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    1. dufus22
      dufus22
      (43 years old)
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    • By William Maley
      For the past few years, luxury automakers have been trying to fill every single niche they could think of. It's why we have such models as the BMW 5-Series GT and Mercedes-Benz GLC-Coupe for example. But now, BMW and Mercedes-Benz admit they have too many models and are planning to cut some.
      “The checkerboard of body styles and segments is rather full, although there are still a few to be finished. We’ve got an X2 and an X7 coming, and there are a few others, but I also know—because we’ve taken decisions—that some body styles will be removed in the future,” said Ian Robertson, BMW’s head of sales and marketing, to Car and Driver.
      “There’s definitely more of a move toward four-door coupes. We’ve done the Gran Coupes; they’ve really worked. People like the lower seating position and the sporty dynamics but also the fact there’s a door in the back. It’s fair to say that when we look at the checkerboard, because of the new things we’re putting in, there are some things we can take out,” Robertson went on to say.
      Dieter Zetsche, head of Mercedes-Benz cars harbors the same thoughts.
      “The specialty cars, these coupes and convertibles, were always niche cars. The expansion into China and other emerging markets [has given] huge opportunities for sedans, but they did not take up these specialty cars. Which makes the business case for these vehicles less easy.”
      Yep, it seems coupes and convertibles are on the chopping block - not the SUV-coupe things you were likely hoping for. Now Zetsche did say that would still offer two-door models, but it would not be “in the variety we are having them right now.” Taking into consideration there are coupe and convertible versions of the C, E, and S-Class, along with the SLK and SL roadsters, and the AMG GT coupe and convertible, we wouldn't be shocked if a couple of those models disappear.
      Source: Car and Driver
    • By William Maley
      For the past few years, luxury automakers have been trying to fill every single niche they could think of. It's why we have such models as the BMW 5-Series GT and Mercedes-Benz GLC-Coupe for example. But now, BMW and Mercedes-Benz admit they have too many models and are planning to cut some.
      “The checkerboard of body styles and segments is rather full, although there are still a few to be finished. We’ve got an X2 and an X7 coming, and there are a few others, but I also know—because we’ve taken decisions—that some body styles will be removed in the future,” said Ian Robertson, BMW’s head of sales and marketing, to Car and Driver.
      “There’s definitely more of a move toward four-door coupes. We’ve done the Gran Coupes; they’ve really worked. People like the lower seating position and the sporty dynamics but also the fact there’s a door in the back. It’s fair to say that when we look at the checkerboard, because of the new things we’re putting in, there are some things we can take out,” Robertson went on to say.
      Dieter Zetsche, head of Mercedes-Benz cars harbors the same thoughts.
      “The specialty cars, these coupes and convertibles, were always niche cars. The expansion into China and other emerging markets [has given] huge opportunities for sedans, but they did not take up these specialty cars. Which makes the business case for these vehicles less easy.”
      Yep, it seems coupes and convertibles are on the chopping block - not the SUV-coupe things you were likely hoping for. Now Zetsche did say that would still offer two-door models, but it would not be “in the variety we are having them right now.” Taking into consideration there are coupe and convertible versions of the C, E, and S-Class, along with the SLK and SL roadsters, and the AMG GT coupe and convertible, we wouldn't be shocked if a couple of those models disappear.
      Source: Car and Driver

      View full article
    • By dfelt
      G. David Felt - Staff Writer Alternative Energy - www.cheersandgears.com
      Tesla Officially in Trouble, Business Insider Says!

      To quote Business Insider final comments on Tesla and the Chevy Bolt:
      "Clearly, Tesla would be in less trouble if the Chevy Bolt were a bad car. But it isn't. Teslas have always blown me away. The Bolt blew me away for different reasons. I just hope Tesla is prepared to take this into account." 
      Matthew is a Business Insider senior correspondent who covers transportation and as a fan of Tesla was excited to check out a Chevy BOLT as comparison to the Tesla. On a recent trip to california he took time to visit the closet Chevrolet Dealer to his hotel and this is what he found.
