Automobile – The Ince Dis https://incedis.com Always the real thing,always news. Wed, 13 Mar 2019 09:43:45 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.0.4 Audi e-tron: new pictures show high-tech cabin https://incedis.com/audi-e-tron-new-pictures-show-high-tech-cabin/ Wed, 04 Jul 2018 11:50:32 +0000 https://vps49host1.com/?p=630 Audi has revealed more technical details of its upcoming electric SUV, which will be revealed on 30 August

Audi’s upcoming e-tron will be available with the world’s first ‘virtual’ exterior mirrors, helping to reduce the car’s aerodynamic drag coefficient to just 0.28 – and new images of the cabin show how they’ll be located.

The optional cameras (see picture below and gallery) replace conventional door mirrors and project digital images onto screens located inside the car where the front doors meet the dashboard.

First ride: Audi e-tron 2018 prototype

These more compact exterior cameras combine with active aerodynamics and air suspension that can lower the car into its most aerodynamic position when cruising, giving the car a claimed drag coefficient figure that makes it 0.04 slipperier than the smaller Q2 SUV.

Audi says that without the e-tron’s selection of drag-reducing features, the large electric SUV would be 21 miles shorter on range per charge. With them, the car is good for a 248-mile range, according to WLTP (which is a tougher test than the outgoing NEDC test). At the Audi summit, a source confirmed to Autocar that a 500km (310 miles) range is possible. Acceleration will be on par with other Audi Sport models.

Audi’s new official images show the car’s aerodynamics at work – and demonstrate the minimal drag created by the small virtual mirrors.

The car, which is due to be fully revealed in August, will be powered by a dual-motor powertrain using a 95kWh lithium ion battery and capable of 150kW DC fast charging. The latter is claimed as a world first and is 30kW more rapid than Tesla’s Supercharger network. It can charge the car in just 30 minutes,

Also confirmed is the use of alternating current AC chargers that can top up the battery by recovering energy on the move. As standard, the car will feature 11kW chargers for this, although 22kW chargers will be available as an option to enhance the recovery rate.

“We have decided to keep the e-tron name and use it like quattro,” an Audi source told Autocar. “The first of our sporty models was simply named the Audi Quattro. Our first all-electric car will simply be badged Audi e-tron.”

While powerful, the production e-tron’s output is less than the 496bhp quoted for the two concepts shown so far, because those featured a three-motor powertrain with a single front motor and twin rear motors.

However, the choice of a twin-motor layout at launch paves the way for Audi to introduce a performance e-tron powered by three motors a couple of years later.

The battery is not light, though, contributing at least 700kg to the e-tron’s kerb weight.

A key part of the battery is a water-based ‘lattice’ cooling system, bonded to the underside of the modules to maximise heat transfer and shedding heat through a conventional, front-mounted radiator. A second heat pump system with a plate heat exchanger – in effect an air-con system – can boost cooling or heating to keep the battery at its optimum operating range of 25-35deg C in extreme climates.

The 150kW DC fast charger will take advantage of the IONITY rapid-charge network being set up by a consortium of Europe’s car makers.

The size of the e-tron suggests it’s a Q6 in all but name, but Voggenreiter hinted that the Q6 is a separate project. He cited speculation that the Q6 should be a “four-door SUV-coupé” based on the Q5, in a similar style to the forthcoming Q8 being spun off the Q7.

Voggenreiter said the e-tron isn’t the Q6 because it’s “not a four-door SUV-coupé, but a sporty SUV”.

Speaking at the Audi Summit, CEO Rupert Stadler said: “It will have the best technology and be the most beautiful of electric cars.” Commenting on Audi’s electrified sales targets, he said: “By 2025 we will have 800,000 sales a year of electrified cars with electric cars and plug-in hybrids. Every third Audi will be electrified. All our production sites will be carbon neutral by 2030.”

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All-new Range Rover to hunt down Bentley and Rolls-Royce from 2021 https://incedis.com/all-new-range-rover-to-hunt-down-bentley-and-rolls-royce-from-2021/ Wed, 04 Jul 2018 11:34:07 +0000 https://vps49host1.com/?p=619 Toting high-tech kit and even more luxury, the next-gen flagship SUV will gun for Bentayga and Cullinan

The next-generation Range Rover, due by 2021, is intended to eclipse a new era of rivals in the fast-growing super-luxury SUV segment.

With competition from the Bentley Bentayga and Rolls-Royce Cullinan as well as upcoming, more mainstream models such as the BMW X8 and Audi Q9, Land Rover’s task with the fifth-generation Range Rover is to create a vehicle that surpasses all of these rivals. It will attempt do so using not only its unique heritage but also technological advancements in powertrains, autonomous driving systems and infotainment.

Land Rover recently confirmed that the upcoming Range Rover, alongside the next Range Rover Sport, will use an all-new architecture. The Range Rover, which turns 50 next year, is due early in the next decade.

To prepare for these models, its Solihull plant is going through a major refit to accommodate the advanced technology that will be used in future Range Rovers.

As a result, production of the Discovery will move from Solihull to Jaguar Land Rover’s new plant in Nitra, Slovakia, from next year, also freeing up room for the potential production of the first electric Range Rovers.

The new Range Rover platform will be significantly lighter than the current model’s D7u architecture, and the lightest of all Jaguar Land Rover platforms.

Called Modular Longitudinal Architecture (MLA), the aluminium platform will be used on all future Jaguar Land Rover models ranging in size from the Jaguar XE to the Range Rover. By the middle of the next decade, next-generation versions of Jaguar Land Rover’s transverse-engined models are even expected to be switched to MLA too.

