My Drives Online(

Latest releases, trends and updates from automobile world. My Drives Online is an attempt to provide a complete guide to automobile industry. Newly released and coming soon cars and bikes are featured here in My Drives Online.

Audi RS5 : First Drive

Tucked away in a quiet corner of Germany lies a company that most of us haven’t heard about, namely, quattro GmbH (yes, they spell quattro in lower case). The name has a familiar ring to it as ‘quattro’ is a throwback to the all-wheel drive technology pioneered by Audi AG. That just so happens to be the relationship between the two companies, in fact quattro GmbH is a 100 per cent subsidiary of Audi AG and they have a special focus which is solely dedicated to the design, testing and production of specialist high performance Audi automobiles. Amongst these special vehicles lies the bloodline of the RS models.

Taken from the German word RennSport, which translates to ‘racing sport’, the RS models are basically highly customized Audi cars that now boast of some serious power. In essence, the RS models are based on conventional sedans therefore they are capable of offering you the delight of everyday driving, yet when you feel the need, it is just a matter of stomping on the gas pedal to be reminded of the

enormous potential packed under the hood. The nature of these cars places them on a different pedestal amongst enthusiasts for they also possess the latest and most advanced of Audi technologies. After all with great power comes great responsibility and if you are in the business of making an RS model, then you want to ensure that everything is just perfect. The latest torchbearer to the RS line is the RS 5 Coupe which is built on a tradition dating back to over 15 year and its lineage goes right down to the RS 2 Avant. Now available in India, the RS 5 is a four wheeled testimony to this purebred bloodline and truly lives up to being a beast in gentleman’s clothing.

VW Beetle launch last week

Volkswagen New Beetle: -Return of a Legend

Mumbai, December 4, 2009: Volkswagen, Europe’s largest car maker today announced the launch of the iconic – New Beetle in India

The New Beetle will be priced at Rs 20.45 Lakhs (all prices ex-Showroom Delhi)
Speaking at the launch, Mr. Neeraj Garg, Member of Board and Director, Volkswagen Passenger Cars said, “We are excited to bring this iconic Beetle, to India after its success across the world for decades.”

“The Beetle is the very first Volkswagen car people remember about; with its unique shape and reliability, it wrote motoring history. People’s fascination for this lovable bug shaped car has made the Beetle one of the world’s most popular cars across decades and Volkswagen is proud to bring its legend into India,” he said.


The New Beetle is a marvel design of German engineering based on the level of successful series. The New Beetle is equipped with a 2.0 litre 4 cylinder petrol engine with an output of 115HP at 5400 rpm. It is paired with a 6-speed automatic transmission. Advanced occupant safety is one of the key features of the New Beetle which comes equipped with 4 Airbags, Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS), Electronic Stabilization Programme (ESP) and engine immobilizers. It is equipped with a 6 CD changer, power steering for better drivability, body coloured exterior mirror housings, tailgate handle and heat insulating tinted glass.

The large 15” alloy wheels, ensconced in their flared arches, give it a higher and more commanding stance. The lights, refined lines, fresh color palette and new fabric seat covers are few details that are additions to the new Beetle. The front centre armrests and the dashboard are proof of the sure instinct of high design quality which interprets the classic elements of the New Beetle in a contemporary way. The round stern, dome shaped roof, rear section, the fenders with the hint of a footboard, the embedded round head and tail lights – bring back memories of the Beetle while the sharp accented lines and windows confirm the up-to-date design and express youthful energy.

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Lexus SC 430 (2010)

Lexus SC 430 (2010)

Lexus SC 430 (2010)

Lexus adds interior technology and exterior enhancements to the 2010 Lexus SC 430, the pioneer of the retractable hardtop in the prestige luxury segment. To build on the driving experience, the 2010 SC is now equipped with an updated Lexus Navigation System and Mark Levinson® Premium Audio System. The enhanced audio package now features iPod®/USB connectivity, auxiliary audio input, Bluetooth® hands free phone and music streaming capabilities, and an available XM® satellite radio receiver (complimentary 90-day trial subscription). On the exterior, the 2010 SC is now outfitted with 18-inch six-spoke wheels with a dark finish, side mirrors with integrated puddle lamps, and Costa Azul Mica is a newly available exterior color.


The rear-wheel-drive Lexus SC 430 is powered by an aluminum double-overhead cam (DOHC) 4.3-liter V8 engine that produces 288 horsepower and 317 lb.-ft. of peak torque. Power is channeled through a six-speed automatic transmission, enabling the Lexus SC 430 to accelerate from zero-to-60 mph in just 5.8 seconds.

The Lexus SC 430’s V8 is the epitome of Lexus smoothness and graceful response. Variable Valve Timing with intelligence (VVT-i) enhances torque over a broad speed range. The Intuitive Powertrain Control works with the Electronic Throttle Control to help smooth out acceleration from a standing start. The Lexus SC 430 meets Ultra-Low Emissions Vehicle II (ULEV II) certification.

The six-speed automatic transmission employs Shift Logic Control to respond to road grade and acceleration/deceleration activity, holding gears or downshifting on hills to help provide optimal engine power or a braking effect. A manual sequential-shift feature allows the driver to enjoy a more involved driving experience when desired.


Engineered as a convertible from the start, the Lexus SC 430’s structure provides outstanding strength whether the retractable hardtop is up or down. The rigid structure allowed Lexus to tune the front and rear double-wishbone independent suspension to help deliver both responsive handling and its signature smooth ride.

The 53/47 weight distribution helps deliver optimal balance for confident steering response and impressive agility, aided by standard 18-inch six-spoke wheels with 245/40R18 Z-rated tires. All-season or summer run-flat tires are available as an option.



Safety/Security Features

The Lexus SC 430 matches its performance capability with the brand’s renowned attention to safety and security. The Supplemental Restraint System (SRS) includes front airbags and front seat-mounted side airbags. A front-passenger-seat weight detection sensor helps determine whether the passenger airbag should deploy. Front-knee airbags help to provide further overall occupant protection in the Lexus SC 430.

An array of dynamic electronic features help contribute to safe, precise handling in the Lexus SC 430: a four-sensor, four-channel Anti-lock Braking System (ABS); Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD); Brake Assist (BA) and Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) with traction control (TRAC). EBD monitors all four wheels during braking and varies brake pressure according to the load on each wheel.

VSC helps control lateral traction while cornering on slippery or dry road surfaces by using a combination of throttle intervention and applying individual wheel braking to help control any discrepancy between where the driver is steering and where the vehicle is heading. Integrated with VSC, TRAC is designed to help limit rear-wheel spin on slippery road surfaces. BA is designed to determine if the driver is attempting emergency braking, and if the driver has not stepped firmly enough on the brake pedal to engage ABS, it applies increased braking power until pedal pressure is released.

The Lexus SC 430 was among the first Lexus models to offer the advanced Adaptive Front-lighting System (AFS) that helps to enhance nighttime visibility in turns and curves. In the Lexus SC 430, a central controller calculates the optimum lighting direction based on input from vehicle speed and steering angle and swivels the right and left headlights independently. A self-leveling feature automatically levels the lights depending on road conditions. An AFS on/off switch allows the driver to disengage the system at any time. Other Lexus SC 430 safety and visibility features include daytime-running lights, fog lamps and projector-type High-Intensity Discharge (HID) headlights with auto levelers.


The Lexus SC 430 is so luxuriously equipped, that there are no optional extras offered for the interior. Front occupants enjoy the comfort of 10-way, power-adjustable heated seats. Reflecting the brand’s meticulous attention to convenience, the steering wheel automatically tilts away when the ignition is turned off to make exiting and entry easier, then returns to its memory position when the car is started again.

The Lexus SC 430’s advanced climate-control system is specifically designed for a convertible environment. The system adjusts airflow and temperature automatically, differentiating between top-up and top-down driving needs and taking into account the outside temperature to help ensure occupant comfort.

Like all Lexus models, the Lexus SC 430 offers advanced technology that enhances the driving and ownership experience, yet is easy to use. The updated standard Lexus Navigation System offers Bluetooth phonebook download. Also featured is a voice-command feature that allows hands-free use and provides easy-to-understand graphics and phone-number-based address recognition. SC receives a new central wide-format color display for 2010. The console offers a split-screen option and also adjusts seven degrees up or down to help minimize sun glare when the top is down.

XM NavTraffic® and XM NavWeather™ services are also available (complimentary 90-day trial subscription). XM NavTraffic informs the driver of current traffic conditions with real-time traffic displays. When traffic problems are detected the navigation system alerts the driver so that the route can be adjusted. XM NavWeather provides near real-time weather conditions as well as spoken and nav-screen forecasts, both based on official National Weather Service data.

The 2010 SC 430 comes equipped as standard with the updated Mark Levinson Premium Audio System. Like the climate control system, the Lexus SC 430’s Mark Levinson system is configured to self-optimize performance for top-up or top-down driving. Designed by one of the audio field’s legendary innovative brands, the Lexus SC 430’s system uses a seven-channel DSP 240-watt amplifier and nine strategically located speakers to turn the car’s interior into a private concert hall. System equalization automatically adjusts when the roof is lowered to compensate for the changed acoustics and ambient noise levels, and it returns to its original levels when the roof is raised. The Mark Levinson Premium Audio System now features iPod/USB connectivity, auxiliary audio input, Bluetooth hands free phone and music streaming capabilities. An XM satellite radio receiver is also available and includes a complimentary 90-day trial subscription when equipped.

Exterior Design

The Lexus SC 430 brings classic luxury, performance and high technology together in an elegantly styled hardtop convertible. With the push of a button, the retractable hardtop transforms the Lexus SC 430 from a sleek coupe into an elegant convertible in 25 seconds.

Narrow and precise body gaps, a Lexus hallmark, accentuate the Lexus SC 430’s sleek, elegant lines. Nine exterior colors are offered, with extensive use of anti-chipping paint on lower body panels. Good design continues underneath the Lexus SC 430, where four underbody covers (engine, floor, front and rear) enhance aerodynamic performance.

Sound damping material inside rear wheel wells, under the floor, rocker moldings and retractable hardtop contribute to low noise levels in the Lexus SC 430. Puddle lamps are now integrated into the side mirrors and the only factory options for the SC 430 are a rear spoiler and run-flat tires.

Interior Design

The Lexus SC 430’s ultra-luxurious interior, with its plush combination of natural materials including leather and wood trim, took inspiration from high-end, custom-made yachts. Semi-aniline leather trims not only the seats but also the door armrests, console cover, and front seat-belt guides. This hand-stitched leather trim is available in three colors, including black, Camel and Ecru.

