Friday, August 31, 2007
Via: Autoblog.com , Source: Hyundai
Hyundai to Unveil Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle at Frankfurt International Motor Show
SEOUL, South Korea, Aug. 31 /PRNewswire/ -- Hyundai Motor Corporation will unveil the i-Blue Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle at the 2007 Frankfurt International Motor Show which opens on September 13. The i-Blue demonstrates the company's commitment to developing environmentally responsible transportation.
Hyundai's new hydrogen-powered, zero-emission concept, the i-Blue Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle was developed at Hyundai's Design and Technical Center in Chiba, Japan. The all-new i-Blue platform is tailored to incorporate Hyundai's third-generation fuel cell technology, currently being developed at Hyundai's Eco-Technology Research Institute in Mabuk, Korea.
In keeping with this year's show theme, "See What's Driving the Future," which focuses on sustainability and climate protection, the i-Blue signifies a major step towards the commercialization of Hyundai fuel cell vehicles. Unlike its predecessors which were built on SUV platforms, the i-Blue features a new 2+2 crossover utility vehicle (CUV) body type.
"The i-Blue is Hyundai's first-ever model designed from the ground up to incorporate fuel cell technology, marking a tremendous leap forward for our R&D program," said Dr. Hyun-Soon Lee, president of research and development. "Our engineering team has successfully designed a more compact fuel cell vehicle, while still realizing the safety, comfort, convenience and driving range of a traditional internal combustion engine vehicle."
Hyundai is making tremendous efforts to reach mass production of hydrogen-powered fuel cell vehicles a reality in the next decade.
Following Audi’s success with the diesel powered “R10” and barely a month after the Spanish firm announced that it’ll enter the FIA World Touring Car Championship with the Leon TDI, Seat became the first manufacturer to win a round of the WTCC series in a diesel powered car. The Seat Leon TDI WTCC, driven by Yvan Muller, won the first of two races at the Motorsport Arena in Oschersleben, Germany.
Commenting on his success, Muller said, “I am very pleased to give the SEAT León TDI its first World Championship win. We took a big risk introducing it in the middle of the season, but after a lot of hard work to make this new technical innovation work, it has paid us back. We did not expect to win here today, but I am very pleased we did.” -Press release after the jump
HISTORIC WTCC VICTORY IN GERMANY FOR SEAT SPORT
SEAT León TDI scores first diesel engine victory in the WTCC
SEAT scored an historic result in the FIA World Touring Car Championship, by becoming the first manufacturer to win a round of the series in a diesel engined car. The SEAT León TDI WTCC, driven by Yvan Muller, won the first of two races at the Motorsport Arena in Oschersleben, German today, ahead of the SEAT León of pole-sitter Gabriele Tarquini – who continues to highlight how competitive the petrol-engined León is. In Race 2, Jordi Gené completed a remarkable day, finishing 3rd in his SEAT León TDI – having started Race 1 from 18th on the grid!
The results moves Yvan from 6th to 4th in the Drivers’ standings, just 16 points behind the leader (Augusto Farfus) and right in contention for the title with six races remaining. Gabriele is just 5 points further behind in 5th. SEAT out-scored BMW for the second consecutive WTCC race weekend to close the gap to 29 points, while it is now 25 points clear of 3rd-placed Chevrolet. SEAT remains the only team to beat BMW on its home touring car race, with Yvan’s victory matching Rickard Rydell’s ETCC race win in 2004.
Jordi was upset to have qualified 18th, especially as he had been fastest in the first sector and heading towards pole before he made a mistake. Jaime Puig, Director of SEAT Sport, told his driver to ‘keep the faith’ – and it was an inspired piece of advice as Jordi did exactly that, and finished 6th and 3rd respectively. Tiago Monteiro had two hard fought races, finishing 10th and 8th, while Michel Jourdain was fast all weekend, and turned a frustrating 20th qualifying slot into excellent 12th and 9th place race results. Peter Terting, making a comeback to the WTCC with SEAT Sport, had bad lucky. He was a victim of a Turn 2 accident in Race 1 and finished 2 laps down in Race 2, after pitting to repair front bodywork damage.
