Posts tagged with "ergonomics"

Toyota Reverse Gif by Reb Czukoski for use by 360 Magazine

2023 TOYOTA bZ4X

While consumers become increasingly knowledgeable of the functionality and basics of Hybrid vehicles, their desires and curiosity will follow. As of late, Toyota assembled the opportunity to experience this new generation of automotive at their media conference E-volution 2.0 – increasing awareness and designed to dispel myths and the benefits, in efforts to declare the battery initiative as the rule and not the exception. In tail, igniting the shared responsibility to a carbon neutral future of driving. 

Many of us are cognizant of global warming and the dangers that it precedes, such as severe weather and acidic oceans. This has resulted in rainforests burning and quickened extinctions of wildlife. While people might not be able to completely give up cars for travel, the Toyota team has provided greener options as electric cars already have a smaller carbon footprint than gasoline vehicles. Read about how electric vehicles help tackle climate change

Last week, Toyota invited 360 MAGAZINE to the unveiling of the all-electric bZ4X at the ALil A Marea Beach Resort in San Diego, California. As a leader in electrification, the introduction of bZ4X represents the first of a global series of battery-electric vehicles to be introduced under the global “Toyota bZ” DNA. bZ4X will have a manufacturer-estimated range of up to 250 miles for XLE front-wheel drive models, which is almost enough to transport you from LA to Vegas. Moreover, FWD offers ample traction on the road while decreasing production costs. What’s exciting is there is also the choice for a dual electric motor for AWD. 

“With zero emissions and an exhilarating drive, the bZ4X is hitting the market at just the right time as we expand our already comprehensive electrified product lineup,” said Veep of Toyota Marketing, Mike Tripp. He continues, “As a human-centered company, Toyota remains committed to offering customers a diverse portfolio of products to meet their individual needs and move us toward a carbon neutral future.”

Design

The SUV was developed in partnership with Subaru. Thus, it’s a doppelganger of the Solterra crossover – sleek, modern and bold. The 20-inch wheels include a familiar clean design. The aerodynamically designed front exudes sex appeal featuring a hammer head shark boxed style that meshes well with Toyota’s RAV4. Don’t forget full LED lighting that add a nice futuristic touch to the outside. A panoramic sunroof is included on the limited trim. On the inside, expect soft-tex seating materials laid throughout along with a roomy cabin. 

Hybrids 

75% of buyers believe a Hybrid electric vehicle must be plugged in to charge. Hybrid electric vehicles are powered by two systems; an internal combustion engine and an electric motor that is charged through regenerative braking from energy stored in the battery. Whereas fuel burning vehicles build performance as the engine speeds. Since 1996, Toyota has paved the way in customer acceptance with the release of the Prius. With 20 miles to the gallon becoming synonymous with core technology and environmentally friendly fuel-efficient means of transportation. Now at 50 MPG, it dominates the automotive industry with a portfolio approach that there is no one size fits all solution. This vigorous tribe of Electrified vehicles encompasses the following: SiennaVensaRav4 Prime and the bZ4x.

Technology

A few major highlights surrounding the up-to-date technology include a digital key feature and wireless charging. The digital key gives owners the ability to lock, unlock, and start the vehicle with a tap of a smartphone. Convenience is key! It’s more easy than ever to swap cars with friends and family without the hassle of misplacing a physical key. Charging is also compatible with 150 kW direct current quick charging; capable of 80% charge in 30 minutes. Take climate control to a new level with seat and steering wheel heaters, plus a front-seat radiant foot-heater (a first for Toyota). 

Hydrogen Fuel Cells 

Kenworth Truck Company and Toyota Motor North America are collaborating to develop zero-emission T680s powered by Toyota hydrogen fuel cell electric powertrains. This collaboration is part of the Zero and Near-Zero Emissions Freight Facilities grant dedicated to the state of California to develop a viable hydrogen network. With 48 stations open today, 360 MAGAZINE had the opportunity to visit a Shell facility during the trip for a tutorial to a foreign concept by Norm of the ride & drive team. Hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, which use electric motors, are much more energy efficient. For instance, Mirai is innovative and defies the linear school of thought with regards to a Hybrid. It encourages more reasons to go Hydrogen. When you start the engine, hydrogen travels to the Fuel Cell Stack, where it combines with oxygen from the outside air to create electricity. At the core, it’s an extraordinary zero emission ride while the Hydrogen from the fuel tank and air entering from the intake meet in the Fuel Cell Stack. There, a chemical reaction involving the oxygen in the air and hydrogen creates electricity powering the vehicle. In the end, the only by-product is water, defining the future of fueling.   

