Archive for the ‘Luxury Vehicles’ Category

Volvo Backs Out of IPO Due to Trade and Market Conditions

Trump's ongoing tensions with China and Europe push decision.

by on Sep.10, 2018

Volvo Chief Executive Hakan Samuelsson said that trade tensions between the U.S. and China as well as the EU were one reason to halt its IPO.

President Donald Trump’s seemingly ongoing trade war with, well, everyone as well as a less-than-robust period for auto stocks has forced Volvo Cars to put off its initial public offering — for now, anyway.

Volvo Cars, which is owned by China-based Geely, previously announced it was considering the IPO to help raise funds for additional research and expanding of production. However, the current trade tensions between the U.S. and China as well as the European Union has forced a rethink.

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“We’ve come to the conclusion that the timing is not optimal for an IPO right now,” Volvo Chief Executive Hakan Samuelsson told Reuters by telephone on Monday.  (more…)

BMW Unleashes the Latest X2: the M35i

Newest ute puts out 302 horsepower, rushing form 0 to 60 in 4.9 seconds.

by on Sep.07, 2018

The 2019 BMW X2 M35i puts out 302 horsepower from a 2.0-liter twin-turbo 4 cylinder.

BMW continues to expand its presence in the fast-growing small luxury utility segment with the introduction a new X2 sport activity vehicle: the X2 M35i.

The automaker’s M-branded vehicles are known for their high level of performance and the 2019 X2 M35i keeps that legacy intact with a 302 horsepower 2.0-liter TwinPower turbocharged 4-cylinder engine.

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The new engine is produced by BMW M GmbH, which is akin to Mercedes-Benz relationship with AMG. It’s the first M Performance 4-cylinder engine and at the same time BMW’s most powerful production 4-cylinder version yet. BMW M left almost no major engine component group untouched. (more…)

Hey! BMW Introducing New AI-Enabled In-Car Assistant

New digital assistant available in March 2019

by on Sep.06, 2018

BMW has developed its own in-car, AI-enabled digital assistant. The system's functions can be accessed by simply saying, "Hey BMW!"

“Hey Google!” appears to have more competition as BMW follows the lead of Mercedes-Benz, Ford and other automakers by making an AI-enabled assistant available in its vehicles with a simple call out: “Hey BMW!”

The BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant is a new proprietary in-car AI assistant that uses an always on-call technology platform. It is an intelligent, digital character that responds to the prompt “Hey BMW” and has the ability to control vehicle settings, navigation and entertainment systems as well as explain vehicle functions and even conducting a conversation.

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The BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant will debut in 2019 and mark the start of a new era in which drivers will increasingly be able to operate their car and access its functions and information through voice control, the automaker noted. (more…)

Why Fly? Self-Driving Volvo 360c Offers Alternative for Long-Distance Travel

Autonomous, electric, the concept will let travelers do “what they want to do.”

by on Sep.05, 2018

The Volvo 360c Concept is designed to let an owner travel in Business Jet-style comfort.

Flying is glamorous, or so the airlines would have you believe, but ask anyone who has had to deal with security lines, crowded cabins and inevitable delays and you’ll get an entirely different picture.

That’s where something like the Volvo 360c might offer a pleasant alternative. While the industry has focused on using driverless vehicles to replace conventional taxicabs, the self-driving concept from Volvo has long-distance travelers in mind. Billed as “the future of autonomous travel,” the 360c is designed to skip the lines and deliver the sort of experience you might expect flying on a private jet.

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“Domestic air travel sounds great when you buy your ticket, but it really isn’t,” said Mårten Levenstam, senior vice president of corporate strategy at Volvo Cars, adding that “The 360c represents what could be a whole new take on the industry.”

(more…)

Acura Updates “Gateway” Model ILX for 2019

Luxury brand looking to appeal to more millennials.

by on Sep.05, 2018

The new Acura ILX gets a serious makeover for 2019 as it looks to lure millennials to showrooms.

Millennials are buying new vehicles in ever-increasing numbers, and while most of those tend to be utes and trucks, Acura is looking to secure a new generation of buyers with a redo of its “gateway” model the ILX.

Hoping to appeal to what is soon to be the largest generation of new car consumers, the ILX gets a significant exterior facelift for the 2019 model year with a more aggressive look on the outside, borrowing form the brand’s Precision concept.

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The new model keeps Acura’s signature diamond pentagon grille, but its accented new LED headlights and a sharply sculpted hood giving it a more churlish appearance for the front end. For the rear of the car there are LED taillights, a lower diffuser with the tips of the exhaust hanging out just a bit, and an all-new decklid. (more…)

Bonded: Aston Martin, 007′s Favorite Carmaker Planning IPO

Will investors look past British maker's troubled past?

by on Aug.29, 2018

Andy Palmer, Aston Martin CEO, will put his Second Century Plan to the test with a potential $9 billion IPO.

