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From wood to electric cars: remember all passenger vans USSR

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The current selection of light commercial vehicles is very broad: one only offers and VAZ Largus, and “heels” on the basis of Granta – and the cars and say nothing. But in the Soviet Union, despite the relative small number of factories for the production of cars, produced in small vehicles for transportation of goods – passenger vans. Their history is long and intricate than you might think, and even this type of cars was a kind of “taboo” for ordinary motorists, although they were produced in tens of thousands per year. In this review, experimental and serial, minivan and compact, and passenger vans of the Soviet era.

Forties: it was the name Muscovite

In pre-war time cars vans prefabrication in the USSR simply did not exist – for the transport of goods used classic trucks like the GAZ-a or open pickups GAS-М415.

In the summer of 1945, Joseph Stalin chose the car, which after the war was supposed to be a massive Soviet runabout. At the Moscow plant of small cars (MZMA) decided to launch mass production of pre-war Opel Kadett, which was brought by German engineers automakers, which together with the Soviet designers had to prepare the technical documentation and manufacture master models of all the parts. Some work on the body was entrusted to the civilian Germans who worked in the former Department of the company DKW of Csapou. With the approval of the Soviet side, the German specialists have been developing not one body of the future Muscovite, and whole family.

It is interesting that Stalin categorically banned the chief designer MZMA Andronovo to make changes in the design of the original Opel Kadett K38. Because it was not about to improve the basic model, and the creation on its base vehicles for various purposes. Among several experimental samples received from Germany to Moscow in 1946, were as much as four vehicles for the transport of goods – two-passenger station wagon and two vans with “blind” walls, with one pair of bodies were all metal, and the other two combined, with wooden sides. These and engineers have developed a DKW, which before the war actively used wood for the manufacture of car bodies.

The idea of the compact cars indoor a “truck” for transportation of small shipments like the Soviet side, so the sedan and wagon were approved for launch.

However, due to shortage of sheet steel and production of new stamps from the more elegant all-metal version was abandoned in favor of “pieces of wood”. The Ministry of automotive industry and leadership MZMA to facilitate decided to give up the most massive stamp the roof… the soft top from

artificial skin that stretched tight on the power frame of transverse and longitudinal wooden elements! At the same time, the German project is somewhat simplified in design, abandoning the complex curves of wooden struts and wings deck lid.

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Automotive

Ares Panther Roadster Spyder will be released this year

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Leonid Popov, 14 hours ago. Photos and illustrations: Ares Design

The Panther was deliberately done in the style of the 1970s. in Spite of huge price, to pay for the shell is “retro”, under which are hidden modern units, finished a lot of people.

Coupe Panther Ares from the Ares Design company from Modena will get the fellow in the back of the Roadster. About it reported the edition of Top Gear with reference to the head of Ares Dany Bahar. They say that the firm is ready to transfer the first samples of the Panthers closed to customers at the end of April – early may, a few months later the Italians introduced the world to a variation of prefixed to the name Spyder.

Retro-CT Ares Panther uses the units from the coupe Lamborghini Huracan and has a atmospheric V10 engine of 5.2-minded results 659 HP and over 600 nm.

We will remind, coupe Panther plays with a modern twist looks model De Tomaso Pantera 1971. For this unsteady relationship with the historical model, not for dynamic features buyers are encouraged to pay 615 000 euros. Because of that Bahar and his comrades did not survive that Panther was 0.2 sec slower in acceleration to hundred than the donor Huracan.

In the framework of the program of Ares Legends Reborn planned a couple of projects — Pony coupe and Roadster Wami (names of models working). They imitate historical prototypes: coupes — the line Ferrari 400/412 the seventies and eighties, and the Roadster — 2000 Maserati Spyder of the 1950s.

The head of Ares, said that in the next five years the company will release 70 Panthers, and this includes both the coupe and Roadster. And the open release of versions for customers will begin only in 2020. the Current year Dany Bahar calls an important and rich, as the company intends to expand, to develop new technologies. “We have sensational projects, but they require time. You think we will see them in 2020,” added the boss. Apparently, we are talking about modern interpretations of historic models from Ferrari and Maserati (see the collage above). Although we can not exclude some other ideas.

