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SEGWAY POWERSPORTS COMES TO CYPRUS

J.L Motorace reaches agreement with SEGWAY 

NICOSIA, CYPRUS (December 22, 2020) J.L Motorace Ltd, one of the leading distributors in the motorcycle industry has signed an exclusive distribution agreement with tech giant SEGWAY for all Powersport vehicles.

The new Segway ATV and UTV lineup includes the Snarler 570 and Snarler 1000 ATVs, Fugleman 570 and Fugleman 1000 Utility UTVs, and the Villain 1000 Sport UTVs.

Along with the new machines, Segway also has built a smartphone app to track the vehicle’s performance, mileage, speed and more.

“This is a cutting edge technology and design at affordable pricing which we trust superior to anything in the marketplace at this price range,” said Mr. Jack Lambrou, the Founder of J.L Motorace. “We feel that this collaboration comes at a great time giving the maximum value vs price to the end user.”

“We are very glad to work with Motorace in the Cyprus market. After exploring various options, we have concluded that Motorace is the ideal partner to represent our brand on the island. Through their experience in the industry and professional approach we are confident that this is the beginning of a mutually beneficial relationship” posted SEGWAY on their social media channels.

J.L Motorace Ltd is the proud representative of multiple prestigious and world leading brands and has great experience in serving clients at the highest level. The company’s mission is to provide the best available value vs price across all sectors it is involved in.

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Electric scooter maker Gogoro is entering the US, but not how you’d think

Gogoro is a Taiwanese-based electric scooter and battery manufacturer that has gobbled up market share while competing against traditional gas-powered scooters in its home market. Fans of the company’s electric scooters and novel battery swap technology have long pined for Gogoro to enter the US and Europe. And now that company has announced plans to enter the US market in May under the brand name Eeyo, followed by a European entry later this summer.

But there’s a catch.

They’re going to bring an electric bicycle first.

Gogoro entering the US on two wheels

Gogoro reached out to Electrek with the announcement and was able to share just a few details at the moment.

The electric bicycle line from Gogoro will be known as Eeyo. It is set to launch in next month in the US, which will be the first market that Eeyo enters.

The e-bike won’t be available in Gogoro’s home market of Taiwan until later this summer. At that time, Gogoro will also roll the Eeyo brand into Europe.

We don’t have many other details yet, but we do get one more clue courtesy of Eeyo’s Facebook page. A question remained about whether Gogoro’s upcoming electric bicycle would be similar to US and European bicycles, with traditionally large wheels and narrow seats, or more like popular Asian electric bicycles, which often feature smaller scooter-style wheels and moped seats.

Gogoro’s latest teaser reveals a large diameter bicycle wheel and narrow tire, indicating that the Eeyo will be a more traditional electric bicycle. The company goes on to refer to the Eeyo as “A truly ultralight ebike. Nothing else even comes close.” There also appears to be a Presta valve in the wheel, further supporting the theory that the Eeyo will be closer to a lightweight road bike than a traditionally heavy electric scooter or moped.

Eeyo to be Gogoro’s first US product

While Gogoro’s international ambitions have been clear for some time, the Eeyo electric bicycle move comes as a surprise. The company rolled out a new line of smaller electric scooters destined for the international market, with the first scooters soon headed for Tel Aviv, Israel.

Gogoro has traditionally marketed itself as a battery company or an energy company, based on its popular and innovative battery swapping architecture designed for its electric scooters.

The company has thousands of battery swap stations around Taiwan, where riders can pull in and swap a battery in seconds. The stations can also be used for energy storage, powering the local grid during blackouts.

It is too soon to say whether Gogoro will use the same batteries in its upcoming Eeyo electric bicycles. The move would be unlikely though, as the batteries hold approximately 1.3 kWh of energy. That’s more than twice the battery capacity of a standard electric bicycle and is likely more battery than a self-claimed “truly ultralight ebike” would carry.

But considering May is baring down on us, we’ll likely have more details soon.

Until then, help us speculate wildly in the comment section below. What will the specs be? What will the bike look like? I want to hear your thoughts!

Source: Electrek

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Xiaomi’s cheap electric bikes are getting better with new $350 and 50-mile rear suspension e-bike

Xiaomi’s Youpin crowdfunding platform has been used to launch a number of affordable electric bicycles over the last few years. And with each new model, the bikes seem to become increasingly attention-grabbing. Take for example the new Himo Z16 electric bicycle just unveiled for $352.

At first glance, the Himo Z16 looks like several other e-bikes recently launched on Xiaomi’s platform.

But a closer look reveals a number of interesting features.

First of all, the aluminum alloy frame sports true swingarm suspension in the rear — a feature normally seen on full suspension mountain bikesmopeds, and motorcycles.

The 22.5 kg (49.6 lb) bike rides on 16-inch mag wheels and is rated for riders up to 100 kg (220 lb).