The newly launched costal community

ALiLA Marea Beach Resort, is nestled alongside a magnificent stretch of the Pacific Ocean. Its robust design effortlessly blends into its natural habitat – like water and rock, making it an ideal locale for this activation. Similar in type to the lodging grounds, bZ4X is posed to marvel with its unwavering curb appeal and performance. Finally, Toyota has struck a cord with both environmentalists and car enthusiasts alike. The bZ4X is set to hit dealerships in late Spring of 2023.

Article: Armon Hayes,Vaughn Lowery, Krish Narsinghani, Kai Yeo

Vaughn Lowery for use by 360 Magazine

AVADAR C3-CITY EBIKE

The modern commuter – pedaling their way through downtown, in a rush to get to their job safely and speedily, interested in an eco-friendly way to ride – demands a certain level of excellence from their transportation. Bikes are an obvious solution, but beyond traditional bikes, ebikes are increasingly a solution for dynamic city streets, hilly terrain, and more. The Avadar C3-City ebike rewrites the rules in the realm of ebikes, creating a dynamic experience for the modern rider.

With the ever-growing demand for ebikes, Avadar has built a contemporary one. From a brand whose products are for those who simply love to ride, Avadar emphasizes fit and function. The brand’s philosophy ensures their bikes are simple to use and reasonably priced.

360 MAGAZINE had the opportunity to test out one of these ebikes on the streets of the Bronx – an iconic neighborhood that is a mix of flat and rolling terrain, steep hills and pot holes – and found the ebike more than delivered. Read on to hear about the difference of an Avadar bike.

Curb Appeal

At 59lbs, the Avadar C3-City ebike allows for a sturdy yet lightweight ride in all contexts and all terrains. Whether its biking to work in the mornings or enjoying an adventure ride through the mountains, the Avadar can conquer any terrain.

Regarding aesthetics, the bike comes in two eye-catching shades: red and blue. The metallic midnight blue color of the bike is a new color from Avadar, a slick hue that immediately draws the eye. The aerodynamic structural elements paired with futuristic flare of the Avadar set it apart from competing ebikes from a style standpoint.

The size of the Avadar itself is a secure and adaptable length of 183 cm and is accompanied by a 2smooth, aluminum construction and feel.

Design

With a sharp aerodynamic design, the Avadar demands attention. The soft tail seat provides great cushion for any riders traveling a further distance. Further convenience stems from the ability to adjust the seat to the perfect height, guaranteeing an easy ride no matter the destination. Further fitting the bike to one’s own body and comfort is the Avadar sizes, M or L, granting even more customization.

The Avadar comes with wheel fenders and a rear bike rack for maximum convenience. The highly stylized fenders defend from dirt, weather and other messes. The bike rack ensures simple transport for the bike on the go. The integration of a removable integrated battery (RIB) is encased in the frame or “rib cage” of the bike, easily hidden from the eye, further assures that the bike is as easy on the eyes as possible, while providing an ideal ride.

With a unisex design, this bike is great for those looking for an elegant, innovative style of bike.

Technology

With a 0-5 level pedal assist, the bike allows for a customization of power levels dependent on varying terrains and inclines. No matter how great the need, Avadar can provide a push. The 10Ah battery can fully charge in a mere four hours, making it easy to charge overnight or while at work. In combination with the pedal assist mode, Avadar can provide a distance of 100KM/62 Miles, perfect not only for the commuter, but long-distance riders as well.

Another exceptional feature is the LCD screen, providing easy to read speed, mileage and power information. Like the LCD display found on the Himiway Escape, The LCD screen is found beside the handlebar of the bike for maximum amenity. Data collected during rides pops up on the screen with IP67 TFT Color Display, controlled by the push of a button.

Night rides can provide a challenge for even the most experienced of riders. But the use of a 36V LED headlight ensures full visibility throughout the course of an evening ride. The brightness of the headlight ensures no need for extra lights on the Avadar. The use of an integrated light system permits no wires are out and in the way of the performance of the bike. This assures safety, security and style.

