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  1. The Cadillac Escalade is an anomaly for the brand. The model represents everything that Cadillac would like to leave behind, Shares the platform that Chevrolet and GMC use for their full-size SUVs Too Much Bling Nimble Performance is non-existant Hasn't sold in any real volume in other countries But the Escalade is the model that commands top dollar and brings in buyers who tend to go for German and Japanese luxury brands. According to Automotive News, buyers laid down an average of $85,000 for the long-wheelbase Escalade ESV. The Escalade "is the one car we have that import buyers won't even bat an eye to buy," said Keith Harvey, executive manager of Gold Coast Cadillac in Oakhurst, N.J. "They don't have to worry what people will think when they pull up to the country club. It's an Escalade." This leaves Cadillac in a precarious place. How do you bring one of your most popular models into the image you are trying to create for the brand? In the short-term, Cadillac president Johan de Nysschen has floated the idea of doing a VSport model to possibly expand the Escalade lineup. But long-term, de Nysschen admits there is some frustration on how to evolve the model. "How do you balance the desire to bring it into alignment with where we're taking the brand and the equally intense desire not to screw up a good thing?" he said last April. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
  2. Land Rover will be saying good-bye to the current Defender at the end of January due to stricter crash and emission regulations. But they are the first to admit that reinventing an icon such as the Defender won't be easy. "It is tough. Any replacement for an iconic vehicle is tough because the enthusiasts are certainly very vocal. They have an opinion on how to do it, but it's a huge opportunity at the same time," said Joe Eberhardt, CEO of Jaguar Land Rover North America. While iconic, the Defender only appealed to a small, hardcore audience. Land Rover needs the next Defender to be a success, even if that means the next model loses some of its hardcore edge, "A lot of people love the idea of [the previous De-fender], but they never buy one. While I'm a designer, and I love designing, I'm also a businessman. We need to build a critical mass in order to sustain ourselves in the long term and reinvest," said Gerry McGovern, Land Rover's design director. The next Defender - expected to arrive in 2018 as a 2019 model year vehicle - will come in five different body styles: two two-door models, long-wheelbase four-door, and pickup variants with two and four doors. The design of the new Defender will not look like the concepts we have seen in past years. "When this vehicle comes out, people will know it's a Defender, it's a modern Defender," said McGovern. "But it will bear no resemblance to those Defender concepts." No word on powertrains, but expect a range of gas and diesel engines. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
  3. The hot thing for luxury automakers aside from crossovers is building electric vehicles to take on the elephant in the room, the Tesla Model. But Cadillac will not be joining this craze, at least not in the near future. Speaking with Automotive News, Cadillac President Johan de Nysschen said the automaker will equip most of their lineup with a plug-in hybrid powertrain. The decision comes down to tightening regulations, especially in China. "For us, the avenue to ensure that we are able to play in China is going to be through plug-in hybrids," said de Nysschen. There's also the benefit that plug-in hybrids are a bit more practical than EVs and the fear of running out of range is eliminated. That doesn't mean Cadillac will not produce any EVs. They will appear further down the line according to de Nysschen. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
  4. Earlier this year, we reported that Mercedes-Benz was going forward on a midsize truck for certain markets towards the end of decade. We also reported that the U.S. arm wants the truck. "We said to Stuttgart, 'We are open, and let us assess the market.' If that leads to us saying 'green light,' then we will bring it," said Steve Cannon, CEO of Mercedes-Benz USA. So has a decision been made for the U.S. getting a midsize truck from Mercedes? According to Cannon, that decision has been pushed back by eight to ten months. The decision was expected to come down at the end of this year. "The product is still very fluid. We've got time to make this decision, so we're not hurrying with it. We want to make sure the product fits this market's needs. If it doesn't, we're not bringing it -- I can tell you that," said Cannon to Automotive News at the Frankfurt Motor Show. There wasn't a reason given as to why the decision was pushed back. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
