- Kyushu plant joins Sunderland plant as a new source for crossover -
TOKYO (August 30, 2007) ? Nissan Motor Co., Ltd today announced that it will expand the production of its popular QASHQAI/Dualis mid-size crossover, adding new capacity at the Kyushu plant in Japan to meet high local demand and freeing up more capacity at its Sunderland plant in the UK for European sales. Production of the Dualis (Japan market name) is expected to begin in early 2008 with production to reach 24,000 units per year.
Global sales of the QASHQAI/Dualis have outperformed initial projections since its European debut in February and launch in Japan in May. To-date, sales of Dualis in Japan have reached 9,466 units while sales in Europe of QASHQAI are at 58,051 units.
The addition of the capacity in Kyushu will allow the Sunderland plant to better meet the demand coming from the European market. In June, Nissan announced a further ?2.4 million (580 million yen) investment into the Sunderland plant to increase QASHQAI production. Together with the additional global volume in Japan, this investment will help reduce the waiting time for a new QASHQAI across Europe.
Note: Amount in dollars are translated for the convenience of the reader only at the foreign exchange rate of 244 yen/pound.
London is to host a new motorsport competition for Rallycross cars right in the heart of the Docklands. The 2007 London Masters, organised by The London Motorsport Show in conjunction with Rallycross organisers PSM Motorsport Ltd, will be a special arena based event held on 8th and 9th December at ExCeL, situated on the Royal Victoria Dock. The competition will be just one of the exciting features of the 2007 London Motorsport Show.
Peter Stott, Director of PSM Motorsport Ltd, explains: “Following last year’s successful London Motorsport Show, we were approached by the organisers to host a Rallycross spectacular at the venue. This is going to be a showcase motorsport event for Rallycross cars and we will create an arena based circuit purely for this event. The event will be similar to the stadium masters event for Rallycross that was held in Nantes a couple of years ago, but on a larger layout. It will also have the same class structure as used in the Rallycross Open and Minicross Drivers Association Championships. The total number of cars will be restricted, so drivers will need to enter well in advance to be able to compete. Further information regarding the circuit (which will be made up of a combination of loose and tarmac sections), event format and regulations will be disclosed in the forthcoming weeks."
The London Motorsport Show was keen to add competitive motor racing into the show. Organiser Philip Bunn added: “I am really excited about the new dimension that the 2007 London Masters will bring to the London Motorsport Show as it is aimed at those teams and individuals who already compete in motorsport as well as those who have an interest at grass roots level and want to know how they start racing competitively. These people do not want to sit on the sidelines but want to get in the cars and race so it was important that we offered them the chance to compete in such an extraordinary location.”
The first competitor to confirm entry was MSA British Rallycross championship points leader, ‘Mad Mark’ Watson. Mark enthused: “I have already confirmed my entry for the event. This will be the biggest event ever for Rallycross, as something like this has never been done before and is unique for the venue. Racing in London has been the subject of discussion for a long time and now it has become a reality. For Rallycross there is no better event to showcase the sport. The potential scope of this event is phenomenal, not only for the complete show, but for the drivers as well."
The London Motorsport Show covers all disciplines of motorsport from Karting through to Formula One and is a must for any motor racing enthusiast. For information, visit www.londonmotorsport.co.uk. A new website for the 2007 London Rallycross Masters will be launched in the near future at www.londonmasters.co.uk , which will contain all necessary resources and information on the event for drivers, officials and spectators
- DUAL PEACE OF MIND -
Building upon 70 years of 4-wheel drive expertise, Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC) is in a privileged position to appreciate the customer benefits of this technology, both in terms of on-road active safety and off-road ability, from Lancer Evolution to Pajero.
In parallel, MMC is acutely aware of the pressing issues brought by climate change and is implementing a holistic environmental global strategy, through its “Environment Initiative Program 2010” (EiP 2010) umbrella programme.
Combining these two “peace-of-mind” approaches, Mitsubishi Motors will introduce Concept-cX at the 62nd Frankfurt Motor Show: a vibrant demonstration that driving pleasure and corporate responsibility are not mutually exclusive and the showcase for the CO2 friendly all-new Euro 5 Clean Diesel family of engines, co-developed by MMC and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. and to be launched in 2009.
Ingrained guiding principles
Mitsubishi Motors Corporation’s corporate citizenship and its concern over environmental issues is neither a recent phenomenon nor a quick marketing trick.
Indeed, they are deep-rooted in Mitsubishi’s corporate culture, as formalised in several guiding principles edicted in the 1930s by Koyata Iwazaki (of the founding Iwazaki family) the fourth and last President of the old Mitsubishi organisation:
* Enrich society – both materially and spiritually – and safeguard the global environment.
* Conduct business in the spirit of integrity and fairness and on a foundation of transparency and openness.
* Adopt a global perspective in developing and expanding business.
A few decades later, these principles are very much alive and respected throughout the Mitsubishi group of companies.
The first of these principles was the trigger for MMC’s continued efforts in the area of environmentally-friendly technology, from the MCA (Mitsubishi Clean Air) engine technology of the 1970s to today’s wide spectrum of solutions.
Since the 1993 Mitsubishi Motors Environmental Council, MMC has formalised its commitment to use its engineering expertise to contribute to a cleaner environment.
As a reminder, Mitsubishi Motors Corporation has adopted an all-embracing approach in addressing global environmental issues. Under its “EIP 2010” (“Environment Initiative Program 2010”) umbrella project, the Company is actively engaged in the development of a wide range of such technologies, covering:
* Powertrains (see below)
* Materials (plant-based “Green Plastic”,…),
* Processes (“Design for Environment” guiding principles,…),
* Manufacturing (pollution-prevention and recycling measures).
* Conservation ("Pajero Forest & Local Mountain Restoration Initiative" aiming to conserve and cultivate Japan's forests and woodlands,…).
Europe = Next Generation Clean Diesel
Whilst pursuing long-term fundamental research & development, Mitsubishi Motors has taken a very down-to-earth view on marketable “green” technologies to make a bigger impact short term.
In particular, MMC has decided to go regional with powertrain solutions matching the everyday reality of very different regional needs, driving patterns & infrastructures:
* Clean Diesel Euro 5 family of engines for Europe,
* Next-generation electric vehicle for Japan,
* Flexible fuel vehicle for Brazil,
Considering the overwhelming importance of diesel in Europe (50+% of sales on average), the most effective short-term was to elect diesel as the low CO2 solution for this region, as opposed to fancier technologies, ultimately limited in impact by cost, sheer volume or recyclability.
There lies the strategic importance of MMC’s next generation of Euro 5 Clean Diesel engines. Developed jointly with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd, this new family of powerplants is a key element in Mitsubishi Motors' efforts to lower CO2 and other greenhouse gas emissions.
Features contributing to the new engine's class-topping power output and Euro 5 emissions performance include a new high-efficiency turbocharger and high-efficiency combustion characteristics that stem from the application of own analytic technology of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Mitsubishi Motors.
Consistent with its no-frills approach, MMC has taken the decision to bring forward to early 2009 the start of production of this family of engines to Europe, one full year earlier than scheduled (following the European introduction these powerplants will also be phased into other markets). This advancement will allow MMC to meet the needs of the growing number of environment-conscious customers quicker and make de facto a more substantial and short(er)-term impact.
In this context, Concept-cX represents a proposal for an accessible, affordable, sustainable and realistic solution to today’s pressing issues, whilst preserving authentic driving pleasure.
Case-in-point, Concept-cX follows the popular compact SUV route to carry this message right at the heart of the market, where SUVs are one of the fastest growing segments.
Sharp in design and in dynamics, Mitsubishi’s Concept-cX boasts an excellent environmental performance to be seen in the (targeted) low fuel consumption and emission levels achieved by its 100 kW (136 ps) @ 4,000 rpm / 280 Nm @ 2,000 rpm next generation 1.8-litre Clean Diesel DOHC 16 valve 4 cylinder engine. Amongst other technologies, it features a variable geometry (VG) turbocharger – to generate optimum boost pressure for all engine loads – as well as DPF (Diesel Particulate Filter) and DOC (Diesel Oxidation Catalyst).
For this concept car application, the 1.8 l Clean Diesel engine is mated to Mitsubishi Motors’ Twin Clutch SST technology. Recently announced, this automated manual transmission combines the economy and dynamic driving of a manual transmission with the convenience of an automatic gearbox. In essence:
* High power transmission efficiency and low fuel consumption, on par with a conventional manual unit.
* Slick, sporty gear changing with no clutch pedal.
* Quick response and smooth shifting.
Concept-cX’s further green credentials include eco-friendly “Green Plastics”, MMC’s proprietary plant-based resin technology - made from bamboo and other plant-based resins - effectively used for interior trim materials, such as floor mats, door trim, tail gate trim and seat back panels.
Surfing on the popular compact SUV wave by strategy (up 54% from 325,000 in 2001 to 500,000 in 2006 and with further 35% growth expected between 2006 and 2009) and by heritage (from the 1936 PX33 to the 2007 Outlander, L200 and Pajero), Concept-cX does acknowledge the essentially on-road usage of these vehicles.
Trendy substitutes to more conventional formats such as MPVs, compact SUVs add a bit of shine to utility whilst fulfilling all the duties expected from compact family cars. Hence the split tailgate used by Outlander but also Concept-cX for instance.
Compact (410 cm), low (155 cm), wide (175 cm), sitting on a long wheelbase (252,5 cm) and wide tracks (151 cm/151 cm) and planted on its 225/45R19 tyres, Concept-cX offers passenger car-like stance and dynamics, as suggested by its gaping Lancer “Jet Fighter” grille.
Its on-road abilities are further enhanced by the use of Mitsubishi’s sophisticated AWC (All-Wheel Control) technology, similar in essence to the device successfully introduced with the new Outlander.
This electronically controlled 4WD system offers the driver a choice of three modes (2WD, 4WD Auto, 4WD Lock) to match traction control to his preferences or driving conditions. The centre differential features an electronically controlled coupling that uses feed-forward control to determine the optimum front/rear torque split from sensor data on throttle opening, vehicle speed, road conditions and driver inputs.
Featuring the “Jet Fighter” grille introduced with the all-new Lancer family and using a derivative of Outlander’s 4-wheel drive drivetrain, Concept-cX creates an interesting link between Mitsubishi’s passenger cars and SUVs, an intention clearly visible in its exterior design.