MLA’s weight saving is crucial to allow for the extra heft of battery packs for electric and hybrid models, plus the technology and drivetrains that MLA has been designed to accommodate. It is understood the next Range Rover, codenamed L460, will closely match the size of the current car, which is 4999mm long, 1983mm wide and 1920mm tall, with a wheelbase of 2922mm. That is slightly smaller than the Bentayga except in terms of height, where the Bentley SUV sits lower.

Tough challenges lie ahead for the Range Rover

The exterior design will be evolutionary, given the Range Rover’s iconic look and the company’s keenness to capitalise on this. The current generation is softer and less angular than the third- generation model, and this pattern is set to continue.

Luxury rivals such as Rolls-Royce and Lagonda, Aston Martin’s revived marque, are readying electric models for launch, perceiving a perfect synergy between peaceful electric powertrains and luxury motoring.

However, even though MLA can accommodate a fully electric drivetrain, as well as petrol, diesel and plug-in hybrid variants, it is understood that the next Range Rover will not initially be offered with one.

Instead, Land Rover wants the first electric Range Rover to be a stand-alone model. This will be a tall estate with more car-like qualities than other models in the line-up, and more limited off-road prowes.

Electric variants of other Range Rovers will ubsequently be offered as part of normal model line-ups, including a version of the full-size Range Rover set for launch before 2022 and aimed chiefly at Asian megacities.

While Land Rover readies an electric Range Rover, the new model will continue with plug-in hybrid technology recently introduced in an update to the existing Range Rover.

Range Rover P400e 2018 review

The MLA’s plug-in hybrid set-up is understood to include an electrified back axle alongside a four-cylinder Ingenium petrol engine, with the electric-only range increased above the 31 miles of the current P400e.

There will also be changes to the pure-combustion-engined line-up. Currently, there are 3.0-litre V6 and 4.4-litre V8 diesels and supercharged 5.0-litre V8 and 3.0-litre V8 petrols – all sourced externally and all set to be axed. Jaguar Land Rover confirmed in 2016 that its Ford-sourced V6 engines will be replaced by straight-six Ingenium petrol and diesel units, built at its engine plant in Wolverhampton. By the time the Range Rover arrives, these will be in play, mixed with 48V mild hybrid technology in some versions to improve performance and economy.

Real-world testing of the straight-six diesels has shown NOx emissions to be no higher than 80mg/km – well under the limits of new regulations. Even with all its new electrified technology, the next Range Rover will keep its peerless off-road ability – Land Rover continues to see this as a key differentiator between it and newer rival offerings.

Some rotary dials remain and this will continue with the next-generation Range Rover, because Land Rover is determined to keep some of the tactility found in manual actions rather than having every single function running through a touchscreen, including for its latest Terrain Response off-road system.

The new flagship will also get an advanced version of the so-called Smart settings, revealed on the Jaguar E-Pace last month. The artificial intelligence system pre-empts occupants’ habits – for example, seat and mirror positions and display preferences – as well adjusting air-con according to the weather.

Land Rover’s connected car technology will in due course offer features such as being able to unlock your front door, switch on the kitchen lights and even turn on your TV while you’re on your way home.

Not only will the next Range Rover set an important precedent for new generations of Land Rovers, remaining the flagship model for the brand, it will also be a vital car to lead affluent customers into Jaguar Land Rover’s growing Special Vehicle Operations division.

Earlier this year, the limited- edition £250,000 two-door Range Rover SV Coupé, created by SVO, was revealed. Land Rover believes there is the potential to push the price even higher in the future.

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New Tesla Model 3 to Make UK Debut at Goodwood https://incedis.com/new-tesla-model-3-to-make-uk-debut-at-goodwood/ Tue, 03 Jul 2018 11:27:24 +0000 https://vps49host1.com/?p=382 The new Tesla Model 3 will make its UK debut at the 2018 Goodwood Festival of Speed later this month, organisers have confirmed.

With the car featuring in a static display alongside the Model S, Model X and Tesla’s home charging Powerwall, reservation holders and the general public will have the chance to inspect a US-spec Model 3 up close ahead of its scheduled arrival in Europe in 2019. There’ll be no opportunity to drive it in Goodwood’s Moving Motor Show, however.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk recently took to Twitter to confirm the prices and specifications for a pair of new dual-motor variants of the Model 3. As well as the BMW M3-baiting performance version, Musk revealed details of the standard all-wheel drive option.

With a motor powering each axle – one optimised for range, the other for power – it is claimed to cover 0-60mph in 4.5 seconds, 0.6 seconds below the time of the fastest rear-driven Model 3. Top speed is 140mph.

Battery capacity remains the same at approximately 75kWh, as does the projected 310-mile range. Tesla’s semi-autonomous Autopilot tech will be offered as a cost option.

Musk stated that the dual motor Model 3 will cost $5,000 more than the the rear-wheel drive Model 3 – so expect a price of around $49,000 in its home market. That translates to roughly £37,000, but expect UK prices to be closer to £50,000.

Tesla Model 3 Production Delays

These details were made public following some long-awaited positive news on the production front. Reports suggested that Tesla had slashed its delivery predictions for the Model 3, revising the wait for US rear-wheel drive Model 3s to between four and six months. Production numbers for the Model 3 were thought to be in the region of 500 units per day, with a target of 5,000 per week slated for the end of June. Indeed, by 1 July Musk revealed that Tesla had built 7,000 units in seven days, though it’s not yet clear if the company can hit this figure consistently.

Tesla claims it will eventually increase this figure to a run rate of 10,000 Model 3s a week as production ramps up further.

