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Peugeot Inception, the lion’s manifesto


Peugeot Inception Concept. Its rough-hewn stern refers to that of the virtual vehicle that Peugeot had produced in September 2020. CHRIS NOLTEKUHLMANN

DECRYPTION – Unveiled at CES in Las Vegas, this electric and autonomous concept prepares motorists for a spectacular stylistic and technological revolution.

Of the Franche-Comté roots, there is not much left. Since it merged into the Stellantis group, Peugeot has wanted to change its horizons. In front of an audience of international journalists glued to their computer screens, with a lot of digital images and speeches in English, the Lion began to roar on the other side of the Atlantic, a country where he hesitates always coming back. High point of the presentation led by a management team in jeans and sneakers, the revelation of a concept donning the clothes of a manifesto of style and technology. First prototype designed under the direction of Matthias Hossann, who succeeded Gilles Vidal as head of Peugeot design during the summer of 2020, Inception conveys several messages.

Peugeot

According to the Sochaux manufacturer, the future will inevitably be electric, despite the warnings of some captains in the sector, including Carlos Tavares. By 2025, it will launch five battery-powered vehicles, including two 308s (sedan and station wagon) and a new…

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Afeela, the new brand from Sony and Honda


The Afeela electric sedan will be equipped with the latest generation of driving assistance. Afeela

At CES in Las Vegas, the two Japanese giants formalized their intentions with the presentation of an electric sedan launched in 2025.

After two Vision concepts presented in the space of three years, the joint venture that Sony, the inventor of the Walkman, and Honda created with the aim of designing and marketing electric vehicles, has entered a more concrete phase. Last week, at the New Technology Show in Las Vegas, the two Japanese giants unveiled the name of their new brand. Afeela: this is the name chosen by the two partners. It comes from the English word “feel”. Launched at the end of 2025, the first model marks the sedan’s return with fanfare. Its dimensions are similar to those of the Hyundai Ioniq 6.

sony

4.89 m long, 1.90 m wide and 1.46 m high, this hatchback vehicle takes care of its aerodynamics. The shapes are refined; the corners are rounded; the door handles are retractable; the stern houses a movable fin. The wheelbase of 3 m should ensure record habitability for this sedan, which communicates with the outside via the illuminated bar located under the bonnet…

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BMW i Vision Dee, the windshield becomes a content screen


BMW i Vision Circular and BMW i Vision Dee BMW

NEW – At CES in Las Vegas, the Munich firm presented a prototype of a compact sedan that emphasizes virtual experiences.

At BMW, the steering wheel has not yet disappeared – it has already changed in appearance with a vertical central branch -, but we perceive that a new step has just been taken towards the virtual world. Its i Vision Dee (for Digital Emotion Experience) compact sedan concept presented at the Las Vegas Technology Show shows that Munich is ready to change register and give up driving pleasure, its signature and raison d’être, which drives motorists for fifty years. Oliver Zipse, the president of the German group, did not hesitate to proclaim, during the presentation of his demonstrator, that“a BMW lives thanks to its unequaled digital performance”. Should we take this announcement at face value? The fact remains that tomorrow, that is to say from 2025, the manufacturer, which has built itself around the performance of its engines and the sporting pleasure of its models, will give in to the promises of the virtual world, which will keep motorists away from driving a little more.

The head-up display weaves its web

The interior of the BMW i Vision Dee Concept. BMW

Inspired by the i Vision Circular style exercise, presented at the 2021 Munich Motor Show, its Neue Klasse, a new generation electric car with a monovolume line, will be one of the first BMWs to have a new generation of the head-up display. Its main characteristic is to broadcast its contents over the entire width of the windshield. In addition to information related to driving, the communication system and augmented reality projection, particularly for navigation, the driver will control entry into virtual worlds from buttons on the steering wheel. It is to be hoped that they do not disturb the driver, unless the car has switched to autonomous mode.

BMW i Vision Dee. Fabian Kirchbauer

Launched in 2025, the Neue Klasse will inaugurate cylindrical battery cells to adapt in particular to the platform. If the diameter of 46 mm is standard, the engineers of the German manufacturer have developed two different heights, depending on the needs. The composition of the cells has also been modified to increase the energy density by 20%. Operating with a voltage of 800 volts, the battery will see its recharge time reduced by 30% (from 10% to 80%).

As for the Las Vegas concept, it could inspire a notchback version of the Neue Klasse.

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Towards fully dematerialized PVs in 2023?


François BOUCHON/Le Figaro

RIGHT OF THE USER – The Minister of Justice announces the general implementation of fixed fines in electronic version for all contraventions.

For several years, some offenders have received by email the notice of violation noting their violation of the Highway Code.

These electronic fine notices otherwise known as “e-ACO” will become widespread during the year 2023.

