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    Is SSC Tuatara's 300+-MPH Speed Record Fake? Company Says It Was an Honest Video Error

    On October 10, the Shelby Supercars (SSC) Tuatara claimed a world production-car record with a 316.11-mph average speed.
    The Tuatara’s quickest run was 331.15 mph—but its veracity was questioned on YouTube and other social media by people who thought the videos shown were misleading.
    Video producers who shot footage of the SSC Tuatara hitting 331 mph made a mistake, the company says, and it will release a revised video soon.

    SSC Tuatara Sets Production-Car Speed Record

    On the day of the record-setting 331-mph run in the Shelby Supercars Tuatara, Driven Studios—a video production team that partnered with SSC to document the build and top speed test of the Tuatara—had multiple cameras onsite: in the car, on the ground, and even in a chase chopper.
    In the aftermath of the run, two edited videos were released depicting the run, one from the cockpit and one containing additional “B-roll,” silent footage for use in news stories. Unfortunately, the video from the cockpit had significant errors in the depiction of the car’s speed that were uncovered and interpreted by hypercar fans online. What’s more, the team released two different versions of this inaccurate video.
    YouTube video personality Shmee150 was one of those questioning what was shown in the video:
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    The company whose equipment measured the event, Dewetron, issued a statement today saying it “did not validate any data from world record attempts or preceding tests. Nobody of Dewetron’s employees was present during the test drive or involved in the associated preparations.” However, the statement went on to acknowledge that “SSC uses the company’s test and measurement system–just like many other customers worldwide.”
    SSC’s Explanation
    SSC founder Jerod Shelby issued a statement in response to the controversy. “Somehow, there was a mixup on the editing side, and I regret to admit that the SSC team hadn’t double checked the accuracy of the video before it was released,” he said.
    SSC maintains that it did complete the record-setting runs at the speeds attested, and that they have all of the relevant documentation from a suite of 15 satellite sensors as well as from independent witnesses, all of which they will submit to Guinness for certification. “The good news: we did it, and the numbers are indeed on our side,” Shelby says. “The bad news: only after the fact did we realize that the depiction of the speed run, in video form, had been substantially incorrect.”
    Shelby continues: “While we had never intended for the video captured to play the role of legitimizing the run, we are regretful that the videos shared were not an accurate representation of what happened on October 10,” he says. “Driven Studios does have extensive footage of everything that transpired and is working with SSC to release the actual footage in its simplest form. We’ll share that as soon as it’s available.”
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    Lordstown Posts Video of Its EV Pickup Beating Ford F-150 in Tug of War

    Lordstown shared video of the 2021 Endurance electric pickup beating a 2019 Ford F-150 in a tug of war.
    Not only is the Endurance a more powerful vehicle, its electric powertrain gave it another edge in the competition versus the Ford’s 2.7-liter EcoBoost V-6—1600 lb-ft more torque, for one thing.
    Lordstown is targeting fleet sales, where the F-150 does very well.
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    When it comes to torque, EVs have a distinct advantage over gas-powered vehicles. It’s how the Tesla Model S and Model X can post such incredibly quick zero-to-60 times. It’s also a reason why electric trucks are appealing to some potential buyers. With that in mind, Lordstown decided to do a little experiment about torque pitting its upcoming Endurance electric pickup against a 2019 Ford F-150. The problem is, it’s less of an actual experiment and more of a publicity stunt.

    Don’t get us wrong, we’re all for weird publicity stunts by automakers if they’re done well. But sometimes it’s important to step back and figure out what’s really happening. In this case, Lordstown set up a tug of war between the Endurance and a Ford F-150 Lariat with EcoBoost. The stage was a field, where the vehicles sat atop wet grass as their drivers waited to be told to start the competition. Everyone loves a good tug of war. From its time as an Olympic sport from 1900 until 1920 to corporate picnics, the premise is simple: you pull until you win or you are pulled forward.

