May 2016

Rat race carries on amongst automakers and high-tech firms

I know that's been the topic I have been stalking you with for the past year, but honestly, that is the trend news happening in the automotive industry. It feels like a rat race against money; one that all automakers and giant high-tech firms are aiming for.

The first alliance or partnership formed in order to increase the speed of developments (in terms of connected car tech) sees Hyundai collaborating with Cisco, the large IT and networking equipment company. Initially, the focus will be on next-gen in-vehicle networks: optimizing the transmission and reception of data within the vehicle. With the help of this technology, not only will data be transmitted and received faster, but each subsystem inside the vehicle will ultimately communicate more efficiently. The two companies will also create a testing environment for vehicle simulation, while Hyundai will go on to invest in cloud, big data analytics and connected car security tech – increasing their budget for R&D.

Another alliance took place essentially with electric and hybrid motors. Siemens and Valeo launched a new venture to start manufacturing high voltage electric motors for both purely electric and hybrids cars. The new venture, set to become operational by late 2016, will have its headquarters in Germany and its facilities in France, Norway, Poland, Hungary and China. The new joint venture will develop, produce and sell not only electric motors, but hybrid drivetrain modules, range-extenders, DC/DC converters, inverters, chargers and eventually fully electric powertrains as well. The electric vehicle components' market is expected to grow at an annual rate of more than 20 percent until 2020, according to a statement by the two companies.

The third interesting story is about the big Apple firm. I know it's been a while since we've heard something remotely new about Apple's future vehicle, but the latest info suggests its development is ongoing. It says that Apple sources the best professionals in the business, such as the hiring of Tesla vice president of vehicle engineering and the former chief engineer of Aston Martin, to work exclusively on "special projects", or in other words, the "Apple car".

What's in our May issue? Some interesting stuff as you will see.
We covered the New York Auto Show. Check out the best launches and debuts. An amazing road trip from Los Angeles to Las Vegas on board the all-new 2016 Chevy Camaro ended up being our cover story. It coincides with the arrival of the sixth generation Camaro in the Middle East and GCC markets.

In our Regional Drives section, Hisham drove both the 2016 Porsche 911 Carrera and Boxster 718 on Yas Marina circuit in Abu Dhabi. In our Editors' Choice section, Ershad drove both the Audi RS7 and the new Honda Civic in Dubai. I personally drove both the 2016 Hyundai Tucson and Mazda MX-5 back in Beirut. Khaled flew to Utah, and more specifically to Moab, to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the legendary Jeep. David drove the Honda Africa Twin motorcycle in muddy terrain! We covered the only, and most decent, Custom Show Emirates in Abu Dhabi. Some of these nice and modified vehicles have to be seen and cannot be missed.

Ramadan starts next month in June, ten days earlier than last year, so it is going to be a quiet month in our region. Stay connected on arabwheels.net to read our reviews and to watch our videos on arabwheels.tv. You can always reach us on our social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube channel).

- Issam Eid, Editor-in- Chief

Cover Story: 2016 Chevrolet Camaro

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