The V12 Speedster, created by in-house bespoke service Q by Aston Martin working with the brand’s talented team of designers and engineers, elegantly combines an authentic, driver-oriented sports car with the use of cutting-edge motorsport and aviation technology to deliver a stunning, two-seat, enthusiast driving machine.
The new car’s design, while modern and dynamic, also clearly nods to both Aston Martin’s legendary 1959 Le Mans 24 hours- and 1000km of Nürburgring race-winning DBR1 and the marque’s Centenary CC100 Speedster Concept shown in 2013. It’s forward-looking features are shaped from the same advanced materials and expert engineering used throughout Aston Martin’s contemporary sports car range.
The Le Mans-winning DBR1, which in part inspired the V12 Speedster, delivered Aston Martin’s most high-profile motorsport triumph to date and, of course, needs no introduction. One of only three cars in the 1950s to win both the World Sports Car Championship and Le Mans 24 Hours in the same year, the DBR1 defined not only motorsport excellence but also exquisite design elegance – an enduring Aston Martin trademark.
The brand’s CC100 Speedster Concept, meanwhile, was produced in 2013 to celebrate Aston Martin’s centenary. It, too, helped to inspire the creation of the new V12 Speedster which is the product of more than 12 months of meticulous design and planning work by the teams from both Q by Aston Martin, and Aston Martin Design.
At the new car’s heart lies a high-performance variant of Aston Martin’s now iconic, 5.2-litre V12 Twin-Turbo engine, capable of generating an output of around 700 PS and 700 Nm. Offering a compelling breadth of performance, superb response and thrilling V12 soundtrack, the engine is mated to a ZF 8-speed automatic transmission mounted towards the rear of the car.
Naturally, the powertrain found in the Aston Martin V12 Speedster has an abundance of character, with the engine note and sound quality playing an important part in the undeniably invigorating driving experience delivered here.
Aston Martin Lagonda President and Group CEO, Dr Andy Palmer said: “The V12 Speedster we’re proud to confirm today once again showcases not only this great British brand’s ambition and ingenuity, but also celebrates our rich and unrivalled heritage. The 88 enthusiast drivers and collectors who secure the keys to these cars can be confident that in doing so, they are also securing an iconic new piece of Aston Martin history.”
Orders are now being taken for the 88 V12 Speedsters being hand built by the brand, with deliveries expected to begin in the first quarter of 2021.
The new 2020 Civic Type R incorporates numerous changes to improve its already stellar driving dynamics, including new two-piece brake rotors and new brake pads designed to reduce fade and improve high-speed braking efficiency. Suspension revisions for 2020 will include updated dampers for better ride comfort, stiffer rear bushings for better grip, and modifications to the front suspension to reduce friction and improve steering feel. Exterior design enhancements will also include a new larger front grille opening for improved engine cooling, and the 2020 model will be available in a new, Type R-exclusive Boost Blue.
For the 2020 model year, drivers can also expect added refinement, including a new Alcantara-wrapped steering wheel and a new shifter with a restyled knob and shorter shift throws. The 2020 Civic Type R also adds the Honda Sensing suite of safety and driver-assistive technologies, marking the first time that Honda Sensing will be available as standard equipment on all Civic models and trims.
Under the hood, the 2020 Civic Type R continues to draw power from a race-bred 2.0-liter direct-injected and turbocharged 4-cylinder engine with VTEC valvetrain putting out a peak 306-horsepower and 295 lb.-ft. of torque (both SAE net), with power to the front wheels delivered through a close-ratio 6-speed manual transmission and limited-slip differential. As before, drivers can choose between three driving modes – Comfort, Sport and +R – that vary suspension firmness, steering and throttle response.
New for 2020 is Active Sound Control, which modifies interior sound in concert with chosen drive mode. The Type R's selectable drive modes and sophisticated design make it both a thrilling companion on a mountain road or a racetrack and a remarkably civilized daily driver with a degree of flexibility unmatched in its competitive set, especially at the price.
The vertical front openings in sabre-tooth look and the dynamic front apron are unmistakable. The GSi sprints into the New Year with a new 169kW (230hp) 2.0-litre turbo petrol engine and new nine-speed automatic transmission, as well as an electro-hydraulic brake booster, FlexRide mechatronic suspension and Twinster four-wheel drive with torque vectoring.
The flagship of the tradition-rich German brand debuts as GSi, Grand Sport and Sports Tourer with newly developed, extra-efficient petrol and diesel engines. In addition, new low-friction gearboxes further reduce fuel consumption and at the same time increase comfort. Insignia customers get either a six-speed manual gearbox, a particularly economical, stepless transmission or an eight or nine-speed automatic.
