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William Maley

New York Auto Show: 2016 Jaguar XF and the High Wire Act: Comments

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We have to admit Jaguar pulled off quite the stunt with the 2016 XF. Driving across London's Canary Wharf on two 784-foot long wires is no small feat, but it highlights some of the big changes made to second-generation model which Jaguar has divulged today.

First off is the XF's body. Jaguar says the body is now 75 percent aluminum which means a drop of 132 pounds on the rear-drive model and 265 pounds on the all-wheel drive model. Aside from the obvious improvements to performance and fuel economy, Jaguar also promises an increase torsional stiffness and weight-distribution.

When Jaguar released teaser shots of the XF last week, we couldn't make any headway on the exterior aside from saying that it looked similar to the current model. Well it seems that hunch was right on the money. Jaguar's design team left the basic shape the same and made minor changes with a wider grille, slimmer headlights, new taillights, and slightly smaller length (about 0.3 inches).

Inside is very much XE with both models sharing a similar dashboard layout and the availability of either of a 8 or 10.2 inch screen with the automaker's new InTouch infotainment system. No matter which screen you have, it will be paired with a 12.3 inch screen in the instrument cluster and an increase of interior space.

Jaguar is still keeping a fair bit of information under wraps but did reveal that it will have the choice of two supercharged 3.0L V6s with 340 and 380 horsepower. Rear-wheel drive will be standard, with all-wheel drive - a new torque on-demand design, with a chain-drive transfer case instead of gear-drive - as an option. An eight-speed automatic comes as standard.

Jaguar says the XF will go sale this fall.

We'll have more information and live shots when the XF makes it debut at the New York Auto Show next week.

Source: Jaguar

Press Release is on Page 2


All-New 2016 Jaguar XF Revealed in Dramatic 'High-Wire' Journey

  • Official global reveal of the all-new 2016 Jaguar XF marked by a three minute, 787ft 'high wire' journey across London's Canary Wharf
  • Second generation XF redesigned to deliver better proportions, more interior space and a coupe-like profile
  • New aluminum-intensive architecture contributes to a weight savings of 132lbs on RWD models and 265lbs on AWD models
  • With the redesign of the XF, the entire Jaguar line-up now features aluminum-intensive construction
  • Elegant, progressive design provides additional rear head room, knee room, and leg room
  • Launching with a 340hp supercharged V6, as well as a 380hp supercharged V6
  • All-new Jaguar InControl® Touch Pro™ infotainment system available with 10.2-inch touchscreen and reconfigurable 12.3-inch TFT instrument cluster
  • All-new full LED headlights available
  • Front Double-wishbone and Rear Integral Link suspension deliver exceptional ride comfort, handling and refinement
  • Torque on-demand all-wheel drive system (AWD) with Intelligent Driveline Dynamics available
  • All-new XF to make a public display debut in NYC ahead of its auto show debut on March 31-April 1 at iconic Flatiron location
  • Full technical and range specifications will be released on April 1
  • On sale Fall 2015

(MAHWAH, NJ) - March 24, 2015 - The all-new 2016 Jaguar XF has been revealed through a dramatic 'high-wire' water crossing in the heart of the London business district.

Expert British stunt man Jim Dowdell, veteran of Hollywood movies including Bond, Bourne and Indiana Jones, drove the all-new Jaguar XF 787ft (240 meters) across a high-wire to highlight the lightweight aluminum-intensive architecture featured on the vehicle. The feat took place high over the Royal Dock in London's Canary Wharf.

"Over my 35 years in the industry I've driven Jaguar vehicles on many Hollywood movie sets. However, the biggest test for me on this stunt was the unpredictability of the elements. Potential oscillation in the high-wires from wind speeds meant it added a real challenge. The wires are only 34mm in diameter so the journey required absolute precision, balance and control" said, Jim Dowdell, expert stuntman.

Meteorological experts and structural engineers were on hand to determine precise drive conditions, based on comprehensive crosswind analysis. As a contingency, Jim Dowdell was rigged up with abseil equipment, a cherry picker crane was on hand and a RIB safety speedboat waited on the banks.

Footage of the drive can be viewed at jaguarusa.com/NewXF.

The all-new Jaguar XF brings a blend of refinement, dynamics and design to the segment. It will make a public display debut in the Flatiron District of New York City (23rd and Broadway) on March 31 at 11 AM EST and will be available for public viewing through April 1 until 7 PM EST. Full technical and range specifications of the 16MY XF will be released on April 1 when the newest Jaguar model makes its global motor show debut at the 2015 New York International Auto Show.

With its outstanding interior space, the dynamic, coupe-like design of the Jaguar XF is formed around the Jaguar aluminum-intensive architecture and delivers the outstanding proportions, elegant surfaces and pure lines which define Jaguar cars.

The cabin utilizes a seamless blend of contemporary luxury materials and finishes, traditional Jaguar craftsmanship and all-new technology with available features such as the new Jaguar InControl® Touch Pro™ premium infotainment system1 and a 12.3-inch TFT instrument cluster.

"In creating the all-new Jaguar XF, as a design team we have been driven by discipline, the discipline of simplicity. Every exterior line on the XF has a clear purpose - nothing is superfluous. Achieving that simplicity takes time and requires great determination; it's all too easy to add lines to a car, but much harder to add character by leaving lines out.

"Inside too, we have been driven by the desire to ensure the cabin of the Jaguar XF is as comforting as it is comfortable. New technology, including our new 10.2-inch touchscreen, is combined carefully with materials that cosset and reassure. The all-new Jaguar XF has a clear sense of calm and strength, both outside and inside - and I'm proud of my team for delivering that," said Ian Callum, Director of Design, Jaguar

The sleek exterior and luxurious interior of the original XF made it a desirable, aspirational vehicle. The all-new XF retains these core attributes but uses the new Jaguar advanced aluminum-intensive architecture to elevate them to a completely new level. Featuring 75 percent aluminum, the architecture enables weight savings of 132lbs on RWD models and 265lbs on AWD models and an increase in torsional stiffness.

The architecture also delivers dramatic improvements in packaging and proportions, essential to Jaguar design. Though 0.3in (7mm) shorter and 0.1in (3mm) lower than the car it replaces, the 116.5in (2,960mm) wheelbase of the all-new Jaguar XF is 2in (51mm) longer, delivering more rear leg room, knee room and head room.

Two 3.0-liter supercharged V6 engines will be offered in the first model year featuring 340hp/332lb. ft. and 380hp/332lb. ft. ratings. Both engines are matched exclusively to eight-speed automatic transmissions.

The light, stiff body structure is also fundamental to the superb vehicle dynamics of the all-new XF. The sophisticated front double wishbone and rear Integral Link suspension, combined with near-50:50 weight distribution, delivers the ideal balance between agility, comfort and refinement.

Incorporating all of the learning from the Jaguar F-TYPE and the Jaguar XE, the meticulously-tuned Electric Power Assisted Steering (EPAS) system2 provides the XF with excellent steering feel and response.

Advanced passive damper technology delivers exceptional ride comfort as standard, but for additional control the optional Adaptive Dynamics system2 determines the optimum damper settings for the driving conditions.

When fitted, Jaguar Configurable Dynamics, first developed for the Jaguar F-TYPE, provides the ultimate in control and enables the driver to individually tailor settings of the suspension, steering, engine and eight-speed automatic transmission 2.

For select markets, such as the US, which demand all-wheel drive (AWD), Jaguar has engineered a new torque on-demand system. The transfer case uses a chain drive instead of gears and is light, quiet and efficient.

Capability is also enhanced by the advanced control system first used in the Jaguar F-TYPE AWD: Intelligent Driveline Dynamics (IDD). This system delivers rear-drive handling with the performance and traction benefits of AWD 2.

Also standard on the all-new XF is All-Surface Progress Control system, developed for low-speed driving in adverse conditions. This system is designed to automatically manage the brakes and the throttle to deliver additional traction, enabling the car to pull away smoothly in low-grip situations; the driver only has to steer 2.

Infotainment and connectivity is the most advanced Jaguar has ever offered from the all-new Jaguar InControl® Touch™ system1 featuring an 8-inch touchscreen or the optional InControl Touch Pro™ with a 10.2-inch touchscreen to InControl Apps™ and InControl Remote™.

To handle large amounts of data, the optional Jaguar InControl Touch Pro features a 10.2-inch touchscreen, a solid-state drive, a quad-core processor, and runs on an ultra-fast Ethernet connection - a next-generation network offering exceptional data transfer rates. Combined, they deliver incredible graphics, fast response times and truly exceptional performance.

Complementing InControl Touch Pro is an available reconfigurable 12.3-inch TFT instrument cluster. Jaguar Land Rover pioneered this technology with the Range Rover and is now bringing it to the sedan segment.

The all-new Jaguar XF offers a wide range of available advanced driver assistance systems, including full-LED headlights and Laser Heads-Up Display 2.

