooling air is not needed – for instance at low ambient temperatures and when running in low-load conditions. The vanes would also be closed during engine warm-up, again to ensure that the engine reaches optimum operating temperature as quickly as possible. Faster engine and catalyst warm-up significantly reduces emissions in the first minutes after a cold start, and by bringing engine and gearbox oils up to operating temperature more quickly, it reduces mechanical frictional losses.
An electronically controlled thermostat and cooling circuit give far more accurate control of coolant temperature than a conventional system, allowing the engine to run closer to its optimum temperature. The system also incorporates an electric water pump, which, unlike the conventional belt-driven water pump, is driven only on demand, and at variable speeds, avoiding inefficient and unnecessary overspeed running. Mechanical energy savings, optimum temperature control and fast warm-up from start offer the potential for additional CO2 emissions benefits.
Significant benefits are also possible with the use of electric power steering technology, EPAS (Electric Power Assisted Steering). EPAS completely eliminates the pumped hydraulic assistance of a conventional system and powers the steering rack directly, by electric servo motor. That eliminates pumping power losses, including the significant losses when the pump is being driven at high speed even though assistance is not required, again offering a noticeable CO2 benefit compared to a belt-driven hydraulic system. The higher-voltage electrical supply made possible by ISG also allows the possibility of more powerful assistance for more demanding use – on off-road terrain, for example.
All electrical system functions are controlled by IMES (Intelligent Management of Electrical Systems), with further efficiency gains. It incorporates a closed-loop system that monitors battery charge, vehicle electrical system demands, and generator speed and load. It uses the monitored data to ensure that the whole electrical system operates in the most efficient way. It charges the battery only when it needs it, avoiding the over-charging associated with ‘non-intelligent’ systems, and unless it is absolutely necessary, it avoids charging the battery when it is in ‘low-acceptance’ states – such as cold ambient conditions, below around 10 degrees C. It also regulates high electrical loads until the alternator is operating at high efficiency, which gives a further reduction in CO2 emissions.
* High-performance sports conversion
* Based on flagship RAV4 T180 with D-4D 180 engine tuned to deliver 201bhp (204 DIN hp) and 450Nm of torque
* Aerodynamic body kit
* Lowered suspension and larger brakes
There is no mistaking the intention of the RAV4 Sports concept, with a beefed-up exterior that includes new bumpers, grille and integrated front fog lights. At the front there is large intake set in above the front protection plate, with a matching plate at the back housing the neatly faired-in exhaust.
To the side there are deep side skirts for enhanced aerodynamic performance and the 21-inch alloy wheels fill the wheel arches to the limit, fitted with 255/35 R21 tyres front and rear.
The 175bhp (177 DIN hp) 2.2-litre D-4D 180 common rail diesel engine, which in standard form is already the most powerful engine in its class, is specially tuned for the RAV4 Sports to deliver 201bhp (204 DIN hp) and 450 Nm of torque.
To meet the demands of the uprated engine, air cooling capacity is increased with a larger front grille and additional air intakes in the bonnet. Braking performance is also greater, with perforated discs with six-piston callipers at the front and four-piston callipers at the rear. The suspension is stiffer and lower compared to the regular T180, with reinforced shock absorbers to ensure the Sports can take the rough as well as the smooth.
Dark tinted glass ensures privacy for those on board, while the Liquid Metal exterior colour has been created exclusively for the model.
* All-new seven-seater Santa Fe
* World debut for Genus concept premium crossover model
Two major new models are taking centre stage on the Hyundai stand at this week’s Geneva Motor Show, representing both key elements in its current major product initiative and a vision of the kind of vehicle that will be meeting motorists’ desires in the not-too-distant future.
‘SEVEN-UP’ FOR NEW SANTA FE
The all-new Santa Fe SUV, which is set to reach UK showrooms later this year, makes its first European appearance at Geneva. The larger dimensions of this second-generation model enable it to offer seven-seat accommodation – a major advance for the Santa Fe range.
Passenger comfort and on-road handling have been improved, while the new styling is tailored specifically to appeal to European tastes. These qualities combine an impressive package, supported by Hyundai’s trademark quality, performance, reliability and style.
The new Santa Fe will be offered with an upgraded version of Hyundai’s top-performing 2.7-litre V6 petrol engine, plus a 2.2-litre common rail diesel with Variable Geometry Turbocharger (VGT) for smooth power delivery and excellent fuel economy.
FIRST VIEW OF HYUNDAI GENUS CONCEPT
Genus is a new Hyundai concept vehicle that makes its world debut at Geneva. It is a premium crossover model, designed to bring together the sporting dynamism of a coupe and the versatility of an estate car.
Genus has been created by Hyundai’s European design centre in Rüsselsheim, Germany, with styling inspired by the natural forms of waves and sand dunes. As a concept, it previews the type of vehicle Hyundai believes will respond to the developing customer tastes and expectations in the upper medium D-segment.
Sales in the UK of pick-ups in their many configurations, from single to club to double cabs, continued to out perform the overall new car and commercial vehicle markets in 2005.
The sector growth was confirmed this week by Mitsubishi Motors in the UK at the media launch of their all-new L200 pick-up range that goes on sale from 1 March.
The pick-up sector last year accounted for 34,314 sales, the eighth year in succession of growth. In 1998, when double and club cab pick-ups started to enter the market, total sales were just 7,553 units. The 347% growth has been driven by private buyers wanting more versatile SUV vehicles, company car users attracted by the low taxation levels, fashion conscious must-have recreational users, owner-operators, small business customers and to a lesser extent by commercial and farming users opting for a pick-up rather than a utilitarian 4x4.
