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WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: Stolen white CR-V; package theft; car break-in; found fishing gear; bicycle reunion

Five notes in West Seattle Crime Watch tonight:

STOLEN CAR: Lisa sent the photo, reporting: “Our 1999 white CR-V was stolen from 35th and Andover sometime in the last two days. Plate number BCX-8350. It has a Yakima rack on top, and the back window has a snowflake on the top left and WSEA sticker on the right.” Call 911 if you see it.

STOLEN PACKAGE: Thao reports from The Triangle: “Just wanted to notify that I had a package stolen today. FedEx had it delivered (I verified with them the correct address later and they confirmed the drop off) at 9 am. I came back to pick up my package at 11 and it was not there. Asked neighbors and they did not see anything at all. I know there has been a lot of theft lately, but this is the first time it has ever happened to me. I am on 37th and Alaska.”

CAR BREAK-IN: From Tiffany: “We had a car break in (Wednesday) night/(Thursday) morning at 39th and Stevens. Nothing material stolen but we can’t figure out how they got into the car. We just want the neighbors to know in case someone is stealing car signals or something!”

FOUND FISHING POLES: From John in Gatewood: “While out walking today, came across two discarded fishing poles (with reels) discarded at 39th and Cloverdale; possible that someone stole them and dropped them there (or set them down and forgot them?).”

BICYCLE REUNION: Happy ending for a bicycle-theft case in the Westwood area. Mark found one in his yard and sent the photo we published early Thursday. Hours later, Thad saw that photo here and immediately recognized the bicycle stolen from his son – who now has it back.

Thanks to everyone who shares Crime Watch reports! Once you’ve reported it to police – 911 if it’s happening now or just happened – consider letting us know so your neighbors all around the peninsula will be aware of what happened – 206-293-6302 text or voice, editor@westseattleblog.com – thank you.

Article source: http://westseattleblog.com/2017/03/west-seattle-crime-watch-stolen-white-cr-v-package-theft-car-break-in-found-fishing-gear-bicycle-reunion/

Mazda Still Working on Wankel Engines, But Not Like You’d Hope

Mazda RX Vision Concept

Mazda has repeatedly teased—or tortured—Wankel-engine fans with the possibility of a multirotor sports car and then retracted that possibility. Now, new patent applications show the brand is once again working on the rotary, but in an application that’s likely to dash the hopes of the engine’s fans: using its iconic engine as an onboard generator, rather than the free-revving heart of a sports car.

It’s not a new idea for the brand. Mazda tested the idea a decade ago in the hydrogen-fueled, rotary-range-extended electric Mazda 5 (Premacy) minivan and more recently in the electric Mazda 2 RE Range Extender (an application similar to that of the BMW i3), which complemented an electric-only version of the Mazda 2 in Japan.

Two new U.S. patents filed by Mazda, and first reported by Autoblog, indicate that the company is still at work on that idea for a small car. One of the patents covers the layout of the Mazda 2 RE while the other points specifically to the Wankel—and a mechanism that would stop it at precisely the place in its combustion cycle that would minimize emissions while easing restarting.

Mazda rotary engine stop-start system

Mazda spokesperson Jacob Brown confirmed that the automaker has continued to study and develop range-extending technologies based around the pistonless engine, and he also confirmed that Mazda is planning to launch an electric vehicle in 2019. “We can’t quite say yet where a potential EV or PHEV would be sold, as the vehicle doesn’t exist,” Brown said. “But we can confirm that Mazda is committed to delivering driving enjoyment in an environmentally responsible manner.”

Matsuhiro Tanaka, Mazda’s research and development chief for Europe, did confirm to Auto Express that the plug-in-hybrid (perhaps rotary) models will enter some markets in 2021 and that the EV would be a subcompact, with lighter underpinnings than equivalent gasoline models to make up for the weight of batteries.

