Falken Celebrates Two Top-15 Finishes at the Nürburgring 24-Hours

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The ADAC Zurich 24-Hour Race at the Nürburgring last weekend once again proved to be the toughest of endurance challenges. The Falken team overcame extreme weather conditions to complete the iconic race with both cars finishing within the top 15 from a starting grid of 146 entrants.

Porsche factory driver Sven Müller ensured an early advantage for himself and team-mates Klaus Bachler, Martin Ragginger and Dirk Werner, with an astounding top-30 qualifying time of just 8:09.522 minutes in the Falken Porsche 911 GT3 R to take second place on the grid.

The Falken BMW M6 GT3, piloted by drivers Peter Dumbreck, Stef Dusseldorp, Alexandre Imperatori and Jens Klingmann, achieved a qualifying time of 8:13.963 and started from 21st place.

The first few hours saw the Falken Porsche within striking distance of the top spot until the weather conditions took a turn for the worst in the early hours. Heavy rain created extremely slippery track conditions, preventing both vehicles from performing to the best of their abilities around the notorious Nürburgring Nordschleife.

Track conditions continued to deteriorate as the morning went on, as parts of the track dried while others remained waterlogged. Just hours before the end of the race, competition was put on hold for 90 minutes due to heavy fog.

The final result saw both Falken vehicles finish within the top 15. Final driver Müller made it to ninth place with the Falken Porsche 911 GT3 R, while Dumbreck achieved 15th place with the Falken BMW M6 GT3. Away from the track, main sponsor Falken entertained the crowds with a drift show and drift taxi rides.

Falken - 2018 Nurburgring 24 Hours - BMW M6 GT3

Podium success for Ilott on GP3 debut

 

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Barcelona – Ferrari Academy Driver Callum Ilott kicked off his 2018 season with a podium on his debut in the GP3 Series Championship

Ilott, racing for the first time for ART Grand Prix, took a third place in Saturday’s Feature race; the curtain-raiser to the FIA F1 race weekend at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.  Combined with a seventh place in Sunday’s wet sprint race, Ilott now sits fourth in the championship.

“Coming into the weekend, my goals were to learn as much as possible about the car in race conditions, whilst banking the points,” says Ilott. “To finish my first main feature race on the podium, first-time out was a good feeling.”

Ilott, who made a good getaway from fourth, had moved up to third on the first lap and then proceeded to hunt down his team mate Hubert. Having closed the gap, Ilott passed Hubert on lap 12 to take second place on the run down to the first corner.

 

“Once I  moved up to third, I focused on consistently closing the gap on Anthoine and with DRS and maybe using slightly more of the tyres in the first half of the race, I closed in and passed him.  The tyres did drop off just at the end, so it became a little harder for me, and Anthoine regained the place,” explains Ilott. “But it was good clean racing which is what it’s all about and we both enjoyed the tussle. I learned a lot about the tyres and working with the dirty air behind a car in a race setting, which is a big contrast to when you are testing.”

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“A podium for my first race is a solid start to the season and hopefully I can show more of my true pace next time out.”

Sunday’s reverse grid race saw the drivers face mixed tracks conditions and Ilott got away well from the lights on the greasy track. “The wet sprint race was always going to be more challenging with me not yet knowing how the GP3 car behaves in those wet race conditions,” explains Ilott. “In hindsight I should have pushed harder initially.  The plan to save the tyres for a later push backfired unfortunately, what with the multiple safety cars. Then the combination of the set up and the rapidly drying track meant I just didn’t have the traction at the end of the race. There are definitely things I would have done differently, but the key is to learn from the mistakes and build from here.”

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“There’s lots more to come as I build my knowledge of the GP3 car and it’s a long season ahead,” says Ilott. “It’s good to finally be back racing after such a long winter. The tracks we have coming up next are where I have won before and plan to do so again.”

The next round of the series will again support the FIA F1 World Championship and take place at Paul Ricard in France next month.

Falken drift driver James Deane returns to defend Formula Drift title

Falken drift driver and 2017 Formula Drift Champion James Deane returns to the defend his title crown this week at the opening round of Formula Drift, which takes place on 6-7 April 2018 at Long Beach, California.

