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By William Maley
Nissan Group reports April 2018 U.S. sales
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Nissan Group today announced total U.S. sales for April 2018 of 87,764 units, a decrease of 28% compared to the previous year.
Nissan LEAF all-electric vehicle sales increased 10% to 1,171 units. Several key models have shown strong gains in 2018: Rogue (+9%), Armada (+16%) and Frontier (+27%) NISSAN DIVISION
Nissan Division Total
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By William Maley
Mercedes-Benz has been teasing for the past few weeks their showing at Auto China which is expected to be an SUV. But thanks to someone accidentally posting photos on the official Mercedes-Benz website, we have gotten our first look at the Vision Mercedes-Maybach Ultimate Luxury concept - quite the mouthful.
The design... the less said about it, the better. It's a sedan with a tall ride height - think Volvo S60 Cross Country or Subaru Outback sedan. The front features the tall, vertical slat grille seen on the facelifted Mercedes-Maybach S-Class. The rear end styling is similar to the S-Class coupe with small taillights and angled trunk lid. The interior picture reveals seating for four, blue accent lighting, and a Maybach-branded tea set for rear passengers.
The powertrain is comprised of four electric motors delivering a total 738 horsepower, and an 80-kWh lithium-ion battery pack that provides an estimated range of 310 miles.
Source: Autocar, CarNewsChina
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By William Maley
Mercedes-Benz has officially unveiled the Vision Mercedes-Maybach Ultimate Luxury concept at Auto China following a leak last week spilling key information about the concept. We can confirm that the Ultimate Luxury concept is a fully electric vehicle with four motors producing 750 horsepower. An 80-kWh battery provides a range of over 200 miles (about 500 kilometers on the European test cycle) - much less than the 310 mile figure we reported last week. A fast charge system can provide 60 miles of range within five minutes.
But why a sedan/SUV hybrid design? It is most likely due to sedans and SUVs being the most popular body styles for luxury vehicles in China.
"The Vision Mercedes-Maybach Ultimate Luxury is a totally new archetype of a kind never seen before. Our concept combines the DNA of an SUV with that of a sedan to produce an ultra- modern SUV of three-box design. With sensual and pure sophistication, we have created a timeless vehicle that underscores the position of Mercedes-Maybach as the ultimate luxury brand," says Gorden Wagener, Chief Design Officer at Daimler AG.
"Totally new archetype of a kind never seen before"? Is Daimler ignoring the AMC Eagle, Subaru Outback Sedan, and Volvo S60 Cross Country which can be argued as being archetypes of this idea? Maybe Wagener's comments are coming from a place where it is a first for ultra-luxury brand to do, but still...
There are other traits that are influenced by the Chinese market. The wood trim used in the concept is ebony or what Mercedes calls"Magic Wood." This is used in traditional Chinese furniture design. The other is special accommodations for those sitting in the back. The seats provide a number of adjustments and sitting in between is a complete tea set, complete with a heated tray.
While we expect certain details of the concept to appear on an upcoming Maybach SUV, don't expect the Ultimate Luxury concept
World premiere of Vision Mercedes-Maybach Ultimate Luxury
Exclusive motoring at the highest level Apr 24, 2018 – Stuttgart/Beijing - At "Auto China 2018" in Beijing, Mercedes-Benz is presenting the Vision Mercedes-Maybach Ultimate Luxury. The design of the crossover, based on an exclusive high-end sedan and an SUV, follows the philosophy of Sensual Purity. The show car combines the comfort and typical strengths of both body styles. These include the raised seating position and the athletic looks. The Vision Mercedes-Maybach Ultimate Luxury is conceived as an electric vehicle with four compact permanent-magnet synchronous motors and fully variable all-wheel drive.
"The Vision Mercedes-Maybach Ultimate Luxury is a totally new archetype of a kind never seen before," says Gorden Wagener, Chief Design Officer at Daimler AG. "Our concept combines the DNA of an SUV with that of a sedan to produce an ultra- modern SUV of three-box design," says Wagener. "With sensual and pure sophistication, we have created a timeless vehicle that underscores the position of Mercedes-Maybach as the ultimate luxury brand."
Continuing the Mercedes-Maybach success story
The concept vehicle not only embodies the Mercedes-Maybach design language, it also reflects the traditional brand values while continuing the successful Mercedes-Maybach story. True to the principle of creating "the very best from the very best," Mercedes-Maybach stands for the ultimate in luxury while uniting the perfection of Mercedes-Benz with the exclusivity of Maybach.
