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Sono Motors to Produce Sion in Sweden

Betty Tűndik

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Sion - The first Solar Electric Vehicle. A car charging itself. - Photo Source: sonomotors.com
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The first series production solar electric vehicle (SEV) developed by the German mobility provider Sono Motors is to be manufactured in Sweden. As Sono Motors officially announced today, the first generation of the Sion will be produced in Trollhättan by National Electric Vehicle Sweden (NEVS). The plant located there was home to the production lines of the long-standing and innovative automobile manufacturer SAAB. In total, an initial 260,000 vehicles will roll off the production line in Trollhättan over an eight-year period. Production will commence in the second half of 2020. After the ramp-up period, approximately 43,000 Sion a year will be manufactured in two-shift operations. Production will be carried out using one hundred percent renewable energy.

“In NEVS, we found the perfect partner for us,” says Thomas Hausch, Chief Operating Officer, Sono Motors. “Together, we share a vision of intelligent and resource-conserving mobility. We also value our partner’s specific expertise based on their many years of experience in traditional automobile development and production in combination with proven expertise in the area of electromobility.”

The innovative vehicle concept of the Sion already represents tomorrow’s mobility today – the aim of which needs to be the reduction of vehicles on the roads through more sustainable and more efficient usage. The Sion will therefore be equipped ex works with integrated sharing options. These enable the owner to share the vehicle itself, individual journeys, or even energy via a mobile application (goSono app), developed by Sono Motors. A bidirectional charging function enables the Sion to both receive and supply electricity, power electrical devices independently, and feed energy to other vehicles or into the electricity grid. Thanks to full-surface solar integration, the vehicle battery can be charged with pure and free solar energy worth up to 34 kilometers’ range per day in addition to its regular WLTP range of 255 kilometers.

For its market launch, the Sion will be rolled out in one single variant version costing 25,500 euros. There are plans afoot to develop other vehicle models based on the vehicle’s platform.

Since the presentation of the prototypes in summer 2017, the Sono Motors team has been going on test drive road shows all over Europe. On the occasion of the cooperation with NEVS, the next road show will take place in Sweden. Sono Motors has so far taken approximately 9,800 partially paid preorders for the Sion.

 

SOURCE Sono Motors GmbH

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Automotive

SPECIAL EDITION STINGER GTS – ENTHUSIASTS REJOICE

Vlad Poptamas

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

Since its debut nearly two years ago, the Kia Stinger has quickly become a crowd favorite, and at the New York International Auto Show, Kia Motors America gave driving purists yet another compelling reason to check out Kia’s highest performing sport sedan. Limited to just 800 units, the special edition Stinger GTS1 punches up its on-road prowess with a newly developed dynamic all-wheel drive system(D-AWD) that inspires more spirited driving. With sport-inspired styling elements including genuine carbon fiber parts and a splashy new color that demands even more attention, the limited edition GTS is the one automotive enthusiasts will be lining up to drive.

Closing the Gap
During its short time on the market, the Stinger has established itself as a true competitor in the sport sedan segment with performance figures strong enough to embarrass its German rivals. Along the way, it has also redefined the Kia brand and consumer perception. But with all the praise and accolades the Stinger has received, Albert Biermann, head of research and development, strived for more. The result is a new version of the Stinger’s all-wheel-drive system peppered with rear-wheel drive DNA. Dubbed D-AWD, the system has been tweaked to close the gap in behavior between the AWD-equipped and RWD-equipped Stinger GT.

  • Mechanical limited slip rear differential is added to the D-AWD system, which is designed to enhance traction and distribute power more evenly between the rear wheels when slip is detected
  • Drive Mode Select amplifies rear-biased dynamics
    • Comfort mode sends 60 percent of power to the rear for feeling of stability
    • Sport mode sends 80 percent of power to the rear for more spirited driving
    • Drift mode sends up to 100 percent of power to the rear wheels and holds gears without upshifting
  • New Control Logic
    • Slip Control and Counter Steer Detection
    • Transmission Shift Pattern
    • Stability Control

Available in either D-AWD or RWD, the Stinger GTS maintains the Stinger GT’s potent powertrain underneath the hood.

