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BMW Shows Off the Concept XM

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At Art Basel’s 2021 Miami Beach show, BMW M GmbH is presenting an expressive new vehicle concept on the global stage for the first time. The BMW Concept XM looks ahead to the most powerful BMW M car ever to go into series production, which is set to begin at the end of next year. At the same time, the BMW Concept XM shines the spotlight on standout aspects of the M brand. Electrification underpins an extraordinary driving experience that allows the driver to both glide along in near silence and enjoy the time-honoured pleasure of high performance, M-style.

The BMW Concept XM provides a first glimpse of the new front-end design for BMW’s forthcoming luxury-class models. It will also introduce its audience to a highly progressive and distinctive take on the BMW X model design and an all-new form of luxury and a sense of space for the interior.

The series-production model – the BMW XM – will be built from the end of 2022 at BMW Group Plant Spartanburg in the UAS. BMW M will therefore be introducing its first standalone vehicle since the legendary BMW M1 in the year it celebrates its 50th anniversary.  The BMW XM will be available in plug-in hybrid form only and exclusively as an M model. 

With an all-electric range of up to 80 km, the newly developed M Hybrid drive system in the BMW Concept XM brings together a V8 engine and a high-performance electric motor to develop maximum output of 550 kW/750 hp and peak torque of 1,000 Nm (737 lb-ft). The BMW Concept XM sees BMW M GmbH forging a distinctive path in the luxury segment. The car’s exterior majors on presence and extrovert appeal. Inside the car, a special take on the driver-focused cockpit for which M models are renowned meets an all-new rear compartment design: with its high-comfort seats and illuminated, sculptural headliner, the M Lounge offers passengers a luxurious retreat.

The  BMW Concept XM debuts the new, progressive front-end design for BMW’s luxury-class models, a version of which will be seen for the first time in 2022 as part of the BMW model offensive in the luxury segment. The headlights have been split into two separate modules, a new design feature that creates a visually arresting appearance. The daytime driving light signature in the sharply styled, the slim upper module is particularly eye-catching. The new XM logo in the kidney grille and the large air intakes hint at the power of the V8 engine, which teams up with the electric motor to form the M Hybrid system.

The visually striking front end, long bonnet and stretched, sloping roofline present a characterful two-box design with a distinctive outline. The two-tone paint finish of the BMW Concept XM further accentuates its distinctive lines: the upper section is in matt gold-bronze, while the lower section sports the Space Grey metallic shade. Below the window graphic, a broad, High-gloss Black line – the “black belt” – separates the two exterior colours.

The signature M exterior mirrors give the car a clean-cut and technical, sporty edge. The charging flap rearwards of the front-left wheel is a reminder of the M Hybrid drive system at work. The elongated body sits on 23-inch light-alloy wheels, which bring extra power and solidity to the side view.

The rear window is inserted almost seamlessly into the rear end. The fresh interpretation of the design can also be seen in the arrangement of the BMW logo, which is laser-etched into the window below each of the two cant rails. This is a stylistic reference to the BMW M1, to date the only example of a standalone model developed exclusively by BMW M GmbH.

Extremely slim and boldly L-shaped rear lights extending across almost the entire width of the rear add to the effect. The lights themselves have a dark appearance when not active, giving way to a precise and uniform shade of red when switched on. Dominating the rear apron are the characteristic twin tailpipes of BMW M models. The dual-branch, twin-tailpipe exhaust system employed here reduces backpressure for the V8 engine and also generates the emotionally rich M-typical soundtrack accompanying the engine’s imposing power delivery.

Inside the BMW Concept XM, the driver will find a distinctive M interpretation of driver-focused cockpit design. The lines and surface design of the instrument panel, centre console, door trim and seats give the ambience in the front compartment a progressive feel with their powerful geometry and high-quality materials. Brown, vintage-look leather, copper and carbon fibre create a bridge between luxury and motorsport. A bold trim element provides a clear visual separation between the driver’s area and the other sections of the car.

Inside the cockpit area, a decorative surface made from carbon fibre with interwoven copper thread creates a sporty and exclusive base for displays, air vents and control/operating elements. The new BMW Curved Display screen grouping positioned above it creates a neat balance between traditional driver focus and modern digitality.

Special materials, visually powerful surfaces and expressive details turn the rear seats into the unique M Lounge, black-tinted rear side windows underscoring the abiding sense of privacy here. The large rear seat bench with its deep seat recesses forms an inviting space to relax. Only the diamond-shaped area of the head restraints – which provides the supporting function familiar from BMW M Sport seats in other models – is leather-trimmed. The lower sections of the seats offer high comfort and an exclusive couch character with their luxurious velvet upholstery and diamond quilting. Deep-pile carpeting with a diamond pattern adds to the exclusive impression.

