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VW launches BS6 Polo & Vento. Drops DSG gearbox

Volkswagen has launched the BS6-compliant Polo and Vento priced from Rs. 5.82 lakh and Rs. 8.86 lakh (ex-showroom) respectively.

The Polo is available with a BS6-compliant 1.0-litre naturally aspirated petrol engine and a 1.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine that makes 108 BHP and 175 Nm of torque. Transmission options include a 6-speed manual and a 6-speed automatic transmission.

The new Vento also uses the same 1.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine and the same transmission options as the Polo.

The 1.2-litre turbo petrol, 1.6-litre naturally aspirated petrol and 1.5-litre diesel engines have been discontinued. The cars no longer get the 7-speed DSG dual-clutch automatic transmission option.

Variant-wise ex-showroom prices:

Polo

Trendline, Comfortline, Highline Plus (1.0L MPI 6-speed MT ) – Rs. 5.82 – 7.80 lakh

Highline Plus, GT Line (1.0L TSI 6-speed MT & AT) – Rs. 8.02 – Rs. 9.59 lakh

Vento

Trendline, Comfortline, Highline, Highline Plus (1.0L TSI 6-speed MT) – Rs. 8.86 – Rs. 11.99 lakh

Highline, Highline Plus (1.0L TSI 6-speed AT) – Rs. 12.09 – Rs. 13.29 lakh

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Next-gen Hyundai Creta to get new Blue Link connectivity tech

The next generation Hyundai Creta will be offered with upgraded Blue Link connectivity.

Hyundai’s Advanced Blue Link Connectivity comes with natural language based voice recognition, Smart watch integrated app, ‘Hello Blue Link’ wake-up word for voice activation and more than 50 connectivity features.

The system can be used to control features such as the sunroof, seat ventilation, climate control for temperature, fan speed, wind direction and air intake type along with in-vehicle assistance like dial by Number, India’s public holidays information. The system can also track live cricket scores.

The Smart Watch can be used to start or stop the engine, lock or unlock the doors and view vehicle status information, in-car air quality information, vehicle alerts like geo-fence, speed, time fence, valet, vehicle status and stolen vehicle and to receive notifications.

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Automotive exports to grow to RM17.2 billion in 2020, autonomous and EVIC R&D centres to be built – MARii

The Malaysia Automotive, Robotics and IoT Institute (MARii) says exports in the automotive sector are expected to grow this year, eclipsing a record year in 2019 in which RM15.45 billion was recorded in exports related to the sector. This year, Malaysia aims to achieve RM17.2 billion in exports, according to MARii CEO Datuk Madani Sahari.

Speaking at a briefing on the outlook for the local automotive industry on Tuesday, he said that the target, which was projected before the Covid-19 virus outbreak came about, remains achievable barring a severe pandemic. He added that it was too early to say if the target will not be achieved.

In 2019, parts and components contributed to the largest chunk in exports at RM13.7 billion, an improvement over the RM12.1 billion achieved in 2018. Exports of remanufactured parts and components also recorded an increase to RM722 million in 2019, a continuous growth year on year, while vehicle exports totaled RM1.03 billion.


This year, the export of parts and components is expected to grow to RM15 billion, while that of remanufactured parts is forecast to increase to RM1 million. As for CBU vehicle exports, this will increase marginally to RM1.2 billion.

Madani said that aside from exports, the industry had a strong overall performance last year, demonstrating an increase in areas such as EEV penetration rate as well as in domestic sales and production, and the rate is expected to grow again in 2020.

Last year, total industry volume (TIV) and total production volume (TPV) stood at 604,287 units and 571,632 units respectively, and TIV for 2020 is set to increase to 610,330 units, while TPV is also expected to achieve growth, to 577,348 units.

The continued growth of energy efficient vehicles (EEV) was also highlighted. Madani said that the EEV penetration rate last year reached 87.58% (529,256 units), its highest percentage since the classification was introduced in 2014, and in 2020 this is expected to hit 90%. The EEV list for 2019 stood at 103 vehicle models and 298 variants, a marked increase from the six models and 11 variants that were classified as such in 2014.

The only contraction expected this year wiil be in committed localisation, going down to RM6.29 billion from the RM8.53 billion managed in 2019. Elsewhere, Madani said that business productivity continued to improve in 2019, with 423 parts and component suppliers attaining Supply Chain Level 3 status and 63 companies obtaining the highest rating of Level 5, meaning they are capable of in-house product and process design.

