Nissan Ariya Single Seater ConceptAs we come to the end of another week  we look at some of the motoring news which you may have missed starting with the New Nissan high-performance Ariya Single Seater Concept

Nissan revealed today its exciting new Nissan Ariya Single Seater Concept – a high-performance exploration, development and demonstration project of how the all-electric Nissan Ariya road car powertrain could be used in a bespoke single seater racing car chassis.

The concept was presented at the Nissan Futures event by Alfonso Albaisa, Nissan senior vice president for global design, and Juan Manuel Hoyos, Nissan global marketing divisional general manager for brand and engagement.

Nissan Ariya Single Seater Concept“We are delighted to present the Nissan Ariya Single Seater Concept from our Nissan Futures event,” said Hoyos. “At Nissan, we dare to do what others don’t. With this concept we want to showcase the high-performance potential of the Ariya’s powertrain in a motorsports-inspired package that not only hints at the design and styling of the road car that inspired it, but that also demonstrates a new and efficient EV performance language. Acting as a testbed for future technological evolution, this project can help bring excitement from the road to the race track, and also demonstrate Nissan’s expertise in transferring knowledge and technology from the race track to the road.”

The Ariya Single Seater Concept explores what a future electrified performance style for Nissan could look like.

Albaisa said: “As we began to shape our Nissan Ambition 2030 long-term vision, we continued to build on our Timeless Japanese Futurism design language. We are now drawing inspiration from the Japanese words shun, meaning to run fast and effortlessly, and sho, meaning to soar with power and grace. The Ariya Single Seater Concept is the perfect expression of this new language. Leveraging the Ariya’s EV powertrain in a motorsports-inspired package allowed our international team to capture this new sense of speed, technology and artistry.”

Design cues from the all-new Nissan Ariya all-electric SUV can be seen across the Ariya Single Seater Concept. At the front of the vehicle is the electrified and illuminated “V” motion, familiar from Nissan’s current road car design language. At the side view, inspiration has been taken from the Ariya’s fluid and efficient surfaces, exaggerated to a maximum in carbon fiber. Overall, the Nissan Ariya Single Seater Concept describes a form that, as with the Ariya, looks like it was shaped by the air itself.

Nissan’s participation in the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship also played a key role in inspiring the Nissan Ariya Single Seater Concept. Nissan races in the all-electric world championship to bring the excitement and fun of zero-emission electric vehicles to a global audience, and to be at the cutting edge of EV research and design.

“Nissan competes in Formula E not only to race on track, but also to support the development of compelling electric vehicles for customers,” said Tommaso Volpe, Nissan global motorsports director. “Our EV programs inform our Formula E program and vice versa, allowing for road-to-track technology transfer as well as track-to-road. The Nissan Ariya Single Seater Concept explores the combination of the all-electric powertrain, dual motors and revolutionary all-wheel drive system of the Ariya with a pure single seat racing chassis - a powerful demonstration of just how thrilling electric vehicles could be.”

Audi UK confirms pricing and specification for the enhanced A8

A sharpened design and innovative new technologies, Audi is bolstering the presence and elegance of the A8, the trailblazer in the premium segment. Ordering in the UK for the refreshed flagship is under way, with the first customer deliveries due from March 2022. The starting price for A8 is £74,985 with long wheelbase starting from £78,985. The S8 is priced at £102,610.

Audi A8As the successor to the Audi V8, the A8 has been the brand’s leading edge in the luxury saloon segment of Audi’s portfolio since 1994. The Audi A8 is a symbol of and a trailblazer for the status and prestige of the brand. The fourth generation of the luxury saloon, which Audi introduced in 2017, raised it to a new level concerning power, look, and equipment. This model enhancement brings significantly greater levels of technology and innovation to the flagship saloon, helping cement its place in the luxury segment as a technology trailblazer.

"Audi has a rich history of luxury and innovation and these two aspects of our DNA are represented perfectly in the enhanced A8," says Andrew Doyle, Director of Audi UK.

"Since its inception, the A8 has been a driver of innovation at Audi with the technology it debuts then applied to other segments and vehicles. In the area of premium mobility, the new A8 cements its place as one of the standout stars in our portfolio and the luxury segment ."

Endurance test on ice and snow: The BMW i7 undergoes driving dynamics testing at the polar circle

Ahead of next year’s launch of the BMW i7 – the world’s first all-electric luxury saloon – BMW is conducting winter testing of the forthcoming new model at the Polar Circle.

