T-ROC a blend of old, new and maybe that funky Nissan Murano drop top

Die neue Volkswagen SUV-Studie T-ROCT-ROC makes debut with removable roof halves and digital instruments

Ten important facts on the world premiere of the T-ROC:

  1. The progressive design of the front end demonstrates a new approach to compact SUVs by Volkswagen.
  2. Cameras are at work at the front and rear, supported by LED spotlights in darkness.
  3. The roof halves can be removed and stowed in the boot.
  4. The T-ROC is powered by a 135 kW / 184 PS turbodiesel engine with 380 Nm of torque. The gearbox used here is a 7-speed DSG.
  5. The fuel consumption of the 2.0 TDI is a low 4.9 l/100 km.
  6. The concept has the latest version 4MOTION permanent all-wheel drive with a Haldex-5 coupling.
  7. The T-ROC can be driven in three different driving modes: “Street”, “Offroad” and “Snow”.
  8. Only digital instruments and digital climate controls are used in the T-ROC.
  9. A portable tablet serves as the infotainment display.
  10. The T-ROC design is based on the modular transverse matrix (MQB) platform. It is 4,179 mm long, 1,831 mm wide and 1,501 mm high.

BY GERRY MILES

There may be a new shape to the Tiguan. Maybe.

Sprung from the CrossBlue and CrossBlue Coupe concepts comes the funky T-ROC SUV.

Removable roof halves. The concept car being presented in Geneva follows a new design and interior line. In addition, the two-door car combines the talents of an all-wheel drive SUV – which does not shy away from rocky off-road trails (“ROCK”) – with the light summery air of a convertible. That is because the middle section of the roof consists of two halves, which can be removed with just a few hand movements and stowed in the boot. Incidentally, the “T” in T-ROC is a reference to the nomenclature of current and future Volkswagen SUVs such as the Taigun, Tiguan and Touareg.

Street / Offroad / Snow. The T-ROC, which is powered by a 135 kW / 184 PS direct-injection turbodiesel engine, is equipped with three different operating modes: “Street”, “Offroad” and “Snow”. Each mode modifies the parameters of the 4MOTION all-wheel drive system, engine, 7-speed DSG (dual-clutch gearbox), ABS and hill start and hill descent assist systems. The modes are activated by an intuitively operated turn wheel on the DSG gear shift grip; the mode that is active is shown in a pop-up window in the fully digital instrument set.

Exterior – features and design of the T-ROC

Dimensions and weight. The T-ROC is 4,179 mm long, 1,831 mm wide and 1,501 mm tall. It is based on the modular transverse matrix (MQB) platform, and thanks to its lightweight design, the SUV weighs just 1,420 kg. Visually distinctive and in part responsible for the SUV’s proportions are its relatively short overhangs (front: 811 mm, rear: 772 mm) and track widths of 1,578 mm (front) and 1,564 mm (rear), which are large relative to the body width. The wheelbase is 2,595 mm. Front and rear, the SUV is equipped with multi-part 19-inch alloy wheels; 245/45 tyres maintain contact to the ground both on the road and off-road.

Forward-looking design. The team at Volkswagen Design, led by Walter de Silva and Klaus Bischoff, has progressively advanced the brand’s SUV DNA in the T-ROC, but at the same time have preserved Volkswagen history. This is immediately apparent at the front end. Distinctive here is the 3D radiator grille designed with large, honeycomb-shaped openings – a new and dominant design element, high and wide in the middle, running out narrower on the sides. In an upwards direction, it is surrounded by a high-gloss black trim strip with a knife-sharp look; on the sides, it is bordered by the dual LED headlights, and at the bottom it is framed by a cross-member in aluminium look. This cross-member that progressively narrows towards the sides is more than just a decorative element; at its outside ends it houses the LED daytime running lights and LED indicators (when the indicators are activated, the white daytime running lights become orange indicator lights). If only the daytime running lights are active, then one LED light point is automatically lit at the centre of each of the dual headlights. The dipped beam light is generated by the out-board LED headlights; when the main beam is activated, this adds the adjacent LED headlights mounted in-board of them. Also visually prominent is the lower section of the front end: it is designed almost as if one were to place a mirror under the radiator grille with its contours reappearing in the lower air inlet. The side of the bumper facing the street is bordered by a rugged underbody protection element.

