Listen to “AD #2905 – Ford Helps Make Self-Parking Cars; Lucid Air Impressively Efficient; BMW's Diamond-Coated Motorcycle Chain” on Spreaker.
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0:07 Ford Helps Develop Self-Parking Vehicles
1:05 AV Shuttles Getting UV Lights
1:31 Porsche Panamera Updated
4:09 Lucid Air Impressively Efficient
5:15 BMW’s Diamond-Coated Motorcycle Chain
6:10 Ford Creates the Ultimate Virtual Race Car
7:11 Kia Stinger Updated
8:01 Kia Adds PHEV to Sorento Lineup in Europe
8:42 Peugeot Electrifies Its Boxer Van
This is Autoline Daily, the show dedicated to enthusiasts of the global automotive industry.
FORD HELPS DEVELOP SELF-PARKING VEHICLES
Step by step, autonomous technology is creeping into our lives. Ford is working with Bosch and Bedrock, a company that runs parking garages, to develop self-parking cars. Fully autonomous cars aren’t available yet so they’re using Lidar and video cameras fitted into parking structures. Here’s how it works. You pull up to a garage, get out of the car, whip out your phone, and use an app that tells your car where to find an open spot. You can then walk away because the car will go park itself. And when you need your car again, you use the app to bring it back to the parking entrance. This allows garages to park cars close together so they can squeeze 20% more cars in a parking structure. As long as a car is equipped with Park Assist it can be adapted for automated parking. The technology is still being developed but it’s another example of how autonomy is slowly but surely becoming a reality.
MOBILITY SHUTTLES GETTING UV LIGHTS
And in other autonomous news, self-driving startups May Mobility and Voyage, are installing UV-light emitters in their shuttles to help kill viruses and bacteria. Similar systems are already used in ambulances, which cost about $2,000. People are leery of using shared transportation during the pandemic, so the companies hope the UV lights will make riders feel more comfortable in their vehicles.
PORSCHE UPDATES THE PANAMERA
Porsche introduced the new Panamera. Its styling has been updated, all models now come standard with the SportDesign front fascia, which was optional before. And a light strip runs across the rear of the car that connects the two taillights. Now to the powertrain updates. The standard Panamera is now equipped with a 2.9L twin-turbo, which replaces the 3.0L single turbo. The GTS model gets a 20-horsepower boost for its twin-turbo V8. The new Turbo S model, which replaces the Turbo, is powered by an upgraded 4.0L twin-turbo V8 that cranks out 620 horsepower and 604 lb.-ft. of torque. And a new plug-in hybrid is available, which pairs an electric motor with that 2.9L twin-turbo V6, which combines for 552 horsepower. And all hybrid models feature a 27% larger battery. The interior gets a slight update, most notably a newly-designed multi-function steering wheel with paddle shifters. The new Panamera arrives at dealerships in the U.S. next spring and pricing will be revealed at a later date.
We invite you to join us for Autoline After Hours today when we’re going to take a deep dive into Polestar. During the week we mistakenly said the show would be about GM’s new full-size SUVs. That show is coming on September 10th. Today we’ll focus on Polestar because we have Gregor Hembrough on the show and he’s the head of Polestar USA. And if you have questions about Polestar, send them firstname.lastname@example.org or send a tweet to @Autoline. Joann Muller from Axios will also be on the show so join John and Gary as they sit down every week with some of the top leaders in the automotive industry.
LUCID AIR IMPRESSIVELY EFFICIENT
Lucid Motors’ Air sedan is impressively efficient. The EV startup revealed the Air will feature a 113 kWh battery pack. It previously said the electric sedan will have a range of up to 517 miles. And doing some quick math that comes to nearly 4.6 miles per kWh. The 517 miles is already impressive and the longest range of any EV, but 4.6 miles per kWh is even more efficient than the Tesla Model 3 at 4.1 miles per kWh. Lucid will also have a leg up on the competition in the luggage department. The Air’s frunk has a capacity of 280 liters, which is nearly 90% bigger than the next biggest electric sedan and 40% bigger than the largest one in an electric SUV. It also boasts best-in-class rear luggage space, even if you add in ICE vehicles. I’m sure we’ll get more information about the Air as we lead up to its debut on September 9th.