BMW i7The BMW i7 is undergoing driving dynamics evaluation at the BMW Group winter test centre in Arjeplog, Sweden. Situated just a short distance from the Artic Circle, the environment of surrounding frozen surfaces and snow-covered roads present the perfect conditions for the manufacturer’s test engineers to fine-tune the performance of all drive and suspension systems.

The demanding test environment ensures that the BMW i7 will elevate the driving dynamics and comfort that are synonymous with the brand to a new high in the luxury class, yet all the while complementing optimum performance and refinement with zero local emissions.

Suspension components, together with steering, braking and vehicle stability systems, that are being developed for the future generation of the BMW 7 Series will be honed to perfection in the extreme climate. Specifically, springs, dampers and various regulating systems will be subject to performance-orientated tuning to ensure maximum driver feedback and enjoyment to match the several different drive modes.

Amongst the extremely challenging winter conditions, Lapland’s frozen lakes with their low road friction coefficient provide the opportunity for meticulous development of the steering, Dynamic Stability Control system (DSC) and the accurately regulated interaction between friction brake and deceleration by means of energy recuperation.

The intensive winter testing programme also focuses on the components of the all-electric drive system. The BMW i7’s electric drive, high-voltage battery, power electronics and charging technology all originate from the fifth generation of BMW eDrive technology, which already provides exceptional sustainable driving pleasure in the BMW iX. Above all, it is the motor, the battery and the temperature control system of the BMW i7 that prove their advanced technology and durability in the extreme sub-zero temperatures common to the north of Sweden.

Hennessey Reveals Unprecedented Six-Wheel-Drive Pure-Electric Hyper-GT

Hennessey, the Texas-based hypercar manufacturer and high-performance vehicle creator, has revealed part of its 10-year product plan that will see three all-new ground-up models created over the next decade. The first debut, which follows the Venom F5, will be the world’s first six-wheel-drive, fully electric Hyper-GT – codenamed ‘Project Deep Space’.

Hennessey Project Deep SpaceTouted as the world’s most expensive electric vehicle (from $3 million USD) the new car will be a unique, ultra-luxurious, grand tourer that can transport four adults in absolute comfort along with four sets of golf clubs, plus luggage. Of course, given Hennessey’s trademark obsession with power and speed, it will be devastatingly fast with unmatched traction thanks to its unique six-wheel drive powertrain. With a 50 percent increase in surface contact over traditional four-wheeled vehicles, the performance of the Hennessey hyper-GT will be utterly astonishing.

“Hennessey has spent more than 30 years building some of the fastest and most exciting vehicles in the world,” explains company CEO & founder, John Hennessey. “This mantra will continue for our next 30 years by introducing the world’s first fully electrified, six-wheel-drive hyper-GT. We believe that ‘Deep Space’, with six electric motors combined with six driven wheels, could be the world’s quickest accelerating four-seater from zero to 200 mph!”

The passenger cabin is no less cutting-edge. The innovative diamond-shaped seating positions, with the driver centrally located, permits two passengers to sit to the side and slightly back from the driver. The fourth passenger, positioned directly behind the driver, will occupy the world’s first VVIP (Very Very Important Person) lie-flat automotive seat – bringing private-jet-class luxury to the hyper-GT world.

Full specifications for ‘Project Deep Space’ are yet to be announced, but Hennessey has confirmed that pricing will start at $3 million US Dollars and production will be capped at 105 units globally to ensure exclusivity for its customers. Production is planned to begin in 2026. 

Car charging point numbers fall behind as plug-in vehicles surge

New analysis by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) has revealed that the ratio of vehicle chargepoints to plug-in cars deteriorated by -31% during 2020. The research shows that at the end of 2019, 11 plug-in vehicles potentially shared a standard public chargepoint capable of charging both battery electric (BEVs) and plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEVs). In contrast, at the end of 2020, the ratio had fallen to one charger for every 16 plug-ins.

Car charging point numbersWhile most people currently purchasing an electric vehicle are likely to be able to plug in at home, on a driveway or designated parking bay, achieving net-zero requires all drivers to make the switch, including those who depend on on-street parking.

Plug-in vehicles continue to grow in popularity, accounting for around one in every six new cars registered in 2021.2  The public charging infrastructure required to keep them moving, however, must keep pace with the accelerating vehicle uptake, but the numbers reveal that public chargepoint rollout is lagging behind.