SEAT scored a 1-2 in the WTCC Independents’ Trophy, with the SEAT Sport Italia Leóns of Roberto Colciago and Massimiliano Pedala winning Races 1 and 2 respectively. It was an incredible performance by both drivers, as Colciago had qualified 3rd overall for the first race, and Pedala had to recover from a first corner accident in Race 1 to win the category in Race 2. That Race 1 start-line accident severely damaged Pierre-Yves Corthals’ Independents’ Trophy leading SEAT Belgium León, sidelining it for the rest of the weekend – and he leaves Germany 3rd in the standings.
Gabriele and Yvan made the perfect rolling start, heading side-by side at the front of the 26 car field down into the sharp left Turn 1, as the SEAT León drivers held a secure 1-2 position. Things were far from perfect behind, as Alex Zanardi (BMW) collided with Alain Menu (Chevorlet), who in turn hit the Independents’ Trophy leading driver Pierre-Yves Corthals (SEAT Belgium León) and Massimiliano Pedala (SEAT Sport Italia León) – which saw all four cars hit the pit wall. There then followed an accident coming out of Turn 2, when Felix Porteiro (BMW) and Nicola Larini (Chevorlet) appeared to collide, taking the SEAT Leóns of Peter Terting and Tom Coronel with them – with all four cars retiring from the race.
Jordi was the main beneficiary of these two mid-field incidents, moving from 18th to 6th in his SEAT León TDI – a position he would hold to the end, after brilliantly defending the challenge of Augusto Farfus (BMW).
The Safety Car came out for two laps and the 14 lap race was extended to 16. Yvan was pushing his team-mate hard, and on lap 5 the Frenchman took a different line through Turn 1 and overtook Gabriele on the inside of Turn 2. It was a fair and clean move, and although Gabriele continued to push Yvan hard all the way to the chequered flag, Yvan gave the SEAT León TDI an historic first WTCC victory. Having finished 2nd (in Pau) and 3rd (at Valencia), it was Yvan’s first WTCC victory of the 2007 season.
Tiago Monteiro had moved from 7th to 6th, but his race was spoilt at Turn 1 when Roberto Colciago (SEAT Sport Italia León) clipped the back of his León. With the bodywork rubbing on the rear right tyre, Tiago slowly slipped down to finish 10th. Colciago, meanwhile, had a great race, setting the fastest lap on lap 8 (1:37.262 / 136.80kph) and finishing 8th – ensuring a pole position start for Race 2
Michel Jourdain Jr did extremely well to avoid both first lap accidents and was rewarded with a 12th place finish, having started 20th.
1. Yvan Muller (SEAT León TDI)…27:57.209
2. Gabriele Tarquini (SEAT Leon)…27:57.655
3. James Thompson (Alfa Romeo)…27:58.002
4. Jorg Muller (BMW)…27:58.465
5. Andy Priaulx (BMW)…27:58.689
6. Jordi Gené (SEAT León TDI)…27:59.973
10. Tiago Monteiro (SEAT León)…28:05.842
12. Michel Jourdain Jr. (SEAT León)…28:13.782
DNF. Peter Terting (SEAT León)
Blue skies and bright sunshine had been replaced by clouds and strong wins in the three and a half hours between the end of Race 1 and the beginning of Race 2. Roberto Colciago started from pole, but he was beaten to the first corner by the rear-wheel drive BMWs of Augusto Farfus and Andy Priaulx. Worst still, the SEAT Sport Italia León driver was pushed wide and into the gravel – rejoining at the back of the pack and eventually finishing 14th.
Jordi Gené made a fantastic start from 3rd and the inside line into Turn 1 paid dividends. However, as the cars funnelled into the narrow gap, Jordi’s front wheel was hit and for the remainder of the 14 lap race his steering was out and his car was crabbing down the straights. He did amazingly well to keep James Thompson (Alfa Romeo) behind and he was always close enough to pounce if the fighting Farfus and Priaulx collided – which they didn’t.
Tiago Monteiro was pushing his SEAT León to the limited and ran off the track and across the grass on lap 8, dropping from 6th to 8th and giving team-mate Gabriele Tarquini 7th place in the process. They were followed home by Michel Jourdain in 9th, who finished off a good day with a confidence-boosting performance. Peter Terting’s unlucky race weekend continued, when he had to come into the pits for front bodywork repairs. The talented young German driver finished 2 laps down in 22nd position.
