Peugeot has revealed a new naming structure for its future vehicles that draws on its history and seeks to strengthen the recognition of its models around the world.
The French manufacturer confirmed the fresh strategy while revealing its first all-new model under the new naming system, the Peugeot 301 – an entry-level left-hand-drive-only small sedan due to make its debut at the 2012 Paris motor show in September.
The updated naming structure will see all future models retain three- and four-numeral designations with either a single zero (0) or double zero (00) positioned in the centre. As it is today, the double-zero structure will be used for crossovers and SUVs (e.g. Peugeot 4008) while all other models will feature a single zero (e.g. Peugeot 208).
The first digit will represent the vehicle’s segment or size, with small numbers for smaller cars and large numbers for larger cars. This will not change regardless of the market in which the vehicles are sold.
The biggest change comes to the final digit, which will from now on be fixed as either a ‘1’ or an ‘8’. Vehicles ending in ‘1’ will represent the marque’s affordable entry-level models. Peugeot says its ‘1’ cars will be designed to conquest buyers from other brands, appealing to new customers with “dynamic handling … marked strength and practicality of use”.
The ‘1’ range will supplement Peugeot’s ‘8’ cars, which will be more upmarket offerings and the core of the brand’s global line-up. Vehicles like 208, 308, 3008 and 508 will keep their names when renewed in preference of the previous naming system that saw the final digit advance with each new model (e.g. 205, 206, 207, etc.).
Peugeot says permanently fixing the numbers will “simplify the understanding of the range and assist in establishing it”.
Peugeot’s current numerical naming structure was introduced in 1929 with the Peugeot 201.
Jaguar Land Rover employees at Halewood Operations in Merseyside have celebrated an important milestone achievement following the production of the 300,000th Land Rover Freelander 2. Production of the Freelander 2 at Halewood Operations commenced in October 2006 and earlier this week the plant's 300,000th Freelander 2 was driven off the line. The vehicle is a 2.2 litre Diesel in Barolo Black and is destined for a customer in Brazil – one of the brand's fastest growing markets. Land Rover is the leading SUV brand in the country with around a 40% market share.Halewood Operations Director Richard Else, said: "I'd like to congratulate the Halewood team for reaching this superb milestone and also sustaining the highest quality standards on Freelander 2, during the Range Rover Evoque launch period. Freelander was Land Rover's biggest selling model last year retailing around 52,000 units globally."In Australia, the 2012 Freelander 2 is available with a choice of petrol or turbo diesel engines. There are two refined 2.2 litre diesel engines, either the 140kW SD4 or the 110kW TD4. There is also the option of the petrol Si6 which produces 171kW of power. With class-leading on and off-road performance, featuring Terrain ResponseTM, Hill Descent Control, a premium cabin, improved fuel economy and an affordable cost of ownership. Freelander 2 is on-sale from $44,990 plus on road costs.50 Years of Halewood:Halewood Operations is currently celebrating its 50th Anniversary of motor vehicle production and assembly. Between April 2012 and March 2013 Halewood is celebrating five decades of automotive manufacturing. Back in 1962 the plant was constructed and the first employees were already at work in a hangar near to the old Liverpool airport. The first car rolled off the production line in March 1963.
The V12 Zagato is the pinnacle of the Vantage range. It is also the latest expression of a successful creative collaboration that has given rise to a series of striking GT cars over the last half-century, the original and most iconic of which being the DB4GT Zagato. Not only does this masterpiece rank amongst the most desirable, collectable and valuable cars in history, its 50th anniversary provided the inspiration for the V12 Zagato.
Though commemorating a great Aston Martin of the past the V12 Zagato could be no mere pastiche of the original. Instead the project was seen as the perfect opportunity to take Aston Martin’s ethos of technology and tradition to a new and exciting level. To this end the V12 Zagato combines the modern ideas, materials, processes and technology pioneered on One-77, while remaining true to the purity and craftsmanship of its illustrious forebear.
For Aston Martin’s CEO, Dr Ulrich Bez, the V12 Zagato is “a celebration of both Aston Martin’s heritage and its future”. He continues: “Our relationship with Zagato stretches back more than 50 years. Together in that time we have created a series of very special cars. The first – the DB4GT Zagato – is a true icon: fast, beautiful and incredibly desirable. In the V12 Zagato I believe we have captured the spirit of that car and combined it with a confident twist of modernity to give it a character all of its own.”
