The Green Off-Roader Rivians R1S electric SUV unveiled

Rivian R1S electric SUV unveiled

Electric car start-up Rivian has revealed its second model, the R1S. The seven-seat SUV follows the reveal earlier this week of the R1T pick-up truck, with models due for a public debut at the LA motor show.

Rivian is hoping to have the kind of impact Tesla has made in shaking up the established automotive set and believes it has found a niche with the creation of go-anywhere electric vehicles.

The R1T and R1S, the first and second in a series of models eventually planned, are built on a bespoke electric ‘skateboard’ chassis, that’s modular and can be used on all different types and sizes of vehicles. The initial pair are closely related, the chief difference being a slightly shorter wheelbase in the R1S. The R1S is 5040mm long, making it Range Rover-sized, while the 5465mm-long R1-T is marginally longer than the Mercedes-Benz X-Class.

In both cars the lithium-ion battery pack is mounted in the floor, and in the in the R1T is good for a 230-mile range in its standard 105kWh capacity, 300-mile range in a 130kWh capacity, or up to 400 miles with the 180kWh ‘mega pack’. In the R1S, the same battery packs are offered with figures of 240, 310 and 420 miles respectively.

The two models share their drivetrains, too. Four electric motors, one for each wheel, give the electric models four-wheel drive. Each motor produces 197bhp (total combined figures through the gearbox are 754bhp and 826lb ft in the 135kWh version), which allows for prodigious performance. It’s claimed both vehicles can crack 0-60mph in just 3.0sec, and 0-100mph in less than 7.0sec in the 135kWh versions.

Double wishbone front and multi-link rear suspension features, alongside air springs and adaptive dampers. Rivian claims the electric drivetrain and chassis set-up allows for both impressive on-road performance and handling and precise off-road control that surpasses any existing mechanical solutions off the asphalt. Its flat floor is also reinforced with carbonfibre and Kevlar to protect the battery pack, while both models get five-star crash test safety ratings in the US.

A distinctive front-end exterior design appears on both cars, while the spacious interiors get premium but durable materials that are easy to clean, in keeping with the cars’ off-road lifestyle brief. Two screens feature inside, that run Rivian’s own software and graphics.

There are packs of novel hidden features and clever solutions in both models, including a 330-litre front storage under the nose, and in the truck a full width storage hole that runs between the rear doors and rear wheels that’s good for housing golf clubs.

Rivian, first formed in 2009, is looking to do things differently to other start-ups by having its entire business plan and funding in place before going public with its intentions, and even then keeping targets conservative.

Company founder and CEO, RJ Scaringe, has already gone through two stillborn versions of the R1T to get to this third, production-ready version.

The US-based company is backed by investors from the Middle East, and employs some 560 people worldwide. It’s design and engineering centre is based in Plymouth, Michigan and other key sites include a battery development facility in Irvine, California. It has opened an advanced engineering centre in Chertsey, Surrey, too.

Manufacturing will take place at an old Mitsubishi plant in Illinois, which Rivian purchased for $16 million (£12.5m) last year. This has a capacity of up to 350,000 units per year.

Rivian’s initial ambitions are much lower than that initially, with plans to be selling some 50-60,000 of its premium electric off-roaders by 2025/26. It does however plan to offer its electric skateboard chassis to other companies, either car makers or indeed any brand looking to launch an electric car, so long as their products do not compete with Rivian’s own. The R1T will go into production in late 2020 with the R1S in early 2021, the former prices from around $70,000 (£55,000). Right-hand drive production for the UK will follow around a year later.

The R1T will go into production in late 2020, with the R1S following in early 2021. Prices for the former will start from $61,500 after federal tax rebates (£48,000), with Rivian accepting refundable $1000 pre-order deposits now. Right-hand drive production for the UK will follow around a year later.

Deliveries of electric pickup truck scheduled to begin late in 2020.

