Peugeot Fractal demonstrates a new take on sound design

3Peugeot used the 2010 SR1 concept to introduce its i-Cockpit touchscreen-based system, designed to control heating and ventilation, navigation, audio, connectivity, and the trip computer. The first-gen system entered production in the 2012 Peugeot 208. The company took the i-Cockpit concept one stage further in the Fractal electric urban coupe concept at the 2015 IAA Frankfurt Show, to include sound.

The concept plays a “sound signature”, created by DJ and sound designer Amon Tobin, which is triggered when the driver opens the car using the smart watch remote locking system. “Behind this concept of an electric car—that is not really new, there was this question that electric cars emit no sound”, explains Matthias Hossann, Head of Concept Cars and Advanced Design at Peugeot.

“In France, sometimes if you say you are driving an electric car, people say they are very sorry for you because they think it is not as exciting to drive an electric car. We thought about that and agree that you lack some pleasure with an electric car because it emits no sound. I have had this experience because even when you start an electric car, you don’t know that

Nissan shows Gripz crossover concept

1After a run of success with unorthodox SUV styling, especially in the Juke subcompact crossover SUV, Nissan has apparently decided to mine this vein as the company’s new signature.

The result, shown at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show, is the Gripz Concept, a sleek crossover SUV that seeks to chisel another niche into the Nissan’s already-packed line of SUVs. “We want to redefine the crossover segment,” explained Giovanny Arroba, Creative Design Manager for Nissan Design Europe, the London studio responsible for the concept.

Citing the Juke as a prior success in this this effort, he said, “This is a very important segment for us, and we wanted to see how far we could push it.”

Far enough to ruffle enthusiasts’ feathers, who fear that the Gripz could be approved for production at a time when the 370Z may be dropped from the line, prompting them to view the Gripz as the Z-car’s replacement. Arroba insists that the Gripz stands on its own and is unrelated to other product decisions, but the company made enough attempts to link the Gripz to the Z that suspicions remain that Nissan

Volkswagen re engineers Tiguan

2Volkswagen’s original Tiguan compact SUV of 2007 was too expensive and too thirsty to achieve blockbuster sales during the segment’s emergence as a key source of sales. But it achieved worldwide sales of 2.64 million during its production run, providing a strong foundation for the next-generation version, introduced at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show.

The company has aggressively addressed the original Tiguan’s shortcomings, building the new generation version on its high-volume, low-cost modular transverse matrix (MQB) platform used for the Golf and other compact models. This has produced a vehicle that is longer, lower, wider, and more car-like than its predecessor.

Illustrating the anticipated range of uses for a crossover SUV, the Tiguan debuted in both on-road and off-road-centric configurations along with a hybrid-electric concept of a future efficiency-focused Tiguan GTE model.

While the Tiguan’s cargo capacity has increased 10% to 18.4 ft³ (521 L), the vehicle is 110 lb (243 lb) lighter than before. Overall length is up 2.4 in (61 mm) to 176.6 in (4486 mm) and width is increased 1.2 in (31 mm) to 72.4 in (1839 mm). Height is reduced by 1.3 in

Supercar in sheeps clothing Driving the Tesla Model S P85D

Electric cars have come a long way and if you want proof, look no further than the Tesla Model S. With its practical range, exceptional performance and intuitive application of in-car technology, the Model S has shoehorned the humble family sedan into the 21st century. The high performance Model S P85D takes the already-impressive P85 and adds another motor, turning it into an all-wheel drive, all-electric, supercar baiting rocketship. We spent a week behind the wheel to see how the premier e-motoring experience translates into the daily drive.

Hiding under the P85D’s body are two electric motors, producing a combined 568 kW. If you’re keen to see where all this power comes from, you’re out of luck. Lifting the bonnet reveals a small storage “frunk” (yep, that’s a front-trunk) where the engine is in most cars, and taking a wander to the back of the car reveals a capacious boot.

Looking around the outside of the Model S P85D, there aren’t many hints to give away the fact that it will hit 100 km/h faster than a McLaren F1. Our P85D looked fantastic in its deep red with charcoal 21-inch wheels, but if you didn’t know what you were looking for, the

The UAW FCA deal A bridge too short

At the UAW national bargaining convention in March, rank-and-file delegates sent clear marching orders to UAW President Dennis Williams: Use the Detroit 3 negotiations to fix a two-tier wage system damaging to shop-floor solidarity.

Williams heard them and joined them in vowing to bridge the pay gap between entry-level Tier 2 workers and traditional hourly employees.

But while he fetched a big raise for Tier 2 workers in a pending deal with Fiat Chrysler, he failed on the make-or-break item to deliver a pathway for Tier 2 workers to achieve full, Tier 1 pay.

Consequently, the deal is being rejected by FCA US’s nearly 40,000 hourly workers by a wide margin. And short of a miracle rally at the handful of plants still to vote, the agreement is about to crash and burn.

At best, that means Williams and the bargaining team return to the FCA negotiating table for major renovations. And the specter of a strike at FCA just got more pronounced.

Contract talks with General Motors and Ford Motor Co. are still to come.

So specifically where did the FCA agreement fall short with the rank and file?

Fundamentally, it addressed the wage disparity between traditional and Tier 2 workers without resolving it.

The UAW also

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