Saturday, April 30, 2011

2011 Alfa Romeo C4 Review

Alfa Romeo Supercar Concept Notes Back To The U.S. Market.
Attracting crowds ever when it premiered at the Geneva Motor Show last week, Alfa Romeo 4C new concept has been at the forefront of almost all publishers of language as a favorite. Although the design of the attraction of the two doors of clear matte red flower heads are attractive again, the marriage of inspiration with a super compact production in 2012 and offers a more audacious, perhaps even a welcome return to U.S. market brand. Based on the success of the flagship, the 8C Competizione Limited Edition was introduced in 2007, as well as the 8C Spider, RWD 4C parties seem "shaped by the wind." Designed by Centro Stile Alfa Romeo, the body does not only quote lines of vintage Alfa Romeo, including the famous 6C 6C 1500 and 2500, but uses the same weight and the distribution ratio, which made those cars so fast.

4C that the lack of power (four-cylinder for the eight muscles of his predecessors), it compensates with a provision for retaining a more wily and light, composed mainly of carbon rear and aluminum to ensure maximum Agility, which is not the engine does not pack a punch. A 200 hp with a top speed of 250 km / h, a new "double dry clutch" transmission, ranging from zero to 100 km in less than five seconds) and a system that eliminates turbo lag, which may find that the gasoline engine in production models such as the Giulietta, Alfa compact fans salivating for it to enter the United States.

If the parent brand Fiat to come to the United States is any indication, probably used in the Chrysler Forum 4C, which would make the first model hit these shores since the Alfa Spider and stopped producing the mid 90s. While there is no word of pricing yet, (even if it falls somewhere in the $ 100,000 competition's label), here's hoping the repairs comes with it.

2010 Jaguar C-X75 Review

Elegance, power and sustainability combined in Jaguar's 75th anniversary concept car.
First debuted at the Paris Auto Show and more recently presented in LA, Jaguar's C-X75 concept car is a celebration of design, innovation and class. Loosely based on the classic XJ13 concept the C-X75 exhibits the power and elegance of a supercar while showcasing cutting edge technology that makes it super efficient and environmentally friendly.
Each wheel on the C-X75 is driven by an individual 145kW electric motor which are all powered by one large 19.6kWh lithium ion battery. This system delivers all wheel drive and promises to provide extra control and traction as well as intense torque (0-62 in 3.4 seconds). On a single charge, which takes 6 hours from a conventional household plug to achieve, the C-X75 can travel up to 68 miles with zero emissions.

For extended range Jaguar has utilized some fantastic aeronautical engineering technology by equipping the vehicle with two 70kW gas powered micro turbines. The turbines can used to quickly recharge the internal battery or can be used in conjunction with the battery to achieve the cars top speed of 205 mph. If you plan on taking a more leisurely drive the turbine charged batteries provide the car with a theoretical range of 560 miles.

The vehicle has an complex ventilation system incorporated into the exterior design to cool the micro turbines. There are no side-view mirrors, instead cameras built into the back feed directly to a screen inside the cabin. The beautiful angles highlight the slick hyper aerodynamic look and are complimented by the beautiful 21 and 22 inch aluminum wheels. Up to 50% of the the light weight aluminum used in constructing the car is recycled and increases the performance and economy.

As with previous Jaguar models the interior is designed completely around the driver. The seats are fixed into the frame so upon entering the vehicle a flip of a switch brings the entire steering wheel, instrument panel and pedal box toward the driver for optimal positioning. The aeronautical theme is continued in the cabin, the started switch is positioned on an overhead control panel and the gear shift is modeled after the throttle control from a fighter jet. The information panels are also air craft inspired with a 3D simulated heads up display. Never to be out classed Jaguar added a nice analog detail, a custom designed watch from Bremont that mounts into the center console and is wound by the stopping and starting movements of the car.

2012 Koenigsegg Agera - R Review

The Koenigsegg Agera R will make its global debut in 2011 Geneva auto show, it was the Speed Racer-inspired paint scheme and the packing so much power. Koenigsegg Agera R car shown in Geneva is a very special customer.
Koenigsegg Agera R comes equipped with a special roof section featuring an integrated Thule carbonfibre ski-box containing two pairs of Koenigsegg skis. It has some pretty-high quality materials and the Agera R certainly doesn’t disappoint. With a carbon fiber monocoque serving as its skeleton, the Agera R is is equipped with Vortex Generating Rim (VGR) wheels. The design of the spokes generate a turbine effect which help in creating some downforce. 

It was just a year ago when Koenigsegg debuted the Agera in Geneva packing a twin-turbo 4.7-liter V8 with 910 PS (669 kW / 898 hp) and 1100 Nm (811 lb-ft) of torque. With performance specs such as 0-100 km/h in 3.1 seconds, top speed of 390+ km/h (245+ mph) it certainly lands itself firmly in the hypercar category.

2011 oenigsegg Agera R is “slightly” improved, It was powered by a larger 5.0-liter twin-turbo V8 producing an earth moving 1115 PS of torque. A pretty astonishing figure but one crucial detail in achieving that number is the fuel. Fill it up with 95-octane fuel and the engine’s potential is limited to 940 PS (927 bhp / 691 kW) and 1100 Nm (811 lb-ft) torque while full potential is only unleashed with the use of E85 biofuel.

No performance specs have been released, Koenigsegg is keen to mention the Agera R Special Michelin tires were developed specifically for the Agera R and hold a speed rating of up to 260 mph (419 km/h), the highest-speed-rated tires in the world, according to Koenigsegg.

2011 McLaren MP4-12C Review

The McLaren MP4-12C is revealed as the first of a series of high performance sports car McLaren Automotive, the automotive division based independent McLaren Technology Centre in Woking, England.
The 12C, and future models in the range that will challenge the world's best sports cars, benefiting from the expertise and virtuosity of the McLaren Group.
Twenty years after the sports car design, engineering and production coupled with an inspiring success in Formula 1 raced Ron Dennis, McLaren Automotive's chairman, announced plans for the ultimate line of performance cars based on the technology and customer-oriented for the 21 century. The rules of sport are being rewritten.

Through a rich modern history, McLaren Automotive Division has already built the world's acclaimed super car, the McLaren F1 (1993-1998) and the supercar world's best selling luxury, Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren (2003-2009). McLaren Automotive future is now a new type of revolutionary sports car.

"It 's a long-standing dream to launch a range of high performance sports cars that set new standards in the industry," said Dennis.

"We started to design and build cars for car enthusiasts, sports thoroughbreds for nearly 20 years. Incorporating advanced technologies that McLaren Group has built in its various companies, I believe we are now well set to open this new chapter in history and McLaren to play a role in the revitalization of high-tech manufacturing in the UK and global automotive environment, "he concluded.

Basically, the McLaren MP4-12C has a structure of carbon fiber chassis revolutionary, carbon MonoCell: The first time that builds a car in this segment in a robust and light engineering and auto racing's first Once a car is never a one-piece structure of carbon fiber.

This step change in sports car design means that the 12C, has set new standards not only in the operation, the ride and performance on a permanent basis, but also safety, cost and ease of already competitive sector.

Martin Whitmarsh, the McLaren team director said the experience of motorsport and road car McLaren played in the development of 12C: "McLaren has offered for years a powerful blend Car Race and road car technology . This combination of McLaren's performance heritage, and future demand in what is expected of high-performance sports cars of the 21 century, gave us an advantage when we engaged in this project. 12C, and variants of the future based on the spirit of Formula 1 and offers real technological world. "

The first car of the new company, the McLaren MP4-12C, is a high performance two-seater mid-engined model of "core" of the sports car segment vehicles cost from 125 to 000 pounds and 175,000 pounds. 12C is a pure McLaren, where there is no transmission from other parts of the car, and produces the McLaren in the United Kingdom. It will be on sale through its global network of distributors in early 2011.

"McLaren is already an automaker with maturity and experience that have produced iconic cars like the F1," says Antony Sheriff, CEO of McLaren Automotive.

"The next step was to build a pure sports car series and McLaren high-performance cars that are true to the philosophy of society and reflect our leadership position in technology and absolute return. So when we are in the draft 12C wanted to rewrite the rules of sports cars. In fact, performance and 12C offers superior technology to the world's most expensive supercars and sophisticated, while much of the competition in a market segment more accessible. And achieve this result, we have designed all components from scratch to achieve the objectives of the 12C extreme and avoid commitment. "

"Forget what you know about the sports club, the McLaren is different," he said.

Inside Out

The heart of the new car is carbon mono cell. McLaren, a pioneer in carbon composite construction in the 1981 Formula 1 MP4 / 1 model and define a trend that all Formula 1 teams have followed. The company has made carbon fiber car for the first time in 1993 McLaren F1, then builds on this experience with a carbon fiber chassis and body in SLR produced to standards as stringent, but in larger quantities.

