Ford Ranger Offers Standard AEB With Pedestrian Detection

Ford is now offering the Ranger and Ranger Raptor with standard Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) and pedestrian detection as standard across the range. After introducing AEB as standard on the Ranger Wildtrak in late 2018, the technology has been added range-wide as part of a feature update for Ranger models.

“Ranger has a tradition of leading technology, which includes being the first pick-up to achieve a five-star ANCAP safety rating, and in 2018 we added more powertrain choices and significant Driver Assist Technology coupled with a five-year, unlimited kilometre warranty,” said Ford Australia and New Zealand President and CEO, Kay Hart. “Now, AEB with Pedestrian Detection, Lane Keeping Aid, Traffic Sign Recognition and Automatic High Beam is standard on every Ranger, from the entry-level Ranger XL cab-chassis all the way through to the Ford Performance Ranger Raptor.”

The new technology suite comes with a host of updates for Ranger and Ranger Raptor, which sees a high level of equipment that spans the complete lineup, including cab- chassis models, building on the Ranger’s five-star ANCAP rating.

“The standard inclusion of AEB on the Ford Ranger and Ranger Raptor is great news for ute buyers and other road users,” said ANCAP Chief Executive, James Goodwin. “As one of Australia’s top sellers, having this important safety technology fitted across the Ranger lineup will have a big impact.”

Building on the changes introduced to Ranger in late 2018, which included a twin-turbo, 10-speed powertrain option and new features such as “Semi-Auto Active Park Assist”, HID headlamps, keyless entry and “Tailgate with Lift Assistance”, Ford says the Ranger lineup has never offered such a comprehensive array of technology, driver assist and convenience features.

The 2019 Geneva Motor Show – What’s Hot And What’s Not

The 89th edition of the Geneva International Motor Show is being held at the Palexpo exhibition and trade centre in Le Grand-Saconnex.

This year’s show had a lot to offer, some great and some not so great vehicles, but as expected, there was a lot of electric cars.

From Audi, Fiat and Citroën to Aston Martin, a whole host of automotive brands are offering eco-friendly mobility options. From affordable, commercial cars to the more luxurious models.

Here’s a small selection:

Fiat presented an all-electric vehicle that is affordable for all. The Centoventi (One Hundred and Twenty in Italian) marks the manufacturer’s 120th anniversary and shows its vision for electric mass mobility in the near future.

Dubbed a rival to Tesla’s Model 3, Polestar’s latest car – Polestar 2 – is a fully-electric, five-door fastback coupe and comes at a lower price than the company’s previous model, while claiming to reach 100 kilometres per hour in less than five seconds.

The electric concept vehicle by Spanish manufacturer Seat (part of the Volkswagen Group) is called Minimó and was designed with city-dwellers in mind. It combines the safety and comfort of a car with the agility and easy parking of a motorcycle. It accommodates up to two passengers and features a battery-swap system that can fully recharge the car in a matter of minutes.

Citroën’s Ami One electric concept vehicle is designed to be an alternative to urban transport such as hiring an electric bike or scooter to get around a city or using public transport. The ultra-compact vehicle has a top speed of just 45 kilometres per hour, meaning that in many countries it can be operated by people as young as 16, with or without a driving licence.

Audi’s latest all-electric SUV concept will be the company’s fifth all-electric vehicle when it goes into production in 2020. The Q4 e-tron includes a specially developed exterior blue paint colour, called Solar Sky, which reflects a short-wave fraction of sunlight to reduce heat build-up in the car, meaning less energy is needed to cool the car on hot days.

Aston Martin revealed its Lagonda All-Terrain Concept – a zero-emissions SUV described as elegant yet robust, with futuristic shapes that look like they have been created by “the huge, planetary forces of gravity fields”. In line with this future-facing theme, the Lagonda also features a levitating key, which uses electromagnets to float between the front seats.

Volvo To Impose 180km/h Speed Limit On Its Cars

Volvo Cars says it is sending a strong signal about the dangers of speeding in limiting the top speed of all its cars to 180km/h from 2020.

