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Archive for March, 2020

How to Choose the Right Car Seat for Your Child

At first, the thought of choosing a car to accommodate a growing family might not occupy your mind, however, if you decide to have a child, you’ll soon need to spring into action. Because motorists are often caught short in terms of being unprepared, it’s important that you follow the right advice to ensure that you can choose the right car seat for your child.

 

What should I look for in child seats?

There are two key considerations when you start to chop for a child seat. First, you need to consider the age of your child. Secondly, you should also be conscious of their size. In most cases, you will be able to stick with a series of configurations, starting with a rearward facing seat, before move onto a forward-facing seat, and then finally, a booster seat. Make sure that the seat you are choosing is appropriate for your child, as there may be variations between each model.

Rear-facing baby seats are compulsory for infants up to 6 months old, however, you need to pick the right model based on the height of your baby. Once your child is older than 6 months, you may consider the following. Type A1 rear-facing child seats are designed for children up to 70cm tall or 9 months old. Type A2 is appropriate for children up to 80cm in height or roughly 1 year old. Rounding out the series, Type A4 rear-facing child seats are for children between 2 to 3 years of age. At the end of this period, children then progress onto forward-facing Type B seats, more or less up until the age of 4.

Seat installation is a crucial aspect when it comes to ensuring the safety of your child. Rear-facing seats should be held tightly in place with little slack, while forward-facing seats require a 5 or 6-point connection. Always pay attention to the manufacturing standards of the seat, as you should never compromise on quality. Look for the Australian Standards compliance watermark on the product.

 

What about booster seats?

Booster seats are designed for children between the age of 4 and 8 that are no longer appropriate for smaller forward-facing seats. While booster seats are also a type of forward-facing seat, they have a different categorisation, which is Type E or Type F. These seats include a belt, whereas Type B child seats described earlier, do not. If in doubt, however, speak to an expert in store who can advise on what specific solution is best for your child.

Before you head out to the shops though, double check what capacity your vehicle is equipped with to install a child seat. Does it have appropriate anchor points? Will airbags provide protection or could they potentially pose a risk? Is there adequate room to fit the seat, yet alone manoeuvre it? These are important points to consider, never compromise on safety.

More Motoring Matchmaking

We know that the number of cars on offer these days, both new and second hand, is pretty overwhelming. This is why we do our best to match up the right car with the right person. This is one of the reasons behind our car reviews, so you can get an idea of what each new vehicle coming onto the Aussie market is like (and quite a few second-hand ones as well, as our archive of car reviews goes back to 2008). Nevertheless, even this can be a bit daunting if you don’t know where to start.

Mercedes Benz Logo

It’s all very well for motoring enthusiasts who know their Mazdas from their Mercedes (what is the plural of Mercedes? Mercedi? Mercedeses? Mercedoi?). But what about those looking for a new car who don’t know quite so much?

Mazda Logo

To help out this category of people, we’ve put together a collection of stereotyped people along with their motoring needs and a suggestion as to what car would suit them best.  As before, if you can relate to one of these stereotypes but you already have a particular car in mind that you want, then you can go ahead and ignore the suggestion – or if you can’t stand the type of car we suggest for some reason (e.g. you object to the imagery of a particular logo, such as the serpent swallowing a humanoid figure of Alfa Romeo), then feel free to reject our suggestions!

This time, it’s the gents’ turn…

The Professor: David is known at his university for his brilliant research and for his lecturing style, which is full of digressions and tangents but still manages to be interesting… if you’re into applied mathematics.  In terms of motoring, David doesn’t need to carry much, except the laptop, a briefcase of students’ papers to be marked (yes, even in these online days, there are some of these) and maybe a suitcase to be carried to the airport before a conference.  With nearby conferences, he may take another passenger with him.  Whether he’s driving alone or whether he has a passenger, David’s brilliant mind often finds driving tedious and if he’s not careful, he will be a bit slow off the mark at red lights because he’s been finding the square root of the registration plate number on the car ahead of him.  There also have been a few close calls at intersections and lane changes.  As numbers do it for him and he has been known to use his own motoring habits as raw data, he’ll collect all sorts of statistics from the car’s trip computer and use them to make up real-life examples for his undergraduate lectures.