Indeed, that SUV / hatchback crossover positioning is stressed through design features shared by both formats. However, Concept-cX incorporates a sports car flavour stronger than usually applied to this genre and very much consistent with Mitsubishi’s impeccable sporting heritage.
The intention is evident when considering Concept-cX’s overall format: a tight and powerful wedge, slotted within four bulging wheel-arches, fronted by the vast expanse of a clam-shell hood and finishing with deep-set headlamps either sides of the reverse slant of an over-sized version of Mitsubishi’s trademark “Jet Fighter” grille.
The flanks themselves are all motion, with beltline, Lancer-like character line and even the position of the door handles following airflows.
At the back, all lines converge and merge into the wrap-around “fast hatch” tucked in between the powerful rear fenders, with the eyebrows of the (front) headlamps echoed by the (rear) roof spoiler and the lower vent / central exhaust resembling jets’ thrust nozzles.
Concept-cX also ticks the convenience box with its deep panoramic backlight, twin-stage split tailgate and high mounted rear combination lamps.
As a finishing touch, Concept-cX sports a sharp & pure metallic medium blue hue that evokes the image of a crystal-clear lake, while the use of fine aluminium flecks throughout creates a nearly transparent metallic finish.
Using MMC’s proprietary Green Plastic (floor mats, door trim, tail gate trim and seat back panels) and upholstered in earthy tones of brown (leather) and off-white, the interior bridges the gap between sporty and comfy, mixing driver-oriented round meters with bench seats and soft padding to create an interior space that cocoons the occupants, but remind them that they are in a car. Still…
Thinly padded but welcoming nonetheless, the organically-shaped front backrests are mated to a bench seat integrating the transmission lever (Twin Clutch SST and 2WD/4WD functions) as well as the starter and some of the warning lights (bonnet open, “fast hatch” open, low fuel).
The dashboard itself points to the underlying strength of the car’s frame and invite all occupants to share the voyage through a mega-sized information centre touch screen
Cooper Tire’s rugged Discoverer STT 4x4 tyre opens the door for vehicle choice in the adventure 4x4 market, according to top UK off-road driving centre, Kankku.
The Lake District-based centre fits the Discoverer Super Traction Tread (STT) on its fleets of Land Rover Defenders, traditionally the vehicle of choice for adventure off-road driving. But it also operates a fleet of Mitsubishi Shoguns on its corporate and private events, and says that is only possible thanks to the Cooper rubber.
“A 4x4 vehicle on Cooper Discoverer STTs can easily upstage the vehicles you might reasonably expect to see in this kind of environment,” said Kankku’s Nick Fieldhouse. “The toughness and extreme durability of the tyre makes it perfect for our operation, which runs almost every day of the year.
“Our regularly-used fleet of Shoguns proves that the STT means you can now consider 4x4s other than Defenders for this type of driving, which opens up the activity to a huge number of new 4x4 owners.”
Designed specifically with the adventurous pursuits of rock-climbing, mud-eating and terrain-taming in mind, the Discoverer STT also offers superb traction, enhanced durability and increased puncture resistance on the road thanks to its innovative and uncompromising design and tread compound.
Outstanding durability is delivered by the three-ply Armor-Tek3 body, while the non-directional tread elements are strategically siped for exceptional handling in wet weather.
Dodge will unveil its all-new family crossover vehicle at the 2007 International Motor Show (IAA) in Frankfurt this September.
The Dodge Journey is a seven-seat vehicle that combines the space and practicality of an MPV with the style of an SUV and the ride, handling and fuel efficiency of a family saloon.
Peter Lambert, Managing Director of Chrysler Group UK said: “The Dodge Journey will attract drivers that need to have an MPV but don’t want to own a car with traditional people-carrier looks. The bold styling of the Journey means it shares the same ‘stand out from the crowd’ looks of the new Nitro and Avenger and our latest model will offer the same excellent value for money that Dodge customers in the UK have come to expect.”
The front-wheel drive Dodge Journey will be launched in the UK in summer 2008 and will feature a 2.4-litre petrol engine or a 2.0-litre diesel engine. Both powertrains will be available with either a manual or automatic gearbox.
Peter Lambert added: “Families that need space for 5+2 will love the flexible seating system, spacious storage bins and underfloor storage areas. Safety is also very important for these customers and with ESP and three-row side curtain airbags this really is the ideal family vehicle.”
Gaydon, Warwickshire, 24 August 2007 – A stylish new Premium pack is now available for Land Rover’s best-selling model – the Freelander 2 – which has sold 10,983 units so far this year in the UK.
The new Premium Pack delivers both exterior and interior enhancements to the top specification Freelander 2 HSE. Vehicles with the new pack are distinguished by a distinctive rear spoiler, body-coloured lower sections of the bumpers and doorsills and stylish tungsten coloured door handles. The pack also includes 10-spoke Chrome Shadow 19 inch alloy wheels giving the Freelander 2 an even sportier stance.
Interior additions include a new driver’s seat with additional seat cushion tilt function and front passenger seat with electric seat height adjustment as well as luxurious, perforated leather panels and extra stitching details. The storage box located at the rear of the centre console also gains a smart new sliding cover.
Launched last year and new from the ground up, the Freelander 2 delivers outstanding on-road performance as well as the class-leading off-road ability of a true Land Rover. It is already a multi-award winning vehicle, receiving numerous prestigious accolades including the What Car? Best Compact 4x4, BBC Top Gear’s SUV of the Year, and the Auto Express Best 4x4 recreational.
“The Freelander 2 is now firmly established as the premium compact 4x4 of choice in the UK. It demonstrates Land Rover’s dynamic design and is complete with a smart and spacious interior, and an abundance of advanced technologies,” says John Edwards, managing director, Land Rover. “Now, the Premium pack on the Freelander 2 offers subtle changes for those seeking an even more premium look to their vehicle, which we believe will give it even wider customer appeal.”
The new Premium pack will be available to order from October 2007 and will cost £1,850.
To locate your nearest dealership or for more information regarding the Land Rover range, please log onto www.landrover.co.uk
– Fun, Flexible and Fuel-efficient
* Car-like driving experience and economy
* Clever features such as "Flex-Fix" bike carrier
* Prices range from £19,995 to £27,795
It’s a dilemma faced by thousands of car buyers every year – they want the style and practicality of a 4x4, but feel unable to justify the compromised dynamics, economy and performance of a big off-roader.
Now Vauxhall can offer a car which fulfils all their needs – the stylish Antara. The technically sophisticated five-seater combines dynamic, stylish design with intelligent four-wheel drive, high levels of flexibility, generous interior space, a raised driving position and clever features such as "Flex-Fix".
Two transversally-mounted engines with four valves per cylinder are available for the Antara – a petrol and a diesel. The entry-level unit is a 2.4-litre, 140PS four-cylinder petrol with two overhead cams and a balancer shaft to ensure smoothness and refinement. Most buyers in this market want diesels though, so Vauxhall expects the 150PS, 2.0-litre common-rail turbo-diesel to be the top seller, taking more than 90 percent of sales,
Both engines are linked to an intelligent active four-wheel drive system which combines the benefits of front-wheel drive - such as fuel economy, predictable handling and increased driving dynamics - with the grip and security of permanent four-wheel drive when it is needed.
This innovative system features an electronically-controlled electro-hydraulic differential which ensures optimal torque distribution between the front and rear axles in all situations. The drivetrain is fully integrated in the ABS and ESP systems, enhancing vehicle control and active safety.
The comprehensive standard safety package includes front airbags, thorax/pelvis side airbags for driver and front passenger, head curtain airbags for the front and outer rear seats as well as a crash-optimised chassis with four load paths. Other safety features include three-point safety belts and head restraints for all five seats. The front seats are equipped with seat-belt tensioners and belt-force limiters. The outer rear seats come with ISOFIX mountings for fast and secure fitting of child seats.
The stylish good looks of the Antara, both inside and out, are matched by a quality feel which will mean that owners of larger 4x4s will be able to downsize to an Antara without feeling short changed.
In fact, the Antara’s price and equipment will leave buyers feeling positively flush, with the sort of luxuries which would cost thousands when added as options to other SUVs.
The entry-level E starts at just under £20,000 but includes four-wheel-drive, ESP, a decent control system, air conditioning, alarm, front fog lights and 17-inch alloys. Diesel versions even have self-levelling suspension and a trailer stability program, which automatically recalibrates the ESP to allow for towing.
Moving up the range, and the S gains Electronic Climate Control, heated front seats, trip computer, cruise control, a rear seat centre armrest, chilled glovebox, 18-inch alloys, automatic headlights and wipers and chrome door handles.
The flagship SE is arrives fully laden with the sort of equipment. There’s a DVD-based satellite navigation system with a six CD changer, leather seat and door facings, a Bluetooth mobile phone system, Xenon headlamps, electro-chromatic dimming rear-view and door mirrors, a tyre pressure monitoring system and parking distance sensors.
With this level of kit fitted as standard, there’s not much left for an options list. Metallic paint is an extra £400, but it’s the innovative FlexFix system which is expected to capture the headlines when it’s available in early 2008.
With FlexFix, transporting bikes is super-simple. Instead of having to mount a bicycle carrier on the tow ball or roof rack, Flex-Fix simply pulls out of the rear bumper and is ready to go. No parts need to be stored in the garage or loft and there are no tools needed. What’s more, at £475 it costs only a little more than conventional bike carriers.
The integrated rack can transport up to two bicycles, stows away almost invisibly in the rear bumper and can be easily pulled out like a drawer. The Flex-Fix carrier’s unlocking lever is located directly on the edge of the luggage compartment sill, ensuring easy access even when the boot is full.
* Expressive design language from Antara GTC concept
* As stylish looks and high quality materials
* Takes up little more road space than an Astra
The new Antara’s design origin is clearly linked to the Antara GTC (Gran Turismo Crossover) concept car, which was the star of the 2005 Frankfurt Motor Show. The design language of this off-road coupé concept car is echoed in the production version.
At first glance, the Antara’s distinctive design character has bold contrasts. While the lower section clearly displays the new SUV’s robust nature, the body’s striking lines have the look of a sporty, muscular car. It’s certainly a far cry from the boxy, utilitarian 4x4 which has been previously seen in the class.