The show car also merges influences from the Western and Far Eastern hemispheres to deliver an appealing automotive cultural dialogue. For instance, use is made of "Magic Wood" ebony, which is traditional in Chinese furniture design. The same motif is also underlined by the combination of SUV and notchback sedan, which are the most successful body styles not only internationally, but especially on the Chinese market.
In the Vision Mercedes-Maybach Ultimate Luxury, spaciousness and comfort, in combination with the raised seating position, elegant design and finest materials, particularly in the rear, give rise to a luxury experience at the highest level. The vehicle stands in exemplary manner for the typical Mercedes-Maybach values: traditional craftsmanship, uniqueness and individualization.
Exterior design: harmony of sensuality and purity
Smooth, extravagant surfaces with no beads or sharp edges create an image of sporty elegance: the Vision Mercedes-Maybach Ultimate Luxury has a majestic look. With its balanced proportions, the vehicle has tremendous presence.
The front end is accentuated by the distinctive chrome-plated radiator grille with its fine vertical bars in the style of a pinstripe suit. The new grille design celebrated its world premiere in the Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6, the exclusive coupe concept car that delighted aficionados and fans of the brand in 2016. It also inspired the latest reinterpretation for the Mercedes-Maybach S-Class.
In combination with the low-profile front headlamps with three lamp units, the grille dominates the front view of the vehicle while emphasizing its brand affiliation. The large air inlets along with the horizontal air inlet with integral chrome blades underline the sportiness of the SUV sedan while lending it a dynamic look. The air inlets are crossed by the brand's typical honeycomb pattern. A continuous trim strip extends from the split bonnet across the roof through to the rear end.
Unlike a conventional sedan, the Vision Mercedes-Maybach Ultimate Luxury offers a significantly higher, SUV-typical seating position and therefore a sublime driving experience. This addresses the desire of many customers for a feeling of protection and security – a challenge for the designers. Ultimately, the task was to harmoniously transfer the familiar three-box design – hood, passenger compartment and trunk – to an SUV-like architecture. This produces an interesting tension between the poles of sportiness and Mercedes-Maybach luxury.
The upright C-pillar, long, gently forward-sloping hood and compact notchback dominate the sportily elegant side view. The muscular volume of the flank is accentuated by a long wheelbase and short rear overhangs. The overall appearance is rounded off by 24-inch turbine-look wheels.
Truncated running boards in machined aluminum are integrated in the lower door area. They are illuminated in white and bear the Maybach logo. The overall vehicle is accentuated by subtle chrome trim above the running boards as well as in the lower area of the front and rear ends. The electrically extending door handles are flush with the sides.
At the rear end, the three-part lamps are reminiscent of the design of the front headlamps. Situated above them is the visually vertically split rear window. Another striking feature is the modeled underride guard with diffuser look. It, too, is permeated by the Maybach pattern from the front end.
Sublimeness meets lightness: interior design
The interior of the Vision Mercedes-Maybach Ultimate Luxury features an exciting contrast between high-level sportiness and luxurious spaciousness. This show car is the ultimate embodiment of a luxury dream automobile. The goal of the interior designers was to provide echoes of the series-produced vehicles while transporting them into an unprecedented world of luxury. They created a symbiosis of sportiness, modernity and elegance, giving an idea of coming generations of Mercedes-Maybach models.
Exclusive materials with high-grade highlights exude exquisite quality in the interior, thereby underlining the vehicle's superlative luxury. The generous feeling of spaciousness, together with the high-contrast color compositions, make for an unattained luxury experience. The colors employed are typical of the brand, such as rose gold, crystal white and pearl grey. Flowing forms, delicate fabrics and aluminum parts create an exciting contrast between the sportily elegant details of an SUV and the lightness of a sedan.
As the Vision Mercedes-Maybach Ultimate Luxury is intended primarily for chauffeur-driven use, its design is strongly focused on the rear passengers and their well-being. It is in the rear that the feeling of cozy spaciousness is at its most intense.
The driver's area and cockpit are reduced to the essentials. Air vents, which reflect the design of the radiator grille, surround the free-standing Widescreen Cockpit with double 12.3-inch displays. The feeling of spaciousness is further enhanced by a light, contrasting bottom part of the instrument panel as well as by the reduced height of the dashboard. Overall, the interior creates an atmosphere of luxurious coziness that allows the occupants to relax pleasantly. To emphasize the visual lightness, the rose gold frame of the front seats is open, exposing the white leather to view. The color/material scheme celebrates the superlative luxury of the Vision Mercedes-Maybach with exquisite materials and breathtaking surfaces.
