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Hotter Land Rover Defender V8 coming to rival Mercedes-AMG G63

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Land Rover has hinted about producing a hotter Defender that will be positioned above the V8 model just introduced a couple of weeks ago.

The premium brand automaker says this will be made possible after the Jaguar Land Rover bought Defender specialist Bowler.

The target is to rival Mercedes-Benz AMG G63, says the Managing Director, Special Vehicle Operations at the ‎Jaguar Land Rover, Michael van der Sande.

He stated this in an interview with Australian magazine Carsales, according to a report by motor1.com.

Visual details that mark the V8 out from lesser Defenders are quad exhausts, dark grey, 22in alloy wheels and bright blue brake calipers.

Inside, the seats are upholstered in leather and suede, the steering wheel and gear lever are trimmed with Alcantara, and the dashboard has a satin black finish.

The man calling the shots at the JLR’s Special Vehicle Operations division also spoke on the prospects of an amped-up SV or SVX derivative of the reputable off-roader.

When asked why the Defender V8 doesn’t carry either of the two suffixes in its name, van der Sande explained it lacks the “amount of technical changes you would expect on an SV product.”
His biggest clue regarding a potential new range topper for the Defender lineup came next when he was asked whether there would be a go-faster model: “Our purchase of Bowler last year was very intentional.”

He went on to explain the reason behind the decision to purchase the Defender specialist, mentioning JLR was “slightly underrepresented in performance off-roading.”

This possible flagship is likely to focus on strengthening the SUV’s capabilities off the beaten path rather than just simply adding power. After all, the Defender V8 already pumps out 518hp (386 kW) and 461 lb-ft (625 Nm) from its supercharged 5.0-liter V8, so it’s certainly not lacking in the power department.

The starting price would significantly increase over the regular Defender V8, which already isn’t exactly cheap.

The smaller two-door 90 begins at $97,200 while the bigger four-door 110 will set you back $100,400, and that’s before the destination charges. It’s too soon to say upon which body style a Bowler-prepared version would be based but expect it to cost well into six figures. For the sake of comparison, a Mercedes-AMG G63 retails for $156,450 before options.

Before the Defender gets Bowler’s off-road treatment, Land Rover will extend the SUV’s lineup with the long-awaited 130 model.

Due within the next 18 months, the family-friendly specification will add a third row after stretching the body to 201 inches (5.1 metres) while retaining the Defender 110’s wheelbase.

The reports adds that a pickup truck could follow at some point as the Tata Motors-owned brand wants to greatly diversify the Defender family to attract a wider customer base.

Last month, Land Rover confirmed plans for a fully electric version of the Defender.

The V8 is a supercharged 5.0-litre petrol unit that produces 518bhp and 461lb ft of torque. It is slightly down on the figures of the Range Rover Sport SVR, but still enough for 0-60mph in 4.9sec and a top speed of 149mph.

The Defender V8 has a unique suspension tuning and an electronic active rear differential to improve its cornering composure and agility.

It also has a new dynamic driving mode, which sharpens up the accelerator and steering responses, further tightens body control and turns up the volume on the engine.

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Limit your speed to 30km/h, FRSC tells all motorists

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FRSC Corps Marshal, Boboye Oyeyemi

As Nigeria joins the rest of the world to mark the 6th United Nations Global Road Safety Week, the Federal Road Safety Corps has asked motorists to limit their speed to 30 kilometres per hour in urban or built-up areas for all categories of vehicles.
The global safety week will be celebrated between Monday May 17 and Sunday May 23, 2021.
The Bauchi Sector Commander, FRSC, Mr Yusuf Abdullahi, made the recommendation on Monday in a statement issued by the FRSC Public Relations Officer in the state, Mr Rilwanu Suleimanu.
The corps said speeding was responsible for about 30 per cent of crashes in Nigeria.
Abdullahi explained that the corps would be using the 6th United Nations Global Road Safety Week to carry out an advocacy programme where people would be educated on the issue.
He said, “The 6th UN Global Road Safety Week will focus on the issue of speed.
“The week advocates for safer streets motoring by making 30 km/h speed limits, the norm for cities worldwide in places where people mix with traffic.
“The week is concerned about policy commitments at national and local levels to deliver the 30 km/h speed limits in urban areas and to generate local support for such low speed measures in order to create safe, healthy traffic flow within Urban cities globally.
“As a lead agency in road safety management and administration in Nigeria, the FRSC is hosting the event and embarking on nationwide advocacy to replicate this global activity in selected Nigerian Cities.
“Pursuant to this, the Bauchi State command of the FRSC organises public education campaign programmes to inculcate the norm of 30km/hr speed limits among road users.”
He called on the general motoring public to always adhere to the maximum legal speed limit while in the city or in built up areas so as to prevent crashes, its attendant injuries as well as its fatalities.
Abdullahi, who further stressed the need to avoid speeding, considered among the critical traffic violations with high risk factor, said speeding would lead to increase in crash severity, resulting in more fatalities or injuries.
The sector commander explained that more damage would be caused to vehicles involved in speeding when they crashed, thereby increasing the likelihood of such vehicles not drivable thereafter.
“Speeding also leads to extra fuel consumption and frequent replacement of auto parts, among others,” he said.
The public advocacy programme would include media charts, roadshows, visits to hospitals, and advocacy visits to stakeholders, including policymakers and others.

