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December 18, 2018 Livestream of Grab X Toyota Media Briefing on updates of Grab and Toyota's strategic collaboration

Toyota company news - Mon, 2020-12-14 15:00
Grab Holdings Inc., the leading O2O mobile platform in Southeast Asia, and Toyota Motor Asia Pacific Pte Ltd., the sales and marketing regional headquarters of Toyota Motor Corporation in Asia, jointly hold a media briefing session in Singapore on Tuesday, 18 December, 2018 from 16:00 JST (from 15:00 SGT).
Categories: Toyota

Toyota Provides Easy-to-use Map Showing Real-time Traffic Information and Road Closures in Japan

Toyota company news - Fri, 2020-02-21 23:00
You can check whether roads in Japan on your planned route are passable or not with this online map, accessible from your smartphone, computer, or other devices. Road closures, road sign icons, and more are also displayed in real-time.
Categories: Toyota

Toyota Provides Easy-to-use Map Showing Real-time Traffic Information and Road Closures in Japan

Toyota company news - Fri, 2020-02-21 23:00
You can check whether roads in Japan on your planned route are passable or not with this online map, accessible from your smartphone, computer, or other devices. Road closures, road sign icons, and more are also displayed in real-time.
Categories: Toyota

Polestar 2 previewed in first official image ahead of imminent reveal

Autocar - Wed, 2019-12-04 17:19
Tesla Model 3-rivalling electric saloon from Volvo's performance brand will be unveiled in full in the next few weeks

Polestar has released an image previewing the design of its upcoming electric four-door coupé ahead of its release in the second half of this year. 

The Tesla Model 3 rival will follow Volvo's performance brand's first model, the hybrid-powered Polestar 1, which will go on sale in Europe in summer 2019. 

Details are scarce, but the company refers to the model's body style as that of a four-door "fastback", and states that it will be the first vehicle to feature Google's new human-machine interface technology and the in-car version of Google Assistant. 

The company says the new model will "be sold in the Tesla Model 3 price range", suggesting a likely starting price of around £50,000. Customers will purchase the Polestar 2 on a subscription basis, set to take the form of "a slightly more premium version" of Volvo's own Care by Volvo scheme. 

The company says a full reveal will take place in the coming weeks, but claims the Polestar 2 will produce up to 400bhp and offer a claimed range of roughly 300 miles. 

Speaking to Autocar at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in 2018, Polestar COO Jonathan Goodman confirmed some details of the new model. 

Talking about the range of the entry-level model, he said: "That will represent the lower ‘bookend’ of our showroom range and, for now, it should give us as much access to the volume end of the EV market as we need." 

The Polestar 2 is understood to closely relate to Volvo's 40.2 concept shown early in 2017, alongside the 40.1 concept which has since been revealed in production form as the XC40 compact SUV.

Goodman also warned that any established manufacturer that launches an EV sub-brand built on alternative design over the next few years might be making a big mistake, given the pace at which the market for EVs is set to develop.

“The global electric car market was worth four million units in 2017,” explained Goodman, “but it’s quite widely expected to be worth 29m units by 2025. EV owners will come from all walks of life. So it’s a mistake to assume that, because the cars are electric, you have to make them quirky or futuristic.

"Other brands may be doing that, but if we’re looking at a market worth 30m cars within seven years, it isn’t going to be niche, it’s going to be mainstream. So you just design a great-looking car – not one with a big blue flash down the side.”

In contrast to the cultish following that rival brand Tesla has attracted, Goodman also wants Polestar to have an inclusive attitude towards its customers.“I think it’s very dangerous for brands like ours to sit here and ask ‘what’s our type of customer?'", he went on.

“Electric cars will be just as appealing to young executives as they are to retirees. It’s a new market, and purchase intentions will vary. So we’ve got to be a welcoming brand that’s not geeky, cliquey or judgmental.” 

Read more

Tesla Model 3 review

Polestar 1 prototypes enter production

New electric cars 2019/2020: What’s coming and when?​

Categories: Car media

2019 Hyundai Elantra Active review

Car Advice - 0 sec ago
Hmmm… When was the last time we reviewed the Hyundai Elantra Active? That would, in fact, be the review I wrote, not much more than six months ago. Happens a lot at CarAdvice, where we churn through so many new cars, it’s easy to forget what you reviewed and when.
Categories: Car media

Noodoe launches Noodoe EV OS cloud operating system

Electric cars report - 4 hours 46 min ago

EV charging company Noodoe introduced Noodoe EV OS, an advanced cloud operating system that orchestrates the operation of smart EV charging stations. “At Noodoe, we are on a mission to make the world greener by accelerating the world’s transition to electric transportation,” said John Wang, Chairman of Noodoe. “We do this with well-designed EV charging […]

The post Noodoe launches Noodoe EV OS cloud operating system appeared first on Electric Cars Report.

