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Archive for June, 2020

Hot Hatch Heaven

Behind the thriving popularity of buying SUVs, there is a lesser but feistier group of people who love buying and driving a Hot Hatch.  They are a loyal group of drivers who love the raw speed and excitement that a Hot Hatch drive provides – along with a bit of practicality on the side mind you.  The mind-set of a Hot Hatcher is that ‘if my need is to own a hatchback, then let me get a hot one’.

Honda Civic Type R

In Australia one of the most popular Hot Hatch cars of recent times has been the super little Honda Civic Type R.  It has even been given a Performance Car of the Year award, while also making a great argument for itself as being one of the best ‘Bang For Your Bucks’ experiences you can buy on four wheels.  With 228 kW and 400 Nm the latest Type R Civic is very quick and makes short work of most of its rivals.  It constantly feels quicker than anything, except maybe an AMG or Audi RS equivalent, on a backroad or windy race track.  Boot space is also 420 litres, which is more than enough for most people’s shopping trip.

Renault Megane RS

Renault has sold plenty of new RS Megane Hot Hatchbacks, and at times more than the Type R.  The Renault Megane RS offers a range that includes the availability of both manual and automatic transmissions, along with two chassis options.  Good on road comfort, the power from the 205 kW/390 Nm 1.8-litre turbo four is strong, and with launch control it keeps running quick naught-to-naughty times.  Brembo brakes work marvellously to haul in crazy speeds, and the four-wheel steering has immense grip and control.  With all this performance you still get great practicality.

Hyundai i30N

More popular among Australian Hot Hatch buyers has been the potent and very well sorted Hyundai i30N.  You’ve got to love the i30N’s fun factor bolstered by the banging and popping exhaust notes!

Volkswagen Golf GTi

But, arguably, the most preferred Hot Hatch to buy, at least in Australia, has been the immensely satisfying VW Golf GTi.  The thing is just so quick, it’s engaging and easy to drive, and it also has a real luxurious feel to the quality interior.  For those that can afford it, the VW GTi still delivers a comprehensive package.

I could add that Peugeot has a GTi Hot Hatch, so too Ford in the form of its Focus ST and Subaru in its WRX, and the…..  But you might like to add your few cents to the conversation or even disagree with my overall jurisdiction on the matter.

However, if you are thinking about owning a new performance hot hatch in 2020, then the afore mentioned ones are a few of the best you can buy that are cheaper than a real quick Mercedes Benz A45 AMG, or Audi RS3.

Audi RS3

 

Mercedes Benz A45 AMG

Sparking The Ride: JLR Provides Electric Taxis.

Luxury sports car and SUV building company Jaguar Land Rover has agreed to support the capital of Norway, the City of Oslo with the world’s first high-powered wireless taxis.

In a programme known as ‘ElectriCity’, the global vehicle manufacturer will join Fortum Recharge (the region’s biggest charge point operator), Nordic taxi operator Cabonline (NorgesTaxi AS), along with US technology developer Momentum Dynamics, and the city itself to build wireless, high-powered charging infrastructure for taxis in the Norwegian capital. This lays the groundwork for Norway’s push to have, by 2025, all new cars sold as zero emission vehicles.

The project will be the first wireless high-powered charging system for electric taxis in the world. As a test bed it will prove the validity of providing a charging infrastructure model that can be implemented almost anywhere, and it will help the rapid adoption of electric vehicles globally.

Fortum Recharge, who will be supporting the installation and electrification of the project, have identified a need for a more efficient charging experience for taxi drivers in Oslo and have partnered with and enlisted the support of Momentum Dynamics in integrating the wireless charging infrastructure.

Jaguar Land Rover will provide 25 Jaguar I-PACE models to Cabonline, the largest taxi network in the Nordic region. The brand’s performance SUV has been designed to enable Momentum Dynamic’s wireless charging technology, making it an ideal vehicle to drive the initiative. A team of engineers and technicians from both Momentum Dynamics and Jaguar Land Rover were engaged to help in testing the solution, and Cabonline signed up to operate the fleet as part of Oslo’s ElectriCity programme.

For usage efficiency, taxi drivers need a charging system that does not take them off route during their working hours. Multiple charging plates rated at 50-75 kilowatts each, are installed in the ground in series at pick-up-drop-off points. This allows each equipped taxi to charge while queuing for the next fare. The below-ground and cableless system provides a no-contact method for charging, engages automatically and provides up to 50kW for an on average 6-8 minutes of energy per each charge. The taxi then receives multiple charges throughout the day on its return to the rank, maintaining a high battery state of charge and the ability to remain in 24/7 service without driving range restrictions.

