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Aiming to Launch Tesla Model Y Challenger in 2021, Fisker Searching for Plant Site

Electric SUV planned at "below $40,000."

by on Mar.18, 2019

The Fisker SUV will adopt an SUV style and offer more interior space than the typical ute by placing key components under the floorboard.

Long-time automotive designer and entrepreneur Henrik Fisker is readying a challenger to the upcoming Tesla Model Y that will be ready for production during the second half of 2021 at a price of “below $40,000.”

With a range estimated at “around” 300 miles, Fisker Inc. plans to produce it at a factory in the U.S. and is currently searching for a plant site in one of eight states, the Danish-born executive told TheDetroitBureau.com in an exclusive interview. The company is putting an emphasis on acquiring an existing factory, preferably one of the many abandoned auto plants around the U.S.

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“We hope to pick a site within the next eight to 10 weeks,” Fisker said, noting that a Midwest site with ready access to existing suppliers is high on the priority list, though the final choice would also be impacted by available incentives.

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Cadillac’s New CT5 Revealed Through a “Sensory Symphony”

“We’re very much committed to sedans,” says brand boss Carlisle.

by on Mar.18, 2019

The Sport edition of the 2020 Cadillac CT5.

Hoping to rebuild momentum for its struggling turnaround strategy, Cadillac has been putting a premium on SUVs, rolling out new models like the XT4 and XT6 this past year and preparing to upgrade the older XT5 and Escalade models, as well.

That’s a logical move, considering utility vehicles now dominate the luxury car market. But General Motors’ flagship brand isn’t abandoning its more traditional product family. The CT5, the new midsize sedan that will be replacing the old CTS, is making its debut today through a broad social media campaign it is calling a “Sensory Symphony,” ahead of its more formal appearance at the New York International Auto Show next month.

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“We’re very much committed to sedans. Let me clear the air about that,” said Caddy President Steve Carlisle said during a media background briefing.

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Mustang Electrified?

Ford counter-programs debut of the Tesla Model Y and hints of a high-performance CUV to come.

by on Mar.15, 2019

“Hold your horses,” or so said Ford Motor Co. in a tweet not-so-coincidentally timed to reach the social media world just as Tesla CEO Elon Musk was getting ready to debut his company’s new Model Y battery-electric SUV.

The Ford post featured that short blurb and a blue version of the Mustang logo against a black background, nothing more. But it does hint at several projects that Ford has already confirmed are in the works. That includes both a hybridized version of the pony car, as well as a Mustang-influenced all-electric SUV that Ford announced during the 2018 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

Electrifying News!

An early player in the electrification field, Ford has fallen behind not just Tesla but conventional rivals like General Motors and Volkswagen, both investing heavily in long-range, battery-electric vehicles, or BEVs. Ford officials say they are going to make a push to catch up and have confirmed that the first entry into next-gen electric technology would be a performance-oriented crossover tentatively named Mach 1 and due to market about when the Tesla Model Y hits the street about a year from now.

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As Tesla Model Y Debuts, Musk Asks: Do You Think We’re “S3XY”?

New Model Y to be offered in four distinct versions – but economy buyers will have to wait.

by on Mar.15, 2019

The Tesla Model Y is likely to look quite familiar to fans of the earlier Model 3 sedan.

The long-awaited Tesla Model Y made its formal debut on Thursday night, with CEO Elon Musk declaring it takes an already attractive line-up and makes it “S3XY.” The inside joke adds the new electric SUV to the automaker’s existing line-up of Models S, 3 and X.

But there’s a serious side to the launch. Tesla continues to struggle to right its balance sheet, plunging back into the red this quarter after earning money during the second half of 2018. The Model Y is expected to become Tesla’s best-seller, Musk declared, telling his audience “we’ll do more Model Ys than S, X and 3 combined.” And that includes not just the U.S. but also China, where Tesla is struggling to get a foothold in the world’s largest market for battery-electric vehicles.

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The Model Y will be one of the vehicles Tesla plans to produce once it opens up a new plant in Shanghai later this year. That will give it a way to hold costs down and also to sidestep any escalation in the U.S.-China trade war.

(Here’s our Model Y preview. Click Here to see how close we came.)

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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.

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“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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Nissan IMQ “Signals the Direction” of Future Electric CUVs

A “seamless” blending of exterior and interior design.

by on Mar.05, 2019

Nissan designers opted for a sharper and more angular approach to the design of the IMQ.

