South Carolina Reaches Top Ten in Electric Vehicle Readiness Metrics

Written By Thomas Ponco on Sunday, September 30, 2012 | 10:00 PM

Published October 1, 2012

By Philippe Crowe

When people think of electric vehicle readiness, states like California, Texas, and Oregon come to mind.

One state that is quietly surprising the nation is South Carolina.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy's alternative fuel locator, South Carolina ranks eighth in public charging station locations per capita. South Carolina has 106 locations for its 4.6 million residents. This is close behind California, which places sixth and ahead of Texas, which places fifteenth. Oregon is on top of the list with 258 public locations for its 3.9 million residents.

South Carolina also hosts a unique network. Plug In Carolina is a non-profit coalition that educates the public on electric vehicle benefits. Earlier this year, they secured a grant from the Walmart Foundation that purchases green energy for sixty public charging station locations across the state.

James Poch, Executive Director of Plug In Carolina, sees the network's monthly activity.

“It's a joy to see people charge up across the state,” he said. “With unrest in major oil producing countries creating unstable oil prices, I am proud we have an alternative.”

The state is also one of 10 across the nation to have a state income tax credit for qualified electric vehicles. This supports a growing cluster of companies serving the new industry. Examples include Proterra Inc., the nation's only battery electric bus manufacturer, REMA USA, a manufacturer of electric vehicle connectors, and SEW-Eurodrive who is commercializing wireless charging for electric vehicles.

Spartanburg South Carolina is a city of 40,000 residents and an example of the state's success. The city has twelve public charging station locations and a supportive group of stakeholders. Tonight, Saturday Sept. 28, at its Jazz On The Square event, the city will accept Plug In Carolina's 2012 Plug In City Of The Year.

Plug In Carolina is a non-profit established in 2006. It has the support of SCE&G, Santee Cooper, Progress Energy, Lockhart Power, SC Electric Cooperatives, and SEW-Eurodrive. For the last six years, Plug In Carolina has educated the public on the environmental, economic, and national security benefits of plug in vehicles.

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European car dealers buying own inventory to boost sales figures

News Source: Bloomberg, Automotive News - sub. req.

Image Credit: Matt Cardy/Getty

Category: Car Buying, Europe, Ford, Earnings/Financials

Tags: auto sales, car dealers, car sales, europe, ford, ford europe, roelant de waard

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Mercedes-Benz (W116) 280 SE (Mimosa yellow)

S6 / 2.746 cc / 185 PS / 176 lb/ft (238 Nm) @ 4.500 / 0 - 62 mph (100 km/h): 11,3 s / Vmax: 121 mph (195 km/h)

(click images for a larger view)

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Hennessey releases renderings, details of new Viper-based Venom 700R, 1000 Twin Turbo

Written By Thomas Ponco on Saturday, September 29, 2012 | 8:00 PM

Hennessey Performance is known for taking fast cars and making them even faster. Just imagining what the Texas-based tuner can do with the 2013 SRT Viper is pretty exciting, and it seems like we won't have to wait much longer as Hennessey has released renderings and specs for the new Venom 700R and the Venom 1000 Twin Turbo. After purchasing a 2013 Viper or a Viper GTS ( for $97,395 and $120,395, respectively), those looking to add a little venom to their snake can have the car shipped to Texas for the upgrades; Hennessey has not released pricing for either of its new Venom Viper models.

Stepping up from the base 640 horsepower and 600 pound-feet of torque that the SRT Viper delivers, the Venom 700R gets freer-flowing intake and exhaust, helping to increase the 8.4-liter V10's output up to 725 horses and 695 lb.-ft. of twist. This is done with reworked cylinder heads and exhaust system as well as a retuned engine computer; all with a three-year/36,000-mile warranty. On the 700R, Hennessey claims a 0-60 time of 3.1 second, a quarter-mile time of 10.7 seconds at 134 miles per hour, and a top speed of 216 mph.

If that isn't enough power and speed for you, Hennessey can dig even deeper into the engine and toss on a couple of turbochargers to create the Venom 1000 Twin Turbo. Hennessey says this engine will be rated at 1,120 hp and 1,092 lb.-ft. of torque which can get this car to 60 mph in just 2.7 seconds and through the quarter mile in 9.7 seconds at 152 mph. To accommodate such massive output, almost everything about the Viper's engine has to be upgraded except for the block and crankshaft.

It isn't clear if these stated performance and engine specs are preliminary numbers or actual tested numbers, but they're impressive nonetheless. Options for both cars range from aero upgrades to must-have racing equipment like a rollbar and five-point harnesses.

Check out all of the detailed changes being made to the Hennessey Venom cars in the press release posted below.

Show full PR text
Hennessey Venom® 700R

Available for the 2013 SRT Viper and Viper GTS


• 725 bhp @ 6,400 rpm

• 695 lb-ft torque @ 4,400 rpm


• 0 - 60 mph: 3.1 sec.

