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Found 264 results

  1. The 'One Ford' policy, introduced by former CEO Alan Mulally is partly credited for helping pull the company out of its financial quagmire and making it much leaner. The policy is simple, one model is developed for different markets with minor changes being made. But this policy “has peaked” and changes are in store. Ford's global design chief Moray Callum tells Autocar that Ford isn't abandoning this policy, but new models will be “more tailored to each region”. Take for example the next Focus which is expected to debut within the next two years. Callum said the model would diverge from this policy slightly. "It’s an entry-level model in the US, but not in Europe. They will be visually similar but there will be less content for the US model,” said Callum. Autocar speculates that next Focus for the U.S. could also get a less sophisticated suspension because driving dynamics isn't a major concern for U.S. buyers at this price point (although this writer disagrees). Source: Autocar View full article
  2. The 'One Ford' policy, introduced by former CEO Alan Mulally is partly credited for helping pull the company out of its financial quagmire and making it much leaner. The policy is simple, one model is developed for different markets with minor changes being made. But this policy “has peaked” and changes are in store. Ford's global design chief Moray Callum tells Autocar that Ford isn't abandoning this policy, but new models will be “more tailored to each region”. Take for example the next Focus which is expected to debut within the next two years. Callum said the model would diverge from this policy slightly. "It’s an entry-level model in the US, but not in Europe. They will be visually similar but there will be less content for the US model,” said Callum. Autocar speculates that next Focus for the U.S. could also get a less sophisticated suspension because driving dynamics isn't a major concern for U.S. buyers at this price point (although this writer disagrees). Source: Autocar
  3. As we have known for a couple of years, the next Holden Commodore will not be a rear-wheel drive based model. Instead, it will be based on the next-generation Opel and Vauxhall Insignia. This model isn't due to come out till 2018, but Holden has surprised everyone by releasing key details about the next Commodore. Holden has been working with Opel and Vauxhall for the past five years on developing the Insignia for its duties as the Commodore in Australia. In terms of looks, Holden has not messed with or changed the Insignia's design. It will look the same as the European and North American models (Buick Regal). No sedan will be offered, only a five-door liftback and wagon. There will be two turbocharged four-cylinder engines on offer - gas and diesel. No displacement or power figures were given. We do know this engines will be paired with front-wheel drive. A 3.6L V6 producing 306 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque will power the flagship model - likely the Commodore SS. This will come paired with a nine-speed automatic and a torque-vectoring all-wheel-drive system. According to media reports, Holden pushed for the V6 and all-wheel drive combination for their requirements. There were rumors of the Commodore getting a twin-turbo V6 - possibly the twin-turbo 3.0L or 3.6L from Cadillac. But that isn't going to happen for a simple reason - it can't fit in the Insignia/Commodore's platform (E2XX). Other key details about the next Commodore: The flagship Commodore model will feature adaptive dampers In most dimensions, the new Commodore is smaller than the current model Weight-wise, the new Commodore is 200 to 300 kg (about 441 to 661 pounds) lighter than the current model Holden will be doing their own ride and handling tuning program for the Commodore to better handle the roads and conditions that Australia offers Will the new Commodore be a success or tarnish a nameplate that has been around since 1978. That's a question that can only be answered in 2018. In the meantime, we have reports from various Australian outlets who were given the chance to drive two prototypes of the next Commodore. Source: Holden First Drive Reports: CarAdvice, Drive.com.au, Motoring.com.au, Wheels Press Release is on Page 2 Next-Generation Holden Commodore Is Coming First details of Holden’s next-generation Commodore revealed, redefining a four decade legacy First imported Commodore lives up to the legend; V6 flagship boasts 230kW and 370Nm, cutting-edge AWD system and 9-speed transmission Packed with advanced technology: Active Fuel Management, adaptive suspension, torque-vectoring AWD, matrix lighting system, Apple CarPlay® and Android® Auto Extensive Holden Australian engineering development ensures next-generation Commodore lives up to the legendary nameplate with outstanding driving dynamics Next-generation Holden Commodore on sale in 2018 Holden has today revealed first details of the all-new, next-generation Commodore ahead of its Australian launch in early 2018. Australia’s first look under the bonnet of the cutting-edge new Commodore reveals a car that will set new benchmarks in its segment for technology, style, practicality and driving dynamics. Headlined by the V6 flagship model, the first ever imported Commodore will honour the legendary nameplate by being the most technologically-advanced Holden ever. With a cutting-edge all-wheel-drive system channeling 230 kilowatts and 370 Newton metres to the road, combined with adaptive suspension technology, a company-first nine-speed automatic transmission and torque-vectoring all-wheel drive, the next-generation Commodore is set to cement the iconic nameplate’s reputation for class-leading driving dynamics and on-road refinement. Based on General Motor’s new ‘E2’ global architecture, engineered in Germany and shared with the Opel Insignia, the new Commodore has also been co-developed under the expert and watchful eye of Holden’s Australian engineers to ensure the all-new Commodore continues a four-decade tradition of setting new benchmarks. “Holden has been engaged in this program from the outset to ensure the next-generation Commodore lives up to its legendary nameplate,” said Jeremy Tassone, Holden’s Engineering Group Manager for Vehicle Development. “We know the first imported Commodore will come under a lot of scrutiny and we know we have a lot to live up to – this car delivers in spades” “Although we are remain in the early stages of the Holden development process, this is an absolutely world-class car. We’ve taken a precision-engineered German car and endowed it with Holden DNA. It drives like a Commodore should. “We’ve had our Holden engineers engaged in this global program from the outset and we’re continuing to do extensive tuning and development, racking up thousands of kilometers, at our Lang Lang proving ground in