Genuine wood trim is used liberally throughout the Lexus SC 430 interior, including the center console, doors and instrument panel, plus a matching wood-trim shift knob and a wood-trim cover panel for the dual front cup holders. A dark brown wood color called Espresso Birds-eye Maple is paired with the Camel color leather-trim interior. Walnut wood trim is used with the Ecru and black leather-trim interiors.

Electrically powered, wood-trimmed access doors conceal both the audio system head unit and the standard navigation system. The sporty instrument-gauge panel is complemented by the same steering-wheel design used in the GS sedans. This luxurious wood and leather-trimmed wheel features a power tilt-telescope adjustment along with integrated cruise control and audio switches.

Lexus LS 600h L (2009)



The Lexus LS 600h L luxury sedan was the first vehicle to bring fuel-efficient gasoline-electric hybrid technology to the prestige luxury segment. The Lexus LS 600h L provides the brand’s highest level of performance and technology, and the truest expression of luxury.


The Lexus LS 600h L is powered by the ultra-quiet Lexus Hybrid Drive system, which was the world’s first to combine a V8 gasoline engine with an all-wheel-drive (AWD) hybrid drivetrain. The system combines a 5.0-liter V8 gasoline engine with two powerful electric motors and a large-capacity battery pack.

The hybrid powertrain generates a peak combined output rating of 438 horsepower and can effortlessly accelerate the Lexus LS 600h L from zero-to-60 mph in just 5.5 seconds. Mid-range acceleration is even more impressive. The system’s electric motor is capable of delivering maximum torque on demand and is most beneficial during passing maneuvers. The Lexus LS 600h L can accelerate from 50-70 mph in a rapid 3.5 seconds. Its combined EPA fuel economy rating of 21 mpg is equal to or better than the combined fuel-economy ratings of some V6 all-wheel-drive mid-sized luxury sedans.

The innovative V8 features an electric motor-driven Variable Valve Timing with intelligence and Electrically controlled intake cam (VVT-iE). This combination of VVT-i with electric-motor driven intake and an oil controlled VVT-I exhaust system achieves superior engine-startup operation and high-output performance. A specially developed Hydrocarbon Adsorber and Catalyst (HCAC) system is linked to the two-way exhaust to help prevent hydrocarbons contained in the exhaust from being released into the atmosphere during cold start up when the catalysts are not up to temperature.

The Lexus LS 600h L meets the Super Ultra Low Emission Vehicle II (SULEV II) certification, meaning it has nearly 70 percent fewer smog-forming emissions than vehicles the average new car. Its emissions are cleaner than the ambient air in some major cities.

The NVH levels in the Lexus LS 600h L make it one of the quietest automobiles ever built. The Lexus LS 600h L is a full hybrid, capable of operating in electric-only mode or with a combination of the gas engine and electric motor. Lexus hybrid technology allows electric-mode-only operation at low speeds or stop-and-go driving conditions, reducing fuel consumption and noise.


A 288-volt DC Nickel Metal Hydride (Ni-MH) compact battery pack is installed behind the rear seat. The trunk also contains a 12-volt auxiliary battery that powers the audio, navigation, and other systems. The battery’s power is directed through a “boost converter” that efficiently raises voltage to a maximum 650V DC. An inverter changes this to AC, providing its elevated power to a 165-kW electric motor that turns at up to 10,240 rpm.

The Lexus LS 600h L powertrain uses two motor generators: MG1 and MG2. Each performs specific functions and can operate as either a motor or a generator, although MG1 is used as a starter motor and provides no motive force. The engine-driven generator, MG1, can charge the battery pack or provide additional power to the drive motor, MG2, as needed. A regenerative-braking system further boosts efficiency. When the vehicle is coasting or the brakes are applied, the electric motors function as generators, capturing kinetic energy that would normally be lost as heat through the brakes and transforming it into useable electricity to recharge the batteries.

A state-of-the-art full-time all-wheel drive system adapts to road surface conditions to help provide excellent vehicle stability during acceleration, high-speed driving and cornering. The AWD system employs a compact, ultra-quiet transfer case equipped with a TORSEN® limited-slip differential (LSD) that is 30 percent lighter in size and weight than previous TORSEN systems. The LSD provides rear biased torque distribution of 40:60 under normal straight-line driving, automatically and continually adjusting power distribution according to changing speed and road conditions.

An eight-speed sequential braking mode, activated when the shift lever is in the “S” position, allows eight different stages of response. When up-shifting, engine speed is controlled by the selected range, offering an exhilarating boost in acceleration during each of the eight shift stages. When downshifting, brake-force increases to provide powerful deceleration.

The driver can select “hybrid” (normal), “power,” or “snow” options. The “hybrid” mode provides the smoothest operation and is ideal for city or suburban driving; “power” sharpens accelerator pedal response and “snow” mode softens accelerator pedal response, making it easier to accelerate on slippery road surfaces. By pushing an EV switch, power reverts to full electric mode for short-distance, slow driving situations such as residential areas or parking garages.


Multi-link front and rear air-suspension systems help maintain superb vehicle posture and stable driving performance while maintaining the ultra-comfortable ride that has become synonymous with all Lexus vehicles. An Active Power Stabilizer Package is also available and features 19-inch summer tires, and high-friction brakes and an active-stabilizer system to help reduce body roll.

The Lexus LS 600h L is equipped with large front- and rear-ventilated disc brakes and standard 19-inch, seven-spoke aluminum alloy wheels with all-season tires. These special wheels receive extensive buffing, and their shape is meticulously analyzed to create a form with shade depths that shift when the vehicle is in motion.

Electronic Power Steering (EPS) delivers a smooth steering feel and reduces parasitic losses to the engine. Variable Gear Ratio Steering (VGRS) optimizes the steering gear ratio according to vehicle speed, enhancing responsiveness and driver control. Integrated with the Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management (VDIM) system, VGRS can make minor adjustments to the front-wheel angle to help provide improved stability in challenging road conditions.

Safety/Security Features

The Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management (VDIM) stability system assimilates and manages all of the car’s dynamic handling sub-systems, including: the Electronically Controlled Brake (ECB) system, EPS, Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), Antilock Braking System (ABS), Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD) and engine torque via the electronically controlled throttle. Monitoring a variety of sensors, the system anticipates the onset of a vehicle skid or slide while cornering, and then helps correct the situation with a combination of braking, throttle and steering control in a way that is essentially transparent to the driver. VSC can be turned off by experienced drivers via the Trac Off button.

In addition to the active safety features, the Lexus LS 600h L is standard-equipped with eight standard airbags, with a maximum of 11 airbags available through option packages. The world’s first low-beam LED headlamps provide superior road illumination, and the standard Adaptive Front lighting System (AFS) helps to illuminate a turn or curve as the driver steers into it.

The Advanced Pre-Collision System (APCS) on the Lexus LS600h L Pebble Beach Edition is the world’s first system designed to help detect pedestrians in the vehicle’s path. Using two small cameras mounted at the front of the car that work in conjunction with millimeter-wave radar, APCS is sensitive enough to detect certain nonmetallic objects.

As part of APCS the LS also offers the world’s first Driver Monitor System. A third camera, mounted on the steering column, monitors the orientation of the driver’s face. If the camera detects that it appears the driver is not looking directly ahead for a few seconds or more, and if an obstacle is detected ahead, then it alerts the driver first with a warning chime and a flashing light. As the car gets closer to the obstacle, APCS can begin to gently apply the brakes on its own. To assist the driver in maneuvering around the obstacle, the system reprograms the steering ratio, amplifying the intensity and quickness of the steering response. At the same time, the system automatically retracts the front seatbelts and prepares the brake system to respond with full force when activated by the driver in anticipation of a possible impact.


The LS600h L is based on the long-wheelbase LS chassis, delivering nearly five inches more legroom than the standard Lexus LS 460. This flagship model provides the highest level of comfort and convenience features in the LS series. Standard features include a hard disk drive (HDD) Lexus Navigation system with a backup camera and Bluetooth® technology with voice activation, plus XM factory-installed satellite radio with real-time traffic displays and dynamic route guidance.

For theater-level entertainment, the Lexus LS 600h L features a standard 19-speaker 450-watt Mark Levinson® Reference Surround Sound audio system. A portion of the HDD is dedicated to storing as many as 2,000 (128-bit) digital songs. An auxiliary jack located in the front center console allows for iPod® or MP3 digital music players.

Additional standard features include a climate-controlled front seats, heated rear seats, a heated steering wheel, power rear sunshade, one-touch open/close power trunk, power door closers, headlamp washers, SmartAccess with push-button start and card key, electronic parking brake, Intuitive Park Assist, and laminated side glass.

Luxury Options

The optional Advanced Parking Guidance System (APGS) is designed to assist with parallel and back-in parking. Once the driver has correctly positioned the car and identified the desired parking spot via the navigation screen, APGS utilizes the rear back-up camera parking sonar sensors and electric power steering system to guide the car into the space, while the driver controls speed via braking.

The Premium Package includes climate comfort rear seats with a heat/cool knob, rear power seats with memory, rear power headrests, rear seat side airbags, Lexus Link and APGS. The rear power seats have a built-in 28-degree angle and recline up to 38 degrees; the rear seat moves front to back approximately three inches.

The Premium Package II includes all features in the Premium Package and a heater control panel, four-zone climate control, rear audio controls, additional wood trim, rear air purifier, rear cool box, rear headliner and side air ducts, power rear-door sunshades, and a rear seat entertainment system equipped with a power ceiling-mounted nine-inch screen for DVD viewing.

The Executive Class Seating Package II includes all features in the Premium Package II and includes a power right rear seat with ottoman that reclines up to 45 degrees with an upper-back recliner featuring a 17-degree angle adjustment. A multi-function massage feature for the right-rear seat recliner can be used separately or in conjunction with the seat heater and cooler.

The package also includes a rear-seat wood-trimmed table and the rear-seat entertainment system features wireless headphones. The rear climate control is upgraded with an infrared sensor located in the headliner that measures lap, upper body and seat surface temperatures on each side and then adjusts airflow accordingly.

Exterior Design

The Lexus LS 600h L flagship hybrid luxury sedan showcases the brand’s L-finesse design philosophy, revealing a family resemblance that conveys elegance, refinement and a strong emotional appeal. Minimal body gaps, a low front grille and deep-drawn fenders all contribute to the car’s distinctive, muscular profile. Lexus’ attention to detail is seen in the integrated dual chrome exhaust tips and the one-piece chrome window surround.