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Peugeot Shows Off the 9X8 Hybrid Hypercar

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Much more than a racing car, the PEUGEOT 9×8 is already an iconic object, an aesthetic and technical revolution, an ultimate design adventure. Matthias Hossann, PEUGEOT Design Director, has placed it in brutalist architecture before it tackles Endurance race tracks in 2022. This was an opportunity for the fashion and supercar photographer Agnieszka Doroszewicz, to play with the light and the concrete’s contrasts. Her photographs are a metaphor for the 24 Hours of Le Mans, a mythical race in which the light changes as the hours go by.

To create the new 9X8 Hybrid Hypercar, the PEUGEOT Design team went hard out. They imbued it with all the contemporary aesthetic codes specific to the marque: a feline stance, fluid lines enhanced by signs of sportiness, sleek and structured flanks, and, of course, the characteristic three-clawed luminous signature of the Lion. Slim and sleek, the PEUGEOT 9X8 arouses emotion and embodies speed.

ULTIMATE
Designing a racing car is the ultimate dream of every automobile designer. The probability of that dream ever coming true was up until now close to zero: rather than the marque’s style and identity, performance was the prime consideration, so much so that racing cars had become morphologically almost indistinguishable from one another. The designers’ work was limited to small details and the livery.

“The PEUGEOT 9X8 was born along with the DNA of the new Hypercar regulations (LMH) wanted by the Automobile Club de l’Ouest, the organiser of the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the Fédération internationale de l’Automobile, presenting the fundamental traits of a PEUGEOT. This car will stand as a milestone in the history of Endurance racing.”, says Matthias Hossann, PEUGEOT Design Director.

Another distinctive sign of PEUGEOT’s expertise and style is evident in the 9X8’s cabin which is based on the marque’s characteristic i-Cockpit concept. Just as for a series model project, the care taken with the interior design was matched only by the demanding level of requirement for the exterior: the driver and the fans in front of their screens must feel as though they are in a PEUGEOT beyond any shade of a doubt. Moreover, the entire PEUGEOT 9X8 cockpit was designed to provide the highest degree of ergonomics and intuitiveness for drivers.

NO WING
The most striking feature of this concept, and one that for many sums it up, is the absence of a rear wing, which gives it its unique morphology. When the PEUGEOT 9X8 was created, a huge amount of effort was put into the rear end. Following the original sketch of a somewhat lunging car, a slightly pointed cabin appeared, along with the very particular wrap that we see today over the rear wheel.

ELECTRIC
PEUGEOT has already won at Le Mans with two cars of two different generations: the 905 with a V10 petrol engine in 1992 and 1993, and the 908 with a V12 HDi-FAP engine in 2009. Once again, it is with the technology used that the PEUGEOT 9X8 marks the beginning of a new era.

For its four-wheel-drive hybrid propulsion, the PEUGEOT 9X8 has certain similarities with several models in the PEUGEOT range, such as the PEUGEOT 3008 or the PEUGEOT 508. It combines a V6 2.6-litre twin-turbocharged 500 kW (680 HP) internal combustion engine at the rear with a 200 kW (270 HP) electric motor/generator in the front.

VIRTUAL
The PEUGEOT Design team also called on leading-edge technology. To create the volumes, the designers use 3D tools and CAD (Computer-Aided Design). With this technology, it is also easy to share files with the engineering teams. Once the volumes are in place, then comes the virtual reality stage where a virtual reality headset was used to show the complete Peugeot 9X8 to the engineering team.

NIGHT
To ensure that the PEUGEOT 9X8 is unlike any other and can be easily identified day and night by everyone, the PEUGEOT Design team added luminous components to the work on the silhouette. For the light signature, the three claws – present on all of PEUGEOT’s current production cars – was the obvious choice. Putting them on the front of the 9X8 Hypercar was not a hassle, but putting them on the rear required a lot of work. And integration of the three light claws in separate composite components created gaps through which air is extracted.

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Road Test of the Nissan Kicks (2022) in the UAE

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The 2022 Nissan Kicks has been refreshed from the ground up. It is very popular in the subcompact SUV market in many parts of the world. The Kicks has the mighty Nissan logo on the redesigned front grille. You also get streamlined headlamps and taillamps, redesigned front and rear bumpers, and a new 17-inch aluminum wheel design.