The L200 range has consistently been the market leader and at its peak in 2003 the range accounted for 45% of all UK pick-up sales. Since then even with the emergence of lifestyle and workhorse models from other manufacturers such as Ford, Nissan, Toyota and Isuzu, the L200 has still remained the top selling range overall with a 35% market share.
Last year 12,026 Mitsubishi L200s were sold in the UK, 9,242 of which were what Mitsubishi call ‘high series’ models such as the accessory loaded Animal and Warrior derivatives. Reflecting the demand by today’s UK customers for up-market pick-ups the L200 accounted for 44% of all sales in the private retail sector. In the fleet sector L200 models accounted for 23% of sales with Ford leading the way with a 37.4% market share.
Jim Tyrrell, managing director of Mitsubishi Motors UK said, "During its time the L200 has become the undisputed king of the pick-ups and we have no intention of relinquishing our crown. Dealers have been taking cash deposits for the new model long before it is to be launched at the end of this month. If the initial reaction is anything to go by, we will have another very successful new model on our hands."
Tyrrell is also confident that the pick-up market will continue to grow in the years ahead. "The Chancellor has now clarified the Benefit in Kind taxation to the advantage of the pick-up driver. All the uncertainty has been removed."
Mitsubishi pointed out that although ‘Benefit in Kind’ tax will increase from April 2007 to £3000, from £500, for a driver using a pick-up as a company vehicle, this is still significantly less than the charge for an equivalently priced car. There will also remain an advantage for pick-up drivers paying less fuel tax than their counterparts driving an equivalent company car.
Mitsubishi is predicting sales of 9,000 units of the new L200 range in 2006, rising to 13,000 vehicles in 2007, its first full year on the market. "We are planning conservatively at the moment," says sales and marketing director Lance Bradley. "However, this new vehicle is so good and so radically different from everything else on the road that it could fuel further growth of the pick-up segment just as the old model did between 2001 and 2003. If demand increases beyond the original plan, we are ready to respond."
Mitsubishi said ownership costs for the L200 have also been improved. Service intervals have risen from 9,000 to 12,500 miles per year and the pick-up is covered by a comprehensive 3-year/100,000 mile mechanical and a 12-year anti-corrosion warranty plus 3-year pan-European breakdown cover. Residual values – which remain favourable for the outgoing L200 – are likely to be further improved with the introduction of the new model. Martin Ward, manufacturer relationship manager of CAP, one of the leading residual value guides, estimates the new L200 double cabs will be valued at £1,000 more than the out-going models over the usual 36month/60.000 mile period.
The all-new L200 range goes on sale from 1 March in single and double cab body styles. The club cab version will follow in August. Prices start at £12,249 and rise to £19,999, these are commercial vehicle on the road prices excluding VAT.
The 4Work and 4Life models are in the range to meet he needs of customers who want a practical business tool. The ‘high value’ models such as Warrior, Animal and Elegance, which will take an estimated 80% of all L200 sales, will appeal to buyers attracted by the lifestyle looks and the SUV comparable driveability and performance offered by the new range.
The new L200’s radical sports styling for the exterior is derived from Mitsubishi’s Dakar Rally winning Pajero Evolution model.
A new Euro IV 2.5-litre, 134bhp, DI-D common rail diesel engine gives 17.5% more bhp, 30% more torque and a 26% improvement in fuel economy over the previous models. A 160bhp power upgrade is available for all models but is fitted as standard on the Animal versions.
Mitsubishi says a best in class turning circle for all versions and improved legroom for double cabs is part of the new specification. The workhorse attributes of the L200 remain with a towing capacity of 2.7 tonnes and a payload for all derivatives of over one tonne.
Mountaineer Alan Hinkes honoured at Buckingham Palace
Hyundai’s mighty mountaineer Alan Hinkes shunned a limo in favour of his trusty and stylish Tucson to attend an investiture ceremony at Buckingham Palace recently. Alan, 51, one of Britain’s great adventurers, was made an OBE by the Queen in recognition of his all-conquering climbing achievements and his contribution to the sport of mountaineering.
“In some ways the ceremony was as daunting as some of the peaks I’ve climbed, but it was a tremendous occasion and I am immensely proud to have been honoured in this way,” said Alan, who is the only Briton and one of the few elite mountaineers to have reached the summit of all of the world’s highest mountains.
“Taking the Hyundai to the Palace seemed absolutely the right thing to do, as it’s a vehicle that perfectly reflects my own sporting go-anywhere spirit.”
Following Alan’s historic climbing campaign, Hyundai was delighted to recognise his unique British achievement by equipping him with a four-wheel drive Tucson CRTD CDX. It has provided him with comfortable, rugged and reliable transport for his journeys across the country with his Full Mounty stage show, and to wilder areas to lead and advise on climbing expeditions.
A 4x4 that’s fit for the Palace is available to all, the Hyundai Tucson SUV range starting at just £14,295 on the road.
New range-topping Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland model delivers more premium features
Elegance and Refinement – the ultimate expression of Jeep “modern” inside and out
The new Jeep® Grand Cherokee lineup gets a new range-topping addition in 2006. The Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland model, with enhanced interior and platinum-accented elegant exterior, takes the Grand Cherokee to new heights. The Overland model is one of many new products contributing to the on-going Jeep product offensive scheduled during the second half of this decade in markets outside of North America.