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Automotive

Conquer America with flagship crossover BMW X7

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Bmw x7. Базовый для России X7 xDrive30d оценён минимум в 5,9 млн рублей. Он на 1,2 млн дороже аналогичного X5, для которого теперь можно докупить третий ряд сидений за 135 тысяч. Ещё нам предложены X7 xDrive40i (от 6,1 млн) и X7 M50d (от 7,6 млн).

The base for Russia X7 xDrive30d priced low at 5.9 million. It is 1.2 million more expensive than the X5, which you can now buy third row seats for 135 thousand. Yet we are invited X7 xDrive40i (6.1 million) and X7 M50d (7.6 million).

All the time. Firm BMW decided to enter the segment of large crossovers, fearing that complexity will hurt the fundamental for her driving pleasure. At some point the notion of driving pleasure transformed so that the new X5, for example, not to know: a comfortable, calm, not particularly athletic. After this no one will blame BMW X7 in the destruction of the driving values. And tasty American market avid for seven-seat crossovers: the local Housewives are switching to these vans.

The main interest, of course, be manifested in US. But BMW does not exclude that the second most important market for the X7 can be a Russian.

With a length of 515 cm X7 almost caught up with the Cadillac Escalade and on par with the Mercedes GLS. It is the similarity to last for more turns when I see X7 alive. Me in the eye catches not a huge grille, a famous Internet meme, but purely for the Mercedes C-pillar. Most strange — house — back: feed-foot tapers rapidly. With the seventh the sedan series echoes the design of the lights, and also a theme of chrome accents and moldings, blackened in the design M Sport package.

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Here, differences from X5 not find: the same simple form, confusing instrument, a wide-screen media system, contrasting with melcockletocny unit climate control. Gas pedal — floor. Landing behind the wheel of a tall, but well-adjusted.

The salon is great, mandatory three rows of seats are motorized. For the gallery this drive, folding and setting. The basic design involves three seater sofa as the second row. In such a machine, three high person growth of 190 cm sit down with each other with a gap in the knees around your finger. The large doors. If on the third row of a certain cramping, and the second to log in with dignity and to stay comfortably.

The seven-seat cabin (left) is more practical and easier optional sextuple. The drive adds the second row to pass within 15 seconds, and the horizon for loading ― almost half a minute with the push of a button. Rear screens ― option for 225 thousand rubles.

To pay 56 thousand for the six-seater option, I would not. Separate seats in the second row on individual pedestals make the cabin a little more closely, and landing less convenient. To the Executive sedan six-X7 does not hold: not enough space for the feet, stubby arms, seats not provided. In addition, the chair “business class” do not fold, while the back of the sofa forms the floor of the huge space, although slightly sloping.

Have a custom of separate seats of the second row have individual armrests and a comfortable soft pads. The seats in the car are no different notorious German rigidity.

The spaciousness and convenience of placing on the third row X7 inferior to, for example, more compact crossover Volkswagen Teramont. With growth exceeding 180 cm head bumped into the ceiling. Fit not relaxed, but 200 kilometers I would be stretched. The gallery selected for its climate zone (all five of them!), full heating and Isofix. By the way, in seven-seater interior for passage back, the actuator drives the second row so that it is not necessary to remove the child seat. And if it rested in the front seat, the transformation will gently stop. The dream of many children mothers! But I go chairs are too slow.

Console on the Central tunnel is similar to the unit in the X5. Glass insert selector and washer system similarly stained. The front seats can be ordered in the sport version, but the basic version has a good grip.

The front of the cabin with doors is unified with the X5. And know the feeling of massiveness is more appropriate in the “x-seventh”. Although visibility is a little worse: there is less visible in the back window. It seems that the front seats are softer, despite the preserved side support pillow. Electronics X5 X7 repeats: the uncomfortable interface consists of an electronic plate with running towards each other drawn arrows and high-quality system. From the array of sled assistants most pleased with the automatic exit reverse of bottlenecks, especially in demand for such dimensions.

