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Jeep Plans One Day Sale of Gladiator Launch Edition – and Will Give One Buyer a Year’s Pay to Play

“Go anywhere and live out your dreams,” says brand’s marketing chief.

by on Apr.01, 2019

Jeep hopes to sell 4,190 Gladiator Launch Editions.

With its first pickup in 27 years getting ready to roll into showrooms, Jeep said it will offer a special Launch Edition of the new Gladiator, but only for 24 hours, starting at 12:01 AM on April 4th – what is also known as “4x4 Day.”

The Launch Edition will be a fully loaded version of the off-road Jeep Gladiator Rubicon model and it will carry a steep price tag of $60,815. But to ease the bite – at least for one lucky customer – Jeep will give them “a year’s salary to go anywhere and live out their dreams,” said Scott Tallon, the brand’s marketing manager.

Keep on Trucking!

All told, Jeep will offer a maximum 4,190 of the Gladiator Launch Edition models – a reference to the 419 area code for Toledo, Ohio, where all of the pickups will be assembled.

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Lincoln Teases Launch of New Corsair

Next-gen MKC crossover looks like a downsized Aviator.

by on Mar.27, 2019

The 2020 Lincoln Corsair will make its formal debut in New York next month.

For most of the past two decades, the Lincoln brand has been locked in a sort of automotive purgatory, parent Ford Motor Co. not quite set on dropping the luxury marque but not quite willing to give Lincoln the support it needed to attempt a serious comeback.

Things are about to change, and quite radically. Within just the last six months we’ve gotten a look at the all-new Aviator, as well as the updated Nautilus, the newly renamed MKX. And, in less than a month’s time, we’ll get a first look at the all-new Lincoln Corsair when it rolls out at the New York International Auto Show.

Auto Show News!

With the Detroit brand finally abandoning its confusing and unloved alpha naming strategy, Corsair will be the replacement for the Lincoln MKC. And, if this teaser image and some of the spy shots we’ve seen lately are any indication, the compact crossover will look a lot like a baby Aviator.

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VW Expects to Sell 22 Million EVs Over Next Decade

CEO’s new target marks a 50% jump.

by on Mar.12, 2019

VW CEO Herbert Diess is shown here with the I.D. Crozz and Buzz concept vehicles.

Germany’s Volkswagen AG expects to sell 22 million battery-electric vehicles over the next decade, CEO Herbert Diess said during the company’s annual meeting on Tuesday.

The carmaker has been on an aggressive push into electrification and has outlined projects expected to cost it close to $100 billion by 2025 alone. But, until today, Diess had set a target of selling just 15 million battery-cars. Either figure would mark a massive increase considering VW sold just 50,000 all-electric vehicles last year.

Electrification News!

“The supertanker is picking up speed,” Diess said Tuesday in a speech to shareholders gathered in Frankfurt. “We are aligning Volkswagen with e-mobility like no other company in our industry.”

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First Drive: 2020 Kia Soul

Those pesky hamsters would approve – but where are they?

by on Feb.28, 2019

The Kia Soul in GT trim, one of the many variants -- including an EV -- coming for 2020.

Ever since the third-generation Kia Soul made its debut at the Los Angeles Motor Show last November we’ve been waiting to hear from those hip-hop hamsters that have been an integral part of the marketing effort for the quirky crossover since it was first introduced back in 2013.

So far, they’ve been a no-show but, after getting a chance to drive the latest version of Kia’s five-door, we really aren’t surprised. While they may yet show up when the next campaign rolls out, the Soul now has a clearly established identity and the latest version is so solid that marketing gimmicks really aren’t necessary.

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Reviews You Can Trust!

The gen-3 Kia Soul will now be offered in a dizzying array of different configurations, including a new, battery-electric version set to appear later in the year. To get a sense of what Kia has come up with, we headed out to San Diego for a long day’s drive of two of the most interesting versions, the Soul X-Line and Soul GT.

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Audi Adding Four New PHEVs in Geneva

VW’s luxury brand accelerates electrified line-up.

by on Feb.25, 2019

Audi plans to debut four PHEVs in Geneva.

We’ve been hearing a lot about Audi’s plans for all-electric models like the new e-tron and the planned e-tron GT that debuted at the Los Angeles Auto Show last November. The automaker even made that the subject of a well-received ad during this month’s Super Bowl. And it has another model, the Q4 e-tron coming to Geneva.

But the luxury brand has a much broader electrification strategy under development and it plans to put an assortment of plug-in hybrids under the spotlight during its news conference at the Geneva Motor Show next month.

Beyond the Headlines!

In all, the event will mark the debut of four during PHEVs, including versions of the A6, A7 and A8 sedans, as well as the Q5 sport-utility vehicle. The show will also see a shift in Audi’s battery-car nomenclature. Going forward, plug-in hybrids will be referred to with the designation “TFSI e,” rather than e-tron.

