Everything’s greener with a Leaf

Nissan Leaf 20The Newest version of the Nissan Leaf was revealed today. Going on sale in January 2018 the new Leaf features many improvements and advances over the previous version. Most notable is the range, which has risen by 100 miles from 135 to 235. This is thanks to the new electric motor built under Nissans ‘intelligent power’ idea. The new motors power has increased from 80Kw to 110Kw with this comes a torque increase as well the new Leaf produces 320Nm, great for a car of its size but should be expected from an electric car. Nissan have also said they will be building a more powerful version of the Leaf for the end of 2018, the increase in power means a longer range and more versatility for the vehicle.

The Leaf also sees the debut of Nissan’s new intelligent driving technologies, three modes which Nissan believe make driving easier and less stressful.

They are as follow:

Nissan Leaf 32

  • Pro Pilot is similar to radar guided cruise control seen in other cars currently, with Pro Pilot mode the Leaf controls the distance to the car in front, if it stops the Leaf stops, simple enough. The Pro Pilot system also helps the driver steer within your lane keeping you centred unless otherwise adjusted by the driver.

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  • Pro Pilot Park this system is simple enough, the Leaf will park itself, taking control of all brakes, acceleration, gears and steering to make, “Parking stress free and more precise for all drivers”.

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  • The E-Pedal basically turns the accelerator into a switch, when the driver presses it the car will set off as normal, but when the pedal is released the car will use regenerative and friction brakes to bring the car to a gradual and complete stop (meaning you only really need the one pedal for driving around) Although Nissan add that in aggressive situations the brake pedal must be used.

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The Leaf has always been one of the best electric cars you can buy, because from the surface it looks and acts like a normal car. Some electric cars have to look so unusual and out there that they force you to notice them and realise they are electric cars, and they are better than you. The Leaf could be mistaken for a Micra which believe it or not is a good thing. The new Leaf is continuing that trend that has seen it become one of the best selling electric cars. We used to look to the Mercedes S-Class for the next big thing in car technology, maybe with these new advances we should be looking at the Leaf.

What do you think of the new Nissan Leaf, let us know in the comments.

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Maserati electrified by 2019

MaseratiElectrification is ruling the news stories as of late, indeed my last few posts have been about the introduction of electrified cars and the reduction of regular internal combustion cars, but know one of the big names has finally made their push to electrification. Maserati have announced that by 2019 they expect all their new cars to be electrified in some way. The call comes from Maserati owners Fiat Chrysler, who plan on having more than half of their cars electrified by 2022, with Maserati spearheading the project.

Sergio MarchionneThe announcement was made during a conference call with investors, CEO of FCA Sergio Marchionne said: “They had been reluctant to embrace that avenue until we saw a clearer path forward”. The first electric Maserati is expected in 2020 and will be based off the two-door sports car revealed at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show, the Alfieri.

Maserati LevanteThe current line up of Maseratis are also likely to receive upgrades through hybridisation with the new SUV the Levante being first in line. Maserati Europe boss Giulio Pastore told Autocar last year: “The current platform allows for hybrid. We are working on it for 2019, when we will be ready to offer hybridisation.”

Maserati QuattroporteThis certainly means exciting times are ahead of us, first Volvo then BMW and now Maserati. Its only a matter of time before we see a fully electric Ferrari. I’d predict the next big group to announce electrification will be Volkswagen. They need a win they need to show they are ahead of the curve particularly after the emissions scandal, and with a large popular group that includes Audi, Skoda, Seat and of course not forgetting Lamborghini. The Electric future is coming, are you ready for it.

What do you think of Electric Maseratis let me know in the comments

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How long do we have until the electric revolution is complete?

Tesla Model SElectric cars have become more and more common over the past decade, with most major manufacturers either having completely electric cars in their line up or hybrid options added to existing cars but how long does the conventional engine have left. Volvo announced their amazing move to a fully electrified line up by 2025 and Tesla are about to release the Model 3, the first truly affordable Tesla. Conventional internal combustion engines are going to become a rarer and rarer site on the roads.

Stratford MF 2017 50The internal combustion engine took over from the horse as the easiest way to travel by road, that was over 100 years ago and lead to the rise in fossil fuels and growing carbon emissions that are slowly killing our planet. The move to the ICE triggered a ticking time bomb that unless we change will kill not only our entire planet but all life on it.

