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Archive for the ‘Luxury Vehicles’ Category

BMW Fills in the Blanks on New Z4

Production will launch with four-cylinder version, but I-6 and M packages will follow.

by on Sep.19, 2018

The 2019 BMW Z4 revs up the excitement for the next-gen roadster with more power and plenty of style.

Nearly a month after giving us a first look at the all-new BMW Z4, the Bavarian automaker is filling in some critical blanks, offering timing on the rollout of the new roadster, as well as specs on the first two versions in the pipeline.

First unveiled during the annual classic car week in Pebble Beach, California, the new Z4 is seen by many as the most significant update since the nameplate was first launched 17 years ago. That is, in part, due to the unusual approach BMW took to develop the all-new Z4, partnering with Toyota which will use the underpinnings for its own new entry, the reborn Supra.

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The good news is that the next-generation Z4 will be offering more power than the outgoing roadster. The bad news, at least for fans of rowing their own transmission, is that there’ll be no manual offered on the new model. (more…)

Jaguar Land Rover Cutting Production to a Three-Day Week

Brexit issues, drop in diesel vehicle sales hurt Jaguar.

by on Sep.18, 2018

Ralf Speth, CEO of Jaguar-Land Rover, celebrates a win for the Velar as World Car Design of the Year.

Jaguar Land Rover plans to reduce the work schedules of some 2,000 production workers to three-day weeks at its Castle Bromwich plant in the West Midlands of England where the company builds several Jaguar vehicles.

The cutback comes as JLR faces pressure from uncertainty around Brexit. Additionally, a downturn in the sales of diesel-powered vehicles and the increasing popularity of sport-utility and crossover vehicles have hurt Jaguar’s sales.

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Tata Motors-owned Jaguar Land Rover confirmed it had scheduled the cut in its production schedule at the Castle Bromwich plant in England where JLR builds Jaguar XF, XJ and XE sedans and the F-Type sports car due to the “continuing headwinds” impacting the British car industry.  (more…)

First Drive: 2019 Cadillac XT4

This "tweener" has a lot going for it.

by on Sep.17, 2018

The 2019 Cadillac XT4 gets is own platform as well as unique 2.0-liter turbo engine and 9-speed auto.

Its been more than a decade since Cadillac introduced its CTS sedan and Art & Science design language, setting into motion what was supposed to be the revival of a brand long known as “the standard of the world.” Things haven’t gone quite as expected, however.

On the plus side, Caddy is expecting to rack up record sales this year, largely the result of the booming Chinese market. But, back home, the turnaround has been dragging, in large part because the brand has been significantly out of sync with the market. Even as it rolled out a procession of new sedans and coupes, American buyers by the millions have migrated to SUVs and CUVs. That’s been all the more apparent in the luxury segment where BMW, for one, has filled in practically every gap with crossovers ranging from the X1 to X7, and even more to follow.

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Caddy has been struggling to shift directions. It’s largely gotten out of the coupe market and will soon drop the compact ATS, consolidating its sedan family. More importantly, it is finally beginning to flesh out its crossover line-up with the launch of the new 2019 Cadillac XT4. The compact CUV joins the bigger XT5 model introduced in 2016, as well as the Caddy’s utility vehicle flagship, the full-size Escalade. (more…)

New “Hell” for Tesla, as Model 3 Deliveries Run Into Serious Delays

“We’ve gone from production hell to delivery logistics hell.”

by on Sep.17, 2018

Dozens of Tesla Model 3 sedans are reportedly being held in this Union Pacific freight depot in Salt Lake City.

After more than a year of struggles, Tesla appears to finally be getting the production bugs worked out at its battery and assembly plants, but that may not mean much to frustrated buyers waiting to take delivery of a new Model 3.

In recent days, new issues have cropped up, in one case a small fleet of the battery-sedans have been held up at a Union Pacific freight depot leaving Tesla and its customers unsure when they will be released for delivery.

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Responding to a customer who complained by tweet that she now faces an “indefinite” delay in getting her Model 3, Tesla CEO Elon Musk responded, “Sorry, we’ve gone from production hell to delivery logistics hell, but this problem is far more tractable. We’re making rapid progress. Should be solved shortly.”

(more…)

Cadillac Going Small With New XT4 Crossover

New model looks to make impact in U.S, China

by on Sep.17, 2018

Cadillac is counting on its new compact crossover, the XT4, to revitalize and expand its buyer base.