The 2019 report card also stated that 1,000 workshops and dealers enhanced their business operations through the Workshop Transformation Programme (WTP) and Dealers Entrepreneurship Enhancement Programme (DEEP), and that a total of 65,388 new jobs were created in 2019 in both the manufacturing and aftermarket sector, representing a 26.4% increase from 2018.

This year, new investments worth RM1.43 have been secured, or which RM1 billion is targeted for services aligned with the recently-announced National Automotive Policy 2020 (NAP 2020). These include items related to the establishment of test and certification centres and development of next-generation vehicles (NxGVs) and mobility-as-a-service (MaaS).

An autonomous vehicle (AV) R&D centre and testbed, which will incorporate an EV Interoperability Centre (EVIC), is in the pipeline, and Madani said that the groundbreaking ceremony for the new facilities – which will be located in Cyberjaya – is expected to be carried out sometime next month.

The centre will allow all businesses in the mobility ecosystem to collectively design and validate products in a single location, in collaboration with all members that contribute to the design pool for autonomous driving and connected mobility tech.


The EVIC, meanwhile, will contain various facilities needed for the testing of NxGVs such as charging stations, smart grid integration solutions and various other infrastructures to accommodate related research and development in these areas.

Separately, work on an APEC autonomous vehicle guideline – in collaboration with the transport ministry – is slated to begin this year. Madani said that other developments expected in 2020 include a bus EV powertrain and the formation of the previously proposed venture in lithium-ion battery production.

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New Pagani Huayra Roadster BC Is a $3.5M, V-12-Powered Italian Dream Machine

Pagani makes the Huayra Roadster and the hardcore Huayra BC but hasn’t offered a car that combines the latter’s performance upgrades and the former’s, um, open-top-ness. That all changes now with the introduction of the Pagani Huayra Roadster BC. 

Intuitively, it melds the BC’s hardcore hardware with the removable top of the Roadster. The result? An 800-horsepower Italian hypercar most will only ever see on Instagram—parked in front of a Monaco casino, no doubt. Limited to just 40 examples, the Roadster BC will cost the equivalent of almost $3.5 million. Nobody ever said dreams would come cheap.






The Mercedes-AMG-built, 6.0-liter, twin-turbo V-12 from the fixed-roof BC has been massaged to make 50 more horses here (the coupe BC made “just” 750 hp). This is specifically thanks to new turbos, twin throttle bodies, a hydroformed intake manifold, and four water-to-air intercoolers. Along with its 800 horses, the Huayra Roadster BC boasts 774 pound-feet of torque. Power travels to the rear wheels through a seven-speed, single-clutch transmission that Pagani has seemingly calibrated for drama and entertainment rather than outright pace or efficiency. (And that might have been the only time the words “Pagani” and “efficiency” have ever been used in the same sentence.)

Pagani’s latest hypercar makes contact with the road via a set of custom Pirelli P Zero Trofeo R tires. Much like the gearbox, Pirelli and Pagani formulated the tires to deliver the right “feel” for drivers, not necessarily outright grip.

If, however, lap times and face-melting pace is indeed what you’re after, Pagani has been spotted testing what is widely believed to be the upcoming Huayra R. Like the take-no-prisoners Zonda R before it, it’s expected to break track records, push the limits of road legality, and be even more expensive and exclusive than the cars that came before it. We can’t wait.

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The Fiat 500 Is Now an All-Electric City Car

Big news from Fiat: It’s just introduced the third generation of its 500 hatchback, complete with new looks, a bigger footprint, and electric power only. Unfortunately, it hasn’t yet been confirmed for the U.S. market.

Gone are the combustion engines from the old 500, replaced by a new floor-mounted 42 kWh battery pack that Fiat says can achieve 199 miles of range on the WLTP cycle. There’s also an 85-kW fast charger onboard, meaning the car can go from zero to 80-percent charged in just 35 minutes. Fiat rates the car at 117 horsepower, with an estimated 0-62 mph time of nine seconds and an electronically limited top speed of 93 mph.

While the new 500 retains the same general design and shape as its predecessor, there are numerous upgrades to differentiate it. The body is 2.4 inches wider and 2.4 inches longer, while the wheelbase has been extended by just under an inch. The front and rear tracks have also been widened to give the car “a stronger personality and greater comfort.” The car’s signature round headlights have been split between the bumper and the front hood, with the main cluster sitting in the lower portion.

Inside also sees some noticeable improvements, with a more streamlined dashboard and a cleaner console. The gearshift area has been replaced with storage bins, and the gauge cluster is now totally digital.