In practice, the offender receives an electronic message specifying that he is the recipient of a notice of contravention and that to consult it, he must, after having given his agreement to receive the document in electronic version, click on a link to the official site of the ANTAI (National Agency for the automated processing of offences).

The e-mail address used by the public authorities is the one collected when the vehicle is registered or the one given to the police in the event of a verbalization with interception.

Several difficulties nevertheless remain to be resolved, including the user’s refusal to communicate his or her contact details or to have to manage the change of the citizen’s e-mail address during the procedure.

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Verge TS Ultra, long distance autonomy


NEWS – The Finnish firm unveils at CES in Las Vegas a new evolution of its electric motorcycle claiming 375 km with a charge.

His name exposes him to ridicule but maybe they did it on purpose? As for his productions, they have not finished making people talk. The Finnish electric motorcycle brand Verge would have liked to shine the spotlight on its activities that it would not have done otherwise. At the CES show in Las Vegas, Verge Motorcycles presents a new evolution of its TS model: the Ultra. Like all models in the range, the new machine has the originality of housing the electric motor in the rear wheel. This architecture frees up space for installing the battery at the heart of the machine and ensures better weight distribution. Likewise, the hubless design eliminates moving parts such as the chain and sprockets.

More than its futuristic shapes, the Verge TS Ultra heralds performance from another world. Its 20.6 kWh battery drives a 201 horsepower motor promising dantesque acceleration requiring gripping the handlebars: 100 km/axe would be reached in 2.5 seconds. The manufacturer claims a range of 375 km and only 25 minutes to recharge the batteries. These performances have a price: 54,880 euros. The first deliveries will begin at the end of 2023. The ecological transition is definitely not allowed to everyone.

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Asterix and Obelix drive a Citroën


NEWS – “By toutatis!” The French manufacturer has produced a tank inspired by the 2CV for the latest opus in the adventures of our favorite Gauls. He will be one of the stars of the Retromobile show.

“Stop your chariot”. This is undoubtedly what René Goscinny and Albert Uderzo, the fathers of Asterix, would have exclaimed when they learned that Citroën had made a tank for the most famous of the Gauls. This is no joke though. For “Asterix and Obelix: the Middle Empire”, the next film of the adventures of the Gallic hero in theaters from next February 1, the designers of the chevron firm have offered themselves a recreation that will certainly make more people talk than the performance of their latest top of the range or that of the brand’s offensive in certain Asian countries.

Citroen

This funny tank made of solid ash evokes the iconic 2CV. The habitable cell is largely inspired by the shape of the roof of Citroën’s famous all-purpose car released after the Second World War. The pavilion is covered with a “Lutèce” canvas which folds up to provide an opening roof for Asterix and Obelix. The two armchairs, which would fit better in a living room than in a vehicle, are covered with a tartan fabric. The manufacturer’s press release continues by stating that “the suspensions are made of boar’s stomach”. As for the headlights, they are inspired by Gallic helmets and are operated using fireflies doped with “magic potion”. The design of the wheels refers to the universe of Gallic shields.

Citroen

The Citroën tank concept, fruit of the imagination of the Gallic Cétautomatix, appears in several sequences of the film. It also refers to the history of the firm of the former quai de Javel. Father of modern marketing, André Citroën was not content to make the Eiffel Tower sparkle with his logo and his name. He had also distinguished himself by venturing into China with the Yellow Cruise, an expedition that lasted almost a year, from April 1931 to February 1932, to reach Beijing from Beirut. In 1986, for the launch of the AX city car, the advertiser Jacques Séguéla, who managed the Citroën budget, had no hesitation in shooting a promotional film on the Chinese wall.

The Citroën tank of Asterix and Obelix will be one of the attractions of the Retromobile show which is being held in Paris, Porte de Versailles, from February 1st to 5th.

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Range Rover Sport P510e, muscles and no penalty


On the road, the height-adjustable air suspension works wonders, giving the impression of moving on air cushions. David Shepherd+447831586258

TEST – Entirely renewed, the most athletic Range is able to extend electric driving outside cities thanks to its large battery.

Too bulky, the latest Range Rover? The English manufacturer is putting a Sport variant back on the shelves, without departing from the recipes that made the success of the two previous generations. While largely inspired by its big brother, this model is less intimidating, conveying a more relaxed state of mind. It returns 90 mm in length to the Range but at the same time lengthens by 70 mm compared to its predecessor to reach 4.95 m. More inclined windscreen, smooth sides, flush glazing and retractable handles: the Sport takes care of its line to lower the aerodynamic Cx to 0.29. A feat, at the service of efficiency.

In the crosshairs of vindicators, the Sport, like its big brother, will run electric in 2024. In the meantime, it offers two plug-in hybrid versions: P440e and P510e. The latter rivals the petrol V8 in terms of performance and pleasure, but has the advantages of being able to circulate in ZFEs and of being exempt from penalties and…

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Superethanol E85, an increasingly popular fuel


NEWS – As a result of the explosion in fuel prices, sales of flexfuel vehicles broke a new record in 2022.

