• Compact crossover’s windows blacked out as pro-driver uses Intelligent Around View Monitor (AVM) technology in stunt maneuver
  • World-first attempt equals ‘narrowest J-turn’ record by spinning JUKE in a space just 18cm longer than the car
  • Intelligent AVM provides driver with 360-degree birds’ eye view of the JUKE’s surroundings

SUNDERLAND, UK –The record-breaking Nissan JUKE has done it again. This time the popular compact crossover has established the world’s first ‘blind’ J-turn record with the driver using only the car’s Intelligent Around View Monitor (AVM) on-board camera technology for guidance.

Stuntman Paul Swift spun the car 180 degrees with all the windows blacked out, using only the JUKE’s four exterior cameras to position himself.

Amazingly, he equaled the existing “sighted” record – turning the crossover from driving backwards to driving forwards in a space just 18cm longer than its bumper-to-bumper distance

Nissan’s Intelligent AVM system provides the driver with a 360-degree birds’ eye view of the car and its surroundings. The four camera images are digitally stitched together and displayed on the NissanConnect dashboard screen, making parking simpler and safer.

“I don’t recommend drivers try to park using AVM and a J-turn like I did, but I can really see how using the AVM technology in everyday driving situations would be a real benefit to Nissan customers,” said Swift.

Nissan Intelligent AVM also includes Moving Object Detection, which alerts the driver if something – for example, an animal or pedestrian – is close to the vehicle. This gives the driver enhanced awareness of their surroundings and improved peace of mind.

Intelligent AVM is part of the Nissan Intelligent Mobility vision for a safer and more sustainable driving future. It’s also one of the key building blocks of Nissan’s move towards ProPilot, the brand’s autonomous driving technology. The first Nissan car in Europe to feature ProPilot will be revealed in the next financial year (2017).

“Looking at the 360-degree view on the dashboard screen – rather than over my shoulder through the rear window – was strange at first, but I quickly adjusted,” said Swift. “The AVM cameras gave me a clear view of the track so I was confident of staying within the lines.”

The highly experienced stunt driver took on the challenge at the home of the JUKE – Nissan Manufacturing UK in Sunderland – where more than 100,000 JUKEs are produced every year.

The Nissan JUKE is no stranger to stunts and record attempts. The compact crossover already holds the record for completing the fastest mile on two wheels.

“This stunt is the perfect demonstration of the Nissan brand promise – Innovation that Excites,” said Stewart Callegari, general manager for Advanced Planning, Nissan Europe. “That promise is all about developing technology to make drivers’ lives simpler and safer, and Around View Monitor does just that.”

The Nissan JUKE N-Vision special edition is on sale now at Nissan retailers and features Intelligent AVM as standard. Additional in-control technologies, including Lane Departure Warning and Blind Spot Warning, are also fitted.

The Nissan JUKE is Europe’s favorite compact crossover, having sold more than any other model – almost 760,000 units since its launch in 2010.

Notes for Editors

Intelligent AVM is standard on the Nissan JUKE in Tekna grade, and available as an option on Acenta, N-Connecta and Nismo.

Next-Generation Holden Commodore Breaks Cover – Brings Premium Technology To The People




  • First images of Holden’s cutting-edge Next Generation Commodore released  
  • Commodore takes technology usually seen only in high-end premium vehicles and brings it to the people
  • Most advanced Commodore ever includes: autonomous emergency braking, adaptive suspension, 360-degree camera, adaptive cruise control and matrix lighting
  • V6 flagship boasts 230kW and 370Nm, world-first ‘Twinster’ all-wheel drive system and 9-speed transmission for the first time ever on a Holden  
  • Next-generation Holden Commodore on sale in 2018 

NG_COMMODORE_gaycarboys (2)Holden has today revealed first images and more details of the all-new Commodore ahead of its Australian launch early in 2018. The next-gen Commodore takes cutting-edge safety, driving and infotainment technology and makes it available for today’s Australians, everywhere. The next-generation Holden Commodore is democratizing technology.

