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Monthly Archives: June 2019

Aston Martin Vanquish Will Have The Last Manual Transmission

aston martin vanquish vision concept (1)

Aston Martin CEO Andy Palmer is making sure to fulfill his promise that the brand will be the last car manufacturer in the world to offer a manual transmission. The Aston Martin Vanquish sports car will be offered with a manual gearbox.

That should be enough for those who are waiting for the retail versions of the Valkyrie and the Valhalla. Palmer said he wants to honor that commitment through the Vanquish.

The only problem with this is that the seven-speed manual transmission released for the Vantage AMR forced a reduction in power and speed. Developed with transmission engine maker Graziano, the gearbox was paired with the 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 that’s used in the Mercedes-AMG.

The engine produces 461 pound-feet of torque compared to the 505 pound-feet in the automatic-equipped coupe. The detune made the car slower by 0.3 seconds, adding to the 0-60 mph start time.

To reach this speed, the Vanquish will use an electrified, twin-turbocharged, 3.0-liter six-cylinder developed in-house at Aston Martin. The Vanquish will need to produce more power and torque to be better than the Vantage and compete with the Ferrari F8 Tributo, McLaren 720 S, and Lamborghini Huracan.

Though Aston Martin has yet to release official figures, it looks like the Vanquish will give more power than the current 700 horsepower and 568 pound-feet of torque for the F8 and the 720 S. The Valkyrie and the Valhalla, which will use the same engine to produce around 1,000 horsepower, will likely forego the manual transmission.

According to Palmer, the Valhalla will come with a paddle-shift transmission. It will also get a bonded aluminum tub instead of carbon.

The Vanquish will be unveiled in 2022 with prices to start at around $450,000. That should be a $300,000 difference from the Vantage. To follow are variants Volante convertible and the AMR model.

Pricing of 2020 Ford Mustang GT500 Revealed

2020 ford shelby gt500 (6)

The 2020 Ford Mustang GT500 is priced at $70,300, which Ford North America Product Communications Manager Mike Levine said is a “terrific value” for a car with much power.

In an auto industry where brands waged wars against one another over increasing horsepower requirements and pulling prices down, the GT500 stood out as a lone wolf. On Twitter, Levine said that a GT500 owner spends $92.50 per pony. That’s assuming you’ll get the most basic GT500 with its 760 horsepower output from the supercharged 5.2-liter V8 engine that powers it.

Levine went on to say that it’s more practical to get the GT500 over the Toyota Corolla, which costs $140 per horsepower. Of course, what the Ford executive didn’t mention is the slew of taxes and other fees that will bring the starting price of $70,300 to near $100,000.

A visit to Mustang6g.com will show how this price could balloon. There’s a $1,095 destination fee and a $2,600 gas guzzler tax for vehicles who did not meet the required Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimated fuel-economy ratings.

That alone puts the starting price at $73,995. And that’s not taking into account that regular road course drivers would opt for the Carbon Fiber Track Pack that includes carbon wheels and huge race car-derived rear wing. That can set you back by $18,500.

The Handling Package, which has additional aero elements and adjustable suspension bits, costs $1,500. And if you’re particular about the seats, the leather-trimmed Recaros are priced at an additional $1,595.

If you want to customize your GT500 from the outside, you can do so with the Triple-coat Twister Orange paint for $495. You can make Ford paint the roof black for $1,000 and another $1,000 is required for over-the-top full racing stripes in vinyl. If you want the stripes in paint, that’ll cost you $10,000.

For the tech-savvy customers, you’ll want to hand over another $3,000 for an upgraded stereo, power driver seat, and super cool puddle lights which project the iconic Shelby Cobra.

Add these all up and the cost of the GT500 climbed up to $100,000, which if you divide by the 760 horsepower it makes, costs $131 per pony.

The All-New Kia XCeed Is The Ceed’s Better-Looking Crossover Brother

kia xceed (1)

The Ceed family has just added another one on its lineup. Called the XCeed, it’s a slightly more off-road capable and taller version of the Ceed hatchback. This is the fourth model to arrive in the Ceed family after the regular hatchback, the Ceed Sportswagon, and the ProCeed shooting brake model.

The all-new Kia XCeed is more than just a raised version of the compact hatchback. Although it looks related to the Ceed family, Kia’s engineers and designers have made sure that the XCeed will stand out from the rest of the lineup.

There are 12 available paint finishes for the XCeed. Out of that number, 11 are shared with the other Ceed models, but the Quantum Yellow (the same color used in the official photos) is unique to the XCeed.

