2018 Hyundai i30 N Performance First Drive Review

“Wow!” That was the first thing written in the notebook after getting out from behind the wheel of the 2018 Hyundai i30 N Performance. So let’s cut to the chase: The i30 N Performance is not just seriously good for a Hyundai. It’s seriously good, period. It might not have quite the surgical precision of Honda’s dazzling Civic Type R, but it’s one of the best hot hatches in the business, a quick yet coolly composed car that makes Ford’s Focus RS feel a little crude and klutzy.

The bad news? The i30 N Performance won’t be sold the U.S. The good news? The guys at Hyundai’s new N division, working under the direction of former BMW M engineering chief Albert Biermann, are using exactly the same engine, transmission, and suspension hardware to create an N Performance version of the Veloster that will be coming to the States next year.

N comes after M, but the nomenclature has nothing do with Biermann’s shock 2014 move from a plum job at BMW to become Hyundai’s vice president of performance development and head of the company’s new High Performance Vehicle Division. N, says Hyundai, stands for Namyang—the company’s global R&D center in Korea where the performance hardware is engineered—and for the Nürburgring Nordschleife, where the hardware’s honed to perfection. Also, the N logo looks like a chicane. Okay, we get it …

Americans know the i30 as the Elantra, and they’d recognize the N Performance as a variant of the Elantra GT Sport hatchback, a car that’s already impressed us with its Golf GTI-lite chops. The N Performance version turns everything up to 11, however. Insiders say Biermann was given a green light by Hyundai bosses to make whatever changes he felt necessary for this, the first ever Hyundai N model.

In place of the Elantra GT Sport’s 201-hp, 195-lb-ft, 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, the i30 N Performance is powered by a 2.0-liter turbo-four that develops 271 hp at 6,000 rpm, with 260 lb-ft of torque on tap from 1,500 rpm through 4,700 rpm and another 18 lb-ft available via an 18-second full-throttle overboost function. The engine drives the front wheels through a beefed-up version of Hyundai’s own six-speed manual transmission and an electronically controlled limited slip differential. (There is an entry-level N version available that makes do with 247 hp, plus smaller wheels, tires, and brakes and misses out on the Performance model’s trick-e-diff, among other things.)

The suspension layout is the same as the Elantra GT but features heavy-duty components such as redesigned steering knuckles, plus new springs and electronically controlled shocks, and the ride height has been lowered. The Elantra GT’s EPS system has been replaced by a more robust setup with the e-motor mounted on the rack rather than the steering column to improve response and sensitivity. Other changes include the adoption of bigger brakes, with 13.6-inch rotors up front and 12.4-inch units at the rear, and 19-inch alloy wheels fitted with 235/35 P Zero tires developed specifically by Pirelli for the i30 N Performance.

N Performance prototypes underwent 6,000 miles of durability testing on the Nürburgring Norschleife—equivalent to almost 120,000 miles of hard, real-world road driving, says Hyundai—and twice competed in the grueling 24-Hour race on the Green Hell. That level of experience is reflected in detail touches such as the bar across the body behind the rear seats to improve body rigidity and the large vents in the redesigned front bumper to help cool the brakes. So confident is Hyundai of the car’s durability that Hyundai UK is promising to honor its regular five-year, unlimited mileage mechanical warranty even if you take the i30 N Performance on the track.

The N Performance offers five drive modes accessed via paddles mounted on the front side of the steering wheel. The left-hand paddle toggles between the Normal, Sport, and Eco modes that are familiar fare across the current Hyundai range. The right-hand paddle is the fun one, allowing you to access N mode, which dials the powertrain and chassis settings to the max, or Custom mode, which allows you to mix and match settings across seven individual functions: engine response, rev matching, e-diff, exhaust sound, shock rates, steering, and stability control. The menu is easily accessed via the 8.0-inch infotainment touchscreen at the center of the dash.