• 1/4 mile (street): 10.7 @ 134 mph

• Top Speed: 216 mph

Venom® 700R Upgrade Includes:

• High-Flow Cylinder Heads

• Hennessey Stainless Steel Long Tube Headers

• High-Flow Catalytic Converters

• Stainless Steel 3-inch Exhaust System

• K&N Air Filter

• All Necessary Gaskets & Fluids

• Engine Management Calibration

• Professional Installation

• Venom® 700R & Hennessey® Exterior Badging

• Serial Numbered Dash & Engine Plaques

• Hennessey Premium Floormats

• Professional Installation

• Chassis Dyno Tuning & Road Testing (up to 100 miles)

• 3 Year / 36,000 Mile Limited Warranty

Optional Upgrades:

• VenomAero® Front Carbon Fiber Splitter

• VenomAero® Rear Lip Carbon Fiber Spoiler

• VenomAero® Rear Racing Wing

• VenomAero® Front Carbon Fiber Canards

• Hennessey® Custom Interior Options

• Hennessey® Lightweight Monoblock Wheel Upgrades

• Sabelt 5-point Racing Harnesses with Hennessey® and Venom® Logos

• Penske Double Adjustable Coilover Suspension Upgrade System

• Rear Differential Cooler (recommended for track driving)

• Rollbar System

• Custom Painted Stripe Options

• 2.5 lb Halon Fire Extinguisher

• Carbon Fiber Interior Trim Accessories

Venom® 1000 Twin Turbo Engine Upgrade


• 1,120 bhp @ 6,200 rpm

• 1,092 lb-ft Torque @ 4,200 rpm


• 0-60: 2.7 sec.

• 1/4 mile: 9.7 @ 152 mph

Note: Best acceleration times are attained using optional drag radial tires on a prepped drag strip.

The Venom® 1000 Upgrade Includes:

• Forged Aluminum Pistons (9.2:1 compression ratio)

• Forged Steel Rods & Wrist Pins

• ARP 2000 Rod Bolts

• Thermal Coated Rod Bearings

• Computer Balanced Rotating Assembly

• Twin Precision Ball Bearing Turbochargers

• Front-Mounted Air-to-Air Intercooler

• Polished Stainless Steel Inlet Tubes

• Custom Intercooler Hoses with T-Clamps

• Stainless Steel Turbo Headers

• Stainless Steel Turbo Down Pipes

• External Wastegates

• Stainless Steel 3 Inch Exhaust System

• Upgraded Fuel Injectors, Fuel Pump & Lines

• Upgraded Fuel Pressure Regulator

• All Necessary Gaskets & Fluids

• Engine Management System Upgrade

• Engine Management Calibration

• Hennessey Shift Knob

• Hennessey Premium Floormats

• Hennessey® & Venom® 1000 Twin Turbo Exterior Emblems

• Serial Numbered Dash & Engine Plaques

• Professional Installation

• Chassis Dyno Tuning & Road Testing (up to 100 miles)

• 1 Year / 12,000 Mile Limited Warranty

Optional Upgrades:

• VenomAero® Front Carbon Fiber Splitter

• VenomAero® Rear Lip Carbon Fiber Spoiler

• VenomAero® Rear Racing Wing

• VenomAero® Front Carbon Fiber Canards

• Hennessey® Custom Interior Options

• Hennessey® Lightweight Monoblock Wheel Upgrades

• Sabelt 5-point Racing Harnesses with Hennessey® and Venom® Logos

• Penske Double Adjustable Coilover Suspension Upgrade System

• Rear Differential Cooler (recommended for track driving)

• Rollbar System

• Custom Painted Stripe Options

• 2.5 lb Halon Fire Extinguisher

• Carbon Fiber Interior Trim Accessories

News Source: Hennessey Performance

Category: Aftermarket, Coupe, Performance, SRT

Tags: 2013 hennessey venom, 2013 hennessey venom 1000, 2013 hennessey venom 1000 twin turbo, 2013 hennessey venom 700r, 2013 srt viper, hennessey, srt, venom, viper

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2013 Audi S3 is hot-hatch forbidden fruit par excellence

Related Gallery 2013 Audi S3: Paris 2012

Show full PR text

The new Audi S3

 New 2.0 TFSI with turbocharging and gasoline direct injection

 Ample power and minimal consumption: 221 kW (300 hp) and

380 Nm (280.27 lb-ft) torque, but just 6.9 liters per 100 km

(34.09 US mpg)

 From zero to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) in 5.1 seconds

Ingolstadt, September 21, 2012 – 221 kW (300 hp) of power and 380 Nm

(280.27 lb-ft) of torque – the third-generation Audi S3 raises the bar once again.

Scheduled to launch in early 2013, the lightweight premium compact model

combines its dynamic performance with groundbreaking efficiency and comes

packed with all the high-tech Audi has to offer in every field of technology.


The long-stroke 2.0 TFSI in the Audi S3 has been developed from scratch. The only

thing it has in common with its predecessor, which was named Engine of the Year

five times in a row between 2005 and 2009, is its displacement of 1,984 cc (bore x

stroke 82.5 x 92.8 millimeters [3.25 x 3.65 in]). The four-cylinder unit delivers a

constant 380 Nm (280.27 lb-ft) of torque to the crankshaft between 1,800 and

5,500 rpm. Rated power at 5,500 rpm is 221 kW (300 hp), and the engine redlines

at 6,800 rpm.

The S3 delivers impressive performance. The sprint from zero to 100 km/h

(62.14 mph) is completed in 5.1 seconds when equipped with the S tronic

(5.4 seconds with the manual transmission). The electronically governed top speed

of 250 km/h (155.34 mph) is just a formality. The S3 with S tronic consumes on

average just 6.9 liters of fuel per 100 km (manual: 7.0 liters) [34.09 and

33.60 US mpg]. This corresponds to CO2 emissions 159 (162) grams per kilometer

(255.89 and 260.17 g/mile) and for models equipped with the manual transmission,

an improvement of 1.5 liters compared with the previous version.

