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Aston Aims for the Ragged Edge With Valkyrie AMR Pro

Only 25 track-ready hypercars to be produced.

by on Nov.17, 2017

Aston Martin's rapid pace of new models keeps going with the new track-only Valkyrie AMR Pro.

For a brand that often took years to simply update old models, Aston Martin has been extraordinarily busy lately, launching new products like the DB11 and its first-ever electric vehicle, the RapidE. It’s also working up a new hypercar, the Valkyrie, announced at the Geneva Motor Show last winter.

Now, the British marque revealed plans to produce a track-only version, the Aston Martin Valkyrie AMR Pro, of which just 25 copies will be produced.

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“Valkyrie has always been about pushing the limits and redefining the possible,” said Aston CEO Andy Palmer. “The road car will set new benchmarks for performance, engineering and technology – a hypercar in the truest sense – and with the track-only Valkyrie AMR Pro those limits will be pushed further still.” Read the rest of this entry »

VW Investing Over $40b on EVs, Autonomous Vehicles

German automaker ups ante in increasingly costly tech battle.

by on Nov.17, 2017

The VW I.D. Crozz concept will become a production battery-electric SUV.

Volkswagen AG said Friday it will spend over 34 billion Euros, or $40 billion between now and 2022 on electrified powertrain technology, autonomous vehicles and other futuristic concepts, aiming to leapfrog key competitors like General Motors and Toyota.

VW already announced plans to offer electrified variants of every model sold by its dozen passenger car brands, including 50 all-electric models, between now and 2025. It also is developing electrified commercial vehicles.

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“We are laying the foundation for making Volkswagen the world’s number-one player in electric mobility by 2025,” Chief Executive Matthias Müller said. “The entire automotive industry is facing fundamental changes in the coming years, which will provide great opportunities, but also require us to put in tremendous efforts.”

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First Drive: 2018 Toyota Corolla iM

Reliability and functionality hallmarks of new iM.

by on Nov.17, 2017

The Toyota Corolla iM is another of more than 800,000 hatchbacks sold last year.

The Toyota Corolla was one of the key building blocks of the auto giant’s great success during the past 50 years.

The fact remains the Corolla, even after half a century, is a best seller around the world and one of the most popular vehicles ever built. Millions of Corollas are still on the road and its dependability and durability have reinforced its value over the years for all kinds of buyers.

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But Toyota also has made the Corolla the model of its philosophy of continuous improvement, helping to keep it attractive for new customers. For example, one of the latest iterations of the Corolla is as a sporty hatchback – the Corolla iM.  Read the rest of this entry »

Musk Promises New Tesla Roadster Will Be World’s Fastest Production Car. “Period.”

“A hardcore smackdown” for gas-powered sports cars.

by on Nov.17, 2017

Is this going to be the fastest production car ever?

Forget the Dodge Demon. Don’t bother with the new 5,000 hp Devel Sixteen. If what Elon Musk revealed late Thursday night has any bearing on reality, the world of performance is about to change. “Period.”

Officially, Tesla had promised the evening would finally bring the twice-delayed unveiling of the company’s new Semi truck, an 18-wheeler meant to offer a clean alternative to traditional diesel rigs. But CEO Musk had something in his back pocket, and when the trailer of one of those big trucks opened up, out popped a sleek, cherry red 2+2.

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“People have been asking us when we’re going to make a new Roadster,” said Musk. “We’re making it now.”

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Tesla’s New Semi Truck Meets the Hype

Truck travels 500 miles fully loaded on a single charge.

by on Nov.17, 2017

Tesla CEO Elon Musk shows off two version of the company's new semi truck.

Elon Musk’s mind-blowing, if oft-delayed semi-truck finally took center stage and if the numbers Tesla’s CEO tossed out are true, it’s a game changer.

“It blows my mind and I think it’ll blow yours,” he said after two models arrived as adoring Tesla fans screamed and shouted in delight.

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The new truck, which features a dramatically designed cab that puts the driver in the center, will travel 500 miles on a single charge. This range comes with the truck fully loaded at 80,000 pounds, driving highway speeds, Musk noted. It also comes with a 1-million mile guarantee.  Read the rest of this entry »

Mazda Gives Sneak Peek at Mazda6 Before LA Auto Show

Japanese maker gives flagship sedan a makeover.

by on Nov.16, 2017

Mazda provided a sneak peek of the new Mazda6 debuting at the LA Auto Show later this month.

