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  1. How do you celebrate 50 years since the introduction of the original COPO Chevrolet Camaro drag car? If you're Chevrolet, you unveil a concept COPO Camaro with an electric powertrain. Today at the SEMA show in Las Vegas, Chevrolet introduced the eCOPO Camaro Concept. Developed with pioneering electric drag racing team Hancock and Lane Racing, the eCOPO uses an electric motor providing 700 horsepower and 600 pound-feet of torque. Chevrolet estimates that the eCOPO can do the quarter-mile in nine seconds. Beginning with a standard COPO Camaro, the V8 engine is swapped for an electric motor assembly comprised of two BorgWarner HVH 250-150 motors. This teamed with a Turbo 400 automatic transmission. In the trunk resides an all-new 800-volt battery pack that allows for "a more efficient power transfer to the electric motor and supports faster recharging." The battery pack is arranged in such a way to allow for a 44/56 front-to-rear weight ratio. What makes the eCOPO concept unique is the electric motor "has the same bell house mounting pattern and crankshaft flange" as Chevrolet's LS family of engines. This means you could swap the standard V8 engine for an electric powertrain without having to change other driveshaft components. “The possibilities are intriguing and suggest a whole new world for racers. Chevrolet pioneered the concept of the high-performance crate engine right around the time the original COPO Camaro models were created, and the eCOPO project points to a future that could include electric crate motors for racing, or even your street rod. We’re not there yet, but it’s something we’re exploring,” said Russ O’Blenes, director, Performance Variants, Parts and Motorsports at General Motors. H/T to @67impss for letting us know about the eCOPO Gallery: Chevrolet eCOPO Camaro Concept Source: Chevrolet eCOPO Camaro Race Car Concept Electrifies Drag Racing LAS VEGAS — Fifty years after the original COPO Camaro special order performance models were introduced, Chevrolet’s eCOPO Camaro Concept demonstrates an electrified vision for drag racing. Developed by General Motors and built in partnership with the pioneering electric drag racing team Hancock and Lane Racing, the concept race car — based on the 2019 COPO Camaro — is entirely electric powered, driven by an electric motor providing the equivalent of more than 700 horsepower and 600 lb-ft of torque. Chevrolet estimates quarter-mile times in the 9-second range. Testing is ongoing. “The eCOPO Concept is all about where we go in the future with electrification in the high performance space,” said Russ O’Blenes, director, Performance Variants, Parts and Motorsports at General Motors. “The original COPO Camaro program was all about pushing the envelope, and this concept is an exploration with the very same spirit.” Chevrolet partnered with Hancock and Lane Racing not only because of the team’s success in NHRA drag racing, but also its involvement with Patrick McCue, the driving force behind the record-holding “Shock and Awe” electric drag racing car, and his Seattle-area Bothell High School automotive technology program. With the racing team’s assistance, more than a dozen students participated in the development and assembly of the electrified drag car. “This project exemplifies Chevrolet and General Motors’ commitment to engaging young minds in STEM education,” said O’Blenes. “It also represents our goal of a world with zero emissions, with the next generation of engineers and scientists who will help us get there.” 800 volts Just as the original 1969 COPO Camaro models relied on creative engineering to make them successful in Stock Eliminator drag racing, the eCOPO breaks new ground with its unique motor and GM’s first 800-volt battery back. The electric motor is based on a pair of BorgWarner HVH 250-150 motor assemblies, each generating 300 lb-ft of torque, and replaces the gas engine. It is connected to a conventional racing-prepared “Turbo 400” automatic transmission that channels the motor’s torque to the same solid rear axle used in the production COPO Camaro race cars. The all-new 800-volt battery pack enables a more efficient power transfer to the electric motor and supports faster recharging, which is important for the limited time between elimination rounds in drag racing. “Eight hundred volts is more than twice the voltage of the battery packs in the production Chevrolet Volt and Bolt EV, so the eCOPO pushes into new technological territory,” says O’Blenes. “As GM advances its electrification leadership, a big step might just come from the drag strip.” The battery pack is composed of four 200-volt modules, each weighing approximately 175 pounds, mounted strategically in the car for optimal weight distribution. Two are located in the rear seat area and the other two are in the trunk: one in the spare tire well and the other in the area over the rear axle. A full Battery Management System monitors all critical voltages and temperatures within the pack. It ties into a comprehensive safety system that continuously evaluates all vehicle electrical components for proper function and safe operation. The batteries in the rear compartment are sealed off from the interior and an integrated driveshaft tunnel has been added between the modules for increased protection. Additionally, the roll cage in the trunk area has been expanded to provide additional protection for the rear-mounted modules. With the modules’ strategic positions, the eCOPO Camaro has greater than a 56 percent rear-weight bias, which helps launch the car more efficiently. Electric crate motors The eCOPO Camaro Concept expands Chevrolet and General Motors’ electrification development and supports future product development. It also suggests a potential new avenue for Chevrolet’s crate engine and performance parts portfolio. The eCOPO Camaro’s electric motor has the same bell house mounting pattern and crankshaft flange as the popular LS-family engines in Chevrolet’s crate engine portfolio. That allows it to bolt up to just about any General Motors transmission. In fact, the transmission, driveshaft and other drivetrain components remain in the same locations as in a gasoline-powered COPO Camaro race car, meaning the electric motor simply bolts into the engine compartment in place of the gas engine. “The possibilities are intriguing and suggest a whole new world for racers,” said O’Blenes. “Chevrolet pioneered the concept of the high-performance crate engine right around the time the original COPO Camaro models were created, and the eCOPO project points to a future that could include electric crate motors for racing, or even your street rod. We’re not there yet, but it’s something we’re exploring.” In the meantime, Chevrolet and Hancock and Lane Racing will continue to develop the eCOPO Camaro and test it on the drag strip, seeking quicker elapsed times with all-new technology. The eCOPO Concept, shown in Electric Blue, joins the 50th anniversary 2019 COPO Camaro production race car and approximately two dozen additional Chevrolet concepts and show vehicles at the SEMA Show in Las Vegas through Nov. 2.
  2. Jaguar Land Rover has already announced plans to begin electrifying their lineups beginning in 2020, but Jaguar could be going one step further. Autocar reports that the management is considering making Jaguar an EV-only brand within the next decade. Plans have already been drawn up for a strategy that would see Jaguar phase out its conventional lineup with fully electric models over the next five to seven years. Here is the gist of the strategy, A fully-electric sedan would replace the XJ sedan in two-years time. This model will take on the likes of the Tesla Model S and Porsche's upcoming Taycan. The XE and XF will be replaced by a new electric crossover that will be similar in size to Audi's e-tron crossover (possibly taking the place of the F-Pace) by 2023. 2025 would see the E-Pace replaced by the next-generation I-Pace. The upcoming large J-Pace crossover will be the sole conventional model until 2027 when an electric replacement debuts. There is talk about an electric sports car taking the place of the F-Type. It is quite the gamble that JLR is considering for the brand. But it one the brand is seriously considering for two reasons. One is that Jaguar sales have been floundering due partly to lineup having more sedans than crossovers, along with being heavily dependent on diesel. The other is that it would allow Jaguar to jump ahead of the likes of Audi and Mercedes-Benz with electric vehicles. Remember, Jaguar already has their EV on sale, while Audi and Mercedes-Benz are in the process of launching theirs. Source: Autocar
  3. Mercedes' is planning to have 10 fully-electric models by 2022 - a mix of electric models for current nameplates and new models as part of the EQ family. We've already seen the EQ C crossover and the EQ A hatchback is waiting in the wings. A new report from Autocar has revealed some details on the EQ S, the flagship model of the EQ family. The EQ S is expected to launch in 2020 and be first model to use a dedicated EV platform. Known as MEA2, the platform features a lot of aluminum and is designed with a fully flat floor. The EQ C and and EQ A use modified versions of current Mercedes models: MQ C uses a variation of the GLC's platform, and the EQ A will be based on a revised version of the A-Class platform. According to source, the EQ S will slot between the E and S-Class, and be similar in size to the CLS-Class. The EQ S will have a "shorter bonnet and ultra-short overhangs" to help maximize interior space. Power is expected to come from a dual-motor layout - one mounted on each axle. The EQ C has a similar layout and produces 402 horsepower and 564 pound-feet of torque. We would expect something similar for the EQ S. Source: Autocar
