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Monthly Archives: June 2017

Audi A8 Appears in Spider-Man: Homecoming Premiere

spider-man and audi a8

Last Wednesday in Hollywood, California, the much-awaited movie “Spider-Man: Homecoming” made its world premiere. Capitalizing on that event was Audi with a live preview of its next-generation luxury sedan, the 2019 Audi A8.

Audi has been very secretive about the the A8. As we have said in our previous report, the car replaces the A6. The auto will be heavily-based on the 8-Series Concept shown at the 2017 Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este.

In the photo above that was featured in Business Insider, the superhero Spider-Man is seen posing on the hood of the Audi A8. Despite the heavy camouflage of the prototype, it already gives us a better picture of the luxury car’s design.

The A8 appears to be sporting a new grille design as well as more advanced headlamps. A subtle adjustment in the styling of the bumper compared to the A6 is also evident. From the camouflaged prototype in the event, the A8 looks like it has a lot of features that we should be excited about.

According to the source, the A8 will be officially unveiled at the Audi Summit that will be held on Barcelona, Spain on July 11. For those who cannot wait for the debut of the car, rest assured that we will be on the lookout for possible leaks before its public launching.

The A8 will hit showrooms by next year. It will bear a 2019 model year.

The report said that the A8 will center on its maker’s active suspension system and it will have a mild hybrid setup. The car will be one of the automaker’s first vehicles to offer a fully-active, electromechanical suspension paired with a 48-volt electric power source.

All A8 models will likely carry six, eight or 12-cylinder engines. Partnered with an electric motor to deliver a hybrid power, the auto is expected to get a lot of horsepower.

In terms of technology, one of the key highlights of the A8 is Audi’s new infotainment technology, which will be more advanced than the brand’s virtual cockpit interface.

In addition, the on-board cameras of the car located in front can process new information and road conditions up to 18 times per second. The system will guide each corner of the car individually with its series wheel-mounted electric motors.

Lastly, the A8 comes with a rear-wheel steering function to deliver better high-speed stability and improve its maneuvering at low-speeds.

Production of Toyota Camry Starts in U.S.

Toyota Camry (12)

The new Toyota Camry is ready to go on sale in the United States by summer. As of June 28, the first batch of the car already rolled out from the company’s production line in Georgetown, Kentucky.

According to Motortrend, the company used $1.33 billion for the assembly of the Camry under the Toyota New Global Architecture or TNGA. The architecture allows the automaker to reduce production costs by about 20 percent. The Camry is the first car of the brand to utilize the platform and technology provided by the TNGA.

The report said that Toyota hired additional 700 employees in line with the production of the Camry. The Kentucky plant has already produced more than 11 million vehicles, including 8 million Camrys. It is presently the largest plant of Toyota in the world. The facility builds the Camry, Camry Hybrid, Avalon, Avalon Hybrid, and the entry-level luxury car model, the Lexus ES 350.

The new Camry carries a 2018 model year. It was revealed at the 2017 Detroit Motor Show. The vehicle offers a facelifted exterior with bolder design coupled with lower center of gravity, quieter interior, more rigid body, more advanced safety features, new tech and more powerful gas engines. The petrol-fed models of the car is matched with the new eight-speed transmission of the automaker while its hybrid class gets a Continuously Variable Transmission or CVT.

The source noted that the Camry is the second best-selling model of Toyota in the U.S. during the first half of the year. The RAV4 is currently the brand’s most in demand passenger vehicle in the country.

As of the May data of the company, 147,434 Camrys were sold going back to the beginning of 2017. It’s a pretty decent figure but the report pointed out that the numbers are down by 12 percent compared to the record reflected during the same period of last year.

Volvo Partners with Nvidia for Self-Driving Cars

volvo nvidia

Volvo has joined the fray in the development of self-driving cars. The automaker teamed up with famous chipmaker Nvidia to give their autonomous vehicles a boost in computing power.

According to The Verge, Volvo is planning to put its self-driving cars in the road by 2021. The software for their autos will be supplied by Autoliv, a Swedish-American tech firm. Then Nvidia will offer the automaker its signature Drive PX hardware.

Drive PX is a custom hardware array specifically designed for self-driving cars. The Drive PX2 is capable of processing information from 12 video streams at once, including the data provided by LIDAR, radar and ultrasonic sensors.

