By on October 21, 2016

lucid interior glass

Atieva has a luminous new name for its company and a lightning-fast sedan without one.

That, the future of autonomous driving doesn’t need to include stopping for red lights, defective Takata airbags have claimed another life, and the E-Class is helping keep Daimler filthy stinking rich… after the break!

lucid front

Atieva loses its name but gains a sedan

After showboating a video of their blisteringly fast all-electric van beating high-performance sports cars for a few weeks, Atieva changed its name and held an intimate media gathering to show off their new car. CNET reports that Atieva — now “Lucid Motors” — has come up with a spacious midsized sedan with a low nose and large greenhouse. But will it be as fast as the super-van?

More or less, with an emphasis on more. The electric’s 87 kWh power source has an output of more than 900 horsepower. That’s down on the van’s 1200 hp, but Lucid’s Chief Technology Officer Peter Rawlinson says the sedan will weigh half of a ton less. It also won’t have the brick-like aerodynamics of a van.

The model, currently without a name, also aims to rival Tesla in terms of technology. Lucid Motors says it will have fully self-driving capability baked in, data connection for software updates, and possess an infotainment system with four OLED screens. It should also support a minimum range of 300 miles on a charge.

While this is not a production model, Lucid says it is extremely close to what you can expect. That doesn’t guarantee anything, but it’s fairly amazing progress for something only in development for a couple of years. The company wants to wants to unveil the final incarnation by the end of the year and bring it to market in 2018.

green lights
The future of autonomous driving doesn’t include stopping for red lights

For the first time ever, Jaguar Land Rover and Ford are testing connected cars that can communicate with each other using technology designed to expedite trips and avoid accidents. Currently undergoing testing in central England, the connected vehicles monitor traffic signals and each other to adjust their speed in order to hit fewer red lights.

If you’re worried this will make them drive like feather-footed hypermilers, don’t worry. Automotive News Europe reports a driverless Range Rover Sport was demonstrated automatically overtaking slower moving cars.

“The benefits of having cars that can communicate with each other and their surroundings could be very significant – from increased road safety to improved traffic flow,” said Tim Armitage, a project director at the government-backed UK Autodrive.

Earlier this month, a driverless car was tested on British streets for the first time as part of government efforts to create an industry to serve a worldwide market. That market is estimated to be worth up to £900 million ($1.1 billion U.S.) by 2025.

Britain aims to have driverless cars on its roads by the end of the decade.

By IFCAR (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Takata airbags have killed another Honda driver

American Honda Motor Co. and U.S. regulators have confirmed that a 50-year-old California woman is the eleventh victim of rupturing Takata airbags, Automotive News reports.

The woman’s 2001 Honda Civic was among the over 300,000 Honda and Acura vehicles that the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration warned owners in June to stop driving, citing a “grave danger.” The vehicles contain defective Takata inflators that increase the likelihood that the airbag could rupture in a crash by as much as 50 percent, according to NHTSA.

Almost 70 million Takata inflators in U.S. vehicles will be recalled by 2019 under a sweeping recall plan being coordinated by the NHTSA. 11.4 million Takata recalled inflators have been replaced as of Oct. 7, accounting for only 36 percent of the total number of airbags currently under recall.

The inflator defect has crippled Takata financially, and has led to deaths and over 100 injuries in the United States alone.


The E-Class is helping Daimler avoid leaner times

Fortune reports that stronger sales of Daimler’s tech-heavy Mercedes-Benz E-Class sedan and, of course, SUVs, helped third-quarter operating profits swell by 23 percent.

Daimler Trucks, the company’s second-largest source of revenue, just fell off a 2015 high as sales and demand plummeted in its core markets. The division issued a profit warning in May and has predicted job cuts.

But with higher earnings from passenger cars offsetting the falling demand for their trucks, Daimler may soon overtake BMW AG as the world’s biggest premium car manufacturer.

CEO Dieter Zetsche said the results prove “one more time that we are pursuing the right strategy.”

[Images: Lucid Motors; Mercedes-Benz]

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14 Comments on “TTAC News Round-up: Atieva Has a New Name and a New Sedan That Desperately Needs One...”

  • avatar

    What role as the CLA played in overall sales for MB? I just have a hard time coming to grips with that vehicle carrying the three-pointed star with any seriousness…

  • avatar

    That Lucid sedan has been given the Knight Rider treatment at the front, and look – no gaping grille! I think Peak Grille has passed, and we’re on our way back down (except at Lexus).

  • avatar

    Not sure what to think about the name Lucid Motors but one thing comes to mind.
    Lucid is the term used for someone with clear thoughts. So, the tagline could be “Lucid Motors – Hey, we’re not insane anymore!”

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Lucid talks of shipping 20,000 of these a year.

    So I wonder, from what factory, and with what 2 GWh/year battery source? With Tesla consuming something like 40% of the world’s lithium ion battery production, batteries aren’t exactly growing on trees.

  • avatar

    Eff these new-wave websites like Lucid’s with a few lavishly big detail photos but none of the entire car and zero verbal content beyond nebulous buzzwords!

    I need to know about Germans hidin’ in trees and about EV *vans*!

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Who owns the responsibility to safe these Honda/Acura cars until they are fixed?

    This latest victim’s family could claim:
    – It was her only car, so she *had* to drive it, and Honda should have given her a loaner, or,
    – She was unaware of the notice recommending it be parked, or
    – Takata’s fix is too long in coming.

    These time bombs are killing more Americans than ISIS, but the resources devoted to fighting them surely aren’t the same.

  • avatar


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