  4. September is turning out to be a month focusing on electric vehicles. Already, Mercedes-Benz has pulled the cover off the EQC and Audi is planning to reveal the E-Tron crossover next week. Now Aston Martin has announced official specifications for its first electric vehicle, the Rapide E. The model being worked on with Williams Advanced Engineering will use two electric motors on the rear axle to deliver 602 horsepower and 700 pound-feet of torque. 0-60 mph is said to take under 4 seconds and the Rapide E can hit a top speed of 155 mph. A 65-kwh lithium-ion battery pack is estimated to provide a range of over 200 miles on the new WTLP test cycle - somewhat disappointing when compared to the likes of the Tesla Model S 75D which offers a range of 259 miles. Using a 50kW charger, the Rapide E can get a 150 mile charge in just an hour. There will also be a 100kW charger that provides a charge of 5 miles per minute. The Rapide E's exterior and underbody has been tweaked to improve aerodynamics. This includes a unique design for the wheels. The Pirelli P Zero tires feature sound deadening to help make the vehicle as quiet as possible. Aston is only planning to build 155 Rapide Es when production kicks off late next year. The model will be used as a rolling testbed for future Aston and Lagonda electric vehicles. "As our first all-electric production model, Rapide E will fast-track our knowledge and help us ensure the character and high-performance capabilities of our future EV models and enhance the unique qualities found in all Aston Martins as we know them today. Rapide E will also serve as a critical step on our path to re-launching Lagonda as the world’s first zero-emission luxury marque," said Andy Palmer, CEO of Aston Martin. Source: Aston Martin Rapide E: Secrets of First All-Electric Aston Martin Revealed Rapide E to be Aston Martin’s first Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV) Product name confirmed as ‘Rapide E’ Aston Martin developing Rapide E with Williams Advanced Engineering Production run of 155 units Twin electric motors to produce over 610PS and 950Nm of torque creating most powerful Rapide model Features innovative 800V battery system; DC/DC converter facilitates fast charging, even on 400V network Cars will be built in dedicated facility at Aston Martin’s St. Athan site First customer deliveries scheduled for Q4 2019 12 September 2018, Millbrook, England: With development of Aston Martin’s first all-electric production car – the Rapide E – progressing apace, the luxury British marque has today confirmed a raft of technical details for the strictly limited 155-unit special edition. Working closely with Williams Advanced Engineering (WAE) as its development partner, Aston Martin has utilised the hugely successful leader in Electric Vehicle (EV) technology to kickstart a new era for Aston Martin’s powertrain technology and overcome the technical challenges associated with packaging the battery system and motors within the space available. Throughout the development process, the engineering team have focused on achieving effective cooling of the batteries and motor to ensure consistent performance, while strict weight targets have been stringently observed using lightweight alloys and carbon composite materials. Rapide E will be powered by an 800V battery electrical architecture with 65kWh installed capacity using over 5600 lithium ion 18650 format cylindrical cells. These are mounted in a bespoke battery pack where the original 6.0-litre V12, its gearbox and fuel tank were located. This battery system powers two rear mounted electric motors producing a combined target output of just over 610PS and a colossal 950Nm of torque. Rapide E’s range target is over 200 miles under the Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP), while the model is capable of charging at a rate of 1851,2 miles of range per hour using a typical 400V 50kW charger. However, the car’s 800V high-voltage battery system enables faster charging of 3101,2 miles of range per hour, using an 800V outlet delivering 100kW or higher. Being an Aston Martin, the Rapide E is being developed with a high-performance objective. Projected top speed for the Rapide E is 155mph, with a sub-4.0sec 0-60mph time and a 50-70mph time of just 1.5sec. It’s important to stress that these figures are not restricted to a narrow window only when the batteries are fully-charged. Instead the target is for maximum performance on-demand throughout majority of the battery state of charge window, as would be expected from a conventional internal combustion-engined car. This includes the ability to drive a full lap of the Nürburgring with absolutely no derating of the battery and the ability to cope with the daily demands of repeated hard acceleration and braking. The car’s exterior and underbody has also been aerodynamically optimised and complemented with newly-designed aerodynamic wheels. Shod with Pirelli P-Zero low rolling-resistance tyres featuring noise-cancelling foam, Rapide E aims to achieve higher levels of aerodynamic, frictional losses and cooling performance over the standard Rapide S. It has also been an objective of the project to retain and enhance the feel, character and delivery of the V12-engined Rapide S. To this end, careful attention will be paid to the development and tuning of both the electric powertrain and the chassis, with particular focus applied to software integration. The rear-wheel drive Rapide E’s twin electric motors will drive through a Limited-Slip Differential, which combined with revised spring and damper rates ensures the pure handling characteristics for which the petrol-powered Rapide S is already renowned. Though the Rapide E will be built in low volumes, it is being subjected to Aston Martin’s stringent and exhaustive testing protocols, with the dedicated WAE team working closely alongside Aston Martin personnel to ensure every aspect of the prototype test programme follows the marque’s established procedures. Uniquely, customers will be an extended part of the ongoing Rapide E programme, with their comments and driving experiences providing an invaluable stream of feedback that will help shape and improve future Aston Martin EVs. In addition to WAE, the Rapide E programme enjoys the support of other technical partners including Hyperbat Limited – a new joint venture company between Williams Advanced Engineering and Unipart Manufacturing Group – as the battery manufacturer, Integral Powertrain Technologies for the electric motors, Xtrac for the transmission and the H1PERBAT project consortium with grant funding from the Advanced Propulsion Centre. Speaking of the Rapide E programme, Andy Palmer, CEO Aston Martin, commented: “Environmental responsibility and sustainability is a global challenge faced by us all. As a career automotive engineer, I’m proud that the car industry is leading the way in finding long-term solutions and reducing harmful emissions. As Aston Martin’s CEO, I take particular satisfaction working with Williams Advanced Engineering and our other associated technology partners to bring Rapide E to reality. As our first all-electric production model, Rapide E will fast-track our knowledge and help us ensure the character and high-performance capabilities of our future EV models and enhance the unique qualities found in all Aston Martins as we know them today. Rapide E will also serve as a critical step on our path to re-launching Lagonda as the world’s first zero-emission luxury marque”. Rapide E will be built at the upcoming St. Athan production facility, announced as the future ‘Home of Electrification’ for both the Aston Martin and Lagonda brands. Aston Martin is accepting expressions of interest via its global dealership network, with pricing available on application. Customer deliveries are set for Q4 2019.
  5. Back in December, we reported that Audi had no plans on introducing a third-generation R8 sports car due to slow sales. But a new report says Audi is moving forward with the next-generation R8 and is planning to make it electric. According to Autocar, plans for the next-generation R8 were unshelled as the automaker is planning to build out a range of all-electric models for their e-tron sub-brand. An electric supercar would be an excellent way to cap off the lineup. The model is expected to take some ideas from the PB18 concept shown last month at Pebble Beach. Autocar speculates the model could produce up to 1000 horsepower from its electric motors (the report doesn't say how many motors). Production could begin at the company's Neckarsulm, Germany in 2022. Source: Autocar
  6. Mercedes-Benz is the next luxury automaker out the gate with their first electric vehicle, the 2020 EQC. This is the first model in Mercedes' EQ (short for Electric Intelligence) sub-brand that is expected to have 10 models by 2025. The exterior looks a bit like a GLC crossover brought from the future. The overall shape and dimensions of the EQC are similar to the GLC. Up front is where most will decide wether they like it or not with a large emblem that lights, two grille styles, black material running around the outer edges, and boomerang-shaped headlights. Inside, the EQC is recognizable as a Mercedes with a similar dash design and dual rectangular 10.25-inch media displays. A rose gold finish on the trim is available on the the Electric Art trim. The Mercedes MBUX infotainment system has some features that are exclusive to the EQC such as a navigation system that can figure out a route to maximize range and the ability to set charging times. Under the skin, the EQC follows the template of other electric vehicles by using a dual motor layout and a 80 kWh lithium-ion battery pack. Mercedes says the electric motor on the front axle is set up for economy - this will provide the power for most situations. The motor on the back axle "adds sportiness." Total output is rated at 402 horsepower and 564 pound-feet of torque. The dual-motor layout also brings forth all-wheel drive traction. Mercedes estimates that that EQC can travel 200 miles on a full charge, disappointing when you consider the Jaguar I-Pace can travel 250 miles - although the Jaguar has a larger 90 kWh battery pack. (UPDATE: Mercedes-Benz has told The Verge that the 200 mile range mentioned in the press releases is wrong. It is now citing a range of about 450 km, about 280 miles. We should note this figure is based on the NEDC standard, which tends to be more optimistic than the EPA standard.) No timeframe was given on how long it takes to recharge the EQC on a home charger. Mercedes does say that on 150-kW DC charger, the EQC's battery only needs 40 minutes to get an 80 percent charge. Sales of the EQC begin next year in Europe, while the U.S. has to wait until 2020. Source: Mercedes-Benz The new Mercedes-Benz EQC The Mercedes-Benz among electric vehicles The highlights Mercedes-Benz is flipping the switch. The new EQC is … … The first Mercedes-Benz under the product and technology brand EQ EQ stands for "Electric Intelligence" It is derived from the Mercedes-Benz brand values of "Emotion" and "Intelligence" The EQC is part of a growing family of all-electric vehicles from Mercedes-Benz Conceived to meet all the requirements for a battery-electric drive system Convincing in the sum of its attributes with respect to Mercedes-Benz comfort, quality and operating range An estimated electric range of around 200 miles … Progressive in design Pioneer of an avant-garde electric look Progressive luxury design points the way to the future Large black-panel surface as a striking front feature Optical fibers as a visual link to the torch-like daytime running lamps Sporty, stretched silhouette Innovative interior design inspired by the world of consumer electronics … Excitingly dynamic A dual motor electric drivetrain at each axle, with a combined output of 402 horsepower Superior and confident driving characteristics of an all-wheel drive vehicle Various driving modes with different characteristics Battery recuperation can be adjusted as the customer requires, using gearshift paddles behind the steering wheel. In "D Auto" mode, the EQC can adapt recuperation according to the traffic ahead with the aid of ECO Assist … The Mercedes-Benz among electric vehicles Latest-generation driving assistance systems including Active Distance Assist DISTRONIC and Active Steering Assist Extensive crash test programs, meeting strict Mercedes-Benz requirements Stringent additional tests completed for the battery and all components carrying electrical current Pre-climatization for a comfortable cabin upon arrival in all temperatures Extremely quiet interior Trailblazing MBUX multimedia system - Mercedes-Benz User Experience with numerous EQ-specific functions Integration into ongoing series production at the Mercedes-Benz plant in Bremen Battery produced by the Daimler subsidiary Deutsche ACCUMOTIVE … More than just a car, and a symbol of a new era of mobility Comprehensive services for electric mobility for today and tomorrow Relaxed, uncomplicated travel with