The Truth About Cars » Luxury http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Wed, 27 May 2015 20:00:04 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.2 The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars no The Truth About Cars editors@ttac.com editors@ttac.com (The Truth About Cars) 2006-2009 The Truth About Cars The Truth About Cars » Luxury http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/themes/ttac-theme/images/logo.gif http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/category/news-blog/luxury-news-blog/ Lamborghini Officially Enters High-End SUV Game http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/lamborghini-officially-enters-high-end-suv-game/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/lamborghini-officially-enters-high-end-suv-game/#comments Wed, 27 May 2015 16:00:19 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1076866 It’s official: Lamborghini is entering the high-end luxury SUV game with a model set to hit showrooms by 2018. The new SUV will be assembled in Lamborghini’s home of Sant’Agata Bolognese, Italy, and is the result of a joint collaboration between the Italian automaker, national and regional governments, Volkswagen and Audi, and union representatives. The […]

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Lamborghini Urus at Pebble Beach

It’s official: Lamborghini is entering the high-end luxury SUV game with a model set to hit showrooms by 2018.

The new SUV will be assembled in Lamborghini’s home of Sant’Agata Bolognese, Italy, and is the result of a joint collaboration between the Italian automaker, national and regional governments, Volkswagen and Audi, and union representatives.

The SUV will be the third model in Lamborghini’s lineup, a feat CEO Stephan Winklemann says “endorses the stable and sustainable growth of the company,” while also signifying “the beginning of a new era” for the automaker.

To bring the yet-to-be-named product to the showroom, Lamborghini said it would invest “hundreds of millions of Euros” over the SUV’s lifecycle toward factory development and expansion. The factory where it will be assembled will go from an area of 80,000 square meters to 150,000, and will see a new assembly line and warehousing. R&D is set for an expansion, as well as the addition of 500 new jobs plus opportunities for the national and international supply chains as a result of the SUV.

[Source: 72Dino/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY-SA 3.0]

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2016 Nissan Maxima Slated For Execution Four Years Earlier http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/2016-nissan-maxima-slated-for-execution-four-years-earlier/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/2016-nissan-maxima-slated-for-execution-four-years-earlier/#comments Tue, 26 May 2015 16:00:36 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1075914 Though the 2016 Nissan Maxima will make its showroom debut June 2, there was a time when the Maxima was slated to meet the guillotine. As the auto industry was still feeling its way out of the Great Recession in early 2012, Nissan vice president of North American product planning Peter Loing said while most […]

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2016 Nissan Maxima Front Three-Quarter

Though the 2016 Nissan Maxima will make its showroom debut June 2, there was a time when the Maxima was slated to meet the guillotine.

As the auto industry was still feeling its way out of the Great Recession in early 2012, Nissan vice president of North American product planning Peter Loing said while most believed it was all but certain a new Maxima would come, “the foregone conclusion at that moment was that there would not be another Maxima,” Automotive News reports.

Loing took his current position in January 2012, where his first task was to make the case for a car whose fan base was almost entirely in the United States before an automaker who preferred global platforms to minimize costs.

Loing’s case hinged on the longevity of the Maxima name — having been on the marketplace without a break since 1981 — thus garnering a multigenerational consumer base who knows the nameplate better than Nissan’s own name. The model’s marketing boss, Eric Ledieu, added the Maxima also did well in pulling in consumers close to making the jump toward luxury brands like BMW and Mercedes.

When Renault-Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn greenlit the eight-gen Maxima back then, Nissan North America vice president for vehicle engineering and Maxima program boss Takeshi Yamaguchi opted to dial the styling up while also boosting its luxury appeal and enhancing performance. Yamaguchi said he was proud of the results, not only of the fact the Maxima went “beyond where it was” instead of going more conservative, but the fact it was given another chance to see the sun rise.

[Source: Mark Stevenson/The Truth About Cars]

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Audi Introducing EV Crossover In 2018, Q8 Flagship SUV In 2019 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/audi-introducing-ev-crossover-in-2018-q8-flagship-suv-in-2019/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/audi-introducing-ev-crossover-in-2018-q8-flagship-suv-in-2019/#comments Fri, 22 May 2015 19:00:59 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1073122 Audi is set to launch a new flagship SUV in 2019, as well as an EV crossover in 2018, both part of the automaker’s 2020 model expansion plan. The 2019 Q8 and yet-to-be-named EV will help reinforce Audi’s place in the Chinese and U.S. auto markets, with the aim of beating BMW and keeping Mercedes-Benz […]

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Audi Q7

Audi is set to launch a new flagship SUV in 2019, as well as an EV crossover in 2018, both part of the automaker’s 2020 model expansion plan.

The 2019 Q8 and yet-to-be-named EV will help reinforce Audi’s place in the Chinese and U.S. auto markets, with the aim of beating BMW and keeping Mercedes-Benz at bay, Automotive News Europe reports. The Q8 will share its platform with the Q7 and feature styling similar to the BMW X6, while the EV will likely be based upon the Q5 and boast a 310-mile range.

By the time the two vehicles hit the market, Audi will have to face down increased competition from the likes of Bentley, Maserati, Jaguar and Tesla, the former three gunning for the high-end luxury SUV market with their respective models — Bentayga, Levante and F-Pace — while Tesla will be waiting for the EV with its own, the Model X.

Prior to their debuts, the automaker will introduce a new Q7 and TT this year, followed by the Q1 subcompact crossover in 2016. The overall plan is to have 60 models available for sale around the world by 2020, up from 52 right now.

[Source: Audi]

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Reborn Borgward Hires Walker As CEO, Debuting New Model In Frankfurt http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/reborn-borgward-hires-walker-as-ceo-debuting-new-model-in-frankfort/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/reborn-borgward-hires-walker-as-ceo-debuting-new-model-in-frankfort/#comments Thu, 21 May 2015 16:00:41 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1071682 Fifty-four years ago, German automaker Borgward’s sun set. With former Daimler exec Ulrich Walker at the helm of the revival, its sun may yet rise again. Prior to becoming Borgward’s CEO, Walker was in charge of Daimler’s China operations for the Mercedes-Benz brand, USA Today reports, as well as CEO of smart between 2004 and […]

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1958 Borgward Isabella Coupe

Fifty-four years ago, German automaker Borgward’s sun set. With former Daimler exec Ulrich Walker at the helm of the revival, its sun may yet rise again.

Prior to becoming Borgward’s CEO, Walker was in charge of Daimler’s China operations for the Mercedes-Benz brand, USA Today reports, as well as CEO of smart between 2004 and 2006.

