January 9th, 2017 at 8:01am
Citroen is just introduced a concept car that it calls “a new offensive in brand strategy.” Meet the CXperience, a full-size 4-door sedan. Note how Citroen’s logo, the chevrons, are integrated into the grille. It features a very unique design language, and has a gigantic panoramic roof. Inside it features simple lines that create a clean looking interior. All the controls are built into a large screen. And why didn’t anyone think of this before? The seats are made with shape memory foam which should be very comfortable. The CXperience also uses noise cancellation technology to let each passenger listen to the music they want at the volume they want, without bothering other passengers. The same goes for phone calls. This technology allows every passenger to hold a private phone call without others being able to listen in.
China is embracing electric vehicles to help reduce pollution. But the government believes there are too many EV companies and it wants to weed out the weak ones. There are over 200 EV start-ups in China but the government is considering limiting that to just 10 companies, not including traditional automakers. China is also proposing stricter technology standards for EVs. Analysts say around 90% of EV makers won’t be able to meet the mandates in two years. Generous incentives led to the creation of the start-ups but now the government is concerned those companies don’t have the expertise to compete with global automakers. We’ll see how this works out. The Chinese government has had plans on the books for years to reduce the total number of car companies to three or four big ones and three or four medium ones. But it has never been able to make those plans stick.
The Chevrolet Cavalier name will live once again but this time in China. The car was originally produced from 1981 until 2005 in the US market. As you can see from this photo, it adopts Chevrolet’s signature front end. And the interior looks similar to the other cars in its line-up. Under the hood is a 1.5L four-cylinder that can be mated to a five-speed manual or a six-speed automatic. The new Cavalier will make its debut at the Chengdu Auto Show in September.
Every day the auto industry takes another step closer to an autonomous world. Now Delphi and Mobileye are going to jointly develop an autonomous system for SAE level 4 and 5 cars. Those are the kinds of cars that don’t need steering wheels or pedals. The system is being designed to work in a variety of different platforms for multiple car companies worldwide. Delphi and Mobileye say their system will be production ready by 2019. And it doesn’t stop there. Mobileye is also part of an autonomous partnership with BMW and Intel. While, Delphi is going to offer an autonomous ride-sharing service starting next year in Singapore.
Are car keys headed for extinction? Continental developed an app that uses smartphones to do everything your car keys or key fob can do. It will turn on the lights as you approach your car at night and open the trunk when you stand near it. It will adjust the seats and mirrors, and choose your favorite music. And even if your phone is in your jacket or purse in the back seat you can start the engine. The main selling point about using smartphones is that they’re perfect for car sharing. The car sharing service can download the “keys” to your phone, and then disable the keys once you’re done driving. This is also perfect for fleet managers and dealers who have to monitor and move the cars in their inventory. Now they don’t need physical keys or key fobs. They can handle it all with one smartphone. Continental says this technology will hit the market in 2020.
Automakers and suppliers are trying many approaches to improve fuel efficiency. And changing wheels can make a remarkable difference. The eVOLVE wheel from the supplier Lacks uses a light-weight aluminum backbone that is covered with a composite outer surface. Not only is the wheel lighter, it’s more aerodynamic. When tested on a Ford Focus SE it gained .1 liters per 100 km in the city and a .46 l/100 km increase on the highway, using the same size wheel as the stock version.