transparency and planning certainty Dialogue with visionaries, business people and opinion leaders in the "EQ Community" New event formats "EQ Dinner" and "EQ Nights" Entry into Formula E for the 2019/2020 season It was at the 2016 Paris Motor Show that Mercedes- Benz first presented its new product and technology brand for electric mobility. In mid-2019, the EQC will be the first Mercedes-Benz vehicle to be launched globally under the EQ brand. With its seamless, clear design, it is a pioneer for an avant-garde electric look while representing the design idiom of Progressive Luxury. With respect to quality, safety and comfort the EQC is the Mercedes-Benz among electric vehicles, and highly convincing in the sum of its attributes. These are accompanied by dynamic performance, thanks to two electric motors at the front and rear axles with a combined output of 402 horsepower. A sophisticated operating strategy enables an estimated electric range of around 200 miles (preliminary estimate). EQ also offers comprehensive services with Mercedes me connect, which makes electric mobility convenient and suitable for everyday driving. The EQC also symbolizes the start of a new mobility era at Daimler. The EQC will celebrate its World Premiere in Stockholm on September 4, 2018 and will go on sale in the U.S. in 2020. As the first Mercedes-Benz model under the new product and technology brand EQ, the Mercedes-Benz EQC has many trailblazing design details and color highlights typical of the brand. Both inside and out, the EQC embodies the design idiom of Progressive Luxury. This arises from the combination of digital and analogue elements as well as the seamless merging of intuitive and physical design. By virtue of its muscular proportions, the EQC is classed as a crossover SUV. The extended roofline and window layout with a low shoulderline and the coupe-like roof visually position it between an SUV and an SUV coupe. A striking feature at the front is the large black-panel surface combining the headlamps and grille. For the first time, the black panel is bordered at the top by an LED Light Band as a visual link between the torch-like daytime running lamps. At night, this creates an almost uninterrupted, horizontal light band. The high-quality interior of the EQC also pioneers an avant-garde electro-look. One example is the louvered edges of the upper dashboard and door trim which resembles the cooling fins of a hi-fi amplifier. The instrument panel is designed as a driver-oriented cockpit. The unmistakable Mercedes-Benz wing profile is asymmetrical, with a "cut-out" in the driver area. This is where one of the visual highlights of the cockpit is located - a high-tech, high gloss housing with rectangular air vents with key-shaped, rose-gold colored louvres. Powertrain: Dynamic performance meets efficiency As the first Mercedes-Benz model to be launched under the new product and technology brand EQ, the EQC features an all-new drive system development with compact electric drivetrains at each axle. These give the EQC the confident and dynamic driving characteristics of an all-wheel drive vehicle. To reduce power consumption, the electric drivetrains are configured differently: the front electric motor is optimized for best possible efficiency in the low to medium load range, while the rear motor adds sportiness. Together, they generate an output of 402 hp and a maximum torque of 564 lb-ft. Mercedes-Benz engineers have enhanced noise comfort with a number of measures. In the EQC the powerpacks are isolated by rubber mounts at two points: where the powerpack connects to its subframe and where the subframe connects to the body. This effective isolation is supplemented with insulation measures. As a result, the interior of the EQC is extremely quiet. The lithium-ion battery, which has a usable energy content of 80 kWh supplies the vehicle with power. The power consumption and range of electric vehicles depends very much on the driving style. The EQC supports its driver with five driving programs through DYNAMIC SELECT, each with different characteristics: COMFORT, ECO, MAX RANGE, SPORT and INDIVIDUAL for an individually customizable program. In the more economical driving modes, the haptic accelerator pedal that prompts the driver to conserve power plays an important role. The driver is also able to influence the recuperation level using paddles behind the steering wheel. The ECO Assist system gives the driver comprehensive support by prompting the driver when it is appropriate to lift off the accelerator, for example when the vehicle is approaching a change in speed limit, and by functions such as coasting and specific control of recuperation. For this purpose, navigation data, traffic sign recognition and information from the intelligent safety assistants (radar and stereo camera) are linked and processed. Technical data* Estimated Range Up to 200 miles Drive system 2 asynchronous motors, all- wheel drive Rated output 402 hp Peak torque 564 lb-ft Top speed (mph) 112 mph (electronically limited) Acceleration 0-60 mph 4.9 s (est.) Battery Lithium-ion Battery capacity 80 kWh Length / width (width with mirrors) / height 187.4 / 74.2 (82.5) / 63.9 in Track width (F/R) 64.0/63.6 in Wheelbase 113.1 in *provisional data Charging: Flexible and fast As standard, the EQC is equipped with a water-cooled onboard charger (OBC) with a capacity of 7.4 kW, making it suitable for fast AC charging at home or at public charging stations. Charging at a home wallbox is up to three times faster than at a domestic power socket. It is faster still with DC charging – which is standard for the EQC – for example via CCS (Combined Charging Systems) in Europe and the USA. Depending on the SoC (status of charge), the EQC can be charged with a maximum output of up to 110 kW at an appropriate charging station. In around 40 minutes, the battery can be charged from 10 - 80 percent SoC (provisional data). The multimedia system MBUX: with EQC-specific functions The EQC features the innovative multimedia system MBUX - Mercedes-Benz User Experience - which has numerous EQ-specific functions such as the display of range, charge status and energy flow. EQ-optimized navigation, driving modes, charging current and departure time can also be controlled and set via MBUX. The MBUX touchscreen display has a special EQ menu where numerous EQ features are grouped. Alternatively the user can access the EQ menu of the MBUX system directly using a hard key in the lower left control panel. Thanks to natural language recognition, the EQ-specific voice control helps the driver to operate the EQC. Intelligent services: Relaxed travel from start to finish EQ with Mercedes me connect provides comprehensive services for the electric mobility of today and tomorrow. The most important new services and functions of the EQC planned for market launch include: Pre-entry climate control: This ensures that the vehicle interior is at the desired temperature on departure. It can be programmed directly via MBUX or via the Mercedes me connect App. A sophisticated system with a heat pump and electric heater boosters pre-climatizes the interior for optimal comfort in the cold winter or hot summer days. The EQ-optimized navigation bases its calculation on the fastest route, taking into account the shortest charging time. The route planning also responds dynamically to changes, and can take place both offboard and onboard, externally (via the Mercedes me connect App) and within the vehicle. Thanks to EQ-optimized navigation, Mercedes-Benz customers can easily find charging stations, and Mercedes me Charge gives them convenient access to the charging stations of numerous providers. Active and passive safety: EQC-specific safety concept The EQC is equipped with the latest generation of Mercedes-Benz driver assistance systems. In the Driver Assistance Package, these include new functions such as predictive speed adjustment when approaching traffic: when traffic is detected, Active Distance Assist DISTRONIC® reduces the speed as a precaution. The EQC also meets the highest requirements with respect to passive safety: in addition to the usual, extensive program of crash tests, Mercedes-Benz applies further, particularly stringent safety standards to the battery and all component parts carrying electrical current. These standards exceed legal requirements. The vehicle structure of the EQC has been adapted to suit the special requirements of the electrical components and battery, and is configured to achieve the usual high safety level. For example, a new subframe surrounds the drive components located in the front section, and this unit is supported by the usual mounting points. Mechanical protection of the battery: the high-safety design begins with the installation position of the high-voltage battery beneath the vehicle floor. The energy storage unit is surrounded by a stable frame that can absorb energy. Deformation elements are installed between the frame and the battery, and these are able to absorb additional forces in the event of a severe side impact. A battery guard in the front area of the battery is able to prevent the battery from being pierced by road debris. Electrical protection of the high-voltage system: the extensive experience of Mercedes-Benz with high-voltage drive systems has led to a multi-stage safety concept that deploys in the event of an accident. The high-voltage system automatically shuts down, according to the severity of the accident. There are also shutdown points where emergency teams can deactivate the high-voltage system manually. Testing: Endurance tests around the world By market launch, 200 prototypes and pre-production vehicles of the EQC will have covered several million miles across four continents (Europe, North America, Asia and Africa). The test program comprises more than 500 individual tests. Like all Mercedes-Benz vehicles, the EQC must pass all of the demanding test programs. There are also special tests for the electric powertrain, the battery, and the interplay of all powertrain components. In the process the test experts are able to build upon the extensive findings from their digital testing work, used to ensure both the buildability of the vehicle and for the simulation of crash behavior, aerodynamics and NVH (noise, vibration, harshness). In addition there are intensive tests on numerous test rigs at the Mercedes-Benz Technology Center in Sindelfingen. The ratio between digital and real testing is roughly 35 to 65 percent. Production: Preparations in full swing in the Bremen plant Production of the EQC will start in 2019 at the Mercedes-Benz plant in Bremen. The new EQC will be integrated into ongoing series production as a fully electric vehicle, and the very latest production technologies will be employed. In typical series production, the joining of the powertrain to the body is called the "marriage." One decisive innovation is the battery-joining center where the EQC undergoes a second "marriage" following installation of the two electric motors in the bodyshell. This is where the EQCs are equipped with a battery for the first time. The body is suspended from a C-carrier and deposited on a frame. Support arms raise the battery to the vehicle's floor from below, and an employee monitors the automatic bolting in place. In parallel with this, production of our own batteries for the EQC is coming on stream at the expanded battery plant in Kamenz (near Dresden) Germany.
