Aerodynamic Performance – Aventador S

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With the hills of Tuscany as the backdrop and in the company of fellow supercar motoring enthusiasts from around the globe over a few days, I recently tested the new Lamborghini Aventador S which has a new aerodynamic design, redeveloped suspension, increased power and new driving dynamics.

The ‘S’ is the suffix of previous enhanced Lamborghini models and defines a new benchmark for the V12 Lamborghini and indicates the new Aventador generation, redesigned to achieve maximum aerodynamic efficiency while accenting the Aventador’s complex, muscular dynamism.

According to Automobili Lamborghini Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Stefano Domenicali, the Aventador S has a visionary design, cutting-edge technology with driving dynamics that elevates the concept of super sports cars to a new level.

A more aggressive nose and longer front splitter redirect airflow for better aerodynamic efficiency, improved engine cooling and increased cooling to the radiators. Two air ducts in the side of the front bumper reduce aerodynamic interference from the front tires and optimize wake flow to the rear radiator.

The rear of the Aventador S is dominated by a black diffuser, available on request in carbon fiber, characterized by a number of vertical fins that amplify the airflow effects, reduce drag through pressure recovery and generate downforce. Three single exhaust outlets exit through the rear bumper.

During the drive, we learnt how the rear wing, movable in three positions depending on speed and drive select mode, optimizes the car’s improved overall balance, working with vortex generators created in the front and rear of the chassis’ underside that maximize air flow as well as assist in brake cooling.

With the Aventador S design, the front downforce has been improved by more than 130% over the previous Aventador coupé. When the wing is in its optimum position the overall efficiency at high downforce is improved by over 50%, and in low drag by more than 400% compared to the previous model.

The Aventador S is redeveloped around a ‘total control concept’ to provide a superior drive, ride and performance; every aspect of the car’s suspension and electronic control systems has been advanced, with the goal of particularly enhanced control and driving emotion.

Also interesting is the smart Lamborghini Dinamica Veicolo Attiva (LDVA) control unit that manage these systems in the car. LDVA is the new brain of the car, which receives real time and precise information on body motion via input from all sensors of the car and defines the best set-up of all active systems that guarantee the best vehicle dynamics in each situation.

The Aventador S is more agile with a reduced turning radius, ensuring higher performance in curves and making it easy to maneuver in town and at low speeds. On the tracks, I tried all four different driving modes: STRADA, SPORT, CORSA and the new EGO mode, which influence the behavior of the traction (engine, gearbox, 4WD), steering (LRS, LDS, Servotronic) and suspension (LMS).

STRADA stands for maximum comfort and daily use. SPORT provides a sporty, rear-wheel drive feel and CORSA is suitable for maximum track performance.

EGO is the new driving mode option. This provides several additional and individual set-up profiles, customizable by the driver’s preferred criteria for traction, steering and suspension within the STRADA, SPORT and CORSA settings.

In STRADA, the progressive damping is smoothed for better comfort and stability on rough roads. Torque is split 40/60 to the front and rear as standard: safe and stable with maximum adhesion, the car is easily driven and controlled.

In SPORT mode, the stabilizing effect of the Lamborghini Rear-wheel Steering allows up to 90% torque to the rear wheels for maximum sportiness and driving fun on curving roads. Driving precision and driver feedback is improved, while maintaining safety and without compromising on comfort.

While I drove mainly in SPORT mode, I tried the CORSA as well experiencing less intrusive dynamic and traction control intervention while maintaining driving precision and traction. In this mode, high levels of damping force maximize driver feeling and feedback from driver inputs including steering, braking and throttle.

Counter-phase steering is enhanced in high-performance situations and torque is balanced to both axles, with a maximum 20/80 split to front and rear for more neutral behavior and to maximize track-oriented performance.

The Lamborghini Aventador’s naturally aspirated twelve cylinder, 6.5 liter engine outputs an additional 40 hp over its predecessor, to a maximum 740 hp, with a 690 Nm of torque at 5,500 rpm. Acceleration from 0-100 km/h is reached in 2.9 seconds, with a top speed of 350 km/h. Transmission is provided by Lamborghini’s lightweight Independent Shifting Rod (ISR) 7-speed shifting system, providing robotized gear shifts in up to 50 milliseconds.