Now with images of the next Commodore breaking cover, Australia gets its first look at the sleek and sophisticated design that will be hitting Australian roads in 2018. Designed in Germany by the Opel team with input from GM Holden’s team, the new Commodore takes the best of Europe and makes it great for Australia.

Building on information released last month regarding the next-generation Commodore, Holden has today confirmed a raft of premium technologies will make Commodore the most technologically-advanced Holden ever. From potentially life-saving safety technology features, to active driving technology and seamless infotainment, the all-new Commodore will make driving safer, easier, more involving and more connected than ever NG_COMMODORE_gaycarboys (1)before for Australian customers.

“Customers are expecting more of their vehicles than ever before,” said Holden’s Executive Director of Sales, Peter Keley. “The all-new 2018 Commodore redefines the level of technology people can expect, and how tech can help our customers be safer, more involved and more connected than ever before. The Commodore combines technology across a number of areas in a way that you would usually only find in high-end prestige vehicles and makes it available for everyday Australians. Combined with the howling V6, world-first all-wheel-drive system and all the on-road performance you expect from the Commodore, this is a car that ticks all the boxes and more,” said Mr Keley.

Going on sale in Australia early in 2018, the new Commodore range will be headlined by the V6 flagship model, the first ever imported Commodore will honour the iconic nameplate by being the most technologically-advanced Holden ever. With a cutting-edge all-wheel-drive system channeling 230 kilowatts and 370 Newton metres to the road, combined with adaptive suspension technology, a company-first nine-speed automatic transmission and torque-vectoring all-wheel drive, the next-generation Commodore will continue to cement Holden’s reputation for class-leading driving dynamics and on-road refinement.

NG_COMMODORE_SIDE_2018 (3)Jeremy Tassone, Holden’s Engineering Group Manager for Vehicle Development, said the technical underpinnings of the next Commodore also represents Holden’s commitment to bringing the best vehicles from around the word to Australian customers.

“From its cutting-edge all-wheel-drive system, to nine-speed transmission and adaptive suspension, this is a true driver’s car in the way Commodore has always been. We’re taking the best of Europe and making it even better for our Australian customers. I can’t wait for our customers to get behind the wheel”

In addition to the Commodore’s unique all-wheel-drive system, further details surrounding the ‘FlexRide’ suspension system have also been confirmed. The continuously adaptable FlexRide chassis electro-hydraulically adapts the dampers to the road and the driving conditions 500 times per second or 30,000 times per minutes.

Additionally, the driver can save personal preferences for the steering characteristics, throttle response and dampers via the ‘Sport’ button.

  • ‘Standard’: The automatic control selects the best set-up based on the information collected by the vehicle sensors.
  • ‘Tour’: Comfortable chassis configuration, and throttle response for best fuel consumption and most relaxed touring. The right mode for relaxing long-distance drives.
  • ‘Sport’: Brake dive is reduced, flat and responsive chassis control at high speeds and the throttle and steering provide more direct feedback.

The new central ‘Drive Mode Control’ software is the heart and soul of the adaptive chassis. It continuously analyses the information provided by the sensors and setting and recognizes the individual driving style. The individual systems are then optimized for the best traction and road position.

Exterior Design:

The design of the next Commodore is based on the ‘Monza’ Concept car, created by the Opel Design team in Germany. The prominent front grille and the slim-line headlamps are directly inspired by the Monza Concept enhance the wide horizontal gesture of the front end and provide it with a bold appearance. The grille sits lower than on the outgoing model and further emphasises the solid stance.

The side window graphics feature with an upper chrome strip, rather than a full-chrome treatment, and the coupé-like roofline graphically pull the car down and emphasize its stretched appearance. The ‘blade’ light catcher in the lower doors pulls attention rearwards. The new Commodore is as sleek as it looks: it has an exemplary drag factor of 0.26 making it one of the most aerodynamic vehicles in its class.

