Tuesday, September 30, 2008

New: Design Edition for the Astra

Opel Astra GTC

RUSSELHEIM : September 30, 2008 - Balanced proportions are based on the harmonious lines of the Opel Astra. Tight lines, clear surfaces, three-dimensional lights on the front and rear, pronounced wheel arches are the basic elements of the body, which airflow of front and rear lots distinctive design elements. This makes the Astra, even after years still a good figure and attracts attention on themselves.

Official released : 2009 Opel Astra

Standard 16-inch alloy wheels, fog lights and tinted Solar Protect thermal insulation glazing in the rear make still sporting the Astra and elegant. The Astra Design Edition is at prices starting from 17,180 euros from now on. Compared with the individual customer options save 680 Euro. In addition, the design Edition on request alloy wheels in 17-inch format, including IDS sport chassis available. Here is the price advantage even up for 825 euros.

All new Astra sketch

The new Design Edition emphasizes the dynamic appearance of the Opel Astra, the numerous technical tidbits in the compact class has brought. These include the adaptive IDSPlus chassis (Interactive Dynamic Driving System) with electronic damper system, or the AFL bi-xenon headlamps (Adaptive Headlight) with dynamic curve light.


2009 Opel Astra rendered image

[Source : GM - Opel, Spyshot images courtesy of DK-SOHU]

The 4th Teaser Released from Lamborghini

The forth teaser from Lamborghini

Last week, Lamborghini released the third teaser of the new mysterious unveiling. Now the third teaser of the front headlight with 2 combined projectors has been released. just wait and see again.

The third teaser from Lamborghini

The second teaser from Lamborghini

The first teaser from Lamborghini

[Source : Lamborghini]

Toyota Develops World's First Rear Window Curtain Shield Airbag

SRS rear window curtain shield airbag deployed

TOKYO : September 30, 2008 - TOYOTA MOTOR CORPORATION (TMC) announced today that it has developed an SRS (Supplemental Restraint System) rear window curtain shield airbag the world's first* to protect rear passengers' heads in the event of a rear-end collision.

TMC has continued to actively develop and make available its collision safety technologiesresulting in such achievements as the swift market introduction of SRS curtain shield and knee airbags to enable its vehicles to better respond to a greater range of accidents.

As a part of its efforts to realize sustainable mobility, Toyota intends to strengthen its traffic safety initiatives in the future through :
  • The development of even safer vehicles and technologies
  • The participation development in the creation of a safe traffic environment.
  • The activities designed to educate people on traffic safety, thereby contributing to the complete elimination of traffic casualties, which can be viewed as the ultimate hope of a society that values mobility.
[Source : TOYOTA]

Volvo Cars invests in Olofström

The new press line, L38, in Olofström body plant

Olofström : September 30, 2008 - Volvo Cars Body Components in Olofström is investing in the future. The most modern stamping system in Europe - a new line with five presses and ten robots - produces body parts for the Volvo XC60.

Recycling Train - which transports scrap from Volvo Cars Body Component

And the new Recycling Train, which transports scrap for reuse, means about 5,000 fewer truck transports and 55 percent lower carbon dioxide emissions in one year.

Wednesday 24 September was a big day at Volvo Car Body Components (VCBC) in Olofström. Both the Recycling Train and the new press line - Line 38 - were officially inaugurated.

The official premiere trip of the Recycling Train was organised by Stena Recycling, with guests which invited guests from the local council, the region and press supplier Müller Weingarten/Schuler along for the ride. The new train considerably cuts both costs and environmental impact compared with previous scrap transport alternatives. The train has been running since September 3.

Biggest investment in 20 years
Line 38 has cost 300 million kronor (approx. $46.9 million) and is the biggest investment made at the Olofström plant in 20 years.

"The project started in 2004," says Technical Project Manager Anders Boling.
"That was when we reviewed our stamping capacity. It was clear that new press lines would be needed, but there was to be a lot of discussion before the first sod was turned in 2006," he says.

It was no foregone conclusion that the line should be built in Olofström. It was, in the event, the plant's track record and unique expertise in automotive stamping that convinced Ford and Volvo Cars to make the investment here.

