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  1. Bentley will be introducing their first hybrid next year with the new Bentayga SUV. But that's not the only alternative powertrain the luxury automaker is looking into. Speaking with Australian outlet Drive, Bentley's board member in charge of engineering, Rolf Frech said they are investigating whether or not to do an electric vehicle. "We are currently in the stage where we are evaluating all the possibilities, but there are so many question marks behind this. I think there will be an answer within the next six months to a year to decide which direction we will go, but of course electric will be a future strategy direction for Bentley," said Frech. One vehicle that could go full electric is the upcoming EXP 10 Speed 6. Frech said the model had a low center of gravity and going with an electric powertrain would offer the instantaneous punch that Bentley wants in a sports car. Frech went on to say the Bentley would have access to Porsche's Mission E platform. "We not only have the ability to use the (Mission E) platform but we can also use a lot of these modules to bring into our car. I think there are big steps coming and what we are doing now is preparing ourselves if these steps make sense then we will go for it," said Frech. In the meantime, Bentley is planning to offer a plug-in hybrid powertrain for all of their models in the near future. Source: Drive
  2. Ram is putting serious thought into building a full-size SUV to take on the likes the Chevrolet Suburban, Ford Expedition, and GMC Yukon XL. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Sergio Marchionne expressed his interest during a call announcing the third-quarter financial results. The large SUV segment is “the near-exclusive use of some others. We have a reasonable chance of getting at least part of that market,” said Marchionne. Marchionne explained that Ram begins to redesign its pickup lineup and add production, space for such a vehicle begins to open up. “I think we have a unique opportunity with renewal of the pickup line, with the powertrains we selected, to significantly increase output. We will also be exploring, as a result of that investment, some other segments.” Now there is a slight issue to this vehicle for Ram. Jeep is currently working on three-row SUV named the Grand Wagoneer that has been pushed back till 2019. Marchionne says the possible Ram SUV will not compete with the Grand Wagoneer as the latter model will take on the likes of the Range Rover. “I don’t think anybody who buys a large SUV is confusing it with a Range Rover,” said Marchionne. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
  3. 2019 will mark 100 years of Bentley and the automaker is considering doing something special for the occasion. “Our centenary would be a good time to create a new limited series car,” said Bentley CEO Wolfgang Dürheimer. There are a number of ideas being considered, including a hypercar. “That project will be investigated intensively in Crewe within the next month. The question is, do we build the standard car you would expect in that segment? Or do we go with lots of carbon fibre and lightweight components? Now that would be a car we could take to the big guns,” said Dürheimer. Now Bentley has floated the idea of a supercar before. Back in 1999, the company revealed the Hunaudières Concept which packed an 8L W16 engine capable of hitting 350 KPH (about 217 MPH). Source: Top Gear
  4. The new Nissan Maxima is off to a flying start in the sales charts and Nissan wants to keep that momentum going. According to The Detroit Bureau, the automaker is considering options on broadening the appeal of the model. One of those options is giving the Maxima the NISMO treatment. “We’re trying to gauge reaction to the car,” said 2016 Nissan Maxima product planner Vishnu Jayamohan. “We have our NISMO brand which would be a great outlet for this car.” Going with the NISMO model would allow Nissan to expand on the sporty and performance message they are going with the new Maxima. No information is given about what could be expected if Nissan goes this route, but more power is likely one key item. Doing a Maxima NISMO also falls under the promise given by Nissan last year of doing more NISMO models. For now, Nissan will keep an eye on sales numbers for the Maxima before making a decision. Source: The Detroit Bureau
