Suninen joins M-Sport for WRC2 campaign

Finn Suninen, who was runner-up to fellow countryman Esapekka Lappi in WRC2 last season, will compete in at least five rallies in a Ford Fiesta R5, starting with next month’s Rally Sweden.
M-Sport team boss Malcolm Wilson has long been a fan of Suninen’s, and the Cumbrian said he is delighted to welcome the latest in a long line of fast Finns to his team.
Wilson said: "Teemu gained a … Keep reading http://ift.tt/2i4GMGG

2017 Dakar Rally – Stage 7 Results

After seeing Saturday’s stage cancelled, and with Sunday set on the schedule as a rest day, the 2017 Dakar Rally returned to racing-proper on Monday, with Stage 7.

Today’s special was originally conceived to be 322km long, but again the weather played a factor, and the timed section was cut down to just 160km. Sand dunes were the order of the day, which posed a challenge to some of the riders, both in navigation and time management.

For Honda, the day was very good, with American Ricky Brabec taking the day, followed closely his teammate Paulo Gonçalves. Sam Sunderland finished the day third, allowing him to maintain his overall lead in the standings. With three Hondas in the Top 5 though, the day truly goes to HRC.

Brabec’s win also continues the trend of a different rider winning each stage thus far of the 2017 Dakar Rally, an unusual circumstance in a race that usually sees a rider or two consistently rising above the rest of the field.

On that note, Xavier de Soultrait continues to impress on his Yamaha, fifth for the day, sixth overall, and still in the hunt for the overall win. Yamaha also can rely on Adrien van Beveren, who sits third overall, just behind Husqvarna’s Pablo Qunitanilla.

With three manufacturers in the Top 3, there will be a great deal of intrigue for the Dakar trophy, as we head into Argentina.

Monday night starts the marathon stage, meaning that only competitors can work on their machines in order to prep for Tuesday’s Stage 8. Without the help of their mechanics, we can expect some shake-up in Tuesday’s results from bike failures.

Top 15 from Stage 7 – La Paz to Uyuni:

Pos. Rider Nation Team Bike Time
1 BRABEC Ricky USA Monster Energy Honda Team Honda 2:02’05
2 GONCALVES Paulo POR Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +1’44
3 SUNDERLAND Sam GBR Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM +4’43
4 BARREDA Joan SPA Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +6’51
5 DE SOULTRAIT Xavier FRA Viltais Racing Team HFP Yamaha +7’10
6 METGE Michael FRA Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +8’21
7 SMITH Todd AUS Duust Rally Team KTM +9’39
8 WALKNER Matthias AUT Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM +9’59
9 QUINTANILLA Pablo CHI Husqvarna Factory Rally Team Husqvarna +10’28
10 NOSIGLIA Walter BOL MEC Team Nosiglia Honda +10’39
11 VAN BEVEREN Adrien FRA Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team Yamaha +10’52
12 FARRES Gerard SPA Himoinsa Team KTM +12’22
13 RENET Pierre-Alexandre FRA Husqvarna Factory Rally Team Husqvarna +12’35
14 METGE Adrien FRA Sherco TVS Rally Factory Sherco +13’05
15 TOMICZEK Adam POL KTM Orlen Rally Team KTM +13’07

Provisional Top 15 Overall Standings for the 2017 Dakar Rally

Pos. Rider Nation Team Bike Time
1 SUNDERLAND Sam GBR Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM 17:28’53
2 QUINTANILLA Pablo CHI Husqvarna Factory Rally Team Husqvarna +17’45
3 VAN BEVEREN Adrien FRA Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team Yamaha +22’16
4 FARRES Gerard SPA Himoinsa Team KTM +28’36
5 WALKNER Matthias AUT Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM +34’17
6 DE SOULTRAIT Xavier FRA Viltais Racing Team HFP Yamaha +38’33
7 RENET Pierre-Alexandre FRA Husqvarna Factory Rally Team Husqvarna +1:02’37
8 GONCALVES Paulo POR Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +1:05’22
9 BARREDA Joan SPA Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +1:14’47
10 DUPLESSIS Martín ARG Asistencia Med KTM +1:15’36
11 RODRIGUES Joaquim POR Hero Motorsports Team Rally Hero +1:23’18
12 CAIMI Franco ARG Honda South America Rally Team Honda +1:38’43
13 RODRIGUES Helder POR Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team Yamaha +1:43’09
14 BRABEC Ricky USA Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +1:44’44
15 SMITH Todd AUS Duust Rally Team KTM +1:46’55

Honda:

Husqvarna:

KTM:

Yamaha Racing:

Source: Dakar; Photos: HRC, Husqvarna, KTM, & Yamaha Racing

http://ift.tt/1fJqxMD

2017 Dakar Rally – Stage 7: Victory for USA’s Ricky Brabec

After seeing Saturday’s stage cancelled, and with Sunday set on the schedule as a rest day, the 2017 Dakar Rally returned to racing-proper on Monday, with Stage 7.

