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Archive for the ‘First Look’ Category

Aston Martin Sketches Out its Future With Supercar Design Tease, IPO Plans

British marque hopes to repeat Ferrari’s success.

by on Sep.21, 2018

Aston has released a preliminary sketch of its third hypercar, the 003, which it hopes to have in production in 2021.

Aston Martin, the carmaker best known for its relationship with cinema spy 007, has laid out key details of its upcoming IPO while also releasing a preliminary sketch of the hypercar it’s calling 003 that it hopes will drive some of its future success.

Spun off by Ford Motor Co. in 2007, Aston struggled to avoid an eighth bankruptcy during the depths of the Great Recession, but its fortunes have skyrocketed over the last few years, a period coinciding with the arrival of CEO Andy Palmer and the subsequent commitment of hundreds of millions of dollars in new capital from its key investors.

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The IPO will go off next month on the London Stock Exchange, Palmer announced, declaring that it “will provide investors with a fitting opportunity to participate in our future success.”

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First Drive: 2019 Kia Forte

Ready to compete with small-car standbys: Civic, Corolla, Cruze

by on Sep.18, 2018

Despite the segment shrinking, Kia is plowing ahead with small cars with an all-new 2019 Forte sedan.

Given, the popularity of sport-utility vehicles, crossovers and pickup trucks, selling the traditional small car in the U.S. has become a very tough gig as evidenced by Ford giving up on cars and the Volkswagen Beetle is going away.

Meanwhile, cars such as the Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla and Chevrolet Cruze have gotten better and offer an increasing number of features that shoppers in this segment could only dream about as recently as five years ago

Reviews You Can Use!

But that hasn’t discouraged Kia, which is launching an updated version of the compact third-generation Kia Forte this fall. Kia has built its reputation by building smart, stylish small vehicles and now has great ratings from J.D. Power’s critical initial quality survey to assure first-time buyers. (more…)

BMW’s iNext Offers a Glimpse at Automaker’s Autonomous, Electrified Future

Show car offers broad hints about BMW's next all-electric model.

by on Sep.15, 2018

BMW offered a handful of journalists a sneak peek at the iNext concept during an around-the-world tour.

BMW was one of the first of the traditional automakers to enter the plug-in vehicle market, well ahead of luxury rivals like Mercedes-Benz, Audi and Lexus. But it has been slow to follow up on its original i3 and i8 models, especially when it comes to all-electric offerings, even as those competitors have laid out aggressive plans to launch literally dozens of their own new products in the coming years.

BMW has been dropping hints about where it might go next for several years. And the Bavarian automaker is looking to get back in the game with the appropriately named iNext, an all-electric and autonomous crossover set to make its debut in 2021.

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A handful of select media outlets, including TheDetroitBureau.com, got a chance to check out a prototype version of the iNext during an otherwise top-secret, around-the-world series that took the concept vehicles from Germany to New York, then Los Angeles and, finally, Beijing.

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BMW Looking to Go Beyond the X5 (and 6 and 7)

The future may include some truly radical approaches.

by on Sep.14, 2018

The latest version of the BMW iNext Concept adopts a more SAV-like body design.

Even as the newest version of the X5 gets ready to roll into showrooms around the world, BMW is looking at ways to expand its presence in the fast-growing market for sport-utility vehicles.

The automaker took what seemed like a big risk when it launched the original X5 “Sports-Activity Vehicle” in 1999, but dmand for high-line utes has grown exponentially, leading it to move down-market, all the way to the base X1, with a new flagship, the X7, set to debut next year.

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“We see even more demand from our customers,” said Carson Gruber, the BMW AG marketing executive overseeing high-line products like the X5 and X7, during an interview with TheDetroitBureau.com. “BMW is a learning company….and we’re capable of identifying new trends.”

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Riding the Runway: New Kia Telluride Debuts at NY Fashion Week

Kia’s biggest-ever SUV teams up with designer superstar Brandon Maxwell.

by on Sep.10, 2018

Kia's new Telluride Concept is all but production ready -- minus the hat box.

It had all the accessories you might expect on a rugged new SUV, including brush guards, a snorkel for fording deep water and a ladder meant to make it easier to get up to the Kia Telluride’s big luggage racks. But there were also a few things you likely wouldn’t expect, including the leather-wrapped sideview mirrors and the transparent hatbox tied down on the roof rack.

It was all in keeping with the theme of the evening, the new Telluride sharing the stage with designer Brandon Maxwell’s launch of his fall clothing line during New York’s annual Fashion Week. Maxwell, a 33-year-old star in the garment industry, has developed close ties with Kia and may even lend his name to future special editions, he and Kia officials told TheDetroitBureau.com at the weekend event.

We're Always in Fashion!

Automakers have been looking for ways to stand out from the crowd, increasingly searching for alternatives to classic car show product debuts. Kia is just one of several automakers who were active during Fashion Week. The tie-up to Maxwell made sense considering the Texas native’s focus on his down-home roots in this year’s collection.

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Chevy Makes Colorado ZR2 Even More of an Off-Roader with New Bison

New variant marks collaboration with American Expedition Vehicles.

by on Sep.06, 2018

The Bison marks the first collaboration between Chevy and off-road aftermarket firm AEV.

