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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.

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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…)

Uber’s Competition Gets Tougher as New Investors Join Company

Kalanick selling shares for $1.4B to SoftBank.

by on Jan.08, 2018

Former Uber CEO Travis Kalanick is selling $1.4 billion in Uber stock to Japan's SoftBank.

Didi Chuxing Technology Co., China’s dominant ride-hailing company, which recently raised more than $4 billion in fresh capital, is increasing its presence in South America with the acquisition of Brazil’s top ride-sharing service, increasing the pressure on its principle rival, Uber, which continues to face legal challenges on all sides.

Meanwhile, reports indicated that Travis Kalanick, Uber’s founder and former CEO, is preparing to sell 29% of his stake as part of deal with Japan’s SoftBank. The deal could net Kalanick, who was forced to leave his post as CEO last year, an estimated $1.4 billion from the deal. Kalanick still owns 10% of Uber’s stock.

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Also selling Uber shares is Benchmark, a venture capital firm, which is reportedly moving 15% of its holdings worth about $900 million. Both Kalanick and Benchmark will retain seats on the Uber board, according to reports. (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…)

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…)