Tuesday, October 6, 2009

The New Mercedes Benz E-Class Coupe 2010

The 2010 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Coupe is new this year, replacing the old CLK-class two-door in the automaker’s global family of cars. It’s longer and wider than the car it replaces, and more expensive, too—leaving it a bit more exclusive and slightly less sporting than the vehicle that’s been its natural competitor, the BMW 3-Series. TheCarConnection.com’s editors drove both the E350 Coupe and E550 Coupe on a press preview in Las Vegas, and this road test highlights the impressions from a day’s worth of high-speed touring through the Nevada desert. At first glance, the 2010 E-Class Coupe is fairly striking. It shucks all the soft, feminine, conservative shapes of the old CLK for crisp details and a big, bold star on the grille. Is it beautiful? That’s not immediately clear at first glance, but for sure, the new E-Class Coupe is engaging to see, especially on the road. There are details that seem perfectly in place, like that big medallion up front and those emphatic twin “lamellas” (the louvers in the grille). Other cues, like the rear fender folds, echo 1950s Benz coupes to a mixed effect. Inside, though, there’s no arguing with the high-quality finishes and appeal of the E-Class Coupe’s cabin. It’s swathed in walnut and leather, along with a handsome set of gauges as clear as any you’ll see in a luxury coupe.
The E-Class Coupe is either an E350 or an E550, depending on which engine you choose. The 268-horsepower V-6 two-door, with a base price of under $49,000, is less expensive than before but a better performer. There’s a fine mechanical whir to the engine note as it clips by 60 mph in about six seconds and hammers to a 130-mph top speed, with the tranquil stability of a Swiss Alp in motion. The 382-horsepower V-8 edition simply cuts that acceleration time to about five seconds and turns the whir into an exhaust bark filtered into the cabin in the best way possible. A paddle-shifted seven-speed automatic sends power from either engine to the rear wheels, and does it seamlessly unless the optional Sport mode is engaged; shifts are quicker and a little less happy in commuter-style driving. Handling isn’t razor-sharp as in a BMW 3-series, but the E-Class Coupe excels in loafing—maintaining utter control in curves with a light touch to its steering and braking—though TheCarConnection.com’s editors far prefer the base car’s mechanical suspension setup and predictable nature to the V-8’s electronically assisted shocks and somewhat jittery feel. Two passengers ride in bliss in the E-Class Coupe; four will stretch the boundaries of the coupe’s rear-seat headliner and the passengers' friendship. Test drivers couldn’t find much comfort in the back, where tall adults will get intimate with the headliner. In front, the seats are easy to set into a comfort zone good for hundreds of miles; heating and ventilation are also offered. Trunk space is very good for a two-door, and the quality feel of the E-Class Coupe isn’t limited to its wood and leather—the absence of harsh road noise even at 130 mph is remarkable.
The 2010 E-Class Coupe likely will achieve top safety scores when it’s tested by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), based on performance from other Mercedes vehicles and the E-Class in particular.Mercedes installs even more airbags this time; pelvic airbags are standard, while rear-seat side airbags are offered. A rash of new tech features will help keep drivers safe in an accident, they promise: Distronic Plus prepares the car for impact by braking, to cut impact speeds, while Attention Assist shows a coffee cup on the gauges when the car’s computers infer that the driver is getting drowsy (no magic—just measuring inputs of throttle, steering, and braking).
Every 2010 E-Class Coupe comes with wood and leather trim, a telescoping steering wheel, Bluetooth, and an audio system with Sirius Satellite Radio and an input for MP3 players, along with a panoramic sunroof. The E550 adds its electronic suspension, new wheels, and tires. Options include a Sport package with AMG-style wheels; a voice-activated navigation system with hard-drive music storage; premium leather; and a Harman/Kardon premium audio system. It may no longer be a sporty competitor for the BMW 3-Series Coupe—and that may be exactly what Mercedes has in mind with the 2010 E-Class Coupe. As it’s grown, the E-Class has taken some styling risks while keeping its more conservative driving character intact. With that, it’s created a class of its own: the luxury coupe that makes its statement on style and speed.
The 2010 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Coupe brings four-passenger seating and high style to a price point that rises above its old rival, the BMW 3-Series Coupe. Still, shoppers for premium coupes will look at the BMW two-door, which has also grown heftier in its latest version. The BMWhandles more crisply and steers truer, but it's no more handsome and has a bit less interior room than the E-Class Coupe.
source : thecarconnection.com