Today’s special was originally conceived to be 322km long, but again the weather played a factor, and the timed section was cut down to just 160km. Sand dunes were the order of the day, which posed a challenge to some of the riders, both in navigation and time management.

For Honda, the day was very good, with American Ricky Brabec taking the day, followed closely his teammate Paulo Gonçalves. Sam Sunderland finished the day third, allowing him to maintain his overall lead in the standings. With three Hondas in the Top 5 though, the day truly goes to HRC.

Brabec’s win also continues the trend of a different rider winning each stage thus far of the 2017 Dakar Rally, an unusual circumstance in a race that usually sees a rider or two consistently rising above the rest of the field.

On that note, Xavier de Soultrait continues to impress on his Yamaha, fifth for the day, sixth overall, and still in the hunt for the overall win. Yamaha also can rely on Adrien van Beveren, who sits third overall, just behind Husqvarna’s Pablo Qunitanilla.

With three manufacturers in the Top 3, there will be a great deal of intrigue for the Dakar trophy, as we head into Argentina.

Monday night starts the marathon stage, meaning that only competitors can work on their machines in order to prep for Tuesday’s Stage 8. Without the help of their mechanics, we can expect some shake-up in Tuesday’s results from bike failures.

Top 15 from Stage 7 – La Paz to Uyuni:

Pos. Rider Nation Team Bike Time
1 BRABEC Ricky USA Monster Energy Honda Team Honda 2:02’05
2 GONCALVES Paulo POR Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +1’44
3 SUNDERLAND Sam GBR Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM +4’43
4 BARREDA Joan SPA Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +6’51
5 DE SOULTRAIT Xavier FRA Viltais Racing Team HFP Yamaha +7’10
6 METGE Michael FRA Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +8’21
7 SMITH Todd AUS Duust Rally Team KTM +9’39
8 WALKNER Matthias AUT Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM +9’59
9 QUINTANILLA Pablo CHI Husqvarna Factory Rally Team Husqvarna +10’28
10 NOSIGLIA Walter BOL MEC Team Nosiglia Honda +10’39
11 VAN BEVEREN Adrien FRA Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team Yamaha +10’52
12 FARRES Gerard SPA Himoinsa Team KTM +12’22
13 RENET Pierre-Alexandre FRA Husqvarna Factory Rally Team Husqvarna +12’35
14 METGE Adrien FRA Sherco TVS Rally Factory Sherco +13’05
15 TOMICZEK Adam POL KTM Orlen Rally Team KTM +13’07

Provisional Top 15 Overall Standings for the 2017 Dakar Rally

Pos. Rider Nation Team Bike Time
1 SUNDERLAND Sam GBR Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM 17:28’53
2 QUINTANILLA Pablo CHI Husqvarna Factory Rally Team Husqvarna +17’45
3 VAN BEVEREN Adrien FRA Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team Yamaha +22’16
4 FARRES Gerard SPA Himoinsa Team KTM +28’36
5 WALKNER Matthias AUT Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM +34’17
6 DE SOULTRAIT Xavier FRA Viltais Racing Team HFP Yamaha +38’33
7 RENET Pierre-Alexandre FRA Husqvarna Factory Rally Team Husqvarna +1:02’37
8 GONCALVES Paulo POR Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +1:05’22
9 BARREDA Joan SPA Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +1:14’47
10 DUPLESSIS Martín ARG Asistencia Med KTM +1:15’36
11 RODRIGUES Joaquim POR Hero Motorsports Team Rally Hero +1:23’18
12 CAIMI Franco ARG Honda South America Rally Team Honda +1:38’43
13 RODRIGUES Helder POR Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team Yamaha +1:43’09
14 BRABEC Ricky USA Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +1:44’44
15 SMITH Todd AUS Duust Rally Team KTM +1:46’55

Honda:

Husqvarna:

KTM:

Yamaha Racing:

Source: Dakar; Photos: HRC, Husqvarna, KTM, & Yamaha Racing

http://ift.tt/1fJqxMD

VW’s I.D. Buzz leads more all-electric concepts

VW’s all-electric I.D. family will show signs of growing in the next few months with more concepts due to be shown that could join the I.D. hatch on sale from 2020. 

