Around the world, many companies design and build flying cars. One is Alef Aeronautics, a Santa Clara-based California startup that is developing a solution called the Model A. The flying car will cost $300,000 and is open for pre-orders. To get on the “waiting list” you need to pay $ 150 for a place in the general queue or $ 1,500 for a “priority” seat.
The company says the prototype has been actively tested since 2019. And the finished version will appear in 2025. This model, as stated, will be able to fly more than 320 km, will be completely electric.
The design of the car includes a lightweight openwork carbon fiber body, a two-seat cabin on a separate suspension and four engines with eight propellers. After takeoff, the body of the car turns around, and Model A flies like a drone. At least that’s how it’s shown in the animation.
The project has the backing of Tim Draper, a well-known venture capitalist who was an early investor in both Tesla and SpaceX. He invested $3 million in Alef Aeronautics.
At the same time, experts note that the novelty may have problems of both a technical and legislative nature, since the US Federal Aviation Administration puts forward special requirements for ground vehicles that are allowed to fly within the city.
Alef Aeronautics wants to speed up the process by applying for certification in Asia and Europe. This will prove to the US regulator that the new product is safe. In addition, in ground mode, Model A will not accelerate more than 40 km / h.
If the project is successful, Alef Aeronautics plans to build a much more affordable model, the Model Z, which is expected to cost just $35,000 and be released by 2030.
New 2024 BMW X5 and X6 unveiled
BMW has unveiled the updated 2024 BMW X5 and X6 crossovers, which received a slightly redesigned interior and a new turbocharged inline-six engine.
Both models have new front and rear bumpers, as well as a new grille that can light up if you opt for the M Sport Pro package, and slimmer signature BMW headlights.
Standard BMW X5s get new silver accents including roof rails and underbody protection, while those with an M Sport or M60i trim level get a special body kit that includes an “octagonal front end”.
Inside, too, there are changes, the most obvious of which is the introduction of BMW’s curved display and Operating System 8. The larger panel combines a 12.3-inch instrument cluster display and a 14.9-inch infotainment display. BMW is proud to say that the new setup “offers a significant reduction in the number of buttons and controls” that not all drivers will appreciate.
The facelift brings a new gear selector and updated ambient lighting. All trim levels get the Comfort Pack as standard, as well as sport seats.
BMW X5 buyers can choose between xDrive30d, M60i or xDrive50e. The first is an inline six-cylinder diesel that has been upgraded for efficiency and features a 48-volt mild hybrid system with a total output of 294 hp. The BMW X5 M60i also gets a 48-volt system but combines mild-hybrid technology with a 523-hp 4.4-liter V8. with electric motor and battery 25.7 kWh. The range on electricity is now about 110 km.
BMW X6 buyers are offered the same 30d or M60i powertrains as the X5. You can’t have a plug-in hybrid, so instead there’s the xDrive40i mild-hybrid, with the X6’s new inline-six petrol engine that makes 375bhp.
Prices for the X5 start at £66,230, while the facelifted X6 starts at £72,430 in the UK.
Space roadster Tesla and Starman covered 4 billion km
On Monday, February 6, five years have passed since SpaceX captured the world’s attention with its decision to launch Elon Musk’s personal Tesla roadster into space.
According to the tracking website whereisroadster.com, by the anniversary of its existence, it had made about three and a quarter revolutions around the Sun and was at a distance of about 327 million km from Earth. The roadster has covered more than 4 billion km in space. In 2020, a car approached Mars for the first time, passing within 8 million km of the planet, about 20 times the distance between the Earth and the Moon.
It is difficult to determine with absolute certainty whether the car is intact. According to CNN, there is a possibility that it could have been damaged or destroyed by a meteorite.
Before launching in 2018, SpaceX loaded the car with various Easter eggs. Behind the wheel was a spacesuit-clad dummy nicknamed Starman, and on the dashboard was a sign that read “Don’t Panic,” a reference to the famous sci-fi story The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, and a plaque with the names of thousands of SpaceX employees.
One 2018 paper calculated that the chance of a car colliding with Earth over the next 15 million years is about 22%. It has a 12% chance of crashing into Venus or the Sun.
284 hp, 8-speed automatic, all-wheel drive and 7 seats for $39,595. Disclosed the cost of crossover Mazda CX-90
On Jan. 31, Mazda officially unveiled its flagship CX-90 7-seat crossover in the US, and now the local branch of the company has revealed prices. Despite the fact that the car is large and powerful (and besides, the flagship of the line), the prices are low. But it should be noted that in the initial versions a derated six-cylinder engine is installed (while all versions have an 8-speed automatic and all-wheel drive).
There are five trim levels: Turbo Select, Turbo Preferred, Turbo Preferred Plus, Turbo Premium, and Turbo Premium Plus. They are equipped with a 3.3-liter in-line “six”, producing 284 hp.
Already in the base (in the Turbo Select version for $39,595) there is a rain sensor, a power tailgate, a 7-inch screen as part of a digital instrument panel, a media system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay support and a 10.25-inch screen, an audio system with 8 speakers, power driver’s seat, climate control, adaptive cruise control, various driver assistance systems.
The $43,445 Turbo Preferred version has it all, plus a sunroof, leather upholstery, USB ports for charging third-row passengers’ gadgets. The slightly more expensive Turbo Preferred Plus version ($45,900) comes with wireless phone charging, a projection screen, and wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.
The top-of-the-range 284-horsepower version ($52,950 Premium Plus version) has a heated steering wheel, heated and ventilated Nappa leather front seats, Surround View System, and a 12-speaker Bose audio system.
The Turbo S ($51,750), Turbo S Premium ($56,450), and Turbo S Premium Plus ($59,950) versions feature the same inline-six, but with 340 horsepower.
Finally, there are three versions of the Mazda CX-90 plug-in hybrid – with a 2.5-liter engine, an electric motor and a 17.8 kWh traction battery. This powerplant produces 323 hp and prices range from $47,445 for the Preferred version to $56,950 for the Premium Plus version.
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