* New Audi R8 S tronics steps up a gear for 2013 *
* Vauxhall’s new Astra BiTurbo Hatch & Sports Tourer models *
* Prices and specs for the amazing Mercedes-Benz E300 BlueTEC Hybrid *
* VW’s up! broadens urban appeal with an automated manual gearbox *
* SsangYong welcomes 10 new dealers to expanding network *
* GM and Manchester United announce Chevrolet as shirt sponsor *
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…and finally: VW Touareg adventurer sets off on new world record tour
New Audi R8 S tronics step up a gear for 2013
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A revised R8 range incorporates faster S tronic twin-clutch sports transmission and new lighter and more powerful V10 plus model. New look R8 V8 and V10 Coupé and Spyder models adopt S tronic twin-clutch transmission as part of comprehensive programme of 2013 Model Year revisions. The latest range is spearheaded by new lighter, quicker and even more focused 550PS V10 plus Coupé version. All-LED headlights and rear indicators with innovative sweeping function are standard across the range with equipment upgrades for most models.
The adrenaline-fuelling Audi R8 driving experience is about to be charged with even greater intensity by a new S tronic twin-clutch sports transmission delivering blink-of-an-eye gear shifts and improved sprinting ability. The ultra-rapid transmission is just one highlight of the 2013 Model Year R8 range, which also now features new design detailing and all-LED lighting across the board, equipment upgrades for most models and a new, even more powerful and focused version of the V10 Coupé – the 550PS V10 plus. The totally new seven-speed S tronic transmission replaces the R tronic automated manual option in the latest R8 range, and is available as an alternative to the acclaimed six-speed manual gearbox with its open stainless steel gate, which continues to be offered for all versions in the UK.
* OTR prices from £91,575 to £127,575 * Orders open September – first deliveries early 2013 *
Vauxhall’s new Astra BiTurbo Hatch & Sports Tourer models
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* BiTurbo hatch and Sports Tourer join Astra range *
* Sports Tourer variant is most powerful diesel model in its class *
* Vauxhall’s most potent diesel ever with 195PS and 400Nm torque *
Hot on the heels of the GTC BiTurbo, Vauxhall is adding two more high performance 2.0 diesels with 195PS and 400 Nm torque to its Astra range. The British-built Astra BiTurbo 5-door Hatch and Sports Tourer – which becomes the most powerful estate in its class – offer blistering performance, high levels of practicality and impressive frugality.
Both models have a top speed in excess of 135mph and can achieve 0-60mph in under eight seconds. The boost in performance does not compromise economy either, with low CO2 emissions of 134g/km and a combined 55.4mpg. Both models benefit from Start/Stop technology.
Twin turbo technology is rare in this class and the Astra uses a sequential turbo-charging system, with the smaller turbo accelerating quickly at lower speeds to eliminate ‘lag’, providing 320Nm of torque from 1,250rpm. In the mid-rpm range, both turbochargers operate together, with the larger turbocharger pre-compressing the intake air, before it is fully compressed in the smaller one. A bypass valve is controlled continuously to pass on part of the exhaust gases to the larger turbo. As a result, the driver still enjoys smooth acceleration. At higher rpm (from around 3,000rpm) all the gases flow directly to the larger turbocharger, maintaining the fluid power delivery at higher speeds.
Built at Vauxhall’s Ellesmere Port plant in Cheshire, the new derivatives benefit from the recent styling refresh that can be found across the Astra range. The aggressive new look includes a revised front grille, new front indicators and fog lamps, and refreshed rear-panel styling. Both BiTurbo models come with an array of unique features including 18” alloy wheels, twin rear exhausts, exterior styling pack and alloy sports pedals.
Available to order now, with first deliveries expected late 2012.
Prices start from £24,095 for the Hatch and from £25,110 for the Sports Tourer.
As with all Vauxhall passenger cars, Lifetime Warranty is standard, giving first owners the peace of mind of a warranty that lasts the car’s lifetime, up to a maximum 100,000 miles.
Prices and specs for the amazing Mercedes-Benz E 300 BlueTEC Hybrid
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* Most efficient E-Class ever sold in the UK, capable of achieving 65.7 mpg on the combined cycle and emits 109g/km of CO2 * E 300 BlueTEC Hybrid can accelerate from rest to 62 mph in 7.5-seconds, before reaching a maximum speed of 150mph * Prices set at £39,645 OTR for the Saloon, £41,435 OTR for the Estate * Advanced diesel-electric hybrid system allows for electric-only drive *
The E 300 BlueTEC Hybrid Saloon is priced from £39,645.00 OTR while the Estate variant starts at £41,435.00 OTR. The BIK rates range from 12 per cent. Standard equipment includes 17-inch alloy wheels – 16-inch wheels can be fitted as a no-cost option to achieve the lowest possible CO2 and economy figures. Also included is leather upholstery, Becker Map Pilot Navigation and LED daytime running lights.
The E 300 BlueTEC Hybrid brings together a powerful yet highly efficient 2,143cc, four-cylinder diesel engine. Developing 204 hp and 500 Nm of torque, it is linked to a 20 kW electric motor mounted within the 7G-Tronic Plus automatic transmission powered by a 19kW Lithium-ion battery. The result is the ability to accelerate from rest to 62 mph in 7.5-seconds (Estate: 7.8-seconds) before reaching a maximum speed of 150 mph (144 mph) when required. When fitted with the 16-inch wheels, the E 300 BlueTEC Hybrid is capable of returning 65.7 mpg (62.8 mpg) on the combined cycle while emitting as little as 109 g/km of CO2 (116 g/km).
