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From Rendering to Reality: Widebody Digital Golf Will be Built

Facebook is awash in great renderings of improved and modified cars that would, if money were no object, be amazing in real life. Sadly, money is an object and reality rarely has patience for the fantasies of renderings.

But sometimes reality forgets to be a bummer, as is the case with this wild Mk2 designed by Khyzyl Saleem.

The design was first posted a few months ago and now will be built JP Performance GmbH. If the name is at all familiar to you, it may be because of the shop’s YouTube page and its predilection for VAG cars.

According to a Facebook post from Saleem, JP Performance got in touch after seeing and being impressed by the design.

“I honestly couldn’t think of anyone more suiting to do it given how crazy his previous builds are,” wrote Saleem on Facebook. “Keep an eye out for updates as things progress, it’s gonna be rear-engined insanity.”

We look forward to finding out more.

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Free Delivery And Warranties Offered To Health Workers From Car Buying Service

Free Delivery And Warranties Offered To Health Workers From Car Buying Service - News

Buying a car isn’t all that easy right now. The government’s closure of all non-essential business to curtail the spread of Coronavirus means that dealerships across the country have closed their doors.

Not necessarily a problem some right now, since a fresh set of wheels will be off the agenda of many during these uncertain times. But what if you’re a key worker and need to keep moving? Car Throttle sister brand Buyacar has pledged to continue delivering cars to key workers such as NHS staff, emergency services personnel and teachers while also waiving the £199 delivery fee.

Free Delivery And Warranties Offered To Health Workers From Car Buying Service - News

To give ultimate peace of mind, Buyacar is also including a two-year warranty worth £499, free of charge. Customers can choose from tens of thousands of new, nearly new and used cars. Once a car is settled on, it can be purchased or financed online, then delivered to your door. A ‘contactless handover’ service is available for vulnerable people.

Free Delivery And Warranties Offered To Health Workers From Car Buying Service - News

Speaking about the offering, BuyaCar CEO Andy Oldham said:

“Many dealers continue to maintain their behind-the-scenes operations. As long as we are able to maintain reliable supplies of cars from them, help customers to finance them and receive them cleanly and safely, we will do so.

“For the moment, our guiding principle is that essential workers don’t just want a new car; they often need a new car, and our mission is to do whatever we can for those people until the coronavirus crisis is under control.”

Visit our sister site for an easy way to buy or lease your next car.

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Delhi gets first drive-through Covid-19 testing lab

A private laboratory in Delhi has opened what is claimed to be India’s first drive-through Covid-19 testing centre.

Dr. Dang’s Lab is located at Punjabi Bagh, West Delhi. A 30-40 meter long stretch has been converted into a drive-through. It has four stations and the swabs are collected at the third station. Only one car is allowed inside at a time. 2-wheelers and taxis are not permitted.

Appointments can be booked online. A list of guidelines is then sent via email. Only two persons are allowed in the vehicles. The patient should be seated on the right hand side.


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Soul Vs Venue: Which Small South Korean Hatch Is Best?

Let’s get one thing clear: Kia Motors is owned by the Hyundai Group. Although their product lines follow different formulas, much of what the two brands sell happens to be closely related. For example, the Kia Stinger and the Genesis G70 are based on the same platform but are tuned very differently. The subjects of this comparison, the similar-sized Kia Soul and Hyundai Venue, are not based on the same platform. This is a problem for the Hyundai, trust me.

Underneath, the Kia Soul is, well, a Kia Soul, and it was a MotorTrend Car of the Year finalist last year because it was good. Very good. But what two automakers do with a shared platform can yield very different results—especially if the use cases are different.

Normally, when comparing cars from related automakers, we’d be splitting hairs and fixating on the finest details to try to come away with a winner. Not so this time. The only areas where these two South Korean mini-SUVs get competitive are price and fuel economy. This might be enough to sway some buyers, but in the end the Soul is the better car in almost every way.

Kia Soul vs. Hyundai Venue: Which Is the Better Value?

The Venue is the less expensive car here. Starting at $18,470, but optioned up to $23,405 for our purposes, the Venue undercuts the Soul’s base price of $18,610 and its as-tested price of $25,455. For that money both cars get peppy four-cylinder engines—though the engine in the Venue is the smaller of the two, at just 1.6 liters to the Soul’s 2.0-liter mill. Both are mated to continuously variable transmissions and are front-wheel drive.