  5. The future of the Ford Taurus is uncertain. The once revolutionary sedan in the 80's, was brought back by Ford CEO Alan Mulally for the 2008 model year to replace the Five Hundred full-size sedan has seen its sales slump. Automotive News reports that full-size sedans like the Taurus have seen their sales tank. Through July, full-size sedan sales are down 28 percent. But the Taurus is one of the worst off. The blue oval has sold 29,867 Taurus sedans through July. That puts it on track to 2009, which was the worst year for Taurus sales with 45,617 models sold. Not helping matters is the Ford Fusion, which not only offers more passenger space than the Taurus, it also looks better. In July, Ford moved 25,105 Fusions. There was hope for the Taurus when Ford introduced a redesigned model for the Chinese market earlier this year. Despite Ford saying the model was going to be built and sold only in China, there was some hope that something like that could happen for the North American version. But Ford has been quiet on what the future holds for the Taurus. "Taurus continues to play an important role in our North America vehicle lineup," Ford spokesman Said Deep told Automotive News. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
  6. The past few years have seen Kia show off some sports car concepts and many have been wondering if Kia would actually build one. Well according to Autocar, Kia will be doing just that. Kia UK boss Paul Philpott revealed that the Korean automaker will launch a new sports car “by the end of the decade”. Not many details about this new car are known since it is still in the planning stages. What is known is that the new model will take ideas from the GT and Stinger GT4 concepts, and not be based on any other Kia model. This comes at an interesting time since earlier in the week, Hyundai President & CEO Tony Whitehorn told Autocar that they don't have any plans to build a sports car. “Not many people make money out of sports cars. The sports car market is shrinking dramatically, and even firms with heritage and a great product are struggling. Aside from the Audi TT and Mazda MX-5, it is a tough place to be,” said Whitehorn. Source: Autocar
  7. The current Mitsubishi Pajero (the Montero to us) hasn't changed much since it was first introduced back in 2000 - the last major changes happened in 2006. Now we know Mitsubishi is working on a new Pajero that will be due in out a few years and coming to the U.S. We got some idea of what the model will look like with the GC-PHEV Concept shown in Tokyo and Chicago. Autocar recently spoke with Lance Bradley, head of Mitsubishi Motors UK who revealed what the intent of the next Pajero will be. Bradley explained that the Pajero will retain its off-road roots, while incorporating their plug-in hybrid tech. “A lot of the rivals are more beautiful or more refined but the Shogun needs to be an authentic off-roader: not fancy, not a school-run car but for people who tow horse boxes or actually go off-road," said Bradley 
“Of course, that market is limited, but look at the Discovery - there is room for vehicles with utility at their heart. The Discovery is very good but very expensive and we see an opportunity in providing a less-expensive alternative in terms of pricing and running costs, particularly with our plug-in hybrid technology.” Source: Autocar
  8. As the Holden Commodore and its variants ready for their final curtain call, there is the question of what would stand as the brand's hero car. Various GM executives have said the Australian brand would retain a V8 powered vehicle, most likely a sports car. The folks at CarAdvice were able to gleam a tiny bit of information about this new V8 vehicle. When asked if the sports car would compete with the Ford Mustang, Holden's executive director of sales, Peter Keley said it wouldn't. “No [when asked if the V8 sports car will be a Mustang competitor]. We’re not going to say anything specific about the vehicle. We are going to launch a V8 sports car and it will blow your socks off. We can’t talk specifics,” said Keley. 'Blow your socks off". Big words for a vehicle that not much is known about. But Keley's answer has given us one big clue, it will not be a rebadged Camaro or be around the same size. There is talk about the Camaro coming to Australia if there is enough demand for it. We're going to put on our speculation hats for a moment and figure out what Holden has in store. Our guess is that Holden could do a successor to the Monaro coupe. Using the Alpha platform, the model would be slightly longer than the Camaro to have it stand-out from the Mustang. We would expect the 6.2L V8 from the Camaro with 455 horsepower and the choice of either a six-speed manual or eight-speed automatic. We wouldn't be surprised if this coupe arrives in 2018 or sometime after. Source: CarAdvice
  9. Alfa Romeo has finally gotten the Giulia onto the production line (for Europe) and they are working on their SUV (possibly named Stelvio). So what's next? How about a larger sedan? Auto Express reports that Alfa Romeo is hard at work on a sedan that will compete against the likes of the Audi A6, BMW 5-Series, and Mercedes-Benz E-Class. It will use a version of the platform that underpins the Giulia. Engines will include gas and diesel, along with a possible plug-in hybrid. That does include the 503 horsepower 2.9L twin-turbo V6 engine as a high-performance model. Auto Express says the model will launch in 2018. Given the company's track record with release dates, we say add another two to three years to it. Source: Auto Express