Victoria to ensure it’s got that Holden magic. “Of course, it helps that the underlying platform is absolutely world class! This global vehicle program, led by Opel in Germany, has produced a phenomenal base for us to work from. The genuinely cutting-edge all-wheel-drive system using active torque vectoring provides incredible traction and handling finesse. The key is what is dubbed the ‘Twinster’ rear drive module. Essentially, the traditional rear differential has been replaced with two individual clutches that not only save weight and improve packaging but provides virtually instantaneous active distribution of torque to the required wheel. “The overall system monitors inputs from vehicle sensors 100 times per second and constantly adjusts accordingly, it’s extraordinary.” The V6 engine with the all-wheel-drive system is a combination that the Holden team drove into the global vehicle program because we know our customers and this performance option is important to them. While it may not be built here, we’ll deliver a Commodore that our customers will love in 2018,” said Mr Tassone. Commodore’s evolution reflects the transformation of the Holden brand and company as it moves to full-line importer of vehicles. But just like Commodore, Holden will remain a powerhouse of the industry and of the local motoring landscape. “The next-generation Commodore will reset benchmarks in its class, as has every Commodore since 1978,” said Holden’s Executive Director of Sales, Peter Keley. “What Commodore will also continue to do is carry the family in space and comfort. Commodore will also race in Supercars from 2018 and continue to be on the road as police cars. “This next-generation vehicle is changing and bringing incredible technology and refinement with it but will continue to offer customers that quintessential Commodore experience they have loved for nearly four decades. “With the first-ever imported Commodore, we’re delivering our customers an absolutely world-beating vehicle, with the space, practicality, technology and driving pleasure that Commodore has always provided. This is a different kind of Commodore to what has come before but lives up to the nameplate in every respect and will carry our heritage with pride.” NEXT-GENERATION COMMODORE KEY HIGHLIGHTS: Next-generation Commodore built in Germany on all-new, global E2 architecture shared with Opel Insignia Lightweight construction methods result in 200kg - 300kg weight savings compared to current Commodore Flagship model offers V6 AWD drivetrain with Holden-first 9-speed transmission V6 engine delivers 230kW / 370Nm while being incredibly efficient thanks to Stop-Start technology and Active Fuel Management 2.0T petrol and 2.0T diesel front-wheel drive models also coming to Australia Liftback and Sportwagon body-styles Cutting-edge, adaptive all-wheel-drive system with torque vectoring and twin-clutch (‘Twinster’) rear differential system Adaptive suspension Next-generation matrix lighting system Infotainment includes: Apple Car Play and Android Auto 8-inch configurable LCD instrument display, next-gen head-up display Pricing, specification, full details of driver, safety and additional infotainment technology to be confirmed closer to launch
  4. As we have known for a couple of years, the next Holden Commodore will not be a rear-wheel drive based model. Instead, it will be based on the next-generation Opel and Vauxhall Insignia. This model isn't due to come out till 2018, but Holden has surprised everyone by releasing key details about the next Commodore. Holden has been working with Opel and Vauxhall for the past five years on developing the Insignia for its duties as the Commodore in Australia. In terms of looks, Holden has not messed with or changed the Insignia's design. It will look the same as the European and North American models (Buick Regal). No sedan will be offered, only a five-door liftback and wagon. There will be two turbocharged four-cylinder engines on offer - gas and diesel. No displacement or power figures were given. We do know this engines will be paired with front-wheel drive. A 3.6L V6 producing 306 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque will power the flagship model - likely the Commodore SS. This will come paired with a nine-speed automatic and a torque-vectoring all-wheel-drive system. According to media reports, Holden pushed for the V6 and all-wheel drive combination for their requirements. There were rumors of the Commodore getting a twin-turbo V6 - possibly the twin-turbo 3.0L or 3.6L from Cadillac. But that isn't going to happen for a simple reason - it can't fit in the Insignia/Commodore's platform (E2XX). Other key details about the next Commodore: The flagship Commodore model will feature adaptive dampers In most dimensions, the new Commodore is smaller than the current model Weight-wise, the new Commodore is 200 to 300 kg (about 441 to 661 pounds) lighter than the current model Holden will be doing their own ride and handling tuning program for the Commodore to better handle the roads and conditions that Australia offers Will the new Commodore be a success or tarnish a nameplate that has been around since 1978. That's a question that can only be answered in 2018. In the meantime, we have reports from various Australian outlets who were given the chance to drive two prototypes of the next Commodore. Source: Holden First Drive Reports: CarAdvice, Drive.com.au, Motoring.com.au, Wheels Press Release is on Page 2 Next-Generation Holden Commodore Is Coming First details of Holden’s next-generation Commodore revealed, redefining a four decade legacy First imported Commodore lives up to the legend; V6 flagship boasts 230kW and 370Nm, cutting-edge AWD system and 9-speed transmission Packed with advanced technology: Active Fuel Management, adaptive suspension, torque-vectoring AWD, matrix lighting system, Apple CarPlay® and Android® Auto Extensive Holden Australian engineering development ensures next-generation Commodore lives up to the legendary nameplate with outstanding driving dynamics Next-generation Holden Commodore on sale in 2018 Holden has today revealed first details of the all-new, next-generation Commodore ahead of its Australian launch in early 2018. Australia’s first look under the bonnet of the cutting-edge new Commodore reveals a car that will set new benchmarks in its segment for technology, style, practicality and driving dynamics. Headlined by the V6 flagship model, the first ever imported Commodore will honour the legendary nameplate by being the most technologically-advanced Holden ever. With a cutting-edge all-wheel-drive system channeling 230 kilowatts and 370 Newton metres to the road, combined with adaptive suspension technology, a company-first nine-speed automatic transmission and torque-vectoring all-wheel drive, the next-generation Commodore is set to cement the iconic nameplate’s reputation for class-leading