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Toyota’s new “Haute” Hatch is the Latest Generation Corolla

Former Scion offering coming to New York International Auto Show.

by on Mar.23, 2018

The 2019 Toyota Corolla hatchback is laden with new safety and entertainment technology.

For much the past few years, we’ve watched automakers roll out new hatchbacks that were previously thought to be unpopular and, thus, not saleable.

As these small, but comfortable, roomy and surprisingly powerful throwbacks hit dealer lots and were gobbled up it created a new class of vehicle: the hot hatch.

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However, Toyota is jumping into the class with the Corolla, but is also looking to do it with its own special spin, with less focus on speed and power and more emphasis on technology, or as the company’s calling it, the haute hatch. (more…)

Ford and Mahindra Teaming Up on New SUVs and an EV

Partnership focuses on India but could target “other markets.”

by on Mar.23, 2018

Even as Ford and Mahindra lay out plans for the Indian market, Mahindra is ramping up U.S. production of its Roxor SUV.

After agreeing to form a strategic alliance last year, Ford and India’s Mahindra & Mahindra now plan to jointly develop at least two new sport-utility vehicles, as well as an electric vehicle.

The two manufacturers say they will initially target the fast-growing Indian market where Ford has been trying to expand its presence. But they eventually may look at opportunities in “other markets,” according to a source in the U.S.

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“Today’s announcement is the next step in the collaboration between Mahindra and Ford,” said Pawan Goenka, Managing Director, Mahindra and Mahindra Ltd. “Both teams are working together on joint development areas in keeping with industry requirements and leveraging mutual strengths. We are excited about the synergies unveiled through this collaboration and the potential opportunities it will bring.”


Mercedes Unleashing C-Class Coupe, Cabriolet, AMG Version

More powerful sedans hit the show floor in NYC.

by on Mar.23, 2018

The 2019 Mercedes-AMG C 43 coupe gets a bump in horsepower to 385 hp.

Mercedes-Benz continues the roll out of the new C-Class in New York. At the NYIAS, the Mercedes-AMG C 43 sedan made its world premiere in Geneva, now the C 43 coupe and cabriolet be joined by the new C-Class coupe and cabriolet for their world debuts.

Sportiness and driving pleasure have been enhanced with a sharper design, updates to the interior and exterior and new, more powerful engines. The C 300 and C 300 4MATIC models receive a new, efficient four-cylinder with a slight – 14 horsepower – increase in power to 255 hp with 273 lb-ft. of torque.

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It’s mated to a nine-speed transmission that is designed to improve performance as well as fuel efficiency. The 4MATIC has an active all-wheel torque distribution of 45% to the front and 55% to the rear. (more…)

Nissan Aims to Add 8 New EVs, Boost Electrified Vehicle Sales to 1 Mil Annually

Japanese maker also planning 20 autonomous models.

by on Mar.23, 2018

One of the new EVs will be based on the Nissan IMx concept that debuted at the 2017 Tokyo Motor Show.

Already the world’s largest seller of battery-electric vehicles, Nissan is targeting sales of 1 million electrified models by 2022, a five-year, six-fold increase, officials said Friday at the company’s headquarters in Yokohama.

The second-largest of Japan’s automakers also plans to add 20 new autonomous models by 2022, while having all of its vehicles, both under the Nissan and Infiniti brands, equipped with connected car technology.

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“The heart of our strategy in terms of electrification is battery EVs and e-Power technology,” Nissan Chief Planning Officer Philippe Klein told reporters during a media briefing. E-Power is the company’s term for vehicles using gasoline engines to extend range.


Infiniti Unleashes Two Limited SUVs for NYIAS

Japanese marque aims for a more exclusive buyer.

by on Mar.23, 2018

Infiniti's ongoing push to the top of the luxury vehicle segment includes an ever-growing line-up, especially SUVs like the new QX60.

Infiniti is bound and determined to move into the top tier of global luxury brands and is counting on a rapidly growing line-up to help get it there.

That includes an assortment of all-new SUVs, such as the recently launched QX30 and QX50 models. But the Japanese marque is also offering some low-volume, high-end editions of existing products. That includes the 2019 QX60 and QX80 Limited models that will make their debut at the upcoming New York International Auto Show.

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“We know that luxury buyers are among the most discerning consumers and with these two new models, we are delivering exactly what they’re after – vehicles that truly make a statement while offering an empowered driving experience,” said Randy Parker, the head of Infiniti Americas, in a preview of the two Limited models ahead of their NYIAS debut. (more…)

Tesla Shareholders Vote Yes on Musk’s $2.6B Compensation Plan

Total payout could exceed $55B if Tesla his all targets.

by on Mar.22, 2018

Tesla's shareholders approved the $2.6 billion compensation package for CEO Elon Musk.

