Tag Archives: cars

Saudi Arabia Agrees to Let Women Drive

Saudi Arabia said on Tuesday it will remove a ban on women driving, ending its status as the only country in the world to impose such restrictions on half the population.

Women will be entitled to driving licenses starting in June next year, the official Saudi Press Agency reported, citing a royal decree. Committees from various ministries have been set up to examine implementation, and they’ll report within 30 days, the SPA said.

It’s the most dramatic move so far in the government’s effort to liberalize Saudi society, a counterpart to an ambitious program of economic modernization that’s intended to reduce the kingdom’s dependence on oil.

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Chevrolet’s First Nine-Speed Automatic Transmission in the Middle East Makes Its Debut in the 2018 Equinox Premier

Chevrolet’s first nine-speed automatic transmission in the Middle East makes its debut in the 2018 Equinox Premier, advancing a legacy of multi-speed transmissions designed to optimize efficiency, performance and refinement.

The new, General Motors-developed Hydra-Matic 9T50 nine-speed is paired with the available 2.0 L Turbo engine in the Equinox, contributing to a fuel economy of 13.6 KM/L.

“In addition to improved fuel efficiency, the new 9-speed transmission offers a strong overall balance of performance and refinement that customers will feel at all driving speeds,” said Dan Nicholson, vice president, Global Propulsion Systems. “By the end of 2017, Chevrolet will offer 2 models with the new nine-speed in the Middle East.”

Chevrolet's First Nine-Speed Automatic Transmission-02

The new nine-speed has a wider 7.6:1 overall ratio — the difference between the first gear ratio and the top gear ratio supports excellent off-the-line acceleration and a ‘tall’ top gear for low-rpm highway cruising. That balance optimizes acceleration and fuel economy and reduces engine noise during cruising.

“The smaller steps between the gears, compared to the GM eight-speed, enable smooth, almost imperceptible upshifts, for excellent refinement,” said Nicholson. “No matter the engine torque or vehicle speed, the new 9-speed transmission is always in the perfect gear.”

The new transmission also supports stop/start technology that can help save fuel by allowing the engine to shut down in certain stop-and-go driving conditions.

“The new nine-speed transmission is designed for our customers to get the most out of their Chevrolet,” said Ahmed Soudodi, Head of Brand at Chevrolet Middle East. “By improving performance and fuel efficiency, the Equinox offers world-class sophistication with a quiet, smooth, enjoyable ride, and we’re looking forward as this new transmission proliferates across other models in the lineup.”

 TECHNICAL BACKGROUND

Selectable one-way clutch 
Developed for the tight packaging requirements of transverse propulsion systems, the new 9T50 nine-speed automatic has an on-axis design, where all the gears are in line with the crankshaft, and GM’s first application of a selectable one-way clutch. Both features help reduce the package size, making it roughly the same size as a six-speed transmission.

The selectable one-way clutch, which can hold torque or freewheel, depending on the desired operating mode, contributes to a smaller overall size by eliminating the need for an additional clutch pack.

“The selectable one-way clutch is one of the biggest enablers of the 9T50’s balance of efficiency and refinement,” said Steve Saia, chief engineer. “It also symbolizes GM’s acumen when it comes to designing advanced, compact multispeed transmissions.”

Shift smoothness
For precise and smooth shifts, a specific strategy is used in the selection of the gearsets, clutches and torque converter. Five planetary gearsets are used with four stationary clutches and three rotating clutches, saving space compared to freewheeling designs. Gears change from second- to ninth-gear ratios with precise clutch-to-clutch shifting, where the clutch is engaged in one gear at exactly the same time it is released from another.

Chevrolet's First Nine-Speed Automatic Transmission-01

The first-to-second upshift is a freewheeling shift. The second-gear clutch engages while the first-gear one-way clutch spins freely, contributing to greater refinement at lower vehicle speeds.

Additionally, this planetary-type automatic transmission employs new torque converter technology to help it deliver smooth take-off performance and additional refinement. The converter features a hyper-elliptical oval cross-section that reduces the thickness of the torque converter, keeping the overall width of the engine and transmission as narrow as possible for packaging advantages.