1. Augusto Farfus (BMW)…22:55.632
2. Andy Priaulx (BMW)… 22:56.196
3. Jordi Gené (SEAT León TDI)…22:58.136
4. James Thompson (Alfa Romeo)… 22:58.494
5. Yvan Muller (SEAT León TDI)…22:59.327
6. Rob Huff (Chevrolet)…22:59.704
7. Gabriele Tarquini (SEAT León)…23:00.270
8. Tiago Monteiro (SEAT León)…23:03.906
9. Michel Jourdain Jr. (SEAT León)…23:05.494
22. Peter Terting (SEAT León)…+2 laps
Yvan Muller: (SEAT León TDI nº12): “I am very pleased to give the SEAT León TDI its first World Championship win. We took a big risk introducing it in the middle of the season, but after a lot of hard work to make this new technical innovation work, it has paid us back. We did not expect to win here today, but I am very pleased we did.”
Gabriele Tarquini (SEAT León nº 11): “I was very pleased to have qualified on pole, but race day today has been very tough. I scored ten points in the Drivers’ Championship, and I think it is the maximum I could have hoped to score this weekend. The car has worked well all weekend, but I would have liked to have had more speed down the straights.”
Tiago Monteiro (SEAT León nº 18): “It was a weekend full of experience for me, with a lot of overtaking, pushing and crashing. You know the racing is going to be tight when twenty cars qualify within one second of each other, and this is what happened. I made two good starts, but both races were full of incidents. It was a great result for the team, with the first victory for the León TDI and podiums for Yvan, Gabriele and Jordi, and it’s been a very positive race weekend.”
Jordi Gené (SEAT León TDI nº 9): “I started today eighteenth on the grid and with so much bad luck this year I had too many ghosts on my mind. Jaime [Puig] told me to keep the faith, and he was right. Of course I would have liked to have won with the León TDI, but the most important thing is that this is a great result for SEAT. To introduce a new car in the middle of the season is a lot of work, and this is a great reward for the team.”
Michel Jourdain Jr (SEAT León nº10): “I’ve been competitive this weekend and I’m faster each race, but things didn’t go my way again. I was involved in an accident in race one, but I pushed really hard in race two, and in the end I am not so unhappy. I am faster each race and that is the most important thing. Good luck will come I’m sure.”
Peter Terting (SEAT León nº 40): “I’m really disappointed, because I was looking forward to racing in the WTCC again and all I’ve had is bad luck. I had the pace and the car was good, but the accident in the first race had nothing to do with me and I picked up damage in the second race.”
Jaime Puig, Director SEAT Sport: “It has been a fantastic race weekend for us and a great result for the León TDI. I would like to thank the people at SEAT who put faith in us to do this project and the team who have worked very hard in such a short space of time to make the TDI competitive. It was a difficult decision to introduce the diesel engine mid-season, but we saw the potential and made the brave move to go with it. We will also continue to develop the petrol engined León, because this is also very important to us; it is very competitive, as pole position and two victories in the Independents’ Trophy in Germany prove.”
2007 FIA World Touring Car Championship – Standings after Round 16
1. BMW, 204 points.
2. SEAT, 175 points.
3. Chevrolet, 150 points.
4. Alfa Romeo, 84 points.
1. Augusto Farfus, 69 points.
2. Andy Priaulx, 68 points.
3. Jörg. Muller, 63 points.
4. Yvan Muller, 56 points.
5. GabrieleTarquini, 51 points.
6. Nicola Larini, 48 points
10. Tiago Monteiro, 29 points.
11. Jordi Gené, 23 points.
18. Michel Jourdain Jr, 3 points.
1. S. D’Aste, 99 points.
2. L. Rangoni, 93 points.
3. P-Y Corthals, 92 points.
4. R. Colciago, 50 points.
Next Race: Rounds 17/18 of the FIA WTCC takes place at Brands Hatch in the UK on September 22/23
The Chrome Line package consist of an exterior bodykit that includes a front and rear bumper extension and a rear diffuser that incorporates two sideways turned exits for the Konigseder endpipes. Optionally, Konigseder also provides extensions for the rear doors. As for the rims, the Austrian tuner offers a wide range of wheels up to 23-inches. -Teaser release after the jump
Audi Q7 Chrome line
The Q7, performance SUV from Audi, is a top of the line vehicle concerning design, power and practibility. Naturally the subtle the aerodynamic parts from Konigseder address the non cross country drivers who want to bestow more sportiness upon their car.
