No. 1018
October 16, 2019

About The UjianNasional@PeterMDeLorenzo Author, commentator, influencer. "The Consigliere." Editor-in-Chief of

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On The Surface


SEPTEMBER 11, 2019

(Mercedes-Benz images)
Mercedes-Benz has unveiled the Vision EQS concept at the International Motor Show in Frankfurt. Mercedes-Benz PR minions are saying that the brand "will address the challenges of the future with a focus on sustainability, in relation to it becoming a central component of the brand philosophy, and a major aspect of our corporate strategy." The show car projects the future Mercedes look for a large, electric luxury sedan, while "illustrating a vision of purpose-built electro-design." With the Vision EQS, Mercedes-Benz is making a clear statement for the continued future of high-quality vehicles and self-determined driving, according to the manufacturer. And then they close with this: "Supreme craftsmanship, emotive design, luxurious materials and individual driving pleasure will continue to be sought after. Now and in the future, luxury above all stands for personal freedom." Wow, that's a lot of philosophy packed into one concept.
(BMW images)
Editor-in-Chief's Note: This is the BMW Concept 4, which BMW PR minions are calling "a future-focused interpretation of the BMW Group’s enduring DNA that represents the magic of coupe driving at its most exciting." “The BMW Concept 4 embodies the aesthetic essence of the BMW brand. It combines perfect proportions with a clear and precise design,” says Adrian van Hooydonk, Senior Vice President BMW Group Design. Really? We've taken one look at that hideous front end and decided that ol' Adrian is in the sunset of his career. And BMW has completely lost the plot. Ladies and gentlemen, WTF? -PMD 
(Audi images)
Audi is calling its Audi AI:TRAIL quattro the "Off-roader of the Future." The four-seater Audi AI:TRAIL quattro "combines the capacity for automated driving with superb off-road capabilities." The glass surrounding the cabin extends all the way to ground level, providing unrivaled all-round visibility. The ample battery capacity ensures sufficient range even away from dense networks of charging stations. Since all of the other details are glorified vaporware, we'll just let you look at the pictures. 

(Land Rover images)
This is the new Land Rover Defender 90, which is coming to the U.S. in late 2020. The longer wheelbase Defender 110 is coming first, but the 90 is the only one worth looking at in our estimation. “The new Defender is respectful of its past but is not harnessed by it,” said Gerry McGovern, Chief Design Officer, Land Rover. “This is a new Defender for a New Age. Its unique personality is accentuated by its distinctive silhouette and optimum proportions, which make it both highly desirable and seriously capable – a visually compelling 4x4 that wears its design and engineering integrity with uncompromised commitment.” Land Rover dealers are frothing at the mouth. Prices will range from $49,900 to $89,900. What, you were expecting a deal? 
U.S. customers will be able to choose between a turbocharged four-cylinder engine, badged P300, and a six-cylinder Mild-Hybrid Electric Vehicle (MHEV) powertrain, badged P400. The P300 powertrain, which produces 296HP, uses an advanced twin-scroll turbocharger for smooth performance and efficient power delivery, accelerating from 0-60mph in 7.7 seconds(17) (0-100km/h in 8.1 seconds). The P400 MHEV powertrain harvests energy normally lost during deceleration and redeploys it to optimize performance. The inline six-cylinder Ingenium gasoline engine features both a conventional twin-scroll turbocharger and an advanced 48-volt electric supercharger. A belt-integrated starter motor replaces the alternator to assist the gasoline engine under acceleration, while the 48-volt lithium-ion battery stores energy captured as the vehicle slows down. In combination, these advanced technologies provide 395HP, 406-lb ft of torque and acceleration from 0-60mph in 5.8 seconds (0-100km/h in 6.1 seconds). Both engines are paired with an eight-speed ZF® automatic transmission and twin-speed transfer box.
Special mention goes to the Land Rover PR minions for producing the longest press release we've come across in the 20- years of AE. Yikes.
(Hyundai images)
The new Hyundai 45 concept showcases the brand’s future design direction for electric vehicles. This new design concept "pays homage to one of the most iconic vehicles in Hyundai’s history, the Pony Coupe Concept," according to Hyundai PR minions. (Huh? -WG) The concept also reimagines the in-car experience in the age of electrification and autonomous technologies. Moving on...

(Toyota images)
The new Camry TRD (in red) and Avalon TRD (in Silver) aim to prove that Toyota is capable of bringing non-boring sedans to the street. Both are powered by Toyota’s DOHC 3.5-liter 301HP V6 with a TRD-tuned cat-back dual exhaust, giving both models a throatier idle and acceleration sound, according to Toyota PR minions. They both feature an 8-speed automatic transmission with sport mode and paddle shifters. Thicker underbody braces to increase torsional rigidity are used, and unique coil springs lower both vehicles by 0.6 inches for a reduced center of gravity. Specially tuned shocks and lighter 19 x 8.5-inch matte black alloy wheels complement the new springs and lower stance to improve body control, handling agility and steering precision, according to the manufacturer. The front brakes are larger with 12.9-inch diameter rotors and dual-piston calipers compared to 12.0-inch rotors and single piston calipers found on XSE grades. Brake performance was also tuned to provide more direct feedback. Active Cornering Assist was also added to both models, which reduces understeer by providing brake force to the inner drive wheel when the accelerator pedal is depressed. Both models have an aerodynamic body kit, which includes the front splitter, side aero skirts, trunk lid spoiler, and rear diffuser; and they're finished off with red pinstriping, red-painted brake calipers, and red TRD badging. These TRD sedans will come standard with Toyota Safety Sense-P, a suite of advanced driver-assist technologies.

AE Song Lyrics of the Week:

 Well, she was an American girl
Raised on promises
She couldn't help thinkin'
That there was a little more to life somewhere else
After all it was a great big world
With lots of places to run to
And if she had to die tryin'
She had one little promise she was gonna keep

Oh yeah, all right
Take it easy, baby
Make it last all night
She was an American Girl

"American Girl" - Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers