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Live from Paris!

Makers bring a stunning mix of speed and green.

by on Sep.29, 2016

The City of Lights is aglow as the 2016 Paris Motor Show comes to life. The show will feature a mix of impressive power, evolutionary EVs and game-changing technology as well as top executives and, of course, TheDetroitBureau.com.

We’ll cover all the big debuts and must-know news as it happens so check the site often to get the latest updates. Here’s what we’ve already got for you: Read the rest of this entry »

Smart “All-In” on Battery-Cars

U.S. only getting Fortwo ED, however.

by on Sep.30, 2016

Green machine: The Smart Fortwo ED Cabriolet makes its debut at the Paris Motor Show.

Range anxiety remains one of the biggest concerns for consumers considering a battery-electric vehicle but it’s less of a concern for those who might only need their vehicles for short runs in dense urban settings. And that could play out well for the little Smart brand.

Daimler AG’s city car subsidiary plugged into the Paris Motor Show with a trio of next-generation battery-electric vehicles, one for each of Smart’s models. The preview was part of a broader series of announcement about electrification that included the launch of the new Mercedes-EQ brand-within-a-brand.

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“Smart is going all-in on battery power,” declared Daimler AG Chairman and CEO Dieter Zetsche, as the newest Smart Electric Drive trio drove onto the stage.

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Fighting Car Hacking Growing into Big Business

New IHS study predicts revenues will push $750 million annually by 2023.

by on Sep.30, 2016

While connected cars offer plenty of conveniences, they're also targets for cyber attacks.

After being ignored for years, the cybersecurity of automobiles has become a major concern for carmakers and is now expected to grow quickly into a $759 million industry by 2023, according to a new study by IHS Automotive.

The IHS study noted one result of connected car growth – there are estimated 112 million connected vehicles on the road now – is that cars and trucks are now more susceptible to cyberattacks through the many wireless and wired connections.

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Hackers are getting more savvy in perpetrating cyberattacks – more easily and cost effectively – on connected vehicles, IHS concluded, noting that carmakers have increased their efforts to make systems more secure. Read the rest of this entry »

Mercedes Generation EQ Concept Moves Battery Power “into the Fast Lane”

Show car introduces new battery-based EQ brand.

by on Sep.29, 2016

Daimler Chairman Dieter Zetsche helps reveal the Generation EQ concept vehicle in Paris.

Anyone who thinks battery power is just for a select niche of techies and greenies might come away with a very different opinion after touring this year’s Paris Motor Show. And if the message still doesn’t come across, just ask Daimler AG Chairman and CEO Dieter Zetsche, who assured a media audience that the Mercedes-Benz brand is moving electric vehicles “into the fast lane.”

The automaker previously committed to putting 10 plug-in hybrids and several pure battery-electric models into production over the next several years. But the Mercedes Generation EQ concept making its debut at the Mondial de l’Automobile takes things a step further. It will launch an all-new electrified brand, dubbed EQ, to challenge the likes of America’s Tesla and arch-rival BMW’s “i” brand. Future products will be badged “Mercedes-EQ, Zetsche told TheDetroitBureau.com

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“The emission-free automobile is the future,” said Zetsche. “And our new EQ brand goes far beyond electric vehicles. EQ stands for a comprehensive ecosystem of services, technologies and innovations.”

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BMW Serves Up X2 Concept, New Gran Turismo, i3 in Paris

Maker's X2 concept mixes urban flair with functionality.

by on Sep.29, 2016

BMW put its X2 Concept, where urban chic and functionality meet, on display at the Paris Motor Show.

BMW hit this year’s Paris Motor Show with a trio of vehicles aimed at showing that good things come in small packages: the Concept X2, 3 Series Gran Turismo and new i3 electric vehicle.

The Concept X2 is a compact concept aimed to offer a sporty, urban alternative to the German maker’s X line-up of utility vehicles, or as they call them SAVs: sport activity vehicles.

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It certainly does stand apart with large wheels but the familiar “two-box design” reminds that this is a “functional” vehicle, like its X siblings. Read the rest of this entry »

Audi Reveals Trio of New Models in Paris

Modial de l’Automobile spotlights new Q5, S5 Sportback and RS3.

by on Sep.29, 2016

Audi is shifting production of the next-gen Q5 ute to its new plant in Mexico.

With a record number of new products in the pipeline, Audi had plenty to show off during its Paris Motor Show news conference Thursday, a trio of new offerings targeting a wide range of global product segments.

