• Geneva LIVE: 2017 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Cabriolet

    March 2, 2016

    We now have live photos of the cabriolet variant of Mercedes-Benz’s 2017 C300 and Mercedes-AMG C43.

    The C300′s cabriolet variant follows the coupe’s feature and specification lists fairly closely. It’s dimensionally identical (the soft top adds a negligible 0.2-inch increase in overall height thanks to its more angular shape) and the powertrain–a 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder producing 241 horsepower and 273lb-ft of torque coupled to a 9-speed automatic transmission–also carries over. Like the coupe, the cabrio variant is available in both rear- and 4MATIC all-wheel drive configurations.

    The C43 variant, based on the sporty coupe of the same name, boasts a turbocharged V6 boasting 362 horsepower and 384lb-ft of torque. Unlike the C300, the C43 is available only with 4MATIC.

    The biggest difference, of course, is the roof. The cabrio variants sport power-folding fabric roofs which can deploy or collapse in less than 20 seconds at speeds up to 31 mph.

    While Mercedes-Benz went the extra mile to ensure the C-Class cabriolet’s structural rigidity was not excessively compromised by the absence of its roof, the German automaker stresses that the cabriolet’s mission is to convey its passengers in comfort and style while offering as much sportiness as possible to those whose priorities lie in the high-performance spectrum.

    With that in mind, the C300′s suspension comes standard with steel springs and a selective damping system. A sport suspension and AIRMATIC air suspension are available as optional upgrades.

    The C43 comes standard with an adaptive AMG “Ride Control” sport suspension with three-stage, adjustable damping and receives stiffened suspension components and bushings for a more direct feel. A more aggressive alignment and revised suspension geometry also set the C43 apart from its entry-level sibling.

    While top-down driving may still feel like it’s months away for those of us on the east coast, Mercedes-Benz plans to have some of its C-Class Cabriolets in the hands of customers in time to catch the lingering vestiges of summer. The C300 should arrive just in the nick of time. The C43, sadly, won’t arrive until fall.

    Live photos by Ronan Glon.

  • Geneva LIVE: 2017 McLaren 570GT

    March 2, 2016

    McLaren has expanded its Sport Series with a new model called 570GT.

    While the 570S was designed for hot laps at the track, the 570GT was developed for buyers who want to use their supercar on a regular basis. Designers have consequently given the GT a more fastback-like silhouette and added a glass hatch mounted on a carbon fiber frame. The longer roof line frees up 7.8 cubic feet of storage space behind the seats, which bring the 570′s total cargo capacity up to 12.4 cubes.

    Accessed via doors that boast a greater opening arc, the cabin offers niceties such as power-adjustable heated seats with a memory function, posh leather upholstery on nearly every surface, an eight-speaker sound system, and an electric steering column. A standard panoramic glass roof fills the cabin with sun light, while a quieter exhaust makes it easier to sit back and enjoy the ride.

    Like the 570S, the 570GT uses a mid-mounted 3.8-liter twin-turbocharged V8 engine that delivers 562 horsepower at 7,500 rpm and 443 lb-ft. of torque from 5,000 to 6,500 rpm. Bolted to a seven-speed automatic transmission that spins the rear wheels, the eight-cylinder sends the 2,976-pound GT from zero to 62 mph in 3.4 seconds, from zero to 124 mph in 9.8 seconds, and on to a top speed of 204 mph. Fuel economy nonetheless checks in at 19 mpg in a mixed cycle.

    McLaren has tossed out the 570S’ carbon ceramic brakes and replaced them with iron discs. The company has also improved the 570′s day-to-day usability by making the suspension softer, and by slightly reducing the steering system’s ratio.

    The 2017 McLaren 570GT will go on sale shortly and deliveries are scheduled to kick off later this year. Pricing information hasn’t been published yet.

  • Geneva LIVE: BMW 2017 Alpina B7 xDrive

    March 2, 2016

    BMW has unveiled its latest Alpina-tuned version of its 7-Series sedan at the Geneva Motor Show. The 2017 BMW Aplina B7 xDrive will arrive in dealer showrooms in September.

    The B7 is largely based on the BMW 750i, but the flagship sedan’s 4.4L twin-turbocharged V8 has been substantially stoked for the Alpina treatment, including new turbos, intercoolers and pistons. While the standard 750i generated 445 horsepower and 480 horsepower, the B7 is rated at 600 horsepower and 590 lb-ft of torque thanks to its 20psi of boost.

    And, in true Alpina fashion, that torque is available almost instantaneously. At 2,000rpm the B7 develops more torque than the 750i at max peak, and all 590 lb-ft of torque is available from 3,000rpm.

    As a result, the BMW Alpina B7 xDrive can accelerate from 0-60 in just 3.6 seconds, which is 0.8 seconds faster than the previous B7 and 0.7 seconds faster than the standard 750i xDrive. The B7 has long legs as well, with a claimed top speed of 193mph.

