Monday, March 24, 2014

Volkswagen Golf 2016

The Volkswagen Group is one of the best examples of the new mega-manufacturing machines of the automotive industry. As a family of nine automotive brands, it has the ability to fill just about every mainstream, enthusiast, and barely scratched market. There are several advantages to this combined manufacturing force. One, economy and emissions ratings for smaller efficient models like the Golf and Polo can be used to offset less-efficient models like Aventadors and R8s in corporate averages.

Two, technology used to make supercars from Lamborghini and Audi lighter and faster can be used to make Volkswagens lighter and more efficient. Bringing composite and aluminum-alloy manufacturing technology from low- to larger-volume cars also spreads the cost out, bringing prices down.To maximize every gallon of fuel, engineers must think beyond the car. The driving environment will play as big a role as the vehicles rolling through it. Cars will communicate with each other to help navigation systems plan the most efficient routes with traffic. Terrain will be calculated to avoid unnecessary altitude changes and parking data can be transmitted to avoid driving in circles looking for that last spot.The following predictions for the 2016 Volkswagen Golf MK8 are based on technology currently being developed. How much of it comes to fruition is still unknown.

This particular model would likely never make it to the United States, at least not in as few as five years. A combined diesel and electric 85 horsepower wouldn't suffice for North American driving habits even with reduced weight. VW is currently in the process of building an engine factory in Mexico slated to be up and running for the Golf MK7. The rumored product of the factory is a 1.8-liter direct-injection I-4 to replace the current 2.5-liter I-5 in Golf, Jetta, Beetle, and Passat. VW has announced both a plug-in hybrid and a full electric Golf for near future production, likely in 2013. The odds of a sub-1.0-liter engine powering the U.S.-spec hybrid at that time are low. Even by 2016 it is still unlikely, as motor and battery technology would need to make considerable advances in power and range. We shouldn't count on ever seeing a Golf with fewer than a combined 150 horsepower in the forseeable future. A new smaller car built here in the new Tennessee factory with less power? That isn't so unlikely.

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2014 KIA Optima

A year behind its petrol-only sibling, the 2014 Kia Optima Hybrid facelift has been unveiled at the ongoing 2014 Chicago Auto Show. The electric motor-assisted model gets its own set of exclusive enhancements on the inside and outside, while boasting improved fuel efficiency claims.

The exterior upgrades introduced on the facelifted standard car (which has since been launched in Malaysia) have been adapted into this updated hybrid variant. The front bumper is bespoke, incorporating additional vents to reduce drag. Unique, lighter 16- and 17-inch wheels also enhance the Optima Hybrid’s aerodynamic efficiency.

On the styling front, there’s a new front grille, LED-infused headlights and fender badges – all exclusive to the Hybrid variant. Inside, there’s an optional white leather package to go along with the more upscale interior. Also in the options list are a high-resolution eight-inch multimedia screen and an eight-speaker Infinity sound system.

Under the hood lies a 2.4 litre engine paired to a 47 hp electric motor and 47 kW lithium-polymer battery, good for a combined 199 hp and 320 Nm of torque. In its primary American market, the 2014 Kia Optima Hybrid facelift is rated to return 16.2 km per litre on the US combined cycle.

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Toyoa Altis 2015 Preview

Toyota has had a long standing reputation of being a quality brand. Focusing on quality has increased waiting periods of Toyota cars but the effort the Japanese auto maker puts into each car is worth the wait. The company has been keeping up with their tagline “Quality Revolution” for quite some time and coupled with the the rich set of features offered on each of their cars, the brand has been posting steady sales figures.


The Corolla Altis is by far the company’s best product. An ideal mix of performance, style and luxury, the Corolla Altis is an excellent car for an excellent price. The latest gen Corolla Altis was unveiled at last week’s Delhi Auto Expo. The new Altis marks a huge change from the last few iterations. The design showcases Toyota’s new design philosophy that features prominent sharp creases and generous use of chrome.

The chrome grille merges seamlessly with the headlights. The headlights have seen the most change with the new pair being more aggressively designed. Two lines on the bonnet run all the way down, through the grille and down the bumper. The chrome lining on the grille radiates outwards and extends over the headlights giving the Altis a very powerful presence on the road. The headlights feature projector lamps. The fog lamps have also been given the chrome treatment with the fog lights embedded in chrome lined sockets.