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Hyundai working on new high-performance car

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Hyundai is planning a new version of the Ioniq 5 that will raise the performance of the electric model, according to a new report from the Korean automaker.

The Hyundai Ioniq 5 is a Pony-styled electric hatchback that is already rear-drive as standard and offers 300 horsepower in top all-wheel drive guise.

That leaves plenty of performance for Hyundai N to unlock on the enthusiast side of the new E-GMP architecture underpinning the automaker’s new EVS, the report says.

Hyundai is also said to be working with hypercar maker Rimac to build a new top-of-range EV performance car, so it would not be much of a stretch to seek out some of that company’s assistance on the rest of its electric vehicles as well.

Chief Marketing Officer at Hyundai Motors, Thomas Schemera, confirmed the development, saying, “Everybody knows that our electric global modular platform (E-GMP) has a lot of potential and shows a lot of flexibility. One thing is for sure, eco-friendly models are on our priority list – at the top.

“We never stop thinking about extending our product portfolio and strategically, we are moving full speed ahead with eco-friendly offerings.

“We are moving ahead with our battery electric concept and our fuel-cell electric concepts.” So does that mean an Ioniq? “I guess it seems to be realistic,” he said.

Popular auto reviewer, Top Gear, thinks the Hyundai Ioniq 5 is the Tesla rival many will want to own.

It says, “The automotive industry has been waiting for a legitimate and affordable Tesla Model 3/Y alternative for quite some time and with the Ioniq 5, it appears Hyundai has delivered just that.”

The Ioniq 5 is an all-new electric mid-size crossover and the first model to be branded under the new ‘Ioniq’ electric sub-brand.

According to carscoops.com, the new Hyundai Ioniq 5 rides on the dedicated Electric-Global Modular Platform (E-GMP), which blends the traditional skateboard design with an elongated wheelbase for attractively styled and practical EVs?

It also features both 400- and 800-volt charging, thanks to the new platform.

When plugged into a 350kW charger, the Ioniq 5 can recharge from 10 to 80 perbcent in just 18 minutes, with the carmaker claiming that five minutes of charging is enough to get 62 miles of range on the WLTP cycle.

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Scarcity of vital auto parts forces more automakers to shut down

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  • Ford suspends Mustang production May 3

Ford will be shutting down production of its Mustang on May 3-7 with a plan to resume assembling the pony car at a later date yet to be determined.

This is coming after many automobile manufacturers had announced the suspension of production of a number of models, especially the premium vehicles.

The reason for the production shutdowns is that there are not enough semiconductor chips to power all that flashy technology in new cars.

The outlook for the Mustang and other Ford models as well as other auto brands does not look exactly rosy.

Analysts say they have seen this problem for months now, with the GM having to cease production of different vehicles, notably the Chevy Camaro.

Fiat Chrysler (now part of Stellantis) has had to shut down the assembly lines for the Dodge Charger and Challenger as well as the Chrysler 300.

This problem has affected many other automakers such as Toyota, Nissan, Daimler and Porsche.

Industry analysts predict the chip shortages will limit the production of cars in the near term, but thankfully the problem will go away after a while.

In the meantime, this means you can expect to have a harder time finding and paying for certain new car models. It’s the simple economic rule of supply and demand.

Although with rough economic times, more people are holding onto older cars, so while supply is constrained, demand for some models is also lagging.

The shortages have caused automakers to drop some technological features from different models. For example, Stellantis announced it would be scrapping the digital speedometers on at least one Peugeot line.

Ford has been selling the F-150 without the fuel management module as a way to cut back on how many semiconductor chips it uses. Porsche is axing features like an 18-way-adjustable seat for the Macan SUV as a way to conserve its chip supply.

Another strategy to deal with the shortages has been for automakers to shut down production lines for vehicles with thinner profit margins. This means many cars, like the Ford Mustang, Chevy Camaro, and Dodge Challenger, will see constrained supply.

Another example is Daimler shutting down its compact car plant in Germany where 18,500 workers are employed. Instead of pumping out more Mercedes-Benz C-Class vehicles, the company is looking to put what semiconductor chips it has into more expensive model lines so profits don’t take as big of a hit.

The creation of this problem is complex and there’s some contradicting information. Some say production shutdowns at semiconductor plants because of COVID-19 have fuelled the shortage. Others think it has been the overwhelming demand for computers, gaming consoles, smartphones, smart televisions, among others as people are spending most of their time trapped at home.

Another conjecture is that suppliers did not foresee automakers ramping up demand for chips so quickly after plant shutdowns and assembly line reductions last year. So they’re scrambling to ramp up production and that takes time.

This comes after demand for at least some new cars has almost exploded, something few saw coming so early, after all not many people were looking to buy vehicles because of the pandemic last year.

Whatever the cause, this shortage isn’t making the situation of rising car prices any better. Not only are some new vehicles selling for more as a result, demand for used vehicles continues to stay strong. Hopefully by this time next year this problem will be in the rearview mirror.

Sources: CNBC, New York Times, Automotive News Europe and Reuters

 

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