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Archive for the ‘Crossovers/CUVs’ Category

VW Unleashes Seven Sport Concepts at Southern Worthersee

SOWO show cars highlight options for both performance and off-road fans.

by on May.17, 2019

VW shows off its SOWO "enthusiast fleet."

Volkswagen has long had a history of rolling out some of its most creative niche products and concept cars at the annual Worthersee gathering in Austria. It has expanded that tradition by adding what it calls the SOWO event on Hutchinson Island in Savannah, Georgia.

Short for “Southern Worthersee,” the big gathering aims to entice VW fans this time around with seven concept vehicles featuring what it calls “sport performance add-ons and visual enhancements.”

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Considering the shift in global markets, and especially the U.S., from sedans, coupes and hatchbacks to SUVs, CUVs and other light trucks, it should surprise no one that this year’s crop of concepts includes versions of the latest Tiguan and Atlas crossover-utility vehicles. But Volkswagen traditionalists shouldn’t be disappointed, either, the automaker rolling out customized versions of the Golf, Jetta and new Arteon, as well. (more…)

Tariff Talk Put on Hold for Six Months by Trump Administration

Formal structure to delay expected soon.

by on May.16, 2019

President Donald Trump believes raising tariffs will bring U.S. manufacturing back to prominence, but has put off a decision on new national security-related levies.

President Donald Trump’s decision to delay any action on new auto tariffs related to national security gives automakers a chance to make some choices about how they’re going to deal with new tariffs if Trump elects to implement them down the road.

Trump has six months to decide whether or not to slap levies on vehicles and parts from other countries under Section 232, a national security law that gives the president broad powers to implement tariffs on goods from other countries that may affect America’s national security.

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He used it last year on steel and aluminum imports, much to the chagrin of automakers and other manufacturers.  (more…)

All Grossed Out and Nowhere to Hide: Ride-Hailing Cars Nastiest

What's cleaner than a toilet? Not a rental car!

by on May.16, 2019

There were more than 6 million germs in the ride-hailing vehicles tested by NetQuote.com.

Rental cars are often considered almost throw away items. We’ve all heard the old axiom: People will do things in a rental car that they won’t do in their own. According to new testing, that’s not true: ride-hailing vehicles – typically owned by the driver – are the grossest thing on four wheels.

Insurance aggregator Netquote recently conducted tests to see just how nasty some modes of transport can be, specifically, taxi cabs, rental cars and ride-hailing cars. While many would have put money on the taxi being the most disgusting, those vehicles are subject to rules, including cleanliness.

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What vehicles aren’t? Yup. Ride-hailing vehicles. (more…)

With Over 11M Vehicles Expected to Use V2X tech, FCC Delays Decision on Needed Radio Spectrum

Some manufacturers look at alternatives, like 5G.

by on May.16, 2019

IHS Markit predicts the growth of V2X in the United States.

More than 11 million vehicles globally are expected to be equipped with connected-car technology, often known as V2X, by 2024, according to a new study by IHS Markit.

The technology is meant to allow vehicles to talk to one another, as well as an infrastructural network to share information like weather and traffic conditions and even when a stoplight is about to change. It can also alert a driver when another vehicle runs a red light, potentially saving lives.

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But some proponents fear the rollout of V2X technology could be delayed, at the least, because of an ongoing debate over the precise method that these systems will use to communicate. The radio spectrum that had been set aside is being coveted by groups like Comcast and CBS which would like to use it for alternative purposes, such as expanded Internet and WiFi services. (more…)

Mini’s New John Cooper Works Models Ascend to New Levels

New JCW models run 0 to 62 mph in as little as 4.9 seconds.

by on May.15, 2019

For 2019, the Mini John Cooper Works Countryman gets its most powerful engine yet: a 301-horsepower turbocharged four cylinder.

Mini keeps adding more fun to its small, but mighty, line-up through its John Cooper Works specialty brand. The company’s newly updated JCW Clubman and JCW Countryman are the most powerful Mini’s unleashed in 60 years.

The two new entries are powered by a new turbocharged four-cylinder engine putting out 301 horsepower.

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The new powerful engine is mated as standard with a new 8-speed Steptronic sports transmission, including mechanical differential lock on the front axle, an ALL4 all-wheel drive system, a specifically engineered chassis, and additional reinforcement modifications for the body structure, engine connection and chassis fastenings, the company notes. (more…)

Nissan Earnings Plunge on Lower Sales, Rising Warranty Costs

Ghosn problems force company to take $83 million charge.

by on May.14, 2019

Nissan Motor Corp. CEO Hiroto Saikawa delivered somber earnings news to the media and investors.