The rear all LED tail lights also follows the same design methodology as the front with the whole car being defined by sharp and distinct lines all over.

The new Corolla is far more aggressive in its design and has received the much needed bold outline that was lacking in previous models.

With the new generation, Toyota has done away with the two tone beige interior and replaced it with a black and beige cabin. The new colour scheme adds an atmosphere of sophistication to the interiors. The Altis comes with a 7.1 in touch screen infotainment system with GPS navigation. The centre console is surrounded by a faux wood finish. The new car retains the digital clock that is placed between the restyled A/C vents. The new car also comes with push start/stop and rear parking camera with sensors for improve driver comfort. The car also comes with rain sensors.
The back seats receives numerous features that include rear reading lamp, rear power socket, rear sunshade and reclining seats for added comfort.

The petrol variant is a Dual VVT-I 1.8 L engine that churns out 138 HP @ 6400 RPM while the diesel variant houses a 1.4 L D-4D engine that produces 87 HP . Both variants come with a six speed manual gearbox while the petrol model also comes with a 7 speed sequential automatic. Mileage will be around 18 kmpl for the manual and 12 kmpl for the automatic.
Packed with features, good transmission options to choose from and the solid Toyota reliability, the Toyota Corolla Altis is a definitely a good buy. Bookings are now open.

Toyota Altis 2015

Toyota has had a long standing credibility of being a high quality brand.Focusing on top quality has actually increased standing by durations of Toyota vehicles yet the initiative the Japanese car maker embeds each auto costs the delay.

The business has been staying on par with their tagline “Quality Revolution” for rather some time and paired with the the abundant collection of attributes offered on each of their autos, the brand has been posting constant sales figures.

The brand-new 2015 Toyota Corolla Altis marks a massive change from the last couple of versions. The design showcases Toyota’s brand-new design ideology that includes popular sharp creases and charitable use of chrome.

The brand-new Altis was revealed at the 2014 Delhi Auto Expo together with the GT86 and the Etios Cross.

The fronts lights have seen the most transform with the brand-new set being additional aggressively made. The chrome lining on the grille emits outwards and prolongs over the fronts lights providing the 2015 Toyota Corolla Altis an extremely highly effective visibility on the roadway. The fog lamps have actually additionally been offered the chrome procedure with the fog illuminations installed in chrome lined sockets.

The rear all LED tail illuminations additionally follows the same design method as the front with the entire auto being defined by sharp and unique lines around.

The brand-new 2015 Toyota Corolla Altis is much more vigorous in its design and has gotten the much needed bold rundown that was lacking in previous versions.

With the brand-new generation, Toyota has actually done away with the two tone off-white interior and changed it with a off-white and black cabin. The new vehicle preserves the electronic clock that is placed in between the restyled A/C vents. The brand-new auto also comes with push start/stop and back auto parking camera with sensing units for improve driver comfort.

The rears obtains numerous functions that consist of rear reading lamp, rear power outlet, back sunshade and reclining seats for included convenience.

The gas variant is a Dual VVT-I 1.8 L engine that creates 138 HP @ 6400 RPM while the diesel variation houses a 1.4 L D-4D engine that creates 87 HP. Both variants possess a 6 speed handbook gearbox while the petroleum design likewise has a 7 rate consecutive automated. Mileage will certainly be about 18 kmpl for the handbook and 12 kmpl for the automatic.

Loaded with attributes, great transmission choices to pick from and the solid Toyota reliability, the 2015 Toyota Corolla Altis is a definitely a bargain. Reservations are now open.

Toyota VIOS 2014

Toyota has introduced the 2014 Vios at the Bangkok Motor Show. Going to launch in Singapore?

Designed to appeal to first time car buyers, the Vios has familiar styling that echoes the Verso and Yaris. The entry-level model has a no-frills appearance, but higher-end variants are distinguished by projector beam headlights, chrome trim and 15- or 16-inch alloy wheels. Overall, the model measures 4410mm long, 1700mm wide and 1475mm tall with a wheelbase that spans 2,550mm.

Despite being aimed at the lower end of the market, the Vios has a stylish cabin with decent materials. Notable highlights include attractive gauges, metallic accents and a four-speaker audio system with MP3/USB/AUX connectivity.

Power is provided by a 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine that develops 109 HP (80 kW) and 141 Nm (104 lb-ft) of torque. A five-speed manual is standard, but higher-end variants come equipped with a four-speed automatic.