 

 

 

 

 

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THE PIONEERING BENTLEY BENTAYGA HYBRID

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SERENITY THROUGH TECHNOLOGY:
THE PIONEERING BENTLEY BENTAYGA HYBRID

  • World’s first luxury hybrid
  • Serene driving experience utilises future-focussed technology
  • Bentley’s first step towards electrification
  • Advanced electric motor combines with new V6 petrol engine
  • Battery recharged in 2.5 hrs

(Crewe, 5 March 2018) Bentley is today announcing full details of the world’s first luxury hybrid model. The Bentayga Hybrid represents Bentley’s first step towards full electrification, combining the serenity of silent motoring with exquisite comfort and effortless performance.

Offering the best of both worlds, the new plug-in hybrid model combines an advanced electric motor with a powerful and efficient new-generation V6 petrol engine. The hybrid version of the world’s most luxurious SUV will be the company’s most efficient model ever with CO2 emissions of 75 g/km (NEDC).

The Bentayga Hybrid feels and rides like a true Bentley, providing the refinement, effortless performance and exquisitely tranquil cabin environment for which the luxury British brand is famed. It represents the future of luxury mobility; an oasis of calm and tranquillity in the city and beyond.

Adrian Hallmark, new Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Bentley Motors, said: “The Bentayga Hybrid is our first step on the road to electrification, combining traditional Bentley values with the very latest technologies. It gives customers the best of both worlds – engaging, effortless performance on the open road and silent, emission-free driving in the city, which will become increasingly important with the ever-changing regulations around the world.

“Following Bentley tradition, the Bentayga Hybrid pioneers a new automotive sector – the luxury hybrid – and sets Bentley on the path towards a sustainable electrified future.”

Bentayga Hybrid is not yet available to order. It will become available to order in selected markets from the second half of 2018.

Intelligent, Experience-Enhancing Technology

At the heart of the Bentayga Hybrid are two power sources – a highly efficient electric motor and a new turbocharged 3.0-litre V6 petrol engine. The E Motor acts as both an electric motor and a generator to offer a seamless driving experience and guaranteeing maximum electric-only range.

The Hybrid adds a new dimension to the existing range of luxury Bentayga models. It features all the flexibility associated with the W12, V8 Diesel and V8 derivatives, with the same sure-footed permanent four-wheel drive and four on-road modes – Sport, Bentley, Comfort and Custom.

The Automatic Start-Stop switch is replaced with a control for the three E Modes – EV Drive, Hybrid Mode and Hold Mode. These will enable the driver to manage battery usage during a journey.

The Bentayga Hybrid requires new and different information to be relayed to the driver. As a result, a revised infotainment screen and Driver’s Information Panel with E Motion information have been designed to provide details on performance, consumption and energy source.

The traditional tachometer that displays engine speed is replaced with a dial showing when the car is operating in pure EV Drive, or engine speed if the combustion engine is operating. A battery status dial replaces the coolant temperature gauge.

The infotainment screen can display energy flow in each of the three E Modes, showing whether the vehicle is being powered by energy supplied by the battery, or the combustion engine – or whether energy is flowing back to the battery in order to charge it.

To maximise efficiency, the vehicle uses satellite navigation information to calculate the best usage of electric motor and engine for every journey. Inputting a destination into the navigation system will command the car to automatically engage the correct E Mode for each part of the journey, constantly calculating the most efficient use of battery charge and storing electrical energy for sections of the journey where it is most useful – such as when arriving in the city. The system will reduce on-board charge to zero just as the vehicle reaches its destination, maximising overall efficiency.

A number of Hybrid-specific functions will also be introduced to the latest Connected Car ‘MyBentley3’ services, including My Battery Charge, My Cabin Comfort, and My Car Status, operated via a smartphone app.

Bentley has prioritised the charging experience to ensure that owning a Bentayga Hybrid is as easy as owning a conventional car. Controllable remotely from a Smartphone, or in-person via the on-board charging point, the charging status and programming will be visible on the MMI drivers’ screen and on the user’s smartphone via an app.

