Tesla patents ‘fibrous foam architecture’, hinting at new seating material and interior trim to come

Tesla has submitted a patent application for a “fibrous foam architecture” with claims that the manufacturing technique for seats and interior trim would create a more efficient and environmentally-sustainable process.

The submitted patent explains that the current materials used for cushioning in traditional vehicle seats include foam made from polyurethane, a material that is not able to be recycled and may not be the most comfortable due to its lack of breathability. Manufacturing the foam is also a time-consuming and laborious process that involves the pouring and mixing of numerous chemicals, like polymer or epoxy, into a mold. After setting, this requires additional material to be trimmed and shaped, thereby creating unnecessary waste that Tesla’s fibrous foam architecture hopes to eliminate.

The background of the patent states, “Trim to foam assembly may include hog ring, hook and loop, and/or clipping methods. In such methods, alignment tolerances may need to be maintained, mating surface limitations may need to be met, trenches and stitches may need to be provided and so on. Glue application storage and handling may also be required. Current manufacturing processes may be labor-intensive and time-consuming.” This would improve the production and quality of backrests, armrests, leg-rests, and bolsters.

Tesla is looking to improve upon its vehicle’s interior, as it suggests “there is a need for an improved foam architecture and associated manufacturing process that overcome the aforementioned drawbacks.”

An improved foam structure for vehicle seating will provide a new, more comfortable, recyclable material for owners of Tesla electric cars. Tesla plans to use the stacking of multiple layers of different materials to make a less-laborious and more cost-effective seating option. The use of sustainable materials that can be recycled after use will appeal to the environmentally-conscious Tesla owner. The company unveiled 100% cruelty-free seat options in 2017 to its Model S and Model X, and would later offer the 100% vegan material for the Model 3 and the upcoming Model Y.

Tesla has continued to improve its vehicles in every way imaginable for its customers through OTA power updates and accessibility features while finding efficiencies in its design and manufacturing process to support a wider scale-out in production. The company is gearing up for the initial production of the Model Y in early 2020 and the first mass-production of the Model 3 from its Shanghai-based Gigafactory 3. Tesla announced during the Q3 earnings call, “trial production of Model 3 in Shanghai has begun, ahead of schedule. We are also ahead of schedule to produce Model Y and now expect to launch by summer 2020. Model Y equipment installation is underway in advance of the planned launch next year. We are moving faster than initially planned, using learnings and efficiencies gained from our Gigafactory Shanghai factory design.”

As Tesla begins to increase the rate of production of its fleet of vehicles, efficiency is a key factor in creating a lean and cost-effective manufacturing process. Tesla is set to begin production of the Model Y crossover in 2020 and will unveil its highly-anticipated Cybertruck on November 21

The full details of Tesla’s patent application for a “Fibrous Foam Architecture” can be viewed here.

Tesla patents ‘fibrous foam architecture’, hinting at new seating material and interior trim to come

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Tesla Model 3, Model S regain Consumer Reports recommendation, citing “improved reliability”

Tesla’s Model 3 and Model S sedans have both regained recommendations from American product testing group Consumer Reports.

The two vehicles were removed from CR’s recommendations following numerous reports of quality issues, citing stuck latches and malfunctioning doors to name a few from Model 3 owners, and issues regarding the quality of paint and trim from Model S owners. CR notes in its latest report that these issues have been and recommending both Tesla’s Model 3 and Model S based on evidence of improved reliability.

Tesla’s relationship with Consumer Reports has never been picture perfect. The Silicon Valley-based electric car maker has been the subject of numerous points of criticism from CR. Most recently, the company gave a negative review of Tesla’s new Smart Summon feature. In the past, they have criticized the Navigate on Autopilot feature and stated the Model 3 will give owners “average reliability. Despite this, following the Model 3 being readded to Consumer Reports recommendations, the company has comprised a list of the 12 most reliable luxury compact cars, and the Model 3 is ranked 5th.

The Model 3 lost CR recommendation in February 2019 after the company stated they questioned the vehicle’s reliability after there were too many reported issues with paint, trim and, body hardware. Senior Director of Auto Testing at Consumer Reports, Jake Fisher, said, “The Tesla Model 3 struggled last year as the company made frequent design changes and ramped up production to meet demand. But as the production stabilized, we have seen improvements to the reliability.”