The Oslo ElectriCity partnership is part of Jaguar Land Rover’s ambition to make societies healthier and safer, whilst reducing emissions. Delivered through relentless innovation to adapt its products and services to the rapidly changing world, the company’s focus is on achieving Destination Zero, a future of zero emissions, zero accidents and zero congestion.

Prof Sir Ralf Speth, Jaguar Land Rover Chief Executive, said: “We’re extremely proud of our track record in electrification and we’re committed to making electric vehicles easier to own and use. The taxi industry is the ideal test bed for wireless charging, and indeed for high-mileage electric mobility across the board. The energy efficient and inherently safe,high-powered wireless charging platform will prove critical for electric fleets, as the infrastructure is more effective than refuelling a conventional vehicle. We’re delighted to be part of ElectriCity and to continue to lead the field in electric vehicle technology. This is a great step forward to reaching our Destination Zero mission.”

Arild Hermstad, the City of Oslo’s Vice Mayor for Environment and Transport, said: “We’re delighted to welcome private enterprises to help us to turn our vision into reality.

As part of our commitment to reducing emissions by 95 per cent before 2030, we have put many exciting measures in place, but transport continues to be a key challenge. By improving infrastructure and providing better charging to the taxi industry, we are confident that by 2024 all taxis in Oslo will be zero emission. To reach our goal, the public sector, politicians and private enterprises must come together, as we do in this project.”

An Abundance Of Energy: H2X Australia

Australia’s car manufacturing industry is dead. Long live the Australian car manufacturing industry.

But all is not yet lost…Hydrogen is seen as the potential next step in powering automobiles on Earth, and the technology has been around for decades, featuring strongly in the aerospace industries. Australian company H2X, based in Sydney, has been quietly working away since 2015 on using the most abundant element known, hydrogen, as the source material for automotive propulsion.The heart of a hydrogen powered vehicle is the fuel cell. Take hydrogen and oxygen, wave the magic wand, and electricity is made. The resulting leftover is water. Simple H2O. The efficiency of this process varies and comes in between 40 to 60 percent. Waste heat can be reused and brings efficiency to over 80%.

H2X are applying hydrogen fuel tech to vehicles that they hope to have up and running by the mid 2020s. A minivan, a tractor, and an SUV are amongst the range that the company has in mind. The firm recently turned the dirt at a location at Port Kembla, south of Sydney. It’s here that they currently intend to build the vehicles and also invest in battery and super-capacitors. However, in a reasonable effort to minimise extravagant start up costs, the firm will first use pre-assembled parts readily available from Asia, and a fuel cell from a company called ElringKlinger.A common issue with starting a new company is sourcing people with the required expertise. Here, H2X don’t appear to have a problem. Their CEO is a person that comes from hydrogen related businesses plus a solid automotive background with BMW, Audi, and Volkswagen. Heading the design bureau is the designer of the Giulietta, Chris Reitz. He’s also worked with VW and Nissan. Saab and GM have their DNA running in the veins of Peter Zienau as he worked on hybrid and electric programs with the pair. Opel, Lotus, Volvo, Aston Martin and Tesla have given Peter Thompson over thirty years of experience, including his involvement in the Tesla Roadster.There’s more power to come in the board, with Alan Marder, also with plenty of experience in startups dealing with hydrogen fuel cell and automotive industries spanning 35 years. He’ll head the marketing and strategy section, while the former head of the VW Group Asia, Kevin McCann, who also works with Hyundai, Volvo, and Deloitte, will be on the supervisory board.

Picking Port Kembla, says H2X, was a given, as it’s a focus for industries H2X will need as supports. Rail, metal manufacturing in the forms of steel and aluminuim, the size of the port to allow cargo ships, and electronics makers at a military spec level will go a long way to assisting the rumoured workforce of 5,000.They’ve already put forward what they hope will be the first vehicle to drive off the production line. The “Snowy” SUV, with a mooted range of 650km, a refuel time of around three minutes, and a freeway speed reaching time of 6.9 seconds, will be backed by a bio-safe interior, smartphone apps, and autonomous emergency braking. The powertrain is said to be a combination of a 60kW Elring Klinger PEM fuel cell, a graphene ultracapacitor from Skeleton Tech, a powerful 200kW electric motor, and a 5.0kg-capacity hexagon Type 4 hydrogen tank. A key feature that’s under the radar is a suspension system that will, like braking regenerative energy, apply the same process from suspension travel. The Snowy is on track for a 2022 unveiling.

