Automotive

2018 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sahara First Test: Duality

Revamping an icon is never easy, especially when that icon’s history is as storied as the Jeep Wrangler’s. I’ll spare you the details that you (probably) already know, but the all-new 2018 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sahara, in all of its heated leather seats and Apple CarPlay glory, is the modern day descendent of the World War II Jeeps that helped roll back totalitarianism in Europe in Asia.

Basically, the new 2018 Wrangler has some pretty big shoes to fill. And a lot of boxes to check, too.

Code-named JL, the new Wrangler replaces the decade-old but beloved JK-series Wrangler. Associate editor Scott Evans did an excellent job digging into all the changes, big and small, made to the 2018 Wrangler in his First Look and First Drive, so I’ll keep things brief. Basically, the Wrangler is new from its axles and frame on up to its three new (still removable) roof options. Jeep’s goal for the new 2018 Wrangler is to balance the dueling demands of those who buy Wranglers to adventure off-road and those who buy ’em to drive around town because they look cool. Of the three versions of the new Wrangler on sale (Sport, Sahara, and Rubicon), none sums this duality up better than the luxury- and street-oriented Sahara.




With the Wrangler Rubicon expected to capture the hardcore off-roaders and the Wrangler Sport serving as the jack-of-all-trades entry into the lineup, the Wrangler Sahara is aimed mostly at buyers who prefer streets to slick rock. Its standard features and options list reflects that. Standard are four doors (every other Wrangler variant is also available with two doors), street-oriented tires, chrome accents, and body-color fender flares that’d get pinstriped off-road. The Wrangler Sahara’s option list is long, but notable is a Sahara-exclusive Selec-Trac full-time four-wheel-drive system, which is ideal for those only using their Jeep’s four-wheel-drive system in inclement weather.

Aside from the optional Selec-Trac transfer case, the 2018 Wrangler Sahara shares the rest of its powertrain with its Sport and Rubicon stablemates. Under the hood is a retuned version of the JK Wrangler’s 3.6-liter V-6, in the Sahara making 285 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque. A six-speed manual is standard, but our tester is equipped with an optional eight-speed automatic. A new 2.0-liter turbocharged I-4 making 268 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque is optional, and a 3.0-liter turbodiesel V-6 is expected to join the lineup next year.








At the track, the 10 years (and roughly 200 pounds) separating the new Wrangler from the old JK model is readily apparent. Stomp on the accelerator, and the 2018 Wrangler Sahara accelerates from 0 to 60 mph in 6.9 seconds and goes through the quarter mile in 15.3 seconds at 89.9 mph. That’s a drastic improvement over the last JK Jeep we tested, a 2016 Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon equipped with a soft top and five-speed auto. It needed 8.2 seconds to hit 60 mph and 16.3 seconds to get through the quarter at 82.5 mph. The new Jeep stops and turns way better than the old one, too. It’s best 60–0-mph performance was 128 feet, and it lapped our figure-eight course in a respectable 28.3 seconds at 0.58 g average. The 2018 Wrangler beats the old one at the pump, too; it’s EPA-rated at 18/23/20 mpg city/highway/combined versus 16/20/18 mpg. In our mixed testing, we averaged an indicated 19.7 mpg.

The performance improvements seen at the track are even more apparent out on the road in the real world.

I spent the week leading up to testing the 2018 Wrangler driving around in my mom’s two-door auto-equipped 2015 Wrangler Polar Edition, and the difference between JK and JL Wrangler is like the difference between cheeseburger and a rib-eye steak—both are still good, but you’d rather have the rib-eye, wouldn’t you?








Whereas the old Wrangler was charmingly sluggish and rough around the edges, the new Jeep drives like a modern pickup. It still feels like a Jeep, yes, but the ride is buttoned-down and forgiving, the front end doesn’t wander waywardly over bumps, and the Wrangler’s steering, although still a slow ratio for off-roading, is well-weighted and accurate on the road.

The Wrangler’s new eight-speed automatic significantly livens up Jeep’s 3.6-liter V-6, too. The new eight-speed shifts quickly and unobtrusively and is happy to hold a lower gear going uphill during passing or downhill to help you maintain speed. Finally freed of the boat anchor five-speed, the V-6 feels quick and athletic, with plenty of passing power on tap. I’m told you’ll want that optional 2.0-liter engine if you drive it, but if you never bother I think most will be satisfied with the V-6.

