New Model News

Sleek, sexy redesigned 2021 Jaguar F-TYPE big on power, tech

Jaguar has given the F-Type a makeover for the 2021 model year.

Photo courtesy of Jaguar Land Rover

Jaguar has showed off its completely redesigned 2021 F-Type for the first time, revealing a hot redo of the two-seater that is loaded with modern technology and hasn't lost its robust powertrain offerings.

For the exterior, Jaguar is quick to point out that its designers made the model more "focused and assertive." That starts at the nose where slim LED headlights look to pierce the air as they sit below the car's clamshell hood. The front bumper and grille are enlarged over the previous generation giving the car a more powerful stance as the car's classically athletic porportions play out moving toward the rear.

2021 Jaguar F-Type The F-Type has slim LED headlights at its front.Photo courtesy of Jaguar Land Rover

"Enhanced wheel designs, and a fresh look for the side-vent using the Jaguar 'Leaper' detail add to the F-TYPE's modernity," said Adam Hatton, Exterior Design Director, Jaguar. "The powerful rear design has new slim, elegant lamps incorporating latest LED technology and our Jaguar 'Chicane' rear signature graphic with intricate monogram pattern. And everywhere you look, you'll find relentless attention to detail –each is a work of art in itself."

The 2021 F-Type is available in 16 paint jobs: Ligurian Black, Ethereal Silver, Ionian Silver, Sunset Gold, Petrolix Blue, Velocity Blue, Tourmaline Brown, Desire, Sanguinello Orange, Atacama Orange, Sorrento Yellow, Constellation, Icy White, Flux Grey, Malachite Green and Amethyst.

2021 Jaguar F-Type Sleek lines give the car athletic porportions.Photo courtesy of Jaguar Land Rover

Jaguar is giving buyers three engines to choose from. The base is a 296-horsepower turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder. Midgrade models are equipped with a 380-horsepower V6 while the top trim has a 575-horsepower supercharged V8 under its hood. The largest engine has 516 pound-feet of torque and gets from zero to 60 mph in 3.5 seconds. All the engines are paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission.

The V6 is offered with all-wheel drive.

2021 Jaguar F-Type At the rear, the car is instantly recognizable as an F-Type.Photo courtesy of Jaguar Land Rover

The British automaker it touting its attention to detail in the new F-Type pointing out that its cabin is elegant and has a heightened sense of sportiness and luxury. The driver-focused coupe has Windsor Leather, Suedecloth, and NobleChrome interior appointments. Monogram stitching is on the seats and door trim.

At the center of the dashboard is a 10-inch infotainment touch screen while a 12.3-inch driver information screen and digital instrument cluster sits behind the wheel. The cluster offers a number configurations that a driver can choose to best suit their driving needs. While the infotainment screen is ready for fingers, Jaguar has equipped the car with three rotary controllers allowing users an option. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard in the new sports car, which is also capable of over-the-air software updates.

2021 Jaguar F-Type Jaguar has added modern technology to the car's cabin.Photo courtesy of Jaguar Land Rover

The car is available with either Sport of Performance seats. Performance seats have more support at the shoulder and are standard on the most powerful F-Type models.

The 2021 Jaguar F-Type will go on sale in 2021. Pricing will be announced closer to the car's on-sale date.

Ford has teamed up with Microsoft to study traffic congestion.

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

Computers are everywhere. We wear them on our wrists, carry them in our pockets, and rely on them to function in a modern world. As computing evolves, automakers like Ford are using high-level technology to work to solve everyday problems.

The Dearborn, Michigan-based automaker has partnered with Microsoft to simulate the impact thousands of vehicles traveling has on congestion. They're early in to the project, still developing the quantum computing aspects of the project, which will take the problems of today and scale them to predict the problems of tomorrow. Then, the two companies will use the information to dive deeper into possible solutions to those problems.

"Quantum computing has the potential to transform the auto industry and the way we move," said Julie Love, senior director of quantum computing business development, Microsoft. "To do that we need to have a deep understanding of the problems that companies like Ford want to solve, which is why collaborations like these are so important."

When rush hour happens and congestion picks up, it's not uncommon for drivers to use various apps to change their route using traffic apps like Waze. However, these apps often route drivers the same way, creating congestion on side streets. Ideally, new computing would work to balance those routes to allow the least amount of congestion possible on all streets.

Dr. Ken Washington, Chief Technology Officer, Ford Motor Company described the problem and possible solution in a recent post on Medium.

Simply put, it's not feasible to have traditional computers find the optimal solution from a huge number of possible route assignments in a timely manner. That's where quantum computing can help. Essentially, existing digital computers translate information into either a 1 or a 0, otherwise known as a bit. But in a quantum computer, information can be processed by a quantum bit (or a qubit) that can simultaneously exist in two different states before it gets measured. Upon measurement, however, either a 1 or a 0 appears randomly and the probability for each is governed by a set of rules called quantum mechanics.