At the rear, clear and simple lines combined with the slim, precise double-wing LED signature also give the car a wider appearance. The newly designed center high-mounted LED stop lamp has been integrated into the roofline. It helps to give the rear end a more high-tech look typical of premium brands’ vehicles.

Interior Design:

The attention to the smallest detail is also evident inside the Commodore. The cockpit is organized along horizontal lines, enhancing the feeling of elegant lightness and of space. The cockpit is orientated to the driver for a sportier feeling. The generous center console that further embraces the driver provides the feeling of sitting in a much larger class of vehicle. Clean lines, modern surfaces and first-class craftsmanship with soft-feel materials at all touch points contribute to a feeling of elegance and grace.

Infotainment system design:

Equal attention has been paid to the controls and the infotainment interface. The frameless touchscreen of the infotainment system exudes a sophisticated and technical charm. Many functions are controlled via the touchscreen in order to simplify the interface, while three clusters of buttons have been designed to allow quick and intuitive operations: the upper ones for the major functions of the infotainment system, the central ones for climate and heating controls, the lower ones for driver assistant controls. This very clear set-up avoids drivers and passengers having to dive into sub-menus on the touchscreen to find the most essential functions.


  • Cutting-edge driver assistance systems and technology:
    • Autonomous Emergency Braking
    • Adaptive Cruise Control
    • Speed Limit Cruise Control
    • Lane Departure Warning
    • Lane Keep Assist
    • Forward Collision Alert
    • Side Blind-Zone Alert
    • Rear Cross-Traffic Alert
    • 360-degree Camera
  • Next-generation comfort and convenience technologies:
    • Massage Seats
    • Rear one-touch folding seats
    • Heated Front and Rear seats
    • Ventilated Front seats
    • Express up/down all windows
    • Wagon power lift-gate
    • Active Noise Cancellation

Program overview:

  • Next-generation Commodore built in Germany on all-new, global E2 architecture shared with Opel Insignia
  • Lightweight construction methods result in approximately 200kg weight savings compared to current Commodore
  • Flagship model offers V6 AWD drivetrain with Holden-first 9-speed transmission
  • V6 engine delivers 230kW / 370Nm while being incredibly efficient thanks to Stop-Start technology and Active Fuel Management
  • 2.0T petrol and 2.0T diesel front-wheel drive models also coming to Australia
  • Liftback and Sportwagon body-styles
  • Cutting-edge, adaptive all-wheel-drive system with torque vectoring and twin-clutch (‘Twinster’) rear differential system
  • Adaptive ‘Flexride’ suspension system offers three settings: ‘Tour’, ‘Standard’ and ‘Sport’ 
  • Next-generation matrix lighting system
  • Infotainment includes:
    • Apple Car Play and Android Auto
    • 8-inch configurable LCD instrument display,
    • next-gen head-up display

Bold New Honda Civic Proving Top Choice Amongst Private Buyers

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MELBOURNE, Dec 5, 2016 — Demand by private buyers for the all-new Honda Civic Sedan is challenging its key small car rivals, according to Honda Australia.

In its first full month on sale in July, the new Civic immediately established itself as a major player in the small sedan segment for private buyers, recording a 25.2 per cent share of that market and going straight to the No. 1 ranking, outselling all other small sedans.

“We’re really excited that the Honda Civic sedan has resonated so positively in the marketplace,” said Honda Australia Director, Mr. Stephen Collins.

“Based on the unprecedented number of pre-orders we received for Civic sedan during the pre-launch phase, we were confident it would perform strongly in the competitive small car segment, but to have one in every four private sedan buyers choose the Civic straight out of the gate has absolutely exceeded all of our expectations.”

Since July, the Honda Civic sedan has sustained that level of instant market penetration, commanding an average share of private buyer sector of almost 23 per cent.

“Honda customers clearly understand the depth of engineering and inherent quality in the new Civic, compared to its small car competitors,” Mr. Collins said.

