Car Reviews

AC Cobra Series 1 Electric Beats Original 1962 V8 Sports Car By Far

Only 58 units will be produced, with 308 hp, 369 lb-ft, and starting at £138,000.

If an AC Ace does not have a V8, can it be called a Cobra? That is a discussion we will leave for purists. The fact is that the first Cobra had an XHP-260 small-block Ford V8 V8, which delivered 260 hp, and 269 lb-ft. Would something with 308 hp and 369 lb-ft deserve the name Cobra? If you think that’s fair, call the Series 1 Electric a Cobra, as AC Cars does. The manufacturer must know it better, right?

The new special series will have more than just these juicy specs. To be more precise, the motor delivers 230 kW and a peak of 500 Nm: continuous torque is 250 Nm – or 184.4 lb-ft. That much performance makes it go from 0 to 62 mph (100 km/h) in 6.7 seconds. There is no information on the top speed.

Regarding its battery pack, it has 54 kWh, which makes the Series 1 Electric weigh less than 1,250 kg (2,756 lb). With such a generous capacity, we would expect this AC product to go much further than the 150 miles of range the company says it has, possibly because it will be pushed hard most of the time.

AC Cars informs the car received upgrades to “the steering, brakes, and so on,” promising it will drive as anyone would expect a 2020 vehicle to do so. The company also informs it will have a limited number of units – only 58 – sold by £138,000 apiece plus charges. Customers will be able to choose from four colors: blue, black, white, and green.

We have contacted the company to request more pictures than the ones it released so far, as well as more details on the markets in which the vehicle will be offered. The AC Cobra Series 1 Electric appear both on the articles and on its online brochure as a right-hand drive vehicle, which probably means it will be sold solely in the UK. We’ll update this article when the company gets in touch with us.

Source: AC Cars via PistonHeads

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Car Reviews

EVPassport To Offer $39/Month Unlimited EV Charging, Interoperability, More

Unlimited charging for $39? Really?

EVPassport, a new electric vehicle charging app, promises to deliver unlimited EV charging on a variety of different networks for only $39 per month. With the EVPassport app, EV drivers will have access to DC fast chargers across the Electrify America, EVgo, ChargePoint, and Greenlots networks.

Since those four networks currently control the loin’s share of public charging infrastructure in the US, EVPassport’s coverage will be impressive. In addition to the flat fee, EVPassport offers the convenience of interoperability. With EVPassport, there’s no need to join those networks directly, which requires multiple apps and RFID cards. The EVPassport will be available this summer, however, you can join the wait list and signup now.

Just download the EVPassport and sign up, and you will soon have access to all four of those networks, as well as a few small west-coast-based networks. Initially, the EVPassport app will only be available on iOS,(iPhone) however, an Android app is also in development and should be available later this year. 

EVPassport will offer members access to roughly 2,500 DC fast chargers in the US. The company has plans to add level 2 public chargers to its network sometime in early 2021, but for now, the access is limited to DC fast chargers. They also plan to expand their service to the European market, with a similar offering there as well. 

EVPassport will be compatible with all Electrify America stations and the vast majority of EVgo stations. It will only work with about 50% of ChargePoint stations, and only with the recently installed Greenlots units. The problem with many of the ChargePoint and Greenlots stations is that they are old hardware, and aren’t be compatible. However, all newly-installed stations are compatible and will work with EVPassport, unless they are privately-owned, as is the case with many auto-dealerships and the owner doesn’t want the station to be used as a public charger. 

“Minutes to Charge”

EVPassport aims to simplify EV charging by introducing the Minutes To Charge feature. Instead of the app showing how many kilowatts the DC fast charger can deliver, or what the cost per minute is, it displays how many minutes you’ll need to charge based on your specific car. 

I personally like this feature because it offers the customer a set time that they will need to charge in order to have enough “miles in the tank” to make their destination. This is a very important asset in my opinion. Many EV drivers, especially those new to EVs really don’t know how long they need to charge when they stop at a DC Fast charger. The Minutes to Charge feature will take the guesswork out of the equation and simplify the task.

EVPassport is a collaboration between Recharge, and Smartcar, a connected car app company. I spoke to Aaron Fisher, Co-Founder of Recharge, and asked him if he was getting discounted rates from the networks as I struggled with how they could offer unlimited charging for only $39 per month. He told us that they are currently paying retail rates, but the hope is that in the future when they have many customers, they can negotiate better rates based on volume. 

