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New 2021 Nissan Kicks Debuts With Self-Charging e-Power In Thailand

It’s basically an EV that uses a combustion engine to recharge its batteries.

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Starting from an introductory base price of 889,000 baht, all-new compact SUV is first in Thailand to offer award-winning e-POWER technology as innovative technical bridge for Thai customers towards electric vehicles (EV)

BANGKOK – The Nissan Kicks e-POWER, an all-new compact SUV that gives drivers the power and performance of an electric car, debuted today in Thailand. This is a Nissan regional launch event, and the world-debut of the new Nissan model: Nissan Kicks e-POWER. Equipped with e-POWER, the revolutionary electrified powertrain first introduced by Nissan in Japan, the new Nissan Kicks is built in Thailand and perfectly tailored for the lifestyles of urban customers.

Nissan’s award-winning e-POWER technology brings a fully electric motor drive, meaning that the wheels are completely driven by the electric motor. The power from a high-output battery is delivered to the e-POWER compact powertrain comprising a gasoline engine, power generator, inverter and a motor.

The distinctive model is designed to meet the needs of singles, couples or young families who are looking for unique styling, roominess, cutting-edge technology, smart functionality and advanced safety features, at an affordable price.

Thailand is the first country to produce Nissan’s e-POWER technology after Japan and one of the first to launch it, providing a technical bridge for Thai customers towards EV adoption – consuming less energy, with better fuel economy, yet strong performance and acceleration.

“The launch of the all-new Nissan Kicks e-POWER in Thailand represents the disruptive and innovative DNA of Nissan that we continue to bring to the region,” said Yutaka Sanada, MC Chairman and regional senior vice president, Nissan Asia & Oceania. “This is an exciting day for Nissan and Thailand, as a key global production and export hub for Nissan and regional leader driving the company’s vision for electrification of mobility.”

“The modern and robust design in the vehicle complements its advanced e-POWER technology, and the powerful combination of style, comfort, standout design and Nissan Intelligent Mobility technologies will inspire customers in Thailand to see how Nissan is embracing new possibilities,” concluded Sanada.

Unique to e-POWER technology, when extra acceleration is required or when climbing a steep hill, the electric motor receives power from both the battery and the engine to enhance its performance. During deceleration, the engine stops running and regenerative power is used to charge the battery until the vehicle comes to a complete stop, wasting no energy generated from deceleration.

“The all-new Nissan Kicks e-POWER is produced right here in Thailand for our valued customers, with the strength and skill of our local workforce. This thrilling vehicle offers Thai customers the finest Nissan global technology, 14 best-in-class Nissan Intelligent Mobilty features, in a vehicle with striking design and at a great price,” said Ramesh Narasimhan, president of Nissan in Thailand.

Smart and safe e-POWER model for the city

The all-new Nissan Kicks e-POWER technology features an EM57 electric motor, generator and inverter that generates electricity from its 1.2 liters DOHC 12-valve three-cylinder engine. The e-POWER system offers a maximum power of 95 kilowatts (kW) (129 PS), a maximum flat-torque of 260 Nm, and a lithium-ion battery—all delivering a driving experience similar to an EV. The 1.57 kWh lithium-ion battery in the all-new Nissan Kicks  e-POWER has four modules that provide smooth acceleration, quiet rides, and increased fuel efficiency.

The all-new Nissan Kicks e-POWER also enhances the driving experience by introducing intelligent accelerator technology. Its one-pedal technology allows drivers to launch, accelerate, decelerate, or stop the vehicle by using only the accelerator pedal. By using only one pedal, tasks such as judging the distance between cars, decelerating, and stopping when going downhill or stopping for traffic lights are drastically simplified.

The Kicks e-POWER also features four driving modes: Normal, S, Eco and EV. In Normal, the car produces excellent acceleration off the line and stopping power (lifting off the acceleration pedal) that is on par with the braking of its conventional gasoline-powered counterparts. In S, the car accelerates even quicker with enhanced stopping power. In Eco, the car goes into gasoline-saving mode by regulating the battery power. EV mode uses stored battery electric power only, allowing a quiet drive experience without the petrol engine operating.

The impressive model features 14 best-in-class Nissan Intelligent Mobility technologies, including Intelligent Driving features offered on the all-new Nissan Kicks e-POWER. Other include Intelligent Cruise Control, Intelligent Forward Collision Warning, Intelligent Emergency Braking, Blind Spot Warning, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Intelligent Around View Monitor with Moving Object Detection and Intelligent Rear View Mirror.

Safety, security and driver convenience features are another strong point on the all-new Nissan Kicks. Anti-lock Braking System, Electronic Brake Force Distribution System and Brake Assist are standard on all models, along with six SRS airbags.