Initial design concepts for the V12 Zagato were explored in early 2010. Inspired by Zagato’s bold and individual styling signatures Aston Martin’s Director of Design, Marek Reichman, and his Gaydon-based design team relished the challenge of shaping the V12 Zagato, creating a car that pushes the boundaries of Aston Martin’s design language, yet pays tribute to the DB4GT Zagato. Demonstrating Aston Martin’s ability to rapidly bring ideas to fruition the Zagato programme quickly gained momentum, the design team working hand-in-hand with engineers and artisans to complete the build of a pair of concept cars in the spring of 2011.
May 2011 saw the V12 Zagato make its world debut at the prestigious Villa d’Este concours. Entered in the Concept Cars and Prototypes class, the V12 Zagato wowed the judges and the crowd, taking first place against impressive opposition. In June the Villa d’Este winner - along with the second prototype car – made the V12 Zagato’s world racing debut at the gruelling 24 hour endurance race held at the Nürburgring. Both cars completed the ultimate durability test, continuing Aston Martin’s 100 per cent finishing record in this notoriously tough race.
After an overwhelmingly positive response from customers, the decision was made in July 2011 to build a strictly limited run of V12 Zagatos. Since then, Aston Martin’s design team have worked to refine the sports car’s detailing and aerodynamic performance while staying faithful to the original design concept. At the same time engineers based at Gaydon have been putting prototypes through the company’s rigorous development programme to ensure the V12 Zagato performs as well as it looks.
Every Aston Martin is a unique combination of advanced materials, technology and time-honoured craftsmanship. The V12 Zagato takes this philosophy to a level previously seen in the company’s exquisite One-77 supercar, which completes its build run this year. Built at Aston Martin’s global headquarters in Gaydon, Warwickshire, production of the V12 Zagato will be strictly limited to no more than 150 cars.
Creating each V12 Zagato is a painstaking process that takes approximately 2,000 man-hours to complete. Just like the One-77, the V12 Zagato is constructed from a combination of hand crafted aluminium and carbon fibre. The bonnet, signature ‘double-bubble’ roof and doors are hand-crafted aluminium, while the front and rear fenders, door sills and boot lid surround are made from carbon fibre.
The finished body is then painted in the same dedicated area as the One-77. Four unique colours have been created for the V12 Zagato: Scintilla Silver, Alloro Green, Alba Blue and Diavolo Red. The painting process alone takes some 100 hours to complete and is followed by the marriage of the body and the drivetrain within the sports car production area. From there the V12 Zagato is transferred to the standalone facility originally built to house One-77 production, where the build is completed.
This serene, laboratory-like space is perfectly suited to the task of creating special cars such as the V12 Zagato. It is here that time is lavished upon the fitment and installation of an array of bespoke components, including the side glass and the distinctive rear window, which features a curved surface that continues the sculptural lines of the ‘double-bubble’ roof. All the exterior brightwork around the windows has a contemporary black finish to compliment the exposed carbon fibre components. Fitment of the hand-crafted interior and upholstery is also completed in this dedicated build area.
Like all Aston Martins when viewed as a whole the V12 Zagato is an artful composition of powerful lines and compelling proportions, but when viewed up close it reveals sophisticated, sculptural surfaces and jewel-like details. The exposed elements of carbon fibre on the front splitter, A-pillars, rear lamp pods, diffuser, door mirror cases and rear wing all display the same perfectly symmetrical weave and smooth resin finish. Likewise the bold new grille is formed in a unique three-dimensional composite material mesh that echoes Zagato’s famous ‘Z’ moniker.
More delights are found inside. Seven Bridge of Weir hides – in semi-aniline finish to offer durability while preserving the natural texture of the leather - are used to trim the V12 Zagato’s interior. Hand-stitched quilting of a unique design creates a flowing pattern that evokes a dynamic sense of movement across the seats and headlining, while ‘Z’ embroidery in the headrests and rear parcel shelf add a further flourish. Satin-finish carbon fibre on the dashboard and centre stack is perfectly complimented by piano black accents and satin black rotary switchgear. Carbon fibre sill plaques with ’V12 Zagato’ inlaid metal script provide a distinctive finishing touch.
A back-to-basics bobber is the latest Harley-Davidson cruiser.
