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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…)

VW Ups EV Ante as it Places $25B in Battery Orders

German giant now outspending rival Tesla.

by on Mar.14, 2018

VW plans to have 30 fully electric vehicles ready by 2025, including models based on the ID Buzz and ID Crozz concepts.

As it ramps up plans to sell at least 3 million electrified vehicles annually by 2025, Volkswagen has announced orders for $25 billion worth of batteries and battery components – dwarfing the spending plans of all-electric competitor Tesla.

Longer-term, VW said it plans to more than double that total as it prepares to offer some form of electrified drivetrain for every vehicle in its line-up – including dozens of all-electric models. It plans to roll out its first three long-range battery-electric vehicles this year, including offerings from its Volkswagen, Porsche and Audi brands. It also will launch a new sub-brand, Volkswagen I.D., which will include in its portfolio the all-electric Buzz, a modern take on the automaker’s iconic Microbus.

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Among all 12 brands in the Volkswagen Group family, CEO Matthias Mueller said that there will be new battery-powered models launched “virtually every month,” as the new program ramps up, adding that “This is how we intend to offer the largest fleet of electric vehicles in the world.” (more…)

Toyota Set to Reveal New RAV4 at NY Auto Show

Critical debut for what’s now Toyota’s best-seller.

by on Mar.13, 2018

Toyota hasn't done much to the RAV4 since 2013, nevertheless, it has overtaken the Camry as the brand's best-seller.

Last year saw some momentous changes in the U.S. automotive market, perhaps most notably the surge in demand for SUVs, CUVs and other light trucks. And nowhere was that more apparent than at Toyota where the compact RAV4 toppled the brand’s long-time sales leader, the Camry sedan.

So, Toyota will have a lot riding on what it plans to introduce at the New York International Auto Show later this month, the first complete makeover of the RAV4 since the 2013 model-year. The Japanese giant is counting on the crossover to help it gain even more momentum at a time when there seems to be no end in sight to the light-truck boom.

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Toyota isn’t saying much about the fifth-generation, 2019 crossover, other than to note it will make its debut at New York’s Javits convention center on the morning of March 28, but some details can be gleaned from a teaser image and inside sources.


Tesla Shut Down Model 3 Line – Again – to Make Upgrades

EV maker makes improvements aimed at increasing production speed.

by on Mar.12, 2018

Tesla shut down its plant in California last month to make upgrades to its production line.

Tesla’s ongoing growing pains moving from a low-volume to mass market manufacturer continue as the EV maker had to shut down its production on the Model 3 for a week last month.

The company temporarily suspended production at its Fremont, California plant as well as at its Gigafactory in Nevada, Feb. 20-24, to adjust equipment to improve automation and increase production rates.

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The automaker has been under fire for continually missing deadlines for increasing the production run rates at its plant. The goal is ultimately to produce 500,000 vehicles annually, including 100,000 Model S and X vehicles. The current rate is significantly lower than that. (more…)

Automakers, Suppliers Decry Trump Tariff Implementation

Companies warn that cost increases will get passed to consumers.

by on Mar.09, 2018

Analysts believe the new tariffs will increase the costs consumers pay for a new vehicle in the U.S.

Dealers, carmakers and suppliers were quick to criticize President Donald Trump’s order imposing tariffs on imported steel and aluminum with the exception of imports from Canada or Mexico.

“A tariff is a tax that will result in higher prices that consumers will ultimately bear,” John Bozzella, the president and CEO of Global Automakers, an organization that represents more than a dozen European and Asian automakers as well as key suppliers.

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Earlier in the week, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross tried to downplay the impact by going on television with a can of Campbell’s Soup and telling viewers its price would increase by a fraction of a penny. But considering the amount of steel and aluminum in a typical vehicle, prices for cars could go up by hundreds of dollars, analysts warn. (more…)

The 14 Hottest, Most Important Cars to Debut at the ’18 Geneva Motor Show

Show brings outs the best of the auto industry.

by on Mar.08, 2018

Aston wants to deliver 400-mile range by turning to next-generation solid state batteries.

