Welcome to another edition of Fast News Friday, brought to you by the team here at Foxtrot Papa. This week, hear the inside info on BMW’s new body colour changing concept car, the iX Flow. In other stories, Toyota has revealed plans to remanufacture cars after the first lifecycle and we discover how Tesla managed to weather recent supply chain issues.
Making all the headlines at CES Las Vegas this week, BMW has been showcasing its latest iX model complete with colour changing bodywork. The concept car, called the BMW iX Flow, uses electronic ink technology normally found in e-readers (such as Amazon’s Kindle) to transform the car’s exterior into a variety of patterns in gray and white. “This is really energy efficient colour change using the technology E Ink,” said BMW research engineer Stella Clarke. “So we took this material – it’s kind of a thick paper – and our challenge was to get this on a 3D object like our cars.” When stimulated by electrical signals controlled by a phone app, the material brings different pigments to the surface, causing the car to take on a different shade or design, such as racing stripes. Check out this BMW Blog video for the full run down on the tech.
Toyota has announced that it is to begin comprehensively refreshing ex-customer cars at its UK manufacturing facility as part of a clever sustainability drive to add value to vehicles throughout their life cycles. Agustín Martín, president and managing director of Toyota GB, provided first details of a new process that Toyota will implement as part of its new fleet-focused mobility sub-brand, Kinto. He told Autocar: “We need to stretch the way we look at life for both the vehicle and the customer. I think we’re very familiar with the usual two- to three-year cycles that are extremely popular in the UK, but we need to go beyond that two- to three-year cycle and say: ‘Okay, what happens in that second cycle and in the third cycle?’”
The Tesla Model 3 was the UK’s second best selling car in 2021 – indeed the car has had a profound impact on the compact executive car market in Britain. Although the market has been distorted by the global shortage in microchips, Tesla’s popularity is rendered more remarkable by the disappearance from the top ten of the £16,000 Ford Fiesta, the UK’s most-in-demand car for the past two decades. On a global scale, Tesla boosted its deliveries by 87 percent to a record high in 2021, pushing up its shares 13.5 percent on Monday. So how did Tesla manage to continue its dominance and navigate the recent supply chain challenges? Hit the link to find out.