The new Insignia’s aerodynamics are further improved by an active full-face shutter. Compared to its predecessor, NEDC fuel consumption is lowered by up to 18%, while CO2 emissions are as low as around 100g/km. The new Insignia is therefore one of the most fuel-efficient cars in its segment.
The Opel designers have further improved the Insignia’s high-quality interior. The ergonomically certified AGR seats with many comfort functions are now available in various fabric and leather upholsteries, as well as in Alcantara. For those who value comfort and a classic appearance, the Elegance and Ultimate equipment ranges are the perfect choice. Enthusiastic drivers will be thrilled by the new Insignia GS Line and GSi.
In addition, there are state-of-the-art safety and assistance systems, most notably the new adaptive IntelliLux LED Pixel Light. It now has a total of 168 LED elements – 84 per headlamp. They provide the Insignia driver with ultra-slim headlamps as well as the best vision and react even faster and more precisely than before, without dazzling anyone in front or oncoming traffic.
“We are proud of our new flagship. The Insignia looks fantastic, featuring class-leading technologies such as the IntelliLux LED Pixel Light, fuel-efficient petrol and diesel engines, adaptive FlexRide suspension and outstanding wellness seats. The GSi is again the top model in the series and as engaging to drive as a real sports car,” said Opel CEO, Michael Lohscheller.
The new Opel Insignia GSi is for those who appreciate the really special. The sporty four-wheel drive with torque vectoring is unique in this segment. In the AWD mode, two clutches replace a conventional rear differential and deliver the perfect power transfer per wheel in every driving situation. With this technology, the new Opel Insignia GSi is more agile in curves, offers the best cornering and stands out with excellent traction. For an even more active driving experience, the new nine-speed automatic transmission can be operated by the paddles on the steering wheel.
The Opel Insignia GSi got its finishing touches on the legendary Nürburgring “Nordschleife”. The dynamically tuned chassis offers extremely high grip. The powerful Brembo four-piston brakes (with red calipers) and the direct steering have been further improved.
With its electro-hydraulic brake booster, the Insignia is already today a platform for technology that will be required for automated driving in the future. The integrated “eBoost” system is a component for “braking by wire”, which dispenses with the need for separate ABS/ESP modules, vacuum lines and vacuum pumps etc. As vacuum is generated by an electric motor instead of the engine, fuel consumption is further reduced. Pressure is built up quicker and brake feel is improved. Also, when ABS is activated, “eBoost” operates more quietly than on conventional braking systems.
The Insignia GSi comes as standard with mechatronic FlexRide suspension, which adapts shock absorbers and steering in fractions of a second. In addition, FlexRide changes the characteristic of the accelerator as well as the shift-points of the nine-speed automatic transmission. The driver can choose between the driving modes “Standard”, “Tour”, “Sport” and – exclusively for the GSi – “Competition”.
With the new Insignia, Opel has reduced the complexity and at the same time improved the offer for the customer. While the predecessor had petrol and diesel engines from three different engine families, all three and four-cylinder engines of the now belong to a single new generation. The 1.4-litre petrol engine with 107kW (145hp) and the 1.5-litre diesel with 90kW (122hp) form the basis.
The three-cylinder units are up to 50 kilograms lighter than their predecessors in the previous model and are also used in the new Astra. Above them in the Insignia range come a 2.0-liter four-cylinder diesel (introduction later this year) and a 2.0 petrol engine with 147kW (200hp) – 169kW (230hp) in the case of the GSi. The 2.0-litre petrol units are also the first Opel engines with cylinder deactivation. Unless the driver needs high power, the variable camshaft control deactivates two cylinders and thus significantly reduces fuel consumption.
The new Insignia’s full-face active shutter further improves fuel efficiency by closing the top as well as the bottom of the grille. By combining thermal, electrical and aerodynamic considerations, intelligent control strategies for opening and closing the upper and lower portions of the grille can enable highly efficient driving under a variety of real-life conditions. The full-face shutter also delivers thermal advantages by delaying cooling down after switching off the engine, or by accelerating the engine warm-up after a cold start, which especially in winter provides significant benefits in fuel consumption and cabin heating comfort.
Opel has further improved the autobahn light of the newest IntelliLux LED. In left turns, the light beam reaches further to the left, so that the driver can more easily see roadside signs. When turning right in autobahn mode, the light beam shines further to the right, in order to avoid glare for oncoming traffic. The other light functions range from curve and bad weather, to town, country roads and autobahn, as well as optimised light for parking.