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Base ground clearance is 221 mm. In sport mode and at speeds above 138 km/h X7 squats a couple of inches, and for loading can lower the body by 40 mm from the standard position.

Both mechanical crossover is too close, however, the X7 is significantly improved. Already “in base” it is equipped with adaptive dampers and air suspension with non-X5 cylinders: slightly changed the size and shape of base of the cone. Unified subframes (front installed too tightly), but the front lower control arm is attached through the rubber with oil filling. Recycled all rubber hinges rear mnogoryichazhka. Modified, including hardware, steering mechanisms, including the optional rear. Power 12-volt actuators active stabilizers increased by 20% and so on…

Throughout the car scattered the remote control button back armchairs, blinds, doors, organization of cargo space and passenger recovery… On the sidewall of the rear seat there is a button to bring it to the middle position.

And all because the center of gravity from X7 is higher than the X5, already a couple of inches. It is not only larger wheels, the outer diameter of which is increased by about the same (clearance added only seven millimeters). It went up the roof so over the heads of taller passengers in the rear freeing up space on a fist. And by default, it mounted two heavy glass partitions: an opening for the two front rows and a plain insert on the back…

Exterior Shadow Line trim packages M-Sport means different bumpers and black decor is chrome everywhere except for the radiator grille and exhaust tailpipes.

The idea is that the Russians will buy mostly diesel 30d and M50d crossovers, but those on the American test no. Start on petrol X7 xDrive40i with the usual steering — almost three turns of the thick steering wheel from lock to lock. Soft start, the starting and control of traction combined with the distant voice of the motor, partly synthesized in the speakers, form quite beamberry the image of the power unit. But do hard to find BMW: 2300 American pounds from Spartanburg rocking on the waves, pokrasovatsya in turns and, for the sake of honesty have to write, whether keeping a straight… Just a bit too strong side wind stability can suffer for it.

Underground can climb and a stowaway, but put it only for a fee. When the raised seats of the third row of boot lasts for exactly two suitcases the size of carry-on baggage. Noise-isolating front and rear side glass installed by default.

But there is no typical “American” sagging on large bumps. They are handled gently and quietly, even on custom 22-inch wheels Runflat-tires Pirelli P Zero. Just the little stuff comes into the cabin a bit roughly. Engineers say that other things being equal chassis setup X7 “20-30% more comfortable” than the X5 with comparable modifications. Top tyre a bit spoil acoustic comfort: through radical isolation from the noise of any type no no Yes will make the buzz from rough pavement.

The electronic system successfully compete with diagonal hanging and slipping. Long body do not warp. The corners of entrance and Congress reach 22º and 25º. In off-road mode, ground clearance increases by 40 mm.

To quicken the handling of the Pirelli. With conventional steering X7 turns without spice and nerve. Reactive action on the steering wheel, not a fountain: about zero is empty, and at high angles to get a minimum of information. In the limit (difficult to achieve, however) are confronted with the drift front. And yet in normal modes, despite the above, it didn’t feel shaky or heavy machinery. Although it is best to patrol the freeway and interstates, stood in a queue for the children at specially marked near school lane.

The back door consists of two parts. Both recline with electric drive. The seven-seater salon transformirovalsya, forming a flat floor and individual chairs in the second row does not add up. The volume of the cargo compartment when retracted, the third number is 750 liters.

The second petrol modification on the test is sold only in the US is X7 xDrive50i with a V-shaped “eight” power of 462 force. This crossover goes is much more interesting than the “forties”. Denser, without delay passes the irregularities, and most importantly ― very accurate, sharp taxiing and logical build-up of effort on the steering wheel. Active steering mechanism and the actuator for turning the rear wheels transform the giant. Although, as in the case with the X5, to the nerve of the new Cayenne BMW far. Reaches X7 and the special harmony between ride and handling, which is remembered more compact Q7.

