Hacking Cars – The Future is Here

BMW i3

Head over to Car and Driver to read about the US owners if the i3 hacking their cars to get more mileage on a tank of gas.

Nissan Free Charging

Nissan Leaf White

For your car, not your iPhone (although technically if a charging station can ramp up a car charge to 80% in 30 minutes, that should get you back to full power on your phone in about 30 seconds, right? I’ll let someone else try and plug it in to see).

But anyway, if you fancy a Nissan Leaf in the Mile High City (Denver, my home if you didn’t realize), they’ll give you lots of free power to try and entice you.

Nissan is launching its “No Charge to Charge” promotion for Denver area car buyers today. The program offers new Nissan LEAF buyers two years complimentary public charging with the purchase of the all-electric car from LEAF-certified dealers in the Denver market.

“Nissan LEAF is an attractive option for Denver car buyers because it is fun to drive and offers significantly lower operating costs when compared to a gas-powered car,” said Andrew Speaker, director, Electric Vehicle (EV) Sales & Marketing, Nissan. “EV charging infrastructure continues to grow in Denver, and access to free public charging for new LEAF buyers helps make owning an all-electric vehicle even more cost-effective and convenient.”

“No Charge to Charge” launches at Nissan LEAF dealers in the Denver market on June 2, 2015. The promotion includes access to fast chargers that can charge a LEAF battery pack from empty to 80 percent in about 30 minutes, as well as level 2 (240V) chargers spread throughout the Denver area.

Audi TT Clubsport

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Showcasing some of Audi’s latest technology (which they’re deeming close to production ready), they this week unveiled the Audi TT Clubsport. Sporting a wide body stance, upgraded engine and a fair bit of lightening, it looks little on the spectacular side.

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The Audi TT clubsport turbo has a power-boosted 2.5 TFSI engine with 600 hp of power and 479 lb-ft of torque, the latter from 3,000 to 7,000 rpm, combined with an electric compressor to fill in the low/laggy turbo part of the rev-band. This power is transferred via a manual six-speed transmission.

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The compact sports car takes a full stance on the road with track widths of 1,736 mm (68.3 in) in front and 1,729 mm (68.1 in) at the rear. The car is 4.33 meters (14.2 ft) long and 1.97 meters (6.5 ft) wide, including the side mirrors – 14 cm (5.5 in) wider than the technical platform upon which it was based. Its angular fenders contribute a separate additive shape to the car body. They take the characteristic design motif of the Audi TT* to an extreme and accentuate the distribution of engine power to all four wheels – the quattro drive. The fenders of the show car – painted in the exterior color Ferro Titanium – are open at the front and rear. Air from the car’s slipstream flows through them to cool the brakes. The Singleframe grille and large air inlets – whose vertical fins form a continuation to the light signature of the Matrix LED headlights – are also optimized for maximum air throughput.

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The manually adjustable rear wing is an advanced development of the Audi Sport TT Cup with which the brand very recently launched a dedicated race series. It is now 20 cm (7.9 in) wider, and the side flaps, which feature the four rings, were given a new geometry. The wing consists of carbon-fiber reinforced polymer (CFRF) as do all other add-on parts: the air inlets and the large splitter at the front, the side panels and side sill trims as well as the voluminous diffuser at the rear whose lateral segments reference the motif of the air inlets.

Louis Vuitton Luggage (and an i8)

i8 BMW with luggage You didn’t think I had changed tack with this website and moved from cars to more general luxury goods did you? Of course, I know nothing about luggage (so all the text below is from the press release), but why miss the opportunity to put up a pic or two of the i*

i8 luggage bmw

Inspired by the visionary design of the BMW i8, the bags and cases – like the sports car’s innovative passenger cell – are made entirely from carbon fibre. This particularly lightweight yet extremely sturdy high-tech material has been used by Louis Vuitton to create a special textile. It provides great robustness and strength, and as such is made for the rigours of travel – no matter how long and arduous the drive.

i8 luggage set

The understated carbon-black of this luggage range matches the colours of the
BMW i8. Its sophisticated look comes courtesy of the unmistakable chequered Damier pattern – a Louis Vuitton hallmark – and a laser-etched Louis Vuitton signature. Black and electric blue used in the microfibre lining take their cue from the trademark brand colours of the BMW i8 and bag handles are made from dyed natural leather, a sign of Louis Vuitton quality. All items in the collection come with leather name tags and the iconic Louis Vuitton padlock.

i8 interior luggage

Porsche Panamera Sport Turismo

Or a Panamera estate (or shooting brake or station wagon if that’s your thing?) in more normal terms. And to be honest, it doesn’t actually look bad – even almost good? I kind of considered how much it was going to be, and whether or not the realities of parenthood meant this might be my first Porsche.

This was quickly followed by a visit to the special microsite (complete with annoying music and slow loading), and I learned that the primary mode of operation for this was electric. Maybe I’m one of those grumpy old men these days (like when I whine for the lack of manual transmission cars available in the US for example), but I really don’t want huge batteries in my car if I can at all avoid it.

Tesla Supercharger – It may not be what you think

So, when is a supercharger not a supercharger? Probably right now – Tesla announced their superchargers, but they’re not anything to put under the hood. They’re the gas stations for electric cars that were shown for the first time today.

Powered by solar power where they can, and pushing power back to the grid whent hey have it spare, these stations can charge a Tesla S in an hour or so. Still not quite as quick as the local gas station, but much quicker than plugging it into the wall at your local hotel…

The good part of this – no charge for Model S customers with certain battery packs. The bad part – most the cars Tesla has already sold (including all of the Roadsters) are not compatible with the Supercharger charging stations. Guess the plugs don’t fit or something.