Suggested vehicle for David: Lexus ES, Audi A6, Volvo S90, Mercedes Benz E-Class, Skoda Fabia, Skoda Octavia, Mazda6

Volvo S90

The Sportsman: You usually find Bryan out on the rugby field or a field for any code of football, as long as it involves getting muddy and sweaty, and possibly bloody as well. Either that or you’ll find him in the showers afterwards. Bryan is generous minded and is the first to volunteer to drive everybody he can fit into a vehicle to an away game… and he gets a few laughs out of being the designated sober driver after the match who videos everybody’s drunken antics and posting them on social media (hopefully in a private message or on something less permanent like Snapchat). As ferrying a vehicle full of muddy, sweaty and possibly intoxicated adults can get a bit… fragrant… the vehicle should be easy to clean. A good sound system is a must for everybody to sing along to (or at least make a noise that can loosely be described as “singing” but sounds more like a donkey in pain).

Suggested vehicle for Bryan: Honda Odyssey, BMW 2-Series Gran Tourer, VW Touran, Toyota Tarago, Kia Carnival, LDV G10, Hyundai iMax, Peugeot 5008, Skoda Kodiaq

Kia Carnival

Cop Wannabe: Stephen loves cop shows and movies, and he nurtures a few dreams of entering the force. If Stephen wasn’t stuck behind the desk in his job as an accountant at the moment and loaded with mortgages and responsibilities, he’d sign up to train as a rookie. In the meantime, he tries to live his fantasy out when he’s behind the wheel, filling in time stuck in traffic daydreaming about being hot on the trail of a desperate criminal. This fantasy is particularly vivid when he’s got the family dog (an Alsatian, of course) in the back as his “K9 partner”.  If it’s his turn to carpool the kids, he has been known to tell some of these vivid stories, suitably edited for tender ears, to the kids to entertain them on the way.  During the ride, he is quick to pounce on infringements by other drivers and any misdemeanours by the kids, such as opening doors. He adores gadgets and telecommunications that play into his dreams of being contacted by a dispatcher, even if the dispatcher is the wife asking him to stop in for bread, milk and cat food on the way back from work.

Suggested vehicle for Stephen: Audi RS4, Audi A6 Avant, Volvo V60, Volvo V90, Subaru Levorg, Subaru Outback, BMW 5-Series Touring, BMW X5, Porsche Cayenne, Alfa Romeo Stelvio, Suzuki SX4, Land Rover Discovery, Mazda CX-9, Skoda Kodiaq

Audi A6 Avant

 

How Does Stop-Start Technology Work?

Although they have existed for roughly 30 years, and there have been several concerted efforts to push the technology to the masses, stop-start systems have just started to become more popular in our cars. In fact, if you look at new-release vehicles coming to the market today, a fair portion of them are now banking on the technology, and that is outside the luxury segment of the market as well.

With a growing focus on fuel efficiency and sustainable driving, it’s little surprise that it’s only now we are starting to see this shift. According to manufacturers, motorists can save up to 10% on fuel efficiency. Despite this, in terms of practicality, motorists haven’t quite warmed to the technology. Let’s consider the ins and outs in a little more detail.

start-stop

 

What is a stop-start system?

Stop-start systems are a mechanism that is designed to control the operation of the engine. The purpose is to ensure that the engine is only functioning when the car is moving, and not when it is sitting idle. Therefore, when the car is sitting idle, like at traffic lights, the system will automatically turn off the car’s engine. The technology relies on a myriad of sensors to determine things like brake pressure, vehicle speed, gear changes and more. Once you are ready to move again, the system reactivates the engine.