Multifunctional spotlights. A dominant element of the front-end design between the radiator grille and the lower air inlet is a cross trim piece in body colour (“Blue-Splash Metallic”). Towards the sides in this area are the large, round headlight modules, which are visually reminiscent of those of the legendary Volkswagen Karmann Ghia Type 34. However, unlike five decades ago, the technology behind the glass covers can do much more than just generate light. Each of the two round headlights has a strip of three LEDs at its centre, with these LEDs forming the fog light. Above this light strip is a power LED which assumes the function of a swivelling spotlight. Beneath the strip of three LEDs, Volkswagen has integrated a movable camera. Whenever the driver activates Offroad mode, the spotlights and cameras can be activated. Here, the power LEDs and cameras follow the steering angle of the T-ROC; the image of the surroundings is transmitted to a large display (removable tablet) on the centre console, so that the driver can see the stones or potholes in front of the car and drive around them.

Die neue Volkswagen SUV-Studie T-ROCDesign of the side profile… The sides of the car give a clean and powerful appearance. At the top, the silhouette is defined by the contour of the high-gloss black roof which forms a dark line in the vehicle’s silhouette and together with the front windscreen, large roof spoiler and rear windscreen gives the T-ROC a coupé-like contour. Beneath the roof line, an aluminium strip that runs out into the termination of the C pillars makes the car appear lower to the ground than it really is at a height of 1,501 mm. When viewed from the sides, the C pillars themselves look like a roll-over bar that is set far to the rear. Integrated between this imaginary bar and the front windscreen frame are the removable roof halves. When they are removed and all four side windows are lowered, the T-ROC becomes a convertible, especially for those sitting in front.

…is clean and precise. The window line transitions into the engine bonnet and the wings at the height of the A pillar; giving the bonnet an especially long appearance which is further emphasised by the significant rear-ward offset of the front windscreen. In the area beneath the window line, there is what is known as the character line; this light-reflecting edge, upon whose line the door handles are also integrated, runs between muscular wheel arches, front and rear. The upper radius of the rear wheel arch transitions into a horizontal line that finally ends in the LED rear lights – so each line has its purpose. And that is typical of Volkswagen design. Also eye-catching in side profile are the spokes of the 19-inch alloy wheels with interior surfaces painted in body colour. The chrome side sills have a sophisticated look, while the wrap-around off-road accents of dark plastic in “Cool Granite” that protect the body are rugged.

Design of the rear body. The C-pillar elements of the boot lid and the roof spoiler are designed in high-gloss black. Beneath them is the consistently horizontal organisation of the rear elements. The LED rear lights have a three-dimensional shape; on the sides they are part of the rear wings, and towards the middle they are part of the boot lid. Like the daytime running light bars at the front end, the rear lights also have visually hovering aluminium elements. The elements of the rear lights adjoining the boot lid are also completely made of aluminium.

Rear cameras as well. At the front end, the outer contours of the radiator grille are repeated in the lower air inlet. In the rear body, it is the design of the rear lid lines that appears to be reflected on the surface for the vehicle licence plate. Large round elements are also integrated in high-gloss black trim panels to the left and right of the surface. As in front, three LEDs are integrated in these elements as well, and these form the reversing lights. The power LED above them assumes the role of the rear fog lights here. There is also a camera beneath the three LEDs, which is used to display visual images of the space behind the T-ROC. The images from the rear-view camera are also projected onto the tablet on the centre console. Beneath the round lighting and camera modules and to the sides are the exhaust tailpipes (aluminium, matt with a carbon frame) which are integrated in the bumper and the underbody protection with four aluminium elements.

Interior

Interior

Interior – features and design of the T-ROC

Designed for adventure. The T-ROC is a four-seater with a fully reconceptualised interior. In their functionalities, all elements are designed to match the off-road character of the T-ROC. That is, the features are rugged, with non-slip surfaces and are designed to be used on the move – such as the touchscreen in the centre console that was conceptualised as a tablet and the HD camera integrated in the area of the rear-view mirror. These features can also be used outside the T-ROC.

Blue and anthracite dominate. Stylistically, the low-profile dashboard exhibits a horizontal layout. A central element here is the dashpad painted in “Blue-Splash Metallic”. Volkswagen implements painted interiors in production as well, such as in the up! and Beetle lifestyle models. Also painted in body colour in the T-ROC are the door accent strips, the trim panel of the centre console and the trim accents of the leather-trimmed steering wheel that are arranged in the shape of wings. The other interior surfaces – with the exception of the seats – are designed in an anthracite named “Adamantium Dark”. The four leather-upholstered seats, meanwhile, exhibit a colour transition from blue to anthracite.

