The Parts Alliance Introduces New Braking References

The Parts Alliance has recently added an array of new references into its brake friction and brake hydraulics ranges

Over 200 new part numbers including new brake pads, discs, shoes, drums, fitting kits, wear sensors and Electronic Parking Brake calipers are now being stocked by the distributer.

Many of the popular brands within its multi-brand braking programme have seen their ranges grow.   18 new brake discs and 7 new brake pads from Brembo have been added, including discs for the BMW 1 Series (2014 onwards), Jaguar XE and XF (2015 onwards), Land Rover Discovery (2012 onwards) and Porsche Panamera (2016 onwards).

Garages fitting Delphi also benefit with over 50 new brake fitting kits, more than 30 new pads and 17 new wear sensors being stocked. This includes pads for the BMW 5 series and X5 (2015 onwards), BMW 3 series (2018 onwards), Citroen Berlingo (2018 onwards), Hyundai i30 (2014 onwards), Kia Sportage (2015 onwards) and Mercedes Sprinter (2018 onwards). 

The Bendix range of calipers has also increased. Over 40 Electronic Parking Brake caliper references are now available, covering popular VAG vehicles, BMW 5 series including. Active Hybrid, Mercedes A-Class/B-Class/CLA series/GLA series, Ford Kuga/Mondeo, Land Rover Range Rover/Range Rover Sport, Nissan Qashqai, and many Renault, Citroen, Peugeot applications.

The Parts Alliance explain that the introduction of new references is an ongoing process, to ensure their customers are well positioned to service and repair newer models. “Our product teams are continually reviewing demand and work closely with our suppliers, such as Brembo and Delphi, to introduce new part numbers when they see requests for particular references growing,” explains Simon Moore, Head of Marketing.

The braking programme from The Parts Alliance provides a choice of brands to suit all budgets. Brembo with its extensive OE pedigree is stocked across the group, along with Delphi brakes, which are engineered to provide OE levels of performance. Two further OE matching quality brands, Bendix and DriveTec, are exclusively supplied by the distributer in the UK.

Throughout April, The Parts Alliance latest promotion, ‘Too Good To Share’ will see garages receive a snack bag packed with sweet goodies, with every brake caliper they buy. Inside each bag there’s chocolate bars, crisps, a packet of sweets and a soft drink – contents that will provide a timely energy boost and are ideal for consuming at break time.

Garages interested in finding out more about The Parts Alliance braking programme or the ‘Too Good To Share’ brake caliper promotion should contact their local branch.

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Maserati Bora turns 50

Some 564 cars built during production run between 1971 and 1978

Maserati celebrates the Bora, the first mid-mounted rear engine road car in the Brand’s history, just as the MC20 is the first mid-mounted rear engine vehicle in the new Era.

The wind of the Maserati Bora spans through 50 years of history, and reaches the dawn of a new phase for the Brand: all new models share the exclusiveness, sportiness and uniqueness that have always characterised the Modenese constructor, and Bora has also handed down its engine position, first introduced on the Tipo 63 (1961), initially reprised on the MC12, and now a key feature of the new MC20.

Exactly 50 years have passed since 11 March 1971, when the Geneva International Motor Show provided the backdrop for the debut of the Maserati Bora, which was produced until 1978 with 564 cars built, not to mention the spectacular Boomerang, a coupé prototype created by Giugiaro with futuristic engineering and wedge-shaped bodywork.

Following the trend that had already revolutionised Formula 1 racing cars over previous years, Maserati asked Giorgetto Giugiaro of Italdesign to come up with a mid-mounted rear engine sports car with enhanced performance, design, comfort and safety.

The engine was the tried and tested 4,700 cc V8 producing 310 horsepower at 6,000 rpm (to be joined by the 4,900 cc unit two years later), mounted lengthways on a subframe installed on the monocoque.

The car’s distinctive features included retractable headlights to prevent aerodynamic drag, projecting differential on the rear axle, independent suspensions on all wheels (for the first time in a Maserati), disc brakes, dry-mounted single disc clutch, 5-speed gearbox and telescopic suspension dampers.

The Bora combined comfort and performance and had a top speed of over 280 km/h, ensuring great driving pleasure thanks to the engine’s exceptionally agile response and the quiet interior.

While the car’s engineering design carried the name of Giulio Alfieri, the aerodynamics and styling were by Giorgetto Giugiaro, who created a two-seater coupé on simple, elegant lineswhich gave the Maserati Bora a balanced appearance.