You might be wandering, doesn’t a system that turns the engine off interfere with other functions of the car? Fortunately, the technology includes a bypass that enables things like air conditioning and the like to continue. Unlike some of the earlier iterations of the technology, or even examples from early last decade, today’s systems are ‘smart’ enough to react to changes in driving conditions, such that your car runs smoothly.

In the past there has also been concern around the potential for excessive wear that comes with stop-start technology. While there is no shying away from the fact that the more stop-start scenarios one endures, the more strain you put on various mechanical parts, manufacturers have found ways to mitigate if not offset this altogether. A large part of that strategy relies on a heavy duty starter and battery, while engine bearings are also lubricated to reduce friction with the crankshaft. So you don’t necessarily need to not worry on that front.

 

Does the technology help address emissions?

stop start 2Although lab testing will point to improvements as far as reducing emissions, the reality is always going to be found out in the field. So when it comes to improvements, in the majority of instances where a vehicle is idle for longer than a minute, stop-start technology will deliver fuel savings. Of course, however, there are more permutations to consider, so it’s not possible to say that there will be benefits in every scenario, particularly once driver behaviour starts to play a role in things.

While the prospect of fuel savings is something that can only help your hip pocket, don’t forget that replacement parts or repairs to the system could set you back more than you might otherwise normally be up for. Nonetheless, with the sheer volume of fuel that goes into our cars these days, an estimated 10% reduction is nothing to sneeze at, even if (most) ‘motorheads’ would prefer to have that engine ticking along at all times.

Do Honda’s Changes Signal the Beginning of an Australian Exit?

After Holden made the much-anticipated and expected decision to withdraw from the Australian market, attention has turned towards the rest of the industry, as it faces a growing crisis. Compounded by the Coronavirus pandemic that is spreading across the world, local car dealers were already up against it, competing in a market that has been tracking at its worst levels since the GFC.

With pressure only likely to grow in the wake of the health and economic crisis that our country now faces, more questions are being asked about how sustainable it is for manufacturers to compete in such a small yet hotly-contested market such as ours.

This has sparked a lot of speculation around which companies might be next to exit Australia. Honda has enjoyed particularly strong sales in Australia over the years, but with the company facing profitability issues at a global level, the directive has been to improve its operational efficiencies. This has convinced some industry insiders that it was likely to be a matter of time before the Japanese brand would need to respond, and respond they have.

 

 

Dealership changes

Earlier this month, Honda was said to be considering three potential options for its future down under. First, the company was understood to have the option to close its national network and exit the market. Second, the Japanese auto-maker could pursue a ‘rationalisation’ strategy and reduce the number of showrooms across the country. Finally, the company could move towards an independent distributor model.

Commenting on the speculation at the time, the company said, “Honda is committed to the Australian market and as a part of normal business, regularly assesses its operations and organisational performance. We committed to our dealer network that we would update them on our long-term plans in the first quarter of 2020 and we are planning to do this later this month”.

In recent days, the company has come to a decision. Starting from the middle of 2021, Honda will slash the number of dealerships across the country. From over 100 dealers at the moment, there are expected to be around 60 by the time the changes take place. Their owners are expected to reduce from 71 to just 12. In addition, the brand will also move to eliminate underperforming car models and adopt an “agency” style business with fixed prices across the board.

The move is set to spark a sharp cut in jobs across the Honda network, as well as a sizeable slump in sales for the brand as it focuses predominantly on the Civic small car, HR-V small SUV and CR-V medium SUV. On the back of the news, however, dealers have begun to interpret the move as the early stages of a formal Australian exit for the company. In the meantime, the official line from the manufacturer reads, “we are committed to the Australian market. This is about strengthening the business for the future”. But aren’t those familiar words we’ve heard before?

 

Azerbaijan F1 Postponed, Where Now For 2020?

The latest update for the 2020 F1 season is that the round scheduled for Azerbaijan in June has now also been postponed. This is the round that the organisers had tentatively penciled in as the start round after the Australian, Bahrain, Vietnam, Chinese, Dutch, Spanish and Monaco Grands Prix had all been sidelined.

