Aston Martin DB5 Junior: A Scaled-Down Version Built In Collaboration With ‘The Little Car Company’

According to ‘The Little Car Company’, the Aston Martin DB5 Junior took 15 months to build and features all the elements from the actual car. The Junior is powered by an electric motor with a 1.8kWh battery pack, producing 6.7bhp which is sent to the rear wheels. The DB5 Junior is also said to max out at around 35km/h. The electric powertrain is positioned below the bonnet of the DB5 Junior. The car comes with a detachable battery pack which offers a maximum range of around 25km on a single charge. Power is transmitted to the road via 10-inch wheels with ventilated discs for braking. In terms of dimensions, the Aston Martin DB5 Junior measures 3 metres long and 1.1-metre wide. The Junior is said to easily seat one adult and one child side-by-side. The DB5 Junior is said to be made using aluminium honeycomb chassis and composite materials for the body, to help keep the weight down to 270kg. The DB5 Junior car can be driven around with the power regulated using aluminium billet pedals for both acceleration and braking. The Aston Martin DB5 Junior even carries forward the same suspension setup as the original, this comes in the form of a double-wishbone at the front. The setup of the camber gains and roll centre matches the actual car’s geometry as well. In terms of design and features, the Aston Martin DB5 Junior also comes with the brand’s iconic ‘Aston Martin wings’ shield and the DB5 badges as the original. The instrument cluster also has been replicated to match the iconic 1963 vintage model, although a few changes have been made. This includes the fuel gauge being replaced by the battery meter, while the oil temperature gauge now measures the battery temp. Another interesting feature is the presence of the Smiths clock, carried forward on to the DB5 Junior, similar to that on the original. Apart from this, the Aston Martin DB5 Junior also features working headlamps, taillights, indicators and even a horn. Thoughts On The Aston Martin DB5 Junior The Aston Martin DB5 is one of the most iconic models from the 1960s from the British brand. The car was made even popular with its appearance in various James Bond movies over the years as well. Now, the Aston Martin DB5 Junior is definitely something special, which is sure to grab attention.
Source: DriveSpark.com

Lewis Hamilton wins Belgian GP, now 2 wins behind Schumacher’s record

SPA-FRANCORCHAMPS, Belgium — Lewis Hamilton led from start to finish at the Belgian Grand Prix to clinch his 89th career win and move two behind Michael Schumacher’s Formula One record on Sunday.

The world champion was untroubled from pole position, beating his Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas by eight seconds and finishing 15 seconds ahead of Red Bull’s Max Verstappen.

It’s great for Hamilton, but he understands F1 fans might be getting a little bored.

“You generally know I don’t make too many mistakes. I can imagine it’s definitely not the most exciting (race),” Hamilton said. “Of course I would love a wheel-to-wheel race. I hope we have more of a race moving forward.”

The only thing to elude him was the extra point for the fastest lap, which he had until Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo took it on the final lap on his way to fourth place.

Hamilton’s fifth win from seven races also extended his championship lead over Verstappen to 47 points with Bottas drifting 50 back in third. Hamilton is favorite to win a seventh title to tie Schumacher’s record.

“I do feel that I’m driving at my best … I am 35 going towards 36 but I feel better than ever,” Hamilton said. “Last year was one of my best years, if not the best year, but in qualifying I had a bit of a slump. Every year the goal is to improve physically and mentally.”

Bottas vowed, before this season and last, that he could take Hamilton’s crown.

Yet he’s won only one race.

“It’s not over, there are 10 left. I had a puncture in Silverstone, lost a lot of points with that,” Bottas said. “If I gave up now, I’d rather stay home.”

Schumacher won five of his F1 titles consecutively during a glorious era for Ferrari, but the proud Italian team is struggling badly now. Sebastian Vettel finished 13th and Charles Leclerc 14th.

They are not anywhere close to Hamilton in terms of speed, let alone challenging him.

Having secured a record-extending 93rd career pole, which he dedicated to American actor Chadwick Boseman, Hamilton made a clean start and Bottas was unable to exert pressure on the long straight up to Turn 2.