    In order to cope with that kind of speed, the B7 has been fitted with an up-rated sports air suspension. A special Alpina Sport+ Mode automatically lowers the B7 by 0.8 inches and increases front wheel camber to provide better turn in. Four-wheel Active Steering helps the B7 navigate tight corners.

    In order to stand out from a regular 7-Series, the B7 has been fitted with unique spoilers front and back, 20-inch Aplina Classic wheels and an Alpina sports exhaust system. The B7 is available in Alpina-specific Blue metallic and Green metallic, but other BMW Individual paint finishes are also available.

    Alipna’s signature blue and green colors are used in the B7′s interior.

    BMW will announce pricing for the 2017 B7 xDrive closer to the car’s fall market launch.

    Live photos by Ronan Glon.

  • Geneva LIVE: 2017 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport

    March 2, 2016

    Just when you were starting to think that the European automakers were going to have all the fun in Geneva, Chevrolet unveiled its 2017 Corvette Grand Sport, bringing back the popular trim that anchored performance Corvettes of the previous generation.

    The Grand Sport effectively takes the formula of the existing C7 Z51 package and dials it up to 11 (or maybe more like 13). Essentially, it’s a Z06 without the supercharged engine. You get all the aero, all the grip and all the cooling without the forced induction. And, as a bonus, the super-focused Z07 package from the Z06 is available, meaning all of the aforementioned go-fast bits are even go-fastier.

    The basic Grand Sport upgrades include unique Grand Sport wheels with Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires in 285/30ZR19 in the front and 335/25ZR20 in the rear, Brembo brakes with six-piston front calipers and four-piston rears, magnetic ride control (optional on base Corvettes), an electronic limited-slip differential and the base Corvette’s 460-horsepower LT1 V8 engine and seven-speed manual transmission.

    If you do opt for the Z07 package, that adds carbon-ceramic brakes and Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires.

    Chevrolet brought its Collector Edition model of the Grand Sport to Geneva to show off its Watkins Glen Gray Metallic paint finish and Tension Blue accents. The color combo carries into the suede and leather interior, where you’ll also find images of the original Grand Sport racer embossed in the headrests and on a dash plaque signifying its pedigree.

    Look for the Grand Sport to hit dealers in the latter half of this year.

    Live photos by Ronan Glon.

  • Geneva LIVE: 2017 Bentley Mulsanne

    March 2, 2016

    Bentley has unveiled the updated version of its Mulsanne flagship sedan.

    The introduction of the new Mulsanne will see the nameplate separated into three distinct models for the first time — the new lineup will include the regular Mulsanne, the high-performance Mulsanne Speed and the chauffeur-driven Mulsanne Extended Wheelbase. All three models will boast fresh styling and improved electronics.

    Bentley says the Mulsanne is all new from the A-pillars forward, with changes made the car’s fenders, hood and bumper. There is also a new grille inspired by cars like the 8 Litre of 1930 and “floating” LED headlights. The rear of the car features a new taillight design and a reshaped bumper.

    In order to stand out from the regular Mulsanne, the Speed model features a dark tint finish on its exterior brightware, tinted head and taillights, rifled sports exhaust, Speed badging and a set of unique 21-inch wheels.

    Inside the Mulsanne is mostly carryover, but the old world sedan receives a healthy dose of modern technology, including a new 8-inch center display with haptic touchscreen technology. Other tech features include high beam assist, blind spot warning and Bentley’s new Bentley Entertainment Tablet, which provides rear-seat passengers with a pair of 10.2-inch Android tablets. Those tablets can connect to the internet via the Mulsanne’s 4G WiFi connection.

    Those that spring for the Extended Wheelbase model will also enjoy an extra 250mm of rear seat legroom afforded by a 250mm stretch of the Mulsanne’s wheelbase. The Extended Wheelbase model also includes airline-style electronic legrests and can be optioned to include a folding table and electric curtains.

    The Mulsanne and Mulsanne Extended Wheelbase are motivated by Bentley’s 6.75L twin-turbocharged V8. Developing 505 horsepower and 752 lb-ft of torque, the Mulsanne is capable of accelerating from 0-60 in 5.1 seconds and hitting a top speed of 184mph.

    The Mulsanne Speed uses a tuned version of the same V8 that bumps power to 530 horsepower and 811 lb-ft of torque. As a result, the Speed can accelerate from 0-60 in just 4.8 second and tops out at 190mph.

    The Speed model also gets a few other sporty tweaks, including an ‘S’ mode for its eight-speed automatic transmission that automatically keeps engine revs above 2,000rpm, ensuring the turbos are always fully spooled. Bentley has also added a stiffer Sport setting for the Mulsanne Speed’s air suspension.

    The new Bentley Mulsanne range should be available for order shortly.

    Live photos by Ronan Glon.

