Posts tagged with "Volkswagen"

Tesla Illustration by Alex Bogdan for use by 360 Magazine

Tesla Outperformed Rival Stocks

Tesla is among the notable growth stocks that have recorded significant returns for investors. Despite the electric vehicle manufacturer’s stock slumping in 2021, it has maintained an edge over competitors.

According to data acquired by Finbold, Tesla stock registered an ROI of 224.93% between June 2021 and June 2020, outperforming some of its major competitors. Among the selected vehicle manufacturers, Tesla only trailed China-based NIO, which had almost double returns at 539.13%. Ford Motor ranks third with returns of 152.28%, followed by General Motors at 141.08%, while Volkswagen AG ranks fifth at 116.62%.

Other stocks with key returns include XPeng (75.47%), Oshkosh (74.08%), Navistar (60.29%), Toyota  42.19%), and Honda (25.22%)

Between the period, Tesla also maintained a superior stock price growing from $191.95 in 2020 to $623.71 in 2021. Elsewhere, last year, NIO’s stock price was at $6.9, while in June 2021, the stock stood at $44.1.

Tesla benefiting from green energy debate 

Having established its position as a  leader in electric vehicle manufacturing, Tesla stock benefitted from some of the initiatives around environmental conservation. According to the research report:

“In the wake of a new focus towards the climate change agenda, Tesla has been at the center of attention, with more investors betting on the company. Some jurisdictions are also enacting legislation favouring consumers opting for electric vehicles, and as a leader in the sector, Tesla stands to gain.”

Based on the Tesla returns, it is clear the massive gains made in 2020 were enough to sustain profitability for investors despite the stock slumping in 2021. The growth was mainly guided by fundamental factors like greater retail investor interest in the stock and the inclusion of the S&P 500 index. To increase recession profits, check out this step by step guide that aims to help anyone achieve wealth and expand profits at any time, even during and after economic recessions.

However, for Tesla to remain with the upper hand, the company needs to look out for competition.

Read the full story with statistics here.

illustration by Heather Skovlund for use by 360 Magazine

HQ CONFIDENTIAL – Seeing is Believing

By: Kai Yeo, Vaughn Lowery, Armon Hayes, Emily Bunn x Sydney Mayer

Lexus has announced its brand new 2022 NX model, equipped with updated technology and driving dynamics. Toyota and Lexus invited 360 Magazine to fly out with Delta Comfort+ to visit the automaker’s headquarters in Texas, so the company embarked on a Covid-friendly, four-day lifestyle trip for the first time since the pandemic. The trip offered participants the opportunity to experience the new 2022 Lexus NX, learn about Lexus’s initiatives and launches for the near future, and even ride with celebrity drivers like Scott Pruett.

Vaughn Lowery and Armon Hayes for 360 Magazine

Vaughn Lowery for use by 360 Magazine

by Vaughn Lowery for use by 360 Magazine

by Vaughn Lowery for use by 360 Magazine

by Vaughn Lowery for use by 360 Magazine

The headquarters in Plano, TX is a state-of-the-art corporate campus oasis. The architecture displays outstanding craftsmanship and an innovative foundation, which are the principles upon which that Toyota was founded. Meredith Ezinma Ramsay,  – classical hip-hop violinist who has worked with artists such as SZA, Kendrick Lamar, and most famously with Beyoncé on her Coachella stage – performed a strings piece at the campus to introduce the Lexus NX 2022.

By Vaughn Lowery for use by 360 Magazine

by Vaughn Lowery for use by 360 Magazine

Renaissance Dallas at Plano Legacy West Hotel

The Renaissance Dallas was breathtaking. An anchor to the upscale complex of Legacy West in Plano, the cosmopolitan hotel was located in the city within walking distance of top dining and shopping options. Drink in hand, visitors can gather at the rooftop pool or by the fire pit to relax and enjoy our food. The rooms were also equipped with pillow-top bedding, high-speed Wi-Fi, and a smart TV.

