Harnodi |2011 Audi A8L W12 - First Drive Review| Most cars are made to be driven, of course, and there is a select group of vehicles that are made to be driven in the Rolls-Royce Phantom, the Maybach 62, the Ford Crown Victoria. But beyond that, there exists the infinitesimally small number of cars that have been engineered with both missions in mind, offering dynamic excellence for those twirling the steering wheel and five-star appointments for those occupying the rear seats. The 2011 Audi A8L W-12 is one such vehicle, and it satisfies in almost all aspects. Slide into the buttery-soft leather of the back seat, however, and the distinction between A8 and A8L is immediately clear.
All five inches of extra wheelbase were given to rear-seat occupants, and where the already-roomy A8 makes you feel comfortable and cosseted, the studio-apartment-sized rear cabin of the A8L makes you feel high and mighty. A panoramic glass roof adds to the expansive feel, and the A8L W-12 sports a pair of power-adjusting heated rear seats, split by a flowing center console that can be optionally equipped with a fold-out table and fridge. (The A8L 4.2 has a rear bench as standard, with the individual seats being an option.) The chairs can be further outfitted with ventilation and massage, and the final frontier for true titans of industry is the Relaxation seat. It’s a rear-passenger-side-only personal spa and business-class airplane seat all rolled into one, with heating, cooling, massage, and a power footrest the folds down from the back of the front passenger seat. Choosing this seat also adds a smorgasbord of rear-entertainment technology, including two 10.2-inch monitors mounted to the front seatbacks, Bluetooth headphones, a separate DVD drive, a pair of SD card slots, a TV tuner, and an additional MMI controller allowing access to navigation and media functions.
Additionally, W-12 customers get MMI Navigation Plus as standard it features a touchpad on the front center console that can decipher inputs drawn with a fingertip. There’s also a special Google search function for the navigation, as well as the A8L’s ability to be its own WiFi hotspot, turning the car into perhaps the world’s nicest mobile office. (The A8 and A8L go on sale here in November, but the WiFi connectivity won’t be available until sometime next year, after a wireless data provider has been chosen.)
Aston Martin DB9 Volante, Aston Martin introduced a revised version of the company’s critically acclaimed Aston Martin DB9 at the 2008 Geneva Motor Show, which includes significant enhancements to standard specification. These changes include a revised version of Aston Martin’s 6.0 litre V12 engine to deliver improved power and torque. Peak power of 470bhp (350kW) – increased by 20bhp (30Nm) – is now reached at 6,000rpm, resulting in a power to weight ratio of 267bhp per tonne (199kW/tonne) – an increase of 11bhp per tonne over the existing Aston Martin DB9.
Peak torque of 600Nm is delivered at 5,000rpm, providing even more accessible power for the driver, as well a greater performance feel overall. Accordingly, top speed is now 190mph (306km/h) and the benchmark 0-60mph time improves by 0.3 seconds for the Touchtronic transmission – which benefits from a new valve box and integrated transmission controls to achieve quicker gear shifts – to 4.6 seconds and by 0.1 seconds to 4.6 seconds for the manual gearbox.
The latest Aston Martin DB9 also incorporates a series of chassis developments for both the Coupe and Aston Martin DB9 Volante derivates. Bilstein dampers are introduced in addition to revised upper suspension arms and retuned suspension bushes to deliver improved ride quality; aiding greater refinement in the Aston Martin DB9 Volante and an enhanced sporting feel in the Coupe. The Aston Martin DB9 Volante also benefits from revisions to the front shear panel which increases torsional rigidity by 10%, further improving refinement.
The Aston Martin DB9 manages to combine all facets of style, quality and usability of a traditional Aston Martin without relying on retrospective detail or design. Accordingly, styling changes to the revised Aston Martin DB9 are subtle, reflecting the car’s timeless design and understated elegance.
Exterior styling changes include the introduction of a new standard 19” 10-spoke alloy wheel, new door mirrors and a revised anodised aluminium five-bar grille. In the cabin changes include a new centre console constructed from die cast zinc with a painted iridium silver finish and the introduction of a new Emotion Control Unit (ECU) – first seen on the Aston Martin DBS in 2007. The ECU – constructed from glass, polished stainless steel and polycarbonate – replaces the key used previously for the Aston Martin DB9.
The innovative Aston Martin DB9 introduced an exciting new era for Aston Martin. The 2+2 sports car set new standards in its class due to its astonishing combination of technology, agility and design. The car marked the beginning of a new era for Aston Martin and became the first car to be hand-made at the company’s state-of-the-art facility in Gaydon, Warwickshire.
Sales of the Aston Martin DB9 started in spring 2004, and to date, more than 10,000 examples have been produced and delivered to customers around the world – surpassing the Aston Martin DB7 as the most successful Aston Martin of all time. Deliveries of the updated Aston Martin DB9 begin during quarter two 2008, with prices from £113,950 for the Aston Martin DB9 Coupe and £122,950 for the Aston Martin DB9 Volante.