The Aventador S comes with new, specially developed set of Pirelli P Zero tires. Designed to optimize steering, traction, lane changes and braking efficiency, the tires are specifically designed to respond to the dynamic behavior induced by the Lamborghini Rear-wheel Steering, ensuring handling consistency and driver feedback.

With improved force generation from both front and rear tires, the Pirelli P Zero tires provide a higher lateral acceleration and reduce understeer characteristics. Carbon ceramic brakes are standard equipment for the Aventador S.

The training at the Mugello Circuit with the Aventador S enthralled the most seasoned supercar drivers and owners and the thrills on the tracks proved once again the brand’s superior road power that exudes only from a Lamborghini.

Defining luxury grand touring: Bentley at the IAA 2017

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  • All-new Bentley Continental GT makes global debut in Frankfurt
  • The definitive luxury Grand Tourer: designed, engineered and handcrafted in Britain
  • 0-litre W12 TSI engine delivers 635 PS (626 bhp) and 900 Nm (664 lb.ft.)
  • 0-100 km/h in 3.7 seconds (0-60 mph in 3.6 seconds); top speed
    of 333 km/h (207 mph)
  • New limited edition Mulsanne Design Series by Mulliner also debuts, showcasing brand-new Tessellated coloured carbon fibre
  • Special Mulliner-created Flying Spur V8 S model exhibited
  • The world’s fastest SUV – the Bentayga W12 – is also on display
  • Immersive Tech Lab on stand showcases Bentley’s technology

The all-new Continental GT has made its global debut at the IAA 2017 in Frankfurt.

The third generation of the legendary Bentley Continental GT is designed, engineered and handcrafted in Great Britain, ensuring the highest levels of attention to detail, artistry and cutting-edge technology are blended together to create the finest Grand Tourer ever produced.

The new Continental GT features an all-new, enhanced version of Bentley’s celebrated 6.0-litre, twin-turbocharged W12 TSI engine which, for the first time, is available with a dual-clutch eight-speed transmission.

The sprint to 100 km/h takes 3.7 seconds (0-60 mph in 3.6 seconds) with top speed reached at 333 km/h (207 mph). The New Continental GT also has a Grand Touring range of 740 km (460 miles).

A new, technically advanced, adaptive chassis uses Bentley’s intelligent 48-volt Dynamic Ride System to ensure a responsive ride and exceptional handling and refinement in all road conditions. The new system controls ride comfort and lateral roll, cushioning passengers from excessive movement as well as making the car feel effortlessly precise.

The more sculptural and sharply defined muscular exterior design is complemented by a luxurious interior packed with exquisite details that showcases major evolutions in Bentley’s unique application of technology, including an advanced, fully digital, driver-focused instrument panel and revolutionary Bentley Rotating Display.

The limited edition Mulsanne Design Series by Mulliner also debuts at Frankfurt. Inspired by the latest trends in high-end interior design and fashion, the new model – debuting in striking King Fisher Blue – pushes the boundaries of what is possible with carbon fibre.

It features an all-new tessellated coloured carbon fibre, inspired by high-tech sportswear, and available in a choice of three signature Mulliner colours, including King Fisher, Metallic Silver and Metallic Bronze. This accent colour continues through the interior cabin and is featured in the Hidden Delights areas of the car.

On the exterior, a gloss black vertical vane grille, side vents, window surrounds, dark tint ‘Flying B’ mascot and 21” Speed wheels with a bespoke finish give the car a purposeful stance.

The Mulliner bespoke coachbuilding team has also created a special one-off Flying Spur V8 S for the Frankfurt expo. Delivering a standard of exclusivity that is unmistakably Mulliner, this unique model features a three-tone interior lined with Portland, Porpoise and white hides inspired by the classic coachbuilding era. White accents are featured throughout the interior with a special white bezel on the centre console clock and white diamond quilted stitching on the seats. Outside, Mulliner has created a Duo-Tone Light Windsor Blue over Dark Windsor Blue with a white fine-line.

