These solar roadways create renewable energy

Transcript: Solar roadways. Sun absorbing solar panels for the roads create renewable energy. Solar Roadways is an Idaho based company. Its modular solar panels can be walked on or driven on. They are a formulated tempered glass that can withstand the weight of a semi-truck. With a surface similar to that of asphalt. LED lights create lines and signage without the need for paint. Internal heating elements help the panels repel snow and ice. Solar Roadways says there is the potential for application on highways, and the tech could also be used to charge electric vehicles. The company is currently working on solar driveways and parking lots.


Justice swoops down from on high, snatches truck blocking EV chargers

It’s hard to understand what the driver of an internal combustion vehicle is thinking when he — and maybe it’s sexist, but let’s assume this is the work of a he — purposely blocks access to an EV charger. Like, what, you’re angry that EVs exist? You’re angry that they take up space? It’s a primo spot, so you’re angry about them taking up that particular space? Because your rig (this maneuver, called ICEing, is often done by truck owners) is a tight fit for many parking spaces, are you mad an accommodation gets made for EVs but not for you? What is it about a particular powertrain that brings out the jerk in you? 

The appropriate German word might be Arschloch (look it up). And the appropriate antidote is towing. But this Ford Raptor owner in Berlin got an extra special treatment from the tow truck driver, in which his Raptor was hoisted out of the spot by crane before it was dragged off by flatbed to an impound lot. Apparently the tow trucks over there have this cherry-picking ability and can pluck an offender out of a tight spot.

That’s about all we know of the incident, which happened over the weekend and was spotted by Ford Authority. And that’s about all we need to know, other than to take it as a reminder: Don’t be this way, people. Mostly, the photo of the Raptor being spirited away is kind of fun and was worth sharing. 


Elon Musk says Tesla’s first European production plant will be in Berlin

Tesla Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk said on Tuesday the electric-car maker is going to build a new vehicle factory as well as an engineering and design center in the German capital, Berlin.

Dubbing the plant “Giga Berlin” in reference to the existing Gigafactories in Nevada and New York, Musk detailed on Twitter that it “will build batteries, powertrains and vehicles, starting with Model Y.” Earlier in the day at an awards ceremony in Germany, he said the factory will be near the new Berlin airport.

Musk had said in June last year that Germany was a frontrunner for its first factory in Europe. Tesla has an engineering firm in Pruem, Germany, that specializes in automated manufacturing systems for battery-making plants.

In October, Reuters reported that the automaker is aiming to start production for its factory in China amid uncertainties around orders, labor and suppliers.

The automaker reported a profit in its third quarter in late October, surprising investors who doubted about Tesla’s profitability and its ability to compete with larger global rivals.


Junkyard Gem: 1988 Audi 80 Quattro

Audi sales in North America collapsed in the years following the 1986 “Unintended Acceleration” fiasco involving automatic-transmission-equipped Audi 5000s, even for the completely unrelated Audi 4000. By 1988, the too-close-to-the-5000 4000’s name had been replaced with European-style 80 and 90 badging (the latter being the more luxurious version of the B3 Audi 80); the 80/90 Quattro offered the all-wheel-drive sure-footedness of the Toyota Camry All-Trac or Ford Tempo 4WD, plus German-style handling and styling. Here’s a very solid, low-mile ’88 that I spotted in a Denver-area yard a few weeks ago.

Now that’s a low odometer reading for a 31-year-old car in the crusher’s waiting room.

No rust whatsoever, no big dents, no scrapes, no missing trim. I haven’t seen a B3 Audi 80 or VW Passat that looks this nice, on the street or otherwise, for at least 15 years.

Inside, the seat cloth shows some easily-cleaned smudges. No rips, no dangling headliner, no evidence of the sort of rabid-doberman-versus-weed-whacker interior damage that I find in most junkyard cars this age. How does a car this nice end up getting thrown away?

I can think of two reasons. First, it might have some mechanical problem that would cost a lot to fix; perhaps it sat for a decade and then the finicky CIS fuel-injection system got clogged up with varnish. Second, Audi aficionados around here can have their pick of much quicker turbocharged A4s from the current century, available at very reasonable prices. As far as I know, not much of an American enthusiast following exists for the 1988-1992 Audi 80/90.

Compared to a turbo A4, power numbers for these cars don’t raise any eyebrows today: 130 horses from a naturally-aspirated 2.3-liter straight-five engine. That was not shabby for a 2,948-pound all-wheel-drive sedan in the late 1980s, but Audi spent the subsequent decade adding more and more power to its cars.

