Category: tech

Lagonda All-Terrain Concept

Image by Alexandre Prevot

Can A Mercedes G-Wagon Actually Climb A 100% Grade?

Mercedes has improved upon a legendary icon, the G-Class. The 2019 Mercedes G550 is an extraordinary machine, capable of incredible off-road feats, including climbing a 100% grade, which this video will discuss in detail. In order to climb a 100% grade, the right elements have to come together: the engine, the transmission, the 4WD system, the tires, and of course the overall package and weight distribution.

What is so special about climbing a 100% slope? What about the G-Class allows it to be capable of ascending such an incline? Can the G-Class actually do it? This video brakes it all down, from road testing to measure the vehicle’s tires grip, to an analysis of the center of gravity. And to sum it all up, I provide 4 reasons why the G-Wagon is one my all time favorite vehicles.

First Look: The BMW Vision M Next

In the future, drivers will be able to choose whether they wish to be driven or do the driving themselves. With the BMW Vision M Next, the BMW Group is revealing its take on how driving pleasure might look in future for those who enjoy taking the wheel themselves. It offers a foretaste of the BMW M brand’s electrified future by placing the focus squarely on the actively engaged driver. Intelligent technologies on board provide comprehensive yet carefully targeted assistance to turn them into the ultimate driver.

Hosting the exclusive world premiere of the BMW Vision M NEXT is the new #NEXTGen infotainment platform at BMW Welt. This standalone event concentrating on personal mobility solutions “made by the BMW Group” adds another regular fixture to the calendar of car shows / technology & future-focused trade events around the world which the company already attends. The Group’s latest technological advances in the fields of design, autonomous driving, connectivity, electrification and services will be showcased here, alongside spectacular world premieres such as that of the BMW Vision M NEXT.

The BMW Vision M NEXT provides a glimpse into the future of sporty driving,” says Adrian van Hooydonk, Senior Vice President BMW Group Design. “Where the BMW Vision iNEXT illustrated how autonomous driving is set to transform life on board our vehicles, the BMW Vision M NEXT demonstrates how state-of-the-art technology can also make the experience of driving yourself purer and more emotionally engaging. In both models, the focus is firmly on the people inside. Design and technology make the ‘EASE’ and ‘BOOST’ experiences more natural and more intense.

Gordon Murray Automotive Reveals T.50 Supercar

Gordon Murray Automotive, sister-business of visionary vehicle design and engineering company Gordon Murray Design, has announced its first vehicle – the T.50 supercar. Conceived as the spiritual successor to the Murray-devised McLaren F1, the T.50 will be the most driver-focused supercar ever built.

The development of T.50 is at an advanced stage, with full production and customer deliveries set to commence in early 2022. Just 100 owners of the T.50 will experience Murray’s vision – a supercar inspired by his 50 years at the pinnacle of Formula One and automotive industry engineering and design.

The engineering planning, plus all interior and exterior styling of the new vehicle has been carried out by Gordon Murray Design. It will be manufactured in the UK by Gordon Murray Automotive – a new company first announced in late 2017 at the One Formula exhibition. The event celebrated 50 years of Murray’s career in motorsport and automotive design and engineering, plus it previewed plans to build a limited-run supercar – the T.50. Every race or road car penned by Murray so far has featured a ‘T’ designation; and the T.50 will be the 50th in a highly illustrious line.

The T.50 breaks from performance-car convention, just as the F1 did in 1992. It weighs significantly less than any other current supercar. It has the most advanced aerodynamics of any road car, and it relies on design and engineering excellence to deliver the purest, most driver-focused performance and dynamics of any road car since the F1.

It will be powered by a compact and light, naturally-aspirated, all-new V12 engine. The unit will be capable of an extraordinary 12,100rpm – unparalleled in a V12 road car – and 650hp to deliver unmatched power-to-weight. However, Murray says: “I have absolutely no interest in chasing records for top speed or acceleration. Our focus is instead on delivering the purest, most rewarding driving experience of any supercar ever built – but, rest assured, it will be quick.”

The T.50 adopts the same, iconic three-seat format that Murray pioneered for the F1, with the driver benefiting from a central ‘jet-fighter-style’ driving position. The new car builds on the F1’s highly-advanced aerodynamics, taking Murray’s ground-effect innovations to an all-new level with intelligent management of underbody airflow coupled with a 400mm fan at the rear. The fan actively controls underbody airflow – a feature Murray famously premiered on the Brabham BT46B Formula One ‘Fan Car’. This approach allows the upper surfaces of the car to retain purity and beauty, eschewing the exaggerated scoops and spoilers familiar in the segment and equipping the T.50 with the most advanced aerodynamics of any road car.

