First Drive: 2019 Hyundai Santa Fe

Korean carmaker puts a premium face on its “value-priced” SUV.

by on Aug.27, 2018

The 2019 Hyundai Santa Fe gets a more classic, SUV look, starting with its redesigned grille.

There’s an old baseball adage: you can’t tell the players without a scorecard. That just might apply to the Hyundai Santa Fe. What started out as one sport-utility vehicle back in 2001 morphed into two, a few years back, with a new, three-row model retaining the Santa Fe name while the smaller, two-row became the Santa Fe sport.

With the fourth-generation crossover just coming to market, buyers might get a little confused. The three-row is now the Santa Fe XL – for extra length, we’ll assume – while the smaller version drops the Sport badge.

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It would be too bad if any potential buyer is put off by this name game. The 2019 Hyundai Santa Fe has a lot going for it, and relatively few things to quibble about. While it retains the Korean carmaker’s traditional focus on “value pricing,” it is anything but cut-rate, with a number of features that give the gen-four Santa Fe a much more upscale feel than many of its mainstream competitors. And, despite the shortened name, it feels even more sporty than the outgoing SUV.

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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.

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Mercedes EQ Silver Arrow Concept Offers Signpost to Future Designs

EQ Silver Arrow draws inspiration from racers past.

by on Aug.26, 2018

Mercedes-Benz unveiled its EQ Silver Arrow concept to the crowed at the Pebble Beach Concours.

With seemingly most of the automotive world focused on the Monterey Peninsula at this time of the year, automakers are introducing some of their latest innovations at or near the Pebble Beach Concours.

Mercedes-Benz is the latest to do with its new EQ Silver Arrow concept car.The one-seater EQ Silver Arrow is an homage to the successful record-breaking W 125 car from 1937.

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Although the company has no real plans to roll out a new version of the Arrow, the company does described the concept as an “emotional signpost to the future of design.” So as is often the case for the Monterey Car Week concepts, expect to see some of what makes the concept so impressive to show up in some form in the EQ electric brand Mercedes plans to bring to market in the next year or so. Read the rest of this entry »

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. Read the rest of this entry »

Tesla Staying Public; CEO Musk Facing Further Scrutiny

“The sentiment, in a nutshell, was ‘please don’t do this.’”

by on Aug.25, 2018

CEO Elon Musk has abandoned his plan to take Tesla private, citing investors' concerns.

Less than three weeks after suggesting he was ready to take Tesla private – in the process triggering an SEC investigation – CEO Elon Musk advised employees late Friday night that he has bowed to pressure and will keep the automaker a publicly traded company.

The latest move caps an increasingly turbulent period for the South African-born entrepreneur who has come under increasing scrutiny in recent months. That is, in part, due to his frequent tweets, but also because of some of the spats Musk has gotten involved in, at one point using a slang term for pedophile to describe a diver who helped rescue a young soccer team trapped in a flooded Thai cave. He has also been called out by rapper Azealia Banks for alleged drug use on the night Musk first tweeted about taking Tesla private.

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“Although the majority of shareholders I spoke to said they would remain with Tesla if we went private, the sentiment, in a nutshell, was ‘please don’t do this,’” Musk wrote in a late Friday e-mail to the automaker’s employees.

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Bugatti Reveals 1,500-Horsepower, $5.78-Million Divo

For folks who think the Chiron just isn’t quick enough.

by on Aug.24, 2018

The Bugatti Divo is a 1,500-horsepower beast that costs a mere $5.78 million.

While it may boast a top speed of 261 mph, there apparently are people – very, very wealthy people – who think the Bugatti Chiron isn’t fast enough.

So, for those folks, the French arm of the Volkswagen Group is rolling out the Bugatti Divo, all $5.78 million of it. The ultra-exclusive hypercar is making its debut this weekend on the Monterey Peninsula, ahead of the annual Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.