The Irish driver will race for the Worthouse Drift Team in his Falken Tire Nissan S15 drift car. He steered the car to four victories during the 2017 season, which led to his championship title and Falken being named Tire Manufacturer Champion for the second consecutive year.   

“Winning the 2017 Formula Drift Championship was beyond a dream come true,” said Castletownroche-based Deane. “It’s been an ambition ever since I was a child and for us to achieve that result in our first full season of Formula drift was incredible.”

The 2018 Formula Drift season consists of eight rounds across the USA, beginning this weekend and concluding at Irwindale, California, in October. Deane will contest in his S15 Nissan Silvia drift car, which runs on Falken RT615K+ tyres.

“In the US, the drift cars are putting out more power compared to those in Europe, with faster tracks and therefore faster speeds,” explains Deane. “The rules allow us to use a wider tyre and the Falken AZENSIS RT615K+ tyres are perfectly suited. We use 235/40/18 on the front and 295/40/18 on the rear, running at quite low pressures to create a bigger contact patch. Tyres are so important on a drift car: you need to go sideways as fast as possible and accelerate through the corner. This means the tyre must have a high level of grip to get the forward progress needed, even though you’re constantly sliding.”

As well as contesting in Formula Drift, Deane will also compete in the 2018 Drift Masters European Championship, which consists of six rounds, beginning in June in Plock, Poland, and concludes with a home event for Deane at Mondello Park, Ireland. He’ll compete in his Falken Tyre Nissan S14, which features the iconic blue and teal Falken livery.

“Last year in Drift Masters we were unlucky with some mechanical failures but the car has been completely rebuilt and it’s looking good. We can make every event, so we want to push hard and hopefully fight for the championship. Meanwhile, in Formula Drift, I feel like there’s going to be a lot of eyes on me and quite a bit of pressure. The other teams are extremely competitive and they will have taken a lot of notes from last year. They aren’t going to want to let that happen again. It’s going to be a serious fight and I’m really looking forward to it!”

Further woes for diesel drivers as fuel consumption found to be up to 75% more than stated by car manufacturers

  • Huge differences between manufacturer consumption figures and real-world MPG could be costing motorists an additional £800 per year
  • Conflict of interest for manufacturers between fuel efficiency and low CO2 targets
  • Small diesel cars consume up to 55% more fuel than stated by the manufacturer

Recent falls in oil prices will be a welcome relief for UK motorists as data shows drivers could be burning through as much as 75 per cent more fuel than stated by manufacturers.

Carly Connected Car, the worldwide number one in car apps, has released data collected from over one million vehicles, including 150,000 from the UK.  The data shows year-on-year growth of discrepancies in fuel consumption in every new model generation since 2004, up until 2017 where the difference appears to reduce slightly.

The most significant difference was found in diesel cars from 2016, achieving an average of 75 per cent higher consumption rates than stated in information given by the vehicle manufacturer. According to the RAC Foundation, the average given MPG for a diesel car in 2016 was 62.5mpg. For a motorist driving 12,000 miles, this would be a cost of £1,087.55 per annum (based on current diesel costs of 124p per litre). Considering the discrepancies found by Carly, this figure could instead be £1903.21, an additional cost to the motorist of £815.66 a year.

Overall, Carly uncovered discrepancies were greatest in the three most popular vehicle segments in the UK; small cars, compact cars and SUVs.

The Carly app found drivers of small cars are using as much as 55 per cent more diesel and 35 per cent more petrol than the official figures, adding hundreds of pounds to annual running costs. For compact car drivers the real-life diesel consumption recorded as 45 per cent higher than manufacturer figures with the news no better in the increasingly popular SUV segment; burning through 45 per cent more diesel and 40 per cent more petrol than owners might expect. The only segment of vehicle where manufacturer data reflected real-world results was Diesel sports cars where real world figures reflected the official data.