  • 3.3-liter V6 twin turbo
    • 365 horsepower
    • 376 lb-ft of torque
  • 8-speed automatic transmission

The Hot Spot in the Stinger Lineup
Aside from what lies beneath, the GTS shows it’s not your average Stinger thanks to a number of exterior and interior enhancements tailored to make it look ready for time on the track or carving hairpin turns.

Exterior enhancements include:

  • Exclusive “Federation” premium orange paint color
  • Genuine carbon fiber parts that outline the signature tiger nose grille, side mirror caps and side vents
  • GTS rear emblem
  • Center Stinger emblem replaces the Kia logo on the trunk lid for more custom appearance

Inside, the Stinger GTS adds more premium materials befitting of a true driver’s car.

  • Steering wheel and center console swathed in Alcantara®3
  • Headliner blanketed in premium suede-like Chamude®4

Handsomely and Affordably Equipped
Value continues to be pillar for the Stinger GTS, with lots of tech, creature comforts and driver assistance systems5. As part of the GTS treatment, the limited edition fastback includes:

  • Sunroof
  • 720-watt Harman/Kardon6 premium audio system with QuantumLogic7 and Clari-Fisignal enhancing technology
  • Wireless charger for compatible smartphones

Keeping it competitive, the Stinger GTS hits the sweet spot in terms of pricing. With a start of production planned for this spring, the limited edition GTS is expected to have an MSRP9 starting around $44,000 for RWD and around $46,500 for D-AWD.

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Artificial Intelligence

Kia HabaNiro Concept Heats Up Manhattan

Vlad Poptamas

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Kia HabaNiro concept heats up the New York International Auto Show.
Reading Time: 4 minutes

 

Today Kia Motors America (KMA) unveiled its vision of the future of electric vehicles and it’s hot.  And spicy. The HabaNiro concept is a fully-electric, all-wheel drive, four-seat wonder car with an All Electric Range (AER) of more than 300 miles, level-five autonomous mode, butterfly wing doors and more advanced tech than what helped land men on the moon. But this is no fanciful supercar that will likely never be built, but a prescient look into the future of mobility where automobiles will seamlessly integrate design, capability, usefulness and creativity.

Experience the interactive Multichannel News Release here: https://www.multivu.com/players/English/8468854-kia-habaniro-electric-concept/

“We wanted this concept to be comfortable navigating city streets, carving turns on a coastal road and off-roading with confidence to remote wilderness adventures,” said Tom Kearns, vice president of design for Kia Design Center America (KDCA). “We imagined a car for everyone and nearly everything. Then, when we saw the finished product, we were blown away by the imagination of the HabaNiro’s creators and its laboratory of technology and we want it in our driveways. Today.” With its rugged 20-inch wheels, short overhangs and big haunches, the HabaNiro exudes coiled muscularity and capability, whether you’re on a grocery run, en route to a meeting or in search of a remote fishing hole.

“We couldn’t be more proud of our design center,” says Michael Cole, KMA chief operating officer and executive vice president. “The HabaNiro is a genius work of skill and imagination. Not only does its beautiful design incorporate the needs of future mobility, but its engineering and technology anticipate the way people will want to move in the near future.”

A Whole New Category of Vehicle

The HabaNiro is a compact crossover utility vehicle only in terms of existing industry category language. But the HabaNiro can’t be so easily defined. It’s essentially an all-electric Everything Car or ECEV – commuter, crossover, sport utility, state-of-the-art technology workroom and adventure vehicle.

An Exterior to Move You

The HabaNiro design is defined by the energetic interplay between the protective metallic grey cladding that encompasses the front wheels and extends onto the body sides and the bright “Lava Red” aero panel that defines the C-pillar and extends up and over the roof. These two elements create a vibrant energy and a forward-leaning posture that suggests the HabaNiro is ready to launch. This latent forward energy is reinforced by the single elegant character line that wraps around the front end, extends through the shoulder, and ends dynamically pointed at the rear wheels.

