The Owl that makes Lambo a pussycat…EQ Power+ to become the fastest Merc ever…Pista…Pizza…Pasta…What’s in a name?…
The Aspark Owl is a spartan electric sports car that used an enhanced tyre-to-street interface to record a 1.89-second, 0-100km/h sprint. That’s a hundredth or two quicker than the purported 1.9-second, 0-60mph time for the upcoming Tesla Roadster.
OK then. All this effort just to make a Lambo or Koenigsegg owner feel inferior on the way to the speed limit that they all have to just sit on anyway?
The company is hoping to build 50×300-volt-2000amp-4WD system units powered by a combination of supercapacitors and batteries with an as yet unknown capacity or range. They’ll be gullwing doors, fully digital dash, steering wheel with more buttons than a 90s stereo. Weighting just 850kg, the Owl will have a maximum power output of 320kW (429hp) and 764Nm of torque.
And it all comes at the bargain price of just over US$4 million each. But then in two years time it’s odds on that someone else will have knocked yet another micro point something or other millisecond off the time.
By then it may all come down to just how fast you can turn the key and really be there before you left!
BMW churns out some ‘amended’ specials
Whilst on the subject of something special…In 2014 it was 300 special editions to celebrate 30 years of the M5. Two years later it was 500 specials for the M3’s big Three O…And this year?
Well now that the two-door M3 is now called an M4, how about celebrating the M3 convertible’s 30th anniversary with a 300-unit run of the BMW M4 Convertible Edition 30 Jahre?
Well, why not? And wait for it! Big drum roll, please! Twenty units will be painted Macao Blue and another 10 will be Mandarin II Yellow… Oh, wow!
It won’t come cheap, of course, but there will be a $4250 ‘competition package’ that will add an extra 19hp, adaptive suspension, sharper steering and sportier software settings. Not to mention 20-inch matte gray alloys, grille, side vents and that BMW’s individual, high gloss shadow line.
Inside, the Macao Blue cars will get either a blue-on-black, or silver-on-black theme and Mandarin II Yellow, a mellow yellow-accented black interior.
The cars will also get “30 Jahre Edition” badging on the doorsills, the passenger dash, and each headrest. In addition to the badging, the passenger dash will also show which of the 300 cars you’re driving.
EQ Power+ to become the fastest Merc ever
Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport has unveiled its 2018 F1 challenge under the name of F1 W09 EQ Power+ along with an ambitious claim to be its most advanced machine ever conceived that will become the fastest ever Mercedes-AMG F1 car.
Speaking at the Silverstone International Circuit, the company’s Andy Cowell described the new unit as an evolution of last year’s racecar that Lewis Hamilton drove to a fourth-consecutive title.
“The most significant change is the addition of the halo cockpit protection, per new F1 rules, plus the omission of the monkey seat and high T-wings.
“But it maintains the 2017 W08’s general design principles, with the same wheelbase and a slightly increased rake angle. The livery is based on the 2017 livery with more accentuated lines. There’s also four of them, one for each championship Hamilton has won.”
The new EQ power unit, a name to be shared with Mercedes’ future electrified models, was also developed to meet new rules limiting the number of times power unit components can be changed per driver, per season, without grid penalties.
“The biggest challenge we’ve got is lifting our durability limit with the challenge of racing just three engines per driver per championship and two ERS systems,” added Andy.
“That’s a 40% increase in the distance that the hardware needs to do for this year compared with last year. We’re focused on trying to increase the life of the hardware without losing performance.”
The team has also sought to improve the packaging of the powertrain with a 1.6-litre turbocharged V6 with two electric motors, plus combustion efficiency and hardware friction reduction.
The connected auto to star at Mobile World Congress
Cars are no longer just a machine to transport us from one place to another. They have become an extension of our mobile phones. Getting real-time traffic information, inquiring about the weather forecast, or opening the garage door from behind the wheel, is now all possible thanks to connected cars.