“There is an ongoing conflict of interest regarding fuel consumption. Over the years the regulations require less and less CO2 emissions, however, drivers want more powerful and luxurious vehicles,” says Avid Avini, one of Carly’s founders. “With each new C02 reduction strategy, manufacturers have had to reduce fuel consumption, however due to tests being carried out in laboratories rather than the real-world, the data shows consumption to be improving. Miles per gallon is one of the key concerns of UK drivers when buying a car as the on-going vehicle running costs can have huge impact on monthly budget. While it can be difficult for manufacturers to predict consumption, as it is very much dependent on individual driving style, a discrepancy of this size is of concern to consumers relying on manufacturer figures.”

Carly’s Connected Car app, available for BMW, MINI, Mercedes, Renault, Volkswagen Group cars, performs a manufacturer- quality diagnostic session in minutes, providing insight into actual mileage, fuel economy as well as fault codes logged in the car. Prices start at £44.90 for the adapter (available from Amazon UK) with the app (either iOS via the app store or Android via Google Play) available in both Lite and Paid versions. 

Falken celebrates its 20th motorsport season on the Nordschleife

New driver line-up supports Falken’s two-car assault on VLN and Nürburgring 24 Hours 

2018 marks Falken Tyre’s 20th motorsport season contesting on the gruelling Nürburgring Nordschleife. Yet again, the Falken Motorsports team will battle it out on the notoriously challenging German circuit in the VLN Endurance Championship and world-famous ADAC Zurich 24-Hour Race, competing with a new driver line-up for 2018 and two GT3 cars, the Porsche 911 GT3 and BMW M6 GT3.

“2017 was the most successful motorsports season for Falken yet,” says Markus Bögner, COO at Falken Tyre Europe GmbH. “Our victory at the fourth VLN race, as well as the achievement of additional podium positions, are the result of strong team performance and the continuous tyre development carried out by our engineers. We will again run our pair of GT3 cars in 2018.”

Falken has competed at the Nürburgring with various Porsche models since 2011, claiming a podium finish at the 2015 edition of the ADAC Zurich 24-Hour Race. Falken’s current Type 991 model from the Zuffenhausen-based manufacturer has a 4.0-litre flat-six engine, producing 500hp, and is shod with 300/660R18 Falken tyres on the front axle and 330/710R18 on the rear.

Behind the wheel this season will be Falken factory drivers Martin Ragginger (AUT) and Klaus Bachler (AUT), who will be joined by Porsche factor drivers Dirk Werner (GER) and Sven Müller (GER). New to the Falken Motosports line-up, Müller has been competing in motorsport since 2004 and was crowned champion of the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup and the Porsche Carrera Cup Germany in 2016

Following its successful debut in 2017, where it secured ninth overall in the 24-hour race, the BMW M6 GT3 will again be piloted by Falken drivers Peter Dumbreck (UK) and Alexandre Imperatori (SUI). The Falken duo will be supported by Stef Dusseldorp (NED) and Jens Klingmann (GER). Team newcomer Klingmann is a BMW Motorsport works driver who has competed in the ADAC GT Masters and IMSA WeatherTech Sportscar Championship, claiming second at Petit Le Mans and fourth in the GTLM class at the Rolex 24 and Sebring in 2015.

The BMW M6 GT3 is powered by a 4.4-litre V8 twin-turbo engine with up to 585hp and will be equipped with 330/710R18 Falken tyres. Both the BMW M6 GT3 and the Porsche 911 GT3 will be swathed in Falken’s iconic teal and blue livery.

The team’s first outing is the opening round of the VLN, which takes place on 24 March 2018, with the season highlight ADAC Zurich 24-Hour Race taking place on 10-13 May 2018.

HARMAN Joins Forces with Leading OEMs to Deliver Superlative In-Car Audio and Infotainment at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show

HARMAN provides best in class audio and infotainment experiences with its portfolio of legendary automotive manufacturers 

GENEVA INTERNATIONAL MOTOR SHOW – HARMAN International Industries, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. focused on connected technologies for automotive, consumer and enterprise markets, is presenting its renowned audio and infotainment technologies for some of the world’s most important automotive OEMs at the 2018 Geneva International Motor Show. These include the latest HARMAN audio systems from Bang & Olufsen, B&O PLAY, Bowers & Wilkins, Harman Kardon and JBL. With its impressive range of high-end solutions on display across many of the world’s top automotive lines, HARMAN continues to reinforce its standing as the global market leader in car audio and infotainment technology.

