The force-fed eight-cylinder motor generates an output of 420-horsepower and a peak torque of 550 Nm (405.7 lb-ft), allowing the S7 to complete the 0-100km/h (62mph) sprint in 4.9 seconds and reach an electronically limited top speed of 250km/h (155mph).
The V8, which uses the German firm’s “cylinder on demand” technology under part load, consumes on average an estimated 9.7 liters of fuel per 100 km (equal to 24.3mpg US).
A seven-speed S tronic dual clutch transmission and Audi’s quattro permanent all-wheel drive system with a self-locking center differential and torque vectoring, transfer power to the ground.
There’s also an optional sport differential that distributes the power in variable proportions between the rear wheels.
The S7 Sportback features an adaptive air suspension sport and the Audi drive select dynamics system, while braking is provided by large, internally ventilated disc brakes front and rear. Those willing to dig deep into their pockets can opt for the carbon fiber-ceramic discs.
The exterior changes are fairly subtle and include bespoke front grille and bumper designs, side sills, a different rear bumper that houses a diffuser and quad tail pipes plus 19-inch or optionally, 20-inch wheels.
As for the cabin, the S7 is fitted with sport seats dressed in combination of Pearl Nappa leather and Alcantara (a full leather treatment is optional), a three spoke steering wheel and unique decorative trim.
Audi said first deliveries of the S7 Sportback are scheduled to begin in spring of 2012.
The German firm’s engineers further honed the 4.0 TFSI pushing output to 520-horses and a constant 650 Nm (479.42 lb-ft) of torque to the crankshaft between 1,700 and 5,500 rpm.
Power is channeled to all four wheels through an 8-speed automatic transmission and Audi’s permanent all-wheel drive system, with Audi making claims of a 0-100km/h (62mph) sprint time of just 4.2 seconds, or 0.6 and 0.7 seconds faster than the 420HP S6 sedan and S7 Sportback, respectively.
The V8 engine features a cylinder deactivation system that can cut down one bank to become a 4-cylinder , as well direct-injection technology, plus energy recuperation and start-stop systems.
As a result and despite a 70HP increase in output over the previous 5.2-liter V10-powered S8, Audi says average fuel consumption has decreased by nearly 23 percent at 13.2 liters per 100 km (17.8mpg US).
To improve handling, the S8 gets a specially tuned adaptive air suspension with variable damping, which can vary the ride height of the body between three levels, and four internally ventilated disc brakes that measure 400mm (15.75 in) in diameter up front and 365mm (14.37 in) at the rear, with carbon ceramic disks offered as an option.
As with other members of Audi’s S family, the styling touches on the S8 are subtle. On the outside, apart from the 20-inch alloy wheels shod with 265/40-series tires, the 5.15 meter-long (16.90 ft) S8 gets a different grille treatment, a front apron with a lip spoiler, and a revised rear bumper that incorporates a diffuser and four tail pipes.
Interior modifications include the usual, meaning sport seats, a sport steering wheel and –you guessed it- sportier looking trim.
The Evos concept has a fastback body shape which is said to reinforce the models driving dynamics and distinguishes it from its competitors. Mays claims that he and his team have evolved the Kinetic Design concept to a simpler approach while at the same time incorporating “the new face of Ford” as shown in the Focus ST and the Focus Electric.
The interior of the Evos is relatively tamer save for the futuristic dashboard. Oddly enough, the steering wheel wouldn’t look out of context in a standard production car.
The new design incorporates some of Mercedes new design features like the front and rear lights, the more sporty grille and the prominent creases on the bodywork that give it a more dynamic appearance.
The interior is designed from scratch and adopts some of Mercedes’ new stylistic elements, like the circular vents seen in the SLS AMG. Mercedes claims that it sets new quality standards in its class and the dashboard can be optionally covered in hand crafter leather finish and stitching.
Other highlights include the new three-spoke steering wheel, the new vents and the 5.8 or, optionally, 7.0-inch TFT color display.
On the options list one can also find the Easy-Vario-Plus system, which allows for the easy adjustment of the rear seats by 140 mm, varying luggage space from 488 to 666 liters, and a folding passenger seat that further enhances practicality.
Mercedes says the small MPV is more agile on the road than its predecessor without compromising comfort thanks to the new four-link rear suspension, the lower center of gravity and the upgraded ESP.
Buyers can opt for the sports suspension, which is 20 mm lower than the standard and features selective damping shock absorbers, plus a Direct Steer system that becomes more direct at greater steering angles enhancing the car’s agility.
The new B-Class will be offered with a wide range of petrol and diesel engines, all of which have an auto stop/start system as standard. The new, M270 four-cylinder petrol engines sport Mercedes’ third generation direct injection system and have been designed for both transverse (like the B-Class) and longitudinal installation.