Improvements in the quality of the vehicles made by Tesla are possible through a various array of techniques. Software issues and even some performance-related problems can be fixed through routine software updates the company releases to its owners. However, production quality issues cannot be adjusted through software and can be fixed by one of Tesla’s service centers directly. Complaints of panel gaps were increasingly popular, but a recently released report from Bloomberg that surveyed 5,000 Tesla Model 3 owners showed buyers were impressed with the company’s increasingly improved build quality.

Consumer Reports conducts its reliability survey by obtaining information on nearly 420,000 vehicles across all manufacturers. This year’s survey attracted the data of nearly 4,000 Tesla vehicles. Owners are asked about any issues they have had with their vehicles within the last 12 months. These could range from engine issues to “annoying noises and leaks,” according to the Consumer Reports website.

The improvements to both the Model 3 and Model S have allowed even Tesla’s most intense critics to recognize the reliability of the vehicle. While Consumer Reports is a neutral company that simply reviews vehicles with the information they are given by real owners, they simply could not ignore Tesla’s improvements to its vehicles. Numerous Bloomberg studies have shown that Model 3 is one of the most reliable vehicles on the road. The Model S continues to impress as well, and with Tesla releasing a more powerful Plaid variant next year, the company has no plans to stop improving upon any of its vehicles.

Tesla Model 3, Model S regain Consumer Reports recommendation, citing “improved reliability”

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2 Series Tuning

“Thanks for reading our BMW 2 Series tuning article.”

We outline options for your 2 Series tuning and point out the optimum upgrades. BMW 2 Seriess really good project cars and with carefully picked enhancements you can noticeably maximize your driving fun.

The 2 Series is a awesome tuning project to play with. With the right mods your 2 Series can be transformed into a stunning project. Don’t waste money, do your homework and follow our unbiased guides to each performance upgrade to avoid wasting money.

Tuning tips and articles

Engine tuning Transmission tuning Care care Intake & exhaust mods Improve handling Forums

Handling/Suspension upgrades

Improving the handling for DIY mechanics first priority in your 2 Series tuning project.

Setting a small amount of negative camber on the fronts and a few degrees of toe out, will substantially improve your 2 Series in handling and cornering.

We suggest that you fit sports suspension and lower the car by 30mm – 37 mm. Larger drops require arch work – especially on models already equipped with uprated suspension.

Top end power should be your overall aim with a nice fat wide peak torque band.

Enjoy your 2 Series to the limit with our hot performance tuning advice – do the right mods in the right order.

Sadly with smaller engine sizes you are wasting your time spending money on modifications, so if this applies to you get yourself an engine swap then apply the following mods.

Power mods.

Petrol engines

  • 218i 2015– B38A15M0
    1.5 L I3 turbo 100 kW (134 hp) 4,500–6,000 rpm (162 lbft) 1,250 rpm
  • 220i 2014–2016 N20B20
    2.0 L I4 turbo 135 kW (181 hp) 5,000–6,250 rpm (199 lbft) 1,250–4,500 rpm
  • 2016– B48B20
    2.0 L I4 turbo (214 lbft) 1,250–4,500 rpm
  • 228i 2014–2016 N20B20
    2.0 L I4 turbo 180 kW (241 hp) 5,000–6,500 rpm (258 lbft) 1,250–4,800 rpm
  • 230i 2016–2019 B48B20
    2.0 L I4 turbo 185 kW (248 hp) 5,200 rpm (258 lbft) 1,450–4,800 rpm
  • M235i 2014–2016 N55B30O0
    3.0 L I6 turbo 240 kW (322 hp) 5,800–6,000 rpm (332 lbft) 1,300–4,500 rpm
  • M240i 2016– B58B30O0
    3.0 L I6 turbo 250 kW (335 hp) 5,500 rpm (369 lbft) 1,520–4,500 rpm
  • M2 2015–2017 N55B30T0
    3.0 L I6 turbo 272 kW (365 hp) 6,500 rpm (343 lbft) 1,450–4,750 rpm
  • M2 Competition 2018– S55
    3.0 L I6 twin turbo 302 kW (405 hp) 5,370–7,200 rpm (406 lbft) 2,350–5,230 rpm

Diesel engines

  • 218d 2014–2015 N47D20O1
    2.0 L I4 turbo 105 kW (141 hp) 4,000 rpm (236 lbft) 1,750–2,500 rpm
  • 2015– B47D20
    2.0 L I4 turbo 110 kW (148 hp) 4,000 rpm (236 lbft) 1,500–3,000 rpm
  • 220d 2014–2015 N47D20O1
    2.0 L I4 turbo 135 kW (181 hp) 4,000 rpm (280 lbft) 1,750–2,750 rpm
  • 2015– B47D20
    2.0 L I4 turbo 140 kW (188 hp) 4,000 rpm (295 lbft) 1,750–2,500 rpm
    225d 2014–2015 N47D20T1
    2.0 L I4 twin turbo 160 kW (215 hp) 4,400 rpm (332 lbft) 1,500–2,500 rpm
  • 2015– B47D20
    2.0 L I4 twin turbo 165 kW (221 hp) 4,400 rpm (332 lbft) 1,500–3,000 rpm

These are the tuning kits are usually installed by our members, decide how far you want to go before you get going.