The new transmission also has the added benefit of helping make the Wrangler’s cabin quieter than before by keeping engines rev lower. The cabin of our loaded tester, equipped with an optional hard top and hard top headliner, leather, and heated seats, is a much nicer place to spend time than the previous Wrangler. I wouldn’t go so far as to call the Wrangler Sahara’s cabin luxurious, but it feels premium, with soft, high-quality leather, soft-touch plastics, comfortable seats, and a modern infotainment system.








Arguably Jeep’s biggest challenge with the new 2018 Wrangler was ensuring it hadn’t gone soft on off-road performance.

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An Electric Jaguar XJ is the Latest Buzz

The Jaguar XJ competes with the BMW 7 Series and the leader of large luxury sedans, the Mercedes-Benz S-Class. But when it enters its next generation, Jaguar will position it against the Tesla Model S as an electric car, a new report claims.

According to Autocar, the next-generation Jaguar XJ will also keep its saloon look but will switch to a five-door layout. The report says that the design team has completed work on the new electric car, which will launch at the end of this year before going on sale in 2019. The model will reportedly debut a new design language that will reverberate through the Jaguar brand.

The XJ is said to receive a new aluminum architecture. Its drivetrain is expected to deliver high performance as well as a range of more than 300 miles. At this time, Jaguar is not pursuing a hybrid option.

In a statement to us, Jaguar said, “We can’t comment, confirm or deny any future product plans.” But if the report is true, an electric powertrain could help the XJ stand out in a segment with strong competitors but slowing demand. It can also help Jaguar more firmly establish itself as a maker of electric cars, and that could benefit the brand in the long term.

Jaguar will introduce the I-Pace, its first electric car, this March. The model will have a significant technology transfer with the XJ, Autocar points out.

Back in September, design chief Ian Callum told the publication that the XJ should remain the brand’s flagship instead of an SUV. He also noted saloons need a makeover in a new era of electrification and amid the rising popularity of SUVs, without making specific reference to the XJ. Jaguar will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the XJ this year.








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A Tesla Semi Truck Was Spotted Driving on Public Roads

Although Tesla only has plans to start producing its electric semi truck model in 2019, a prototype of the Semi was recently spotted on the road in California. The seven-second clip shows a cargoless matte black Tesla Semi cruising through a residential street in Sunnyvale, California.

Apparently, the prototype Semi was traveling between Tesla’s factory in Fremont and its Palo Alto headquarters. Despite the clip being short, the electric semi-truck looked to be covering quite a distance — quickly highlighting its specs that caught the attention of big-name companies. Pepsi, Walmart, and Anheuser-Busch have already put in orders for Tesla’s upcoming commercial venture.

Watch the clip of a Tesla Semi being tested on the streets of Palo Alto above and let us know what you think. Also, make sure to check out this video of a Tesla Model X saving a semi-truck stuck in snow.

Read more at HYPEBEAST



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All-New ‘Twin Turbos’ Series to Premiere on Discovery

Doug and Brad DeBerti are a father and son duo that are as real of a gearhead family as they come. Doug has worked in the custom build industry for 25 years creating one-off cars and trucks. His projects are bespoke for clients and include unique designs like a drift racing truck and a truck modeled after a fighter jet.

The DeBerti’s have also done work in the form of racecars or even show cars for OEMs. The money they generate from their garage goes straight into Brad Deberti’s racing career.

Brad DeBerti won the 2015 Pro-Light Rookie of the Year and 2016 Lucas Oil Off Road-Pro-Light championship with his father acting as both his coach and spotter. His bourgeoning career almost crashed to an end when he was hospitalized after his racing truck flipped seven times.

The near-fatal accident almost ended Brad’s career, and as a result he took a break from racing for a year to recover and to grow the family business with Doug. Now he’s back to work pursuing a NASCAR career with driver Joey Logano as his mentor.




To fund Brad’s racing career, the DeBerti’s will continue to build cars and trucks for customers as the audience follows their journey.
You can catch the first episode of “Twin Turbos” on Wednesday, February 28 at 10pm ET/PT on Discovery.

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The Charlotte Motor Speedway ROVAL is different — but will there be action?