Digital instruments. The controls, status indicators and climate control functions in the T-ROC are all entirely in digital form. Accordingly, a 12.3 inch colour display is used as a combined instrument. Depending on the driving mode – “Street”, “Offroad” or “Snow” – it shows a range of colours and information that is adapted to the given situation. In “Offroad” mode, for instance, the speed range displayed by the speedometer ends at 80 km/h instead of 260 km/h. These interactions are displayed in a fascinating way with flowing transitions and clear animations; the information is visualised by an entirely unique form of digital aesthetics.

User-configurable infotainment screen. The touchscreen that is used for the infotainment system is a tablet. It is firmly locked into the dashboard with the upper two-thirds of the display extending out from the dashboard. The multitouch display (reacts to finger gestures) is user-configurable. Just like the instrument cluster in front of the driver, the range of colours and information displayed on the tablet also change according to the driving mode. In Offroad mode, the tablet also becomes a screen for the cameras. The HD camera mounted in the rear-view mirror bracket is also controlled from the tablet and can be used to take videos of either the outside or the inside of the vehicle.

Digital climate control. The climate control system of the T-ROC also has digital controls. A super-brilliant and high-resolution AMOLED display (Active Matrix Organic LED) is used here. The climate functions are set via this touchscreen. The AMOLED display is integrated into the centre console. Cutting-edge here is the “body-related” operating logic, where the user can set an individual “perceived temperature” – i.e. not just the temperature of the air stream – for different body areas. The climate control system automatically regulates the temperature and fan settings as well as the air distribution for this setting. Showing a love of detail, meanwhile, is the centre console panel; its design of integral straps was inspired by the motocross helmet.

 

Technology – drive system of the T-ROC

Strong and efficient. The T-ROC is powered by a torque-strong and fuel-efficient turbodiesel engine: the 2.0 TDI with 135 kW / 184 PS, the engine that is also used in the sporty Golf GTD. In the concept vehicle, the high-tech diesel delivers a top speed of 210 km/h, acceleration to 100 km/h in 6.9 seconds and a ample torque to the two driven axles (380 Nm from 1,750 rpm). This contrasts with a combined fuel consumption figure of 4.9 l/100 km (equates to 129 g/km CO2). A 7-speed dual-clutch gearbox (DSG) handles the transmission of engine power to the 4MOTION all-wheel drive system.

4MOTION all-wheel drive. In normal operation, the 4MOTION all-wheel drive system, which is equipped with the latest Haldex coupling, transfers nearly all of the engine’s power to the front axle. That is very fuel-efficient. Nonetheless, even in this situation the 4MOTION system continues to be a permanent all-wheel drive solution, because the rear axle momentarily receives more power as soon as slip is detected at the front wheels or the sensors of the T-ROC detect an increase in transverse acceleration. 4MOTION utilises pre-control strategies depending on the specific driving state. This system variably engages the rear axle in fractions of a second via the Haldex coupling whenever necessary.

“Street” / “Offroad” / “Snow”. The T-ROC is equipped with three driver-selectable driving modes: “Street”, “Offroad” and “Snow”. Parameters of the running gear, engine-gearbox unit and hill start and hill descent assist systems are modified depending on the mode. The desired mode is activated via an intuitive turn wheel control on the DSG gear shift grip; the mode that is active is indicated in a pop-up window in the digital instrument cluster.

Die neue Volkswagen SUV-Studie T-ROC

Most powerful Rolls Royce – the Wraith – debuts at Geneva

Rolls Royce WraithBY GERRY MILES

Finally, Rolls Royce has made a car that looks sporting, fun to drive, and like it’s not a cast off from yet another sequel of Arthur or other rich-man movie that would feature an updated version of Thurston Howell III or 13th.

After what seemed two months of slowly released teaser photos, Rolls Royce finally pulled back the cover to reveal its fastback coupe, also its most powerful car ever.

Most powerful? Yup, so spaketh RR CEO Torsten Muller-Otvos who noted that the new fastback coupe “promises the sense of adventure and speed.” In a Rolls? Good show!

Power will generate from a 6.6-liter, 624 hp, twin-turbo V-12 that also summons up some 590 pound-feet of torque. A new 8-speed transmission from Germany’s ZF will handle the power requests that can move from 0 to 60 mph in a reported 4.4 seconds.

