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Found 250 results

  1. Toyota is planning a big push with hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. According to Reuters, the Japanese automaker is doubling-down on investments for fuel cell vehicles by making improvements to reduce costs and building different models including commercial trucks. “We’re going to shift from limited production to mass production, reduce the amount of expensive materials like platinum used in FCV components, and make the system more compact and powerful,” said Yoshikazu Tanaka, chief engineer of the Mirai. Currently, Toyota hand builds the Mirai at a plant in Toyota City. Everyday, about 6.5 cars roll out of the plant. This is due to the detailed inspections that partially assembled models go through. The parts comprising the Mirai are quite expensive as well. According to analysis done by Strategic Analysis Inc., it costs Toyota about $11,000 to produce each of the fuel cell stacks. Blame the use of the platinum, titanium, and carbon fiber for the stacks. Toyota has been building up production capacity as it expects sales of FCVs to increase from about 3,000 to over 20,000 after 2020. This will help reduce the cost of each fuel cell stack to $8,000. “It will be difficult for Toyota to lower FCV production costs if it only produces the Mirai,” said a source, That's where an expansion of FCVs come in. Toyota is planning a "phased introduction' of other FCVs, including SUVs and commercial trucks starting around 2025. Toyota declined to talk about future products, but did reveal that it has built prototypes of small delivery vehicles and transport trucks with fuel cell powertrains. “We’re going to use as many parts from existing passenger cars and other models as possible in fuel cell trucks. Otherwise, we won’t see the benefits of mass production,” said Ikuo Ota, manager of new business planning for fuel cell projects at Toyota. Why is Toyota doubling down on fuel cells? Sources say that Toyota believes demand will increase as more countries, including China "warm to fuel cell technology". The company also sees FCVs as a hedge against battery materials such as cobalt becoming scarce. But there is still one issue that Toyota, and other automakers build FCVs still need to solve; infrastructure. There aren't many hydrogen refueling stations around. For example, the majority of hydrogen stations in the U.S. are in California. Not helping is a current shortage of hydrogen at refueling stations in California. Green Car Reports says this issue is due to various problems with supplier Air Products. The company said that it hopes to restore hydrogen supplies sometime in early August. Source: Reuters, Green Car Reports View full article
  2. William Maley

    Toyota Double Downs Investment On Hydrogen

    Toyota is planning a big push with hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. According to Reuters, the Japanese automaker is doubling-down on investments for fuel cell vehicles by making improvements to reduce costs and building different models including commercial trucks. “We’re going to shift from limited production to mass production, reduce the amount of expensive materials like platinum used in FCV components, and make the system more compact and powerful,” said Yoshikazu Tanaka, chief engineer of the Mirai. Currently, Toyota hand builds the Mirai at a plant in Toyota City. Everyday, about 6.5 cars roll out of the plant. This is due to the detailed inspections that partially assembled models go through. The parts comprising the Mirai are quite expensive as well. According to analysis done by Strategic Analysis Inc., it costs Toyota about $11,000 to produce each of the fuel cell stacks. Blame the use of the platinum, titanium, and carbon fiber for the stacks. Toyota has been building up production capacity as it expects sales of FCVs to increase from about 3,000 to over 20,000 after 2020. This will help reduce the cost of each fuel cell stack to $8,000. “It will be difficult for Toyota to lower FCV production costs if it only produces the Mirai,” said a source, That's where an expansion of FCVs come in. Toyota is planning a "phased introduction' of other FCVs, including SUVs and commercial trucks starting around 2025. Toyota declined to talk about future products, but did reveal that it has built prototypes of small delivery vehicles and transport trucks with fuel cell powertrains. “We’re going to use as many parts from existing passenger cars and other models as possible in fuel cell trucks. Otherwise, we won’t see the benefits of mass production,” said Ikuo Ota, manager of new business planning for fuel cell projects at Toyota. Why is Toyota doubling down on fuel cells? Sources say that Toyota believes demand will increase as more countries, including China "warm to fuel cell technology". The company also sees FCVs as a hedge against battery materials such as cobalt becoming scarce. But there is still one issue that Toyota, and other automakers build FCVs still need to solve; infrastructure. There aren't many hydrogen refueling stations around. For example, the majority of hydrogen stations in the U.S. are in California. Not helping is a current shortage of hydrogen at refueling stations in California. Green Car Reports says this issue is due to various problems with supplier Air Products. The company said that it hopes to restore hydrogen supplies sometime in early August. Source: Reuters, Green Car Reports
  3. Lamborghini has been toying with the idea of electrification for some time. It would allow them to meet stricter emission regulations while retaining their naturally aspirated engines. Their CEO has made it official, the replacement for the Aventador will have electrification. "The next Aventador will be hybrid, with a V12. A decision is made on that and this is something that will keep us different from the others and this is very important," said Stefano Domenicali to Auto Express. In addition, the replacement for the Huracan will go down the electrification route by retaining the V10 and adding an electric motor. We got a hint of this back in March during a interview Maurizio Reggiani, Lamborghini's chief technical officer. The Urus will be the first Lamborghini to be electrified when the plug-in hybrid model launches towards the end of this decade, followed by the Aventador replacement a few years after. Source: Auto Express View full article
  4. Lamborghini has been toying with the idea of electrification for some time. It would allow them to meet stricter emission regulations while retaining their naturally aspirated engines. Their CEO has made it official, the replacement for the Aventador will have electrification. "The next Aventador will be hybrid, with a V12. A decision is made on that and this is something that will keep us different from the others and this is very important," said Stefano Domenicali to Auto Express. In addition, the replacement for the Huracan will go down the electrification route by retaining the V10 and adding an electric motor. We got a hint of this back in March during a interview Maurizio Reggiani, Lamborghini's chief technical officer. The Urus will be the first Lamborghini to be electrified when the plug-in hybrid model launches towards the end of this decade, followed by the Aventador replacement a few years after. Source: Auto Express