If there’s one thing that the XCeed shares with the rest of the Ceed family, it’s the wheelbase. At 2,650 millimeters (104.3 inches), it is longer compared to the hatchback. It is worth noting that the front overhang is 25 millimeters longer and the rear overhang is 60 millimeters longer. It’s an inch wider than the hatch and has 1.6 inches more ground clearance.

Inside the cabin, the XCeed’s interior is completely similar to the rest of the Ceed family. That’s not a bad thing, of course, since the Ceed already has a pretty good interior. The clean design and layout give way to highlight the floating infotainment screen.

Standard to the XCeed is the eight-inch screen that can be enlarged to a 10.25-inch at an extra cost. There’s a new feature which will become the brand’s first fully-digital gauge cluster. It displays a 12.3-inch screen with a display resolution of 1920 x 720 pixels.

The hood houses three direct-injection T-GDi engines: a one-liter engine that makes 118 horsepower and 172 Nm of torque, a 1.4-liter with 138 horsepower and 242 Nm, and a 1.6-liter that makes 201 horsepower and 265 Nm of torque.

New 2020 Ford Puma To Make Official Debut

ford puma (1)

Ford has revived its Puma badge on an SUV (not on a coupe as it was previously used on). The new 2020 Ford Puma will have a price that sits lower than £20,000, but it will slide in between the EcoSport and the Kuga in the brand’s SUV range.

The Puma will make its official debut during the Frankfurt Motor Show in September so until then, the prices are purely speculative though we don’t think the brand will go far from £20,000. The new SUV is going to compete with the likes of the Nissan Juke, Renault Captur, and the Peugeot 2008.

Seventeen years ago, the Puma was a svelte coupe that was based on the design language of the Fiesta. For the 2020 Puma, Ford is again using the supermini’s platform though this model is equipped with a five-door SUV body that’s 46mm longer, 54mm higher, 71mm wider, and has a 95mm longer wheelbase than the Fiesta.

The front has Ford’s distinctive grille, which is the only thing that it shares with the other SUVs in the range. The headlights on the bonnet are based on the original Puma while the daytime running lights on the ST-Line models are similar to the GT supercar.

Inside, imagine Fiesta’s dashboard—simple design, SYNC3 infotainment system, and pretty decent materials all around. The digital display for the dials peaks out, as well as the massaging front seats that other trim models have. The front and rear seats have removable covers that will allow owners to mix and match patterns and colors.

The boot size stands at 456 liters, which is on par with the best in the segment. The load bay floor can be raised to create a flat cargo area. It can also be lowered to give more space. When folded against the back of the seats, it expands the Puma’s cargo capacity further.

Initially, the Puma will be offered in Zetec, Titanium and ST-Line trims. Ford’s 1.0-litre, three-cylinder petrol engine paired with a six-speed manual gearbox will be the main unit.

3 Important Things You Need To Know About The 2020 BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe

bmw-8-series gran coupe (1)

The 2020 BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe will be the widest BMW on the road when it arrives in dealerships this September. The wheelbase is stretched to 7.9 inches, spanning an extra nine inches in length, and 2.2 inches in height. The rear track grew an additional 1.2 inches.

Three Trim Levels

There will be three trim levels: the rear-wheel-drive 840i, 840i xDrive, and the M850i xDrive. The 840i and 840i xDrive are both powered by the brand’s 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-six with 335 horsepower and 368 pound-feet of torque. On the other hand, the M850i xDrive gets a 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8 with 523 horsepower and 553 pound-feet of torque.

More Room Inside The Cabin

Inside, the Gran Coupe is taller, providing more headroom for all passengers. This is evident from the taller windshield. Passengers can look up and find a standard panoramic glass roof with a moonroof. This pushes the multi-function antenna to be integrated into the rear window.

There are four contoured seats but an optional fifth seat can be fitted between the two rear seats. By the November this year, an option for a carbon fiber roof will also be available for the M850i.

Nappa leather will wrap the dashboard and the door panel uppers. The 840’s interiors will get Vernasca leather in either Black, Ivory White or Cognac while the M850i will get an Individual Extended Merino Leather in Black, Ivory White, Cognac or two-tone options Night Blue/Black, Tartufo/Black or Fiona Red/Black. There’s a BMW Individual Full Merino package as an option.

New Tech

BMW’s latest Live Cockpit Professional will be displayed on the 12.3-inch screen that sits behind the steering wheel. There’s also a heads-up display that hangs over the hood in the driver’s line of sight while the instrument panel has a 10.25-inch screen that houses the iDrive system.

The center console has a slew of new tech. it runs to the rear compartment, allowing those seated in the back to control the climate, air vents, USB ports, and storage trays.

Prices start at $84,990 for the RWD 840i, plus $995 destination, for a total of $85,985. The 840i xDrive will be priced at $88,795 and the M850i xDrive will sell for $109,895.

