In-Car Tech

Lincoln introduces heated winter wiper blades for 2020 Aviator

Lincoln has introduced a new winter weather-friendly wiper blade to help when snow and ice buildup become a problem.

Photo courtesy of Lincoln Motor Company

Syracuse and Buffalo, New York. Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Montana. Anywhere there's a ski lodge. Lincoln's new VisioBlade wipers are designed to make life where there's winter a little easier.

The blades contain a heating element that is integrated into their assembly that keeps the blades warm and prevents the buildup of ice, both on the blades and windshield. They are flat in shape, which also allows for better contact with the windscreen.

Currently available on the 2020 Aviator, the VisioBlades are more than just heated. They also dispense washer fluid directly through nozzles on the blade as opposed to relying on easily iced over ports on the car's hood. Lincoln says that not only does this keep the fluid flowing but it allows it to have more widespread distribution on the windshield.

"You don't get that ice buildup on the blades when you're driving through sleet or snow," said said Geoffrey Johnson, body core engineer, Lincoln Motor Company. "It's a more efficient way to keep the windshield clear."

Internal tests show the blades can heat from subfreezing temperatures to 86 degrees Fahrenheit in four minutes; a traditional defroster alone can take up to 15 minutes to clear an ice-caked windshield.

The VisioBlade system is available as part of the Elements Package Plus ($1,180) on Aviator Reserve trim levels and up. Alongside the blades, the package includes heated and ventilated first- and second-row seats and a heated steering wheel.

The Land Rover Defender stars alongside Daniel Craig in Bond 25.

Photo courtesy of Land Rover

Most people are guilty of fast forwarding through commercials on their DVR to get to the good stuff. James Bond doesn't have time to waste, and neither do you. A new Land Rover ad for the 2020 Defender will give you good reason to watch again and again - unless you don't care for heart thumping, blood pumping off-roading chase scenes.

Set up as a peek behind the scenes at the 25th James Bond film "No Time to Die", the spot takes audiences through an audacious test run of the Bond scenes, complete with mud, much, hills, motorcycles, and a rollover. It's at least as thrilling as it sounds.

2020 Land ROver Defender stunt No Time to Die James Bond 25 The new spot features a myriad of stunts that will get viewers' hearts thumping.Photo courtesy of Land Rover

"We developed a new test standard for Defender, the most challenging we've ever had and unique to this vehicle," said Nick Collins, Land Rover Defender vehicle line director "Physical strength and durability is measured by a number of different tests including a bridge jump test which gave us confidence to deliver what the stunt team needed to create for "No Time To Die", with no modifications to the body structure except the installation of a roll cage."

Defender's off-road prowess should be of no surprise to off-roading enthusiasts. Land Rover is known for their competent powertrains and go-anywhere capability. The new Defender was tested by Red Cross all-terrain experts during development to ensure its readiness for all types of terrain.

Land Rover recently allowed brand and Bond enthusiasts a peek behind the scenes of Bond 25 when they debuted still imagery of their models in the film and highlighted the work of stunt coordinator Lee Morrison and stunt driver Jessica Hawkins.

Jessica Hawkins Land Rover Defender No Time to Die James Bond Jessica Hawkins, stunt driver, sits behind the wheel of the 2020 Land Rover Defender on the set of 'No Time to Die'. Photo courtesy of Land Rover

In the movie, the Defender appears alongside the Range Rover Sport SVR, Land Rover Series III, and Range Rover Classic as the Bond character, played by Craig, traverses the globe to rescue a kidnapped scientist. Ten Defenders were used in the making of "No Time To Die" including the seventh Defender built VIN 007.

Land Rover's design team worked closely with Special Effects and Action Vehicles Supervisor Chris Corbould to spec the Defender vehicles in the film. They are based on the Defender X model in Santorini Black, with darkened skid pans, 20-inch dark finish wheels, and professional off-road tires. The modes were the first Defender vehicles to be built at Jaguar Land Rover's new production facility in Nitra, Slovakia.

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"No Time to Die" will be released starting April 2, 2020 in the U.K. and in the U.S on April 10.

The Defender 110 will be priced from $49,900 in the U.S. and will go on sale in the spring.

Learn more about the Defender's development and design here.

The Hyundai Nexo is noted for its well-designed headlights.

Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor America

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has announced its results from the latest round of testing. Five vehicles came out on top earning the highest headlight score across all trim levels.

How does IIHS test? According to their website:

IIHS engineers measure the reach of a vehicle's headlights as the vehicle travels straight and on curves. Sensors on the track measure how far from the vehicle the light extends with an intensity of at least 5 lux. A lux is a unit of illuminance, or the amount of light falling on a surface. For comparison, a full moon on a cloudless night illuminates the ground below to about 1 lux.

Both low beams and high beams are measured on five approaches, shown in the graphic below:
- Straightaway
- Gradual left curve (800-foot radius)
- Gradual right curve (800-foot radius)
- Sharp left curve (500-foot radius)
- Sharp right curve (500-foot radius)

On each approach, visibility measurements are taken on the right edge of the roadway. On the curves, measurements also are taken on the left edge of the travel lane. On the straightaway, the second measurement is taken at a point corresponding to the left edge of a two-lane road. This allows the engineers to gauge the illumination on both the right and left side of a straightaway, which are typically quite different. With most headlights, there is a steep drop-off in light on the left side of a straight road in order to prevent glare to oncoming vehicles.

Glare for oncoming vehicles is also measured from low beams in each scenario. Engineers record the percentage by which it exceeds a set threshold.

Headlights are tested as received from the dealer. Although many headlight problems could be resolved by adjusting the aim of the lamps, IIHS doesn't change headlight aim. Few vehicle owners adjust the vertical aim of their headlights, so leaving the aim the way it was set at the factory makes the testing more realistic. Horizontal aim also is important, but in most vehicles it can't be changed after the initial factory setting.

Readings are taken 10 inches from the ground for visibility and 3 feet, 7 inches from the ground for glare.

IIHS testers use a system of demerits to rate the headlights. Low beams are weighted more heavily than high beams. Straighway readings are weighted more heavily than curved ratings because crashes happen most often on straight roads. Vehicles equipped with high-beam assist get their low beam demerits reduced.

All the vehicles on this list earned a perfect "Good" score in IIHS headlight testing across all trim levels.

2020 Honda Insight

2020 Honda Insight

Photo courtesy of American Honda Motor Co., Inc

The 2020 Honda Insight comes standard with multi-element LED headlights. The Insight starts at $22,930.

Hyundai Nexo

2020 Hyundai Nexo

Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor America

The 2020 Hyundai Nexo comes standard with LED headlights, daytime running lights, and taillights. Automatic headlights are also standard. Hyundai prices the Nexo starting at $58,735.

Lexus NX

2019 Lexus NX

Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A., Inc.

Lexus has equipped the 2020 Lexus NX with standard automatic headlights. Premium triple-beam LED headlights and enhanced LED daytime running lights with integrated turn indicators are available. The Lexus NX starts at $36,870.

2020 Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid

2019 Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid

Photo courtesy of Subaru of America

The 2020 Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid comes standard with LED steering responsive headlights and LED fog lights. The Crosstrek Hybrid starts at $35,145.

Tesla Model 3

Tesla Model 3

Photo courtesy of Tesla

The Tesla Model 3 starts at $39,990 and comes standard with LED headlights and taillights. Automatic high beams are standard and fog lights are available.