Think of the new Nissan IMQ concept vehicle as a rolling crystal ball. Following on the debut of the IMs prototype at the Detroit Auto Show two months ago, the Japanese maker says its latest concept “signals the direction of (its) next generation of crossovers.”

Make that battery-electric CUVs, for the concept vehicle that debuted today at the Geneva Motor Show reveals the next-generation e-Power system, an all-electric powertrain that you might think of as the familiar Nissan Leaf on steroids.

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Actually, that is a bit misleading, as the Nissan IMQ carries with it a 1.5-liter gas engine that serves solely as a generator, providing energy when the battery is drained. That’s the same approach BMW has taken with its little i3 city car. The internal combustion engine never actually provides direct power to the wheels.

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Alfa Romeo Signals Plug-In Plans With Tonale Concept

Jeep Renegade-sized SUV a smaller alternative to current Alfa Stelvio.

by on Mar.05, 2019

The Alfa Romeo Tonale Concept will offer a plug-in hybrid driveline shared with Jeep.

Named after one of the most famous passes through the Italian side of the Alps, the Alfa Romeo Tonale provides a vista into the future of the brand as it both expands its line-up of SUVs and begins rolling out an array of battery-based vehicles.

Though the model that debuted today at the Geneva Motor Show is officially just a concept, the Jeep Renegade-sized crossover will soon join the Alfa line-up as a more compact alternative to the brand’s current Stelvio model.

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Tonale, meanwhile, highlights Alfa’s electrification plans. First outlined by Sergio Marchionne, the late CEO of parent Fiat Chrysler last June, Alfa plans to offer a wide array of battery-based offerings, including two plug-in hybrid halo cars.

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Aston Martin AM-RB 003 is a High-Tech, Hybrid Hypercar

British marque turns to Red Bull for F1 powertrain technology.

by on Mar.05, 2019

The Aston Martin AM-RB 003's F1-derived drivetrain is expected to top 1,000 hp in final trim.

After weeks of teasing its new hypercar, Aston Martin has finally pulled the wraps off the AM-RB 003 at the Geneva Motor Show, and it’s a high-tech hybrid that also happens to be insanely fast, its 1,000 horsepower drivetrain able to launch from 0 to 60 in less than 3 seconds.

The AM-RB 003 picks up where the earlier Valkyrie left off, “incorporate(ing) concepts and technologies taken directly from F1,” the automaker explained as it prepared to reveal the two-seater at Geneva’s PALExpo convention center.

Auto Show News!

The limited-edition model is the third mid-engine offering developed as part of a “long-term collaboration” and “extraordinary journey” pairing Aston with its Formula One partner, Red Bull Advanced Technologies, noted the British automaker’s CEO Andy Palmer.

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Mercedes-Benz Concept EQV is a Near Production-Ready Electric Minivan

Production version to follow during autumn's Frankfurt Motor Show.

by on Mar.05, 2019

The Mercedes Concept EQV combines elements of the V-Class van and the new EQ series.

The Chrysler Pacifica has shown there’s a market for electrified people-movers. Now, Mercedes-Benz is taking things a step further with its Concept EQV.

The all-electric version of its V-Class  is making its debut at this week’s Geneva Motor Show, but a production version of what’s also known as the Mercedes Viano is set to follow next autumn at the Frankfurt Motor Show, the automaker confirmed on Tuesday.

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“Mercedes-Benz Vans is consistently advancing the electrification of its product portfolio,” said Wilfried Porth, a board member with Mercedes’ parent Daimler AG. “With the Concept EQV, we are now taking the next step. From a daily driver for the family, a leisure-time adventurer or a shuttle vehicle with lounge ambience, the combination of these characteristics with a battery-electric drive mean the Concept EQV is a concept car with a future.”

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First Look: 2020 Jaguar XE

Sport sedan gets a makeover inside and out for model year.

by on Mar.01, 2019

Jaguar's given its XE sport sedan a complete makeover for 2020, including an all-new interior.

Jaguar has announced a series of updates to the 2020 XE sports sedan, including what is described as an enhanced exterior design; all-new interior with new materials and layout and advanced infotainment and drivers’ assistance technologies.

“The new Jaguar XE is all about building on the undeniable sporting proportions of the original car,” said Ian Callum, Jaguar Director of Design.

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“We’ve given the car much bolder graphics and more visual width; planting it in a way which really illustrates its dynamic intent. The new XE is a wonderfully complete package with a very purposeful exterior matched to a beautifully crafted, sporty interior,” Callum said. (more…)