So far, the carbon chassis has been reserved for the most expensive exotic cars, a purchase of the super-rich, where costs are driven by the complexity of the design of carbon fiber chassis and build .

The 12C changes, introducing the benefits of carbon composite materials - lightweight, high strength and torsional stiffness, and durability - at a more affordable area with its revolutionary technology like a piece of molding. Never before has a carbon fiber chassis is built this way.

12C single cell not only brings the dynamic benefits, but also offers basic technology options that are the basis for the uniqueness of the car. It was designed to provide a structure very close, in general, which in turn contributes to a more compact car, easier to put on the road and more fun to drive.

Not only 12C, unique in its class, providing technologies for coal, but also has the highest specific power and power and more torque to weight ratio. In addition, pro-active chassis control system offers a cutting-edge treatment and comfort, while a strong emphasis on the packaging residents' provides a new level of convenience and everyday use.

Antony said the sheriff. "In 12C we redefine the relationship between performance and practices, as well as performance and efficiency, gain leadership positions in both We designed this car from the inside We have a saying in McLaren -.." Everything for a reason ", and 12C will surprise people in many ways.

"A clear illustration of its special qualities is its effective power. With an output of about 600hp 12C and low CO2 emissions, offers the greatest power compared to CO2 of a car on the market today ' Today with a combustion engine ... and includes gasoline and diesel hybrids, Sheriff "finished.

Pure McLaren

The McLaren MP4-12C design follows similar principles to McLaren’s Formula 1 cars, and the legendary McLaren F1, where everything is for a reason and all lines, surfaces, and details are designed with a job in mind as much as styled. This ensures that the 12C communicates its engineering through its styling and will remain timeless as a piece of automotive design.

Frank Stephenson, McLaren Automotive Design Director: “Many sports cars and super cars present an ‘in-your-face’, ‘look-at-me’ image that can become wearing and boorish; the ultimate backhanded compliment becomes, “…it was of its time”. Great design, however, is timeless and looks relevant years later. Take the McLaren F1 as an example. I hope that with the 12C we have produced a car that looks great today and will still look great in years to come.”

The 12C’s body has been styled to support sector-leading levels of downforce; downforce that then subsequently contributes to sector-leading levels of lateral grip and stability. Air flow has been manically managed to support all performance figures and light weight targets. For example, placing the radiators adjacent to the engine keeps the car narrow and reduces weight. However, this results in a huge challenge of ensuring ample air flow to the radiators. The result? The large side air scoops and integrated turning vanes that are dramatic, but purely functional. No larger or smaller than required.

The designer’s challenge is to then take that styling purpose driven by engineering aspirations and add personality. That’s why the air scoops resemble the McLaren logo in form, as do other features around the car.

Just two ‘pure’ lines flow round the car and, when combined with the integration of several dramatic convex and concave surfaces, present a car that looks compact, low and well proportioned.
The market opportunity for McLaren

“I am confident that now is the right time for McLaren Automotive to become a full line high performance sports car manufacturer,” stated Ron Dennis.

“Worldwide demand for high performance cars is strong, in large part because of great cars from great competitors. With McLaren joining that list, it will grow stronger still. What we are offering is a new approach to the market, through a skilled, solid, debt-free and risk-managed company. McLaren is right to take this step now and support future growth of high-technology manufacturing and engineering jobs in the UK,” Dennis declared.

The market for high performance sports cars has grown substantially since the turn of the century. McLaren divides the market into segments that encompass both more comfort–orientated GT cars and the hard-edged supercars for road and track use.

The ‘core’ segment runs from around £125,000 to £175,000 featuring such cars as the Ferrari 458, Lamborghini Gallardo, Porsche 911 Turbo, Bentley Continental GT and Aston Martin DB9. A second segment is the ‘high’ category with prices ranging from £175,000 to £250,000 and consists largely of front-engined GT cars such as Ferrari’s 599 GTB and 612, with just one mid-engined contender, the Lamborghini Murcielago.

The final segment is the ‘ultimate’ group, a sector more or less initiated by the McLaren F1 in 1993 and now populated by a select group of cars including the Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren, Bugatti Veyron, and cars from the likes of Pagani and Koenigsegg that followed legends such as the Porsche Carrera GT and Ferrari Enzo. In 2011, McLaren will bring technology and performance exclusive to this ‘ultimate’ sector into the ‘core’ segment.

Although the recent economic downturn has affected the performance car sector, just as it has the entire motor industry, McLaren Automotive believes that the ‘core’ segment’s growth from 8,000 sales in 2000 to more than 28,000 in 2007 highlights the potential that exists and that it will soon return to at least 2007 levels.

“By the time the 12C is launched in 2011 we expect the economic conditions to be much improved. We have already seen significant interest in the car and the supply of the 12C will be relatively scarce; in its first year we plan to produce just 1,000 cars which represents only 3.5 per cent of the ‘core’ market,” explained Antony Sheriff.

“We have created ground-breaking new technology, lightweight engineering solutions, and harnessed real-world motor racing applications. It brings new levels of performance, fuel efficiency and practicality to the 12C’s segment. And it will be more exclusive than its principal competition with a price that reflects its lack of ubiquity,” he said.

McLaren Automotive will distribute the 12C and future models through a brand-new retail network in all global markets.

Exclusivity, exquisite design and a passionate focus on delivering a wonderful ownership experience will ensure that the small number of retailers around the world are taking on an attractive new brand. This approach will drive excellent customer service and a virtuous circle that retains McLaren customers and brings in new converts as the range expands.
McLaren MP4-12C - what’s in a name?

The name of the new McLaren sports car is MP4-12C.

What does this signify? As one might expect at McLaren, everything has a purpose and the nomenclature is no exception.

* ‘MP4’ has been the chassis designation for all McLaren Formula 1 cars since 1981. It stands for McLaren Project 4, resulting from the merger of Ron Dennis’ Project 4 organisation with McLaren.
* The ‘12’ refers to McLaren’s internal Vehicle Performance Index through which it rates key performance criteria both for competitors and for its own cars. The criteria combine power, weight, emissions, and aerodynamic efficiency. The coalition of all these values delivers an overall performance index that has been used as a benchmark throughout the car’s development.
* The ‘C’ refers to Carbon, highlighting the unique application of carbon fibre technology to the future range of McLaren sports cars.

The elements of this name represent everything that the McLaren MP4-12C stands for:

* ‘MP4’ represents the racing bloodline
* ‘12’ represents the focus on complete performance and efficiency
* ‘C’ represents the revolutionary Carbon MonoCell

“We are very proud of the McLaren MP4-12C and all the teamwork, intelligent thought and sheer effort that have gone into developing this car. What drives people at McLaren is passion – if you cut them, they bleed McLaren. And there is no doubt in my mind that the 12C fully reflects that focus, drive and determination in its performance, style and ownership potential,” said Ron Dennis, McLaren Automotive Chairman.

“This is the start of an exciting new chapter in McLaren’s history, in British high-technology engineering and manufacturing, and in global sports car design. We aim to be the best, but will leave that ultimate judgement to our first customers in 2011. Until then, we will strive to put one name at the top of the ‘most wanted’ list for buyers of high performance sports cars: ‘McLaren’,” he concluded.
The McLaren MP4-12C: inside and out, and in detail
A carbon fibre heart

Light weight and performance are defining philosophies at McLaren. But outright power alone is of little significance if a car’s weight saps output or if that power is unmanageable and compromises the driving experience or results in unacceptable emissions.

Fundamentally, it is critical to keep weight as low as possible. Increased customer demands for safety and advanced features all mean that shaving weight is ever more difficult. However, at McLaren saving weight remains a passion and at the heart of the McLaren MP4-12C is a carbon fibre composite chassis: the Carbon MonoCell.

This revolutionary structure is the automotive version of a McLaren innovation that started with Formula 1 back in 1981 and delivers both weight savings and performance gains. It is a technology cascade in which McLaren brought carbon composite technology from the aerospace industry to make the MP4/1 F1 car, the first Formula 1 car to benefit from the strength, weight and safety of carbon fibre.

McLaren’s Formula 1 carbon fibre technology then offered the company the opportunity of applying its expertise to road car applications. The first ever road car to be constructed of this material was the McLaren F1 produced in 1993, albeit in small numbers. The F1 was followed by the Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren that also shared this rare expertise.

Only a handful of other cars in the market offer such technology today and all of them lie in the ‘ultimate’ segment. No manufacturer has brought the advantages of carbon composite technology to a more affordable sector of the market. But the 12C does, through engineering passion and a relentless pursuit of efficiency.

So, McLaren did it first with the F1, the world’s fastest car for many years, then in the highest volume with SLR, which almost doubled the volume of the next highest produced carbon fibre-based high performance sports car by selling over 2,100 units. Now, through revolutionary one-piece moulding of the MonoCell, McLaren brings a carbon composite chassis down to the ‘core’ category, where currently only traditional metal structures are offered.

