By on October 23, 2019

Image: BimmerPost

A photo supposedly taken on a BMW factory floor and uploaded to BimmerPost appears to show a production-ready passenger car with a face only a mother could love.

It’s no secret that BMW’s signature kidney grille has expanded in recent years, first touching in the middle before heading downward for extra acreage. It’s part of the automaker’s attempt at simple yet bold vehicle design, and it seems to be working. For better or worse, they’re getting noticed. And it will certainly be difficult not to notice this Bimmer’s snout when it rolls into a dealer or driveway near you. (Read More…)

By on October 23, 2019

Image: Mazda

Mazda put the future on display at the Tokyo Motor Show on Wednesday, unwrapping a battery-electric crossover that thankfully gives us something a little avant-garde to look at.

The brand’s compact EV makes things interesting not by offering a 130-mile range and relatively small battery pack (35.5 kWh), but by employing a team of designers to boost visual appeal in an otherwise bland segment. Kodo design language is front and center here, as is a cabin designed to instill a sense of openness. Materials that only Mazda could get excited about abound. Yet that’s not the MX-30’s most striking feature.

It’s about time another automaker returned to clamshell doors. (Read More…)

By on October 10, 2019

Despite Dyson’s promise of delivering multiple versions of an electric car that would surpass everything we’ve seen before and confirmation that it had functional prototypes already in testing, the company has axed its EV program entirely.

The firm announced its decision on Thursday, quoting founder James Dyson directly. “The Dyson Automotive team have developed a fantastic car; they have been ingenious in their approach while remaining faithful to our philosophies,” he explained. “However, though we have tried very hard throughout the development process, we simply cannot make it commercially viable.”

Dyson stated that the company was unable to find a buyer for the project, leading the board to suggest the £2.5 billion ($3.11 billion) automotive project be abandoned. While the corporation did not indicate how much of the capital was leftover, it said the funds would be used improve the Dyson Institute of Engineering and Technology or funneled into other tech programs. Any advancements stemming from its EV research will be utilized wherever possible — including commercial licensing agreements.   (Read More…)

By on September 25, 2019

Volvo, the brand TTAC commenters can’t get enough of (when they’re not talking Infiniti), will soon enter a fledgling segment no automaker seems capable of steering clear of: electric vehicles.

The new model, due for an October unveiling, won’t be an unfamiliar, futuristic blob that leaves viewers feeling cold and scared. Like many of its rivals, Volvo has opted to fully electrify an existing model. And what model has a longer-term viability than a compact crossover? (Read More…)

By on September 19, 2019

Amazon

Isn’t Rivian the popular thing these days? Courted by Amazon and Ford with investments of $700 million and $500 million, respectively, the Michigan-based EV startup recently gained a cash infusion from Cox Automotive.

Now, that very first investment is bearing fruit — 100,000 pieces of it, promised for a three-year delivery window. (Read More…)

By on September 13, 2019

Despite the amount of electric vehicle hype soaking today’s society, Ford’s upcoming electric F-150 pickup remains shrouded with mystery. What kind of power can customers expect? Range? Payload? Towing capacity? There’s few details of this looming creature, and even fewer details of General Motors’ EV pickup.

What’s left is enthusiasm from the Glass House and come-down-to-earth predictions from auto analysts. (Read More…)

By on August 22, 2019

Electric concept cars are often a snoozefest, nothing but vaporware bait aimed at the techie crowd, but a vehicle coming to Tokyo’s annual auto show in October will likely herald a production vehicle. Specifically, the Lexus brand’s first EV.

Both Toyota and its premium division plan to field a total of 10 electric models by the middle of next decade. If a report detailing the Lexus concept is anything to go on, the brand’s first electric offering might be boxy, modestly sized, and — if Lexus designers really do plan on emulating an older concept — possibly pretty ugly. (Read More…)

By on June 3, 2019

After claiming, via official channels, that its Nevada Gigafactory would likely become the site of Model Y production, Tesla seems to have changed its mind on where to build its upcoming crossover.