Adding a new GPS-like twist to the performance angle, Wraith’s new 8-speed is what they called “satellite aided” meaning that it will synch it with the coupe’s Nav System so that you’re always in the optimum setting. Let’s hope MyFordTouch never attempts that. Please.

If you like high-tech doo-dads, one options allows the buyer to activate 1,340 fiber-optic strands in the ceiling to create a very realistic night-time effect. Why you’d want that, I’ve no idea, but you can have it if you want it.

The name, Wraith, incidentally, traces its heritage back to one of the marque’s more legendary badges, dating back to 1938 and a production run that totaled just 492 cars – though the maker later followed with the Silver Wraith.  Clearly, Rolls has bigger aspirations this time, at least in relative terms.

It is destined to roll into showrooms later this year.

The cost? $318,000. Seems almost affordable, doesn’t it?

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The full presser is found below. Enjoy.

Rolls-Royce Motor Cars proudly presents the world debut of Wraith, the most powerful and dynamic Rolls-Royce in history. At its heart lie hallmark Rolls-Royce attributes of luxury, refinement and hand-craftsmanship, but the new model from the world’s pinnacle super-luxury marque also presents a unique character defined by power, style and drama. With just a hint of the noir.

“Today we launch the ultimate gentlemen’s gran turismo, a car that embodies the spirit of Charles Stewart Rolls,” commented Torsten Müller-Ötvös, CEO Rolls-Royce Motor Cars. “The most powerful Rolls-Royce in history, Wraith promises the sense of adventure and speed that drove our founding forefather. But of course, Wraith’s starting point is luxury, refinement and quality, traits that remain as important to Rolls-Royce customers today as they were more than a century ago.”

Rolls-Royce Chairman and BMW Group board member Harald Krüger added the following: “The BMW Group today reconfirms its full commitment to the future of Rolls-Royce. Growth and a prosperous future lie ahead thanks to continued investment, careful brand stewardship and the launch of groundbreaking new models like Rolls-Royce Wraith, a magnificent addition to the product range.”

In profile, Wraith’s sweeping fastback design gives the car its unique character. Bold lines, tension in the panels and a raked rear screen evoke the image of a world class athlete poised in the starting blocks. Further expression of dynamic intent can be seen in Wraith’s deeply recessed grille, wide rear track and dramatic two-tone presentation.

Coach doors open to reveal a sumptuous interior complete with softest Phantom-grade leathers and expanses of wood called Canadel Panelling. Named after the famous cove in the South of France where Sir Henry Royce and his design and engineering teams spent their winters, this contemporary and tactile finish sweeps through the interior, cosseting four occupants in a space bathed in light and warmth.

The interior ambiance is complemented by Starlight Headliner, a Bespoke feature available beyond Phantom family cars for the first time. 1,340 fibre optic lamps are hand-woven into the roof lining to give the impression of a glittering, starry night sky.

Performance delivers on the promise of Wraith’s styling. Power delivery is effortless, but dramatic, thanks to a V12 engine married to 8-speed automatic ZF transmission. 624 bhp / 465kW is available to the driver while the 0-60 mph sprint is achieved in 4.4 seconds, compared with 563 bhp / 420kW and 0-60 in 4.7 seconds for Ghost.

From 1,500 rpm 800 Nm of torque is available (780 Nm for Ghost), while a wide rear track, shorter wheelbase and lower roof height further contribute to the most powerful, involving driving experience of any Rolls-Royce in history. The car’s suspension has also been tuned to minimise body roll and discreetly amplify feedback when cornering; while steering weight is heavier at high speeds and lighter at low speeds adding to the spirited drive.

However, Wraith is no GT bruiser. Agility improvements have been achieved with absolutely no compromise to the sensation of riding on a bed of air. Furthermore, the debut of Satellite Aided Transmission (SAT) technology takes the powertrain to a new level of effortless delivery, one that perfectly suits the Rolls-Royce brand.

Satellite Aided Transmission uses GPS data to see beyond what the driver sees; it anticipates his next move based on location and current driving style, then selects the most appropriate gear for the terrain ahead. Corners, motorway junctions and roundabouts are all anticipated in advance meaning Wraith is constantly poised to deliver on its promise of performance.

A more polished, effortless driving experience and even better response brings a new, more dynamic dimension to the famous Rolls-Royce trait, waftability.

For over a century a Rolls-Royce motor car has featured technologies designed to support occupants discreetly, delivering a peerless driving experience epitomised by the term ‘effortlessness’. In every Rolls-Royce these assist the driver when called upon, but are prepared to return without fuss to the background when no longer required.

