On December 15, a new era in the ABB FIA Formula E Championship will begin in Ad Diriyah (Saudi Arabia): Thanks to the electric cars’ greater range, the drivers will compete with only one race car for the first time. Audi now unveils the newly developed Audi e-tron FE05, with which Daniel Abt and Lucas di Grassi will again make a bid for the titles.
This represents the greatest Formula E innovation until now: For the first time since the series was launched in 2014, drivers will only use one car per race to tackle the new 2018/2019 season. Since the batteries now have the capacity to last the entire 45-minute race distance, the mandatory car change during the race has been eliminated. This is a testimony to how motorsport – especially Formula E – is advancing innovations and technology.
The motor generator unit, dubbed the Audi Schaeffler MGU03, was jointly developed by Audi and its technology partner Schaeffler. Engineers put particular emphasis on making the package even more efficient and further increasing its level of effectiveness. “We retained the basic concept with one gear and at the same time refined the details and manufactured all of the parts,” says Tristan Summerscale, Formula E Project Leader at Audi. 95 percent of the drivetrain parts are new and the engineers were able to shave ten percent off the weight.
Summerscale and his team began developing the Audi e-tron FE05 as early as mid-2017, even before the start of last season. By the end of July 2018, the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) had homologated the car. Changes are no longer permitted, only the software may be improved during the season. A joint test with all of the competitors is scheduled for mid-October in Valencia (Spain). Afterwards, the race cars and equipment will be transported to Saudi Arabia.
For the fifth season of Formula E, the motor is permitted to produce up to 250 kW (340 hp) in qualifying. In the race, the output is capped at 200 kW (272 hp). New are the so-called activation zones: When drivers pass through this zone on the racetrack, they can briefly access a higher power mode of 225 kW (306 hp). Formula E fans can still support their favorite driver by casting their vote online via “FanBoost”, which gives drivers a temporary power boost of up to 250 kW (340 hp).
All Formula E teams draw electricity from identical McLaren batteries weighing 374 kilograms. The lithium-ion battery is mounted between the driver’s seat and the powertrain. It has a capacity of 52 kWh and can be charged within 45 minutes. A completely new development for the fifth season is the “Brake-by-Wire” system. Brake control and transmission to the rear axle are decoupled from each other and electronically controlled. The brake balance is therefore always optimally distributed and recuperation becomes even more efficient.
Like in Formula 1, the driver sits in a monocoque made of carbon-fiber, developed to comply with FIA safety standards. CFRP crash structures at the front, rear and sides provide maximum safety. Also new – analog to Formula 1 – is the halo system above the cockpit which provides additional protection for the drivers’ heads. The minimum weight of a Formula E race car is 900 kilograms (including the driver). The electric race car accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in 3.1 seconds. Top speed is achieved at around 240 km/h. Of particular note: the new generation of the Audi e-tron FE05 comes without a rear wing – a rarity in motorsport. Instead, downforce is generated by a large diffuser at the rear of the race car. After the first test drives, fans compared the futuristic look of the car to a “Batmobile”, “Star Wars” and a “spaceship”. “When I head out onto the racetrack with the other cars, I feel like I’m in a science fiction movie,” says Daniel Abt. “Compared to its predecessor, the new model has a considerably more aggressive design.”
Thirteen races in 12 major cities are planned for the fifth season of the electric race series. Between the opening round in Ad Diriyah and the double-header finale in New York in mid-July 2019, races will be held in Marrakesh (Morocco), Mexico City (Mexico), Hong Kong (China), Rome (Italy), Paris (France), Monaco and Berlin (Germany). Each race is run over 45 minutes plus one lap, with most of the races held on temporary street circuits in city centers.
In addition to the Audi works team, the British squad Virgin Racing fields Audi e-tron FE05 race cars for the first time in the 2018/2019 season. This partnership is new for the fifth season, with a healthy competition between the two teams intended to continually increase the performance level.
The Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler team is a founding member of Formula E with Daniel Abt and Lucas di Grassi competing since the very first race. The Brazilian clinched the title in the drivers’ championship in the third season (2016/2017). The 2017/2018 season concluded with di Grassi as the runner-up and Abt in fifth place.
Nissan Shows Off All-Electric Ariya at Expo 2020
Nissan is moving towards sustainable mobility with the first regional showcase of its stunning all-electric Ariya crossover car that is targeted towards the mass market. The Japanese company unveiled its all-new electric vehicle on 14th October, 2021, at the Let’s Move event at Dubai Exhibition Centre, Expo 2020 Dubai. “As Expo 2020’s Official Automotive Partner, Nissan is strongly committed to championing more sustainable transportation,” the company said.
Thierry Sabbagh, Managing Director of Nissan Middle East, said, “It’s a really exciting moment for us as a brand because our partnership with Expo started three years ago and we have been a part of the entire development, whether it is of the site or also of all the plans that have been set. And today, the partnership between Expo and Nissan is very natural. Because today, when we look at the pillars of Expo, whether on Sustainability, on Mobility, and on Opportunity, I can tell you that Nissan’s strategy is very much based on that.”
Joni Paiva, Divisional Vice President of Nissan Motors, said, “When you align Nissan’s purpose to drive innovation to enrich people’s lives and you look at Expo 2020’s purpose [and theme], ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future’, these two visions align extremely well, especially when you use the subthemes of Expo 2020 of Sustainability, Opportunity, and Mobility.”