Drive PX was once part of Nvidia and Volvo’s “Drive Me” program. “Drive Me” is the company’s experimental platform for autonomous cars.

The source claimed Volvo and Autoliv will be partnering up under a new company called Zenuity. The firm aims to produce self-driving car software, which will also be available for sale to other automakers. The software will provide Volvo with a revenue stream in case its self-driving cars don’t perform well in the market.

The article noted that the developments show the trend in the automotive industry. The first trend displays the tendency of car makers to form alliances in their quest to produce their own self-driving vehicles. Second is the capability of Nvidia to secure its position in the computer industry by expanding outside its usual sphere of influence.

A lot of the major players in the automotive industry have introduced their self-driving car concepts already. Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Audi, Tesla and Toyota, among others, have all engaged in a race to develop the first road-worthy self-driving car. Even the tech giant Google is a contender too. Apple is rumored to be developing its own autonomous car as well.

The self-driving technology is here now. However, experts and executives of automakers have expressed their concern in the lack of infrastructure to support autonomous cars. Add to that the lack of laws that govern self-piloting vehicles in the road.

Bugatti Chiron Caught Testing in Nurburgring

bugatti chiron

The Bugatti Chiron is all about power. That is the reason why the hypercar does not come cheap. With a $3 million price tag, the vehicle packs a mean engine. Recently, it was spotted while being tested in Nurburgring.

The Chiron is already being delivered to customers. So it is quite unusual to see it doing rounds in the endurance track. Normally, vehicles being driven in Nurburgring are those that are yet to be sold. Does this mean that we will see updates in the auto?

The Chiron carries an 8.0-liter W16 engine with quad turbocharger. The unit produces a mind-blowing 1,500 hp and 1,180 lb-ft of torque. The output is distributed by a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission with manual mode. The configuration allows the vehicle to run from zero to 60 mph in just 2.3 seconds and achieve a top speed of 261 mph.

The passenger of the Chiron in the video appears to be holding a laptop. That is strange since we already have the official figures of the hypercar’s performance.

It is possible that Bugatti might be developing a special edition of the Chiron. It should be noted that the Veyron had taken that direction numerous times in the past. One of the special edition models produced under the range was the 268 mph Super Sport model that got the distinction of being the fastest production car in the world.

If that is true, the updates in the auto will likely be in the power only as everything in the spied hypercar’s exterior looks the same as the existing model of the Chiron.

According to Road and Track, they already tried reaching Bugatti for comments about the car in the video. The company is yet to respond to their inquiry.

Video

Check out the latest video of the super quick Bugatti Chiron in the Nurburgring circuit:

Hyundai Santa Fe Spy Shots Surface Online

hyundai sta fe (3)

After unveiling the new Hyundai Kona, new spy shots surfaced online showing a camouflaged prototype of the upcoming Hyundai Santa Fe. Despite the heavy covering, the form of the spied vehicle seems to bear a striking resemblance with the Kona.

The shape of the Santa Fe’s nose in the images here shows that it will sport an aggressive version of the Hyundai’s cascading grille much like the Kona. The bulges in the headlights, bumpers and front lip all indicate that it is based on its smaller crossover sibling too.

The source also noticed from the frontal shots of the Santa Fe that it is carrying Recaro racing seats. But then again, the seats might only not make it in the production version of the auto.

Going to the rear, the new Santa Fe looks like it is keeping many styling elements found in its predecessor. The roofline and window panels are almost alike. There is probably an update in the taillights of the vehicle though.

The report said that the Santa Fe in the spy shots might carry a 2019 model year since we just saw an update in its current model this year. The earliest possible unveiling of the vehicle might be in the next spring or next fall.

A Look at the Present Hyundai Santa Fe

As a recap, the present refreshed model of the Santa Fe has a starting price of $30,800. The vehicle is offered in eight trims. The auto is offered in SE, Limited, SE Ultimate and Limited Ultimate versions. Each of the mentioned models come in two variants—the front wheel drive and the all-wheel drive. The current Santa Fe comes with a V6 engine with 290 hp.

New Hyundai Santa Fe Spy Shots

Check out the spy shots of the upcoming Hyundai Santa Fe model provided by Autoblog in the gallery below:

Will Lamborghini Sports Cars Go AI?

lamborghini

The automotive landscape is slowly transitioning to a different level. Most automakers are now pouring in a lot of their resources in their research and development so that no one will be left behind in terms of electrification in cars and during the shift to autonomous driving.