All-new Interior Provides Next-generation Sophistication
The interior of the Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland delivers an up-market ambience, with enhanced trim materials including:
leather and real-wood steering wheel,
real-wood door bezels,
real-wood centre stack and floor console bezels,
leather-wrapped instrument cluster brow,
unique gear shift and leather-covered hand brake levers and centre armrest,
leather-wrapped satellite navigation brow,
leather-wrapped upper and lower door panels.
Leather and ultra-suede trimmed seats are embroidered with an Overland logo on the front seatbacks. Available colours include: Medium Slate Grey and Dark Khaki with contrasting Light Greystone.
Modern Interpretation of Classic Exterior Styling
The elegant exterior of the Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland model is an inspired adaptation of the signature Jeep design heritage – including platinum accents on the:
honeycomb mesh front grille,
roof rack side rails,
lift gate light bar,
side-window trim and body-side mouldings and
18-inch, seven-spoke alloy standard wheels.
“Jeep Grand Cherokee sets the benchmark with its on-road refinement, off-road mastery and overall performance in key areas of customer satisfaction,” said Thomas Hausch, Executive Director of International Sales and Marketing, Chrysler Group. “Now with the understated luxury of the new range-topping Overland model, Jeep Grand Cherokee becomes the ultimate expression of Jeep ‘Modern’ and an even more compelling package for customers in Europe and other international markets.”
Produced to Meet Global Demand
The Overland model is available with a 3.0-litre V-6 diesel and 5.7-litre HEMI engines.
Standard equipment includes satellite navigation with six disc autochanger, power sunroof, front and rear park assist and panic brake assist.
Peace of mind comes as standard with all new Jeep vehicles thanks to a three-year/60,000 mile warranty package including European roadside assistance and a seven-year anti-corrosion guarantee.
The new Grand Cherokee Overland is built at the Magna Steyr manufacturing facility in Graz, Austria, and will be available in UK dealerships from March 2006.
Model Trim On-the-road price
Jeep Grand Cherokee 3.0 V6 CRD Overland £33,490
Jeep Grand Cherokee 5.7 V8 HEMI Overland £36,990
The heroic heritage of Jeep and its dominance of the SUV market stretch back more than 65 years. Jeep is known worldwide for its core attributes of mastery, authenticity, freedom and adventure. Sales of Jeep brand vehicles outside of North America rose 15 percent year-over-year with 84,019 units sold in 2005. All three models – Wrangler, Cherokee and Grand Cherokee – posted gains over the prior year.
European premiere of iconic, luxury SUV at Geneva Motor Show 2006
Escalade features 6.2-litre all-aluminium V8 engine with an output of 409 hp (301 kW)
European market launch in third quarter of 2006
Breukelen – Cadillac presents the all-new Escalade, the next generation of the iconic luxury SUV, at the 76th Geneva Motor Show. The Cadillac Escalade features a new, powerful, all-aluminium V8 engine with an output of 409 hp (301 kW and 565 Nm) and is scheduled to enter the European market in the third quarter of 2006.
Based on General Motors’ brand new full-size SUV architecture, the updated Escalade features new powertrain, chassis, safety and interior systems. These integrated systems deliver the most powerful, efficient luxury SUV in the segment, led by a new 6.2L all-aluminium V8 engine with variable valve timing technology.
“The 2007 Escalade represents the next phase of Cadillac’s product renaissance – one that was launched by the previous-generation Escalade,” said Jim Taylor, Cadillac general manager. “Since its inception, Escalade has been an icon – the vehicle many discerning customers aspire to own.”
New Cadillac Escalade highlights include:
* All-new distinctive exterior design
* A highly refined spacious interior
* A new 409 horsepower 6.2L all-aluminium small-block V8 with VVT providing improved fuel efficiency
* Efficient six-speed automatic transmission with Driver Shift Control
* Stronger frame chassis with responsive coil-over-shock front suspension and rack-and-pinion steering
* Standard roof-mounted head curtain side air bags and StabiliTrak stability control system with new rollover mitigation technology
* Bose 5.1 Digital Surround audio system, including available navigation radio with touch-screen control
* A myriad of luxury features available including chrome wheels, climate controlled front seats, power fold and tumble 2nd row seats, power articulating running boards and power liftgate
* Enhanced four-wheel disc brake system
* Improved fuel economy
Variations of the Cadillac Escalade, the ESV (extended version) and the EXT (pick-up version), will not be launched in Europe. Details of prices, specifications and standard equipment of the European version of the Escalade will be available closer to launch.
NEW MATERIAL – NEXT GENERATION SEALING CONCEPT
REDDITCH, U.K. -- Following fast on the announcement of the company’s “breakthrough countertrack™ and crosstrack™ technology” for constant velocity joints (CVJs), GKN Driveline announces the development of a further new-generation drivetrain product. The company’s new design of flexible sealing and protection “boots” for constant velocity joints significantly increases component protection and life.
For GKN Driveline customers, the new plunge boots, made from Thermo-Plastic Elastomers (TPE) offer smaller overall dimensions while increasing wear resistance for the CVJ through features such as:
* High operating temperatures up to 140 degrees Celsius
* Resistance to high-velocity impacts, e.g. from stones
* Superior crack resistance
* High-speed spin stability
* High resistance to inner pressure changes
TPE also gives added protection during transportation and vehicle assembly, plus more consistent material quality, over conventional rubber boots. Recycling of TPE during production is common practice.
