Drive Wire: April 19, 2016
Range Rover upgrades, wireless car charging, a stolen Ferrari, an easy treehouse, and fighting bulldozers.
Hey guys, it’s Marisa Hunter and this is Drive Wire for Tuesday, April 19.
News from Land Rover as the Range Rover SVR appears to be getting an update. According to reports, the SVR will jump 25 horsepower to an impressive 575 horsepower thanks to a supercharged 5.0 liter V8 found in Jaguar’s hottest F-type. Since it’s still heavily camouflaged, we can’t tell much about the looks except the inevitable vents added to the front end, but we don’t expect much difference in its classic shape. We love the SVR for its ability to go fast on any surface, and giving it more power of course means more love from us. Expect this version to debut for the 2017 model year.
A new wireless charging system is chipping away at the range anxiety holding back electric vehicles. This is a 20 kilowatt system with a claimed 90 percent efficiency – that’s a third the speed of a wired charging system, so not outrageously fast but that efficiency level is insane. Its makers claim that an average EV could get 30 miles worth of juice while simply parked for the length of a grocery shopping trip. And its makers are the people at Oak Ridge National Labs, so you know they’re good. This is definitely a big step forward for electric vehicles and it’ll be interesting to see how this works outside of the lab.
Good news from – of all places- the US Customs Department. Usually car folks think of customs as the people who crush collectible imports and keep cool cars out of our country, but this week they helped keep one in. Agents seized a 1981 Ferrari 308 GTSi that was stolen 28 years ago after spotting something fishy about its VIN number. Good catch, agents! The Ferrari has been restored to its grateful owner – the insurance company that paid off the claim in the Eighties. But that’s okay. Expect it to be up for auction soon - low miles, cool history, ran when confiscated.
Turning to gear, we have the inevitable evolution of the hammock – the Tentsile Tree Tent. The Stingray is a three-person suspended sleeping solution and the best way we can think of to Ewok it up in a National Park. The description says you’re up above moisture and snakes, but c’mon – you’re in a portable treehouse. That doesn’t need justification. Gone are the days of waking up with a soaking sleeping bag. Get yours at tentsile.com.
The coolest things don’t need justification at all, which is why today’s ridiculous video is six bulldozers fighting in China. Looking like something out of a low rent version of a Michael Bay film, millions of dollars worth of machinery are getting destroyed in a hydraulic battle of the ages. We don’t know how to explain what’s going on. All we know is this is the weirdest video we’ve ever seen.