Designed to highlight local and regional cultures, Renaissance Dallas allows guests to immerse themselves in a creative blend of North Texas western influences and Asian culture. The hotel prides itself on “West of Zen” visual art experiences, as well as an urban mixed-use development. As Lexus is a brand that originated from Japan, this theme was fitting for the trip. Simply staying in the hotel was already a vacation in itself.

by Vaughn Lowery for use by 360 Magazine

by Vaughn Lowery for use by 360 Magazine

by Vaughn Lowery for use by 360 Magazine

by Vaughn Lowery for use by 360 Magazine

Lexus is the luxury vehicle division of Toyota. Marketed in more than 70 countries and territories worldwide, the Lexus brand is Japan’s largest-selling maker of premium cars. Akio Toyoda, current CEO and grandson of Toyota founder, has promoted sports models like the Lexus IS-F and Lexus LF-A at auto races. He also participates as a driver at racing events under the fake name “Morizo.” It’s unusual to see a brand’s president be so hands-on with development, but that’s just another reason that Toyota is a unique company prepared to lead the future.

Since the pandemic started, global mobility has been essentially halted and there has been a huge financial downturn, even for the giants of the car manufacturing industry. AutoBlog has posted that Toyota hit their decade’s lowest sales in 2019, “The Japanese automaker said its sales in July fell 19% versus the same month in 2019, to 169,484 units. Despite being one of the top brands of car manufacturing, Toyota was also affected by the Covid crisis, “In its financial year (FY) ending in March 2021, Toyota only produced 7.55M units of vehicles compared to 8.82M in FY 2020. FY 2021’s figure is also the lowest number of vehicles produced by Toyota since FY 2012 when Toyota only produced 7.44M vehicles.

As they compete with Volkswagen for the top car brand spot and struggle with sales during the pandemic, Toyota continues to produce car models with strong, new developments.

by Lexus for use by 360 Magazine

The NX will be available in a variety of fresh colors, including Redline, Cloudburst Gray, and Grecian Water. There will also be options that include Ultra White, Obsidian, and Ultra Sonic Blue Mica 2.0, which are exclusive to the F Sport NX models.

by Vaughn Lowery for use by 360 Magazine

Luxury Inside and Out

The 2022 NX will also have additional updates made to alleviate interior cabin noise and reduce exterior distractions. On the inside, drivers can choose their nature theme of choice with Thematic Ambient Illumination, an optional feature that transforms the NX interior with 14 themes and 64 colors. Each mode has been carefully selected “to express ephemeral emotions and evoke nature-inspired feelings.” The themes included are Rain Forest, Waterfall, and Sunset.

Luxury is not only about looks, but also about how the customer feels. The new NX comes with standard heated front seats and optional heated rear seats for added comfort throughout the cabin. Increased head and legroom, as well as storage space, have also been added. Interior seat and console colors come in Black, Black with Rich Cream, Palomino, and Rioja Red NuLuxe.

For the NX’s first time, the panoramic moonroof lets passengers see the sky with the push of a button. The smooth gliding opening and closing elevates the luxury feel and provides easy stargazing and airflow.

Cockpit Design and New Multimedia System

The NX driver-centered cockpit has been updated with the driver in mind. To better connect the driver to the vehicle, the new 7-inch Multi Instrument Display (MID) and optional 10-inch Head Up Display (HUD) are designed to convey vehicle information as well as alerts within the driver’s line of sight. All functions are accessible through the steering wheel to allow for intuitive operation while still ensuring safe driving practices and keeping the driver’s eyes on the road.

An optional 14-inch touch screen (first for NX) features an immersive multimedia experience. The large screen allows for easy operation and viewing. Dial controls remain for frequently used functions such as climate control and media volume, and comfort features are readily accessible. This all-new interface allows the NX to integrate and navigate swiftly, providing intuitive technology at the driver’s fingertips. Equipped with Human Machine Interface (HMI), user interaction is enhanced through sight, touch and voice, thus catering to accessibility needs. Following the customer-first approach, the newly developed Virtual Assistant (VA) is intended to be the primary way occupants interact with the new multimedia system. The voice-first approach allows front seat occupants to access features such as navigation, media, phone, and other vehicle settings. The built-in VA responses allow for intuitive replies, thus creating a human-like conversation.

by Lexus for use by 360 Magazine

The Lexus Interface was devised with function and easy access in mind. 100% cloud capability and Google POI integration allows the system to have faster and more accurate navigation to get the driver and passengers to their destination quickly and safely. Enhanced navigation allows for offline mode, which detects when vehicles enter areas with low connection and then automatically downloads maps in advance, saving trouble and panic.