Due to increased production of the Model S and Model X, Tesla posted net losses of $619 million (£468m) in the three months leading up to 30 September, nearly doubling its Q2 losses. During Q3 last year, they made profits of $21.9 million (£16.6m).

Tesla Model 3: Launch Specifications and Information

In 2006 Tesla CEO Elon Musk published a ’top secret masterplan’ on Tesla’s website. It was low on detail but the groundbreaking electric car company has stuck to it. Tesla, it said, was going to ‘create a low volume sports car, use that money to develop a medium volume car at a lower price and use that money to create an affordable, high volume car’. 

The Tesla Model 3 is that ‘affordable, high volume car’. It joins the current Tesla range alongside the Model S executive saloon and the Model X SUV and it’s been launched to an audience of Tesla employees and customers at a special event held outside the Tesla factory at Fremont, California. The first 30 customers collected their Tesla Model 3s at the event with Elon Musk revealing that 50 cars had been built so far.

Two core versions of the Tesla Model 3 are being offered from launch, the standard and Long Range models. The standard car comes in at a price of $35,000, that translates as £26,650. The standard Model 3 has a 220-mile range, a 5.6s 0-60mph time and a 130mph top speed but for $44,000 (£33,500) you can have the Long Range model. That car ups the ante with an official range of 310 miles, a 5.1s 0-60mph time and a 140mph top speed. 

Official UK prices have yet to be announced and it’s expected that the Model 3 entry price will be closer to £35,000 when it arrives in the UK, with that figure then lowered by the £4,500 plug-in car grant. These ballpark figures put the Tesla Model 3 in direct competition with the household names in the European compact executive car market with a BMW 320d opening around the £31,000 mark and the likes of the Audi’s A4, Jaguar’s XE and the Mercedes C-Class coming in at a similar level. The Model 3 looks even more competitive next to other pure electric cars and plug-in hybrids. 

Interior and Exterior Design Details

In terms of exterior design, little has changed compared to the pre-production Tesla Model 3 revealed in March 2016. The Model 3 adopts a more conventional hatchback body, but retains the sleek sloping roofline Teslas has become known for. A larger glasshouse than that seen on the bigger Model S creates a higher roofline, while the sunken bonnet gives it a very distinct profile.

Appearance-wise, it’s no surprise that the Tesla Model 3 looks like a downsized Model S. With electrical gear taking up so little space, downsizing the Model 3 was mostly a matter of shrinking the ends of the car and shifting the front seats forward to provide more rear-seat room.

Like other Teslas, the Model 3 offers two boots, front and rear. The Model 3 has no grille, save for a small scoop at the bottom edge of the bumper. While this is no doubt good for aerodynamics, it gives the car a rather unfinished look when seen from the front, although the facelifted Model S and Model X both now have a similar look.

Tesla Model 3 Ludicrous Mode and Supercharger Access

Musk has confirmed in a tweet that the Model 3 will be getting Tesla’s ‘Ludicrous Mode’ – a software tweak which unlocks even more potential from the car’s electric drivetrain. When employed on the most powerful Model S, the P100D, it can accelerate from 0-60mph in just 2.3 seconds – although we don’t expect the Model 3 to be quite that fast as it won’t recieve the 100kWh battery pack, again confirmed by Musk. 

Tesla’s smallest car won’t come with free Tesla Supercharger access either – the company is ending the practice of allowing new customers to top up for nothing at the stations. Model S and X owners will get Supercharger credits, but any freebies for Model 3 owners look unlikely.

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2018 Goodwood Festival of Speed Preview https://incedis.com/2018-goodwood-festival-of-speed-preview/ Mon, 02 Jul 2018 14:58:47 +0000 https://vps49host1.com/?p=234 The Goodwood Festival of Speed is just around the corner, with a growing list of star attractions for the UK’s biggest motor show. This year’s central feature will celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Porsche 356, as the Stuttgart carmaker enters its eighth decade. The theme of the show, however, will be the Festival of Speed’s 25th Anniversary, with the festival having started back in 1993.

Elsewhere, the Bonhams auction will be finding new homes for ultra-expensive cars and automotive memorabilia, the paddocks will be full of static display cars, the hillclimb will be bristling with supercar talent, and the forest, will as usual host the rallying portion of the festival.

Porsche Central Feature

The central feature at the 2018 Goodwood Festival of Speed will celebrate Porsche, marking 70 years since the launch of its first sports car, the 356.

The sculpture, which will be again be designed by Gerry Judah, will be erected in front of Goodwood House for the event, which runs from July 12-15. After last year’s sculpture celebrated F1 tsar Bernie Ecclestone, this year’s example will again be dedicated to a car firm.

The 356 will be the focal point of the display. The model first entered production in 1948 and was the original rear-engined, rear-wheel drive sports car of Porsche, starting a lineage that survives to this day with the 911.

It will be the third time Porsche has been the subject of the sculpture at the annual motoring festival, a record for one car firm. Porsche was first celebrated with a sculpture to mark its 50th anniversary in 1998, while in 2013 the 50th year of the 911 was highlighted.

2018 Goodwood Festival of Speed: the cars

Last year’s Festival of Speed was a treasure trove of cars making their first dynamic, public appearances. This year looks to be no different, with a growing list of cars due to make their driving debuts.

Alpine A110 GT4, Legende, Pure

Three new versions of the Alpine A110 will take to the hillclimb at Goodwood this year – the entry-level, stripped-out Pure version, more luxurious, GT-friendly Légende and the race-going GT4. Last year’s hillclimb hosted the debut of any Alpine variant, with Première edition being the first car to break cover.

