At CES, Toyota revealed plans to build a prototype “city” of the future on a 175-acre site at the base of Mt. Fuji in Japan.
Called the Woven City, it will be a fully connected ecosystem powered by hydrogen fuel cells.
Envisioned as a “living laboratory,” the Woven City will serve as a home to full- time residents and researchers who will be able to test and develop technologies such as autonomy, robotics, personal mobility, smart homes and artificial intelligence in a real-world environment.
“Building a complete city from the ground up, even on a small scale like this, is a unique opportunity to develop future technologies, including a digital operating system for the city’s infrastructure. With people, buildings and vehicles all connected and communicating with each other through data and sensors, we will be able to test connected AI technology… in both the virtual and the physical realms … maximizing its potential,” said Akio Toyoda, president, Toyota Motor Corporation.
Toyota will extend an open invitation to collaborate with other commercial and academic partners and invite interested scientists and researchers from around the world to come work on their own projects in this one-of-a-kind, real-world incubator.
“We welcome all those inspired to improve the way we live in the future, to take advantage of this unique research ecosystem and join us in our quest to create an ever-better way of life and mobility for all,” said Akio Toyoda, president, Toyota Motor Corporation.
For the design of Woven City, Toyota has commissioned Danish architect, Bjarke Ingels, CEO, Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG). His team at BIG have designed many high-profile projects: from 2 World Trade Center in New York and Lego House in Denmark, to Google’s Mountain View and London headquarters.
“A swarm of different technologies are beginning to radically change how we inhabit and navigate our cities. Connected, autonomous, emission-free and shared mobility solutions are bound to unleash a world of opportunities for new forms of urban life. With the breadth of technologies and industries that we have been able to access and collaborate with from the Toyota ecosystem of companies, we believe we have a unique opportunity to explore new forms of urbanity with the Woven City that could pave new paths for other cities to explore.” Bjarke Ingels, Founder and Creative Director, BIG.
Design of the City
The masterplan of the city includes the designations for street usage into three types: for faster vehicles only, for a mix of lower speed, personal mobility and pedestrians, and for a park-like promenade for pedestrians only. These three street types weave together to form an organic grid pattern to help accelerate the testing of autonomy.
The city is planned to be fully sustainable, with buildings made mostly of wood to minimize the carbon footprint, using traditional Japanese wood joinery, combined with robotic production methods. The rooftops will be covered in photo-voltaic panels to generate solar power in addition to power generated by hydrogen fuel cells. Toyota plans to weave in the outdoors throughout the city, with native vegetation and hydroponics.
Residences will be equipped with the latest in human support technologies, such as in-home robotics to assist with daily living. The homes will use sensor-based AI to check occupants’ health, take care of basic needs and enhance daily life, creating an opportunity to deploy connected technology with integrity and trust, securely and positively.
To move residents through the city, only fully-autonomous, zero-emission vehicles will be allowed on the main thoroughfares. In and throughout Woven City, autonomous Toyota e-Palettes will be used for transportation and deliveries, as well as for changeable mobile retail.
Both neighborhood parks and a large central park for recreation, as well as a central plaza for social gatherings, are designed to bring the community together. Toyota believes that encouraging human connection will be an equally important aspect of this experience.
Toyota plans to populate Woven City with Toyota Motor Corporation employees and their families, retired couples, retailers, visiting scientists, and industry partners. The plan is for 2000 people to start, adding more as the project evolves.
The groundbreaking for the site is planned for early 2021.
Interested in partnering with Toyota on the development of Woven City? Visit: Woven-city.global
As of late, we caught an opportunity to attend the Lexus Performance Driving School [LPDS] in Monterey, California at the iconic WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca. This is the 4th year of this program helmed by legendary Nascar driver Scott Pruett alongside of world-class driving instructors. Under his direction, consumers as well as car enthusiasts can learn to become more confident and cognizant drivers with personalized coaching.
We flew into the Monterey airport to take in our cobalt blue RC 350 and headed straight to our accommodations at the Portola Hotel. The following dawn, we showered and worked out at the hotel gym. Within minutes, we pulled up to the prolific track to indulge in a snack bar-style breakfast. Upon check-in, we split into four teams which consisted of 10-12 people. Directly after, we met in a larger hangar to watch a video and were greeted by Mr. Pruett. Shortly after, we learned about the proper seating position, steering, throttle technique and helmet fitting.
The 8-hour course taught us about braking, line position, skid pad, autocross as well as lead and follow. Of course, like most AMG, BMW and Skip Barber racing platforms, we got to delve deep into how to drift (on wet asphalt) and ‘hit the apex.’
Towards the close of the day, all teams took to the slalom test to see who had the best time within their group for an assortment of prizes, including an F Sport watch and/or a hot lap with Pruett. After the announcement of the top three times, we were granted a certificate of completion which makes for a keepsake.
All in all, this was an awesome opportunity to learn more about dynamic performance vehicles in a safe and controlled environment. The LC 500 proved to be nimble, the RC F had a melodic exhaust note and the GS F was surprisingly agile (with its widebody).
In short, this is one of the best driving colleges offered on the Western Hemisphere and would constitute a memorable present for a celebratory moment and/or Christmas.
LEXUS PRESENTS ITS VISION OF FUTURE ELECTRIFICATION WITH THE WORLD PREMIERE OF THE LF-30 ELECTRIFIED CONCEPT
Lexus Electrified vision promises unmatched driver fulfillment and enjoyment of automobiles.