Another unique quality of the Avadar is its ready to ride availability. The mid-motor of the bike has a throttle sensor that allows for performance adjustments while riding. This portion of the bike acts as the “brain” – with torque sensing the modifications riders themselves make as they go. It gives smart technology a new meaning – a ride through the city running errands will be organically improved on its own, no brain power of an owner required

Functionality & Customization

One of the best customizations for the Avadar is the removable integrated battery (RIB). The RIB is a one-piece battery fit with a cover and built-in handle, allowing for easier removal and reinstallation. The RIB fits in the frame of the “neck” of the bike. If batteries lose their power on the way to dinner with friends, bring the RIB right along inside to charge while wining and dining. The Avadar provides ultimate functionality.

A middle bar in the “torso” of the bike allows for relaxed moving access and transportation of the bike. Hopping on the train? Pick the bike up by this section, which essentially can function as a handle, and jump on. This allows for simple and effortless travel with the bike.

Performance

The Avadar isn’t just a bike that looks pretty – it has the powerful technology to back up its good looks. With the one-of-a-kind use of a mid-drive motor, this skyrockets the climbing ability of the Avadar. Offering 80Nm of torque, the mid-drive motor certifies an effortless and smooth handling ride. Located near the bottom bracket, the 250-watt motor maintains speeds up to 28mph.

Similarly impressive, the Avadar employs high-end hydraulic brakes. The hydraulic brake systems use brake fluid to diffuse force in the brake system. This system of breaking is far more responsive than typical brake pads, allowing for effortless stopping in all kinds of weather, further promising a safe ride.

The Avadar C3 ebike is known for its effortless ride ability with front suspension. The bike has no suspension on the back but combined with the mid-motor and suspension in the front of the bike, balances out for a light and easy ride. Suspension being placed in the front ensures speedier pedaling, especially in sprints to catch the train or on climbs up hilly terrains.

Ergonomics

The Avadar C3 ebike allows for great mobility and efficiency. This bike is great for students needing a means of transportation to get to class, a DoorDash-er delivering food to their customers, or a young worker looking for an eco-friendlier way to get to work. The Avadar is great for those on the go but can also be useful for more laid-back lifestyles. Yet the Avadar isn’t all about speed and efficiency – its pleasurable riding experience means it is ideal for a leisurely ride around town or summer cruise on trails with friends. No matter the lifestyle needs, the Avadar is ideal.

Priced at $2180, the Avadar C3-City ebike is great for a user looking to get the most out of their purchase. Great for ages 16+, integrate this bike into the fabric of daily life. The Avadar is guaranteed to get anyone where they need to go.

Assembly

Mexico Sports Center & Bicycle Repair

McKinley Franklin × Vaughn Lowery

Vaughn Lowery for use by 360 Magazine
Heather Skovlund Lexus IS 350 F-Sport illustration for use by 360 Magazine

2021 Lexus IS 350 F SPORT

By: Emily Bunn x Vaughn Lowery

360 Magazine took the 2021 Lexus IS 350 F-Sport out for a spin along California’s golden coast. We drove the Grecian Water model- an electric blue color that surely was the star of Hollywood Boulevard. As compared to other luxury sedans, such as a the BMW 3 Series, the Lexus IS provides unrivaled steering feel, safety features, and price. The low to the ground position of the vehicle­–30mm wider than its predecessor Lexus model–makes for a dramatic, aggressive, and sleek reimagined design. A pure sports sedan, the 2021 Lexus IS 350 F-Sport promises peak performance, craftsmanship, and technological innovation.

The intriguing, proactive layout of the Lexus IS 350 F-Sport inspired 360 Magazine to revamp our LA workspace to reflect the vehicle’s beautiful interior and exterior. During our trip, we drove the Lexus IS to several Home Depots as we worked on renovations. Thanks to the agile driving ability of the IS, we were able to get to our destination smoothly in a matter of minutes. The lean design of the Lexus IS allowed us to easily maneuver into tight parking spaces and around busy corners. The ferocious agility and powerful drive of the vehicle made for a comfortable journey as picked up revamping supplies.