Ferrari 812 Superfast

If you name a car 812 Superfast, you’d best bring it to to the Festival of Speed to prove it. So that’s exactly what Ferrari is doing, with the 789bhp, 2.9-sec-to-62mph, 211mph F12 Berlinetta replacement. See it in action at this year’s Goodwood Festival.

Ford Eagle Squadron GT Mustang

The first – and most powerful – of three Mustangs heading for Goodwood this year, the 700bhp Eagle Squadron Mustang GT pays tribute to American pilots who voluntarily served in the RAF during World War II before the US had officially joined the conflict.

Ford Mustang Bullitt, Bullitt Ford Mustang

No, that’s not a typo – the Ford Mustang Bullitt will take to the hillclimb, while its inspiration, the original Mustang from the movie, Bullitt, will also be on display. It’s the first time either car will have been displayed in the UK.

Mercedes-AMG GT 63 S 4-door Coupe

Merc-AMG’s next stand-alone (ish) model will be on display at Goodwood, and will make its driving debut up the hillclimb. The brand’s racing driver, Adam Christodoulou, will be behind the wheel.

Polestar 1

If you’ve been dying to see the Polestar 1 in action since before it was the Polestar 1 (it started life as the Volvo Concept Coupé five years ago, remember?) you’re in luck – the performance hybrid is making its driving debut at Goodwood this year.

About the Festival of Speed

The first Judah-designed sculpture, dedicated to Ferrari, featured at the Festival in 1997. Aside from Porsche, the other car firms to have been the subject of the sculpture more than once are Audi (1999 and 2009),  Jaguar (2000 and 2011), Mercedes-Benz (2001 and 2014) and Renault (2002 and 2006).

This year will also be the 25th running of the Goodwood Festival of Speed. To mark the occasion, Lord March, who last year became the 11th Duke of Richmond, will celebrate his best 25 moments from the event’s history, including his favourite cars and drivers.

Flat out in a Lamborghini Centenario on the Goodwood hillclimb

Last year’s shootout was won by the Audi R8 V10 Plus, which completed the 1.16-mile course in 51secs. It beat the Nissan GT-R Nismo, which recorded a 52.68sec run.

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Formula 1: Driving Kimi Raikkonen’s Race-Winning Lotus E20 https://incedis.com/formula-1-driving-kimi-raikkonens-race-winning-lotus-e20/ Mon, 02 Jul 2018 14:35:25 +0000 https://vps49host1.com/?p=227 Ever wondered what’s it like to drive a Formula 1 car that’s quick enough to have won a grand prix?

“Leave me alone. I know what I’m doing.” So said Kimi Raikkonen in 2012, driving this very car to victory at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Kimi may well have known what he was doing, but that’s certainly not the case with the car’s latest incumbent: me.

The Lotus E20, now re-liveried in 2017 Renault colours, was also driven by Robert Kubica several times last year during his comeback attempt in its new life as a demo car run by French racing academy Winfield, which is based at Circuit Paul Ricard, where we’ve come to drive it.

Before that can happen, though, there are five safety briefings and three practice sessions in a Formula Renault 2.0 car. With roughly 750bhp, the E20 has nearly four times the power of the 2.0 car while weighing in at a mere 640kg. Beyond learning the way around the track, there’s little from the Formula Renault car that can prepare me for what lies ahead as I feel the harness straps being tightened in the Formula 1 car.

My first impression is just how snug the F1 car feels from behind the wheel. I’m lying in the pre-moulded seat, knees bent, looking over the foam-lined long nose in which my legs are resting. The pedals feel both chunky and dependable. Following the slightly disturbing drill of the external starter motor, the extremely delicate 2.4-litre Renault V8 is roared into life. The modern 1.6-litre turbo F1 car doesn’t sound this good, although inside I hear only a faint, constant thumping noise through the silencing radio earplugs.

As the tyre blankets are pulled off and the jacks go down, the chief engineer instructs me by team radio how to get the car rolling: hold the dinky clutch paddle behind the wheel, release it extremely gradually to get the wheels rolling and keep it there while gaining some momentum – then add some throttle and shift into second using the right paddle. As I’m leaving the pits, my heartbeat seems to reach its climax already: I’m driving a bloody F1 car. I take it very easy through the first couple of corners, which include an S-shaped double chicane leading onto the back straight.

After that, time to punch it. I respect the strict directive to “never shift up below 10,000 revs” by whipping it up all the way to 17,000rpm through each of the six available gears. The last 1000rpm and seventh gear are reserved for use by professional race drivers only, as are the button- activated kinetic energy recovery and drag reduction systems. Still, I make sure to shift up only when the coloured light bar on my wheel is completely lit–accompanied by a subtle yet clearly audible electronic beep over the intercom.

The acceleration is incomparable to anything I’ve experienced before. Not so much at low speeds, where it seems to lag a tiny bit – possibly due to the traction control, for guest drivers. But the way this machine keeps raising its speed past 80mph is staggering, most notably through medium-speed corners. It doesn’t feel daunting to get around corners at all, in part thanks to the power steering. In fact, it’s quite comfortable. The ride is far more sophisticated than the rumbling and shaking Formula Renault 2.0 car, for instance. The only ‘distraction’ is the invisible force that keeps attempting to rip my helmeted head off my body as I reach speeds of up to 170mph on the straights.

Braking is more of a challenge

I manage to resist activating the carbon brakes at the 150m countdown sign for the corner entry, but bail out at 100m. True pros can go as late as 80m. That said, they do so by exerting loads of over 200kg on the brake pedal, whereas I can hardly manage half of that.

There’s the downforce in play, too, even for an amateur driver like me, during the blisteringly quick right- hander called Signes. Again, unlike professional F1 drivers, I daren’t enter it flat out, but I certainly sense the ‘magical force’ pushing the car down as I urge it forward through the approaching bend.