The luxurious lightness of the interior is emphasized by the color crystal white, the finest Nappa leather and a sensual shade of brown that features a light metallic finish on the instrument panel. Gleaming surfaces in polished aluminum generate exciting reflections while mirroring the highlight: the rose gold-coated seats. The claim to the ultimate in luxury goes hand-in-hand with extreme technical challenges. For instance, the intense Mercedes-Maybach signature red metallic finish is applied by expert hand in several coats. Tradition and modernity are reflected in the form of appealing contrasts. The entire interior is surrounded by a large-area trim level. Dark ebony forms an exciting contrast with the surrounding areas of white leather. Wave-like, flowing lines of light are integrated flush into the wood surfaces, impressively uniting the analogue and digital worlds. The tailored seat upholstery layouts take up the lines of the trim while giving a reinterpretation to the typical diamond shape. The fine perforations are in rose gold. Thought through down to the smallest detail, crafted with love and affection.
Modelled on the S-Class
As in the Mercedes-Maybach S-Class, the especially comfortable seats impress with their adjustment kinematics. Unlike in a conventional sedan, the backrest is adjusted separately while the footwell and seat reference point remain unchanged. The cushion can be adjusted separately, while the seat angle and height adjustment are combined. Extra-soft knee cushions afford protection and comfort. The reclining seats feature a calf support, which is freely adjustable for length and angle. The crystal white Nappa leather seats are enhanced by diamond stitching in rose gold.
The wide center console extends through to the rear. It is equipped with an integral, heated tray with teapot and cups, allowing exquisite tea-drinking enjoyment while on the road. The philosophy of tea plays a key role in bringing body and mind into balance while discovering the path to inner calm and vitality.
The tea service is integrated into a sculpted wooden tray made of ebony, known as "Magic Wood." At the press of a button, the handmade service of finest china can be electrically retracted into the console under a sliding cover finished in high- gloss black.
Enhanced user experience at the highest level
The Mercedes-Benz user experience, too, represents the definitive embodiment of a luxury dream car. The design language is warmer and brighter, creating a luxurious atmosphere. The car was created entirely in a 3D real-time graphic environment. Like a butler, the Vision Mercedes-Maybach Ultimate Luxury acts with anticipation, instead of offering long menus and lists. The vehicle plays music to match the current mood, knows the appointment calendar and plans the routes accordingly. In the rear, various flavors of tea and relaxation programs are on offer, depending on who the rear passenger is.
The familiar ENERGIZING Comfort has been carried over from the S-Class. Systems such as massage, fragrance, light and music are combined, helping to regenerate and improve concentration. This holistic comfort and infotainment system can be individually programmed and adapted for every world market.
The highlight of the Mercedes-Benz user experience in the Vision Mercedes-Maybach Ultimate Luxury is the comprehensive touch control concept – a combination of touchscreen, touchpad on the center console and Touch Control Buttons on the steering wheel. Alongside the intuitive control experience, reduced driver distraction is a further advantage.
The control concept of the free-standing Widescreen Cockpit comprises three levels with rising information density: home screen, base screen and a submenu. The voice control adjusts to the user's voice and adapts new vogue words or changed use of language. In addition, the system does not employ stereotypical responses, but uses interactive variation.
On the aesthetic front, it is based on the traditional Chinese ink painting style with its simplicity, white surfaces and balanced proportions.
State-of-the-art powertrain and suspension technology
The Vision Mercedes-Maybach Ultimate Luxury is conceived as an electric car. Thanks to its four compact permanent-magnet synchronous motors, it offers fully variable all-wheel drive. The output from the powertrain is 750 hp (550 kW). The flat underfloor battery has a usable capacity of around 80 kWh, producing a range of over 200 miles (500 kilometers according to the NEDC). The top speed is electronically limited to 155 mph (250 km/h).
The fast-charging function is also convenient: thanks to DC charging based on the CCS standard, the system allows a charging capacity of up to 350 kW. In just five minutes, enough power can be charged to achieve an additional range of around 60 miles (100 kilometers).
The battery can be charged by cable at public charging stations, conventional domestic socket outlets or, even more conveniently, by induction. The charging current is contactlessly transmitted by an electromagnetic field below the car.
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By William Maley
Infiniti announced earlier this year that it would begin to electrify their lineup beginning in 2021 with the launch of their first electric vehicle. But Infiniti doesn't have a platform that can easily accommodate the batteries and electric motors.
Today at Auto China, Infiniti announced plans to develop a new electrified platform that will be inspired from the Q Inspiration Concept shown at Detroit earlier this year.
"INFINITI is developing a new platform for electrified vehicles inspired by the Q Inspiration concept car, which shows the new design language for the age of autonomy and electrification. We very much had China in mind when designing the Q Inspiration, which shows a very sporty, performance-oriented electric concept, with a much bigger interior space," said Infiniti Chairman and Global President Roland Krueger.