  7. When Jaguar announced plans to begin electrifying all of their models beginning in 2020 last fall, one of the models they showed off was the E-Type Zero electric car. Done by JLR's Classic division, the Zero swaps the gas engine for an electric powertrain. The rest of the model is original including the suspension and brakes. Jaguar says the concept has a range of 170 miles and can hit 62 mph in 5.5 seconds. At the time, Jaguar said they would offer the conversion if there is enough demand. Fast forward to this week and Jaguar is moving forward with E-Type Zero. "We’ve been overwhelmed by the positive reaction to the Jaguar E-type Zero concept. Future-proofing the enjoyment of classic car ownership is a major stepping stone for Jaguar Classic. E-type Zero showcases the incredible heritage of the E-type, and the expertise and craftsmanship at Classic Works, while demonstrating Jaguar Land Rover’s dedication to creating zero emission vehicles across every part of the business, including Jaguar Classic,” said Tim Hannig, Jaguar Land Rover Classic Director in a statement. Changes for Zero begin with inline-six cylinder engine being swapped for a 40-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery, and a electric motor taking the place of the gearbox. A new prop shaft sends power to the rear-wheels. The interior gets a digital instrument cluster and an optional infotainment display. Jaguar says that the conversion is fully-reversible due in part to the vehicle's structure not being altered. Jaguar is taking orders for the E-Type Zero right now and deliveries are expected to begin in 2020. No word on pricing, but we're expecting it will cost a lot. Source: Jaguar E-LECTRIC! JAGUAR CLASSIC WILL BUILD ZERO-EMISSIONS E-TYPES Zero-emissions conversions for iconic sports car get production go-ahead Production follows successful debut of E-type Zero concept in 2017 Latest concept to make US debut at California’s Monterey Car Week Prospective clients invited to contact Jaguar Classic with expressions of interest via: zero@jaguarlandrover.com / +44 (0) 203 601 1255 / www.jaguar.com/classic Ryton-on-Dunsmore, 24 August 2018 - Following an overwhelmingly positive reaction to the original concept for ‘the most beautiful electric car in the world’, Jaguar Classic has confirmed it will offer all-electric E-types for sale. The news follows the iconic EV sports car’s successful debut in concept form at Jaguar Land Rover Tech Fest in September 2017. Combining its restoration expertise with cutting-edge technology from the Jaguar I-PACE, the award-winning zero-emissions performance SUV, Jaguar Classic will offer tailor-made E-types restored and converted to electric power at the same Classic Works facility as its outstanding E-type Reborn restorations in Coventry, UK. An EV conversion service for existing E-type owners will also be offered. To preserve the authenticity of the base vehicle, the EV conversion will be fully reversible. We’ve been overwhelmed by the positive reaction to the Jaguar E-type Zero concept. Future-proofing the enjoyment of classic car ownership is a major stepping stone for Jaguar Classic. “E-type Zero showcases the incredible heritage of the E-type, and the expertise and craftsmanship at Classic Works, while demonstrating Jaguar Land Rover’s dedication to creating zero emission vehicles across every part of the business, including Jaguar Classic,” Tim Hannig, Jaguar Land Rover Classic Director. Technical specifications and pricing details will follow, but Jaguar Classic is now taking expressions of interest from potential E-type Zero clients. Deliveries of the first electric E-type vehicles are expected to start from summer 2020. Jaguar E-type Zero concept The Jaguar E-type Zero concept not only drives and looks like an E-type, it also offers outstanding performance, with quicker acceleration than the original Series 1 E-type. Jaguar Classic is targeting a range in excess of 170 miles for all-electric E-types, helped by the car’s low kerb weight and sleek aerodynamics. The concept is powered by a 40kWh battery, which can be recharged in six to seven hours, depending on power source. Apart from its state-of-the-art powertrain, modified instrumentation and fascia showcasing the latest touchscreen infotainment (which will be available as an option), the E-type Zero concept is largely original. Efficient LED headlights complement the iconic Series 1 design. An electric powertrain with single-speed reduction gear has been specially designed for the E-type, utilising many Jaguar I-PACE components. Its lithium-ion battery pack has the same dimensions, and similar weight, to the standard E-type’s six-cylinder petrol XK engine and is in the same location. The electric motor lies just behind the battery pack, in place of the E-type’s gearbox. A new propshaft sends power to a carry-over differential and final drive. Using an electric powertrain with similar weight and dimensions to the outgoing petrol engine and transmission means the car’s structure, including suspension and brakes, has not changed, simplifying the conversion and keeping the driving experience in line with the original vehicle. It drives, handles, rides and brakes like an original E-type with front-rear weight distribution unchanged. The latest iteration of the E-type Zero concept, finished in a Bespoke Bronze paint finish, will give the car its US debut at The Quail: A Motorsports Gathering on Friday 24 August.
  8. There have been some rumors floating around for the past couple of years that BMW was planning to offer a 3-Series with a fully electric powertrain. Some new spy shots reveal that may come to fruition. At first glance, this looks like a normal 3-Series sedan. But on the front doors, there is a label that reads "Electric Test Vehicle". BMW has also tried to disguise the fact this is an electric by attaching tailpipes, but the spy photographer says its a pure EV. Not much is known about the electric powertrain or batteries. This mule was seen testing with a Tesla Model 3, suggesting that BMW sees it a direct competitor to the 3-Series EV. To do that, the model would need a range of over 200 miles. But sources at BMW tell Motor Trend that the range could be as close to 300 miles. We do know the next 3-Series will transition the CLAR platform that uses a combination of steel, aluminum, and carbon fiber. It also looks like that the design will not change that much from the current model. The next 3-Series is expected to debut at the Paris Motor Show in October. Whether we see the EV version is unclear. Source: Motor Trend
  9. It was thought for a time that Volvo's first electric vehicle would be a compact hatchback that took some design ideas from the Concept 40.2. Then we heard that the XC40 would be the first electric vehicle. Now we have gotten some clarification. “It’s not a secret any more that the first full electric Volvo is on its way with the XC40 coming. It will arrive very soon after the Polestar 2. That is the first to come that’s not exotic. We’ll start with XC40 and then on it will come step after step into our model range. The next car will be the next-generation XC90," said Volvo design chief Thomas Ingenlath. The Polestar 2, a midsize sedan is expected to go into production in 2019. That puts the launch of the XC40 EV sometime in 2020 or so. Ingenlath said Volvo would only produce electric versions of the current lineup, not build out new models like other automakers. Polestar will handle build electric models that stand out. "To look at new formats, new bodystyles and non-traditional elements, we founded Polestar to take care of that end of the scope. We developed that strategy: full electrification of the Volvo range, making it a natural part of the offer, and at the same time developing new, unconventional elements in the Polestar brand." Source: Autocar
  10. Last week, we brought you news that Bentley is planning to catch up on the electrification trend that a number of other automakers are ahead on. We now have some possible details as to some of their plans. The next-generation Flying Spur, due out towards the end of the year could be the second Bentley model to be offered with a hybrid powertrain. "Obviously Bentayga is our highest volume car so that’s the first one we have to hybridise. The next volume car is probably going to be the saloon car, so if you wanted a second car just for compliance, then that would normally be the next selection," said Bentley CEO Adrian Hallmark to Autocar. Hallmark said "possibly" when asked if said sedan could be the Flying Spur. He said a decision would come in the next six months. Then there is the successor to the Mulsanne. Autocar has learned that Bentley is debating whether or not they will do "a like-for-like replacement" to the current Mulsanne or something else. One possibility is to make the replacement a pure electric vehicle as a forward-looking flagship model. This could happen if next-generation battery technology arrives before the end of the Mulsanne's production run - expected in the early 2020s. Source: Autocar, 2
  11. Buick is expanding their electrified options in China with the introduction of the Velite 6 plug-in hybrid and electric. They'll join the the Buick Velite 5 - a rebadged Chevrolet Volt. The design is interesting to say in the least with a fair number of creases and a blacked-out rear pillar on this hatchback body. Arriving first is the plug-in hybrid which is comprised of a 1.5L four-cylinder, two AC permanent-magnet synchronous motors, and lithium-ion battery pack. With a full tank of gas and fully charged battery, Buick estimates a range of 700 kilometers (about 435 miles). Not much is known about the electric variant, aside from Buick saying the model "will adopt a new-generation pure electric drive system to offer customers a smooth, quiet and natural driving experience." The electric variant will arrive next year. Both Velite 6 models will come with Buick's new eConnect cloud connectivity system. Different drivers can setup their own accounts to personalize settings for navigation, audio, and internet use. eConnect will also provide real-time intergration of WeChat, a Chinese social media service. Owners can use their smartphone as the key for the Velite 6. Source: Buick Buick VELITE 6 Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle and Enspire All-Electric Concept SUV Make Global Debut in China WUZHEN – The Buick VELITE 6 plug-in hybrid electric vehicle and the Buick Enspire all-electric concept SUV made their global debut this evening at a launch event in the scenic Chinese city of Wuzhen, Zhejiang. Buick also announced that the VELITE 6 plug-in hybrid electric vehicle will be launched this year and its sibling, the VELITE 6 electric vehicle, will be introduced in China at a later date. Buick VELITE 6 Buick is focused on electrification, connectivity, intelligence and sharing in line with its Buick Blue new energy vehicle strategy. The VELITE 6 represents the latest application of this strategy. The two VELITE 6 models leverage electrification and connectivity technology from SAIC-GM’s parent companies, including Buick’s newest electric propulsion technology and connectivity technology. They are based on the VELITE Concept new energy vehicle that was unveiled in November 2016. The VELITE 6 has a dynamic posture coupled with a wide stance. The modern, streamlined shape aptly represents the innovative exterior styling that matches the new nameplate’s exciting technological character. The high-performance propulsion system of the VELITE 6 plug-in hybrid electric vehicle is composed of an EVT electronically controlled variable transmission, two AC permanent-magnet synchronous motors with a high-performance lithium-ion battery, and a 1.5L naturally aspirated engine especially tuned for hybrid vehicles. The motors and engine efficiently optimize power in different driving modes – such as the hybrid-driven mode of the motor and the engine, the single-driven mode of the motor, and the single-driven mode of the engine. It has a range of 700 km and combined fuel consumption of 1.4 liters/100 km. The new-generation modular high-performance ternary lithium-ion battery pack will be assembled at the new state-of-the-art SAIC-GM Power Battery Development Center in Shanghai. The battery incorporates leading battery heat management technology, providing independent and uniform temperature control of each battery unit via liquid cooling. This will ensure a longer life cycle and more stable performance. The VELITE 6 electric vehicle will adopt a new-generation pure electric drive system to offer customers a smooth, quiet and natural driving experience. The flexible and open cloud-based Buick eConnect technology in both models enables cutting-edge services and over-the-air update capability. With exclusive accounts, users can personalize their settings for OnStar, navigation, internet use and more. Music and destinations can be sent to the car display screen via WeChat in real time, for one-button navigation and listening. Users can also directly receive information about their vehicles’ condition and recommended maintenance. VELITE 6 users’ smartphones serve as a virtual key to enter and start the vehicle. They can authorize others to use their vehicles through their phones as well. Additional functions and new features will continuously be added to improve the user experience.
