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Saturday, January 22, 2022

Did you ever heard the 1980s wedge-shaped sports car of the Kiwi land named Heron MJ-1?

~Wedge Shaped~ Now we will look at a classic car that comes from a country in the southernmost hemisphere, namely New Zealand. Indeed, the car industries of the Kiwi-land are rarely heard if compared to its neighbor Australia. So it's not surprising that some of you may have never known the following unique sports cars made by the automaker from New Zealand.
The Heron MJ-1 is a two-seater sports coupe with a fiberglass body that was produced in limited quantities from 1981 to 1998 by Heron Cars. (Picture from: Issuu.com)
The mentioned car is the Heron MJ-1, a two-seater sports coupe with a fiberglass body that was produced in limited quantities from 1981 to 1998 by Heron Cars, a New Zealland automotive craftsmen founded by Ross Baker. This car began to be designed in 1980, and made its debut at the 1981 Auckland Motor Show,

It's style was derived from the Lotus Esprit, designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro of Ital Design in 1972. It featured very similar proportions and angular shapes or what is commonly called the wedge shape which was widely used in mid-engined cars of the era.
The Heron MJ-1's style was derived from the Lotus Esprit, designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro of Ital Design in 1972. (Picture from: Issuu.com)
The first production version was built in 1984 with engine options ranging from a Fiat 125 4-cylinder engine to V8. It was built on a fiberglass monocoque chassis, to which tubular steel front and rear subframes mounted, with parts from various donors, and fiberglass body panels.
The first production version was built in 1984 with engine options ranging from a Fiat 125 4-cylinder engine to V8. (Picture from: Issuu.com)
Then the Summit Engineering became involved into the company to provide the necessary finance in return for a two-thirds share. The original concept was a very simple car using reconditioned parts supplied by the customer, after that Heron assembling them into a complete roadworthy car.
The original concept was a very simple car using reconditioned parts supplied by the customer, after that Heron assembling them into a complete roadworthy car. (Picture from: Issuu.com)
Instead Summit wants the cars to be built entirely in-house using new parts. This caused serious problems in production, as the cost of production increased drastically. After an acrimonious split, Heron's founder Ross Baker bought them out and carried on until 1998.
The Heron MJ-1 was built on a fiberglass monocoque chassis, to which tubular steel front and rear subframes mounted, with parts from various donors, and fiberglass body panels. (Picture from: Auto5p.eu)
It is believed that 6 prototypes and 19 production MJ-1's were ultimately built. Because of the costs of importing vehicles to New Zealand, Heron Cars was among a number of homegrown sports cars sold in that market which also included the Almac Sabre, Buckler, and Scorpion (a Sterling/Nova clone).
Eventually, the Japanese cheaper competitors were came and killed a number of these local makes. However, a small specialty car industry such Heron Cars still survives in NZ at least until 2018. But now they are no longer visible in the global automotive world. *** [EKA | FROM VARIOUS SOURCES | HERON CARS | RARECOMPONENTCARS | ISSUU.COM ]
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Friday, January 21, 2022

Finally the Airflow Concept revealed at the CES 2022 as the first battery electric vehicle of Chrysler

~The Legend is back~ Finally Stellantis officially launched an electric car concept called the Chrysler Airflow Concept at the CES 2022 exhibition in Las Vegas, United States. The concept car was briefly reviewed at the Stellantis EV Day and Software Day presentations at the end of 2021, where the Chrysler Airflow was presented as Chrysler's first battery electric vehicle due in 2025.
Finally the Airflow Concept revealed at the CES 2022 as the first battery electric vehicle of Chrysler. (Picture from: AiraTransport)
This is because the brand has promised to move into the line of electric cars by 2028. And to represent "the future direction of the Chrysler brand," the Airflow Concept provides a compelling glimpse into the future and design language of Chrysler's all-electric. Plus, the fully connected customer experience and advanced mobility features this future EV (electric vehicle) will offer.
The Airflow Concept provides a compelling glimpse into the future and design language of Chrysler's all-electric vehicle. (Picture from: Auto-Motor-und-Sports)
From a design standpoint, the Airflow Concept proudly features the Chrysler Wing logo tied to the car's grille/light bar illuminated with crystal LED headlights. This vehicle has an elegant yet athletic profile thanks to its low ride position, sleek roofline, two colors and muscle car feel.

