Posts tagged with "hybrid"

Get The Most Money Selling Your Car

Sales is not everyone’s strong suit, and used car sales has its own stigma. But with the right preparation, you can have the confidence you need to get the most money selling your car. Here are a few strategic tips you can use when selling a used vehicle, no matter the kind or condition. 

Preventative Care

Getting the most out of your car in the future begins with how you take care of it today. Preventative care like regular oil changes and safe driving will help you get the most return when it comes time to sell your car.

  • Oil Change – Motor oil keeps your engine in proper working condition by lubricating its moving parts. This protective barrier also regulates engine temperature and prevents corrosion, which could lead to very dangerous and expensive damage that will show up on your vehicle history report.
  • Keep Clean – It may not seem like it, but keeping your car clean will help with your resale value. Taking your car through a touch-free car wash on a regular basis will help prevent paint from fading and could even prevent rust.
  • Safe Driving – A bit of a no brainer, but accidents dramatically decrease the value of your car. Even when repaired, a car that has been repaired following an accident is a red flag on the vehicle history report. Even if the outside looks good, the buyer has no way of knowing any residual effects of the accident and may choose to avoid the risk all together.

Prep for Success

Curb appeal applies to cars as much as it does homes. Getting more money for your vehicle can be as simple as cleaning it up and taking good photos. Prep your car, inside and out, for eye-catching photos from every angle including detailed shots. Wait for a nice day with optimum lighting and drive to a place with ambiance such as a park, atop a parking garage with the skyline in the background, or even just the side of a building with a clean wall. Don’t forget to eliminate distractions like garbage from the area. Great photos of a detailed car will naturally attract more attention and likely get you more cash in the end.

Getting more money for your vehicle can be as simple as cleaning it up and taking good photos. Great photos of a detailed car will naturally attract more attention and likely get you more cash in the end.

Transparency

After you’ve cleaned and photographed your car, put together a consolidated write up. You could even provide your own copy of the vehicle history report. Whether you’re sharing online or in-person, offering as much information as possible gives car buyers confidence that you’re not trying to hide anything. This transparency creates a foundation of trust which will help you secure your ideal asking price.

Understanding Value

Understanding the value of your car is the next step in getting the most out of it. The last thing you want is a situation where the buyer knows more about your car than you do. If you don’t know enough about the value of your car you could either undersell yourself or let someone talk you out of what your car is truly worth. Do a little research and look into pricing across sites such as Kelly Blue Book, Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, and local dealerships.

Key Factors

There are a few primary factors that determine the value of your car, though some of the details can be subjective. The vehicle’s mileage and condition are two standing factors no matter the make or model. The value of your car based on its year is somewhat relative. Typically, the newer the better, unless your buyer is a collector or there have been recalls associated with the year of your car. The make and model can be somewhat subjective because buyers desire different cars for different reasons (ie. electric, luxury, comfort, size). Ask yourself why you bought the car in the first place. 

Other factors that affect the value of your car:

  1. Owner Care
  2. Number of Owners
  3. Stock Accessories
  4. Aftermarket Upgrades

Unique Factors

Throughout the time you’ve owned the car, you’ve undoubtedly made some changes to fit your lifestyle. Have you added a roof rack to haul snowboards or mountain bikes? Did you add navigation and update the stereo equipment for a better road trip experience? Did you lift your truck and add bigger tires? These things can increase the value of your car.

Opportunity Factors

Something to keep in mind when you’re prepping to sell is demand. Today’s car market is unique. While many are working from home and driving less, Americans are much more inclined to own a personal vehicle to avoid public transportation. Furthermore, the cost of gasoline and climate change campaigns are inspiring drivers to reduce their carbon footprint. Both of these factors make electric and hybrid vehicles more attractive.

Something to keep in mind when you’re prepping to sell is demand. As more people are inspired to do their part in helping the environment, electric and hybrid vehicles have been more attractive to prospective car buyers.

Negotiating & Wiggle Room

Now that you’ve prepped, photographed, and posted your car for sale, it’s time to gear up for negotiating. Selling privately through sites like Craigslist, eBay or Facebook Marketplace will get you the most for your car. If you have the right connections, you may be able to park your car with a for sale sign in a high-traffic area to attract potential buyers. When you sell to a dealership, they have to plan for overhead, profit, and commissions. This means the purchase price needs to leave enough room for markup and less money for you.

If you’ve researched similar vehicles for sale in your area, as well as the appropriate value for your car based on the factors mentioned above, the final tip for getting the most money for your car is to include a little wiggle-room in the asking price for negotiating. For example, if your car is valued around $10,000 and nearby dealerships are selling the same vehicle for $9,000 to $12,000, consider listing your car with an asking price in that range, but $2,000 above your ideal sale price. Wise buyers will always make an initial offer below asking price, and if you have a cushion for negotiating, you should be able to offer a competitive rate that still gets you the most money for your car.

Your Trade-In is Someone Else’s Treasure

Whether you’re retiring a hand-me-down clunker or you’re growing from sports car to SUV, there is a buyer who will find what they need in what you’re selling. Getting the most money for your used car simply requires a little cleaning, research, and strategic negotiating. In the end, if the sale isn’t as important as your time, you can always donate your car to nonprofits like The Salvation Army or Habitat for Humanity, who are helping individuals and families rebuild their lives.

Good Vibe Gliders, 360 magazine

MEET THE MASTERMIND of Good Vibe Gliders – Gabe Majalca

  1. What is your main source of passion that led to creating custom-designed artistic scooters?

I’ve always had a creative spirit that most likely stems from my mom, who was an event and party decorator. In my late teens, I worked for the costume shop at the Gaslight Theatre in Tucson, AZ. Around that same time, my dad gifted me with his 1977 El Camino Classic. I loved TV shows like Overhaulin’ and Pimp My Ride. Naturally, I started spending time customizing my El Camino with my Dad, creating custom upholstery at the costume shop. I rocked blue-tinted glasses all the time and wore my hair all funky. It was cool that I had parents who let me figure myself out in that way. I never felt impeded. But then I went to college and life changed from muscle cars to academia. While in college, my design eye flourished. My frat room was a pretty ridiculous sight to see. The room and loft resembled all the colors featured on a Buzz Lightyear. My room was Star Command, complete with black and white checkered tile, cosmic blue walls, bright orange curtains, red trimming, clouds on the roof, and of course, glow-in-the-dark stars. It was just cool.

I was always out there with the things I wanted to do, and it was cool that I found a way to do them.

  1. What motivated you to focus on scooter products rather than another form of transportation?

The reason for the electric scooter is a direct result of my experience at camping festivals. At the first-ever Good Vibe Getdown (the company name is a forever homage to this festival), I set up my camp way too far from everybody else. Although it was the most beautiful spot onsite (right on the banks of Apache Lake) it took FOREVER to walk back and forth. A bicycle wouldn’t work because you still have to exert energy and I was not about that life. So, I thought of the most effective form of transportation at a camping festival: an electric scooter. I bought an e-scooter and decorated it entirely in jewels. When we got to Good Vibe 2 that next year, I didn’t even get to ride it. It was a smashing success. I remember seeing grown men fight over the chance to ride it next. That’s when I realized, “Wow, people are loving this. No one has ever really seen anything like this before.” My Gliders are fun, exaggerated, over-the-top, extra in every way, shape, & form, and instantaneously make you the center of attention. That’s crazy. You honestly can’t help but be the center of attention when a scooter looks like that. Put a Good Vibe Glider next to a regular scooter, and the answer is simple.