All engineering, design and styling of the T.50 is by Gordon Murray Design and the car will be manufactured by Gordon Murray Automotive at a new, purpose-built facility in Surrey, UK. Furthermore, all major components will be bespoke and UK-sourced, including the powertrain, body and chassis. This will be a true British supercar.

The T.50, by Gordon Murray Automotive will be priced in excess of £2 million before taxes.

T.50 In Detail
Setting new standards in lightweighting, the T.50 supercar weighs significantly less than any existing supercar

“Automotive enthusiasts and road-test editors have discussed the concept of ‘peak supercar’ for some time,” says Murray. “The reality of chasing top speeds only adds weight, notably through ever-more powerful engines, which increase the requirement for larger, heavier ancillaries. We are taking a very different approach.”

Ingrained in the approach of the Gordon Murray Automotive product development strategy is a fastidious commitment to minimize weight – in every component. “This is the key to achieving enhanced performance and dynamics, and refocusing the supercar on the driver and the thrill of driving. We’re not interested in simply chasing numbers, and never will be,” asserts Murray.

Gordon Murray Automotive will produce the world’s lightest, most driver-focused supercar through sophisticated use of advanced carbon fiber engineering and this fanatical dedication to purging the vehicle of every unproductive gram.

The T.50 supercar will weigh just 980kg – around a third lighter than the average supercar – making it, by far, the lightest supercar ever.

With a clear driver-focus, the external proportions are highly compact (smaller than the footprint of a Porsche 911 at just 4,380mm long and 1,850mm wide) to optimise handling, while the interior is nonetheless spacious and comfortable for three, with ample dedicated space for luggage.

The most advanced aerodynamics of any road car
In rewriting the supercar rulebook, Gordon Murray Automotive set out to equip the T.50 supercar with the most advanced aerodynamics of any road car. The new model will feature intelligent under-body active aerodynamics, which employs continuous, dynamic and interactive underbody ground-effect systems to optimize the driving experience.

Uniquely, the supercar will feature a 400mm ground-effect fan, similar to that on Murray’s famous Brabham BT46B Formula One ‘Fan Car’. The Gordon Murray Automotive team has established a new technical partnership with a Formula One team, which will make its rolling-road wind tunnel available to develop the aerodynamics of the T.50.

With all of the car’s intelligent aerodynamic sophistication housed beneath the car, the upper surfaces are free from unsightly wings, outlets, vents and bulges, safeguarding the purity and beauty of the exterior design. The sense of drama, even when stationary, is amplified by the striking dihedral doors that hark back to the F1 – where they first appeared on a supercar.

Koenigsegg Jesko

Image by

Dylan King

Production Ready Aston Martin Rapide E Makes Debut

Aston Martin Lagonda has revealed the final production-ready iteration of its first all-electric production car, with the spectacular Rapide E making its world debut at China’s Auto Shanghai motor show.

Unveiled by Aston Martin Executive Vice President & Chief Creative Officer, Marek Reichman, Rapide E is a pivotal model for the luxury marque. Following the success of previous special-edition models, including Aston Martin Vulcan, the Vanquish Zagato family and DB4 GT Continuation, Rapide E continues to deliver a superior level of performance, craftmanship and exclusivity, while also propelling Aston Martin into the all-electric realm.

The first car to be built at Aston Martin’s state-of-the-art St Athan production facility – the brand’s Home of Electrification – Rapide E represents a pioneering first step towards achieving the company’s wider electrification strategy and the successful fruition of Lagonda – the world’s first zero-emission luxury brand. A special edition with a production run strictly limited to 155 units, Rapide E has been developed in collaboration with Williams Advanced Engineering (WAE).

Shown for the first time here in Shanghai today, Aston Martin’s design and engineering teams have worked in partnership to extract the optimal aerodynamic performance available from the Rapide’s elegant form. Traditional metal vanes give way to a striking honeycomb front grille. With lower cooling requirements demanded of the EV powertrain, Aston Martin’s aerodynamic engineers have been given the freedom to optimize the aperture of the frontal area, minimising airflow through the car’s body, improving the car’s aerodynamic efficiency and increasing range as a result.

A re-designed underfloor streamlines airflow from the front splitter right the way through to Rapide E’s new larger rear diffuser – a feature that is now wholly dedicated to aero efficiency due to the removal of the exhaust system required before. The model’s forged aluminium aerodynamic wheels – shod with bespoke low rolling-resistance Pirelli P-Zero tyres – have also been re-designed to give greater efficiency, without compromising brake cooling capability. The sum of these changes gives Rapide E’s aerodynamic package an 8% improvement over the previous internal combustion model.

