Students give Ford a glimpse of the AV future…NIO EP9 scorches Nurburging for production car record?…Blade Runner comes in spinner with remake toss up…Get your kicks on Route Clickety Click…Just one kiss and Resolution goes all blue…

Students give Ford a glimpse of the AV future

Autonomous cars are coming, whether we want them or not, and car manufacturers are flat chat exploring the new design possibilities these vehicle will provide, inside and out. Ford has teamed up with students from Ravensbourne Design College, formerly Bromley Technical College in the UK, to imagine how the interior of the autonomous Fiesta of the future might look. The results are not ‘rocket science’ (now you know that I’m pretty old) or that particularly outrageous, but then the London of today is hardly the style centre that it once was.

Dies Nox Interior has worked to make its interior versatile enough to handle the variety of new layout possibilities that an AV will open up. The cabin is laid out conventionally with four forward-facing seats and the driver surrounded by a 270-degree centre console. There are the standard infotainment functions you’d expect of a current system like SYNC3, which in this case doubles a gaming console when the vehicle is in self-driving mode and the steering wheel and column is retracted.

In self-driving mode, the front seats can also be swung around to face the rear and create a more social setup, something that has been prominent in concepts from BMW and Volvo. The design integrates recycled plastic into its 3D-printed parts, and gets a bit green and fruity with curved bamboo for structural support and pineapple leather that is said to have unique features such as softness, pliability and strength.”

Plenty of manufacturers have played around with swivelling seats and wraparound displays, but the Iris eschews those characteristics for a focus on appealing to older drivers who are young at heart – specifically, a 95-year-old “flamboyant fashionista” named Iris who sees herself as “the world’s oldest teenager”. Students Cansu Bal, Seniz Veli and Erdi Bal suggest that Iris may use it to get to her lunch dates during the day, before transforming to match her mood as she attends a fashion event at night.

Rather than running with chairs that simply swivel, the individual seats in the Iris concept have their own wheels and can roll out of the car and hydraulically rise and lower to act as mobile stools. So when the passengers arrive at their destination, they can scoot around on their car seats, or should we say wheelchairs. This is the future, after all. Who walks in 2080? To reduce the bulk of the mobile chairs, the vehicle’s headrests have been integrated into the roof. The designers claim this would provide better head support and improve posture.

With the Nomad, Thomas Christie, Shpend Pashtriku and Onur Celik have tried to design a health-conscious interior with sensors monitoring passenger temperature and vital organ function. The interior also features a cleverly named ‘Deja View’ in which the two front seats are turned around the face the back, the rear seat becomes a leg rest, and the two front passengers can kick back and enjoy the panoramic view out the rear and side windows.

The three concepts above were chosen by Ford designers as the best of the bunch and will be put on display at the Ford design centre in Cologne. The ultimate winner will be invited to the design center for a workshop tour and class with Ford designers. To check out these concepts in greater detail, take a flick through NewAtlas’ gallery. Source: Ford


NIO EP9 scorches Nurburging for production car record?

They always said that they could do better and lo and behold they have. Last year, electric vehicle startup NIO took its stunning 1360hp EP9 supercar to the Nurburgring and set a blistering time of 7:05.00. Despite this being the quickest time set by an EV at the famous circuit, the NIO backers were not satisfied and promised to do even better next time.

And they have, with a, wait for it, mind-blowing 6:45.90 that makes the EP9 quicker than the Lamborghini Huracan Performante, currently the production car record holder at the Nurburgring. This blistering lap comes just a few months after the EP9 ran around the Circuit of the Americas faster than any other production car and set a record for autonomous cars at the Texas track.

The power and the glory all come from electric motors at each wheel that combine to generate 1360 horsepower and–this isn’t a typo–4671 lb-ft of torque. Having a motor at each wheel gives the EP9 real-time torque vectoring that also significantly improves cornering speeds. To date, NIO has built seven EP9s, so there’s some doubt as to whether it can be considered a production car or. The company has not claimed the new time as a production car lap record but is planning to increase production of the EP9.

Blade Runner comes in spinner with remake toss up

Here at we’re always getting alerts as to the next concept that will revolutionise the flying car market. Most of them inevitably fail to get off the ground. But here’s an aeronautic crossover that will certainly take to the skies. It’s flying police car known in the trade as a ‘spinner’ that can be operated like traditional cars, but can also take off vertically, hover, and fly around like a small jet.
As you’ve guessed, we’re not talking about the real world, but that of the silver screen upon which Blade Runner 2049 is about to appear in a cinema near you. So, why are we interested? Well, the sequel to the 1982 sci-fi classic is chockablock with futuristic flying cars.