Completing the Bentley line-up on the stand is the world’s only true-luxury SUV – the Bentayga – which combines unparalleled luxury with sporting ability, off-road performance and everyday usability. With its 6.0-litre, twin-turbo W12 powerplant, the Bentayga can accelerate from standing to 60mph in just 4.0 seconds (0-100 km/h in 4.1 secs) before hitting a top speed of 187mph (301 km/h).

In addition to displaying an array of the world’s most luxurious and desirable cars, the British manufacturer is hosting a new tech lab – an interactive area dedicated to showcasing Bentley’s breadth of technological and engineering excellence.

The tech lab will take visitors on a journey of discovery through various engineering gateways in the process of building the highest quality performance cars in the world.

The Audi A6 – Powerful. Versatile. Expressive.

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The new Audi A6 sedan is designed to exude progress and sportiness all over. I drove the car after a few days with the Audi A7 so I did not expect the model to impress me as much but it was a perfect drive with the right amount of power and turn head factor for the Dubai streets during cruise hours.

Externally, the new model has a wider and sportier appearance while the interior is generously designed to offer a family of four ample room and comfort. There are enough storage spaces and practical stowing options to make the journey a relaxing pleasure.

For a discerning premium audience, buying an Audi is a pleasure with all the bespoke options such as the colored leather and the custom paint from the large range of Audi exclusive color makes buyers get a unique vehicle according to personal preferences.

Drive time in new terrains is a breeze in the new A6, which handles better, accelerates faster and comes equipped with MMI Navigation plus, and MMI touch as a standard, offering the latest generation of Audi infotainment.

Having a large 8-inch TFT color display with a wide range of functions integrated in a user-friendly manner is a definite plus. I enjoy cruising the streets with a mix of Fijian, English and Arabic music, which sounded amazing with the impressive sound quality of the Bose surround sound system in the A6.

For die-hard music fans, imagine having your favorite beats played on 14 loudspeakers with a total output of more than 600 watts, evenly distributed in the vehicle with subwoofers and a powerful bass reproduction. My teenager was in heaven during the school runs.

The exterior design is as much fun to design as the interior starting with color choices. Buyers can have the golden hue of a sunset, the red of a fine wine, the green of an emerald ring or any other color imaginable that can be custom ordered.

Just like shoes can change the entire look of a person, I believe the wheels of the car can do the same. For the A6, there are the optional 20-inch forged aluminum wheels in 5-arm star design that gives an impression of power to the look and feel of the sedan.

Finding the perfect sedan with an impressive sense of space combined with a comfort-oriented interior design can be a challenge with all there is in the market today but the A6 is a natural leader with its integrated technologies and sharp design. It is indeed a perfect blend of luxury, technology with responsive and excellent driving dynamics.

For the Middle East audience for whom a car is more than just a drive from A to B, the A6 is a luxury sedan that offers the right amount of power on a daily basis for work with an executive feel and it fits in as a fun car to cruise around in on Beach Road on the weekends.

HARLEY-DAVIDSON ISSUES GLOBAL CALL TO EMBRACE THE FREEDOM OF THE OPEN ROAD

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“All For Freedom. Freedom For All.” Celebrates Individuality of Riders and Non-Riders Alike

Since 1903, Harley-Davidson has built motorcycles for one reason: to fulfill dreams of personal freedom. The Motor Company’s recently launched new brand platform – “All for Freedom, Freedom for All” – celebrates Harley-Davidson’s enduring legacy and the pursuit of freedom that unites all. With a focus on the universal pursuit of independence, authenticity and the feeling of the open road, the new work is an open invitation to riders and non-riders across the globe to embrace their individuality.

The new platform comes to life via 30 and 90-second videos containing user-generated and filmed content and is set to pique the interest of motorcycle enthusiasts across the Middle East. In the creative, Harley-Davidson shares moments captured on the open road by riders past and present from all walks of life: https://www.facebook.com/HarleyDavidsonMENA/videos/1749632801743354/

“‘All For Freedom. Freedom For All’” is part of our 10-year global strategy to build the next generation of Harley-Davidson riders,” said Sean Cummings, Harley-Davidson senior vice president of global demand. “As one of the leaders in our industry, we are on a mission to grow the sport of motorcycling globally. To reach that ambitious goal, we need to increase our brand’s relevance and inspire new riders to experience the same freedom that all H-D riders feel in the saddle. This new work does that by celebrating the passion, freedom and emotional pull of the open road.”