      He states that to borrow Barkley's line, "Tesla is in trouble." You have one of the world's biggest auto companies that is known for killing the electric auto stepping off the sidelines and actually committing considerable resources to building a long range EV where it can afford to lose money on it long term till the market changes. Tesla has 400,000 plus pre-orders, but is burning through cash by the billions and while the launch of the Tesla 3 is near and Tesla still has Sexy much like Apple to an iPhone. Tesla does not have the depth of customer auto experience to pull from and as the author points out, Tesla balance sheet is precarious as it is based on raising funds on a growth story. The author goes onto say that no one will cross shop a Tesla S or X with the Chevy BOLT. They will due to limited options cross shop the Tesla 3 to the Bolt.
      To pull some interesting statements from the story, the author had the following to say:
      "I found it more fun to drive than both the Tesla Model S and the Model X, but not the original Roadster, a much smaller vehicle."
      "The Bolt is plenty fast for most people."
      "GM isn't going to overwhelm Tesla with Bolt sales. I actually think the Model 3 will greatly outsell the Bolt once Tesla's car arrives. However, it's also possible that if the Model 3 is delayed or is slow to ramp up, Chevy will be preparing a mid-cycle refresh of the Bolt before Model 3 sales start to achieve some major momentum. In other words, GM will always be ahead, and the company — barring another massive financial meltdown — will never stop putting the Bolt up against the Model 3."
      BI covered the BOLT in follow stories with the next one being more of an official review that starts off with covering the auto with the following statement: "A platform, not business as usual!" 
      From ride-hailing to ride-sharing, self driving Chevy has delivered an auto for the future that gives GM options on how they build and expand their EV lineup. BI took delivery of their white Premier BOLT just before the blizzard that hit NY. Clearly a compact-crossover-hatchback look, design is what the magazine employees felt it was and is. Surprising the BI reviewers was the amount of cargo the auto can hold and how well it handled 4 people and grocery getting. BI states that GM has told them the next addition to the BOLT lineup will be a larger auto that can accommodate 5 or more people. An exceptionally well executed minimalist design that comes with an interior that feels more premium in comparison to auto's this size in the past from GM that felt clearly parts bin cheap. The review goes on to talk about how setting the front seat for a 6'4" tall driver and getting in the back with room ahead of the knees for the same size person is a nice welcome addition to such a compact auto. Heated steering wheel was welcomed by all. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto kept everyone happily connected to their phone while driving.
      The final statement to quote from the review is as follows:
      "We were impressed with the Bolt, as a car, as an electric car, and as a mobility concept. In many ways, it is GM's post-bankruptcy masterpiece, a real feather in the cap of CEO Mary Barra and her executive team, who took what the company had achieved with its ill-fated EV-1 back in the 1990s and turned it up to 11. 
      I also flat-out loved driving it. I blasted in and out of New York City twice, rocketed around the streets of Gotham, darting through traffic, and cruised along the highways of New Jersey. I also enjoyed just driving it around the quiet streets of the suburb where I live.
      The steering is quick and responsive, and the handling is sharp enough to provide the confidence you need when surfing that sweet EV torque.
      The single-pedal mode is also very cool — I dug not using the brakes at all for extended excursions in my town. After a bit of practice, you get into a kind of Zen state with it. 
      Not a single person asked me about the car, and that can be chalked up to the ho-hum design. But I didn't care. I was lovin' it. Plain and simple, the Bolt is fun."
      Here is where we have overlap between story #2 and Story #3 which covers the 7 Killer Features:
      Dual Screens- 10.2" touch screen infotainment center & an 8" drivers console display which are totally customizable. Auto's wireless charging console. BOLT App allowing you to be connected to your auto at all times. Five cameras: front, rear, side mirrors and their 360 camera. 9hr full charge time from a 240 volt charger. 25 miles per hour, faster with Level 3 DC charging. Lane Keep assist feature. Modern Seat design allowing for maximum space inside. Over all these writeups show that GM has delivered a superior auto to the Prius, Leaf, 500e, etc. The future will be bright for the BOLT as GM move the platform forward.