Mazda range-extended EV

A simple range extender may be little consolation to those hoping for a successor for the RX-8 sports car, which was discontinued in 2012. The rumor mill of rotary-engine ups and downs has been turbulent; most recently, Wankel heads had their hopes up when Mazda introduced the RX-Vision concept at the 2015 Tokyo auto show (seen at top). Executives had teased that they were working on bringing the rotary engine back to market—and that a new RX sports car could only be made with such an engine (possibly turbocharged, even). Then, just a few months ago, Mazda CEO Masamichi Kogai said that the automaker had no plans to build such a sports car above the MX-5 Miata.

Sorry, Mazda, but the idea of a Wankel engine cycling on and off to charge a battery pack—that holds none of the appeal of a racy, two- or three-rotor screamer powering a new sports car.


Article source: http://blog.caranddriver.com/mazda-still-working-on-wankel-engines-but-not-like-youd-hope/

Operating in Autonomous Mode, Uber Self-Driving Vehicle Involved in Crash

Uber-crash-1

A tumultuous time for Uber continues.

One of the company’s autonomous vehicles was involved in a collision Friday in Tempe, Arizona. The incident has prompted company executives to ground their fleet of self-driving Volvo XC90s in Arizona while an investigation takes place.

An Uber spokesperson said the vehicle’s autonomous mode was engaged at the time of the crash. Tempe police said the Uber vehicle was not to blame for the three-car crash.

No serious injuries were reported. The crash occurred as the Uber vehicle drove southbound on McClintock Drive, a major arterial road in the city. A northbound vehicle failed to yield to the Uber SUV while making a left turn onto Don Carlos Drive, according to a police spokesperson. Photos taken at the scene show the XC90 on its right side with its lights on.

“We are continuing to look into this incident and can confirm we had no back-seat passengers in the vehicle,” an Uber spokesperson said Saturday. There was no immediate time frame given for conducting the investigation and potentially getting the vehicles back on the road.

Uber-crash-2

The car was part of a pilot project operating in Tempe that allows users of the company’s regular ride-hailing service to summon autonomous vehicles. Uber started the project in Pittsburgh last September and added the Tempe-area vehicles earlier this month. Human safety engineers remain behind the wheel of the vehicles.

This is the first known crash involving Uber’s self-driving vehicles, and it comes on the heels of multiple reports that detailed the company’s troubles in fine-tuning its self-driving technology.

Last week, internal documents revealed the disengagement rate of the company’s autonomous vehicles—the rate at which human drivers needed to intervene—was slightly less than once per mile. During the week ending March 8, the company’s 43 active cars on the road drove an average of 0.8 mile before requiring driver intervention, according to the website Recode.net. That’s down slightly from a one-disengagement-per-mile rate achieved in February and a 0.9-per-mile average in January, the news outlet reported.

Last week, Uber president Jeff Jones announced his resignation after only six months with the company, citing personal beliefs that are “inconsistent with what I saw and experienced at Uber.” His comments come following high-profile accusations of sexual discrimination that allegedly runs rampant through the company.

Separately, one of Uber’s top competitors, Waymo, the independent company formerly known as Google’s self-driving-car project, filed a lawsuit last month against Uber, alleging its top automated-driving executive absconded with more than 14,000 documents related to intellectual property and trade secrets obtained during his tenure at Google that he used in pursuing self-driving technology at Uber.

That’s the latest in a laundry list of problems for Uber’s self-driving division. In December, the California DMV revoked the registrations of the company’s vehicles after Uber began testing in the state without a permit. Separately, the California DMV is reviewing the legality of the company’s self-driving-truck testing in the state.

Given the spate of problems, initial reports that Friday’s crash is the fault of another driver might be the best news Uber has received in a long time.

Article source: http://blog.caranddriver.com/operating-in-autonomous-mode-uber-self-driving-vehicle-involved-in-crash/

Authenticity of Bullitt Mustang in Mexico Confirmed | News | Car and …

Bullitt in Mexicali IMG_0448

If you’re restoring a Ford Mustang, or pretty much any Ford, the guy you call first is Kevin Marti. He’s the man in blue in the photo above, taken at a Ford dealership in Mexico. Next to him, in the car shirt, is Ralph Garcia, Jr., who has the Mustang they’re posing with—the elusive stunt car from the 1968 movie Bullitt. 