We reimagined our LA location to exude sophistication and innovation, as the Lexus IS represents. With new shelving units and countertops, modern metallic flooring, a chandelier with LED lights, repainted matte countertops, and installed bejeweled glass knobs, the 360 team transformed our area into a completely redesigned and elevated workspace. To maximize the space’s function, we also added surrounded sound, subwoofers, and a TV. Just like the ergonomically compact and versatile construction of the Lexus IS, 360 Magazine’s refurbished LA workspace reflects how we will efficiently utilize the space for future events, dinners, and live performances. For trips to Home Depot, work commutes, grocery runs, cruises along the Golden Coast, and more, the Lexus IS 350 F-Sport is the ideal vehicle.

Design

The Lexus IS 350 F-Sport was designed in tandem with BMW and Lexus, mixing the utmost quality of German and Japanese engineering. Some of the most noteworthy design features of the F-Sport include heated and ventilated power sears for the driver and passenger, as well as a shift knob and hand-selected leather-trimmed steering wheel and interior trim. Fine accent stitching details car’s the dashboard, creating a very coordinated and sleek ambiance in the vehicle. The large, circular air vents in the car are reminiscent of jet turbines and make every drive in the Lexus a daring adventure to embark upon.

The IS 350 F-Sport has all-wheel drive abilities that grant enhanced traction on many surfaces and conditions. Carpet floor mats lets passengers climb back into their Lexus with no fear after a day out adventuring. The car’s 19 in staggered-width alloy wheels, with a dark metallic finish, allow drivers to take on any terrain. The IS 350 F-Sport has luxurious F-Sport exterior styling including glossy black accents around the grille, lower rocker, and rear lip spoiler and a singular tailpipe that stylishly tapers to mere centimeter in the center. When passengers enter the vehicle, they are sure to notice to the black, geometric film interior trim, which creates a classy, elegant atmosphere in the car’s cabin. Following the perimeters of the vehicle’s lustrous trim, passenger’s eyes are led up to the power tilt-and-slide moonroof.

While we loved cruising in style in the Grecian Blue model, the vehicle also comes in seven other stunning shades: Ultra White, Iridium, Atomic Silver, Cloudburst Gray, Caviar, Infrared, and Ultrasonic Blue Mica 2.0.

Technology 

Lexus’ impressive multimedia system, comprised of The Mark Levinson navigation/audio package, includes a navigation system with 10.3in touch screen multimedia display, Lexus Enform dynamic navigation (3-year trial included), dynamic voice command (10-year trial included), Lexus Enform destination assist (3-year trial included), and Mark Levinson 17-speaker, 1,800-watt premium sound system audio system with voice command. Also available on the display is a panoramic view monitor with four high-resolution cameras on the car’s front, side, and rear. The panoramic view monitor allows drivers a bird’s eye view of their surrounding environment, providing helpful assistance with parking and tight maneuvering. All of these tech savvy features make navigating and entertaining a breeze.

Driver need not lift a finger from the wheel, as they can easily listen to music, make lists, hear the news, and control smart-home devices by using voice commands. The digital instrumental of the car’s gauges can also be read aloud to inform drivers when necessary. Or flip between channels and navigate the touchscreen with the Lexus Enform Remote (which includes a 3-year trial.)

Apple CarPlay and Android Auto Compatibility lets drivers cruise while listening to their favorite music, podcasts, audio books, and more. Or, if you prefer to have someone else curating your driving playlist, crank on the car’s SiriusXM Satellite Radio (3-month trial of such is included.) During our sunset cruise, we listened to “Love Nobody” and Afro Soul by WurlD.

The IS 350 is compatible with smartphones, smart watches, devices enabled with Google Assistant, and the Amazon Echo. Even if you’re traveling in remote areas, Lexus’ Enform Wi-Fi (3-month trial included) lets adventurers stay connected, wherever you are. Further, the Lexus App allows drivers to manage their vehicle on the go. Schedule service appointment and start your vehicle remotely with just a few simple taps.

With dual-zone electrostatic climate controls, drivers can customize their car’s temperature effortlessly with intuitive slide touch controls. Individual settings allow for both the driver and front seat passenger to set their preferred temperatures.

Safety

Lexus knows that their customers travel with precious cargo. Keeping this in mind, the 2021 Lexus IS 350 F-Sport was created with a myriad of safety features to keep everyone secure. The F-Sport model has a governmental 5-star for its driver and passenger safety in case of a crash and is also rated 5-stars regarding the safety of passengers in case of rollover in a single-vehicle crash.

