The Land Rover Defender is getting a complete redesign, and although designers worked hard to modernize its iconic exterior, customers will be spending all of their time in the new interior, which brings a mix of outdoor and elegant cues that give the cabin a modern look. Here are four things we like and two we dislike about the Land Rover Defender interior.
We Like: Exposed Bolts
Contributing to the cabin’s outdoorsy feel are the exposed bolts on the door panels and center console. Whether they’re on the metal or the wood trim, the bolts give the Land Rover Defender interior a unique look and feel that goes well with the rest of the vehicle. It only makes sense to show the exposed bolts in a few vehicles, and it looks great in the Defender.
We Like: Rubber Floors
Given the type of vehicle it is, every Defender comes with rubber floors that can easily be cleaned after you hit the dirt. I also like how the engineering team made it possible to have an almost flat floor, which is good for all the camping equipment and is more comfortable when you have three adults sitting in the back.
We Like: Infotainment Screen
The 10-inch center touchscreen comes with the new infotainment system from Jaguar Land Rover, which was designed to be used like a smartphone. Land Rover promises the response to be quick, and although we weren’t able to test it during the auto show, the graphics look modern and the system seems intuitive.
We DON’T Like: 5+2 Seating
Although I’m a fan of the headroom and legroom in the second row, the optional two seats in the cargo area are not for adults. I had a hard time trying to enter the seats, and once I finally got my body in the correct place and the second-row seat back to its upright position, legroom was extremely tight. What’s more, the second-row seat was all the way forward, touching the driver’s seat and leaving absolutely no legroom.
We Like: Four USB Ports in the Back
Defender designers placed one USB port on the back of each of the front seats, making it easy for rear-seat passengers to use the ports. Two additional ports are located on the center console, under the air vents for rear-seat passengers, bringing the total number of ports to four. Those who opt for the 5+2 interior will also get two USB ports in the third row.
We DON’T Like: The Center Console Design
Although I applaud Land Rover for putting a cooler under the center armrest, the rest of the design of the center console is a bit weird (if you don’t opt for the center jump seat). There’s a decent gap between the cupholders and the USB ports that leads to a bigger space under the center console to store larger items (think handbags, purses, etc. ). But you can also access that room from the sides…
The car industry is facing a downturn in key markets, including China, as well as increased costs as it meets tougher European Union emissions regulations and the costly switch to electric vehicles. Audi saw falling sales, revenues and operating profits in the first nine months of 2019.
In a statement, the carmaker said the job cuts would “take place along the demographic curve – in particular through employee turnover and a new, attractive early retirement programme”.
“The company must become lean and fit for the future, which means that some job profiles will no longer be needed and new ones will be created.”
The carmaker said it would guarantee the jobs of operational workers until 2029.
It added that it would continue to train young people and maintain its number of apprentices and student trainees over the next three years. Speaking about the extension of the job guarantee for the workforce, spokesman Peter Mosch said: “We have reached an important milestone.
“The jobs of our core workforce are secure. The extension of the employment guarantee is a great success in difficult times. In addition, the upcoming electrification of the Ingolstadt and Neckarsulm plants. underscores the long-term success of both German sites.”
Like its rivals, Audi is spending billions of euros on new technologies, including battery-electric and hybrid vehicles, connectivity and autonomous driving. But the firm last year also had to pay an €800m fine over its role in the “dieselgate” emissions scandal scandal that started at parent company VW.
It is not just German carmakers that are facing sluggish growth. Car parts suppliers Bosch and Continental have announced thousands of job cuts. And it comes against the wider backdrop of a slowing German economy, which has narrowly avoided a recession.
Audi has sailed through some stormy seas over the past few years, but now it’s setting its sights on a new horizon.
The upmarket VW Group brand was at the heart of the diesel emissions cheating scandal, which erupted in 2015. Its former chief executive, Rupert Stadler, has been charged with fraud over his alleged role in the affair.
Now, like its parent, Audi is focusing on the future – and working flat out to develop electric cars.
It has already launched the E-tron, the first of 20 battery-powered models due to appear by 2025. But developing electric cars that people actually want to drive costs money.
No surprise then that Audi is trying to streamline its operations and slim down its workforce.
Competition in the electric car market is heating up rapidly. Within the next few years we could even see a battle for survival among the traditional mainstream carmakers, as they adapt to what will soon become a very different environment.
How much ride-hailing companies Uber and Lyft charge customers throughout a day is one of the most closely held secrets in Silicon Valley.
But a law in Chicago requiring the companies to disclose fare data shines a light on how at least one of the former “unicorns” is trying to turn a profit for the first time.
A Reuters analysis of the data shows fares for shared rides in the city have risen significantly over the past year, while fares for single riders have remained stable.
The price increases for shared rides predominantly affect Chicago’s low-income neighborhoods, which is where most of the carpool rides are booked, the analysis showed. Over this period of increased fares, carpool ridership fell.
The Chicago data does not differentiate between rides operated by Uber Technologies Inc., Lyft Inc., or smaller ride-share rival Via. Data by Second Measure, which tracks credit card expenditures, estimates that Uber commands a roughly 72 percent market share in Chicago. The data also does not indicate whether similar strategies are being rolled out in other cities.
The fare changes in Chicago show an attempt to reduce discounts for customers in order to help convince investors that ride-hailing can be a profitable business model.