Line 38 means 45 per cent higher efficiency for VCBC, as it is able to press twice as many parts (blanks) per stroke (descent) of the press. Examples of the XC60 parts that areto be made here are the doors, bonnet, front wings, wheel arches and tailgate.

  • Before the new line, Volvo Cars Body Components had 17 main stamping lines in Olofström and four in Gothenburg
  • L38 is housed in a new building of 4,140 square metres
  • It has five hydraulic presses weighing 500 tonnes each. One of these exerts a stamping force of 3,200 tonnes, the others 1,600 tonnes
  • The line also has ten turntables and ten robots
  • The heavy equipment consignments from the German supplier called for transporters capable of Exceptional Loads, escorts and temporary road closures to get them through to Olofström in time
  • It takes one working week just to assemble a press on site
Once fully commissioned, L38 will be able to produce three million body parts per annum

Renault Kangoo BeBop : Space And Bathed In Light

2008 Renault Kangoo BeBop

Based closely on the Kangoo Compact Concept show car unveiled at the 2007 Frankfurt Motor Show, Renault Kangoo be bop is the latest addition to the Kangoo family. The compact size (length: 3.87 metres), original two-tone colour scheme and exclusive interior appointments of this innovative vehicle combine to produce a particularly forceful personality. Its extensive glazed area and four roomy seats afford a sense of space and light. Ideal for escaping the crowd, Renault Kangoo be bop offers open-top motoring at the rear thanks to its glazed sliding roof and rear tailgate window which slides out of sight. At the front it has two tilting glass panels, plus a fixed central glass panel. This new car is ideal for customers who wish to move away from established automobile cues and who are looking for a vehicle that expresses optimism and joie de vivre without being showy.

A truly original reworking of a show car

Renault Kangoo be bop came into being in the wake of the enthusiasm prompted by the Kangoo Compact Concept show car at the 2007 Frankfurt Motor Show. A compact leisure vehicle with an original design and strong personality, Kangoo Compact Concept showed that an unusual car could appeal to active, sporty urban dwellers who share the values of fun and friendship. In addition to its design, the originality of the concept lay in its extensive glazed area and unique convertibility solutions, with the emphasis on space and light. Renault Kangoo be bop’s designers have succeeded in producing a production model which echoes the strengths and features of the concept car.
Renault Kangoo be bop has the Kangoo front end with its short bonnet and droplet-shaped headlamps. Light floods into the cabin through the sweeping, steeply raked windscreen for outstanding visibility. Renault Kangoo be bop differs from its elder sibling by being even shorter (less than four metres in length), as well as through some original styling details, such as the black headlamp masks, specific bumpers, and 16-inch alloy wheels. Ground clearance has been raised 20mm compared with New Kangoo, while protective side mouldings lend the look of 'urban adventurer', ready to confront the great outdoors. Its robust, expressive lines are energized by the standard two-tone colour scheme handed down from the concept car. The bonnet, grille, outside rearview mirrors, front bumper bib and tailgate panel are Sideral Grey, while the rest of the bodywork is another colour, e.g. Etincelle Orange, borrowed from Kangoo Compact Concept. Another similarity is the elongated, semi-circular form of the side windows, which make Renault Kangoo be bop instantly recognisable.The large tailgate window slides right out of sight into the door. It is operated by a switch on the instrument panel or by a third button on the ignition key, and makes it possible to access the boot without having to unlock the car or open the tailgate. The system naturally incorporates an anti-pinch safety function.
Renault Kangoo be bop features the same convertible roof configuration seen on the concept car, with a fully glazed, forward-sliding panel at the rear. With the rear section of the roof and rear window in the open position, Renault Kangoo be bop's rear passengers are able to enjoy the delights of open-air motoring. The roof opens at an angle which creates a deflecting effect to prevent bothersome turbulence while on the move. Its 'open' and 'closed' positions are secured by two side locks. It opens independently of the tailgate with the help of two small rams. The wide, fixed middle glazed panel contributes to the cabin’s brightness, while the two front tilting glass panels ensure that front-seat occupants also get a taste of the open air. Even when open, the panels do not interfere with the forward-sliding rear roof. The glazed roof panels have all been treated to filter out the sun’s ultraviolet rays. Although Kangoo be bop’s dashboard and front seats are the same as New Kangoo’s, the rear features two individual, raised seats which make the interior redolent of a four-seater lounge on wheels.