The Himo Z16 folds in three locations (handlebars, frame, and pedals) and uses magnetic clasps to keep the bike folded during transport.

The Himo Z16 e-bike’s display is a high-definition LCD rated to IPX7 waterproof levels and the frame houses front and rear integrated LED lights.

The electric bike even has regenerative braking — or at least I think it does, based on the best machine translation I could get, which resulted in: “The motor generates reverse resistance, which effectively eliminates the amount of electricity loss and increases the mileage.”

The rear wheel houses a 250W geared hub motor, though the 14 Amp controller means that the system actually pulls a peak power of 500W.

The Himo Z16’s 360Wh battery is hidden within the frame, where it is lockable and removable. The battery is rated for 55 km (34 mi) of range on throttle-only and 80 km (50 mi) of range on pedal assist, though those ranges were achieved under testing at the slow speed of 15 km/h (9.3 mph). I’d wager that the range at the bike’s top speed of 25 km/h (15 mph) is likely around two-thirds of those figures.

A 360Wh battery isn’t huge, but is actually around twice the size of a standard battery for a Himo bike of this size, especially considering the low price of RMB 2,499 (US$352). Most 360Wh batteries in the West cost as much as this entire bike.

For now, the Himo Z16 e-bike is only available within China on Xiaomi’s Youpin platform. However, many of Xiaomi’s inexpensive e-bikes have made it to the international market rather quickly.

Late last year the Himo H1 electric bike debuted on Youpin for $425. Just a few months ago, it made the jump to Indiegogo and is available internationally with only a slight price increase to $465 for early-bird customers or $499 for everyone else. And full disclosure: I actually bought one. It’s a ridiculous little e-bike, but I wanted to test it out and have some fun on it. There’s still a week left on that campaign, if you want to snag one of your own.

It’s not even the first cheap Himo e-bike I’ve bought after finding it on Xiaomi’s platform. I also picked up the $261 Himo V1. It’s a hilarious little e-bike with a few surprising features that I haven’t seen on $2,000 e-bikes in the US, such as an integrated on board charger. I did a whole unboxing and test video that just passed 1M views, if you want to check that out too.

Suffice it to say that Xiaomi’s inexpensive e-bikes aren’t just getting more popular, they’re getting better. I’m going to try to get my hands on one of these new Himo Z16 e-bikes to see how it works in the real world. But with realistic (i.e. not tiny) 16-inch wheels, rear suspension that looks decently effective, an HD LCD screen and a load rating of up to 220 lb, this is a lot of e-bike for $350. Color me impressed. I’d love to have seen a higher top speed, but Chinese laws restrict e-bikes to 25 km/h (15 mph), so this is the best we’re going to get unless they offer a derestricted model for international markets. And front suspension would have been perfect for a bike like this, though I imagine cost and weight considerations left it out.

At this price though, can you really complain about much? I’ve ridden e-bikes that cost 10 times as much and didn’t have front or rear suspension!

Source: Electrek

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Tesla releases Model Y production and testing footage, officially announces deliveries

Tesla has released Model Y production and testing footage, and it is announcing the official start of deliveries in the US.

The automaker was planning to start Model Y deliveries on March 15, but as we reported on Friday, Tesla started to deliver a few cars ahead of time.

We got reports of a few dozen deliveries Friday and over the weekend.

Tesla also appears to have shipped out hundreds of Model Y electric SUVs from its Fremont factory.

Deliveries have been reported not only in California, but also all over the US.

Tesla has now officially announced the beginning of Model Y deliveries and released a video with new production and testing footage:

In order to help new owners, the automaker has also started releasing instructional videos about the electric SUV.

One of the most interesting videos is about Model Y’s awesome trunk cargo system and capacity.

Tesla has also released the Model Y’s owner’s manual in full so that owners and prospective buyers can familiarize themselves with their new electric vehicle.

Source: Electrek

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Harley-Davidson’s latest swipe at relevance: Android Auto

Android Auto is finally making it to the world of motorcycles a little over two years after Apple’s CarPlay started showing up on two-wheelers. Harley-Davidson recently announced Android Auto support on any of its bikes with the Boom Box GTS operating system, meaning basically all of the company’s bigger touring motorcycles.

New touring bikes will come ready to work with Android Auto, while owners of existing and slightly older bikes with Boom Box GTS will either have to update the operating system via USB or take their motorcycles to a dealer to have it done. Riders will still have to plug in and stow their smartphones to use Android Auto, just like they do with CarPlay. But it won’t be compatible on LiveWire, the company’s first electric motorcycle. That bike uses a different operating system that pairs to smartphones using Harley-Davidson’s app, which mimics a lot of the same features.

It’s a small addition but possibly a significant one in the sense that Harley-Davidson could use as much help as it can get as it fights to turn around a flagging business. I’m not going to rehash the whole story of what’s gone wrong here. (Erik Shilling and some of the other people over at Jalopnik have done a really great job over the last few years doing just that, so if you’re interested, start there.) Simply put, though, the company’s 2019 sales were its worst in 16 years, and the launch of its first electric motorcycle has not gone particularly well.

