Blog on 2040Parts
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Russian Grand Prix: Hamilton on pole for MercedesSat, 11 Oct 2014
Hamilton (r) has pole in Russia followed by Rosberg (l) and Bottas (c) Amid tight security thanks to Russia’s ongoing spat in Ukraine, and a muted appetite for exuberance after Jules Bianchi’s dreadful crash with a JCB on track last weekend, the rest of the F1 circus seems to be on normal duty, with Hamilton’s Mercedes taking the front row and Hamilton dominating proceedings in qualifying to secure another pole position. But it wasn’t necessarily going all Mercedes’ way, with Bottas stringing together a very quick lap in the dying moments of final qualifying that looked like it could propel him in front of the Mercedes duo, until he lost traction at the end of his flying lap and had to settle for third spot in tomorrow’s race. Joining Bottas on row two is Jenson Button and his McLaren after a strong qualifying, and Daniil Kvyat – at his first home Grand Prix – managed to secure a very impressive fifth spot for Toro Rosso. Kevin Magnussen in the second McLaren would have been on row three in sixth spot but gets a five place penalty for a gearbox change.
Concept Car of the Week: Ferrari Pinin (1980)Fri, 10 Oct 2014
Over the years, Ferrari has slowly built a reputation for the fact that any car that wears the prancing horse badge on its bonnet ought to be a design masterpiece. Everyone has their own personal favorite: 250 GTO, 250 GT California Spider, 330 P4, Modulo, Daytona, you name it... Yet few would remember – or even know about – the odd ones, the ugly Ferraris hidden away, rarely allowed to see the light of day; a few rare cars that got brushed under the carpet as quickly as they appeared include the 365 GTC/4, FZ93 Zagato, the 408 Integrale and the Pinin. Most of them are the work of independent studios, long-distanced from Enzo's (dis)approval.
Ferrari F60America – a limited edition, open-top Ferrari F12Fri, 10 Oct 2014
The Ferrari F60America – just 10 being built Ferrari has been selling cars in North America for 60 years, and to celebrate they’ve created a limited edition, open top Ferrari F12 that will be limited to just 10 units – the Ferrari F60America. Just as they did with previous North American special Ferraris – like the 1967 275 GTS4 NART Spider – the F60America is an open-top version of the Ferrari F12 with just a limited nod to practicality – you can only drive with the top up at speeds up to 80mph, which means you really need a ‘Sunshine State’ to properly enjoy the F60America. Powered by the same 730bhp insane V12 from the F12, the F60America has exactly the same 3.1 second 0-62mph but gets some new aluminium bodywork too with deep strakes, bigger winglets, extra holes in the bonnet, leather-clad rollover hoops and carbon fibre buttresses that flow over the rear deck.
UK & Germany announce investments in Hydrogen Filling StationsFri, 10 Oct 2014
Daimler & Linde are investing in Hydrogen refuelling stations in nGermany The first real world hydrogen powered cars are just starting to hit roads in Europe, and probably the biggest obstacle to their success is a comprehensive refuelling network. But attempts to start to address that problem have now been announced in the UK and Germany. In the UK, the government is investing £11 million – part-funded by industry – to create new hydrogen filling stations in the UK in the next year.
Tesla ‘D’ is a 4WD Model S – with up to 682bhp!Fri, 10 Oct 2014
The Tesla Model S P85D – 0-60mph in 3.2 seconds We knew Elon Musk was planning on delivering a four-wheel-drive Tesla Model S, and now we know the Tesla Model D Musk alluded to is exactly that – a dual motor Model S. But it gets more interesting. It gets more interesting because Tesla has come up with more than one 4WD Model S, with the Model S 60D and 85D getting a 188bhp motor on both front and rear axles, with the 60D getting to 62mph in 5.7 seconds with a range of 225 miles and the 85D getting to 60mph in 5.2 seconds with a range of 295 miles.
Renault Captur Signature is a Captur with all the bells and whistlesThu, 09 Oct 2014
Renault Captur Signature is a Captur with all the bells and whistles It’s more than a year since the Renault Captur compact SUV arrived in the UK to tap in to the urban compact SUV market, and with prices starting from £12,495 it offers the high-riding, butch-looking style so many buyers are looking for. But it’s the specced-up models that help car makers’ bottom-lines the most, so we now get the Renault Captur Signature trim to top out the range and throw most of the Captur’s bells and whistles in to the mix as standard. That means an exterior makeover with 17″ alloys, two-tone paint and plenty of chrome and an interior that gets part leather trim, splashes of red detailing, Signature sill plates and mats.
