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    Highly Efficient Magnet-Free Electric Motor Developed by MAHLE of Stuttgart Germany

    MAHLE offers an electric motor with advantages not combined in any other motor of this type by any other vendor or auto OEM to date.

    Permanent magnets made using rare-earth metals is what currently drives the electric auto motors. These rare-earth metals are 15 elements that run the periodic table from 57 to 71 including yttrium and scandium which are soft silvery-white heavy metals. Very destructive to the environment and almost entirely controlled by China, but used in a wide range of electronics from computers, cell phones to current electric/hyrid auto's. Not much in the electronic industry is not using some rare-earth metals.

    MAHLE under the guidance of Dr. Martin Berger, MAHLE Vice President for Corporate Research and Advanced Engineering has stated that the MAHLE breakthrough shows that the New Generation of Traction Motors is the best way forward for a cleaner planet. MAHLE traction motor does not require the rare-earth magnets for a magnetic field generation but instead uses an excitation coil located in the rotor to do the same job. As a result, the MAHLE traction motor is rare-earth material free reducing the impact on the earth and over all society while also making it much cheaper to produce these motors.
    Wireless inductive power transmission which this motor uses inside allows for contact-free parts which has no friction allowing for no wear and long life. Inductive motors have now overcome the durability question which was critical in the past. Efficiency of the technology is boosted by current advanced digital control systems.

    As per Dr. Berger, "To get energy to the rotor, it uses an alternating field which is then converted into direct current for the magnet coils. These magnet coils replace the permanent magnets. They induce a magnetic field into the air gap and causes the motor to generate torque."
    This new traction motor is able to achieve 96 plus percent efficiency according to MAHLE. Eliminating exposure to fluctuating costs of the expensive materials and any ethical concerns with having to rely on a material supply that is controlled by China.
    Per MAHLE this new traction motor allows a major step towards sustainable mobility while helping to minimize the impact on the planet.
    Better yet is that these motors are maintenance-free while being suitable for a wide range of applications.
     
    Home - MAHLE Group
    MAHLE develops highly efficient magnet-free electric motor - MAHLE Group
    en-us_20210505_press_release_magnet_free-hv_motor.pdf (mahle.com)
    Products - MAHLE Group

    2022 Mach-e to get Range Improvements and Additional Updates Yearly!

    Ford Mach-e was the first BEV to challenge Tesla with 300 miles of range and now the Mach-e Chief engineer Donna Dickson has some excellent news about the Mach-e going forward.

    300 miles of battery electric range was the fold standard set by Tesla and now with Ford Mach-e having met that challenge, many have wondered what was next.

    In a review video on Munro Live with Mach-e Chief engineer Donna Dickson, we know now that the Mach-e will get yearly updates on range and technology as well as quarterly over the air updates on the software. Ford is very clear that they are not going to sit back and wait to see how things go, continuously providing updates quarterly and each model year is the Ford goal for all EVs moving forward. Details on this really come to light at the 26 min mark.
    Munro had a few compliments one being the front motor which is covered in a more recent video he finds to be extremely well engineered especially when compared to Tesla Y. Critisms abound on the video but clearly Ford is taking his tear down reviews very seriously and that is proven as Donna confirms many of the enhancements / better ways to engineer coming forward in future versions. An example of this is the first year Mach-e have dual cooling tanks but will move to a better single tank design.
    Munro Live - YouTube
    As has been pointed out by various members to Cheers and Gears, weight is the ultimate demon and Munro points out many ways to improve the weight saving opportunities since the Mach-e is 200 lbs heavier than a comparable Tesla Model Y which weights in at 4,416 lbs.
    Donna Dickson has made it clear in the video that they have an action plan especially on the range improvements for 22, 23 & 24 model years that will see range up, weight down. Weight and battery efficiency is two key areas that will be improved yearly as Ford moves forward not only with the Mach-e but all their BEVs.
    An interesting observation is that Ford thought it would be best to keep some familiar items in the Mach-e. One such example is the traditional parking pawl with cable system. Ford has moved away to electronic parking brake buttons and as such, this will go away in the next model year saving costs and weight.
    An interesting play was Munro fainting in his earlier initial video of the Mach-e cooling system review.
    Per Donna Dickson, the Mach-e chief engineer, the crazy amount of hoses under the hood is due to Ford matching up new components with older existing components used from other auto's. Dickson has committed that many modular systems are taken from other Hybrids such as the HVAC system so this is not ideal, but they are looking at moving forward with a consistent updated modular system that will improve efficiencies while reducing hoses and cables as they standardize modules for the future BEV roadmap.
    An example is that Ford for the first year Mach-e has dual cooling pumps to each motor and with the data they have coming in from customer real world use is showing that this over built system for cooling is not needed and they can change to a single beefy cooling pump per motor which will also reduce weight.
    Interesting is as Donna states Ford has relied on things they knew going into this first BEV for Ford and an example of this is the heavy rubber re-enforced hoses throughout the Mach-e. This you find on all Ford auto's and yet new technology and proven use by Tesla is high strength plastic lines that are thinner, much lighter and will be changed over for the next model year such as the long cooling line from the front of the Mach-e to the rear motor. She also points out that with the much lower temps and pressures you can use smaller diameter lines for the electric motors on cooling over ICE use.
    Donna Dickson Mach-e chief engineer has taken a different approach to the Munro Tear down review videos. Tesla felt attacked and attacked back at Munro when he tore the Tesla auto's down and applied praise and extreme criticism to Tesla Auto's.
    Ford is taking the opposite approach with this visit to Munro in taking his review observations very seriously on improving Ford BEV products.

    Mustang Mach-E Durability | Ford Media Center
    2022 Ford Mustang Mach-E Will Boost the Current 305-Mile Driving Range (designnews.com)

    Rumorpile: The Bronco Pickup That Never Was

    A possible case of too many chefs in the kitchen

    There is a lot of buzz surrounding the new Ford Bronco and Bronco Sport, and it isn't surprising that Ford was possibly considering another family member. But a report from Automotive News says that new member has been iced.
    According to two sources, Ford canned the idea for a Bronco pickup. Designed to compete against the Gladiator pickup, it was expected to be launch in 2024 and built alongside the Bronco SUV at Ford's Wayne assembly plant. However, Ford notified suppliers over the past few months about the model being cancelled. Not surprisingly, Ford declined to comment.
    We should note that Ford never confirmed the plans for a Bronco truck. Rumors started to swirl last year after a design video popped up showing drawings of a possible truck. It was reported that this model was getting some traction at the company.
    Why was this model canceled? It may be a case of too many chefs in the kitchen. Ford's current truck lineup is made up F-Series, Ranger, and the upcoming Maverick. Adding another model to their lineup may eat into the sales of the Ranger and Maverick. It doesn't help that the Gladiator - the competition - isn't setting the sales charts afire. Last year, Jeep moved around 77,000 Gladiators - a fraction when compared to the over 200,000 sales of the Wrangler.
    To top it all off, Ford is currently dealing with various production issues with the Bronco. The most recent deals with the hardtop having various quality issues. Ford has delayed production of hardtop models as it waits for replacements.
    Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)

    Quick Drive: 2020 Lexus NX 300h & UX 250h

    Lexus' Hybrid Theory of Crossovers

    The NX 300h does stand out in the crowd from other compact crossovers with a chiseled look: Deep creases along the side, angular headlights, and the distinct spindle grille. My tester came finished in an orange color which helps amplify various design traits. The NX is also spacious for a compact luxury crossover. There is plenty of legroom for both front and rear-seat passengers. Rear headroom is at a premium for tall passengers, especially when ordering the optional panoramic sunroof. Where the NX falls flat is in ergonomics. For example, if you want to turn on the heated steering wheel, you need to press a button on a small control panel that is positioned towards your left knee. This is also where you find the switch to turn on the auto high beams and other settings. Who thought this was a good idea?! Then there is Lexus Remote Touch - a small touchpad that provides input for the 10.3-inch infotainment system. One wrong swipe or press on the touchpad means you’ll end up on a different screen or changing a different setting. It also makes using Apple CarPlay or Android Auto very unintuitive. The NX 300h’s power comes from a 2.5L Atkinson-Cycle gas engine paired with an electric motor. Output is rated at 194 horsepower. The 300h is only available as an all-wheel drive model. If most of your driving is around town, the NX Hybrid will impress. The electric motor helps add some pep to the acceleration and makes it a pleasure to drive. Where the powertrain falters is on the highway. It takes a noticeable amount of time to get up to speed and passes need to be planned out. Fuel economy figures for the NX 300h aren’t too shabby for the class. EPA figures are 33 City/31 Highway/30 Combined. My average for the week landed at 31.2 mpg. Handling is a bit of a surprise as the NX 300h feels confident around a winding road with minimal body roll. Ride quality is excellent with bumps of all sizes soaked up. Lexus still hasn’t ironed out the transition from regenerative braking to four-wheel disc braking, making it difficult to modulate the brakes. I feel mixed on the NX 300h. On one hand, the hybrid powertrain does give it a slight advantage over most of its competitors in terms of fuel economy. It can also be a nice place to sit in. But in other areas, the NX 300h does lag behind competitors - primarily in terms of ergonomics, infotainment, and performance if you’re doing a large amount of highway driving. The biggest issue is the price. My tester stickers at $50,905 which puts you in the realm of the RX. Unless you can score a decent deal on an NX 300h, wait for the next-generation model due out later this year. 
    UX 250h
    The only differences between this 250h and 200 F-Sport I drove last year in terms of looks are no sporty touches (mesh grille and side skirts), and new wheels. I liked the F-Sport, but the standard UX takes the cake when finished in this Nori Green color. The interior comes well furnished with leather upholstery, soft-touch materials, dual-zone climate control, and power adjustments for the seat. Front seat passengers will not have any issues finding a position that works, but they may be surprised with the low seating position. Those sitting in the back will like the amount of headroom on offer, but legroom can vary depending on where the front seats are set. Compared to standard UX and its small cargo area, the UX 250h’s space is even smaller. It measures 17.1 cubic feet, about 4.6 cubic feet smaller than the UX 200. This decrease in space is due to the battery pack which sits underneath the cargo floor. Infotainment duties are provided by Lexus Enform with Remote Touch. On the plus side, Lexus has finally added Android Auto compatibility, alongside Apple CarPlay. On the negative side is the Remote Touch touchpad which is imprecise and difficult to make fine selections. I can only hope that a new touchscreen system is around the corner. Under the NX 250h’s hood is Lexus Hybrid Synergy Drive which comprises of a 2.0L Atkinson-Cycle gas engine and electric motor to produce a total output of 181 horsepower. Unlike other UXs, the 250h comes standard with all-wheel drive via an electric motor on the second axle. Performance characteristics are similar to the NX 300h; does very decently around town with the added thrust of the two electric motors, but falters in terms of highway driving and passing. Fuel economy is pretty impressive for this vehicle - 41 City/38 Highway/39 Combined on the EPA cycle. My average for the week landed around just over 39. Handling is pretty impressive with little body roll and steering having some nice heft when turning. The suspension tries its best to smooth over bumps, but the standard run-flat tires do mean some will make their way inside. The UX 250h is an intriguing option in the subcompact luxury crossover class. The fuel economy figures and handling characteristics help it stand apart from other models. But the small cargo area and infotainment system are major negatives.  Disclaimer: Lexus Provided the crossovers, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
    Year: 2020
    Make: Lexus
    Model: NX
    Trim: 300h
    Engine: 2.5L DOHC 16-valve Dual VVT-i Four-Cylinder, Electric Motors on Front and Rear Axles
    Driveline: CVT, All-Wheel Drive
    Horsepower @ RPM: 154 @ 5,700 (gas engine); 141 (electric motor on front axle); 67 (electric motor on rear axle); 194 (combined)
    Torque @ RPM: 152 @ 4,400
    Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 33/30/31
    Curb Weight: 4,180 lbs
    Location of Manufacture: Tahara, Aichi, Japan
    Base Price: $39,070
    As Tested Price: $50,555.00 (Includes $1,025.00 Destination Charge)
    Options:
    Premium Package - $3,270.00
    Navigation/Mark Levinson 14-Speaker System - $2,920.00
    Triple-Beam LED Headlights - $1,515.00
    Panoramic Back-up View Monitor - $800.00
    Premium Paint - $595.00
    Power Back Door with Kick Sensor - $550.00
    Intuitive Park Assist with Auto Braking - $535.00
    Leather Heated Steering Wheel - $150.00
    Auto-Dimming Rear View Mirror - $125.00
    Year: 2020
    Make: Lexus
    Model: UX
    Trim: 250h
    Engine: 2.0L 16-Valve DOHC, VVT-i Four-Cylinder, Electric Motors on Front and Rear Axles
    Driveline: CVT, All-Wheel Drive
    Horsepower @ RPM: 181 (combined)
    Torque @ RPM: N/A
    Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 41/38/39
    Curb Weight: 3,605 lbs
    Location of Manufacture: Miyawaka, Fukuoka, Japan
    Base Price: $39,550
    As Tested Price: $43,625 (Includes $1,025.00 Destination Charge)
    Options:
    Triple-Beam LED Headlights with Auto-Leveling - $1,660.00
    Parking Assist, with Rear Cross-Traffic Alert - $565.00
    Head-Up Display - $500.00
    Heated Steering Wheel - $150.00
    Windshield Deicer - $100.00
    Wireless Charger - $75.00

