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Monthly Archives: April 2018

Elon Musk To Push Through With Tesla Model Y

tesla model y

Elon Musk’s Tesla is making the ambitious plan to commence production of its Model Y in November 2019. Reports from Reuters said that Musk is accepting preliminary bids for supplier contracts of the Tesla Model Y, which will be a more affordable version of the Model X.

The Model Y was first teased at Tesla’s Annual Shareholder meeting in 2017. That time, Musk said that the Model Y will be built on an entirely new platform. But the Tesla CEO recently admitted that feat was ambitious and the Model Y will instead be using the same architecture as the Model 3, Tesla’s latest production car.

If the production of the Model Y will continue, that will be in November 2019 at the Fremont factory in California. Two years after, the production will move to China.

This may sound all too exciting, but remember that Tesla is under fire now for its issues with the production of Model 3. What’s up with that, anyway? The sedan had 500,000 initial orders in refundable deposits in July last year. The company, however, failed to deliver the cars on time. There was an initial promise for these to be ready by November 2017, but that did not come into fruition.

Earlier this month, Tesla tried to convince investors and the general public that the production was getting better, doubling during the first quarter of 2018 and increasing to 5000 units per week in the second quarter.

As for the Tesla Model Y, the “ultimatum” is November 2019, which means that the company might skip the pre-production phase at all. We’re hoping these reports are false because safety is very important in these electric vehicles. A Model X crashed because of the Autopilot feature’s failure, so it makes no sense for Tesla to escalate the production of the Model Y when there are still clear issues with its previous model.

5 Things You Need To Know About The All-New Ford Focus

ford focus st (3)

The new Ford Focus is taking over everything in Europe. It’s new. It’s a fan favorite. Everyone’s clamoring for a piece of the hot action. It’s set to be Britain’s best-selling cars, which is a lot to say considering the massive options that the British have.

1. C2 Platform Made Everything Possible

Ford’s global divisions got together and discussed what they expect from the new Ford Focus. From there, the designers and engineers worked to come up with the C2 platform. It is roomier and stronger than the old one, but it is notably a lot lighter.

2. There Is More Space

Thanks to the stretched wheelbase, there is more rear legroom and a space under the floor of the boot to store the internal roller-blind. Essentially, the front seats have been redesigned to give rear dwellers more space for their feet. They can also see better outside the windows because these have been stretched rearward into the pillar. The new Ford Focus is just 18mm longer despite all this new-found space.

3. New Dashboard And Better Specs

The new dashboard has a cleaner and more streamlined look. It was moved forward to give better space for the driver and the passenger, though it is still easily reachable and accessible. The touchscreen, all of its eight inches, is mounted high and runs Ford’s Sync 3 system. If that’s not your cup of tea, you can mirror your phone through CarPlay. There’s a B&O Play music system and a wireless charging option, too.

4. It Has An Embedded SIM

Like the Astra, the new Focus has an embedded SIM card, which allows it to receive high-definition live traffic updates. It can run several navigation and shopping apps, making it easier for you to arrive at your destination. This same data connection can also act as a hotspot. From your phone, you can manage the car and do several things like lock and unlock.

5. New Petrol Engines

The new Ford Focus will likely have a 1.0-liter Ecoboost, which will come in options of 85, 100, and 125bhp. It will have just 108g/km CO2 even in the strict new WLTP test. The bigger petrol engine, a 1.5-liter, will have either a 150 or 182bhp. For economic use, the three-cylinder machine can shut down one of their cylinders to eliminate the losses of pumping air.

Photos

5 Features Of The 2019 Toyota RAV4 Crossover

toyota rav4 (1)

The Toyota RAV4 first arrived in 1994 as the Japanese brand’s oldest and most popular vehicle in the crossover segment. Since then, the demand for crossovers has grown exponentially and sales of the Toyota RAV4 grew alongside it. It last received a redesign in 2013 and to keep it updated and fresh, Toyota revealed a fifth-generation model at the 2018 New York International Auto Show.

1. Exterior

The RAV4 is still considered a subcompact but it has SUV-like proportions, thanks to the lower and wider stance and extended wheelbase. The RAV4 has a more angular defined nose with the headlights angled toward the front fenders. There’s black detailing on the lower half of the bumper and a silver skid plate protects the chin.

The sides are sharper as well with a built-up shoulder line and creases that lead to the fender flares. Optional 19-inch wheels finish off the sides.