Marti’s company, Marti Auto Works, is situated near the end of a runway at Luke Air Force Base in the desert west of Phoenix. He produces parts that restorers need. Even more important, though, is that Marti has a licensing agreement with Ford through which he can share detailed information about how each car was equipped when it rolled off the assembly line. A Marti Report is considered infallible truth among Ford faithful. So it’s his word that mattered most when determining the truth of the claim that one of two Ford Mustangs used for filming the Steve McQueen movie Bullitt had been found in Mexico.

“I’ve had people order reports for Bullitt-serial-number cars,” Marti said. “I ask them, ‘Do you actually have this car?’ Anyone can order a report. What they typically say is, ‘I’m wanting to make a clone, and I want to know how the car was originally delivered.’ ”

Marti has been at this long enough that he has memorized the serial numbers of certain cars, including Mustangs that raced in the original Trans-Am series and cars that had significant roles in movies. A few weeks ago, he was asked for a report on a serial number he knew by heart. So Marti asked if the caller had the car.

“The guy said, nonchalantly, ‘Yes,’ ” Marti recalled. “Do you know what this car is?” Marti asked. “He did not.”

But Marti did. The car in question was the stunt car from the movie Bullitt, the car that flew over the hilly streets of San Francisco before sending the villain-driven Dodge Charger into a fiery finish of exploding gas-station pumps while the Mustang skidded safely to a stop.

“Before you do anything, you should have someone take a look at this car,” Marti suggested. “He asked me to be the person.”

So Kevin Marti headed off to Mexicali, Mexico, where Ralph Garcia, Jr., has one of his two custom-car facilities, a paint shop just across the border from Calexico, California. Garcia’s primary shop is in Paramount, California, between Los Angeles and Long Beach. He customizes pickups, Chevrolet Camaros, Dodge Chargers, and other vehicles, including the installation of modern suspension components, and for nearly a dozen years he has specialized in turning vintage Mustangs into clones of Eleanor, the car from the 1974 movie Gone in 60 Seconds. That was what he planned and had started to do with the Bullitt car.

The data plate on the door pilar shows evidence of the multiple times the car has been painted.

The data plate on the door pillar shows evidence of the multiple times the car has been painted.

Around a dozen years ago, Garcia said, he had a 1966 Mustang and a ’71 Mach 1, “and my parts supplier said, ‘Why don’t you build one of those Eleanors and make a good profit on it?’ Eleanor was a big thing. I had a ’67 Mustang convertible and turned it into an Eleanor and sold it within two days,” Garcia said. “The next car was a fastback like the [Gone in 60 Seconds] movie car, and it sold in the first week. From that point, I started building Eleanors.”

Garcia said his partner in the Bullitt project, Hugo Sanchez, is the one who found what was left of the car in the southern tip of Baja, not far from Cabo San Lucas. Sanchez had offered the car to others, but not knowing what it really was, “nobody wanted to buy it.

“Two weeks later,” Garcia recalled, “he called and said: ‘Don’t touch it! It’s the movie car. I got a Marti Report.’ ”

This modified rear valance was part of the car as it was found in Baja California. It was created when the car was damaged during one of the jump scenes and was on the car for the rest of the filming of the movie.

This modified rear valance, part of the car as it was found in Baja California, helped Marti with the identification. It was created when the car was damaged during one of the jump scenes and stayed on the car for the remainder of filming.

Max Balchowsky of Old Yeller fame had been contracted by Warner Brothers to prepare two 1968 Mustang fastbacks for use in Bullitt, starring Steve McQueen. After filming was finished, the cars were returned to Balchowsky, who complained that he didn’t have room in his shop to store them. The studio’s response was to offer to sell him the cars so it could get them off its books. Balchowsky bought the cars. The hero car, used for all but the chase scenes, could be salvaged, so he fixed it up and sold it. But the jumper car had been too badly damaged and was sent to a local wrecking yard.