Sunday, September 27, 2009

New Jaguar Cars 2009-2010

2010 Jaguar XJ-Series Performance & Efficiency Standard Features :
Supercharger compressor

5,000 cc 5.0 liters V 8 front engine with 92.5 mm bore, 93.0 mm stroke, 9.5 compression ratio, double overhead cam, variable valve timing/camshaft and four valves per cylinder AJ-V8

Premium unleaded fuel 91

Gasoline direct injection fuel system

21.7 gallon main premium unleaded fuel tank 18.1

Power: 380 kW , 510 HP SAE @ 6,000 rpm; 461 ft lb , 625 Nm @ 2,500 rpm
2010 Jaguar XJ-Series Performance & Efficiency Standard Features :
Supercharger compressor

5,000 cc 5.0 liters V 8 front engine with 92.5 mm bore, 93.0 mm stroke, 9.5 compression ratio, double overhead cam, variable valve timing/camshaft and four valves per cylinder AJ-V8

Premium unleaded fuel

Gasoline direct injection fuel system

21.7 gallon main premium unleaded fuel tank 18.1

Power: 346 kW , 470 HP SAE and 424 ft lb , 575 Nm @ 2,500 rpm

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Jaguar XK Coupe

Flowing lines, echoed lineage, distinctive design touches, all sculpted in lightweight aluminum—an amalgam of power, dramatic styling, relevant technology and pure luxury.1
  • 300-horsepower, 4.2-liter engine
  • 6-speed ZF automatic transmission with Jaguar Sequential Shift steering wheel mounted paddle shifting
  • Standard 19-in. Carelia wheels
  • Optional 19-in. chromed Sabre wheels
  • Optional 19-in. chromed Sabre wheels with run flat tires
  • Optional 20-in. Senta wheels
  • Dual-stage airbags and side, seat-mounted airbags for front occupants
  • TracDSC (Dynamic Stability Control)
  • Enhanced Computer Active Technology Suspension (eCATS)
  • Tire Pressure Monitoring System
  • Keyless Entry and Keyless Start
  • Bright-finish side window surround and trunk plinth
  • Body-colored spoiler and power side vents
  • Dual tailpipes with bright finishers
  • Supple, hand-selected leather seating surfaces
  • 10-way power-adjustable driver and front passenger seats
  • Rich, high-gloss Burl Walnut or satin-finish American Walnut interior trim
  • 7-in. touchscreen for audio, telephone, climate, navigation, personalization, and valet
  • Available Luxury Package
  • Available Aluminum Luxury Package
  • Front and Rear Park Control
  • SIRIUS® Satellite Radio (subscription required)(jaguarusa.com)

Ferrari F430 Spider in Performance Car

“imagine the noise you’d get if you put Chewbacca’s tackle in a blender, and that’s what the Ferrari’s V8 sounds like when it comes on cam. It is Brilliant!”

Instantly the small Ferrari feels right; light, keen, wieldy, and explosively fast, it is everything you would expect of a mid-engined Italian.

The F430 is, unquestionably, the pinnacle.

The way it drives is every bit as special as the spec sheet promises, the gearbox hammering through its ratios at lightning speed, V8 soundtrack ricocheting off the Welsh hills, grin irremovably planted on driver’s face. It’s a more urgent experience than the Diablo promises, tangibly more special than the R8, and absolutely everything a Ferrari should be.

Even when it oversteered on the cold tarmac, which it did a couple of times, the compact size and beautifully-judged steering was so good it just wasn’t intimidating.