Other unique features include E-Charging, where the app will list nearby or relevant charging stations (based on your search criteria), and give you the option to set them as destinations on the car navigation system; and My Cabin Comfort which allows you to set the car to heat (or cool) itself so that the cabin is at the optimum temperature when the door is opened.

The Bentayga Hybrid’s Vehicle Charge Point is located on the opposite side to the normal fuel filler. From here, the car can be connected to either a domestic power supply, or a public charger point. The rear luggage compartment will hold two bespoke bags containing the necessary cables to connect the car to either.

With an impressive electric range of over 31 miles (50 km) in the NEDC cycle, a full charge of the battery from a domestic household socket will take 7.5 hours. However, customers with an industrial connection installed at home can reduce the charge time to just 2.5 hours.

Timeless Bentley by Starck Power Dock

Bentley has collaborated with renowned designer, Philippe Starck, to create a concept for a highly desirable recharging unit for Bentayga Hybrid customers – the Power Dock.

The statement piece showcases the exquisite attention to detail you would expect from both Bentley and Starck, using sustainable and elegant materials. The stylish surround is formed from pressed eco-linen with bio-sourced thermosetting resin, while the domed frontage is fashioned using a hot-pressure aluminium casting.

The minimal and elegant Power Dock is designed to keep charging cables neat and safe at home. Furthermore, it brings a luxurious touch to the act of hybrid recharging, acting as a functional piece of art that will enhance any home.

Starck’s elegant creation – with its tactile surfaces and inviting aesthetic – will encourage Bentayga Hybrid customers to plug-in whenever they are at home, thus ensuring each journey begins with the maximum electric-only range.

Innovative Features and Advanced Technologies

A suite of driver assistance systems and infotainment features, designed to enhance safety, comfort and convenience make the Bentayga Hybrid an innovative and advanced SUV.

Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) and Traffic Assist enable the driver to maintain a time gap to the vehicle in front. Predictive ACC uses the navigation data, sensors and cameras to predict upcoming corners, city boundaries and speed-limit changes and can then modify the vehicle speed accordingly, improving both comfort and fuel economy.

In urban environments, there are a number of driver aids available on the Bentayga Hybrid. These systems – such as Traffic Sign Recognition, which detects a wide variety of traffic signs and displays information to the driver; Rear Crossing Traffic Warning, which uses radar technology to detect crossing traffic when reversing out of a parking space; and Top View, a system which uses four cameras to display an overall picture of the vehicle’s surroundings – combine to enhance everyday usability.

Park Assist is also available – a system that detects suitable parking spaces (both parallel and perpendicular) before autonomous steering takes over to support parking manoeuvres, even in narrow and tricky spaces.

Other innovative systems available include Electronic Night Vision, which uses infra-red technology to identify potential obstacles ahead, and a Head-Up Display, which reduces driver distraction and increases safety.

The Bentayga’s 8” touch screen infotainment system boasts class-leading navigation technology, a 60GB hard drive, and a choice of up to 30 languages.

Rear seat passengers benefit from the Bentley Entertainment Tablet – a removable 10.2” Android device with 4G, WiFi and Bluetooth for effortless, high-speed on-board connectivity.

Customers can choose between three different sound systems for the Bentayga Hybrid: Bentley Standard Audio, Bentley Signature Audio and Naim for Bentley Premium Audio. The latter is the most powerful system in the segment, with 1,950 watts, a network of 18 speakers and super-tweeters for unrivalled recreation of the highest audio frequencies.

Sculptural Form, Sharp Lines and Elegant Execution

The Bentayga Hybrid’s wheel arches, fenders and bonnet deliver a balance between sportiness and SUV presence.

The ultra-sharp Bentley power line and muscular rear haunch display a taut tension in side profile, as part of the largest single-piece aluminium pressing in the automotive world. Trademark Bentley features such as the large matrix grille and B-shaped wing vents afford the Bentayga a modern, dynamic elegance.

At the rear, within the segmented tail lights, a ‘B’-shaped illumination graphic is incorporated that affords the Bentayga an instantly recognisable and striking night-time signature.