The company’s Vision 2020, which aims for no one to be killed or seriously injured in a new Volvo car by 2020, is one of the most ambitious safety visions in the automotive industry. But Volvo Cars says it is now broadening its scope to include a focus on driver behaviour, after realising that technology alone will not get it all the way to zero.

The company’s own research has identified three remaining concerns for safety that constitute ‘gaps’ in its ambition to completely end serious injuries and fatalities in its cars, with speeding a prominent one.

“Volvo is a leader in safety: we always have been and we always will be,” said Håkan Samuelsson, President and Chief Executive of Volvo Cars. “Because of our research, we know where the problem areas are when it comes to ending serious injuries and fatalities in our cars. And while a speed limitation is not a cure-all, it’s worth doing if we can even save one life.”

Apart from limiting top speeds, the company is also investigating how a combination of smart speed control and geofencing technology could automatically limit speeds around schools and hospitals in future.

“We want to start a conversation about whether car manufacturers have the right or maybe even an obligation to install technology in cars that changes their driver’s behaviour, to tackle things such as speeding, intoxication or distraction,” said Samuelsson. “We don’t have a firm answer to this question but believe we should take leadership in the discussion and be a pioneer.”

According to Volvo Cars, the problem with speeding is that above certain speeds, in-car safety technology and smart infrastructure design are no longer enough to avoid severe injuries and fatalities in the event of an accident. This is why speed limits are in place in most western countries, but speeding remains ubiquitous and one of the most common reasons for fatalities in traffic.

Beyond speeding, two other problem areas constitute ‘gaps toward zero’. Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is illegal in large parts of the world, yet it remains a prime reason for injuries and fatalities on today’s roads. The other area is distraction – drivers distracted by their mobile phones or otherwise not fully engaged in driving are another major cause of traffic fatalities.

Volvo Cars says it will present ideas to tackle the problem areas of intoxication and distraction at a special safety event in Gothenburg, Sweden on 20 March.

Honda, Mercedes-Benz And SEAT Off-Roaders Get Top Marks For Safety

The first three cars tested by Euro NCAP in 2019 have all achieved the maximum five-star rating for safety.

The new SEAT Tarraco shares Volkswagen’s MQB platform with the Škoda Kodiaq, rated as five-stars by Euro NCAP in 2017. Against the more stringent protocols of 2019, the Tarraco’s five-star rating is notable, and its score of 97 per cent in adult occupant protection is amongst the best achieved by a car in this category.

The previous-generation Honda CR-V was tested as a diesel in 2013. In a sign of the times, this latest version is tested in petrol-hybrid form, anticipated to be the biggest-selling variant. The car performs well in all areas of safety and secures a top safety rating.

Mercedes-Benz’s rugged G-Class also comes in with a five-star rating, with Euro NCAP noting an “impressive performance” in each of the four areas of assessment.

Michiel van Ratingen, Secretary General of Euro NCAP, said: “Here we have three new vehicles, competing in the same segment and getting top safety ratings. That’s impressive enough but the fact that all three off-roaders are equipped with pedestrian and cyclist AEB systems really demonstrates the power of consumer testing, not only to encourage better performance but also to promote new technologies as standard-fit across Europe.”

Citroën Unveils AMI One Concept

Citroën says it has marked 100 years of innovation and boldness with the unveiling of the Ami One Concept, an all-electric vehicle that “places digital technology at the heart of urban mobility”. The company will exhibit the concept at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show.

A full electric vehicle concept car capable of carrying two people, the French car manufacturer says the Ami One is faithful to the brand promise “Inspired by You”, and is the company’s response to new customer behaviour and the “challenge of the energy transition in urban environments”.

Designed to be utilised without a driver’s licence in France, the Ami One is accompanied by a global digital ecosystem “fostering a modern, cheerful and broadly accessible mobility experience”.