Lastly, there’s an element of luck to which I give credit. It turned out to be perfect timing to start decorating scooters because no more than a year later, rideshare scooters started popping up all over my city. I didn’t start GVG because of the scooter trend. I started GVG because it helped direct my creative energy in a positive way, and soon I had a fleet and started helping my friends run their festivals more efficiently.

  1. What was the first festival where you chose to implement the gliders and why did you choose that specific one?

Good Vibe 2 is where I had my ah-ha moment, but Good Vibe 3 was full-on intentional. I designed and created one Glider for the festival coordinator and made two more Gliders for the festival attendees to glide around on. I even built a charging station in the middle of the desert so that when the batteries got low, riders would pull up and plug in their scooters. It was very cool to see my vision come to life: homies helping homies hold it down, faster, stronger, and more efficiently.

  1. How did your past design experience help you succeed in producing these Good Vibe Gliders?

As you know, I’ve always had it in me. My early work at the Gaslight Costume Shop, helping produce costumes and props was pivotal. I had great direction and instruction from two of the best designers in the business, MaryAnne and Renee. Most of my designer confidence came out of working with them.

  1. How have Festival Event staff and Coordinators reacted to their use of gliders?

Simple: they lose their freakin‘ minds. They can’t get enough of it. If they didn’t understand it before they definitely understood it after. It’s cool being the guy with the electric scooters because there are so many instances at a festival where you need to get somewhere quickly. So many situations – medical assistance, needing to find somebody or lost equipment. Other times, equipment needs to be transported long distances without access to a truck. I’ve been able to directly help those folks just by having a scooter present. There was this one stagehand at Juniper Jam who said, “Seriously, I don’t ever want to do another festival without one of these things. Can you go talk with my boss please?”

  1. Do you have any plans to expand your market for these scooters? And if so, how will you do so?

If you’d asked me this about five months ago, my answer would have been much more different. Because of the virus, the hospitality industry took a huge hit and people are definitely not riding electric scooters like they used to. These days GVG has naturally expanded into accessories. Not long after I made my first Glider did people start asking me to bedazzle and theme other stuff, as well. By no means are we leaving the bedazzled PEV market, that’s our bread and butter. However, I also consider us lucky to have an alternative direction to pivot. I’ve been pleasantly surprised at how well-received my Good Vibe Shine Goggles have been. Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award Winner George Clinton even rocks a pair.

  1. Do you work with or have any plans to work with any non-profit, community service, or charity organizations?

More than ever, we are willing to work with community and charity organizations to help make an impact on the lives of others. Last month, we sponsored a 24-hour Virtual Festival fundraiser featuring 24 DJs, 8 live artists, and 4 workshops. Our fundraiser achieved over $1,500.00.

Earlier this year, Sprinkles (the 360 Glider made by Good Vibe Gliders) lent a helping hand at the AIDS Walk Arizona 2020. My neighbor Nancy is one of the event coordinators and was amazed by Sprinkles! Right before the event, Nancy sprained her knee and was scheduled to undergo surgery the following week. She was depressed about the situation and bummed to think she wouldn’t be of much use at the event. However, once we offered her the Glider, her frown turned upside down and she killed it. She still thanks me to this day.

  1. What would you say is the greater purpose of selling these glider products?

Generating pure happiness. What’s most amazing to me is that we have a product that genuinely creates happiness in the minds of the rider. It’s something I see every time, whether the scooter belongs to you or not. The first time you sit on a Glider, the next 15 seconds of your life is bliss. You forget about absolutely everything. The rider smiles uncontrollably, scootin’ and zippin’ around, like, “oh my gosh, I totally forgot how awesome scooters are!” They are childlike once again, if only for a few moments, and that’s unbelievable to me. In every project, our goal is to produce something the customer won’t just like, but something they will love.

  1. How did you assemble your team of glider creators together?

Most of my co-creators stem from the amazing group of artists I met during the Good Vibe Getdown years. These guys & gals are creative juggernauts, powerhouses at their trade, and a driving force that can’t be stopped. I quickly realized the more I worked with other artists, the better my final product would be. Soon, other artists started taking interest. I would bring a Glider with me almost everywhere I went. Artists saw what I was doing and often would say, “Oh – you’re weird and unique; Here’s what I do, I bet we can collaborate together.” And just like that, I create friends. My products are generating work for local artists with tangible, green-in-their-pocket work. So as sales began to pick up and people started trusting the GVG brand, I could keep my artists happy based on the rate I charge my clients. Collaboration is now baked right into our business model. More so, I really like showcasing other artists. I want to show people what they can do – and if you like their work, you can work with them specifically to design yourself a custom Glider.

  1. Are these scooters just meant for festivals or are any other parties interested in buying them?

Our Gliders are made for any reason at all. We cater to large events because of our festival roots, but your Glider can be absolutely anything you want it to be. We love getting wild, so go wild! Scooters are no longer fringe transportation; people use them all the time so it’s much easier to pitch a decorated scooter to just about any industry and event. Gliders are perfect for expos, conventions, street fairs, tailgates, food trucks, personal use, business marketing, festivals & production, sports & teams, schools & clubs, weddings & gifts, restaurant & service industry, festivals & production, fairgrounds, business retreats, birthdays, schools & church, parties, etc.

On a personal note, back in November, I was married to my best friend, Addie. Our wedding was three days long, hosted at the base of the Bulldog Buttes at Saguaro Lake Guest Ranch. That place is gorgeous, and sprawling. Hands down, the most incredible weekend of my life! But I can tell you this: without a doubt, if we didn’t have the Gliders there, many things would not have worked out. The unexpected need to get from one side of the property to the other was anticipated, but little did I know these Gliders would play such a major role in getting us out of some tight situations.

Gabe Majalca, 360 MAGAZINE, GOOD VIBE GLIDERS

Gabe Majalca caught on our custom ebike during his wedding reception in Arizona.

Pre-order.

Good Vibe GLIDERS, VAUGHN LOWERY, 360 MAGAZINE

GOOD VIBE GLIDERS, VAUGHN LOWERY, 360 MAGAZINE

GOOD VIBE GLIDERS, VAUGHN LOWERY, 360 MAGAZINE

Thenewsmarket.com, audi ,e-tron, sportback, 360 MAGAZINE

Audi E-tron Sportback

Sporty, elegant design and enhanced efficiency, drag coefficient of just 0.25

300 kW boost output, up to 448 kilometers (278.4 miles)* range according to WLTP

Innovative digital matrix LED headlight available as standard

“The future is electric:” Audi is staying consistently true to its strategic alignment by presenting the second model in its e-tron product line. The Audi e-tron Sportback is a dynamic SUV coupé offering up to 300 kW of power and a range of up to 448 kilometers (278.4 miles) * from a single battery charge. Its digital matrix LED headlights are a new feature now available for the first time in a mass-production vehicle. Their light is broken down into tiny pixels and can be controlled with exceptional precision. This makes safe lane centering easier on narrow stretches of road and shows the position of the vehicle in the lane. The Audi e-tron Sportback can be ordered as of the end of November. Market introduction in Europe is scheduled for the spring of 2020.

Elegant, efficient, expressive: the exterior design

The Audi e-tron Sportback combines the power of a spacious SUV with the elegance of a four-door coupé and the progressive character of an electric car. It is 4,901 millimeters (16.1 ft) long, 1,935 millimeters (6.3 ft) wide and 1,616 millimeters (5.3 ft) high. Its roof extends flat over the muscular body, dropping down steeply to the rear—in typical coupé style— and flowing into the steeply raked D-pillars. The lower edge of the third side window rises towards the rear—a typical Sportback feature.