Audi offers immersive 3D audio powered by Bang & Olufsen

Launching in 2018, the all-new Audi A6 melds dynamic design and immersive sound in the same stunning package. Harmoniously integrated within its sophisticated cabin, the next-generation Bang & Olufsen 3D Advanced and Premium Sound Systems deliver enveloping 3D sound for all seating positions in the vehicle. The Bang & Olufsen 3D Advanced Sound System features Symphoria®, a revolutionary rendering solution for 3D surround sound reproduction developed by the Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits IIS, which works side by side with Bang & Olufsen’s multichannel matrix processing and Audi’s unparalleled elegance in a breakthrough collaboration to provide the best of three worlds. Acoustic lenses placed on the dashboard provide a rich soundstage that envelops all vehicle occupants, while improved tweeter drivers lower distortion and enlarged woofers offer greater bass capability.

Bentley and Bang & Olufsen craft immersive moments

The new Bentley Continental GT features a luxurious, tailor-made Bang & Olufsen sound system with specially manufactured aluminium elements and illuminated speaker grills, creating unique and mesmerising moments inside the car. The visceral BeoSonic one touch experience in the car sets the right mood for meaningful moments behind the wheel. Four distinct sound spaces – bright, energetic, warm and relaxed – are a touch away. Surround intensity can be adjusted as well through pinching gesture, directly within the BeoSonic space. Additional settings can optimise the whole system for front or rear seats only, or for all seats.

Lamborghini and Bang & Olufsen go the extra mile

The all-new Lamborghini Urus scheduled for release in spring 2018 is equipped with a custom-designed Bang & Olufsen Sound System. Produced through close collaboration between Lamborghini, Fraunhofer IIS, and HARMAN, the system creates an immersive, natural 3D sound experience, combining Symphoria®, a revolutionary rendering solution for 3D surround sound reproduction developed by the Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits IIS, with Bang & Olufsen’s multichannel matrix processing and Lamborghini’s unparalleled sportiveness and power. Regardless of their seat, passengers are treated to a natural, clear reproduction independent of source and music genre, creating the impression of a three-dimensional sound stage that increases perception of the height, depth, and size of sound sources. The system also features Vehicle Noise Compensation (VNC) technology to further enhance the audio performance of this uniquely dynamic Super SUV. The Danish-designed door speaker grills in solid aluminium, with sparkling edges and refined glossy chamfers are tailor-made to perfectly fit the dynamic interior of the Lamborghini Urus. The silk matt surface is perforated with a characteristic Y-shaped hole pattern and each hole is scaled and positioned to pick up the lines of the door. Form follows function in order to achieve the ultimate performance and experience in the car.

Ford amps up the audio with B&O PLAY

The rollout of B&O PLAY premium audio within the global Ford line-up continues with the introduction of the Ford Edge offering the elevated, transformative and powerful sound of B&O PLAY. Launching for the first time with B&O PLAY onboard, Ford’s largest SUV in Europe is receiving a facelift and a new ST-line variant introducing a new 238 PS 2.0-liter bi-turbo Ecoblue diesel engine, 8-speed automatic transmission and a new set of driver assistance technologies. The finely tuned B&O PLAY Sound System is set to achieve optimal performance levels for an enveloping sound impression in every seat regardless of how rough the road conditions might be.

Dynamic driving pleasure with Alfa Romeo and Harman Kardon

In 2015, the first Alfa Romeo vehicle with a Harman Kardon Premium Sound System hit the road, inviting vehicle occupants to sit back and be overcome by the transfixing sound of Harman Kardon. At Geneva, the Italian brand showcases its latest Stelvio and Giulia models offering an all-encompassing 360° music experience through a 14-speaker sound system with Logic7® surround sound technology.

Striking sound courtesy of Harman Kardon

At Geneva Motor Show, the BMW Group will feature three vehicles that are complemented by the refined sound of Harman Kardon and Bowers & Wilkins.