Rob Rickell, driveshaft engineering director for GKN Driveline, said: "The sealing system of a CVJ is the most susceptible product within the driveshaft. Its key function for the lifetime of our new CVJ products requires careful attention to design and material selection, always taking into account the interactions between the CVJ and the boot. Introducing TPE boots for sealing our plunge joints will allow us to exceed today's highest performance requirements and be ready for our customers’ future needs. This follows fast on the heels of our countertrack™ and crosstrack™ ‘breakthrough’ technology, important advances of which we are very proud.”
Additional company information is available at www.gkndriveline.com
Subaru is celebrating the production of its one millionth Forester – one of the first and, arguably, most successful ‘crossover’ sports utility vehicles to combine off-road ability with sporty handling.
In fact, the Forester is Subaru’s most popular export model with 83.2 per cent being sold outside Japan.
The milestone was reached nine years and three months after the company began production at its Gumna Yajima Plant in December 1996.
Since then there has been a complete model change in 2002 followed by an extensive facelift for the 2006 Model Year.
Naturally, the Forester continues to showcase Subaru’s admired symmetrical all-wheel drive system and low-centre-of gravity horizontally-opposed ‘boxer’ engines.
Worldwide Forester sales reached 119,743 units last year – a 6.2 per cent increase on 2004.
The first-generation Forester set a new world record with an average speed of 180.082 km/h in a 24-hour endurance challenge at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
It has continually scored well in all US and European crash tests and received several towing awards in the UK including outright ‘Towcar of the Year 2004’ and ‘Compact 4x4 Winner 2005’ from The Caravan Club.
The latest range starts at £17,595 on-the-road for the Forester 2.0 X which has a new 158 PS four-cam ‘boxer’ engine and features a high equipment count which includes a low-ratio gearbox, hill-holder clutch and self-levelling suspension.
Meanwhile, the 2006 MY Forester 2.5 XT now has a 230 PS turbocharged ‘boxer’ engine which gives a Porsche Cayenne-challenging 0-60 mph time of 5.7 seconds in manual form. Forester 2.5 XT prices are from £21,995 OTR.
The Forester went on sale in Japan in February 1997 followed by the USA in July with a European debut in the September. The second generation was introduced in February 2002 with European sales starting in October.
Despite reports as to its imminent demise it can be confirmed that the famous V8, used in many Solihull built Land Rover products, is alive and burbling and in production in the UK. MCT, the West Country based engineering and manufacturing specialist, has won a contract from Land Rover Ltd for the continuation of production to support the aftermarket requirement for original equipment engines. Production has been relocated from the home of Land Rover at Solihull to MCT’s plant in Weston Super Mare and, besides engine production, MCT also handle all the sourcing and procurement of components and sub assemblies and the testing and supply of the finished product.
For over 40 years this famous V8 engine, with displacements from 3.5 to 4.6, has powered the cream of British marques including Land Rover Defender, Discovery and Range Rover, Rover P5B, P6 and SD1, MGB GT, Triumph, Morgan and TVR. It is also the standard British engine for all hot rod use and special versions powered the Formula 1 winning Brabham team. It’s not surprising therefore that in 2005 Engine Technology International magazine and its journalist Keith Read voted it " the greatest engine of all time".
This contract is worth £25m over the next 5 years and over 70% of the volume will be exported. It is one of several that MCT has won in recent months. Over the past 18 months MCT has refocused its core manufacturing and engineering skills to provide a centre of excellence in the provision of outsourced manufacturing services to various industrial partners and to exploit the emerging markets where engineering excellence is in great demand.
Originally established as a powertrain remanufacturer, MCT has now expanded the business to cover "Life Cycle Management" which covers new build requirements for low volume development and introduction period of a new programme, medium volume series production, low volume run-out and aftermarket requirements.
MCT has invested in world class technical skills to provide product life cycle management, supply chain management and overall project management. This enables it to take blue-sky research projects through the applied technology stage to low volume production thus encouraging innovation to bear fruit.
Current major automotive customers include Ford Motor Company, Land Rover, General Motors, Mitsubishi, Isuzu, Subaru, Caterham Cars and LDV. In addition MCT is expanding into new sectors including marine drive systems and wind generating systems working with leading technology partners.
Peter Roberts, managing director MCT, said: "We are delighted to have been selected by Land Rover Ltd against strong global competition. This shows that small and medium British manufacturing and engineering companies can compete for high-end added value projects because of our high quality skills, flexible manufacturing environment and know how. Focussing in these areas will ensure that the UK can consolidate and focus its manufacturing sector and achieve greater success."
The new Jeep Commander is the first of the Jeep family to offer as standard three row seating, accommodating up to seven passengers comfortably. This classic, rugged 4x4 offers UK customers a class-leading vehicle with legendary off-road capabilities and on-road refinement.
Simon Elliott, Managing Director for Chrysler Group UK, said: "The Jeep Commander is a striking looking vehicle, and deliberately harks back to the classic boxy look of the first Cherokee that sold so well in the UK in the early 1990s.
"Our market research tells us that there is an increasing desire for cars to have a unique look. And if you remember the sometimes negative reaction of customers when the original Cherokee was replaced by the current model in 2001 you will realise that there is also a huge following for the classic Jeep design here in the UK."
The Jeep Commander reflects the ‘Jeep-rugged’ design theme, while its sister the Grand Cherokee reflects the ‘Jeep-modern’ design theme.
Simon Elliott added: "The Jeep Commander features a host of safety systems to help make this the safest Jeep ever while the four-wheel drive system is as relevant to drivers on wet and icy tarmac as it is to owners planning to tackle the rough stuff."
The Quadra-Drive II four-wheel drive system uses electronic limited slip differentials and has the ability to keep Commander going even if only one wheel has traction. This is an advanced system that helps traction in on-road situations such as wet roundabouts as well as more challenging terrain.
