On cars, old, new and future; science & technology; vintage airplanes, computer flight simulation of them; Sherlockiana; our English language; travel; and other stuff
HERE’S STUFF I wouldn’t have known, had I not regularly read Automotive News, the auto industry weekly. Tidbits in Parts 1 and 2 today and tomorrow are presented in no particular order of global relevance, just things I found interesting..
Musk Marketing. Zillionaire Elon Musk knows a thing or three about marketing. Consider “Tesla Getting into Bier Biz,” a headline in Automotive News, October 18, 2021. At a “country fair” outside an assembly plant being established near Berlin, Musk announced “We’re going to build a train station that’s right on the property. And then we’re going to have graffiti murals all throughout the factory, on the outside and everything…. And we’re even going to have a beer.”
Automotive News reports, “Musk gave few details about the beer beyond the name: GigaBier. Pictures of two glass bottles with angular shapes mimicking the upcoming Cybertruck appeared on the screen behind him as he spoke.”
Automotive News continues, “The company last year introduced Tesla Tequila, which it sold in lightning-shaped bottles for $250 each.”
What with SpaceX successes, Musk’s companies have come a long way from predictions of generating lithium battery craters in Silicon Valley.
Benz Counters These New Guys. “Mercedes is Unafraid of Luxury EV Upstarts” reads Automotive News, October 11, 2021. Tesla is one obvious upstart; Lucid is potentially another.
Automotive News quotes Daimler boss Ola Källenius: “You’ve got to know what your brand promise is and what you need to deliver to your costumers to delight them and surprise them.” Källenius’ plan is to stay true to the company’s DNA of a “perfect blend” of luxury and technology.
As an example, Mercedes’ flagship S-Class line gets the EQS. Automotive News says, “Built on a new EV platform, the EQS is powered by a 107.8-kilowatt-hour battery that delivers up to 350 miles of EPA-estimated range. It can be charged with up to 200 kilowatts at fast charging stations with direct current, recovering up to 186 miles of range in 15 minutes.”
“The EQS,” Automotive News continues, “offers the luxury accouterments of a top-of-the-line Mercedes, incluiding doors that automatically open and close and seats that massage a driver’s shoulders as the vehicle sprints from 0 to 60 mph in 4. 1 seconds.”
Extending across its cabin is a 56-in. curved high-resolution Hyperscreen. It’s composed of three surfaces, a 17.7-in center display flanked by a pair of 12.3-in. screens. The car has a total of 350 sensors providing input to all this.
Automotive News comments, “The EQS is aimed squarely at the kind of tech-oriented consumer that Tesla has leveraged into a market-leading position. Mercedes says “We hear a lot of stories of Tesla S buyers who love the car but maybe are not so happy with the fit and finish and interior quality.”
Fun, Fun, Fun, ’Til Coppers Take the Lambo Away. The ARI (Award for Regulatiory Ignorance) goes to a Norwegian car enthusiast who visited Germany to purchase a $310,000 Huracan, Lamborghini’s hyperexotic capable of 200 mph. His plan was to drive the car from Germany through Denmark and then ferry it to Norway.
According to Automotive News, October 18, 2021, the guy apparently didn’t know of a new Danish law authorizing police to confiscate a “reckless” driver’s vehicle and sell it at auction. What’s more, the law considers exceeding 200 km/h (124 mph) to be among the reckless offenses.
How about a blast of 237 km/h (147 mph) tantalizingly near to the ferry dock? Alas, the limit on said stretch of highway was 130 km/h (81 mph).
Tomorrow in Part 2, tidbits highlight the Automotive News crystal ball, self-driving Ferraris, and (putting my own oar in the water) whether we want our roads used as automotive test grounds. ds
© Dennis Simanaitis, SimanaitisSays.com, 2021