Audi is widely known for producing cars with cutting edge technology with usually a price to pay, but many believe the 2015 Audi A3 is very high tech for a pretty low price. The A3 includes everything you would expect from Audi including leather seats, a stylish exterior and interior, a quick turbocharged engine and many other incentives. Furthermore, the A3 Sedan 2.0I can achieve 0 to 60 mph in under six seconds and with 220 horsepower. Besides performance, the A3 also delivers with technology.
The Audi A3 has the ability to read tweets and Facebook posts aloud to the driver as well as current news. Not only will drivers enjoy this feature, it should also reduce distractions by allowing drivers to listen to social media posts rather than drivers attempting to read them while driving. The A3 is equipped with a navigation system drawing data from Google Earth. In addition, the vehicle can play over seven thousand internet radio stations from around the world. All of these innovations are possible though AT&T, which also makes the A3 the first vehicle with a 4G LTE connection. New buyers are offered a 6 month free plan, but are charged monthly after that time period. Another advantage is the easy and intuitive management system of the vehicle’s technology through a pop-up screen and touch pad. For $850, drivers can enjoy an excellent audio system option provided by Bang & Olufsen. The 2015 Audi A3 sedan is now available with pricing starting at $29,900.
Jaguar announced that it will develop intelligent vehicles that are capable of self-learning and adapting to the driver’s habits, preferences and driving style. With self-driving cars and augmented reality windshields possible in the future, this is the next logical step for car-makers. This is especially true for Jaguar, who has made great contributions to new vehicle technology with innovations such as its highly efficient engines and infotainment systems.
This new intelligent vehicle technology will allow drivers a personalized experience, which will make their drive more convenient. Jaguar not only wants to make driving more convenient, but the overall goal is to reduce distractions, which should ultimately reduce automobile accidents. This new technology is designed to take over some of these distractions so that the driver can focus on driving. For example, intelligent vehicles will be able to connect to the driver’s mobile device and make the driver aware of upcoming arrangements. Furthermore, the vehicle will give the driver input on the best route to take to make those arrangements based on traffic, time and weather. In instances where the driver is late, the vehicle will be capable of sending an email or making a call to relay the driver’s tardiness. Intelligent vehicles will be capable of a variety of other abilities such as setting the vehicle cabin to a preferred temperature, automated cruise control based on driving profile and much more. There isn’t an announced release date, but it is expected to be in development for a while because of testing and safety concerns.
Roads are not always in the best condition and it is difficult for drivers to react quick enough to avoid the potholes or bumps in the road, luckily Audi is working on a solution. A couple of years ago, Audi released several innovative technologies that they are investing research and development into. Predictive Suspension is one of the technologies mentioned and will make car rides much safer and smoother. The way the system works is a sensor will check for abnormalities in the road within 60 feet. When there is an abnormality, the suspension will drop (or raise) the wheel depending on the circumstance and will absorb the bump or pothole. This will make for a smoother ride, but also a safer ride.
The challenge that Audi is facing with creating a fully functional system is the ability of the sensors to distinguish between abnormalities. For example, the sensors may have difficulty determining if there is a bump ahead or if it is a crumbled up newspaper. Even if the sensors are capable of determining the abnormality on the road, they still need to function fast enough to respond accordingly. This is difficult because there is not much reaction time from the time the car spots the abnormality to the time it crosses the abnormality. Mercedes-Benz has a similar type of technology so it will be interesting to see which is successful.
The Ferrari Challenge is a single marque motorsport that began in 1993 for owners of the Ferrari 348 that wanted to become involved in racing. The motorsport has changed since then and now the exclusive model is the Ferrari 458 Italia. Single marque means each competitor uses the same vehicle, which is an identically prepared race car that has specific modifications such as a roll cage, safety harness and other safety equipment. The race is divided into three series, Europe, North America and Asia Pacific. There are two classifications for drivers, Trofeo Pirelli and the Coppa Shell, which is professional and amateur drivers, respectively.
Ugo Colombo has raced in previous Ferrari Challenges and so far for the 2014 season, he raced in the Daytona and Montreal races. Ugo Colombo placed 3rd in Daytona in the Coppa Shell classification. In the most recent race, Montreal, Ugo Colombo had a collision with Chris Ruud from Ferrari of Beverly Hills. Chris Ruud was the North American Ferrari Challenge champion for 2011. Luckily, both drivers are fine and walked away from the collusion. This will be the 20th season for the Ferrari Challenge and the next race for the North American series is June 27-29 in Mont Tremblant, Quebec.