While ridership is still somewhat strong in the US, new motorcycle sales never recovered from the 2008 financial crisis. Harley-Davidson was particularly hard hit even before it got caught up in President Trump’s trade war, and it recently changed out its CEO in order to help turn things around. Android Auto is essentially a table stakes addition at this point, but having it is better than not having it. The last thing the company would want to do is extend a ton of effort to draw in new, younger riders, only to turn them away when its motorcycles can’t do what they expect.

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THE NEW FIAT 500: ALL-NEW, ALL-ELECTRIC, ALL CINQUECENTO

  • World premiere of the New Fiat 500, the first fully electric car from Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA)
  • The third generation of the Fiat 500 is completely new, offering more space and high levels of technology through a clean and re-imagined ‘Cinquecento’ design 
  • Range of up to 199 miles in the WLTP cycle, with 85kW fast charge capability as standard
  • The first city car with level 2 autonomous driving equipped with the revolutionary new UConnect 5 infotainment system
  • Fiat 500 returns to Turin – New 500 will be produced at Mirafiori plant
  • The first fully-electric four-seater convertible to go on sale
  • Pre-booking for New 500 Convertible ‘La Prima’ begins in the UK today – the high specification launch edition is priced at £29,000 on-the-road (OTR), inclusive of the Plug-in Car Grant (PiCG)
  • Three one-offs to be auctioned for charity: the 500 Giorgio Armani, the B.500 ‘Mai Troppo’ (Never Too Much) by Bvlgari and the 500 Kartell

The New Fiat 500, the first fully electric car from FCA, makes its debut today. The new generation of the iconic city car has a range of up to 199 miles (WLTP) and receives 85kW fast charging as standard. Production of the New 500 returns to its birthplace of Turin, Italy where the first model was first created 63 years ago. Unveiled in top specification guise – ‘La Prima’ – pre-orders begin today, priced at £29,000 OTR (including PiCG).

The New 500 takes inspiration from the generations before it. The first generation of 500 offered freedom and mobility, establishing itself as an icon. Revived in 2007, the second generation introduced style and charm to the iconic city car that went on to conquer the world. The third generation is more sustainable, connected and autonomous, adhering to increasingly stringent regulations and using its popularity to inspire change.

Three other iconic Italian companies – Giorgio Armani, Bvlgari and Kartell – have combined their excellence in style, creativity and craftsmanship to create three unique versions of the New 500.

So much substance: the best possible range, charging and driving experience
When designing the New 500 engineers started with a blank sheet of paper. They worked on every aspect of the car with the utmost attention to detail and created solutions for best possible range, charging and driving experience.

Range and charging times are two key considerations for customers. The lithium-ion batteries, with a capacity of 42kWh, give the New 500 a range of up to 199 miles in the WLTP cycle. To optimise charging time, the New 500 is equipped with an 85kW fast charge system. It takes only five minutes to build up a sufficient energy reserve to travel 30 miles, more than the average daily commute. Using a fast charger can also power the battery to 80% in just 35 minutes. The Combo 2 socket, located on the rear right side panel of the car, has the ability to accept both AC and DC charging.

Home charging solutions are also available. The launch edition of the New 500 comes complete with an Easy Wallbox™, a home charging system that can simply be connected to a normal home outlet. ENGIE EPS developed this solution exclusively for FCA. This simple, accessible “plug-and-charge” solution can be managed easily via Bluetooth. It can stabilise energy load by charging a 500 at home with up to 3kW of charging power, without the need for professional installation.

The Easy Wallbox can be upgraded to 7.4kW, providing a full charge at home in just over six hours. The New 500 also comes with a Mode 3 cable for charging at up to 11kW from a public charge point.

The New 500 has three driving modes: Normal, Range and Sherpa, which can be selected to suit your driving style or requirements.

Sherpa mode optimises the available resources to reduce fuel consumption to a minimum, enabling it to reach the destination set on the navigation system or the nearest charging station. Just like a “Himalayan Sherpa”, who is in charge of the whole expedition and is a guide to the destination, this driving mode adjusts various parameters: maximum speed is limited to 50mph; accelerator response is managed in order to reduce energy consumption; and deactivation of both the climate control system and heated seats (the driver has the option of activating them at any time).

“Normal” mode is as close as possible to driving a vehicle with a normal combustion engine, while “Range” mode activates the “one-pedal-drive” function. By selecting this driving mode, the new 500 can be driven with the accelerator pedal alone. Releasing the accelerator causes much greater deceleration than with a normal combustion engine, almost as if the brake pedal was pushed. The brake pedal must be used to bring the car to a complete stop, however with daily use and a little experience, it is possible to drive using just the accelerator pedal.