Continue reading Chevrolet’s First Nine-Speed Automatic Transmission in the Middle East Makes Its Debut in the 2018 Equinox Premier

Volkswagen Unleashes Sedric, the New Self-Driving Car

Sedric is an electric powered vehicle, which has been designed from scratch as an autonomous vehicle. The mobility concept was designed as part of Volkswagen’s ‘Together – Strategy 2025′.

Volkswagen Sedric-01

“At the Volkswagen Group, we want to play a leading role in driving forward the transformation into a new era. We want to structure this process and we are therefore also increasing the pace of development and intensifying investments in these important innovative fields of digitalization and autonomy. We have also created a new structure within our organisation to achieve this. This will empower the Volkswagen Group to advance from being an automotive manufacturer to become a leading mobility provider. Our vision is to become a leading provider of sustainable mobility by the year 2025,” commented Dr. Ulrich Eichhorn, Head of Research and Development, Volkswagen Group.

Volkswagen Sedric

The car will carry 2 + 2 passengers, and has been designed for easy access and usability for users with all levels of mobility included disabled and visually impaired passengers.

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Highly Automated Driving on Highways Is No Longer Just a Dream

Highly automated driving on highways is no longer just a dream, but a reality, thanks to leading automotive manufacturer Continental. The brand started testing automated driving systems on public roads back in 2012 and now has a global fleet of development vehicles.

The Highly Automated Driving (HAD) system gives vehicles the ability to take over driving on highways in accordance with national traffic regulations. At the end of a highway, control is transferred back to the driver; the handover is initiated by a state-of-the-art human machine interface. If the driver fails to respond when prompted to take over, the technology identifies a safe place to stop and pulls over using a minimum risk manoeuvre.

This intelligent function will be part of the system when it is ready for production in 2020, well in advance of many government plans in the region to develop smart cities and boost autonomous driving. While, for instance, the Dubai Roads and Transport Authority’s goal is to make 25 percent of all journeys driverless by 2030, in Saudi Arabia plans for the US$100bn King Abdullah Economic City have been remodeled to better accommodate driverless cars in recognition of potential future demand.

Highly Automated Driving

 

“The automated system brings a two-fold benefit when it comes to safety,” said Ralph Lauxmann, Head of Systems & Technology in Continental’s Chassis & Safety division. “Firstly, automation avoids human error in regular operation while also offering a comfortable ride. Secondly, it includes an additional fall-back mode that is not included in conventional vehicles. If the driver is unable to take control of the wheel again, then the technology safely brings the car to a stop.”

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Jaguar’s past, Present and Future Models Will Be Electrified

From 2020 all new Jaguar Land Rover vehicles will be electrified. The company made the announcement at its inaugural Tech Fest, a series of debates and a free public exhibition about the future of mobility.

Dr Ralf Speth, Jaguar Land Rover Chief Executive Officer, said: “Every new Jaguar Land Rover model line will be electrified from 2020, giving our customers even more choice. We will introduce a portfolio of electrified products across our model range, embracing fully electric, plug-in hybrid and mild hybrid vehicles. Our first fully electric performance SUV, the Jaguar I-PACE, goes on sale next year.”

Jaguar E-type Zero
Jaguar E-type Zero

Jaguar E-type Zero

The electric Jaguar E-type Zero future-proofs one of the world’s most famous cars. Acclaimed by Enzo Ferrari as “the most beautiful car in the world”, the E-type now combines breathtaking design with electric power for the first time. E-type Zero is based on a 1968 Series 1.5 Roadster and features a cutting-edge electric powertrain for 0-60mph in just 5.5sec. It was engineered by Jaguar Classic at the company’s new Classic Works in Warwickshire, UK.

Jaguar I-PACE Concept

With I-PACE we started with a clean sheet and engineered a bespoke, tailored, pure electric SUV from the ground up, creating a beautiful design with everyday practicality. It’s a performance SUV, it looks stunning, is great to drive and will be on sale next year.

Jaguar FUTURE-TYPE

The Jaguar FUTURE-TYPE is a vision for the car of 2040 and beyond. The fully autonomous virtual concept explores mobility for the connected world of tomorrow, where vehicles could be shared not owned.

