Regulators may rain on Elio’s parade even before they got started.
That, Volvo takes a serious stab at full-size luxury conventional wisdom, the big get bigger and Ford’s hybrids only go so far … after the break!
Elio may be out, before it was even in
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is considering a change to their rules that could prohibit fledgling Elio Motors from producing a roadworthy car — assuming they can produce a roadworthy car.
Green Car Reports wrote that safety administrators are considering a rules change that would prohibit three-wheeled cars from registering as motorcycles, an important distinction that helped Elio evade some car-like safety regulations.
If approved, the measure would make three-wheeled cars such as Elio’s design significantly more expensive and could force the nascent automaker into the ground before it can mass-produced its first car.
Pilot Assist standard on new Volvo S90
The Detroit Bureau reported that Volvo will make standard its semi-autonomous driving features in the new S90 sedan when it goes on sale this year.
The system, which costs about $1,800 on the Volvo XC90 SUV, can drive the car with minimal driver input up to 80 mph on the S90. The system only works on well-marked roads, similar to Tesla’s AutoPilot feature.
Volvo’s S90 goes on sale later this year.
Magna finalizes purchase of Getrag
Magna International announced this week that it had finalized its purchase of transmission-maker Getrag for $1.9 billion.
The purchase makes Magna the world’s second-largest supplier behind Germany’s Bosch. Getrag produces about 4 million transmissions annually for automakers such as Ford, Volvo, Daimler and Renault. Getrag also has significant business in China, one of the driving factors for Magna’s purchase of the supplier.
The purchase last year was one of a flurry of mega-deals between automotive suppliers.
Mitsubishi gives up plans to sell Normal plant
Mitsubishi will abandon its plant to sell its Normal, Illinois plant to another automaker and will attempt to solicit another buyer outside the automotive industry, the automaker told Reuters (via Automotive News).
The automaker announced last year that it would shutter the plant, and lay off most of its remaining workforce as it moved production of its cars back to Japan.
In 2014, the plant produced nearly 70,000 Mitsubishi Outlanders, but its production was down significantly from its heyday in the 1990s. Only 250 workers from the plants workforce of 1,000 remain to make parts until it completely closes in May.
Don’t plan on a C-Max ST anytime soon
Ford CEO Mark Fields told the Detroit News that the automaker doesn’t have any plans to make a hybrid performance vehicle anytime soon.
“Never say never, but right now that’s not in our plans,” Fields told the Detroit News.
While the C-Max ST would
be awesome is unlikely, it does leave unanswered whether the Ford Mustang or future hyper-performance vehicles like the Ford GT will ever see electrification. Fuel-saving tech like turbocharging may only go so far on popular vehicles like the Mustang — electrification may be in the mail at some point.