Car trends in 2014: Efficiency, light-weight and connectivity

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Updated 27 April 2014
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Car trends in 2014: Efficiency, light-weight and connectivity

At a press conference hosted by the World Car Awards (WCA) at the New York International Auto Show, an expert panel comprising 69 of the world’s top automotive journalists debated today’s top global trends in the automotive industry.
The conference revealed some key findings of a scientific study conducted by PRIME Research which included major trends such as efficiency, lightweight materials, design, connectivity and new energy cars as the most important media trends of 2014.
These trends form part of a bigger picture within the automotive industry, which PRIME Research have identified as the “smart efficiency cluster”.
This “efficiency cluster” is driven by the downsizing of engines, significant weight reduction, improved aerodynamics and new energy power trains; particularly plug-in hybrids.
“Utilizing this efficiency cluster is the challenge for all manufacturers and brands today and in the near future,” remarked Rainer Mathes, chairman of PRIME Research, which conducted the study in conjunction with the World Car Awards.
Mathes also said that lightweight materials were under the radar two years ago, yet in 2014 moved into the spotlight as the second most important aspect driven by interest in engine downsizing and the use of aluminum.
The Ford F150 and BMW i3 have helped in bringing materials such as aluminum and carbon fiber to the mass market as affordable solutions for weight-saving.
Following the media hype in 2012, electric vehicles are losing momentum. After two years of being among the Top three, EVs now rank as the fifth most important trend.
Plug-in hybrids are seen as the most promising electric drivetrain option moving forward, but the onset of premium electric vehicles — driven by the BMW i3 and Tesla Model S — bring electric vehicles back into the spotlight.
Stories written about these two models accounted for over 40 percent of all media coverage on electric vehicles. They have the ability to become game changers.
The World Car jurors also voiced strong opinions on connectivity; which is already a key factor in evaluating a car. Digital cars rank as the fourth most important trend, with infotainment and connectivity systems seen as increasingly significant. Tech giants Apple, Google and Microsoft have now joined the game: teaming up with automotive brands to create the next generation of digital cars.
PRIME Research International is a global leader in strategic communication research and consultancy and partners of the World Car Awards’ research.
The company provides strategic reports in 2014 that analyze the awards’ global automotive media coverage.
Now in their 11th year, the annual World Car awards have become one of the world’s most prestigious, credible and significant programs of its kind.
The awards were inaugurated in 2003 and officially launched in January 2004, to reflect the reality of the global marketplace, as well as to recognize and reward automotive excellence on an international scale.
The awards are intended to complement, not compete with, existing national and regional Car of the Year programs.


Ali called Marvel about ‘Blade’ after ‘Green Book’ win

Updated 21 July 2019
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Ali called Marvel about ‘Blade’ after ‘Green Book’ win

  • After winning his second Academy Award for “Green Book” earlier this year, Ali set up a meeting with the superhero studio
  • Within 10 minutes, Ali asked what was happening with “Blade” and said he wanted to play him

SAN DIEGO: Mahershala Ali made the first move with Marvel Studios and “Blade.” Comic-Con audiences learned on Saturday night that Ali would be playing the Marvel Comics character in a reboot.
Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige says right after winning his second Academy Award for “Green Book” earlier this year, Ali set up a meeting with the superhero studio.
Within 10 minutes, Ali asked what was happening with “Blade” and said he wanted to play him.
Wesley Snipes played the half-vampire in three films for New Line Cinema and in a recent cameo in “What We Do in the Shadows.”
Although there were rumors that Snipes would return over the years, nothing had officially progressed with the property on the big screen since the rights reverted to Marvel Studios in 2012.