Elsa Abi Nader, Regional Marketing Manager at Harley-Davidson Motor Company – Middle East and North Africa added: “The launch of the new platform highlights our ongoing commitment to sharing the sheer enthusiasm we hold, not just for motorcycling, but for the lifestyle that accompanies it. Our aim in the region is for the new creative to draw out all of our Middle East fans who are yet to learn to ride.”

To ignite a conversation about the thrill of riding, Harley-Davidson is enlisting its network of riders, influencers, dealers and employees on social media to post images and stories of why they chose to accept the invitation of the open road using #FindYourFreedom.

For more information, Harley enthusiasts can visit www.h-d.com or follow along at #FindYourFreedom.

Experience the freedom that comes from riding a Harley-Davidson

Harley-Davidson will help get riders out and building their skills on two wheels in no time at all. The Harley-Davidson Guide to Ride provides all the basic information needed to get a license and be ready to ride in just a few classes.

All of the correct information and documentation can be found at http://www.harley-davidson.com/content/dam/h-d/documents/learn-to-ride/en_ZZ/License_FAQ.pdf and enquiries submitted at www.facebook.com/HarleyDavidsonMENA.

Al-Futtaim Motors reiterates its environmental commitment with zero-emission Fuel Cell Vehicles

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Sharjah Municipality and Emirates Transport test electric hydrogen-running Toyota Mirai

In its continuous effort to support the UAE Vision 2021’s environmental objectives, Al-Futtaim Motors, leader in sustainable mobility and exclusive distributor of Toyota in the UAE, introduced the zero-emission hydrogen-running Toyota Mirai to Sharjah Municipality and Emirates Transport, as part of its Government outreach program, aiming at building awareness about the benefits fuel cell technology and the positive environmental potentials of a hydrogen-based society.

The four-door Toyota Mirai is the world’s first mass-produced hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicle, that generates electricity through an onboard Fuel Cell stack, using oxygen from the air with hydrogen stored in the tank to power the car rather than using a battery. The Toyota Mirai which releases water instead of CO2 as byproduct is the only zero emissions vehicle on the market that is capable of exceeding 500 km on a full tank with performance that competes with traditional internal combustion engines.

Both Sharjah Municipality and Emirates Transport delegations test-drove the car and were impressed by the vehicle’s performance and environmental credentials, especially when experiencing the clear drinking water that came out of the vehicle, at the push of a button.

“This marks yet another successful achievement in our efforts to raise awareness about poor air quality and our practical solutions to curb the issue. Our responsibility towards the environment is translated through a large-scale deployment of hybrid cars and the introduction of the zero-emission hydrogen technology,” said Bertrand Thiebaut, Senior Managing Director of Al-Futtaim Motors and Vice President of Al-Futtaim Automotive Group.

“The fuel cell technology is the cleanest and most practical sustainable mobility solution, as it requires no electrical charging, can run up to 500 kms on a full tank of hydrogen which can be filled in the car in less than 5 minutes, imposing absolutely no changes on the driver’s behavior” he continued.

Al-Futtaim Motors recently registered strong first-half hybrid sales results for Toyota and Lexus and currently offers a host of hybrid vehicles across Toyota, Lexus and most recently Hino.

How Ford Knows Which Car Colours Will Be Trending Years in Advance

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Mustang

When creating a new car colour, Ford’s designers have to look at a diverse range of societies and predict how changing moods will affect colour preferences. The designers then combine that with knowledge of how trends in design disciplines are changing to create colours that look on-trend, nearly half a decade after they were developed.

The design process starts four years ahead of a vehicle going on sale, with Ford’s designers researching trends across the major design disciplines. “Our designers regularly get together and we look at what’s happening in architecture, products and interiors,” said Emily Lai, Design Manager, Colour and Materials Design for Ford.