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EV Truck Maker Rivian Reportedly in Talks with Amazon and GM

Deal could be announced this month, according to Reuters.

by on Feb.12, 2019

Rivian founder RJ Scaringe showed off the the R1T all-electric pickup at the LA Auto Show.

Battery truckmaker Rivian Automotive is reportedly in negotiations with both Amazon and General Motors on a deal that could be worth as much as $2 billion.

The deal would give the two companies a minority stake in Rivian, a start-up based in the Detroit suburb of Plymouth, according to a report on Reuters.

Breaking News!

The proposed deal could help GM, in particular, add a battery-electric pickup to its line-up, something archrival Ford Motor Co. has said that it is already working on. A senior executive at GM last month told TheDetroitBureau.com that the carmaker is “considering” an all-electric truck.

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Detroit Auto Show Not Ready to Wave Goodbye to Winter

Final January run to see over 30 new models debut.

by on Dec.10, 2018

Toyota showed us a well-camouflaged Supra with chief engineer Tetsuya Tada at the Goodwood Festival.

The Detroit Auto Dealers Association has inked a seven-year deal with the City of Detroit that will ensure that the North American International Auto Show keeps running through at least the latter part of the next decade.

The deal also locks down the move from January to June that DADA, the sponsor of the show, announced earlier this year. That is expected to prove critical if the Detroit Auto Show is to regain its former glory or, at the very least, keep from slipping into second-tier status, something that seemed all too likely in the wake of a painfully quiet 2018 event that saw a single official media day wrap up the new car debuts shortly after noon.

Auto Show News!

The 2019 North American International Auto Show will clearly not have the luster of years past. Virtually the entire European contingent – including brands like Audi, BMW, Jaguar and Meredes-Benz – plan to sit it out. But there will still be enough on the calendar to keep the spotlight lit. Among the products set to make their official debut at the Cobo Hall convention center are the long-awaited Toyota Supra and the Lexus RC F which is being hailed as the brand’s fastest and most powerful model ever, save for its limited-edition LFA supercar.

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10 Best of the LA Auto Show

Cars, trucks, crossover and concepts worth a second look.

by on Dec.03, 2018

The long-awaited Jeep Gladiator pickup made for one of the splashiest debuts at the LA Auto Show.

We’ve been to some dud auto shows over the last year. The Paris Motor Show, which kicked off the 2019 model-year, couldn’t even fill up a half day on the media calendar, and the Detroit Auto Show didn’t stretch much further. But this year’s Los Angeles Auto Show delivered some sweet surprises with its mix of cars, trucks, crossovers and concepts.

As we’ve come to expect from the Tinseltown extravaganza, there were plenty of green machines making their first appearance at the Los Angeles Convention Center, but these weren’t the sort of slow and stodgy sedans and quirky hatchbacks of years past, covering a broad swath of territory including electrified SUVs, pickups and sports cars. And there were plenty of promising products that fell into more conventional categories.

Auto Show News!

Here’s an alphabetical look at 10 of our favorite debuts at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show:

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Chinese EV Maker Byton Unwraps 2nd Model at L.A. Auto Show

“We need a lot of funding,” CEO admits, outlining challenges ahead.

by on Dec.03, 2018

Byton CEO Carson Breitfield talks about the new K-Byte EV at the Los Angeles Auto Show.

The global automotive market is in the midst of a revolution, something obvious to anyone attending this year’s Los Angeles Auto Show. Not only are we seeing a push into new technologies like electrification and autonomy, but the established carmakers are being taken on by a variety of automotive upstarts.

To a list that already includes the likes of Tesla, Faraday Future and Rivian, add China-based Byton. The company helped anchor the first day of previews at the L.A. Auto Show by unveiling a prototype of what it says will be its second new model, the K-Byte. But Byton officials also acknowledged that they still face challenges in their road to production.

News Now!

The debut of the K-Byte follows Byton’s original prototype, the M-Byte, and targets a relatively mainstream buyer, at least by the standards of the electric vehicle market. According to Breitfeld, the sleek battery-sedan will come in at a starting price of around $45,000 when it comes to market. The target, at least, is to have it reach showrooms in China next year, followed by a late 2019 launch in the U.S., and a European roll-out in 2020. (more…)

Kia Has More Soul(s) Than Ever

Quirky crossover now available in a variety of distinct forms.

by on Nov.30, 2018

Kia now boasts six versions of the Soul crossover for 2020, including the new GT model.

Consider it food for the Soul: Kia has introduced six distinct new flavors of its quirky Soul crossover.

The car that showed us boxy can be beautiful will be back in an all-new form next year and Kia hopes to increase its appeal by adding new versions, including the GT and X-Line, while improving the appeal of the Kia Soul EV by boosting range and speeding up its charging system.

The Last Word!

“The Soul has been a massive success since its introduction, establishing itself as an automotive icon with its fun-loving character and eccentric style,” said Orth Hedrick, product planning chief for Kia Motors America. “Even with a new generation of competitors crowding the marketplace, the all-new Soul will once again prove to be a tough contender, with its unparalleled style and impressive level of technology and customization options.” (more…)