  5. The Ford Fusion will be going away in due course as part of the company's plan to put more focus on utility vehicles and trucks. But that doesn't mean the Fusion name will heading to the trash bin. Bloomberg has learned from sources that Ford is planning to move the Fusion name to a new wagon that will compete with the Subaru Outback. The new model will also use the same mechanical underpinnings as the current Fusion - leading us to believe that it will be some version of the Mondeo wagon sold in Europe. Ford spokesman Mike Levine declined to comment on the new model, but did say the Fusion name would continue "because of its awareness, positive imagery and value with consumers.” Ford needs a way to keep their current sedan buyers returning their showroom after the Fusion sedan drops out. Analysis done by Kelly Blue Book revealed the less than half of Fusion owners are loyal to the brand. KBB also found that the Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4 were the most popular SUV models that Fusion owners would consider. “Ford has a hard time moving people from their cars to SUVs,” said Michelle Krebs, a senior analyst with Autotrader. Source: Bloomberg (Subscription Required) View full article
  6. The Ford Fusion will be going away in due course as part of the company's plan to put more focus on utility vehicles and trucks. But that doesn't mean the Fusion name will heading to the trash bin. Bloomberg has learned from sources that Ford is planning to move the Fusion name to a new wagon that will compete with the Subaru Outback. The new model will also use the same mechanical underpinnings as the current Fusion - leading us to believe that it will be some version of the Mondeo wagon sold in Europe. Ford spokesman Mike Levine declined to comment on the new model, but did say the Fusion name would continue "because of its awareness, positive imagery and value with consumers.” Ford needs a way to keep their current sedan buyers returning their showroom after the Fusion sedan drops out. Analysis done by Kelly Blue Book revealed the less than half of Fusion owners are loyal to the brand. KBB also found that the Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4 were the most popular SUV models that Fusion owners would consider. “Ford has a hard time moving people from their cars to SUVs,” said Michelle Krebs, a senior analyst with Autotrader. Source: Bloomberg (Subscription Required)
  7. Lexus finds itself in a bit of a bind. With demand for crossovers growing, Lexus is doing a serious look at its product lineup and deciding what needs to be added and what needs to taken out. "We're more focused on maximizing the opportunities we have than comparing ourselves," said David Christ, the new general manager for Lexus to Automotive News. "Our product plan is what I would call a work in progress." The current focus for Lexus is the upcoming launches of the ES and the subcompact UX crossover. The ES is expected to keep current Lexus owners happy, but the new F-Sport package will hopefully bring in younger people - Lexus expects a quarter of ES sales to be the F-sport. The UX though is seen as what will bring the majority of young buyers to the brand. But this focus has Lexus doing "a strategic look" at two of their older models, the IS and GS. Both models are late into their lifecycles: IS was launched in 2013, while GS dates back to 2011. The two aren't big sellers either. In 2017, Lexus only moved 7,773 GS models and 26,482 IS models. Rumor has it that the GS could go away if the ES gets all-wheel drive. Christ wouldn't comment on that. "We can't do it all at once, but we're certainly evaluating both vehicles," said Christ. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required) View full article
  8. William Maley

    The Uncertain Future of the Lexus GS and IS

    Lexus finds itself in a bit of a bind. With demand for crossovers growing, Lexus is doing a serious look at its product lineup and deciding what needs to be added and what needs to taken out. "We're more focused on maximizing the opportunities we have than comparing ourselves," said David Christ, the new general manager for Lexus to Automotive News. "Our product plan is what I would call a work in progress." The current focus for Lexus is the upcoming launches of the ES and the subcompact UX crossover. The ES is expected to keep current Lexus owners happy, but the new F-Sport package will hopefully bring in younger people - Lexus expects a quarter of ES sales to be the F-sport. The UX though is seen as what will bring the majority of young buyers to the brand. But this focus has Lexus doing "a strategic look" at two of their older models, the IS and GS. Both models are late into their lifecycles: IS was launched in 2013, while GS dates back to 2011. The two aren't big sellers either. In 2017, Lexus only moved 7,773 GS models and 26,482 IS models. Rumor has it that the GS could go away if the ES gets all-wheel drive. Christ wouldn't comment on that. "We can't do it all at once, but we're certainly evaluating both vehicles," said Christ. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
  9. The Volkswagen diesel emission scandal has given many a black eye. Robert Bosch GmbH, a supplier of diesel engine technology was one of those as it found itself under investigation by German authorities to see whether or not it aided and abetted in the scandal. The company also had to pay out $327.5 million as part of a settlement in the U.S. But the company isn't giving up on diesel just yet. This week at the Bosch’s annual press conference, CEO Dr. Volkmar Denner claimed they had found “decisive breakthrough in diesel technology.” The technology in question is said to reduce nitrogen (NOx) emission levels to just one-tenth of the European legal limits coming in 2020. "Combustion engines — whether powered by diesel or gasoline — will soon emit so little in the way of particulates and nitrogen oxides that they will have no significant impact on the air," said Denner. Details about the technology are somewhat thin. In the press release, Bosch said it is comprised of a “combination of advanced fuel-injection technology, a newly developed air management system and [an] intelligent temperature management [system].” The last item is interesting as it uses artificial intelligence to change the temperature. This new technology can be integrated into production without raising the costs. "After this ecological rehabilitation, diesel can take off again. It is not combustion engines that are being made obsolete, but rather the debate about their imminent demise," said Denner. Yet we can't help but think this is too little too late. With bans on diesel vehicles being considered and automakers beginning to turn their focus on to other alternatives such as hydrogen and electric, this new technology for diesel may be left in the dust. Source: Bosch Breakthrough: new Bosch diesel technology provides solution to NOx problem Bosch CEO Denner also calls for transparency on fuel consumption and CO2 emissions