driving dynamics and on-road refinement. Based on General Motor’s new ‘E2’ global architecture, engineered in Germany and shared with the Opel Insignia, the new Commodore has also been co-developed under the expert and watchful eye of Holden’s Australian engineers to ensure the all-new Commodore continues a four-decade tradition of setting new benchmarks. “Holden has been engaged in this program from the outset to ensure the next-generation Commodore lives up to its legendary nameplate,” said Jeremy Tassone, Holden’s Engineering Group Manager for Vehicle Development. “We know the first imported Commodore will come under a lot of scrutiny and we know we have a lot to live up to – this car delivers in spades” “Although we are remain in the early stages of the Holden development process, this is an absolutely world-class car. We’ve taken a precision-engineered German car and endowed it with Holden DNA. It drives like a Commodore should. “We’ve had our Holden engineers engaged in this global program from the outset and we’re continuing to do extensive tuning and development, racking up thousands of kilometers, at our Lang Lang proving ground in Victoria to ensure it’s got that Holden magic. “Of course, it helps that the underlying platform is absolutely world class! This global vehicle program, led by Opel in Germany, has produced a phenomenal base for us to work from. The genuinely cutting-edge all-wheel-drive system using active torque vectoring provides incredible traction and handling finesse. The key is what is dubbed the ‘Twinster’ rear drive module. Essentially, the traditional rear differential has been replaced with two individual clutches that not only save weight and improve packaging but provides virtually instantaneous active distribution of torque to the required wheel. “The overall system monitors inputs from vehicle sensors 100 times per second and constantly adjusts accordingly, it’s extraordinary.” The V6 engine with the all-wheel-drive system is a combination that the Holden team drove into the global vehicle program because we know our customers and this performance option is important to them. While it may not be built here, we’ll deliver a Commodore that our customers will love in 2018,” said Mr Tassone. Commodore’s evolution reflects the transformation of the Holden brand and company as it moves to full-line importer of vehicles. But just like Commodore, Holden will remain a powerhouse of the industry and of the local motoring landscape. “The next-generation Commodore will reset benchmarks in its class, as has every Commodore since 1978,” said Holden’s Executive Director of Sales, Peter Keley. “What Commodore will also continue to do is carry the family in space and comfort. Commodore will also race in Supercars from 2018 and continue to be on the road as police cars. “This next-generation vehicle is changing and bringing incredible technology and refinement with it but will continue to offer customers that quintessential Commodore experience they have loved for nearly four decades. “With the first-ever imported Commodore, we’re delivering our customers an absolutely world-beating vehicle, with the space, practicality, technology and driving pleasure that Commodore has always provided. This is a different kind of Commodore to what has come before but lives up to the nameplate in every respect and will carry our heritage with pride.” NEXT-GENERATION COMMODORE KEY HIGHLIGHTS: Next-generation Commodore built in Germany on all-new, global E2 architecture shared with Opel Insignia Lightweight construction methods result in 200kg - 300kg weight savings compared to current Commodore Flagship model offers V6 AWD drivetrain with Holden-first 9-speed transmission V6 engine delivers 230kW / 370Nm while being incredibly efficient thanks to Stop-Start technology and Active Fuel Management 2.0T petrol and 2.0T diesel front-wheel drive models also coming to Australia Liftback and Sportwagon body-styles Cutting-edge, adaptive all-wheel-drive system with torque vectoring and twin-clutch (‘Twinster’) rear differential system Adaptive suspension Next-generation matrix lighting system Infotainment includes: Apple Car Play and Android Auto 8-inch configurable LCD instrument display, next-gen head-up display Pricing, specification, full details of driver, safety and additional infotainment technology to be confirmed closer to launch View full article
  5. We can thank an attendee at a recent dealer meeting for FCA for possibly giving us our first look at the upcoming Jeep Wagoneer. The photos which have been popping up on various outlets today shows a poster with lighting signatures of five Jeep models. The one at the end looks like a taller and wider version of the current Grand Cherokee. This has led many to believe this is the future Wagoneer. The front shows headlights featuring seven LEDs on either side of a wider version of the seven-slot grille. Another set of LED lights appears to be used for the foglights. Around back, the taillights feature the seven LED design as the front. There also appears to be a wider tailgate. The Wagoneer is expected to arrive in 2019 using an extended version of the next-generation Grand Cherokee's platform. Jeep CEO Mike Manley has said the model would rival the likes of the Range Rover in terms of luxury and price, with him hinting the price could reach as high as $140,000. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required), Car and Driver
  6. We can thank an attendee at a recent dealer meeting for FCA for possibly giving us our first look at the upcoming Jeep Wagoneer. The photos which have been popping up on various outlets today shows a poster with lighting signatures of five Jeep models. The one at the end looks like a taller and wider version of the current Grand Cherokee. This has led many to believe this is the future Wagoneer. The front shows headlights featuring seven LEDs on either side of a wider version of the seven-slot grille. Another set of LED lights appears to be used for the foglights. Around back, the taillights feature the seven LED design as the front. There also appears to be a wider tailgate. The Wagoneer is expected to arrive in 2019 using an extended version of the next-generation Grand Cherokee's platform. Jeep CEO Mike Manley has said the model would rival the likes of the Range Rover in terms of luxury and price, with him hinting the price could reach as high as $140,000. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required), Car and Driver View full article
