Go e-tron, Go, Go, Go

What more does one need than approximately 940 kilometres of range, out of which 50 can be covered purely electric, and 205 horsepower? Six cylinders, I would say. Okay, this is missing the sustainable point of the engineering effort. And it is technically impossible, as it will not fit onto the platform of the car. But it is not missing the emotional fun point.

So here is our plea to you aspiring engineers: As a compromise, why not use the award-winning 5-cylinder turbo motor which will fit this platform? What is more, this engine is the direct descendant of the legendary ur-quattro 5-cylinder with its charismatic warbling soundtrack.

Okay, adjustments need to be made here and there to make the impossible possible. In other words: Please, find a way to overcome the problem with the 5-cylinder engine being too powerful for front-wheel-drive.

Dear engineers, you as the masters of magic: Cannot you find a way to make it this work? You know, we car addicts would like to have our cake and eat it. This is poetic licence, I know. But as a poet who can twist my words, cannot you twist your technology? And make this your first ur-quattro-e-tron? Nice thought, isn’t it?

Meanwhile, here is what Rupert Stadler, CEO of AUDI AG, has to say about the company’s electrifying future …

Volle Ladung in die Zukunft

Audi Vorstandschef Rupert Stadler erläutert die Mobilitätsstrategie des Konzerns

Von Susanne Roeder

Wien – Auch Audi fährt jetzt elektrisch, nicht vollelektrisch sondern hybrid, mit der Kraft der zwei Herzen. Auf der Rennstrecke schon seit etlichen Jahren, im Straßenverkehr ab sofort. Als erstes Hybrid-Modell ist ab Sommer der Audi A3 e-tron bestellbar, in Deutschland zum Einstiegspreis von 37.900 Euro. Drei Aggregate bilden den Antriebsstrang des A3 Sportback e-tron: ein Vierzylinder TFSI Motor, eine E-Maschine und ein neu entwickeltes Sechsgang-Doppelkupplungsgetriebe.

Die Ingolstädter haben das Fahrzeug als effizientes Fortbewegungsmittel für den Alltag entwickelt. Rein elektrisch bewältigt der an der Steckdose aufladbare Plug-in Hybrid 50 Kilometer. Dahinter steckt die Erkenntnis, dass die Deutschen allgemein und auch Berufstätige im Durchschnitt maximal 40 bis 60 Kilometer pro Tag zurücklegen.

Ein gut gelaunter Rupert Stadler, der für Audi mit effizienter Hybridtechnologie an Bord bei den 24-Stunden Klassikern Le Mans und Nürburgring auf zwei prestigeträchtige Rennsiege hintereinander blicken kann, erläuterte, warum die Ingolstädter erst jetzt ein Modell mit kleinem Elektromotor anbietet. „Ich glaube einfach, dass der Kunde es honorieren wird, ein Auto zu bekommen, bei dem er auf nichts verzichten muss. Er kriegt hier ein tolles dynamisches Auto.“ Man habe hier die gesamte Entwicklungserfahrung hineingebracht. In der Tat ist das Fahrzeug derart ausgereift, dass es absolut unmerklich von einem Fahrmodus in den andern wechselt. Mit seinem „Doppelherz“ (Verbrenner und Elektroantrieb) als Motorisierung erfüllt der A3 die Anforderungen an eine Mobilität ohne Einschränkungen: Er kann bei Bedarf emissionsfrei fahren, bietet aber eine Reichweite von insgesamt mehr als 900 Kilometern. Reichweitenangst kommt gar nicht erst auf. Genauso wenig die Gefahr, nicht genügend elektrische Energie gebunkert zu haben, um in eine emissionsfreie Zone wie die Großstadt London kostenfrei fahren zu können. Denn mit einer der vier wählbaren Modi, dem „hybrid hold“, kann der Energiestatus in der Batterie für später gespeichert werden, wenn eine solche Stadtfahrt ansteht. Die Stellung „charge“, also Ladestellung, dient dazu, die Batterie beim Fahren möglichst schnell aufzuladen, S für S tronic erlaubt einen Boostvorgang, also das Abrufen von Energie zum Beschleunigen, die Position „auto“ schließlich nutzt die elektrische Energie im Zusammenspiel mit dem Verbrennungsmotor optimal und gewährleistet wenig Kraftstoffverbrauch auch auf längeren Fahrstrecken.

„Wir wollen das Segment der Plug-in Hybride auffüllen und als Hersteller auch anführen“, lautet Stadlers selbstbewusste Ansage. Und speziell zum A3 e-tron, einem Brot-und-Butter Auto für Audi: „Der A3 hat aufgrund seines stabilen Restwertes einen guten Wiederverkaufswert.“ Der Vorstandsvorsitzende ist deshalb überzeugt, mit diesem Auto eine „sehr gute Welle“ anzustoßen.

„Wir sind mit einer sehr offenen Attitüde an die e-Mobilität rangegangen“, erzählt Stadler. Jedes Jahr soll jetzt ein weiteres Modell als e-tron die Audi Hybridfamilie bilden. Als nächster kommt im Jahr 2015 das größte SUV, der Audi Q7, auf den Markt. Danach läuft speziell für den chinesischen und für Audi wichtigsten Markt der A6 Langversion e-tron vom Band. Die Palette wird bis zum A8 als Plug in Hybrid reichen. Im Premiumbereich gehe es um intelligente Modelle. Im gleichen Atemzug bekräftigte Stadler die Gewinnmarge bei Audi von acht bis zehn Prozent. Damit lägen die vier Ringe man bei den Massenherstellern weiterhin an der Spitze.

Und ein rein elektrischer Audi? „Das BEV (Battery Electric Vehicle) wird bei uns in der zweiten Phase der Elektrifizierung kommen.“ Wann genau das sein wird, da hüllt sich der Vorstandsvorsitzende außer dem Hinweis auf „dann, wenn es passt und Sinn macht“ schmunzelnd in Schweigen.

 

——–ENDE————————————–

 

 

Fresh, Young and Cheeky: HYUNDAI

Hyundai's smallest family member, the cute and surprisingly solid i 10.

Hyundai’s smallest family member, the cute and surprisingly solid i 10.

So Cute … you almost want to cuddle it

It has been a bestseller right from the start, Hyundai’s cheeky little i 10. It is solid, it is well-made, it is stylish and it has features that one does not usually expect to find in the A segment. In a word, it is fun to drive, definitely as a four-cylinder with 87 PS. Even its sound sounds okay. We have heard worse in bigger engines.

“Do schebbert nix. Wie machetd die des?” This is Swabian for: “Nothing clatters, How do they do it?” – words forever famous since they were first uttered by the somewhat flabberghasted VW boss Martin Winderkorn when closely inspecting the i 30 during IAA in Frankfurt. Although spoken almoust four year ago these words have become a classic and are still ringing in our ears. And just as Winterkorn must have felt surprised at the quality of the Korean cars, the little i 10 won us iover with its cuteness and solid stance.

