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Mercedes Bringing Array of New Models to Paris Show

New B-Class will be accompanied by GLE ute, all-electric EQC and hot-hatch A35.

by on Sep.24, 2018

While a number of major automakers will skip Paris this year, Mercedes has four big announcements.

This is expected to be a relatively quiet year at the biennial Paris Motor Show, an array of manufacturers including BMW, Fiat Chrysler, Ford, Infiniti, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Opel, Subaru, Volkswagen and Volvo sitting it out.

But you likely wouldn’t notice if you wandered into the Mercedes-Benz exhibit. The German maker intends to take advantage of that industry shake-out by unveiling an array of its own new products including the completely redesigned B-Class the next-generation GLE, an all-new battery-electric EQC and the hot-hatch version of its smallest product line, the A35.

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We’ve gotten a first look at a few of these new models, notably the first truly long-range Mercedes, the EQC, but all will be making their public debuts in the City of Lights early next month. Here’s a bit more on all four of the major debuts the German marque will bring to Paris: (more…)

Porsche Dropping Diesels

First German automaker to abandon “oil-burners.”

by on Sep.24, 2018

Porsche is facing allegations it rigged some versions of the Cayenne to boost exhaust noise at the expense of higher emissions.

Porsche is set to become the first German automaker to completely abandon diesel engines, the sports carmaker has confirmed.

The move, confirmed by CEO Oliver Blume in the Bild am Sonntag newspaper, comes in the wake of the emissions cheating scandal that has so far cost parent Volkswagen AG around $30 billion in fines, settlements and buybacks.

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“There won’t be any Porsche diesels in the future,” Blume told the German newspaper, explaining that the company wants to concentrate on “what we can do particularly well,” notably, “powerful petrol, hybrid and, from 2019, purely electric vehicles.”

(more…)

The Beast is Loose: New Presidential Limo is on the Prowl

Over-sized Cadillac set to give Pres. Trump his first ride to UN.

by on Sep.24, 2018

The new version of "The Beast," the nickname for the presidential limo, roamed the streets for the first time in New York City.

There’s a beast on the prowl in Manhattan. Make that “The Beast,” the nickname that’s been used for years to describe the heavily fortified limousines used for U.S. presidents. An all-new version, a specially designed Cadillac, made its debut on the streets of New York City Sunday and will be put to work on its first official assignment chauffeuring President Donald Trump to the United Nations Tuesday.

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This marks the first time the president has gotten new wheels since President Barack Obama was inaugurated back in January 2009, and it’s the product of a $15.8 million contract that General Motors won back in 2014. (more…)

Aston Martin Sketches Out its Future With Supercar Design Tease, IPO Plans

British marque hopes to repeat Ferrari’s success.

by on Sep.21, 2018

Aston has released a preliminary sketch of its third hypercar, the 003, which it hopes to have in production in 2021.

Aston Martin, the carmaker best known for its relationship with cinema spy 007, has laid out key details of its upcoming IPO while also releasing a preliminary sketch of the hypercar it’s calling 003 that it hopes will drive some of its future success.

Spun off by Ford Motor Co. in 2007, Aston struggled to avoid an eighth bankruptcy during the depths of the Great Recession, but its fortunes have skyrocketed over the last few years, a period coinciding with the arrival of CEO Andy Palmer and the subsequent commitment of hundreds of millions of dollars in new capital from its key investors.

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The IPO will go off next month on the London Stock Exchange, Palmer announced, declaring that it “will provide investors with a fitting opportunity to participate in our future success.”

(more…)

Nissan Betting on Sedan Comeback

Young buyers “don’t want daddy’s” SUV, automaker bets.

by on Sep.21, 2018

Nissan has made a heavy investment - and numerous changes -- aiming to increase the appeal of its sixth-gen 2019 Altima sedan.

While some automakers are paring back, and even dropping out, of the sedan market, Nissan is betting big with the launch of the sixth-generation Altima that will roll into U.S. showrooms in the coming month.

While the automaker isn’t revealing precisely what it spent, Bruce Pillard, the marketing manager for the 2019 Altima, said the new version of the midsize sedan marks “one of the highest investments in the history of Nissan.” That includes an entirely new platform, the first-ever all-wheel-drive system for the Altima, and the Nissan brand’s first use of the breakthrough VC-Turbo engine. That’s in sharp contract with rival Ford Motor Co., which is set to phase out its own midsize sedan, the Fusion, along with the rest of its U.S. four-door line-up.

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“The future is bright” for sedans, Pillard declared, ahead of a media drive of the 2019 Nissan Altima in Santa Barbara this week, countering what has become conventional wisdom that sedans are all but doomed as motorists by the millions migrate to SUVs and CUVs.

