Bob Lutz says BMW and Mercedes are afraid of Elon Musk

Seasoned automotive exec Bob Lutz has had a lot to say about Tesla’s Elon Musk over the years. Bob Lutz has assumed Tesla was failing for some time, though he has also praised the company from time to time. Lutz discussed with the Financial Times that BMW and Mercedes are afraid of Musk.

Ford and VW Group CEOs continue to credit Elon Musk for leading the electric vehicle way. Meanwhile, BMW and Mercedes have lost large numbers of sales to Tesla already.

The Financial Times article in discussion is sadly behind a paywall, but the article was actually about Elon Musk’s Person of the Year win with Financial Times. The article is titled “Elon Musk: Interview with FT’s Person of the year.”

To find out more –

Extreme E races at the Jurassic X Prix for inaugural season finale

Extreme E returned this month for the fifth and final race of the season at the Jurassic Coast, England. The venue of these races are aimed to bring awareness to at least one aspect of environmental damage humans are causing. 

The Jurassic X Prix track was relatively similar to the Sardinia track meaning that this season was a lot muddier than ever before. However, in comparison to previous tracks this one was a lot shorter being almost half the length. The track provided great opportunities for the drivers with a huge jump in the middle.

The season finale was originally predicted to take place at the Glacier X Prix in Argentina but due to COVID-19, Extreme E cancelled the race. Due to Extreme E headquarters being based in London a race in Southern England was a lot easier to arrange. The change in venue also helped to highlight the reality of environmental issues also being local as well as worldwide. 

Read more here – 

What is a JIC hose fitting?

JIC Hose fittingsJoint Industry Council Thread – Commonly referred to as just JIC fittings are metal to metal sealing type fittings have a 37° flare (sealing surface angle. original design specification for the fittings comes from the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) and these fittings are the most common American fitting type in Europe.

Are AN and JIC the same?

Technically No. AN stands for Air Force – Navy Aeronautical Design Standards (also known as “Army Navy”) that are used in U.S. Military aviation applications. These fittings are made to meet strict performance standards related to the aeronautical industry.  Confusion between AN and the industrial counterpart, the SAE 37° fitting occurred. The Joint Industries Council (JIC), sought to clear the air by standardizing the specifications on this type of fitting by creating the “JIC” fitting standard, a 37-degree fitting

The majority of the hydraulic population agrees, the JIC (or SAE) 37 degree fittings are generally interchangeable with AN fittings. Generally now when people refer to JIC or AN they are merely referencing the 37 degree fitting.

The hose fittings on the Viper performance site are sold in AN-(dash) sizes.

How do I know my JIC/AN fitting size?

AN sizes are shown as a size number prefixed with a hyphen, so a -10 fitting would be called a “Dash 10″ AN fitting.

The number represents the OD (Outside Diameter) of the tube the fitting was designed to fit in the old AN specifications. The number represents the OD as multiples of 1/16”. Therefore, a -10 fitting was originally designed to fit an solid tube with an OD of 10 * 1/16″ = ⅝″ (~16mm).

AN fitting sizes

Checkout our hose fittings here

The electric future for agricultural equipment

electric tractorCar manufacturers are making great strides in electric drive technology and the death of diesel and petrol engines is on the horizon. This revolution is happening for larger vehicles too. For some types of farm vehicles, like loaders and mixer-feeder wagons, electric drive is already here. Soon there will be tractors, with three companies planning to sell electric models in the next two years.

According to Professor Peter Pickel, deputy director of John Deere’s European Technology Centre, the electrification of tractors offers three key advantages.

First is increased efficiency. A diesel engine achieves about 35% efficiency in converting thermal to mechanical energy. Compare that with the overall efficiency of charging batteries at 80%, while electric motors have an efficiency of 90%.

Second, he says electrical power offers greater controllability and opportunities for automation. One example is precision seeding. The Exact Emerge system from John Deere for single seed placing uses electric motors to place seeds within 1cm accuracy.

Professor Pickel sees it as a complete system where the battery is removable and is part of the farm’s electricity grid. This would bring battery utilisation up to 96%.

So with these benefits, German manufacturer Fendt and India-based firm Escorts have just launched electric models. However, both are at the lower end of the horsepower range, with Fendt’s e100 Vario being the more powerful, offering 67hp.

Winter car preparations

winter carLast years blog on ‘Preparing your car for winter’ was very popular and therefore we wanted to update our key tips ready for the cold weather coming round again.

Here’s our guide to preparing for Winter driving

1. Breakdown cover

After the year that we have had one of the most important this going into this winter is ensuring you can get home if the worst was to happen and you breakdown. With it looking more likely that restrictions will still be in place over the winter it is no longer a given that all garages, hotels and other amenties would be open to you. Therefore investing in breakdown cover is a sensible option. Even during the national lockdown earlier in the year the Rescue & Recovery Industry was recognised as ‘Key Workers’ within a critical sector.

2. Get your Car Serviced before Winter

Cold causes problems for cars but up to half of the problems could have been prevented by a regular servicing. Save yourself the cost and inconvenience and if possible book your car in for a service now. In winter, lots of garages offer discounted or even free ‘winter car checks’ so take advantage of some of these which may be local to you.

3. Battery check

Lights, heaters and blowers suffer from almost double the use in winter. Checking your battery should always be priority. If your car is having trouble when starting, get the battery checked out as soon as possible.

4. Check those Tyres

Your vehicles tyres are important for both braking and steering. It is essential to keep them in good condition. Despite the legal minimum of a 1.6mm depth, we advise that you stick to a minimum of 3mm during winter. This just helps improve the grip of your car on ice and snow.

