Monday, September 7, 2009

2010 BMW 760Li Pricing Announced For Australia

2010 BMW 760Li

BMW HAS TODAY announced pricing for its flagship 760Li, a car the German manufacturer describes as the most comprehensively equipped 7 Series model ever offered in Australia.

Developing 400kW and 750Nm through its brand-new 6.0 litre twin-turbocharged V12, BMW says the 760Li will leap to 100km/h happens in just 4.6 seconds - a time that was considered supercar-quick not so long ago.

BMW says the 760Li marks “a new standard of motoring refinement, dynamic performance and all-around efficiency in a vehicle with this kind of power and output,” a claim that carries a measure of substance, given the numbers accompanying the announcement.

BMW promises that despite its size, it will consume only 13 litres of petrol per 100km on the combined cycle - a rating BMW says is 5.1 percent better than the figures returned by the previous V12.

Direct-injection, variable intake and exhaust camshafts, an eight-speed automatic transmission and a torque curve that sees all 750Nm available from just 1500rpm help the 760Li keep fuel consumption to a minimum.

“The new 760Li will take over the top position within BMW’s model portfolio,” said Stavros Yallouridis, Managing Director of BMW Group Australia.

“[It] will raise the standard of maximum exclusivity and supremacy in the luxury class to an even higher level.”

Standard features, beyond those of the 750Li, include 20-inch double-spoke light-alloy wheels, Integral Active Steering, active front seats, leather finished instrument panel, ceramic surround for controls, fine-wood inlay leather steering wheel and a massage function in the rear-seat backrest.

BMW Individual rear-seat reading lights, Lane Departure Warning, Lane Change Warning, Active Cruise Control with Stop & Go function, alcantara headliner, BMW Individual full ‘Merino’ leather trim and 8-speed automatic transmission continue the luxurious appointments of the 760Li.


Where the previous flagship 750Li started at $291,000, the new range-topping 760Li enters at $385,000 (manufacturer’s list price), plus on-road costs.

2010 BMW 3 Series Coupe Spied Testing


FOLLOWING LAST YEAR’S update to the the 3 Series sedan, BMW has begun work on a mid-life facelift for the 3 Series Coupe.

These new spy photos reveal that the Coupe’s visual changes will be minor. New front and rear bumpers, LED rear lights and updated headlights figure among the more obvious revisions.

The interior is also expected to benefit from the style update with new trim options and a new centre armrest/console design.


The new 3 Series Coupe will also see the introduction of a second-generation iDrive system, featuring a larger 22cm (8.8inch) LCD display and an optional 80gb hard drive.

Like the 2009 3 Series sedan, the refreshed Coupe will focus on improved fuel efficiency. As such, the 2011 Coupe will gain a brake energy regeneration system, stop-start engine technology, electro-mechanical power steering and low rolling resistance tyres.


The 3 Series Coupe update is expected to debut at this month’s Frankfurt Motor Show, landing in European showrooms before the end of next year and international markets in early 2011.

In 2011, BMW is also expected to launch a production version of the 3 Series GT, inspired by the recently revealed BMW 5 Series GT.

2010 Hyundai i10 Electric To Debut At Frankfurt


WHILE HYUNDAI AUSTRALIA continues to assess the suitability and cost of the diminutive i10 for the local market, the Korean carmaker is set to unveil an all-electric version at next week’s Frankfurt Motor Show.

The i10 Electric will make its world debut alongside the ix-Metro petrol-electric hybrid concept, the ix35 SUV and the all-new 2010 Sonata.


No mere concept, the i10 Electric is scheduled to go into limited production for sale in South Korea next year, motivated by a 49kW electric motor and drawing energy from a 16kWh lithium-ion polymer battery co-developed with LG.

In line with the likes of the Nissan LEAF, Mitsubishi i-MiEV and Subaru’s Plug-In Stella, Hyundai says the i10 will achieve a driving range of around 160km and a top speed of 130km/h.

The i10 Electric can be charged via either a 220V household power outlet for a five hour charge, or a specialised 415V charging point achieving 85 percent capacity in just 15 minutes.


More details are scheduled to be revealed at the i10 Electric’s Frankfurt unveiling.

New Skoda Octavia Scout Launched In Australia


JOINING THE REFRESHED Octavia and Octavia RS, the Skoda Octavia Scout has also been given a mid-life styling update; the new model now available in Australian showrooms.

As with others in the Ocatvia range, the updated Scout now wears new headlamps, bonnet and front guards.

