Archive for the ‘cars’ Category

Aston Martin and Zagato team up again for Pebble Beach

August 15th, 2017

Aston Martin

The build-up to this year’s Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance continues apace. Yesterday was Infiniti’s turn, with its gorgeous, retro-styled electric Prototype 9 concept car, while today the headlines go to Aston Martin. Once again, the British carmaker teamed up with Italian design house Zagato, this time on a pair of limited-edition versions of a rather old model: the Vanquish Zagato Speedster and Vanquish Zagato Shooting Brake.

That now makes a total of four different Zagato-bodied versions of the venerable GT car, for the two companies have previously collaborated on a Vanquish Zagato Coupe and Vanquish Zagato Volante (which means “convertible” in Aston Martinese).

Read 7 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Posted in Aston MArtin, cars, pebble beach, Zagato | Comments (0)

Parked electric cars are earning money balancing the grid in Denmark

August 14th, 2017

Enlarge (credit: NIssan)

A year-long trial in Denmark is showing that utilities can use parked electric vehicles (EVs) as spare batteries, and those EVs can earn quite a bit of money for their owners from the utilities.

In an interview with Bloomberg New Energy Finance, Nissan Europe’s director of energy services, Francisco Carranza, said that a fleet of 10 Nissan e-NV200 vans has earned €1,300 ($1,530) over the year.

Electricity grids around the world are facing an era of rapid change as more electric vehicles hit the road and as grid supply changes. For grid managers, sometimes small amounts of power are necessary to regulate current frequency and keep the grid working. At the same time, if a lot of electric vehicles draw power from the grid concurrently (for example, when they’re parked at home at night, or when they’re parked at work during the day), that threatens to change how grid operators plan to meet demand, as well.

Read 5 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Posted in cars, enel, Energy, Nissan, science, vehicle to grid | Comments (0)

With Prototype 9, Infiniti imagines what a 1940s electric race car could be

August 14th, 2017

Infiniti

If the automotive world has an equivalent to the Met Gala, it would be the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. It takes place later this week in Monterey, California, and each year it features an assortment of classic and historic cars that are more akin to four-wheeled works of art than the more mundane stuff you or I drive on a daily basis. (Unless you’re Ralph Lauren, in which case, carry on.) It’s not just car collectors that bring along their machines to show off; the OEMs get in on the act, too. In Infiniti’s case, that’s a “what if” called Prototype 9, a 1940s-inspired electric race car.

“We discussed the idea of ‘chancing’ upon an unrecognized race car, hidden away for decades in a barn, deep in the Japanese countryside,” explained Alfonso Albaisa, SVP of Global Design at Nissan (Infiniti’s parent company). “We wanted to explore what this looked like, what it would have been made of. Open-wheeled racers of the age were beautiful machines, elegant and powerful and with a wonderful purity of purpose. It’s an automotive fantasy, but the notion captured our imaginations enough to put pencil to paper.”

Read 4 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Posted in cars, Infinti, pebble beach | Comments (0)

Up close and personal with Scuderia Corsa’s Ferrari 488 GT3 race car

August 12th, 2017

Although we usually pay for our own travel expenses, for this trip, Ferrari provided a night’s accommodation in Stockbridge, Massachusetts.

Scuderia Corsa

LAKEVILLE, Conn.—We weren’t sure that we’d get a chance to see IMSA’s WeatherTech Sportscar Championship race in 2017, but then a call came from the nice people at Ferrari asking if we wanted to drive one of their 488 GTB supercars up to the Northeast Grand Prix at Lime Rock Park in Connecticut. As you might imagine, that wasn’t a hard decision to make. You can read all about the road car elsewhere on the site, so what follows is an up-close-and-personal look at Scuderia Corsa’s 488 GT3 race car.

Read 7 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Posted in cars, Ferrari 488 GT3 | Comments (0)

Up close and personal with Scuderia Corsa’s Ferrari 488 GT3 race car

August 12th, 2017

Although we usually pay for our own travel expenses, for this trip, Ferrari provided a night’s accommodation in Stockbridge, Massachusetts.

Scuderia Corsa

LAKEVILLE, Conn.—We weren’t sure that we’d get a chance to see IMSA’s WeatherTech Sportscar Championship race in 2017, but then a call came from the nice people at Ferrari asking if we wanted to drive one of their 488 GTB supercars up to the Northeast Grand Prix at Lime Rock Park in Connecticut. As you might imagine, that wasn’t a hard decision to make. You can read all about the road car elsewhere on the site, so what follows is an up-close-and-personal look at Scuderia Corsa’s 488 GT3 race car.

Read 7 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Posted in cars, Ferrari 488 GT3 | Comments (0)

Road tripping in a Ferrari 488 GTB: Worth the wait

August 12th, 2017

Although we usually pay for our own travel expenses, for this trip, Ferrari provided a night’s accommodation in Stockbridge, Massachusetts.

Video edited by Jennifer Hahn. (video link)

LAKEVILLE, Conn.—Anyone lucky enough to be shopping for a mid-engined supercar in 2017 has quite the array of possibilities before them. There’s the Lamborghini Huracán, now also available with just rear-wheel drive. McLaren has its new 720S, the follow-up to the sublime 650S we were so smitten with.