The approach was futuristic, with a low, slender, almost tapered front styled to cut through the air, while the front grille included two rectangular air vents with a Trident in the centre.

The perfectly sleek sides were centrally divided by a thin black rubber trim, while the rear ended in a Kamm or truncated tail.

The result was a trend-setting, streamlined car perfect for the rock-and-roll spirit of the ‘70s, which is still delighting fans today.

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Ban on tyres over 10 years old to affect MOT testing stations

New legislation coming into force from February 2021 includes some MOT class 4 and 5 vehicles

New legislation to be introduced from 1 February 2021 which bans tyres over ten years old applies to some vehicles that fall into the MOT scheme, the DVSA has clarified.

The ban covers England, Scotland and Wales and will affect tyres fitted on the front axle of a goods vehicle with a maximum gross weight exceeding 3,500kg, a bus, coach or minibus.

However, it also applies to vehicles with more than eight passenger seats that are not used commercially and are tested in MOT classes 4 or 5.

The DVSA’s Chris Price said: “This means failures for tyres over 10 years old on the front axle of any vehicles with nine or more passenger seats, and any single wheels of a minibus – 9-16 passenger seats.

“These vehicles will also fail if they do not display a legible date code on in scope tyres.

“So, when testing you will need to check that each tyre displays a date of manufacture or re-treading date on the appropriate vehicle.”

An updated version of the MOT inspection manual, setting out the detail of what testers will need to look for, will go live in January.

The DVSA says the additional check will not add significant time to the test because tyre condition is already checked.

The Department for Transport first announced the ban in July 2020 following a consultation and extensive investigations which indicate ageing tyres suffer corrosion which could cause them to fail.

DVSA’s chief executive Gareth Llewellyn said: “This new landmark legislation will help to protect all road users against unsafe vehicles.

“Drivers, owners and operators are responsible for the safety of their vehicles, so we advise them to start checking the age of their tyres to ensure they’ll meet the new requirements.”

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Hyundai launches new fuel cell system brand

‘HTWO’ set to accelerate hydrogen development

Hyundai Motor Group has announced the launch of its new dedicated fuel cell system brand, ‘HTWO’.

Building upon Hyundai’s 20-plus years of experience in hydrogen fuel cell technology, the new brand will help facilitate Hyundai’s global fuel cell business and grow the hydrogen ecosystem.

Hyundai Motor Group is stepping up efforts for the development of a next-generation hydrogen fuel cell system that can be applied to various forms of mobility such as UAM, automobiles, vessels and trains.

Its next-generation fuel cell system will be available for many different mobility products and services and promises to deliver enhanced performance at an affordable price.

The group aims to offer a highly efficient and diversified lineup of hydrogen-powered vehicles.

Hyundai Motor Group has expanded its fuel cell system business, accelerating development of a hydrogen society and laying the foundation for the company’s HTWO brand, with initial focus on major hub regions – Korea, the United States, Europe and China.

Since marketing the world’s first mass-produced fuel cell electric vehicle ix35 in 2013, the group has been expanding its vehicle offerings powered by its fuel cell system such as Hyundai NEXO SUV, XCIENT Fuel Cell heavy-duty truck and a fuel cell electric bus, as zero-emission mobility solutions.

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Drivers planning 13M Christmas journeys

Millions plan to visit friends and family during ‘Christmas travel window’ but a fifth won’t due to COVID-19

Drivers are collectively planning in the region of 13m separate trips by car to see family and friends during the coronavirus ‘travel window’ between 23 and 27 December.

The research, which was conducted by RAC Breakdown, predicts the greatest number of individual trips – some 3.1m – are look likely to take place on the first day travel restrictions are eased in England, Scotland and Wales (Wednesday 23 December).

Christmas Eve and Christmas Day are predicted to see 2.8m and 2.5m trips respectively, around the same number as are traditionally planned for these days based on an analysis of RAC data over the last five years.

A further 2.1m expect to travel between 23 and 27 December but aren’t sure on which days yet.

The research, which was conducted after the UK Government announced that family and friends would be allowed to meet up in person over a limited number of days by forming a three-household bubble, also suggests that a fifth of drivers are not expecting to make any such journeys this year because of the virus.

The ‘coronavirus effect’ is most evident after Christmas Day when traffic is expected to tail off drastically – with drivers only planning an estimated 1.6m trips on Boxing Day, which is in stark contrast to previous years when there are usually 4.5m journeys.

