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William Maley

2017 Chevrolet Colorado Looks To Give Toyota's Tacoma TRD Pro A Run For the Money: Comments

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It was three years ago that Chevrolet showed off the Colorado ZR2 concept at the LA Auto Show. It was a mean looker with an aggressive look, raised suspension, and meaty off-road tires. Imagine our surprise when Chevrolet revealed the production version tonight in Los Angeles.

The 2017 Colorado ZR2 keeps the mean look of the concept with a new front end treatment, raised hood, skid plates, 31-inch Goodyear Duratrac tires mounted on 17-inch wheels, and an optional spare tire carrier in the bed.

But under the skin is where the juicy changes are. Chevrolet has widened the track by 3.5-inches, raised the suspension by 2-inches and equipped it with unique spool-valve dampers from Multimatic - yes the same folks who are being tasked with building the upcoming Ford GT. The dampers first used on the Camaro Z/28, come with six different tuning curves up front, and four in the rear to provide better ride and handling characteristics over different terrains. 

Engine choices include the 3.6L V6 (308 horsepower, 275 pound-feet) and 2.8L Duramax Turbodiesel (181 horsepower, 369 pound-feet). The four-wheel drive system features a set of electronic-locking differentials for the front and rear axles.

No word on pricing on when the Colorado ZR2 will arrive at dealers.

Source: Chevrolet
Press Release is on Page 2


New Colorado ZR2 A "Segment of One" Among Off-Road Pickups

  • New performance variant of the Chevrolet Colorado excels in tight two-tracks, technical rock-crawling, fast desert running and on pavement

LOS ANGELES — Just as introduction of the Chevrolet Colorado reset the bar for mid-size trucks, the new Colorado ZR2 is poised to reset expectations for off-road trucks. Chevy’s new performance halo for the Colorado lineup will feature more off-road technology than any other mid-size pickup when it goes on sale.

The ZR2 is effectively a segment of one, combining the nimbleness and maneuverability of a mid-size pickup with a host of new off-road features and the most off-road technology of any vehicle in its segment.

Compared to a standard Colorado, the ZR2 features a much wider track and a lifted suspension. Functional rockers have been added for better performance over rocks and obstacles, and the front and rear bumpers have been modified for better off-road clearance.

Class-exclusive features include front and rear electronic locking differentials, available diesel engine, and the first off-road application of Multimatic Dynamic Suspensions Spool Valve (DSSVTM) damper technology.

As a result, the Colorado ZR2 delivers exceptional performance in a variety of scenarios – from technical rock crawling to tight two-track trails to high-speed desert running to daily driving.

“Our engineers have been incredibly successful developing Corvette and Camaro performance variants with broad performance envelopes,” said Mark Reuss, executive vice president, Global Product Development, Purchasing and Supply Chain. “The ZR2 applies that same philosophy to off-road performance. You can go rock crawling on Saturday, desert running on Sunday, and comfortably drive to work on Monday. This truck can do it all, and do it all well.”

First off-road application of Multimatic DSSV dampers
To achieve this unprecedented balance of on- and off-road performance, the Chevy engineering team turned to a surprising partner in creating the ZR2’s dampers, which are the heart of any off-road truck.

Multimatic Inc., based in Markham, Ontario, is a renowned maker of high-performance Dynamic Suspensions Spool Valve (DSSV) dampers as used in championship-winning motorsport vehicles, including recent Formula One winners.

The first volume production vehicle to use DSSV dampers was the 2014 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28. The 2017 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 will be the first application of Multimatic DSSV damper technology to an off-road vehicle.

“From our experience on Z/28, we knew the performance advantages offered by DSSV dampers, “ said Mark Dickens, executive director, Performance Variants, Performance Parts and Motorsports Engineering, Chevrolet. “We also know that Multimatic’s motorsport development mentality would allow us to bring a uniquely precise and repeatable custom damper to market even more quickly than a traditional damper system.”

Compared to deflected-disk valving common on most dampers, the ZR2 employs spool valves that offer increased precision and manufacturing repeatability along with enhanced ride and handling performance both on- and off-road.

The Colorado ZR2’s DSSV dampers are position-sensitive. Their aluminum bodies each house two spool valves providing both compression and rebound damping optimized for everyday driving. During extreme off-road use, a third, piston-mounted spool valve delivers additional, uniquely tuned, compression damping. The front dampers also employ a separate rebound valve, which comes into play when the suspension approaches full extension.