With the octagonal Singleframe, the powerful contours above the wheels, and the sculptural rear end, the Audi e-tron Sportback is perfectly aligned with the brand’s design idiom. Details signal to the outside world that the SUV coupé is fully electric. The largely enclosed Singleframe with its vertical struts is presented in a light platinum gray—a specific identifying feature of the e-tron models. In the lower area of the matrix LED headlights, four horizontal segments create the e-tron-specific signature in the daytime running lights. This is taken up at numerous points on the model and interpreted in three dimensions, for example, on the striking side sills. Their black inlays draw the eye to where the battery, and thus the energy center, of the Audi e-tron Sportback can be found. The designers also varied the signature at the broad diffuser, drawing attention to the absence of exhaust tailpipes. A light strip connects the LED lights to one another.

A total of thirteen paint finishes are available for the all-electric drive SUV coupé, including the new color plasma blue, metallic, which is exclusive to the e-tron Sportback.

The logo on the electric charging flap features the eye-catching high-voltage signal color orange, which can also be applied to the brake calipers on request. The wheel arch trims and sills are finished in matt anthracite as standard to underscore the off-road look. The same applies to the underbody protection, the diffuser, and the door sills, all of which are painted black. In the exterior line advanced, the attachments are finished in a contrasting gray or, as an option, in the body color. The underbody projection and diffuser then feature a matt silver tone.

The S line model places particular emphasis on the sporting DNA of the Audi e-tron Sportback. It is equipped as standard with 20-inch wheels and sport air suspension. The more distinctively contoured bumper is flanked by more expressive air curtains, which improve the air flow. They extend below the headlights, thereby creating a dynamic appearance even from a distance. An S line emblem adorns the radiator grille, while the illuminated aluminum door sill trims feature an #S logo. At the rear end, the spoiler fitted as standard as well as a striking diffuser that extends across the entire vehicle width contribute to the outstanding vehicle aerodynamics. In contrast to the basic model, the attachments on the S line exterior are painted in the exterior body color – including the wheel arch trims, door sills, bumpers and exterior mirrors. Audi also offers the black styling package that accentuates the area of the Singleframe, the side windows, and the bumper. The exterior mirror housings are also available in black as an option.

Drag coefficient 0.25: Top aerodynamics for extended range

The Audi e-tron Sportback in conjunction with the S line exterior and virtual exterior mirrors achieves an outstanding drag coefficient value of just 0.25—even better than its Audi e-tron sister model. This is primarily due to the coupé body shape and the associated lower aerodynamic drag behind the car. The high separating edge of the Sportback minimizes swirl in the air flow in this area, which ultimately also benefits consumption. In the WLTP cycle, the SUV coupé has a range of up to 448 kilometers (278.4 mi) on a single battery charge. Roughly 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) of the increased range compared to the e-tron can be attributed to the aerodynamically more favorable body. The optional virtual exterior mirrors, whose wing-shaped supports integrate small cameras, represent yet another efficiency factor. The captured images appear on high-contrast OLED displays in the transition between the instrument panel and the door. If the driver moves their finger toward the surface of the touch display, symbols are activated with which the driver can reposition the image. In addition, the mirrors adjust automatically to three driving situations: On the highway as well as during turning and parking maneuvers, they provide optimum visibility for each scenario. The aerodynamic refinement also extends to areas hidden from view. Among others, these include the controllable air intake with channels for cooling the front brakes, the aero wheels, and the fully lined underbody including the aluminum plate to protect the high-voltage battery.

Global innovation in a production vehicle: The digital matrix LED headlights

With the digital matrix LED headlights as top-of-the range equipment, Audi presents a worldwide first in a production vehicle: Broken down into minute pixels, their light can illuminate the road in high resolution. The design is based on a technology abbreviated as DMD (digital micromirror device) and is also used in many video projectors. At its heart is a small chip containing one million micromirrors, each of whose edge length measures just a few hundredths of a millimeter. With the help of electrostatic fields, each individual micromirror can be tilted up to 5,000 times per second. Depending on the setting, the LED light is either directed via the lenses onto the road or is swallowed by an absorber in order to mask out areas of the light beam.

In the Audi e-tron Sportback, the digital light that will expand the offering in mid-2020, performs multiple tasks. It can generate dynamic leaving- and coming-home animations that appear as projections on a wall or on the ground. This presentation transforms the area in front of the car into a carefully illuminated stage. Not only does the digital light system deliver cornering, city, and highway lighting as versions of the low-beam light with exceptional precision, it also supplements the high-beam light by masking out other road users with even greater accuracy. Above all, however, it offers innovative functions such as lane light and orientation light. On freeways, the lane light creates a carpet of light that illuminates the driver’s own lane brightly and adjusts dynamically when he or she changes lane. In this way, it improves the driver’s awareness of the relevant lane and contributes to improved road safety. In addition, the orientation light uses darkened areas masked out from the light beam to predictively show the vehicle’s position in the lane, thereby supporting—especially on narrow roads or in highway construction zones—the safe lane centering assist. The marking light function is also used in conjunction with the optional night vision assist. The light automatically draws attention to any pedestrians it detects, thereby reducing the danger of overlooking pedestrians in the immediate vicinity of the lane.

Sporty efficiency: Electric motors, electric all-wheel drive, suspension

The Audi e-tron Sportback 55 quattro allows the driver to savor the interaction of efficiency, performance, and supreme calm. Each axle is fitted with an asynchronous electric motor that is fed with three-phase current by the power electronics. With an output of 265 kW and 561 Nm (413.8 lb-ft) of torque, the two standard electric motors pack a powerful punch in launching the SUV coupé from a standstill – locally emissions-free and in virtual silence. The Audi e-tron Sportback 55 quattro takes just 6.6 seconds to reach 100 km/h (62.1 mph), and its top speed is electronically limited to 200 km/h (124.3 mph). By shifting from drive range D to S and fully depressing the accelerator pedal, the driver can activate boost mode. Here, the drive generates 300 kW of output and 664 Nm (489.7 lb-ft) of torque for eight seconds. This enables the SUV coupé to sprint from 0 to 100 km/h (62.1 mph) in 5.7 seconds. Two-stage planetary gearboxes with one gear range transfer the torque from the electric motors to the axles. A switch, which the driver can operate with the thumb and forefinger, is used to select the gears. It is embedded in an elegant lever that is set low above the center tunnel and serves as a hand rest.

Electric all-wheel drive ensures outstanding traction and dynamism on any terrain. With it, Audi is writing a new chapter in the history of quattro drive. It continuously regulates the ideal drive torque distribution between both axles—within fractions of a second. In most driving situations, the Audi e-tron Sportback relies exclusively on its rear electric motor—for exceptional efficiency. If the driver requests more output than it can provide, the front unit is instantly activated. This also happens predictively before slip occurs in icy conditions or when cornering fast, or if the car understeers or oversteers.

A key factor behind the sporty character and outstanding transverse dynamics is the low installation position of the drive components—resulting in a center of gravity that is much lower than in a conventional SUV. All of the heaviest components are concentrated in the center of the vehicle. The axle load distribution with a ratio of almost 50:50 is perfectly balanced; the self-steering behavior is neutral. With components such as the five-link suspensions, the progressive steering and the electrohydraulic brake system, the suspension combines the latest technologies, which together ensure agile vehicle handling and a high degree of comfort. The standard 255/55 R19 size tires stand out with their ultra-low rolling resistance. On request, tires of up to 22 inches will also be available—one size larger than on the e-tron.