The powerful four-cylinder engine features two balance shafts rotating at twice the

speed of the crankshaft for tremendous smoothness. The sound is emotion-inspiring

and sporty. An electromechanical sound actuator at the bulkhead brings the engine

sound to life in the cabin. The exhaust system also includes a sound flap that opens

at certain engine speed ranges to give the S3 a sportily sonorous sound.

The 2.0 TFSI boasts groundbreaking solutions in many fields of technology. One of

these is the additional use of indirect injection. It supplements the FSI gasoline

direct injection at part load to reduce consumption and particulate emissions. FSI

injection, which works at pressures up to 200 bar, is used when starting and at

higher loads.

The developers achieved new degrees of freedom when it comes to filling the

combustion chambers. On the exhaust side, the Audi valvelift system varies the

stroke of the valves in two stages; the camshaft on the intake side can be adjusted

steplessly through 30 degrees of crankshaft angle while 60 degrees of adjustment is

available on the exhaust side. The compression ratio of 9.3:1 is unusually high for a

turbocharged engine.

The exhaust manifold is integrated into the cylinder head, where it is bathed in

coolant. This solution lowers the temperature of the exhaust and accelerates

warmup following a cold start, which lowers consumption during the cold-start

phase. This concept also has a positive effect on fuel consumption during sporty

driving because full-load enrichment is no longer necessary. The large turbocharger

is also a new development. It achieves a maximum boost pressure of up to 1.2 bar

for even more spontaneous engine response. A high-performance intercooler

integrated into the water circuit greatly reduces the temperature of the compressed

air and thus increases the amount of air required for combustion.

With the 2.0 TFSI's innovative thermal management system, two rotary slide valves

consolidated in a single module regulate the flow of coolant. These valves ensure

that the engine oil heats up to its operating temperature soon after the vehicle is

started; they also maintain the coolant temperature, as per a given driving situation,

between 85 and 107 degrees Celsius (185.0° F and 224.6° F). As a result –

regardless of load or engine speed – the valves always strike the perfect balance

between minimal friction and high thermodynamic efficiency.

The 2.0 TFSI has been designed specifically for use in the new Audi S3. Pistons with

stronger bolts and new rings plus reinforced connecting rods with new mounts

transfer the power to the crankshaft. The gray cast iron crankcase has been

reinforced at the main bearing seats and the main bearing cover.

The cylinder head is made of a new, particularly lightweight aluminum-silicon alloy

characterized by high strength and temperature resistance.

An innovative coating on the piston skirts and mounting the balance shafts in roller

bearings keep internal friction low. The regulated oil pump only consumes as much

energy as is necessary for the current driving situation.

Despite its complexity and the high performance, the new 2.0 TFSI weighs just

148 kilograms (326.28 lb) – more than five kilograms (11.02 lb) less than the

previous engine. The dimensions are compact: 603 millimeters (23.74 in) long,

678 millimeters (26.29 in) wide and 664 millimeters (26.14 in) high.


The new Audi S3 comes standard with a manual six-speed transmission with a

lightweight magnesium case. The optional S tronic boasts high efficiency and a tall

sixth gear. The lower gears are short in the interest of dynamics, as is also the case

with the manual transmission.

The S tronic comprises two subunits, with two multi-plate clutches controlling the

gears. The large K1 clutch located on the outside directs the torque via a solid shaft

to the gear wheels for gears 1, 3 and 5. A hollow shaft rotates around the solid shaft.

It is connected to the smaller K2 clutch, which is integrated inside its larger sibling,

and which acts on the gear wheels for gears 2, 4 and 6, as well as reverse.

Both transmission structures are continuously active, but only one of them is

connected to the engine at any one time. For example, when the driver accelerates

in third gear, the fourth gear is already engaged in the second transmission section.

Shifts are performed by switching the clutches. This takes just a few hundredths of a

second and happens so quickly and smoothly that it is barely perceptible.

S tronic can be operated using the short selector lever or with the optional paddles

on the steering wheel. It includes the modes D and S in addition to manual mode.

The driver can activate launch control at the push of a button. This manages starts

with controlled tire slip to deliver maximum engine power to the road.

quattro permanent all-wheel drive is an integral component of the powertrain. It

gives the new top model in the A3 series a decisive edge over its two-wheel-drive

competition. The Audi S3 can accelerate earlier and more safely when exiting a

corner. It remains dynamic and stable under all conditions, particularly in the rain

and snow.

The heart of the quattro drive system is an electronically controlled and

hydraulically actuated multi-plate clutch. In the interest of balance axle load

distribution, it is located at the end of the prop shaft, in front of the rear axle


Inside is a package of plates that rotate in an oil bath. The metal friction rings are

arranged behind one another in pairs – one ring of each pair is rigidly meshed with

the housing, which rotates with the prop shaft; the other ring is meshed with the

output shaft to the rear axle differential.

During normal driving, the clutch sends most of the engine's power to the front

wheels. If traction decreases there, the clutch can transfer torque steplessly to the

rear axle in just a few milliseconds by forcing the packages of plates together via

controlled action. An axial piston pump generates the necessary pressure almost



The new Audi S3 offers the dynamic driving characteristics of a sports car. It

responds to steering input precisely and spontaneously, and takes all types of

corners at high speed and with little body movement. Its handling is precise, safe

and virtually neutral.

