Archive for the ‘Product Reveals’ Category

Polestar Will Pump Up New Volvo S60 Performance Model

Volvo takes performance to new level with modified S60 sedan.

by on Jun.13, 2018

The 2019 Volvo S60 Polestar Engineered gets unique Brembo brakes, among other modifications.

Few brands have done more to try to transform their image in recent years than Volvo, and the new S60 T8 Polestar Engineered sedan should continue shifting the Swedish marque in its new direction.

The latest version of the S60 not only puts more of a premium on sporty styling but backs it up with a 415-horsepower engine. But that’s no ordinary powerplant. No V-8s or turbo-sixes for this new Volvo. It’s a Polestar-modified version of the carmaker’s T8 plug-in hybrid, the top-performing version of its all-four-cylinder line-up.

First Look!

“The new S60 T8 Polestar Engineered is an electrified car that does what you want it to,” said Volvo’s Senior Vice President of R&D Henrik Green. “All components have been fine-tuned to work together, delivering a responsive and exciting driver’s car.”

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More Products, More Volume, Bigger Margins: FCA Lays Out Aggressive, 5-Year Growth Plan

Morning presentation outlines plans for Jeep, Ram, Maserati and Alfa Romeo brands.

by on Jun.01, 2018

The Ram TRX will be among the new models FCA will bring out over the coming five years.

(This story has been revised to update plans for Jeep’s pickup and a midsize pickup from Ram that, CEO Marchionne now says will come to the U.S. market.)

In a sweeping presentation designed to give analysts, investors, media and potential buyers a good look at its future, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles executives are spending a day detailing their plans for the company and its various brands.

At the midway mark, as they break for lunch, they’ve already lifted the kimono far enough to show what’s coming for the Jeep, Ram, Maserati and Alfa Romeo brands and, in a nutshell, it can be summed up as more products targeting lots more volume and much bigger margins.

Breaking News!

The new five-year plan will be the last crafted under the guidance of Sergio Marchionne, the 65-year-old executive who helped pull off the pairing of two struggling manufacturers to form Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. His third five-year plan, Marchionne stressed that “The true finish line is the one always yet to come.”

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Performance Version of Tesla Model 3 Will Be “Quicker than a BMW” – But Cost $78,000

Will “beat anything in its class on a track,” tweets Tesla’s Musk.

by on May.21, 2018

Tesla CEO Musk claims the performance Model 3 will not only be faster, but handle better than the BMW M3.

Despite a painfully slow ramp-up of production, Tesla is planning to add a new high-performance version of its Model 3 sedan that CEO Elon Musk claims will be “quicker than a BMW,” and be able to “beat anything in its class on a track.”

In a series of tweets over the weekend, Musk fleshed out details about the all-wheel-drive electric vehicle, noting that it will launch from 0 to 60 in 3.5 seconds, top out at an Autobahn-burning 155 mph, and still yield 310 miles per charge – at least when driven a bit less aggressively. But the yet-unnamed performance version of the Model 3 will also cost $78,000, or about twice as much as a base version of the electric sedan.

News Now!

That steep jump actually isn’t entirely out of line, at least when comparing to the likes of a BMW 3-Series sedan. The German sports sedan starts at $34,900, around the same figure as a Model 3 before factoring in the $7,500 federal tax credit. The BMW M3 starts at $66,500, though appears to have less standard equipment than the Model 3 performance version. The Tesla includes AWD, for example, an otherwise $5,000 option.

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VW Brand Bailing Out on Paris Motor Show

Latest in a growing series of auto show cutbacks by global carmakers.

by on May.17, 2018

Volkswagen introduced its I.D. concept in Paris in 2016, now it's skipping the 2018 show.

The auto industry exodus from major car shows is rapidly accelerating, with Volkswagen the latest to announce plans that will see its flagship VW brand drop out of the upcoming Paris Auto Show, normally Europe’s biggest industry event of the year.

An assortment of major brands, including Volkswagen’s Audi marque, have said they will be no-shows next year at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, the biggest industry gathering in the U.S. And BMW plans to slash its presence at the 2019 Frankfurt Motor Show, and possibly other auto shows.

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“The Volkswagen brand is continually reviewing its participation in international motor shows,” the VW division said on Thursday. It may not completely skip out on Paris, however. While it won’t have a display at the city’s convention center, it may stage concurrent “communications activities,” it added. (more…)

Toyota Earnings Jump, Despite Rising U.S. Incentives

Record R&D spending could hurt operating profit.

by on May.09, 2018

Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda is not only pushing for automotive sales growth, but leading the company into the emerging mobility sector.

Toyota saw earnings jump 21% between January and March, the final quarter of its fiscal year, despite having to sharply ramp up incentives in a slowing U.S. automotive market.

The automaker reported a profit of 480.8 billion yen, or $4.4 billion, up from 398 billion yen the year before. Toyota’s sales also rose 2% to 7.58 trillion yen, or $69 billion. For the full fiscal year, it earned 2.49 trillion yen, or $23 billion, a 36% increase, with sales rising 6%, to 29.38 trillion yen, or $268 billion.

Beyond the Numbers!

