Category Archives: Blog News

Citroen; Simple but not Budget?

The C4 Cactus will mark a change in direction for Citroen's C-line brand

The C4 Cactus will mark a change in direction for Citroen’s C-line brand.

Citroën is set to embark on a new strategy for their C-line cars, that of creating good everyday cars with useful features for everyday use, without any frills .

This does not mean budget like Dacia, the cars will be reasonably priced and supposedly have the range of features expected in today’s world, such as air con, electric windows, satnav and so on, but no extra features like lane departure warning and radar guided cupholders. Fair enough, a car for people who want a car. A thing which takes you from A to B, comfortably. So not a car to set the pulse racing then.

 The C-line needs to be something different to the hugely popular DS-line , but still be interesting and relevant enough to sell.Citroen argues that there is a market for cheap cars which are honest workhorses for those individuals who see cars as white goods. They regard cars as a means to an end, nothing more, nothing less. They do not go out for drives, they do not take the time to get to know their car. They use it like a washing machine. When it works they use it, when it stops working, they replace it. There is no emotional involvement.

It therefore makes sense for Citroen to tackle this segment of the market in the same way that Volkswagen does with Skoda. Outside the world of petrolheads, the DS, the 2CV, the SM, the Mehari and the Traction Avant mean nothing. Probably to those outside the car world, Citroen means nothing, and I am willing to bet that Citroen want to utilise that to their advantage, and create another image for themselves.Time will tell whether they prove successful or not, but as ideas go, this is an interesting one.

So how does this strategy start? The first car to attempt this new milestone in Citroen’s history is the C4 Cactus. Silly name I know, but bear with me. As I just said there is nothing particularly noteworthy about the car,no massaging seats, no massive turbocharged engine. it’s just a car. As my dear mother likes to say, four wheels and an engine. It does have these bumpers with air pockets, designed to protect the car against rebellious trolleys in supermarket car parks, and the back pillar resembles that of the DS3. Both these details are quite interesting I suppose, though not interesting enough to make me want to buy this car.

The interior, while not being as upmarket as a DS car, will still feature all the equipment considered necessary for today's market
The interior, while not as upmarket as a DS5, will still feature all the equipment considered necessary for today’s market

Dig beneath the surface, and things become rather interesting. This car weighs 965kg, or 60kg less than a Ford Fiesta. Citroen is on a mission with this car to remove any unnecessary stuff within the car. The dashboard is designed with simplicity and elegance in mind. There is no rev counter, no centre console, the rear seats do not split and rear windows don’t even open. Why have they done this, you might be asking. All in the pursuit of saving weight. The engine line-up is quite a modest one, with the most powerful petrol engine producing 108bhp. However, because it is so light, the power-to-weight ratio is quite high. Also, in keeping the power output low, costs will be kept at a minimum too. In the UK, this car will have a starting price of about 13,000 sterling, about the same price as a mid-range Ford Fiesta.

The Citroen boss also said that the C-line will not have powerful engines like the DS line, in a bid to keep costs low. He argues that a more powerful engine would require bigger brakes, re-tuning the suspension and so on, adding to the costs, and thus raising the showroom price, and price is key when you want to attract customers.

Another fascinating feature is that this car might also introduce a new method of car ownership, whereby one may rent the car for a period of time at a fixed rate. Whether this will work or not, I have my doubts, I want to own my cars, not rent them. Then again I am not exactly the type of buyer they are looking for, so my opinion on this particular matter does not really count.

I am quite fascinated to see how this new direction pans out for Citroen. It is quite a no nonsense approach to cars, something that Citroen used to do brilliantly with cars like the 2CV. I do hope it works out for them, and then the money they make off these cars can be put to making wacky cars.. Like say a Citroen DS5 Coupe with the Hybrid four-wheel drive system and a retractable glass roof maybe? I would very much like to see that.

New Mercedes SL Revealed

20111223-134414.jpg
Mercedes has taken wraps off its latest generation SL, just a month before being unveiled at the Detroit Motor Show.

This version of the SL is based on an all-new platform, made exclusively of aluminium, still makes use of longitudinal six-cylinder and eight-cylinder engines and rear-wheel drive. The aluminium construction makes it between 125kg and 140kg lighter and 20 percent stiffer than the outgoing car, Another aspect of the car that remains the same is the metal folding roof that can be folded away in less than 20 seconds.