The different exterior colour schemes and interior trim are reminders that Renault Kangoo be bop is at home in the city as it is on jaunts in the great outdoors and can look either 'chic' or 'fun'. The chic look is derived from the Nacré Black, Pavot Red and Glacier White body colours, combined with the red and black upholstery and dark charcoal dashboard. The fun-loving be bop comes in a choice of an Etincelle Orange or Glacier White exterior together with silver, blue, and orange upholstery, plus a blue dashboard, as featured on Kangoo Compact Concept. The white instrument backgrounds and satin-finish chrome climate control console further emphasize the exclusive feel of the car’s interior.
For the first time in the Kangoo range, Renault Kangoo be bop can be ordered with Carminat Bluetooth® CD navigation. In addition to its attractive price, this system offers all the fundamental multimedia features, namely GPS navigation with traffic information, a 16/9 seven-inch colour display and Bluetooth® telephony.
Renault Kangoo be bop features numerous travel accessories that mark it out as a car for getting away from it all. A luggage rail above the tailgate window can be used for carrying long items such as surfboards, while a range of decals and stickers permits customers to customise their Renault Kangoo be bop. If they wish, occupants can to listen to their own playlists thanks to the Plug and Music option. It is located in the glovebox and has USB, MP3 player, and iPod® connection ports. It is controlled via the steeringwheel-mounted fingertip remote control. Rounding off the multimedia equipment is the hands-free Bluetooth® telephone control.

A unique ride experience

Despite its compact exterior dimensions, Renault Kangoo be bop affords an amazingly generous, warm living space. The emphasis is on space and light. Its extensive 3.9 sq. metres of glazed area (roof and windows) flood the cabin with light. Front occupants benefit from the sweeping windscreen inherited from New Kangoo, while the large, semi-circular side windows heighten the rear passengers’ sense of travelling comfort, redolent of the tranquillity afforded by a modern high-speed train such as the TGV. The rear windows also permit excellent three-quarter rear vision for manoeuvring and overtaking.
All four passengers benefit from individual seats which enable them to profit fully from the ride experience. The front seats are as spacious as those of New Kangoo and benefit from 1,510mm of elbowroom, as wide as anything on the market. The ergonomically designed driver’s seat is worthy of the best MPVs. Although the dashboard’s colour scheme and cladding are different from those of New Kangoo, its forms, as well as its ease and comfort of use are identical. Deeply recessed below the dashboard lip, the displays are always shaded from the light and easy to read. The gearshift control on the centre console falls naturally to hand, as do the very short stalk switches and audio remote control. The radio display screen is also remote for greater comfort. Thanks to its original aviation-style design, the handbrake frees up an appreciable nine litres of stowage space in the armrest between the two front seats. Very special attention has been lavished on the quality and finish of materials used.
Rear passengers enjoy unique travelling comfort. The individual seats are inspired by those of Scénic. They are fore/aft-adjustable and their backs can be reclined. They are mounted 9cm higher than the front seats, producing an amphitheatre arrangement that affords an astonishing 180° panoramic view. Looking out through the glazed roof and sweeping side windows from the rear seats, passengers experience a heightened sense of well-being and space. On each side is a wide armrest with two deep, easily accessible
stowage bins, one of which can be closed. Rounding off the outstanding comfort at the rear are the loudspeakers mounted in the side panels. The model's spaciousness is reflected in impressive figures worthy of E-segment vehicles: elbowroom 1,220mm and kneeroom 250mm, while at 998mm, headroom is far superior to that of rival leisure vehicles. Rear passengers can conveniently slip their personal effects into the 24cm gap between the two seats. Passengers can access the rear seats in one of two ways.
The first is through the front doors, using a handle that folds down the back of the front seats and slides them out of the way. It is easier to get in on the passenger side, where the seat slides further forward than on the driver’s side. Passengers can also climb into the rear seats through the open tailgate and the gap between the rear seats, which affords ample space. Children will particularly enjoy climbing into the car in this way. Indeed tailgate access is facilitated by the low sill and bumper which can take weights of up to 100kg.