Nearly 11,800 motorists (11,753 exactly) bought a new vehicle running on flexfuel in 2022. This is almost five times more than in 2021 (2,424 units). In a sluggish market – with 1.529 million new car registrations, the lowest volume since 1974 – registrations of models originally equipped with an E85 box represented nearly 0.8% of the total. There is no doubt that if the offer were more extensive – only Ford and Land Rover have flexfuel vehicles in their catalogs – the level of sales would be higher.

The rise in fuel prices during the year 2022 largely linked to inflation and speculative tensions on the barrel of black gold in the context of the war in Ukraine, and the end of the tariff shield, as well as the explosion predictable price of electricity, have encouraged more and more motorists to switch to Superethanol E85 to reduce their fuel budget.

It is true that the E85 composed of 15% gasoline and 85% biofuel remains the most economical fuel at the moment. And unlike the electric vehicle, it has no impact on use. Admittedly, in the context of a general rise in prices at the start of the year, the liter of E85 was raised to €1.04, but the differential remains the same compared to SP95-E10. Consumer behavior will have to be observed in the coming weeks but, even if the bill will increase at the pump, the difference is still around €0.70/litre with E10. According to a study carried out in the summer of 2022 at the request of the Bioethanol Collective, 73% of motorists driving on E85 estimate that their fuel budget will save more than 600 euros/year.

To support the ecological transition, the Île-de-France region will thus continue to support motorists wishing to convert to Superethanol during the year 2023. A fixed aid of €500 will be allocated to the installation of an E85 box. In total, between July 1, 2022 and December 31, 2023, the Île-de-France region is aiming for a target of 30,000 boxes installed.

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BMW i7, the cozy and lively living room


The BMW i7 innovates with a textile mixing wool and cashmere. The Munich firm has imagined transforming the rear space of the 7 Series into a home cinema. DANIEL KRAUS/DANIEL KRAUS

ESSAY – With or without a driver, the German brand’s first electric limousine shakes up the laws of the genre, approaching a Rolls-Royce.

It is still called Series 7, but it would have been better to give it the name “Series 9” or “Series 10”. The seventh generation of the Munich firm’s flagship cut ties with its predecessor, but also with the entire line that appeared in 1977.

For the first time at BMW, all models are produced on the same line, including the new i7 electric version, the subject of our first test. The proof that the center of gravity of the large Bavarian sedan has moved: it ignores the short version, which represented 80% of volumes in Europe, to keep only the long wheelbase model acclaimed by the Americans and the Chinese.

full view

DANIEL KRAUS/DANIEL KRAUS

This is not nothing: around a generous wheelbase of 3.21 meters, the new 7 Series has lengthened by 130 mm to become as long as the first Rolls-Royce Ghost (5.39 m). This large size is at the service of really spacious rear seats, which will appeal to us at large discount companies…

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60 years of the Porsche 911 in the spotlight


AGENDA – Until January 22, chandelier and collector Régis Mathieu pays tribute to the queen of sports cars through an incredible line-up of 40 road and racing models.

Bringing together forty 911s that symbolize a career that spans six decades was a challenge. Yet this is the challenge taken up by Régis Mathieu with the complicity of his son Arthur. “It was last summer, on the boat that brought us back from Corsica, that we had the idea of ​​celebrating the sixty years of the 911. When the crossing arrived, we had drawn up an ideal list of models road and race. In a way, the essentials.

Regis Mathieu

All that remained was to find them”, says the lustrier installed in the old ocher factories of Gargas, a few kilometers from Apt *. A few phone calls seal the unthinkable.

The most beautiful sports pages

Inaugurated in mid-December, the exhibition, installed in new buildings of the family chandelier, is worth the trip. It illustrates the words of Ferry Porsche, the founder of the brand that bears his name: “The 911 is the only car with which you can take part in an African safari, run the 24 Hours of Le Mans, go to the theater or even browse the streets of New York. Apart from the absence of any reference to the African adventure, the retrospective borders on faultless with the presence of a few nuggets, such as the first 911 S from 1966 which was used for press photos with Ferry Porsche, but also the one of the prototypes of the famous 911 R from 1967, the first racing model of the line.

Brian Regnier

We hold our breath with the presence of the machines that wrote the most beautiful sporting pages of the 911: the sister car of the 2.1-litre turbo prototype ranked second in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1972, a 3-litre RSR in Martini colours, the 934 Gaban from Le Mans 1978, the 935 Interscope from Le Mans 1979. Further on, the whole family of Speedsters, RSs and Turbos are lined up. Régis Mathieu has a sense of staging: the place can only be visited after dark so that each of the 40 chandeliers selected can be seen in the generous shapes of these mechanical beauties.

* Mathieu chandeliers. 432, road to Croagnes, 84400 Gargas. Until January 22, from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Free admission.

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