  • Pininfarina H2 Speed: Ein Supersportler mit Brennstoffzellentechnik

    March 2, 2016

    Pininfarina stellt in Genf den H2 Speed vor

    Der Name ist Programm: Die Studie fährt mit Wasserstoff (H2), und das ziemlich schnell

    Eine Design-Besonderheit ist die rot markierte Finne auf dem Rücken der Flunder

    Cambiano (Italien)/Genf, 2. März 2016
    Wenn heutige Supersportler oft mit Hybridtechnik unterwegs sind, warum sollen dann künftige nicht mit Wasserstoff fahren? Das hat sich offenbar die Designschmiede Pininfarina gedacht und stellt auf dem Genfer Autosalon (3. bis 13. März 2016) den H2 Speed vor.

    Kein bloßes Showcar, sondern fahrfähig
    Die 4,70 Meter lange und nur 1,09 Meter hohe Studie ist kein fahrunfähiges Showcar, sondern wurde bereits auf der Rennstrecke getestet. Sie liegt zwischen Serien- und Rennwagen, könnte in Kleinserie produziert werden, meint Pininfarina. Die Brennstoffzellen-Technik des Autos stammt von der Partnerfirma GreenGT. Der Antriebsstrang besteht aus zwei Elektromotoren mit einer Leistung von 370 Kilowatt (503 PS). Der Strom dafür wird von zwei Niedertemperatur-Stacks (PEFMC, Polymer Electrolyte Fuel Cell) geliefert.

    In 3,4 Sekunden auf Tempo 100
    Die Kraft wird direkt auf die Hinterräder übertragen, das Übersetzungsverhältnis ist 1 zu 6,3 – Kupplung und Gangwahl entfallen also. Das Auto beherrscht ein Torque Vectoring, was wohl heißen soll: Die beiden E-Motoren an den Hinterrädern können unterschiedlich stark angetrieben werden. Die 6,1 Kilo gasförmiger Wasserstoff werden in zwei 700-bar-Behältern mitgeführt. Die Reichweite wird nicht angegeben, soll aber der eines Autos mit Verbrennungsmotor entsprechen. Aufgetankt wird in drei Minuten. Dank Leichtbau wiegt der Wagen nur 1.420 Kilo, die Gewichtsverteilung ist mit 41 zu 59 Prozent etwas hecklastig. Maximal sind 300 km/h mit dem Wasserstoff-Boliden möglich. Tempo 100 wird nach 3,4 Sekunden erreicht, damit liegt der Wagen etwa auf dem Niveau eines Ferrari FF oder Mercedes-AMG GT. Er dürfte wegen der Brennstoffzellentechnik aber weit teurer sein – doch vielleicht ist das bei der auf Exklusivität bedachten Kundschaft ja gerade erwünscht.

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  • Chevrolet: Corvette Grand Sport auf dem Genfer Autosalon

    March 2, 2016

    Chevrolet zeigt auf dem Genfer Autosalon (3. bis 13. März 2016) die neue Corvette Grand Sport

    Das Modell bekommt das Aero-Paket der Z06 spendiert

    Optional ist auch das Z07-Performance-Paket erhältlich

    Detroit (USA), 2. März 2016
    Auf dem diesjährigen Autosalon in Genf (3. bisn 13. März 2016) stellt Chevrolet die neuesten Erweiterungen seiner Corvette-Palette vor. Neben einem limitierten Sondermodell steht besonders die Corvette Grand Sport im Mittelpunkt.

    Grand Sport mit Z07-Paket
    Mit der Corvette Grand Sport belebt Chevrolet ein Modell wieder, das seinen Anfang bereits 1963 bei der Corvette C2 fand. Nach C4 und C6 gibt es nun auch die C7 als Grand-Sport-Modell mit einem neu abgestimmten Fahrwerk, einem besseren Kühlsystem und einem Aero-Paket. Dieses besteht aus speziellen Einsätzen in den vorderen Kotflügeln, dem Z06-Grill und breiteren Kotflügeln am Heck des Fahrzeugs. Außerdem ist die 466 PS starke Grand-Sport-Vette erstmals auch mit dem Z07-Performance-Paket bestellbar. Dort sind eine Carbon-Keramik-Bremse, ein Satz Michelin-High-Performance-Reifen und ein noch größerer Aerodynamik-Kit mit einstellbarem Spoiler enthalten.

    Neben dem Z07-Paket ist auch ein sogenanntes “Heritage”-Paket erhältlich, das spezielle Rautengrafiken im und am Auto enthält. Ebenfalls bestellbar: Die Grand Sport “Collectors Edition” in “Watkins Glen Gray” mit blauen Akzenten und einer 3D-Abbildung der ersten Grand Sport auf den Kopfstützen des Autos. Alle Grand-Sport-Versionen sind ab September 2016 bei uns bestellbar.

    Rennsport-Tradition in der C7.R
    Etwas stärker und Rennstrecken-orientierter ist die neue C7.R-Version der Corvette Z06 mit 659 PS und 881 Newtonmeter Drehmoment. Hier ist serienmäßig das Z07-Paket verbaut. Das auf 500 Exemplare limitierte Sondermodell ist nur in Gelb und Schwarz erhältlich. Die C.7R-Edition ist ab sofort bestellbar und kostet 139.000 Euro.

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