The all-new aluminum-intensive 2016 Jaguar XF will be manufactured at the Jaguar Land Rover Castle Bromwich Plant alongside the all-aluminum Jaguar F-TYPE and Jaguar XJ.


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Interesting marketing gimmick. Guess those are rear cables to an overhead safety cable?

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Dang that looks awesome! I bet many other car companies wouldn't have the courage to try that trick. It doesn't seem to give off information on the car or anything like that, but it is cool that they went to high lengths like that.

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      In addition, the driver can activate a wide range of functions using natural language recognition. Information on destinations and media is either available on board or can be delivered from the cloud at LTE speed. The system understands spoken commands; the dialog manager asks questions if necessary, allows corrections, offers choices, and also defers to the speaker when interrupted.
      Alexa has been fully integrated into the MMI system and is on board for customers to access the many of the same features and services in the Audi e-tron as they can in their home or through other Alexa-enabled devices. You can check news, weather and sports scores, order groceries and add things to your to-do list, stream music and audiobooks via Audible, Amazon Music and TuneIn. And you access the wide variety of Alexa skills. And with smart home controls, you can lock the doors, turn off the lights, and close the garage door directly from the vehicle – all you have to do is ask.
      The digital display and operating concept in the Audi e-tron is rounded off by the standard feature of the Audi virtual cockpit, which can be operated from the multifunction steering wheel. Its display benefits from the very high resolution of 1,920 x 720 pixels and new e-tron-specific graphics. The driver can choose between three views: In the classic view, the power meter and speedometer are presented as large dials; in the infotainment view, they appear smaller and the focus is on the navigation map. Additionally, with the standard Audi virtual cockpit plus an additional view is shown that puts the power meter center stage. The head-up display complements the displays as an option. It projects important information straight onto the windscreen.
      Top-caliber connectivity: navigation, Audi connect
      The Audi e-tron is equipped with MMI Navigation plus as standard. The top-end media center supports the high-speed data transmission through LTE Advanced with integrated Wi-Fi hotspot for passengers’ mobile devices through a 6-month unlimited Audi connect PLUS trial subscription. The navigation system can make predictive destination suggestions based on previous journeys. The route is calculated both on-board in the car and online on the servers of the map and navigation provider HERE, using real-time data for the overall traffic conditions.
      The online services of Audi connect PRIME ideally complement the navigation system, especially the e-tron route planner. The customer can use it either in the in-car MMI touch system or in the myAudi app. In both cases they are shown the suggested route with the available charging points. The navigation system considers not only the battery’s charge but also the traffic conditions and includes the required charging time in its arrival time calculation. The e-tron route planner provides charge locations as part of the route planning.
      Arrive more relaxed with comprehensive driver assistance systems
      Whether parking, in the city or on long journeys, the Audi e-tron can make life easier for its driver in life’s many situations. The system at the heart of the optional Driver Assistance Package is adaptive cruise assist, which comfortably provides longitudinal and lateral control in traffic jams or at highway speeds. It supports the driver with accelerating, braking, maintaining speed, keeping distance. The system can detect lane markings, roadside structures, vehicles in adjacent lanes and vehicles driving ahead. In construction zones, the Audi e-tron automatically adapts its speed to the traffic situation, taking into account the speed limit. If the lane is too narrow to allow side-by-side driving, adaptive cruise assist enables offset driving through narrow stretches. In conjunction with efficiency assist it predictively slows down and accelerates the Audi e-tron based on its evaluation of sensor and navigation data as well as road signs. It automatically adjusts to the current speed limit, reduces the speed before corners, during turning and on roundabouts. The system can maintain a driving style that reflects the driving program selected – from every day to sporty.
      Driver assistance features for urban areas include intersection assist, rear cross traffic assist as well as lane change and vehicle exit warning. The 360 degree cameras provide multiple views to facilitate centimeter-precision maneuvering, while showing crossing traffic. The 3D view with freely selectable perspective is the highlight. Park steering assist eases the parking process. It steers the Audi e-tron independently into parallel parking and perpendicular parking spaces – forward or backward. The driver only has to accelerate, select the gear and brake.
      Operating as standard behind the driver assistance systems in the Audi e-tron is the central driver assistance controller. It continuously computes a differentiated picture of the surroundings. The required data is obtained – depending on the selected options – from up to five radar sensors, six cameras, twelve ultrasound sensors and the laser scanner.
      e-tron Reservation System
      Accompanying the debut of the e-tron, customers are now able to configure their e-tron and reserve their vehicle with a fully refundable $1,000 reservation fee ahead of delivery in mid-2019.
      This new Audi reservation system is part of how Audi of America will create a digital ecosystem for Audi owners to confidently go electric. After customers place a reservation, they will be able to track it online and with their local dealer.
      As an electric SUV that includes integrated digital tools, in-home charging solutions, and the support of Audi of America’s 303 dealer partners —e-tron owners can confidently choose electric performance knowing they have the support of a full Audi ecosystem.
      Pricing & Equipment:
      The Audi e-tron is being will arrive in the US during the 2nd quarter of 2019. The entry Premium Plus trim is very well equipped to appeal to premium buyers and make going electric easier than ever. Available premium equipment such as available massage and cooled seats no longer need to be left out when going electric.  
      To celebrate our first electric vehicle, we are introducing a limited build First Edition model in the US, with only 999 units making their way to the US market. The special equipment combination includes Daytona Gray exterior, 21-inch bi-color Black wheels, Alu-Optic exterior trim complemented by Dynamic orange brake calipers matching the Dynamic orange highlights surrounding the e-tron nameplate lettering located near the charge port. The interior is further elevated from the standard e-tron offering through Black Valcona leather with gray contrast stitch and Volcano Gray Ash Natural Wood inlays.
      Model year 2019 e-tron manufacturer suggested retail prices are listed below:
      PREMIUM PLUS
      PRESTIGE
      FIRST EDITION
      $74,800
      $81,800
      $86,700
      20-inch wheels w/ all-season tires Top view camera system Comfort pre-conditioning Audi side assist w/ cross-traffic alert Full LED exterior + interior lighting Matrix design headlamps MMI Navigation plus w/ virtual cockpit 3D 705W B&O Sound w/16 speakers Audi phonebox + smartphone interface 12-way power front seats, heated + cooled 4-spoke power adj. steering wheel Leather seating surfaces Illuminated aluminum door sills Panoramic sunroof Premium Plus equipment and the following:
      Head-up display Driver Assistance package Individual Contour seats w/ massage Power-door closers Rear window sunshades Dual-pane acoustic front side windows Valcona Leather + extended leather Memory for front passenger seat Air quality package + ionizer  
      Prestige equipment and the following:
      21-inch bi-color Black wheels, A/S tires Daytona Gray pearl effect paint Alu-Optic exterior trim (sills, air inlet, diffuser) Dynamic orange painted brake calipers Black Valcona leather interior w/gray contrast stitching Volcano Gray Ash Natural Wood inlays LED puddle lamp “edition one” projection Night Vision Assistant  
      Prices listed are the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Prices and do not include destination and delivery ($995), taxes, title, options, and dealer charges. Dealer sets actual price.
      Production and U.S. Market launch
      The Audi e-tron will be manufactured in the brand new Audi Brussels facility, which was certified as CO2 neutral by the Belgian testing company Vincotte and will begin deliveries in the U.S. market in the 2nd quarter of 2019.

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    • By William Maley
      September has become electric-vehiclepalooza as various automakers have revealed either production or concept electric vehicles. Audi is the latest automaker to join this as last night, they unveiled the 2019 e-tron crossover.
      Unlike the Jaguar I-Pace or Mercedes-Benz EQ C, the e-tron looks very conventional. The basic shape, grille, and lighting fits in line with Audi's other crossovers. There are some little touches that reveal this isn't your normal crossover such as the closed-off grille and aerodynamically optimized 20-inch alloy wheels. One item that the U.S. version will miss out on are the cameras that take the place of the side-view mirrors. Audi is working with regulators to get approval for them.
      The interior is instantly recognizable as an Audi with a modern design for the dash and dual-screen layout for the infotainment. One interesting touch is the uniquely styled wrist-rest on the center console that has a toggle on the edge for switching gears.
      The e-tron's drive system is comprised of two electric motors, one powering each axle. Audi hasn't published official power figures for the e-tron, but said it will hit 60 mph in 5.5 seconds and onto a top speed of 124 mph. Audi will also be offering a towing package for the e-tron that will allow it to tow a max amount of 4,000 pounds. Depending on the load, the e-tron can be driven on just the rear motor. The front motor will kick on when more power is needed or the quattro system detects a loss of traction.
      A 95-kWh battery pack sits between the two electric motors. Audi hasn't revealed range for the U.S. e-tron, but did say the European-market version will travel up to 248 miles based on WTLP testing. All e-trons will come with a home charger that can support charging via 120-volt or 240-volt outlets. The model also supports DC fast charging via the SAE Combo plug and will be the first vehicle that can take advantage of 150 kW charging - currently the max amount is 90 kW on the SAE Combo plug. Audi is partnering with Electrify America (the company set up by Volkswagen as part of the diesel emission settlement) to provide 1,000 kWh of no-cost charging to e-tron buyers. Electrify America is planning to build out 500 charging stations throughout 40 states and 17 metro areas. 
      Pricing for the e-tron is as followed,
      Prestige: $75,795 Prestige Plus: $82,795 Edition One: $87,695 All prices include a $995 destination charge. Audi says the e-tron will be eligible for $7,500 Federal tax credit.
      Those interested in picking up an e-tron can head down to their Audi dealer to pre-order one a place $1,000 deposit. Deliveries are expected to begin next spring.
      Source: Audi