Differentiating it from its siblings, the higher-riding Scout picks up unique front and rear bumpers, sills and wheel-arch extensions to go with its semi-off-road all-wheel-drive capability.


The Scout benefits from the Volkwagen group’s all-wheel-drive system, featuring a fourth-generation Haldex clutch, channeling up to 86 percent of torque to a single wheel.

Ground clearance is raised over the standard Octavia wagon with 180mm of clearance, and an underbody sump guard enhances the Scout’s off-road abilities.

Power is provided by the same 2.0 litre 103kW TDI turbo-diesel engine featured in models across the Volkswagen family’s brands, paired to a six-speed manual transmission.

ákoda Octavia Scout, 2009

Available now, the updated 2009 Skoda Octavia Scout’s price remains unchanged, starting at $39,990 (manufacturer’s list price) plus on-road costs.

BMW The World’s Greenest, Most Sustainable Carmaker: Dow Jones Sustainability Index


THE ONLY CARMAKER to feature in the list every year since its inception in 1999, the latest Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI) has ranked BMW as the world’s most sustainable automobile manufacturer for the fifth year in a row.

Published by the Zurich-based SAM Group (Sustainable Asset Management), the list covers a range of sectors and includes companies such as Johnson & Johnson, Coca-Cola and Samsung Electronics.


The DJSI ranks companies based on a ‘best-in-class’ approach, and reviews each organisation through an analysis of corporate economic, environmental and social performance.

Climate change mitigation, supply chain standards and labour practices figure among the criteria, along with corporate governance and risk management.

Described as a Supersector leader, BMW ranks top of the automobiles category, joining the likes of Adidas (Personal & Household Goods), ANZ Bank Group (Banks), and Nokia (Technology).

“We are delighted that the BMW Group is super sector leader in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index World for the fifth consecutive year,” Dr Norbert Reithofer, Chairman of the Board of Management of BMW AG, said in a statement.

“This proves once again that we are well on our way to establishing sustainability as the guiding principle for all our processes. We refined our sustainability strategy in the first half of 2009 – this was the next logical step and another important milestone.”

Since 2000, BMW has listed sustainability among its core strategic principles, focusing on the development of fuel-saving and alternative vehicle concepts - such as the EfficientDynamics range and the recently revealed VISION Concept - through to clean production processes and green recycling practices.

In Australia, BMW recently launched the 118d and 123d, expanding its line-up of ultra-efficient diesel models.

With a fuel consumption of just 4.5 l/100km, the 118d is also the most efficient BMW on sale in Australia. Voted the 2008 World Green Car of the Year, the 118d isn’t just frugal with fuel: it emits only 119 grams of carbon dioxide per kilometre.

2010 Rolls Royce Ghost Full Details Revealed: New Images


ROLLS ROYCE, after months of spy photos, teaser images and videos, has revealed the 2010 Rolls Royce Ghost in all its extravagant glory.

The British luxury marque recently confirmed that the big V12 under the bonnet of the new Ghost will develop a sinfully monstrous 420kW and 780Nm of torque. This will make the new model – known in its earlier concept form as the 200EX - even more powerful than its larger and more expensive sibling, the Phantom.


An astonishing 550Nm of torque is available from as low as 1000rpm, climbing to the full 780Nm at just 1500rpm.

Despite weighing in at 2360kg, Rolls Royce claims the Ghost will rocket to 100km/h in just 4.7 seconds, up to an electronically-limited top speed of 250km/h.

Keeping power delivery smooth, the big V12 has been paired with an eight-speed ZF automatic transmission.

Rolls Royce also previously revealed details of the Ghost’s clever new chassis technology, which is designed to endow the Ghost with Rolls’ classic quality of ‘waftability’ while still providing impressive handling dynamics.


“A Rolls-Royce should be effortless in every way: the way it accelerates, brakes and handles,” Rolls-Royce Engineering Director Helmut Riedl said.

“It should do all of these functions with apparent ease regardless of the complex mechanicals that are working out of sight of the driver and passengers. The driver simply has to point the car in the preferred direction of travel and press the accelerator.”

To accomplish this, Rolls Royce has fitted the Ghost with multi-link independent suspension both front and rear, with aluminium links reducing unsprung weight and improving suspension response.

Rather than conventional coiled steel springs, the Ghost rides atop four electronically-controlled airbags, with variable damping and adjustable ride height also thrown in.


The Ghost’s onboard sensors can detect the slightest change in weight distribution, and will adjust the car’s attitude and damping to suit. The system is so sensitive in fact that it can determine whether a passenger has moved from one side of the car to the other.

