Archive for the ‘Luxury Vehicles’ Category

McConaughey Hyping New Lincoln Navigator

Actor brings unique style to latest ad.

by on Dec.28, 2017

Matthew McConaughey is back and behind the wheel of the new Lincoln Navigator in the brand's latest commercial starting in January.

Ford’s luxury division, Lincoln finally produced a new Navigator full-size luxury sport-utility vehicle. However, this big profit generator will be promoted by a familiar face: Matthew McConaughey.

The actor, known for movies like Magic Mike, The Wolf of Wall Street and The Lincoln Lawyer, has been the spokesperson for the luxury brand for several years now and his early ads attracted quite a bit of attention, not all of it positive.

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McConaughey will star in two ads for the Navigator with the first debuting on Twitter and YouTube, and then air on television during the College Football Playoff on Jan. 1. (more…)

Alfa’s Next SUV Will Be Bigger, Hybrid-Powered

Making “a little big bigger.”

by on Dec.28, 2017

Auto Express used a bit of Photoshop magic to give a hint of what the larger Alfa SUV might look like.

Alfa Romeo’s next SUV will not only be the brand’s biggest model ever but also its first hybrid, according to the Italian automaker’s chief technical officer.

With the Stelvio, Alfa’s first ute, clicking with buyers around the world, the brand is betting the next, as yet-unnamed SUV will continue to power its global revival plan. But it will be just one of three new models set to debut during the next couple years.

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“The Stelvio for sure is an example of Alfa DNA, why don’t we translate that in a car which is a little bit bigger?” asked CTO Roberto Fedeli, in an interview with Britain’s Auto Express magazine. (more…)

US Tax Cuts Provides 1B Euro Boost to Daimler Shareholders

Company increasing dividend to global shareholders.

by on Dec.26, 2017

Daimler AG will benefit from the new tax cuts in the U.S. to the tune of $1 billion.

Daimler AG expects the reduction in U.S. federal taxes to boost the company’s net income by roughly 1 billion euros, which will lead to higher dividends next year for automaker’s shareholders around the world, the company said in a statement released during the Christmas holidays.

The new tax law pushed by President Donald Trump includes the permanent reduction of the U.S. corporate income tax rate from 35% to 21%, starting Jan. 1, 2018.

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“Due to the broadly based U.S. industrial and financial services business, combined with a material value added, Daimler — similar to many other local U.S. companies — benefits from the decided tax reform,” according to a statement by Daimler, which builds, cars, heavy-duty trucks and large diesel engines at operations spread across the United States with major employment clusters in Portland, Oregon, Detroit and Tuscaloosa, Alabama. (more…)

Infiniti Bringing Sedan Concept to NAIAS; Could Reveal Radical Shift in Dimensions

Design will mark “shift toward smarter, more compact and less intrusive powertrains”

by on Dec.21, 2017

Pure as the driven snow? Infiniti teases the sedan design concept coming to Detroit next month.

Is this Infiniti’s answer to the Jaguar I-Pace?

Rumors have been circulating for some time that the Japanese automaker was preparing something special for the North American International Auto Show, possibly a long-awaited replacement for its long-gone Q45 flagship sedan. And that is clearly one of the possibilities that could be in store when it gives us a look at the rest of the snow-white concept vehicle teased in this front-end close-up. But wherever it might fit in the line-up, the show car isn’t going to be just another four-door.

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“The new Infiniti concept car will take the traditional sedan architecture to its next stage of evolution,” suggests Karim Habib, the luxury brand’s executive design director. And key to that is adapting to, “A shift toward smarter, more compact and less intrusive powertrains.”

(more…)

Alcantara Gaining Ground on Inside of Autos

Luxury material making gains on leather in vehicle interiors.

by on Dec.19, 2017

Inside the new Panamera is covered in Alcantara, one of many high-end vehicle's using the material.

Alcantara, the Italian maker of material finding its way into more and more luxury vehicles, has tripled its sales since the recession and is adding more capacity at its home base in Italy, according to the company’s chairman and chief executive Andrea Boragno.

Boragno said Alcantara’s Italian manufacturing base is a vital part of its character and its broad appeal to a growing list of carmakers such as Alfa Romeo, Lexus, Lincoln, Nissan and Volkswagen.

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“The growing appeal of Alcantara is one of the reasons why we have announced a five-year investment program totaling 300 Euros million in order to double the company’s overall production capacity,” Boragno said. (more…)

BMW Launching All-New X2 and Updated i8 Coupe at NAIAS

Look for an array of coupes, concepts, crossovers and more.

by on Dec.18, 2017

Attendees at the Detroit Auto Show will get the first full look at BMW's new X2 M Sport model.

