Land Rover Replacing V8 Engines with Mild Hybrids

Land Rover is looking to trade out the V8 turbodiesel in the Range Rover Vogue and RR Sport with new six-cylinder mild hybrid diesel engines. Land Rover is already using four-cylinder mild hybrid engines in the new Discovery Sport and Evoque. The new six-cylinder diesels plus the Discovery Sport and Evoque will form the base of Land Rover’s high end stable.

No details have been confirmed but the rumor is the engine will be 220kW 3.0-litre six-pot mild hybrid. It will be available on the higher end versions of the Range Rover Sport. The expectations of this new powertrain include big fuel savings and better stop/start because of the integrated belt starter.

The more advanced version of that engine will give you 257kW and is likely to end up in the HST variants. This will replace the 4.4-litre diesel V8 from Ford. Rumors speculate this engine will provide 700Nm of torque and 0-100 time of around 6.5 seconds for the Range Rover Sport.

These engines will both be used in the larger Range Rovers. It is also thought these two engines will end up in the Jaguar F-Pace eventually.


VW Announces New Electric SUV and Sports Models

German automaker Volkswagen announced its new electric performance vehicle will be based on the ID 4 SUV which will include the gas model’s 4-wheel drive.

Volkswagen noted that these initial electric performance cars will be intended toward a different audience than long-time GTI fans. Using the ID 4 is then a good idea as with that dual motor set up that provides extra power and 4-wheel drive they can appeal to customers that would never be interested in a the single-motor, rear-wheel drive ID 3 format.

The first ID 4 offering will have just a rear wheel drive engine which will give the car 201bhp and 229lb ft of torque from a read electric motor. The 4-wheel drive model will follow, which will add a front motor and increasing output to 302bhp and 332lb ft of torque. These models will be available with several battery options, the best offering about 310 miles of range.

The ID 4s will be followed up with a coupe version, the ID 5. A GTX version of the ID 5 is in the works as well.


Toyota’s New Tech Means Better Paint Jobs

Time, money and pollution are top concerns for the auto industry today and Toyota’s latest invention—an airless paint atomizer—handles all three issues.
The claim by Toyota is that this is the first airless paint atomizer in the world to be used on car bodies. The technology supposedly provides coating efficiency over 95%. Meaning that over 95% of the paint actually sticks to the body. Typical paint atomizers only have 60-70% efficiency.

Toyota even thinks this new technique will lower their carbon dioxide emissions by around 7% due to the increased efficiency of the new atomizer.

One wold have to take a close look though to notice the difference between Toyota’s new atomizer and a traditional one. The most important difference is found in the tip where small parts distribute the paint. The airless atomizer has a spinning tip that make centrifugal force.

The tip includes six hundred some grooves that direct the paint. The spinning tip creates an electrostatic umbrella toward the car being painted. The grooves make the paint into tiny dots which are drawn toward the body of the car. With the air-based atomizers paint is essentially just being thrown at the car and what sticks is it.
The new tech from Toyota also creates a more even surface coverage.

Traditional paint atomizers are very sensitive to distance where was the new airless one monitors and adjusts the speed of its parts to compensate for changes in distance.

Right now the new airless atomizers are being used just in the Takaoka and Tsutsumi plants in Japan, but Toyota’s expectation is that the technology will eventually be used universally across its global manufacturing facilities.

New Toyota Yaris GR

Toyota has a new addition to its GR line—the Yaris GR, which runs at 257bhp and will cost about 30k British pounds. This new hatch back was created by Gazoo Racing, Japan. It is intended as a special edition vehicle that will help with the development of the nextgen Yaris WRC. A lot of input on the Yaris GR came from Tommi Makinen Racing who run Toyota’s World Rally Championship.

Two versions will be offered. The beginner-level GR Yaris (30k British pounds) the Circuit Pack (33k British pounds).

The GR Yaris is built on Toyota’s TNGA technology and is four-wheel-drive. The front end comes from the GA-B small car platform (as the new Yaris is) and the rear end is modeled on the GA-C Corolla body. The GR is very different from the standard Yaris. The body has a lower roof, only three doors (to the standard’s five) and a much more aerodynamic body.
The body is made of a lot of carbon fiber and aluminum for weight reduction.

The rear track is much wider than the standard Yaris, as well. And the GR includes a double wishbone rear suspension. Obviously made for an entirely different kind of driving.

The engine will be a turbocharged 1.6 liter three-cylinder that will run at 257bhp and 265lb ft. It will have a six-speed, “Intelligent Manual Transmissions.”

The GR Yaris will be made exclusively on a line in Motomachi, Japan which is dedicated Gazoo Racing production.

Did You Know Volvo Made Buses and Are Releasing a New Double-Decker?

Volvo Buses is set to debut an all new express coach that will join their 9000 range. It’ll be a double-decker, body courtesy of Carrus Delta OY out of Finland. The 4.25 meter tall double-decker is designated 9700 DD and will be part of the Volvo’s Nordic market.

The new 9700 DD double-decker will join the likes of the popular Volvo 9700 and the award winner Volvo 9900.

