Motoring Discourse Of The Week – Trendsetting The Standards
Last month Mazda revealed its long-awaited MX5 Miata. It’s inception story goes back to late 70’s and this also goes on to show that: how difficult it is for the product manager to put forward the business case that is road-worthy enough beyond the concept presented at a motor show displaying some far-fetched ideas.
Legend has it and wiki has it too and now on Rearview Mirror as well… It was Mazda’s quest: A car that inspired many, who were looking for distilled car(roadster) providing the a pure driver-to machine connected-to-the-road motoring pleasure. The answer came in the form of Mazda MX-5 Miata. The idea for the Miata came about during a 1976 conversation between Mazda executives and journalist Bob Hall. At the time, Hall, who is in Japanese, was with Motor Trend. Infact, Kenichi Yamamoto and Gai Arai, head of Research and Development at Mazda. Yamamoto and Gai Arai asked Hall what kind of car Mazda should make in the future? I babbled […] how the […] simple, bugs-in-the-teeth, wind-in-the-hair, classically British sports car doesn’t exist any more. I told Mr. Yamamoto that somebody should build one […] inexpensive roadster. Said Bob Hall.
That initiated a collaboration. A flight of fancy: Imagination meets the reality. Hall was later awarded a product-planning job with Mazda USA and in 1982 his vision got the green light to start development of a small roadster. Numerous concepts were presented to the executive management that includes a front-engine, front-wheel-drive and a mid-engine, rear-wheel-drive sports car. But it was the front-engine, rear-wheel-drive layout of Hall’s design team that won. The design was heavily inspired by the Lotus Elan.
The California based team put forward the Miata’s initial design, internally known as Duo 101. The salient features would have two tops, a convertible, and a removable hard top. Hence in 1985 International Automotive Design (IAD) in Worthing, England, responsible to roll out a prototype developed from a fiber glass. 1.4L engine from Mazda Familia. The car did many rounds on public roads in Santa Barbara to see how the public would respond. Reaction was positive enough to move the project into the next phase, and by 1989, the car was ready, taking the name MX-5, for “Mazda Experiment, project number 5.”
The first generation, or NA, Miata debuted in February 1989 at the Chicago Auto Show. It started at $14,000, which today would be $25,400, adjusted for inflation. Demand was high. Many dealerships had long pre-order lists. Starting in 1994, it featured a 1.6L I4, with 1.8L engine. The 1.6 remained as an economy option. The MX-5 weighed a scant 2,070 pounds. Nevertheless till date over a million Mazda MX-5 were sold. As now is the time Mazda rolled out the all-new 2016 MX-5 Miata (code named ND, fourth generation)
Around the same time Aerosmith released their second album “Toys in the Attic” and their song Walk This Way reached 10 position on Billboard Hot 100. However in 1986 Rap/ hip-hop band, Run-DMC hailing from Queens New York, covered Aerosmiths’s Walk This Way on their album Rasing Hell. More aptly Aerosmith’s singer Steven Tyler and guitarist Joe Parry featured on this collaborative version released on Raising Hell. Collaboration worked rock fused with trendy hip hop. Result: It peaked at number 5 on Billboard Hot 100.
Keeping the above curious case of Mazda MX-5 MIata, it seems like it’s dream-turn-into-reality out of a journalist’s mind. And I just can’t get my mind around a fact that many cars today were actually corrected by the journalists insight and feedback, not at the first place of inception by its team of engineers. Gone are the days and time of simple print journalism. Today information is all-accessible on you tiny mobile phone via multi-media social media platform. and it’s just never-ending… I call it e-ink!
Mazda had announced engine/ powertrain specs for It’s (ND) MX-5 Miata. It will be a SkyActiv-G 2.0l 4Cyl producing 167hp working through SkyActiv 6 speed manual transmission. But thats the specs for U.S only. Rest of the world would have a SkyActiv-G 1.5 4 Cyl good for 125hp mated with 6 speed tranny. Like it? just remember e-ink can do anything!!!
Looks like down below everything will follow the trend, Walk this way…
Audi’s Race Winning Trends
Yes September was the race winning month for Audi.
Audi has celebrated the second consecutive one-two win in the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC). Following their victory in the Le Mans 24 Hours in June, Marcel Fässler/André Lotterer/Benoît Tréluyer (CH/D/F) in the fourth race of the season at Austin prevailed again in R18 e-tron quattro cars.
Laurens Vanthoor in the Audi R8 LMS ultra won the driver title in the Blancpain Endurance Series (BES) for Audi Sport customer racing. In the season finale, the Nürburgring 1000, the mere 23-year- old Belgian together with Christopher Mies and César Ramos was victorious in difficult conditions. In addition, the 33 points awarded for the victory at the Nürburgring earned the Belgian Audi Club Team WRT the team title in the prestigious endurance racing series. With that, the driver and team titles have gone to Audi for the third time in the Blancpain Endurance Series that has existed since 2011.