    Ford F-150 Lightning Electric Truck Doubles Production goals from 2022 to 2025 when the Second Generation will come out.

    According to sources via Reuters news services, Ford has doubled production goals for the F-150 Lighting electric truck for 2022 to 2025 due to strong demand.

    According to Reuters, strong demand has already made Ford increase production again ahead of the 2022 launch. Ford plans to increase spending an additional $850 million to meet the new targets according to people familiar with the plan inside Ford and at their suppliers.

    Ford initially had very simple easy goal of less than 5,000 trucks initially for the production launch in 2022, but by the approach of the truck reveal they had upped it to 7,500. Since then with the strong 150,000 customer reserves on top of production orders by Ford Dealers, Ford has again upped production. This time Ford has doubled production estimates all the way through 2025 when the generation two F-150 Lighting comes out.
    Ford production plans now stand as follows:
    2022 - 15,000 2023 - 55,000 2025 - 160,000 Share of Ford rose 1.3% today on this news as investors are very positive about big growth for Ford as they move over to electric auto's. Ford officials have confirmed that they are pleasantly surprised by the early demand for the Ford Lighting electric truck.

    While various Industry observers have questioned if consumers will give up their gas-powered pickups for electric, commercial customers are looking to reduce their carbon footprint with trucks and vans and have been a huge source of interest and pre-purchases.
    Ford has not stated how many commercial reservations they have only focusing on retail customer reservations, but the constant increase in production numbers would imply a rather large push to change over from gas/diesel to electric.
     
    EXCLUSIVE Ford doubles Lightning production target on strong pre-launch demand -sources | Reuters

    West Coast Electric Highway Turns 10 Years Old and Gets an Upgrade!

    British Columbia to Baja California (BC to BC) West Coast Electric Highway has served millions in ensuring there was basic electric charging for battery electric vehicles. Now a major change is coming to the WCEH.

    The west coast green highway has served millions and the website has been a well used source to ensure all trip planning allowed for proper charging options to those using BEVs to go on a road trip.

    Level 1 & 2 chargers with the occasional Level 3 fast DC charger has been the norm over the 10 year life for the WCEH. Now Washington and Oregon is moving forward to enhance this by contracting with EVCS who also purchased a series of charging sites in both states and will work with local state and county agencies to upgrade the 50kW DC chargers with CHAdeMO ports used by Nissan leafs to current high speed DC chargers with both CHAdeMO and CCS connectors.
    These stations are spread out among I5, I90 and Highway 101 on the coast.
    The benefits of this will be the following:
    Fast chargers every 25 to 50 miles along select routes Close proximity to freeway ramps Convenient parking Located in areas with secondary activities like restaurants and grocery stores. Easy access to picturesque locations like Oregon's Crater Lake, Multnomah Falls, Painted Hills, Washington's Snoqualmie Falls and Skagit Valley. 44 stations in Oregon and 12 stations in Washington have the following venues when it comes to charging needs:
    Ten (10) city properties (convention centers, visitor centers, parks, etc.) Nine (9) grocery stores Eight (8) restaurants Eight (8) miscellaneous properties ( Country stores, transit centers, office buildings, etc.) Seven (7) hotels and or motels Six (6) gas stations Five (5) Casinos Three (3) shopping malls. The WCEH is the largest contiguous network of DC fast chargers in the North America giving confidence to travel up and down the west coast.