Verstappen, meanwhile, would love a faster car to take the fight to Hamilton, but Red Bull has yet to bridge the gap with Mercedes.

“It was pretty boring to be honest, not much to do,” Verstappen said. “It was not really enjoyable out there.”

Early into the 44-lap race, Williams driver George Russell and Alfa Romeo’s Antonio Giovinazzi crashed heavily but were both unharmed.

A minute’s silence was held before the race in memory of French driver Anthoine Hubert, who died here last year following a horrific crash during an F2 race.

F1 driver Pierre Gasly, who was close friends with Hubert, and other drivers gathered solemnly around a picture of Hubert on the grid. His racing helmet was placed on a stand.

Giovinazzi lost control of his car and Russell swerved into the barriers to avoid a loose tire from Giovinazzi’s car bouncing across the track. Both climbed out unhurt, while other drivers crawled at snail-like pace slowly over the debris on their way into the pits for new tires while the safety car was deployed.

“Feeling unlucky and lucky right now,” Russell said. “Gutted, as we were having a great race, but really glad we have the halo on these cars now or it could have been much worse.”

Ferrari’s mechanics were not even ready to fit tires onto Leclerc’s car.

Inefficiency from Ferrari, and muddled messages too.

“Why do we need to keep doing these stops?” Leclerc asked after being asked to pit again.

“We’ll let you know after the race,” his engineer replied evasively.

Vettel is a four-time champion but has not even finished in the top five this season — and has been 10th or lower in four races — heading into next weekend’s race at Italy’s famed Monza circuit.

Influential Italian sports daily La Gazzetta dello Sport ran a scathing headline on the team’s ongoing shortcomings, saying: “Ferrari deserves no fans at Monza” in reference to the fact no spectators have been allowed at races because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Last year, 90,000 fans turned up each day to the Spa-Francorchamps track in the Ardennes forest, with the area turned into makeshift campsites and stands jam-packed with raucous fans.

When Hamilton crossed the line, the forest was eerily silent and the only sound was his engine.

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Android 11 will offer wireless Android Auto features on most phones

Once Android 11 rolls out, the list of phones that can use wireless Android Auto will grow considerably. Google has updated Android Auto’s FAQ page (as spotted by 9to5Google) to add that almost all devices installed with the upcoming mobile OS will get the capability to connect to compatible in-car entertainment systems without a wire.

The updated page also notes that your phone must support 5GHz WiFi for wireless connection to work. Most modern smartphones can already do that, so you won’t have an issue unless you have an older or a low-end to mid-range device, some of which can only connect to 2.4GHz WiFi. Take note, however, that the EU has additional regulatory requirements when it comes to using 5GHz WiFi in cars.

The tech giant launched wireless mode for Android Auto way back in 2018, but support for the feature has been pretty limited. Aside from the fact that your automaker must have already rolled out wireless compatibility to your infotainment system, you must also own a compatible phone. Only Pixel and Nexus owners could use the feature when it first became available, though Samsung released an update last year that gave its flagship devices the capability. In addition, only a few vehicles offer wireless Android Auto support at the moment, with Ford and BMW announcing the capability for current and upcoming models last year.

This article by Mariella Moon originally appeared on Engadget.

Source: AutoBlog.com

China’s budget EV maker Kandi eyes setting up North American manufacturing plant

Chinese battery and electric car maker Kandi Technologies Group Inc said on Thursday it is actively exploring setting up an electric and off-road vehicle manufacturing plant in North America.

The U.S.-listed company said it is in the early stages of discussions with various partners, including local government agencies from the U.S.-Mexico border, but warned negotiations would not guarantee that a plant will be built.

Many Chinese electric vehicle (EV) makers are looking at the United States for expansion as demand for EVs picks up.

China’s Li Auto Inc, backed by food delivery giant Meituan Dianping, recently made a Nasdaq debut. Xpeng, backed by Alibaba and Xiaomi, filed for a U.S. listing in July.