Categories: Car media

100bhp heroes: how to have fun with less power

Autocar - 5 hours 28 min ago
Horsepower - it's not how much you have, it's what you can do with it How much power do you need? Or, to put it another way, how little can you get away with?

A couple of weeks ago, I drove the new Mercedes-AMG A35. Very competent, very well made, a splendidly posh interior and very fast. 

Its 2.0-litre turbocharged engine produces 306bhp, which is enough to propel the all-wheel-drive A35 from 0-62mph in less than five seconds. Soon Mercedes will follow this car up with a new A45 that is rumoured to have at least 400bhp. That’s 25% more power than the A35, but will it deliver 25% more fun? Of course it won’t. Not that the A35 is exactly fun to drive, it’s just extremely sure-footed and quick. 

The horsepower race is completely out of control. A hatchback is warm if it has only 150bhp and a supercar with less than 600bhp, well, it isn’t a proper supercar, is it? It’s all marketing led: engineers know that it’s all nuts and that adding horsepower almost always means adding weight. 

You simply don’t need lots of power to have fun, as anyone who has owned a Citroën 2CV will tell you. Or an old Mini Cooper S. In fact, there are plenty of cars that have no more than 100bhp that are a hoot. It’s a nice round figure, 100bhp. Running that number around in my head got me thinking about machines that have that little power but which are huge fun. Not just cars, but motorcycles and other transport devices. Aeroplanes, for example. A Piper Cub is a very basic machine that has as little as 65bhp but which is a joy to fly. 

To prove the point, we’ve brought together a collection of wonderful machines, none of which has more than 100bhp – some less than half our maximum, in fact. Some are old and some are new and to counter my reputation as a Luddite, one is even electric. And just wait until you read about the performance of the Cassutt aeroplane that we’ve brought along…

Smart Roadster Coupé Convertible

From £2500

My sister has never heard of Gordon Murray but she has one thing in common with him: they both own Smart Roadsters. They both love them, too, while acknowledging their shortcomings. The little Smart is almost the perfect sports car in miniature, probably as close to an Austin-Healey ‘frogeye’ Sprite as it’s possible to get in the 21st century. Murray, who owns the car in our photographs, is also a Sprite owner. 

With only 80bhp from its three-cylinder turbocharged motor, the Smart comfortably qualifies for this group. Two versions of the Roadster were produced: the simple Roadster with its notch back and the Roadster Coupé convertible like Murray’s (and big sister’s). The latter is the heavier at 815kg but that’s still light and gives us a power-to-weight ratio of 98bhp per tonne. 

What makes this car so much fun is its size. Not only does it mean that you can drive the Smart along country lanes at a rate that you wouldn’t dare maintain in a current Porsche 911 let alone a Ferrari, but it also gives the impression that you’re going far faster than you actually are. And that’s a hell of a benefit in 2019. The Smart’s Achilles heel, apart from possible water leaks, is its six-speed sequential gearbox. It is jerky and unsophisticated but, once you’ve got used to it, allows you to drive the car accordingly – at which point the fun overtakes the irritation. 

The Smart Roadster had a short three-year life, from 2003 to 2006. It never made Smart money and it cost a packet in warranty claims. If there’s one car that I wish had lived longer and benefited from having its faults sorted, it’s the Smart Roadster. A little gem of a car that seems to get more relevant the older it gets, and one whose flaws are easy to ignore or drive around. 

Lotus 6

From £45,000

It’s a common-held belief among those who know that driving something underpowered like a 2CV makes you a better and quicker driver because you learn smoothness and energy management. Now think of that philosophy and apply it to the Lotus 6 you see before you. Built in 1954 in the very early years of Lotus, this 6 is the pure essence of simple motoring. Several powerplants could be fitted, but this one has the most common: a Ford E93a 1172cc side valve, which would have started life in a Prefect. The engine here has an Aquaplane aftermarket cylinder head and twin carburettors, so is probably producing as much as 40bhp.