In the age of digital transformation, the user profile feature creates a more personalized experience so that moving from vehicle to vehicle is convenient. The driver’s personalized settings will be retained on the cloud and are accessible each time they return to the vehicle. Once created, users can use a Bluetooth device to access their profile. An extension of the user profile feature, vehicles equipped with this new system will enable owners the access to a digital key. This digital key allows drivers to lock/unlock and start/stop their vehicle through the Toyota of Lexus app (when within Bluetooth proximity to the vehicle). The digital key can be shared with up to seven different guest users and no password or PIN is required, creating a seamless guest experience via the app.

Through the app, drivers also receive personalized maintenance updates and vehicle health reports to help maintain their vehicle. For the 2022 model, Lexus NX will also feature standard wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability, as well as a new addition to charge your phone wirelessly.

Safety System

With the safety of all passengers in mind, the new Lexus NX will come equipped with the latest Lexus Safety System +3.0 for safe driving. Functions of the system include: 

  • Risk Avoidance Emergency Steer Assist – supports collision avoidance within the lane by providing gentle braking and steering operation.
  • Left Turn Oncoming Vehicle Detection/Braking – designed to provide a warning and automatic braking if the driver turns left in front of an oncoming vehicle.
  • Right/Left Turn Oncoming Pedestrian Detection/Braking – designed to provide a warning and automatic braking if a driver turns left or right in front of an oncoming pedestrian or cyclist.
  • Oncoming Vehicle Detection added to the Pre-Collision System – designed to alert the driver, and potentially activate automatic emergency braking to help avoid a frontal collision.
  • Dynamic Radar Cruise Control with Curve Speed Management – maintains a cruising speed in alignment with the flow of traffic while managing speed on curves.

Additions to the current Lexus Safety System features for NX:

  • Road Sign Assist – displays select road sign information in the instrument panel.
  • Pre-collision System – provides the potential to detect a preceding vehicle, pedestrian, or cyclist in low-light situations.
  • Lane Assistance – designed to provide an audible alert if an inadvertent lane departure is detected.
  • Intelligent High Beam– provides greater visibility for drivers with added illumination when the road ahead is clear, then temporarily switches to low beams when it detects the headlamps or taillamps of vehicles ahead.
  • Road Sign Assist – uses a built-in camera to help provide road sign information in the instrument panel or even on the available Head-Up Display. The system can also alert the driver of certain detected signs that otherwise might have been missed.
  • Safety Exit – seamless door opening with the push of a button, when activated it makes sure that door does not open when there are passers-by such as bikes or pedestrians. Available for rear doors as well for protection of children and family.

by Lexus for use by 360 Magazine

These safety features provide peace of mind for unexpected emergencies and connect drivers with a 24/7 emergency response agent.

The all-new 2022 NX will start production in the third quarter of 2021. Pricing will be announced closer to the on-sale date.

New NX 350 2.4 Turbo Engine

Enhancements in vehicle rigidity now allows the NX for a higher horsepower 2.4 turbo gas engine. Not only is it environmentally friendly, but the new 8-speed transmission also provides the gas-powered NX with the feel of a performance vehicle with the perspective of a crossover utility vehicle. The turbo gas-powered engine has an estimated 275 horsepower and 317lbs. per foot of torque. When combined, the engine results in a 0–60 second time of 6.8 seconds, which is half a second quicker than the previous models.

This is made possible by improvements to torsional rigidity through laser peening welding and the addition of high rigidity foam. The twin hood lock also adds front lateral flexural rigidity that improves the aerodynamics of the vehicle.

by Lexus for use by 360 Magazine

NX 450h+ Plug-In Hybrid

The new plug-in hybrid PHEV system brings Lexus Electrified to life through performance and design, as well as through the signature quietness of this model. The NX 450h+ has an estimated 36-mile range on electric power only, made possible by the newly developed lithium-ion battery. The system achieves the EV output equivalent to a 2.0-liter engine. When combined with the newly developed hybrid transaxle, a 2.5-liter inline 4-cylinder engine delivers on the performance luxury guests are seeking with an estimated 6.0 second 0–60 second time.

The high-output and high-efficiency systems were constructed to reduce power loss when converting AC power to DC power, resulting in shorter charging times. The NX plug-in hybrid can be fully charged in about two and a half hours when equipped with the optional 6.6 kW Expedited Onboard Charger. With the standard 3.3 kW charger, it will take about four and a half hours.

