Thursday, January 31, 2008

Hummer HX Concept

Hummer HX Concept

With its unmistakable HUMMER design and a compact, go-anywhere driving ethic, the HUMMER HX concept challenges the hierarchy of the trail. HUMMER displayed the nimble, reconfigurable off-roader at the 2008 North American International Auto Show.

More compact than a HUMMER H3 - 81 inches (2,057 mm) wide, with a 103-inch wheelbase (2,616-mm) - the HX concept is an open-air, two-door off-road vehicle that packs the off-road acumen for which HUMMER has become legendary, along with an easily convertible body that acclimates to varied trail conditions, cargo needs or passenger whims. Its design is based on the ideas developed by a trio of young designers who are new to the HUMMER studio.



"The HX is HUMMER's vision of an agile, trail-ready, open-air vehicle that fits the lifestyles of everyone who needs or wants to drive off road," said Martin Walsh, HUMMER general manager. "Of course, it carries exceptional off-road capability and the distinctive styling for which all HUMMERs are known."

The HX offers an open-air driving experience via a pair of removable roof panels above the driver and front passenger, and a modular, removable rear roof assembly. With the roof panels and roof assembly removed, the HX is transformed into a true convertible.

Easy removal of the roof panels and rear-roof assembly enables quick conversion from a closed vehicle to an open one. The HX also was designed with several roof assemblies, allowing this versatile vehicle to be configured as an SUT (with the roof assembly removed), a stylish slant-back or a traditional, wagon-like design that offers a bit more cargo space.

The HX was shown with a slant-back configuration, wearing a desert-inspired matte olive paint scheme, at the North American International Auto Show. Additional convertible features include:

Removable doors - easily removable pins in the exposed hinges allow the doors to be removed quickly - an appreciated feature of many serious off-roaders
Removable fender flares - attached with quarter-turn quick-release fasteners, the composite fender flares can be quickly removed for additional trail/rock clearance, or if the flare is damaged during off-road driving
"The modular design of the roof and removable body panels mark an evolution of HUMMER's design aesthetic," said Carl Zipfel, director of design. "These features demonstrate a deeper understanding of enthusiast desires when it comes to off-road driving - and the slant-back design gives the HX a look all its own."



Purposeful exterior

The design of the HX was driven by input from three young designers who were new to GM and the HUMMER design studio. As part of their "initiation," they were charged with developing concept drawings for a smaller, youthful HUMMER and the HX is a direct result of their creativity. The HX concept is based on one of the designers' original illustrations, but incorporates the best ideas and elements from the other designs.

"HUMMER appeals to young people globally and served as a perfect first assignment for our newest talent," said Ed Welburn, vice president, Global Design. "Today's graduates from top design schools are ready to hit the ground running. The HUMMER design challenge gave our newest designers an opportunity to sprint."

Inside and out, the HX carries a purposeful aesthetic that, from initial sketches to finalized clay models, was refined in only six months.

"This is the HUMMER design language stripped down to its essence," said David Rojas, creative designer. "The HX has an aggressive appearance and great proportions, with beauty lying in its functional austerity."

On the exterior, the lightweight theme is evidenced in the appearance of exposed, billet aluminum suspension components that feature CNC-machined lightening relieves, as well as clean, unadorned bodywork and minimal trim. The lightweight theme is taken to its extreme when the roof panels, roof assembly, fender flares and doors are removed.



Classic HUMMER design cues make the HX instantly recognizable, including the round headlamps located in square housings, an upright windshield profile, minimal overhangs, hood vents and prominent air intakes. The air intakes are functional and feed a V-6 engine beneath the hood, while the hood vents are active - they articulate to allow hot underhood air to escape.

And while the headlamps and grille are clearly HUMMER cues, they've evolved on the HX with a "chopped circle" motif. The grille slots and headlamps, as well as elements on the interior, have the appearance of circles or ovals that have been clipped at the top and bottom, creating a unique appearance that speaks to the vehicle's purposeful aesthetic.

"The 'cut-off' circles suggest larger, heavy-duty components that were trimmed to fit the compact HX," said Rojas.

And while it is unadorned by extraneous embellishments, the HX's exterior is nonetheless outfitted with features that speak to HUMMER's legacy of technology and innovation, including HID headlamps with focusing rings that adjust automatically when they're turned on - much like the lens of an auto-focus SLR-type camera. LED technology is used for the front turn signal lamps and taillamps.



Aeronautically inspired interior

From aircraft-inspired seats to integrated, off-road-ready tools, the HUMMER HX's interior has a beauty that lies in its purposeful intent. It was inspired by the functional and lightweight elements found in aircraft.
"Aeronautical parts are designed to be both lightweight and strong, and that is the feeling exuded by the HX's cabin," said Stuart Norris, interior design manager. "There isn't superfluous trim or decoration - it is a purposeful design that conveys beauty through strength."

Reinforcing the stripped-to-the-essence feel, the exterior's matte olive color carries over onto the interior's largely sheet metal-covered panels. The color is accented with pressed or extruded aluminum components, such as the handles, switches and other necessary parts.



Furthering the aeronautical influence is the instrument panel, which uses an exposed, extruded aluminum cross-vehicle beam as its foundation. On the beam, the instrument cluster and other vital controls are mounted; and it also features a unique, removal top cover that provides significant storage capability.

"The instrument panel is a styling element of the HX, and the removal of the top cover reveals a secondary design that enhances the vehicle's core design ethic," said Norris. "With the top cover removed, the interior conveys even more of a basic essence - and the structure beneath the cover is beautiful to those who appreciate finely crafted metal."

A rubberized floor and ballistic nylon-material covering on the instrument panel and other interior components reinforces the functional aesthetic.

Seating and console details

Like aircraft seats, the HX's seats are constructed on a lightweight framework with minimal components that feature lightening holes and strength-enhancing cross braces or triangulations. They are mounted on exposed, aircraft-style tracks and trimmed with a weather-resistant neoprene material.

The HX seats four, with a pair of bucket-type seats in the second row. The rear seats mimic the front seats' design and can be removed to generate more cargo room. All the seats feature a four-point, racing-style safety harness.

The inner seat track on both front seats is located beneath the outer edges of a prominent center console. The console offers exceptional storage capability and houses a unique shifter that mounts low and out of the way when the vehicle is parked - also hiding from sight the engine starter button. It has a spring-loaded cover that pops up when the driver is ready to select a gear.



The console also houses a resting place for phones, MP3 player and iPods or iPhones. In fact, there is no conventional radio in the HX, only integrated speakers. Passengers plug in an iPod, or similar device, to a USB connector to play music in the HX.

"From the console to the cargo area behind the seats, there are simply untold storage possibilities within the HX," said Norris. "It's like a four-wheel backpack that's already fitted with the necessities."

Gauges and tools

The "cut-off circles" motif of the exterior is seen even more so on the HX's interior, as the gauge cluster, instrument panel vents and even the steering wheel carry the design element.

A three-element gauge cluster - each of the three instrument "pods" carries the cut-off circle design - delivers crucial driver information in either a highway or off-road mode. This conceptual reconfigurable gauge layout uses LCD screens with multiple layouts, including a navigation system. The nav system features GPS and compass information; and is designed to upload trail information before setting off on an excursion.



The center gauge pod houses a speedometer and tachometer, but changes to a wheel angle indicator when the transmission is in the low position. This off-road mode changeover from the highway mode gives the driver information that is more pertinent to the driver conditions. The trail view of a camera mounted in the rear-view mirror can be displayed on the instrument panel, too.

The off-road mode features of the instrument panel comprise the virtual tools of the HX, while others are mounted for physical use, including a folding shovel, flashlight and first-aid kit. They all carry the "clipped circle" design motif found throughout the vehicle.

Ready for rocks, trails and more

With its compact dimensions, almost no overhangs and grippy 35-inch tires, the HX is ready for all terrains. Like all HUMMER production models, the HX has sturdy, body-on-frame construction, onto which is mounted front and rear independent suspensions.