Projector-type headlamps with blue crystal rings, which introduced the world’s first night-time LED low beams, provide excellent visibility and contribute to the design theme. Blue accents on the front headlamps, taillamps, badging, engine cover and the SmartAccess key fobs and Smart Card key are unique to the Lexus LS 600h L.

Interior Design

Passenger space and comfort were the primary focus of the interior cabin design. Genuine semi-aniline leather is featured throughout the cabin, its rich appearance softened and structured with additional stitching to create a relaxed atmosphere. The leather-trim extends beyond the seats and onto the instrument panel, upper front doors and door armrests. An Alcantara headliner adds a pleasing touch point, and the center console adds to passenger comfort and convenience through perfect angle placement for ease of use from either the driver or front passenger seat; it is placed at the same height as the door armrests for a comfortable balance. Additional luxury touches unique to the Lexus LS 600h L includes a wood-trimmed and chrome-plated shift knob and wood-trimmed assist grips.

Nissan Land Glider Concept 2009



In creating the Nissan Land Glider concept, planners and designers of Nissan have conceived a totally new form of personal zero emission mobility that combines clever, new driving experiences, all in the one compact, 4-wheeled package.

With more than 50% of the world’s population living in big cities in the near future, designers latched onto motorcycles as a credible base to start the design process.

While the agility, thrills and freedom of bikes inspired the designers and engineers, an extra spice was added to the mix. Tandem architecture became the obvious choice. A unique two-seater, cocoon-like structure sitting on a zero emission powertrain. With four-wheel stability and a sense of safety that originates from a tilting cabin, the Nissan Land Glider Concept will appeal to both two- and four-wheel driving enthusiasts.

Targeted at city dwellers of all generations, the Nissan Land Glider Concept is a serious motoring statement of the new era of mobility that Nissan intends to lead.

Cocoon in the shell

“The exterior incorporates a soft, sleek-looking body that appears to be protected by a special armor,” explains Takashi Nakajima, Nissan’s Project Design Director. “And while it is very mechanical in its nature, the four-wheeler boasts a dynamic body design that almost seems alive. As part of Nissan’s expanding zero emission family, the Nissan Land Glider Concept exudes a clean, friendly attitude.”

The vehicle’s two-seater tandem layout is enveloped in what seems like the canopy of a glider, while its unique `tilt’ setup employs a special leaning function that holds occupants firmly in place even when the vehicle is cornering at angles. In developing the Land Glider, Nissan designers have created a two-seater that offers the sense of security of a cocoon, but delivers real driving pleasure.

Corner and lean

Described as a `personal city commuter,’ the Nissan Land Glider Concept features steering-by-wire and a lean capability when cornering ? like a motorcycle ? that enables the vehicle and its tires to lean by up to 17 degrees. Able to turn sharply at nearly any speed, the Nissan Land Glider employs sensors for vehicle speed, steering angle and yaw rate to instantly calculate the level of lean required to negotiate a corner. All the driver must do is turn and the cabin will lean accordingly. By enabling the car to lean, designers have succeeded in minimizing vehicle width and tire tread width, thus achieving a sleek, futuristic look.

Driven by rear electric motors

With drive coming from two electric motors in the rear powered by lithium-ion batteries mounted beneath the floor, the zero-emissions Nissan Land Glider Concept is quick off the mark. The car also features a non-contact charging system that can be charged whilst shopping at a supermarket or stopping at a motorway service station. This system enables vehicles to be charged cable-less at locations where the infrastructure exists.

Collision Avoidance

To ensure maximum safety whilst driving, engineers have fitted a car-robotics style crash avoidance system in which sensors mounted in the body detect other vehicles in the same way as fish swim in schools without colliding. This system directs the vehicle’s path away from any obstacles.

Whilst Nissan Land Glider is a concept car created for the Tokyo Motor Show, it should not be regarded as a mere design study. This leaning machine gives a clear direction to how a future small car from Nissan could look in congested cities…a clue of what Nissan means by new era of mobility.

Technical Specifications

  • Overall Length: 3,100 mm
  • Overall Width: 1,100 mm
  • Overall Height: 1,415 mm
  • Wheelbase: 2,180 mm
  • Seating Capacity: 2

Volkswagen Golf Variant (2010)



In the sixth generation of the world bestseller, Volkswagen Golf Variant is the fourth body version to be launched after the three- and five-door VW Golf and the latest VW Golf Plus. The Variant is one of the most successful models on the market, particularly in the company car market.

The extensive redesign of this Variant should ensure that the all-around talent further extends its position as a business estate car and as a first car for families as well. The base price of the new Volkswagen Golf Variant in Germany is € 18,500, which includes ESP, six airbags, daytime running lights, roof railing, electric windows all around, upshift indicator, electrically adjustable and heated outside mirrors, 1/3 to 2/3 split folding rear bench seat and backrest, central locking with RF remote, climate control, 16-inch wheels and up to 1,550 litres of cargo capacity.

The front end of the Volkswagen Golf Variant was completely redesigned. Its visual appearance follows today’s Volkswagen “Design DNA”. From now on, its appearance will be defined by clear horizontal lines and bold headlight styling. Key engines of the Golf three- and five-door models were also transferred to the Variant. In the interior, high-end instruments of the current Golf set the tone.


The front end of the 4.53 meter long and 1.78 meter wide Volkswagen Golf Variant was completely redesigned. Visually, it now follows the styling of the current Volkswagen “design DNA”. Clear horizontal lines and bold styling of the headlights will now define its appearance. And so the bumper, radiator grille, engine bonnet and fenders and highlights were all transferred from the three- and five-door versions of the new Golf classic.

In contrast to the previous Volkswagen Golf Variant, the design is no longer characterised by a chrome radiator grille, rather by a black, horizontally styled grille and body-coloured bumpers. In its lower front section, the Variant also has an additional large air intake. Starting with the mid equipment version (Comfortline) chrome inserts are integrated in the radiator grille and lower air intake. In the case of the top Highline version, this also applies to the surrounds of the standard front fog lights with new static turning lights.

At the rear, the previous model’s independent design has been upgraded in the new generation by modified taillights and bumpers whose lower area is also fully painted in body colour. From now on, TDI and TSI versions can also be recognised by their tailpipes, which are no longer covered by the bumper. In addition, Volkswagen developed a new range of wheels for the Volkswagen Golf Variant.

Perfection in details

The new Volkswagen Golf Variant also preserves the car body’s excellent layout and high level of everyday utility. The development team focused on perfection in the details. Attaining the best possible acoustic properties on the new Golf was a top priority for Volkswagen. In this context, the body was equipped with new detailed solutions in a variety of areas. Highly effective acoustic damping is implemented in the front windscreen, which eliminates nearly all high-frequency noise in the three kHz range that is very typical in vehicles with diesel engines.

In addition, many secondary noises have been eliminated or reduced right at their source. In particular, this was achieved in all belt drives, the turbocharger and charge air distribution channels as well as in the heating and cooling blower. Quiet rolling tires and new engine bearings round out the noise reduction program. Independent of body-related modifications, noise comfort has been further improved by a new generation of turbo-diesels with common rail injection, as well as integration of TSI petrol engines that are known for their quiet operation.


The new VW Golf Variant is being offered with a seamless package of safety features as standard equipment. On the passive side, there is a further perfected safety body (including optimised pedestrian protection), six airbags and a patented head restraint system for driver and front passenger.

Front, side and head airbags

The driver and front passenger airbags (known as front airbags) and safety belt system together form a precisely coordinated front restraint system on the new Volkswagen Golf Variant. As before, the side airbags are still integrated in the backrests of the front seats. They protect the chest, abdomen and pelvis and have been optimally tuned to the car’s more rigid side structure. Integrating the side airbags in the backrests assures optimal airbag positioning in relation to the driver and front passenger. Furthermore, Volkswagen is introducing standard head airbags that help to prevent high biomechanical loads to the head. Specifically, these airbags cover an area along the side windows extending from the A pillar to the C pillar and from the roofliner to the door sill. This results in maximum protection at all seating positions regardless of body size. That is because protection over a large area prevents the head and extremities from swinging out and prevents objects from penetrating into the car’s interior. Since the head airbags remain inflated for a long time, they even retain much of their effectiveness in secondary collisions such as in the case of a rollover accident.

WOKS – head restraints help protect against whiplash

Accident-related hyperextensions of the cervical spine are known internationally as “whiplash syndrome”. Volkswagen counteracts these types of injuries by coordinating movements of the head and upper body into the seat backrests and head restraints as synchronously as possible in the event of a crash. This is called the “Whiplash Optimised Head Restraint System”, or WOKS for short. The latest generation of WOKS is now being implemented as standard equipment on the Golf.

In an effort to reduce injury risk, excellent protection is realised by defined deceleration of the upper body in the seat backrest, coordinated deceleration of the head in the head restraint, and balanced movements of the head and upper body. Crucial parameters here are the special contours of the head restraints and backrests as well as the hardness of the foam material that is used. The contoured shape of the head restraints is being patented by Volkswagen. In related studies, WOKS has demonstrated excellent protective potential with biomechanical values that are substantially better than those of many other active systems.


In the transition from the third to fourth generation of the Volkswagen Golf Variant, another tremendous leap has been made in quality. The high quality of the materials that are used is especially evident in the interior. This high level of value is a common thread running through the redesigned interior, especially when it comes to the car’s instruments. The look and feel of the materials, details such as brushed chrome accents and the round instruments and steering wheels taken directly from the VW Passat CC all leave the impression that one is actually sitting in a vehicle of the next higher market segment. And this is not just experienced in the two upgraded Golf equipment versions “Comfortline” and “Highline” but in the “Trendline” base version as well.

The interior ergonomics also reflect advanced development. All of the car’s functional components are even easier to operate. These include controls for the climate control system (Climatronic) initially introduced on the Passat CC. Sometimes it is the smallest of details that make the greatest impression. Consider the leather seats: a new more robust leather is being used in the new Volkswagen Golf Variant. Its improved surface properties make dye transfer, such as from jeans, passé even with very light-coloured leather. Or consider the redesigned steering column length and height adjuster; the lever was relocated from the centre of the steering column to the left side, making it ergonomically easier to reach.


The instrument panel of the Volkswagen Golf Variant was completely redesigned. This has resulted in a clear, well-organised geometry offering uncompromising ease of operation and a high level of timeless elegance. On initial contact, one is immediately impressed by the luxurious soft materials of the upper cockpit area and door trim that complement the design of the instruments.