The advantages this technology brings are light weight, high torsional rigidity, a very strong safety cell, low perishability, ease of repair and extreme dimensional accuracy.

The 12C MonoCell weighs less than 80 kg. Carbon fibre contributes to the car’s low overall weight and it forms the structural basis for the whole car. The tub’s torsional rigidity is considerably stiffer than a comparable alloy structure.

This inherent lack of flex means the unique front suspension system, which is mounted directly onto the MonoCell, requires less compromise for flex of the suspension itself. Therefore, it is easier to develop the unique balance between fine ride and precise handling that McLaren has targeted. The MonoCell also offers greater occupant safety. It acts as a safety survival cell, as it does for a Formula 1 car.

Carbon composites do not degrade over time like metal structures that fatigue. One is able to get into a 15-year-old McLaren F1 and there is none of the tiredness or lack of structural integrity that afflicts traditional cars that have suffered a hard life. The 12C will feel as good as new in this respect for decades.

And in the event of an accident, the light weight aluminium alloy front and rear structures are designed to absorb impact forces in a crash and can be replaced relatively easily. Aluminium extrusions and castings are jig welded into the finished assembly and bolted directly to the MonoCell. Cars with full aluminium chassis use their structure to absorb and crumple on impact, which implies more fundamental damage (and expense) to the whole structure, including the passenger cell, in a major accident.

McLaren has pioneered a new carbon fibre production process that allows the MonoCell to be produced to exacting quality standards, in a single piece, in only four hours, compared to the dozens of carbon components (and dozens of production hours) that normally feature in a carbon fibre chassis structure. This naturally brings huge efficiency and quality benefits. The MonoCell project is managed by Claudio Santoni, McLaren Automotive Body Structures Function Manager.

“It was clear that we needed to develop a car with a carbon fibre structure. After all, McLaren has never made a car with a metal chassis!” said Santoni.

“The whole 12C project is based on the concept of the MonoCell. This means that McLaren can launch into the market with greater performance than our rivals and a safer structure. To put it into perspective, if the costs and complexity of producing a McLaren F1 carbon fibre chassis are taken as a factor of 100, the 12C chassis production costs are reduced to a factor of seven or eight, without degrading the strength or quality of the carbon fibre structure. And this step-change in technology could make its way into more mainstream cars,” he concluded.

Getting the production process right is the result of five years of extensive research. Now that the process is perfected, it allows McLaren to produce the MonoCell repeatedly at very high quality.

“Not many people in the automobile world work to standards demanded by the aerospace industry,” claimed Mark Vinnels, McLaren Automotive Programme Director.

“Our ability to analyse and predict the performance of carbon fibre is in line with aerospace technology and is truly world class, particularly in the sense of predicting failure, which is obviously key in managing crash events and passive safety.

“We can now predict failure levels at individual ply level in the carbon composite and the results are absolutely correlating with what we predicted,” he concluded.

The finished MonoCell emerges in one piece and this new process could revolutionise car design. It avoids the need to bond different parts to make the whole structure, as with all other carbon fibre cars. It is hollow, saving further weight, and the integrity of production ensures the location of suspension and ancillaries is accurate to the finest of tolerances.
Powertrain: pure McLaren

The McLaren MP4-12C is powered by a twin-turbocharged, 3.8 litre 90° V8 engine – the ‘M838T’. This marks the start of a new era in ‘core’ segment sports cars – smaller capacity, lighter weight, higher efficiency and more economical power units. The engine has the highest specific power output in its segment which, when allied to its low weight carbon composite chassis, delivers exemplary power- and torque-to-weight ratios.

’M838T’ is a unique McLaren power unit, developed specifically for the 12C. It is compact, lightweight, very stiff, and offers an uncompromising combination of very high performance and good driveability, with excellent economy and CO2 emission values.

Taking power and emissions in combination (measured by its horsepower to CO2 ratio), the 12C delivers its power at greater efficiency than any other car on the market with an internal combustion engine, including hybrids.

‘M838T’ features dual variable valve timing and produces around 600bhp and 600Nm of torque. A dry sump and flat plane crankshaft allow the engine to be placed extremely low in the chassis thereby lowering the centre of gravity and improving handling responses. It also features composite cam covers and intake manifolds, which reduce weight and heat transmission into the charge air, as well as Nikasil-coated aluminium liners for further weight reduction.

The McLaren engine revs to 8,500rpm, has quick transient throttle response and delivers its abundant torque throughout the rev range. A staggering 80 per cent of torque is available at below 2,000rpm, ensuring great driveability and no need to floor the throttle to deliver performance.

And it delivers a great soundtrack to highlight the engine’s performance, flexibility and driveability. The sound of the engine has been thoroughly engineered through exhaust manifold design and tuning of the exhaust and intake systems to deliver a unique engine note.

The high level exhaust pipes exit through a mixing box, rather than a conventional and heavy silencer box. All parts of the exhaust system up to the mixing box feature sandwich layer heat-shielding that helps reduce heat from the engine bay. In just an 18mm gap, exhaust gas temperatures reduce from 900°C to 300°C.

The engine drives the rear wheels through two wet clutches and a McLaren-developed seven speed Seamless Shift dual clutch gearbox (SSG).

The Seamless Shift technology offers variable programmes ranging from ‘normal’ for road use and ‘sport’ for quicker changes still, right up to a lightning quick high performance mode. In addition an ‘automatic’ mode, ‘launch control’ and ‘winter’ modes can be selected, the latter changing all electronic functions to suit low friction conditions and delivering maximum driver aid and support. There is no traditional manual transmission offered; the two pedal layout offered further scope to create a narrow, and therefore light, car.

The 12C’s SSG is a development on the automated and sequential manual gearboxes with paddle shifts that proliferate in the car market today. The character of the transmission will engage even experienced drivers with its responsiveness and its contribution to the whole dynamic package.

With minimal torque loss, there is none of the lurch, hesitation or unpredictability that characterise traditional automated-manual transmission systems.

Design of the SSG system was driven by a demanding mechanical package that not only reduced weight and improved dynamic control for the entire vehicle, but also delivered driver benefits.

It is lightweight and compact in design and positioned in exactly the best location. The input shaft lies very close to the output shaft to help position the entire powertrain low in the vehicle. Twin secondary shafts ensure any rear axle weight overhang is minimised and rear crash performance is uncompromised. The bespoke SSG is further complemented by an entirely new control system.

This obsessive attention to detail comes as second nature to McLaren, but is not just there to satisfy the engineers’ passions. McLaren’s designers have also engineered the system to work seamlessly with the driver.

The system reduces weight and benefits packaging targets, but also ensures that driving programmes and shift strategies take the driver’s own inputs and uses them to directly control the engine’s torque and speed to deliver performance, economy or comfort as requested.

Gears are changed using a Formula 1 style rocker shift that pivots in the centre of the steering wheel. It is actuated on either side of the steering wheel (pulling right changes up, pulling left down).

As with the McLaren Formula 1 car, a shift can be actuated either by pulling or by pushing on the rocker. The rocker moves with the steering wheel, rather than being mounted on the steering column, so that if a gearchange is needed while lock is being applied the driver does not have to fumble around to change gear.

The rocker itself incorporates an innovative feature created by McLaren engineers called Pre-Cog. The name stands for pre-cognition, literally ‘foreknowledge’. The rocker on the 12C has two positions with a slightly different haptic (or feel) for each. The driver applies first pressure to the rocker and it informs the gearbox to get ready to swap ratios, thereby saving time – latency – between the message being sent and the gearbox being primed to act. The second pressure confirms that the gear should be changed and the torque handover is completed in milliseconds.

“What Pre-Cog actually does is initiate the shift process by priming the clutch and torque handover – it takes significant time out of the process,” explained Dick Glover, Technical Director McLaren Automotive.

“It’s a little bit like the first pressure on a camera shutter button. There’s no requirement for the driver to use it but it is more satisfying and engaging if you do. The SSG also promotes seamless shifting in which the driver doesn’t have to reduce engine power at all – rather than the gearshift slowing you down, it actually speeds the car up by recovering the energy of the crank spinning as it drops engine speed,” he said.

In practice the latency of the shift is virtually zero, the actual gear change time is very fast and the level of impulse can be varied according to the gearbox mode. Considering that McLaren was the first Formula 1 team to introduce seamless shift gearchanges into motor racing, it was a natural step to develop such a bespoke transmission to its sports car project.
Chassis: Proactive control

The suspension for the McLaren MP4-12C breaks new ground, offering hitherto unseen levels of roll control and grip (an almost flat cornering attitude, depending on the programme selected).