Inside and out, Rapide E is equipped with the materials and technology befitting of the marque’s first EV model. Gone are the analogue displays of the past. A 10” digital display now sits in their place, delivering all key information to the driver while on the move, including the battery’s state of charge, current motor power levels, regenerative performance and a real-time energy consumption meter. Swathes of carbon fibre have been deployed throughout, assisting in delivering the strict weight targets set by Aston Martin’s engineering team from the outset.

Extending the experience beyond the car, a dedicated app allows key information from the car to be remotely monitored. This powerful dashboard displays remaining range, battery status, and time to charge, as well as allowing navigation destinations to be sent from the app to the car for easy route planning. The car’s parking spot can also be seen via the app, with walking directions provided to help re-locate it in busy locations. Finally, the health and status of Rapide E can also be tracked from the app, providing reminders such as when a key service is due.

Throughout the development process, the combined AML/WAE engineering team first focussed their efforts on finding packaging solutions for the battery system and motors within the Rapide’s architecture before working to achieve effective cooling of the batteries and motors.

Rapide E is powered by an 800V electrical architecture battery – encased in carbon fibre and Kevlar casing – with a 65kWh installed capacity using over 5600 lithium-ion 18650 format cylindrical cells. This bespoke battery pack lies where the original 6.0-litre V12, gearbox and fuel tank were located, with the 800V system allowing for more efficient charging and greatly improved thermal characteristics over existing electrical architectures. This battery system powers two rear mounted electric motors producing a combined target output of just over 610PS and a colossal 950Nm of torque.

Rapide E’s range is over 200 miles under the Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP), while the model is capable of charging at a rate of 1851,2 miles of range per hour using a typical 400V 50kW charger. However, the car’s 800V high-voltage battery system enables faster charging of 3101,2 miles of range per hour, using an 800V outlet delivering 100kW or higher. For destination charging, the car also features an industry-leading high-power AC on-board charger capable of recharging the battery in as little as 3 hours.

Top speed for Rapide E is 155mph, with a sub-4.0 second 0-60mph time and a 50-70mph time of just 1.5 seconds. These figures are not restricted to a narrow window of battery charge or climatic conditions, instead, thanks to the cutting-edge 800V architecture, the Rapide E will deliver its performance in a consistent and repeatable way as would be expected from a traditional Aston Martin product. This includes the ability to drive a full lap of the Nürburgring with no performance derating of the battery or the motors.

Rapide E also enhances the feel, character and delivery of the V12-engined recently acclaimed Rapide AMR, thanks to careful attention paid to the tuning of both the electric powertrain and the chassis across three driving modes – GT, Sport and Sport + – which are selected for both the powertrain and handling. The rear-wheel drive Rapide E’s twin electric motors drive through a Limited-Slip Differential, which combined with a revised spring and damper rates, ensures the pure handling characteristics of the petrol-powered Rapide AMR are retained.

Speaking ahead of Rapide E’s Shanghai debut, Dr Andy Palmer, President and Group CEO, Aston Martin Lagonda, commented: “Unveiling the Rapide E will be a huge moment for Aston Martin. As our first all-electric production car, it is a truly historic step. One that signals Aston Martin is prepared for the huge challenge of an environmentally responsible and sustainable future. As a car company we cannot afford to passively allow that future to come to us; we have to actively chase it. Only by doing this can we learn and prepare, but also preserve those things we love as drivers and car enthusiasts. That’s why it was so important to me that in embracing EV technology we should not let go of those unique qualities that define an Aston Martin. I believe Rapide E embodies that desire and paves the way for a hugely exciting future.”

Rapide E is available to order now, with prices available on application.

Production Ready Aston Martin Rapide E Makes Debut

Aston Martin Lagonda has revealed the final production-ready iteration of its first all-electric production car, with the spectacular Rapide E making its world debut at China’s Auto Shanghai motor show.

Unveiled by Aston Martin Executive Vice President & Chief Creative Officer, Marek Reichman, Rapide E is a pivotal model for the luxury marque. Following the success of previous special-edition models, including Aston Martin Vulcan, the Vanquish Zagato family and DB4 GT Continuation, Rapide E continues to deliver a superior level of performance, craftmanship and exclusivity, while also propelling Aston Martin into the all-electric realm.

The first car to be built at Aston Martin’s state-of-the-art St Athan production facility – the brand’s Home of Electrification – Rapide E represents a pioneering first step towards achieving the company’s wider electrification strategy and the successful fruition of Lagonda – the world’s first zero-emission luxury brand. A special edition with a production run strictly limited to 155 units, Rapide E has been developed in collaboration with Williams Advanced Engineering (WAE).

Shown for the first time here in Shanghai today, Aston Martin’s design and engineering teams have worked in partnership to extract the optimal aerodynamic performance available from the Rapide’s elegant form. Traditional metal vanes give way to a striking honeycomb front grille. With lower cooling requirements demanded of the EV powertrain, Aston Martin’s aerodynamic engineers have been given the freedom to optimize the aperture of the frontal area, minimising airflow through the car’s body, improving the car’s aerodynamic efficiency and increasing range as a result.

