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Volkswagen ID.R Sets New Nurburgring EV Record

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Volkswagen ID.R race car Nurburgring record

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The all-electric race car is now the second-fastest to lap the ring, behind the Porsche 919 LMP1.

Volkswagen’s ID.R race car has set a new lap record on the Nürburgring-Nordschleife for electric cars. With driver Romain Dumas at the helm, it completed the 12.9-mile course in 6:05.336 minutes at an average speed of nearly 129 mph (208 km/h).

Originally developed for the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, the ID.R was later optimized to conquer the legendary Green Hell. The impressive lap time makes it second-fastest car on the Nürburgring, just 5 seconds behind Timo Bernhard’s 5:19.55 record set in 2018 in a Porsche 919 Evo LMP1 prototype race car.

“A great future for this car!” Dumas stated. “We will continue to push on it and we will see what we can achieve in the future.”

In related news, Volkswagen is building its first factory dedicated to electric cars.

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Autonomous Racing Cars: A Revolutionary Idea In The World Of Racing

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Autonomous Race Car

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Autonomous cars could completely change the way we view racing.

With the advent of autonomous technology, human drivers are bound to be replaced by self-driving cars to such an extent that even racing cars will be driven by an AI. In fact, driverless cars are said to be the next big thing in the world of racing.

Developers are already laying the the ground work for Roborace, a competition for autonomously driving, electrically powered vehicles, and big-name companies like Ford, Tesla, and Mercedes are all integrating concepts of artificial intelligence to develop racing cars that would eliminate the need for human drivers.

Safety if often cited as one of the benefits of autonomous vehicles, and for good reason. Racing car drivers tend to make mistakes at high speeds, while the chances of accidents are much less with an autonomous AI in control.

The goal is to have sensors that are efficient enough to figure out when there is chance for the car to break down, perfectly adjusting for tyre wear, speed and trajectory, and fuel level to mitigate crashes and optimally time for any necessary pit stops.

Also, without a human driver behind the wheel, there is no need for an interior, allowing engineers and designers to make racing cars even lighter and more aerodynamic to achieve higher speeds.

As for power, autonomous race cars are more often than not all-electric, a setup that provides them with nearly instantaneous power delivery. And their hardware and software are integrated in such a way that they can endure a lot more jarring or beating than conventional race cars.

Advanced, highly-sophisticated GPS systems help them to navigate perfectly and guide the their routes, while radar and the LIDAR work together and in congruence to assess and manage road conditions.

Robocar is the world’s first race car purpose-built to be autonomous. Watch it in action…

Google has really gone the furthest when it comes to driverless vehicles, but General Motors has also made great headway. In its current form, GM’s Cruise technology is often touted as the best automated driving system from a major automaker, even beating Tesla’s Autopilot.

Self-adjusting speed controls, vehicle stability systems and self-parking are just a few of the features you can expect from self-driving cars. Emergency brake light warning system, slow traffic ahead, red light violation system, aggressive driver warning system, road hazard detection and emergency vehicle notification system can also be added to the list.

Then there is the question of how autonomous racing cars will look. According to the racing car enthusiasts at LeaseCar UK, we can expect something like the Nvidia-powered Robocar, with its sleek, extremely aerodynamic and flat design as a result of not having a steering wheel and seat for a human driver.

No human driver, instantaneous electric power, state-of-the-art computer AI and surveying technologies, and sleek designs — are you excited for what Roborace and autonomous racing cars in general will bring to the world of racing? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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Toyota HiLux Wins 2019 Dakar Rally

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Toyota Hilux Dakar Rally 2019

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The win a first in a number of ways and couldn’t have come at a better time for the driver.

A Toyota HiLux came out on top in the 2019 Dakar Rally, marking the first time that Toyota has won the grueling desert race overall. Man and machine proved more than capable and reliable enough to win every one of the 10 stages in the South American rally.

Fielded by Toyota Gazoo Racing of South Africa, the rally-modified pickup truck was also the first gasoline-powered vehicle ever to win a Dakar Rally since the competition was moved to South America from Africa in 2009 for safety reasons. It was manned by driver Nasser Al-Attiyah of Qatar and his navigator Mathieu Baumel from France.

As it turned out, Al-Attiyah turned 43 years old on January 17, the day his team won the rally. He now has three Dakar titles under his belt.

“We are so happy to win the Dakar, not only for ourselves, but also for Toyota and the entire Toyota Gazoo Racing SA team,” Al Attiyah said in a statement. “Everyone has worked so hard for so long, and really deserve this.”

In the same race, a Toyota Land Cruiser won the Production Division category for the sixth consecutive year, and a Hino Ranger (Hino is Toyota’s heavy duty truck subsidiary) won its tenth consecutive year in the Truck category.

The HiLux has been Toyota’s main pickup truck globally for decades and shares little with the Tacoma sold in North America.

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2019 Ford GT Heritage Edition Celebrates The GT’s Le Mans Win

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2019 Ford GT Heritage Edition, number 9 back

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It’s been 50 years since the Ford GT won the the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

In celebration of the anniversary, Ford used Pebble Beach 2018 to show off a Heritage Edition of the latest Ford GT supercar, mimicking the original Le Mans-winning car as much as possible.

The GT Heritage Edition features the same American Gulf Oil paint scheme as the 1968 GT40, as well as exposed carbon fiber A-pillars. It rides on unique 20-inch black aluminum wheels, the Brembo brakes feature orange calipers, and the mirror caps are have been painted in silver.

For those who just can’t seem to get enough of carbon fiber, there is an optional package that adds exposed carbon fiber accents inside and out. Buyers can also opt to have number nine graphics on the hood and on doors for the 2019 model year and number six graphics for the 2020 model year to honor the GT40 that won Le Mans in 1969.

Joe Hinrichs, Ford president, global operations, stated:

“Many view the Gulf Oil paint scheme as the most famous in motorsports. The 1968 GT40 quickly became a global sensation after beating its European competitors on the track four times in a row, and in honor of the 50th anniversary of its win, we’re paying fresh tribute to the original with a new heritage limited edition.”

Inside, the GT Heritage Edition’s seats and instrument panel are wrapped in Ebony Alcantara, as are the pillars, headliner and steering wheel. The seats and steering wheel also boast contrasting blue and orange stitching. A Unique serialized identification plate rounds things out.

Ford will produce the GT Heritage Edition for the 2019 and 2020 model years.

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