MotoGP BMW M Award Will Be a BMW M3 CS This Year http://www.bmwblog.com/2018/05/07/motogp-bmw-m-award-will-be-a-bmw-m3-cs-this-year/ BMW and the MotoGP Championship have been enjoying a close relationship for years now, the German manufacturer being one of the official sponsors of the last two decades. For the better part of the last 20 years, the Bavarians have […]
BMW and the MotoGP Championship have been enjoying a close relationship for years now, the German manufacturer being one of the official sponsors of the last two decades. For the better part of the last 20 years, the Bavarians have also been offering a so-called BMW M Award for the fastest qualifying rider in the championship. This year, the fastest man on the grid will take home a brand new BMW M3 CS model in Frozen Dark Blue.
This year’s winner’s car is particularly special since the BMW M3 CS is a special edition limited to 1,200 units worldwide. The BMW M Award winner’s car for 2018 was officially unveiled at the Spanish Grand Prix in Jerez de la Frontera this Saturday. This year will also mark the 16th time this award has been offered, the tradition kicking off in 2003. The record holder is Marc Márquez, who has already claimed the BMW M Award five times in a row. Valentino Rossi and Casey Stoner each have three wins to their name.
“BMW M GmbH has outdone itself once again with the selection of the BMW M Award winner’s car in its anniversary season,” said Pau Serracanta, Managing Director of the Commercial Department of Dorna Sports, at the unveiling. “The new BMW M3 CS is an impressive high-performance car, and I am confident that the prospect of this fantastic prize will provide our riders with even more motivation to give it their all in qualifying. We are excited to see who will claim this car as their own at the end of the season.”
“It goes without saying that 2018, as our anniversary season in the MotoGP, is something very special to us,” added Vladimir Bistrivoda, head of MotoGP collaboration at BMW M GmbH. “Which is why we are excited, in our exclusive high-performance limousine BMW M3 CS, to be able to present another very special model from our range of products as the BMW M Award winner’s car. It makes us proud that the BMW M Award has been a coveted award for many years among the MotoGP family – and we want to say thank you for this appreciation by choosing highlights such as the BMW M3 CS as winner’s cars.”
via BMW BLOG http://www.bmwblog.com
DETROIT (Reuters) – General Motors Co Chief Executive Mary Barra has made a bold promise to investors that the Detroit automaker will make money selling electric cars by 2021.
What Barra has not explained in detail is how GM intends to do what, so far, no major automaker has done.
The answer is a big bet on combining proprietary battery technology, a low-cost, flexible vehicle design and high-volume production mainly in China, according to six current and former GM and supplier executives and six industry experts interviewed by Reuters.
If GM can meet Barra’s ambitious profitability target, then it will house two different businesses by the mid-2020s: A traditional focus in North America on trucks, sport utility vehicles and cars fueled with petroleum, and a global electric car company centered in China, branching into pay-per-use services such as robotaxis.
Barra’s promise to turn a profit is a bold claim in a market segment that has been driven more by government policy than consumer demand, and where Tesla Inc – the world’s largest electric-vehicle manufacturer – is burning through more than $1 billion in cash each quarter selling premium-priced vehicles.
Barra and GM have invested heavily in the electrification strategy, and worked during the past year to persuade investors that GM can compete with Tesla by building on the success of the automaker’s latest electric vehicle, the Chevrolet Bolt EV, and cutting costs along the way.
A key element of the plan, according to two people familiar with the company’s strategy, is slashing the amount of cobalt in GM’s new EMC 1.0 battery system. The price of cobalt – the single most costly ingredient in current lithium-ion battery cells – has soared in the past two years in expectation of a surge in demand from automakers. Cobalt prices hit a record high this month on the London Metal Exchange.
GM’s new battery design increases the amount of nickel, which enables batteries to store and produce more energy, these people told Reuters.
GM engineers are also working on other design and technological advances, according to executives and company patent filings, including more efficient packaging of batteries in vehicles and improved systems for managing energy flow and cooling the battery cells.
Without providing details, GM has said it expects these changes to cut the cost of battery cells by more than 30 percent, from $145 per kilowatt-hour to less than $100 by 2021.
Battery experts said the full cost of a GM battery pack, such as the one used now in the Bolt EV, is $10,000-$12,000, or nearly one-third of the car’s $36,000 sticker price.
By 2021, however, that price could drop to $6,000, according to consultant Jon Bereisa, a former GM engineering director who helped develop the Chevrolet Volt hybrid and spearheaded much of the automaker’s early lithium-ion battery development.
