Category Archives: Cars

cars

Vehicular Vengeance: The Origin of Lamborghini

Lamborghinis and Ferraris are well known for being the most expensive and opulent sports cars on the planet. But Lamborghini wasn’t always considered synonymous with wealth and status. It began as an Italian tractor company known for refurbishing old military equipment. So how did Lamborghini go from selling tractors to becoming one of the world’s top luxury car brands? With a little improvisation, some not-so-friendly competition and an alleged sticky clutch.

Via: Great Big Story : Vehicular Vengeance: The Origin of Lamborghini

Dubai Police own world’s fastest police car

Hot on their tails is the Bentley Continental GT with a top speed of 206 mph -- the fifth-fastest car in the fleet. The luxury vehicle goes from 0 to 60 mph in under 4 seconds.

The Audi R8 is not far behind, recording a top speed of 205 mph, with a 0-to-60-mph time of just 3.2 seconds.

The plug-in-hybrid BMW i8 has a top speed of 155 mph.

(CNN)Nowhere else in the world can you hail a police car and snap a selfie with the driver.

Nowhere else in the world is that police car likely to be a Bugatti Veyron, Ferrarri FF or Lamborghini Aventador.
This is Dubai, where the police force has just been presented with a certificate by Guinness World Records for having the world’s fastest police car in service — a Bugatti Veyron — just one of its 14-strong fleet of supercars.
A fleet of luxury supercars may sound outlandish, but it fits perfectly with the ethos of Dubai.
In a city where to turn heads your Bentley or Rolls Royce needs to be wrapped in gold, it seems normal for the police force to have a suite of supercars at its disposal.
The fleet includes a bespoke Aston Martin One-77, of which only 77 were ever built, a Bentley Continental GT, three hybrid Porsche Panameras and two BMW i8s.

Dubai’s tour de force

But the flagship of the fleet is the Veyron, with a staggering top speed of 253 mph (407 km/h).
Its 16-cylinder engine produces 1,000 horsepower, sending it from 0 to 60mph in just two and a half seconds.
Courtesy Dubai Police

The previous record holder belonged to the Italian police force — the Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4, which has a top speed of 230 mph (370 km/h).
But Dubai’s police superfleet isn’t used for high-speed chases down Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Boulevard, or very many police duties at all for that matter. Instead, the cars cruise around the Dubai Mall area and Jumeirah Beach Residence in search of tourists and attention.

‘Arrest me, please!’

The role of the fleet is to break down barriers between the police and the public, explains Major Sultan Al Marri of Dubai police’s General Department of Transport & Rescue.
“We’re not looking to just show off with the car, we’re looking to show tourists how friendly the police is here in Dubai,” Sultan told CNN. “We are looking for ways to connect with people all the time.”
Alongside the flashy cars, the Dubai police wants to tout its gender equality credentials by showing off the fact that many of the drivers are women. “The most expensive cars — the Ferrari and the Bentley — are driven by women police officers,” said Sultan.
While multilingualism and good communication skills are requirements for the job, drivers also need to have a good sense of humor. Sultan says people often jokingly ask the police to arrest them, so they get to ride in the cars.

Selecting the supercars

The Dubai police has been using its superfleet as a marketing opportunity since 2013 when it first introduced the Lamborghini Aventador.
“It was a big hit for us to market our city and our police force,” said Sultan.
Since the beginning, car makers have been vying for a spot on the fleet, which they see as an opportunity to market their own brand, according an executive from a premium car manufacturer.
“It’s very prestigious to have the Dubai police as your customer, and it’s something that all the dealerships will fight for,” he said. “Once you’ve spent many years trying to get into a fleet, you want to stay in. And everybody else is trying to get in.”
When it comes to selecting the cars, Sultan explains that the Dubai police looks for cars that are making a buzz in the media. But in addition to speed, its strategy is to have hybrid or electric cars make up at least 25% of government fleet cars by 2030. Two BMW i8s and three Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrids have already been added to the police fleet.
“This will show from our side that the government really cares about the environment,” Sultan said.
Dubai’s evolution: From desert oasis to global metropolis

Via: Dubai Police own world’s fastest police car 

Dubai to get pilotless flying taxi service 

By Sophie Morlin-Yron

(CNN)Dubai has announced yet another pioneering initiative, but this time it’s not the world’s first rotating skyscraper or 3D printed office. It’s a fleet of flying taxis.

