Inifiniti tee up Prototype 9 for Pebble Beach…The wonderful world of Discovery…Kiwi business wins Hack My Van…and more

Infiniti has unwrapped its stunning retro-futuristic Prototype 9 ahead of its appearance at Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance next week. Inspired by classic Japanese racers and aircraft, the car blends stunning proportions with a modern electric powertrain to create one of the most interesting concepts seen in years.

The show-stopping looks of the Prototype 9 started as a conceptual sketch inspired by roadsters and classic aircraft. Infiniti say that the project was initially a paper-only proposition, but word spread and the production team offered to make the design team’s vision a reality.

Even though it has an unashamedly old-fashioned silhouette, modern Infiniti design cues like the shark-nosed grille and creased hood have been neatly integrated into the concept. The steel body panels are hand-shaped and draped over a steel ladder-frame chassis.

The interior has been finished to the same high standard, with black and red stitched leather seats with Japanese flags in the headrests. The steering wheel hub houses all the driver instruments, with the rim rotates around it, and the minimalist switchgear is said to have been inspired by classic aircraft design.

Having finished the design, Infiniti turned to parent company Nissan for the electric powertrain that combines a 30kWh battery with a prototype electric motor, which is yet to be used a production car.

Anyone hoping for Tesla-style performance will be sorely disappointed. The motor makes just 120kW (148hp) of power and 320Nm of torque, all of which is fed to the rear wheels through a single-speed transmission. It takes 5.5 seconds to hit 100km/h and tops out at 170km/h. Infiniti is claiming around 20 minutes of driving on the track.

Source: Infiniti+NewAtlas


The wonderful world of Discovery

Fancy a challenging drive through some of north America’s most spectacular scenery, or taking in Africa’s finest vistas and wildlife from behind the wheel of the new Land Rover Discovery? You bet! But, wait, wait. Don’t just dash down to the links at the foot of this yarn. Land Rover’s got, lots more to tell you.

The Utah Adventure puts driving skills to the ultimate test amid red rock landscapes and the stark beauty of Arches National Park with the Canyonlands providing a dramatic backdrop. Guests receive a full daily briefing to prepare for adventures tackling the Seven Mile Rim, Poison Spider Mesa and the Hells Revenge Trails.

The adventure gets underway on 25 October and costs $US5250 per person, based on two people sharing and $5775 for an individual, which includes Land Rover driving activities, accommodation, meals and airport transfers.

The Namibia Adventure starts when guests get to know the new Land Rover Discovery with a briefing from a Land Rover Experience instructor before setting off to an African lodge to meet fellow explorers and begin the journey.

Guests can photograph epic sand dunes, spot the continent’s great beasts in Etosha National Park and enjoy spectacular scenery where the Namib Desert meets the South Atlantic Ocean.

The Namibia Adventure launches in May next year, costs €4950 per person, based on two people sharing and includes all the same items as the US adventure. Here’s all the details: Five-Day Utah AdventureEight-Day Namibia Adventure

Kiwi business wins Hack My Van 

Small businesses, start-ups, product developers, industrial designers, creative technologists, hustlers and hackers from all over NZ and Australia have been savaging each other in a bid to turn a Merc Vito van into something it wasn’t intended to be.

Why bother? Well, you may ask! But apparently, it’s the second year in a row that Mercedes has staged this nice little promo, known as Hack My Van, and it certainly looks like the silver star is on to something.

Ideas amongst the finalists included a silent disco for children, mobile VR showroom, commercial wellness van and childcare service, from which the judges selected the MindKits Education van as the winner.

The company will now use the Vito to take the NZ government’s STEM* program around the Shaky Isles and afterwards keep the vehicle as part of the winning prize. Runner up, HME Limited’s ThunderPods, trousered five grand and Ruby & Ollie’s Big Days Out got $2500 cash from RedZed Lending Solutions.

MindKits was established in 2008 by Tim Carr and Fay Cobbett, who recognised a lack of support for New Zealanders in learning robotics and physical computing.

“Winning the Vito enables us open up a new chapter in our business and take our  STEM workshops to schools with fewer resources, independent of their wealth and status,” said Fay.

*STEM is a NZ government funded program designed to encourage schools to promote science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) to their students in the hope they will continue pursuing these fields when they enter tertiary education.


BAP give workshops a lift

Burson Auto Parts has become an agent for the US-manufactured Rotary Hoists. Established in 1925, the brand’s two-post hoist has sales exceeding one million units. As the name suggests, the rotary version can be rotated a full 360 degrees, enabling vehicles to be driven in and out of repair bays in forward gear.

Burson Equipment is offering a wide variety of configurations suitable for motorcycles, light vehicles, SUVs and heavy duty trucks, a range the company claims is not available from any other distributor.

Innovations include Rotary’s two post hoist Trio arms that allow for quicker spotting and easier manoeuvrability with a larger pick up sweep. All models are backed by a three-year warranty and a wide range of replacement parts.

Narva add to timer\relay range

Narva has broadened its extensive relay range to include new reverse pin variants and timer relays. The new adjustable timer relays can be used to switch an accessory on or off via a ‘Delay on’ or ‘Delay off’ function at a predetermined time delay.

Two timer selectors on top of the housing can be adjusted and set within a range of 0.5 seconds and six hours. The relays, available to suit both 12v (Part No 68076BL) and 24v (Part No 68078BL) applications, have a maximum capacity of 10a and feature a standard relay base connection.

The current draw when the timer relay is active is approximately 0.035A and when inactive it’s about 0.005A.

The new reverse pin models include a ‘normally open four-pin reverse pin’ (Part No. 68021BL) unit and a ‘change-over five-pin reverse pin’ (Part No. 68057BL) variant. The entire Narva relay range is manufactured to exacting original equipment standards under the control of ISO9001.

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