Bentley’s most efficient model ever will be identifiable thanks to a number of elegant exterior styling cues. Copper-coloured ‘Hybrid’ badging on the lower front doors and tailgate – and a copper finish to the wheel centres and Bentley badges – highlight the electric performance potential of the Bentayga’s new powertrain. Additionally, the insert on the tread plates will also read ‘Hybrid’.

The World’s Finest Cabin, Handcrafted at the Home of Bentley

Step inside the Bentayga Hybrid and you find the finest automotive interior in the world, with handcrafted wood and leather throughout – engineered with precision to deliver absolute perfection.

The attention to detail in metal, wood and leather is the epitome of modern British luxury, and is only achievable thanks to the exceptional skill of the workforce in Crewe.

The Bentayga’s cockpit sets new standards for both luxury and precision, with meticulous tolerances between the exquisite veneered woods and metal elements. The dashboard takes the iconic Bentley ‘wing’ design as its inspiration, with the beautifully finished surfaces flowing gracefully from door to door over the top of the instrument binnacles, down under the centre console and back up around the passenger side fascia and foot well.

The hand-selected veneers form pure and elegant surfaces throughout the cabin, and each of the 15 pieces are shaped by Bentley’s artisans from a choice of seven different veneers, and finished with trademark Bentley attention to detail.

Highly polished, handcrafted metal elements adorn the dashboard, centre console and doors. Trademark Bentley knurling on the drive mode selector, gear knob, iconic bulls-eye vents and organ pulls adds sophistication and tactile refinement.

Sumptuous front seats, individually handcrafted in Crewe and featuring 22-way adjustment including adjustable cushion and backrest bolsters, provide superb support and comfort for all conditions. This cosseted feeling is further enhanced with a six-programme massage system, seat heating and ventilation.

Whether selected in four- or five-seat configuration, all of the leather seats in the Bentayga are available with contrast stitching and a quilted diamond design applied to the ‘shoulders’ and bolsters, echoing the design of a finely tailored British hunting jacket.

Bentley specialists individually select only the finest bull hides, all of which are sourced from cool European climates, naturally tanned and never over-printed. Customers have the choice of 15 colours, in three duo-tone and one single mono-tone colour split.

The four-seat configuration makes the ultimate statement in design, comfort and luxury.  The two individual rear seats adjust in 18 different ways and include massage and ventilation functions as well as footrests. The veneered rear console hides additional functionality such as cup holders, generous storage areas and USB charging sockets.

The opulent feeling is completed by the fixed back, dividing the interior cabin from the boot.  Also trimmed in the signature diamond quilting and including a ski-hatch, it creates an enclosed rear cabin space that sets new standards in the SUV sector.

The full-length panoramic sunroof with acoustic interlayers allows ample natural sunlight to highlight the surfaces and detailing.

 

 

Jaguar unveils its first all-electric vehicle

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Jaguar Land Rover has taken a huge step towards an all-electric future with the unveiling of its ground-breaking Jaguar I-Pace. The I-PACE is Jaguar’s first all-electric vehicle which appears to be a direct competitor to the Tesla Model X.

The car is said to be capable of rapid public charging from zero to 80 per cent in 85 minutes but this technology does not come cheaply as the car is retailing for £63,495 in the UK.

During the reveal Thursday, Jaguar even staged races between the two vehicles.

Like the Tesla Model X and Model S, the I-PACE is powered by two electric motors. Like a Tesla it has a trunk where the engine would otherwise be.

Notably, the car is available now.

 

“As of this moment, it is available to own,” said presenter Jack Whitehall, at the unveiling event held at the Jaguar Land Rover manufacturing facility in Graz, Austria.

The car has a single-speed automatic transmission, common in electric vehicles. Jaguar estimates the I-PACE has 240 miles of range on a single charge. The I-PACE doesn’t have the same 0 to 60 mph neck-snapping zoom as the Tesla Model S in ludicrous mode. But it has punch. The vehicle can travel from 0 to 60 miles per hour in 4.5 seconds.

Jaguar designed the battery to last 10 years, said Ian Callum, director of design.