      Electric goes Audi: all-electric Audi e-tron SUV unveiled and available for US customers to place reservations
      First all-electric, fastest charging Audi e-tron SUV makes global debut and is available for customers to place reservations Audi e-tron is a spacious five-seater, electric mid-sized premium SUV that is very well equipped to meet premium buyer expectations Innovative battery design engineered for repeatable performance, longevity, and safety as well as highest levels of Audi infotainment and driver assistance systems Customers can enjoy the convenience of exclusive home charging installation through Amazon Home Services and complimentary 1000 kWh of charge powered by Electrify America. HERNDON, Va., September 17, 2018 – With the introduction of the Audi e-tron, the Audi brand presents its first fully electric production model. The mid-size SUV is electrified, performance oriented and fit for every aspect of daily life. In combination with a comprehensive range of available charging solutions for home and on the move, customers can enjoy fully electric driving without compromise.
      The Audi e-tron is an electric SUV for sport, family and leisure. It is 193 inches long, 76.3 inches wide and 65.5 inches high. It offers the spaciousness and comfort commensurate with an Audi. With a wheelbase of 115.1 inches, the Audi e-tron has ample space for five occupants and cargo. The total luggage capacity is 28.5 cu ft. (57.0 cu ft. seats down), equipping the electric SUV for short jaunts and long road trips.
      Electrification visualized: the exterior design
      The Audi e-tron reflects the fundamental idiom of Audi design – translated into the electric age by new, stylistically refined aerodynamically focused details. Consistent with one of the brand’s SUV models, the Audi e-tron bears the octagonal-design Singleframe grille with vertical struts. Its uniquely enclosed grille is presented in platinum gray – identifying it as a fully electric model. At the lower edge of the standard LED headlights, four horizontal struts, reminiscent of a charging status indicators, create the e-tron-specific signature in the daytime running lights. For the first time this is integrated directly into the headlights. Light is used as a signature design feature.
      Another important design element is the continuous shoulder line. It extends from the headlights, along the flanks, to the rear lights, giving the Audi e-tron a sense of stature and presence. The expressive design approach of the sill area with the black inserts on the door trim visualizes the location of the battery and thus the energy center of the Audi e-tron. Meanwhile, the roof stretches across the muscular body, which displays clear SUV attributes with its quattro blisters over the wheels and prominent D-pillars.
      At the sculptural rear, the long roof spoiler and wide diffuser accentuate the sporty look. One distinct element on the e-tron is the light strip connecting the LED rear taillights, consistent with the brand’s D segment offerings including the Audi A7, A8 and Q8. With their horizontal emphasis, the tail lights echo the graphics of the daytime running lights that are graphical representation of full battery charge. Meanwhile the four cross-slats in the diffuser draw attention to the absence of tailpipes, another reference to the fully electric drive.
      Every detail matters: aerodynamics and efficiency
      When developing the Audi e-tron, the exterior designers worked in close collaboration with the aerodynamics experts. The result of this attention to aero is an array of high-tech efficiency solutions, such as the regulated cooling air inlet with ducts for cooling the front brakes and the adaptive, speed-dependent air suspension that is standard on the Audi e-tron. The standard-fit 20-inch wheels are aerodynamically optimized and fitted with 255/50 tires. These are especially engineered for their ultralow rolling resistance. The fully clad underbody including aluminum plate to help protect the high-voltage battery likewise plays a vital role in lowering drag. The screw connection points are recessed to deliberately create minor vortices so that the air flows even better.
      In addition to aerodynamics, thermal management has an important role to play. The standard equipped heat pump uses the waste heat from the electrical components – up to 3 kW of the actual power loss are used for cabin heating and air conditioning as well as cooling the electric motor. Depending on ambient temperature, the heat pump’s design at can help contribute to the Audi e-tron range by up to ten percent. Highly flexible thermal management also allows fast direct-current charging to help maintain a long battery operating life and repeatable road performance.
      Sporty efficiency: drive and recuperation
      From high-efficiency to high-performance – the particularly appealing component of the Audi e-tron’s drive is its breadth. The two electric motors accelerate the e-tron from 0-60 mph in 5.5 seconds and reach a top speed of 124 mph.  The advantage of the electric motor is felt especially in its impressive off-the-line starting performance from a standstill. The maximum drive torque is reached in 250 milliseconds – a performance worthy of a sports car. US horsepower and torque figures will be available closer to launch.
      The two asynchronous motors (ASM) of the Audi e-tron are especially robust. Their sophisticated cooling concept is designed to keep the temperature level low. Single-stage transmissions transfer the torque to the axles via the differentials. Each motor is supplied by power electronics that act in close consort with the powertrain control unit. When the Audi e-tron is traveling at moderate speeds, in the interest of efficiency it is powered mainly by the rear motor. When coasting, the motors operate free from magnetic drag torque – another strength of ASM technology.
      The Audi e-tron uses an innovative recuperation system encompassing both electric motors, to boost efficiency. On average, our engineers estimate that this system is responsible for as much as 30 percent of the e-tron’s range depending on the conditions, terrain and driving style. The electric SUV can recover energy in two ways: by means of coasting recuperation when the driver releases the accelerator, or by means of braking recuperation by depressing the brake pedal. When pressing the brake pedal, the electronic control unit computes within milliseconds how much pressure the system needs to build up for the specific braking process required. A high-performance electric motor supplies the necessary energy. The integrated brake control system is approximately 30 percent lighter than a conventional system thanks to its more compact design. The conventional vacuum pump is no longer needed in this configuration.
      According to the driving situation, the brake control system decides whether to use the electric motors as alternators or to use the friction brakes – all without the driver noticing. Up to 0.3 g, the Audi e-tron is decelerated solely by the electric motors – that covers over 90 percent of braking scenarios. So energy is returned to the battery in practically all normal braking instances. Above this deceleration value, for example in a full brake application, the friction brakes come into play. Thanks to a newly designed electro-hydraulic activation principle, they are particularly quick to respond. The driver can select the degree of energy recovery in three stages by means of paddles on the steering wheel. In the lowest setting, the Audi e-tron glides with no additional braking torque. At the highest stage the electric SUV is slowed more noticeably – the driver can slow down and accelerate solely via the acceleration pedal, if desired. This creates what is referred to as a one-pedal feeling.
      The efficiency assist additionally promotes an economical driving style by prompting the driver when he should move his foot off of the accelerator pedal. It does this by using the navigation system’s route data, radar information and camera images, Depending on the traffic situation the predictive system makes the Audi e-tron slow down proactively and in turn, recuperate.
      Strong performance on a variety road surfaces: electric all-wheel drive and suspension
      In the Audi e-tron, the brand introduces a new generation of quattro drive as standard: electric all-wheel drive. This new system enables the electric SUV to achieve optimum traction in a variety of weather conditions and on challenging road surfaces. In a similar way to the mechanical quattro with ultra technology, the second axle – in this case, the one at the front – can be connected predictively. This happens if the driver requests more power than the rear electric motor can supply, or predictively even before grip noticeably declines in wintery conditions or in dynamic cornering. The electric motors are an ideal power source for the high-precision, ultrafast electric quattro. Torque can be controlled spontaneously – the output can be redistributed between the axles within a fraction of a second.
      Towards the limits of driving dynamics, torque vectoring enhances handling by means of brief wheel brake applications. The dynamic talents of the Audi e-tron are especially apparent on a low-friction surface, such as snow. For the first time in the e-tron, the quattro torque vectoring are integrated on the central suspension controller, distributing the torque with a slight rear bias.
      The innovative traction control regulates wheel slip by the millisecond directly via the electric motors’ power electronics. The powertrain control unit is integrated with the built-in brake control system and helps maintain an optimum power flow between tires and road surface. Together with the electric all-wheel drive, this produces the high traction and directional stability that are typical of an Audi. This is especially evident in the four-stage Electronic Stabilization Control, which offers the “sport” and “offroad” modes and can also be fully turned off when desired.
      The SUV’s driving character can be adjusted with the standard Audi drive select across seven profiles – from comfortable, through efficient, to distinctively sporty – according to the driving situation, road condition or personal requirements. Some of the modes also influence the standard air suspension with adaptive dampers.