The Konigseder exterieur package consits of a front bumper extension in the current Audi look and therefore improves the front area without being to flashy. The colorless original plastic rear bumper subpart is exchanged by the Konigseder extension with slight diffusor optics and two sideways turned exits for the Konigseder endpipes.
Optional either a complete sport rear muffler or the endpipecombination for the original rear muffler can be chosen. In order to complete the lateral alignment Konigseder developed extensions for the rear doors and for further individualisation a 5 piece chrome design packet is available A wide range of wheels up to 23" round off the Konigseder Q7 package.
We would be delighted to answer you inquiries in order to provide you with information about prices, availability or other technical questions.
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As of July 31, 2007, Toyota Motor Europe’s (TME) cumulative European sales of Toyota and Lexus hybrid vehicles have topped the 100,000 mark. To be exact, since hybrids were first launched in Europe in 2000, a total of 101,235 vehicles have been sold to the European market. What’s impressive is the fact that more than 50% of Toyota’s cumulative European sales have been achieved in the past 13 months. From the overall sales since 2000, 73,000 hybrid vehicles were badged as Toyota Prius while 27,000 were Lexus. -Continued after the jump
“These results demonstrate a dramatic shift amongst European customers towards cleaner vehicles which offer greater fuel efficiency and a comfortable and powerful drive.” said Thierry Dombreval, Executive Vice-President of Toyota Motor Europe. “This milestone coincides with 10 years of hybrid leadership for Toyota and endorses our belief that hybrid is a mainstream technology for Europe.”
Not so sure about the eye-catching rear wing, but overall, Novitec Rosso’s sport package for the Ferrari 599 GTB that consists of a styling kit along with engine and suspension upgrades, receives a thumb up from us. The subtle exterior kit includes a front lower spoiler, side skirts with larger air intake openings, side flaps, rear wing and rear diffuser, LED tail-lamps and black side indicator. The 599 GTB also gets 20-inch type N3 wheels in the front and 21-inch in the rear with Pirelli P Zero 275/30 R20 and 355/25 R21 tires. -Continued after the jump
Thanks to the engine control unit upgrade and exhaust system with slightly larger 90mm dual tips, the 599 GTB’s V12 receives an additional 25hp pushing overall output to 645hp. For those still not satisfied, Novitec Rosso is developing a bigger power upgrade for the V12 which is expected to be released sometime in 2008.
As for handling, Novitec added an adjustable aluminum suspension manufactured by KW Automotive which allows ride height to be changed simply by pressing a button. Finally, the 599 GTB’s braking power has been upgraded with the addition of specially fabricated Brembo six piston calipers with 405mm brake discs on all four wheels.
We received an invitation from Volvo earlier this morning to take part in a preview event in the Frankfurt Show and check out two concepts tuned and designed by HEICO Sportiv prior to their SEMA (Specialty Equipment Manufacturers Association) debut in Las Vegas this fall. According to Volvo, the cars destined for Las Vegas are a high performance S80 wearing a heavily tuned bioethanol powered turbocharged 6-cylinder unit and a C30 that features a flower power exterior (that’s exactly how the Swedes describe it) and an intriguing custom interior. (The car pictured above is a stock Heico S80 and not the actual concept)
The lucky chap will not only have the satisfaction of helping the children’s organization break the £2 million mark ($4 million) and taking delivery of the first production XF in spring '08, but he will also choose the color options for the car with advice from Jag's head of design, Ian Callum. Additionally, the owner will be able to visit the Castle Bromwich factory in Birmingham to see his XF being built. Unfortunately Jag didn't specify whether the 3 females in the pic are part of the prize. -Release after the jump
JAGUAR DONATES XF TO CHILDREN’S CHARITY – THE NSPCC
Details of Jaguar’s new XF were released only a week ago, but on Friday 7th September someone will ensure pride of place at the front of the queue for Jaguar’s stunning new sports saloon.