  5. The Mercedes-Benz R-Class was an odd duck of sorts: Lets take a seven-seat SUV and a minivan, and blend them together. This odd duck was pulled out of most markets aside from China in 2013 due to poor sales. In China, its a different story where it sells 12,000 to 14,000 R-Classes. But one official at Mercedes-Benz believes the R-Class should make a comeback. Wolf-Dieter Kurz, Mercedes-Benz’s vice-president of product group SUVs and sports cars tells CarAdvice that they were too early with the R-Class. Kurz goes onto say that crossovers could be a major driver of product variants in the future due to their popularity and that there is room for practicality-focused models. “Basically I think I feel that the SUV segment – due to its growth, and the worldwide interest that the SUVs have – the SUV segment will be also in future the one which sees most derivatives, let’s say, in the outskirts of the portfolio. Because it’s getting kind of fussy in it’s outskirts, let’s say. There was already one that we had in the portfolio – maybe we were too early – which was the R-Class, which we are still selling in China. It’s doing good, with 12,000 to 14,000 units per year. So let’s say these more, let’s say, on-road based but still very roomy, but not station wagon, is definitely an interesting segment also in the future,” said Kurz. That last line sounds similar to the R-Class or something in the vain of the Subaru Outback. Source: CarAdvice.com.au
  6. Coming soon will be Jaguar's first crossover - the F-Pace. But the luxury automaker is consider adding another one. Autocar reports the luxury automaker is looking into a compact crossover to take on the likes of the Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class and other models. Why not a compact sedan or coupe to take on the likes of the Audi A3 BMW 1/2-Series, and Mercedes-Benz A-Class? Sales of crossovers - especially small ones are booming at the moment. “A family [of SUVs] is not confirmed but we are investigating it. We have the architecture and capability with Land Rover to go left or right, up or down, but we’d only do it on two key attributes. The car has to be dynamically the most capable and it has to meet our design standards,” said Steven de Ploey, Jaguar’s brand director. “If we want to grow, a compact model is the obvious opportunity. The arguments about this are twofold. It has to be a Jaguar in design and performance, and it would be a challenge to do this. The second is the business, both in terms of scale and competition. You’d not just be competing with premium brands but high-end mainstream manufacturers, too. There are lots of other things we have to do before this, but we have opportunities and permission to play there.” Source: Autocar
  7. Bentley is considering whether or not they should offer an electric powertrain for their flagship sedan, the Mulsanne. Hans Holzgartner, product and marketing manager for the Mulsanne told Autocar part of the reason for this comes down to Chinese lawmakers possibly passing legislation banning all vehicles except EVs in certain cities. “At the moment, the indication is that full electric will be the only way that you’ll get into some of the cities in China. I wouldn’t say we’re discounting [hybrid engines] completely, but it looks like if you don’t have a full electric drive, even some of the hybrid drives just won’t get into some cities in China,” said Holzgartner. Similar legislation is being considered in other European countries, causing Bentley to put the idea of electric powertrains as a possible high priority item. But why the Mulsanne? Why not one of their small and 'lighter' models? Holzgartner explained that adding an electric powertrain into the Mulsanne would improve some of the key traits such providing a quiet ride. “With a Mulsanne-sized car, it’s all about torque anyway,” he added. “The delivery characteristics of electric drive — loads of bottom-end torque, almost silent delivery, very smooth — they all fit," said Holzhartner. “Our challenge is to make something that’s as interesting to drive as a current Bentley, because while a Mulsanne will be driven in almost silent mode even with a petrol engine, if you’ve got a Mulsanne Speed you’ll want to let rip every so often. That’s going to be the challenge: creating something that can be fun as well.” Source: Autocar
  8. Sergio Marchionne is the biggest critic of electric vehicles in the automotive industry. But he seems to be changing his tune (to a point). "I’m not as convinced as some others are about the fact that electrification is the solution for all of man’s ills. We need to experiment as we are doing now with connected cars and mobility as electrification is one of the potential answers," said Marchionne to Bloomberg. Marchionne said the company is contemplating adding full electric vehicles to their lineup including a small city car for Europe and a version of the upcoming Maserati Alfieri coupe. The latter model could be positioned as a rival to Tesla. "I’ve always thought the economic model that supports Tesla is something that Fiat Chrysler could replicate as we have the brand and the vehicles to do it. I think that to use one of our potential cars as an experiment in this area is interesting," said Marchionne. Marchionne also said the company would launch more hybrid vehicles down the road. Source: Bloomberg