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    In the Lordstown video, unsurprisingly, the Endurance emerges the victor. The automotive startup says that its four-motor AWD pickup puts out 2000 lb-ft of continuous torque and 4400 lb-ft of peak torque. Lordstown told Car and Driver that the AWD Lariat F-150 used in the demonstration has the 2.7-liter EcoBoost V-6 that outputs 325 horsepower and 400 lb-ft of torque—putting it at a distinct 1600-lb-ft torque disadvantage.
    But there’s also the issue of how the whole thing goes down. It’s clear in all three shots of the event that the Endurance engages its powertrain first. The Endurance pulls, and the F-150 reacts. Lordstown points out that electric motors typically engage quicker than gas vehicles, which is true but it doesn’t change the fact that once the EV truck is already pulling the F-150 backward when the Ford pickup’s wheels begin spinning forward.
    In order to see if this wheel-engagement gave the already more powerful Endurance an additional advantage, we spoke with Dr. David L. Clements, reader in astrophysics in the physics department of Imperial College, London, about the video Lordstown shared. Clements told Car and Driver that Lordstown “seemed to be keen to make sure that nobody started early. Ignoring any difference in the vehicles, there might be a difference in friction between static friction, when the wheels are turning properly, and dynamic friction when the wheels are skidding on the wet grass. I suspect there is a lot less grip when skidding, which is why once this starts the game is lost.”
    Frankly, the Ford F-150 didn’t have a chance. The reason Lordstown chose Ford (as did Tesla, when it pitted it against the Cybertruck) is that the F-150 is still the best-selling not only truck but vehicle in the United States. It appeals to both consumers and Lordstown’s potential customers, fleets. So don’t be surprised if the F-150 gets trotted out again in future and matched against a more powerful electric vehicle. That’s what happens when something holds the top spot: it becomes a target. Of course, Ford has its own electric F-150 in the pipeline. When that comes to market, it’ll be interesting to see how a tug of war rematch plays out.
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    2021 Audi A6 Base Model Gets More Power, New Standard Equipment

    Audi has given the base model A6 sedan a slight power increase for the 2021 model year as well as new standard equipment.
    The 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine now makes 261 horsepower and 273 lb-ft of torque, up from the 2020 model’s 248 hp and 273 lb-ft.
    It will be on sale by the end of 2020 starting at $56,445.
    Audi’s entry-level A6 sedan, the Sport 45 TFSI model, is receiving a slight boost in power for the 2021 model year. There’s also the addition of a few standard appearance and technology features, raising the starting price by $550 compared with the 2020 model.

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    For 2021, the Sport 45 TFSI’s 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine now produces 261 horsepower and 273 lb-ft of torque, an increase of 13 horsepower over the 2020 model. Power is sent to all four wheels through Audi’s Quattro all-wheel-drive system, which is standard on the A6, and a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. An available Sport package adds 20-inch five-spoke wheels and a sport suspension.
    A Black Optic exterior package, which adds a black grille, air intakes, mirror and window trim, is also standard, as is a black headliner. Inside, Audi’s MMI infotainment/navigation system, three-zone automatic climate control, and heated leather eight-way power front seats with contrast stitching are standard. Safety features, such as adaptive cruise control and rear cross traffic alert, are standard as well.
    The 2021 Audi A6 Sport 45 TFSI is priced starting at $56,445 and will be in dealerships by the end of 2020.
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    2021 Jaguar E-Pace Freshened with New Looks, Upgraded Infotainment

    The Jaguar E-Pace gets a new look and new features for 2021.
    Inside is a new infotainment system with an 11.4-inch touchscreen.
    It starts at $42,045 for the P250 model and ranges up to $51,045 for the 300 Sport trim level.

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    Now that the XE is dead, the Jaguar E-Pace is the cheapest Jaguar you can buy. As it takes on this new role, the small crossover gets a few updates for 2021 including freshened exterior styling and a new infotainment system. It now starts at $42,045, a $1045 increase compared with last year.
    The E-Pace’s exterior changes include new headlights, a reshaped front bumper, a different grille pattern, and some tweaks to the rear end. There are also new wheels and a few other new trim options to round out the changes.

    View Photos

    Jaguar

    Inside, the focal point is the new 11.4-inch touchscreen infotainment system. It uses Jaguar’s latest Pivi Pro software and aims to provide improved graphics and connectivity features. A 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster is also available. A camera rearview mirror system is newly optional for 2021.

