Posts Tagged ‘automotive’

New F-Pace launched @Jaguar – performance SUV crossover – an annotated infographic

June 8, 2016

Packed with state-of-the-art technology and advanced driving aids, Jaguar’s new F-Pace performance SUV is expected to become the British brand’s top selling model once it arrives in showrooms.

Jaguar has cast aside tradition and decided to make a Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV), which is currently being rolled out around the world.

Jaguar joins Porsche, Maserati and even Bentley, Rolls Royce, Lamborghini and Maybach, famous sporty and luxury upmarket brands forced to admit that to survive and make money they must grit their collective teeth and make what the public wants; utility vehicles that can go anywhere, albeit quickly and in some style.

Jaguar calls its SUV the F-Pace, reflecting its link to design cues in the F-type sports car, and company founder William Lyons, who once said that every Jaguar must combine Grace, Space and Pace. Jaguar is now owned by Tata Motors of India, which along with stable mate Land Rover, was bought from Ford Motor Co. in 2008.

Jaguar launched the F-Pace in Montenegro, a tiny country across the Adriatic from Italy and once part of communist Yugoslavia. This was probably because it gave test drivers the chance to drive more off-road than on and demonstrate its 4×4 abilities, never under much doubt because of the in-house expertise of Land Rover. Montenegro lacks modern roads, and the ones it has are often pot-holed and narrow. The inexperience of many Montenegro drivers might also have been a factor because often almost suicidal attempts at over-taking gave the F-Pace many opportunities to demonstrate its nimble handling, fantastic braking ability and last-ditch, state of the art safety technology.

When Jaguar announced it was making an SUV, critics wondered if it was likely to cannibalise sales of stable-mate Range Rover’s Sport, or more expensive versions of the smaller Range Rover Evoque, and Land Rover Discovery Sport. Jaguar believes this won’t happen because the F-Pace will appeal to more sporty SUV buyers. Jaguar reckons the F-Pace will face competition from the Porsche Macan, Audi Q5, BMW X3 and X4, Mercedes GLC, Volvo XC60 and Lexus NX.

The range-topper, powered by a 3.0 litre, 380hp twin supercharged petrol engine, can scoot from rest to 100km/h (60mph) in 5.4 seconds and is priced above, often way above, £50,000 (€64,095, $72,200). The base model, priced from £34,170 (€43,800, $49,415), is powered by a 180hp, 4-cylinder 2.0 litre diesel. All have four-wheel drive and eight-speed automatic gearboxes. Jaguar says it uses a high proportion of aluminium in the construction for strength and lightness.

Inevitably, it will be looks which catch the attention of potential buyers, and the Jaguar can definitely hold its head up high in this part of the race. The Porsche Macan is the car to beat in this segment, and Jaguar says it has the edge in interior space, while its dynamics are very competitive too. The demand for connectivity looks to be well covered both in infotainment and safety.

Jaguar proudly unveiled what it believes to be a unique gizmo, a so-called “Activity Key”. This is a rubber wrist-band which carries an embedded electronic virtual key, so you can park the car on the beach, lock it up with the key inside and when you return from surfing or swimming, the wrist-band will unlock the car.

Click on the graphic for an expanded view

Setting the F-Pace

Setting the F-Pace

High fives all round @TeslaMotors as company secures 325,000 orders for new @TeslaModel3 – an annotated infographic

April 8, 2016

Tesla Motors, the upstart electric car maker sending shivers of apprehension through the traditional automotive industry, has unveiled its first venture into the mass market with its prototype new Model 3.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s home town press conference was interrupted by the now traditional whooping and hollering of approval from the assembled employees and early adopters of its electric cars.

Musk announced more than 100,000 Model 3 orders with $1,000 deposits had been made, zooming to 276,000 after the press conference. This is unprecedented for a car which hadn’t been seen before and won’t appear in showrooms in any great numbers until 2018. Production will begin late in 2017.

Model 3 sales will reach only 12,200 next year, according to Cairn Energy Research Advisors of Boulder, Colorado, while it said Tesla will have shipped only 196,890 by 2020, about 100,000 short of its official guidance. Investment bank Morgan Stanley said total Tesla production of Model S saloons, Model X SUVs and the Model 3 will reach just under 249,000 by 2020, less than half of Tesla’s own targets.

This hasn’t stopped the enthusiasm of would-be buyers and investors reaching over-the-top levels.

“Model 3 redefines the auto industry. The auto industry has been stuck making Tiffin Boxes for decades and their time is fast coming to an end. There is no way BMW, Porsche, GM, Toyota, Honda or any other existing auto manufacturer can even come close to competing with Tesla Model 3,” said Global Equities Research of Redwood Shores, California. This remains to be seen.

Before the unveiling, the Model 3 was billed as a competitor to workaday battery-electric vehicles like the Chevrolet Bolt, Nissan Leaf, Hyundai Ioniq and BMW i3 Citycar. Not so, said IHS Automotive analyst Stephanie Brinley, because of its size, range and performance.

“Model 3’s natural competitive set may be more accurately the [petrol-powered] BMW 3-Series, Audi A4, Mercedes-Benz C-Class, Lincoln MKZ and Cadillac CTS,” Brinley said.