Although the car supposedly could not have been repaired sufficiently to license it for road use in California, it eventually was taken to Mexico and was put back on the road. Over time, the Baja Peninsula’s salty seaside air apparently took its toll on the car’s sheetmetal.

After wearing Highland Green paint for its role in the movie, the car had been repainted, first in red and later in white. After doing body work, Garcia’s shop has returned it to its original color.

Kevin Marti’s opportunity to inspect the car was unusual, to say the least. The car was in the showroom of a Ford dealership, along with several dozen people, including a full mariachi band. Garcia said the festivities were held as part of the car’s “farewell to Mexico” before it was transported to Garcia’s California shop.

“It was kind of unnerving,” Marti said about crawling around inside and under the car with such an audience and with live music playing. The car had no drivetrain or interior, and rusted-away sheetmetal had been replaced, but Marti was able to confirm that the VIN stamping in the engine compartment and the original door data plate, even though it had been painted over a couple of times, validate his belief that the remains are, indeed, those of the Bullitt stunt car.

Kevin Marti inspects the part of the Bullitt Mustang’s original and seriously rusted floorboard.

Kevin Marti inspects part of the Bullitt Mustang’s original and seriously rusted floorboard.

“It’s pretty much a complete car,” Garcia said, adding that he has the original seats and has located a source for a properly dated engine. “But without the drivetrain. And the rear end wasn’t there. And it had rust. We removed all the rust and put in original parts from a ’68. We’re about to gather all the remaining parts that we need,” he said, adding that he is getting guidance on the restoration from Glen Kalmack, a Bullitt Mustang specialist from British Columbia.

“The car was going to be built for a customer in Georgia as an Eleanor. But it wasn’t meant to be. It was meant to be for myself and Hugo Sanchez. We’ve been blessed with this Bullitt car. We plan to keep it and restore it back to the way it was from the movie, and from that point we’re going to see what the Lord has to offer us. We’d like to put it in a TV show about finding Mustangs and other cars and about restoring the lost Bullitt.”

Larry Edsall is editorial director at ClassicCars.com.

Article source: http://blog.caranddriver.com/authenticity-of-bullitt-mustang-in-mexico-confirmed-drivetrain-and-much-bodywork-not-original/

Navigation Systems May Dull Our Brains, Study Says

Mapping Progress: GPS Navigation is the Best In-Car Technology

We’ve all battled over driving directions. One person insists on following the prescribed GPS route while another, shouting to be heard over the voice guidance, claims there’s a better way that the dumb computer couldn’t possibly know. Either method might get you there, but one may actually improve brain function. 

A new study by University College London found that two areas of the brain—the memory- and direction-related hippocampus and the decision-making prefrontal cortex—saw “spikes of activity” when people turned down new streets or had several streets they could freely choose along their route. The researchers compared the brain scans of 24 volunteers in a driving simulation of central London, some with fixed routes to a destination and some without. Drivers following a navigation system saw no additional activity in those areas of their brains, whereas those left vulnerable to London’s tangled web of streets were essentially firing on all cylinders: plotting, deciding, and reaping the rewards (or pitfalls) of their discoveries.

LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 03: Revision notes during a 'Knowledge' lesson at the West London Knowledge School on December 03, 2014 in London, England. London's Black Cab drivers are required to pass 'The Knowledge' in order to be issued with a Hackney Carriage Licence. On average, between three and four years of lessons and practice are needed to acquire this knowledge. London taxis drivers don't use GPS navigation devices, as they are meant to know the city by heart, preferring to rely on their memory rather than on modern technologies. London's licensed black taxi drivers have been campaigning recently against the introduction of the 'Uber' taxi smartphone app in the United kingdom. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

“Our results fit with models in which the hippocampus simulates journeys on future possible paths, while the prefrontal cortex helps us to plan which ones will get us to our destination,” Hugo Spiers, a UCL professor of experimental psychology, said in a press release. “When we have technology telling us which way to go, however, these parts of the brain simply don’t respond to the street network. In that sense our brain has switched off its interest in the streets around us.”