Unprecedented emissions: NOx 10 times lower than limits set for 2020 New Bosch technology retains advantage with regard to fuel consumption and environmental impact Denner: “There’s a future for diesel. Soon, emissions will no longer be an issue.” Internal combustion engines equipped with artificial intelligence have almost zero impact on air quality Appeal to politicians: fuel consumption should be measured on the road and emissions analyzed from well to wheel Stuttgart and Renningen, Germany: “There’s a future for diesel. Today, we want to put a stop, once and for all, to the debate about the demise of diesel technology.” It was with these words that the Bosch CEO Dr. Volkmar Denner, speaking at the company’s annual press conference, announced a decisive breakthrough in diesel technology. New developments from Bosch could enable vehicle manufacturers to reduce emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx) so drastically that they already comply with future limits. Even in RDE (real driving emissions) testing, emissions from vehicles equipped with the newly premiered Bosch diesel technology are not only significantly below current limits but also those scheduled to come into force from 2020. Bosch engineers achieved these results by refining existing technologies. There is no need for additional components, which would drive up costs. “Bosch is pushing the boundaries of what is technically feasible,” Denner said. “Equipped with the latest Bosch technology, diesel vehicles will be classed as low-emission vehicles and yet remain affordable.” The Bosch CEO also called for greater transparency with regard to the CO2 emissions caused by road traffic, and called for fuel consumption and thus CO2 emissions to be also measured under real conditions on the road in the future. Record readings under real driving conditions: 13 mg NOx per kilometer Since 2017, European legislation has required that new passenger car models tested according to an RDE-compliant mix of urban, extra-urban, and freeway cycles emit no more than 168 milligrams of NOx per kilometer. As of 2020, this limit will be cut to 120 milligrams. But even today, vehicles equipped with Bosch diesel technology can achieve as little as 13 milligrams of NOx in standard legally-compliant RDE cycles. That is approximately one-tenth of the prescribed limit that will apply after 2020. And even when driving in particularly challenging urban conditions, where test parameters are well in excess of legal requirements, the average emissions of the Bosch test vehicles are as low as 40 milligrams per kilometer. Bosch engineers have achieved this decisive breakthrough over the past few months. A combination of advanced fuel-injection technology, a newly developed air management system, and intelligent temperature management has made such low readings possible. NOx emissions can now remain below the legally permitted level in all driving situations, irrespective of whether the vehicle is driven dynamically or slowly, in freezing conditions or in summer temperatures, on the freeway or in congested city traffic. “Diesel will remain an option in urban traffic, whether drivers are tradespeople or commuters,” Denner said. Bosch delivered proof of this innovative advance at a major press event in Stuttgart. Dozens of journalists, from both Germany and abroad, had the opportunity to drive test vehicles equipped with mobile measuring equipment in heavy city traffic, under especially challenging conditions. The results recorded by the journalists, along with the route driven, can be viewed here. As the measures to reduce NOx emissions do not significantly impact consumption, the diesel retains its comparative advantage in terms of fuel economy, CO2 emissions, and therefore climate-friendliness. Artificial intelligence can further boost combustion engines’ performance Even with this technological advance, the diesel engine has not yet reached its full development potential. Bosch now aims to use artificial intelligence to build on these latest advances. This will mark another step toward a major landmark: the development of a combustion engine that – with the exception of CO2 – has virtually no impact on the ambient air. “We firmly believe that the diesel engine will continue to play an important role in the options for future mobility. Until electromobility breaks through to the mass market, we will still need these highly efficient combustion engines,” Denner said. His ambitious target for Bosch engineers is the development of a new generation of diesel and gasoline engines that produce no significant particulate or NOx emissions. Even at Stuttgart’s Neckartor, a notorious pollution black spot, he wants future combustion engines to be responsible for no more than one microgram of NOx per cubic meter of ambient air – the equivalent of one-fortieth, or 2.5 percent, of today’s limit of 40 micrograms per cubic meter. Bosch wants to go further: transparency and realistic testing for consumption and CO2 Denner also called for a renewed focus on CO2 emissions, which are directly related to fuel consumption. He said that consumption tests should no longer be conducted in the lab but rather under real driving conditions. This would create a system comparable to the one used for measuring emissions. “That means greater transparency for the consumer and more focused climate action,” Denner said. Moreover, any assessment of CO2 emissions should extend significantly further than the fuel tank or the battery: “We need a transparent assessment of the overall CO2 emissions produced by road traffic, including not only the emissions of the vehicles themselves but also the emissions caused by the production of the fuel or electricity used to power them,” Denner said. He added that a more inclusive CO2 footprint would provide drivers of electric vehicles with a more realistic picture of the impact of this form of mobility on the climate. At the same time, the use of non-fossil fuels could further improve the CO2 footprint of combustion engines. Product development code: ethical technology design Denner, who also has corporate responsibility for research and advance engineering, presented Bosch’s product development code to the general public. This lays down the company’s principles for the development of Bosch products. First, the incorporation of functions that automatically detect test cycles is strictly forbidden. Second, Bosch products must not be optimized for test situations. Third, normal, everyday use of Bosch products should safeguard human life as well as conserve resources and protect the environment to the greatest possible extent. “In addition, the principle of legality and our ‘Invented for life’ ethos guide our actions. If in doubt, Bosch values take precedence over customers’ wishes,” Denner said. Since mid-2017, for example, Bosch has no longer been involved in customer projects in Europe for gasoline engines that do not involve the use of a particulate filter. A total of 70,000 associates, mainly from research and development, will receive training in the new principles by the end of 2018, as part of the most extensive training program in the company’s more than 130-year history.