We took pleasure in driving the agile 3.67 meter long five-door Hyundai in beautiful Rheingau. What more does one need for the town? Agreed we still prefer the version with more horsepower (87 hp, 64 kW) to the three-cylinder i 10 (67 hp, 48.5 kw). And in spite of its belonging to the A segment the i 10 has features from the B and C segment, like a heated steering wheel and automatic air conditioning. The 3-cylinder can also be had with liquid gas. The i 10 starts at 9.950 Euro. It can be ordered in three different styles (Classic, Trend, Style).

Successful hatching of the Hyundai brand.

Successful hatching of the Hyundai brand.

There is no doubt, Hyundai has left behind its status as ugly duckling. Who would have thought that the ugly duckling Atos from 1997 would evolve into a swan in the shape of Instead, it has become a very successful brand of its own competing with the “establishment”. The OEM does a lot to be present in the media, where it pursues its appearance as a young and somewhat freaky brand. Hyundai is therefore actively involved in social media like Twitter, Facebook or YouTube. One extremely successful example has been the little Hyundai video that in ten minutes quoted no less than 70 blockbuster films. Within two weeks the video had almost 250,500 clicks on YouTube.

Today the once sneered at car manufacturer has ten model ranges with fifteen derivatives, all of which sell well. From the small i 10 to the Grand Santa Fe, from conventional to latest technology like LPG and fuel cell, Hyundai has it all. With Thomas Bürkle and Peer Schreyer the Koreans have two renowned designers to rely on for a fresh and imaginative design.

Hyundai’s worldwide success stems from a bundle of factors such as design, a convincing value for money ratio, reliability, five years guarantee irrespective of the mileage. Speed is another one of Hyundai’s codes of success. The developing time for a new model has been cut in half from 48 down to 24 months. And it is to be further shortened, down to 14 months.

How better to catch emotions than with football. To further broadcast the brand, Hyundai is acting as main sponsor of FIFA and UEFA football events. During the last European Football Championship the OEM managed to raise its brand awareness from 29 to 49 per cent. Apart from acting as sponsor Hyundai actively takes part in motorsports. Thus, the Koreans will soon start during the 24 hours on the Nürburgring. The car manufacturer opened its testing ground next to the race track. Which goes to show that motorsports is a great help when it comes to developing reliable street cars that carry future technologies.

Susanne Roeder

 ©roe

 

Q be nimble, Q be quick!

The Q factor, number three in the expanding Aud SUV family.

The Q factor, number three in the expanding Audi SUV family.

Welcome to the sunny side of being en tour

This specimen of mobility was presented to the press in Barcelona, Spain, and is the hitherto smallest Audi SUV: the Q3. Indeed, that was almost three years ago. Maybe it is because it is produced in Spain, in Martorell, that Audi focussed on advertising this model in a warm and positive colour which calls for attention, almost assigning it its very own “signature colour”, namely a specifically orange metal varnish. Mind you, they call it Samoaorange Metallic, which of course does not evoke a Spanish landscape at all, but rather  alludes to the tropical island of that name in the Pacific Ocean.

So why make this outrageously orangey colour an option for the Q3? Why make the SUV  share this colour with other Audi models like the A1 on the one hand and with no less than top-notch sportscars like the Audi TTS and R8 on the other? Does this unexpected combination of SUV and Samoaorange Metallic specifically appeal to the female sex? Is it a woman’s car? We do not know, and, to be honest, do not really care. What interests us more is the car’s overall performance. Usability, performance and economy, these are the decisive criteria which our 2.0 TDI quattro S tronic with 177 horsepower (130 kw) fulfils impressively well.

The Q-Factor

Once we had overcome our lurking aversion to the unmistakably characteristic sound of the diesel, we were pleasantly surprised by the nimbleness of the car and by how long one tank would last – in spite of it being the upgraded 2.0-litre diesel. Apparently the diesel sound of the same engine with 140 horsepower is even more prominent. The definite advantage of the diesel engine over the petrol engine remains its amazing quantity of torque (380Nm), which not only makes driving a most pleasant experience, but also gives the driver the satisfaction of quick overtaking procedures.

And, although the Q3 is a fairly solid and as such a “normal” car, wherever we drove or parked the car, it certainly stood out, due to the Samoaorange Metallic. “Disrupt to differentiate”, the motto we strive to pursue in our bloggosphere, encapsulates perfectly this specific Audi. And there will be further models with the Q-factor denoting SUV or crossover capabilities firmly implanted in their DNA. Which one is going to be next, the Q4, the Q6? Will there also be a Q1 and a Q2, possibly on the platform of the A1? The Q3 uses the platform of the A3 and the VW Golf, but otherwise bears no resemblance to the sedan or hatchback.

Every inch an Audi

The Q3 has lived up to our expectations, in spite of the Samoaorange Metallic version. We would certainly choose a different colour, not least as the Samoaorange costs an extra 546.22 Euro. Incidentally, the base price for the 2.0 TDI with 177 hp is 31,218.49 Euro (net). With all the extras from the options list we had on board, the Q3 would have amounted to  48,600.84 Euro (net) or 57,835.00 Euro including VAT. In other words, one should consider the options list very carefully.

The manufacturer’s claim: “The Audi Q3 is a premium SUV with the format of the compact class. It is sporty, efficient and versatile – an urban vehicle that is equally at home on or off the road. Every aspect of the Q3 showcases Audi technology.” We do go along with this description. New as far as technology is concerned is the fact that the Q3 has its four-cylinder engine mounted transversely, which enabled the designers to give it its compact shape. Needless to say, the SUV has Audi state-of-the-art infotainment and multimedia systems on board. We had the luxury MMI navigation plus system installed. It is easy to handle, and for the extra 2,289.92 Euro offers a wide array of useful features like a voice control system that understands 12 languages or up-to-the minute online traffic information.

World premiere in April 2011 in Shanghai.

World premiere in Shanghai in April 2011.

 

 

Hoch zu Roß im Deutschen Schmuddelwinter

Der Diesel mit 177 PS (130kW) lässt echten Fahrspaß aufkommen, vor allem in Handling und Ansprechverhalten. Die Freude kommt an der nächsten Tankstelle, denn der kleine On- und Offroader ist durchaus genügsam in seinem Durst nach Sprit. Trotz ausgiebigem Austesten der möglichen Höchstgeschwindigkeit von laut Tachonadel über 220 km/h lag unser Spritverbrauch bei durchschnittlich acht Liter auf 100 Kilometer. Der Sound im Sportmodus ist etwas bissiger, für unsere Ohren angenehmer, weil der Diesel in den Hintergrund tritt. Bei genügsamer Fahrweise reicht eine Tankfüllung (64 Liter) für gut 1000 Kilometer. Das Leergewicht fällt mit 1585 Kilogramm für ein Auto dieser Kategorie gering aus und ist ein weiterer Grund für den relativ geringen Spritverbrauch samt entspanntem Wohlgefühl im hohen Geschwindigkeitsbereich.