The front suspension features an electronic-disconnecting stabilizer bar for enhanced maneuverability when driving off road, and the rear suspension is located with Computer Numerical Controlled (CNC)-machined, billet trailing arms. Heavy-duty shocks with piggyback reservoirs were custom-made for the HX by renowned racing shock manufacturer Fox; one is mounted at each wheel position.

A full-time 4WD system pulls the HX over, through and around off-road obstacles. It transfers torque to the front and rear axles, each of which is equipped with a locking differential. The torque meets the trail via custom 35-inch-tall off-road tires that are mounted on a set of custom, bead-lock-style wheels that have a two-tone appearance; dark-painted wheel centers complemented by silver-anodized outer rims.

A complete underbody armor kit, including a front skid plate, powetrain protection and more, protects the HX from wayward rocks and other potentially damaging objects. A power-operated winch is located in the front bumper, and the HX has recovery hooks mounted on the front and rear bumpers, just in case its help is required for wrangling others out of unfortunate off-road situations.



Motivation for the HX comes from an E85 FlexFuel 3.6L SIDI V-6 that is backed by a six-speed automatic transmission. The transmission is teamed with the 4WD system to offer exceptional low-speed traction and crawling capability. Four-wheel-disc brakes provide confident stopping power.

SPECIFICATIONS

Body style / driveline: two-door, four-seat open-top, four wheel-drive
Construction: welded steel frame, electro galvanized steel
Engine type: 3.6L V-6 VVT (variable valve timing) with spark-ignition, direct injection
Displacement (cu in / cc): 217 / 3564
Bore & stroke (in / mm): 3.70 x 3.37 / 94 x 85.6
Block material: sand-cast aluminum with cast-in bore liners
Cylinder head material: cast aluminum
Valvetrain: DOHC, 4 valves per cylinder, variable valve timing (VVT)
Fuel delivery: direct high-pressure fuel injection
Compression ratio: 11.3:1
Horsepower (hp / kW @ rpm): 304 / 227 @ 6300 rpm (est)
Torque (lb.-ft. / Nm @ rpm): 273 / 370 @ 5200 rpm (est)
Fuel Type: unleaded regular or E85 ethanol
Transmission: Hydra-Matic 6L50 six-speed electronically control automatic transmission
Suspension:
front: independent SLA, custom Fox Racing coil-over shocks; 2-in shocks, 2.5-in springs
rear: semi-trailing link, custom Fox Racing coil-over shocks; 2-in shocks, 2.5-in springs
Wheel travel (in / mm):
front: 9 / 228
rear: 11/ 279
Brakes: four-wheel disc; Brembo 6-piston calipers (front); Brembo 4-piston calipers (rear)
Rotor diameter x thickness (in / mm): 15 x 1.25 / 381 x 31.75
Wheel size & type: 20-inch x 9-inch
Tires: 35-inch custom Bridgestone Dueler
Wheelbase (in / mm): 103 / 2616
Overall length: 171 / 4343
Overall width (in / mm): 81 / 2057
Overall height (in / mm): 72 / 1829
Track (in / mm): 67 / 1702 (front); 68 / 1727 (rear)
Minimum ground clearance front (in / mm): 13 / 320
Approach angle (degrees): 56
Departure angle (degrees): 51
Breakover angle (degrees): 25
Grade capability (percent): 60
Side slope capability (percent): 40
Water fording capability (in / mm): 24 / 610 (at 5 mph)
Seating capacity: 4

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Alfa Romeo 8c Competizione

Alfa 8C Competizione, world premiere

The definitive version of the gorgeous exclusive Alfa 8C Competizione, Gran Turismo car that is to be produced in a limited edition makes its debut in Paris. The car, designed by Alfa Romeo, is directly derived from the concept car that aroused such admiration at the 2003 Frankfurt Motor Show and has benefited from the best technical and industrial know-how that the Alfa-Maserati Sports Centre can offer. The cooperative venture between both manufacturers was conducted with a view to ensuring integration between the Alfa Romeo design departments and the Maserati production departments.



The 8C Competizione is inspired by Alfa Romeo's glorious past, projecting its brand values of technology and emotion into the future. The historical allusions begin with the evocative name, recalling the great sporting tradition of Alfa Romeo. The 8C code was used to identify cars (racing and on-road) of the Thirties and Forties equipped with the revolutionary eight cylinder engine produced by the famous designer Vittorio Jano. The term 'Competizione' is intended as a homage to the '6C 2500 Competizione', a sports coupé driven in 1950 by the duo Fangio and Zanardi in the famous Mille Miglia race.

The name, '8C Competizione' is not an arbitrary invention but a distinctive mark of Alfa Romeo's own sporting history. A veritable legend that has arisen out of the innumerable victories won on circuits throughout the world through the skill of men and their passion for racing, engine research and advanced technology and a reawakened taste for new challenges.



This link with the values of Alfa Romeo's history adds extra poignancy to the term 'Competizione'; when projected into the future it represents the sense of constant dynamism that distinguishes a brand engaged in a quest for excellence, increased competitiveness and technological innovation. This is the explanation behind the role of the new car, which is not a point of arrival but a point of departure designed to reaffirm Alfa Romeo's unique place in the world: its ability to match a thrilling shape to driving satisfaction.

Styling and aerodynamics: tradition and innovation

The attractive shape created by the Alfa Romeo Style Centre makes this car with its two bucket seats unique in the Gran Turismo scenario. The designers have worked hard to ensure that the aerodynamic and performance demands have not altered the car's original concept. The style maintains an incredibly clean shape, uncluttered by any element interfering with the overall harmony.

The solutions introduced on the Alfa 8C to achieve the highest levels of aerodynamic efficiency are not limited to the shape. Air wraps around the car and follows its natural course, unhindered by corners and unevenness. All the pillar and glass surfaces and profiles together with the door mirror shape and position have been optimised by mathematical modelling and also by wind tunnel tests and tests on actual models. Much attention has been devoted to the creation of a ground effect that has allowed a negative Cz (lift coefficient) to help increase stability at high speed, as on racing cars.

The compact dimensions concentrate the aggression of a car designed to ensure maximum driving efficiency.

The car surfaces are highly sculpted and skilfully moulded. In detail, the body is given extra dynamism by the horizontal furrow cut into the side above the front wheelarch. The big wheels and powerful musculature of the rear wings emphasise the model's personality and strength without detracting from the lines that flow smoothly, almost as though to underscore the formal good looks of the individual exterior details: the drop-shaped headlight embedded, gem-like, in the front wing, the led tail-lights that are a blend of technology and rationalism, the spare door handle. The front end still displays the distinctive Alfa Romeo traits, with a new interpretation of the 'whiskers' and shield.



The innovative shape heralds the details and proportions of future Alfa Romeo cars but is also redolent with past thrills and historical allusions: the 33 Coupé Stradale, the Giulia TZ and many other great names of motoring history. The Alfa Romeo style centre also developed new colours to emphasise the shape of the 8C Competizione that match the car's sinuous shape while also suggesting modernity and a hint of technology.

8 cylinder 4.7 engine: Italian 'belcanto'

The engine is the beating heart of any Alfa Romeo. In this case it takes the form of a brand new 90° V 8 cylinder unit with a cylinder capacity of 4691 cc that was designed with one aim in mind: to ensure extraordinary performance while still offering a smooth drive and being usable in all circumstances, from the track to city traffic.

The top engine performance figures may be summarised as a maximum power output of 450 bhp at 7000 rpm, a peak torque of 470 Nm at 4750 rpm and a top speed of 7500 rpm.

The layout of internal fluid movements and the cylinder head cooling system is designed to achieve high duct permeability and effective intake load cooling to maximise volumetric efficiency and engine performance.

Harmonisation of the intake and exhaust geometry together with the introduction of continuous variable valve timing on the intake camshafts and optimisation of the combustion chamber and engine calibration means that 80% of torque is available from 2000 rpm.