Among some of the technology on the car are an infotainment system, which has touchscreens and physical controls, and a sat-nav specially designed for ‘electric’ motoring as it assesses the topography of a route and insights from previous journeys to calculate personalised range and charging status.

Another new technological feature is Amazon Alexa Skill which will enable owners to ask an Alexa-enabled device for information held in the Jaguar InControl Remote app.

The car is also loaded with tech inside, like a navigation system that suggests nearby charging stations, and the ability to learn and adjust settings inside the vehicle to match a driver’s preferences. The I-PACE also has an Amazon skill that works with its affiliated mobile app. Jaguar will also be able to update software over the air, or wirelessly, a technique that helped set Tesla apart from major automakers.

 

Jaguar I-PACE

Source: Jaguar
Jaguar I-PACE

The I-PACE first debuted as a concept vehicle in 2016. Thousands of customers have already expressed interest in the I-PACE, Jaguar said.

The I-PACE’s battery will be capable of reaching an 80 percent charge in just 40 minutes, Jaguar said, and the vehicle has been tested in temperatures ranging from -40 degrees to 104 degrees.

The official public debut of I-PACE will be at the Geneva Motor Show on Tuesday. Jaguar Land Rover is a unit of India’s Tata Motors.

 

Could The Porsche Mission E could rival the Tesla Model S?

Porsche’s Mission E Will Change the Game for Electric Sports Cars

Porsche's Mission E Will Change the Game for Electric Sports Cars

Over the last year, Porsche continually hinted at their latest project rivaling Tesla’s Model S as the premier electric sports vehicle. Thanks to some new specs surfacing from a recent leak, the world now has some specific points of comparison.

The Mission E is set to come in three models, all ranging in horsepower with a max offering of 670 horsepower. The top model can go 0 to 60 mph in 3.5 seconds. This is a second slower than Tesla’s Model S P100D which can hit that speed in just 2.5 seconds. The top Mission E model will also hit 155 mph as its maximum speed.

Porsche's Mission E Will Change the Game for Electric Sports Cars
Source: Youkeys/Flickr
Porsche's Mission E Will Change the Game for Electric Sports Cars
Source: Youkeys/Flickr
Porsche's Mission E Will Change the Game for Electric Sports Cars
Source: Youkeys/Flickr

Some of the most impressive specs come from its four-wheel-drive module. Automobile Magazine’s Georg Kacher detailed more of the handling while on the track:

“The front-wheel-drive module reportedly delivers 160 kW/215 hp at 16,000 rpm with a constant peak torque of 221 lb-ft. At full boost, Porsche can briefly claim some 325 lb-ft. There are two different specifications in the works for the rear-drive unit. While the base motor is rated at 240 kW/322 hp and 251 lb-ft, the performance version is good for 320 kW/429 hp and 406 lb-ft, sources say. The two-speed transmission is being developed to allow for full-throttle upshifts, and an electronically controlled limited-slip rear differential will be an option.”

But how does it stack up as an electric vehicle and not just a sports car? Reports say that the Mission E will be able to drive up to 310 miles on a single charge. This outperforms the Tesla Model S and its 294 miles per charge. Charging is also relatively fast, even when compared to Tesla’s charging units. The Mission E can reach 80 percent of its battery capacity after charging for just 15 minutes. The Mission E also offers up multiple ways to charge the vehicle thanks to a new charging base.

For the engineers behind the car, balancing performance with electric efficiency was a challenge, but it was one they were willing to take on.

In an interview with Express, Mitja Borkert, Porsche’s Director of Exterior Design, said, “This concept was a truly fantastic challenge for us, because it’s our first electric sports car.”

The actual interior of the car boasts a sleek, minimalist design and responsive features. For example, reports mentioned that the Mission E can even track a driver’s eyes and readjust the dashboard to emphasize what a driver wants to see.

The Mission E is also set to start at £55,000; that’s roughly £8,000 less than what the company had originally expected.