BMW CREATES BETTER MOTORCYCLE CHAIN
BMW is known for making shaft driven motorcycles, it’s been doing it for more than 90 years. One of the benefits of a shaft drive is that it requires very little, to no maintenance and now BMW is coming out with a motorcycle chain that also requires no lubrication or adjustments. It improved upon its X-rings chain design by adding a tetrahedrally amorphous carbon coating to the rollers between the links. Tetrahedral amorphous carbon is better known as industrial diamond and won’t wear off over time, while also reducing friction. The M Endurance chain is only available for the S 1000 RR and S 1000 XR bikes right now, but BMW is working on adapting it to more models.
FORD HELPS CREATE ULTIMATE VIRTUAL RACE CAR
You may have seen that Ford, along with its esports team, collaborated with the gaming community to design the ultimate virtual race car and here’s the fruit of that effort, the Team Fordzilla P1 concept. Not only should fans be able to race the car in a game next year, Ford also already started making a full-scale model of the P1, which it will have done before the end of the year. Many of you may think these concepts are kind of dumb, but they serve a purpose. Ralph Gilles, head of design for FCA, recently told us that designers actually like creating these vehicles because they get to be really creative and they can be a good recruiting tool for the automaker.
KIA UPDATES THE STINGER
The Kia Stinger earned instant respect from enthusiasts all around the world, even though sales have not exactly set the world on fire. But Kia is showing that it’s committed to the car by coming out with a number of updates. However, they’re more about comfort and convenience than performance. For example, you can now use an app to start the engine and turn on the seat heater and temperature controls. With big screens all the rage these days, it gets an optional 10.25 inch display. It also gets all the electronic safety technology that you can think of. But enthusiasts will be interested to know Kia added another engine to the lineup, a 2.5 liter turbo. It produces about 300 horsepower and 311 pound feet of torque. That’s more than the base 2-liter turbo, but less than the optional 3-liter V6 turbo.
KIA ADDS PHEV TO SORENTO LINEUP IN EUROPE
Plug-in sales are soaring in Europe and Kia is jumping on the bandwagon with a plug-in hybrid version of the Sorento. The heart of it all is a 1.6-litre turbo with 177 horsepower backed up by an electric motor that adds nearly 90 more horses. A water-cooled 13.8 kWh lithium battery pack is part of the package but Kia did not announce EV range, or CO2 emissions–which is a critical metric in the European market. Even though overall sales are down in Europe this year, PHEVs and BEVs have doubled their market share, reaching nearly 8% of the total market.
PEUGEOT ELECTRIFIES ITS BOXER VAN
A number of you have noted in the comments section that we sure seem to be covering a lot more about electric vehicles. Want to know why? Because that seems to be the main thing that automakers and suppliers want to talk about these days. And now it’s Peugeot’s turn. It just introduced an all-electric version of its Boxer commercial van, called the e-Boxer. It’s available with a 37-kWh battery or a 70-kWh battery, the larger battery provides a range of 340 kilometers or about 211 miles based on the WLTP cycle. It comes in four lengths and three heights and can carry a payload up to 4,160 pounds. If the van looks familiar, that’s because it shares a platform and is built alongside the Fiat Ducato, which is also sold as the Ram Promaster in the US. Last year, Fiat revealed the electric version of the Ducato, so it’s not surprising to see Peugeot follow suit, and we’ve got to believe a version of this will end up in the American market.
But that’s all for today, thanks for watching.
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John McElroy is an influential thought leader in the automotive industry. He is a journalist, lecturer, commentator and entrepreneur. He created “Autoline Daily,” the first industry webcast of industry news and analysis.