In sporty driving conditions over mixed routes, the power unit offers impressively short response times due to the high permeability of the intake duct and the low inertia of the flywheel-twin plate clutch system.

A crankshaft with counterweights at 90°, fully balanced through careful selection of connecting rods and pistons, ensures the engine runs with low vibration levels.

The engine block and base assembly is in aluminium with 5 main bearings to ensure the structure is very rigid with little loss due to friction. The cylinder heads are also in aluminium alloy.



All the ducts (water, oil, secondary air) are cast directly into the engine to produce a system with great rigidity, low dimensions and guarantees of safe installation, i.e. great reliability.

Casting accessory systems into the main engine casting and the use of very rigid, thick-walled components ensures that little noise radiates from the engine and the components are very reliable.

Longitudinal engine packaging has also received particular attention, as evidenced by the introduction of a single chain timing system that guarantees exceptional lifetime dependability.

Special attention has also been devoted to the acoustic definition and tuning of the intake and exhaust in the quest for a sound timbre that enhances the car's character and makes it unmistakable. The result is a full, distinctive sound, emphasised by the permeable intake system and an exhaust system with electronically controlled valves that enhance the car's sound without infringing any type-approval or environmental constraints.

Transmission, robotised gearbox and self-locking differential

The engineers used a layout familiar from other Alfa Romeo cars on the 8C Competizione: the transaxle architecture with gearbox at the rear that is an acknowledged asset of Alfa Romeo cars. This layout allows outstanding dynamic performance while also offering the active safety for which Alfa Romeo cars are fabled.



The engine-gearbox unit is designed in accordance with a transaxle configuration that ensures the weight distribution is very effective for vehicle handling. Due to the small axial engine size and the integration with frame components from the drawing board, the entire power unit can be housed well back to ensure the required sporty configuration.

The 6-speed gearbox with computerised speed selection by means of levers behind the steering wheel is designed to ensure ultra-slick gear shifts and may be used in Manual-Normal; Manual-Sport; Automatic-Normal; Automatic-Sport and Ice modes. The self-locking differential allows acceleration and stability to be managed with extraordinary efficiency in all situations.

Suspension, wheels and braking system

In the very best Alfa Romeo tradition, the engineering is directly derived from the race track. The suspension on the new model is no exception, with a double wishbone layout, forged aluminium axle carrier and arms and extra strut for toe-in control.

The braking system offers perforated, ventilated discs with aluminium brake callipers to ensure prompt, effective braking even with heavy use. To ensure the car stays glued to the road, it is fitted with 20" tyres specially developed to ensure outstanding performance: 245/35 at the front and 285/35 at the rear, fitted on perforated rims in fluid moulded aluminium to ensure lightness and maximum brake ventilation efficiency.

To ensure the car is entertaining and safe in any driving condition, the 8C Competizione comes with the latest Alfa Romeo VDC, an advanced stability and traction control system to ensure the driver feels at one with his car.

Rigid, light structure

A rigid, light structure is the rule when configuring a good high performance car. This is also the guiding principle behind the 8C Competizione. In detail, the compact frame is in steel to achieve the greatest torsional rigidity to ensure an accurate, safe drive at all times while the body is in carbon fibre. This choice was motivated by the need to minimise weights while also optimising the car's centre of gravity for better agility and handling on demanding routes.



Interiors: personality and technology

The car's distinctive look comes from extensive use of composite materials on the facia and interior panels. This is a technical choice but also reinforces the car's spirit and emphasises its personality. The same thinking lies behind the adoption of anatomical seats made out of carbon fibre that can be adjusted and customised on the basis of the driver's physical characteristics (a facility previously reserved for racing cars).

Everything is designed and produced to ensure the greatest user-friendliness for the driver and whoever is lucky enough to share the thrill: relaxed driving position, intuitive instruments that are always visible, robotised gear levers secured to the steering column and easy to reach without removing your hands from the sporty steering wheel.

The carefully-crafted and detailed finish naturally allows the car to be customised to the driver's taste and a choice of different interior environments is available.

The absolute satisfaction of a sporty drive

To see it is to love it: wide tyres, low-slung ride and styling of poised aggression. To die for, in fact. Hear the engine and weep: a full, convincing throaty roar. Now all that remains is to sit behind the wheel, engage first gear and you are off to try out your Alfa 8C Competizione. You are left with one doubt: how will you drive a sports model whose bonnet conceals a 4700 cc eight cylinder engine hat unleashes 450 bhp of power and 470 Nm of torque when you touch the accelerator. The unexpected answer is: with great ease - even more easily, simply and instinctively than your normal car in fact. Provided you allow yourself the time and satisfaction (because this is about pleasure, after all) of getting used to the more direct controls and prompter responses: the sort you could only expect from a true sports car on mixed routes or - even more so - on the track where speed and transverse acceleration are much more controllable.

The new Alfa 8C Competizione is self-avowedly an Alfa in its uncompromising sense of control and driving satisfaction. Driving comfort and dynamic behaviour have always been specific features of Alfa Romeo cars: on this car, they amount to a real strength.

Alfa 8C Competizione: a legendary name for a unique car

Since the very beginning, the Alfa Romeo spirit has been driven by a constant quest for technical perfection, achieving performances that are better and better. This is all about the engine: the beating heart of every Alfa Romeo car. Racetracks throughout the world have provided the perfect backdrops for truly unique technical and technological progress, with Alfa Romeo always occupying the highest position on the winners' podium.



The key to Alfa Romeo's engineering prominence was the 8 cylinder engine developed during the first half of the Twenties by a young engineer named Vittorio Jano. His original brief was to revise the 6 cylinder engine to meet the needs of standard production model buyers and also to stand up to the competition offered by rival manufacturers in races.

The first 8C was tested in 1923, with the P1, already fitted with a compressor and twin spark ignition, and then the P2. Its debut could not have gone better: in 1925 the Alfa Romeo P2 won first place in the first World Championship. The positive effects of these innovations were not restricted to the engines of production cars but the glory of this result was included in the 'Alfa Romeo - Milan' badge in the form of the laurel crown that was to adorn all Alfa Romeo cars from that day on.

At the beginning of the Thirties, the powerfully reliable 8 cylinder engines - now in light alloy - purred like cats under the bonnets of stylish cabriolets and coupes (whose bodies were built by the Milanese Zagato and Castagna) and roared like lions in the dust of races such as the Mille Miglia and Targa Florio, that added to the impressive list of victories. The thrilling wins achieved by the Alfa Romeo 8C in 1931, 1932, 1933 and 1934 at Le Mans deserve special attention (the car was later called the 'Le Mans' in the wake of these great successes).



The 8 cylinder engine achieved its technical peak in the Alfa Romeo Tipo B engine, known as the 'P3' to highlight its technological relationship with the P2. Campari, Nuvolari, Caracciola, Borzacchini, Marinoni, Guidotti and Fagioli were just some of the champions who owed their successes to the 1932 and 1934 versions of the 8C engine in the face of the challenges posed by the most prestigious circuits in the world.

The continual progress and consistent technical research culminated in the 8C 2900, the unbeaten star of racing from the Mille Miglia to the Le Mans 24 hour. The car, an extremely stylish 8C with its body built by Touring especially for Le Mans, was driven peerlessly by its driver Biondetti. This engine was exceptionally long-lived: an 8C 2900 B driven by Biondetti and Romano won the Mille Miglia again in 1947, proving yet again and over an exceptionally arduous route, that Alfa Romeo engines were possessed of truly extraordinary power and reliability.

World War II only halted the victorious progress of the 158 for a short period. The legendary 'Alfetta', a distillate of superlative automotive engineering qualities, first saw the light in 1946. In the words of Juan Manuel Fangio, driving this 8 cylinder car was like 'holding the bow of a Stradivarius in your hands'. First the 158 and later the 159 brought Alfa Romeo laurels in the first two modern Formula 1 world championships, with Nino Farina in 1950 and with Fangio in 1951.