With improvements in battery chemistry and packaging, Bereisa said, the next-generation Bolt “could deliver a 45-percent increase in range for about the same (battery) pack cost, or the same range at 45 percent less pack cost.”
Pam Fletcher, vice president in charge of GM’s global electric vehicle programs, and other GM executives would not comment on specifics of the new battery system, which is slated to be introduced in 2020-2021.
To be sure, electric vehicles account for only a small fraction of global auto sales. Like other manufacturers, GM is banking not only on reducing its own costs and improving vehicle performance, but also on increased demand driven by higher government-mandated electric vehicle quotas in China that are intended to help reduce pollution and the country’s dependence on petroleum.
In addition to improving battery and vehicle design and performance, GM is working with Chinese partner SAIC to reduce the cost of assembling electric cars. Sources said GM and SAIC are designing dedicated electric vehicle factories in China that are far smaller, less complex and more efficient than a conventional car plant.
BARRA’S BOLD CLAIM
GM has more capital for electric vehicle development because of Barra’s decisions to sell money-losing European operations, exit other unprofitable markets and invest in a new generation of highly profitable, petroleum-fueled large pickup trucks, launching later in 2018.
The automaker now has more than 1,700 engineers, designers and researchers working on batteries and electric vehicles, many of them at the GM Technical Center in Warren, Michigan, where the company opened a dedicated battery research center in 2009, a week after it filed for bankruptcy reorganization.
Automotive experts say GM’s battery and EV group is one of the largest in the world, rivaled only by Toyota Motor Corp in Japan and Daimler AG in Germany.
Toyota has patented more battery technology in recent years than GM, although its focus has been mainly the Prius family of hybrid gasoline-electric vehicles, rather than on pure battery-powered cars like GM’s Bolt EV.
GM was issued 661 U.S. patents on battery technology from 2010 through 2015, the latest that such data is available from the United States Patent and Trademark Office, trailing only Toyota’s 762 battery patents among global automakers.
For a graphic, click tmsnrt.rs/2CHPWnx
In addition to the battery work, GM engineers are developing a new dedicated “plug and play” structure for its next-generation electric vehicles that is flexible and modular, meaning it will be able to accommodate battery systems of different sizes, as well as hydrogen fuel cells, one of the sources said.
In an interview, Mark Reuss, head of global product development, said GM’s strategy to reduce battery cost is not tied to a single improvement such as a change in battery chemistry, but rather a series of continuous enhancements in battery technology and packaging.
“There are no silver bullets here,” Reuss said. GM also has not solved all the problems required to achieve its goal, he said. “It’s called ‘product development’ for a reason,” he said.
The most recent developments and enhancements in battery technology have not been made public, according to GM’s Fletcher.
“There’s a lot of stuff that we choose not to patent because we don’t want to make it visible” before the new technology goes into production, Fletcher told Reuters.
LESSONS OF BOLT
GM’s patent history since 2010 shows a focus on improvements in battery technology, packaging and processing, some of them designed to help boost the battery’s energy and extend vehicle range between charges, according to company filings.
GM jointly developed its current battery know-how with Korea’s LG Group, which makes batteries and electronic components for the Bolt. Introduced in October 2016, Bolt was the first mass-produced electric vehicle to go more than 200 miles between charges, and sell at a sticker price of under $40,000. GM sold 23,297 Bolts in 2017.
Tesla reported producing just 1,770 of its $35,000 Model 3 sedans in 2017, well short of the company’s original targets.
The launch of the Bolt and its warm reception by reviewers, customers and investors was a watershed event for Barra and GM’s top management.
“It was a ‘holy shit’ moment that made us rethink what might be possible,” said one GM insider.
Reporting by Paul Lienert and Joseph White in Detroit; Editing by Edward Tobin
(Picture: Daimler AG)Mercedes has released a luxury concept car with a hidden tea-making station. The Vision Mercedes-Maybach Ultimate Luxury SUV was premiered at the Auto China 2018 event in Beijing this week. The electric vehicle has many swanky features, but the one that caught our… Read the full story
The Vision Mercedes-Maybach Ultimate Luxury SUV was premiered at the Auto China 2018 event in Beijing this week.
The electric vehicle has many swanky features, but the one that caught our… Read the full story
As the industry marches toward greener cars, battery and hybrid drivetrains are expanding into vehicle segments never before concerned with fuel economy ratings or much with emissions. No segment is excluded from this progress, not even luxury grand tourers. Toyota, along with its luxury division Lexus, is the king of hybrids, so it was no […]
As the industry marches toward greener cars, battery and hybrid drivetrains are expanding into vehicle segments never before concerned with fuel economy ratings or much with emissions.