2020 Mitsubishi ASX GSR: Private Fleet Car Review

This Car Review Is About: Mitsubishi’s ASX with a nameplate that in Mitsubishi’s history has referred to a sporting oriented vehicle. GSR was found on their hi-po Lancers and they were a little less mental than the Evo class cars. However, in ASX trim, the sporting intention has been relegated to a lairy colour on the review car and a front wheel driven chassis with the traction control dialed back a little.

How Much Does It Cost?: $30,740 is the recommended retail price. $32,490 is the drive-away price as of June 2020.

On The Outside It’s: Been given blacked out highlights to complement the Sunshine Orange paintwork. 18 inch alloys with black paint, along with the grille, door mirrors, and a subtle rear deck lid spoiler are part of the GSR’s visual appeal. It’s a combination that suits the “shield grille” treatment as it brings a more assertive look to the small SUV. The painted alloys have Bridgestone Ecopia rubber, and they’re 225/55 in profile. An identifying GSR badge is on the tailgate, and it’s the only one that says GSR.On The Inside It’s: The mostly cleanly laid out look newer Mitsubishis have. “Microsuede/Synthetic Leather Seat Trim with Red Stitching” is the description for the pews and they’re a delight. Comfortable, supportive, warm and there’s no need for electric heating. Air-conditioning is via the simple and classy dial system that Mitsubishi has employed to great effect. They sit above a pair of USB ports and a 12V socket, and below the 8.0 inch DAB equipped touchscreen.The tailgate is manually operated, opening to a 393L cargo section that expands to 1,193L with the second row seats folded. A flat loading floor and low lip make loading up a brezze, and the pair of recesses either side help for items that need a little extra security.The angular slope of the ASX’s roof doesn’t compromise interior packaging either. 963mm head room is available for the rear seats, plus 921mm leg room. They’re good numbers considering 1,000mm head room for the front seats and 1,056mm leg room.Under The Bonnet Is: A 2.4L petrol engine. No diesel, no hybrid. 123kW and 222Nm haul 1,390kg (dry) via a CVT driving the front wheels only. Consumption is quoted as 7.9L/100km for the combined cycle. Mitsubishi’s info system provides a driving average, as in it’ll change on the go, but there is not separate overall figure. We saw a worst of over 9.0L/100km and a shortened range, to a best of 6.7L/100km and a range of over 400km to go from between a half and three quarter full gauge.On The Road It’s: The front wheel driven GSR has a throttle that is open to hard work. As such it also sets up the GSR for a little bit of spirit. The rubber is partly to blame, if you will, as even a moderate amount of throttle application chirps the tyres, easily spinning them and there’s no real intrusion of the engine control nanny either. There’s nothing from the rear end though, and it comes across as being nothing more than to prop up the cargo area.

The steering has some feedback, enough to let the driver know that the front end is lively, and even manages to isolate the fact that the ASX GSR is a front wheel drive vehicle. There’s little to no noticeable torque steer, the front can be hammered quite hard and for the most part the front will stick…in a straight line. Those tyres become a weak point as the GSR will push into understeer reasonably easily and on damp roads the rubber loses grip even more readily.

The CVT is one of the better ones going, and seems to harness the 222Nm more efficiently, even under heavy throttle. There isn’t a Sport shift though, a truly odd choice for a seemingly sports-oriented style car. Yes, there are paddle shifts but…well…no Sport shift. The drive selector itself is a bit painful, having a F shaped slot mechanism and it’s not entirely intuitive in moving the lever. It got caught far too often in Neutral due to the design of the slot, and there is a low range style selection that is picked up by sliding through D to L. This is where a manual change via the paddles seems to be more appropriate.Damping is better than the Outlander PHEV tested the week before; there’s more suspension give, less reliance on the Bridgestone rubber for smaller intrusions, and a little more body lean in cornering aiding grip where it can be. This also means that road holding is improved with less tendency to feel like the tyres may momentarily lose contact on certain surfaces.

What About Safety?: Loaded for bear, is what the ASX GSR has in the safety stakes. Forward Collision Mitigation system, with Lane Departure Warning, Lane Change Assist and Blind Spot Warning. Then there is Rear Cross Traffic Alert, to finish off the main package. Auto headlights and wipers, the flashing emergency stop signalling, reverse camera and front & rear parking sensors, plus seven airbags round out the supplementary systems.