As I’m required to enter the pits after just three laps, I realise how fast the whole experience has flashed by.

At the same time, I struggle to imagine how contemporary grand prix drivers at those speeds manage the myriad of settings such as engine mapping, brake balance and differential settings – not to mention the added complexity of current- spec hybrid powertrains – while maintaining their focus on racing for nearly two hours.

Kimi, you really do know what you’re doing.

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Volkswagen Beetle to be Reborn as a Pure Electric Four-Door https://incedis.com/volkswagen-beetle-to-be-reborn-as-a-pure-electric-four-door/ Mon, 02 Jul 2018 13:38:56 +0000 https://vps49host1.com/?p=211 A revolutionary new Volkswagen Beetle is under consideration and, if given the green light by VW chiefs, it will adopt a battery-powered electric powertrain.

It will also move away from its trademark two-door bodystyle to a four-door arrangement and could even use the rear-wheel-drive characteristics of the original ‘Type 1’ Beetle of 1945 (below picture). The model would be based on VW’s flexible electric vehicle architecture, MEB, which will underpin the car maker’s range of electric models under its new ID badge. The first of these to arrive will be the ID hatchback next year.

VW has already confirmed that the current Beetle, which has been on sale since 2011 and is the second generation since the iconic car was revived as a front-wheel-drive car in 1997, will not be directly replaced once production ends next year. VW UK has already stopped taking orders.

However, VW boss Herbert Diess is keen to introduce a greater number of “emotional” cars to VW’s range alongside its more standard models. As the firm’s most storied nameplate, the Beetle is considered a strong contender for this role.

The first “emotional” model will be the ID Buzz microbus (below). Inspired by the classic camper van, it is scheduled to arrive in 2022, before which VW will launch its more mainstream electric vehicles. In additionto the ID hatchback, there will be production versions of the ID Crozz SUV and ID Vizzion saloon, both previously seen as concepts, and a larger electric SUV is also due.

VW design boss Klaus Bischoff said the company must focus on producing the bigger-selling electric cars before making a decision on a Beetle EV and other models: “Our duty is to get the volume [ID] models under way. These cars have super-complicated technology and if you do too much, it’s an overload. Then we [can] move into more exotic cars and the field of emotion.”

On the possibility of a zero- emissions Beetle, Bischoff said the packaging advantages of the MEB platform could enable VW to broaden the appeal of the model by offering more space and comfort while retaining the iconic shape: “The Beetle of today is a very attractive two-door coupé or convertible, but it is limited in the amount of cars that it can sell because it’s a niche.

“If you look at MEB, the shortest wheelbase [possible] is the ID [hatchback]. If you took that and did the Beetle on it, you have plenty of room so there’s no compromise in functionality any more. So it could be a very attractive car.”

Bischoff confirmed that he has already made a sketch of how a four-door Beetle on the MEB platform might look, but added it would be two or three years before a decision to approve such a car for production would be taken.

Beetle EV would be derived from the ID hatchback’s underpinnings, Bischoff did not think there would be a danger of the two models competing for the same customers: “It has always been the culture at VW that there’s enough room for two or even three [in the same segment].”

Diess has dropped hints about an electric Beetle in the past: “If we wanted to do a Beetle EV, it would be much better than today’s model, much closer to history, because it could be rear-wheel drive.”

Referring to the MEB tool kit providing a perfect basis for ‘emotional’ concepts, Diess said: “We have a good chance on the electric side. You can do derivatives efficiently. We have a very flexible platform. We can do nice things: rear-wheel drive, front-wheel drive or all- wheel drive.”

Diess, who was appointed boss of the entire VW Group earlier this year, described the group’s strategy as “the most far-reaching electrification initiative in the car industry”.

Steve Cropley: Beetle BEV – would it work?

An electric Beetle looks promising and plausible on several grounds.

First, given the global successes the new-gen Mini and latter-day Fiat 500 have become, you can understand why VW should want to do the same with its best-remembered model.

The fact that the first and second attempts at a ‘new’ Beetle failed must give VW pause, but I reckon Klaus Bischoff is quite right that using rear-wheel drive for this third proposal would give it a better chance. And the residual greenness of electric underbits make a better link with the past than the most recent ‘new’ Beetle, which tried too hard to be a cheap Porsche.

To me, it’ll be about styling success. If Bischoff and his team of designers can be as effective at recalling the original Beetle as they have been with the ID Buzz recalling the old Kombi van, I could see an electric edition becoming a real hit.

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Aston Martin Valkyrie could Challenge for Outright Nurburgring Record https://incedis.com/aston-martin-valkyrie-could-challenge-for-outright-nurburgring-record/ Mon, 02 Jul 2018 13:29:03 +0000 https://vps49host1.com/?p=203 Aston Martin’s Adrian Newey-inspired hypercar, the Valkyrie, is so extreme that it could challenge for the outright Nurbugring record, which was broken last week by Porsche Motorsport’s 919 Hybrid Evo racing car.

Speaking at the weekend’s Austrian Grand Prix, Red Bull Racing team principle Christian Horner told Racefans that the Valkyrie, not his team’s Formula 1 car, stood the best chance of beating the enhanced World Endurance Championship racer.

“I’m not sure a Formula 1 car could actually do it, but I think that the Valkyrie — certainly the track version of the Valkyrie — could be a contender,” he said.

The 919 Hybrid Evo, which has evolved beyond the regulations that restricted it when it competed and won the WEC, clocked a 5min 19.545sec lap around the Green Hell, beating the long-standing 6min 11.3sec record set in 1983 by Stefan Bellof in a Porsche 956 endurance racer.

