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Archive for the ‘NAFTA’ Category

Pininfarina’s Battista EV Quietly Punches Out 1,900 HP

But don’t expect to get that 280 miles range when you’re pushing 217 mph.

by on Mar.06, 2019

The Automobili Pininfarina Battista makes its debut at the Geneva Motor Show.

There are plenty of skeptics when it comes to battery-electric vehicles, but resistance seems to be fading among serious performance fans, and a quick tour of this week’s Geneva Motor Show may help explain why.

Among the fastest and most powerful cars making their debut, the majority use some form of battery-based technology, including plug-ins like the Aston Martin AM RB 003, and the all-electric Pininfarina Battista.

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The first battery supercar from the legendary Italian design house, the Battista will produce a jaw-dropping 1,900 horsepower and 1,696 pound-feet of torque, making it one of the most powerful, street-legal vehicles ever unleashed. How fast? Pininfarina claims it will hit 60 in less than two seconds and top out at 217 mph. (more…)

Ferrari Offers a V-8 Tribute with its F8 Tributo

New model draws inspiration from its predecessors.

by on Mar.05, 2019

The Ferrari F8 Tributo borrows from its exterior styling from several of its predecessors.

There were plenty of different routes Ferrari might have taken with the new, mid-engine V-8 sports car it unleashed at the Geneva Motor Show on Tuesday. In the end, it seems, it took the simpler approach.

Though billed as all-new, the Ferrari F8 Tributo isn’t all that new, after all, the two-seater just an evolutionary update of the four-year-old Ferrari 488. Not that that’s necessarily a bad thing.

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The berlinetta, says the automaker, “sets the market benchmark for performance, driving pleasure and ease of handling. It makes the exhilarating performance of the best 8-cylinder in the world accessible to all drivers, with unprecedented handling and superior ride comfort.” (more…)

Mazda Takes Cover Off New Small Crossover

New CUV is latest in portfolio makeover.

by on Mar.05, 2019

Akira Marumoto, Mazda’s Representative Director, President and CEO, reveals the new CX-30 in Geneva.

Mazda revealed the CX-30 in Geneva, the small crossover it teased last month, saying the new “core model” will be rolled out globally throughout the rest of the year.

The name of the small CUV might be slightly different in the U.S. when it finally arrives in dealerships as the earlier glimpse of the vehicle was called the CX-3. Since in America, Mazda’s alpha-numeric line-up uses just single numbers, such as CX-9 or Mazda6, it’s likely it’ll lose the zero at the end.

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Unsurprisingly, it sticks to the Kodo design language that now dominates Mazda’s product portfolio, and Mazda officials said the design team hoped to create a car that would help owners and their families “make new and stimulating discoveries within their daily lives.”

“We designed the CX-30 to be an essential partner in the customer’s life,” said Akira Marumoto, Mazda’s Representative Director, President and CEO. Adding, “it will be made at key global plants so we can deliver Mazda’s renowned driving pleasure and matured Kodo design to customers all over the world.

(Live from Geneva! Click Here for our complete show coverage.)

“Moving forward, our new products and technologies will ensure customers continue to see the value in owning a Mazda car. We aim to be recognized as a brand that forms the strongest of bonds with each customer.”

The small crossover is designed to be big on the inside with room for four adults, making it a full-service utility vehicle. The automaker also took time to give the second-gen model some engine upgrades improving acceleration. The overall ride and handling has been improved as well.

(Click Here for TDB’s first drive in the 2019 Mazda MX-5 Miata.)

The new crossover is a mild hybrid and will be “the first production car to feature Mazda’s innovative SPCCI technology,” the company confirms, a reference to what is more often referred to as the SkyActiv-X engine.

For those not familiar with the “X,” it will become the first production powertrain that can run in homogeneous charge compression mode. Essentially, it uses extremely high compression rates, like a diesel, but runs on gasoline.

(Compact Mazda CUV to break cover in Geneva. Click Here for the story.)

Other automakers have been trying to figure out how to make HCCI work effectively and been stymied. Mazda’s approach is to add a spark plug to ensure the highly compressed fuel-air mixture always ignites at the right time. That’s why it calls its technology SPCCI, or Spark Plug Controlled Compression Ignition. The automaker claims it still can get diesel-like fuel economy, as well as surprisingly good performance, out of the engine.

Bugatti Marks 110th Anniversary with $19M Hypercar

La Voiture Noire debuts at Geneva Motor Show

by on Mar.05, 2019

Bugatti's Stephan Winkelmann reveals the most expensive production car ever made: the $19 million La Voiture Noire.

Bugatti needed a way to mark its 110th anniversary. So how does a French sports car brand known for its luxurious, powerful and ohmigosh expensive vehicles celebrate? By building the most expensive new car ever made: La Voiture Noire.

“The true form of luxury is individuality. ‘La Voiture Noire’ is now at the cutting edge of automobile production. It is a sculptural beauty with unique technology, the ideal grand tourisme,” said Bugatti President Stephan Winkelmann.