  9. There is talk happening at one of Volkswagen's brands of possibly entering the U.S. marketplace. What brand would that be? Skoda, the Czech brand known for building some impressive cars at surprising prices. A spokesman tells Automotive News Europe that the brand is examining potential markets to introduce the brand. "That includes North America," the spokesman said. A decision on which markets will see Skoda entering is not expected anytime soon. Rumblings of Skoda possibly coming to the U.S. started last week when AutoGuide found trademark applications filed by Skoda for a number of their models, Octavia (Hatchback and Wagon, Golf-Sized) Yeti (Crossover, Tiguan-Sized) Superb (Sedan and Wagon, Passat-Sized) Now for the obvious question, why? Automotive News Europe reports that one of Skoda's key markets, Russia is experiencing an economic collapse, causing sales in the country to tumble. This has the company looking to other markets such as North America (which makes up 20 percent of the global car market). Analysts are split as to whether or not Skoda should enter the U.S. Ferdinand Dudenhoeffer, director of the Center for Automotive Research at the University of Duisburg-Essen tells German business paper Handelsblatt (who broke this story) that Volkswagen should pull out of the U.S. and replace it with Skoda. "Skoda could be the cheapest solution" to VW Group's American problems, said Dudenhoeffer. Other analysts such Frank Schwope from NordLB have their doubts. Schwope tells Reuters that the brand would have to 'fight tooth and nail in the United States' due to an already saturated market for cars. "Skoda would do better to get engaged in emerging markets like India or South America," said Schwope. Our take? This is just 'talk' at the moment, so Skoda might not come. Yes, they did file trademarks in the U.S., but that doesn't mean a car, let alone a brand is destined for the U.S. Also, Skoda is lacking in crossovers. They have one in the form of the Yeti and will be introducing an SUV later this year in Paris. For a place that is crazy about crossovers, only having one isn't the best plan. Also, trying to make your way in the U.S. auto market is a difficult task - just ask Fiat. PSA Peugeot Citroën which announced they would be coming back to the U.S., will be spending the next ten years to make it possible. Source: Automotive News Europe (Subscription Required), Handelsblatt (Subscription Required), Reuters, AutoGuide
  10. The Mercedes-Benz G-Class (Geländewagen) has somehow become the brand's Frankenstein. What we mean is the SUV has been part of a number of crazy projects. A key example is the G63 AMG 6x6 which brought together a turbo V8 and a number of off-road tweaks to make it a complete monster. The latest creation is the G500 4x4² (4x4 squared) which takes some of the hardware found in the 6x6 (portal axles) and a lifted suspension, and places it into a standard G550. Mercedes says the G500 4x4² offers 17.7 inches of ground clearance (the standard G550 only offers 8.1 inches of ground clearance) and can ford up to 39.3 inches of water. At the moment, Mercedes sells the G500 4x4² in various European countries. But that could be changing. Speaking with Motor1, Bart Herring, Mercedes' general manager of product planning in the U.S. said the G500 4x4² could be coming to the U.S. At the moment, the German automaker is currently deciding and Herring said it's "very close to a good decision". The G-Class isn't a big seller for the brand in the U.S. Sales last year totaled 3,616 models. But that number is an increase over 2014 sales (3,090 models), so it appears there is demand for this model. Source: Motor1.com
  11. A recent report from Automotive News says Cadillac is thinking about adding more engines choices to the the Escalade. David Schiavone, the Escalade's brand manager says a twin-turbo V6 and turbodiesel V6 are being talked about for the model. The twin-turbo V6 could be marketed as a VSport model. Not only would the additional engines give Cadillac an edge over the new Lincoln Navigator which trades in a V8 for an EcoBoost V6, it would allow Cadillac to sell the Escalade in other markets. No mention when a decision would be made on the additional engines. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required) William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached atwilliam.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