One reason for this performance is the finely balanced distribution of the axle loads.

The front axle has been shifted forward 52 millimeters (2.05 in) compared with the

previous model. The new 2.0 TFSI is 5 kilograms (11.02 lb) lighter than the previous

engine and is installed tilted backward by 12 degrees. This layout is a result of the

Group's modular transverse platform, on which the new Audi S3 is based.

The subframe, the pivot bearings in the McPherson front axle, the crash

management system, the front fenders and the engine hood are made of aluminum.

All together they save 17 kilograms (37.48 lb) of weight. The front wheel

suspension has a track width of 1,535 millimeters (60.43 in). A stabilizer bar is used

front and rear.

Another innovation in the Audi S3 is progressive steering. The steering rack is geared

in such a way that the ratio varies. It is somewhat more indirect around the center

and very direct when steered sharply. For the driver, this technology combines a

pleasantly smooth character when driving straight ahead with highly spontaneous

response in tight corners.

The powerful electric motor providing the servo boost harmonizes perfectly with the

character of the steering system, decreasing its output as speed increases. It

consumes no energy when driving straight ahead and thus reduces fuel consumption

by as much as 0.3 liters per 100 kilometers. The progressive steering works closely

together with various systems on board the new S3, such as the standard rest

recommendation and the optional Audi active lane assist and park assist systems.

The four-link rear suspension has a track width of 1,511 millimeters (59.49 in). Its

sword-shaped trailing links absorb the propulsion and braking forces. Their bearings

are large and relatively elastic in the interest of a more comfortable ride. On the

other hand, the three wishbones per wheel for absorbing lateral forces are attached

very rigidly to the steel subframe for improved handling. All of the bearings are

sportily taut compared with the A3.

The links of the rear axle are made of high-strength steels; the wheel carriers are

aluminum. The shock absorbers and the compact coil springs are separate from one

another, resulting in sensitive response and a high luggage capacity. The sport

suspension lowers the body by 25 millimeters (0.98 in) compared with the A3.

The new Audi S3 rolls on 7.5 J x 18 alloy wheels with 225/40-series tires. The wheels

sport an S-specific design with five parallel spokes. They are produced using

sophisticated flow forming technology, in which the outer rim is rolled out over a

cylinder at high pressure and high temperature. While the system is shaping the

wheel blank it is also strengthening the material, which allows for thinner wall

thicknesses – the wheel is lighter, yet stronger. Despite their dynamic performance,

the tires also feature low rolling resistance and thus contribute to the efficiency of

the Audi S3.

The brakes of the new S3 can be very precisely metered. The pedal feel is

spontaneous and firm. The front discs are internally vented and measure

340 millimeters (13.39 in) in diameter. The black brake calipers are emblazoned

with S3 logos. The new electromechanical parking brake, which the driver operates

via a button, is integrated into the rear axle brake system. The latest evolution of the

ESC electronic stabilization control intercedes very precisely.

Audi drive select comes standard in the new Audi S3. It incorporates the

characteristics of the electronic accelerator, the boost of the progressive steering

and the shift points of the optional S tronic. The driver determines with the push of a

button whether these systems operate in comfort, auto, dynamic, efficiency or

individual mode. In individual mode (available with the MMI radio or above), drivers

can compose their own preferred profile within certain limits.

In efficiency mode, the function of the standard deluxe automatic air conditioning,

the cruise control or adaptive cruise control and the adaptive light is modified for

optimal fuel consumption. In this case, the S tronic switches to coasting mode when

the driver takes his or her foot off the gas pedal.

Another optional module integrated into Audi drive select is the electromagnetic

damper control system Audi magnetic ride. A synthetic hydrocarbon oil containing

microscopically small magnetic particles circulates within the damper pistons. When

a coil applies a voltage, the particles align perpendicular to the direction of flow of

the oil, impeding its flow through the channels in the pistons.

The control unit constantly analyzes the condition of the road and the driver's style,

repeatedly adapting the damper forces within milliseconds. The driver can choose

between three modes. The new S3 is balanced in normal mode and tightly connected

to the road in sport mode. Steering response becomes even more spontaneous, and

yaw movements are largely suppressed.


Ultra lightweight construction is an Audi core competence. The new S3 weighs no

more than 1,395 kilograms (3,075.45 lb), a value that is easily the best in its

competitive environment. Compared with the previous model, curb weight has been

reduced by 60 kilograms (132.28 lb). Thanks to hot-shaped, high-tech steels, the

body-in-white alone represents a weight saving of 28 kilograms (61.73 lb) over the

previous model. The large aluminum parts in the front section of the car round out

the lightweight construction concept.

The three-door body of the S3 is also very stiff, crash-safe and quiet.

A noiseinsulating windshield is standard. The coefficient of drag is just 0.33. The new Audi

S3 is 4,254 millimeters (13.96 ft) long, 1,777 millimeters (5.83 ft) wide and

1,435 millimeters (4.71 ft) tall. Its wheelbase measures 2,595 millimeters (8.51 ft),

17 millimeters (0.67 in) more than its predecessor.