The HabaNiro grille resembles a shark’s snout, complete with a slit-like gap full of gloss black aluminum “teeth” similar to the cooling blades found on high-end electronic equipment. The EV chassis architecture allowed the wheels to be pushed to the corners, giving the HabaNiro its wide and confident stance.

Satin aluminum skid plates, milled billet aluminum tow hooks, anodized Lava Red aluminum accents, and the embossed HabaNiro name complement the upscale look while suggesting the vehicle’s adventure-ready attitude. Perhaps most importantly, the heartbeat pulse of the daytime running lights announces the HabaNiro’s animated energy – “I’m alive.”

An Interior to Transport You and an Array of High-Tech Features

The scissor-like opening of the HabaNiro’s four butterfly-wing doors hints at its future-forward interior design. The Lava Red interior suggests passion and vibrancy. Modern and airy, the interior is accented by the bouclé fabric-trimmed front seats that appear to float within the spacious cabin. Contributing to the interior’s clean and modern appearance is the absence of rectangular screens and traditional control knobs and buttons. Instead, the HabaNiro features a full-width front windshield Heads-Up Display (HUD) system controlled by a concave acrylic instrument panel that is a large interactive touchpad display with Sensory Light Feedback (SLF). Technical Option Sharing System (TOSS) allows users to swipe and move vehicle options across the HUD screen as though moving chess pieces.

HabaNiro’s occupants are kept comfortable by a slim Perimeter Ventilation System (PVS) that quietly and evenly blows a curtain of air throughout the cabin. A soft ambient glow shines through the bold geometrically-patterned floor, creating movement that reflects onto surfaces within the cabin. The Lighting Color Effect (LCE) can be dimmed or brightened, and the hue can be modified to impact the mood of the interior environment.

When HabaNiro’s part-time level-five autonomous driving system is engaged the steering wheel and instrument panel retract forward to provide more room for the front occupants. Media or other entertainment, such as a movie for a long highway haul, can be displayed on the full-width HUD video system.

HabaNiro features Kia’s new Real-time Emotion Adaptive Driving (R.E.A.D.) System introduced earlier this year at the Consumer Electronics Show. R.E.A.D. can optimize and personalize a vehicle cabin space by analyzing a driver’s emotional state in real-time through artificial intelligence-based bio-signal recognition technology. The technology monitors the driver’s emotional state and tailors the interior environment according to its assessment – potentially altering conditions relating to the human senses within the cabin and in turn creating a more pleasurable and safer driving experience.

R.E.A.D. also enables the HabaNiro’s Eye Tracking System (ETS) with 180° rearview video display. The system uses AI-based emotional intelligence to monitor when the driver looks up to the top of the windshield where conventional rear view mirrors are traditionally located. The AI immediately senses the driver’s need to see behind the vehicle and instantly activates the 180° rearview video display.

There are no immediate plans to utilize AI to sense when the driver is hungry and then direct to the nearest drive-through where an order will be waiting, but the technology may someday evolve to make just such a task possible. AI and automation shouldn’t take the joy out of driving, as some auto lovers fear, but should enhance it – anticipating needs so we can concentrate on the driving experience.

Into the Future

Some will assume the HabaNiro concept will never be built, but we don’t advise betting the farm on it. In the past 18 months, Kia has launched two vehicles, the Stinger and the Telluride, from concepts that fully captured the public’s imagination. The HabaNiro’s butterfly doors? Maybe not today, but the future is an exciting place and Kia is ready to lead the automotive industry into this spicy world of possibility.

The Details

  • Dimensions
    • Length: 4430 mm/ 171 inches
    • Height: 1600 mm/ 63 inches
    • Width: 1955 mm/ 77 inches
    • Wheelbase: 2830 mm/ 111.5 inches
  • Powertrain and battery
    • e-AWD supplied by two electric motors, fore and aft
    • 300+ mile All Electric Range (AER)
    • Advanced state of the art battery technology
  • Exterior Features
    • Snowdrift Pearl White tri-coat exterior paint
    • Satin Metallic Granite Grey cladding
    • Anodized “Lava Red” aero panel
    • 265/50R20 tires
  • Interior Features
    • Heads-Up Display Features:
      • Navigation system with augmented reality graphic directions
      • 180° rearview video display in place of physical mirrors
      • Full windshield entertainment video system with surround sound
      • 3D speed readout display
      • Full width acrylic touch panel with Sensory Light Feedback (SLF) with Technical Option Sharing System (TOSS) feature provides interaction with HUD
    • AI-based R.E.A.D. technology
    • Eye Tracking System (ETS) enables 180° rearview video display

