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    by Published on 20-04-2014 08:50 AM
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    The redesigned Volkswagen Touareg has made its debut at the Auto China show in Beijing. With a refreshed styling front and rear, new features and trims and greater efficiency, Volkswagen’s rugged yet refined premium SUV is more competitive than ever.

    The front-end design of the Touareg features larger headlights (now bi-xenon as standard across the range), a deeper new radiator grille with four instead of two horizontal fins and a reprofiled bumper, all of which lend the Touareg a wider appearance.
    At the rear as at the front, the redesigned bumper lends the Touareg a wider look than before, with a new rear diffuser between the twin tailpipes and LED rear foglights integrated in the bumper. New door mirror caps, a range of new wheel designs and new paint colours complete the exterior makeover.
    Inside, the Touareg also gets the option of new colours for the standard leather upholstery, new design accents and new lighting.
    As well as updated styling, new Touareg models come with updated technology and new safety features. All models will feature an automatic post-collision braking system, bi-xenon headlights and a coasting function on the eight-speed automatic gearbox. This last feature utilises the vehicle’s kinetic energy when driving downhill or when acceleration is not needed. As on existing Volkswagen models with coasting, it can be deactivated temporarily by simply tapping and releasing the brake pedal, or switched off through the vehicle’s systems.
    The optional ADC automatic distance ...
    by Published on 20-04-2014 08:42 AM
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    Volkswagen is displaying the potential of its flagship Golf R hatchback at the Auto China show in Beijing, in the muscular form of the Golf R 400 concept. If the ‘400’ in the name doesn’t give the game away that this is a seriously powerful machine, then the body and bumper modifications and flared wheelarches should give more than a hint.

    Based on the standard Golf R hatchback, which with its turbocharged 300 PS engine and 4MOTION four-wheel drive is hardly a shrinking violet, the Golf R 400 ups the ante considerably, with 400 PS and an extra 70 Nm of torque, making for 450 Nm in total, available from 2,400 to 6,000 rpm.
    Developed by Volkswagen R GmbH, the arm responsible for high-power and customisation projects, the Golf R 400 uses a modified version of the engine found in the Golf R: a 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbocharged engine (Type EA888). The extra power of the 400 helps propel this six-speed DSG-equipped model from rest to 62 mph in just 3.9 seconds, a whole second faster than its 300 PS sibling. Its top speed is 174 mph (governed).
    To achieve the increase in power, the Golf R 400 features a newly developed turbocharger with a higher maximum charge pressure and reinforced crankcase. A water-cooled exhaust gas feed to the turbocharger integrated in the cylinder head helps to reduce full-load fuel consumption, while variable valve control with dual camshaft adjustment improves economy and performance.
    At 1,420 kg, the Golf R 400 weighs the same as the standard Golf R, but its appearance has ...
    by Published on 20-04-2014 08:38 AM
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    • Global debut of Bentley Hybrid Concept
    • Bentley pioneers plug-in hybrids in the high luxury market
    • Chinese debuts: Flying Spur V8, new Continental GT Speed & GT V8 S
    • China remains key Bentley market


    Today, Bentley unveiled its vision of a more powerful and even more efficient future with the global debut of the Bentley Hybrid Concept at the Beijing International Automotive Show. The luxury car brand also presents three Chinese debuts at the Show – the new Flying Spur V8, the new Continental GT Speed and GT V8 S.
    The Bentley Hybrid Concept is based on the flagship model, the Mulsanne, showing that hybrid technology can enhance even the pinnacle of luxury and performance. Copper is used as an exterior and interior styling element to highlight the car’s electrical veins from accents to the radiator grille and headlamps to copper cross stitching throughout the car’s elegant leather cabin.
    Bentley’s plug-in hybrid system increases power by up to 25%, reduces emissions by 70% and gives a driving range of at least 50 km on electric power alone. Bentley will introduce a plug-in hybrid SUV in 2017 and, by the end of the decade, at least 90% of Bentley cars will be available as a plug-in hybrid.
    During the Bentley press conference at the Show, Dr Wolfgang Schreiber, Chairman and Chief Executive of Bentley Motors, commented:
    “Adding performance and efficiency with no compromise to luxury –Plug-in hybrids are an important part of Bentley’s exciting future and we are proud to be pioneering these developments in the ultra
    ...
    by Published on 12-04-2014 09:07 AM
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    • New SEAT Ibiza FR Edition spearheads SEAT’s introduction of Active Cylinder Technology
    • Cutting-edge ACT technology reduces fuel consumption with no performance compromise
    • New 140 PS 1.4 TSI ACT petrol engine capable of 60.1 mpg and 0-62 mph in 7.8 seconds
    • Ibiza FR Edition on sale now, priced from Ł15,920