  12. Car and Driver have gotten some intriguing information about what Cadillac is looking at for the future with their V-Series and powertrains. We'll start with V-Series. Now as we reported before, Cadillac is planning on adding more V-Series models. Some of those could be higher-performance versions of current models - something akin to Black Series for Mercedes-Benz AMG models. When asked about this, Cadillac's chief engineer David Leone said, “We might have something down the road that is a little bit more aggressive.” A source says a we could see something with this idea in 2017. No hint was given as to what model could be in the cards. Our guess is that it would be the ATS-V Coupe. Now onto the powertrain stuff. Leone reiterated comments made by Cadillac president Johan de Nysschen late last year about offering diesel engines. “They are both new engines,” said Leone. In this case, the new engines happen to be a four and six-cylinder diesel. The engines will be tailored for the products they will go into. Now these engines are being built with Europe in mind, but sources say the engines could be offered in the U.S. Leone also talked about future technologies such as electric super/turbochargers which minimize lag when compared to conventional turbos. “Electric charging is a novel approach, a way of getting a fast response,” Leone said, adding: “You don’t need to limit it to gasoline engines.” Now there are some issues that need to be addressed such as adding a 48-Volt electric system and packing it into a vehicle. Also under investigation for Cadillac? Three-cylinder engines. “The world is ever-changing, the fuel-economy requirements are different, and those things are possible.” Source: Car and Driver, 2
  13. One of the biggest issues with Lincoln deals with their nomenclature. The MK-insert letter naming system has brought confusion buyers and people who cover the industry. Saying you own a MKZ for example either meant no one understood what you said or had people wondering if that was the sedan or a crossover. But Automotive News says that common sense has possibly returned to Lincoln and that actual names is in the cards. “I get it. I know MKX and C and Z and T. I’ve studied them very well. I know them well, but we also understand the issue. It’s, frankly, where the auto industry -- the premium industry -- has gone, if you look at all the nameplates. But another way Lincoln could distinguish itself is to leverage its heritage. So I’ll leave it at that,” said Joe Hinrichs, Ford Motor Co.’s president of the Americas. “Without divulging the future. We’re very excited about the Continental name and the attention it’s gotten.” A lot of this talk sparked when Lincoln pulled the covers off the Continental Concept and became a big hit. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
  14. Sergio Marchionne is the biggest critic of electric vehicles in the automotive industry. But he seems to be changing his tune (to a point). "I’m not as convinced as some others are about the fact that electrification is the solution for all of man’s ills. We need to experiment as we are doing now with connected cars and mobility as electrification is one of the potential answers," said Marchionne to Bloomberg. Marchionne said the company is contemplating adding full electric vehicles to their lineup including a small city car for Europe and a version of the upcoming Maserati Alfieri coupe. The latter model could be positioned as a rival to Tesla. "I’ve always thought the economic model that supports Tesla is something that Fiat Chrysler could replicate as we have the brand and the vehicles to do it. I think that to use one of our potential cars as an experiment in this area is interesting," said Marchionne. Marchionne also said the company would launch more hybrid vehicles down the road. Source: Bloomberg View full article
  15. Bentley is considering whether or not they should offer an electric powertrain for their flagship sedan, the Mulsanne. Hans Holzgartner, product and marketing manager for the Mulsanne told Autocar part of the reason for this comes down to Chinese lawmakers possibly passing legislation banning all vehicles except EVs in certain cities. “At the moment, the indication is that full electric will be the only way that you’ll get into some of the cities in China. I wouldn’t say we’re discounting [hybrid engines] completely, but it looks like if you don’t have a full electric drive, even some of the hybrid drives just won’t get into some cities in China,” said Holzgartner. Similar legislation is being considered in other European countries, causing Bentley to put the idea of electric powertrains as a possible high priority item. But why the Mulsanne? Why not one of their small and 'lighter' models? Holzgartner explained that adding an electric powertrain into the Mulsanne would improve some of the key traits such providing a quiet ride. “With a Mulsanne-sized car, it’s all about torque anyway,” he added. “The delivery characteristics of electric drive — loads of bottom-end torque, almost silent delivery, very smooth — they all fit," said Holzhartner. “Our challenge is to make something that’s as interesting to drive as a current Bentley, because while a Mulsanne will be driven in almost silent mode even with a petrol engine, if you’ve got a Mulsanne Speed you’ll want to let rip every so often. That’s going to be the challenge: creating something that can be fun as well.” Source: Autocar View full article