According to the EPA, both cars will get at least 30 miles to the gallon on the combined cycle. The Soul with its 2.0-liter gets 27/33/30 mpg, but the Venue is a bit more efficient. The little 1.6-liter four-cylinder under its teeny hood earns an EPA estimated 30/34/32 mpg. That said, all fuel-sippers are not created equal, and the 2.0-liter in the Soul feels like a much stronger and smoother powertrain despite giving up 2 mpg to the Venue. The real winner here on your purchase priorities.

The Hyundai’s 121 hp and 113 lb-ft of torque feels adequate until you try to merge onto a freeway or take it up a steep grade. Then it runs out of puff entirely, and you’re flogging the poor thing to accrue any speed whatsoever. Full-throttle demands make the Venue feel asthmatic.

Despite only having an extra 26 hp and 19 lb-ft of twist, the engine in the Soul is much more up to the job of motivating the little hamster-mobile. It also sounds less grainy; at full throttle the engine doesn’t sound like a food processor filled with gravel. It pulls smoothly into the far reaches of its rev range, and the CVT doesn’t transmit nearly as much whine into the cabin as the Venue’s.

Kia Soul vs. Hyundai Venue: Which Is Better to Drive?

The Soul is the easier car to drive in almost any situation. The engine won’t scream at you as you trundle up steep hills and on-ramps. The whole powertrain feels less strained, and passing requires less planning; merging into gaps in traffic is a much simpler affair in the Soul. That said, their tested acceleration numbers are nearly identical (unimpressively so). Either will get you where you need to go.

As you’re scything your way through rush hour traffic you’ll no doubt notice how comfortable and stable the Soul is, too. It feels rock solid in both the way it’s built and in the way it glides across the road. The ride in the Kia is buttery smooth for a small car, and it’s much quieter at speed than its South Koran counterpart.

The Venue, on the other hand, walks around on the highway and requires a concerning amount of jockeying at the wheel to keep it tracking straight. That’s partly due to the fact that it weighs next to nothing—just 2,699 pounds soaking wet.

Kia Soul vs. Hyundai Venue: Which Has the Better Interior?

Why is it so light? Well, there’s a lot of lightweight plastic inside. The Venue clearly has the most spartan interior in its class. It also feels as though it was built to satisfy a price point and not a quality standard. The dash is one giant slab of plastic that creaks as you thump the car over small bumps or drive up inclined surfaces. The entire interior is a mishmash of gray and black polypropylene, and there isn’t a single piece of soft-touch material anywhere.

The Venue’s lack of interior quality is more obvious (or, perhaps more egregious) when it comes to padding for the driver’s elbows. It would be understandable if Hyundai threw together a plastic interior and added softer materials to the driver’s touchpoints—the steering wheel, gear selector, armrests, and so on. You know, the important bits. But even those areas are left bare. Not adding elbow pads isn’t just an exercise in obvious cost-cutting, it’s straight up mean.

There are decent storage solutions in both cars, but the Soul’s back seat is both roomier and a more comfortable place to be. That’s where the Soul’s 3.2 additional inches of wheelbase pays off. Plus, the longer wheelbase delivers a better ride, meaning passengers won’t be knocked around as often. For your stuff, the Soul delivers 23.4. cubic feet of cargo space with the seats up, compared to the Venue’s 18.7 cubes.

They may both be small cars, but those couple extra inches here and there can make a huge difference. But the difference gets much bigger if you can fold the rear seats down. With the second row folded, the Venue offers 31.9 cubic feet to play with, whereas the Soul offers nearly double that at 62.1 cubic feet.

Because the Soul we used for this test was an EX model and not the base car, it has a fold-out center armrest in the rear. The Venue doesn’t offer one on any of its trims—but the Soul LX, S, and X-line versions don’t have one, either.

The Venue and Soul share the Hyundai group’s now-ubiquitous infotainment setup, adapted to different screen sizes. It’s in everything from the luxurious Genesis G70 to the Kia Telluride, and it appears in both the Soul and the Venue. The unit is clear, easy to use, snappy, and supports both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration. This part of the comparison is a draw, but there’s no going wrong either way when it comes to interior tech.