 

SOURCE Kia Motors America

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Artificial Intelligence

Karma Automotive Launches New Dawn Product Showcase At Auto Shanghai 2019

Vlad Poptamas

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The Karma Pininfarina GT coupe is the first result of a partnership with Pininfarina, the iconic Italian design and engineering house. The Pininfarina team took a new 2020 Revero GT, retained the fundamental engineering parameters and then crafted a new body style, offering an alternative design interpretation.
Reading Time: 5 minutes

 

Southern California-based Karma Automotive chose Auto Shanghai 2019, the world’s largest automotive show, to usher in a new era for the company and launch its New Dawn product showcase illustrating its immediate, mid-term and long-term future.

“This is the first major auto presence for Karma in China, and marks a significant moment by ushering in a new era for the company,” said Karma CEO Dr. Lance Zhou. “Today, Karma is ready to move forward with bold steps, a chapter we call our New Dawn.”

Karma’s New Dawn Features “Shanghai Big Three”
The luxury electric vehicle automaker punctuated its design, customization and high-tech engineering capabilities by presenting three new products, a trio Karma calls its Shanghai Big Three:

  • A new 2020 Karma Revero GT luxury electric vehicle: it’s fast, smart, stunning in design, and will be available for sale during the second half of this year. The new car offers improved technology, performance, interior and exterior options and customization capability. It features a TwinPower Turbo three-cylinder in-line engine supplied by BMW AG to power an on-board electric generator and enhance overall vehicle performance. Karma engineers created a world-class electric drive system that alongside a series of other technological advancements enables the new 2020 Revero to be as fast as it looks.
  • The Karma Pininfarina GT coupe: the first result of a partnership with Pininfarina, the iconic Italian design and engineering house. The Pininfarina team took a new 2020 Revero GT, retained the fundamental engineering parameters and then crafted a new body style, panels and interior, offering an alternative design interpretation. Typically, Pininfarina reserves the GT (Gran Turismo) designation for only in most exceptional in-house creations; this is the first time in its history that Pininfarina graced a collaborative project with its GT.
  • The Karma SC1 Vision Concept: a signpost to Karma’s future – one that recognizes and embraces full electrification. The roadster reimagines Karma design language for tomorrow and soon-to-come customization options, and shows the brand’s future direction based on full BEV offerings at the company’s core. The Karma SC1 Vision Concept features the best of some of tomorrow’s cutting-edge technologies with Karma’s distinctive take on integration. At the core of SC1 Vision Concept’s technological suite is a new infotainment architecture with 5G connectivity as well as a humanized communication system, which integrates touch, voice, eye, and graphical interfaces to enable seamless interaction with the roadster.

“Taken together, our Shanghai Big Three shows what Karma is today, what Karma can be tomorrow, and where Karma is heading in the future,” Zhou said.

Karma Is More than Just a Car Company
As part of its Value Forward business strategy, Karma is pursuing an “open-platform” philosophy to attract partners, technology and know-how, create efficiency and enhance long-term brand value. Karma’s luxury electric vehicle niche and in-house engineering resources offer innovators an excellent test bed to incubate, grow and prove their emerging technologies, creating opportunities for the company to generate new revenue streams for its customization and technology expertise.

“We are agile, nimble, and can move fast with a deep sense of urgency; that’s Karma’s big advantage,” he explained. “We will use partnerships with like-minded collaborators to accelerate our progress by acquiring and developing key technologies important to connectivity, performance, artificial intelligence, shared mobility platforms and electrification.”

