Lexus Thursday announced that CarPlay and Android Auto will be standard features in its new 2020 Lexus RX in the United States, marking the first time that either software platform is available in the luxury crossover SUV.
CarPlay and Android Auto will be accessible through an 8-inch touchscreen display that is standard in all models of the 2020 Lexus RX. A larger 12.3-inch split-screen touchscreen is available as an upgrade option. CarPlay appears to be wired, so the iPhone will have to be connected with a Lightning to USB cable.
The new RX will enter production in the third quarter of 2019, according to Lexus. Pricing will be announced closer to the on-sale date.
CarPlay provides convenient access to frequently used iPhone apps such as Phone, Messages, Apple Maps, Google Maps, Waze, Apple Music, and Spotify directly from the dashboard. The platform was introduced in 2014 and is now available in over 500 vehicle models in the United States, according to Apple.
Lexus and its parent company Toyota were among the last major automakers to adopt CarPlay, but the duo now offer Apple’s software platform in nearly two dozen vehicle models, ranging from the latest Corolla to the latest Lexus LS.
Stallion NMN offers enthusiasts Nissan SUV range
tallion NMN, the Nissan sales company has unveiled a sales offer for cutting-edge Nissan SUV range to enable automobile enthusiasts take advantage of its ongoing bargain sales tagged: “The best time to own a brand new Nissan SUV is now.”
Structured in line with the Nissan tagline ‘Innovation that Excites,’ the offer promises limitless access to Nissan SUV range including the Kicks, Qashqai, X-Trail and Patrol at a starting price of only N7,995,000.
The dealership is also assuring intending buyers of Nissan’s ambitious 3-year or 100,000km warranty plus other niceties that could broaden customers’ affections for the Japanese-engineered brand.
Head of Sales and Marketing, Stallion NMN, Amit Sharma, who gave the hint in Lagos said: “Nissan SUV range are great family vehicles packed with full safety features that ensure safe smooth ride – whether you are on the school run or exploring the country.”
Also stressing that the offer is subject to availability, Sharma said Nissan SUVs are uniquely designed for easy drivability and exceptional value for money, yet reassuring on comfortable and spacious interiors that make even the most mundane trips a delight.
He said Nissan has introduced series of technological details in the entire powertrain, chassis systems and platform of its vehicle line-up as well as the SUV range to enhance the lightweight architecture and advanced aerodynamics of Nissan vehicles, which deliver segment-leading efficiency and refinement.
“We believe the Nissan SUV range are drivers’ delight and they surely will lead the market in terms of driving quality, refinement, efficiency and ride handling, and that is why we are introducing this offer to enable more prospective customers switch to Nissan brand of SUV vehicles,” Stallion NMN sales and marketing helmsman quipped.”
World first: Bosch, Daimler set for driverless parking without human supervision
osch and Daimler have reached a milestone on the way to automated driving: the two companies have now obtained approval from the relevant authorities in Baden-Württemberg for their automated parking system in the Mercedes-Benz Museum parking garage in Stuttgart. The automated valet parking service is accessed via a smartphone app and requires no safety driver. This makes it the world’s first fully automated driverless SAE Level 4¹ parking function to be officially approved for everyday use.
“This decision by the authorities shows that innovations like automated valet parking are possible in Germany first,” says Dr. Markus Heyn, member of the board of management of Robert Bosch GmbH. “Driverless driving and parking are important building blocks for tomorrow’s mobility. The automated parking system shows just how far we have already progressed along this development path.”
“This approval from the Baden-Württemberg authorities sets a precedent for obtaining approval in the future for the parking service in parking garages around the world,” says Dr. Michael Hafner, the head of drive technologies and automated driving at Daimler AG. “As a pioneer in automated driving, our project paves the way for automated valet parking to go into mass production in the future.”