For a sporty driving experience, the NX 450h+ uses a newly developed, electronically-controlled, full-time AWD system. Optimizing front and rear torque distribution according to the driving conditions, the driver can control the vehicle as intended, with elegant control for a wide range of driving styles.

Along with the navigation, Predictive Efficient Drive will be coupled to learn driving habits and predict the expected roadway ahead while analyzing real-time traffic reports. This helps to optimize charging and discharging of the hybrid battery. With more miles clocked on the NX, more data is gathered to help optimize fuel consumption. With accumulated knowledge about the driver’s behavior, the system will be able to predict when the vehicle is likely to slow down or stop. This allows for more efficient energy to be recovered and recharged into the hybrid battery, optimizing battery capacity for the electricity plug-in hybrid model. While Lexus is unable to give us the exact specs yet, an official announcement will be made later on.

Hybrid Performance and Fuel Economy

Known for their signature driving performance, passengers can experience great performance and fuel economy with the new Lexus NX 350h. With a combined 239 horsepower, a 20% increase over the current model, and an estimated 36 MPG, the NX hybrid brings a brilliant performance that illustrates the brand’s hybrid leadership. Passengers will also be able to feel the quicker 0–60 time with 1.5 seconds taken off the time from previous NX generations at 7.2 seconds.

The hybrid drive system pairs the D4-S fuel injection 2.5L 4-cylinder gasoline engine with two high-torque electric drive motor-generators for strong acceleration and passing performance. Instead of transfer gears and a driveshaft for the rear wheels, the AWD system employs a second, independent electric motor to drive the rear wheels to maintain optimal traction.

by Lexus for use by 360 Magazine

Teammate Advanced Drive Backgrounder 

The Teammate advanced driver assistance will debut on select 2022 Lexus LS 500h models with AWD and is expected to arrive in the US this fall. The Level 2 system evolves from adaptive cruise control to automatically change lanes and pass vehicles while driving.

Designed to partner with and assist the driver on the highway, it enables automatic steering, acceleration, and braking on the highway under the active supervision of the driver. This technology also enables the car to parallel park itself or back into a parking spot. Lexus Teammate teams two systems: Advanced Drive and Advanced Park.

Safety is the first priority of the automated driving development program, so Lexus has committed Advanced Drive to this cause. The Advanced Drive integrates the vehicle’s mapping system and plans 6 miles ahead to help reach the car’s destination. This benefits the driver by reducing fatigue from driving. A series of fail-safe operations are also included to help prevent loss of control for up to four seconds in the event of a system malfunction or limitation.

Developed in close coordination between Toyota Motor Corporation and Toyota Motor North America, engineers used the same test vehicles in both countries. This allowed for the development of U.S.-specific considerations, such as HOV lanes and draw bridges. These tests helped to incorporate catered design and performance into the Advanced Drive system.

by Vaughn Lowery for use by 360 Magazine

by Vaughn Lowery for use by 360 Magazine

Electrified Cars

Alongside the safety of passengers, the environment is also a top priority. Toyota and Lexus will debut a new, electrified model lineup, with two battery electric vehicles (BEVs) and a plug-in hybrid (PHEV). These models are eco-friendly and brilliantly created, similar to a “Mission Impossible” movie.

The new electrified models further expand Toyota’s leadership in alternative powertrain vehicles. Toyota’s goal is to have 40% of new vehicle sales be electrified models and expects that to increase to nearly 70% by 2030. Toyota hybrid vehicles sold globally have avoided emitting an estimated 139 million tons of greenhouse gases (GHG) into the atmosphere. In the US alone, Toyota hybrid vehicles have avoided 38 million tons of GHG. This achievement was made possible with Toyota’s commitment to the environment.

Toyota’s internal research found that both the BEV and PHEV models provide similar environmental benefits. By factoring in pollutants created by electricity production and using it to charge batteries, the production of a PHEV emits less GHG. Both of these models have a unique profile and by diversifying their car portfolio, consumers will have a bigger range of models to choose from to best suit their usage needs and cost profile, while still maximizing GHG reduction.