The tailgate incorporates a handle that can be used to pull it shut from the inside. Reassuringly for parents, however, it cannot be opened from the inside.
The rear of the car is fully modular. The capacity of the luggage compartment ranges from 174 to 1,462dm3 depending on whether the seats are in their rearmost or foremost position. Like Scénic, the rear seats can be folded and tipped forward with a built-in notching system to hold them in place. It is also extremely straightforward to remove one or both seats to free up additional carrying capacity. Luggage can then be placed either on them or in the space vacated by the seats, which are also easy to remove. Two side anchorage points help hold items in place when the car is moving. With the seats removed, maximum luggage space capacity is 1,462 dm3 (with the retention net in place).
When the rear window (operated by a driver’s side switch or a button on the ignition key) has slid away into the tailgate, the car can be loaded without opening the tailgate, e.g. when doing some quick shopping or if the car is too tightly parked to open the tailgate. Two hooks on the left of the luggage compartment are intended for hanging small bags. The tailgate has two open positions: an intermediary one for accessing the luggage compartment in a restricted space, and an 85° opening for full access to the luggage compartment. And with the glazed rear roof and tailgate window both open, Renault Kangoo be bop’s carrying capacity is further extended to take even more luggage or tall loads, while longer items can be attached to the luggage rail which is available as an accessory.

At home in town and country

At only 3.87 metres in length, Renault Kangoo be bop is perfectly at home in towns and cities. Its wheelbase is 38cm shorter than that of New Kangoo which permits a smaller turning circle. Renault Kangoo be bop can be turned round between kerbs just 9.7 metres apart, making it as agile as the most manoeuvrable city car.
Even so, Renault Kangoo be bop is always ready to head for the wide blue yonder, whisking off its occupants for a jaunt in the open air. Like New Kangoo, it benefits from Scénic’s chassis, which lends it dynamic performance qualities that are quite exceptional for such a compact vehicle.
Renault Kangoo be bop’s front and rear track, which are respectively 1.52m and 1.53m wide, make it remarkably stable. It shares Scénic’s suspension: MacPherson type with rectangular lower arm and anti-roll bar at the front and, a programmed deflection torsion beam with coil springs and anti-roll bar at the rear. The entire chassis is designed for cornering stability and reassuring handling. With its wide, 16-inch wheels it holds the road with precision, while the dimensions of its four vented brake discs (280mm at the front, 274mm at the rear) ensure prompt, efficient stopping power. A vehicle for leisure and pleasure, Renault Kangoo be bop is powered by engines that yield genuine driveability and which are robust, economical, and kind to the environment, including two diesel powerplants – the 85hp dCi and the 100hp dCi which comes with a particulate filter and drives through a six-speed gearbox – and the petrol 105hp 1.6 16V unit.

The dCi 85hp (63 kW), which delivers peak power at 3,750rpm, is particularly versatile. With 200Nm of torque available from 1,900rpm, it is equally at home in urban environments as it is on the open road. With this powerplant, Renault Kangoo be bop ensures a particularly impressive trade-off between equipment and performance and its combined cycle fuel consumption which stands at 5.3 litres/100km. This is equivalent to CO2 emissions of just 140g/km, making Renault Kangoo be bop eligible for the Renault eco² signature. With the more powerful version of the 1.5 dCi, which also equips Clio, Modus, Mégane, Scénic and New Laguna, Renault Kangoo be bop benefits from maximum power of 105hp at 4,000rpm, as well as 240Nm of torque at 2,000rpm. Thanks to its second-generation common rail injection, variable geometry turbo and 1,600-bar injector pressure, this powerplant yields sprightly performance for combined cycle fuel consumption of just 5.4l/100km (142g of CO2/km) thanks to its piezoelectric injectors and six-speed manual gearbox. Noise is minimised thanks to a twin-mass flywheel damper which reduces boom at low engine revs.