Christian Borgward, chairman and grandson of founder Carl Borgward, praised Walker’s “profound industrial background and broad knowledge of the premium automotive segment in Germany,” while Walker had this to say about his new role:

I’m honored to lead this respected German brand into the future. Borgward is a legendary global brand which has set industrial milestones and created brilliant stories in history. Several of its innovations and classic cars have been widely acclaimed in the industry and I am confident that Borgward will win back its place in the international automotive industry.

The historic automaker plans to unveil its first model in over five decades this September during the 2015 Frankfurt Auto Show – the automaker itself returned to the scene at this year’s Geneva Auto Show – which is said to be an SUV meant to invoke “affordable luxury.” Power for the new model may either come from a hybrid or full-electric system, and production is set for 2016.

Borgward assembled over 1 million vehicles between 1919 and 1961, disappearing from the scene when financial issues forced it into liquidation. The revived automaker has financial backing from Chinese truck manufacturer Beiqi Foton, which produces trucks in a joint venture with Daimler.

[Photo credit: Steve Glover/Flickr/CC BY 2.0]

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Luxury Automakers Wary Around Growing Female Consumer Base http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/luxury-automakers-wary-around-growing-female-consumer-base/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/luxury-automakers-wary-around-growing-female-consumer-base/#comments Tue, 19 May 2015 19:00:20 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1070938 Those dealing in luxury vehicles and high-performance exotics may need to improve their relations with women soon, as more women seek such wares. While less than 10 percent of Lamborghini and Ferrari owners in the United States are women, and Porsche only boasts 25 percent, female consumers in emerging markets like China are flexing their […]

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McLaren MP4-12C Circa January 2012

Those dealing in luxury vehicles and high-performance exotics may need to improve their relations with women soon, as more women seek such wares.

While less than 10 percent of Lamborghini and Ferrari owners in the United States are women, and Porsche only boasts 25 percent, female consumers in emerging markets like China are flexing their wealth with the automakers’ models in significant numbers, Reuters reports. The overall female consumer base is expanding, as well, fueled by increasing wealth as more and more women enter into greater positions of power.

However, marketing leaves a lot to be desired, especially as some automakers are wary of appealing to the new consumer base. Lamborghini CEO Stephan Winkelmann explains:

It’s like with an engineering degree which attracts more men than women, that’s just how it is. Males are more into the car business and the super sportscar is the pinnacle of that business.

On the other side, automotive consultant Belinda Parmar says high-end and exotic manufacturers should consider women drivers when designing vehicles. Her work with Aston Martin on its planned crossover is slated to have a higher sitting position and smaller steering wheel, allowing those wearing skirts to enter and exit without having to worry about feeling “silly” about the matter.

[Photo credit: Axion23/Flickr/CC BY 2.0]

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BMW X2 Green-Lit For Production http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/bmw-x2-green-lit-for-production/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/bmw-x2-green-lit-for-production/#comments Tue, 19 May 2015 17:00:10 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1070866 X is giving it to us again: BMW has green-lit production of the X2 crossover, slotted between the upcoming second-gen X1 and current X3. The X2 is based upon the UKL platform underpinning the X1 and 2 Series Active and Gran tourers, Autocar reports. Power will come from three- and four-cylinder gasoline and diesel engines, […]

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2015 BMW i3 Range Extender BMW logo

X is giving it to us again: BMW has green-lit production of the X2 crossover, slotted between the upcoming second-gen X1 and current X3.

The X2 is based upon the UKL platform underpinning the X1 and 2 Series Active and Gran tourers, Autocar reports. Power will come from three- and four-cylinder gasoline and diesel engines, including a performance-oriented B48 engine for an M Performance variant of the crossover, with output expected to hit 300 horsepower. Front- and all-wheel drive will link the power to the road.

Styling is said to follow in the footsteps of the X4 and X6 — four doors and a slanted hatchback — while the interior will be shared with the second-gen X1.

The publication’s sources state the concept version of the X2 will make its global debut as early as next year’s Geneva Auto Show. Prototype testing is set to begin by the end of May. North American sales are not known as of this writing, though the United Kingdom will get theirs starting in H2 2017.

[Photo credit: Alex L. Dykes/The Truth About Cars]

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Consumer Reports Declares Tesla Model S P85D ‘Undrivable’ Due To Glitch http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/consumer-reports-declares-tesla-model-s-p85d-undrivable-due-to-glitch/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/consumer-reports-declares-tesla-model-s-p85d-undrivable-due-to-glitch/#comments Mon, 18 May 2015 17:00:12 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1070146 The thrill has gone for Consumer Reports‘ review team over the Tesla Model S, declaring the P85D “undrivable” in a new blog post. The publication said its tester was described as such due to issues with the automatic door handles, The Detroit Bureau writes. The handles were supposed to extend when someone with the vehicle’s […]

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Tesla Model S In Hero Blue

The thrill has gone for Consumer Reports‘ review team over the Tesla Model S, declaring the P85D “undrivable” in a new blog post.

The publication said its tester was described as such due to issues with the automatic door handles, The Detroit Bureau writes. The handles were supposed to extend when someone with the vehicle’s keys walked up to the car, failing to do so with the model in review.

With repeated attempts to enter the car in the traditional manner failing, one of the reviewers opened the front passenger door with a smartphone app to fire-up the EV. The success was short-lived, however, as the onboard electronics limited driving time to two minutes before shutting down.

Ultimately, CR called up customer service — which continues to receive high praise according to the publication’s reviewers — to haul the ailing P85D to the dealership for repairs. Despite the woes suffered prior to rectification, though, the publication continues to give the Model S a strong recommendation to its readership.

[Image credit: Tesla]

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Ellinghaus: Original Cadillac ELR Price Of Admission ‘A Mouthful’ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/ellinghaus-original-cadillac-elr-price-of-admission-a-mouthful/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/ellinghaus-original-cadillac-elr-price-of-admission-a-mouthful/#comments Thu, 14 May 2015 14:01:22 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1068474 In part due to its Chevrolet roots, the Cadillac ELR is now selling for up to 35 percent less than its original $76,000 price tag. Out of all of the electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles selling below MSRP due to lower fuel prices at the pump, the current ELR has seen the largest discount from […]

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2016-Cadillac-ELR-005

In part due to its Chevrolet roots, the Cadillac ELR is now selling for up to 35 percent less than its original $76,000 price tag.

Out of all of the electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles selling below MSRP due to lower fuel prices at the pump, the current ELR has seen the largest discount from the original sticker, Bloomberg reports. Nearly 2,000 units have left the showroom over the past 18 months, with some dealerships going as low as $50,000 to make room for a model that will actually leave in a few days (i.e. the Escalade).