The Commander Predator comes loaded with a list of equipment as standard: ABS, ESP, tyre pressure warning light, body coloured grille and 17" alloy wheels whilst the Limited model has the same spec, adding dual zone climate control air conditioning, cruise control, leather trimmed interior, front and rear park assist, and Boston Acoustics speaker system.
The Jeep Commander will be available in the UK from April 2006 with the 3.0-litre V6 CRD and 5.7-litre V8 HEMI engines. A choice of two trim levels is available on the 3.0-litre V6 CRD – Predator and Limited, the 5.7-litre V8 HEMI comes with the Limited trim only. Nearly 80 per cent of sales of the 700 Jeep Commander allocated to the UK during 2006 are expected to be diesel.
Motorists have to carry road safety products when driving in most European countries to remain legal. British drivers that fail to comply risk an on the spot fine or even worse, a serious accident.
Motorists driving in some European countries need to carry a warning triangle, spare bulbs, first aid kit, yellow jacket and a fire extinguisher. The French and Spanish rules are very strict and on the spot fines are rigidly enforced.
British motorists do not need to carry any safety products at home. Thousands of accidents could be prevented. Motorists are often killed when they stop at the roadside because they don’t have a warning triangle or yellow jacket. Blown bulbs are the cause of fatal accidents and fires could be avoided by carrying a fire extinguisher.
European legislation will eventually force British motorists to match the European safety standards by requiring certain items to be carried while driving in the UK. Until then it’s up to the British motorist to decide on their own safety policy.
A complete ‘European Travel Kit’ has been developed to include the legal requirements when travelling to any European country and would bring added safety to motorists in the UK. The Travel Kit includes a warning triangle, spare bulb and fuse kit, yellow jacket, first aid kit, fire extinguisher, plus a headlamp deflector kit and a GB sticker which is essential for European motorists. A tyre fix aerosol that can seal a flat is also included, due to the fact that nearly 10% of all vehicle breakdowns are due to a puncture.
The ‘Rossini European Travel Kit’ is supplied in a compact carry case with Velcro backing to secure it in the boot of any vehicle, ready for immediate use.
‘The Rossini European Travel Kit’ costs £69. Carriage is free within the UK – visit www.carparts-direct.co.uk or call 0870 977 9666.
The 2006 Land Rover G4 Challenge gets under way in Bangkok on April 23rd, the first stage of an epic odyssey through South East Asia and South America. For Brian Reynolds, it promises to be an unforgettable experience. Brian won the chance to represent the UK after powering his way through a week-long selections event at Eastnor Castle. However, that pales compared to four gruelling weeks of non-stop physical, mental and emotional challenges that he now faces.
Volkswagen has revealed its latest design study, the Concept A, a crossover between a sports car and a compact SUV (Sports Utility Vehicle).
At 4,348 mm long and 1,854 mm wide, Concept A is 144 mm longer and 95 mm wider then the Golf Mk V. The height of Concept A is 1,551 mm, compared with 1,485 for the Golf; while its 2,602 mm wheelbase is 24 mm longer than the Golf’s.
The concept combines a sleek coupe-style silhouette with the raised stance of an SUV. At the front, the shield-like front grill which is common to the Passat and Jetta has been developed to emphasise Concept A’s off-road styling by forming part of the underbody protection. High-efficiency LED headlights add a further modern touch.
At the rear, Concept A has a practical hatchback tailgate; but this is coupled to a pick-up style fold-down rear section beneath the rear LED light clusters. This hatch can be opened independently and remain open while driving so long loads can be carried.
Concept A does away with the traditional B-pillar. It features opposing opening wing doors which allow easy access for front and rear passengers as well as giving a feeling of space and light. This airy feel is enhanced by Concept A’s concertina-style soft-top which slides all the way back to the C-pillar.
Inside are four sculpted, patent leather seats and ultra-modern facia with stylish and ergonomic controls.
Under the bonnet is a 150 PS TSI engine: this uses Volkswagen’s latest turbo and supercharger technology for maximum performance but minimum fuel consumption. Designers say alternative engines, including TDI diesel units, could also be used in the concept. Whatever its source, power is distributed via six-speed DSG automatic transmission to all four 20-inch wheels using the 4MOTION system currently employed in the range-topping Passat and Golf R32.
Concept A made its world debut today in Berlin and will be revealed to the public at the Geneva Auto Salon which starts at the end of this month. Production plans for the vehicle have not been confirmed. However, the concept further expands Volkswagen’s model range, at a time when customers’ needs continue to diversify.
Just as vehicle manufacturers build concept vehicle to showcase their future design ideas and to gauge public interest, so Owen Developments from Oxfordshire, specialists in turbocharger, manifold and engine power boosting technologies, have just revealed their unique Quad Turbo Kit concept.
The design was shown in January for the first time at the Autosport International Show held in Birmingham.
Brian Owen managing director said, "As the Autosport event has such an international audience we took the opportunity to reveal a project we have been working on for some time. The Quad Turbo Kit demonstrates our ability to develop technologies and equipment to meet any vehicle manufacturers’ standards and requirements."
He said, "The project is to evaluate how small the manufacture of a turbocharger would have to be in order for one to be used for each engine cylinder. The reason for the use of multi turbochargers is to produce sufficient boost speed not only to achieve optimum atmospheric pressure but additional boost for each of the four cylinders. This would produce better driveability, engine response and more performance. This technology is a good example, we think, of where the design of future high performance engines may ultimately end up."