In addition, the long wheelbase and wide track, along with large 22-inch rims, contribute to a steady stance. This at the same time provides “excellent handling and dynamic performance.” At the rear, the crystal LED headlights are joined by a light bar that accentuates the wide position of the vehicle, with the illuminated Airflow inscription placed between the lights.
The technology is seamlessly integrated in the Chrysler Airflow Concept's cabin in the form of a dark glass sculpture. (Picture from: OtoBisnis)
Despite using a well-known name from Chrysler's past, the only reference to aerodynamics in its press release is about "aerodynamics, a smooth underbody". This helps the car achieve optimal driving range. Inside, the Chrysler Airflow features an open and spacious lounge area thanks to a panoramic roof, functional and ambient lighting, and soft leather seats resting on pedestals.

Also, the technology is seamlessly integrated in the cabin in the form of a dark glass sculpture. The crystal texture on the start/stop buttons and steering controls is a nice touch. The interior is more than just a fun place to spend time. Chrysler Airflow integrates the new STLA Brain and STLA SmartCockpit software and electrical/electronic (E/E) architectures to provide seamless connectivity for drivers and passengers.
The interior is more than just a fun place to spend time. Chrysler Airflow integrates the new STLA Brain and STLA SmartCockpit software and electrical/electronic (E/E) architectures. (Picture from: OtoBisnis)
The car's cabin is connected by connectivity, bringing the consumer's digital lifestyle into the vehicle, with state-of-the-art technology creating a customized space for each passenger. Using a menu-based format, screens or screens can be personalized, simplified, and grouped by individuals and interests. Information on the screen can be shared with all passengers with a swipe. Each screen serves as a personalized space to access the digital world through connected entertainment, apps and downloads.

There is even a built-in camera on each seat, allowing passengers to participate in group video conferencing. Obviously, the Airflow Concept benefits from over-the-air (OTA) updates as well as Artificial Intelligent based applications such as navigation, voice assistance, e-commerce marketplace, and payment services.
The Chrysler Airflow Concept is powered by two 150 kW (201 hp) electric motors, one at the front and one at the rear. (Picture from: Otomobile.id)
But unfortunately the Stellantis did not reveal on which platform the Chrysler Airflow will be made. But what is clear, they say, is that this car is powered by two 150 kW (201 hp) electric motors, one at the front and one at the rear.

It is also powered by a battery designed to reach 350-400 miles (563-643 km) on a single charge and offers fast charging functionality. Judging from the forecast range and output, it is likely the STLA Medium architecture that Stellantis will use for 2024.
And the concept is designed to accommodate larger capacity EDMs, “offering the potential for future high-performance applications.” Chrysler also said that the Airflow Concept features the STLA AutoDrive Level 3 autonomous drive system, which can also be upgraded via an OTA update. *** [EKA | FROM VARIOUS SOURCES | CARSCOOPS ]
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Thursday, January 20, 2022

The Antelope named hypercar-likened flying ride managed to pass the free-flight test in Dubai

~Flying Hypercar~ The development of automotive technology does not only focus on electric-powered and autonomous vehicles, but also flying cars. The development of this type of vehicle is largely based on futuristic assumptions which are intended as a solution to the current problem of urban society, namely traffic congestion due to more increasing population.
The Bellwether Industries’ Volar eVTOL (electric vertical take-off and landing) aerial ride named the Antelope is a flying hypercar for private owners. (Picture from: Khaleej Times)
Although the development of this type of vehicle is mostly still in the assessment stage and is still far from practical as conventional vehicles currently exist, nevertheless all of them deserve appreciation as an inspiring and innovative technological breakthrough.

Recently, there's one futuristic hypercar-likened flying ride had successfully completed a series of test flights in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Its flight tests is revealed, a day after the Dubai Road and Transport Authority (RTA) was held its first legal forum to review the legislation for flying taxis.
This Bellwether Industries’ Volar eVTOL (electric vertical take-off and landing) is the world’s first aerial ride without a large wingspan or exposed blades, making it ideal for urban use. (Picture from: New Atlas)
Those electric-powered hypercar-likened flying ride is called the Bellwether Industries Volar eVTOL aka the Antelope is designed and developed by a London-based startup company named Bellwether Industries. And by November 2021, the Antelope prototype (in half-scale) has managed to complete a series of testing in Dubai.

The company said that the ultimate vision of a full-scale the Antelope Volar eVTOL ride will be a 4-to-5-seat aircraft carrying out intracity travels at an altitude of 3,000 feet (915 metres) with a speed of up to 220 kilometres per hour (135 miles per hour).