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Mustangs of Future Past: Original Venice Crew and Revology Recreate the GT350

John Morton blips the throttle as he manhandles the Mustang’s large, thin wooden wheel. He sets up the car into the wide, right-hand sweeper traced by small orange cones with the nonchalance of a man who’s turned a car in anger hundreds of thousands of times. We hit the apex, and he pours on the throttle, unleashing all of the V-8’s 289 cubic inches and working over the four-speed manual as we barrel down the short front stretch of the Streets of Willow circuit.

Morton prefers Big Willow, the track next door to Streets at the famed Willow Springs facility about two hours northeast of Los Angeles. It’s easy to understand why. It’s a much faster, longer circuit. It’s where years ago he tested a car just like this and raced a car just like this. A Mustang built in Venice Beach, California, near the shores of the Pacific. A GT350R much like this one.

The new/old car Morton is hustling around Streets might as well be one of the race-prepped Shelby GT350Rs Morton and others like Jerry Titus campaigned at Willow, Riverside, and elsewhere across the country, and men like Peter Brock helped design and the then-17-year-old Jim Marietta wrenched on in 1965. Built by the Original Venice Crew (OVC), this one is close to the real thing but with new independent rear suspension.

Authenticity was a primary goal of the Venice Crew. They decided to offer 36 recreation cars, the same number they built back in the day.

Back at the staging area, our own race ace Andy Pilgrim is about to strap into a GT350 Mustang, built by Revology, that looks very much like the Wimbledon White and Guardsman Blue-striped OVC machine Morton and I are in, only without the roll cage, race seats, and other old-school high-performance flourishes. Instead, the Nappa leather inside is sourced from the same supplier Porsche uses, the floor is swathed in plush wool carpet, and the headliner is done in Alcantara. It has comfortable bucket seats, and a navigation/infotainment system complete with a backup camera. Pilgrim pushes the stop/start button, and its Ford Performance-prepped 5.0-liter Coyote V-8 with 435 horsepower mated to a Tremec T56 close-ratio six-speed manual clears its fuel-injected throat.

Independent day: The “i” in the 98i on the side of the Original Venice Crew’s Mustang GT350R recreation stands for independent suspension

Automotive industry veteran Tom Scarpello, who spent the better part of two decades primarily at Ford and Nissan in various roles including manufacturing and product planning, founded Revology Cars in 2014 out of Orlando, Florida, with the goal of creating a series of Mustangs with modern conveniences while celebrating the past. The approach is resto-mod at its core, but much more than that, Scarpello’s vision as “Chief Revologist” has been to create a company that takes a world-class, assembly-line approach to building cars he learned during his career. The official stamp of Shelby Automobiles and Ford makes Revology all the more legit.

When it comes to being legit, you can’t be much more in Mustang circles than folks like Morton, Brock, and Marietta. These are men who spent their salad days being cajoled, cussed out, and inspired by Carroll Shelby, building cars on a wing and a prayer in Shelby American’s impossibly cramped, 10,000-square-foot shop in Venice.

“When Peter Brock says you should do something, you probably should,”

John Morton imparts some of his immeasurable wisdom to Automobile editor-in-chief Mike Floyd about how the OVC GT350R behaves on the track.

One night during a good round of bench racing, the guys started reminiscing about the three dozen GT350Rs they built back in ’65. Corners were carved. Brock never got a chance to sculpt the front end how he wanted. Then there was the car with the independent rear they never got to finish. It was a huge success at the track, but it could have and should have been better. What if they did it all over again how they really wanted to do it? “What if” became “why the hell not,” and the Original Venice Crew was formed.

The Original Venice Crew’s approach to its GT350R is one of faithful recreation. The only nods to the modernization are to meet new safety rules.

Authenticity was a primary goal of the Venice Crew. They decided to offer 36 recreation cars, the same number they built back in the day, using the same 1965 K-code Mustang they built up (higher spec 289 V-8 and front discs) as the base car. Finding the donor cars hasn’t been easy, but so far they’ve located a couple. OVC, which builds the cars at the Shelby facility in Gardena, California, drops in a reworked version of the 289 pushing about 420 horses with a four-speed Borg Warner manual as the gearbox. Prices start at $250,000, and although that isn’t chicken feed, like Revology they have the official Ford and Shelby backing and a lineage that can’t be manufactured.