"We have received considerable interest about this project which we feel will bring significant advantages for both petrol and diesel engines. Indeed one very large vehicle manufacturing group which produces a wide range of diesel engines has shown considerable interest in our Quad turbocharger design and engineering concept," said Brian Owen.
* Totally new Daihatsu Terios 4x4 debuts at Geneva Motor Show
* Considerably bigger than before with new 1.5 litre engine
* Genuine off-road ability – full-time 4WD with diff-lock
* Stylish, convincing SUV design but compact and agile
* ‘Politically Correct’ fuel economy – 40.4 mpg Extra Urban
* Lowest exhaust emissions in class at 186 g/km
* Four-door, five-seat body with space for mountain bike
* Outstanding specification includes air-conditioning, power-steering, anti-lock brakes with electronic brakeforce distribution, full-time four-wheel drive with centre diff-lock, driver, passenger and side airbags, three rear-seat three-point seatbelts, radio/CD player, four electric windows and reverse parking sensors
* Priced from £12,995 OTR for Terios 1.5 S manual
* Terios 1.5 SX manual at £14,295 and 1.5 SE automatic £14,995
* First UK deliveries early May
* Unveiled in Geneva on Daihatsu Stand at 1.15 pm, Tuesday, 28 Feb, 2006
Daihatsu’s striking new Terios 4x4 sport utility makes its debut at ‘The 76th Geneva International Motor Show’ heralding an exciting new direction for the Japanese compact car specialist.
On sale in the UK in early May, the totally new Terios follows on from last year’s new Sirion in offering a strong European flavour to its styling, packaging and dynamics.
As a result, Daihatsu aims to boost European sales from the 32,000 of 2003 to 80,000 in 2008.
And so confident is parent company, Toyota, of the new Terios’s appeal that it plans to sell 1,500 per month of its version in Japan, badged ‘Rush’.
The home-market Daihatsu equivalent is named ‘Be-go’ with a monthly goal of 500 units.
Meanwhile, Daihatsu’s UK sales rose by more than 71 per cent in January – the seventh consecutive month of growth. Traditionally its best seller, Daihatsu expects the new Terios to regain this position although there are already worldwide supply constraints due to its success in Japan.
The new Terios UK line-up will comprise the Terios 1.5 S available in Black Mica only at £12,995 on-the-road, the higher-spec 1.5 SX at £14,295 OTR – expected to be the best-seller – and the 1.5 SE automatic at £14,995 OTR.
The latter two models are offered in Black Mica, Blue Mica, Grey Metallic, Silver Metallic or Red.
Daihatsu’s press conference is at 1.15 pm on the first press day of ‘The 76th Geneva International Motor Show’, Tuesday, 28 February.
Dynamic Design, Convincing Credentials
Arguably the most stylish small 4x4 on the market, the totally new Terios has a dynamic, fun-to-drive appearance with strong off-road styling cues yet short front and rear overhangs, a long wheelbase and especially wide tracks and body width.
Its roomy, four-door, five-seat body succeeds in being compact yet practical, avoiding the bulk, high fuel consumption and negative image of some 4x4s.
Designed to appeal to young families and older people seeking the traditional 4x4 qualities of visibility, bad-weather traction and versatility, the new Terios also offers small car running costs and manoeuvrability.
Its turning circle is a tight 9.8 metres (kerb-to-kerb) for the S and SE and a still hatchback-like 10 metres for the bigger-tyred SX, while the SX body length is between that of the new Renault Clio and larger Megane.
Compared to the previous model, the new Terios 1.5 SX is 230 mm longer at 4,075 mm and a significant 190 mm wider at 1,745 mm. It is 45 mm higher but purely because of its standard roof rails. The entry-level ‘S’ model – which lacks roof rails – is actually 5 mm lower than before.
Greatly boosting the new Terios’s tough, stable stance are front and rear tracks measuring 1,450 and 1,480 mm respectively – a massive 145 and 170 mm greater than before. Meanwhile, the wheelbase – at 2,580 mm – grows by 180 mm.
Complementing this are especially large 16 ins wheels for all models with either 215/65R tyres for the entry-level Terios 1.5 S manual and higher-spec SE automatic or beefy 235/60R tyres for the manual SX.
The versatile interior offers mid-sized hatchback passenger space with a clever split fold-and-tumble rear seat which liberates a 1,290 mm maximum floor length – long enough to take a mountain bike.
Even with the rear seat in use the 380 litre capacity boot is capable of taking four 45" golf bags, four vertically-stacked mid-sized suitcases or a typical baby buggy. Most models also have load-floor securing hooks.
Sprightly, Efficient Powertrain
Based on the Sirion’s 1.3 litre DOHC 16-valve petrol engine, the new Terios has a larger 1.5 litre capacity, producing 105 PS at 6,000 rpm and a flexible 103 lb. ft of torque at 4,400 rpm.
Its standard Dynamic Variable Valve Timing (DVVT) enhances low-speed pulling power and high rev throttle response by maximising combustion efficiency. It also boosts fuel economy and lowers exhaust emissions.
The new Terios’s engine – with the same 72 mm bore as the 1.3 litre but a longer 91.8 mm stroke – is both lively and flexible, requiring fewer gear-changes to make sprightly progress.
For example, its torque curve is virtually flat between 3,200 and 4,000 rpm – the most frequently used rev-range in normal driving.
Top speed for manual models is almost 100 mph and over 93 mph for the automatic, while the Terios 1.5 S manual records 40.4 mpg on the Extra Urban Cycle and the Terios 1.5 SE automatic not far behind at 39.8 mpg.
