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    Formula E’s first visit to a proper American racetrack saw packed stands / ArsTechnica · Friday, 28 July - 11:00 · 1 minute

A Jaguar Formula E car with Mt Hood in the background

Enlarge / I can think of maybe one other race track that has a volcano for a backdrop. (credit: Sam Bloxham/Formula E)

Jaguar Land Rover provided a flight from Washington, DC, to Portland and two nights in a hotel so we could attend the Formula E race. Ars does not accept paid editorial content.

PORTLAND, Ore.—This year's Formula E season draws to a close this weekend, with the final two rounds taking place in London. The title fight is a three-way contest, with Avalanche Andretti's Jake Dennis leading Envision Racing's Nick Cassidy and Jaguar TCS Racing's Mitch Evans. Last month, the series held a race here in the US on the opposite coast of its traditional home in Brooklyn. Formula E did something outside its comfort zone, holding a race at permanent road course—Portland International Speedway. And as Ars found out, it was a good decision; this leafy race track with its volcano backdrop felt like a much better venue for Formula E than a humid parking lot next to the Hudson River.

It was also our first opportunity to see the series' new cars in action, and they're significantly lighter and more powerful than the Gen2 machines . As ever, the drivers have a lot of work to do to manage energy in the cars, thanks to restricted telemetry to their engineers in the pit lane and new tires that prioritize sustainability over outright grip.

This isn’t a city center street circuit

Portland was not the first Formula E race we've attended; we were on hand to see the series' rather chaotic Miami ePrix in 2015, and Ars logos even ran on a pair of cars at that year's London ePrix . Miami was not a repeat event for the sport, and the Long Beach ePrix in California was held only twice, in 2015 and 2016.

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    Ferrari wins the 24 Hours of Le Mans after a 50-year absence / ArsTechnica · Monday, 12 June - 16:02 · 1 minute

A red race car moves slowly down the pitlane at Le Mans after the race. There are hundreds of people cheering it on

Enlarge / Race winners, the #51 AF Corse Ferrari 499P of James Calado, Alessandro Pier Guidi, and Antonio Giovinazzi arrive down the pit lane toward parc ferme at the end of the 100th anniversary of the 24 Hours of Le Mans at the Circuit de la Sarthe on June 11, 2023, in Le Mans, France. (credit: James Moy Photography/Getty Images)

One hundred is something of an arbitrary number, an accident of how many fingers we happen to have. But in years, it represents a long time to keep doing something again and again: like the 24 Hours of Le Mans, an annual race around an 8-mile circuit in France that exists not just as a way to entertain but also to improve the cars we drive on the road. Windshield wipers, disc brakes, fuel injection, and laserbeam headlights are just a few examples that were proved in the cauldron of the 24 Hours before appearing on cars like the one you might drive.

This weekend saw the centenary edition of the race take place. Anticipation had been building for months thanks to a new ruleset that has revitalized the top class of prototypes , now called Hypercars. After several years of Toyota facing little competition by meagerly funded privateer teams, 2023's entry list also included cars from other major manufacturers—Cadillac, Ferrari, Peugeot, and Porsche.

Legends return

Each has raced at Le Mans before, the European makes with quite some success. Across 91 actual races—world wars prevented running some years—Porsche's entries notched 19 wins, more than anyone else. Audi has the next-best record, but it has opted to spend its racing budget on Formula 1 for the foreseeable future .

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    Porsche builds itself a 900-volt hypercar as a 75th birthday present / ArsTechnica · Thursday, 8 June, 2023 - 17:30 · 1 minute

The Porsche Mission X concept on display

Enlarge / The Mission X is Porsche's idea of what its next high-end sports car might be. (credit: Porsche)

Carmaker Porsche turns 75 this year. And as a birthday present, it has designed what it says could be the future of its sports cars—a new design study called Mission X. It's the latest in a series of one-off concepts and technology demonstrators; these give us a good idea of what the German brand is thinking when it comes to high-performance electric vehicles. Should this one go into production, it promises plenty. But that's by no means certain—for now the company is saying that decision has not yet been made.

"The Porsche Mission X is a technology beacon for the sports car of the future. It picks up the torch of iconic sports cars of decades past: like the 959, the Carrera GT, and the 918 Spyder before it, the Mission X provides critical impetus for the evolutionary development of future vehicle concepts," said Oliver Blume, Porsche AG's chairperson. "Daring to dream and dream cars are two sides of the same coin for us: Porsche has only remained Porsche by constantly changing."

The two most recent electric Porsche one-offs have been aimed at the race track. There's the Mission R concept, which debuted in 2021— some lucky journalists even got to drive it —and then last year an electric version of the 718 Cayman with 1,088 hp (800 kW) on tap that proved extremely rapid from the passenger seat . Porsche wants to develop an electric alternative to the production racing cars it sells (like the Cayman GT4 Clubsport), and those two EVs are how it's testing out some ideas to arrive at that point.

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    Porsche to use Mobileye’s “SuperVision” system in future cars / ArsTechnica · Tuesday, 9 May, 2023 - 15:31

An illustration showing a car under a dust sheet, with the porsche and mobileye logos

Enlarge (credit: Porsche)

Future production Porsches will use an advanced sensor suite from Mobileye, the two companies announced on Tuesday. Called "SuperVision," it uses a mix of cameras and radar sensors and will enable a range of advanced driver-assistance systems (better known as ADAS) in coming models, including functions like hands-free traffic jam assists.

