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:

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  • 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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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 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.

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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.

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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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Tesla are going crazy with new models

 

Tesla Model S

Tesla the worlds most prominent electric car manufacturer seem to have gone crazy in the design department, with CEO Elon Musk confirming the existence of a minibus and an SUV based off of the Model X and Model 3 platform. After some prying by a number of twitter users, Musk also confirmed the consideration of a pickup truck and van models in the future. The new minibus is to be built from the Model X platform and could be revealed as early as next year.

Tesla Model X

The SUV built from the Model 3 platform and is called the Model Y Musk has confirmed that the Model Y will be a compact SUV similar to the likes of the Nissan Juke and Volkswagen Tiguan. Whilst this is still very early days for the two projects it is certain the new models will maintain the insane and ludicrous modes of the previous Model S, X and 3. Whilst this is going on Musk is still having to defend Tesla’s self driving mode after a number of fatalities involving the Autopilot system with Musk often claiming that it was the drivers fault in the crash and not the Tesla system.

Tesla Model X 2

Tesla are still at the forefront of driverless technology and electric car design, but have yet to have a profitable year, it seems Tesla may be selling cars for under £30,000 but they are certainly making them for much much more. A lot of their losses have come from the investment in the super charger network and of course the Giga factory in Nevada. Tesla are unlikely to go away any time soon, and expect to see the new models on the road as early as late 2017.

Tesla Face Another Recall

Tesla Model X

Tesla has been forced to recall another car again. First of all they had to recall the Model S due to problems with the seat belt mountings, but now they have had to recall the Model X due to an issue with the rear seats. The problem with the seats appears to be that they fold forwards in an accident therefore crushing the passengers. Tesla issued a statement saying: “The recliner, which is provided to us by an outside supplier, is the locking hinge that allows the third row seat back to fold forward, and if a recliner were to slip during a crash, the seat back could move forward.”

Tesla Model X 2

There have been no reports of this happening on the roads, only through controlled testing by Tesla. The issue is said to affect only 2600 Model X’s built before March 26th. Model X owners should expect to be contacted by Tesla with how to proceed.

Tesla Model S

This issue comes after Tesla were forced to recall over 90,000 Model S’ after it was found that the seat belt mounting was faulty in November last year. it also comes after the massive success of the Model 3 with over 325,000 orders coming in for the BMW 3 series rival.

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.

A Triumph of Design: Tesla Model S

Tesla Model S

Some cars are easily comparable Evo vs Impreza, Focus vs Golf and so on but some cars have no rivals the Tesla Model s is one of those cars. I don’t want to focus on the flaws of its batteries in this post as that has been said a thousand times in a thousand different ways. I want to talk about design.

Model s

The Model S’s design is fantastic its luxury and power all wrapped up in a smooth sleek body that is undeniably gorgeous. Not many cars out there manage to pull of this modern goo look however there are some things outside of the car world that have. The iPhone is a legend of design, it has the same sleek styling of the Model S with all the new technology as well. They are, as the kids would say “brothers from other mothers”.

Iphone

There are those few companies that create items that not only work but are gorgeous to look at as well. Tesla, Apple, Bang & Olufson all are one of the same. Companies that revolutionise the way we look at consumer products as not just items but art, triumphs of design. They signify the modern age of technology similar as to how the Lamborghini Countach signified the excess of the 80’s.

Countach

Nobody in 20 years time is going to look at a Kia and say yes that is gorgeous, it’s a white good like a washing machine or a fridge, they are there to serve a purpose and nothing else Tesla, Apple and the like, continue to create items that you love, not so much items you need but items you want.

What’s with all the Hybrids

P1 

5 years ago hybrids were seen as being pathetic little eco boxes that only celebs and thick people drove (same thing aren’t they) but now even the top end companies are investing in saving the planet. Ferrari, McLaren and Porsche’s top cars are all hybrids, now I know I’ve already spoken quite a bit about all three of the cars but now I want to speak about other hybrids and electric cars.

 toyota-prius

Many companies have very solid eco divisions of course we have the originator of eco, Toyota with their Prius and then we have Honda with their Insight and the even more extreme hydrogen powered Clarity. But then we have the more high end companies such as BMW with the I8 and then luxury gods Rolls Royce with there full electric Phantom.

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Now most of these cars are great minus the Prius and the Insight which both manage to look exactly like a steam iron. But when almost all car companies are bringing electric versions of their standard cars such as Ford with the Fiesta and Fiat with the 500, I can see the standalone hybrid dying out and sooner than you think. This I think is a good thing as the very idea of a hybrid is counter productive.

Mount Keith_Nickel_mine 

The nickel for the batteries is mined this creates a lot of acid rain which damages the environment, then the nickel is shipped halfway across the world to be refined into a foam that is then shipped to factories to put in the batteries which then goes into the cars. The Land Rover Discovery whilst being a giant gas guzzling 4×4 is all created in the same country with all the parts coming from within 200 miles of one another and actually works out better for the environment rather than the stupid hybrids.

 

So there it is the idiocy of the hybrid and don’t get me started on the G-wizz