Wednesday, July 31, 2013

REPORT: Future E-Class Coupe and Cabrio to receive the AMG treatment

Mercedes-Benz officials have recently admitted not offering an AMG variant for the E-Class Coupe and Cabrio was a major management mistake that shall not be repeated in the future. 

The main reason for not building such models was the existence of the CLS 63 AMG, which can hardly be called a coupe even though the roofline might tell a different story. Latest market studies have shown to executives the real desire of the market, which is looking to buy a proper high-performance coupe in the business class.

Already late to correct this unfateful happening, Mercedes-Benz reassures now that the next generation of the E-Class Coupe & Cabrio (C 213/A 213), which is to be developed on a 100% 213 series E-Class technical platform, will be available as AMG models. From 2016 onwards, the moment we expect them to launch, the new E 63 AMG (or E 55 AMG) models will be powered by the new 4.0-litre V8 BITURBO tweaked to deliver over 550 hp. Depending on sales of the current generation, the Performance AMG 4MATIC and the subsequent S-Model shall also be retained in the lineup for all the body variants.

Above, you can see a digitally generated image by artist Khalil Bouguerra showing how the E 63 AMG Coupe could have looked if ever produced on the current model generation. 

Friday, July 26, 2013

Mitsubishi Motors North America, Inc. (MMNA) saw the company's advanced all-new MiEV Evolution II race car place second and third in class in the EV Division in the 91st running of the famous Pikes Peak International Hill Climb (PPIHC) in the talented hands of two-time Dakar Rally winner Hiroshi Masuoka and six-time PPIHC motorcycle champion Greg Tracy.

Mitsubishi Motors Revolutionary MiEV Evolution II Finishes 2nd and 3rd in the EV Division at the 2013 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb

The race, held on June 30th, commenced in the morning under a calm, clear blue sky; however these ideal weather conditions took a turn for the worse and a downpour of rain hit the track just before the pair of MiEV Evolution II race cars commenced their runs at this legendary time trial event.
Just as Greg Tracy – who was the fastest qualifier within the Electric Vehicle division – approached the time for his run up the mountain, the poor weather forced the team to make a quick tire swap to grooved tires rather than the higher performance non-grooved racing slicks. Both Tracy and Masuoka raced in extremely difficult wet conditions, along with limited visibility in the higher sections of the race course, resulting in Masuoka recording a time of 10 minutes, 21.866 seconds, with Tracy following closely behind at 10 minutes, 23.649 seconds.
Yet even in these challenging conditions, the pair broke last year's second place time in the EV Division of 10 minutes, 30.850, achieved in 2012 by Masuoka piloting the Mitsubishi i-MiEV Evolution on a dry road in optimal conditions.
Finishing in second-place in the Electric Division for a second year in a row, team captain and driver Masuoka commented on the race: "Just before the start, since the road became completely wet, we had to swap the tires from slicks to grooved. Even with the grooved tires, the pavement was really wet and the car was sliding around quite a bit. It really was treacherous conditions to drive in, but both cars were able to make it to the top safely. Since we were aiming for the win, the result is quite disappointing. While due to this rain, it is easy to blame the result on our luck, we must also realize our weakness and continue to make improvements for the future."
For Greg Tracy, this was his first Pikes Peak attempt piloting a race car rather than a motorcycle. While disappointed by the outcome, Tracy reflected upon his difficult ascent to the summit: "Since I was aiming for the win, I am thoroughly disappointed. Due to the heavy rain that came pouring down just before our run, the conditions were not drivable. With that said, we should probably be satisfied just by finishing safely. Since it was dry during every practice session, we literally had zero time in the car in rainy conditions. However, since the MiEV Evolution ran so well in the dry, I really would like to come back to do this again, aiming for the win."
A completely all-new design from the ground up, the technologically-advanced MiEV Evolution IIfeatures a unique quad-motor (two front/two rear) drivetrain, next-generation lithium-ion batteries by Lithium Energy Japan (LEJ), an optimized all-electric version of Mitsubishi's exceptionally capable Super All-Wheel Control (S-AWC) all-wheel drive system and wind tunnel-derived, aerodynamically-enhanced carbon-fiber bodywork.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

SPY: FEP shots of the 2014 Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class (X 156)

Merc's first compact crossover, the GLA-Class, will celebrate world premiere this September at the Frankfurt motor show. The model has recently entered the final experimental phase (FEP), so now the initial heavy cladding is gone thus revealing more of the exterior design of the X 156. Market launch is programmed for autumn 2013 in Europe, whereas the United States have to wait until early 2014 for the new GLA.

The GLA will play on the winning card of the A-Class: a bold hatchback body with now increased space for passengers and luggage, an attractive safety and telematics equipment and a range of frugal engines. The ground clearance has risen by a few centimeters compared to the standard models of the new compact car lineup of Mercedes-Benz.