 

Driving the Lotus 6 requires a level of concentration that drivers brought up with today’s plethora of moment-saving driver assistance systems such as ABS and TCS would be unfamiliar with. The drum brakes behind those skinny 3.5in rims are not even hydraulic but operated by cables. The Ford gearbox is a three-speeder with no synchromesh on first. Over the years, many people have swapped their car’s original worm and roller steering for a more modern rack. Ours still has the former and is rather vague but, because everything about driving this car requires forethought and because it gives such an undiluted experience, it doesn’t matter. 

I imagine the lithe little Lotus could have upset a Jaguar XK120 driver on tight roads. Those Jags have power but also poor brakes and marginal road-holding. Whatever, many of the 1960s generation of racing drivers served their apprenticeships behind the wheel of these Lotuses, learning lessons that remain a joy for us to revisit.

Triumph Thruxton R

£12,400

Motorcycles are my longest-running love affair. Years ago, Steve Cropley and I agreed that we’d both rather own a very modest car and a motorcycle rather than some flash sports car and no bike. I’m even more convinced of that today. 

Finding a bike with under 100bhp is easy and so is finding one that is still fast and fun. My choice is this Triumph Thruxton R. It’s powered by a 1200cc inline twin-cylinder water-cooled engine that produces 96bhp. Six-speed gearbox, dry weight of 206kg. The standard Thruxton has the same engine but doesn’t have the sexy Öhlins rear suspension units and upside down Showa front forks or the Brembo monobloc calipers that are fitted to the R model. 

Triumph doesn’t publish a top speed for the Thruxton R but it’d be around 135mph – or about 45mph beyond the point at which your arms start to hurt and you feel you’re about to get blown off the back of the saddle. There are Rain, Road and Sport riding modes, but the engine’s power delivery is so smooth that even Sport, with its quicker throttle response, is fine on a wet road. 

I don’t like old motorcycles. Mostly they’re rubbish, or, more to the point, most don’t handle properly, don’t stop properly, have tyres that don’t grip and are unreliable. I’ve had my share of Nortons, Triumphs and Laverdas and I wouldn’t want any one of them back. Riding this Thruxton R convinces me further. It has lovely handling, the brakes are phenomenal and there’s as much power as you’d ever need. 

That said, the vehicle that I most covet is Ducati’s Panigale V4. Not because it has more than 200bhp but because it is so gorgeous with exquisite detailing down to the smallest bolt. And because its engine sounds so outrageous. However, I would feel the same way about it if it had half the horsepower. 

Renault Twizy 

£7595 (plus battery rental)

A modern car that fits our remit? This took some head-scratching and ultimately a call to Matts Saunders and Prior for help. Suzuki Swift? Not as fun as it used to be. A basic Ford Fiesta? Not good enough. Caterham’s Suzuki-powered 130 would have been great but it’s no longer built. The Morgan 3 Wheeler is an obvious alternative, reckoned both Matts. “Or,” they said, “a Renault Twizy.” 

A brilliant suggestion. I haven’t driven one since Renault’s wacky foray into EVs was launched. It certainly comes in well under our 100bhp upper limit, with just 17bhp from its electric motor. Even the new electric world is becoming obsessed with performance, but that’s not a failing with the Twizy and its top speed of just 50mph. At this time of year, you can expect to travel 31 miles on a charge, so with this limited top end and short range, the Twizy is most at home, and most fun, in town. 

It’d be even more fun if our urban streets weren’t in such poor repair, because the little Renault doesn’t have a particularly smooth ride. Skinny tyres, rather odd-feeling steering and an unusual perspective on the road make for an entertaining drive – entertaining, as in it’s impossible to stop grinning.

Cassutt Special

£20,000

Now, this little machine really is mind-blowing. It’s called the Cassutt Special and it was originally designed back in 1951 by TWA airline pilot Tom Cassutt, specifically for air racing. The tiny fuselage is a steel tube spaceframe wrapped in fabric, while the wings are all wood with spruce spars and ribs with plywood skins. It’s powered by a Continental 0-200, which is a 200-cubic-inch – that’s 3.3 litres – flat-four air-cooled engine driving a fixed-pitch wooden propeller. 