Although such track-like responses would normally imply a rock-hard ride, the 12C delivers compliance and ride comfort more akin to an executive saloon car. The mix of occupant cosseting and sporting potential is truly unique. The 12C offers the driver both class-leading ride comfort and class-leading performance.

The whole chassis package produces not only a unique relationship between ride and handling, but also astonishing lateral grip and outstanding traction. The 12C is poised and balanced whether negotiating high or low speed corners, during direction changes, under heavy or light braking and on tightening or opening corners.

The trick behind blending such opposing objectives lies in the innovative Proactive Chassis Control system, uncompromised geometry, and weight distribution.

The suspension is based on double wishbones with coil springs. The dampers are interconnected hydraulically and provide adaptive responses depending on both road conditions and driver preference.

The Proactive system features adjustable roll control which replaces the mechanical anti-roll bars that have been a standard feature of road cars since time immemorial. It allows the car to maintain precise roll control under heavy cornering while decoupling the suspension in a straight line for excellent wheel articulation and compliance.

There are three suspension modes that are selected on the Active Dynamics Panel. As with the powertrain adjustment, there is a ‘normal’, a ‘sport’ mode and a high performance mode which adjusts numerous parameters in the system.

Not only is the Proactive suspension a unique application that delivers absolute benefits to driver and passenger, but it is also another example of McLaren’s drive to achieve all-round performance goals from core engineering targets.

For example, the unique blend of a compliant ride with ultra-sharp handling also delivers ownership benefits as it protects suspension bushes from wear and tear, with McLaren’s research suggesting a potential for up to ten times more mileage than on some competitor cars. Also, the hydraulic pump that supports the dampers is the same pump that supports the electro-hydraulic steering system. Why use two pumps when one - small and lightweight - pump will do?

The powertrain packaging also contributes to the 12C’s handling prowess.

The engine is mounted low down in order to lower the centre of gravity while the radiators are rear-mounted and reduce weight by saving on long piping to and from the engine (and the fluids they would hold). The value of rear-mounted radiators is key to the 12C’s handling and balance. The more weight that can be concentrated within the wheelbase and towards the centre of gravity, the lower the polar moment of inertia, thereby improving corner turn in.

Another feature that helps the 12C to handle at a new level is a development of an electronic system used by McLaren’s 1997 MP4/12 Formula 1 car, – Brake Steer. In essence, it is a system that brakes the inside rear wheel when the car is entering a corner too quickly to make the desired radius. Under normal circumstances the front would wash away wide of the apex the driver wants to touch: in other words, the car is in a state of understeer.

Brake Steer manages the tendency of a car to wash out and brings its nose back on line. It assesses the steering angle to determine the driver’s intended course and applies the inside rear brake to increase yaw rate and resume the desired course.

The system also works on acceleration out of a corner when the inside rear has a tendency to spin, allowing the driver to put power down more quickly. It controls what a limited slip differential would do and obviates the need for such a complex and heavy unit, thus saving more valuable kilos.

The standard brakes for the 12C reduce overall vehicle and unsprung mass. McLaren has developed a composite braking system that uses a forged aluminium bell that attaches to the cast iron disc. This solution maintained the excellent brake feel of a cast iron disc while saving 8 kg. Carbon ceramic brakes will be available as an option, offering fade-free braking performance during high performance driving, but the standard composite brake system is actually lighter than the larger carbon ceramic units.

The design of the standard cast alloy wheels (19” front, 20” rear) was driven by McLaren’s light weight objectives: the light weight styling was agreed in concept, then the wheel was tuned using Finite Element Analysis to take a further 4 kg out of the wheels. Bespoke Pirelli tyres have been developed in conjunction with McLaren specifically for the 12C.

An array of electronic aids is fitted to the 12C that will assist and protect the less-experienced driver, or when conditions challenge even the best. These include ABS, ESP, ASR traction control, Electronic Brake Distribution, Hill Hold and Brake Steer. The level of intervention varies according to the handling mode selected.
Design: everything for a reason

The McLaren MP4-12C has been designed around a demanding mechanical package that puts emphasis on aerodynamics, compact dimensions, performance and efficiency, practicality and comfort. Although the design of the 12C was driven by aerodynamics, it aims to remain contemporary and elegant throughout its lifetime as well as distinctive among its peers.

Frank Stephenson, McLaren Automotive Design Director, helped finalise the design: “Like most designers it’s a boyhood dream to work with high performance sports cars. They are the purest expression of speed and purpose and, with increased consumer demand in this market and environmental aims to the fore, offer designers the ultimate challenge.

The 12C design was therefore led by aerodynamics. At McLaren we have been able to use the Formula 1 techniques and the huge expertise that the company has amassed at the pinnacle of the sport,” explained Stephenson.

“All the fins, vents and the flat underbody are there for a reason. No styling addenda have been incorporated for appeal or style alone. This aerodynamic purity explains why this car can hit top speed with great stability without resorting to tea tray wings or deep front air dams. I really feel that the styling communicates the 12C’s engineering integrity and technical benefits and it is this purity that makes the design timeless.”

The overall design theme supports engineering aerodynamic ambitions. Purity of lines then give the car its character. Successful car design is based on proportions and McLaren’s styling team, whilst driven by the demands of the purest airflow, honed a mix of concave and convex surfaces that present balanced proportions and a feeling of lightness. Nothing is out of place on the car and surfaces interact smoothly and with purpose; surfaces that are integrated into the whole of the car along two continuous lines that flow round the body.

The front is very low since it does not have to house large engine cooling radiators, two of which are mounted longitudinally at the sides. This offers the added benefit of segment-leading space for storage under the bonnet.

The 12C’s face is dominated by large and distinctive air intakes and bi-xenon headlights with LED running lights inspired by the form of the McLaren logo. The McLaren logo itself also graces the bonnet of a car for the first time.

Illumination from the running lights bleeds into three distinctive gills just above the headlamps. The windscreen is deep and low for superb forward visibility and redolent of the McLaren F1: in wet weather it is swept by a single weight-saving pantograph wiper blade, as was the F1.

Stephenson again: “The 12C does not reproduce the F1 design but it unashamedly builds on its functionally-driven engineering and design highlights such as the large, deep windscreen and the low cowl to give the driver good visibility for accurate placement on the road. Any similarities are there for a reason.”

From the side, the 12C cannot be mistaken for another sports car. The dominant side air inlets act as turning vanes and help direct cooling air over the side radiators. This shape was designed and optimised using McLaren’s extensive computational fluid dynamics capability. Likewise, the scalloped shoulders drive airflow to the airbrake, thereby enhancing its effectiveness in the aerodynamic package.

The other prevailing design characteristics are the dihedral doors (a hereditary gene from the McLaren F1), which has a clear purpose, like every other element of McLaren’s design ethos.

The concept of dihedral doors is simply to allow the driver and passenger to get into and out of the car as easily as possible as well as allowing a smaller door opening than would otherwise be necessary.

The simple act of moving the door forward and upwards invites the driver to step across the sill and sit in the car more easily. In tighter parking situations, dihedral doors allow ingress and egress in a situation where another car has parked too closely. In traditional door systems a huge parking space is necessary to permit the doors to open wide enough.

With its single hinge, the dihedral doors offer weight-saving features and are unique to the McLaren brand. As is the unique handle-free door entry system.

The 12C’s rear is unique. It has an aggressive, business-like appearance with its downforce-optimised rear diffuser. The exhaust pipes exit high and in the centre of the car and the rear end is open to ensure efficient evacuation of hot air from the engine bay. The engine itself is visible through the top deck. The LED tail light clusters do not dominate the rear and are hidden behind horizontal black bars. They are only visible when illuminated: the two upper bars light up as LED brake lights and turn indicators.

Aerodynamic efficiency drove the 12C’s design. High downforce helps maintain traction, cornering ability and stability while low drag aids top speed and acceleration. It has a completely flat underbody and smooth upper body surfaces to yield a highly effective drag coefficient and generate very high levels of balanced downforce at high speed.

A nose splitter gives more downforce at the front while guide vanes near the front and rear wheels help to increase downforce with minimal drag penalty and direct air towards the all-important diffuser at the rear.

The active Airbrake is another innovation that made its debut on the F1 supercar and was also incorporated into the SLR. It deploys hydraulically under braking, or when the driver wants to trim the car for increased downforce by using a switch on the Active Dynamics Panel.

Under braking, a piston operated by transmission hydraulics raises the Airbrake to a certain angle. Once a small amount of wing angle is pushed into the airflow, the centre of aerodynamic pressure forces the bottom of the ‘wing’ back. In this way, it raises the airbrake to maximum angle using the ‘free’ airflow rather than relying on another mechanical device.

The Airbrake moves the centre of pressure of the 12C rearwards, whereas it would normally move forward under braking. It improves yaw stability under braking and allows the brakes to work more effectively due to increased downforce. It is also a weight-saving solution that took almost 50 per cent of weight out of the mechanism.

