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i-s last won the day on March 19

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About i-s

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  1. Just a word of caution. The paint on the 4GS isn't the toughest out there - Claying is a good thing to do, but be aware that on the GS it WILL leave marring (regardless of soft/hard, lubrication, etc - this is the nature of clay, it is an abrasive process). A couple of weeks ago I clayed our GS followed by a machine polish. If you're not going to polish the car afterwards then I'd recommend just using Iron-X (or similar) and Tar remover (or try carpro TriX as a both-at-once product) to clear the contamination without introducing marring.
  2. Yes. In fact, even 0g/km vehicles (ie EVs) over £40k attract the "luxury tax" of £310 per year for 5 years. Tesla in particular are affected by this. When the Tesla 3 arrives here later this year they need to be sure that the standard range model is offered at under £40k. With 2020 company car BIK rates then it will destroy the 3 series (because a 20% taxpayer would pay £1800 per year BIK tax for a 318d compared to about £150 for a Tesla 3. Those numbers double for a 40% taxpayer - who wants to pay over £300 per month tax for a slower diesel BMW?).
  3. Hello from a fellow Leaf owner! Welcome. By the way, pics are obligatory.
  4. Personally I feel that sequential indicators are a good thing, if implemented properly - for example, if hazards come on bright then fade away but turn signals sweep then they convey more information than by colour alone. This would also help in the circumstance where three cars are parked on double yellow lines - does the middle one have its hazards on or a turn signal and is trying to pull out? In terms of peripheral vision, I have very poor colour vision in my periphery (everyone does to some extent due to rods/cones on the retina, but from what i can gauge mine is worse than most), and if I am in a queue of traffic with a lane of cars to my right such that a car's rear lights are in my peripheral vision through my side window then I can not tell the difference between a brake light and and indicator without looking across - I perceive that the light comes on, but I can not perceive what it is - dynamic indicator provides a differentiation. Anyway, back to the OP's actual question. I have, in the line of my work, disassembled a few dynamic turn-signal light clusters. On the Audi Q7 cluster it's trivial to enable/disable the dynamic turn signal (and audi charge £300 extra to enable it) - it's simply one of the 6 pins on the connector. However, on the PSA DS7 rear cluster it is totally baked-in - there's no way to disable it without delving deep into the electronics inside the sealed cluster (ie cut into the plastics and the resulting lack of sealing after that... bad news). The OEM (magnetti marelli) is the same in both of those cases. Hard to know how the Lexus clusters are implemented and I don't know who the OEM is (but likely Denso, Stanley or Mitsubishi). I'd say there's a pretty good possibilty that there is an easy way to defeat the dynamic indicator in any Lexus model because the US is their biggest market and the US forbids dynamic indicator (sort of - we're all familiar with it on the likes of Mustangs and it was all the rage on american cars in the 70s. However, the way that the US regulates it requires that each element that lights up in turn must have a minimum area that is pretty big - each one of the big 3-segment tail/brake/indicator segments on the mustang is big enough, but each step of an audi or Lexus dynamic indicator is not big enough. Not a problem for the DS7 cluster mentioned above as PSA have no presence in north america). It might be as simple as pulling a wire out of a connector, but how willing are you to risk damage to your vehicle/light clusters should something go wrong during the experimentation/implementation?
  5. We had Crossclimate+ on our V70, and I have them on my Nissan Leaf also. They are a SUPERB tyre. They are supremely quiet, extraordinary in the wet and capable in the snow with a good ride compliance. Wear life is excellent. Downsides? The wet weather performance comes at a rolling resistance cost - slight in the dry, but significant in the wet (and really noticeable as a range impact on the Leaf) - expect to lose a bit on mpg in the wet. They occasionally "sing" when they hit a particular type of road surface, make a peculiar "squirming" or "rustling" noise in dry/hot conditions (but you'll only notice with windows open) and have a slightly unpredictable side-slip behaviour (noticeable in wet/snow on significant cambers (meaning about 20-30% camber) at very low speed. If you are a Costco member then there are often deals on sets of crossclimates there - I got £60 off the set for my Leaf. Other manufacturers are starting to catch up, with strong offerings now from Continental (Allseasoncontact) and Bridgestone (A005). However, the Crossclimate remains a superbly strong choice. Our GS450h will be getting a set when the current tyres wear down (but it came on a brand-new set of P Zero Nero GT, so not binning them!).
  6. Your car is after the HUD update so it might have the slightly newer SatNav system that uses a microSD card for update, rather than USB. The switchover is sometime in 2014, so it's worth a check. In your car, look at the centre console - look at the mark levinson logo below the CD slot. If the maps update through microSD then that logo is actually on a little flap that flips up to reveal the microSD slot. Check on that and if it is microSD then I can send you a link to the correct mSD to buy (ie that worked for ours).