      Depending on road speed and driving style the suspension adjusts the body’s ride height by up to 76 millimeters (3.0 in). Especially on long journeys, a lower ride height improves the air flow around the body, thus helping to increase range. In the “offroad” mode, the Audi e-tron is primed for driving away from paved roads: Its ground clearance is increased by 35 millimeters (1.4 in) compared with the standard level. If the driver activates the additional function “Raise” in Audi drive select, the body can adapt to another 15 millimeters (0.6 in) higher.
      The electric SUV is both uniquely dynamic and stable in changing driving conditions. The low position of the drive components helps in that regard: The battery system is optimally matched to the dimensions of the Audi e-tron body and is located between the axles in the form of a flat, broad block beneath the passenger compartment. That places the Audi e-tron’s center of gravity a few centimeters lower down than in a conventional SUV.
      The axle load distribution is balanced at approximately 50:50, and self-steering behavior is neutral. The front and rear suspensions take the form of five-link designs. The standard progressive steering adjusts its ratio according to steering angle and provides speed-dependent assistance. The further the steering is turned, the more direct it becomes – this helps make the vehicle agile and precise to move with little effort. This advantage comes into play in city driving and for tight maneuvering.
      The optionally available trailer tow hitch can increase the Audi e-tron’s versatility, for example as a sport and leisure vehicle. When equipped with the tow package, the Audi e-tron has a maximum tow rating of 4000 lbs. It can also be used for mounting a cycle carrier, for example.
      95 kWh of energy: the high-voltage battery system
      The battery system in the Audi e-tron is located beneath the cabin and is 2.28 meters (90 inches) long, 1.63 meters (63.6 inches) wide and 34 centimeters (13.4 in) high. It comprises a total of 36 cell modules in square aluminum housings, each of which is roughly the size of a shoe box. They are arranged on two levels, known as “floors” –a longer lower floor and a shorter upper one. At market launch, each module is equipped with twelve pouch cells having a flexible outer skin of aluminum-coated polymer. The battery operates with a nominal voltage of 396 volts and stores 95 kWh of energy.
      A cooling system of flat aluminum extruded sections divided uniformly into small chambers has the task of maintaining the battery’s high-performance operation over the long term. Heat is exchanged between the cells and the cooling system beneath them via a thermally conductive gel pressed beneath each cell module. In what is a particularly resourceful solution, the gel evenly transfers the waste heat to the coolant via the battery housing.
      A strong surround frame and lattice-type aluminum structure that holds the cell modules is designed to protect the battery block. A substantial aluminum plate provides protection against damage from flying stones or curbs, for instance. These measures demonstrate how the Audi engineers have developed the batter and cooling systems with safety in mind. The weight of the battery system including the housing pan with intricate crash structures is roughly 700 kilograms (1543.2 lb). It is bolted to the underbody of the Audi e-tron at 35 points. This increases the torsional rigidity of the body, which in turn integrates numerous aluminum parts such as the floor plate in the rear structure, the doors, as well as the hood and tailgate. The cabin features components made from heat-formed ultra-high-strength steel.
      At up to 150 kW: charging on the move and at home
      Designed for efficiency and integration, the e-tron is engineered for both AC and DC charging via the widespread SAE J1772 and Combined Charging System (CCS) standards. In an industry first to-date, the e-tron debuts a DC fast charging capability of up to 150 kW available at select high-speed public charging stations, this capability can deliver up-to an 80 percent charge in only approximately 30 minutes.  For customers’ residential charging needs, a standard 9.6 kW AC capsule charger (Level 2, 240-volt/40 amps) is provided and designed to deliver a fresh charge overnight. This charger will include plugs that can utilize both a standard 120-volt household outlet (1.2 kW) as well as a fast-speed 240-volt NEMA 14-50 outlet (9.6 kW).
      Audi e-tron buyers will have the opportunity to ready their homes for their all-electric SUV with available Amazon Home Services in the first-ever home charging collaboration between Amazon and an automaker. “Audi Home Charging powered by Amazon Home Services” offers e-tron buyers a fully-digital experience for in-home electric vehicle charging installations, designed to make the process of home charging set up as easy as ordering the millions of others items and services U.S. customers depend on from Amazon.
      Furthermore, customers can define their own personal priorities, such as charging when electricity is less expensive where available. With the myAudi app, it can be accessed from the convenience of the home. It can be used to plan, control, and monitor the charging and pre-heating/-cooling of the electric SUV. The customer can set a departure time, for example, so that the Audi e-tron is charged and/or heated/cooled at the desired time. Customers can even choose to heat or cool certain zones in the car. On cold winter days, for example, customers can turn on the optional seat heating. The app also displays charging and driving data.
      For charging on the go, the e-tron will be supported by a nationwide charging network, “Powered by Electrify America.” By July 2019, this network will include nearly 500 fast-charging sites complete or under development throughout 40 states and 17 metro areas. Offering advanced charging, Electrify America’s chargers are capable of delivering up to 350kW. With the purchase of the Audi   e-tron customers will receive 1,000 kWh of charging at Electrify America sites over four years of ownership.
      Place of relaxation: the interior
      The interior of the Audi e-tron represents performance, intelligence and lightness – attributes that are manifested in an array of details. A generous arc, the wraparound dash, envelops the stepped dashboard as far around as the sculptural door trims. The entire cabin has a strong driver orientation and in addition to the central Audi virtual cockpit featuring a slim, visually free-standing display, the two MMI touch response displays are angled towards the pilot. When off, the upper screen blends almost invisibly into the large black-panel surface. In clear contrast, the lower display sits on the broad center console. The central tunnel rests on open side panels and incorporates a storage compartment, cup holders as well as the standard Audi phone box for inductive smartphone charging. This solution combines lightness with functionality. The hand rest that incorporates the gear selector appears to float above the console. The driver selects the drive position in a one-touch action with a movement of the thumb and index finger.
      In every equipment line, the interior of the Audi e-tron presents exceptional upholstery materials, colors, and inlays. The Audi e-tron meets our highest quality standards in terms of interior build quality and choice of materials such as the available Valcona leather seats or the natural wood inlays. The stitching on the seats creates a motif that evokes the precision of electric circuit boards.
      Typically full-size: spacious and comfortable
      Not only does the interior have an airy design, it genuinely offers ample space. The Audi e-tron offers excellent interior packaging –interior length, second-row leg room, and headroom front and rear provide comfortable seating for five adults. In the rear, there is a flat plateau instead of the center tunnel usually found in conventional models –resulting in additional space.
      The luggage capacity totals 28.5 cu ft, including an additional handy storage compartment beneath the front lid. This storage space is designed to accommodate the vehicle tool kit and mobile charging cable. With the rear seat backs folded down, the Audi e-tron has up to 57.0 cu ft of luggage space. The tailgate can be opened and closed electrically as standard for ease of loading, and can be operated by a foot gesture when the key is in your pocket or purse.
      As well as the car’s spaciousness, its standard of comfort and convenience is what you would expect from a typical Audi. The standard panoramic glass sunroof helps keep the interior bright and intensifies the impression of airiness and space. In addition, four-zone automatic air conditioning is standard with the option for available air quality package. The latter helps to maintain premium air quality by means of an ionizer and aromatization, the intensity of which can be adjusted over several levels. Multi-adjustable customized contour front seats with massage function are available as well. The available contour/ambient lighting package creates highlights after dark: It illuminates surfaces softly, edges sharply, and also back-lights the e-tron badge on the dashboard.
      A new level: acoustics and sound
      With its combination of electric drive and a comfortable, sophisticated interior, the Audi e-tron creates a new feeling for mobility. Especially when driving in the city, it radiates an almost perfect sense of calm. The only sounds are from its tires and the gentle hum of the electric motors.
      The body has special soundproofing in all zones that could transmit noise interference and help reduce wind vibrations. This makes the Audi e-tron the perfect platform for the standard Bang & Olufsen Premium Sound System with 3D sound in the front. It allows the music to be enjoyed precisely how it was recorded.
      Digital world: operation and displays
      In keeping with the all-new Audi C and D segment portfolio, the Audi e-tron features the MMI touch response operating system. Its two large, high-resolution displays – the upper one with a diagonal of 10.1 inches and the lower one 8.6 inches – take the place of almost all conventional switches and controls. Operation is swift and simple: When the finger activates a function, it triggers a tactile and acoustic click by way of confirmation. The few remaining buttons, for example for the lights, are also available with touch response technology if desired.
      In the upper display, the driver controls the infotainment, telephone, navigation, and special e-tron settings – this allows the activation of a charging timer or specifying the type of desired recuperation, for example. In the lower screen text input, comfort function selections and the HVAC are all managed with the wrist resting comfortably on the gear selector lever with integrated support. The menu structure is intuitively logical and flat like on a smartphone, including freely configurable favorites and start screens.
