Tuesday, 12 July 2011

2012 Volvo XC90 Official Review

In 2012, Volvo XC90, shown for the first time in New York International Auto Show, has a more car-like design, a redesigned interior, a brand new Volvo 3.2-liter six-cylinder engine, and of course improvements to the legendary Volvo safety.
The Volvo XC90 SUV shot the scene in 2003 with a series of innovations in the premium SUV segment. Now, four years later, Volvo Car Corporation is introducing more XC90 with its fixed on the segment to the next level.
"We are moving deliberately upward in the premium segment. To make the highly successful XC90 even more attractive, we have raised the luxury quotient of the vehicle and passenger car like comfort," says Fredrik Arp, President and CEO Volvo Cars.
The new 2012 XC90 is intended to strengthen Volvo Cars' position in an SUV market that has received rave reviews vehicle, quickly becoming "The Next Generation SUV."

"We have listened keenly to our customers and refined the vehicle to improve our competitive position on both sides of the Atlantic. We already have a winning concept, so the goal was to refine rather than making major changes, "said Jean Arp. "Lines improved, more sophisticated materials and a better driving experience without compromising on safety requirements and good environmental performance of the powertrain," says Arp.
Volvo XC90 has been and continues to be a huge sales success for Volvo Cars. Of its original volume estimated annual 50,000 units was successively increased production to meet demand. In 2005, the production of the XC90, the Torslanda plant in Sweden was approaching 90 000 units.
A new, enhanced Volvo XC90 will start production in spring 2006, arriving in showrooms in the United States during the summer. In the United States is still the largest single market model, which account for 50 percent of total sales.

New, advanced in-line six engine
Since the introduction XC90 engines are gradually refined, resulting in entirely new engine variants.
Replacing the power of 208, five-cylinder turbo will be a new 3.2-liter inline six. The new engine uses the latest technology to keep the same exterior dimensions and fuel consumption as a five-cylinder unit.
The engine, which consists primarily of aluminum, is rated at 235 horsepower and 236 lb.-ft. of torque.
The 2007 XC90 is available with V8 Volvo compactness and energy efficiency (311 hp, 325 lb / ft of torque). The two lines of six and V8 engines will be mated to a six-speed Geartronic automatic transmission and the Volvo AWD system with Instant Traction.

"With the state of the art six and eight cylinders in the United States, we will use a customer segment much broader," says Hans Wikman, Vice President Vehicle Line Large car at Volvo Car Corporation.
The new six-cylinder engine is designed to provide excellent throttle response and performance in a wide range of conditions, key factors in the experience of driving a luxury SUV. At the same time, the engine delivers good fuel economy. For security reasons collision, the engine is designed with extremely compact dimensions and installed in the engine compartment.

The valve train features Variable Cam Timing (VCT) and Cam Profile Switching (CPS) to control valve lift and duration on the inlet side - two key elements in providing the engine with excellent flexibility. CPS determines valve lift, the system checks the length of CTV over a wide operating range.
With CPS, the camshaft lifts the inlet valves at two different heights depending on engine speed and load. In normal driving butterfly with small openings and engine speed, fuel consumption is moderate, but torque is sufficient to provide good maneuverability.
Variable Intake System (VIS) allows adjustment of the intake manifold according to the current driving situation, which is used to extract the maximum power throughout the entire engine speed range.

Compact high-security incident
Although the 3.2-liter engine, but it is also very compact. Its small size allows the engine to occupy a minimal amount of space under the hood, which reduces the risk of intrusion into the cabin of a collision.
 Compact size of the engine were obtained by placing the associated components, such as the power steering pump and air conditioning compressor behind the engine and transmission before. The alternator is direct-driven and fitted with an engine block. In addition, vibration damper, which compensates for vibrations of the crankshaft with six-cylinder relatively long, has been integrated into the engine block.

Exterior with slimmer, Scandinavian lines
The main objective of the design changes for 2007 XC90 was to create a more modern, Scandinavian style only. This is achieved through a series of changes, including a new grille with more chrome and bumpers with a greater degree of color coding. The taillights have been redesigned and the reflectors of the bumper are recessed in a chrome trim.

All versions of the XC90, are now color-coded side trim moldings and door handles. Optional internal lists new wheels are painted the color of the car body. Mirrors are partially stained and now integrates the repeater indicators. At the same time, a new indicator function has been put in place quickly to push the flashing turn indicator three times. This feature first appeared in the current generation of S40 and V50.

Two new body colors, Electric Silver metallic blue XC90-unique Shadow, provide greater choice, as well as Camulus new 18-inch wheels, aluminum (also unique in the XC90). All magazines now adorned with the classic Volvo emblem in the center.

As an alternative to black roof rails, brushed aluminum can be specified as an option.

Interior with an elegant touch and more options, a number of changes have been implemented, giving the interior a more exclusive will. There are new color combinations and a wider range to choose from.

For example, increasing the interior with a high quality finish feel added to the new directory design. The most exclusive alternative is the new perforated leather cover with contrast stitching sewing Sovereign.

The center console has been upgraded to a new screen and aluminum-effect trim. New trim panels, with Sapeli Wood added the ability to give customers more choice and distribute elegant Scandinavian touch to interior design.

There are additional options in the form of a set of instruments with a watch dial-inspired design and an interior mirror with integrated compass.

The improved navigation system and world-class audio system The navigation system has been improved for better performance, ease of use and provides more information on the cities and places than before.

The sound of high-end Premium now includes an ICE power digital amplifier from Alpine and Dynaudio speakers. The new amplifier and speakers to further enhance the effectiveness of Dolby Surround Pro Logic II for a truly world-class audio.
In systems of high performance and high quality is now possible to play music CDs in MP3 and WMA (Windows Media Audio). All audio systems will be equipped with an extra input (AUX) for connecting external devices such as an iPod.
"When the Volvo XC90 was initially developed, our goal was to provide an exceptionally high level of safety for all passengers in the car," says Wikman. "All test results show that we succeeded."