As for the monthly rate of only $39, there are some months when my Electrify America bill is well over $100.00, so how could they offer unlimited charging at such a low rate? Fisher reminded me that I’m not the average EV driver, since I often road-test many EVs each month, and in that he is correct. Fisher estimates that the average EVPassport user will likely use between $25 and $29 per month, but that they will use the data from early users to refine the program based on usage. 

He then explained that the EVPassport isn’t available for Rideshare services like Lyft or UBER, it’s for personal use only – not commercial enterprise. There will also be a soft-cap that limits how much an individual can spend on electricity per month to eliminate abuse, but those details are still being refined.

“The EV charging experience not only needs to be as simple as getting gasoline, it needs to be better” – Aaron Fisher, Co-Founder of Recharge

Fisher told me the inspiration to create EVPassport was born out of a failed road trip he had with a BMW i3. He was trying to drive from New York City to Hartford, Connecticut, and found out how difficult it was to use public charging. He quickly realized if the public charging experience didn’t improve dramatically, then EV adoption would be stalled. So he set out to create an app that addressed the problems he faced. Fisher credits Tesla for creating a great public charging experience and believes it’s a big reason why Tesla is selling so many cars.

Better charging experience?

We like what we see so far. If EVPassport delivers on its promises, we think it does have the potential to remove some of the pain points of public charging. First off, the flat fee of $39 per month removes the cost-uncertainty of public charging. The cost of DC fast charging varies greatly from network to network, and in some instances from station to station within the same network. 

Also, having the ability to enter the number of miles you need to travel, and have the app tell you exactly how long you need to charge on a specific station will definitely be an asset to many EV owners. Tesla’s do this now on Superchargers while you have a destination set in the navigation system, and it’s a great help.

Lastly, not having to sign up for every network and carry cards or use numerous apps will be greatly appreciated. Interoperability across all major networks has been promised for many years now, but it’s never quite been delivered. We’re looking forward to trying EVPassport out and seeing for ourselves if it moves the needle forward. It certainly sounds like it has the potential to.

Let us know what you think. Are there any additional features you’d like to see in the app? As always, let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.  

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Auto News

Volvo issues largest recall in company history for seat belt issue

Volvo on Wednesday announced the recall of 2.18 million vehicles globally to repair weak front seat belts, Automotive News reported. 

The largest recall in the Swedish brand’s history covers approximately 308,000 vehicles in the U.S. made between 2006-2019. The issue is degradation of a steel cable in the front seat belts that over time could result in “reduced seat belt restraint function,” the company said in a statement. The automaker said it had not received any reports of crashes or injuries related to the issue. 

Affected vehicles include the Volvo S60, S60 Cross Country, V60, V60 Cross Country, and XC60, as well as the V70, XC70, and S80 formerly sold in the U.S.  

Volvo will contact owners and dealers will fix the front seat belts free of charge. Owners can check the status of their car at Volvo’s recall website. 

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McLaren forced to put new wind tunnel on hold

McLaren are looking to recommence work on major projects, such as their new wind tunnel, after recently securing additional funds.

The Woking team has received a £150million loan from the Royal Bank of Bahrain after months of exploring different options which did include the potential to sell a minority stake in the McLaren Group company.

But McLaren’s financial struggles have now been ‘solved’ with this new cash boost and one of Seidl’s main focuses is to get the team back to being fully operational in all areas again.

“At the beginning of this crisis we simply had to put on hold all the infrastructure projects we were working on,” Seidl told the official Formula 1 website, amongst others, in a video call.

“Even now, not knowing exactly how the income will look like during this year, we are still cautious there, and simply have to wait until we have the green light there again.

“As you can imagine I’m pushing hard to get these different infrastructure measures in place again as quickly as possible.

“We all know this will be key in our journey back to the front in Formula 1 as we have a deficit there compared to the top teams. I’m quite optimistic once we are through this crisis we get back on track with our infrastructure as well.”

Get your hands on the official McLaren 2020 collection via the Formula 1 store

Seidl also said that, despite a turbulent start to the year, McLaren’s plans for the 2020 and 2021 campaigns have been largely unaffected as they look to build on their P4 finish in the 2019 Constructors’ Championship.