A 2011 study of London taxi drivers found that after they took the Knowledge—a driving test that basically requires cabbies to memorize the entire city—the actual size of their hippocampi was enlarged compared to drivers who hadn’t, according to the journal Nature. Even getting lost puts “high demands” on these parts of the brain, Spiers said. If nothing else, thinking about where you are in time and space is a healthy thing.

But while neuroscientists agree the best way to keep our brains active is to use them, following technology does have its advantages. Today’s best in-car navigation systems can reroute us to alternative roads to avoid traffic tie-ups altogether, while apps like Waze have an almost local expertise of a town’s back streets (to the detriment of many locals). We might have never found such roads without interactive maps, which are now so detailed that it’s easier than ever to spot side streets, trace them for miles, and find out where they’ll lead us.

(Of course, sometimes the scenic route, as we’ve found out, is really best avoided.)

Article source: http://blog.caranddriver.com/navigation-systems-may-dull-our-brains-study-says/

Musk: Tesla Model 3 Won’t Upstage Model S

Tesla Model 3

Tesla’s “affordable” car, the Model 3, is due later this year and will pack some important developments, including a new battery format and a streamlined instrument panel that looks ahead to an autonomous-vehicle future. Yet Tesla CEO Elon Musk could be a bit concerned about making sure this model isn’t misunderstood as the Silicon Valley automaker’s best offering—one that Model S shoppers might choose instead.

In a series of tweets posted today, Musk underscored that the Model 3 is not intended to steal top billing from the flagship Tesla Model S as the brand’s most desirable passenger car. Only the Model S will have available seating for seven, auto-extending door handles, and a two-screen instrument panel, he pointed out. And the Model S also will have greater range and quicker acceleration.

Elon Musk tweet 1

Musk admitted a misstep in the naming convention for this vehicle (originally meant to be called the Model E), since some might see the Model 3 as a “next version” of the Model S, Tesla’s second model. Instead, it’s a somewhat smaller offering that Musk likens to the BMW 3-series or the Audi A4, whereas the Model S continues to be closer to the BMW 5-series or 7-series.

Elon Musk tweet 2

The CEO elaborated on some important decisions made to simplify things at launch: The Model 3 will be exclusively rear-wheel drive for some time, said Musk, “minimizing configuration complexity to keep the production ramp on schedule.” Dual-motor (all-wheel-drive) versions, Musk noted, also via Twitter, will arrive “as soon as we can make it, which is probably in six to nine months”; and a high-performance version will arrive after a year.

Ludicrous Speed for the Next Tesla Roadster?

Musk, who has confirmed in the past that the Model 3 will have a Ludicrous Speed performance mode, hinted that there’s no risk the Model 3 will outperform Tesla’s more expensive model. “Model S will always be the fastest Tesla until next gen Roadster, which is a few years away,” he tweeted.

2018-Tesla-Model-3

Tesla very recently changed the entry price for its Model S—again—dropping the 60 and 60D models and making the 75 the point of entry for the lineup. That should distance it a bit more from the Model 3.

So far, Tesla has been secretive about the Model 3’s driver interface. Musk had said, right after the premiere of the car more than a year ago, that the interior of the production vehicle would be completely different than those of the Model S and Model X. He pointed out the Model 3’s minimalist, single-display dash layout—to complement the self-driving-ready hardware now included with every new Tesla model. “The more autonomous a car is, the less dash info you need,” he tweeted. “How often do you look at the instrument panel when being driven in a taxi?”

Elon Musk tweet 3

That interface isn’t the only thing to have been subbed in on short notice. Tesla appears to have skipped some stages of the normal vehicle-development process, such as the beta prototype stage. Musk teased a video of a “release candidate” version—a final prototype form—of the Model 3 just today as well.