The electric motor has an output of 87kW, providing a maximum speed of 93mph (self-limited) and acceleration from zero to 62mph in 9 seconds and zero to 31mph in 3.1 seconds.

Level 2 autonomous driving and connectivity

The car of the future is not just an electric city car, it is the first car in its segment to offer level 2 autonomous driving, bringing all the associated benefits to urban mobility.

  • Front-facing camera monitoring technology to monitor all areas of the car, both longitudinally and laterally
  • Intelligent Adaptive Cruise Control (iACC) system brakes or accelerates in response to cars, cyclists, pedestrians
  • Lane Centring keeps the vehicle in the centre of the lane when the markings are correctly identified
  • Intelligent Speed Assist reads the speed limits and recommends applying them
  • Urban Blind Spot uses ultrasonic sensors to monitor the blind spots and warn of any obstacles with a triangular warning light on the wing mirror
  • Attention Assist provides warnings on the display, recommending that you stop and take a break when you are tired
  • 360-degree sensors provide a drone-like view to avoid any obstacles when parking or performing complex manoeuvres

The New 500 is the first FCA car to be equipped with the new UConnect 5 infotainment system, the connected platform designed for the future. Developed with the idea of providing customers with a completely new user experience, UConnect 5 is compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto operating systems and can be used in wireless mode.

The 500 offers seamless integration with a smartphone, offering a 10.25-inch high-definition horizontal touchscreen with a 16:9 aspect ratio that fits perfectly into the car dashboard.

UConnect 5 combined with the telematic box module not only provides the mandatory Emergency Call feature, but also a number of innovative connectivity services:

  • My Remote: checks the battery charge level from a smartphone; schedule vehicle charging during the most convenient time periods; know the exact location of the car; lock and unlock the doors and set the climate control system
  • My Navigation: set the destination on the car navigator, identify the route, check the traffic and weather conditions along the route, and see speed camera and charging point locations, all directly from the app
  • My Assistant: an assistance system to supplement an emergency call to talk to with assistant to ask for help in the event of breakdown
  • My Theft assistance: this tracks the car so that it can be recovered if stolen
  • My Wi-Fi: A true hotspot that connects up to eight electronic devices to the network at the same time (this service is only available in some markets)
  • My Car: to check the condition of the car, immediately verifying various parameters from tyre pressure to service schedule

The UConnect 5 system works both inside and outside the car, allowing the driver to set the navigation route in advance, and to pre-condition the climate. Smartphones can be connected in just five seconds using wireless functionality.

The launch version also boasts the natural language interface system, with advanced speech recognition, to talk to the car to control parameters, set the climate control and choose the music.

Source: Fiat

Style and design
In terms of style, the New 500 implements future mobility in an Italian way, bringing together the considerable legacy of the two previous generations. Integrating the classic and cool style of the 500 rooted in 63 years of history, the New 500 is still an iconic city car with the same stylistic proportions and clean design. During the design phase, the Fiat Centro Stile worked on clean lines and a consistent language to define the look of the third generation: crisp, advanced and compact, while being more graceful and elegant, shaped around a more proportioned approach to the chassis. This gives a perception of increased stability and dimensional presence.

Another requirement was to give the new model a dedicated 500 logo, which appears at the centre of the front badge for the first time, in the place of the Fiat logo. The current 500 logo at the rear keeps its link with the past, albeit transformed into the dedicated all-electric version: distinguished and embellished by a light blue border, with a play of design and colour transforming the final zero into a letter “E”.

The front bumper mirrors that of the 1957 version, almost facing the road, and the dynamic feel of the profile has been accentuated. The dividing line of the first generation separated the bonnet from the circular headlights, while today that separation has been redesigned, dividing the modular elliptical headlight. The light clusters are still round and iconic but now use LED technology while the door handles sit completely flush with the bodywork.

Its form demonstrates the same creative spirit. The substance of the new platform has given the third-generation 500 an incredible presence: it is 6cm wider and 6cm longer, the wheelbase has been extended by 2cm, and the wheels are larger and further apart, giving it more determination and greater comfort, despite its length remaining under four meters.

Inside, the 500 is completely new, with clear references first generation. Centro Stile has furnished the interior by distributing the bulk efficiently to achieve simplicity, trim aesthetics and provide visual clarity. This is exemplified by the wide dashboard and the modular storage solutions between the two front seats where the gear lever was originally located. There is more leg and shoulder space for occupants, while the flat floor houses the lithium batteries without compromising the luggage compartment capacity, which remains unchanged. The result is a well thought out and cleaner interior, with fewer buttons and crisp, harmonious lines. As per Fiat 500 hybrid, some trim levels will also receive seats made using “Seaqual” yarn with plastic recovered from the sea, while others make considerable use of eco-leather.

