Continental’s ‘see-through’ front pillars improve road safety for all

Blind spots have been something every driver simply has to live with. Things like A-pillars are essentially attaching a car’s roof to the rest of the vehicle and keeping the windscreen in place.

But they’ve always obscured a portion of a driver’s view of the road ahead, posing a safety hazard to pedestrians and vulnerable road users.

However, that is all about to change after Continental revealed what is essentially a see-through A-pillar.

This isn’t the first time we’ve seen transparent A-pillars. Jaguar Land Rover was showing them off back in 2014 and Toyota patented the idea in August 2017, but nonetheless, Continental’s take is the latest and perhaps most impressive example so far.

Continental’s Virtual A-Pillar works by tracking the driver’s movements with an interior camera mounted above the steering wheel and displays an image of the vehicle’s exterior environment on the interior OLED displays on the A-pillar, enabling the driver to “see through” it.

With more car makers using the A-pillar to house safety equipment, the advanced technology addresses an increasing issue on newer vehicles that may require even larger front pillars.

A spokesperson from Continental said the driver ultimately feels like they’re looking through an extended window, rather than at a live video feed.

They commented: “By pairing and implementing advanced technology in the vehicle, Continental has created a solution that eliminates the forward blind spots of the A-pillars, helping to reduce a critical safety hazard experienced by so many road users.”

It remains unclear if or when the technology would appear on a production car, but the system is certainly a step forward in improving road safety and minimising the potential for accidents.

Jez Strong, general manager for Tele-Gence, commented: “This is at least the third system that solves the issue of the front pillar obscuring what the driver can see and surely, it’s only a matter of time before this tech reaches modern motorists.”

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Volvo’s fast yet frugal T5 petrol engine joins S90, V90 and XC90 ranges

Volvo’s fast yet frugal T5 petrol engine joins S90, V90 and XC90 ranges

Volvo’s superb T5 petrol engine is finally being offered in the Swedish car maker’s 90 Series models.

This means that the S90 saloon, V90 estate and XC90 SUV now benefits from the high power and efficiency of the two-litre four-cylinder turbocharged unit, a core member of Volvo’s Drive-E engine family.

Tuned to deliver 246bhp and an impressive 350Nm of torque, the T5 is a strong yet refined engine, achieving impressive fuel economy and emissions of 42.8mpg and 154g/km in the S90. The engine comes linked to an eight-speed automatic transmission as standard.

What kind of numbers can you expect from a T5 90 Series Volvo?

In the S90 saloon, the new T5 achieves combined cycle fuel economy from 42.8mpg and CO2 emissions from 154g/km.

It can sprint from 0-62mph in 6.8 seconds, gathering speed until it hits 140mph. For business users, its first-year benefit-in-kind (BIK) tax rate is 31 per cent. Prices start from £41,120 on-the-road for the R-Design version.

For the V90 estate, those numbers shift to 41.5mpg and 157g/km, while all-wheel drive Cross Country variants return 38.2mpg and 172g/km.

Performance remains impressive, hitting 62mpg in seven seconds flat (or 7.4s in the V90 Cross Country). Prices begin at £43,120 for the V90 R-Design and £44,685 for the V90 Cross Country, while BIK tax rates are 32 per cent and 35 per cent respectively.

Finally, the big daddy of the Volvo range – the XC90 SUV – achieves official combined cycle figures from 35.8mpg and 184g/km, while a 0-62mph dash is polished off in 7.9 seconds.

The BIK rate for business motorists is 37 per cent and a T5 XC90 will set you back at least £50,435, reaching up to £59,235 for the range-topping Inscription Pro.

Ellie Baker, brand manager at Fuel Card Services, comments: “The arrival of the superb T5 engine in Volvo’s 90 models means not just increased choice for customers but also a fine balance of strong performance and excellent efficiency and refinement.”

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Man Versus Machine

England and Saracens star Owen Farrell pitted himself against a unique opponent; Land Rover’s best-selling luxury compact SUV, the Range Rover Evoque, in a battle between man and machine.


Farrell tackled the high-performance Range Rover Evoque, powered by the new 2.0-litre turbocharged Ingenium petrol engine in an all-terrain bleep test – the ultimate test of endurance. The renowned SUV, with its 290hp engine, accelerates from 0-60mph in only 6.0 seconds– making it the fastest sprinting Evoque to date.

To find out who was the fastest visit

Ready to drive a Land Rover? Have a look at some of the current pre-registration, Range Rover Evoque fleet deals for contract, lease or to buy at FCS Vehicle Solutions or call 01235 773633.




Mercedes-Benz has a new-look Sprinter

Since its market launch in 1995, the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter has given its name to an entire vehicle class thanks to its outstanding qualities. This week, the third generation of this best-selling van is celebrating its world release.

Comprehensive internet connectivity is one of the most important new features and there is a new Mercedes Pro network set-up, providing the perfect basis for all logistical and transport, fleet requirements.

Panel van, Tourer, pickup, chassis, bus or traction head as body types, three drive configurations, cab designs, body lengths, tonnages, load compartment heights and equipment features: these parameters alone allow a further increase in the number of possible Sprinter variants.

The driver’s workplace is uncluttered, practical and designed to meet the relevant transport requirements. The improvements include ergonomically shaped seats, keyless start and an improved air conditioning system.

The safety assistance systems available for the new Sprinter include a self-cleaning reversing camera showing its image in the rear-view mirror, a modern Parking package with a 360-degree view, and a rain sensor with an integrated Wet Wiper system for optimum visibility even during the wiping process.

For further news on this story visit Petrol News

The Sprinter will be available across the Mercedes-Benz Vans Dealer Network from June and FCS Vehicle Solutions can find you the best pre-registration deals. Watch out too for the new eSprinter, which will enter the market in 2019. Call 01235 773633 for more details


What is the best hot hatch ?

Hyundai’s first performance model, the i30 N has been awarded Best Hot Hatch at the UK Car of the Year Awards 2018. The category win means that Hyundai’s much-lauded hatchback will now compete for the overall UK Car of the Year award, which will be announced at the end of February.

The UK Car of the Year Awards, now in its 5th year, are independent and designed to both highlight and advise on the best new cars on the market. All corners of the UK are represented and the judging panel comprises some of the most respected names in motoring journalism. This year, the UK Car of the Year judges praised Hyundai i30 N’s bold entry to the segment as well as its style, specification and fun-to-drive character.

Judge, Olivia Gauch says: “I love everything about it – the distinctive looks, the high-specced cabin and of course how much fun can be had behind the wheel.”

The i30 N is available in two specifications, i30 N and i30 N Performance. Both models continue with the i30’s already extensive list of standard equipment, whilst adding N specific interior and exterior equipment as well performance modifications.

Read more on this story at Petrol News or to test drive the Best Hot Hatch 2018 Hyundai i30 N visit FCS Vehicle Solutions or call 01235 773633