But the Valkyrie, which will cost from £2.5 million, will use materials and parts that are more advanced than even the cars of motorsport’s top single-seater rung, thanks to the lack of regulations and development restrictions affecting it.

No expense has been spared as Aston’s designers and engineers, co-developing with Red Bull Racing, seek to make the Valkyrie faster around a lap than exotic alternatives such as the Mercedes-AMG Project One, which, like the Valkyrie, also benefits from F1 powertrain tech.

Although the 1000bhp-plus two-seater’s proportions have been known for many months, Newey, revered as the world’s greatest creator of F1 cars, has found further ways of increasing its aerodynamic downforce as his colleagues finessed details such as headlights, stoplights, scoops and badges.

“It’s been a learning curve for both us and Red Bull Racing,” said Libby Meigh, the Aston colour and materials manager for the Valkyrie project and was in attendence at the recent Autocar Awards. “For us, we’ve learned so much about performance, while Red Bull has had to learn about road laws and safety features.”

Aston and Red Bull Racing expect to start making the planned run of 150 cars later this year, with a schedule to deliver the first Valkyries to customers during 2019. Jockeying for ownership has begun already; following advertisements purporting to offer Valkyrie build slots for sale, Palmer made clear that Aston would do whatever it could to resist premium market trading.

Despite their aerodynamic obsession, the Valkyrie’s creators are at pains to point out that this car is comfortable and surprisingly spacious, accommodating “a wide range of shapes and sizes”. Occupants must step over the lower aero structure to gain access through a pair of gullwing doors reminiscent of access to a Le Mans racer, but with larger openings.

Valkyrie owners will be able to have tailored seats made, if they desire, moulded directly to the car’s carbonfibre tub. Aston is pleased with early reactions to the race-style feet-up driving position, which creates a sense of occasion and allows occupants to be reclined further than normal to create head room. A four-point harness is standard.

The Valkyrie’s interior treatment reflects the keenness of Aston’s designers to reduce driver distractions. The traditional exterior mirrors are replaced by rear-facing left and right-hand cameras, whose reduced size also helps cut drag. The lack of a rear window means there’s no need for a central mirror. All important switchgear is on the steering wheel, which is almost rectangular in shape and has a screen on its central boss showing all vital information. There’s a supplementary central screen for minor functions, but ‘minimalist ergonomics’ is one of the design team’s main objectives.

The Valkyrie’s mechanical package has been decided and is proceeding to plan. The mid-engined car uses a normally aspirated 6.5-litre Cosworth V12, tipped to produce more than 900bhp, while the hybrid powertrain (conventional power is augmented by a kinetic energy recovery system) is understood to have delivered 1130bhp during testing. That means Newey’s oft-stated power-to-weight target of one horsepower per kilogram should be comfortably reached, given that the weight is just over 1000kg ready to drive.

Aston Martin’s Andy Palmer: it’s a landmark car

Signing off the Valkyrie for production represented “a huge milestone”, according to Palmer, who described managing the expectations of Newey, Reichman and production boss David King last year as the “toughest but best challenge to have”.

Palmer said: “The challenge has been working with three very strong-willed people with three very different agendas. Fighting one corner is Adrian, who wants a no-compromise performance car that sets new technical standards. Then there’s Marek, who is responsible for ensuring every Aston is as beautiful as it can be — something he’s not used to compromising on. And then there’s David, who has to make it, to a schedule, to a budget and so on. He has immovable deadlines that the other two constantly try to push.

“At times, it has been interesting. They have all pushed each other so hard. But it’s challenges like these that get you out of bed in the morning.”

Despite the base car costing around £2.5m, with 150 road and 25 track versions being built, Palmer said the project is unlikely to make money. “We’ll be lucky if this project washes its face, but that’s not why we do it,” he said. “This is the 1977 Vantage V8 all over again — a landmark car that gives you the poster-on-the-wall effect. Kids will fall in love with it. Dads will talk about it. It’s a symbolic car.

“Aston Martin is achieving so much and this is the best symbol of all that. We are getting our confidence back — even some swagger, but never arrogance — and what better way to express that confidence than in the Valkyrie.”

Signing off the Valkyrie for production represented “a huge milestone”, according to Palmer, who described managing the expectations of Newey, Reichman and production boss David King last year as the “toughest but best challenge to have”.

Palmer said: “The challenge has been working with three very strong-willed people with three very different agendas. Fighting one corner is Adrian, who wants a no-compromise performance car that sets new technical standards. Then there’s Marek, who is responsible for ensuring every Aston is as beautiful as it can be — something he’s not used to compromising on. And then there’s David, who has to make it, to a schedule, to a budget and so on. He has immovable deadlines that the other two constantly try to push.

“At times, it has been interesting. They have all pushed each other so hard. But it’s challenges like these that get you out of bed in the morning.”

Despite the base car costing around £2.5m, with 150 road and 25 track versions being built, Palmer said the project is unlikely to make money. “We’ll be lucky if this project washes its face, but that’s not why we do it,” he said. “This is the 1977 Vantage V8 all over again — a landmark car that gives you the poster-on-the-wall effect. Kids will fall in love with it. Dads will talk about it. It’s a symbolic car.

“Aston Martin is achieving so much and this is the best symbol of all that. We are getting our confidence back — even some swagger, but never arrogance — and what better way to express that confidence than in the Valkyrie.”

