Hello and welcome to Overdrive a program that puts a magnifying glass to the role of cars and transport in our society and ends up burning a hole in it.
- Hyundai develops new air-conditioning technologies (1:45)
- Jaguar Land Rover’s touchscreen you don’t have to touch to fight bacteria and viruses (2:44)
- Suzuki Baleno – priced to succeed (3:48)
- The new Audi R8 Coupé and Spyder arrive in Australia (4:45)
- Bugatti’s Baby (5:50)
- Alan Zurvas gives a personal reflection on paying up to $95,000 for a scaled-down Bugatti which is ideal as a child’s Christmas present (7:07),
- Rob Fraser and I discuss Suzuki, particularly their Baleno which is going gangbusters in the sales (12:09)
- And in quirky news Brian Smith and I discuss cheating in virtual reality car racing (20:32)
Hyundai develops new air-conditioning technologies
Hyundai Motor Group has developed new ways to improve the quality of air in vehicles and create a more pleasant cabin environment for customers.
They are using three technologies
- ‘After-Blow’ which dries the condensate on the evaporator and suppresses mould growth in the air-conditioning system, which can cause an odor during hot weather. Secondly
- ‘Multi-Air Mode’ uses multiple vents for air conditioning and heating thus creating a more gentle wind. And finally
- ‘Fine Dust Indicator’ which displays air quality information in real time so if the level of ultrafine particles exceeds a set limit, the air-cleaning mode will run to purify the air in the vehicle. If the air does not improve in air-cleaning mode, it can also serve as a reminder to the driver to replace air-conditioner filters or to clean contaminated seats and mats.
The technologies will be introduced on upcoming new models
Jaguar Land Rover’s contactless touchscreen to fight bacteria and viruses
Jaguar Land Rover has patented an infotainment screen you don’t have to touch thus reducing the risk of bacterial transfer and helping drivers’ keep their eyes on the road.
Developed with the University of Cambridge, it is called “Predictive Touch” and uses artificial intelligence and sensors to determine the control you want.
Lab-tests and on-road trials reveal the time and effort needed to use a touchscreen can be reduced by up to 50%.
It works because the artificial intelligence can make a quick decision without having to precisely press a part of the screen which is made difficult especially with vibrations and bumps when the vehicle is on uneven or poor road surfaces
A gesture tracker combines with contextual information such as the user profile, interface design, environmental conditions and data available from other sensors, such as an eye-gaze tracker, to infer the user’s intent in real time.
Suzuki Baleno – priced to succeed
The COVID-19 pandemic has seen overall car sales decline drastically but some models are doing much better than others.
And at the bargain end of the spectrum there are also some real winners.
In the second smallest category of passenger cars, that’s sedans and hatchbacks, Toyota leads the sales with its Yaris but the MG3 is now second with a growth this year of 76%, but in percentage terms it is the Suzuki Baleno that has grown the most in this category selling 167% more sales so far this year.
The Baleno starts at a price of $16,990 drive away.
Suzuki has two models in this category, the Baleno which is a sedan and the Swift which is a hatchback.
If you combined the sales Suzuki is selling the most cars in this category.
Toyota, however, is about to release a new Yaris.
The new Audi R8 Coupé and R8 Spyder arrive in Australia
Amid the gloom and doom of declining car sales and restrictions on travel some car manufacturers are still bring out new models of their top of the range supercars.
Audi’s latest version of its supercar, the R8, is now available in Australia
With a V10 5.2 litre engine the rear wheel drive model has 397kW and the all-wheel drive version pushes out 449kW (that’s 600 hp).
It comes in either a hard-top coupe or a convertible.
The top of the range coupe goes from 0 – to 100 km/hr is 3.2 seconds.
The base model RWD cost $295,000
The top of the range convertible quattro cost $416,500.
To all prices add on road costs.
While they can be road registered, they are well suited to the race track. Previous models, for example, have appeared in Australia’s Bathurst 12-hour race.
Bugatti is now producing a very modern toy car for the child or reasonable sized adult.
It’s not the first scaled down version of their famous racing car the Type 35 which was first built for the 1924 French Grand Prix.
In 1926 Ettore Bugatti decided to build a half size model as a pedal car for his son Roland on his fourth birthday.
Now they have bult a three-quarter sized version that even an average adult can fit in.
It has all the modern features.
It is an electric vehicle with a lithium-ion replaceable battery pack. Rear-wheel drive, a limited-slip differential, regenerative brakes, LED headlights, a quick-release steering wheel, adjustable pedals and even adjustable suspension dampers.
The base model of this “toy” is $48,800 Australian, the mid-spec Vitesse is $70,700 and the top spec Pur Sang is a snip over $95,000.
Only 500 will be made.
Originally broadcast 1 August 2020 across Community Broadcasting Association of Australia (CBAA) and Torque Radio affiliated commercial radio channels and has a weekly audience of over 450,000.