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Nissan unveils Formula E-Prix car

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At the Geneva Motor Show Nissan unveiled its all electric ABB FIA Formula E race car – scheduled to be seen on circuits towards the end of the year.

The acceleration of electrification was the key theme at the Nissan stand during this year’s Geneva Motor Show.

Taking center stage was the world premiere of the all-electric ABB FIA Formula E Championship race car, seen in its concept livery for the first time. The car will make its city circuit debut at the start of the 2018/19 season later this year.

Also featured was the all-electric, zero-emission new Nissan LEAF. One new Nissan LEAF is being ordered in Europe every 12 minutes, making it the region’s fastest-selling electric vehicle. More than 19,000 orders have been placed for the car across Europe.

The new Nissan LEAF is the icon of the Nissan Intelligent Mobility vision. It is spearheading the brand’s drive to create a more exciting, confident and connected society.

Technologies that made their European debut on the LEAF are already being rolled out across Nissan’s range of passenger cars and light commercial vehicles. Nissan’s innovative ProPILOT advanced driver assistance technology will be available on Europe’s best-selling crossover – the Nissan Qashqai – from this month.

And the LEAF’s 40kWh battery is now available on the e-NV200 van, increasing its range by 60% with no reduction in load-carrying capability.

The LEAF is delivering the Nissan Intelligent Mobility vision today, and the brand is already working towards what consumers will demand tomorrow.

Nissan has confirmed that under its new Nissan M.O.V.E. to 2022 midterm plan, it will offer electrified powertrains within the next generation of its best-selling crossovers. It is a pioneering initiative that will further extend consumer choice.

Also for the future is the Nissan IMx KURO, a concept vehicle that showcases Nissan’s leadership in both electric vehicles and crossovers. The model has been updated since its Tokyo Motor Show debut and now features Nissan’s pioneering Brain-to-Vehicle (B2V) technology.

The brand also highlighted how Nissan Intelligent Mobility is going beyond the vehicle with an integrated electric ecosystem. A new strategic partnership between Nissan and energy company E.ON has been announced. The collaboration will explore opportunities on pilot activities and commercial offers related to vehicle-to-grid services, renewable energy generation and storage solutions, as well as grid integration for Nissan electric vehicle customers.

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Porsche names e-car

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Series production of the first purely electric Porsche is set to begin next year. 

In preparation, the vehicle has now been given its official name: The “Mission E” concept study, the name currently used to describe Porsche’s complete electric offering, will be known as the Taycan. The name can be roughly translated as “lively young horse”, referencing the imagery at the heart of the Porsche crest, which has featured a leaping steed since 1952. 

“Our new electric sports car is strong and dependable; it’s a vehicle that can consistently cover long distances and that epitomises freedom”, says Oliver Blume, Chairman of the Executive Board of Porsche AG. The oriental name also signifies the launch of the first electric sports car with the soul of a Porsche. Porsche announced the name for its first purely electric series as part of the “70 years of sports cars” ceremony.

Two permanently excited synchronous motors (PSM) with a system output of over 600 hp (440 kW) accelerate the electric sports car to 100 km/h in well under 3.5 seconds and to 200 km/h in under twelve seconds. This performance is in addition to a continuous power level that is unprecedented among electric vehicles: Multiple jump starts are possible in succession without loss of performance, and the vehicle’s maximum range is over 500 km in accordance with the NEDC.

Names with meaning 

At Porsche, the vehicle names generally have a concrete connection with the corresponding model and its characteristics: The name Boxster describes the combination of the boxer engine and roadster design; Cayenne denotes fieriness, the Cayman is incisive and agile, and the Panamera offers more than a standard Gran Turismo, which is what allowed it to win the Carrera Panamericana long-distance race. The name Macan is derived from the Indonesian word for tiger, with connotations of suppleness, power, fascination and dynamics.

Future investment doubled 

Porsche plans to invest more than six billion euro in electromobility by 2022, doubling the expenditure that the company had originally planned. Of the additional three billion euro, some 500 million euro will be used for the development of Taycan variants and derivatives, around one billion euro for electrification and hybridisation of the existing product range, several hundred million for the expansion of production sites, plus around 700 million euro for new technologies, charging infrastructure and smart mobility.

Extensive modifications at tHQ 

At the Porsche headquarters in Zuffenhausen, a new paint shop, dedicated assembly area for the Taycan and a conveyor bridge for transporting the painted bodies and drive units to the final assembly area are currently being constructed. The existing engine plant is being expanded to manufacture electric drives and the body shop will also be developed. Investment is also planned for the Weissach Development Centre. Production of the Taycan is creating around 1,200 new jobs in Zuffenhausen alone.

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Autonomous goes off-road

Jaguar Land Rover is developing autonomous cars capable of all-terrain, off-road driving in any weather condition. 

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The CORTEX project will take self-driving cars off-road, ensuring they are fully capable in any weather condition: dirt, rain, ice, snow or fog. As part of the project, a “5D” technique combining acoustic, video, radar, light detection and distance sensing (LiDAR) data live in real-time is being engineered. Access to this combined data improves the awareness of the environment the car is in. Machine-learning enables the self-driving car to behave in an increasingly sophisticated way, allowing it to handle any weather condition on any terrain.

“It’s important that we develop our self-driving vehicles with the same capability and performance customers expect from all Jaguars and Land Rovers,” said Chris Holmes, Connected and Autonomous Vehicle Research Manager at Jaguar Land Rover.

“Self-driving is an inevitability for the automotive industry and ensuring that our autonomous offering is the most enjoyable, capable and safe is what drives us to explore the boundaries of innovation. CORTEX gives us the opportunity to work with some fantastic partners whose expertise will help us realise this vision in the near future.”

Jaguar Land Rover is developing fully- and semi-automated vehicle technologies, offering customers a choice of the level of automation, while maintaining an enjoyable and safe driving experience. This project forms part of the company’s vision to make the self-driving car viable in the widest range of real-life, on- and off-road driving environments and weather.

CORTEX will develop the technology through algorithm development, sensor optimisation and physical testing on off-road tracks in the UK. The University of Birmingham, with its world leading research in radar and sensing for autonomous platforms and Myrtle AI, machine learning experts, join the project. CORTEX was announced as part of Innovate UK’s third round of Connected and Autonomous Vehicle Funding in March 2018.

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