In every other regard, though, life is much better inside the Soul. The interior is dressed up with much nicer materials, and the hard plastics are hidden away, below your beltline and out of view. Where they do exist, they’re better executed in the Kia. And yes, it does indeed have a padded elbow rest on the driver’s side door. The Soul also has more room for all your junk.

Despite hailing from automakers that are very closely related, these cars are worlds apart. They’re closely matched when it comes to infotainment, efficiency, and their convenient packaging, but the Soul has, well, soul. The Venue is purpose-built entry-level transportation. The Venue stumbles because it doesn’t seem to be as well thought out or well built as the Soul.

Kia Soul vs. Hyundai Venue: Which One Should You Buy?

Although the two cars’ base prices are nearly equivalent, the as-tested Venue is more than two grand cheaper than the Soul. Divided up over five years of car payments, that $2,040 becomes an extra $34 a month (without interest) to get into the Soul. If you were to point-blank ask me, “Is the Kia Soul a few trips to Starbucks per month better than the Hyundai Venue?” my answer would be, without hesitation, yes.

However, most folks buy their first cars and (hopefully) migrate upward in short order. So if you’re just starting out in your career and figure you’ll own your Venue or Soul for just three years, then the monthly price gap grows to $65 a month. And for someone just starting out, that could be enough to swerve your decision to the less expensive Venue.

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Truck-Loving Hero Builds Ford Ranger Dually With 7.3-L Twin-Turbo Diesel Engine

While we’ve seen our share of desert-thrashing Ford Ranger pre-runners in the past, this homebuilt dually creation is something else entirely. Instead of capitalizing on the truck’s small size and relatively light weight to build an off-road all-star, the owner of this ’95 model swapped in a monstrous 7.3-liter Powerstroke diesel engine along with an extra turbo to develop a love-it-or-hate-it truck for the ages. Whether or not it can actually tow much is unclear, but this pickup has to turn more heads than any other Ranger ever concocted.

According to a quick write-up on Engine Swap Depot, the Ford belongs to William Medeiros, who documented parts of the build process on the Ranger Station forum. In order to make room for the venerable diesel V-8, the truck’s old power plant had to be taken out and the engine bay expanded (a 4.0-liter V-6 was the largest unit available for this generation of Ranger, or any for that matter). The firewall and transmission tunnel were modified to accommodate the compression-ignition lump, and a new, taller hood was needed to fit the twin-turbo setup and intercooler piping. 

You can see the engine running in a short clip here:

Given its position in such a cramped space, the Powerstroke needs a bit of help keeping cool, which is supplied by 32- by 18-inch aluminum four-core radiator and two electric fans.

Power is sent to an E4OD automatic transmission, which came standard in many of the old body style Ford heavy-duty pickups. An upgraded rear-end was more than necessary to keep up with the engine’s additional torque, so Medeiros fitted a Dana 70 axle out of an ’81 Ford F-350. The extra weight up front is handled by a Dana 35 Twin Traction Beam with upgraded Dana 44 knuckles and a set of 3/4-ton, eight-lug spindles.

Dual rear wheels are there more or less to complete the look, but we’ll give them a pass since proper fenders have been built to cover the extra tire width. The massive shackle hanging from the rear hitch is a nice touch, too.

We can’t say that this is a build we’d take on ourselves, but for the sake of entertainment and keeping the internet’s unbeatable reputation for absurdity alive, we’re glad it exists.

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Road Traffic In The UK Drops 73% To Levels Not Seen In 65 Years

Road Traffic In The UK Drops 73% To Levels Not Seen In 65 Years - News

Right now, movement in the UK is severely restricted. British citizens have been told to “only go outside for food or health reasons or travelling to and from work but only where you cannot work from home,” and as such, that’s had a dramatic effect on traffic levels.

Following the announcement of the measures on 23 March – intended to curtail the spread of Covid-19 – UK motor vehicle traffic plummeted by 73 per cent compared to the same time in February, according to Department for Transport figures.

