Aftermarket

Lotus launches plug and play digital instrument pack that's loaded with 4,000 race tracks

The new Lotus Digital Instrument Pack is perfect for a track day.

Photo courtesy of Lotus Cars

Life at the track in your Lotus is getting easier thanks to the company's new Digital Instrument Pack. The digital dashboard features integrated GPS technology and lap performance indicators allowing drivers to measure, display, and record data.

The system is designed for Lotus Elise and V6 Exige models that were built from 2008 to today.

It comes loaded with the details of 4,127 race tracks worldwide and, using GPS technology, automatically recognizes when a driver is near a track. Drivers are able to download start/finish line co-ordinates so they can calculate lap times, then analyze their performance in real time on the digital display or later by downloading data to a laptop.

Lotus Digital Instrument Pack

Photo courtesy of Lotus Cars

The system's branded start-up imagery appears on the display of the high-contrast six-inch TFT screen. The pack features a camera input that allows drivers to add a portable action camera that would capture the action from each lap.

Chris Hinks, Aftersales Director, Lotus, said the Digital Instrument Pack is designed for drivers who want to take their Lotus track day experience to the next level, "We know our customers appreciate the motorsport heritage of Lotus cars and love to use their own vehicles on track days. Integrating a Digital Instrument Pack into an Elise or Exige is only going to enhance that experience."

The pack fits into the Elise or Exige dashboard, seamlessly. It replaces the original factory instrumentation.

Lotus is making the pack available in all markets where the two cars are sold. In the U.K., the pack is priced at £1,470 including VAT and a fitting service is available at an extra cost. When fitted by a Lotus retailer the pack is covered by a two-year warranty. Prices in other markets will vary.

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Electric vehicles

NHTSA looking into Tesla's in-car video games

Some owners have discovered that their car's video games work when the car is moving.

Tesla

Tesla's vehicles are among the most advanced and forward-thinking products of any kind, but serious innovation doesn't come with tradeoffs. The automaker has been in the news recently because of issues with how its advanced cruise control systems function, and now, Autoblog reports that the NHTSA is asking questions about Tesla giving drivers the ability to play video games and browse the internet while driving.

Tesla Arcade hands-on: the Model 3 is your video game console youtu.be

The feature is intended to be used while the car is parked, such as while charging, so the discovery that people can use them while driving is a serious one. Vince Patton, the person who filed the complaint with the NHTSA, tested his car and found that he could play Solitaire and a fairly involved action game while it was in motion. Internet browsing was also possible, meaning the driver could take their attention completely off the road ahead for extended periods of time.

Tesla Model 3 Tesla's screens offer advanced functions that many others do not. Tesla

Tesla was already under investigation over crashes involving its Autopilot feature. Several collisions have occurred between Teslas and emergency vehicles stopped on the side of the road. Following the initiation of that investigation, the NHTSA raised other questions with the automaker over a buggy software update that was pushed out, retracted, fixed, and reissued outside of the normal recall process. Despite their names, it's important to clarify that neither the Autopilot nor Full Self-Driving features are capable of driving the cars without driver awareness and input.

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Jeep is offering custom graphics for its vehicles.

Jeep

Jeeps of all types are among the most customized vehicles on the planet, and it's just as common to see a completely tricked out Wrangler as it is to see one in factory fresh condition. To capitalize on the popularity of aftermarket parts, the automaker offers several upgrades and accessories through Mopar. To provide even more customization opportunities, Jeep announced the Jeep Graphic Studio, a program to create new graphics and appearance upgrades for its vehicles.

Jeep Graphic Studio A variety of products are available, including interior and exterior graphics.Jeep

Independent aftermarket suppliers have offered graphics packages and custom decals for years, but Jeep's program brings a 5- or 7-year guarantee against UV damage and peeling. The automaker says that every graphic ships with installation tools and video instructions to ensure proper and simple application. Each graphic is custom measured to fit Jeep vehicles. Textured graphics will also be offered, which Jeep says can show features such as topographic lines.

Jeep Graphic Studio Later this year, customers will be able to order custom names for the hood of their Wrangler or Gladiator.Jeep

Products from the Jeep Graphic Studio will start at $40 and climb to $165. The automaker says that the shop will sell 3D-printed shifter inserts, hood graphics, and fender inserts. Later this year, Wrangler and Gladiator owners will be able to order hood graphics that include custom names. If you're interested in getting a custom graphic for your Jeep, head here to check out the catalog.

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