‘LF-30 Electrified’ new concept embodies the vision of Lexus’ electrification
Futuristic exterior foreshadows the Lexus Electrified vehicles towards 2030
An innovative, interior that leverages autonomous driving technologies, a newly designed cockpit, and other advancements
Boasting four in-wheel electric motors, steering by wire, and Lexus Advanced Posture Control, LF-30 can offer a dynamic experience unlike any currently available
In its continued efforts to deliver innovative and amazing experiences, Lexus unveiled its “Lexus Electrified” vision for an upcoming generation of electrified vehicles. Headlining this moment was the debut of the Lexus LF-30 Electrified Concept, which made its world premiere at the 46th Tokyo Motor Show 2019.
Since the brand’s creation in 1989, Lexus has endeavored to deliver to its customers innovative and amazing product and brand experiences that stimulate the five senses. Since the launch of the RX 400h in 2005, Lexus has led the world as a pioneer in electrification technologies such as the two-stage reduction gear and the multi-stage hybrid system which leverage technology to offer excellent performance and the direct driving sensation characteristic of Lexus Hybrid vehicles.
The “Lexus Electrified” vision unveiled today targets a fundamental leap in vehicle performance, handling, control and driver enjoyment — even as mobility within our society continues to change with autonomous driving and vehicle electrification.
Evoking the original fun of driving, Lexus is developing new advanced posture control and other electrification technologies to further evolve driving pleasure, and to fundamentally transform the essence of luxury vehicles of the future. Towards this end, Lexus is drawing on the lessons learned developing the core technologies found in Lexus’ popular range of gasoline-electric hybrids, including battery management, power control modules, and electric motors. In particular, the technology of Lexus Electrified enables integrated control of powertrain, steering, suspension, and brakes, realizing the ultimate potential of the motor control technology cultivated in HV. With this technology, we can control the driving force to provide ideal vehicle posture according to each driving situation. Lexus endeavors to continue providing enjoyable and safer driving vehicles.
To advance this goal, Lexus plans to unveil its first BEV in November 2019 – broadening its response to the needs of various regions around the world, including the development of HEVs, PHEVs, BEVs, and FCEVs. Moving forward after that, Lexus plans to expand its electrified vehicle lineup – launching its first PHEV and a new dedicated BEV platform early in the coming decade. By 2025, Lexus will have available electrified versions of all Lexus vehicle models, and we are aiming for the sales of electrified vehicle models to outpace those of conventional internal combustion engine vehicle models.
Lexus LF-30 Electrified Highlights
The LF-30 Electrified concept vehicle embodies the “Lexus Electrified” vision. For its exterior styling the advanced image expected of a BEV has been channeled into artistic qualities that result in a futuristic form, and an interior that assertively weaves in autonomous driving and other new technologies aims to manifest Lexus’ distinctive worldview. Performance is rooted in Lexus Electrified components, adding Lexus’ latest technology to its leadership in development of HEV systems. Precise electric motor control enables instantaneous adjustments to posture not possible with conventional vehicles. Furthermore, the LF-30 Electrified employs numerous advanced technologies with a look ahead to the year 2030- such as a new-concept cockpit based on a human-centered design philosophy and a steer-by-wire system.
Futuristic exterior foreshadows the Lexus Electrified vehicles towards 2030
In taking up the challenge of expressing a new design that could only be achieved with a BEV powered by in-wheel electric motors, Lexus visually articulated the LF-30 Electrified’s unique energy flow. The vehicle form is meant to visually express the energy created by the wheels set at the corners of the vehicle body streaming toward the vehicle cabin and past the driver to directly flow onto the road surface.
Taking advantage of a hoodless vehicle shape made possible by being a BEV, Lexus’ signature “spindle” form has been further evolved to span the entire vehicle architecture. The window glass, which continually stretches from the front to rear, the muscular fenders, and the wing-shaped headlights form the contours of the Lexus iconic spindle. The shape of the body is fashioned with an elegantly flowing front which transitions into a linear and sharp rear. In addition to the wing-shaped headlights, the sharpness of the rear lights and side air intakes combine to achieve both excellent aerodynamics and cooling performance, resulting in styling fused with function.
The opacity of the side windows can be freely adjusted, providing occupants with expansive views of the surrounding scenery and a high level of privacy at night and in other situations. The color of the front face of the vehicle and luminescence patterns help identify from the outside whether the vehicle is being operated in its normal mode or in its autonomous driving mode, reflecting Lexus’ pursuit of both a high level of styling and functionality. The exterior color ‘voltaic sky’ employs a leading-edge metal-infused coating to achieve a unique quality tinted by a touch of blue-green.
Innovative interior that leverages autonomous driving technologies, a newly designed cockpit, and more
To manifest in a higher dimension Lexus’ fundamental human-centered philosophy, the cockpit was designed based on the new Lexus concept of “Tazuna.” Inspired by how a single rein can be used to achieve mutual understanding between horse and rider, the steering controller-mounted switches and head-up display have been coordinated to a high degree, creating a space that enables the driver to focus on driving while controlling various functions, such as the navigation and audio system and driving-mode selection, without having to shift one’s vision or operate manual switches. As an indication of the future image of a Tazuna cockpit, the LF-30 Electrified employs next-generation interfaces, such as gesture control and enhanced presentation of vehicle information through AR (augmented reality). The resulting interior is one that provides comfort and convenience for both driver and passengers.