Road Traffic In The UK Drops 73% To Levels Not Seen In 65 Years - News

As reported by The Guardian, these kinds of traffic levels haven’t been seen since 1955. And remember, the road network was a lot smaller then, with the first motorway not built until 1958. As a consequence, the UK’s highways will seem deathly quiet in places.

It’s the same story across all modes of transport. Rail journeys, for instance, dropped by 90 per cent, while bus journeys in London are at just 17 per cent of the normal volume.

Traffic jams: a thing of the past, for now at least...

A week on from the announcement of the new restrictions – the contravention of which could land you with a £60 fine for the first offence – traffic did increase slightly. It was down a more modest 63 per cent compared to pre-lockdown levels.

Public Health England medical director Doctor Yvonne Doyle called the increase “concerning,” reiterating the government’s message for people to “stay at home”. We’ll update this piece with the latest traffic figures when available.

It’ll be interesting to see if the drastic lifestyle changes Coronavirus has forced upon us will have a longer-term impact on traffic. Many employees and firms will be finding that, in actual fact, sticking a load of people in an expensive office building five days a week isn’t always necessary.

It wouldn’t be a surprise to see a rise in remote working even when all this is over, with this unprecedented period of modern history proving to be a big home-working experiment for a lot of companies and employees. Such a change in working habits would mean fewer commutes and quieter roads for those who do actually need to get somewhere at rush hour, and less pollution. Sounds good, no?

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Take a virtual factory tour with Audi

Customers and fans can now take a virtual tour of Audi’s production facility in Ingolstadt, Germany with AudiStream. Those interested can book a tour online at this website.

Due to the outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic, Audi has stopped all factory tours in Ingolstadt until further notice. Therefore, the company has introduced the virtual tour, which can be viewed on a computer or mobile device.

Guides narrate the online tour live from a studio and explain the production processes, starting from the press shop to final assembly. The Audi A3 body shop and videos from the Audi A4 assembly line can also be viewed.

The tour guides present technical highlights from the Audi world and also answers questions that the participants may have.

According to the individual interests of the international participants, the tour guides determine the route for the 20-minute livestream. Users can select the desired stream and a suitable time slot in German or English. AudiStream is completely free.

The time slots for April 2020 are:

Wednesday, April 8, 2020, 11:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.

Thursday, April 9, 2020, 1:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

Wednesday, April 15, 2020, 11:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.

Thursday, April 16, 2020, 1:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

Wednesday, April 22, 2020, 3:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

Wednesday, April 29, 2020, 1:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

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Selangor workshops allowed to open 9am to 4pm daily

Amid restrictions that have tightened for the second phase of the movement control order (MCO), workshops and spare parts shops in Selangor are allowed to open from 9am to 4pm daily for emergency purposes, the Selangor state government has said. Priority will be given to front-line staff as well as to those in essential services, Berita Harian quoted Selangor state legistlative assemblyman Ng Sze Han as saying.

Workshops and spare parts outlets in Kuala Lumpur, however are to remain closed during the MCO period, The Star reported. Auto workshops are not allow to operate during this time, said Kuala Lumpur City Hall corporate planning department director Khairul Azmir Ahmad in the report.

For Klang, shops which only sell vehicle batteries are also allowed to open during the MCO, said Klang Municipal Council corporate communications director Norfiza Mahfiz. The Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) also follows the Selangor government directive for workshops to operate between 9am and 4pm.

For areas such as Subang Jaya, Puchong and Seri Kembangan which are administered by the Subang Jaya Municipal Council (MPSJ), auto workshops and spare parts outlets are allow to open 9am to 4pm, while towing services are permitted to operate around the clock, the report said.

Councils for Shah Alam and Selayang also allow auto workshops to operate between 9am and 4pm. For the former, the Shah Alam City Council (MBSA) has amended a previous Facebook post, which. no longer limits auto parts outlets in its area to the twice-weekly opening schedule. This list still includes shops selling fertiliser and pesticides, pet foods, hardware as well as spare parts for agricultural and industrial equipment.

As always, the now-usual precautions apply; all individuals should maintain a social distance of at least one metre, and otherwise just stay home unless absolutely necessary. If you must, travel just one person to a car, and those who must travel in groups of two or more must explain themselves to police at roadblocks, who will use their discretion for the next course of action.

