Audi experiments with piloted driving on autobahn

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Audi A7 piloted driving concept.
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Range Rover Evoque
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Chevrolet Equinox
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Bentley Flying Spur V8 S Black Edition.
Updated 27 August 2017
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Audi experiments with piloted driving on autobahn

• Audi is providing the public with an insight into the mobility of the future. With demonstration drives onboard an Audi A7 piloted driving concept, selected brand customers and fans will get their first experience of piloted driving on the A9 north of Munich. The customer trips in the Audi A7 piloted driving concept, nicknamed “Jack,” start in the myAudi Sphere at Munich airport. The route goes via the A9 — part of the “Digital Motorway Test Bed.” With a normal traffic flow, the piloted journey takes around 60 minutes. An Audi expert is always on board. After the journey, participants are asked for their opinion, with their impressions incorporated into the development of future automated driving functions.

• Bentley Motors has announced full details of the new Bentley Flying Spur V8 S Black Edition — a luxury performance saloon with a more dynamic aesthetic. The suite of striking exterior and interior features have been created by the British brand’s designers to reflect the car’s sporting character. Black gloss bright-ware, dark tint lights, gloss black window surrounds and door mirrors, and new wheels provide a more dynamic, contemporary commentary for the mighty power output of the V8 S engine. Inside, a unique color split, with striking new accents, is available to customers, while a three-spoke Sport Plus steering wheel and piano black veneer comes as standard. Tuned for more power, the 4.0-liter V8 engine delivers 521 BHP and 680 Nm which propels the Flying Spur to 100 km/h in 4.9 seconds and on to a top speed of 306 km/h.

• Spurred on by consistent brand momentum, Chevrolet is introducing the 2018 Equinox, the brand’s fresh and modern mid-size crossover, to the Middle East for the first time ever this summer. The 2018 Equinox offers an expressive design, the latest connectivity, state-of-the-art safety features and an offering of two turbocharged powertrains, which deliver unmatched performance in this competitive segment. Commenting on the vehicle’s introduction, Ahmed Soudodi, head of brand at Chevrolet Middle East said: “The Equinox is Chevrolet’s best-selling crossover in the US, and we are extremely excited to introduce the nameplate in its latest iteration to our region. Equinox regional introduction reinforces Chevrolet’s competitive position in this segment, and positions the brand well for the coming years.”

• They may earn an average salary of £2.4m a year, but the most popular car for a UK premiership footballer is the Range Rover Evoque, a compact SUV which costs from around £30,000. Yet whatever the purchase, footballers are increasingly using finance to do it. That’s according to a new list compiled by premium vehicle finance provider JBR Capital, which can count a wide variety of high net worth individuals as its clients, including premiership players. It has put together a top 10 of the most popular cars purchased on finance by premiership players over the last two years. While the relatively affordable Evoque finishes in first place, the top 10 shows that players don’t hold back when it comes to filling their garages with dream machines, with the rest of the lineup chock full of supercars, luxury cars and even bespoke creations from aftermarket coachbuilders and tuning companies. The top three cars for footballers are the Evoque, the Lamborghini Aventador, and the Mercedes-Benz GLE.


Saudi Aramco seeks to overhaul engines and fuel amid electric vehicle hype

Updated 06 March 2019
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Saudi Aramco seeks to overhaul engines and fuel amid electric vehicle hype

  • Diesel has proven a key cause of health-threatening nitrogen oxide pollution
  • Saudi Aramco is working on gasoline compression ignition which mixes fuel and air more effectively prior to combustion

GENEVA: More efficient fuels and more sophisticated combustion engines are needed to bring down carbon dioxide pollution and to secure the long-term future of Saudi Aramco’s business, the company’s chief technology officer said on Wednesday.
“The growth of transport is greater than the growth of alternative drivetrains,” Ahmad Al-Khowaiter, Chief Technology Officer at Saudi Aramco told journalists at the Geneva car show.
The spike in electric car production in Europe will not offset an overall increase in global greenhouse gas emissions as emerging economies industrialize and buy cars with petrol and diesel engines, Al-Khowaiter said.
“Improving combustion engines is key to sustaining our business in the long term,” he said.
While carmakers have rolled out advances in combustion engine technology, the availability of sophisticated fuels has not kept pace, Al-Khowaiter said.
Diesel became an industry standard more than 100 years ago and has remained popular mainly because it did not evaporate quickly, making it safer to handle during storage and refueling.
“Rudolf Diesel did not consider fuels which evaporated easily. That was an accident of history,” Al-Khowaiter said, referring to the German founder of the diesel engine technology.
But diesel has proven a key cause of health-threatening nitrogen oxide pollution, which is blamed for respiratory diseases, forcing the industry to explore ways to cut emissions.
“We can now optimize the fuel and the engine at the same time. And we can bring it to market by adding another fuel pump at the gas station, just like it is done with higher octane fuels,” Al-Khowaiter said.
“We do the patents on the fuel development to enable the engines to be efficient,” the executive said.
Saudi Aramco is working on gasoline compression ignition which mixes fuel and air more effectively prior to combustion, resulting in lower nitrogen oxide and soot emissions and a 30 percent improvement in fuel economy.
The petrochemicals giant is also helping to develop mobile carbon capture technologies which could be built into next generation passenger cars for around $1,400 per vehicle, and help to cut carbon dioxide emissions.