Ride height can also be raised or lowered by up to 25mm in order to aid entry or egress, or to prevent the Ghost’s expensive underbelly from getting scraped when travelling over rough ground.

Unlike its BMW 7 Series platform sibling, the Ghost uses a steel monocoque frame, increasing strength and allowing for a greater interior space and stretched-out luxury.


Active Roll Stabilisation keeps the hefty limousine’s body in check through the corners, while the air suspension provides a soft, supple ride.

“The individual technologies determining handling and safety work together controlled by dual Integrated Chassis Management systems meaning that even under vigorous testing the Ghost remains perfectly poised,” Mr Riedl said.

“We are very proud of our engineering team’s achievements with [the] Ghost. The balance of refinement and dynamic ability is astonishing.”

Inside, where a Rolls Royce must be at its absolute best, Teflon-coated umbrellas rest in door-mounted enclosures and drum-dyed leather (versus the polyurethane-painted leather of most other cars) covers virtually every surface.

Lounge-like seating with internal massage technology and cooling features among the options, as does a coolbox with specially-designed champagne flutes.


The 600w USB and iPod-ready stereo is complemented by no less than 16 speakers, with two floor-mounted subwoofers managing the bass.

Speaking of the 200EX concept that lead to the production Ghost we see here, Rolls Royce CEO Tom Purves said: “200EX is a modern execution of timeless Rolls-Royce elegance, breaking with some areas of tradition but retaining the core values that make our marque unique.”

“We expect the more informal design to broaden the appeal of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, attracting people who appreciate its fusion of refinement, new technology and contemporary style.”


Rolls Royce describes the Ghost as a “vision of simplicity, building on the core values of the brand”. There will likely be very few of us who will ever put vision to the test.

EcoBoost-Powered Volvos To Arrive In Aus By End Of 2010


THE 2.0 LITRE ECOBOOST inline-four that’s destined for the 2011 Ford Falcon is also set to appear under the bonnets of a number of future Volvo models. The first of these is expected to arrive on Australian soil toward the end of next year.

Although sharing a significant amount of componentry, Volvo will drop the EcoBoost name in favour of its own GTDi badge.


Both a 1.6 litre and 2.0 litre GTDi inline four are planned, although a 3.5 litre GTDi V6 may also eventuate.

Each will employ direct injection and turbocharging to boost low-end torque, producing the pulling power of larger capacity engines but without the heavy fuel consumption.

One of the first models expected to feature a GTDi engine is the upcoming 2010 XC60.

The all-new S60 replacement, slated to land in Australian showrooms in the fourth quarter of 2010, is also likely to make use of a GTDi powerplant.

A six-speed Powershift twin-clutch gearbox (similar to that fitted to the current Focus diesel) will be mated to the GTDi engines.

Volvo Australia spokesperson Laurissa Mirabelli told TMR that it’s still too early to say precisely which models will receive the new engines, but that a GTDi version of the sharp C30 hatch was not planned.

Hyundai ix-Metro To Debut At Frankfurt


SHARING THE LIMELIGHT with the ix35 crossover at Hyundai’s Frankfurt Motorshow stand will be a new concept from the Korean company, the ix-Metro.

Designed to showcase the automaker’s new environmental technologies, the ix-Metro merges a petrol-electric hybrid powertrain and a six-speed twin-clutch gearbox with a compact high-riding four-door bodyshell.


With its 1.0 litre three-cylinder engine featuring direct-injection, variable valve timing on both intake and exhaust cams and a turbocharger, power output is a respectable 93kW. Fuel consumption figures are unavailable, but Hyundai estimates the hybrid concept will emit just 80 grams of carbon dioxide per kilometre.

It’s too early to tell whether the ix-Metro previews a new Hyundai hybrid, but with the next-generation Sonata expected to sport a hybrid powertrain in its line-up, odds are high the manufacturer will employ the technology in more products.

Whether this B-segment sized quasi-crossover will form the basis for one of those products remains to be seen.


The ix-Metro won’t be the only green Hyundai on show at Frankfurt. Hyundai will also be wheeling out its battery-powered i10 Electric, which will see limited production next year and enter real-world trials in South Korea.

The Blue-Will plug-in hybrid concept will feature at the Hyundai stand as well, and will appear alongside the Elantra LPI hybrid. Another Frankfurt-bound model is the i30 Blue, which receives a fuel-saving start-stop system and low-friction powertrain.

The i30 Blue and the i10 Blue are currently under evaluation by Hyundai Australia for a local release.