With the layout of the front passenger seat echoing that of a first-class seat on an airliner, the interior is one in which a sense of openness and a sense of envelopment coexist. All switches and other controls being comfortably within reach and a gesture-control large-screen display for the passenger seat add to the achievement of interior comfort and convenience.
The rear seats use artificial muscle technology to mold to their occupant, and can support various modes such as reclining, relaxation, and alert functions. A Mark Levinson® audio system creates a next-generation listening environment, in which minute speaker control establishes ideal acoustic spaces for music listening pleasure for the driver and each passenger, and speakers built into the headrests not only provide an optimal audio environment but also have a noise-cancelling feature that contributes to enhanced quietness.
A glass roof above the rear seats features voice control and a gesture controlled “SkyGate” display window that uses AR to display various types of information, such as a realistic star-filled sky, user-favorite videos, and even navigation.
In addition to its unique design, the interior also indicates the direction of next-generation luxury by using sustainable materials to reduce environmental burden. Yakisugi (charred cedar), a traditional Japanese material, is used in the floor and steering controller while recycled metal was processed into fibers for use in creating the pleated door trim. This approach expresses Lexus’ distinctiveness and innovative spirit.
With in-wheel electric motors, steering by wire, and Lexus Advanced Posture Control, the LF30 can offer a dynamic experience unlike any currently available
To achieve a fundamental leap in vehicle performance, handling, control and driver enjoyment, the LF-30 employs numerous state-of-the-art technologies even beyond advanced posture control. In-wheel electric motors for each of the vehicle’s four wheels and low positioning of the battery enable better handling of inertia and high-level driving performance. Autonomous driving technologies and drone support vehicle technologies look ahead to the year 2030 and the widely expanded value that vehicles can offer.
Lexus Advanced Posture Control technology regulates the drive-power output from high-torque electric motors to adjust vehicle posture in tune with human sensibilities. Completely independent control of front and rear drive wheels allows appropriate provision of front-wheel drive, rear-wheel drive, and all-wheel drive, depending on the driving situation. Compact and lightweight drive-power units expand freedom in vehicle packaging and are used to enable the driver to enjoy ideal driving, regardless of the road surface or driving conditions.
Positioning Lexus Advanced Posture Control technology as a core element of the ‘Lexus Electrified’ vision, Lexus intends to widely apply this technology throughout its lineup of electrified vehicles.
The steer-by-wire system eliminates a mechanical connection to allow more flexible turning control depending on driving conditions, and a more precise steering feel aligned with the driver’s intention. It also contributes to a greater sense of openness by allowing the steering controller can be shifted forward and out of the way during autonomous driving.
As a next-generation BEV, LF-30 uses wireless charging technology to simplify daily charging, and AI-based energy management to enable optimal distribution of electric power to both the vehicle and the home, and charging control coordinated with the user’s daily schedule.
Onboard AI distinguishes the voices of vehicle occupants, and uses personalized information stored on the driver’s control key to serve as a partner. It facilitates the adjustment of elements of the interior environment, such as air temperature and audio, and the setting of navigation routes and destinations, while also making proposals for activities after arrival. It also understands the driver’s preferences and helps them control the suspension and powertrain settings in real-time according to the driving scene.
The LF-30 Electrified also carries the ‘Lexus Airporter’ drone-technology support vehicle. Using autonomous control, the Lexus Airporter is capable of such tasks as independently transporting baggage from a household doorstep to the vehicle’s luggage area.
Based on the latest autonomous driving technology concept of ‘Lexus Teammate’, the LF-30 Electrified features advanced driving support functions in the form of a Chauffeur mode and a Guardian mode. Occupants can enjoy both comfort and peace of mind during autonomous driving with advanced posture control technology being employed. Furthermore, a self-parking function and a front-door pickup function in which the LF-30 Electrified autonomously moves from driveway to doorstep provide an especially high level of convenience.
In addition to the LF-30 Electrified exhibition, the Lexus booth at Tokyo Motor Show will contain “Lexus Senses theatre,” a space where people can experience the “stimulation of the five senses.” It consists of two experience spaces, audio and visual. In Theater 1, the sensual engine sound of Lexus LFA stimulates hearing with 360° 3D sound.
Theater 2 offers a visually stimulating experience with the Lexus LC model by projection mapping – which changes its appearance according to the time of day and the viewing angle. In this booth layout you can appreciate the Lexus philosophy, while enjoying sensory stimulation through “real experience.”
Android Auto, Apple CarPlay and Amazon Alexa Compatibility
Convertible Top Opens in Approx. 15 seconds
471-horsepower Naturally Aspirated V8 Engine
Barrett-Jackson to Auction One-of-a-Kind LC 500 Convertible Next Year
On Sale in Summer 2020
With a focus on providing the same dynamic and luxurious driving performance for which the flagship LC 500 coupe is known, the 2021 Lexus LC 500 Convertible makes its global debut today at the 2019 Los Angeles International Auto Show. Expanding the aspirational two-door LC family, the LC 500 Convertible offers an additional way to stimulate the senses – with the top down. The exterior of the new LC Convertible stylishly blends the coupe’s unique roofline with the character of a convertible, achieving an exquisite profile with the top open or closed.
