AutoGuide News Blog
The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
Model S owners will soon have access to improved connectivity features lending greater flexibility to their cars.
In the continuing quest to make cars lighter and tougher, automakers are turning to advanced structural adhesives in order to use more aluminum and exotic composites.
Not so long ago, the only bit of technology found in a car was the stereo system, but nowadays cars are becoming more and more complex and are offering technologies most of us cannot even dream about.
One of the technology leaders is the German car firm Audi. Its cars are getting more and more technically advanced and they are showing no signs of slowing things down.
Now Audi has announced that it is working on seven new tech-based features, which will eventually make their way into the cars we could buy from the showroom. They are:
1) Audi Wireless Charging: While Audi currently has no electric cars in their showrooms, that will soon change. Like many other companies who are offering or looking to offer electric cars, efficient charging solutions are big on their list. So Audi is co-developing a wireless charging system with WiTricity Corporation from Boston, MS. This system will have a coil-based receiver on the car and another mounted in your garage or parking spot. So when you drive your car into its spot, the car will start charging itself. According to Audi, the system will not be affected by rain or snow. Such a system will surely be a hit with electric car buyers.
2) Garage Parking Pilot: While self-parking features are already on the market, Audi is looking to go a step further with its Garage Parking Pilot. This system will not only help you park the car automatically, but will also help you find a parking spot in parking lots. When it finds that spot, it will guide the car neatly into the spot. Vehicle to vehicle networking will ensure that dings won’t be an issue.
3) OLED Lights: Audi was the first to introduce LED lights on its cars, now its looking to bring OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diodes) to the market. While this technology is available on TV’s and cellphones, this organic polymer based semiconductor will see its first application on a car by Audi. This material is only nanometers thick, so hence is light and also uses less energy. They can also produce millions of colors.
4) Hybrid Body Materials: Audi has been at the forefront of reducing vehicle weights by using lighter materials since the early 1990′s. With their use of aluminum, their cars are upto 40% lighter than a similar cars made from steel. Now Audi is looking to combine steel with aluminum and carbon-fiber reinforced plastics to produce not only very strong components, but also very lightweight components.
5) FRP Coil Springs: A lot is riding on the springs in your car. To be exact, your whole car is riding on the springs. Thus springs have to be made from very strong metal. So how would you feel if we offer to replace your steel springs with ones made from plastic? Fiberglass Reinforced Plastic (FRP) springs are being developed by Audi. These springs will be much lighter than their steel counterparts, but will retain the strength, in fact they’ll be even stronger. The first application of these springs will be seen on the Audi R8 e-tron, which will be out by 2014.
6) Multitouch Controls: While most luxury cars have some sort of multi-media controlling device on board, Audi was the first to introduce a Touchpad, which allows you to write your command using your finger. Now Audi is looking to enhance this feature by developing a new multitouch system similar to that of the iPad. This new system will allow the driver even more command options, and should also help in reducing distractions for the driver. The new system will work with voice command, touch, and the heads-up display system.
7) Predictive Suspension: Reading the road ahead is what many luxury car companies are working towards, and Audi is no exception. Audi will mount a camera ahead of the rear view mirror and a laser in the nose of the car to read the road 20-meters ahead and configure the suspension for what lies ahead. This photo-mixed detectors system will improve ride quality. The feature will probably debut in a future model of the A8.
Watch out for these new Audi developments to be on the road in the not to distant future. We’ll keep you posted on any further developments.
With concepts like the F800 and F125 Style (shown) teasing us over the last few years, it appeared that Mercedes-Benz was indeed putting together an exotic, lightweight, fuel cell powered sedan.
Now details have emerged that this vehicle, dubbed the Mercedes E Superlight, which will incorporate ideas from both those concepts is headed for production, due for a release sometime in late 2015. The E Superlight aims to take on Audi’s e-Tron and BMW’s upcoming i8 but will be more advanced than either, employing a very stiff and light carbon fiber structure (allowing for pillarless doors, the rears hinged in coach fashion) and possibly a drivetrain and suspension assembly that’s fully integrated into said structure.
In terms of propulsion, the E Superlight is expected to bow with a 150 horsepower fuel cell, driving the rear wheels in conjunction with a 50 hp electric motor, though conventional gas/diesel engines and possibly a plug-in Hybrid derivative are expected to follow suit.
Mercedes has set fairly ambitous production targets for the E Superlight, aiming to reach series production of some 20,000 units by 2017. However, despite extensive company research and development in fuel cell technology, it will likely be a struggle to achieve that goal, since consumer acceptance and lack of progress on infrastructure development remain two major challenges for fuel cell vehicles.
That said, even a gas or diesel powered E Superlight would make for one interesting and perhaps revolutionary intermediate luxury sedan, a car that could perhaps prove a real game changer in the segment.
[Source: Car Magazine]
Rumors about Porsche‘s upcoming ‘baby’ sports car, internally known as project Mimo (short for Mittelmotor or mid-engined) continue to grow.
Despite using VW architecture, which will likely spawn both Volkswagen and Audi variants of this small sports car as well (all three possibly similar to the BlueSport concept shown here), Porsche is apparently determined to make its version as unique as possible.
The latest aspect concerns the powertrain. Reportedly, the Stuttgart automaker is working on a brand new 1.9-liter horizontally opposed four-cylinder to power the thing, that, in turbo charged form, is able to generate around 210 horsepower and 215 lb-ft of torque. While that doesn’t seem like much, a main aspect of Project Mimo is keeping weight to a minimum, so it will no doubt be a worthy Lotus Elise competitor.
Look for the car to arrive in 2014, possibly called the 550.
[Source: Car Magazine]
Jaguar may have rejected the Bertone B99 concept from Geneva, but the company is still keen on taking the BMW 3-Series for a right trouncing. And the name they’ve picked for this smaller Jag is—drumroll, please—the XS.
It doesn’t stand for “extra small” either: Jaguar says the name is an evolution of the X-Type, their last misguided shot at taking on the C-Class/A4/3-Series segment. Sure. Details are slim, and Jaguar hasn’t announced anything other than taking on the project without the help of Bertone.
[Source: 4 Wheels News]
Tesla is making a big name for themselves. As if the Model S and and Roadster weren’t enough, the battery-powered company is planning to introduce more models to their lineup: the Model X, as they plan to call it, will be an electric crossover based on the same architecture as developed by Lotus, the Versatile Vehicle Architecture (VVA). The VVA is an all-aluminum platform shared by contemprary Lotuses (Loti?), but its ability to be resized makes it perfect for both the Model X, their sedan, the Model S, an upcoming three-row SUV, as well as a coupe, to complete the metaphor of multiplying like cell biology.
The Model X is the will be an all-electric crossover with AWD capabilities, and is the vehicle after the Model S most likely to be constructed. The Roadster, Tesla’s first and most well-known product, was considered by one engineer to be a “proof of concept,” a way for the company to demonstrate its capabilities, but its production is scheduled to end soon. The Models S and X will be the real money makers for the small company, while the SUV and coupe are still years off. Let’s hope Tesla won’t bite off more than it can chew.
[Source: Car and Driver]