That simple engine produces a modest 100bhp, so it just qualifies the Cassutt for our group. Empty, the aircraft weighs only 276kg. Now to the performance. Ready? This bijou craft will cruise straight and level at 180mph and has a VNE (velocity never exceed) of 248mph. That’s what 100bhp can do for you if you have a low-drag airframe and low weight. Amazing, isn’t it? 

If you suffer from claustrophobia, then you won’t like the Cassutt Special. The cockpit is tiny and the old cliché that you ‘wear it’ is almost true. It’s a straightforward aeroplane to fly but it’s the landing that’s not so easy. The snag is that you have to fly the final approach at 100mph, which is faster than most light aircraft and even a Spitfire. 

The Cassutt Special has been hugely successful in the famous Reno air races in Nevada and is used today in the rejuvenated F1 air racing championship. If you own a racing car, even if it’s road-legal like a D-Type Jaguar, you need to take it onto a track to properly enjoy it. You don’t need to do the same with a machine like the Cassutt. It is fully aerobatic, so you can loop and roll it on a sunny day and get your kicks from that. And even more fun, you can tear through valleys at over 200mph, pretending that you are a fast jet pilot. Legally, too. Best of all, you can use 100% of the aircraft’s performance. What percentage of a McLaren 720S’s full potential can you use on the road? I’d wager just 30% at most.

The winner

The editor has asked me to pick a winner from these five wonderful machines. What a conundrum. Will I be fired if I choose a vehicle that doesn’t have four wheels? Well, if I never appear again in these pages, it is because the Triumph Thruxton R is my choice. The aeroplane was tempting, but I already own an aircraft that is fast but which can also transport two people and their luggage to Cannes without stopping. The Cassutt can’t do that. The Twizy is too urban-bound for me, while the lovely Lotus is probably a bit too old-fashioned. I think I’d prefer an early 7, perhaps with a bit more power. 

In the final reckoning, it was between the Smart and the bike. I’ve already explained my love of bikes and ultimately that’s what swings it. Also, it’s still possible to enjoy the performance of a modern bike on the public road – and, despite today’s ABS, traction control and riding modes, very challenging to ride a bike quickly. Anyway, I’m sure if I ask nicely, my sister will lend me her Smart.

The 100 club alternatives

Massey Ferguson TE20: Known as the grey Fergie, this lightweight tractor was the first vehicle that I steered with my own hands, sat on the lap of a farm-owning family friend in around 1966. My wife’s uncle has one today and I drive it to his local pub in Linton, Yorkshire.

Albatross Speedboat: Speed on water feels twice what it does on land. The aluminium Albatross is the Lotus 6 of the water, not least because it could be fitted with the same Ford E93a engine, or a Coventry Climax engine with which it could do over 50mph. Both Grace Kelly and Brigitte Bardot were owners.

Racing hovercraft: I’ve never tried hovercraft racing but it looks like a lot of fun. I know nothing about the subject but a bit of research reveals that the Hovercraft Club of Great Britain has a class called Formula 35, for 35bhp machines. That, rather than the 200bhp-plus Formula 1 class, seems ideal for the beginner.

GasGas trials bike: Ever seen the video of trials ace Dougie Lampkin riding around/inside/on top of Goodwood House? Go to it immediately. Trials riding is amazingly good fun. In no other form of motorsport does speed play such little part. Gas Gas makes bikes from 125cc to 300cc, and not even the latter has more than 50bhp.

John Deere X590 lawn tractor: You could cut our lawn with nail scissors it’s so small, so my life’s ambition of owning a ride-on mower looks as though it’ll never be achieved. Still, I want this 22bhp, top-of-the-range John Deere X590. Honda also makes lawn tractors but they’re a bit too, er, Honda-ish.

Read more

Used car buying guide: Smart Roadster​

McLaren Senna vs. Alpine A110: can less be more?​

The smallest engines ever to power a car​

Categories: Car media

How Autocar writers would fix Britain's roads and transport

Autocar - 5 hours 28 min ago
Automotive technology development is moving at an unprecedented speed, which is more than can be said for UK motorway traffic. Let's fix that The UK’s creaking system needs a saviour. So what would we do if handed power as the government transport minister for a day?

It's hardly an enviable position, but Britain's transport minister has the power to improve commutes, reduce the rate of traffic fatalities, streamline public transport and reduce emissions. 

With our road network pockmarked by potholes, a nationwide upgrade to smart motorways causing lengthy tailbacks and a confused political position preventing a smooth shift to electrification, we ask: what would we do with the authority?