Chevy gave its Colorado pickup some serious off-road chops with last year’s introduction of the ZR2, and now it’s pushing even further with the addition of the ZR2 Bison edition.

The latest variant of the midsize truck comes out of Chevrolet’s first collaboration with premium off-road aftermarket company American Expedition Vehicles, and it turns up the heat in a niche long dominated by Toyota’s Tacoma pickup.

Don't Be Buffaloed!

“More and more enthusiasts are discovering that Colorado is ideal for off-roading, especially overland travel,” said Sandor Piszar, the director of marketing for Chevrolet’s truck operations. “Bison offers customers an even more extreme turnkey off-road truck ready to tackle your next adventure.”

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Why Fly? Self-Driving Volvo 360c Offers Alternative for Long-Distance Travel

Autonomous, electric, the concept will let travelers do “what they want to do.”

by on Sep.05, 2018

The Volvo 360c Concept is designed to let an owner travel in Business Jet-style comfort.

Flying is glamorous, or so the airlines would have you believe, but ask anyone who has had to deal with security lines, crowded cabins and inevitable delays and you’ll get an entirely different picture.

That’s where something like the Volvo 360c might offer a pleasant alternative. While the industry has focused on using driverless vehicles to replace conventional taxicabs, the self-driving concept from Volvo has long-distance travelers in mind. Billed as “the future of autonomous travel,” the 360c is designed to skip the lines and deliver the sort of experience you might expect flying on a private jet.

Cruise Along with Us!

“Domestic air travel sounds great when you buy your ticket, but it really isn’t,” said Mårten Levenstam, senior vice president of corporate strategy at Volvo Cars, adding that “The 360c represents what could be a whole new take on the industry.”

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With New EQC, Mercedes-Benz Goes All-In on All-Electric

“We are flipping the switch,” says CEO Zetsche, with new Tesla challenger - and more to come.

by on Sep.04, 2018

The new Mercedes-Benz EQ features a pair of electric motors producing up to 402 hp.

Mercedes-Benz is “flipping the switch,” Daimler AG CEO Dieter Zetsche said Tuesday as he pulled the covers off the new EQC, the German brand’s new, long-range electric crossover.

The first entry from the all-new EQ sub-brand, the compact CUV won’t be alone for long, with Mercedes developing a wide range of battery-electric vehicles set to come to market by the middle of the coming decade, including the smaller EQA due out next year. Along with all-electric offerings in the works from brands as diverse as Audi, Infiniti, Volkswagen and Volvo, they pose a potentially  existential threat to Tesla, according to many industry analysts.

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“With the EQC – the first fully electric SUV from Mercedes-Benz – we are flipping the switch,” said Zetsche, during the EQC debut in Stockholm. “Electric drive is a major component in the mobility of the future. We are therefore investing more than ten billion euros in the expansion of our EQ model portfolio, and more than one billion euros in global battery production.”

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Mercedes’ Enigmatic Teaser Appears to Preview All-Electric EQ C

“Mystic Details,” says terse news release.

by on Aug.27, 2018

What might Mercedes mean by "Mystic Details"? Could it reference the distinctive accent lights expected to show up on the production EQ C crossover.

These days, we’ve become used to receiving terse news releases from automakers teasing upcoming product launches, but the one we just received from Mercedes-Benz all but reaches the limits of brevity, with just two words accompanying this image: “Mystic Details.”

While we’re not sure what the word, mystic, references, the odds seem to favor the pic being a close-up of headlight and grille details on the new Mercedes-EQ C battery-electric vehicle that will make its debut on September 4th, the first in an all-new sub-brand the German automaker will be fleshing out over the next few years.

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Roughly the size of today’s Mercedes-Benz GLC, the EQ C will be company’s first long-range all-electric model, essentially a competitor for the Tesla Model Y crossover that is still a few years away from production. It will be followed soon after by a production version of the Mercedes EQA Concept that was revealed in June.

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BMW Z4 Takes its Formal Bow in Pebble Beach

Is that a hint of the new Toyota Supra we see?

by on Aug.23, 2018

The new BMW Z4 roadster offers few hints that it shares its roots with the new Toyota Supra.

Sure, we got a look at the concept version of the new BMW Z4 a full year ago, but there were still plenty of skeptics wondering exactly what the Bavarians would come up with when it was time to roll out the production model. Skepticism was, perhaps, in order considering they had to coordinate development of the next-generation roadster with Toyota which is using the underlying platform for its reborn Supra.

Anyone who expected to see a badge-engineered convertible can now breathe a sigh of relief. Almost precisely a year after revealing the concept version, BMW is back in precisely the same place, Pebble Beach, to roll out the production version, and if first impressions – and some hints about the specs – matter, the new Z4 should generate some serious buzz.

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We’ll have to wait another month to get all the specifications, BMW tells us, hoping to play out the anticipation card for as long as possible, but the automaker has one significant detail to reveal, the Z4 M40i edition will rely on an updated version of the familiar 3.0-liter straight-six to get it up to 60 mph in an estimated 4.4 seconds.

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