Exterior design

The new Audi S3 has a firm and sporty road stance. Each element of the design is

precise and distinctive. The athletic sculpture with the low engine hood, the

characteristic tornado line below the windows and the sharply sloped C-pillars

stretch the body visually. Audi supplies xenon plus headlights with LED daytime

running lights as standard. The flat rear lights, into which the adaptive brake light is

integrated, are also fitted with light-emitting diodes.7/9

The xenon-based Audi adaptive light swivels into curves. It is also linked to the

navigation system and can be upgraded with special lighting functions of urban,

interurban and highway driving, as well as for intersections and tourist attractions.

When combined with the front-facing camera, the light-dark boundary of the

headlights is automatically and steplessly adjusted for substantially improved

visibility and safety.

A true first in the premium compact class are the optional LED headlights, which

previously have only been available in full-size models. The low beams are generated

in two free-form reflectors with a total of nine high-performance LED chips. Ten

high-performance LEDs in the matt aluminum trim provide the high beams.

Depending on the features chosen, the high beams are switched on automatically

and LED cornering lights illuminate tight corners. Interurban, highway and tourist

attraction lighting round out the lighting convenience functions. The all-weather

lights enhance safety in fog or snow.

The Audi S3 sports the S-specific single-frame grille as a symbol of uncompromised

sportiness. The frame has an aluminum-look finish, and the insert is matt platinum

gray. The horizontal double bars also shine in an aluminum-look finish. The newly

designed bumper features aluminum-look double ribs integrated into the lateral air

inlets. Pronounced edges frame the large air inlets with the high-gloss black

honeycomb inserts. Additional implied air openings are found toward the wheels.

When viewed from the side, the aluminum-look exterior mirrors and the pronounced

side sills catch the eye. The rear bumper has also been redesigned. The platinum

gray diffuser houses the exhaust system's four oval tailpipes, which sport chrome

tips. A large roof spoiler generates downforce on the rear axle.

S badges adorn the rear and the single-frame grille. Highlights among the 14 colors

available for the Audi S3 are the exclusive crystal-effect finishes Panther Black and

Estoril Blue.


The athletic design of the exterior carries over into the interior. A distinct arch

encircles the instrument panel; slim and low, the instrument panel appears to float

on the center console. Large, round air vents, the elegant control panel for the air

conditioning and the decorative inlays in matt brushed aluminum or a black 3D look

provide exquisite accents. The controls are clear and intuitive, as in every Audi. The

quality is unsurpassed and there is a generous amount of room. Luggage capacity is

365 liters (12.89 cu ft), which can be increased to 1,100 liters (38.85 cu ft) by

folding down the rear seats.8/9

The instrument dials are gray, the needles white. Another S-specific feature can be

found on the tachometer, which now includes a boost pressure indicator. The driver

information system with rest recommendation is standard; the power-retractable

on-board monitor (standard with the MMI radio and above) powers up to display a

special S3 screen when the ignition is turned. The optional leather multifunction

sport steering wheel has been redesigned with the flat-bottomed rim. In models

equipped with S tronic, it also has aluminum-look shift paddles. The pedals and

footrest are made of brushed aluminum.

The sport seats with the pull-out seat cushions are also a new development. The

seat coverings are one of three variants: In the first, the large side bolsters are

covered in Pearl Nappa leather while the seat center sections are covered in cloth.

The second is a combination of perforated Alcantara and Pearl Nappa leather. The

third variant is a mix of Velvet leather with Fine Nappa leather. Audi also offers

optional S sport seats with integrated head restraints and diamond quilting.

The interior of the S3, including the headlining, is in black with contrasting stitching.

The two-color Audi design selection in black/parade red is available as an option.

S logos adorn the door sill strips, the steering wheel, the gear/selector lever knob

and the instruments. The two-zone deluxe automatic air conditioning and the

storage package are standard in the Audi S3.


If desired, Audi equips the new S3 with all of the groundbreaking mobile

infotainment and driver assistance solutions available for the model series. Audi

connect is the name for a broad range of tailored online services that network

drivers with their surroundings and rapidly supply them with key information in an

easy-to-comprehend format.

Audi has designed a variety of infotainment elements for using the new services,

topped by MMI navigation plus with MMI touch. The high-end system boasts a

super-flat, power-retractable, seven-inch monitor and a new operating concept in

which MMI touch is integrated into the rotary pushbutton. The Audi Phone Box

connects cell phones to the vehicle in a convenient way, and the sound system from

Bang & Olufsen offers pure hi-fi enjoyment, with LED light guides accentuating the

woofers in the doors.

The assistance systems in the S3 come directly from the full-size class. The range

begins with adaptive cruise control, which when combined with the safety system

Audi pre sense front brings the car to a stop autonomously from speeds below

30 km/h (18.64 mph), and continues through Audi side assist, Audi active lane

assist and camera-based traffic sign recognition to the park assist system. There are

also a number of sporty and convenient options, including adaptive light (also with

variable headlight range control), the convenience key and the panoramic glass roof.

The Audi S3 will arrive at dealerships in early 2013. The base price in Germany is


Image Credit: Live images copyright 2012 Jonathon Ramsey / AOL

Category: Car Buying, Performance, Europe, Paris Motor Show, Hatchback, Audi, Luxury

Tags: 2013 audi s3, audi, hot hatch, performance hatchback, quattro, s3, turbo, turbocharged

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Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Electric Drive (Platin blue chrom)

Electric / 750 PS / 738 ft/lb (1.000 Nm) / Range: 150 miles (250 km) / Charging time: 3 (with Wallbox) to 20 hours / AWD / 0 - 62 mph (100 km/h): 3,9 s / Vmax: 155 mph (250 km/h)

(click images for a larger view)

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Honda: Revised CR-Z, Three New Hybrids &amp; Fuel Cell Vehicle To Come

Written By Thomas Ponco on Friday, September 28, 2012 | 9:30 PM

Published September 29, 2012

By Philippe Crowe

Honda has big plans on the hybrid and fuel cell front.