Cadillac originally established the high price of admission for its Tesla fighter because of the standard features it offered, despite its PHEV technology coming from the $35,000 Chevrolet Volt. Thus, the brand “overestimated” its customers would discover its competitors “were naked at that price,” according to marketing boss Uwe Ellinghaus.

Another justification was if the ELR were priced closely above the Volt, PHEV shoppers would have gone for the latter instead. Branding also played a role in the pricing, intending to signal to consumers the ELR was a Cadillac through and through, from its badging and design, to the olive wood trim and 10-speaker Bose audio system.

Though these failures have guaranteed the PHEV will not see a second generation, the 2016 edition will at least begin the model’s ride into the sunset on a more even keel. Pricing is set to begin at $66,000 before federal incentives, while power will increase to 233 horsepower and 373 lb-ft of torque from the current edition’s 217 horses and 295 lb-ft of torque.

[Photo credit: Cadillac]

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BMW CEO Harald Krüger Overshadowed By Predecessor’s Success http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/bmw-ceo-harald-kruger-overshadowed-by-predecessors-success/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/bmw-ceo-harald-kruger-overshadowed-by-predecessors-success/#comments Wed, 13 May 2015 17:00:01 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1067418 As BMW AG’s newest CEO, Harald Krüger’s main challenge is to helm the company in the shadow of newly appointed chairman and former CEO, Norbert Reithofer. The concern comes amid Reithofer taking his place as the company’s chairman — succeeding Joachim Milberg in the role — without first stepping away from the company for two […]

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BMW 650i Grand Coupe

As BMW AG’s newest CEO, Harald Krüger’s main challenge is to helm the company in the shadow of newly appointed chairman and former CEO, Norbert Reithofer.

The concern comes amid Reithofer taking his place as the company’s chairman — succeeding Joachim Milberg in the role — without first stepping away from the company for two years as recommended by the German Corporate Governance Code, Bloomberg reports. The move leaves Krüger little room to move BMW toward his vision, especially as the industry itself is undergoing significant changes.

Krüger is also taking over as CEO at a time when the company’s fortunes in China are turning for the worst, following the nation’s own economic slowdown delivering a slump in profits for BMW’s joint venture during Q1 2015. Additionally, the new CEO will have to determine where to take Reithofer’s previous projects — mass-produced carbon fiber, i Series et al — especially when it comes to cost.

Finally, Krüger will be in charge of an automaker whose sales were boosted 55 percent from 1.4 million to 2.1 million vehicles annually, with an improved pretax margin of 9.2 percent from the 6.3 percent margin in 2006 when Reithofer became CEO. Bankhaus Metzler analyst Juergen Pieper said Krüger will have a tough act to follow with the new chairman, especially as Reithofer moves into his new role without delay, a move supported by majority shareholders the Quandt family.

[Photo credit: BMW]

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Müller: Porsche 911 PHEV Under Negotiation For Production http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/muller-porsche-911-phev-under-negotiation-for-production/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/muller-porsche-911-phev-under-negotiation-for-production/#comments Wed, 13 May 2015 15:00:56 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1067306 Could there be a Porsche 911 PHEV on the showroom floor in the future? The decision to build and market one could be made sometime this year. Porsche CEO Matthias Müller said a plug-in variant of the iconic vehicle could happen, alongside PHEVs of every other model in the automaker’s lineup, Automotive News reports: That […]

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911 50th Anniversary Edition _6_

Could there be a Porsche 911 PHEV on the showroom floor in the future? The decision to build and market one could be made sometime this year.

Porsche CEO Matthias Müller said a plug-in variant of the iconic vehicle could happen, alongside PHEVs of every other model in the automaker’s lineup, Automotive News reports:

That is a technique which we at Porsche are very familiar with, so we can suppose that we could have plug-ins all over the model range, not only to save fuel but also to boost the performance of these cars.

Mueller adds the decision to press ahead with a Porsche 911 PHEV is under negotiation, stating the technology “is the solution for the nearer future.”

Porsche sells three PHEVs thus far: the 918 Spyder, Cayenne and Panamera. Of the latter two, the Cayenne is projected to make up between 10 and 12 percent of overall U.S. sales of the crossover in 2015, while 15 percent of overall U.S. Panamera sales are of the PHEV variant. The 918, meanwhile, sold out its 918-unit limited edition run last December.

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Tesla Model 3 Set For Global Debut By Next March http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/tesla-model-3-set-global-debut-next-march/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/tesla-model-3-set-global-debut-next-march/#comments Thu, 07 May 2015 17:00:10 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1063618 The elusive unicorn known as the Tesla Model 3 is set to hit showrooms in H2 2017, but will make its world debut much sooner. During the automaker’s Q1 2015 earnings call, CEO Elon Musk announced that his company would bring the Model 3 to the global stage next March, AutoGuide reports. This likely could […]

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Tesla Building Circa March 2015

The elusive unicorn known as the Tesla Model 3 is set to hit showrooms in H2 2017, but will make its world debut much sooner.

During the automaker’s Q1 2015 earnings call, CEO Elon Musk announced that his company would bring the Model 3 to the global stage next March, AutoGuide reports. This likely could mean an appearance around, if not during, the Geneva or New York auto shows that bookend the month.

Before the $35,000 EV with the 200-mile range leaves the studio for the ramp, however, the Model X SUV is expected to take its place alongside the Model S.

[Photo credit: Tesla/Facebook]

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BMW Delays Decision On Factory Amid Russia’s Economic Crisis http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/bmw-delays-decision-factory-amid-russias-economic-crisis/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/bmw-delays-decision-factory-amid-russias-economic-crisis/#comments Wed, 06 May 2015 18:00:40 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1062874 The ongoing economic crisis suffered by Russia has given pause to a decision by BMW to build an assembly plant in the ailing nation. CEO Norbert Reithofer said Russia is “a challenge” for his company to overcome, Automotive News Europe reports, leaving the execs to wonder “how things will go on there.” The company’s sales […]

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A BMW In Moscow Circa January 2014

The ongoing economic crisis suffered by Russia has given pause to a decision by BMW to build an assembly plant in the ailing nation.

CEO Norbert Reithofer said Russia is “a challenge” for his company to overcome, Automotive News Europe reports, leaving the execs to wonder “how things will go on there.” The company’s sales in the market fell 14 percent over Q1 2015. The overall market itself dropped 36 percent over the same period, with the luxury market buoyed by wealthy consumers investing in hard goods.