After the Formula 1 victories, Alfa Romeo decided to withdraw from racing to devote itself to the demands put on it by its latest arrival, the 1900 and later the Giulietta range. 1967 saw the return of the powerful 8 cylinder engine fitted to racing 33 models and responsible for the attractive, resolute shape of the road version of the 33. This car also enjoyed a very encouraging racing debut, with Teodoro Zeccoli taking top position on the winners' podium after the uphill race in Fleron, Belgium, in a 33/2 Sport Prototype.

Other 33 cars met with considerable success on tracks and circuits throughout the world during the Seventies. This technical perfection was transferred to standard production cars such as the Montreal, a car of great prestige and performance, whose 8 Cylinder engine was derived from the unit fitted to the 33 models used for racing. In 1977, the 8 cylinder engine was fitted to a limited series of the Alfetta GTV, produced by Autodelta which thus continued the sporting tradition applied to engine production.

Now the legendary heart of that engine comes back to beat under the bonnet of the new Alfa 8C Competizione.

Audi R8 V12 TDI Concept

Audi R8 V12 TDI Concept

Audi is presenting a revolution in the top class at the Detroit Auto Show 2008 - the first 12-cylinder diesel engine in a high-performance roadgoing sports car. The V12 TDI with a displacement of six liters powers a concept car based on the Audi R8. This unit generates a huge 500 hp and 1,000 Newtonmeters (737.56 lb-ft) of torque. Audi is writing a new chapter in diesel technology with this power unit. Equipped with the expertise that Audi has built up through its motor sport activities, the R8 V12 TDI in matt "Grace Silver" embodies superb road handling, pioneering technology and fascinating design.

The V12 TDI is closely related to the engine in the Audi R10, the two-time Le Mans winner - so it catapults the Audi R8 into supercar terrain concerning performance too. It sprints from zero to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) in just 4.2 seconds and its top speed is well over 300 km/h (186.41 mph). The peak torque, reached at only 1,750 rpm, paves the way for effortless acceleration that is unrivaled even at this level.



The new V12 TDI belongs to Audi's family of V engines but has the ideal included angle for this engine type of 60 degrees between cylinder banks. Its highlights include the new chain drive layout that includes the two newly developed high-pressure pumps for the common rail injection system. Its sound is as thrilling as you'd expect in a sports car of this caliber. For all the subtle smoothness that typifies this design principle, the twelve-cylinder unit is full-bodied and equipped with energetic overtones that make no secret of its performance potential.

The Genes of the Winner

Thanks to their high performance and pulling power, all Audi TDI engines are ultra-dynamic sources of power. The brand has often enough demonstrated its sporty character in its production cars, especially the six- and eight-cylinder 3.0 TDI and 4.2 TDI. Audi has also been writing a new chapter in its success story on the racetrack since 2006. The diesel engine in the R10 sports prototype won its very first endurance race at Sebring, Florida, when it was pitted against an entire field of gasoline-engined challengers. But its most crucial victories were surely in 2006 and 2007 in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, when it simply outclassed the international elite.



The V12 TDI race engine in the R10 produces over 650 hp from a displacement of 5.5 liters, giving it the potential for a top speed as high as 330 km/h (205.05 mph) depending on the gear ratios. Its power and sturdiness immediately impressed both fans and experts, who were impressed by its restrained noise level. Unusual for a race engine, this powerful Audi diesel makes barely more than a whisper.

Long traditions of motor racing and production technology complement each other at Audi. The FSI engine of the R10's predecessor, the R8, captured five wins at Le Mans with a direct gasoline injection system. Audi is also looking to maximize the advantage by using the race-tested FSI principle in its production models. The latest examples of this are the V8 with high-revving concept in the RS 4 and the production version of the Audi R8.



The Drivetrain

The roadgoing version of the new V12 TDI is built at the Györ plant, in Hungary. And the R8 V12 TDI still has a massive 500 hp on tap. In developing the six-liter engine, it was a clear priority to integrate it into the current family of Audi V engines, of which many thousands of versions with 6, 8 and 10 cylinders have already been built - both gasoline and TDI.

Audi's engineers were in an ideal position to use their experience building the racing engine to develop the road version. Like the other power units in this range, the distance between cylinder bore axes on the V12 TDI is 90 mm (3.54 in.). Yet its included angle is 60 degrees, not 90 degrees. This means no free inertial forces or mass moments of inertia can occur with the V12. The results are refined in every respect.

The 83.0 mm (3.27 in.) bore and 91.4 mm (3.60 in.) stroke produce a total displacement of 5,934 cc - just like the 3.0 TDI. At only 684 mm (26.93 in.) long, this large diesel engine is very compact and just 166 mm (6.54 in.) longer than the V8 TDI. This compact length is key to accommodating the V12 in the midengined Audi R8.



The V12 TDI crankcase is made from gray cast iron with vermicular graphite - a high-tech material referred to as GJV-450 that is already used on the V6 and V8 TDI engines. GJV-450, made by a patented casting process, is about 40 percent more rigid and 100 percent more fatigue-resistant than gray cast iron. This enabled the developers to make its walls thinner, cutting its weight by around 15 percent compared with conventional gray cast iron.

The two cylinder heads are each made from three main elements. These are a base section made from a high-strength aluminum alloy incorporating the intake and exhaust ports, an oil-bearing upper section, and a reinforcing ladder frame supporting the two camshafts.

The valves are actuated by low-friction roller cam followers; the compression ratio is 16.0:1. Map-controlled swirl variation of the combustion air has been adopted from the V6 and V8 TDI engines. This produces permanently optimized swirl concerning both emissions and high performance.



Ultramodern Injection Technology

As is the case in the Audi V engines, the no-maintenance chain drive is mounted at the back of the engine, where it occupies little space. Its layout has changed on the new V12 TDI. The camshafts' sprocket engages in an intermediate gear via which two Simplex chains drive the camshafts. Two more chains drive the oil pump and the two high-pressure pumps actuate the common rail injection system.

The two new dual-piston high-pressure pumps form part of the common rail injection system supplied by specialty manufacturer Bosch. The two pumps build up a pressure of up to 2,000 bar in the rails. The piezo injectors with eight-hole nozzles have also been fundamentally revised.

The high pressure distributes the mixture optimally throughout the combustion chamber. The result is that the ignition process is faster, more homogeneous and more acoustically refined. The more efficient combustion process also increases power output, cuts consumption and reduces pollutant emissions.



The current generation of so-called inline injectors makes effective use of the piezo effect: piezo crystals expand in a fraction of a millisecond when an electrical voltage is applied. The number of injection processes per operating cycle can be varied across a wide range thanks to piezo technology - reaching as many as five fuel injection operations in the case of the V12 TDI.

As well as the main injection, pilot and post injections are possible. Pilot injections tone down the acoustic harshness of the combustion process. Retarded post injections are designed specifically to increase the temperature of the exhaust gas, promoting regeneration of the two standard particulate filters.

The two turbochargers are located on the outside of the engine's V, each of them supplying one bank of cylinders. Thanks to their variable turbine geometry, the full flow of exhaust gas always passes through the turbine, so the chargers respond slickly - even at low engine speeds - and operate very efficiently.

The two turbochargers, which generate up to 2.6 bar of boost pressure, play a crucial role in producing the huge torque of 1,000 Nm (737.56 lb-ft) that the V12 TDI maintains from 1,750 rpm to 3,000 rpm. In developing 368 kW (500 hp), the diesel achieves a specific output of 62.0 kW (84.3 hp) per liter displacement.

Two large intercoolers reduce the temperature of the compressed air. The V12 has a twin-pipe exhaust system with two particulate filters. The intake system is similar in structure with one air cleaner per cylinder bank, with an airflow meter behind it. Two control units, sharing the workload in a master/slave principle, manage events in the engine.

