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Archive for the ‘Technology’ Category

Chinese EV Maker Byton Unwraps 2nd Model at L.A. Auto Show

“We need a lot of funding,” CEO admits, outlining challenges ahead.

by on Dec.03, 2018

Byton CEO Carson Breitfield talks about the new K-Byte EV at the Los Angeles Auto Show.

The global automotive market is in the midst of a revolution, something obvious to anyone attending this year’s Los Angeles Auto Show. Not only are we seeing a push into new technologies like electrification and autonomy, but the established carmakers are being taken on by a variety of automotive upstarts.

To a list that already includes the likes of Tesla, Faraday Future and Rivian, add China-based Byton. The company helped anchor the first day of previews at the L.A. Auto Show by unveiling a prototype of what it says will be its second new model, the K-Byte. But Byton officials also acknowledged that they still face challenges in their road to production.

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The debut of the K-Byte follows Byton’s original prototype, the M-Byte, and targets a relatively mainstream buyer, at least by the standards of the electric vehicle market. According to Breitfeld, the sleek battery-sedan will come in at a starting price of around $45,000 when it comes to market. The target, at least, is to have it reach showrooms in China next year, followed by a late 2019 launch in the U.S., and a European roll-out in 2020. (more…)

Nissan’s Flagship Maxima Only Gets Better for 2019

Part family car, part racer powered by 300 hp V6.

by on Nov.30, 2018

Dan Mohnke, senior vice president, Sales & Marketing and Operations, Nissan North America, left, and Alfonso Albaisa, senior vice president of Nissan Motor Co. Ltd., Global Design unveil the 2019 Nissan Maxima.

Just as more and more automakers seem to be fleeing from passenger cars, Nissan appears to be doubling down — at least if the 2019 Maxima unveiled in Los Angeles is any indication.

The Maxima has long been the company’s flagship sedan. It’s part family hauler and part race car — maybe more race car. In an era that has seen passenger car sales fall precipitously, the Maxima roars on for next year, especially since it sports a standard 300 horsepower, 3.5-liter V6 powerplant.

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“As our flagship sedan, Maxima is an important contributor to the Nissan brand,” said Dan Mohnke, senior vice president, Sales & Marketing and Operations, Nissan Division U.S., Nissan North America, Inc. “Maxima is our longest running nameplate, having thrilled owners for four decades with style, performance and quality.” (more…)

Honda Insight Named Green Car of the Year

Jaguar I-Pace and Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV also honored.

by on Nov.29, 2018

Honda's Ray Mikichuk with Green Car Publisher Ron Cogan and Green Car of the Year Insight.

The 2019 Honda Insight was named the Green Car of the Year on Thursday, during a news conference at the Los Angeles Auto Show.

The hybrid sedan had to share the stage, however, with two other winners, the Jaguar I-Pace taking home a trophy as Luxury Green Car of the Year, while the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV was honored as SUV Green Car of the Year.

The award comes as something of a vindication for Honda. The automaker was actually the first to sell a hybrid in the U.S. market, but the original, two-seat Insight, launched in 1999, was a slow seller and a second version bearing the Insight badge didn’t do much better. The new model finally appears to be connecting with consumers by “being a no-compromise vehicle,” Ray Mikichuk, Honda’s assistant vice president for U.S. sales, told TheDetroitBureau.com.

(more…)

GM Moves Ammann into CEO Role at GM Cruise

Move marks the second in six months for Ammann.

by on Nov.29, 2018

General Motors President Dan Ammann is now GM Cruise Chief Executive Officer Dan Ammann.

General Motors President Dan Ammann is changing jobs again, now serving as the full time as the Chief Executive Officer of GM Cruise, GM’s autonomous vehicle subsidiary.

Ammann had worked closely with Cruise since GM acquired the self-driving vehicle start up back in 2016.

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The move marks the second time in six months that Ammann’s role within the company has been changed. In July, he shifted some of his responsibilities to Executive Vice President Mark Reuss to focus on the company’s development of autonomous vehicles.  (more…)

VW’s Keogh Confirms Plans for New US Plant for Electric Vehicle

New site will build $30K to $40K EV for U.S. market by 2020.

by on Nov.29, 2018

VW of America President Scott Keogh confirmed plans to bring an EV to the U.S. by 2020 and VW is looking for location for an EV plant in the U.S.

Volkswagen’s top U.S. official confirmed the German automaker is searching for a place to build a new plant that will produce a new electric vehicle aimed for the mass market with a price tag of less than $40K.