Here's what the Autocar writers would do if they were put in the hot seat for the day:

Matt Prior

Approve a massive transport infrastructure project, making the UK the easiest country in the world to travel around. Approve every bypass currently under consideration. 

Commission a new national airport, in the middle of Oxfordshire – an hour from London, an hour from Birmingham, between the M1 and M40, with a new motorway link between the two, which then heads due west into Wales and due east into East Anglia. Modify HS2 to fit it. Make a straight motorway link to the M40 from the M6, to the west of Birmingham, and then from M40 to the south coast. 

Install dual carriageway into Cornwall. Make a new motorway from north Wales for Liverpool to Manchester to Leeds to near York and make the A1 a proper motorway all the way to Scotland. 

And crucially add a rail line alongside every one of these new or upgraded roads, with regular big, free car parks at stations near towns. And streamline train prices.

Andrew Frankel

If I were transport minister for the day, I would: 

Use ‘smart’ motorways to raise speed limits as well as lower them. Create cycle lanes with solid white lines over which neither cars nor bicycles can cross. Lower speed limits to 20mph in all urban residential streets and outside all schools during term time. 

Reintroduce mandatory MOTs for classic cars, but increase the scope of tax exemption for classic cars. Ban old diesels; there is no justification for keeping them on the road. Support modern diesels, offering tax breaks for RDE2-compliant cars and recognising the vital role they play in limiting tailpipe CO2 emissions. 

Invest in sustainable hydrogen infrastructure. Long term, fuel cells are the future. Use smart motorways to make lane discipline legally enforceable. Make night driving and skid control part of the driving test. 

Once the above is achieved, take the rest of the day off.

James Attwood

There’s plenty I’d love to do if I were made transport minister for a day, although my grand plans (actually fixing all those potholes, for example) would likely drain the department’s annual budget in 24 hours, making life tough for the poor sod who has to spend the following 364 days picking up the pieces. 

So I’ll stick to introducing a simple, relatively cheap-to-implement policy: greater enforcement of driving standards. Let’s get the police to spend less time monitoring speeding, and more time actually making the roads safe by clamping down on dangerous, inconsiderate and selfish road users. 

Drivers jumping lights, cutting in at junctions, changing lanes erratically, blocking junctions and so on make Britain’s roads seem even more crowded than they really are, in turn making driving more stressful and less enjoyable. 

That should make a difference. Now, while nobody’s looking I’ll quickly sign off those pothole repairs and a big investment in electric car charging points…

Jim Holder

I’d pick up the phone and call Matthew Avery at Thatcham Research, and download his every thought on how to integrate assisted driving and automated driving cars onto our roads in a safe and sensible manner that balances the desire for tech leadership against one of safety and common sense. 

Avery has long been a leading voice on anything related to automotive and safety, and has the rare distinction of being both a technical expert and able to communicate in a way that even the least technically knowledgeable can understand. Encouragingly, he’s also strident in his belief that there is no grey area between the two sides of assistance (when drivers still need to be alert) and autonomy (when they do not) and he has a view of how to make that transition work (as well as a refusal to countenance any muddling of the two). 

The path to autonomy will dominate the motoring agenda once the electrification debate has settled and is fraught with complication – but here is the man who can make sense of it for everyone.

Rachel Burgess

First order of business would be a review into the effectiveness of smart motorways. Too often I see tailbacks caused by over-cautious drivers slamming on the brakes as soon as a 40mph sign flashes up on the gantries. And if they’re supposed to be stopping jams on the motorway, I’m not sure they’re working… 

Second, I’d take a close look into taxation and grants. No more punishments for clean Euro 6 diesels, and more generous incentives for plug-in hybrids (especially in light of the recent Ultra Low Emission Vehicle grant debacle). 

If we’re looking to raise money, why not introduce higher rates for cars over £100,000, £150,000, £200,000 and so on? I think reinstating MOT tests for pre-1971 classic cars would be a sensible choice, too. 

Last but not least, for those times when you’re stuck in stationary traffic for hours, I’d introduce retractable vending machines between lanes. Joking. Sort of.

Mark Tisshaw

Transport minister? That’s a job for a career politician on their way up the food chain with a long-term eye on Number 10. I mean, none of them really care about motorists, do they? But there’s a chance to win populist appeal here, so here’s what I’d do. 