Jaguar Cars has donated what will be the first customer-owned full-production XF to children’s charity, the NSPCC. They will auction the car at a star-studded Masquerade Ball taking place at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry with help from new opera singing trio Elysium.
Geoff Cousins, Managing Director, Jaguar UK, says: “Jaguar is proud of its long association with the NSPCC and has worked tirelessly to raise money and awareness of the wonderful work they do to help children all around the UK. In donating the world’s first customer delivered Jaguar XF, we aim to raise a great deal of money to ensure the NSPCC end cruelty to children.”
The new Jaguar XF will make its public debut at the Frankfurt motor show on 11th September – four days after one determined bidder will have secured their very own XF. Fusing the style and performance of a sports car with the refinement, space and sophistication of a luxury saloon, the new XF delivers a driving experience that exceeds the expectations created by its dramatic looks.
Geoff continued: “XF is an incredibly important car for Jaguar and we have already had a great deal of interest with customers placing deposits without even seeing a picture of the car. Whoever wins the bidding will head straight to the top of a growing list and I can promise they will not be disappointed when they finally get behind the wheel.”
Not only will the highest bidder be the first to take delivery of the car – a Luxury 2.7 Diesel – in spring of 2008, they will also be able to choose their colour options with advice from Jaguar’s Director of Design, Ian Callum. The new owner will also be able to visit the Castle Bromwich factory in Birmingham to see their car being built.
Jaguar has chaired the NSPCC Business Group in Coventry since its launch as the NSPCC Coventry Kids Committee in 1994 and to date they have raised over £1.75 million. This year Jaguar has joined forces with Ian Neale Construction Group as headline sponsors of the 2007 NSPCC Ball, which they hope will help the organisation break the £2 million mark.
This year, for the first time, interested parties will be able to bid on the telephone during the auction. Anyone wishing to place a bid for this, and the many other great prizes on offer should contact Jaguar’s Community Affairs Manager, Les Ratcliffe, on 01926 649899/ 07711 853103.
The new Jaguar XF will cost from £33,900 in the UK. Buyers of Jaguar’s new mid-size premium saloon will also enjoy class-leading residual values* in addition to owning a very well-equipped vehicle with a driving experience that matches the excitement of Jaguar’s bold new design language. With a top speed of 143 mph, the XF 2.7-litre diesel can reach 0-60 in 7.7 seconds and has a combined CO2 of 199 g/km, meaning it falls within UK Tax Band ‘F’. At this level it would not be subject to the proposed high level London congestion charges.
Alongside the new Fabia Estate (pictured above), Skoda announced today that it will also premiere two design studies at the forthcoming Frankfurt Show: the Fabia Greenline and the Fabia Estate Scout. Though VW’s subsidiary avoided getting into any details, apparently the eco-friendly Fabia Greenline that boasts an avg. fuel consumption of 69 UK mpg (4,1 lt/100 km or 57.4 US mpg) and 110g/km of C02 is powered by a diesel engine –something like VW’s Bluemotion lineup. As for the Fabia Estate Scout, similar to the Roomster and Octavia Scout, the front wheel-drive crossover concept will bear body mouldings in order to look a bit rough. Expect the Fabia Estate Scout to go into production sometime in 2008. -Teaser release after the jump
ŠKODA AT THE 2007 IAA FRANKFURT MOTOR SHOW
All-new spacious Fabia Estate makes international debut
Economical Fabia Greenline design study to be unveiled
It’s all go for Škoda at this year’s Frankfurt Auto Show. The Czech manufacturer will be showcasing an all-new model, a design study and a concept car on its Hall 3 stand.
Breaking cover for the first time will be the new Škoda Fabia Estate, with its impressive 1,460-litre loading area (seats folded). Over 630,000 examples of the previous generation model were sold worldwide, and with the choice of six engines and a typically affordable price tag, the new model will doubtless be similarly popular.
Alongside the load-lugger will be the Fabia Greenline. The design study – intended to highlight Škoda’s ability to produce economical, environmentally-friendly vehicles – boasts around 69mpg combined and 110g/km of CO2. Showgoers will also have the chance to Czech out the Fabia Estate Scout concept car. Similar in styling to both the Roomster and Octavia Scout, the latest concept is two-wheel drive and features stylish body mouldings.