First, Honda has updated the sporty CR-Z hybrid with a range of improvements focusing on style and performance.

The car features a lithium-ion battery for the first time and a Plus Sport (S+) boost system to help the driver make the best use of the vehicle’s sporty performance.

The CR-Z’s 1.5-liter gas engine has been updated with changes to the variable valve timing system and Engine Control Unit (ECU). An anti-vibration knock sensor has been introduced and the material of the crankshaft has been upgraded. The peak power output has been increased from 112 horsepower to 119.4 horsepower.

The electric motor system has also been improved. The change from a Nickel-metal hybrid (Ni-MH) to a Lithium Ion battery has been accompanied by an increase in power from 10 kw to 15 kw.

Working in unison, the Integrated Motor Assist (IMA) hybrid system now delivers a combined output of 135 horsepower at 6,600 rpm and 140 pound-feet of torque. The 0-62 mph sprint time falls from 9.7 seconds to 9.0 and top speed is 124 mph. The combined consumption is 56.5 UK mpg (47 U.S. mpg).

To help the driver make the best use of this sporty performance, Honda has introduced a Plus Sport (S+) boost system. If the battery is more than 50 percent charged, the driver can activate this system using the S+ button on the steering wheel. When the accelerator is pressed the electric boost begins, delivering increased acceleration for up to ten seconds. A flashing gauge on the dashboard indicates when the system is active. S+ can be used in ECON, Normal or Sport modes.

New range of hybrid technologies

Honda firmly believes hybrid technology will play a critical role in the reduction of CO2 emissions. Honda intends to build on its hybrid expertise to introduce three new hybrid systems.

Each system will possess unique characteristics and their deployment will reflect varying customer needs. Firstly, Honda will further develop its lightweight and compact one-motor hybrid system with the aim of achieving No. 1 fuel economy among all hybrid vehicles. Improvements in motor output and battery performance and a newly developed transmission will help to extend the zero emission electric driving range.

Honda is also developing a new more powerful two-motor hybrid system for mid-size vehicles.

Finally, a highly efficient and high output 3-motor hybrid system, the Sport Hybrid SH-AWD (Super Handling All Wheel Drive) will focus on driving performance. This technology will be applied to the new NSX.

Honda believes this range of new hybrid technologies will deliver unrivaled driving performance and fuel economy.

Next generation Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle

Honda is also considering fuel cell electric vehicles as an option. It sees them as the ultimate environmentally-responsible technology and as such, has attempted to lead the industry in R&D and sales activity.

The introduction of the FCX Clarity in 2008, demonstrated Honda’s progress in this field.

Starting in 2015, Honda will launch an all-new fuel cell electric model which will showcase the significant technological advancements and cost reductions that Honda has accomplished since the launch of the FCX Clarity in 2008. This model will be introduced to Japan, U.S. and Europe.

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BMW debuts M Performance add-ons for 3 Series

Related Gallery 2013 BMW 3 Series M Performance: Paris 2012

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Driving pleasure made to measure, inspired by motor racing: the new BMW M Performance accessory program.

The newly structured program in the BMW M Performance product area enables selective customisation with a clear focus on a particularly intensive driving experience. Since spring 2012, BMW M Performance products specially developed for the BMW 5 Series, the new BMW 3 Series and the new BMW 1 Series have been available as part of the Original BMW Accessories range. The retrofit components designed in close collaboration with BMW M GmbH in the areas of powertrain, suspension, aerodynamics and cockpit provide a tangible increase in driving dynamics by enhancing engine power, reducing weight and optimising aerodynamic properties. What is more, they add a striking touch of sporty style to the appearance and interior styling of each vehicle.

At the 2012 Paris Motor Show, the diversity and harmoniously coordinated qualities of the BMW M Performance accessories program will be demonstrated in the new BMW 335i Sedan. The equipment features of the most powerful petrol engine variant of the Sedan include 20-inch BMW M Performance light alloy wheels, a BMW M Performance brake system, the new BMW M Performance suspension - available from September 2012 - and the BMW M Performance aerodynamic package based on the new currently available M Sports package. Additional accentuations are provided by a rear spoiler, exterior mirror caps in carbon and a radiator grille in high-gloss black, also from the BMW M Performance accessories program. In the interior, the BMW M Performance steering wheel with Race Display, interior strips in Alcantara with open-pore carbon, BMW M Performance stainless steel pedals and a gearshift lever knob and handbrake handle with Alcantara gaiter make for a distinctly sporty atmosphere.

Like the BMW M Performance products already available for the high-performance sports cars BMW M3, BMW 1 Series M Coupe, BMW X5 M and BMW X6 M, the program developed for the models of the BMW 5 Series, BMW 3 Series and BMW 1 Series ensure an authentic transfer of M specific motor racing technology to everyday driving. The BMW M Performance accessory products reflect the excellent standards of the BMW Group in terms of design, quality and safety. They are subject to the comprehensive BMW warranty terms. What is more, retrofitting these items has no impact whatsoever on the warranty terms as applicable to the vehicle in question. Sales and installation are taken care of by the BMW and BMW M dealer network, BMW subsidiaries and authorised BMW Service workshops.