Andy Pilgrim hasn’t had a lot of experience with Mustangs, but he quickly got up to speed and had a blast wheeling both models.

Marietta, who wasn’t even out of high school when he scored that fateful job at Shelby, has become the unofficial OVC spokesman, though he’s quick to say it’s a team effort. About seven guys work on a car at any one time, and it takes about four months to complete one. He walks us around OVC’s 98i-coded GT350R and calls out several details. “You see this here,” he says, pointing to the rear fender.

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Waymo to Bring Autonomous Cars to Atlanta

Waymo will begin testing its autonomous vehicles in a new region of the country. Now that the cars have explored the streets of Arizona, California, Michigan, Texas, and Washington, Waymo is expanding to Georgia.

The autonomous tech company, which spun off from Google’s self-driving car project, will test its vehicles in the metro Atlanta area. The expansion was announced in a Tweet on Monday.

As of November 2017, Waymo has logged more than 4 million miles on public roads and billions of miles in simulation. Initially, a driver always sat behind the wheel, but now the company is testing some fully self-driving vehicles without that backup on public roads in the Phoenix metro region of Arizona. An early rider program that began last year in the area has given the public an opportunity to experience the company’s self-driving Chrysler Pacificas.

Waymo’s autonomous vehicles will have to tackle high levels of traffic in Atlanta, considering the city is the ninth most congested metro area in the world, according to the Inrix Traffic Scorecard. That said, they already have experience driving along the streets of San Francisco. The area also experiences about 50 inches of rainfall each year, making it a good test ground for less-than-ideal weather situations. The vehicles will deploy once Waymo is finished mapping the Atlanta area with a human driven vehicle, reports Automotive News.

Source: Waymo, Automotive News (Subscription required)

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Charlotte Motor Speedway revises ROVAL configuration following driver feedback

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Lexus Is on the Hunt for Younger, More Diverse Customers

When Marvel’s The Black Panther hits theaters next month, expect the Lexus LC 500 to get a lot of screen time. According to Bloomberg, that’s because it’s not only T’Challa’s personal ride in the film, it’s also part of Lexus’ plan to attract younger, more diverse buyers and ultimately regain its place as the top luxury brand in the U.S.

As baby boomers get older, it makes sense that luxury automakers would try to attract younger buyers. For Lexus, that strategy includes cultivating a sporty, performance-oriented brand image. But changing demographics add a new challenge to the equation. Not only is the U.S. population becoming a lot less white, we’re also seeing increases in spending by black, Hispanic, and Asian consumers that outpaces whites. So while The Black Panther is only one movie, Lexus’ product placement decision is an important part of a much bigger strategy.

 

“We are going after a younger customer, and just from a demographic standpoint, the younger you go, the more culturally diverse the population gets,” Cooper Ericksen, Lexus’ head of marketing, told Bloomberg. “The task to hit our sales plan really comes from bringing a lot of new customers into the brand.” With the Black Panther tie-in, Ericksen said he believes Lexus can make a positive impression on both younger customers and minorities.

For Lexus, though, the downside of cultivating a sportier, more youthful image might be alienating longtime customers. Its styling, in particular, has become much less conservative over the past few years, and if the LF-1 concept that Lexus showed in Detroit is any indication, that aggressive design language isn’t going anywhere. For older Lexus owners, that’s not necessarily a good thing.

Speaking to CarBuzz, Jeff Bracken, group vice president and general manager of Lexus, said he frequently gets calls from loyal Lexus buyers who don’t like the current styling. “The folks that look at [our styling] as somewhat polarizing would be, for the most part, the folks that have been with us since the beginning,” Bracken said. “In fact, I’ll take phone calls from some of these owners and [they] will literally spend 45 minutes to an hour on the phone with me just expressing how disappointed they are.”

But that doesn’t mean Lexus has any plans to rein in its styling department to keep older customers happy. Bracken said, “It’s a very purposeful and strategic move on our part. If we lose some of our tradition owners, it’s unsettling for us but won’t preclude us from moving down this path. We hope to gain more [customers] than we lose.”

Source: Bloomberg, CarBuzz

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Discovery and Velocity Get “Fast N’ Loud” on Motor Trend on Demand

In case an already extensive library of original automotive content wasn’t enough, Motor Trend on Demand has just added over 250 episodes of popular Discovery and Velocity shows including “Fast N’ Loud,” “Street Outlaws,” and “Wheeler Dealers.” Below is a quick look at the shows you can stream starting today with your Motor Trend on Demand subscription. If you’re not a subscriber yet, check out the FREE 14-day trial.