    This is a welcome upgrade to the PNW and one of the largest expanding electric highway systems currently in North America.
    West Coast Green Highway: Home
    West Coast Electric Highway (evcs.com)
    Oregon Department of Transportation : Electric Vehicles and EV Infrastructure : Programs : State of Oregon
    Zero Emission Vehicle Infrastructure Partnerships | WSDOT (wa.gov)

    Alpha Motor Prepares to Unveil Alpha Electric Truck

    Wolf is a simple work truck with a soul that performs everyday tasks and is yet fun to drive as an adventure vehicle and will have a public debut during the month of August.

    Alpha Motors Corporation or AMC has shown up here at Cheers and Gears earlier this year when they unveiled multiple electric auto's from trucks to cars all in model form.
    Now we get an update on the actual concept truck they have built as August 24th, 2021 AMC will unveal to the public at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles, California the Debute of the WOLF. The pure electric truck with a soul according to their press release. The public has expressed large interest in a cleaner life style auto and AMC believes they are delivering this with their first pivotal achievement of taking from art concept and models to actual building a working prototype.

    The Alpha Wolf is targeted for production at the end of 2023.

    Those that want more information about the truck can go here for further information.
    Alpha Motor Corporation (alphamotorinc.com)
    Vehicle reservations are here: VEHICLE RESERVATION — Alpha Motor Corporation (alphamotorinc.com)
    You can reserve any of the following models:
    ACE Coupe ACE Performance Coupe JAX CUV WOLF Truck WOLF+ Truck SUPERWOLF Truck Video overview of the Wolf is found here:
    SuperWolf was unveiled on July 22nd but was as can be seen only in model concept.
    One can check out videos on all of AMC planned future product line here: Alpha Motor Corporation - YouTube
    Alpha Motors has a company drive and passion per their web site to create next generation of clean energy vehicles as the companies core passion as they serve as a platform for positive change.
    Alpha Motors has teamed also with the Michael J. Fox Foundation in raising support for Parkinson's research. With 60,000 new cases diagnosed in 2021 in the US alone with no known cure, AMC is supporting via marketing and helping to raise funds to find a cure.
    AMC and the Micheal J. Fox Foundation is excited for the World to see The WOLF come August 24th, 2021
    PRESS — Alpha Motor Corporation (alphamotorinc.com)

    Heritage Homage to the Ford GT 1964 Prototype with a Limited-Run

    How does one celebrate an original US Supercar, the 1964 Ford GT that went on to win Le Mans from 1966 to 1969 and again in 2016? A Heritage limited-production run of a modern 2022 Ford GT.

    The Ford GT came out after a failed attempt by Ford to buy Ferrari the luxury exotic auto maker of Italy. As such, due to ego's and comments meant to hurt another, Ford choose to go racing to put Ferrari in their place by proving they could build a better Supercar.

    The Ford GT 64' Prototype Heritage Edition will debute at Monterey Car Week alongside the sole surviving 1964 Ford GT prototype, Chassis GT/105, in it's original livery at The Quail and on the concept lawn at Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance this week.

    To quote Ford's press release:
    Limited-edition run honoring the five original GT prototypes
    The Ford GT ’64 Prototype Heritage Edition supercar wears Wimbledon White paint with Antimatter Blue graphics, including an over-the-roof triple racing stripe. Exposed carbon fiber components are prominent, including 20-inch Antimatter Blue-painted carbon fiber wheels, a touch unique to Ford GT, as well as an exposed carbon fiber front splitter, side sills, mirror stalks, engine louvers and rear diffuser finished in gloss. Brembo® brake calipers lacquered in silver with black graphics, plus black lug nuts further modernize the aesthetic.
    Carbon fiber carries into the cabin as well, with carbon fiber door sills, lower A-pillars and console, along with matte carbon fiber registers. Lightspeed Blue Alcantara®-wrapped carbon fiber seats feature silver stitching, while seating surfaces and head restraints are embossed with the GT logo. The instrument panel is wrapped in Ebony leather and Lightspeed Blue Alcantara, while pillars and headliner are wrapped in Ebony Alcantara. Antimatter Blue appliqués on the instrument panel, door register bezels and seat X-brace are coordinated with the unique wheels. The steering wheel is finished in Ebony Alcantara with black stitching, while dual-clutch paddle shifters are clear and polished.
    “There are a lot of milestone moments in the history of Ford GT that we’ve celebrated, but the team was unanimous in believing the original prototype was the right vehicle this time around,” Severson said. “That 1964 prototype unleashed the creative genius of the Ford Advanced Vehicles team and paved the way for the Ford GT program. It put all of this in motion.”

    Ford did state the following about the original Ford GT chassis with this information:
    Chassis GT/101 and GT/102 were scrapped after Le Mans and Monza crash testing, but were critical to the significant improvements that went into GT/103, GT/104 and GT/105. FT/103 Won Daytona 1965 with Ken Miles and Lloyd Ruby behind the wheel, GT/104 placed third with Bob Bondurant and Ritchie Ginther driving. GT/103 and GT/104 have been repainted and are on exclusive display at the Shelby Museum in Boulder, Colorado. The Ford GT Heritage Edition for the 2022 production year has a new 21st Century high tech wing to improve down force.