On Sunday 27 December just 933,000 trips are planned.

RAC Breakdown spokesman Rod Dennis said: “The pandemic looks set to have a profound effect on drivers’ plans to see family and friends at Christmas time this year.

“Despite the loosening of restrictions to allow people to meet up as part of ‘festive bubbles’, our figures suggest many drivers aren’t keen – with a fifth saying the coronavirus is the reason why they’re not travelling.

“That’s not to say the roads will be empty over Christmas.

“Our research indicates millions of leisure journeys on major motorways and A-roads will still be taken, with 23 December being the focus of what will be a much less pronounced Christmas ‘getaway’ than we’ve grown to expect.

“An estimated 5.3m trips to see family and friends will take place on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day combined, roughly in line with other years – and we expect many of these to be more local journeys.”

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Drug driver didn’t realise state of car, police report

Civic issued prohibition notice to prevent it being driven until fixed

The driver of a Honda Civic was found to have drugs in his system after police tested him when he didn’t realise his car was unroadworthy.

North Yorkshire Police officers also issued a prohibition notice to prevent it being driven on a road until fixed.

TC Mark Patterson tweeted: “Driver tested positive on DrugWipeUK, which may explain why he thought his vehicle was roadworthy.”

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UK’s first Electric Forecourt opens in Essex

UK-wide network of over 100 Electric Forecourts powered by net zero carbon energy

The UK’s first Electric Forecourt has opened for business near Braintree, Essex, representing a major breakthrough for the UK’s electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure.

The site is the first of over 100 Electric Forecourts being built by GRIDSERVE over the next five years, providing people with the confidence that the UK will have the charging infrastructure required for mass EV adoption well ahead of the 2030 ban on petrol and diesel cars.

The company’s £1bn UK-wide programme aims to make EV driving an enjoyable, ultra-convenient and stress-free experience, while delivering net zero EV driving at a cost that’s lower than driving petrol or diesel vehicles.

Toddington Harper, founder and CEO of Gridserve, said: “It’s our collective responsibility to prevent greenhouse gas emissions rising further, and electric vehicles powered by clean energy represent a large part of the solution.

“However, charging has to be simple and free of anxiety, which is why we’ve designed our Electric Forecourts entirely around the needs of drivers, updating the traditional petrol station model for a net-zero carbon world and delivering the confidence people need to make the switch to electric transport today – a full decade ahead of the 2030 ban on petrol and diesel cars

“Together with our charging-included electric vehicle leasing business, that we are also launching today in partnership with Hitachi Capital (UK) PLC, people now have the full confidence to make the transition to an electric vehicle, knowing that charging is in-hand, and it’s actually less expensive to use an electric car than a petrol or diesel alternative.”

The Braintree Electric Forecourt, adjacent to Great Notley, just off the A131, enables 36 electric vehicles to be charged simultaneously, with high power chargers that can deliver up to 350 kW of charging power, enabling people to add 200 miles of range in 20 minutes, and much faster in the future as electric vehicle battery technologies mature.

Together with Gridserve, the project has been funded by Hitachi Capital (UK) PLC, Innovate UK and OZEV.

Transport Minister, Rachel Maclean, said: “As we accelerate towards cleaner and greener transport, I’m delighted to see the future of service stations being brought to life with the opening of the UK’s first all-electric forecourt.

“Government funding has helped make this dream a reality and with £2.8bn of support to encourage the uptake of zero emission vehicles, there has never been a better time to make the switch.”

The Electric Forecourt is part of Gridserve’s wider ‘sun-to-wheel’ infrastructure, built to deliver low cost, net zero carbon energy to every vehicle that uses one of it’s chargers.

Electricity is generated from both the solar power canopies above the chargers, and a network of hybrid solar farms, also operated by the firm.

The UK’s first subsidy-free solar farm in Clay Hill is paired with Braintree Electric Forecourt, providing 100 per cent renewable energy via the National Grid.

There is also a 6 MWh battery onsite which helps to balance the local energy grid and shift energy to periods when it is more valuable.

On windy winter nights the battery can store enough energy to drive 24,000 miles in electric vehicles the following day, helping to maximise the value of renewable energy resources, stabilise the grid, and keep prices low.

Drivers charging at the Electric Forecourt will initially pay just 24p per kWh of energy (including VAT), which is currently the lowest ultra-high power charging rates on the market today – meaning a typical charge from 20 to 80 per cent costs under £10 for an average-size electric vehicle on the market today.

