Archive for the ‘Europe’ Category

BMW Adds Gran Coupe Version of 8-Series

Bigger, roomier and now offered with new Inline-six.

by on Jun.19, 2019

The 2020 BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe is the Bavarian maker's latest coupe-like sedan.

BMW has pulled the wraps off a new sedan version of its 8-Series. Oops, make that a Gran Coupe version, the distinctive moniker the Bavarian maker is using for four-door versions of its coupes.

Though it picks up on the basic shape of the two-door 8-Series model, which launched just a year ago, the Gran Coupe is longer, taller, wider and roomier. It’s also being offered with a new, inline-six engine, as well as the 523-horsepower twin-turbo V-8 found in the two-door version of the 8-Series.

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Set to start at just over $85,000 when it reaches U.S. showrooms next autumn, the 2018 8-Series Gran Coupe can push well over six figures with options such as performance tires, a carbon fiber roof, night vision, and a 1,400-watt Bowers & Wilkins audio system. (more…)

“Framing John DeLorean” Misses Mark, Still Must-See Movie

Saga of fallen former GM executive makes for compelling viewing.

by on Jun.19, 2019

"Framing John DeLorean" chronicles the rise and fall of the former GM executives.

“Framing John DeLorean,” the new movie about the fallen auto executive, has an awkward title and cinema purists are likely to be put off by its mix of talking heads, bits from news film and videos and scenes re-acted by actors.

It almost seems that the producers of the film couldn’t find enough archival footage to do a documentary but had nowhere near enough money to hire actors and find the locations necessary to serve as back drop for DeLorean’s biography.

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But the film, with Alec Baldwin serving at the narrator and commentator, manages to succeed in telling the dramatic story of rise and fall a Detroit-born auto executive, who left his name on what has become an iconic vehicle with a unique place in American popular culture. (more…)

Tesla Stock Rebounds, But Questions Remain About Production

Musk fires up troops to break production record.

by on Jun.18, 2019

Tesla's stock rallied in early morning trading, but by the end of the day, it gave back most of its gains.

After plunging last month to levels not seen since 2016, Tesla shares have been rebounding in recent days. And though a Tuesday morning rally wound up the day in negative territory by the time the final bell was rung, shares are still up more than 4% in recent days, giving the battery-carmaker a bit of a respite.

But whether the upturn will continue is far from certain, with analysts and investors anxiously waiting to see how Tesla’s second-quarter production and sales numbers fare. The automaker fell well short of its first quarter target, driving its bottom line deep into the red. CEO Elon Musk has signaled that the losses likely will continue for the current quarter, but he has also indicated that production and sales have been picking up.

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Separately, Tesla bulls appear relieved by the 47-year-old entrepreneur’s newfound caution when it comes to using his Twitter . Musk has found himself in serious trouble on several occasions over the past year due to his tendency to say whatever comes to mind in his steady flow of tweets. Among other things, that has led to his removal as Tesla chairman and it had earlier this year raised the prospect he might also be forced out as CEO. (more…)

Italian Airport Gets Its Second Lamborghini Huracan

Supercars guide airliners to their gates.

by on Jun.18, 2019

Bologna's Marconi International Airport is on its second Lamborghini Huracan.

Flair is an adjective often applied to Italians and Italian culture. Whether it’s a discussion about fashion, food or architecture, Italians are known to make sure it’s memorable.

This isn’t limited to the aforementioned areas as we’re just learning. The Bologna Guglielmo Marconi International Airport is ensuring it incorporates some style into its daily operations, like guiding large jets around the airport.

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Commercial airliners follow a 580-horsepower Lamborghini Huracan complete with a sign that reads “Follow Me.” The car isn’t just for show, it performs a vital service and puts in a full day, seven days a week. (more…)

Volkswagen Ready to Sell of Part of its Traton Truck Unit

Company looks to raise $2.1 billion with IPO.

by on Jun.17, 2019

Volkswagen is offering 10% of its Traton truck unit for and IPO. The company hopes to raise $2.1 billion.

Volkswagen AG is preparing to launch an initial public offering of shares in its heavy truck unit, Traton, that could raise as much as $2.1 billion.

Overall, the Volkswagen said in a statement that it would sell about 10% of Traton at a price that underwriters have pegged at between 27 euros and 33 euros per share in order to raise the offering.