While BMW is backing off on its decision to build a factory, rival Mercedes-Benz – whose sales climbed 9 percent over the first quarter – is looking over three potential sites in Russia for a new factory.

At present, BMW’s Russian market models are assembled from kits by manufacturer Avtotor in Kaliningrad under contract.

[Photo credit: BMW Russia/Facebook]

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McLaren Will Not Go Further Down Market From the 540S http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/mclaren-will-not-go-market-540s/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/mclaren-will-not-go-market-540s/#comments Tue, 05 May 2015 11:00:44 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1057778   It sounds funny to say a car that costs almost $185,000 is a move downmarket, but the new McLaren 570S introduced at the recent New York Auto Show, and the detuned 540S version of the same “Sport Series” chassis (~$150K), are exactly that. The first McLarens to cost less than a quarter of a […]

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The new McLaren 570S

The new McLaren 570S

It sounds funny to say a car that costs almost $185,000 is a move downmarket, but the new McLaren 570S introduced at the recent New York Auto Show, and the detuned 540S version of the same “Sport Series” chassis (~$150K), are exactly that. The first McLarens to cost less than a quarter of a million dollars are aimed squarely at the Porsche 911. Since I’ve always been a best bang for the buck kind of a guy, whether I’m talking cars or stereo equipment, I wondered if McLaren might be interested in using their resources to bring their kind of high performance to an everyman’s sports car. So I asked Wayne Bruce, McLaren’s global director of communications, if there might be a sub-six-figure McLaren some day.

IMG_0595

I’m guessing that if I had a dollar for every time Bruce has heard a Batman joke referencing his name, I could probably afford even more than one new “entry level” carbon fiber McLaren. In any case, it’s an interesting coincidence he has a last name that’s the same as the first name of the company founder, racer and constructor Bruce McLaren. Speaking of carbon fiber, Bruce said it was just one reason why the company has no interest in making cars for the masses. He said that the company’s carbon fiber technology simply can’t be implemented at such a low price point.

IMG_0627

Understand that McLaren is a relatively tiny company. They don’t have resources the likes of BMW, which is putting over a billion dollars into the supply chain for the CFRP parts used in the i3 and i8. While the i cars at BMW are primarily seen by outsiders as an effort to make electric cars, much of the program is aimed at reducing the cost of making car parts and cars out of carbon fiber.

IMG_0615

The only sub $100,000 car being sold today with carbon fiber architecture is the Alfa Romeo 4C – starting at about $54,000 – though it doesn’t have a completely carbon fiber unibody. It has a carbon fiber passenger cell, with front and rear aluminum subframes attached to the central tub.

IMG_0617

Because it’s located on the bottom of the dihedrally operating door, you can’t see the logo for the Bowers & Wilkins audio system while driving, but you will see it every time you get in the 570S.

Bruce said McLaren is now profitable and they wouldn’t risk their profitability to make the immense investment needed to make a mass market car. A “McLaren Miata” would require economies of scale far beyond the company’s abilities.

IMG_0608

Though he didn’t use the word “cheapen”, he indicated that a mass market McLaren would not be good for the brand; their current customers expect a certain level of exclusivity. In 2013, McLaren delivered about 1,400 cars. Bruce said the McLaren Technology Centre in Woking has the capacity to build about 4,000 units a year and they anticipate reaching that limit once their new Sport models swing into full production. He continued that number would likely be the ceiling for McLaren production and they have no plans to expand the capacity of the Woking facility or to build another factory.

IMG_0545

I didn’t ask Mr. Bruce if McLaren, like other companies associated with high levels of performance or luxury (Rolls-Royce, Bentley, Aston Martin, Maserati and Lotus), is also considering some kind of CUV.

Photography by Ronnie Schreiber. For more photos of the vehicles in this post, please go to Cars In Depth.

Ronnie Schreiber edits Cars In Depth, a realistic perspective on cars & car culture and the original 3D car site. If you found this post worthwhile, you can get a parallax view at Cars In Depth. If the 3D thing freaks you out, don’t worry, all the photo and video players in use at the site have mono options. Thanks for reading – RJS

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Luxury Brands Doing Well On The Back Of Lower-End Models http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/luxury-brands-well-back-lower-end-models/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/luxury-brands-well-back-lower-end-models/#comments Mon, 04 May 2015 19:00:17 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1061074 Want to know why Mercedes, Audi, Lexus and all of the other luxury players are doing so well these days? Because of less-costly, lower-end luxury models. The low-end models, whose starting base prices are between $31,000 and $35,000, are pulling in new customers who desire the status a given badge conveys, USA Today reports. Edmunds.com […]

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2014-CLA-CLASS-COUPE-GALLERY-023-WR-D

Want to know why Mercedes, Audi, Lexus and all of the other luxury players are doing so well these days? Because of less-costly, lower-end luxury models.

The low-end models, whose starting base prices are between $31,000 and $35,000, are pulling in new customers who desire the status a given badge conveys, USA Today reports. Edmunds.com senior analyst Jessica Caldwell explains:

Luxury sales have increased as products have become affordable to a wider audience. Of late, luxury car brands have focused on the lower end of the price spectrum, introducing models such as the Lexus NX, Mercedes-Benz GLA, BMW X1 and Porsche Macan, which are slotted below existing popular SUVs on the price spectrum.

Caldwell adds leasing is also helping bolster the luxury brands’ high status, as most of their offerings are leased. Those who’d rather own their low-end luxury ride opt for long-term financing with low interest rates, with payments spread out over several years.

The brands’ consumer base is also varied. Kelley Blue Book analyst Akshay Anand said buyers were coming from every corner, “especially as Millennials start to create more wealth for themselves and continue to be as aspirational as ever,” helped by an improving economy.

[Photo credit: Mercedes-Benz]

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2016 Mercedes-Benz G-Class – New Engine Candy, Same Old Boxy Wrapper http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/2016-mercedes-benz-g-class-new-engine-candy-old-boxy-wrapper/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/2016-mercedes-benz-g-class-new-engine-candy-old-boxy-wrapper/#comments Mon, 04 May 2015 18:10:38 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1061002 As Mercedes-Benz rolls out its all-new 4.0-liter V8, engineers in Stuttgart have decided the bi-turbo mill will fit right at home in the aging Gelandewagen, a luxo-utility military-born vehicle that hasn’t seen a major update in 25 years. The immediately recognizable box-on-wheels is due for a complete overhaul for 2017. In the meantime, Mercedes-Benz needs to keep their […]

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Mercedes-Benz G-Class (BR 463) 2015

As Mercedes-Benz rolls out its all-new 4.0-liter V8, engineers in Stuttgart have decided the bi-turbo mill will fit right at home in the aging Gelandewagen, a luxo-utility military-born vehicle that hasn’t seen a major update in 25 years.