  16. There is talk happening at one of Volkswagen's brands of possibly entering the U.S. marketplace. What brand would that be? Skoda, the Czech brand known for building some impressive cars at surprising prices. A spokesman tells Automotive News Europe that the brand is examining potential markets to introduce the brand. "That includes North America," the spokesman said. A decision on which markets will see Skoda entering is not expected anytime soon. Rumblings of Skoda possibly coming to the U.S. started last week when AutoGuide found trademark applications filed by Skoda for a number of their models, Octavia (Hatchback and Wagon, Golf-Sized) Yeti (Crossover, Tiguan-Sized) Superb (Sedan and Wagon, Passat-Sized) Now for the obvious question, why? Automotive News Europe reports that one of Skoda's key markets, Russia is experiencing an economic collapse, causing sales in the country to tumble. This has the company looking to other markets such as North America (which makes up 20 percent of the global car market). Analysts are split as to whether or not Skoda should enter the U.S. Ferdinand Dudenhoeffer, director of the Center for Automotive Research at the University of Duisburg-Essen tells German business paper Handelsblatt (who broke this story) that Volkswagen should pull out of the U.S. and replace it with Skoda. "Skoda could be the cheapest solution" to VW Group's American problems, said Dudenhoeffer. Other analysts such Frank Schwope from NordLB have their doubts. Schwope tells Reuters that the brand would have to 'fight tooth and nail in the United States' due to an already saturated market for cars. "Skoda would do better to get engaged in emerging markets like India or South America," said Schwope. Our take? This is just 'talk' at the moment, so Skoda might not come. Yes, they did file trademarks in the U.S., but that doesn't mean a car, let alone a brand is destined for the U.S. Also, Skoda is lacking in crossovers. They have one in the form of the Yeti and will be introducing an SUV later this year in Paris. For a place that is crazy about crossovers, only having one isn't the best plan. Also, trying to make your way in the U.S. auto market is a difficult task - just ask Fiat. PSA Peugeot Citroën which announced they would be coming back to the U.S., will be spending the next ten years to make it possible. Source: Automotive News Europe (Subscription Required), Handelsblatt (Subscription Required), Reuters, AutoGuide View full article
  17. The Mercedes-Benz G-Class (Geländewagen) has somehow become the brand's Frankenstein. What we mean is the SUV has been part of a number of crazy projects. A key example is the G63 AMG 6x6 which brought together a turbo V8 and a number of off-road tweaks to make it a complete monster. The latest creation is the G500 4x4² (4x4 squared) which takes some of the hardware found in the 6x6 (portal axles) and a lifted suspension, and places it into a standard G550. Mercedes says the G500 4x4² offers 17.7 inches of ground clearance (the standard G550 only offers 8.1 inches of ground clearance) and can ford up to 39.3 inches of water. At the moment, Mercedes sells the G500 4x4² in various European countries. But that could be changing. Speaking with Motor1, Bart Herring, Mercedes' general manager of product planning in the U.S. said the G500 4x4² could be coming to the U.S. At the moment, the German automaker is currently deciding and Herring said it's "very close to a good decision". The G-Class isn't a big seller for the brand in the U.S. Sales last year totaled 3,616 models. But that number is an increase over 2014 sales (3,090 models), so it appears there is demand for this model. Source: Motor1.com View full article
  18. The new Nissan Maxima is off to a flying start in the sales charts and Nissan wants to keep that momentum going. According to The Detroit Bureau, the automaker is considering options on broadening the appeal of the model. One of those options is giving the Maxima the NISMO treatment. “We’re trying to gauge reaction to the car,” said 2016 Nissan Maxima product planner Vishnu Jayamohan. “We have our NISMO brand which would be a great outlet for this car.” Going with the NISMO model would allow Nissan to expand on the sporty and performance message they are going with the new Maxima. No information is given about what could be expected if Nissan goes this route, but more power is likely one key item. Doing a Maxima NISMO also falls under the promise given by Nissan last year of doing more NISMO models. For now, Nissan will keep an eye on sales numbers for the Maxima before making a decision. Source: The Detroit Bureau View full article