What About Warranty And Service?:
100,000 kilometres or five years, with capped price servicing details available.

At The End Of The Drive. The ASX is a competent vehicle regardless of which model you select. Versions such as this, the ASX GSR, manage to find a better level in areas such as handling and the CVT yet just miss the target by not making the gear selection a Sports style. Nor is there a console mounted Sport option.

In Sunshine Orange, along with the blackouts, it’s an eye catcher, and the paint really drinks in the sunlight giving it a true glow. It rolls along nicely, has enough squirt to please, and sells in very good numbers. Add a Sport mode that’s tweaked to suit the characteristics, and it’ll be even better. Check it out here.

How will Self-Driving Vehicles co-exist with Ridesharing?

In one corner of the ring, we have the arch nemesis of taxi drivers and motoring manufacturers – the ridesharing phenomenon. In the other corner, we have the antihero of all ‘motorheads’ – the self-driving car. But as consumers and pundits alike take sides in this battle to determine the future direction of driving, is it possible the two will co-exist and operate in harmony?

On the one hand, ridesharing has been around for several years now and is far from a new concept. As each year goes by, more and more players look to penetrated this market, and car pooling has long been a community thing in the likes of the US, allowing people to share costs, and reduce the burden on the environment, by riding together. In the US alone, more than 15 million consumers are anticipated to use P2P transportation each year.

Source: Phandroid.com

With this head start, we’ve seen a change in consumer perception – moving slowly towards acceptance. Governments (and airports) have also been required to keep up to speed – from the US to Australia, more states are legalising ridesharing, which is encouraging the entry of further businesses to offer services. Of course, there are still some governments that oppose the operation of ridesharing services based on a financial arrangement – but even in these locations, the public often has a differing viewpoint.

But for all its growth, will the P2P ridesharing system inevitably reach a point of maturity and saturation? Is that the point at which self-driving vehicles are best placed to enter the market?

For its part, fully autonomous vehicles are, realistically, years away from becoming accessible to the public – let alone mainstream. Although countless manufacturers, and tech companies, are working on various iterations with some capacity for self-driving, there are still numerous hurdles for businesses to clear before being in a position where they can begin to market fully autonomous vehicles – from public infrastructure to vehicle development, driver education to local regulations, there are still challenges ahead, even after years of work.

When fully autonomous cars do eventually get through the rigorous testing hurdles in place, they will be limited to a niche audience – ultimately, those who want the convenience of being transported from point to point. Even more relevant, however, this audience may be further divided into those that want their own vehicle and privacy, and others who may be open to sharing.

Thus, it is this dilemma which will test manufacturers as to whether the ridesharing concept and self-driving car can co-exist in harmony, not least of which the consideration that it could come at their own detriment. After all, a ridesharing concept is only going to decrease the number of vehicles on the roads and reduce ownership levels, which in turn pushes down production volumes and hurts manufacturers profits. Will they be able to make up their lost profits elsewhere? Unlikely. What could turn out to be just as likely, however, is a case of ‘survival of the fittest’, where those with a finger in each pie come out on top – in which case, our motoring future could be shaped by tech giants. Tesla has already transformed itself into one, what’s stopping others from doing the same?

One thing is for certain, driving for the mainstream consumer won’t be the same in the long-term future! http://credit-n.ru/offers-zaim/ezaem-zaim-online-za-15-minut.html

Winter Is Coming…

OK, it’s the stark truth (groan!) that winter isn’t just coming; it’s already here by some accounts. Unless you’re one of the people who consider winter to start properly on the shortest day of the year, aka the winter solstice coming up on June 21. No matter when you think that winter starts, there’s no doubt that it’s getting colder and the days are getting shorter (more noticeable in some states than in others) so you will need to get your car ready to cope with the conditions.

To stay safe while driving in winter, here are a few small but very important tasks you need to take care of so that you can drive as safely in winter as you do in summer (and all other times of the year)…

Update Your Wiper Blades. At this time of year, there will be more rain and there will be more condensation getting all over your windows. In some parts of the country, there could be frost on the windscreen as well. There are few things as annoying as switching on your windscreen wipers (or having them turn on automatically if you have rain-sensing tech in your vehicle) only to find that the wipers aren’t as hard and sharp as they ought to be. This is blimmin’ dangerous for your visibility, so change your wiper blades sooner rather than later.