The immediately recognizable box-on-wheels is due for a complete overhaul for 2017. In the meantime, Mercedes-Benz needs to keep their top-line SUV fresh to captivate the attention of celebrities and athletes and their conspicuous consumption. That’s not to say the updates are insignificant, however.

The new 4.0-liter bi-turbo V8 in the G550 is a variation of that found in the Mercedes-AMG GT and C63. In the G-Class, the V8 is good for 416 hp and 450 lb-ft of torque sent to all four wheels, compared to its 5.5L V8 predecessor with 382 hp and 391 lb-ft of twist.

Other G-Class models see bumps in power as well, including the 571 hp V8 powered G63 and 612 hp V12 motivated G65 – the latter coming to the U.S. for the first time. All V8 powered models are said to improve fuel economy thanks to a new start/stop system.

One model many would love to come to North America – the diesel V6 powered G350d – will continue to be forbidden fruit for those of us in the colonies.

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Gales: Lotus Will Show Profit By End Of FY 2016 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/gales-lotus-will-show-profit-end-fy-2016/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/gales-lotus-will-show-profit-end-fy-2016/#comments Fri, 01 May 2015 16:00:57 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1058418 After going broke for so long, Lotus Cars CEO Jean-Marc Gales says his company will be back in the black by March 2017, when FY 2016 ends. To do this, Gales implemented cost-cutting measures while improving the current lineup to help increase sales and profits, Automotive News Europe reports. In the short term, this meant […]

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Lotus Evora S Circa August 2013

After going broke for so long, Lotus Cars CEO Jean-Marc Gales says his company will be back in the black by March 2017, when FY 2016 ends.

To do this, Gales implemented cost-cutting measures while improving the current lineup to help increase sales and profits, Automotive News Europe reports. In the short term, this meant making some changes to the automaker’s offerings, such as adding an automatic transmission to the Exige, and refocusing the facelifted U.S.-bound Evora to better compete against the Porsche 911 and Audi R8. Gales said the U.S. would be the Evora’s biggest market as it leads the charge back to these shores after federal crash standards kept the model out for 2015.

At home in Hethel, England, 260 were cut from the workforce of 1,250, less than the 325 Gales had planned to cut in September 2014. The CEO also cut back consulting and engineering work conducted by Lotus Engineering, focusing the engineering arm on developing the automaker’s lineup, as well as combing through the supply chain to replace larger suppliers with smaller ones.

On the sales front, 2,015 cars left the showroom floor during FY 2014, an increase of 55 percent compared to the previous year’s 1,403; Gales is aiming for 3,500 sold by 2016. The increase is helped by an expansion of its dealerships, which stood at 174 at the end of March. He said his goal is to have 200 by the end of 2015.

As for profits, Gales said that losses were “massively reduced” compared to FY 2014’s £65.6 million ($100 million USD), and FY 2013’s £159.4 million ($242.2 million). He adds that he expects to see a profit for Lotus by the end of FY 2016, an experience the company hasn’t had “from the car side in over 20 years.”

[Photo credit: Vetatur Fumare/Flickr/CC BY-SA 2.0]

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Aston Martin All-In On SUV, Lamborghini Still On Fence http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/aston-martin-suv-lamborghini-still-fence/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/aston-martin-suv-lamborghini-still-fence/#comments Fri, 01 May 2015 14:00:07 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1058346 Aston Martin is entering the high-end luxury SUV/crossover game, while Lamborghini is still debating whether or not the LM002 needs a successor. Aston Martin Lagonda announced Thursday it would commit £200 million ($305 million USD) to expanding its lineup. The capital investment will be in the form of preference shares, with the first £100 million […]

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Aston Martin Logo

Aston Martin is entering the high-end luxury SUV/crossover game, while Lamborghini is still debating whether or not the LM002 needs a successor.

Aston Martin Lagonda announced Thursday it would commit £200 million ($305 million USD) to expanding its lineup. The capital investment will be in the form of preference shares, with the first £100 million ($152 million) already issued and the remainder doled out over the next 12 months.

What does that investment buy? A new “luxury crossover GT” based upon the DBX concept shown at the 2015 Geneva and Shanghai auto shows, for one. CEO Andy Palmer said as much in the press release:

This additional long-term funding, will enable us to add extra model lines and broaden our presence in the luxury market segment by the end of the decade. The DBX concept, has generated interest far beyond our expectations. The additional investment announced today will allow us to realise the DBX and other new luxury vehicles that will form the strongest and most diverse portfolio in our history.

Meanwhile, Lamborghini is still thinking about adding an SUV to its lineup, though no decision has been made, as CEO Stephan Winkelmann told Autoblog last month:

If we do a third model, then it’s better to have the SUV as this is a growing segment, a more emotional segment, a segment which is very well-distributed in terms of volume all over the planet. And therefore this is a car which is more likely.

The potential successor of Lamborghini’s sole outing in the SUV market – the LM002 – would have a design more appealling to current Lamborghini owners. It would also bring a significant amount of sales to the brand: the Urus concept from 2012 was projected to move 3,000 units per year; the brand itself sold 2,530 units in 2014.

Winkelmann adds the SUV would be the perfect platform for a hybrid powertrain, citing the SUV’s packaging and weight behind the reasoning.

[Photo credit: Aston Martin]

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Mercedes Eyeing Crossovers For Maybach, smart Brands http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/04/mercedes-eyeing-crossovers-maybach-smart-brands/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/04/mercedes-eyeing-crossovers-maybach-smart-brands/#comments Fri, 24 Apr 2015 06:00:11 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1053545 Not too long ago, Mercedes didn’t have plans for either a Maybach or smart crossover. Looks like those plans have changed. Should the Mercedes-Maybach sub-brand gain a crossover to place alongside the S600 and Pullman models, sales and marketing boss Ola Kallenius says the Mercedes GLS set for 2017 would be “the more likely scenario,” […]

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Mercedes-Maybach 01

Not too long ago, Mercedes didn’t have plans for either a Maybach or smart crossover. Looks like those plans have changed.

Should the Mercedes-Maybach sub-brand gain a crossover to place alongside the S600 and Pullman models, sales and marketing boss Ola Kallenius says the Mercedes GLS set for 2017 would be “the more likely scenario,” Autocar reports.