“A traditional, deflected-disc damper only offers two force-velocity curves for tuning,” Dickens said. “The ZR2 dampers offer six tuning curves for the front, four at the rear. For the driver, this translates to greater confidence and control in a wider range of driving experiences.”

Design meets mud, sand and rock
Visually, the production version of the Colorado ZR2 closely resembles the concept shown at the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show. Consumer response to that concept was so overwhelming, the team knew they needed to carry as much of the original design into production as possible.

“For both the concept and the production versions of ZR2, the exterior design was shaped by the desire to improve capability driving over mud, sand and rock,” said Rich Scheer, director of design for Chevrolet Truck. “The wider, more aggressive stance, modified front and rear bumpers, and even the bed-mounted, spare-tire carrier all improve performance driving over rough terrain.”

Compared to a Colorado Z71, the ZR2 has a more aggressive side profile, with the suspension lifted two inches for greater ground clearance. The steel-tube, functional rocker protectors will be standard equipment on the ZR2, and are strong enough to protect the body side while dragging the truck against a rock face.

The ZR2 also features 17 x 8 inch aluminum wheels, in a pattern exclusive to the ZR2, wrapped in 31-inch Goodyear Duratrac off-road tires for exceptional traction. 

The front and rear track has been widened by three-and-a-half inches, with new cast-iron control arms for greater durability in off-road situations. As a result, the ZR2 offers greater wheel travel and stability while traversing steep grades.

The front bumper of the ZR2 has tapered ends, to increase the tire clearance when approaching obstacles. The bumper also integrates a thick, aluminum skid plate protecting the radiator and engine oil pan, while the transfer case is protected by an additional shield. Above the bumper, the ZR2 features a more aggressive grille and hood – with black insert – to complement the other exterior changes.

A bed-mounted spare tire carrier, seen on reveal vehicles at the Los Angeles Auto Show, will be available as an accessory. “The bed-mounted spare tire adds a rugged look to ZR2, and serves a functional purpose. By relocating the spare to the bed, ZR2’s departure is improved and prevents any damage to the spare when you’re crawling over obstacles,” said Scheer.

Class-exclusive electronic lockers, available diesel engine
The ZR2 also features the most sophisticated four-wheel drive system in the segment. With class-exclusive, electronic-locking differentials front and rear and Chevrolet’s AutoTrac transfer case, the ZR2 offers nine drive configurations:

  • 2WD
  • 2WD, locked rear differential
  • Auto 4WD
  • Auto 4WD, locked rear differential
  • 4WD Hi, locked transfer case
  • 4WD Hi, locked transfer case and locked rear differential
  • 4WD Lo, locked transfer case
  • 4WD Lo, locked transfer case and locked rear differential
  • 4WD Lo, locked transfer case, locked front and rear differentials

Extensive work was done to integrate the electronic lockers and allow them to seamlessly interact with the traction control, stability control, and hill-descent control. In addition, a new “Off-Road Mode” button, in combination with the traction control switch, allows the anti-lock brakes, traction control, and stability control calibrations to be tailored to different driving conditions. Off-road Mode also alters the throttle progression and shifts calibrations to give the driver better control and responsiveness.

The ZR2 shares its powertrains with the 2017 Colorado, and it will be the only extreme production off-road truck to offer the choice of gas or diesel engines.

The all-new 3.6L V-6, mated to a class-exclusive Hydra-Matic 8L45 8-speed automatic transmission, yields 308 horsepower and 275 lb-ft of torque, while the class-exclusive Duramax diesel engine produces 181 horsepower and 369 lb-ft of torque and will provide excellent range to overland drivers.

Even with all of the off-roading upgrades over the base truck, the ZR2 can still tow up to 5,000 lbs. – enough to pull a camper, trailer dirt bikes, jet skis, snow mobiles and other toys – or carry 1,100 lbs. of payload.

As such, the Colorado ZR2 offers a distinct position in the market: Compared to other midsize trucks, the Colorado offers an unrivaled suite of powertrain technologies; compared to full-size off-road trucks, the ZR2 is about a foot narrower and 500 pounds lighter, enabling greater agility over obstacles and better trail access.

