The fast-paced automotive sector is changing like never before.  The climate-change magnifying glass is firmly focussed on cars, with legislative changes and customer pressure driving manufacturers to accelerate their development of greener drivetrains and more environmentally friendly production.

The automotive industry is changing quickly and whilst the traditional business model of producing and selling cars remains, it will soon be a whole new world. The combination of environmental concerns and changing consumer behaviours, unforeseen disruptions such as the pandemic and lockdowns, semiconductor shortages and a European war, as well as the increasing pace of technological advancement, mean the auto industry has never had to cope with so much or innovate so quickly. These challenges have dramatically accelerated change in the automotive industry and businesses are moving at pace to embrace new technologies and ways of working faster than ever seen before to remain competitive.

The development of electric vehicles is creating new areas for competition between OEMs, but also now between Tier 1 suppliers more than ever before. Battery technology is at the forefront of this, and is driving interesting new collaborations between automotive OEMs and battery suppliers.  Rapid advances are also being made in fast-charging technology, and the development of new supporting infrastructure.

The prospect of fully autonomous vehicles in the future, and the reality of sophisticated Advanced Driver-Assistance Systems (ADAS) being used now, is putting an increased importance on data transmission and data security. And the steady shift towards electric and autonomous vehicles opens up a whole host of exciting opportunities in terms of the fundamental design of vehicles, facilitating the introduction of new materials and rewriting the rule book in terms of vehicle layout. With new materials, comes the possibility of increasing the green credentials of vehicles still further through weight reduction, and new challenges in terms of recycling at the end of a vehicle’s life. 

These are challenging and exciting times for the automotive industry, and innovation is underpinning its development.

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Automotive Report Front Cover

Special Report: The Future of Automotive

Find out about the latest key topics and challenges the automotive industry is facing and how innovative businesses are adapting as a result.

From how cities are adapting to the electric vehicle revolution and the role of autonomous vehicles, to data security issues in the world of connected cars.

We also discuss some of the manufacturing challenges working towards a greener automotive future brings, such as how composites can accelerate this change, sustainable rubber for green tyres, and the challenges of electric charging and how these interesting areas are growing and innovating.

We’re also excited to talk about our relationship with McMurtry Automotive, the makers of the amazing Spéirling - one of the fastest electric cars in the world! 

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Elizabeth with Sperling Car

Interview with McMurtry Automotive

Elizabeth Maclennan talks to Forward Magazine about the Spéirling, IP and being a woman in motorsport

One glance and everyone wants to ask the same question. How fast does it go?  The McMurtry Spéirling looks like the Batmobile, rippling in carbon fibre. So does it live up to the hype?

“We’ve been testing at the Silverstone grand prix circuit with Max Chilton, who raced in Formula One,” reveals Elizabeth Maclennan, project manager at McMurtry Automotive. “On days that aren’t even our strongest we are already overtaking established combustion races cars.”

However you spin it, that’s eye-watering. The Spéirling is so fast that even Max Chilton is having to re-calculate some of his driving style. And it’s being upgraded. “We’ve got two tonnes of downforce, which is an absolutely monstrous amount,” says Maclennan. “We are still not in the marginal gains phase. We’ve put three or four years into it and we’re still making huge improvements to efficiency and performance using new materials.”

Read the full interview here

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