By on October 18, 2019

Image: Ford

You read yesterday that the so-called “Mustang-inspired” electric utility vehicle Ford has planned for the coming year will be able to juice up all over the nation. What you didn’t read was that the model, presumably named the Mach E, might be capable of doing a nice brakestand.

That’s because you weren’t supposed to read a detail Ford’s charging partner, Electrify America, placed in its press release, then quickly erased. (Read More…)

By on October 17, 2019

Image: Ford/YouTube

There’s rumblings that Ford’s upcoming electric crossover — you know, the “Mustang-inspired” hot rod EV for the whole family ⁠— may make an appearance very soon. Due to go on sale in 2020, the vehicle is Ford’s first serious attempt to enter the electric vehicle field (apologies to the defunct Focus Electric, which found itself outclassed almost as soon as it appeared).

Getting Americans out of their brodozers will not be an easy feat, however, and the folks at the Blue Oval know it. With this in mind, Ford is offering future…Mach E?…buyers as many places to juice up as possible. (Read More…)

By on October 16, 2019

volvo cars

Volvo Cars’ new electric crossover has a name, and it just happens to be something people hate doing. The XC40 is the brand’s new EV, crafted out of the compact XC40 crossover and helped in its mission by the model’s versatile modular platform. To make it work, Volvo first carried out some alterations. See details here.

“Recharge” isn’t just the name applied to the brand’s new EV ⁠— it’s a new sub-brand under which all upcoming EVs and plug-in hybrids will reside. An invitation to confusion or buried psychological disdain? Possibly. (Read More…)

By on October 16, 2019

2019 Lexus LX 570 front quarter

In the Lexus lineup, no vehicle is larger — or older ⁠— than the LX 570, a true luxo barge if there ever was one. Riding atop a platform shared with the Toyota Land Cruiser and Tundra, the current body-on-frame LX 570 appeared in the spring of 2007, going on sale later that year as a 2008 model.

A redesign isn’t expected for another few years, making this model generation longer-lived than most marriages. And yet a clue exists of a new LX to come — one that scraps the LX 570 name for a loftier number. (Read More…)

By on October 16, 2019

bmw

Hoping to attract new clientele, BMW has crafted a sedan aimed at capturing the attention of lower-end American buyers. The 2020 2 Series Gran Coupe is not a four-door version of the well-regarded 2 Series coupe, but you probably knew that by now.

Sporting precious little real estate between the front door and front wheel arch, a raised, pedestrian-cushioning hood, rear flanks and roofline mimicking the Chevrolet Malibu, a front-biased drivetrain, and a platform borrowed from a pair of small crossovers, the 2 Series Gran Coupe is not the long-hood affair you lusted after as a kid. To its credit, BMW couldn’t stomach the prospect of offering the model in FWD.

All-wheel drive comes standard on this thrifty German chariot. (Read More…)

By on October 15, 2019

No one really expected electric pickup trucks to take off as a concept, save for the people developing them. While EVs still need to improve their maximum range to truly surpass combustion-reliant vehicles, modern examples perform much better than their predecessors. But battery size and vehicle weight remain important issues for the segment, making the idea of an electric work vehicle seem about as useful as an edible diaper.

Then the concepts started arriving, sucking far less than most of us expected. There were loads of new ideas, like interesting storage solutions and auxiliary power ports for tools — all stemming from electrification. What’s more is that the vehicle itself seems like it could benefit from the instant torque and lower center of gravity furnished by electric powertrains. Battery packs can also be made larger (improving range), as pickups have more areas to stash cells without intruding into the passenger compartment. Maybe this wasn’t a dumb idea after all.

Ford and General Motors have both confirmed the development of electric pickups, with the former currently running prototypes. Meanwhile, Rivian and Bollinger have already shown off their designs. EV darling Tesla had a truck it wanted to debut over the summer, but the model saw its release pushed back. Now, CEO Elon Musk has confirmed that the vehicle will emerge next month.  (Read More…)

By on October 15, 2019

Mazda

Mazda’s upcoming electric vehicle sheds its cloaking in Tokyo on October 23rd, becoming the first mass-market EV from the gas-loving brand. While the automaker hasn’t provided much in the way of details on the model’s layout, the fact that it chose a CX-30 crossover as a test mule for the brand’s in-house-developed powertrain suggests a crossover is on the way.

