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2021 Volkswagen Golf Variant and Alltrack debuts in Europe

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Volkswagen recently unveiled two latest variants of the Mk8 Golf: Variant and Alltrack. Slated for release in Europe in late 2020 as 2021 models, the new Golf Variant and Alltrack are riding on a longer platform, although both models share the same height and width as the five-door Golf.

Yes, the newest VW Golf Variant and Alltrack are not arriving in SUV-crazy America, but that’s fine. At least we’re still getting the Golf GTI, and it comes complete with a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline four-cylinder engine with 241 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque. As a bonus, the GTI will also have a standard six-speed manual gearbox (VW’s 7-speed DSG dual-clutch automatic is optional.)

However, we’re not getting the hybrid-powered Golf GTE and its torque-rich powertrain producing 295 pound-feet of torque, and it seems we’ll also miss out on the Golf Variant and Alltrack. Still, it would be nice to have a Golf station wagon for buyers who can’t perish the thought of driving a bulky SUV or crossover. And when you think about it, station wagons are more practical, roomier in the real world, and sip less fuel, so it seems we’re missing out, as well.

Whatever the case, VW’s newest Golf Variant is significantly longer than its predecessor. It now spans 4.63 meters (182.28-inches) long and has a 2.68-meter (105.75-inch) wheelbase, which is more than a foot longer than the seventh-gen Golf Variant, which translates to massive legroom for second-row passengers. Cargo space is also plentiful with 611 liters (21.58 cubic feet) of available room with the rear seats in the upright position. Fold the rear seats down and you have up to 1,642 liters (58 cubic feet) to carry larger items.

The new Volkswagen Golf Variant shares the same front clip as the five-door Golf, but that’s where the similarities end. It has a sloping roofline and a unique rear window design. Engine choices for the Golf Variant includes both gasoline, diesel, and mild-hybrid powertrains.

Meanwhile, the Golf Alltrack is a more rugged version of the Golf Variant. It offers more ground clearance, rugged plastic body cladding, standard 4Motion all-wheel-drive, and a 4,400 pounds towing capacity. German VW dealerships will stat accepting pre-orders for the Golf Variant and Golf Alltrack starting on September 10, 2020. Pricing will be announced soon.

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The Most Expensive NFTs Ever Purchased

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One of the earliest examples of an NFT collection on the Ethereum blockchain, CryptoPunks have grown to be among the most valuable collections in the world. They are a set of 10,000 unique, algorithmically-generated “Punk” characters that, according to their creators Larva Labs, served as the inspiration for the ERC-721 standard, an interface that now powers that majority of Ethereum-based NFTs. A CryptoPunk’s value is determined by the rarity of its attributes: the rarer the attributes, the more valuable the NFT.

CryptoPunk #5822 is one of the rarest of all, which explains its incredible selling price. Firstly, it has just one attribute, a feature that only 2% of the collection shares. That single attribute is a bandana, which is rare in itself, as only 5% of the collection sport one. The Punk’s skin type is alien, which is the biggest factor in pushing up this NFT’s value, as only 0.09% of the collection share this skin, a total of 9 NFTs out of a collection of 10,000. Punk #5822 was bought by Deepak Thapliyal, CEO of blockchain tech company Chain, for 8,000 ETH, roughly $23.7 million USD at the time of sale.

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Self-Repairing Electronics Are Closer To Reality Than You Think

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A research group led by Professor Yehonadav Bekenstein from the Faculty of Materials Sciences and Engineering and the Solid-State Institute at Technion was studying perovskite nanoparticles for their potential to provide a green alternative to toxic lead materials used heavily in electronics. In doing so, they found something unexpected.

The team found on a microscopic level that the nanocrystals moved a hole (damage) through the areas of a structure to self-heal. Surprised by this, the researchers drew up a code to analyze microscopic videos and understand the dynamics and movements within the crystal. The researchers realized that the damaged area, or hole, formed on the surface of the nanoparticles, then moved to energetically stable areas inside, and was finally “spontaneously ejected” out. Researchers explained that through this self-healing process, the nanocrystals essentially reverted back to being undamaged (per Technion). 

Researchers with Technion believe that this discovery is a key step toward understanding the processes by which perovskite nanoparticles can heal themselves. The team also thinks that perovskite nanoparticles should be used in solar panels and other electronic devices. The full study, published by Advanced Functional Materials and made available at the Wiley Online Library, is titled “Self-Healing of Crystal Voids in Double Perovskite Nanocrystals Is Related to Surface Passivation.”

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This Astonishing Vision AMG Sports EV Will Somehow Spawn Production Electric Cars

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It’s no secret that Mercedes-Benz’s AMG performance division has been downsizing from high-strung, gas-fed internal combustion engines to lower-displacement mills infused with some form of hybrid or mild hybridization. The incoming AMG C63 S, for instance, will make do without its raucous 4.0-liter bi-turbo engine. Instead, it will have a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine and a mild-hybrid powertrain. The Manhart CR 700 is one of the last modified C 63 S wagons with AMG’s muscular turbocharged V8 motor.

Meanwhile, the Vision AMG concept harks the beginning of a zero-emissions future without sacrificing style or the brand’s hallmark “AMG driving experience.” The Vision AMG has innovative axial flux motors (similar to Vision EQXX) developed by Mercedes subsidiary YASA. The brand claims its new electric motors are smaller, lighter, and produce more power than conventional electric motors. Mercedes-AMG did not mention motor outputs, battery sizes, or range numbers. Still, it did say Vision AMG’s drivetrain would be “developed entirely from scratch,” including a new high-performance, high-voltage battery, and a “revolutionary drive technology,” said Mercedes-AMG.

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