Standout design and connectivity

The all-new Nissan Kicks e-POWER also has a unique design that combines emotion and practicality by blending familiar Nissan design signatures with strikingly modern themes. Among those established design signatures are Nissan’s bold V-Motion grille, boomerang headlights and taillights, and the “floating roof” with a ‘wrap-around visor’ from the windscreen to side glass. The wide C-pillar is ‘hidden’ with a black finish that blends into the tailgate glass, while the floating roof has also been exaggerated, giving it a distinctive and eye-catching appeal.

Other exterior design features incorporate standard LED headlamps with Boomerang LED Signature Turning Lights, LED Daytime Running Lights, follow-me-home headlights, along with LED Rear Combination Lights. The new design features wide and longer exterior dimensions using Nissan’s Emotional Geometry design language, while enhancing the all-new Kicks’ roomy interior space.

The all-new Nissan Kicks e-POWER interior was created to accommodate a new instrument panel, infotainment screen, steering wheel and seats. The stylish passenger cabin features high-quality design and refinement, including the modern and simple “Gliding Wing” instrument panel design that is dominated by a centrally mounted 7.0-inch full-color display housing a comprehensive infotainment system. The all-new Nissan Kicks also offers a solid two-tone black and orange interior color motif that is exclusively available on the VL model.

Intelligent Integration elements are powered by Nissan Connect, a multi-infotainment system with 8-inch touchscreen Color Display Audio (AIVI). It keeps customers ahead of the curve by bringing infotainment, navigation, safety and security under a single platform with a seamless connection via smartphone (Apple CarPlay for iOS). Nissan Connect also demonstrates how Nissan Intelligent Integration operates as a core feature in NIM.

Customers can choose from six color options on the all-new Nissan Kicks e-POWER, including Black Star, Storm White, Radiant Red, Gun Metallic, Brilliant Silver and Monarch Orange. An optional two-tone color scheme is another element that gives the all-new Nissan Kicks e-POWER a more upscale feel, with the appearance of a floating roof on models painted with a black roof. This color styling on the vehicle is eye-catching but not over-the-top, and available on the VL model with the following colors: Monarch Orange, Radiant Red, Gun Metallic, and Storm White.

The four grade ranges come at an introductory base price of:

  • 1.2 L S   889,000 baht
  • 1.2 L E   949,000 baht
  • 1.2 L V   999,000 baht and
  • 1.2 L VL 1,049,000 baht.

Every all-new Nissan Kicks e-POWER has a warranty for the longevity, durability, and high-quality performance of its lithium-ion batteries for up to 10 years and an electric system for up to five years. Also, the all-new Nissan Kicks’ e-POWER vehicle warranty is for 3 years, or 100,000 kilometers, whichever occurs first.

Source: https://www.motor1.com/news/423631/nissan-kicks-epower-thailand-debut/?utm_source=RSS&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=RSS-category-technology

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VW’s Traton Group strikes a deal with TuSimple to develop autonomous trucks

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The Traton Group, Volkswagen AG’s heavy-truck business, has taken a minority stake in TuSimple as part of an agreement between the two companies to develop self-driving trucks.

Neither company disclosed the financial terms of the partnership or the percentage of the minority stake. Traton did make a direct capital investment into TuSimple, according to one unnamed source familiar with the deal. It’s unclear if it also included in-kind contributions.

Traton’s investment is not part of TuSimple’s recent effort to raise $250 million in a Series E round. raton Group does have an option to participate in the round.

The two companies outlined Wednesday plans to launch a development program that will use Traton’s Scania trucks equipped with TuSimple’s automated vehicle technology. The companies said testing will begin with a route between Södertälje to Jönköping in Sweden. The trucking manufacturer ultimately wants to test driverless truck fleets on roads throughout Sweden, Germany and other countries.

The companies didn’t provide details on the scope of the program or timelines, beyond plans to “work closely” to develop Level 4 autonomous systems for trucks of the Traton brands. Specifically, Traton said the aim is for these trucks to have Level 4 capabilities, which they define as being able to “achieve full automation without human intervention under defined driving conditions and applied in all markets.”

Traton said this could serve as a means of counteracting the increasing lack of drivers in the medium term. The first cases of deployment could be conducted outside of the specially demarcated areas, particularly for highly frequented hub-to-hub routes, Traton said in its announcement.

The partnership will expand TuSimple’s autonomous vehicle operations beyond the U.S. and China to Europe. The startup, which is backed by Sina, Nvidia, UPS and Tier 1 supplier Mando Corporation, operates a fleet of 40 self-driving trucks in the U.S. that are used for testing and to carry freight between Arizona and Texas. The company, which launched in 2015 and has operations in China, San Diego and Tucson, Arizona.