2018 Jaguar E-Pace First Drive Review: The No-Brainer Jaguar

There was a certain inevitability to the Jaguar E-Pace. With its midsized F-Pace, Jaguar’s first ever SUV, powering an 80-plus percent increase in global sales for the storied British brand over the past year, and demand for the compact Range Rover Evoque blasting past 600,000 units worldwide since 2011, the decision to build a small Jaguar SUV was a no-brainer. Especially as the Evoque and the Land Rover Discovery Sport had provided Jaguar with a platform and a parts bin as a starting point.

The E-Pace shares its basic body structure, powertrains, and sundry other pieces of hardware with the Evoque and the Discovery Sport. But JLR has worked hard to keep the two brands distinct, giving the E-Pace a unique character that’s more than skin-deep. Quicker and sportier, the E-Pace is more fun to drive than either of the Rovers. Which is as it should be. Eager to see it? It has just gone on sale in the U.S., priced between $39,000 and $55,000,

Critics will note that this is only the second-ever Jaguar built on a front-drive architecture, with a transverse-mounted engine under the hood. (The other? The unloved X-Type sedan, which was based on the Ford Mondeo.) Nevertheless, the E-Pace successfully morphs the studied emotion of Ian Callum’s design language onto a tall package with a short dash-to-axle ratio. The trapezoidal grille, power bulge on the hood, and slimline taillights are key Jaguar family visual triggers. A bold, crisply defined haunch over the rear wheels and a greenhouse that riffs on that of the F-Type sports car give the E-Pace its own personality.

Inside, the PRNDL shifter and the flying buttress that arcs down from the dash to the center console give the E-Pace cabin a dash of F-Type spice. And the TFT instrument panel and InControl Touch infotainment interface are straight from the JLR parts bin. But careful attention to materials—both in terms of quality and execution—has made the E-Pace cabin appear more discreetly upscale than that of the F-Pace. Impressive, given the price leap to the larger crossover. Significantly, there’s no wood trim available, not even as an option. The E-Pace truly is a modern Jaguar.

Dimensionally, the E-Pace is an inch longer than the Range Rover Evoque, a half-inch taller, and has a wheelbase nine-tenths of an inch longer. The difference in wheelbase is due to a different rear suspension. Whereas the Evoque has struts, the E-Pace rear axle has the same integral link design as the F-Pace and the Discovery Sport; the rear knuckles are the same as the F-Pace’s, and the subframe and control arms are shared with the Discovery Sport. The E-Pace therefore has a different rear floor to the Evoque, with more legroom for rear-seat passengers and more room for luggage—there are no strut towers intruding into the load space.

Early in the E-Pace development program insiders acknowledged the biggest problem with using the all-steel Evoque platform—which traces its ancestry back to Ford’s ownership of Jaguar and Land Rover—was its weight. Developing a new, lighter platform from scratch simply wasn’t an option, so the engineering team applied what weight-saving countermeasures it could. The E-Pace’s hood, front fenders, roof panel, and tailgate are aluminum, delivering weight savings of almost 75 pounds over comparable steel parts. The bodysides are also stamped from special, thinner steel that saves almost 8 pounds. Even so, a base E-Pace still weighs 155 pounds more than the entry-level version of the larger F-Pace, which is built on JLR’s aluminum-intensive D7a architecture.

The E-Pace is the first Jaguar in history available only with four-cylinders under the hood. No V-6. American-market buyers can choose between two different versions of JLR’s 2.0-liter turbocharged Ingenium gas engine, driving through a ZF nine-speed automatic transmission. The regular E-Pace, which is available in standard, S, and SE trim levels, gets a 246-hp variant that also develops 269 lb-ft of torque from 1,200 to 4,500 rpm. In E-Pace R-Dynamic form, available in S, SE, and HSE trim levels, the engine has been tweaked to deliver 296 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque from 1,500 to 4,500 rpm. Peak power in both arrives at a modest 5,500 rpm. Jaguar claims the R-Dynamic’s extra horsepower cuts the 0-60-mph acceleration time from 6.6 seconds to 5.9 seconds.

