The BMW xDrive is an all-wheel drive system, which was first introduced in the X3 and is now offered as an option for most models. The stepless and variable distribution of the drive forces through an electronic multi-plate clutch between the front and rear axles ensures greater safety and stability.
The system works in combination with the Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) and the Electronic Stability Program (ESP). The xDrive controller uses the wheel speed, acceleration, steering angle and accelerator pedal position to detect the changes in force distribution and react within a few milliseconds. The force between the axles is optimally distributed and individual wheels braked purposefully.
The xDrive in the BMW X6 (Source: manufacturer)On the newer xDrive models (expected from the new BMW M5 F90) depending on the driving mode the system can be switched to a rear-wheel drive.
☞ The all-wheel-drive system from Mercedes-Benz: 4Matic
As a little brother to the legendary 300 SL, Daimler-Benz introduced the first prototype of the Mercedes 190 SL (W 121) in February 1954 at the International Motor Sports Show in New York. One year later the production version went on display at the Geneva Motor Show. By 1963, a total of 25,881 units of the “Tourensportwagen” (engl.: “touring sports car”) had been built, of which almost half were exported to the United States.
Many stylistic elements such as front mask, bumpers and headlights have been adopted from the 300 SL. The 190 SL was available either as a convertible or as a coupe with removable roof. Today one would probably call it a convertible with hardtop, but back then it was advertised by the manufacturer like that. The concept of the open two-seater 190 SL with an easy-to-use weatherproof soft top was so successful that in the following, the 300 SL was modified accordingly. The legendary gullwing was replaced in the spring of 1957 by a roadster variant. Continue reading “Mercedes 190 SL – Oldtimer of the “Sport Light”- class”
In 1999, Mercedes had dropped the production of the inline six-cylinder engines with the last M 104. Surprisingly, in 2017 the Mercedes M 256 engine brought the long-buried in-line layout back. As a successor to the Mercedes M 276 the M 256 engine debuted mid-2017 in the new S-Class (222). In its expansion stages, the 3.0-liter unit with twin-turbo charging can deliver up to 408 hp and over 500 Newton meters of torque.
An electric boost compressor from BorgWarner and an integrated start generator ensure that the turbocharger is bypassed and the power is available from the start. As a result, the time of the turbo lag is bridged during acceleration, until the exhaust gas turbocharger kicks in.
The production of the M 256 takes place at the Mercedes-Benz factory in Stuttgart-Untertürkheim.
The first generation of the Audi R8 was introduced in 2006 and received the name of the successful Le Mans racing prototype. Equipped with a 4.2 liter V8 FSI engine with direct injection, the base model delivered an output of 420 hp (309 kW) at 7800 rpm. In the following years, the engine was revised and received thereby more power.
The Audi R8 5.2 FSI quattro was released in mid-2009 with the 5.2-liter V10 FSI engine and an output of 525 hp (386 kW) at 8000 rpm. At 6500 rpm, the engine known from the S6 transmits 530 Newton meters to the asphalt. While 100km/h can be achieved in just 3.9 seconds, the maximum speed limit for the mid-engined sports car is 316km/h. Continue reading “Audi R8 5.2 FSI quattro: The first Generation”
The Porsche Cayman 981 c replaced its predecessor model 987c in 2013, and was produced until 2016. In addition to the basic model of the Cayman, the model variants Cayman S, GTS and GT4 were available. Similar to its predecessor, the 981c is based on the same technical platform as the Porsche Boxster of its generation.
Paired with a lighter body than its predecessor, the 981 generation also comes with a bit more power. The naturally aspirated 275hp (202kW) 2.7-liter flat-bodied boxer engine of the base model accelerates the 1310-kilogram Cayman from zero to 100km/h in 5.7 seconds, reaching a top speed of 266 km/h.
The Cayman S, in contrast, with its 325hp 3.4-liter engine, which is also installed in the Porsche 911 Carrera, puts the acceleration to 100km/h in 5.0 seconds. 370 Newton meters are thereby brought from the rear axle onto the road. The top speed is 283km/h.