On Tuesday, the automaker afforded viewers a peek inside the upcoming vehicle. (Read More…)

By on October 15, 2019

Image: Lexus

With two decades of hybrid technology development under its belt, Toyota and its premium division, Lexus, plan to spread the electrified goodness to every model in the stable — a goal it’s already made considerable headway towards. And yet, while hybrids will remain the backbone of Toyota’s green fleet, it can no longer avoid keeping its lineup EV-free.

With the unveiling of a new Lexus electric planned for the upcoming Tokyo Motor Show, it now seems that model will be the first of three. (Read More…)

By on October 14, 2019

We’ve got an addendum for our latest story on how automakers should view Harley-Davidson as a cautionary tale. The company, which recently began exploring electric motorcycles as a way to boost sales and spur public interest, recently told dealers not to expect deliveries of its newest model.

The $29,799 LiveWire that was supposed to start re-arriving this month is again delayed.

According to The Wall Street Journal, the manufacturer claims there’s an issue with the all-electric bike’s charging equipment — something that will obviously need to be addressed before it goes on sale. As a result, H-D is pulling the production plug on the two-wheeled EV.  (Read More…)

By on October 14, 2019

While Porsche’s Taycan has been praised as unquestionably worthy of the Porsche name, it’s also subject to the brand’s (ahem) aggressive pricing structure. Gone are the days when you can purchase a basement-level Porsche 944 for the modern equivalent of $20,000. The cheapest model currently occupying the automaker’s portfolio is the 718, which sets you back 57 grand before you’ve added a single option.

When the Taycan debuted as Porsche’s first purely electric vehicle a number of weeks back, the model’s $150,900 (before destination) MSRP was expected. Porsche rolled out the higher-end “Turbo” trims first, with promises of more budget-minded models to follow. That car arrived today, and it costs $105,150. (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 October 10, 2019

Trucks make money. A lot of it. Witness the relentless march of average transaction prices, hauled into the stratosphere by all things with a Crew Cab and four-wheel drive. Manufacturers have yet to find the ceiling so, spurred by consumer demand and financial reward, they continue to crank out ever-more outrageous (and expensive) variants.

This time, it isn’t the latest Platinum Southfork Rhodium Kryptonite festival of leather and wood. Chevy, keen to take some of Ford’s lunch, has been rumoured to be building a true competitor to the mighty F-150 Raptor. The race truck you see here is the best indication yet that someone on the Silverado team has dirt under their fingernails.

(Read More…)

By on October 10, 2019

Industry analysts are becoming concerned that General Motors’ ongoing row with the United Automobile Workers will negatively impact its production commitments. Officially, the automaker has a surplus allowing it to endure strike conditions for a few more weeks. But it’s also supposed to preparing SEMA vehicles and readying production of the new, mid-engined Chevrolet Corvette Stingray — none of which have any back catalog to draw from.

While GM had 80 days worth of inventory at the start of October to help tamp down any panic, numerous models aren’t included in that pool. The C8 Corvette is supposed to launch this year, with volumes ramping up through early 2020. But orders for the outgoing C7 are backing up due to the UAW strike, requiring the automaker to finish those before retooling Bowling Green Assembly for the C8. That could further stall the Stingray’s arrival date, which was already a little nebulous.

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.  (Read More…)

By on October 9, 2019

For its last model year, the Cadillac ATS boasted rear-wheel drive, a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder, and an MSRP of $35,495 plus destination. Two years later, the newest and smallest addition to the Cadillac range keeps the recipe more or less the same, only the starting price of the 2020 CT4 rings in a couple grand lower.

Less power, less price, but perhaps more buyers? (Read More…)

By on October 9, 2019

While not the core focus of this website, we’ve often chronicled Harley-Davidson’s missteps as a way of predicting issues that might crop up for manufacturers specializing in four-wheeled transportation.

You see, the iconically American motorcycle brand has painted itself into a corner. By leveraging its established fan base, sales swelled through the 1990s. Unfortunately, the United States’ interest in motorcycles plummeted once the Great Recession hit. H-D was not exempt, enduring the worst of it as its stock price declined 42 percent over the last five years.

As the recessional dust cleared, rival manufactures panicked and shifted away from larger bikes aimed at experienced riders with more money to spend. Japanese companies began furnishing smaller, inexpensive models they hoped would encourage new riders. Harley Davidson waited longer to do this, launching two competitively priced, entry-level models that were still larger than seemed prudent.

Despite the industry seeing slightly improved volumes in the years following 2010, the last two have seen negative growth and annual sales totalling less than half of their pre-recession peak. Hoping to find new riders somewhere, H-D again shifted tactics by building child-sized scooters and the all-electric LiveWire.  (Read More…)

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