Register for free 'Bunkspeed presents the Future of 3D Visualization' webinarThu, 09 Oct 2014
Bunkspeed has announced details of its latest free webinar. Entitled Bunkspeed presents the Future of 3D Visualization with NVIDIA and Daniel Simon, the visually striking presentation will take place on 5 November. The hour-long talk is due to begin at 8am PDT in Los Angeles and 11am EDT in Detroit, which is 16:00 GMT in London and 17:00 CET in Munich.
Toyota Prius+ gets a bit of a tweak for 2015Thu, 09 Oct 2014
Toyota Prius+ gets a bit of a tweak for 2015 It’s more than three years since Toyota took the Prius and turned it in to the world’s only seven-seat MPV – the Toyota Prius+ – and more than two years since it arrived in the UK. So it’s time for a tweak or two. The cosmetic changes to the Prius+ are, by any standards, minor and consist of the normal facelift fodder with tweaks at the front – new grill design and badge and LED lights – and the back – redesigned bumper, slightly different lights and some trim round the numberplate – being pretty much it for the exterior.
2015 Porsche 911 Carrera GTS revealed – but not in Paris. Costs from £91,098Wed, 08 Oct 2014
The new 2015 Porsche 911 Carrera 4 GTS (pictured) now on sale We had assumed that the lack of an appearance at the Paris Motor Show for the new Porsche 911 Carrera GTS meant Porsche had decided to leave the official reveal until later in the year. But here it is, and it’s going straight on sale. Having waited almost until the end of the 997’s life before launching a 911 GTS, this latest GTS is arriving much earlier in the 991’s lifecycle than you’d expect.
Mercedes AMG C 63 price & specs – costs from £59,795Wed, 08 Oct 2014
Mercedes AMG C 63 price & specs – costs from £59,795 The pinnacle of the new Mercedes C-Class range – the Mercedes-AMG C 63 – had a reveal last month ahead of its public debut in Paris (and got a new name, with ‘AMG’ hyphenated with Mercedes and in front of the ‘C 63′ bit instead of after) and it’s now gone on sale priced from £59,795 for the C 63 Saloon to £67,745 for the C 63 S Estate. Power comes from a new 4.0 litre twin-turbo V8 developing 469bhp in the C 63 and a more potent 503bhp in the C 63 S, with 0-62mph times of 4.1 seconds for the C 63 (0.1 slower in the estate) and a modest 0.1 quicker in the C 63 S. Not surprisingly, the C63 gets a more than adequate spec including Nappa Leather AMG sports seats, COMAND, mechanical locking rear diff, dynamic engine mounts, unique tracks front and back, upgraded AMG brakes, quad tailpipes, new front wings to cover the wider track, rear spoiler and 18″ alloys.
How will you get to work in the year 2030?Wed, 08 Oct 2014
Imagine a future where New Jersey adopts mass public transit and on-demand jitneys; Boston becomes hyper-dense and walking becomes the primary means of transport; Atlanta disperses even further and relies on solar power, electric cars and Google connected technologies to manage mobility; and Los Angeles tries autonomous cars, but finds the transition difficult, and its gridlock even worse. These are the scenarios proposed in a new study by New York University's Rudin Center for Transport Policy and Management. The report, which proposes scenarios rather than making predictions about the future of transportation in the US, repeatedly points to connected car technologies, autonomous cars and logistics networks as driving forces in regional mobility solutions.
Tesla guarantee future value of Model S in finance dealTue, 07 Oct 2014
Tesla guarantee future value of Model S (pictured) in finance deal If you run a company car – and you’re comfortably off – there’s a lot to commend the Tesla Model S. But if you’re a comfortably off private buyer who doesn’t quite get the tax breaks on a car a company car driver does, Tesla still want to make you an offer you can’t refuse. Teaming up with Alphera Financial Services (which just happens to be owned by BMW), Tesla are offering an appealing deal on the Model S, and guaranteeing its future value too.
New Volvo Drive-E engine delivers 444bhp – from just 2.0 litresTue, 07 Oct 2014
The new Volvo Drive-E engine (pictured) delivers 444bhp When Volvo announced its new Drive-E engine range would consist of just a single petrol and diesel engine of 2.0 litre capacity, we did wonder if Volvo had given up on the idea of delivering properly powerful road cars. But it seems not. We already know that the T8 hybrid powertrain for the new XC90 will deliver 394bhp, but now Volvo has revealed a Drive-E concept engine that delivers an even more impressive 444bhp without the aid of electric motors and batteries.