Clean Your Windscreen Inside And Out: When the sun is higher in the sky, you don’t really notice the filmy grime on the inside of your windscreen as well as outside it. However, when the sun is at a lower angle, as it does during winter at the beginning and end of the day, especially in the more southern parts of the country, any dirt on the windscreen can cause problems with sunstrike. Although there’s absolutely nothing you can do about the angle of the sun as you drive short of moving to the Northern Territory or the top of Queensland, you can make sure that your windscreen is properly clean to reduce the visibility hazard. Dirt comes back like an embarrassing disease, so keep a soft cloth in the glovebox for emergency cleans.

Check Tread Depth: That complex pattern that forms the tread of your tyres is designed not just to provide enough traction and grip to let you turn a corner or stop without skidding. It’s also designed to channel water out through all those lines so you don’t aquaplane. A tyre with its full tread depth can shift around 30 L of water per second. If the tread isn’t quite as deep, that’s a lot more water down there between you and the road, reducing friction during stopping. Winter is certainly not the time to have worn tyres with barely legal tread. No excuses now – it’s not like you have to put on ice tyres (in fact, given that these don’t perform very well in the wet, you probably shouldn’t).

Check Your Antifreeze: You want to make sure that things are flowing freely in your radiator system during winter and not just because it stops your radiator from seizing up and being damaged, which spells death to a car with an internal combustion engine. The radiator system is what drives the interior heating system of the car. If you’ve ever ridden in an old car that didn’t have a properly working heater, you’ll know how important having good cabin temperature is in winter.

Stash A Throw In The Boot: If your car heater is working, it’s easy to forget how chilly it is outside on a nasty cold winter day. If you have stop and wait in your car for any length of time, whether you’re doing a little stargazing or whether you’re waiting for the breakdown services to arrive, running your heater for ages is an easy way to flatten the battery. Keep one of those cheap polar fleece throws in the boot as an extra layer to keep you warm in these situations. You may think that you’ll never use it but there will always be that one time when someone gets soaked through or forget a jacket, and it will come in handy.

As always, drive to the conditions and take extra care when it’s wet or icy! http://credit-n.ru/offers-zaim/joymoney-srochnye-online-zaymi.html

Car Review: 2020 Mitsubishi Outlander Exceed PHEV.

This Car Review Is About: A vehicle from a mainstream car maker that provides a technology still all too rare. Hybrid tech of its own right is becoming widespread, however the plug-in part is still uncommon. The Outlander from Mitsubishi is an all too rare opportunity to sample an option in drivetrain tech that perhaps could become a little more common with time. In PHEV form it’s strictly a five seater too.

How Much Does It Cost?: The Outlander falls into the medium SUV category. There are three PHEV variants, being the ES and ES ADAS (higher trim levels) and the Exceed. This starts from $56,390 plus on-road costs. At the time of writing, a drive-away cost of $60,390 was advertised.Under The Bonnet Is: The opportunity to drive, theoretically, up to 54 kilometres on a battery only run thanks to a pair of electric motors, one front, one rear connected to a single speed transmission. Otherwise there is a 2.4L petrol engine that charges the battery, and backs up the electrical drive in uphill runs or when the battery is low on charge. There are two charge ports on the right rear quarter and a separate charge cable that plugs into the standard home plug outlet. When the PHEV was first released five years ago it came only with a 15A cable. Thankfully Mitsubishi listened. There is also an app that allows a driver to monitor charging progress and set charging times.The petrol engine produces 94kW and 199Nm, with the electric engine adding its own 60kW and 70kW via the front and rear mounted motors. Consumption is rated as 1.9L/100km and the tank size is 45L. Our overall figure finished on a creditable 5.8L/100km, and most of that was from charging on the go. The battery itself is of a Lithium-ion mix, with a 13.8kWh capacity, voltage of 300, and 80kW maximum output for the generator. Charging time (80%) on the DC fast charger is is 25 minutes, with seven hours on the cable for home charging.On The Inside It’s: Time for an update. We’ve reviewed three PHEVs and the Outlander platform is aging. Gracefully, yes, but aging. The ergonomics are no longer suitable and the look and feel is obviously older compared to its opposition. There’s been barely any changes since the last model and that’s minor tweaks to the centre console around the fore and aft drive selector, a rejig of the touchscreen and the way the seat material is laid over the frames.The dash is a slab, there are buttons hidden by the steering wheel including the Start/Stop and information button, and it’s all just a bit out of step with the competition. Faux grey coloured carbon-fibre is laid on the passenger side of the dash, the centre console and underneath the aircon controls. There is the usual assortment of cup and bottle holders, plus auto headlights and auto wipers.Cargo wise there is 463L of space, down slightly on the normal five seater. This is thanks to a slightly higher cargo deck that sits over the battery and houses a compartment for tyre goo in the case of a puncture, plus the plug-in charger cable and indicator box. The rear axle houses a motor also, and this contributes to the height as well. There is a 12V outlet for this area though and the rear door is powered.Five seats is what the Outlander PHEV packs, and they’re also in need of an update. This is more to the material used as padding, as there’s more a sense of sitting on, not in, the pews.
On The Outside It’s: Getting closer to the angular shape of siblings AS, Triton, and Pajero Sport. There’s still the rounded, slightly bulbous shape that’s wrapped Outlander for well over a half decade now, but the nose has the look of the rest of the team. One would expect that the next update will drop the ovoid look and bring it more into line with the others.