Der Q3 ist ein Audi durch und durch, in der Designsprache genauso wie im Fahrverhalten. Ein agil kompakter Alleskönner und bisher kleinstes und jüngstes Mitglied in der SUV Familie der Ingolstädter. Fazit: Es muss nicht immer ein RS sein, zumal die erhöhte Sitzposition zum Cruisen und Genießen der vorbeigleitenden Landschaft verleitet.

Susanne Roeder

©roe

Opel Meriva: Second Generation Rejuvenated

The engine is the heart of a car. With the new generation 1.6 CDTI Opel has managed to present the quietest and most efficient diesel engine in its class. We were able to testdrive the advanced technology in the facelifted second generation Opel Meriva, a few days before its introduction to German car dealers. Impressed by the nifty and easy-to-drive little van, we feel certain this car will appeal to drivers of all ages, be it singles, young families or elderly couples.

Since its launch in 2010 about 400.000 Meriva B have been sold in total, approximately a quarter of them in Germany. After its debut in the Zafira Tourer, the Meriva is the second model to benefit from the 1.6 diesel engine replacing the 1.7 diesel as substantially reworked engine with low friction transmissions which offer better efficiency and much more precise and smooth shift operation. The German car manufacturer has invested more than 50 million Euro into the optimisation of its five- and six-speed gearboxes.

Merivadiesel_smallRegarding its outer appearance the Meriva has been inconspicuously rejuvenated, most notably using chrome elements, as in the newly designed front grille and the elegant chrome waistline. The new front and fog lamps with energy saving LED daytime running lights and LED rear lamps give the Meriva a perky and more determined look.

And as far as infotainment is concerned, with IntelliLink Opel offers all the latest technology. Infotainment nowadays seems to bank on the driver’s individual smartphone. Thus, the new Meriva boasts of seamless smartphone integration into the vehicle. We can well do, drive and live without this feature. But, together with a further wide range of premium functions provided by IntelliLink, this seems to be a definite selling point.

Whispering Engines

We on the other hand focused on the driving experience. Thus, the 1.6 diesel engine ( we drove the version with 136 hp/100 kW, 320Nm torwze, 4.4 l/100km and  116g/km CO2) can be warmly recommended. Compared to its predecessor, the 1.7 CDTI, there is a plus of 6hp and 20 Nm, while efficiency is improved by 10% as regards fuel consumption and emission of CO2. During the course of the year, a further version of the 1.6 CDTI with 110 hp/ 81 kW will emit no more than 99 grams of CO2 and consume a mere 3.8 litres of diesel per 100 kilometres, making the Meriva the first (diesel) monocab under 100g.

As to the interior, the Meriva oozes pureness and solid quality. Of course, the patented FlexDoor system has remained a salient component of the Meriva’s ergonomic concept. While the usual opening angle of doors is 68 degrees, Meriva’s 84-degree opening doors in front and rear allow easy access. Yet the most spectacular feature of the FlexDoors system are the highly ergonomic rear-hinged rear doors which give comfortable access to the rear. The engineers are proud of their flexibility and ergonomic champion – a title first bestowed upon the Meriva in 2010, when the second generation was launched.

The price for the Meriva 1.6 CDTI in Germany starts with 23,350 Euro as “Edition”, 24,790 Euro as “Color Edition” and  24,890 Euro as “Innovation”. The entry price for the smallest petrol engine (100 hp/74 kW) is 15,990 Euro (prices include VAT). All engines, be it gasoline, LPG or whisper-diesel 1.6 CDTI, already comply with Euro 6 emission standards.

Summary / Zusammenfassung

Frischzellenkur für Opels Minivan Meriva. Natürliche Schönheit kommt von innen. Deshalb ist der 1,6 Liter Dieselmotor, der nach dem Zafira Tourer nun auch im Meriva geräuscharm werkelt, die wichtigste Neuerung beim Facelift der zweiten Generation Meriva. Unverändert attraktiv bleiben die hinten angeschlagenen Fondtüren als auffallendstes Merkmal des patentierten FlexDoors Türsystems. Opel hat den Meriva konsequent weiter verbessert und seinen Status als pfiffiges Alltagsauto für alle Altersklassen weiter ausgebaut.

Susanne Roeder

©roe

Aquam e Pumice postulare

Chancellor Dr. Angela Merkel: “Eine Maut wird es mit mir nicht geben.”

Already forgotten?

Matthias Wissmann: What about it?

Politics in Brussels: Only eating Brussel sprouts?

So this is the latest addition. 8 points is not the issue. But the money one has to pay. And who decides on what road what speed is permitted? Whereas on some long and winding roads it is only possible for the advanced driver to reach the allowed 100km/h, on other totally straight roads it is 60km/h – where the speed limit used to be 100km/h. Just one example.

Änderung des Bußgeldkatalogs

So, again, cash cow car driver. All the other countries, yes, they do have a Maut System of some sort. However, the Germans already pay incredible taxes for petrol (75 %). And e-mobility is heavily sponsored, and still intolerably expensive, simply because the well-to-wheel balance does not work.

Frau Merkel, you once studied physics, did you not? So where is the logic in this? Or are you swaying opportunistically in the wind as you have almost always done?

Source: Mobil in Deutschland e.V.

 

New Bible, latest Edition

“It is the pinnacle of achievement to create something that survives the test of time, is immune to the eccentricity of certain epochs – in other words, has a timeless character.” (Prof. Dr. Ing. h.c. Ferry Porsche)

So, here’s to Christmas and the birth of the …. Porsche 911 ! An altogether splendid book.

The ultimate book to celebrate 50 years of the icon has appeared in Motorbuchverlag (Paul Pietsch).

Father to the 911

Father to the 911.

ISBN: 978-3-613-30911-1
39.90 EUR / 55.90 CHF

Edition Porsche Museum

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XPm3CWvDmvc

Susanne Roeder

©roe

Tegernsee ahoi!

Hotel Überfahrt seen through someone else's perspective

Hotel Überfahrt seen through someone else’s perspective, plus Audi slope to the right.

A ship, a hospital? No, an international hotel, one of the very best, and part of the Althoff group: Hotel Überfahrt in Rottach-Egern (five stars). We reached it in our little Cayman S with the optional Sport Chrono package. Tremendous fun it was with this neat little car, which in red stood out nicely in the snow.

As to Hotel Überfahrt, we just managed the dessert which was upper crust in itself. It has to be said: Christian Jürgens and his team deserve the three stars – for exquisite ideas, a brilliant team and all one needs to have a grand gourmet holiday. No need to argue how these 3 stars came about. The Michelin group must surely have had reasons enough to allocate this best of the best certificate to Jürgens.