      BI Story #1
      BI Story #2
      BI Story #3
    • By William Maley
      Subaru felt it was time to give the XV Crosstrek a makeover. The end result made its debut at the Geneva Motor Show as the XV (the U.S. version will be known as the Crosstrek).
      The big news for the XV/Crosstrek is Subaru's modular platform. First making its debut in the new Impreza, the new platform gives the XV a 70 percent increase in overall rigidity. Subaru says this helps give the XV improved driving dynamics and makes it much safer in the event of an accident. 
      Subaru has also made the XV a bit more capable when it comes to the rough stuff by adding hill descent control and X-Mode that optimizes the engine, all-wheel drive system, and brakes to improve traction on slipperier surfaces like mud and snow. This is on top of a ground clearance of 8.6-inches. 
      Power comes from a 2.0L four-cylinder with 154 horsepower and 145 pound-feet of torque. This is paired up with Subaru's Lineartronic CVT. 
      There isn't a dramatic change to the XV's exterior aside from a revised front end that comes with a new grille and reshaped headlights. The interior is a different story as it features a revamped dashboard design with a 7 or 8-inch touchscreen, along with improved materials. 
      The XV will come with Subaru's EyeSight safety system - pre-collision braking, adaptive cruise control, and lane-keep assist - as standard. The Crosstrek in North America will get this an option.
      Subaru will begin sales of the XV in Europe later this year. We'll learn about when we get our hands on the Crosstrek next month at the New York Auto Show.
      Source: Subaru
      Press Release is on Page 2


      WORLD PREMIERE OF ALL-NEW SUBARU XV AT 2017 GENEVA INTERNATIONAL MOTOR SHOW 
      Mar 7, 2017
      Built on Subaru’s new Global Platform - which significantly enhances refinement, safety, ride comfort, and agility. A newly-developed 2.0-litre Direct Injection Boxer engine and Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive are standard on all models. Equipped with X-MODE which enhances off road ability of Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive, offering increased SUV capability. XV’s rugged and sporty styling is influenced by Subaru’s DYNAMIC x SOLID design philosophy. Standard EyeSight driver assist technology delivers outstanding preventative safety. Subaru has unveiled the all-new XV at the 2017 Geneva International Motor Show. XV is a crossover which combines a compact body with SUV capability based on Subaru’s distinctive Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system and rugged yet sporty design, offering versatility in both urban areas and the countryside.
      For the first re-design since launch in 2012, XV will be built on Subaru’s completely revamped Subaru Global Platform architecture, significantly enhancing the body and chassis rigidity and strength.
      The new Subaru XV also offers world-class collision safety and hazard avoidance performance, as well as more responsive handling and ride comfort while enhancing the Subaru XV’s unique design and off road capability. The model is the first strategic offering in Europe under the company’s Prominence 2020 mid-term management vision which delivers “enjoyment and peace of mind” for customers.
      Key Features of All-New Subaru XV
      XV’s unique design is filled with rugged and sporty character, incorporating the Subaru design philosophy DYNAMIC x SOLID. Functional enhancements have also been included with a high-quality interior and exterior finish.