  12. Lexus offers two powertains for the LS; a twin-turbo V6 producing 415 horsepower and a hybrid system featuring a 3.5L V6 that makes 354 horsepower. But Lexus is considering adding more powertains to their flagship sedan. Toshio Asahi, chief engineer for the LS told Australian outlet GoAuto that all powertrain options including a plug-in hybrid, hydrogen, and electric were “all on the table” for the current model. The most likely reason for this is competitors such as BMW and Mercedes-Benz have plug-in hybrid models of their flagship sedans and are working on new electric models. There is also the elephant in the room known as the Tesla Model S. Hydrogen isn't that much a surprise. Parent company Toyota has been pushing hydrogen for a number of years. But the lack of an extensive hydrogen infrastructure has limited its appeal and caused Toyota to put more focus on electrics. It should be noted that the LF-FC concept shown in 2015 was a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle. On the electric front, Toyota has been working on solid-state batteries that promise more range and quicker charging. Plans are to have batteries go into production beginning in 2022. Asahi also mentioned that engineers are looking into improving the current hybrid powertrain - possibly adding more power. Source: GoAuto
  13. Last month, we reported that work had begun on the next-generation Jaguar XJ. The company's director of design Ian Callum said it would be "something quite special." What that may mean is the next XJ transition to being an electric-only model. Autocar has learned that Jaguar is planning to reinvent the XJ into being a fully-electric model to take on the like of the Tesla Model S, and provide an interesting alternative to the Mercedes-Benz S-Class. Design-wise, the XJ will morph into a 5-door model - something akin to an Audi A7 we're guessing. It will also debut a new design language that will be used on future models. In terms of platform, the new XJ will use an all-new platform that will be shared with an upcoming model from Land Rover - the Road Rover we reported in the Rumorpile back in September. The platform will be capable of being equipped with internal-combustion or electric powertrains. For the XJ, it is believed that twin electric motors will be used to power and provide AWD. Autocar expects the car launch in 2019. Source: Autocar
  14. Ford and General Motors have differing views on autonomous vehicles. GM is planning on launching a number of Chevrolet Bolt EVs in various urban markets in 2019 for a ride-hailing service. Ford, on the other hand, is taking a different approach in terms of powertrain and use. Ford's top sales executive, Jim Farley said their autonomous vehicle - due in 2021 - will be a hybrid vehicle with a focus on commercial applications. Farley explained that going with a hybrid powertrain would allow their vehicles to stay on the road longer thanks to a longer range when compared to EVs. The company expects their autonomous vehicles to be on the road for roughly 20 hours a day. Using an electric vehicle for this type of task doesn't make business sense as they would need to recharge constantly. "Anytime you're not carrying goods and people, you're losing money. The most important thing is uptime and profitability. What we see is the [hybrid] is a much better cost-of-ownership model," said Farley. The constant recharging also brings up another negative for electric vehicles, frequent replacement of the batteries due to increased degradation. Ford has already announced a pilot program with Domino's pizza to do deliveries in a self-driving plan. Next year, Ford will this commercial idea to the test by putting a fleet of vehicles in a "yet-to-be-named test city" with a number of partners. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
  15. With stricter CO2 emission regulations looming over the horizon from the European Union, Porsche is getting ready by launching a second electric vehicle to comply with them. According to Automotive News Europe, the EU is proposing a 30 percent reduction in CO2 emissions for new car fleets by 2030 - less than 67 grams per kilometer under the current NEDC testing cycle. Half of that must be achieved by 2025 as part of a milestone. Porsche's plan at the moment is to have more than half of its sales come from electrified vehicles, That includes the launch of the Mission EV and hybrid/plug-in hybrid vehicles. "Technically we certainly won’t struggle with that [target]," said Porsche development chief Michael Steiner. "The attractiveness [of Porsche's electrified lineup] should lead to a powertrain mix that ensures we are compliant." Steiner also said that Porsche is working on a second EV, but it would not be a sports car. "We're starting with a sporty four-door concept in the Mission E positioned between the 911 and the Panamera, so it's logical that we will look to balance our lineup with a product in a different segment such as an SUV." As we reported back in June, Porsche CEO Oliver Blume said the company is working on two new electric SUVs. One is a coupe-SUV (think BMW X6/Mercedes GLE-Cass) and the other is the next-generation Macan which is expected to go full electric only. Source: Automotive News Europe (Subscription Required)
  16. Do you remember the Volkswagen Kübelwagen? You might know it better as the Thing sold in 1970s. Volkswagen could be bringing it back as an electric vehicle. Speaking with Car and Driver, Volkswagen brand boss Herbert Diess said the upcoming MEB (Modular Electrification Toolkit) architecture might be the perfect platform to bring back some of the company's iconic vehicles like the Thing. “MEB is flexible—rear-wheel drive, front-wheel drive, all-wheel drive—and we have so many emotional concepts. I don’t know if you remember the Kübelwagen. This Thing is a nice car. Then there are all the buggies, the kit cars. We have the bus. We have the various derivatives of the bus. We have so many exciting concepts in our history that we don’t have to do a Beetle,” said Diess. This possible idea isn't that all surprising as Volkswagen as the I.D. Buzz was inspired by the Microbus. Speaking of the Beetle, Car and Driver asked if there will be a replacement for this model. As we have reported previously, the Beetle could be canned due to poor sales. “No decision yet. The next decision on the electric cars will be, ‘What kind of emotional concepts do we need?’ [A decision] might happen next year. This Beetle won’t go electric; the next one might, if there is a next one. We have a good chance on the electric side to do derivatives and emotional derivatives. It’s probably more efficient to do so than in [internal combustion] cars,” said Diess. “We could [build an electric Beetle], because it is rear-wheel drive, no grille. If we wanted to do a Beetle electrically, it would be much better than the current car. Much closer to the history of the Beetle. [But] I think the Microbus is a much better emotional concept for the brand than the Beetle. If you go to California, everybody would say it’s the bus.” Source: Car and Driver
  17. Volvo stunned the world last Wednesday when they announced beginning in 2019, they would begin to phase out gas only vehicles and replacing them with hybrid and electric models. The company claims this strategy heralds "a new chapter in automotive history". This move is an about-face for the Swedish automaker. Previously, the company said electric vehicles didn't make a great business case. But there is more to this decision than meets the eye. Automotive News reports that a key reason for Volvo's electrification plans comes down to the increasing regulation on carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in three key markets; Europe, China, and U.S. Tim Urquhart, principal analyst at IHS Markit tells AN that Volvo would struggle to meet the tougher targets on their larger vehicle without some sort of electrification. "They've looked at the targets, and thought, we need to take serious action." Another reason comes in part from the fallout of the Volkswagen diesel emission scandal. Automakers in Europe were using diesel engines as they produced 15 to 20 percent less CO2 emissions. But the backlash against diesel after the scandal has caused buyers to look elsewhere. In Germany for example, sales of diesel vehicles dropped to 39 percent in June - this figure was almost 50 percent the same time last year. "Diesel was their main weapon of choice to hit these regulations. Now they have to come up with a plan B," said Matthias Schmidt, automotive market analyst for AID. According to data from AID, 83 percent Volvo's 2016 sales in Europe were comprised of diesels. This is high when compared to BMW (73 percent), Mercedes-Benz (73 percent), and Audi (68 percent). Only Land Rover (96 percent) and Jaguar (84 percent) were higher. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
  18. It is no secret that German automakers are busy developing vehicles to challenge the Tesla Model S and X. But there has been barely a peep about something to take on the Model 3. But that is changing according to a report from Germany’s Handelsblatt. Sources at BMW tell the publication that the company will be showing off a 3-Series electric at the Frankfurt Motor Show later this year. The model is said to have a range of 248 miles (400 km) and will directly compete against the upcoming Model 3. BMW declined to comment on this report. The report doesn't say if this new electric will be based on the current or next 3-Series. Our hunch is that it will be the next-generation as it will be making its debut sometime next year. The model that could be shown at Frankfurt could be a concept to give us some idea of what BMW has planned. Nevertheless, we will be keeping a close watch on this story. Source: Handelsblatt (Subscription Required)
