Tesla unveil the planned 2020 Roadster

Tesla Roadster 2Wow you take a weeks break and the whole car world goes insane. Tesla announced during a press conference for the reveal of their new truck that there would be a new Tesla Roadster in 2020. Whilst that’s a long way off Elon Musk was able to give us some stats for the new electric sports/ super car. 0-60 in 1.9 seconds and a top speed in excess of 250MPH. Not only that but Musk also announced that the new Tesla Roadster would have a range of 620 miles, better than any other electric car on the market today.

Tesla Roadster 3Now I’m not going to be the one to call Musk a liar but all of this does seem a bit farfetched. Especially as Tesla has been losing money year after year, the Model 3 production schedule is a mess and Musk has already talked of the existence of numerous new models coming in the next few years, we have the Model Y (a 4×4 SUV based on the Model 3) a truck, a minibus and a pickup. And that’s not including the Tesla Gigafactory, which is still being built (it started in 2014). The Gigafactory is supposedly meant to be up and running next year.

Tesla Roadster 1The new Roadster (if it ever happens) will go on sale at a price of £188,000, but Musk plans on taking preorders of £38,000 in the near future. The Roadsters fictional stats are faster than any Bugatti, but we’ve heard this from companies before. They announce the stats before even seeing if it’s possible. Tesla are at the forefront of the electric revolution, they need to be careful if they want to pull this off. The number of stories of problems with Tesla seems to be increasing and the industry is waiting for Tesla to make a mistake and to destroy the electric future.

What do you think of the upcoming Roadster, let us know in the comments.

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Honda Sports EV concept unveiled at Tokyo motor show

Honda Sports EV 1

Honda unveiled the surprisingly likable Urban EV at the recent Frankfurt motor show, and its looking like it was the first of a series of concepts as at this years Tokyo motor show Honda unveiled the Sports EV, a sleek coupe with similar styling accents to the little Urban EV. The Sports EV is an electric sports car designed to show where Honda is looking to go in the future.

Honda Sports EV 3The Urban EV was also announced to be going into production in 2019, the quick turnaround is a sign that the Sports EV could be expected as early as 2020, to head up Honda’s electric division. The Sports EV shares the same white paint scheme as the Urban and also carries over the simple design of the head and taillights. The Sports EV is similar in size to the Mazda MX5 leading people to believe it will be in a similar performance bracket rather than more powerful cars like the Mercedes SLC and the Jaguar XK.

Honda Sports EV 2Whilst no performance specs have been released for the Sports EV, Honda insiders have talked of a 150 mile range for the Urban so a similar spec is expected for the little sports car. The Sports EV joins Honda’s range of sports cars with the likes of the NSX and S660. The little electric sports car is a sign of where Honda is headed to, the increased pressure to release electric cars is threatening all car manufacturers and the Sports EV is what we should come to expect to see in the future.

Honda Sports EV 4On the whole I like the little Sports EV, just as I liked the Urban EV. Its styling takes much less inspiration from cars and more from things like the iPod with its smooth white finish with no aggressive styling or aerodynamic attachments, maybe Honda could learn a thing or to and transfer these ideas to the current Civic Type R.

What do you think of the Honda’s family of electric vehicles, let us know in the comments.

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Dyson to build an electric car

James DysonWell known vacuum cleaner maker Dyson is looking to get into the car making business.  Inventor and company founder Sir James Dyson revealed the plans late last month with the car to go on sale in 2020. Dyson says its intensions are to reduce air pollution from the source: “I committed the company to develop new battery technologies. I believed that electrically powered vehicles would solve the vehicle pollution problem.”

electric-chargineThe new comer to the car market has stated they aim to use solid-state batteries, an improvement over the commonly used Lithium ion batteries in most electric cars today. The advantage of the solid-state batteries is that they are quicker to charge and have a higher energy density. They also run cooler and could potentially produce more power.

Tesla Model SDyson say that rather than a mass-market vehicle they aim to produce a car similar to its other products aimed at the technologically minded, ie: a premium market car similar to Tesla and Porsche. Dyson is not the first tech builder to go into the car market, both Apple and Google are in the race to build an electric car. Dyson has slowly been building up his car making team with a combination of car-maker executives and Dyson engineers, his team is said to have reached almost 400 people.

SmogNo stats of the car or even any design plans have been revealed as of yet but Dyson has said that the car will be built close to battery suppliers to limit costs. During the announcement Sir James Dyson took numerous shots at the UK government and other car manufactuers over the numerous ‘clean diesel’ claims they have made in the past, all of which led up to the emissions scandal: “Governments around the world have encouraged the adoption of oxymoronically designated ‘clean diesel’ engines through subsidies and grants. Major auto manufacturers have circumvented and duped clean air regulations. As a result, developed and developing cities are full of smog-belching cars, lorries and buses. It is a problem that others are ignoring.”