    It’s not always a bad thing not to be firing on all cylinders. Take the new 1.4 TSI ACT engine in the SEAT Ibiza FR Edition, for example. It’s got four cylinders, but if it only needs to use a couple of them to get along, it’ll do just that, significantly cutting down the amount of fuel it uses in the process.
    The result is a car that will hit the 62 mph benchmark in under eight seconds, but is rated at 60.1 mpg on the combined cycle.
    The new 140 PS ACT petrol engine replaces the 150 PS 1.4 TSI non-ACT engine in the Ibiza range, offering performance as close as makes no difference (it takes 0.2 seconds longer to hit 62 mph) but delivering a whopping 12.2 mpg average efficiency improvement, and 30 g/km less CO2 – down to 109 g/km.
    Available with a manual transmission only, the standard 1.4 TSI ACT FR 140 PS is also Ł1,015 cheaper than the 150 PS car it replaces, which came with a DSG automatic gearbox as standard.
    SEAT is today unveiling the FR Edition, which uses the ACT engine but sits above the standard FR in the Ibiza range, to celebrate the introduction of this ground-breaking technology – a first for SEAT.
    The FR Edition, in addition to the usual FR specification, adds red seatbelts, red brake callipers, titanium-coloured ...
    by Published on 12-04-2014 09:02 AM
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    • New SE Business range for Octavia, Superb and Yeti Outdoor models
    • Comprehensive specification with Bluetooth, touchscreen satellite-navigation and cruise control as standard
    • Highly efficient engines delivering CO2 emissions as low as 85g/km and up to 88.3 combined mpg
    • Low Benefit in Kind (BiK) taxation rates from 14%

    ŠKODA UK has launched its new SE Business range for company car drivers. The new suite of vehicles offers corporate customers a low taxation liability and whole life cost combined with a comprehensive specification, class-leading space and versatility.
    Tailored to suit a wide range of business applications, company car drivers now have a choice of 19 stylish variants from the multi award-winning ŠKODA Octavia and Superb hatch and Estate, and Yeti Outdoor off-road crossover model ranges. The SE Business line-up comprises a comprehensive package of state-of-the-art technology and safety equipment for added driver practicality and comfort. An ‘Amundsen’ touchscreen satellite navigation system with DAB radio, Bluetooth®, dual zone air conditioning and cruise control all feature as standard, as do ESP, driver and passenger airbags and ABS.
    Fleet drivers also benefit from reduced running costs thanks to an innovative stop/start system and low rolling resistance tyres married with ŠKODA’s highly-efficient 1.6 and 2.0-litre TDI CR DPF diesel engines. These include the frugal GreenLine II and III powerplants which deliver CO2 emissions as low as 85g/km with an impressive combined ...
    by Published on 12-04-2014 08:56 AM
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    • Bentley to introduce plug-in hybrid technology to the luxury market
    • Additional performance and efficiency without compromise to luxury
    • Bentley Hybrid Concept showcases the technology in flagship Mulsanne
    • First application of hybrid power available in 2017 in the Bentley SUV



    Bentley is envisioning a powerful and even more efficient future with the Bentley Hybrid Concept – a technology showcase that previews Bentley’s first plug-in hybrid model, set to be a dedicated version of the all-new SUV available in 2017. The Bentley Hybrid Concept will be on display at the Beijing International Automotive Exhibition on Sunday 20thApril.

    As the first luxury brand to present a plug-in hybrid, Bentley leads the way in bringing new powertrain choice to the luxury automotive sector. Dr Wolfgang Schreiber, Chairman and Chief Executive of Bentley Motors, comments:

    “There is no doubt that plug-in hybrid technology is true to Bentley’s values of outstanding luxury and effortless performance. Combining our renowned engines with electric power reinforces and enhances both principles, and so we will gradually introduce this powertrain across our model range. By the end of the decade, at least 90% of our production will be available as a plug-in hybrid. We are proud to be pioneering these developments in the luxury sector.”

    The Bentley Plug-in Hybrid System

    Through Bentley’s hybrid system, customers will have a wider choice of modern, powerful and efficient powertrains. The plug-in hybrid system will offer a power increase of up ...
    by Published on 23-03-2014 08:56 AM
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    • The benchmark roadster gains a more powerful 330 hp engine and uprated chassis
    • Chassis tuned with Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) fitted as standard
    • More purposeful styling further emphasises mid-engine design
    • On sale now priced from Ł52,879 – arriving in Porsche Centres in UK and Ireland from May 2014