The dynamic handling system Audi drive select—fitted as standard in the Audi e-tron Sportback—allows the driver to switch the method of operation of multiple drive components between seven profiles. This creates a marked difference between smooth rolling comfort and sporty, stable handling. The adaptive air suspension with controlled dampers provides a major contribution to this versatile character. At higher speeds, the body is lowered, noticeably improving airflow around it and extending the vehicle’s range. In total, the system is capable of varying the ride height by up to 76 millimeters (3.0 in).

95 kWh of energy: High-voltage battery system and recuperation

The battery system of the Audi e-tron Sportback 55 quattro stores 95 kWh of gross energy (86.5 kWh net) and operates at a rated voltage of 396 volts. It is fitted as a wide flat block beneath the passenger cell, to which it is bolted at 35 points. The battery system is exceptionally rigid and crash-proof—thanks to a solid protective frame and an aluminum laminate that holds the 36 cell modules. These are arranged on two levels, as a long lower “floor” with 31 modules and a short upper floor with five modules. Each module integrates twelve ‘pouch cells.’ The cooling system is located beneath the cell chamber.

During deceleration actions of up to 0.3 g—which applies to over 90 percent of such actions in everyday driving—the high-voltage battery is charged by the electric motors, primarily by the rear electric motor, which act as generators in these situations. The recuperation system provides for variable regulation of energy recuperation between both electric modules—both in coasting mode when the driver releases the right-hand pedal as well as during braking. The degree of coasting recuperation can be set to three stages by means of paddles on the steering wheel and is even more strongly differentiated than on the e-tron.

When braking from 100 km/h (62.1 mph), the Audi e-tron Sportback can recuperate a maximum of 300 Nm (221.3 lb-ft) and 220 kW. As with its sister model, this amounts to more than 70 percent of its output and more than any other production model. Overall, the SUV‑coupé attains up to 30 percent of its range through recuperation.

The wheel brakes, whose innovative electrohydraulic activation concept allows them to respond with exceptional speed, come into play only at deceleration forces greater than 0.3 g. Depending on the driving situation, the control system decides individually for each axle whether the SUV coupé recuperates using just the electric motors, just the wheel brakes, or a combination of both. The transition between electric and hydraulic braking is smooth and homogeneous so the driver does not even notice it. Brake forces remain constant.

On the wheel brakes of the Audi e-tron Sportback, the developers have substantially reduced what is referred to as residual brake torque—the losses that occur during brief application of the brake pads against the disk. This benefits both efficiency and range. The same applies to three additional measures: During normal vehicle operation, the front electric motor is almost completely decoupled from the drive. An increase in the usable range of the high-voltage battery combined with a reduction in several of the volume flows in the coolant circuit means that the pump has to provide less power.

The highly flexible thermal management, which comprises four separate circuits, regulates the temperature of the high-voltage components with maximum efficiency. This enables rapid DC charging, a long battery life cycle, and reproducible performance even under heavy loads. The standard heat pump, which harnesses waste heat from the high-voltage battery, can use up to 3 kW of actual power losses for heating and air conditioning the interior—which is exceptionally efficient. Depending on the outside temperature, that can boost the Audi e-tron Sportback’s range by up to ten percent in customer operation.

Generating 230 kW of output: the Audi e-tron Sportback 50 quattro

At market launch, Audi will offer the all-electric drive SUV coupé with a second motor variant. The e-tron Sportback 50 quattro generates 230 kW of output and 540 Nm (398.3 lb-ft) of torque. The battery dispenses with the upper “floor;” and its 27 modules each consist of twelve prismatic cells. The system, which weighs roughly 120 kilograms (264.6 lb) less than the battery of the Sportback 55 quattro, provides 71 kWh of gross energy (64.7 kWh net). This allows the SUV coupé to cover up to 347 kilometers (215.6 mi)* on a full charge in the WLTP cycle. The Audi e-tron Sportback 50 quattro accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h (62.1 mph) in 6.8 seconds and has a top speed of 190 km/h (118.1 mph).

Continue driving in just 30 minutes: the charging line-up

On long-distance routes, the Audi e-tron Sportback 55 quattro can charge with direct current (DC) at up to 150 kW at fast-charging stations. In just under half an hour, the battery reaches 80 percent of its capacity—sufficient for the next leg of its long-distance trip. The e-tron Sportback 50 quattro can charge at up to 120 kW and achieves an identical charge status in the same time.

Charging at public AC charging stations can be performed using a standard mode-3 cable. Up to 11 kW of power is available here, which can be increased to 22 kW with an optional second on-board charging device that will be available in summer 2020. Audi’s own charging service, the e-tron Charging Service, provides easy access to more than 110,000 public charging points in 21 European countries – and the number is rising. Whether AC or DC, 11 or 150 kW—a single card is all that is required to start the process. The Plug & Charge function, which is also due to follow in 2020, will make charging even more convenient: The car authorizes itself at the charging station and activates it.

Audi also offers a range of solutions for charging in the garage at home, depending on the capacity of the domestic power supply. The standard compact charging system is suitable for a simple 230-volt connection and for a 400-volt three-phase outlet with an output of up to 11 kW. The optional charging stem connect will be available for ordering at market launch. It offers smart charging functions, for example preferred charging at low-cost times. The combination with a suitable home energy management system allows the vehicle to be charged preferably with self-generated solar power, provided that the house is equipped with a photovoltaic system.

Form and function perfected: The interior

With a wheelbase of 2,928 millimeters (9.6 ft), the Audi e-tron Sportback has ample space for five occupants along with their bags. Rear headroom is just 20 millimeters (0.8 in) less than in the Audi e-tron. The rear footwell is virtually level—just a flat step remains in place of the center tunnel. Including the 60-liter (2.1 cu ft) stowage compartment underneath the hood, which houses the vehicle tool kit and charging cable, the car offers a total of 615 liters (21.7 cu ft) of luggage capacity. Folding down the rear seat backrests increases the luggage capacity to 1,655 liters (58.4 cu ft). The tailgate opens and closes electrically, by foot movement as an option.

The interior of the Audi e-tron Sportback is an elegant lounge featuring a seamless blend of design and technology. A generous arc that spans the instrument panel, extending from door to door, harmoniously integrates the cover for the Audi virtual cockpit. Its sleek display stands visually free in space. The wrap-around in the door trims also integrates the screens for the optional virtual exterior mirrors. The instrument panel with its two touch displays is angled towards the driver and therefore particularly ergonomic. When deactivated, the upper of these blends almost invisibly into the large gloss-black surround. Open sidewalls at the center tunnel console emphasize the impression of lightness.

In every equipment line—along with the basic line, there is the interior design selection and S line interior—the Audi e-tron Sportback features carefully coordinated upholstery materials, colors, and inlays. For the front seats, customers can choose between the standard design, sport seats, S sport seats, and the customized contour seats, with optional ventilation and massage functions. Their stitching pattern is reminiscent of electric circuits and can be enhanced with optional bright orange contrasting stitching and piping. Little details create highlights: The optional contour/ambient lighting package illuminates surfaces subtly and edges sharply. It also issues a brief welcome jingle over the audio system when the motor starts.

When the Audi e-tron Sportback is driven in an urban setting, its interior remains almost completely silent—thanks to sophisticated soundproofing and aeroacoustic measures. This ensures that HiFi sound is even more enjoyable, especially with the optional Bang & Olufsen Premium 3D Sound System on board. It allows the music to be enjoyed precisely how it was recorded, without any artificial effects. Another attractive infotainment module is the Audi phone box, which sets benchmarks in terms of connection and sound quality as well as wireless charging.

