RUMOUR HAS IT...
Seating for seven
Mercedes is working on the next generation of its GLS, seven-seater luxury SUV
Mercedes is working on the next generation of its GLS, seven-seater luxury SUV. With Range Rover busy upgrading its models, the BMW X7 undergoing final development and new super luxury models here or coming from Bentley, Lamborghini and Rolls-Royce, Merc is keen to up the ante.
The new GLS is likely to debut in 2019 and will be built on the company’s new MHA architecture. MHA not only promises less weight but also improved packaging, with our sources saying that the third row of seats will be more comfortable for adults.
The new platform will allow for hybrid and plug-in hybrid drivetrains, so we could see a shift in the regular engines to just inline six motors.
Bigger power plants will still come out of the AMG plant and sources have confirmed that there will also be a Mercedes-Maybach version to increase the luxury.
Virtual reality crash
Getting the road safety message across to drivers is not always as straightforward as you might think. But what if you could get drivers to experience a crash or some other incident without them actually being harmed?
Ford international has partnered with Google and virtual reality (VR) studio Happy Finish to launch Ford Reality Check, a VR app that brings to life the potentially fatal consequences of driving while distracted.
The first-of-its-kind experience uses Google Daydream VR to cast you as a distracted driver picking up friends on the way to a party. Instant messages, phone calls and chatty passengers all compete for attention, sparking a series of near misses.
The interruptions faced by drivers in Ford Reality Check are based on the most prevalent and dangerous distractions for this age group, including those from smartphones and passengers.
The app tracks the amount of time the driver doesn’t have eyes on the road, displaying the total at the end.
The handheld Google Daydream controller, a unique component of the Daydream VR platform, mirrors the behaviour and interactions of the virtual phone within the app. With October being Transport Month in SA, perhaps Ford SA can look at the app being used in schools. After all, teaching young people about the danger without actually endangering them is definitely a good thing.
Meals on wheels
Finally for something a little bizarre. Land Rover has teamed up with celebrity chef Jamie Oliver to turn a Land Rover Discovery into a mobile kitchen.
There are elements South Africans will love to see on the options list for their Disco, such as the braai rotisserie which slots into the power take-off spindle behind the grille, the slow cooker in the engine bay and the deployable dining table. More bizarre is the decision to include a herb and spice rack in the rear windows, but even this is not as outlandish as the toaster in the centre console.