Porsche Macan ‘FAILS’ Moose Test – but there’s a reason (+video)Wed, 15 Oct 2014
The Porsche Macan locks its front brake in the Moose Test The Moose (or Elk) test is a maneuverability and stability test commonly carried out in cold countries to test the behaviour of cars when subject to extreme avoidance tests – such as when trying to miss a Moose that’s wandered in to the road. The Moose Test is probably best remembered as the potential downfall of the original Mercedes A Class, when Teknikens Värld Magazine conducted a test on the then very new – and groundbreaking – high-riding A-Class, when it rolled over and cost Mercedes a small fortune in re-engineering to restore safety credibility to the A-Class. Now it’s Porsche’s turn to come under the spotlight after Teknikens Värld ran a test on a Macan S Diesel that exhibited some strange behaviour during the test.
MIT develops self-transforming materials that behave 'like robots without robots'Wed, 15 Oct 2014
A cross-disciplinary research lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has developed a suite of programmable materials, including carbon fiber, printed wood grain, textile composites, rubbers and plastics, that self-transform when exposed to an external stimulus. Director of the Self-Assembly Lab, Skylar Tibbits, presented a TED talk on 4D printing in 2013, where he demonstrated how a flat sheet of material could effectively build itself when exposed to water, like a robot without a robot. Following positive feedback from industries including aviation, automotive and manufacturing, his lab has been working on developing materials that change according to different activation sources, including heat, light, and air pressure, in addition to water – all of which have automotive relevance.
Honda Civic Tourer 1.6 i-DTEC wins MPG MarathonWed, 15 Oct 2014
The winners of the MPG Marathon in the Honda Civic Tourer 1.6 i-DTEC Last year Honda took the CR-V 1.6i-DTEC out MPG Marathon playing, and managed to return an impressive 78mpg in a car the official figures say should do 63mpg, disproving (to a point) that cars just can’t achieve official economy figures in the real world. This time it’s the turn of the new Honda Civic Tourer with the latest 1.6 i-DTEC ‘Earth Dreams’ engine to go out and eke every possible inch of tarmac from every single drop of petrol. In the hands of Honda R&D engineers Fergal McGrath, James Warren, Tony Shiggins and Julian Warren, the Civic Tourer drove a total of 330 miles and managed to do 97.2mpg – an impressive 31.8 per cent more than the official average.
First Audi show car overseen by Marc Lichte to debut at LA Auto ShowWed, 15 Oct 2014
Audi has confirmed that the first show car to be overseen by its new head of design, Marc Lichte, will be unveiled at the Los Angeles Motor Show. Audi hasn't confirmed the exact time of the car's big reveal, but its press conference is scheduled for 9:00am on 19 November. The news was accompanied by an official teaser image, which doesn't reveal a great deal about the new car, aside from the fact that it seems to be a large sedan or shooting brake.
Volvo S60 Review (2014): S60 D4 SE Nav 181 PS manualTue, 14 Oct 2014
This Volvo S60 D4 has the new Drive-E engine Most of the Volvo news of late has been about the new XC90, and Volvo’s new range of engines – the Drive-E range – which look to offer improved economy and emissions with better performance and more flexibility. It’s a bit early to get our hands on the new XC90, but Volvo has sent us the S60 D4 SE Nav with the new 181 PS Drive-E engine to judge for ourselves just how big an improvement the new D4 Drive-E engine is over the old D4. Of course, the 2014 S60 may get the all-news Drive-E engine, but it is still a five year old design and runs on a platform that came from Ford in the first place, so although we get a good idea of what the new engines mean for Volvo going forward, the basics of the S60 are far from new.
2014 Mercedes C-Class RECALLED for steering faultTue, 14 Oct 2014
The 2014 Mercedes C-Class is being recalled for a steering fault The new Mercedes C-Class only started to arrive in the UK this year, but Mercedes is already having to recall 8,146 UK cars after a steering fault became apparent. The problem is with the steering column coupling lock which may have been fitted incorrectly. If your car is affected you’d normally find the steering getting noisy, but even if it isn’t displaying and obvious signs Mercedes still want to check it out.
Jaguar XE Estate & Coupe “…a very difficult business case”Mon, 13 Oct 2014
It’ll be tough to extend the Jaguar XE Range in to an Estate & Coupe We’ve banged on for years about Jaguar extending their saloon car range (well, the XJ and XF as that’s all they had until the XE arrived) to coupes and estates, at the very least. We know, for example, that the Jaguar XJ Coupe has been on the drawing board for as long as the current XJ, but Jaguar has failed to build it. Similarly, there have been rumblings about an XF Coupe for years, but that has come to nought too, although Jaguar did finally manage to launch the XF Sportbrake Estate to extend the XF range a little.
Who's Where?: Maximilian Missoni becomes vice president exterior design at VolvoMon, 13 Oct 2014
Maximilian Missoni has been promoted to the position of vice president of exterior design at Volvo Cars. He replaces Fedde Talsma, who has elected to leave the company. Talsma's decision brings to an end a career at Volvo that began in 1982, with the past nine years spent as the firm's exterior design director. Although Volvo states that Talsma has retired after serving 31-years at the Swedish firm, his LinkedIn profile states that he is now an independent automotive design adviser in his native Netherlands.
Audi RS7 to lap Hockenheim – DRIVERLESSMon, 13 Oct 2014
Audi are taking an RS7 round Hockenheim completely autonomously Every car maker – from Mercedes to Volvo and Ford – is working hard to make autonomous driving a reality, and it looks like we’re just a few years away from seeing cars being driven by computers, with the driver relegated to passenger in many daily driving tasks. Now it’s Audi’s turn to demonstrate the progress they’re making with autonomous technology by taking an RS7 round the Grand Prix track at Hockenheim without a driver having control. It’s arguable that taking a driverless car round a track – even at race speed – is far less of a technological task than having a car running driverless through a cityscape with all its variables, but it’s an impressive demonstration nonetheless.
Russian Grand Prix (2014): RESULTSun, 12 Oct 2014
Russian Grand Prix (2014): RESULT Lewis Hamilton has seemed unassailable in recent races, and the deficit he had in the Drivers Championship has turned in to a small lead over team mate Nico Rosberg. But can he continue to increase his lead in the first Russian F1 Grand Prix in Sochi? In fact, Hamilton won the race in style, leading from start to finish after Nico Rosberg attempted an overtake at the first corner, went in too deep and locked up and had to pit for new tyres – effectively gifting Hamilton the race almost before it started.