Volvo XC90 is a modern SUV, built like a car with a monocoque body, effective deformation / energy absorption zones, a low center of gravity and advanced systems to minimize the risk of injury, no matter what situation or collision . In addition, the XC90 has multiple advanced systems to prevent accidents in the first place.

"The United States has launched the redesign of the Volvo XC90, 2007, preventive safety is the main area of ​​development and we are focused on driver control," says Wikman.
Active Bi-Xenon headlights to promote better visibility when driving on winding roads dark, Bi-Xenon headlamp beams to manipulate the curve to follow the path. A microprocessor is used to measure and analyze multiple parameters (speed, steering angle, etc.) and optimize the lightweight design is perfect for these conditions. Headlamps can be rotated up to 15 degrees in either direction. Reducing energy consumption, the system automatically shuts off during the day.

The Volvo XC90 is also equipped with BLIS Information System (Blind Spot). Using cameras integrated into side mirrors, BLIS registers whether another vehicle has entered the XC90 offset rear blind spots. If so, is there a light in the relevant mirror to alert drivers and help them make the right decision to avoid a collision help the driver better control of the driving situation.

It helps to protect someone is standing behind the car and support the parking, Volvo Cars presents Park Assist Camera. The system will not only give the driver an extra eye out, also shows the planned track when reversing the vehicle.
A wide-angle camera shows the area behind the XC90. The image displayed on the navigation screen above the dashboard and shows the largest area possible without excessive distortion. The photo also shows the projected path that the vehicle will maneuver the turn, changes with the movements of the steering wheel. Park Assist Camera is a fully integrated feature of the XC90 and should be ready for delivery to customers in the fall of 2006.

The changes we made to the new Volvo XC90 can be regarded as fine tuning designed to increase the attractiveness of the vehicle," says Wikman. "Our goal is a very demanding group of buyers and we want to give a superior experience, even better."
The descriptions and specifications in this press release regarding the collection of the Volvo International. Vehicle specifications may vary from country to country, and are subject to change without notice.

Price Range : 38,400$ - 44,300$

2012 Mitsubishi i-MiEV EPA Review

Mitsubishi’s little i-MiEV electric car has been rated by the EPA: 126 city MPGe and 99 highway. Those numbers beat the Nissan Leaf’s 106/92 ratings. Because of its smaller battery pack, the i-MiEV’s projected range of 62 miles trails the Leaf’s by 11 miles. (Our semi-long-term Leaf has been averaging 58 miles to a charge, so YMMV.) In the more optimistic LA4 cycle, the i-MiEV can travel 98 miles on a full battery. When it goes on sale in November, the $28,840 i-MiEV will also beat the $33,630 Leaf on price (both are eligible for a $7500 federal tax credit), making it the least-expensive electric on the market.
In anticipation of the i-MiEV’s launch and to display its commitment to EV technology, 

Mitsubishi Motors teamed with Mitsubishi Electric to build a solar-powered car-charging station at its North American headquarters in Cypress, California. The station can accommodate four vehicles and is equipped with three types of chargers: 110-volt, 220-volt, and a high-voltage quick charger. The i-MiEV needs 22 hours to fully charge on 110 volts or six hours on 220-volt power, and the quick charger can get it to an 80-percent charge in 25 minutes. Mitsubishi hopes the charging station’s central location between Los Angeles and Orange counties will attract EV commuters and will allow owners of any EVs and plug-ins to use the station.

Monday, 11 July 2011

2012 Peugeot 308 Official Review

The new Peugeot 308 comes with a new look, features innovative e-HDi micro-hybrid technology and optimises fuel consumption and CO2 emissions, which start from just 98 g/km.
With its new lines, the Peugeot 308 subtly incorporates the Marque’s latest stylistic codes. The car’s body follows the contours of the mechanical assembly underneath.  
The appeal of the three body shapes (Saloon, CC and SW) thus acquires a more technological elegance, illustrated by the presence of LED front lights with light guide. Dynamism and emotion are present as ever in the genes of the 308, particularly with its more assertive look thanks to new Xenon headlamps with titanium coloured mask and the hatchback in its exclusive GTi finish.

Determined to consolidate its leadership in terms of road holding and driving pleasure, the Peugeot 308 seeks to become a reference in terms of environmental efficiency. Indeed, following in the footsteps of the 508, the new Peugeot 308 features innovative e-HDi micro-hybrid technology, the latest generation STOP & START, on the 1.6 litre HDi FAP 112 bhp Euro 5 engine. This offer, on the “entry level” engine, is available with a semi-automatic manual gearbox and, for the first time, with a full manual gearbox, for optimal driveability.

In addition to micro-hybrid technology, all factors impacting the level of CO2 emissions have been optimised:
- weight reduced by 25 kg on average per car;
- launch of 16” tyres with Very Low Rolling Resistance;
- optimisation of the latest generation engines (VTi, THP, HDi Euro 5);
-Cx of 0.28 for versions with a low fuel consumption – A record in the segment.
Fuel consumption sets the standard:
-98 g/km of CO2* for the 308 saloon 1.6 litre e-HDi FAP 112 bhp BMP6 – A record in the segment (* pending approval, available in the summer of 2011 – 104 g/km CO2 at launch);
 -available power trains, comprising 4 petrol engines ranging from 98 bhp to 200 bhp for the exclusive GTi version and 4 diesel engines from 92 bhp to 163 bhp, have also been optimised to ensure a comprehensive range of engines guaranteeing environmental efficiency. As a result, the basic version – the 308 saloon 1.6 litre HDi FAP 92 bhp with manual gearbox – is well positioned, with CO2 emissions reduced to only 110 g/km.