Although crossovers, sport-utes and trucks are all the rage, Mazda is looking to ensure its sedan loyalists are having their needs met with a restyled Mazda6 hitting the stage at the Los Angeles Auto Show next month.

The company provided a peek at the exterior and interior of the company’s flagship sedan, which is also known as the Mazda Atenza in Japan.

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The development team’s goal for this round of updates, the third since the model was fully redesigned in 2012, was to enhance the daily lives of people who love cars, incorporating premium details and new engineering concepts and technologies based on Mazda’s human-centered design philosophy, Mazda noted.  Read the rest of this entry »

Toyota Teases “Future Adventure Concept” Coming to LA Auto Show

New Toyota FT-AC follows up on recent FT-4X concept and signals replacement for FJ Cruiser.

by on Nov.16, 2017

The teaser pic suggests a more classic SUV design for the Toyota FT-AC concept.

Toyota and its high-line Lexus brand will be putting the spotlight on SUVs at the upcoming LA Auto Show – to no one’s surprise considering utes now account for half of the overall American new vehicle market.

Lexus has already given us a hint of its new RXL, a three-row version of the ever-popular RX line, and now it’s Toyota’s turn to tease us, the Japanese giant releasing this carefully lit front view of what it has dubbed the FT-AC.

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Short for “Future Toyota Adventure Concept,” it picks up where Toyota left off last April with the FT-4X concept, and the retro-styled FT-AC appears to signal what may be heading our way to fill the slot left open by the demise of the old FJ Cruiser.

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VW Spending $11.8B to Meet China’s EV Mandates

German maker playing catch up with other companies.

by on Nov.16, 2017

VW plans to have two dozen fully electric vehicles, like this I.D. Crozz concept, in production.

To satisfy tough demands of China’s political leaders, Volkswagen AG has announced plans to spend $11.8 billion by 2025 to develop and build all-electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles for Chinese customers.

China is by far Volkswagen’s largest single market and Volkswagen AG and Audi AG, intends to launch 15 of the so-called new energy vehicles models during the next two to three years as it rushes to meet the demands of the Chinese government, which is moving to address the discontent about pollution in China’s cities.

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General Motors, Ford Motor Co. and Daimler AG have all bowed to the pressure from Chinese authorities in one form or another to build more electric vehicles for the Chinese market. In addition, Tesla is negotiating to build a plant in China.  Read the rest of this entry »

BYD Opening New Truck Plant in Canada

EV maker owned, in part, by legendary Warren Buffett.

by on Nov.16, 2017

BYD is building a second facility in North America to go with its U.S. headquarters building in Los Angeles: a truck plant in Ontario, Canada.

Chinese electric vehicle maker BYD Co. is preparing to launch its second venture in North America — a factory building electric trucks in Ontario, Canada.

The Chinese electric vehicle maker has already opened a small factory in Lancaster, California, just outside of Los Angeles to build electric buses for the American market. The plans for the plant in Canada anticipate a surge in demand for electric trucks from municipalities and businesses, BYD Canada officials said.

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The goal is for BYD to open the plant and hire about 40 people to start, BYD Canada spokesman Ted Dowling told Bloomberg.  Read the rest of this entry »

Auto Loan Delinquencies Rose Last Quarter

Auto financiers loading up on subprime loans to keep boom going.

by on Nov.16, 2017

Auto loan delinquencies rose slightly during the third quarter as finance companies continue loading up subprime loans.

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York reported this week that auto loan delinquencies increased during the third quarter and noted that auto finance companies continued to load up subprime loans as they labored to keep the boom in car sales afloat again this year.

The increase in auto-loan delinquencies was a rather modest 2.4% in the quarter ending Sept. 30, compared with 2.3% in the second quarter ending June 30, according to the Center for Microeconomic Data’s Quarterly Report on Household Debt and Credit.

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The report also said that total consumer debt increased by $116 billion or 0.9% to $12.96 trillion in the third quarter of 2017.  Read the rest of this entry »