Fast N’ Loud – Seasons 1-12
Hosts Richard Rawlings and Aaron Kaufman of Gas Monkey Garage search for derelict classic cars that may look like rust buckets at the outset, but to this crew they’re gold… once they’re brought back to life, of course.

Overhaulin’ – Seasons 6-9
Can a group of custom car builders working with lightning speed on a limited budget turn a guy’s clunker into a hot car without him knowing it? With cooperation from friends and family, the “Overhaulin’” crew swipes cars from unsuspecting owners and gives them a complete, high-speed makeover.

Street Outlaws – Seasons 1-9
Street Outlaws explores the world of the illegal street racing scene in Oklahoma City, which boasts of having “America’s fastest street cars.” These unruly racers endanger their lives, spend a small fortune, and risk going to jail—all to move up the top ten list.

Street Outlaws: New Orleans – Seasons 1-2
With the success of Street Outlaws OKC, Kye Kelly has risen to fame as the fastest Outlaw in the country… though some would say otherwise. In fact, Scott Taylor, Shannon Poole, and Shane Lester—all with the help of seriously deep pockets—feel they should be at No. 1 on the list and set out to dethrone him.

Wheeler Dealers – Seasons 10-16
Join host Mike Brewer on his quest to restore automobiles back into mint condition and later sell them for a profit, all while teaching viewers how to do everything from major overhauls to tricky detailing jobs along the way. In seasons 10-13, Brewer is joined by Edd China, while in seasons 14-16 he teams up with Ant Anstead.

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1966 Shelby 427 Cobra S/C Sells at $2.94 Million at RM Sotheby’s Scottsdale

The British racing green 1954 Jaguar D-Type, a works Le Mans entrant in its day, sat patiently next to the auction stage for both nights of RM Sotheby’s Scottsdale auction, just waiting for its turn across the block at an estimate of $12 million to $15 million dollars.

As bidding fell flat at $9.8 million on Saturday evening, it became clear that the reserve would not be met, leaving RM Sotheby’s high sales award with the ’66 Shelby 427 Semi-Comp Cobra and its $2,947,500 winning bid, some half-million dollars over the top estimate. Semi-comp Cobras are rare—the result of Carroll Shelby converting left-over competition cars for street use, after failing to meet FIA homologation requirements.

Runner up at RM Sotheby’s was a 1948 Tucker 48, the exact car once owned by Preston Tucker himself, with a winning bid of $1,792,500—nearly $300,000 over the car’s high estimate. Third place went to a 1964 Ferrari 250 GT Lusso, at $1,682,500.

Other interesting results included a fine example of a 1967 Toyota 2000GT—one of just 62 produced for the U.S. market—which brought $665,000, right in the middle of its estimate range. 2000GTs were poised a couple years ago to start selling in the million-dollar range with some regularity, but have seen a correction since then and this price felt market appropriate.

Several modern supercars were on hand alongside the vintage offerings, the top seller of which was a 2017 Ferrari F12tdf, which appeared as-new with roughly 200 miles on the odometer. The Ferrari sold for $1,325,000, towards the high end of its estimated sales range. A somewhat rare and older supercar, the 1993 Bugatti EB110 GT, sold just over its high estimate at $967,500.

Besides the aforementioned Jaguar D-type, prominent no-sale results were the 1957 Ferrari 250 GT “Boano” Coupe with a high bid of $925,000, a 1966 Ferrari 330 GTC with a high bid of $520,000, and a very rare, 1965 Shelby GT350 R, one of just 36 such Mustang-based racers to have ever been built, stalled out at $850,000, well shy of its $1 million-plus estimate.

Total RM Sotheby’s Scottsdale sales were $36.5 million with a strong 88-percent sell-through rate.

Photos courtesy of RM Sotheby’s.

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Daytona 500: Danica Patrick finds team for final NASCAR race

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2018 Jeep Grand Commander is Beijing Bound

Official images of the 2018 Jeep Grand Commander have been revealed, and it looks a lot like the Jeep Yuntu Concept (below) we saw last year in Shanghai—minus the plug-in hybrid kit and drone tech.