However, Baku City officials have been working with F1, FIA, and World Health Organisation staff, and have concluded that this date appears to be no longer suitable as a starting point for 2020. Given that this takes the season close to the halfway point, a decision on what will happen in regards to the structure must be made soon.Chase Carey, the CEO of Formula 1, said in a statement released on March 19, said: “At the meeting there was full support for the plans to reschedule as many of the postponed races as possible as soon as it is safe to do so. Formula 1 and the FIA will now work to finalise a revised 2020 calendar and will consult with the teams, but as agreed at the meeting the revised calendar will not require their formal approval. This will give us the necessary flexibility to agree revised timings with affected race promoters and to be ready to start racing at the right moment.

What this means for the rules and regulations that were set to be implemented for 2021 have now been pushed back to 2022. It also puts a cloud over the mooted driver and team swaps. One thing that has come out as almost certain is that the drivers for 2021 are very likely to be the same as those in 2020. There had been talk that Lewis Hamilton may have gone from silver to red, however this appears to now be virtually impossible. The key reason is simple: the cars to be raced in 2021 have to use the same chassis as those developed for this year’s season. With early testing seeming to forecast the Mercedes chassis would be superior to the Ferrari’s, it would make no sense, apart from potentially a huge financial incentive, for Ferrari to open the door to the current world champion. This is crucial in the context that Hamilton is out of contract with Mercedes at the end of 2020, and it’s rumoured that the team would aim for a two year deal to carry Hamilton through the time required to stabilise under the forthcoming regulations.

Adding to the confusion is the constant murmurs that Ferrari will drop Sebastian Vettel, also out of contract come December 2020, and say hello to Daniel Ricciardo. The Australian is on a two year contract at Renault and after a sub-standard, by his standards, 2019, the lure of a top tier team surely must be strong. However the crux of this is what Ferrari would wish for Vettel. If talk that Ferrari’s Mattia Binotto has stated Vettel is their choice to drive alongside Charles Leclerc is true, then this would appear to lock down Ferrari for 2021 at least.Red Bull have no such issue as both Max Verstappen and Alexander Albon are pencilled in for the next couple of years.McLaren also appear to be stable with Carlos Sainz and Lando Norris however the Ferrari equation comes into play with Sainz. His name also has been floated as a possible for the Italian team but there’s not much else to suggest anything other than simply conjecture.

Alfa Romeo are another team with a question mark and that is in the form of Kimi Raikonnen. He’s out of contract at year’s end, and turns 41 in October. This combination, plus a lacklustre 2019, may be enough for the Finnish driver to call time on a stellar career. What this means for Alfa Romeo is who to select to slot next to Antonio Giovinazzi, and could they throw a rope to Nico Hulkenberg? Or, even more intriguing is the possibility of signing one M. Schumacher. Mick has been driving well and has been garnering attention.

What Fee Structure Should Apply to Electric Vehicles?

Although electric vehicles have yet to become a common sight on our roads, early discussions have focused on the necessary incentives to push them to the public. Now, however, as network operators begin to roll out the critical infrastructure to support the uptake of EVs, a new question is emerging. That is, what fee structure should apply to electric vehicles?

To date, the majority of EV fast charging sites have operated with a fee structure that sees users charged at a per kilowatt hour rate. This means that motorists are effectively paying by the unit of energy they will consume. Consider it a similar strategy to the per litre fee charged at petrol stations. However, more recently, some operators have also begun to implement a second fee, which is a time-based charge.

This measure stands to act as a potential barrier for the uptake of electric vehicles, with affected motorists already voicing their frustration. It should be noted as well that this was an impediment that also sparked controversy in Norway, a well-established domicile for EVs.

 

 

What are we trying to promote?

Considering electric vehicles are one of the only segments of the new car market experiencing growth – even if from a very low base – we need to be proactive in ensuring that policy and regulation is aligned with the goals we have as a community. So if we want more and more drivers to switch over to EVs from ‘inefficient’ vehicles that consume too much fuel, our fee structure needs to be in the interest of road users.