Palpable and comprehensible: The operating concept

As with all full-size class models from Audi, the e-tron Sportback also features the MMI touch response operating system with two displays. A tactile and acoustic pulse confirms when a finger activates a function. On the upper 12.1-inch touch screen, the driver controls the infotainment, telephony, navigation, and dedicated e-tron settings. The lower 8.6-inch display is used to input text and to operate the convenience functions and climate control. The menu structure is intuitively logical and flat in the same way as a smartphone; the graphics are clear and condensed.

Standard equipment on the Audi e-tron Sportback also includes the 12.3-inch Audi virtual cockpit. Its display excels with an extremely high resolution of 1,920 x 720 pixels and can be switched between two views using the “View” button on the steering wheel. An optional “plus” version featuring an additional display centered around the power meter is also available. On request, the display and operating concept can be expanded to include a head-up display that projects important information onto the windshield.

In addition to operation by the two touch displays, the driver can activate a host of functions using natural language voice control. The system understands freely worded commands and search queries. The dialog manager asks questions if necessary, allows corrections, offers choices, and also defers to the speaker when interrupted. In doing so, it accesses information stored in the vehicle as well as the knowledge from the cloud.

Top-caliber connectivity: Navigation and Audi connect

In Germany, the Audi e-tron Sportback is equipped as standard with the MMI Navigation plus and the DAB+ digital radio. The top-end infotainment system supports the high-speed data transmission standard LTE Advanced and comes with an integrated Wi-Fi hotspot for the passengers’ mobile devices. The navigation system makes intelligent destination suggestions based on previous journeys. The route is calculated both on board in the car and online on the servers of the map and navigation provider HERE, which monitors the overall traffic situation in the region.

The wide range of Audi connect navigation & infotainment functions complements the route guidance perfectly. Highlights include online traffic information, navigation with Google Earth™, the e-tron route planner, the hybrid radio, and Car-to-X services. The most recent of these are the on-street parking service, which helps find parking spaces on the roadside, and traffic light information. In some cities, the latter connects the car to the central computer controlling the traffic light systems and provides information to the driver in the Audi virtual cockpit. The service thus contributes to an efficient driving style and facilitates a steady flow of traffic.

A further component of the package is the cloud-based Amazon voice service Alexa, which is fully integrated into the MMI operating system of the Audi e-tron Sportback. The driver can use it to perform a range of tasks such as placing orders and finding information about many current events. The service offers access to more than 80,000 Alexa Skills.

In addition, the free myAudi app can connect the car to a smartphone, which allows the owner of the Audi e-tron Sportback to manage all charging processes remotely. These include querying the battery and range status, starting the charge processes, programming timers, and displaying driving statistics. On long-distance trips, the e-tron route planner displays the necessary charging stops along the route—both in the app as well as in the MMI. In the process, it continuously updates the charge planning based on the traffic situation and to take account of driving behavior. Another function of the myAudi app is preheating/precooling prior to departure, which is powered by electricity from the outlet. The optional deluxe auxiliary air conditioning system allows the customer to specify in detail whether the interior, the steering wheel and the seats—depending on the equipment level—are to be heated.

This smart networking includes the digital Audi connect key in addition to the myAudi app. Available as an option, it authorizes an Android smartphone to not only lock and unlock the SUV coupé, but also to start the engine via the start/stop button.

Customization after the purchase: Functions on demand

The Audi e-tron Sportback is a standard-bearer for the new digital services and business areas that the brand is opening up. One of these is the “functions on demand” offering, which covers functions from the areas of light, driver assist systems, and infotainment. The customer can book them online—on demand and at any time. Even after they have taken delivery of their car, the customer can now continually customize it to their individual requirements. Every function can be obtained for varying periods—monthly, annually, or permanently. Functions are booked either via the myAudi app or on the myAudi online portal and paid for conveniently and securely via AudiPay.

In the lighting package, customers can upgrade the LED headlights to matrix LED headlights with intelligent high-beam control. This provides additional functions such as daytime running lights with the e-tron signature as well as front and rear dynamic turn signals. When the e-tron Sportback is locked and unlocked, the headlights and rear lights provide an expressive showcase of the electric SUV. To begin with, park assist will be available as an add-on option for the assist systems. The infotainment package includes the Audi smartphone interface and the Audi connect navigation & infotainment package.

Ensuring safety in the city and on long journeys: The driver assist systems

The driver assist systems that Audi offers in the e-tron Sportback support drivers and reduce their workload in many situations. The Audi pre sense basic and Audi pre sense front safety systems are fitted as standard. Audi offers the assist package City specifically for urban traffic. It includes the intersection assist and rear cross traffic assist functions as well as the lane change and exit warnings. Audi pre sense 360°, the combination of Audi pre sense front, rear, and side, is fitted. This system detects collision hazards and initiates targeted protective measures—from full braking to tensioning of the seat belts.

Highlights of the assist package Tour are the adaptive cruise assist, which simplifies longitudinal and lateral control, as well as the efficiency assistant. The latter uses data from the on-board sensors, the navigation system, and Car-to-X services and signals to the driver when it makes sense to take their foot off the accelerator pedal. In combination with the adaptive cruise assist and traffic sign recognition, the efficiency assistant can also brake and accelerate the SUV coupé predictively. The turn assist, collision avoidance assist, and emergency assist functions round out the Tour package. Audi also offers the park assist, the night vision assist, and the 360 degree cameras that allow the driver to select from multiple views.

The central driver assistance controller operates as standard behind the driver assist systems in the Audi e-tron Sportback. It continuously computes a differentiated model of the surroundings. Depending on the selected options, data is received from up to five radar sensors, five cameras, and twelve ultrasonic sensors.

At market launch: Edition model “edition one”

The Audi e-tron Sportback, which is being built in the CO2-neutral plant in Brussels, will debut on the European market in spring 2020. In Germany, the e-tron Sportback will be available in two output variants, with the base price starting at EUR 71,350. To celebrate the launch, Audi will offer the limited-edition model “edition one” in the plasma blue color. Based on the S line exterior, it also includes the virtual exterior mirrors, attachments finished in an aluminum look, exclusive 21-inch wheels, orange brake calipers, and the panoramic glass sunroof. The illuminated front door sill trims project the model name “edition one” as a logo onto the ground. The interior offers a choice between the interior design selection, supplemented with customized contour seats with exclusive Monaco gray seat covers in Valcona leather, and the S line interior with sport seats also in Valcona leather. The equipment also includes the Bang & Olufsen Premium Sound System with front 3D sound, the assist package Tour and matrix LED headlights with front and rear dynamic turn signals as well as dynamic light scenarios.

For additional information go HERE.

HONDA TALKS EV


HONDA TO SHARE FUTURE ELECTRIFICATION PLANS FOR EUROPE AT AN EVENT IN AMSTERDAM

Honda announced a bold new target that will see all of its model ranges in Europe electrified by 2022, during an ‘Electric Vision’ event in Amsterdam. This timescale acceleration is three years ahead of the previously announced 2025 goal, with 6 new electrified models launching over the next 36 months.

At the event, the brand also unveiled the all-new Honda Jazz – with an e:HEV badge, featuring two-motor hybrid powertrain technology as standard for the first time. Unlike traditional hybrids, where the electric motor assists the engine, in e:HEV the engine produces electricity which assists the motor.