In the following years, the two more powerful variants Cayman GTS and Cayman GT4 were introduced by Porsche. The GT4 was equipped with the water-cooled 3.8-liter boxer engine from the Porsche 911 Carrera S (991). The chassis, on the other hand, has been largely taken over from the Porsche 911 GT3 (991).
Due to the mid-engine concept the Cayman has two luggage compartments. It offers 150 liters of storage space in the front, and up to 160 liters in the back. The disadvantage of the rear trunk space is that it is heated up by the heat of the engine. Therefore, heat sensitive things like food should preferably be stowed in the front.
The advantages of the mid-engine layout are evident in the excellent handling and sporty driving dynamics. Many car manufacturers have therefore used the Cayman as a benchmark for their own sports cars. The arrangement of the engine immediately behind the front seats ensures centralization of the mass, whereby drive influences are minimized. The coupe offers a sporty gait and has due to the fixed roof a higher torsional stiffness than the Porsche Boxster.
Distinctive to its predecessor 987, the Porsche Cayman 981 has wider side air intakes. In addition, prominent lines were added to the body sides leading to the air intakes.
Electric Power Steering
As with the other models, Porsche has also switched from hydraulic to electromechanical steering on the Cayman 981. This makes the steering easier and more pleasant in everyday life than on its predecessor. The action of the electric steering is felt in a jerky braking on uneven ground. If you take your hands off the steering wheel (we do not recommend it), the active steering interventions help to stabilize the vehicle. Nevertheless, the feedback of the steering behavior is pithy enough to satisfy even purists.
The interior of the Cayman looks and feels high-quality and is designed with lots of leather and brushed aluminum. The dashboard has no differences to the remaining Porsche models. Porsche-typical is the positioning of the ignition key. Due to the racing history in Le Mans it’s on the left side of the steering wheel. Most controls and switches are functionally aligned on the right side.
The flat roofline was rounded off slightly at the rear, while the front was made more aggressive in the comparison to the 987 generation.
The Cayman GT4
On the basis of the Cayman 981c in 2015 the Porsche Cayman GT4 was introduced to the market. With 385 hp and a maximum speed of 295 km/h, the naturally aspirated engine without turbos transmits 420 Newton meters to the crankshaft. This makes him the sportiest and most powerful Cayman to date. The distinctive optical feature to the previous Cayman models is a rigid rear spoiler is installed. This allows a maximum pressure of 100 kilograms, and reminds you every time you look in the rearview mirror that you are sitting in a thoroughbred sports car.
The Porsche Cayman 981 GT4 on the Nürnburgring
Engine of the Cayman GT4
The GT4 is equipped with the water-cooled 3.8-liter boxer engine from the Porsche 911 Carrera S (991). Since the water-cooled six-cylinder is installed as a mid-engine in the GT4, it had to be rotated by 180 degrees to be connected to the transmission. For reasons of space, further modifications to the intake tract and the exhaust system had to be made, whereby the performance compared to the Carrera S was somewhat throttled.
Chassis from the Bigger Brother
The chassis of the Cayman GT4 has been largely taken over from the Porsche 911 GT3 (991). The braking system of the GT3 is expected to provide more than enough braking power for the 90 kilogram lighter Cayman. While Porsche delivered the 911 GT3 only with a dual-clutch PDK, it’s the exact opposite with the Cayman GT4. In favour of the hardcore fans the GT4 is only built with a manual transmission.
Transmission for Enthusiasts
The built-in manual gearbox saves the Cayman GT4 a little weight, but still makes a small smear in the acceleration. Manually changing the six gears takes more time than the PDK would require. So it takes around 4.4 seconds to 100km/h with the GT4, which is far from a bad value in itself. And since purists prefer to sort the gears themselves, this is not a real disadvantage. After all, in the not-too-distant future, self-driving cars will even take away the steering. Until then one may quietly enjoy the time in which you as a driver still have the control over the car.
Interior of the GT4
The interior is designed in the classic Porsche style with sportiness in mind. One small detail stands out when opening or closing the doors. For that you have to pull on a colourful door lash, instead of a normal door handle. According to the manufacturer this is due to weight reasons. The racing steering wheel is free of any buttons and covered with Alcantara. The rest of the interior is held in alternation with leather and Alcantara relatively simple.
