Electric Vehicles

Everything you need to know about Nissan e-4ORCE all-wheel drive technology

Look for Nissan's new all-wheel drive technology to come to the U.S. soon.

Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

The Nissan Leaf is one of the best-selling electric vehicles on the planet. But since it was introduced in 2010, a lot has changed. The EV landscape isn't as stodgy as it used to be. Buyers are seeking range, engaging drive dynamics, and assured footing. New technology from Nissan, called e-4ORCE, raises the bar for the automaker on much of what the modern EV audience is seeking.

How does it work? Which vehicles will it be applied to? When is it coming to market? Scroll down to learn everything you need to know about Nissan e-4ORCE.

It's pronounced "force".

Nissan says that they choose the moniker because "4" represents driving that is powered by all four wheels.

The technology is basically electronic all-wheel drive.

Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

All-wheel drive and four-wheel drive aren't the same thing, despite their names giving you the impression that they likely are. All-wheel drive is optimized for on-road use while four-wheel drive is designed to take on more challenging drive situations in addition to driving on the street.

It consists of not one, but two electric motors.

Until now, Nissan EVs have all used a single electric motor, typically for front-wheel drive. This new system uses two electric motors.

It delivers "instant torque" but it's not like Tesla's Ludacrous mode.

Nissan claims that the car's system allows for each wheel to receive "instant torque". This isn't unusual with electric vehicles.

The company says that the system will strike a, "balance between powerful performance and unprecedented control – delivering excitement at the push of the accelerator while still ensuring comfort for everyone in the car." In other words, don't expect to be thrown back in your seat.

Nissan relays that where the technology shines isn't when moving off the line, but rather when the driver has to react to an obstacle in the road. That's when, Nissan says, "The system manages and conveys the driver's intentions and expectations smoothly and efficiently." That reaction by the car to humans input is three times faster than the blink of an eye.

The system defaults to a 50-50 distribution.

Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

In traditional driving circumstances, the system defaults to a 50-50 power split between the car's front and rear wheels. But, when needed, the system can distribute up to 100 percent of the power to either the front or the back.

It can recapture energy through regenerative braking.

Regenerative braking is important part of maximizing electric vehicle range. The e-4ORCE system is able to manage braking to each wheel, including the ability to take advantage of regenerative braking technology to slow the vehicle. The two technologies are designed to work together to reduce the vehicle's pitch and dive.

The system isn't just about grip.

E-4ORCE is able to stabilize the car while it's moving power to the appropriate wheels. This means that the car shouldn't lean as much as a traditional vehicle when drivers quickly maneuver around obstacles.

We've already seen it in action.

Nissan brought the technology, while it was in development, to the 2019 Tokyo Motor Show and CES.

It's coming in the Ariya.

Nissan Ariya Concept

Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

The Ariya will be Nissan's all-electric SUV. It was teased first as a concept car then last week as one of Nissan's 12 forthcoming models in the next 18 months.

Learn more about the system by watching the video below from Nissan.

Nissan's e-4ORCE technology: enhancing EV driving performance www.youtube.com

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Balmain's Creative Director Olivier Rousteing is a Porsche fan.

Photo courtesy of Porsche AG

What does it mean to "drive defined"? A new series of videos from Porsche and the Creative Director of the Paris fashion label Balmain, Olivier Rousteing, explorers the meaning of the phrase. Rousteing says that he's been "fascinated" by Porsche since childhood.

The designer, who grew up in France, worked at Roberto Cavalli before becoming the Creative Director at Balmain in 2011. The powerhouse fashion brand was founded in 1945 and was previously lead by Oscar de la Renta. Modern Balmain designs feature elements of French couture mixed with Asian influence. In 2019, the brand launched the KYLIE X BALMAIN, a makeup collaboration with social media influencer Kylie Jenner.

Olivier Rousteing sits in a Porsche Panamera during the filming of the short.Photo courtesy of Porsche AG

The short videos, published on Porsche's social media channels and on Rousteing's Instagram feed, focus on Rousteing's powerful inner driving force. In a release, the luxury car manufacturer says that there are "many similarities between the fashion designer and the sports car brand" including boundary pushing and an eye toward the tradition-rich history of the company Rousteing leads into the modern age.

"Olivier Rousteing is not just an authentic Porsche enthusiast, he is also a perfect fit for us with his desire to make Balmain a modern brand with the highest standards of quality and luxury," says Jelena Batic who is responsible for the cooperation at Porsche. "Together, we explore his exceptional driving force in the films by examining the connection between the worlds of sports cars and fashion, which creates relevance for our existing customers, as well as for younger and female target groups."

The series kicked off with a video featuring the Porsche Panamera. It was just the first step in a planned, longer collaboration between Rousteing and Porsche. Further aspects of the partnership are expected to be made public in due course.

Watch the first video below.

Drive Defined with Olivier Rousteing www.youtube.com

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New driver assist technology is coming to the Lexus lineup later this year.

Photo courtesy of Lexus

New Lexus Teammate driver assistance technology will debut on the 2022 Lexus LS 500h later this year. Its availability is constrained to all-wheel drive models.

The technology was developed based on the Mobility Teammate Concept. This automated driving concept is unique to Toyota sough to enhance communication between drivers and cars, "enabling them to reach out to each other for mutual assistance". The concept sees cars and humans interacting and partnering rather than having automation take over for drivers. This approach allows drivers to enjoy the experience of driving but allowing the vehicle to take over some functions of driver's duties at times. In this way, the tech works as both guardian and chauffeur.

2022 Lexus The company's flagship sedan will get the technology first.Photo courtesy of Lexus

2022 Lexus LS 500h

On the 2022 Lexus 500h, Lexus Teammate will offer two functions: Advanced Drive and Advanced Park.

Advanced Drive is design to "accurately detect driving conditions to plan and execute acceleration, braking, and steering commands to maintain the vehicle within the lane, follow other vehicles, change lanes, navigate certain interchanges and traffic jams and overtake slower vehicles." It's a Level 2 functionality that "allows for driving on limited-access highways with partial hands-free, eyes-on-the-road operation".

This description makes it sound a lot like the suite of lane keeping, lane centering, and adaptive cruise control technology that Hyundai offers rather than true Level 3 technology that General Motors's Super Cruise delivers.

Lexus will show operation of the technology on a screen with information displayed like this.Photo courtesy of Lexus

Advanced Park operates similar to how the Genesis GV80's hands-free parking assist technology works. The Lexus tech automatically controls steering, acceleration, braking, and gear changes with parallel parking or backing into a parking space. It uses a combination of 360-degree sensing technologies and a bird's eye view display to perform the task while allowing the driver to monitor progress.

"We are very proud of Lexus Teammate, which is the culmination of five years of close collaboration between our technical centers in Japan and the US. We conducted simultaneous development and rigorous testing in both markets with the goal of achieving industry-leading advanced driver assistance functionality," says Derek Caveney, executive engineer at Toyota Motor North America's Integrated Vehicle Systems team.

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