The concept aims to rethink the customer journey, offering ‘on-demand’ use ranging from five-minutes to five-years. This would cover a range of scenarios from car-sharing and rentals to a full-blown purchase.

The Ami One includes a mobile app that motorists can use to “manage their relationship with the vehicle”, providing access to a portal of services tailored to each journey.

VW’s Dune Buggy Is Back… And Now It’s Electric

At the beginning of March, Volkswagen will reveal the first fully electric version of a new buggy. Taking its cues from popular American dune buggies, the concept vehicle is based on the Modular Electric Drive Matrix (MEB) – designed to demonstrate how multifaceted the new platform truly is, according to Volkswagen.

The company says the concept of the fully electric buggy is based on the historical predecessors that found their home in California and Australia. Back then, the chassis of the Beetle served as the basis; now, the MEB platform is apparently proving to be just as flexible. This reinterpretation of a proper buggy has no fixed roof or conventional doors, while the free-standing wheels fitted with off-road tyres and open side sills dominate the overall look.

VW says the new MEB concept vehicle shows that the fully electric platform can be used for more than just large-scale series production models. Like previous Beetle chassis, the company feels MEB has the potential to facilitate the development of low-volume niche series.

The company notes that the history of recreational vehicles and its technology is a long one – from the Beetle convertible and special bodies produced by companies such as Hebmüller and Rometsch, to fully open designs of the kind embraced by the Meyers Manx buggy, the Beetle chassis allowed for creative – and sometimes exclusive – custom solutions for decades. Globally, around 250,000 individual vehicles were built as one-offs or at low volumes through to the 1980s.

The fully electric concept buggy will be revealed for the first time at the 89th International Geneva Motor Show (7 to 17 March 2019).

Three Stars From ANCAP For New Suzuki Jimny

ANCAP has announced a three-star safety rating for the all new Suzuki Jimny – falling shy of the body’s expected safety standards in three of the four areas of assessment.

“The Jimny misses the mark with structural and design weaknesses, poor protection of pedestrians and cyclists, and lack of effective safety aids,” said ANCAP Chief Executive, James Goodwin.

“Engineers observed a number of issues in the frontal offset test including excessive deformation of the passenger compartment, with penalties applied for loss of structural integrity, steering wheel and pedal intrusion and knee injury risk. Insufficient inflation of the driver’s airbag was also observed with the dummy contacting the steering wheel through the airbag, indicating reduced protection in more severe crashes.”

Performance of the Jimny’s autonomous emergency braking (AEB) system is limited with no cyclist detection or night-time functionality. ANCAP said weak performance was observed for the Jimny’s avoidance of pedestrians, and active lane keep assistance is not available.

“The results show that the fundamentals of vehicle safety are still critical, and simply fitting an AEB system is not enough to earn a good rating,” said Goodwin.

“While marketed for off-road driving, these vehicles also spend much of their time on regular roads and buyers shouldn’t have to forego safety.”

The strongest area of assessment for the Jimny was Child Occupant Protection, with ANCAP saying it scored well for its ability to accommodate a range of child restraints in its two rear seats, and provide good levels of protection to children in frontal and side crash scenarios.

The Suzuki Jimny scored:

73 per cent – Adult Occupant Protection
84 per cent – Child Occupant Protection
52 per cent – Vulnerable Road User Protection
50 per cent – Safety Assist

The 3-star ANCAP safety rating applies to both GL and GLX variants sold in Australia and New Zealand.

Hyundai Introduces World-First Multi-Collision Airbag System

Hyundai Motor Group has announced its development and future commercialisation of what it says is the world’s first multi-collision airbag system. Multi-collision accidents are those in which the primary impact is followed by collisions with secondary objects, such as trees, electrical posts or other vehicles. Hyundai says this occurs in three out of every 10 accidents.

Current airbag systems do not offer secondary protection when the initial impact is insufficient to cause them to deploy. However, the multi-collision airbag system allows airbags to deploy effectively upon a secondary impact by calibrating the status of the vehicle and the occupants.