The vehicle itself comes in a very contrasting black roof option with the rest of the body painted in Scarlet Ember Tintcoat, Boulder Gray Pearl, and Electric Blue Metallic. Inside, SV and SR models now come with a new 8.0-inch infotainment system, and all Kicks trims now feature Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard.

You also get a Wi-Fi hotspot option on the top-spec SR trim. A lot has been redesigned, including the center console, the dashboard air vents, the front-seat armrest, and the door-trim panels, which now feature silver-painted accents. There’s also adaptive cruise control in addition to an electronic parking brake with an auto brake-hold feature.

The Nissan Kicks is offered in three different trim levels – S, SV, and SR. The one we reviewed was the XX trim. The Kicks uses a 122-horsepower four-cylinder engine, to derive its power. You also get continuously variable transmission (CVT) and front-wheel drive. You also get keyless ignition, a very powerful air conditioning system, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration.

The variant we tested was the SV trim and this trim comes with added features. This includes alloy wheels, heated mirrors, roof rails, and rear disc brakes for enhanced braking performance. You also get a center armrest console between the front seats, automatic climate control, an 8-inch touchscreen, satellite radio, adaptive cruise control, and a drowsy driver monitor. The drowsy driver monitor issues an alert if the sensors determine you are becoming fatigued.

The bold exterior look of the Kicks continues with the interior with a surprisingly spacious cabin. While the Nissan Kicks looks a bit small from the outside, it is very spacious inside with a good amount of legroom and headroom. The Kicks impressed us with its results in our cargo tests, matching and beating some larger rivals.

The 122-hp four-cylinder engine on the Kicks reaches from 0 to 100-kmph in a little more than 9 seconds. However, the ride quality is surprisingly good for such a small SUV. Around town, it feels quite perky so long as you’re willing to rev the engine. The suspension on this one has also been tuned for more comfort, and it provided a well-cushioned ride even over uneven roads.

The steering is direct and accurate. Even in tight corners and roundabouts, it felt planted on the ground. In terms of fuel economy, we clocked around 6.5 liters per 100 km, which is very good for a compact SUV. For a price of AED 61900, the Nissan Kicks is truly worth your investment.

The Nissan Kicks offers plenty of features, has good cargo space, and offers excellent fuel economy. Combine all of that with refreshed exterior and interior, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay feature, and a bunch of other features along with a pocket-friendly price, and you have got a winner in your hands!

Price: AED 61900

Nissan Kicks (2022) AED 61900
  • Final Rating
4

Summary

The bold exterior look of the Kicks continues with the interior with a surprisingly spacious cabin. While the Nissan Kicks looks a bit small from the outside, it is very spacious inside with a good amount of legroom and headroom. The Kicks impressed us with its results in our cargo tests, matching and beating some larger rivals.

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Sony Exhibits New Products and Innovations at CES 2022

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Sony exhibited at CES 2022 that took place in Las Vegas, Nevada, and online on January 5. Kenichiro Yoshida, Chairman, President, and CEO of Sony Group Corporation spoke at Sony’s press conference held on January 4 ahead of the exhibition’s public opening, stating, “Throughout the past two challenging years, we have reaffirmed the importance of our Purpose. We want to enable people to connect more deeply with those who share the same interests and form stronger bonds within their communities.” He touched on Sony’s work with artists such as Adele on her new album “30,” and introduced its latest technologies and initiatives to support creators, including “Virtual Production” that removes restrictions on video production, Sony’s professional drone “Airpeak” that supports creativity, and its latest smartphone “Xperia PRO-I.”

Next to take the stage was Tom Rothman, Chairman, and CEO, Sony Pictures Entertainment Motion Picture Group, to talk about PlayStation Productions, a collaboration between Sony Pictures Entertainment and Sony Interactive Entertainment to produce movies and TV based on PlayStation IP. Tom Holland, who stars in PlayStation Productions’ film adaptation of Uncharted, and Neil Druckmann, Co-President of game development studio Naughty Dog, talked about the significance of the collaboration.

Next, Jim Ryan, President, and CEO, Sony Interactive Entertainment, announced the next-generation virtual reality system PlayStation VR2 and the new PlayStation VR2 Sense controllers that will realise an unprecedented experience and immersive feeling in the world of games. Furthermore, he announced the latest in the “Horizon” series, “Horizon Call of the Mountain,” which was a huge hit all over the world, as a title exclusively for PlayStation VR2.

