Should 54.5 MPG Stay or Go? CAFE Crams for Midterms

As regulatory bigwigs gear up for a midterm review of corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) requirements, will the 54.5 mpg target for light-duty vehicles get a haircut, or be deemed too unambitious?

Under a 2012 agreement between the federal government and automakers, cars and light trucks will have until 2025 to meet the 54.5 mpg target, which works out to about 40 mpg on the window sticker (for cars) after you ditch the fancy math. That target isn’t set in stone, and the midterm review will take into account the state of the market — and existing technology — when it reviews its goals for the 2022-2025 period.

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Eyes Without a Face: Restyled Tesla Model S Revealed

Grilles are so 20th century.

As we speculated last week, Tesla has put a new face on its Model S, doing away with the faux grille designed to trick people into thinking there was something combusting under the hood.

The new front end is a corporate amalgam of the both the recently unveiled Model 3 sedan and Model X SUV. Tesla apparently thinks that society has progressed enough to accept the disappearance of an air-sucking mouth at the front of a car.

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Juggling Act: Tesla Will Have to Deal With a Tax Credit Gap

Much to the delight of EV fanatics and sandal enthusiasts around the world, Tesla reported last week that 325,000 people had placed refundable $1,000 deposits on its Model 3 sedan. Even pessimistically projecting a defection rate of 25 percent, that’s still nearly a quarter of a million cars which need to be built and delivered starting late next year.

Industry analysts have nattered at length about the logistics of the mass order and Tesla’s ability to pull it off. However, there is a new obstacle on the horizon, this time involving the core reason many have given for reserving a Model 3: tax credits.

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Another Lawsuit Launched at Mercedes-Benz in Diesel Litigation Barrage

Mercedes-Benz’s parent company, Daimler, has been hit with a second lawsuit from a U.S. law firm that represents owners of diesel vehicles, despite recent evidence that could render the suit invalid.

The suit from now-familiar firm Hagens Berman accuses the German automaker of employing an emissions “defeat device,” a la Volkswagen, in its diesel vehicles, according to Reuters (via Automotive News).

The suit alleges the device must be the cause of laboratory emissions test results that show higher nitrogen oxide emissions than during real-world tests.

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Tesla Model 3 Reservations Hit 325,000, Musk Rejoices Somewhere Cool and Fancy

As promised, Tesla has revealed the tally for first-week orders of the upcoming “affordable” Model 3 electric car, and it’s good news for the company.

It’s also bad news if you ordered late and are hoping to show off your ride anytime soon.

As of today, the electric automaker has taken over 325,000 reservations on the 215-mile range Model 3, which translates into an eventual $14 billion in revenue if no one backs out. With each buyer putting $1,000 down on their order, that means Tesla just made a cool $325 million that could be used to ready the vehicle, and the company’s facilities, for production.

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France Begins Process of Wooing Elon Musk

Tesla founder Elon Musk wants to build a new European factory to satisfy growing demand on the continent, and France knows just the place he should do it.

French Energy Minister Segolene Royal reportedly pitched the idea of using the site of a soon-to-be-mothballed reactor to Musk, according to Reuters (via Automotive News Europe).

“He didn’t say no,” said Royal, who plans to follow-up the pitch by meeting with Tesla management.

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For Tesla Model 3 Buyers, the Waiting Could Be the Hardest Part

Tesla Motors is cranking out EVs at its fastest clip yet, but buyers who put money down on the Model 3 should still have serious questions about the timeliness of their delivery date.

In the first quarter of this year, Tesla delivered 12,420 Model S sedans and 2,400 Model X SUVs — nearly 50 percent more volume than the same period last year. The electric automaker said a parts shortage in January and February hampered Model X production, but with the issue resolved, deliveries of 80,000 to 90,000 Teslas can be expected this year.

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Hyundai Green Chief Says 'Meh' to Hybrids and Electrics, Dives in Anyway

“It’s a headache,” said the Hyundai vice president in charge of eco-friendly vehicles of his company’s efforts to chase Toyota and others in building green vehicles, Automotive News has reported.

Speaking at a South Korean electric car expo, Lee Ki-Sang, senior VP of Hyundai’s Eco Technology Center, went on to state that 26 hybrid, plug-in, full-electric, and fuel cell models will arrive by 2020, but added that Hyundai and Kia’s relatively small home market of Korea will make these moves risky and “difficult.”

One would think that the executive charged with building and selling an innovative line of vehicles would discuss the development of said vehicles with more than a simple yawn.

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Mitsubishi Plans to Boost Sales With Blown Engines

Mitsubishi has a plan to gain market share in the U.S. that’s right out of the ’80s.

