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Daniel Abt fired from Audi’s Formula E team for using pro sim driver in virtual race

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Audi fired Daniel Abt from its Formula E racing team after learning he had a professional sim driver race for him during a virtual competition called the “Race at Home Challenge” held over the weekend.

The automaker said in a statement via Formula E that Abt had been suspended from Audi Sport “with immediate effect.” However, it appears the consequences are more serious and final. Abt said in a video message published Tuesday on YouTube that Audi had dropped him from the team.

“Today I was informed in a conversation with Audi that our ways will split from now on,” Abt said, according to a translation of the video message. “We won’t be racing together in Formula E anymore and the cooperation has ended. It is a pain which I have never felt in this way in my life.”

The 14-minute video was meant to explain the incident that occurred May 23 during the virtual competition, Abt said. He claims that it was all meant as a joke, which he intended to publicize after the race.

Abt tapped 18-year-old pro sim driver Lorenz Hoerzing to take his spot in the fifth round of Formula E’s online sim racing series. Unlike the real Formula E race series, this was meant to entertain fans and raise funds for UNICEF.

Hoerzing came in third in the race. Questions were raised almost immediately following the virtual event when Abt didn’t appear on the post-race interview.

Abt explained, via translation of the video, the plan.

“We had a conversation and the idea came up that it would be a funny move if a sim racer basically drove for me, to show the other, real drivers, what he is capable of and use the chance to drive against them,” Abt said. “We wanted to document it and create a funny story for the fans with it.”

Abt later added that it was never his intention to “get a result and keep quiet about it later on just to make me look better.”

Abt has also been fined €10,000, which will be sent to the charity.

You can watch the entire statement here.

Source: https://techcrunch.com/2020/05/26/daniel-abt-fired-from-audis-formula-e-team-for-using-pro-sim-driver-in-virtual-race/

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Toyota sources crucial EV steel from China Baowu

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Toyota Motor will procure some of its electrical steel sheet from China Baowu Steel Group, China’s largest steel supplier, in a move that could see Japanese steel makers having to compete with the Chinese suppliers on price as well as quality, the Nikkei reported.

Source: https://www.just-auto.com/news/toyota-sources-crucial-ev-steel-from-china-baowu_id196656.aspx?utm_source=article-feed&utm_medium=rss-feed&utm_campaign=rss-feed

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Porsche starts testing 3D-printed pistons, gains 30 horsepower in a 911 GT2 RS

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Automakers are experimenting extensively with 3D printing for all variety of automotive parts from simple interior trim pieces to parts as complex as brake calipers. Porsche is taking the technology a step further by experimenting with 3D-printing engine internals.

Mahle, a German parts supplier, and Trumpf, a 3D printer manufacturer, helped Porsche make 3D-printed pistons that can survive in a high-performance engine. The company 3D-printed a set of six pistons for the 911 GT2 RS with high-purity metal powder using what it calls a laser metal fusion process. Heat generated by laser beams melts the powder surface into a pre-determined shape, so this is far more advanced than your neighbor’s kid’s 3D printer.

Although this might sound like a PR stunt, Porsche explained 3D-printing pistons offers several significant advantages. Each piston’s structure is optimized, so they weigh 10% less than comparable forged pistons, and they feature a closed, integrated cooling duct that wouldn’t have been possible to add using another technique.

“Thanks to the new, lighter pistons, we can increase the engine speed, lower the temperature load on the pistons, and optimize combustion. This makes it possible to get up to 30 horsepower more from the 690-horsepower, twin-turbocharged engine [in the 911 GT2 RS] while at the same time improving efficiency,” Frank Ickinger, a member of Porsche’s advance drive development department, said in a statement.

There’s no word yet on whether 3D-printed pistons are as durable as forged pistons. And, similarly, Porsche hasn’t announced whether it plans to put them in a production car, let alone when or how much they will cost.

Porsche did say it has identified other applications for the technology. It introduced 3D-printed seat cushions in May 2020, and it offers 3D-printed versions of about 20 classic-car parts that are no longer in regular production, such as a clutch release lever that fits the 959. “This manufacturing technology is also technically and economically interesting for Porsche for special and small series as well as motorsports,” the company concluded.

Related Video:

Source: https://www.autoblog.com/2020/07/14/porsche-3d-printed-pistons/

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A Week With: 2020 Genesis G70

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The Genesis G70’s exterior styling and performance make it a standout in its segment.

At a time when mobility has become a buzzword for the future of transportation, passenger cars –sedans, coupes and convertibles – still retain a huge space at the heart of the world’s automotive culture as carmakers compete for buyers around the world.

Thus it ought to come as no surprise that Genesis, the luxury brand from Hyundai, has ventured to create an identity built around sleek, well-equipped and well-honed passenger cars such as the G70, the rear-wheel-drive sedan that we had the opportunity to drive recently.