At the press conference, Toyota promised 20 new models by 2025 for more sustainable development and looked to continue expanding their electrified car models. As further proof of Toyota’s commitment to the environment, they agreed to purchase power from a Clearway Energy Group wind farm to reduce the overall carbon footprint from electricity used from the power grid. For transparency and positive environmental impact, Toyota writes an annual environmental report to update its consumers. 

by Vaughn Lowery for use by 360 Magazine

by Vaughn Lowery for use by 360 Magazine

by Vaughn Lowery for use by 360 Magazine

Road Trip via Mina Tocalini for use by 360 Magazine

New Book on the Volkswagen Type 4: 411 and 412

There’s a new book out now via Veloce Books about the Volkswagen Type 4 by Marc Cranswick, going over everything from the history to the specifications on the vehicles. Sections from the book have been provided below. You can purchase the book HERE.

“If ever there was a car in search of a context and market, it was the VW Type 4. Volkswagen’s first foray into the upscale sector brought engineering innovation to Wolfsburg. It also tried to convince worldwide buyers that VW still had the right stuff. With design origins in the Porsche consultancy, the signs were hopeful. However, globally, the automarket was rapidly changing.”

“The VW Type 4’s portfolio ran to unitary construction and fuel injection, but had to face fancy competition from Detroit’s European subsidiaries. All the while, VW was searching for its future road, and faced challenging developments. The fuel crisis and Japanese competition in North America kept the pressure on at Wolfsburg.”

“The Type 4 411 and 412 held to VW tradition, while introducing new engineering directions and refinements. VW’s biggest ever car faced off against mainstream competition.”

“It was also Volkswagen’s first mid-size car and it’s final design in a thirty year air-cooled odyssey.”

“Could the VW 411 and 412’s solid traditional virtues carry the day? Then and now the Type 4’s unbreakable VW quality, and flat out sustainability, appealed to air cooled devotees. The 411 and 412 brought a new dimension in comfort to VW, and its hardware design was utilized by the air cooled clan both on and off road. The Type 4 even had a sportscar connection, and never lost the power to surprise.”

ID TechEx Research electric-battery vehicles image for use by 360 Magazine

1000 Mile Battery Vehicles

Many Routes to 1000 Mile Battery Vehicles, Reports IDTechEx 

It is easy to make 1000-mile battery-electric vehicles, and the effect on market uptake will be profound. For example, a typical city-dweller today might charge only once every two months and vacation where chargers are rare.

With solar bodywork having done some of the job, even feeble existing chargers will cause little delay in charging time. Indeed, solar bodywork is a “get-you-home” feature that is capable of suddenly making battery-electric vehicles acceptable in most of the world­– increasing their market potential and accelerating economies of scale in production, making battery-electric vehicles more affordable.  Meanwhile, today’s EV would be easier to sell to country dwellers if they had a folding solar panel “lifeboat” offered as an optional extra. See the IDTechEx report, “Solar Vehicles 2021-2041 2nd Edition”.

Learn from the sea. Many solar boats can already be bought with effectively infinite range because they have so much area available for solar. Some have the generating capacity to supply three houses on arrival. For heavier sea-going ships, adding wind turbines works because at sea, the wind is rarely head-on at a speed less than the craft’s. The large Manta ocean clean-up boat from Sea Cleaners is the latest example. Even energy-independent ships are possible by combining these technologies with others.

Land vehicles lag in energy-independent technologies because they have less surface area per passenger, but the newly viable single-crystal silicon on the sides (as demonstrated by Sono Motors at CES 2021) is a step in the right direction. Student solar racers get energy independence using 3­­–5 compound solar that is unaffordable for most applications as yet. They also get ultra-low drag factors by squeezing the riders. Nonetheless, these things benchmark what is coming to a car, robot shuttle, and truck near you.

For example, following solar golf cars, Aptera, a Californian solar car start-up, promises 1000 miles for those willing to mix it with Class 8 trucks while sitting in a three-wheeled egg. More mainstream, Tesla and Lucid already get past 500 miles range by utilizing low drag factor, light-weighting, more efficient power electronics, and other strategies such as aluminum monocoque, even before adopting solar. Indeed, Tesla Roadster doubles the battery to get 620 miles. Lightyear solar family cars approach 500 miles range with exceptionally extensive solar bodywork, but also offer more efficient in-wheel motors. More efficient motors have been important for Tesla’s exceptional range, and better motors are on the way. See the IDTechEx report, “Electric Motors for Electric Vehicles: Land, Water, Air 2020-2030”.

When feasible, Elon Musk wants solar that unfolds on arrival and will pump more than one kilowatt. Many vehicles are largely glass, but solar building windows are obviously coming to vehicles, starting with Hyundai promising a translucent solar roof.