Overall, the 12C is lower, shorter and narrower than key competitors, but has much shorter front and rear overhangs due to its longer wheelbase – a layout that promotes stability and assists handling response.
Inside: it all starts with the driver

Packaging was fundamental to the McLaren MP4-12C design challenge. Externally, the car had to be compact, yet internally it had to offer an unparalleled driver and passenger environment where comfort and driving enjoyment at all levels were not compromised.

“With the interior, we have created a real step forward in the packaging of a sports car. Moving the driver and passenger closer together improves driving control and moving the pedals improves the problem of wheel well intrusion. We also repackaged many of the major components that normally sit under the dashboard to allow for more space and a unique form. Packaging is one of the 12C’s really strong points,” said Frank Stephenson.

But the creativity of the interior design itself aimed to set new standards. The whole focus is on making the 12C cockpit a uniquely comfortable and functional space. The design offers a symmetry that wraps around the occupants and makes them feel not only physically, but also emotionally comfortable.

The interior is extremely space efficient and is designed to accommodate 98th percentile adults in comfort. This has been partly achieved by the 7 inch touch screen telematics system oriented in ‘portrait’ mode. This is a first for the automotive industry and is more intuitive than ‘landscape’ orientation – we read down a page and our mobile telephones and other personal information devices are configured this way.

This is one of the many reasons the 12C design is able to buck the trend towards ever wider sporting cars. The innovative information centre provides all normal telematics functions such as audio, navigation and telephony, while providing some new features never before seen in a car. Meridian, the renowned producer of state-of-the-art sound systems, is developing its first ever in-car system for the 12C.

McLaren designers paid great attention to all-round visibility for both safety and driving precision.

The low cowl gives a full six degrees downward vision from eye height and, importantly, allows the driver a clear view of the front of the car. The view of the top of the front wings, with the highest point positioned directly above the centre of the wheel, also facilitates perfect placement of the 12C in a corner. Rear vision is excellent too and an internal buttress with a rear three-quarter glass provides a clear rearward view.

The steering wheel is probably the most important sensory item for any driver. Apart from the feel and feedback from the front wheels, the actual grip and design of the wheel itself is paramount. The steering wheel is ‘clean’ – there are no buttons to distract the driver. It also needs to be small and very tactile.

McLaren designers and engineers found the solution to the steering wheel design challenge under their own roof. Having employed an advanced and compact airbag, the steering wheel design was then inspired by McLaren’s racing expertise.

The steering wheel grip of the 12C is as technically precise as a McLaren racing driver’s wheel.

This is because past Formula 1 championship-winning drivers’ grips were modelled and scanned and the most effective feel and thickness of their wheels was replicated for a high performance road car.

Such attention to detail is to be found throughout the McLaren 12C’s interior and the car does not suffer an over abundance of switches, knobs and dials.

The layout and ergonomics of the interior are aided by the 12C’s packaging. The driver and passenger sit closer together, giving the driver a better feeling of control for placing the car on the road accurately as well as leaving more room between the driver and the door panel. This allows not only more space for arm movements during hard driving, but also provides space for an additional ‘door console’.

Like the McLaren F1, the driver has controls on both sides, which allows for a rational positioning of switches:

* Climate controls on each door console
* Telematics on the upper centre console
* Active Dynamics Panel on the middle centre console
* Transmission and minor controls on the tunnel console
* Trip computer and cruise controls on steering column

As such, all groups of controls have their own place and are accessible within a hand’s distance from the steering wheel. The instrument cluster has a large central tachometer and digital speed readout. Behind the steering wheel (and moving with it) is a Formula 1-inspired rocker for changing gears. It has been engineered to deliver a Formula 1 haptic. The science of haptics has been applied to all the controls in order to generate a consistent and high quality feel. All the controls are bespoke, designed exclusively by McLaren, and not a single one has come from the parts bin of another manufacturer.

The Active Dynamics Panel provides two rotary switches and four push buttons:

* ‘Start/Stop’
* ‘Active’ activates all the dynamic controls.
* ‘Winter’ sets powertrain, suspension and electronic aids to maximum driver support.
* ‘Launch’ initiates the launch control system.
* The two rotary switches control ‘powertrain’ and ‘handling’, each having three position settings for normal, sport and high performance driving modes.
* ‘Powertrain’ changes throttle response, gearbox strategy, shift times and impulse (how much one can feel the gearchange). The coaxial ‘Manual’ button controls use of manual gearbox functions.
* ‘Handling’ changes stability control, steering weight, suspension firmness and roll stiffness. The coaxial ‘Aero’ button allows the driver to deploy the airbrake for increased downforce.

The supportive, light weight seat is comfortable and electrically-adjustable for height. There is plenty of stowage space in the car with a shelf behind the seats big enough for small bags and a ‘floating’ centre console that leaves space beneath for a large storage container.

The interior’s simplicity belies a world-class level of comfort and safety features that will include a full quota of airbags, fully automatic dual zone climate control, sophisticated telematics and audio systems, parking sensors, trip computer, cruise control and electric memory seats.
Testing and simulation

McLaren has developed one of the most sophisticated driving simulators in the world. It is an immensely powerful tool that can be used to predict handling, performance, and a multitude of other dynamic properties.

The simulator was initially designed to improve the performance of the Formula 1 cars. But it has also been used intensively in the design and development process for the 12C, where modelling offers the opportunity to test likely outcomes without having to build a component that might turn out to be inadequate. It saves both money and time and it is perhaps the most effective technology transfer from Formula 1 to road cars; the handling and suspension of the McLaren MP4-12C was developed using exactly the same tools and techniques as the McLaren Formula 1 cars.

The crash test requirements are a good example of how simulation helps speed up development. Long before the first Carbon MonoCell had been constructed, the design had been through hundreds of passive crash test simulations. When the time came to submit a real world crash test, the 12C passed with flying colours.

“Outside of McLaren, it is almost unknown to meet our standards out of the box,” said Dick Glover, “but simulation worked out perfectly for us. It is difficult enough to achieve first time success like this with just a relatively predictable, ductile aluminium structure yet McLaren managed first time out with its MonoCell and added aluminium structures. We are very proud of that.”

Simulation didn’t stop at the design stage. Although over 20 prototypes have been built for an exhaustive test programme around the globe, the simulator remains a key tool and a differentiator from most competitors.

Different engineering teams have cars undergoing specialized testing including hot weather in Bahrain in the height of the 2009 summer, cold weather testing in the Arctic, engine development, gearbox calibration, electrical testing and ride, handling and durability programmes.

Before the first prototype was available, the dynamic test team, aided by professional racing driver and McLaren test driver Chris Goodwin, tested early parts on the simulator as well as a development chassis and various engine mules. When dynamic testing started, development and constant refinement of engine, gearbox, tyres, aerodynamics, braking, steering and suspension began in earnest to match all projected values and targets.

The testing programme moved into a more ‘aggressive’ phase following the principles of Formula 1 testing where a car and dozens of people maximise track time during the day and work on improvements overnight. The principle is ‘why test one thing when you can do ten’. Prototypes went to a test track for six weeks with all the experts and suppliers. The car followed a rigorous regime of testing almost 24 hours a day, seven days a week for six weeks. This turbocharged programme accelerated the development time.

The production process for the McLaren MP4-12C will enable McLaren to build on its recent success of record production volumes and quality for a luxury supercar with the SLR.

The McLaren Production System brings a large scale lean production mentality into a small-scale, flexible operation. The process is championed by Production Director, Alan Foster’s experiences at Japanese and European car manufacturers.

“Quality is the most important thing to customers,” said Foster, “and quality management is a fundamental part of building a McLaren. For my team it is an absolute passion. It doesn’t matter whether a customer is spending ten thousand pounds or a million, it is their money and they rightly expect to have pride in their purchase and be satisfied with it. Our goal is to ensure that we exceed customers’ expectations,” he concluded.

12C volumes will remain low, but will require a change of mindset for McLaren’s production line teams as the company moves to higher volumes. But the build process will still focus on craftsmanship, a hand-built philosophy but with a lot of science behind it. Quality gates will ensure that a car cannot leave a work station until everything is completed perfectly.

McLaren will maintain its high standards of final approval before a car can be released.

The build of prototypes has already proven the robustness of this approach because investment in the manufacturing assembly fixtures that will actually be used in production has already prepared the team and shown the build process to be on track. The 12C station cycle times have already been reduced by almost a further 20 per cent through knowledge gained from building the prototypes. In short, the risk has been removed from the production process so that final production quality will be guaranteed.
Aftersales, retail distribution, personalisation

Not only is McLaren establishing a new company, a new production plant, an all-new high performance sports car engineered and developed in house... it is also building a global network of retail distribution partners.