The designers visualised the Antara as a versatile vehicle that is both dynamic and comfortable for long journeys. Carefully crafted details such as the crease on the bonnet and the grille confidently emphasise the car’s high quality and brand identity.
With its compact dimensions (length x width x height: 4575 x 1850 x 1704 millimeters), the crossover takes up little more space than a mid-size passenger car such as an Astra estate (4515x1753x1496), making parking in tight spaces easy.
The sporty, sloping roofline also echoes the Antara GTC concept car’s dynamic design, which earned it the title “Concept of the Year” in 2005 from the Autocar magazine. With a sporty downward swing, the silhouette tapers into sleek side air vents. These exciting side accents flow into lines traced by the roof railings and side windows.
This look continues to the Antara’s rear. A striking chrome crossbar not only enhances the stylish look, it also emphasises the vehicle’s width and stability. This is underlined by the large curved rear window, which boasts frameless fitted glass that extends to the D-pillar – a design feature that also improves rear visibility and lets plenty of light into the interior. Finally, large three-dimensional rear lights set at an angle make the Antara unmistakable from the rear. Sculpted into the shoulder line, they create a smooth transition into the Antara’s profile.
Interior: Versatile and comfortable
* Luxury look and feel, high levels of equipment
* Versatile storage options and FlexOrganiser for luggage compartment
* Standard CD-Radio with seven speakers
Step inside a Vauxhall Antara and it will seem like a pleasant change from some of the cheap-looking and cramped interiors which are offered by some other cars in the small 4x4 sector.
The interior brings new levels of style and quality to the class. Contoured seats reflect the Antara's dynamic character while all instruments and operating controls are ergonomically placed and clearly laid out.
Eye-catching interior features include three large round air vents on the centre console and a distinctively shaped ‘grab-handle’ handbrake.
And it’s not just the quality feel and stylish appearance which will please buyers. Numerous compartments, as well as many clever and practical features make the car a pleasure to live with everyday.
There’s a real sense of spaciousness created by the elevated seating position and large glazed surfaces too, and the Antara doesn’t just seem spacious: measurements confirm that passengers enjoy plenty of space. With 933 millimetres of rear legroom, for example, the Antara is at the top of its segment.
With the luggage compartment cover in place the Antara offers 370 litres of boot space. Cargo capacity increases to 865 litres with the rear bench seat folded down and up to 1420 litres when loaded to the roof. The rear seat back can be split 60:40 and folded down.
A storage box under the load floor ensures practical organization of the luggage compartment, as does the optional FlexOrganiser system, which is already familiar from the Astra and Vectra estate models. Nets, dividing walls, rods and hooks can be snapped into two rails on each of the side walls of the Antara's luggage compartment, allowing the boot to be separated into different sections to protect the cargo from shifting or being damaged during the journey.
However, the designers did not only focus on the boot when they considered the newcomer’s storage. The Antara features numerous compartments and boxes throughout its interior, including a drawer under the passenger seat, sunglasses holder in the roof liner, nets on the front seat backs, a car park ticket holder to the right of the steering wheel, a net on the centre console, compartments in the front and rear central arm rests, as well as storage boxes around the rear wheel arches in the boot.
The integrated rear carrier Flex-Fix boasts the unbeatable practicality that has become a Vauxhall trademark and is especially important in this segment. Flex-Fix has the potential to set the new benchmark in flexible exterior transportation, just as the Zafira’s “Flex7” does for interior seating systems. In typical Vauxhall style, its full on-board functionality eliminates the need for cumbersome assembly, dismantling or storage of parts. Flex-Fix is also featured in the new Corsa and is available as an option for the Antara. It stows away almost invisibly under the rear bumper and can easily be pulled out to carry up to two bicycles.
For on-board entertainment, the Antara features a standard MP3-compatible stereo CD Radio, seven speakers, remote controls on the steering wheel and a roof antenna to provide excellent radio reception. The DVD 100 navigation system, which is standard on the Antara SE, features a large 7.5-inch colour info display, as well as mobile phone Bluetooth connection.
Chassis: Car-like handling and all-wheel-drive grip
* Intelligent four-wheel drive for optimum handling
* Multi-link rear suspension for exceptional road-holding
* Trailer stability system increases safety when towing
With its agile handling, precise speed-dependant power steering and stiff chassis, the Antara is clearly designed as a dynamic on-road vehicle with off-road abilities.
The McPherson suspension in front and a four-link suspension in the rear provide a high-quality chassis concept similar to that of the acclaimed Vauxhall Vectra and Signum models.
The front struts are mounted on a highly rigid subframe which guarantees precise wheel alignment and also compensates for lateral loads.
The compact four-link rear axle utilises three transverse and one longitudinal link to locate the rear wheels. This independent set-up makes it possible to optimise rear wheel camber and, compared the more traditional beam axle at the rear, the result is a more controlled ride.
All diesel-engined Antaras also feature a self-levelling device. Instead of the conventional shock absorbers, a regulating system with a pump integrated in the shock absorbers, reservoir, sensor, control mechanism and damper is fitted at both rear wheels and automatically adapts the Antara to loads and trailers.
Buyers who plump for factory-fit towing pack will also discover that Antara will cleverly recognise when a trailer is plugged in and automatically calibrate the ESP system to compensate. A yaw-rate sensor immediately detects any yawing tendencies in the car-trailer combination and automatically stabilises it again with brake intervention or by closing the throttle.
The Antara E comes standard with 17-inch alloy wheels (with 235/60 R17 tyres) and the top S and SE Antara variants have 18-inch alloys (with 235/55 R18s). A Tyre Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) is standard on the SE and monitors via sensors at each valve and activates a warning signal in the info display when more than 0.3 bar is lost.
The Antara’s intelligent active four-wheel drive system combines the benefits of front-wheel drive - such as low fuel consumption and easy maneuvering - with those of four-wheel drive. Under normal conditions, the Antara is a pure front-wheel drive car. However, power can be quickly and seamlessly distributed between the front and rear axle at a ratio of up to 50:50 when needed. The key element for this function is an electronically controlled, electro-magnetically operated, electro-hydraulic differential on the rear axle. The compact and light four-wheel drive system is fully integrated in the ABS and ESP systems and supports the driver effectively in all driving situations, such as during heavy acceleration.
The braking system comprises large, ventilated disc brakes and a modern four-channel ABS. The ABS hydraulics also takes over the brake assist function if emergency braking occurs (Hydraulic Brake Assist, HBA). The modern ESP system boasts numerous additional functions that further increase active safety, including Descent Control System (DCS), a standard feature in all Antaras. DCS allows the vehicle to safely maintain a constant speed even down steep inclines without the driver needing to brake.
During winter holidays on snow-covered roads, for instance, the system ensures that the car does not exceed a pre-selected speed, thereby remaining easy to control. It operates at speeds of up to 30 mph.
If the driver selects first gear while stationary (or "D" for automatic) before a steep slope, then allows the vehicle to roll forward without using the accelerator pedal, and then presses the DCS button, the system will maintain a maximum downhill speed of 6 mph and keeps this speed constant through brake intervention at the front wheels.
If the Antara is approaching a steep downhill slope at a certain speed in a gear higher than first (also valid for automatics), the driver can activate DCS by operating the brake pedal as the vehicle starts to descend. The system then reduces the vehicle’s speed to 10 mph and maintains this speed to the bottom of the slope. DCS also operates in reverse gear. In this case, a constant 5 mph is maintained.
It is also possible to accelerate or decelerate slightly when driving down a slope with DCS activated. When the driver removes his foot from the accelerator or brake pedal, the system returns the vehicle to its pre-selected speed. If the system is activated at a significantly higher speed, the braking effect is immediately noticeable. At the same time, a clearly audible sound informs the driver about the activities of the ESP system’s control unit, which regulates the instant brake intervention.
Development & Quality control
Integral Approach to Quality
* GM “Zero defects policy” applies worldwide
* Extensive test program around the globe
* Clever designs for low maintenance and repair costs
The new Antara, which is manufactured by General Motors Korea, benefits from the strategy of maintaining highly developed, globally consistent standards. The “GM Global Manufacturing System” (GM GMS), implemented throughout the world, is based on five key concepts: "zero defects policy", standardisation, continuous improvement, short cycle times and workforce involvement.
New models undergo demanding durability testing long before series production begins. During the new SUV’s development phase, for example, prototypes and pre-production models covered over three million test miles on testing grounds and tracks worldwide. The test centres in Pferdsfeld, Germany and Millbrook in Bedfordshire played a central role in the Antara’s chassis tuning and durability testing.
In addition to these tests, it is often a combination of material and workmanship details that create a Vauxhall model’s high-quality look, because the car should also appeal to the driver’s – and passengers’ – senses. The new Antara’s good looks are eye-catching from any perspective.
The Antara also sounds good, for example when the doors close with a satisfying click. And it feels good, because the materials are pleasing to the touch and all switch and button movements are precise and well-defined.
A team of scent experts even successfully developed the new Antara’s olfactory qualities. All interior components were analysed and optimised at a laboratory in Rüsselsheim, Germany, resulting in a pleasant scent without odours from plastic parts. The scent experts were recently able to confirm their success when the very first Antaras were delivered.
Plenty of Vauxhall know-how also went into the Antara’s repair-friendly design. Drivers benefit from this in several ways: through low servicing costs, short repair times and favourable insurance premiums.
Construction details that help minimise costs for minor front and rear damage include easily-replaceable bolted subframe radiator supports, bumper fascias that can be changed quickly, and a special repair feature for headlamp mounting brackets. If a headlamp’s plastic holder tears during a minor collision, the headlamp does not necessarily need to be replaced. For such cases, Vauxhall offers a special repair set with a new holder for the Antara, as it does for other models.
Relatively expensive engine components, such as the radiator and the air conditioning condenser, are well protected behind impact force limiters. The bumpers also have large surfaces, and energy absorption is helped by crash boxes bolted behind them. Should an accident occur, a repair method specially developed for the Antara also keeps costs down and enables partial replacement of the vehicle floor if necessary.
In addition, Vauxhall employs preventative measures in other areas, such as full galvanization of all body sections prone to corrosion. And the new Antara will seldom see the inside of a workshop, thanks to inspection intervals of 20,000 miles or one year, as well as many completely maintenance-free components. These include the diesel particulate filter in the diesel models and hydraulic valve lifters in the 2.4-litre petrol engine.