The Škoda Auto press conference is at 11:40 on Tuesday the 11th of September. Further details on all stand vehicles will be available from the UK press team on both press days.
Sharing the same engine lineup with the C-Class sedan, the Estate will be offered with a wide range of 4-cylinder and V6 petrol and diesel units. In 2008 Mercedes will broaden the range with the introduction of the C 63 AMG Estate which will wear a 457 Hp V8 engine. Following its worldwide premiere at Frankfurt Motor Show, the new C-Class Estate will be available in Mercedes-Benz dealerships from mid- September 2007. However that date concerns the European market as the US will probably have to wait until early 2008. -Press release and high-res images after the jump
Aug 31, 2007
Stuttgart- Just a few months following the market debut of the saloon, Mercedes-Benz is now unveiling the estate version of the new C-Class. The estate takes the trademark strengths of the saloon, such as safety, agility and comfort, and combines them with a significant increase in spaciousness and versatility. Quite apart from being able to hold a maximum of 1500 litres, giving it a larger load capacity than any other premium-class estate in this market segment, the new C-Class Estate also offers a host of handy features for easy loading and safe transportation -a tailgate which opens and closes automatically at the push of a button, for example.
Compared to the outgoing model, the new Mercedes estate burns as much as twelve per cent less fuel. With an official NEDC consumption of 6.0 litres/100 km, the new C 200 CDI can make a single tank of fuel (66 litres) last for over 1000 kilometres. Just like the saloon, the estate version of the new C-Class has also been awarded an Environmental Certificate, which attests to the environmentally oriented development process as conforming with the international ISO standard. In terms of safety, the new estate blazes a trail with innovations of the likes of PRE-SAFE® and the Intelligent Light System, and distinguishes itself as the safest car in this vehicle class. Seven airbags, belt tensioners and belt force limiters, as well as crash-responsive NECK-PRO head restraints all make up part of the standard specification.
The new estate adopts the C-Class Saloon's customer-focused concept for the design and equipment lines. There is a choice of three models - CLASSIC, ELEGANCE and AVANTGARDE - which highlight the vehicle's comfort or agility to differing degrees. The AVANTGARDE line features a large Mercedes star positioned in the centre of the radiator grille that emphasises its sporty, agile nature. This traditional distinctive mark of sporty models from Mercedes is now being employed in an estate model for the first time by the Stuttgart-based automotive brand. In the ELEGANCE model, a three-dimensional, louvred radiator grille with a high-gloss paint finish accentuates other brand-typical attributes such as comfort and luxury. The CLASSIC model, meanwhile, is deliberately more restrained and traditional.
New benchmark figure: maximum load capacity of 1500 litres
During the concept phase for the new estate, the designers and engineers at Mercedes took the expectations of the brand's customers as their yardstick. Consequently, spaciousness, versatility and functionality were given top priority. Compared to its predecessor, the rear of the new estate is slanted far more steeply, a crucial factor for enlarging the vehicle's load volume. This now varies between 485 and 1500 litres (VDA measuring method), depending on the position of the 1/3 : 2/3 split-folding rear seat -- more than any of the model's rivals in this class of premium estate car are able to offer. Measured against the outgoing C-Class Estate, load capacity has been increased by as much as 146 litres.
This makes the estate a thoroughly practical vehicle in every respect. It is able to accommodate, for example, four golf bags including trolleys, nine large packing cases or a total of 44 drinks crates each containing six 1-litre juice bottles. The largest possible cuboid that fits into the load compartment now has a volume of 827 litres - that is an increase of 66 litres compared to the previous model and between 50 and 100 litres more than other premium estate models in this class are able to handle. The maximum utilisable interior length is a whole 2.82 metres, as measured between the tailgate and the front passenger footwell - 17 centimetres more than previously.
Convenient loading: EASY-PACK tailgate and load-securing kit
Thanks to a host of practical details, the new Mercedes estate can be loaded more easily, more conveniently and more safely. For instance, two bag hooks and four rings for anchoring loads are included in the load compartment as standard.