A re-designed underfloor streamlines airflow from the front splitter right the way through to Rapide E’s new larger rear diffuser – a feature that is now wholly dedicated to aero efficiency due to the removal of the exhaust system required before. The model’s forged aluminium aerodynamic wheels – shod with bespoke low rolling-resistance Pirelli P-Zero tyres – have also been re-designed to give greater efficiency, without compromising brake cooling capability. The sum of these changes gives Rapide E’s aerodynamic package an 8% improvement over the previous internal combustion model.

Inside and out, Rapide E is equipped with the materials and technology befitting of the marque’s first EV model. Gone are the analogue displays of the past. A 10” digital display now sits in their place, delivering all key information to the driver while on the move, including the battery’s state of charge, current motor power levels, regenerative performance and a real-time energy consumption meter. Swathes of carbon fibre have been deployed throughout, assisting in delivering the strict weight targets set by Aston Martin’s engineering team from the outset.

Extending the experience beyond the car, a dedicated app allows key information from the car to be remotely monitored. This powerful dashboard displays remaining range, battery status, and time to charge, as well as allowing navigation destinations to be sent from the app to the car for easy route planning. The car’s parking spot can also be seen via the app, with walking directions provided to help re-locate it in busy locations. Finally, the health and status of Rapide E can also be tracked from the app, providing reminders such as when a key service is due.

Throughout the development process, the combined AML/WAE engineering team first focussed their efforts on finding packaging solutions for the battery system and motors within the Rapide’s architecture before working to achieve effective cooling of the batteries and motors.

Rapide E is powered by an 800V electrical architecture battery – encased in carbon fibre and Kevlar casing – with a 65kWh installed capacity using over 5600 lithium-ion 18650 format cylindrical cells. This bespoke battery pack lies where the original 6.0-litre V12, gearbox and fuel tank were located, with the 800V system allowing for more efficient charging and greatly improved thermal characteristics over existing electrical architectures. This battery system powers two rear mounted electric motors producing a combined target output of just over 610PS and a colossal 950Nm of torque.

Rapide E’s range is over 200 miles under the Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP), while the model is capable of charging at a rate of 1851,2 miles of range per hour using a typical 400V 50kW charger. However, the car’s 800V high-voltage battery system enables faster charging of 3101,2 miles of range per hour, using an 800V outlet delivering 100kW or higher. For destination charging, the car also features an industry-leading high-power AC on-board charger capable of recharging the battery in as little as 3 hours.

Top speed for Rapide E is 155mph, with a sub-4.0 second 0-60mph time and a 50-70mph time of just 1.5 seconds. These figures are not restricted to a narrow window of battery charge or climatic conditions, instead, thanks to the cutting-edge 800V architecture, the Rapide E will deliver its performance in a consistent and repeatable way as would be expected from a traditional Aston Martin product. This includes the ability to drive a full lap of the Nürburgring with no performance derating of the battery or the motors.

Rapide E also enhances the feel, character and delivery of the V12-engined recently acclaimed Rapide AMR, thanks to careful attention paid to the tuning of both the electric powertrain and the chassis across three driving modes – GT, Sport and Sport + – which are selected for both the powertrain and handling. The rear-wheel drive Rapide E’s twin electric motors drive through a Limited-Slip Differential, which combined with a revised spring and damper rates, ensures the pure handling characteristics of the petrol-powered Rapide AMR are retained.

Speaking ahead of Rapide E’s Shanghai debut, Dr Andy Palmer, President and Group CEO, Aston Martin Lagonda, commented: “Unveiling the Rapide E will be a huge moment for Aston Martin. As our first all-electric production car, it is a truly historic step. One that signals Aston Martin is prepared for the huge challenge of an environmentally responsible and sustainable future. As a car company we cannot afford to passively allow that future to come to us; we have to actively chase it. Only by doing this can we learn and prepare, but also preserve those things we love as drivers and car enthusiasts. That’s why it was so important to me that in embracing EV technology we should not let go of those unique qualities that define an Aston Martin. I believe Rapide E embodies that desire and paves the way for a hugely exciting future.”

Rapide E is available to order now, with prices available on application.

BMW i Vision Dynamics Concept

Image by Alexandre Prévot

BMW i Vision Dynamics Concept

Image by Alexandre Prévot

Pininfarina’s 1900bhp Battista hyper-EV

Say hello to the most powerful road-legal car ever to come out of Italy. It’s not a Ferrari. It’s not a Lamborghini. And it’s not a Pagani. It’s the Pininfarina Battista – a hyper-EV with approximately 1,900bhp and 1,696 torques.