  10. Genesis is still in the process of building itself out, but they have revealed that there will be an electric vehicle from them in the future. "We will definitely go as Genesis brand down the road of alternative propulsions and it is very, very obvious that EV is definitely on the map," said Genesis Senior Vice President Manfred Fitzgerald at the Busan Auto Show in South Korea. "I think full electric cars will be the future in the auto industry." Fitzgerald didn't elaborate on what could the EV look like or a possible release date. But we do know that Hyundai is working on a 250 mile EV for 2020, possibly giving a base for a Genesis model. We also know that this EV won't be appearing till after 2020 thanks to a leaked roadmap showing off Genesis' planned lineup. There is no EV on the map, leading us to believe it will come down the road. Source: Reuters
  11. Volvo has unveiled two new concepts that show what the future of their small cars will look like. Called the 40 Series concepts, Volvo says these show what is in store in terms of design and technology. The 40.1 is likely the preview to the XC40 crossover and the 40.2 is sneak peek into the next S40 sedan. Both concepts feature a number of design cues that we have seen on the XC90 and S90 such as 'Thor's Hammer' daytime running lights and wide grille. Both concepts use the new Compact Modular Architecture (CMA) that was jointly developed by Volvo and Geely. This platform will underpin Volvo's future small car lineup including a new electric vehicle. A range of three and four-cylinder engines will be on offer, along with a plug-in hybrid called the T5 Twin Engine. Surprisingly, the T5 Twin Engine will only be front-wheel drive. The T8 Twin Engine comes only in all-wheel drive. A new seven-speed dual-clutch will be paired with all of the engines. The good news is that Volvo will offer the 40 Series in the U.S. As to when we'll be seeing the production versions, the first model will come out in 2017. Many expect it to be the XC40, followed by the S40 and V40 hatchback. Source: Volvo Press Release is on Page 2 Volvo provides the first look at its new range of smaller cars Volvo Cars, the premium car maker, today unveiled two new concept cars that move the Swedish brand in an audacious new direction and mark the official launch of its global small car strategy. Today’s newly-revealed 40 series concepts demonstrate for the first time how Volvo plans to expand into the large and lucrative global market for premium small cars with a range of vehicles that combine bold exterior and interior design with industry-leading connectivity, electrification and autonomous drive technologies. The new concept cars will be the first built around Volvo’s new Compact Modular Architecture (CMA), which has been specially created for smaller cars and which has liberated the company’s designers and engineers to explore bold and daring new directions. “Each member of our product family has its own distinct character, just like the members of a real family. CMA has helped us to capture something special, something youthful in our new concept cars. They have an energy, a disruptive and engaging urban character that makes them stand out amongst the crowd. This is the flavour of small Volvos to come,” said Thomas Ingenlath, Senior Vice President, Design, at Volvo Car Group. Volvo’s small car strategy is an essential element in its ongoing global operational and financial transformation. The Swedish company is currently implementing an ambitious revitalisation plan that will reposition the brand to compete with its global premium competitors within the next four years. Volvo’s new global small car range will include a pure battery electric vehicle as well as Twin Engine plug-in hybrid powertrain variants, in line with the company’s commitment to the electrification of its entire portfolio. Volvo plans to have sold a total of up to 1 million electrified cars by 2025 globally. “By taking a modular approach to both vehicle architecture and powertrain development we have succeeded in leap-frogging many of the players in the premium segment,” said Dr Peter Mertens, Senior Vice President Research & Development. “Our new battery electric powertrain variant opens yet another exciting chapter in the unfolding Volvo story.” On top of their daring exterior design and electrified powertrain options, the new cars will also offer a full range of innovative connectivity services, plus the world’s most advanced standard package of safety features and ground breaking Scandinavian interior design. “The new 40 series cars have the potential to improve our market penetration in an important growing segment,” said Håkan Samuelsson, president and chief executive. “An electric powertrain program including both a new compact Twin Engine plug-in hybrid as well as a pure electric car are central to the CMA architecture.” He added that the first new 40 series car is expected to go into production in 2017.
