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.

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The Truck of Today: An Expression of Personality or Occupation

Trucks were borne out of necessity in the 1900s, with farmers and tradespeople transporting heavy loads and customizing their vehicles to transport various goods and merchandise. However, what was once seen as a vehicle for work has since evolved to become an expression of personality or occupation.

At one time, consumers searching for a refined or family-friendly vehicle might have looked to the latest sedans or SUVs to suit their lifestyle. Whereas, if they needed something for work purposes, they might have looked at a truck, but now the line is blurring.

This is particularly evident in the Middle East where trucks have become ships of the desert, taking people across the dunes with ease and comfort. Brands that manufacturer trucks, like GMC, have played such a pivotal role in the growth of the region over the last 91 years that they are seen as part of the culture and way of life in the GCC.

At the beginning of the twentieth century, American automotive companies began to expand their horizons and build trucks after becoming aware of the growing market for farmers and tradespeople that needed an easier way to transport heavy loads and unwieldy cargo.

The Truck of Today
2017 GMC Sierra All Terrain X

Over time, an increasing number of automakers in the segment, trying to outdo their competition, creating trucks that were bigger, stronger, and more agile – a pattern that continues to this day. Today, the truck segment has grown exponentially – even overtaking midsize sedan sales in the first quarter of 2017 in the USA.

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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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Rolls-Royce Celebrates 2017 Goodwood Revival

Rolls-Royce will celebrate the 2017 Goodwood Revival this weekend with a significant presence at the legendary motor circuit. The centerpiece will be the March Motor Works, this year renamed ‘Gordon Galleries’, echoing the shopping arcades of 1950’s central London.

2017 Goodwood Revival-01

The Galleries include a period Rolls-Royce showroom, recapturing the sights, sounds and atmosphere of the marque’s glamorous premises in London’s West End during the same period.

2017 Goodwood Revival-03

Within the showroom, a stunning 1956 Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith Extended Wheelbase will be displayed, with a body by Freestone & Webb. Finished in black over red, the car was first presented at the 1956 British International Motor Show at Earl’s Court, London.

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1980 Aston Martin V8 Vantage on Display alongside DBR1, DB11 and Vantage AMR

The much-loved Goodwood Revival is just around the corner and Aston Martin will again feature in Lord March’s annual celebration of the glory days of the motor industry.

1980 Aston Martin V8 Vantage

The British luxury carmaker, which recently celebrated record first-half profits, will feature strongly in the Earls Court Motor Show, a unique part of the Revival where manufacturers showcase their classic models alongside their latest offerings.

Aston Martin V8 Vantage
Aston Martin V8 Vantage

The new V8-powered DB11 and the V8 Vantage AMR will fly the flag for the modern Aston Martin, while two very special delights from the past will represent days gone by for the luxury marque.

Aston Martin V8 Vantage -rear shot

The company President and CEO, Andy Palmer, will be thrilled to see his very own 1980 Aston Martin V8 Vantage on display.  Palmer bought the car in 2015 from the company’s heritage division Aston Martin Works, which still operates at its original site in Newport Pagnell.

Aston Martin Vantage AMR V8-front shot
Aston Martin Vantage AMR V8

“I admired that car throughout my teenage years,” said Palmer. “After going through the pain of realizing it was well out of my reach when I passed my driving test in 1980, to be able to buy it now feels great and it is a rare privilege to be able to take it to the Goodwood Revival to show it off.”

Aston Martin Vantage AMR V8-rear shot

Completing the line up in the Earls Court Motor Show is a glorious example of the  DBR1. The first of the five DBR1s built recently sold at auction at Pebble Beach for US$22.5 million, making it the most expensive British car ever sold at auction.

Aston Martin-console

Aston Martin people will also be at the Revival, at the heart of the on-track action.  2017 24 Hours of Le Mans winner, Darren Turner, will take part in the RAC TT Celebration race on Sunday in an AC Cobra that he will share with Rory Henderson.  The British racer will also take part in the ultra-competitive St Mary’s Trophy in an MG Magnette and he will race a Ford GT in the Whitsun Trophy on Saturday. Aston Martin Chief Creative Officer, Marek Reichman will also be on track on Saturday, racing his personal 1960 Cooper T56 in the Chichester Cup.

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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 Aston Martin Vanquish S Pearl Edition: A Bold Showcase of the Bespoke Personalization by Aston Martin

The Aston Martin Vanquish S Pearl Edition is a bold showcase of the bespoke personalization service offered by Q by Aston Martin. The Vanquish S Pearl Edition will be limited to just 15 examples, available exclusively in the Middle East which has a long association with the pearl industry.

The Aston Martin Vanquish S Pearl Edition

The fascinating cultural history of this spectacularly rare and elegant natural material has been at the heart of the region’s heritage for thousands of years, capturing the imagination through mythology and legend. The Pearl Edition celebrates this.

Marek Reichman, EVP and Chief Creative Officer, who oversees the dedicated Q by Aston Martin team at the company’s HQ in Gaydon, Warwickshire commented: ‘The Vanquish S Pearl Edition is an extremely special car, it is a chance for us to demonstrate our skilled application of exotic materials as well as the Q by Aston Martin team’s attention to detail.’

The Aston Martin Vanquish S Pearl Edition-Interiors

Dr Matthew Bennett, Head of Q by Aston Martin added: ‘The Pearl Edition is a true representation of what Aston Martin stands for – it brings together new materials and skills with what we consider the lifeblood of every Aston Martin, design.’

The Vanquish S Pearl Edition takes the tradition, value and rarity of the pearl, with its long association with the Arabian Gulf, and uses the artistry of the Q by Aston Martin team to create a truly spectacular car. Every Aston Martin is a hand-crafted, high performance sports car, and the new Vanquish S represents the pinnacle of the model’s engineering and design refinement. A sublime driving experience, thrilling dynamics and exceptional refinement are paired with the soft and natural beauty of the Arabian pearl, with its timeless allure and understated character.

The Aston Martin Vanquish S Pearl Edition-control

 

 

 

 

Subtle but striking details abound. Most prominently, the Aston Martin wings on the front and rear of the car are inlaid with iridescent panels of delicate mother of pearl. The same material is also carefully incorporated throughout the car’s sumptuous interior, including down the center of the waterfall-style central console, on the dashboard rotary switches, sill plaque and sterling silver fender badge.

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