JLR’s 2.0-liter Ingenium engine isn’t the smoothest in class. There’s almost a diesellike graininess at idle and under light throttle at low speed, especially when cold. But it delivers good performance and drivability on the road. The nine-speed automatic transmission has been recalibrated to deliver smoother and faster shifts, especially in Dynamic mode, and R-Dynamic models also benefit from having paddle shifters on the steering wheel for drivers who like DIY driving in the twisty bits.

Although the platform is front-drive-based, all-wheel drive is standard across the E-Pace range. There are, however, two systems available. The regular E-Pace lineup gets a conventional setup that simply varies torque between the front and rear axles, depending on load. The R-Dynamic models come equipped with Jaguar’s electronically controlled Active Driveline, which is capable of rapidly shifting 100 percent of the torque to either the front or rear axles and between the rear wheels. In steady state cruising, the Active Driveline switches to front-drive only, decoupling the prop-shaft to the rear axle to help save fuel. But it can funnel needed power back to the rear wheels in just three milliseconds. Two electronically controlled wet plate clutches on the rear axle also send precise measures of torque to each rear wheel to help control understeer and oversteer.

Subtle chassis and suspension tweaks have given the E-Pace a more alert and agile rear-drive feel than the Evoque. On the rear axle, positive camber has been increased to help initial turn-in response, particularly at low to medium speeds, and brake-induced torque vectoring is standard. Up front, there’s more negative camber to help get the nose of the car into corners, and the two rear-mounting points of the front subframe have been bolted directly to the body to deliver a more rigid platform. The E-Pace is 20 percent stiffer than an Evoque and 25 percent stiffer than a Discovery Sport, says lead engineer Matt Eyes. In turn, that stiffness improves steering feel and response.

What’s more impressive is that this fun-to-drive character happens with smoothness and silence, too. Our tester, a loaded R-Dynamic HSE riding on 20-inch alloys and 245/45 R20 Pirelli P Zero summer tires, felt calmer, quieter, and more relaxed on jittery British back roads than Evoques we’ve driven on 20s. Impact harshness is better suppressed, and there’s much less tire noise from the rear axle.

In terms of off-road capability, the little Jaguar doesn’t give much away to the baby Range Rover. All E-Pace models can be switched between four drive modes—Normal, Dynamic, Eco, and Rain, Ice, and Snow. The latter setting allows drivers to activate the standard All Surface Progress Control (ASPC), the low-speed, off-road “cruise control” system developed by the off-road specialists at Land Rover. ASPC is masterful at exploiting every last vestige of available traction, especially when working with the Active Driveline system.

Worldwide sales of compact SUVs last year totaled 9.8 million vehicles, according to JLR, and are forecasted to grow substantially in the near future. As it gives Jaguar the opportunity to play this white-hot segment for the very first time, the E-Pace is arguably one of the most important new Jaguars in history.

Although comparisons with the Range Rover Evoque are inevitable, the E-Pace’s real targets are BMW’s X1, Audi’s Q3, and the Mercedes-Benz GLA, along with buyers moving up from mainstream U.S. and Asian brands. Its mission is one of conquest, and early indications show that’s exactly what’s happening—more than 90 percent of customers who’ve placed an order for an E-Pace in the U.S. are newcomers to the brand. A lot of buyers are looking for a stylish, accomplished, competitively priced premium compact SUV, and they are likely going to see that Jaguar has a definite place in this segment.

Harvard scrubs ‘Puritans’ from alma mater because it is not ‘inclusive’

Campus Reform correspondent Emily Hall explains

“Puritans” are no more at Harvard University.

The Ivy League purged the word from its alma mater, “Fair Harvard,” taking out the reference to the English Protestants who founded the nation’s oldest institution of higher education.

The song’s lyrics were revised in 1998 to make it gender inclusive, and Tuesday the university changed the last line, which previously said, “Be the herald of light, and the bearer of love, till the stock of the Puritans die.”