Powertrain: Two engines with 140 or 150PS
* Powerful and modern common-rail diesel
* Maintenance-free diesel particulate filter as standard
* Rugged petrol engine with balancer shafts for refinement
The Antara is available with a choice of two engines – a petrol or a diesel. Both are transversally mounted, feature four-valve technology and are coupled to a five-speed manual transmission as standard
The newly-developed 2.0 CDTi engine with an output of 150PS is expected to take more than 90 percent of sales in the UK. This engine includes newest generation common-rail technology with up to 1600 bar injection pressure, an aluminum cylinder head, a turbocharger with variable vane geometry and a maintenance-free diesel particulate filter,
This particulate filter consists of a solid, honeycomb-shaped ceramic body with microscopic channels. Soot particles collect on the surface of these channels and are regularly burnt off to prevent the filter blocking. Instead of using a complex system of fuel additives to remove these particles, multiple targeted injections raise the diesel engine’s exhaust-gas temperature to 600 degrees Celsius - the soot particulate’s ignition temperature - for the duration of the burning process in the filter. All this happens without the driver even being aware.
The diesel can be mated to a five-speed automatic transmission instead of the standard five-speed manual gearbox. Thanks to ActiveSelect, this automatic transmission also offers manual gear selection, as well as the choice of a winter driving program.
With both transmissions it delivers excellent performance. Accelerating from 50 to 75 mph in fifth gear takes only 12.6 seconds (automatic: 9.7 seconds). According to government figures, consumption is only 37.7mpg on the combined cycle (automatic: 29.4mpg). In combination with the 65-litre fuel tank, this provides an operating range of around 540 miles. Top speed is 111mph (automatic: 108 mph).
The new diesel engine was co-developed by GM Korea and GM Powertrain, and is produced in Gunsan, South Korea. Up to 250,000 engines can be produced annually in the 19,200 square metre plant, where regular production began in March 2006.
Vauxhall re-enters four-wheel drive segment
* Crossover segment has highest growth rates in UK
* As diverse as its target groups and equipment versions
Traditionally, the off-road segment consisted of vehicles which fulfilled a specific need. Very few people would put up with the compromised dynamics and high fuel consumption of a pre-1980s off roader purely for fashion of occasional leisure use.
Since then though, a sucession of ‘fun and fashion’ 4x4s together with advances in technology, have brought four-wheel-drive to a whole new generation of buyers. One of the first was the Frontera. Unveiled in 1991, the Frontera was one of the first SUV models ever and dominated its segment in the UK and Europe for many years.
Unlike the new Antara, which features a unibody monocoque design typical of passenger cars, the Frontera had a ladder frame chassis. In total, around 285,000 units of the classic robust 4x4 were sold in Europe up until it ceased production in 2003.
Even a decade ago the off-road segment represented just 4.1 percent of the market in the UK; by 2006 that figure had grown to 7.66 percent. Registrations dropped off slightly last year as buyers awaited the arrival of significant new models, and sales are expected to rise again this year as those cars reach showrooms.
The so-called ‘fun & fashion’ sector of the market in which the Antara will sit makes up around half of all 4x4 sales, and within this two-thirds are private buyers and just a third are fleet cars. Diesels make up 63.8 percent of sales in the sector, but this is expected to be above 90 percent for the Antara.
There is a higher percentage of automatics bought in the segment too, and Vauxhall expects 35 percent of buyers to opt for a self-shifter. The Antara has a rare option in this class too – the highly-desirable combination of a diesel auto
Nissan’s popular compact crossover, QASHQAI, has been voted best Family Hold-all in the inaugural women’s Car of the Year awards conducted by evecars.com. QASHQAI beat off stiff competition from more traditional models from Volkswagen and Honda to pick up the award, its second high-profile accolade of the year.
An expert panel of women, joined by What Car? Editor Steve Fowler, put the cars through rigorous assessments to reflect what women are looking for when buying a car.
Editor of evecars.com Alex Jenner-Fust said: “The judges were impressed by the QASHQAI’s classy cabin, and the visibility afforded by the high-set seating position. They found it comfortable, spacious and straightforward to drive. Safety and value for money were both strong points too.”
Gary Frigo, Nissan’s managing director commented: “This is the second award for QASHQAI in its first six months of sale. QASHQAI offers an alternative to the conventional hatchback and is the perfect vehicle for families who need space and comfort without compromising on style.”
QASHQAI went on sale on 1 March and since then, over 9700 have been sold. Available with a choice of two petrol and two diesel engines, QASHQAI offers a unique blend of 4x4 strength, interior space of a hatchback and the sleek image of a coupe. Prices starting at £13,499 for a 1.6-litre Visia model rising to £23,249 for the 2.0-litre diesel Tekna with automatic transmission and Nissan’s acclaimed Birdview™ DVD satellite Navigation.
Lincolnshire County Council is planning to reduce the speed limit on the A52 between Boston and Skegness.
One of the reasons given by the council for doing this is:
"The A52 is currently used as a major route for coastal access and the volumes and speed of traffic along this stretch can therefore be high. It is proposed to discourage traffic from the A52 over this length as part of the A158/C541 coastal access improvement. This will lead to traffic continuing north of Boston on the A16, rather than using the A52."
The A52 is used as a major route for coastal access for one simple reason: it is a major route for coastal access. It is the main road between Boston and Skegness.
ABD Spokesman Nigel Humphries said: "It is barking mad to suggest that a speed limit on a major road should be reduced to 'discourage traffic' simply because lots of people use the road, such an opinion is symptomatic of the insane manner in which roads are viewed by councils these days."
The distance between Boston and Skegness is 23 miles via the A52, the alternative route which the council is trying to force people onto, the A16 and A158, is 30 miles.
Retired police officer Keith Peat, now ABD Local Co-ordinator for Lincolnshire said:
"Here is the evidence that speed limits are used on major roads not for safety but for political and strategic reasons and for favouritism of certain hamlets. This by definition will force more traffic onto the A16 between Boston and Partney, what of the villages there? The question now is, how many of our speed limits, and thus convictions, have been no more than political use of speed limits?"
ABD Chairman Brian Gregory said: "All over the country we are seeing speed limits reduced to inappropriate levels for political reasons. Councillors respond to a handful of ill-informed residents, whilst the opinions of the hundreds or thousands of drivers who use the road every day are treated with contempt. It is time speed limit setting was taken away from councils, and put into the hands of a national body representing ALL road users."
Slapping a £25 congestion charge on big cars will do almost nothing for London¹s air pollution or traffic congestion, and is mostly about helping Transport for London¹s flawed scheme pay its own way, according to todays findings in Autocar magazine.
Around 40,000 cars in tax band G a year will have to pay the proposed charge, says Autocar, which will pour an estimated £170 million more into TfL’s coffers. That will lift total revenue to around £250 million and generously cover at last the enormous administration costs of the scheme, which amounted to £152 million last year, and are forecast to rise further.
The unfairness of the C-charge, Autocar believes, is that Band G cars make up a tiny proportion of London’s traffic, and contribute a negligible (and declining) amount to its carbon emissions. Persecuting them will make little or no difference to the overall situation, while damaging the domestic customer base of markets British-based car businesses like Bentley, Rolls-Royce, Aston Martin, Jaguar and Land Rover which boost local jobs and generate big export earnings.
“Ken Livingstone and TfL need to decide, once and for all, what the C-charge¹s true purpose is, beyond persecuting well-heeled, inner-city motorists.” comments says Autocar editor, Chas Hallett. “It¹s good news that drivers of cars with CO2 emissions lower than 120g/km may soon pay nothing, but why do we need a scheme which is so expensive to administer that it has to pick on a minority group which, in the grand scheme of things, does almost no harm to congestion or pollution, and helps preserve British jobs?”
TIME FOR ACTION SAY PETROL RETAILERS
‘Motorists could soon find it more difficult to refuel their vehicles if filling stations continue to close at the current rate,’ said Ray Holloway, director of the Petrol Retailers Association (PRA), commenting on the shrinkage of the UK forecourt sector.
150 forecourts have already closed this year, according to figures released by oil industry body Catalist. There are now less than 9,500 forecourts in the UK, including supermarket filling stations. This is the lowest number of filling stations in the UK since 1912. The situation could become critical if the total number of forecourts continues to drop at the rate of recent years.
Holloway commented: ‘Motorists are now noticing gaps in fuel availability, and if it gets worse as expected, they will certainly be inconvenienced when searching for a forecourt in some areas.
‘Closures are not just in rural areas either. Urban closures are causing equal inconvenience for motorists. Oil company outlets are being closed as fast as independents are forced out of business. Strong supermarket outlet growth since the 1990s and resulting squeeze on margin has made motor fuel retailing a very unprofitable business.’
The PRA believes that Government involvement is critical to save the nation’s fuel stations. Holloway explains: ‘Structure plans developed by local authorities must allow for maintenance of essential services such as forecourts. Some business rate relief is available to forecourt operators in rural areas but not in urban locations. >From the evidence available they must extend this minimal support.’
Holloway adds: ‘The Scottish Executive has a grants scheme available to assist forecourt retailers in Scotland with capital investment. The idea is to preserve businesses, and contribute to the continuation of fuel availability in all areas. Westminster must consider a similar scheme for England and Wales.’
The award winning Nissan Navara has been the top selling pickup in the UK for three consecutive months, forging ahead of its rivals for fiscal year 2007/08 selling 3369 units and taking a 28% market share. With upgraded models currently arriving in showrooms this success looks set to continue.
Sales volume is only part of the story as the sales mix has been dominated by the higher end models. 94% of Navaras sold are double cabs and 53% of those are specified in AVENTURA trim, of which 41% are requested with automatic transmission. OUTLAW accounts for 34% with the remaining being SE and standard versions.
The most popular colour choice with 42% is Metallic Black followed by Storm Grey and Starburst Silver at 22% and 20% respectively.
The latest Navara range builds on the lifestyle image of the vehicle with the addition of integrated indicators and puddle lamps within the door mirrors along with a new six spoke alloy wheel design (SPORT, OUTLAW AND AVENTURA).
Changes to the already generously specified Navara also include Bluetooth® hands free mobile phone system across all grades, with caller ID display, storage of 100 names and numbers plus digital processing ensuring the clearest possible sound quality. Aluminium kick plates on the front door apertures as well as on the tailgate access, plus the addition of footwell illumination add to the premium feel of OUTLAW and AVENTURA. A new colour, Emotion Red has also been included to the range.
