By on January 24, 2020

Image: Volvo Cars

Volvo’s XC90 midsize crossover is both a tony vehicle and a solid seller, but the push into electrification that began with the crossover’s second generation will be completed in its third.

The automaker has announced that the third-gen XC90, which arrives in 2022, will ditch gas-only powerplants for good. (Read More…)

By on January 23, 2020

Image: Daimler AG

The countdown to Mercedes-Benz EQC production last year was preceded by stories about the model’s anticipated range and uncontroversial styling, but when the time came to get EQCs into the hands of buyers, the electric crossover had trouble leaving the launch pad.

Not long after reports emerged of the EQC’s U.S. arrival being delayed by a full year, a German outlet claims Mercedes-Benz has chopped its 2020 production target in half. (Read More…)

By on January 21, 2020

Crosstrek Hybrid

Like it or not, Subaru plans to make up for lost time by delving deep into the world of electrification. In a technical briefing Monday, the automaker outlined a plan to draw 40 percent of its global sales from electric or hybrid vehicles by the beginning of the next decade.

Currently, the automaker only sells the Crosstrek Hybrid, but that will change as its newly strengthened partnership with Toyota starts to bear fruit. (Read More…)

By on January 17, 2020

2018 Kia Niro PHEV gauges

Whether you or I like it or want it, the industry is changing — pivoting towards things that cause many readers’ blood to run cold and their soul to wither and die. Futuristic things like electrification and mobility and autonomous driving. Soulless things, to some.

For most — if not all — industry players, this pivot is Plan B (Plan A being the traditional selling of internal combustion automobiles to customers who walk into dealerships). For Kia, it falls under the official title of Plan S. This week, the automaker dived into what it means for loyal customers. (Read More…)

By on January 17, 2020

Tesla

While we’re on the subject of American (or somewhat American) automakers looking to beat the Chinese at their own EV game, Tesla has announced a new direction in that massive electric vehicle market.

With Model 3s now rolling into buyers’ hands from its just-opened Shanghai assembly plant, the automaker has turned its eye to the lower end of the market. (Read More…)

By on January 17, 2020

fca

Ram Rebels and Power Wagons are a tough fit for China’s cramped, heavily taxed new vehicle market, but “new energy” vehicles (electric cars) are not. With this in mind, Fiat Chrysler is aiming to put EVs in the hands of Chinese consumers through a potential joint venture.

Clearly seeing an avenue for growth — and a way to compensate for falling Jeep sales while challenging industry heavyweights like Volkswagen, GM, and Ford  — FCA has entered talks with Taiwanese electronics company Foxconn, the automaker announced Friday. (Read More…)

By on January 17, 2020

Frank writes:

So, reading about the Lithium Mustang with its completely superfluous six-speed gearbox got me and some friends thinking about when you need a transmission and when you don’t.

We all know that steam engines and electric motors torque from the git-go and never need transmissions, whereas ICE engines can’t do that. But then we realized none of us knew why. So, that’s the question — why can’t ICE engines torque like those others? (Read More…)

By on January 16, 2020

Image: Porsche AG

As one would expect with an electric model, the first iterations of the Porsche Taycan revealed to the public were the high-performing Turbo and Turbo S variants. Hotter models land with a bigger splash (and earn their maker more money), so it was no surprise to see Porsche keep lowlier versions on the back burner. One surprise was the Turbo’s range: 201 miles, drawn from a 93.4 kWh battery pack. Hardly an industry-beating figure, especially for a six-figure car.

Now, the EPA has bestowed a rating on the Turbo’s more muscular sibling, the Turbo S. With an identical battery and extra oomph on tap — 750 horsepower — the Turbo S manages a 192-mile figure. Deal breaker, or irrelevant? (Read More…)

By on January 15, 2020

A new Jaguar flagship is on the way, and the latest evidence of this shadowy cat is a series of spy photos snapped of a camo-clad sedan sitting atop a trailer. While the sedan itself is quite familiar, what’s underneath seems all-new.