The Porsche 918 Spyder made its debut as a concept car at the 2010 Geneva Motor Show and was met with huge consumer interest. Three years after that at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor show, the production model was introduced. The 918 Spyder is a gorgeous supercar that is surprisingly a hybrid. It is equipped with a V8 behind the seats that pushes 608 horsepower at 8,500 rpm and 391 foot-pounds of torque. In addition, the vehicle has two electric engines one for each axle that boast 154 HP for the front axle and 127 HP for the rear. This results in a combined horsepower of over 880. The 918 Spyder can accelerate from 0 to 62 mph in 2.6 seconds and to 186 mph in 19.9 seconds. It is equipped with five different operating modes to make the most out of its three engines. In “E-Power” mode, it is purely electric, which can reach speeds of over 90 mph. When the battery power begins to drop, the car will switch to “Hybrid” mode where the electric and combustion engines are working together for maximum efficiency. In “Sport Hybrid” the combustion engine runs continuously for a focus on performance. In “Race Hybrid” mode, the vehicle focuses on maximum performance and the last mode, “Hot Lap” the 918 uses all available energy for maximum power.
The exterior of the car is extremely exotic with wide body rear fenders, two-piece Targa top, lightweight construction and plenty more. The interior is futuristic looking with a nice black and silver contrast. The 918 features a new console technology that is similar to a smartphone. The console is an infotainment system that operates like a web browser and has many functions such as navigation, cabin cool/heating controls, audio and email. The Porsche 918 Spyder was produced in a very limited quantity at a price of over $845,000 each.
The Alfieri is a new concept car unleashed by Maserati at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show. It takes its name from one of the Maserati brothers, who founded the brand. The exotic car resembles the design of the late 1950s Maserati GTs with the 2+2 style. The chassis is based on the GranTurismo MC Stradale, which was showcased at the 2013 Geneva show. The engine of the concept Alfieri is a 4.7 liter, naturally aspirated V8, which results in 460 horsepower. The production version of the Alfieri will come in rear-wheel drive and all-wheel drive, both with V6 engines. The RWD version is equipped with 410 horsepower, while the AWD version has the option of 450 HP or 520 HP. The competition for this vehicle class is the Porsche 911s and Jaguar F-Types.
The exterior of the car features Bi-xenon LED headlamps, a front spoiler, rear diffuser and fender air ducts. The interior of the vehicle is handmade with Aniline leather on the dashboard, seats and center console. Many of the other interior components are aluminum such as the pedals, gearbox paddles, seat garnishes, the gearbox lever and more. This gives the interior a modern look with a slight hint of the early Maserati designs. The production model of the Maserati Alfieri is expected to hit the market in 2016 and will be available in a convertible and cabriolet variant.
The Porsche Panamera, still fairly new to the Porsche family, is one of the few 4-doors in the history of Porsche. The Panamera was originally released in 2009 and has received slight upgrades such as front and rear body facelifts for 2014. The most interesting upgrade is the new hybrid version that is offered for 2014. The hybrid is a plug-in that contains two engines; electric and gasoline. This is the first of its kind for Porsche. The combustion engine is a supercharged V6 that generates 333 horsepower and the electric engine generates 95 horsepower. The Panamera has a 9.4 kWh lithium-ion battery that recharges in about 3 hours through a direct connection. In addition, the Panamera’s battery can also be recharged while it is driving through its brake recuperation system or through the gasoline engine. The Panamera has the ability to drive with either engine running or both running at the same time. This is useful for the different types of driving conditions such as city, highway, et cetera. The Panamera hybrid is environmentally friendly in a few other ways too. For instance, it has a lightweight build to reduce fuel consumption and increase performance. In addition, the lightweight material that the Panamera is made of is easily recyclable, which makes the model a staggering 95% recyclable.
A great feature that this new hybrid has to offer is it transmits a large amount of useful information to the driver. For example, the instrument display has gauges for power, boost, electric range, energy flow and average consumption statistics. Many are directed towards determining the environmental impact of driving the car. There is even an app that has the ability to tell the driver the current charge of his or her car while they are relaxing, waiting for their car to charge. The key feature of the Panamera hybrid is that it offers environmental protection with the performance that we know, love and expect from Porsche.