The strong performance helped highlight the cost-cutting efforts initiated by CEO and President Akio Toyoda, the grandson of Toyota’s founder declaring, “We’ve become a leaner, trimmer company … and in the past year we’ve developed our remaining fat into muscle, so that we’re in a strong position to be more competitive.”

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Nikola Sues Tesla Over Alleged Patent Infringement

Radically different powertrain technologies - but curiously similar cab designs spark lawsuit.

by on May.02, 2018

The Nikola One heavy-duty rig will be able to travel up to 1,000 miles on a tank of hydrogen.

There’s something ironic about learning that Nikola is suing Tesla, two companies both meant to honor maverick inventor Nikola Tesla, but the Salt Lake City-based Nikola Motor Co. has filed a suit against Silicon Valley rival claiming Tesla has infringed on its design patents.

While Tesla is best known for its battery  sedan and SUV models, it is also hoping to become a big player in the truck market with the upcoming launch of its electric Semi. Nikola, meanwhile, also wants to turn the truck industry green, though it is focusing on the hydrogen fuel-cell technology that will power rigs like its heavy-duty Nikola One. And it claims the similarities in the look of the two trucks is more than coincidental.

Keep on Truckin'!

“The Tesla Semi design is substantially similar to Nikola’s unique design, and Tesla copied Nikola’s patents,” the start-up claims in a lawsuit filed on Tuesday. It added that it “estimates its harm from Tesla’s infringement to be in excess of $2 billion.”

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Car of the Year? Even Honda Accord Falls into a Black Hole as Sedan Sales Continue to Wither

Slumping sedan sales putting a chill on spring sales.

by on May.02, 2018

It may be new for 2018, but U.S. buyers have had only a tepid response to the latest Honda Accord.

Few recent product launches generated more buzz than the debut of the 2018 Honda Accord. Long one of the U.S. market’s best-selling nameplates, the 10th-generation sedan quickly racked up a slew of awards, including North American Car of the Year.

But despite all the rave reviews, Honda is struggling to retain momentum for the Accord. American motorists purchased just 21,751 of the sedans in April, a 19.3% year-over-year decline. And even when adjusting for the fact that April 2018 had two fewer sales days than the year before, the dip was 12.5 percent. And Honda isn’t alone. The completely redesigned 2018 Toyota  Camry, a Car of the Year runner-up, suffered a 5.0% drop in volume in April.

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“They’re both brand new vehicles and award winners, but I’m not sure that has any impact now,” said Joe Phillippi, head of AutoTrends Consulting. “Consumer tastes are changing. Everybody wants SUVs and CUVs.”

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2019 Lexus ES Sedan Breaks Cover in Beijing

Point-counterpoint, as Lexus adds F Sport, as well as hybrid versions.

by on Apr.24, 2018

Lexus aimed to put more "passion" into the design and performance of the 2019 ES.

After a series of fan dance teases, Lexus has finally pulled the wraps off its seventh-generation in a dual presentation at the Beijing Motor Show and near its old U.S. corporate headquarters in Los Angeles.

One of the first models ever introduced by the Japanese automaker, the ES has long been known for its comfort, reliability and value, though it has also helped Lexus earn a reputation for plain vanilla design and performance. The luxury arm of Toyota Motor Corp. is determined not to let that happen again.

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“The ES has always been an elegant luxury sedan,” said Yasuo Kojino, the 2019 model’s chief designer. “For this generation, we have added daring design elements that challenge the traditional expectations of buyers.”

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BMW Slashing Presence at Euro Car Shows, Could Pull Out of Some

Bavarian automaker shifting resources to alternate events, like CES.

by on Apr.24, 2018

The BMW i Vision Dynamics made its debut at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show.

Already planning to skip the North American International Auto Show in Detroit next January, BMW is reportedly planning to sharply scale back its presence at European events like the 2019 Frankfurt Motor Show, according to a German news report, and it could abandon some of those entirely, as well.

The news comes as automakers large and small start to rethink their commitment to traditional auto shows which, the latest thinking goes, don’t generate the bang-for-the-buck they once did. At the same time, manufacturers are being offered a range of new alternatives, whether tech-focused events like CES or even one-brand shows that avoid the need for a carmaker to share the stage with competitors.

Beyond the Headlines!

BMW is planning to slash as much as 75% of its 2019 auto show budget, reports the German business publication Handelsblatt. At the Frankfurt Motor Show, where BMW had previously gone so far as constructing an indoor driving track, it will have just a 10,000 square foot display at the next event down from 36,000 in 2017.

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New Chevy Silverado HD to Debut as a 2020 Model

Heavy-duty truck comes after new light duty hits this year.

by on Apr.11, 2018

Chevrolet plans to roll out its new Silverado HD in fall 2019 as a 2020 model.

The competition in the pickup truck segment continues to escalate as General Motors, Ford and Fiat Chrysler bring on new models.

Chevrolet announced that the next-generation Silverado HD will debut next year, as a 2020 model. It will be the third all-new truck in the Silverado line-up revealed in just 18 months, joining the 2019 Silverado 1500 and the 2019 Silverado 4500/5500/6500HD.

News You Can Trust!

“Chevrolet already fuels the most successful truck manufacturer in the industry,” said Alan Batey, global head of Chevrolet.  (more…)

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