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All posts by Stuart Thomas: Motorburn Editor

  • VW BUDD-e: the microbus is back and this time it’s electric

    Given the scandal it faced towards the end of 2015, Volkswagen was always going to have to pull something out of the top drawer for the 2016 Consumer Electronics Show (CES), currently underway in Las Vegas. Whether the BUDD-e concept can provide the redemption it needs is debatable, but there's no doubt that it's pretty gosh-darn interesting. An attempt by VW to bring the microbus into the 21st century (after a decade and a half), the BUDD-e is electric, built on a new Modular Electric Platform (MEB) designed specifically for plug-in vehicles and built with the Internet of Things...

  • Faraday Future FFZERO1 sets benchmark for concept cars in 2016

    The year in concept cars just kicked off with a serious bang. That's thanks to Faraday Future, which on Monday launched its debut concept car at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. The FFZERO1 Concept vehicle, which the company would prefer you call "a car of concepts", is apparently meant to be a technology test bed for FaradayFuture's design and engineering teams "to draw inspiration and solutions for our future range of clean, intuitive electric vehicles". Looking like the kind of concept which has until now been reserved for video games, the FFZERO1 is designed to provide the...

  • Ford teams up with drone maker for disaster relief concept

    This is pretty cool. At the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) on Monday Ford announced a partnership with drone maker DJI aimed at creating vehicle-to-drone technology for the United Nations. Aimed specifically at first responders to disaster zones, the technology is designed to allow those first responders to deploy DJI drones and assess the situation without leaving the vehicle. With a fleet of Ford F150s and drones at its disposal, the first responders would be able to get close to the disaster zone without putting themselves in unnecessary danger. According to Ford the driver could identify a target area and...

  • messageLoud is the latest app attempting to tackle distracted driving

    Cars and mobile phones are a disastrous combination and have only become more so as smartphones become the dominant form factor. While it's pretty obvious that staring at a screen is going hamper your ability to drive properly, the stats show just how few people have twigged onto exactly how dangerous texting and driving is. There have been a few efforts to reduce this kind of distraction, the latest of which comes from a New York-based company called messageLoud. The app, which is about to launch on Android (an iOS version is planned for 2016), allows you to...

  • Volvo’s planning to top its ‘Epic Split’ stunt

    When Volvo teamed up with action star Jen Claudde van Damme for its "Epic Split" stunt back in 2013, it did more to make trucks cool than, well, anyone in history. Now the team behind that stunt is back with a very tough truck...and a small child. In a press release sent to Motorburn, Volvo says its next Live Test "exposes the Volvo FMX construction truck to the ultimate challenge". "We have launched a number of new functions for the Volvo FMX during the last year that help make the truck unbeatable with regard to strength and traction. To...

  • Nissan-backed study claims average SA driver could save R18k a year by going electric

    Electric driving is still in its infancy, more especially in South Africa than in many countries around the world. A combination of an unreliable electricity supply, along with higher car prices, mean that electric cars simply aren't worth it for many South Africans. But is that actually true? According to a press release sent to Motorburn by Nissan, researchers at uYilo, which is supported by the Government, ESKOM and car makers, found running an all-electric Nissan LEAF for a year costs R18 000 less than a petrol car. Based on the average South African annual mileage of 30...

  • Meet CarDroid, the device that wants to make your dumb car smart

    Cars are getting smarter all the time, but upgrading often enough to get the most out of each of those advances is something that's beyond the reach of all but the world's richest people. Surely then it would make sense to have a relatively device that makes your car smart just by plugging it in. Well that's exactly what CarDroid, a new device by Canadian company UonMap, aims to do. Running Android OS, CarDroid is an all-sufficient computer which analyzes vehicle data and driver's behavior and sends the information to a personal cloud account. While CarDroid won't make your average...

  • The Suzuki Vitara: first impressions

    Motorburn readers with a long memory might recall the original Suzuki Vitara, released nearly 30 years ago. Those with a slightly shorter memory might recall the Grand Vitara, the slightly larger, more well-equipped version that launched a little later. The current Vitara, recently launched in South Africa has little to do with those earlier predecessors, and that might not be the worst thing. Built on an entirely new platform, the latest generation Vitara is more of a compact crossover, and is Suzuki's attempt to take on the likes of the Nissan Juke and Ford Ecosport. Whether it manages to...

  • Ford builds suit to show off the dangers of driving on drugs

    What's the best way to ensure that young people don't get behind the wheel while under the influence of drugs? Well according to Ford, we should ditch the preachy PSAs and just let them experience what drugs do their driving reactions while sober. The US automaker's European arm this week unveiled its Drug Driving Suit -- the latest in a series of tech-driven demonstrations aimed at improving people's driving behaviours. According to Ford, the suit was developed together with scientists from the Meyer-Hentschel Institute in Germany to simulate some of the effects of drugs such as cannabis, cocaine, heroin,...

  • Range Rover’s 45th birthday gift to itself? A drive across a paper bridge

    Is it just me or is everyone going a bit nutty for paper these days. We've had a cardboard Lexus, an origami Nissan Juke, and now a Range Rover driving across a bridge made entirely of paper. The stunt, performed in Suzhou China, was orchestrated as part of the luxury marque's 45th birthday celebrations. "Paper structures capable of supporting people have been built before but nothing on this scale has ever been attempted," said artist and paper bridge designer, Steve Messam. "It's pushing engineering boundaries, just like the Range Rover, and the ease and composure with which the vehicle...

  • The Subaru Impreza Sedan concept looks good, probably won’t set hearts on fire

    Subaru on Wednesday unveiled its Impreza Sedan concept and, apart from the fact that it has a few new design elements, there's really not much else to say. According to Subaru, the new Impreza will be the first example of the car maker's next-generation vehicles using a new modular platform. That means that some of the design elements seen on the concept will likely make their way onto future Subarus. That said, there's plenty on this car that'll be familiar to Subaru aficionados, including the grille and "hawkeye headlights". At this stage, it's worth noting that this isn't really...

  • Euro NCAP now test’s how well your car’s pedestrian detection tech works

    Car makers are investing plenty of time and money into technologies that not only make the occupants of their vehicles safer but those around them too. That's why Euro NCAP, a European safety organisation and recognised authority on car safety has begun testing the performance of pedestrian detection technologies. According to the organisation, the "tests will make it simpler for consumers and manufacturers to find out which systems work best". Euro NCAP says it will test vehicles’ response to pedestrians in simulations of the three most common urban scenarios: adults walking and running into the vehicle’s path and a child...

  • Nissan builds Origami Juke to celebrate model’s 5th birthday

    A little while ago we told you about the cardboard IS Sedan replica built for Lexus. Well now Nissan has one-upped its Japanese rival by building a full-scale origami replica of the Juke. The Origami Juke, built by British artist Owen Gildersleeve, was put together to celebrate the model's fifth birthday. According to a press release issued by Nissan, the replica Juke took more than 200 hours to put together and saw Gildersleeve fold more than 2 000 pieces of paper. When the original Juke launched in 2010, it helped create a new "compact crossover" market segment. Since then,...

More in Cool Concepts, Future Cars

Faraday Future FFZERO1 sets benchmark for concept cars in 2016

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