Once the design team has a feel for where design trends are heading, they must become social scientists. “Colour choice doesn’t just reflect your personality, it also acts as a reflection of the circumstances around you,” explained Lai. “If you’re amongst a lot of pressure and stress for example, it will affect your choices and moods.”

A clear example of this came after the 2008 financial crisis, when economic concerns drove people to worry more about the resale value of cars. As a result, conservative colours dominated vehicle sales, as buyers tended to prioritise appeal to future owners over self-expression.

The Global Financial Crisis also drove ‘safe’ colours choices as a reflection of the mood of the time. Austentacious colours would be confronting, even disrespectful to your fellow citizens

In the Middle East and Africa, the hotter climates make lighter colours more appealing. A study conducted by Berkeley Lab Environmental Energy Technologies Division and published in Applied Energy journal, proved that lighter coloured cars reflected much more heat than darker coloured cars and kept the interior as much as 11% cooler than an identical model in black. White cars also tend to hold their value better on the used car market, while blue cars tend to lose the most.

Colour choice is key. PPG Auto Coatings – one of the three major global suppliers to the automotive trade – carried out a study which showed that 60% of people said colour was a major factor in their buying decision. More than half of them said that if the colour they wanted wasn’t available in the showroom, they’d wait until it was.

“Ford’s vehicle lineup in the Middle East is very diverse, and a colour that performs well on one vehicle in one market won’t necessarily perform as well in a different country,” said Crystal Worthem, Marketing Director, Ford Middle East and Africa. “It’s a challenge that keeps us on our toes.”

Across most vehicle types, there are staple colours that don’t often change. These include whites, blacks and solid colours like reds. These colours perform consistently so aren’t often updated. But periodically, advances in paint technology make changing the colour worthwhile. Changes in car design also have an impact. “The shapes of cars and ways of using materials change, and different paints respond differently to that,” said Emily Lai. This means as car shapes become more dynamic and sporty, expressive colours will be popular for their ability to complement the exciting vehicle forms.

Sports cars lend themselves particularly well to colourful extremes. The Ford Mustang is available in a choice of bright and vibrant colours that not only tap into the car’s excitement and emotion, but also reflect its proud heritage. Grabber Blue, a colour first made available on the 1969 Shelby Mustang, is available across the Mustang line-up – as is Lightning Blue, a darker metallic hue that echoes the shades of Liquid Blue used on the Ford GT, Mustang GT350R and Raptor show cars. Both colours are new for 2017.

 

3 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Car Colours

Colour blindness is much more prevalent in men.

An estimated 1 in 12 men globally are colour blind, while the ratio for women is only 1 in 200. Ford’s designers are regularly tested for colour acuity as their job requires being able to spot small tonal differences in colours.

Colours have meanings

Black means prestige and luxury, which is why it is common on vehicles used for business. Earthy tones like bronzes denote heritage and nature, and are increasing in popularity because of trends in jewelry and fashion. White is pure, inviting, and fresh – great for young families.

A lot of thought goes into a colour’s name

A colour’s name should reflect the design team’s thought processes. Once the colour has been produced, the team involved looks at what the effect of the colour is and how it reacts to different light sources, before choosing a suitably evocative name.

Redesigned and Reengineered – All-New 2017 CR-V

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Driving the last two models of the Honda CRV for a couple of years in Sharjah helped create a lot of memories for me and my family but it has been a while since we checked the new SUV models by Honda.

Hence driving the completely redesigned and reengineered 2017 CR-V with bold new styling, a more premium interior and numerous new features and technologies certainly brought back some beautiful memories and made us wish we still had our old models to trade in for the new one.

The key difference we noted was the improvement in steering precision, the increased ride comfort and body control. The interior is completely redesigned, spacious and the cockpit is studded with innovative features.

The rear seat legroom impressed my very fastidious teenager used to critiquing the rear interior experience in cars in general. With the new Easy Fold Down and 60/40 split rear seat design, the CR-V interior is incredibly versatile with room for five people and substantial space for shopping, camping or golfing storage.