Overview: The G70, however, is more than a knockoff of an expensive European passenger car from brands such Audi, BMW, Jaguar, Alfa Romeo and BMW. Nor is it a copy of an American muscle car. Instead, the G70 has its own presence and style that fits well with contemporary trends for tasteful elegance and seeks to avoid any notion of ostentation.

(Genesis tops the J.D. Power Vehicle Dependability Study.)

With a low-slung silhouette the G70 is a dynamic-looking sports sedan.

Exterior: One of the first things you notice walking up to the G70 is its height or lack of height really. It’s only 55 inches tall, which brings it closer to the drive than the typical vehicle on the market today. But the low-slung appearance is one the features that makes the silhouette so appealing and more than a copy of a European sedan.

The G70’s rear-wheel-drive platform also delivers a nice balance to the car and with its long hood, short-front overhang and long roofline the car enjoys classical proportions favored by automotive purists. Genesis designers also dressed up the car’s corners with elements, such as multi-spoke alloy wheels, to form a sleek, dynamic profile. Dark chrome aero trim as well as LED lights and a prominent grille with an expansive air intake enhance the presentation. The hockey stick daylight opening and parabolic sidelines further express the unique design signatures of Genesis, displaying fast and dramatic energy with voluptuous forms and smooth surfaces.

… The result is an exterior appearance that combines elegance and grace …

Interior: One of the places where the G70 shows its South Korean influence is the interior, which blends simplicity and craftsmanship into a comfortable cabin with easy-to-use and easy-to-view controls and gauges. The layout of the control and the 8-inch screen for entertainment and navigation

he interior, which blends simplicity and craftsmanship into a comfortable cabin with easy-to-use and easy-to-view controls and gauges.

was clever since it appeared to sit on shelf that also brought controls such as tuning knob closer to the driver should they want to use it.

The stitching across the dashboard gives the interior a handcrafted feel. The stitching on the leather inner door panel with its soft touch and quilted design is particularly impressive. The quilted design is carried over onto the seats of G70. It nicely sets off the first-rate materials throughout the cabin, including aluminum door handles, metal speakers and soft touch surfaces that combine to create an appearance and feel of luxury. Visibility from the driver’s seat also is excellent.

(Next-generation Genesis G80 makes its digital debut.)

Powertrain: The power in the version of the Genesis G70 that we drove came from a 2.0-liter, inline four-cylinder engine that was matched up to an 8-speed automatic transmission. The engine was capable of producing 252 horsepower as well as 260 foot-pounds of torque. The combined fuel-economy rating was 25 miles per gallon as calculated the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency testing.

The G70 isn’t just a downsized version of other Genesis sedans, but features its own look.

The shifts were smooth and quick in almost all circumstances, but I did detect what seemed to be a slight lag while hitting the accelerator to pass another vehicle. That was the downside. On the positive, the response when it came was exhilarating. The G70 we drove wasn’t equipped with all-wheel drive, but it does have an excellent stability control system to help keep it on the straight and narrow.

Safety and Technology: Genesis has loaded the 2020 G70 with some of the latest technology and safety equipment as well as connectivity features such as Bluetooth. Advanced driver-assist systems such as Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist, Highway Driving Assist, Blind spot Collision Warning and Driver Awareness Warning have been added as part of the Genesis Active Safety Control suite to offer greater assurance of safety for both the driver and passengers.

The 8-inch touch screen display supporting MirrorLink, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. There also is a link to Sirius XM and an onboard navigation system that is easy to read at night.

Driving Impressions: One of the most impressive features about the Genesis G70 was the driving dynamics. In recent years, the suspensions built by Hyundai, Genesis’ parent company, have come in for criticism. But the suspension of the 2020 G70 had no problems. It was clearly set up to manage the challenge of varied road surfaces as we drove it around Detroit.

The even on a long stretch of freeway where the pavement seemed have buckled a bit in the heat wave that settled in here during early July, the car managed it without a hitch.

… The car also handled well in tight curves and was easy to maneuver on narrow or crowded streets …

It was also responsive at varying speeds and under different road conditions, and the brakes were excellent.

(Pandemic be damned – Genesis sees silver lining in clouded U.S. car market.)

Wrap Up: All things considered, the Genesis G70, with its long, low-slung silhouette, is the kind of car you can fall in love with at a glance. The car’s classic lines draw you to it and looks good standing a curb or in traffic, judging from the glances the car got in traffic.

The one thing we found disconcerting was the tire noise that penetrated the cabin during freeway driving on a very, very hot day, which seemed to expose a gap in the sound deadening insulation underneath the cabin. Nonetheless, the car was an enormous pleasure to drive and measured up well against more expensive models from European carmakers. Overall, the Genesis G70 serves as a vivid reminder of the broad appeal of passenger cars.

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Source: https://www.thedetroitbureau.com/2020/07/a-week-with-2020-genesis-g70/

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