The dimensions and quality of equipment on the new 308 remain unchanged, regardless of body shape, guaranteeing a spacious and comfortable passenger compartment. The same is true of primary, secondary and tertiary safety, which remain at the highest level.
The new 308 will receive its world premiere at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show and will go on sale from April 2011 in Europe. Its mission is to continue the success story of the 308 family, with nearly 900,000 models sold since its launch in September 2007.

The design of the new 308 subtly incorporates the new stylistic codes of the Peugeot Marque. While the dimensions are unchanged, the new lines marry as closely as possible the car’s mechanical assembly to accentuate its athletic poise, while the front aspect gives a fresh look to the “floating” front grille concept. Greater importance accorded to unbroken surfaces marks a determination to present an elegant and luxurious style. The central protective capping, available in a black lacquer finish, has been made thinner to give greater prominence to the sheer metal. This is also true of the single air intake which is now smaller in size.
Styling elements enhance the natural elegance which emanates from the new 308. A satin chrome bead enhances the new front grille, as do horizontal bars, available in lustrous black or chrome according to body shape (saloon, CC or SW).

The bottom section of the lower front panel, which helps visually to broaden the car and “plant” it on the road, incorporates new dual-function lights (daytime and sidelights) shaped like a boomerang, available according to versions. With their meticulous finish, they blend perfectly and are harmoniously positioned on the upper surround of the fog light housing. Composed of variable intensity LEDs and a light guide, they guarantee a unique visual signature by day and by night while illustrating the high level of technology featured on the new 308.
In the upper section, the V-shaped nose of the bonnet is one of the main expressive features of the 308. It has been redesigned to fit the car’s mechanical assembly as closely as possible and provides a new link with the floating front grille, in line with Peugeot’s new stylistic codes. The Marque badge, in its new dual material construction, is proudly positioned at the tip of the bonnet on a new black lacquer base set with a chrome bead, also in the shape of a V. The outline of this nose, fluid and characteristic, is more curvaceous, particularly at the junction of the lights and the bonnet. The new smooth glass front headlamps, closely fitting the three cylinders, suggest a look that is both refined and assertive. And when the 308 is equipped with dynamic bi-directional Xenon headlamps complete with titanium coloured base, this look becomes even more profound, displaying all the strength of character of the new 308.

The dynamism of the front aspect is echoed on the sides of the car. A styling line, running from the front wheel arches, crosses the side of the body and the rear lights before dropping towards the lower rear panel and coming to an end in the lower section. The fluidity of the style is enhanced by the lateral glazed surface which follows a plunging waistline, and also by the panoramic rear window, which overlaps the rear quarter panel pillars. Lastly, to establish the general appearance of the 308, a lower waistline starting from the lower front panel extends as far as the rear bumper. The car therefore seems well poised on the road, ready to exploit its dynamic qualities to the full.
New diamanté effect 16 or 17 inch alloy wheels or Storm Grey 18 inch wheels for the GTi version underline this dynamic appeal. The sense of dynamism is enhanced further by the car’s rear style.
On the saloon, the wraparound lower rear panel adds a note of robustness and perceived quality as well as a sporty touch thanks to the presence of a styling element in the shape of a spoiler and two inserts, which can have a chrome finish, suggesting exhaust nozzles. The new Lion takes its place in the centre of the tailgate, while a satin chrome bead emphasizes the horizontal waistline, bringing a new balance to the rear of the 308.
On the SW, the contours of the robust lower panel and the rear lights have been designed to allow a wide boot aperture. The low load sill resulting from this design promises easy loading and a large internal capacity. From an aesthetic point of view, a horizontal waistline runs around the rear tailgate in its central section to “stretch” the car. This sensation is amplified by the body-coloured number plate insert surmounted by the new Lion badge.

On the CC the strength of the rear style is repeated, with a sense of horizontality given to the rear aspect that reinforces the impression of width. Numerous details add to this overall effect: the concave movement crossing the tailgate under the spoiler, the chrome bead framing the number plate and the presence of an air diffuser in the lower section. On either side and extending over the wings, the ruby-coloured LED rear lights with light curtain effect broaden the silhouette and give the 308 CC a unique and spectacular visual signature.
Stylists worked hard to exploit to the full the interior volumes freed up by the semi-tall architecture of the 308. They therefore designed a particularly inclined fascia panel, almost symmetrical to the front windscreen pillars, to offer unimpeded exterior visibility. In addition, there was a marked determination to give the interior a very upmarket feel and an enhanced sense of perceived quality. The result is a fluid, pure and elegant fascia panel where pride of place is given to superior materials, according to finish: soft covering, leather trim, chrome, black lacquered materials... The care given to the finish and the emphasis on interior comfort are evident in every detail. According to the level in the range, new motifs decorate the door panel strips, panel trim, thumb rests on the steering wheel, etc. Similarly, the special seats on the GTi version have red visible stitching with specific marking on top of the seat back and an aluminium steering wheel ring showing the word “GTi”. Dark-tinted rear windows combined with dark wheel trims (Storm Grey) and the titanium mask of the discharge lamps, give this version a sporty and assertive identity, perfectly in keeping with the dynamic potential of its 1.6 litre THP 200 bhp engine.

