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New MINI Paddy Hopkirk Edition takes inspiration from 1964 Monte Carlo Rally

The new MINI Paddy Hopkirk Edition is named after a famed Irish rally driver.

Photo courtesy of MINI

Down country roads, up mountains passes, through ice and snow, and around tight corners. The 1964 Monte Carlo Rally was the stuff of legends - a David versus Goliath story - and its winner surprised most everyone. Irish rally driver Patrick "Paddy" Hopkirk and his English co-pilot Henry Liddon took home the winner's trophy in a MINI Cooper S.

Overnight, Hopkirk became the U.K.'s most famous rally driver. The MINI too made a transformation becoming known as both rally and on-road competent. It was the brand recognition still automakers dream of when they enter their models in rally across the world, like the annual Rebelle Rally in the U.S., which was won by a Rolls-Royce Cullinan last year.

Paddy Hopkirk poses with the trophy he won at the 1964 Monte Carlo Rally next to the car bearing his name.Photo courtesy of MINI

It's been 56 years since that victory. MINI will commemorate the win this year with the 2021 MINI Paddy Hopkirk Edition. Based on the Mini Cooper S Hardtop 2 Door model, the special edition will have features inspired by the rally-winning Mini.

The modifications for the special edition start at the roof where it wears a white paint job then moves down to the body of the vehicle, which is painted in Chili Red. The rig rides on 17-inch John Cooper Works light-alloy wheels that feature a Track Spoke Black design. The frame and horizontal brace of the radiator grille are finished in high-gloss black, as are the inserts for the lower air intakes, the opening in the hood, the door handles, the fuel filler flap, the tailgate handle, the MINI logos at the front and rear as well as the surrounds for the headlights and rear lights.

The side scuttles wear the number 37, just as Hopkirk's MINI did during its race. In a modern twist, the car adds LED headlights and Union Jack embellished taillights to the mix.

2021 MINI Paddy Hopkirk Edition

Photo courtesy of MINI

Hopkirk's name is shown throughout the model. There are tickers with the inscription "Paddy Hopkirk Monte Carlo". A single white hood stripe on the driver's side, which like the tailgate and decorative trim strip on the passenger side of the edition model, bears the signature of the 1964 "Monte" winner. MINI LED entry sills bearing the name "Paddy Hopkirk".

Additionally, the number and letter combination 33 EJB of the license plate of the 1964 Monte Carlo winning car is shown on the bonnet strip using 3D effect graphics.

The MINI Excitement Package and Comfort Access are also included in the MINI Paddy Hopkirk Edition, which will be available at U.S. dealerships in November. Pricing has yet to be announced.

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Panasonic, Klipsch, and Dolby have teamed up to create a new audio system, Klipsch Premium Audio.

Photo courtesy of Panasonic

Panasonic Automotive Systems of America, Klipsch, and Dolby Atmos Music have teamed up to create a new proof-of-concept that features immersive sound technology named Klipsch Premium Audio.

Each of the parties brings unique assets to the table. Panasonic Automotive has the know-how for vehicle product design while Klipsch specializes in technonlogy-driven sound performance. Dolby has long been a stable of at-home audio systems.

"I have personally participated in bringing to market a range of products which feature Dolby Atmos capability. The sonic realism and envelopment of the listener into the on-screen action for films opens up new dimensions of entertainment," said Mark Casavant, vice president of Brand & Business Development, Klipsch Group, "Working with the audio experts at Panasonic Automotive we have achieved a similar experience for the in-vehicle listener with Dolby Atmos music. The music is more immersive, with additional space clarity, and depth."

Klipsch uses four sound principles to achieve its award-winning sound:

  • High efficiency/low distortion - Klipsch technology is highly efficient, providing more accurate sound with less power and less distortion – resulting in louder, cleaner audio. Klipsch's Law: Efficiency is inversely proportional to distortion.
  • Wide dynamic range - The softest sounds are reproduced with remarkable clarity and the loudest is delivered without harshness or distortion – with the greatest possible range between the softest and loudest sounds.
  • Controlled directivity - Klipsch technology accurately directs sound to the proper locations, which, in turn, creates a more lifelike soundstage without wasting acoustic energy where sound is not needed or desired.
  • Flat frequency response - Audio delivery is without frequency bias – no unnatural highs, miss or lows – reproducing recorded sound as accurately as possible without colorization.

Dolby Atmos sound is designed to go beyond the traditional limits of mono and stereo, placing the listener in an immersive soundscape.

"Panasonic Automotive has built a reputation pushing the boundaries of in-vehicle entertainment," said Tom Dunn, director of Panasonic Global Premium Audio, "Our award-winning automotive audio systems are recognized for creating unforgettable listening experiences based on engineering, artistry and emotion. Market leading innovations are what drive the technical teams at Panasonic and Klipsch, and delivering our first in-vehicle demonstration of Dolby Atmos music reflects our aligned goals and commitment to achieving a higher standard of music enjoyment."

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Sony's team is testing the Vision-S on the streets of Austria.

Photo courtesy of Sony

One year ago Sony surprised the crowds at CES with the Vision -S, a concept vehicle meant to further the discussion on safety, security, and entertainment. The vehicle has moved from concept to prototype, taking to the roads of Europe for testing.

The car has been driving the roads of Austria since December 2020, according to the company, for technical evaluation. Evaluation of what? We're so glad you asked.

If the car is technologically similar to what has presented at CES last year, on-board is Sony's imaging and sensing technologies as well as software regulated using Sony's AI, telecommunication, and cloud technologies.

Sony Vision-S The Sonny Vision S is a working vehicle prototype now. Photo courtesy of Sony

The car, which was built in cooperations with Magna Steyr, features 33 sensors, including CMOS image sensors and time of flight (ToF) sensors within the vehicle. These sensors are designed to detect and recognize people and objects inside and outside the vehicle, and provide "highly advanced driving support."

Each of the two rows of seating in the vehicle features Sony's 360 Reality Audio system. Bose has similar technology built into the Nissan Kicks.

The crossover-lie car's front seats have a panoramic screen in front of them that has the ability to display rich content.

Does this mean that Sony will begin to make cars? The quick answer is no. Sony does not appear itching to get into the car business though the products that result from this testing will likely be available to automakers offering additional competition for components in a fast-paced marketplace where the technology is evolving quickly.

The real winner here could be consumers who will benefit from the stiff completion between suppliers and be on the receiving end of better technology because of it.

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