      In addition, the driver can activate a wide range of functions using natural language recognition. Information on destinations and media is either available on board or can be delivered from the cloud at LTE speed. The system understands spoken commands; the dialog manager asks questions if necessary, allows corrections, offers choices, and also defers to the speaker when interrupted.
      Alexa has been fully integrated into the MMI system and is on board for customers to access the many of the same features and services in the Audi e-tron as they can in their home or through other Alexa-enabled devices. You can check news, weather and sports scores, order groceries and add things to your to-do list, stream music and audiobooks via Audible, Amazon Music and TuneIn. And you access the wide variety of Alexa skills. And with smart home controls, you can lock the doors, turn off the lights, and close the garage door directly from the vehicle – all you have to do is ask.
      The digital display and operating concept in the Audi e-tron is rounded off by the standard feature of the Audi virtual cockpit, which can be operated from the multifunction steering wheel. Its display benefits from the very high resolution of 1,920 x 720 pixels and new e-tron-specific graphics. The driver can choose between three views: In the classic view, the power meter and speedometer are presented as large dials; in the infotainment view, they appear smaller and the focus is on the navigation map. Additionally, with the standard Audi virtual cockpit plus an additional view is shown that puts the power meter center stage. The head-up display complements the displays as an option. It projects important information straight onto the windscreen.
      Top-caliber connectivity: navigation, Audi connect
      The Audi e-tron is equipped with MMI Navigation plus as standard. The top-end media center supports the high-speed data transmission through LTE Advanced with integrated Wi-Fi hotspot for passengers’ mobile devices through a 6-month unlimited Audi connect PLUS trial subscription. The navigation system can make predictive destination suggestions based on previous journeys. The route is calculated both on-board in the car and online on the servers of the map and navigation provider HERE, using real-time data for the overall traffic conditions.
      The online services of Audi connect PRIME ideally complement the navigation system, especially the e-tron route planner. The customer can use it either in the in-car MMI touch system or in the myAudi app. In both cases they are shown the suggested route with the available charging points. The navigation system considers not only the battery’s charge but also the traffic conditions and includes the required charging time in its arrival time calculation. The e-tron route planner provides charge locations as part of the route planning.
      Arrive more relaxed with comprehensive driver assistance systems
      Whether parking, in the city or on long journeys, the Audi e-tron can make life easier for its driver in life’s many situations. The system at the heart of the optional Driver Assistance Package is adaptive cruise assist, which comfortably provides longitudinal and lateral control in traffic jams or at highway speeds. It supports the driver with accelerating, braking, maintaining speed, keeping distance. The system can detect lane markings, roadside structures, vehicles in adjacent lanes and vehicles driving ahead. In construction zones, the Audi e-tron automatically adapts its speed to the traffic situation, taking into account the speed limit. If the lane is too narrow to allow side-by-side driving, adaptive cruise assist enables offset driving through narrow stretches. In conjunction with efficiency assist it predictively slows down and accelerates the Audi e-tron based on its evaluation of sensor and navigation data as well as road signs. It automatically adjusts to the current speed limit, reduces the speed before corners, during turning and on roundabouts. The system can maintain a driving style that reflects the driving program selected – from every day to sporty.
      Driver assistance features for urban areas include intersection assist, rear cross traffic assist as well as lane change and vehicle exit warning. The 360 degree cameras provide multiple views to facilitate centimeter-precision maneuvering, while showing crossing traffic. The 3D view with freely selectable perspective is the highlight. Park steering assist eases the parking process. It steers the Audi e-tron independently into parallel parking and perpendicular parking spaces – forward or backward. The driver only has to accelerate, select the gear and brake.
      Operating as standard behind the driver assistance systems in the Audi e-tron is the central driver assistance controller. It continuously computes a differentiated picture of the surroundings. The required data is obtained – depending on the selected options – from up to five radar sensors, six cameras, twelve ultrasound sensors and the laser scanner.
      e-tron Reservation System
      Accompanying the debut of the e-tron, customers are now able to configure their e-tron and reserve their vehicle with a fully refundable $1,000 reservation fee ahead of delivery in mid-2019.
      This new Audi reservation system is part of how Audi of America will create a digital ecosystem for Audi owners to confidently go electric. After customers place a reservation, they will be able to track it online and with their local dealer.
      As an electric SUV that includes integrated digital tools, in-home charging solutions, and the support of Audi of America’s 303 dealer partners —e-tron owners can confidently choose electric performance knowing they have the support of a full Audi ecosystem.
      Pricing & Equipment:
      The Audi e-tron is being will arrive in the US during the 2nd quarter of 2019. The entry Premium Plus trim is very well equipped to appeal to premium buyers and make going electric easier than ever. Available premium equipment such as available massage and cooled seats no longer need to be left out when going electric.  
      To celebrate our first electric vehicle, we are introducing a limited build First Edition model in the US, with only 999 units making their way to the US market. The special equipment combination includes Daytona Gray exterior, 21-inch bi-color Black wheels, Alu-Optic exterior trim complemented by Dynamic orange brake calipers matching the Dynamic orange highlights surrounding the e-tron nameplate lettering located near the charge port. The interior is further elevated from the standard e-tron offering through Black Valcona leather with gray contrast stitch and Volcano Gray Ash Natural Wood inlays.
      Model year 2019 e-tron manufacturer suggested retail prices are listed below:
      PREMIUM PLUS
      PRESTIGE
      FIRST EDITION
      $74,800
      $81,800
      $86,700
      20-inch wheels w/ all-season tires Top view camera system Comfort pre-conditioning Audi side assist w/ cross-traffic alert Full LED exterior + interior lighting Matrix design headlamps MMI Navigation plus w/ virtual cockpit 3D 705W B&O Sound w/16 speakers Audi phonebox + smartphone interface 12-way power front seats, heated + cooled 4-spoke power adj. steering wheel Leather seating surfaces Illuminated aluminum door sills Panoramic sunroof Premium Plus equipment and the following:
      Head-up display Driver Assistance package Individual Contour seats w/ massage Power-door closers Rear window sunshades Dual-pane acoustic front side windows Valcona Leather + extended leather Memory for front passenger seat Air quality package + ionizer  
      Prestige equipment and the following:
      21-inch bi-color Black wheels, A/S tires Daytona Gray pearl effect paint Alu-Optic exterior trim (sills, air inlet, diffuser) Dynamic orange painted brake calipers Black Valcona leather interior w/gray contrast stitching Volcano Gray Ash Natural Wood inlays LED puddle lamp “edition one” projection Night Vision Assistant  
      Prices listed are the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Prices and do not include destination and delivery ($995), taxes, title, options, and dealer charges. Dealer sets actual price.
      Production and U.S. Market launch
      The Audi e-tron will be manufactured in the brand new Audi Brussels facility, which was certified as CO2 neutral by the Belgian testing company Vincotte and will begin deliveries in the U.S. market in the 2nd quarter of 2019.
    • By William Maley
      By 2025, BMW is planning to have 25 electrified vehicles in its lineup - 12 being full electric. One of those models will look somewhat similar to the Vision iNext concept that has been revealed today.
      Lets address the elephant in the room, the exterior design. The overall shape is very polarizing (we know, huge understatement) with a grotesque take on BMW's iconic double kidney grille, square fenders, large glass area, and wheels that looked liked they were pulled off from a fan. No side view mirrors are to be found - instead a set of cameras handle that. There are also door handles. Instead, the surface of the car will light up, indicating where to touch to open the doors.
      Moving inside, BMW's designers went for a wide-open lounge design with an end table masquerading as a center console and the backseat looking more like a love seat. The steering wheel and pedals can pop out or tuck away with a touch of the BMW logo on the transmission selector. Two large screens dominate the dash - the smaller one serves as the instrument cluster and the larger one is for the infotainment system. 
      BMW has also fitted some interesting tech to the Vision iNext. The rear seat has integrated touch control surfaces and LED lighting that allows a passenger gestures to control certain functions. For example, you can turn on the audio system by drawing a musical note. Intelligent Beam is a projector over the rear seat can turn any surface - like a piece of paper into an interactive screen. The image follows whatever object it is being projected on, meaning you don't have to hold it steady. BMW has also fitted a Intelligent Personal Assistant like Apple's Siri. It responds you when you say "Hey BMW' and allows you to control various functions.
      BMW hasn't detail the Vision iNext's powertrain, but did reveal that it has Level 3 autonomous capability.
      A production model that will carry a number of traits from the Vision iNext will launch in 2021.
      Source: BMW