The US-based company owns this section of the bike market with seven of the ten best-selling cruisers so far this year and the Softail Slim will only improve that.
The $26,995 machine is officially launched on September 1 but Harley dealers should already have a test bike on their showrooms. The Softail Slim fuses Harley's latest twin-cam engine in a classic, stripped down bobber frame styled from the 1940s.
The styling includes a horseshoe oil tank, retro half moon footboards, retro speedo face, Hollywood handlebars and black steel-laced wheels. "It's time to make the engine the focal point of the motorcycle," Harley-Davidson senior designer Casey Ketterhagen says, "so we put a Softail on a diet to get the proportions back in check."
"I'd personally like to strip the bike down even further but this is as far as we can go on a production model. The Slim is intended to be a direct interpretation of home-built customs of the 1940/50s, and we used a number of components that evoke that era."
The beast is powered by the 1690cc TwinCam 103B V-twin engine cranking out 134Nm through a six-speed gearbox. To keep the rear of the motorcycle clean, the Slim has combination stop/turn/tail lights and a side-mounted license plate.
The powertrain is finished with polished covers instead of chrome, and the black cylinders are left unhighlighted. The FL front fender is trimmed to expose the tire and give it the pared-down look Ketterhagen was chasing.
"The bars are nice and low, too, so when you're riding you have an unobstructed view forward, which reinforces the idea that this is a very elemental motorcycle, a real back-to-basics ride," he says. An optional security package will add a proximity-based keyless start system and ABS brakes.
Story by Craig Duff and courtesy of www.carsguide.com.au
Bruce McMahon road tests and reviews the Volkswagen Amarok dual-cab.
VW's Amarok ute has been winning acclaim all around the place, in particular for the 4Motion versions, those with selectable or full-time four-wheel drive. These are most comfortable and competent machines on the roughest of bush tracks. These will find a range of very happy customers.
But back down the track there's the entry-level, two-wheel drive Amarok, the cheapest, but never the nastiest, of the bunch.For now all the VWs arrive only as dual cabs with diesel engine and six-speed manual; the only differences are in drivetrains and equipment levels.
There is a single cab in the pipeline, other transmissions and a petrol engine also, but there's no timeframe on these. For now it's just these dual cabs. That won't hurt when the four-wheel drive market is strong in that area but a single cab Amarok and 2.2 metre tray would be a handy little truck to get more tradies into the brand.
At $33,990 the base Amarok is a little dearer than Toyota's diesel SR5 dual cab HiLux at a listed $32,590. But the Amarok stacks up well when Toyota's ABS is a $400 option and airconditioning $2051, both are standard with the VW. Nissan's diesel dual cab Navara is $30,600, Mitsubishi's Triton is $32,590, both with ABS and air con.
So the Amarok, a newer design than all these and with a decent amount of gear, is on the money. Residual values remain an unknown but the marque in general holds up well. There's a three-year/unlimited kilometre warranty.
The Amarok is a bit bigger and bolder than some. It is, for the most part, a sensible and slab-sided machine with handsome nose and grille. This pragmatic approach to style, as with other VW commercials, allows for a cabin with room for four big blokes plus one.
It allows for a cargo tray volume of 2.52 square metres, a tray width of 1.6m with a handy 1.222m between the wheel arches. It can handle a 1200mm x 800mm pallet sideways and carry just over a tonne.
The cabin may not sparkle as much as some rivals but it is well-sorted, comfortable and easy to navigate. Chief among comforts are the seats, front and back (which can be folded up); individual touches include a gear selection display above the tachometer and speedometer.
VW use a sophisticated, twin turbo diesel to keep the Amarok on the move. The radio antenna is built into the door mirrors. These mirrors are heated. Stability program, traction control, hill hold assist and ABS are standard. It is a very 21st century workhorse.
Here is the first ute with a five-star NCAP rating. There's the aforementioned ABS and ESP and Anti Slip Regulation, there's a driver and front passenger airbag plus head and thorax bags. The chassis bows out under the cabin, creating extra room and better crash protection for occupants. And, as important as all this, the Amarok also offers more confident ride and handling than most.
The two-wheel drive Amarok feels and drives with more authority than most ute rivals. There's that wider stance plus a clever rear leaf arrangement where the springs are mounted alongside the frame, there's the electronic driver aids and ergonomic interior.