Designed from the Top, Down
The LC 500 Convertible echoes the coupe’s “Even Sharper, More Refined” driving characteristics, with a low center of gravity, optimal weight distribution, and a focus on performance-minded handling thanks to impressive structural rigidity. Lexus engineers relied on computer-aided engineering (CAE) analysis and real-world driving evaluation to match the driving qualities of its coupe counterpart, and the extensive research and development yielded impressive results.
Engineers aimed to retain similar handling dynamics to the LC 500 coupe while also improving chassis rigidity with the addition and relocation of various structural braces. The LC Convertible’s suspension is tuned specifically to complement the subtle changes in weight between the two platforms, as a reduction of un-sprung weight in the front suspension improves the overall stroke. In the rear, engineers were able to further enhance structural rigidity by reshaping and relocating the rear suspension brace tower. Weight was reduced in the rear of the vehicle by utilizing a lightweight die-cast aluminum suspension brace, while a performance dampener is employed to enhance ride comfort.
Drivers of the front engine, rear-wheel-drive LC Convertible can expect similar breath-taking performance to the coupe, thanks to the powerful drivetrain combination of the 5.0-liter V8 engine paired with the seamless Direct-Shift 10-speed automatic transmission. The naturally aspirated, direct-injection V8 is rated to produce 471 horsepower at 7,100 rpm and 398 lb-ft of torque at 4,800 rpm.
Soft Top, Hard Demeanor
The LC Convertible’s soft-top design features an innovative folding mechanism that includes a tonneau cover for when it is stored. The design allowed engineers to focus on accentuating the sleek lines of the convertible without significant intrusions to the trunk and cabin space that can come with a heavier, bulkier hard top. The coupe’s curves are further highlighted with the silhouette of the convertible through a few key changes. At the rear, the trunk is accentuated with a “kicked up” design that lifts its profile slightly, while the surface of the spoiler is laterally broadened to emphasize the low, wide stance of the car. The center brake light is now integrated into the trunk lid, unlike the coupe where it rests on the top of the rear windshield.
The four-layer soft top is designed to retain the flowing roofline of the coupe without the supporting frame visible through the fabric. The roof material itself was carefully selected and manufactured to ensure for optimal tension, to minimize wrinkling and improve sound insulation. The roof can be opened or closed at speeds up to 31 mph, while an animated display on the instrumentation panel shows the top’s progress. One of the most impressive aspects is the time it takes: approximately 15 seconds to open and approximately 16 seconds to close*.
The top is offered in two colors: black and beige. Exterior paint options on the convertible include Ultra White, Smoky Granite Mica, Liquid Platinum, Atomic Silver, Obsidian, Caviar, Infrared**, Cadmium Orange, Flare Yellow**, and Nightfall Mica. Depending upon the exterior color chosen, three interior colors are available: Black, Circuit Red and Toasted Caramel.
Shown at the Los Angeles International Auto Show is the LC 500 Convertible Inspiration Series. This special edition is limited to only 100 units, and it will be offered in Structural Blue with white semi-aniline leather interior trim, unique blue top, gray headlamp garnishes, side intake garnishes, and taillamp garnishes. Chrome/black 21-inch wheels come standard. More details to follow in a later announcement.
Top Down, Year ‘Round
With the new LC Convertible, even if the weather cools down that doesn’t mean the top has to stay on. In fact, the HVAC system is designed to adjust temperature automatically regardless of whether the top is raised or lowered, and if the top is down neck heaters are designed to help keep the upper body warm. The Lexus Climate Concierge with Upper Body Heating automatically manages the air conditioner, seat heaters, neck heaters and steering-wheel heater to ensure the cabin is at the ideal temperature even if the outside weather is not. The HVAC system has also been optimized to send warm or cold air to the back of the driver’s hands when gripping the steering wheel.
Engineers also took care to ensure the driving experience is ideal for all occupants. The cabin is designed to reduce wind noise thanks to the unique shape of the beltline and rear molding to suppress wind from entering. A transparent polycarbonate wind deflector helps restrict unwanted air from entering the cabin during city and freeway driving so occupants can enjoy comfortably conversing with the top down. There is also an available wind screen that further reduces wind buffeting at higher speeds. Active Noise Control (ANC) combines sound insulation and absorption techniques to help suppress unwanted harshness from entering the cabin.
While efforts are taken to keep certain sounds out, the powerful roar of the naturally-aspirated V8 engine of the LC family is a sound to savor. To make the engine’s throaty voice heard while the top is down, the engine’s intake pulses are naturally carried through a diaphragm into a sound pipe that carries the sounds, not the air itself, into the cabin to enhance the V8’s rumble (similar to the system employed in the Lexus LFA). There’s no electronic sound generation here! To further enhance the aggressive tone of the engine’s exhaust and augment performance, a computer-controlled valve balances the fine line between optimizing exhaust back-pressure and exhaust tone and volume at higher engine speeds.
Impressive Technology Top of Mind
Much like its coupe brethren, the LC 500 Convertible will come with an impressive 10.3-inch high-resolution split-screen multimedia display to provide immediate, simultaneous access to audio or climate controls and various systems, including the voice-activated navigation system.
For 2021, the LC Convertible will feature Android Auto, allowing you to seamlessly cast your device’s interface onto the vehicle’s multimedia display. Play your music via your favorite apps such as Spotify® and Pandora®, send messages through a range of commonly used apps like WhatsApp®, navigate with Google Maps™, and request information—all with just the sound of your voice—through the Google Assistant™. For added convenience, Android Auto can also deliver tailored information based on your calendar, usage activity and habits.
