Second Nissan Futures event focuses on autonomous driving and unveils bold uses for electric vehicle batteries…

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Nissan had autonomous little robots running around in the Barcelona registration hall of the Futures event… 

We already reported extensively about the first Nissan Futures event in London, and Nissan came in Barcelona up with an encore: this time it revealed the results of Europe’s most comprehensive study into the social and economic impact of autonomous drive.

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It amply showed how Nissan looks progressively into the future, and indeed Nissan has also further bold plans and applications of E-energy up its sleeve: Nissan and Eaton announced in expansion of their xStorage Home portfolio to include a range of six products, with pre-orders being opened in several European countries.

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The conference was held in Nissan’s Barcelona factory premises…

There is still more: xStorage Home to be complemented by xStorage Buildings as Nissan, The Mobility House and Eaton prepare to power up Amsterdam ArenA with electric vehicle batteries…

We tell you here more about all this, just read further.

Hans Knol ten Bensel

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Our Jag goes into winter retreat..

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It is always an exquisite pleasure to drive our classic Jag, but with the first wintery and stormy days coming up it is time to give our faithful Type S a well deserved rest.

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As the Jag is lately beset with (slowly) leaking fuel tanks, we decided to get the car checked out and repaired, while it is standing protected in winter.

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So we acquired the expert services of Didier Spiessens, who will solve the tank problems and keep the car well cared for in his premises.

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We will soon tell you more about all this and treat you also on a full report about the activities of his firm Personal Car Services. We show you here some photos when he collected our car. More about the further developments soon…

Hans Knol ten Bensel

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For your info, here you find the contact data of the Didier Spiessens firm:

Personal Car Services

De Robianostraat 76 – 2150 Borsbeek – Belgium

www.personalcarservices.com

didier.pcs@gmail.com

We drove the Abarth 124 Spider and the 595 Competizione: the sound, panache and fury of the scorpion…

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Cars with Italian red blood in their veins still exist. Thoroughbred automobiles which emit the most wonderful sound at the slightest blip of the throttle. Cars which seem to move even when they stand still. Cars where you almost would die for just to sit behind the wheel and drive them to the limit. With your right hand at the gearlever and the engine just screaming away. Looking at the beautiful instruments and enjoying the thrust, speed, smell and staccato sound. These cars are made since 1949. They are called Abarths. And they are getting more ravishing than ever, and seem only to grow in their unique magic. We drove the latest, much improved edition of the iconic 595, in the wonderful “Competizione” version, and last but not least, the Abarth 124 Spider, every bit as pure and impressive as its famous predecessor, which was born in 1972.

 Hans Knol ten Bensel

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40 years of Audi five-cylinder engines: the sound of fury (still) continues…

1983: five-cylinder engine triumphant in rallying: In the 1983 Corsica Rally, Audi competes for the first time with the Audi quattro A2, Group B. Its 2.1-liter turbocharged five-cylinder inline engine produces 265 kW (360 hp) at 6,500 revolutions per minute and delivers 450 newton meters (331.90 lb-ft) of torque at 4,000 rpm. At the end of the season, the Finn Hannu Mikkola wins the drivers’ title in this car. One year later, the Swede Stig Blomqvist replicates this success: he becomes world rally champion, while Audi wins the manufacturers’ world rally championship for the second time after 1982.
1983: five-cylinder engine triumphant in rallying:
In the 1983 Corsica Rally, Audi competes for the first time with the Audi quattro A2, Group B. Its 2.1-liter turbocharged five-cylinder inline engine produces 265 kW (360 hp) at 6,500 revolutions per minute and delivers 450 newton meters (331.90 lb-ft) of torque at 4,000 rpm. At the end of the season, the Finn Hannu Mikkola wins the drivers’ title in this car. One year later, the Swede Stig Blomqvist replicates this success: he becomes world rally champion, while Audi wins the manufacturers’ world rally championship for the second time after 1982.

Every car enthusiast has this sound ringing in its ears. The roaring sound of the high revving rally engine, the raw 5 cylinder staccato when the combustion efficiency bites above 4000 rpm, the growl, the flames in the exhaust, the “pop” explosions on gearchanges, we all know it. It is the symphony of Vorsprung durch Technik, and indeed, it has been going on for decades now.

1978: five-cylinder carbureted engine: In April 1978, the five-cylinder carbureted version with an output of 85 kW (115 hp) replaces the basic twoliter four-cylinder version in the Audi 100 (C2). The new 1.9-liter unit produces maximum power at 5,400 revs and delivers 154 newton meters (113.58 lb-ft) of torque to the crankshaft at 3,700 rpm. The engine is used in the Audi 100 5 (C2), the Audi 80 CD (B2), the Audi Coupé GT 5S (B2) and in the Audi 100 (C3).
1978: five-cylinder carbureted engine:
In April 1978, the five-cylinder carbureted version with an output of 85 kW (115 hp) replaces the basic twoliter four-cylinder version in the Audi 100 (C2). The new 1.9-liter unit produces maximum power at 5,400 revs and delivers 154 newton meters (113.58 lb-ft) of torque to the crankshaft at 3,700 rpm. The engine is used in the Audi 100 5 (C2), the Audi 80 CD (B2), the Audi Coupé GT 5S (B2) and in the Audi 100 (C3).

It brings also sweet memories to your servant, when as a young journalist I sat behind the wheel of the 80 Quattro saloon, with this 5 cylinder engine roaring under his right foot. It is all magic. And indeed, here, it calls for a small celebration in these columns.

Hans Knol ten Bensel

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We drove the Nissan Navara 2.3 dCi 190 HP Double Cab Tekna: a car for all seasons…

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We were already quite impressed by the Navara at its presentation, and understandably we were  looking forward to a more extensive test of this versatile performer.

Indeed, the Navara truly delivered, and proved to be everything it was meant to be. An outstanding, well balanced, roomy and sturdy pick up, with very impressive performance combined with excellent economy and last but not least lots of style and mechanical refinement.

Hans Knol ten Bensel

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Electric vehicles and the European energy grids, the story continues…

 

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 The first speaker on the conference was Eric Feunteun, Vice President Electric Vehicles Business Unit of Renault Nissan. He pointed out that electric vehicles are gaining market share, and rapidly so…

Indeed, EV’s and the European energy providers are going hand in hand towards an emission free mobility solution with clever distributed energy storage solutions.

Quite a mouthful, this paragraph.  But every element in it depicts indeed the way to go in the nearby future with our mobility. We attended an interesting Renault-Nissan alliance conference, where this brave new world was shown to us through a panel of significant speakers, at the latest edition of the EU Sustainable Energy Week.

Hans Knol ten Bensel

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We drove the Renault Talisman Initiale Paris Energy TCe 200 HP EDC: enjoying the panache and performance of a noble French grand tourer…

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The Talisman has already impressed us with its excellent comfort, style and handling. The frugality of its 130 HP Diesel engine was nothing short of astonishing. Of course we wanted to know more. Given its state of the art suspension and chassis, this Talisman would be even more exhilarating to drive with more power, coupled to Renault’s latest 7 speed dual clutch automatic transmission. The dynamic Renault PR team provided us with a magnificent top of the range “Initiale Paris” version, a Talisman which offers all the luxury and panache of a noble French automobile. It proved indeed to be an exquisite experience, just read further…

Hans Knol ten Bensel

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