  10. The Volkswagen diesel emission scandal has given many a black eye. Robert Bosch GmbH, a supplier of diesel engine technology was one of those as it found itself under investigation by German authorities to see whether or not it aided and abetted in the scandal. The company also had to pay out $327.5 million as part of a settlement in the U.S. But the company isn't giving up on diesel just yet. This week at the Bosch’s annual press conference, CEO Dr. Volkmar Denner claimed they had found “decisive breakthrough in diesel technology.” The technology in question is said to reduce nitrogen (NOx) emission levels to just one-tenth of the European legal limits coming in 2020. "Combustion engines — whether powered by diesel or gasoline — will soon emit so little in the way of particulates and nitrogen oxides that they will have no significant impact on the air," said Denner. Details about the technology are somewhat thin. In the press release, Bosch said it is comprised of a “combination of advanced fuel-injection technology, a newly developed air management system and [an] intelligent temperature management [system].” The last item is interesting as it uses artificial intelligence to change the temperature. This new technology can be integrated into production without raising the costs. "After this ecological rehabilitation, diesel can take off again. It is not combustion engines that are being made obsolete, but rather the debate about their imminent demise," said Denner. Yet we can't help but think this is too little too late. With bans on diesel vehicles being considered and automakers beginning to turn their focus on to other alternatives such as hydrogen and electric, this new technology for diesel may be left in the dust. Source: Bosch Breakthrough: new Bosch diesel technology provides solution to NOx problem Bosch CEO Denner also calls for transparency on fuel consumption and CO2 emissions Unprecedented emissions: NOx 10 times lower than limits set for 2020 New Bosch technology retains advantage with regard to fuel consumption and environmental impact Denner: “There’s a future for diesel. Soon, emissions will no longer be an issue.” Internal combustion engines equipped with artificial intelligence have almost zero impact on air quality Appeal to politicians: fuel consumption should be measured on the road and emissions analyzed from well to wheel Stuttgart and Renningen, Germany: “There’s a future for diesel. Today, we want to put a stop, once and for all, to the debate about the demise of diesel technology.” It was with these words that the Bosch CEO Dr. Volkmar Denner, speaking at the company’s annual press conference, announced a decisive breakthrough in diesel technology. New developments from Bosch could enable vehicle manufacturers to reduce emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx) so drastically that they already comply with future limits. Even in RDE (real driving emissions) testing, emissions from vehicles equipped with the newly premiered Bosch diesel technology are not only significantly below current limits but also those scheduled to come into force from 2020. Bosch engineers achieved these results by refining existing technologies. There is no need for additional components, which would drive up costs. “Bosch is pushing the boundaries of what is technically feasible,” Denner said. “Equipped with the latest Bosch technology, diesel vehicles will be classed as low-emission vehicles and yet remain affordable.” The Bosch CEO also called for greater transparency with regard to the CO2 emissions caused by road traffic, and called for fuel consumption and thus CO2 emissions to be also measured under real conditions on the road in the future. Record readings under real driving conditions: 13 mg NOx per kilometer Since 2017, European legislation has required that new passenger car models tested according to an RDE-compliant mix of urban, extra-urban, and freeway cycles emit no more than 168 milligrams of NOx per kilometer. As of 2020, this limit will be cut to 120 milligrams. But even today, vehicles equipped with Bosch diesel technology can achieve as little as 13 milligrams of NOx in standard legally-compliant RDE cycles. That is approximately one-tenth of the prescribed limit that will apply after 2020. And even when driving in particularly challenging urban conditions, where test parameters are well in excess of legal requirements, the average emissions of the Bosch test vehicles are as low as 40 milligrams per kilometer. Bosch engineers have achieved this decisive breakthrough over the past few months. A combination of advanced fuel-injection technology, a newly developed air management system, and intelligent temperature management has made such low readings possible. NOx emissions can now remain below the legally permitted level in all driving situations, irrespective of whether the vehicle is driven dynamically or slowly, in freezing conditions or in summer temperatures, on the freeway or in congested city traffic. “Diesel will remain an option in urban traffic, whether drivers are tradespeople or commuters,” Denner said. Bosch delivered proof of this innovative advance at a major press event in Stuttgart. Dozens of journalists, from both Germany and abroad, had the opportunity to drive test vehicles equipped with mobile measuring equipment in heavy city traffic, under especially challenging conditions. The results recorded by the journalists, along with the route driven, can be viewed here. As the measures to reduce NOx emissions do not significantly impact consumption, the diesel retains its comparative advantage in terms of fuel economy, CO2 emissions, and therefore climate-friendliness. Artificial intelligence can further boost combustion engines’ performance Even with this technological advance, the diesel engine has not yet reached its full development potential. Bosch now aims to use artificial intelligence to build on these latest advances. This will mark another step toward a major landmark: the development of a combustion engine that – with the exception of CO2 – has virtually no impact on the ambient air. “We firmly believe that the diesel engine will continue to play an important role in the options for future mobility. Until electromobility breaks through to the mass market, we will still need these highly efficient combustion engines,” Denner said. His ambitious target for Bosch engineers is the development of a new generation of diesel and gasoline engines that produce no significant particulate or NOx emissions. Even at Stuttgart’s Neckartor, a notorious pollution black spot, he