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近期 Toyota 被外媒發現有新商標註冊的蹤跡,如果沒有意外,應該就是更大尺寸的休旅車準備推出。

Highlander 是 7 人座 SUV,還可選配達 8 人座。

這個商標註冊的痕跡,被外媒發現在美國專利及商標局(USPTO)網站裡,註冊名稱為 Grand Highlander,一般推論可能是原先 7 人座 Highlander 的加長版,能提供更寬敞的乘坐空間。

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在美國專利及商標局網站,出現 Grand Highlander 的商標註冊。(圖片來源:擷取自USPTO)

Highlander 是 RAV4 之上的 7 人座 SUV 休旅,在美國及歐洲有販售,在去年推出大改款車型,有 3.5 升 V6 及 2.5 升 Hybrid 油電動力兩種選擇。

為了能提供 7-8 人乘坐,Highlander 車長來到 4950mm,軸距也來到 2850mm,第二排可以前後滑移 180mm,行李箱空間從 658L 可提升到二三排座椅放倒的 1909L。 

在 7 人座情況下,具備後座第一排前後滑移功能。

高階設定的 Highlander,具備雙色內裝、加熱與通風座椅及全景天窗等配備。

不過或許這樣的空間表現,對美國人而言或許還不夠滿意,因此才出現了 Grand Highlander 這商標,更寬敞的車內乘坐空間,相信會是 Grand Highlander 最主要賣點。

目前 Toyota 尚未針對 Grand Highlander 該註冊商標有任何回應,但預料不久之後,應就會有偽裝車的身影出現。 

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Unveiled three and a half years ago, the fourth generation Audi A8 is getting ready for its mid-life cycle refresh.

Two prototypes of Audi‘s flagship sedan were spied testing in Germany, and even if they look pretty much the same, our spy photographers said that the one wearing the ‘HN VW 692’ license plates was actually the plug-in hybrid version.

Comparison: 2021 Mercedes S-Class Vs. BMW 7-Series Vs. Audi A8 – Which German Flagship Saloon Gets Your Vote?

In terms of styling, we can see that the headlamps have different graphics, similar to the ones on the new A3, though it’s worth noting that while the PHEV had the regular lighting units at the front, the ICE-powered variant was equipped with the Matrix LED clusters. The grille has a slightly different shape as well, the front bumper is also new and sports larger creases on each side, and we could expect tweaked side skirts, rear bumper and probably redesigned taillights, even if on the test cars they look virtually identical to the current iteration .

The overall design of the cockpit should remain largely the same, with the two screens, one for the infotainment system and the other one for controlling the HVAC, sitting in the middle of the dashboard, as well as a third one for the digital instrument gauges. However, they might feature more modern software, which, alongside upholstery and trim revisions, should round out the changes inside.

It’s still too early to speak about the engine family, though, if anything, expect improved fuel consumption and lower carbon dioxide emissions. The plug-in hybrid model might also get a new battery that will help it get a longer all-electric range. The current A8 TFSI e offers 17 miles (27 km) of electric driving, can hit 60 mph (96 km/h) in 4.9 seconds and uses a turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 and an electric motor integrated into the torque converter of the eight-speed automatic gearbox, for a total output of 443 HP (449 PS / 330 kW) and 516 lb-ft (699 Nm) of torque.

The facelifted A8 is expected to debut later this year as a 2022 model.

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Photo Credits: CarPix for CarScoops

It’s no secret that smartphones collect a ton of data about their owners, but cars are also a treasure trove of information.

When you think about it, they can store everything from phones calls and text messages to where you’ve travelled. However, that’s just scratching the surface as some vehicles collect far more data.

In a case highlighted by NBC News, a mechanic from Michigan was mysterious murdered in 2017 and two years passed without any arrests. With the case effectively cold, detectives embraced digital vehicle forensics to examine the victim’s Chevrolet Silverado which was stolen around the same time as the killing.

Also Read: Is Your Car Spying On You?

As part of their investigation, police uncovered “time-stamped recordings of someone else’s voice using the hands-free system to play Eminem on the radio.” Authorities let the victim’s family listen to the recordings and they were able to identify the person as Joshua Wessel, who used to “tinker on cars and motorcycles” with the victim. With the name of the alleged killer, police were able to reconstruct the final hours before the killing and arrest Wessel, who has pleaded not guilty.

While that’s just one of example of the obscure data that vehicles collect, the publication also notes they store an assortment of other information including speed and acceleration as well as when doors are opened and closed. They can also store voice commands, seat belt usage and details such as “when and where the lights were switched on.”

This has made vehicles appealing for law enforcement as they can show where a person was traveling, how fast they were going and if they had any accomplices thanks to door and seatbelt sensors. While this information can help bring criminals to justice, there are major privacy and stalking concerns.

Since infotainment systems aren’t typically ‘locked’ with a passcode or fingerprint, police can access them more readily. As NBC News noted, “law enforcement officials can sometimes extract incriminating text messages, calls or files from an automobile far more easily than they could from a suspect’s cellphone.”

The field of digital vehicle forensics is also becoming more mainstream as tools to access vehicle information have become more robust. In particular, the publication noted Berla Corp launched their tool in 2013 with access to 80 models and that has now expanded to more than 14,000 models.

Police also using vehicle information in more cases than in the past. In Michigan, there are four State Police offices that “routinely” conduct these types of investigations even for “smaller, everyday felonies.”

The whole article is worth a read and NBC News pointed out Berla founder Ben LeMere revealed in a podcast, “People rent cars and go do things with them and don’t even think about the places they are going and what the car records. Most of them aren’t doing anything wrong, but it’s pretty funny to see the hookers and blow request text messages and answers.” Maybe keep that in mind before your next trip to Miami.