• H&R: Sportfedern für das neue Mercedes C-Klasse Coupé

    February 14, 2016

    Dynamik im Stand: H&R bietet Sportfedern für das Mercedes C-Klasse Coupé an

    Durch die Federn liegt der Zweitürer um 25 Millimeter tiefer

    Ergänzend zu den Federn werden Spurverbreiterungen angeboten

    Lennestadt, 12. Februar 2016
    Sportfedern von H&R und sportliche Modelle von Mercedes haben eine lange Tradition. Unter anderem sind die Lennestädter Ausrüster des AMG-Mercedes-Rennteams, das 2015 die DTM-Markenwertung gewann. Erkenntnisse aus dieser Erfahrung fließen in die Entwicklung von Sportfedern für Straßenfahrzeuge mit ein. Aktueller Profiteur ist das noch recht neue Coupé der Mercedes C-Klasse.

    25 Millimeter tiefer
    Die Sportfedern senken den Schwerpunkt an der Vorder- und der Hinterachse um zirka 25 Millimeter. Die straffere Fahrwerksabstimmung wirkt sich dabei laut H&R spürbar positiv auf das Einlenkverhalten aus und sorgt für ein Plus an Fahrspaß, ohne dass der Komfort leidet. Für die Sportfedern müssen Besitzer eines Mercedes C-Klasse-Coupés 260,61 Euro investieren.

    Für den letzten Schliff
    Um die neu gewonnene Optik zu perfektionieren, bietet H&R zusätzliche “Trak+”-Spurverbreiterungen an, mit denen Serien- oder Zubehörräder an den Radhauskanten ausgerichtet werden können.

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  • Toyota confirms production of CH-R subcompact crossover

    February 14, 2016

    Toyota has confirmed its plans to build the CH-R crossover, and that a production example would be unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show on March 1.

    It had been long rumored that the CH-R was destined for production, as Toyota has lacked a contender in the red-hot subcompact crossover segment. In addition, there have been sightings of a thinly camouflaged prototype undergoing testing in rainy weather.

    The CH-R — that the final name is not known yet — will go on sale in Europe first, then come to the US. European market versions will be built in Turkey, with production starting towards the end of 2016.

    The US market version was intended as a Scion when a concept version was introduced at the LA Auto Show last November. However, it was announced last week that Toyota is shuttering the brand, and that the CH-R will debut as a Toyota instead.

    Without a player in the funkily-designed subcompact crossover segment, Toyota has ceded market share to the Nissan Juke. The CH-R, to be built on Toyota’s TNGA (Toyota New Global Architecture) platform, seeks to make a grab for sales in the class.

    Toyota did not disclose powertrain details, except to say that a hybrid version would be available at the start of sales. It will go on sale in the US in 2017.

    Live photos by Brian Williams.

  • 2016 Mazda CX-9 begins production

    February 14, 2016

    Mazda has begun production of its all-new CX-9 crossover, a seven-seater poised to give the brand a sales bump and inject Mazda’s fun-to-drive mantra into the crossover segment. Assembly began on February 11.

    The first examples to roll off the production line in Hiroshima are destined for North America, which Mazda says will account for 80 percent of the model’s global sales, equating to about 40,000 units per year. The 3-row crossover was designed specifically with the US and Canadian markets in mind.

    When it arrives, it will mark the complete revamp of the Mazda lineup since it parted ways with Ford in 2008. It replaces the outgoing CX-9 with an all-new model styled under the stunning Kodo “soul of motion” design language and engineered under the SkyActiv philosophy of marrying spirited performance with technology-driven fuel economy.

    As per Mazda’s “Driving Matters” mantra, we have been told by Mazda engineers that it will be, by far, the best-handling vehicle in its class. It’s powered by a new 2.5-liter direct-injection turbo generating 250 horsepower mated to a traditional (read: non-CVT) 6-speed automatic.

    According to Automotive News, Mazda hopes a strong crossover lineup, buoyed by the CX-5 and all-new CX-3, will lead to increased market share in the snow belt. The 2016 Mazda CX-9 is expected arrive in showrooms in spring of 2016.

  • Mercedes-Benz teases Geneva-bound C-Class Cabriolet

    February 14, 2016

    Mercedes-Benz has published a teaser sketch that previews the first-ever C-Class Cabriolet. Mercedes’ smallest ragtop is scheduled to make its public debut next month at the Geneva Auto Show.

    The Cabriolet is nearly identical to the 2017 C-Class Coupe that bowed in Frankfurt last September from the rocker panels up to the belt line. Beyond that, it gains a cloth soft top that quickly opens or closes at the push of a button. The sketch shows the Cabriolet with the top down, but earlier spy shots that show the car with the top up reveal that its roof line isn’t nearly as rakish as the coupe’s.

    Mechanically, the Cabriolet will be almost identical to the coupe. It will launch with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine tuned to send 241 horsepower and 273 lb-ft. of torque to the rear wheels via a seven-speed automatic transmission. All-wheel drive will be offered at an extra cost, and a six-cylinder engine — possibly a brand new straight-six sourced from the 2017 E-Class — will be added to the lineup a few months into the production run.

    A hot-rodded Cabriolet massaged by Mercedes-AMG will take on the topless BMW M4. Like its coupe and sedan siblings, it will be powered by a 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V8 engine rated at 469 horsepower and 479 lb-ft. of torque in its most basic configuration. The C63 will be capable of hitting 60 mph from a stop in roughly four seconds before going on to an electronically-limited top speed of 155 mph.

    The 2017 Mercedes C-Class Cabriolet will be introduced online in the next few weeks. It’s scheduled to land in showrooms nationwide this fall as a 2017 model.

  • Geneva: 2017 BMW 740e iPerformance

    February 14, 2016

    BMW has announced plans to group all of its plug-in hybrid models into a new sub-division called iPerformance. The first member of the iPerformance lineup is a fuel-sipping version of the 7 Series called 740e.

    Power for the 740e is provided by a gasoline-electric drivetrain made up of a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 258 horsepower and 295 lb-ft. of torque, and a small electric motor integrated into an eight-speed automatic transmission that provides 113 horsepower and 184 lb-ft. of instant torque. Combined, the turbo four and the motor send 326 horsepower and 369 lb-ft. of torque to the rear wheels, though all-wheel drive is offered at an extra cost.

    The 740e reaches 62 mph from a stop in 5.6 seconds in its fastest configuration, and it returns a jaw-dropping 112 mpg in a mixed European cycle. Alternatively, the motor can power the 740e on its own at speeds of up to 87 mph for 25 miles.

    The driver can choose when to use only electricity, when to rely on both power sources, and when to save the lithium-ion battery pack’s full charge for later. The 7 offers three basic driving modes called Eco Pro, Comfort, and Sport, respectively, and BMW promises the difference between them is highly noticeable.

    IPerformance is to BMW’s i sub-brand what M Performance is to BMW M, so it’s not surprising that the 740e borrows a handful of discreet styling cues from the i3 and i8. Notably, it features blue accents on the grille and on the center caps, BMW i emblems on both front fenders, and eDrive logos on the C-pillars. Moving forward, these visual features will characterize every member of the iPerformance lineup.

    The BMW 740e iPerformance will be presented to the public next month at the Geneva Auto Show, where it will share the spotlight with the V12-powered M760i xDrive. Sales are expected to begin before the end of the year.