In 2018, Tesla began to adopt wide-bandgap semiconductors (silicon carbide) in the Model 3’s main inverter, which are more efficient and save on the weight and space of the cooling equipment. Supercapacitors are barely used in on-road BEVs, but they can improve range in many ways now they appear with higher energy density and at a lower price. They grab more braking energy, and they facilitate deep discharge of the newer batteries that can tolerate such things.

The roadmap of other range-extending technologies is equally rich. Infrared harvesting surfaces under the vehicle may work in hot countries. On top and sides, adding perovskite to silicon will grab infrared and light over a much wider spectrum, increasing electricity by at least 10% (multilayer perovskites promises 100%). Autonomous taxis, shuttles, and buses dispensing with the weight and space of the driver can go further. In windy countries, wind turbines that erect when the vehicle stops can be viable. Indeed, the US Department of Defense funds trials of electricity generation by using tethered drones from vehicles, up where the wind is stronger and more consistent.

Raghu Das, CEO of IDTechEx, advises, “VW Group and many others work on structural batteries and supercapacitors to increase range – no more dumb bodywork. Meanwhile, Tesla and Lucid commercialize a first step in that direction. Equally challenging, but still a possibility is using higher voltage to increase range beyond the current focus on charging time. 800-1000V is pioneered by VW Group, Lucid, Rivian, GM, Hyundai, Kia, and other carmakers and their suppliers such as Hitachi, Borg Warner and others. In principle, it increases efficiency and lightens weight.”

“We are currently working on the start of production for several premium 800-volt projects,” says Bert Hellwig, who is responsible for electric drive system development at ZF. “We supply a Chinese OEM with the complete electric driveline, including power electronics, for several models. For a European sports car manufacturer, ZF provides power electronics for a high-voltage application. Further series start-ups are already on the horizon.”

There is much more. Thermal management and all materials and systems can perform better and get lighter, both of which increase range. See the IDTechEx reports, “Materials for Electric Vehicles: Electric Motors, Battery Cells & Packs, HV Cabling 2020-2030” and “Thermal Management for Electric Vehicles 2020-2030”. For example, a transparent heater film applied only where needed on vehicle interiors has been shown to save up to 30% of that electricity.

Meeting all these factors in the middle is intermittent catenary and intermittent road rails and coils–charging vehicles as they hurtle by– and an increasing number of cars able to charge other cars (Sono Motors’ Sion is again an example). Batteries charge fast initially, so the profusion of lamp post chargers topping up in London, for example, can be a good alternative to scarce and expensive fast chargers, particularly as vehicles double their range. Battery improvements promise large range increases. Volkswagen targets 40% more energy density by 2030.  In other words, vehicle designers can now choose which of the many routes to 1000-mile range they will pursue with plenty of choices.

For the whole picture, see the IDTechEx report, “Electric Vehicles: Land, Sea and Air 2021-2041”.

For the full portfolio of Electric Vehicle research available from IDTechEx, please visit this website.

Hyundai Invests in New Technology

Hyundai CRADLE, Hyundai Motor Company’s corporate venturing and open innovation business announced today its strategic investment in allegro.ai, a leading technology company specializing in deep learning (DL) – based computer vision. This partnership with allegro.ai will allow to speed up deployment of AI technology in many business areas. This will improve the quality of Hyundai’s products, thereby increasing customer satisfaction while creating a safer driving environment.

Founded in 2016, allegro.ai offers the first end-to-end DL lifecycle management solution focused on deep learning as it applies to computer vision. The company’s platform simplifies the process of developing and managing deep learning-powered solutions – such as autonomous vehicles, drones, security, logistics and others.

“Deep learning computer vision is one of the core technologies that can be applied to autonomous driving to navigate roads and make quick decisions in real-time – and allegro.ai is clearly an innovation leader in that field,” said Ruby Chen, Head of Investment at Hyundai CRADLE Tel Aviv. He added, “Our investment in allegro.ai is a further step in enhancing our presence in the Israeli market, a global leader of technological innovation in the fields of automation, artificial intelligence and deep learning. This is our fifth investment in an Israeli company and our activities will continue to grow the coming year”.

