"Century-old automobile giants are racing with each other in new-generation car technologies. So now is the right time for the Turkish automobile," Rifat Hisarciklioglu, chairman of the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges, an organization involved in the project, told Hurriyet. "We will work very hard for three or four months to analyze the alternative technologies and funding options."
The Workhorse N-Gen sounds at first description like a Hollywood spy-movie cliché: a near silent electric powertrain within a white van with a rather frumpy, nondescript exterior—and a little drone aircraft deployed from the roof to make the final move to the target. Its reason for being is much more pragmatic, however; it’s the latest in a growing line of delivery vehicles from Workhorse of Ohio, positioned for the greening of corporate fleets while keeping ownership costs extremely low. The N-Gen is designed to replace a generation of small delivery vans powered by gasoline and diesel engines. Although final specs aren’t out yet, it’s expected to weigh hundreds of pounds less than those older vans, thanks to a lightweight composite body. Electric motors will provide about 100 miles of plug-in power, while a small onboard gasoline-fired range-extending engine will add another 75 miles of range. Workhorse claims up to 65 miles per gallon equivalent (MPGe) for the N-Gen. Although Workhorse has been teasing its W-15 range-extended electric pickup (pictured below), which we briefly drove earlier this year, for much longer, it’s the N-Gen that will reach the market first; production will start in the first quarter of next year. “It’s coming out first because regulatory-wise it’s just easier,” explained CEO Stephen Burns, explaining that it’s closely related to the vehicle that’s a finalist in the United States Postal Service Next Generation Delivery Vehicles (NGDV) vetting process. Workhorse, in conjunction with truck outfitter VT Hackney, delivered its six prototype vehicles on time in September for evaluation. The USPS is expected to announce around March 1 what company gets the contract to build up to 180,000 vehicles over a time period of up to seven years.
My goal for the weekend was the Sierra Nevada mountain town of Bishop, California, or just north of Bishop. I was delivering a spare engine to a friend. I’ll take any excuse to do a weekend adventure. The engine was a Lancia V4 (the engine I was delivering, not the engine in the Thor). It (the Lancia engine) had been rebuilt by the experts at Alfa Italia in Burbank and they wanted it out of there. I and several friends wrestled the engine up the Thor Vegas’ steps, rested it on a couple sheets of plywood, wrapped it in cardboard and tied it into place securely. With that I turned north.
“WRC 7” has three game modes: solo, which includes the career mode, multiplayer and challenge, where new online events appear. I jumped into career mode with the Ford team and promptly finished seventh out of 10. That was with a bunch of respawns, which put you back on the track no matter where you’re at, with a seven- or nine-second penalty, depending on if you get stuck on a tree, or if the game senses you’ve committed suicide off a cliff. A respawn is better than the alternative.
Currently drives: BMW 1 Series
Antifreeze, as its name suggests, stops the water in the engine’s cooling system from freezing. To test the effectiveness of your antifreeze, an antifreeze tester is available for about £5. To use it, unscrew the coolant reservoir cap under the bonnet (ensuring the engine is cold first), lower the tube into the coolant and squeeze the rubber bulb on the end to suck some antifreeze inside the tester.
Workhorse hasn’t yet said much about the HorseFly drone that comes with the N-Gen, but it’s a model that the company engineered in-house. It will deploy from the vehicle and will be software linked, so that it might be able to take a small package to a nearby cul-de-sac, for instance, while a larger one is being delivered. This isn’t the only company vying for the last-mile delivery business and its electric future. One particularly well-funded effort is Chanje, a startup that has managed to recruit former executives from Volkswagen, Tesla, and one earlier fleet-focused company, Smith Electric Vehicles. And a Hybrid Helicopter for Two Workhorse also has a larger, manned aircraft under development. The unique eight-blade SureFly Octocopter, which the company revealed at the Paris Air Show this summer, can hold the pilot plus one other occupant. It’s also an electrified product, but with power sources prioritized the opposite way compared to its trucks; there, a gasoline engine provides power to the electrically driven prop system, and twin battery packs serve as a five-minute power backup, allowing the pilot enough time to land if they run out of fuel or the engine fails.
Aside from the transmission, the Accord delivers an unsullied ribbon of wholesome automotive delight. The steering is informative but light enough that it can be operated with fingertips. The interior is roomy, the seats in the EX-L model out-comfort those in some hoity-toity pretenders, and the whole thing is quiet at speed thanks to excellent air management around the car’s skin.
"Le Mans is agreed," a source close to Toyota told the BBC. "The rest of the season is still being negotiated, but it looks like he will do most of the races."