You may be familiar with Mobileye from its relationship with Tesla; the electric vehicle maker was one of its many customers for vision-based ADAS systems, which Tesla then started tweaking to turn into Autopilot. That relationship ended in a high-profile spat in 2016, with the Israeli technology company accusing Tesla of being cavalier with safety —a reasonable accusation in light of the many open federal safety investigations into Tesla's driver assists.

The following year, Mobileye was bought by Intel and has continued to be the largest player in the ADAS market .

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    F1 wants to ban tire heaters—here’s why that’s a good idea / ArsTechnica · Monday, 1 May, 2023 - 21:06 · 1 minute

The rear of the Red Bull RB19 Formula 1 car on the track in Baku

Enlarge / This is the rear of the Red Bull RB19. I can't find a good photo of it with the DRS flap open, but the bit that says Oracle drops down flat, reducing the amount of drag the wing causes and increasing the car's top speed. (credit: Bryn Lennon - Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images)

Formula 1 held its annual street race in Azerbaijan this past weekend. With its very high-speed track, the city of Baku has seen some rather exciting racing. But that was not the case this year, which proved more soporific than Ambien. But at least one other race was truly entertaining this weekend, as the World Endurance Championship visited Belgium. Watching the two makes me think it's time for F1 to drop a couple of the driver assists.

Part 1: The case for banning DRS

F1's problem this year is one it often suffers from. One team has designed a better car than anyone else, and assuming that team—Red Bull Racing—stays reliable, it's almost certain to win both the drivers' and constructors' championships. It's not Red Bull's fault it did a much better job than anyone else this year, but its advantage is magnified by a techno-crutch that was added to the sport some years ago to try to increase overtaking.

It's called DRS (drag reduction system), and it was introduced in 2011 to address the problem of one F1 car not being able to follow another closely enough through a corner that it could then build up the necessary speed to overtake.

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    How a beloved classic Porsche became a Transformer / ArsTechnica · Tuesday, 28 March, 2023 - 15:43 · 1 minute

The front of a silver porsche 911

Enlarge / How did one of the rarest 911s end up becoming a Transformer? (credit: Stef Schrader)

"I didn't know what car Mirage was going to be at first," said Steven Caple Jr., director of Transformers: Rise of the Beasts . "Where I'm from, in Cleveland, Ohio, I'd never even been in a Porsche before," he continued. "My actual first introduction to Porsche was Bad Boys I , so shout out to Michael Bay—that's all I really had."

Caple admitted in a panel during Austin's South by Southwest festival that the star car of the beloved action film Bad Boys inspired him to make Mirage a classic Porsche in the upcoming film. Mirage is a bit of a rebel himself, and the callback to the classic buddy-cop movie just felt right.

Fortunately, extraterrestrial Autobots won't be tempted to pull over in any sketchy places to debate the merits of in-car snacking , but this does mean they have bigger nemeses that necessitate transforming into giant robots to handle. It can be more complicated than you'd expect to make a cool Porsche into an Autobot film star, though—in fact, Porsche has a whole team that helps Hollywood studios get just the right car on the silver screen. Here's how it all comes together.

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    Voitures électriques 2021 : prix, autonomie... tous les modèles disponibles en France / Numerama · Thursday, 26 August, 2021 - 14:31

En 2021, le segment de la voiture électrique est occupé par de plus en plus de constructeurs. En France, le marché réunit plusieurs dizaines de modèles, répartis entre plusieurs marques (Renault, Ford, Peugeot, Tesla, Audi…). Voici la liste complète. [Lire la suite]

Voitures, vélos, scooters... : la mobilité de demain se lit sur Vroom !

L'article Voitures électriques 2021 : prix, autonomie… tous les modèles disponibles en France est apparu en premier sur Numerama .

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    Here’s our first look at 2023’s electric Porsche Macan SUV / ArsTechnica · Monday, 10 May, 2021 - 14:51 · 1 minute

This morning, in an email extolling the flexibility of in silico development, Porsche sent Ars the first official images of its next Macan crossover. And this Macan, which is still a couple of years from being ready, is entirely electric. Unfortunately, the photos don't give too much away about this electric vehicle replacement to one of Porsche's biggest sellers; the prototypes are camouflaged, and that Safari-spec LED roof bar is presumably just there to help Porsche's engineers test around the clock. The four-element LED headlights are probably the real deal, though.

Porsche first revealed that the Macan would go all-electric in early 2019. The car will use a new electric vehicle architecture called PPE (Premium Platform Electric), which Porsche is developing together with corporate sibling Audi. Audi recently briefed us on one of its first PPE-derived EVs, the 2023 Audi A6 e-tron , which uses an 800 V, 100 kWh battery pack and a motor for each axle, with a combined output of 350 kW (469 hp) and 800 Nm (590 lb-ft). Although Porsche isn't ready to share its own specs yet, the A6 e-tron offers a ballpark within which we can guesstimate.

In its email, Porsche says that it has built 20 digital prototypes, with different departments conducting their own simulations. "We regularly collate the data from the various departments and use it to build up a complete, virtual vehicle that is as detailed as possible," said Porsche's Dr. Andreas Huber, who manages the digital prototypes. The aerodynamicists were among the first to start modeling the EV Macan beginning in 2017.

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