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My Family Car News

Vespa Elettrica

Last month at EICMA, Vespa unveiled their Elettrica Concept. Vespa is targeting production in the second  half of next year, but offered few additional details, neglecting to mention range, price, or countries it may be sold in. I find it very attractive, and for the right price I could be very tempted. Vespa tends to price their models at or near the top of their various segments, but in this case I hope that they are able to undercut the upcoming BMW C-Evolution maxi scooter. I have posted the full press release below.

Press Release:

VESPA ELETTRICA – THE MOBILITY OF THE FUTURE ACCORDING TO VESPA

The Piaggio Group invests in electric motors to redesign the mobility of the future.

Introducing the Vespa Elettrica project, the new mobility solution according to the most elegant and beloved two-wheeled brand in the world that takes a step into the future in complete consistency with the values that have accompanied its history.

Over four billion of the seven billion people residing on Earth live and work in heavily populated urban areas. New supercities are constantly springing up and, becoming increasingly interconnected, a phenomenon which is set to drive economic and social development. Today almost 80% of the world's GDP is generated in these huge urban metropoles, which in turn consume 80% of the world's energy. Higher and higher numbers of people are flocking to these cities, whose size is increasing to accommodate them despite the risk of social collapse owing to liveability problems. The world's 600 largest cities are now home to 20% of the world's population and they generate more than 50% of global wealth.

The mobility sector is facing a change of scenery that poses epoch-making challenges connected to the environment, pollution and the quality of life.

In its most advanced developments, the electric engine is currently the favoured solution for the requirements of this new mobility.

A technological and cultural challenge

The Piaggio Group, whose tradition in electric motors dates back as far as the mid-seventies and who launched the first and best-sold hybrid scooter, is investing in the electric mobility of the future, presenting the Vespa Elettrica project at Eicma 2016.

It was only right that such a big challenge would be tackled under the wing of the Vespa brand.

Vespa has changed the lives of entire generations all over the world, always giving the most advanced answer to their desire for mobility that has skilfully interpreted and evolved while still remaining true to itself.

On the back of more than 18 million models, over 1.5 million of which have been sold in the last decade alone, such global success has turned the brand into a universal symbol of elegance and technology.

Now the Vespa Elettrica project confirms the Piaggio Group's commitment, not only to people mobility, but to a desire to change the way in which people move.

Because of the excellence of this project, the Piaggio Group is assessing the most advanced players in the sector on a global level to develop innovative technological electric motor solutions together. This concept will be translated into the final version of the Vespa Elettrica, for which production and sales are planned for the second half of 2017.

The Vespa Elettrica will, first and foremost, be a true Vespa, bringing the very latest in electric technology to a vehicle that will retain all the features that have been vital to its success

The style, agility, ease of use and riding pleasure will be the same as the Vespa we have always known, with the addition of technological and innovative connectivity solutions.

A perfect mix of excitement, technology and environmental friendliness that only Vespa can create. Like it has always done in its first seventy years of history.

Happy Thanksgiving!

From all of us to all of you, we wish you the happiest of Thanksgivings!!!

Because we love it so much, here are some more pictures of the Chrysler Turbine Car!

Because we love it so much, here are some more pictures of the Chrysler Turbine Car!

Walter P. Chrysler Museum Closing

This is the second time that I am writing about the Walter P. Chrysler Museum, and probably the last. This past weekend, I went to visit the WPCM after hearing that it would be closing again, this time for good. While the museum used to be open full time, it was closed a few years back, but left more or less in its entirety. It would be opened once or twice a year for special occasions, like the employee car show each June. As a result of the turnout at these events, the museum was reopened, not full-time, but much more regularly than it had been, staffed solely by volunteers. Despite not needing to cover any salaries, it seems that it still wasn't able to support itself, and is closing much more permanently this time. Your last chance to view the museum is the weekend of December 17 & 18. Chrysler plans to keep the collection together, but rather than leave it in the museum, will be converting the museum building into offices, and putting the cars in deep storage, bringing them out occasionally for various events. Sadly, my first visit to the museum was during one of the special occasions, the employee car show in 2013. I say sadly, because it is such a wonderful venue! While I was thrilled to experience it, I instantly regretted not having made the trek sooner. From the handful of people I've discussed the museum with, they'd either never heard of it, or wished they'd visited sooner as well. The Walter P. Chrysler Museum will be missed! If you are in the Detroit area December 17 or 18, and have the chance, do stop in to say goodbye! 

IMG_7583.jpg

Fido Motors Cafe

This past Saturday, my wife and I stopped by the Fido Motors Cafe to grab a coffee and take a peak at the Fido Motors Model 1 LE scooter. Let's start with the cafe. The ambience is wonderful, and Mack, my new coffee guru, is one serious car enthusiast. We were having such a great conversation, that I forgot to tip! I'll make up for it next time I visit. As for the coffee, I ordered a Beer-Reduction Caramel Latte, and it was the best latte I have ever had. I implore you to check this place out! In lieu of advertising, all of the coffee drinks are 50% off through the rest of 2016, top notch coffee, at unbelievable prices!! Seriously, a must visit if you're in Kalamazoo. 1415 Fulford Street; Kalamazoo, MI 49001.

To see the scooter, scroll down!

Here is the Fido Motors Model 1 LE. The LE is for limited edition. I love the utilitarian vaguely retro vibe of this machine! Check out fidomotors.com for more information, or you can watch the two videos below to see the little guy in action!!

Wagon Queen Family Truckster Ornament

It is too early for the stores to be decked out in all of their Christmas glory! However, I did find this:

And, I think it's pretty awesome...even if it is too early to be on the shelves. Also, it plays the lines from the movie leading up to the Wagon Queen Family Truckster taking flight. If you need one too, I've included the link to it's page on Hallmark.com. See the official product description down at the bottom of this post. 