What’s the biggest problem with our roads day-to-day? Volume of rush-hour traffic. So let’s get radical: convince the treasury and Number 10 to introduce a four-day working week, phased in different postcodes of the same area to have different days off to help alleviate traffic. 

Let’s take the Reading postcode area of Berkshire where I live. There are 35 different RG postcodes, so seven random ones have Monday off, same for Tuesday, and repeat to the end of the week. The result? Reduced traffic levels, even with people going to other areas, as the ‘postcode lottery’ is played out across the UK. Or total confusion and years of delays to the point where it gets scrapped. 

The perfect political idea, then. 

Lawrence Allan

If I were transport minister for the day, I would stop the roll-out of ‘smart’ motorways until a thorough and independent investigation into safety concerns can be completed. In particular, the system that decides when and where to reduce speed limits needs a radical rethink, as many are so fed up with seeing the limits fluctuate randomly for mile after mile they simply ignore them, creating massive speed variation between lanes. 

The huge amount of money saved from halting smart motorway implementation could, in the short term at least, be used to increase the number of traffic police on our roads. Highways Agency staff should be given the ability to quickly report poor driving, with a focus on policing driving standards rather than just collecting speeding fines. Attentive, aware drivers doing 80mph clearly pose less of a risk on motorways than the vast amount of drivers who think texting at the wheel is acceptable.

Richard Bremner

Introduce a smart road-tolling system to replace vehicle excise duty. Every vehicle would be fitted, by law, with a smart GPS tracker. 

If you think that’s invasive, well, your smartphone already knows where you are. A standard cost-per-mile rate would be levied across every UK road, and adjusted in realtime according to the vehicle’s homologated weight (taxing weight taxes road wear), emissions (CO2, NOx, particulates) and time of use (from rush hour to dead-of-night), plus the road’s maintenance needs. 

Most of the tax would be used for general government spending, as now, but a fixed proportion (20%?) would be allocated to road maintenance and build. Roads needing work would cost slightly more to use, but not so much as to encourage rat-running, to pay for repairs. Foreign haulage operators would also pay. 

The result would be the fairer allocation of road resources, as determined by the vehicle’s realtime congestion, environmental and maintenance impact. The tax on weight would encourage reduction, with obvious benefits. CO2 output would additionally continue to be taxed via fuel/electricity duty.

Hilton Holloway

I would introduce significant incentives – guaranteed not to be withdrawn for at least seven years – for the adoption of LPG and natural gas as automotive fuels. It’s a much quicker way of shifting from diesel, especially for commercial operators. 

While people struggle with the cost and difficultly of charging battery cars, we are literally standing on a country-wide gas infrastructure. The Volkswagen Group is already producing gas-powered vehicles across most of its brands that are very low on both pollution and CO2. 

Road fuel receipts would have the three cash amounts printed on them. Government fuel tax, the producer charges and retailer profit. Elsewhere, there would be three numbers on rail tickets: the ticket cost, the taxpayer subsidy for the fare and the profit per-ticket being made by private operators. It might remind people that motorists pay more than their ‘fare’ share.

Steve Cropley 

The likelihood of my becoming a politician is thankfully slight, but were I to become transport minister, I’d have the Highways Agency form an elite research group tasked with searching the roads network for unwanted anomalies that impede traffic, increasing costs and pollution. 

The group – called Free Roads Observation Group (FROG) – would comprise members chosen for driving knowledge, experience and common sense. The task would be to spot places where signage is misleading or obscured, speed limits are inappropriate, traffic-light regimes cause needless hold-ups and where daft local authority decisions have created unintended difficulties. Private citizens would be encouraged to bring their own experience to FROG’s attention via a website and phone number. 

FROG’s observations would be listened to and their recommendations discussed at implementation level. If their findings were not acted on, as transport minister I would want to know the reason why.

Read more

Do we really want more smart motorways?​

Euro 6 diesels could be banned in three European cities​

Potholes: how much they cost the UK and how they are fixed​

Categories: Car media

<b>Toyota</b> Baleno to Ertiga: Upcoming <b>Toyota</b> cars &amp; SUVs in India

Toyota China articles - 10 hours 9 min ago
Toyota is one of the biggest automobile manufacturers in the world. ... of the Evoque – called the Landwind X7 – in China a couple of years ago.
Categories: Toyota

Refreshing or Revolting: Porsche Cayenne Coupe Vs. The Competition

Motortrend - 12 hours 42 min ago

Fastback SUVs are all about the look, considering they provide no practical benefit over traditional utility vehicles. With their dramatic rooflines, they attract customers who want something a little different. The 2020 Porsche Cayenne Coupe is the latest entry in this growing segment, competing against the BMW X6, Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupe, and the new Audi Q8. But which is the best looking of the bunch?