Elon MuskThere are only a few names that will go down in motoring history as game changers, Carl Benz, Henry Ford, Carroll Shelby and now Elon Musk, Musk is one of the first to show the world that the electric car is a viable option. Slowly but surely the world is becoming more confident and the motor industry is providing more and more options, and whilst range is still and issue with time comes change and improvement. It’s highly likely that Tesla will become the next biggest manufacturer or at least the most important.

Jaguar E-Type Barn FindWhen will we never see a ICE car again is the bigger question and an awful long way off because even though there are massive improvements happening every day in the electric car world but there are a large number of car enthusiasts that will cling to their ICE cars till their dying breath, as is their right. Until the rust cancer claims all of the classic cars we will see ICE cars for a long time.

Volvo conceptBut how long will ICE cars be manufactured for? Well Volvo are the first manufacturer to announce a fully electrified future, many manufacturers are likely to wait to see how successful Volvos attempt is before they announce their own electrified futures. I would be surprised if most manufacturers aren’t fully electric by 2050, especially with driverless cars on their way it is highly unlikely a company will succeed with out electrification. It will become ‘old fashioned’ to use a ICE engine in the future, like having a current car using drum brakes or coming without power steering

Legislation is probably one of the only ways to speed electrification along as manufacturers are unlikely to want to invest in electric in a big way until the technology is either cheaper, more efficient or becomes massively successful.

What do you think of the electric future, sound off in the comments

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The Big names join together for Electric cars

electric-chargine

The car industry has reached a major milestone this week, by coming together to share knowledge and capabilities to further the evolution of electric cars. the BMW group, Daimler, Ford and the VW group including Audi and Porsche have come together to provide an ultra fast high power charging network across Europe. The plan is to evolve the charging process to the point that it is as quick and convenient as filling up a conventional car.

BMW: “This high-power charging network provides motorists with another strong argument to move towards electric mobility”, says Harald Krüger, Chairman of the Board of Management of BMW AG.“The BMW Group has initiated numerous public charging infrastructure projects over the last years. The joint project is another major milestone clearly demonstrating that competitors are combining forces to ramp-up e-mobility.”

Daimler: “The breakthrough of e-mobility requires two things: convincing vehicles and a comprehensive charging infrastructure. With our new brand EQ, we are launching our electric product offensive: by 2025, our portfolio will include more than ten fully electric passenger cars. Together with our partners, we are now installing the highest-powered charging infrastructure in Europe”, says Dr. Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars. “The availability of high-power stations allows long-distance e-mobility for the first time and will convince more and more customers to opt for an electric vehicle.”

Ford: A reliable, ultra-fast charging infrastructure is important for mass consumer adoption and has the potential to transform the possibilities for electric driving”, says Mark Fields, president and CEO, Ford Motor Company. “Ford is committed to developing vehicles and technologies that make people’s lives better, and this charging network will make it easier and more practical for customers across Europe to own electrified vehicles.”

Audi:
“We intend to create a network that allows our customers on long-distance trips to use a coffee break for recharging”, says Rupert Stadler, Chairman of the Board of Management of AUDI AG. “Reliable fast charging services are a key factor for drivers to choose an electric vehicle. With this cooperation we want to boost a broader market adoption of e-mobility and speed up the shift towards emission-free driving.”

Porsche: “There are two decisive aspects for us: ultra-fast charging and placing the charging stations at the right positions”, says Oliver Blume, Chairman of the Executive Board of Porsche AG. “Together, these two factors enable us to travel in an all-electrically powered car as in a conventional combustion engine vehicle. As automobile manufacturer, we actively shape our future, not only by developing all-electrically powered vehicles but by building up the necessary infrastructure as well.”

This is certainly a huge step for the electric car, a unified motor industry is almost unstoppable in terms of innovation, creativity and design and if the companies can maintain this partnership, the forward thinking nature of the group will finally bring the electric car into being a viable option for everyone on the road, not just little old ladies who only go out once a week and have an annual mileage of less than 1000 miles.