Every summer Clark Griswold took his family on a little trip. One year, he went too far. Relive the Walley World-bound hilarity of National Lampoon’s Vacation with this Keepsake Ornament, a twisted tribute to the worst family vacation ever. Learn more about Keepsake Ornaments.
Christmas tree ornament.
Magic Sound.
Plays dialogue from this classic scene.
On ornament: ROAD CLOSED
NATIONAL LAMPOON’s VACATION
Dated 2016.
Artist crafted.
Battery operated. Batteries Included.
Pre-packaged for easy gift giving, preservation and storage.
4.8” W x 1.7” H x 2.9” D
— Hallmark Product Description

Tesla Prepares for Self-Driving Future

After teasing the world a week ago, and then delaying 2 days, yesterday saw the reveal of Tesla's big announcement. They are all in on self driving cars, eventually. All cars being made going forward will have the necessary hardware to chauffeur their owners. Look below for the official announcement from the horses mouth, and a video demonstration of what is capable with the new hardware. Be sure to watch to the end, the car park sequence is the best bit!

All Tesla Cars Being Produced Now Have Full Self-Driving Hardware

Self-driving vehicles will play a crucial role in improving transportation safety and accelerating the world’s transition to a sustainable future. Full autonomy will enable a Tesla to be substantially safer than a human driver, lower the financial cost of transportation for those who own a car and provide low-cost on-demand mobility for those who do not.

We are excited to announce that, as of today, all Tesla vehicles produced in our factory – including Model 3 – will have the hardware needed for full self-driving capability at a safety level substantially greater than that of a human driver. Eight surround cameras provide 360 degree visibility around the car at up to 250 meters of range. Twelve updated ultrasonic sensors complement this vision, allowing for detection of both hard and soft objects at nearly twice the distance of the prior system. A forward-facing radar with enhanced processing provides additional data about the world on a redundant wavelength, capable of seeing through heavy rain, fog, dust and even the car ahead.

To make sense of all of this data, a new onboard computer with more than 40 times the computing power of the previous generation runs the new Tesla-developed neural net for vision, sonar and radar processing software. Together, this system provides a view of the world that a driver alone cannot access, seeing in every direction simultaneously and on wavelengths that go far beyond the human senses.

Model S and Model X vehicles with this new hardware are already in production, and customers can purchase one today.

Before activating the features enabled by the new hardware, we will further calibrate the system using millions of miles of real-world driving to ensure significant improvements to safety and convenience. While this is occurring, Teslas with new hardware will temporarily lack certain features currently available on Teslas with first-generation Autopilot hardware, including some standard safety features such as automatic emergency braking, collision warning, lane holding and active cruise control. As these features are robustly validated we will enable them over the air, together with a rapidly expanding set of entirely new features. As always, our over-the-air software updates will keep customers at the forefront of technology and continue to make every Tesla, including those equipped with first-generation Autopilot and earlier cars, more capable over time.
— https://www.tesla.com/blog/all-tesla-cars-being-produced-now-have-full-self-driving-hardware

Circu Bun Van

I stumbled on this little gem while perusing Inhabitat, thought I should share!

"Bun Van is a bed, reinvented by Circu. This bed is perfect to bring some fun and imagination to rooms! Inspired in one of the most iconic and magical symbols of fun and freedom! This is one of the most remarkable vehicles ever produced. Few other vehicles have the ability to turn heads and conjure a spirit of freedom, adventure and open roads.
The exterior of this piece is made in fiberglass with chrome plated finishes; the inside is made in palisander wood veneer. Inside it contains several storage compartments, a bed, a tv, a secretary, a mini bar and a sofa."

Formula E Season 3 Starts Sunday!

This Sunday, October 9, the first race of the FIA Formula E will take place in Hong Kong. After following the first two seasons with great enjoyment, and I am very excited about the series' return!   

Dragon Racing/Faraday Future

Dragon Racing/Faraday Future

Dragon Racing/Faraday Future

Dragon Racing/Faraday Future

About Formula E:

"Formula E is a ground-breaking FIA single-seater championship and the world's first fully-electric racing series. 

The inaugural season began in Beijing in September 2014, ending in London in June 2015, with the series competing in 10 of the world's leading cities. The championship sees 10 teams, each with two drivers, racing on temporary city-centre circuits to create a unique and exciting race series designed to appeal to a new generation of motorsport fans.

Formula E aims to represent a vision for the future of the motor industry, serving as a framework for R&D around the electric vehicle, accelerating general interest in these cars and promoting clean energy and sustainability.

Formula E also operates as an 'open championship', allowing teams and manufacturers the opportunity to showcase their own electrical energy innovations. Working to the technical specifications set out by the FIA, teams will focus their efforts on improving and developing powertrains and battery technology, with the aim of this filtering into the everyday electric vehicle market.

The championship centres around three core values of Energy, Environment and Entertainment and is a fusion of engineering, technology, sport, science, design, music and entertainment - all combining to drive the change towards an electric future."

Happy "International Talk Like a Pirate Day" 2016!

Krispy Kreme is in on the Pirate Day action this year! You can talk like a pirate for 1 free donut, or...dress like a pirate for 12 free donuts. So get out and get ye some pirate related booty! Arr!! 

The Guys from talklikeapirate.com!

The Guys from talklikeapirate.com!

Lego Minifigures Series 16 Pirate

Lego Minifigures Series 16 Pirate

Drive Electric Week 2016

This past Saturday was the start of National Drive Electric Week. If you are unfamiliar with this event it can be a great way to learn more about electric cars, and to attend some fun EV centric events! I have included buttons below for the homepage and the regional event locator. Unfortunately, there are no events planned for the Grand Rapids area this week.