“It’s amazing what a difference a foot of width makes off road,” said Dickens. “The smaller size of the Colorado is a huge enabler for taking the ZR2 more places, and getting it through tighter spots than you could access with a full-size truck.”

New, off-road development track at GM’s Yuma Proving Ground
For the development of the Colorado ZR2, Chevrolet developed new off-road test areas at General Motors’ Yuma, Arizona Proving Ground.

The Yuma Proving Ground is located on 2,400 acres of land in southeastern Arizona. Opened in 2009, Yuma features a range of tracks, laboratories and courses. 

The new off-road facility features a multitude of off-road simulations, including high-speed desert sand trails; low-speed, loose river rock crossings; and steep, technical hill climbs and descents.

Yuma Proving Ground’s new off-road course allowed the team to test multiple iterations of components on the ZR2 is a single day. These components were then tested a real-world facilities like Moab, Johnson Valley, and Rubicon to ensure the ZR2 is trail-ready right from the factory.


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This is such easy profit margin it is an I brainer.  Truck buyers will pay $45-50k for what is basically a $30k truck with a lift kit and big tires.  A Tacoma TRD is over $45k and it has a Camry power train and Camry level or below interior, but costs $20k more, easy money.

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This is like everyone else said, a no brainer but with the Diesel. That would rock. Then add a performance kit to the diesel and you could probably boost the output of the engine by 25% or more.

This rocks! :metal: 

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11 minutes ago, Stew said:

YES, YES, YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The truck wars are starting to be more interesting than the Muscle car wars of the late 1960's. Quite frankly, I am stunned with what I see.  And if the new Super Duty is any guide, Ford will drop a thermonuclear bomb on the specialty truck segment when they introduce the Bronco.

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4 minutes ago, A Horse With No Name said:

The truck wars are starting to be more interesting than the Muscle car wars of the late 1960's. Quite frankly, I am stunned with what I see.  And if the new Super Duty is any guide, Ford will drop a thermonuclear bomb on the specialty truck segment when they introduce the Bronco.

This is exactly what i want.  Awesome approach angles, locking front and rear diffs, lots of ground clearance and in a smaller more maneuverable package.  It may take me a few years, but i will have one!

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3 minutes ago, Stew said:

This is exactly what i want.  Awesome approach angles, locking front and rear diffs, lots of ground clearance and in a smaller more maneuverable package.  It may take me a few years, but i will have one!

Methinks you will love it!

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2 minutes ago, A Horse With No Name said:

Methinks you will love it!

I love it and hug it, and drive the wheels off of it, and call it George....

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12 minutes ago, Stew said:

I love it and hug it, and drive the wheels off of it, and call it George....

Just don't forget to wash George when he gets muddy....

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So I'm having a difficult time understanding where this will price and why anybody who isn't a fanboy would buy it over a Raptor... Here's why..(I do understand if you genuinely want a smaller vehicle because not everybody wants a half ton size truck.

I built a crew cab, Z71, with the Trailboss package and the Duramax and it ran up a tad over 46k. Won't this be at the very least a 2-3k package on top of that?? That brings it to just under 50k and a Raptor is something like 52-55k.

Unless I'm screwing up and can be built in lesser trims like LT or LS. I guess I'm just assuming it is added price on top of the top trim.

Edited by ccap41
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This looks considerably better than and appears to be packing notably more hardcore components than the TRD Pro. 

Silver with the 3.6 V6, please.

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1 minute ago, A Horse With No Name said:

Just don't forget to wash George when he gets muddy....

Hehe, sorry, my bad attempt at some Looney Toons humor.  Seriously though, a Raptor would never work for me on size alone.  This just has me overjoyed haha. 

1 minute ago, Frisky Dingo said:

This looks considerably better than and appears to be packing notably more hardcore components than the TRD Pro. 

Silver with the 3.6 V6, please.

Extended cab 3.6 in grey here :)  I am nicely impressed especially with dual locking diffs.  This seems like what would happen if the Power wagon and raptor had a baby with slightly stunted growth. 

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4 minutes ago, ccap41 said:

So I'm having a difficult time understanding where this will price and why anybody who isn't a fanboy would buy it over a Raptor... Here's why..(I do understand if you genuinely want a smaller vehicle because not everybody wants a half ton size truck.

