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First Look: Chevy Lifts Veil Off the Corvette ZR1 in Dubai

The “King Kong” Corvette is the fastest, most powerful version ever…but more is in store.

by on Nov.13, 2017

At 755 hp and with a top speed of 755, the 2019 ZR1 is the fastest, most powerful Corvette ever.

The Corvette rumor mill has been buzzing at an intense pace in recent months, with something big expected to come out before the end of the year. And so it has. Though the big news isn’t the long-awaited, mid-engine Vette, the C7 variant making its debut at the Dubai Motor Show is the fastest and most powerful Corvette ever.

The 2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 comes as close as ever to giving foreign supercar brands like Aston Martin, Ferrari and Lamborghini a real run for the money – and, indeed, at $130,000, this 755 horsepower King Kong Corvette is a veritable bargain.

Inside News!

“Its unprecedented performance puts all other global supercars on notice that the ZR1 is back,” said Mark Reuss, executive vice president, Global Product Development, Purchasing and Supply Chain, during the ZR1’s Dubai, Dubai Debut.

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“Widespread shortcomings”: Key Analyst Trashes Tesla Model 3 After Test Drive

“Relatively poor” fit and finish, says Bernstein analyst.

by on Nov.10, 2017

A handful of Model 3 sedans at the Fremont plant waiting to be delivered to early customers.

Already hammered by manufacturing problems that have severely limited line rates at its Fremont, California assembly plant, Tesla’s Model 3 is being trashed by a key automotive industry analyst after taking the compact battery-electric vehicle for a test drive.

The Model 3 is Tesla’s first entry into the mainstream automotive market and, unlike its earlier models which appeal to affluent buyers with multiple vehicles, the new sedan is going after everyday owners who may have only one vehicle at home. As such, getting quality right is expected to be a critical challenge for the California-based automaker.

The Last Word!

“Our inspection revealed widespread shortcomings in fit and finish ,” wrote Bernstein analyst Toni Sacconaghi, after taking the Model 3 for a test drive out of Tesla’s showroom in Brooklyn. “Tesla representatives acknowledged some of the fit issues, but stated that they believed that Model 3 was much further ahead than where Model X and S had been at this point in production.”

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Driverless Shuttle Crashes During Public Debut in Las Vegas

Fender-bender blamed on the other, human driver.

by on Nov.10, 2017

Initially, the shuttles, built by Navya, were used autonomously, but they began operating without drivers this week. (Photo credit: Jeff Zurschmeide)

It’s not a good thing to get involved in a crash during your first day on the job. But that’s what happened this week when a fully driverless shuttle bus was making its debut run – complete with dignitaries and journalists onboard – in Las Vegas.

The shuttle was following a predetermined route through the city when it came up on a food delivery truck trying to squeeze down a narrow ally to make a delivery. The autonomous shuttle bus stopped and waited but the trailer eventually backed out, trying to reposition itself, and rammed the bus.

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Las Vegas police were called to the scene and determined the truck driver was at fault. And a spokesman for transportation firm Keolis, which is running the trial program, claimed the shuttle couldn’t move out of the way “because there was traffic behind it.” The system, the spokesman said, “operated as it was supposed to.” (more…)

Hyundai May Build New Pickup, SUV in U.S.

Move would require expansion of Alabama plant.

by on Nov.10, 2017

Hyundai won raves for the Santa Cruz concept, a car-based pickup, which it sorely needs in its U.S. line-up.

Slow to adapt to the shift from passenger cars to light trucks, Hyundai Motor Co. is racing to add new SUVs, as well as its first pickup truck, to its line-up, and it is giving serious consideration to producing them in its Alabama assembly plant.

Hyundai was one of the fastest-growing brands coming out of the American economic recession, but its growth has stalled over the last few years, analysts largely pointing to the Korean carmaker’s limited SUV options — the Santa Fe and the Tucson – at a time when light trucks account for nearly two-thirds of the American automotive market.

Product News!

Hyundai officials have confirmed plans to expand the mix, with at least one, and likely two more SUVs coming. A version of the wildly popular Santa Cruz pickup is also nearing production and expected to be launched as early as the 2019 model-year.

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EU Plans Big Cuts in CO2 Emissions; Move Will Accelerate Race to Electrify

Proposal would cut exhaust emissions by 30% -- which automakers label “overly challenging.”

by on Nov.09, 2017

The EU's current target for 2021 would equal 54 mpg. That would jump 30% by 2030.

With some of the world’s toughest emissions rules already in place, the European Commission wants to crack down even harder on CO2, the gas primarily blamed for global warming.

This week’s announcement comes at a time when a number of European countries, as well as some major cities, are planning their own crackdowns on emissions. Several nations, including Norway, the UK and France, have either laid out plans to ban the internal combustion engine entirely or are studying such moves.

Industry News!

Currently, the EU is set to trim CO2 emissions to just 95 grams per kilometer by 2021, equal to fuel economy of about 57.4 miles per gallon, for passenger cars. For light commercial vehicles the target is 147 grams.

