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Genesis Goes Urban With Mint Battery-Car

Is this the “ideal city car” for the Big Apple?

by on Apr.16, 2019

The Genesis Mint concept could hint at a high-end city car using the brand's upcoming battery platform.

Genesis is plugging into this year’s New York International Auto Show – quite literally, with the Mint, a battery-electric city car concept making its debut at a media preview.

Targeting the likes of the now all-electric Smart fortwo, the two-seat Genesis Mint could be “the ideal city car (for) New York, suggested Manfred Fitzgerald, Executive Vice President and Global Head of the Genesis Brand.

Auto Show News!

Whether the luxury brand has specific plans to bring the Mint to market is uncertain, but company officials have confirmed they are working up a flexible battery-electric “architecture” that will be used for an assortment of future all-electric vehicles, with the first likely due to market in about two to three years.

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Aston Martin’s Long-Awaited EV, the Rapide E Rolls Into Shanghai

Low-volume sport sedan will be followed by two electric crossovers.

by on Apr.16, 2019

Two years late, Aston Martin debuted its battery-electric speedster, the Rapide E, at Auto Shanghai.

Few countries are plugging into battery-power more rapidly than China, so it would seem appropriate that Aston Martin would bring its first all-electric model, the Rapide E, to Auto Shanghai for its formal debut.

Originally intended to be developed as part of a joint venture with China’s LeEco, the project is nearly two years behind schedule and, with the Chinese start-up pulling out of the project, Aston now plans to build just 155 of the battery-electric vehicles. But it says it will use what it has learned for future BEVs, including both a plug-based version of its upcoming DBX crossover, as well as the Lagonda crossover due out in 2021.

Business News!

Calling the unveiling of the Rapide E “a huge moment for Aston Martin,” CEO Andy Palmer said that it “signals Aston Martin is prepared for the huge challenge of an environmentally responsible and sustainable future. As a car company we cannot afford to passively allow that future to come to us; we have to actively chase it. (more…)

Infiniti Qs Inspiration EV Concept Charges into Auto Shanghai

First new Infiniti battery-car “to be built in China, for China."

by on Apr.16, 2019

Infiniti brand design chief Karim Habib helps debut the new Qs Inspiration battery-car concept.

Infiniti has formally unveiled its new Qs Inspiration battery-car concept at 2019 Auto Shanghai and confirmed it will strongly influence the maker’s design direction as it begins rolling out its first all-electric models.

With its tall, blunt nose, and low, fastback roofline, the Qs is meant to “reinterpret” the traditional look of three-box sedan designs. Meanwhile, the flexible architecture underlying the Qs will wind up being used for an array of upcoming battery-electric vehicles, or BEVs.

Electrifying News!

Eventually, Infiniti officials have said, the goal is to offer battery-based powertrains for all of the Infiniti line-up, whether plug-in hybrid or pure electric. But the automaker noted that its first BEV will be “built in China, for China.” That comes as no surprise to many industry observers considering the New Energy Vehicle mandate enacted in late 2017 which has already transformed China into the world’s largest market for plug-based vehicles.

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Cadillac Lifts Covers on New CT5 Sedan

Despite push into utes, brand remains “very much committed to sedans.”

by on Apr.16, 2019

The Sport edition of the 2020 Cadillac CT5 reveals the brand's commitment to sedans that are fun to drive.

Cadillac has rolled out a procession of new utility vehicles during the past several years, including the compact XT4 that debuted at the New York International Auto Show in 2018. General Motors’ luxury brand is back in the Big Apple this week with another new entry, though the debut of the CT5 sedan shows Caddy won’t be a one-trick pony.

The brand remains “very much committed to sedans,” said Caddy President Steve Carlisle, even if the options will be fewer than had been planned earlier in the decade.

News You Can Trust!

Meant to replace the old CTS, the new sedan slots under the big CT6, the current Cadillac flagship which is, at least for now, set to go out of production in the next year. As such, the new model will have to put the best face forward for the brand, especially in the Chinese market where sedans remain a popular choice among high-line consumers. (more…)

2nd Generation Audi Q3 Grows Larger, More Sophisticated

Compact luxury crossover to start at $35,695.

by on Apr.15, 2019

A late entry for the 2019 model-year, Audi's second-generation Q3 is just reaching U.S. shores.

Audi’s compact Q3 crossover is making its formal first public showing at the New York International Auto Show this week and will be available in a variety of different trim packages starting at $35,695, the automaker announced just ahead of the annual NYIAS media preview.

The 2019 Audi Q3 grows larger and more powerful, while also adding more premium features, including the now-standard Quattro all-wheel-drive system. Audi’s interiors have long been an industry benchmark, but the automaker has given the cabin a distinctive new look that emphasizes the upgrades infotainment and digital display technology.

News You Can Trust!