  7. Progress seems to be going on with Nissan taking a 34 percent stake in Mitsubishi Motors. Japanese business paper The Nikkei reports that Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn will become the chairman of Mitsubishi Motors once the deal is set. Sources tell the Nikkei that current chairman and president Osamu Masuko has been asked to stay on as president. When reached for comment, spokespeople at Mitsubishi and Nissan declined to comment. However, Masuko has confirmed that he was asked to stay on as president by Ghosn. Masuko went on to say that this would be discussed further tomorrow. Nissan is planning to send four of its directors, including Ghosn to Mitsubishi Motors to right the ship after it was revealed that a number of Mitsubishi vehicles had false fuel economy figures. Ghosn has a track record of bringing beleaguered companies to full heath - Renault in the 1990s and Nissan in the early 2000s. Some analysts believe this is right move. "This is a man who patched up Renault in the 1990s, and he did a lot for Nissan in the 2000s, so I'm sure he looks at Mitsubishi Motors as a new challenge," said CLSA analyst Christopher Richter to Reuters. "He's a turnaround artist. This is what he does best," said Richter. Ghosn at the helm of Mitsubishi Motors' board would "remove an enormous burden from the Mitsubishi group companies." “It’s easier for him to do things he did at Nissan, such as combining platforms, cutting costs and even closing plants. In order to implement such massive restructuring, you need someone as powerful as Ghosn to get things going,” said Koji Endo, a Tokyo-based auto analyst at SBI Securities Co to Bloomberg. Others aren't too keen. “I think he has enough work to be done at both Renault and Nissan. He should also spend all his time in these two companies rather than taking on another job in Japan,” said Hans-Peter Wodniok, a Frankfurt-based analyst with AlphaValue. Source: Nikkei, (2), Reuters, Bloomberg
  8. Progress seems to be going on with Nissan taking a 34 percent stake in Mitsubishi Motors. Japanese business paper The Nikkei reports that Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn will become the chairman of Mitsubishi Motors once the deal is set. Sources tell the Nikkei that current chairman and president Osamu Masuko has been asked to stay on as president. When reached for comment, spokespeople at Mitsubishi and Nissan declined to comment. However, Masuko has confirmed that he was asked to stay on as president by Ghosn. Masuko went on to say that this would be discussed further tomorrow. Nissan is planning to send four of its directors, including Ghosn to Mitsubishi Motors to right the ship after it was revealed that a number of Mitsubishi vehicles had false fuel economy figures. Ghosn has a track record of bringing beleaguered companies to full heath - Renault in the 1990s and Nissan in the early 2000s. Some analysts believe this is right move. "This is a man who patched up Renault in the 1990s, and he did a lot for Nissan in the 2000s, so I'm sure he looks at Mitsubishi Motors as a new challenge," said CLSA analyst Christopher Richter to Reuters. "He's a turnaround artist. This is what he does best," said Richter. Ghosn at the helm of Mitsubishi Motors' board would "remove an enormous burden from the Mitsubishi group companies." “It’s easier for him to do things he did at Nissan, such as combining platforms, cutting costs and even closing plants. In order to implement such massive restructuring, you need someone as powerful as Ghosn to get things going,” said Koji Endo, a Tokyo-based auto analyst at SBI Securities Co to Bloomberg. Others aren't too keen. “I think he has enough work to be done at both Renault and Nissan. He should also spend all his time in these two companies rather than taking on another job in Japan,” said Hans-Peter Wodniok, a Frankfurt-based analyst with AlphaValue. Source: Nikkei, (2), Reuters, Bloomberg View full article
  9. The current trend in powertrains is to downsize engine displacement to meet emission standards. Paired with a set of turbochargers, three-cylinder and even two-cylinder engines can produce enough power to move large vehicles. But this trend is coming to an end in Europe. Reuters reports that a number of European automakers are beginning to scrap their small displacement engines for larger displacement ones. With a number of real-world tests showing these engines produce higher CO2 and nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions than in the lab, and stricter tests coming in the next few years, automakers are making a costly reversal. "They might be doing OK in the current European test cycle, but in the real world they are not performing. So there's actually a bit of 'upsizing' going on, particularly in diesel," said Pavan Potluri, an analyst with IHS Automotive. Industry sources gave Reuters some examples of automakers going bigger in terms of displacement. General Motors will ditch the 1.2L diesel in 2019. The smallest engine will be 25-30 percent bigger in displacement Renault will be increasing an almost 10 percent increase on the 1.6L diesel engine in the near future Volkswagen will replace the 1.4L three-cylinder diesel for a new 1.6L in their Polo subcompact "The techniques we've used to reduce engine capacities will no longer allow us to meet emissions standards. We're reaching the limits of downsizing." said Alain Raposo, head of powertrain at the Renault-Nissan alliance. We can't help but wonder if this change will extend into the U.S. There are a small number of three-cylinders engines on offer, but many automakers have been swapping V6s for turbocharged four-cylinders. Source: Reuters
  10. The current trend in powertrains is to downsize engine displacement to meet emission standards. Paired with a set of turbochargers, three-cylinder and even two-cylinder engines can produce enough power to move large vehicles. But this trend is coming to an end in Europe. Reuters reports that a number of European automakers are beginning to scrap their small displacement engines for larger displacement ones. With a number of real-world tests showing these engines produce higher CO2 and nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions than in the lab, and stricter tests coming in the next few years, automakers are making a costly reversal. "They might be doing OK in the current European test cycle, but in the real world they are not performing. So there's actually a bit of 'upsizing' going on, particularly in diesel," said Pavan Potluri, an analyst with IHS Automotive. Industry sources gave Reuters some examples of automakers going bigger in terms of displacement. General Motors will ditch the 1.2L diesel in 2019. The smallest engine will be 25-30 percent bigger in displacement Renault will be increasing an almost 10 percent increase on the 1.6L diesel engine in the near future Volkswagen will replace the 1.4L three-cylinder diesel for a new 1.6L in their Polo subcompact "The techniques we've used to reduce engine capacities will no longer allow us to meet emissions standards. We're reaching the limits of downsizing." said Alain Raposo, head of powertrain at the Renault-Nissan alliance. We can't help but wonder if this change will extend into the U.S. There are a small number of three-cylinders engines on offer, but many automakers have been swapping V6s for turbocharged four-cylinders. Source: Reuters View full article