With Apple CarPlay® integration, you can access the familiar interface from your iPhone through the vehicle’s multimedia display. Simply connect an iPhone to get directions, make calls, send and receive message via Siri®, and access apps like Spotify™, Audible® and Apple® podcasts.
Bring all the convenience of Amazon Alexa on the road with the Lexus+Alexa app. Using only your voice, you can easily access thousands of the same functions you get with Alexa at home. Listen to audiobooks, stream Amazon Music, make lists, check the weather, get news briefings and much more. You can also use it to control compatible smart-home devices such as lighting, thermostat and security systems. Offering added in-vehicle convenience, Alexa even syncs to your Navigation System to provide on-the-go recommendations.
The Lexus Enform Remote service lets you lock and unlock doors, start the engine and climate control, check the fuel level and more all through your smartphone, smartwatch or devices enabled with the Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa. And it’s included for the first three years of ownership.
Lexus Enform Destination Assist three-year trial is included and acts as an in-vehicle personal concierge, providing directions and destinations delivered by a live agent. The included Lexus Enform App Suite 2.0 app trial period offers access to favorite mobile applications through the vehicle’s center console display, including Amazon Alexa compatibility, NPR One, iHeartRadio®, Slacker® and Yelp®.
Safety Remains a Top Priority
The new 2021 LC Convertible will come standard with Lexus Safety System+ (LSS+). This includes Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection, Lane Departure Alert with Lane Keep Assist, All-Speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control and Intelligent High Beams. Also like the LC 500 coupe, Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Cross-Traffic Alert come standard.
There are important safety features specific to convertible, though, such as the active roll bars that are designed to deploy upward when a rollover is detected. When not deployed, these roll bars are hidden from view to retain the convertible’s exquisite silhouette when the top is down.
Lexus Enform Safety Connect comes standard and is complimentary for the first three years of ownership with access to Lexus Enform response centers 24/7/365. With Lexus Enform Service Connect, complimentary for the first 10 years, the vehicle can send alerts for specific factory recommended maintenance, simultaneously alerting a preferred Lexus retailer. The Lexus app or LexusDrivers.com website can be used to set push-reminders and alerts for maintenance and service issues.
Top Bidder to Win Unique LC Convertible
If the idea of owning a one-of-a-kind LC Convertible is enticing, that opportunity will come early next year. At the Barrett-Jackson auction in Scottsdale, Arizona, from January 11-19, 2020, Lexus will auction a unique LC 500 Convertible Inspiration Series on the evening of Friday, January 17.
This one-of-a-kind LC Convertible, which will be offered in Structural Blue with a host of unique features not found on any other Inspiration Series convertible, will be auctioned to the highest bidder. Most importantly, all the funds will be donated to charities to be named later. More details will be available closer to the auction date.
Lexus’ passion for brave design, imaginative technology, and exhilarating performance enables the luxury lifestyle brand to create amazing experiences for its customers. Lexus began its journey in 1989 with two luxury sedans and a commitment to pursue perfection. Since then, Lexus has developed its lineup to meet the needs of global luxury customers in more than 90 countries. In the United States, Lexus vehicles are sold through 241 dealers offering a full lineup of luxury vehicles. With six models incorporating Lexus Hybrid Drive, Lexus is the luxury hybrid leader. Lexus also offers six F SPORT models and two F performance models. Lexus is committed to being a visionary brand that anticipates the future for luxury customers.
Everyone knows what it’s like to have a dead car battery. Read this article and we’ll tell you what you need to know about keeping your battery in good shape.
Whether you’ve got a tricked out 4-wheel drive super truck or a fuel-efficient hatchback car, there’s one thing that everyone’s car has in common: they need a battery to run. Everyone gets the main idea behind the car battery. It provides the electrical power to your car, it has a certain lifespan, and it needs to be replaced at some point.
However, not everyone takes the time to learn a bit more about car batteries to understand just how much you need a fully operational one.
Here are several car battery facts that every car driver should know about for the integrity of their vehicle.
1. It Converts Energy
Have you ever heard of how to properly dispose of household batteries such as AA and AAA batteries? You’re supposed to recycle them and for good reason… they contain chemicals that give them power.
There’s a common misconception that car batteries are a box filled with electrical currents that are ready to strike. They’re not; that would be extremely dangerous.
Instead, car batteries serve as a converter for your car. They take chemical energy and transform that into the electric energy that all of your car parts require to operate. Your car by itself can’t naturally convert chemicals into electric power, that’s why it needs a battery to do it’s bidding.
There is no shortage of signs when a battery is starting to slowly fade out. Once you know what they are, you can prevent from ever starting your morning commute with a dead battery again.
First off, if you’re ever in doubt, lift the hood on your car and investigate the battery terminals and cables for corrosion.
If you don’t know what corrosion looks like, it resembles a build-up of barnacles on the side of a boat.
While corrosion could be the main culprit of your battery’s power is blocked, you should still take it as a sign the entire battery needs replaced someday soon.
Thankfully, you can pour Coca-Cola… yes, that’s right, Coca-Cola… over the corrosion and it will eat away at the build-up of corrosion on your battery terminals.
Consider that household remedy a temporary fix until you can get your car battery replaced.