We got a hint that Infiniti was planning an electrified platform earlier this month when Infiniti's product strategy vice-president Francois Bancon mentioned the redesign of the Q50/Q60/Q70 had to be pushed back due to work on a new platform.
The platform will underpin a new electrified vehicle that will be one of five vehicles Infiniti will be built in China over the next five years.
INFINITI confirms new electrified vehicle platform influenced by Q Inspiration concept car
An electrified platform based on Q Inspiration concept car will go into production within the next five years Sedan will be manufactured in China at a location to be announced Q Inspiration shows INFINITI's new design form in an era of advanced powertrains and technologies BEIJING – INFINITI Motor Company today announced it is developing an all-new electrified vehicle platform influenced by the stunning Q Inspiration concept car. INFINITI will produce an electrified vehicle on this platform, one of five new vehicles it will build in China over the next five years.
INFINITI Chairman and Global President Roland Krueger made the announcement today at a special Auto China preview event at the INFINITI Brand Experience Center in Beijing.
"INFINITI is developing a new platform for electrified vehicles inspired by the Q Inspiration concept car, which shows the new design language for the age of autonomy and electrification. We very much had China in mind when designing the Q Inspiration, which shows a very sporty, performance-oriented electric concept, with a much bigger interior space," said Krueger.
Representing the next step in INFINITI design, the exterior of the Q Inspiration features clear and concise lines with dynamic and confident proportions. It is the first manifestation of INFINITI's new form language for an era of advanced powertrains. The concept eschews classical sedan forms with its coupe-like appearance and elongated silhouette, presenting INFINITI's design vision for vehicles in this segment.
"The Q Inspiration concept car takes the traditional sedan architecture to its next stage of evolution. A shift towards smarter, more compact and less intrusive powertrains; we were able to create an alternative form with flowing gestures, more engaging in character and more enriching in experience. With its long cabin, balanced proportions and muscular stance, the concept heralds in a new era for INFINITI models."
-Karim Habib, INFINITI Executive Design Director
The Q Inspiration cabin follows a minimalist approach, with a concise and clean interior design enveloping the driver and passengers in a serene and comfortable environment. Advanced powertrains have liberated INFINITI's designers from the constraints of traditional powertrain architecture to realize a spacious interior. Modern technology and craftsmanship merge inside the cabin, presented in a way that enables, rather than distracts, the driver.
INFINITI is also reconfirming the company's commitment to electrification. For Chinese car-buyers, this translates into vehicles with increased performance and fuel economy with reduced emissions.
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By William Maley
Describing a Buick as being bold seems somewhat strange, but the Enspire concept that debuted today in China is just that. Describing a Buick as being bold seems somewhat strange, but the Enspire concept that debuted today in China is just that.
The overall shape is very different from Buick's current crossover lineup with a pronounced front end, deep cuts in the bumper, cameras mounted where the side-view mirrors would be, flared-out rear fenders, and a sharply raked rear end. The only interior shot provided by Buick is of the front. It looks very futuristic with the dash wrapped in microfiber suede and wood trim, OLED display, and a heads-up display featuring augmented reality technology.
Power comes from Buick's eMotion electric powertrain producing 410 kW (about 550 horsepower). 0-60 mph is said to take about 4 seconds. On a single charge, Buick claims the Enspire can travel up to 370 miles. The concept supports both fast and wireless charging - the former providing an 80 percent charge within 40 minutes.
Buick will be showing off the Enspire concept at Auto China 2018 in Beijing later this month.
Enspire All-Electric Concept SUV Debuts in China
Sculptural beauty meets advanced battery electric technology in Chinese concept SUV WUZHEN, China — The Buick Enspire all-electric concept SUV, an exploration of Buick’s bold design ideas and innovative technologies for future mobility, made its global debut in China. Key features include:
Exterior feature lines and advanced aerodynamics accentuate the exterior’s strong, sculptural look. A “surround skyline” interior theme and suspended theater-type seating give the Enspire a bright and spacious interior. The center console and armrests are made from natural wood grain and microfiber suede. Cutting-edge technologies include an OLED display screen and an intelligent augmented reality technology-based head-up display system. 5G super high-speed network concept. Performance Features:
Buick’s eMotion electric propulsion technology generates a maximum power of 410 kW, enabling the concept to sprint from 0-60 mph in 4 seconds. The Enspire is able to travel up to 370 miles on a single charge. Supports both fast and wireless charging — the battery can be charged to 80 percent of capacity within 40 minutes. The Enspire all-electric concept SUV will be on display at Auto China 2018 in Beijing from April 25 to May 4.
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