First variant to go on sale in China in late 2006
TOKYO (6 July, 2006) – Nissan Motor Co., Ltd, today announced it would release a new family of global cars over the next two years with sales of the first variant to start in China in 2006. The Livina Geniss, the name of the Chinese variant, will be the first Nissan car ever to be released in China ahead of other global markets.
"This new family of global cars represents an important investment for Nissan," said Nissan Executive Vice President Carlos Tavares. "We expect the Livina Geniss and the other variants to become significant contributors to Nissan’s growth in China and other key global markets," continued Tavares.
The Livina Geniss will make its world premier at the Guangzhou International Motor Show later this month. Based on the concept of a luxurious, yet practical vehicle, the model seats up to seven people and accommodates a wide variety of customer needs. The exterior features a bold, modern design and is complemented by a highly flexible interior that provides multiple seating arrangements and a high standard specification.
Like the other models in this new global family, the Livina Geniss has been designed and engineered at the Nissan Technical Center in Atsugi, Japan and will be built on a Renault-Nissan Alliance common platform.
The Livina Geniss will be powered by a 1.8-litre gasoline engine with C-VTC (Continuous Valve Timing Control) for improved power and torque. The model will be manufactured at Dongfeng Motor Co.’s (DFL) Huadu plant in Guangdong Province. DFL is Nissan’s joint venture in China with Dongfeng Motor Group Co., Ltd. The other variants will be produced at different facilities around the world.
Jaguar is proud to unveil its new supercharged sports car – the Jaguar XKR. Building on the excellence of the all-new XK introduced in late 2005, the XKR takes the Jaguar experience to new heights.
Like the normally aspirated XK model, the new XKR makes intelligent use of practical, modern technology such as its industry-leading aluminium monocoque body structure. In addition, an uprated 420bhp (SAE) supercharged V8 engine and class-leading calibration of its state-of-the-art, six-speed automatic transmission bring it a level of accessible, real-world performance that makes the XKR the most impressive, everyday, sporting GT in its class.
And the XKR’s powerful statement of intent is emphatically reinforced by enhanced sporting styling cues such as a unique front bumper, aluminium-finish grilles and bonnet louvers; unique 19 and 20-inch alloy wheel designs and a quad-exhaust system add to its overall presence.
"The new supercharged XKR captures perfectly the essence of what makes a Jaguar XK so special," commented Bibiana Boerio, Jaguar Cars managing director. "It is a flawless combination of refined Grand Tourer and serious performance sports car, that delivers a truly rewarding and exhilarating driving experience."
NEW JAGUAR XKR AT A GLANCE
* New supercharged Jaguar XK sports car – the XKR, available as a Coupe or Convertible
* All the attractions and attributes of the XK – but amplified in the ‘R’ to complement the extra power and performance
* 4.2-litre, supercharged V8 engine developing 420bhp and 560Nm of torque
* 0-60mph time of 4.9 seconds and 155mph (electronically limited) top speed. 50-70mph in just 2.5 seconds
* All-aluminium construction means a lighter, stiffer car, improving handling and agility. At 1665kg, the Coupe is 70kg lighter than its predecessor, while the 1715kg Convertible is 100kg lighter than the previous convertible XKR
* Uprated springs and dampers and recalibrated Computer Active Technology Suspension system for enhanced ride and handling
* Class-leading six-speed automatic transmission with steering-wheel-mounted ‘paddles’ for ultra-quick gear shifts
* Active Exhaust System to ensure cruising speed refinement but purposeful V8 roar under hard acceleration.