20111223-134614.jpg

The new design harks back to the 1960s “Pagoda” SL, especially wwith its unbroken shoulderline running from the front to the back of the car. The front of the car makes use of an SLS-inspired front grille and large three-pointed-star taking centre stage. Mercedes claims that the overall design is the most aerodynamic car in its class, whilst also creating new standards for wind noise-based cabin refinement.

The line up begins with a 3.5 litre V6 producing 302bhp and 370Nm of torque, returning 41mpg. The 429bhp SL500 reaches 62mph in 4.6s curtosy of a 4.7 litre V8 engine. Both engines are paired with a seven-speed automatic gearbox.

20111223-134711.jpg

Mclaren’s F1 Replacement

Rumour has it that Mclaren has already started testing its new F1 hypercar replacement, which is set to go on sale in 2014.

Mclaren have claimed that the new F1 will eclipse all the latest hypercars, even ones that haven’t been revealed yet. They claim that the performance will be superior to the Bugatti Veyron’s, the Enzo replacement and the 918 Spyder.

It is claimed that the new F1 will have a name similar to the MP4-12C’s, and that this latest hyper car has already had hot weather testing, presumably in Bahrain, and further testing in Germany and Spain.

The car will be powered by a 5.0l V8 engine producing 799bhp. Acceleration figures are also equally impressive, with a 0 to 60mph time of 2.8s, and 0 to 200mph in 20s. Truly eye watering performance.

This car is aimed to go into limited production of about 500 units with a price of close to €1,000,000. An equally impressive price tag then.

BMW’s New 3 Series

BMW’s latest generation 3 Series, has finally been revealed to the world.

This latest incarnation of BMW’s best selling car will be available in the first quarter of 2012, with two new engines included in the line up, a four cylinder turbocharged petrol engine, and a 109 g/km diesel engine.

The new car still maintains the same front engine rear drive layout, and has broadly the same engine line up as the current.However, do not think that this car is just a reskinned version of the current car, this car has been completely redeveloped from the ground up. There will be a 316d, 318d, 320d, a 320d EfficientDynamics, 325d, 330d and a 335d. The petrol line up will include the 320i, the 328i and the 335i. Later on a petrol-hybrid version will be available, where the 3.0l will be mated to an electric motor.

The new car is 4623mm long, a full 93mm longer than its predecessor, however despite the car being larger, BMW claim that this new car is 40kg lighter than before. The boot is big enough to store 480 litres of luggage, which is about average compared to its two main rivals, the Audi A4 and the Mercedes C-Class.

The design of the car is heavily influenced by the latest generation 5 and 7 Series, especially towards the rear. The dashboard incorporates certain characteristics from BMW’s other models like the freestanding screen, which was first seen on the latest generation 1 Series.

Although only the saloon version has been revealed at the moment, in future there will be other body styles available, including an estate version, a convertible, a coupe and a GT version. The coupe version, however, will not carry the 3 Series badge, but will be called the 4 Series.

 

 

 

Alfa Romeo’s Future Plans Uncovered

Alfa Romeo recently revealed news regarding a new engine for their upcoming 159 replacement, the Giulia.

This new 1.8l turbocharged engine produces a massive 296bhp! The engine is made from aluminium and is said to be fitted with high pressure fuel injection and also makes use of the Multiair system. Rumour has it that this car will also be fitted in Alfa’s upcoming flagship, which may take the name of either the 6C or Montreal.

This new flagship will be rear wheel drive, and will based on the Chrysler 300c/Lancia Thema platform. This decision of a new luxury saloon has been made instead of the large SUV which I spoke about a few moths ago. This new flagship will have an all new V6 engine alongside the 1.8l engine.

However even though this all good news for Alfa Romeo, it has also surfaced that the Giulia will be delayed yet again for another year, possibly making an appearance in 2014. With the 159 going out of production at the end of next year, that means that Alfa will be without a 3 Series competitor for a year.

In 2013, Alfa is promising to deliver a small Kuga sized SUV to the market. Not much is known about the details of the car, but I imagine it will make use of the same platform as the Giulietta, and the same engine line up. Also in 2013, Alfa intends on revealing a facelifted MiTo, a five door MiTo and the 4C sportscar.

