JLR looks to mould more vehicle parts in new luxo plastic material. Picture: SUPPLIED
JLR looks to mould more vehicle parts in new luxo plastic material. Picture: SUPPLIED

The quest for new age materials to construct vehicle parts continues with chemicals giant BASF and Jaguar Land Rover trialling an innovative recycling process which converts plastic waste into a new premium grade material that could feature on JLR’s future vehicles.

The ChemCycling up-cycles domestic waste pyrolysis oil through a thermochemical process. This secondary raw material is then fed into a production chain as a replacement for fossil resources, ultimately producing a new premium grade that replicates the high quality and performance of ‘virgin’ plastics.

The material can be tempered and coloured for designing the next-generation dashboards and exterior surfaces. JLR is currently busy with prototyping the material in a Jaguar i-PACE to verify if it meets the same stringent safety requirements of the existing original part.

Chris Brown, Senior Sustainability Manager at Jaguar Land Rover, said: “Plastics are vital to car manufacturing and have proven benefits during their use phase; however, plastic waste remains a major global challenge. Solving this issue requires innovation and joined-up thinking between regulators, manufacturers and suppliers.”

JLR has previously collaborated with Kvadrat to offer customers alternative seat options of the material available initially on the Range Rover Velar and Range Rover Evoque, and using a combination of a durable wool blend with a technical suede cloth made from 53 recycled plastic bottles per vehicle.

It’s estimated that the amount of waste plastic is predicted to exceed 12-million tons globally by 2050.

Ford's bakkie emoji

Ford trucks into social media expressionism. Picture: SUPPLIED
Ford trucks into social media expressionism. Picture: SUPPLIED

Serial texters on smartphones are said to have demanded a pickup truck added to the already 3,000 existing and approved automotive emojis.

With the recent marking of World Emoji day on July 17, Ford decided it was time to do something about this and showed a pickup truck emoji it has imagined since 2018 when the company submitted a proposal to the Unicode Consortium — the organisation that reviews and approves proposals for new emoji — to add a pickup to emoji keyboards everywhere.

The concept emoji’s styling has been tuned to meet current trends.

“Our team spent a lot of time digging through message boards, texting influencers and watching social media feeds to really understand our customers’ needs,” said Eric Grenier, Ford social media manager.

“People want a truck emoji that’s fresh, stylish, carries their ideas and ‘tows’ the line on what a truck means. The end result is a modern icon that should give all truck fans a smiley face emoji.”

If the pickup truck emoji is approved in early 2020, the design will be customised for all mobile platforms to join the nearly complete mode of transportation emojis including cars, scooters, boats, spaceships and ski lifts.

Get ready for the BMW 2-Series Gran Coupe

The BMW 2 Series coupe-sedan from BMW will soon be upon us. A prototype has been spotted testing and should make its public at the LA Autoshow in November.

Reports suggest it will go on sale sometime in late 2020 or early 2021.

The 2-Series Gran Coupe (GC), the name that BMW gives to its shapely four-door GC cars like the 3 series Gran Coupe and the BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe, would be the first time that BMW offers an alternative to rival Mercedes-Benz in the niche it first created with the CLA.

Although a China-only model, the BMW 1 Series sedan has been the Bavarian marque’s only compact sedan reply to a segment that has seen varied takes of the market: Audi with its A3 sedan and Mercedes-Benz with the CLA and now the A-Class sedan.

The spied 2 Series GranCoupe with a roofline that features a sleeker fastback design is likely to be underpinned by BMW's latest front-wheel-drive platform as used in the new 1 Series.

In standard format the car will likely be front wheel drive for most hot climate markets but an xDrive all-wheel drive (AWD) variant may be standard fare for colder climes. AWD will also form part of hot BMW M Performance versions that will follow – the latter almost being certainty in M235i and using the company’s now performance turbo 2.0l as fitted in the X2 35i.

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