* Subtle XKR exterior styling enhancements include a sportier grille and front bumper design, louvred bonnet, unique aluminium-effect side power vents and new wheel designs
* Enhanced interior includes unique aluminium ‘weave’ design on the fascia (polished burr walnut is optional at no extra cost) and XKR sports seats
* Intuitive controls and driver-focussed technologies are available – including Keyless Entry, Keyless Start, advanced Touchscreen and Active Front Lighting
* Occupies unique market position, with performance to match rivals costing up to £30,000 more but price to match less well-performing rival models
* In summary, the epitome of a contemporary Jaguar Grand Touring sports car and a perfect illustration of the marque’s philosophy of building beautiful, fast cars
* Available to order from July onwards, with prices starting at £67,495 – a premium of just 12.5% over the normally aspirated XK
Driving the new XKR – exhilaration redefined
The new 420bhp (SAE) Jaguar XKR is a sensational car to drive. With 120bhp (SAE) more power than the normally aspirated 4.2-litre XK, the same strong and stiff aluminium body structure that ensures superb ride and handling, and a six-speed automatic transmission with Jaguar Sequential Shift that is regarded as class-leading in terms of gearchange speed as well as refinement, Jaguar’s blend of performance and dynamics reaches new heights with the XKR.
"Our aim when engineering the new XKR was to ensure that the car’s character remained balanced despite the significant increase in power over the normally aspirated XK," explains Jaguar’s chief engineer, Mike Cross. "Our engineering team worked to the brief of creating a car that is 120% and more of an XK – the ultimate sports GT for the real world. We wanted the performance and dynamism you would expect of an XKR but were careful to retain that exceptional blend of sporting luxury that every Jaguar must have and which was so convincingly demonstrated with the XK. The bottom line is: if you like the XK, you’ll absolutely love the new XKR."
The result of that engineering brief is a car that performs in any conditions, at any speed. With superb torque at low engine speeds, instant acceleration is always available should you demand it. Similarly, the advanced steering and suspension set-up means the new XKR switches effortlessly from relaxed grand tourer to honed sports car with ease. It is everything the XK is and much more besides.
Supercharged 4.2-litre engine
The ability to call upon impressive reserves of power and acceleration in an instant is the hallmark of every great Jaguar. The new XKR ensures this by using a remarkable 4.2-litre supercharged AJ-V8 engine. Producing 420bhp (SAE) at 6250rpm and 560Nm (EEC) of torque at 4000rpm it is capable of propelling the Coupe version to 60mph in 4.9 seconds (5.0 seconds for the Convertible) and onto an electronically limited top speed of 155mph (250km/h).
The addition of a supercharger and twin air intakes means the new XKR benefits from a 120bhp (SAE) power increase over the normally aspirated 4.2-litre XK with which it shares its engine configuration. Torque, so essential for instant acceleration at any engine speed, also increases significantly – by 36% over the XK, although the overall weight of the XKR is raised by just 70kg. Consequently the power-to-weight ratio compared to the normally aspirated 4.2-litre XK is an impressive 34% higher.
And in comparison to the previous generation XKR, the new engine produces 7.7% more power and 3.3% more torque. Combined with the significantly stiffer and lighter aluminium monocoque body structure of the new XKR, these performance improvements lead to a significant leap in the power-to-weight ratio of 12% over the previous XKR and an equally useful jump of 7.7% in the torque-to-weight ratio. To achieve the equivalent improvements in power and torque-to-weight in the outgoing XKR would have required nearly 50 more horsepower. Consequently, the 0-60mph sprint time of the new XKR Coupe is reduced by 0.3 seconds.
The heart of these significant performance improvements is the XKR’s lightweight eight-cylinder engine with an Eaton supercharger. The water-cooled cylinders are arranged in a 90-degree V configuration and the crankshaft is supported by five main bearings. Each of the two cylinder head assemblies incorporates twin camshafts operating four valves per cylinder. One of the reasons for the engine’s impressive output is the continuously variable valve timing which helps to deliver a wide spread of torque. The engine uses an Electronic Return-less Fuel System (ERFS) and a three-way catalyst exhaust system.
The increase in power and torque over the outgoing XKR model is down to two significant additions to the engine. The air intake supply to the engine has been significantly enhanced thanks to the use of twin air inlets and a Variable Inlet Camshaft Timing system is used for the first time on the XKR. By continuously adjusting the timing of the inlet camshaft on both banks of the V8 depending on the engine speed and load, Jaguar’s engineers have ensured large improvements in torque, particularly at lower revs.