  12. This year's New York Auto Show saw Nissan reveal a facelifted GT-R complete with a new front end and a more powerful version of the twin-turbo V6 engine. But Nissan is hard at work on designing the next generation GT-R. Automotive News spoke with Nissan's chief creative officer, Shiro Nakamura. Nakamura said one of the key goals with the next GT-R is to boost the efficiency of the twin-turbo V6 and there is the possibility of the vehicle using a hybrid system. "Electrification is almost inevitable for any car. If the next-generation GT-R has some electrification, nobody would be surprised at that time," said Nakamura. Deciding the powertrain configuration will play a key role into how the next GT-R is designed. Nakamura admits redesigning the GT-R will be a challenge. "It's very tough to redesign this car, but we are starting now." Nakamura believes the GT-R still looks good because it doesn't try to copy or follow design trends. "To my eye, it still doesn't look old because it's not influenced by anything. If it tries to capture some trend, it would look dated," said Nakamura. The goals with the GT-R redesign is to improve overall aerodynamics and performance. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required) Pic Credit: Newspress USA
  13. Genesis is following in the footsteps of other luxury automakers by planning a number of plug-in models. Speaking with Automotive News, Hyundai Motor America' CEO Dave Zuchowski said Genesis and Hyundai are working on a number of plug-in hybrid vehicles. Zuchowski explained the brands see this a stepping stone to hydrogen vehicles. "Some of those [plug-in hybrids] will take the form of the Genesis side of our business. We believe alternative-propulsion engines are going to be really important -- even more important in the luxury market than they are in the mainstream market," said Zuchowski. Zuchowski kept quiet on Genesis vehicles will get the plug-in treatment. But considering Genesis' lineup in the near future will include will include a couple of SUVs and a small compact sedan to join the G80 midsize sedan and G90 flagship, we wouldn't be surprised if one of those SUVs and the G90 get the plug-in option. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
  14. Back in February, we reported that BMW was planning to stay the course with developing rear-wheel drive models. “If you also look at the M performance models we have added over the last three or four years they have rear-wheel drive as the standard setting and also have six cylinder engines. These are cars that attract new people to the M brand [and its core models] and that is very important,” said Carsten Pries, BMW M's head of product management. Pries also mentioned that this current strategy could change. “If the framework changes in the future, we have to look then at what we can do in terms of a [providing] a proper or decent M offer.” Jump ahead to late April, and BMW's M division CEO Frank van Meel said all-wheel drive is inevitable in the long run. van Meel told Autocar that M is sticking rear-wheel drive for philosophical reasons, despite the power outputs are reaching a point where all-wheel drive would make sense. Engineers are working hard to improve traction, stability control and torque vectoring systems, but there comes a point where these systems will be overwhelmed. van Meel also said that it is getting tougher to try and sell their 600-plus horsepower vehicles in certain markets such as Canada and Switzerland. Whenever M decides to offer all-wheel drive on their sedans and coupes, it will not use the xDrive nomenclature. van Meel suggested a name like 2+2WD or something similar could be used to emphasise the car’s rear-biased set-up. Source: Autocar
  15. If you were hoping for a Mazdaspeed version of the 3 or 6, we have some bad news. Australian outlet Motoring reports that Mazda has shelved plans for new Mazdaspeed (MPS known elsewhere in the world) models for the time being. Mazda's North American president and CEO Masahiro Moro explained that the company is focused on developing the second-generation of the Skyactive technologies. “Our research and development department is 100 per cent focussed on delivering SKYACTIV generation two and if we don’t have this we don’t have any other derivatives,” said Moro. “So let us focus on delivering SKYACTIV generation two, then we are building on that to come up with (performance models)." Moro said the brand is thinking about the next-generation of their performance vehicles and it won't be like the last Mazdaspeed3. “As a brand we are trying to elevate again a little bit more, because execution of Mazda MPS or Mazdaspeed 3 or whatever you call it was a little bit – I am not afraid to say it – childish.” Some Mazda fans might find that assessment harsh. But considering how much torque-steer the Mazdaspeed3 had on offer, we think that it is fair. So what would a future Mazdaspeed model look like? It would reflect Mazda's ambition of being more mature and upscale. “Mazda brand has become more mature, more upscale, more sophisticated and we have a new transition of the brand to relate that direction. So if we were to introduce some kind of performance model, that may be different to what we have done in the past,” said Moro. Source: Motoring