Land Rover Discovery Sport, GIANT wellies & the River Seine (+video)Mon, 06 Oct 2014
The Land Rover Discovery Sport, GIANT wellies & the River Seine Apart from the full reveal of the new Jaguar XE range, JLR’s big outing at this year’s Paris Motor Show has been the public debut of the new Land Rover Discovery Sport. And, as is fast becoming the norm for Jaguar Land Rover, the new Discovery Sport arrived in Paris with a bit of a splash. Rather than just unveiling the new Discovery Sport on the floor in Paris (which they did, with just the Sport on display on the first day), JLR commissioned a giant barge to accommodate the Sport on the River Seine, together with a very British support act in the guise of giant wellingtons.
New car sales September 2014 best in ten years. But…Mon, 06 Oct 2014
The Ford Fiesta was again the best-selling car – September 2014 We’ve got used to new car sales / registration reusing month after month, and September 2014 is no different. The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) is reporting new registration for the important plate change month of September at 425,681 units, the strongest September performance since 2004 and the 31st month in a row new car sales have increased. But the SMMT do say that although September’s figures show yet another increase, it only represents a rise of 5.6 per cent compared to the March plate change registrations rise of 18 per cent, an indication that the new car marekt is starting to level off after nearly three years of growth.
Rosberg on pole for Mercedes in Japan – Vettel leaving Red Bull.Sat, 04 Oct 2014
Rosberg beats Hamilton to pole in Japan Lewis Hamilton must have been confident of taking pole for the Japanese Grand Prix in Suzuka this morning after his resurgence in recent races – in the process taking the lead in the drivers F1 battle – but it wasn’t to be. Hamilton’s car needed a major front end rebuild after he ran wide and hit the barrier in final practice – which may have contributed to his qualifying result – but whatever the excuses it’s Rosberg in front of Hamilton for tomorrow’s race after posting a time 0.197s quicker than the Brit. Behind the two Mercedes cars it’s a Williams second row – with Bottas in third and Massa in fourth – followed by Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso in what is fast becoming his default place – 5th – and Daniel Ricciardo in sixth.
Hyundai i40 Hybrid & i30 CNG: Paris 2014Fri, 03 Oct 2014
The Hyundai i40 Hybrid & i30 CNG on the floor in Paris Hyundai is busy trying to find ways to reduce emissions and increase economy – just like every other car maker – and has arrived at the Paris Motor Show with a pair of economy-focused models – the Hyundai i40 mild hybrid and an i30 running on compressed natural gas (CNG). The Hyundai i40 gets a 48V mild hybrid setup just like the Kia Optima-T Hybrid, which means a 48V lead-carbon battery which cuts emissions from the 1.7 litre diesel by up t0 20 per cent by allowing electric-only running at low speeds and when cruising and, just like the Optima, the i40 hybrid gets a belt-driven starter generator for seamless restarting, which also contributes to engine power in normal running. The beauty of the system – apart from improvements in economy and emissions – is that it’s very light compared to a full hybrid – just 46kg – and costs 75 per cent less than a full hybrid system to install.
Vauxhall DROPS Lifetime Warranty – quietly during the Paris Motor Show news rushFri, 03 Oct 2014
Vauxhall DROPS Lifetime Warranty Vauxhall trumpeted the arrival of a Lifetime Warranty for all their new cars 4 years ago, a move that was designed to show confidence in their cars and tackle the substantial warranties on new cars offered by companies like Hyundai and Kia. But now, in a lesson doubtless learned from ‘bad news’ burying in politics, Vauxhall has revealed they’re dropping the Lifetime Warranty from 2015, no doubt hoping it won’t make headlines in the middle of the news rush from the Paris Motor Show. So now, instead of a lifetime warranty (which was really only for 100,000 miles) buyers of new Vauxhalls will get a fairly bog-standard 60,000 mile/3 year warranty.
Jaguar XE Configurator goes LIVEFri, 03 Oct 2014
Jaguar XE Configurator goes Live Jaguar fully revealed the new XE – the car they hope will be a runaway success in the premium compact sector – at the Paris Motor SHow this week, and they’ve been quick to get a configurator for the XE live so potential buyers (and time-wasters) can get stuck in and see just what’s on offer. And there’s plenty to choose from. With a range of prices for the new XE starting at £26,995 for the XE 2.0i 200PS and rising to £44,870 for the XE 3.0i S/C 340PS, there’s an XE to suit a wide range of budgets.
Fiat 500X compact crossover debuts: Paris 2014Thu, 02 Oct 2014
Fiat 500X compact crossover debuts The Fiat 500X is the latest member of the Fiat 500 family to arrive, and following a recent tease it’s debuted at the 2014 Paris Motor Show. Fiat has decided to go the same route with the 500X as they did with the 500 L by creating two models – a 500X for the city and a 500X for the country. The 500X gets the same family design as the rest of the 500 range and sits on the same platform as the new Fiat Punto and comes in at 4.25 metres long (the butch version is just a couple of centimetres wider) and 1.80m wide.