Jeep’s Grand Commander is slated to make its official debut at this year’s Beijing auto show in April. The sleek, seven-seat SUV has a long wheelbase and is made exclusively for the Chinese market.

Like the Jeep Yuntu Concept, the Grand Commander has sharp, clean lines, slim LED headlights and taillights, and a chrome grille. But sadly, it does not have suicide doors.

It does have a big roof rack and a sunroof that spans over three quarters of its long top. A 4×4 version will also be available, judging from video on Jeep’s Chinese language website.

Don’t feel too left out, though. We can expect to receive both a Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer (1991 model shown below) here in the U.S. by 2020 instead.

Under the hood, the Grand Commander should pack a potent 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that offers 234 hp or 265 hp depending on the trim level. Both engines are mated to a nine-speed automatic transmission.

The China-only model is a joint venture with FCA’s partner Guangzhou Automotive Group that also produces Jeep Cherokees and Renegades for the Chinese market.

The 2018 Jeep Grand Commander starts at the equivalent of around $38,000. Check out a 360-degree view of the upcoming model on Jeep’s Chinese site here.

Source: Jeep

 

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2018 Jeep Grand Commander Revealed for China

Official images of the 2018 Jeep Grand Commander have been revealed and it looks a lot like the Jeep Yuntu Concept (below) we saw last year in Shanghai—minus the plug-in hybrid kit and drone tech.

Jeep’s Grand Commander is slated to make its official debut at this year’s Beijing auto show in April. The sleek, seven-seat SUV has a long-wheelbase and is made exclusively for the Chinese market.

Like the Jeep Yuntu Concept, the Grand Commander shares its sharp, clean lines, slim LED headlights and taillights, a chrome grille—but sadly, it does not have suicide doors.

It does have a big roof rack and a sunroof that spans over three quarters of its long top. A 4×4 version will also be available, judging from video on Jeep’s Chinese language website.

Don’t feel too left out, though. We can expect to receive both a Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer (1991 model shown below) here in the U.S. by 2020 instead.

Under the hood, the family friendly hauler will likely pack a potent 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that offers 234 hp or a 265 hp one depending on the trim level. Both engines are mated to a 9-speed automatic transmission.

The China-only model is a joint venture with FCA’s partner Guangzhou Automotive Group (GAC) that also produces Jeep Cherokees and Renegades for the Chinese market.

The 2018 Jeep Grand Commander’s base price starts at about $38,000. Check out a 360-degree view of the upcoming model on Jeep’s Chinese site here.

 

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F1 driver Carlos Sainz Jr. to take on stage at WRC Rally Monte Carlo

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Report: 127,000 New Audi Diesels to be Recalled for Emissions Violations

More than two years after news broke that Volkswagen Group diesel engines used software that allowed them to dodge emissions regulations, you would think the scandal would be over and that the German automaker would be able to move on. According to the latest report, however, that’s not quite the case.

Reuters reports that according to the German newspaper Bild am Sonntag, the KBA, Germany’s automotive regulator, has ordered Audi to recall 127,000 vehicles. The reason? It found they contain illegal emissions control software. These aren’t older models, either. They’re newer vehicles that were supposed to meet Euro-6 requirements, the latest emissions standard that Europe uses. According to Audi, however, the vehicles the KBA wants it to recall were included in a broader recall from July that covered more than 850,000 V-6 and V-8 TDI models.

The same Bild am Sonntag report also claims that the KBA told Audi it has until February 2 to develop a plan to update its vehicles’ emissions control software to make sure it can’t be modified to violate regulations. Audi appears to be complying, telling Reuters that it’s working closely with the KBA and has spent the last several months looking for emissions irregularities in its current TDI models.

As Audi and the rest of Volkswagen Group continue working to finally put this diesel emissions scandal to rest, it’s also investing heavily in electric vehicle technology that will allow it to meet fuel economy regulations without depending as heavily on diesel. VW has partnered with BMW, Daimler, and Ford to build an EV charging network across Europe, and here in the U.S., it recently announced plans to build more than 2,800 charging stations by June 2019. It also plans to introduce quite a few fully electric vehicles over the next few years, from the quirky-but-cool I.D. Buzz to the sporty Porsche Mission E.