The technology behind driverless parking
Drive in to the parking garage, get out, and send the car to a parking space just by tapping on a smartphone screen – automated valet parking has no need for a driver. Once the driver has left the parking garage to go about their business, the car drives itself to an assigned space and parks. Later, the car returns to the drop-off point in exactly the same way. This process relies on the interplay between the intelligent parking garage infrastructure supplied by Bosch and Mercedes-Benz automotive technology. Bosch sensors in the parking garage monitor the driving corridor and its surroundings and provide the information needed to guide the vehicle. The technology in the car converts the commands from the infrastructure into driving maneuvers. This way, cars can even drive themselves up and down ramps to move between stories in the parking garage. If the infrastructure sensors detect an obstacle, the vehicle stops immediately.
Jaguar XE SV Project 8: The world’s fastest sedan
he Jaguar Special Vehicle Operations-developed XE SV Project 8 has demonstrated its breadth of performance capability by setting the fastest Nürburgring Nordschleife lap time for a four-door production car again: 7min 18.361sec.
This new officially-verified time on the 20.6km lap is 2.9 seconds faster than Project 8’s previous benchmark set in November 2017 and 7 seconds faster than any other four-door production car has achieved.
Project 8 is also the first vehicle to set an official whole lap record in the Nürburgring’s mid-range production car class, lapping the full 20.8km circuit length in 7min 23.164sec.
Returning to the legendary German circuit in a production-specification two-seat Track Pack version of Project 8 was development driver Vincent Radermecker. The car’s height-adjustable twin-spring coil-over suspension was set in ‘track’ ride height, with adjustable front splitter and carbonfibre rear aerodynamic wing positioned for maximum downforce and stability.
To maximise performance and steering precision, for the final record runs Project 8 was fitted with new off-the-shelf ultra-high-performance Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 R tyres. Tested and chosen by SV engineers for their capability on the track, the road-legal tyres use rubber compounds directly transferred from Michelin’s competition tyres.
Jamal Hameedi, Engineering Director, Jaguar Special Vehicle Operations, said: “The original Nürburgring time set by Jaguar XE SV Project 8 demonstrated the extreme performance envelope of the world’s fastest production sedan, but the SV team is driven by a motorsport mentality and we knew Project 8 could go even faster. This new official record time is a fitting reward for everyone who has played a part in pushing the boundaries for our customers with Project 8.”
Powered by the most highly tuned 441kW version of Jaguar’s 5.0-litre Supercharged V8, the all-wheel-drive Project 8 is capable of 0-100km/h in 3.7 seconds and a top speed of 320km/h. Project 8 also features a fully-enclosed flat underbody for enhanced aerodynamics, which is key to its performance.
DFM storms Nigeria with locally assembled cars
n a bid to bring the best of Chinese auto brands to the Nigerian market, Dana Motors Limited in partnership with Dongfeng Motor Corporation (DFM) is poised to introduce the widely adjudged best East Asia brand of vehicles to the Nigerian auto market.
Positioned to be the new dress code for Nigeria roads, the introduction of DFM brand in Nigeria, according to the company is aimed at meeting the ever-evolving needs of customers ranging from exceptionally delivered quality aftersales services to the best-in-class model range from the premium sedan, to uniquely built SUV and all terrain Pickup.
DFM is one of the global brands with a uniquely innovative design that continuously remains at the vanguard of leading auto brands and setting the pace in automotive engineering across the globe. Birthed in China, DFM has continued to spread its operations all over the world with its growing footprints in Africa, particularly Nigeria.
Assembled and distributed here in Nigeria by Dana Motors Limited, DFM is set on the path of limitless possibilities in the Nigerian auto market, as it boasts of impressive penetration of Dana Motors operations to give the brand a far-reaching presence across the major cities in the country.
Making its first entry into the local market at the newly opened DFM showroom on Akin Adesola Street, Victoria Island, Lagos, the leading Chinese brand depicts the forward thinking automotive engineering that’s evident in the top-of-the-segment model range that had continued to draw praises from other countries of operations across the globe, owing to the innovative and stylish designs of the cars.