Getting the correct grade of tuning upgrades for your planned usage of the car is vital. Stage 3 motor sport mods just don’t work well on the road hard to control in slow traffic.

Stage 1 mods: Panel air filter, Alloy wheels, Remap, Lighter flywheel, Suspension upgrade (drop 30mm – 37 mm.), Sports exhaust.

Stage 2 mods: Fast road cam, Ported and polished head, Power/Sport clutch, fuel pump upgrades, high flow fuel injector.

Stage 3 mods: Competition cam, Engine balancing, Adding or upgrading forced induction (turbo/supercharger), Sports gearbox, Internal engine upgrades (pistons/head/valves).

You really need to keep as much low end torque as you can and aim to get a wide power band across the rev range rather than a narrow top end power spike.

The aim of our advice is to give a brief overview of modifying modifications and point you in the right direction, our forum is where you can ask for more detailed advice and tips on your modified car project, the best tuning upgrades and all aspects of modding cars.Fast road cams offer one of the biggest power gains for your money as far as a solitary modified upgrades goes on a NASP engine.

It improves the intake and exhaust flow and increases the power if done right. Ideally you’d add other mods and finish up with a reflashed ECU. We’d also caution you not to go with a motor sports profile cam as this upsets the engines idling and general town driving characteristics.

Don’t forget to pay attention to the fuelling when you are increasing the power – it makes the car more thirsty.

Using high octane petrol is another option if you find you are suffering from pinking or premature ignition on your BMW project after fitting other performance kits. To get sufficient fuel you may need to increase the injectors on your engine.

If you are increasing your fuelling with bigger injectors you will also need to get a bigger fuel pump to supply it.

Intake and Exhaust Tuning.

Now we move on to the intake and exhaust and ensure proper flow through the engine. Please note that WE DO NOT FIND IMPROVEMENTS WITH INDUCTION KITS, unless you have tuned your car extensively and are finding that the standard air intake has become limited.

Induction kits can work well on turbo engines and larger engines (if supplied with a suitable cold air feed or air box), generally though we’d just recommend for 2 Series engines you should settle for a high performance panel air filter preferably made from cotton.

Sports exhausts generally help improve air flow from the engine but do not go too big or you may end up will reduce the flow rate. Stick to 1.5 to 2.5 inches for best results.

Getting a professionally flowed (ported and polished) head with larger valves can fully release the engines power. When you heavily modify your 2 Series you will discover that the standard clutch starts to suffer so get an uprated clutch. The best mods we recommend for your 2 Series are Remapping or piggy back ecu, fast road cam and air intake and exhaust.

Turbo engines are just pleading to be Upgraded. You will see impressive power gains on most modern turbo engined cars including diesels making a remap one of the most cost effective and impressive modifications for your money.Despite the large cost involved adding forced induction to a NASP engine will give large power gains. Superchargers are often easier to add than a turbo. It is difficult to map fuelling with a turbo as the boost comes on exponentially with rpm.

The nice correlating boost and rpm characteristics of the supercharger make them simpler to map. To cope with forced induction you will usually need to decrease the engines compression ratio .

Alloy wheel upgrades.

The benefits of alloys include a lower unsprung weight and more efficient brake cooling. If you are serious about performance then you will need to carefully choose your tires – ideally with a soft compound tire. The downside to large rims on your 2 Series is that you’re altering your final drive ratio so this will have a negative effect on acceleration and performance.

Due to this fact aim to keep the overall rolling diameter of the wheel your OEM settings. In all cases we do not recommend going bigger than 18 inches. (And ditch the Runflats!)

For more information on Tuning your car please join us in our friendly forum where you can discuss 2 Series options in more detail with our 2 Series owners. It would also be worth reading our unbiased BMW tuning articles to get a full grasp of the benefits and drawbacks of each modification.

Please help us improve these tips by sending us your feedback in the comments box below.

We love to hear what our visitors have got up to and which mods work best for them on each model of car. Comments are used to improve the accuracy of these articles which are continually updated.

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