Sabbagh said that unlike other electric vehicles currently available on the market, the new Ariya is made to appeal to people of all backgrounds, rather than target a niche audience only. He added, “Nissan as a brand has always brought products to the market that have very high demand and have always really been very much the best when it comes to the technology, to the innovation. And definitely, this is part of our passion. When we bring products to the market, we want to ensure that people from different categories, and from different aspirations, are able to drive our product. And definitely, I don’t see a difference with the Nissan Ariya, once it is fully launched in the markets. I will definitely be convinced that this will be available and offered to customers with different needs and also different profile customers.”
“The Ariya will drive the beginning of the Nissan NEXT transformation journey, a forward-looking plan building on the brand’s reputation for innovation, craftsmanship, customer focus, and quality,” the company said.
Al Majid Motors Launches the 2022 Kia Cerato
Bringing the latest innovations in a compact car to life, the 2022 Kia Cerato is now available at Al Majid Motors, the exclusive distributor of the KIA range of vehicles in the UAE. The latest edition of one of the world’s best-selling compact cars, the Kia Cerato blends together a sporty character with a firm foundation of powerful performance.
Swift suspension and responsive drivetrain, along with spacious interiors that set the car apart by an enriched dashboard, metallic trim, and sleek design, and aerodynamic contours, make the 2022 Cerato a head-turning vehicle. Available in 1.6-liter gasoline engine and available in four-door sedan or five-door hatch-back variants, the new Cerato is capable of doing much more than just deliver an exceptional driving experience for you — it is designed to bring the best out of a driver.
The 2022 Cerato also comes equipped with higher trim levels, the extensive smart audio system features with Android Auto and Apple Car Play, and wireless charging options, giving you the power to stay connected to all that matters. Additionally, a vivid 8-inches color LCD touchscreen ensures smooth navigation and the rearview camera features dynamic guidelines for easier parking.
Other features include a wireless charging tray, smart trunk, remote engine starting, and Power Driver Seat. Safety-wise, Kia Cerato is loaded with Kia’s safety features viz all-four disc brakes, Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS), six airbags, ESC, and Front and Rear warning system. A smart and ideal option for those searching for a compact car, the 2022 Kia Cerato is an ideal choice. Price starting from AED 67,000 till AED 82,000, it is now available across the UAE at all Al Majid Motors showrooms.
MG Motor Launches MG RX8 Black Edition in the Middle East
MG Motor has revealed a new special edition of its popular seven-seater SUV the MG RX8 in the Middle East this September. The MG RX8 Black Edition introduces a bolder, more assertive look to the range, with a raft of all-black interior and exterior style changes in comparison to other RX8 models. Customers can now purchase the car from the MG distributor in their area. The Black Edition model confidently displays a sleek, stylish black exterior look, that evidently makes it stand apart from other models in the range.
The bold new look is supplemented by black side mirror covers, side mouldings, door handles and roof rails, and rounded off by the Black Edition badge and black chrome finish exhaust and bumper at the rear. The MG RX8 is also powered by an electric side-step that is triggered when you open the door to ensure stepping in and out of your car is convenient. Stunning midnight black 20” alloy wheels further elevate the limited edition RX8’s style.
Naturally, the black theme extends to the cabin. The interior of the spacious seven-seater MG RX8 Black Edition is clad in high-quality all-black leather, provided by German company ‘Bader’, one of the leading premium leather suppliers in the motoring industry. The highest trim (LUX) comes with ventilated seats to ensure passengers experience nothing but the best comfort. The MG RX8 is robust and spacious, its ample wheelbase and large third-row space clearly set it apart from the competition in its segment.
With MG’s newest model, customers can embody who they are by doing what they love without any compromise. Tom Lee, Managing Director of MG Motor’s Middle East operations, commented: “The MG RX8 is a 7-seater flagship that continues to play a leading role as customer’s favourite MG model ever since its introduction to the region. We continue to work very hard with our partners to deliver the best and most exceptional MG products our customers deserve, and that caters to their needs here in the region. We are confident that with an exclusive special edition from the MG RX8 – in an all-black trim with 13 unique upgrades – customers will experience individuality, exclusivity as well as uniqueness in this special edition.”
MG’s seven-seater SUV, the RX8 is a flagship model that is extremely well equipped and spacious. A truly capable 4×4, the RX8 offers a real-time 4×4 Torque on Demand (TOD) System, as well as an advanced 4WD system with six different driving modes. The RX8 is powered by an efficient 220HP 2.0-litre turbo petrol engine that features Net Blue Technology and develops a maximum torque of 360Nm. It is mated to a six-speed automatic gearbox with paddle-shift gear change.
The car also offers wireless phone charging and smartphone connectivity with Apple Carplay and Android Auto enable to a 10-inch colour touch-screen. The car offers a ‘theatre-style’ seating design that incorporates a shallow front-to-rear gradient that means passengers in the third-row benefit from an exceptional view with unrivalled 884mm of legroom (the largest third-row space in its class).
The MG RX8 Black Edition is now available for sale across the Middle East. This comes at an extremely exciting time for the brand in the region, where it has seen sales rocket over the past couple of years. The car will be available in one trim at $28,900.
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