Hyundai’s new technology detects occupant position in the cabin following an initial collision. When occupants are forced into unusual positions, the effectiveness of existing safety technology may be compromised. Hyundai says multi-collision airbag systems are designed to deploy even faster when initial safety systems may not be effective, providing additional safety when drivers and passengers are most vulnerable. By recalibrating the collision intensity required for deployment, the airbag system responds more promptly during the secondary impact, thereby improving the safety of multi-collision vehicle occupants.

“By improving airbag performance in multi-collision scenarios, we expect to significantly improve the safety of our drivers and passengers,” said Taesoo Chi, head of the Chassis Technology Centre at Hyundai Motor Group. “We will continue our research on more diverse crash situations as part of our commitment to producing even safer vehicles that protect occupants and prevent injuries.”

According to statistics by the National Automotive Sampling System Crashworthiness Data System (NASS-CDS), an office of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in the United States, about 30 per cent of 56,000 vehicle accidents from 2000 to 2012 in the North American region involved multi-collisions.

The leading type of multi-collision accidents involved cars crossing over the centre line (30.8 per cent), followed by collisions caused by a sudden stop at highway toll gates (13.5 per cent), highway median strip collisions (8.0 per cent), and sideswiping and collisions with trees and electric poles (4.0 per cent).

Hyundai Motor Group said it analysed multi-collision scenarios in multilateral ways to improve airbag performance and precision in secondary collisions. The company said it will implement the system in new Hyundai and Kia vehicles in the future.

Kia Australia Revs Up Picanto, Cerato

The tiny Picanto has had a GT added to its name and is now fitted with a three-cylinder, 1.0-litre turbo engine that produces 74kW of power and 172Nm of torque, driving through the front wheels via a 5-speed manual gearbox.

The Picanto GT has been suspension-tuned for Australia by Kia’s local in-house ride and handling team, who were able to build off the basic Picanto’s Macpherson front strut and u-shaped rear torsion beam architecture to make the ride more dynamic. Through a more aggressive tune for the shock absorbers and a stiffer spring rate, the team said it was able to provide greater body control with better road feedback and improved ride comfort.

Changes to the steering mapping are said to give a quicker response and enhanced stability when under load, while lower-profile 195/45 R16 tyres improve both grip and predictability when pushing towards the limit.

The GT shares all the features of the current-generation Picanto, including the stiff body shell composed of 44 per cent advanced high-strength steels.

Kia has also added more sportiness to its Cerato sedan and hatch, installing a 1.6-litre turbo engine along with a ride and handling package providing, what the company says, it its most focused drive to date in Kia’s small car garage.

The Cerato GT has a “subtle yet distinctive” body kit, dual exhausts, paddle shifters, alloy sports pedals and a flat-bottomed leather sports steering wheel.

Its four-cylinder 1.6-litre turbo engine produces 150kW at 6000rpm and 265Nm of torque from 1500-4500rpm, all sent to the front wheels through a 7-speed dual clutch automatic gearbox. Sport mode is accessed by tipping the gear lever across to the driver, with aggressive gear shift characteristics and sharper steering maps.

The Picanto GT 5-speed manual is currently priced at $17,990 drive away, while the Cerato GT in either hatch or sedan is available now at $31,990 drive away.

‘Time-Warp’ Peugeot To Go Under The Hammer

An immaculately-preserved, completely original, one-owner 1991 Peugeot 309 GTi with 210 warranted kilometres on the clock is amongst the early entries for Barons’ Classic Winter Warmer sale at Sandown Park in the UK on 26 February.

The vendor bought the car new in 1991, but worked predominantly overseas and had a second car, so the Peugeot was barely used as the mileage clearly showed.

The car was kept garaged throughout its life and is in showroom condition.

The engine, electricals, interior, bodywork and more are as-new and, with a guide price of £8000 – £11,000, it could be the right opportunity to acquire a ‘new’, classic family sedan that might prove to be a sound investment for the future.

For more information visit www.barons-auctions.com.