It’s hard to keep up with all the new stuff rolling out of the BMW product development center. Barely two months after filling the stage with an assortment of sedans, coupes, crossovers and concepts at the L.A. Auto Show, the Bavarian automaker says it will have some big news to come in Detroit, as well.

Look for two major announcements at the North American International Auto Show next month, starting with the global debut of the X2, BMW’s newest crossover. Also to debut: a mid-cycle update of the BMW i8 plug-in hybrid sports car.

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“The BMW X2 represents an expression of modern and extrovert vehicle dynamics,” Adrian van Hooydonk, senior vice president, BMW Group Design, said in a statement, adding that the “standalone vehicle concept brings a new, fresh and exciting facet of the BMW to the compact segment.” (more…)

BMW Partnership Aimed at Developing Next-Gen EV Batteries

German maker teaming up with Colorado-based Solid Power.

by on Dec.18, 2017

BMW's Vision Next 100 concept is a battery-electric with autonomous capability. Those batteries could be solid state packs.

BMW is teaming up with a Colorado-based start-up in the search for the next generation of electric vehicle batteries.

Formed in 2012, Solid Power bills itself as “an industry-leading developer” of what are known as solid state batteries. The technology is expected to result in significant improvements over today’s advanced lithium-ion batteries, among other things packing in more power at a lower cost while also sharply reducing charging times.

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“Since the company’s inception, the Solid Power team has worked to develop and scale a competitive solid-state battery paying special attention to safety, performance, and cost” Doug Campbell, founder and CEO of Solid Power, said in statement. “Collaborating with BMW is further validation that solid-state battery innovations will continue to improve electric vehicles. We’re looking forward to working with BMW on pushing the limits on developments around xEV batteries.” (more…)

Volvo Taps Brakes on Drive Me Autonomous Vehicle Program

Move delays program by four years.

by on Dec.15, 2017

The Simonovski family is one of the first two to participate in Volvo's Drive Me program.

Volvo’s tapping the brakes on its Drive Me test program in Sweden as it believes the technology is not quite ready for humans.

It was expected to yield big results when its introduced in 2014. Designed to get real people, in Sweden, behind the wheel of autonomous vehicles for additional testing, the program is being slowed down after engineers decided the program wasn’t ready for prime time.

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Initially, Volvo said that 100 self-driving cars would be made available for members of the public to drive on the streets of Gothenburg, Sweden, the automaker’s hometown, by the end of this year. (more…)

Audi Not Selling Off Ducati After All

But still looking to shave nearly $12 billion in costs.

by on Dec.14, 2017

A Ducati sport bike sits alongside an Audi, which contemplated selling the Italian motorcycle maker to offset diesel gate costs.

German automaker Audi has scrubbed plans to sell off Ducati, its Italian motorcycle brand, a move initially triggered by its need to cut costs in the wake of parent company Volkswagen’s diesel emissions crisis.

Audi acquired the widely respected motorcycle brand in 2012 through another Italian subsidiary, Automobili Lamborghini S.p.A., the high-performance supercar manufacturer. Ferdinand Piech, the long-time boss at Audi parent Volkswagen AG, had long coveted Ducati, though analysts have routinely questioned what the brand brings to Audi or VW.

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So, there was little resistance when Audi said it would sell off Ducati as part of a plan to trim its costs by 10 billion euros, or $11.8 billion. But Audi CEO Rupert Stadler this week said that is no longer necessary. “I can assure you that Ducati belongs to the Audi family,” said Stadler. “Ducati is the perfect implementation of our premium philosophy in the world of motorbikes.” (more…)

First Look: 2018 Mercedes-Benz G-Class

Mercedes reinterprets maker's military-based classic.

by on Dec.14, 2017

The new Mercedes-Benz G-Class gets a makeover for the 2018 model year.

Daimler AG has updated its G-Class sport utility vehicle, which like the Jeep Wrangler, began its life more than 40 years ago as a military vehicle but is now one of the most coveted vehicles in the Mercedes-Benz model line.

The G-Class or Geländewagen or G-Wagen as its now known was developed as cross-country vehicle for use in remote places such as the desert or Arctic region is a midsized, boxy style SUV that is built for Daimler by Magna-Steyr in Graz, Austria.

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The redesign, which is described as the most extensive in the vehicle’s long history and includes a more spacious cabin, maintains the ute’s iconic elements to give the G-Class its unique appearance such as distinctive door handles, exterior protective strip, exposed spare wheel on the rear door and the prominent indicator lights. (more…)