  19. Up until now, the Honda Clarity has only been able as a hydrogen fuel cell only sold in California since they have the infrastructure. But today at the New York Auto Show has expanded the Clarity lineup with the introduction of electric and plug-in hybrid variants. We'll begin with the Clarity Electric which comes with 120-kW electric motor delivering 161 horsepower and 221 pound-feet of torque. A 25.5-kWh battery pack provides the juice and can be recharged within three hours when plugged into a 240V outlet. As we reported previously and has since been confirmed by Honda, the Clarity EV will have a range of around 80 miles. Next is the Clarity Plug-In Hybrid that uses a more powerful electric motor (181 horsepower electric motor producing 232 pound-feet of torque) and a 17-kilowatt hour (kWh) battery pack. A 1.5L Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder acts a range extender and direct power source (under certain conditions). Honda says the Plug-In can travel 42 miles on EV power alone. With the 1.5L engine, total range stands at 330 miles. Both Clarity models will be available later this year. The electric variant will only be available in California and Oregon as a lease-only program. Source: Honda Press Release is on Page 2 Honda Electrified! Clarity Plug-in Hybrid and Clarity Electric Unveiled at 2017 New York International Auto Show Apr 12, 2017 - NEW YORK CITY "3-in-1" Clarity series provides unparalleled electric drive choice with premium midsize sedan capability and three advanced electrified powertrain options Plug-in Hybrid anticipated to earn 42-mile EV driving range rating and 330-mile extended range rating Honda targets five-fold increase in sales of electrified vehicles in next four years Honda today revealed its all-new Clarity Plug-in Hybrid and Clarity Electric alongside the already available Clarity Fuel Cell, saying it will target U.S. sales of 75,000 Clarity vehicles in the first four model years. The Clarity series will contribute to an anticipated five-fold increase in Honda's U.S. sales of electrified vehicles over the next four years as the company works toward its target that two-thirds of its global automobile sales will come from electrified vehicles by 2030. The two all-new electrified Honda vehicles will join the Clarity Fuel Cell, launched in December 2016, to make Clarity the first ever vehicle series offering customers an expanded array of electrified vehicle choices with fuel cell, battery electric and plug-in hybrid powertrains wrapped in a sophisticated, spacious and comprehensively equipped five-passenger sedan. "The Honda Clarity is aimed at accelerating the deployment of advanced electrified powertrain technology and bringing electrified vehicles further into the mainstream," said Jeff Conrad, senior vice president of American Honda Motor Co., Inc., at the company's auto show press conference. "The Clarity series also heralds the advancement of our Honda Electrification Initiative, representing our investment in the full spectrum of electric-vehicle technologies." "Electrification is the future of mobility and the future of Honda, and it all starts now with this new Clarity series," added Steve Center, vice president of the Connected and Environmental Business Development Office at American Honda. Honda Clarity Series As the next progression of Honda's dynamic styling for electrified products, each Clarity variant has a low, wide aerodynamic body with unique design elements, including its own special hero color, and differentiated front styling, headlights, tail lamps and 18-inch alloy wheel designs. Combined with elegant and advanced exterior styling, each Clarity series vehicle has a spacious interior with comfortable seating for five adults, outfitted with premium, environmentally responsible materials. Offering Honda's "fun-to-drive" DNA, each Clarity variant provides a smooth, quiet and highly refined driving experience, aided by the smooth and seamless character of electric drive torque and acceleration. The Clarity series also features advanced technologies, including Display Audio with Android Auto™ and Apple CarPlay™, and the full suite of HONDA SENSING™ safety and driver-assistive technologies. With three different powertrains and luxury packaging, the Clarity series has wide appeal. This shared "3-in-1" platform strategy will enable Honda to respond to infrastructure and market developments, provide customers nationwide with an ultra-low carbon vehicle that meets their lifestyle needs, and takes Honda toward higher volume sales of advanced powertrain products that will help reduce CO2 emissions. The Clarity series is at the vanguard of Honda's commitment to address society's energy and environmental concerns as the company expects significant growth in sales of efficient, lower CO2 electrified vehicles. Honda has previously announced plans to introduce a dedicated new hybrid car to the U.S. market in 2018. The new Honda hybrid car will be made in America. Honda Clarity Plug-in Hybrid The 2018 Honda Clarity Plug-in Hybrid, launching at dealerships nationwide later this year, is anticipated to earn an all-electric driving range rating of 42 miles1, the longest of any midsize plug-in hybrid. For longer trips, the Clarity Plug-in Hybrid can utilize its hyper-efficient 1.5-liter Atkinson cycle 4-cylinder engine to generate electricity and, under certain conditions, to act as a direct power source, resulting in an anticipated overall driving range rating in excess of 330 miles1. The vehicle's electromotive power comes from a 181-horsepower electric motor producing 232 lb.-ft. of torque and drawing power from both the gasoline engine and a 17-kilowatt hour (kWh) battery pack with a recharge time of 2.5 hours at 240 volts. The Clarity Plug-in Hybrid is anticipated to earn an EPA fuel economy rating of 105 MPGe1 (miles per gallon of gasoline-equivalent) combined, at the top of its class. The Clarity Plug-in Hybrid features three selectable modes – Normal, Econ and Sport – allowing drivers to customize their experience, maximizing efficiency or driving performance. A fourth mode – HV mode – is provided to maintain the battery's state of charge and can be selected in conjunction with Normal, Econ and Sport driving modes. As the sales volume leader in the Clarity lineup, the Clarity Plug-in Hybrid will be offered in two premium-contented trims, standard and Touring. Honda Clarity Electric The 2017 Honda Clarity Electric is geared toward consumers who desire a spacious, comfortable and affordable sedan that suits their daily driving needs. The Clarity Electric is powered by a 161-horsepower (120-kilowatt) electric motor producing 221 lb.-ft. of torque and drawing power from a 25.5-kWh battery pack. The vehicle can by fully charged in just over three hours at 240 volts, and when using DC fast charging with the SAE Combined Charging System can achieve an 80 percent charge in just 30 minutes. The model is anticipated to have an anticipated EPA fuel economy rating of 120/102/111 MPGe (city/highway/combined)2. Like the Clarity Plug-in Hybrid, the Clarity Electric features three selectable driving modes – Normal, Econ and Sport. The Clarity Electric will launch later this year, starting with an attractive lease program in California and Oregon. Honda Clarity Fuel Cell Honda views fuel cells as the ultimate zero-emissions vehicle technology and the Clarity Fuel Cell offers green early adopters the latest technology to be on the forefront of "what's next." Honda began deliveries of the 2017 Clarity Fuel Cell in December 2016 in select California markets, where a consumer friendly network of hydrogen stations continues to grow, and has already delivered more than 100 vehicles. Technological innovations to the Clarity Fuel Cell have created a fuel cell stack that is 33 percent more compact with a 60 percent increase in power density compared to its predecessor, the Honda FCX Clarity. The more compact fuel cell and integrated powertrain, now comparable in size to a V-6 engine, fits entirely under the hood of the car, allowing for a more spacious cabin with seating for five passengers. At 366 miles, the Clarity Fuel Cell has the highest EPA driving range rating of any zero-emission vehicle in America, including fuel cell and battery electric vehicles, and an EPA fuel economy rating of 68 MPGe3 combined. The Clarity Fuel Cell is available for the competitive introductory lease price of $369 a month for 36 months with $2,868 due at signing4. The lease terms include an attractive mileage allowance of 20,000 miles per year, up to $15,000 of hydrogen fuel, up to 21 days of an Avis Luxury Rental in California, 24/7 roadside assistance, and eligibility for California "White Sticker" single occupant HOV access. Lessees can also apply for the State of California $5,000 rebate5. The Clarity Fuel Cell is available in three colors: Bordeaux Red Metallic, White Orchid Pearl and Crystal Black Pearl.
  20. Bentley has been hinting for awhile about adding a second SUV to its lineup, something smaller than the current Bentayga. This new SUV could go all-electric according to a report from Automotive News. "I can assure you that Bentley -- on the long term view -- will not stay with one model only in the SUV lineup. We have clear indications that a smaller Bentayga as a Bentley SUV would find great acceptance," said Wolfgang Duerheimer, Bentley CEO. But there is the concern that the smaller SUV could eat into the sales of the Bentayga. Hence the idea of making it an EV. "If you are looking for such a car [small SUV] then we are looking to that in combination with the possibilities to go full electric. It only makes sense if you get really new customers into the brand," said Rolf Frech, Bentley's board member for engineering. Frech said that if this idea was to go forward, it would likely come in 2020 or beyond when Bentley reaches stage two of their electrification plans. Part one is the introduction of the Bentayga PHEV this year, followed by the Flying Spur and Mulsanne. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
  21. Smart already finds itself in a small niche by selling small city cars in North America, but a new letter reveals that the brand will be entering an even smaller one. Automotive News obtained a letter from Dietmar Exler, CEO of Mercedes-Benz USA which says the brand will cease sales of gas-powered models by the end of this year, becoming an electric-only brand. “Developments within the micro-car segment present some challenges for the current Smart product portfolio. Therefore, with the launch of the fourth-generation Smart ForTwo electric drive this summer, the Smart lineup will consist exclusively of the zero-emissions Smart electric-drive coupe and cabrio in the U.S. and Canada,” Exler said in the letter. Mercedes-Benz spokesman Rob Moran tells Automotive News the plan at the moment is to stop production of the gas model for North American in April and continue sales until all of the models are gone. Smart has never done well in the U.S. Their best year was in 2014 with 10,453 models sold. Since then, sales have been steadily declining thanks to low gas prices and consumers going towards crossovers. In 2016, Smart only sold 6,211 models. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
  22. Even though it was launched a week ago, there is already about possible powertrains for the Kia Stinger. Spencer Cho, Kia’s overseas product marketing boss told Car and Driver that Stinger would benefit from the electrification options developed for the Optima, despite the different powertrain layouts - Optima uses a transverse layout, while the Stinger uses a longitudinal layout. “We can utilize the currently available hybrid, plug-in-hybrid, and EV technology” for the Stinger’s benefit, said Cho. While there are no immediate plans to do an electric Stinger, Cho said they could develop one very quickly. The development team behind the Stinger have considered this possibility and looked into ways to perform this change. One idea was to use transmission tunnel for battery storage. “We don’t have any EV in the plan yet, but we have the capability to bring EVs in the near future if the demand is there, based on market reception. The global EV market is still small, but it is getting bigger and bigger due to CAFE in the U.S. and European emissions standards,” said Cho. I have full confidence in our engineers and if we need the EV Stinger to come to light, our engineers can come up with ideas for putting the batteries into this vehicle.” Source: Car and Driver Pic Credit: NewspressUSA
  23. Infiniti has toyed with the idea of an electric vehicle with the Emerg-e and LE concepts. But it seems they are finally going forward with this idea. Infiniti boss Roland Krueger tells Autocar the luxury automaker is planning to launch a new electric vehicle within the next three years. Work is already underway as Krueger revealed that he has driven an early prototype of said vehicle. Not many details were given except that the model would be using a new platform and maintain "Infiniti's values of performance and handling." Expect Infiniti to pull some help from Nissan with this new model. Source: Autocar