You’re more likely to find a manual transmission in one of these cars than in, say, a U.S.-market BMW of the same era, but most of the ones I find have the two-pedal rig. This car must have been fun to hoon around a snow-covered parking lot. Soon it will be shredded and reborn as refrigerators and warehouse shelving.

Here’s a dealership promo film, showing off the 80/90 in a way Toyota never would have done with the Camry All-Trac.


2020 Mazda CX-5 adds torque to the turbo engine, gets more expensive


The 2020 Mazda CX-5 is getting a little more desirable in the new model year. It’s also slightly more expensive.

Most of the benefits are realized with the 2.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder. This engine gets a small boost in torque, going from 310 pound-feet to 320 pound-feet. Horsepower stays the same at 250 horses, and the max power is still made using 93 octane fuel. We saw a similar torque gain in the 2020 CX-9. Mazda says it also added a new “Engine Harmonics Enhancer” that “tunes to the engine with a much more refined and powerful sound.” We’re guessing the turbocharged engine is going to sound just a hair better in 2020.

When equipped with the turbocharged engine and all-wheel drive, the CX-5 also gets an off-road traction assist feature. Similar to the CX-9’s system, Mazda says “when the diagonal wheels lose traction, off-road traction assist will stop reducing the engine torque and increase the brake force on the wheels without traction.” 

Mazda says all CX-5s will also take advantage of improved NVH, making the CX-5 feel a bit more premium and isolated from the road. Every CX-5 will also be equipped with Mazda’s suite of i-Activsense safety features as standard in 2020, as well. This means adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping assist are both standard features now.

As Mazda tries its best to move into the premium space, it’s changed all the fonts on the badging and displays on the car. Although, Mazda neglected to include any photos of the new look, so we’ll wait to judge on that front.

The premium look and feel comes with a slightly higher price than 2019. A base Sport is $740 more expensive than last year, coming in at $26,135 after the $1,045 destination charge. The most luxurious Signature trim is just a touch more expensive than last year (by $165) at $38,100.

What Mazda hasn’t included in its 2020 rundown is the Skyactiv-D diesel option. We’ve reached out to Mazda to see if we can determine its fate in 2020 and will update this story upon hearing back. Update: Mazda responded to our request for comment. Since the 2019 diesel variant was on a different release schedule than the rest of the 2019 CX-5 lineup, the company isn’t talking 2020 diesel yet. The company is treating it as a “future product,” therefore it’s not commenting on it.

 We can only speculate as to what that means for the diesel CX-5, so we’ll wait on official information from Mazda whenever it may come.

The 2020 CX-5 is set to enter dealers sometime this fall.


New Land Rover Defender to star in 25th James Bond film

Land Rover has confirmed that the new Defender will have a starring role in the next James Bond film. 

The latest instalment in the iconic secret agent series, No Time to Die, will be released in the UK on April 3 2020, and will feature the reborn off-roader taking part in a traditional car chase sequence. 

The exact nature of the Defender’s role is yet to be confirmed, but Land Rover claims the production’s stunt team have driven it in “the most extreme off-road conditions, demonstrating its unstoppable nature”. 

A video clip released by the firm shows a group of Defenders being driven at speed on challenging off-road terrain and jumping high into the air, with one clip showing the car seemingly rolling onto its side. 

The Defender selected for the film is the mid-sized 110 variant, which will arrive in UK dealerships ahead of the shorter 90 and longer 130. It has been specified in range-topping X trim, and equipped with optional equipment including darkened skid plans, 20in black alloy wheels and heavy-duty off-road tyres. 


Maserati GranTurismo Zeda, Mercedes-Maybach GLS, Aston Martin Vantage Roadster: Car News Headlines

Maserati has marked the end of production of the current GranTurismo with a one-off called the Zeda. The wild paint scheme is meant to symbolize a bridge connecting Maserati’s past, present and future, with the blue at the front expected to be the signature hue for the brand’s future EVs.
The Mercedes-Benz GLS is a posh ride but a much more luxurious version is coming from the Maybach sub-brand. It’s confirmed for a debut at this month’s Auto Guangzhou and is expected to retail for over $200,000.
After impressing us with its latest Vantage coupe, Aston Martin is now almost ready to launch the convertible. Prototypes aren’t wearing any camouflage gear as the reveal is coming up soon.
You’ll find these stories and more in today’s car news, right here at Motor Authority.
Maserati ends GranTurismo production ahead of new sports car’s arrival
Mercedes-Maybach GLS to debut at 2019 Guangzhou auto show with rumored $200,000 sticker
2020 Aston Martin Vantage Roadster spy shots
What’s New for 2020: BMW
Official sketch hints at C8 Chevy Corvette Z06’s interior
Volvo turns to blockchain tech to keep track of cobalt sources
First drive review: 2020 Jeep Wrangler EcoDiesel ratchets up the power, range, and price
2020 Volkswagen Passat to start from $23,915
Jaguar C-X75 driven by a James Bond villain up for sale
Costly retrofits, state rules keeping E15 gas from making it to many stations

