SA sets ‘new record’ for longest hearse parade
A convoy of 110 hearses reportedly drove around Kyalami to beat previous 107-car record
A Guinness world record for the longest parade of hearses was unofficially set at the Kyalami racetrack on Tuesday October 8.
A convoy of 111 hearses, later revised to 110 after one vehicle broke down, reportedly drove around the Midrand circuit to beat the previous record of 107 hearses achieved in Baarn, Netherlands, in August 2012.
The achievement will be submitted to Guinness World Records for official verification. Event organiser Rachel Stead of Funeralcar.co.za said various criteria had to be met including validation of the hearses by a specialist witness, that the vehicles had to be in actual service as hearses, and the parade had to be moving and cover a minimum distance of 3.2km together, among other items.
“As soon as we have gathered all evidence required for submission to Guinness we will be sending it through and then awaiting their final decision,” she told Motor News.
The record attempt was part of a track day experience for the local funeral industry, a first-of-its-kind event that incorporated a skidpan experience, offroad track experience, motoring exhibition in the pits and Grand Prix track experience.
Teslas to more goat and fart sounds
In typical Elon Musk fashion, the TeslaCEO announced via Twitter that customised hooter and movement sounds will soon be available for Tesla vehicles.
While this feature doesn't come as a surprise, considering a recent US proposal — a document that could potentially require automotive manufacturers to give hybrid and all-electric vehicle owners an assortment of pedestrian alert sounds to choose from — the sounds that Musk promised would be available caught his audience off-guard.
Though it is expected that traditional hooter and car movement sounds will be available for Tesla owners to select, Musk revealed unconventional options that are sure to make pedestrians — and other drivers — look twice.
Without specifying which noise would be a hooter sound and which would be a movement sound, Musk stated on Twitter that coconut, fart, and goat sounds will be selectable options for Tesla models in the near future. In response to a user who asked if owners could upload their own sound clips, he said he "will consider" this. — AFP Relaxnews
Toyota's new hydrogen Mirai set for reaveal
Toyota will preview its second-generation Mirai, which is a midsize hydrogen Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle (FCEV), at the upcoming Tokyo motor show.
Manufactured by Toyota since 2014, the vehicle has so far sold more than 5,000 units worldwide and is also rated as the most fuel efficient FCEV with a range of about 500km.
Scheduled for launch in 2020, Toyota says the Mirai will have a 30% increase in the driving range through improvements to the fuel-cell system and the use of larger onboard hydrogen tanks.
Mirai chief engineer Yoshikazu Tanaka said: "We have pursued the goal of making a car that customers will feel they want to drive all time, a car that has an emotional and attractive design and the kind of dynamic and responsive performance that can bring a smile to the driver's face."
In an FCEV, hydrogen and oxygen are mixed inside a fuel cell stack to produce electricity which powers an electric motor. Like battery-electric vehicle (BEVs), hydrogen fuel-cell cars are locally pollution-free and the only exhaust byproduct is water, but their main advantage is that they have longer ranges than BEVs and don’t need recharging; they are quickly refuelled at a hydrogen filling station in around three to five minutes.
A small number of car companies are investing in fuel cell vehicles, including Honda with its FCX Clarity. The technology’s expensive however, with FCEVs around double the average new car price.
Audi introduces 10-year maintenance plan
All new Audi vehicles are sold with the Audi Freeway Plan (AFP) which covers servicing and maintenance for the first five years or 100,000km.
Audi customers now have the opportunity to extend the standard AFP to 10 years and/or 300,000km – an after-sales offer for customers looking to hold onto their vehicles for longer or wanting to retain the value of their car.
This is a comprehensive service and maintenance programme which eases the bother of budgeting for unexpected service and maintenance expenses. It is ideal for those who are close to the end of their existing contract.
The AFP covers services, wear and tear items and certain repairs, and includes the Audi Assist roadside assistance.
"We are all aware that vehicles become costly to look after as they become older. At Audi we have also acknowledged that general consumer spending pressures have resulted in longer ownership cycles. For this reason the newly launched Audi Freeway Plan extension is great value for those customers wanting the added peace of mind when owning and looking after their Audi vehicle," said Trevor Hill, Head of Audi South Africa.
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