The CR-V offers the latest in vehicle connectivity and audio performance with a new generation of advanced technologies. The DX and LX grades have a 5-inch Color Screen Audio and the EX and Touring grades have a 7-inch touch screen Display Audio interface with Android operating systemTM that now features a physical volume knob as well as an available Navigation system.

The 7-inch touch screen Display Audio is compatible with Apple CarPlayTM and AndroidAutoTM platforms, giving customers seamless integration of key smartphone features and functions, including smartphone powered GPS navigation and voice controlled search capabilities.

The dashboard is laid out in clearly with advanced driving technology and other essential information directly in the line of sight, such as average fuel consumption, AWD torque identification, turn-by-turn navigation and Driver Attention Monitor. The Driver Attention Monitor is designed to detect driver fatigue and alert the driver when exhibiting diminished attention to the road with a series of visual and audio alerts.

Other features include the Honda LANEWATCHTM using a camera located in the passenger door mirror to display a clear image of the lanes and any vehicles that are on the lane on the 7-inch Display Audio screen. The Multi Angle Rearview Camera with dynamic guidelines ensures you park safely and quickly.

The convenience factor extends to having an Electronic Parking Brake (EPB) with Brake Hold function, front USB ports, rear USB charging ports and front passenger seat with 4-way power adjustment and driver’s seat with 8-way power adjustment and 4-way power lumbar support.

The New CR-V comes in four grades namely, DX and LX in 2 Wheel Drive (2WD) and EX and Touring in All Wheel Drive (AWD). The 2.4-liter engine generates 184-horsepower @ 6400rpm and a torque of 244NM @ 3900rpm.

The bold exterior styling is another plus point for the new model. The 2017 CR-V has a crisper and sharper front-end design and aggressively styled headlights. Wide, muscular fenders with athletic wheel arches, longer wheelbase and short rear overhang give the 2017 CR-V a more sophisticated and athletic presence.

For safety, the all-new 2017 CR-V targets the highest available collision safety ratings, including an NCAP 5-star Overall Vehicle Score from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) plus it utilizes Electronic Brake Booster (EBB), which also monitors the vehicle speed.

With the All New Honda CR-V, Honda has certainly come a long way from the models I used in the past for my school runs and this time, it ticks all the usual boxes with additional new technology and attractive styling to complete the ideal SUV purchase most buyers are looking for today.

 

Performance and Prestige – Rebirth of the Acura NSX

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The long-awaited second-generation Acura NSX, acclaimed for its reliability as well as its performance capabilities is back in the market. The new hybrid-electric sports car, powered by a mid-mounted twin-turbo V-6 engine and three electric motors, produces “north of 550 hp,” according to Acura. 

The next generation NSX is made of aluminum and carbon fiber and is lightweight, equipped with a twin-clutch, 9-speed transmission and permanent all-wheel drive. It showcases the production styling, design and specifications of Acura’s mid-engine sports hybrid supercar.

Specifically created to bring a “new sports experience” to the supercar segment, the NSX challenges conventional beliefs about supercars, much as the first generation did a quarter century ago. The approach is realized through an all-new power unit, a twin-turbo charged 75-degree DOHC V6 engine with a 9-speed dual clutch transmission (DCT) and three-electric motor Sport Hybrid system, integrated with an ultra-rigid and lightweight multi-material body with world’s-first material applications and manufacturing processes.

Developed under the concept of a “human-centered supercar,” a car that puts the driver first in every aspect of its design, the next-generation NSX will leverage its state-of-the-art hybrid supercar power unit, body and chassis to deliver exceptionally intuitive and immediate response to driver inputs.

As the pinnacle representation of Acura performance and prestige, the NSX was introduced at the auto show under the theme of “Precision Crafted Performance.” The theme was the original tagline for the Acura brand, a guiding force behind the development of the original NSX and a critical component of its launch.

The development of next-generation NSX, driven by precision crafted performance, has resulted in a clean-sheet design, which involved nearly three years of intensive development effort by a global design and engineering team led by engineers at the company’s development center in Raymond, Ohio.