Kandi said it plans to forge a position in North America’s electric vehicle market by offering lower-cost vehicles after eliminating shipping costs and tariffs.
 
The company recently began accepting pre-orders for its K23 and K27 EV models in the United States, priced at $9,999 and $19,999 with the federal tax credit.

The vehicles will be available for delivery from the fourth quarter of 2020.

In contrast, Tesla Inc’s best-selling Model 3 sedan is priced at around $37,990.

Source: AutoBlog.com

Junkyard Gem: 1984 Volvo 242 DL

Volvo had tremendous success with the iconic 200 Series cars, selling them in North America from the 1975 model year all the way through 1993 (and if you count the Volvo 140, which was the same car from the A pillars rearward, the 240’s history goes back to the middle 1960s). Nearly everybody who bought 240s on our continent did so in order to be safe and/or practical, which meant that the two-door version never sold anywhere near as well as its four-door and wagon brethren. Here’s one of those rare 240 coupes (technically speaking, a two-door sedan), found in a San Jose car graveyard last winter.

If you’re going to be a stickler about the designation of this car as a two-door sedan and not as a coupe, you’ll also want to call it by the name Volvo used when it was in the showroom: the 1984 Volvo DL. However, everybody in the Volvo world now prefers the original naming system that Volvo used for the 200s back home in Sweden, where you had 2 followed by a numeral indicating the number of engine cylinders and a numeral indicating the number of doors, with the trim-level code after that. So, what we have for today’s Junkyard Gem is a Volvo 242 DL, i.e., the cheapest new 240 Americans could buy in 1984.

You could get a turbocharged engine from the factory in the 1984 242, but this car has the ordinary naturally-aspirated 2.3-liter straight-four, rated at 111 horsepower.

It also has the four-speed manual transmission with overdrive controlled by the button in the middle of the shift knob.

Nearly 230,000 miles on the clock, which is decent for any 1980s car but not spectacular by Volvo 240 standards.

Many Volvo enthusiasts prefer the smooth lines of the coupe to the stodgier sedans and wagons, and this one shows signs of ownership by someone who wasn’t just about listening to NPR while driving safely to the natural-foods store.

Sure enough, it has aftermarket springs and a non-factory rear sway bar. I wish I’d found these parts back in 2007, when I was helping to build a V8-swapped Volvo 244 road racer.

The presence of the keys in a junkyard car, however, usually indicates that it was voluntarily let go by its final owner. Perhaps it was a dealership trade-in that proved to be impossible to sell due to a combination of three pedals, high miles, and lack of truck-shaped body.

The interior looks like it might have been tolerable before it reached this place. I don’t see many 242s in boneyards these days (though I have found a surprising quantity of 262 Bertone Coupes), presumably because members of the ever-shrinking group of 240 aficionados (of which there are many in Northern California) snap up whatever semi-intact two-doors appear for sale.

You’ll find one in every car. You’ll see.

When some incomprehensible codger dumps a load of beer barrels from his horse-drawn wagon in front of your 240 … you’ll know what to do.

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Europe faces tall hurdles to make ‘green hydrogen’ hype reality

LONDON/BRUSSELS — A European Union goal to boost the use of zero-carbon hydrogen is likely to be a pipe dream unless the bloc can find billions in investment and persuade member states, under strain from the pandemic hit to their economies, to give their backing.

Last month, the European Commission mapped out a plan to expand the production and use of “green hydrogen” — a zero-carbon fuel made by electrolysis, using renewable power from wind and solar, that splits water into hydrogen and oxygen.

The aim is to scale up European green hydrogen projects across polluting sectors – from chemicals to steel — to meet a net zero emissions goal by 2050 and become a leader in a market analysts expect to be worth $1.2 trillion by that date.

“This was never going to be easy … You need everything: scaling up on the production side and the demand side at the same time; you need to have the infrastructure in place. A lot of things have to come together,” said Noe van Hulst, hydrogen envoy for the Dutch government.

Europe’s heavy industry already consumes millions of tonnes of hydrogen each year, but it is mostly produced from coal or natural gas and therefore contributes to greenhouse gas emissions.