Speaking on the partnership, Jacky Hathiramani, Managing Director/CEO of Dana Motors said: “All of us at Dana Motors are extremely proud to introduce DFM, the leading Chinese brand into the Nigerian automotive markets. And we are here to build more than just great cars. We aim to set a new standard in the Nigerian auto industry by providing consumers with world-class products and services while engaging customers exceptionally with quality service deliveries at every touch point.
“Having being a major stakeholder and the leading company in the Nigerian auto industry, Dana Motors Limited has been offering best-in-class brands with a second to none after-sales service to customers in the country for over two decades. Together, both Dana Motors Limited and DFM Global are committed to providing the best-in-class cars to meet our esteemed customers’ vehicular requirements and exceed their expectations with quality after sales services”.
DFM award-winning products are now among the most popular cars on sale in China and some parts of Africa today, gaining praise for attractive design, high-tech features, and reliability. The company’s distinctive design identity runs through the brand’s entire vehicle the line-up, making the brand’s cars immediately recognizable all over the world.
The newly launched DFM model range in Nigeria is proof of the company’s plans to introduce cars that cater to the changing paradigm of the Nigerian market in the near future, said, Henry Lian, Commercial Manager, Africa, DFM Global. On the provision of after-sales service support for Dana Motors, Henry stated that the DFM global team is readily available to provide all the necessary spare parts and expertise to support Dana Motors Limited in delivering exceptional after sales service to the teeming customers.
Sunday Telegraph learnt that in line with the fit-for-purpose the operational approach of DFM in Nigeria, the newly launched DFM brand vehicles will be rolled out from Dana’s assembly plant in Lagos. The locally produced compact sedan, SUV and all-terrain pick up are specially built for the Nigerian market. “We are delighted to announce that DFM brand model range will be produced here in Lagos,” said Olu Tikolo, Vice President of Dana Motors.“ Producing cars in our assembly plant will enable us to sell highly tropicalized cars in the Nigerian market while providing greater flexibility for our local customers.”
COSCHARIS debuts all-new BMW 7 series
he all new BMW 7 series is now available for viewing at Coscharis Motors. The BMW brand flagship comes with a more distinctive, luxurious and outstanding dynamics. It stands out with its prestigious, elegant appearance, superlative comfort and exceptionally sporty performance, a combination that only the BMW 7 Series delivers in this class.
According to Cletus Aregbeshola, Marketing Manager for BMW, Coscharis Motors; “around three-and-a-half years on from the introduction of the sixth generation in 2015, the BMW 7 Series Sedan has undergone a wide ranging and effective updates. These updates have positioned the flagship model as a trendsetter, introducing world-firsts that are being copied by other manufacturers.”
At a glance
Visually, the new BMW 7 Series looks like a completely new model – especially at the front and back. In many respects, it has become even more luxurious, with numerous highly advanced components. This includes more powerful and fuel-efficient petrol engines, a new, pioneering infotainment system and the latest driver assistance systems.
Excellent Ride Comfort
The sixth-generation BMW 7 Series Sedan also sets standards in terms of providing both maximum ride comfort and a sporting and dynamic driving experience. This is due to an advanced chassis design complete with a self-levelling two-axle air suspension included as standard. With its intelligent mix of aluminium, high-strength steel and a body structure benefiting from magnesium and carbon reinforcements (Carbon Core), the BMW 7 Series also has the lowest weight among its competitors.
The BMW 7 Series Sedan is the dominant vehicle in the automotive luxury class, along with the S-Class. However, the key difference to the S-Class is that the BMW 7 Series supports a wider range of set-ups allowing drivers to choose between superior ride comfort on the one hand and extremely sporty handling on the other.
Other competitors such as the Audi A8, Porsche Panamera and Lexus LS lag considerably behind the two top models from BMW and Mercedes-Benz, both in terms of sales volume and in being perceived as the world’s most prestigious volume-produced luxury sedans (Rolls-Royce, Bentley and Maybach excepted). All models but the M760Li and 745Le xDrive are available in a short- and a long-wheelbase version.