Wheels are high gloss alloys and of a 25 spoke design. Rubber is 225/55/18 and from the Toyo Proxes range. Access to the two charging ports is via a flap on the right rear quarter, with fuel on the left rear.On The Road It’s: A good mix of electric propulsion for, as it turned out in the real world, around 45 kilometres. The driver’s display has a graphic that shows the charge level of the battery and any regeneration charge being fed back in. It’s a push button start system and there’s a couple of faint clicks and whirrs as the system gets ready. A flick of the drive selector to the right and a fore or aft movement for Reverse of Drive, and that’s as complicated as it gets.Unless the right foot is super heavy or heading uphill, the PHEV is a purely electric vehicle. There’s virtually no noise from the drivetrain, but plenty from the rubber, even on smooth road surfaces. As the charge level drops and heads towards maybe 10%, the petrol engine kicks in and tops up charge ever so gently. On the fly a driver can press a console tab to charge or use a Save Battery mode which entails the petrol engine kicking in and out as required. The swap-in and swap-out is almost seamless, with bare hints of vibration and a dull background drone the indications of the change.

The steering is leaden, heavy, and as the drive indicators don’t show torque split, it feels as if it’s a heavily front wheel drive oriented machine. The suspension is also super tight, with most of the smaller road surface niggles absorbed by the tyre sidewalls, not the suspension. The brake is also numb, a curious sensation given the regenerative ability of the system itself.

Acceleration is somewhere between not bad and slightly leisurely. A dry weight, befoer passengers etc, of just under 1.9 tonnes would have that effect… Even when the petrol engine kicks in, it’s an easy-going, unhurried affair. The single speed transmission does a sterling job too, coping admirably with the demands of either or when it comes to switching between the two power sources.

What About Safety?: Ultrasonic misacceleration Mitigation System is standard in the Exceed, as are Blind Sport Warning, Lane Change Assist, and Rear Cross Traffic Alert. Adapative Cruise Control with a simple push button to adjust, and a 360 degree camera system are also standard. Seven is the count for airbags.

What About Warranty And Service? Warranty is five years and capped price servicing applies. Service intervals are 12 months or 15,000kms. Conditions and further details can be found here.

At The End Of The Drive. Mitsubishi deserve accolades for their PHEV push. Hyundai have the Ioniq, itself an attractive proposition with electric, hybrid, and PHEV, variants Toyota doesn’t offer a PHEV. And with a real and usable range of around 40km, the Outlander PHEV is absolutely ideal for city running, and with the occasional dip into the petrol tank by using the engine to charge on the go, an easy 60+ , more than enough for most users, it’s perfect. But expect that on any other route consumption will increase.

There are other areas of mild “concern” too. The steering has no life, the dash is really showing its age, and the exterior is now the only member of the current Mitsubishi that lacks the truly hard edged “shield grille” design. And at $60K, buyers will look towards newer and competitively priced products, irrespective of fuel savings.

Outlander PHEV details are here.

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Points On The Dial: 2021 Jeep Compass Released.

Jeep has announced release details of their forthcoming Compass range, complete with updates and a new entry-level model. There are also changes to the back of house procedures for service.

Models and Pricing Structure.
The Night Eagle is the new addition and kickstarts the revamped range. Power comes from the 129kW 2.4L TigerShark four, driving the front wheels via a six speed auto. It’ll start from $36,950 (plus ORC) and has optional Premium paint at $645. The same engine will power the Limited via a nine speed auto and all wheels will be spun. $42,950 (plus ORC) is the starting price. A black roof will be available at $545.