Basic led optics can be supplemented with laser luminous beam, beating at the 600 metres and runs at speeds over 60 km/h.

Active stabilizers are available for all versions and is able to participate even a little in improving the ride, if video camera on-Board electronics detect a pit. Not every, however. This happens, according to the engineers, about a third of cases. I’ve not been able to assess the impact of such a function… Oh, the test would M50d! There’s suspension of five to ten percent stiffer in the turns the rear wheels helps the differential M-Sport, active steering has been used for “in the database”. By the way, the optional M suspension for X7 is not available. Heard nothing about the development or testing X7M. Do not be surprised if such models do not.

X7 wheel base slightly larger than the X5: 20 inches instead of 19. All the test machines are equipped with top-end 22-inch, although the engineers say that the best chassis balance will be achieved by using tires with a rim diameter of 21 inches.

The Russian market has been waiting for the big BMW, the demand in any case will be high. But, as is almost always the case with cars of German premium, the nature of the machine strongly depends on the configuration, in fact, from the buyer. The flagship crossover can be configured so that it will delight and far from the driving values of the guardian of the family hearth, and an adherent of traditional beingessner pleasures. Provided that they are not afraid of appearance.

Passport data

BMW X7 xDrive40i xDrive30d M50d
Body
Body type universal universal universal
Number of doors/seats 5/6–7 5/6–7 5/6–7
Length, mm 5151 5151 5151
Width, mm 2000 2000 2000
Height, mm 1805 1805 1805
Wheelbase, mm 3105 3105 3105
Track front/rear mm 1684/1705 1684/1705 1684/1705
Curb weight, kg 2320 2370 2460
Full weight, kg 3155 3220 3290
Trunk volume, l 326-2120 326-2120 326-2120
Engine
Type petrol with direct fuel injection and turbocharging turbo turbo
Location front, longitudinally front, longitudinally front, longitudinally
The number and arrangement of cylinders 6 in a row 6 in a row 6 in a row
Number of valves 24 24 24
Working volume, cm3 2998 2993 2993
Max. power, HP/rpm 340/5500–6500 249/4000 400/4400
Max. torque, N•m/rpm 450/1500–5200 620/2000–2500 760/2000–3000
Transmission
Transmission automatic, eight-speed automatic, eight-speed automatic, eight-speed
Drive full full full
Suspension
Front suspension independent, pneumatic, double wishbone independent, pneumatic, double wishbone independent, pneumatic, double wishbone
Rear suspension independent, pneumatic, multi-link independent, pneumatic, multi-link independent, pneumatic, multi-link
The front brakes ventilated disc ventilated disc ventilated disc
Rear brakes ventilated disc ventilated disc ventilated disc
Tires 275/50 R20 275/50 R20 285/45 R21
Ground clearance, mm 221 221 221
Performance characteristics
Maximum speed, km/h 245 227 250*
Acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h, 6,1 7,0 5,4
Fuel consumption, l/100 km
— urban 11,4 7,6 8,1
— extra-urban cycle 8,4 7,0 7,2
combined 9,5 7,3 7,5
Emissions Euro 6 Euro 5 Euro 5
Fuel tank capacity, l 83 80 80
Fuel AI-92–98 diesel fuel diesel fuel
* Electronically limited.

Technique

Since BMW does not publish a layout illustration for X7 c factory code G07, here’s a picture of the five G30 based on the same modular architecture CLAR. The wheelbase of the X7 more than the X5, 130 mm, length — 229 mm, height 24 mm Hybrid body structure made of different steel grades and aluminum alloys.

Front — dvorachek. All “x-seventh” have the adaptive dampers and retuned relatively X5 air suspension with a single-chamber cylinders. Gear ratio steering basic version is 18.7:1.