The Task Force on Inclusion and Belonging made the decision to take out “Puritans” from the “living symbol” opting for the line: “Till the stars in the firmament die.”

“The metaphor…fails in its own aspiration to project a valuable Puritan commitment to education into the future,” school officials wrote in a statement. “The line reduces human experience to biology with the word ‘stock,’ and ties the commitment to education to ethnic lineage and to the rise and fall of racial groupings.”

Harvard sought suggestions from students, staff and alumni and a panel made up of professors and alumni chose the winner out of a pool of 168 suggested replacements. The new phrase was submitted by a 1984 graduate, the university said.

Officials said the new phrase affairs their motto, “Veritas,” which means “verity” or “truth.”

Two phrases that almost made the cut were “Till the shadows of ignorance die” and “Till the end of the ages draws nigh.”

The task force believes the new lyrics “convey the accessibility and value of the pursuit of truth to people from all backgrounds” and affirms “the university’s commitment to inclusive excellence.”

Malala returns to Pakistan hometown for first time since being shot in 2012, says it’s ‘happiest day of my life’

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai returned to her hometown in Pakistan on Saturday for the first time since 2012, when she was shot by a Taliban militant.

Her father, Ziauddin Yousafzai, consoled a teary-eyed Malala, 20, upon her arrival.

“I am very happy that, after five-and-a-half years, I have set foot on the soil of my nation again,” she said, according to the Guardian. “Today is the happiest day of my life, because I have returned to my country. I have stepped foot on my nation’s soil again and am among my own people.”

The Pakistan army provided Malala a helicopter, which took her to Mingora, her hometown, from Islamabad, where she arrived on Thursday with her father and younger brother, the Guardian reported.

Amid tight security, Malala finally landed in the Swat Valley town. Security was also visibly beefed up in Mingora the previous day.

A Pakistani student of the school of Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai writes on a board writes on a board, in her hometown of Swat Valley in Pakistan, Friday, March 30, 2018. A Pakistani women's activist says Malala Yousafzai, who is back in Pakistan for the first time since the Taliban shot her in 2012, is hoping to visit her Swat Valley hometown but that the trip depends on security clearances from the government.(AP Photo/Naveed Ali)

A Pakistani student of the school of Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai writes on a board writes on a board, in her hometown of Swat Valley in Pakistan, Friday, March 30, 2018.  (Associated Press)

Malala was shot in the head by the Taliban in Mingora when she was only 15 years old in October 2012. The Taliban reportedly banned girls’ schools, music and television in their control of Swat Valley. Malala was targeted because she advocated for education for girls.

She received initial treatment in Pakistan and was later taken to Britain, where she continued her education and went on to win the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize, becoming the youngest-ever prize winner and garnering international renown.

“For the betterment of Pakistan, it is necessary to educate girls and empower women,” she said.

Malala’s uncle, Mahmoodul Hassan, said she also plans to meet with her friends and relatives during her homecoming.

“I still can’t believe I am here,” she said. “It is literally a dream.”

She plans to return to Britain on Monday. After finishing her studies there, she said she plans to return permanently to Pakistan, the Telegraph reported.

Students of the school of Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai flash victory sign in her hometown of Swat Valley in Pakistan, Friday, March 30, 2018. A Pakistani women's activist says Malala Yousafzai, who is back in Pakistan for the first time since the Taliban shot her in 2012, is hoping to visit her Swat Valley hometown but that the trip depends on security clearances from the government.(AP Photo/Naveed Ali)

Students of the school of Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai flash victory sign in her hometown of Swat Valley in Pakistan, Friday, March 30, 2018.  (Associated Press)

School teacher instructs students to write anti-gun letters to Congress

Boys and girls at Hampton Middle School in Georgia were instructed by their teacher to write letters to lawmakers calling for stricter gun control laws.

“You are trying to persuade lawmakers to have stricter gun laws to help prevent another school shooting from taking place,” the assignment declared. “For this assignment, you are writing a letter to the lawmakers of the United States. The purpose of this letter is to pressure lawmakers to have stricter gun laws in the United States.