      Exterior
      The Wide & Low stance provides a sporty impression and adds to the Subaru family look, from the hexagonal grille to the hawk-eye headlights. The design flows from the grille through to the rear, providing a united scheme. The grille design and matte black cladding on the bumper elude to XV’s rugged character and SUV functionality. The character line runs from front wheel arch to rear shoulder and rises energetically; adding dynamism to the side profile. The extended wheel arches suggest the intent and capability provided by Subaru Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive and is finished off with matte black cladding. The Wide & Low stance applied to the front design carries over to the rear combination lights. The shoulder silhouette with black roof spoiler are juxtaposed against the rugged matte black cladding on the rear bumper, playing up to XV’s versatile character. The new model also combines the Subaru performance essentials of superior aerodynamics and visibility with advanced styling. Newly designed alloy wheels embody the Subaru XV’s sporty, casual, and rugged character. New exterior colours “Cool Grey Khaki” and “Sunshine Orange” have been added, which contrast with the matte black cladding adding to XV’s active and functional image. Interior
      The body-hugging seats have been revised for improved quality and feature grey trim to enhance XV’s character. In the centre of the instrument panel is an 8.0-inch touchscreen display for the infotainment system, with smartphone connectivity. Detailed orange stitching on the instrument panel complements the cabin’s quality. In addition to enhanced interior design, signature Subaru attributes have been further strengthened; excellent all-round visibility, spacious cabin, and cargo room. Enhanced dynamic driving performance paired with off road capability
      All-new XV has been improved in several areas to achieve an enhanced dynamic feel. Steering and pedal feedback, vehicle response, noise and vibration have been refined to achieve a positive driver experience. XV’s impressive off road capability has also been enhanced with X-MODE.
      Body & Chassis
      The new platform dramatically increases rigidity throughout the body and chassis (70-100% increase over present models). Substantial improvements to the suspension system are incorporated, and help achieve a lower centre of gravity allowing precise steering control. Increased precision allows for superior straight line stability and cornering performance whilst maintaining 220mm ground clearance. Torsional rigidity has been improved by 70% over present models by optimising frame structure and joints. This distributes resonance and distortion throughout the body, reducing vibrations. Suspension mounts are more rigid, improving absorption without twisting the chassis and providing a smooth and comfortable drive. Body roll of the vehicle has been reduced by 50% compared to present models. The steering gear ratio has been modified from 14:1 to 13:1 compared to the previous model, offering superior drivability. Active Torque Vectoring enhances turning and steering performance. Electronic parking brake has been added for more convenience. All-Wheel Drive control
      In addition to Subaru’s unique Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system, new XV is equipped with X-MODE. X-MODE is designed to increase drivability by optimising integrated control of the engine, All-Wheel Drive system and brakes to provide additional control when tyres slip and lose traction on a slippery road surface, including when descending hills. Engine
      80% of the parts on the FB series 2.0-litre Direct Injection Boxer engine have been revamped compared to previous naturally aspirated engines. The new engine is lighter, delivering more power and improved fuel economy. The improved Lineartronic greatly enhances ratio coverage and lightness to boost acceleration performance and fuel economy. As well as employing full auto-step shift control, the Subaru XV features a 7-speed manual mode function for a more engaging driving experience. Engine and transmission noise and vibration are greatly reduced, for a more dynamic experience. Safety
      Subaru’s safety performance has continuously been highly rated by third-party organizations. The new Subaru XV has adopted technologies to further enhance its safety including the new platform and the advanced preventative safety system, to ensure XV will achieve high safety ratings.
      Active safety
      The new platform achieves a centre of gravity that is 5 mm lower than present models. Together with the major improvements in rigidity and the evolution of the suspension system, this lower centre of gravity offers outstanding hazard avoidance capabilities on a level with a high-performance sports car. Passive safety
      Impact energy absorption is improved by 40% over present models by using a frame structure that absorbs more energy and high-tensile steel plates. Preventive safety
      EyeSight, Subaru’s innovative and highly acclaimed driver assist technology, delivers extremely reliable preventive safety and assists drivers through features such as Pre-Collision Braking Control, Adaptive Cruise Control, and Lane Keep Assist function. The new High Beam Assist employs a monocular camera, automatically switching from high to low beam as per road conditions. Steering Responsive Headlights move the beam right or left whilst cornering or at junctions to illuminate the direction of travel. The Subaru XV uses two headlight controls for the first time, dramatically improving night-time visibility and the recognition capabilities of EyeSight. The Subaru Rear Vehicle Detection has been fitted, offering blind spot detection, lane change assistance and reversing assistance to enhance all-round preventive safety.