This small number of super operators will deliver the dedication and purposefulness necessary to ensure an ownership experience for the 12C that is as good as the car itself.

Ease of repairability, low-cost of servicing and maintenance, and availability of parts are of paramount importance to this customer relationship and have been key targets since the beginning of the 12C project. McLaren aims to offer segment leading performance here too. The principle being that a high performance sports car should not just be a pleasure to drive, but also to own; a car that is efficient to run and own retains its residual value and ensures its owner becomes a repeat purchaser.

Early planning indicates that 25 per cent of sales will be made in the UK, 25 per cent in the USA and the remainder to the rest of the world, notably Germany and mainland Europe, the Middle East and some Far Eastern countries. Although the McLaren MP4-12C has a comprehensive standard specification, customers for such an exclusive car want to have the ability to specify bespoke items, interiors and special equipment for their own car. McLaren has extensive experience of meeting these needs for McLaren F1 and SLR customers.

For example, the 12C will be available in a broad range of exterior paint colours and interior colours and configurations, while carbon fibre components and lightweight forged wheels will reduce weight yet further.
In summary

Motor racing began the McLaren story, but the latest chapter sees the company take that inspiration and develop it further on the road – and track.

McLaren has a heritage that spans 45 years during which time it has won 165* Grands Prix, 12 F1 World Championship Driver’s titles and eight Constructor’s titles.

McLaren achieved the most dominant season ever in F1 (15 wins out of 16 races in 1988) just as it dominated the Can-Am championship winning five titles in the late 1960s and early 1970s. McLaren has also won three Indianapolis 500 races and the prestigious Le Mans 24 Hours at its first attempt in 1995.

McLaren remains the only manufacturer to win the F1 World Championship, the Indianapolis 500 and Le Mans – the ’triple crown’ of the motor sport world.

On top of McLaren’s racing record it can lay claim to a road car heritage spanning 20 years, having produced the fastest production road car in history, the McLaren F1. Success does indeed breed success and McLaren intends to continue in this vein.

“McLaren Automotive is well on the way to offering not only an extraordinary new sports car but also to building an innovative new company,” explained Antony Sheriff, McLaren Automotive Managing Director.

“It is an exciting time for all of us at McLaren. We have built a new company, we are constructing a new global dealer network and a purpose-built production plant and, of course we are launching the first pure McLaren car for more than a decade. The best way I can describe the McLaren MP4-12C is to say it is not a ‘but’ car, it is an ‘and’ car:

* It offers class-leading performance and class-leading economy and CO2 emissions
* It has small dimensions and great packaging
* It is well-equipped with high safety standards and is lightweight
* It has dramatic dynamic potential and the ride quality of an executive saloon car

“When we embarked on the 12C project, we set ourselves ambitious targets. After all, building a car that matches the performance of competitors is not good enough for us. With a McLaren badge on the front, it needs to be the best.”

“So we developed everything from scratch because it was the only way we could ensure we met our ambitious goals and did not compromise the car – a new chassis concept, new engine, new gearbox, new suspension system, new telematics system; everything is new. As exciting as it has been for us, we hope the 12C will prove even more exciting for our customers,” Sheriff concluded.

“I am really proud of what the whole McLaren Automotive team has achieved with the 12C,” said Ron Dennis, McLaren Automotive Chairman.

“We respect and admire our competitors in the high performance sports car market, just as we do in the world of Formula 1, but I also believe that fierce competition drives technology and innovation and produces ever better products.

"With the McLaren MP4-12C are committed to providing the best car in its sector by almost any measure. Our philosophy is to promote what is possible in automotive design and engineering excellence and engineering innovation for the world of cars performance. We have a very dedicated team at McLaren who continue to drive this company to achieve more and more, and 12C represents the passion within, as the first of this new range of high performance cars from McLaren, "he concluded.

2012 Maserati GranCabrio Sport Review

After the wonderful world GranCabrio the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show, Maserati 2011 used the Geneva Motor Show to take the grand touring convertible to a new level of performance and management GranCabrio Sport.

Designed to provide the model harder to sit by the cutting of the GranTurismo S and Quattroporte Sport GT S, Sport GranCabrio efficient use of fuel and Maserati GranTurismo, the all-alloy V8, 4.7-liter with a six-speed automatic ZF transmission .

This naturally aspirated engine in this configuration is 331 kW (450 hp) and 510 nm on top of its rich, fat torque curve. Maserati Friction Reduction Program was discussed convertible motor sport more responsive to the input of the driver the more nuanced, while achieving a 6% reduction of fuel consumption. The spruce top speed of GranCabrio Sport is 285 km / h.

This six-speed transmission is equipped with super-fast TM Autoshift software is developed for spruce convertible sports directly from the transmission of the Quattroporte Sport GT S. C. Shift to the automatic response shift resulting from an optimized even greater commitment.
It was planned carefully, with an update and revision of the active suspension system Skyhooks - now with a sports agreement - and the introduction of grooved and drilled brake discs double cast.

Visually, the GranCabrio sport is characterized by a more dynamic appearance, marked. This begins to look GranCabrio distinctive nose with a black grille and trident with red accents. The headlights now have a black appearance to white, while dispatchers sidemarks front corner and side skirts are redrawn in a body-color time. Sports GranCabrio debut as a color for the new structure Trionfale Maserati Rosso inspired by Italian national colors of red used on the Maserati racing 1950 - in 1957, Juan Manuel Fangio won his fifth world title driving a Maserati 250F F1 color red.

Spruce convertible sports will be available in all the 62 markets Maserati summer 2011.

2012 Aston Martin Virage Review

Aston Martin Virage introduces new - extremely elegant and powerful, but it is undervalued compared to a sports car. Marque is now able to offer its customers superior, all the different characters, but also a unique soul of Aston Martin and luxury.
Beautiful, dynamic and prestigious, the Virage combines total performance luxury sports car, comfort and refinement.
The front mid-mounted torque distribution V12 offers exceptional performance along with a car's inherent flexibility and optimum weight distribution provide the best balance between outright performance sports cars and luxury sport illustrated by modern Aston Martin brand.

Aston Martin CEO Dr Ulrich Bez's, said: "100 years of automotive history has shown that the development offers the best solutions in time.

"It is the turn, he is the next level of development of our strategy VH architecture, and he does everything with perfection, as you might expect today. This is the perfect balance of opposites."

Virage is located between the durable elegant DB9 and DBS sports openly, giving customers a car that is still luxurious and discreet, but offers improved performance and efficiency which is always accessible for driving without effort.

Aston Martin acclaimed hand-built 6.0-liter V12 engine 490 hp (365 kW/497 hp) and 570 Nm (420 Nm) of torque, and through the shaft of carbon fiber, is coupled to a six-speed Touchtronic II breaker is mounted on the disk axis to promote the 50: 50 full weight balance.

Virage dynamics were modified to offer engaging driving experience even more refined, where the driver can extract maximum performance from your car with more ease. A new adaptive damping system (ADS), intelligent "reads" the road for optimum grip, adjusting to different circumstances. The system now selects up to five different stiffness parameters in normal mode, and five other parameters toughest sport mode.

Assist in the control of the driver, the Sport button on the dashboard allows the driver to choose the gas sharper gear changes and more quickly by holding down the shift lever in automatic mode without limiting revolution.

Turn is supplied with carbon ceramic matrix (CCM) brakes as standard - the evolution of this market - offering a tremendous and progressive stopping power. Powerful, fade-resistant and much lighter than conventional cast iron discs, the CCM braking system means that not only reduces the overall weight of the vehicle, but an increase of weight on each wheel that a better balance between comfort behavior and management can be beaten. Low rotating mass provides better acceleration.

Turn benefit of DBS technology and combines it with comfort and refinement in the DB9 and Fast. Aston Martin's own aluminum "VH" architecture that forms the backbone of sports cars of the brand is inspired by the aerospace industry where weight loss is the ultimate goal. Strong but light, the intrinsic properties of aluminum is ideal for a modular platform extremely rigid and flexible which allows the production of a coupe and Volante Virage.

The Virage sits low and wide assert the power that lies beneath, bi-xenon headlights just follow the lines of the sides of the car to give it a more lively and modern forward. A new aluminum metal grill on the front, inspired by the One-77, has five horizontal fins are chamfered creation of an airfoil. The new front fascia is clean and ease the car through the visual complexity, which contributes to the simplicity of design in general. The front wings distinguish it from its stable roommates Virage modern interpretation of a new housing Aston Martin side strake elegant iconic six LEDs that form the next rep. Virage stretchers that the simplicity of the front bumper of the rear diffuser, which houses a piece of body color emphasize the width of the car.