2. Interior

There’s a new simplified design for the cabin’s layout. The thing about the new RAV4 is that it has more space for the rear passengers, thanks to the extended wheelbase it used as a platform. It has a more streamlined and elegant appearance with a lot of techy details. The new RAV4 has hands-free power liftgate, which can be opened by waving a foot under the rear bumper.

Standard safety tech includes Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection, Forward Collision Warning, Brake Assist, Automatic Emergency Braking, and Full-Speed Range Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist, Automatic High Beam headlights, Lane Tracing Assist, and Road Sign Assist. You can go for the options: Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Cross Traffic Alert, a Bird’s Eye View Camera, Intelligent Clearance Sonar, and Rear Cross Traffic Braking.

3. Drivetrain

There are two powertrains to choose from: a Dynamic Force 2.5-liter inline four-cylinder. Equipped on the five individual gas-only models and a Dynamic Force 2.5-liter inline four-cylinder mated with the latest Toyota Hybrid System II (THS II) efficiency-booster.

4. Prices

The 2019 Toyota RAV4 will arrive in dealerships at the end of this year in gas-only variant. The hybrid will arrive sometime in 2019. There are no pricing details yet, but it will likely have the tag of the current model, which is priced $24,510. The hybrid model starts at $27,235.

5. Competition

The RAV4’s direct competitors are the Honda CRV and the Mazda CX-5.

4 Things To Expect From The 2019 Aston Martin Rapide AMR

aston martin rapide amr (4)

The Rapide is badly in need of a fresh upgrade or update from Aston Martin, but it looks like the luxury carmaker is focused on anything but that. Whether or not Aston Martin is actually working on a new Rapide remains to be a mystery, but what we’ve heard is that it’s getting a high-performance version, thanks to the AMR division.

Here’s what we think the Aston Martin Rapide AMR will look like:

1. Exterior

There will be carbon-fiber bumper inserts and large splitter on the revised bumper. This is what was seen on a test car spotted near the Nurburgring track. The revised bumper has AMR written over it with round foglamps, vented hood, and a revised grille. The side view is a mixture of AMR and standard production features. The side skirts are seen on the test car were similar to the concept model, but missing are the carbon-fiber mirror caps, the black fender strakes, and the black door handles.

Highlights of the rear end include an aero flip on the decklid, a revised bumper that’s not yet painted, and a new, more aggressive diffuser.

2. Interior

Expect the AMR version of the Rapide to carry the same design and features as the standard Rapide, except that there will be a few highlights—Dark Knight Alcantara on the dashboard, the seats, and the steering wheel, sports carbon-fiber seats, and a carbon-fiber center stack and console.

The sedan’s seats, dashboard, and door panels should have contrast stitching, depending on the exterior detailing of the Rapide. It should have bespoke graphics for its infotainment screen and instrument cluster.

3. Drivetrain

The Rapide AMR is set to be the most powerful version of this model. It should get the same naturally aspirated 6.0-liter V-12 machine that can produce 592 horsepower and 465 pound-feet of torque. That’s a 40-horsepower jump from the regular Rapide. It should be able to reach 62 mph in just 4.3 seconds and top speed will be a whopping 210 mph.

4. Prices

The Rapide S is priced at $207,775 in the US. It’s safe to assume that the starting price for the Rapide AMR would be $250,000 before options.

Photos

Here are the spy shots of the Aston Martin Rapide AMR from autoevolution:

What We Can Derive From New BMW X5 Spy Shots


Engineers at the BMW plant in Munich have been very busy these past weeks. Spy photographers have been capturing photos of new models such as the upcoming BMW 8 Series coupe and convertible, the BMW X7, and finally, the BMW X5. For the last one, we’ve got spy photos both of the exterior and the interior.

Based on the spy shots of  AutoBlog, the BMW X5 looks like a shorter version of the X7. That should not come as a surprise since this is essentially what the German automaker planned for the X5 because it is being marketed for an audience that would love the X7 but with shorter wheelbase. Then again, the X5 is not even the shortest wheelbase the BMW is using as a platform. The smaller BMW X3 is taking after the same design and style as the X7 and the X5.

Basically, what we’re going to see on the BMW X5 is about the same thing as what we saw on the X7. They have the same headlights, the same taillights, and the same bucktooth grille that has even avid fans walking away from the SUV.

The overall design was already previewed on the concept unveiled by the German automaker in various motor shows. It was recently seen on the X3, so there’s little mystery on what the X5 will probably look like. This is an evolution of the same basic design that BMW has been using for more than a decade.