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VW announced last month that VW planned to go ahead with the offering. Despite the uncertainty in global markets due to the economic slowdown in Europe and the spiraling trade war between the U.S. and China. (more…)

Toyota’s Gazoo Racing Teases Planned Hypercar

Street and track versions under development.

by on Jun.17, 2019

Toyota is in the midst of developing a hypercar for both the track and the road that will race in the 2020/2021 season.

Toyota is bound and determined to prove everything you thought you knew about the company is wrong, especially if that included words like “boring,” and “plain vanilla.” Fresh on the heels of its successful effort at the the 24 Hours of Le Mans, as well as its revival of the Supra model, the Japanese giant is giving us a hint of the hypercar it is developing for both track and street.

It’s not far away, either, with Toyota promising its most powerful model ever will be “on the grid” during the 2020/2021 World Endurance Championship series.

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“Both road and race car are undergoing design and intensive development at the company’s technical centers in Toyota City, Higashi-Fuji and Cologne,” the automaker said in a release. It has also noted that president Akio Toyoda – the guy who keeps demanding more “passion” from the company – has himself spent some time test driving the as yet-unnamed hypercar. (more…)

FCA Adds to Electric Vehicle Arsenal with New Agreement

Deal gives future EV, hybrid owners easy charger access.

by on Jun.14, 2019

Jeep will produce a battery-electric version of the Renegade that will be available in Europe.

For an automaker with seemingly no battery-electric car program to speak of, Fiat Chrysler suddenly has collected a bunch of assets needed to jump into the EV market with both feet. The automaker signed an agreement with European utilities Enel and Engie to offer charging points for its coming battery-electric products.

FCA would have been much farther along in the EV race if a proposed merger with Renault had gone through; however, the company isn’t letting that be much more than a hiccup on its sudden progress in the segment.

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Last June the company announced plans to invest 9 billion euros, or about $10 billion, during the next five years to introduce hybrid and electric cars in all of its markets. Currently, it offers a plug-in hybrid version of its popular Chrysler Pacifica minivan in North America. (more…)

Ford, Volkswagen Nearing Second Agreement

Two automakers working on EVs and autonomous vehicles.

by on Jun.13, 2019

Ford CEO Jim Hackett, left, and VW AG CEO Herbert Diess downplayed the immediate impact their new deal. The two companies are on the verge of their second deal.

Ford Motor Co. and Volkswagen AG are finalizing a deal to work together on autonomous and electric vehicles, according the German automaker’s top executive.

Herbert Diess, VW’s CEO, told a group of employees that the two sides were negotiating the final parts of the deal, which would be the second since the two automakers agreed to start working together earlier this year.

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The first deal called for Ford to provide VW with assistance on developing a new pickup truck that it would sell in global markets, but not the United States. This new deal centers on Ford getting use of Volkswagen’s MEB EV platform. (more…)

Hyundai, Kia Invest in Autonomous Software Startup Aurora

Investment expands Korean automakers autonomous program.

by on Jun.13, 2019

Hyundai and Kia are investing in self-driving startup Aurora to accelerate its autonomous program.

Hyundai Motor Co. said it plans to invest in self-driving car software startup Aurora along with Kia Motors Corp. to speed up development of autonomous vehicle technologies.

“With the new investment, the companies have agreed to expand research to a wide range of models and to build an optimal platform for Hyundai and Kia’s autonomous vehicles,” Hyundai said in a statement, according to Reuters.

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Aurora said in a blog post that Hyundai and Kia’s investment is part of a series B financing round, which has now raised more than $600 million. (more…)

Ford Begins Testing Autonomous Vehicles in Detroit

Automaker working with Argo AI on self-driving program.

by on Jun.13, 2019

The new Ford Fusion Hybrid is a third-generation test vehicle that Argo AI is now testing in Detroit.

Ford Motor Co. has begun testing autonomous vehicles around its new engineering campus in Detroit’s Corktown neighborhood with its AV partner Pittsburgh-based Argo AI even as it launches a new research center in Israel with an eye on developing new technology.

Peter Rander, president of Argo AI, said the new vehicles being tested in Detroit are equipped with a significantly upgraded sensor suite, including new sets of radar and cameras with higher resolution and higher dynamic range.

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When trying to see an object that’s very far away, a lower resolution camera may only be able to represent it as a pixel or two. But with higher resolution, you may be able to get a dozen pixels out of the same far away object. In concert with upgraded software, this means our vehicles are getting better at seeing what’s farther ahead and classifying what it is, Rander said in a blog post on the Argo website. (more…)

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