The instruments of the Volkswagen Golf Variant now match instrument styling in the classic Golf three- and five-door models. Prominently displayed are the two round instruments with brushed chrome bezels, which are standard in the base vehicle; the tachometer is on the left, and the speedometer on the right. Also designed as a round instrument is the engine temperature gauge; it is integrated in the lower part of the tachometer. Its counterpart is the fuel gauge integrated in the speedometer. Gauge scale markings are backlit in white (regardless of whether the headlights are on or off); while turn signal indicators are in red. Also designed in white now are the graphics of the multi-function display (MFD) – located between the tachometer and speedometer – which is always standard equipment. An upshift indicator was integrated in the MFD, which depends on the engine option.

Another redesigned component is the light switch. On the “Comfortline” and “Highline” equipment versions, the switch’s handhold is in metal. Like the main instruments, air vents near the instrument cluster also have brushed chrome bezels. There is one vent at each end of the instrument panel for driver and passenger, and two in the centre console. In addition, a vent for the side windows is integrated in each of the A-pillar trim panels. Complementing the chrome bezels, the upper and lower sections of instruments are separated by dark silver accents (“Titan”) on the “Trendline” base version. In the middle “Comfortline” equipment version the accents are glossy black (“Black Pyramid”), and in the top “Highline” version they are light “Brushed Chrome”.

Centre console

All of the controls arranged on the centre console are readily and equally accessible to driver and front passenger. Right at the top is the hazard flasher switch, optimally located between the air vents. On the level below this, there is the audio or radio-navigation system. The third level of controls contains interfaces to the heating and ventilation or climate control system. Another set of switches is located directly in front of the gearshift lever for activating or deactivating systems such as ESP and “Park Assist”.

If the Volkswagen Golf Variant is ordered with an automatic climate control system (Climatronic), a new set of controls is provided. There are two control knobs, one on the left and one on the right, for selecting temperatures in 1 degree increments separately for driver and passenger sides. They are also used to activate seat heating. Naturally, the temperature for the two sides can be controlled jointly too. The set temperature is displayed outside of the control knob, in its bezel, and if a RCD 310, RCD 510, RNS 310 or RNS 510 radio or radio-navigation system is installed, the temperature is also shown in that unit’s display. The main operating modes of the Climatronic (“Auto”, completely “Off”, “Dual”, “AC”) and blower levels are set in the area between the two control knobs. Located in the upper area are controls for ventilation modes, rear window heating and recirculation functions.

Further down the centre console, at the height of the handbrake lever, are the familiar storage compartment and an AUX-IN port (standard with RCD 310 and higher) that can be used to connect devices such as an MP3 player. The optional MEDIA-IN port can also be integrated in the storage compartment of the equipment line dependent centre armrest. This USB port is used to interface to a wide variety of memory sources for the audio system. For example, an iPod – including its special control functions – can also be integrated in the system as a music source with a suitable cable.


Volkswagen is offering the new Volkswagen Golf Variant in four different seat configurations, depending on the equipment line. The “Trendline” base version already has excellent contoured seats in the “Roxy” fabric style. These seats can be ordered in “Titan Black” or “Latte Macchiato” colour. The comfort seats of the Volkswagen Golf Variant Comfortline are now designed to be even more ergonomic. The cross-stitched fabric of the seat and backrest surfaces creates a clear visual contrast to exterior surfaces. This fabric pattern is called “Scout / Merlin”, and it too can be ordered in “Titan Black” or “Latte Macchiato” colour.

The sport seats of the Volkswagen Golf Variant Highline are especially refined. They are upholstered in Alcantara (centre seat panels) and fabric (“Dropmag” style). Colours of the “Highline” seats: “Titan Black” or “Corn Silk” plus “Titan Black”. In addition, Volkswagen is offering a seat system on the Golf Variant Highline that is upholstered in high-end “Vienna” leather. The colours “Titan Black” and “Corn Silk” are also offered here.

The latest generation of the bestselling five-seater offers exceptionally spacious conditions. In front, the maximum interior height is 1,032 millimetres (seat in lowest position). The rear seating area offers a maximum interior height of 986 millimetres, depending on the version. Leg room in the so-called extended position of the driver’s seat is 45 millimetres. Also contributing to the car’s good comfort and ergonomic properties is the comfortable seat height of 274 millimetres in front and 321 millimetres in the rear. The interior width of the Volkswagen is 1,446 millimetres in front and 1,437 millimetres in the rear.

Cargo area

The new Volkswagen Golf Variant is a compact space wonder. When the cargo partition net is installed and cargo is loaded up to the height of the top of the rear bench seatback, the Variant provides up to 745 litres of load volume; up to the load sill at window height it is a maximum of 560 litres. When the rear bench seat is folded down and the interior space is fully utilised, up to 1,550 litres of cargo volume can be stowed in the VW Golf Variant (all data includes spare wheel recess).

When the rear bench is folded, the continuous flat cargo area of the new Volkswagen Golf Variant up to the driver’s backrest measures 1.70 meters, and when the front passenger seat is folded down this results in a 2.72 meters long pass-through surface. Bins offer storage space under the cargo floor and in the side panelling. Even when the standard factory-installed asymmetrical split bench is not lowered, a respectable 1.07 meters of cargo length is still available. Maximum width: 1.29 meters. Interior width between wheel wells is 1.01 meter.

Operating the factory-installed asymmetrically split rear bench seat is exceptionally easy. Release buttons next to the outer head restraints disengage the backrests from their anchorages so that they can be folded forward. A clever detail is a red indicator, visible from the front seats too, that warns if one of the two rear backrests is not fully engaged when lifting the seatback up again. As a standard feature on the Volkswagen Golf Variant Comfortline and a special option on other equipment lines, the front passenger backrest can also be folded forward, resulting in a single continuous loading surface.

Interior variability is also enhanced by the centre armrest in the rear seating area, which is standard equipment starting at the Comfortline level. When folded down, it creates an especially large pass-through to the cargo area, making it easy to stow long and bulky sports equipment such as paddles or skis.

Load safety: Preventive practical solutions

To prevent cargo from shifting into the passenger area during a collision or hard braking, the Volkswagen Golf Variant can be equipped with a cargo partition net. Normally, it is installed behind the rear bench seat. However, when the rear backrest is folded forward, the net can be anchored near the front backrests.

Providing for additional cargo safety are four tie-down eyes located on the right and left side panels in the cargo area, and at the front of the cargo area. When they are not in use, they can be folded away without leaving any corners or edges protruding. Another extremely practical feature for securing individual objects in the cargo section is the variable cargo floor. A handle is used to set it in place, and it latches securely in the notches provided for it. Smaller thin objects will also fit in the storage bin beneath the variable cargo floor.

Just as practical: The special bag hooks that fold out from the side panelling of the cargo area. They are standard equipment and prevent shopping bags from spilling their contents into the cargo area while driving. The first aid kit and hazard triangle are at an easy-to-reach location behind a cover in the left side panel of the cargo area.

Panoramic sunroof creates a bright ambiance

As a special equipment option – and a standard feature on the Golf Variant Highline – Volkswagen is offering a newly designed panoramic sunroof. With a length of 1.36 meters and width of 0.87 metres, its transparent surface spans a large section of the interior, creating a pleasant, light-filled ambiance. The roof consists of two halves; the front section can be raised or fully opened. To preserve full interior height, the section that opens is driven out above the closed section of roof. An electrically-powered sunshade offers protection from intense sunlight.

Engines and transmissions

At the car’s European market launch, Volkswagen will be offering the new Volkswagen Golf Variant with four petrol and two diesel engine options. Their power ranges from 59 kW / 80 PS to 118 kW / 160 PS. Four of the six engines are supercharged and/or turbocharged. As in the classic Golf, the latest generation of common rail turbo-diesels (TDI) will be used for the first time in the Volkswagen Golf Variant too. They replace the previously offered pump-nozzle direct injection engines and play a significant role in the new Volkswagen Golf Variant’s pioneering acoustic properties.

The petrol and diesel engines across all power levels consume less fuel than similarly powered engines of the previous model. Fuel savings and related lower emissions are huge in some cases.


The range of petrol engines in the launch phase spans four versions with 59 kW / 80 PS, 75 kW / 102 PS, 90 kW / 122 PS and 118 kW / 160 PS. Starting at 90 kW / 122 PS, TSI engines with supercharger and/or turbocharger are used. Clearly, the petrol engines are pioneers in fuel efficiency too. The optimised 80-PS entry-level engine consumes just 6.4 litres Super per hundred kilometres (149 g/km CO2). Once again, the TSI engines are taking the stage as prime examples of efficiency: the new Golf 1.4 TSI with 122 PS consumes just 6.0 litres Super (139 g/km CO2). Even the new 160-PS top version of the 1.4 TSI attains a top value at 6.1 litres (DSG version).

1.4 with 59 kW / 80 PS

The entry into the world of VW Golf Variant engines is marked again by the 1.4-litre engine (1,390 cm3), which has proven itself a million times over and outputs 59 kW / 80 PS power at 5,000 rpm. The petrol engine attains its maximum torque of 132 Newton-meter at 3,800 rpm. A version of this economical bestselling engine with wide-ranging technical modifications is being used in the new Volkswagen Golf Variant; it shines with a combined fuel consumption of just 6.4 litres per hundred kilometres (149 g/km CO2).

With this engine, the Volkswagen Golf Variant attains a top speed of 173 km/h. Shifted by a five-speed gearbox, it takes 14.9 seconds for the four cylinder to accelerate the Variant to 100 km/h. The first service inspection – and this applies to all new Volkswagen Golf Variant versions – is not due until after three years or 60,000 kilometres. The 1.4-litre engine is exclusively available in conjunction with the Trendline equipment line.

1.6 with 75 kW / 102 PS

Like the 1.4 litre petrol engine, the modified 1.6 litre engine (1,595 cm3) with 75 kW / 102 PS (5,600 rpm) satisfies the strict Euro-5 emissions standard. The four-cylinder develops a maximum torque of 148 Newton-meters at 3,800 rpm. With this engine, the new Volkswagen Golf Variant handles the sprint to 100 km/h in 12.2 seconds; its top speed is 189 km/h. On average, the petrol engine consumes 7.2 litres of fuel per 100 kilometres (168 g/km CO2). Like the 1.4, the Volkswagen Golf Variant 1.6 is also shifted by a five-speed transmission as standard equipment. The Volkswagen Golf Variant 1.6 is available in the Trendline and Comfortline equipment lines.