Blue Lives Matter obtained a copy of the social studies assignment from a police officer whose son was in the classroom.

“I asked him what he had for homework that night, and he said he had to write a paper on gun control,” William Lee told Blue Lives Matter. “I looked at it, and I told my son, ‘No, you’re not doing that assignment.’ Then I emailed his teacher the next day and told him that my son would not be writing that.”

Good for Officer Lee!

The teacher told Officer Lee his son would be excused from the lesson and would not be penalized.

I reached out to Henry County Schools and they tell me the assignment was not a part of any approved curriculum.

“We would never approve of a politically biased assignment or directive given by a teacher,” the district spokesman told me.

He assured me the letters were not sent and there was never any intent to send them.

“This activity took the wrong approach in limiting the ability of students to share any thoughts outside of what was directed of them when the subject elicits many different viewpoints from people, including students,” the spokesman told me.

Henry County School, he said, does not advocate for or against gun control and had the lesson been submitted for approval — it would not have been approved.

“It is unfortunate that this isolated incident occurred, but we are appreciative of those individuals who brought it to our attention so we could take corrective action and stop it from continuing further,” the spokesman said.

The school district spokesman said the teacher has been spoken to and they tell me this will not happen again.

Let’s hope not.

Public school is supposed to be about education — not indoctrination.

Formula One is launching an international streaming service for its races

Formula One fans around the world will finally have a way to tune in to each and every Grand Prix without a cable subscription: the vaunted motorsport series is launching its own streaming service. F1 and its owners, Liberty Media Group, announced today that they’re launching an over the top service called F1 TV sometime early in the 2018 season, which starts on March 25th in Melbourne, Australia.

The streaming service will cost between $8 to $12 per month, and will start out as a “desktop and web” service. Apps for smartphones and streaming boxes like Apple TV and Amazon’s Fire TV will be “phased in,” according to the series, though no timetable was given.

F1 TV’s top tier, dubbed F1 TV Pro, offers commercial-free streams of every race, including every practice and qualifying session. Onboard views from every driver and live statistics will be available during each session, and users will be able to watch multiple angles at the same time. F1 TV Pro will also have “unique feeds not available on any other platform,” according to the series. It will include access to archival footage, as well as live races from the FIA Formula 2 Championship, GP3, and Porsche Supercup series, along with others to be named later.

A screenshot of what F1 TV Pro will look like, according to the Formula One press release.

F1 TV Pro will be available in the US, Germany, France, Mexico, Belgium, Austria, Hungary, and “much of Latin America,” according to the series. Broadcasts will be available in four languages: English, French, German, and Spanish. A “less expensive” tier, called F1 TV Access, will be available with live audio and statistics and delayed access to video of each race.

F1 has always been a bit of a chore to watch depending on where you live in the world. But the series has increasingly embraced YouTube and social media ever since it was taken over by Liberty Media in early 2017. F1 TV Pro sounds like a really positive step toward making the series available on-demand around the world, though TV contracts are apparently still restricting it in some obvious markets, like the UK.

Parents of teen who allegedly had sex romp in class with teacher, 27, say she should spend ‘life in prison’

The parents of a 13-year-old Arizona boy say the married teacher accused of performing sex acts on him in her classroom and her car is a “monster” who should “spend the rest of her life in prison.”

Brittany Zamora, a 27-year-old sixth-grade teacher at the Las Brisas Academy in Goodyear, remained in jail Friday on a host of charges, including multiple counts of felony sexual conduct with a minor and molesting a child, following her arrest last week.

“He was taken advantage of,” the boy’s stepmom told AZFamily. “She was just using him for her own grotesque benefits.”

Court documents released last week say the boy’s parents found Instagram messages between him and the teacher professing their love, and some were graphic, containing descriptions of specific sexual acts, FOX10Phoenix reported.

Zamora also sent the boy pictures of herself naked and in lingerie, according to court records viewed by The Arizona Republic.