Article source: http://blog.caranddriver.com/musk-tesla-model-3-wont-upstage-model-s/

2018 Ford Edge Goes Dark with New Sport Appearance Package

2017 Ford Edge SEL sport appearance package

The Ford Edge embraces the dark side for the 2018 model year with the introduction of a new Sport Appearance package. The $1295 package is limited to the midline SEL trim and adds a host of dark trim and sporty-looking features.

Helping the Edge SEL Sport Appearance package stand out from the rest of the Edge lineup are a set of dark-colored 19-inch, 10-spoke wheels that are complemented by a similarly darkened grille, mirror caps, rear spoiler, and decorative front and rear skid plates. Additionally, there are blacked-out headlamp bezels and black window trim, which replaces the Edge SEL’s standard chrome.

2017 Ford Edge SEL sport appearance package

Inside, the Edge SEL Sport Appearance package includes a copper-colored dashboard trim piece and gray cloth seats with contrasting brown suede inserts and stitching. Ford notes that the Sport Appearance package offers Edge customers the chance to pair cloth seats with higher-end technology, notably Ford’s Sync 3 infotainment system. Currently, customers must choose the optional leather seats to get Sync 3.

The Ford Edge SEL Sport Appearance package goes on sale this fall. While Ford hasn’t released pricing for the 2018 Ford Edge, the 2017 SEL starts at $32,685.

2017-Ford-Edge-SEL-sport-appearance-package-REEL2017-Ford-Edge-SEL-sport-appearance-package-REEL


Article source: http://blog.caranddriver.com/2018-ford-edge-goes-dark-with-new-sport-appearance-package/

Your Money blog: 5 ways to tackle the higher cost of UAE car insurance

The cost of car insurance has been the talk of the town for some time now. It started mid-2016 when the UAE Insurance Authority (IA) announced the new rules for motor insurance policies. A few months later, the IA introduced the new tariff system detailing the minimum and maximum premiums for such policies.

However, the additional benefits – made mandatory on UAE car insurance policies since January – have driven premiums up, and car owners are now looking for ways to save. The team at price comparison site Souqalmal.com has shortlisted five of the easiest and most practical ways to help you trim your car insurance costs:

1. The ‘No Claims Discount’ of course

This one is a no-brainer. Drivers can reap the rewards of safe driving, thanks to the no claims discount offered by insurers. So if you haven’t made any claims previously, you can get a discount, and have a nice amount shaved off your next car insurance premium. Similarly, a spotless driving history will also help lower your premium. So if you haven’t run into any trouble with the RTA, and haven’t received any black points for committing traffic violations, you stand a much better chance of being offered a lower car insurance quote.

2. Cut the extras, add-ons and optional bits

Do you find yourself paying extra for an optional cover you’ve never used? Why not remove the optional benefits the next time you insure your car to bring the premium down. For example, check if your credit card has a free roadside assistance feature. If it does, cut that from your policy. Or if you only drive on city roads, make sure you’re not paying extra for off-road cover.

3. Boost your excess/deductible

To lower your next car insurance premium, set a higher deductible. The deductible or excess defined in your policy is the amount you have to pay from your own pocket when making an insurance claim. As a general rule of thumb, the higher the deductible, the lower the premium. Check how much the difference would be if you increased the deductible and then make an informed decision.

4. Buy a car that’s cheaper to insure

Not all cars are created equal, and more so, in the case of car insurance. For example, it is cheaper to insure a sedan or hatchback in comparison to a huge SUV. This is clearer now since the new motor insurance tariff rules were set by the IA. For comprehensive policies, the minimum premium for saloons is set at Dh1,300, while for an SUV it is Dh2,000. The premium for an older car model is also likely to be lower than its latest counterpart, primarily because a car’s estimated value will drop with age. So if you don’t want to shell out a big sum on car insurance, be shrewd about what you buy.