1.4 TSI with 90 kW / 122 PS

The turbocharged TSI with 90 kW / 122 PS is one of the most advanced petrol engines in the world. There is hardly another petrol engine that can match its impressive power curve with such fuel efficiency. In the new Volkswagen Golf Variant, the four-cylinder direct injection engine requires just 6.3 litres of fuel per 100 kilometres (146 g/km CO2). A six-speed gearbox is standard with this engine. The Volkswagen Golf Variant 1.4 TSI with 122-PS is even more fuel efficient when shifted via the optional 7-speed DSG; this configuration yields a combined fuel consumption of 6.0 litres (139 g/km CO2).

The car’s fuel efficiency contrasts with its excellent driving performance. The Volkswagen Golf Variant 1.4 TSI at this power level is moving at 100 km/h after just 9.9 seconds, shifted by a manual gearbox or DSG. Its top speed in both cases is 200 km/h. Like all engines of the new Volkswagen Golf Variant, this TSI also fulfils the Euro-5 standard.

This highly praised and award-winning engine develops its peak power of 122 PS at 5,000 rpm. The engine’s maximum torque of 200 Newton-meters is available over a broad speed range extending from a low 1,500 to 4,000 rpm. Even at 1,250 rpm – barely above idling speed – the engine can output 80 percent of its maximum torque.

1.4 TSI with 118 kW / 160 PS

As the most powerful petrol engine in the new Volkswagen Golf Variant, Volkswagen is implementing a four cylinder that is both turbo- and supercharged and has a power of 118 kW / 160 PS (at 5,800 rpm). Of special interest here is the engine’s specific power: the 1.4 litre engine attains 84.3 kW or 114.3 PS per litre displacement. Its maximum torque of 240 Newton-meter is available between 1,500 and 4,500 rpm. Like the 122-PS TSI, this engine is also exceptionally fuel-efficient. The 160-PS TSI attains a top value in savings at 6.4 litres per 100 kilometres (equivalent to 149 g/km CO2). When the 160-PS TSI is paired with 7-speed DSG, fuel consumption is even reduced to 6.1 litre (143 g/km CO2).

The driving performance data of the Volkswagen Golf Variant 1.4 TSI with 160 PS is also impressive: in both transmission versions the Volkswagen is moving at 100 km/h after just 8.4 seconds; its top speed is 220 km/h. The top model among the petrol engines can be ordered on the Comfortline and Highline equipment lines.


As in the classic Golf, Volkswagen is now converting all TDI engines over to 16-valve common rail engines with 1.6 and 2.0 litre displacement in the Variant version of the bestseller as well. Internationally, plans call for power levels of 66 kW / 90 PS, 77 KW / 105 PS and 103 kW / 140 PS. Right at the Variant’s market launch, Volkswagen is offering the versions with 105 PS and 140 PS. Always aboard: a diesel particulate filter (DPF). Besides their economy and agility, the new TDI engines also distinguish themselves by their low-noise properties. Two balancing shafts on the 140-PS version put an end to undesirable vibrations too. In addition, a new engine bearing design ensures that the engines are better isolated from the car body. Volkswagen will be offering the 6-speed DSG as an option with both TDIs.

1.6 TDI with 77 kW / 105 PS

Technically, the 1,598 cm3 TDI sets the highest standard in its market segment. Via the common rail system, the diesel fuel is injected directly into the combustion chamber at a pressure of 1,600 bar. Special piezo actuators control the multiple injections and fuel quantities with maximum precision.

To reduce internal engine friction as much as possible, the crankshaft, valve and oil pump drives were optimised. A square stroke/bore ratio minimises friction losses at the cylinder liners. Furthermore, losses in the flow of oil and coolant were reduced, and frictional losses were reduced in air induction and charge air flows. This has resulted in a TDI line-up that offers uncompromisingly low fuel consumption and emission values without lacking even the slightest in comfort or dynamic performance.

The 77 kW / 105 PS (at 4,400 rpm) TDI accelerates the new Volkswagen Golf Variant to 100 km/h in 11.9 seconds – with either a manual 5-speed gearbox or optional 7-speed DSG; in both cases its top speed is 190 km/h. Its exceptionally high maximum torque of 250 Newton-meters lies between 1,500 and 2,500 rpm, which promotes a restrained, economical style of driving. Combined fuel consumption for the new engine aboard the VW Golf Variant TDI is an excellent low 4.5 litres of diesel per 100 kilometres (119 g/km CO2). With a 7-speed DSG, these values are 4.8 litres and 125 g/km CO2. The 105-PS TDI can be ordered on any of the three equipment lines. And that is not all. It is also being offered with the optional BlueMotionTechnology package. In this case, the Volkswagen Golf Variant’s low combined fuel consumption drops from 4.5 to 4.2 litres fuel (109 g/km CO2)

2.0 TDI with 103 kW / 140 PS

The 103 kW / 140 PS TDI is also exceptionally fuel efficient (may be ordered with Comfortline or Highline). Driven by this engine, the Volkswagen Golf Variant only needs 5.0 litres of diesel to cover a hundred kilometres (132 g/km CO2). If the Variant is ordered with a 6-speed DSG at this power level, combined fuel consumption is 5.5 litres (equivalent to 144 g/km CO2). In both cases, this contrasts with a top speed of 210 km/h and 9.7 seconds acceleration time for the classic sprint to 100 km/h.

In addition, the TDI shines at practically every engine speed with categorically high torque; it already delivers its maximum torque of 320 Newton-meter starting at 1,750 rpm and holds it constant up to 2,500 rpm.

Fuel induction in the large direct injection turbo-diesel engine is handled by the latest generation common rail system. Up to 1,800 bar injection pressure and special eight-hole injection nozzles deliver especially fine atomisation of the diesel fuel. The eight-hole injection nozzles are controlled by the latest generation of piezo in-line injectors. Electrically-controlled piezo crystals, assisted by a hydraulic element, inject fuel in fractions of a second. Compared to conventional solenoid valves, piezo technology enables more flexible injection processes with smaller and more precisely metered fuel volumes. The benefit: a very quiet and pleasantly smooth running engine, exceptional responsiveness and low fuel consumption and emissions. Also having a positive effect on acoustics is the completely maintenance-free toothed belt drive of the camshaft. Thanks to the conversion to common rail technology and numerous other acoustic measures such as a noise-damping film in the windscreen, both VW Golf Variant TDI versions are among the quietest diesel models in their class.


All TDI and TSI versions of the new Volkswagen Golf Variant are available with the optional Direct Shift Gearbox (DSG). Depending on the torque of the engine, the Golf either gets a 6-speed or 7-speed DSG. The extremely efficient and agile DSG is completely supplanting the classic torque-converter automatic in the Golf.

Both DSG versions are characterised by maximum economy and dynamic shifting unlike that of any previous transmission. Besides their different numbers of forward gears, the two DSGs differ technically in their clutch type. While two dry clutches are used in the 7-speed DSG, the dual clutch of the 6-speed DSG runs wet in an oil bath. True of both transmissions: even the most experienced professional drivers cannot even approach the shifting speed of either DSG version. Another fact: more than any other automatic, the dual clutch transmissions have the potential to reduce fuel consumption and thereby emissions.

The two DSG variants are each specialists in their applications. While the 6-speed DSG shines when paired with torque-strong engines (up to 350 Newton-meter), the 7-speed DSG is especially effective in combination with smaller engines (up to 250 Newton-meter).


At its market launch, the successful Variant (more than 95,000 new vehicle registrations in 2008) will be offered in the three equipment versions Trendline, Comfortline and Highline. The latter replaces the previous Sportline version as the top equipment line. Always standard in all versions are six airbags, the ESP electronic stabilisation program with counter steering assist and trailer stabilisation and climate control. Moreover, there are specific details that distinguish each version. The Volkswagen Golf Variant Comfortline, for example, has a standard folding backrest on the front passenger seat that folds completely forward to provide space for especially long objects. The Volkswagen Golf Variant Highline has details such as a panoramic sunroof and Alcantara sport seats that make up its special character.

Volkswagen Golf Variant Trendline

The lowest featured version even offers a considerable array of standard features. In Germany, the new model is distinguished from the previous model by additional standard features such as the multi-function display (trip computer), visible tailpipes (beginning at 105 PS), “Titan” decorative accents, daytime running lights integrated in the headlights, dual-tone horn, extended ESP that includes the comfort braking assistant, door handles and door mirror housings painted in body colour and the semi-automatic “Climatic” climate control system. Other standard features include electric window lifts (front and rear), RF remote central locking, a removable cargo area liner, cargo area lighting, various storage compartments including one in the roofliner, electrically adjustable and heated door mirrors and roof rails. The VW Golf Variant Trendline is delivered with size 205/55 R16 tyres as standard equipment.

Volkswagen Golf Variant Comfortline

The differentiating features are even more distinctive on the new Golf Comfortline. Above and beyond “Trendline” items, the additional features that now underscore the high-end character of this version include new 16-inch steel wheels with 5-spoke covers in alloy look, comfort seats and folding front passenger seat,, a chrome light switch, new decorative inserts (“Black Pyramid”), chrome trim strips on the side windows, chrome frames around the horizontal radiator louvers, parking distance control (Park Pilot) front and rear, carpet floor mats, leather for the new three-spoke steering wheel, leather gearshift knob and handbrake lever, new velour upholstery (“Scout”) and the RCD 210 radio-CD system with MP3 function.

Volkswagen Golf Variant Highline

The “Highline” equipment line was discontinued on the previous fifth generation of the Golf, in which the Golf Sportline assumed the role of the top model. Exterior features distinguishing the new “Highline” version from the Volkswagen Golf Variant Trendline and Comfortline include: new 17-inch alloy wheels (“Porto”) with size 225 tyres, chrome louvres on the radiator grille and air intake screen also in chrome, front fog lights with static curve lights, headlight washing system, heated windscreen washer nozzles and silver-anodised roof railings.

Inside, the Volkswagen Golf Variant Highline makes its appearance with features such as the extended multi-function “Plus” display unit, sport seats with centre panels in Alcantara (“Dropmag” style), decorative inserts in “Brushed Chrome”, height adjustment for the front passenger seat, chrome bezels around the light switch, mirror adjustment switches and control keys for the window lifts, heated seats and climate control (Climatronic).

Moreover, there are numerous other features, some of them new, that are available as options on all versions of the new Volkswagen Golf Variant.