    Per the press release, the 2022 Ford GT 1964 Heritage Edition is the next in the ultra-limited-production series that includes the following:
    2021 Ford GT ’66 Daytona Heritage Edition Honoring the Ford GT MK II No. 98 race car In production 2020 Ford GT ’69 Gulf Livery Heritage Edition Honoring the Ford GT40 MK I No. 6 race car that was victorious at 1969 Le Mans Only 50 built 2019 Ford GT ’68 Gulf Livery Heritage Edition Honoring Ford GT40 MK I No. 9 race car that was victorious at 1968 Le Mans Only 50 built 2018 Ford GT ’67 Heritage Edition Honoring Ford GT40 MK IV No. 1 race car that was victorious at Le Mans in 1967 Only 39 built 2017 Ford GT ’66 Heritage Edition Honoring Ford GT40 MK II No. 2 that Bruce McLaren and Chris Amon drove at 1966 Le Mans Only 27 built 2006 Ford GT Gulf Livery Heritage Edition Commemorating GT40’s back-to-back 24 Hours of Le Mans titles in 1968 and 1969  Only 343 built The 2022 Ford GT is available to order for approved Ford GT customers. Production is scheduled to begin in January. Click here for more information.
    2022-Ford-GT-64-Heritage-Edition-B-roll.mp4
    Ford GT Pays Homage to Its Origins with Limited-Run Heritage Edition Celebrating 1964 Prototypes | Ford Media Center
    1964 Ford GT Prototype 101 | Ford Media Center

    Silverado Electric Pickup to have Four-Wheel Steering

    Chevrolet has revealed that the Silverado electric pickup will drive circles around the competition with the addition of Four-Wheel Steer and 24" rims.

    Four-Wheel Steer is a chassis feature that enables a vehicle to steer all four wheels, increasing agility and tight turning radius at low speeds. This brings improved handling and stability at higher speeds with outstanding trailering dynamics.
    Chevrolet-Previews-Available-Four-Wheel-Steer-on-Silverado-Electric-Pickup.mp4
    The Silverado electric pickup is designed from scratch and it harnesses the best of the Ultium Platform and ingrained with the Silverado's proven capability. Fleet and retail versions of the electric Silverado will be offered with a variety of customer options. Customers can receive the latest updates on the electric Silverado at one of these two web sites:
    Chevrolet Silverado | All-Electric Truck | GM Fleet All-Electric Silverado - Electric Truck | Chevrolet Chevrolet was founded in 1911 and is one of the worlds largest auto brands, available in 79 countries with more than 3.2 million cars and trucks sold in 2020.
    Chevrolet will be bringing to market the electric Silverado that will feature engaging performance, heart pounding designs, passive and active safety features along with easy to use technology at an outstanding value per their press release.

     
    GM Corporate Newsroom - United States - EV News
    Chevrolet Previews Available Four-Wheel Steer on Silverado Electric Pickup (gm.com)

    Audi to Show off 2 Door Auto BEV Love at Pebble Beach

    According to the Electrek website who was invited to LA for a preview of Audi's latest concept, a two door BEV sedan. Yes, you have a 2 door convertible in battery electric mode.

    Audi today is celebrating the Celebration of Progress: the Audi skysphere concept unveiled today. A redefined Grand Touring BEV.
    For many, even on the Cheers and Gears forum we have discussed the future of two door cars and weather or not we will see them continue to die off. Some have even said styling has been lost to appliance trucks and SUVs/CUVs. Audi today is challenging that with the Skysphere battery electric concept.

    Audi says this is the first member of a family of all new concept vehicles, a spectacular roadster. Audi skysphere concept is the name of the electric-powered, two-door convertible whose lines lead directly to the Audi design of tomorrow.
    Progressive Luxury is what Audi believes they will represent as the 21st century auto's of desire. The skysphere comes with two driving modes, Grand Touring and Sports mode. Grand Touring is a take back to the 1930's tuned for long drives on country roads. Sports mode gives an aggressive tune with tight handling and a more commanding and connected presence for the driver.

    Being that the Skysphere will be shown off with more details at the Pebble Beach Golf Course show, it is understandable that the front end has a rather large FRUNK. How large, large enough to handle two full size fully loaded golf bags.

    The Skysphere has a modifiable wheelbase that in touring mode is 201 inches long and it shrinks to 191 inches long in Sports mode. The weight distribution of this BEV is a 40/60 front to back ratio. The car will go 0 to 62 mph in 4 seconds and has 623HP with a curb weight of 3,968 lbs. Battery pack is good for 310 miles.
    The interior is a 21st touch of luxury.

    Many more images & Videos can be viewed here: Audi skysphere concept (2021) | Audi MediaCenter (audi-mediacenter.com)
    The future is freedom to enjoy what one wants in the auto of their choice and for Audi, that starts with the Skysphere.
    1109003_amtv-content1080p-web.mp4

    Is Ford moving to a Build to Order Format?

    Layoff's are not new, but Ford offering 1,000 employee buyouts to re-align jobs and a desire to move away from incentive house cleaning at the end of the year seems to imply a change in dealership format. Is Build to Order the new 21st century format?

    Ford month of July saw Mach-e sales grow 15.8 percent, second largest in the electric SUV segment and sales taking off for the F-150 Hybrid, Bronco and a 23 percent climb in accessory sales as Ford continues it's conquest rate over Tesla and others.

    Yet even as sales have climbed among a electric chip shortage, Ford has moved forward with offering employee buyouts to re-align the jobs and business model along a new path. 
    First off Ford Motor Co. has started a voluntary buyout to employees in the U.S. as they plan to cut 1,000 positions as they reconfigure for growth. The Ford+ growth plan was released / divulged at its Capital Markets Day investor even in May. This is the start of the company diving into further digital services and electric vehicle development.
    This buyout includes 6 months of salary and 6 months of health care as ford focuses on delivering products that contribute profit to the bottom line and are desired by global customers. This comes as Ford raises 2021 profit outlook.
    Ford CEO Jim Farley stated in the Quarterly results that Ford has decided to move away from Dealerships stock piling 100's of auto's especially those that have less customer demand and requiring discounts to move them at the end of the year to make a sale. Ford is focusing on dealership inventories of no more than at most 50 to 60 days if not less as Ford wants demo units and will work with dealerships to move customers to an order-based system giving the customer truly what they want rather than what some purchasing manager creates for the lot inventory.
    Farley stated they are wasting money on incentives and with chip shortages, Ford like all other OEMs is focusing on higher-margin products as Q2 of 2021 has shown with an average revenue of $5,000 per vehicle which added $1.5 billion to the operating profits of Ford. Ford sees an easing of chips which will allow them to stock pile critical components and has moved to dual-sourcing along with design interchangeability for better ease of moving internal components between product lines. 
    Ford is estimating a 30% increase in global sales at it's dealerships for the second half of the year contributing to an estimated increase in operating profits by $3.5 billion with full operating profits for the year to be between $9 and $10 billion.
    The chip shortage did cut production by about 700,000 units in Q2, yet Ford is very optimistic about the second half especially since the Ford Mach-e is on double digit growth with the bulk of the purchases custom orders.