The S-Limited comes in next with the same drivetrain and starts from $45,950 (plus ORC) and will have the black roof and a dual-pane sunroof at no charge. the levels trim out with a diesel powered Trailhawk at $49,450. Peak power here is 125kW and it’s the tried and proven 4×4 system. The sunroof is a $1,950 option. The Premium paints are listed as: Vocal White, Brilliant Black, Grey Magnesio, Mojave Sand, and Minimal Grey.Night Eagle comes well specified for an entry level vehicle. It will feature Blind Spot Monitoring and Rear Cross Path Detection. There will also be, as standard, Forward Collision Warning Plus, and Jeep’s Parksense Rear Park Assist System. There will also be a ParkView Reverse Parking Camera. Wheels are 18 inch alloys, there will be seven airbags, digital radio and Android & Apple apps.

Limited ups the ante, with an even more comprehensive list. The drivetrain has the Jeep Selec-Terrain Traction Management System and will roll on 19 inch alloys. Leather pews will seat the passengers, with the driver having a 8 way powered unit whilst looking at a 7.0 inch display screen, and sound will come from a premium 9 speaker setup including a punchy subwoofer. Engine ignition is via a Start/Stop system, with extra safety coming from front and rear park sensors. Driver assistance is from the Parallel and Perpendicular Park Assist. Exterior changes also see Bi-xenon headlights and LED rear lights, plus the rear tailgate is powered.

Head to the S-Limited and there is 19 inch Granite Alloys, and Granite Crystal exterior highlights. Inside there will be black leather seats and stitched in Tungsten Accent. Exterior choices can be from the standard Colorado Red or choose from the Premium paints listed earlier.Trailhawk has the fabled Trail Rated badging, and will feature Jeep’s Active Drive Low 4×4 System and the Selec-Terrain with Rock Mode. In order tp deal with getting dirty, there is the Off-Road Suspension with Raised Ride Height. It will have bespoke fascias for each end and the black anti-glare bonnet decal. The tow hooks are hi-vis red. Getting dirty doesn’t mean pain is a given, so Jeep ensure a return journey by fitting four skid skid plates and Hill Descent Control. All weather floor mats and a reversible cargo mat are also standard.

For peace of mind, Jeep has realigned its service rates. A Capped Price service list is now standard, with each new Jeep model purchased having the first five services set at $399 when serviced at Jeep dealership.

Head to the Jeep website for more details.

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Plenty of Automotive Joint Ventures and Deals

Lots of things are happening in the automotive world.  Exciting new deals and ventures continue to be made between big auto giants, and it’s mind-blowing how many joint ventures there actually are in car-manufacturing circles.

Only this week Ford Motors and Volkswagen Group sealed the deal to combine forces and make up to 8 million units of commercial vans and medium pickup trucks.  These two automotive giants will collaborate on a city van which is to be built-up by Volkswagen.  It’s a 1-ton cargo van developed by Ford.  Then a Volkswagen medium pickup, the VW Amarok, will be built on the Ford Ranger platform – soon to start in 2022.  Ford will also make a new electric vehicle for Europe by 2023, and it will be built on Volkswagen’s Modular Electric Drive system.

But this isn’t all.  Automotive manufacturers around the world are joining forces to invest in electric and self-driving technology to help save billions of dollars.

Here are a few other interesting combos:

Did you know that Chinese big gun Geely holds a 23% stake in London Taxis, and they also have an 8.3% stake, as well as a 15.9% voting rights, in Volvo?

How about knowing that Indian’s Mahindra holds a 70 % stake in Ssangyong Motors?

Did you know that Porsche has a 50.74% voting sway on VW?  However, the Porsche automotive business is fully owned by the Volkswagen Group.

A more commonly known joint force is that of the Renault – Nissan Alliance. Renault holds 43.4% of Nissan shares, and Nissan holds 15% of (non-voting) Renault shares.

Toyota holds 100 % stakes in Daihatsu, 50.1% stakes in Hino, 5.9% stakes in Isuzu, 5.05% stakes in Mazda, 16.7% stakes in Subaru and 4.94 % stakes in Suzuki.

VW also has a 99.5 % stake in Audi, a 33.73% stake in Scania and a 53.7% stake in MAN SE.

Daimler and the Beijing Automotive Group have a 50:50 stake joint venture.