The GLS would differ from the current GL/GLS model, as it would be based upon the S-Class’ current architecture to better go up against other high-end luxury SUVs and crossovers. It would also be powered by the same 6.0-liter twin-turbo V12 found in the S600 as well as a 4.0-liter V8 possible for tax purposes in China. Diesel, however, would be out of the question, as Mercedes expects to move the GLS in China and the U.S. where diesel isn’t on the radar of most motorists.

Meanwhile, smart could gain an SUV or crossover based on the forfour/Renault Twingo platform, a move that would bring greater use to said platform beyond its current role. The vehicle would likely improve smart’s long-term profit margins, though Daimler AG chief Dieter Zetsche cautions there would be some engineering challenges involved with the platform’s rear-engine, rear-drive design.

[Photo credit: Mercedes-Benz]

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Lincoln Turning To Proper Names For Future Models http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/04/lincoln-turning-proper-names-future-models/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/04/lincoln-turning-proper-names-future-models/#comments Wed, 22 Apr 2015 17:00:50 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1050825 Just as Cadillac embraces an all-new set of alphanumeric naming schemes, Lincoln is deciding that proper names may be better after all. Ford President of the Americas Joe Hinrichs told reporters attending an industry breakfast hosted by Detroit law firm Dawda Mann that his company was “very excited about the Continental name and the attention […]

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LincolnContinentalConcept_10_Detail_Badge

Just as Cadillac embraces an all-new set of alphanumeric naming schemes, Lincoln is deciding that proper names may be better after all.

Ford President of the Americas Joe Hinrichs told reporters attending an industry breakfast hosted by Detroit law firm Dawda Mann that his company was “very excited about the Continental name and the attention it’s gotten,” Automotive News says. Lincoln had made it known during the Continental Concept’s appearance at the 2015 New York Auto Show this month that the production model — set to replace the outgoing MKS — would also be called Continental.

Hinrichs also had this to say about the MK nomenclature as a whole:

I get it. I know MKX and C and Z and T. I’ve studied them very well. I know them well, but we also understand the issue. It’s, frankly, where the auto industry — the premium industry — has gone, if you look at all the nameplates. But another way Lincoln could distinguish itself is to leverage its heritage. So I’ll leave it at that.

The MK scheme was originally thought of as a tribute to the Continental Mark series, though then-CEO Alan Mulally told the media at the time that he wasn’t enamored with the scheme; he would later come to terms with the change. Now that Lincoln is coming back under the tutelage of current CEO Mark Fields, however, one of the ways it aims to stand apart from other premium brands is to return to using names like Continental, Town Car et al.

Proper names may also help on the showroom floor: while sales of the MK models are down 7.2 percent thus far in 2015, sales of the Navigator — the sole bearer of a proper name in Lincoln’s lineup — have climbed 84 percent over the same period, though part of that could be attributed to lower prices at the pump fueling renewed overall demand for trucks and SUVs, as well.

[Photo credit: Lincoln]

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Ford Vignale Mondeo Ready To Deliver Total Package To Europe http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/04/ford-vignale-mondeo-ready-deliver-total-package-europe/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/04/ford-vignale-mondeo-ready-deliver-total-package-europe/#comments Tue, 21 Apr 2015 17:00:39 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1049993 It’s brown, it can be had as a wagon with diesel power and a manual, but like the new Taurus in China, the Ford Vignale Mondeo will never come here. The Vignale Mondeo is the first of the upscale Vignale models to emerge from Ford of Europe’s Vignale Centre in Valencia, Spain. The centre will also […]

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Ford Vignale Mondeo

It’s brown, it can be had as a wagon with diesel power and a manual, but like the new Taurus in China, the Ford Vignale Mondeo will never come here.

The Vignale Mondeo is the first of the upscale Vignale models to emerge from Ford of Europe’s Vignale Centre in Valencia, Spain. The centre will also be responsible for bringing the S-Max Vignale to European showrooms later this year. Pre-orders for the Mondeo are set for May, with interested customers able to place those orders in-person at one of the so-called Vignale Lounges inside FoE’s new flagship FordStores across Europe.

And what will those new Vignale owners receive when they take delivery of their wagon or sedan? For starters, power comes from either a 2.0-liter EcoBoost producing 202 and 237 horses, a 2.0-liter TDCi diesel good for 178 horses, a twin-turbo 2.0-liter TDCi delivering 207 horsepower, or a hybrid powertrain capable of 185 horsepower. The EcoBoost models send their power through a six-speed auto, while the diesels go through either a six-speed manual or a PowerShift automatic. Either way, the power is directed to the front or (on occasion) all four corners as determined by Ford’s iAWD intelligent all-wheel drive system.

Outside, the Vignale Mondeo can be had in a handful of shades, including an exclusive brown tone called Vignale Nocciola. Chrome door details, 18-inch alloys, and high-gloss front and side exterior trim pieces contribute to the “sleek, emotive design” of the Mondeo, says Ford.

Inside, heavy use of sound-deadening insulation and acoustic glass help keep NVH levels down, while active noise cancellation ensures that the engine noise will never dominate one’s enjoyment of Vivaldi’s “Spring,” as played through Sony’s DAB 12-speaker audio/navigation system.

Other features include: Sync 2 connected-vehicle system; traffic sign recognition; dynamic LED headlights; inflatable rear seat belts; heated steering wheel; pre-collision assist; quilted leather seating with tuxedo stitching; custom luggage and other fashion accessories; and a wide array of Vignale-branded bespoke services, as handled by “a dedicated Vignale relationship manager.”

While North American consumers won’t have a Vignale of any sort to consider, Lincoln’s comeback is more than enough to push aside the thought of a “Vignale All the Things” Fusion.

FordVignale_Mondeo_4door_01 FordVignale_Mondeo_4door_12 FordVignale_Mondeo_Wagon_05 FordVignale_Mondeo_Wagon_01 FordVignale_Mondeo_Wagon_02 FordVignale_Collection_16 FordVignale_Mondeo_Wagon_03 FordVignale_Mondeo_Wagon_04 FordVignale_Collection_18 FordVignale_Collection_14 FordVignale_Mondeo_4door_02

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Shanghai 2015: Audi Showcases Prologue Concept, A6 L, Q7 E-Tron Models http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/04/shanghai-2015-audi-showcases-prologue-concept-a6-l-q7-e-tron-models/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/04/shanghai-2015-audi-showcases-prologue-concept-a6-l-q7-e-tron-models/#comments Mon, 20 Apr 2015 19:00:52 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1048601 Audi showcased the new A6 L and Q7 e-tron models at the 2015 Shanghai Auto Show, as well as the prologue allroad concept. First up is the Audi A6 L e-tron, the automaker’s first PHEV specifically tailored to the Chinese domestic market. The e-tron model is based upon the A6 L that is already on […]

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Auto Shanghai 2015

Audi showcased the new A6 L and Q7 e-tron models at the 2015 Shanghai Auto Show, as well as the prologue allroad concept.