The system is controlled by the Engine Management System (EMS) which receives engine speed, throttle position and oil temperature data from its sensors. The EMS determines the correct inlet camshaft timing by continuously referring to a digital three-dimensional map developed to provide optimum performance. The EMS then transmits the appropriate signals to two solenoids that control the degree of hydraulic force provided to the valve actuators.
The normally aspirated 4.2-litre XK has been praised for its acoustic qualities, remaining unobtrusive and relaxed at modest speeds but producing an unmistakeable V8 soundtrack when worked hard. On the XKR, the presence of supercharger whine threatened to dominate the acoustic character and mask the underlying sound quality. However, through enhancements to the vehicle acoustic pack, the supercharger noise has been reduced by 5dB compared to the previous XKR.
This approach to acoustics allowed the engineers to concentrate on using the exhaust system to deliver the best possible sound quality character. This was accomplished through the use of the XKR’s Active Exhaust system which varies the flow of exhaust gases through the main silencer box to ensure that the XKR remains quiet at cruising speeds but delivers a substantially more purposeful sound quality character under hard acceleration.
Jaguar's Sequential Shift uniquely combines all the speed and involvement of a sequential manual gearbox with the comfort and convenience of a full automatic. The system consists of steering wheel-mounted paddles and a conventional gear selector lever, allowing the driver to switch between three automatic or paddle-operated gearbox modes.
Whereas an automated manual gearbox interrupts the flow of torque during the gearchange – while the clutch is disengaged – the Jaguar's gearbox maintains the flow of torque throughout the shifting process. This results in gearchanges that are not only quick, but also remarkably smooth. Gearshifts are achieved in less than 600 milliseconds, from the point at which the driver operates the shift paddle to the point at which the shift is complete.
In fact, during development, comparison tests between Jaguar Sequential Shift and rival automatic transmissions in the class showed the transmission to be the fastest system of all, changing gear at least 400 milliseconds faster than a standard automatic and 100 milliseconds faster than the best automated manual system.
The three gearbox modes give the driver total flexibility to use the transmission to match whatever driving style he or she chooses. In Drive mode, the gearbox behaves as a conventional automatic, with the software optimised for every day driving conditions providing all the benefits of a best-in-class automatic transmission.
In Sport mode, the gearbox's adaptive software becomes more prevalent, adapting and reacting more dynamically to demanding conditions. This software takes account of the prevailing conditions and driver's inputs and adapts accordingly. For example, it recognises when the car is negotiating a curve, and holds the gear accordingly; Hill Recognition enables the XKR to choose the ratios to optimise the ascent or descent of a hill; the gearbox’s software will also match the engine speed precisely to the engine and road speeds, ‘blipping’ the throttle during rapid downshifts.
Manual mode is activated by simply operating one of the steering wheel-mounted paddles, and delivers a state-of-the-art manual gear shift feel from the automatic transmission.
CHASSIS, SUSPENSION AND BRAKES
To ensure optimum ride and handling the XKR’s springs and dampers are uprated compared to the normally aspirated XK. The front spring rate is increased by 38% and the rear spring rate by 24%. Allied to the Servotronic steering system, which has also been tuned both mechanically and electronically to give the steering more weight and even greater response, the uprated suspension ensures confidence-inspiring handling without any loss in refinement and comfort levels.
Because of the inherent strength and stiffness of the chassis, the only significant addition to the XKR’s structure is an additional rear suspension brace mounted between the rear damper towers to accommodate the significant increase in rear spring rate. This also allows the Convertible to utilise the same dynamic settings as the Coupe model.
The Computer Active Technology Suspension (a two-stage adaptive damping system that ensures the optimum balance between ride and handling) and new switchable Dynamic Stability Control with Traction Control System (Trac DSC) have also been recalibrated to cope with the additional power of the supercharged engine.