One of the biggest obstacles we currently face is a lack of transparency in pricing. When you drive up to a petrol station, you know what sort of damage your wallet will be in for. On the contrary, EV charging doesn’t involve clear pricing, nor any clarity around the structure with which an operator may apply over their network. Furthermore, if you’re only just new to the electric vehicle landscape, good luck navigating which charging sites are equipped with DC rapid charging or AC destination charging.

 

 

Making sense of it all

In the end, however, kilowatt hour rates make sense. Everyone pays the same rate, regardless of what type of electric vehicle they are driving, without discrimination between a new and old EV. While our petrol-powered vehicles are effectively price-graded based on their age – with newer vehicles more suited to dearer premium fuels – this doesn’t work against motorists driving older vehicles as time-based fees do when it comes to electric vehicles. What’s more, charging a motorist for the time that they are connected but not charging, goes against the very notion that you get what you pay for.

The speed at which electric vehicles charge is largely out of the control of motorists, with older vehicles typically constrained on account of their in-built ‘rectifier’ componentry, as well as batteries that don’t necessarily feature pre-conditioning features found in newer models. EVs running smaller batteries are also up against it due to the need to recharge their battery to a higher percentage than those with a larger battery, which generally charge at a slower rate once they hit 70-80% of their charging capacity.

What’s clear is that if we really intend to promote electric vehicles as a next-gen driving option, we need to come up with a more equitable approach to charging electric vehicle owners. This can’t feature time-based fees as it simply perpetuates a divide between drivers that share the same vision to move towards more sustainable fuel technology. Why should anyone be penalised for that?

 

2020 Mitsubishi Pajero Sport Exceed: Private Fleet Car Review.

This Car Review Is About: Mitsubishi’s in a revamp phase and the Pajero Sport, once known as Challenger, is now into its second generation under that name. There’s been some mild updates to the exterior at either end and a little bit of a tickle inside as well. It’s a three model & four trim level range, with a five seater GLX, five or seven seater GLS, and seven seater Exceed, all with a diesel engine and eight speed auto transmission.

How Much Does It Cost?: There’s a spread of fourteen thousand dollars with the GLX starting at $45,990 drive-away, with the Exceed at $59,990 drive-away. The range has seven colours, including the White Diamond pearlescent on the Exceed tested. The RRP (before charges) price for the Exceed is $57,190. The White Diamond paint is $940, and this vehicle was fitted with a Front Protection Bar, towbar, and electric brakes for anything towed. Mitsubishi Au confirmed the front bar is $3,513, with the towbar and ball at $1,299, plus brakes at $685. With those accessories and paint the final d/a price was $65,687 as driven. Side steps are standard.Under The Bonnet Is: 133kW and 430Nm of power and torque from a 2.4L diesel. 8.0L per 100 kilometres on a combined cycle is the quoted figure for consumption, which indicates a higher figure around town. That’s how it worked out with a variance of consumption, from 9.0L to 12.5L around town. As is the wont for Mitsubishi’s on-board consumption figures, highway runs bring the figures down and we saw a best of 8.0L/100km on our last highway run.

On The Outside It’s: A refreshed nose and a tidy up of the much maligned rear lights. These have the vertical stripes shortened and now stop at the horizontal shut line in the powered rear door that matches the join line of the bumper. The front end sees a slim-down of the shield grille and headlights, and it’s a tighter, cleaner, design. A higher bonnet line also adds to the cleaner presence. The tailgate is powered and now features a hands-free, kick operated, sensor to open.The 18 inch alloys fitted are available as an option on the other vehicles, and have Toyo 265/60 Open Country rubber. These sit nicely in the large wheel wells.