  19. The Mercedes-Benz R-Class was an odd duck of sorts: Lets take a seven-seat SUV and a minivan, and blend them together. This odd duck was pulled out of most markets aside from China in 2013 due to poor sales. In China, its a different story where it sells 12,000 to 14,000 R-Classes. But one official at Mercedes-Benz believes the R-Class should make a comeback. Wolf-Dieter Kurz, Mercedes-Benz’s vice-president of product group SUVs and sports cars tells CarAdvice that they were too early with the R-Class. Kurz goes onto say that crossovers could be a major driver of product variants in the future due to their popularity and that there is room for practicality-focused models. “Basically I think I feel that the SUV segment – due to its growth, and the worldwide interest that the SUVs have – the SUV segment will be also in future the one which sees most derivatives, let’s say, in the outskirts of the portfolio. Because it’s getting kind of fussy in it’s outskirts, let’s say. There was already one that we had in the portfolio – maybe we were too early – which was the R-Class, which we are still selling in China. It’s doing good, with 12,000 to 14,000 units per year. So let’s say these more, let’s say, on-road based but still very roomy, but not station wagon, is definitely an interesting segment also in the future,” said Kurz. That last line sounds similar to the R-Class or something in the vain of the Subaru Outback. Source: CarAdvice.com.au View full article
  20. Ram is putting serious thought into building a full-size SUV to take on the likes the Chevrolet Suburban, Ford Expedition, and GMC Yukon XL. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Sergio Marchionne expressed his interest during a call announcing the third-quarter financial results. The large SUV segment is “the near-exclusive use of some others. We have a reasonable chance of getting at least part of that market,” said Marchionne. Marchionne explained that Ram begins to redesign its pickup lineup and add production, space for such a vehicle begins to open up. “I think we have a unique opportunity with renewal of the pickup line, with the powertrains we selected, to significantly increase output. We will also be exploring, as a result of that investment, some other segments.” Now there is a slight issue to this vehicle for Ram. Jeep is currently working on three-row SUV named the Grand Wagoneer that has been pushed back till 2019. Marchionne says the possible Ram SUV will not compete with the Grand Wagoneer as the latter model will take on the likes of the Range Rover. “I don’t think anybody who buys a large SUV is confusing it with a Range Rover,” said Marchionne. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required) View full article
  21. 2019 will mark 100 years of Bentley and the automaker is considering doing something special for the occasion. “Our centenary would be a good time to create a new limited series car,” said Bentley CEO Wolfgang Dürheimer. There are a number of ideas being considered, including a hypercar. “That project will be investigated intensively in Crewe within the next month. The question is, do we build the standard car you would expect in that segment? Or do we go with lots of carbon fibre and lightweight components? Now that would be a car we could take to the big guns,” said Dürheimer. Now Bentley has floated the idea of a supercar before. Back in 1999, the company revealed the Hunaudières Concept which packed an 8L W16 engine capable of hitting 350 KPH (about 217 MPH). Source: Top Gear View full article
  22. Car and Driver have gotten some intriguing information about what Cadillac is looking at for the future with their V-Series and powertrains. We'll start with V-Series. Now as we reported before, Cadillac is planning on adding more V-Series models. Some of those could be higher-performance versions of current models - something akin to Black Series for Mercedes-Benz AMG models. When asked about this, Cadillac's chief engineer David Leone said, “We might have something down the road that is a little bit more aggressive.” A source says a we could see something with this idea in 2017. No hint was given as to what model could be in the cards. Our guess is that it would be the ATS-V Coupe. Now onto the powertrain stuff. Leone reiterated comments made by Cadillac president Johan de Nysschen late last year about offering diesel engines. “They