The ‘Die-Hard’ special edition which went on sale last month, proved to be very popular with buyers as the full 444 allocation were snapped up before they even arrived in dealer showrooms. Deliveries are expected between now and September.
Prices for the Navara start from £17,615 on the road and all come with Nissan’s comprehensive 36 months or 60,000 miles, 12 year anti-perforation and three year paint pan-European warranty.
Whether you are an off-roader or just heading for the open road, the newly launched Vauxhall Antara SUV has great potential for all owners, and now there is a comprehensive range of tailor-made accessories to suit all lifestyles.
From bike carriers, roof boxes and child seats to storage aids, styling accessories and the latest in satellite navigation, the aftersales experts at Vauxhall have solved just about every problem.
A semi-rigid Cargo Liner in moulded black plastic with anti-slip finish will protect the large load area of the Antara. Designed with lipped sides to provide maximum protection from dirty boots, wet suits or garden supplies, it can easily be removed for cleaning. It is priced at £72.85.
A range of partitioning and fixing aids from Vauxhall’s FlexOrganiser system is also available to provide maximum stowage flexibility and versatility. There are straps, clips and hooks designed to fit the fixation rails fitted as standard to the load area side walls of the Antara, plus a dividing net, floor net and front passenger seat net.
For touring holidays, a detachable coupling tow bar with single electrics could be an essential accessory, along with a set of special towing mirrors. An innovative carrier allowing two bicycles to be mounted on the tow bar is offered at £327.83, while an aluminium base carrier at £128.08 can accommodate a side loading bicycle carrier priced from £83.43, a ski/snowboard carrier or a choice of three roof boxes for secure extra luggage capacity. An Economy box offering 320 litres capacity costs £165.68.
Three different child seats to keep babies and young children up to the age of 12 years safe and secure are available for the Antara, plus rear and side window tint and shade kits to protect children and other passengers from too much sun.
Antara owners can also choose from an extensive range of TomTom portable satellite navigation systems, a Mobile Phone Portal and a MetaSAT Phone-Activated Security System, which allows you to track and immobilise your vehicle using your mobile phone. It is priced at £499.
To customise the exterior of your Antara, the styling experts at Irmscher have created an impressive array of accessories to make your new car stand out in any crowd. The range includes a front lower spoiler, Irmscher cross hatch grille, stainless steel side running boards, sports silencer with split-oval tailpipes, rear roof spoiler and Evo Star alloy wheels.
A comprehensive brochure on all Antara accessories is available from Vauxhall Retailers.
* First all-road car from SEAT, on sale Saturday 20th October
* Two versions – 200 PS TSI and 170 PS TDI – priced at £20,495 and £21,395 RRP
* Four-wheel drive, increased ride height, tough-looking styling
* Comprehensive standard equipment, including rear seat multimedia system
‘Auto Emoción’ is moving from race track to ‘freetrack’ this October, as a rugged new all-road car from SEAT goes on sale – the Altea freetrack 4. And to whet appetites in advance, SEAT UK is today announcing prices for this exciting new vehicle.
Two models will be available, with a brace of powerful engines – the 2.0-litre TSI 200 PS and the 2.0-litre TDI 170 PS, priced at £20,495 and £21,395 respectively. Sitting at the very top of the Altea family, the Altea freetrack 4 is the most lavishly equipped of the lot, with a plethora of equipment fitted as standard.
SEAT Altea freetrack 4 pricing:
- Model Power (PS) RRP on the road
- 2.0-litre TSI 200 £20,495
- 2.0-litre TDI 170 £21,395
The sophisticated multimedia system is a highlight, comprising a roof-mounted 7” screen with RCA connection that allows a link to a DVD player, video games, a laptop computer and even an MP3 player. This way the sound is transmitted through the car’s stereo system.
Further standard-fit elements on the Altea freetrack 4 include dual zone climate control, rain sensor wipers, parking sensors, cruise control, trip computer, light sensor headlights, and a CD MP3 stereo with steering-wheel mounted controls. Rear door window blinds are also fitted as standard, which are stored neatly within the door when not required. Safety equipment includes ESP (Electronic Stabilisation Programme), six airbags and a tyre pressure warning system.
The Altea freetrack 4 is the first SEAT designed to be driven off-road. To this end, it features Haldex-type four-wheel drive transmission, an extra 40 mm of ground clearance and 4x4-inspired styling touches over and above the Altea XL, on which the new model is based.
Performance is in line with SEAT’s sporty image: for example, the 2.0 TSI has a maximum speed of 133 mph, with 0 to 62 mph taking 7.5 seconds, while the 2.0 TDI boasts figures of 127 mph and 8.7 seconds respectively. Despite their turn of speed, the two models’ frugality is impressive – not just for all-road vehicles, but in absolute terms – with respective figures of 30.1 mpg and 41.5 mpg.
Visually, the Altea freetrack 4 is very striking. The most distinctive features are the imposing protective front and rear bumpers, which are linked to each other by a similar moulding that runs below the waistline. New and exclusive 17” alloy wheels and larger diameter tyres complete the look.
The newcomer’s Haldex-type transmission features a hydro-mechanical connection and electronic control. This flexible arrangement means that in normal use, power is fully transferred to the front wheels (which helps improve fuel economy), but as traction deteriorates, up to 50% can be automatically distributed to the rear as required.
The Altea freetrack 4 is also more than up to dealing with the tough task of being the main family car. With a huge 490 litre boot, picnic tables, roof rails and a split rear-seat that can move back and forth by as much as 16 cm, this SEAT is great for not just Mum and Dad, but the whole tribe.
In readiness for the launch of the all new X-TRAIL on 1 September, Nissan has announced a tempting £700 consumer offer increasing the value of the Sport eXpedition and Aventura eXplorer models along with a low rate finance offer of 5.9% APR, which will be available across the whole range.
Adding kit such as DVD satellite navigation with voice recognition, colour rear parking camera, intelligent key and chrome door handles to the SPORT or DVD satellite navigation with voice recognition, colour rear parking camera and xenon headlamps to the Aventura would normally cost an additional £1700 but for a limited time this cost is reduced to £1000. This means that a Sport eXpedition 2.5 now starts from £21,695 and the Aventura eXplorer from £23,695 for the 2.5 petrol engine. If diesel is your preferred choice then add a further £800 for the 150PS 2.0dCi.
Financing the purchase of a new X-TRAIL has been made more attractive with a low interest rate offer of just 5.9% APR if purchased through Nissan’s own PCP finance scheme known as ‘Preferences’. This means TREK 2.0dCi payments can start as low as £259* per month spread over 36 months based on a low deposit of 23%.
For a further £20 per month the highly equipped SPORT grade can be driven away. This model provides an array of extras over the TREK including ALL-MODE 4x4-i which is the intelligent version of the 4x4 system that not only transfers from 2wd to 4wd when conditions sense it is required but now also features Electronic Stability Control (ESP), Uphill Start Support (USS) and Downhill Drive Support (DDS). The SPORT also comes with 17” alloys, front fog lamps, panoramic sunroof, cruise control, privacy glass, speed sensing auto lock, rain sensing wipers, auto headlamps and a 6 x CD auto-changer with 6 speakers.
The new X-TRAIL is available to order now, along with both these offers, from any Nissan Dealer.
Hot on the heels of its success in the emergency sector, Škoda’s has released a purpose-built medical car – the 4 x 4 Octavia Scout Paramedic – which made its debut at the National Association of Police Fleet Managers (NAPFM) exhibition in Swindon on 14 and 15 August.
The Octavia Scout Paramedic is Škoda’s first purpose-built, fully-operational medical car and has been commissioned as a direct response to the high demand for the Octavia Estate 4x4, launched in the UK last June.
Martin Burke, Head of Business Sales at Škoda, comments: “We have been inundated with orders from the emergency services in the last few months. Releasing a purpose-built, part-equipped car like the Scout Paramedic allows us to meet the needs of our clients quickly and accurately.
“With its off-road ability, the 4x4 Octavia Scout Paramedic is particularly suited to emergency situations in places of limited access such as country roads, flooded fields and rocky hills. We decided to unveil the vehicle at the NAPFM exhibition to showcase the clear benefits the Scout can bring to the police force in light of the ever increasing challenges they face.”
As well as offering “an extra bit of car” Škoda offers its business customers high quality customer service and a personal approach which differentiate the car manufacture in the highly competitive fleet market.
The Octavia Scout Paramedic is now available to the fleet market.
For more information please contact Škoda’s Business Sales Team on 08457 745 745 or visit www.skoda.co.uk.
Cooper Tire is once again proving its calibre as the manufacturer and supplier of premier 4x4 tyres with an ambitious 40,000km trek from Cape Town in South Africa to London.
The “Africa Overland” expedition is being made by Australian couple Ron and Viv Moon, and is their eighth trip through the Continent in 20 years. Already halfway through the mammoth 30-week adventure, the couple expects to arrive in London in mid-October.
With South Africa, Namibia, Zambia, Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania, the Serengeti and Kenya already visited, the Cooper Discoverer STT-shod, 4.2-litre Nissan Patrol will pass through a total of 16 countries in all.
“The tyres have performed fantastically well,” said Ron Moon. “We’ve clocked up some 33,000km and put them through some of the toughest roads in Africa, varying from near non-existant tracks, to sandy Kalahari Desert roads and deep mud hole-dotted trails. They’ve been amazingly good for the areas we’ve been driviing in, and the loads we’ve been carrying – our vehicle weighs around 4 tonnes.”
Once they reach London later this year, the Moons are planning to travel across southern Europe, through Russia to North Cape, the most northerly point in Europe. “We may then ship out to America in time for the 2008 automotive trade show, SEMA,” added Moon.
Japanese manufacturer, Daihatsu is celebrating this year’s centenary with two high-value limited edition models based on the Terios mini-SUV and Sirion supermini.
Both will be available in September and – as numbers are limited to 100 of each model – Daihatsu is expecting a total sell-out by the end of the month.
Established in 1907, Daihatsu is a world leader in compact car design and manufacture, renowned for its reliability, practicality and low running costs.
Based on the entry-level Terios S, the new Terios Centenary offers the additional equipment of: Silver metallic paint, alloy wheels, leather-covered steering wheel, front fog lamps and roof rails.