On The Inside It’s: Been given a new display for the driver and a new smartphone-link Display Audio (SDA) system via the 8.0 touchscreen includes TomTom navigation for the Exceed model only, and utilises both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. A newly developed Mitsubishi app can pair the vehicle to the app, which remotely allows power tailgate operation and engine shut-off.Some interior changes have added to one key feature and appeal level: family. There is now a proper Australian specification power outlet at the rear base of the centre console along with a dual USB port, There are a pair up front plus a HDMI port for playback on the touchscreen. A subtle redesign for the centre console has been done and provides a look more in keeping with society’s keen eyes nowadays. An under-seat tray has been installed for the passenger seat and there’s been extra padding added throughout the cabin.The driver’s display has been given the most visible overhaul. This is also an 8.0 colour screen in the Exceed, and a steering wheel tab provides two similar but different screens. One has the rev counter encircling the speedometer reading and the other has a traditional speed look. It’s modern, upmarket, and flanked by temperature and fuel gauges it has a measure of class as well.Front seats come with heating, no venting, and aren’t the best going in respect to support. They’re a bit flat, a bit slabby, and aren’t the first word in support. That’s disappointing given the Pajero Sport has off road driving ability and a grab handle isn’t quite enough.

Interior space is family friendly. 1,022mm head room up front and 1,067mm leg room for the front row starts the party. 880mm and 695mm leg room for rows two and three are enough for most families and passenger carrying. At the rear the cargo goes from 131L with all seats up to a very handy 1,488L with the centre and rear rows laid flat. The rear seats are typical Mitsubishi, by the way, with that superbly simple pull-strap system for raising and lowering them. Staying with the family friendly theme is having six cup holders and four bottle holders distributed around the cabin for easy access.One niggle, however, was the windscreen wiper spray mechanism. There are just four jets and they’re not quite efficient. An arm mounted mechanism would be a better option.

On The Road It’s: Sluggish to get going, sluggish in overtaking, and overall somewhat disappointing, considering it’s no lightweight nor is it a heavyweight at 2,110kg dry. The easiest way to describe its driving prowess is to say the handbrake was partially on, or it was towing an anchor. It came as a surprise that it wasn’t as spritely as expected, and the very first thought was tyre pressures. Given the exceedingly professional nature of the staff that prepare the vehicles to be reviewed, it was no surprise that these also were fine.

The engine was surprisingly chattery, and in comparison to the vehicle swapped into, and to be reviewed next, the overall driving experience didn’t live up to expectations. The transmission was perhaps a standout, with super slick down-changes, excellent holding of gears on downhill drives, and was quick to respond to throttle change requests.

Steering feedback was a little vague yet response was quick. It’s got enough weight to require a little bit of “Armstrong” yet will allow moving the Pajero Sport around the shopping centre car park a relatively pain-free experience. Ditto for the brakes; they’re a little iffi-ish initially but provide more bite and feedback as the pedal travels south.

Actual off-road performance comes courtesy of the Super-Select system with high and low range four wheel drive, complete with locking centre and rear diffs for true mud-mauling, rock-climbing ability.What About Safety?: A “Multi-Around Monitor” as Mitsubishi calls it, which is a 360 degree camera view, along with Adaptive Cruise Control, Forward Collision Mitigation, Ultrasonic misacceleration Mitigation System (UMS), and the usual alerts for Rear Cross Traffic and Blind Spots are standard. Airbags are seven including driver’s kneebag.

What About Warranty And Service?: At the time of writing, Mitsubishi Australia are offering seven years or 150,000 kilometres warranty. This particular offer expires March 31, 2020. Servicing details can be found on the Mitsubishi Motors Australia website.

At The End Of The Drive. The 2020 Mitsubishi Pajero Sport Exceed is most definitely a family oriented vehicle. That’s made obvious by the features such as the USB ports, bottle holders, easy access for the rear seats, and more.

However, the drive experience lacks and more than expected. It really did comes as a surprise and having driven the previous version and when it was known as Challenger, we’d have to suppose there was something with this particular vehicle and not indicative of the range.

Organise your own test drive by contacting your local Mitsubishi dealer via their on-line contact form.