Zhou’s plan is fueled in part by partners like Pininfarina whose design expertise helps the company accelerate product development, differentiation, and personalized customization that allows every Karma to be special. Pininfarina is attracted to Karma, Zhou added, because its luxury electric vehicle platform can help advance their growth strategy in North America, especially after opening a new design center in Los Angeles.

“This kind of collaboration illustrates Karma’s open-platform philosophy,” Zhou said. “Partners can use our product platform as an incubator to test and prove their new innovations, and likewise, our engineering and design resources can be offered to help other partners advance their needs. So, yes, Karma is a car company but Karma is not just a car company.”

Growing Good Karma
The Karma Automotive story started in 2014 when The Wanxiang Group, a multinational automotive components manufacturing company with headquarters in HangzhouZhejiang province, China, founded the business. Today, Karma employs nearly 1,000 people across four sites:

  • Global Headquarters: Irvine, Calif.
  • Karma Innovation & Customization Center: Moreno Valley, Calif.
  • Detroit Technical Center: Troy, Mich.
  • Karma China Design & Engineering Center: Hangzhou, China

“We have the advantage of private equity backing from extremely supportive owners who are allowing us to grow the business progressively and smartly,” Zhou said. “We are focused on a gradual, but progressive rollout strategy aimed at putting the building blocks of a car company in place – a growing dealer network, committed supply chain, craft center and a talented workforce.”

By establishing Karma in the U.S. first – the world’s most demanding luxury market – Zhou said he believes the company can succeed anywhere. “Karma will be live in Europe and the Middle East next year and then Asia,” he added. “We will be in China by 2021. By gradually expanding our presence this way I am confident our company – and our products – will be well prepared for the discerning Chinese luxury buyer of the future.”

The Karma Innovation and Customization Center (KICC)
Karma chose to headquarter and build a craft production facility just 60 miles from its global headquarters in Irvine, Calif., to purposely and meticulously build one-of-a-kind cars..

Representing a total investment of more than $100 million, Karma’s innovation and customization hub first came to life in 2015 and now comprises the very latest in automotive technology and tooling over a sprawling 556,000 square feet under one roof in Moreno Valley, Calif.

“The name, Karma Innovation and Customization Center, reflects our future focus and growing skillset centered on innovation, customization and technology integration,” Zhou said. “KICC’s skilled workforce take great pride in delivering distinctive luxury electric vehicles with world-class design, technology and personalization.”

Karma’s exclusive design and craftsmanship allows it to take customization to a new level enabling every Revero to be special, and supports a fundamental commitment to unrivaled customer treatment. KICC will also house a VIP Customer Experience Center offering every Karma owner a personalized look into the company’s focus on luxury, high technology, customization and special treatment.

California’s Shining Star
With the Shanghai Big Three, especially the new 2020 Revero GT, Karma seeks to firmly establish itself as an authentic and credible player in the luxury electric vehicle segment – the only automaker, Zhou notes, who is actually designing, engineering, marketing and handcrafting vehicles in Southern California.

“While many other business have left our region in search of less regulation and easier paths,  Karma chose to do business in California for the long term,” Zhou said. “Karma and California are united in spirit. This is home to innovators, entrepreneurs and big thinkers; a land where anything is possible and where the next generation of luxury will come from. That’s why I want Karma to become California’s shining star.”

Editor’s Note: The larger design, customization and engineering story behind the new 2020 Karma Revero GT, Karma Pininfarina GT and Karma SC1 Vision Concept can be found at the Karma Newsroom:www.karmanewsroom.com

Meet Karma Automotive and Karma Revero
Karma Automotive designs, engineers, and markets luxury electric vehicles, all from its Southern California base of operations. Founded in 2014 and employing nearly 1,000 people worldwide, Karma Automotive is committed to elevating and growing the luxury mobility experience for its customers and draws on global relationships and technology partners to achieve this. The Karma Revero is a luxury electric vehicle powered by dual electric motors that embodies Karma’s goals of offering leading automotive design, technology, customization and an outstanding customer experience. Every Revero is created with great individual care and world-class craftsmanship at the Karma Innovation and Customization Center in Moreno Valley, Calif.

 

SOURCE Karma Automotive

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