3. “Check Engine” Light Indication
Other than popping the hood for visual signs, there are several other indications that your battery is headed for its inevitable doom. Most people don’t realize that the check engine light serves as a notice of battery issues. Often times, your engine’s troubles are a direct correlation to the lack of power coming from the battery.
That could show problems such as the life of the car battery or just be an indication of corrosion that’s blocking the flow from the battery to your car engine.
Either way, take it to your trusted car mechanic as soon as you possibly can.
4. Trust Your Nose
If you’ve been noticing a rotten smell to your car the past few times you’ve driven it, take it to get looked at right away.
The foul smell could be coming from a number of things such as corrosion and rust, but it may also be the faulty battery itself.
If the battering is leaking, you’ll have much more significant problems on your hands. Battery chemicals are a severe threat to your other car parts and need to be cleaned by a professional right away!
5. Know Its Life in Battery Years
Everyone knows that every year of a dog’s life is equivalent to 7 years of a human’s life.
If that’s the case, then consider every year of your battery’s life to be equivalent to 25 years of your life. Car batteries are intended to be filtered out every 2-3 years or so. 3 years is considered to be in its retirement stage of life. If your battery is 4-5 years old, it’s ancient and should be replaced immediately. You’re lucky it’s made it this far, now it’s time to count your blessings and replace it before the old-time battery causes detrimental harm to the rest of your car.
6. The Best Way to Check Its Pulse
If you’re ever in doubt of your battery’s remaining power, you can always check in on it using a load testing.
The process itself doesn’t take very long and requires only a few tools such as a hydrometer and voltmeter to get the exact measurements that you’re looking for.
This way of checking in on your car can help you understand what portion of the battery is causing it to fail. That can save you from winding up on the side of the road calling for a tow truck.
Of course, you can always play it safe by getting the battery replaced, but if you want to hang on to it just a tad longer, the load test is a great resource to have.
Load testing can also help you recharge the battery (if that’s the glaring problem) and get a read on how the battery is charging in its current state.
If you want to find out more on how to correctly load test, and what that looks like, use this battery guide for in-depth instructions.
Use These Car Battery Facts for Your Vehicle
What’s the point of reading an article of car battery facts if you’re not going to apply them to your current vehicle situation?
Best of luck with figuring out the root of the problem. Hopefully, load testing is a valuable asset to your troubleshooting.
Be sure to check back with the 360 Magazine often for all the latest trends and helpful facts.
The ‘F’ marquee represents the high performance division of vehicles engineered by Lexus. The 2019 Lexus GS F has earned its right through rigorous testing to bear the weight of the ‘F’ stamp of approval. It’s graceful design and superior performance are on par with the BMW M Models and Mercedes-AMG line.
The GS F is only in its third season, yet it’s overall traits are retro while still embodying Lexus’s luxurious appeal. The side profiles are simple – no excess vents or useless lines. At the front, there’s a gradual growth in aggressiveness which begins with fender cut-outs. The spindle grille is accompanied by two massive air ducts which lie beneath each Triple Beam LED headlamps. It has been masterfully carved to enhance aerodynamics with a 0.33 drag coefficient. The buttocks is the defining attribute on this sports sedan – clearly this car can deep squat. Reminiscent of its predecessors, however, this model has chrome quad exhaust pipes (diagonally stacked upon one another).
Our test model came well-equipped with the 10th Anniversary Package for an additional $5000 USD. It has several unique style upgrades inside and out. Only 100 units were produced in the United States. Exterior refinements include a matte Nebula Gray paint and 19” contrasting BBS 16-spoke wheels. Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires come standard along side of painted blue Brembo calipers and ‘F’ logo puddle lights.
Up front are a 16-way power adjustable driver and a 5-way adjustable passenger ‘F’ performance race-inspired seats. They encase passengers comfortably and firmly. An ‘F’ Sport steering wheel with racing ergonomics elegantly compliment the cabin. There’s electric blue carbon fiber along the door panels and dash coupled with alcantara door trim and armrest. Futhermore, there’s a F 10th Anniversary Limited medallion affixed just right above the blue shift knob.
Unlike its competition, commonly turbocharging and supercharging their vehicles to boast extra power, Lexus decided to implant a naturally aspirated 5.0-liter V8 in the GS. It outputs 467 hp and 389 lb-ft of torque. Although it’s not outpowering it’s German counterparts, it offers a nostalgic feel with balanced performance and predictability. Its force is distributed through an 8-speed automatic transmission that is best experienced in SportS+ mode. One should take advantage of the paddle shifters and row the gears through their more spirited ranges, 4800 RPM and above.
This car exemplifies it’s athletic prowess on roads which test it’s balance. And, for those of us who don’t have access to a track, windy roads will serve. We drove through LA’s Mulholland Drive to PCH for a Sunday morning jaunt to Carr Winery in Santa Barbara for a tasting. Much to our surprise, the husky 4-door held its ground. The tires stuck around corners with great tenacity and body roll was almost absent. Moreover, the ventilated disc brakes with high friction pads were of great help in approaching turns. In gain, F Sport suspension with Ilachs-sourced shock absorbers kept the ride firm with little rebound in both Track and SLALOM modes.