Small enough to fit into a car parking space when folded up, the one-seater passenger drones made by Chinese company Ehang are set to start picking up passengers in July this year, according to Dubai’s Road and Transport Authority (RTA).
The electrically powered driverless drones — named Ehang 184 — have already been seen hovering above the sand dunes near the city’s airfield during test flights.
“The 184 provides a viable solution to the many challenges the transportation industry faces in a safe and energy-efficient way,” said Ehang founder and CEO Huazhi Hu when the vehicle was unveiled during the 2016 CES gadget show in Las Vegas.
“The 184 is evocative of a future we’ve always dreamed of and is primed to alter the very fundamentals of the way we get around.”
The Dubai Road and Transport Authority have begun test flights

Self-driving transport strategy

While the exact details of the project’s logistics are yet to be revealed, Dubai’s RTA says the futuristic venture is part of a strategy to have self-driving vehicles (of all kinds) account for a quarter of journeys made in Dubai, by 2030.
“This project supports Dubai’s government’s direction to become the smartest city in the world,” HE Mattar Al Tayer, director general of RTA, said in an email to CNN.
He adds that the drones, which he refers to as Autonomous Aerial Vehicles (AAV), are an easy-to-use innovation that can transport up to 100 kilograms — enough for one person and a suitcase — on a pre-programmed route through the city.
“The passenger just needs to pick the destination through a smart screen [once inside the vehicle] and the AAV takes care of the rest.”

Monitored by ground control

Powered by eight propellers, Ehang says the 184 (which stands for one person, eight propellers, four arms) will cruise at around 100 kilometers per hour.
The routes will be programmed by a ground control center through an encrypted 4G network which will monitor the flight.
Awesome as it might sound to sit back and take in the view as the rest of Dubai is stuck in traffic jams, there are some limitations to the technology.

With a 30-minute maximum battery time, it won’t take you very far.
And then there are the usual concerns about drones in busy airspaces and the safety of driverless vehicles.
But like it or not, automated passenger drones will become a reality, says Captain Ross Aimer, CEO of US-based Aero Consulting Experts..
“It’s the future,” he told CNN. “We have the technology and it can be done. It’s time.”
“The passenger drone is really just one step up from the delivery drones we’ve seen perforating the skies in recent years,”

‘What if?’

A pilot himself, Aimer is watching the venture with great interest and has identified both pros and cons with the driverless technology.
Among the caveats is the question of what happens if ground control loses the connection to the drone, he says.
CNN speaks to Ehang’s CEO at the CES gadget show in Las Vegas in 201602:57
“That’s most people’s concern with any pilotless aircraft,” says Aimer. “We have the technology to send a signal to that aircraft and control it and communicate with it, but what happens if that technology is interrupted for some reason?
According to Ehang, in the event of any problems the drone will immediately land at the nearest safe spot. But that may not be enough to reassure everyone.
As Aimer puts it — “My question is: who’s gonna be the man or woman crazy enough to be the first passenger?”

Via: Dubai to get pilotless flying taxi service 

California is officially embracing the self-driving car

Riding a self-driving Uber around San Francisco
Riding a self-driving Uber around San Francisco

The California government, long cautious with self-driving cars, has changed its tune.

The state DMV issued proposed rules for the testing and deployment of fully self-driving vehicles Friday. The news appears to clear the way for cars with an empty driver’s seat to operate on state roads by year’s end.

“This is a big deal,” said Jason Orr, an attorney who follows autonomous vehicle law at O’Melveny & Myers. “Despite being more sensitive than other states, at the end of the day, it will potentially result in widescale deployment of autonomous vehicles.”

California’s DMV had long frustrated the self-driving car industry, which felt state regulators were holding back innovation that could improve public safety. The DMV previously missed a deadline for autonomous vehicle rules. And when it released rules in December 2015, it excluded fully self-driving vehicles, citing safety concerns.

Over the years, some companies, such as Google (GOOGL, Tech30) and Uber, resorted to shifting tests outside their home state.

The California DMV has wrestled for years with how to comfortably sign off on a self-driving car operating on public streets. While experts agree that self-driving cars will eventually be far safer than human drivers, autonomous vehicles will not immediately be flawless or even better than a human. Governments worldwide are struggling with how to certify that a fully autonomous vehicle allowed to drive on public roads is safe enough.

The DMV previously considered using a third party to examine vehicle data, or external test tracks for autonomous vehicles. But Friday it revealed it would allow manufacturers to self-certify that their vehicles are safe, a move that follows in the footsteps of the current federal government plan for autonomous vehicles.

In a sense, the licensing process for a robot that wants to drive on California roads is more lax than what a human driver seeking a license must go through. Humans must pass a state driver’s test. The makers of self-driving cars must just provide a safety assessment letter to the state.

In a briefing with reporters, California DMV deputy director Brian Soublet downplayed the different approaches to putting humans and robots on public roads.

“It’s a minimal test. It’s basically seeing that they have the skills to operate the vehicle,” Soublet said the driver’s test for humans. “And there’s all of the post-licensing discipline that goes with it. We believe that that same type of a structure is being established here.”