New 2019 Renault ZOE Has Longer Range, More Tech

renault zoe (1)

The 2019 Renault ZOE looks similar to the current one in the market. Externally speaking, that is. The latest version of Europe’s best-selling electric car can now get to 242 miles on a single charge, thanks largely to its massive 52kWh battery.

Under the hood, Renault used denser cells to prolong the battery’s capacity. That raised the car’s capacity from 41kWh to 52kWh. All this was done without having to increase the battery’s physical size. With this, the Renault ZOE can go 242 miles from 186 miles on a single charge.

Renault said the car’s battery will take about nine hours and 25 minutes to fully charged when plugged in a standard 7kW wall box charger. That additional 50kW DC fast charging will give you about 90 additional miles in just 30 minutes.

This larger battery is paired with a 135bhp electric motor, although a lesser 110bhp motor is also available.

The ZOE has been on sale for seven years, but this one is the largest change we have seen in the electric car. It has the same size as before, with the only change seen on the new front bumper, C-shaped LED headlamps, and additional chrome detailing.

The ZOE’s charging port is hidden behind its badge on the nose. The charging port now supports DC fast charging up to 50kW.

Inside the cabin, the update grows a little stronger. The center console has been completely redesigned. It now has a 9.3-inch touchscreen display. This comes as standard on every model. There’s also a new electronic gear level, parking brake, and wireless charging pad for smartphones.

There’s a new infotainment system called the Easy connect. The setup allows drivers to control and operate many of the car’s functions as long as the accompanying app is also installed in their smartphones. Drivers can set the destination on the navigation system, set the car’s climate, look up public charging stations, and check the car’s battery health.

Is GM Planning To Develop An Electric Hummer?

gm hummer

Hummer fans, rejoice! It looks like GM is considering reviving the Hummer brand but under different circumstances. A Bloomberg report said that General Motors may be developing an electric version of the Hummer.

The discussions are still in their preliminary states, the report said, but the plan is part of GM’s organization of its range of electric trucks and SUVs. The company is reportedly mulling the idea of using the Hummer brand to compete with the demand for rugged vehicles.

GM is also supposedly looking at competing with Jeep for off-road vehicles with maximum passenger comfort and luxury as their selling point. The report from Bloomberg noted that designers and engineers are already working with Hummer concepts in the hopes of integrating these concepts to GMC-branded products as well.

But is it smart for GM to revive the Hummer only for it to be an electrified version? People love Hummer because it’s big, brawny, muscular, perfect for off-road conditions, and gas is relatively cheap at least for now.

American automaker Rivian has a different opinion, of course, seeing as the Rivian R1S has the same specifications that this rumored electric Hummer is aiming for. Based on Rivian’s investment on the electrified trucks segment, it looks like the hype around the segment is real. Still, an electrified truck worth $70,000 or more? That hasn’t been tested in the market.

Recent reports have indicated that GM is developing a new platform for an electric pickup truck but that does not mean this is anywhere near completion.

The last time we saw a Hummer was in 2010 when GM halted its production after it declared bankruptcy in 2009. Recession and high gas prices drove down Hummer’s sales but GM still has the brand under its portfolio. Wouldn’t it be nice to see an electrified Hummer in this market’s current obsession with SUV and crossovers?

 

Wife of Carlos Ghosn Asks President Trump To Intervene For Her Husband

This picture taken on April 3, 2019 shows former Nissan Chairman Carlos Ghosn (L) and his wife Carole (L) leave the office of his lawyer Junichiro Hironaka in Tokyo. - Former Nissan boss Carlos Ghosn will remain in custody until at least April 14, a Japanese court ruled on April 5, 2019, as prosecutors quiz him over fresh allegations of financial misconduct. (Photo by Kazuhiro NOGI / AFP)

Carole Ghosn, the wife of disgruntled ex-Nissan boss Carlos Ghosn who is currently on trial in Japan, asked the US government, particularly President Donald Trump, to talk to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe about the state of her husband.

The two will meet during this year’s G20 summit in Osaka from June 28 to 29.

She asked Mr. Trump to speak with Abe about fair trial conditions for her husband. Mr. Ghosn, who is awaiting trial, is facing charges of under-reporting his salary and using Nissan’s funds for personal expenses. The 65-year-old former executive, who was also at the helm of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance, denied these accusations.

Mrs. Ghosn asked the US president for three things: fair trial conditions, to let her speak to her husband, and the presumption of innocence until proven guilty.

The last time she saw her husband was on April 4 when prosecutors re-arrested him in their apartment in the early hours of the day. Fresh allegations were made in April and the court allowed officers to arrest Mr. Ghosn who was first taken into custody in November 2018.

