Hello and welcome to Overdrive, a program where we take a diverse look at cars and transport. I’m David Brown
- Volkswagen’s latest Transporters, Multivan and Cab Chasis (1:21)
- Subaru New Outback (2:21)
- Jaguar Land Rover reimagines the future of modern luxury by design (3:26)
- ARRB – roads that never die (4:23)
- Toyota aims at early 2020s for autonomous EV mobility services (5:15)
- Toyota Hilux (6:27)
- Australia’s foremost road research organisation talks about roads that will never completely fall apart (7:30)
- Subaru Outback (15:41)
- Honda CRV (21:37)
- Interesting development with hydrogen cars (22:43)
Detailed News stories
Volkswagen’s latest Transporters, Multivan and Cab Chasis
Volkswagen Australia has just launched a makeover of the sixth generation of their Transporter and Multivan range.
This is the latest version that has evolved from their Type 2 vehicle platform first released in 1950 which became widely known as the Kombi.
The sixth major generation was first released in 2016. This model is now called the T6.1
This range of vehicles exudes versatility with the different model variants being:
- Transporter Van (front seats and a big load area)
- Crewvan (two rows of seats and a good cargo area)
- Cab Chassis (a single or dual cab ute with an aluminum tray)
- Multivan (a people mover although VW would probably prefer an official categorisation of SUV)
- Caravelle (a long wheel-based people mover)
- California (a camper van)
Safety is the most significant aspect of the upgrade with features such as
- Front Assist with City Emergency Brake
- Crosswind Assist,
Sixth generation Outback – a crossover
As a further step away from the rough and tough four-wheel-drive image, companies are now starting to call their most car-like SUVs; cross overs.
Subaru has been a long-time player in this area with all-wheel drives that don’t look bulky.
They have just released their latest Outback Wagon. Officially classified as a large SUV, it has good ground clearance without looking like you have to climb into it like a tractor.
Their petrol 2.5 litre engine, is said to be 90% upgraded but there’s no six-cylinder, no diesel and no hybrid.
There’s a revised CVT gearbox
It can now tow, two tonnes
Their proprietary EyeSight safety system has Lane Centering and Autonomous Emergency Steering.
And it is competitively priced, starting at $40,000 and reaching nearly $48,000 plus on roads.
Jaguar Land Rover reimagines the future of modern luxury by design
Jaguar gained a good deal of mainstream media coverage when they announced that their new models would be all-electric by 2025.
While electric vehicles are, understandably, the flavour of the moment, Jaguar also announced some other things.
- The first all-electric Land Rover model in 2024,
- the whole company to be net-zero carbon by 2039.
- And they are developing hydrogen vehicles.
James Skrimshaw, the PR Manager for Jaguar Australia, reflects on these developments arising in the UK.
“So clean hydrogen fuel cell power is being developed at the moment and we’ve been working on this for a little while, something we haven’t spoken about yet. That development underway and we’ll have prototypes on the UK roads within the next 12 months across. And we can’t say which vehicles, but we will have prototypes on the road next 12 months. So we’re definitely introducing that because the game is to the tailpipe emission-free in the future.
ARRB – lifelong roads
Michael Caltabiano is the Chief Executive Officer of ARRB the preeminent road research organisation in Australia. He has the top management job and he has been a politician but he also has a degree and experience in engineering.
The pub test vision of maintaining roads is rebuild them when you can no longer patch them up. But Michael has a better idea.
And what the future is all about is designing these perpetual pavements never have to be dug out and replaced as nothing annoys the community more than road closures and years of construction on existing pavements replacing them. All you need to do is just replace the surfacing. So that is. What our expertise and ours and our design teams in the design section can do today is design perpetual pavements and we’re doing that in a couple of states in Australia right now.
Toyota aims at early 2020 for autonomous EV mobility services
Opposition to autonomous vehicles has focused on concerns that they will be only for the decadent joy of private motorists thus increasing traffic volumes. But going anywhere, any time in robotic driving mode is a long way off.
Mobility and freight services, over well-defined routes, may be the first major step.
Toyota is developing an e-Palette autonomous electric vehicles service to provide on-demand transport facilities in the early 2020s.
This will be trialled at Toyota’s Woven City, a prototype city being built in the foothills of Mount Fuji in Japan.
This real-world testing will pave the way for commercial operation in the next few years to deliver goods, services and mobility to people when needed.
It might still be used for private, mechanically chauffeured trips, especially with an ageing population, but shared vehicles and moving freight will be of great benefit to the community.
Originally broadcast 20 February 2021 across Community Broadcasting Association of Australia (CBAA) and Torque Radio affiliated commercial radio channels and has a weekly audience of over 450,000.