No segment is excluded from this progress, not even luxury grand tourers.
Toyota, along with its luxury division Lexus, is the king of hybrids, so it was no surprise when the stunning LC 500 unveiled in 2016 included a hybrid variant–the LC 500h.
In a week of testing the 2018 Lexus LC 500h it’s clear that choosing the hybrid model is no compromise over the V-8 model.
Over the course of nearly 600 miles of highway driving at over 70 mph the LC 500h averaged 28.7 mpg according to the onboard trip computer.
In mixed suburban driving over the course of over 100 miles the onboard trip computer indicated an average of 23.5 mpg.
The experienced real-world fuel economy falls short of the 26 mpg city, 35 highway, and 30 combined EPA ratings.
A few factors could easily account for the discrepancy, including the chilly weather during the mixed suburban driving (at one point it was in the low 30s), which hinders battery performance and keeps the gasoline engine running more often, and highway speeds higher than the the EPA tests account for.
The hybrid variant of the LC 500 drops the throaty 467-horsepower 5.0-liter V-8 for a 3.5-liter V-6 hooked to two electric motors, a 44-kw lithium-ion battery, and 4-speed automatic transmission for a combined output of 354 horsepower.
To make this luxury grand tourer feel more natural and powerful than other Toyota and Lexus hybrids the company redesigned its two-motor hybrid system, mating it to a four-speed automatic transmission that, combined, give the LC 10 forward speeds to play with using titanium paddle shifters mounted to the steering wheel.
The system garners the fuel economy gains of a hybrid while letting the driver feel torque build and eliminating the transmission “rubber-banding,” that makes enthusiasts cringe behind the wheel of a Prius.
One of those electric motors can move the large coupe at low speeds while the second adds power to the gasoline engine at a wider, and higher, range of speeds.
With the 44-kw battery containing 84 cells generating only 1.1 kilowatt-hours of power, the LC 500h is only capable of 4 miles on battery power alone.
Performance is stout at 4.7 seconds for a 0-60 mph sprint–a mere 0.3 seconds slower than the V-8 model–with a top speed of 155 mph.
While both the hybrid and non-hybrid LC 500 are sublime cruisers, the hybrid doesn’t provide the same level of aural excitement as the V-8 model. That’s not to say it’s quiet, as Lexus creates a synthetic soundtrack that is surprisingly loud, though at times can be artificially buzzy.
Off the line the hybrid seems to have the same level of punch as the V-8 due to the torque provided by the electric motors, but power drops off quicker than in the non-hybrid model, which builds power from its naturally aspirated V-8 as the revs climb. What’s more, the cabin is incredibly hushed cruising down the highway, even on broken pavement.
Steering is precise though the feedback that comes through doesn’t always give you a clear picture of what’s happening with the wheels.
The Eco, Comfort, Normal, Sport, and Sport+ drive modes mesh the powertrain and suspension into a rhythm, though there’s more noticeable difference in the powertrain performance than the suspension with each mode.
THE best new vans, pickups and commercial load-luggers were revealed this week.
The Commercial Vehicle Show 2018 opened its doors with big new reveals from Ford, Mitsubishi, Toyota and Isuzu.
The biggest hit was the Ford Fiesta Van which had made a surprise return – much to the delight of small business fleets.
The Mitsubishi Shogun Sport, Isuzu D-Max Stealth and Toyota Land Cruiser also headlined the free show at the NEC in Birmingham.
There were also new ranges of ready-to-run conversions courtesy of Fiat Professional, Renault PRO+, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, Citroen and Peugeot.
Plus UK debuts for the new Toyota Hilux, Citroen Dispatch, Peugeot Expert, Renault Trafic Formula Edition, Volkswagen e-Crafter, Ssangyong Musso and LDV V80 Electric.
If you love the feeling of being behind the wheel then the thought of a future where you can only ride in autonomous cars can seem fairly bleak. Apparently Audi agrees that self-driving vehicles might end up being too boring for nostalgic folks in the years to come because the automaker’s newest ad takes on this potential driving dystopia.
The spot opens in a gorgeous city of tomorrow where an older man sits in a massive, gleaming office. He leaves work and his autonomous Audi arrives at the curb the moment that the man steps out the door. Despite living in a technological wonderland, the guy seems unhappy. The audience soon understands why.