Tom Gardner, Senior Vice President, Honda Motor Europe, commented: “This shift to electrification will change the face of our model line-up considerably. Honda is the world’s largest engine manufacturer, and from what we have announced today we are committing to ending all mainstream non-electrified petrol and diesel production for Europe by the end of 2022.” Away from announcements about its automobile range, Honda also revealed the next step in its energy management business for Europe by announcing its collaboration with Vattenfall, a leading European energy supplier. In a letter of intent, signed on 23rd October 2019, the two companies confirmed their intentions to jointly develop and market a flexible electricity tariff that will allow EVs to be charged at the most cost-effective times, relative to grid demand.

The partnership marks a key milestone for Honda in the development of the energy management solutions business that represent an important pillar of its ‘Electric Vision’ strategy in Europe. The service will initially be launched in the UK and Germany in 2020, with other European countries to follow. 

Watch HERE.

Wengie, 360 MAGAZINE

WENGIE’S NEW VID

POP STAR WENGIE SLAYS IN NEW TRACK AND MUSIC VIDEO “EMPIRE”

YouTube’s sensation teams up with K-pop superstar MINNIE of (G)I-DLE and they’re not playing around

One of YouTube’s most-subscribed stars, WENGIE, has collaborated with K-pop recording artist MINNIE of (G)I-DLEon her latest single ‘Empire.’ The dynamic duo’s powerhouse vocals make for a sweet serenade that bites back as the bass kicks in. It’s a girl-power anthem backed by sickening trap-style beats. The song will have listeners inspired to build their own empires, brick by brick. Four official versions of the song: English, Hybrid (English and Korean), Korean, and instrumental are all released today worldwide on digital streaming platforms.

The music video embodies a smooth synergy between sweetness and slay, a perfect combination of girlboss swag and those iconic K-pop visuals. WENGIE emerges from the dark into the light, wearing a crown on her head. MINNIE joins her on screen as they serve looks that can only be described as being fit for a queen. The video closes out with an image of WENGIE, sitting on her throne, ready to rule her empire. The video was shot in Seoul, Korea and comes to life from Korean production company GRAVITAS, choreographers are Bailey Sok and Seoyoung Jang, and creative direction by Amber Park.

WENGIE’s production team consists of top global hit-makers and songwriting duo — Melanie Fontana and Lindgren. The track is written by the award-winning songwriters (Britney Spears, Justin Bieber, BTS, and more) who co-wrote “Boy With Luv” for BTS featuring Halsey and “Crown” for TXT, which broke the record for the most YouTube views in 24 hours for a K-pop debut.

Listen to Empire by WENGIE featuring MINNIE of (G)I-DLE

Watch Empire by WENGIE featuring MINNIE of (G)I-DLE

WENGIE: “This song was all about empowerment for me. Sometimes, women forget just how capable they really are, including me. The song is a reminder to myself and girls everywhere that we run the show. I wanted to make a statement and who better to do that with than MINNIE?”

MINNIE: “I fell in love with EMPIRE as soon as I listened to it. It is fresh and new for me since (G)I-DLE has never tried this kind of music before. I especially love the lyrics that talk about achieving success ‘from the dirt to sky for the world to see’”.

Superstar MINNIE is the main vocalist for (G)I-DLE, a South-Korean multinational girl group formed by powerhouse CUBE Entertainment. The group’s breakout hit “LATATA” which has recently surpassed 133 million views, has become an instant hit and landing a music show win on South Korea MTV’s The Show within a month of debuting. For their second single, “HANN (Alone)” bolstered their success and earned them 10 awards that year including the “Rookie of the Year” title at the Asia Artist Awards and Korea’s Golden Disk Awards in 2018. One of the biggest collaborations to date for the group is with “League of Legends” for “K/DA – POP/STARS” with the music video currently at 270 million views and counting.

WENGIE is a leading representation of the female artist as one of YouTube’s most-subscribed personalities and pop music recording artist, with nearly 20 million YouTube subscribers and more than 20 million combined following across all socials. WENGIE’s music skyrocketed to the top of the charts with the six singles she released in a period of just 12 months and has accumulated over 2.1 billion views on her YouTube channels to date. WENGIE’s most recent collaboration with Filipino pop star Iñigo Pascual for “Mr. Nice Guy” climbed to the #1 spot on two separate charts in the Philippines in June 2019.

G-STEEL, G-SHOCK, MANHATTAN, BLIND BARBER, 360 MAGAZINE, VAUGHN LOWERY

Introducing G-STEEL

By Vaughn Lowery × Armon Hayes

As of late, we got to tally out the all new G-STEEL while having sips and getting our hair as well as our beards trimmed at Blind Barber in Manhattan’s Alphabet City. The new GSTB100G-2A models feature Bluetooth connectivity and can link up to the G-SHOCK app for accurate time and record keeping. This is one of the best models within their roster as this timepiece can easily travel from the office to the gym as well as the club. This stainless steel accessory possesses a double layer bezel and carbon fiber enclosures which make it sleek yet sporty. In addition to this unit being intuitive with various app settings, it’s water, shock resistant and solar powered. If you’re in the marketplace for a high quality product that’s durable yet upscale then this is the perfect arm candy. At $380 USD, our choice would be the navy with rose gold accents to add a dab of European style and magnificence.

About G-SHOCK
CASIO’s shock-resistant G-SHOCK watch is synonymous with toughness, born from the developer Mr. Ibe’s dream of ‘creating a watch that never breaks’. Over 200 handmade samples were created and tested to destruction until finally in 1983 the first, now iconic G-SHOCK hit the streets of Japan and began to establish itself as ‘the toughest watch of all time’. Each watch encompasses the 7 elements; electric shock resistance, gravity resistance, low temperature resistance, vibration resistance, water resistance, shock resistance and toughness. The watch is packed with Casio innovations and technologies to prevent it from suffering direct shock; this includes internal components protected with urethane and suspended timekeeping modules inside the watch structure. Since its launch, G-SHOCK has continued to evolve, continuing to support on Mr. Ibe’s mantra “never, never give up.” www.gshock.com.

About Blind Barber
Daytime haircuts & drinks in the front room morph into a lively back-room cocktail bar at night.

Lexus NX 300 F Sport

By Jake Porter × Vaughn Lowery

Over the holiday season, we had the opportunity to traverse through NYC and the surrounding metropolitan areas with one of the auto industry’s most capable compact luxury SUVs. Due to its affordable base price, above average gas mileage, ergonomics and technology, the Lexus NX is an easy choice for many.

Value × Performance

Lexus carries a base price of $36,485 and features a 235-horsepower turbo-four engine, six-speed automatic transmission with front-wheel drive. Standard driver assistance features include a rearview camera, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, adaptive cruise control, automatic high beams, and a pre-collision system with pedestrian detection. In addition, one can add all-wheel drive for only $1,400. By upgrading to the NX F Sport (our model tested was approximately $49,000) the vehicle has select components to enhance handling, such as an F Sport-tuned suspension and Sport S and Sport S+ drive modes. Other features in this package include paddle shifters, aluminum pedals, special body panels and badges and front sport seats with enhanced bolsters for added side support. As far as acceleration capacity, the NX should easily offer enough power for the casual driver. The NX 300 (formerly known as the NX 200t) comes with a 235-hp turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, a six-speed automatic, and front-wheel drive. G-force sensors and adaptive cruise control set this vehicle apart from the other SUV’s on the market today.

The NX’s safety features are also top notch and include eight airbags, whiplash-injury lessening front seats, and a full array of available electronic safety systems such as lane departure alert and intelligent high-beam. With all newer Lexus models, it also includes the highly specialized and technologically advanced Lexus pre-collision Safety System. These safety features combined bring the NX to the top of its class.