But the shift comes with political risks, as cities from Chicago to London take ride-hailing companies to task over congestion, driver treatment and passenger rights. On Monday, regulators in London stripped Uber’s license for the second time in just over two years, pending an appeal, over a “pattern of failures” on safety and security.
After reviewing the findings from the Chicago data, Uber said it has traditionally seen losses in its shared pool rides segment. Earlier this month, CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said Uber was “losing significant sums” due to heavy discounts on those rides.
“We want Pool to be available to as many people and in as many cities as possible, and to do that it has to be financially sustainable for years to come” through measures including pricing and better algorithms to find more pool riders, an Uber spokesman said.
Lyft declined to comment on its pricing strategy, but said shared rides have increased access to affordable and reliable transportation, particularly in neighborhoods under served by public transit and passed over by taxis.
Lyft said that given Uber controls nearly two-thirds of the Chicago market, the data most closely reflected Uber’s strategy, and noted its own data did not show a decrease in shared rides.
Via, the smallest Chicago player almost exclusively focused on shared rides with an estimated 1 percent market share, also declined to comment on pricing but said its own interpretation of the Chicago data was consistent with the analysis.
“In city after city, we have seen that there is far more price sensitivity with pooled rides than with private, single passenger ones,” Via said, adding that it was crucial for fees and taxes on shared rides to stay low in order to decrease congestion.
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot has proposed taxes on ride-hailing services to combat congestion, by increasing the tax for solo trips and lowering taxes on shared rides. She also is pushing a new surcharge of $1.75 on weekday rides in the downtown area.
Chicago’s city council is scheduled to vote on the 2020 budget, which includes the congestion tax, on Tuesday.
Uber and Lyft, which have supported congestion taxes in New York and other cities, are fighting Lightfoot’s congestion proposal, calling it unfair for not including regular taxi services and disproportionately hurting lower-income residents.
They also said Lightfoot’s measure helps some of the city’s richest parts in the north, dominated by white residents, while hurting predominantly black and Hispanic residents on the South and West Side.
Lightfoot, Chicago’s first female African-American mayor, has rejected those claims, accusing Uber of stirring up racial tensions in opposition to the proposal.
Uber and Lyft put forward an alternative taxation plan that was rejected by the city as doing too little to ease downtown congestion. Uber in a statement said it wished Chicago would remove fees on shared rides altogether.
The Reuters analysis of more than one million Chicago rides between January and September 2019 — the only full quarters for which the city currently makes data available — found that fares per mile increased 13 percent for shared rides. But they remained unchanged for private rides.
Shared rides fell to about a third of all rides in a group of the least affluent neighborhoods of Chicago in the third quarter from about half of rides in the first.
Presented with Reuters’ pricing analysis, city representatives said they interpreted the data as an attempt by the companies to change customer behavior.
“We have real concerns about the claims these companies make because actually they’re the ones causing the pain to the communities in terms of cost, not the mayor’s plan,” said Rosa Escareno, Chicago’s Commissioner of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection who led the congestion policy.
Uber declined to directly comment on the city’s allegations, but said it made no sense that passengers in a solo taxi ride downtown will pay no tax while those taking a shared trip far from downtown will.
Lyft said the Mayor “is attempting to distract from what her plan will do: backtrack on her campaign promises and raise the cost of transportation in Chicago for communities who can least afford it.”
The New Renault ZOE has been refreshed inside and out, while its new 52kWh battery results in a class-leading range of 245 miles according to the latest WLTP calculations. The addition of faster 50kW DC rapid charging will further add to the chic superminis appeal.
Inside, New ZOE has been treated to an equally thorough redesign and enhanced technology, including the addition of a 10-inch driver instrument display panel and EASY LINK infotainment system with a portrait touchscreen screen up-to 9.3-inch in size. The New ZOE is available with a new upholstery that is entirely made from recycled materials.
Previously the model was available with a battery leasing option, bringing the initial purchase price of a Renault EV to be as close as possible to that of an equivalent diesel vehicle, whilst offering the comfort of an improved battery warranty.
For the new model, battery leasing has been taken away, but a offer a 0% APR PCP has been added. The innovative electric hatchback is now available in Play R110 Z.E.50 guise from as little as £269 per month with a deposit of £2,995. Customers can take advantage of this offer immediately, with New ZOE available to order now.
The 0% Renault Selections PCP finance package is available on all New ZOE models over a 24-month term. Under the scheme, monthly payments range from just £269 for the Play R110 Z.E.50 up to £309 for the flagship GT Line R135 Z.E.50 with optional 50kW DC rapid charger that can deliver up to 90 miles range in as little as 30 minutes.
Dropping the battery option significantly improve the vehicles residual values. Second hand buyers where often put off by the need to continue to pay the battery lease.
The offer of only a Full Purchase option simplifies the choice for customers and is in line with the rest of the Renault Z.E. range and the UK electric vehicle market.
driveEV is the UK’s only online magazine dedicated to electric cars. Delivering news, reviews, tips and advice. Brought to you by electric car drivers.
THANKS TO PORSCHE SAN DIEGO!
The 2020 Porsche 911 Speedster is a very impressive 911 — and it’s my favorite version of the “991” generation of 911. Today I’m reviewing the 911 Speedster and I’m going to show you the quirks and features of a very special Porsche 911. Then I’m driving the 2020 911 Speedster to show you what it’s like on the road.