  24. As we accurately judged a few weeks back, Volkswagen's concept for the Detroit Auto Show is another Microbus. But don't call it that, instead call it the I.D. Buzz. Volkswagen is clear in their press release that the I.D. Buzz "is not a retro design on 22-inch wheels." We're not fully sure on that because it looks like Microbus with the large Volkswagen emblem up front, two-tone paint, and a large area of glass. The only point you can give Volkswagen about it not being a 'retro design' is the front end not being so blunt. The interior can seat up to eight people and there are some nice details such as a wooden floor and LED ambient lighting. Technology features include a removable tablet for passengers, augmented reality heads-up display, and a steering wheel that retracts when the vehicle is put into an autonomous driving mode. Like the first I.D. concept, the I.D. Buzz uses Volkswagen's upcoming Modular Electric Drive Kit (MEB). For the Buzz, the MEB platform is extended to house a 111-kWh battery pack and two electric motors. Volkswagen says output stands at 369 horsepower while range is estimated at 270 miles on a "predicted US driving cycle". As we mentioned a moment ago, the I.D. Buzz will have the autonomous capability thanks to four onboard laser scanners, ultrasonic and radar sensors, and a number of camera around the vehicle. The question of course when it comes to Volkswagen and their Microbus concepts is will it go into production or not. In the case of the I.D. Buzz, that is a maybe. We know Volkswagen is working on an electric van due out sometime between 2020-2025 and this could be the one. But given Volkswagen's track record, we're not fully counting on it either. Source: Volkswagen Press Release is on Page 2 I.D. BUZZ CONCEPT MAKES ITS WORLD DEBUT AT THE NORTH AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL AUTO SHOW IN DETROIT Versatile, zero-emissions, all-wheel drive vehicle is a Microbus for the future All-electric driving range of up to 270 miles, comparable to gasoline engined cars Maximum flexibility: I.D. electric drive system allows seating for up to eight and two luggage compartments Focus on people: in the fully autonomous “I.D. Pilot” driving mode, the driver’s seat can be turned 180 degrees to face the rear Traction for any terrain: electric all-wheel drive with two motors and 369 horsepower Head-up display projects information via augmented reality Vehicle features fully autonomous driving capability Flexible center console with tablet display and Beats® Bluetooth® loudspeakers can be used outside the vehicle Detroit, January 2017 — The era of electric mobility has begun, and Volkswagen will be shaping it with the I.D. BUZZ concept presented at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. A Microbus for a new era, the electric concept forges links between the origins of the Volkswagen brand and its electrifying future. The I.D. BUZZ, like the compact I.D. presented at the Paris Motor Show, is another new Volkswagen vehicle that gives compelling design to electric mobility and reflects a transformation of the brand and its models. Dr. Herbert Diess, Chairman of the Board of Management for the Volkswagen brand, says: “The Volkswagen brand’s big electric offensive begins in the year 2020 with a completely new vehicle architecture. That is when we will be launching an entirely new generation of fully connected, all-electric vehicles to the market. By 2025 we want to be selling one million of these vehicles annually. We are making electric mobility the new trademark of Volkswagen.” The I.D. BUZZ zero-emissions vehicle conceptually follows the new Volkswagen brand strategy. Its claim is: “We make the future real.” Four fields of innovation form the basis for this strategy: Smart Sustainability—Volkswagen is advancing the development of innovative high-volume electric car models Automated Driving—Volkswagen will make cars even safer and more comfortable by means of autonomous driving Intuitive Usability—Volkswagen is focusing on cars that are intuitive to operate and feature new display and control concepts Connected Community—In the future, Volkswagen will interconnect humans, cars and the environment with a Volkswagen user identity Volkswagen is showing just how multifaceted electric mobility can be in Detroit with the I.D. BUZZ concept vehicle—maximum space utilization with all-wheel drive, electric motors at the front and rear axles, a fully autonomous driving mode (“I.D. Pilot”) and a new generation of display elements and controls. The “I.D. BUZZ” name was hardly an arbitrary choice. I.D. stands for “Identity,” “Idea,” “Individual,” “Intelligent” and “Iconic Design”. BUZZ, on the other hand, is a phonetic word play on “bus” and refers to the silent “buzzing” of the drive system. “The I.D. BUZZ is a next-generation vehicle based on the new Modular Electric Drive Kit (MEB), offering comfort and plenty of space,” says Dr. Frank Welsch, Volkswagen Member of the Board of Management responsible for Development. “The overall concept of the I.D. BUZZ points the way to the future. This concept vehicle is the world's first electric multi-purpose vehicle to be equipped with a fully autonomous driving mode. It carries the feeling of freedom of the Microbus over to a completely new era of mobility.” Thanks to its MEB underpinnings, space utilization is better in the I.D. BUZZ than in any other electric vehicle. An excursion with two families over the weekend? A gig with the band in another city? A vacation trip with bikes and boards? Driving to a business meeting with colleagues who need to prepare on the way? None of these scenarios pose a problem with the multi-variable seating layout and interactive networking of the I.D. BUZZ. Using an extended MEB-XL platform, this concept vehicle—which is 194.6 inches long, 77.8 inches wide and 77.3 inches tall—offers an extraordinarily spacious interior for its class. The I.D. BUZZ is not only huge inside, but its technical concept makes it one of the world's most comfortable cars. It has a silent drive system and an extremely long wheelbase of 129.9 inches. The floor-mounted battery lowers the vehicle’s center of gravity and delivers ideal weight distribution. The suspension layout—including multi-link rear suspension with integrated drive units and decoupled subframes at front and rear, as well as air suspension at the rear axle using electronically controlled dampers—delivers premium class comfort, high cornering power, and ideal acoustics. The zero-emissions all-wheel drive system has a total output of 369 horsepower and an NEDC electric driving range of 600 kilometers (270 miles on a predicted U.S. driving cycle). One electric motor at the front axle and one at the rear each deliver a power output of 201 hp, distributed between the two axles by an “electric propshaft.” The I.D. BUZZ shown in Detroit can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in about 5 seconds, with a governed top speed of 99 mph. The vehicle’s 111 kWh battery can be charged to 80 percent of its capacity within 30 minutes using the Combined Charging System (CCS) or an inductive charging interface, with a charging rate of 150 kW. As an alternative, the battery can be charged from any conventional household outlet and at charging stations. The all-wheel drive configuration is just one of several that are conceivable. Thanks to the MEB, it would be just as easy to equip the I.D. BUZZ with a rear-wheel drive setup producing up to 268 hp and a smaller 83 kWh battery, depending on the region and purpose of use. Automated Driving The I.D. BUZZ is the world’s first fully autonomous multi-purpose vehicle. A slight push on the steering wheel makes it retract and merge into the instrument panel, switching the I.D. BUZZ from manual control to the fully autonomous “I.D. Pilot” mode that could make it into production by 2025. In this mode, the wheel is decoupled from the steering gear via a newly developed steering column system. The ambient lighting then switches from white light (“Drive”) to mood lighting that is warm and relaxed. At the same time, the distribution of ambient lighting is extended to the rear seating area. Simultaneously, the status of the I.D. BUZZ can be seen at all times on the tablet and the augmented reality head-up display. Now driving on its own, the zero-emissions concept has already activated its onboard laser scanners. Four of them extend from the roof in “I.D. Pilot” mode. The cleanly styled roof sensors call attention to the fully autonomous mode by indirect lighting. The I.D. BUZZ is not only able to detect other road users with its laser sensors, but also with the assistance of ultrasonic sensors, radar sensors, side area view cameras and a front camera. Traffic data is also continually acquired and compared with the vehicle data via the cloud. Fully autonomous mode is deactivated by touching the steering wheel or by pressing the brake or accelerator pedal. Volkswagen User-ID I.D. knows who will be at the wheel, thanks to the Volkswagen User-ID. This is an individual profile that stores the personal seat and air conditioning settings, favorite radio stations and songs, sound system settings, exterior sound, configuration of the navigation system, type of ambient lighting and contact information for the driver’s friends and business associates. This profile can be retrieved securely via the cloud. Consequently, the I.D. BUZZ also recognizes which person is entering the car or wants to take the steering wheel at any given time via the authorized user’s smartphone—the Digital Key. As soon as a person approaches the vehicle, the sensor surfaces for opening the door light up. If the person’s hand is very close to the surface, that individual door is opened. Using the Volkswagen User-ID and a relevant smartphone app, passengers in the vehicle can also control infotainment functions and input intermediate destinations into the navigation system. The route is shown on a tablet. Exterior Design The original Microbus is a legend all over the world and forms a global community. Although the I.D. BUZZ is designed for a new era, it would fit in perfectly with its predecessors. Klaus Bischoff, Volkswagen Head of Design, says: “The I.D. BUZZ is not a retro design on 22-inch wheels; rather, we have taken the logical next step forward in development using what is in all likelihood the most successful design of its kind in the world. The entire design is extremely clean with its homogeneous surfaces and monolithic silhouette. The future and origins of Volkswagen design DNA combine here to create a new icon.” The best example of the interplay of familiar and new elements is the front end with its characteristic ”V” and likeable ”face”—it’s clearly a Microbus, but a completely new interpretation. Oliver Stefani, Head of Volkswagen Exterior Design, says, “Instead of the round headlights used in the original model, in designing the I.D. BUZZ we opted for slender LED systems, which not only turn night into day, but also interactively communicate with other road users and pedestrians.” Similar to the compact I.D., the bumpers also integrate a matte aluminum honeycomb design, with illuminated outer sections. Extremely short body overhangs also define the vehicle. This applies equally to the roofline with its charismatic front overhang and three stylized air vents in the rear roof pillars, a small tribute to the T1. Each detail has, however, been re-interpreted and implemented in a new context. At the