Tags: COVID-19

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MCO: Stringent enforcement working, fewer arrests

Stricter enforcement against those defying the movement control order (MCO) appears to be working, because the number of offenders are dropping, said senior minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.

He said that the number of people being arrested for MCO-related offences had decreased over the past couple of days, The Star reports. On Saturday, the police arrested 368 individuals during the patrols and roadblocks, and this was an improvement over Friday, when there were 413 arrests, he said during a press briefing yesterday.

He explained that some who were arrested were charged under the Penal Code, which brought a harsher penalty. “Some not only disobeyed the MCO, but also prevented public officials from carrying out their duties,” he said.

Ismail reminded Malaysians to continue to give their full cooperation to authorities during the MCO, and to not challenge the police or hinder the cops from carrying out their duties. In response to reports that the police was now adopting a harsher approach, he said that the police was just doing its job to protect the public and ensure compliance.

“Please cooperate with the police. Do not try to hinder their job or insult them. The ‘mood’ in terms of police enforcement has changed from counseling to being stricter, but what the police has done is not out of the ordinary, because it is to ensure the safety and welfare of the people. So, the police are doing this to help us all. So, cooperate with them,” he said.

He said the police, with the assistance of the army, conducted 745 roadblocks across the country and inspected 331,839 vehicles on Saturday.

The government has introduced tighter measures in the second phase of the MCO. This includes increasing the number of round-the-clock operations in many areas, including Subang Jaya and Gombak district. The cops have also been nabbing joyriders, and have been sentencing them almost immediately.

In MCO phase two, supermarkets, grocers, restaurants providing takeaways and petrol stations are all limited to 8am-8pm operating hours, and the same goes for food delivery services. Public transport operation hours are now from 6am to 10am and 5pm to 10pm daily, while taxis and ride-hailing vehicles will be permitted to operate from 6am to 10pm.

Please continue to heed the call to stay at home, and if you do head out, be mindful of the 10 km limit for the radius of travel and adhere to the one-person-per-car rule.

Tags: COVID-19

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Florida Man Caught Filling Buckets With Gasoline Ahead of Hurricane Dorian

Gas stations in Florida are beginning to run dry as state residents brace for the arrival of Hurricane Dorian this weekend. That includes the notorious Florida Man, who was spotted at a gas station on Friday filling up nine buckets of unleaded and stashing them in the back of his SUV. File it under things that shouldn’t have to be said: this is both illegal and highly dangerous.

The photo was taken by Floridian Amie Wilson and posted to Facebook on Friday afternoon along with a caption bemoaning the state of humanity. It’s a beautiful tableau of stupid, the offender determinedly pouring gasoline into one Home Depot 5-gallon bucket after another, stashing them in the back of his old Ford Expedition. Just a fine Florida Man encounter.

Just a trunkload of nope.

As the picture spread on Facebook, local officials quickly refashioned it as an appropriate PSA. “If there ever was a picture that should be titled ‘BAD IDEA’ this is it,” the Highlands County Sheriff’s Office wrote. “Don’t be this person. We know everyone is anxious and trying to stock up on gas, but come on! This is dangerous and it’s illegal.”

For the 0.5 percent of the population who don’t see the problem, gasoline should only be stored in approved containers designed for that purpose, and it should never be transported in the cabin of a vehicle. The reason for both warnings: gasoline is highly volatile, and it gives off flammable, noxious vapors that can easily escape an improper vessel and fill an enclosed space. Enough fumes and a single spark from a loose wire in that old SUV could trigger a massive explosion—if the incapacitated driver doesn’t land a DUI first.

We won’t even get into what might happen to this guy’s payload in a crash—suffice it to say those snap-on lids won’t do much good. Those Home Depot buckets are useful for many things, but storing gasoline is definitely not one of them. And again, filling a non-approved container at a gas station is solidly illegal.

The situation in Florida is looking dire; according to CNN, some residents have resorted to leaving their out-of-gas vehicles at empty gas stations in the hopes of being first in line when a new tanker arrives. Hurricane Dorian is expected to make landfall as a Category 3 storm or greater, meaning sustained wind speeds well over 100 mph, heavy rains, and flooding. Staying safe will be a whole lot easier without improperly stored gasoline endangering yourself and others.

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