Speaking to Auto Express at the launch of the I.D. Buzz at the 2017 Detroit Motor Show, Volkswagen sales and marketing boss Jurgen Stackmann said: “We are exploring on our electric platform all the concepts that could be done.

Best electric cars on sale

“We’ve shown in Paris the most European concept [the I.D.], which is a compact car – spacious on the inside, compact on the outside, fully connected and autonomous ready when the systems are relevant.

“We’re now showing here the other extreme, which is maximum space with the same technology kit – it’s important that we do that to leverage scale.

VW’s MOIA brand could get the I.D. BUzz as its first model

“Next we’ll introduce you to two or three more ideas on the platform in the months to come to show the spectrum and we’ll lay our cards very soon on what we can do.” 

Rumours circulating in Detroit suggest that an SUV and sports car could be two of the concepts we’ll see.

Stackmann is hopeful that the I.D. Buzz will get such a strong reaction that VW has to build it. “I think this is the most realistic shot ever at the Microbus coming and we’ll have to see in the next few weeks how big a potential market in the US could be,” he said. 

“The market for conventional MPVs wouldn’t be big enough, but this actually combines functionality, space and command seating position with something unique – it’s really cool. We’re excited that we can scale this technology so much that this is possible.”

The reaction of the US public to the I.D. Buzz is crucial in whether it gets the go-ahead or not. “There’s no other market globally where microbus has the emotional pull that it has in the US,” said Stackmann. “It’s quite amazing and the reaction has been phenomenal.”

VW has committed to the I.D. hatch going on sale in 2020, with a target of the brand selling one million electric cars by 2025. “We want to become a volume player with the ambition to have a relevant share in the electric market,” says Stackmann. 

Would you like to see more VW I.D. concepts? Let us know below…

http://ift.tt/1vr5Atm

Kia Stinger GT Design Details: An Interview With Kia Motors Europe’s Chief Designer

Before the Kia Stinger GT debuted at the 2017 Detroit auto show, Motor Trend was invited to Korea for an exclusive deep dive on the car, and meet with many key executives. Motor Trend was the only U.S. automotive media outlet invited. We talked with Gregory Guillaume, chief designer for Kia Motors Europe, who provided the initial design presentation on the Stinger.

Read more about the Kia Stinger GT HERE.

Kia Stinger GT exterior details

Kia Stinger GT exterior details

Motor Trend: One of the first things you mentioned in your presentation was a castellated windshield—the notched cut line where the roof meets the top of the windshield. Is that strictly styling?

Gregory Guillaume: Pretty much. We had some hopes at the beginning to do something in the middle—you always have the inside mirror with the angle that comes forward—but we didn’t structurally ever manage to utilize that. It’s a way to really recognize the car. Peter [Schreyer] often tells me he is in a restaurant and just sees tops of cars passing by—just the roofs out of the window. He says, “Yeah, I always know when there’s a Kia passing by just because of that detail.”

[Editor’s note: This notched cut line is reflected at several other points elsewhere on the vehicle, including the upper portion of Kia’s tiger-nose signature grille, the rear bumper of the GT, and on the inside in the A/C vent rings.]

 

Kia Stinger GT front three quarter
Kia Stinger GT rear three quarter
Kia Stinger GT wheels
Kia Stinger GT front end 02

MT:  How do you describe the three-piece chrome strip that goes from the A-pillar past the C-pillar? What is that? What’s the term for that?

GG: We don’t have a term, but it’s just an element that we have found at some point at time. Actually, the previous-generation Optima had a similar thing. It’s a good trick to visually bring the car down, especially on this car because of the rear-wheel-drive proportion. It’s really important that the cabin visually sits backward from the car. It really just pulls it back all the way to a point.

MT: Interesting. Speaking of the cabin, can you talk about the exterior dimensions and interior volume?