The NSX body features classic low and wide proportions married to modern and alluring surfacing, an aggressive front design, and tail lights that pays homage to the original NSX. The signature side intake and floating C-pillar collects air to feed the mid-mounted engine and directs airflow over the rear deck to increase down force.

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Every element of the exterior body design has been carefully fashioned for total airflow management for both stability-enhancing down force and vehicle systems cooling. The NSX has undergone extensive testing at the company’s state-of-the-art wind tunnel in Raymond, Ohio, leading to a number of significant changes from concept to final body design, including modified hood vents, new front fender vents, modified side air intakes, and an optimized deck spoiler.

The NSX’s instrument cluster features a dynamic TFT display that responds to changes in the driver-selectable Integrated Dynamics System with pertinent graphics and information. The center console holds the Power button that readies the sport hybrid powertrain, nested in the center of the new Integrated Dynamics System dial control.

In keeping with the foundational philosophy of the original NSX, the next-generation NSX is designed to provide a new sports car experience that maximizes the capabilities of the driver, delivering exceptionally intuitive and confidence-inspiring response “at the will of the driver.”

The Acura engineers leveraged the company’s expertise both with high-performance engine and hybrid electric-drive technologies, as well as its two decades of experience with industry-leading dynamic torque-vectoring technologies, including Super-Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD), to create the most sophisticated, technologically advanced and intelligent powertrain in the supercar universe.

The innovative techniques certainly deliver next-generation craftsmanship and world-class quality in the realm of specialized, supercar vehicle production.

 

Audi is researching the use of time in the robot car

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  • Cooperation with Fraunhofer Institute experts on human-machine interaction
  • Laboratory experiment in a futuristic driving simulator
  • “25th Hour”: an Audi project to define the premium mobility of the future

What is a premium experience like in a self-driving car? Audi is researching this in collaboration with the Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering IAO. In the futuristic driving simulator, the experts on human-machine interaction investigated, for example, how the car interior can become a perfect workplace. The findings help the car maker to provide every user with a personally optimized automobile interior in the future. This research cooperation is part of the Audi project “25th Hour.”

“When cars no longer have a steering wheel, premium mobility can be newly defined. In future, people traveling from A to B will be able to surf the Internet at leisure, play with their children – or do concentrated work,” says Melanie Goldmann, head of Culture and Trends Communication at Audi. “Together with the experts from the Fraunhofer Institute, we want to find out what is important for making optimal use of time in a self-driving car.”

For the laboratory experiment at the Fraunhofer Institute in Stuttgart, Audi has specially built a driving simulator that reproduces the situation of automated driving: with a variable interior and without a steering wheel. Large-scale projections convey the impression of a city drive by night. Via displays, the researchers can introduce digital distractions, the windows can be dimmed, and the colour of the lighting and noise background change.

The focus was on young test persons, so-called millennials, who were born after 1980 and are regarded as receptive to self-driving cars. In the experiment, the 30 test persons carried out various tasks requiring concentration – comparable with a work situation in a self-driving car.

As they did this, their brain activity was measured (EEG), as well as reaction times and error quotas, and subjective impressions were noted. The results of the EEG were unambiguous: in an environment without disturbances, the human brain is more relaxed. The windows were dimmed, the light settings optimized, and digital messages were suppressed. Tasks were then solved better and more quickly. The test persons also stated that they were less distracted.

By contrast, a driving situation that was “close to reality” in the robot car made greater demands on the brain: in this case, the participants saw some advertising, received information from social networks, and did not benefit from pleasant lighting settings or dimmed windows.

“The results show that the task is to find the right balance. In a digital future, there are no limits to what can be imagined. We could offer everything in the car – really overwhelm the user with information,” says Goldmann. “But we want to put people at the centre of attention. The car should become a smart membrane. The right information should reach the user at the right time.”

The “25th Hour” project
Today drivers spend an average of about 50 minutes per day at the wheel. In the 25th Hour project, Audi is investigating how this time could be used better in a self-driving automobile. The project is based on the assumption that an intelligent human-machine interface will learn the user’s individual preferences and adapt flexibly. In this way, Audi customers will gain full control of their time – they will be masterful time managers.

