The recently revealed Mercedes-Benz A-Class
This week's snippets of automotive news include news on Aston Martin Lagonda, the future for V8s, Mercedes-Benz A-Class and autonomous cars.
Lagonda on being a start-up:
"We're a 113-year-old start-up," said Aston Martin Lagonda’s strategy director, Gerhard Fourie, on the reborn Lagonda brand. Why the start-up mindset?
“If we take on the established strong brands, we can’t take them on by their own rules.” But, said Fourie, Lagonda will avoid the pitfalls faced by other start-ups that “celebrate the brilliance of the technology” only and “don’t have the focus on the customer experience like Rolls-Royce does. [Lagonda] has the opportunity to be the best of both.”
V8 sports cars and big saloons:
The days of sports cars and big saloons powered solely by V8 engines are “no more”, said Jaguar design boss Ian Callum, due to electrification. “The XE SV Project 8 is the last of its kind for sheer horsepower and mechanical drive. Everything after that is going to be different.”
The sale success of the outgoing Mercedes A-Class has silenced its critics, according to boss Dieter Zetsche. He said: “A lot of people didn’t think Mercedes should continue in the compact segment, saying ‘it’s not a true Mercedes’. I don’t hear those critics now. We were daring with where we took the concept and got a huge success.”
An autonomous car has to calculate and constantly measure 27 different data points to carry out a single lane change, according to engineering company IAV, which is assisting firms such as Renault with autonomous car systems. Those points range from the trajectory of the car itself to the distance of other vehicles and potential hazards.