wants future combustion engines to be responsible for no more than one microgram of NOx per cubic meter of ambient air – the equivalent of one-fortieth, or 2.5 percent, of today’s limit of 40 micrograms per cubic meter. Bosch wants to go further: transparency and realistic testing for consumption and CO2 Denner also called for a renewed focus on CO2 emissions, which are directly related to fuel consumption. He said that consumption tests should no longer be conducted in the lab but rather under real driving conditions. This would create a system comparable to the one used for measuring emissions. “That means greater transparency for the consumer and more focused climate action,” Denner said. Moreover, any assessment of CO2 emissions should extend significantly further than the fuel tank or the battery: “We need a transparent assessment of the overall CO2 emissions produced by road traffic, including not only the emissions of the vehicles themselves but also the emissions caused by the production of the fuel or electricity used to power them,” Denner said. He added that a more inclusive CO2 footprint would provide drivers of electric vehicles with a more realistic picture of the impact of this form of mobility on the climate. At the same time, the use of non-fossil fuels could further improve the CO2 footprint of combustion engines. Product development code: ethical technology design Denner, who also has corporate responsibility for research and advance engineering, presented Bosch’s product development code to the general public. This lays down the company’s principles for the development of Bosch products. First, the incorporation of functions that automatically detect test cycles is strictly forbidden. Second, Bosch products must not be optimized for test situations. Third, normal, everyday use of Bosch products should safeguard human life as well as conserve resources and protect the environment to the greatest possible extent. “In addition, the principle of legality and our ‘Invented for life’ ethos guide our actions. If in doubt, Bosch values take precedence over customers’ wishes,” Denner said. Since mid-2017, for example, Bosch has no longer been involved in customer projects in Europe for gasoline engines that do not involve the use of a particulate filter. A total of 70,000 associates, mainly from research and development, will receive training in the new principles by the end of 2018, as part of the most extensive training program in the company’s more than 130-year history. View full article
  11. William Maley

    Audi To Make Future Models Look Different

    A constant complaint we have about Audis is their one-size fits all design philosophy as it is difficult to tell the difference between an A3 and A4 for example. Thankfully, Audi will be diversifying their designs in future models. “This [repetition] design process was used to make Audis more recognisable in newer and emerging markets. Now we are well known in major markets like China, we can begin to change this philosophy and give each car its own look,” said Audi chief executive Rupert Stadler to Autocar. “We recognise that there is a place for more differentiation now. Since our cars are in production for a minimum of six years, in today’s world I think each model should have its own design to be attractive for this long time,” said Audi design boss Marc Lichte You can see this with the Audi Q2 crossover with a different take on the grille and C-Pillar from other Audi crossovers. But Lichte says the biggest change will come with the launch of the e-tron quattro SUV next year. Due to the compact size of the electric powertrain, this gives designers more space to play with. “Design will go in a very different way. [Designers] will have more material space to play with, so we’ll be able to produce [vehicles with] shorter overhangs and lower bonnets. It makes for a more attractive design overall.” Source: Autocar
  12. A constant complaint we have about Audis is their one-size fits all design philosophy as it is difficult to tell the difference between an A3 and A4 for example. Thankfully, Audi will be diversifying their designs in future models. “This [repetition] design process was used to make Audis more recognisable in newer and emerging markets. Now we are well known in major markets like China, we can begin to change this philosophy and give each car its own look,” said Audi chief executive Rupert Stadler to Autocar. “We recognise that there is a place for more differentiation now. Since our cars are in production for a minimum of six years, in today’s world I think each model should have its own design to be attractive for this long time,” said Audi design boss Marc Lichte You can see this with the Audi Q2 crossover with a different take on the grille and C-Pillar from other Audi crossovers. But Lichte says the biggest change will come with the launch of the e-tron quattro SUV next year. Due to the compact size of the electric powertrain, this gives designers more space to play with. “Design will go in a very different way. [Designers] will have more material space to play with, so we’ll be able to produce [vehicles with] shorter overhangs and lower bonnets. It makes for a more attractive design overall.” Source: Autocar View full article
  13. Nissan is joining Toyota in gradually ending the sale of diesel vehicles in Europe. “Along with other manufacturers and industry bodies we can see the progressive decline of diesel but we do not anticipate its sudden end in the short-term. At this point in time and for many customers, modern diesel engines will remain in demand and continue to be available within Nissan’s powertrain offering,” a Nissan spokeswoman told Reuters. “In Europe, where our diesel sales are concentrated, our electrification push will allow us to discontinue diesel gradually from passenger cars at the time of each vehicle renewal.” Sales of diesel vehicles have been on a sharp decline for the past year due in part to rising taxes and possible bans looming. Analysts believe this trend will continue in 2018. Last month, a source revealed to Reuters that Nissan is planning to lay off hundreds of workers at its Sunderland plant due to falling diesel vehicle sales. Source: Reuters