Its become something of gospel that auto shows are losing their luster. And, while a few recent events might have fallen short of expectations, we can’t say that about this year’s Geneva Motor Show.

The annual event, arguably the most important of the European car shows, brought out dozens of distinctive new cars, trucks, crossovers and concepts, a significant number of them set to reach beyond European shores.

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So, here’s a list of the 14 hottest and most significant debuts – ranked alphabetically, rather than by importance – from the 2018 Geneva Motor Show: (more…)

Smart Joining Forces With Mercedes New EQ Line

Move means smart is only brand with EV and gas options for every model.

by on Mar.06, 2018

The Smart line-up will be converted completely to electric-only models in the next few years.

The battery-electric models from smart will serve as the initial vehicles of the Mercedes-Benz Cars EQ family.

As it is smart is currently the only car manufacturer worldwide to offer its model range in both combustion-engine and all-electric variants. In the U.S. market, smart has already converted to an all-electric strategy to support a sustainable, zero emissions future.

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The smart EQ four two coupe and cabrio are making their world premiere this week at the Geneva Motor Show and will be available in the U.S. market later in 2018. (more…)

Bentley Plugs In: Bentayga PHEV Debuts in Geneva

British maker sets sights on “a sustainable electrified future.”

by on Mar.05, 2018

One would expect the Bentayga Hybrid to come with a wall charger designed by Philippe Starck.

Pity the poor luxury car owner. Regulators around the world are cracking down on emissions and fuel efficiency and some cities – even a few countries – are set to ban internal combustion engines entirely. What’s someone who wants a product as lavish as the Bentley Bentayga to do?

They might want to consider the new Bentley Bentayga Hybrid making its debut at this year’s Geneva Motor Show. It joins the original, 600-horsepower Bentayga W12 model, the newer Bentayga diesel, and a gasoline V-8 just getting ready to go on sale. And, as strict new mandates go into effect in markets as diverse as Berlin and Beijing, it could eventually give those other options a serious run for the money.

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“The Bentayga Hybrid is our first step on the road to electrification, combining traditional Bentley values with the very latest technologies,” said the British marque’s new chairman and CEO Adrian Hallmark. “It gives customers the best of both worlds – engaging, effortless performance on the open road and silent, emission-free driving in the city, which will become increasingly important with the ever-changing regulations around the world.” (more…)

Mercedes Shows Off New C43 Coming to Geneva

The new AMG model carries on legacy of speed and grace.

by on Mar.05, 2018

Mercedes-AMG's new 2019 C43 will make its debut at the Geneva Motor Show.

The early reveals for the Geneva Motor Show are coming fast and furious now with Mercedes-AMG getting in on the action with its new C43 sedan.

The C-Class is Mercedes most popular model in its long history, at least in terms of total sales, and the new model with its four body variants, three available in the U.S., appears ready to carry on that legacy.

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The new C43 received a variety of updates designed to make it more appealing inside and out. On the exterior, the new AMG radiator grille in a twin-louver design, powerfully sculpted front bumper and the new rear bumper with round twin tailpipe trim elements visibly enhance the new C43 Sedan and give it an even more distinct positioning. (more…)

Expert Calls for More Action to Head Off Climate Change

"I am more worried than I was a decade ago."

by on Mar.02, 2018

Lord Nicholas Stern, who wrote a report on the negative impact climate change has on the economy, says he's more concerned than ever.

The ultimate impact of climate change to the global economy has increased during the last decade, but technological advances in sectors such as the auto industry offer some hope for the future.

Lord Nicolas Stern told a conference on “Coping with Change: Global Warming and Decarbonization” sponsored by Venice International University and Alcantara, a supplier of high-tech fabric used in luxury automobiles that time to address the impact of climate change is growing short.

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“I am more worried than I was a decade ago,” said Stern, a professor of economics and government and chair of the Grantham Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at the London School of Economics. (more…)