Nissan Motor Corp. officials earlier predicted that 2018 would be a difficult year for the company, and the final numbers show they were right to be worried as operating profit for the automaker dropped 57.3%.

The Japanese automaker was plagued with a variety of problems all at once, including a costly plan to improve “quality of sales” in the U.S. and the costs related to the implementation of a warranty extension effort for selected vehicles.

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Some of the issues the company faced it could have sold its way past, global unit sales fell by 4.4% to 5.516 million units. Sales in the U.S. fell 9.3% to 1.44 million units. The company is predicting a slight increase for 2019 to 5.54 million units worldwide. (more…)

Kia Offers First Look at New “Global Small SUV”

Could be called Tusker in U.S. market.

by on May.14, 2019

Kia's teaser images aren't entirely production ready, as the mirrors and large wheels suggest.

At the Seoul Motor Show in March Kia unveiled two concept vehicles hinting at how it plans to bookmark its SUV line-up. Now, it’s offering a pair of renderings that appear to show what the smaller of the two Korean concepts will actually look like in production.

The “new global small SUV” was indeed, “inspired by the 2019 Kia SP Signature Concept,” Kia confirmed in a news release this morning. But it left plenty of other questions unanswered, including the name it will give the new offering and the precise timing of its global roll-out.

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“We have created a car which stands out everywhere, from the city to the countryside,” said Byung Chul Juh, head of styling for the Kia brand, adding that it will offer “a wide range of features and technologies that are universally suited to younger buyers in markets around the world.”

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Daimler to Go “Carbon Neutral” Under “Ambition2039″ Sustainability Plan

Company credited with inventing the I.C. engine is helping to put it to rest, says environmental group.

by on May.13, 2019

Mercedes revealed the U.S. version of its first long-range EV, the EQC Edition 1886, in NY last month.

The automaker that effectively brought the internal combustion engine to life appears ready to drive a nail into its coffin.

Daimler AG, the parent of the Mercedes-Benz and Smart brands says it expects plug-in hybrids and pure battery-electric vehicles, or BEVs, accounting for fully 50% of its sales by 2030, with a goal to go completely “carbon neutral” by 2039.

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“One of the defining issues is how we address our CO2 footprint,” Ola Kallenius, Daimler’s next CEO, said during a conference in its headquarters city of Stuttgart on Monday morning.

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Subaru Reports FY2019 Loss as Sales Fall, Incentives Rise

U.S. sales remain strong, but incentives jump.

by on May.10, 2019

Subaru is set to set a seventh consecutive annual sales record due to the new Ascent.

Subaru Corp. saw its operating profit fall 48.5% to 195.5 billion yen, or $1.76 billion in 2019. The drop came as a result of falling sales in its home market, higher incentives to move its vehicles and a jump in warranty costs.

The Japanese automaker’s net income slid 33% to 147.81 billion yen, or $1.33 billion, while revenue fell 2.2% to 3.16 trillion yen, $28.51 billion, for fiscal year 2019.

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The company’s financials were hurt in a variety of ways, such as worldwide wholesale volume falling 6.3% to 1 million units. Additionally, Subaru suffered to due quality problems at its plant in Gunma, which was forced to shut down for nearly two weeks. (more…)

Is Mazda Planning to Bring Vision Coupe Concept – and New Engine Line — to Life?

I-6 engine to power new product line off “Large Architecture” platform.

by on May.10, 2019

Mazda is finishing up a "Large Architecture," like the one that underpinned the 2017 Vision Coupe Concept.

For such a small company, Mazda has had a history of coming up with lots of creative powertrain technology, from its original rotaries to the latest Skyactiv-X that manages to combine some of the best attributes of a diesel and a gas engine. Now, it appears, the Hiroshima-based manufacturer is busy working on an inline-six design that could be powered both by gas and diesel.

Considering the size and design of Mazda’s current line-up, that might seem an odd choice, however. With the exception of the MX-5 Miata, the automaker’s products have been designed to use shorter powertrains that work in a transverse, or east-west, configuration, rather than the longitudinal, or north-south, layout that would be required with a longer inline-six engine.

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That would suggest that Mazda has another surprise coming, and it appears to be a production car based on what is being referred to as the “Large Architecture,” a platform that could be used for a bigger product than any in the current portfolio. And that immediately brings to mind Mazda’s recent Vision Coupe Concept.

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