He was freed on a $4.5 million bail but is living under very strict conditions. He is not allowed to see his wife and he must stay in Japan in a court-appointed residence with cameras to monitor his every movement.

Mrs. Ghosn said “all of these” could have been handled internally by the company. “They didn’t need to go this far,” she told BBC in an interview. Mr. Ghosn, a French citizen, resigned as the chairman and CEO of Nissan shortly after the scandal broke out.

Mrs. Ghosn, who was earlier questioned but never charged of any wrongdoings, said the courts want to implicate her “to weaken Carlos and to shut me up.” She said she isn’t a “conniving woman” and that she was “a housewife who raised three children.”

 

 

Fisker Electric SUV Will Rival Tesla Model Y

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EV brand Fisker is reviving its lineup with a new SUV with a 300-mile range in the works. The company, who released a series of teaser shots of the EV, said it plans to introduce the new SUV to the market in 2021 with a debut scheduled this December.

Fisker said it is in the final stages of choosing a production site for the SUV. The company added that it will be priced below $40,000, meaning that the price point will rival the Tesla Model Y which is due to be released in the second half of 2020.

Back in 2018, Fisker introduced the EMotion sedan that will supposedly be the foundation of the EV SUV. But the teaser images revealed by the company showed a different design that the concept introduced a year ago. This vehicle has sharper lines and an indicator lamp mounted in the C-pillar. This design is supposed to improve the safety features of the EV, Fisker said.

There were earlier photos of the SUV that revealed a somewhat similar front design to the EMotion. Both of the vehicles placed their safety sensors within the cars’ grille. They will also have massive wheels of up to 22 inches in diameter for the SUV and 24 inches for the sedan.

Under the hood, the SUV is going with a dual-motor system that can drive for 300 miles. Its battery is a conventional lithium-ion although Fisker is planning to develop its own battery. It’ll be no surprise if the battery is switched halfway into the production.

The EV SUV is one of the three most affordable models in the company’s plan. The two others will follow the SUV while the EMotion is going to be launched soon after. The EMotion will retail for a whopping $190,000 with top specifications.

The EMotion was originally scheduled for a 2019 reveal but the plan has been put to test by Fisker wanting to perfect its solid-state battery, the same one it plans to use in this new SUV. The solid-state battery will be able to go 500 miles on a single charge. It will also be recharged in just a few minutes.

The Mercedes-Benz GLB Is The Crossover We Never Knew We Needed Til Now

Mit bis zu sieben Sitzplätzen: Der neue Mercedes-Benz GLB: für Familie & Freunde With up to seven seats: The new Mercedes-Benz GLB: for family & friends

Think of the G-Class in miniature size. That’s how the new 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLB looks like. It’s a three-row, seven-seater crossover that slides between the 2019 GLA and the 2019 GLC. Using the German company’s new platform that’s also in the A-Class and B-Class, the GLB’s boxy design is the latest in the brand’s compact car range.

Spacious Family Car

Mit bis zu sieben Sitzplätzen: Der neue Mercedes-Benz GLB: für Familie & FreundeWith up to seven seats: The new Mercedes-Benz GLB: for family & friends

The main advantages of the GLB are its cabin and compartment. It’s the first in this segment to be offered in a seven-seat capacity, with the two seats in the third row compatible for people up to 1.68 meters in height.

The GLB has a wheelbase of 2,829 millimeters, which is 10 millimeters more than the B-Class. The headroom in the first row is 1,035 millimeters—the best in the segment—while the legroom in the rear in a five-seater configuration is 967 millimeters.

The load compartment is 560 liters for the seven-seater setup and 1,755 liters for the five-seater setup. The second row can be longitudinally adjusted while the standard inclination for the backrests is adjustable in several stages. The load compartment can then be maximized by up to 179 liters and put to versatile use.

Second Best Powertrain

Mit bis zu sieben Sitzplätzen: Der neue Mercedes-Benz GLB: für Familie & Freunde With up to seven seats: The new Mercedes-Benz GLB: for family & friends

The GLB has a turbocharged, 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that cranks out 221 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. In the US market, the only competitor to best that specification in the segment is the BMW X2, which has seven horsepower more and same amount of torque output. To reach 60 mph from a standstill, the GLB and the X2 need only 6.9 seconds. The top speed is rated at 130 mph.

In Europe, there are two diesel options to choose from: the GLB200d and the GLB220d. Both are powered by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder oil burner but the GLB200d comes with 150 horsepower and 236 pound-feet on tap and hits 62 mph in nine seconds while the GLB220d benefits from 190 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque.

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