He added: “The financial challenges we were in, and also with the measures we took in place quite early on with the pay cuts and the furlough, which was in parallel with the shutdown, to be honest didn’t really affect our output for this year or for next year.

“We are on course with the plan we set out over the winter.

“We are planning to bring updates regularly from Austria onwards on the car, and at the same time we are flat out in getting next year’s car ready with the biggest topic being the integration of the Mercedes power unit.”

Formula 1 is almost back! Check out our preview video for the season opener in Austria:

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Former Audi racer Abt gets second FE chance with NIO

Former Audi driver Daniel Abt has been signed by the NIO 333 team to replace Ma Qinghua for the six remaining races of the 2019-20 Formula E season.

Two-time E-Prix winner Abt was suspended by Audi last month after he used a sim racer to take his place in the FE Race at Home Challenge Esports competition.

He confirmed his permanent departure in an apology video uploaded to his YouTube channel before Audi then promoted double DTM champion Rene Rast to its FE team.

But Abt will now continue in the series to deputise for Ma, who is unable to travel to the three double-header events in Berlin owing to European and domestic Chinese travel restrictions.

Abt said: “I always loved racing and Formula E, therefore the opportunity to race in the final six races, my home races, and continue my record of competing in every single Formula E race is very exciting.

“I have been working with a leading manufacturer for the last three years, therefore, I have a lot of experience and input for the team.

“I will do everything I can to achieve results together with Oliver [Turvey, NIO 333 team-mate].”

Members of the Lisheng Racing-owned NIO 333 team who are based in Shanghai will also be absent for the nine-day programme at the Tempelhof Airport in Berlin – where Abt won in 2018, and site of the virtual race where he used an esports doppelganger.

Although Ma is expected to continue at the team for the 2020-21 season, Abt’s recall will mean he maintains his place alongside former team-mate Lucas di Grassi and Sam Bird as having started every one of the 63 races in FE history.

A statement from NIO 333 read: “The team made this decision with careful consideration and have inquired with key figures of the Formula E paddock.”

Vincent Wang, the NIO 333 team CEO, added: “When the possibility of signing Daniel for the Berlin finale was presented to me, it was an exciting prospect.

“As the saying goes in the eastern world, ‘a prodigy who returns is more precious than gold’, but the controversies surrounding him during the Race at Home Challenge reached quite a high level and will bring two opposite opinions.

“In the end, after discussing with some key figures of the paddock, we have decided to give Daniel an opportunity to return to Formula E.

“We welcome him with open arms into the team, we hope the home hero will redouble our efforts to finish this extraordinary season in style!”

Mahindra also announced last week that it had signed former Jaguar and DS Virgin driver Alex Lynn to replace Pascal Wehrlein for the rest of the season.

Ex-Formula 1 driver Wehrlein revealed his immediate exit from the team via a brief social media post, and is expected to take Neel Jani’s seat at Porsche for the 2020-21 season.


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Car Reviews

Global Passenger xEV Battery Capacity Deployment: April 2020

CATL, LG Chem or maybe Panasonic will come out on top this year.

Global battery deployment for passenger xEVs (BEVs, PHEVs, HEVs) is in a phase where a few manufacturers are pretty close in terms of volume.

According to Adamas Intelligence, CATL with 1.33 GWh was the biggest player in April in terms of deployment (the total battery capacity in newly sold passenger xEVs), ahead of LG Chem (1.02 GWh) and Panasonic (0.91 GWh), although monthly reports do not show the whole picture.

That’s because in April specifically, Tesla produced in China more cars than it sold. It affected LG Chem’s estimated score, which noted 1.44 GWh of installed capacity (produced cars not yet sold/delivered to customers). In the following months it should be the opposite.

The top battery manufacturers by passenger xEV deployment in April 2020:

We are wondering whether the dominant position of Panasonic is gone or if the Japanese company will try to fight for remaining the largest xEV battery supplier?

NCM 811 chemistry

The share of NCM 811, a low cobalt-content cathode chemistry (nickel:cobalt:manganese at a ratio of 8:1:1), is gradually becoming the major passenger xEV battery solution.

The latest data indicates that NCM 811 was responsible for 18% of global deployment and 34% in China.