Jaguar C-X75 driven by a James Bond villain up for sale

It’s certainly fun to pretend to be James Bond, a fantasy that can be accomplished with an old Bentley, a new Aston Martin, a simple tuxedo, or even a fancy Omega watch. It’s a bit more difficult to play the villain. Until now, that is.
One of the ultra-rare Jaguar C-X75 supercars built for filming of the 2015 James Bond flick “Spectre” is headed to an RM Sotheby’s auction in Abu Dhabi later this month.
The C-X75 is a concept designed by Ian Callum and unveiled at the 2010 Paris International Motor Show. Jaguar initially planned to put the car into production and even got around to building a handful of prototypes, though the project was ultimately canned in 2012.
However, when the folks at film production company Eon Productions came knocking with a request for a car for Mr. Hinx, the villain in “Spectre” played by Dave Bautista, Jaguar put a few more C-X75s into production. The cars were actually built by Williams Advanced Engineering which helped Jaguar develop the stunning supercar.
Jaguar C-X75 built for filming of “Spectre”
The car for sale, bearing chassis number 24001, is the first of six C-X75s built for filming of “Spectre.” It was also used during promotional events, one of which included ex-Formula One driver Felipe Massa hopping behind the wheel. It doesn’t feature the sophisticated hybrid powertrain shown in the C-X75 concept but rather Jaguar’s venerable 5.0-liter supercharged V-8, mated to a 6-speed sequential transmission.
Because it was built to withstand the tough rigours of filming, the car also features a conventional tubular steel frame under the pretty body instead of the concept’s carbon fiber monocoque. Rally-style extra-travel suspension was also added to ensure the car could handle the rough terrain it was subjected to.
Once all the film work was done, the car was fully restored by Williams Advanced Engineering and sold to a British collector who served as a consultant in the project. It has only been driven a few times since, accruing a handful of miles while being displayed at a small number of events.
The hammer will drop on the C-X75 on November 30. RM Sotheby’s estimates the final bid to come in somewhere between $800,000 and $1.2 million.

2021 Kia Optima revealed in K5 form for South Korea

Less than a week after teaser drawings were released, the 2021 Kia Optima midsize sedan has been revealed in the form of the South Korean-market K5. The overall design matches the renderings closely, giving the car a more aggressive look, but it is still clearly an Optima. The company hasn’t revealed the car’s interior and mechanical specs, though.

The front of the new Optima is more blunt with a grille that leans forward almost like that of a Dodge Charger. The headlights blend into the grille, and it has parts that trail off into the fenders. The grille has a three-dimensional mesh that Kia says was inspired by the rough texture of shark skin.

The sides of the car feature modest curves to give it a muscular look. The greenhouse has a similar shape to that of the current car, with fastback rear pillars and tall rear quarter windows. Chrome bars trace the roof rails to the base of the rear pillars like on the current car, but now they meet in a curve around the top of the trunk lid. At the back is the most significant departure from the current car, a full-width taillight bar.

With the car revealed in South Korea, it probably won’t be long before we see the American-market car revealed. Under the skin will probably be the same powertrains as those in the new Hyundai Sonata. That means a choice of either a naturally aspirated 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine making 191 horsepower or a turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder making 180 horsepower. Both will be coupled to an eight-speed automatic. Expect hybrid variants and possibly a more powerful turbo 2.0-liter engine coming down the road.


This CO2 inflator can top off your bike tires in seconds

Transcript: Inflate your flat bike tire in seconds. The CO2 Inflator is a compact tool that can help you out in a pinch. It uses CO2 cartridges to fully inflate a flat tire in just seconds. The aluminium alloy valve takes a 16-gram thread CO2 cartridge. CO2 gas will dissipate from rubber over time so this tool is best used as an emergency solution. Deflate the CO2 from your tires then re-inflate with air when possible. The quick and easy CO2 Inflator is currently $19.98 and it can be purchased here. 

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