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Hyundai to Invest Heavily in Electric, Hybrid, and Fuel Cell Vehicles

Hyundai is taking a leading role in the transition towards a more environmentally sustainable motor industry, by creating a practical path forward in moving from fossil fuels to electric vehicles that will suit a wide range of worldwide markets.

Hyundai-Hybrid engine
Hyundai’s hybrid engine

While there is now a consensus in the motor industry that electric vehicles will dominate the future, Hyundai’s Head of Operations for Africa and the Middle East, Mike Song, says there is a tendency for companies to focus too heavily on a limited choice of technologies. As a result, the products in development may not be suitable for all markets, or all uses.

Hyundai is taking a different approach. Instead of committing to one form of technology, the Korean company is now manufacturing models using four different approaches to electric power: fully electric, hybrid, plug-in, and hydrogen fuel cell.

Hyundai to Invest Heavily in Electric

“Most major carmakers are developing cars with electric motors, and there is a general understanding in the industry that this is the future, and that electric cars are essential to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and limiting the effects of climate change,” said Mike Song. “The problem is how do we store the electricity needed to drive an electric motor? Electric power has always been possible, and in many ways better than internal combustion, but energy storage has always been the limiting factor.”

Until recently, most alternative drivetrains in production were hybrids, with an electric motor and internal combustion engine sharing the work of turning the wheels. Hybrids are being joined by a growing number of cars that only use an electric motor to move the car. These either rely on rechargeable batteries to store energy to drive the motor, or can be a plug-in hybrid, which has a battery-electric drivetrain, but with an internal combustion engine acting as a generator when the batteries cannot be recharged from an external power source.

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The Top 70 Players on the PGA TOUR Tee-off at the BMW Championship

Once again the cream of world golf has risen to the top in the quest to qualify for the BMW Championship at Conway Farms Golf Club on the outskirts of Chicago from September 14-17. As the third and penultimate tournament in the FedExCup Playoffs, the BMW Championship is one of the most important and prestigious events on the PGA TOUR. It carries a prize fund of $8.75 million, with $1.575 million going to the winner

The championship field is made up of the leading 70 players in the season-long standings, from which the top 30 will go through to the Tour Championship in Atlanta (Sept 21-24) and the chance to scoop a $10 million bonus as the overall winner of the FedExCup.

BMW Championship-02

The list of competitors seeking victory at Conway Farms reads like a roll call of the game’s great and the good. Among those leading the way is young American Justin Thomas, who won his first major at the PGA Championship last month and set a record for the playoffs on Sunday when he had eight threes in a round of 64 at the Dell Technologies Championship. He went on to win the tournament – his fifth title this season.

Picking a winner from the field that will assemble for the BMW Championship is almost impossible although Dustin Johnson, the world No.1, can probably be considered a slight favourite by dint of the prodigious distances he hits the ball off the tee. The 33-year-old American is the defending champion and one of only two players (the other is Tiger Woods) to have won the title twice.

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Third Generation of the All-new Continental GT: the Definitive Luxury Grand Tourer

Bentley Motors is today announcing full details of its all-new Continental GT, the definitive Grand Tourer.

Designed, engineered and handcrafted in Britain, the new third-generation Bentley Continental GT combines spirited, focused performance with handcrafted luxury and cutting-edge technology, to create the finest Grand Tourer ever produced.

The All-new Continental GT -12

Wolfgang Dürheimer, chairman and chief executive of Bentley Motors, said: “Bentley has been at the forefront of luxury Grand Touring for nearly one hundred years. The new, third-generation Continental GT is the pinnacle of our design and engineering achievements and marks the next step in Bentley’s journey.

“We are the world leader in luxury mobility and our products and services define new luxury in the automotive world. The new Continental GT encapsulates our desire to innovate as well as celebrate our heritage and take the Bentley ownership experience to the next, unparalleled level.”

The All-new Continental GT -37

At the heart of the new Continental GT sits an all-new, enhanced version of Bentley’s renowned 6.0-litre, twin-turbocharged W12 TSI engine, mated, for the first time, to a dual-clutch eight-speed transmission, for faster, more efficient gear changes.