      View full article
    • By William Maley
      Subaru felt it was time to give the XV Crosstrek a makeover. The end result made its debut at the Geneva Motor Show as the XV (the U.S. version will be known as the Crosstrek).
      The big news for the XV/Crosstrek is Subaru's modular platform. First making its debut in the new Impreza, the new platform gives the XV a 70 percent increase in overall rigidity. Subaru says this helps give the XV improved driving dynamics and makes it much safer in the event of an accident. 
      Subaru has also made the XV a bit more capable when it comes to the rough stuff by adding hill descent control and X-Mode that optimizes the engine, all-wheel drive system, and brakes to improve traction on slipperier surfaces like mud and snow. This is on top of a ground clearance of 8.6-inches. 
      Power comes from a 2.0L four-cylinder with 154 horsepower and 145 pound-feet of torque. This is paired up with Subaru's Lineartronic CVT. 
      There isn't a dramatic change to the XV's exterior aside from a revised front end that comes with a new grille and reshaped headlights. The interior is a different story as it features a revamped dashboard design with a 7 or 8-inch touchscreen, along with improved materials. 
      The XV will come with Subaru's EyeSight safety system - pre-collision braking, adaptive cruise control, and lane-keep assist - as standard. The Crosstrek in North America will get this an option.
      Subaru will begin sales of the XV in Europe later this year. We'll learn about when we get our hands on the Crosstrek next month at the New York Auto Show.
      Source: Subaru
      Press Release is on Page 2


      WORLD PREMIERE OF ALL-NEW SUBARU XV AT 2017 GENEVA INTERNATIONAL MOTOR SHOW 
      Mar 7, 2017
      Built on Subaru’s new Global Platform - which significantly enhances refinement, safety, ride comfort, and agility. A newly-developed 2.0-litre Direct Injection Boxer engine and Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive are standard on all models. Equipped with X-MODE which enhances off road ability of Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive, offering increased SUV capability. XV’s rugged and sporty styling is influenced by Subaru’s DYNAMIC x SOLID design philosophy. Standard EyeSight driver assist technology delivers outstanding preventative safety. Subaru has unveiled the all-new XV at the 2017 Geneva International Motor Show. XV is a crossover which combines a compact body with SUV capability based on Subaru’s distinctive Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system and rugged yet sporty design, offering versatility in both urban areas and the countryside.
      For the first re-design since launch in 2012, XV will be built on Subaru’s completely revamped Subaru Global Platform architecture, significantly enhancing the body and chassis rigidity and strength.
      The new Subaru XV also offers world-class collision safety and hazard avoidance performance, as well as more responsive handling and ride comfort while enhancing the Subaru XV’s unique design and off road capability. The model is the first strategic offering in Europe under the company’s Prominence 2020 mid-term management vision which delivers “enjoyment and peace of mind” for customers.
      Key Features of All-New Subaru XV
      XV’s unique design is filled with rugged and sporty character, incorporating the Subaru design philosophy DYNAMIC x SOLID. Functional enhancements have also been included with a high-quality interior and exterior finish.