Hyundai has a 50:50 stake with the Beijing Automotive Group.

BMW and Brilliance (a Chinese automotive manufacturer) have a 50% and 40.5% joint venture, respectively.

Changan Automobile (a Chinese automobile manufacturer) has large stakes in PSA (Peugeot/Citroen), Suzuki, Mazda and Ford.

Chery has big stakes in a Chery, Tata, Jaguar and Land Rover joint venture.

Dongfeng (a Chinese automobile manufacturer) has big stakes in Peugeot/Citroen, Honda, Nissan, Volvo and Renault.

FAW (a Chinese automobile manufacturer) has stakes in GM, VW and Toyota.

Toyota has a joint (50:50) venture with Peugeot and Citroen.

Sollers (a Russian automobile manufacturer) has stakes in Ford and Mazda for producing vehicles.

Eicher Motors (an Indian automotive manufacture) has stakes in Volvo (50:50).

One gets the feeling that China has a lot of say on things automotive!

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October Faction: BMW Set To Launch 4 Series Coupe.

BMW Australia has confirmed the 4 Series Coupe is set for an October 2020 launch date down under. There’s plenty to look at and plenty to like in this striking new machine.

BMW’s TwinPower turbo technology is applied to a pair of four cylinder engines and a six. BMW says the fours will produce 135kW and 300Nm for the 420i, 190kW and 400Nm for the 430i, and for the big six in the M440i 285kW and 500Nm. Autos are the super slick 8 speed Steptronics complete with steering wheel paddle shifts.

For those that prefer the personalisation aspect, BMW’s M Sport Package is ready and waiting. The already bold air intakes are increased in area, and matched at the rear by a large contoured apron. Underneath is the M Sport suspension and 19 inch M Sport M alloys, plus Cerium Grey external accents for the M440i and M Carbon exterior highlights can be optioned. Inside, comfort and safety has the extra touches of knee pads on either side of the centre console plus specific other touches.BMW’s design team may have looked at the past for the future; the front sports a pair of striking yet familiar kidney grilles, with inspiration possibly from the art deco and pulp science magazines of the early part of the 20th century and nod towards their own BMW 3.0 CSi. There’s a heavier nod towards a vertically inclined styling, with a deeper reach towards the lower edge of the front apron. Inside is the newly added horizontal mesh material. There are assertive looking intakes on either side, and sit underneath LED headlights that sweep back deep into the upper edges of the front fenders. Adaptive swivelling adaptive LED with BMW Laserlight are optionable. Laserlight increases high beam range to over 500 metres at speeds of over 60 kilometres per hour.

The designers have looked at how the 4 Series Coupé can stand still and look fast and muscular. Elegant lines in curves and straight work together to pick out the frameless windows in the doors, the short front and rear overhangs, and emphasis the taut LED rear lights. The roofline is a metal wave, smooth, yet powerful. There has been subtle increases in size; there is an extra 128mm to 4,768, width is up by 27mm to 1,852, and a small height increase of just 6mm. It is now 1.383mm and makes the 4 Series 57mm lower than the 3 Series. The wheelbase is up by 41mm for2,581mm. Handling is sharpened by the increase in track with an extra 28mm up front, and 18mm for the rear.
Depending on model, integral head restraints will be fitted, with the rears eats sculpted for a 2+2 configuration. The front seats are a sports style, and the driver graps an M specific leather wheel. It’s a proper cockpit feel with a centre console that houses the Start/Stop button flowing high into the dash itself, and the door panel trim complements that of the instrument panel which is now a broader surface area design. Noise is reduced thanks to an acoustic glass windscreen.

Cabin tech arrives in the form of Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, and a SIM card for 4G LTE connectivity. The BMW Connected Package Professional brings in BMW’s Teleservices which includes the Intelligent Emergency Call, Reat Time Traffic Information, Concierge Services and Remote Services.

A built-in SIM card with 4G LTE connectivity and standard BMW Connected Package Professional enable use of digital services including BMW TeleServices and Intelligent Emergency Call, Real Time Traffic Information with hazard warning, Remote Services and Concierge Services. BMW’s 7.0 OS is standard too, with fully integrated digital access and information. The Live Cockpit Professional delivers a 12.3 inch driver’s screen and a 10.25 control display for the centre. There is also a Head Up Display as standard.

Pricing will be confirmed closer to the October launch date. http://credit-n.ru/offers-zaim/vashi-dengi-zaim.html