The petrol engine available at launch is a 1.6-liter unit with either 122 HP and 200 Nm (147.5 lb/ft) of torque for the B 180, or 156 HP and 250 Nm for the B 200.
The four-cylinder turbo diesel is a development of the common-rail OM651 unit that powers a wide range of models, from the C- to the S-Class. In this configuration, its displacement has been reduced to 1.8 liters and, like its petrol counterpart, is available in two versions: with 109HP and 250 Nm for the B 180 CDI and with 136 HP and 300 Nm for the B 200 CDI.
Another novelty for the B-Class is the extremely compact 7G-DCT seven-speed dual clutch gearbox, while the standard six-speed manual transmission offers easier shifting and lower weight.
The new B-Class will be offered in four equipment levels (Chrome, Sports, Exclusive and Night).
Being a Mercedes, the B-Class couldn’t do without a comprehensive list of safety features such as adaptive headlights, blind-spot, lane keeping, attention and speed limit assist systems, and for the first time in the class offers the PRE-SAFE preventive occupant protection system by optimizing all safety parameters if it detects a probable collision.
One of the concepts unique features are the seven-spoke alloy wheels that resemble turbine blades when stationary, while when on the move, they open up to form a flat surface for better aerodynamic performance. For the same purpose, a spoiler and two side skirts fitted at the top of the tailgate deploy above 100 km/h (62 mph).
The concept’s theme is named “Metamorphosis”, the Greek word for transformation that indicates the car’s ability to adapt to different driving conditions passenger requirements.
Despite its MPV designation, the HX1 is quite low (1,373 mm), with a large width of 1,990 mm and a length close to 5 meters (4,954 mm).
The HX1 sports four “half-scissor” doors that promise to offer easy access to the cabin, which can accommodate up to six passengers in three rows of seats. A wide array of materials such as natural oak with inlaid fiber optics, brushed metal and leather have been used inside, while Peugeot also added a variety of gadgets like touch-sensitive screens and a marble-adorned center console with a…minibar and coffee machine.
As far as the driver is concerned, the steering column moves electrically along with the seat for easier entry and exit. The steering wheel changes its settings when the driver selects the “cruising” mode for optimal stability and comfort, and the central screen can be adjusted according to the driver’s preferences, with the option of displaying only vital information.
The HX1 is motivated by Peugeot’s diesel-electric Hybrid4 powertrain similar to the one offered on the 3008 and from next year, on the 508 RXH.
In the concept, the internal combustion engine is a 204HP 2.2-liter diesel hooked up to a 6-speed auto transmission that powers the front wheels, while a rear-mounted 70 kW (95HP) electric motor turns the rear wheels, making it effectively a four-wheel-drive model. At low speeds, the HX1 can operate on the electric motor alone, emitting zero emissions. The combined maximum combined output of the electric motor and the diesel unit is 220 kW (299HP).
The HX1 takes Peugeot’s hybrid technology one-step further by featuring a plug-in charging capability for its lithium-ion batteries from a standard 240V socket. This enables it to offer a longer range on pure electric mode at 18.4 miles, or 29.6km.
Peugeot said the HX1 returns an average fuel consumption of 3.2 lt/100 km (73.4 US mpg or 88.2 UK mpg) and CO2 emissions of just 83.0 g/km.
Now, if you’re wondering about the silver shoe displayed in some photos, Peugeot says it’s “concept shoe” created in collaboration with designer Pierre Hardy who was inspired by the concept car.
Based on the estate version of the 508, the RXH follows in the lines of the Audi Allroad and Volvo XC70 featuring a unique front end, flared wheel arches, and of course, higher-riding suspension along with 18-inch wheels and wider tracks.
Unlike other models of the sort, the 508 RXH adopts a new four-wheel-drive system that makes use of an electric motor similar to the one used in the 3008 and the HX1.
The Hybrid4 system comprises a 2.0-liter HDi FAP turbo diesel located up front and an electric motor mounted at the rear. Each motor drives its respective axle, providing four-wheel-drive capability and, at the same time, four modes: Automatic, Sport, 4WD or Zero Emissions when the electric motor is powering the car.
Despite the system’s combined output of 200HP, the 508 RXH offers an exceptionally low average fuel consumption figure of just 4.0 lt/100 km (58.8 US mpg or 70.6 UK mpg) and CO2 emissions of 109 g/km.
The 508 RXH will be available from spring 2012, one year after the debut of its 508 stable mate.
Peugeot will also display in Frankfurt a limited edition of the RXH that will be individually numbered and feature a Calern Brown exterior color and alcantara leather upholstery. It will be produced in only 300 units available to order this fall.
First of all, it was Porsche’s second model after the 356 and it was unveiled at the Frankfurt Motor Show in 1963. Its original designation was the 901. However, Peugeot had registered all three-digit numbers with a “0” in the middle for its lineup, and Porsche was forced to change the name to 911.