are both new engines,” said Leone. In this case, the new engines happen to be a four and six-cylinder diesel. The engines will be tailored for the products they will go into. Now these engines are being built with Europe in mind, but sources say the engines could be offered in the U.S. Leone also talked about future technologies such as electric super/turbochargers which minimize lag when compared to conventional turbos. “Electric charging is a novel approach, a way of getting a fast response,” Leone said, adding: “You don’t need to limit it to gasoline engines.” Now there are some issues that need to be addressed such as adding a 48-Volt electric system and packing it into a vehicle. Also under investigation for Cadillac? Three-cylinder engines. “The world is ever-changing, the fuel-economy requirements are different, and those things are possible.” Source: Car and Driver, 2 View full article
  23. One of the biggest issues with Lincoln deals with their nomenclature. The MK-insert letter naming system has brought confusion buyers and people who cover the industry. Saying you own a MKZ for example either meant no one understood what you said or had people wondering if that was the sedan or a crossover. But Automotive News says that common sense has possibly returned to Lincoln and that actual names is in the cards. “I get it. I know MKX and C and Z and T. I’ve studied them very well. I know them well, but we also understand the issue. It’s, frankly, where the auto industry -- the premium industry -- has gone, if you look at all the nameplates. But another way Lincoln could distinguish itself is to leverage its heritage. So I’ll leave it at that,” said Joe Hinrichs, Ford Motor Co.’s president of the Americas. “Without divulging the future. We’re very excited about the Continental name and the attention it’s gotten.” A lot of this talk sparked when Lincoln pulled the covers off the Continental Concept and became a big hit. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required) View full article
  24. Coming soon will be Jaguar's first crossover - the F-Pace. But the luxury automaker is consider adding another one. Autocar reports the luxury automaker is looking into a compact crossover to take on the likes of the Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class and other models. Why not a compact sedan or coupe to take on the likes of the Audi A3 BMW 1/2-Series, and Mercedes-Benz A-Class? Sales of crossovers - especially small ones are booming at the moment. “A family [of SUVs] is not confirmed but we are investigating it. We have the architecture and capability with Land Rover to go left or right, up or down, but we’d only do it on two key attributes. The car has to be dynamically the most capable and it has to meet our design standards,” said Steven de Ploey, Jaguar’s brand director. “If we want to grow, a compact model is the obvious opportunity. The arguments about this are twofold. It has to be a Jaguar in design and performance, and it would be a challenge to do this. The second is the business, both in terms of scale and competition. You’d not just be competing with premium brands but high-end mainstream manufacturers, too. There are lots of other things we have to do before this, but we have opportunities and permission to play there.” Source: Autocar View full article
  25. Bentley will be introducing their first hybrid next year with the new Bentayga SUV. But that's not the only alternative powertrain the luxury automaker is looking into. Speaking with Australian outlet Drive, Bentley's board member in charge of engineering, Rolf Frech said they are investigating whether or not to do an electric vehicle. "We are currently in the stage where we are evaluating all the possibilities, but there are so many question marks behind this. I think there will be an answer within the next six months to a year to decide which direction we will go, but of course electric will be a future strategy direction for Bentley," said Frech. One vehicle that could go full electric is the upcoming EXP 10 Speed 6. Frech said the model had a low center of gravity and going with an electric powertrain would offer the instantaneous punch that Bentley wants in a sports car. Frech went on to say the Bentley would have access to Porsche's Mission E platform. "We not only have the ability to use the (Mission E) platform but we can also use a lot of these modules to bring into our car. I think there are big steps coming and what we are doing now is preparing ourselves if these steps make sense then we will go for it," said Frech. In the meantime, Bentley is planning to offer a plug-in hybrid powertrain for all of their models in the near future. Source: Drive View full article

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