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Archive for the ‘Concept Cars’ Category

VW Brand Bailing Out on Paris Motor Show

Latest in a growing series of auto show cutbacks by global carmakers.

by on May.17, 2018

Volkswagen introduced its I.D. concept in Paris in 2016, now it's skipping the 2018 show.

The auto industry exodus from major car shows is rapidly accelerating, with Volkswagen the latest to announce plans that will see its flagship VW brand drop out of the upcoming Paris Auto Show, normally Europe’s biggest industry event of the year.

An assortment of major brands, including Volkswagen’s Audi marque, have said they will be no-shows next year at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, the biggest industry gathering in the U.S. And BMW plans to slash its presence at the 2019 Frankfurt Motor Show, and possibly other auto shows.

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“The Volkswagen brand is continually reviewing its participation in international motor shows,” the VW division said on Thursday. It may not completely skip out on Paris, however. While it won’t have a display at the city’s convention center, it may stage concurrent “communications activities,” it added. (more…)

This is the VW Golf GTI You Want – But Can’t Have

A concept in name only.

by on May.10, 2018

No batteries, but VW's new hot hatch concept, the Golf GTI TCR is all charged up for Worthersee.

The 164 mph Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR making its debut in Austria this week may be only a concept – but it won’t be for long, with a production version of this very hot hatch due to market later this year. But if you’re one of our U.S. readers, don’t get too excited. For now, at least, there are no plans to bring it across the Atlantic.

The GTI TCR maintains a long tradition for VW which routinely brings something special out for its annual gathering at Austria’s picturesque town of Reifnitz am Worthersee. That has included an earlier version of the track-ready TCR brought to the annual meet in 2016. This time ’round, the Concept is essentially production ready.

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“At the moment, the Golf GTI TCR Concept – an athlete derived from racing – is a study,” said Jürgen Stackmann, the board member in charge of sales for Volkswagen AG. “But at the end of the year, we want to make this GTI vision come true.” (more…)

Toyota Earnings Jump, Despite Rising U.S. Incentives

Record R&D spending could hurt operating profit.

by on May.09, 2018

Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda is not only pushing for automotive sales growth, but leading the company into the emerging mobility sector.

Toyota saw earnings jump 21% between January and March, the final quarter of its fiscal year, despite having to sharply ramp up incentives in a slowing U.S. automotive market.

The automaker reported a profit of 480.8 billion yen, or $4.4 billion, up from 398 billion yen the year before. Toyota’s sales also rose 2% to 7.58 trillion yen, or $69 billion. For the full fiscal year, it earned 2.49 trillion yen, or $23 billion, a 36% increase, with sales rising 6%, to 29.38 trillion yen, or $268 billion.

Beyond the Numbers!

The strong performance helped highlight the cost-cutting efforts initiated by CEO and President Akio Toyoda, the grandson of Toyota’s founder declaring, “We’ve become a leaner, trimmer company … and in the past year we’ve developed our remaining fat into muscle, so that we’re in a strong position to be more competitive.”

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Production Version of Kia Niro EV Breaks Cover

Timing of U.S. launch unclear.

by on May.04, 2018

The long-range version of the Kia Niro EV will get 236 miles out of a 64 kWh battery pack.

We got a first look at the concept version of Kia’s all-electric Niro model during the Consumer Electronics Show earlier this year. The Korean carmaker has now pulled the wraps off the production model during the Fifth International Electric Vehicle Expo in Seoul.

A quick glance suggests the version that will be rolling into showrooms is a bit more conservative than the CES show car, with relatively conventional lights and bumpers. Perhaps the biggest difference between the Niro EV and earlier versions of the crossover can be seen in the textured, albeit solid, grille – which actually bears more than a passing likeness to the snout on the all-electric Hyundai Kona that debuted at the New York International Auto Show barely a month ago.

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Kia is being sparse when it comes to offering details about the Niro EV, though it did indicate the battery-electric vehicle will be offered with a choice of two different batteries – at least in some markets – the more powerful, 64 kWh pack will provide enough energy to travel an estimated 236 miles between charges, the 39.2 kWh pack reducing range to around 149 miles.

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GM Getting the Weight Out with 3D Printing

Technology could mean lighter, strong vehicles, but challenges remain.

by on May.03, 2018

The technology could reduce the weight of a future Chevy Bolt - and simplify assembly.

Since the earliest days of the auto industry, manufacturers have stamped, forged, cast and molded most of the parts that go into their products, but the search for lighter cars and trucks is forcing them to search for alternative approaches.

Working with the software company Autodesk, General Motors is exploring the potential of using additive manufacturing, also known as 3D printing, and may introduce the technology on one of the more than 20 new battery-electric and hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles it plans to bring to market over the next five years. And it isn’t alone. Niche manufacturers, such as Swedish hypercar company Koenigsegg, as well as major manufacturers BMW and Ford, are also exploring ways to utilize 3D printing.