I built a crew cab, Z71, with the Trailboss package and the Duramax and it ran up a tad over 46k. Won't this be at the very least a 2-3k package on top of that?? That brings it to just under 50k and a Raptor is something like 52-55k.

Unless I'm screwing up and can be built in lesser trims like LT or LS. I guess I'm just assuming it is added price on top of the top trim.

Estimated base prices I am seeing are around 40k, but with no official announcement.  Also, 50k is the base for the Raptor and 46k is all out maxed out on the Trail boss.  I priced out a decently loaded SuperCrew Raptor  9though no accessories like a bed liner, ramps, or tailgate step, etc), and it came to nearly 70 grand.  that is where our difference comes in. 

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Base mdl ZR2 with no option has a payload off 1100lbs ( my old 2001 Ranger SC had a payload of just over 1500lbs and 5600lbs tow rating ) and tow rating of 5000lbs....Add crew Cab and options and both those plummet.

Yikes.

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35 minutes ago, Stew said:

Estimated base prices I am seeing are around 40k, but with no official announcement.  Also, 50k is the base for the Raptor and 46k is all out maxed out on the Trail boss.  I priced out a decently loaded SuperCrew Raptor  9though no accessories like a bed liner, ramps, or tailgate step, etc), and it came to nearly 70 grand.  that is where our difference comes in. 

Yeah but those base prices are extended cab, 3.6 not the Duramax which is only offered in the crew cab. So I guess the 3.6 will be offered at a much more reasonable price but the Duramax will be insane for the money, imo.

Raptor starts at 49,500(with destination added in). Add in the 801A package to get leather and 10 way adjustable seats brings it to 52,600 in crew cab form, not Super Crew. Super Crew was 55,600. I'm not sure what you added to get another 15k but it had to have been absolutely loaded to the brim with extra petty stuff. Jumping to the 802A($9300) package the Super Crew was still "only" 61,800. But if it's 10-12k more than a ZR2 at THAT package level you're getting features that the Silverado doesn't even offer. The 801A is realistic price comparison.

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If this is a successful truck, which I'm sure it will be, could it lead to a new ZR2 series for the Silverado? GM did show a Silverado ZR2 concept back at the 2009 SEMA show.  Would be a nice way to use the R&D spent on the Hummer vehicle program on GM's current pickups.

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Like i said i didn't include things like the tailgate step, etc, though some crazy interior packages?  yes.  the price  came to 67200, but is possible to get over 70k by adding options like the tailgate step, etc.  My guess is that you are looking at at least a 10k difference equally optioned.  I doubt you see any incentives on either of these trucks meaning MSRP should give you an idea of what they will be bought for, at least after the initial period of ridiculous dealer markups. 

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1 minute ago, FordCosworth said:

Base mdl ZR2 with no option has a payload off 1100lbs ( my old 2001 Ranger SC had a payload of just over 1500lbs and 5600lbs tow rating ) and tow rating of 5000lbs....Add crew Cab and options and both those plummet.

Yikes.

Yeah it's not made for that though.. Comparing it to the Raptor again the payload and towing capability are dog$h! as well.

Looking on Ford's website it doesn't seem right because it still states the 12,200lb towing capacity and 3270lb payload.

I'm pretty confident that those numbers drop a decent amount for the Raptor.

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4 minutes ago, ccap41 said:

Yeah it's not made for that though.. Comparing it to the Raptor again the payload and towing capability are dog$h! as well.

Looking on Ford's website it doesn't seem right because it still states the 12,200lb towing capacity and 3270lb payload.

I'm pretty confident that those numbers drop a decent amount for the Raptor.

Raptor suck too at being a pick up

Just not as bad as this thing. 

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4 minutes ago, Stew said:

Like i said i didn't include things like the tailgate step, etc, though some crazy interior packages?  yes.  the price  came to 67200, but is possible to get over 70k by adding options like the tailgate step, etc.  My guess is that you are looking at at least a 10k difference equally optioned.  I doubt you see any incentives on either of these trucks meaning MSRP should give you an idea of what they will be bought for, at least after the initial period of ridiculous dealer markups. 

But if you equip them similarly you won't be touching 60k in the Raptor as it just offers things the Colorado doesn't.