  16. As strict emission standards are coming into effect, Jaguar's Special Vehicle Operations (SVO) is looking forward and considering their options as to how to do performance vehicles in the future. Speaking with CarAdvice, Jaguar’s director of public relations Richard Agnew said SVO will turning its focus to other, smaller engines in the near future. “We can’t possibly say that SVO has to be V8, with the way the world is changing and also the way engine technology is changing as well,” said Agnew. “Who would’ve thought that 400 horsepower [298kW] out of a four cylinder is possible? So it doesn’t have to be a V8. What it needs to be, though, is have enough over the derivative below it so it does have the credentials to wear the SVR badge.” A number of manufacturers such as BMW have dropped V8 engines in some of their vehicles to make way for turbo six-cylinders, Mercedes' AMG division show that V8s still have a place and hints at a possible direction for future SVR vehicles. “You see AMG designing a new V8 and I think you look at the C-Class AMG and versus the [bMW] M and I think they would disappointed they went to a six and AMG have 100hp on them… that new [Mercedes] V8 they’ve got is a state-of-the-art biturbo with super-low emissions, it’s a great engine,” said Agnew. But Agnew admits that SVO could look into electrification for future models. "We stated we are going to have an electric car. One thing about electric cars is that their performance is, dare I say, 'electric', and I think they are some of the game changers in terms of torque delivery and power delivery. In the future, when we have electric cars ,what will an SVR version of it be? It will be bloody quick, but it's too early to say [more]." At the moment, Jaguar only has one SVR model; the 2017 F-Type SVR Coupe and Convertible with 575 horsepower coming from a supercharged V8. Source: CarAdvice
  17. With the Holden Commodore saying goodbye in 2017, it was assumed that the Chevrolet SS would follow suit. But some recent comments last week are making us rethink that. During a discussion at the New York Auto Show, Al Oppenheiser, chief engineer for the Camaro and SS hinted that all was not lost for the SS. “It sells what it’s supposed to. And we haven’t announced an end date to it, so we’re just … we know that there are some decisions made on the Zeta [platform], that are imminent, and right now we’re just focused on the new ’17 model, which is great. It has the LS3 with the manual and the active exhausts, and it’s a great car,” said Oppenheiser. The lack of end date is very curious as we know the Commodore will be finished in 2017, leaving the SS in a tough spot. Australian outlet CarAdvice asked if another sedan could serve as a replacement for the SS and Oppenheiser said maybe. But Oppenheiser was quick to point out this might not happen. “I’m not answering the questions, so I’m not leaving you with any hope.” But Al, you did leave some hope for those who want the SS to stick around. Whether or not anything happens, we'll be watching closely. Source: CarAdvice Pic Credit: William Maley for Cheers & Gears
  18. The Hyundai Veloster is a departure for the Korean automaker. With a unique style and a asymmetrical door layout, the Veloster has been the black sheep when compared to other models. But a new report says the Veloster may not get a second act. An unnamed Hyundai executive tells GoAuto.com.au that the company is currently debating whether or not to do a second-generation Veloster. “It still has not been decided. There is still debate as to whether it will happen.” Last year, the Veloster sold 60,000 units worldwide. Over half of those were delivered to North America where the model experienced a decline. The Veloster is expected to get a mid-cycle refresh in the near-future. What comes after that is anyones guess. Source: GoAuto.com.au William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
  19. The balance act of performance and emissions is difficult to say in the least, but Ferrari thinks they have figured it out. According to Vittorio Dini, Ferrari's Powertrain Director, the company plans on increasing performance while reducing CO2 emissions by 20 percent by 2021. "Our average CO2 emissions are currently about 270 grams of CO2 per kilometer. We want to use all the available technologies to reduce emissions by 3 percent each year, which means approximately a 20 percent decrease by 2021," Dini said to Automotive News Europe. How does the company plan on pulling this feat off? By using turbocharging and hybrid systems. Ferrari is turning to downsized V8 engines paired with turbochargers. Case in point is the 2015 California T which traded in a 4.3L V8 making 484 horsepower to a 3.9L turbocharged V8 producing 552 horsepower. As for CO2 emissions, the change in engines saw emissions drop from 299g/km to 250g/km. As for V12 engines, Dini said the company looked at turbocharging. The idea was nixed after it was decided that it would take four turbos to provide the same punch, which causes packaging and heat dissipation problems. Instead, the company will utilize hybrid technology for their V12s. Source: Automotive News Europe (Subscription Required) William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
  20. Volvo Cars of North America's CEO Tony Nicolosi recently sat down with Automotive News and said the company wants to have one percent of the American marketplace within the five years. That represents around 150,000 to 160,000 vehicles. A bit ambitious considering the brand only sold 61,000 vehicles last year. To help reach this goal, the company plans on launching a product offensive that begins early next year with the XC90. "Once you see us get to XC90 next March, doors open and in dealerships, you will see a new product launch on an annual basis -- and sometimes less than every year. Within six months of the XC90 launch, we will have a plug-in hybrid version. We have told our dealers that by the end of 2017, the XC90 will be the oldest car in their showroom," said Nicolosi. Nicolosi also talked about Volvo's new Drive-E engine family, which are all four-cylinders that feature turbo or turbo/supercharging. He said the new family will appear in all Volvo models except the upcoming XC90. "It is no longer about cylinders; it is about performance and fuel economy. We can achieve the performance of a six- and eight- with a four-cylinder engine. The days of counting cylinders are behind us." As the V40, Nicolosi said the company has no plans on bringing the current one over, but could reconsider when the new one is due out in a couple years. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