An Adaptive Chassis

A new, technically advanced, adaptive chassis uses Bentley’s intelligent 48-volt Dynamic Ride System to ensure a responsive ride and exceptional handling and refinement in all road conditions. The new system controls ride comfort and lateral roll, cushioning passengers from excessive movement as well as making the car feel effortlessly precise.

The All-new Continental GT -35

The muscular exterior design, created using revolutionary technology, results in a lightweight, yet stiff, body. The engine is positioned further back to improve weight distribution, resulting in driver-focused, dynamic performance.

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MINI to Shape the Future of Urban Mobility

MINI is shaping the future of urban mobility by providing driving fun in increasing diversity. At the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show, the British premium brand gives visitors an impression of how the unmistakable MINI feeling will develop in future to cover a broader range beyond the current model program.

Innovative concepts and technologies provide additional room for individual flair and highly emotional experiences, while continuing to enhance the thrilling agility and exemplary efficiency that are typical of MINI.

The MINI Electric Concept showcased in Frankfurt for the first time embodies a whole new dimension of the brand’s characteristic go-kart feeling, now combining it with locally emission-free mobility. The concept vehicle conveys a message of sustainable urban transportation in MINI style while at the same time previewing a volume production model that will follow soon. The first purely electrically powered MINI to be manufactured in large-scale production will go on the road in 2019 – precisely 60 years after the classic Mini was first launched. It will make electro mobility a highly emotional experience that combines driving fun, style and individual flair – as is characteristic of the MINI brand.

Lots of driving fun on a small surface area – this traditional principle will remain an integral part of MINI in the future, too. It is a fundamental element of its character that is derived from spectacular motor racing success. 50 years ago the classic Mini achieved its third outright victory at the Monte Carlo Rally. The MINI ACV 30 concept study presented 20 years ago, demonstrated just how much the model’s racing career influenced not only the history of the classic Mini but also the development of the modern MINI.

The Anniversary Concept Vehicle that came out right on time to mark the 30th anniversary of the car’s third triumph at the “Monte” showed how the classic Mini’s characteristic design features – such as the hexagon radiator grille and the large circular headlamps – could be transferred to a modern vehicle concept. The foundation stone was laid for a new era full of driving fun and individual style in a variety of forms.

MINI

Diversity and individual character are also embodied by the other elements of the MINI trade fair showcase in Frankfurt. From 14 to 24 September, the British premium manufacturer presents a broad cross-section of its range, containing elements drawn from the current model program, its rich selection of optional equipment and the latest additions in the area of accessory and lifestyle products. The setting for this display of both current and future items is Hall 11 at the main entrance to the Frankfurt trade fair center, a site that will be shared by the BMW, MINI and BMW Motorrad brands.

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Interview with Hassan Soukar on Influencer Importance, Part I

I recently had the opportunity to catch up with Hassan Soukar, one of the well-known automotive and tech influncers in the GCC region, who co-authored some ground-breaking reviews on many products; thus, helped heaps of  brands jump-start sales and increase their brand awareness and reach.

Hassan Soukar-automotive Influencer-Bentley

What’s your definition of an ‘influencer’?

it’s clear that an influencer comes in many shapes and forms, but the most important two factors that define influence are an engaged audience, and a level of advocacy which is driven by conviction. I think a lot of people tend to use the words influence and followers interchangeably, but you don’t need a particular large audience to have influence, you need conviction and trust. I know that when I recommend a cellphone, a watch, a perfume, or a car to one of my friends or family members, they will consider buying it, because they trust my recommendations.

Hassan Soukar-Mercedes-Benz C300-01

What do you usually do when you get paid to share an opinion about a car of anything else?

If I get paid to share my opinion about a specific car model or any other product on Instagram to 200k followers, I may have an audience to spread awareness to, but the #ad created is not a form of earned media, and as such is not as powerful as my organic recommendation.

Hassan Soukar-automotive Influencer-Jaguar F-Type

Continue reading Interview with Hassan Soukar on Influencer Importance, Part I