The Vios will be built in Thailand and will be exported to more than 80 countries.

Source: Toyota

2014 Mazda 6

The 2014 Mazda6 is proof positive of two things: that Mazda can scale its 'zoom-zoom' personality up into a mid-size car, and that the company's core SkyActiv initiative—aimed at keeping cars lean and frugal yet engaging to drive—works. The outgoing 6 was an often-overlooked model that we've consistently rated one of the most enjoyable to drive models in its class. As for the current model, it's now one of the best-driving mid-size sedans, wrapped in a far more charming, almost sexy exterior.

From the new corporate grille and front end (more of a refined, masculine face than the clownish smile of some other recent models), to the rippled, muscular-looking front fender lines, the arched roofline, and the smooth, surprisingly refined tail and rear lights, the 2014is just gorgeous. Pacing around at 360 degrees, it's impossible to find an awkward angle on this car. The proportions are the best they get in this class, and it's a knockout. Open the driver's door, and what you get is a little farther from fantasy. The Mazda 6 interior isn't going to flat-out seduce you the way the exterior does, but it's neat and quite attractive, with tastefully coordinated materials, just enough brightwork, and trims that place just enough soft-touch surfaces in the places where hands are likely to go.

Again perhaps at odds with the sexy sheetmetal, the Mazda 6 has a rather simple powertrain lineup; it's powered by a new 2.5-liter 'SkyActiv' in-line four-cylinder engine, fitted with direct injection, variable valve control, and a very high 13:1 compression ratio (unleaded gas is just fine)—altogether making 184 horsepower and 185 pound-feet of torque, and good for up to 38 mpg on the highway. All versions have front-wheel drive, and the engine is fitted to two all-new transmissions: a six-speed manual, or a six-speed automatic. But it does get better once you're behind the wheel. Mazda has cut lots of weight while strengthening the body, and with a curb weight of just 3,200 pounds the new 6 feels friskier than the output numbers suggest. The new SkyActiv engine needs to be revved in order to access most of its torque; luckily both transmissions tap into that character easily. For the automatic, you get crisp, very quick shifts and almost the feel of a dual-clutch unit; and the manual (our favorite) has short throws and clean, precise action. The Mazda6 isn't sport-sedan firm, yet it handles near the top of the mid-size class; steering is quick and well-weighted, too, although somehow it loses its feel of the road.

If you've spent any time in the new Ford Fusion, or even the new Nissan Altima or Honda Accord, it's likely you'll concede—like we did—that the Mazda6's interior appointments aren't quite on the high ground that those models set. The seats in the Mazda6 are the exception. They're excellent, and even if you go for the base Sport

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New 2015 Subaru Legacy Singapore

  In a world where the consumer is bombarded by product after product, manufacturers and marketing gurus strive to make their products stand out much as possible. If it’s a wallflower, then the chances are that it will be left off the buyer’s radar.  

 When it comes to the car industry, then the situation is not as clear; you have products that rely on brand loyalty, which sell in record numbers whilst others utilise expressive design to no avail. Brand perception is most important.  However, there is no reason why carmakers can’t employ stronger design ethos, while retaining key attributes like practicality, drivability, safety and packaging. Toyota’s Camry and Honda’s Accord are two top-selling candidates in need of visual wizardry; their safe styling could cure anyone’s insomnia issues.  

Toyota, to their credit, have recently come out and said they acknowledge the cardigan theme isn’t the most desirable; admitting that the Camry needs an injection of youthfulness come redesign time.  Another company stuck in the land of beige, Subaru, has had a real head-banger with the new 2015 Legacy, a car with very little design imagination.  

Whoever penned the production-ready version must have been stuck in 2008; the frumpy glass-house looks to be inspired by the Acura TL or previous Mazda6, with an awkward piece of chrome trim extending into the C-pillars. I know there are constraints with the ease of rear-door entry and headroom, however subtle changes to the chrome-work could have worked wonders for a concept-like resemblance.  Generic design has also tainted the front-end, with a grille that could have been nicked from Ford’s Taurus. Headlight inspiration? (insert any manufacturer here).