With the Mobile World Congress just around the corner, Seats’ Fabian Simmer offers some insights into future trends.
From the supermarket to the boot of your car- Before stepping into a meeting, Fabian uses his mobile phone to order his shopping from an online supermarket. Using the new Droppit app, the order gets delivered to the boot of his car.
“You can order whatever you need from work and it will be in your car by the time you leave, enabling you to make better use of your time”, he points out.
How long will it take to arrive at my destination?- Fabian reckons that one of the most useful apps for getting around and finding the shortest route home is Waze. All it takes, apparently, is a simple hand gesture on the screen where drivers share real-time information about the traffic conditions, or any kind of other road incident likely to cause a delay.
Alexa, open the garage door- After choosing the shortest route home and without encountering any difficulties, Fabian activates the Amazon Alexa voice assistant to open the garage from his car with the need for a remote control unit.
“User interaction with voice activated devices is an obvious future trend. Managing your agenda while driving, receiving weather updates or turning on the heating at home are just a few of the thousands of skills that this technology can perform.”
Pista…Pizza…Pasta…What’s in a name?
It’s a good job that the Prancing Horse people are much better at turning out works of art than Shakespearean prose.
Bending bits of metal into sexy shapes is an art form at Ferrari and its latest effort is a beauty…but that name…Pista sounds like something that Mama Maria would cook up for lunch. Yes, we know it means racetrack, or the like in Italian and is very trendy in skiing…but…
Pista, pasta, pizza, we’re sure the sound of the real thing will get the blood pumping when this successor to the company’s special V-8 series takes centre stage at next month’s Geneva Motor Show.
A potent 3.9-litre twin-turbo V-8 mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission that delivers 710hp and 568lb/ft of torque, that can sprint from 0-100ks in 2.8 seconds has got to have something going for it.
Up front, the hood gets an F1-inspired S-Duct and a white and blue stripe that starts down low between the front diffusers. The racing stripe continues over the curved roofline and exits off the carbon-fibre rear spoiler like a ramp.
The Pista weighs in at 2822 pounds, which is 200 pounds lighter than the 488GTB. Like the 488 Challenge, it sports Inconel exhaust manifolds and a lightweight crankshaft and flywheel. It also features titanium con rods and carbon-fiber intake plenums.
All up, it measures 181.3 x 77.7 x 50.4 inches and rolls on 20-inch carbon-fibre wheels with specially designed Michelins. Pricing hasn’t been announced yet, but we’ll know more in Geneva on March 6.
Game changing Triumph TR5 PI up for grabs
MONROE has released its most comprehensive ride performance product catalogue featuring 615 new applications, including 30 new vehicle manufacturer listings. The mega production also contains 324 new part numbers across five product types, seven new cartridges, 93 new shock absorber products, 29 spring seat shock absorber products, 74 new struts and 121 new Max-Lift boot, bonnet and hatch support applications. And the list goes on… Hard copies aare available from your Monroe rep or can be downloaded @ www.monroe.com.au.
NARVA’S new 9-33v LED interior swivel lamp offers a functional and sophisticated solution for modern design motor homes and campervans. Using six powerful LEDs, this compact interior light produces a smooth spread of crisp white light. There’s an easy beam adjustment with 350° swivel and 35° tilt that allows the user to better focus the direction of the light.
Finished in a white surround, there is also the option of a silver satin finish. Both swivel lamps feature a low current draw of only 0.05amp at 12v and 0.03amp at 24v and are covered by a five-year warranty.
COOLDRIVE has expanded upon its existing relationship with Bosch, confirming that it is now a national distributor for the Bosch Blue Line brand of brakes and rotors. CoolDrive is now also the nominated supplier to the 190 Bosch Service Centres located across Australia. The Bosch Blue Line brake and rotor product ranges are now available at CoolDrive branches or at www.cooldrive.com.au.