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When 1,600 HP Isn’t Enough: Devel Sixteen Promising 5,000 Ponies

310 mph hypercar set to debut at Dubai Motor Show

by on Nov.09, 2017

If it lives up to expectations, the Devel Sixteen will easily become the world's most powerful hypercar.

Whether you’re talking muscle cars like the Dodge Demon, or hypercars like the Bugatti Chiron, somebody always thinks there needs to be a bit more power. But if the promise being made by a Dubai-based automotive start-up holds true, we just might be hitting the performance wall.

Set to debut at the Dubai Motor show next week, the Devel Sixteen is said to make an eye-popping 5,000 horsepower from its quad-turbo V-16 engine, enough to propel it to a top speed of 310 miles per hour. To put that into perspective, that’s more than triple what the Chion and the Hennessey Venom F5 can manage.

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There’ve been plenty of rumors about what Devel might have in store since a prototype was first introduced back in 2013. It even released video two years ago showing the engine undergoing testing and reaching a full 4,515 hp on the dyno – with developers noting that they had yet to bring those four turbos up to full boost.

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First Look: 2018 Buick LaCrosse Avenir

Buick offers up its answer to GMC’s Denali.

by on Nov.08, 2017

Buick's new upscale LaCrosse gets the Avenir badge. GM's premium brand is tagging high-end versions of its vehicles much like GMC's Denali sub-brand.

Few concept cars have generated more buzz than the Buick Avenir, the sleek and sexy sedan that made its debut at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show. Despite repeated efforts to make a business case, General Motors has given up on putting the concept into production, but the Avenir name lives on.

Think of it as Buick’s answer to GMC’s top-line sub-brand, Denali. We got a look at the first Avenir edition last April with the New York Auto Show debut of the Buick Enclave Avenir. Now, General Motors’ premium brand is giving the Avenir treatment to its midsize LaCrosse sedan.

We Keep You in the Know!

The LaCrosse Avenir is actually just one of several updates the sedan has gotten for 2018. Among other things, Buick has introduced a new mild hybrid system. There’s also a new base trim. Now, the marque is turning to the high end of the midsize segment. (more…)

Waymo to Give Phoenix Riders a Lift in Driverless Minivans

Pilot program just getting underway, but critics question safety.

by on Nov.08, 2017

Waymo plans to uses Level 5 autonomous Chrysler Pacificas for its ride-share pilot program in Phoenix next year.

Already considered one of the leaders in autonomous vehicle technology, Waymo quietly began testing completely driverless vehicles in the Phoenix suburb of Chandler, Arizona, last month. Now, the Google spinoff’s CEO said it will begin using those vehicles in its pilot ride-sharing service within “a few months.”

Waymo is one of a number of companies that now wants to take the driver out of the picture entirely, a move that experts believe will lower the cost of hailing a ride to the point where it will become cheaper than owning and operating a personal vehicle.

Autonomous News!

“We want the experience of traveling with Waymo to be routine, so you want to use our driver for your everyday needs,” Waymo CEO John Krafcik said during a global transportation conference in Lisbon, Portugal. (more…)

Blade Runner 2020? Uber Wants to Launch Flying Cars Over L.A.

Pilot for new service would debut by end of decade.

by on Nov.08, 2017

Uber wants to begin testing its flying cars for its Uber Elevate in Los Angeles in 2020.

When it comes to dealing with the city’s crowded streets, Los Angelenos have to hope that science fiction will soon become an everyday reality.

The recent release of the movie “Blade Runner 2049″ anticipates a day when the skies over L.A. are filled with flying cars. But if Uber has its way, that could happen a lot sooner. The nation’s ride-sharing giant wants to begin test flights of a prototype flying car in Los Angeles in 2020 and hopes to put it into commercial service by 2028.

News You Can Trust!

“Technology will allow L.A. residents to literally fly over the city’s historically bad traffic, giving them time back to use in far more productive ways,” Uber Chief Technology Officer Jeff Holden said during a tech conference in Lisbon today. “At scale, we expect UberAir will perform tens of thousands of flights each day across the city.” (more…)

First Look: 2018 BMW M3 CS

Lighter + More Powerful = Absurdly Fast

by on Nov.07, 2017

The 2018 BMW M3 CS will be the fastest and most powerful version of the M3 yet.

Take your already impressive BMW M3, add some lightweight carbon fiber body panels and then punch up your Twin-Power six to a whopping 453 horsepower and you’re talking some serious performance numbers.

And that’s what the Bavarian automaker will be delivering with the debut of the 2018 BMW M3 CS – a four-door take on the M4 CS model already blazing its way out of BMW showrooms. The most powerful M3 of all time, it will make a whopping 453 horsepower, enough to hit 60 in just 3.7 seconds, with a top speed of 174 mph.

A Real Performer!

We’ve gotten our hands on the first official pics and specifications for the long-rumored M3 CS and its nothing if not an impressive package that will all but certainly find a ready following for those who’ve wanted to take the familiar M3 to new levels of performance.

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