“Its outstanding ride and handling, impressive interior and superior connectivity has really struck a chord with customers looking for a bold, contemporary small car package.”

Since the 10th-generation model began arriving in Honda dealerships in late June, more than 4,500 examples of the bold design Civic sedan have found new homes, cementing its position as the No. 2 selling small sedan for private buyers in Australia, well ahead of its nearest rival.

The Honda Civic Sedan will be bolstered in 2017 by the arrival of the Civic Hatch, and later in the year, the eagerly anticipated addition of the Honda Civic Type R.

The Honda Civic hatch will feature the same model line-up as the sedan – VTi, VTi-S, VTi-L, RS and the range topping VTi-LX.

“This represents our ‘One Civic’ strategy and the Civic sedan has laid the groundwork for success,” Mr. Collins said.

“While the Civic Type R will once again prove that Honda engineering expertise can deliver affordable performance cars for the small car enthusiast.”

Volkswagen Group Australia voluntary recall announcement



Volkswagen Group Australia said today that Federal Government approval has been received for a further 61,000 vehicles affected by the voluntary recall.

The company said that software solutions are immediately available for more than 35,000 of these newly approved vehicles with the balance to come online shortly.

With this announcement Volkswagen Group Australia said total government approvals now numbers 70,000, including the 9,000 Amarok utes recalled earlier this year.

The software solution could shortly be implemented in as many as 35,000 diesel vehicles – a number which also includes the Amarok.

The update implements changes to the software which manages the vehicle’s engine and, in some vehicles, involves a minor hardware update. Performed by a Volkswagen dealer technician, it is expected to take less than an hour. It is free of charge.

“Major progress has been made in this process,” Volkswagen Group Australia Managing Director Michael Bartsch said.

“Our confidence in this solution is based on the experience of thousands of Amarok owners in Australia and more than 1.7 million customers internationally who have had the update implemented.

“The type approval authorities in Europe conducted a review and certified that following the update, the fuel figures and Co2 emissions originally listed by the manufacturer were confirmed. Engine performance, maximum torque and noise emissions were unaffected.”

Owners of affected vehicles will receive a letter from Volkswagen Group Australia, inviting them to make an appointment with their local Volkswagen dealer.

Volkswagen Group Australia is working closely with its national dealer network to ensure the issue is resolved for its customers as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Customers should wait until they receive the letter from Volkswagen Australia before booking a dealer appointment. Volkswagen and ŠKODA customers who remain unsure if their vehicle is affected can enter their Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) via a link on the relevant brand websites:, and

Customers can also contact a dedicated customer care number on 1800 504 076.

Yep, it’s a Volkswagen: Mad Max-styled concept revealed as Amarok V6 in disguise


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  • Mad Max-inspired,one-of a kind shell for the new V6 Amarok
  • Concept car nicknamed ‘Korama’ test-driven by several off-road and motorsport experts as part of a blind test drive

Sydney: After a week of consternation and hypotheses following a series of leaked images online, the ‘wolf in another wolf’s clothing’, the top secret concept car dubbed ‘The Korama’, has been revealed as the new V6 Amarok in battle armour. 

Tough comes from within: the Volkswagen Amarok has long been lauded for its toughness and sophistication in even the most adverse driving conditions. With the arrival of the new 550Nm V6 turbo diesel engine in the updated Amarok earlier this month, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles and its creative agency DDB Sydney embarked on a new marketing campaign as a follow-up to its highly successful and critically awarded Naked Ute campaign, which presented the Amarok stripped bare and free from any recognisable panels.

Designed by the reclusive Mad Max: Fury Road vehicle mastermind, the Korama conjures images of a VW_korama (2)dystopian high-performance SUV; resplendent with large air intakes, an armour-like rear and a ferocious ‘mouth’ in front. When pictures taken on location at the ad filming surfaced online, predictions from the public as to which car company was behind the monster ranged from an Italian supercar company to a local manufacturer.
In keeping with the blind test drive approach used for the Naked Ute campaign, the Korama was test-driven in a secret location by a number of unsuspecting motorsport and off-road experts who praised the Korama, or rather the Amarok, for its power, its performance and its drivability.

Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles’ marketing manager, Ralph Beckmann, relished the opportunity to once again delve deep into the heart of the Amarok’s capabilities: “The Naked Ute was one of the most VW_korama (3)successful campaigns we’ve ever had, and the opportunity to once again showcase the Amarok’s inherent toughness in an unexpected way was too good to pass up.”

On the back of unprecedented customer demand for the new V6 Amarok, which saw over 7,300 customers register their interest in the new German-built ute before its launch, the marketing and advertising campaign which heralds the arrival of the new V6 engine went live on Tuesday 29th November.

Director of Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, Carlos Santos, praised his team for the bold, unconventional approach to launching the new Amarok V6 to the Australian market “Ute advertising in Australia is typically all the same; and while the Naked Ute campaign touched on the universal truths that all ute buyers look for in a vehicle – such as toughness and versatility – it did so in an unexpected way.”

“It’s not an easy thing to follow-up such a successful campaign with a sequel, but the Korama evokes the kind of cult fanaticism that utes perpetuate in this country. Having Mad Max: Fury Road’s mad genius design the Korama for us was a real coup and I think what was created has captured all of our imaginations. After all, who else could design something as tough as the Amarok?” Mr. Santos continued.

Hyundai Motorsport unveils new car for a new WRC era


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  • Hyundai Motorsport has revealed its 2017 challenger, the Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC, at a static media event in Monza, Italy
  • New car has been designed to meet WRC’s revised technical regulations which come into force for 2017, Hyundai Motorsport’s fourth season in the sport
  • Team aims to build on its most competitive season to date in 2016 and show its ability to fight for the 2017 Manufacturers’ Championship title.

2 December 2016 – Hyundai Motorsport has today unveiled its Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC, a brand new car with which the team will compete in the 2017 FIA World Rally Championship (WRC).
The car, which has been designed to meet WRC’s raft of new technical regulations, was unveiled during a static media event at the Autodromo Nazionale Monza.
For Hyundai Motorsport, the three-door Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC represents the team’s third new car since its debut in the Championship back in 2014 – following the Hyundai i20 WRC (2014-15) and the New Generation i20 WRC (2016). Entering its fourth season, the team hopes to continue a positive period of Hyundai_Motorsport_has_revealed_its_2017_challenger_the_Hyundai_i20_Coupe_WRC (2)growth in recent years as it embarks on a new era for the sport.
The technical new regulations for 2017 have been introduced to enhance the overall spectacle of WRC even further than before, with cars sporting an aggressive new look. While changes have centred on improving aerodynamic and mechanical grip, there has been an increase in engine power from 220kW to 280kW, a reduction in the overall weight of the car, and the re-introduction of the active centre differential.
Hyundai Motorsport started testing its new car in April, alongside its ongoing 2016 WRC campaign. The car had already accumulated 6,000km of testing prior to the launch, with further tests planned ahead of its competitive debut at Rallye Monte-Carlo in January 2017.
With the new car, the team hopes to build on its most successful season to date, in which it secured two victories and an additional ten podium finishes. Hyundai Motorsport crews finished in the top-three in 10 out of 13 rallies last season.
Team Principal Michel Nandan said: “We are heading into a new era for the sport with the biggest change to the regulations for some time. It’s a great new technical challenge and one that we have tackled with enthusiasm. It’s an opportunity to put into practice everything we have learned and experienced in the past three seasons. All teams are starting from scratch so we are on equal footing. Having finished in second position in 2016, we want to demonstrate our ability to fight for the Championship in 2017 – and we are confident the Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC will help us do just that.”
There will be an unchanged driver line-up for 2017, which will offer the team important stability with the introduction of a new car. Thierry Neuville, Hayden Paddon and Dani Sordo will contest all rounds of the Championship alongside their respective co-drivers Nicolas Gilsoul, John Kennard and Marc Martí.
The team is also delighted to announce an extension to its partnership with title sponsors Shell and Hyundai Mobis. The agreements expand on the successful long-standing relationships with both companies. The continuation of these partnerships is particularly poignant as WRC enters an exciting new period.