Mercedes-Benz continues leads in premium segment
fter the first six months of the year, Mercedes-Benz continues to be the leader among the premium car brands in a highly competitive environment worldwide, despite ongoing model changes.
From January to June, 1,134,729 cars were handed over to customers by Mercedes-Benz. Unit sales decreased in the first half of the year primarily due to ongoing model changes for SUVs, the brand’s segment with the largest volume.
In the second quarter, Mercedes-Benz sold a total of 573,856 cars. Sales momentum in those three months came primarily from the new compact-car models, including the new A-Class Saloon worldwide, and the new B-Class and new CLA Coupé in Europe. In June, the Stuttgart-based company with the three-pointed star sold 196,230 vehicles.
Mercedes-Benz maintained its market leadership in the premium segment in the first half of the year in markets including Germany, the United Kingdom, France, Switzerland, Portugal, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Czech Republic, Luxembourg, Greece, South Korea, Japan, Australia and Canada.
“After a challenging first half of the year, Mercedes-Benz continues to be at the top of the premium segment. We are particularly pleased with the great popularity of the new compact models. In the third quarter, we anticipate sales momentum from the new SUVs with the star,” stated Britta Seeger, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG responsible for Mercedes-Benz Cars Marketing and Sales. “In July, two real customer favourites will be in our showrooms: the new GLC and the GLC Coupé. The GLC, which has been the highest-volume model in our SUV portfolio for several years, comes with the latest intelligent driver assistance systems just like the GLC Coupé and is equipped with MBUX as standard.”
Mercedes-Benz unit sales by region and market
In the first half of this year, 457,595 vehicles with the three-pointed star were sold in the Europe region. In Germany, the domestic market, 147,351 units were sold in the first six months and 24,033 cars with the star were handed over to customers in June.
Unit sales increased last month in the United Kingdom, France, Spain, Russia, Portugal, the Netherlands and Denmark. Furthermore, Mercedes-Benz set new records for unit sales in the first half of a year in France, Spain, Poland and Denmark.
Mercedes-Benz unit sales by model
Unit sales of the compact cars from Mercedes-Benz increased in the first half of the year, with a total of 313,000 A- and B-Class, CLA, CLA Shooting Brake and GLA models sold. More than 57,000 compact cars sold in June represents growth of 13.7 per cent compared with the same month of last year. Demand for the new A-Class was strong worldwide last month, while the new CLA Coupé also posted strong double-digit growth in Europe in the second month after its market launch there.
More than 206,000 units of the C-Class Saloon and Estate models were delivered to customers worldwide in the first half of the year. During the same period, unit sales of the long-wheelbase version of the C-Class Saloon increased by 4.7 per cent. Unit sales of the C-Class Estate were 23.4 per cent higher in June than in the prior-year month and increased by 3.4 per cent in the first half of the year.
Sales of SUVs in the first six months of this year were below the high prior-year level due to model changes, with approximately 367,000 units of the GLA, GLC, GLC Coupé, GLE, GLE Coupé, GLS and G-Class sold. Despite ongoing model changes, one third of all Mercedes-Benz cars sold worldwide in the first half of the year were SUVs. The G-Class set a new sales record in the first six months of its 40th anniversary year; deliveries actually more than doubled in June.
Jaguar, Land Rover to wow Goodwood crowd with prototype Defender
Jaguar and Land Rover will be debuting a series of exciting new models at this year’s annual celebration of all things automotive; the three-day Goodwood Festival of Speed, which ends today.
Continuing the most demanding test regime of any pre-production Land Rover to date, a camouflaged prototype Defender will be putting its on-road dynamic abilities to the test on the hill in the ‘First Glance’ batch twice daily.
Taking a short break from the world’s first all-electric production based international race series supporting Formula E, the all-electric Jaguar eTROPHY I-PACE race car will be silently storming the Goodwood Hill every day in front of the Goodwood crowds for the first time.
At the other end of the spectrum, and making use of their 441kW and 405kW respectively, the recently-unveiled Jaguar XE SV Project 8 Touring Pack the new Range Rover Velar SVAutobigraphy Dynamic will feature in the First Glance batch.