GG: We wanted a long rear overhang, but what was very important from the beginning was the long wheelbase. I always measure a space inside the car more horizontally than vertically. Maybe it’s because I’m not so tall, but I never think, “Do I really look up there? How much space do I have?” But when I’m sitting in a car, I notice if my knees are touching the seat in front; things like that, they bother me. That’s why we really cared from the beginning to have a very big hip-to-hip-point distance front to rear. It’s probably one of the biggest in the segment, and that’s why it looks, it feels spacious when you sit inside. It’s that distance from front driver to rear passenger that’s much greater.

Kia Stinger GT with Gregory Guillaume and Edward Loh
Kia Stinger GT with Gregory Guillaume and Peter Schreyer 02
Kia Stinger GT with Gregory Guillaume and Peter Schreyer 03
Kia Stinger GT with Gregory Guillaume and Peter Schreyer

MT: And what about that extended reflector strip at the back? Is that for European regulations?

GG: Actually, it’s in the U.S. that you need a reflector more than we do. The show car had it as a signature with the little round detail around it. We tried to keep as much as we could, basically, from the concept car. When you see the concept car together with the production car and how similar the look, all the design themes have made it, basically, into the production car.

MT: What’s your favorite feature on the car?

GG: If I show it to you now, you’re probably going to come back all the time—it’s the Coke bottle curves because they are so subtle. From the side, there’s nothing to be noticed, but if you move toward the back, then you notice how subtle it comes out in the rear. Once you know that, I’ve noticed the people always come back. When I’m finished talking to them, they always go back, and they just go like, “Yeah,” because it’s just so subtle. Once you know it, you want to come back and see it. There are lots of things that are interesting on the car, but that’s something I personally like.

Kia Stinger GT front wheels
Kia Stinger GT rear quarter panel
Kia Stinger GT rear tailpipe
Kia Stinger GT rear taillight
Kia Stinger GT rear three quarter 02 1
Kia Stinger GT side
Kia Stinger GT front grille
Kia Stinger GT with Gregory Guillaume and Edward Loh

MT: Looks great. Talk to me about the vent behind the front wheel. This is the first time I’ve heard it called a side curtain air breather.

GG: This is a vent, but you can call it a breather, as well. The air goes in from the front. The problem is in aerodynamics; at high speed, you always had a lot of pressure inside the wheelhouse. The airflow is really dirty and unstable. This really helps just to push the curtain of air there and to suck it out in the back.

MT: And the hood [aka bonnet], you used another term for it—

GG: Island type. You know it from sports cars, basically. Very often the shut line of the bonnet is just on the top of the bonnet. Normal production cars, the normal thing to do is to actually come up the headline far on the side. But, sports cars always have those island-type bonnets, and it’s something that you just instantly hook up to the sports car world.

Gregory Guillaume

Gregory Guillaume

2018 Kia Stinger GT front end
2018 Kia Stinger GT rear end
2018 Kia Stinger GT rear three quarter
2018 Kia Stinger GT front three quarter 02
2018 Kia Stinger GT front side
2018 Kia Stinger GT front wheels
2018 Kia Stinger GT rear three quarter 02
2018 Kia Stinger GT front three quarter in motion
2018 Kia Stinger GT front three quarter turn
2018 Kia Stinger GT front three quarter in motion 03
2018 Kia Stinger GT front three quarter in motion 02
2018 Kia Stinger GT rear three quarter in motion
2018 Kia Stinger GT front three quarters in motion
2018 Kia Stinger GT side 02
2018 Kia Stinger GT rear three quarter in motion 02
2018 Kia Stinger GT front three quarters
2018 Kia Stinger GT rear three quarters
2018 Kia Stinger GT front three quarter in motion 04
2018 Kia Stinger GT side profile
2018 Kia Stinger GT front three quarters 02
2018 Kia Stinger GT rear badge
2018 Kia Stinger GT taillight
2018 Kia Stinger GT badge
2018 Kia Stinger GT interior
2018 Kia Stinger GT engine 02
2018 Kia Stinger GT interior view 03
2018 Kia Stinger GT drive mode
2018 Kia Stinger GT interior view 02
2018 Kia Stinger GT interior door panel
2018 Kia Stinger GT interior center console
2018 Kia Stinger GT interior 03
2018 Kia Stinger GT interior 02
2018 Kia Stinger GT engine

The post Kia Stinger GT Design Details: An Interview With Kia Motors Europe’s Chief Designer appeared first on Motor Trend.

http://ift.tt/JPPTFe

High-performance Audi SQ8 to join new Q8 range

Audi’s new flagship SUV, the Q8, will go on sale early in 2018 and will be followed by a hot Audi SQ8 version, Auto Express can reveal. 