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This is a coupé with the comfort of a luxury limousine and the power of a hyper sports car, he added. That special, one-off hypercar hit the show floor at the Geneva Motor Show with a price tag of $19 million … and it was already paid for. (more…)

Honda Updates New e Prototype for Geneva

Japanese make announces electric production plans for Europe.

by on Mar.05, 2019

Honda's new e Prototype is an all-electric city car that will go into production later this year.

Honda rolled out its vision for an all-electric “city car” at the Geneva Motor Show, and like many of its competitors, it’s got a unique exterior design that helps set it apart from an expanding group of small, functional and efficient vehicles.

The three-door hatchback, which Honda has dubbed the e Prototype, has been shown before and continues to generate chatter about its cutesy, almost anthropomorphic, looks. Honda suggests that the car will go into production later this year.

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No pricing has been set for the new car, it will travel about 200 km, or 124 miles, on a single charge. It can also be recharged to 80% in just 30 minutes, the company notes. However, how much of the unique, cutesy design will remain is the question. (more…)

Chinese EV Maker Niro Charged Up for Battery Swapping

Swapping dead for new is faster than recharging.

by on Mar.05, 2019

Chinese EV Maker Nio is swapping batteries instead of plugging them in to "recharge" them.

While most EV makers and battery producers scramble to find a way to reduce battery charging times, Nio – known as China’s Tesla – is taking a different approach by swapping batteries as a way of recharging in the same amount of time it takes to refill a gas tank.

Owners of Nio’s ES6 and ES8 sport-utility vehicles can already access the entirely automated battery swap service it calls “Power Swap. It’s already available in nine cities in China and it’s expected to grow to at least 40 by the end of this year.

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Basically, the driver enters a swap station and waits while an autonomous robot removes a vehicle’s drained battery and replaces it with a fully charged one. (more…)

First Drive: 2019 Audi A8 L Quattro

A supreme combination of luxury and performance.

by on Mar.05, 2019

The Audi A8 L Quattro may be among the best-looking vehicles on the road today.

Passenger cars come in wide variety of shapes and sizes.

But no vehicle has the presence and stately grace of a well-made sedan and the Audi A8 L Quattro certainly fits the bill with its extra-long wheel base, roomy cabin, quiet ride and an extensive complement of technology designed to make driving less stressful and even less eventful for the driver.

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However, I also had a sneaking suspicion when I saw the spacious rear seat that this was actually a car where a chauffeur did the driving while the owner and his or her colleagues enjoy the comfortable ride and perhaps the view from large side windows. (more…)

Daimler Getting Smart With Forease+ at Geneva Show

The new model is a more practical, down-to-earth version of the forease.

by on Mar.04, 2019

Smart is introducing the next iteration of its forease concept: the forease+. The hardtop can be seen at the Geneva Motor Show this year.

Daimler continues to tinker with its smart car brand, now an all-electric portfolio, and at the Geneva Motor Show it will show off its forease+, which is the next edition of its small electric, this time with a hardtop roof.

The smart forease+ is more than a showcar, Daimler claims, adding “it is the embodiment of the smart brand itself: individual, dynamic, sustainable.” The smart forease+ traces its origins all the way back to the forease, a small open air city car that debuted last fall at the Paris Motor Show.

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Like its predecessor sibling, it features quirky headlights, an almost comically designed exterior and interior all brought to life within an iconically small footprint. However, as a city car, an idea which is quickly gaining steam, a standout model could succeed. (more…)

Mercedes-AMG Offers a More Thrills With New GT R Roadster

New roadster at home on the track or on the streets.

by on Mar.04, 2019

Mercedes is only producing 750 of its new AMG GT R Roadsters.

Though Mercedes-Benz, like many other automakers, is focusing on producing more SUVs and SUV-like vehicles it’s also not completely giving up on its performance-based models, especially if the new Mercedes-AMG GT R Roadster is any indication.

The German automaker is producing just 750 of the little open-air rockets globally. The roadster puts out 577 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque from its twin-turbo V8. A sprint from standstill to 60 mph is reached in 3.5 seconds. The exhilarating power delivery continues right up to the top speed of 197 mph.

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The new model offers supreme handling with adjustable coil-over suspension with active rear axle steering, active aerodynamics and intelligent lightweight construction form the foundations for highly dynamic handling characteristics.  (more…)

Bugging Out: VW Brings ID Buggy Concept to Geneva Motor Show

Could the electric dune buggy offer a hint of what’s to come?

by on Mar.04, 2019

The VW I.D. Buggy Concept is a two-seater but could be configured as a 2+2.

Where are the Beach Boys when you need them? That classic California surf rock band would seem to be able to provide the perfect soundtrack for the latest all-electric show car from Volkswagen, the I.D. Buggy.

Drawing inspiration from the once popular sand-crawlers of the 1960s and 1970s, this retro-futuristic concept vehicle gives another look at the flexibility of VW’s new, battery-electric MEB architecture, a platform that will used for the majority of the more than 50 all-electric vehicles the German automaker plans to launch by 2025.

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The original Beetle was the starting point for most of those dune buggies, raising the question of whether the I.D. Buggy might hint at the revival of the Bug in all-electric form. (more…)