Harman Kardon automotive audio turns driving into a captivating on-the-road listening experience. With distinguished design touches, the audio system mirrors the elegance and premium interior of the BMW Group cars. Debuting at Geneva with Harman Kardon premium audio will be the all new BMW X2, BMW X4 and i8 and i8 Roadster electric vehicles.

Co-engineered by HARMAN’s acoustic team, the Bowers & Wilkins Diamond Surround Sound System will be featured in diverse BMW 5, 6 and 7 Series sedan models. Bringing together the passion for engineering and design of all three companies, Bowers & Wilkins audio solutions present a truly unique, revelatory audio experience to BMW customers.

The next level of infotainment

A selection of HARMAN’s leading infotainment systems and technologies will also be presented in the BMW models on display in Geneva. The BMW Professional Multimedia Navigation system is seamlessly integrated into the BMW X4, the i8/i8 Roadster, and the 5, 6, and 7 Series, with features that include iDrive, a USB interface, voice control, a built-in 8.8″ colour display, and much more. The BMW X2 is equipped with the BMW Navigation Plus system, which includes such features as the BMW Heads-up Display, a built-in 8.8″ colour screen, an RDS double tuner, USB and Bluetooth connectivity, and more. Both the BMW Professional Multimedia Navigation and the BMW Navigation Plus also feature a wide range of helpful services that offer drivers a whole new level of connected comfort and convenience.

Kia provides users with exceptional sound courtesy of Harman Kardon and JBL

Kia customers can look forward to captivating sound experiences brought to them by Harman Kardon and JBL. A force of nature tamed for the road, the Harman Kardon audio system is the perfect match for Kia’s grand turismo fastback sedan, Stinger, that combines exhilarating driving pleasure with premium traveling comfort. Further enhanced by HARMAN’s Clari-FiTM music restoration technology and QuantumLogic® Surround technology, the car offers a sound you willingly surrender to.

When the new Kia Ceed model rolls out to customers across Europe, various versions will feature the invigorating JBL Premium Sound System.With epic sound that draws you in, the 8-speaker JBL system ensures a listening experience as thrilling as the drive.

Maserati, Harman Kardon, and Bowers & Wilkins push the boundaries of audio performance

Harman Kardon and Maserati’s ongoing sound partnership has led to Harman Kardon audio being available in all models, including the 2018 GranCabrio MC on display at the Geneva International Motor Show. Drivers of the Maserati Levante and Ghibli models can opt in for Harman Kardon sound, while equipped as a standard on the Quattroporte, GranTurismo and GranCabrio. A powerful range of impactful sound is released from up to 14 strategically positioned and finely tuned, elegant speakers that let the entirety of the car radiate with the energy of striking sound.

Bowers & Wilkins and Maserati both share the values of engineering excellence, design innovation, and an all-consuming passion for performance. On display in Geneva, the Ghibli SQ4 GranSport Nerissimo and GranLusso, the Levante S GranSport Nerissimo, the Quattroporte SQ4 GranLusso, and the Quattroporte GTS GranSport Nerissimo all feature ground-breaking Bower & Wilkins car audio systems that use highly advanced materials and Hi-Fi technologies for a pristine, detailed sound in every seat.

Mercedes heightens the user experience with infotainment by HARMAN

On display in Geneva, the Mercedes A-Class will showcase the new MBUX (Mercedes Benz User Experience). HARMAN has worked closely with Mercedes to deliver a system that takes the user experience to a new level thanks to technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and augmented reality, in addition to voice control with natural language processing and new Over-the-Air (OTA) system updates that allow drivers to stay connected without having to visit the dealership.

HARMAN at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show
Also visit the HARMAN showcase during the 2018 Geneva Motor Show to learn about HARMAN’s integrated approach to a truly rich, digital car experience that is centred around the user and to experience how HARMAN’s production ready in-car audio innovation delivers connected, intelligent and ultra-personalised next-level user experiences for the passenger economy… today.  The HARMAN showcase is located at the Rinspeed booth No. 6240 in hall 6.