Drivers and passengers to open doors signature swan wings, they are greeted by the scent of seven hides of the finest bridges of Weir leather, expertly hand-sewn by artisans. Inspiration is drawn from the luxury leather goods to produce a hem pinstriped descending from each side of the dashboard and along the seats and doors, drawing the eye through the car. Turn each will have 70 hours of expert craftsmanship lavished on the interior alone that create the famous Aston Martin sophisticated interior. In total, over 200 hours of work devoted to crafts to be at Virage Aston Martin's global headquarters at Gaydon, Warwickshire, England, where he will be the production car to tenth to be built in less than eight years.

Simplicity works in the car with the new navigation system fully integrated satellite was developed in collaboration with Garmin. The new system simplifies the operation by the four-way joystick mounted on the existing scoreboard. A new 6.5-inch screen with high resolution using the latest graphics and maps to guide drivers visual and sound to their destination.

Standard equipment includes heated seats (Sports seats only), cruise control, satellite navigation, Bluetooth telephone preparation and a powerful 700W Aston Martin Premium Audio System with Dolby ® Pro Logic ® II, and the size of an iPod ® integration.

The Virage Virage Volante for sale and are available in the network of Aston Martin dealers covering 132 dealers worldwide in 41 countries. The price of the new Virage was confirmed at the Geneva Motor Show, which will be accompanied by two other cars, the V8 Vantage S, and the new car Custom Fit City Cygnet, which will be put into production in the United Kingdom Aston Martin 2011.

2010 Lamborghini Sesto Elemento Review

Lamborghini is redefining the future of the super sports car with a unique technology demonstrator.
Boasting an extremely lightweight construction thanks to advanced carbon-fiber technology, the Lamborghini Sesto Elemento has an overall curb weight of just 999 kilograms (2,202 lb) – including V10 power unit and permanent all-wheel drive. 
This makes the Sesto Elemento a unique demonstration of the technological expertise of Automobili Lamborghini. Innovative carbon-fiber technologies are being used here for the first time in an automotive application. As a 100 percent subsidiary of AUDI AG, the Italian carmaker also benefits from the undisputed expertise of the German manufacturer when it comes to lightweight construction.

With its amazing output of 570 hp, sensational power-to-weight ratio of only 1.75 kilograms per hp and 0 to 100 km/h (0-62 mph) acceleration of only 2.5 seconds, the Sesto Elemento guarantees unparalleled driving fun. At the same time, fuel consumption also drops because of the extreme lightweight engineering applied throughout.

The name of this technology demonstrator is derived from the periodic table, where carbon is classified as the sixth element. Thus, the Sesto Elemento demonstrates the worldwide leading expertise of Lamborghini in carbon-fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP) technology. The super sports car brand from Sant’Agata Bolognese is the only vehicle manufacturer in the world to have mastered the complete CFRP process across a range of technologies, from 3D design through simulation, validation, production and testing – all in a state-of-the-art industrial process that stands for the very highest quality standards.
Lamborghini drives the technology development in its two research centers the ACRC (Advanced Composite Research Center) and the ACSL (Advanced Composite Structures Laboratory) through collaborations with organizations such as Boeing, with the resulting technology secured under a host of patents.
“The Lamborghini Sesto Elemento shows how the future of the super sports car can look – extreme lightweight engineering, combined with extreme performance results in extreme driving fun. We put all of our technological competence into one stunning form to create the Sesto Elemento,” comments Stephan Winkelmann, President and CEO of Automobili Lamborghini. “It is our abilities in carbon-fiber technology that have facilitated such a forward-thinking concept, and we of course also benefit from the undisputed lightweight expertise of AUDI AG. Systematic lightweight engineering is crucial for future super sports cars: for the most dynamic performance, as well as for low emissions. We will apply this technological advantage right across our model range. Every future Lamborghini will be touched by the spirit of the Sesto Elemento.”

Groundbreaking technology package
With the Sesto Elemento, Lamborghini’s R&D engineers have put together a groundbreaking package. As a pure and radical concept, the Sesto Elemento is the unique synthesis of an extremely low curb weight of less than 1000 kilograms, enormous 570 hp output, the sensitive and prompt responsiveness of the high-revving, naturally-aspirated V10 engine and the superior traction and stability of permanent all-wheel drive – there has never been a super sports car as thoroughbred as this. Sesto Elemento delivers an unbelievable degree of driving fun, concentrated on absolutely sensational dynamics.
Systematic use of carbon fiber
The basis is an extremely solid, stiff, safe and lightweight carbon-fiber structur: the monocoque cell of the Sesto Elemento. The entire front frame, the exterior panels and crash boxes are also made from CFRP. The Sesto Elemento’s major suspension components and the rims are made from carbon fiber. The tailpipes are made from Pyrosic, which is an advanced glass-ceramic matrix composite, able to reach and stand very high temperatures up to 900° celsius. Even the propeller shaft is made of CFRP.
Amazing power-to-weight ratio
The Sesto Elemento demonstrates the outstanding expertise of Automobili Lamborghini in all areas of carbon-fiber technology. Carbon composite materials are a key technology for the automotive engineering of tomorrow, especially for high-performance sports cars. These materials made from carbon-fiber reinforced plastics combine the lowest weight with excellent characteristics – they are extremely stiff and highly precise. Lighter cars improve fuel consumption and CO2 emissions: above all, however, it improves the power-to-weight ratio – the crucial factor for a sports car – and thus the performance. A super sports car built using CFRP accelerates faster, has outstanding handling and better braking.

Extreme lightweight engineering delivers extreme performance
The Lamborghini Sesto Elemento offers the ultimate proof; thanks to its sensational power-to-weight ratio of only 1.75 kilograms per hp, the concept car delivers unparalleled performance. From a standing start, the Sesto Elemento catapults itself to 100 km/h (62 mph) in a sensational 2.5 seconds. In the interests of completeness, it should also be mentioned that the top speed is well over 300 km/h. What the figures cannot convey, however, are the Sesto Elemento’s razor-sharp handling, its voracious turn-in and its huge braking power. Extreme lightweight engineering and extreme performance come together in the Sesto Elemento to create an all-new dimension in super sports car driving.

Technology in a progressive form
Uncompromising dynamics from the very first glance: the design of the Lamborghini Sesto Elemento displays the sensuality of high performance and possesses the elegance of pure, unadulterated power. The Sesto Elemento lifts the design DNA of the Lamborghini brand to a new level and integrates the functional consistency of carbon-fiber technology into its design language. A clear strength of the CFRP technology is the reduction and integration of components – something that has been used to its full extent in this innovative technology concept.
The hi-tech material is visible everywhere. The Sesto Elemento is finished in a new, matt-shimmer clear coat, meaning that the CFRP structure can be seen throughout. Yet the Sesto Elemento is not just black; during the final stage of production the carbon fiber parts receive a newly developed and patented coat. Nano-Technology makes it possible to add fine crystals with a red shimmer. Surfaces covered with this type of finish glow red and deliver an outstanding effect. Further, the surface is particularly robust.
Consistent in form and function
On a Lamborghini, every single line has a clear function; the two vertical ribs at the front, for example, improve the stiffness of the component and guide the cooling air directly to the radiator behind them and to the brakes. This guarantees the thermal wellbeing of the components even under the toughest race track conditions.
The cooling air flows through two red triangular openings in the hood beneath the front windscreen and through large outlets in the side panels behind the front wheels. Sharply cut headlamp units complete the front end. Reduction is the name of the game here, too – alongside the bi-xenon lamps, there are four LEDs in each unit. The low front end looks incredibly dominant, with the partially double-lipped front spoiler pushed way out front and distinctively formed air intakes.
Precise lines, sharp edges
The entire side profile is cut like a sharp wedge, with the power center of the car unmistakably just in front of the rear axle. A distinctive sideline starts at the front wheel arch, rises along the door towards the rear and ends at the broad shoulders above the rear wheel. The triangle – like the one around the door handle - is a recurring design theme, defined by the precise contour edges in the Sesto Elemento’s CFRP body. The points of the air outlet triangles in the hood are carried through into lines along the roof.
The extremely wide sills form a connection between the air outlets behind the front wheels and the large air inlets in front of the rear wheels. These compartments house components such as the radiators for cooling the engine and transmission oil. The rims have a five-spoke design and are made entirely from carbon fiber. They offer a clear view of the high-performance brakes with carbon-ceramic discs.
Perfect aerodynamics
The Sesto Elemento’s rear overhang is extremely short and, again, defined by optimum aerodynamics. The generously dimensioned spoiler is perfectly matched to the diffuser and a further air deflector in the center, thus guaranteeing maximum downforce for extreme cornering speeds and excellent high-speed directional stability. The Pyrosic tailpipes are directed upwards through the engine cover panel, which also incorporates ten hexagonal openings and two air scoops behind the roof for delivering fresh air to the V10 power plant.
Complex structures in one component
A major strength of carbon-fiber technology is that complex structures can be integrated into one single component. This improves quality and reduces weight. On the Lamborghini Sesto Elemento, the front and rear of the body-shell are each manufactured in a single piece. Engineers call this “cofango”, created by combining the Italian word “cofano” (hood) with “parafango” (fender). The large components are attached by using easily removable fasteners, in order to have fast component disassembly. The “cofango” is also reminiscent of an icon from the brand’s history: in 1966, the legendary Lamborghini Miura was unique as a mid-engine super sports car – and its rear cover, too, could be opened in one piece.
Interior – pared to the bone
The minimalist approach has also been applied to the interior, starting with the seats. Lamborghini has dispensed completely with the conventional seat frame. In fact, the whole internal structure is obtained and defined directly from the Forged Composite tub, that on one side plays a functional role and on the other side is the base for the optimally formed seat cushions, upholstered in hi-tech fabric, which are affixed directly to the carbon-fiber monocoque. The correct ergonomics are provided by the steering wheel, which can be adjusted for height and reach, and by the pedals, which can be electrically adjusted longitudinally. Of course, the designers of Lamborghini Centro Stile also dispensed with interior trim in the classic sense. The dominant visual feature throughout is the functional CFRP material – on the floor and roof of the monocoque, on the doors and also on the cockpit and center console. Even the electronic control unit for the engine is mounted in plain sight – a very special kind of hi-tech aesthetic. The triangular cut-out is also evident as a design feature – wherever material can be removed in the interest of weight reduction.
The controls are presented in a highly concentrated format. The instruments provide information primarily on engine and road speed, as well as all parameters relating to engine condition. Only three piezoelectric buttons grace the center console – one to start the engine, one to shift into reverse gear and another one for the lights.