Equipped with the Lexus Safety System + 2.5 Pre-Collision System, this Lexus has pedestrian detection, all speed-dynamic radar cruise control, intelligent high beams, road sign assist, lane tracing assist, and lane departure alert with steering assist. The vehicle also comes stocked with a first aid kit, so you can feel prepared for anything while on-the-go.

Additionally, the blind spot monitor with rear cross traffic alert smart access takes the stress out of driving in crowded areas. If drivers are hesitant the venture out into stormy weather, the IS 350’s rain sensing wipers allow driver’s a clear view of the road in front of them, no matter what. Even while driving at night, Lexus customers can feel protected knowing that the car’s intelligent high bean headlamps and road sign assist will make navigating in the dark easy. Auto on/off LEF low and high beam headlights with daytime running lights (DRL) will illuminate the night, wherever your adventures take you.

Performance 

Standard features of the vehicle include a 3.5-liter V6 engine with 311 HP @ 6600, and 280 torque @ 4800. The enhanced agility of this new model allows for improved cornering, reduced body lean, and greater overall responsiveness. The annual fuel cost of the car totals $2,100, with a 23 MPG– 20 mpg in the city, and 28 mpg on the highway. Further, the F-Spot uses only 4.3 gallons per 100 miles. The fuel economy, greenhouse gas rating, and smog rating of the car is a 5/10.

The IS 350 F-Spot has an exhilarating 8-speed sport direct-shift transmission (RWD only). This model Lexus performs highly, thanks to the car’s rear wheel drive and selection of five driving modes (ECO, Normal, Sport & Snow.) Drivers can also utilize custom drive mode, which enables users to create a unique combination of drive mode settings for a more personalized driving experience.

Drivers to cruise with comfort, thanks to the mounted steering wheel with paddle shifters. For those wanting extra security, the torsen limited-slip differential is available; which shifts power to the rear wheel with the most grip to provide greater traction and command during acceleration and cornering.

Other performance aspects of the Lexus IS 350 F-Sport are included in the Dynamic Handling Package. This package includes adaptive variable suspension turning abilities (with components that are up to 20% lighter to sharpen response and reduce body lean), a moveable meter, and a carbon fiber rear spoiler.

Cost

Upon purchasing your Lexus, the car retailer provides their Lexus Enform Safety Connect, which includes a 3-year trial. Furthermore, the Lexus Enform Service Connect is included for the first 10 years of ownership. The 2021 Lexus 2021 IS 350 F-Sport starts at $39,050.

The model that 360 Magazine took on the road–including delivery, processing and handling fees–cost $53,740.

Purchase NOW.

360 LA Workspace renovation image via Armon Hayes and Vaughn Lowery for use by 360 Magazine
360 LA Workspace renovation image via Armon Hayes and Vaughn Lowery for use by 360 Magazine
360 LA Workspace renovation image via Armon Hayes and Vaughn Lowery for use by 360 Magazine
360 LA Workspace renovation image via Armon Hayes and Vaughn Lowery for use by 360 Magazine
360 LA Workspace renovation image via Armon Hayes and Vaughn Lowery for use by 360 Magazine
360 LA Workspace renovation image via Armon Hayes and Vaughn Lowery for use by 360 Magazine
360 LA Workspace renovation image via Armon Hayes and Vaughn Lowery for use by 360 Magazine
360 LA Workspace renovation image via Armon Hayes and Vaughn Lowery for use by 360 Magazine
360 LA Workspace renovation image via Armon Hayes and Vaughn Lowery for use by 360 Magazine
360 LA Workspace renovation image via Armon Hayes and Vaughn Lowery for use by 360 Magazine
F-wheel A5 Electric Bike illustrated by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

F-wheel A5 Electric Bike

By: Heather Skovlund x Vaughn Lowery

The F-wheel A5 electric bike has all the perks to an e-bike that you could dream of having while headed to your destination. It sports 14-inch wheels, an ergonomically designed frame, seating for adults and kids, and is easy to maneuver and store tight spaces with its folding capabilities. While you’re likely to see tons of these types of e-bikes zipping around just about any city in China, it’s a fairly extraordinary e-bike in the US. 