‘Click the below link to download the HARMAN In-Car Audio & Infotainment Technical Specification Overview’.

HARMAN In-Car Audio & Infotainment Technical Specification Overview.docx

Mitsuteru Tanigawa announced as new Falken Tyre Europe CEO

Mr Mitsuteru Tanigawa has been announced as the new CEO of Falken Tyre Europe. Tanigawa (61), replaces Mr Nishino who has moved to Turkey to head up Sumitomo Rubber Industries’ manufacturing facility.

Tanigawa, joined Sumitomo Rubber Industries (SRI) in 1980 and has developed a significant knowledge of the rubber industry with particular expertise in tyres. Past experience includes being director of SRI’s Indonesian tyre manufacturing as well as leading the sales activities in China from 2005 to 200, a period of transformation in China’s development.

Since 2012, Tanigawa has worked for SRI’s Sports division that develops and manufactures sporting goods such as golf clubs and tennis racquets. He was mainly responsible for the golf brands XXIO and SRIXON, leading to a deep passion for the sport. In March 2017, four years after first becoming a board member of the division, Tanigawa was appointed managing executive officer.

Starting on January 2018, Tanigawa will lead Falken’s expanding European operations from its headquarters outside Frankfurt. Alongside the growth in OE business for the Falken brand, Tanigawa will oversee the expansion of Falken’s distribution network, that has accelerated thanks to the acquisition of Micheldever Tyre Services in the UK in 2017.

“It is a huge honour to lead this exciting part of the SRI business,” says Tanigawa. “Falken is still a young brand. Thanks to the efforts of the dynamic team in Europe, it has become an established and trusted brand for consumers and the automobile industry. I am looking forward to sharing my experiences with my colleagues in Europe and continuing to expand Falken’s presence in the region.”

Falken takes centre stage in Abarth drift experience

Falken Tyre partners with Abarth at Autosport International for indoor Abarth 124 spider Drift Experience 

Over 2000 enthusiasts got to try Falken’s tyres this weekend, as the Japanese tyre maker was the partner for Abarth’s indoor 124 spider Drift Experience at Autosport International.

Visitors at the show had the chance of being driven by a pro driver in an Abarth 124 spider as part of the indoor drift experience. With 170hp and suspension derived from Abarth’s racing experience, the 124 spider offered a high level of performance and agility to participants, complemented well by Falken ZE914 tyres.

Falken provided Abarth with a total of 42 tyres throughout the weekend, clocking up a significant running over the four days, whilst members of the public enjoyed the opportunity to be driven in the 124 spider.

Markus Bögner, COO of Falken Tyre Europe, said: “We are very pleased to assist Abarth at this year’s Autosport International show for its 124 spider Drift Experience. Again, through partnerships and adrenaline-fuelled activities, we show that we are and continue to be the Masters Of Excitement. Falken has a rich history in drifting and this weekend motorsport fans got to experience the control our tyres offer.”

Autosport International took place at the NEC in Birmingham from 11-14 January, welcoming approximately 95,000 visitors over four days.

Steeda debuts Q500 Enforcer Mustang in Europe

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480bhp turnkey car from world’s largest Ford performance specialist revealed at Performance Car Show

Steeda Q500

Steeda, the world’s largest privately-owned Ford performance-based specialist, has unveiled its first turnkey V8 Mustang for the European Market. Derived from the 5.0 V8 model, the Q500 Enforcer, part of Steeda’s SSV range of tuned Fords, is a practical and usable sports car that offers noticeable improvements in performance, chassis design and styling over the standard Mustang.

Designed to appeal to buyers seeking genuine performance gains many of the changes are found under the Mustang’s skin. By combining a bespoke cold air intake system to increase and stabilise the flow of cool incoming air, revised engine mapping to provide instant throttle response and a custom exhaust that releases the V8 soundtrack that enthusiasts crave, the Q500 develops 480bhp, up from the standard car’s 410bhp and 485lb/ft. of torque – an increase of over 70lb/ft.