  14. Nissan is joining Toyota in gradually ending the sale of diesel vehicles in Europe. “Along with other manufacturers and industry bodies we can see the progressive decline of diesel but we do not anticipate its sudden end in the short-term. At this point in time and for many customers, modern diesel engines will remain in demand and continue to be available within Nissan’s powertrain offering,” a Nissan spokeswoman told Reuters. “In Europe, where our diesel sales are concentrated, our electrification push will allow us to discontinue diesel gradually from passenger cars at the time of each vehicle renewal.” Sales of diesel vehicles have been on a sharp decline for the past year due in part to rising taxes and possible bans looming. Analysts believe this trend will continue in 2018. Last month, a source revealed to Reuters that Nissan is planning to lay off hundreds of workers at its Sunderland plant due to falling diesel vehicle sales. Source: Reuters View full article
  15. Ford's decision to drop most of their passenger car lineup last week is still sending shockwaves, and likely causing various automakers to have discussions about if they should follow in their footsteps. One automaker that will not be following Ford is Volkswagen. “We are intending to be a full line car manufacturer,” said Volkswagen of America CEO Hinrich Woebcken. The reason as to why? Electric Vehicles. “The question of whether electric mobility will favor sedans or SUVs hasn’t been answered yet. When you’re talking about electric cars, sedans have more advantages. The shape and the [drag coefficient] has a high effect on range. Therefore, we’ll maybe see a higher sedan share on full electric cars than with conventional cars,” said Woebcken. Aside from EVs, Volkswagen still sees sedans as an important key to their U.S. plans. The new Jetta and Arteon will be arriving in dealers very soon, and a new Passat is expected to debut next year. That said, Woebcken says crossovers will become a big part of Volkswagen's U.S. Current plans have the automaker launching at least two new crossovers over the next few years. “The shift from sedans to SUVs is a permanent one. In former times, when gas prices went up people moved back to sedans. We believe this will not happen anymore for two reasons. First, the difference in fuel economy between SUVs and sedans is not so big anymore. Second, customers do not want to give up the high seating position. I believe that trend will not reverse.” Source: Digital Trends View full article
  16. William Maley

    Volkswagen Isn't Giving Up On Sedans

    Ford's decision to drop most of their passenger car lineup last week is still sending shockwaves, and likely causing various automakers to have discussions about if they should follow in their footsteps. One automaker that will not be following Ford is Volkswagen. “We are intending to be a full line car manufacturer,” said Volkswagen of America CEO Hinrich Woebcken. The reason as to why? Electric Vehicles. “The question of whether electric mobility will favor sedans or SUVs hasn’t been answered yet. When you’re talking about electric cars, sedans have more advantages. The shape and the [drag coefficient] has a high effect on range. Therefore, we’ll maybe see a higher sedan share on full electric cars than with conventional cars,” said Woebcken. Aside from EVs, Volkswagen still sees sedans as an important key to their U.S. plans. The new Jetta and Arteon will be arriving in dealers very soon, and a new Passat is expected to debut next year. That said, Woebcken says crossovers will become a big part of Volkswagen's U.S. Current plans have the automaker launching at least two new crossovers over the next few years. “The shift from sedans to SUVs is a permanent one. In former times, when gas prices went up people moved back to sedans. We believe this will not happen anymore for two reasons. First, the difference in fuel economy between SUVs and sedans is not so big anymore. Second, customers do not want to give up the high seating position. I believe that trend will not reverse.” Source: Digital Trends
  17. Cadillac has some ambitious product plans. Starting with the debut of the XT4 at the New York Auto Show, Cadillac will be launching a new vehicle every six months by 2022. This includes a large crossover, a replacement for the ATS/CTS, and a new Escalade. Once the brand finishes this offensive, the brand "can, candidly, generate some growth, generate some revenue, put volume through our dealer organization so they can also invest in the elevation of the brand, all those logical things," said Cadillac President Johan de Nysschen. One of those possible elevation plans is a "halo vehicle." According to Automotive News, the model might not necessarily be a car. Also in the cards is Cadillac releasing a number of electrified vehicles as part of GM's plan of introducing 20 new all-electric or fuel-cell models by 2023. de Nysschen said the brand is expected to receive a "disproportionate share" of those models. "Since these new technologies are pricey, it really begins to make a lot of common sense, not in all cases, to roll out some of them in Cadillac first. We therefore see it as a great opportunity for Cadillac to take the lead from GM with rolling out these things. Not only for the company and economically commercializing these new technologies, but also for the brand elevation it will give to Cadillac." Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required) View full article
  18. Cadillac has some ambitious product plans. Starting with the debut of the XT4 at the New York Auto Show, Cadillac will be launching a new vehicle every six months by 2022. This includes a large crossover, a replacement for the ATS/CTS, and a new Escalade. Once the brand finishes this offensive, the brand "can, candidly, generate some growth, generate some revenue, put volume through our dealer organization so they can also invest in the elevation of the brand, all those logical things," said Cadillac President Johan de Nysschen. One of those possible elevation plans is a "halo vehicle." According to Automotive News, the model might not necessarily be a car. Also in the cards is Cadillac releasing a number of electrified vehicles as part of GM's plan of introducing 20 new all-electric or fuel-cell models by 2023. de Nysschen said the brand is expected to receive a "disproportionate share" of those models. "Since these new technologies are pricey, it really begins to make a lot of common sense, not in all cases, to roll out some of them in Cadillac first. We therefore see it as a great opportunity for Cadillac to take the lead from GM with rolling out these things. Not only for the company and economically commercializing these new technologies, but also for the brand elevation it will give to Cadillac." Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