Volvo stated they wanted to increase the level of choice their customers have when it comes to express coaches for public transportation, this new double decker bus will give customers yet another solid option.

The new double decker offering is powered by the D11K460 an 11-liter 460 hp engine from Volvo and certified to run on diesel, HVO or B100 biodiesel.


Volvo’s S90 and V90 Get New Hybrid Powertrain + Extras

Volvo’s S90 and V90 models just go an update including for the first-time mild hybrid powertrains. These new mild hybrid powertrain is available now on every model in the Swedish’ carmakers line up. Volvo claims it offers up to a 15% savings in fuel and emissions.

The system uses a 48v battery with its own integrated starter, generator and energy recovery mechanism. It will be included across the S90 and V90 models and even on the V90 Cross county. This is the first time one of Volvo’s more sport utility models will be fitted with a hybrid system.

Each of the models in question here got some other small upgrades as well. Both models will be getting new, more stylish bumpers with fog lights and new LED taillights will be included on the V90. Models will include sequential indicator lights as well as new paint and wheel options as well.

Refreshed interiors come standard along with advance air cleaning technology which filters the cabin air and even gives an air quality report from the infotainment system. This is the system previously available only on models sold in the Chinese market.

Both models get rear USB-C charging ports (no more 12-volt power which surely some will miss) along with wireless charging being added as an option on many variants. For the audiophiles both the V90 and S90 will get new Bowers and Wilkins sound systems. For the interiors Volvo is offering many new leather-free options for materials.

Additional specs and pricing are not yet available.

Uber Goes Old School

Uber is trying out a new-to-them method of communicating with customers who want to hail on of their ride. What is this method? A regular old phone call

This new service is being tested in Arizona and is aimed at older users who aren’t hip to the Uber’s app-based service. The service is even more low-tech than first glances reveal—Uber users would call a number from any mobile phone to speak with a live operator (in Spanish or English) who servers as a go between for the rider and the driver. Essentially, the operator works the app for the customer.

Users would need a mobile that at least has basic texting functions to receive messages about ETA, details about the driver and the car as well as digital receipts.

Uber says an account can easily be setup the first time a user calls so there is no need to even pre-register. The only additional charge for the service would be standard carrier rate for sending and receiving text messages.

Uber says the service will be available soon all across the United States.


Audi Digitizes Plant Maintenance With Mobile App

Auto maker Audi is digitizing their plant maintenance in at an Ingolstadt plant. A 150 maintenance workers will now be using the Audi Mobile Maintenance app along with the toolbox in the hopes of faster and more efficient repairs and upkeep.  

Whenever factory equipment signals a defect or is due for maintenance the goal is to get experts on the scene immediately to address the issue. The new mobile app allows engineers to quickly access a lot of important information that was not easily accessible through a single platform.  

Audi’s new mobile app provides all of this. It quickly informs the maintenance staff and provides data about defects in the erroring system. It quickly answers logistical questions like where the broken system is, where replacements and parts are available inside the factory, whether or not another employee is already handling the situation. All this information is made immediately available through the app which allows staff to focus on more keenly on repairs. It also cuts back on staff having to write up reports and other paperwork.  

The app was created by team of composed of Audi specialists from Assembly and IT. The app had sporadic use of the past few months in testing at the Ingolstadt and Neckarsulm plants. The app will be rolled out in additional plants soon.  

UPS Invests in EV Trucks and Will Test Autonomous Vehicle with Waymo

UPS has made to recent moves to cut both emissions and delivery costs—they put in an order for 10,000 trucks with United Kingdom company Arrival Ltd and is set to test Waymo self-driving vehicles to haul packages.

The UPS Arrival team up equates to a minority investment from the biggest package delivery service in the world. And comes soon after former customer, no rival Amazon put in an order to Rivian for 100k electric vans. Rivian is a Michigan startup partially funded by Amazon.

The Waymo test will run for six months according to UPS. UPS will pay Waymo for use of their self-driving Chrysler Pacifica minivans to curry packages from Phoenix area UPS stores to a near-by UPS sorting center.

UPS is confident this move help bring their delivery models into the future and will help compliment how their human drivers work.


Spike Lee’s New Short Film Will Reveal 2021 Escalade

Oscar award winner and director Spike Lee’s new short film will be, more or less, a Cadillac commercial for the 2021 Escalade. The film will debut in Hollywood on February 4th.

The Escalade, for many, is the jewel in GM’s new large-truck-sport-utility crown. The Escalade has a global sales 900,000 thousand units including previous EXT and hybrid models and the newer EXT. The Escalade has been highly profitable and is recognizable and desirable world-wide.

Spike Lee and his film production company have produce over 35 films. Lee is most well known for his films like “Malcom X”, “Do the Right Thing”, “He Got Game”, “The 25th Hour” and more.

Cadillac revealed that one new luxury feature of the ’21 Escalade will be a organically curved OLED dashboard screen with a whopping 38 inches of display area.
The ’21 Escalade could range up to $90,000 but will start around $75k.