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“This disruptive technology provides tremendous advancements in how we can design and develop components for our future vehicles to make them lighter and more efficient, said GM Vice President Ken Kelzer, head of the automaker’s Global Vehicle Components and Subsystems.

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BMW Slashing Presence at Euro Car Shows, Could Pull Out of Some

Bavarian automaker shifting resources to alternate events, like CES.

by on Apr.24, 2018

The BMW i Vision Dynamics made its debut at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show.

Already planning to skip the North American International Auto Show in Detroit next January, BMW is reportedly planning to sharply scale back its presence at European events like the 2019 Frankfurt Motor Show, according to a German news report, and it could abandon some of those entirely, as well.

The news comes as automakers large and small start to rethink their commitment to traditional auto shows which, the latest thinking goes, don’t generate the bang-for-the-buck they once did. At the same time, manufacturers are being offered a range of new alternatives, whether tech-focused events like CES or even one-brand shows that avoid the need for a carmaker to share the stage with competitors.

Beyond the Headlines!

BMW is planning to slash as much as 75% of its 2019 auto show budget, reports the German business publication Handelsblatt. At the Frankfurt Motor Show, where BMW had previously gone so far as constructing an indoor driving track, it will have just a 10,000 square foot display at the next event down from 36,000 in 2017.

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Volvo Bringing Ambience to its Newest Beijing Concept

Company's latest concept builds off S90 Excellence.

by on Apr.23, 2018

Volvo's newest debut, the S90 Ambience Concept, is based off last year's S90 Excellence.

Volvo newest concept for the Beijing Auto Show continues to show the company’s focus on the wants, needs and desires of the world’s largest luxury vehicle market: China. The S90 Ambience Concept is based on the S90 Excellence from last year.

The company describes the Ambience Concept as “an industry-first sensory experience that synchronizes visuals, sound and scent to redefine in-car luxury.”

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In short, that means passengers can personalize the Ambience Concept’s interior atmosphere or feel using a smartphone app. Users can choose from one of seven visual theme that are linked to audio and scents. (more…)

VW Showing Tech Prowess with Pikes Peak EV Racer

Maker wants battery-electric supercar to break the record.

by on Apr.23, 2018

The Volkswagen I.D. R Pikes Peak is ready to make an attempt to break the EV speed record for the Pikes Peak race in June.

Volkswagen has been pushing to be seen as a leader, maybe THE leader, in the electric car arena and its newest introduction, the I.D. R Pikes Peak, may help cement that position.

The company’s first fully electric supercar was unveiled in Alès, France, and will compete in the Pikes Peak International Hill climb in Colorado Springs, Colorado, on June 24, with only one goal: beating the existing electric car record of 8:57.118 minutes in the annual “Race to the Clouds.”

Electrifying!

This battery-electric supercar certain has the specs to make one thing that the record is in jeopardy. I.D. R Pikes Peak weighs less than 2,500 lbs and produces 680 horsepower and 479 lb-ft of torque, giving it a 0-60 mph time of 2.25 seconds, which is faster than Formula 1 and Formula E cars. (more…)

Images of Mercedes-Maybach Ultra-Lux SUV Leak Ahead of Beijing Debut

“Vision Ultimate Luxury concept” set to make official debut on April 24.

by on Apr.23, 2018

The Mercedes-Maybach Ultimate Concept is ready to make its mark in Beijing.

Just days ahead of its official debut at the Beijing Motor Show – and shortly after an official teaser video was released – we’ve gotten our hands on leaked images of the Mercedes-Maybach Vision Ultimate Luxury concept.

Unlike several recent Maybach prototypes, the show car set to debut in Beijing on April 24 appears to be giving us a good sense of what the ultra-premium brand eventually will bring to bring to market – a production SUV set to take on the likes of the Bentley Bentayga and the upcoming Rolls-Royce Cullinan.

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And reflecting the choice of venues Maybach has chosen – China is ramping up rules calling for more zero-emission vehicles, the Ultimate Luxury Concept uses an all-electric drivetrain delivering power through four individual electric motors developing a total of 738 horsepower which Maybach will suggest can punch the show car up to 155 mph. (more…)

All-New Lexus ES Bound for Beijing Motor Show

New model meant to "radically transform the concept of comfort for luxury consumers."

by on Apr.11, 2018

Lexus is pushing even further with the "spindle grille" design on the next ES sedan.

We’ve barely gotten past the New York Auto Show but halfway around the world, automakers are getting ready for the season’s next big event. That includes Lexus, which has dropped a partial teaser of what appears to be the next generation ES model.

While many folks think of the ES as a fairly base-level vehicle, Lexus clearly has more upscale ambitions for a model whose name, after all, is short for “Executive Sedan.” And while Toyota’s luxury brand isn’t saying much about what it will be showing in China, it appears buyers have something to look forward to.

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The new ES, Lexus hints, “aims to radically transform the concept of comfort for luxury consumers all over the world.” That may explain why the brand saved the new model for Beijing where luxury buyers have, indeed, become some of the world’s most demanding.

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