Optimised aerodynamic properties, powerfully expressive design.

BMW M Performance accessory products in the area of aerodynamics effectively optimise not only air conduction but also the dynamic charisma of the respective vehicle. These products can be installed in vehicles fitted with the M Sports package optionally available ex works or a retrofitted

M aerodynamic package. This lends even greater individual emphasis to the dynamic character of a vehicle, further enhancing its existing sporty design. Since spring 2012, BMW M Performance accessory products have been available for the BMW 5 Series Sedan and the BMW 5 Series Touring as well as for the 5-door BMW 1 Series and the BMW 3 Series Sedan. From autumn 2012, large sections of this range will also be available for the recently launched model variants 3-door BMW 1 Series and BMW 3 Series Touring.

The product portfolio includes aerodynamic components for the front section, diffuser inserts for the rear apron and side sill foliations with M Performance inscription. In addition, the dynamics of the side air ducting is given further emphasis by the use of the BMW M Performance side sill attachments on the new BMW 1 Series and the new BMW 3 Series Sedan. BMW M Performance rear and roof edge spoilers, rear fins, black radiator grille and Top Stripes are also offered in model-specific design. Other products derived from motor racing include BMW M Performance exterior mirror caps in carbon finish and a carbon rear spoiler for the new BMW 3 Series and the BMW 5 Series Sedan.

A tangible increase in dynamic performance: BMW M Performance accessory products in the area of suspension.

A definite bonus in terms of agility and precision in drivability is provided by the BMW M Performance accessory products in the area of suspension. A BMW M Performance suspension with distinctively sporty settings and a particularly large-scale yet weight-optimised BMW M Performance brake system are available for the new BMW 1 Series and the new BMW 3 Series. The brake system, featuring aluminium fixed calipers at both front and rear, guarantees a constantly high level of deceleration even under high thermal stress. Its perforated, inner-vented sports brake discs measure 370 x 30 millimetres at the front (diameter x thickness) and 345 x 24 millimetres at the rear. The brake calipers are fitted with four and two pistons each at the front and rear respectively and can be recognised by the four-colour M logo.

The BMW M Performance accessory range also includes exclusive light alloy wheels specifically designed for each model. 20-inch M light alloy wheels in V-spoke design are available for the BMW 5 Series: these are offered either in the colour Liquid Black or in the bi-colour finish characteristic of BMW M Performance and can be used with mixed tyres. The M light alloy wheels in double spoke design developed for the new BMW 3 Series and for the new BMW 1 Series likewise have a striking bi-colour appearance. The weight-optimised forged wheels effectively contribute to the reduction of unsprung masses, thereby enhancing the agility and steering response of the vehicle. They are available in the 19-inch size for the BMW 1 Series and as 20-inch wheels for the BMW 3 Series, both with mixed tyres.

Pulling power enhanced, efficiency preserved: BMW M Performance Power Kit.

Based on first-hand expertise, the BMW M Performance Power Kit for the 4-cylinder diesel engine with BMW TwinPower Turbo Technology paves the way to an extra portion of driving pleasure drawing on top-class technology and a contemporary philosophy. In selected 4-cylinder diesel models of the BMW 5 Series Sedan and the BMW 5 Series Touring, the new BMW 3 Series and the new BMW 1 Series, this offer perceptibly increases engine power and torque without affecting these vehicles' low levels of fuel consumption and exhaust emissions based on the EU test cycle. The BMW M Performance Power Kit is available for the BMW 520d, the new BMW 320d and the new BMW 120d. It comprises software and hardware components which are perfectly dovetailed and specially developed for the 2.0-litre 4-cylinder diesel with all-aluminium crankcase, common rail direct injection and turbocharger. Selective modifications in the area of engine control impact positively on power delivery. A larger charge air cooler enables adaptation to changed thermal conditions.

In this way, the peak output of the 4-cylinder diesel engine is raised from 135 kW/184 bhp to 147 kW/200 bhp. Maximum torque, available from just 1,750 rpm, is increased to 420 Nm. The most important outcome of this increase in power is an optimisation of acceleration figures in all models. This is something the driver can clearly feel, including an increase in acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h of up to 1.0 seconds. However, this enhanced driving pleasure has no effect whatsoever on the exemplary fuel consumption and CO2 emission figures of the respective models in the EU test cycle. What is more, the high quality standard of the BMW M Performance Power Kit guarantees unlimited reliability of the engine, so the warranty terms for vehicles in which it is installed remain valid as before.

At a later stage the range will be extended to include a BMW M Performance Power Kit for petrol engines. The first petrol engine models have already offered the option of being fitted with an BMW M Performance silencer system since spring 2012. Without impairing the long-distance comfort of the vehicle in question, this system gives the engine acoustics a discreet but audibly sporty touch. The reduction of exhaust counterpressure also results in improved response characteristics.

The BMW M Performance silencer system is available in model-specific form for the 6-cylinder models BMW 640i, BMW 535i and BMW 335i, as well as for the BMW 125i, which is new to the model portfolio. Both an acoustic and a visual accentuation is added to the this petrol engine variant of the new

BMW 1 Series. The BMW M Performance silencer system comprises a twin tailpipe as is typical of 6-cylinder models. Silencer systems for other engine variants are already in preparation and are due to go on the market during the course of 2012.