Octogenarian and visual futurist Syd Mead designed the original concept vehicles for the first Blade Runner along with iconic vehicles for Aliens, Tron and a number of other movies. His CADprints appear to be all over this one with Ryan Gosling’s spinner looking inspired by Syd’s famous celluloid crafts, in addition to resembling a combination of a Lamborghini Aventador and the Batmobile.

Despite being set in 2049, it doesn’t look like autonomous cars have totally caught on, especially since Gosling can be seen piloting his police spinner using a joystick. But there is a giant Atari billboard that he flies past, so maybe Atari and the manual transmission will make a big comeback in the future??? There’s also plenty of vintage metal still around including a modified Russian Lada Niva seen here on a snowy Los Angeles street with Gosling crazy. Look out for the movie towards the end of the year 2017! CLICK HERE for a sniff of what to expect.

It’s not only the British national health system that has fallen victim to what has been described as ‘the biggest ever’ cyber attack. Renault temporarily ceased production at its Sandouville plant, while alliance partner Nissan halted assembly at its Sunderland plant in the UK amid ransomware worries. “Like many organizations, our UK plant was subject to a ransomware attack affecting some of our systems on Friday evening. Our teams are working to resolve the issue,” said a spokesperson for Nissan. The Renault plant was expected to be up and running again on Monday.




Get your kicks on Route Clickety Click

“Well it goes from St Louis, down to Missouri; Oklahoma city looks oh so pretty; You’ll see Amarillo and Gallup, New Mexico Flagstaff, Arizona don’t forget Winona, Kingsman, Barstaw, San Bernadino,”…plus lots, lots more. And it could all be yours courtesy of Shannons that is offering motoring enthusiasts the chance to win a 21-day fully guided, self-drive tour for two, along the world’s most iconic highway, Route 66.

And guess what? The choice is to drive a Chevrolet Corvette, or ride a couple of Indians. Beginning in Chicago, the tour takes The Mother Road west across eight states all the way to California, before ending in Las Vegas. And, as they say in the famous steak knife ad: “Wait, there’s more!” The winner will also receive an all-new, bright red and black 2017 Indian Scout motorcycle, valued close to twenty grand…And, wait there’s even more…The prize includes all on-road costs, plus twelve months Shannons comprehensive motorcycle insurance.

OK, so what’s the catch? None really. Simply call Shannons to get a quote on your car, bike or home insurance and for every eligible quote your name is added to the draw. If you take out a policy, then it’s five chances for every eligible car, or bike, policy and 10 chances for a home and contents policy. If you already have such a policy, you also get 10 entries.

“So get hip to this kindly trip; And I’ll meet you on Route 62”

CLICK HERE for full details.


 Closer to home, Sydney, in fact, the company is staging one of its prestigious auctions later this month. And boy, what a line they have. From America comes a superb left hand drive 1938 Cadillac V16 Series 38-90 Convertible coupe (above). One of only a handful of these extraordinary American luxury cars to reach Australia, it started life with a coupe body. Shannons understand that several American experts have inspected the bodywork and confirmed that it is an original Fleetwood design, suggesting it must, at some stage, have been re-bodied. An older high quality Canadian restoration, the Cadillac remains in very good condition throughout, with its maroon paintwork’s deep finish matched by the car’s dazzling chrome and rich leather upholstery. It’s rare with unrivalled status, so expect to pay between $215,000-$240,000.

This low mileage Mercedes-Benz 300B ‘Adenauer’ limousine was originally owned by the Victa Lawnmower family. It was delivered new to Mervyn Victor Richardson in 1954, two years after he developed the iconic grass cutter. The later history of the car is not well documented, but ultimately it came to rest in a shed on the Southern Highlands estate ‘Invergowrie’. It was rediscovered during an open gardens day by the current owners in 1996, who subsequently negotiated with the family to purchase this magnificent, but by then somewhat neglected, German luxury vehicle.