As significant to the XKR as the increases in power and torque are the major improvements in strength and weight thanks to its advanced all-aluminium architecture. Unique in the industry as a complete aluminium monocoque body structure, as distinct from an aluminium spaceframe with separate aluminium exterior panels, its properties come from both the way the bodyshell is designed and constructed and the use of new joining technologies.
In fact, the new XKR’s aluminium chassis is significantly lighter and stiffer in both Coupe and Convertible form than the steel model it replaces. The Coupe chassis is over 30 percent stiffer than the previous XK, while the Convertible is over 40 percent stiffer. As a consequence the XKR accelerates faster than the previous model, while offering high levels of safety, reduced noise and vibration intrusion, and improved ride and handling characteristics thanks to improved suspension dynamics.
The new XKR Coupe is also stiffer and lighter than the Mercedes-Benz SL55 AMG, with a kerb weight of just 1665kg – some 290kg less than the Mercedes. In Convertible form the BIW weight, at just 287kg is 19 percent lighter than the previous XKR Convertible.
New, larger ventilated brake discs at the front ensure higher braking performance for the XKR. The front brake disc diameter has increased from 326mm to 355mm and the thickness from 30mm to 32mm, which not only improves the braking performance but also the system’s resistance to fade. The braking system also includes four-channel ABS, Electronic Brake Force Distribution, Hydraulic Brake Assist to increase brake pressure during an emergency stop, and Jaguar’s Electronic Park Brake function.
With the much-admired new XK already considered a future design classic, Jaguar’s creative team, led by Ian Callum, had a great starting point from which to produce the XKR. The XK range’s elegant form draws on the lineage of the original XK and E-type sports cars, and by blending this unmistakeable Jaguar silhouette with contemporary flair its exterior forms a stunning blend of elegance, athleticism and definition. The XKR now takes this athletic look one stage further thanks to the addition of:
• New XKR front bumper with colour-keyed finish to unique front fog lamp housings
• Aluminium side power vent finish
• Bonnet louvres and unique ‘XKR’ aluminium finish to upper and lower front mesh grilles
• Aluminium finish to rear signature ‘blade’ and selected exterior brightwork finishers
• Unique ‘Jupiter’ design 19-inch alloy wheels as standard, with 20-inch ‘Cremona’ XKR wheel available as an option
• Black brake callipers with ‘R’ logo
• Quad exhaust system and unique lower bumper
• ‘R’ rear badge
Design Director Ian Callum explains the thinking behind the look of the new XKR:
"We talk at Jaguar of how our new generation of models are ‘beautiful, fast cars’. It’s a phrase that ideally sums up our brand and can be applied to every car we design. We were extremely proud of the reaction to the new XK when it was unveiled last year – it is as beautiful as you would expect a Jaguar sports car to be. Now the new XKR has a look that emphasises the ‘fast’ aspect of our design statement.
"The ‘powerline’ that runs from the front wheel through the cabin area and into the car’s rear haunches remains and we have added to that latent feeling of power by adding some strong performance features such as the louvres that signify the potent supercharger and the stunning new alloys that fill the wheel arches and give the car real purpose."
The new XK’s interior design has been just as highly praised and the XKR’s cabin represents arguably the most sophisticated yet driver-focussed environment of any car in its class. The XKR has class-leading ergonomics, user-friendly in-car technology and simple, clear information displays in the instrument panel and main dashboard area.
A unique sports seat design with additional lateral support for both the driver and front seat passenger has been added, with an ‘R’ badge on the headrests, tachometer, steering wheel and gear selector. The design of the standard aluminium interior veneer is also unique to the XKR, featuring a ‘weave’ pattern from the Advanced Lightweight Coupe showcar.
XKR customers can also specify the Luxury Sports interior option which features softgrain leather on the 16-way adjustable seats, instrument panel, door trim and centre console.
THE XKR MARKETPLACE
Like the normally aspirated XK, the new XKR competes within the global sports car sector. In 1999 this sector accounted for just under 50,000 sales per year worldwide. Since that time the sector has doubled in size.