Just as the DMV can revoke a human’s license, it can also revoke a company’s ability to operate self-driving cars on state roads, under the proposed rules. The DMV will exercise this right if it sees recurring safety issues with a vehicle, according to Soublet.

The DMV also took a step toward embracing new vehicle forms, such as a car without a steering wheel or pedals. Under its proposed rules, the DMV will allow cars without a steering wheel or pedals, provided that the maker has the approval of the National Highway Traffic Safety Association.

Via: California is officially embracing the self-driving car –

How to Buy a Vintage Ferrari

By; Ken Gross,

Via: How to Buy a Vintage Ferrari

Lamborghini Debuts 2018 Aventador S at Geneva Motor Show 

On Monday, Lamborghini officially debuted the gorgeous Aventador S to the automotive community at large. Tipping the scales at just 3,472 pounds, the new Aventador S is a full 20 percent lighter than the outgoing Aventador.

According to Lamborghini, the Aventador S will be motivated by the 6.5-liter V-12 that’s normally found in the Aventador, but due to a new tune and revised valve timing, it now creates 740 horsepower—50 horsepower more than  the Aventador, though its torque figures remain the same at 509 lb-ft. The drastic reduction in weight and improved horsepower translate into a sprint to 62 mph in just 2.9 seconds and a top speed of 217 mph.

Borrowing from its track-ready stablemate, the Aventador SV, the Aventador S now incorporates a four-wheel steering system that aids in improved maneuverability at low and medium speeds. The Aventador S will also benefit from improved aerodynamics for more efficient performance. The front of the Aventador S reportedly has 130 percent more downforce than the standard Aventador and the rear wing develops 50 percent more downforce.

A first for Lamborghini is the Aventador S’s Ego driving mode. Unlike Corsa, Strada, and Sport—which are all pre-set modes—Ego allows a driver to customize the transmission, engine, all-wheel drive, steering, and suspension settings to his or her exact liking. Perhaps one of the most noteworthy aspects is that the Aventador S can send up to 90 percent of torque to the rear wheels, ostensibly to remind that driver that while it may be an all-wheel drive car, it’s still a Lambo.

The Lamborghini Aventador S will go on sale starting in spring and its expected MSRP is $421,350.

Via: Lamborghini Debuts 2018 Aventador S at Geneva Motor Show – The Drive

Lamborghini open to considering all-electric supercar: CEO

By Agnieszka Flak and Andreas Cremer

GENEVA (Reuters) – Lamborghini is open to an all-electric addition to its line-up of luxury sports cars, its chief executive said on Wednesday, evidence that German parent Volkswagen’s (VOWG_p.DE) interest in producing zero-emission vehicles could extend to the very top end of its brands.

The 54-year-old Italian car firm is already deviating from its tradition of producing high-powered, low-slung sportscars with its new sport utility vehicle, called Urus, itself a variation in its bovine branding.

The SUV will be launched at the company’s headquarters in Sant’Agata Bolognese, Italy, towards the end of this year, with deliveries starting in the second half of 2018.

“Electrification is an area of great attention for us, but I’m not expecting it will happen in the short term,” CEO Stefano Domenicali told Reuters at the Geneva car show, ruling out a purely battery-powered Lamborghini before 2025.

“We need to be realistic,” he said, pointing to the need to preserve the characteristics of a supercar in terms of handling, weight and performance even in an electric model, while at the same time considering its cost and the required investments.

Lamborghini, one of VW’s stable of superluxury brands along with Bentley and Bugatti, already plans to bring a plug-in hybrid version of the Urus SUV by 2020.

Separately, the CEO held out the prospect of another record year for Lamborghini in 2017, powered by undiminished demand for super-luxury cars in the United States, China and Europe.

The company was showing its new Huracan Performante in Geneva ahead of first deliveries in June, with the level of pre-orders already looking good, said Domenicali, the former head of Ferrari’s Formula One racing team.

“Since the financial crisis, the market for super sports cars has seen a constant recovery,” he said.

“For the medium term, I don´t see a change in that substantially positive trend, especially since economic regions like the U.S. and China are showing unchanged growth.”

Domenicali said he expected sales this year to increase by a single-digit percentage rate from last year’s record 3,457 deliveries.

Future shipments for sportscars would be capped at around 3,500 a year but could go slightly higher as the market expands to a maximum of 3,800, to safeguard the brand’s exclusivity, he added, although the Urus SUV could double overall production volumes.

“We will be prudent. Of course we will grow sustainably, but being in the luxury market we must not take every growth potential that is there,” he said.

Depending on demand the Urus could add at least another 3,500 vehicles to Lamborghini’s total output, he added.

Via: Lamborghini open to considering all-electric supercar: CEO