  7. Yes. The rear steer and variable ratio (ie change of number of turns lock-to-lock) are indeed F sport only options (in the uk). However, our car increases the steering weight in sport+ mode (ie the effort required to turn the wheel). It does not alter the ratio.
  8. Others have answered already, but we have a 2015 (pre-facelift) with all 3 options so can maybe provide a little more info on top of what everyone else has accurately given you. We bought ours used in december, and it is on a 15 plate. We believe that this car (2015 premier with all options) is so rare that we have determined it to be a unicorn: Indeed, a rare option. You're looking for something called "PCS" in the spec (Pre Collision System) which gave the car the radar, ACC, driver monitor system, Lane Keep, etc. The most obvious physical signs that this system is fitted are the driver monitor module that sits on top of the steering column and the additional buttons on the steering wheel for LKA and radar distance. If you look at the interior picture I posted in the thread I linked above, you can see the driver monitor module. The red car that you mention doesn't have it (assuming that you're talking about YA64 FNX). I'm not sure if it's a model year difference to what Shahpor's car does, but our Premier does the following: Sport - Changed throttle map. Sport+ - Same throttle map as sport, damping stiffened, steering weight increased I agree that the GS450h doesn't feel particularly quick. In fact, our 2011 Volvo V70 D5 Polestar (225bhp 5-cylinder twin-turbo diesel) felt like it had more "kick". However, I think it's a matter of perception. I do believe that peak accelerations on the Volvo were greater (with 470Nm of torque, that wouldn't be entirely surprising), but I suspect much of it was psychological - the Volvo's performance was delivered in that typically diesel manner of a big slug of torque that tried to snap your head off (and the front wheels from the ground), accompanied by harsh gearshifts and a whole bunch of noise. I suspect the fact that the GS450h does everything with such smoothness and linearity and quietly means that the lack of drama is mistaken for being slow. It's more a case of you won't realise the speeds you're doing. However, I'm also used to the instantaneous nature of driving electric. See my fuelly sig below - click on it to get more data. We are averaging at this point 37mpg overall. Motorway cruising at 75-80mph indicated returns around 40mpg, and small amounts of stop-start driving don't particularly change that. Overall it is competitive against our previous Volvo V70 D5 diesel (38.6mpg). Obviously it depends on your driving style, your exact route, etc, but I think I'd expect mid 30s. In effect, the small-screen and big-screen options are the same size in pre-facelift cars. The map is the same size and shape on both, just on the big screen you get the secondary information pane. I have to say I don't find it all that useful, since to actually do anything useful (eg browse to a different artist) you have to pull the secondary pane into the main pane and do what you want. There IS a change to sat-nav in the pre-facelift cars, however! 2012-2014 (and by the looks of it, YA64 FNX is the OLD system) used the USB port in the centre console to update the sat-nav maps. Those vehicles also have a little display of the bluetooth status at the very top-right of the screen (looking like a 4th tab in the secondary display). Our 2015 vehicle has a microSD slot for the maps, hidden under a little flap that has the Mark Levinson logo on it for the audio system, just below the CD slot. We purchased a new SD card off ebay that successfully updated it to the latest mapping (a notable change in our area was that it now has the new A556 - the original 2014 maps had the old A556). I doubt that there will ever be a software update that brings pre-facelift up to full screen maps like facelift cars - I suspect that the hardware underlying the system is different, and no car manufacturer (other than Tesla) bothers updating software of cars that are more than 2-3 years old. As a general note about the firing up of the ICE - it does do it more than you might expect, especially when the engine is cold. However, I'm coming at it from the point of view of my daily drive commuter car being a Nissan Leaf, so I'd love if it was permanently fully electric (and in a few years time I might convert it - it would actually be a relatively easy vehicle to convert, as it already has ~150kW of electric motors). Once it is warmed up, however, it will kill the engine quickly in stop-start traffic and actually the MPG tends to go up in those circumstances, relative to motorway cruising. The nature of the lexus hybrid system means that stop-start is FAR less annoying than other ICE vehicles, as there's no engine-start lag to pull away, and the use of MG1 as a "starter" means that instead of the usual ICE crank-crank-crank VROOM start, the ICE of the lexus just goes from not running to instantly running at a fast idle (~1000rpm) with nothing in between. Note that the hybrid idles fast because if it needs to idle then it uses the engine to do something useful (ie charge the hybrid battery), and it can do so more efficiently and cleanly at 1000rpm than at 600rpm. If it doesn't need to idle then it doesn't. Never apologise for asking sensible questions!
  9. Works for us - at Touchdown cafe or at the wellesbourne market on the airfield?
  10. Touchdown looks good to me as a backup plan. See you all next weekend.
  11. Can we have a backup plan in case of not being able to get in at the target venue?
  12. i-s