“We are proud to partner with Hyundai and share Hyundai’s belief that AI empowers the industry to provide greater road safety, autonomy, to better understand customers’ needs and to help broaden their experiences,” said Nir Bar-lev CEO and Co-founder of allegro.ai. “Whether a company is developing autonomous vehicles, drones, security, or other types of applications, allegro.ai makes it easy for them to manage their data-sets and build deep learning-based solutions while guaranteeing complete and confidential control of their data.

Check out their website HERE

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.

The Quail, A Motorsports Gathering Weekly Preview

70 Years Of The Iconic Porsche 365:

The name Porsche has become synonymous over the decades with high performance sports cars and iconic design. Seven decades ago in the small village of Gmünd, Austria, the first car to bear the Porsche name was born. The Porsche 356/1 Roadster was powered by a 1.1-liter air-cooled flat-four engine from Volkswagen. The engine’s power was increased to 35 horsepower for the 356 which enabled a top speed of 83 mph.

In the years that followed, numerous iterations of the 356 would evolve into icons. From the Speedster to the Continental, the rear-engine rear-wheel-drive 356 gained a reputation for lively handling, dynamic capability, and revolutionary style. This year at The Quail, A Motorsports Gathering more than 20 Porsche 356s will grace the lawn to celebrate 70 years of Ferry Porsche’s dream.

“I looked around and could not find quite the car I dreamed of. So I decided to build it myself.” – Ferry Porsche

Sir Jackie Stewart:

Sir Jackie Stewart will be attending The Quail, A Motorsports Gathering this year as a guest of Rolex. He won the Formula 1 Grand Prix de Monaco three times between 1966 and 1973. Nicknamed the “Flying Scot,” he is considered one of the greatest drivers ever to set foot in a Formula 1 car. Off the track, he became a passionate advocate of driver safety in motorsport.

“The Quail is very special. It’s intimate, it has style and the collection of cars is more diverse than even Pebble Beach,” said Stewart. “Every year I see cars that I have never seen before and in such a relaxed and spacious setting, you really are able to admire them up close alongside true motoring enthusiasts and specialists. Rolex’s involvement just adds to the event’s unique charm. Everybody wants to be here.”

Culinary Spotlight- Local Wine at The Quail:

In addition to the delicious culinary offerings at The Quail, A Motorsports Gathering several local wineries will be offering their vintages to attendees. Talbott Vineyards was established in 1982 when Robb Talbott planted his original Diamond T Estate vineyard in the Carmel Valley. Talbott Logan Pinot Noir and Talbott Logan Sleepy Hollow Chardonnay will both be available at The Quail. Cambiata Pinot Noir and Albarino, J. Lohr Arroyo Vista Chardonnay and Seven Oaks Cabernet, as well as offerings from Bernardus will be featured at The Quail, A Motorsports Gathering.

VW Campervans

The Volkswagen Camper Van has been a cult classic for decades and has a broad fan base all around the world. Publishers Delius Klasingintroduce Box on Wheels: Extraordinary VW Camper Vans, a book that displays a collection of the maddest, baddest, funniest, nicest and strangest camper vans on the planet.

When Norbert Nettekoven put this book together he wasn’t interested in immaculately restored collector’s pieces but rather born-again rust buckets, lowered street racers and stretch limos. This eclectic collection of campervans will blow your mind.

The August Horch Museum

December 2017

 

The August Horch Museum, birthplace of Audi, Undergoes a Beautiful Expansion in Saxony’s Zwickau Highlighting Hands-On Tune Ups and New Old Cars

In the charming city of Zwickau in Saxony, the August Horch Museum has added a beautiful new expansion of its building to include room for post-war history, special exhibitions, education and the chance to tune your own Trabant! This 25-year old museum honors over 100 years of car manufacturing in Saxony.  Even to this day, state-of-the-art car manufacturing in Saxony astonishes visitors from the futuristic Porsche Factory outside of Leipzig to the Transparent Factory in Dresden that highlights Volkswagen’s latest technical designs. 

Just over 25 years ago, the August Horch Museum opened its doors to the public in the charming city of Zwickau in Germany’s state of Saxony. The museum is the birthplace of Audi and a treasure in Zwickau, the fourth largest town in Saxony, only one hour and fifteen minutes from Leipzig and Dresden where Porsche, BMW and Volkswagen sport state-of-the-art manufacturing centers.