Inside the 308 CC, the eye is caught also by the elegance of the 4 seats with integral head restraints and the possibility of full leather trim on the fascia panel, in different shades, which convey a touring car image. This distinctive design makes for even more comfortable seats with an Airwave warm air diffuser behind the necks of the front passengers. The pleasure of open-top driving is thus enhanced.
The passenger compartment has been designed to ensure that a sense of space and brightness predominates, making occupants feel they don’t want their journey to end.
The interior dimensions and efforts by the designers to free up as much space as possible for passenger comfort make the 308 one of the most spacious cars in its segment. Elbow width at the front is 1464 mm for the saloon and SW body shapes, and rises to 1492 mm for the Coupé Cabriolet version. At the rear, these dimensions are respectively 1471 mm and 1321 mm for the CC. The feeling of space is even more noticeable on account of the many clever storage spaces available inside the 308. Total storage capacity is 42 litres, making life inside the car easier and preserving space for the occupants.
All of the 7 passengers that can be seated in the 308 SW thanks to the optional additional 2 rear seats can benefit from these fitted spaces. They can also modulate and adjust the car’s interior as necessary by opting for individual seats in row 2. Nor has the boot volume been ignored, with a capacity under the parcel shelf of 674 litres for the SW and 430 litres for the saloon. With the load potential exploited to the full, the capacities are 2149 and 1398 litres respectively. On the CC, all four passengers can benefit from the availability of a large boot capacity (465 litres) in the coupé configuration. On the cabriolet, with the retractable roof stored in the boot, the boot still offers a capacity of 266 litres. What’s more, it only takes 20 seconds to convert the 308 CC into a dynamic coupé or an elegant cabriolet.
Passengers in the 308 saloon and SW will also be able to benefit from a “sunny” passenger compartment thanks to the panoramic roofs available for these body shapes. They increase the total glazed surface area to 4.86 m² on the saloon and 5.58 m² on the SW. The light level inside the car can be regulated by means of an electrically-operated roller blind associated with this equipment.
To make the journey even more pleasant, automatic dual-zone air conditioning is available. With its active charcoal filter, it also reduces hydrocarbon odours inside the passenger compartment.
Finally, passengers will be able to benefit from a high quality audio and telematics system: WIP Sound audio system, Bluetooth hands-free kit, WIP Nav satellite navigation and WIP Com 3D with a retractable 7” 16/9 colour display. A JBL hi-fi system is also available and may be combined with laminated side windows for optimal acoustic performance.

Regardless of body shape, the new 308 offers a high level of comfort and convenience.
The reduction of CO2 emissions was one of the main objectives of this project. This resulted in a search for environmental efficiency at all levels. All factors influencing fuel consumption were optimised:
- weight reduced by 25 kg on average per car;
- launch of 16” tyres with Very Low Rolling Resistance;
-use of a piloted oil pump on 1.6 litre HDi engines;
- optimisation of operation of the alternator on some engines;
-improvement of power steering control (electropump unit);
-Cx of 0.28 for versions with a low fuel consumption – A record in the segment;
-e-HDi micro-hybrid technology;
-98 g/km of CO2* for the 1.6 litre e-HDi FAP 112 bhp BMP6 version – A record in the segment (* pending approval, available in the summer of 2011 – 104 g/ km CO2 at launch).
After the 508, the new Peugeot 308 is the second of the Marque’s cars to introduce the innovative e-HDi micro-hybrid technology, a new generation STOP & START.
This innovation is based on the combination of a 1.6 litre HDi Euro 5 diesel engine and a reversible alternator ensuring the STOP & START function. Relying on an alternator control system (Volt Control) to recover energy during deceleration and a hybrid battery to store and deliver additional energy on startup (e-booster), the HDi unit allows:
- a 15% reduction in fuel consumption in urban traffic;
- a 5 g/km reduction in CO2 emissions for approved cycle fuel consumption;
-40% faster restarting (400 ms) than with an enhanced starter STOP & START;
-activation of engine cut-out from 20 km/h with a manual gearbox (8 km/h for the electronically-controlled gearbox);
-increased driveability of the STOP & START (silent operation, no vibrations).
The second-generation reversible alternator used here has a power of 2.2 kW and allows up to 600,000 restarts. However the STOP & START function can be de-activated by the driver if preferred by means of a button on the fascia panel.
To deploy this technology on a large scale, the new 308 proposes e-HDi technology with a “basic” engine, the 1.6 litre HDi FAP 112 bhp, which can be coupled with two gearboxes (manual or electronically-controlled). This is a first, since hitherto e-HDi technology was available only with the BVMP6 electronically-controlled gearbox. This new offer maximises driving enjoyment by increasing the phases of driving “in silence”. When coupled with a manual gearbox, engine cut-out is possible from a speed of 20 km/h.
To reduce CO2 emissions as much as possible, the new 308 is uniquely equipped with the very latest-generation engines for both petrol (VTi or THP engines) and diesel versions (new HDi Euro 5 engines).
On the saloon, all 8 available engines, as well as different possible gearbox combinations (manual, electronically-controlled manual or automatic), will allow every customer to find the version that suits them best.
4 Euro 5 petrol engines:
-1.4 litre VTi 98 bhp with 5-speed manual gearbox;
- 1.6 litre VTi 120 bhp with 5-speed manual gearbox or automatic gearbox;
- 1.6 litre THP 156 bhp with 6-speed manual gearbox or automatic gearbox;
- 1.6 litre THP 200 bhp with 6-speed manual gearbox (exclusive to GTi version). 4 Euro 5 diesel engines:
- 1.6 litre HDi FAP 92 bhp with 5-speed manual gearbox;
- 1.6 litre e-HDi FAP 112 bhp with 6-speed manual gearbox or electronically-controlled manual gearbox;
- 2.0 litre HDi FAP 150 bhp with 6-speed manual gearbox;
- 2.0 litre HDi FAP 163 bhp with automatic gearbox or 6-speed manual gearbox (only on the 308 CC).
True to the Marque’s values in terms of driving pleasure, the new 308 seeks also to preserve its leadership in terms of road holding. The features that make the 308 a reference are maintained:
- rigid body structure;
- McPherson type front suspension;
- rear suspension with torsion beam;
- hydraulic dampers with valves;
-power steering with variable assistance piloted by an electro-pump unit;
-large disc brakes (ventilated at the front) – up to 302 x 26 mm;
-ABS, electronic brake force distribution, emergency brake assist and automatic switching on of hazard warning lights as standard;
- Bosch 8.1 ESP according to versions.
Whether in terms of primary, secondary or tertiary safety, the new 308 is positioned at the highest level.
Firstly, the excellent rigidity of the structure ensures optimal operation of the wheels and suspension ensuring a high level of primary safety. In terms of secondary safety, the structure itself has been rigorously designed to withstand even the most severe impact, thanks in particular to a triple force channel at the front. The use of high-strength steel and “multilayer” reinforcements in specific areas has made it possible to raise the level of safety of occupants while reducing the overall weight of the car. In addition to the performance of the structure, efficient means of restraint are proposed:
- up to 8 air bags on the saloon and SW;
-up to 6 air bags on the CC, including 2 head air bags at the front;
-extractible safety hoops on the CC in the event of rollover;
-3-point seat belts with belt not fastened or unfastened acoustic warnings;
- Isofix fixtures.
Lastly, with regard to tertiary safety, the new 308 benefits from Peugeot Connect services. Occupants are put through to an assistance helpline when an emergency call is made (Peugeot Connect SOS) or a breakdown service in the case of a mechanical incident (Peugeot Connect Assistance). These services are available via a Peugeot Connect unit or with the top-of-the-range WIP Com 3D telematics offer.

