Automotive

2020 BMW M8 now official as coupe and convertible

Plus a special Competition variant

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The 2020 BMW M8 just became official. Although edgier than the previous models, it still exudes a reserved and held-back personality. Pop open the hood, though, and you’ll understand why it’s the top model in the company’s performance lineup.

Coming in a fastback coupe or convertible, the new M8 features a more assertive look than, let’s say, the M5. The blacked-out exterior trims effectively add a sportier feel. They actually blend well with the front and rear bumpers which received a facelift as well. A set of 20-inch alloy wheels round up the exterior.


Inside, there’s the addition of a new Setup button that BMW says tweaks the settings for engine response, steering, braking, and its xDrive systems (an intelligent four-wheel drive system used by BMW). To switch between Road and Sport driving modes, an M mode button is lodged at the center console. Oh, and there’s an additional Track mode for the non-base, Competition variant of the M8.

Both the base and Competition models come with a heads-up display as a standard.

Under the hood, a twin-turbo V8 engine supplies power to its all-wheel-drive powertrain. We’re not usually big on specs and numbers but it’s nice to note that its 600HP engine is capable of going from 0-60mph in 3.2 seconds. That’s for the base M8 while the M8 Competition does it a little bit faster.

M8’s all-wheel-drive system has three modes: default 4WD for normal driving, 4WD Sport for more power to the rear wheels, and 2WD mode which is only active when stability control is turned off.

The base M8 coupe starts at US$ 133,000 while the Competition model climbs to US$ 146,000. Be prepared to shell out an additional US$ 9,500 if you fancy the drop-top variant.

Automotive

What Mazda promises with the new Mazda 3

Still going for a great driving experience

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The new Mazda 3 has just been introduced to the local market by Bermaz Auto Philippines. We’ve caught a glimpse of it before and got a general concept of what to expect. Although now that we have the Philippine-spec units and prices to go along with it, what does the Japanese company promise with this new vehicle? Let’s take a look at some of its features.

Styling

Mazda still stays true to its KODO or “Soul of Motion” design that gives life to the exterior by playing with curves and how light uniquely bounces off its panels. In short, it offers fresh styling that stands out and begs to be noticed. It has that minimalist but artistic approach and it certainly works for the Mazda 3.


Step inside and the simplicity continues. There’s nothing too fancy to see here except for the driver-centric layout which exudes a premium feel thanks to the materials used.

Its cabin has also been designed with superior acoustics in mind. The company claims they were able to achieve a natural and rich-sounding cabin by strategically positioning its 12 speakers and cutting down on sound reflection. We haven’t experienced it first-hand, but that’s kind of a bold claim from the company if they couldn’t back it up.

These, coupled with the company’s “Jinba Ittai” concept of machine and man as one, ensure that the ergonomics inside serve its driver well to further enjoy the driving experience and create that bond between each other. This also brings us to our next point.

Comfort

In order for the car to feel like an extension of your body, the interior has to be comfortable.

With the previously mentioned concept, one of the ideas is for the car to support wherever your body leans. This simply means the vehicle’s structure and interior provide comfort, especially during long drives.

Additionally, the company made sure that they give ample attention to dampening vibrations and reducing noise seeping into the cabin. By using new sound-absorbing upholstery that supposedly traps sound, a quieter cabin and overall smoother drive is what the passengers experience with the new Mazda 3.

It also tends to spoil the modern driver with its lineup of creature comforts. Things like auto brake hold come into play during heavy traffic, power-folding side mirrors, rain-sensing wipers, and auto-dimming rearview mirror are just some to mention.

Performance

The Philippine-specific Mazda 3 doesn’t come with the new Skyactiv-X engine that Europe has. Instead, the local market gets Skyactiv-G inline-4 engine options mated to a six-speed automatic. The naturally aspirated engine outputs up to 152hp and 200Nm which should be enough for everyday drives plus some room for its legs to stretch when the road ahead clears up.

It also comes with G-Vectoring Control Plus that should be able to refine steering and make the vehicle safer and more stable overall. By calculating data while driving on a curb, for example, the system applies input that complements the task at hand and helps the driver gain control while coming out of said turn.

As a quick recap, the new Mazda 3 aims to tick the boxes for a capable car in the city but promises a number of features and innovations to further enjoy the ride experience. It’s styled skilfully inside and out, aims to ensure comfort throughout drives, provides high-quality entertainment, packs a capable engine, and prioritizes safety.

It comes in five variants in the Philippines with the following price points:

  • Mazda 3 1.5-liter Sedan Elite  — PhP 1,295,000
  • Mazda 3 1.5-liter Sportback Elite — PhP 1,320,000
  • Mazda 3 2.0-liter Sedan Premium — PhP 1,495,000
  • Mazda 3 2.0-liter Sportback Premium — PhP 1,510,000
  • Mazda 3 2.0-liter Sportback Speed — PhP 1,590,000

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Automotive

She implanted an RFID tag in her arm to operate a Tesla Model 3

A new way to never lose your keys again

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A software engineer who goes by the name Amie DD on YouTube wanted to do an ultimate Tesla Model 3 hack — one that involves implanting an RFID tag in her own body so she could unlock and operate her vehicle with just a wave of her arm.

She released a short documentary on her thought process and how she began the project. According to her, she’s not new to playing with RFID tags and implanting them in her body. So when she got her new Model 3 and found out it uses RFID to unlock and start the vehicle, she immediately came up with the idea.


To make this possible, Amie DD reached out to a body modification place capable of performing such procedures. You may watch the implant process here but be warned that it’s a bit graphic and shows blood.

She didn’t actually show in her video that it actually works but she told The Verge that it does. Amie DD even tweeted Elon Musk jokingly (probably) that she could run Musk’s Body Hacking Division.

It may sound cool and all — and props to her for having the courage to do something like that — but as for me, I think I’m okay with using standard keys right now.

 

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Automotive

Jaguar wants Oxford Dictionary to update the definition of ‘car’

Literally redefining what a car is

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Jaguar is calling for the Oxford English Dictionary and OxfordDictionaries.com to update their official online definition of the word ‘car’.

The need for action is because Jaguar’s I-PACE, the company’s all-electric performance SUV, recently won the 2019 World Car of the Year and European Car of the Year. However, technically, the zero-emission vehicle doesn’t fall under the ‘car’ category if we’re going by its official meaning.


If you check online, Oxford English Dictionary — the principal historical dictionary of the English language — defines a car as, “a road vehicle powered by a motor (usually an internal combustion engine) designed to carry a driver and a small number of passengers, and usually having two front and two rear wheels, esp. for private, commercial, or leisure use.”

Meanwhile, the current definition of a car on OxfordDictionaries.com, a collection of dictionary websites produced by Oxford University Press, is: “a road vehicle, typically with four wheels, powered by an internal combustion engine and able to carry a small number of people.”

Now, being widely regarded as the accepted authority on the English language, it just seems fitting to update the meaning of ‘car’. Jaguar has already submitted a formal application to both groups and have the definitions updated to include additional powertrains, including electric vehicles.

While these groups review the application, Jaguar is encouraging people to support the movement and share their thoughts on how the word should be defined. For those interested, you may use #RedefineTheCar along with your posts.

 

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