  11. MINI is getting ready to introduce its first hybrid vehicle with the upcoming second-generation Countryman crossover. In a statement released yesterday, MINI said the model would use an internal-combustion engine to power the front wheels and an electric motor to power the rear wheels. This also gives the model an all-wheel drive setup. Many believe the Countryman Hybrid would use the powertrain found in the 225xe Active Tourer - a 1.5L turbocharged three-cylinder and an electric motor delivering a total output of 224 horsepower and 284 pound-feet of torque. A 7.7 kWh battery pack provides an electric-only range of 25 miles and can be fully recharged in 3 hours and 15 minutes. In terms of looks, the Countryman Hybrid will look mostly the same as the standard model aside from an additional cap on the front fender for a charging port. The Countryman Hybrid will go on sale sometime next year. Source: MINI Press Release is on Page 2 Charging ahead – The MINI goes electric. Head of MINI brand management Sebastian Mackensen and Head of MINI series management Peter Wolf preview the first plug-in hybrid model by the British premium brand. Munich. Hallmark MINI driving fun combined with zero tailpipe emissions. With the introduction of the first plug-in hybrid model by the British premium brand, this will soon be a reality. The series development process for this car has almost been completed. It features a combustion engine and an electric motor enabling purely electric propulsion for the first time in a MINI. This marks the beginning of a new phase for MINI, and offers a glimpse into a future that is charged with excitement for MINI customers and those drivers yet to experience the thrill of a hybrid. Head of MINI brand management Sebastian Mackensen and Head of MINI series management Peter Wolf offer insight into this new near-series test vehicle, and explain how it retains go-kart feeling in the true spirit of a MINI during a test drive of this model. “With this model we want to convince MINI customers of the benefits of hybrid drive”, says Mackensen, “and impress everyone who already has hybrid driving experience with MINI’s unique go-kart driving feel.” The key to achieving this lies in intelligent energy management which is used to control how the combustion engine and electric motor operate together. For this reason, the first MINI plug-in hybrid model is not solely focused on efficiency, but uncompromising in pursuit of driving fun. At first glance, you wouldn’t recognise the test car as a hybrid model. And that’s not because of the camouflage foil used. The charging socket for the high-voltage battery is discreetly integrated in the left Side Scuttle. Everything also looks familiar in the cockpit. The start/stop button in the centre of the dashboard glows yellow instead of red. As usual, you simply press the button to start the car – this vehicle, however, remains silent as the hybrid model always starts in electric mode. The rpm counter in the instrument cluster on the steering column has been replaced with a power display. Keeping a close eye on this display is particularly worthwhile for the first few kilometres as it informs the driver about the electric motor’s power reserves before the combustion engine fires up. When exactly the combustion engine starts varies depending upon on the vehicle’s speed and the intensity with which the driver operate the accelerator pedal. “After a short time, the driver gets a feel for this”, promises Wolf. And this new driving experience promises a lot of driving fun. The hybrid MINI makes full use of the electric motor’s entire torque, which is available right from standstill, allowing for catapult-like acceleration. Even after leaving the slower pace of the city, this vehicle maintains its zero-tailpipe emissions at motorway speeds. The high-voltage battery under the rear seats provides power for long-lasting electric driving. AUTO eDRIVE standard mode permits speeds of up to 80 km/h, whilst in MAX eDRIVE mode speeds of up to 125 km/h are possible. For Mackensen this is a question of character: “In a hybrid MINI model, driving electrically must also be an exhilarating experience. This means that entirely electric driving is not limited to speeds of 30 or 40 km/h, but to speeds well beyond city traffic pace." Testing the vehicle himself, Mackensen puts the car through its paces and demonstrates that you need to step on the accelerator peddle very firmly indeed to activate the second power source. Then things really start happening. With the combined output of both drives, the first MINI hybrid vehicle demonstrates unparalleled acceleration performance when compared with its combustion-only siblings. However, MINI’s go-kart driving characteristics consists of more than just fast acceleration. Above all, this hybrid MINI has to prove how precisely it handles when taking bends on the most exciting, twisting roads. This is where MINI’s plug-in hybrid concept plays its next trump card. “As far as the chassis and suspension are concerned, nothing changes from the conventionally driven model variants”, says Wolf, “and the set-up benefits a lot from the hybrid concept”. Thanks to the eDrive components, which are positioned very low down at the rear, the car’s centre of gravity is lowered and the weight is evenly balanced between the front and rear axle – ideal for achieving an even higher level of legendary MINI agility. The Hybrid concept provides yet another benefit: the electric motor transmits its power to the rear wheels, the combustion engine to the front wheels. Since the intelligent energy management is linked to the Dynamic Stability Control (DSC), traction and drive stability are optimised via the drive system. “As soon as there is any risk of drive slip, the second drive unit is activated to provide additional traction when starting off or ensuring a high level of steering precision when cornering”, explains Wolf. Intelligent energy management offers a further opportunity for both power sources to work together effectively. Driving on the motorway, Mackensen activates a third mode with the eDrive toggle switch: SAVE BATTERY. In this mode, the combustion engine powers the car whilst at the same time, the high voltage battery can retain charge at a constant level or indeed increase charge via a generator. Extended driving in SAVE BATTERY mode enables enough power generation for purely electric driving later. After driving in SAVE BATTERY mode, the MINI drives back into town in silence at the end of the test drive. The status display in the cockpit reminds the driver to recharge the battery via wallbox or power socket. Refuelling is not necessary yet because the MINI plug-in hybrid model merely took a small sip from the fuel tank. Yet another new dimension of MINIMALISM.