Audi A6 L e-tron (Angebot im chinesischen Markt)

First up is the Audi A6 L e-tron, the automaker’s first PHEV specifically tailored to the Chinese domestic market. The e-tron model is based upon the A6 L that is already on sale in said market.

Power for the A6 L e-tron comes from a parallel hybrid system combining a 2.0-liter four-cylinder making 211 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque, and an electric motor fed by a 14.1-kWh lithium-ion pack capable of 124 horsepower and 162 lb-ft of torque.

Once fed to the front corners via an eight-speed tiptronic automatic, maximum output comes out to 245 horses and 369 lb-ft of torque, which is good for moving the 4,409-lb from nil to 62 mph in 8.4 seconds, topping out at a limit of 130 mph or 84 mph in electric-only mode. Electric-only range comes to 31 miles, with overall travel totalling 547 miles. Fuel economy is 2.2 liters per 107 miles travelled, and charging time can range between two and eight hours depending on infrastructure.

The driver can choose from four modes of travel, ranging from hybrid and the aforementioned EV modes, to battery hold and battery charge modes. The latter two allow the driver to either store energy or recharge the battery as needed.

Other features include: 18-inch alloys; LED light guides in the air ducts; MMI navigation system; and 11.9 cu ft of cargo space.

The A6 L e-tron is set to hit showrooms from the FAW-Volkswagen facility in Changchun in 2016.

Audi Q7 e-tron 2.0 TFSI quattro (Angebot im chinesischen Markt)

The Audi Q7 e-tron is the automaker’s first PHEV to combine the 2.0-liter TFSI engine with the storied quattro AWD system. Here, total output to all four corners — via eight-speed tiptronic — comes to 367 horsepower and 516 lb-ft of torque, good for pushing the crossover from zero to 62 in 5.9 seconds, topping out at 137 mph. Range in electric-mode is 33 miles, while overall range is 634 miles. Fuel economy is 2.5 liters per 100 kilometers.

Upon startup, travel is strictly electric until the driver pushes down the “active accelerator pedal beyond a certain point of resistance” to activate the four-cylinder. Said resistance is determined by the hybrid system’s requirements.

Aside from the power, the Q7 e-tron offers new electromechanical power steering and lighter five-link wheel suspension, as well as an HVAC unit that uses waste heat generated by the hybrid system’s electrical components for warming the cabin, and NVIDIA Tegra 30-powered MMI connected-vehicle system. Other features include: electronic stability; torque vectoring; 19- and 20-inch wheels; Bose and Bang & Olufsen sound systems; smartphone inductive charging; HUD; and climate-controlled front seats with massage function.

Like the A6 L e-tron, the Q7 e-tron is set to hit showrooms next year.

Audi prologue allroad

Finally, the Audi prologue allroad concept serves as a hint of what future allroad models could look like. This includes a long front clip and a rapidly dropping roofline with D-pillars that are flat to give the concept a more athletic appearance. Laser headlamps, LED light guides and tail lamps, aluminum accents, wide wheel flares, and a flat, wide grill contribute to the overall aesthetic, as well.

Inside, “lithely drawn lines and slender geometric bodies convey the impression of expanse, serenity and lightness.” Three touch displays up front include one for the passenger to configure infotainment options that can then be swiped over to the driver via the right-side driver display or the virtual cockpit behind the steering wheel.

Power for the prologue allroad comes from a 4.0-liter turbo-V8 mated to an eight-speed tiptronic with integrated electric motor. The hybrid setup is good for 734 horsepower and 664 lb-ft of torque, pushing the concept from nil to 62 in 3.5 seconds. Electric-only range is 34 miles, and fuel economy comes to 2.4 liters per 100 kilometers travelled.

Other features include: Audi wireless charging; 20-inch carbon-fiber ceramic discs; air suspension with controlled damping; quattro AWD system; open-pored, dark fine-grain ash veneer bezels; OLED center console; and Unicum and Alcantara leathers.

Audi A6 L e-tron Gallery

Audi A6 L e-tron (Angebot im chinesischen Markt) Audi A6 L e-tron (Angebot im chinesischen Markt) Audi A6 L e-tron (Angebot im chinesischen Markt) Audi A6 L e-tron (Angebot im chinesischen Markt) Audi A6 L e-tron (Angebot im chinesischen Markt) Audi A6 L e-tron Audi A6 L e-tron Audi A6 L e-tron Audi A6 L e-tron Audi A6 L e-tron Audi A6 L e-tron Audi A6 L e-tron Audi A6 L e-tron

Audi Q7 e-tron Gallery

Audi Q7 e-tron 2.0 TFSI quattro (Angebot im chinesischen Markt) Audi Q7 e-tron 2.0 TFSI quattro (Angebot im chinesischen Markt) Audi Q7 e-tron 2.0 TFSI quattro (Angebot im chinesischen Markt) Audi Q7 e-tron 2.0 TFSI quattro (Angebot im chinesischen Markt) Audi Q7 e-tron 2.0 TFSI quattro (Angebot im chinesischen Markt) Audi Q7 e-tron 2.0 TFSI quattro (Angebot im chinesischen Markt) Audi Q7 e-tron 2.0 TFSI quattro (Angebot im chinesischen Markt) Audi Q7 e-tron 2.0 TFSI quattro (Angebot im chinesischen Markt) Audi Q7 e-tron 2.0 TFSI quattro (Angebot im chinesischen Markt) Audi Q7 e-tron 2.0 TFSI quattro (Angebot im chinesischen Markt)

Audi prologue allroad concept Gallery

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Shanghai 2015: Buick Verano Debuts http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/04/shanghai-2015-buick-verano-debuts/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/04/shanghai-2015-buick-verano-debuts/#comments Mon, 20 Apr 2015 16:00:10 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1048521 Aimed at those “who value a personal and dynamic driving experience,” the next-gen Buick Verano debuted at the 2015 Shanghai Auto Show. Power for the sedan comes from a 1.5-liter direct-injection turbo-four stated to be the most powerful engine in General Motors’ Ecotec family. Output amounts to 166 horses and 184 lb-ft of torque, all […]

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Buick Verano - Shanghai 2015

Aimed at those “who value a personal and dynamic driving experience,” the next-gen Buick Verano debuted at the 2015 Shanghai Auto Show.