      The BMW Vision iNEXT. Future focused.
      At the BMW AG Annual General Meeting in May 2018, Harald Krüger, Chairman of the Board of Management at the BMW Group, described iNext as follows: “The iNEXT project will provide our building blocks for the future, from which the entire company and all of its brands are set to benefit.”

      iNEXT addresses the big question that is at the heart of the BMW Group’s day-to-day work: “How will we be moving around in future?” iNEXT builds resolutely on the idea that first took shape in 2007 with “project i” and evolved into the launch of the BMW i3 in 2013. The BMW Group has already achieved a great deal on this front: it now has over ten years of experience with electric mobility under its belt in both small-scale and large-scale production, the BMW i models are being improved all the time, and their technology is being employed to gradually electrify models from the BMW and MINI ranges. The next step now is the complete in-car integration of the strategic innovation fields Autonomy + Connectivity + Electric + Services. 

      The Design, meanwhile, is a visual expression of the innovation fields and answers the question about what the driving pleasure experience is going to look like in future. The car we know today as BMW iNEXT will come onto the market in 2021.
      The BMW Vision iNEXT.
      “The BMW Vision iNEXT represents a new era of sheer driving pleasure,” said Harald Krüger, Chairman of the Board of Management of BMW AG. “It underlines the leading role Germany plays in the future of mobility.”

      Highly automated, emission-free and fully connected, it brings together the BMW Group’s strategic innovation fields into a Vision Vehicle for the first time and provides revealing answers to the question: “What does a vehicle look like which no longer needs to be driven by a person but can be if desired?” At the heart of such deliberations are, more than ever, people – with all their emotions and desires.
      The series-produced version of the BMW iNEXT will assume the role of a new technology flagship; production at Plant Dingolfing is slated to begin in 2021. It will take the BMW Group’s strategic innovation fields (“D+ACES”) onto the road for the first time as a single package. 
      A future-focused Vision Vehicle – the BMW Vision iNEXT – provides a tangible preview of how the BMW iNEXT might look. “Personal mobility is set to experience significant change,” explains Klaus Fröhlich, Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG, responsible for Development. “The possibilities opened up by autonomous driving and ever-expanding connectivity enable a whole new range of experiences and ways of shaping a journey. With this in mind, we have designed the all-electric BMW Vision iNEXT as a mobile environment that enhances quality of life, a new “Favourite Space” in which we can be ourselves and relax. Indeed, all of BMW’s endeavours will continue to revolve around people – and their needs and desires when it comes to mobility – in the future,” adds Fröhlich.
      Adrian van Hooydonk, Senior Vice President BMW Group Design sums up the creative approach: “BMW i exists to generate creative, pioneering ideas which transform the way we think about mobility. The BMW Vision iNEXT marks another next big step on that journey of transformation, showing how more intelligent vehicles can make our lives easier and more beautiful.”
      The exterior – modern elegance, expressed with confidence.
      Boasting the size and proportions of a modern BMW SAV, the BMW Vision iNEXT cuts an authoritative figure. The vehicle instantly conveys its trailblazing character through clearly sculpted forms and surfaces. Striking paintwork and sophisticated details strengthen this impression further. The Liquid Greyrose Copper exterior gradually changes in shade from warm copper to dark rose and injects the vehicle with dynamic flair even when stationary.
      The large, interlinked double-kidney grille, the iconic side window graphic, and the blue accent surfaces at the front, sides and rear have clearly adopted the BMW i styling that already featured on the BMW i Vision Dynamics presented in 2017. Unlocking the vehicle causes the blue accents to light up, accentuating its eye-catching lines. Glass surfaces such as the large windows and the lights are integrated seamlessly into the design and have the appearance of elaborate inlays.
      Kidney grille and “four-eyed” front end provide identity.
      In the centre of the front end stands a large, upright kidney grille. As with all electrically powered vehicles, the grille is blanked off. With no combustion engine to require cooling, the kidney element now serves as an “intelligence panel” housing various sensors. 
      A 3D-printed pattern points to the technology below the surface. Super-slim headlights are part of a modern interpretation of BMW’s signature four-eyed front end. The windscreen extends smoothly into a large panoramic roof, lending the rump of the car a visual lightness and ensuring the innovative interior is clearly visible from the outside.
      Modern appearance with opposing doors.
      The BMW Vision iNEXT displays the powerful, robust stance of a modern BMW SAV when viewed from the side. The vehicle’s functional two-box proportions and long roofline hint at the ample space inside. The long wheelbase and short overhangs, meanwhile, give the silhouette a dynamic edge. Powerfully sculpted surfaces curve along the flanks like well-defined muscles. Precisely placed lines intensify this interplay and lend added impact to the wheel arches. The large (24-inch) wheels are aerodynamically efficient, and their three-dimensional, sculptural design represents both a stylistic and functional highlight. Cameras assume the job of the exterior mirrors, while touch-sensitive illuminated graphics take the place of conventional door openers, underlining the modern, enclosed appearance. There are two large opposing doors with no B-pillar separating them. When opened, they provide an unobstructed view of the spacious interior, while the frame reveals carbon-fibre surfaces. Black cladding brings the bottom edge of the flanks to an SAV-style conclusion and incorporates a blue accent strip as a marker of the vehicle’s electric drive system.
      At the rear, the horizontal arrangement of the lines and surfaces creates a wide and dynamic stance. The slender and distinctive rear lights extend a long way into the car’s rear end and emphasise its appearance. The air flows along the roof and this combines with a diffuser – that is illuminated for added impact – to enhance the car’s aerodynamics.
      Interior – My Favourite Space.
      BMW Vision iNEXT drivers can choose to either drive themselves (in “Boost” mode) or be driven (“Ease” mode). “Boost” mode uses the electric drive system to deliver a highly dynamic and virtually silent driving experience with zero emissions. In “Ease” mode, the vehicle offers the driver and passengers a space in which to engage in a wide range of activities. The BMW Vision iNEXT can be a place of relaxation, interaction, entertainment or concentration, as desired; the possibilities are as manifold as the occupants’ needs. Accordingly, the cabin is more akin to a comfortable and fashionably furnished “living space” on wheels – a new “Favourite Space”.
      Relaxed interior ambience. 
      The large panoramic roof floods the interior with light, creating a cheerful, welcoming atmosphere. Two individual seats in the front plus a one-piece bench in the rear mean there is room for up to four people. There are just a few, clean-cut lines defining the interior – a geometry that truly brings the materials and colours to the fore. A blend of cloth and wood materials produces a high-quality impression and makes various elements resemble furniture. The nude shade Purus Rosé, Brown and Beige are mainly used for the cockpit’s colour scheme, with accents in the shimmering metallic Mystic Bronze. The rear compartment is dominated by the chiefly petrol-coloured Enlighted Cloudburst cloth upholstery with its intricate Jacquard weave, which runs asymmetrically across the seat area and extends into the side panelling and parcel shelf. The result is a visual separation between the cockpit and the rear that produces the effect of different furnishings in an apartment.
      “Boost” and “Ease” modes alter the driver’s environment.
      Inside the generously sized cockpit, the driver’s area is defined by the two visible digital display panels and the steering wheel. The flat dashboard with beige cloth covering teams up with touches of wood and a clearly patterned wooden floor to create a pleasant, homely ambience. In “Boost” mode, the steering wheel and displays are positioned clearly towards the driver. When “Ease” mode is engaged, the driver’s immediate environment changes: the steering wheel retracts slightly, creating a more open sense of space. The display panels switch from driving-related content to “Exploration Mode”, which provides the driver and passengers with suggestions of places and events in the surrounding area that could be of interest to them. Plus, the front seat head restraints can be folded back, allowing the people in the front to communicate more effectively with the passengers in the rear.
      Centre console resembles a high-quality piece of furniture.
      The centre console between the front seats has all the makings of a high-quality piece of furniture, thanks to both its design and materials. A matt, open-pore wood finish gives it the appearance of a floating coffee table that continues right through to the rear. Under the fine wooden panel is a shell made from exquisite, illuminated crystal glass sitting atop a delicate, bronze-coloured base. The crystal’s faceting refracts the incoming light, splits it up into a multitude of colours and bathes the interior in light reflections.
      Inviting rear compartment.
      At first glance, the rear compartment has the appearance of a modern, high-end living space. A generously sized, continuous seat area gives the rear a laid-back lounge character and invites its occupants to stay a while. The handwoven Enlighted Cloudburst Jacquard cloth extends across the entire seat area and into the side panelling, gradually changing from Petrol to White in the process, but still lends the cabin a very modern touch.
      Shy Tech: Innovative technology integrated out of sight yet always available.
      Apart from the steering wheel and displays in the driver’s area, there are no other screens or controls to be seen in the BMW Vision iNEXT. In order to preserve the homely character of the rear compartment, and therefore keep the people on board at centre stage, the intelligent technology is integrated out of sight. Only when it is required by the driver or passengers does the technology becomes visible and operable. For example, in future it may be possible to operate various functions via surfaces made out of wood or cloth. Displays would no longer be essential, as intelligent projection could turn any surface into an interactive display. The BMW Vision iNEXT highlights three different, visionary applications for this “Shy Tech” in the form of Intelligent Personal Assistant, Intelligent Materials and Intelligent Beam.
      Intelligent Personal Assistant. The vehicle’s Intelligent Personal Assistant switches on in response to the prompt “Hey BMW”. The BMW Vision iNEXT forms an integral part of the digital world and is seamlessly interlinked with the BMW Connected, smart devices and smart home network, making it possible for drivers to close the windows of their house, for example, by voice command.
      Intelligent Materials. When driving in “Boost” mood the Control Display can be operated in conventional style using its touch functionality. But in “Ease” mode, the centre console’s wooden surface assumes this control function instead. Arm and hand posture is just as relaxed as when using the iDrive Controller: the hand simply lies on the perforated wooden surface and, whenever any inputs are made, points of light resembling a comet’s tail will follow the finger. The Jacquard cloth in the rear also possesses integral control functionality. It comes to life at the touch of a finger and allows music playback to be controlled using various gestures, which are given visual emphasis by LEDs that light up underneath the cloth.
      Intelligent Beam. In the use of media, as with vehicle operation, the digital and analogue worlds will merge into one more and more in future. It is becoming increasingly possible to visualise information in projected form, which could dispense with the need for displays in the long term. The Intelligent Beam technology being showcased in the BMW Vision iNEXT already goes one step in this direction, as it can serve as both a reading light and an interactive projection screen. This enables, for instance, the text in a printed book to be supplemented by images, moving content and interactive graphics, all of which can be controlled by touch.