    This along with Ford's six figures of F-150 Lighting Electric truck reservations now is showing that people would rather pick what they want on an auto and wait than just pull from a dealership inventory.

    This build-to-order is proving out with the large backlog of Bronco orders and the growing log of Maverick pickup orders.

    The increase in sales, profitability and an overall shift by consumers to build-to-order is allowing Ford to plan and focus company free cash flow which is estimated to be between $4 and $5 billion for 2021 directed towards acquisitions, battery production, connectivity software and accessories for life style use by Ford Customers.
    A very popular add on by Ford Ranger customers is the Tent / Canopy solution allowing people during this pandemic to get out and away from people to live life further embracing the build-to-order model.

    This profitable quarter along with a shift away from incentive and heavy stock on dealership lots has been taken very positively by the stock market as Ford stock had a 3% gain in after hours trading almost reaching $15 a share.
    The rest of this year is looking good as Ford continues to product the Bronco, Bronco Sport fulfilling pre-sales, the unibody compact pickup Maverick rumbles into the market as both a Hybrid and ICE with BEV on the horizon. Mach-e sales continue to conquest Tesla sales and continues to grow the backlog of orders and in the spring the F-150 Lightning comes to market already in high demand with over 120,000 reserved so far.
    This would imply that like Tesla and Rivian, Ford future lays in a build-to-order model moving forward as Ford transitions away from ICE to a BEV portfolio.
    Ford offers buyouts to salaried workers in effort to shed 1,000 jobs | Automotive News (autonews.com)
    Ford Mustang Mach-E Sales Grew 15.8 Percent in July, Second Largest In Electric SUV Segment; New Vehicle Launches of F-150 Hybrid, Bronco, Mustang Mach-E Expand Ford’s Competitive Conquest Rate; Ford Accessory Business Climbs 23 percent, On Track To Post New Record | Ford Media Center
    July Sales (ford.com)
    Ford raises 2021 profit outlook, eyes shift to build-to-order | Reuters
    Ford says reservations for F-150 Lightning electric pickup top 120,000 (cnbc.com)

    Is the 2 Door Muscle car era coming to an End?

    The onset of the electrical vehicle and Tesla success with super fast sedans, is the era of 2 door muscle cars coming to an end?

    Auto enthusiast have since the dawn of the car had a desire to go faster and in this, the 2 door, 2 person auto was the focus of go fast compared to the 4 door, 4 or 5 person sedan and especially in comparison to CUVs, SUVs and Trucks.

    Yet in the last few decades we have seen performance Trucks and SUVs / CUVs that have gotten close to what some call Muscle Cars. Even some specialty sedans like the Chevrolet SS of recent decades has also introduced performance fun to the family.

    Tesla burst onto the scene in the early 2000's and had a Roadster that blew people away that could afford such a novelty with it's gut pounding acceleration. Later came the Tesla S with performance that rivaled many if not just about all of the industry made auto's while not yet beating the European Luxury brands such as Ferrari, Lamborghini or even the Chevrolet Corvette or the top of the line Mustang and Camaro.
    Continue to speed forward to this current decade and we now have the Tesla S Plaid sedan that truly makes one question how does an ICE Muscle car compete?

    Is the Answer in how Dodge has approached the electric auto?
    Dodge Announces Electric Muscle Car for 2024 – Robb Report
    While Dodge seems to imply that we will still have a 2 door muscle car, the rumor mill has been going crazy that both the Ford Mustang and Chevrolet Camaro will go to a 4 door performance sedan. The amount of Photoshopped versions have been crazy as we see Camaro's like this one done by X-TOMI Design.

    Then we also have the 4 door Mustang Design, not a warmed over version of the Mach-e but an actual photoshop of what a 4 door mustang would look like.

    On top of this change with Tesla currently leading the way with the fastest 4 door sedans is that even in the Top End Luxury market, we have companies like Lamborghini that has shown off a 4 door electric performance sedan.

    This has been followed up by Bugatti stating that they are exploring the change over to a 4 door performance electric sedan replacing their 2 door versions. In 2009 Bugatti showed off their Galibier 16C powered by the big W16 engine and now they are looking at this as the possible future for the brand as a BEV.

    We also have brands such as Audi who have decided to stick to the top end being luxury sedans with an electric A9 that will be built on the next generation platform that will also be used by Porsche. Originally planned to be released in 2020, it has been delayed a few years due to the Global pandemic.

     
    So we have the high end of luxury brands helping to pay for lower tier electric auto's and the global auto industry is now focused on converting over product lines by 2030, 3025 and 2040 depending on which brand you read about.
    It would be safe to say it is not if but when a product line will be changed over to electric and clearly Ford, Dodge and Chevrolet have been clear that they see their muscle cars will carry on to 2030 in various forms. Yet one cannot ignore the writing on the wall about electrification.
     