This ultimately enables a quantum computer to process information with a faster speed. Attempts to simulate some specific features of a quantum computer on non-quantum hardware have led to quantum-inspired technology — powerful algorithms that mimic certain quantum behaviors and run on specialized conventional hardware. That enables organizations to start realizing some benefits before fully-scaled quantum hardware becomes available.

The partnership between Microsoft and Ford started in 2018 to specifically focus on reducing traffic congestion in Seattle, a city undergoing tremendous rapid growth that is confined in its footprint by waterways and mountains.

The collaboration tested numerous scenarios in their efforts to solve Seattle's traffic congestion, with as many as 5,000 vehicles. Each vehicle in the scenario had 10 different route choices. In 20 seconds, computing software weighed each of those suggestions and delivered a route that resulted in a 73 percent improvement in total congestion compared to traditional route suggestion methods. The result was an eight percent drop in the time of the commute.

Ford remains hopeful that future advances in quantum computing will further the company's mission to work to reduce congestion.

Mazda has introduced the CX-30 for the 2020 model year.

Photo courtesy of Mazda

Fresh off the launch of the redesigned Mazda3 last year as the first model in the Japanese automaker's seventh generation of design, Mazda has introduced the 2020 Mazda CX-30. The model is a crossover, or a high-riding hatchback (six of one, half a dozen of the other), that resides adjacent to the Mazda CX-3 in the stable.

On the outside, the Mazda CX-30 features similar design characteristics of the Mazda3 including rounded styling that grabs the light and moves it along its body without the aid of creases. Sharp angles reappear at the very front and back where the CX-30 sports very Mazda-like design including neat rounded taillight housings and metal accents at the front that jut out abruptly from the car.

2020 Mazda CX-30 The front of the CX-30 is more rounded than many other models in its class.Photo courtesy of Mazda

Every CX-30 is powered by Mazda's 2.5-liter Skyactiv-G engine that has class-leading 186-horsepower and 186 pound-feet of torque. Front wheel drive and a six-speed automatic transmission are also standard. All-wheel drive is available.

The spirit of Mazda DNA lives in this crossover. While its competitors are often knocked for delivering numb steering and a disconnected drive experience, the CX-30 has none of that. Especially when equipped with all-wheel drive, the model takes to winding roads with ease allowing for a drive experience that doesn't feel like a compromise.

The car's interior is plush for its segment and right in line with recent offerings from Hyundai, Nissan, and Kia. Still, there are some questionable materials choices like the sticky faux leather dashboard covering and flimsy speaker housings on the doors. The overall aesthetic is simple and straightforward allowing for the driver to focus on the purity of a driving experience. How very on-brand.

Mazda's proud of the new seat engineering in the Mazda3 and CX-30, and they should be. The front seats are comfortable, even for long spells, and easy to get into position. Rear seat passengers have a very limited amount of legroom to work with making this crossover best for empty nesters or young professionals.

2020 Mazda CX-30 The back side of the Mazda CX-30 is more interesting than the front.Photo courtesy of Mazda

Despite lacking active noise control technology, the CX-30 delivers a fantastically quiet ride. When you want to turn up the volume on the available 12-speaker Bose audio system, you'll be thoroughly impressed. The engineers have a true winner with this system, which excelled in enveloping the passengers with pure sound.

As tested, the car came with heated front seats, two USB ports, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a seven-inch digital gauge display, 8.8-inch infotainment screen, and head-up display. The screen is nestled in the same style dashboard cubby that it is in the Mazda3, which meant that the bottom of the screen may be unviewable depending on your height and seating position.

The current version of the car's infotainment system is easier to use than the last and the resolution of the screen is greatly improved over the last-gen.

It has a reasonable amount of cargo capacity for its class, with a number of suitcases easily able to fit in the back.

The car's safety technology is unobtrusive and its adaptative cruise control was quick to respond to changing conditions.

2020 Mazda CX-30 The interior of the CX-30 features premium materials that would be at home in much more expensive models.Photo courtesy of Mazda

Mazda is billing this crossover as being for activity-focused individuals. That includes an Off-Road Traction Assist button that performs many of the typical light off-roading duties crossovers need assistance with, including traction control and hill descent control. Its functionality is not unlike similar system that are found in the Toyota RAV4 or Subaru Outback.

The 2020 Mazda CX-30 has a value-focused starting point of $21,900. Its most premium model, which fits in with the Acuras and Infinitis of the world, comes in around $28,000. That's right in line with many of the less well-appointed and less engaging crossovers and SUVs currently on the market.

Buyers looking at the Hyundai Kona, Mazda CX-3, and Buick Encore, among others, owe it to themselves to cross-shop the CX-30. It's really a job well done.