  19. Back in January, Infiniti announced that it would electrify most of their lineup starting 2021. The long timeframe is to give Infiniti enough time to finish work on a new platform need for this plan. This in turn has cause Infiniti to delay the redesigns of the Q50, Q60 Coupe, and Q70 till this time. Speaking with Australian outlet GoAuto, Infiniti's product strategy vice-president Francois Bancon explained that he would liked to update their lineup of sedans and coupe quicker - the Q70 hasn't really changed since it was known as the M back in 2011. But the change to a new platform has caused the automaker to push them back. “We are going to have to change, this platform is a V6 platform, it is rear-wheel drive. We are going to have to shift because this platform is not an electrified platform. You need a battery, you need an electric motor, it’s a different package," said Bancon. “The oldest are the priority obviously, it’s not about one product versus another but it’s just about cascading management … and updating all of them. We would prefer to replace faster but we have some limits because it is a radical shift for us. It’s not about, well, you keep the platform but replace (the body design). When you change everything, including the manufacturing system, it is not a small change.” Bancon also dropped an interesting tidbit about the new platform. It will be all-wheel drive - gas engine driving the front-wheels and electric motors handling the rear. But will feature some sort of rear-bias. “Probably all-wheel drive, with some distribution more 50:50 (front-to-rear) than the 60:40 we have today, so probably a little more rear distribution than we have today. Since you shift electric you have a motor in the front and in the back, so rear-wheel drive does not make sense anymore. So with the new generation electrified platform … it’s a bit like Audi with its four-by-four (wheel drive).” The Q70 is expected to be the first model of this trio to transition, but Bancon admits that will only be for the Chinese market. The Q50 and Q60 are expected to follow. Source: GoAuto View full article
  20. William Maley

    Infiniti To Transition Sedans From RWD to AWD

    Back in January, Infiniti announced that it would electrify most of their lineup starting 2021. The long timeframe is to give Infiniti enough time to finish work on a new platform need for this plan. This in turn has cause Infiniti to delay the redesigns of the Q50, Q60 Coupe, and Q70 till this time. Speaking with Australian outlet GoAuto, Infiniti's product strategy vice-president Francois Bancon explained that he would liked to update their lineup of sedans and coupe quicker - the Q70 hasn't really changed since it was known as the M back in 2011. But the change to a new platform has caused the automaker to push them back. “We are going to have to change, this platform is a V6 platform, it is rear-wheel drive. We are going to have to shift because this platform is not an electrified platform. You need a battery, you need an electric motor, it’s a different package," said Bancon. “The oldest are the priority obviously, it’s not about one product versus another but it’s just about cascading management … and updating all of them. We would prefer to replace faster but we have some limits because it is a radical shift for us. It’s not about, well, you keep the platform but replace (the body design). When you change everything, including the manufacturing system, it is not a small change.” Bancon also dropped an interesting tidbit about the new platform. It will be all-wheel drive - gas engine driving the front-wheels and electric motors handling the rear. But will feature some sort of rear-bias. “Probably all-wheel drive, with some distribution more 50:50 (front-to-rear) than the 60:40 we have today, so probably a little more rear distribution than we have today. Since you shift electric you have a motor in the front and in the back, so rear-wheel drive does not make sense anymore. So with the new generation electrified platform … it’s a bit like Audi with its four-by-four (wheel drive).” The Q70 is expected to be the first model of this trio to transition, but Bancon admits that will only be for the Chinese market. The Q50 and Q60 are expected to follow. Source: GoAuto
  21. Back in December, Jaguar's head of Design, Ian Callum revealed that work had begun on the next-generation XJ. Not many details were given except that the new XJ would be "something quite special." This week at the Geneva Motor show, Callum let loose a few more details. A key complaint about the current XJ is a cramped interior. Callum said the new model would address this issue. “It’ll be different. And it will have more room inside it. One of the biggest criticisms XJ has had is that a lot of people think the room inside the car is not big enough. I don’t believe in segmentation like this — I don’t believe in an F Segment as such,” explained Callum. “I think we should just do a luxury vehicle that matches people well. That’s what we’ve done for XJ, which is what the first one was all about. A lot of our market is far-eastern and people are using these big cars to be driven in, so we must accommodate that better.” The next XJ will about the size of a Mercedes-Benz S-Class, but Callum said the XJ will be focused more as a driver’s car. “I never saw XJ as an S-Class competitor. Mercedes-Benz have created that place — the three-box limo sedan,” said Callum. “I just don’t think that’s a Jaguar. A Jaguar is a sportier entity and it should reflect that. Yes it will take four [people] to market in comfort and luxury, but that’s where the similarities stop. It will still be a driver’s car. I don’t think many Mercedes-Benz S-Classes are driver’s cars, with the exception of AMGs or something. If you drive an XJR575, it’s a driver’s car. It just happens to be able to take three people in comfort. I don’t buy this segmentation.” CarAdvice expects we'll see the next XJ at the end of this year. But as we reported previously, Callum said the new XJ wouldn't debut in 2018. We're expecting to see it sometime next year at the earliest. Source: CarAdvice View full article