Sitting at the very top of the famous pyramid that Alfred P. Sloan used to define the automotive market and values, Cadillac has always been General Motors’ flagship, offering style, luxury and innovation in a series of celebrated big vehicles that in the decades after World War II defined American affluence and influence.

But as the Post-War era gave way to a more complicated and contentious time, Cadillac has often seemed lost in the ongoing competition from Europe and Asia. But the brand’s masters at GM are eager to correct the course with a fleet of new vehicles they believe will redefine the brand’s image among luxury buyers particularly younger buyers.

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Now it’s trying to build on its rich heritage at the same time it reaches into new segments where it never has been much of a factor in the past. (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.

(more…)

Lexus ES Becomes World’s 1st Car to Replace Sideview Mirrors with Cameras

But you’ll have to go to Japan to buy one for now.

by on Sep.13, 2018

The new Lexus ES will become the first car to offer cameras to replace side mirrors — in Japan.

If you’re driving in Japan in the coming months and catch a new 2019 Lexus ES rolling up from behind in your rearview mirror you might notice something odd: the sideview mirrors might seem oddly small.

That’s because the ES has become world’s first mass production automobile to offer optional sideview cameras, replacing standard mirrors. It’s a concept carmakers have been toying with for years and could become commonplace in the not-too-distant future, experts say, with Audi set to offer a similar feature on its first all-electric model, the e-tron.

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“The digital mirrors will make their debut on the new ES, which will go on sale in late October,” explained a news release from Toyota’s luxury brand. (more…)

Lexus Makes it Official: New UX Debuts as Millennial Focused Entry Crossover

“Creative Urban Explorer” to launch at $32,000,

by on Sep.12, 2018

Lexus is looking to court the first round of millennial buyers hard with the new UX crossover.

The Baby Boomers built Lexus into one of the powerhouse brands of the American luxury car market, but there comes a time to move on, it seems, and the high-line arm of Toyota Motor Corp. is shifting focus to millennials with the official debut of its new UX “Urban eXplorer.”

The smallest model in an expanding line-up of crossover-utility vehicles, the base, 2019 Lexus UX 200 will start at $32,000 when it rolls into U.S. showrooms in December, with the hybrid UX 250h tacking on another $2,000.

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“The Lexus UX is designed for the modern urban explorer seeking a fresh, contemporary and dynamic take on luxury driving,” said Chika Kako, executive vice president of Lexus International and chief engineer of the UX. “We designed the UX to appeal to young buyers who seek not only what is new and exciting, but what is also relevant to their lifestyles.” (more…)

Mercedes-Benz Debuting New GLE Ute at Paris Motor Show

German automaker skipping Detroit show.

by on Sep.12, 2018

Mercedes-Benz plans to debut the new 2019 GLE at the Paris Motor Show next month instead of in Detroit in January.

Mercedes-Benz plans to show the new 2019 GLE at the Paris Auto Show, marking a bit of a change in its marketing strategy.

In the past, the GLE, which is built at the big Mercedes-Benz assembly plant in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, would probably been shown at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit in January since the vehicle will go on sale in the U.S. in 2019.

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The GLE will also be exported to China, though sales of the GLA have been crimped in the Chinese market by new tariffs. Mercedes, however, has elected to skip the 2019 NAIAS but is eager to show of the new GLE, which will reach the market with loads of new technology. (more…)

Volvo Backs Out of IPO Due to Trade and Market Conditions

Trump's ongoing tensions with China and Europe push decision.

by on Sep.10, 2018

Volvo Chief Executive Hakan Samuelsson said that trade tensions between the U.S. and China as well as the EU were one reason to halt its IPO.

President Donald Trump’s seemingly ongoing trade war with, well, everyone as well as a less-than-robust period for auto stocks has forced Volvo Cars to put off its initial public offering — for now, anyway.

Volvo Cars, which is owned by China-based Geely, previously announced it was considering the IPO to help raise funds for additional research and expanding of production. However, the current trade tensions between the U.S. and China as well as the European Union has forced a rethink.

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“We’ve come to the conclusion that the timing is not optimal for an IPO right now,” Volvo Chief Executive Hakan Samuelsson told Reuters by telephone on Monday.  (more…)