5. Compare your options and switch if need be

Don’t ignore this last tip. Make sure you compare car insurance costs in the market, before you decide which insurer to go with. Once you figure out exactly what features you want to prioritise in your policy, a price comparison will make much more sense to you. Insurance aggregators simplify the search for you, by offering you quotes from multiple insurers so you can pick and choose as you see fit.

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Article source: http://www.thenational.ae/blogs/your-money/your-money-blog-5-ways-to-tackle-the-higher-cost-of-uae-car-insurance

Dodge’s Demon Drag Monster Can Unleash Its Tower of Power with the Flick of a Finger [Video]

demon-translock-launchdemon-translock-launch

Where the 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon is going, you won’t need two feet—just one foot and one finger. In today’s Demon teaser, “Lock and Load,”  Dodge details what it says is another feature never seen on a factory production car, technology it calls a TransBrake. With it, drivers will be able to initiate quicker launches of the reduced-weight, supercharged, near-slicks-wearing muscle car off the drag-strip line simply by pressing a paddle.

In drag racing, drivers typically use both feet for launches. The left foot is either depressing the clutch in a manual-transmission car or holding the brake in an automatic. The Demon is an automatic, but because of this new tech, only one foot is required: on the gas. The TransBrake locks the output shaft from the transmission in place and eliminates the need to hold the brake to keep the car stationary. Dodge would not elaborate on how to actually initiate the TransBrake, however. Based on the information we have, we believe the driver will press a button or select a specific mode, push the gas pedal to the floor. Then, instead of letting up the left foot to release the car, he or she clicks the paddle shifter like a trigger, and off it goes.

Dodge claims TransBrake gives the driver a 30 percent better reaction time than using the two-foot method. Not only will it aid with launches, it also protects parts by reducing stress on the components (even though many of the Demon’s components have been beefed up to handle more load).

By pairing this method with the Demon’s Torque Reserve two-step ignition—which we detailed in last week’s teaser—and a slip-reducing Launch Assist system, Dodge says the Demon can have launches at up to 2350 rpm, with a possible 105 percent increase in launch boost pressure and a potential 120 percent increase in engine-launch torque. And that increased torque is put to the ground, remember, by standard 315/40 Nitto NT05R drag radials.

It sounds as though SRT has thought of just about every possible way to dial in the Hellcat specifically for the drag strip. We’ll finally get official numbers and full details—not to mention decoding all of those perplexing license plate riddles—when the car makes its debut on April 11. Until then, try not to let the smoke get to you.

Demon

Article source: http://blog.caranddriver.com/dodge-demon-dragster-unleashes-its-tower-of-power-with-the-flick-of-a-finger-video/

BMW chases volume growth in large cars, less so in small ones

FRANKFURT — BMW Group is chasing volume growth mainly in the large car and SUV segments, while the less profitable small car segment is not being pushed as hard, CEO Harald Krueger said on Wednesday.

“We would like to grow in the top segments where you earn more money,” Krueger told analysts gathered in Munich to discuss full-year earnings. “We are not pushing in the UKL segments,” Krueger said, referring to vehicles such as Mini and BMW 2 series Active/Grand Tourer models, which are based on the UKL vehicle platform.

Smaller cars in very competitive segments where little growth is expected going forward, may not have successor models, Krueger said.

On Tuesday, Krueger said BMW plans the biggest rollout of new and revamped models in its history. Over the next two years, BMW will unveil 40 variants, including the new X2 compact SUV and full-sized X7 crossover, he said at the automaker’s annual press conference.

Krueger is seeking to revitalize growth after profitability fell to a six-year low in 2016 and sales slipped behind Mercedes-Benz for the first time in more than a decade.

EDITORS’ NOTE – an earlier version of this story misstated which models are based on the UKL platform.

Bloomberg contributed to this story

UPDATED: 03/23/17 ET 06:45 a.m. – corrected

Article source: http://www.autonews.com/article/20170322/COPY01/303229946/bmw-chases-volume-growth-in-large-cars-less-so-in-small-ones