Stowage compartments with net covers and a collapsible shopping crate can likewise be found in all models, as can the combined luggage cover and retaining net. The new EASY-PACK tailgate opens and closes as the push of a button, representing a first in this segment. Finally, the optional EASY-PACK load-securing kit presents drivers with even more possibilities for both partitioning the load compartment -- that measures around 1.80 metres long and up to 1.20 metres wide -- and for securing the load being carried.
The new C-Class Estate also makes a perfectly good towing vehicle and, indeed, offers a class-beating towing capacity of as much as 1800 kilograms. The self-levelling suspension that is optionally available keeps the vehicle at a constant ride height regardless of the load it is carrying.
Accredited environmental protection: a twelve per cent cut in fuel consumption
Environmental considerations played a key role in the development of the Mercedes-Benz C-Class from the very start. This is corroborated by the Environmental Certificate that was awarded by the TÜV Technical Inspection Authority in Germany. Mercedes-Benz is the only automotive brand in the world to have obtained a certificate under the terms of ISO standard 14062 for environmentally acceptable product development.
With brand new or redeveloped engines under the bonnet offering greater power and torque, the C-Class Estate consumes up to twelve per cent less fuel than previously. The four-cylinder power units were the focus of the development work: in the case of the C 180 KOMPRESSOR and C 200 KOMPRESSOR petrol models Mercedes-Benz modified the engine management and fitted a more dynamic supercharger and improved pistons to boost output by 10 kW/13 hp and 15 kW/20 hp respectively. At the same time, the fuel consumption figures for the two models could be cut by as much as 10.3 per cent to 7.7 and 7.8 litres/100 kilometres.
Mercedes-Benz also gave the four-cylinder diesel engines a thorough overhaul too, making improvements not only to the injection system, the turbocharger and the intercooler but to more than 90 other components too. The upshot is engines delivering more power and higher torque, combined with fuel consumption that is around twelve per cent lower. The new C 220 CDI now has an output of 125 kW/170 hp (previously: 110 kW/150 hp) and musters up 400 Newton metres of peak torque (previously: 340 Newton metres) from 2000 rpm. Fuel consumption on the NEDC driving cycle comes in at just 6.1 litres for every 100 kilometres (previously: 6.9 l/100 km).
In the new C 200 CDI, power has been upped by eleven per cent (100 kW/136 hp instead of 90 kW/122 hp before) and fuel consumption is 6.0 litres/100 kilometres (previously 6.8 l/100 km).As for the six-cylinder engine range, there is a choice of three petrol units developing 150 kW/204 hp, 170 kW/231 hp and 200 kW/272 hp, as well as the new C 320 CDI with an output of 165 kW/224 hp. With the exception of the C 350, all engine variants are coupled to a six-speed manual transmission. The C 350 is partnered by the 7G-TRONIC seven-speed automatic transmission.
Sporty agility: shock absorbers that change with the driving situation
The unique blend of agility and comfort that forms one of the exceptional strengths of the new C-Class is basically down to the standard-fit AGILITY CONTROL package. This features shock absorbers which automatically adapt to the current driving situation for a noticeable improvement in ride comfort when driving normally. As soon as a more dynamic driving style is adopted, on the other hand, the maximum damping forces are set to stabilise the estate effectively .
A steering system that is six per cent more direct and a short-throw six-speed manual transmission also form part of the AGILITY CONTROL package.
The dynamic handling package that is available as an option bestows the new C-Class Estate with a degree of agility worthy of out-and-out sports cars. The driver is able to choose from two drive modes which determine the fundamental suspension characteristic: Comfort and Sport.
Within these modes, the shock absorbers at each wheel are regulated by means of an infinitely variable electronic control. What's more, the body is lowered by 15 millimetres and the suspension equipped with shorter springs and thicker torsion bars. The dynamic handling package also encompasses the new speed-sensitive power steering with a more direct ratio and variable centring.
The body index devised by engineers at Mercedes clearly illustrates just how agilely the new C-Class Estate performs out on the road. This index is calculated from the readings for various driving manoeuvres, thereby forming a new composite formula for a vehicle's dynamic handling abilities. The larger the body index, the better the suspension is linked to the body and the firmer the suspension's tuning. The standard AGILITY CONTROL suspension gives the C-Class a body index of 1.91 to 2.01 hertz, while the new model attains sports-car-like values of up to 2.46 hertz with the dynamic handling package fitted.
