Posts tagged with "engineer"

Lexus, Costa Rica, 360 MAGAZINE, Vaughn Lowery, RXL

Lexus Milestones

By Flore Chaumont × Vaughn Lowery

Lexus celebrated their 30-year anniversary this past July; and we couldn’t escape it. We were invited on a 3-day lifestyle activation in Costa Rica, testing both their latest vehicles along side of their precursors. Since Lexus is the leading producer of luxury hybrids, their choice of hosting this event in Costa Rica was not arbitrary. Aside from lush landscapes, the island is a place where environmentally driven initiatives and technologies thrive. The country is a leading producer of hydroelectric energy, and conserving their beautiful flora and fauna is one of their top priorities.

1. Accommodation

Our hopes were high and they were remarkably met with our arrival at the magnificent Four Seasons Hotel, located in Liberia, a jewel in the countryside of Costa Rica. The luxurious property, nicely integrated into the surrounding region was mesmerizing. Modern yet rustic decorated rooms spilt out onto the beachfront as we assembled at a welcoming reception. We were treated like loyalty with excellent service, savory bites and of course, great fellowship. With a 181 rooms, fitness center (which rivaled Equinox), day spa (complete with plunge pool, steam room and hot tub) and private beach, many of us were tempted to stay longer within the 1,400 acres of utter bliss. There was so much to explore via a biking excursion or a simple hike into neighboring jungles.

2. History of Lexus

During the conference, we learned about the history of Lexus; and their product line from 1989 to present. With the use of VR, we were teleported in time to when Toyota arrived in the US. In 1984, they launched the Circle F Project with the aim of releasing a luxury car. The challenge was to change America’s perception of the marque. For this project, Chief Engineer Ichiro Suzuki sets aggressive goals which will define the brand’s strategy and excellence down the route. With over 1400 engineers involved and 400 prototypes later, the Lexus LS was born. A sedan unlike any other. The name, originally Alexis, became Lexus, and the logo came to become this symbol of beauty and perfection with a succession of exceptional cars to accompany.

3. Meeting with Executives

We also got the privilege to sit down and shoot the breeze with some of the senior level executives of Lexus. Koichi Suga, General Manager of Lexus Design, explained to us his inspiration for adding the concierge and driver refresh, he maintains, “Our vision is human centered: what the customer wants, while focusing on our distinctive culture and heritage.” Indeed, the driver refreshes function is an imitation of shiatsu massage, and it was also our favorite feature in this newly reintroduced full-size flagship. In a discussion with Koji Sato, Vice President of Lexus International Products & Engineering, we were informed that the brand expects to issue its first EV by 2025. And he gave tongue to what gives the sedan a long-term advantage over SUV models. He states, “I think the sedan is more formal, more stylish, with a low center of gravity that provides a more emotional feel.”

4. Vehicle Drives

After being fascinated with the history of Lexus, we got to take a glimpse of and even test drive a few. The incredible LFA was on display and the RC F Sport (f/ in Men in Black: International) were definitely crowd favorites. We test drove three of their models: the LS 500h; RXL (new RX w/ third row seating) and LC 500h. The LS literally made us feel like a royal family. The sleek design, alongside a more pronounced spindle grill and a ton of driver/passenger amenities made the interior feel like nirvana. The RXL possesses a 4.4 inch longer wheel base than RX, now seats 7 and has been refined to exaggerate masculinity. Lastly, the LC 500h, spotlighted in the critically acclaimed Black Panther, was simply sublime, from its paw-like exterior to the silky ride it offers. The peaceful drive along windy roads near the rain forests was almost mysterious.

5. Adventure

On our final day, we drove to the Diamante Eco Adventure Park which is home to one of the highest zip lines in the world – approximately 80 stories high and 1 mile long from one side to the other. We strapped into the renowned Superman, headfirst while facing forward on our bellies. Within, 45 seconds or less we were tailed and ready to retrieve our rides.

In short, Lexus created an atmosphere which showcased creativity, confidence and courage. Everything was exemplified through their leaders, bold design and humanity. Here’s to another 30 years!!!

Family Members of Deadly Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 Victims Seeking One Billion Dollars in Damages From Boeing

Ribbeck Law Chartered, which represents the majority of families of the victims of the deadly Boeing 737 MAX 8 crashes, and Global Aviation Law Group, recently filed additional lawsuits against Boeing, in U.S. federal court in Chicago. This is the latest in a growing number of lawsuits filed against Boeing in the aftermath of two fatal crashes in less than five months.

Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 crashed six minutes after taking off from Addis Ababa Bole International Airport, killing all 157 people on board, from more than two dozen countries. The flight impacted a farm field at nearly 700 miles per hour, which created a crater 90 feet wide and 120 feet long. The force of the crash caused wreckage to be driven into the soil up to 30 feet deep.