Certainly, old-timey Jag aficionados won’t recognize what’s under the hood when the new range-topper arrives. (Read More…)

By on January 13, 2020

A near-future of rapidly rising sales is a vision Genesis brand chief William Lee wants to see come true. It has to, if Hyundai’s premium marque wants to stick around.

With its American dealer strategy now up and running and the public debut of the brand’s first crossover vehicle just days away, Lee claims he’s confident great things lie ahead. Is it bad luck for a fledgling marque to issue sales predictions? If it is, Lee isn’t aware. (Read More…)

By on January 10, 2020

The much-rumored return of Hummer to the General Motors fold is apparently a go.

According to sources who spoke to The Wall Street Journal, GM has purchased hyper-expensive ad time during next month’s Super Bowl game, during which it plans to reveal its intent to resurrect the name of once loved (and equally derided) brand. It won’t be a brand, however. (Read More…)

By on January 10, 2020

us-capitol, public domain

Representative Debbie Dingell (D-MI) introduced new legislation on Wednesday in a bid to improve the uptake of electric vehicles in the United States. The bill, known as the USA Electrify Forward Act, would appropriate $2 billion annually for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing Incentive Program between 2021 and 2035.

Dingell cited a May 2019 AAA survey that reported just 16 percent of Americans as saying they would consider an electric vehicle for their next automotive purchase, claiming something needs to be done address EV pricing, repair costs, and range. The primary focus of the bill is to help in the development and manufacturing of advanced battery technologies and anything else that might help get more Americans into EVs.  (Read More…)

By on January 8, 2020

nissan

Within a couple of years, Nissan hopes to put the company’s current dark clouds behind it and get on with the business of selling cars and making money. One vehicle expected to help the automaker in this supposedly EV-hungry decade is a production version of last year’s Ariya — a concept crossover powered solely by electricity.

Looking pretty fleshed-out for a concept, the Ariya, or whatever Nissan chooses to call it, will join the long-running Leaf in the company’s emissions-free stable. At this week’s Consumer Electronics Show, the automaker chose to show off the system that gets the Ariya moving. It’s an unholy marriage of letters and numbers. (Read More…)

By on January 7, 2020

Sony

When it comes to forward-thinking concept vehicles, “vision” ranks among the most popular words used by automakers to convey their futuristic aspirations to the general public. Among real-world production models, the letter “S” best signifies a vehicle either at the top or bottom of its game. There’s no in-between when it comes to S; it’s either Sport, or base.

So it’s forgivable if the reader finds the name bestowed on a prototype vehicle launched Monday night at the Consumer Electronics Show to be both generic and instantly forgettable. But the Vision-S is real, and it was built by a company best known for putting music in the hands of the teeming masses, not cars. (Read More…)

By on January 6, 2020

The Fisker Ocean electric crossover debuted in Los Angeles over the weekend. Company founder Henrik Fisker claims the model will be competitively priced (for an electric), starting at $37,499. There’s also a subscription service, priced at $379 per month with a $3,000 down payment. Customers receive an allowance of 30,000 miles a year as well as “free” servicing, maintenance, and (presumably) insurance.

Considering Fisker’s track record, having a sales model that allows customers to invest a few grand upfront and cancel at any time might help the Ocean’s take rate. The Fisker name is now synonymous with underdelivering. Poor corporate decisions, combined with plenty of bad luck, ultimately forced the first iteration of the brand to cancel production of the Karma hybrid. Fisker Automotive declared bankruptcy in 2013, with Fisker Inc. emerging in 2016 with more mainstream aspirations.  (Read More…)

Recent Comments

  • Right_Click_Refresh: LOL. Who are these chunky, vile looking things being made for?
  • Right_Click_Refresh: Man, I remember being all excited to see these debut because they were so darn futuristic. I...
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