Audi A9 E-tron: electric luxury saloon due in 2024 - Autocar
Mercedes EQS rival will take inspiration from 2017 Aicon concept and be a 'technical showcase' for VW Group EVs
The aim with Artemis is to emulate the inherent agility and speed of execution of rival electric start-up brands and leading motor racing teams. Duesmann said the new working group will be given a large degree of freedom and will work globally. Key contributors to Artemis will be Audis own InCampus technical hub and the Volkswagen Groups new software.org operation. Audi is also planning to work more closely with Porsche through Artemis, most notably on platform development. They have already co-operated on the J1 platform, which underpins the Taycan and the upcoming E-tron GT. They are also developing the yet-to-be-revealed PPE structure, which is set to be used first by an electric version of the second-generation Macan due in 2022. As well as providing technical solutions for the new Audi flagship, Artemis is charged with introducing new technologies across the brand. Duesmann sees this as vital for Audi to stay competitive in a changing automotive landscape that includes rivals such as Tesla, Rivian and Lucid as well as a raft of Chinese electric car start-ups. Duesmann, who succeeded Bram Schot as Audi chairman in April and previously worked closely with Volkswagen Group chairman Herbert Diess at BMW, said Artemis will develop an extensive eco system around its flagship model, suggesting it will flow on to other EVs. Autocar has learned that Artemis has also been charged with advancing Audis plans for other existing projects, including a high-tech successor to the original A2, as showcased by the 2019 AI:ME concept car. There are also proposals for production versions of the AI:Race electric sports car and AI:Trail 4x4. A further central role for Artemis, according to Ingolstadt sources, is to develop new business models for rapid prototyping methods to speed development of existing models as well as data collection. The current electric car initiative ties up all our capacities, said Duesmann, who also sits on the Volkswagen Group board as head of R&D. The question is how can we implement additional high-tech benchmarks without jeopardising the manageability of existing projects and at the same time utilise new opportunities in the market.
New 2020 Toyota Hilux gets host of upgrades, more performance - Autocar
New 2.8-litre engine brings more power, alongside revised looks, improved tech and chassis tweaks for the pick-up
Toyota has given its venerable Hilux pick-up a makeover, overhauling its design, revising the chassis and adding a new, more powerful engine. The refreshed Ford Ranger rival, which will go on sale in the UK in November, has a new front-end look with a three dimensional grille and bumper treatment said to increase its road presence. Higher trim levels also receive LED light clusters front and rear, while a new bronze metallic colour is offered. Inside the changes include an updated infotainment system, with an eight-inch screen and updated software claimed to be faster and more responsive, alongside new physical shortcut buttons. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto features, too. New available kit include an 800w, nine-speaker JBL sound system. Toyota has also brought in a 2.8-litre diesel engine offered in other markets to complement the 2.4-litre unit already offered. It boasts 201bhp and 369lb ft of torque, taking the Hilux from 0-62mph in ten seconds flat - a full 3.2 seconds faster than the 2.4. WLTP economy figures are yet to be released, but the firm claims 36.3mpg and CO2 emissions of 204g/km as NEDC correlated figures. The Hiluxs suspension and steering have been tweaked, primarily to improve on-road comfort. Retuned shock absorbers and redesigned leaf springs are said to mean a smoother ride. However there are also tweaks to boost its off-road prowess, including a lower engine idle speed, revised stability control and a new tyre angle monitor. Throttle pedal response has also been improved. Finally, a range-topping Invincible X model has been added with a variety of styling upgrades, inside and out, over the standard model. Pricing will be announced nearer its on-sale date. READ MORE 2020 Toyota Hilux: Updated pick-up tested by Fernando Alonso New 2020 Toyota Yaris revealed with ground-up redesign Building 40 new cars per hour: Inside Toyota's Burnaston plant
Jaguar's new design era: the man behind its future - Autocar
New design director and self-professed maverick Julian Thomson is promising big changes at the British brand. What will it be like? We ask him
Other priorities? Electric cars are a big thing for us. Weve had a strong start with I-Pace. And, as you know, the new XJ will be all electric. Thats going to be terrific, a story of serenity and calm, a very beautiful car with nice colours and materials, not at all flashy and not full of intimidating technology. Weve taken a lot of trouble to control how light comes into the car, all part of creating a serene environment. We all remember [Jaguar founder] Sir William Lyons famous comment that an owner should feel better stepping out after a Jaguar journey than when he stepped in. When Jaguars new approach is decided, will Thomson and his team launch a concept car to announce it? After all, they did in the early Callum days with much lauded creations like the R-Coupé and the R-D6. In principle, Id love to do that, says Thomson, but youve got to consider what concept cars stand for these days. The days of genuine dream cars like those GM designs of the 1950s are gone. Star-gazing doesnt work. People dont believe in it. Thomson reckons the expectation nowadays is that if you launch a plausible concept car, youll pretty soon build it for real. And you wouldnt want to show something great and make people wait three years for it. So before Jaguar shows another concept, itll need to be sure the idea has a settled purpose and a reward. In short, no plans yet. Thomson is far from being a design sprog, but his cars have carried a better youth image than many Jaguars. Will there be a concerted effort to attract younger owners with the forthcoming cars? Youth certainly does matter, says Thomson. Look at the trouble the German marques have taken to get youth interested even though theyre not the ones with the money, unless theyre Chinese. I guess everyone wants young cars, even if theyre 60. However, I believe its more important for manufacturers like us to have a very diverse customer group. We dont just want loads of white Americans and Europeans: we want a global audience and many more female owners. We want more owners from the creative areas, too, who particularly seek beautiful cars and emotional design. Our values work perfectly for them. Given that premium manufacturers (including Jaguar Land Rover) have over the past decade pinned their success on expanding product ranges, Im interested to hear Thomsons view on Jaguars price spectrum. Are there opportunities to make Jaguars more expensive or cheaper? He doesnt seem keen on the former (We could make more expensive models, I suppose, but weve never been really flashy) but he believes, with reservations, that the time could be right for the latter.