Radio and Radio-Navigation systems

Volkswagen is offering the new Volkswagen Golf Variant with three radio systems and two radio-navigation systems of the 210, 310 and 510 series. Hands-free telephone units can be added to any of the infotainment systems. Always standard equipment on cars with one of the radio and radio-navigation systems, starting with the 310 series, is an AUX-IN port for an external MP3 player. 310 and 510 series units also have an optional USB port (MEDIA-IN) and CD changer (for the navigation systems).

All radio and radio-navigation systems have a MP3-capable CD player. The radio systems carry the designations RCD 210, RCD 310 and RCD 510; their counterparts with an additional navigation system are the RNS 310 and RNS 510. A rearview camera integrated in the tailgate can also be interfaced to the RNS 310, RCD 510 and RNS 510 units. The RNS 510 utilises a 30 GB hard drive for navigation and entertainment.

The latest infotainment unit in the Volkswagen program is the RNS 310 radio-navigation system. Like the larger RNS 510 radio-navigation system and the RCD 510 radio system, it is also equipped with a user-friendly touch-screen. This colour screen measures five inches (400 x 240 pixels). Furthermore, the RNS is equipped with a SD card slot and a dual tuner. The SD card can be used to save navigational data (data copied from the navigation CD) as well as MP3 files for music reproduction.

Park Assist

The “Park Assist” parking assistance system being offered for the first time in the Volkswagen Golf Variant is an example of high-end technology. The system is capable of nearly automatic reverse parking in parallel parking spaces that are just 1.1 meter longer than the vehicle. The driver just needs to operate the gas pedal, brake and clutch; meanwhile, the Volkswagen Golf Variant steers into the pre-measured space, guided by sensors. Whenever the steering process is interrupted by manual steering, “Park Assist” is deactivated. The intuitively operated system is started by pressing a button located right in front of the gearshift knob.

While driving down the road at speeds up to 30 km/h and at a distance of 0.5 to 1.5 meters from other parked cars, ultrasonic sensors detect all parking spaces aligned with the roadway on either the left or right (depending on the turn signal direction that is set), and a control module computes the ideal parking path. “Park Assist” communicates the starting position to the driver via the multi-function display. Then the driver shifts into reverse gear.

Now appearing on the display is the message “Steering control active! Watch your surroundings!” The driver only needs to accelerate, apply the clutch and perform braking during the rest of the parking process; the steering is handled by the Volkswagen Golf Variant. As soon as the “Park Pilot” switches to a continuous signal at the rear, this indicates that the optimal distance to the next vehicle has been reached (approx. 20 centimetres). If the speed is excessive and/or the driver makes any sort of steering wheel movement, “Park Assist” is instantaneously deactivated. Generally, the entire parking process after shifting to reverse gear takes only 15 seconds.

Rearview camera

The new generation of the Volkswagen Golf Variant will also be available for the first time with a rearview camera, or what is known as “Rear Assist”. As soon as the reverse gear is engaged, the camera integrated in the tailgate monitors the space behind the Volkswagen Golf Variant.

The system can be ordered in conjunction with the new touch-screen radio and radio-navigation systems RNS 310, RCD 510 and RNS 510. Camera images are transmitted to the touch-screen as real-time images. The path steered is also shown by orientation lines on the screen. Even the smallest of obstacles are easy to recognise with the rearview camera, and the tightest of parking spaces can be mastered with millimetre accuracy. “Rear Assist” also simplifies the process of hooking up trailers. The camera itself has a wide-angle lens. Horizontally, it acquires objects over an angular range of 130 degrees, and vertically over a range of 100 degrees.

Volkswagen Golf Variant Exclusive

Effective immediately, Volkswagen Individual is launching the new “Volkswagen Exclusive” product brand. In the future, it will market very exclusive models and special equipment for a wide variety of model series under this label. The first model to be offered in an Exclusive version will be the new Volkswagen Golf Variant, which will cross over from an everyday all-purpose vehicle to a lifestyle estate car. Elegant Highline features form the basis for the Volkswagen Golf Variant Exclusive. And here are the Exclusive ingredients:

The exterior will launch with such features as a sport chassis (15 millimetre lower ride height), 17-inch alloy wheels (“Sienna” in “Titan Silver”) and new Volkswagen Exclusive logos. Contact to the road will be provided by sporty, wide profile 225/45 tyres. Making the transition to the interior are door tread plates that are also upgraded with the new logo.

The interior impresses with an extremely extensive array of special features. Along with Highline equipment such as automatic climate control (“Climatronic”), a panoramic sunroof and the “RCD 210” radio-CD system, the following additional features from the new Volkswagen Exclusive program are also offered: electric lumbar support, storage drawers under the front seats, leather steering wheel, leather gearshift knob and handbrake lever, carpet floor mats in front and rear with coloured piping and door trim in leather look. The sport seats in the leather combination “Nappa / Vienna” (heated seats in front), which are also standard, may be ordered in either the “Sioux / Titan Black” or “Cinnamon / Titan Black” colour combination. All leather interfaces are also provided with decorative colour seams. Never before has a Volkswagen Golf Variant made such an elegant appearance in the showroom.

Honda FCX Clarity



The elegant form of the Honda FCX Clarity sets it apart from everything else on the road and complements the rational, environmental reasons for driving a fuel cell eletric vehicle. The sharp, dark chrome trim that runs from bumper to headlight draws the eyes toward the front wings, creating a powerful, dynamic look and a cool, clean, futuristic feel. The side mirrors add to the Honda FCX Clarity’s free-flowing cabin. Mounted on slender arms that blend with the door moulding, they emphasise the elegant lines of the side windows, with the moulding embracing the mirror housing. The exterior door handles have a spare, clean look that accentuates the slender lines of the body. Robust rear wings reinforce the compact cabin for a bold, sculpted look. The rear glass and contoured design of the rear combination lamps emphasise the vehicle’s wide, confident stance.

An extra rear window for more visibility control: looks great, enhances visibility, allows for a larger boot

The most distinctive feature of the new one-motion design is found at the rear of the Honda FCX Clarity. To take advantage of the high-deck design and enhance rear visibility, the car is fitted with an extra window with visibility control-a feature carefully designed to protect privacy. The rear of the car is set high to ensure good luggage volume, and windows are positioned in the upper boot lid and in the barrier behind the rear seat to allow the driver to see into the boot.

Visibility control lets occupants see out without passersby seeing in

A special polycarbonate layer is applied to both sides of the window to make transparency dependent on the angle of vision, protecting occupants’ privacy. The result is excellent rearward visibility for the driver, with a high level of privacy for the rear-seat passengers.


Free-flowing, aerodynamic design capitalises on the new platform’s unique qualities

It is no coincidence that the exterior design’s key features-the front and rear wings, the front pillars, the tapered rear cabin-also contribute to outstanding aerodynamic performance. Superb aerodynamics are built into the free-flowing, one-motion form. And because there is no engine-and therefore no low-hanging exhaust system-the car’s underbody is flatter, reducing drag.

Lightweight aerodynamic wheels

Ultra-lightweight forged-aluminium 5-spoke wheels have fin-shaped plastic fairings to suppress air turbulence, reducing weight and improving aerodynamics while adding a sporty touch.

A unique new finish highlights the body’s complex surfaces and contours

The star garnet colour of the brilliant finish sets the Honda FCX Clarity’s one-motion body apart. The extraordinary depth and quality of the coating provides a deep, expressive lustre that changes character depending on the play of light and shadow across its surface. This is a premium vehicle inside and out.

A comfortable, spacious, futuristic environment

Honda designers aimed to take maximum advantage of the space, creating a comfort zone with a futuristic feel. The central tunnel formed by the FC Stack neatly divides the left and right front spaces. The door linings help create an inclusive feel that sets apart the personal space of four independent seats within the spacious cabin. The floating instrument panel gives the cockpit a next-generation feel and provides the driver with new levels of functionality and visibility. The warm earth-tone colours are intended to create a soothing, natural feel.

Personal spaces that submerge occupants in comfort

Four distinct spaces have been created within the luxurious interior. The doors feature bold concave lines that accentuate the sense of roominess and create relaxing, personal spaces.

A floating, layered instrument panel for an advanced feel

Front pillars have been extended forward, while maintaining generous headroom proportions, to create a sense of space. The instrument panel is set off as a unified mass unconnected to the door line, making it appear to levitate. Bright colouring in the padding accentuates the airy, spacious feel.

An advanced cockpit for a futuristic experience

Naturally, because it’s a Honda, the FCX Clarity is fun and easy to drive. The new fuel cell multi-functional display in the cockpit, for example, features three-dimensional displays of hydrogen consumption, battery levels, motor output and other key information. The speedometer is positioned directly above the display to minimise eye movement. A compact electronic shifter that leverages the latest in drive-by-wire technology has been moulded into the dial visors. Other design touches enhance the futuristic feel, like the start switch beside the centre console that activates the fuel cell stack.

Fuel cell performance meters

The luminescent three-dimensional meters recessed into the instrument panel display all key driving information. A centrally located ball-shaped H2 meter keeps track of hydrogen consumption. The vehicle’s dials work together to provide an effective interface, providing the data output the driver needs.

The H2 ball-shaped hydrogen consumption gauge changes colour and size to reflect hydrogen consumption as driving conditions change. During high consumption, the ball becomes large and amber-coloured. As consumption decreases, it shrinks and turns yellow, then blue. The hydrogen fuel and battery gauges are to the right of the H2 ball-shaped meter. The fuel cell stack output gauge and battery output/charge display are on the outer perimeter.

Luxury from the future

Silver accents and blue acrylic in the inner door handle and audio panel impart a futuristic look. High-quality materials like wood-grain appearance panelling in the doors and luminous black lacquer headrests combine with warm colours for a luxurious, space-age feel.

Honda Bio-Fabric, a new interior fabric made from plant material

To help move away from petroleum-based resins and other synthetic fibres toward plant-based fabrics, Honda created a new premium biofabric for vehicle interiors. Honda Bio-Fabric is a polyester material called poly (trimethylene terephthalate) (PTT), made by fermenting corn. Its texture and durability make it perfect for use in seat coverings, door linings, console trays and arm rests-any part of the vehicle where the occupants will appreciate its premium feel. Poly(lactic acid) (PLA) fibres made from corn and other plant biomass are used in roof linings, floor carpeting and boot linings. In fact, all interior fabric coverings in the Honda FCX Clarity are made of natural, plant-based materials.

Honda Bio-Fabric: outstanding elasticity and feel

The molecular structure of PTT fibre is finely kinked in an accordion-like structure, allowing it to stretch more readily than other fibres and return easily to its original shape, avoiding sagging. It also has a unique, silky feel not found in other coverings. That is why Honda Bio-Fabric is used on all surfaces that come into direct contact with the occupants.