In fact, Tegernsee is inundated with good cuisine. There is “das Tegernsee”, a design hotel, there is Bachmair Weissach, and-so-on, and-so-forth. From the very refined to the simple kitchen: Tegernsee has it all. An incredible lot has changed over the years, and Tegernsee has become much more international than it used to be. Hard to swallow for some of the inhabitants.

CaymanS en route to Tegernsee. (photos+text: roe).

CaymanS en route to Tegernsee. (photos+text: roe).

©roe

to be continued…

Book review

Auto Kultur Geschichte

MOESER_Blog

Car Culture & History

Stuttgart University has published a book on the above topic. It deals with mobility in all its various aspects. Above all, mobility is seen in a positive way, a. o. alluding to the fact that spiritual mobility preconditions less real mobility, i.e. less traffic congestions. Easier said than done and instigating lots of debates.

Quite obviously, electric mobility nowadays plays a major role again, at least as regards traffic in cities. The question of sound has yet to be resolved, as cars without “noise” can prove extremely dangerous in today’s hustle and bustle. This is also discussed in the book, by professors, doctors and other specialists, the focus being on tomorrow’s (individual) mobility.

And who is paying the bill? (sketch SHALA)

And who is paying the bill? (sketch SHALA)

Kurt Möser, Marcus Popplov, Elke Uhl (ed.), Auto. Kultur. Geschichte (ISBN 978 3 981 466515), Stuttgart University + IZKT. 10 Euro.

 

 

Audi A8 Revisited

Sculptures of an Exhibition: The new Audi A8 starring at Langen Foundation in Hombroich, Neuss Northrhine-Westfalia.

Sculptures of an Exhibition: The new Audi A8 starring at Langen Foundation in Hombroich, Neuss, North Rhine-Westphalia.

Four Rings and Three Dimensions

It is the Audi flagship, the epitome of hightech, luxury, comfort and ease, spiced with sportiness: the Audi A8. Four years after the third generation was launched, a distinctly made over version is waiting to enter the limelight. And since this car encapsulates most of the Audi prowess, there is also a long version, as Mercedes-Benz and other OEMs have their long versions, built especially for chauffeuring the rich and mighty. In a nutshell and therefore simplified: Faced with the choice between Audi or Mercedes-Benz, those focussing on ever-increasing security features will opt for a Mercedes, whereas drivers for whom sportiness is the essence will go for Audi, knowing full well that the brand with the four rings has always had sufficient state-of-the art safety on board. This verdict is made irrespective of the very personal tastes as regards design. And we are fully aware that  for simplicity’s sake we have not mentioned the third of the German “big three”, namely BMW, also acclaimed for its sportiness.

Man does not really like rain that much, quattro loves it. Plus the power of the of the S8: We were indeed having fun, as can be seen. Smiling faces, because this car is so direct, so easy to drive.

quattro loves rain. Plus the power of the S8 with its 4.0 litre V8 TFSI engine on board. We had mighty fun irrespective of the rain. Smiling faces, because this car is so direct, so agile in spite of its size, so easy to drive.

Some of our colleagues criticise Audi for its signature claim “Vorsprung durch Technik”, maintaining the car manufacturer had lost its technical supremacy. But how about Daimler’s slogan “Das Beste oder nichts”, “The Best or Nothing”? Looking at the design of quite a number of their cars our answer in the direction of the Stuttgart brand would at

Best in Class

Best in Class

present be: “I’d rather have nothing.” Audi certainly is not half as apodictic as Daimler with their claim. The four rings are simply saying that technical leadership is the key to success. As any linguist would argue with reference to the OEM’s slogan: Audi is not maintaining to be the best in everything. The premium car manufacturer is rather driving home the fact that technical breakthroughs help towards being benchmark, which, of course, is what the brand is striving for. What Audi does not and has never maintained is that the car manufacturer holds the laurel in every respect. Having said that, without any preconceived notions pro or against Audi leadership in certain fields can be measured objectively.

So what is it that makes a flagship, and what specifically do people expect from a luxury limousine? Abundant space for man and luggage, sufficient state-of-the-art safety features, comfort features like adaptive air suspension, seats with massaging functions

Audi Flagship = A8

Audi Flagship = A8

and possibly air ionisation, connectivity, a high end sound system, luxurious interieur as a whole and appealing design are aspects that immediately spring to mind. And as much as individual brands differ in how they meet all these requests, they definitely take them into account. Audi has certainly succeeded in fitting all of these premium features into the new A8. In fact, the OEM has passed the test with flying colours. Why can we be so certain? Not only is Audi first to introduce a very intelligent lighting system called Matrix LED lighting, the algorithms for which were developed inhouse, the technology coming from supplier Hella –, but also have the engines become yet more powerful and more efficient. And even if 350 Euro may sound negligible in relation to the sizable total amount, it is the sum which the new A8, available in Germany with prices starting at 74,500 Euro, costs less than its predecessor. The 3 litre V6 diesel with eight-speed tiptronic and quattro as entry level model feels quite sufficient for the majority of drivers, and one can certainly feel the character of the new A8 for this entry price. In other words, the A8 has become more perfect, if there can be such a degree of comparison, and slightly less expensive.

Just another few days and the new Audi A8, S8 and A8 L W12 will arrive at German Audi dealerships.

Just another few days and the new Audi A8, S8 and A8 L W12 will arrive at German Audi dealerships.

The A8 has successfully maintained its place as sportiest full size sedan in the premium segment. The new A8 is scheduled to arrive at German dealerships in November. When driving the various models of the A8, with a clear preference for the S8, we have been able to experience just that: excellent comfort, superb craftsmanship, strict lightweight construction and a broad portfolio of high-end technologies. Audi has indeed managed to update its A8 flagship exhaustively.

Vorsprung durch Technik: Shine a Light

New assistance systems and the innovative Matrix LED headlights make for even safer and more superior driving. The engines are more powerful and more efficient. And it is still there, the technical leadership in quattro. Nothing can compare to this uniquely efficient technology that leaves the driver with a feeling of utter sportiness and as though in total command of the car, even if it is the superior technology that is in control in cases where an amateur driver might run into dire straits.

How the Audi Matrix LED headlights work.

How the Audi Matrix LED headlights work.

quattro is unbeaten to this day. But let us take a closer look at that discipline in which Audi has lately become benchmark, too: lighting. As shown in an online sneak preview from August (see our previous text http://globaliter.de/heres-to-another-fab-member-of-the-rrrrrrrrrrrrsssssssssss-family/) Stephan Berlitz, chief lighting developer, explained the main functions to the interested journalists in the fittingly futuristic ambience of the Langen Foundation. Berlitz amazed his listeners with the announcement that the stunning lighting device allows more than one billion light distributions.

Here's looking straight at you...