The X5’s interior is almost an exact copy of what we recently saw on the X7. It’s quite different from the cabin designs that BMW has fitted most of its models, but since we haven’t seen it in person yet, we’ll reserve our comments on that. What we can see is that there’s a new shifter design and majority of the buttons, including the push-button start, have been moved from the dashboard to the console.

The reveal will probably be sometime later this year.

Subaru WRX STI Will Get Minor Power Bump For 2019 Model

2018 subaru wrx sti

It is not much, but reports said that the Subaru WRX STI will get five more horsepower for its 2019 model. Subaru’s WRX and WRX STI offer a kind of free-driving experience that not many sedans currently in the market can boast of. Both models have aged in many aspects, but they are still as popular as ever, especially to their loyal fanbase.

According to a document submitted to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration by the North American, the 2.5-liter turbocharged boxer-four engine of the WRX STI will now produce 310 horsepower. That’s five more horses compared to the previous model. The 2019 Subaru WRX, on the other hand, will still get 268 horsepower.

The 310-horsepower output of the WRX STI for the 2019 model is familiar because it’s the same output as the limited edition STI Type RA. This is the quicker and “more nimble version” of the STI that was unveiled last year. This special edition model was limited to just 500 units in the United States.

Aside from 310 horsepower and 290 pound-feet of torque, the STI Type RA will also have a suite of modern and exclusive components. The special edition model had a carbon fiber roof, Bilstein shocks, a high-flow exhaust, larger intakes, a retuned engine control unit, and a modified multi-mode vehicle dynamics control system.

The STI Type RA was seemingly produced for the STI fanboys, and there are plenty of them. These are the same people who will be excited to know that the 2019 WRX STI will get the same output as the STI Type RA.

The WRX STI may not have plenty of components fans can go gaga over, but they can tap through a large number of aftermarket channels to customize and give their WRX STI more personality.

 

Pininfarina Launches EV Brand, Hypercar To Come In 2020

pininfarina h2-speed concept

Pininfarina launched Automobili Pininfarina on Friday in Rome. The brand will focus on the conceptualization and the production of electric vehicles. Pininfarina’s parent company, Mahindra, is currently in Rome to compete in this weekend’s Formula E Championship round.

Battista Pininfarina said that launching a car brand is a dream come true for him. Thanks to the financial backing of Mahindra, these dreams are coming into fruition.

The cars that will be produced under the new brand will be prestigious and luxurious, true to Pininfarina’s name and reputation. The first model will arrive this year as the production version of the H2 Speed concept that was shown at the 2016 Geneva motor show. The H2 Speed is a track-only electric supercar that uses a hydrogen fuel cell stack instead of batteries. There will only be 12 units in production.

But on Friday, during the launch of the Automobili Pininfarina, the company said that the flagship model of the brand will arrive in 2020. The vehicle will use a technology formulated by Rimac and Mahindra’s Formula E team. Power output will most likely be 1,480 horsepower, similar to the Bugatti Chiron. But much like the H2 Speed, too, there will only be a few units in production.

Rimac, as we can all remember, recently revealed C_Two hypercar that can produce as much as 1,914 horses from its four electric motors.

Don’t fret, though. Even if you can’t get your hands on the flagship model from Pininfarina’s new car brand, you can get dibs on other Pininfarina models, which will be built in higher volumes. This would include sedans and SUVs.

This is not the first time Pininfarina would venture into the production of cars. The company has been actively building various cars for companies, including the Volvo C70. It also has quite an experience producing electric cars such as the BlueCar electric hatch developed by French firm Bollore.

Peugeot Has No Plans For Dedicated EV

peugeot

Peugeot CEO Jean-Phillipe Imparato made a surprising claim recently when he said that the brand has no plans of creating a dedicated EV anytime soon. This statement was made at a time when every car manufacturer, from Kia to Ferrari, is working on EV concepts and dedicating a team to produce them faster.

Imparato is confident that Peugeot will reach its carbon dioxide emissions target for 2021. Car manufacturers in Europe are mandated to keep a check on emissions produced by their vehicles in an aim to lessen CO2 emissions by 2021. The Peugeot head said the brand does not need to launch an electric vehicle and take a hit to reach the target. To protect the operation of the French automaker, Imparato said there are plans to launch a mix of powertrains.