Green hydrogen costs much more than other forms of the gas, referred to as grey hydrogen, which is produced from fossil fuels and blue hydrogen, which relies on hydrocarbon energy but the resulting emissions are captured.

Barclays estimates global capital costs just for production equipment over the next 30 years could be $500 billion for green and blue hydrogen. Additional investment in infrastructure, including distribution networks, could double that figure to $1 trillion.

Analysts say the challenge may be the toughest so far of the European Union’s many efforts to reduce carbon emissions.

“Potentially, that infrastructure challenge is much greater than with any of the other technologies that have emerged for decarbonization over the last 10-15 years,” consultancy Wood Mackenzie’s Ben Gallagher said.

NOT ENOUGH IN THE PIPELINE

So far, Wood Mackenzie found European companies have announced a pipeline of 9.4 gigawatts (GW) of green hydrogen projects, most of which is due onstream by 2030.

Analysts assume some projects will fail, meaning two to three times as many are needed to reach an interim E.U. goal to have 6 GW of capacity by 2024.

With a typical success rate of 20%-30% for large infrastructure development projects to go from feasibility to a positive investment decision, achieving the E.U. 2024 target would require 20–30 GW of projects to be in the pipeline by early 2021, Martin Lambert at the Oxford Institute of Energy Studies said.

So far, there has been little economic incentive to switch to the cleaner forms of hydrogen.

The cheapest grey hydrogen costs 1.5 euros per kilogram to produce, European Commission figures show.

Blue hydrogen costs 2 euros/kg and green up to 5.5 euros/kg.

At least two-thirds of the cost of hydrogen production is the energy used to make it, meaning green hydrogen should become cheaper as renewable energy costs continue to fall.

But a scaling up of the small green hydrogen industry is also necessary and for that, analysts say, governments will need to step in with incentives to make people use green hydrogen.

These could include quotas for its use in industry, or mechanisms, such as carbon contracts for difference, which would guarantee a carbon price to a project developer, irrespective of the price of carbon on the E.U.’s Emissions Trading System.

While the policymakers at the European Commission, the E.U. executive, can lay out their vision, it is up to member states to implement it on the ground and they are “the barrier,” says Mike Parr, director of PWR Consultants.

“If the incentives aren’t there or if the member states aren’t making it possible, then it won’t happen. And I don’t see the ambition from the member states at the moment,” he said.

There is nevertheless support in industry as it responds to political and shareholder pressure to cut emissions and looks to hydrogen to rescue business models that could become obsolete.

Hydrogen offers a major technical challenge as it is less dense than natural gas and must be safely compressed, stored and dispensed at industrial sites or refueling stations for vehicles.

But it also has the advantage of being a replacement that can use existing infrastructure as well as requiring new structures to be built.

Eleven European gas infrastructure companies, including Spain’s Enagás, the Netherlands’ Gasunie, and Italy’s Snam, have drawn up a plan for a 6,800 km hydrogen pipeline network by 2030, rising to 23,000 km by 2040.

Seventy-five percent of that will consist of converted gas pipeline. Last year, Snam said it would blend 10% of hydrogen with natural gas in its network in a test area in southern Italy.

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Lewis Hamilton dedicates F1 pole position to Chadwick Boseman

SPA-FRANCORCHAMPS, Belgium — After clinching the record-extending 93rd pole position of his distinguished career, Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton stood proudly on top of his all-black Mercedes and crossed his arms in memory of a hero of his own.

The British driver dedicated his latest exceptional drive at the Belgian Grand Prix to American actor Chadwick Boseman, who died of cancer on Friday at age 43.

“A superhero died last night, so that was really weighing heavy on me today,” Hamilton said. “I was so driven to deliver a good performance today so I could dedicate it to Chad.”

Boseman played Black American icons Jackie Robinson, Thurgood Marshall and James Brown before inspiring audiences as the regal “Black Panther” in Marvel’s blockbuster movie franchise. The film inspired the cross-armed “Wakanda forever” salute that became a pop culture landmark.