He laments that in the past (or our present) “driving wasn’t just about being carried from place to place but going somewhere and feeling something along the way.” Apparently, this guy was quite an Audi fan. As a teenager, he drove an Audi Sport Quattro, despite the Four Rings producing just 164 of them worldwide, making him quite a lucky guy. The man also has a first-gen TT Coupe and R8 Spyder.
Once at home, the autonomous Audi retracts into the garage floor, and he sips a cup of coffee inside while looking out at the city’s twinkling lights. The guy can’t relax, though, and he suddenly flees, which makes his virtual assistant very upset. In the final shots, he speeds away in a new R8 Spyder.
Craig Gillespie, the director of films likeI, Tonya and Lars and the Real Girl, was behind the camera for this spot, according to AdWeek.
The more you think about it, the darker this ad gets. The R8 Spyder at the end of the commercial is new today, but the fully autonomous Audi with no controls and an on-board virtual assistant is something that’s still years away from hitting the road. The spot subtly suggests that in the autonomous driving future only old cars can be fun.
DETROIT (CBS/AP) — Audi is recalling more than 1 million cars worldwide.
The automobile manufacturer is recalling about 1.2 million cars and SUVs because the electric coolant pumps can overheat and possibly cause a fire.
The recall covers the 2013 to 2016 A4, the 2013 to 2017 A5, the 2012 to 2015 A6, and the Q5 SUV from 2013 to 2017. All have 2-Liter turbocharged engines.
The Volkswagen luxury brand says in U.S. government documents that the pumps can become blocked with cooling system debris, or moisture in the pump can cause an electrical short. An Audi spokesman in the U.S. said there have been reports of fires but he had no details.
Dealers will replace the pumps at no cost to owners. The spokesman said Tuesday that redesigned parts won’t be ready until November, but dealers will install a new version of the current pump until the redesigned ones are available.
Audi recalled the same vehicles last year and dealers did a software update. But the company says in documents posted Tuesday by the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that pump problems continued.
Audi will send out recall letters on or before June 11.
(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)
It’s Not The Audi Q8, But the Q5 L Is Really Stretchy
The overall length of the extended SUV, for example, is now longer by 3.5 inches compared to the standard model
In addition to that distinction, the Q5L also joins the A4L, A6L, and A8L as the only Audi models to come with an extended wheelbase. Seems pretty important, right?
To get an idea how the Q5L measures up against the standard Q5, you’ll need to think longer, as in really longer. The overall length of the extended SUV, for example, is now longer by 3.5 inches compared to the standard model. Likewise, its wheelbase also increases by 3.5 inches. The longer aesthetic is clearer from the outside, but the real benefits can be found in the interior, specifically in the rear section where rear seat passengers now have an extra 4.3 inches of knee room to enjoy. Cargo space, on the other hand, remains unchanged. That means that depending on the position of the rear seats; future owners can expect around 19.4 – 54.7 cu. ft. of space in the luggage compartment.
The obvious physical stature of the Q5L notwithstanding, the extended SUV is going to be offered in five different trim levels.
Nothing much has changed with the car’s exterior appearance. The Audi Q5L looks like the second-generation Q5. It’s just a lot longer. The obvious physical stature of the Q5L notwithstanding, the extended SUV is going to be offered in five different trim levels. These include the base trim Vogue, Lifestyle, Design, Sport, and the curiously named Sport Plus Line range-topper. Each trim will come with different exterior and interior details, though there is standard equipment across the board, including three-zone deluxe automatic air conditioning and the Audi smartphone interface. Higher trim options obviously get more of the good stuff. The Design, Sport and, Sport plus lines get a Bang & Olufsen sound system with 3D sound.
The Audi Q5L comes with just one engine, and it’s not a hybrid. Instead, the SUV will be powered by one of Audi’s most reliable engine units, and one that also happens to be a fan-favorite in China: the 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder TFSI. It comes with two different power outputs — 190 horsepower and 252 horsepower — which would be enough to help the SUV accelerate from 0 to 62 mph in 8.6 seconds or 6.7 seconds, respectively.
The SUV is expected to go on sale sometime in the next few months
There’s no word yet on how much the Q5L is going to cost in China, but the SUV is expected to go on sale sometime in the next few months. Don’t hold out any hope, though, of seeing this model here in the U.S. It’s unlikely that we’ll get to see it hit our roads and highways.
Read our full review on the 2017 Audi Q5.
Read more Audi news.
Read more 2018 Beijing Auto Show news.
April 25, 2018 at 07:03PM