5. Give your Windscreen a check

Before winter, give your windscreen a thorough check for any cracks and chips. During winter, water can seep into these cracks, freeze and then cause expansion. Getting anything repaired before this can happen can save lots of money.

6. Breakdown Kit

In case of emergency, we advise carrying a breakdown kit in your car during winter. This kit should include some of these essentials if not all:

  • Torch
  • Blanket
  • Shovel
  • Hi-vis vest
  • Food and water
  • De-icer and scraper
  • Phone charger/Power bank

7. Prepare!

If you know you need to be somewhere at a specific time, plan your journey ahead. Check for any road closures or delays and allow plenty of time for your journey. Being in a rush when the weather is bad increases your chances of being in a road car accident – so be prepared!

The low down on MOTs in 2020

mechanic undertaking an mot testDue to the coronavirus outbreak, drivers were granted a 6-month exemption from MOT testing in March. However, as restrictions were eased, all drivers whose car, motorcycle or van was due for an MOT test from 1 August were required to get a test certificate to continue driving their vehicle. This means that if your MOT test is due you SHOULD book it in for an MOT.

Drivers with an MOT due date before 1 August still receive a 6-month exemption from testing. However, all vehicles must continue to be properly maintained and kept in a roadworthy condition, and people are able to voluntarily get their MOT sooner should they wish, even if they are exempt from the legal requirement. It is important to remember that as a motorist you can be prosecuted for driving an unsafe vehicle.

While exemptions are still available for vehicle owners with an MOT due date before 1 August, it is vital that drivers still take their vehicle to be checked if they notice something is wrong in the same way that they usually would.

4 electric cars to watch out for in 2020/21

electric carHere are some highlights of the latest electric vehicles available to order now and in the near future.

BMW i4

BMW has recently been converting much of its luxury car range into plug-in hybrids. Until now though, its pure electric offerings have been limited to just the i3 hatchback, which has been with us for seven years. BMW is however readying an all-electric version of the popular X3 mid-size SUV and even more interestingly, there is a new zero-emissions four-door coupé model on the way, known as the i4. This will form a key part of an expanding range of all-elected BMW ‘i’ cars expected in the next few years.

Volvo XC40 Recharge
The first of 5 all-electric models to be introduced by Volvo in the next five years, the XC40 Recharge Pure Electric P8 is available to order now from £53,155.

Peugeot e-2008

The Peugeot 2008 benefits from a sharp new design, which is worlds away from its rather frumpy predecessor. The interior has been similarly uplifted, with sharp styling, better quality materials and the introduction of Peugeot’s i-Cockpit digital driver display, which was previously only available on the brand’s larger models.

Citroën E-C4

The electric version of the C4 the E-C4 bridges the gap between a family hatchback and full crossover. It follows the current Citroën design language of voluptuous lines and bold front-end styling.

Large Volume manufacturing of silicone hoses and aluminium pipes

custom hosesHere at Viper Performance we are able to create custom hoses using high quality products and manufacturing techniques. For high volume orders we are able to offer excellent discounts and very competitive prices in our market.  We have the capacity to produce large volumes of 100, to 100 000 pieces if required.

Custom Silicone Hoses

To create a new shape hose you will require the production of a new forming tool called a mandrel. Tool making costs are £40 an hour at cost plus materials. We are proud to say that we charge tooling to you at cost. The remainder of the cost will depend on the quantity of the hoses that you want.

Please remember that one off custom hoses are simply not a viable option. So if you are looking for a single hose for your personal car this is not a good option.

You can find out more about custom silicone hoses by clicking here.

Custom Aluminium Pipes

We are extremely competitive with aluminium fabricated pipes on volume and series as this is our speciality.  We get the best price out of our machines based on economy of scale and we only use the highest quality for our mandrel bends. To ensure future repeat orders are 100% identical time and time again we produce a JIG.

As with silicone hoses We cannot offer one off Aluminium Bespoke Fabrications due to the time and cost involved in purchasing materials, setting
up mandrels for bending the aluminium and making a JIG.

You can find out more about custom aluminium pipes by clicking here.

5 Car museums you can visit without leaving your house

  1. Porsche Museum

porscheEasily one of the best car museums in the world, and one on many enthusiasts’ bucket lists, the Porsche Museum in Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen, Germany, gathers the brand’s most iconic and influential sports cars, race cars, and one very important tractor in a stunningly designed building that’s an attraction in itself. The museum’s virtual tour lets you explore the masterfully displayed collection inside and take in all the architectural beauty outside.

  1. Mercedes-Benz Museum

mercedes benzMercedes’s museum has its own architecturally impressive building, as well as a massive car collection that’s presented in a dynamic and engaging way. Take the museum’s virtual tour here.  If you have a VR headset, Mercedes offers a number of 360-degree videos on its YouTube channel.

  1. Museo Lamborghini

The Lamborghini museum in Italy, offers a virtual tour via Google Street View. Virtually wandering through the halls may not cure coronavirus, but seeing all that glorious Italian sheet metal should help keep the quarantine blues at bay.

  1. Ferrari Museum

ferrariFerrari has two museums celebrating its work in Italy: one next to its factory in Maranello and another in Modena. Both can be accessed virtually through Google Street View—just be prepared to see a lot of red.

  1. Toyota Museum

Located in Nagakute, Japan, the Toyota Automobile Museum not only tells the story of the company founded by Kiichiro Toyoda in 1937, but of the automobile itself. As such, the museum doesn’t just showcase classic Toyotas. In fact, you’ll be treated to Bugattis, Alfa Romeos, Mercedes, Fords, and much more. If you’re hankering to see some vintage Japanese sheet metal, you’ll find plenty of that, too. Take the virtual tour here.