  22. Back in December, Jaguar's head of Design, Ian Callum revealed that work had begun on the next-generation XJ. Not many details were given except that the new XJ would be "something quite special." This week at the Geneva Motor show, Callum let loose a few more details. A key complaint about the current XJ is a cramped interior. Callum said the new model would address this issue. “It’ll be different. And it will have more room inside it. One of the biggest criticisms XJ has had is that a lot of people think the room inside the car is not big enough. I don’t believe in segmentation like this — I don’t believe in an F Segment as such,” explained Callum. “I think we should just do a luxury vehicle that matches people well. That’s what we’ve done for XJ, which is what the first one was all about. A lot of our market is far-eastern and people are using these big cars to be driven in, so we must accommodate that better.” The next XJ will about the size of a Mercedes-Benz S-Class, but Callum said the XJ will be focused more as a driver’s car. “I never saw XJ as an S-Class competitor. Mercedes-Benz have created that place — the three-box limo sedan,” said Callum. “I just don’t think that’s a Jaguar. A Jaguar is a sportier entity and it should reflect that. Yes it will take four [people] to market in comfort and luxury, but that’s where the similarities stop. It will still be a driver’s car. I don’t think many Mercedes-Benz S-Classes are driver’s cars, with the exception of AMGs or something. If you drive an XJR575, it’s a driver’s car. It just happens to be able to take three people in comfort. I don’t buy this segmentation.” CarAdvice expects we'll see the next XJ at the end of this year. But as we reported previously, Callum said the new XJ wouldn't debut in 2018. We're expecting to see it sometime next year at the earliest. Source: CarAdvice
  23. During the press reveal of the Volvo V60 earlier this week, Volvo CEO Håkan Samuelsson and his colleagues took the time to answer some questions concerning the future of the Swedish brand. Road & Track jotted down some of the interesting bits from this. End of the road for Gas Engines Volvo made a surprising announcement last year with plans to electrify their entire lineup beginning in 2019. This includes mild-hybrid, plug-in hybrids, and electric vehicles. It seems this plan will also mark the end of development of gas engines. The current line of turbo and twin-charged engines represent the last new gas engines from the brand. Instead, Volvo will add more powerful electric motors to boost overall power. Down the road, Volvo hopes to follow Polestar by only offering pure EVs. Next-Gen SPA Platform to Lose Weight Volvo's current SPA modular platform isn't what you would call light. The V90 wagon can weigh as much as 4,561 pounds. The next-generation SPA platform, due out in 2021 will shed some weight. More Polestar Tuned Volvos Are Coming When Polestar was spun off to be its own brand, there were a number of people worried that it was end of the line for models like the S60/V60 Polestar. Not so according to Road & Track. A team of Polestar engineers will continue to operate in Sweden while the rest of the company sets up shop in China. They'll be tasked with making the next-generation Volvo models go fast and handle. No mention of when to expect new Polestar models or what they'll be based on. Other tidbits, The next-generation S60 sedan will begin rolling off the company's new Charleston, South Carolina assembly plant towards the end of this year. We're expecting to see Volvo debut the new model sometime before then, possibly the late summer or early fall. Volvo will also be conducting more design and R&D work in the U.S. This is partly due to the U.S. playing a crucial role in Volvo's future plans. The next-generation Sensus infotainment system, due in 2019, will be based on Google's Android smartphone OS. We hope this means a simpler user interface. Source: Road & Track View full article
  24. William Maley

    Volvo's Current Gas Engine Family To Be Its Last

    During the press reveal of the Volvo V60 earlier this week, Volvo CEO Håkan Samuelsson and his colleagues took the time to answer some questions concerning the future of the Swedish brand. Road & Track jotted down some of the interesting bits from this. End of the road for Gas Engines Volvo made a surprising announcement last year with plans to electrify their entire lineup beginning in 2019. This includes mild-hybrid, plug-in hybrids, and electric vehicles. It seems this plan will also mark the end of development of gas engines. The current line of turbo and twin-charged engines represent the last new gas engines from the brand. Instead, Volvo will add more powerful electric motors to boost overall power. Down the road, Volvo hopes to follow Polestar by only offering pure EVs. Next-Gen SPA Platform to Lose Weight Volvo's current SPA modular platform isn't what you would call light. The V90 wagon can weigh as much as 4,561 pounds. The next-generation SPA platform, due out in 2021 will shed some weight. More Polestar Tuned Volvos Are Coming When Polestar was spun off to be its own brand, there were a number of people worried that it was end of the line for models like the S60/V60 Polestar. Not so according to Road & Track. A team of Polestar engineers will continue to operate in Sweden while the rest of the company sets up shop in China. They'll be tasked with making the next-generation Volvo models go fast and handle. No mention of when to expect new Polestar models or what they'll be based on. Other tidbits, The next-generation S60 sedan will begin rolling off the company's new Charleston, South Carolina assembly plant towards the end of this year. We're expecting to see Volvo debut the new model sometime before then, possibly the late summer or early fall. Volvo will also be conducting more design and R&D work in the U.S. This is partly due to the U.S. playing a crucial role in Volvo's future plans. The next-generation Sensus infotainment system, due in 2019, will be based on Google's Android smartphone OS. We hope this means a simpler user interface. Source: Road & Track
  25. Some interesting news came out of Chicago concerning Volkswagen. First up, Autoblog reports that the next-generation Passat will be coming out next year. Volkswagen's North American CEO Hinrich Woebcken revealed this during a roundtable with journalists at the show. Not many details are known about the Passat. It is hinted that it could grow in size and feature styling similar to the new Jetta. One detail that is certain is that Passat will continue to be built at Volkswagen's Chattanooga, TN plant. Volkswagen's first electric model for the U.S., the I.D. Crozz is expected to launch in 2020. According to Car and Driver, the Crozz will come in two body styles - the coupe-like crossover we've seen as a concept and a traditional SUV. Volkswagen’s head of design, Klaus Bischoff revealed that the traditional SUV would be first, followed by the coupe-like crossover at a later date. Source: Autoblog, Car and Driver View full article

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