(more…)

Cadillac Expanding V-Series – Even as it Drops ATS-V, CTS-V Models

Performance models have “sparked new life.”

by on Sep.20, 2018

Even as it cuts its performance sedans, Cadillac is likely adding replacements, like a CT6-V.

High-performance models have become an essential part of a luxury brand’s line-up, as the BMW M, Mercedes-AMG and Audi S and RS models clearly demonstrate. So, it should be no surprise to see that Cadillac wants to play in the performance segment, as well.

General Motors’ luxury brand plans to expand the availability of its V-Series, Caddy now says, and that will be marked with the arrival of the new CT6-V version of its flagship sedan next spring. That said, two current V-Series models will soon be going away, Cadillac pulling the plug on both the ATS-V and CTS-V in the near future.

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“Beginning with the debut of the CTS-V Sedan in 2004, the V-Series sub-brand sparked new life into Cadillac,” GM’s product development chief Mark Reuss said in a statement. “As a result of the overwhelming response the CT6 V-Sport received when revealed in early 2018, we’ve decided to formally make it a V-Series, signaling the expansion of V-Series.” (more…)

BMW Fills in the Blanks on New Z4

Production will launch with four-cylinder version, but I-6 and M packages will follow.

by on Sep.19, 2018

The 2019 BMW Z4 revs up the excitement for the next-gen roadster with more power and plenty of style.

Nearly a month after giving us a first look at the all-new BMW Z4, the Bavarian automaker is filling in some critical blanks, offering timing on the rollout of the new roadster, as well as specs on the first two versions in the pipeline.

First unveiled during the annual classic car week in Pebble Beach, California, the new Z4 is seen by many as the most significant update since the nameplate was first launched 17 years ago. That is, in part, due to the unusual approach BMW took to develop the all-new Z4, partnering with Toyota which will use the underpinnings for its own new entry, the reborn Supra.

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The good news is that the next-generation Z4 will be offering more power than the outgoing roadster. The bad news, at least for fans of rowing their own transmission, is that there’ll be no manual offered on the new model. (more…)

Musk Facing Justice Department Probe

Feds looking into possible “fraud” in aborted privatization effort.

by on Sep.19, 2018

Tesla CEO Elon Musk is the focal point of investigations by the Department of Justice as well as the SEC.

Elon Musk now says he may try to hitch a ride along with the Japanese billionaire who plans to buy a ride on a SpaceX rocket trip around the moon.

Considering the mounting legal problems facing the 47-year-old executive, the CEO of both SpaceX and Tesla, Musk may need to find a way out of town in the near future.

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Musk and Tesla are now facing a criminal investigation by the U.S. Justice Department looking into his brief flirtation with taking the California carmaker private, even as the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating that aborted move. Separately, Musk is facing lawsuits in both Los Angeles and London filed by a British diver who the South African-born executive has accused of being a “pedo,” or pedophile, as well as a “child rapist.” (more…)

Careful What You Ask For: Musk Sued by Diver He Disparaged

Tesla CEO wondered why he hadn't been sued yet.

by on Sep.18, 2018

After pushing for lawsuit from diver Vern Unsworth, Tesla CEO Elon Musk got what he wanted – in London and Los Angeles.

Adding to the many headaches facing Elon Musk, the Tesla CEO has now been sued by a British diver that he has accused of being a pedophile.

In July, the 47-year-old executive got into a Twitter war with Vernon Unsworth earlier this year when Musk offered to send a mini-sub to help rescue members of a youth soccer team trapped in a flooded Thai cave. Unsworth derided it as a publicity stunt and suggested Musk shove the sub where the sun doesn’t shine.

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Musk responded by declaring Unsworth “pedo guy,” slang for a pedophile. “Sorry pedo guy, you really did ask for it,” Musk tweeted to his 22.5 million followers. He followd it up adding, “Bet ya a signed dollar it’s true.” Musk also declared that, “I fucking hope he sues me.” (more…)

Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance Teaming Up With Google

Tech giant will develop next-gen infotainment system.

by on Sep.18, 2018

The Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance inked a deal with Google to put its intelligent infotainment system in its vehicles.

The Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance has a new partner, tech giant Google signing on the develop the automotive group’s next-generation infotainment system.

It’s a significant move by Google, though not its first time developing technology for automobiles. Like rival Apple’s CarPlay, its Android Auto system is now being offered by an array of automakers and allows a motorist to access a wide range of smartphone apps on a car’s touchscreen system.

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“Under the technology partnership, vehicles sold by the Alliance members in many markets will utilize Android, the world’s most popular operating system, and will provide turn-by-turn navigation with Google Maps,” the Alliance said in a statement. (more…)

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