The Audi R8 V12 TDI concept already fulfills the Euro 6 emissions standard that is likely to take effect in 2014 and calls for sharply reduced nitrogen oxides. By also designing in ultra-precise fuel metering by the common rail system, Audi's engineers have made full use of current clean diesel technology.

The heart of the system is a special catalytic converter downstream of the oxidizing catalyst and the particulate filter. The second component in the system is an additional tank containing an aqueous urea solution. Small quantities of the solution, known as "AdBlue," are injected into the exhaust system. The hot exhaust gases break the solution down to form ammonia that splits the nitric oxides into nitrogen and water. The system remains effective for the entire service life of the vehicle.

The dynamic character of a sports car depends not just on its performance and torque; the transmission ratios have to be right too. In keeping with the character of a high-performance sports car with unbeatable torque potential, the transmission in the R8 V12 TDI has six manually operated gears.

The manual transmission is very compact in design. Together with the smalldiameter double-plate clutch, this means it can be installed low down. The manual transmission has very short shift travel and utterly precise guiding of the shifter into the open gear lever gate. It is made from polished aluminum, has an agreeable feel and exquisite sports car looks.



Such a high-performance Audi also has quattro permanent all-wheel drive. In the case of this mid-engine sports car, power is distributed variably between the front and rear wheels from a starting ratio of 40:60 to optimize the handling.

The Design

The R8 V12 TDI concept with matt "Grace Silver" bodywork looks even wider and more resolute than the core model. It shows its potential through its muscular proportions, accentuated wheel arches and even larger air apertures. The rhombuspattern cover on the air inlets and outlets is the hallmark of Audi's sporty top models and a familiar feature of the current RS generation.

Typical of the side view of the R8 is the sideblade. Much wider in the bottom third, it visually accentuates the engine's position as well as acting as an enlarged air deflector.

The continuous aluminum spoiler lip that connects the front and rear diffusers with side air baffles below the enlarged sills also pays tribute to this version's highly developed dynamic talents.

And yet the R8 is unmistakable for its powerful, elegant basic proportions. The selective but always precise use of lines is another typical Audi characteristic, as is the curved arc of the roof. One new aspect is the glass roof of the passenger compartment with two large transparent sections. These, together with the glazed engine compartment behind, create a radically new formal element. The unmistakable NACA duct in the middle of the roof is a functional detail that is normally reserved for racing cars. Its ingenious shape accelerates the air drawn in here for the two cylinder banks of the V12 TDI engine.



The V12 TDI is displayed as the beating heart of this sports car, like a work of art inside a large showcase. Its look, underscored by the air deflectors located beneath the restyled rear glass lid, differs clearly from its production counterpart. The engine can even be seen after dark, when white light-emitting diodes illuminate the engine compartment - as on the production R8 version. This "showroom" can additionally be fully lined in genuine carbon fiber, for a particularly exclusive The continuous line running from the front apron across the wheel arches and flanks to the tail end, then back down the other side, is one of the latest design hallmarks of the Audi brand. This "loop" naturally encompasses the air apertures, the headlights and the taillights.

Unmistakable Face by Day and Night

The passion expressed through the elaborate design of the lights is another typical Audi trait. Nor is anyone likely to overlook this Audi sports car from behind: the LED taillights have a three-dimensional look that can't be missed.

But the absolute highlight is the all-LED headlights of the study vehicle. With their lenses and reflectors, not only do these innovative light sources have a ground-breaking appearance, they also have an enormous functional advantage: LED light, with its color temperature of 6,000 Kelvin, resembles daylight much more closely than xenon or even halogen light. Better light means the driver will have much less fatigue when driving at night.

TechArt Porsche Carrera GT

TechArt Automobildesign Refines the Porsche Carrera GT



Is it possible to make a Porsche Carrera GT even more sporty and exclusive? Yes it is! TechArt Automobildesign ( www.techart.de ) now customizes one of the rare mid-engine super sports cars for one of its long-time customers.



The TechArt designers have developed aerodynamically efficient custom-tailored body components made from exposed carbon fiber that serve as a visual contrast to the metallic-orange special paint. A new air outlet on the upper half of the front fascia and a one-piece spoiler lip on the lower half give the front of the two-seater an even more dynamic appearance. The low-reaching front spoiler reduces lift on the front axle at high speeds further and thus further optimizes directional stability.



TechArt has also developed a three-piece gurney flap that serves as the aerodynamic counterpart in the rear. The center piece of the separation edge extends together with the pop-up rear wing and in combination with the fixed spoiler edges on the left and right produces additional downforce on the rear axle.



While suspension and tires remain untouched the peripherals of the 5.7-liter V10 engine are upgraded with a TechArt stainless-steel high-performance exhaust system and a modified intake system. Both benefit not only the engine sound that escapes through the two production tailpipes; the modifications also increase maximum power output from 612 hp / 450 kW to some 635 hp / 467 kW.



Further room for improvement of the Carrera GT lay in the cockpit. TechArt customized the interior with an ergonomically shaped sport steering wheel with leather/carbon fiber rim, and a shifter made from exposed carbon fiber. Requests for even more exclusive and colorful fully leather interiors are answered by the TechArt upholstery shop.

Acura Advanced Sports Car Concept

Acura Advanced Sports Car Concept

The show-stopping Acura "Advanced Sports Car Concept" made its world debut today at the 2007 North American International Auto Show. The dynamically styled concept provides a preview of the design direction for the successor to the Acura NSX.

Created to take exotic sports car styling to a new level, the concept is designed to incorporate a powerful front-mounted, V-10 engine and a new high-performance, rear-wheel-drive based version of Acura's exclusive Super Handling All-Wheel Drive(TM) (SH-AWD(TM)).



"The Acura brand will always be a home for people who love to drive," said Takeo Fukui, president & CEO of Honda Motor Co., Ltd. "As we advance toward building a car like this, I can tell you it will feature advanced technology matching our passion for performance."

The concept's exterior demonstrates a dynamic fusion of advanced technology and emotion. The long, pronounced hood features deeply sculpted lines and embossed air vents, both of which hint at the powerful engine beneath. The exterior lines run the length of the body, creating a ribbon-like effect from the front headlights to the rear wheel arches, evoking a feeling of movement and power.



Although modern in its appearance, the Advanced Sports Car Concept retains the subtle cues associated with its predecessor, the NSX. The concept's slim, LED headlights are pushed wide and designed to mimic the pop-up headlights found on the first generation NSX. Other styling hints include a modern take on wraparound rear taillights and the all black cockpit.

"Our intention was to design an exotic sports car that gracefully combines advanced technology and strong emotion," said Jon Ikeda, principal designer, Acura Design Center. "The technical, machined surfaces and keen-edge design are balanced with sweeping curves and dramatic lines, all of which results in the ultimate exotic sports car."



Wide and low to the ground with a 108.8 inch wheelbase, the concept is anchored by grippy 19 inch front and 20 inch rear performance tires which are mounted to custom billet-machined, polished aluminum wheels. Powerful, ventilated carbon ceramic brake discs and eight-piston calipers accent the wheels. Bold wheel arches and flares add to the concept's aggressive appearance.

The low slung cabin is constructed entirely of tinted glass and sits flush against the body. Door handles are also flush mounted, allowing the sports car to retain a clean and aerodynamic appearance. The Advanced Sports Car Concept features a carbon fiber underbody and the rear is finished with aggressive quad exhaust pipes and integrated rear diffusers, further communicating its high performance potential.

The Advanced Sports Car Concept was designed by the Acura's Los Angeles-based design team that will be based at the new Acura Design Center, opening this summer.