British rally driver, Jade Paveley will be returning to the Goodwood Rally stage to push the limits of the one-off Jaguar F-TYPE rally car throughout the weekend.
Jaguar Land Rover will continue to welcome guests from around the world to its stand where all the product ranges will be on display with visitors being invited to get involved in the action too. Whether experiencing the thrill of the Jaguar F-TYPE from the passenger seat on the handling course or enjoying the ups and downs of Land Rover’s legendary off-road course in a Discovery or Range Rover, there is something for everyone
Jaguar Land Rover UK Managing Director, Rawdon Glover said: “Annually, Goodwood Festival of Speed is our largest event, and we have pulled the stops out this year to bring our award-winning Jaguars and Land Rovers to both our stand and the hill.
“We have created an inviting space for customers to come and spend some time with the team and we remain one of the only stands to offer in-car experiences which have proved incredibly popular with festival goers.
“I myself am particularly excited about seeing the new Defender testing on the hill, and I know our customers will love the thrill of a passenger ride in our Jaguar F-Type on our handling circuit or a Land Rover on the off-road course,” he said.
NADDC, FRSC to speak at NAJA training workshop
As the 2019 edition of Nigerian Auto Journalists Association (NAJA) training workshop gets set to hold on Thursday, July 25; Aliyu Jelani, Director-General, National Automotive Design & Development Council (NADDC ) and Boboye Oyeyemi, Corp Marshal of the Federal Roads Safety Corps ( FRSC) are expected to grace the training event as special guest speakers.
The annual training workshop which is designed to boost human capacity for journalists reporting the automotive sector in the country is the fourth edition in the series.
During the one-day comprehensive training programme, experienced technical trainers and facilitators will be taking on the automotive reporters on basic principles of mechatronics, automotive maintenance, electrical/electronics systems and air-conditioning systems.
A university don will also be taking a look at the contemporary automotive policy as well as zero tariff, while an insurance company will be dwelling on transport insurance amongst other relevant industry related issues.
According to the organising committee of the automotive journalists workshop and capacity building programme, the event will also provide avenue for critical stakeholders to ventilate their perspectives on some of the burning issues that relate with the auto industry and the way forward.
Julie Chi-Nwaoha, Chairperson of this year’s event, said the auto industry is one fundamental industry in Nigeria that one cannot ignore because of its huge contribution to the nation’s economy.
She said there is need for consistent training and retraining because of its benefit to the motoring journalists that are reporting the beat. On how the training can benefit journalists and stakeholders, Mrs. Chi-Nwaoha said: “There is no way we can finish the training and remain the same.”
Also commenting on the training programme, Mike Ochonma, Chairman of Nigeria Auto Journalists Association, said the training workshop will impact positively on members as knowledgeable and competent instructors will be on hand to give their best to members. “Journalism is wide and we must open ourselves to consistent training and retraining. It is important that journalists reporting the automotive sector are well informed; they must be well educated and empowered to write effectively without fears,” he said.
The NAJA training workshop is an annual training programme organised to refresh the minds of practicing auto journalists on the trend of auto journalism worldwide. Members of the association are motoring journalists that cut across the newspapers, television and online media organisations including bloggers from across the country.
The powerful all-new Arocs
Last year, Weststar unveiled two new powerhouses in the commercial vehicle segment; the all new Actros and Arocs. The latter has since been touted as the new force in construction, one that promises to take on every challenge in the construction business with tailor-made solutions for every vehicle body. PAUL OGBUOKIRI looks at hard facts to determine just how powerful the all new Arocs really is
Combining power, robustness and efficiency in a unique way, the Arocs continues the 120-year old tradition of Mercedes-Benz Trucks in the construction industry while bringing them into the future with innovative technology. Designed to provide a reliable, high-torque drive configuration to suit the construction industry down to the ground, the Arocs offers a number of frame and suspension configurations developed to excel both on and off-road.