La Dolce Vita
The New 500 is the first four-seater convertible with zero tailpipe emissions. As an icon of La Dolce Vita, another unique feature of the new city car is the Acoustic Vehicle Alert System (AVAS). This is an acoustic warning for pedestrians that is mandatory at speeds up to 12mph. The chosen sound is not a common acoustic signal, but rather the music of Amarcord by Nino Rota, in pure Dolce Vita style, an example of the most authentic Italian creativity.

The “La Prima” launch edition
The “La Prima” is a limited edition to celebrate the launch of the new 500, with its own distinct style, exclusivity, technology and connectivity.

The choice of colours was inspired by nature and its basic elements. La Prima is available in three colours:

  • Mineral Grey (metallic), reminiscent of the earth;
  • Ocean Green (pearlescent), which represents the sea;
  • Celestial Blue (three-layer), as a homage to the sky.

The launch version also features full LED headlights, eco-leather upholstery, 17-inch diamond-cut wheels and chrome-plated inserts on the windows and side panels.

The New 500 La Prima offers the monogram soft top, and the “1 of 500” numbered plaque alongside the name of the country in which the car was purchased on the first 500 units sold.

“La Prima” is equipped with ADAS systems as standard:

  • Autonomous Emergency Brake with pedestrian and cyclist detection, Intelligent Speed Assistant, Lane Control;
  • High resolution rear view camera with dynamic guidelines;
  • Intelligent Adaptive Cruise Control (iACC) and Lane Centering;
  • Auto headlamp on and Auto High/Low Beam;
  • Emergency Call;

The new UConnect 5 infotainment system: 7-inch TFT display, radio, 10.25-inch touch screen NAV, Digital Audio Broadcast, Wireless Apple CarPlay / Android Auto, telematic box module.

The “La Prima” full-option convertible is the only electric four-seater convertible. It comes complete with the above specifications as standard, as well as the 85kW fast charge capability and an interior with eco-leather dashboard and seats.

In the UK, the price of the New 500 “La Prima” Convertible including Easy WallboxTM, is £29,000 OTR (including PiCG).

The one-offs
The three one-offs presented today have been created in partnership with Giorgio Armani, Bvlgari and Kartell. Created with a common desire to increase sustainability and make a change, the project celebrates the arrival of the first fully electric FCA car from the outset.

The 500 has always been an Italian icon and is the best-selling FCA car globally. Fiat has selected the very best in Italian excellence for the New 500 project – Armani, Bvlgari and Kartell. Bringing together their values has brought to life three very special one-off creations, marked out in particular by their style, creativity and craftsmanship, based on the use of natural, recycled and regenerated materials.

500 Giorgio Armani
Only Giorgio Armani, the undisputed king of Italian elegance, could interpret the style of New 500 with timeless tailoring and sustainability at its core. Using laser technology, Armani shaped the metal covering of the car’s bodywork with exclusive micro-chevron engraving, bringing it as close as possible to the texture of fabric. The result is further enhanced by an Armani grey-green “silk effect” colour. Even more so, the paint used for the exterior is innovative “top coat airlite”, made up of titanium oxide, which absorbs pollutants.

In addition, the “GA” logo is a strong feature of the wheel design and is also featured on the fabric of the soft top, while the amber-coloured windows raise the car’s level of sophistication.

The neutral and elegant nuances continue in the interior: the seats are upholstered in certified full-grain natural leather, sourced from Poltrona Frau, in a “greyge” colour with micro-chevron wool piping, embellished with details inspired by the craftsmanship of leather goods.

The natural materials are also emphasised by the sculptured dashboard insert, covered with reconstituted open-pore wood and embellished with thin layers of aluminium, inspired by the elegance and modernity of the Armani/Casa line.

B.500
Bvlgari’s B.500 is an homage to craftsmanship and beauty. 500 has always played a role in La Dolce Vita, an Italian icon born out of the love for beauty and art. The new interpreter of these values is Bvlgari, an emblem of Italian excellence, innovating over the years by rewriting the rules of jewellery and launching new trends that have become icons of contemporary design.

The creation features a golden pearlescent paint, an iconic shade at Bvlgari inspired by the chromatic variegation of Roman sunsets. The “saffron” paint emphasises the character of the car as a “jewel”, based on the inclusion of gold powder, recovered from the scraps of the brand’s jewellery production. In addition to the “saffron” paint, the B.500 has side sills and front mouldings processed using a glazing technique; specifically designed wheels in the form of a star, the historical symbol of Bvlgari, along with black lacquer with gold trim and a side “jewel” badge in polished gold, with a diamond-paved B.500 logo.

The philosophy of re-use continues in the interiors, with a dashboard fascia made even more elegant by its upholstery with heritage Bvlgari silk scarves from the collections of the past. The seats are in teal embroidered leather, gold details and scarf inserts. The true jewel of the interior is three semi-precious stones – amethyst, topaz and citrine – set in a removable brooch, made by the master goldsmiths at Bvlgari and placed in the centre of the steering wheel.