Stay tuned for more information on these upcoming cars!

TS

Techno Speak is go!

Here’s the short story:  Enexi’s tech division, so to speak, has moved to a new site dedicated solely to tech and gadgets.  Where can you find it?  www.techno-speak.com.

The long story?

Enexi has been around since November 2010 and in that time has managed to rack up some pretty good statistics and a solid, loyal following amongst our readers.  We have managed to get exclusive info on the HTC Sensation launch in Malta.  We were the only publication in Malta to cover the launch of the 2012 Ford Focus.  Yes, we were, as a small 4 line paragraph buried deep in the bowels of a newspaper doesn’t really count, does it?

So join us at Techno Speak for in-depth analysis, quick news, reviews, downloads and discussions.  Yes, you’ll find it all there.  Enexi won’t be killed off, and shall host our automotive division for the time being, with some columns from the editors every once in a while.

See you soon,

Emmanuel Buttigieg

Introducing Our Latest Apple Correspondent

Here we are introducing the newest addition to our team.  Matthew Camilleri is currently studying for his A levels in Commerce with a fondness for Intermediate Computing.  He’s 17 years with a great passion for anything tech.  His hobbies include video editing, cinematography and film making,field hockey,sailing, reading and watching movies and TV series.  Matthew is also an avid Youtuber and does a but of gaming here and there.

You can drop him a line at mcmcamilleri@gmail.com or follow him on Twitter: @Chivesgamerev

Here Are Some Changes You’re Definitely Going To Notice

I’m sure you, our readers, have gotten used to our current layout. I chose this to put an emphasis on the posts themselves but, unfortunately, it lacks visual pisazz. Thus, within the next couple of days the layout and look shall change drastically, but for the better.

Another big change shall occur within our categories which shall be simplified to “Cars”, “Tech”, “Gaming”, “Reviews” and “Selections”. Now, the first four are undoubtedly familiar to you. Selections is a new category in which I shall be making app or hardware selections made especially for the local Maltese market.

Which brings me some new features we’ll be bringing to Enexi. First off are daily app recommendations for Android, either for smart phones, tablets or both. Next is a weekly round up of the best deals around for the best hardware out there for the Maltese Islands, be it a brick and mortar retailer or an online store.

What will most probably be our most popular features shall be an all new pod cast, more details about this coming soon, and reviews. A Motorola Xoom is in the works, with a Honeycomb vs iOS comparison coming soon, as well as a look at some of the most popular Android handsets around.

It’s going to be quite a summer, so bookmark our site and keep coming!

The Enexi Team has grown by one!

I am proud to announce that a new contributor has joined our ranks, Samantha Catania, a fellow tech enthusiast with a passion for all things Apple. She is currently blogging from her 27 inch iMac, and I have promised to eat my hair if she ever runs out of screen real estate. In retrospect, I think that was a stupid thing to do. You’ll recognise Samantha as SamanthaC, and she will be part of the Tech team with me.

Our first assignment, covering Apple’s 2011 WWDC!

E3 is in 3 days, and we’ve got some surprises in store for you!

First of all I have to say it’s good to be back. I’m afraid I’ve been too busy to keep up with all the tech news of the past month or so, but we’re ramping to come back with a bang this summer!

As I’m sure all you gamers out there know, E3 starts on the 6th of June and kicks off at 6PM Central European Time with Microsoft and the Xbox 360. EA have an event at 9.30PM CET, followed by Sony at 2AM CET and it’s all brought to what should be an amazing conclusion by Nintendo at 6PM the next day.

Seb, our gaming editor, shall be writing features after each event. Needless to say, he shall be drooling over the monitor for most of the night. I, in the meantime shall be commenting on events and reveals and such on Twitter, so follow us @EnexiDotNet!

Stay tuned, we’ve got some great surprises in store for the not-so-distant future!

Battlefield 3!…Beta

For those of you who purchased Medal of Honor limited edition, or Pre-ordered said game *cough cough* not Emmanuel *cough cough* I hope that they know they will have first access to the Battlefield 3 beta. Which is a good thing for all of us, But the thing is … when?

Continue reading