The partnership also tightens the connection between Traton, TuSimple and Navistar. In July, TuSimple announced plans to develop and begin producing autonomous semi trucks by 2024 in partnership with Navistar. The plan is to move away from retrofitting the Navistar International commercial trucks that TuSimple currently uses and instead develop semi trucks specifically designed for autonomous operations. The strategic partnership included Navistar taking an undisclosed stake in startup TuSimple.

Meanwhile, Traton holds a 16.6% stake in Navistar, which it acquired by buying $256 million worth of shares in September 2016. The two companies could end up getting closer. In January, Traton made an unsolicited bid to buy the remaining Navistar stock that it doesn’t own for $35 share. Traton upped its offer this month to $43 a share, or about $3.9 billion, Bloomberg reported earlier this monthh.

Source: https://techcrunch.com/2020/09/23/vws-traton-group-strikes-a-deal-with-tusimple-to-develop-autonomous-trucks/

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2022 Tesla Model S Plaid coming with three motors and more than 1,100 horsepower

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Remember those modified Tesla Model S prototypes lurking around the Nürburgring last year? They looked significantly more mean than your typical Model S Performance. And now we know they didn’t just look mean. The company announced during its “Battery Day” presentation that it will launch the Model S Plaid at the end of next year with some truly incredible numbers.

Unlike other Model S sedans, the Plaid gets three motors. The exact layout wasn’t given, but we would expect dual motors at the rear for torque vectoring. We do know that all three motors make a lot of power, more than 1,100 horses. The company estimates that the Plaid will be able to do 0-60 in under 2 seconds, and the quarter-mile in under 9 seconds. Furthermore, the company has done testing at Laguna Seca, and the current fast time with the car is 1 minute 30.3 seconds. During the presentation, it was suggested they could shave off another 3 seconds. That would make it about as fast as the current production car record holder, the McLaren Senna, which lapped the track in the hands of Motor Trend in 1 minute 27.62 seconds. As for the Nürburgring, Tesla hasn’t said anything yet. Besides outright power, Tesla says the Plaid will have an electric range of more than 520 miles.

Some of these claims are, surely not coincidentally, a close match to claims Lucid is making about its Air sedan, especially the “quicker than quick” three-motor version that was teased out earlier in the day. The Air shown in the video apparently has done the quarter-mile in 9.62 — and aims to do better — and three Lucid motors are capable of 670 horsepower per, meaning the car could theoretically sport over 2,000 horsepower.

The trailer Tesla showed didn’t reveal much about what the Model S Plaid looks like. What we could see showed a big rear spoiler, like what we saw on prototypes last year. The fenders might be a bit wider, and there may still be a bit of diffuser leftover from the prototypes. But in the glimpses we could see, it seems slightly less intense than what we’ve previously seen.

The first Plaids will be delivered late next year, but you can put in your order for one right now. Not surprisingly, the Model S Plaid is not cheap. It costs $139,990, or $141,190 with destination charge. That’s about $50,000 more than a Model S Performance. That price also splits the difference of the 522-horsepower Porsche Taycan 4S that starts at $105,150, and the 670-horsepower Taycan Turbo that starts at $152,250.

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Source: https://www.autoblog.com/2020/09/22/2022-tesla-model-s-plaid-announced/

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2021 Hyundai Sonata N Line revealed with subtly aggressive design

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We’ve known for a while that there would be a 2021 Hyundai Sonata N Line. We’ve even driven it. But only now are we finally seeing the hopped up midsize sedan. And it looks fine.

Don’t get us wrong, it’s still as handsome as any of the other Sonatas. The sedan in general is a gorgeous car with killer details, such as its trick daytime running lights. But the N Line doesn’t look that much more aggressive than the Sonatas in every other trim from SEL to Limited.

The front fascia has reworked grilles, with the outboard ones a bit larger and the lower one smaller. Those outboard grilles have the pointing chevron design that appeared on the Elantra N Line. The main grille has a very similar mesh insert to the SEL-and-up Sonatas. The side skirts appear to be slightly deeper, and the rear bumper has more of the diffuser section painted black, but otherwise features the same exhaust tips and diffuser fins as the other Sonatas. The N Line also gets unique 19-inch wheels.

The interior has more substantial changes. Most notable are the sporty seats in a unique gray fabric upholstery. They feature embroidered N logos, red piping and red stitching. The rest of the interior’s brightwork is replaced with dark chrome accents. The steering wheel is leather-wrapped and N-badged.

Oddly, Hyundai didn’t provide final specifications for the Sonata N Line. We do have preliminary specs from our first drive several months ago, though. Under the hood is a turbocharged 2.5-liter four-cylinder making around 290 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque. Power is sent to the front wheels via an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. The Sonata N Line also gets a variety of handling upgrades, though we don’t have specifics on those changes. Final pricing and availability are also unknown, though the car is expected to go on sale by the end of the year.

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Source: https://www.autoblog.com/2020/09/22/2021-hyundai-sonata-n-line-reveal/

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