Forget Bond, or bonds, anyway. What Aston Martin is looking at now is stock. The British automaker, best known as the car of choice for super-spy 007, is acting on long-standing rumors and planning to go public.

The company, which has gone bankrupt as many as eight times since it was founded 105 years ago, has staged a major turnaround during the last several years, and it now plans to float as much as a quarter of its existing shares, a move that would raise an estimated £5 billion, or nearly $9 billion for current shareholders. The IPO will be a test of the “Second Century Plan” put in place by CEO Andy Palmer, who joined Aston in mid-2014.

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“Today’s announcement represents a key milestone in the history of the company, which is reporting strong financial results and increased global demand for its award-winning sports cars,” Palmer said in the statement. (more…)

NAFTA Update Faces Hurdles Getting Approval

Talks with Canada have just started despite Friday deadline.

by on Aug.29, 2018

Until all three negotiators say there is a deal, passing the current bilateral will be difficult and take longer than expected.

An air of uncertainty and frustrations once again settled over the discussions surrounding the North American Free Trade Agreement despite the announcement by President Donald Trump and Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto of tentative agreement on the broad outlines of a new trade pact.

However, no one is yet certain about the specifics needed to make a new pact operational. For example, officials from Kia, which is about to launch a new vehicle made in Mexico, Kia Forte, in the U.S. market said it wasn’t sure about what impact the tentative pack might have on the automobile business. Like everyone else, Kia is waiting for more details, noted James Bell, Kia’s director of corporate communications.

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One specific piece of apparently settled under the tentative U.S.-Mexican agreement are the rules of origin, which have increased the requirements from 62.5% to 75%. The new agreement would increase the U.S.-Mexican content in the pact in an effort to draw automotive investment from China to Mexico or the U.S. The rules could penalize Asian carmakers, according to analysts. (more…)

Cadillac Celebrating 20 Years of Escalade

Luxury ute wasn't the first, but definitely best seller.

by on Aug.28, 2018

Once almost an afterthought in Cadillac's line-up, the Escalade is now the brand's centerpiece.

Once unchallenged as the leader in automotive luxury, Cadillac defined American style in the years following World War II with long, sleek models with tail fins.

In the last two decades, however, Cadillac has sputtered and stalled except for one model, the Escalade, which is one of the most profitable vehicles ever built by General Motors. First Introduced at the 1998 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, the Escalade is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year as GM prepares the next generation for its scheduled introduction in 2020.

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Since its public debut in 1998, the Cadillac Escalade has become a defined the full-size luxury SUV segment just as the Cadillacs of the 1950s and 1960s defined post-World War II luxury. (more…)

Mercedes’ Enigmatic Teaser Appears to Preview All-Electric EQ C

“Mystic Details,” says terse news release.

by on Aug.27, 2018

What might Mercedes mean by "Mystic Details"? Could it reference the distinctive accent lights expected to show up on the production EQ C crossover.

These days, we’ve become used to receiving terse news releases from automakers teasing upcoming product launches, but the one we just received from Mercedes-Benz all but reaches the limits of brevity, with just two words accompanying this image: “Mystic Details.”

While we’re not sure what the word, mystic, references, the odds seem to favor the pic being a close-up of headlight and grille details on the new Mercedes-EQ C battery-electric vehicle that will make its debut on September 4th, the first in an all-new sub-brand the German automaker will be fleshing out over the next few years.

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Roughly the size of today’s Mercedes-Benz GLC, the EQ C will be company’s first long-range all-electric model, essentially a competitor for the Tesla Model Y crossover that is still a few years away from production. It will be followed soon after by a production version of the Mercedes EQA Concept that was revealed in June.

(more…)

Jaguar Offering New, but Old Electric Vehicle: E-type Zero

Brand's restoration arm will make the conversions.

by on Aug.26, 2018

Jaguar Classic, the brand's restoration unit, is restoring and converting E-types to battery electric powertrains.

What many consider the most beautiful car in the world, the Jaguar E-type, is getting another modifier — the most beautiful electric car in the world as the company revealed plans to restore and convert existing models to full battery electrics.

The move comes after an “overwhelmingly positive reaction” to the iconic brand’s initial concept last year. Officials say that the first E-type EVs, called the E-type Zero, will be available in summer 2020.

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“We’ve been overwhelmed by the positive reaction to the Jaguar E-type Zero concept. Future-proofing the enjoyment of classic car ownership is a major stepping stone for Jaguar Classic,” said Tim Hannig, Jaguar Land Rover Classic director. (more…)