Significant changes have also been made to the Mustang’s chassis and suspension set up. Developed on Steeda’s own test track in Georgia as well as on racetracks including Sebring and Homestead Miami, the Q500 boasts adjustable suspension and chassis upgrades to sharpen responsiveness. These comprise bespoke thicker front and rear adjustable anti-roll bars that feature solid billet ends and mounts, Steeda’s own progressive rate springs, strut tower brace and upgraded bushes for the Mustang’s independent rear suspension sub-frame. The result is a lowered stance designed to offer the comfort of the factory car with improved turn-in, a much more planted rear end and a noticeable reduction in wheel hop and deflection that can affect the standard Mustang.

The Q500 also features Steeda’s sub frame alignment kit to eliminate misalignment caused by a difference in bolt and hole size that has been reported on some factory cars. Customers selecting the optional wheel packages will have Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tyres fitted as standard, whilst track-focussed customers can opt for the Cup derivative. Steeda’s UK first car, revealed at the Performance Car Show, is fitted with satin black 20” Velgen VMB7 wheels that, despite being one inch larger in diameter, and running larger tyres from Michelin all around (265/35/20 and 295/35/20) are Identical in weight to standard Mustang wheel and tyre combination. 19” wheel options are also available.

Steeda Q500

Targeting a ‘factory-plus’ appearance, Steeda’s subtle exterior styling updates tighten the Mustang’s iconic lines. A discrete splitter, developed on Steeda’s race Mustang, reduces lift at the front whilst a polyurethane duck tail has been carefully designed to improve stability yet not adversely affect rear vision. The interior benefits from detail upgrades including Steeda sill trim finishers. A build plate, located under the bonnet and the Steeda script on the rear of the car, confirm its SSV provenance and are only fitted to turnkey cars.

In keeping with the Mustang’s tradition of customisation, Steeda offers a comprehensive range of options suitable for either road or track. The most significant on the demo car is the Steeda Coilover Kit, adding fully adjustable dampers front and rear with a height-adjustable front coil over setup including camber adjustable top mounts and a rear spring and damper setup with a height adjustable spring seat. Other available options include a heavy-duty Tremec Magnum XL six-speed manual that can be specified with multiple gear ratio options, an upgraded twin plate clutch, heavy-duty aluminium driveshafts, vented brake discs as well as options to have custom paint finishes for brake calipers and under the bonnet. Options can be specified during build or retro-fitted at a later stage.

Priced at £8,998 over the base GT vehicle, the Q500 Enforcer is available to order now from Ford dealer Haynes of Maidstone, Kent. All turnkey Steeda cars come with a comprehensive factory warranty.

“Steeda has been developing Mustangs for 30 years in the US,” says Steeda UK’s director Robbie Kazandjian. “Drawing from that experience and our comprehensive collection of suspension and chassis upgrades, the largest of any manufacturer for Fords, we have created a very special Mustang that offers an involving, affordable and thrilling alternative to offerings from the German manufacturers.”

The Q500 joins the Q350 Sport Mustang and the Mondeo Sport in a growing range of offerings from Steeda for the European market. In the US, where its production-based cars have won more championships and races than all its competitors combined, Steeda is one of the most renowned Ford specialists offering a range of its own road and race parts for Fords including Fiesta, Focus and Fusion/Mondeo models.  Steeda is already working on the Q Series packages for the new 2018 Mustang facelift which will launch later this year in Europe with further cars set to be revealed during the year.

 

New HARMAN UX Solutions Deliver Unprecedented In-Car Comfort and Entertainment Experiences at CES 2018

harma a samsung company

CES – LAS VEGAS – January 8, 2018 – HARMAN International, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. focused on connected technologies for automotive, consumer and enterprise markets, today announced Configurable Entertainment and Moodscape, the latest experience-centric lifestyle automotive solutions offering personalized entertainment, comfort and convenience for passengers. Developed on the company’s new HARMAN AudioworX platform, these new solutions deliver intelligently tailored in-vehicle experiences, ushering in a new era of personalization for shared mobility and autonomous vehicles.