Pre-orders for the new Fiat 500 are already open in Europe, though pricing has yet to be announced. A Fiat Chrysler spokesperson told Road & Track the company is currently evaluating the car’s potential for the North American market, meaning U.S. availability is still up in the air. Fiat stopped selling the standard 500 in America in September 2019, so to see it come back as a niche EV would be pretty great.

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How to Lower your 1928-1931 Model A – Hot Rod

The direction we wanted to go with this build was to first rid the stock coupe of all the gee-gaw Model A stuff. That meant the bumpers, spare tire, Route 66 license plate, and other myriad items of wont had to go. Next up, a later set of wire wheels (1935 Ford) would be added to give the Model A a more modern update. Finally, an altitude adjustment would go a long way to turn our stocker into a Pre-War hot rod. In hot rod terms”altitude adjustment” through lowering the suspension.

To drop our coupe, we’ll be using a combination of parts from Magnum Axle Company and Posies, Inc. With the preference to not cut anything up, we’re only going to lower the car as much as bolt-on components will allow, without splitting the wishbones or raising the rear crossmember, for example. This will hopefully keep things easy and show our gow job as an accurate example of what one could expect with similar components on a similar car. While the look of our Model A will no doubt be improved, the roadworthiness should be enhanced as well since there’s no telling the shape of our front end or the state of our rear spring and perches. With the new parts installed, everything will be in an as-new shape, something these old cars can really appreciate.











































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VW Paves “WAYTOZERO” With Set of New Trademarks

Volkswagen is working on a some new products according to a couple of new trademarks that were just filed with the European intellectual property office.

The trademarks are for “WAYTOZERO,” “CARIAD,” “IDEACY,” and “ROXIT.” Although it’s unclear what they will all be applied to, the trademarks to suggest that VW is working a new suite of support products for its upcoming vehicles.

Taken together, the trademarks point specifically to VW’s upcoming electric vehicles. “WAYTOZERO,” in particular, is a short walk to electric vehicles. “IDEACY,” though, could also be related to VW’s electric ID vehicles.

In what way, exactly, they will relate to these vehicles is unclear. The products to which these names could be affixed in the application are wide-ranging. Naturally, there’s “vehicles and means of transport” but there is also the “transportation; packaging and storage of goods.”

Perhaps more revealingly, though, CARIAD, IDEACY, and ROXIT could all be applied to “recorded data; information technology and audiovisual equipment,” according to the trademark applications.

“Providing temporary use of online non-downloadable software for providing transportation services, booking services for transportation services, and for sending motor vehicles to customers” is also among the possible services listed.

Unfortunately, we’ll have to wait until Volkswagen is ready to roll these services out, if indeed it does use these names, to find out just what they’re for.

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2014 Ferrari Sergio by Pininfarina Expected to Bring $3M at Pebble Beach Auction

We’re coming on the heels of the world-famous Monterey Car Week, which means that the greatest auction houses are preparing to sell some of history’s greatest automotive specimens. Such includes one of the latest cars to hit be hitting the Gooding & Company auction block in just two short weeks: an incredibly rare 2014 Ferrari Sergio.

Built to celebrate the 85th anniversary of Pininfarina, the 2014 Ferrari Sergio is essentially a uniquely bodied 458 Speciale Aperta, featuring exterior and interior coachwork by the renowned Italian design firm. It’s one of only six in existence and will be up for sale by an anonymous, but seasoned Le Mans racing veteran and car collector through Gooding & Co.



The Ferrari Sergio itself not only honors the legendary founder of Pininfarina, but it’s also pays homage to the classic Barchettas from Ferrari’s earlier years. Thus, when the Pininfarina Sergio Concept was initially revealed, it featured no fixed or folding roof and was also void any windshield. But because of safety regulations, the six production models feature a fixed windshield.

It was originally designed as a concept, but due to the passing of Sergio Pininfarina, the design firm’s founder, the company decided to produce an extremely limited number of cars in collaboration with Ferrari in October of 2014.

Under the hood is the same naturally aspirated 4.5-liter V-8 as the standard 458 Italia, but finessed to churn out 597 horsepower and 398 pound-feet of torque, versus the normal car’s 562 horses. With a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, at one point, the 458 Special Aperta was the fastest road-going production Ferrari hitting 62 miles per hour in just three seconds flat with a top speed of 199 mph. But then the LaFerrari entered production and ruined Sergio’s party. The rare Sergio also inherits the Speciale Aperta’s electronically operated roof, which helped it reduce weight and lowered the center of gravity.

Back in 2017, a yellow-on-black 2014 Ferrari Sergio with just 73 miles sold in the Netherlands for $5.6 million.

Gooding & Co. estimates this car, chassis number 205934, will sell for $2.5 million to $3 million given its grand total of 78 miles.