Kitting out the new estate with the AMG sports package adds a sports suspension with shorter springs and firmer shock absorbers to the specification, along with 17-inch light-alloy wheels. The body is also dropped by 15 millimetres.
Hallmark Mercedes quality: the safest car in its class
The C-Class Estate has come through an exhaustive programme of testing, during which it demonstrated its typical Mercedes-like levels of safety in over 100 crash tests in all. The occupant protection concept is underpinned by an intelligently designed bodyshell, 70 percent of which consists of high-strength and ultra-high-strength grades of steel. The front-end structure comprises four impact levels which act independently of one another and enable forces to be distributed over a wide area while bypassing the passenger cell. The occupants are protected by a total of seven airbags as standard. The driver, front passenger and the passengers on the outer rear seats also benefit from belt tensioners and belt force limiters.
The NECK-PRO head restraints in the front have a crash-responsive design, meaning that they move to cushion the heads of the driver and front passenger at an early stage in a rear-end collision to guard against the risk of whiplash. The integrated child seats, which fold out of the rear bench seat have undergone further development and are now also fitted with a wraparound head restraint.
Standard features such as the flashing brake lights, Brake Assist and Electronic Stability Program make vital contributions to accident prevention. The ESP® system now incorporates additional functions: not only does it monitor the tyre pressure it also helps to enhance safety when towing a trailer with an automatic trailer stabilisation function.
The anticipatory occupant protection system PRE-SAFE® gives the new estate the edge over other models in this segment. This optional system makes use of the time before an imminent accident to prepare the vehicle and its occupants for a collision. The result is a considerable reduction in the loads exerted on the passengers upon impact. The Intelligent Light System is another technical innovation borrowed from the higher-end models in the Mercedes range and is the only system of its kind in this market segment at the current time. The system's five different lighting functions are each suited to various typical driving and weather conditions.
Excellent comfort on long journeys: newly developed seats and air conditioning system
Inside, the attractively styled dashboard, the high-class materials and appealing colour schemes create a homely atmosphere. For the first time, the colour concept has been extended to the load compartment too. On CLASSIC and ELEGANCE models, the customer's selected appointments colour is used for both the carpeting and the side trim. On the AVANTGARDE line, the rear compartment is carpeted in black too. Newly developed seats, which can be specified with a multicontour function as an option, as well as a powerful air conditioning system add to the estate's excellent comfort on long journeys.
The new estate from Mercedes-Benz is the first model in this class to offer the option of individually adjustable three-zone climate control. And the expansive panoramic sliding sunroof can be found on the list of optional extras for an estate car for the first time too.
The colour display in the centre of the dashboard is linked up to the controller on the tunnel console. This is where the driver can operate the audio and navigation systems or the telephone. A clear menu control structure makes it simple to access all of these functions and more besides. Alternatively, there are the direct selection keys in the centre console: the car radio, CD/ DVD player, navigation system or telephone can be switched on at the push of a button. Subsequent operating steps are performed using the controller in unison with the colour display in the dashboard.
State-of-the-art technology: voice-controlled infotainment devices
Mercedes-Benz developed three new infotainment units for the C-Class: Audio 20, Audio 50 APS and COMAND APS. They all feature a keypad for entering telephone numbers and radio frequencies, as well as a Bluetooth interface which allows mobile phones to be connected wirelessly to the hands-free system. The Audio 50 APS system also comprises pan-European DVD navigation using arrow symbols for route guidance. With the COMAND APS multimedia system, the navigation data is stored on a hard disc. A high-resolution map which can be viewed from different perspectives appears on the tilting colour display. The COMAND APS also comprises a DVD player, along with a music server for storing up to 1000 tracks.
The LINGUATRONIC voice control system is automatically included on C-Class Estate models equipped with the Audio 50 APS plus the six-disc DVD changer or with the COMAND APS system. For the first time, the new improved system is now able to recognise whole-word commands when entering a destination, selecting a radio station or calling up a name from the telephone directory. The driver no longer needs to spell out the names of countries, towns or roads, for example, but is able to speak them as whole words instead.
Following its public premiere at the International Motor Show in Frankfurt/Main, motorists will be able to place their orders for the new C-Class Estate with Mercedes-Benz sales and service outlets and dealerships from September 2007.