McLaren Automotive has celebrated the manufacture of its 10,000th car at the production center in Woking, England. The 10,000th, a McLaren 570S finished in Ceramic Grey paint, rolled out just over five years after the first car, a McLaren 12C, was completed. “The production of the 10,000th McLaren is a significant milestone in the short history of the company. The fact that it took us 42 months to build our 5,000th car and just 22 months to build the next 5,000 speaks volumes about the pace of development of the company,” said CEO Mike Flewitt. The company’s extended warranty can now be renewed up to the car’s 12th birthday.
Production is now underway at Volkswagen’s Chattanooga plant on the Atlas, a three-row crossover that will arrive on dealer lots in the spring. Engine options will include a 280 horsepower V6 or a 238 horsepower turbo four. It will be the largest VW sold here in the states, some four inches longer than the updated Honda Pilot.
BMW said it will display the “interior of the future” at the Consumer Electronics Show 2017 in Las Vegas. The “HoloActive Touch System” is a “free-floating display operated using finger gestures and confirms the commands with what the driver perceives as tactile feedback.” For the first time, the functions can be controlled without any physical contact, but the technology still enables tangible driver-vehicle interaction from conventional touchscreens. The Head-Up Display is generated by use of reflections in free-floating form within the interior rather than through projection onto the windscreen. Pretty interesting stuff and another indication of how automakers are warming up to the CES over conventional auto shows.
GM will produce a test fleet of Bolt electric cars “equipped with fully autonomous technology”, at its Orion Township plant in Michigan. The new equipment will include LIDAR radar, cameras, sensors and other hardware designed to ensure system safety. The vehicles will be used by engineers for continued testing and validation of autonomous technology already underway on public roads in San Francisco and Scottsdale, Arizona. The company said it is already testing some self-driving Bolts at its Michigan tech center campus. When testing takes place on public roads, such as in the city of Detroit, there will be a driver on board who will take control as needed.
Arriving at New York City Hall, the 2017 Kia Niro officially received a Guinness World Record title for the lowest fuel consumption while driving coast to coast in a hybrid car. The new record-setting mark is 76.6 mpg. The drive from L.A., was accomplished by two drivers who have earlier set economy records through judicious use of the right foot. Niro is powered by a 1.6 liter four cylinder engine and a 43 horsepower electric motor, together producing 139 horsepower and 195 lb-ft of torque. It is matched to a six speed dual clutch automatic. The Niro is set to arrive in Kia retailers in the first quarter of next year. Pictured is the Niro at the start in L.A.
Can you imagine a speaker system priced at $20,885? It is the, (and I don’t make this up), iXOOST ESAVOX speaker system and it will be displayed at a Lamborghini outlet in London after two years of development. It has an 800 watt output. “The guys over at iXOOST have done a wonderful job making the speaker look as Lamborghini as possible,” said Rupesh Jethwa, London brand director for Lambo. It is the first speaker to bear the supercar’s name and is styled as an exhaust system with four original Lamborghini exhaust pipes and the familiar Lamborghini logo. Plus, it features a carbon-fiber chassis and shock absorbers to add to its automotive similarities.
And a new poll in Great Britain reveals that two-thirds of the 1,000 people surveyed believe technology should be introduced that would disable certain smart phone functions while driving. All cars being fitted with some form of blocking device was considered a more effective plan than harsher penalties or more education as road users reveal they cannot resist the temptation to use their phones while driving. Sixty-six percent think the government should enforce a device to disable web-browsing, emails and the ability to send and receive texts.