Already the most popular luxury crossover on the market, the Volkswagen subsidiary is hoping to build even more momentum with the launch of a completely new Q5 sport-utility vehicle. Also on hand, Audi rolled out the new S5 Sportback. The third global premier not only marked the launch of the new RS3 Sedan but the debut of the maker’s new Audi Sport sub-brand.

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“These three new models symbolize what our brand stands for,” said Rupert Stadler, the Audi AG CEO. Actually, that’s not entirely true. Unlike its two major German rivals, Audi put much of the focus on performance during its news conference, something of a surprise considering how much it has emphasized battery-car and other green technologies in recent years.

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Kia Brings Rio to Paris

Maker ready to make impact in Europe's biggest market.

by on Sep.29, 2016

Kia's new Rio subcompact, which competes in Europe's toughest market, features a new exterior design.

Kia, which has used a combination of eye-catching design and new technology to win over customers, rolled out a updated version of its Rio subcompact passenger car during previews for the Paris Auto Show.

The new Kia Rio, one of the ambitious South Korean automaker’s key vehicles – it accounts for 16% of the company’s global sales – made its world debut in Paris at the 2016 Mondial de l’Automobile.

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The fourth generation offers B-segment buyers, with new design both inside and out, a package of practicality and convenience, safety technology, new connectivity features and more engaging ride and handling in keeping with the automaker’s efforts to improve its suspensions and chassis in the wake of some intense criticism. Read the rest of this entry »

Lexus Downsizes with New UX SUV Concept

High-tech ute abandons conventional mirrors, offers hologram-style gauges.

by on Sep.29, 2016

The styling renaissance continues at Lexus with the debut of the UX Concept.

Long known for its staid and unexciting designs, Lexus has been pushing the styling envelope during the last several years, and the new UX crossover-utility vehicle making its public debut at this year’s Paris Motor Show is no exception.

The ute, which is already triggering a fair bit of controversy, offers a more downsized option than what’s available in the current Lexus line-up, something that could play well in Europe, in particular. That’s reflected by the fact that the concept vehicle was designed at ED2, the brand’s design studio in the South of France.

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“The biggest challenge for any designer is always to create something new and original, yet with relevance to both the customer and the brand. Overall, this is a product which gives another hint of the potential for Lexus’ design approach to satisfy those criteria,” said Simon Humphries, the president of ED2. Read the rest of this entry »

Infiniti Drives into Paris with Pair of Updated Models and Potentially Groundbreaking New Engine

New Q50 and Revised QX Inspiration models make debut alongside Variable-Compression turbo.

by on Sep.29, 2016

The shape of things to come? Infiniti tweaks its design concept, the QX Inspiration.

At a Paris Motor Show marked by the absence of a number of key brands, Infiniti seems determined to fill in the gaps. The Japanese luxury brand rolled into the City of Lights with a pair of updated models, as well as the debut of a radical new engine design that could give gasoline propulsion some new life in the face of a quickening assault by battery power and other alternative technologies.

From a product standpoint, the big news is the world debut of the updated Infiniti Q50, the midsize sedan receiving some styling tweaks and a number of technology upgrades for the 2017 model-year. Also on hand, the “design evolution” of the QX Inspiration that first grabbed the spotlight last April and hints at the future styling language for the Infiniti brand.

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Arguably, the most dramatic news centers around the debut of the VC-Turbo, the world’s first production engine that can automatically alter its own compression ratio to find the sweet spot, at any moment, for performance, fuel economy and emissions.

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Volkswagen Identifies a New Direction with I.D. Battery-Car

An “iconic design study with the potential to define history.”

by on Sep.29, 2016

The Volkswagen I.D. makes its Paris debut.

(This story has been updated from the official Paris Motor Show launch.)

Volkswagen appears to have clearly identified a problem – and come up with a solution. With its reputation for building clean, high-mileage diesels in tatters due to its emissions scandal – and with regulators around the world pushing for a shift to zero-emissions alternatives – it is planning a major push into battery-electric technology.

The German maker is offering up a look at the first at what it says will be 30 battery-based models scheduled to reach market during the next decade: the new Volkswagen I.D. This Golf-size EV will likely give some serious competition to the likes of the Tesla Model 3 and the Chevrolet Bolt when it reaches market in 2020.

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The VW I.D. pushes the concept of long range to a new level, the maker suggesting it will run anywhere from 400 to 600 kilometers – 250 to 375 miles – per charge. That would mean even a motorist could travel even longer than with most of today’s gasoline vehicles on a full tank.

“The I.D. stands for a new era of electric cars,” declared VW brand chief Herbert Diess, during the Paris unveiling. Read the rest of this entry »