Lamborghini is one of the world’s most recognizable producers of luxury super sports cars. The brand had been identified with power, style and the performance of its cars. With the advent of new car technologies, is the automaker planning on adapting self-driving systems?

Murray Newlands recently sat down with Maurizio Reggiani, the Director of Research and Development of Lamborghini, to get his take on the matter.

Based on the article that was posted in Forbes, Lamborghini appears to be treading carefully on the subject. The automaker seems to be looking into the technology but it does not want to integrate it in their sports cars in an invasive manner. After all, people buy Lamborghinis because they want to experience driving it.

Reggiani wants their artificial intelligence to be useful in adaptive cruise control during a drive downtown or in a traffic jam. He also expects it to improve the skill and activity of driving their cars. From his statement, he expects the AI to mainly provide predictive instructions to the driver in crucial moments like when cornering or when the vehicle steers out of control due to overspin.

The Lamborghini exec said the AI systems will probably be used heavily on the Urus since it is a daily-use car. It would be a different story in their sports cars though because they want their drivers to have fun and get the best manual driving experience from them.

Another issue about putting a lot of AI systems in the sports car is that it will compromise its weight. Reggiani added that the same is true with putting electric batteries in their autos. The sound of the Lamborghini would be traded off with the electric battery too.

The interviewer even went as far as to ask whether the company will be developing flying transportation mobility devices like what Toyota announced. Reggiani answered that they will never go in that direction.

Reggiani concluded the interview by reminding that people don’t buy Lamborghini because they need it. They purchase it as an award for themselves or to gratify themselves. It is not an ordinary car for day-to-day use.

2020 BMW 8-Series Convertible Caught in a Spy Video

2020 bmw 8-series

A new video surfaced showing a new convertible from BMW. The source said it will be the 2020 BMW 8-Series Convertible. The auto will be the automaker’s response to the Mercedes-Benz S-Class Cabriolet.

According to Motor Authority, BMW is working on a replacement for the 6-Series coupe and convertible models. The cars will be positioned higher in the hierarchy of the automaker’s vehicles. The report claimed the vehicles will be under the 8-Series range.

Supporting the article is the earlier confirmation of BMW about the move. It was revealed last May during the launch of the 8-Series Concept at the 2017 Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este.

The source noted that BMW never released a convertible variant for its original 8-Series. However, it appears that the plan was just shelved because a prototype of the convertible version existed in the past.

The spy video shows the BMW 8-Series Convertible with a soft top. The report pointed out that it might only be a ruse to hide the retractable hard top of the car.

It seems that the vehicle rides on the carbon fiber CLAR platform of the brand. The unit was used in the 2016 BMW 7-Series.

The post said that BMW trademark documents suggest that the 8-Series will spawn 850, 860 and M850 models. The range will be carrying V8 and V12 engines.

The M Performance version of the 8-Series will most probably get the new 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8 engine, which will be showcased this year in the upcoming BMW M5. The power of the auto will be distributed via an 8-speed automatic transmission and paired with the M division’s latest M xDrive all-wheel drive system.

It is not clear when the unveiling of the new BMW 8-Series Convertible will take place. The source discussed that it might be in 2018.

Spy Video of the BMW 8-Series Convertible

Due to the privacy settings of the uploader, the video cannot be played directly from this page. You can still click the box below though, which will take you directly to the spy video of the car.

Top 3 Selling Points of the 2018 Lexus LC 500

2018 lexus lc 500 (1)

Starting at $92,000, the 2018 Lexus LC 500 boasts a striking design and decent engine output. The luxury coupe is its brand’s answer to the likes of BMW 650i Coupe, Jaguar F-Type and Mercedes-Benz SL450.

Is it worth its expensive cost? Let’s take a look at the three key selling points of the car based on a review by Cars.com:

1. Design

One of the paint finishes offered by the LC 500 is the “Infrared”. As its name implies, it is a special red paint. The source shared that he was engaged by more people as he drove the car compared to the other vehicles he tested.

The spindle grille of Lexus also gives the car a striking identity. Add to that the smooth body, strategically-placed intakes and lighting system of the auto, and we have a real beauty here.