Yoshida then took to the stage again, to highlight the tracking technology of Sony Group company Hawk-Eye Innovations, and Sony’s partnership with Manchester City Football Club for the realisation of next-generation fan communities in the virtual space. Yoshida concluded his presentation by speaking on the latest progress and future direction of VISION-S- an initiative that aims to contribute to the evolution of mobility. He stated that “Sony is well-positioned as a ‘creative entertainment company’ to redefine mobility,” and announced that Sony will establish an operating company “Sony Mobility Inc.” in the spring of 2022, through which the company intends to explore entry into the EV market..

Main Products and Technologies Being Showcased\
Under the theme “Co-create the Future of Entertainment,” Sony will introduce various technologies and initiatives that support creators and get closer to users at its booth in Las Vegas and the online platform “Sony Square.”

URL: https://square.sony.com/ces2022/

Highlights of the Sony Booth in Las Vegas:

VISION-S
A prototype (VISION-S 01), which is being tested on public roads, and an SUV-type prototype vehicle (VISION-S 02) as a new form factor will be exhibited. For more details, please refer to the press release and special site about VISION-S.

Airpeak S1
Sony’s professional drone “Airpeak S1,” for which sales have now started in the US, will be exhibited for the first time. Airpeak S1 is the world’s smallest drone that can be equipped with a full-size mirrorless Alpha camera. It features a proprietary motor, propeller, control system and sensing technology that enables high agility and dynamic and precise flight.

PlayStation 5
PlayStation 5 brings players into game worlds with unprecedented speed, visual fidelity, and sensor immersion. PS5 is equipped with an ultra-high speed SSD, integrated custom I/O, Tempest 3D AudioTech technology, and DualSenseT Wireless Controller with cutting-edge haptic technology and adaptive triggers. A collection of all five galaxy-inspired colour variations for the console covers and DualSense wireless controller will also be showcased in the venue.

Crystal LED Theater
A large Crystal LED will be installed at the entrance to the booth, displaying content that introduces Sony’s latest innovations in areas such as virtual production and future of sport entertainment:

Virtual Production
Virtual production frees creators from various restrictions in shooting, such as location, weather, and time, by implementing a production environment that integrates the background image with the subject in real time. The combination of Crystal LED, which projects high-definition background images with high contrast and rich colour reproduction, and the cinema camera “VENICE,” which achieves high resolution and delicate depictions, stimulates creators’ creativity and increases the freedom of expression.

Hawk-Eye’s Tracking Systems and Virtual Fan Engagement
Hawk-Eye Innovations, a Sony Group company, has been advancing innovation in the world of sports through its sports officiating and broadcast enhancement technology. Their latest achievement has been the introduction of new skeletal tracking and data-visualisation systems. These systems make it possible to instantly and accurately track the movements of athletes and objects from the live game video captures, collect the skeletal data and virtually recreate the live action.

Sony is also conducting a PoC (proof of concept) with Manchester City Football Club to create a next-generation global online fan community that integrates the physical and virtual worlds. The PoC will leverage Sony’s image analysis technology and sensing technology, as well as Hawk-Eye’s tracking systems, to explore the creation of new forms of entertainment to engage sports fans all over the world.

STARSPHERE
Together with the University of Tokyo and JAXA, Sony is promoting STARSPHERE, a project aimed at creating inspiring space experiences. Sony will exhibit for the first time a mock-up of a nano-satellite equipped with Sony’s camera equipment, scheduled for launch in the 2022 fiscal year. Using a shooting simulator, users can control the satellite to capture the earth and stars exactly as they intended. STARSPHERE aims to generate new value and deliver inspirational experiences by enriching people’s perspectives of space and will engage in co-creation with various creators and partners in this area going forward.

Sony Square
In addition to video coverage of its press conference and exhibits in Las Vegas, Sony will also feature videos of technologies and initiatives relating to the sub-themes: “Empower Creators,” “Expand Fan Communities,” and “Envision a Better Planet.” New product announcement videos for Sony’s 8K/4K BRAVIA TV line-up and live 360 Reality Audio live video performance will also be available.

BRAVIA XR TV Line-up
A new Mini LED line-up is added to the BRAVIA XR TV Series. Powered by Cognitive Processor XR™, Sony’s unique signal processing technology, “XR Backlight Master Drive” precisely controls Mini LED backlight for incredible dazzling lights and deep blacks in every corner of the large screen. The new BRAVIA XR™ TV line-up delivers immersive viewing and gameplay experiences formed by combining in-depth picture and three-dimensional sound.

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