The new 308 range offers a total of 11 colours, three of which are new:
- Bourrasque Blue
-Philaea Blue
- Umber (already available on the 308 CC)
- Bianca White
- Hurricane Grey
- Vapor Grey
- Shark Grey
- Black Pearl
- Babylon Red
- Pearlescent White (only on the 308 CC).

Sunday, 10 July 2011

2012 Toyota Prius v Official Review & Photos

The newest entrant in a growing Prius family of hybrid vehicles, the Prius v delivers an unparalleled blend of versatility and fuel efficiency in a comfortable, mid-size package. 
A new evolution in hybrid vehicles with excellent cargo space and Prius’ heritage of environmental performance and fuel economy, the 2012 Prius v will go on sale in Fall 2011.

The new Prius v, with “v” expressing the vehicle’s versatility, will meet the needs of growing families with active lifestyles while providing the same attributes traditionally found in the Prius DNA. Despite the spaciousness of a family friendly midsize vehicle, the Prius v will deliver estimated EPA fuel economy ratings of 44 mpg city, 40 mpg highway and 42 mpg combined.

“The Prius v brings leading-edge hybrid technology to customers who need more room and provides more cargo space than 80 percent of all small SUVs,” said Toyota Division Group Vice President and General Manager Bob Carter. “And because it’s a Prius, it produces 66 percent fewer smog-forming emissions than the average new vehicle and will have the best mileage ratings of any SUV, crossover, or wagon sold in America. We think that’s a win-win for everybody.”

The Prius v will be utilizing the same proven Hybrid Synergy Drive system as the third-generation Prius, with the advantages of high mileage, low emissions, and never needing to be recharged.
A product of the same culture of innovation that spawned the original Prius 14 years and two-million units ago, the Prius v follows family tradition with new technologies and equipment advances that continues to raise the bar on the cutting edge automotive science.

The Prius v emphasizes overall proportion with spaciousness and flexibility for active families. Comfortable interior space and good visibility have been assisted by a high seating position, ample head room, and an impressive 38-inch couple distance, providing generous rear legroom. A low, wide-opening rear hatch reveals 34.3 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seats, making it the most spacious dedicated hybrid vehicle on the market.
Comfortable seating for five is specifically designed for young families. Sliding second row seats allow for easier ingress and egress and rear-storage flexibility, with a 45-degree recline for greater comfort. The 60/40 split, folding rear seats present four different seat arrangements that provide excellent usability for passengers and luggage, while a fold-flat front-passenger seat allows for extremely long cargo.

The driver is kept informed via a center-mounted instrument panel, a visually succinct, space-efficient design that is also exceptionally user-friendly. As with other Prius models, the driving controls including Push Button Start, parking switch, drive-by-wire shift toggle, and driving mode buttons are immediately at hand. Each of these driving control features are distinguished by silver trim. Instrument-panel controls, including a single dial automatic climate control, provide an advanced look and user-friendly command.

The center console is accessible from both the driver side and rear seats. The console is big enough to hold 23 CD cases, yet low enough so that lines of sight and conversation between passengers can be relaxed and natural. The console design helps make the cabin a human-friendly space, and a low-fatigue environment for long rides.
A wide variety of engineered storage spaces are located throughout the cabin. These include dual glove boxes, a center console utility tray and five cup holders in large and medium sizes. Bottle holders are built into the front and rear door pockets, while most models will feature an overhead storage space suitable for sunglasses. In addition to the larger main luggage compartment, there are storage units built into the sides and under the cargo platform for storing equipment such as car wash items or gloves. Even a special space for umbrellas is located under the second row of seats.

Rear seats fold, slide and recline to configure for any mix of passengers and cargo, and operation switches are located conveniently close to the occupants. New for Toyota, an available seat material called SofTex is designed for easy cleaning, resisting spills and wear in a family vehicle that could see heavy use on a daily basis. Soft to the touch, SofTex’s attributes as compared to leather and other traditional leatherette-type materials include a weight reduction of 50 percent, a manufacturing process with approximately 99 percent fewer volatile organic compounds (VOCs) than conventional synthetic leather, and it’s water and stain resistant. It also does not include any animal-based material.

 Seamlessly integrated into the Prius v are state-of-the-art electronics and enhanced connectivity features. A Bluetooth wireless connection for compatible hands-free phone calls is standard, now improved by an automatic phone book transfer function. Also standard is a USB port that allows playing of music and video from portable audio devices, using the vehicle sound system and in-dash display screen, including full iPod integration.

The standard audio system has a 6.1-inch screen and six speakers. The screen also displays the energy monitor and fuel consumption data, and functions as the monitor for the integrated back-up camera and the Display Audio System. The screen also offers a new value-driven navigation system and serves as a portal for Entune. An available HD Radio system enables CD sound quality from digital FM broadcasts, and has features that maximize analog and AM broadcast sound quality. The system will include HD Radio with iTunes tagging for future purchase and SiriusXM Satellite Radio™.
The top-of-the-line audio is equipped with a new seven-inch Premium HDD Navigation system with Entune and JBL. This system offers a new split-screen feature that allows for simultaneously displaying navigation and audio information and full iPod video integration.

