Thursday round-up

August 30, 2012 § Leave a comment

Lexus: to show a new 500bhp hybrid coupe concept at the Sydney Auto Show in October, has released a teaser pic (not worth showing) of the car’s taillights.  Probably an evolution of the LF-LC 2+2 (pictured) seen in Detroit earlier this year.

  • Spy shots of the ‘235mpg’ Volkswagen XL1 plug-in diesel hybrid here. This thing really is up and running, and it’s still got the concept’s gullwing doors and mirror-less side panels.
  • Production version of the Exagon e-GT Furtive is set for launch at the Paris Motor Show; more here.
  • Belgian firm Formula Group T has built an electric race car – using 3D printing tech. The Areion will be supplied to the Formula Student championship, and features an 85kW motor and lithium-polymer batteries; though its top speed is a modest 88mph, it can accelerate 0-62mph in 3.2 seconds. More at Wired Autopia. 3D printing is shaping up to be an effective way of producing low-volume niche vehicles, says Wired.
  • A nice three-and-a-half minutes from Wired’s Adam Rogers on connected/autonomous cars and platooning – “it’s not that the car is smart, but that the collective of cars is smart, they’re going to talk to each other.” Discusses ‘flocking behaviours’, and what this means for the individual driver.
  • GE Global Research is working with the University of Michigan on fitment of a tiny sensor for EVs which continually monitors the driving style for optimisation of the range. More at Wired.
  • The FIA Formula E series has been given the green light for 2014, with demo runs next year. Races will be an hour long (expect battery-swapping) and feature 10 teams of 20 drivers, and the E team is now putting together a calendar of international city-based fixtures on street circuits – Rio de Janeiro is the first city to confirm its interest in hosting an event. The 150mph Formulec EF01, which can run for up to 25 minutes on a full charge, will be made available to teams, but self-developed cars can also race if FIA-approved. Release here.
  • At the other end of the tech scale, but arguably more relevant to the general (Russian) public: AvtoVaz has electrified the Lada Kalina. The EL Lada can do 80mph and 93 miles on a charge, and will be sold as a taxi. More here.
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