As qouted of Khaleej Times, in the last two years, the whole team whose developed the Bellwether Volar eVTOL (stands for 'electric Vertical Takeoff and Landing') aerial vehicle has also carried out several iteration phases to improve the the prototype's flight capability and performances.
The Bellwether Volar eVTOL prototype called the Antelope in half-scale has managed to complete its free-flight tests in Dubai. (Picture from: Coventry Telegraph)
“Our Volar flying prototype smoothly and proves our pursuit of innovation and technology. We believe in our volar and will strive for perfection with continuous improvement," said Kai-Tse Lin, chief operating officer and co-founder of Bellwether Industries.

“The test flight was carried out at an altitude of 13 feet at a speed of 40 km per hour. This test demonstrates the stability and controllability of the prototype. This step will be the beginning of a series of development projects," he added.
Bellwether says the ultimate vision of a full-scale Volar will be a 4-to-5-seat aircraft carrying out intracity travels at an altitude of 3,000 feet (915 metres) with a speed of up to 220 kilometres per hour (135 miles per hour). (Picture from: Khaleej Times)
As proof of the success of the test, the company then posted a short video of the Volar's test flight on social media titled "The era of urban air mobility has begun." As you can see on the video the flying vehicle was capable taking off from an open area of ​​the park, then flying in a while before landing again safely.

The current prototype only has two seats, in the future, the hypercar-likened flying ride can be filled with five seats that capable to fly about 5 people. The company mentioned that its flying hypercar is designed to replace the currently conventional road-use vehicle, and also could be said the Bellwether Industries' Antelope is the world's first eVTOL flying ride without a large of wingspans or exposed propeller blades.

Next development of the Antelope aerial ride prototype in the full-scale is scheduled to be completed and ready to re-test in 2023. Furthermore the company said as qouted of its official website, they believe that people traveling in the sky are inevitable in the next 10 years. Therefore, and that's the reason they made the Volar aerial ride afor anyone to fly anytime and anywhere to any point.
Although the Volar was not the first flying cars have been explored in Dubai. As we all knew during the 2021 Dubai Air Show, there's a Florida-based LuftCar said it was developing an autonomous land-rides that could be mounted and removed from the flying module.
As we all knew, Dubai has passed a law regulating the operation of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) in July 2020. So in November, the RTA said it was reviewing the legislation of the flying taxis and self-driving skypods.

This seems to be in line with the Dubai's ambitious Sky Dome project which be allowed the city's skies filled by manned or unmanned aerial rides that will link places and buildings via landing pads and mini airports across the city. *** [EKA | FROM VARIOUS SOURCES | BELLWETHER INDUSTRIES | EVTOL | KHALEEJ TIMES | THENATIONALNEWS ]
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Wednesday, January 19, 2022

An Italian-designed tiny sports Mangusta powered by V8 Cobra engine

~Tiny Italian Cobra~ When viewed from the physical form, maybe now not many people recognize this unique car model was sold at inflated prices when it was first launched. It has a small, unique and distinctive shape of the work of the renowned Italian designer. Well, the car in question is the Qvale Mangusta (Italian for mongoose) is a sports car that was produced between 1999 and 2002 in a limited number of less than 300 units. 
The Qvale Mangusta is a sports car that was produced between 1999 and 2002 by Qvale Modena SpA. (Picture from: BlackXperience)
As quoted from Wikipedia, this tiny and unique sports car was designed by Marcello Gandini with a front center engine layout and rear wheel drive. Initially the design of this tiny sportscar related to the other Italian manufacturers De Tomaso, due to was developed from the De Tomaso Biguá concept car known as the De Tomaso's last car launched at the 1996 Geneva Motor Show before the company ceased.
The Qvale Mangusta was developed from the De Tomaso Biguá concept car known as the De Tomaso's last car launched at the 1996 Geneva Motor Show before the company ceased. (Picture from: BlackXperience)
At that time, Alejandro DeTomaso being faced a serious health problems since 1993, then looked after investors who could financially support the Biguá production version. In short, then he met and collaboration with the Qvale family, led by Kjell Qvale who is previously known to be a North American car importer for the original De Tomaso Mangusta of the 1960s and later Maserati when it was under the ownership of De Tomaso.
The Qvale Mangusta carries a naturally aspirated 4.6-liter V8 engine of Ford Mustang SVT Cobra, capable of spitting out 320 hp and 430 Nm (317-ft.lbs) of torque. (Picture from: BlackXperience)
Under bussines agreements signed both parties, Qvale agreed to fund the development of Biguá, with the final product would be sold under the De Tomaso marque, as the De Tomaso Mangusta (named after the De Tomaso sports car originally built between 1967 and 1971). However, in the course of the business agreement between De Tomaso and Qvale deteriorated due to licensing and distribution problems. Bruce Qvale, who managed Qvale at that time decided to quit the deal then establish an automotive company called Qvale Modena SpA in 1997 to produce the car under his own Qvale brand.
The Qvale Mangusta has a unique folding metal roof design in the likeness of a Mercedes-Benz SLK made it possible to adjust the top of the car open fully, with a targa, or close by pressing a button. (Picture from: BlackXperience)
Reportedly, this uniquely shaped tiny sportscar is inspired by the TVR Griffith, and was built into a simple sports car. Meanwhile, the Mangusta chassis was designed by former Formula 1 designer Enrique Scalabroni, who has also worked for Dallara, Williams and Scuderia Ferrari.