Dealers were told during last weekend’s National Automobile Dealers Association conference that Mitsubishi will introduce turbocharged engines to model line, according to Automotive News.

The forced-induction renaissance will begin with a 1.5-liter mill powering the automaker’s planned midsize crossover, expected in 2018, which will slot between an enlarged Outlander and the Outlander Sport.

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Volkswagen's European Diesel Recall Grinds to a Halt, Post-Fix Mileage Blamed

Volkswagen’s slow roll-out of fixes for recalled diesel vehicles in Europe has hit a snag.

Authorities in Europe have put the brakes on a series of Volkswagen recalls after greater fuel consumption was allegedly recorded in models that have undergone the diesel emissions fix, Automotive News Europe is reporting.

Reports say that fuel economy suffered after the fix, forcing Germany’s Federal Motor Transport Authority (KBA) to halt the repairs of 2.0-liter Volkswagen, Audi and Skoda models.

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Revealed: The Tesla Model 3 Offers 215 Miles of Range and a Vague Delivery Date

The Tesla Model 3 had its curtain of hype lifted tonight, and it exists after all.

Sleek, with pronounced shoulders and a roofline that slopes to the decklid, the newest Tesla remains over a year away from production, but at least it now has a face.

Or lack thereof. But more on that later.

Tesla founder Elon Musk said the Model 3 will have an EPA-rated range of “at least” 215 miles, and will retail for $35,000. Every Model 3 — even base versions — will hit 60 miles per hour in less than six seconds.

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Act Fast, and Get a Ford Focus Electric for Pennies

If you live in California and your demographics are right, your electric car dream is within reach. Yes, even you, baristas and struggling actors!

The website Leasehackr stumbled upon a killer deal for lower-income Californians (assuming they live near charging stations), and spelled out how leftover 2015 Ford Focus Electrics can be leased for essentially nothing.

If your personal life aligns with Ford’s customer incentives and California’s revamped EV rebate program, it can be done.

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Volkswagen Targeted by Federal Trade Commission Lawsuit

It wasn’t so clean, was it?

The Federal Trade Commission filed suit against Volkswagen on March 29, claiming the automaker’s “Clean Diesel” ad campaign was a deception that tricked buyers into purchasing its supposedly eco-friendly vehicles.

By filing the complaint against Volkswagen, the FTC (which can’t levy fines) would be able to seek compensation for buyers via a federal court order.

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Volkswagen Gets a New Diesel Deadline, But There Won't Be Another

After missing today’s deadline for a U.S. emissions fix, Volkswagen has been issued a new one, and will now face a summer trial if the date passes without a plan to cure its diesel ills.

The extension of the deadline until April 21 was issued by U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer, who had earlier set the March 24 deadline for the embattled automaker, Reuters is reporting.

The consensus of today’s meeting in California between Volkswagen, the Environmental Protection Agency and the California Air Resources Board was that progress had been made in reaching an agreement on how to deal with 580,000 Volkswagen diesels equipped with pollution-causing defeat devices.

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TTAC News Round-up: Mazda Doesn't Need No Stinkin' Hybrids, Volkswagen Rebuffs Deadline, and March Looks Like a Winner

“Hybrids? Those things that can’t make up their mind on what they want to be in life? Come on!” – Mazda.

That, Volkswagen floors the accelerator past a deadline, March looks like a boffo month for vehicle sales, Audi dials it back a bit, and getting a Tesla Model 3 depends on whether or not you’re in the club … after the break!

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  • Ravenuer 15 Overpriced Vehicles? I'd say they all are.
  • Ravenuer Bought a new 96 GXE. Paid $25002 for it. Hands down the best, most reliable car I ever owned! Put 300k on it with only minor repairs. Miss it.
  • Bfisch81 My friend's mom bought a fully loaded 96 and I remember really liking it. I still thought my granddad's 89 was cooler and sportier but the 96 felt more luxury which wasn't a bad thing in and of itself.
  • Art Vandelay Battery issues aside, I didn’t hate it. I’d have just been paying for range I didn’t need.
  • THX1136 Saying that because 'marked up' vehicles are selling means they are not over priced assumes the folks paying over MSRP know that they are paying more than the manufacturer price set for the vehicle and are happy to do so. I'm guessing in some instances it may be the buyer is ignorant of the situation - or buys with a 'I gotta have it now, I can't wait' attitude. As others have mentioned if one does the work to find a fair price, they don't have to pay an inflated price. Laziness enters into the equation too. But I would agree, generally, that if folks are paying an unreasonably high price they must be okay with that. If demand drops significantly, prices would moderate. Big if.