The premium system adds a new JBL GreenEdge™ audio system that combines an eight-channel amplifier and door-mounted “acoustic lens” speakers, to provide a high-quality sound. The GreenEdge amplifier achieves a 66-percent reduction in overall mass and a 50-percent enhancement in sound efficiency. The GreenEdge speakers produce a higher output of sound with the same power or less consumption of conventional models.
Prius v will be one of the first Toyotas to offer the Entune™ multimedia system. For the first time ever in a Toyota automobile, this innovative new system leverages the mobile smartphone to provide a richer in-vehicle experience with fully integrated access to navigation, entertainment and information services.
Toyota Entune debuts the first-ever support for engaging mobile apps, such as Bing, OpenTable, and movietickets.com, along with accessing useful travel-related services, such as live weather, traffic, fuel information (location and price), stocks, and sports. Toyota Entune brings the largest selection of music options available to a vehicle, including iheartradio’s 750+ stations, and Pandora’s personalized music service.
The audio systems combined with Entune feature a best-in-class, advanced conversational voice recognition system that helps the driver to stay focused on the road by eliminating the need to memorize thousands of voice commands. The system will also allow for audio read-back and replay capabilities for text messages, with the ability to respond by pre-set “Quick Reply Messages” such as: “I’m driving and will reply later.”
Sleek, Aerodynamic and Efficient

With a balance between outstanding spaciousness, refined style, and smooth aerodynamics, Prius v has a low 0.29 coefficient of drag, which does not inhibit the vehicle’s convenient packaging. It is a new vehicle designed from the ground up, with a shape that evolved from Prius rather than being an elongated version.
Keeping air resistance low is the familiar triangular Prius silhouette, adapted to a larger size. A flush surface from the front of the vehicle through the front pillar works with side “aerocorners” for exceptionally clean airflow. The smooth front sheetmetal blends into a carefully designed roof and cabin, leading to an optimized cabin-end shape that acts to converge side and roof airflow. Wheels and wheel caps are designed with aerodynamic effects in mind. These measures and others also have the beneficial effect of suppressing wind noise.
Enhancing the clean, low wind-resistance design are materials that keep the Prius v relatively light and easy to move. The door panels are foam-injected with polypropylene and the deck board with light-weight urethane to produce a weight savings of approximately 20 percent. Significant weight reduction is also achieved through the use of high-tensile grades of steel throughout the

Also available, and a Toyota-first, is a resin Panoramic View Moonroof with power retractable sun shades that provides an open atmosphere in the cabin with a 40-percent reduction in weight as compared to conventional glass roofs of the same size, and excellent heat insulation performance. This improved thermal resistance means the engine needs to run less to preserve comfortable ambient temperatures, which in turn enhances fuel efficiency. The moonroof has an electrically operated shade system with a jam protection function.
Available LED headlamps work to improve visibility while reducing current draw. They use projector lenses to offer long-range visibility and are designed to be virtually maintenance free for the expected life of the vehicle.
Prius v features a climate control system with enhanced cooling capability to cope with a larger cabin. The system uses an electric compressor, so the air conditioning can run without depending on the engine, and improved component design for better maximum-demand cooling performance.
Proven Hybrid Synergy Drive System Now More Versatile
The Hybrid Synergy Drive system in the Prius v is essentially the same as the current third-generation Prius. The system uses two high-output motors, one 60kw (80 hp) unit that mainly works to power the compact, lightweight transaxle and another smaller motor that mainly works as the electric power source. Maximum motor drive voltage is 650 volts DC. The proven and practical nickel-metal hydride battery pack is the same as on the third-generation Prius liftback, but with a cooling duct located under the rear seat.

As with current-generation Prius cars, Hybrid Synergy Drive is a series-parallel hybrid system that can provide power either from the engine alone, or the motor alone, or any mix of both. A hybrid control computer manages the system so that optimum power is delivered according to driver demand. It uses a start/stop system and regenerative braking to conserve fuel and recharge the battery upon deceleration.
Hybrid Synergy Drive is built around a specially adapted, efficient 98-horsepower1.8-liter four-cylinder engine that runs on the Atkinson cycle and contributes to a total system horsepower of 134. Key components include an electric water pump that requires no belts, and an exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) system that helps warm the engine quickly, reducing fuel consumption when the engine is cold. Compact and light weight, the engine produces minimal noise and vibration. Sophisticated valve control, injector design, and other technologies reduce emissions to allow the Prius v to qualify for SULEV and Tier2 Bin3 emissions standards.

In addition to the standard driving mode, Prius v drive system also includes an Eco driving mode, an EV driving mode, and a Power mode. In Power mode, enhanced mid-range response enables easier coping with slopes and mountainous terrain. In EV mode, the Prius v can run on battery power alone for short distances and lower speeds, up to about a mile. In Eco driving mode, the engine management system prioritizes fuel economy, managing throttle response and limiting power consumption from the air conditioning.
Pitch and Bounce Control; Better Ride, Better Handling
A new feature, Pitch and Bounce Control, works with suspension enhancements to improve ride comfort and control. Because the Prius v is a larger vehicle more likely to carry loads and passengers, front and rear suspension components have been redesigned to improve handling and ride quality. Front coil-over spring and damper capacities have been significantly increased and a new upper support has been designed. The steering gear has been attached to the front suspension member, and the stabilizer bar repositioned for more responsive steering feel and enhanced ride comfort.
In the rear, a torsion-beam suspension design has been fitted with appropriately tuned springs and dampers. The new rear-suspension system is designed to help ensure stability and ride comfort, and it has a lower mounting point to improve luggage space.

Pitch and Bounce Control uses the torque of the hybrid motor to enhance ride comfort and control. The system, working with wheel-speed sensors and in tune with the suspension, helps suppress bounce and toss motions to improve comfort for occupants. Because it helps control the balance and posture of the vehicle as a whole, it also functions to improve handling response.
Standard wheels are 16 inches in diameter, with 17-inch wheels available as an option.
Cutting Edge Safety and Security
A variety of available and standard features maintain the Prius tradition of premium-level equipment packaging. Not least among them is a broad suite of advanced features, both active and passive, that are designed to help maximize occupant safety.
The all-new Prius v platform is designed with a force-absorbing body structure. Increased use of high-strength steel, notably in the front frame members, is a key part of providing a strong body structure without increasing weight. Helping to protect the cabin from side and rear intrusions are similarly engineered reinforcements using high tensile steels, all designed to disperse energy strategically throughout the vehicle to help protect passengers.
Like all Toyota models, the Prius v will feature Toyota’s Star Safety System™ standard, which includes Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), Traction Control (TRAC), Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist. It also features the standard Smart Stop Technology brake-override system.

An electronic tire pressure monitoring system is standard equipment, and there are seven airbags strategically located about the cabin, including a knee airbag for the driver. New driver and front-passenger seat design helps lessen the possibility of whiplash injury during certain types of collisions while minimizing weight. A new Vehicle Proximity Notification System helps alert pedestrians and cyclists of an oncoming vehicle under certain conditions by emitting a small warning sound.
An available Pre-Collision System (PCS) retracts seatbelts and applies the brakes in certain conditions when a frontal crash is unavoidable. It is paired with Dynamic Radar Cruise Control.
Another available safety system, Safety Connect, can access a call center with a live operator who can dispatch police and emergency vehicles. The system combines automatic collision notification and a stolen vehicle locator feature, which can track the location of the stolen vehicle via GPS and help guide police to recover it.
Peace of Mind Warranty Protection
Toyota’s 36-month/36,000 mile basic new-vehicle warranty applies to all components other than normal wear and maintenance items. Additional 60-month warranties cover the powertrain for 60,000 miles and against corrosion with no mileage limitation. The hybrid-related components, including the HV battery, battery control module, hybrid control module and inverter with converter, are covered for eight years/100,000 miles.

The Prius v will also come standard with Toyota Care, a complimentary plan covering normal factory-scheduled maintenance and 24-hour roadside assistance for two years or 25,000 miles, whichever comes first.

2011 Opel Zafira Tourer Official Review

The Opel Zafira Tourer will make its world premiere at the 64th International Motor Show in Frankfurt am Main, September 15 - 25, 2011. 

Offering a perfect blend of functionality and wellness, the Zafira Tourer brings Insignia premium quality values and innovative technologies as well as Opel’s design philosophy – “sculptural artistry meets German precision” – to the monocab segment.

The “Tourer” in the name marks a quantum leap forward: With an extensively re-designed Flex7 seating system, the third generation of Opel’s compact monocab establishes new standards in cabin flexibility and quality. But the metamorphosis goes beyond this enhanced ability to transform its cabin layout: The overall experience is upgraded. Relaxed driving comes with premium qualities thanks to a refined design, airy cabin atmosphere, an upgraded chassis and innovative technologies that increase comfort and safety.

The benchmark for flexibility offers rear passengers a new, first-class feeling
When it was launched 1999, the first generation Opel Zafira was not only the first seven-seater in its class. It also set new standards with fully integrated on-board flexibility. This means there is no need to remove and store heavy seats. Since 1999, Opel has sold more than 2.2 million units of two Zafira generations in Europe. Along with the Meriva, the European class leader in small monocabs, the Zafira has established Opel as the benchmark in flexibility and in the monocab segment.

Premium flexibility is the business card of the new Zafira Tourer. Opel engineers have substantially upgraded the clever Flex7 seating concept. While the entire third row can still be folded down flush with the floor of the luggage compartment, the second row has been completely re-designed: No longer a bench, it now consists of three separate, individual seats that can be folded flat and moved independently of each other. Each can slide longitudinally by 210 mm.
In addition, passengers in the second row can benefit from the unique, optional Lounge Seating system, providing generous limousine-like seating space and comfort. Thanks to a clever folding mechanism, the back of the middle seat in the second row folds down and rotates to offer comfortable armrests for the passengers in the outer seats. The longitudinal movement of the outer seats in this case is extended to 280 mm – 70 mm more than in the standard version, and 80 mm more than in the current Zafira. Moreover, the outer seats slide by 50 mm towards the center of the cabin, a true novelty in the segment.

The combination of both longitudinal and lateral movements ensures first-class comfort and the unique feeling of travelling in a “lounge on wheels”, with maximum individual space and ergonomics, as passengers can change position at their convenience while travelling. This emphasis on personal comfort makes the Zafira Tourer much more than just a family vehicle. Opel designers turned the flexible interior into a wellness oasis, a place to relax and enjoy the spacious atmosphere – be it on a business trip or a long journey with friends.

Thanks to its generous cabin space and flexible seating system, the Zafira Tourer offers 710 liters load volume in a five-seat configuration (65 liters more than the current Zafira), and up to 1,860 liters (+ 40 liters) when all rear seats are folded down.

It also provides ample storage space including the revolutionary multi-functional FlexConsole, an enhancement of the innovative FlexRail system introduced last year in the Meriva. This standard-setting innovation is just another example of premium flexibility in the Zafira Tourer. The armrest featuring a storage box and the cup holder trail both slide on the aluminum rails to the desired position, enabling flexible use of the generous storage space between the front seats – exactly where it is most accessible and useful.
The second generation of Opel’s exclusive integrated FlexFix bicycle carrier system also premieres in the new Zafira Tourer. To date around 60,000 Opel customers have opted for this highly acclaimed carrier that is integrated in the rear bumper and is simply pulled out like a drawer. Building on the experience of the first generation, the system has been re-engineered and features a new fastening device that makes it even more functional and easier to use.