“This was an important pole. I woke up today to the saddest news of Chadwick passing away,” Hamilton said. “That news broke me, so it wasn’t easy to get back focused. For what he’s done for our people and superheroes — to show the kids what’s possible in life. Wakanda forever.”

The salute was so resonant that California congresswoman Maxine Waters stood up and did it at singing legend and civil rights activist Aretha Franklin’s funeral two years ago.

Hamilton, the only black driver in F1, explained the impact both Chadwick and his film character had on him.

“I was really, really lucky I got to meet him once and tell him how awesome he was. Because I remember when I was a kid, Superman was the hero, didn’t look like me and I still thought Superman was the greatest,” Hamilton said. “And so when Chad became the king, when he became a superhero, it was such a special day for so many people. Because I know that young kids would be able to now look up to him and see that it is possible.”

Boseman’s death prompted an outpouring of grief, and Hamilton fondly recalled the time they met.

“In New York during Fashion Week … we were out at the same dinner. We actually kind of partied away together because we were on the same table. It was an incredible scenario,” Hamilton said. “I remember when ‘Black Panther’ came out, and I’m a huge Marvel fan. So just knowing how Hollywood has been for a long, long time and to see the first Black superhero come out, everyone was so proud.”

Hamilton dominated qualifying once again, setting a track record at the 7-kilometer (4.3-mile) circuit in the Ardennes forest, finishing .511 seconds ahead of Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas and .526 clear of Red Bull’s Max Verstappen.

Hamilton, who is chasing a seventh F1 title to equal Michael Schumacher’s record, leads the standings by 37 points over Verstappen and 43 over Bottas.

“That’s one of the cleanest qualifying sessions I’ve ever had,” Hamilton said proudly. “It’s a phenomenal feeling driving around this track, how fast this track has become.”

But Bottas has not given up hope of closing the gap with a victory on Sunday, considering Spa is the longest in F1 and has a big straight up to the first turn.

“I’m not too bothered, as I know second place is a good place to start,” Bottas said. “I need to attack if I want to keep my title hopes there, so I’m definitely going to go for it. I know there will be opportunities.”

It was a strong performance from Renault driver Daniel Ricciardo, who starts from fourth.

But things are going from terrible to abysmal for Ferrari, with Charles Leclerc in 13th and Sebastian Vettel 14th.

Ferrari’s lack of form was such that Leclerc, who won last year from pole position, was happy to qualify in 13th.

“Honestly, yes. It’s sad to say that but getting into Q2 was a nice surprise. I’m starting from 13th and I think it will be difficult unless it rains,” he said.

Vettel registered the previous track record on his way to victory here in 2018, but this season the veteran German driver has not even finished in the top five in six races.

Earlier, Hamilton led the third and final practice, with Vettel last — a humbling experience for the four-time F1 champion — and Leclerc faring little better in 17th place.

While Leclerc has two podium finishes this season, Vettel is enduring his worst start since 2008. He has twice finished 10th and once 12th.

Vettel last won at the Singapore GP in September — his only victory in 2019 — and the German driver’s last podium finish was in Mexico in October.

Since then he has retired in three out of nine races.

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Source: AutoBlog.com

This innovative wheelchair allows users to stand up

Autoblog may receive a share from purchases made via links on this page. Pricing and availability is subject to change.

Transcript: An innovative standing wheelchair. Laddroller is an electric wheelchair concept designed by Dimitrios Petrotos. This standing wheelchair concept brings 4 wheels closer together, changing the look and structure of the device. The large wheels in the front provide the ability to climb up and down steps. The modular design gives it portability. It can even be operated manually if the battery dies out. 

Although this standing electric wheelchair is still in the developing stages, if you’re looking for a solid mobility device, the ATTO folding mobility scooter from Moving Life is available on Amazon. It’s a full-sized scooter with a unique foldable design. When folded, the ATTO looks like a suitcase. 