The XKR will appeal to a select group of affluent potential customers, who have an affinity with luxury products. They are looking for a grand tourer as well as a car with pure sporting credentials; one that provides exhilaration and escapism combined with status and exclusivity – ‘luxury in a sports skin’.
The new XKR, like all Jaguars, offers excellent value for money in the sports car market. With prices starting from £67,495, the XKR ensures customers will enjoy a considerable increase in performance over the normally aspirated XK for a relatively small price premium. They will also benefit from a significant performance advantage over rivals such as the Mercedes-Benz SL500, which is slower and heavier than the XKR, despite costing over £8000 more.
Furthermore, the XKR offers a full suite of comfort, convenience and technology features, the large majority of which (such as satellite navigation, BluetoothTM telephone, Touchscreen display and keyless start) are not standard on many rival cars of similar price, or even available at all.
And because of its advanced lightweight body structure and powerful supercharged engine, the XKR’s performance even matches cars that are not direct competitors in terms of either price or technical specification. For example, it beats the £81,760, 5.0-litre BMW M6 on torque-to-weight ratio and virtually matches the £99,045, 5.5-litre SL55 AMG on power-to-weight ratio.
o Subtle changes for 2007 Modus range
o Widest range of engines, gearboxes and trim levels in its class
o No price increase over current range
With the trend for car downsizing continuing unabated, Renault’s multi-award-winning Modus, the "small car with a big heart", has been given a fresh look for the 2007 model year and is on sale now.
The new range has quite a reputation to live up to. In just a little over a year, Modus has scooped numerous awards, including Diesel Car Best Supermini, Scottish Small Car of the Year and Test Drive magazine’s Compact MPV and Overall Readers Award. Based on this impressive awards haul, fans of the current Modus will be pleased to learn that the revised range will continue largely in the same vein as today’s, in terms of choice, design and price.
Renault’s spacious and versatile Modus has only been available in the UK since September 2004, so the changes to the new 2007 range are subtle, both inside and out, with the emphasis firmly on just refreshing the car’s already modern appearance rather than tampering with the car’s already popular combination of cheeky looks and practical interior.
The changes start with the exterior’s new clear ‘crystal’ indicator lenses for the front and rear lights and the wing mirror indicators, while on the inside each trim level gains new seat upholstery and higher quality interior materials for the dash and centre console.
In keeping with Modus’ contemporary style, seven of the most popular colours from the New Clio and Mégane 2006 ranges have been added to the new range: Antique Green, Capsicum Red, Extreme Blue, Hologram Grey, Pacific Blue, Quartz and Tempest. The entry-level Modus Authentique also now gains body coloured bumpers.
The 2007 model line-up offers the widest selection of engine, gearbox and trim level combinations in its class. The trim levels consist of: Authentique, Expression, Dynamique, Privilège and Initiale, with the only model not continued into the new range being the 1.4 16V 98 Initiale.
The Modus engine range is just as comprehensive, offering a powerplant to suit every kind of driving style whether it be for economy, refinement or power. A total of six engines are available, with three diesels – 68, 86 and 106hp, and three petrols – 75, 98 and 111hp, all driven via five-speed manual gearboxes with the exception of the dCi 106 which is six-speed. For more comfort and less driver stress in the city and on longer journeys, the clutchless Quickshift5 gearbox will continue to be available with the dCi 86 engine alongside an automatic gearbox for the 1.6 VVT 111 petrol.
The new Modus 2007 range is available to order now, priced from £9,145 on the road. For further information, see www.renault.co.uk or call 0800 52 51 50.
Audi is once again supporting the annual Goodwood Festival of Speed (7-9 July) by displaying its rich heritage of motorsport through the ages. The German prestige car manufacturer, which has supported Lord March’s annual motorsport extravaganza since 1998, will display and demonstrate a host of vehicles.
Audi "factory" driver Allan McNish will drive a 1936 Auto Union C-Type owned by the Audi Tradition Museum. Bringing the German manufacturer’s sporting achievements right up to date, McNish will also demonstrate the actual Le Mans 24 Hour race winning Audi R10 TDI which created history earlier this month (17-18 Jun) by becoming the first diesel-powered sportscar to win the prestigious French race.