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Analysis: is the UK Ready for an Electrified Vehicle Future? https://incedis.com/analysis-is-the-uk-ready-for-an-electrified-vehicle-future/ Mon, 02 Jul 2018 13:15:58 +0000 https://vps49host1.com/?p=196 By 2040, the government’s proposed ‘Road To Zero’ emissions plan will require each new car sold in the UK to have an electric driving range of at least 50 miles. Cars on sale will be a mix of pure-electric vehicles, and fossil fuel (or other fuel) hybrids, augmented by a plug- in battery and electric drive motor, as Britain’s motoring moves towards having no tailpipe emissions. The plan hasn’t met wholesale approval. The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders said it could not support plans that “do not appreciate how industry, the consumer or the market operate and which are based neither on fact nor substance”.

Can the industry cope?

The motor industry’s issue is that single-market legislation makes cars more complex and expensive. If, say, the rest of the EU has a similar idea but asks the electric range to be only 30 miles, or 62 miles (100km), or to happen at a slightly later date, and if US or Chinese rules differ again, it adds layers of complexity and bureaucracy to the task of engineering the world’s most complicated consumer product. Car makers will cope, but it might affect the number and type of cars on sale in the UK.

If the UK government made plans alongside other countries and, yes, while consulting industry associations to establish a clear regional standard, even if a global one is unrealistic, it would mean cars can be both more efficient and cheaper. But the UK is a big car market, so if car makers want to sell cars here – and they will – they’ll get there.

The road that charges your electric car

Britain has a growing and ageing population that is travelling more, not less, and using cars and trains to do it. Car journeys are by far the dominant way we travel. Currently, they stand at a record 253.7 billion vehicle miles per year, 12.3% more than 20 years ago.

As the population grows and ages, and if buses continue to become less available, particularly in rural areas, and autonomous technology helps keep the elderly driving longer, there are reasons to think that car journeys will only increase, not decrease. For the purposes of this analysis, though, we’ll assume they’ll stay the same.

What about charging?

If ‘Road To Zero’ is anything, it’s clear in its implication: the intention is that most of these vehicle miles will be travelled using electric power. There’ll be two ways of giving a car a 50-mile electric range: by on-board charging (using a drive engine, range- extending generator, or fuel cell); or by plugging in your vehicle to a power supply. No hybrid car today with an electric-only range of less than a few miles can be plugged in, but if you’re fitting a battery big enough to do 50 miles, you might as well put a socket on it.

So the short of it is that every single car sold after 2040 will have a socket – or external charging of some kind – with the hope that you’ll use it most of the time. If it’s an EV, you’ll have to use it all the time. Today, there are about 16,500 publicly available vehicle charge points, accounting for around only 20% of all vehicle charging, because 70% of electric vehicle charges happen at home and 10% on business premises.

Assuming there are around 130,000 chargers today, then, that’s an increase of 23,846% for Britain to become fully electrically viable.

A charger built today, though, would likely not have a service life of 30 years, nor will commercial companies start building redundant chargers: it’s estimated that 200,000 EVs and PHEVs will be on the road this year, but that’s only a fraction of the vehicle parc. So there’ll surely need to be an exponential build-up to an immense installation programme in the 2030’s, with hundreds of thousands of chargers being installed every week before the electric switchover, and new substations and high-current supplies to parking areas. Can it be done? There are private companies whose fortunes will be made on it.

Either way, that’s why establishing a big enough charge network is critical, because the alternative for half of the population is that they’d be faced with either waiting to charge, or making essential journeys on fossil fuel power. It’s a set-up that penalises the least wealthy drivers. Not only could car choice be reduced and costs increased, but those who can’t charge at home could also have to pay fuel duty plus a per-mile road charge if they can’t find public charging. While the goal of zero tailpipe emissions remains admirable, then, the path towards it is arguably the rockiest in vehicle history.

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How to Properly Check and Fill Tires https://incedis.com/how-to-properly-check-and-fill-tires/ Sat, 30 Jun 2018 17:15:54 +0000 https://vps49host1.com/?p=92 While it may seem like a mundane task, inflating tires is much more crucial to your car than you may think, and it results in a safer and more economical experience on the road. Proper tire inflation can significantly improve the fuel economy of your vehicle. Your vehicle’s handling also will be greatly improved as the larger a tire’s inflated footprint, the more responsive and comfier the ride balance will be.

Before Starting

To find your tires’ proper inflation level, look for a sticker on the driver-side doorjamb. It displays the vehicle weight restriction and tire information including the recommended tire pressure. The info is also found in the maintenance or car-care section of your vehicle’s owner’s manual.

Don’t refer to the sidewall markings on your tires, which in part specify the maximum tire pressure — not the recommended pressure for your car.

Unless your tire is visibly flat, don’t judge tire inflation just by looking at it; you have to use a tire pressure gauge to get the correct pounds per square inch (PSI) reading. There are three types of tire-pressure gauges: digital, internal slide and dial. Prices range from $5 for a basic gauge to more than $30 for one that is digital, has an air-release button — or even talks. All will do the job, but you may want to consider the conditions in which you’ll be using your gauge. “We’ve found that low-cost digital pressure gauges are very accurate and maintain the accuracy longer, but in extremely cold temperatures the gauge may not show up properly,” said John Rastetter, Tire Rack’s director of tire information services.

While it may seem like a mundane task, inflating tires is much more crucial to your car than you may think, and it results in a safer and more economical experience on the road. Proper tire inflation can significantly improve the fuel economy of your vehicle. Your vehicle’s handling also will be greatly improved as the larger a tire’s inflated footprint, the more responsive and comfier the ride balance will be.

Before Starting

To find your tires’ proper inflation level, look for a sticker on the driver-side doorjamb. It displays the vehicle weight restriction and tire information including the recommended tire pressure. The info is also found in the maintenance or car-care section of your vehicle’s owner’s manual.