Audi is facing a raft of competition in one of the market’s fastest-growing segments, so it’s no surprise it has decided to give the Q3 an upgrade, rather than just a facelift. The carmaker is also offering a variety of different trim levels that let buyers choose something that’s more sporty or, if they prefer, a bit more elegant. (more…)

Tarok Concept Hints at VW’s Return to U.S. Pickup Market

Although there are no plans for the U.S. ”… Tarok is meant to “gauge reaction.”

by on Apr.15, 2019

Volkswagen's Tarok Concept suggests the German automaker may be bringing a new small pickup to new markets.

There was a time when Volkswagen was a serious player in the U.S. pickup market. It even offered a truck based on the old Rabbit hatchback between 1978 and 1984. And now, with downsized pickups gaining momentum again, the German automaker is hinting that it just might be ready to make its return.

We got the first sign at the New York International Auto Show in March of 2018, with the debut of the Tanoak Concept based on the big VW Atlas SUV. Now, the automaker is coming back to the 2019 NYIAS with another pickup prototype, this one dubbed the Tarok Concept. And it suggests VW planners are a big step closer to giving the project the green light.

What a Concept!

“Although there are no plans to produce the vehicle for the U.S. market, the Tarok concept is being shown to gauge market reaction for a truly versatile and compact entry-level pickup,” VW said in a statement accompanying these images. (more…)

Ford Muscles Up its “Entry-Level” Mustang

New EcoBoost High-Performance Package could give Mustang GT a run for the money.

by on Apr.15, 2019

On a curvy track, Ford estimates, the Mustang HPP could match the performance of the GT.

Gone are the days when Ford would offer a version of the Mustang derisively known as a “secretary’s car,” a coupe that was all show and no go. These days, even the base version of the pony car has some real kick.

And the automaker is planning to step that up a notch with the launch of the new High Performance Package, featuring a specially modified version of the turbocharged-four engine in the “base” Mustang. The higher-revving 2.3-liter EcoBoost engine will make 330 horsepower – 20 more than the standard turbo-four package, and 350 pound-feet of torque.

Performance News!

With a 0 to 60 launch of 4.5 seconds, the High Performance Package, or HPP, will be able to give the Mustang GT a serious run for the money, especially in the corners considering the four-cylinder package is about 200 pounds lighter than the GT.

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Nissan Kicks Out the Jams to Launch 2020 Versa

Small car offering a lot of features in new incarnation.

by on Apr.12, 2019

Nissan took the 2020 Versa all the way to the Tortuga Muscia Festival in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, for its debut.

The New York Auto Show will see more than two dozen new models debut next week. For some automakers, that’s a great place to launch a new product. For others, it’s a problem, as they worry about getting lost in the crowd.

That’s apparently a key reason why Nissan decided to kick out the jams with the introduction of the new, 2020 Versa, and introduce it in Fort Lauderdale today, having the stage all to itself at the Tortuga Music Festival. Okay, not entirely to itself, but having Kenny Chesney and Sheryl Crow as headliners certainly didn’t hurt.

The Last Word!

“First impressions are exceptionally important, which is why we are thrilled to introduce the all-new 2020 Versa directly to our customers in such a memorable way,” said Claudia Marquez, vice president of sales operations for Nissan North America. “The Versa is our first impression into the Nissan family. I believe that when customers see this beautiful new car and all the amazing technology that comes with it for the price, they will be part of the Nissan family for life.” (more…)

Survey: Most Americans See EVs as City, Commuter Cars

Majority see the need for just 75 miles of daily range.

by on Apr.12, 2019

One of several recent Mini electric vehicle concepts.

Sales of battery-based vehicles have finally begun to escalate as their availability – along with public awareness – grows. But a new survey suggests that consumers are pigeonholing them into a niche that could limit their popularity.

Nearly two out of three American consumers said they saw the best way to use a battery vehicle was for commuting or as a city car, according to the survey by Mini USA, the British automaker that is itself preparing to enter the electric vehicle market.

Electrifying News!

“It is important for us as a brand to understand how consumers want to use their electric vehicles, and what they know and don’t know about them as we move closer to the launch of the MINI Cooper S E electric vehicle in the U.S.,” said Andrew Cutler, Head of Corporate Communications, MINI USA.

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It’s Official! Really! GM to Reveal Mid-Engine C8 Corvette in July

GM President Mark Reuss releases barely camo’d pic.

by on Apr.12, 2019

The mid-engine Chevrolet Corvette is finally out in the open and set for a formal July reveal.

To misappropriate a quote by Humphrey Bogart from “The Maltese Falcon,” “It’s the stuff dreams are made of.”

For decades, General Motors has sniffed off rumors that it was developing the sort of mid-engine Chevrolet Corvette that proponents said was needed to turn the classic American sports car into a true world-beater. In recent years, rumors have been rampant, along with sightings of prototypes caught with less and less camouflage. But, time and again, the automaker has refused to comment or commit.

Breaking Product News!

Until now, that is. Late Thursday, GM President Mark Reuss put his official stamp on the clearest image yet of the C8. Specifics are scarce, but for the two most important details. His tweet declared it “The Next Generation Corvette,” and announced that the C8 will make its official debut on July 18, 2019.

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