Spec boost and CO2 cut in C-Class revamp
30 July 2012
Changes to the Mercedes-Benz C-Class range are expected to result in lower running costs and reduced tax liability thanks to extra standard equipment and lower CO2 emissions.
The enhancements help to lower running costs and can reduce BIK for business drivers by up to four tax bands, while CAPhas announced a five percentage point (£450) increase in values for the entry-level trim grade at three years/60,000 miles. Executive SE is the new entry point to the revised range for the C180, C200 CDI and C220 CDI saloon and estate, which includes a sports grille, new 16-inch alloy wheels, Artico upholstery and LED daytime running lights at a price increase of £35 over the previous SE grade.
A new Luxury Package is available for Executive SE models to replace the Elegance equipment grade. Carrying a £2,000 premium, it includes the three louver grille with bonnet-mounted star, 17-inch alloy wheels, automatically dimming rear view mirror and folding exterior door mirrors, chrome trim on the side, rear and shoulder line, a storage package and brown Ash wood trim with a matt finish. The Sport trim makes way in the 2013 C-Class for two new variants –AMG Sport and AMG Sport Plus. The AMG Sport Saloon and Estate cost £960 less than the previous Sport models, and feature 17-inch AMG wheels and halogen headlights.
In addition, there is a tax saving on the new AMG Sport, thanks to a reduction in CO2 over the previous model. For example, the previous C 220 CDI Sport saloon with manual transmission offered 133g CO2/km and BIK 2012/13 of 20%, giving a total BIK over 36 months of £7,865, based on an income tax bracket of 40%. By comparison, the new C220 CDI AMG Sport saloon with manual transmission gives 123g CO2/km and BIK 2012/13 of 18%. Therefore the total BIK over 36 months is £6,897, giving a total saving of £968. The AMG Sport Plus, priced £1,000 above AMG Sport and £35 over the previous Sport line, includes 18-inch bi-colour AMG alloys, bi-xenon front lights with Intelligent Light System and Adaptive High Beam Assist, AMG sports seats, Black Artico/Dinamica upholstery with contrast red stitching, red seat belts, AMG floor mats with red edging and silver gearshift paddles (auto).
In the C-Class Coupé, the pricing and specification of the AMG Sport are unchanged, but an AMG Sport Plus version is now available for an additional £1,000. The C180 BlueEFFICIENCY is powered by a new ultra-efficient 1.6-litre direct-injection turbocharged petrol engine and is accompanied by electric power steering to further bolster economy. With an output of 154bhp, the new engine is almost as powerful as its predecessor while developing an identical 184lb-ft of torque across a wider rev range – 1,250 to 4,000 rpm.
There are also new interior and exterior features, including revised colour options, repositioned cruise control and indicator stalks and easier-to-read silver graphics for the telematics screen. The telematics system in conjunction with Mercedes-Benz Comand now includes eCall to report the car’s position to a call centre via GPS in the event of an emergency.
Pictures of production Mazda6 revealed
30 July 2012
Mazda has revealed new teaser images of the next Mazda6, which now show most of the car's exterior details and proportions.
The saloon version will be unveiled to the public at the Moscow Motor Show in August, with other body styles likely to follow. The Mazda6 is the second of Mazda's new generation of Skyactiv models which benefit from lighter construction and more fuel efficient technology, but it will also be the first to take these advanteges a stage further with i-Eloop brake energy regeneration.
Research reveals emissions from .....
30 July 2012
.... new company cars drop to an all-time low
Safety at risk in new cost-cutting motorway scheme
25 July 2012
The Government's desire to extract the maximum capacity from the motorway network at the lowest possible cost could jeopardise road safety, believes the ABD.
Until now, 'managed motorway' schemes have only allowed the hard shoulder to be used as a running lane at times of peak traffic flow, when variable speed limits apply and there are frequent refuge areas available for emergency use. From now on, however, starting with a managed motorway scheme on part of the M1 in South Yorkshire, the hard shoulder will be in use at all times, often with the speed limit at 70mph, and the distance between refuge areas will be four times greater (2,000 metres instead of 500 metres). The outside (fourth) lane will also be reduced in width to 3.2 metres (10 feet 6 inches) from the normal 3.65 metres (12 feet).