The production process

The 1,3-propanediol, which forms the raw material for PTT fibres, is normally produced by chemosynthesis. In contrast, Honda Bio-Fabric is made from corn, using a bio-tech fermentation method. It is combined with terephthalic acid, a petroleum extract, to create PTT resin, which in turn is spun, made into fibres, dyed and turned into Honda Bio-Fabric.

Reducing CO2 emissions

Based on the product life-cycle from procurement of raw materials to production, Honda Bio-Fabric provides a CO2 reduction of 30% per Honda FCX Clarity automobile, compared to conventional polyester made from petroleum products.

Plant-based resins are carbon neutral even when incinerated-the CO2 released during disposal is balanced by the CO2 absorbed during growth.

Front-row independent temperature controls

To meet the expectations of premium automobile customers, the Honda FCX Clarity is equipped with dual zone climate control to ensure optimal occupant comfort and more efficient use of energy.

Climate-controlled seats

Temperature control devices built right into the seat cushions and seatbacks use fans to draw in air, which a thermo-electric device then cools (by absorbing heat) or warms. The air is then blown through the seats to maintain the desired temperature while maintaining the breathability of the urethane, permeable foam and upholstery layers. Since this process provides heating and cooling in direct contact with the occupants, it is faster and more efficient than air conditioning alone. Individual controls are conveniently located on either side of the centre panel, providing an advanced touch of comfort for the luxury customer.

Ample storage space

The Honda FCX Clarity is designed to meet every storage need. There are drink holders for each occupant and many other easy-to-use storage areas. A boot space, separate under-boot storage well and other innovations add up to storage volume comparable to other mid-size sedans.

Smaller. Higher output. The fuel cell electric vehicle has evolved

Honda fuel cell electric vehicles continue to lead the industry. Recognising that the fuel cell stack is the key to the fuel cell electric vehicle’s evolution, Honda has continued to improve performance and packaging. In 2003 Honda unveiled the Honda FC Stack, capable of sub-zero start-up and boasting outstanding production feasibility. Its design, featuring stamped metal separators and an aromatic electrolytic membrane, revolutionised the fuel cell. Next, Honda took up the challenge of structural innovation-creating the V Flow FC Stack with an original cell structure that delivers decreased weight, improved performance and even more compact design. The V Flow FC platform is the next generation in package design. It makes compelling styling and packaging feasible in a fuel cell electric vehicle for the first time. It is the breakthrough in stack technology that gives the Honda FCX Clarity its elegant design.

The new V Flow FC Stack: high output in a lightweight, compact design

The V Flow FC Stack features an entirely new cell structure that achieves a higher output of 100 kW, smaller size and lower weight, with a 50% improvement in output density by volume, and a 67% increase in output density by mass, compared to the 2006 Honda FCX Concept.

Layers of cells producing lots of energy

The Honda V Flow FC Stack uses a proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) electrical generation system that directly converts chemical energy produced in hydrogen-oxygen reactions into electrical energy.

The extremely thin proton exchange membrane (electrolytic membrane) is sandwiched between pairs of electrode layers and diffusion layers (the hydrogen and oxygen electrodes) to form a membrane electrode assembly (MEA). The MEA is enclosed between two separators to form a cell-a single electrical generation unit. Several hundred cells are stacked together to form a fuel cell stack. As with batteries, these individual cells are connected in a series to produce a high voltage.

How electricity is generated

  • Hydrogen gas is passed over the hydrogen electrode. Each hydrogen atom is converted into a hydrogen ion in a catalytic reaction with the platinum in the electrode, releasing an electron.
  • Having given up its electron, the hydrogen ion passes through the electrolytic membrane, where it joins with oxygen from the oxygen electrode and an electron arriving via an external circuit.
  • The released electrons create a flow of direct current in the external circuit. The reaction at the oxygen electrode produces water as a by-product.
  • Because the electrolytic membrane must be kept continually damp, it is necessary to humidify the supply of hydrogen and oxygen. The water by-product is recycled for this purpose. Unneeded water and air are released as exhaust.

Electrical power on demand

The main components of the fuel cell electric vehicle’s powerplant are the fuel cell stack, which generates electricity from hydrogen, the hydrogen tank, the lithium ion battery, the electric drive motor and the Power Drive Unit (PDU), which governs the flow of electricity. Because the vehicle is propelled by an electric motor, it delivers smooth, powerful acceleration and quiet operation, without the noise and vibration associated with an internal combustion engine. During start-up and acceleration-when a large amount of power is required-the electricity from the fuel cell stack to the drive motor is supplemented with electricity from the lithium ion battery to provide powerful performance. During deceleration, the drive motor works as a generator, converting kinetic energy into electricity, which is stored in the lithium ion battery along with any excess electricity produced by the fuel cells. When the vehicle is stationary, an idle stop system shuts down electrical generation in the fuel cell stack. Electricity from the lithium ion battery ensures continued operation of the air conditioner and other devices. The system optimally controls electrical power, resulting in highly efficient operation.

Another key advance: a vertical gas flow cell structure is combined with wave flow-channel separators for an even more compact, lightweight design

Until now, hydrogen and air flowed horizontally through the cells of Honda fuel cell stacks. The new V Flow FC Stack introduces a cell structure in which hydrogen and air flow vertically, and gravity is used to facilitate more efficient drainage of the water by-product from the electricity generating layer. The result is greater stability in power generation. The new structure also allows for a thinner flow channel and reduction in the stack’s size and weight. And Honda’s innovative and original wave flow-channel separators provide a more even and efficient supply of hydrogen, air and coolant to the electricity generating layer. The results are higher generating performance, optimal cooling characteristics and major reductions in size and weight. More compact, the new stack has far fewer parts and can fit into a single box. It is also much easier to manufacture.

V Flow cell structure for greater stability in electrical generation and a thinner design

In addition to allowing hydrogen and air to flow vertically, the V Flow design also means that water drainage is assisted by gravity. Water does not collect on the electrical generation layer, ensuring constant power generation. This also allows flow channel depth to be reduced by 17%-a major contributing factor in creating thinner cells and a more compact stack.

Wave flow-channel separators enable a smaller stack design

The fuel cell consists of a membrane electrode assembly (MEA)-an electrolytic membrane sandwiched between the pairs of electrode layers and diffusion layers forming the hydrogen and oxygen electrodes-which are in turn enclosed between separators containing flow channels for hydrogen, air and coolant. The V Flow FC Stack incorporates wave-shaped vertical flow channels for the hydrogen and air, with horizontal coolant flow channels weaving between them. The wave flow channels provide greater flow length per channel than straight channels, while the resulting turbulent flow within the channel promotes improved hydrogen and air distribution. As a result, the hydrogen and air are spread over the entire electrode layer, making more efficient use of the compact electricity generation layer and achieving approximately 10% higher generating performance than with straight flow channels. The horizontal coolant flow also ensures more even cooling over the entire electricity generation layer, allowing for a reduction in the number of cooling layers to half that of previous stacks. The previous stack had one cooling layer for each cell. The new stack needs only one cooling layer per two cells. This results in a 20% reduction in stack length and a 30% weight reduction-a major breakthrough in compact, lightweight stack design.

Improved heat mass allows start-up at -30˚C

Improved water drainage due to the V Flow cell structure facilitates better output immediately after start-up. The reduced coolant volume and single-box design made possible by the wave flow-channel separators results in heat mass 40% lower than previous stacks. As a result, the amount of time required to achieve 50% output after start-up at -20˚C is only one-quarter that of the previous stack. Start-up is now possible at temperatures as low as -30˚C.

Distributing the powerplant redefines the basic configuration of the automobile

The most distinctive feature of the fuel cell electric vehicle-other than the fuel cell itself-is the layout flexibility made possible by the fact that the powerplant and drive train can be distributed throughout the vehicle. In order to take full advantage of this feature, each component in the powerplant must be made extremely compact. To this end, each part of the fuel cell stack-the drive motor and gearbox, the power drive unit, the lithium ion battery and even the hydrogen tank and radiators-have been made as compact and as efficient as possible. This creates maximum freedom to optimise the position of each part to achieve the spacious, full-cabin design unique to this new fuel cell electric vehicle. The end product is the embodiment of Honda’s man maximum, machine minimum design philosophy-and the next generation in human-friendly automobiles.

The V Flow FC Stack is located inside the centre tunnel, and the lithium ion battery is placed under the rear seat. The result is a free-flowing, full-cabin design with a long wheelbase that provides the spacious and comfortable seating that customers expect in a luxury car.

  • The drive motor, gearbox and PDU are combined for major space savings in the drive train system. A more compact radiator unit contributes to the short-nose design.
  • Reducing the number of parts in the hydrogen tank and modifying its shape result in a more efficient use of space, creating ample room in the rear seating and trunk areas. Improvements both to the hydrogen tank and the FC stack layout result in a low floor and low overall height-the car’s packaging is attractive and functional.

Vertical gas flow, with the cells of the fuel cell stack configured so that hydrogen and air flow from top to bottom

Vertebral layout, with the fuel cell box oriented longitudinally along the centre tunnel

Volume-efficient package and low-floor platform

The technology – a powerplant that is sure to spark a revolution in design, packaging and performance

In addition to making the fuel cell stack, drive motor and other individual components more compact, parts have been consolidated into modular units. The result is an amazingly compact and lightweight design-180 kg lighter and 45% smaller than the previous powerplant.

A significantly more compact, unified fuel cell system

The fuel cell stack is now contained in one box instead of two. This reduces the number of parts required to connect the stacks together and allows the hydrogen supply system, humidifier system and contactors to be combined into a single unit that is 65% smaller than the previous system. This makes it possible to locate the stack in the vehicle’s centre tunnel rather than under the floor, achieving a low-floor, low-height body design.

Compact, high-efficiency lithium ion battery requires less space

The vehicle’s auxiliary power source, the new lithium ion battery, delivers improved performance and energy recovery in a more lightweight, compact package. The new battery is 40% lighter and 50% smaller than the ultra-capacitor of the 2005 FCX, allowing it to be stowed under the rear seat. This gives the car more passenger space and a bigger trunk.

Three radiators integrated into one

Increased powerplant efficiency, vehicle weight reduction and improved aerodynamics have resulted in a major reduction in heat generation. The cooling air vent for the motor bay has been reconfigured and the cooling capacity of the radiators increased. These improvements made it possible to integrate the fuel cell radiator, the drive train radiator and the air conditioning condenser into a single three-layer unit. The new radiator unit requires 40% less space, contributing to the stylish short-nose design.