    New review

    Prices have gone silly lately, but it wasn't always so - A friend of mine bought his 63 plate Leaf Acenta off the forecourt, brand new, for £15k. I bought my 15 plate Leaf Tekna at 2 and a bit years old with 13k on the clock for £11k in November '17. Now, with 23k on the clock it's worth..... £11k. The new Leaf doesn't look like an EV - it looks like a bigger micra. The Kona and Niro electrics are not distinguishable for most people. The Zoe doesn't scream EV (and actually is a nice looking little car). There was a tendency to weird (Leafs like mine and the i3) where they did look weird but I think manufacturers are giving up on that. The VW Neo will be one to watch, as they're targeting a £22500 price point. However, it will look different to ICE cars because they're making use of the benefits of EV packaging - it will occupy similar space on the road to a Golf but offer a cabin and load space more akin to a Passat. This will become an industry wide trend - pushing the wheels out to the corners, longer wheelbases and a more "monospace" profile - the descendents of the Renault Avantime, Audi A2 and original Mercedes A-class.
  13. i-s

    New review

    A very good and sensible post for someone who (I assume) doesn't have an EV (I mean by this that you've not fallen for the "but charging is rubbish" crap spouted by many, and have an accurate view of the situation). You're right with what you say. The situation is rapidly improving but sadly an app is regarded by the government as acceptable provision of "ad hoc" use - the ideal is contactless payment of course. Tesla and proprietary however.... not so much. That is true in so much as no other vehicles can use the Supercharger network (despite it being open for them to do so and Tesla making the patents available to all for free), but remember that Tesla vehicles can use other chargers - either through an adapter (for Chademo and a forthcoming CCS adapter for Model S and X) or natively in the case of the Model 3 - it can use CCS. In other words, the model 3 can use not only CCS networks (rapidly growing in mainland europe, particularly the likes of Ionity and Fastned) (and CCS are the ONLY chargers that can be used by various competitor vehicles, like Polestar 2, I-Pace, E-tron, etc) but it can also use the Supercharger network (where superchargers have been upgraded to dual-head). However, the real truth is that the overwhelming majority of people don't drive hundreds of miles in a day with any regularity. The average mileage per year has now dropped to just over 7000 miles (7134 in 2017). If that takes place entirely within the working week (ie the car doesn't get used at weekends - obviously not realistic) then over 260 working days a year the car averages less than 27 miles per day. Many 2 car families would be perfectly well served with an EV as the second car - and that's exactly where we are, with the Leaf and the GS450h.
  14. i-s

    New review

    Yup. VAG's MEB development is very promising - they're doing a LOT of things right with it, and I'm seriously considering putting a deposit down for a Neo to replace my Leaf. In 2018 as a whole Lexus sold 76188 vehicles across the whole of europe. That's across 8 models (CT, IS, GS, LS, NX, RX, RC and LC). In 2019 Tesla will come very close to Lexus, if not in fact exceed their sales in Europe, and do so across only 3 models (S, 3, X). Q1 deliveries to europe for Tesla are heading north of 20k. If Tesla overtake Lexus this year, despite not offering the same level of quality, craftsmanship, fit and finish, range of models (especially lacking in the popular compact crossover space), etc then there's got to be a very serious message there for Lexus. Yup Yup. People are WAY too hung up on the range issue. I've done a 150 mile journey in my 80-mile range Leaf with a grand total of 21 minutes of charging stops (of which I'd have spent 10 minutes stopped in an ICE vehicle anyway for comfort and coffee). In everyday use of the Leaf (driving to work, driving home, going to the shops, etc) then it's simply a non-issue. Now that genuine 300 mile range cars are here (Kona EV, e-Niro, etc) then it's simply not a real problem. I've said before, the GS will probably be our last ICE. In fact, it strongly lends itself to an EV conversion since it's already got the drivetrain (and someone in the USA used a GS450h transmission to convert a BMW 330Ci to EV). Simply strip out the ICE and fuel system, add a Li-Ion battery pack and a bit of a controller and done. The GS drive is much more EV-like than other ICE vehicles, but still just doesn't match the instantaneous nature of an EV. I've driven a Model S 75D, and it has a very similar road-feel to the GS - very planted, solid, firm but not unrefined. The GS is distinctly superior in perceived quality, seat comfort and noise supression (road noise, wind noise). The Model S is WAY ahead in drivetrain performance, responsiveness and refinement. An EV GS would be epic.