During a weekend podcast, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said production of the vehicle will likely take place where all other Teslas are built. It might not even require a tent. (Read More…)

By on May 29, 2019

gm

Hot on the heels of its Chinese-market debut in Shanghai last month, General Motors has foisted a reborn Trailblazer on North America. Take our word for it — GMT360 afficionado Chris Tonn couldn’t be happier.

The original TrailBlazer (note the uppercase “B”) bowed out of the American market after 2009, though a Holden-badged version built on the Chevy Colorado platform appeared overseas in 2012. The unrelated Chinese model is what you see here, riding atop a new architecture that underpins the Buick Encore GX you saw earlier today.

That’s right, the 2021 Trailblazer is a small crossover that slots between the subcompact Trax and compact Equinox. GM decided upsetting Blazer purists wasn’t enough. (Read More…)

By on May 9, 2019

Dyson, the UK-based maker of innovative vacuums and fans, plans to launch an electric vehicle in about two years’ time — a promise backed up with over $2 billion in funding and the poaching of former Infiniti president Roland Krueger, who now heads the company’s automotive division.

The fledgling automaker doesn’t want to be an also-ran in the still-fledgling EV field. As the clock ticks closer to a real, physical car, new patent drawings reveal what it may look like. (Read More…)

By on April 30, 2019

Kia

If Hyundai can do it, why not Kia? After the Korean automaker’s corporate sibling launched the A-segment Venue at this month’s New York Auto Show, Kia Motors is again hinting at a small, sub-Sportage utility vehicles that’s yet to arrive.

Unlike the Venue, however, Kia’s planned entry won’t be of the front-drive-only variety. (Read More…)

By on April 22, 2019

Image: Ford

Buyers without the necessary cash (or need) to get into a Bronco next year will have an alternative choice — possibly one with a similar name.

While Ford’s upcoming compact unibody ute, underpinned by the same platform used by the 2020 Escape, has carried the “baby Bronco” moniker ever since Ford revealed the model’s development, the automaker might actually bestow a similar name on the retro-themed vehicle. (Read More…)

By on April 19, 2019

2018 Mazda 6 Signature front quarter

It seems the idea of a sport-utility sedan just doesn’t resonate, despite automakers’ best efforts. Oh well, at least there’s still the prospect of greater traction and somewhat improved fuel economy coming to Mazda’s slinky 6 sedan.

During this week’s New York reveal of the much-delayed CX-5 diesel, the automaker mentioned that the 2.2-liter oil burner would also find a home in the company’s midsize sedan. More interestingly, Mazda confirmed that all-wheel drive will become available.

Want to take a guess on which feature Mazda fans actually want? (Read More…)

By on April 19, 2019

FCA Windsor minivan assembly Dodge Grand Caravan 2011 - Image: FCA

Hot on the heels of Fiat Chrysler’s announcement of a shift cut at its Windsor, Ontario minivan plant, officials from Canadian autoworkers’ union Unifor say the automaker has $355 million ready to invest in the facility.

Last month, FCA told Unifor it would cut the plant’s third shift by the end of September, the result of falling minivan sales on both sides of the border. Windsor Assembly employs 6,100 workers, some 1,500 of which stand to lose their jobs. Unifor President Jerry Dias claims the investment will see a new product built in Windsor. (Read More…)

By on April 15, 2019

Audi’s pitching more than just new models at Auto Shanghai this month; it’s promoting a new way to drive. The AI:ME Concept is a summonable, self-driving urban electric, aimed at reshaping the company’s business model — or at least examining that possibility. While Audi refers to the vehicle as a highly specialized premium automobile that can be ordered as needed and offers “extensive possibilities for individualization as part of an on-demand offer,” the company also noted the AI:ME “need not pass into permanent personal ownership.”

The automaker was careful not to use the phrase, but these vehicles would operate under a loosely defined subscription or rental model where customers book a car via their smartphone or computer, stipulating how they need it to be configured for their journey. From there, the vehicle makes its way to the designated pickup point and applies the final adjustments based on previously established seating, climate, lighting, entertainment, and control preferences. (Read More…)

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