The new Terios 1.5 S manual has a low CO2 reading of 186 g/km with the Terios 1.5 SE automatic recording 196 g/km.
In fact, the Terios 1.5 S has the best CO2 reading of any four-door 4x4 – diesel included – and comfortably beats rivals such as the Suzuki Grand Vitara, Mitsubishi Shogun Pinin and Honda HR-V.
The short-throw five-speed manual gearchange is light and slick, while the four-speed automatic is both quick-reacting yet capable of selecting a higher gear during more gentle driving, aiding fuel economy and refinement.
Meanwhile, all new Terios models have a full-time 4WD system with a fixed 50/50 front to rear torque-split and centre differential which eliminates axle wind-up – the phenomenon of the steering becoming increasingly heavy on full-lock.
Because of this 50/50 torque split, high-speed stability and slippery surface traction is greatly enhanced compared to most rivals. These models are usually rear-wheel drive with selectable 4WD or effectively front wheel-drive, only calling on 4WD when sensors detect wheelspin.
A fascia-mounted switch activates the electronically-controlled differential-lock. This further aids traction in mud or deep snow, while short front and rear overhangs and a 190 mm ground clearance also signal serious off-road ability. The new Terios has a front approach angle of 38 degrees with a rear of 37 degrees.
The compact engine is mounted in-line, followed by the gearbox. A centre differential transfers torque to both the front and rear axles via two separate propeller shafts.
Sporty Handling From New Chassis
The new Terios benefits from a totally new monocoque platform with a revised chassis tuned for car-like, confidence-inspiring handling with vastly improved ride and stability compared to the previous model.
Aided by its considerably wider front and rear tracks, the new Terios features front MacPherson struts, lower wishbones and an anti-roll bar.
The five-link rear suspension has variable-rate coil springs and near vertical rear shock-absorbers which improve damping and therefore comfort, pitch and roll.
Compared to the old Terios, the front anti-roll bar is of a new design, the revised hydraulic power-assisted rack-and-pinion steering gear achieves excellent accuracy and feel, while the bump stops better control axle articulation.
In addition, an increased shock-absorber rebound stroke improves rough terrain driveability.
At the rear, a new lateral rod reduces axle squirm and benefits refinement, a newly-designed upper control arm enhances stability, a new shock-absorber reduces brake judder and a longer suspension stroke improves ride comfort.
Other rear suspension improvements include a more compact design resulting in a lower boot floor and a new design of spring and lower control arm which reduce rear differential noise.
Outstanding Safety Measures
The new Terios has outstanding safety measures with in-house tests giving results equal to a Euro NCAP 4-Star occupant protection and 3-Star pedestrian protection.
Crushable structures are used at the front and rear of the body with the cabin itself made stronger to minimise occupant injury. To protect from side-impacts, the front floor cross-member, tunnel, sills, B-posts and roof-side rails are all strengthened to secure occupant survival space.
As for pedestrians, the front bumper and bonnet are designed to minimise injury to the head and thigh with a shock-absorbing structure built into the bonnet.
High-power seatbelt pretensioners are standard while special pads are installed to reduce injury to occupant knees, torso and lower legs. The pedals are also designed not to intrude during an impact.
Both driver, passenger and side airbags are fitted and the standard four-channel anti-lock brakes (ABS) also feature electronic brakeforce distribution (EBD) which maximises stopping power and minimises skidding.
Every new Terios model has an outstanding equipment tally with the entry-level Terios 1.5 S featuring air-conditioning, power-steering, ABS with EBD, full-time four-wheel drive with centre diff-lock, driver, passenger and side airbags, three rear-seat three-point seatbelts, radio/CD player, four electric windows and reverse parking sensors.
Expected to be the best-seller, the Terios 1.5 SX adds, for example, alloy wheels with 235/60R tyres, two-tone wheelarch extensions and side-skirts, roof rails, multi-information display, front fog-lamps, smoked ‘privacy glass’ for the rear side doors and rear window, leather steering wheel, electric windscreen de-icer and door mirrors and various AC sockets and load-restraint ties.
The automatic transmission-only Terios 1.5 SE has a similar equipment level to the SX but features a different design of alloy wheel with 215/65 tyres and has colour-keyed side skirts.
Like all Daihatsus, the new Terios will enjoy the protection of a three-year unlimited mileage warranty with roadside assistance plus an eight-year anti-perforation warranty.
Gaydon, Warwickshire, 13 February 2006 – The Land Rover Discovery 3 has been crowned the AXA Car of the Year 2006 in Northern Ireland. The title was awarded by the Ulster Motoring Writers Association (UMWA) who chose the Discovery 3 as the winner of the AXA Leisure Car category before being crowned the AXA Car of the Year 2006, beating tough competition from Lexus, Audi and Toyota.
Chairman of the Ulster Motoring Writers’ Association, Jim McCauley, said: "Of all the vehicles judged in this year's competition the Discovery 3 scored consistently high. It scooped almost twice the number of points of its nearest rival which really sets it apart in its class. As well as its on-and-off-road capability, it offers a quality driving experience and is an outstanding testament to the UK motor industry."
Land Rover's UK managing director John Edwards added: "We are incredibly proud that the Discovery 3 has won The AXA Car of the Year 2006. Since its launch in 2004 the Discovery 3 has won 70 awards around the world. This is a remarkable achievement and proves the strong appeal of a vehicle that demonstrates a true breadth of capability."
Priced from £26,995 to £48,495, on-the-road, the Discovery 3 is on sale now at Land Rover dealerships throughout the UK, to book a test drive contact your local dealer or visit http://www.landrover.com.