2010 Mazda MX-5 Miata Sport - The 2010 Mazda MX-5 Miata is largely unchanged. This 2-seat convertible offers the choice of a manual-folding soft top with a heated-glass rear window, or a power-folding hard top. The lineup begins with the soft-top only Sport. The former base SV model has been discontinued. Other Miata trim levels include mid-line Touring and top-end Grand Touring, which are available with either top. All use a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine rated at 167 horsepower with manual transmission, 158 with automatic. Sports have a 5-speed manual transmission. Touring and Grand Touring have a 6-speed manual. The sole automatic transmission is a 6-speed unit. Available safety features include ABS, traction control, antiskid system, and side airbags. An optional Suspension Package for Touring and Grand Touring includes a sport suspension and limited-slip differential. The hard top opens or closes in 12 seconds, steals no luggage space, and adds 77 pounds to the car's weight. Grand Tourings are available with a wireless cell-phone link and xenon headlights.
Audio system with AM/FM and CD player CD player reads MP3
Fixed mast antenna
Manual softtop convertible roof
Cloth seat upholstery with additional cloth
Bucket driver seat with height adjustment manual, bucket passenger seat
Alloy & leather steering wheel with tilt adjustment
Front seats cup holders
Driver and passenger power painted door mirrors
Front power windows with one one-touch
Front and rear alloy wheels with 16 inch rim diam and 6.5 inch rim width
Painted front and rear bumpers
Front and rear conventional tires with 205 mm tire width, 50% tire profile, V tire rating and black sidewall
Four disc brakes including two ventilated discs
Projector beam lens halogen bulb headlights
Driver front airbag with multi-stage deployment, passenger front airbag with occupant sensors, occupant switch off and multi-stage deployment
Front side airbag
Two head restraints on front seats
3-point reel front seat belts on driver seat and passenger seat with pre-tensioners
Windshield wipers with fixed intermittent wipe
Engine: 2.0L in-line 4 double overhead cam with VVT ( 10.8 :1 compression ratio ; four valves per cylinder)
Multi-point injection fuel system
Fuel: premium unleaded ( 91 octane)
Power: 167 HP ( 125 kW) @ 7,000 rpm; 140 ft lb of torque ( 190 Nm) @ 5,000 rpm
Wishbone front suspension independent with stabilizer bar and coil springs, multi-link rear suspension independent with stabilizer bar and coil springs
Transmission: five-speed manual ; incl shifter on floor
1999 Cc 2.0 Liters In-Line 4 Front Engine With 87.5 Mm Bore, 83.1 Mm Stroke, 10.8 Compression Ratio, Double Overhead Cam, Variable Valve Timing/Camchaft, And 4 Valves Per Cylinder
1935 Mercedes-Benz 150 - Derived from the previously released 130 model(W23), 1935 Mercedes-Benz 150 sporty roadster was fitted with a larger 1.5 L petrol unit with a power output of 55 hp that drove the car to a higher top speed of 77.7 mph (125 kmh). Due to its styling and rear-placed engine, the gas tank had to be moved in the front compartment above the axle leaving no room for luggage. Although not particularly practical, 1935 Mercedes-Benz 150 was much more balanced than the typ 130 with the gas tank acting as a counterweight for the bulky engine. Minutely styled, the car had almost sensual lines with a cone-like rear engine chamber with gills and a flowing front end adorned with wide wheel-arches and flashy chrome grille. However, beauty seems to have been 1935 Mercedes-Benz 150 main strength which was not enough to keep the typ 150 among buyer's favorites. 1935 Mercedes-Benz 150 ceased production in 1936.
Aston Martin V12 Vantage, Based on the hugely successful V8 Vantage, the V12 Vantage will feature a 6.0-litre V12 engine producing 510 bhp (380 kW / 517 PS), and 570 Nm (420 lb ft) of torque with a top speed of 190 mph (305 km/h) and 0-62 mph (0-100 kp/h) time of 4.2 seconds. The latest incarnation of the Vantage family has been designed to provide a unique character, appealing to different driver tastes and complementing the other models in the current Aston Martin line-up.
The original V12 Vantage concept was unveiled to guests at the opening of the Aston Martin Design Studio in December 2007. Continuing the marque’s impressive record of bringing concepts through to production, Aston Martin engineers have brought the V12 Vantage to market in an incredible 12 months.
Visually enticing, the V12 Vantage expresses its performance potential through its purposeful stance created by enhanced aerodynamic and cooling aids optically widening the car, while retaining traditional understated Aston Martin design. Equally inviting, the cosseting interior permits the driver to extract maximum performance ability from the car while also enjoying customary levels of Aston Martin comfort on longer journeys. High levels of power and torque are available at all engine speeds making the V12 Vantage responsive and tractable in any driving situation.
The V12 Vantage will be built at Aston Martin’s global headquarters in Gaydon, Warwickshire joining the DBS, DB9 and V8 Vantage model lines which are built in the state-of-the-art production facility combining hi-tech manufacturing processes with traditional hand-craftsmanship. Production will be limited up to 1,000 examples over the life span of the car, making the V12 Vantage a truly exclusive driver’s car. Deliveries of the V12 Vantage are expected to commence during quarter three 2009 with prices to be confirmed at the Geneva motor show.