More importantly, it was the layout that should have condemned the 911: physics dictate that the right place to put an engine in a car is either up front or in the middle. However, the 911 had its flat-six placed behind the rear axle.
In theory, this should, and actually did, make it notoriously tricky to drive. But it also offered unparalleled steering feel, something that remains one of the 911 USP’s until today.
Even Porsche lost faith in the 911 in the ‘70s as the company felt that there was no potential for further evolution. Porsche’s Managing Director at the time, Ernst Fuhrman, admitted that the company intended to replace the 911 with the larger and more conventional 928. Amazingly, Porsche’s front-engined V8 sports car won the title of “Car of The Year” for 1978 amidst the global oil crisis.
But even though it was in many aspects, a better sports car than the 911, the 928 ultimately failed in its goal: production begun in 1977 and ceased in 1995. Despite the fact that it was faster than all 911s bar the Turbo, roomier and much easier to drive, the 928 didn’t manage to displace the 911 in Porsche’s customers’ hearts.
Maybe it’s the iconic shape, which despite its many changes through the years, remains the same: when put side by side, you can instantly see that all generations of the 911 share the same theme.
It may also be the fact that the 911 has made itself synonymous with Porsche –something few motoring icons can lay claim to. If you know a thing or two about cars, when you hear about Porsche the first thing that comes to mind is the 911.
It could also be that the 911 remains the world’s only everyday supercar. It’s a sports car that you can drive comfortably every morning to work and back without feeling that it will break down. The 911 won’t make you jump over large sills just to get inside and then won’t allow you to see outside or even tolerate the smallest imperfection on the road. It will even tolerate your wife and kids for a trip – provided the kids aren’t too grown up…
It’s almost like it has a mind of its own (something older versions usually did in certain conditions, much to the driver’s dismay). It remained air-cooled until the ‘90s. Its maker even tried to kill it off. It faced off many rivals –and usually came out on top. It formed the basis for one of the world’s most advanced supercars of all times: the 959. It had, and still has, great success in all kinds of motorsport –not just racing tracks, but even the Paris-Dakar rally.
If we had to have just one car for the rest of our lives, it would most likely be the 911. You may love it or loathe it, but one thing is for sure: the 911 has proven, time and time again, that it is a survivor.
Porsche 911 (1964-1989)
Porsche 964 (1989-1993)
The first major changes were implemented in the 1989 911, code-named 964. Drawing from the 959’s technology, it was first launched in a four-wheel-drive configuration as the Carrera 4, one year ahead of the RWD Carrera 2.
It featured a completely redesigned chassis and more aerodynamic body, coil springs suspension, ABS, airbags and, for the first time, power steering. Engine capacity grew to 3.6 liters and power to 250HP.
Porsche 993 (1993-1998)
Famous for being the last air-cooled 911. The 993 retained only the windscreen, windows and doors from the 964 and received a redesigned bodywork. A new multi-link rear suspension improved road manners and while engine capacity remained unchanged, power increased initially to 272HP and, in 1996, to 285HP.
The RS badge made a return for a lighter and more powerful RWD version that had a 3.8-liter engine and 300HP. Normally-aspirated models, called the Carrera S and Carrera 4S, could be ordered with the wider Turbo bodywork.
Porsche 996 (1998-2004)
For the next generation of the 911 Porsche finally gave in and, for the first time ever, produced a water-cooled flat-six for the 996 that put a stop to a 34-year history.
Initially criticized for sharing its “egg-shaped” headlamps (that were changed in the 2002 mid-life facelift) and also much of its structure with the smaller and cheaper Boxster, it also had a completely redesigned interior. Engine capacity was still at 3.6 liters, but power climbed to 320HP. The range was expanded with sportier versions such as the RS and GT3.
Porsche 997 (2004-2011)
Although the 997 was not as big as an evolution in the engineering department as the 996, it sported a much improved styling that appealed greatly to 911 fans.
The headlights reminded the 993, the completely redesigned interior was of higher quality and at the same time, more faithful to the original 911. Thus it reached 100.000 faster than any other 911 in history.
The 2008 facelift model sported only minor styling changes, such as the redesigned rear lights. Under the skin, though, it entered the 21st century by replacing the obsolete 5-speed Tiptronic auto transmission with the much better 7-speed dual-clutch PDK, while the Carrera 4 got a revised four-wheel drive system.
Porsche 991 (2012)
Just last week, Porsche lifted the curtains on the next iteration of the 911, codenamed 991, ahead of their world premiere at the Frankfurt car show in September.
For the time being, the Germans have released initial details about the base Carrera and Carrera S coupe models, which are equipped with a 350HP and a 400HP boxer engine respectively.
Oh, and one last thing: apart from the rear-engined layout, there are two other things that never changed in any 911: the five-dial instruments layout and the position of the ignition key at the left of the steering wheel.