Here’s looking straight at you…

Fortunately, the appearance of the headlights has changed. These lights that in the thorough facelift of the third generation, i.e. of the internally called D4/4H, had this effeminate eyelash or garland look have become straight in a convincing way and so unmistakably Audi. With Matrix LED Audi even more has attained a unique physique, as the headlights with their 25 LED lights per headlamp shine their light into every corner of the surroundings, without blinding either man or animal. So even if it may seem a soppy love song, the Audi matrix LED headlights can also be described emotionally. Seeing that Audi vehicles are driven all over the world, the headlights certainly manage to “shine a light in every corner of the world” and, what’s more, in an extremely intelligent manner:

The car has been improved so significantly as regards technology, efficiency and assistance systems, and has been carefully made over with respect to its outer and inner appearance that it will take at least another three years before the fourth generation will be constructed right from scratch.

Dressed to Kill

A8 ante portas: Testing the grounds of Schloss Bensberg in view of becoming a classic of the future at a Bensberg Classics event.

A8 ante portas: Testing the grounds of Schloss Bensberg in view of becoming a classic of the future at a Bensberg Classics event.

The new A8 has gained a more masculine and at the same time more elegant and slender overall appearance. Here are the most noticeable modifications: The flagship has received an even more clear-cut shape with straight lines and edges, as in the case of the bonnet

The three dimensions of the Audi Rings.

The three dimensions of the Audi Rings.

which more than before stretches angular across the singleframe grill and towards the new headlights. The singleframe grill itself has become slightly reduced but just as ready to hit the road. The rear with its separation edge and chrome trim is of a self-assured concreteness. The car is planted yet more solid on the ground. The operating Audi surgeons have every reason to be pleased with their facelift. It is very becoming to the physiognomy of the car. What also caught our attention as we glanced at the A8 sideways is its sculptured three dimensionality, which becomes most noticeable at the chiselled Audi rings protruding from the grill and calling for attention.

20 Years of Audi Space Frame

Less is more in each new Audi, meaning less weight. What twenty years ago began with the revolutionary Audi Space Frame has been expanded into scrutinising every part and

The body of the new A8 weighs just 231 kilograms - thanks to its ASF architecture and an intelligent blend of aluminum and high-strength steel.

The body of the new A8 weighs just 231 kilograms – thanks to its ASF architecture and an intelligent blend of aluminum and high-strength steel.

parcel of an Audi car with a view to reducing weight. As it highlights sportiness and of course means higher efficiency lightness is a top priority. Thus the new aluminum technology wheel underscores the Audi claim to leadership in lightweight construction. Besides the great design freedom, it also reduces the car’s unsprung masses substantially. Its innovative structure saves 4.35 kilograms (9.59 lb) compared with a conventionally fabricated forged wheel of the same design. That in itself means a total weight reduction per car of 17.4 kilograms (38.36 lb). Its surfaces in Iridium/Contrasting Gray emphasizes the three-dimensional effect and gives the new A8 wheels with an exclusive and unique look.

Three-dimensional effect of the new A8 wheels.

Three-dimensional effect of the new A8 wheels.

Added to the refreshingly facelifted design both outside and inside, the Audi flagship hosts the latest enhancements of Audi connect. Connected mobility has in fact been a key issue with Audi for many years. And again, the company with the four rings was first to study connected traffic in great depth. Audi MMI (Multi Media Interface), the operating concept of the Audi infotainment system, was introduced to the A8 back in 2002. Since then development has been rapid indeed. The latest generation of Audi connect not only displays parking lots and parking garages wherever wanted, it also indicates current prices of petrol stations, thus helping the driver to find the station with the best price.

Rolling understatement with 12 cylinders: A8 L W 12 small in Cuvée silver, metallic.

Rolling understatement with 12 cylinders: A8 L W 12 small in Cuvée silver, metallic.

“The Big”: A8 L W12

Although the A8 is an impressively spaceous limousine, there is yet the even more spaceous version, the long-wheelbase A8 L W12. “The Big” is truly an exclusive powerplant. Its W12 petrol engine produces 500 PS (368 kW) and delivers an impressive 625 Nm of torque at 4,750rpm. Once the Big rolls it glides along at impressive speed. Don’t get me wrong. This car is also amazingly quick right from the start:The sprint from 0 to 100 km/h is completed in 4.6 seconds, the electronically governed top speed of 250 km/h being just a formality. A speedboat, not a tanker.

Fast and luxurious: "the BIG".

Fast and luxurious: “the BIG”.

The A8 L W12 is expected to specifically appeal to the Chinese. However, Audi totally refrained from a plush interior just to please the Asian taste. It would be so un-Audi! On the

This is how the W12 engine works: It consists of four rows of three cylinders. Two rows face each other in a mutually offset configuration at 15-degree angles, respectively, and collectively form a single broad bank. The two cylinder banks thus form a 72-degree V configuration. The crankshaft has a crankpin offset of twelve degrees so that the twelve cylinders ignite in the ideal interval of 60 degrees.

This is how the W12 engine works: It consists of four rows of three cylinders. Two rows face each other in a mutually offset configuration at 15-degree angles, respectively, and collectively form a single broad bank. The two cylinder banks thus form a 72-degree V configuration. The crankshaft has a crankpin offset of twelve degrees so that the twelve cylinders ignite in the ideal interval of 60 degrees.

contrary, the Big delights in sheer understatement. Its interior is subdued, straight and echoes the Audi spirit of perfect quality. It is absolutely luscious to drive or be driven. Should one describe the sensation of driving or being driven, one might say that the Big has reminiscences of Mercedes-Benz limousines which generally focus on the feeling of cosiness, where the Audians in the majority of their models want the spotlight on sportive driving sensation. The Big certainly feels markedly different from any other A8. This is partly due to the long wheelbase and partly to the W12 engine which consists of four rows of four cylinders resulting in utter smoothness. Incidentally, the W12 engine amazes with a size of barely over 50 centimeters in length and is roughly 70 centimeters wide and tall.

S-ums the A8 up Adequately …

Who would want to question the S8 oozing sheer driving delight? Not us. Okay, it is a rather large car, measuring 5.135 metres in legth, 1.849 metres in width and 1.640 metres in height. But does that stop it from having a markedly sporty character? Not for a moment. The sprint from 0 to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) only takes 4.1 seconds.

The Audi S8 is sheer driving delight, realising the perfect mix between sporty character and top level luxury.

The Audi S8 is sheer driving delight, realising the perfect mix between sporty character and top level luxury.

The S8 with its V8 turbo is the sportiest model of the A8 family. The sound of the eight cylinders are sonorous bliss making the Bang & Olufsen Advanced Sound System and rear seat entertainment superfluous. The S8 furthermore offers a generous list of standard equipment, including LED headlights, ambient lighting, convenience key, four-zone automatic air conditioning, Bose surround sound system and MMI navigation plus with S8-specific welcome screen. Although the whole A8 lineup is very impressive, given the choice we would not hesitate but take a seat in the S8. Sports car or not, the optional massage functions in the seats of the S8 are a very welcome feature. For the sportive driver who wants to delve into luxury, the S8 perfectly captures two cars in one to perfection.