Curb Appeal

Affiliates of 360 Magazine had the opportunity to test the capability of the F-wheel A5 e-bike. The A5 is sleek and holds a trendy appearance with its 14-inch wheels and minimalist aluminum alloy frame. The A5 is designed for dense urban living with its durability, upgraded seat, and back seat perfect for transporting cargo (with bungee cords) or even a second person/child. The F-wheel is available in three colors: black, red, and white. This sleek e-bike is available in F-wheel A5 Standard as well as F-wheel A5 Deluxe. To customize the look of your new ride, look no further than Gabe Majalca, mastermind of Good Vibe Gliders for an enhanced flare.

Performance

With the amazing durability of the F-wheel A5, you will be able to sightsee in style and go shopping on a whim. The powerful 350W 48V motor will get you to your destination with ease with a max speed of 25KM/H. The F-wheel runs on a 7.5AH battery that is portable and removable, which is fantastic for charging. The added suspensions work nicely for a smoother ride with a noticeable difference in the seat post suspension. The acceleration is powerful, it has been reviewed at around 500W continuous and up to 750W peak for speeds. There are three different riding modes with the A5: Pure Electric Mode, Boost Mode, and Manpower Mode. The F-wheel A5 Deluxe is equipped with a LG lithium battery with a capacity of up to 21AH, with a BMS battery management system to help battery life up to 180KM.

Technology

As previously mentioned, the A5 has three different riding modes. The first, Pure Electric Mode, allows you to ride with no cycling of the pedals. The second, Boost Mode, allows you to pedal with an assist from the power source. Lastly, Manpower Mode, enables you to ride like a human-powered bicycle – no need to power on. There is a power display and real-time speed display in addition to the different modes offered: eco, medium and high. The A5 comes with two keys as well as two fobs to easily start the e-bike up. There is also an extra removable battery. The front and rear brakes work well as well as the front lights and taillights. There is a light on the back of the bike that lights up “EBIKE” which adds a subtle touch of flare to the bike. This e-bike is low maintenance without a derailleur or gears. The 14-inch tires are in a mag wheel – there are no spokes that need to be tuned or that will break. The F-wheel A5 weighs 22.5KG and easily folds up for easier transportation such as when you’re heading into an elevator, riding the Amtrack, climbing stairs or simply placing the e-bike in your apartment. Just simply fold the handlebars down, fold the frame in the front, fold the pedals down, remove the seat and you’re set. There are also sensors on the A5 to notify you if someone or something is too close the bike along with a lock on the battery.

Competition

Competition is very limited with the sleek improvements of the F-wheel A5 electric bike (formally DYU Smart Electric Bike D3). Priced at $700 and worth every cent. The closest competitor is the EB7 Elite Commuter from Swagtron. The next competitor would be the Flido D25 Folding Electric Commuter Bike. The electric bike trend has been on the rise due to communities embracing the go “green” activity. A review left on DYU’s website from Clayton Kent states that the A5 is the “perfect commuter bike enduring at least 70 NYC blocks a day” as well as “it has saved me a lot of money not having to use the train”. With the new improvements to the design and overall functionality to the F-wheel A5 electric bike, it is sure to be the front runner for delivery workers, professionals, and kids at heart.

Photo by Armon Hayes
Photo credit: Armon Hayes
Photo Credit: Armon Hayes
Photo Credit: Armon Hayes
Photo Credit: Armon Hayes
Photo Credit: Armon Hayes

Recaro Automotive at NAIAS 2018

Recaro Automotive Seating unveils new performance car seats at NAIAS 2018. For OEM customers and the North American aftermarket: Recaro Automotive Seating, the global leader in performance car seating, showcases an extended portfolio at the North American International Auto Show 2018 (NAIAS) in Detroit.

Adient’s premium brand is presenting the all-new modular Recaro Performance Seat Platform (RPSP) for OEM applications, an SUV performance seat and three new products for dynamic driving fun to reinforce the U.S. aftermarket business. “With our modular RPSP we are making a strong statement to our OEM customers in the U.S.: This new generation product platform is a customer-focused solution to meet the increasing demands for performance, safety, light weight, comfort and design, addressing a broad range of performance and luxury vehicles,” says Martin C. Klein, head of Recaro Automotive Seating. “At the same time we are demonstrating our strengthened engagement on the U.S. aftermarket with three new performance seats for the American car enthusiasts scene.”