Interior

Standard features on the interior of the NX include an infotainment system with an 10.3-inch display screen, Siri Eyes Free, Bluetooth, a Wi-Fi hot spot, an eight-speaker audio system, and satellite radio. A wireless device charger and heads-up display are a couple of great additional features. Not to mention, those scarlet red race-inspired designer seats and red stitched dash appointments. Of course, climate control as well as heated seats and steering are always winners during the winter months.

Comfort

Given the already generous backseat room in the car, the NX also includes power-folding rear seats. Additionally, the cabin is extremely quiet even at highway speeds which is a great feature especially for long road trips.

Technology

Newly offered Alexa, allows the driver to stream Amazon music, listen to audiobooks and control their living quarters via smart-home. Other capabilities includes their smartwatch to help lock and unlock vehicle as well as monitors their lent model’s speed and fuel levels. One of their most important and intuitive features is Direction Assist, allowing a friendly human exchange with an operator who can input addresses into your navigation while you pay closer attention to the road. And of course in this digitally renovated world, having someone to speak to while on a solo trip can be conducive with driver’s fatigue. On the other hand, for those introverts seeking a quiet more therapeutic ride, they can utilize the remote touchpad to interact with the SUV’s overall cerebrum.

Conclusion

The Lexus NX 300 F Sport is one-of-a-kind. Even in a overly-crowded compact SUV market, the Lexus NX still manages to push through into the limelight. With its interior loaded with technology and its bold exterior turning heads on the streets, this is a great purchase for anyone looking for a sporty yet roomy modern SUV. Moreover, if you don’t like being at the pump every week and being able to fit in a small parking spot within a metropolis – this is a MUST-BUY.

Lexus NX, 360 MAGAZINE

Lexus nx, 360 magazine

Lexus NX, 360 MAGAZINE

Honda To Lead 2019 Rose Parade

On January 1, 2019, American Honda will ring in the New Year and its 60th anniversary celebration with the lead float in the 130th Rose Parade® presented by Honda. The company’s float entry, “Celebration of Dreams,” will pay tribute to Honda’s heritage in the U.S. and its dreams for the future.

The 25-foot tall float will be shaped like a giant birthday cake to mark the occasion, complete with special “candles”—60 members of Historically Black College and University (HBCU) marching bands. The band members’ schools recently participated in the Honda Battle of the Bands, an annual showcase created by Honda as part of the company’s commitment to the HBCU community and music education.

The floral confection will also feature a re-creation of the company’s first Los Angeles storefront. The float will be punctuated by vibrant color, music and video, with screens that share the story of American Honda’s commitment to the community.

“For 60 years, Honda has celebrated the power of dreams and has been committed to making the communities where we live and work better places for future generations,” said Steve Morikawa, vice president of Corporate Relations & Social Responsibility, American Honda. “We look forward to celebrating this anniversary with our customers while continuing to provide products and services that will bring them joy for years to come.”

The main float will be surrounded by five satellite units, each dedicated to Honda products, themes and milestones:

  • Honda Super Cub. The product that marked American Honda’s debut and represents Honda’s motorcycle heritage.
  • Environment. This unit will showcase a floral re-creation of the 1975 Honda Civic CVCC, the vehicle that was the first to satisfy U.S. Clean Air Act standards without the use of a catalytic converter. It serves as a reminder of Honda’s mission to reduce the impact of its products and operations on the environment.
  • Safety. Honda believes in Safety for Everyone. To visually demonstrate this, the float unit will feature crash test dummies surrounded by an arch with five stars. The arch symbolizes the top crash safety rating available in the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s NCAP program, which top rating has been earned by many Honda and Acura vehicles.
  • American Manufacturing. Focused on American Honda’s manufacturing presence, this float will highlight the 25 millionth vehicle built in the U.S.—and one of the best-selling vehicles in its vehicle lineup—the Honda Accord*.
  • Future. Honda believes in the Power of Dreams and is fulfilling its dreams of flight on the wings of HondaJet.

In keeping with Honda’s commitment to the environment, the float will be powered by a specially configured low-emission, Honda hybrid powertrain. The Parade’s theme banner float will also be powered by Honda hybrid technology.

In addition to the float, the 2019 Honda Insight will be the Parade’s Official Pace Car. The Insight offers exceptional fuel economy ratings and advanced standard safety features and joins the Clarity series and Accord Hybrid as the fifth Honda electrified vehicle introduced in the past year. The 2019 Acura RDX will serve as the Sound Car. This third-generation RDX is the first to be designed and engineered in America, with styling design conducted in the Acura Design Studio in Los Angeles, California, and development and manufacturing conducted in Ohio.

The 130th Rose Parade® presented by Honda will be broadcasted at 8:00 a.m. Pacific on Tuesday, January 1, 2019.

Lexus UX, Vaughn Lowery, 360 MAGAZINE, Amazon headquarters, Seattle

LEXUS UX

By Alexandria Baiz × Vaughn Lowery

As of late, 360 Magazine had the opportunity to join Lexus in Seattle for an intimate ride and drive of their wholly-new UX SUV at the newly reimagined luxurious Loews Hotel 1000. This seaport city is home to both tech giants Microsoft and Amazon. With Lexus’s innovative track record for having unparalleled technology within their cabin, it was befitting that they brought us to the home of the Space Needle. Subsequently, this town is known to think outside of the box.

The 2019 Lexus UX takes a step into the future of modern luxury with its two most affordable and compact SUVs – the UX 200 and UX 250h. UX stands for urban crossover (x-over). The UX 200 will be released in December 2018 starting at $32,000 and the UX 250h will be released in January 2019 for around $34,000. Gearing towards an opulent compact car with an exterior design so specific, the UX has a signature three-dimensional shape that makes it different from its siblings.

The front has brow-shaped LED lights with optional ultra-small 3-projector LED units. Across the back of the boot, are an innovative wrap of three-dimensional LED lights which help with stability on the highways – a standout design element on the UX. The structure is built to mold into an everyday vehicle that is stable, perfect for urban use because it’s small and easy to park. We had no problem squeezing to the front of the Bainbridge ferry.

The 18″ 5-spoke aluminum alloy dark gray metallic wheels are proportional to the overall aesthetics of the vehicle. Available in a variety of twelve exterior colors, two of which are exclusive to the UX F Sport – Cadmium Orange and Nori Green. The Cadmium Orange includes a cherry base with yellow lowlights, making it appear vivid and adding tons of depth. Nori Green possesses bright highlights and dark contrast alongside of calm shades, drawing the color brilliant. Both of these colors are newfangled and daring for the Lexus brand.

The F Sport package is available in both the UX 200 and UX 250h model as well as has enhanced features and style which contributes to its name. This option comes in the two colors – Ultra White and Ultrasonic Blue Mica 2.0. The F Sport performance is exceptional, transforming the UX into a bespoke-like designer car with front sports seats, grille design, and jet-black trim.

The concept of UX stems from the versatility and adaptability this vehicle offers. With a seamless interior coupled with the Japanese concept of engawa offers a richer field of vision. Executed with a high-strength structure, placement of sound absorbing and insulating materials throughout, one can enjoy an extremely quiet ride.

The connection between driver and the vehicle is apparent with the “seat-in-control” concept. Entering and exiting is made easy with hip-point bottom cushions. 8-way power driver seats (including lunbar) allows the driver to operate with a comfortable yet natural posture.