      View full article
    • By William Maley
      By 2025, BMW is planning to have 25 electrified vehicles in its lineup - 12 being full electric. One of those models will look somewhat similar to the Vision iNext concept that has been revealed today.
      Lets address the elephant in the room, the exterior design. The overall shape is very polarizing (we know, huge understatement) with a grotesque take on BMW's iconic double kidney grille, square fenders, large glass area, and wheels that looked liked they were pulled off from a fan. No side view mirrors are to be found - instead a set of cameras handle that. There are also door handles. Instead, the surface of the car will light up, indicating where to touch to open the doors.
      Moving inside, BMW's designers went for a wide-open lounge design with an end table masquerading as a center console and the backseat looking more like a love seat. The steering wheel and pedals can pop out or tuck away with a touch of the BMW logo on the transmission selector. Two large screens dominate the dash - the smaller one serves as the instrument cluster and the larger one is for the infotainment system. 
      BMW has also fitted some interesting tech to the Vision iNext. The rear seat has integrated touch control surfaces and LED lighting that allows a passenger gestures to control certain functions. For example, you can turn on the audio system by drawing a musical note. Intelligent Beam is a projector over the rear seat can turn any surface - like a piece of paper into an interactive screen. The image follows whatever object it is being projected on, meaning you don't have to hold it steady. BMW has also fitted a Intelligent Personal Assistant like Apple's Siri. It responds you when you say "Hey BMW' and allows you to control various functions.
      BMW hasn't detail the Vision iNext's powertrain, but did reveal that it has Level 3 autonomous capability.
      A production model that will carry a number of traits from the Vision iNext will launch in 2021.
      Source: BMW


      The BMW Vision iNEXT. Future focused.
      At the BMW AG Annual General Meeting in May 2018, Harald Krüger, Chairman of the Board of Management at the BMW Group, described iNext as follows: “The iNEXT project will provide our building blocks for the future, from which the entire company and all of its brands are set to benefit.”

      iNEXT addresses the big question that is at the heart of the BMW Group’s day-to-day work: “How will we be moving around in future?” iNEXT builds resolutely on the idea that first took shape in 2007 with “project i” and evolved into the launch of the BMW i3 in 2013. The BMW Group has already achieved a great deal on this front: it now has over ten years of experience with electric mobility under its belt in both small-scale and large-scale production, the BMW i models are being improved all the time, and their technology is being employed to gradually electrify models from the BMW and MINI ranges. The next step now is the complete in-car integration of the strategic innovation fields Autonomy + Connectivity + Electric + Services. 

      The Design, meanwhile, is a visual expression of the innovation fields and answers the question about what the driving pleasure experience is going to look like in future. The car we know today as BMW iNEXT will come onto the market in 2021.
      The BMW Vision iNEXT.
      “The BMW Vision iNEXT represents a new era of sheer driving pleasure,” said Harald Krüger, Chairman of the Board of Management of BMW AG. “It underlines the leading role Germany plays in the future of mobility.”