ATTO Folding Mobility Scooter – $2,799 at Amazon.com

Source: AutoBlog.com

Wendell Scott — the first Black American full-time competitor in NASCAR

Wendell Oliver Scott was the first Black American full-time competitor in NASCAR history. During the time period of the Civil Rights Movement, Wendell Scott loved nothing more than to grab the steering wheel and go as fast as he could on the race track. Today, we’re remembering the hall-of-famer on what would have been his 99th birthday. 

According to ESPN’s film on the driver, The Dixie Circuit was financially struggling and couldn’t fill its seats at the track, and as a promotional design, they began looking for a Black person to compete in their races. Due to Wendell’s history of speeding tickets, he was asked to participate in the events where he dazzled the crowd with his stunning maneuvers on the track. 

According to NASCAR Hall of Fame, while other participants in the race were sponsored with new parts. Wendell Scott used his engineering background from World War II along with the assistance of his two sons to stay at the top of his game by using hand-me-down parts and junkyard parts to enhance and improve the performance of his vehicles. 

ESPN’s documentary tells the story of the most infamous moment of Wendell Scott’s life: During the 1963 Jacksonville Speedway Park race in which Wendell won, the checkered flag was never dropped for him. Instead, the flag was dropped for another driver pronouncing him the winner of the race. The event that took place was racially motivated due to Jacksonville Speedway Park’s race owners not wanting to see a Black man kissing a white woman; an old tradition where the winner of the race would kiss the beauty queen. Later, Scott received the payment for his first-place prize money but was denied the enjoyment and trophy from that event.

According to NASCAR Hall of Fame and the Wendell Scott Foundation, in Wendell Scott’s 13-year NASCAR career he finished in the top 10 in 147 races. He was inducted into the Black Athletes Hall of Fame, Jacksonville, Florida Hall of Fame, Danville Register & Bee Hall of Fame, National Sports Hall of Fame, International Motorsports Hall of Fame, Virginia Sports Hall of Fame, National Motorsports Press Association Hall of Fame, Danville Museum of Fine Arts and History Hall of Fame, and in 2015 Wendell Oliver Scott was inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame. His self-built 1962 Chevrolet is currently on display at the NASCAR Hall of Fame in North Carolina. 

Wendell Scott passed away in December 1990, but his legendary career on the track is still remembered today. In the ESPN documentary Wendell Scott: A Race Story his son Frank Scott said he believed his father’s mission was to help open the door for others like him to step through. 

Source: AutoBlog.com

Tesla worked with the FBI to block a million dollar ransomware attack

Earlier this week, the FBI arrested a 27-year-old Russian citizen for attempting to carry out a ransomware attack against a US company. It turns out that company was Tesla, Electrek reports.

According to a complaint shared by the Department of Justice, in July, Egor Igorevich Kriuchkov traveled to the U.S. and contacted a Russian speaking, non-U.S. citizen who was working at the Tesla Gigafactory in Sparks, Nevada. After meeting with that individual, Kriuchkov allegedly proposed a deal. He would pay the employee $1 million to deliver malware to computer systems at the Gigafactory. Kriuchkov and his associates allegedly planned to extract data from the network and threaten to make it public if Tesla didn’t pay a ransom.

The employee immediately informed Tesla, and the company contacted the FBI, which launched a sting operation. Agents arrested Kriuchkov in Los Angeles as he was attempting to leave the U.S. 

As Electrek points out, during the sting operation, FBI agents obtained info about previous attacks led by Kriuchkov’s associates. They didn’t confirm which companies were impacted, but a similar ransomware attack was carried out against CWT Group in July. That company paid a $4.5 million ransom. Tesla could have been in a similar situation if its employee had not acted quickly or thought to inform the company. 

Earlier this month, the cruise company Carnival and Garmin revealed that they suffered ransomware attacks. Travelex recently paid $2.3 million to resolve a ransomware attack, and of course, multiple cities —Atlanta, Baltimore and New Orleans — have been hit by similar cybercrimes. Dentist offices and DSLR cameras are not immune either.

In a tweet, CEO Elon Musk confirmed the incident, saying “This was a serious attack.”

This article by Christine Fisher originally appeared on Engadget.

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