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The 1,500 horsepower Divo isn’t a ground-up project, starting out as a Chiron that has been fed plenty of steroids. But it is lighter and boasts far better handling, Bugatti officials promise, especially during aggressive cornering maneuvers. On a straight road, however, it actually loses a bit of speed, topping out at a mere 236 mph. Read the rest of this entry »

Infiniti Goes Back to the Future with Prototype 10

Concept is the "manifestation" of brand's future powertrain strategy.

by on Aug.24, 2018

Infiniti's Prototype 10 takes the retro styling of the Prototype 9 to a new level at this year's Pebble Beach Concours.

There’s something odd about the Infiniti Prototype 10. Catch a glimpse of it from one angle and you’re transported back to an earlier era of motorsports. Nose-on, however, the concept speedster takes on a very modern appearance.

Infiniti has been teasing us with heavily disguised images of the Prototype 10 for some weeks, now, finally giving us a good look at the one-off model during a preview helping mark the start of the annual classic car weekend on the Monterey Peninsula that wraps up with the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.

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The luxury arm of Nissan has been a familiar corporate face at Pebble Beach, just last revealing the Prototype 9, an even more retro-shaped concept race car. What that model and the Infiniti Prototype 9 have in common, however, is what the maker calls the “physical manifestation” of its future powertrain strategy. With only a rare model or two, all future Infiniti products, it seems, will migrate to some form of electrification, from plug-in hybrid to pure battery-electric, like the powertrain in the Prototype 10. Read the rest of this entry »

Audi Sparks Race for Fastest EV with Debut of PB 18 e-tron

All-electric supercar can hit 60 in 2 seconds, deliver 310 miles range.

by on Aug.24, 2018

The Audi PB 18 uses three motors, two of them in the rear, powered by a solid-state battery pack.

Amidst a sea of classic cars, Audi launched something new and decidedly different on Friday, but the PB 18 e-tron had at least one thing in common with the racecars gathered for the annual Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion: blinding speed.

Driven by legendary Audi race driver Allan McNish, the eagerly expected Audi supercar is one of an assortment of high-performance models making their debut over the long weekend on the Monterey Peninsula where things are building up towards the annual Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance on Sunday.

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Influenced by Audi’s endurance racing program, as well as the R8 e-tron concept first shown in 2009, the new PB 18 e-tron is a two-seat supercar that sets the stage for the German automaker’s upcoming push into electrification. That begins later this year with the debate of a new SUV that offers an all-electric alternative to Audi’s more conventional Q5 ute. Read the rest of this entry »

US, Mexico Making Incremental Progress in NAFTA Talks

Longer timeline comes after suggestion of earlier resolution.

by on Aug.24, 2018

NAFTA talks are ongoing between Mexico and the U.S. while Canada is waiting to re-engage in the process.

After appearing to be within “hours” of making a deal, Mexico and the United States are now offering a more cautious timeline next week for the completion of the automotive portion of NAFTA negotiations between the two countries.

“We’re on a path that can take us into the weekend and next week,” Mexican Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo told reporters as he entered the offices of U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer in Washington for talks, according to Reuters.

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It was Guajardo that earlier suggested that an agreement could be had within “hours,” but now only suggests that the two sides are “well advanced.” Read the rest of this entry »

Faraday Future Takes Next Step Toward Production

Company completes body-in-white.

by on Aug.24, 2018

Faraday Future took another step toward production of its its FF 91 model, producing the body-in-white.

Faraday Future, a startup company that is promising to build luxury electric vehicles, reports it has completed its first body-in-white as it prepares to complete building the company’s first vehicles this coming December.

Faraday officials said completing the first body-in-white, which involves fashioning a vehicle’s basic framework by using welds and rivets to shape the structure, marks a milestone for the company on its way to producing finished vehicles.

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A number of key suppliers are working with Faraday at its Arizona factory to beat the deadlines, Faraday officials said. Read the rest of this entry »

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