Urban, young and active? BMW X2 wants you

Updated 11 November 2017
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Urban, young and active? BMW X2 wants you

BMW has unveiled its X2 compact SUV model hoping that it will appeal to a young generation of buyers seeking dynamic drives when it is launched in the markets in March. The company describes the X2 as a lifestyle crossover and says it appeals primarily to urban groups of active young and young-at-heart individuals.
The X2 will compete in a booming segment of compact SUVs. In a departure from the usual design of the brand’s identity, the X2 has BMW’s signature kidney grille turned upside down for the first time. The carmaker says that it gives the vehicle a wider, more distinctive and sportier appearance.
Inside, customers can opt for a larger 8.8-inch freestanding navigational control that also has a touchscreen instead of the 6.5-inch screen, as well as a full-color head-up display. BMW will also offer its “Connected Plus” online services, which allows drivers to share their current location and time of arrival with friends, family or their offices.
Among the other highlight features enabling connectivity anytime, anywhere, is the optional WiFi hotspot preparation, which equips the X2 to host a built-in WiFi hotspot with high speeds, and the optional telephony with wireless charging for compatible smartphones. Apple CarPlay, meanwhile, enables easy, wireless in-car use of selected iPhone functions.
The X2 will have its public debut at the Detroit Auto Show in January 2018.


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.