The new Arocs powerfully masters every driving situation, equipped with a robust and high-torque engine, Mercedes PowerShift 3 and a new unique suspension and frame design, all as standard. It comes with a durable powertrain that delivers precisely the power you need in off-road transportation, construction sites or extreme terrain. The new Arocs also comes with increased ground clearance with high angles of approach to ensure optimized agility even in challenging road conditions. From platform vehicles and concrete mixers to heavy-duty tippers, the new Arocs is a particularly tough and robust vehicle that will meet any challenge in construction and off-road transportation.
The new in-line 6-cylinder engines have higher engine efficiency through the wastegate turbocharger, the optimized viscous fan clutch and the intelligent auxiliary consumers. The OM473 (Euro III), a state of the art 6-cylinder in-line 15.6 liter engine opens a new dimension in high performance engines. The turbo compound unit transforms thermal energy into mechanical energy and thus increases the operating efficiency of the engine: the engine has additional power but lower fuel consumption by using the X-Pulse fuel-injection system which reduces the fuel quantity utilized in the engine.
The new Arocs comes with Mercedes PowerShift 3 as standard and manual gearshift as an option. The gearbox is 100 per cent made by Mercedes-Benz ensuring the best integration with engine and axles, providing a wider range of gears for operation in optimal torque ranges and optimized start-off capabilities. With Mercedes PowerShift 3 you get the best shifting strategy at any time (30-50 per cent faster gear changes than manual) with friction reduction for minimized wear and tear of the driveline. It provides a wider range of gears for operation in optimal torque ranges and various driving modes for different road situations, such as power mode, crawl function and rapid reverse.
The narrow frame in the new Arocs comes with a width of 744 mm and a longitudinal member thickness of 8 or 9 mm, which is made of cold formed, high-strength fine-grained steel, is used in vehicles intended for deployment mainly on construction sites and for off-road driving. This ensures highest reliability and torsional flexibility even in difficult conditions.
The new Arocs is also equipped with a durable steel suspension. For use in heavy-duty construction site operations, the steel suspension impresses with its robust, solid construction, high performance and loadability. With the weight-optimized parabolic springs and precisely matched shock absorbers and stabilizers you are optimally prepared even in difficult conditions.
The range of different front and rear axles, which are available in job-specific variants are a further key contributory factor to the large ground clearance in the new Arocs. Depending on the type of application and chassis, front axles with varying offsets and with a permissible front axle load of up to 9 tonnes are available. The particularly robust planetary axles with a load capacity of up to 16 tonnes also offer high ground clearance.
Never compromising on safety, Mercedes-Benz offers many safety and assistance systems to reduce risks and increase comfort for the driver. More safety is provided due to more than 400 sensors which are fitted on the truck to ensure safe and efficient driving. These safety systems include the Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS), Acceleration Slip Regulation (ASR), Hazard warning lights flashing in case of emergency braking, Active Brake Assist 4 and Attention Assist as some of the highlight features.
VW moves to raise $2bn for truck unit
Volkswagen Group aims to raise up to 1.9 billion euros ($2.1 billion) by floating a stake of at least 10 per cent in its Traton trucks unit later this month, its second attempt to bring the business to market.
VW intends to offer stock in Traton, which sells MAN and Scania vehicles, for 27 euros to 33 euros each, it said in a statement Thursday. The sale values the division at 13.5 billion euros to 16.5 billion euros ($18.6 billion).
VW plans to invest proceeds in transforming its auto production as it readies the launch of dozens of electric vehicles over the coming years and deepens an alliance with Ford Motor.
It is also seeking to capitalize on the premium that truck stocks command over automakers to create an acquisition currency, having earlier shown interest in potentially boosting its 16.8 per cent stake in U.S.-based truck maker Navistar.
Management denies that a Navistar deal is in immediate prospect, but such a move would fit with a broader pivot by VW toward the United States to balance its reliance on China, where it sells half its cars.
Besides Swedish heavy-truck specialist Scania and Germany’s MAN, Traton includes a smaller operation in Brazil that sells VW-branded commercial vehicles for emerging markets.
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