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New sporting regulations for 2017 mean that manufacturers will be able to field up to three cars in each round, with the two top classified finishers scoring points for the Manufacturers’ Championship. After three seasons of competing with two separate team names, Hyundai Motorsport’s three crews will run under a unified banner in 2017: the Hyundai Shell Mobis World Rally Team.
Nandan added: “We have a very strong, consistent and versatile driver line-up. We had a competitive season in 2016, with victories, podiums, stage wins and Power Stage points. To have all of our drivers involved in such a close fight for second right up to Australia showed just what strength in depth we have. We built positive momentum, particularly in the second part of the Championship, so we want to continue that into 2017. We have the confidence in the team to compete at the front and to be seen as genuine contenders in WRC’s new era.”
Neuville and co-driver Gilsoul were one of the standout crews in 2016, taking victory in Sardinia and an impressive string of podium results. Finishing second in the Drivers’ Championship, the Belgians want even more in 2017.


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Neuville said: “I have high hopes for our new Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC, which is the product of a lot of hard work from everyone in the team. I am optimistic it will help us to continue our momentum in the competitive WRC. My initial impressions of the car in testing were very positive. The changes in regulations have allowed us to make improvements in key areas, such as aerodynamics and rear stability. The increase in power is incredible while the additional grip and driveability gives us more confidence to push. For the spectators, there will be a visibly marked difference in terms of the car’s speed. I can assure you we will be able to feel it in the car too! We had a very positive 2016 season, and I was delighted to finish the season second in the Championship. Of course, from here there is only one place to go, and we want to be firmly in the fight for the title in 2017.”
Paddon claimed an impressive maiden WRC win in Rally Argentina in 2016, with further podiums in Sweden and Poland. The Kiwi and his compatriot co-driver Kennard will be aiming for a more consistent Championship in 2017.
Paddon commented: “My target for 2017 is to continue the improvements we showed during this past season. I want to start challenging for more rally wins and demonstrate more consistent speed throughout the year. The Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC is enjoyable to drive and I think it will be more exciting for the spectators too. I like that the cars will be more tuneable to each driver and driving style. The new regulations will help to make the sport even more appealing to a new generation of motorsport fans. With more radical looking and sounding cars, I think we will be able to attract a younger fan base that may not have been so familiar with rallying before. On a personal note, I feel happy to remain part of the Hyundai Motorsport family. We all know each other very well and we grow stronger all the time. There is a great team spirit and it’s amazing to work with such a highly motivated group of people.”
Second-placed podium finishes were the highlights of a consistent 2016 season for Sordo, alongside co-driver Martí. The Spaniard has his sights set on more of the same when the new-look WRC gets underway in 2017.
Sordo said: “We are all looking forward to this new season. It will be a fascinating one for everybody with the new technical and sporting regulations. With such a significant change, we will have to wait until the first rallies of the Championship to see how things develop, but I am confident. When I first tested the Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC, I was taken aback by the speed of the car. The more powerful engine and increased grip from the aerodynamics are impressive. I am sure this will be an exciting season to be a WRC spectator as well as for us inside the car! It’s very special for me to remain part of the Hyundai Motorsport team. It’s more than just team; it really is like a family. We work very well together and the atmosphere is incredible. The people in this team are some of the best in the business, so we have everything we need for a competitive car and a successful 2017.”
Following today’s launch, Hyundai Motorsport will remain in Italy for the popular Monza Rally Show this weekend, in which the team will participate with a New Generation i20 WRC car, driven by Dani Sordo.