Costing just £12,695 On-The-Road, the Terios Centenary is only £350 more than the Terios S which currently enjoys a £1,000 price cut.
Standard specification also includes air-conditioning, power-steering, ABS with EBD and full-time four-wheel drive with electronic centre diff-lock.
Also standard on the Terios are driver, passenger and side airbags, radio/CD player, four electric windows and even reverse parking sensors.
Being considerably larger than the previous Terios – and boasting a generous 380 litre capacity boot – the Daihatsu flagship also has three rear-seat three-point seatbelts.
Running costs are low for a 4x4 with a ‘politically-correct’ Extra Urban fuel consumption of 40.4 mpg for the Terios 1.5 S and a highly-competitive Group 7D insurance rating.
Meanwhile, the Sirion Centenary is based on the entry-level S model but adds: Silver metallic paint, alloy wheels, electrically-adjustable door mirrors and driver’s seat height-adjustment.
Priced at £7,395 On-The-Road, the Sirion Centenary is only £115 more than the Sirion S which currently benefits from a £500 price cut.
The Sirion’s generous equipment includes air-conditioning, ABS with EBD, driver, passenger and side airbags, radio/CD player, four electric windows and remote central-locking.
The Sirion also has outstanding fuel economy, recording 64.2 mpg on the Extra Urban Cycle for the 1.0 litre version which also has an ultra-low CO2 of 118 g/km.
Daihatsu’s forerunner, Hatsudoki Seizo Company Limited, was founded in 1907 to manufacture internal combustion engines.
The first truck was produced in 1919 and a range of three-wheeled vehicles introduced in 1930, followed by the mid-sized four-wheeled car – the FA – in 1937. In May 1965 Daihatsu became the first Japanese manufacturer to export to Britain with the 797 cc Compagno Berlina.
This exact car is now owned by Daihatsu Vehicle Distributors Limited and regularly takes part in classic car rallies and dealer events.
The Times is reporting that British teens may have to endure another six-months of practice with instructors and the 'rents before they'll be able to go it alone on UK roads. The proposal would increase the minimum training period to 12 months from six, effectively requiring prospective drivers to wait until they're 18 before they can secure a license.
The move comes after recently released studies show that while crash rates have dropped overall, there has been an increase in novice driver crashes over the same period. The reason for the increase in time is to get new drivers more practice behind the wheel, including during winter months. A similar proposal was floated back in 2001, but was promptly nixed after a case was made that the majority of rural teens need a car to get to and from work.
The program will likely be made public this October, and will also include more stringent enforcement of underage drunk drink-driving laws.
Pedestrian death reinforces TyreSafe warnings
The vital part that tyres play in a vehicle’s handling, particularly on wet roads, was brought into sharp focus at Cromer Magistrates Court, in Norfolk*, earlier this week, when a motorist received fines and penalty points on his licence following the death of a pedestrian in an accident involving a worn tyre.
The motorist was driving a car with a defective offside tyre on a wet road, and under emergency braking the car skidded and hit a pedestrian who died some days later. TyreSafe has consistently warned that bald tyres are a major road safety risk and can cause a vehicle to skid out of control, or in some cases, double the normal stopping distance. According to TyreSafe, around 12 per cent of cars and vans on the roads in the UK have at least one defective tyre, and a further 12 per cent have a tyre below 2mm. Whilst this is not illegal, they should be replaced says the safety organisation.
TyreSafe advises that motorists check their tyres visually every week, and more thoroughly on a monthly basis. The organisation also recommends that drivers should never delay replacing a defective tyre, the consequences, as have been proved in court this week, could be fatal.
Transport for London (TfL) has proposed radical changes to the congestion charge that will bring massive bills for larger families and which penalise early adopters of congestion charge-busting hybrid cars. It also raises fundamental questions about the scheme's aims; is it to reduce congestion, raise revenue, penalise drivers of larger cars or to cut emissions?
In its consultation due to be issued on Friday, TfL confirms it intends to link the new charge to car CO2 emissions. Models which emit under 120 g/km CO2 or less will be exempt, while those over 225 g/km will pay £25 a day to enter the recently enlarged central London zone. Most other cars and commercial vehicles will pay £8 a day.
Ironically, owners of some early versions of low-CO2 hybrids can expect to start paying £8 a day too. That's because only cars with the latest Euro 4-compliant engines1 will qualify under new exemption criteria. It also means that families with some seven-seater MPVs and estate cars could be hammered by up to £5,300 a year from February next year, compared to £1,696 now.
The worst news though comes for families living within the zone. Currently, residents are eligible for a 90 per cent residents' discount on the £8 daily charge, meaning they pay around £170 a year. Under the new proposals there will be no residents' discount for owners of cars emitting more than 225 g/km CO2. That means a bill of up to £5,130 a year more than they are paying now.
'Londoners will be sceptical about the motives for this significant change to congestion charging and many will fear this is already a done deal,' said SMMT chief executive Christopher Macgowan. 'However, we will push for a re-think on these totally disproportionate proposals. A family whose car emits one g/km more than their neighbour's could end up paying thousands of pounds more a year. That can't be right.'
On the positive side, exemption criteria will become technology neutral. In other words, regardless of powertrain type, cars emitting less than 120g/km, including petrol and diesel models, will pay nothing to enter the zone.
Incentives for commercial vehicles are welcome too, with trucks meeting highest air-quality standards (Euro 5) set to qualify for a £2 daily discount. However, SMMT is concerned that the new scheme will add further layers of bureaucracy and confusion for road haulage companies struggling to come to terms with the forthcoming introduction of the Low Emission Zone (LEZ).
Manufacturers investing in high blend bio-ethanol (E85) cars will be disappointed that TfL is not considering them for congestion charge exemptions. Tailpipe CO2 emissions are similar to petrol equivalents. However, recent studies at Imperial College demonstrate significant well-to-wheel CO2 benefits of E85 compliant cars - 41 per cent in the case of a Ford Focus FFV2. This should have been factored into TfL's exemption criteria.
Buyers of the new, special edition Mitsubishi L200 Raging Bull will be able to enjoy a fully-integrated Trafficmaster Smartnav system as standard, amongst a long list of features.
In the first installation of its kind, the award-winning Smartnav touchscreen is fully integrated in the vehicle’s centre console, for even greater security and will be backlit blue to complement other instrument lighting, for enhanced visual appeal.
All 500 Raging Bulls will offer a 12-month subscription to Trafficmaster’s Smartnav intelligent navigation and traffic information service, with one-month’s free Trackstar stolen vehicle tracking and Safe Speed camera alerts.
Smartnav is Trafficmaster’s flagship UK product, a combined navigation and live traffic information service that uses real road speeds and live traffic information to calculate the best routes and avoid congestion. Research has shown Smartnav customers save an average four hours a month by missing jams.
Finished in eye-catching Aztec Red, Raging Bull is named after Phil Vickery, England rugby captain and is available to order from dealers now.
Mitsubishi Motors UK managing director, Jim Tyrrell, said: “We were among the first adopters of Smartnav and now we’re delighted to take it to the next level in Raging Bull. The new Raging Bull has been designed to offer much more than a regular pick-up and Smartnav is much more than a standard satellite navigation system. It supports our desire to make Raging Bull a truly special edition.”
Trafficmaster’s Pat Gallagher added: “We’re delighted Mitsubishi has worked with us to create a bespoke Smartnav installation that fully complements the Raging Bull interior.”
Simple yet effective answer to a flat spare tyre
Latest research has confirmed that under inflated tyres are not only a possible safety risk, but also responsible for increased fuel consumption and greater CO2 emissions. Motorists have been urged by TyreSafe - the UK’s leading tyre safety organisation - to check the condition and pressures of all tyres and in particular the spare on a regular basis. Yet the spare tyre is probably the most neglected component on a vehicle. Most motorists never check their spare for correct pressure and as a consequence when that urgent need arises it is very likely to be deflated and in a non usable condition.
Now, 350 Kwik-Fit branches in the UK have an answer to this age old problem – Air in Your Spare. The UK’s number one is now stocking an effective product that enables the spare in the boot to be checked easily and simply. The Air in Your Spare product comprises a strong yet flexible hose which is connected to the valve of the spare tyre and then routed into the boot area. The end of the hose has a visual low tyre pressure warning. This hose can also be used to top up the spare.
Kwik-Fit is now offering Air in Your Spare for £14.99 inclusive of VAT and you can contact your nearest branch on 0800 222 111 to see if they have the device available. Air in Your Spare is produced by the global hydraulics company Pirtek to a European standard. It cannot be damaged when the boot is loaded with cases.
- Cart-illogical Brits relying on technology to get them from A to B-
New research out today reveals that approximately 11 million motorists* (35 per cent) cannot read a basic road map. Over a third of motorists struggled to read a four-figure grid reference and a staggering 83 per cent failed to identify the ‘motorway’ map symbol**.
esure car insurance questioned over 1,000 UK drivers to find out how much the nation’s map reading skills have been affected by new technology***. One in six (16 per cent) UK drivers no longer keep a map in their car, with the majority (63 per cent) admitting to only keeping out of date maps in the car. When tested on their map reading skills, only 1 per cent would pass the Cub Scout Map Reader badge****, which is aimed at 6 to 17 year olds.
8 per cent (which would equate to 2.5 million drivers) admit they could not live without their SAT-NAV systems and 63 per cent of those questioned (21 million motorists) admitted they would be well and truly lost without their satellite navigation (SAT-NAV) system. Despite this up to 36 billion wasted miles (260 miles per motorist) are driven by lost motorists each year – with 50 per cent of motorists claiming that their SAT-NAV system drives them mad at least once a month.
Infamous examples of SAT-NAV mishaps include a Gloucestershire coach driver who bottlenecked his load of pensioners in a narrow country lane for 4 hours and a Manchester ambulance that was transferring a patient being sent 200 miles in the wrong direction.
When it comes to traditional cartography and the battle of the sexes, men claimed to be better than women at reading maps although results showed that both sexes had fairly equal skills, with 62 per cent of women being able to correctly decipher four-figure grid references compared to 68 per cent of men. However, ladies scored higher when it came to correctly identifying map symbols.