500 Kartell
Creativity and innovation are the elements of inspiration for the 500 Kartell, from the iconic brand of Italian industrial design, which constantly experiments and researches new aesthetic and functional values for plastics. In recent years, Kartell has been involved in developing increasingly sustainable plastics.

The exterior features a “monoblock colour” concept where the different types of materials – metal, glass, rubber, plastic and fabric – are interpreted in the same colour: Kartell blue, derived from Yves Klein blue, an iconic hue of the brand. The surfaces of the bodywork are mirror-effect Kartell blue, obtained with an environmentally friendly chrome paint. The two brands’ logos stand out from the bodywork thanks to treatment with a sandblasted polycarbonate, to convey a sense of depth.

The most symbolic elements of the exterior are the components made of recycled polycarbonate from end-of-life parabolic projectors, used in the front grille, wheels and mirror caps. These objects feature a unique design inspired by the pattern of Kartell’s Kabuki lamp, created and developed as a motif to lead the new car’s identity, with unique details that recall the texture of the lamp and become special elements of the car. The Kabuki pattern can be found throughout the interior, with a polycarbonate cover on the dashboard insert and on the seats.

The contrast between the Kartell blue of the exterior and the brightness of the interior is striking, providing a clear and light environment and combining warm and cool tones. The tactile plastics used in the interior are 100% recycled polypropylene, just like the chairs from the latest Kartell collection. The fabrics take on a natural, cosy look created using fully recycled polyester.

Unveiled in top specification guise – ‘La Prima’ – pre-orders begin today, priced at £29,000 OTR (including PiCG). Further information can be found at www.fiat.co.uk

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Success model 4.0: the new Audi A3 Sportback

Audi established the premium compact class segment with the A3 in 1996. The fourth generation of the success model is now being introduced on the market – sporty, digitalized and fully connected. Beneath the progressive design of the body of the new A3 Sportback lie many innovations from the full-size class, for example the infotainment, suspension, and driver assist systems.

Distinctive: design and lighting

The new Audi A3 Sportback features compact proportions and a sporty design. The wide Singleframe and large air inlets at the front end accentuate the dynamic character of the premium compact car. The shoulder of the body extends in a smooth line from the headlights to the rear lights. The surface below is curved inward – a new element of Audi’s design that puts a stronger emphasis on the wheel arches. The digital daytime running lights of the Matrix LED headlights are a further innovation. They consist of a pixel array made up of LED segments in a three by five arrangement that create special light signatures and make the A3 immediately recognizable. The sporty and sophisticated design is continued in the interior with the new shifter, aluminum or carbon inlays, striking door openers and an instrument panel with a black-panel look. Seat upholstery made of recycled PET bottles and adorned with stylish contrasting stitching are being used for the first time.

Digitalized: controls and displays

The cockpit of the A3 Sportback is wholly focused on the driver. It uses familiar elements from the brand’s full-size models and is equipped with a 10.1-inch touch display as standard, which is integrated into the center of the instrument panel. This recognizes letters entered by hand, provides acoustic feedback and can be controlled using natural language. The instrument cluster, which the driver operates via the multifunction steering wheel, is also digital as standard. The Audi virtual cockpit offers additional functions such as a large display of the navigation map. The plus version measures 12.3 inches and offers three different views, including graphics with a sporty look. A head-up display that projects important information onto the windshield in color can be installed upon request. 

Interior

Intensified: the infotainment

The MMI operating concept is powered by the new third generation modular infotainment platform. Its computing power is ten times higher than that of its predecessor, it performs all tasks relating to connectivity, including telephony and the Audi connect services with LTE Advanced speed, and also has an integrated Wi-Fi hotspot.

Individual settings can be stored in up to six user profiles – from climate control and the seat position to frequently selected navigation destinations and frequently used media. The DAB+ digital radio is included as standard and the online or hybrid radio is available as an option. Route guidance is even easier and more flexible. For example, the navigation offers predictions on the development of the traffic situation, high-resolution satellite images from Google Earth and detailed 3D models of many major European cities. Audi connect enriches points of interest with photos, opening hours and user reviews. The connect services also include the car-to-X services. They help with finding free parking spots on the roadside or allow the driver to surf the green wave by communicating with traffic lights. The A3 Sportback is connected to the smartphone via the myAudi app, Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, as well as via the Audi phone box. The latter connects the device to the car antenna and charges it inductively. The Audi connect key, which authorizes the customer to lock and unlock the car and start the engine via their Android smartphone, and Amazon Alexa will follow shortly after the market launch.