Arguably the most thrilling race of the year Mattias Ekström kept a cool head and gave Audi its first victory of the DTM season at Zandvoort. For the Swede, this marked an amazing fourth triumph at Zandvoort, for Audi, it was the seventh success in eleven runs on the challenging track in the Dutch dunes. Red Bull Audi RS 5 DTM started from position eight on standard tires and had the perfect strategy for the turbulent race that saw a total of four safety car periods.
Audi driver Timo Scheider clinched third place, marking his first podium result of the season, at the Lausitzring in front of 58,000 spectators (throughout the weekend).On an initially wet track, the two-time DTM Champion in the AUTO TEST Audi RS 5 DTM of Audi Sport Team Phoenix was in the group of front-runners from the beginning of the race. On lap 22, Scheider advanced to third place, continuously made up ground to the second-placed Christian Vietoris after switching to slicks, and drove the fastest race lap in the process. However, the Mercedes-Benz driver fended off his attack on the final lap.
Audi again maintained its path of growth worldwide in August: Sales rose 5.6 percent to around 125,300 automobiles. This brings the total number of customers who have chosen an Audi since the start of the year to around 1,138,700, an increase of 10.5 percent. The four rings grew particularly strongly in North America in August, increasing sales by 22.6 percent year on year and the Middle East continued its consistent growth in the region with an 11 percent increase.
“Worldwide demand for our automobiles continues to develop positively even if the economic environment in certain markets remains challenging. Regarding our deliveries total, we are confident of selling 1.7 million cars by the end of the year,” remarked Luca de Meo, Member of the Board of Management for Sales at AUDI AG. “As well as the A3 family, the popular A6 derivatives in particular and also the successful Q models are providing steady growth rates.” Commenting on sales performance, Trevor Hill, Managing Director of Audi Middle East said “ Audi continues to go from strength to strength in the Middle East with consistent double digit growth at 11% year to date and total sales of 7,579 in the region. The Audi R8 has been enthusiastically received in our market with a 100% increase in sales over 2013 and the market leader, the Audi Q7, continues to perform well in the market with an 8% growth.
Audi also improved its sales figures from August 2013 in the Asia-Pacific region by 11.5 percent. There was especially strong growth in deliveries in China (+10.2%), Australia (+21.2%) and South Korea (+49.1%).
Aston Martin Lagonda
As has traditionally been the case, the Lagonda badge will once again sit proudly on a luxurious and exclusive super saloon. Aston built around 645 super sleek long nose Lagonda since it rolled out back in 1974 till the production ended in 1990.
The stunning luxury super saloon revives the Lagonda ethos of ‘the finest of fast cars’ and will be offered exclusively in the Middle East, as a result of specific market demand.
Kia Motors was among the biggest winners at the Automotive Brand Contest 2014, an annual international design competition run by the German Design Council for automotive brands. The independent jury for the awards picked Kia as the winner in three categories.
Kia awarded three design prizes at 2014 Paris Motor Show
Triple triumph for Kia Motors in Automotive Brand Contest 2014 Design competition honors Kia design team, 2013 Kia Provo concept car and new Kia Soul
The Kia design team, led by Peter Schreyer, President and Chief Designer of Kia Motors Corporation and Hyundai Motor Group, won the ‘Team of the Year’ title for its work across three continents. Kia Motors has design centers in Korea, California and Germany.
Two prizes were also awarded to Kia vehicles. The Kia Provo, a sporty B-segment concept car unveiled at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show, was named ‘Best of Best’ in the Concepts category, while the second generation of the cult compact SUV, the Kia Soul, was distinguished as ‘Winner’ in the Exterior Volume Brand category. The award presentation takes place at the Paris Motor Show, which opens its doors to the public on October 4.
“Peter Schreyer and his international team have done a grand job over the past few years,” the jury stated, justifying its choice for the special ‘Team of the Year’ award. “In an apparently saturated environment of formal possibilities for the Kia brand, they have come up with a unique brand design that stands out from the crowd and gives it an unmistakable face.”
Peter Schreyer commented, “This triple triumph is a fantastic endorsement of the work done by our design team, who absolutely deserve this success. I am thrilled about the awards and proud of my team.
Kia Trending A New Name And Technology
So in near future if you’re an owner of Kia that happens to be a turbo diesel however it comes with low emission technology, of being electric hen it will be called a Mild Hybrid in Kia’s speak! or else you’ll see a badge somewhere of T-Hybrid. yes you guessed it right, it stands for Turbo Hybrid!!
On the floor of Paris auto show Kia reveal its Optima, a T-Hybrid concept is powered by the model’s existing 1.7-litre CRDi turbo-diesel engine, paired with a small electric motor, powered by a 48V lead-carbon battery.
And here’s the innovative trick: “Lead-carbon batteries were chosen for the mild hybrid powertrain as, unlike lithium-ion batteries, they require no active cooling and are easier to recycle at the end of the unit’s lifecycle.”
The vehicle features a zero-emissions stop-start system, and a new belt-driven starter generator replaces the conventional alternator, meaning the engine can restart with almost no noise or vibration. Installing the powertrain in the Optima sedan has enabled engineers to fit a smaller vehicle battery and starter motor, enhancing weight distribution and handling.
The system also allows the installation of an innovative electric supercharger for the CRDi engine, in addition to the conventional turbocharger, providing improved power and torque at all engine speeds. The electric supercharger in particular helps to boost torque and engine response at low engine speeds.