Scott Keogh, VW of America president, told reporters at the L.A. Auto Show that the company was intent on introducing a new EV in the U.S. by 2020. The vehicle would be priced between $30K and $40K, making it competitive with the Tesla Model 3 and Chevrolet Bolt, the current top sellers.

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He also noted the company would like to build this vehicle in the U.S. and a search was underway to find a location for the new plant. (more…)

Toyota Adds New Hybrid Model to Corolla Portfolio

New battery-electric gas sipper debuts at L.A. Auto Show.

by on Nov.29, 2018

The new 2020 Toyota Corolla Hybrid is expected to get more than 50 mpg.

Toyota is known for its leadership in the hybrid marketplace with the Prius, especially with its newest model, the Prius AWD-e that debuted at the L.A. Auto Show; however, it wasn’t the only new hybrid on display, the Corolla hybrid made its premiere as well.

The big news on the Corolla was the complete exterior redesign it received for the 2020 model year, but lost in the hubbub was the fact that it also gets a hybrid version of the old reliable compact that’s been bouncing around for more than two decades.

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The new Corolla hybrid gets at least 50 mpg combined fuel economy, according to Toyota’s projections, making it the most fuel-efficient Corolla to ever. (more…)

North American Car, Truck, SUV of the Year Finalists Announced

Double threats from both Honda, Hyundai.

by on Nov.28, 2018

The 2019 Volvo S60 is one of the three finalists for North American Car of the Year.

It’s down to nine. From an initial list of nearly 100 passenger car and light truck models, the 60 journalist members of the North American Car, Truck and Utility Vehicle of the Year jury have narrowed things down with the announcement of the three finalists in each of those three categories today.

A number of the finalists were widely expected to make the cut, which was revealed at the Los Angeles Auto Show media preview, but there were a few surprises. Among other things, both Honda and Hyundai landed two models in contention.

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But even more notable was the fact that two of the three finalists for Utility Vehicle of the Year are all-electric. In fact, the nine include quite a few “electrified” models, ranging from the mild-hybrid Ram 1500 pickup to the all-electric Jaguar I-Pace, signaling the way battery technology is rapidly moving from niche to mainstream. (more…)

Audi Taps the Iron Man to Reveal New e-tron GT

Third Audi EV will also be one of its fastest cars ever.

by on Nov.28, 2018

Actor and Audi fan Robert Downey Jr., left, and designer Marc Lichte, pull the covers off the new Audi e-tron GT sports car in Los Angeles.

We got a hint of what Audi has in mind as it launches its first performance electric car earlier this week with some intentionally blurry images of the upcoming e-tron GT. Now, the automaker has put the battery-electric sports car into sharp focus with the help of the “Iron Man,” actor Robert Downey Jr.

A serious Audi fan himself, Downey paired up with designer Marc Lichte to lift the covers off the e-tron GT during a media sneak peek in downtown Los Angeles ahead of the car’s formal debut at the L.A. Auto Show.

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“I’ve been having an extramarital affair for a decade – with a brand,” the actor joked, as he and the designer smiled for photographers gathered at the invitation-only event. (more…)

New Wrangler-Based Pickup Gets a Name: Gladiator

Truck's exterior look lives up to its new/old name.

by on Nov.28, 2018

The long-awaited pickup for Jeep made its debut in Los Angeles. The 2020 Gladiator will hit dealerships in Q2 next year.

The anticipation ahead of the introduction of the new Jeep pickup truck has been building for months, growing to point where it could be cut by a knife.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles presented the new truck at the Los Angeles Auto Show with the introduction of the 2020 Jeep Gladiator.

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“Unquestionably a truck and instantly recognizable as a Jeep, the all-new 2020 Gladiator is the ultimate vehicle for any outdoor adventure,” said Tim Kuniskis, head of Jeep Brand – North America. (more…)

Toyota Introducing New Prius AWD-e in L.A.

New electric AWD gives fourth-gen version more capability.

by on Nov.28, 2018

The 2019 Toyota Prius AWD-e uses four electric motors on each will to up the power and efficiency.

What do you do when you have the best-known and best-selling hybrid in the world? Toyota made the newest Prius more … capable.

Not only can you get places cheaper, in the 2019 Prius AWD-e, you can get to more places cheaper with the car’s new AWD-e system. Toyota officials claim that new Prius AWD-e will lay claim to being one of the most fuel-efficient all-wheel-drive-equipped passenger cars available in the U.S.

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Toyota is projecting mpg estimates of 52 mpg city/48 mpg highway/50 mpg combined. Apparently, the Japanese automaker believes that “go anywhere” capability is the secret sauce as Toyota estimates that the AWD-model could account for as much as 25% of annual U.S. Prius sales. (more…)