However, this does not mean that the company is anti-EV. While Imparato sees no need for a dedicated EV for now, he did say that he wants Peugeot to lead the way for electrification. By 2019, 8% of Peugeot’s model lineup will be electrified. By 2020, that number will be 50%. He believes that the transition to electrified vehicles should not be done in the future. It should be today.

Imparato is not closing Peugeot’s door on EV. He did say that he would want a dedicated EV for the brand in the coming 10 years. For now, though, what they can offer is a “modular platform” that will cover all markets—electric, hybrid, petrol, and diesel.

Peugeot’s clear plans should be trusted, considering that it reported a sales growth of 10.4% in the previous year. Its siblings, the Citroen and DS, reported negative growth. Imparato said the export of vehicles helped Peugeot grow exponentially. However, China and Germany and many other countries will ban Internal Combustion Engines by 2025. Let’s see how Peugeot will play through this.

Pagani Huayra Bids Farewell As It Enters Final Production Phase

pagani huayra

The final Pagani Huayra coupe is entering production, which means this would be the last time we’re going to see an inch of the sports car. The Italian luxury carmaker will finish the final iteration of the Huayra in about two months, reports from duPont Registry said recently.

This final car is the 100th example of the Huayra. Yes, there’s exactly 100 Huayras out there. You just don’t know it since these are obviously owned by the rich and famous. Like the previous 99 models, the final Huayra will feature a Mercedes-AMG built 6.0-liter twin-turbocharged V-12 engine that produces 700 horsepower and 811 pound-feet of torque.

It makes sense for Pagani to end the coupe’s run after seven years. Pagani inked an agreement for the supply of AMG engines for just 100 units, which signals this 100th example of the Huayra. Remember that the first supercar was launched in 2011 as a follow-up to the equally capable Zonda.

The final Huayra, marking the last AMG unit to be delivered from the German automaker, will be called the “Il Ultimo.” This will be especially produced and dedicated to Brett David, the chief executive officer of Prestige Imports. As such, it will have a “German flare” in honor of the hypercar’s AMG-sourced engine.

pagani huayra coupe

To further bring acknowledgement to its German roots, the final Huayra will bear the livery colors on Lewis Hamilton’s F1 car, a Mercedes. On the Huayra, the color scheme is stunning and jaw-dropping. It used subdued gray as the primary hue and turquoise-aqua will be used for interior striping, the mirrors, and the tire sidewalls. The interior will receive a similar treatment. Turquoise and gray colors will cover the dashboard, the doors, and the center console. The seats will be covered in white leather.

Pagani CEO and founder Horacio Pagani made it clear that Pagani is going to continue. It’s just the Huayra that’s going to make its farewell. The car’s successor will “embody pure driving,” will not rely on electrification, and will still have a manual transmission.

All Honda Cars Starting 2022 Will Have Honda Sensing Safety

honda sensing

Starting 2022, all Honda models will be equipped with the Honda Sensing Safety, a suite of features that will make it easier and safer for drivers to navigate and manage the brand’s cars. Though it is a long way from now, it’s nice to know that the Japanese automaker is making strides to make accessibility to safe cars a priority.

Right now, there is over one million vehicles in the United States fitted with the Honda Sensing Safety. That number is going to pale in comparison to Honda’s plans to have the system a standard equipment for all its vehicles starting 2022.

The Honda Sensing Safety system offers a suite of advanced safety and driver-assisted technologies that will supposedly make it easier and safer for Honda owners to drive their cars. The system includes quite a huge number of safety tech features, including a collision mitigation braking system (CMBS) that can apply brake pressure when an unavoidable collision is sensed.

It also has the lane keeping assist (LKAS), adaptive cruise control (ACC), and road departure mitigation (RDM), all of which assist the drivers in adjusting steering and braking if and when the cars cross detected lanes without signaling.

Henio Arcangeli Jr., senior vice president of the American Honda Automobile Division, said in a statement that Honda’s dream is to create a “collision-free mobile society.” The Honda Sensing Safety will play a critical and pivotal role in order to achieve that dream. Honda’s unofficial target is to reduce the number of collisions in the next three to four years.

The safety suite is now standard on only a handful of Honda models— 2018 Clarity Plug-in Hybrid, 2018 Clarity Fuel Cell, 2017 Clarity Electric, 2018 Accord, and 2018 Accord Hybrid. It will also come standard on the 2019 Insight Hybrid. Honda Sensing Safety is only available as an option for the Fit, Civic, CR-V, Pilot, Odyssey, and Ridgeline.

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