The top 10 most confused road map symbols are as follows (1 is least understood):
3, Bus or coach station
4. Nature Reserve
5. Public Convenience
6. Railway Station
7. Place of worship
8. Picnic site
9. Place of worship with spire
10. Camp site
Scott Sinclair from Ordnance Survey, Britain’s national mapping agency, comments:
“It’s time for motorists to take a refresher in map reading skills. Technology is great but the batteries won’t run out on a paper map. No serious hill walker would rely totally on a GPS device in case the power goes or the signal is lost, so it should be the same for the motorist. Many people still enjoy maps and they can really help you build up a sense of the world around you. Knowing how to read a map gives you access to much more information than a set of instructions on a screen.”
Londoners proved to be the worst at reading maps, with nearly half of motorists unable to identify four figure grid references, possibly due to readily available public transport links or perhaps as a result of congestion charging. Motorists in the South East are regarded as the most cart-logically aware being able to identify the most map symbols (66 per cent of those tested correctly matched over 5 symbols to their meaning), however only a mere 36 per cent correctly identified a nature reserve.
Motorists from Scotland are the least knowledgeable with over half (56%) unable to identify five or more symbols, closely followed by drivers from the Midlands (55% per cent). A staggering 12% of Welsh drivers only managed to correctly identify one or none.
Colin Batabyal , Director of Underwriting and Business Development at esure, said:
“It’s pretty embarrassing that the majority of Cub Scouts have better map reading skills than the majority of the adult population. This could potentially lead to dangerous scenarios where people are relying solely on technology which can break down. Better map reading means safer driving, which in turn ensures our customers can be offered as low a premium as possible.”
Mitsubishi Motors UK has joined forces with England rugby captain Phil Vickery, and Raging Bull Limited, to launch a special edition L200 pick-up. Badged the L200 Raging Bull to tie in with Vickery’s exclusive performance clothing company, the new model comes with £2,000 worth of extras for free.
Only available in vibrant Aztec Red and as a Double Cab vehicle, the L200 Raging Bull includes a number of unique features. Most obvious is the dramatic Raging Bull motif at the base of the driver and passenger doors. It’s also stitched into the back support of the leather front seats, and stamped into the front door entry guards.
The front is defined by striking chrome resin guard inserts and a stunning chromed sports grille, flanked by stainless steel headlamp and indicator bezels. At the rear is a stylish step bumper to aid entry into the load bed, and rear stainless steel lamp bezels. The L200 Raging Bull is fitted with functional load liner – made of durable ribbed black plastic – with an integrated and lockable storage box against the cab’s rear bulkhead.
Interior features that are standard on the L200 Raging Bull include Trafficmaster’s award-winning Smartnav navigation system with integrated dashboard touch screen.
The L200 Raging Bull is based on the Warrior model, which means equipment levels are already high. Externally there are stainless steel sidesteps, chromed door handles, graphite grey wheel arch extensions and 17-inch alloys. Inside owners benefit from climate control air-conditioning, leather steering wheel and shift knobs, privacy glass and a six-speaker audio system.
Power comes from the L200’s acclaimed 2.5-litre 136PS DI-D common-rail diesel engine. It’s linked to a Super Select 4WD system via a five-speed manual gearbox, and comes with Mitsubishi Active Stability and Traction Control (M-ASTC). The L200 Raging Bull is also available with a four-speed automatic transmission.
Vickery commented: “The L200 is powerful, tough and rugged, yet great to look at. The synergy between the L200, rugby and Raging Bull’s performance clothing makes great sense. Combining style, action and attention to detail, we see great potential in partnering with Mitsubishi as we introduce our new ranges of sports and leisure clothing, later this year.”
“We are delighted to be associated with Phil Vickery and his Raging Bull company,” said Managing Director of Mitsubishi Motors UK, Jim Tyrrell. “Mitsubishi has long been associated with active sports, in particular with rugby. The L200 is a perfect vehicle for this association, being tough and versatile with rugged good looks, just like Phil!”
The L200 Raging Bull costs just £19,249. That’s £2,000 more than the standard Warrior, but with almost £4,000 worth of extras included it represents excellent value for money. There will be an initial batch of 500 units.
Two Nissan Patrols forming part of the 15,000-mile Long Way Down expedition have crossed the finish line – with just one puncture between them during the entire trip.
The specially-modified 4x4 vehicles supported Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman during their journey from John o’Groat's to Cape Town in South Africa, which will be screened on television later this year.
The cars were driven by co-directors and executive producers Russ Malkin and David Alexanian, and motored on through everything the African continent had to throw at them.
“The cars were amazing – just one puncture along the way and they didn’t let us down once,” said Russ. “I finished on the same four tyres I left on – in fact it was only as the Patrols were being driven away this morning to be shipped back to England that I realised quite how attached we’ve become to them.
“Ewan and Charley really appreciated seeing the Patrols coming over the horizon – the cars meant friends, food, supplies and reassurance. The cars became the mothership of the journey, offering shelter during the more hazardous moments – they really did the job.”
Russ said the entire crew was also grateful for the modifications on the vehicles, including the long-range fuel tanks that had been fitted.
“We were driving across beautiful but wild desert-scapes in Namibia – we didn’t have to go that way but we wanted to because it looked so amazing,” he said. “But once out there you realise you really are in the middle of nowhere and you couldn’t just stop for petrol. Nissan put fuel tanks with a 450-mile range in the Patrols and that got us across the desert so we could film.”
Russ and David, together with a medic, were part of the small support crew following Ewan and Charley on their epic journey, which finished at the weekend in the shadow of Table Mountain in Cape Town.
“The arrival in Cape Town was incredible – we were approaching in the Patrols to be met by hundreds of people with a helicopter overhead filming us – the sense of achievement, and relief, was amazing,” added Russ.
Russ now has one last ambition for the Nissan Patrol that got him through the journey – picking up his 12-year-old daughter Emily from school in it.
“The Patrol looks really cool, so for her dad to rock up in it to collect her from school would be fantastic,” he added.
The Patrols are due back in England in three weeks time and Nissan will work with the Long Way Down team on what to do with them next.
John Parslow, Nissan 4x4 brand manager, said: “We knew the Patrols would not let the crew down but even so this is another incredible achievement by Ewan, Charley, Russ and David and we congratulate them on finishing the journey.
“This has been a fantastic partnership for us and we look forward to working with the guys on even more exciting projects in the future.”
The expedition was a follow-up to the original Long Way Round trip in 2004 which saw Ewan and Charley ride more than 19,000 miles, travelling eastwards through Europe and Asia, completing their journey in New York. This time the trip covered 15,000 miles supported by the Nissan Patrols which were home to the mobile editing suite used to document the pair’s adventure for a new BBC TV series.
The Porsche Cayenne S ‘Transsyberia‘ has been developed to compete in the 2007 Transsyberia Rallye, a gruelling driving challenge that will take contestants from Moscow all the way through Siberia to Ulaanbaatar in Mongolia from 2-17 August.
Last year two private teams participated in the Transsyberia Rallye for the first time with the Porsche Cayenne S, finishing first and second in their very first attempt. Attracted by the successful participation of these two cars, Porsche now offers Cayenne drivers the option to enter motorsport successfully with this outstanding model.
The Porsche Cayenne is well-known and admired for its outstanding combination of on-road dynamics and off-road ability. The recently-introduced second generation Cayenne moves this benchmark to an even higher standard. New power units with direct petrol injection, for example, provide even more power and performance on less fuel, cutting fuel consumption by up to 15 per cent versus the former models.
Another highlight is the new Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control (PDCC) featuring two active anti-roll bars to almost completely eliminate body sway when cornering. The PDCC delivers maximum axle articulation when driving off-road, serving to further improve the already superior traction offered by the electronically controlled all-wheel drive.
For the Transsyberia vehicle, Porsche has enhanced the already excellent off-road qualities of the Cayenne to an even higher standard, developing a special model suited particularly for successful participation in long-distance rallies. The Cayenne S Transsyberia, which is being built in a small series of just 26 units, comes with specific all-terrain tyres, a safety roll cage, a shorter transmission final drive ratio, a transverse differential lock, a larger reinforced underbody skidplate, and strengthened track control arms on the front axle. At 385bhp (283kW), engine output of the eight-cylinder remains unchanged.
One of the last adventures in the world on four wheels – the Transsyberia Rallye
From 2-17 August, competitors will be following the route of this very demanding orientation rally from Moscow all the way through Siberia to the finish line in Ulaanbaatar in Mongolia. In all, they will be covering over 4,000 miles on public roads, gravel tracks and the toughest trail paths, even crossing rivers and taking special tests in the Gobi Desert. And while navigation is perhaps the biggest challenge on the long stages of the Rallye, it is the driver's personal skill and, of course, the qualities of the car that count in the special trials on tracks closed to the public. The Transsyberia Rallye is split into six categories of vehicles, with the Cayenne S Transsyberia featuring a 4.8-litre V8 entering the race in Class 1C for petrol-powered passenger cars with engine capacity of more than four litres.
Twenty-Six Porsche Cayenne S Transsyberias Line Up
With its intelligent all-wheel drive, high-performance and efficient V8 direct-injection power unit, as well as height-adjustable air suspension including Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM), the Porsche Cayenne S is perfectly prepared for even the toughest roads and tracks.
Following the outstanding success of the Cayenne on the event last year, 26 customer teams from all over the world are entering the 2007 Rallye with this special version of the Cayenne S.
The Sporting All-Round Performer
The Porsche Cayenne S Transsyberia is a typical Porsche through and through, tailored precisely to the needs and requirements of the sporting, ambitious customer – which in this case means a car tailored specifically to the requirements of long-distance rally racing.
Compared with the “regular" version of the Cayenne S, the Porsche Cayenne S Transsyberia as a special rally version has been modified on a number of points serving first and foremost to enhance safety and the car's racing performance.
Production Engine, Shorter Transmission Ratio
The power unit of the Porsche Cayenne S Transsyberia has been carried over from the regular road version of the Cayenne S with hardly any changes. Output of this 4.8-litre naturally-aspirated V8 with direct petrol injection remains 385bhp (283 kW) at 6,200 rpm. Maximum torque of 500Nm or 369 lb-ft, in turn, comes at just 3,500 rpm.
VarioCam Plus valve management ensures a smooth and consistent surge of power throughout the entire speed range, with engine management varying valve lift on the intake side between 3.6mm and 10mm as a function of engine speed. And with the intake manifold also being variable in length, the engine provides muscular torque right from the start even at low engine speeds. Despite the increase in power over the previous engine, the new 4.8-litre reduces fuel consumption by approximately 15 per cent, giving the Cayenne S a significantly longer cruising range than before – obviously a big advantage particularly in a long-distance rally.