    Since the Porsche Boxster first appeared in showrooms nearly 20 years ago, the mid-engined two-seater has established itself as the benchmark roadster. The new Boxster GTS, which is announced today, enhances the driving experience further with an uprated engine and specific chassis tuning, and in the process sets a new standard for open-top driving enthusiasts.
    Building on the proven Boxster virtues of light weight, responsive handling and a charismatic flat-six engine, the GTS features an optimised version of the proven 3.4-litre engine which has been tuned to produce an additional 15 hp (11 kW). The Boxster GTS thus develops 330 hp (243 kW), and pulling power has also increased by ten newton metres to 370 Nm.
    Further emphasising the distinctive character of the GTS is the Sport Chrono package and Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM), fitted as standard. These offer the driver the opportunity to not only modify the damper stiffness, but also subtly change the throttle characteristics of the engine. In conjunction with the optional Doppelkupplungsgetriebe (PDK) seven-speed double-clutch transmission, the Launch Control function – engaged via the Sport Plus button - enables the Boxster GTS to accelerate from 0 - 62 mph ...
    by Published on 23-03-2014 08:52 AM
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    • Definitive mid-engine coupe with more power and greater dynamic virtuosity
    • 340 hp 3.4-litre flat six engine – 0-62 mph in 4.6 secs, 177 mph top speed
    • Porsche Active Suspension Management and Sport Chrono pack fitted as standard
    • Optional 20 mm lower sports chassis available for more focused on-track performance
    • Priced from Ł55,397 – available to order now, in Porsche Centres from May

    The new Porsche Cayman GTS is the most powerful and fastest edition of the mid-engined coupe from the German sports car manufacturer to date. With an uprated engine and sharpened chassis responses, the Cayman GTS sets a new benchmark for sporting performance in its market.
    Since its debut in 2005, the Cayman has earned a particular reputation as a driver’s car. At the heart of the two-seater beats a charismatic flat-six engine, positioned deep in the middle of the chassis to offer a low centre of gravity for a balanced and precise driving experience. Furthermore, the distinctive coupe styling confers a high level of torsional rigidity which further enhances the dynamic virtuosity.
    The six-cylinder ‘boxer’ engine in the Cayman GTS is based on the 3.4-litre engine of the Cayman S. Specific fine tuning has delivered an additional 15 hp (11 kW), with the result that the Cayman GTS offers 340 hp (250 kW). The torque has also increased by ten newton metres to 380 Nm.
    Further emphasising the distinctive character of the GTS is the Sport Chrono package and Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM), fitted as standard. These offer the driver the opportunity to not only modify ...
    by Published on 23-03-2014 08:46 AM
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    • The first Czech mass-produced car made its debut in spring 1964
    • More than 443,000 built, more than half of which were exported
    • Progressive technology: engine block produced using aluminium die-casting process
    • ŠKODA 1000 MB now a popular classic, especially the two-door MBX


    The ŠKODA 1000 MB is now 50 years old. The compact car made its debut on 21 March as the successor to the former ŠKODA Octavia. As the first ŠKODA with rear wheel drive, a rear engine and unibody construction, the ŠKODA 1000 MB is a milestone in the nearly 119-year history of ŠKODA. In its heyday, the four-door model was one of the best vehicles in the one-litre class and set new standards in terms of comfort, performance and technology.

    A completely new plant, a radically new vehicle design, the most advanced engine in its class at that time – the ŠKODA 1000 MB was a revolution for ŠKODA in the spring of 1964. “ŠKODA is one of the longest-established vehicle manufacturers in the world,” says ŠKODA CEO, Prof. Dr. h.c. Winfried Vahland. “The basis for the company’s success is outstanding vehicles. The ŠKODA 1000 MB was a key milestone for the company in the 1960s and an impressive testament to the great engineering skills of Czech automotive engineering.”
    Having the courage for this fundamentally new course paid off: The ŠKODA 1000 MB was a bestseller in Czechoslovakia and abroad – sustainably strengthening ŠKODA’s position in the European automotive industry and shaping the Czech manufacturer’s model strategy until the late 1980s. Around 443,000 ŠKODA 1000 MBs were ...
    by Published on 22-02-2014 09:04 AM
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    • Restyled Scirocco makes debut at Geneva 40 years after the original
    • New range of engines with more power and up to 19 per cent better fuel economy
    • Revised front and rear exterior look, refined interior with auxiliary instruments
    • Opens for order in UK on 20 May, with deliveries expected in September

    At the 1974 Geneva Motor Show, a sleek new Volkswagen hatchback coupe made its debut. Forty years and over a million sales later, the Volkswagen Scirocco is preparing to return to Geneva, with a new range of advanced engines that offer up to 280 PS yet also promise fuel efficiency improvements of up to 19 per cent, without compromising the Scirocco’s dynamic performance.
    Externally, the Scirocco’s stylish shape has been refined and modernised with new headlights and tail lights, as well as revised bumper styling.
    The revised front bumper features aerodynamic ‘blades’ in the outer section, like those of the latest-generation Golf GTI, with integrated indicator lights, daytime running lights and fog lights. On models fitted with the optional bi-xenon headlights, the daytime running lights are LEDs within the main headlights. At the rear, all Sciroccos now have LED tail lights, while the bumper has been reshaped to appear lower and more purposeful. As on a Golf, the Volkswagen logo badge now has an additional purpose: functioning as the tailgate release handle.
    As before, the range-topping Scirocco R has a distinct look, with bespoke bumpers and alloy wheels. The Scirocco R now comes as standard with 18-inch ...
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