“When it comes to their vehicles, today’s consumers are all about the experience and are less concerned about the technology behind it. At HARMAN, we are constantly focused on innovating with the passenger in mind, integrating emerging technology with software-driven audio to provide the effortless, responsive experiences consumers have come to expect,” said Michael Mauser, President, Lifestyle Audio for HARMAN. “Moodscape and Configurable Entertainment are perfect examples of how we’re re-inventing what is possible in the vehicle today, as well as for the autonomous future.”

Configurable Entertainment: A Personalized Experience for Every Passenger, Every Ride, Every Day

The sharing economy shows no sign of slowing down, and car ownership trends will continue to shift. Consumers, however, continue to demand seamless connectivity and in-vehicle personalization. These can be sacrificed with today’s ride sharing services, where personalization options are often dictated by owner rather than passenger preferences. Targeted to shared fleet organizations like Uber and Lyft, HARMAN’s proprietary, software-based Configurable Entertainment allows shared mobility providers to offer multiple in-car brand and entertainment experiences through a single set of in-vehicle hardware. This puts the power of personalization back into the hands of ride-share passengers, making every ride an extension of their lifestyle.

With Configurable Entertainment, automakers can further differentiate from competitors and increase overall customer satisfaction by offering consumers a choice of in-vehicle audio brand experiences. For example, one user can select in-vehicle gaming or a heart-pounding concert experience through JBL audio for their ride; while the next passenger – in the same vehicle  – can choose a completely different experience, such as watching a movie or enjoying a more intimate music performance with the refined sound of Harman Kardon to enhance their trip.

Key Features for Configurable Entertainment include:

  • Proprietary Shape-shifting Speakers: In-vehicle speakers transform in real-time to provide different experiences in line with user preferences. For example, a unique sound bar or tweeter can dynamically morph from one audio brand experience to another, both sonically and visually.
  • Unique Industrial Design: Brand-specific visual elements such as logos and speaker grilles can change in real-time to match user preferences.
  • Adaptive Audio EQ’s: Sound tuning will adjust on-demand to deliver the iconic listening experience associated with the user’s preferred audio brand.

Configurable Entertainment leverages HARMAN’s award-winning automotive cloud platform, HARMAN Ignite for seamless connectivity and device management, allowing passengers to personalize in-vehicle entertainment experiences in real-time – a first for the industry. Preferred personal settings can be catalogued, saved on compatible devices and seamlessly deployed for any ride. For automakers, it is an example of how HARMAN provides a complete, end-to-end solution for implementing advanced connected in-vehicle applications and features.

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Moodscape: Focus on the Moments that Matter in your Day

Automakers are placing an increasing emphasis on the vehicle interior as a place for reflection and focus in response to growing consumer interest in wellness and lifestyle optimization. In step with this trend, HARMAN’s Moodscape uses mood-based features to redefine comfort and entertainment in the daily commute.

Moodscape intuitively adjusts the in-cabin audio experience, delivering music with a mood-based EQ and sound levels to help passengers prepare for whatever is next in their day. Additionally, Moodscape features new HARMAN QLED Auto technology, providing a stunning visual experience for passengers through the first-ever automotive QLED vehicle roof application.

Key features of Moodscape include:

  • Music Motivator: Whether heading to a meeting, to a party or to the gym, Music Motivator synchronizes with calendars, identifies GPS routes and analyzes available biometric feedback to build and deliver an audio experience based on passengers’ whereabouts, schedule and energy level – so that wherever they are headed, they arrive focused and ready.
  • Personalized Audio Alerts: Created with safety in mind, Personalized Audio Alerts heightens attention to navigation, traffic and weather incidents through directional audio, allowing drivers to keep their eyes on the road and respond more quickly to prompts.
  • HARMAN QLED MoodRoof: The passenger’s choice of environmental sounds fills the cabin, complemented by a state-of-the art visual experience through HARMAN’s QLED MoodRoof. Tailor-made for autonomous vehicles, MoodRoof replaces the traditional moon roof with a choice of immersive visual landscapes brought to stunning life by this first-of-its-kind automotive QLED application.

Both Configurable Entertainment and Moodscape will be demonstrated at the HARMAN Showcase at CES 2018.