At this year’s NAIAS, Recaro Automotive Seating is showcasing two applications of the Recaro Performance Seat Platform (RPSP): They cover the whole performance seat range, from a slim, “reduced to the max” version in lightweight design to a demonstrator with advanced features and design innovations, such as a visible, carbon fiber-woven backrest structure, aiming at the top luxury segment. An RPSP half-cut allows inside views of the special hybrid structure, which uses a combination of composite organo sheets and metal components. Recaro’s “SUV Performance” seat on display targets compact sporty utility vehicles combining advanced driving comfort with a dynamic attitude. As a result of extensive test driving, this concept offers exceptional comfort and riding performance especially suited to SUVs, with seat features like adjustable side bolsters in the backrest, a flat seat cushion for easy ingress/egress and the superior Recaro design. It provides an anatomically shaped structure and a low H-Point for excellent feedback from the road. The eye-catching Recaro Pole Position SL street legal limited-edition model for the U.S. aftermarket combines clean design and sportiness with high-quality manufacturing and craftsmanship. This purebred shell seat is made for sharp-looking interiors and the finest in dynamic driving pleasure. Limited to 300 pieces, the model is distinguished through unique Recaro styling elements, including an embroidered logo and elegant aluminum plaque with the seat’s serial number.

Despite its SOP in January 2018, only a small number of Pole Position SL seats are still available. Another all-new Recaro aftermarket seat at this year’s NAIAS is the Speed V: a true bolt-in seat kit designed specifically for American sports cars. It was inspired by the classic Recaro racing shells, designed for firm and dynamic support during high-performance driving. The new seat combines the look, feel and support of a racing generation seat with all the necessary comfort for every day driving. Recaro Automotive Seating also introduces the Sportster GT: With its long-standing history as one of the most successful sportive car seats in the world, this new seat addresses today’s top sport luxury automobiles, representing the latest in aftermarket seating technology. Its lightweight structure provides Recaro’s world-renowned performance ergonomics and excellent body support. Recaro Automotive Seating’s exhibition is part of the Adient presentation at NAIAS 2018 in Room 310B, Cobo Center.

2017 FORD EXPLORER PLATINUM SERIES

photos × story: Vaughn Lowery

No one wants to recieve the dreaded call that a loved one has transitioned. As of late, I received that call. My father had passed and thus; I had to dessiminate the news to my 4 older siblings. Once funeral arrangements were planned, we all hurried down to Detroit to be reunited for his services.

Because our father drove and highly revered his 1983 scarlet red Ford Fairmont with matching interior, we resolved to reach out to Ford about possibly testing one of their models in his honor – the 2017 Ford Explorer Platinum Series

This variant of the Ford Explorer is arguably one of the most gorgeous in their lineup. Their engineers and designers, by using sustainable textiles and green manufacturing, have raised the bar. Ruby red enamel coats the exterior alongside a set of 20″ bright machine faced wheels. The grille appears to be refreshed, adorning LED foglamps and power folding side view mirrors. The overall look and feel of the vehicle is classy and a great deal more sophisticated than previous configurations. 

Underneath the hood is a 3.5L V6 twin turbo ecoboost powerplant – pushing 365hp with 350lb-ft torque. Drivetrain has a terrain selector for gravel, sand, snow and grass. Sport mode can be activated via pedal shifters behind the heated steering wheel or shifter box. Weighing in at around 5000lbs, this husky vehicle gets around 16mpg city, 22mpg highway and 18mpg combined – this came in handy as we chauffeured family members to and from the airport.

Inside the cabin is a step in the right direction for Ford: signature leather seats/floor mats, branded scuff plates, dual moonroof, second row middle console with bucket seats and third row power folding back seats (60/40 split). Furthermore, this car has loads of brains – keyless entry, remote start, cruise control, parallel park assist. The 8.2 inch display infotainment unit is powered by Sync 3 with larger icons/interface. It possesses Bluetooth capabilities, audio control, app screen, Apple CarPlay and Android Audio. 

Standout features which were reminiscent of a Range Rover – highly adaptive headlights and 180 degree front/back camera. This gave us additional comfort while we darted back and forth from downtown Detroit to Bloomfield Hills – some of the roads tend to be dark, wooded with limited street lamps. In addition, being able to load the vehicle with a simple foot swivel under the back tailgate easily allowed us to pack our dad’s ashes.

In short, the full-size six-passenger 2017 Ford Explorer Platinum Series lent excellent support to our family during an extremely tough time. And at a cost roughly $55,000 USD for all of the technology and innovation, it’s well worth every cent.