Maybach Exelero



Maybach Exelero



The Maybach Exelero is a high-performance concept car designed and built by luxury marque Maybach, and presented in May 2005. The 690 hp (SAE) (514 kW) two-seater with a bi-turbo V12 engine is a one-off design commissioned by Fulda Tyres. Fulda is using this Maybach as a reference vehicle to test a new generation of wide tyres. The German luxury car manufacturer created the one-off model as a modern interpretation of its legendary streamlined car of the 1930s. There are various allusions to the historical predecessor, which was likewise based on a powerful Maybach automobile, in this case the Maybach SW 38, and was also used by Fulda for tyre testing.



Specifications

Length : 5.89 m (19.3 ft)
Width : 2.14 m (7.0 ft)
Weight : 2660 kg (5864 lb)
Engine : V12 bi-turbo from Maybach 57 S 690 hp (SAE) (522 kW), 1020 N·m (737 ft·lbf)
Top speed : 351 km/h (218 mph)
Tires : 315/25 ZR 23
Fuel used for Top speed test: 110 octane (6€/liter)



A one-off custom-built Maybach was unveiled in May 2005 at the Tempodrom in Berlin. Commissioned by tyre company Fulda, the Exelero is a chopped-down two-seater coupe, though it's more than just a show car - in tests at the Nardo high-speed oval, the prototype reached a speed of 218.38mph, despite weighing over 2.66 tonnes. It is capable of acceleration from 0-60mph in 4.4 seconds.



The car's design was the result of a competition amongst students at the Pforzheim Polytechnic Department of Transport Design, which has worked on show vehicles for Fulda in the past. The design of 24-year-old Fredrik Burchhardt was chosen, and his work was co-ordinated with that of the Maybach design centre in Sindelfingen.



The project, based on the Maybach 57 limousine, required a certain amount of re-engineering; the A-pillar and doors had to be shifted rearwards, and the steering column, pedals and gearshift all re-located. The standard 550bhp V12 engine was bored out to 5.9 litres, and tuned for 700bhp and over 738lb ft of torque. With final dimensions of 5890mm long, 2140mm wide and just 1390mm high, the car was kitted out with a full-spec interior, including leather, neoprene, aluminium and carbonfibre finishes.



Maybach says the car, built by Stola in Turin, is "a one-off vehicle created to showcase the new ultra-high performance Exelero tyre range from leading tyre manufacturer Fulda"; it's not the first time the two companies have teamed up, as back in 1938 Fulda demonstrated its tyres on a Maybach SW 38 limousine. There are, however, "no plans to produce the model in series", though it has been certified for on-road use.

Ford Mustang Shelby GT-H

MUSTANG MUSCLE FOR RENT: FORD, SHELBY, HERTZ TEAM UP ON SHELBY GT-H

In a throwback to the famed Shelby GT350H "Rent-A-Racer" program from the 1960s, Ford Motor Company, Shelby Automobiles and The Hertz Corporation are partnering to produce a special run of performance-modified Ford Mustang GTs – designated Shelby GT-H, for "Hertz" – that will be available for rent later this spring exclusively through Hertz. Approximately 500 units will be available through the Hertz Fun Collection at select airport locations Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Nevada, Oregon and Washington.



Forty years ago, Carroll Shelby and The Hertz Corporation came up with an ingenious plan to help get a batch of high-performance, special-edition Shelby Mustangs into the hands of rental customers who also happened to be car enthusiasts. Ford supplied the new Mustangs with V-8 engines and mostly automatic transmissions, Shelby added extra performance and style, and Hertz gave the public access to the kind of unique driving experience that one would normally only find on a racetrack. Today, the story of the Shelby/Hertz "Rent-A-Racer" is legendary and surviving Shelby GT350H Mustangs are among the most sought-after collector cars in the world.



To connect the magical past of the original Shelby GT350H with the modern capabilities of the new Ford Mustang, Shelby, Ford and Hertz have again teamed up, and – together with the Ford Racing Performance Group – have given the 2006 Ford Shelby GT-H a very classic, muscular look as well as some true performance credentials.

"Like the original Hertz cars, the Ford Shelby GT-H will be fun to drive," said Carroll Shelby, CEO of Shelby Automobiles, Inc. "We started with a terrific Mustang and modified it with some Ford go-fast parts and gave it a distinct look for Shelby-style driving. Whoever gets the opportunity to rent one of these unique cars will get an experience of a lifetime."



Hertz Fun Collection

Further enhancing its position as a leader at U.S. airports in the leisure car rental market, Hertz launched its Fun Collection in January 2006. Featuring vehicles tailor-made for travelers seeking exciting driving experiences, the Fun Collection adds more entertainment to the driving experience as each car comes equipped with SIRIUS Satellite Radio.

The 2006 Ford Shelby GT-H Mustang will be available at select airport locations that feature the Hertz Fun Collection including Phoenix, Arizona; Los Angeles, Orange County, San Diego and San Francisco, California; Denver, Colorado; Fort Lauderdale, Miami, Orlando, Tampa and West Palm Beach, Florida; Maui and Honolulu, Hawaii, and Las Vegas, Nevada. In addition, the car will be available in Boston, Massachusetts; Portland, Oregon, and Seattle, Washington.

With the addition of the Ford Shelby GT-H Mustang into the Fun Collection, Hertz now offers 36 models that can be specifically reserved, ranging from mid-size to luxury cars, convertibles to SUVs and is the only nationwide car rental company able to allow customers to reserve the specific make and model vehicles at the time of reservation. More than 8,000 Fun Collection vehicles are available at 18 major airport locations in the United States.



"With 2006 marking the 40th anniversary of the Shelby GT350H joining the Hertz fleet, we’re thrilled to be bringing legendary Mustang driving excitement back to our rental customers," said Walt Seaman, staff vice president, Worldwide Fleet, Maintenance, and Car Sales Operations for The Hertz Corporation. "The Shelby GT-H is a fun, powerful Mustang to drive, and will be a special part of the Hertz Fun Collection. As all cars in the collection are reserved by exact make and model, customers can rest assured that when they reserve a Shelby GT-H Mustang to drive, they will receive the Shelby GT-H Mustang upon arrival."

Extra "Show"

Like its predecessor, the 2006 Ford Shelby GT-H will be instantly recognizable – thanks to several eye-catching styling enhancements that are so much a part of the Shelby Mustang heritage. First and foremost, each Shelby GT-H will wear Black exterior paint set off with Gold racing stripes, a hallmark of Hertz’s vehicle history dating all the way back to the 1920s.



While it’s true that the Shelby GT350H was eventually made available in other color combinations, the Black-and-Gold combo is often referred to as "Hertz colors" by most Mustang aficionados. Shelby’s traditional "Le Mans" dual overbody racing stripes are combined with a set of rocker stripes that include special "Shelby GT-H" nomenclature. Each car will also wear a Hertz Edition emblem on the front fenders, and feature Hertz Shelby GT-H sill plates and a numbered dash badge with Carroll Shelby’s signature inside the cockpit.

To give a hint of the Mustang GT 4.6-liter 3V V-8 engine’s added capability, the Ford Shelby GT-H is fitted with a custom Shelby Performance hood with pins, and a brushed aluminum grille with running horse emblem. A unique front fascia with integrated lower grille, as well as a set of body side scoops – reminiscent of classic Shelby Mustangs is incorporated for a distinct look. To further catch the enthusiast’s eye, the Mustang GT brakes are dressed up with painted calipers, which can be seen through the GT-H’s 17-inch aluminum wheels wearing P235/55ZR17 performance rubber.



Added "Go"

Ford Racing Performance Group is supplying its popular Power Pack (FR1) to add a genuine 25-horsepower Ford performance kick to the 300-horse Mustang GT 4.6L V-8/Five-speed automatic transmission powertrain and an increase of 10 lb.-ft. of torque. The package includes Ford Racing’s 90mm Cold Air kit, the Muffler Kit, a new X-pipe similar to the one used on the new Ford Shelby GT500 Mustang, a performance calibration and a cat-back performance exhaust for that throaty sound that will make this car unmistakably a Shelby Mustang GT-H.