“The thing with the Ferrari is the sound. I was following two cars behind in the Renault, wearing a helmet, and I could hear it perfectly. Just awesome.”

Laban sums the F430 up in typically succinct style: “It’s still the one with all the magic.” As the pictures prove, it would look great on a skiing holiday too. (ferrari.co.uk)

Friday, January 2, 2009

Audi A6 Avant

Sporty Station Wagon

The Audi A6 Avant comes only in a single version. It has a 3.2-liter V6 engine, Audi’s quattro all-wheel drive and a Tiptronic six-speed automatic transmission with manual-shift capability. (The A6 Sedan, by comparison, can also be ordered as a front-wheel-drive car, or as one with a V8 engine.)

The Audi A6 Avant has a richly appointed, bank-vault-quiet interior and a supple suspension — this wagon excels at isolating occupants from road irregularities. It is also an agile handler that doesn’t mind some spirited driving from time to time.

The quattro system offers superior grip on slick roads and improves dry-road handling and performance. As in any all-wheel-drive system, one of quattro’s downsides is poor fuel economy.

Standard safety features for the Audi A6 Avant include front, front-side and side-curtain airbags, electronic stability control, brake assist and electronic brake-force distribution. Rear side airbags are optional. (forbesautos.com)

Lexus IS 250

A Kinder, Gentler Sport Sedan

The European-flavored Lexus sedan rides on a longer wheelbase with a lowered stance than the model it replaced. The IS 250 offers an attractive exterior, with muscular styling cues borrowed from the larger Lexus GS sedans. In addition, the IS 250 offers a choice of rear- or all-wheel drive.

The 3 Series still leads the pack in this compact segment, even though the Lexus IS 250 performs competently in many ways. It is comfortable, with plenty of standard and optional features. It also has parent company Toyota’s reputation for long-term reliability going for it. But it doesn't quite match up to the 3 Series in terms of driving dynamics.

The X Package of optional trim and equipment is offered for the rear-wheel-drive IS 250. The package is designed to enhance the car’s looks and handling. It includes a stiffer, sport-tuned suspension, alloy pedals, illuminated scuff plates, a lower front spoiler, and alloy wheels. A power sunroof can also be added. A Premium Package of options that costs extra on the rear-drive model is standard with the all-wheel-drive model. It adds heated and ventilated power front seats with perforated leather upholstery and bird’s-eye maple trim.(forbesautos.com)

BMW Alpina B7

Seven Series on Steroids'

The Alpina B7 is for hardcore car enthusiasts who think the capable BMW7 Series Sedan isn't fast or exclusive enough. The Alpina B7 takes the 7 Series Sedans' basic characteristics and amplifies them. But be ready to open your wallet and pony up well over six figures for one of the rarest cars on the road.

Besides the exclusivity factor, the main difference is under the hood. Alpina fits BMW’s 4.4-liter V8 engine with a supercharger to boost power and pairs it with a six-speed automatic transmission. That combination produces 500 horsepower at 5,500 rpm and 516 pound-feet of torque for a 4.8-second sprint to 60 miles per hour. Not bad for a car that weighs more than two tons.

Alpina is based in Buchloe, Germany, and is well known among industry insiders. It has been modifying luxury cars for decades and the quality of its work is high enough to be endorsed by major automakers like BMW.

An example of the companies engineering prowess and impeccable craftsmanship can be seen in the steering-wheel-mounted buttons it adds to the B7 that allow drivers to shift gears manually.

To sharpen handling, Alpina adds huge 21-inch wheels with Z-rated performance tires and firms up the suspension, which includes BMW's Active Roll Stabilization system to help keep the car from leaning through hard turns.

A modest rear spoiler aerodynamically improves stability, handling and performance at high speeds, and aggressive-looking front and rear bumpers further distinguish the B7 from the standard 7 Series. As is typical of Alpina conversions, the overall effect is subtle; only devoted car enthusiasts are likely to know the difference just looking at the car.