Including the installed capacity, the result was even higher – 25% globally and 43% in China.

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Car Reviews

Volvo recalls 2.2 million cars for seatbelt fault

The huge safety recall applies to numerous Volvos made from 2006 to 2018, with 169,481 UK cars affected 

Volvo is recalling 2.2 million cars globally due to a securing cable that can suffer fatigue, weakening the action of the seatbelts.

The recall applies to examples of the S60, S60 Cross Country, V60, V60 Cross Country, XC60, V70, XC70 and S80 made from 2006 to 2018. All of those models are previous, rather than current-generation cars. 

Volvo says that instances of the fault manifesting are “extremely rare”, but that “in extreme cases, damage to the cable, which is located in a rubber sleeve on the outside of the seats, could result in reduced seat belt restraint function.” 

Volvo has received no reports from anywhere in the world of accidents or injuries caused by the fault. The firm added: “We apologise for the inconvenience caused to our customers, and are grateful for their cooperation as we look to perform this precautionary action.”

The Swedish firm, now owned by Chinese car maker Geely, actually invented the three-pointed seat belt in 1959 under the guidance of engineer Nils Bohlin, famously making the patent open so other firms could fit the life-saving device at cost price. Such a large recall for so fundamental a safety feature will, therefore, be all the more embarrassing for Volvo. It shows, however, that recalls are a part and parcel of the automotive industry and that no car maker is immune from.

This seatbelt recall follows a similar action for half a million Volvos in July last year due to a plastic intake manifold, which could melt and pose a fire risk. Both of these campaigns pale into insignificance, however, when compared to the Takata airbag scandal, a recall that affects around 60 million cars worldwide, and was caused by poorly manufactured airbag detonators, which have the potential to fire shrapnel at occupants’ necks and faces – although the issue mainly occurs in warm climates.

Cars affected by the Volvo seat belt recall: full list



Model Year


Production dates






2006-02-07 / 2016-04-08






2010-05-21 / 2018-08-14






2007-03-14 / 2016-04-27






2007-05-09 / 2016-05-30


S60 Cross Country




2015-04-13 / 2018-05-30






2010-06-22 / 2018-08-27






2008-03-18 / 2016-04-22


V60 Cross Country




2014-12-04 / 2018-


Has your car been affected by a recall? Tells about it in the comments…

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2020 BMW Motorrad S1000XR in Malaysia, RM121,500 –

Something of an unsung hero in BMW Motorrad’s range of motorcycles is the 2020 BMW Motorrad S1000XR sports-tourer, now in Malaysia and priced at RM121,500, on-the-road excluding insurance. Going on a small diet, the 2020 S1000XR weighs 10 kg then its predecessor and with power optimised for the mid-range and ridability.

Weight savings were gained with a 19% lighter swingarm, a lighter Euro 5 compliant exhaust system and a 5kg weight reduction in the engine. This is coupled with BMW Motorrad’s “Flex Frame”, where the S1000XR’s engine takes on more load bearing from the frame, becoming part of the bike’s riding dynamics.

The S1000XR’s inline-four engine is derived from the S1000RR super bike and produces 165 hp at 11,000 rpm and 114 Nm of torque at 9,250 rpm. Fourth, fifth and sixth gear ratios have been made taller to take advantage of the S1000XR’s meatier mid-range and reduce noise and vibration at higher speeds.

New for the S1000XR is engine drag torque control (MSR) which works in conjunction with a smoother and self-reinforcing anti-hopping clutch. MSR on the S1000XR is electronically controlled and reduces rear wheel slip during hard acceleration or downshifting.

Suspension is done with BMW Motorrad’s Dynamic ESA (Electronic Suspension Adjustment) that comes with an electronically controlled upside front-fork and rear monoshock. Riders wanting adjustable damping modes and automatic load adjustment have to purchase Dynamic ESA Pro, available as a factory-fitted option.

A full suite of riding aids comes with the S1000XR, including Hill Start Control Pro, four ride modes and Dynamic Traction Control (DTC) which also provides wheelie control. Optional extras include cruise control, adaptive turning lights and HP Shift Assistant Pro quickshifter.

The 2020 BMW Motorrad S1000XR comes in two colour options – Ice Grey and Racing Red/White Aluminium as well as an extensive accessories catalogue. The S1000XR will be available in Malaysian BMW Motorrad dealers from July.

