Bentley Dropped the Ball When It Came to Electrification, Autonomy, and Connected Vehicles
The auto industry is changing at a very rapid pace, what with all the crazy new technology we see popping up to make cars more comfortable, more convenient, and more fuel efficient. Unfortunately, some automakers are a bit slow on the uptake, especially high-end luxury marques like Bentley. As such, Bentley’s new boss is ramping up the company’s tech efforts in a big way.
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Project Neptune: Aston Martin and Triton Reveal Finalized Design For New Submarine
If I had the money, I think my first big toy (after the race car, of course) would be a submarine. The idea of flying under the waves, exploring the mysteries of the deep… it’s all just so cool. Of course, to do it up proper, you’d need the right machine, not some spartan tin can with a periscope attached to the roof. Now, it looks like Aston Martin and Triton have just the ticket with this multi-million-dollar luxury submersible dubbed Project Neptune, which was just revealed in its final production form this week.
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BMW M5 Competition Performance Specs and Images Leaked Before May 8th Debut
According to a user over on Bimmer Post. the BMW M5 Competition Package is set to make its global debut on May 8th. That’s great and all, but thanks to that same user, and a temporary hiccup at BMW’s Germany website, we’ve gotten our hands on some specifications and some images. As expected, the competition doesn’t change much in terms of visual appearance. It does get the usual black highlights around the grille, windows, and the black mirrors, of course. It also gets a set of Y-Spoke 789M Wheels, high-gloss black spoiler, and a blacked out rear fascia insert. Topping off the exterior is the typical black badging and the “competition” nomenclature under the M5 logo.
What’s more important, however, comes on the performance front. Power is up to 460 kW (616 horsepower,) an improvement of 19 kW (25 horsepower) over the standard model. This makes for a sprint to 100 km/h (62.1 mph) in 3.3 seconds (an improvement of 0.1 seconds) and a sprint to 200 km/h (124.2 mph) in 10.8 seconds. Top speed sits at 305 km/h or 189.51 mph with the M Driver’s Package. There’s no word as to how BMW massaged this extra power, but it likely has to do with the tuned sports exhaust (not to be confused with the full titanium exhaust) and some minor engine calibration.
Other goodies with the package include revised suspension that sits lower and is firmer when in sports or sports+ mode, door sills with backlit “competition” logos, and an M Carbon engine cover. Pricing has yet to be leaked, but in Australia, it’s said to go for $229,000 AUD before options, taxes, registration, and delivery. That doesn’t mean much to the rest of us, but the price is damn near the same as the last competition package so expect similar pricing globally. That means an estimated cost of $7,300 for the package, bringing the entry-level price to $110,000 or about $6,000 more than the Mercedes-AMG E63 S that it competes against. Stay tuned for fully confirmed details in the near future.
2018 Brabham BT62
Although it hasn’t built road cars yet, Brabham is among the most iconic race car builders of all time, most famous for its 30-year career in Formula One. Established in 1962, Brabham disappeared from racing in 1992 due to financial issues. The brand was revived in 2014 as Brabham Racing, and in 2018 it unveiled its firm design in more than two decades. Meet the Brabham BT62, a track-only supercar powered by a 700-horsepower V-8 engine.
Seemingly unveiled out of nowhere, the BT62 is a project that David Brabham, the youngest son of company founder Sir Jack Brabham, has been working on for a few years. The firm was reestablished in 2014 with a goal to join the World Endurance Championship and to return to Formula One. This has yet to happen, but Brabham designed a supercar instead. Although it’s not eligible for road use, the BT62 looks as aggressive as track-only supercars get and its spec sheet is impressive to say the least. Let’s find out more about it below.
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2018 Nissan Navara Off-Roader AT32
You might know it as the Nissan Frontier in the U.S., but it’s called the Navara in Europe. It’s the same truck that was redesigned in 2014 and used by Mercedes-Benz as a base for the X-Class. Offered in many trims around the world, the Navara gained a more capable version in 2018. It’s called the Off-Roader AT32, and it’s only available in Europe.
Described by Nissan as the most capable Navara ever, the AT32 is also the company’s first European truck developed with another brand. Specifically, the AT32 was engineered by engineered by Arctic Trucks, an Icelandic company specialized in building 4WD vehicles for the world’s harshest terrains. Arctic truck offers a wide variety of upgrades for trucks and SUVs, including the Toyota Hilux, Toyota Landcruiser, Nissan Patrol, Lexus LX, Volkswagen Amarok, and even the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter van.
The truck’s "AT" badge stands for Arctic Trucks, while "32" represents the diameter of each tire in inches. Yes, the Navara AT32 means business when it comes to off-road, and we’re going to find out all about it in the review below.