The August Horch Museum is located in the original Audi factory which turned out mainly small cars such as the Trabant in the times of the GDR. After Volkswagen had built a new, state of the art facility in the Zwickau suburb of Mosel, the factory was shut down and reopened as a car museum. While the previous museum building is now fully dedicated to the times before World War II, the new 38,000 square foot addition looks into the post-war history.

The new addition was created in an existing building originally built in 1910 as another part of the former Audi factory. Old and “new” are connected with a modern glass foyer.  It houses an extended education facility for which the museum is already very well-regarded; a new restaurant; space for special exhibitions; and an exciting hands-on center where visitors can view the production of the original Trabant and even tune up their own Trabant that picturesquely sits next to an original East German “Datsche,” or cottage. Visitors can also have a seat at a race of the “Silver Arrows,” the legendary Auto Union racing cars. The museum offers personally guided tours in English as well as an audio guide in English. It is recommended to reserve for the tours in advance. The guided tours also include a visit to August Horch’s villa, located on the factory grounds.

The history of Horch is interesting and relevant for today’s knowledge of car making in Germany and Saxony. Over one hundred years ago on May 10, 1904, August Horch, founded his initial company, Horch, but he was some years later fired by his business partners. Due to his excellent reputation as an engineer, however, he was able to raise enough money to build a new factory right next to the old Horch factory. He called his new company “Horch,” too, but was quickly forced by the lawyers from his old company to change its name and therefore he turned to the name, “Audi,” which is the Latin translation of Horch meaning to listen. So, the first Audi was born in Zwickau in 1910.  Eventually Audi merged with three other Saxon brands establishing “Auto Union” also headquartered in Chemnitz. The new company’s famous logo, the four interlinking circles, represented the four different brands Horch (Germany’s no. 1 luxury car brand at that time, outselling Mercedes by 3:1), Audi, Wanderer (medium-sized cars) and DKW (two-stroke-engined small cars, also the largest manufacturer of motorbikes in the world). Auto Union was the second-largest car manufacturer in Germany after GM-owned Opel.

The August Horch Museum will continue to maintain highly informative exhibits that address the development of cars in Saxony but also the social and political context of car manufacturing. The permanent exhibition starts with the opening of the Horch factory featuring a large green Horch from 1911. It then proceeds through the years with 70 cars ranging from pre-war models made by the four Auto Union companies – including the oldest surviving Audi – to products from the Communist times including the Trabant and prototypes of highly competitive designs that the Zwickau factory was not allowed to put into production. The Trabant, lovingly called “Trabi,” is now a treasured keepsake for many Germans, with 30,000 vehicles still on the road.

Today, three leading German automotive manufacturers have plants in Saxony: Volkswagen, Porsche and BMW as well as component suppliers, all of which make car manufacturing an important part of Saxony’s economy.

In the center of Dresden, Volkswagen’s Transparent Factory is a unique manufacturing and cultural center that formerly produced the top luxury Phaeton. Today, the Transparent Manufactory is a showcase for the Volkswagen brand’s electric mobility and digitalization. Around 50 interactive exhibits and vehicles allow visitors to experience future mobility first-hand in a fun and informative environment. The highlight for visitors is a half-hour test drive with electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles. The test drive is included in the ticket price for the Transparent Factory and, if pre-booked, is also offered on Sundays. Only a ten minute walk from Dresden’s old city, the facility is well-integrated into the personality of the city emphasizing the wonderful contrast between history and the future, old and new buildings, classical and modern architecture.

In Leipzig, the Porsche factory’s customer service center looks like a futuristic round spaceship alighting on the horizon. One approaches through an enormous entrance to a staged and storied facility that includes an event space and museum quality cars. There is a state-of-the-art manufacturing building where Porsche’s SUVs and the Panamera are built, as well as a race track and a mud track. Everything is open for groups to see and tour, to test drive and to buy. The Porsche Co-Pilot combines a factory tour with an exciting co-driving experience in one of three different Porsches followed by a delicious four course meal or brunch overlooking the facility’s race track and grounds. Also in Leipzig, BMW’s plant is exclusively making the i3 and i8 electric cars, amongst other models. Its central building is an award-winning design by star architect Zaha Hadid. Last but not least, Volkswagen announced that its Zwickau plant will switch to the production of electric vehicles. All in all, the Horch Museum and the state of the art automobile manufacturing and test centers are yet another reason to visit the beautiful and historic state of Saxony.