"Any Mustang that traces its roots to a Shelby GT350H has to boast increased performance and handling over its factory stock configuration," said Cisco Codina, group vice president, Ford North America Marketing, Sales and Service. "Ford Racing’s involvement with niche performance Mustang builds like this Hertz project is a natural for us as well as for Hertz and Shelby."

To put that extra horsepower to the ground, the Ford Shelby GT-H also comes with the Ford Racing Handling Pack (FR3) installed, including special-tuned dampers inspired from the FR500C, lowering springs, sway bars and a strut tower brace – plus a Ford Racing 3.55:1 ratio rear axle assembly for extra off-the-line acceleration.



Ford Racing will be working hand-in-hand with engineers and technicians at Shelby Automobile’s assembly facility in Las Vegas during the build-out of the GT-H for delivery to Hertz. With total production expected to number only around 500 units exclusively destined for Hertz rental fleets across the country, this special-edition Ford Shelby GT-H is sure to give Hertz customers a truly exclusive driving experience like only Shelby and the Ford Mustang can deliver.

"This GT-H project has been terrific," said Amy Boylan, president, Shelby Automobiles Inc. "My team here at Shelby Automobiles is very excited with what we have put together with Ford, and Hertz – a pony that not only has a special look, but can really run, too. Those who get to rent a GT-H in the coming months will have the opportunity to enjoy a car that looks, accelerates, handles and sounds the way a high-performance Shelby-ized Ford Mustang should. It will prove lots of fun for Hertz customers looking for some real driving excitement."

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Infiniti G37 Coupe

Infiniti G37 Coupe

The all-new 2008 Infiniti G37 Coupe, which makes its world debut at the 2007 New York International Auto Show, combines the exhilarating performance, stunning styling and modern, sporty interior of the original Infiniti G Coupe and accelerates each to new levels. Among the key enhancements to the new second-generation G Coupe are a larger, more powerful 3.7-litre V6 engine, available advanced 4-Wheel Active Steer system, a dramatic new exterior design and a refined interior with intuitive, integrated technology. The G37 Coupe joins the recently introduced, all-new 2007 Infiniti G35 Sedan in Infiniti showrooms nationwide in August.



"The new G35 Sedan, which has been named to both Car and Driver's '10 Best Cars' and Automobile magazine's 'All-Stars' list, has set the stage for the introduction of the new G37 Coupe," said Mark Igo, vice president and general manager, Infiniti Division. "The new Coupe builds on the styling, performance and interior enhancements of the G Sedan, adding the dynamic style, sporty atmosphere and expressive driving character expected of a class-leading luxury sport coupe. The line starts here."

Exhilarating Performance From a New Engine Design

Leading the enhancements to the 2008 Infiniti G37 Coupe is the first-ever application of the new 3.7-litre V6 engine with VVEL (for Variable Valve Event and Lift).

Estimated at 330 horsepower and 270 lb-ft of torque, the new "VQ37VHR" contains approximately 35 percent new and unique parts from the new VQ35HR engine introduced in the 2007 G35 Sedan just last year. Both the Coupe's VQ37VHR and the Sedan's VQ35HR engines are based on the award-winning VQ engine series, named one of the "Ten Best Engines" by Ward's Auto World magazine for 13 consecutive years.

Along with utilising a larger displacement than the previous 3.5-litre powerplant, the G37 Coupe's new VVEL system combines hydraulic-controlled variable valve timing and electronically controlled variable valve lift on the intake side to help improve performance and response. The VVEL system is also expected to improve emissions and fuel efficiency. The VVEL intake camshafts, featuring continuously variable lift control teamed with the Continuously Variable Valve Timing Control System (CVTCS), allow for a 7,500 rpm redline.



The engine also features increased cylinder block height (from the previous 3.5-litre design), ladder frame construction for greater rigidity, large crank journal and pin diameters, asymmetric piston skirts, twin knock sensors, an electronically controlled "drive-by-wire" throttle system, molybdenum coated lightweight pistons, Iridium spark plugs and a symmetric twin air intake system.

A new, specially tuned dual exhaust system has been designed with equal length exhaust manifolds and low muffler exhaust backpressure to help improve engine breathing. Both intake and exhaust enhance driving pleasure with their authentic performance notes.



Rated at an estimated 330 horsepower, the new engine is not only considerably more powerful than the previous generation G Coupe (rated at 275 hp with 5AT, 293 hp with 6MT), but is expected to offer increased fuel mileage and reduced emissions levels. Overall vehicle fuel economy improvements are estimated to be nearly one mpg better than the G35 Sedan and nearly two mpg better than the previous generation G35 Coupe (actual EPA mileage estimates and emission information to be announced at a later date).

"The new 3.7-litre V6 is a true powerhouse - becoming more enjoyable as you drive it," said Igo. "And, this powerplant also features Infiniti's trademark "Swell" acceleration - introduced on the new G Sedan last year - with special tuning that builds horsepower almost continually to the redline like a building wave."

The G37 Coupe engine is backed by a choice of an upgraded electronically controlled 5-speed automatic transmission with manual mode, downshift rev matching, DS mode and ASC (Adaptive Shift Control) that allows for quicker shifts in sporty driving situations and available genuine magnesium paddle shifters; or a newly revised, lightweight 6-speed manual transmission.



Performance Platform and Suspension

Developed at test circuits throughout Europe - including the famed Nürburgring - the G37 Coupe was conceived as a performance thoroughbred. Handling and ride performance increases come from the G37 Coupe's enhanced FM (Front Mid-ship) platform, which has been stiffened 36% from the previous generation, is lower in overall height and has a wider front and rear track width.

The G37 Coupe's 4-wheel independent suspension design features lightweight aluminium components and large front and rear stabiliser bars, increased spring rates and optimised suspension damping.

The front suspension is a double-wishbone design, with a single pivot lower wishbone and a long upper link. The multi-link rear suspension separates the shock absorbers and springs, locating the shock absorber inline with the wheel centre. These designs help minimise alignment changes and reduce suspension friction for nimble handling and smooth riding characteristics.

Steering is provided by a twin-orifice vehicle-speed-sensing design, which provides optimum steering effort at both high and low vehicle speeds. Standard on all G37 Coupes is Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC), which assists in enhancing vehicle stability under a variety of driving conditions.

Also available on the new G37 Coupe is Infiniti's exclusive 4-Wheel Active Steer system (4WAS), with unique chassis configuration that features automatically variable front steering ratios and rear suspension geometry that adjusts to steering input and vehicle speed via motor-driven controls. The system's electronic control unit calculates the desired vehicle dynamics from a series of sensors, including vehicle speed and steering angle, and separately directs both the front and rear actuators to change steering gear ratios and rear geometry by moving both the front steering gear and rear suspension lower links - thus providing sports car-like agility and secure stability.



Braking performance is provided by standard 4-wheel vented discs with 4-channel, 4-sensor Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Electronic Brake force Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist (BA). The standard G37 Coupe adopts the "sport" braking system of the recently introduced G35 Sedan. The G37 Coupe Journey with Sport Package and G37 Coupe Sport 6MT are further enhanced with aluminium four-piston callipers (front)/two-piston callipers (rear) embossed with Infiniti lettering and large ventilated rotors - 14.0-inch front and 13.8-inch rear.

Also available on G37 Coupe is Infiniti's Intelligent Cruise Control (ICC) with Preview Braking, which provides a precise following distance from the vehicle ahead. It also identifies sudden braking situations with laser sensors to determine distance and relative speed of the vehicle ahead in the same lane and "pre-pressurises" the Brake Assist system before the driver steps on the brake pedal.

A new 18-inch wheel and tyre package is standard on G37 Coupe, featuring a "split 5-spoke" 18x8-inch aluminium-alloy wheel design with P225/50VR18 all-season tyres. A new 10-spoke 19-inch wheel and tyre package, with lightweight cast aluminium wheels and high performance tyres, is also available. A Tyre Pressure Monitor System (TPMS) is standard on all 2008 G37 Coupes.