First British public appearance for diesel-powered Audi sportscar in Britain
The Audi R10 TDI in the hands of Frank Biela/Emanuele Pirro/Marco Werner won the Le Mans race while McNish, partnered by Dindo Capello and Tom Kristensen, finished third. Audi’s new diesel-powered sportscar started from pole-position, led every lap, set the fastest race lap and also set a new race distance record on its Le Mans début - having won its first and only other race in March.
The Scotsman arrives in Goodwood from North America via RAF Wittering. McNish and co-driver Capello bring down the curtain on the phenomenally successful Audi R8’s seven year racing activity in the fourth round of the American Le Mans Series at Lime Rock (1 Jul). Meanwhile McNish will also have "challenged" a RAF Harrier "Jump Jet" down a 1-mile runway at RAF Wittering (6 Jul).
70th anniversary for European Championship winning Auto Union
The Auto Union C-Type which McNish drives is the famous 16-cylinder, six-litre "Silver Arrow", a car weighing over 16cwt (824kg) and capable of 211mph, similar to which Bernd Rosemeyer won the European Championship 70 years ago. In this era, cars carrying the Four Rings emblem, were victorious on 33 occasions in 59 races.
After World War II, all of the Auto Unions from Zwickau were taken to the Soviet Union and the whereabouts of many thereafter is unknown. To commemorate its achievements in vehicle technology, AUDI AG commissioned Crosthwaite & Gardiner, of Buxted in East Sussex, to build a replica of the C-type race car with its single-seater body. This replica was finished in 1998 and is now part of the Historic Collection of AUDI AG.
World début for "recreated" D-type
Meanwhile a 1939 Auto Union D-Type "recreated" by Roach Manufacturing plus Crosthwaite & Gardiner, which can be seen on static display, is the only type of its kind in the world and is making its world début at Goodwood. The D-Type’s first race with the unusual double-supercharger engine configuration was the 1939 Belgium Grand Prix while H.P. Müller won the car’s very next race (French GP).
Additionally an "original" V12 mid-engined 1938 Auto Union D-Type is also coming over from AUDI AG’s highly-acclaimed Museum in Ingolstadt. The D-Type was driven by the top Auto Union drivers Tazio Nuvolari, Hans Stuck, H.P. Müller, Georg Meier and Rudolf Hasse.
This actual chassis is one of the few to survive the exodus to the Soviet Union at the end of the war in 1945.
"Original" Audi quattro rallycar back at Goodwood
The actual "original" Audi quattro rallycar will be joined by a 1983 GpB Audi quattro A2 rally machine on Goodwood’s rally stage. Both ex-factory cars have been lovingly and superbly restored by Manchester-based quattro enthusiast John Hanlon.
"Flying Finn" Hannu Mikkola, who at the invitation of Lord March, has given advice on revisions to the extended rally stage since last year’s inaugural event, was reunited with the original 1980 quattro at last year’s Goodwood event and will once again drive the "original" Audi rallycar.
Hanlon’s latest acquisition, Michele Mouton’s 1985 Pikes Peak record breaking Audi quattro S1, will be driven up the hillclimb while Audi Tradition’s 1988 Trans Am championship-winning Audi 200 quattro machine also makes a rare visit to the UK and will be driven by former Audi Sport chief Dieter Basche.
AUDI AG motorsport successes have always been linked with ground-breaking developments - later adopted in to Audi’s roadcars. The best examples of these have been quattro, permanent four-wheel-drive, which celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2005 and revolutionised rallying in the 1980s.
Direct petrol injection (FSI) technology, giving excellent accelerator response and fuel economy, was used at Le Mans for the first time in 2001 and remains unbeaten in the French long-distance race between 2001-5. And following its recent history-making Le Mans victory with a diesel-powered sportscar, Audi ably continues to demonstrate its Vorsprung durch Technik slogan - progress through technology - to perfection.