All UX models are fabricated to ensure safety while driving. The Pre-Collision System alerts drivers of pedestrians, cyclists and other vehicles with a forward-facing camera and radar system. The LSS+ 2.0 system enhances this with specific light detection for different hours of the day. If the Pre-Collision System detects a high possibility of collision, an audio and visual alert will prompt the driver to take action. If the driver does not break at that point, the system may automatically apply brakes to help mitigate impacts. Dynamic Radar Cruise Control maintains a preset distance and operates between 0 to 110 mph. The Lane Departure Alert is extremely helpful with the Multi-Information Display (MID) the system can use forward-facing cameras to detect colored land marking illustrations. If the driver deviates from a visibly marked lane, the system alerts the driver with an audio and visual alert. In addition, the UX has an Electric Power Steering and Steering Assist. The Road Sign Assist can read a variety of traffic signs and will display them on the vehicle’s MID. Furthermore, Parking Support Brake uses braking control and visual warnings to reduce possible contact with moving objects while parking.

This Lexus is extraordinary with its high definition, intuitive technology, and overall performance. The UX includes a standard 7″ TFT (thin-film-transistor) LCD control panel while the UX F Sport features an 8″ TFT LCD panel design with a movable meter ring. By pressing a switch on the steering wheel, it moves to the right, enlarging the multi-information display. With the Lexus Remote Touch Interface, the 2019 UX feels as familiar as a smartphone. The most impressive tech feature is Amazon’s “Alexa” – which immediately connects you to play music; find directions; open your garage door on a rainy day; lock/unlock from a smart device and amongst other things control the lights in your home. The Lincoln Navigator is the only other vehicle in Northern America which offers Alexa. Moreover, additional driver connectivity features include Apple CarPlay, 4GB Wi-Fi Hotspot, Voice recognition for commands and the SiriusXM. The heads-up display allows drivers to focus more on the road and less on the infotainment unit.

The UX complies with the global trend of efficient gas mileage vehicles – UX 200 at 33 mpg (2.0- liter inline four-cylinder engine, similar to competitors but with less under-hood heat and lower weight for better vehicle balance). The UX 250h at 39 mpg, making it the wave of their next generation of hybrids. With 181 hp, the UX 250h is the fuel-efficient leader with the best-combined mpg of any CUV and/or SUV without a plugin NA.

In short, the Lexus UX 200 and UX 250h is a shoo-in for a ‘xennial’ buyer – a person who grew up in an analog environment and can easily adapt to present-day’s digital society. Just think of all of your friends and family members with a recent graduate degree or higher residing in a metropolis. Most likely they have a high appreciation for the arts and take local trips within their surrounding area with one or more cronies and a small lap dog in tow.

2019 Lexus LC500, LC500h

By Shin Takei

For those of us lucky enough to experience driving the Lexus LFA we lamented the fact that it was a limited production (500) high dollar super car (MSRP $375K USD) produced from 2011 to 2012. Needless to say, it remains an icon and a collector car. For most driving enthusiasts, the word exciting, sexy, exhilarating, thrilling was never associated with Lexus. In fact, after the LFA, nothing from Lexus could be labelled exciting, until now. Akio Toyoda, President of Toyota Motor Corporation and Chief Branding Officer of Lexus heard the automotive journalist’s call and vowed that Lexus will never be associated with those words. Being an avid car enthusiast and master driver who honed his skills at Nurburgring, Mr. Toyoda wanted Lexus to be emotional and exciting vehicles to drive.

As part of the Lexus Flagship lineup which consists of the LS500 and LX570, the LC500 and LC500h, the Flagship Sports Coupe is part of the Global Architecture-Luxury platform that features a low center of gravity, aerodynamics and high- speed stability which is shared by the LS sedan. The styling of the LC Flagship coupe is aggressive starting with the prominent spindle grille and wide flared out hip and low frontal area due to a multi-link front suspension system. The ultra-compact LED 3-projector headlamps are flanked by the L-shaped daytime running lights. An optional carbon fiber roof panel is available and at the rear the spindle profile is carried out. A set of optional 21” black wheels enhance the sporting look. The coupe looks purposeful and its aggressive looks generated a few stares wherever we drove it. Liberal use of light weight high strength steel, aluminum and CFRP (carbon fiber reinforced plastic) contribute to the stiffest unibody ever built by Lexus and with much of the drivetrain behind the front axle a 52:48 weight distribution was achieved resulting in the driver’s hip and heel points to be lowered in the cockpit.

The LC500 is powered by a naturally aspirated 5.0 liters V8 with 471 HP @7,100rpm and 398 lb-ft of torque @4,800rpm. The DOHC 32 valve Dual VVT-iE (Variable Valve Timing with Intelligence) engine is hooked up to a 10-speed Sport Direct Shift automatic with paddle shift and manual mode. 0-60mph arrives in less than 4.5 seconds. To increase the exhaust sound, Active Exhaust channels the sound to the firewall through a special resonance tube. The engine switches to the Atkinson cycle for efficiency and to he Otto cycle for performance. The LC500h features Lexus Hybrid Synergy Drive and is mated to an Atkinson cycle 3.5 Liter gasoline engine and allows for operating the vehicle up to 87 mph without the gas engine. To enhance the sports driving experience, the owner can opt for the Lexus Dynamic Handling system (LDH) which coordinates EPS (electric power steering with Variable Gear Ratio Steering (VGRS) and Active Rear Steering (ARS).

The interior of the coupe was designed to maximize the driving experience by positioning the driver low and close to the center of gravity to transmit road feel more directly. The seats feature bolsters in the shoulder area and the optional sports seats provide more grip around the driver during hard cornering. The Alcantara door panels with drape-surfaces are similar to the flowing exterior lines. The TFT display and the Lexus Multi-Media display integrates the Remote Touch Interface touchpad control for Navigation, Audio and Connectivity. As if the standard 12 speaker Pioneer surround sound system isn’t enough, there’s the optional Mark Levinson 13 speaker sound system to blow your ears away.

So how does this all work out? Quite well, thank you. The coupe is easy to drive, and in true GT car fashion, comfortable and relaxing but turning the Drive Mode Selector switch to Sport+ brings out the true character of this coupe. Faster shifting, enhanced engine performance and increased engine sound contribute to an exciting driving experience. There’s a lot of Japanese culture incorporated in the car. The chrome strip next to the rear glass panel is not unlike a samurai sword and words like Kizashi (a sign of great things to come) and Omotenashi (hospitality) are integrated throughout the car.

There is a limited edition of 100 Lexus LC500 Inspiration Series that are painted in Flair Yellow, which does draw your attention and a new pigment called Structural Blue was formulated taking characteristics from butterfly wings tropical fish and precious stones. Both are brilliant and intense and unique in enhancing the profile of the car but you better hurry to get one.

The Lexus LC500 is a true GT (Grand Touring) car. It is quick, handles well and finally has feeling and excitement. Yet it is comfortable enough to drive it for an evening out. However, we feel they’ve left a little wiggle room for more performance and believe a LC500 F-Sport is coming soon that would satisfy the hardcore sports car enthusiasts. Until then, the Lexus LC500 and LC500h will be more than adequate for most of us who won’t be driving it to the limit.

360 magazine, Lexus, lc500, lc500h, Vaughn Lowery, shin takei

360 magazine, Lexus, lc500, lc500h, Vaughn Lowery, shin takei

360 magazine, Lexus, lc500, lc500h, Vaughn Lowery, shin takei

360 magazine, Lexus, lc500, lc500h, Vaughn Lowery, shin takei