No. 968
October 17, 2018

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

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On The Surface


AUGUST 22, 2018

(Mercedes-Benz images)
Mercedes-Benz has unveiled the EQ Silver Arrow show car at Monterey Car Week. An homage to the successful record-breaking Mercedes-Benz W 125 car from 1937, the 
one-seater EQ Silver Arrow glistens in its Alubeam Silver paintwork, which is reminiscent of the historic Silver Arrows, which, for weight reasons, did not have a white paint layer. "Over 80 years ago, the historic Silver Arrows demonstrated that Mercedes-Benz was a pioneer when it came to speed, thanks, among other things, to their streamlined shape," says Gorden Wagener, Chief Design Officer at Daimler AG. "The EQ Silver Arrow show car draws on that legacy. Intended for acceleration and driving pleasure, it embodies progressive luxury and provides an insight into the future of our design. As a result, the show car drives the design idiom of our new EQ product and technology brand to the top." Mercedes-Benz PR minions chimed in with this: "EQ brand is shaped by the avant-garde, distinct aesthetic of Progressive Luxury, which arises from the combination of a previously unknown beauty, the conscious clash of digital and analogue elements, as well as the seamless merging of intuitive and physical design."
The EQ Silver Arrow's streamlined silhouette is 5.3-meters long and its body structure is made of carbon fiber. The multiple layers of paintwork in Alubeam Silver are designed to appear like liquid metal on the surface. Other exterior highlights include the driver's cockpit, which can be folded forward, and the partially free-standing multi-spoke wheels. The non-rotating hub caps and the partial trim on the wheels are other stylish highlights. The 168 spokes per wheel are made of lightweight aluminum and painted a rose gold color, which is also a signature of the EQ brand. The EQ Silver Arrow has slick 255/25 R 24 tires at the front and 305/25 R 26 tires at the rear. Pirelli embossed a star pattern on the tread. The rear diffuser has two extendible rear spoilers that act as an air brake by increasing the wind resistance when deceleration is desired.
The interior of the EQ Silver Arrow is one of contrasts. On the one hand, it uses traditional, high-quality materials like Saddle Brown genuine leather on the seat and steering wheel, brushed aluminum throughout the interior and solid walnut with darker coniferous wood pinstripes on the floor. On the other hand, modern, high-tech features such as the large projection surface for the panoramic screen and innovative user experience solutions such as the virtual race option represent the EQ's visionary character. The seat surface and backrest have a unique pattern aligned with the seat contour; stars are etched with laser engraving. AIRSCARF neck-level heating is integrated into the seat and it is equipped with a four-point seatbelt. The pedals can be adapted to the driver's specific stature, with a controller located on the seat for adjusting the pedals. To match the exterior paint finish in Alubeam Silver, the side walls of the interior are covered in a luxurious, grey suede.
The driver of the EQ Silver Arrow is encompassed by a large panoramic screen on which a 3D image of the surroundings is projected from behind. As an indicator of future possible charging technologies, the lane of the roadway on which inductive charging is possible is superimposed onto the screen. This is where it gets crazy: "With the help of artificial intelligence, it is possible to engage in a virtual race against historic or present Silver Arrow racing cars. A virtual racetrack is superimposed onto the real roadway via the panoramic screen and the driver sees their opponent either ahead of them or behind them as a 'ghost.' The Virtual Race Coach assistance function helps one improve driving skills by giving instructions during the race," according to Mercedes-Benz. Uh, alrighty then. The driver can use the touchscreen on the steering wheel to select programs such as Comfort, Sport and Sport+, which offer different driving characteristics. Sound settings can also be configured here: choices include the sound of a current Formula 1 Silver Arrow or a Mercedes-AMG V8 engine.
The EQ Silver Arrow is conceived as an electric vehicle with an output of 738 hp. The thin rechargeable battery in the underbody has a usable capacity of approximately 80 kWh and enables an approximate range of over 250 miles. Side air vents help to cool the battery.

The 1937 Mercedes-Benz W 125 streamliner record car from 1937.