Retrofit of the BMW M Performance Power Kit is now visible from the outside due to an M Performance inscription sticker on the rear section of the side sill. This additional labelling does not apply in conjunction with a

BMW M Performance aerodynamic package.

High-quality materials, innovative technology, characteristic design: cockpit in sports car style.

Owners of a BMW 5 Series, a new BMW 3 Series or a new BMW 1 Series can also selectively customise the interior of their vehicle with BMW M Performance accessory products, allowing especially intensive enjoyment of the driving experience typical of the brand. For example, the BMW M Performance sports steering wheel is available for the current models of these series. It has a rim which is flattened at the bottom, a carbon trim element and a central marking in red leather at the 12 o'clock position, while its Alcantara covering provides an excellent grip and pleasant haptics in all temperatures. The version of the steering wheel designed for the BMW 5 Series also features an "M Performance" model inscription on the trim element.

A BMW M Performance sports steering wheel including Race Display will also be available for the new BMW 3 Series and the new BMW 1 Series from November 2012. An OLED display is integrated in the upper section of the steering wheel rim showing a range of technical data such as oil and cooling water temperature as well as the shift point indicator. A number of different display modes can also be activated using the steering wheel''s multifunction buttons. In the EfficientDynamics mode, information is provided on optimised fuel efficiency. The Sports mode enables the use of a stopwatch function as well as display of transverse acceleration rates. In the Race mode, time can be measured to the nearest hundredth of a second and there is also a memory function.

For further enhancement of the driver workspace in the style of a sports car, there are BMW M Performance stainless steel pedals, a BMW M Performance driver footrest and interior strips in Alcantara and carbon, as well as a carbon handbrake handle with Alcantara gaiter. The gearshift lever or gear selector switch - depending on the configuration of the vehicle - is also available in carbon. In the products developed for the new BMW 3 Series and the new BMW 1 Series, an open-pore carbon is used for the first time which creates a harmonious, discreet overall impression due to its matt structure combined with the Alcantara surfaces. Selected products are also labelled with the

"M Performance" inscription or the M logo so as to emphasise their sporty styling.

Both in terms of style and function, all BMW M Performance products are specifically geared towards further enhanced driving dynamics as well as adding a touch of sporty flair to the outward appearance and interior character of the respective vehicle. All components of the BMW M Performance accessory program are available individually. This allows drivers to add clear sporty accentuations in the areas which are particularly important to them personally. Thanks to their precisely harmonised qualities, BMW M Performance accessory products can also be combined to create an integrated package for increased dynamic performance and driving pleasure.

News Source: BMW

Image Credit: Copyright 2012 Zach Bowman / AOL

Category: Aftermarket, Sedan, Performance, Paris Motor Show, BMW, Luxury

Tags: 3 series, 3 series m performance, 328i, 335i, bmw, bmw m, m performance, paris, paris 2012, paris motor show

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Peugeot Shows Diesel-Hybrid Onyx Concept

Published September 28, 2012

By Jeff Cobb

Skinned with hand-formed copper and carbon fiber, Peugeot’s Onyx 680-horsepower diesel hybrid is on display in Paris.

The 2,425-pound car is not slated for production, but is presented as a compelling vision showing how far from everyday sensible a hybrid can be – while still being quite sensible and sustainable in other respects.

It's all-wheel drive, and the Onyx rotates the rear wheels via a 600-horsepower 3.7-liter V8 turbodiesel through a 6-speed sequential gearbox. It also merges that considerable propulsion with 80 electric horsepower sent to the front wheels powered by a lithium-ion battery.

A kinetic energy recovery system called HYbrid4 replenishes the juice via electricity generated under deceleration.

Despite Peugeot’s weakened financial position, it says it brought the car to life in part to show what its engineers can nonetheless do.

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As a further example of their eco-innovation, the interior is made of one-piece wool felt, compressed and stretched into a one-piece pod.

No stitching or joining techniques were used for the felt covering seats, parts of the dashboard, floors, and in place of soundproofing.

Another nod to the ecologically minded are recycled newspapers made into elements of the dashboard. The material is formed into a kind of wood, and Peugeot says you can also see some of the original newsprint if you look closely enough.

Perhaps these ideas will find their way into Peugeots people can actually buy. As is the norm with over-the-top concepts, that too, is part of the intent.

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Cadillac Series 62 Convertible

V8 / 5.422 cc / 162 PS / 312 lb/ft (423 Nm) @ 1.800 / 0 - 62 mph (100 km/h): 17,1 s / Vmax: 90 mph (145 km/h)

(click images for a larger view)

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September sales forecasted to increase 11 percent

News Source:

Image Credit: Kevork Djansezian/Getty

Category: Car Buying, Earnings/Financials

Tags: auto sales, car sales, jesse toprak, kelley blue book, saar, september 2012, truecar,

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Espera Sbarro Eight Concept is the best student project car in history

Related Gallery Espera Sbarro Eight Concept: Paris 2012

Image Credit: Copyright 2012 Drew Phillips / AOL

Category: Aftermarket, Concept Cars, Performance, Technology, Paris Motor Show, Maserati, Specialty, Design/Style, Infotainment

Tags: Espera Sbarro Montbeliard School of Design, orange, paris, paris 2012, paris motor show, sbarro, sbarro eight

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