Source: Reuters

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Autoweek.com Latest Stories 2018-01-22 16:20:00

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Behold the First 3D Printed Brake Caliper by Bugatti

Bugatti is far from the first automaker to experiment with 3D printing, but it does claim it’s developed the world’s first 3D printed brake caliper. The automaker will begin testing this new brake caliper in the first half of this year with the hopes of bringing it to series production.

The brake caliper lays claim to a number of firsts, according to Bugatti. It’s the largest brake caliper in the automotive industry, meaning Bugatti is looking to best itself. The aluminum alloy brake calipers on the Chiron are currently the largest installed on a production vehicle.

Instead of aluminum, the new brake caliper is made from titanium, making Bugatti the first series manufacturer to use this material. The brake caliper is also the largest functional component produced from titanium via 3D printing.

The eight-piston monobloc brake caliper makes use of a titanium alloy that delivers higher performance than aluminum. This particular alloy is used in the aerospace industry for rocket engines and components for wings, among other things.

Bugatti says that a force of more than 275 pounds can be applied to a square millimeter of the titanium alloy without rupturing the material. It’s also very light. Despite its large size, the brake caliper weighs just around 6.4 pounds, lighter than the aluminum component currently used that weighs about 10.8 pounds. The brake caliper measures about 16.1 inches long, 8.3 inches wide, and 5.4 inches high.








To achieve the breakthrough, Bugatti partnered with Laser Zentrum Nord, a research institute in Hamburg, Germany. It takes the institute’s 3D printer 45 hours to print a brake caliper. During the process, four 400-watt lasers melt titanium power, and layer by layer, the material cools down and forms the shape of a brake caliper.

After the final layer is complete, the titanium powder is exposed to temperatures of more than 1,290 degrees Fahrenheit before cooling down to around 212 degrees. This process helps ensure dimensional stability. Later, surfaces of the caliper, including the piston contact surfaces, get refined in a milling machine process that takes 11 hours.

Bugatti expects a reduction in the time it takes to produce the brake caliper as the component begins testing. Although it’s not widespread right now, 3D printing has the potential to save automakers millions of dollars in the future.

The post Behold the First 3D Printed Brake Caliper by Bugatti appeared first on Automobile Magazine.

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Bugatti Creates First 3D Printed Brake Caliper

Bugatti is far from the first automaker to experiment with 3D printing, but it does claim it’s developed the world’s first 3D printed brake caliper. The automaker will begin testing this new brake caliper in the first half of this year with the hopes of bringing it to series production.

The brake caliper lays claim to a number of firsts, according to Bugatti. It’s the largest brake caliper in the automotive industry, meaning Bugatti is looking to best itself. The aluminum alloy brake calipers on the Chiron are currently the largest installed on a production vehicle. Instead of aluminum, the new brake caliper is made from titanium, making Bugatti the first series manufacturer to use this material. The brake caliper is also the largest functional component produced from titanium via 3D printing.

The eight-piston monobloc brake caliper makes use of a titanium alloy that delivers higher performance than aluminum. This particular alloy is used in the aerospace industry for rocket engines and components for wings, among other things. Bugatti says that a force of more than 275 pounds can be applied to a square millimeter of the titanium alloy without rupturing the material. It’s also very light. Despite its large size, the brake caliper weighs just around 6.4 pounds, lighter than the aluminum component currently used that weighs about 10.8 pounds. The brake caliper measures about 16.1 inches long, 8.3 inches wide, and 5.4 inches high.

To achieve the breakthrough, Bugatti partnered with Laser Zentrum Nord, a research institute in Hamburg, Germany. It takes the institute’s 3D printer 45 hours to print a brake caliper. During the process, four 400-watt lasers melt titanium power, and layer by layer, the material cools down and forms the shape of a brake caliper. After the final layer is complete, the titanium powder is exposed to temperatures of more than 1,290 degrees Fahrenheit before cooling down to around 212 degrees. This process helps ensure dimensional stability. Later, surfaces of the caliper, including the piston contact surfaces, get refined in a milling machine process that takes 11 hours.

Bugatti expects a reduction in the time it takes to produce the brake caliper as the component begins testing. Although it’s not widespread right now, 3D printing has the potential to save automakers millions of dollars in the future.

Source: Bugatti

The post Bugatti Creates First 3D Printed Brake Caliper appeared first on Motor Trend.

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Sir Stirling Moss retires from public life at 88

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