Sophisticated: the engines

The new Audi A3 Sportback is being launched in Europe with a choice of three engine versions – a 1.5 TFSI with 110 kW (150 PS) (combined fuel consumption in l/100 km: 5.1 – 4.8*; combined CO2 emissions in g/km: 116 – 111*) and a 2.0 TDI that delivers 85 kW (116 PS) (combined fuel consumption in l/100 km: 3.6 – 3.5*; combined CO2 emissions in g/km: 96 – 92*) or 110 kW (150 PS) (combined fuel consumption in l/100 km: 3.9 – 3.7*; combined CO2 emissions in g/km: 103 – 98*). All engines impress with their powerful torque and sophisticated running characteristics. The engine versions at start of production will be combined with front-wheel drive. Power will be transmitted by a six-speed manual transmission or the quick-shifting seven-speed S tronic, the selector lever of which is now designed as a compact shifter. The driver can push and pull this to control the basic functions of the automatic transmission. Shortly after market launch, Audi will be gradually expanding the offer to include further engine versions, including electrified drive systems and versions with quattro drive.

Refined: the suspension

The suspension of the new A3 Sportback – with a four-link rear axle for engines from 110 kW (150 PS) – is sporty and balanced, combining pleasant ride comfort with good dynamics. Upon request, the suspension is available with adaptive damper control, which simultaneously lowers the body by 10 millimeters (0.4 in). Each damper permanently adapts to the road condition, the driving situation and the settings in the Audi drive select dynamic handling system, creating a wide spread between highly comfortable roll motion and agile handling. With the sport suspension – standard in conjunction with the S line exterior, otherwise an option – the focus is clearly on the latter. Due to the tauter tuning of the suspension and dampers and the fact that the vehicle is lowered by 15 millimeters (0.6 in), the compact model conveys an even more direct contact with the road surface.

Well versed: the driver assist systems

Equipped with Audi pre sense front, swerve assist and lane departure warning, the A3 Sportback helps prevent accidents with other road users and offers a high level of safety as standard. Further assist systems, such as the lane change and exit warnings as well as the cross-traffic and park assist systems, are available as an option. The adaptive cruise assist, which customers know from many of the full-size models, assists with longitudinal and lateral guidance. It maintains the speed and distance to the vehicle in front and assists with lane guidance by means of gentle interventions in the electromechanical steering. This increases the level of driving comfort during long journeys in particular.

Optimized: the space concept

The new A3 Sportback offers more space and functionality combined with compact external dimensions. Measuring 4.34 meters (14.2 ft) in length and 1.82 meters (6.0 ft) in width without the mirrors, the premium compact car has grown by just over three centimeters (1.2 in) compared with its predecessor. The height of 1.43 meters (4.7 ft) and the wheelbase of 2.64 meters (8.7 ft) remained unchanged. Depending on the position of the rear bench seat, the luggage compartment holds between 380 (13.4 cu ft) and 1,200 liters (42.4 cu ft), and the loading floor can be inserted at different heights. An electric tailgate, which can also be controlled with a foot motion, is available upon request.

Scheduled: market launch and prices

Presales of the new Audi A3 Sportback start in many European countries in March 2020, with the first vehicles to be delivered to customers at the beginning of May. The 1.5 TFSI with 110 kW (150 PS) (combined fuel consumption in l/100 km: 5.1 – 4.8*; combined CO2 emissions in g/km: 116 – 111*) starts at 28,900 euros. The market launch will be accompanied by a special-edition model: the A3 Sportback edition one with exclusive features. From the outside, it can be recognized by attachments in matt platinum gray as well as darkened Matrix LED headlights and 18-inch wheels in titanium gray. The S line interior with newly developed sport seats including integrated head restraints, aluminum inlays and stainless steel pedals round out the dynamic look.

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ŠKODA OCTAVIA RS iV: sustainable yet sporty

First plug-in hybrid in the performance-oriented ŠKODA RS family
› Power output of 180 kW (245 PS) as well as RS-typical exterior and interior
› Four new electrified OCTAVIA models: the OCTAVIA RS iV, OCTAVIA iV and two OCTAVIA e-TECs

Mladá Boleslav, 3 March 2020 – ŠKODA is offering a model from its RS family with plug-in-hybrid drive for the first time. The new ŠKODA OCTAVIA RS iV has been fitted with a 1.4 TSI petrol engine and an 85-kW electric motor delivering a combined power output of 180 kW (245 PS). Featuring black details on the bodywork, the OCTAVIA RS iV can immediately be recognised as sporty top-of-the-range variant of ŠKODA’s bestseller, now in its fourth generation. The Czech car manufacturer will offer the new OCTAVIA in three other electrified versions as well. The OCTAVIA iV is a plug-in hybrid delivering 150 kW (204 PS) and is available in the Ambition and Style trims. Two e-TEC variants producing 81 kW (110 PS) and 110 kW (150 PS) make use of mild hybrid technology for the first time at ŠKODA.

Christian Strube, ŠKODA Board Member for Technical Development, said, “By introducing the OCTAVIA RS iV, we are starting a new chapter in the success story of our RS portfolio. We are using plug-in-hybrid drive in a sporty top-of-the-range model for the first time. In the new OCTAVIA RS iV, this both increases performance and reduces fuel consumption as well as CO² emissions.”