Speaking exclusively to Auto Express, Audi’s board member for sales and marketing, Dietmar Voggenreiter said, “The Q8 is the brother or sister to the new A8 so it will be high-end luxury.

“But could there be a high performance SQ8 version? That’s something I would like to do.”

Detroit Motor Show 2017: top news stories

The Audi SQ8 is likely to use the same 4.0-litre bi-turbo V8 diesel as the SQ7, developing 429bhp. It also features an advanced 48v electrical system to boost an electric-powered compressor (EPC). Its job is to help spin up the twin turbos at low revs to give maximum response and minimum turbo lag. In the SQ7 the result is 0-62mph in 4.9 seconds and a top speed of 155mph – expect performance to be very similar in the SQ8.

It’s also rumoured that the same engine could find its way into the SQ5. The hot version of Audi’s new Q5 was also unveiled in Detroit, powered by a new 3.0-litre turbo V6 petrol engine with 349bhp and 500Nm of torque. However, the old SQ5’s torque and economy figures beat the stats for the new model. Using the 4.0-litre V8 with its 900Nm of torque would redress the balance.

The SQ5 is due to arrive in the UK in the second half of this year, with the diesel version due some time in 2018. The Q8 should also join the range in 2018 and the SQ8 model shouldn’t be too far behind.

Do you like the idea of Audi’s advanced diesel V8 finding its way into the SQ8? Have your say in the comments…

http://ift.tt/1vr5Atm

Audi’s Q8 Concept previews a 2018 personal luxury crossover

Filed under: ,,,,,,,


It pairs what passes for a coupe-ish roofline with full-size SUV underpinnings. It’s brash, for sure.

Continue reading Audi’s Q8 Concept previews a 2018 personal luxury crossover

Audi’s Q8 Concept previews a 2018 personal luxury crossover originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 09 Jan 2017 10:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink | 
Email this | 
Comments http://ift.tt/1CdYNai

Jaguar F-Type updated for 2017 with minor design tweaks and new tech

Jaguar has revealed a round of updates for its F-Type sports car, including new model variants, minor design tweaks, and new technology, that’s set to go on sale in the first quarter of 2017.

It’s the first time the F-Type has been facelifted since going on sale in 2012, and this new model benefits from a refreshed look across the range thanks to new, fresher looking model specific bumpers with cleaner lines. The bumper tweaks are joined by the inclusion of full LED headlights.

Interior tweaks are a part of the 2017 package, too. New lightweight, slimline sports seats are on offer, 8kg lighter than the next option. New chrome, carbon fibre and aluminium trim finishes are on offer as well, plus the option of Siena Tan leather upholstery on any model. 

Best sports cars on sale right now

Also coming to every F-Type will be new infotainment tech. Each car gets the Touch Pro setup – an 8-inch display with smartphone style touchscreen operation, real time traffic, weather and share ETA functions. Alongside the infotainment system in the tech stakes is a new park assist feature, which can identify suitable spots and park in them at the touch of a button.

Two new variants are also set to appear when the facelifted F-Type goes on sale. The F-Type R-Dynamic is a new core model, and will replace the F-Type S in the line-up with the same 335bhp and 375bhp engine choices, alongside the same combination of rear-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive drivetrains. 

The stand out new model is the F-Type 400 Sport, though, which will only be on sale for the duration 2017. It features an uprated version of the supercharged 3.0-litre V6 engine found lower down the range, packing 395bhp. Rear-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive versions will be available, but all will get the eight-speed Quickshift automatic gearbox.

An uprated chassis is joined by bigger brakes and Jaguar’s Configurable Dynamics System, allowing the driver to select individual settings for the throttle, transmission, dampers and steering.

It gets the Sport Design Pack, introducing a more pronounced front chin splitter, new side skirts and a larger rear diffuser. Three paint colours – silver, black or white – will be available, while the interior gets yellow contrast stitching. Unique 400 Sport badges and grey satin paint on the alloy wheels finish off the look. 

Prices for the 2017 F-Type facelift will begin at £51,450 for the standard 335bhp coupe. New R-Dynamic trim begins from £55,150, while the limited edition 400 Sport model will start from £70,115. 

Do you like the subtle changes to the Jaguar F-Type? Let us know below…

http://ift.tt/1vr5Atm