 

Visit Your Overseas Car Museum From Home.

As Australia and, indeed, the globe, moves towards the sort of lifestyle once only forecast in sci-fi novels, travel restrictions make what we took for granted on a daily basis ever more harder to do. Technology, as always, provides an option or two.

Car people now have the perfect excuse to travel overseas, albeit virtually, to check out some great car museums.  Some have Virtual Reality access either from their site or a third party, others have scrollable 360 degree vision.

Germany.

Easily one of the best car museums in the world, and one on many enthusiasts’ bucket lists, the Porsche Museum in Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen, Germany, gathers the brand’s most iconic and influential sports cars, race cars, and one very important tractor in a stunningly designed building that’s an attraction in itself. The museum’s virtual tour lets you explore the masterfully displayed collection inside and take in all the architectural beauty outside.

Also located in Stuttgart is the just-as-stunning and just-as-closed Mercedes-Benz museum. Not to be outdone by Porsche, the Museum at Mercedes-Benz has its own architecturally impressive building, as well as a massive car collection that’s presented in a dynamic and engaging way. Take the museum’s virtual tour here.  If you have a VR headset, Mercedes offers a number of 360-degree videos on its YouTube channel.

Italy.

The fabled Italian car maker, Lamborghini in Sant’Agata Bolognese, Italy, offers a virtual tour via Google Street View. Virtually wandering through the halls may not cure the blues, but there will be plenty of other colours to see.

Ferrari has been celebrating its work in Italy and provides two access points, here and here.

The U.S.

Bowling Green, Kentucky, is hallowed ground for diehard Corvette fans. Not only is it home to the plant that builds the Corvette, but it’s also the site of the National Corvette Museum. Thanks to the magic of Google Street View, anyone can make a virtual pilgrimage to the museum. You can also take a 360-degree tour of the sinkhole that swallowed eight classic Corvettes in 2014.

The Petersen has always been a world-class car museum, but in 2015 it got a makeover to match the quality of the automotive artifacts housed inside. The renovations completely transformed the atmosphere of the museum. This Google Street View tour of the pre-renovation Petersen, however, is a nostalgic stroll through memory lane. The cars in the collection haven’t changed, though. Click here to see a list of what the museum has on exhibit, and if you’d like to peek inside the Petersen’s prized “vault,” which stores its rarest race cars, movie cars, and icons of car culture, you can still do that while the museum is closed. For $3, you can take a livestreamed hour-long digital vault tour led by collection manager Dana Williamson. Also, catch the Petersen’s series of educational livestreams it plans to broadcast throughout the duration of L.A. school closures.

If you love weird and quirky cars, then the Lane Motor Museum in Nashville, Tennessee, is the perfect place to virtually visit. With an eclectic collection of cars that can be found here, the Lane Motor Museum is almost guaranteed to have a car you’ve never seen or heard of before. Get ready to start scratching your head and browse the collection yourself by clicking this link.

Japan.

Toyota is one of the largest automakers in the world—it even has a city named after it. So it should come as no surprise that the Japanese brand has an impressive museum. Located in Nagakute, Japan, the Toyota Automobile Museum not only tells the story of the company founded by Kiichiro Toyoda in 1937, but of the automobile itself. As such, the museum doesn’t just showcase classic Toyotas. In fact, you’ll be treated to Bugattis, Alfa Romeos, Mercedes, Fords, and much more. If you’re hankering to see some vintage Japanese sheet metal, you’ll find plenty of that, too. Take the virtual tour here.

And here is where to go for some 360 degree views.

2020 F1 Undergoes More Rescheduling.

As the Covid-19 situation continues to dominate world news, it’s also affected the once-tight schedule for Formula 1 in 2020. The new suite of regulations that were expected to come into play for 2021 has now been sensibly postponed until 2022. This allows all teams to be on an equal footing as possible and it’s also hoped that it will minimize the economic impact on the lesser funded teams.