Unified coaxial drive motor/gearbox and PDU

An innovative configuration, with drive motor and gearbox oriented coaxially, achieves a 162 mm reduction in length as measured along the drive axis.

This coaxial motor/gearbox is further combined with the Power Drive Unit (PDU) in a unified configuration that saves another 240 mm in height. These innovations make possible the Honda FCX Clarity’s stylish, short-nose design.

Integration of functions in hydrogen tank

This creates more space for the rear seats and boot. The shut-off valve, regulator, pressure sensor and other components in the refuelling and supply system were integrated into a single in-tank module, reducing the number of parts by 74%. Tank capacity is greater, installation space efficiency is 24% better, and vehicle range is increased.

A distinctive driving experience created by the high-output electric motor

Along with uncompromising performance, the electric motor- driven Honda FCX Clarity delivers a completely different driving sensation from a conventional vehicle powered by an internal combustion engine. There are no gear changes to interrupt power delivery and the torque characteristics are smooth, making acceleration seamless and robust. This is a key part of its distinctive, premium driving feel. There is none of the vibration that comes from reciprocating pistons. There is no combustion noise-just quiet, clean, vibration free performance.

Start-up and acceleration times are comparable to that of a 2.4-litre internal combustion engine vehicle of similar size.

The Honda FCX Clarity’s high-efficiency powerplant and outstanding energy management result in an exceedingly high operating energy efficiency. Furthermore, vehicle weight reduction and superb aerodynamics contribute to an approximate 20% improvement in fuel economy. Hydrogen tank capacity has also been increased, extending vehicle range by 40%.

Higher output, high torque, higher rpms. Quieter operation in a more compact design

The new drive motor configuration was developed to deliver more powerful acceleration and a higher top speed, along with a quieter, more luxurious ride. The new rotor and stator feature a combined reluctance torque, low-loss magnetic circuit and full-range, full-digital vector control to achieve high efficiency and high output over a wide speed range.

The innovative shape and layout of the magnets in the rotor result in high-output, high-torque, high-rpm performance. These innovations deliver a maximum output of 100 kW along with impressive torque and power output density. At the same time, resonance points in the high-frequency range have been eliminated for quieter operation.

New rotor delivers high-output, high-torque, high-rpm performance

A newly designed rotor features an Interior Permanent Magnet (IPM) to lower inductance, improving reluctance torque for high-torque performance. The magnet’s high-energy characteristics also contribute to high torque and a more compact design. These innovations result in 50% higher output density and 20% higher torque density. The number of poles has also been reduced and the magnet widened to better withstand stress, allowing the yoke to wrap around the outside of the IPM. A centre rib has been installed for greater rigidity. This more robust construction allows for operation at higher rpm.

New stator contributes to high torque and efficiency

The stator features a low iron-loss electrical steel sheet and higher density windings that decrease resistance and contribute to high torque and higher output.

Number of poles reduced to eliminate resonance points and produce quieter operation

The number of magnetic poles in the rotor has been reduced from 12 to 8, eliminating resonance points within the operating rpm range. The result is outstanding quietness and higher output.

Coaxial gearbox conveys motor output directly for a major improvement in compact design

The motor’s rotor shaft features a hollow construction, with the driveshaft passing through its centre in a coaxial configuration. This arrangement, unique to electric vehicles, allows the motor and gearbox to be combined into a single, compact unit, while providing highly efficient transmission of the motor’s high-output, high-rpm power to the driveshaft. Innovative bearing design and fewer rotor oil seals result in lower friction for higher transmission efficiency, creating driving performance with a more direct feel.

Shift-By-Wire for simpler and easier operation

The vehicle’s fixed gear ratio allows for simple operation: there’s an easy-to-use shift control for forward, reverse and park that has a light touch and a short stroke. The compact shift unit features electronic control, allowing the shift lever to be installed on the dashboard. The shifter, start switch and parking switch are all easy to operate. Other operating systems are also laid out in separate zones to improve ergonomics.

Power assist and efficient regeneration with an advanced lithium ion battery

The compact, high-output lithium ion battery assists the fuel cell in powering the vehicle. The advanced battery provides a powerful supplement to the fuel cell stack’s output, powering the motor for torquey off-the-line acceleration. In addition to increasing the total energy capacity, the battery efficiently stores energy generated by the intelligent regenerative braking system, capturing 11% more kinetic energy than the ultra-capacitor used in the 2005 FCX. Some 57% of the energy of deceleration is regenerated with the new system.

As a result of increased energy storage capacity and a broader range of regeneration control, it has been possible to implement a system that regulates acceleration and reduces the need for pedal operation in downhill driving. Assessing incline and vehicle speed, the system regulates acceleration when the driver first releases the accelerator pedal, minimising the need for frequent braking. The system simultaneously adjusts the amount of regenerative braking to help maintain constant vehicle speed after brake pedal inputs. The function is similar to engine braking in a conventionally powered vehicle, but more intelligent, smoother and easier to use.

Superior chassis dynamics for greater comfort, safety and driving pleasure

Optimal geometry front and back, including carefully calibrated toe response to the suspension stroke and camber angle, maximise tyre contact with the road during cornering for highly responsive, stable handling. Optimisation of the anti-dive angle and control of vehicle behaviour during deceleration contribute to an even, comfortable ride.

The lowered front suspension adds to the visual impact of the short-nose design. In addition to the implementation of a 5-link double-wishbone rear suspension, forged aluminium lower arms, high-capacity trailing arm bushings and reduced unsprung weight smooth out bumps in the road.

Responsive electric power steering for a 5.4m turning radius and tight cornering

Along with a newly implemented brushless motor with increased output, the front double-wishbone suspension helps facilitate tight cornering and delivers a 5.4m turning radius-a very tight turning radius given the vehicle’s long wheelbase. The low inertia of the motor and minimal friction of the suspension when turning contribute to smoother steering. And a tilt-and-telescopic steering wheel provides an optimal steering position for a wide range of drivers.

Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA) integrated with electric power steering (EPS) for enhanced handling

The Honda FCX Clarity features an integrated braking, traction control and electric-controlled steering system that works in concert to help the driver maintain control of the vehicle in emergency manoeuvres and in varying road conditions. Working in conjunction with the vehicle’s anti-lock brakes, Traction Control System (TCS) with slideslip control and Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA), the Electric Power Steering (EPS) enhances steering force for even better handling.

  • In controlling understeer, EPS provides supplementary steering force to prevent the steering wheel from being turned too far as motor torque is reduced and braking force is applied to the inner rear wheel by the VSA.
  • In controlling oversteer, the EPS provides steering force to help the driver counter the spin-generating moment as braking is applied to the outer front wheel to stabilise the vehicle.
  • When road conditions under the left and right tyres are different, torque and steering force are supplemented to help the driver maintain stability.

Complementing the linear torque control of the drive motor, TCS provides enhanced grip and control in acceleration

Increased motor torque responsiveness during TCS operation has made a major contribution to suppressing excessive tyre slip. Improvements to the total system deliver even more precise torque transmission and improved grip for confident acceleration even on slippery surfaces, and improved control in acceleration.

Striving to protect vehicle occupants

To enhance occupant protection in a collision, Honda has implemented innovative body technology with a network of frame structures in the front of the vehicle along with additional safety precautions appropriate to a fuel cell electric vehicle. The vehicle is designed to comply with all applicable federal motor vehicle safety standards.

The fuel cell system and hydrogen tank are protected from collisions at every angle.

A body designed for the V Flow platform with the rigidity to withstand collisions from all angles

Taking full advantage of the distributed powerplant layout, we have optimised the body structure. To help protect occupants in the event of frontal collisions, the straight front-side frame, upper frame and lower structural parts are designed to disperse and absorb impact energy. Energy is dispersed through the front pillars and floor. The lower structural members are designed to help prevent misalignment with the impact-absorbing parts of the other vehicle. Along with an energy-absorbing upper frame, they efficiently disperse energy over a wider area. This design is intended to both reduce the impact forces on Honda FCX Clarity occupants as well as on the other vehicle. The enhanced rigidity of the body also increases overall vehicle refinement.

The impact-absorbing front-end design helps enhance pedestrian protection

To help protect pedestrians, we have designed the Honda FCX Clarity’s fenders, bonnet hinges, wiper pivots and other components to more efficiently absorb collision impact.

Frankfurt Auto Show: Alpina B7 Biturbo

2010 BMW Alpina B7 4

2010 BMW Alpina B7 4

European auto shows are also the place to be for all the major car tuners. Every two years, ALPINA is present at the Frankfurt Auto Show, each time displaying an impressive fleet of “tuned up” BMWs.

Several Alpina models have been displayed there, but this time we’ll focus on the high-end B7, a vehicle based on BMW 7 Series.

From the enhanced aggressive look to all the changes that took place underneath the hood, the B7 is positioning itself as the ultimate sports sedan. The new B7 is powered by a V8 4.4 liter twin-turbo engine outputting 505 horsepower and an impressive 517 lb-ft (700Nm) reached at 4,750 rpm.

It runs from 0 to 62 mph in just 4.7 seconds, compared to the regular 750Li which stops the clock at 5.3 seconds. Alpina B7 is electronically limited at 174 mph (280km/h). The B7 uses the automatic “SwitchTronic” gearbox, of course, rear-wheel-drive transmission.

Zenvo ST1 2010



The Zenvo ST1 is designed to express the excessive power and performance of the car.

The design brief from the Zenvo creators to the designers at hermann & brandt design consultancy was to design a supercar that looked like no other supercar. The design had to be aggressive mixing supercar styling with race car elements.

The design of the Zenvo ST1 is made from free flowing accelerating lines creating the shape of the wheel arches, the roof line, side line and the lower side air intake. The sharp lines are connected by muscular organic surfacing creating dramatic reflections. Contrasting the general surfacing the design features a race car inspired lower carbon splitter.

The front of the Zenvo ST1 is designed around the hexagonal trademark Zenvo grille flanked by the large front air intakes used for brakes and engine cooling. The intakes are raked back to minimize drag and at the same time making the side impression of the car more compact.

The theme of the front is repeated in the rear which is designed around the big diffuser necessary for high speed stability. As on the front the center volume is flanked by large air exits extracting hot engine air as well as housing the exhaust and rear lights.

The rear spoiler mandatory for a car capable of extreme high speeds is partly integrated in the rear wing. It has a unique aerodynamic design following the raked shape of the rear end.