Same goes for surfacing language - cover up that rally-bred badge and you could have any Honda, Hyundai or Toyota.  Things don’t get any more interesting at the rear either; at a glance you can envisage Kia’s Optima or a hint of Audi in the tail-lights. Did you like the 3-dimensional trunk-lid from the Legacy Concept? Sorry, you cannot see it here, you can, however, get a visual serving of vanilla beige.  One may say that Subaru are on a sales high of recent - so why all the fuss? Well, I’d ague that for a new product, the Legacy barely progresses at all. Compared to the Ford Fusion and new Mazda6, it’s visual wallflower.

Brand perception will ultimately sell this car - Symmetrical AWD, Boxer engines, safety and reliability will help the Japanese brand maintain progress in the sales charts.  As mentioned before, Subaru aren’t the only ones guilty of standing still. My call to automotive design studios of this world: forge past those bean counters, design-diluting focus groups and stodgy middle-management suits. Bring some flare to the masses and remember - good design sells.  In the meantime, I’ve cobbled up something far more palatable - a new take on the 2015 Legacy GT-B.

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By Josh Byrnes

Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution XI

Lancer Evolution X, was a car that many are long waiting for, it did not come as a surprise for myself, as the actual car doesn't seems to be nicer than its concept.

Mitsubishi’s Lancer Evolution is what you would consider as an affordable, all-wheel-drive, four-door rally car with a slingshot demeanor. Today, it’s arguably still a poster child for many youths and enthusiasts who identify with the Fast & Furious scene.
However, like the current Lancer, the Evolution X is getting rather long in the tooth. Word is that the Japanese carmaker is planning on developing a successor to the current variant. So with that in mind, it was decided to speculatively render how a future Evo could look.  Design: While the design of the current Evo X looks handsome, it suffers from a rather conservative body. This proposal adopts Mitsubishi’s upcoming bold new design language, with an aim of making it crisp, taut and masculine - whilst retaining a dose of Japanese character.  Beginning at the potent end; the honeycomb grille is framed by satin-chrome elements that zig-zag down into the bumper like a set of spiders legs. On either side you will find inlets for brake cooling, while narrow cut-outs within the headlights aid cold-air induction.  Above the LED headlights, sits an aluminium hood that pays homage to Evo’s of old with their twin-flared vents. Further down, angular front fenders provide room for a wider track whilst emphasizing an aggressive stance. From the side, sharp creases dominate as they sweep backwards along the doors. The front fender vents in particular mimic the grille, before merging into the lower side skirts. For a point of difference, the glasshouse has a wrap-around windscreen in a fashion not too dissimilar to Mitsubishi’s own XR-PHEV Concept.  At the hind quarters, angular lines echo those found at the front; they flow down from the taillights, forming part of the trunk-lid before encompassing the flared lower fender vents. This unique graphic is reinforced with  quad exhaust tips and an large rear spoiler for visual punch.   Performance & Handling: Speculation is rife about a performance hybrid being developed for the Evolution X’s successor. For the performance minded amongst us, taking this avenue can yield great benefits - so don’t panic, as it certainly won’t be a Prius clone.  Just look at what Porsche, McLaren and Ferrari have achieved with their 918, P1 and LaFerrari hybrid supercars, not only do their electric-assist systems help with fuel economy, but they also offer massive low-end torque advantages that stand-alone internal combustion engines struggle to emulate.  For this study, I envisage a similar direction as initiated from Mitsubishi’s recent XR-PHEV Concept - by employing a turbo-charged, direct injection 2.0-litre four, mated to electric motors positioned at the front and rear.  Making most of this extra eco-friendly oomph is a fine-tuned version of Mitsubishi’s Super All-Wheel Control (S-AWC) AWD system. Utilising electric motors to adjust torque and power at each wheel, this could provide enhanced levels of grip over what a standard all-wheel drive system already offers.  A hallmark of the Evolution series is their ability to dart from corner to corner over back-country roads; great for when you’re in the mood, but the firm suspension can become tiresome in day-to-day commuting. Achieving a better-balanced ride could be gained by using adaptive magnetic damping with sensors that scan the road ahead for surface irregularities - similar to what Mercedes-Benz’s ‘magic ride control’ feature offers.  Overall, this design proposition takes on a contemporary new direction for the Lancer Evolution; its plug-in hybrid platform could introduce an exciting new era for affordable, fuel-efficient, sports sedans. Expect Mitsubishi to drop more news about the next Evolution in the near future - and who knows, it may just sport an entirely new name.

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