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These Images Of An F-22 Raptor's Crumbling Radar Absorbent Skin Are Fascinating

The F-22 Raptor was a highlight of this year’s EAA Airventure Air Show in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. The Raptor Demo Team flew in aircraft that were from Langely AFB in Virginia, where the team is based. One of those jets showed comparatively extreme signs of corrosion on the upper nose area, right before the canopy. In fact, the section was in such poor shape, that it offered a bizarre and fascinating view of what some of the F-22’s most prominent surface areas are made up of. 

As you can see in the images, it’s not just that the surface is corroded, it appears that areas of the radar-absorbent material (RAM) beneath it has fallen away entirely. It almost looks like there are gaping holes in the jet’s upper nose, but that may not actually be the case. If you look closely, it seems like there may be a translucent coating in place over the area that creates a shell or sorts that laminates to the foam-like structure below. Still, the F-22’s nose looks somewhat hollow inside. 

Even the AN/AAR-56 missile launch warning system aperture appears to be at least partially ‘floating’ on this shell-like arrangement. If these were holes and open to the air, one would think the section would quicky rip apart while the jet was underway and cause negative aerodynamic and buffeting effects, as well as other issues. Regardless, we are looking at truly amazing material and construction science that appears downright alien when compared to that of non-stealthy fighters.




Much of what makes up and lies beneath the F-22 Raptor’s silver skin remains a tightly guarded secret. The aircraft’s outer mold-line is a mosaic of radar-absorbent coatings and radar transparent and radar defeating composite structures that combine to allow the Raptor to remain aerodynamically efficient while also largely invisible to fire control radars. All this takes a lot of work to maintain and many of these applications start degrading shortly after they are applied, with friction from high-speed flight, crushing G forces, and the elements accelerating that process. As such, one of the costliest aspects of operating F-22s—and flying this aircraft is extremely expensive with an average flight hour cost of about $60k—is keeping its stealthy skin up to par. This also is a major contributor to its fairly abysmal mission capable rate of around 50 percent.

For aircraft that aren’t headed into combat or high-end training scenarios, maintaining the jet’s stealthy skin isn’t as high of a priority. There are different standards of readiness for F-22 skins to be kept at depending on the situation, with its effectiveness slipping a certain percentage before needing time-consuming reapplication. 

For instance, for a jet that could see combat or is needed for high-end testing and training that will leverage its full capabilities, degradation of less than 10 percent could trigger the need to reapplication and servicing. For a jet used for training new F-22 pilots, that percentage could be far greater.

Senior Airman Joshua Moon, 192nd Fighter Wing stated the following in a USAF news item about maintaining the F-22’s stealthy skin during Red Flag:

“We knew they were going to fly the hell out of the jets because this is a large-scale exercise… When the pilot flies he’ll bank real hard sometimes, which can tear or rip the radar absorbent material. If there are a lot of damages, the aircraft is easier to detect, so we try to keep those damages to a minimum to where you can’t see it on radar.

When other people have problems with a jet, it’s going to affect LO… Right now, something is wrong with a light panel on that jet. Since maintenance needs to get into that panel, we have to pick the radar absorbent material off and clean all the fasteners out so they can fix the light. Once the light is fixed we will re-bind the coating and material again to make it 100 percent ready.

At Red Flag, they’re testing our jets by hitting them with radar over the range, so that’s a lot of pressure for us – it’s really important that those jets come back undetected.”

A USAF low observable maintenance tech, better known as a “Martian,” works on an F-22’s empennage.

Clearly, performing at air shows doesn’t require any stealth at all. In fact, the jets wear bolt-on radar-reflecting lenses so that their radar cross-section appears large on air traffic control radars. So, it makes sense to send jets that are not fresh out of low-observables servicing for such tasks and using those that are for more challenging and pressing missions. 

In addition, roughly a third of the relatively tiny F-22 fleet is not combat coded at any given time. Older models that have not been upgraded to latest block configurations are used for training and in some cases testing. Once again, these aircraft would likely have a lower priority for keeping their stealth cloak in check than their front-line counterparts.

Aircraft that are based in more corrosive environments, such as humid areas or those near salty sea air, or where rain and cold are a constant reality, can see accelerated degradation of the low observable treatments. Langley sits right next to the Atlantic Ocean and would definitely challenge maintainers more than say aircraft that are based in the dry desert at Nellis AFB. But even the desert can take its toll on the Raptor’s skin, especially the blowing sands of the Middle East.