  21. There has been one request that Lexus dealers have been asking for the past few years. "Third-row seating is the No. 1 issue we hear from dealers. We feel like we're missing a 35,000-units-a-year opportunity. We're working hard to rectify that," said Lexus Division chief Jeff Bracken to Automotive News. "We could bring it to market in 2016 or 2017. If we can get it, that's the priority. We won't be bothered if it steps on RX. We want it." So how does Lexus plan on pulling this off? There appears to be two options on table. The first is making RX bigger. The current Toyota Highlander currently follows this idea with extending the body three inches to fit a third row. However, the third seat is very cramped and might not be what customers are looking for. The other is to build a new model by using either the Camry/Avalon/Highlander platform or the IS/GS platform. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required) William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
  22. Scion has been hamstrung for the past couple of years with an aging lineup. While new models such as the FR-S and updated tC have helped somewhat, Scion's sales have been declining. But the brand is planning to overhaul their lineup starting next year. Speaking on the sidelines of the New York Auto Show with Automotive News, Scion vice president Doug Murtha said the brand is planning to replace three of its five models starting next year. The first new model will be shown at the LA Auto Show. Murtha didn't give any details about what segment the new model would be in, but did hint at a possible direction. “From a segment context, Scion has always been about entry compact and subcompact, and that will remain our center of gravity,” Murtha said. “Would we be interested in other body styles? The answer is always yes. We may mix things up a bit as we find a new direction for the brand.” The mostly likely candidates for replacement for the xB and xD models. The two models are currently into their seventh year of their lifecycle. The other candidate for replacement is the iQ city car. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
  23. The end of era is coming soon. Automotive News reports that Mitsubishi has planned the departure of the Lancer Evolution at the end of this generation. The company hasn't given a date to that though. “Mitsubishi Motors does not have any plans to design a successor with the current concept, as a high-performance four-wheel drive gasoline-powered sedan. Mitsubishi Motors will explore the possibilities of high-performance models that incorporate electric vehicle technology,” said Mitsubishi spokeswoman Namie Koketsu. Rumors of what would happen to the Lancer Evolution have been swirling around for the past few years ranging from the model becoming a plug-in hybrid rally car to a model that wouldn't exist anymore. Last year, then Mitsubishi President Osamu Masuko said in a interview that for Mitsubishi's strength is in pickups, crossovers and SUVs. For the company to get back to health, they will need to focus on the basics and go after volume models. “We have to prioritize. When you consider Mitsubishi's size and management resources, we can't do everything on our own,” said Masuko. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required) William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
  24. A few years ago, Rolls-Royce introduced an all electric Phantom concept named the 102EX. The concept was shown to customers to gage reaction as to whether or not Rolls should not continue this project. Customers weren't interested and Rolls stopped work on the project. That doesn't mean Rolls isn't looking into other ways to be more environmentally-friendly. Rolls-Royce CEO Torsten Müller-Ötvös tells Auto Express the company is considering a plug-in hybrid powertrain for its vehicles in the next few years. “It will be essential in two years, maybe not from customer demand but through legal regulation on emissions,” said Müller-Ötvös. Most likely Rolls-Royce will borrow the technology from its parent company BMW who is currently working on a plug-in hybrid powertrain for the X5. Its unclear whether or not Rolls-Royce will put this powertrain in the Phantom or Ghost. Source: Auto Express William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
  25. Like every other automaker, Jeep is looking at ways to reduce emissions and increase fuel economy in light of more stringent regulations. One technology the off-road brand is looking at is hybrid technology. “We are absolutely looking at different things in that field and we are very active behind the scenes in the development of these systems and how it fits into our profile,” said Chrysler’s Asia-Pacific product planning manager, Steve Bartoli, to Drive.com.au. “With greenhouse gas and regulatory constraints around the world, it is definitely pushing our hand in that way but we haven’t made any decisions on that and we’re not ready to talk about that.” Bartoli said the brand has concern about hybrid systems, including the reliability of the electric motors and battery range when traveling off the beaten path. “We always want to make sure a Jeep can get you home. These are very complex and expensive systems, not just for us to develop but also for the consumers. Not only that, but [battery] range is a very important issue and we need to make sure how we can fit that into our systems because you don’t want to be stuck in a creek in an electric Jeep that is going nowhere. It is still a big problem in that regard so we need to understand it a bit more.” Source: Drive.com.au William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.

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