Advances in mechanical and electrical technology deliver systems like head-up display, adaptive headlights and Wraith’s keyless opening boot. But improvements in connectivity have taken the human-machine interface to a new level of sophistication, a suite of aids that could be likened to a contemporary on-board valet.

Voice activation commands, for example, come with a one-touch call button located on the steering wheel. A destination no longer requires manual input from a navigation menu and route assistance begins immediately, on-screen and via audio guidance following a voice command such as “navigate to Piccadilly in London.”

Additional improvements in communications come in the design and functionality of the elegant Spirit of Ecstasy Rotary Controller. This allows navigation through on-screen functions using a touch pad that features pinch and pull functionality to echo smart phone usage. Letters can also be ‘drawn’ onto the pad by hand rather than by scrolling through a series of available characters on-screen.

In Europe, Wraith will be priced at c. €245k. Confirmation and further pricing details in all markets will be revealed later in the year.

First deliveries of Wraith will be made to customers in the final quarter of 2013.

Rolls Royce Wraith will be a fastback

Rolls Royce Wraith

Rolls Royce Wraith

By Gerry Miles

The fourth and allegedly final image of the Rolls Royce Wraith was released, showing off a fastback silhouetted styling, showing off but three lines that draw the car’s profile.

In the words of Giles Taylor, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Design Director:

“The purposeful fastback profile is Wraith’s defining element.
Inherent in the graceful line that sweeps from the top of the screen to the very rear edge is the promise of fast, yet effortless touring. Yet, perhaps my favourite aspect is the expressive gesture that comes from the side window graphic, gliding through Wraith’s glamorous coach door.

It works with a strong sense of linear purpose from the shoulder line, which has the promise of potential like the athlete in the starting blocks. In contrast, the line that cuts through the shoulder line is a little more artful and adds that certain air of effortlessness to Wraith’s dynamic statement.

In my view the most successful designs always come down to three or four lines.”

The Wraith will be unveiled at the upcoming Geneva Auto Show. Stay tuned.

Third Rolls Royce Wraith image released

By Gerry Miles

With its third teaser image of its upcoming Wraith model, Rolls Royce released a picture of its door panel showing off its style, class and attention to detail.

Wraith_PanelA press release said the car – to be shown off at the Geneva Auto Show – features the softest ‘Phantom-grade’ leathers and open pore wood named Canadel Panelling. The interior is supposed to hint at the interior of an ultra-luxury yacht.

Wraith3Another picture, of the clock, is said to be shown off with Blood Orange needle tips that point to the car’s dynamic potential, while paying homage to the marque’s aviation heritage.

Like every Rolls-Royce, the Wraith is built entirely by hand.

Rolls Royce releases another Wraith teaser photo

By Gerry Miles

Rolls-Royce Motor Cars released its second teaser image of its next model, Wraith, a hand-built motor car that exudes hallmark Rolls-Royce luxury and comfort full of what it calls power, style and drama. I didn’t think anyone driving a Rolls wished to have drama.

Rolls Royce Wraith teaser photo

Rolls Royce Wraith teaser photo

For 108 years, effortless power delivery has been inherent to the Rolls-Royce brand promise.

This image shows the Wraith’s rear haunches – RR’s terms – a cue of its promise of dynamism – or perhaps power on this side of the pond.
Said the Rolls’ release … “In times gone by, when asked the question, Rolls-Royce would simply reply, “Adequate, Sir”.

RR has a different answer when it’s posed for the Wraith:  “More than ample.”

Stay tuned for the reveal at the Geneva Motor Show on March 5.

Rolls Royce Wraith image released in advance of 2013 Geneva Motor Show

Press teaser image of the Rolls Royce Wraith

Teaser image of the Rolls Royce Wraith

Rolls-Royce Motor Cars today publishes the first official image of its new model Wraith, which will be launched at the Geneva Motor Show in March 2013.

The graceful silhouette gives expression to a bold and thoroughly contemporary luxury motor car. Flowing lines hint at the extraordinary power and dynamic promise of the most powerful Rolls-Royce in history, yet also highlight design cues that can be traced through the model generations.

Rolls-Royce Wraith evokes the pioneering spirit and lust for adventure that drove company forefather the Honourable Charles Rolls – the consummate gentleman racer. But like Rolls, Wraith will also be steeped in the trappings of luxury and opulence.

When Wraith is present, for that fleeting moment, the world will stand still.