      Exterior
      The Wide & Low stance provides a sporty impression and adds to the Subaru family look, from the hexagonal grille to the hawk-eye headlights. The design flows from the grille through to the rear, providing a united scheme. The grille design and matte black cladding on the bumper elude to XV’s rugged character and SUV functionality. The character line runs from front wheel arch to rear shoulder and rises energetically; adding dynamism to the side profile. The extended wheel arches suggest the intent and capability provided by Subaru Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive and is finished off with matte black cladding. The Wide & Low stance applied to the front design carries over to the rear combination lights. The shoulder silhouette with black roof spoiler are juxtaposed against the rugged matte black cladding on the rear bumper, playing up to XV’s versatile character. The new model also combines the Subaru performance essentials of superior aerodynamics and visibility with advanced styling. Newly designed alloy wheels embody the Subaru XV’s sporty, casual, and rugged character. New exterior colours “Cool Grey Khaki” and “Sunshine Orange” have been added, which contrast with the matte black cladding adding to XV’s active and functional image. Interior
      The body-hugging seats have been revised for improved quality and feature grey trim to enhance XV’s character. In the centre of the instrument panel is an 8.0-inch touchscreen display for the infotainment system, with smartphone connectivity. Detailed orange stitching on the instrument panel complements the cabin’s quality. In addition to enhanced interior design, signature Subaru attributes have been further strengthened; excellent all-round visibility, spacious cabin, and cargo room. Enhanced dynamic driving performance paired with off road capability
      All-new XV has been improved in several areas to achieve an enhanced dynamic feel. Steering and pedal feedback, vehicle response, noise and vibration have been refined to achieve a positive driver experience. XV’s impressive off road capability has also been enhanced with X-MODE.
      Body & Chassis
      The new platform dramatically increases rigidity throughout the body and chassis (70-100% increase over present models). Substantial improvements to the suspension system are incorporated, and help achieve a lower centre of gravity allowing precise steering control. Increased precision allows for superior straight line stability and cornering performance whilst maintaining 220mm ground clearance. Torsional rigidity has been improved by 70% over present models by optimising frame structure and joints. This distributes resonance and distortion throughout the body, reducing vibrations. Suspension mounts are more rigid, improving absorption without twisting the chassis and providing a smooth and comfortable drive. Body roll of the vehicle has been reduced by 50% compared to present models. The steering gear ratio has been modified from 14:1 to 13:1 compared to the previous model, offering superior drivability. Active Torque Vectoring enhances turning and steering performance. Electronic parking brake has been added for more convenience. All-Wheel Drive control
      In addition to Subaru’s unique Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system, new XV is equipped with X-MODE. X-MODE is designed to increase drivability by optimising integrated control of the engine, All-Wheel Drive system and brakes to provide additional control when tyres slip and lose traction on a slippery road surface, including when descending hills. Engine
      80% of the parts on the FB series 2.0-litre Direct Injection Boxer engine have been revamped compared to previous naturally aspirated engines. The new engine is lighter, delivering more power and improved fuel economy. The improved Lineartronic greatly enhances ratio coverage and lightness to boost acceleration performance and fuel economy. As well as employing full auto-step shift control, the Subaru XV features a 7-speed manual mode function for a more engaging driving experience. Engine and transmission noise and vibration are greatly reduced, for a more dynamic experience. Safety
      Subaru’s safety performance has continuously been highly rated by third-party organizations. The new Subaru XV has adopted technologies to further enhance its safety including the new platform and the advanced preventative safety system, to ensure XV will achieve high safety ratings.
      Active safety
      The new platform achieves a centre of gravity that is 5 mm lower than present models. Together with the major improvements in rigidity and the evolution of the suspension system, this lower centre of gravity offers outstanding hazard avoidance capabilities on a level with a high-performance sports car. Passive safety
      Impact energy absorption is improved by 40% over present models by using a frame structure that absorbs more energy and high-tensile steel plates. Preventive safety
      EyeSight, Subaru’s innovative and highly acclaimed driver assist technology, delivers extremely reliable preventive safety and assists drivers through features such as Pre-Collision Braking Control, Adaptive Cruise Control, and Lane Keep Assist function. The new High Beam Assist employs a monocular camera, automatically switching from high to low beam as per road conditions. Steering Responsive Headlights move the beam right or left whilst cornering or at junctions to illuminate the direction of travel. The Subaru XV uses two headlight controls for the first time, dramatically improving night-time visibility and the recognition capabilities of EyeSight. The Subaru Rear Vehicle Detection has been fitted, offering blind spot detection, lane change assistance and reversing assistance to enhance all-round preventive safety.
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