Since then it’s had new paintwork, leather, carpets and headlining, and a full rubber kit purchased direct from Mercedes-Benz in Germany. The engine, gearbox, clutch and brakes have all been overhauled, along with a new exhaust system. The 32,838 miles currently showing on its odometer is believed to be genuine as it aligns with the service sticker on the windscreen. There’s no reserve and Shannons is expecting it to sell in the $40,000 – $46,000 range.

For Cadillac enthusiasts, there also a fabulous black with red leather, right hand drive, 1960 Series 62 convertible a white 1984 right hand drive ‘Arnold Palmer Gold Key Limited Edition’ Eldorado Biarritz convertible. This particular little number includes a full digital display instrument cluster, cruise control and central locking. There’s also six-way power-assisted front seats, power mirrors, illuminated vanity mirrors, tilt/telescoping steering wheel, Guidematic headlamp control, premium station-seeking AM/FM stereo and a citizen’s band receiver. Somewhere in the range of $34,000 – $38,000 or you can expect to pick up the Series 62 for about $40,000 – $50,000. More @


Drivers of older vehicles closer to heaven than they think

Did you know that you are four times more likely to be killed in an accident whilst driving an older vehicle than one of the newer ones on the market? The Australia and New Zealand independent vehicle safety organisation has just revealed the results of crash tests that are not good news for owners of vehicles built before 2000. In fact, it’s pretty awful news. Despite accounting for just 20% of the registered vehicle fleet, older vehicles were involved in 33% of fatal crashes. In contrast, newer vehicles [those built 2011-2016] make up 31% of the fleet yet are involved in just 13% of fatality crashes. (We’re not sure what happened to vehicle built between 2000 and 2011).

The crash test was conducted during the 4th United Nations’ Global Road Safety Week (8-14 May) in order to highlight the important role safer vehicles play in improving road safety. According to Ancap’s James Goodwin, the results are a matter of great concern: “We’ve been tracking the average age of a vehicle involved in a fatal crash, and in just one year we’ve seen that average increase from 12.5 years to 12.9 years, which highlights the need for a renewed national focus and greater support for safer vehicles.”

The results are similar for New Zealand where the average age of the vehicle fleet is 14.3 years and the average age of a vehicle involved in a fatal crash is 15.6 years. Another issue of great concern is that the most at-risk drivers, such as the young and inexperienced and the elderly, in the main drive, the most at-risk vehicles. James hopes that the test will promote more awareness amongst motorists.

“Safety is not a luxury and we want everyone to remain safe on the road, so consumers should look for the safest car they can afford and the safest car that suits their needs. The outcomes of this test are stark and the automotive, finance and insurance industries can play a part to assist in encouraging people into newer, safer cars.”

The frontal offset test, which replicates a head-on crash, was conducted at 64km/h with the older car sustained catastrophic structural failure with dummy readings showing an extremely high-risk of serious head, chest and leg injury to the driver.


Just one kiss and Resolution goes all blue

A well-know frog once said that it was not that easy being green and thought about how it could be nicer being red, or yellow or gold-or something much more colorful like that. Well, how about blue? Say, an iconic teal blue? Glad you like it, but to get the makeover, you’ll have to become a Falken Tyres dealer and we have to tell you that the record of green frogs becoming such a thing is about the same as being kissed by a pretty girl and turning into a you know what.

So what are we rambling on about? Don’t know really, other than the fact that a couple of years back Falken Tyres got on the pulse and decided on a rebranding exercise that relied heavily on ‘the iconic teal blue colour schemes, made famous from company’s motorsport endeavours’. The result is that now participating dealerships are almost drowned in a sea of blue. And one of the first to be given the treatment was Resolution Tyres of Unanderra, on the NSW south coast. Fortunately, it’s owner Paul Gates’ favourite colour and he’s literally wrapped in it all.

“We’re thrilled to be associated with Falken. It’s a strong brand with good products. What more could you ask for? With their collaboration our site has been overhauled into something which adds so much more value, which ultimately means it’s better for business.”

The nuts and blots of the marketing transformation is down to Falken Tyres’ William Ng, who reckons that the key to the rebranding success lies in what he terms an independent approach: “We don’t just apply a cookie cutter approach to our dealers, we treat every site as unique and a blank canvas. By working closely with our dealers we devise a dealership where its business is improved and dealers don’t lose their identity.”

And what about our friendly frog?: “Green’s the color of spring and green can be cool and friendly-like. It’s beautiful! And I think it’s what I want to be.”

CLICK HERE to see how you can become blue in a blink

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