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Archive for June, 2018

First Look: 2019 Chevrolet Blazer

Automaker looks to fortify SUV line-up with new model.

by on Jun.22, 2018

Chevrolet introduces the 2019 Blazer Thursday, June 21, 2018 during a special event in Atlanta, Georgia.

General Motors offered a look at its 2019 Chevrolet Blazer, which it hopes will fortify its line-up of crossover vehicles.

The new 2019 Blazer offers a more expressive design, more functionality and more of the latest technology for to help protect the driver and bolster connectivity in an effort to compete in the increasingly crowded crossover segment.

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“Chevrolet has been at the forefront of each of the major automotive industry trends by anticipating consumer demand and delivering innovative products like Bolt EV, Colorado and Trax,” said Alan Batey, president of GM North America and head of Global Chevrolet. (more…)

GM Revamps Responsibilities for Ammann, Reuss

Ammann focusing on autonomous vehicles, Reuss leads products, Cadillac

by on Jun.21, 2018

General Motors President Dan Ammann (right) with Cruise Automation co-founders Kyle Vogt (center) and Daniel Kan (left).

Two of General Motors top executives are getting new responsibilities with GM President Dan Ammann focusing on the company’s development of autonomous vehicles and Executive Vice President Mark Reuss taking on oversight of Cadillac and GM’s product portfolio planning.

Ammann will now be able to focus his efforts on the company’s ever-growing collection of autonomous vehicle subsidiaries, such as GM Cruise, as well as the deployment of these vehicles through a variety of outlets, such as Lyft.

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In the meantime, Reuss will bear down on the company’s global enterprises, product development as well as Cadillac. The luxury brand’s oversight comes a critical time as the company parted ways with Johann de Nysschen and replaced him with long-time GM executive Steve Carlisle. (more…)

First Look: 2019 Volvo S60

Sedan becomes second to offer Care by Volvo.

by on Jun.21, 2018

The 2019 Volvo S60 is now manufactured in the United States in Charleston, South Carolina.

Volvo Cars showed off the new S60 sedan and a subscription service that will ease the hassle of having a car at the company’s first-ever U.S.-based assembly plant just outside Charleston, South Carolina.

The 2019 S60, the first Volvo to be made in the U.S., will be available in Momentum, R-Design and Inscription level trims that includes some of the latest technology developed by the Swedish carmaker.

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The new S60 is the first Volvo car to be sold without a diesel engine, signaling the company’s industry-leading commitment to electrification and a long-term future beyond the traditional combustion engine. In 2017, Volvo Cars was the first global car maker to announce its strategy that from 2019 all new models will have an electrified option. (more…)

Tesla Sues Former Employee Over Alleged Sabotage

Suit claims Martin Tripp stole confidential information, sent false information to media outlets.

by on Jun.21, 2018

Tesla is suing a former employee, claiming he attempted to sabotage the automaker.

Just days after claiming it was sabotaged by a former employee, Tesla has filed suit in a federal court in Nevada alleging that Martin Tripp not only stole confidential information but also leaked false reports about Tesla quality problems to the media.

CEO Elon Musk first signaled there was a problem in an e-mail sent to Tesla employees on Sunday night warning that there had been “extensive and damaging sabotage” committed by an employee who was not initially identified. Musk also suggested that the trouble might have involved outsiders who “want Tesla to die.”

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In the lawsuit, Tesla names Martin Tripp, who appears to have been working at the company’s Gigafactory in Reno, Nevada. The court filing claims that Tripp “has thus far admitted to writing software that hacked Tesla’s manufacturing operating system (‘MOS’) and to transferring several gigabytes of Tesla data to outside entities.” (more…)

AMG Electrifies: Mercedes’ New E53 Takes 1st Step towards Battery-Based Performance

48V powertrain set to debut later this year.

by on Jun.21, 2018

The Mercedes-AMG E53 will be offered in sedan, coupe and cabrio body styles.

Whether on track or on the road, Mercedes’ AMG brand offers a broad array of models that have relied on a variety of methods to maximize performance, including turbo and supercharging. Now, however, AMG is pushing into a new world with the upcoming launch of the E53.

The performance version of the familiar Mercedes E-Class will pair a turbocharged inline-six engine with an electrically driven supercharger to turn out an impressive 429 horsepower and 384 pound-feet of torque. But unlike traditional “blowers,” which need to rev up before they deliver full boost, the new system will deliver maximum power essentially the moment the driver’s foot hits the throttle.