Rear — multi-link scheme with five levers. The kinematics corresponds to X5, but hinges, air springs, shocks ― the. The original and the layout of the reinforcement struts of the body. The chassis can be polnopravnym (rear wheels turn at an angle of three degrees) and equipped with a 12-volt Electromechanical stabilizer bars. All-wheel drive transmission with multi-plate clutch in the drive of the front axle and optional rear differential with a controlled degree of blocking (as pictured).

All three inline six-cylinder engine 3.0 from Russian model X7 series belong to modular aluminum family. Petrol “six” B58B30C feature one double-flow turbocharger Twin Scroll with a separate cooling system and its own pump. Direct fuel injection system combined with Valvetronic throttle-free mixing. In the United States available also the new V8 engine of 4.4 c index N63B44D, outstanding on the xDrive50i 462 HP, 650 N•m. This motor with a pair of blowers in the collapse of the block included in the Russian and the cu Tr. All “x-fifth” tragen eightfold “automatic” ZF.

From the three-liter diesel “six” B57 diameter of the cylinder so as to B58 is 84 mm, stroke — 90. The most common version B57D30A equipped with a single turbocharger. The maximum injection pressure of 2500 bar. In Russia comes a variant for Euro 5 without urea injection in the exhaust tract. We in version xDrive30d engine produces 249 forces and 620 N•m (External high-speed characteristics are given for the European version power of 265 HP) At the top of the range ― highly accelerated modification B57D30C (400 HP, 760 N•m) from the X7 M50d with a pair of consecutive blowers for every three cylinders.

Behind the scenes

The United States always pleased with the combination of comfort of the residential areas, the “one-storey America”, and span public spaces. For all people, or not say. It is a pity, the road across the ocean difficult and time consuming. Especially if you contact the airline Lufthansa, which once again did not wait for us to transplant, and if changing the “demolished” portion of check flights. I doubt that a purely American carrier with a “customer focus” long gone afloat.

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Startup Evelozcity will release in the US three electric

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Konstantin Bolotov, 5 hours ago. Illustration and photo: Evelozcity

The firm has so far no prototypes or design sketches. There is only the vision of the chief — “skateboard” that is a four-wheeled platform, which is Packed powerplant, battery and other stuff. The body and/or the superstructure can be any (well, almost).

California startup Evelozcity now well-known units, but promises to become a noticeable phenomenon in the industry. This company opened the “refugees” from the firm Faraday Future, namely former heads BMW’s Ulrich Kranz and Stefan Krause, as well as the former Bavarian brand designer Richard Kim. The staff of about 350 employees. Strange name of the company is collected from the words “electric car”, “speed”, “city” (EV + velocity + city = Evelozcity) and, in the opinion of the team, describes what she’s doing. However, in the future the name may change.

Came from BMW from left to right: stylist Kim Krause administrator, chief technician Krantz. “We decided to abandon electric cars similar to the car with ice,” they say. The principle of the “three boxes” (engine in front, salon in the middle, in the back) no longer works.

To produce their own electric vehicles Evelozcity will not. All attention is focused on engineering, design and marketing. Rest easy startup outsources. According to the preliminary plan, you first need to develop a platform-skateboard, and then to design three body style: city car, roomy cab and a small van for delivery services. The start of production will require about a billion dollars, and the startup makes it clear that these tools exist. Promised to low price machines, a range of 250 miles (402 km) and the autopilot. The firstborn should appear on the market in 2021.

A familiar face? Karl-Thomas Neumann, former head of Opel, joined Evelozcity in the spring of 2018. His responsibility now is a new concept of mobility, different innovation, branding, marketing, European market. “Evelozcity reflects my beliefs,” — said the functionary.

Today, the publication Automotive News reported that Evelozcity is negotiating with a European contract manufacturer Magna Steyr, which at its plant in Graz produces cars for the brands Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Toyota and Jaguar. It is not excluded, Magna is under contract with a startup even will build a plant in the United States. “We are looking for partners for production management, but no contracts yet”, — said the representative Evelozcity. “We are always open for talks with customers about new business,” — said the newspaper Automobilwoche Magna CEO don Walker.

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