Ambitious target reached with ease
The Sant’Agata Bolognese engineers had set themselves a target that was more than ambitious – despite the ten cylinders and 570 hp, despite the exceptionally fast-shifting e.gear transmission and even despite the permanent all-wheel drive, the Sesto Elemento still had to stay below the 1,000 kilogram mark. And that target was achieved; at a curb weight of 999 kilograms, each hp produced by the V10 power unit has to accelerate only 1.75 kilograms – a sensational figure.
This was made possible by the systematic and intelligent use of state-of-the-art carbon-fiber technologies. Lamborghini possesses extensive experience in the field of lightweight engineering, gathered over many years: something clearly demonstrated by the brand’s series production vehicles. The current Gallardo LP 570-4 Superleggera has a dry weight of only 1,340 kilograms, marking a competitive best in this category of super sports cars. Compared with the already extremely lean Gallardo LP 560-4 CoupĆ©, this represents a further reduction of 70 kilograms, resulting largely from the use of carbon fiber in the body-shell, interior and technical components.
Lamborghini engineers stuck firmly to this approach for the Sesto Elemento. Its structure consists almost entirely of carbon fiber and is built using the monocoque principle. Monocoque means that the vehicle’s load-bearing structure is manufactured as a single shell, with the physical properties of one component, and thus makes optimum use of the extreme stiffness offered by CFRP materials. Formula 1 racing cars have been built using CFRP monocoques for decades – and regularly provide clear evidence of their collision safety. The monocoque in the Sesto Elemento, however, is made using innovative Forged Composite technology – the first time this has been done in an automobile. The advantage of the Forged Composite is that the monocoque is obtained through a one-shot process.
Carbon-fiber crash boxes
In the Lamborghini Sesto Elemento, the monocoque forms the complete passenger cell. Connected to it are the front subframe - incorporating the suspension points - and the crash boxes, both also made using specialized carbon-fiber technologies. The extreme stiffness of this assembly guarantees not only a very high level of safety, but also unparalleled handling precision. The rear subframe with the engine mount and rear axle suspension points is made from aluminum – another lightweight material with which Lamborghini has a great deal of experience.
An important element in optimum construction using CFRP technology is the maximum integration of functions. Thus, the body-shell exterior is made up only of the roof section, which is part of the monocoque, the two “cofango” covers front and rear with integrated aerodynamic components and the doors. Each door consists of only two elements, the exterior skin and the interior cladding, both of which are also permanently bonded to create one component.
Carbon fiber even in the suspension
The suspension and the area around the engine have also been optimized with lightweight engineering. Alongside aluminum components, there are also carbon-fiber control arms: innovative Forged Composite technology is also well-suited to this kind of high-load part. These components are around 30 percent lighter than comparable aluminum parts. The propeller shaft is also made of CFRP by using Wrapping technology. This solution allowed the Lamborghini engineers to get rid of the central joint, bringing an important weight saving. The rims are also made from CFRP, while the brake discs are from carbon-ceramic composite material. A similar composite material is used for the tailpipes on the exhaust system – the compound of ceramic powder and synthetic resin makes this carbon material extremely heat resistant. A large number of screw fastenings feature a special titanium alloy and joining technology from the aviation sector.
Based on the form, function and operational demands of the individual Sesto Elemento components, engineers from Lamborghini’s R&D selected largely from three CFRP manufacturing techniques within their technology tool kit:
Forged Composite: Here, materials with short carbon fibers are hot pressed in a mould. The process facilitates complex structures and is used for parts such as the underside of the monocoque and the suspension arms.
Prepreg: The carbon-fiber mats are soaked in a thermoset liquid resin. They are pressed in moulds and cured in an oven under heat and pressure. Prepreg components have a very good surface finish and are therefore the preferred choice for use in visible areas.
Braiding: This is a method to manufacture composite filament derived from the textile industry. Each thread is diagonally intertwined on different levels.
Concentrated power and amazing sound
The fascinating heart of the Lamborghini Sesto Elemento is familiar from the Gallardo LP 570-4 Superleggera. In the Sesto Elemento too, the V10 unit is mounted “longitudinale posteriore” – longitudinally behind the driver. The 570 hp output equals 419 kW, all of which is available at 8,000 r/min. The pulling power is just as impressive – with the torque curve peaking at 540 Nm and 6,500 r/min.
The V10 offers 5,204 cm3 of displacement, delivering a specific output of 80.5 kW (109.6 hp) per liter of displacement. The highlights of this long-stroke engine with an aluminum crankcase include dry sump lubrication and a cylinder angle of 90 degrees. Both solutions are an integral part of the lightweight engineering approach, as well as serving to lower the center of gravity and thus tighten the handling characteristics. Ideal combustion chamber fill comes courtesy of a switch-over induction system and continually variable, chain-driven camshafts.
Best traction with all-wheel drive
The Sesto Elemento is equipped with the e.gear transmission, controlled in race car fashion via shift paddles mounted on the steering wheel. The automated system with electronic management shifts smoothly through its six gears much faster than a human being would be able to.
Every single kilometer in the Sesto Elemento is sheer fascination – due in part to the relentless traction delivered under practically all conditions. This is largely attributable to the permanent all-wheel drive system. It incorporates a central viscous coupling and a self-locking differential for the rear wheels with 45 percent lock. Thanks to this superior traction, Lamborghini drivers can accelerate earlier out of a curve than those in rear-wheel drive cars.
New development center for carbon-fiber technology
Lamborghini possesses many years of experience with carbon-fiber reinforced materials. As far back as 1983, it produced the first prototype CFRP chassis for the Countach, with the first series production parts appearing in 1985. The current Lamborghini MurciĆ©lago is made largely from CFRP – its body-in-white contains 93 kilograms of carbon-fiber materials. The engine cover panel of the Gallardo Spyder is one of the largest CFRP components with class A surface quality in the automotive world.
The company is now working steadily to expand its worldwide leading position. The new Advanced Composites Research Center (ACRC) at the company headquarter in Sant’Agata Bolognese is working on innovative construction and production methods for carbon-fiber elements in automobile design.
The Advanced Composite Research Center in Sant’Agata Bolognese secures leading-edge research on innovative materials and production methods for carbon fiber elements for small production volumes. Here, over 30 experts develop vehicle components of all shapes and sizes. They build prototypes and the associated production tools while developing optimized production technologies. Sophisticated systems largely developed in-house allow extremely high precision levels as engineers simulate manufacturing processes as well as carry out crash tests on complex carbon-fiber structures. Thanks to the extensively patented “RTM Lambo” process, Lamborghini can use minimal pressure and relatively low temperatures to manufacture carbon-fiber components to the highest levels of quality, precision and surface finish, from small parts to complex vehicle structures. Further benefits include higher process speeds, lower costs, and extremely light tooling.
The Lamborghini Advanced Composite Structures Laboratory (ACSL) at the University of Washington uses experimental tests to define the mechanical behavior of the different materials and technologies using methodology from the aviation industry. The team of research engineers in Seattle works with very specific instruments and methods in close cooperation with the R&D headquarters and the ACRC in Sant’Agata Bolognese.