Automatically detecting the quality of the fuel it is running on, the engine is also able to run on regular fuel with an octane rating of 91 or more, even though this can reduce both engine output and torque. In fact, the engine is also able to run on a mixture of petrol and ethanol, with up to 25 per cent of the latter.
A sports exhaust system reduced for minimum weight gives the Cayenne S Transsyberia a particularly powerful and muscular sound, while Tiptronic S transmission with a shorter final drive ratio helps to ensure even better acceleration both from the start and in gears. And last but not least, the transmission management has been optimised for off-road use of the vehicle.
Even Better off the Beaten Track
Like all other models in the Cayenne range, the Cayenne S Transsyberia also comes with Porsche Traction Management (PTM) permanent all-wheel drive. In its basic mode, PTM feeds 62 per cent of the engine's torque to the rear wheels and 38 per cent to the front. An electronically controlled multiple-plate clutch is able to vary the distribution of power as a function of driving conditions, if necessary feeding as much as 100 per cent of the engine's power completely to the front or rear. The centre differential locks respond not only to lack of traction on the front or rear wheels, but also have sensors measuring the speed of the vehicle, its lateral acceleration, the steering angle and the position of the accelerator pedal.
Using this information, PTM is able to consistently calculate the degree of lock required on the two axles and feed precisely the power required to the axle at the front and rear. A rear differential lock fitted additionally in the Cayenne S Transsyberia serves to enhance offroad driving qualities to an even higher standard (and is also available in the regular production model as part of the optional Offroad Technology Package).
Reinforced and extra-large underfloor protection panels made of aluminium and an additional cover made of stainless steel for the exhaust tailpipes protect the Cayenne S Transsyberia from the particular damage and exposure easily encountered on a rally with its extremely tough conditions.
Porsche Active Suspension Management and Dynamic Chassis Control
Particularly in heavy terrain, PDDC Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control - interacting with air suspension and PASM Porsche Active Suspension Management - enhances traction to an even higher standard. And should the driver activate the low-range mode on the six-speed automatic transmission by means of the control switch, PDCC will automatically switch over to the off-road mode, the system thus allowing maximum articulation of the axles.
In the Special Off-road Mode provided by the air suspension, the maximum depth when crossing rivers and streams, etc, is approximately 75cm. To make such an extreme depth possible, both the body and the doors are sealed off against the penetration of water all the way up to the side windows. And using a flexible air filter snorkel, the air intake has been moved up even further to the roof of the vehicle, ensuring that the bow wave typical when crossing water is not able to reach, let alone enter, the engine air intake manifold.
The wheels and suspension of the Cayenne have also been modified for the most extreme, long-term demands of rough tracks and rocky surfaces. As an example, the double-arm front axle comes with reinforced track control arms, with the track itself increased by 34mm for extra stability.
The tyres are specific off-road examples measuring 255/55 R 18 T and homologated for speeds of up to 190 km/h or 118 mph. The tyres themselves are fitted on 18-inch, 15-spoke Cayenne S II light-alloy wheels and the rim hubs are finished in orange.
Massive Safety Cell within the Interior
It is recognised that the Porsche Cayenne ranks right at the top in its market segment in terms of body stiffness and passive safety – no surprise, considering that more than 60 per cent of the body-in-white is made of high-strength steel. To offer both the driver and passenger further protection from the consequences of a collision or roll-over under racing conditions, the Cayenne S Transsyberia comes with a safety cage bolted on to the passenger cell. Indeed, this cage even follows the rules and requirements of the FIA Motorsport Authority, with the driver also being protected by an airbag for extra safety.
Optimised for Minimum Weight All Round
To off-set the extra weight of the safety cage and rally equipment, and to further lower the vehicle's centre of gravity, the rear seat bench, interior body panels and sound-proofing material have all been removed from the car. Central locking, in turn, is replaced by a manual door opening mechanism on the front doors. Both the rear window and the rear side windows are made of light polycarbonate, while the side windows at the front, as on all Cayenne models, feature special hydrophobic treatment at the outside to make water run off more quickly and smoothly, ensuring that the windows remain cleaner for longer than with conventional glass.
On the tailgate the Cayenne S Transsyberia has a roof spoiler with a double-wing profile to provide even greater stability at high speeds. The front and rear air aprons, in turn, are finished in stainless steel, and orange-coloured wheels give the Cayenne S Transsyberia a sporting look, making the vehicle easily recognisable.
The Cayenne S Transsyberia is available exclusively in two special colour schemes – either Basalt Black Metallic or Crystal Silver Metallic. And matching the model designation at the sides as well as the wheel rims, contrasting elements such as the exterior mirrors, the rear wing, the additional headlights and crossbars on the cooling air intakes are all finished in orange.
Wide Range of Rally Equipment
All 26 examples of the Cayenne S Transsyberia are fitted with a GPS navigation unit as standard enabling the team to plan their routes when off-road, with the system naturally being masterminded by the passenger for optimum efficiency. The glove compartment is replaced on this model by a Tripmaster computer enabling the co-pilot to scrutinize the route in detail between individual navigation points on the way.
Most of the control units are fitted within the interior, and all electric cables have been installed at new points and in new positions. Using a central switch at the right beneath the driver's seat, the driver or passenger are able to switch the on-board electrics on and off in one quick and convenient operation, thus re-setting the electronic system if necessary even while driving.
The regular foot-operated parking brake is replaced by a handbrake, to enable extreme maneouvres. Four additional headlights are fitted on the roof, and to successfully master particularly difficult and demanding terrain, the Cayenne S Transsyberia comes with a winch easy to fit when necessary and stored for convenient use in the luggage compartment.
The luggage compartment also comes with two 20-litre reserve fuel cans, a hydraulic off-road car jack, two fire extinguishers, two sand boards, two full-size spare wheels, and two transport boxes for tools. Further features included as standard are two two-man tents, two heat-insulated mats, four tie-down straps, a nine-metre-long salvage belt complete with tackle, a folding spade, a folding saw, an axe, a manually operated and adjustable spotlamp, four towing eyes and a complete Hazet toolkit.
Gaydon, Warwickshire, 3 August 2007 – In response to customer demand, Land Rover is giving more owners of its cars the opportunity to reduce their impact on the environment by widening its industry leading CO2 offset programme.
Customers driving pre-2007 model year cars or who exceed the 45,000 miles on 2007 model year vehicles will now be able to offset their emissions through Climate Care, a highly respected specialist CO2 offset provider. Climate Care will invest in a portfolio of projects that is fully transparent, independently assessed and effective. Customers will have the option to offset either 15,000 miles or 45,000 miles, which equates to approximately one or three years’ use respectively.
Using an online calculator developed for Land Rover customers, an offset figure is generated based on fuel type, number of cylinders, transmission type and the mileage to be offset. To do this Land Rover customers can visit www.climatecare.org.uk/landrover.
The scheme will complement the industry leading CO2 offset programme introduced last September on 2007 model year vehicles where the first 45,000 miles are offset as standard in the UK.
In addition to offsetting vehicle emissions, Land Rover also offsets the CO2 generated by production operations at its two manufacturing facilities in Britain.
Land Rover’s main offset programme is overseen by an independent Board of Governance. Board members include the former government adviser and diplomat, Sir Crispin Tickell, one of the first people to raise awareness of climate change, and Dr Sally Uren, the director of the Business Programme at the sustainable development charity, Forum For The Future.
Land Rover’s ultimate goal is CO2 neutrality with investments being made in renewable energy projects such as wind and hydro, technology change and energy efficiency.
Land Rover’s CO2 Offset Programme is part of an integrated approach to reducing its impact on the environment. The company is developing new technologies, including hybrids, and its engineers are at the forefront of a £700m investment in future technology.
Phil Popham, Land Rover’s Managing Director, said, “Land Rover takes its responsibility to the environment seriously and demand for a voluntary offset scheme shows us owners share our commitment. This programme will enable them to make a difference now and will be of real benefit to communities, the environment and wildlife.”
Mike Mason, the Chairman and founder of Climate Care Group, said, “This month the UK Parliament’s Environmental Audit Committee recommended that all carbon intensive businesses should provide offset services. Land Rover has already risen to this challenge by launching the largest consumer offset scheme in the world last year, covering all new vehicles sold in the UK. The extension of this scheme to existing owners further demonstrates their leadership in the automotive sector.”
The highly acclaimed Hyundai Santa Fe range is joined in the showroom this August by a limited edition model, Hyundai Santa Fe Limited, offering £900-£1,100 worth of additional equipment over the usual CDX model.
Diesel powered, the Hyundai Santa Fe Limited is available as either a 5 seater for £23,795 or a 7 seater for £24,895; automatic versions are priced at £25,195 and £26,295 respectively. Metallic and Mica paint are an additional £375.00.
This strictly limited edition model includes integrated running boards and wheel arch trims, privacy glass, reversing sensors, sports mesh grille, limited badges and a choice of four colours – Ebony Black, Sleek Silver, Gun Metal and Black Pearl. The highly visual special equipment package would usually cost consumers £1200 for the 5 seater and £900 for the 7 seater.
The Santa Fe range is still receiving plaudits from the media. In July Santa Fe CRTD CDX won a group test in Auto Express beating the newly introduced Chevrolet Captiva and the well established Honda CR-V. In addition What Car? placed the Santa Fe CRTD CDX ahead of the Chevrolet Captiva and Mitsubishi Outlander, praising its spacious cabin, practicality, refinement, comfort and warranty package.
Specification levels for the Hyundai Santa Fe Limited include high levels of safety equipment such as an Electronic Stability Program, ISOfix child seat fittings, side impact bars, traction control, active head restraints, multiple airbags and adjustable head restraints all round.
Inside the new highly specified Santa Fe Limited standard fittings include leather seats, seven speaker audio system with MP3 compatibility, air conditioning, electric driver’s seat and much more.
Fuel consumption is 38.7 mpg on the Combined Cycle, delivering a potential range of over 600 miles.
The new Santa Fe Limited comes with the famous Hyundai warranty package that includes 5 year unlimited mileage warranty, 6 year anti-perforation warranty as well as 3 year Hyundai RAC assistance.