Archive for the ‘Auto Shows’ Category

Mercedes’ Electric, Semi-Autonomous ESF 2019 Concept Debuts Over a Dozen Potential Safety Breakthroughs

Even autonomous vehicles will occasionally crash.

by on May.20, 2019

Mercedes-Benz is rolling out its ESF 2019 to show off the semi-autonomous concept car.

The new Mercedes-Benz ESF 2019 started life out as just another midsize crossover, but the familiar GLE has undergone an array of modifications that could significantly improve the safety of passengers and pedestrians, the German automaker says.

These include changes to airbags, seatbelts and a child safety seat meant to make them more effective in a crash, as well as a steering wheel and pedals that retract when the ESF is operating in autonomous mode, and even an outside communications system meant to signal pedestrians and bicyclists what the vehicle is going to do next. There’s even a built-in robot that pops out of the back of the vehicle to warn oncoming traffic in the event of a crash.

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Some of the more than a dozen different innovations “are very close to series production,” said Ola Kallenius, the Daimler AG Executive Board member overseeing Mercedes-Benz Cars Development, though others “look well into the future.” (more…)

Another Automaker Abandons the V-8

Genesis will drop Tau V-8 when new G80 debuts this autumn.

by on May.20, 2019

The next version of the Genesis G80 will come to market without its familiar Tau V-8.

Way back in the late 1970s, when twin oil shocks and the then-new Corporate Average Fuel Economy mandate forced automakers to start focusing on energy efficiency, conventional wisdom had it that the V-8 would soon vanish. It didn’t quite work out that way and the engine of choice for many performance and heavy-duty vehicles has remained surprisingly robust.

But as global emissions and mileage regulations continue to tighten, the V-8 appears, once again, to be an endangered species, and the Hyundai Motor Group is the latest getting ready to throw in the towel.

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The Korean carmaker’s luxury brand Genesis plans to abandon its 5.0-liter Tau V-8 when it rolls out new versions of its two biggest sedans, according to the marque’s CEO. That phase-out will begin later this year with the launch of a new version of the G80.

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Hyundai/Kia Partnering up with Croatia EV Supercar Maker Rimac

Croatian company positions itself as a major supplier of electrification technology and components.

by on May.14, 2019

Rimac founder and CEO Mate Rimac celebrates with Hyundai's Euisun Chung their new alliance.

Alliances and joint ventures are becoming as much the norm as the exception in today’s auto industry, but Hyundai Motor Group just entered a particularly strange-bedfellow sort of relationship, investing nearly $90 million in Rimac, the Croatian manufacturer of battery-electric supercars.

The Korean parent of the Hyundai and Kia brands will not only invest 80 million euros in Rimac Automobili but also establish a technology partnership that will put some high-performance electric vehicles in their future line-ups, as well.

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“Rimac is an innovative company with outstanding capabilities in high-performance electric vehicles,” said Euisun Chung, Executive Vice Chairman of Hyundai Motor Group. “Its startup roots and abundant experience collaborating with automakers combined with technological prowess makes Rimac the ideal partner for us. We look forward to collaborating with Rimac on our road to Clean Mobility.”

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Kia Offers First Look at New “Global Small SUV”

Could be called Tusker in U.S. market.

by on May.14, 2019

Kia's teaser images aren't entirely production ready, as the mirrors and large wheels suggest.

At the Seoul Motor Show in March Kia unveiled two concept vehicles hinting at how it plans to bookmark its SUV line-up. Now, it’s offering a pair of renderings that appear to show what the smaller of the two Korean concepts will actually look like in production.

The “new global small SUV” was indeed, “inspired by the 2019 Kia SP Signature Concept,” Kia confirmed in a news release this morning. But it left plenty of other questions unanswered, including the name it will give the new offering and the precise timing of its global roll-out.

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“We have created a car which stands out everywhere, from the city to the countryside,” said Byung Chul Juh, head of styling for the Kia brand, adding that it will offer “a wide range of features and technologies that are universally suited to younger buyers in markets around the world.”

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China Car Sales Tumble for 10th Consecutive Month

Downturn comes as US trade war escalates, domestic economy slips.

by on May.13, 2019

Klaus Bischoff, VW design chief, shows off the SMV Concept at Auto Shanghai last month.

For much of the past two decades, China’s new vehicle market was the envy of the world, with routine double-digit annual growth approaching triple-digit gains on several occasions – but the numbers were down 14.6% in April, marking the 10th consecutive monthly decline.

At 1.98 million vehicles, China remains solidly in the lead as the world’s largest automotive market, but the downturn raises troubling issues for both foreign and domestically owned brands, such as General Motors, Volkswagen, Toyota, Geely and Great Wall, impacting industry earnings around the globe.

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With China locked in an escalating trade war with the United States and the country’s overall economy showing signs of weakness, industry analysts question how soon the car market will show a recovery. The downturn could force automakers to look for ways to export products from increasingly underutilized Chinese plants, according to observers.