The Hybrid system is intricately packaged within the vehicle so as not to impact on the versatility or load capacity of the E-Class in any way. The electric motor, for instance, is mounted within the 7G-TRONIC PLUS automatic transmission. The gearbox substitutes a torque converter for a wet clutch system, therefore allowing for the internal combustion engine to be disengaged entirely via the clutch and for electric-only drive to be maintained for short periods, boosting economy. Such is the level of integration that the addition of the electric motor adds on 65 mm to the total length of the transmission.
UK deliveries of the new E 300 BlueTEC Hybrid are set to start in November.
VW’s up! broadens urban appeal with an automated manual gearbox
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The award-winning Volkswagen up! now really is the automatic choice in the city car sector, thanks to the addition of a new automated manual gearbox (ASG) which is available to order now.
Costing just £595, the automatic gearbox is available on both three- and five-door Move up! and High up! models (excluding BlueMotion Technology versions). As well as being cost-effective, the new five-speed ASG gearbox is extremely efficient, with improved fuel economy and lower CO2 emissions when compared with its manual counterpart.
The ASG is an automated version of the five-speed manual gearbox in the up!. The driver simply uses the gear lever to select D (Drive), N (Neutral) or R (Reverse) – there is no P (Park) – and the gearbox switches to the optimum gear for the situation. The gear shift points have been calculated to help achieve maximum fuel efficiency, depending on road profile and throttle position.
The driver can also change up or down manually using the gear lever.
Steering wheel paddle shift is not available on the up!.
The new gearbox is space-efficient, with the activation systems taking up a minimum of room, and has also been optimised to be as light as possible: at around 30 kg, it weighs just three kilograms more than the manual version. Two electromechanical actuators are positioned directly on the gearbox, and control the gate selection and engage or disengage the gears. A further electric motor is used to control the clutch. The simplicity of the ASG gearbox makes it more efficient than a torque-converter automatic gearbox, while the lower costs make it more appropriate for a great value city car than Volkswagen’s sophisticated DSG gearbox.
The up! with ASG is available to order now, with deliveries expected to start in October.
A fully electric version of the up! will join the range in late 2013.
SsangYong welcomes 10 new dealers to expanding network
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SsangYong Motor UK, the new importer of Korean SsangYong cars, has added a further 10 dealers to its growing network of franchised dealers bringing the network strength to 48 sales & service dealerships and 11 service centres.
The new appointments are:
* Astley’s, Yeovil, Somerset * Chequered Flag, Attleborough, Norfolk *
* Colley Motor Group, Cwmbran, Gwent, South Wales * Henrys Glasgow, Glasgow *
* Littlewick Green Motor Company, Swindon, & service centre in Maidenhead *
* Maple Garage, Mappleton, Hornsea, East Yorkshire * Ness Motors Limited, Inverness *
* SsangYong West London, Barnes, London * Turners, Crawley, Sussex *
* Westaway Motors, Spratton, Northamptonshire *
Commented Paul Williams, CEO of SsangYong Motor UK: “We are delighted to welcome these 10 new additions to the SsangYong franchise. The current trading conditions continue to be testing for everyone, customers, dealers and manufacturers/importers alike and with uncertainty amongst some dealer networks, SsangYong is seen as a brand that makes a lot of sense.
“The new Korando crossover is gaining a reputation for being well engineered, reliable and honest, and that message is converting into sales. With prices from just £16,995 and with a market leading 5-year limitless mileage warranty, it’s a proposition that customers and dealers recognise and value.
“We are continuing to look for dealers to take on the franchise in a number of open points across England, Scotland and Wales, including: Aberdeen, Borders, Newcastle, Teesside, Leeds, Bradford, Nottingham, Greater Manchester, Liverpool, Coventry, Watford, Leicester, Reading, Exeter, Southampton, London/South East, Mid & North Wales.
“We keep things simple yet professional, and with short lines of communication, quick decisions are assured. We offer dealer-selected objectives, competitive and straightforward dealer margins, all backed by a full range of support including a floor plan facility that is not linked to retail finance, plus a good parts supply. We expect to announce a number of further appointments in the near future.”
Added Steve Gray, SsangYong Motor UK’s marketing and communications director: “Keen pricing is at the heart of the product range, and with the recently announced Korando SX, we have added yet another benchmark – a crossover with 4×4 for less than £19,000, one of the most price competitive cars in its sector.”
Business owners interested in finding out more can visit Become a SsangYong Dealer or contact
Nigel Thomas, network development manager on 01582 488192 or 07775 825059.
GM and Manchester United announce Chevrolet as shirt sponsor
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General Motors and Manchester United this week announced that the world’s most popular football club’s shirt sponsor will be Chevrolet beginning with the 2014/2015 season. Chevrolet, the current Official Car Partner of the Club, will become only the fifth shirt sponsor in the Club’s 134 year history.
Announcing the deal, signed for an undisclosed amount, United’s Commercial Director, Richard Arnold, said: “This is a fantastic, long-term deal for the Club. We have been partners with Chevrolet for only six weeks, but already they have produced some fantastic ideas that will benefit both the partnership and our 659 million followers around the world.
“They are a key partner on our current tour and I know they have enjoyed experiencing the buzz generated by our fanatical support and the sell-out crowds in South Africa, China, and Europe. It is a great thrill for those of us who work with partners all year round when an existing partner steps up to being one of our principal partners. This commitment to United and its fans will bring real benefits to everyone who cares about the Club.”