Moreso, the styling details of the body are evolved from the A-Class and CLA-Class into a more dynamic and muscular manner that suggests the link this car has with G-Class. The roughly cut headlights, the higher shoulders and the pronounced wheel arches certainly deliver a spectacular image when the GLA is seen on roads.

Inside, there is nothing to worry about: the same dashboard from the W 176 and C 117 with only slight differences and the expected premium quality and functionality. Certainly, Mercedes-Benz has prepared new tones and colours for the upholstery, whether it is cloth or leather, just like in the case of the A-Class and CLA-Class.

The sporty look of the GLA will be further enhanced thanks to the new, high-end wheel designs which you can also see in these latest photos. On the entry-level models, the front traction will be standard, whereas the range-topping versions (GLA 250, GLA 220 CDI) will boast the specially engineered 4MATIC all-wheel-drive system with a front-biased torque ratio of 67:33. The GLA 45 AMG performance crossover cranking out 360 hp will further complete lineup beginning with the summer of 2014.

Friday, July 19, 2013

2013 BMW X6 M Design Edition – Limited to 100 units

The 2013 BMW X6 M Design Edition is available from August 2013 and limited to 100 units.
Next year, the new generation BMW X6 M will come to market. The F16 BMW X6 M will follow the steps of the upcoming F15 X5 M and along with a new exterior and interior design will also bring the same power upgrade as the BMW M5 and M6 models.
But before the production of the current generation X6 M ends, BMW offers a limited edition model starting from August 2013. Limited to 100 units, the 2013 BMW X6 M Design Edition comes in three colors: Alpine White, Sapphire Black and Melbourne Red.
2013 BMW X6 M Design Edition   Limited to 100 units
Visually, the 2013 BMW X6 M Design Edition differs from the regular models thanks to a carbon fiber front splitter and rear spoiler, black kidney grilles and exterior mirror caps, and a black-colored diffuser. The BMW X6 M Design Edition is fitted with 21-inch alloy wheels (double spoke 310 M) from the BMW MPerformance catalog.
Inside, the full Merino leather trim is used with a two-tone version. Even the dashboard is covered in leather with two-tone black and red. Matching contrast stitching and a plaque Edition “X6 M Design Edition – 1/100″ round out the package.
No pricing info is available at the moment, nor whether the car will be available for the U.S. market.
2013 BMW X6 M Design Edition   Limited to 100 units
2013 BMW X6 M Design Edition   Limited to 100 units2013 BMW X6 M Design Edition   Limited to 100 units2013 BMW X6 M Design Edition   Limited to 100 units2013 BMW X6 M Design Edition   Limited to 100 units2013 BMW X6 M Design Edition   Limited to 100 units

Friday, July 12, 2013

Mitsubishi i-MiEV Recognized as Landmark 100,000th Electric Vehicle Sold in the United States

Mitsubishi Motors North America, Inc.'s (MMNA) breakthrough 100% electric-powered Mitsubishi i-MiEV has recently been named the symbolic 100,000th plug-in electric production vehicle sold in America "since the introduction of the latest generation of highway-capable plug-in vehicles some two years ago," according to the national plug-in electric vehicle advocacy group, Plug In America.

Plug In America recently held the #PIA100K contest to award a ClipperCreek Level 2 electric vehicle charging station to the lucky individual representing the approximate 100,000th plug-in hybrid or battery electric vehicle delivery in the United States. Based on "sales data from recent reports," Plug In America determined that Rich Salmon of Grand Bay, Alabama, reached this important EV sales milestone when he purchased a brand-new Mitsubishi i-MiEV on May 16 of this year.

"I was interested in an EV, but I was still on the fence about them," said Mr. Salmon. "But I took the Mitsubishi i-MiEV for a test drive and I liked it, so I bought it." Purchased from Pete Moore Mitsubishi in Pensacola, Florida. Mr. Salmon likes his Mitsubishi i-MiEV so much that the local community center he works with is now looking at acquiring an i-MiEV to use as delivery vehicle for their "Meals on Wheels" program to take advantage of its very low cost of "refueling."

"We congratulate Rich Salmon of Grand Bay, Alabama, on winning Plug In America's #PIA100K contest," said Yoichi Yokozawa, President and CEO of Mitsubishi Motors North America, Inc. (MMNA). "We'd also like to thank him for buying our all-electric Mitsubishi i-MiEV. With more than 30,000 i-MiEVs and their related vehicles logging countless safe and trouble-free miles on the roads in such dynamic locales as Southeast Asia, Europe, Japan and North America, Mr. Salmon is in good company."

With a net value as low as $21,625*, the fun-to-drive Mitsubishi i-MiEV all-electric 5-door achieves a remarkable EPA-rated 112 MPGe (miles per gallon equivalent) combined/126 MPGe city/99 MPGe highway and has an EPA estimated "real world" driving range of 62 miles (45% highway/55% city driving mix) and 98 miles (EPA LA4 range – mostly stop & go/city driving).