As for the drive train, the Qvale Mangusta carries a naturally aspirated 4.6-liter V8 engine of Ford Mustang SVT Cobra, capable of spitting out 320 hp and 430 Nm (317-ft.lbs) of torque mated to a 5-Speed manual transmission BorgWarner T45 or an optional 4-Speed automatic transmission systems so that it can accelerate from rest to 60 mph in just under 6 seconds before reaching a top speed of 160 mph (257 kph) for manual transmission; 155.4 mph (250 kph) for automatic transmission.
The Qvale Mangusta was designed by Marcello Gandini with a front center engine layout and rear wheel drive. (Picture from: BlackXperience)
The Qvale Mangusta has a unique folding metal roof design in the likeness of a Mercedes-Benz SLK made it possible to adjust the top of the car open fully, with a targa, or close by pressing a button. The average panel-targa could be removed manually, and the rear and side windows fell down. While its interior felt the influence of Ford: in the elements of the dashboard and in the arrangement of controls. The car was equipped with climate control, CD audio system, power windows, central locking and leather seats.
Indeed, when the sportscar was launched for the first time, which has a unique fascia, it was priced at $80,000 or around Rp. 1.3 billion, which is actually more expensive than the Ford Mustang SVT Cobra without a performance upgrade. Yes, the Qvale Mangusta, this very rare Italian sports car and the only model produced by Qvale in between 2000 to 2002 and sold only 284 units. Where most of the production of Qvale Mangusta is exported to the United States.
However, due to the design, which at that time was considered quite 'weird' and the Qvale brand was not well known to the American automotive public, this made this car unable to compete in the market and forced the automaker to leave in 2002. And today, the Qvale Mangusta is said has affordable tags of price likeness to the Lotus Elise or Honda S2000, so it should be considered, if You wanna have this tiny kind of sportscar. *** [EKA | FROM VARIOUS SOURCES | WIKIPEDIA | AUTOTALKZ ]
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Tuesday, January 18, 2022

The upcoming Pagani codenamed C10 will be replace its over a decade-old predecessors soon

~THe Successor~ The Pagani Huayra is a model made by an Italian high-performance car manufacturer whose age has passed 10 years, and is reportedly going to be replaced by a new model soon. And recently, a leaked photo has been circulating on the internet which is claimed to be the result of a rendering of the design of the new car, which is said to be the successor to the Pagani Automobili-made hypercar, codenamed C10.
Pagani is set to reveal the Huayra's successor in 2022 and referred to as the C10. (Picture from: Road&Track)
Taken from an upload image on Instagram, it is stated that this rendering image is a photo shown by the hypercar manufacturer based in San Cesario sul Panaro to potential customers. In addition, the successor to the Huayra model is also said to be produced in limited quantities. The plan is that no more than 300 units of this new generation model will be produced by this Italian manufacturer.
The 300 units of the C10 include the coupe, roadster and special variants. The C10 design looks like combines some of the design elements of the Huayra and Zonda on the exterior. The dual headlights up front retain the style of its two predecessors. But on the C10 muzzle, there's no body panel that acts as an active aerodynamic component.
The image is claimed to have been from an early customer presentation from late 2019 that was not supposed to reach the eyes of the public. (Picture from: 24htech.asia)
The C10 front fascia has a more prominent body curve than the Huayra, precisely at the cut between the front hood and the top side of the fender. The side of the muzzle also has an additional indentation that seems to add to the intake around the grille like the Zonda. While it isn't a final design yet, Pagani's signature design elements are present in the C10, such as the teardrop-shaped glass on the sides.
A simple glance at the tester reveals the more aggressive aerodynamics, even compare to the Huayra BC. (Picture from: AutoEvolution)
According to statement of Horacio Pagani as founder and CEO during an interview with Quattroroute, the C10 will be developed with a focus on performance. This means that this car will have advantages in terms of handling and light weight. Regarding the design, there may still be changes and adjustments when Pagani releases the production version later.
Propulsion will be handled by a 6.0-liter, twin-turbo, V12 motor, sourced from the folks at Mercedes-AMG and modified to Pagani specification. (Picture from: 24htech.asia)
Rumors are circulating that the C10 will adopt a new version of Mercedes-AMG's twin-turbo 6.0-liter V12 drive train. The engine claims will produce power between 850 to 880 hp, or even 100 hp higher than the Huayra has. There's an option for manual or automatic dual-clutch transmission with paddle-shifters reportedly offered to the C10 customers.
For this new generation of hypercars, Pagani could take the same design style as its two predecessors. (Picture from: 24htech.asia)
That's clear is that Pagani will only rely on an internal combustion engine for this Huayra successor, without any electrification applications at all. Meanwhile, interested consumers are said to be able to secure a limited booking slot by paying of €300,000, and reportedly now already sold out.
And for this new generation of hypercars, Pagani could take the same design style as its two predecessors. Despite the focus on performance and light weight, estimated the C10 would be apeared with a series of hardcore designs will have an artistic component, as we've seen on Zonda and Huayra, there are components to the interior that are beautifully and artistically crafted by the manufacturer, giving it a unique value of its own. *** [EKA | FROM VARIOUS SOURCES | QUATTRORUOTE | ROAD & TRACK | AUTOEVOLUTION | 24HTECH.ASIA | AUTOCAR ]
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Monday, January 17, 2022