Manual von Ribbeck of Ribbeck Law Chartered stated, “The filings today are on behalf of the families of the victims of Ethiopian Airlines flight 302 specifically.” “It has been nearly 10 months since the deadly crash of Lion Air flight 610 and 5 months since the crash of Ethiopian Airlines 302, and it does not appear that Boeing is interested in any out of court settlement.” “The families we represent are seeking what they are entitled to under the law, nothing less, nothing more.” Mr von Ribbeck adds, “We had hoped that based on the over whelming evidence against Boeing that Boeing was going to be reasonable and finally give some closure to the families, but it is not the case. We basically had no other choice but to file more lawsuits.”

Currently, Ribbeck Law Chartered represents families of passengers from America, Europe, Africa, Asia and the Pacific Basin, and is litigating in American Courts representing victims from airplane incidents that occurred in North America, Asia, South America, Central America, the Caribbean, Europe, and Africa.

First images from Mars will be seen through Jenoptik lenses

When NASA launches the Mars 2020 mission the first images back to Earth in February of 2021 will be seen through lenses designed and engineered by Jenoptik.

The Jenoptik Light & Optics team in Jupiter, FL have been developing three types of mission critical lenses for use with the Mars Rover’s engineering cameras. Navigation lenses will capture the first live video footage from the mission as the rover explores the surface of Mars, crucially important when the rover drives autonomously. Hazard avoidance lenses will provide images that will help the rover identify obstacles and allow NASA engineers to see the movement of the robotic arm during sample collection. Finally, a cache lens will verify that a complete collection of the rock and soil samples have been achieved. Due to the cache lens’ proximity to the samples collected, to avoid contamination, the cleanliness requirements are extremely challenging.

All three lens types were built in a Jenoptik class 5 clean room with state-of-the-art filtration technology for high-precision optical assemblies. Custom test equipment was developed at Jenoptik to measure the optical performance during the demanding temperature extremes to withstand the conditions on Mars. Jenoptik performed several environmental tests in vacuum and over a wide temperature range with the lowest temperature being -135°C.

“Jenoptik is accustomed to demanding applications requiring expertise in the design, manufacture, and testing of complex optical assemblies in the fields of semiconductor, medical devices and defense industries”, said Jay Kumler, President of Jenoptik Optical Systems in North America. “We are very proud of the technical challenges and rigorous testing we have overcome which has really benefited the entire company, and we are honored to be a part of the monumental mission to Mars.”

About Jenoptik’s Light & Optics division
The Light & Optics division is a global OEM supplier of solutions and products based on photonics technologies. Jenoptik provides a broad portfolio of technologies combined with deep experience of more than 25 years in the fields of optics, laser technology, digital imaging, opto-electronics and sensors. Our customers are leading machine and equipment suppliers working in areas such as semiconductor equipment, laser material processing, healthcare & life science, industrial automation, automotive & mobility and safety, as well as in research institutes. As a development and production partner, the Light & Optics division focuses on advancing cutting-edge technologies to improve our customers’ system performance and ultimately realize product outcomes that reach new heights enabled by our highly-integrated photonic solutions. The systems, modules and components based on photonics technologies help our customers overcome their future challenges.

Jaguar’s New SUV

Ahead of its global auto show debut at the New York International Auto Show on Wednesday, March 28 at the Jacob Javits Convention Center, Jaguar announced an extreme variant of its best-selling F-PACE performance SUV – the F-PACE SVR.

Watch the film here.

Already recognized as the 2017 World Car of the Year and World Car Design of the Year, as well as being the best-selling model in the Jaguar line-up since its launch two years ago, the F-PACE was a natural choice to receive SVR upgrades. The performance enhancements made to create the F-PACE SVR make it the fastest and most powerful F-PACE yet. Boasting an enhanced chassis, improved aerodynamics and 170 more horsepower than the current range-topping F-PACE S, the F-PACE SVR is built for maximum driver reward in various conditions.

Engineered by Special Vehicle Operations (SVO), the 5.0-liter supercharged V8 found in the F-PACE SVR produces 550hp and 502lb. ft. of torque; a 44% uplift in power, enabling it to reach 0-60mph in just 4.1 seconds (0-100km/h in 4.3 seconds) on its way to a top speed of 176mph (283km/h)1.

“The F-PACE SVR delivers the handling and agility to match its performance,” said Mike Cross, Chief Engineer of Vehicle Integrity at Jaguar Land Rover. “Everything from the steering to the bespoke suspension set-up has been tuned specifically for our performance SUV and the result is a vehicle that lives up to the promise of both the F-PACE and SVR names.”

Aerodynamic enhancements include larger air intakes at the front and side fender vents that lower pressure in the wheel arches, reducing lift and providing additional cooling while also assisting with high-speed stability2. In addition, unique wheel arch extensions and lower body moldings provide a low-slung muscularity that sets the SVR apart.

An exclusive SVR hood features vents to help extract hot air from the engine bay, providing visual evidence of the car’s dynamic intent.

At the rear, a unique spoiler is joined by a new bumper housing the Active Exhaust system’s quad tailpipes. The bumper incorporates side strakes designed to aid aerodynamic performance by smoothing airflow away from the rear of the vehicle.

The upgraded chassis features a set of progressive front and rear springs that are 30- and 10-percent stiffer respectively; incorporating an anti-roll system that contributes to a 5-percent overall reduction in body roll.