front, wrap-around ambient lighting forms a new era equivalent of chrome trim. It is actually an accent strip made of matte aluminum that is embedded in what designers call a sharp undercut. Indirect ambient lighting has been integrated into this full wraparound undercut, which also forms the ”V” of the front hood. When it is dark outside, this creates a unique light signature together with the backlit front and rear VW logos and the lighting elements in the front bumpers. The I.D. BUZZ is also unmistakable from the rear. Here, the slender full-LED lights and large painted surfaces make up the iconic design. The tailgate extends far down into the bumper to give a low load sill height of just 23.6 inches. Thanks to its compact electric drive, the I.D. BUZZ not only offers a rear luggage compartment of between 23.3 to 162.5 cubic feet, but also a front trunk of 6.1 cubic feet. The doors and trunklids are power operated: opening the tailgate, front doors and rear sliding doors is initiated by sensors outside the vehicle. Thanks to the Digital Key, all the user needs to do is hold his or her hand over a marked area for entry. There are clear design parallels to the I.D. shown in Paris. The front LED lights, wrap-around LED taillights, homogeneously integrated bumpers, side sills stylistically raised at the center of the door area, laser scanners on the roof and the aluminum-alloy wheel design combine to form the design insignia of Volkswagen’s future electric mobility. There are few cars in the world that look as good in classic two-tone paint as the Microbus, which is why it was a must for the new I.D. BUZZ. The car is painted in Silver Metallic above the seam that integrates the ambient lighting and in Cyber Yellow Pearl Effect below that line. The yellow hue is also found on the sidewalls of the tires, while the 22-inch aluminum-alloy wheels are painted in Galvano Gray Metallic. The I.D. BUZZ communicates with its surroundings via the LED lighting at the front end. The LED headlights interactively mimic the gestures of the human eye and thus interact with other traffic. The concept vehicle masters these light scenarios: Parking. When all systems of the I.D. BUZZ are shut down it looks from the front as if its “eyes” are closed. When the I.D. BUZZ is parked, just a narrow, small LED strip is visible in the headlights. Opening. When the I.D. is “awakened”, it greets its driver and passengers with a 360-degree light show. First, the Volkswagen logos light up. This is followed by the wrap-around ambient lighting. In the final phase of this light show, the I.D. BUZZ opens its “eyes.” Driving. The Volkswagen logos, wrap-round ambient lighting, Daytime Running Lights and the LED headlights are always active while driving. As the car accelerates, the “eyes” adjust to the higher speed by adopting a more dynamic light signature. Automated. A distinctive feature of the fully autonomous driving mode is that the laser scanners in the roof are extended and illuminated. As the car speeds up, the LED “eyes” look ahead, giving the car a sportier appearance. In addition, the “eyes” are interactive in the fully autonomous driving mode. If the I.D. BUZZ wants to turn, for instance, the LED headlights look in the direction the car is going to turn. To top it off, if the vehicle detects people at the side of the road, it looks at them. Through this interaction, the Volkswagen alerts pedestrians and cyclists to its presence. Interior Design “The design of the concept places people as the focus; it should appeal to them and invite them to come in,” says Klaus Bischoff. Awaiting them there is an interior that combines the world of the automobile with the atmosphere of a lounge. Tomasz Bachorski, Head of Interior Design of the Volkswagen brand, explains the next era of interior design: “From now on, we will be networking the vehicle much more intensively to make it more interactive. The interior will become a sort of family room, a mobile place where you feel at home.” As a result, the classic cockpit no longer exists in the I.D. BUZZ. In place of traditional instruments or controls is an intuitively operated cockpit consisting of: Touch-sensitive steering wheel (multifunction steering wheel with capacitive surfaces) Augmented reality head-up display “I.D. Box” center console (including a tablet usable outside the vehicle) In the “I.D. Pilot” mode, the front seats can be electrically unlatched and rotated so they face the rear, after the “I.D. Box” multifunctional center console is moved rearward. The seating system is flexibly designed to be like the living space at home or a lounge area. This versatility is based on a seat rail system that is integrated in the flat floor and on adjustable and folding seats. The seatbacks of the individual second row seats can be folded to form tables. At stops, the third row can be made into a bed, enabling the I.D. BUZZ to be used for overnight voyages. When the trip is resumed, clever detail solutions make travel more pleasant, such as softly padded rear side sun visors that can be moved and are designed so that a passenger can lean on them. Individually placeable cushions also underscore the cozy atmosphere of the interior, which is flooded with light thanks to its large windows and two-part panoramic roof. The warm interior colors are also in keeping with the lounge character. For instance, the dashpad in front of the driver and front passenger transitions from Magnet Metallic to Moon White Metallic, and the dashpad and door panel structures are illuminated by the ambient lighting as well. Stylish details include: Wood floor. The floor is made of fine, Silver Birch wood. The bright color underscores the cozy character of the interior. In the rear seating area, aluminum inlays in the wood take up the honeycomb pattern of the dashpad and touch-sensitive steering wheel as well as the front bumper. Door trim. The top sections of the doors are covered with sophisticated metallic leatherette. The interplay of color is underscored by the transition from the darker driver’s area to the brighter passenger zone. The designers have upgraded the lower sections of the door trim panels with a cream-colored knitted fabric throughout the rear seating area. Seat fabrics. Seats are covered in an innovative knit fabric that features a graduated honeycomb pattern. The refined knitting technique used to produce the individual diamond shapes allows a light metallic background material show through. Accentuated yellow details such as piping and seat belts showcase the fresh look of the I.D. BUZZ while creating a connection between exterior and interior. As soon as the driver’s seat is occupied, the steering wheel, which is retracted into the dashpad in parking mode, extends out, and the indicators and buttons on the steering wheel light up simultaneously. In parallel, the I.D. BUZZ activates the augmented reality head-up display and the tablet in the “I.D. Box.” The ambient lighting also greets the driver. Close the doors, buckle up, press the brake pedal and select a gear and the I.D. BUZZ is immediately ready to start. The concept car is shut off by the “P” button on the steering wheel. When finished, the steering wheel retracts flush into the cockpit panel. The steering wheel of the I.D. BUZZ does not have any spokes. The wheel, trimmed with Nappa leather, is more of an interactive touchpad. This touch-sensitive steering wheel is a new concept, which allows the driver to operate the drive modes (P, R, N and D), turn signals and various menu functions as well as settings for the head-up display via touch-sensitive areas on its surface. The outer region of the touchpad has a honeycomb-like light signature, as does the dashpad ahead of the driver and front passenger. Pressing on the illuminated VW logo in the middle of the touch-sensitive steering wheel initiates a switch between the “Drive” mode and “I.D. Pilot” mode; the steering wheel then retracts or extends accordingly. The “I.D. Box” fits the character of the I.D. BUZZ perfectly. When the vehicle is being driven by someone, the I.D. Box is positioned between the front seats. In this case, the integrated tablet in the console is positioned to serve as a display and control surface for the driver and front passenger. The I.D. Box is also equipped with loudspeakers from Beats®, which are interconnected with the passengers’ smartphones and the sound system via Bluetooth®. When the driver switches to the “I.D. Pilot” mode, the entire “I.D. Box” moves towards the rear. Other console features include cupholders and a folding table. The console tablet (like the Beats speakers) is easy to unsnap and remove from the vehicle. The Volkswagen I.D. lets the I.D. BUZZ know who the driver is. The individual vehicle settings are configured accordingly, and features such as the person’s calendar are shown on the tablet. The I.D. BUZZ also knows the driver’s friends via the Volkswagen I.D. Based on this information, the car might recommend meeting with friends or suggest activities that would fit into the day’s schedule. In “I.D. Pilot” autonomous mode, the system informs the driver on the tablet about changes to the calendar, for instance. If the I.D. BUZZ passes one of the driver’s favorite shops or a favorite restaurant, the car informs the driver via the tablet about the current offerings at these personal points of interest. A new era of interactive and personalized online services is beginning with the I.D. BUZZ. Like the compact I.D., the I.D. BUZZ is equipped with an augmented reality head-up display. Information such as navigation directions are projected as virtual images from 23 to 49 feet ahead of the car. The effect is astonishingly realistic. Directions are projected via augmented reality to show exactly where the driver is heading. Thanks to the head-up display, the navigation instructions are now part of three-dimensional surroundings that the driver can experience. Drivers can use the touch-sensitive steering wheel to modify the type and amount of information shown, adapting the system to their individual needs. Three levels of information density are available here: Level 1: “Navigation,” “Speed” and “Battery indicator” Level 2: Level 1 plus “Phone” (in “Drive” mode) and “Local offerings” (in “I.D. Pilot” mode) Level 3: Levels 1 and 2 plus “Friends” along the route (in “Drive” mode) and “Messages” (in “I.D. Pilot” mode) There are no rearview mirrors in the I.D. BUZZ. Cameras and a display have taken over that function. Where there would normally be a rearview mirror, there is a screen called the e-Mirror. Here, a monitor combines data from the exterior mirror cameras on the left and right of the vehicle and from a camera that faces directly rearward. Doing away with the side mirrors improves the aerodynamics of the vehicle. The lighting mood of the interior also changes according to the mode. In “Drive”, illuminated elements are lit in white. When the driver activates “I.D. Pilot”, they switch over to a warm mood color. In addition, the ambient lighting and touch-sensitive steering wheel assume warning and indicator functionality. In “Drive” mode, if the driver wants to change lanes while another vehicle is alongside, a warning signal is shown on the relevant side of the dashpad. This means that the LED warning indicators for the Blind Spot Monitor, which are located in the door mirrors in today’s vehicles, migrate into the interior where they are even more obvious to the driver.

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