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Porsche Plugging In: Half its Line-up Will Be Electrified

German carmaker looking to expand battery-electric use.

by on Jan.18, 2018

Porsche is moving forward with its newest electric vehicle, the Mission E, as it expands its electrification efforts to half of its line-up.

It will be another year before Porsche’s first pure battery-electric vehicle, the Mission E, finally reaches market, but the German sports car brand already is laying out big plans to electrify.

Fully half of all Porsches will use some form of battery power by 2023, according to a presentation by Porsche Cars North American CEO Klaus Zellmer. That is expected to include not only the hybrids and plug-in hybrids currently in the line-up, but also additional BEVs like the Mission E. Porsche officials have also suggested they will eventually electrify even such classic core models as the iconic 911.

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While such a move might be a stretch for traditional Porsche buyers, the brand has begun bringing in younger buyers who are more open to experimentation, said Zellmer, speaking at the annual Automotive News World Congress. Nearly 80% of the customers who are signing up for the new Porsche Passport subscription service “have not owned a Porsche before,” he noted. (more…)

Lamborghini Says New Urus Will Soon Have Companion Model

World’s fastest SUV makes North American debut.

by on Jan.16, 2018

Lamborghini's first-ever sport-utility vehicle, the Urus, made its North American debut in Detroit.

What’s being billed as the “world’s fastest” sport-utility vehicle has made its North American debut at the Detroit Auto Show.

But the 189 mph super-ute won’t live alone in the Lambo line-up, at least not for long, officials with the Italian automaker telling TheDetroitBureau.com that they are already working on a second model that will join the Lamborghini Urus in showrooms about two years from now.

Auto Show News!

During a presentation in downtown Detroit, the Italian automaker’s Chief Technology Officer Maurizio Reggiani stressed that the Urus deserves to be viewed as a true Lamborghini, and not some sort of quirky compromise, because it “shares the strong DNA that comes from our sports cars.” (more…)

Live From Detroit!

Are Sedans a Dying Breed?

by on Jan.15, 2018

The 2018 North American International Auto Show is making big news this week and revealing some of the significant trends reshaping the auto industry.

Of course, TheDetroitBureau.com is still combing the show floor to bring stories and analysis so keeping checking the site often for additional must-know news and the latest updates. (more…)

Toyota Paints the Future of Mobility With e-Palette Concept

“A multi-purpose moving space.”

by on Jan.08, 2018

Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda introduces the company's new e-Palette battery-electric van at CES 2018.

Think of the concept vehicle Toyota unveiled at CES Monday as something of a blank canvas. The e-Palette can serve as anything from a driverless ride-sharing vehicle to an automated delivery van – even a mobile store where commuters can shop on their way to work.

The battery-drive prototype will make the transition from concept to reality two years from now when Toyota puts several versions of the e-Palette into service during the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. And the giant automaker has already signed up several e-commerce partners, including Amazon, Pizza Hut and the ride-sharing service Uber.

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Think of e-Palette as a “multi-purpose moving space,” said Akio Toyoda, the CEO of Toyota Motor Corp. and grandson of its founder. “Every e-Palette can be reconfigured for different purposes within a single day.” (more…)

More Than Half of Norway’s New Cars Sold are EVs

The total is up from 40% in 2016.

by on Jan.05, 2018

In Norway, where 52% of new vehicles sold are EVs, the eGolf was among the top sellers.

In one European country, Norway, sales of electric and hybrid accounted for half of new registrations in 2017, a record fueled by subsidies that have extended the country’s push to lead in shifting from fossil-fuel engines.

Pure electric cars and hybrids, which have both battery power and a diesel or petrol motor, accounted for 52% of all new car sales last year in Norway versus 40% in 2016, the independent Norwegian Road Federation reported this week.

News Now!

“No one else is close” in terms of a national share of electric cars, OFV chief Oeyvind Solberg Thorsen said. “For the first time, we have a fossil-fuel market share below 50%.” (more…)

Musk Gives Twitter Users a Peek Behind the Curtain

Popular CEO fields questions via Twitter, reveals upcoming Tesla updates.

by on Dec.29, 2017

Tesla CEO Elon Musk held court on Twitter recently, promising everything from a pickup truck to improved Autopilot.

