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Lamborghini Officially Enters Super-SUV Market With Debut of 2019 Urus

Italian exotic maker expects first ute to double its sales.

by on Dec.04, 2017

Lamborghini will deliver the first Urus models to showrooms by spring of next year.

We can expect the new Lamborghini Urus to be quick – and that’s not only on the track. The Italian exotic automaker is looking to more than double its size with the launch of the long-awaited SUV.

Lambo joins a growing list of ultra-premium and supercar manufacturers that have bowed to the seemingly inevitable dominance of the sport-utility vehicle, joining such brands as Bentley and Porsche, while Aston Martin, Rolls Royce and even Ferrari have now confirmed plans to add ute models. For the moment, only McLaren remains a hold-out.

Product News!

“The Lamborghini Urus is a visionary approach based on the infusion of Lamborghini DNA into the most versatile vehicle, the SUV,” proclaimed Stefano Domenicali, Automobili Lamborghini Chairman and Chief Executive Officer during a preview at the company’s headquarters in suburban Modena, Italy. “It is the culmination of intensive development and passionate skill to create a new breed of bull (that) opens the door to new possibilities, for both our brand and our customers.”

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Nissan Gets its Kicks With New SUV

New crossover is “gateway” to the maker’s expanding line-up.

by on Nov.29, 2017

Nissan unveiled its new Kicks crossover vehicle targeted at millennials moving up a vehicle.

Nissan hopes buyers will get their Kicks on Route 66 – as well as I-405, the New York Throughway and pretty much everywhere else – in the maker’s newest sport-utility vehicle.

The 2018 Nissan Kicks becomes the latest in an expanding line-up of crossover models the Japanese maker has been rolling out and arrives at what would seem the perfect time, with utes now accounting for nearly half of the overall U.S. new vehicle market.

Industry News!

Targeting millennials and others who might otherwise opt for an entry-level sedan or hatchback, the Nissan Kicks targets “buyers moving up,” and, said U.S. sales and marketing chief Dan Mohncke, will be “the new gateway to our CUV line-up.”

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Exclusive: Major Changes Coming for Electrified BMW’s i Brand

Specialty models like i3, i8 will be phased out, head of brand reveals.

by on Nov.29, 2017

BMW mobility chief Klaus Froehlich with the new i8 Roadster, Next Vision concept and i3s.

BMW is using this week’s L.A. Auto Show to reveal its new i8 Roadster, the latest in a dedicated line-up of plug-based models that also includes the new i3s battery-electric city car.

But the debut marks something of a swan song for BMW i – at least in the form the brand was initially conceived. The original goal was to use it to market a line-up of specially designed plug-in hybrids and pure battery-electric, or BEV, models. But in a major shift reflecting the rapid evolution of battery technology, the head of BMW’s electric mobility program told TheDetroitBureau.com, those dedicated models will be “phased out.”

Global Auto News!

“For us, electrification is the new normal,” explained Klaus Froehlich, during a conversation at the Los Angeles Convention Center. Going forward, he continued, Going forward, “We will not do dedicated architectures. Instead “all fully-electric models will be (badged) BMW i.”

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All New Yet Surprisingly Familiar: Jeep Formally Unveils 2018 Wrangler

The archetypal SUV is now lighter, more fuel-efficient, more capable.

by on Nov.29, 2017

The 2018 Jeep Wrangler family shown alongside some classic Wrangler of the past.

It takes a second to realize that the Jeep Wrangler sitting on the stand at the Los Angeles Convention Center is new from the ground up. And that’s not by accident. When you’re redesigning an icon, Jeep officials explained, you have to respect tradition.

But don’t let looks fool you. A closer inspection reveals that the 2018 Jeep Wrangler isn’t just a light update. It really is a complete remake of the ultimate off-roader, a vehicle that traces its heritage back to the revolutionary off-roader that crisscrossed battle-scarred Europe and Asia during the dark days of World War II.

Auto Show News!

“Wrangler is instantaneously recognizable anywhere around the world,” said Michael Manley, the head of the Jeep brand, during a preview of the new ute ahead of its official debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show. The challenge, he said, was to make it even better, addressing the issues that even the most dedicated Wrangler loyalists hoped to improve.

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What’s Coming to the 2017 L.A. Auto Show?

An array of utility vehicles, a handful of sedans – and a breakthrough gas engine.

by on Nov.27, 2017

The BMW i8 roadster gets a soft top and a more powerful drivetrain with a longer-range battery

This week marks the opening of the Los Angeles Auto Show, the nation’s first big car show of the 2018 model-year. Over a dozen manufacturers will roll out new products in Tinseltown, some making their global debuts, others appearing for the first time in North America.

While there are a few surprises in store, a number of manufacturers have already offered insight into what they’ll introduce at the L.A. Convention Center. That includes Jeep, which will lift the covers off the much-anticipated new Wrangler sport-utility vehicle. No surprise, in fact, that utes will dominate the show’s schedule, though we’ll see some intriguing products on the passenger car side, including the third-generation Mercedes-Benz CLS and, for mainstream buyers, the new Mazda6.

LA Auto Show News!

The Los Angeles show has a tradition of focusing on green technology and there’ll be plenty of alternative tech to check out, including the new roadster version of BMW’s plug-in hybrid i8, as well as the new Infiniti Q50 which introduces the first variable-compression turbo engine.