      Highly automated, emission-free and fully connected, it brings together the BMW Group’s strategic innovation fields into a Vision Vehicle for the first time and provides revealing answers to the question: “What does a vehicle look like which no longer needs to be driven by a person but can be if desired?” At the heart of such deliberations are, more than ever, people – with all their emotions and desires.
      The series-produced version of the BMW iNEXT will assume the role of a new technology flagship; production at Plant Dingolfing is slated to begin in 2021. It will take the BMW Group’s strategic innovation fields (“D+ACES”) onto the road for the first time as a single package. 
      A future-focused Vision Vehicle – the BMW Vision iNEXT – provides a tangible preview of how the BMW iNEXT might look. “Personal mobility is set to experience significant change,” explains Klaus Fröhlich, Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG, responsible for Development. “The possibilities opened up by autonomous driving and ever-expanding connectivity enable a whole new range of experiences and ways of shaping a journey. With this in mind, we have designed the all-electric BMW Vision iNEXT as a mobile environment that enhances quality of life, a new “Favourite Space” in which we can be ourselves and relax. Indeed, all of BMW’s endeavours will continue to revolve around people – and their needs and desires when it comes to mobility – in the future,” adds Fröhlich.
      Adrian van Hooydonk, Senior Vice President BMW Group Design sums up the creative approach: “BMW i exists to generate creative, pioneering ideas which transform the way we think about mobility. The BMW Vision iNEXT marks another next big step on that journey of transformation, showing how more intelligent vehicles can make our lives easier and more beautiful.”
      The exterior – modern elegance, expressed with confidence.
      Boasting the size and proportions of a modern BMW SAV, the BMW Vision iNEXT cuts an authoritative figure. The vehicle instantly conveys its trailblazing character through clearly sculpted forms and surfaces. Striking paintwork and sophisticated details strengthen this impression further. The Liquid Greyrose Copper exterior gradually changes in shade from warm copper to dark rose and injects the vehicle with dynamic flair even when stationary.
      The large, interlinked double-kidney grille, the iconic side window graphic, and the blue accent surfaces at the front, sides and rear have clearly adopted the BMW i styling that already featured on the BMW i Vision Dynamics presented in 2017. Unlocking the vehicle causes the blue accents to light up, accentuating its eye-catching lines. Glass surfaces such as the large windows and the lights are integrated seamlessly into the design and have the appearance of elaborate inlays.
      Kidney grille and “four-eyed” front end provide identity.
      In the centre of the front end stands a large, upright kidney grille. As with all electrically powered vehicles, the grille is blanked off. With no combustion engine to require cooling, the kidney element now serves as an “intelligence panel” housing various sensors. 
      A 3D-printed pattern points to the technology below the surface. Super-slim headlights are part of a modern interpretation of BMW’s signature four-eyed front end. The windscreen extends smoothly into a large panoramic roof, lending the rump of the car a visual lightness and ensuring the innovative interior is clearly visible from the outside.
      Modern appearance with opposing doors.
      The BMW Vision iNEXT displays the powerful, robust stance of a modern BMW SAV when viewed from the side. The vehicle’s functional two-box proportions and long roofline hint at the ample space inside. The long wheelbase and short overhangs, meanwhile, give the silhouette a dynamic edge. Powerfully sculpted surfaces curve along the flanks like well-defined muscles. Precisely placed lines intensify this interplay and lend added impact to the wheel arches. The large (24-inch) wheels are aerodynamically efficient, and their three-dimensional, sculptural design represents both a stylistic and functional highlight. Cameras assume the job of the exterior mirrors, while touch-sensitive illuminated graphics take the place of conventional door openers, underlining the modern, enclosed appearance. There are two large opposing doors with no B-pillar separating them. When opened, they provide an unobstructed view of the spacious interior, while the frame reveals carbon-fibre surfaces. Black cladding brings the bottom edge of the flanks to an SAV-style conclusion and incorporates a blue accent strip as a marker of the vehicle’s electric drive system.
      At the rear, the horizontal arrangement of the lines and surfaces creates a wide and dynamic stance. The slender and distinctive rear lights extend a long way into the car’s rear end and emphasise its appearance. The air flows along the roof and this combines with a diffuser – that is illuminated for added impact – to enhance the car’s aerodynamics.
      Interior – My Favourite Space.
      BMW Vision iNEXT drivers can choose to either drive themselves (in “Boost” mode) or be driven (“Ease” mode). “Boost” mode uses the electric drive system to deliver a highly dynamic and virtually silent driving experience with zero emissions. In “Ease” mode, the vehicle offers the driver and passengers a space in which to engage in a wide range of activities. The BMW Vision iNEXT can be a place of relaxation, interaction, entertainment or concentration, as desired; the possibilities are as manifold as the occupants’ needs. Accordingly, the cabin is more akin to a comfortable and fashionably furnished “living space” on wheels – a new “Favourite Space”.
      Relaxed interior ambience. 
      The large panoramic roof floods the interior with light, creating a cheerful, welcoming atmosphere. Two individual seats in the front plus a one-piece bench in the rear mean there is room for up to four people. There are just a few, clean-cut lines defining the interior – a geometry that truly brings the materials and colours to the fore. A blend of cloth and wood materials produces a high-quality impression and makes various elements resemble furniture. The nude shade Purus Rosé, Brown and Beige are mainly used for the cockpit’s colour scheme, with accents in the shimmering metallic Mystic Bronze. The rear compartment is dominated by the chiefly petrol-coloured Enlighted Cloudburst cloth upholstery with its intricate Jacquard weave, which runs asymmetrically across the seat area and extends into the side panelling and parcel shelf. The result is a visual separation between the cockpit and the rear that produces the effect of different furnishings in an apartment.
      “Boost” and “Ease” modes alter the driver’s environment.
      Inside the generously sized cockpit, the driver’s area is defined by the two visible digital display panels and the steering wheel. The flat dashboard with beige cloth covering teams up with touches of wood and a clearly patterned wooden floor to create a pleasant, homely ambience. In “Boost” mode, the steering wheel and displays are positioned clearly towards the driver. When “Ease” mode is engaged, the driver’s immediate environment changes: the steering wheel retracts slightly, creating a more open sense of space. The display panels switch from driving-related content to “Exploration Mode”, which provides the driver and passengers with suggestions of places and events in the surrounding area that could be of interest to them. Plus, the front seat head restraints can be folded back, allowing the people in the front to communicate more effectively with the passengers in the rear.
      Centre console resembles a high-quality piece of furniture.
      The centre console between the front seats has all the makings of a high-quality piece of furniture, thanks to both its design and materials. A matt, open-pore wood finish gives it the appearance of a floating coffee table that continues right through to the rear. Under the fine wooden panel is a shell made from exquisite, illuminated crystal glass sitting atop a delicate, bronze-coloured base. The crystal’s faceting refracts the incoming light, splits it up into a multitude of colours and bathes the interior in light reflections.
      Inviting rear compartment.
      At first glance, the rear compartment has the appearance of a modern, high-end living space. A generously sized, continuous seat area gives the rear a laid-back lounge character and invites its occupants to stay a while. The handwoven Enlighted Cloudburst Jacquard cloth extends across the entire seat area and into the side panelling, gradually changing from Petrol to White in the process, but still lends the cabin a very modern touch.
      Shy Tech: Innovative technology integrated out of sight yet always available.
      Apart from the steering wheel and displays in the driver’s area, there are no other screens or controls to be seen in the BMW Vision iNEXT. In order to preserve the homely character of the rear compartment, and therefore keep the people on board at centre stage, the intelligent technology is integrated out of sight. Only when it is required by the driver or passengers does the technology becomes visible and operable. For example, in future it may be possible to operate various functions via surfaces made out of wood or cloth. Displays would no longer be essential, as intelligent projection could turn any surface into an interactive display. The BMW Vision iNEXT highlights three different, visionary applications for this “Shy Tech” in the form of Intelligent Personal Assistant, Intelligent Materials and Intelligent Beam.
      Intelligent Personal Assistant. The vehicle’s Intelligent Personal Assistant switches on in response to the prompt “Hey BMW”. The BMW Vision iNEXT forms an integral part of the digital world and is seamlessly interlinked with the BMW Connected, smart devices and smart home network, making it possible for drivers to close the windows of their house, for example, by voice command.
      Intelligent Materials. When driving in “Boost” mood the Control Display can be operated in conventional style using its touch functionality. But in “Ease” mode, the centre console’s wooden surface assumes this control function instead. Arm and hand posture is just as relaxed as when using the iDrive Controller: the hand simply lies on the perforated wooden surface and, whenever any inputs are made, points of light resembling a comet’s tail will follow the finger. The Jacquard cloth in the rear also possesses integral control functionality. It comes to life at the touch of a finger and allows music playback to be controlled using various gestures, which are given visual emphasis by LEDs that light up underneath the cloth.
      Intelligent Beam. In the use of media, as with vehicle operation, the digital and analogue worlds will merge into one more and more in future. It is becoming increasingly possible to visualise information in projected form, which could dispense with the need for displays in the long term. The Intelligent Beam technology being showcased in the BMW Vision iNEXT already goes one step in this direction, as it can serve as both a reading light and an interactive projection screen. This enables, for instance, the text in a printed book to be supplemented by images, moving content and interactive graphics, all of which can be controlled by touch.
    • By William Maley
      Kia surprised everyone over the weekend by revealing the new 2020 Telluride during New York Fashion week. This particular model was dressed up by Texan fashion designer Brandon Maxwell complete with various off-road features, leather-wrapped door handles, and a set of roof-mounted luggage. Pull off those various touches and we can see that Kia has kept most of the design from the Telluride concept shown at the 2016 Detroit Auto Show. The interior looks to be quite premium with new center stack design and large infotainment system. There will be seating for up to eight people.
      Kia has said the production model will have a V6 engine - whether that is a naturally-aspirated or a twin-turbo version remains to be seen. We know Hyundai will have their own version of the Telluride called the Palisade.
      The Telluride is expected to debut at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show in January, with production to begin at Kia's West Point, GA later in the year.
      Source: Kia


      All-New Kia Telluride Makes Texas-Sized Statement on Brandon Maxwell's Runway At New York Fashion Week
      Kia’s Largest and Most Refined SUV Confirmed for U.S. with Production in West Point, GA Influenced by fashion designer Brandon Maxwell’s latest Texas-inspired runway collection, a ranch-ready Telluride with saddle-like leather accents debuted at New York Fashion Week Penned at Kia’s U.S. design studio, the Telluride production model is scheduled to arrive in showrooms in early 2019 Together with Maxwell, Kia is donating substantial funding to the public school system of Marfa, Texas, where Maxwell designed his SS’19 collection IRVINE, Calif., September 8, 2018 – Breaking new ground, a bespoke version of Kia Motors America’s largest and most refined SUV – the all-new 2020 Telluride – made its first public appearance today at fashion designer Brandon Maxwell’s New York Fashion Week show. Created by Kia’s U.S. design studio in Irvine, California, the customized Telluride that appeared on the runway drew influence from Maxwell’s inspiration for the Spring Summer 2019 collection: Texas.
      “Telluride summits Kia’s SUV lineup and forged a surprising new path with its runway debut at New York Fashion Week,” said Saad Chehab, vice president of marketing communications, Kia Motors America. “Only a brand as forward-thinking as Kia could collaborate with Brandon Maxwell to launch the Telluride ahead of its official debut at the North American International Auto Show in January.”
      The eight passenger Telluride production model – which will be assembled at Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia – will provide a new, V6-powered option that is several inches longer and wider than Kia’s award-winning, seven passenger Sorento midsize SUV.          
      For Brandon Maxwell, the combination of childhood nostalgia and an exclusive preview of Kia’s largest and most refined SUV provided an opportunity to give back to the Marfa, Texas, community.
      “My Mom drove me to school in East Texas in a Kia Sedona, and my adoration for the brand runs deep,” said Maxwell. “When I left Marfa, Texas, where I designed my SS’19 collection, I started talking with Kia. I wanted a partner who could help fill a need in Marfa’s public school system and Kia was looking to create a unique integration for their new Telluride. It was a natural fit as Kia has a long history of philanthropic initiatives that support education. Kia is not just funding necessary technological purchases and educational programming to give the children of Marfa the quality education they deserve, but also providing a vehicle for local teachers’ use. I am honored to collaborate with Kia Motors.”
      The one-of-a-kind Telluride featured in the show provides a thought-provoking glimpse into the creative process that takes place when designers in separate industries collaborate. This specially tailored Telluride includes several nods to Maxwell’s Texas roots, including natural wood interior trim and saddle-inspired double-stitched leather adornments on the dash, door panels and grab handles. Similar leather details cover the outside rearview mirrors and door handles. Outside, the Telluride’s deep green paint reflects the color of the concept vehicle that debuted in Detroit two years ago. Custom front and rear bumpers, skidplates and sidestep sills exude a ranch-ready look that’s backed up with a hidden winch and a snorkel for deep-river fording. Burly 265/50R-20 off-road tires wrap around flat-black alloy wheels and the spare tire has been custom mounted to the rear hatch, which opens to a metal- and leather-trimmed cargo area. A custom wood and aluminum roof rack with a beautiful custom leather tow strap tongue provide the perfect finishing touches.

      View full article
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