The successor of the Cayman 981
In the summer of 2016, Porsche completely revised the Cayman, and introduced the series 718 (Type 982). The successor of the 981 comes with new 4-cylinder turbo engines. This puts an end to the beloved 6-cylinder engines due to the current downsizing measures in the automotive industry. Similar to the two predecessors, the 718 Cayman has the same technical platform as the Porsche 718 Boxster. While the earlier generations (987 and 981) were offered at a higher price than the Boxster, the new series has become Porsches entry level sports car.
The Mercedes W123 series is still the most produced Mercedes-Benz model to date. It was built from 1975 to 1986, and set new standards in vehicle safety. Of the total of 2.7 million vehicles produced, many have survived the passage of time and have been handed over to subsequent generations.
Under the hood you can find the engine OM 617.912. According to enthusiasts the most reliable engine in history. Initially it had 3000 cc divided in five cilinders which could produce 79 hp. In 1979 the engine was modified, the precombustion chamber was updated, the valves were build deeper and the cylinder volume was reduced to 2998 cc. The power and the torque increased up to 87 hp and 172 Nm.
Note: The same engine was installed with turbo chargers on the third version of the infamous C111 instead of the previous Wankel engine. The turbo charged engine had 230 hp and broke nine diesel and gasoline speed records with a top speed of 322 Km/h in 1978 at the Nardò Ring located in the Italian province of Lecce.Continue reading “Mercedes-Benz 300D (W123)”
The Ford Mustang GT 5.0 Ti-VCT V8 was launched in late 2014 in the United States, and has been available in Europe since 2015. In addition to the coupe, it is also available as a convertible with soft top.
The 5.0-liter V8 engine provides 421 hp (310 kW) and accelerates the 1,720kg Mustang GT in 4.8 seconds from 0 to 100 km/h. Here, 524 Newton meters are transmitted at 4,250 rpm via the crankshaft to the rear wheels. The maximum speed of the car is 250km/h.
With the Mazda RX-Vision (we also might call it RX-9) the successor to the RX-8, was presented at the Tokyo Motor Show 2015. Like its predecessor, the RX-9 is planned to be powered by a rotary engine, which can bee seen as a trademark of Mazda. The market release of the Mazda RX-9 is planned for 2020.
Mazda has always stuck to the unconventional technology of the rotary piston engine. The new generation of the rotary engine named SKYACTIV-R now contains the developments of recent years. Apparently, Mazda has made big progress in the further development of gasoline and oil consumption technologies. It should be noted that these advances did not come about with the use of turbochargers.
The design of the RX-9 was awarded the “Car Design Award 2016” in the category “Concept vehicles”. It fits in with the current trend of recent years. Similar design elements can be found on the Aston Martin DB11 or the Mercedes AMG GT. The striking bonnet and the short tail mark the 4.38-meter-long two-seater.
The Jaguar F-Type is considered the heir of the famous E-Type from the 60s, and is manufactured since 2013. As a successor to the Jaguar XK, it was initially available as a fabric roof convertible. In early 2014, the coupe was added.
Engine and power
The front-mounted 5.0-liter V8 supercharged engine in the F-Type R delivers a maximum output of 550 hp (405 kW) at 6500 rpm on the tarmac. At a speed between 2500-5500 rpm, 680 Newton meters are transmitted to the rear axle.
The acceleration to 100 km / h lays the 1665 kg heavy Briton from a standstill in 4.1 seconds. The maximum speed is limited at 300 km / h.
Jaguar F-Type SVR
Since 2016, the model series has been expanded with the F-Type SVR with all-wheel drive. The top-of-the-line model with a twin-vortex compressor has an output of 575 hp (423 kW), and needs only 3.7 seconds to accelerate from standstill to 100 km/h. It is currently (2017) the most powerful sports car Jaguar has ever built.
The Jaguar F-Type uses the same platform with all-aluminum chassis like the XK. It is significantly shorter than its predecessor. A special underbody shaft and engine mounts, as well as a double bulkhead between the engine compartment and the passenger compartment, efficiently isolate sound and vibrations.
The Jaguar F-Type R has plenty of power. It may not reach up to the Porsche 911 Turbo, however, it comes about one third cheaper.