The ABD was concerned about the safety aspects of managed motorways when they were first proposed in 2004, and also that they would be used as a cheap alternative to widening or new-build schemes. The ABD responded to the consultation carried out at that time and we were invited to discuss our concerns with the consultants working on the pilot M42 scheme.
Malcolm Heymer, the ABD's traffic management adviser and one of those who met the Highways Agency's consultants, comments, "The consultants explained at length how the safety issues were going to be addressed. I was impressed with the sincerity of their determination to produce a safe and effective scheme. Subsequent experience shows that, whilst there are other issues with the usefulness and application of variable limits, the current schemes work reasonably well with regard to safety. These new proposals, however, show that we were right to be concerned that managed motorways were the thin end of a make-do-and-mend wedge, and now it seems even safety is to be compromised to reduce costs further."
The ABD is not alone in its fears about the safety of future managed motorway schemes. Local authorities and emergency services in South Yorkshire have voiced their concerns about the M1 scheme, with the emergency services commissioning an independent review of the plans. ABD chairman Brian Gregory concludes, "These cost-cutting proposals are a step too far and we call on the House of Commons Transport Committee to hold an inquiry into their safety as a matter of urgency. With drivers paying five times as much in taxes as is spent on the road network, we deserve better."
Price and specification revealed for new Transit
25 July 2012
Ford's new Transit Custom van will be priced from £17,495 (excluding VAT), while the company promises class leading carrying ability.
Customers choosing the short-wheelbase version get a cargo volume of 6 cu m, while the long-wheelbase van offers 6.8 cu m. Ford says maximum priority was given to combining the largest possible load box within the Transit Custom’snew shape, and particular attention was given to the detailed design of the bulkhead and bodysides to optimise the size and practicality of the load space.
New features in the Transit Custome include a load-through hatch in bulkhead enables loads up to three metres in length, such as pipes or ladders, to be safely carried inside a SWB vehicle. A hinged opening (596mm x 205mm) at the foot of the bulkhead allows long items to be laid along the floor of the van, and extend into a secure loadspace underneath the dual passenger seat in the front cabin. LWB models can accommodate loads up to 3.4m long There is also a deployable integrated roof rack system seamlessly integrated into the roof. The system features three transverse roof bars which are located in recesses in the roof panel, and which can be deployed when required.
When not in use, such as when the owner is using vehicle at the weekend, the cross bars can be quickly folded down, reducing drag and fuel consumption, creating a smarter appearance, as well as keeping the vehicle height under two metres for access through car park height restrictions (with the exception of the 330 series). The roof rack is capable of carrying loads up to 130kg There are also locking check arms that allow the rear cargo doors to be easily locked in place at 90 degrees open, to ensure that the doors cannot be blown around by gusts of wind or passing vehicles while the driver is loading or unloading items
Repositioned tie-down hooks and fixing points located on the body sides. By moving the multiple DIN and ISO compliant tie-downs onto the side wall, the floor is left clear of intrusions or recesses that can reduce usable load area or make complete cleaning of the floor nearly impossible An easy-clean load floor liner offers enhanced durability and simple cleaning. Similar to the load-bed liner in a pickup truck, the sealed load liner is constructed of strong material, and is tailored to the shape of the load floor, extending up to a height of 80mm around the sides of the load area. The liner is easy to mop or sponge clean, it also protects the steel floor from the possibility of damage during loading and unloading, enhancing residual value
LED loadspace lights provide customers requiring brighter lighting within the load box, such as when using the cargo area as a working space, with significantly higher light output from four high-performance LED units
"This may be a more stylish Transit, but it’s a more functional Transit, too," said Barry Gale, commercial vehicles chief engineer, Ford of Europe. "The additional features we have built into the load space make everyday functions more convenient – so it’s easier for customers to do their job."