  12. MINI is getting ready to introduce its first hybrid vehicle with the upcoming second-generation Countryman crossover. In a statement released yesterday, MINI said the model would use an internal-combustion engine to power the front wheels and an electric motor to power the rear wheels. This also gives the model an all-wheel drive setup. Many believe the Countryman Hybrid would use the powertrain found in the 225xe Active Tourer - a 1.5L turbocharged three-cylinder and an electric motor delivering a total output of 224 horsepower and 284 pound-feet of torque. A 7.7 kWh battery pack provides an electric-only range of 25 miles and can be fully recharged in 3 hours and 15 minutes. In terms of looks, the Countryman Hybrid will look mostly the same as the standard model aside from an additional cap on the front fender for a charging port. The Countryman Hybrid will go on sale sometime next year. Source: MINI Press Release is on Page 2 Charging ahead – The MINI goes electric. Head of MINI brand management Sebastian Mackensen and Head of MINI series management Peter Wolf preview the first plug-in hybrid model by the British premium brand. Munich. Hallmark MINI driving fun combined with zero tailpipe emissions. With the introduction of the first plug-in hybrid model by the British premium brand, this will soon be a reality. The series development process for this car has almost been completed. It features a combustion engine and an electric motor enabling purely electric propulsion for the first time in a MINI. This marks the beginning of a new phase for MINI, and offers a glimpse into a future that is charged with excitement for MINI customers and those drivers yet to experience the thrill of a hybrid. Head of MINI brand management Sebastian Mackensen and Head of MINI series management Peter Wolf offer insight into this new near-series test vehicle, and explain how it retains go-kart feeling in the true spirit of a MINI during a test drive of this model. “With this model we want to convince MINI customers of the benefits of hybrid drive”, says Mackensen, “and impress everyone who already has hybrid driving experience with MINI’s unique go-kart driving feel.” The key to achieving this lies in intelligent energy management which is used to control how the combustion engine and electric motor operate together. For this reason, the first MINI plug-in hybrid model is not solely focused on efficiency, but uncompromising in pursuit of driving fun. At first glance, you wouldn’t recognise the test car as a hybrid model. And that’s not because of the camouflage foil used. The charging socket for the high-voltage battery is discreetly integrated in the left Side Scuttle. Everything also looks familiar in the cockpit. The start/stop button in the centre of the dashboard glows yellow instead of red. As usual, you simply press the button to start the car – this vehicle, however, remains silent as the hybrid model always starts in electric mode. The rpm counter in the instrument cluster on the steering column has been replaced with a power display. Keeping a close eye on this display is particularly worthwhile for the first few kilometres as it informs the driver about the electric motor’s power reserves before the combustion engine fires up. When exactly the combustion engine starts varies depending upon on the vehicle’s speed and the intensity with which the driver operate the accelerator pedal. “After a short time, the driver gets a feel for this”, promises Wolf. And this new driving experience promises a lot of driving fun. The hybrid MINI makes full use of the electric motor’s entire torque, which is available right from standstill, allowing for catapult-like acceleration. Even after leaving the slower pace of the city, this vehicle maintains its zero-tailpipe emissions at motorway speeds. The high-voltage battery under the rear seats provides power for long-lasting electric driving. AUTO eDRIVE standard mode permits speeds of up to 80 km/h, whilst in MAX eDRIVE mode speeds of up to 125 km/h are possible. For Mackensen this is a question of character: “In a hybrid MINI model, driving electrically must also be an exhilarating experience. This means that entirely electric driving is not limited to speeds of 30 or 40 km/h, but to speeds well beyond city traffic pace." Testing the vehicle himself, Mackensen puts the car through its paces and demonstrates that you need to step on the accelerator peddle very firmly indeed to activate the second power source. Then things really start happening. With the combined output of both drives, the first MINI hybrid vehicle demonstrates unparalleled acceleration performance when compared with its combustion-only siblings. However, MINI’s go-kart driving characteristics consists of more than just fast acceleration. Above all, this hybrid MINI has to prove how precisely it handles when taking bends on the most exciting, twisting roads. This is where MINI’s plug-in hybrid concept plays its next trump card. “As far as the chassis and suspension are concerned, nothing changes from the conventionally driven model variants”, says Wolf, “and the set-up benefits a lot from the hybrid concept”. Thanks to the eDrive components, which are positioned very low down at the rear, the car’s centre of gravity is lowered and the weight is evenly balanced between the front and rear axle – ideal for achieving an even higher level of legendary MINI agility. The Hybrid concept provides yet another benefit: the electric motor transmits its power to the rear wheels, the combustion engine to the front wheels. Since the intelligent energy management is linked to the Dynamic Stability Control (DSC), traction and drive stability are optimised via the drive system. “As soon as there is any risk of drive slip, the second drive unit is activated to provide additional traction when starting off or ensuring a high level of steering precision when cornering”, explains Wolf. Intelligent energy management offers a further opportunity for both power sources to work together effectively. Driving on the motorway, Mackensen activates a third mode with the eDrive toggle switch: SAVE BATTERY. In this mode, the combustion engine powers the car whilst at the same time, the high voltage battery can retain charge at a constant level or indeed increase charge via a generator. Extended driving in SAVE BATTERY mode enables enough power generation for purely electric driving later. After driving in SAVE BATTERY mode, the MINI drives back into town in silence at the end of the test drive. The status display in the cockpit reminds the driver to recharge the battery via wallbox or power socket. Refuelling is not necessary yet because the MINI plug-in hybrid model merely took a small sip from the fuel tank. Yet another new dimension of MINIMALISM. View full article
  13. Members of Germany's government have passed a resolution that could mean the end of gas and diesel vehicles. German newspaper Der Spiegel reports that the Germany's legislative body, the Bundesrat (represents all sixteen states in the country) passed a resolution to ban the sale of gas and diesel engines in 2030. After that, only zero-emission vehicles will be allowed to be built. The resolution also calls on the European Union to follow in their footsteps. But the Bundesrat doesn't have any direct authority over the EU. However, Forbes points out that Germany has the largest government and most powerful economy in the EU. This means any legislation that goes through Germany will in turn influence the EU. In the resolution, the Bundesrat requests the EU to "review the current practices of taxation and dues with regard to a stimulation of emission-free mobility." Forbes notes this would include possibly scrapping the lower taxes a number of member states employ for diesel. Higher taxes would likely cause people to avoid diesel vehicles. Source: Der Spiegel, Forbes
  14. Members of Germany's government have passed a resolution that could mean the end of gas and diesel vehicles. German newspaper Der Spiegel reports that the Germany's legislative body, the Bundesrat (represents all sixteen states in the country) passed a resolution to ban the sale of gas and diesel engines in 2030. After that, only zero-emission vehicles will be allowed to be built. The resolution also calls on the European Union to follow in their footsteps. But the Bundesrat doesn't have any direct authority over the EU. However, Forbes points out that Germany has the largest government and most powerful economy in the EU. This means any legislation that goes through Germany will in turn influence the EU. In the resolution, the Bundesrat requests the EU to "review the current practices of taxation and dues with regard to a stimulation of emission-free mobility." Forbes notes this would include possibly scrapping the lower taxes a number of member states employ for diesel. Higher taxes would likely cause people to avoid diesel vehicles. Source: Der Spiegel, Forbes View full article