Our AE Quote of the Week goes to Mike Flewitt, the CEO of McLaren, who was interviewed at the Goodwood Festival of Speed by Automotive News. AN: Lamborghini has entered the white-hot crossover/SUV market. Why is McLaren against going down that path? Flewitt: "I'm not against SUVs. They are just not what McLaren does. An SUV is hugely expensive to do. We wouldn't have the shared engineering that you need to have the kind of business model that supports what we do. When we decide to do a product there are three simple tests: It has to be right for the brand and right for the customer base, we've got to have the technology to do the best car in class and we've got to make money. An SUV starts to reduce the purity of the brand as a supercar driver's brand. Secondly, we don't have the technology. Can you imagine from a standing start if we wanted to go out and do a better car than a Range Rover, or a Cayenne — the billions we'd have to invest? Third, therefore, is we wouldn't make any money. So it doesn't tick any box." Editor-in-Chief's Note: As I've said repeatedly, before you can manage a brand you have to understand what it isn't before you can understand what it is. Kudos to Mr. Flewitt for understanding that. -PMD
(Audi images)
(Infiniti images)
Editor-in-Chief's Note: Monterey Car Week has become the showcase of "Swingin' Dickism" as the auto manufacturers all line up to display their - ahem - wares. From the calculated greed fest on display at the various auctions, to the wildly extravagant manufacturer pavilions, Monterey Car Week is the pinnacle 
of over-the-top automotive excess that has become almost beyond comprehension at this point. The first factory entry for your viewing pleasure this week is the INFINITI Prototype 10 - which the company's PR minions framed this way: "Bridging past and future, the INFINITI Prototype 10 recaptures the spirit of early speedsters for an era of electrified performance... The Prototype 10 provides a window into INFINITI's desire to deliver driving pleasure, thrilling performance and range confidence." The Prototype 10 was overseen by INFINITI's Japan design center, designed digitally in the U.K., and then crafted by hand in San Diego, California. Karim Habib, Executive Design Director, INFINITI, had this to say: "The INFINITI Prototype 10 echoes the layout and design of early speedsters. This period saw the creation of some of the most evocative car designs of all time, where power was celebrated through high-powered single-seat competition cars. Our new concept speaks of an electrified future, something which is reflected in its form and details. It is appropriate that we found inspiration in an optimistic bygone era in which cars were characterized by the simple love of driving." Ironic, isn't it? Since the anti-auto zealots are pushing the notion that driving will become passe. Kudos to INFINITI for doing a concept that has nothing to do with nothin', but is just nice to look at (unlike the Protoype 9 from last year, which was a giant beat-off). -PMD
(Lamborghini images)
Lamborghini has introduced the Adventador SVJ
, a new generation of its V12 flagship. The high-performance machine features advance aerodynamics, lightweight materials, four-wheel drive, four-wheel steering and a naturally-aspirated V12 with 770HP. Performance? 0-100km/h in 2.8 seconds with a top speed over 350 km/h. The Adventador SVJ lapped the Nürburgring-Nordschleife at 6:44.97 minutes, which is a lap record for production cars. The price when it arrives in the U.S. is $517,770.00 (Gas Guzzler Tax Included), and it will be limited to 900 units globally.

(BMW images)
BMW has unveiled the all-new 2019 BMW Z4 M40i First Edition in Pebble Beach. This just in: The car is so unbelievably underwhelming that we're just shocked at how mundane it is. Oh well, if you must know, following are a few details. First off, it shares a platform with the upcoming Toyota Supra. Yeah, we know it's a global business now, and we know there are global "arrangements" to cut costs, but so much for BMW exclusivity and it still sucks. Here's what the BMW PR minions say: "Just a glance at the all-new BMW Z4’s proportions leaves no doubt about its sporting potential. The central sitting position for the driver, the low center of gravity, perfectly balanced 50:50 weight distribution; the new BMW Z4 fulfills these expectations in every aspect." Uh, we beg to differ. And the minions weren't finished, because they continued, "... the new BMW Z4 M40i First Edition offers specific design and equipment features that add exclusive accents to the car’s sporty flair." Really? When we see the words "sporty flair" being bandied about we don't walk, we sprint away. The mechanical bits? Power comes from an updated version of BMW’s 3.0 liter inline 6-cylinder engine - although BMW didn't provide horsepower or torque figures - BMW says the Z4 M40i goes from 0-60mph in under 4.4 seconds (estimated). A BMW M tuned sports suspension with electronically controlled dampers, M Sport braking system and an electronically controlled M Sport rear differential also is part of the package. BMW will announce ull Z4 model details and specifications on September 18, 2018. The all-new 2019 BMW Z4 30i will arrive in U.S. BMW Centers in spring 2019, while the BMW Z4 M40i (including the First Edition) arrives in the second quarter.

This is the new Audi RS 5 Sportback, which Audi PR minions say "offers the ideal balance of high design, functionality and track-worthy driving dynamics." It is powered by a 2.9 liter TFSI V6 biturbo engine that generates 444HP and 443 lb-ft of torque available in a wide rev range from 1,900 to 5,000 rpm. The Audi RS 5 Sportback can sprint from 0 to 60 mph in 3.8 seconds and achieves a top track speed of 155 mph (increases to 174 mph with the optional Dynamic package). It stickers for $74,200 if you're interested - gee, remember when that would get you a 911? - and it will be here in the U.S. at the end of this year.

Looking out on the morning rain
I used to feel so uninspired
And when I knew I had to face another day
Lord, it made me feel so tired.

- Rock Steady, Aretha...
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