The emblem of true sportiness.

The emblem of true sportiness.

On Such a quattro Day

We were in luck: There were spells of pouring rain awaiting us. Just the right thing for quattro. Rain, sleet, roads full of leaves or snow – such weather conditions are best for bringing out the quattro in the A8. In October we definitely had rain in abundance. But, needless to say, our Audi managed the unease marvellously well, no matter whether the S8, the A8 L or any other of the A8 models we were able to testdrive.

To those who seek sportive luxury, the A8 is just the car. It is equipped with a fast and smooth-shifting, eight-speed tiptronic. The electronically controlled automatic transmission is paired with quattro permanent all-wheel drive. Audi complements this with the optional sport differential, which distributes the power between the rear wheels as needed. It is standard with the A8 4.2 TDI clean diesel quattro and the S8. Additional sportiness stems from the sporty character of the chassis.

I can Hear your Heartbeat

human heart anatomy edThe heartbeat of all the A8 engines is reassuringly strong, sonorous and sporty. There are two TDI diesel engines, the 3.0 TDI with 258 PS (190 kW), or alternatively the 4.2 TDI with 385 PS (283 kW), and two TFSI petrol engines, namely the 3.0 TFSI V6 with 310 hp (228 kW) and the 4.0 TFSI with Cylinder on Demand (COD) and 435 hp (320 kW), all of which feature forced induction and direct injection. And they quite obviously satisfy the requirements of the Euro 6 emissions standard. Every second A8 sold in Europe is a 3.0 TDI.

There is also a hybrid version of the A8 and of course the S8 and the long version, the A8 L W12. It is particularly the even sportier S8 that made our hearts beat faster. With its 4.0 TFSI engine the S8 produces 520hp (382 kW) and develops 650 Nm of torque between 1,700 and 5,500 rpm.

Whereas the S8 has the feel of a spacious sportscar, the A8 L W12 is luscious luxury in completion with yet sporty elements and understated appearance in the interieur. Albeit a truly big car, the Big does not come across as colossal, but as elegantly muscular from the outside.

Mighty engine for a mighty car: 4L V8 TFSI beaing in the Audi S8.

Mighty engine for a mighty car: 4L V8 TFSI beaing in the Audi S8.

All engines consume up to ten per cent less energy. And how incredibly complex these astounding pieces of technology have become. Makes the human heart appear almost ridiculously simple by comparison. Engineers have truly become the magiciens of the present.

And for those bewailing the introduction of COD (Cylinder on Demand) let it be said that once four or six cylinders are switched off the sound does not diminish, but leaves the impression as though all eight / twelve cylinders are constantly doing their job. For this the acoustics engineers have carefully hideden four microphones in the ceiling.

Catch Me If You Can

100,000 of the second generation of the Audi flagship were sold from 1994 to 2002. 150,000 A3 have already been sold since 2003. We are convinced that the intelligently and thoroughly facelifted new A8 will sell well. Analysts maintaining Audi would lose out on the  two competitors BMW and Mercedes-Benz do not seem to be aware of the fact, that it does not always need a totally new generation. In a way, the made over third generation A8 is as good as a fourth generation.

It is premiere time for the Audi fleet shuttle quattro – the futuristic Audi can now be seen in the movie “Ender’s Game” with the actor Harrison Ford in the sci fi Audi.

It is premiere time for the Audi fleet shuttle quattro – the futuristic Audi can now be seen in the movie “Ender’s Game” with the actor Harrison Ford in the sci fi Audi.

So, why start from scratch prematurely? Considering the quality and benchmark hightech inherent to the A8 this is not only unnecessary, but also counterproductive, both economically and strategically. After all, the Audi brand is conservative in the original sense in that it has established its DNA. And what other than corrobarating this typcially A8 DNA does the facelift of the third generation do? In other words: Why topple a winner and start from scratch? A rhetorical question. After all, the appearance and technology of the new A8 has been signifcantly sharpened. And the automobile industry has always been cyclical, each OEM having their own timing for when to launch the next generation of an existing car or indeed a totally new model. Audi will for instance be launching the Q6, a new SUV. The question needs to be asked: Are not analysts trying to hype up this issue?

So while Audi is refining and fine-tuning its successful flagship it is embarking on the future in other spheres. It may be spacy, it may seem science fiction. At any rate, the company with the four rings is dealing with the future, be it future urban mobility which Audi addresses in its Audi Urban Future Initiative, or futuristic cars, as in the sci fi film with Harrison Ford. Because who knows whether or not the future is now.

Honestly, what does “technical leadership” actually mean? It quite simply means always being a step ahead. Although the amount of horesepower is undoubtedly impressive, the technical data will not amount to much unless the whole product is a success. This also necessitates that man and machine are feeling as one, whether while speeding or cruising along, or in using all the luxury features and assistance function – intuitively.

Our verdict? In the case of the new Audi A8 we would certainly award the car with a triple A. So there is indeed no need to come out with the fourth generation, just because Daimler has recently launched its new S-class. No, Audi can placidly keep that ace up its sleeve till 2016 in the pleasant feeling that the engineers have yet developed the existing A8 significantly further and produced an altogether stunning, consistent and well composed premium car.

Summary / Zusammenfassung:

Audi hat den Bogen raus. Das Design ist stimmig und von hohem Wiedererkennungswert. Und der Claim “Vorsprung durch Technik” ist auch im neuen A8 wirkungsvoll umgesetzt. quattro ist unschlagbare Nummer 1 in der Automobilwelt. So auch im A8. Der hat auch das Neueste vom Neuen in Sachen Audi connect, nämlich so nützliche Angaben wie die aktuellen Kraftstoffpreise an Tankstellen und andere intelligente Online-Services. Auch alle Audi A3 Varianten sowie die meisten anderen Audi Modelle haben diesen Service neu an Bord.

Mit dem grundlegenden Facelift haben die Ingolstädter der dritten Generation neues Leben eingehaucht. Wozu also eine vierte Generation, wenn die dritte verdammt gut ist? Auch das ist Nachhaltigkeit und ein Abrücken von der Wegwerfgesellschaft, die immer etwas Neues braucht, nur um der Neuigkeit halber. Warten wir also gelassen ab, welche technologischen Highlights Audi in drei Jahren in seinem Flaggschiff zündet.

Susanne Roeder

©roe

For those interested further in Langen Foundation, based at the Rocket Station in Hombroich, see under: http://langenfoundation.de/en/architecture/the-raketenstation/.



The INSIGNIA of Attraction

Not a white elephant at all, but a very attractive, stylish car, cleverly equipped with hightech.

Not a white elephant at all, but a very attractive, stylish car, cleverly equipped with hightech. The new Insignia notchback.

Opel: Made in Germany

“We need to regain confidence and impart the fullest passion. We need to polish the Lightning Bolt to the highest gloss.” These words, spoken only six months ago by Dr. Karl-Thomas Neumann when he had just assumed the position of CEO, were part of his welcome address to the Opel employees. Right from the outset he wished to give them clear-cut guidelines and a vision as to where Opel is heading from now on.

No sooner had he voiced his mission than positive actions started. Opel is not only revising its component and engine plant in Kaiserslautern (Rhineland-Palatinate), investing a lump sum of roughly 130 million Euro, the car manufacturer has embarked on launching no less than 23 new models and 13 new engines in the coming years. Opel and its employees have always been a proud, tough and ambitious brand, which is probably one reason why the company has managed to survive prolonged years of dire straits and hardship.

Dr. Karl-Thomas Neumann, CEO and an engineer with verve, zest and a clear vision.

Dr. Karl-Thomas Neumann, CEO and an engineer. A man with a wide and friendly smile and full of verve, zest and a clear vision.

The car that is already profiting from all these renewals and changes is no less than Opel’s flagship, the Insignia. Neumann emphasises: “Our flagship is now more sophisticated and eye-catching – but even in the midst of all this elegance, don’t forget what it’s all about: to offer dirvers and passengers a comfortable and safe driving experience with state-of-the-art technologiey at a very attractive price.” Well said. The price for the Insignia starts at 24,130 EUR for the four-door notchback (Opel) or 18,040 GBP (Vauxhall). Thus illustrating value for money in the C-segment where it is competing with premium brands like Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz four-cylinder models. And for its passengers the Insignia might genuinely prove a welcome understatement.

Ready for Take-off… and Rising Sales Figures

The Insignia story started in 2008, its name signalling membership of rank in the business class segment. The car has indeed proven an outright success right from the start. Since its inauguration, well over 600,000 first-generation Opel Insignia have so far been sold.

Paving the way to success with the 2nd generation Insignia.

Paving the way to success with the 2nd generation of the flagship, the Insignia.

The Insignia is the Opel flagship, The “Opelans” have dubbed it “a positive attention grabber with technical substance”. More than ever, the totally revamped second generation Insignia follows the multi-award-winning new Opel design philosophy of “sculptural artistry meeting German precision”. Such is the metal that winners are made of. No doubt about it, Opel is ready for take off. The little Opel Adam is already doing extremely well in the fashion-led A segment. As from now on the flagship, too, can show its popularity and prowess in sales figures.

The second Insignia generation made its debut at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show, before going on sale on 28 September. It comes in a variety of five models, namely as four-door notchback, i.e. saloon, as five-door hatchback, Sports Tourer and as OPC super model.

The Insignia Country Tourer benefits from all-wheel drive as standard.

Demonstrates off road prowess: The Insignia Country Tourer benefits from adaptive all-wheel drive as standard.

Moreover, the Country Tourer has been added as a new family member. With it Opel and Vauxhall are offering a crossover vehicle that works both on the road and offroad, and as such is competing with Audi (A4 Allroad and also A6 Allroad) and the VW Passat “Alltrack”. The latest addition to the Opel range has three powerful turbo engines with up to 400 Nm torque. At any rate, the Country Tourer has more horsepower than the Passat ”Alltrack” – be it the 184 kW/250 hp, 2.0-liter SIDI direct injection gasoline unit, the  high-performance 2.0 BiTurbo CDTI with 143 kW/195 hp, or the 2.0 CDTI with 120 kW/163 hp. The choice is between five Diesel, four petrol engines, ranging from 120 to 325 hp, added to which one can opt for Autogas.

Simultaneously, these engines deliver impressive fuel economy numbers. No doubt about it, this crossover vehicle with its Flex Ride chassis has been a clever, if long overdue step by the Opel and Vauxhall management. Compact crossover models have become all the rage. It is easily predictable that in this segment, the Insignia Country Tourer will be hugely successful as “all in one” vehicle at an acceptable price.

With this car besides answering the demands of faithful fans, Opel will attract a new clientele. Thus, the Country Tourer is a valuable addition to the Opel portfolio. The crossover vehicle with its attractive wrap-around design will fill the gap for car enthusiasts with a strong bias towards Opel who are convinced by the value-for-money pricing, but have so far not been presented with a car by their OEM that can just as easily leave the beaten track to confront unforeseeable challenges offroad. Sales of the Country Tourer Wagon will start in 2014.

The Country Tourer has special styling and benefits from all-wheel drive as standard.

The Country Tourer has been given several upgrades and special styling features.

Success with the Opel Mokka in the sub-compact SUV segment has already proved Opel right and has demonstrated the popularity of crossover vehicles. “Now the high quality of our brand flagship can be spiced up with a strong dose of adventure, too”, explains CEO Neumann.

Success be to the Courageous

The Insignia is a statement of defiance of market moods. With its launch the Opel team has demonstrated courage, especially as they have come out with a mid-sized family car designed for a European clientele at times when Europe’s economy is still rather weak.

On the road of success. The Opel Insignia boasts several benchmarks.

Ticked off for success. The Opel Insignia boasts several benchmarks.

Not so the Opel sales figures. The outlook is positive: In September Opel managed to sell 13 per cent more vehicles in its home market Germany than in the same month of the previous year. That is a good start into the autumn and end of year rally equalling more than 19,000 newly sold Opel passenger cars, resulting in a market share of 7.79 per cent. In fact, the manufacturer with headquarters in Rüsselsheim (Rhineland-Palatinate) has managed to stabilise its market share in Germany at 7.1 per cent. And the future looks auspicious, not least due to the jazzed up and enlarged model range. The Insignia may still not be the most thrilling car, but its complete overhaul has made an incredible difference, both as regards the physical appearance of the mid-size.premium vehicle, its new technology and multimedia options for the driver that can be used intuitively.

Undaunted roly-poly, the Lightning Bolt.

Undaunted roly-poly, the Lightning Bolt.

Not forgetting the fact that Opel is a German brand, and to a large extent the cars are still made in Germany. In other words, here is a German premium brand that is very attractive because of its price level and its down-to-earth cars that appeal both to fleet managers and private drivers.

The Opel crew has meticulously done its homework. As a result, the Insignia has scored several Firsts. When it comes to fuel efficiency, the Insignia 2.0 CDTI is benchmark in its mid-size class, both as notchback and as hatchback. The eco champion with its turbo diesel engine has CO2 emissions as low as 99 g/km and consumes no more than 3.7 l/100 km, with 88 kW/120 hp or 103 kW/140 hp.

The most amazing trophy is an incredibly low drag coefficient of below 0.25, which makes the Insignia the  most streamlined five-door hatchback in the world. The Sports Tourer, too, has an impressive drag efficient of 0.28, making it the most aerodynamic startion wagon in series production.