Michael Mauer Director of Style for Porsche said, “This is Porsche’s answer to questions about the future of electric mobility — our Porsche Mission E.”

Oh, and one more clever feature noted in the Mission E? A lap timer — just in case you ever forget you’re driving a sportscar.

“Why not?” project engineer Michael Behr said in an interview with Automobile Mag. “This car is smog-free but is also a hoot to drive thanks to the low center of gravity, the dedicated air suspension, and the precise steering. Make no mistake: This is a proper Porsche through and through.”

Fisker Debuts £97,000 Luxury Electric Car with Impressive 400-Mile Range

Fisker Debuts $130,000 Luxury Electric Car with Impressive 400-Mile Range

After months of doling out the specs, Fisker finally unveiled their EMotion electric vehicle

Fisker finally released its EMotion all-electric vehicle at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas after months of giving away nearly every spec regarding the car.

The specs, however, remain impressive and can rival other headline-making EV releases coming from CES. The current price tag averages £97,000 each, but the company claims the car will have a range of over 400 miles. That even edges out the Hyundai Nexo’s range announced earlier during CES. The price range matches those of its predecessor — the Fisker Karma.

Fisker Debuts $130,000 Luxury Electric Car with Impressive 400-Mile Range
Source: Fisker

 

Henrik Fisker, chairman and CEO of Fisker Inc. said that he was pleased regarding the launch and ultimately the future of EVs around the world.

“We are truly entering a new era in the way the world thinks about vehicles, the way EVs are charged and the way personal consumer electronics are powered – with Fisker Inc. now clearly at the forefront of that revolution through our worldwide launches at CES. With the EMotion, we’re introducing edgy, dramatic and emotionally-charged design/proportions – complemented with technological innovation that moves us into the future. That design balance is what has made the Fisker brand emotionally connect with our consumers.”

Fisker Debuts $130,000 Luxury Electric Car with Impressive 400-Mile Range
Source: Fisker

And while Fisker said that he hopes the new startup will gradually introduce the vehicle to the EV market, he said the EMotion could hit the US first. He said it “will be produced in the United States at a location to be announced during the second half of

Fisker Debuts $130,000 Luxury Electric Car with Impressive 400-Mile Range

Source: Fisker

Fisker Debuts $130,000 Luxury Electric Car with Impressive 400-Mile Range
Source: Fisker

 

In conjunction with the vehicle’s launch itself, Fisker also debuted the company’s solid-state battery. He said that battery would give an electric car over 500 miles of range in a one minute charge. That would significantly outperform current electric cars on the market — including Tesla. (And, for another point of comparison, the Hyundai Nexo promises 370 miles and just a 5-minute charging time.)

There’s an important element to note regarding the charging times, and that issue all boils down to the actual promise involved. The Fisker Inc. press release said “The Fisker EMotion has been proportioned to accommodate an advanced high-energy density, patent-pending battery pack and cooling system. It can be charged through the vehicle’s proprietary UltraCharger™ technology, charging over 100 miles in nine minutes.”

That means that it takes nine minutes for the vehicle to reach 25 percent of its charge, a claim easily mistaken when compared to other EVs on the market.

View image on Twitter

We’ve also made the seemingly impossible, possible with our scientists spearheading the breakthrough in Flexible Solid-State battery technology – which is the next generation in charging everything from your personal cell phone to enabling mass adoption of electric vehicles due to unprecedented ranges and lighting fast charge times,” Fisker said. “We’re incredibly excited to showcase working solid-state batteries and the vehicle, in-person, on such a massive global stage. Fisker Inc. is about breaking barriers, leading in automotive technologies and ultimately creating the most desirable, functional futuristic electric vehicles.”

Fisker Debuts $130,000 Luxury Electric Car with Impressive 400-Mile Range
Source: Fisker

 

Fisker, like other electric vehicles being showcased at this year’s CES, will have to contend with the fact that charging stations are limited throughout the United States and other countries. But, like other EV automakers, Fisker remains hopeful that normalizing electric vehicles leads to infrastructure that supports their growth as a market.