Here’s a look at some of the most important introductions we’ll be seeing this week:

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Uber Under Fire as It Belatedly Admits Hackers Stole Data

Ride-sharing service paid off hackers, waited a year to reveal theft affecting 57 million riders and drivers.

by on Nov.22, 2017

Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi has faced one problem after another since his arrival at the company.

Just when it looked like Uber had put the worst of a very bad year behind it, things have taken yet another turn for the worse, the ride-sharing giant acknowledging that hackers stole personal data from around 57 million user and driver accounts.

If that wasn’t bad enough, Uber officials went on to acknowledge they paid the data thieves $100,000, allegedly to destroy the information they had accessed, and then kept the news secret for a year. With memories of how consumer data firm Equifax kept its own breach quiet for months, Uber is coming under intense criticism, with regulators in the U.S. and Europe already threatening investigations.

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Consumer News!

“You may be asking why we are just talking about this now, a year later. I had the same question,” wrote Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi in a blog. “None of this should have happened, and I will not make excuses for it,” added Khosrowshahi joined the embattled firm in August following the ouster of founder and former CEO Travis Kalanick who was embroiled in a variety of scandals.

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Are You the New Infiniti QX50?

Luxury marque teases “most advanced car ever” ahead of LA Auto Show.

by on Nov.21, 2017

Infiniti teases an important new offering it will reveal at the LA Auto Show next week.

Well, we do know we’ll see the Infiniti QX80 at the Los Angeles Motor Show next week, after it made a world debut at the Dubai Auto Show earlier in November. But that doesn’t tell us much about the curious teaser Nissan’s luxury brand sent out today.

We’ve already been told that the vehicle whose grille and headlight we see will be the brand’s “most advanced car ever,” but it almost certainly isn’t a sedan or coupe. The nose is just too tall and upright. So, that would suggest the automaker means a car-based crossover.

Filling in the Blanks!

“As with all Infinitis,” the latest release tells us, in the words of global design boss Alfonso Albaisa, “we have been inspired by our desire to drive, expressed with power and artistry. With this all-new model, inspiration comes from striking the perfect balance between lust and logic. At a glance, seamless and sculptural, getting closer to the car reveals an ingenious blend of proportion and space.”

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India’s Mahindra Opens Off-Road Vehicle Plant Near Detroit

A U.S. auto plant could be next "logical step."

by on Nov.21, 2017

A crowd gathers by the obligatory ceremonies at the new Mahindra plant just outside Detroit.

Mahindra Automotive North America has set up an off-road vehicle assembly line in the Detroit suburb of Auburn Hills – a move that soon could be followed by the Indian manufacturer’s entry into the U.S. automotive market.

The subsidiary of Mumbai-based Mahindra & Mahindra has been promising to set up shop in the States for more than a decade, going as far as lining up a dealer network before pulling back. The 150,000-square-foot facility is located not far from the headquarters of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and scores of automotive suppliers, and it becomes the first new auto plant in the Detroit region in a quarter century.

Global News!

Mahindra didn’t reveal the vehicle it plans to build at a news conference Wednesday, but Group Chairman Anand Mahindra told reporters it “will take us into a whole different orbit.” He also hinted at future plans. “I think a very logical step after that would be to get on-road.”

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Uber Buying Up to 24,000 Autonomous Volvo XC90s

Uber’s technology could allow fully driverless operation.

by on Nov.20, 2017

An autonomous Volvo XC90 used by Uber in San Francisco. The original test was cut short when Uber refused to get a state permit.

Uber will purchase as many as 24,000 XC90 sport-utility vehicles from Volvo as part of its push to become an autonomous and, eventually, a fully driverless ride-sharing service.

The Swedish automaker previously provided a small number of XC90 s for autonomous pilot programs Uber operated in several cities, including San Francisco and Phoenix. The non-exclusive and non-binding deal would take things a giant step forward and allow Uber to launch autonomous operations on a commercial level starting in 2019.

Tech News!

“This new agreement puts us on a path towards mass produced self-driving vehicles at scale,” said Jeff Miller, Uber’s head of auto alliances, adding that he was “thrilled” to expand the ride-sharing service’s alliance with Chinese-owned Volvo.

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Mercedes Gives a Glimpse of New CLS

A hard act to follow.

by on Nov.20, 2017

A first teaser shot reveals some notable changes to the nose of the next Mercedes-Benz CLS.

Few cars have had a bigger impact on automotive design than the original Mercedes-Benz CLS which introduced the concept of coupe-like sedans that seemingly every automaker has now copied.

First launched for the 2005 model-year, Mercedes took a cautious approach with the gen-2 CLS, opting for evolution over revolution. Now, an all-new remake will be making its debut at the upcoming Los Angeles Auto Show, and we’ve gotten two teaser images offering some hints of what to expect.

Auto Show Previews!

We’ve done a little work with Photoshop to pull some details out of the shadows and reveal a bit more about the face of the Mercedes-Benz CLS. But what you see is what we got in terms of the interior detail shot. And if that’s any indication of what to expect, it’s likely the CLS cabin where we’ll be some of the most dramatic updates to the new CLS.

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