This explains why the traditional industry is so nervous about Tesla. It not only appeals to sandal-wearing environmental zealots, but to the well-heeled who also want a vehicle which excites.

Musk announced the price, before tax and government subsidies.

“As for price, it’ll be $35,000. And I want to emphasize that even if you buy it at $35,000 — no options at all — this will still be an amazing car.”

The 65 KwH Model 3, likely to cost a lot more than $35,000, will scorch from rest to 60mph in 4.4 seconds, will have a range of 225 miles and take one hour for a fast recharge, allegedly. This will allow it to compete with the hottest sports saloons like the BMW M3 and Mercedes C-class AMG. Eventually there will be a coupe, a cabriolet, a small SUV and possibly a pickup truck.

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She's a model and she's looking good

She’s a model and she’s looking good

McLaren 570GT supercar unveiled ahead of 86th Geneva Car Show – an annotated infographic

February 26, 2016

McLaren has unveiled its new 570GT supercar, the third model in the company’s “Sports Series” range of ultra-fast, daily driver sports cars. The 540C and 570S Coupe preceded this model, the 570GT – the most luxurious McLaren ever built.
The amazingly fast new McLaren 570GT is powered by a 3.8-litre twin-turbo gasoline mid-mounted motor, producing 562 hp and 443-pound feet of torque. It weighs just under 3,000 pounds and rockets from 0-60 mph in just over three seconds. The standing quarter mile will come up in 11.1 seconds.

The power is delivered through a seven-speed automatic gearbox to the rear wheels, with three modes available to the driver: Normal, Sport and Track.  On a race track, where many 570GTs will find themselves, it will reach 204 mph. Prices are likely to start at around $200,000 before tax.

Presumably, McLaren has unveiled this new car ahead of the Geneva Motor Show’s official opening in order to steal a march on its rivals and their latest products.

Certainly, it is expected that the 570GT will have to share the limelight with VW subsidiary Bugatti, which will launch its new 1,482 hp Chiron, replacing the Veron at an expected price of $2.4 million, and Aston Martin, which will highlight its DB 9 replacement, the DB 11, powered by a new 5.2 litre-V12 motor.

Ferrari  has also jumped the Geneva gun, unveiling its GTC4 Lusso a few weeks ago. Meanwhile, BMW’s hot new 600 hp 7-series flagship, the M760Li xDrive will flaunt a 6.6-litre V-12 engine; Lamborghini will show its limited edition Centenario; Maserati has its first SUV, the Levante, and amongst such illustrious company Mercedes will probably be wondering why nobody is looking at its C-Class convertible.

E&T will be at the Geneva Motor Show press preview next week. Follow our coverage online.

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Zoom

Zoom

Something for the weekend? Ford introduces its Drug Driving Suit – not actually as psychedelic as it sounds

November 20, 2015

The Ford Motor Company has created a unique body suit that simulates the effects of driving under the influence of illegal drugs. The aim is to educate young people about the dangers of driving whilst under the influence of drugs.

Ford developed the suit together with scientists from the Meyer-Hentschel Institute in Germany to simulate some of the effects of popular drugs such as cannabis, cocaine, heroin and MDMA (commonly known as Ecstasy). Physical effects include slower reaction time, distorted vision, hand tremors and poor coordination.

Check out the full story of Ford’s Drug Driving Suit on E&T news.

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Road trip

Road trip

Will @TeslaMotors new Model X give #electriccars a major boost – an annotated infographic

November 2, 2015

Tesla’s electric Model X SUV can sprint to 100km/h in 3.2 seconds, features radar and sonar to enable hands-free autopilot driving and can travel 400km on a single charge – at a fuel cost of just €4.

The new Tesla Motors Model X SUV is so packed with headline grabbing features like the “falcon wing” doors, mind-boggling performance and a giant windscreen, that you might forget the fact that it is all electric, too. It might even protect you if biological warfare breaks out.

The Fremont, California-based battery-powered car pioneer led by charismatic entrepreneur Elon Musk has cornered the market for luxury electric vehicles with its current Model S saloon, to the consternation of the German premium manufacturers like Mercedes and BMW. They are fighting back, but promised competitor products which include the Audi e-tron Quattro and Porsche Mission E are still more than two years way. By then Tesla is likely to have its most important car ready for sale, the lower cost Model 3, which is expected to be more of a mass market competitor priced at around $50,000.

Tesla hasn’t yet revealed the base price for the Model X, although that is expected to be close to $80,000. The all-singing all-dancing special versions it has unveiled so far are much pricier. The Signature costs $130,000 and the Founder $142,000.

The stand-out feature of the Model X is the falcon wing doors, reminiscent of the Mercedes-Benz 300 SL in the 50s and 60s or the notorious DeLorean. The Model X doors, though, are much more sophisticated. They are double-hinged and open upwards then outwards to allow parking in tight spaces. The giant windscreen stretches up and over the front seat occupants and offers the second row passengers a better view. The performance is more sports-car than SUV with blistering acceleration to 60mph (97km/h), and on to 155mph (250km/h) in unlimited Germany at least.

