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With research indicating that nearly 9 out of 10 people in Britain see driving as a way to improve their mental wellbeing, SEAT has decided to test out an in-car mental health ‘SOS’ assistance feature.

The Spanish carmaker teamed up with suicide prevention charity CALM, (Campaign Against Living Miserably) and came up with a QR code that can be applied to the vanity mirror of new vehicles. The code then takes users to a specially-designed page on CALM’s website.

According to SEAT, 59% of UK adults have sought to improve their mental wellbeing by temporarily leaving their house, with nearly 90% of people saying that going for a drive is a good way to stay positive.

Read Also: SEAT Tarraco e-Hybrid PHEV Enters Production One Year After Being Shown

“With our longstanding mental health partner, CALM, we wanted to play a small part in helping people to quickly access support when they need it. The new ’SOS’ feature should make it that little bit easier to have someone to talk to, especially because so many people see the car as a place of refuge. It is definitely a case of ‘being silent isn’t being strong’, so we encourage people to speak to their friends and family or seek professional advice,” said SEAT UK managing director, Richard Harrison.

The research also found that 60% of respondents felt that being able to drive their cars during the pandemic (within government guidelines) had a positive impact on their mental health. Numbers show that women, more than men, found solace in driving their cars during the pandemic.

It was drivers between the ages of 18 and 24 however that got the most out of being able to drive during these trying times, with 76% of them claiming positive results.

SEAT is hoping to make this service a permanent feature in its vehicles if this initial trial run is a success.

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Kia has unveiled the Sportage JBL Black Edition crossover, available to order now in the UK with a starting price of £28,545 ($38,589).

The limited edition model’s name stems from its eight-speaker JBL premium audio system with subwoofer, external amplifier and front center speaker – all standard. Other highlights include gloss black exterior accents: grille surround and mesh, skid plates, headlights, fog lamps and roof rails.

Meanwhile, the metallic flashes across the front and down the side sills are also finished in gloss black, to go with the darkened Kia emblems front and rear, 17-inch black alloys, body-color door handles and gloss black lettering for the ‘Sportage’ nameplate.

Read Also: 2022 Kia Sportage – Two New Sizes, Powertrains, Looks And Everything Else We Know So Far

The Korean crossover is sold exclusively with a Phantom Black exterior, while the interior boasts black leather upholstery with a leather-trimmed steering wheel, gearshift and door armrests.

Speaking of the interior, standard equipment includes a 360-degree Around View Monitor, front and rear Parking Distance Warning sensors, panoramic sunroof, LED bi-function headlights and LED taillights. Also included is a Smart Entry System with engine start/stop button, heated front and outer rear seats, and a heated steering wheel.

The infotainment system comes with Kia’s latest 8.0-inch touchscreen display featuring UVO Connect ‘Phase II’ telematics and both Apple CarPlay as well as Android Auto. As for driver assistant systems, those include Lane Keeping Assist, High Beam Assist, Speed Limit Information Function, Driver Attention Warning, Trailer Stability Assist, Hill-Start Assist Control and Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist with pedestrian detection.

Sportage JBL Black Edition buyers can choose between a 174 HP (177 PS) 1.6-liter T-GDi gasoline unit, offered with either a six-speed manual or a seven-speed DCT automatic (£28,545 manual / £29,760 aut), and a 134 HP (136 PS) 1.6-liter CRDi diesel 48V mild-hybrid unit (£29,130 manual / £30,345 aut).

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If you’re still not a fan of racing sim video games, then cars like the new Jaguar Vision Gran Turismo SV might just talk you into buying a PlayStation only so you can try out Gran Turismo. The GT SV will be available exclusively within the game sometime next year.

Here are the (theoretical, since it’s only a virtual model) stats for this endurance racer: four electric motors producing 1,877 HP (1,903 PS) and 2,478 lb-ft (3,360 Nm) of torque, 0-60 mph in 1.65 seconds and a 255 mph (410 km/h) top speed.

The Jaguar Design team took last year’s Vision GT Coupe and put it through the ringer, while also taking into consideration gamer feedback from online videos and forums. The carmaker also used design references from the C-type, D-type, XJR-9 and the hardcore XJR-14.

Read: Jaguar Celebrates E-Type Anniversary With Limited Run F-Type Heritage 60 Edition

“Jaguars created for the race track and the road have always shared the same DNA – whether that’s the D-type and XKSS, or the I-PACE and the I-TYPE. So, when the design team behind the Vision GT Coupé were asked to create the ultimate electric gaming endurance racer for Gran Turismo, they worked with engineers from SV and Jaguar Racing to create something really special,” said Jaguar design director, Julian Thomson.

“The Vision GT SV is a dramatic and visually arresting car which showcases what’s possible when the traditional boundaries governing real-world car design are completely removed. In bringing this car to life with a full-size design study we’ve been able to showcase the most extreme version of an electric Jaguar race car that is inspired by the past but looks fearlessly to the future.”

Compared to the GT Coupe, the GT SV is longer by 33.9 inches (861 mm), featuring more downforce thanks to its new front splitter and new deployable rear wing (its most effective aero feature). In order to accelerate airflow, Jaguar went with a completely enclosed, sculpted underbody. The resulting drag coefficient is a staggering Cd 0.398, to go with 1,064 lbs (483 kg) of downforce at 200 mph (322 km/h).

“All the aerodynamic features have been painstakingly optimised through cutting-edge computational fluid dynamics analysis – in exactly the same way we do with real-world projects such as the Jaguar I-TYPE Formula E race cars,” said Jaguar SV aerodynamics senior engineer, Michael O’Regan.

“What I’m most proud of is how we’ve developed the GT SV into a credible electric race car with performance on a par with current endurance race cars – and in such a short space of time.”

As for the interior, it was designed specifically for racing, featuring sweeping surfaces that envelop the driver. The instruments meanwhile are all positioned within reach and the controls are said to be “perfectly weighted” with every component beautifully crafted from advanced lightweight materials such as Typefibre (used on the sculpted composite seats). By the way, Jaguar will test Typefibre in the I-TYPE Formula E car this upcoming season.

 

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