In a first step, the project team looked at people in Hamburg, San Francisco, and Tokyo, focusing on two aspects. How is infotainment used in the car today? And what would people like to do with their free time in the car of the future? The results were then discussed with a variety of experts, including psychologists, anthropologists, and urban and mobility planners.

In a second step, the Audi team defined three time modes that are conceivable in a self-driving car: quality time, productive time, and time for regeneration. In so-called quality time, people spend their time, for example, in activities with their children or telephoning family and friends. In productive time, they usually work. In down time they relax by reading, surfing the Internet, or watching a film.

To research these time modes further, Audi recruited the help of scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute. In the current research series, the team is principally concentrating on productive time.

Breathtaking Performance & Elegance – McLAREN 570GT

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McLaren 570S Mantis Green

The McLaren 570GT is the most luxurious and refined of any McLaren to date with a light, airy cabin upholstered and specified with the highest quality materials throughout. Practical enough for everyday use, the two-seat, mid-enginedsports car 570GT is designed for practicality and comfort, while remaining a true McLaren.

Very few people have the opportunity to possess a McLaren and this alone makes owners’ part of an exclusive club with a wide range of vehicle customisation options and lifestyle experiences.

The McLaren 570GT joins the 570S Coupé and 540C Coupé as the third model in the recently announced Sports Series family. The clean lines of the revised glasshouse give the 570GT a sleek and refined silhouette, and mark out the second of three bodystyles, which will eventually complete the Sports Series.

The standard fixed glass Panoramic Roof provides a bright, open cabin running through to the large rear glass hatch creating the most luxurious and relaxing McLaren driving environment. Craftsmanship throughout the interior of the 570GT are of the highest level, upholstered and specified with quality materials and the latest technologies throughout.

The 570GT is the most practical model ever launched by McLaren Automotive, targeted towards longer journeys  and weekends away. Within the spacious and ergonomically-optimised cabin, a pair of eight-way electrically adjustable sports seats are upholstered in leather as standard. The control interfaces for the air conditioning, telephony, navigation and audio systems are managed through the centrally mounted touchscreen.

The panoramic roof adds more light and a sense of space to the interior. The roof glass is treated with 18 percent transmission tint and also features SSF (Sound & Solar Film) to absorb solar radiation while providing additional noise insulation. With the increased glass area of the 570GT, cabin temperatures are regulated and maintained by an enhanced dual-zone air conditioning system, allowing fully automatic and independent settings for passenger and driver.

The front luggage area remains unchanged from the Coupé, providing 150 litres of stowage, while a further 220 litres of space is available behind the seats on the leather-lined Touring Deck. This additional space is accessed via the side opening Glass Hatch offering more storage space.

Refinement and day-to-day usability are further enhanced through the latest tyre technology from McLaren Automotive technical partner, Pirelli. The 570GT features specially developed Pirelli P Zero™ tyres, whichreduce in-cabin road noise by up to three decibels.

McLaren 570S

As with all models in the Sports Series, the 570GT is extensively equipped throughout with the latest technologies and the highest quality materials. As standard, the new model features extended leather upholstery, electrically adjustable heated seats with memory function, front and rear parking sensors, an electric steering column with easy entry and exit function.

Under the skin, the 570GT has been developed with a unique dynamic setup to reflect its positioning, while retaining the supercar levels of engagement experienced on the 570S Coupé. Pure McLaren design and engineering combine to produce a car with breath-taking performance yet increased levels of luxury and refinement.

First introduced on the iconic McLaren F1, and now signature to each of the models in the McLaren Automotive range, the 570GT features distinctive dihedral doors, which open upwards and outwards. A signature McLaren feature, the dihedral doors makes entering and leaving the car as effortless as possible.

Power and torque remain at 570PS (562bhp) and 600 Nm (443lb ft) and power is delivered to the rear wheels via a seven-speed seamless-shift transmission with adjustment through Normal, Sport and Track settings to produce one of the most rewarding and engaging driving experiences in the sports car class.

The 570GT is hence a thorough bred sports car designed for the driver who wants a high performance car with elements of luxury and comfort for longer drives.

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