Plenty of features are included to keep drivers as well as passengers safe and sound. Essential characteristics that came in handy are the following: smart stop technology, blind spot monitor with cross traffic alert, all-speed dynamic radar cruise control (for long drives), lane departure alert with steering wheel assist and lane keep assist (are great for driver fatigue). Lastly, Lexus Enform offers assistance if the vehicle is involved in accident or stolen. You can also communicate with an actual representative to send directions straight to the car while in motion. Finally, a car concierge for a sports sedan that confortably seats four.
As much as we enjoyed listening to the sweet serenade of the exhaust, the audio system is just as satisfying. Our version came with a 17-speaker Mark Levinson premium sound system, with 835 watts of power ($1380 USD). It’s unquestionably one of the most powerful units its segment. In addition, there’s a 12.3-inch infotainment display that can be surfed with an armrest remote. To date, Apple CarPlay or Android Auto are unavailable. However, music can be played from your phone while connected to Bluetooth and/or plugged into the USB port. And, for $900 you can opt for an in color heads-up display (HUD) that offers metrics such as the speed limit, current MPH/KMH and tachometer.
In short, the standard 2019 Lexus GS F is priced at $84,350 and the 10th Anniversary Edition retails around $93,250. For far less than its challengers, the GS F is an exotic with tons of intuitive amenities. A true head-turner and automotive beast.
For additional information on the LEXUS GS F go HERE.
Lexus just released their new ES 350 and it’s now available in over 90 countries. The entire skeleton and skin of the previous Lexus ES has been redefined to attract a broader audience – scoot over empty nesters. Coupled with its F Sport package, the new Lexus ES is destined to attract a much more youthful and active generation. So, we decided to take it on an impromptu road trip from Manhattan to Maryland and all the hot spots in between during this summer’s blistering heat wave.
Koichi Suga, General Manager of Lexus Design Division, describes it as the most aggressive change for the emblematic ES. And indeed it is, the car now comes across as being more boisterous and bold. From the outside, the car has distinctive features which are unique to the F Sport trim. The 19-inch five-spoke alloy wheels, the dual integrated exhaust outlet, the F Sport badging as well as the low hoodline and long shoulders really make this car appear track ready. The inside reveals the same vibe, with aluminum pedals, Hadori sword wave-patterned aluminum appointments, red double stitching and red race-inspired interior seats. The 3.5L V6 24 Valve DOHC engine produces 302 hp and 287 lb-ft torque. Although it’s front-wheel drive, engineers managed to capture the emotional response of driving a rear-wheel drive vehicle. And, with 25 mpg (combined city/hwy), you can spend more time driving and less time at the pump.
Lexus has been traditionally known for the quietness of their ride. With active noise deadening technology and sound insulating wheels (which absorbs impact and vibration on the tires), the car is extremely silent, even while in sports mode. However, for the diehard car enthusiasts, there’s a setting to amplify exhaust notes. Overall, the drive is orgasmic; and one can easily cruise in it for long periods of time, feeling comfortable and pampered with ventilated heat/cool front seats. We practically lived inside the cabin when temperatures reached over 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Moreover, this year’s extra two inches of wheelbase allows backseat passengers to have additional legroom.
At $44,635, one would expect a manufacturer to sacrifice quality during the fabrication process. Contrary to one’s expectations, most materials used feel supple and soft, from the steering wheel to the dashboard. There are also three different types of woods incorporated in the overall interior design, including a matt bamboo finish, a nod to Japanese culture and heritage. An apparent step forward from its predecessor which was full of peeling plastics.
In addition, the car is well-equipped with innovative technology. The ES features a an animated gage cluster, a trackpad with tactile sensors as well as a sleeker instrument board. Tech savy drivers will be pleased to pair it with Apple CarPlay, Siri Eyes Free or Google Voice CTRL. Our favorite is Lexus Enform which is an intuitive system that allows you to speak to a live agent to obtain an address and have it sent directly to your vehicle’s infotainment system. The representatives are accessible 24/7 and help you stay alert if you succumb to driver’s fatigue while on a lengthy trip. This came in handy while we were in traffic or already in route to a location. Not to mention, all the safety technology is standard: blind spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking and lane departure assist.
In short, the all-new 2019 Lexus ES 350 F Sport has a bodacious body that contantly turns heads and a 10-speaker Lexus premium sound system to make them nod.
Lexus USA introduced a sexy new fleet of luxury vehicles (the 2020 RCF and RX F Sport) in Sony Pictures’ latest release, Men in Black: International, and 360 Magazine had the opportunity to attend the world screening in Los Angeles. This classic rebirth featured actors Tessa Thompson and Chris Hemsworth whizzing across the universe to fight off the villainous Hive. Subsequently, the duo are facing internal threats of their organization at the same time. MIB is action-packed, humorous and undoubtedly a family favorite – it sparkles!
After this film, you’ll definitely want to cop the heavily stylish RCF – not just for performance and technology – but because it’s bewitching. If looks could kill – WE DEAD!
Following the unveiling of the Lexus Hoverboard in June, the luxury automotive company is completing a full and final reveal of the project concluding a successful testing phase which took place in Cubelles, Barcelona.
Mark Templin, Executive Vice President at Lexus International said: “Embarking on this project, we set out to push the boundaries of technology, design and innovation to make the impossible possible. With this project we call ‘SLIDE’, we collaborated with partners who share our passion for creating enjoyment out of motion. Even through combining our technology and expertise, we discovered making a hoverboard isn’t an easy process. We’ve experienced the highs and lows and have overcome a few challenges, but through mutual determination we have created a demonstration of our philosophy in design and technology to create Amazing in Motion.”