  15. There has been talk about Porsche doing 911 Hybrid for the past year, including the possibility of a plug-in variant. But it seems now those plans have been put on hold. “A 911 hybrid? It’s possible, yes. It’s possible to have 918-derived technology in a 911. It’s possible with today’s technology in a 911. However, there is no decision to do this on short notice, but we have this constantly on our radar,” said Porsche development chief, Michael Steiner to Motoring.com.au. Currently, Porsche is focusing all of their efforts on the upcoming Mission E and its electric powertrain. The powertrain and platform is expected to be used on future models. “We decided we would do the Mission E as our priority one. It’s in serial development. If you look at the alternatives, what would be more important to us?” said Steiner. Source: Motoring.com.au
  16. There has been talk about Porsche doing 911 Hybrid for the past year, including the possibility of a plug-in variant. But it seems now those plans have been put on hold. “A 911 hybrid? It’s possible, yes. It’s possible to have 918-derived technology in a 911. It’s possible with today’s technology in a 911. However, there is no decision to do this on short notice, but we have this constantly on our radar,” said Porsche development chief, Michael Steiner to Motoring.com.au. Currently, Porsche is focusing all of their efforts on the upcoming Mission E and its electric powertrain. The powertrain and platform is expected to be used on future models. “We decided we would do the Mission E as our priority one. It’s in serial development. If you look at the alternatives, what would be more important to us?” said Steiner. Source: Motoring.com.au View full article
  17. Trying to figure out what is coming down the pipeline at Alfa Romeo is an exercise in frustration. It seems a month doesn't go by without something changing, whether it be a new model or plans being scrapped for another. Automotive News has done their best to figure out what's in and out for Alfa Romeo. Let's begin with what has been scrapped. First is the flagship sedan to take on the likes of the BMW 5-Series and Mercedes-Benz E-Class. This sedan would have used an extended version of the Giulia's RWD platform known as Giorgio. Second is a larger roadster that would have shared the platform and powertrains of the Giulia. The roadster being shelved is due to global sales of roadsters declining. So what's left in the pipeline? There is large crossover that will share the underpinnings with the upcoming Stelvio. This model is being primarily aimed for the Chinese and U.S. markets. The other is a Giulia coupe that will take on the BMW 4-Series. Expect a similar engine lineup to the sedan. No date was given for either model. One model still up in the air is the possible replacement for the Giulietta compact. Alfa Romeo is running the numbers to see whether it makes sense to go with rear-wheel drive with a shortened Giorgio platform or stick with front-wheel drive. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
  18. Trying to figure out what is coming down the pipeline at Alfa Romeo is an exercise in frustration. It seems a month doesn't go by without something changing, whether it be a new model or plans being scrapped for another. Automotive News has done their best to figure out what's in and out for Alfa Romeo. Let's begin with what has been scrapped. First is the flagship sedan to take on the likes of the BMW 5-Series and Mercedes-Benz E-Class. This sedan would have used an extended version of the Giulia's RWD platform known as Giorgio. Second is a larger roadster that would have shared the platform and powertrains of the Giulia. The roadster being shelved is due to global sales of roadsters declining. So what's left in the pipeline? There is large crossover that will share the underpinnings with the upcoming Stelvio. This model is being primarily aimed for the Chinese and U.S. markets. The other is a Giulia coupe that will take on the BMW 4-Series. Expect a similar engine lineup to the sedan. No date was given for either model. One model still up in the air is the possible replacement for the Giulietta compact. Alfa Romeo is running the numbers to see whether it makes sense to go with rear-wheel drive with a shortened Giorgio platform or stick with front-wheel drive. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required) View full article
  19. Last year at the SEMA Show in Las Vegas, FCA introduced the Challenger GT concept that featured AWD. The premise was you could have a four-seasons muscle car. It seems this idea got enough traction that FCA is going forward with it. Automotive News reports that Dodge will introduce Challenger GT AWD this fall. Unlike the concept that featured a 5.7L HEMI V8, the production model will only be available with the base V6. In 2017, a widebody Challenger with the supercharged Hellcat V8 will be introduced. It will be called the Challenger ADR. Other interesting tidbits from Automotive News concerning Dodge, The Charger and Challenger will finally be redesigned in 2018. The models will swap the LX platform for the new Giorgio platform. This will cut a fair amount of weight out of both models - 400 lbs for Charger, 500 lbs for Challenger Durango will get a SRT version with a 6.4L HEMI V8 for 2017 A convertible known as the Barracuda will debut in 2021. It will use the Giorgio platform that will underpin the new Charger and Challenger Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
  20. Last year at the SEMA Show in Las Vegas, FCA introduced the Challenger GT concept that featured AWD. The premise was you could have a four-seasons muscle car. It seems this idea got enough traction that FCA is going forward with it. Automotive News reports that Dodge will introduce Challenger GT AWD this fall. Unlike the concept that featured a 5.7L HEMI V8, the production model will only be available with the base V6. In 2017, a widebody Challenger with the supercharged Hellcat V8 will be introduced. It will be called the Challenger ADR. Other interesting tidbits from Automotive News concerning Dodge, The Charger and Challenger will finally be redesigned in 2018. The models will swap the LX platform for the new Giorgio platform. This will cut a fair amount of weight out of both models - 400 lbs for Charger, 500 lbs for Challenger Durango will get a SRT version with a 6.4L HEMI V8 for 2017 A convertible known as the Barracuda will debut in 2021. It will use the Giorgio platform that will underpin the new Charger and Challenger Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required) View full article
  21. It came down to the wire, but a tentative deal between General Motors and Canadian union Unifor was reached before the midnight deadline. “Did we achieve our objective? I would suggest the answer is clearly yes,” said Unifor President Jerry Dias during a press conference this morning. “We have found a solution for your facilities. To say this is a difficult set of negotiations is an incredible understatement." In a statement released by GM, the tentative agreement will bring wage increases to the 3,860 workers and introduce new investments and products to the Oshawa and St. Catharines plants. Oshawa was a key focus for Unifor as GM didn't have any plans for the plant after 2018. For St. Catharines, GM will move some engine production from Mexico to the plant. A source tells The Detroit News the plant will also continue building the 3.6L V6 and add some transmission work. Oshawa was the big winner as GM will be investing millions into the plant to make it the only GM plant that will build cars and trucks. GM and Unifor aren't saying what the products will be. “It’s a total win for Jerry Dias and Unifor. They got everything they were looking to get going into the talks; every box right now is checked,” said Tony Faria, professor emeritus, office of automotive and vehicle research at the University of Windsor’s Odette School of Business. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required), The Detroit News, 2, GM Press Release is on Page 2 General Motors of Canada Media Statement OSHAWA, ON, September 20, 2016 — General Motors of Canada and Unifor have reached a tentative new collective agreement, covering approximately 3,860 represented employees at just after midnight on September 20th 2016. The agreement will enable significant new product, technology and process investments at GM’s Oshawa, St. Catharines and Woodstock facilities, placing those operations at the forefront of advanced manufacturing flexibility, innovation and environmental sustainability. This agreement is subject to member ratification. We will be working with government on potential support, and will provide further details on the investment at the appropriate time, while respecting Unifor’s ratification process.