New, lightweight forged 21- and optional 22-inch alloy wheels are wider at the rear by almost 1-inch (25mm) compared to the front and contribute to the vehicle’s enhanced handling. The 22-inch wheels are 5.3lbs lighter on the front and 3.7lbs lighter on the rear and are designed to deliver greater airflow to the larger 15.5-inch (395mm) front and 15.6-inch (396mm) rear brake discs. The brake discs feature an advanced two piece construction on the front and rear, and when combined with the lighter wheels reduce unsprung mass, further contributing to the new car’s agile handling.

The F-PACE SVR also features an F-TYPE inspired Variable Valve Active Exhaust System; providing not only a charismatic soundtrack, but also increasing exhaust gas flow as another factor behind the SUV’s increased performance capability. The SVR exhaust is 14.5lbs lighter than the standard exhaust system in the F-PACE.

As the first F-PACE to utilize a rear Electronic Active Differential (EAD), the differential in the SVR works in conjunction with a comprehensive range of advanced technologies, each calibrated to deliver increased on-road performance and handling. The torque on-demand All-Wheel Drive system’s Intelligent Driveline Dynamics (IDD) control technology has been optimized to maximize the benefit of the EAD, while the software for the Adaptive Dynamics suspension, Electronic Power Assisted Steering (EPAS) and Dynamic Driving Mode are all unique to the F-PACE SVR. Engaging Dynamic mode initiates faster, more responsive gearshifts, sharper throttle responses and increased steering response for a more engaging driving experience in all conditions.2

Inside, the F-PACE SVR features slimline performance front seats that provide enhanced lateral support and have the signature Jaguar lozenge quilting and embossed SVR logo. In addition, unique rear seats echo the heavily sculpted designs of the seats up front, while the SUV’s sports car character is underlined by a SportShift Gear Selector like what is found in the F-TYPE sports car. Finally, the SVR branded steering wheel is enhanced with tactile aluminum paddle shifters.

For all its performance, the SVR retains the practicality and versatility inherent to the ‘PACE’ family of crossovers and SUVs; the 33.5cu. ft. of available loadspace (with rear seats up) is unaffected by the enhancements made to the SVR model. As with other F-PACE vehicles the SVR keeps passengers connected and entertained on the move with an available 4G Wi-Fi connection for up to eight devices; advanced Touch Pro infotainment system with 10-inch touchscreen standard; and a standard 12.3-inch Interactive Driver Display instrument cluster.4,5,6

Four interior color themes help to highlight the vehicle’s high performance personality; Red with Jet, Light Oyster with Jet, Siena Tan with Jet and Jet with Light Oyster stitching.

Drawing on extensive all-terrain expertise of both the Jaguar and Land Rover brands, the F-PACE SVR features a host of advanced technologies such as All-Wheel Drive with Intelligent Driveline Dynamics, All Surface Progress Control and Adaptive Surface Response to aid performance on a variety of surfaces and in a variety of weather conditions2.

 

The F-PACE SVR will be priced from $79,9903 when it arrives in retailer showrooms Summer of 2018, and comes standard with a best-in-class ownership package7, Jaguar EliteCare.

 

Customers can visit www.JaguarUSA.com for more information and to build their own F-PACE SVR.

Legendary Music Producer Rick Hall Dies at 85

Legendary music producer and FAME Studios founder Rick Hall has died at the age of 85. Hall died this morning at his home in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, not far from his world famous recording studio.

The family has issued the following statement:

It is with the deepest sorrow that we announce the passing of our father, husband and beloved grandfather, Rick Hall. His spirit will live on forever through the massive amount of legendary music that he so tirelessly produced. Music was his life and because of him, Fame Studios and Muscle Shoals will always be “shooting for the stars!” We hope the band in Heaven is ready. If not, there’s going to be a problem.

Rick Hall made music history when he founded FAME Recording Studios in Muscle Shoals. Hall went on to earn international fame and eventually a Grammy for Lifetime Achievement. In the days when Martin Luther King Jr. was marching for freedom, Hall proved to be a civil rights pioneer through his music. His open collaboration among black and white artists was a revolutionary cultural standard not only to “deep south” Alabama, but to the nation at large. FAME’s color blind atmosphere, and the raw music it produced, would help shape American culture during its most troubled and tumultuous time.

Considered the “Father of the Muscle Shoals Sound,” Hall helped define a generation by pioneering a new sound that would inspire artists, give birth to new kinds of music and launch the careers of hundreds of superstars, songwriters, musicians and music executives. Record executives literally flocked to Muscle Shoals for Hall to produce and engineer a mind-boggling array of major artists, including Aretha Franklin, Clarence Carter, Mac Davis, Wilson Pickett, Etta James, Alabama, Tom Jones, Allman Brothers, The Osmonds, Shenandoah, Wayne Newton, TG Sheppard, Larry Gatlin & The Gatlin Brothers, Little Richard, Lou Rawls and so many more. With more than 300 hit singles to his credit, and more than 40 Gold and Platinum records, Hall was one of the top producers of Pop, Rock, R&B and Country records in the world.