10k seems right if you aren't getting the optional Duramax.

1 minute ago, Stew said:

I am finding 1200 pound payload and 8000 pound tow rating for the Raptor. 

That seems more accurate than what I found. Definitely. Is that extended cab or super crew?

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1 minute ago, ccap41 said:

But if you equip them similarly you won't be touching 60k in the Raptor as it just offers things the Colorado doesn't.

10k seems right if you aren't getting the optional Duramax.

That seems more accurate than what I found. Definitely. Is that extended cab or super crew?

See the links.  looks like these are Supercrew and the Supercab actually drops to 1000, but towing stays at 8000.

5 minutes ago, FordCosworth said:

Raptor suck too at being a pick up

Just not as bad as this thing. 

See above.  Depending on cab it is only 100 pounds more or even less in the payload and 2500 more towing, but I don't see many purchasing either of these for towing.

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19 minutes ago, Stew said:

I am finding 1200 pound payload and 8000 pound tow rating for the Raptor. 

http://www.ford.com/trucks/f150/specifications/towing/

http://www.ford.com/trucks/f150/specifications/payload/

That's where I tried to go but for whatever reason the page was "simplified" and didn't break it down like that at all. I do like that they break it down to the T for us to see the payload and towing capacity.

13 minutes ago, Stew said:

Depending on cab it is only 100 pounds more or even less in the payload and 2500 more towing, but I don't see many purchasing either of these for towing.

I've seen them tow but you're spot on. Nobody buys these to tow.. The occasional trailer for things is great but they aren't designed with that in mind.

Am I seeing something wrong but that link showed the shorter extended cab(134.2in wheelbase) Raptor towing only 6000lbs? Same with payload, 1200 SCrew and 1000 extended cab.

Edited by ccap41

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38 minutes ago, FordCosworth said:

Base mdl ZR2 with no option has a payload off 1100lbs ( my old 2001 Ranger SC had a payload of just over 1500lbs and 5600lbs tow rating ) and tow rating of 5000lbs....Add crew Cab and options and both those plummet.

Yikes.

 

Still more than enough to put camping gear in the bed and haul pull some dirtbikes/quads/jet-skis. Be realistic.

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      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.

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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
      From 2010 to 2014, the Chevrolet Camaro was undisputed sales champion of the U.S. sports cars. But since 2015, the Camaro has been falling behind the likes of the Ford Mustang. At the time, Chevrolet officials were okay with giving up some volume to boost profitability. Unlike Ford which started focusing on lower-end models, Chevrolet decided to target performance-oriented models with high price tags. 
      But this year, the Camaro has been outsold by both the Mustang and Dodge Challenger - the latter using a platform that is over a decade old. Chevrolet is now planning to fight back by focusing on the lower-end of the market, a place where Ford and Dodge have been making big inroads.
      "Frankly, they've been eating our lunch. The low [transaction prices] of a four-cylinder ... that's where the bulk of the sales are and that's where our pricing strategy needed improvement. We plan to go head to head — and win," said Al Oppenheiser, chief engineer of the Camaro to Automotive News.
      Chevrolet has cut prices on the Camaro 1LS, 1LT, and 2LT as part of the 2019 refresh. They have also introduced a 1LE version for the 2.0L turbo-four to better compete with the Mustang EcoBoost. The 1LE brings a chassis package from the 1LE V6, 20-inch wheels, and a six-speed manual for only $30,995 (includes shipping).
      "What's happening in the sport car segment, there's a lot more volume in the low-to-mid part of the market. We do a phenomenal job with our loaded SS's, and it's great business for us, but the reality is there's an awful lot of people who just want a great looking sports car somewhere in that $30,000 range, and that's what we're going to deliver," said Steve Majoros, Chevy's marketing director for cars and crossovers.
      Karl Brauer, executive publisher of Kelley Blue Book said Chevrolet adding the 1LE package for the turbo-four Camaro will allow it to be better compete with the Mustang. But he also questioned whether Chevrolet went far enough with the 2019 refresh to address some of styling issues that have turned off some buyers.
      "It doesn't hurt to have a lot of value for the money. I just wonder if that alone is the real stumbling block," said Brauer.
      "It just doesn't have the personality that the other two cars offer."
      Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)

      View full article
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