Don’t refer to the sidewall markings on your tires, which in part specify the maximum tire pressure — not the recommended pressure for your car.

Unless your tire is visibly flat, don’t judge tire inflation just by looking at it; you have to use a tire pressure gauge to get the correct pounds per square inch (PSI) reading. There are three types of tire-pressure gauges: digital, internal slide and dial. Prices range from $5 for a basic gauge to more than $30 for one that is digital, has an air-release button — or even talks. All will do the job, but you may want to consider the conditions in which you’ll be using your gauge. “We’ve found that low-cost digital pressure gauges are very accurate and maintain the accuracy longer, but in extremely cold temperatures the gauge may not show up properly,” said John Rastetter, Tire Rack’s director of tire information services.

Tips for Checking and Filling Your Tires

Tire manufacturers suggest checking tires when they’re cold for the most accurate reading. Outside temperatures can cause tire pressure to vary by as much as 1 psi per 10 degrees; higher temperatures mean higher psi readings. “Tires are black; what does black do? Attract heat,” Rastetter said, noting the importance of finding a shady place to check and fill all four tires.

Temperature plays a huge part in tire psi, Rastetter said, adding that the most crucial time of year to check pressure is in fall and winter when days are shorter and average temperatures plummet.

Check your tires in the morning before going anywhere, because as soon as you get behind the wheel for an extended amount of time, psi will rise. Rastetter said that if you’ve been on the road a long time and notice higher psi in your tires, don’t let the air out, as the increase in pressure has built up due to the warm, constantly-in-motion tires.

What to Do

  • Pull your car onto a level surface in the shade.
  • Remove dust caps from the tires’ valve stems.
  • Using your tire gauge, firmly press the tip of the gauge straight on to the tire’s valve stem for a brief moment.
  • The tire gauge should provide a psi reading; if the number seems unrealistically low or high — for example, 85 psi or 1 psi – you will need to repeat the previous step, ensuring that the tire gauge’s tip is properly making contact with the valve stem.
  • If the tire gauge’s recorded reading is higher than the manufacturer-recommended rating, press the gauge tip on the valve stem until you hear air leak out. Check the tire pressure again.
  • If the reading is lower than recommended, you will need to fill the tire with air. If you don’t have an air compressor at home, you’ll have to take your car somewhere with one. A gas station is likely to have one, but not all do. Do not drive on a flat tire; it is unsafe and can damage the wheel itself.
  • To fill the tire, firmly press the air-hose tip onto the valve stem. You will hear air quietly enter the tire. If you hear air leaking or spraying out, you need to double-check that the connection between the air hose and the tire’s valve stem is secure.
  • When you think you’ve added or let out enough air, check the pressure a few times with the gauge.
  • Replace the valve dust caps.

Rastetter emphasized the importance of keeping dust caps on during winter driving because if water gets into the valve stem and freezes inside the tire, it could cause a flat.

While you’re at it, check your spare tire’s pressure. You don’t want to have a flat tire and then find out your replacement is flat, too.

Make these steps part of your routine. It will benefit your vehicle and your wallet. Check out the video below for more.

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Should I Worry about how Hot My Engine is Running? https://incedis.com/should-i-worry-about-how-hot-my-engine-is-running/ Sat, 30 Jun 2018 17:04:37 +0000 https://vps49host1.com/?p=83 Wondering whether or not you should be worried about your engine overheating? You should be very concerned, because an overheated engine can be far more than an inconvenience. In extreme cases, driving a car with an overheated engine even a short distance can destroy the cylinder head, engine block or internal parts.

Fortunately, most modern vehicles have a gauge that displays a constant temperature reading of the coolant circulating inside the engine, giving the driver an early warning about a problem in the cooling system.

For most cars, the normal operating engine temperature is in a range of 195 to 220 degrees Fahrenheit, though most dashboard temperature gauges don’t show an exact temperature. Instead, there are typically markings for cold and hot on the edges of the gauge and a normal range in the middle. In most cars, the temperature needle will be at or near the center when the engine is at normal operating temperature, which usually takes at least a minute or two to reach after starting a cold engine.

In some vehicles, the needle may never reach the middle of the gauge, so don’t be alarmed if it stops short of the midpoint. Instead, you should monitor where it is when the engine is fully warm so that you know what “normal” is for your engine. That way, if the needle starts creeping up higher, closer to the hot mark, you’ll have early notice that something is wrong in the cooling system.

Using the air conditioning at full blast, stop-and-go driving on a scorching day, and towing can raise the engine temperature above normal, so don’t panic if there’s a small change in the gauge reading.

You can pull off the road for a while or turn off the A/C and turn on the heater to try to cool things off. If possible, let the engine cool for an hour and check the coolant levels. If you have the supplies on-hand, consider topping off the radiator with a 50/50 mix of antifreeze and water or a premixed coolant.

If the temperature gauge consistently shows the engine is warmer than normal, have your cooling system checked ASAP. There are many possible reasons that your engine is running hot, including low coolant levels, a clogged or closed thermostat, a failed head gasket or a water pump malfunction.

Today, an increasing number of new vehicles don’t have temperature gauges. Instead, they have a warning light that (usually) glows blue when the engine is cold — one way of telling you that turning on the heater will generate cold or cool air. The blue light goes off once the engine reaches its normal temperature.

All vehicles also have a warning light that’s supposed to come on when the engine exceeds its normal temperature (it also illuminates for a couple of seconds when you start the engine). Without a gauge, though, it’s anybody’s guess as to how high above normal the temperature is or how long it’s been above normal. If a red or yellow temperature warning light comes on, assume the worst: get off the road, shut off the engine and call for help. It’s better to play it safe than risk having to buy a new engine. Or a new car.

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