To deliver additional flexibility Gridserve also have plans to introduce a tiered pricing structure in the future.

While vehicles charge, drivers can relax and shop in state-of-the-art facilities.

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Aston Martin to continue making combustion engines beyond 2030 ban

Pure ICE Aston Martins will continue to be made available after the UK’s ban on new petrol and diesel engines, brand’s chairman says

Aston Martin will continue to make cars powered solely by an internal combustion engine beyond 2030, its executive chairman Lawrence Stroll has said.

Speaking at the Financial Times Future of the Car Summit, he said there were “always going to be enthusiasts” who would want cars powered solely by internal combustion engines (ICE).

He added: “By 2030, five per cent of business will still always be ICE.

“I never see it going down to zero.”

The ban on sales of new petrol and diesel cars from 2030 would mean that new ICE Aston Martins sold after this date could not be driven on UK roads.

Mercedes-Benz has taken a major stake in Aston Martin as part of plans for the British brand to double its sales by 2025.

The agreement expands the existing relationship between the two firms and will include Aston Martin gaining access to Mercedes technology – including electric and hybrid powertrains for use in “product launches through to 2027.”

The first Aston Martin cars to feature technology from the deal are expected to be launched late next year.

Lawrence said: “Our current AMG engines are just that – AMG engines in an Aston.

“With this new deal, we will have bespoke AMG engines for Aston with different outputs, torque characteristics etc.

“They’ll still be AMG components but bespoke manufactured in Germany.”

Aston currently uses its own V12 engines made in the UK and has its own turbocharged 3.0-litre V6 – codenamed TM01 – in the pipeline for its mid-engined Vanquish supercar, which was announced earlier this year.

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Get equipped for the cold season with the new MANN-FILTER FreciousPlus

MANN+HUMMEL urge drivers to change their cabin filter as weather turns colder

The current situation with COVID-19 and the fact that airborne transmission is one of the main ways the coronavirus spreads once more highlight the importance of clean ambient air.

“Replacing the cabin air filter for the cold season is very important, because it filters harmful particles and viruses from the outside air taken into the vehicle,” says Jens Weine, Cabin Air Filter Product Manager at MANN-FILTER.

“The cabin air filter needs to deliver peak performance for a clear view and good air quality in the vehicle.

The manufacturer believes changing the cabin filter should be considered an automatic part of sensible winter car maintenance.

The FreciousPlus cabin air filter improves the air quality thanks to its different layers. In addition to coarse particles like dust and tire dust, it also filters viruses and deleterious particulate matter.

It virtually completely adsorbs unpleasant odors and harmful gases like nitrogen oxide and ozone from the airflow. An innovative biofunctional special coating has both an anti-allergen and antimicrobial effect and verifiably reduces the growth of microorganisms like mold or bacteria on the filter.

Like wearing a face covering, a cabin air filter provides cleaner air in the vehicle cabin and thus could be regarded as an additional protective measure according to MANN-FILTER.

You can read more here.

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November brings further decline for new car market

Market suffers £1.3 billion revenue hit with 42,840 fewer new cars joining British roads last month

The UK new car market again saw a decline last month as registrations in November fell 27.4 per cent year-on-year, according to the latest figures published by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

In a month when showrooms across England had to close due to new lockdown restrictions, the industry recorded 113,781 new registrations, taking trade back to levels last seen during the 2008 recession.

The decline was less severe than that seen during the first lockdown – when registrations fell by a record 97.3 per cent in April alone – largely because retailers and manufacturers were able to be better prepared to fulfil orders via delivery or click and collect.

Despite these innovations, private demand still fell by 32.2 per cent while registrations by large fleets saw a decline of 22.1 per cent.

More positively, market share for battery electric vehicles (BEVs) and plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEVs) continued to grow significantly, up 122.4 per cent and 76.9 per cent respectively.

BEVs recorded their third highest ever monthly share of registrations at 9.1 per cent, while PHEV share increased to 6.8 per cent – a combined total of more than 18,000 new zero-emission capable cars joining Britain’s roads.

Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive said: “Compared with the spring lockdown, manufacturers, dealers and consumers were all better prepared to adjust to constrained trading conditions.

“But with £1.3 billion worth of new car revenue lost in November alone, the importance of showroom trading to the UK economy is evident and we must ensure they remain open in any future Covid restrictions.

“More positively, with a vaccine now approved, the business and consumer confidence on which this sector depends can only improve, giving the industry more optimism for the turn of the year.”

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