The Audi lunar quattro is ready to head for the Moon


Part-Time scientists und Audi lunar quattro ready to head for the moon

· Development of “Audi lunar quattro” moon rover completed

· German space travel team “Part-Time Scientists” signs agreement on rocket launch

· More partners from business and research recruited for the project

Ingolstadt, December 1, 2016 – It has shed eight kilograms in weight, while also gaining Audi e-tron power: following extensive tests the “Audi lunar quattro” rover is ready to tackle one of the most difficult terrains of all in exploring the Moon. As well as the development of the lunar vehicle, the mission has now also achieved a further landmark: The German space travel team “Part-Time Scientists” announced yesterday at Audi City in Berlin that it plans to complete the 385,000 km trip to the Moon from the end of 2017 using a launcher booked with Spaceflight Inc. As an early technology partner and ambassador of the Part-Time Scientists’ mission, Audi has been instrumental in generating extensive publicity for the project and bringing other strong partners on board.

Audi and the German group of engineers announced their partnership in early 2015. Their common objective: to bring together the technological expertise of both partners in getting a rover to travel about on the Moon, under the auspices of the Google Lunar XPRIZE competition. A group of 16 Audi experts has since been supporting the Part-Time Scientists with expertise in a large number of technical areas and has optimised the rover for the lunar mission. Audi was above all able to contribute its quattro experience, knowledge of lightweight construction and expertise in e-tron and design in helping the Berlin team with the development of the unmanned lunar vehicle.

“We are proud that we have given the moon rover important aspects of the four rings’ DNA: It is a quattro, has an e-tron battery on board, drives in piloted mode and offers an intelligent mix of materials,” said Michael Schöffmann, Head of Audi Transmission Development and Development Coordinator of the Audi lunar quattro.

“The collaboration with the Part-Time scientists is also very enriching for us: We are breaking new technological ground with the Audi lunar quattro and can learn much about how automotive components behave in extreme conditions.”

Over the past few months Audi’s experts have been working on the rover’s intelligent all-wheel-drive power distribution, optimising its high-performance electronics and contributing their piloted driving expertise to the development process. In order to boost stability and increase the contact surface, the engineers and designers enlarged the rover and its wheels. Meanwhile they reduced its weight from 38 to 30 kilograms by adopting an optimum mix of materials and using aluminium 3D printing.

Sophisticated tests, for instance in the Audi sun simulation chamber, were also run to simulate the extreme conditions on the Moon and examine the suitability of the rover’s components.

On the Moon, the Audi lunar quattro will have four cameras to help it find its way around. It will use them to examine objects and take 3D and 360° pictures. One popular motif will be the rover from the Apollo 17 mission, which still stands in the Valley of Taurus-Littrow. ALINA, the landing module of the Part-Time Scientists, will touch down close to the 1972 landing point with two Audi lunar quattro vehicles on board. The probe will travel to the Moon on a launcher such as a Falcon 9 and has a total transport capacity of 100 kilograms. As well as the two rovers, the Part-Time Scientists will therefore also be able to take research equipment to the Moon for other partners. In this context, project partners such as the U.S. space agency NASA, the European Space Agency ESA and Wikipedia were recruited because of their substantial scientific interest in the mission.

The Part-Time Scientists plan to set off for the Moon from late 2017. Before then, they will still need to conduct extensive stress testing of the two Audi lunar quattro vehicles and the landing probe. To that end the team will be simulating the entire mission in the Middle East over the next few months, and is now performing some final fine-tuning.

The Part-Time Scientists came together in late 2008 on the initiative of IT expert Robert Böhme and are based in Berlin. They now number 35 engineers on three continents. Working together with international space experts, their aim is to make the lunar mission become a reality and gather as much knowledge as possible to promote technological development and advance scientific progress.

The Google Lunar XPRIZE, worth more than USD 30 million, is a space travel competition aimed at engineers and entrepreneurs from all over the world. To win, a private team must get a rover on the moon, drive it at least 500 metres and send high-resolution pictures back to earth. From an original field of almost 30 challengers, there now remain five leading teams in the race to head off for the moon. The Part-Time Scientists are the only team from Germany.