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The New, 2019 Flying Spur Will Be the Last Non-Electrified Bentley
The Bentley Flying Spur has been in the market for more than a decade now. The luxury sedan is one of the most popular models from the Bentley stable and is expected to be revamped as a much more distinctive luxury saloon in 2019. However, this will be the last Bentley to be launched before the company completely reinvents its cars for the electrification era. Read on to know more.
Like Cell Phones and High-Resolution Cameras, the Government Will Get Self-Driving Cars First
Word has it that our streets will be significantly safer once the human element is taken out of driving. AI in self-driving cars will be able to reduce accidents to nil overnight when human drivers are a thing of the past. But, the government has another use for self-driving cars, and it’s about saving lives too. It’s about keeping soldiers out of danger by sending supply convoys out on their own. This will (probably) require AI that’s capable of detecting and dispatching threats automatically as well, but you get the point – no soldiers in route, no casualties are possible.
Deep down, we all knew this would happen, but we never really spoke about it. Now, the Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering, Michael Griffen, has told Bloomberg that the U.S. Military will have self-driving technology first. In fact, he was pretty certain of the notion and even said that simple algorithms would be all that is needed as most supply runs don’t have to worry about human pedestrians, street signs, or other obstacles. With Griffin admitting that 52-percent of casualties in combat zones can be traced back to supply runs and logistical activities, this could turn out to take a significant role in saving the lives of our men and women in uniform.
With that said, there’s no word as to what private companies the Pentagon could team up with, but when you consider the strides made recently, especially by brands like Tesla, it seems like the Government could have self-driving vehicles as soon as next year. Furthermore, the government could also use the technology for things tanks, bomb detection, bomb disarming, wounded soldier retrieval, explosive disposal, and reconnaissance, among other things.
Rolls-Royce Will Debut the Cullinan on May 10th
Under development since 2015 or so, the Rolls-Royce Cullinan, the company’s first-ever SUV, will be unveiled on May 10. The luxury hauler — it’s said to become the world’s most luxurious SUV — will break over next Thursday at 7:00 a.m. EDT. As usual, we will be here to report it and take a closer look at the preliminary details.
Nikola Motor Company is Suing Tesla over Alleged Patent Infringement
Nikola Motor Company, a company that unveiled a hydrogen truck concept in 2016, has filed a lawsuit against Tesla in Arizona alleging that Elon Musk’s firm infringes on its patents with the all-electric Semi truck. The lawsuit claims Tesla willfully copied Nikola’s patents in creating its electric truck. The Utah-based company is seeking $2 billion in damages.
2018 Renault EZ-GO
Renault has been big on the whole EV self-driver thing for the past few years now, pulling the sheets on several SYMBIOZ concepts back in 2017. The EZ-GO is the latest follow-up, offering the same drivetrain and autonomous tech as before, but with an extra dash of shared mobility services and connected features to boot. The result is a vision of the future of urban mobility, promising improvements to both energy efficiency and quality of life.
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Ford Developed a New Technology That Allows the Blind to See the World Outside the Car
Eyesight is something that most of us take for granted. Because we’ve had it since birth, it’s easy to overlook the fact that it’s a real gift and a huge part of our life. According to the World Health Organization, however, there is an estimated 253 million people that live with some kind of vision impairment. Of those 253 million, some 36 million are completely blind and the other 217 million have moderate to severe vision impairment. That’s a lot of people that don’t have the luxury of seeing the world around them. Ford hopes to change that with a new technology called “Feel the View.”
The technology is currently in the prototype stage but apparently works well. It was created in coordination with GTB Romana and a local startup known as Aedo – a brand that specializes in devices for the visually impaired. The technology works by taking pictures and then turning them into high-contrast grayscale pictures. Those pictures are then reproduced on the door glass of the vehicle. Those that are visually impaired can then touch the glass to feel the scenery. Pretty cool, right? Well, it gets better.
The shades off grey are displayed in as many as 255 different intensities to help those that are visually impaired interpret the world around them. At the same time, another system describes the image audibly for better clarity. This means that even those who are blind can enjoy a trip through the mountains, the forest, or even the coast. It may not be quite the same as what you or I experience but it’s revolutionary in that, for the first time, those without that luxury can feel everything we’re seeing.
Neither Ford or it’s partners in the endeavor provided any other information, and there’s no word when or if this device will come to the market, let alone the cost, but this is certainly something that has the potential to move beyond the prototype stage. If you want to know more, check out the video below to get a better feel for how the system works.
Despite Ford’s Execution of Sedans, Lincoln Says That it Remains Committed
There is a lot of discussion surrounding the extinction of sedans. Ford has already killed them in North America due to dwindling demands, but Lincoln will keep the ’traditional cars’ running. A spokesperson from Ford has said that Lincoln will remain committed to producing sedans. We are not sure what the rationale behind this is, as the response has not been great for the Lincoln sedans; with MKZ sales falling 34.4-percent and the Continental going down by 25.1-percent in the U.S. in the first quarter of 2018 alone.