The only setback seen in the design of the LC 500 is that it is a bit bulky. It is more of a touring car than a sports car.

Inside, a mix of high end leather and fabric adorn the surfaces of the LC 500. The highlight of the cockpit is the 10.3-inch display controlled by a touchpad. However, the person reviewing the vehicle found the touchpad to be a nuisance when making inputs as it takes the eyes of the driver away from the road more than a touchpad does.

There appears two rear seats inside the car too but the source noted that they are too tight to even fit a child. It seems like the area is only for the luggage.

2. Engine

The LC 500 retained its naturally-aspirated 5.0-liter V8 engine. The unit produces 471 hp and 398 lb-ft of torque. The power is distributed via a 10-speed automatic transmission. The configuration lets the vehicle sprint from zero to 60 mph in just 4.4 seconds.

3. Performance

The review stated that the LC 500 has a smooth power delivery. Then its engine revs fast. Moreover, the power unit is quiet.

The major setback in the driving performance of the car though is its heavy frame. This factor causes the vehicle to have heavy steering and the back gets twitchy when at high speeds.

Overall, the 2018 Lexus LC 500 may not have some of the elements of a sports car but the styling and other features surely make up for what’s lacking.

2018 Ford Mustang GT Gets 7,500 RPM

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A new Ford Mustang GT is currently being tested. Spy shots of the car have surfaced a week ago giving us a preview of its external features. One of the leaked photos take us to the interior of the car, which reveal the revolutions per minute or rpm of its engine.

According to Fox News Auto, the new Mustang GT will bear a 2018 model year. The exterior upgrades include sleeker hood, revised headlamps and lower suspension.

What’s more interesting was the information revealed by the spy pictures of the car’s interior. The analog tachometer of the vehicle indicates that it is capable of generating 7,500 rpm.

Interior of the 2018 Ford Mustang GT.

Interior of the 2018 Ford Mustang GT.

Reports said the 2018 Mustang GT will get Ford’s updated 5.0-liter V8 engine. The unit is rumored to offer more power than the current one’s 435 hp. The new port, direct fuel injection and new intake system based on the Shelby GT 350’s 5.2-liter V8 are expected to bring about the boost in the output of the auto.

The new data hinted by the spy shot complements the concept of Ford for the new digital instrument cluster of the Mustang GT, which was released in January. The display of the rendering show up to 7,500 rpm while the car makes use of its Sport+ mode.

The source also claimed that the power of the Mustang GT will likely be distributed via a 10-speed automatic transmission similar to the one utilized by the F 150. Those who want the manual shifting process can opt for the re-engineered six-speed manual transmission of Ford.

The 2018 Mustang GT is will most probably hit the market by fall this year. In 2016, the Mustang was the best-selling sports car in the United States. The brand sold 105,000 units in the country. It outperformed its rival the Chevrolet Camaro by 30,000 last year.

Why the Mercedes-Benz SL55 AMG of Steve Jobs Had No License Plate

steve jobs mercedes-benz sl55 amg

Steve Jobs had been gone from this world since 2011, but he definitely left a big mark in the devices that we enjoy today like computers, smartphones, tablets and many more. His life was surely a wonder as it had seen many ups and downs. One of the things that puzzled people though was his silver Mercedes-Benz SL55 AMG.

The SL55 AMG was the late Jobs’ car of choice. In his photographs with his vehicle, it can be noticed that the auto never had a plate number. That had people asking about how he did it and how did he get away from it.

Citing ITWire as the original source of the information, Cult of Mac said Jobs simply tricked the system. Either he or someone close to him found out a loophole in the California vehicle laws that allowed him to ride his SL55 AMG without a plate number.

During his time, new car owners in California had a maximum of six months to install the issued number plates to their vehicles. Jobs exploited the rule by coming up with an arrangement with a leasing company.

The deal involved him changing cars before the allowed six months expired. However, he would always get the same car—a new silver Mercedes-Benz SL55 AMG. Since none of the cars would be as old as six months, he was not required to affix number plates in them.

The rule is set to change effective in 2019 though. In July last year, Governor Jerry Brown already signed a legislation that required newly bought vehicles in California to be embedded with temporary license plates.

There were mixed reactions about the move though. Brown defended that the bill aimed to stop toll-road cheating and to make sure that law enforcements can easily identify vehicles on the road.

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