Automobili Lamborghini unveils its first plug-in hybrid (PHEV) technology demonstrator, the Lamborghini Asterion LPI 910-4, making its world debut at the 2014 Paris Mondial de l’Automobile. Clearly a Lamborghini, Asterion is a conceptual car housing a plug-in hybrid powertrain designed to Lamborghini objectives: The Asterion defines a solution to significantly reducing CO2 emissions through technologies available today, guaranteeing the unique Lamborghini driving feel with a smooth and reactive driveability and with superior power, including an exceptional pure electric range of 50 km.
Conceived and developed entirely in-house by Lamborghini, the Asterion LPI 910-4 takes the design and cutting-edge engineering expertise found in the current Lamborghini product range, adding innovative hybrid technology, creating thus a Lamborghini that is clearly different – with a new, unexpected and sensual design, in line with the technical characteristics of the car – but yet is still unmistakably a Lamborghini.
In the Centennial year for the brand, and after the success of the Quattroporte Zegna Limited Edition, released in only 100 units, Maserati and Ermenegildo Zegna chose Ghibli as the natural evolution of their partnership, presenting an absolutely unique concept car.
Maserati Ghibli S Q4, designed in collaboration with Ermenegildo Zegna, offers a new, exclusive product style interpretation; with its dynamic, contemporary look, it targets a luxury bracket of precious detail lovers and has been created with a renewed product range in mind for the future. The bodywork has a tri-coated paint finish in a new colour shade and the 20” wheels also come in a specially developed colour; the interior has been designed as the ultimate expression of style and exclusivity, with a contrasting colour scheme created by combining the finest leather and valuable Zegna yarns.
A substantial representation of the Maserati model range will also be on display at the stand, including the Quattroporte GTS, characterised by a new exterior and MY15 richer selection of standard equipment, and also available in a Diesel version. Two more Ghiblis will be present in their S Q4 and Diesel versions, alongside the Centennial Editions of the GranTurismo MC Stradale and GranCabrio MC.
If the traditional sports nature of Maserati is embodied by the GranTurismo and GranCabrio Centennial Editions, the future is unquestionably represented by the Maserati Alfieri Concept, recent winner of the “Design Award for Concept Cars & Prototypes” during the Villa d’Este Concours d’Elegance last May. Created for this year’s Maserati Centennial, Alfieri explores the stylistic heritage of the brand and anticipates its future design trends.
The Phantom Metropolitan Collection, unveiled at the Mondial de L’Automobile in Paris, features exquisite hand-crafted design inspired by the modern metropolis. Just 20 of these beautifully crafted motor cars will be available to commission.
The Phantom Metropolitan Collection pays homage to the world’s great metropolises through the meticulous application of marquetry – the art of inlaying small pieces of wood veneer to form decorative motifs. When open, Phantom’s signature picnic table presents occupants with an elevated view of the city, created through the expert application of 500 individual wood veneer pieces. Indeed, the process of hand-cutting, colouring, shaping and applying is so complex these unique objects d’art take an expert wood crafts-person several days to complete. On closing the tables, a different perspective of the cityscape is offered – reflecting the view one gets when effortlessly travelling in the rear of a Phantom.
The cityscape theme extends beyond Phantom’s many wood surfaces. A specially developed Aetherius Grey leather colour was created to echo the colour palette of the modern city whilst 6,800 two-tone stitches to the central rear seat flutes depict an abstract image of a skyscraper. A specially developed Bespoke clock extends the theme to the front of the car. For the first time in the marque’s history, a rotating bezel expressing 24 of the great cities of the world and their time zones – Paris included – adorns the central console of a Rolls-Royce motor car.
An exterior hue, Darkest Tungsten, inspired by city skylines finishes the exterior surfaces of the motor car on display in Paris. However, as afforded to any Rolls-Royce customer, the full palette of 44,000 colours is available to those commissioning a Phantom Metropolitan Collection motor car. Should that not be enough, the marque’s Bespoke crafts-people will create a perfect match of any colour or object a customer may wish to replicate. The exterior is completed with a hand-applied coachline that depicts an abstract silhouette of modern skyscrapers.
Tesla Supercharging Trends
Tesla’s Supercharger network passed a charging milestone, delivering more than 1 GWh of energy to Model S vehicles in a single month. That energy accounts for a collective 3.7 million miles driven, 168,000 gallons of gas saved, and 4.2 million pounds of carbon dioxide offset. That’s like driving to the moon and back seven and a half times, and nixing a day’s worth of CO2 from 73,684 Americans.
Motor Trend – Truly Inspirational Race
So before I end Motoring Discourse Of The Week. And it will end with a bombshell of a video known as World’s Greatest Drag Race 4. Yes this is the fourth year since Motor Trend then Editor-In-Chief Angus MacKenzie, now Editor-At-Large, before handing over the baton to Ed Loh, initiated the free-for-all Motor Trend Channel on YouTube. Perhaps having the largest subscription of motoring loving fans from all over the world. Some says common sense prevails on Motor Trend, if not Clarkson!