    As such, it brings the question for discussion here:
    Will the Traditional American Muscle Car stay 2 doors or go 4 doors?
    If we go by these stories, it would seem a sure bet that the Camaro electric replacement for the ICE version is 4 doors.
    There Will Be a New Camaro-But It's a 4-Door Sedan: No! (motorbiscuit.com)

    The Chevy Camaro Will Be Replaced by an All-Electric Sedan: Report – Robb Report
    The Chevrolet Camaro Will Be Replaced by 4-Door Electric Sedan - Maxim
    Chevy Camaro will reportedly be reborn as all-electric, four-door sedan | Tom's Guide (tomsguide.com)
    The Chevy Camaro Is Reportedly Being Replaced by a 4-Door Electric Sedan - BMW Autoelectrician (bmw-autoelectrician.com)
     
    Then we have the rumor mill at it about the Ford Mustang, will it move to 4 doors?
    Ford Mustang Mach-F Looks Like a Four-Door Electric Pony Car to Rival Tesla - autoevolution

    This brings us back to the reason for writing this editorial is to bring up the discussion among people:
    What is a future muscle car? Will the Traditional American Muscle Car stay 2 doors or go 4 doors? Will Chevrolet Camaro become a 4 door Muscle Car? Will Ford Mustang become a 4 door Muscle Car? Is the Dodge Challenger with 2 doors and electric still a muscle car? I encourage people to ask themselves these questions and sound off in the comment section on what they believe the future of Muscle cars will be and why.
    Bugatti might replace Chiron with a four-door with electric powertrain - Luxurylaunches
    Lamborghini electric four-door GT sedan in development for 2025, report says (autoweek.com)
    2020 Audi A9 C E-Tron,The Four-Door Luxury Electric Car ! (autonews-mag.com)

    ICE Alfa Romeo to Electric Alfa e-Romeo in 3 years?

    Stellantis has stated that Alfa Romeo is to help lead their luxury push by becoming a BEV only product line by 2024. Can they do it?

    Stellantis on their August 3rd Quarterly call announced Double-Digit adjusted operating income margins which will allow them to intensify their electrification of all product lines. As such Stellantis has committed $30 billion Euro's investment in electrification and software development through 2025 allowing them to target a 70% in Europe and 40% in the United States LEV or Low emission vehicle sales by 2030.
    All 14 brands are committed to offering best in class electrification solutions, delivering class-leading range and charging capability. This push will be covered by four flexible global BEV-by-design platforms, scalable family of three electric drive modules and a series of standardized battery packs covering all brands and segments. These plans cover both sourcing and building of battery packs by five gigafactories in Europe and North America which will include dual battery chemistries, high energy and a nickle cobalt-free alternative by 2024 with solid state batteries planned for introduction in 2026.

    What does this mean for the late CEO Sergio Marchionne and his beloved Giorgio platform that was funded by the profits of Dodge, Chrylser, Ram and Jeep? A platform that was supposedly engineered to challenge the rivals of BMW, Mercedes and Audi of Germany?
    DEAD, dead after only two auto's that while well received and rated in Europe has had only average acceptance and quality in the US.

    The dropping of the Giorgio platform which some had expected to be used by the next generation of cars under the American name plates is being dropped due to one glaring problem and that one is the lack of support for Hybrid / Electrification of the platform.
    Yet excitement is to be expected as Stellantis has reserved the STLA Large Platform for the AWD Performance and American Muscle cars favored by the North American market. 

    Yet while Stellantis has stated Alfa e-Romeo will be all electric in 2024, one does have to dig into this as we see that the current Alfa auto's actually get replaced using the new platform by Hybrids in 2022 which will carry on till 2027 as they introduce BEV in the three core markets of Americas, Europe and China in 2024.
    Seems some rumors are that Alfa could bring back the GTV nameplate to be applied to a four-door coupe as a rival to the BMW i4 and Mercedes-Benz EQE.
    Either way, it would seem that the Alfa brand while being a prestigious and historic brand has limited days ahead as an ICE brand and the future is for e-Romeo luxury electric auto's. In the mean time as a crossover product to BEV, the plug-in hybrid crossover called the Tonale is expected to debut in the early half of 2022.

    With Stellantis having an electrification focus of having EVs equivalent to ICE by 2026, does their electrification plan and marketing make sense?
    Electrification is not a “one size fits all” plan at Stellantis. Each of the Company’s 14 iconic brands is committed to offering best-in-class fully electrified solutions and doing so in a way that enhances the DNA of each brand. Stellantis revealed the following statements expressing each of the brand’s electrification approach:
     
    Abarth – “Heating Up People, But Not the Planet” Alfa Romeo – “From 2024, Alfa Romeo Becomes Alfa e-Romeo” Chrysler – “Clean Technology for a New Generation of Families” Citroën – “Citroën Electric: Well-Being for All!” Dodge – “Tear Up the Streets… Not the Planet” DS Automobiles – “The Art of Travel, Magnified” Fiat – “It’s Only Green When It’s Green for All” Jeep® – “Zero Emission Freedom” Lancia – “The Most Elegant Way to Protect the Planet” Maserati – “The Best in Performance Luxury, Electrified” Opel/Vauxhall – “Green is the New Cool” Peugeot – “Turning Sustainable Mobility into Quality Time” Ram – “Built to Serve a Sustainable Planet” Commercial Vehicles – “The Global Leader in e-Commercial Vehicles”  
    Stellantis Intensifies Electrification While Targeting Sustainable Double-Digit Adjusted Operating Income Margins in the Mid-term | Corporate communications | Stellantis
    Stellantis Wants Alfa Romeo To Go BEV-Only By 2027 (insideevs.com)

    GM Super Cruise Added to 6 Model Year 2022 Vehicles

    GM has announced new Super Cruise capabilities and added Super Cruise to six model year 2022 vehicles starting Q1 of 2022.

