Ford will have a rear-wheel drive, hybrid F-150 truck by the end of the decade, Ford CEO Mark Fields told NPR on Tuesday.
“Well, we do have plans to have a rear-wheel drive hybrid truck but the end of the decade. So yes, we’re working on electrified F-series, and it’s really around a conventional hybrid,” Fields said during an interview.
The automaker announced earlier this month that it would invest $4.5 billion in electrification and will unveil a refreshed hybrid Fusion at the North American International Auto Show next month as part of that plan. The hybridized, full-size pickup will arrive by 2020, although the automaker doesn’t plan on total market domination for the truck — at least right now.
Chevrolet announced this week that its hybridized version of the mid-sized Malibu would start at $28,645 including destination, for a fuel-sipping, 48 city-mpg, long-legged miler with all kinds of good looks.
Those are the facts.
Also true: the Ford Fusion Hybrid is $3,585 less expensive (although it only manages 41 mpg in the city), the Hyundai Sonata Hybrid is $1,810 less expensive (40 mpg city), the Toyota Camry Hybrid is $1,220 less dear (although it manages 43 mpg in the city) — so only the 50-mpg Honda Accord Hybrid starts at a higher price ($1,495 more).
The Malibu Hybrid will be available only in LT trim when it goes on sale in the spring.
Look, this is pretty awkward. While nearly every auto journalist in the country has congregated in Dearborn, Michigan today for Ford’s annual Christmas party, we’re here at work pounding out stories about Camaro steering wheels and drinking cheap coffee. We weren’t invited to the party, it’s cool. We can both be adults about the sitch.
But according to various Twitter feeds — including the Wall Street Journal’s Detroit Bureau Chief John Stoll and WWJ’s Jeffrey Gilbert— Ford is talking battery packs and showing off a covered car that looks like a Fusion with a half-assed bed sheet covering it.
Oh, and there’s a plug running right into it, as if Kevin the Ford shop hand forgot to unplug the damn thing before letting a roomful of journalists snap pictures of it.
Seemingly overnight, the Toyota Prius became a victim of its own success. A frumpy, frugal automotive fringe player was suddenly a Hollywood starlet and a Conservative America villain, all at the same time.
Toyota got the message but ignored all the criticism. It didn’t matter that the seats were quasi-uncomfortable, the dash was the color of unroasted tofurkey (which I love, by the way) or that the Prius looked like a space egg on low-rolling resistance tires. An automotive icon needs less attention than a vehicle, apparently.
The last Prius came in 2009, which was timed worse than a teenage pregnancy. The world was looking at cheap gas and salivating at expensive trucks with equal amounts of cash burning through its pockets. The Prius kept pace with eco, budget buyers, but couldn’t sustain the car’s meteoric rise from the previous generation. The follow-up is the worst part. (Read More…)
Hyundai announced Monday it would bring back silliness to car names and make the world’s first hybrid, plug-in hybrid and all-electric vehicle available in the same body, catering decadently to an individual’s fondness for electrons.
The Ioniq — which sounds like it’s spelled — will be unveiled January in South Korea and later next year in Geneva and New York. It will go on sale next year.
According to the automaker, Ioniq is the type of car people have been asking for: a model named after slightly obfuscated common words to fit with an over-stretched marketing philosophy rather than alphanumeric letters and symbols that require no creativity whatsoever. (God, I miss the Integra.) (Read More…)
Mitsubishi’s sedan offering in the United States may very likely begin and end with its Mirage (which Mark says they didn’t ruin for 2017) as the company builds more and more crossovers to sell.
“We are strong in SUVs and four-wheel drives. And that is what we would like to focus on as core models in the U.S. market. We have changed direction,” CEO Osamu Masuko told Automotive News. “We are going to allocate more resources to the areas where we are strong in the U.S.”
Mitsubishi will announce a mid-sized crossover to fit between its Outlander and Outlander Sport, which are both due for a redesign in 2017 and 2019 respectively. The automaker is also betting big on electrification: all of its crossovers will either offer a hybrid, plug-in hybrid or all-electric version. (Read More…)
Federal regulators have postponed rules to require hybrid and EV carmakers to add audible warnings to their cars to alert nearby pedestrians, bicyclists and visually impaired people, Reuters reported.
The audible warnings would be installed on cars made by Ford, Honda and Toyota and be activated when those cars are traveling slower than 18 mph. According to the report, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says hybrid and EV cars are 19-percent more likely to be involved in a pedestrian crash when compared to gasoline cars. The rule could prevent 2,800 crashes with pedestrians. (Read More…)
A court ruled Nov. 12 that a lawsuit may continue against Ford for misstating its mileage estimates of its C-MAX and Fusion hyrbid cars.
Ford attempted to dismiss the lawsuit based on its claim that the mileage estimates provided by the Environmental Protection Agency, were in part, an estimate and that “actual results may vary.” Car owners suing the automaker pointed to Ford’s media blitz that included Ryan Seacrest in Times Square with a bunch of billboards and T-shirts with the number 47 on them and “47 Challenges, 47 Days” marketing push and Facebook posts that the cars would achieve a “EPA-certified 47 mpg city and 47 mpg highway ratings for a 47-mpg combined rating” — among many other 47-branded things — when the cars didn’t come anywhere close.*
*Actual mileage did vary.
“Ford implicitly recognized that its advertising campaign was misleading,” U.S. District Judge Kenneth M. Karas wrote in the ruling. (Read More…)
Kia on Monday released teaser images of its Prius-fighting hybrid, dubbed Niro, and said the car would go on sale late next year — maybe when gas prices aren’t $2 a gallon.
According to the automaker, the Niro’s hybrid powertrain and lightweight construction could help the car achieve up to 60 miles per gallon when it goes on sale. A plug-in variant will go on sale after a conventional hybrid arrives in 2016.
The car is positioned to fight directly against the next-generation Toyota Prius, which will go on sale later this year. It isn’t immediately clear whether the car is pronounced “NEE-ro” (like the Roman emperor) or “NY-ro” (rhymes with Cairo) because one of those would be an interesting choice.
Toyota will build the next generation RAV4 and RAV4 Hybrid on its new global platform in Cambridge, Ontario, Canada near the Lexus RX in 2019, the automaker announced Tuesday.
The plant, which recently lost production of the Corolla to Mexico, would receive a significant upgrade to the Toyota New Global Architecture line that could be used to produce other cars in the future. In a statement announcing the RAV4’s production, Toyota executives touted the Cambridge and Woodstock plants as the “North American hub for sport utility vehicles.” (Read More…)