With one Look: Designed to Thrill

It is just such a spell-binding look that makes one feel attracted to the second generation. The Insignia’s facelift has made the car forever young. It is fresh, it boasts a more expressive, distinct and discernible design. The cockpit has been rid of an abundance of buttons and switches and shaped into a high-quality cockpit with fourfold intuitive operation of the available infotainment systems. Neumann is convinced that “the new Insignia will thrill even more”.

The Insignia Cockpit: Tidied up, clearly arranged and ergonomic: the new Insignia cockpit.

Tidied up, clearly arranged and ergonomic: the new Insignia cockpit.

New leather and trim packages, plus simpler steering wheel buttons complete a decent facelifting for the Insignia. The AGR seats (Aktion Gesunder Rücken, i.e. Campaign for Healthier Backs, see http://www.agr-ev.de/en/certified-and-recommended/tested-products/50-autositze), have been an outstanding feature with Opel cars for many years. These back-friendly seats are not standard equipment in any Opel. Nevertheless, 60 per cent of German car drivers have ordered their respective Opel with AGR seats.

Determined look with winglets of attraction.

Determined look with winglets of attraction.

The look of a car, meaning its lights at the front and at the back, is always important. It is what gives it its character. And the Insignia definitely now has a confident, focused and direct look, as if to say: “Here’s looking at you… and I do expect an answer when I am talking to you”. Part of this look are the distinctive winglets as design elements for both headlamps and taillights. Additionally, the new look of the redesigned headlamps is strengthened by embedded chrome accents below halogen or bi-xenon modules surrounded by high gloss, black bezels. The “wing” signature is characteristic of all body versions.

On the Winglets of Desirable Design

Opel has abandoned its dated and slightly frumpy appearance, resulting in an altogether rejuvenated styling. The same applies to the second Insignia generation. The top model

Winglets with a view - the rear lights of the new Insignia.

Winglets with a view – the rear lights of the new Insignia.

has become altogether more masculine, with its flowing shape more solidly planted on the ground. Added to which it has distinct design features that make it discernible as an Insignia. In a sense, the car has become a personality, is no longer “just” a practical means of transport.

The eye-catching bodywork encapsulates state-of-the art technology. This holds even more true for the ultimate top-of-the-line perfomer, the Insignia OPC. Trendsetting technologies range from an Active Air Shutter lowering the drag coefficient, adaptive 4×4 all-wheel drive, Adaptive Forward Lighting (AFL+), Advanced Park Assist, Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD), FlexRide Premium Chassis, Independent Car Heater, LED Daytime Running Lights (DRL), Tyre Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS), Traction Control (TCPlus), with engine and braking intervention and many other ingredients that make this car state-of-the art in every respect.

Mulimedia Options Intuitively Understood

Irrespective of whether it is true or not that generations X and especially Y are more interested in smartphones and multimedia than in cars – we actually do not reckon much to that view, but rather attribute the decrease in young car tenants to the exceedingly expensive maintenance costs – Opel has introduced revolutionary infotainment in the new Insignia.

8-inch touchpad catering for all conceivable needsof communication.

8-inch touchpad catering for all conceivable needsof communication.

Integrated into the newly designed cockpit with a radically simplified control panel and two 8-inch colour displays is the so-called IntelliLink, a user-friendly technology that integrates smartphone capabilities into the car. IntelliLink allows its user to choose between four options to operate the infotainmen depending on whichever option is most convenient at

Touchpad with letter recognition.

Touchpad with letter recognition.

any given time. It has been developed to distract the driver’s attention from driving as little as possible. The four possible operation modes are voice command, steering wheel controls, the 8-inch touchscreen or a revolutionary touchpad centre console. The latter has letter recognition and will even translate scrawls into sensible information. Selected smartphone content can be transmitted via Bluetooth, added to which the touchscreen can download apps. IntelliLink is actually not just here to deliver infotainment, but moreover offers some powerful advanced functions: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gEvazslMzios.

The INSIGNIA of Power: OPC

Pure motorsport ambience: the instrument display has specific engine information available.

Pure motorsport ambience: The instrument display has specific engine information available.

Pure motorsport ambience awaits the driver of the OPC, the ultimate Opel powerhouse. The new Opel Insignia OPC, too, follows the new design language of the Insignia family. Its bold appearance has been restyled at the front and at the rear displaying specific OPC design elements, such as distinctive saber-tooth front detailing and integrated exhaust tailpipes. The OPC chassis is enhanced, with special focus on the re-worked rear axle – as in the other members of the new Insignia family – where engineers have modified around 60 percent of the componentry. In addition, noise and vibration behavior is improved through numerous fine-tuning measures.And at the heart of it all is the 2.8l V6 rubto engine with 239 kW/325 hp and 435 Nm maximum torque.

Insignia OPC as notchback and as hatchback.

Insignia OPC as notchback and as hatchback.

Bright Future Ahead

In China, the mid-size limousine Insignia wishes to appeal to a demanding clientele as Buick. Considering the looks, the multifarious options for a distinctly individual car, the 8-inch touchscreen for “generation Playstation”, the Insignia will undoubtedly be a success as Buick in the increasingly important market of China.

Not only the Chinese will be grateful for such clever devices as “My Opel App”, an interactive device which saves one ploughing through unwieldy instruction manuals. Instead, take your smartphone, move it to the area about which you would like to learn more and have the relevant information displayed to you:

With the Insignia family Opel has managed to offer a car for every taste. Given the choice we would go for the OPC, as it definitely fun to drive, especially along long and winding roads with lots of bends.

Only six months ago Neumann acceded the thorny Opel throne. But already now one is inclined to say: Mission successfully completed. Opel as one of Europe’s largest automakers has the backing of General Motors allowing the German carmaker to make the necessary investments into Research end Development. The Insignia is a perfect example of Opel rejuvenated and displaying advanced technology. The Lightning Bolt has regained its shine.

Zusammenfassung / Summary:

Opel ist mit der vollständigen Überarbeitung des Insignia in der zweiten Generation ein weiterer Rundumerfolg geglückt. Nach Meriva und Corsa als Segmentführer in ihrer jeweiligen Klasse und den sehr guten Verkaufszahlen des knackigen Kleinwagens Adam

New member of the Insignia family: Insignia Country Tourer for both town and rough countryside.

New member of the Insignia family: Insignia Country Tourer for both town and rough countryside.

zeichnet sich schon jetzt abab, dass der Insignia die Marktposition des deutschen Herstellers weiter festigen und verbessern wird. Anhaltenden Schwung und Aufwind bringt der Marke nicht zuletzt das neue Mitglied in der Insignia Familie, der Country Tourer – als Outdoor-Version und Crossover Cowboy für die Straße und für Offroad-Abenteuer.

Susanne Roeder

©roe