ŠKODA has fitted the OCTAVIA RS iV with a 1.4-litre TSI petrol engine (110 kW / 150 PS) and an 85-kW electric motor. Together, they have a combined power output of 180 kW (245 PS) and offer a maximum torque of 400 Nm, which is transferred to the front wheels via a 6-speed DSG. The car’s CO² emissions are approximately 30 g/km in the WLTP cycle*, meaning it already complies with the new, stricter EU6d emissions standard for all newly registered vehicles in the EU, which will come into force from 1 January 2021.

The high-voltage lithium-ion battery has a capacity of 37 Ah equating to 13 kWh, thereby giving the car an all-electric range of up to 60 km in the WLTP cycle*. As the 330 Nm of torque provided by the electric motor are available straight away, the RS iV can pull away quickly. In Sport mode, which allows drivers to make use of the car’s full power output, the OCTAVIA RS iV accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in just 7.3 seconds. Its top speed is 225 km/h. The progressive steering that comes as standard and dynamic tuning of the sports suspension that is typical for the RS range cater to energetic driving styles.

Sporty black accents provide distinguishing visual features
The ŠKODA OCTAVIA RS iV has specific LED fog lights and black 18-inch alloy wheels as standard; the brake callipers in RS-typical red catch the eye. 19-inch alloys are available as an option. The ŠKODA grille, air curtains, diffuser on the RS-specific front apron, aeroflaps, diffuser on the rear apron and window frames all come in sporty black. The hatchback sports a black RS rear spoiler; in the estate, the roof spoiler matches the car colour.

Oliver Stefani, Head of ŠKODA Design, explained, “We have given the already dynamic shape of the new OCTAVIA an even sportier appearance using familiar RS insignias. With its numerous black design details, such as the ŠKODA grille, front apron, rear diffuser and alloy wheels, the car is immediately recognisable as a member of our RS family.”

Dynamic, RS-style interior
Looking inside the OCTAVIA RS iV, the predominantly black interior stands out. The three-spoke leather multifunction sports steering wheel bears a vRS logo and features paddles for operating the DSG. The front sports seats are upholstered in black fabric, whilst the optional Ergo seats come with Alcantara® and leather upholstery as well as seat-depth adjustment. The seats are adorned by an RS logo and coloured decorative stitching in red or silver-grey, which can also be found on the leather steering wheel, on the armrests and on the Alcantara®-covered dashboard. Decorative strips in an RS look and pedals with an aluminium design round off the sporty impression.

OCTAVIA iV plug-in hybrid delivering 204 PS
In addition to the RS variant of the OCTAVIA iV, ŠKODA is also offering plug-in-hybrid drive for the Ambition and Style trim levels. Here, the 1.4 TSI petrol engine and the 85-kW electric motor provide a power output of 150 kW (204 PS) and a maximum torque of 350 Nm. This plug-in-hybrid variant can also cover an electric range of up to 60 km in the WLTP cycle* and is fitted with a 6-speed DSG, operated using shift-by-wire technology. Its CO² emissions are approximately 30 g/km*. The OCTAVIA iV also complies with the EU6d emissions standard.

The lithium-ion high-voltage battery, with a capacity of 37 Ah equating to 13 kWh, used in both iV models can be conveniently charged at home using a standard household plug socket or a wall box. The charging port is concealed in the driver’s side of the front bumper. A regular 12-volt battery is located in the boot, which has a capacity of 450 l in the hatchback and 490 l in the estate. The fuel tank can hold 40 l – just five litres less than in OCTAVIAs that are powered purely by a combustion engine.

Two e-TEC engines boasting mild hybrid technology
The two e-TEC versions of the OCTAVIA are making their ŠKODA debut. They will be the brand’s first production cars to feature mild hybrid technology when they start to roll off the line this summer. When combined with a 7-speed DSG, the three-cylinder 1.0 TSI producing 81 kW (110 PS) and the four-cylinder 1.5 TSI outputting 110 kW (150 PS) make use of a 48-volt belt-driven starter motor and a 48-volt lithium-ion battery that is located under the front passenger seat and has a capacity of 0.6 kWh. Both models can be identified by a specific badge on their tailgate.

Mild hybrid technology enables energy to be recovered when braking so that it can be stored in the 48-volt battery. This energy is used to support the combustion engine by providing it with an electrical boost of up to 50 Nm and, depending on the situation, makes it possible for the engine to switch off completely, letting the vehicle coast. As soon as engine power is required again, the motor restarts the engine in a fraction of a second. The stop/start function also works faster and more conveniently thanks to the use of the belt-driven starter motor. In addition, the engine generates less noise and vibrations when starting and the 48-volt battery is able to charge the regular 12-volt battery using a DC/DC converter. In total, the mild hybrid technology used for the two ŠKODA e-TEC engines allows for savings of up to 0.4 l of fuel per 100 km.