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“Electric forced induction devices mitigate turbo lag,” explains Brian Cotter, the U.S. product manager for the AMG brand. But it promises to do even more, Cotter says, suggesting that electrified drivetrain technology could radically change the world of performance driving in the coming years.

(more…)

Swedish Ambassador Slams Trump Tariffs at Volvo Plant Opening

Volvo CEO proposes "no tariff" auto zones.

by on Jun.21, 2018

Volvo's new Charleston, South Carolina plant is now up and running with S60 sports sedans rolling down the line. The XC90 comes in a few years.

The new S60 rolling down the line wasn’t the entire story during the official opening of new Volvo Cars factory outside Charleston, South Carolina, as complaints about trade and tariffs nearly stole the show.

With U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley sitting close by, Karin Olofsdotter, Sweden’s ambassador to the United States, who was invited to speak during the brief ceremony, took the opportunity to send a message to the Trump administration.

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Speaking emphatically, she chided the Trump administration for implementing tariffs that inhibit “fair” trade and investment and undermine economic development in both Europe and the United States. (more…)

No More What If: Mazda Bringing Out a Faster Miata

Engineers squeeze out a 17% power increase.

by on Jun.20, 2018

The 2019 Mazda Miata gets a bunch of new safety tech, but more importantly: a 17% boost in power.

The Mazda Miata has always been a “but what if…” car.

The “what if?” What if it had more power? It’s a roadster and that generally means that the car is more about the experience of driving rather than how far back are you being pressed into your seat when you push the go pedal to the floor.

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Well, Mazda’s heard enough “what ifs” apparently since it it’s now upping the power in the latest iteration of the MX-5, known casually as the Miata. Mazda’s engineers enriched Miata’s SkyActiv-G 2.0-liter engine with the goals of improved response, performance, feel and efficiency.  (more…)

Hyundai, Audi Latest Automakers to Partner Up

The pairing is just the latest in a growing line of partnerships.

by on Jun.20, 2018

Hyundai and Audi are partnering up to develop fuel cell technologies.

The automotive industry is increasingly becoming reliant on partnerships, the latest being the tie-up between Hyundai Motor Group and Audi AG.

Like so many other companies before them, the South Korean and German automakers are looking to find a way to get to the promised land of alternative fuel vehicles. In this case, the makers are partnering on the development of fuel cell electric vehicles.

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Unsurprisingly, whatever patents, technologies and revolutionary breakthroughs resulting from this new coalescence will trickle down, well, more like over to Kia Motors Co. and Volkswagen AG. Kia is Hyundai’s sibling and VW is Audi’s parent companies. These advances can also be shared among other affiliates within either group. (more…)

Volvo Launches Car Production at First-Ever US Plant

Automaker will add second vehicle in 2021.

by on Jun.20, 2018

Volvo's first-ever manufacturing plant in the U.S. is building the new S60 sports sedan.

Volvo Cars opened its first manufacturing plant in the U.S. near Charleston, South Carolina, as it expands its global manufacturing footprint beyond Europe and Asia for the first time.

Volvo officials said the establishment of the plant in South Carolina follows the company’s manufacturing strategy “to build where it sells.”

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“The Charleston plant establishes the U.S. as our third ‘home’ market,” said Hakan Samuelsson, the president and chief executive of Volvo Cars. “The sedan segment and the SPA platform’s proven ability to boost profitability offer significant growth opportunities for Volvo Cars in the U.S. and globally.” (more…)

Try and Try Again: Honda Finally Nails it With 2019 Insight

Third-generation hybrid is more than just another bland eco-cruiser.

by on Jun.20, 2018

The 2019 Insight is Honda's third attempt to market a mainstream, entry-level hybrid.

It was quite literally another century when the first Honda Insight came to the U.S. market. Beating the now familiar Toyota Prius by several months, Honda’s originally hybrid was a quirky little two-seater that, in one configuration, delivered more than 70 miles per gallon.

But its trade-offs were many and, unlike its HEV rival, sales of the original Insight tanked, Honda soon pulling it from the market. But the Japanese automaker brought the nameplate back in 2008, this time as a five-door hatchback promoted as the lowest-priced hybrid available in the U.S. It didn’t fare any better and was culled from the line-up in 2014.

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Now, Honda is back with a third-generation Insight and, if our initial drive is any indication, three’s a real charmer. While the 2019 Honda Insight delivers some of the best mileage numbers on the market, reaching as much as 55 miles per gallon on the highway, it is far more appealing in other ways, including its design and its fun-to-drive factor. (more…)