Gaydon, Warwickshire, 13 February, 2006: Land Rover has got off to a flying start with a record breaking January. Global sales are up 22% against the same period last year at just over 15,000 units making this the best January ever for the 4x4 manufacturer.
Once again impressive performances have been delivered in both the Europe and North America markets, with a 16% and 33% year on year improvement respectively. The UK also saw growth with particularly strong sales amongst Range Rover and Range Rover Sport models.
Strong sales performances in emerging markets are particularly exciting. China has recorded a record month with sales up 176% year on year driven in particular by sales of Discovery 3. Russia, which saw dramatic growth in 2005 continues to steadily increase with January sales up 42% year on year, again a record.
Matthew Taylor, Land Rover's Managing Director, said: "This really is a phenomenal start to 2006 and continues the incredible year we had in 2005. Customers from across the world are taking advantage of the strongest model line up in Land Rover's 58 year history and sales growth in emerging markets really demonstrates the global appeal of 21st century Land Rover."
The Nissan Navara has won another two awards: 4x4 magazine has voted it ‘Pick-up of the Year’ and the Navara has also collected the title of ‘Best Pick-Up and 4x4’ in the 2006 Commercial Motor Testers’ Choice Awards. These bring the trophy tally up to three. And the Navara has only been on sale five months.
When it was launched in August of last year, the Navara shot straight to the number one spot in the sales chart, and is still outselling all other pickups. Its 174ps engine makes it the most powerful in its class with no competitor coming close.
The judges at 4x4 magazine commented: "The all-new Navara has raised the pick-up game. Its increased dimensions have allowed for a roomier and more comfortable cabin, and is the most car-like drive ever. Adding to the driving pleasure is the 2.5 litre turbo diesel engine which is powerful, refined and economical too. The ALL-MODE four-wheel drive is a state-of-the art, easy-select system, and off-road the Navara will go anywhere its close rivals can. But a winner also needs that little something extra, and visually the Navara is a stunner, with muscular haunches and a bold stance from nose to tail. Beauty and the beast in one."
Commercial Motor associate editor, Colin Barnett commented: "This year’s winner stood head and shoulders above the rest in terms of progress.
"The new Navara is unashamedly geared towards the ‘lifestyle’ market but underneath there’s a superbly engineered product that raised the bar a couple of notches. It does what other pickups have previously failed to do by combining astonishing driving ability with near saloon-like refinement levels."
Gaydon, Warwickshire, 7 February 2006 – Do you own a unique Defender that has led an interesting life? In a survey being conducted by Land Rover, this is one of the questions being asked of 20,000 Defender owners in the UK.
The iconic Defender has become a long-term favourite with adventurers, explorers, farmers, emergency services, aid organisations and those who need to go anywhere, or carry just about anything. Owners of Defenders are being urged to reveal as much information as possible in 'The Great Defender Survey'.
In doing so, owners will be entered into a prize-draw to win a five-star weekend at Land Rover's home of off-road driving, Eastnor Castle. Two winners and their partners will partake in a variety of off-road driving activities including a drive in one of the first ever Series I Land Rovers from 1948, DEL102, affectionately known as 'Del Boy'.
Named 'the greatest car of all time' by BBC TV's Top Gear, the Defender continues to be the hero in Land Rover's stable of vehicles. To book a test drive contact your local Land Rover dealer or visit www.landrover.co.uk
Eastnor Castle, Herefordshire, 3 February 2006 - Brian Reynolds, a railway engineer from Chesterfield in Derbyshire, has beaten two other UK finalists in the Land Rover G4 Challenge 'International Selections' to take his place as the UK representative on the 2006 global competition.
At the end of five gruelling days of international selections at Land Rover's off-road driving home, Eastnor Castle in Herefordshire, Brian was the clear winner in the final trials stage before the G4 ultimate global adventure kicks off in Bangkok on 23 April. The two other competitors - RAF doctor Andy Grieve from Tiverton and tour guide Suzanna Madge from Brighton - made it very difficult for him, and it was only on Friday afternoon, the last day of the selections, that Brian confirmed his place on the 2006 Challenge.
The international selections, which hosted three competitors from each of the 18 nations taking part in this year's G4 Challenge, saw blood, sweat and tears at the freezing cold Eastnor estate with competitors camping throughout the week with frequent surprise middle-of-the-night challenges to test the competitors' character.
Challenge director, Niki Davies, said: "This has been an extremely tough week for the competitors, with the temperature gauge seldom rising above zero. We wanted to select the best all-rounder from each country; physical ability is just a part of it - strategic thinking, endurance and team-working skills are all key to success in the G4 Challenge. You really get the measure of someone's spirit when they are awoken from a tent at 4.00am at -3 degrees C to recover a vehicle from a freezing cold lake - followed by 17 hours of competition before returning to camp."
Brian Reynolds added: "I am worn out, exhausted and just about ready to drop, but it's the most amazing feeling to have got this far. I tried to qualify for the 2003 Challenge, but didn't make it into the top ten UK competitors, so I went away, assessed the areas where I felt I was weakest and worked extremely hard on my endurance, mountain biking and kayaking skills. It has paid off, and I am ecstatic to be representing my country at last - it was my dream, and it's come true. I can't wait for the actual Challenge in April, and I will be training my heart out from now until then."
The Land Rover G4 Challenge 2006 takes place over four weeks from 23 April, incorporating 4x4 driving and multi-sport challenges in Thailand, Laos, Brazil and Bolivia.