The FIA released a statement that read in part: “Due to the currently volatile financial situation this has created, it has been agreed that teams will use their 2020 chassis for 2021, with the potential freezing of further components to be discussed in due course. The introduction and implementation of the financial regulations will go ahead as planned in 2021, and discussions remain ongoing between the FIA, Formula 1 and all teams regarding further ways to make significant cost savings.”

The schedule for this year has also been updated with the Dutch GP, Spanish GP, and the marquee Monaco GP all being canceled. With a current mooted restart date for 2020 being put forward as the end of May 2020, this is by no means a certainty due to the Covid-19 spread. This news also means that the Dutch GP, due to return to the schedule for the first time since 1985, will have to wait, along with the Spanish GP in Barcelona, says the FIA, until sometime later in 2020.

However, it’s also been declared that the Monaco round has been canceled and will not be rescheduled. A key part of the reasoning is the amount of infrastructure required to run such events in the tiny principality, with the end result is the Automobile Club de Monaco saying: “To all the fans, spectators, partners and our members, the Board of Directors wishes to express its sincere regrets that these two events cannot be postponed and under no circumstances, will it be possible to organize these events later this year.”

With respect to the regulations, it means all teams will need to use this year’s chassis design in 20

21. Again, this ensures as level a playing field as possible. “As possible” being the keywords here, like McLaren, for example, who were due to change powerplants in 2021. The team was due to switch from Renault engines to those from Mercedes, and with different designs for the blocks means the chassis itself needed to be modified.

Sitting on top of all of this, however, is a cost cap for each team and that’s $175 million per team from next year. This also means, and the catchwords here are “in theory,” that teams should still be able to develop their now 2022 cars under that cap.

Korea Progression Part 2: Hyundai Drops Elantra In Australia, Becomes i30 Sedan.

Hyundai has revealed the seventh generation Elantra at a broadcast from a Hollywood studio site. In news more relevant to the Australian market, that long-running nameplate will be dropped, with the slightly bigger vehicle to be known as the i30 Sedan.

There’s been some substantial changes to the look as well. A redesigned front end has what appears to be Hyundai’s new signature look, with the turn signals more integrated with the headlamps and bonnets structures. Hyundai employ what they call “parametric-jewel body surfaces” for a more distinctive look and on-road presence. In profile a distinctive wedge shaped set of lines gives an impression of speed whilst stationary.The roofline extends rearward to give a more coupe styled impression and includes a thicker C-pillar. The rear deck is flatter and now has more visual cues to give a wider look. The roofline and the redesigned lights now also join together to provide a “H” signature look as viewed from the rear.

The seventh generation Elantra/i30 sedan is longer, lower, and wider than the previous model. Length goes up by 56mm, with a corresponding 20.3mm wheelbase increase. Width goes out by an inch or 25.4mm. Height is lower by 20.3mm and the cowl point at the windscreen moved by 51mm. Interior dimensions have increased though.

There’s some solid changes inside apart from the measurements. Hyundai have given the driver’s section an aeroplane like cockpit feel with a wrap-around design. There is also a pair of 10.25inch touchscreens. utility, driver assistance and navigation. The optional infotainment system displays a wide variety of useful information across its 10.25-inch split touchscreen, such as a bird’s-eye view in navigation maps, and drivers get connected routing depending on marketplace such as the U.S. or Europe. Connected routing provides multiple navigation options and real-time route updates. Server-based routing makes the onboard navigation experience similar to current smartphone navigation apps.Naturally Apple and Android apps will be available. The i30 sedan will also see what promises to be more common in cars. Dual Bluetooth streams allow phone calling and for audio interfacing simultaneously.

Voice activation will be available for the American market. This feature will be more for climate control and allows a user to say Climate on/off, Air conditioner on/off, Heat on/off, amongst others. Hyundai’s Digital Key, a smartphone app to allow keyless entry and exit plus starting the engine, should also be available.

It’s not yet known when the i30 will arrive in Australia apart from a current estimate of between July and December, 2020.