Find News by Subject:
Metals found in hybrid batteries, diesel fuel and headlight glass could again be subject to China’s ever-changing rules for rare earth exports.
On Wednesday, Molycorp announced that it would be suspending its mining operations of rare earth metals in California, but keep its mines in China and Estonia open for the time being.
The company, which went public in 2011, has fallen on hard times. In June, the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and slowing demand in China isn’t helping. However, without a mine in the U.S., much of the rare earth metal mined in the world could be under Chinese government purview, and that’s not good. Read More >
Toyota’s next-generation Prius, which will be the first use of the automaker’s new global platform, will be shown to media in Las Vegas next month, Bloomberg is reporting (via Autoblog).
The report doesn’t specify when the automaker would build the next-gen Prius, or why it chose southern Nevada in the summertime for its reveal (Tesla speculation starts now).
Sales of the Prius have declined since 2007 and 2008 when average gas prices in the U.S. hovered around $4 per gallon. Toyota hasn’t fully updated the Prius since 2009, with a mild refresh gracing the hybrid in 2011.
Read More >
Cadillac CEO Johan de Nysschen said future Cadillac cars in the U.S. will have diesel powertrains, Automotive News is reporting (via Autoblog).
De Nysschen told journalists that oil burners would make their way to the States after they’re launched in Europe, presumably around 2019. He said engineers at Cadillac were working on 4- and 6-cylinder models, but wouldn’t specify what cars those engines would power.
Audi, BMW and Mercedes offer diesel power plants in their compact or mid-size sedans that would compete with the theoretical Cadillac.
Read More >
After years of delays, a redesigned concept and lots and lots of auto show carpet time, the Acura NSX still isn’t ready for prime time.
The automaker announced today that the NSX would begin production in spring 2016, not this fall as was previously reported. Automobile first reported the delay.
A spokeswoman for Acura said delays at the Marysville, Ohio plant producing the NSX, and changing performance targets for the car were responsible for the setback.
“Since this American-made supercar is the ultimate expression of the Acura brand, we want to ensure we’re delivering the best vehicle and customer experience possible,” an Acura spokeswoman wrote.
Read More >
TheDetroitBureau’s Paul Eisenstein has a fine piece of reporting that the next-generation of BMW’s iconic M3 will have a hybrid, plug-in powertrain — a first for the performance sub-brand. Eisenstein says internal sources provided the information.
According to the report, the rear wheels would be driven by the gasoline engine, which could be the M3’s current boosted six — or even perhaps an ultra-potent four. Up front, one or two electric motors could power the forward wheels. Eisenstein’s story points out that by using tandem electric motors, the M3 would have baked-in torque vectoring that engineers could exploit for handling performance.
If the report is true, that E36 M3 you passed up on Craigslist eight years ago will soon be worth eleventy billion dollars. Read More >
Toyota’s interpretation of the
VehiCROSS new generation of compact crossovers will go on sale early next year after its reveal in Geneva in March, according to Autocar.
The Toyota C-HR (or perhaps Auris Cross) will be built on Toyota’s new global architecture, from which half of its cars will be based by 2020. It’s unclear if the car would be released in the States as a Toyota or as a Scion. The Auris recently went on sale in North America as the Scion iM.
The car hasn’t been confirmed for North American shores yet, but considering our penchant for anything crossover, the subcompact C-HR would scratch an itch Toyota has in its lineup now. Read More >
Audi announced this week that its plug-in hybrid version of the A3, dubbed A3 Sportback e-tron, will go on sale in October and cost $38,825 to start — $47,725 in Prestige trim — before federal and state incentives.
The car, which combines an 8.8 kWh battery and a 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, will make a combined 204 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. Fuel economy and range for all-electric driving hasn’t been announced by the automaker, although some reports peg the EV range at 30 miles.
The A3 plug-in hybrid will be the first Audi to run (at least partially) on electricity in the States.
Read More >
Chevrolet announced Tuesday that its new 2016 Volt would extend its all-electric range from 38 miles to 53 miles, which is a 40-percent improvement and would satisfy more than 90 percent of normal drives.
The feat itself would put the Volt on par with many all-electric commuters, whose normal range is anywhere from 60 to 90 miles. Of course, the Volt packs with it a 1.5-liter turbocharged four cylinder that bumps that range up to more than 400 miles, but that’s neither here nor there.
Let’s talk about the batteries.
Read More >
Following Ford’s announcement that production of the Focus and C-Max would leave Wayne, Michigan in the next few years, sales personnel at Ford dealers across America were heard asking their managers, “We still sell the C-Max?”
No, that’s not entirely true. Ford is moving Focus and C-Max production out of Wayne by 2018, but we weren’t privy to the conversations inside Ford showrooms. That question may or may not have been asked.
Through the first-half of this year, Ford’s U.S. dealers only sold an average of four C-Max Hybrids and C-Max Energis per dealer per month. Read More >
The Toyota Prius can be had in compact, wagon and original recipe, but there may soon be another addition to the family: an SUV.
Read More >