In one exchange, the boy allegedly told her he wanted to have sex with her again.

“I know baby! I want you every day with no time limit,” she allegedly responded.

FOX10Phoenix, citing the documents, also said the victim told his parents that Zamora performed sexual acts on him in her classroom on March 8 and in her car the month before.

Police said they were contacted by the school’s principal on March 21 about the alleged misconduct and she was arrested last Thursday.

Zamora earlier had called to apologize to the parents but claimed she never had sex with their boy – and even, with her husband, pleaded to the boy’s father not to take the issue up with police, the documents added.

“He said that it started in a classroom chat group where she would talk to him, and then flirted with him, and it just progressed from there,” the boy’s stepmother told AZFamily.

“He told us they kissed and had sex,” added his father.

The boy reportedly became sad after allegedly becoming involved with the teacher and the parents accused the school of trying to sweep the case under the rug.

“You teach your kids there’s no such thing as monsters at all,” the father told AZFamily. “But in the real world, there are monsters. Brittany Zamora is a monster.”

He added: “I want her to spend the rest of her life in prison.”

Colorado school district aims for 4-day class schedule

A school district in Colorado is aiming for a shorter week in the upcoming academic year, giving students and faculty four days in the classroom rather than five.

District 27J public information officer Tracy Rudnick told ABC News that they filed an official application with the Colorado Department of Education, of which she said they “are pretty confident that it’s going to go through.”

“They have not turned down any other school district that has had applied,” Rudnick said. Word from the department could come in June, she told the outlet. Nearly 100 other districts in the state reportedly operate on the same schedule.

A variety of factors reportedly contributed to the district’s decision to file the application.

“We made this change, one, was for the clean and concise schedule,” Rudnick told the outlet. “It was also to recruit and retain highly-quality teachers. This new schedule appeals to teachers because their professional development is built into their day. They were using their personal time to prepare for the day. They’ll now have time in the morning before students come to school to either prepare individually or work into teams in educational lessons.”

The department of education confirmed to ABC News that the Commissioner of Education needs to approve in advance a district’s ability to have less than 160 days in the school year, in accordance with state law.

The district hopes to begin the modified schedule on Aug. 10, the first day of classes for students in the middle and high schools, ABC News reported. Kindergarteners and kids in elementary school will reportedly start on Aug. 14, while those in preschool will begin on Aug. 28. An average school week will run Tuesday through Friday, the outlet said.

Families will also be extended a childcare option for Mondays, according to the report, which will have a daily charge of $30 for each student and run from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Daily class time will reportedly last an extra 40 minutes in order to meet the state mandated 1,080 hours of teaching per year.

Riding through the rain on the ‘Model 3’ of motorcycles

Zero has been occasionally described as the “Tesla of motorcycles,” and last year’s model DS ZF6.5 as the “Model 3 of motorcycles.” When you’re one of the only electric motorcycle manufacturers in the game, it’s frankly hard to avoid these comparisons. But after climbing aboard a DS ZF6.5 late last year, I got the sense that it wasn’t all just hot air.

It was a short ride, so the scope of these impressions is limited. Additionally, the proverbial ink of the “M” on my license was still so fresh that the excitement of showing it to people hadn’t worn off. Truly, all I wanted to get out of my first test ride of the DS ZF6.5 was a sense of what it feels like to slip through the city on a sleek, futuristic bike.

Of course, the day I rode was marred with drizzle and falling autumn leaves — two things that increase the danger of riding a motorcycle more than essentially any other variable that isn’t traffic-related. The rain came and went as I zoomed through South Brooklyn, down to the Verrazano Bridge and back to Union Garage in Red Hook. So we took things slow.

Even in tricky conditions, the DS ZF6.5 offered a smooth and scintillating ride. The suspension was capable enough to handle the Brooklyn’s neglected 3rd Avenue, which these days is more like a long stretch of asphalt-colored Swiss cheese than it is a road.