Tesla Inc. shareholders told founder and CEO Elon Musk that they liked him, but not that they really, really liked him. Investors approved Musk’s compensation package by almost a 3-to-1 margin, which is lower than typical approvals.

The grant gives Musk $2.6 billion in stock options in 12 tranches, each of which vests as the company hits performance markers during the next 10 years.

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The electric vehicle manufacturer must meet certain value targets in order for Musk to receive additional shares of Tesla stock. There is no cash compensation in the deal, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing. (more…)

Uber Fatality Investigation Produces More Questions Than Answers

NTSB, NHTSA assisting in accident query.

by on Mar.22, 2018

The Tempe (Arizona) Police Department released the video footage of Uber's collision with a pedestrian.

The video chronicling the fatal accident between an Uber vehicle in autonomous test mode and a woman crossing a street with her bike has opened up a Pandora’s Box of questions for the ride-sharing giant and other companies looking to develop self-driving vehicles.

The first is, of course, how did the system not recognize her and take action to avoid the problem? The vehicle’s system had plenty of time to take action, but did nothing, eventually running over Elaine Herzberg, as she walked her bike across four lanes of traffic at night in Tempe, Arizona.

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“The video is disturbing and heartbreaking to watch, and our thoughts continue to be with Elaine’s loved ones,” Uber said in a statement. “Our cars remain grounded, and we’re assisting local, state and federal authorities in any way we can.” (more…)

BMW EV, AV Spend Rising as Sales Hit New Records

Company sets sales record for ninth consecutive year.

by on Mar.22, 2018

BMW Chief Harald Krueger noted the company's commitment to EVs and AVs at this year's annual meeting.

The BMW Group intends to increase upfront spending on research and development on electric and autonomous vehicles to an all-time high in 2018, while at the same time remaining steadily on course for a ninth record-breaking sales year in a row with profitable, sustainable growth.

“Our industry is currently experiencing a phase of unprecedented technological change. At the same time, however, it needs to cope with the challenge of present-day volatilities,” said Harald Krueger, chairman of BMW’s Board of Management of BMW AG in Munich during the company’s annual shareholders meeting.

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“At the BMW Group, we think in terms of opportunities and follow a clear strategy. Because the future of mobility is created today. We are stepping up the pace in 2018 and targeting our ninth successive record year.” (more…)

Study Finds Strong Support for Keeping Mileage Rules Among Key Auto Suppliers

EPA expected to announce CAFE revisions by April 1.

by on Mar.22, 2018

The auto industry is waiting anxiously to see if and how the Trump Administration rewrites the current Corporate Average Fuel Economy mandate.

The Environmental Protection Agency is expected to announce revisions to federal mileage rules by April 1, but while a number of automakers are hoping to see a sharp cutback in the standards a new study finds key automotive suppliers hoping the Trump Administration will let the rules stand as they are, ramping up to 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025.

After completing a mandated mid-term review just before leaving office, the Obama Administration decided to maintain that target. But soon after President Donald Trump entered the White House, his EPA chief Scott Pruitt said he would revisit the Corporate Average Fuel Economy mandate, appearing to side with auto industry critics who complained CAFE was set to price many buyers out of the new car market.


The debate has led to an unusual split between automakers like Ford and General Motors, who want to roll back the rules, and a number of auto suppliers who support the 54.5 mpg target, according to several reports, including a new study by CALSTART, a California-based consortium aimed at developing clean transportation technologies.


First Look: Cadillac’s First Unique New Engine in 35 Years

Hand-built, hand-signed.

by on Mar.21, 2018

Cadillac's first all-new engine in 35 years is this 4.2-liter, twin turbo V8 putting out 550 horsepower for the all-new CT6 V-Sport.

When it relocated its headquarters to New York a few years back, Cadillac President Johan de Nysschen promised the move would help the luxury brand gain some much-needed distance from the rest of the General Motors line-up. One welcome indication that we can take him at his word will make its debut in the Big Apple next week.

While much has been said about the upcoming Caddy XT4 crossover, the New York International Auto Show will also bring the debut of the CT6 V-Sport. More significantly, that high-performance sedan will bring with it the launch of the first unique-to-Cadillac engine since the marque introduced the Northstar V-8 for the old Allante roadster 35 years ago.

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“Designing an all-new engine was the best way to achieve the performance goals for the CT6 V-Sport,” said Jordan Lee, 4.2L TT V-8 chief engineer. “It builds on Cadillac’s well-established turbocharging know-how and forges new ground with innovative features that deliver exceptional performance and refinement.” (more…)