The Jaguar I-Pace: A step into the Future for Jaguar

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Jaguar have just revealed its next step into the future, the I-Pace. A five seater car that Jaguar claim can do everything, “It will be the smartest five-seater sports car; a performance car, a family car and an SUV all in one.” This ambitious project is expected to reach production by 2018. The I-Pace is looking to take on Electric car giant Tesla and their Model X, and whilst the Model X is faster the I-Pace has a higher range, a much more important factor in the real world.

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The I-Pace has a power output of roughly 400 BHP and a torque figure of 700Nm matching that of it’s F-Type SVR little brother, and with a range of 310 miles is certainly getting closer to that of a normal car. Its slow progress but progress nonetheless. Although exact figures are yet to be released the 0-62 time for the I-Pace is around 4 seconds. Slower than its Model X competition but still quick for a car in its class. The I-Pace shares its suspension system with that of the XE XF and the F-Pace, all have great handling and feel so the I-Pace definitely has the right underpinning to make it a real drivers car.

jaguar-i-pace-12

Finally the looks, overall I think it looks good, current yet also futuristic, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have some problems, the rear for one, it just looks tacked on like the designer finished for the day and they had the intern do the rear for them. Whilst the rest of the car is smooth swooping lines the back is all angles and doesn’t share the rest of the cars good looks. Also that bonnet vent, it looks like the car has a huge dent right across the front, it may actually be functional but if its just for aesthetics I’d rather it had just a flat bonnet. And finally thank you Jaguar for giving the I-Pace a grill, cars just look better with them, the Model X makes a big point of having no grill because it doesn’t need one, but it also has no face, think of Ryan Reynolds in the terrible X-Men Origins film, Tesla give your car a mouth please.

jaguar-i-pace-21

Overall the Model X should be worried, Jaguar are a much better known brand and are on tremendous form at the moment, with the XE and F-Pace performing greatly. The I-Pace is looking to steal the Tesla’s crown as king electric and I think it has the potential to do so, thanks to creative design great looks and not over complicating things, like Telsa have been known to do in the past, Falcon doors anyone?

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Honda to take on the MX5 with new S2000

 

 

Honda S2000

Honda are in talks to make a new S2000 to take on the likes of the Mazda MX5 and the Fiat 124. In a new report by Autocar Honda engineers are said to have met with UK S2000 owners to find out what they should bring to a new roadster.

Honda S2000

Honda its simple lightweight, front engined, rear drive, nippy handling, and most of all make it cheap. The new S2000 doesn’t have to be a rocket ship, just so long as its fun to drive nothing else will matter. We said goodbye to the old S2000 in 2009 due to a lack of sales, but the cheap sports car has made a comeback in recent years. With the Toybaru GT86/BRZ and the new MX5, along with the Alfa 4C, now would be the perfect time for Honda to get back in the game. I wouldn’t be surprised if sooner or later we will see a completely new Lotus Elise as the past few cars have merely been a repackaging of the car we had more than 5 years ago.

Honda S660.jpg

Honda could rule the sports car sector if they get this right. The Honda S660 has proved to be a fantastic little sports car (Please Honda bring it to the UK) and all Honda would really need to do is upscale it. But I hope they don’t, I am one for tradition as readers may have noticed and the S2000 along with its competitors has always harked after the classic British sports car, cars like the Triumph TR5 and the MG B, bring us a cheap little sports car that handles brilliantly and looks great that all we ask.

Mazda reveal Speedster and Spyder MX5’s

Mazda MX5

Mazda have revealed two new concepts at the SEMA show in Las Vegas. The MX5 Speedster and the MX5 Spyder were both revealed. The Spyder is roughly a standard 2016 MX5, but instead of the standard folding roof, it features a bikini top. The Spyder tips the scales at just over a tonne in weight. And features a sleek mercury silver exterior with brown leather interior, to match the bikini roof. The Spyder features various aerodynamic accessories along with lightweight 17-inch Yokohama ADVAN Racing RS II wheels. Overall nothing to get excited about, it may be released as a special edition further into the MX5’s life cycle.