Tesla founder and CEO Elon Musk went “all Oprah” on Twitter yesterday. He asked his followers for input on how to improve the company’s vehicles and as the answers came back he basically rubber stamped approvals like Oprah gives out cars.

The charismatic EV company leader received more than 13,000 responses to his query, which also sought feedback on his other companies, such as SpaceX, SolarCity and The Boring Co., but most centered on what Tesla mavens wanted to see in the future.

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He responded to about a dozen, promising one respondent that the company will “make a pickup truck right after Model Y.” He added that he is “dying to build it,” so when the company debuts the Model Y, the truck could be part of that unveiling, based on the last event. (more…)

Alfa’s Next SUV Will Be Bigger, Hybrid-Powered

Making “a little big bigger.”

by on Dec.28, 2017

Auto Express used a bit of Photoshop magic to give a hint of what the larger Alfa SUV might look like.

Alfa Romeo’s next SUV will not only be the brand’s biggest model ever but also its first hybrid, according to the Italian automaker’s chief technical officer.

With the Stelvio, Alfa’s first ute, clicking with buyers around the world, the brand is betting the next, as yet-unnamed SUV will continue to power its global revival plan. But it will be just one of three new models set to debut during the next couple years.

Fueling Up on News!

“The Stelvio for sure is an example of Alfa DNA, why don’t we translate that in a car which is a little bit bigger?” asked CTO Roberto Fedeli, in an interview with Britain’s Auto Express magazine. (more…)

Uber Taking More Lumps Over Evasive Tactics

Company's problems expanding in Europe, Asia

by on Dec.27, 2017

Uber continues to face problems in London and now that's expanded to Vietnam.

Uber, even though it has promised to clean up its odious management culture, is still getting into trouble of trying to evade laws and regulations in various countries where it operates.

Taxi drivers in London, in one case that his gotten an enormous amount of attention, want to charge Uber’s top management in the United Kingdom with perjury after Transport for London accused ride-sharing company of lying to the High Court.

Legal News!

In a 21-page letter to Uber seen by The Sunday Times, TfL says it refused to renew the company’s operating license in September because Uber had given it “materially false and misleading” information many times. (more…)

Musk Mucks Up DM, Shares Digits with 17M Twitter Followers

Musk was reaching out to Facebook's CTO Carmack.

by on Dec.20, 2017

Elon Musk make a boo-boo today, accidentally tweeting his phone number to 16.7 million Twitter followers today.

Even tech oriented geniuses have bad moments on social media. No, not referencing President Donald Trump, but someone nearly as prolific on Twitter, Tesla founder and CEO Elon Musk.

Musk accidentally sent out his phone number to his 16.7 million twitter followers. Apparently, he was attempting to direct message John Carmack, chief technology officer of Facebook’s Oculus virtual reality division.

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“Do you have a sec to talk? My cell is …” the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX wrote in a message directed at a Facebook executive. (more…)

Less Polarizing Jeep Cherokee Set to Debut at NAIAS

Mid-cycle update adopts more classic Jeep face.

by on Dec.19, 2017

The Jeep Cherokee gets a mid-cycle refresh for the 2019 model year, and it debuts at the Detroit Auto Show next month.

‘Tis the season for automakers to hand out gifts to loyal fans in the form of sneak previews of products coming to the North American International Auto Show next month. And among the more notorious teasers to cross our desk was one offering pics of the 2019 Jeep Cherokee.

The Cherokee nameplate has been around for more than four decades, though it was briefly renamed Liberty here in the U.S. When the nameplate was revived for the 2014 model-year it set heads spinning and tongues clacking due to the unusual design – especially the unusual, two-tier lighting.

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The 2019 edition may be a mid-cycle update but it gets more than just the usual minor tweaks, at least based on what these images reveal. Among other things, that includes more traditional headlamps framing the classic, keystone-style Jeep seven-slat grille. (more…)