On certain markets, the 105hp engine is available with a particulate filter which comes with a fifth injector on the exhaust line.
The 1.6 16V petrol engine develops 105hp at 5,750rpm and maximum torque of 148Nm at 3,750rpm. It delivers outstanding driveability and low combined cycle fuel consumption (7.7 litres/100km) thanks to the use of lightweight materials and a timing system with roller cam followers Whether on city streets or open country roads, occupants will be reassured by Renault Kangoo be bop's safety credentials, with active safety on a par with that of a family saloon. It is equipped with Bosch ABS incorporating electronic brakeforce distribution, emergency brake assist and automatic activation of hazard lights. Bosch ESC 8.0, combined with understeer control, comes as standard on Renault Kangoo.
ASR traction control and an engine torque overrun regulation function ensure the car is able to pull away and drive in conditions where grip is at a premium and also prevent wheel-lock in the event of sudden loss of traction on slippery surfaces. Numerous driver aid systems come as standard on Renault Kangoo be bop. These include cruise control with speed limiter, automatic headlamp and wiper activation and a rear parking proximity sensor. To enable occupants to travel in safety, Renault Kangoo be bop has inherited New Kangoo’s body structure, made of steel and materials that absorb and dissipate impact energy. Kangoo be bop’s front seatbelts are equipped with pyrotechnic pretensioners to hold occupants safely in place in the event of a collision. All seatbelts incorporate load limiters calibrated to optimise protection of the thorax. Renault Kangoo be bop is available with up to four airbags, two front airbags and two thorax airbags.

To reduce the risk of groin injury in the event of a head-on collision, the front seats are equipped with anti-submarining humps. Renault Kangoo be bop is also equipped with a retractable brake pedal to prevent injury to the driver’s ankle. As part of the ongoing quest for greater safety and comfort, Kangoo be bop's front seats and headrests are designed to absorb energy in the event of impact from the rear. Clio III debuted this technology, which has helped to considerably reduce whiplash injury. Headrests are adjusted to the right height by sliding them up and down their support struts and no longer by sliding the struts in and out of the seatbacks. To complete the passive safety picture, the front passenger seat and both rear seats are equipped with Isofix child seat anchorage. Whether driving along coastal, mountain, or country roads, Renault Kangoo be bop respects the environment. The Renault eCO2 signature testifies to Renault’s commitment on the environmental front.

To qualify, vehicles must comply with three ecological and economical criteria :
  • CO2 emissions of less than 140g/km, or biofuel compatibility.
  • Production in an ISO-14001-certified factory.
  • They must be 95% recoverable by weight, while at least 5% of the plastics they contain must be sourced from recycling.
Renault Kangoo be bop is assembled at the ISO 14001-certified MCA Maubeuge plant in France, contains 7kg of recycled plastics (6% of its weight) and is 95% recoverable by weight (85% recyclable). Renault Kangoo be bop dCi 85 emits just 138g of CO2/km, making it perfectly eligible for the Renault eco² signature.

Images : Renault Kangoo BeBop

[Source : RENAULT]

Nissan to release Japanese "KIX" Mini SUV in end-October

Nissan KIX

TOKYO : September 30, 2008 - Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. today announced the addition of KIX to complement its minicar portfolio. KIX, a sport utility vehicle, is scheduled for release in end-October in Japan.

Nissan KIX

The name "KIX" derives from the term "kicks", a reference to irreverent fun, and the X-factor for the extreme and adventurous spirit.

Nissan KIX Interior

KIX is supplied to Nissan by Mitsubishi Motors Corporation under an OEM agreement.

Nissan KIX Interior

4WD - Specifications

Dimensions : Length 3395mm x Width 1475mm x Height 1665mm
Seating capacity :4 persons
Engine : 4A30 660 SOHC 16valve 4cylinder ECI-MULTI with intercooler-turbocharger
Max. output : 47kW (64PS)/6000rpm
Max. torque : 88N-m (9.0kg-m)/4000rpm
10-15 fuel consumption :15.0km/L (Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport figures)
Transmission : 4-Speed Automatic

[Source : NISSAN]