“The Zafira is Opel’s flexibility icon, and we wanted to bring more emotion and premium qualities into its third generation,” says Mark Adams, Vice President, Opel/Vauxhall Design. “The Opel Zafira Tourer makes a statement with its sleek, sporty look and premium feel.”
The distinctive front with its bold twin “boomerang” graphics sweeping from the top of the headlights to the bottom of the fog lamps, its characteristic Opel center crease and proud trapezoidal grille create a dynamic, progressive look, unusual for a monocab. In line with all other models in the range, the headlights feature the Opel-typical “wing shaped” daytime running light graphic.
The streamlined, aerodynamic bodywork design of the Zafira Tourer lends it a silhouette that is reminiscent of a high-speed train. The belt line sweeps upwards in a hockey stick-like gesture and visually propels the vehicle forward, while the Opel characteristic “blade” sculpts and adds motion to the body side.
The wing-shaped graphic from the headlights is repeated in the tail lamps, which can be enhanced with LED technology. The horizontal chrome bar carrying the Opel logo stretches far into the split light elements, giving the Zafira Tourer a broad, sporty look in the rear and adding a premium touch.
As for the interior, driver’s visibility has been dramatically improved thanks to a completely re-designed front layout with slim A-pillars, large side windows and a repositioned side rear view mirror – now mounted on the door panel.

The high-class quality cabin is dominated by dynamic, sculptural shapes and a feeling of spacious comfort. The bright, airy lounge atmosphere in the Zafira Tourer can be enhanced by the optionally available panorama windscreen – an innovation that Opel introduced in 2005 in the Astra GTC. It flows into a generous glass sunroof that visually extends all the way to the back of the vehicle.

For a relaxed driving experience, the Zafira Tourer mechatronic chassis has been designed to provide an outstanding level of comfort and safety. Compared to the previous generation, the wheelbase and tracks have increased substantially to the benefit of ride comfort and dynamic stability: The wheel base is now 2,760 mm (+ 57 mm), while the tracks are 1,584 mm in front (+ 96 mm) and 1,588 in the rear (+ 78 mm).
The Zafira Tourer features the front axle of the Insignia, with an isolated sub-frame and a McPherson strut. The layout of the rear axle is unique in the monocab segment. Like in the Astra, it combines a compound crank with a Watt’s link. This construction has multiple benefits: While it provides outstanding stability/control, comfort and noise insulation, it is lighter and more compact than a multi-link axle that for instance would not leave enough space to fit the integrated FlexFix bicycle carrier offered in the Zafira Tourer.
Still a rarity in the monocab segment, the intelligent, fully-adaptive FlexRide chassis control system in the Zafira Tourer enhances driving comfort and safety on demand. It automatically adapts to road conditions, cornering speed, vehicle movements and individual driving style to provide maximum stability, and offers a choice between three settings: the balanced Standard mode, the comfort-oriented “Tour” mode and the more active “Sport” mode.

A host of innovative Driver Assistant systems enhance driving comfort and overall safety in the new Zafira Tourer.
A new feature in the Opel range, the radar-based Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) with Collision Mitigating Braking (CMB) constantly monitors the distance to the vehicles ahead. If the set safety distance is not observed, the system automatically reduces vehicle speed or, in extreme cases, triggers emergency braking to prevent a collision.
The Opel Eye front camera system of the second generation also premieres in the Zafira Tourer. While it still features the familiar Lane Departure Warning (LDW), its Traffic Sign Recognition functionality (TSR) is improved and widely extended. The camera also supports new functions such as:
A Following Distance Indication (FDI) that visually informs the driver about the distance to the vehicle ahead.
A Forward Collision Alert (FCA) that warns the driver via visual and acoustic signals about an imminent collision with the vehicle ahead.
An Intelligent Light Ranging system (ILR) that adds a new function to the Bi- Xenon Advanced Forward Lighting system (AFL+): It adjusts the headlamp low beam pattern to the distance from the vehicle ahead and continuously adapts it to optimize roadway illumination without blinding.
Further innovative driver assistant systems also make their premiere in the Zafira Tourer:
The Side Blind Spot Alert (SBSA) warns the driver of an imminent collision when changing lanes.
To facilitate parking maneuvers, the Advanced Park Assist (APA) helps the driver finding an adequate space to park and guides him to get in; and the Rear View Camera makes even difficult maneuvers in tight spaces child's play.
Highly efficient diesel and gasoline engines available at launch
At launch this fall, the Opel Zafira Tourer will be available with three versions of the 2.0 CDTI common-rail turbo diesel engine familiar from the Astra and Insignia. Outputs are 81 kW/110 hp and 96 kW/130 hp, while the unit topping the offer has been reworked to deliver 121 kW/165 hp. The gasoline range comprises two downsized, fuel-efficient 1.4 ECOTEC turbo-charged gasoline units, with 88 kW/120 hp and 103 kW/140 hp. Six-speed manual and automatic transmissions are available.

Opel’s new Start/Stop technology that brings further fuel savings, particularly in urban stop and go traffic, is offered with both the 1.4 Turbo gasoline and 2.0 CDTI powertrains.
Soon after its debut, the Zafira Tourer offer will expand with a super fuel-efficient ecoFLEX model as well as variants powered by Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) and Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG). A few months later, high-performance powertrains will also be introduced, including gasoline units of a completely new generation.
Opel’s extended monocab offer comprises two Zafira models
As the segment of the compact monocab has resumed its growth since the beginning of 2010, it is expected to be further energized by Opel. The current Opel Zafira will remain on offer next to the new, more refined Zafira Tourer, allowing traditional customers to benefit from a functional, flexible compact monocab at a very affordable price.
Opel’s monocab range thus consists of the mini Agila (length: 3.74 meters), the small Meriva (4.29 m), and the compact Zafira (4.47 m) and Zafira Tourer (4.66 m).

Both Zafira models will be built exclusively in Opel’s Bochum plant in Germany.

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