Power for the sedan comes from a 1.5-liter direct-injection turbo-four stated to be the most powerful engine in General Motors’ Ecotec family. Output amounts to 166 horses and 184 lb-ft of torque, all of which is directed to the front via a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission specially adapted for road conditions in China. Fuel economy is 6.1 liters per every 100 kilometers.

The Verano’s styling draws from both the 2013 Riviera and 2014 Avenir concepts, such as the Avenir-esque, wing-shaped high-intensity discharge xenon headlamps with daytime LEDs and matching LEDs in the rear. A fastback roof, steeply raked windshield and “streamlined” C-pillars make the sedan appear longer than it actually is — no dimension figures were given at this time — while its double-sweep beltline give the Verano a sculpted appearance.

Other features include: 17-inch, 10-spoke aluminum wheels shod in Continentals; start-stop; signature Buick waterfall grill; and dual integrated inset exhaust.

The Verano is the newest vehicle in Buick’s Chinese market lineup meant to address the needs of customers in the midsize sedan segment, following the Excelle and Excelle GT.

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Shanghai 2015: Chinese Domestic Market Ford Taurus Revealed http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/04/shanghai-2015-chinese-domestic-market-ford-taurus-revealed/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/04/shanghai-2015-chinese-domestic-market-ford-taurus-revealed/#comments Sun, 19 Apr 2015 19:28:57 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1047689 Bowing at the 2015 Shanghai Auto Show, the Ford Taurus’ arrival marks the sedan’s first-ever appearance in the Chinese market. The new Taurus is one of 15 new vehicles Ford intends to bring to China by 2015. It’s set to be assembled at the automaker’s recently opened Changan Ford Hangzhou factory, a flexible-assembly facility with […]

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Bowing at the 2015 Shanghai Auto Show, the Ford Taurus’ arrival marks the sedan’s first-ever appearance in the Chinese market.

The new Taurus is one of 15 new vehicles Ford intends to bring to China by 2015. It’s set to be assembled at the automaker’s recently opened Changan Ford Hangzhou factory, a flexible-assembly facility with an investment of $760 million and an annual production of 250,000 units.

Power for the sedan comes from a 2.7-liter EcoBoost twin-turbo V6, though power figures weren’t stated at this time. Meanwhile, rear passengers can enjoy power-reclining seats with optional adjustable lumbar support and massage function, fold-down center cushion that boasts a control panel for AC, seat functions and infotainment, and plenty of leg, shoulder, head and hip room thanks to the cabin design and 9.7 feet of length in the wheel base (16 feet overall).

Other features include: 25 different places to store items inside the cabin; cup holders that can adjust to different sizes of tea bottles; a panoramic sunroof whose front panel slides over the rear to ensure better rear-passenger headroom; leather seating and wood and chrome trim pieces; and extensive use of NVH-reducing materials and technologies.

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2016 Cadillac ELR Drops In Price, Gains In Power http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/04/2016-cadillac-elr-drops-price-gains-power/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/04/2016-cadillac-elr-drops-price-gains-power/#comments Wed, 15 Apr 2015 17:19:51 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1044866 The Cadillac ELR may be heading off into the sunset soon, but the premium PHEV still has a few tricks left up its sleeve. After federal tax credits, the 2016 ELR will start with a price of $58,495, just nearly $18,000 less than the original price tag of $75,000 when it first hit showrooms in […]

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The Cadillac ELR may be heading off into the sunset soon, but the premium PHEV still has a few tricks left up its sleeve.

After federal tax credits, the 2016 ELR will start with a price of $58,495, just nearly $18,000 less than the original price tag of $75,000 when it first hit showrooms in late 2013.

For that starting price, new ELR owners will also benefit from a few upgrades over the MY 2014 and 2015 editions, one of which is an improved Sport driving mode. The improved mode — part of the optional Performance Package — helps push the PHEV from 0-60 in 6.4 seconds, 1.5 seconds faster than the recent model; top speed comes to 106 mph, 130 mph with the aforementioned package.

The ELR’s hybrid system gets a makeover, as well, with a new lithium-ion pack capable of 17.1 kWh of capacity that’s good for 39 miles of electric-only travel; the Performance Package option knocks that range down to 35 miles. Overall power from the system, which pairs the pack with a 1.4-liter gasoline engine — comes to 233 horses and 373 lb-ft of torque, while total range falls 10 miles to 330 miles. Recharge time takes around five hours when plugged into a 240-volt charger.

Other features include the aforementioned Performance Package, which adds 20-inch wheels and summer-only tires mounted over Brembo brakes and vented rotors as well as the new Sport mode, and improvements to the ELR’s electric power steering and continuous damping control; OnStar with 4G LTE; three USB ports; 8-inch configurable driver instrument and information displays; magnetic inductive charging for passengers’ smartphones; standard Wi-Fi; and on-demand regenerative braking.

Per Cadillac CEO Johan de Nysschen via AutoGuide, the ELR won’t see a second generation, likely due to low sales; 1,310 left the lot in 2014, and 311 had been purchased or leased through the first three months of 2015.

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Shanghai 2015: Volvo XC90 Excellence Ready For Debut http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/04/shanghai-2015-volvo-xc90-excellence-ready-debut/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/04/shanghai-2015-volvo-xc90-excellence-ready-debut/#comments Wed, 15 Apr 2015 10:00:10 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1044602 Coming to the 2015 Shanghai Auto Show later this month, the Volvo XC90 Excellence is the Sino-Swede’s first foray into high-end luxury. Unlike the standard flagship XC90, the Excellence does away with having an extra three passengers and two back rows of seating. Instead, the two rear occupants will each have their own reclining seats […]

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Coming to the 2015 Shanghai Auto Show later this month, the Volvo XC90 Excellence is the Sino-Swede’s first foray into high-end luxury.

Unlike the standard flagship XC90, the Excellence does away with having an extra three passengers and two back rows of seating. Instead, the two rear occupants will each have their own reclining seats with massage functions, ventilated fabric, and plenty of leg room. They’ll also have access to a refrigerator with bottle and glass holders, heated/cooled cup holders, retractable touchscreens, folding tables, and handmade crystal glasses from Swedish glassmaker Orrefors.

Other luxury comforts include: Pirelli Noise Cancelling System tires; 19-speaker Bowers & Wilkins sound system; Volvo’s CleanZone climate system with ionic air cleaner; leather instrument panel and seats with Nubuck headliner; luggage compartment dividing screen; and passenger footrests.

Those who desire Swedish-style luxury — whether in Sweden, China, the United States, or other global locales — will be able to lease their XC90 Excellence beginning later this year, with digital ordering coming to select markets at the same time.

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