Tuesday, April 26, 2016

VW unveils T-Prime Concept

The T-Prime Concept GTE, officially unveiled at Auto China 2016 in Beijing on Monday, is a premium off-roader with a hybrid powertrain and, according to Volkswagen, a car that not only gives a first clear idea of the company's next flagship, but of the direction in which the entire industry is moving.

Demand for SUVs and crossovers has never been greater and this demand is something that consumers in all markets around the world have in common. The crossover has usurped the compact hatchback as Europe's favorite car, SUVs are outperforming everything except for pickups in the US, and, according to VW's stats, the appetite for full-size comfort-focused SUVs is expected to grow some 18% over the next six years in China.

Unlike a number of recent VW SUV concepts, this one looks almost production ready and a worthy visual successor to the Touareg, right down to its impressive plug-in hybrid powertrain.
It's capable of outputting a combined 375hp, of running for 50km on battery power alone and of hitting 100km/h in 6 seconds. However, it also offers a potential NEDC cycle fuel economy of 87mpg.

The interior is also a very digital affair, with touch screens, voice commands and gestures; "this type of human-machine interface could become the norm in the top segment. Progress is immediately apparent here, because the real automobile is melding with the virtual world that is so real today," said Dr. Frank Welsch, VW's head of Technical Development.

Tosan Aduayi, a motoring journalist since 1994, is the founder and publisher of Trendy Africa Magazine and has reported on Motoring with trademark columns (Roadrunner, Carliners). He is also the founder of Flowtran global.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Ford Ranger Owners Drive Smarter with 10 functional Drive-assist features

For more than 20 years, the Ranger has proven to be one of Ford’s most popular pickups across the globe, providing thousands of customers with Built Ford Tough capabilities. Having gone through a comprehensive global development programme, the Ranger is built in Africa, designed from the ground up with African conditions and consumers in mind.

The Ranger – one of the toughest, smartest and most capable pick-ups in the market - is packed with driver assist features aimed at providing customers with improved utility, comfort and convenience. Here are ten examples of driver assist features that see the Ranger delivering smart solutions to Ford customers, features that ensure that driving through the streets of Lagos is a breeze. Here are the various features available in the different models clearly explained:

SYNC®2 connectivity system.   The voice-activated SYNC®2 system helps drivers stay connected and in control. It features a full colour multifunctional display for easy menu navigation.
 The Trailer Sway Control.  This feature is part of the Electronic Stability Programme (ESP) system and uses information from its sensors – such as yaw, acceleration and steering angle. If swaying is detected without appropriate driver input, the Ranger is designed to react accordingly to correct the instability.
Adaptive Load Control.  Smart technology that assists you confidently to keep loads under control by providing vehicle stability.
Hill Descent Control.  Brakes are automatically applied, as needed, to slow the vehicle to a set speed without the driver needing to touch the pedal. Speed can be adjusted through the accelerator and the Cruise Control buttons on the steering wheel. The feature works in both forward and reverse.
Hill Launch Control.  Hill launch control helps the driver pull away on steep climbs.
Front and Rear Park Assist.  This feature uses sensors to detect obstacles and provide audible warnings when the vehicle approaches obstructions at low speeds, such as when parking. A rear-view camera gives a clear view behind the vehicle, giving greater confidence when parking and hitching up a trailer.
Individual tyre pressure monitoring system. Individual monitors show air pressure readings for each tyre and alerts the driver when an individual tyre is low.
Rollover Mitigation.  This feature closely monitors the vehicle's speed, lateral acceleration, yaw motion and steering angle, and will identify potentially dangerous driving conditions that would lead to the vehicle rolling over.  Rollover mitigation intervenes by controlling the vehicle’s speed and restoring stability.
Cruise Control.  This feature automatically controls the speed of the Ranger and ensures it keeps a steady speed as set by the driver.

Emergency Brake Assist.  The provision of additional pressure to the brake system to increase braking force when you apply the brakes quickly in an emergency situation.

With all these driver assist features, there can be no doubt that Ford’s tough Ranger is equipped and ready for Nigerian roads– offering style, comfort and the best driving possible.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Bentley launches new GT Speed and Black Edition

Bentley unveils today the revised Continental GT Speed, raising the bar even further in terms of exclusivity and performance making it the fastest production Bentley ever, with a top speed of 206 mph (331 km/h). A Black Edition model joins the speed family. Performance is improved bringing even greater acceleration performance. As a result, the 0-60 mph sprint time has dropped to just 3.9 seconds (0-100 km/h in 4.1 secs). The Black Edition also features contrast colours to the front splitter, side skirts and rear diffuser in four different shades: Hallmark, Beluga, St James’ Red and a new shade, Cyber Yellow. Customers can also choose to colour-match the door mirrors as a final exterior accent.

It takes 110 hours to handcraft each and every Continental GT at the Bentley factory in Crewe, Cheshire. The upgraded W12 engine applied to all Continental GT Speed models is entirely assembled by 30 dedicated Bentley colleagues over 12½ hours. Meanwhile, the sumptuous and technically complex unique interiors are handcrafted by the experts in Bentley’s Leather and Trim workshop. Each hide is carefully checked by hand and eye before being stitched, shaped and finished entirely by hand, rivalling the quality of the finest furniture and precise tolerances of jewelry and watch craftsmanship.

Tosan Aduayi, a motoring journalist since 1994, is the founder and publisher of Trendy Africa Magazine and has reported on Motoring with trademark columns (Roadrunner, Carliners). He is also the founder of Flowtran global.