MX5 Spyder

What you should get excited about is the MX5 Speedster, similar to past speedsters its unlikely to make production, but with rumours of the Mini Superleggera maybe making production in the future, the Speedster would be a perfect rival for it. The Speedster is a fully striped back version of the MX5, weighing just under a tonne, they’ve removed the windscreen, and given the car carbon fibre doors and seats. Mazda say it was based around vintage roadsters. They wanted to recreate the classic wind in the hair feelings of the past. (I thought that was what all convertibles were for) and with removing the windscreen they also added the lovely taste of bugs in the teeth.

MX5 Speedster

Overall I doubt either of these cars will see production, not anytime soon at least but they are at least exciting glimpses into what could be. But the Lotus 2-Eleven made production and I never saw that coming, the Speedster is remarkably similar to that, why not? It would undoubtedly sell, provided they kept production low, they could create a true limited edition sports car, not some mass produced plastic track day car.

Sorry guys not been around for a while but now I’m back.

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Also take a look at Motorverso.com where I also write about cars and stuff.

Hellcat not man enough for you what about the Hellcat X

Hellcat X

The Dodge Challenger Hellcat has been the muscle car to have for a while now, its 707BHP has roared it to many a traffic light drag race I don’t doubt. With a top speed of 200MPH it can only be described as incredible. Dodge however think they can still improve on it though, how does 805BHP sound? The Hellcat X has been made as a special edition for a charity raffle called Dream Giveaway. Whilst only one has been built the big boys at Dodge must be thinking about making more. The demand is most certainly high enough.

The power has been added by two turbos strapped to the 6.2 litre V8, yes that means that the Hellcat X is both turbo charged and supercharged, give dodge enough time they might add an electric motor and make it electric charged. To be honest the 800lb ft of torque is probably just enough to spin the earth the other way with a fast get away. Various aero mods have also been added including a new front splitter and a new rear spoiler along with a new rear diffuser, wrap it all up with some matt black paint and there you have it your new drag monster.

Dacia Sandero RS coming to South America

Sandero RS

Photos courtesy of Autocar

Good News! Renault has unveiled a performance version of the Dacia Sandero. The bad news however is that it will only be available in Latin America. The car was revealed at the Buenos Aires motor show in Argentina, and has a 2.0 litre engine that puts out nearly 150BHP. I really hope they bring the Sandero RS to Europe like they did with the original. The Sandero whilst being extraordinarily cheap is also fun to drive, and a performance version makes it even better.

Sandero RS 2

As well as a bigger engine the new car also gets sportier suspension along with ESC and better brake and steering setups. Renaultsport boss Patrice Ratti said to Autocar last year that “A Sandero is lighter than a Clio, so you don’t need that much power,” if they were to being it to the UK I would like to see an increase in power to get it somewhere close to the 200BHP mark however. I think in the UK the Sandero RS would be going up against the likes of the Fiesta ST and the 208 GTI. Please Renault at least consider bringing it to the UK the Sandero is a great car and we deserve a fast version.

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Forza and Need For Speed are Coming Back

Car fans are a thriving breed, and many car fans have been around since they were young. Generally that car passion is brought in through either their parent or sometimes even motorsport/ TV. But there is a third way, a third way that is getting more and more common as technology improves, Video Games.

There are two schools of think in this genre, the hardcore track simulator and the more arcady street racing style. Well the kings in these genres have always been Forza Motorsport and Need For Speed respectively. And yesterday the new breed of these games was shown off at E3 Forza during the Microsoft press conference and NFS during the EA conference. Now I am a fan of both these games and the new incarnations of the franchises are looking fantastic.

First of all Need For Speed, EA have been saying that the new game will be going back to the franchises roots. Those roots being NFS Underground, this means that modifying is finally back, in the trailer shown brands like Rocket Bunny were shown off on a Subaru BRZ and that will only be the start of it. I was such a fan of the early NFS games and seeing them going back to their roots is great news. All I need now is a great story something similar to the original Most Wanted were you build yourself up from the streets to take over the city. Need for Speed will release on November 3rd 2015.

Forza was shown off in the Microsoft’s conference and they even wheeled out the new Ford GT with Henry Ford the third to go with it. Forza has been top of the tree for a while now after it overtook Gran Turismo and now they are streaking ahead (especially as we haven’t even seen Gran Turismo 7 yet). The new trailer showed much of the same that we’ve come to expect from Forza and is to be released on 15th September 2015.

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