Unsurprisingly, the Cayenne Coupe looks pretty much like the regular Cayenne from up front. Its front fascia has soft edges with rounded headlights, but the large grille gives it some edge. Similarly, the X6 looks like a typical BMW from this angle, sporting the brand’s familiar kidney grille. The Mercedes GLE Coupe has a streamlined feel to its front fascia with a rounded grille, headlights, and lower fascia. The Audi Q8 probably has the most unexpected front end since it looks so different than other models from the brand. Sharp lines abound, and the razor-thin headlights have a unique lighting signature. The grille is set off by a large frame.

Crossover coupes can sometimes look strange when viewed from the side. We would argue that’s the case with the BMW, whose roof rises sharply up front and drops off dramatically in the back. The slope of the Porsche’s roofline looks more natural, and that’s probably helped by the soft lines of the window trim. A soft character line runs high across the doors near the windows, helping the transition from front to back. The GLE Coupe comes in high-performance AMG trims, and its sporty ambitions are apparent through its bold wheels and window spoiler. The Audi Q8 shows off its long hood, sharp body lines, and bulbous rear end from this angle.

In the rear, the Cayenne Coupe offers an active spoiler. It has taillights connected by a rear light bar much like the Audi, which has a bolder lighting signature that matches the look of the front end. In contrast, the BMW features chunky taillights sitting below a large lip spoiler. On the Mercedes, a tasteful piece of chrome trim links together the traditional-looking taillights.

Take a peek inside the Cayenne Coupe’s cabin, and the first thing you’ll notice is the large screen and the thick center console dominated by buttons and switches, and big grab handles on either side. The interior of the X6 looks older, because it is. Swoopy lines cut the dash into various layers, and controls are laid out in a predictable and somewhat uninteresting way. The interior of the GLE Coupe looks particularly dated with the big number touchpad in the center below the screen. Audi interiors rarely disappoint, and the Q8 is another winner. It has a dual touchscreen setup, with the upper screen used for infotainment controls and the lower screen dedicated to climate functions. And who doesn’t love the 12.3-inch Audi virtual cockpit instrument cluster?

So which crossover coupe is the style winner? Let us know in the comments on Facebook.

The post Refreshing or Revolting: Porsche Cayenne Coupe Vs. The Competition appeared first on Motortrend.

Categories: Car media

New Customer Referral Program Gives Owners a Chance to Win a Tesla Model Y, Roadster

Motortrend - 13 hours 58 min ago

Tesla ended its customer referral program in early February, citing significant costs associated with the offer. Less than two months later, the automaker is announcing a new referral program, and this one works quite differently.

Under the new offer, Tesla owners and those they refer get 1,000 miles of free Supercharging. Each referral also enters you to win a Founder’s Series Model Y monthly and a Founder’s Series Roadster quarterly. The vehicles will come signed by CEO Elon Musk and designer Franz von Holzhausen. In the case that an owner already has free Supercharging, Tesla is offering two chances to win those awards per referral.

Tesla says the new program saves money compared to the old one. Although the deal is a nice perk, the old referral program was more impressive. In addition to six months of free Supercharging, there were other rewards. A first referral gave you the chance to launch your photo into space. With two referrals, you could snag yourself a Signature Black Wall Connector or a Founders Series Tesla Model S for Kids. Three referrals gave you special wheels or one week with a Model S or Model X; four gave you priority access to software updates; and five gave you invitations to product unveilings.

Tesla says referrals have been an important part of the company’s growth ever since it launched the Roadster in 2008. In one past offer, new Tesla buyers could get $1,000 off their vehicle when referred by an existing owner, while the referrer also received $1,000 toward a new Tesla.

There are a few caveats to the new program. Free supercharging miles expire three years after the most recent miles are added. And if you win one of the vehicle prizes, you can’t win the same prize again, Musk clarified on Twitter. New purchased or leased Model S, Model X, and Model 3 orders are eligible for the program.

Source: Tesla

The post New Customer Referral Program Gives Owners a Chance to Win a Tesla Model Y, Roadster appeared first on Motortrend.

