Vietnamese automaker VinFast says it will be the first all-electric carmaker to integrate “what3words” technology into its full lineup.
What’s what3words? It’s technology that divides GPS maps into 10×10-foot squares and allows the user to pronounce a unique set of three words to be led to a specific location.
For example, “purely.spaces.junior” leads to the “Welcome to Las Vegas” sign on the south end of The Strip, we’re told.
“The advantage of what3words is optimizing the voice search method in more than 50 different languages, including Vietnamese,” VinFast said in its announcement. “Drivers can enter a what3words address through voice or text input to look up the exact address or location — whether in an unfamiliar place or with language difference.
“Users only need to open the what3words application to locate the current location on the map, the data processing system will automatically convert those coordinates into 3 words in their mother tongue that are easy to pronounce and memorize or in any language desired by the user.”
“It can be a frustrating experience putting an address into a navigation system,” said Chris Sheldrick, what3words chief executive. “Even if you have a building number, address and postal code, you can still be left driving around trying to work out exactly where the entrance is.
“Now, when a VinFast driver enters a what3words address, they can be confident that the location is accurate to 10ft, every time.”
Maserati returns to motorsports
Maserati has announced its return to racing, and in this case, it really is participation in “motor” sports,as in electric-powered motorsports – the Italian company plans to compete in the Formula E series in 2023.
Folgore, the Italian word for lightning, is key to the company’s return to the race track.
“Maserati’s commitment to electric mobility is powered by a lightning surge of new energy, now accelerating to run at top speed with Folgore, the full electric range,” the company said. “All new Maserati models will also be available in 100 percent electric solutions including Maserati Grecale, Maserati GranTurismo and GranCabrio and the Maserati MC20 super sports car.”
“We are very proud to be back where we belong as protagonists in the world of racing,” said Davide Grasso, Maserati chief executive.
“We are powered by passion and innovative by nature. We have a long history of world-class excellence in competition and we are ready to drive performance in the future.”
Maserati made its debut 96 years ago when the Maserati brothers built their first racing car, the Tipo 26, and entered — and won — the 1926 Targa Florio.
BMW building last 12 V12s
In June, BMW ends production of vehicles with V12 engines and the powerplant is going out with a bang, not a whisper. “The Final 12” such M70 engines will go into a dozen specially equipped M760 iDrive vehicles, each offered to a US customer for $200,000, the company said.
The Final V12 engines will display 6.5 liters and will be twin-turbocharged to provide 601 horsepower. The M760 vehicles carrying them will ride on special 20-inch wheels and be equipped with M Sport brakes and will carry special “The Final V12” interior badging among other features.
Buyers of “The Final 12” also will receive what BMW terms a “custom-built desk trophy.”
Ford Ranger makes a Splash
Remember the Ford Ranger Splash? It was introduced for the 1993 model year and has a stepside bed, lowered suspension and monochromatic paint with special badging.
Well, the Splash is back in the form of limited editions of the new Ford Ranger, although the Splash Snow Edition won’t be available until the spring of 2022, and by then won’t the snow be melted?
Anyway, the Splash packages add $1,495 to the MSRP. Snow (only 750 are planned for production) features a paint shade called Avalanche and ebony-leather seating with Ash Gray stitching. Some 500 Forest versions, due in summer 2022, will have Forged Green paint and ebony cloth seats with Ash Gray stitching. Due in the fall is Sand, again around 500 units to be produced, each in Desert Sand color with ebony cloth seats.
Honda shows new Civic Type R
Honda used the Toyota Auto Salon this past week to display the new Civic Type R fresh from and still wearing camouflage from testing at the Suzuka racing circuit. Honda said the car’s official unveiling and the sharing of its specifications will be done later this year. In the meantime, there’s a video from the session at Suzuka:
Honda launches new African Twin
American Honda has announced the return of several popular motorcycle models, led by the African Twin, an adventure-touring model previously reintroduced in 2016. The Twin is available in its standard off-road ready guise, or as the Adventure Sports SE, which Honda calls the “mile-gobbling” version. Prices range from $14,399 to $17,999.
Also returning are the CBR100RR, in road or track versions, and priced at $16,499 to $16,799, as well as the Rebel 500 and Rebel 300 cruisers, priced from $4,599 to $6,799.