Tesla claims superior safety too, as unlike regular high-riding SUVs the X is less prone to rolling over because it will be pinned down by the weight of the batteries which are spread under the floor. The big crumple zone will protect passengers too. In conventional SUVs the massive internal combustion engine at the front threatens the occupants in a crash.

The Model X boasts state of the art technology, and then some. The doors open automatically as it detects the driver approaching the car. Each model carries a forward-looking camera, radar and 360-degree sonar sensors enabling advanced autopilot features and bringing the car close to autonomous operation. The current Model S already allows internet driven software changes to take place in the car to download features like Autosteer and Autopark. The 17-inch (43cm) touch screen integrates media, navigation, communications, cabin control and vehicle data, with some voice activation.

CEO Musk, who has five children, points to the family friendly nature of the Model X, which has three rows of seats, the middle ones motorised for ease of entry into the back.

The air filter is so powerful it provides air as clean as in an operating theatre and will keep you safe in a chemical warfare attack, Musk said at the launch of the vehicle. The Model X is about two years late reaching the market. Maybe that’s because the specification was a shade over-ambitious?

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She's a Model and she's looking good

She’s a Model and she’s looking good

Volkswagen Group appoints new CEO in wake of #VWgate – an annotated infographic

September 30, 2015

As you may have heard, Volkswagen has been experiencing the repercussions of a minor work snafu over some diesel emission test fudging, the immediate upshot of which is that a lot of Bavarian bigwigs have been given the heave-ho, including CEO Martin Winterkorn.

In comes 62-year-old Porsche chief Matthias Mueller in his place, as the company struggles to recover from the scandal over its rigging of US vehicle emissions tests and save 72,000 German jobs at its famous Wolfsburg plant.

Click on the graphic for an expanded view.

Volkswagen's new CEO

Volkswagen’s new CEO

How to cheat at emissions tests the #VWGate way – an annotated infographic

September 28, 2015

As we all know by now, Volkswagen has got itself in to a little hot water (hot CO2?) with the EPA in America, with the revelation that it has been fudging the emissions tests for its diesel vehicles.

How does this happen? Vehicle certification requires new car models to go for a 20-minute simulated drive on a “rolling road” while hooked up to test equipment. The car’s computer then quietly optimises the engine performance to run cleanest during the test.

E&T news has been reporting on the latest VW-gate news, including the likelihood that more car manufacturers are involved in similar practices.

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Diesel test cheats

Diesel test cheats

 

 

#GenevaMotorShow – star cars on show from #Ferrari and more – three annotated infographics

February 26, 2015

Once again, the world’s automotive manufacturers will shortly be zipping around the picturesque roads of Geneva, casting narcissistic glances at the reflections of their new super cars as they cruise by the placid, mirror-like surface of the adjacent eponymous Lake.

Yes, ’tis time again for the Geneva Motor Show, when many otherwise perfectly sane, grown-up individuals lose their heads and bandy together in huddled groups, to stand slack-jawed and drooling in awe at the latest strategically shaped and painted hunks of metal before them.

Over 220 exhibitors will be showing around 900 cars at the 2015 Geneva International Motor Show, roughly 100 of which will be world and European premieres. To make matters worse, over 11,000 media representatives are expected to visit the show. That’s a lot of journalists, which in turn means a lot of media coverage. There’s no escaping it: next week, by hook or by crook, the Geneva Motor Show will be all up in your aerodynamically crafted chrome grille.

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Geneva Motor Show 2015

Geneva Motor Show 2015

 

Ferrari 458: zippy

Ferrari 458: zippy

 

Ferrari 488 GTB: bungle

Ferrari 488 GTB: bungle

#Fiat500X subcompact crossover aimed at American market – an annotated infographic

December 19, 2014

Having previously pumped up the fashionista’s preferred runaround of choice, the Fiat 500, to produce the oddly unremarkable 500L, Fiat has now launched the funkier-looking 500X.

This subcompact crossover loses more of the 500’s diminutive cute appeal, replacing it instead with sleek muscle and overall capacity in a move to capture more of the burgeoning SUV market.

With small and mid-sized SUVs currently among the hottest-selling vehicles worldwide, this is arguably Fiat’s first model designed with the North American market in mind. They don’t much care for small cars, them Yanks, you see. Automotive manufacturers are thus obliged to pump designs up a bit. Enter the Fiat 500X.

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Fiat 500X

Fiat 500X

@AeroMobil Flying car to debut at #Pioneers14 Vienna Festival for inventors – an annotated infographic

October 27, 2014

Good news: mankind has officially achieved 50 per cent of its 1970s vision of the future, with the news that a flying car will be demonstrated at the Pioneers Festival in Vienna this week.

The AeroMobil 3.0 “Flying Roadster” is a prototype flying car which combines the performance of a sports car with the qualities of an ultralight aircraft. It can be refueled at a regular filling station and take off from a 200-metre-long field.

So, we have the flying cars: all we need now is food in pill form.

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AeroMobil 3.0: up, up and away

AeroMobil 3.0: up, up and away


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