Google carPersonally I don’t see this project reaching anywhere, many tech companies have tried to get into the car business even going back to before the electric car was on everyone’s mind. None have been able to compete with the might of the car industry, Tesla is one of the few to break through because its sole intention was to make a car, rather than spreading their assets around making phones, search engines or vacuum cleaners.

What do you think of the Dyson making a car, will it suck (sorry I had to) let us know in the comments.

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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.

Nissan Leaf 33

  • 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”.

Nissan Leaf 31

  • 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

HyperFocal: 0

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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Peugeot is to reveal the ugliest car in the world at Frankfurt

Peugeot Fractal

Peugeot have essentially just given up now. Nobody buys their cars so they just aren’t trying, the Fractal (should probably be called the Fractured) is to be revealed at the Frankfurt Motor show this month. I’m sorry this car looks like its already been crashed its hideous. The car is a two door, four seat concept, and has been described by Peugeot as a Urban Coupe. (As opposed to what a Country coupe?)

Peugeot Fractal Back

Two electric motors are driving the uglimobile one in each axle, which gives the car 335BHP and a not bad range of 280miles, just short of a Tesla. Its good the range of electric cars is increasing but why put the technology in such an ugly car, which nobody would want to be seen in it makes no sense.

Peugeot Fractal Interior

Tesla won the electric car race by teaming spectacular design, speed and technology. Despite the flawed premise of electric cars it seems they will be the future whether I like it or not. But you aren’t going to win me over with hideous machines like the Peugeot Fractal.

I’M Back, time for a catchup post

So regular readers of my work will notice that I’ve been away for a couple of weeks on holiday so here is my giant catch up post full of all the stuff I missed whilst I was away.

Alfa Giulia

First of all Alfa Romeo revealed their new 3 series rival the Giulia. Now the biggest problem with the Alfa saloons has always been that they just didn’t sell how often do you see 159 rolling around, never. And I don’t think it’s the age-old Alfa problem in that they’ve broken down. I just feel that compared to the rest of the Alfa range the saloons just seem boring. This is gonna happen with the Giulia as well, the business men of this world would rather buy a 3 Series or a C Class. Why have a 3 Series wannabe when you could just have a 3 Series. But there is one caveat to this Ferrari. The name amongst names and also the engine supplier for the Giulia how does a 503BHP V6 sound interesting I await more news on this hopefully great car.

Aston Vulcan

The Goodwood festival of Speed also happened whilst I was away and loads of stuff came from there, notably an all electric Morgan 3 wheeler showing they have finally joined the modern age, we also saw the Aston Martin Vulcan racing up the hill climb for the first time, the more race derived car looking fantastic in matt black and blue accents. We also saw the debut of the Lotus 3-eleven a tiny little pocket rocket with 450BHP and 900KG it truly is a fantastic little thing.

Veyron Successor

Photos courtesy of Autocar

Bugatti also let slip of some details about the Veyron’s successor and as expected it’s going to be a hybrid, similar to that of McLaren Ferrari and Porsche they also mentioned to Autocar that they hope to reach the dizzying heights of 286MPH smashing the previous record of the Veyron SS. Bugatti also say the new car will have an updated version of the Veyron’s 16.4 litre W16 engine with nearly 1500BHP and I cannot wait for that.

Lamborghini LP750-4

Lamborghini are to bring out a convertible version of the Aventador LP750-4 Superveloce (they really need to think up shorter names for these things this is getting ridiculous) the roadster will have everything the hardtop does (apart from a roof) and the usual slightly slower 0-62 time and again the usual increase in price. Only 500 Aventador LP750-4 Superveloce Roadsters (see what I mean) will be made so get your orders in fast people.

Alfa SUV

Photos courtesy of Autocar

In more Alfa Romeo news two new SUVs has been spotted being tested around the streets of Italy Fiat Chrysler boss Sergio Marchionne mentioned the cars at the launch of the Giulia and they are expected to be released in 2016 and 2018 respectively. I think we can clearly see a connection between the Fiat 500L and these cars. Little is know about the cars in question apart from the fact that Fiat Chrysler are clearly trying to find a way to make Alfa Romeos more appealing this includes a return to the USA in the next few years.

BMW M5 2017

Photos courtesy of Autocar

And finally the new M5 has been spotted testing at the Nurbergring. The new car is expected for 2017 and has a completely new front end along with a V8 under the hood although this is only going from reports from photographers and what they thought the car sounded like.

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