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    E-Pace models start off with the $42,045 246-hp P250 S, which comes standard with all-wheel drive. The $47,145 P250 SE model is better-equipped, while the $51,045 300 Sport has a more powerful, 296-hp version of the turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four that’s standard in all E-Pace models.
    The updated 2021 E-Pace should reach Jaguar dealerships within the next few months.
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    2021 Porsche Cayenne E-Hybrids Will Receive Larger Battery-Pack Capacities

    Porsche is putting larger-capacity battery packs in the 2021 Cayenne E-Hybrid lineup.
    The new batteries have a capacity of 17.9 kWh vs the current capacity of 14.1 kWh.
    While a range increase is expected, without a proper EPA test, it’s tough to determine how much this change will affect MPG and EV-only range.
    Porsche seems to be on a battery-replacing stint these days. After upgrading the capacities in the upcoming Panamera E-Hybrid, the automaker announced today that the Cayenne E-Hybrid will go from 14.1 kWh to 17.9 kWh of capacity.

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    While a range increase is expected with the larger battery capacity, we won’t know exactly how much until the EPA publishes its official test numbers. What we do know is that the powertrain in the plug-in 2021 Cayenne hybrid is unchanged from the 2020 Cayenne E-Hybrid, sporting a turbocharged 3.0 liter V-6, while the Turbo S E-Hybrid is still equipped with a twin-turbo 4.0 liter V-8. The vehicles’ power output is 455 horsepower and 670 horsepower, respectively.
    Porsche also announced that E-Hybrid Cayennes outfitted with the Sport Chrono package have a new calibration strategy that sets the state-of-charge goal to 80 percent instead of 100 percent when the driver has the gasoline engine recharging the battery. On a practical note, this type of charging is recommended for EVs and hybrids to increase the life of the battery pack and is a more efficient use of the gas engine.
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    Seniors: Your Local Funeral Home May Give You a Ride to the Polls

    Judah Elite Travel, Nashville

    People 55 or older in certain U.S. cities can fill out a form asking for a free ride to the polls on Election Day from a local funeral home.
    The project is a partnership between the National Funeral Directors and Morticians Association and the National Urban League and is operating in Baltimore, Detroit, Kansas City, Los Angeles, and Miami.
    Participating funeral homes will be using their non-hearse fleet vehicles—often SUVs or luxury passenger vans—to transport riders to the polls, and they will be practicing safety measures to guard against coronavirus transmission.
    In an election, turnout is everything. And though many states have expanded early and absentee voting for the 2020 election in response to the ongoing pandemic, in some places turning out to vote still means showing up at the appointed place on the appointed day. Which can be hard, particularly for older voters without access to a car. Enter your local funeral director.

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    The National Funeral Directors and Morticians Association (NFDMA) and the National Urban League are partnering to provide free limo rides to the polls for voters over the age of 55 in Baltimore, Detroit, Kansas City, Los Angeles, and Miami. The Baltimore Sun reported that in the 2008 and 2012 elections, the funeral homes transported upward of 300,000 people to vote. For this year’s election, interested voters can fill out a request form where they can specify whether they’d like to ride in a limousine, SUV, or passenger van. For better or for worse, “hearse” was not listed among the available modes of conveyance.
    The specter of the coronavirus adds a layer of irony to the idea of funeral directors shuttling groups of senior citizens to and fro, but worry not. This year, drivers will only be transporting single riders or groups from the same household and will be sanitizing the vehicles between passengers. Drivers will also have sanitized folding chairs on hand to offer to riders who may have to wait in long lines at their polling place.
    Some Detroit funeral homes had planned to participate in the project this year, but a court ruling may stop them. Republicans in the Michigan State Legislature recently mounted a successful bid to reinstate a ban on third-party organizations paying drivers to take voters to the polls. A district court ruling had recently stopped enforcement on the ban, which originates from an 1895 state election law. ACLU representatives say that volunteers can still transport voters to the polls in Michigan, but organizations cannot spend money to advertise the free rides or reimburse drivers for their time or fuel costs.
    It’s not just funeral homes, either; Nashville limo service Judah Elite is also offering rides to the polls for early voting this week and on Election Day as it has done for the past decade, saying it doesn’t want to leave anyone without an excuse as to why they didn’t vote.
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