Unladen there may be a little hop, skip and jump from the rear end if the ute is pushed through rough corners. For the most part the handling is exemplary for such a big and bold machine; it corners and stops with confidence, allowing for swift and smooth delivery times.
And the diesel engine is generally up to the job, running around 10 litres per 100km around the town. (The factory reckons it'll be 6.8 litres out on the highway.) It works well, pulls well, just past 2000rpm and through to a 5000rpm redline.
And it is only troubled when facing a hill or looking to overtake; fifth and sixth are overdrives so a driver is often looking for fourth gear. In this particular Amarok the gearshift wasn't too bad, gears not as hard to find compared with the recalcitrant shift in a four-wheel drive Amarok of late.
The Volkswagen Amarok has set new benchmarks in the ute market. Big, comfortable and easy to drive, it has a huge cargo tub for a dual cab in this class.
Price: $33,990Warranty: 3 year/unlimited kmResale: n/aThirst: 7.7L/100km;203g/kmSafety Equipment: Six airbags, ABS, ESP, TCCrash rating: 5 starEngine: twin turbocharged, two litre diesel, 120kW/400NmTrnasmission: Six-speed manualBody: Four-door uteDimensions: 5181mm (L); 1944mm (W); 1834mm (H)Tare Weight: 2000kgTowing: 2800kg
Review by Bruce McMahon and courtesy of www.carsguide.com.au
Approaching this luxurious Rolls-Royce and opening its coach doors immediately ignites the senses for sight, taste, touch, sound and aroma. And the sense of surprise and delight continues as guests encounter the lavish use of soft, sumptuous leathers, finest veneer detailing and special bespoke enhancements.
“The Ghost Six Senses concept is a luxurious environment designed for the most discerning of individuals,” commented Torsten Müller-Ötvös, Rolls-Royce CEO. “It delights the senses and draws you into somewhere that transcends the interior of a car. Relax for a few moments and you will experience something that is hard to define, but which our customers understand so well.
“It can be likened to an aura, a sense that the stunning hand-made interior embodies something of the heart and soul of each proud craftsperson involved in its creation. That’s a uniquely Rolls-Royce sixth sense that this car presents so elegantly.”
Rolls-Royce Motor Cars is the world’s leading luxury goods manufacturer. And while the world of luxury presents many objects of desire that captivate one or more senses, it takes one of these hand-built cars to awaken all five.
Beautiful and elegant, a Rolls-Royce Ghost is a sign of impeccable taste, a luxury car that is instantly pleasing to the eye. Ghost Six Senses’ pearlescent Carrara White finish complements new forged alloy wheels while eyes are immediately drawn to rich interior detailing upon entry through its coach doors. The deep lustre of the Walnut Burr veneer complete with diagonally-oriented, brown oak cross-banding, are designed to hint at the extraordinary power at the driver’s disposal.
For more than 100 years the sound of silence has driven the Rolls-Royce brand. But 21st century Ghost and Phantom models also present an auditorium in which the most advanced systems can deliver music in the most impressive fashion. The concept audio system in Ghost Six Senses richly fills the spacious rear cabin thanks to its upgraded amplifier and the inclusion of ‘exciter’ speakers housed in the leather headlining that help raise the centre of sound closer to a passenger’s ear.
The finest interior materials create scents that are unique to Rolls-Royce. The rich aroma greeting Ghost Six Senses’ occupants comes from the most supple natural soft grain leather in enveloping, hand-crafted seats, as well as in the car’s leather headlining, with added hints of the woody spice in the walnut veneer.
Bathed in light from a panoramic sunroof, the rear cabin urges occupants to relax in style. For the ultimate taste experience the most refreshing chilled drinks or vintage champagne can be served from Ghost Six Senses’ coolbox, in flutes featuring a delightful sound-wave etching.
From cool chrome and sumptuous leather to the finest veneers, a Rolls-Royce is the most tactile way to travel in ultra-luxury. Ghost Six Senses takes this concept further with the inclusion of natural grain leather for the first time. Deep pile lambswool rugs encourage occupants to submerge feet, while opening the boot effortlessly with remote opener, reveals a further lambswool lining to cosset luxury bespoke luggage.
“Ghost Six Senses redefines a simple truth,” added Torsten Müller-Ötvös. “A Rolls-Royce is always so much more than the sum of its beautiful parts.”
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