The F-35 was designed with new LO skin treatments in mind that significantly reduce the time it takes to keep it in tip-top shape. But still, the newer stealth fighter gobbles up man-hours dealing with its stealth coatings and coverings. The F-22 has had new technologies and materials integrated into its skin over time, as well, including some of the advances baked in (literally in some cases) to the F-35, but it still takes a lot of work to keep the jets in their most stealthy configuration.

A USAF news piece about the LO maintainers at Tyndall AFB talks about the process of keeping the jets’ low observable, and in some cases highly toxic, exotic sheathing up:

“Each week, LO does outer mold line inspections. This involves checking each jet’s signature, which makes an aircraft appear on detection devices. A very high signature equals a very low stealth capability leaving the jet exposed to radar.

“It is extremely essential. Being invisible is priceless in combat situations,” said Scott Christian, DS2 Aircraft Maintenance supervisor.

The OML helps determine where the jets sit in margin, the range of stealth capability that the aircraft need to be, and allows LO to identify the damages to the coating. When an aircraft is selected for a major signature reduction, it is in need of around 150 necessary repairs on about 30 different panels. These repairs can take up to three weeks to complete.

“We do everything from major three week repairs to what we call spike maintenance, which is just over a weekend,” Sergeant Stovall said.

“The first step is always going to be to mask the aircraft, to ensure sanding debris is contained,” said Staff Sgt. Armando Castellon, 325th MXS Low Observable Signatures coordinator.

This step keeps from spreading the contamination of hazardous chemicals associated with working with the LO coatings.

Next, the maintainers remove the damaged areas by sanding and then thoroughly cleaning those sanded areas to ensure a proper bonding of the coatings.

Once that is complete, LO reapplies the coatings starting with the boot layer, which is the radar absorbent material that allows for stealth capabilities. The additional top coats of paint follow. The jet is then removed from the system to avoid confusion.

One of the biggest obstacles the group face while applying the coatings is the Florida weather. Lighting within five miles of the base halts all flight line activities, including LO restorations taking place there, and the humidity and temperature levels makes it difficult to get a proper bond with the coatings, Sergeant Castellon said.

“When working with low observable material, everything deals with chemicals, and a lot of chemicals are required to stay within a certain temperature and humidity range to get the best bond,” said Sergeant Stovall. “Here in Florida, we have a tremendous level of humidity. If we have one of those high humidity days when these guys are doing repairs, it is very possible there will be a disbond in the material just because environmental controls aren’t where they need to be.”

To counter these conditions, LO has two climate controlled bays that are the ideal location for restorations, but due to constant need of LO restoration, these bays are never empty.

During a week, the team continually work on six jets, which increases to eight to 10 during weekends. This does not include the flight line dispatch work they do.”

It’s amazing to think that the powerful lines of the F-22 that we have come so familiar with are really just a cloak that conceals the aircraft beneath it. As these photos prove, when it comes to the Raptor, there is so much more than meets the eye and we may never really know anywhere near all of its shrouded secrets nor much about shrouds themselves that conceal them.

Contact the author: [email protected]

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Supercharged 1991 Acura NSX With Period-Correct Widebody Is Peak JDM

While most classic cars featured on Bring a Trailer pride themselves on being unmodified (and often barely driven), this 1991 Acura NSX being auctioned off from Morgan Hill, California is…something else. It’s got 40,000 miles under its belt along with a good amount of aftermarket hardware under the skin but its most notable talking point, for better or worse, is a widebody kit from BSM.


According to the listing, only one other example of this particular body kit was ever made and its twin is currently located in Tokyo. It features a roof scoop, vented side skirts, fixed headlamps, a big rear spoiler, and an entirely different rear end. Love it or hate it, it’s a candy-colored paint job and a couple of body decals away from being an extra in an early Fast & Furious movie. 

As for performance upgrades, this modified Acura is packing a Comptech intake as well as a supercharger, ECU tune, and exhaust courtesy of CT Engineering. It’s also got Endless-brand brakes, Zeal FX coilovers, and a set of Enkei RPF1 wheels wrapped in Sumitomo HTR ZIII rubber. On the inside, this NSX features a wood-finish Nardi steering wheel and shift knob, a Kenwood head unit, and an upgraded sound system. 

If this sort of thing floats your boat, the highest bid as of this writing is sitting at $20,269 with three days left in the auction and no reserves. While we might not be the biggest fans of what’s been done here, the car’s license plate frame reads, “Life Is Too Short To Drive Boring Cars.” Let’s just say the guy or gal who picks this up will definitely be making the most out of their time.

https://youtube.com/watch?v=9BiY0J5QjYI%3Frel%3D0
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