To enhance the already high level of dynamic performance, the G37 Coupe 6MT and G37 Coupe Journey with Sport Package come standard with unique sport suspension, a Viscous Limited Slip Differential (VLSD) and a new wheel and tyre package with 19x8.5-inch front wheels with 225/45WR19 front tyres and 19x9-inch rear wheels with 245/40WR19 rear tyres.

Seductive Styling

The G37 Coupe's advanced performance systems are wrapped in an all-new seductive skin, giving the vehicle a kinetic feeling with emotional surface expression, sweeping character lines and tight panel gap lines.

"Compared with its predecessor, the G37 Coupe is longer, lower and wider - indicative of the power and technology of the vehicle," said Igo.

Exterior highlights include flowing front fender curves, a wave-style hood, expressive front fascia with Infiniti's signature double-arch grille and L-shaped High-Intensity Discharge (HID) bi-xenon headlights with integrated fog lamps. As with the new G35 Sedan, Infiniti developed a specialised production process for headlight installation to impart tight build tolerances and an exacting fit of the complex front fascia. The aluminium hood is secured by dual latches located at the two front corners to ensure an excellent fit.

The strong side character line and side sills integrate with the large wheel wells and the 18- or 19-inch performance-oriented wheel and tyre packages to transmit an added sense of power and vibrancy.

The rear of the G Coupe features broad rear fenders, flowing into the large LED taillights - an Infiniti trademark, refined rear bumper, integrated RearView Monitor camera (when equipped), rear underbody air diffusers and large dual exhaust outlets with chrome finishers.

An available rear spoiler gives the G37 Coupe zero rear lift, matching the standard zero-lift front aerodynamics.

The G37 Coupe Sport 6MT models and G37 Journey with Sport Package add an enhanced performance look, with a unique front fascia, special side sills and standard 19-inch aluminium-alloy wheels with high performance tyres.

Eight exterior colours, including two all-new colours, are offered.

Sophisticated, Luxurious Interior

The 2008 G37 Coupe interior design features sophisticated craftsmanship, with a cockpit-oriented front driver and passenger area, Infiniti signature "double wave" instrument panel design featuring the Infiniti-signature analogue clock and dramatic, full-length centre console with a leather and aluminium-clad shifter. Special aluminium-alloy interior trim, inspired by elegant, handmade Japanese Washi paper, is located across the instrument panel, on the centre console and on the door panels. Genuine African Rosewood trim is also available.

The instrument panel features Infiniti electroluminescent instrumentation with white-and-violet illumination and integrated multi-function information drive computer (average fuel consumption, real-time fuel economy, average speed, elapsed time, running distance, distance to empty, outside air temperature, warning displays, odometer and automatic transmission shift indicator) display.

Drivers grip a double hand-stitched leather-covered steering wheel, designed for maximum comfort and usability with wheel-mounted audio and cruise controls. Available genuine magnesium paddle shifters for the 5-speed automatic transmission fall readily to hand and add control (G37 Coupe Journey with Sport Package only).

The 8-way power driver and 4-way front passenger seats (8-way on G37 Coupe Journey, G37 Coupe Journey with Sport Package and G37 Coupe Sport 6MT model) are appointed with Infiniti's exclusive premium leather and feature 2-way adjustable head restraints and a unique rear-seat access system, whereby the front seats will move forward automatically at the touch of a button to allow passengers into the rear seat.

The G37 Coupe Journey with Sport Package and G37 Coupe Sport 6MT add special 14-way sport-styled seats with thigh extensions and power adjustable torso and thigh bolsters for the driver, unique steering wheel stitching and high-grip aluminium pedals.

Technological and convenience features abound in the new G37 Coupe. Standard is the Infiniti Intelligent Key with push button ignition, Remote Keyless Entry system, a tilt/telescoping steering column with increased travel, illuminated glove compartment and automatic temperature control.

Also standard is a 6-speaker AM/FM/CD audio system with mp3 playback capability, Radio Data System (RDS) and centre console-mounted auxiliary input, as well as a 7-inch colour display.

Available is an 11-speaker Infiniti "Studio on Wheels"™ by Bose®, combining a 3-way front door speaker array using 10-inch woofers with an audiophile-quality head unit incorporating double oversampling 24-bit 96KHz Burr Brown® Digital Analogue Converters (DAC). Also available is a Bluetooth® hands-free phone system, new touch screen Infiniti Navigation System with available XM® NavTraffic™ real-time traffic information (subscription required), voice activation for navigation, audio and HVAC functions, and a 9.3-gigabyte Music Box hard drive with compact flash drive slot.

Three interior colour combinations are offered - Wheat, Graphite and Stone.

Safety Performance and Technology

Available on the new G37 Coupe is an Adaptive Front lighting System (AFS), which automatically controls the headlight lighting pattern according to steering angle and vehicle speed to help provide better visibility at night.



Standard on all G37 Coupes is an Advanced Air Bag System (AABS) with dual-stage supplemental air bags with seat belt sensors and occupant classification sensor, front-seat side-impact supplemental air bags and roof-mounted side-impact curtain air bags for front- and rear-seat occupant head protection.

Also standard are 3-point ALR/ELR seat belts (driver's side ELR only) and front seat belts with pretensioners and load limiters and adjustable upper anchors, driver and front-passenger knee bolsters, front seat Active Head Restraints and the LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for CHildren) system. Available as part of the Technology Package are brake-operated pre-crash seat belts with motion sensor on the brake pedal.

The G37 Coupe features Zone Body Construction with front and rear crushable zones to help disperse crash energy around the passenger compartment. For occupant safety, the engine is designed to move under the occupant compartment in a high-speed frontal collision, while a breakaway construction of the propeller shaft (connected with the engine-drop function) and the double-wall construction of the bulkhead helps to minimise cabin deformation, especially in the lower leg area. In addition, the brake pedal is designed to collapse to help reduce lower leg injuries in a severe crash.



Three Well-Equipped Models

The 2008 Infiniti G37 Coupe is available in three models: G37 Coupe, G37 Coupe Journey and G37 Coupe Sport 6MT. In addition to the long list of standard features on all three models, several options and packages are available.

These include the Premium Package, with a power sliding glass moonroof, 11-speaker Infiniti "Studio on Wheels"™ by Bose® audio system with iPod connection, memory system (driver's seat, steering wheel and outside mirrors) with synchronisation, power tilt and telescoping steering wheel, anti-glare rearview mirror with compass and HomeLink© Universal Transceiver, Bluetooth® hands-free phone system, and heated front seats and door mirrors.

Also offered is the Sport Package (available on G37 Journey model and standard on G37 Coupe Sport 6MT), which includes 19-inch wheels and tyres, Viscous Limited-Slip Differential (VLSD), sport-tuned suspension, sport brakes, unique front fascia and side sills, sport-styled seats and steering wheel stitching, aluminium pedals and paddle shifters (G37 Coupe Journey only).



The Infiniti Navigation Package adds an advanced navigation system with touch-screen capability, available XM® NavTraffic™ real-time traffic information (subscription required), voice activation for navigation, audio and HVAC functions and a 9.3-gigabyte Music Box hard drive with compact flash drive slot, and RearView Monitor. The Technology Package includes Infiniti Intelligent Cruise Control (ICC) with Preview Braking, Adaptive Front lighting System (AFS) and, available for the first time on G Coupe, a "Pre-Crash Seatbelt" system.

Also available is the Infiniti 4-Wheel Active Steer system; Performance Wheel and Tyre Package with 19-inch high performance tyres featuring lightweight cast aluminium-alloy wheels; Moonroof; Rear Spoiler; and African Rosewood interior trim.

"When the original G Coupe was introduced, it proved to the world that exhilarating sport coupe performance doesn't have to come in a machine-like box," said Igo. "This new G37 Coupe, which we're proudly showing for the first time anywhere in New York, is pure G and pure Infiniti - and ready to take centre position on the world automotive stage."