  22. It came down to the wire, but a tentative deal between General Motors and Canadian union Unifor was reached before the midnight deadline. “Did we achieve our objective? I would suggest the answer is clearly yes,” said Unifor President Jerry Dias during a press conference this morning. “We have found a solution for your facilities. To say this is a difficult set of negotiations is an incredible understatement." In a statement released by GM, the tentative agreement will bring wage increases to the 3,860 workers and introduce new investments and products to the Oshawa and St. Catharines plants. Oshawa was a key focus for Unifor as GM didn't have any plans for the plant after 2018. For St. Catharines, GM will move some engine production from Mexico to the plant. A source tells The Detroit News the plant will also continue building the 3.6L V6 and add some transmission work. Oshawa was the big winner as GM will be investing millions into the plant to make it the only GM plant that will build cars and trucks. GM and Unifor aren't saying what the products will be. “It’s a total win for Jerry Dias and Unifor. They got everything they were looking to get going into the talks; every box right now is checked,” said Tony Faria, professor emeritus, office of automotive and vehicle research at the University of Windsor’s Odette School of Business. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required), The Detroit News, 2, GM Press Release is on Page 2 General Motors of Canada Media Statement OSHAWA, ON, September 20, 2016 — General Motors of Canada and Unifor have reached a tentative new collective agreement, covering approximately 3,860 represented employees at just after midnight on September 20th 2016. The agreement will enable significant new product, technology and process investments at GM’s Oshawa, St. Catharines and Woodstock facilities, placing those operations at the forefront of advanced manufacturing flexibility, innovation and environmental sustainability. This agreement is subject to member ratification. We will be working with government on potential support, and will provide further details on the investment at the appropriate time, while respecting Unifor’s ratification process. View full article
  23. Jaguar has reportedly been given the go-ahead for their electric SUV project. Autocar reports that the vehicle, possibly named E-Pace will be revealed later this year and go into production in 2018. Sources at Jaguar said the vehicle was going be a Range Rover, known as the Evoque-e. However, the project was moved over to Jaguar. This little bit of information confirms a part of a rumorpile story from last month talking about Jaguar's future EV plans. The E-Pace will be smaller than the new F-Pace and feature more aggressive styling. Power will come two electric motors - one on the front axle with 114 horsepower and one on the rear with 195 horsepower. Total output is said to be around 308 horsepower. The battery size is unknown. Prototypes running around had a 70 kWh battery. But Autocar expects a larger battery to deliver a range of 280 to 300 miles. Source: Autocar View full article
  24. Jaguar has reportedly been given the go-ahead for their electric SUV project. Autocar reports that the vehicle, possibly named E-Pace will be revealed later this year and go into production in 2018. Sources at Jaguar said the vehicle was going be a Range Rover, known as the Evoque-e. However, the project was moved over to Jaguar. This little bit of information confirms a part of a rumorpile story from last month talking about Jaguar's future EV plans. The E-Pace will be smaller than the new F-Pace and feature more aggressive styling. Power will come two electric motors - one on the front axle with 114 horsepower and one on the rear with 195 horsepower. Total output is said to be around 308 horsepower. The battery size is unknown. Prototypes running around had a 70 kWh battery. But Autocar expects a larger battery to deliver a range of 280 to 300 miles. Source: Autocar
  25. Since the Volkswagen diesel emission scandal came to light, more scrutiny has been put on automakers and emissions standards. Recent real-world tests of European market diesel vehicles have revealed a number were 10 times over the legal limit for emissions. With stricter regulations coming into effect next year, automakers are reconsidering their investment in diesel. Case in point is Renault. Reuters has learned from sources at the company that it believes diesel engines will disappear from their lineup due to stricter regulations. This comes from an internal meeting before a summer break where Renault went over the costs of meeting these stricter regulations. According to two people who were at the meeting, Renault's Chief Competitiveness Officer Thierry Bollore said the investment in diesel had dimmed significantly due to upcoming regulations. "He said we were now wondering whether diesel would survive, and that he wouldn't have voiced such doubts even at the start of this year," said one of the people. "Tougher standards and testing methods will increase technology costs to the point where diesel is forced out of the market." Next year will see Europe adopting emission standards similar to the ones in the U.S. known as Euro 6b. This will become more stringent as time goes on. Two years after Euro 6b comes into affect, European regulators will begin doing real-world testing of fuel economy and emissions. The combination of these two things means automakers will need to spend more money to make their vehicles meet these standards. "Everybody is backtracking on diesel because after 2017-18 it becomes more and more expensive," said Pavan Potluri, a powertrain analyst with consulting firm IHS Automotive. Already, diesel engines have been disappearing from city cars. Sources say Renault predicts that diesel will disappear from all B-Segment and some C-Segment models by 2020. Source: Reuters View full article

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