    The industry's first true hands-free driver-assistance technology allowing drivers to travel hands-free over 200,000 miles of compatible roads across the U.S. and Canada is coming to 6 model year 2022 vehicles with new capabilities.
    Super Cruise New Capabilities:
    Trailering - Customers will be able to trailer their boat, camper and more while driving hands-free. Automatic lane change - The technology can indicate when a lane change is optimal and initiate the maneuver, while following signaling protocols. Enhanced navigation display - Super Cruise compatible roads will be displayed in the in-vehicle navigation systems for vehicles equipped with the embedded Google Maps app and show routes available for hands-free driving, during route selection. Enhanced Super Cruise will be available in the following 2022 models:
    Cadillac Escalade Cadillac CT4 Cadillac CT5 Chevrolet Silverado GMC Hummer EV Pickup GMC Sierra Underscoring the software expertise at GM is the vehicles intelligence platform which provides more bandwidth and data processing power to support the expanding Super Cruise features. Model year 2021 vehicles that have Super Cruise will get these enhancements via over the air updates.
    2022-GMC-Sierra-Super-Cruise-Trailering.mp4
    GM is committed to having Super Cruise on 22 vehicle models by 2023 including the Cadillac LYRIQ, GMC HUMMER SUV and many more to come.
    To date, over 10 million Super Cruise miles have been driven in the U.S. and Canada.
    GM Introduces New Super Cruise Features to 6 Model Year 2022 Vehicles

    The AC Cobra Electric is Here!

    AC Cars has had a long history of building cars, but the ICE era is coming to an end and the storied British auto builder has chosen to move into the 21st Century with a lineup of fun to drive electric auto's.

    The final development tweaks are being done ahead of the first customer deliveries and with that the AC Cobra is staying faithful to the recreation roots with one twist. Emissions-free electric powertrain is the start of this British marque builders future.
    The specifications clearly show that this car is staying as much as possible to the roots of the Cobra history that started in 1962 with a Ford Small Block V8 and 60 years later in tribute to that history, the AC Cobra delivers with the following statistics:
    Acceleration 0-62 mph - 4 seconds Torque 500Nm Peak (369 lb-ft) / 250 Nm Continuous (185 lb-ft) Power 230 kW (308 HP) Battery Capacity 55 kWh Estimated Range 150 miles Auto Weight 1050 kg (2,314 lbs) The AC Cobra 1 series is a limited production run of just 52 cars. One could easily say who cares, I will never see one here in the US. Yet AC Cars has already announced a larger series of the Cobra. AC Cobra Series 4 electric and for those that want an ICE they still do build authentic ICE Cobra's you can purchase via their website. Yet this is about their future and with that the Series 4 AC Cobra offers a wide selection of choices including power trains that can rocket the car including their top performance model with a 460 Kw (617 HP) electric version weighing in at 1,240 kg (2,733 pounds) with a crazy couple of seconds to 62 mph launch.
    The series 4 offers two distinct packages with 4 color combo's per package.

    One can get more details about the Series 4 here: AC Cobra Series 4 electric - AC CARS
    Whether ones passion is electric or ICE powertrain, the one thing for any auto enthusiast is the driving experience and here AC Cars delivers on the traditional fun to drive performance car.
    The New AC Cobra 378 Superblower MkIV is back featuring an LSA 6.2L Supercharged V8 with 6 speed gearbox and can be checked out here: AC Cobra 378 Superblower MkIV - AC CARS
    The first of the electric AC Cobra fires up - AC CARS
    AC Cars Official - YouTube

    GM's BEV Future is Looking Bright

    GM has never been quiet about the push to electrify the companies product lineup globally using company websites and social media.

    GM back in 2019 rolled out what their BEV platform would be like using the BEV global platform that will evolve in supporting a complete portfolio of BEV or battery electric auto's.


    The goal of the BEV platform was to use a new GM digital vehicle platform that enables future technology by supporting data processing of up to 4.5 terabytes per hour, a five fold increase over the current electrical architecture at the time with connectivity supporting up to 10 Gbps. This is what would allow GM to have over the air updates to their products for decades to come.

    https://media.gm.com/media/us/en/gm/home.detail.html/content/Pages/news/us/en/2019/may/0520-digital.html
    A video showing this nervous system can be viewed at the link above.
    The global modular platform called BEV along with the Digital electrical nervous system that is currently in use on all ICE auto's along with the BEV platform is what is bringing us a number of current electric auto's starting with the Hummer truck and SUV and future Chevrolet and GMC pickup.

    This is also what is driving the quick development of the Cadillac Lyriq and their ability to show off what they call the Creator Series as the auto develops.
    A vision crystallized in the attention to details.




    You can read the story by the interior design manager here: Cadillac Creator Series: Learn about the LYRIQ Electric SUV along with all the other chapters covering the amazing Lyriq.
    Lyriq.mp4
    With so much having been seen of the Hummer twins and the Lyriq, gm has taken another step in driving interest in the future of their products by releasing a multi-part series on an up coming BEV for the Buick product portfolio. What can only be considered prepping for an actual concept reveal is the Buick Electra Concept drawings posted to the GM Design Instagram account GeneralMotorsDesign.
    GM Design (@generalmotorsdesign) • Instagram photos and videos


    Even new BEV designs in the form of the Cadillac van and BrightDrop delivery van is shown from GMs design studio on their Instagram account.

    While design style is a personal matter of taste, this new century promises to offer plenty to debate on as GM rolls out such a wide product portfolio of new auto's.
    GM Corporate Newsroom - United States - EV News
    Cadillac Creator Series: Learn about the LYRIQ Electric SUV
    GM Design (@generalmotorsdesign) • Instagram photos and videos
    GM: New electronics platform rollout through 2023 will allow OTA updates - Repairer Driven NewsRepairer Driven News
    GM Digital Vehicle Platform Debuts, Enables Adoption of Future Technologies


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