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Auto News

Here's The Cadillac CT4-V Blackwing Preparing For An M3 Fist Fight

Cadillac - Here's The Cadillac CT4-V Blackwing Preparing For An M3 Fist Fight - News

Disappointed by the lack of power developed by the Cadillac CT4-V relative to its ATS-V predecessor? Worry not – as confirmed a few months ago, the pointy end of the range will actually be represented by the incoming CT4-V Blackwing. And thanks to these new spy shots, we can have our first proper look at Caddy’s incoming BMW M3 fighter.

The prototype seen at the General Motors Milford Proving Ground may be liberally caked in camouflage, but it’s easy to see what’s changed compared to the inline-four-powered CT4-V. There’s a redesigned front bumper with a low splitter, new side skirts, and a bigger spoiler on the bootlid.

Cadillac - Here's The Cadillac CT4-V Blackwing Preparing For An M3 Fist Fight - News

Despite the name, neither this car nor its hopped up CT5 brother will receive the Blackwing V8, which has been largely abandoned by GM. Instead, the CT4-V is expected to take an updated version of the ATS-V‘s twin-turbo 3.6-litre V6, with the power increased beyond the 455bhp it offered previously. The CT5-V will also use the engine from its predessor – the CTS-V – meaning there’ll be a 6.2-litre ‘LT4’ V8 stuffed under the hood. Lovely.

Cadillac - Here's The Cadillac CT4-V Blackwing Preparing For An M3 Fist Fight - News

The V6 will be hooked up to a torque converter automatic gearbox, or if preferred, a manual gearbox. MagneRide adaptive dampers will likely be fitted as standard, and we’d anticipate a lower ride height plus a wider track than the normal CT4-V. When the General Motors subsidiary first confirmed the car’s existence, it said that the Blackwing models will represent “the apex of Cadillac performance and driver engagement.”

Cadillac - Here's The Cadillac CT4-V Blackwing Preparing For An M3 Fist Fight - News

Along with the testing at Milford, Blackwing prototypes have also been sent around various famous tracks across the USA. Each is said to have lapped Virginia International Raceway several seconds faster than their forebears.

We should hopefully see the CT4-V and CT5-V Blackwings sans camo before the end of the year.

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Nicholas Latifi anticipates an 'easier' debut in Austria

Nicholas Latifi will finally be a fully-fledged Formula 1 driver once he makes his debut in Austria at a track that is very familiar to him.

The Canadian is the only rookie on the 2020 grid and has been patiently waiting to make his first appearance for the Williams team after being announced as Robert Kubica’s replacement in late 2019.

And, with a combination of track experience and a reduction in off-track duties with only a select number of media allowed within the Formula 1 paddock, Latifi thinks everything is in place for him to have an easier debut compared to the challenge that he was originally facing in Australia.

“What should help me is the fact that Austria is a track I know well,” Latifi said via Motorsport Week.

“It’s the only one I’ve competed at every year since I’ve been racing. Australia would have been a new track for me to discover – and it isn’t the easiest.

“Another potential positive is that with fewer media, spectators, partners or sponsors around, I will have more time to focus on the driving.

“So much of a Formula 1 race weekend is taken up by all the other things you have to do besides the driving and engineering stuff. Without so much of it in Austria, I reckon it might be an easier environment.”

Get your hands on the official Williams 2020 collection via the Formula 1 store

However, Latifi still believes Russell will have the upper hand on him for at least the first few races.

“From a results and expectations point of view, at this point in the season it’s too early to predict much, as I really have to see where the car is going to be,” he added.

“I expect my team-mate, George [Russell], to have an advantage in the early races, as he isn’t a rookie any more, but I want to push him where I can.

“In my first race I’m just going to try and take everything as it comes, step-by-step, and get up to speed quickly.

“I’m under no illusions though. I’m making my F1 race debut and there’s a lot to learn.

“The fact that I’ve had to wait a bit longer than planned doesn’t change anything.”

Williams are still expected to be the slowest team on the grid but deputy team principal Claire Williams thinks the team are in “pretty good shape” heading into the first race of the season.

Formula 1 is almost back! Check out our preview video for the season opener in Austria:

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