A Russian 'Drozd' amphibious tactical vehicle

~Uncommon Amphibious~ The Russian Ministry of Defense plans to release its newest amphibious armored vehicle at the end of August, 2020. This Russian tactical amphibious vehicle is different from the usual amphibious armored tactical vehicle. Usually military amphibious tactical vehicles are in the form of battle tanks, but this time the Russian made a modern amphibian vehicle in the shape of a classic SUV-like.
A Russian 'Drozd' tactical amphibious vehicle. (Picture from: IndoMiliter)
Sergey Tereshenkov, the designer of this amphibious tactical vehicle whose also the Director of the Baltic Machine-Building Company, said that the amphibious tactical vehicle called the Drozd (means 'black bird') has exhibited at the Army-2020 forum in Kabinka, Russia at the end of the August of 2020.

According to Tereshenkov, the Drozd was the first "Russian all-wheel drive planing amphibian" capable of traveling fast enough on water powered by a hydroplane engine. Thus, the SUV is believed to have the ability to cross the water surface just like a fast boat.

"The Drozd is envisioned as a patrol and reconnaissance vehicle for the Russian Arm Forces," said Sergey Tereshenkov, as quoted of Sputnik, on Friday, August 21, 2020.
A Russian 'Drozd' tactical amphibious vehicle. (Picture from: IndoMiliter)
Tereshenkov further explained, the presence of Drozd is projected to fill the gap where the Russian armed forces lag behind other countries in amphibious production. Because previously, Russia had pioneered the amphibious car with the Triton designed by inventor Dmitry Kudryachkov in the 1980s, known as the GAZ-46 Amphibious.

Like the GAZ-46, the Triton seems to resemble a boat with wheels. But the Drozd looks more like a morphing SUV, with the wheels pulling in on the water to increase its seaworthiness, making it possible to tolerate waves as high as 1.25 meters.

"The transformation only takes 12 seconds, and the tires inflate automatically," he explained.
A Russian 'Drozd' tactical amphibious vehicle. (Picture from: IndoMiliter)
Remarkably, the Drozd tactical amphibious vehicle has a speed of 100 kilometers per hour on land and 70 kilometers per hour in water. This speed is possible because the hull is made using load-bearing carbon fiber composites.

The Drozd tactical amphibious vehicle weighs 2 tons, and is rumored to be capable of carrying another 1.5 tons of cargo. A tank full of gas can carry the Drozd 800 kilometers on land or 300 kilometers above water. In addition to tolerating the high seas, the Drozd tactical amphibious vehicle hull is also believed to provide protection from mines.
Tereshenkov explained, the vehicle is modular in design, so the Drodz allows it to be used in a variety of missions, including for the Navy tactical vehicles, the marine landing troops, coastal troops, reconnaissance operations, special operations forces, logistical support units, engineering troops (including for pontoon crossing guidance), medical services, and others.
“In addition, these vehicles will be used by the other Russian gov structures, rescue, fire services and law enforcement agencies. In addition, 'Drozd' can be used in areas with difficult road and climatic conditions and many water obstacles, including at the poles. The engine is prepared for operation at temperatures down to minus 50 degrees Celsius," Tereshenkov said. *** [EKA | FROM VARIOUS SOURCES | M-KASKUS | RUSSIAN BEYOND ]
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