Typically for a flagship, the Opel Insignia features a full range of assistance and infotainment systems. A new digital rear view camera improves rearward vision. Safety when reversing out of parking spaces can be further increased by the optional rear cross traffic alert. Additional assistance systems include forward collision alert with automatic emergency braking and pedestrian protection, lane keep assist, side blind zone alert, adaptive cruise control with emergency braking, traffic sign recognition, advanced park assist and head-up display. Adaptive cruise control maintains the gap to the vehicle ahead through automatic braking and acceleration. With automatic transmission. the radar-based system can brake the Insignia to a standstill and follow the vehicle ahead in traffic jams.
The portfolio of infotainment systems compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto extend from Multimedia Radio and Multimedia Navi to Multimedia Navi Pro. The top-of-the-line unit features numerous Connected Navigation services such as “Trip & Drive Management” and “Live navigation”, which provides online traffic information in real time. allowing delays to be detected quickly and avoided. Compatible smartphones can be charged wirelessly. When e-Call is installed, an emergency call is automatically sent if the seatbelt tensioners or airbags are deployed. Alternatively, help can be actively summoned in seconds by simply pressing the red button.
The first design sketch shows the dynamic front of the visually compelling SUV concept study. In addition to a wide bonnet, a large Škoda grille with solid ribs shapes the visual impression. The upper, very flat units of the split headlights progress directly to the grille. Beneath is a robustly designed front apron with large side air intakes and a massive front spoiler made of aluminium.
The second sketch illustrates a clearly structured, distinctive rear with sharply contoured, three- dimensional rear lights; an additional horizontal light strip connects the reflectors. Illuminated Škoda lettering is prominently positioned in the centre of the rear; an aluminium diffuser is integrated into the rear apron underneath.
As part of the INDIA 2.0 project, Škoda Auto is leading the activities of the Volkswagen Group brands on the Indian sub-continent. Several cross-brand Škoda and Volkswagen models will be created based on the MQB A0 IN variant of the Modular Transverse Matrix, which the Czech car manufacturer is developing with a focus on India and Indian customers. The new localised sub-compact platform is being showcased for the first time in the Škoda Vision IN.
The Arteon R-Line Edition has a wide range of standard equipment that is not available in this combination in any other version of the series. And the expressive two-tone Moonstone Grey finish with black roof is reserved exclusively for the Arteon R-Line Edition. The exterior finish is rounded off with 20-inch Rosario alloy wheels and darkened rear windows.
The interior is perfectly matched with the exterior. It is fitted out with the Nappa leather package and can be customised in terms of colour by means of ambient lighting. As part of the standard winter package, the outer rear seats are also available with heating, in addition to the front seats. As well as its navigation function, the Discover Pro infotainment system also features Wireless App-Connect, voice control and DAB+ digital radio reception. Discover Pro and the Digital Cockpit (fully digital instruments) form a single entity similar to the Innovision Cockpit familiar from the Touareg. Thanks to the keyless locking and starting system Keyless Access, the car key can remain in the driver’s pocket.
Standard high-tech systems for perfect comfort and safety: the Area View feature complete with rear view camera provides a view of the vehicle surroundings and facilitates manoeuvring, as does Park Assist. Dynamic Road Sign Display, the lane change system Side Assist, the Autonomous Emergency Braking Front Assist and the predictive Adaptive Distance Control (ACC) increase safety in flowing traffic as well as increasing comfort and safety on lengthy journeys. With the standard Dynamic Light Assist for the LED headlamps, the driver also enjoys the comfort of a dynamic cornering light and automatic main beam control.
The engine range of the Arteon R-Line Edition clearly focuses on the sporty flair of the Gran Turismo, with the four most powerful units of the series being available for the limited special edition. They are all efficient 2.0-litre four-cylinder engines combined with a 7-speed dual-clutch gearbox (DSG). The range starts with a TSI petrol engine and a TDI turbocharged diesel, each with an output of 140 kW/90 PS. The all-wheel-drive top-of-the-range diesel engine offers an output of 176 kW/240 PS, while the most powerful version is the Arteon R-Line Edition with the 2.0 TSI, providing a peak output of 200 kW/272 PS as well as all-wheel drive (4MOTION). The ESC system has also been adapted. As in the sporty R models, it can now be completely deactivated.
The two most powerful versions of the Arteon R-Line Edition are fitted with what is currently the highest development stage of the adaptive chassis control DCC; the latter is optionally available for the 140 kW models. The system allows the regulated dampers to be configured on a continuously variable basis from Comfort+ to Sport+ over and above the settings in the driving mode selection (Comfort, Normal, Sport, Individual). This is another reason why the limited special model stands out as a particularly dynamic business class travel vehicle. The Arteon R-Line Edition is available for order right away at a price of €55,970 (for 2.0 TSI with 140 kW/190PS) and will be delivered from February 2020.