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GM to invest $300 million at Michigan plant for new Chevrolet electric vehicle

Electric cars report - 14 hours 59 min ago

General Motors is investing $300 million in its Orion Township, Michigan, assembly plant to produce a new Chevrolet electric vehicle that will bring 400 new jobs to the Orion plant. Today’s announcement is part of GM’s new commitment to invest a total of $1.8 billion in its United States manufacturing operations, creating 700 new jobs […]

The post GM to invest $300 million at Michigan plant for new Chevrolet electric vehicle appeared first on Electric Cars Report.

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GM Preps Michigan Plant for New Chevrolet EV

Motortrend - 17 hours 28 min ago

General Motors Co confirmed on Friday it will invest $300 million in a suburban Detroit assembly plant, adding 400 jobs to build a new Chevrolet electric vehicle.

The largest U.S. automaker has come under heavy criticism from President Donald Trump in recent days over its decision to end production at its Lordstown, Ohio, assembly plant earlier this month.

GM officials said the announcement was planned well before Trump’s series of angry GM tweets that started on Saturday. Trump called GM CEO Mary Barra on Sunday to raise the decision to end production at the Ohio plant, which is in a crucial state for the 2020 presidential election. He again ripped the company in a speech in Ohio on Wednesday.

GM has shown no indication it will reverse course and reopen the Lordstown plant.

Reuters reported on Thursday on GM’s investment plans for the plant in Orion Township, outside Detroit.

Chevrolet Bolt and Sonic at GM Orion plant

Last year, GM said it would end production at five North American assembly plants and eliminate about 15,000 jobs, prompting outrage and a two-day visit by Barra to Capitol Hill to answer questions about the job cuts.

GM did not disclose the name or timing of the new GM EV but said it would be built on the same platform as the existing Chevrolet Bolt EV. GM did not disclose the name of the new EV or the timing of production.

The automaker said in total it is investing $1.8 billion in its U.S. manufacturing operations this year, creating 700 new jobs and supporting 28,000 jobs across six states.

Additional product information and timing for the new Chevrolet EV will be released closer to production.

GM said producing the vehicle in a U.S. manufacturing plant supports the rules of origin provisions in the proposed United States, Mexico and Canada Agreement.

In February, GM disclosed that it had hired Ballard Partners, a lobbying firm run by Brian Ballard, a fundraiser for Trump’s presidential campaign. The company has been eager to try to smooth over relations with the White House after Trump first began harshly attacking GM last year.

(Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Dan Grebler)

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New Toyota GT86 Is Coming, Report Says

Motortrend - 17 hours 45 min ago

There were some rumblings that the Toyota 86 may not return for a second generation, but a new report revives our hopes. Toyota’s European marketing boss has confirmed that the company will indeed build a new GT86, as it’s known in Europe.

Matt Harrison told Autocar that the GT86 has been a successful halo model for Toyota. He also reiterated that the new Supra was not intended to replace the GT86. “They are for different audiences and are different products,” he said. “We see a situation where they will sit alongside each other.”

Harrison said it was a “safe assumption” that the second-generation GT86 would keep its ties to Subaru. Originally co-developed with the Subaru BRZ, the GT86 features a Subaru-derived 2.0-liter flat-four Boxer engine. Making 205 hp and 156 lb-ft of torque, a manual-equipped 86 we tested ran from 0-60 mph in 6.4 seconds.

The 86 is not a big seller here in the U.S. Last year, Toyota sold just 4,146 copies, down 39 percent from the previous year. We don’t know about Toyota’s plans for the 86 here, and a U.S. Toyota spokesman told us the company couldn’t confirm plans to introduce a new version on our shores when asked for comment. But Harrison makes it clear this car isn’t about sales.

“Its role is not one particularly about volume globally. It’s about adding excitement to the brand and emotional appeal,” he said, adding the GT86 has achieved this goal particularly in markets like the U.K.

Earlier this month, we learned that Toyota wants three sports cars in its lineup, but it’s unlikely to make one smaller than the current 86. Toyota Gazoo Racing chief Tetsuya Tada told Evo, “I believe most people are looking forward to the smallest of the ‘three brothers,’ And when people say the smallest, they expect it would be the most affordable. But in reality coming up with a compact small sports car is quite difficult.”

Source: Autocar

The post New Toyota GT86 Is Coming, Report Says appeared first on Motortrend.

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