Britain’s ratio of plug-in vehicles on the road to standard public chargers has deteriorated to become one of the worst among the top 10 global electric vehicle markets at 16:1 in 2020. South Korea (3:1), the Netherlands (5:1), China (9:1), France (10:1), Belgium and Japan (both 13:1) all offer their EV drivers better coverage, although the UK does marginally outperform Germany (17:1).3

However, with 4,109 new standard public charge points installed between January and September 2021, compared with 212,181 new plug-in car registrations, just one new standard charger is being installed for every 52 new electric cars, a rate insufficient to improve the user experience.4

There are also significant regional disparities in the current provision of standard public charging points. London has the best ratio of cars to chargers at 10:1 – although this in itself fell from 5:1 in 2019. Meanwhile, the East of England has the lowest availability, with just one standard public charger for every 49 plug-in vehicles.

Meanwhile, Wales beats the national average with a ratio of 12:1, while Scotland weighs in at 17:1. If not addressed, these disparities will hamstring vast sections of the country in their ability to deliver zero emission motoring with all the air quality and carbon saving benefits this delivers, not to mention the benefits drivers can enjoy via lower EV running costs.5

New PEUGEOT 308 and 308 SW open for orders

PEUGEOT has opened order books for the new 308 and 308 SW, with finance offers now available and first deliveries expected in 2022. The new PEUGEOT 308 and 308 SW are available with plug-in hybrid powertrains for the first time, alongside advanced petrol and diesel variants, with prices starting from £24,000 for the new 308 and £25,200 for the new 308 SW.

Customers can benefit from competitive finance offers on the new 308 and 308 SW with the new PEUGEOT 308 1.2-litre PureTech 130 in Allure trim available on Personal Finance Lease* from as little as £299 per month for a 48 month contract, with an initial payment of £2,099. The new 308 HYBRID 180 Allure will be available from just £349 per month over the same contract length with an initial payment of just £2,599.

 PEUGEOT 308The new PEUGEOT 308 and 308 SW are available with a choice of two plug-in hybrid powertrains from launch, both powered by a 12.4kWh battery and a 1.6-litre petrol engine. The HYBRID 180 variants of both body styles are capable of an Equivalent All Electric Range (EAER) of over 40 miles, meaning both models attract only a 7% Benefit-in-Kind (BIK) rate (2021-22), and making the new 308 and 308 SW ideal for fleet and company car buyers.

All plug-in hybrid variants come with a 3.7kW on-board charger as standard, with buyers able to add a faster 7.4kW charger as an option. A full charge using a 7.4kWh Wall Box charger will take just 3 hrs 50 mins, while the optional 7.4kW charger reduces this to 1 hr 55 mins.

The new 308 and 308 SW are also available with advanced petrol and diesel engines, giving customers the complete ‘Power of Choice’, with a powertrain to suit any requirement. The 1.2-litre PureTech 130 petrol and the 1.5-litre BlueHDi 130 diesel both produce 131hp, while all 308 models are available exclusively with PEUGEOT’s 8-speed Efficient Automatic Transmission. 

DS 3 CROSSBACK E-TENSE extends its range

The first 100 per cent electric model in the DS Automobiles range is evolving. On sale since 2019, DS 3 CROSSBACK E-TENSE can now achieve a range of 212 miles according to the WLTP combined cycle, an increase of nearly seven per cent.

DS 3 CROSSBACK E-TENSEDuring the development, priority was given to the real-life usage of DS 3 CROSSBACK E-TENSE. Notably, the heat pump has been developed with a moisture sensor for increased efficiency. Offered as standard, the heat pump enables heat to be produced by compression to generate hot air. As a result, energy consumption is greatly reduced.

From continued development and constant discussion with the Formula E championship winning team, supported by DS Performance, the gear ratio has also been perfected to further improve the efficiency of DS 3 CROSSBACK E-TENSE.

The range gain in real-life usage is also achieved through the adoption of new 17-inch A-rated tyres, developed by Continental. Offered in 215/60 R17 96H size, the Continental EcoContact™ 6 Q introduces a new compound with high silica technology to improve rolling resistance and reduce noise emissions.

With an electrification strategy in place since its creation, DS Automobiles is the multi-energy brand with the lowest average CO2 emissions in Europe (100.2 g/km of CO2 according to the WLTP cycle per registered car in the first half of 2021) and every model is available with an electrified powertrain. The brand has seen 40 per cent of its customers buy either a fully electric or plug-in -hybrid car in 2021, in the UK. This strategy is accelerating: from 2024, every new DS Automobiles model will be exclusively 100 per cent electric.

The DS 3 CROSSBACK E-TENSE is available from £31,500 OTR (including the government plug-in grant).

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