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Volvo Cars scores another world-first safety tech

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Volvo Cars’ safety expert Anders Axelson knows that brilliant ideas can pop up in the strangest of circumstances. A visit to Legoland with his twin daughters in 2007 inspired Axelson to turn an amusement park ride into an efficient test method in Volvo Cars’ quest for better protection in run-off road crashes. “Watching people being thrown in all directions during a ride in the ‘Robocoaster’, I suddenly realised that those rapid, random movements resembled the violent forces occupants in a run-off road crash are exposed to,” says Axelson. Run-off road crashes had been on Axelson’s mind since 2006 when Volvo…

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Renault aims for zero emission leadership

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Almost one in two electric vehicles sold in Europe is a Renault, which is deploying new zero emission technologies in its EOLAB prototype. At the Paris Motor Show 2014, Renault dazzled visitors with its new Espace people carrier as well as innovative electric and hybrid vehicle technology. The Renault all-electric or ZE (zero emission) range of passenger vehicles included the flagship ZOE. Six ZOEs were available for free test drives, together with two Kangoo ZEs and two Twizys on a bespoke track at Paris Expo Porte de Versailles, the venue of the motor show which will conclude on October 19.…

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Renault shows off future mobility ideas

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Renault has announced two innovations based on its EOLAB prototype, both of which are scheduled to appear in production cars in 2015. At the same time the French company has revealed three longer-term approaches to low-fuel consumption, low-emissions mobility. All were unveiled at an Innovations@Renault event in Paris, where the company’s Co-operative Innovations Laboratory (LCI) – a think tank that brings together engineers, designers and customer survey specialists – gave a behind-the-scenes peek into how Renault powertrains and propulsion systems might evolve in the next few years. Among the key LCI executives present were engineering director Gilles Lallement, LCI product…

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On a wing and a prayer

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Classic cartoon strip character Calvin (of Calvin & Hobbes fame) once vented about the lack of innovation as the 20th century slipped into the 21st. In his rant, he decried the absence of colonies on the moon, zero gravity boots, rocket packs, floating cities and – more to the point – flying cars. It is a familiar rant for all of us raised on a diet of The Jetsons, Flash Gordon, Buck Rogers, Metropolis, Space 1999, Star Wars, Blade Runner, Ghost In The Shell and The Fifth Element, that the future would be one where our skies would be filled with…

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Century Battery – maintaining the zap

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The car battery has been an essential part of the automobile over the last century, providing a host of functions from ignition timing to helping keep the cabin cool. While most car owners would fuss over the condition of the engine, the battery is often neglected. As a result, many have experienced a dead battery at the most inconvenient time such as when they are getting ready to start work. Thankfully, such cases have declined tremendously in the last decade with the appearance of the “dry-cell” battery. However, there’s nothing dry about this type of battery, because it still has six…

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Hyundai reveals latest “i” cars in Europe

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OFFENBACH, GERMANY: Hyundai has taken the wraps off its latest-generation i20, i30 and i40 cars in Europe. The new Hyundai i20 coupe is a three-door B-segment car which carries a clear design differentiation from the five-door model. Thanks to a stylish sloping roofline, the i20 coupe is 25mm lower than its five-door sibling. “We gave the new i20 coupe a sleeker looking side profile, while retaining generous space for rear passengers. We want to underline the sport-oriented image of the car,” said Eduardo Ramirez, general manager of Hyundai Motor’s Design Centre Europe. The i20 coupe has a best-in-class trunk volume…

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Top standards for Renault Espace

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The new Espace crossover marks the start of a renewal at the top end of the Renault range. To ensure high production standards for the new Espace, Renault received help from Infiniti and Mercedes. Renault’s Douai plant director Franck Naro said, “We looked at what Nissan did to build Infiniti. The Infiniti Plant Evaluation System was a great source of inspiration for us. Also, as part of our partnership with Daimler, specialists from Mercedes came and assessed the new Espace at each stage of the development process based on their own criteria. All these initiatives make up our Quality First…

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More space and comfort with BMW 3 Series GT

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The BMW 3 Series is known as the world’s most successful premium sports sedan. Every incarnation of the BMW 3 Series has a desirable combination of stylish aesthetics, fun handling and a well-designed interior. With the BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo line-up, BMW adds an innovative new concept by combining a sedan’s dynamic, sporting genes with a crossover wagon’s versatility and space. So, you get a sporty and attractive coupé-like design, lots of driving comfort and a generous amount of space in a BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo. This is because the BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo is 200mm longer…

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Lights, dashcam, action!

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Dashboard cameras – you may have heard of them. What used to sound like a fad has been gaining popularity of late and itís not really hard to see why. For those unfamiliar with the device, a dashboard camera (or dashcam) serves as dedicated vehicle camera that records everything during your drive (collisions, road rage, falling asteroids), acting somewhat like an automobile black box. This could prove extremely useful should you need video evidence to back up your innocence. Dashcams have proven extremely popular in Russia and China, as evidenced by the amount of accident footages uploaded on to YouTube.…

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Formula E quietly gaining momentum

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It felt like Monaco or Singapore as 20 gleaming racing cars zipped their way around the streets in sunny Putrajaya on Saturday. But wait a minute – something’s missing. Ah, the roar of the engine, that’s what! Yes, the future of motorsports has arrived. Putrajaya had the pride of place to be the second stop of the groundbreaking Formula E series. That’s Formula Electric for the uninitiated. The Formula E Championship is the world’s first all-electric single-seater racing series. The first race took place in Beijing on Sept 13. It was a wise choice indeed as the pollution level there…

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