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Daimler to Go “Carbon Neutral” Under “Ambition2039″ Sustainability Plan

Company credited with inventing the I.C. engine is helping to put it to rest, says environmental group.

by on May.13, 2019

Mercedes revealed the U.S. version of its first long-range EV, the EQC Edition 1886, in NY last month.

The automaker that effectively brought the internal combustion engine to life appears ready to drive a nail into its coffin.

Daimler AG, the parent of the Mercedes-Benz and Smart brands says it expects plug-in hybrids and pure battery-electric vehicles, or BEVs, accounting for fully 50% of its sales by 2030, with a goal to go completely “carbon neutral” by 2039.

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“One of the defining issues is how we address our CO2 footprint,” Ola Kallenius, Daimler’s next CEO, said during a conference in its headquarters city of Stuttgart on Monday morning.

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First Drive: 2020 Toyota Supra

Are sports car fines likely to debate its merits? Probably, but the new Supra was well worth the wait.

by on May.12, 2019

The 2020 Supra was born of an unusual collaboration between Toyota and BMW.

It’s easy to feel intimidated at Summit Point Motorsports Park. The Shenandoah Circuit is an undulating, 2-mile course that sends you ping-ponging from one blind corner to another, rising and falling over the rocky West Virginia landscape. But it was as close to perfect a place to get my first ride in the all-new 2020 Toyota Supra as I could imagine.

It’s been 21-years since the last Toyota to wear that badge appeared in U.S. showrooms. Rumors of Supra’s revival have been circulating ever since. We got a hint that something really might be in the works five years ago when the Japanese automaker revealed the striking FT-1 concept at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

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The show car was anything but the sort of plain vanilla product Toyota has become known for, it’s long nose and sweeping roofline embodying the “passion” that Akio Toyoda has been crying out for since being named Toyota president and CEO in 2009. But the question was whether the Japanese automaker would actually ever put the FT-1 into production. Coming up with an answer became even more iffy in the years that followed, as new car buyers around the world began to migrate from sedans, coupes and sports car to SUVs, CUVs and pickups.

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Ferrari Set to Reveal New Hybrid Supercar this Month

“Top-of-the-line performance…and a true beauty,” promises CEO.

by on May.10, 2019

The LaFerrari showed that hybrid power could deliver high levels of performance.

It’s been a while since Ferrari first dropped the hint that it would add a new hybrid to its line-up and now, according to CEO Louis Camilleri, we’ll be getting to see it before the end of this month.

The hybrid will be one of five new models coming from the Maranello-based manufacturer, said the chief executive, and there are some signs more than one of these products will rely on an electrified boost to performance. But that should surprise fewer and fewer Ferrari fans considering the broad push towards battery propulsion in the supercar and hypercar segments.

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We’re hearing plenty of rumors about the hybrid coming this month, including the comment Camilleri dropped during a conference call to discuss the brand’s first-quarter earnings. According to the chief executive, “It will be a top-of-the-line hybrid with supercar performance and a true beauty.”

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Volkswagen Tallies 10,000 Pre-Orders for New ID.3 EV

Golf-sized battery-electric debuting in Frankfurt this fall.

by on May.10, 2019

Volkswagen accepted 10,000 pre-orders for the new ID.3 electric vehicle in 24 hours.

Just days after Volkswagen revealed its accepting pre-orders for its new ID.3 battery electric hatchback, the automaker claims it has more than 10,000 pre-orders for the new EV. VW sales chief Jurgen Stackman revealed the news in a tweet.

The company started taking deposits of 1,000 euros on Wednesday for the all-new battery-electric entry. It got its name for being the third variant in VW’s ID. line-up of electric vehicles.

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The new battery electric hatchback will cost about $33,500, and European deliveries will begin midyear 2020. Volkswagen will officially unveil the new Golf-sized EV at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September. At that time, pre-orders will be confirmed as orders. (more…)

Is Mazda Planning to Bring Vision Coupe Concept – and New Engine Line — to Life?

I-6 engine to power new product line off “Large Architecture” platform.

by on May.10, 2019

Mazda is finishing up a "Large Architecture," like the one that underpinned the 2017 Vision Coupe Concept.

For such a small company, Mazda has had a history of coming up with lots of creative powertrain technology, from its original rotaries to the latest Skyactiv-X that manages to combine some of the best attributes of a diesel and a gas engine. Now, it appears, the Hiroshima-based manufacturer is busy working on an inline-six design that could be powered both by gas and diesel.

Considering the size and design of Mazda’s current line-up, that might seem an odd choice, however. With the exception of the MX-5 Miata, the automaker’s products have been designed to use shorter powertrains that work in a transverse, or east-west, configuration, rather than the longitudinal, or north-south, layout that would be required with a longer inline-six engine.

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That would suggest that Mazda has another surprise coming, and it appears to be a production car based on what is being referred to as the “Large Architecture,” a platform that could be used for a bigger product than any in the current portfolio. And that immediately brings to mind Mazda’s recent Vision Coupe Concept.

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