Zero has been occasionally described as the “Tesla of motorcycles,” and last year’s model DS ZF6.5 as the “Model 3 of motorcycles.” When you’re one of the only electric motorcycle manufacturers in the game, it’s frankly hard to avoid these comparisons. But after climbing aboard a DS ZF6.5 late last year, I got the sense that it wasn’t all just hot air.

It was a short ride, so the scope of these impressions is limited. Additionally, the proverbial ink of the “M” on my license was still so fresh that the excitement of showing it to people hadn’t worn off. Truly, all I wanted to get out of my first test ride of the DS ZF6.5 was a sense of what it feels like to slip through the city on a sleek, futuristic bike.

Of course, the day I rode was marred with drizzle and falling autumn leaves — two things that increase the danger of riding a motorcycle more than essentially any other variable that isn’t traffic-related. The rain came and went as I zoomed through South Brooklyn, down to the Verrazano Bridge and back to Union Garage in Red Hook. So we took things slow.

Even in tricky conditions, the DS ZF6.5 offered a smooth and scintillating ride. The suspension was capable enough to handle the Brooklyn’s neglected 3rd Avenue, which these days is more like a long stretch of asphalt-colored Swiss cheese than it is a road.

Also like the Model 3, there’s just one screen on the DS ZF6.5. (I know, it is a motorcycle.) But unlike the Model 3, it’s a very stark, utilitarian LCD screen. All the necessary, relevant info is there, like battery level, estimated range, battery temperature, and speed. But it’s not a particularly gorgeous display to feast your eyes on.

That’s fine. You don’t really want a display distracting you from the road ahead of you when you’re on a motorcycle, a form of transportation that really requires more concentration on (and awareness of) your surroundings. Zero could spice it up a little, though; something like Gogoro’s colorful scooter display would be nice.

One other way the Zero bike is actually like a Tesla is that it has the power to pull smiling conversations out of New Yorkers who would otherwise have never registered your presence. Half a dozen times on the short trip around Brooklyn, someone in the driver’s seat of a nearby car asked or remarked about the electric bike. They all sounded delighted by the idea, but surprisingly familiar with it, a testament to the rise in awareness of electric technology.

No one was puzzled as to why these bikes were quietly idling next to their cars instead of rumbling through their skulls. Most were happy to know what the name of the company was, or to steal some other small bit of information before the lights turned green. But one of them offered a word of warning: “Y’all be careful, it’s gonna be hard for folks to hear you coming.”

He’s right. The strangest thing about the DS ZF6.5 was how quiet it is. The videos I had watched before my ride of the bike being operated at higher speeds gave me the impression that it emitted a characteristic whine. But at or under 40 miles per hour, this motorcycle was essentially silent, save for some scuffy noises that come from the motor as it spins up to speed, and a low, rising tone that resembled the wind howling outside a house.

The silence is actually a wonderful thing if you want to be aware of the world around you. I was able to hear almost as much as I could if I was on a bicycle — car tires pawing at the greasy wet ground, conversations of people at a crosswalk, the sound of brakes being applied ahead of me. I could hear all these and more, even through my helmet.

This person did not hear me coming.

Where it felt dangerous is that, without the thunder of a combustion engine, the world can’t hear you. More than once, a pedestrian stepped out into the street thinking they were clear to cross before, mercifully, they spotted me charging at them. Other times, I was cut in front of by drivers who probably would have heard me if I were on a combustion motorcycle. As pleasant as my ride was, the silence made me more uneasy than the sketchy weather conditions.

This could all change. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration wrote a set of rules in 2016 that will soon force manufacturers to add an artificial noise to EVs when they’re operating at low speeds. In response, some carmakers have been thinking up some wild ideas about what those sounds should be.

But the NHTSA rule is just for four-wheeled electric cars and trucks. There’s not a mandate for motorcycles just yet, though I hope one comes. I’m not sure I know what I think an electric bike should sound like, but I’d be willing to give anything a shot. Giving other people on the road as much information as possible that a motorcycle is coming can only be a good thing.