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Old 02-20-2011, 05:15 PM
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Default 2012 Quimera Velero (Gen. II)

Well, it's been a while...this has been in the works for months now; I've just been too busy to spend more than a few minutes at a time on the render. Add to that the fact that halfway through my first render I decided to scrap the design entirely and start from scratch, and it's been a painfully slow process indeed. But I'm glad that I re-designed it and I'm pretty happy with the result, the quality of the render notwithstanding (I'm a little rusty...). Originally intended to debut at L.A., then pushed to NAIAS, ultimately I had to "settle" for Geneva. ;)

Historically a high-profile showcase for Europe’s elite automakers, the Continental sophistication of the Geneva Auto Salon will this year give way to brash, muscular Americana in the form of the new Quimera Velero, the second generation of one of the firm’s seminal and most widely-acclaimed models. Draped in seductive new sheetmetal and bedecked with an array of performance-enhancing features, the second-generation Velero stands as a glowing testament to the automaker’s meteoric rise, and a shot across the bow of the old line European marques unaccustomed to competitors from across the Pond.

Quimera’s designers knew they walked a fine line in redesigning one of the company’s most successful models, and the team struggled to maintain its predecessor’s inimitable aggression while imbuing the new Velero with wider market appeal. The result of this compromise is a sedan somewhat more conventional in shape, but every bit as dramatic and muscular as its forebear. Sinewy sculpted flanks and a sleek, coupe-like roof profile flow into a sinister new face, dominated by LED headlamps designed to evoke the wind-filled sails of a sailboat, the car’s namesake. Gone are the low-mounted trapezoidal grille and dramatically dipping hood of the original car, replaced by a more prominent, higher-mounted nose which houses the new car’s taller engine (also intended to meet stringent EU pedestrian crash standards at much lower cost than the intricate spring-loaded “cushioning” active impact system on the previous Velero). Functional extraction vents atop the hood visually distinguish V8 models (and are available in a variety of finishes). Further aft, the new Velero retains the outgoing car’s trademark clamshell doors and racy glass profile. The result of these stylistic changes is a car that comes across as more sophisticated and mature than the original, without having sacrificed any of its brutal American appeal.

Similarly dramatic changes are in store under the skin. The silky 3.6 liter VVT V6 that bowed in the previous Velero (and now serves a variety of applications across the Quimera lineup) has been bored to 3.8 liters, and has undergone a variety of high-tech changes—including the addition of direct injection—to boost horsepower to a class-leading 340 (250kW). Peak torque of 300 lb-ft (407Nm) is available at lower revs and across a wider swath of the power band than in the previous car. The venerable 5.0L V8 remains an option, producing a prodigious 480 peak horsepower (347 Kw) and 455 lb-ft (616Nm) of torque thanks to the similar addition of direct injection technology. Both V6 and V8 models will come equipped with Quimera’s new eight-speed automatic transmission, yielding increases in acceleration and economy. A six-speed manual transmission will remain a special order option. Despite the increases in power, the aforementioned technological changes and new transmissions are expected to yield an estimated 10-15% increase in real world fuel economy.

While the petrol V6 and V8 will be the sole powertrain options available at launch, Quimera has made clear that it intends to expand the range. Both a diesel model (powered by the company’s 3.6L twin-turbo diesel) and an entry-level four-cylinder petrol model (presumably equipped with the Abante’s 2.4L mill) will follow, and are expected to make up a substantial portion of sales in European markets. It goes without saying, of course, that an ultra high-performance Super model is also forthcoming, and company officials have indicated that a Qh Hybrid model would be a logical addition as well. The abundance of powertrain options ensures that the new Velero will appeal to a wider global audience.

Inside, occupants ensconced in the new Velero’s four heated and ventilated sport seats (a rear bench and fifth belt is optional) will experience a class-leading level of luxury. Exquisite finishes abound, while the innovative QIMMS® system consolidates all performance, multimedia, navigation, and climate control functions into one supremely intuitive interface. Astonishingly, the single aspect of the Velero that will remain untouched is its price. Increased production efficiencies, realized through the extensive sharing of components across Quimera’s range (much of which did not exist when the first Velero debuted) has allowed the company to slash its per-unit costs and maintain the Velero’s competitive pricing. The introduction of the original Velero in 2007 marked an important milestone in Quimera’s transition from niche player to mainline manufacturer, and the new Velero seems poised to make even greater strides, both at home and in fiercely competitive markets abroad.

Velero V8 shown in Azul Baleárico

Velero V8 shown in Rojo Flamenco

Velero V8 shown in Marrón Navarro with Copper Appearance Package

Velero V8 shown in Tormenta with Stealth Appearance Package


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