Read 38 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Posted in Ars Approved, Ars Technica Videos, cars, Features, Ferrari 488 GTB | Comments (0)

Road tripping in a Ferrari 488 GTB: Worth the wait

August 12th, 2017

Although we usually pay for our own travel expenses, for this trip, Ferrari provided a night’s accommodation in Stockbridge, Massachusetts.

Video edited by Jennifer Hahn. (video link)

LAKEVILLE, Conn.—Anyone lucky enough to be shopping for a mid-engined supercar in 2017 has quite the array of possibilities before them. There’s the Lamborghini Huracán, now also available with just rear-wheel drive. McLaren has its new 720S, the follow-up to the sublime 650S we were so smitten with.

Read 38 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Posted in Ars Approved, Ars Technica Videos, cars, Features, Ferrari 488 GTB | Comments (0)

The 2017 Volvo V90 Cross Country, a brown station wagon for the 21st century

August 11th, 2017

Jonathan Gitlin

The Internet—or at least the bits of it that like to think about cars—has over the years coalesced upon a few favorite vehicles. There’s the Mazda Miata, championed as the perfect car by those idealize driving purity and bolt-action gear shifts. The Subaru WRX used to be another, before it lost its way a generation or two back. And the brown Volvo station wagon is often a contender, for the people of the Internet have broad and varied tastes—and perhaps a sense of irony. A four-wheel antidote to the boy racer, the brown Volvo station wagon stands for safety and practicality with some clever Scandinavian design values in there, too. Here, then, is the 21st century brown Volvo station wagon: the 2017 V90 Cross Country T6.

The past few years have been good ones for Volvo. Under Geely’s ownership, it’s been given a giant pile of cash with instructions to make good stuff, and that’s what it’s done. There’s an all new platform to be used as the building blocks for a new line-up of medium and large vehicles, called Scalable Product Architecture. A very good infotainment system called Sensus comes along. And the latest iteration has class-leading driver assists, part of a corporate policy that wants 2020’s Volvos to be the safest passenger vehicles ever. Our first taste of the new Volvo was the XC90 SUV. Then there was the S90 sedan, a nordic alternative to the default German luxury car. And now the V90 offers the missing piece of the 90-series Volvos: the station wagon.

Read 10 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Posted in cars, Volvo V90 Cross Country | Comments (0)

EPA docs appear to reveal Tesla Model 3 battery info, but Musk says not so fast

August 10th, 2017

Enlarge (credit: Tesla)

In a move that still appears bizarre, with the Model 3 launch Tesla decided that talking about an electric car’s battery pack in terms of kWh was passé. Until now, the brand has used kWh to badge its various models, so we know that a Model S 60 has 60kWh-worth of cells and a Model X P100D packs 100kWh between its wheels. The new order does away with that, much like when BMW ditched decades of badging logic. Instead, there’s just a regular and long-range model, with EPA estimated ranges of 220 and 310 miles. But with barely a handful of Model 3s on the road—and a long wait in store of most of the preorder queue—the Internet is hungry for more details. After all, how else to bench race it?

On Monday, Autoblog appeared to have solved the mystery, at least in part. Tucked away in an EPA document (PDF) were the magic numbers for the long-range model: 80.5kWh, based on the fact that it’s rated at 350V and 230Ah. The report also detailed the rear-wheel drive motor-generator unit, which is a 192kW (258hp) AC three-phase permanent magnet configuration.

But then, according to Electrek, Tesla corrected the record during a conference call with new investors: the standard Model 3 will have “just over 50kWh,” and the long-range version 75kWh.

Read 2 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Posted in cars, tesla model 3 | Comments (0)

Reuters: Tesla looking to start testing autonomous semi in “platoon” formation

August 9th, 2017

Enlarge (credit: Yuriko Nakao/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced in April that the company is working on pushing a long-haul electric semi truck to market, which is set to be formally revealed in September. Now, Reuters has viewed e-mail correspondence between Tesla and the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles that indicate that the company has discussed testing semi trucks on the state’s roads.

The Reuters report also mentioned that the semis would be outfitted with autonomous functions, so they could traverse the nation’s highways without a driver in the front seat. The e-mails seemed to indicate that Tesla’s semis would “platoon,” that is, drive in a formation such that a number of trucks could follow a lead vehicle. It’s unclear whether the lead vehicle would have a driver, or operate autonomously with a person in the front seat to monitor safety.

The idea of “platooning” autonomous semis is an old one. More than a year ago, the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment held an autonomous truck platooning demo that involved automakers such as DAF Trucks, Daimler, IVECO, MAN, Scania, and Volvo. The advantages of platooning is that it’s theoretically safer—if the lead truck slows down, the rest automatically follow. It also offers most of the trucks decreased wind resistance, which could help increase an EV semi’s range—a major concern given the weight freight companies load semis with. Of course, there are social ramifications too. Platooning reduces the number of drivers that a shipping company would have to employ.

Read 3 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Posted in autonomy, battery, Biz & IT, cars, electric, semi, Tesla | Comments (0)