The Lexus Hoverboard project began 18 months ago through a collaboration with a team of scientists from IFW Dresden and evico GmbH, who specialize in magnetic levitation technology. Following extensive testing with pro skateboarder and hoverboard test rider Ross McGouran, in Dresden, Germany, the team were determined to push the hoverboard to its limits and conduct further tests within dynamic surroundings.
“I’ve spent 20 years skateboarding, but without friction it feels like I’ve had to learn a whole new skill, particularly in the stance and balance in order to ride the hoverboard. It’s a whole new experience,” said pro skateboarder and hoverboard test rider Ross McGouran.
Since the Lexus Hoverboard was unveiled in June, testing has been carried out in a specially constructed hoverpark, combining elements from skate culture with technology within its architecture. Up to 200 meters of magnetic track was transported to Barcelona from the Dresden facility to lay beneath the hoverpark surface in order to create the dynamic test, offering Lexus the opportunity to demonstrate tricks no skateboard could ever perform, like travelling across water. Lexus has captured the final ride footage and released it as a film led by award winning director Henry-Alex Rubin.
The Lexus Hoverboard technology features two “cryostats”—reservoirs in which superconducting material is kept at -197 degrees through immersion in liquid nitrogen. The board is then placed above a track that contains permanent magnets. Dr. Oliver de Haas, evico CEO, said: “The magnetic field from the track is effectively ‘frozen’ into the superconductors in the board, maintaining the distance between the board and the track—essentially keeping the board hovering. This force is strong enough to allow the rider to stand and even jump on the board.”
The Lexus Hoverboard film called “SLIDE” features the high performance GS F and is part of the fourth project in the Lexus “Amazing in Motion” campaign series that showcases creativity and innovation from the Lexus brand.
About Amazing in Motion: “Amazing in Motion” is an inspiring set of global projects, created by Lexus International to showcase its imagination, innovation and design excellence. It builds on the Lexus ambition to connect with the hearts, as well as the minds, of the consumer. SLIDE is the 4th in the series of the Amazing in Motion campaign. The previous campaigns can be viewed at:amazinginmotion.com
About evico GmbH:
evico GmbH is a subsidiary of the Leibniz-Institute for Solid State and Materials Research Dresden (IFW), both based in Dresden, Germany. Evico develops superconducting magnetic bearings for industrial applications and transportation. IFW is a leading research institute in the field of material science that performs research from the fundamentals to applications.
About Ross McGouran:
With his effortless style and huge bag of tricks, Ross has become one of the fastest and most engaging skaters around. Ross began skating 20 years ago on the concrete surfaces of his local skate park in the U.K. He came up quickly through the sponsored ranks due to his ability to skate anything—flying through every contest he entered. Ross is part of the Element Europe team. He is also a pro-rider for Vans Europe, travelling with them to countries such as Sri Lanka, China, New Zealand, Australia, and Spain.
Recent Career Achievements: 2009 and 2010 – 1st UK Champs, 2011 – 2nd UK Champs, 2012 -1st Vans DTSD Amsterdam, 2014 -1st Oslo Games.
Being sponsored by Vans & Element has given Ross a platform to showcase his talent, and magazines such as Sidewalk, The Berrics and Red Bull Skateboarding have been quick to seize on this; especially in the wake of the phenomenally successful “Hold it Down” video from 2013.
About Henry-Alex Rubin:
Upon graduating from Columbia University’s film program, Henry-Alex Rubin dove into filmmaking and was mentored by director James Mangold. Since then, Henry has made documentary films and broken into the commercial world, winning various awards along the way. Recently, Henry collaborated with Chiat Day and Gatorade on Derek Jeter’s goodbye spot celebrating Yankees fans, the city of New York and the end of Jeter’s baseball career. The spot received worldwide acclaim and was featured as Adweek’s Ad of the Day, gaining over 9 million hits on YouTube. At the Cannes Lions 2015, Henry came away with a number of Lions, including a Gold in Film for his Gatorade “Made In NY” spot. He also swept the decks with his Burger King, “Proud Whopper” spot, taking home a phenomenal 9 Lions, including 3 Gold, 3 Silver and 3 Bronze across the categories.
Toyota Partners with Brooklyn Artist to Create Illusion Ahead of NY Auto Show
Toyota has partnered with with augmented reality artist Michael Murphy to create an out of this world illustration that will have people guessing if what they are seeing is real at all. The 3D illusion of the fourth-generation 2020 Toyota Highlander will be debuted at the New York International Auto Show. as well as in the sky, projected on buildings throughout the city, on April 17.
Watch how it all came together in the time lapse video here.
The project took Murphy nearly 2 months to create in his Brooklyn studio. He painted each piece of the illusion by hand and later worked with a team to place the 200 pieces carefully to have them appear as if floating in air, reminiscent of a giant mobile.
The installation capitalizes on the design elements of the Highlander that will be sure to stand out. The piece captures the model’s power in a modern and sophisticated way.
Check out the 3D illusion in hidden areas all around New York City, online here, or on a livestream of the press conference here.
About Michael Murphy
Augmented reality artist Michael Murphy creates full-blown 3D illusions from pieces of paper and poster board. Ohio-born and working in New York City, Murphy’s “Perceptual Art” installations, can be seen around the world. His pieces play with viewers’ perception and forces them to investigate further.