Monday, December 31, 2018

2018: Automotive Visionary Sergio Marchionne Passed Away

Richard Saxton with Sergio Marchionne

Sergio Marchionne, CEO of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, chairman and CEO of FCA US LLC, the chairman and CEO of Ferrari, and the chairman of Maserati, Italian-Canadian lawyer and businessman, who turned around Fiat and Chrysler, was a big loss for the auto industry when he passed away on July 25, 2018, at the age 66, due to complications from shoulder surgery. Easy to talk to and a friend who I admired.

ArticlesGlobal and Mail, Financial Times, Reuters.

Photo taken Jan. 11, 2010 at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Chevrolet Silverado 4500HD, 5500HD and 6500HD

The Chevrolet Silverado 4500HD, 5500HD and 6500HD chassis cab trucks, the first-ever medium-duty Silverado trucks, are in production and on their way to dealerships.

2019 Nissan Murano and Maxima Prices

The 2019 Nissan Murano, now on sale in available in S, SV, SL and Platinum trims and equipped with a 260-horsepower 3.5-liter DOHC V6 connected to an advanced Xtronic transmission, is available in front-wheel drive or Intelligent All-Wheel Drive, with a starting MSRP of $32,315 (including $1,045 destination and handling charge) for the Murano S front-wheel drive model.

The 2019 Nissan Maxima, with a mid-cycle freshening for its S, SV, SL, SR and Platinum trims levels, is powered by a 300-horsepower 3.5-liter VQ-series V6 engine and Xtronic transmission and is on sale now starting at $34,845 (including $895 destination and handling charge).

2019 Hyundai Kona Electric Crossover Starts Under $30,000 With Tax Credit

The 2019 Hyundai Kona Electric crossover, with a 258-mile estimated range, has a starting price of $36,450, for an effective net price of $28,950 ($29,995 including delivery), with the electric vehicle tax credit of $7,500 factored in. Customers may receive the available federal tax credit of up to $7,500, dependent on individual tax circumstances. Kona Electric models will be produced in Ulsan, Korea and will be available in the beginning of 2019, with initial availability in California and subsequently in the ZEV-focused states in the western and northeastern regions of the U.S. market.

2019 Porsche Macan S Starts At $59,650 This Summer

The 2019 Porsche Macan S is refreshed with several chassis revisions, a continuous LED light bar at the rear, and the new Porsche Communication Management system with a 10.9-inch touchscreen and a new more powerful 348 horsepower 3.0-liter turbocharged V6 engine with a zero to 60 mph time of 5.1 seconds or 4.9 seconds with the optional Sport Chrono package to a top track speed of 157 mph. LED headlights are now included as standard, while Porsche Dynamic Light System Plus is optional while a new brake pedal weighs around 300 g less than the previous steel part and connects to the brake master cylinder via a shortened lever arm for improved brake responsiveness and the 2019 model has larger front brake discs. With 100 more horsepower and costing almost $10,000 more than the base Macan, the new 2019 Macan S has a base MSRP of $59,650 (including a $1,050 delivery, processing and handling fee) and is available for order now and is expected to reach U.S. dealers in summer 2019.

Monday, December 24, 2018

2019 Nissan GT-R Starts At $101,685

The 2019 Nissan GT-R Pure, Premium and Track Edition grades are equipped with a 565-horsepower 3.8-liter DOHC 24-valve V6 engine mated to a dual-clutch sequential 6-speed transmission, electronically controlled ATTESA E-TS all-wheel-drive system and the GT-R NISMO is rated at 600 horsepower. The 2019 GT-R Pure model, the most affordable of the four available GT-R trim levels, remains unchanged from 2018 with a a starting MSRP of $101,685 (including $1,695 destination and handling charge).

The Nissan GT-R50 by Italdesign, the ultimate 710 horsepower GT-R will have a 50-vehicle limited run with orders being taken now at and deliveries to begin in 2019 continuing through 2020. Price tag is about $1,125,270.

Audi e-tron GT Concept Coming In Early 2021

The electric powered Audi e-tron GT Concept, a four-door coupe, will make its film debut in Marvel Studios’ Avengers 4, set to be released in theaters summer 2019 with the volume-production counterpart set to follow in approximately two years following the Audi e-tron SUV and the Audi e-tron Sportback slated for 2019. A 590 horsepower system feeding separate synchronous electric motors in the front and rear axles. The vehicle should accelerate from 0 to 62.1 mph in around 3.5 seconds before going on to 124.3 mph in just over 12 seconds to a regulated top speed 149.1 mph to maximize the range which is expected to be 248.5 miles (determined according to the new WLTP standard). Fitted with an 800-volt system reduces charging times to around 20 minutes to recharge the battery to 80 percent of its capacity, providing a range of 198.8 miles (WLTP). The project will be developed into volume-production models by the end of 2020. Initial deliveries will be made to customers in early 2021.

Porsche 911 GT2 RS Clubsport, Limited Production of 200

The new Porsche 911 GT2 RS Clubsport, with only 200 to made, is powered by a 700 horsepower 6-cylinder aluminium twin-turbocharged rear-mounted boxer engine mated to a 7-speed PDK transmission, and will have an MSRP base price of $478,000 (excluding tax, shipping, and import fees). All interested customers should email to register interest. Customers can expect to begin to receive their vehicles beginning in May 2019.

2019 Jaguar I-PACE Electric SUV Starts At $70,495

The new all-electric 2019 Jaguar I-PACE SUV with a 90kWh battery powering a pair of electric motors delivers an EPA Estimated range of up to 234 miles and 0-60mph acceleration of 4.5 seconds. A 0-80 percent charge is achieveable in approximately 40 minutes using a 100kW public fast charger, or just over 10 hours using a 230V/32amp charger. The Jaguar I-PACE features standard Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto™7,8. Drivers can interact with key mobile apps through the vehicle’s central touchscreen in a manner similar to a smartphone, and certain functions can also be controlled via Voice Control. The Jaguar I-PACE, on sale now, is priced from $70,495 (including $995 destination and handling charge) in S, SE and HSE trim levels, with an additional First Edition model available for the first year only and each featuring all-wheel drive, four-corner air suspension, panoramic glass roof, and the new Jaguar InControl® Touch Pro Duo™ infotainment system standard.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

2018 LA Auto Show Video: Rivian Founder/CEO RJ Scaringe

A surprising vehicle manufacturer appearance at the 2018 LA Auto Show was Rivian, an electric SUV and pickup truck startup that's two years away from offering trucks in the $60,000 price range after rebates. Founder/CEO RJ Scaringe discusses his creation.

Click here to watch the interview.

2018 LA Auto Show Video: Joy Falotico On Lincoln Aviator

Joy Falotico, Group Vice President of Lincoln and Chief Marketing Officer for Ford introduces the new 2020 Lincoln Aviator luxury SUV with a hybrid powertrain option at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show.

Click here to watch interview.

Monday, December 10, 2018

2018 LA Auto Show Video: Kia's Paul Fisher On The 2020 Soul

Paul Fisher, Long Range Strategy and Product Planning Manager at Kia Motors America, discusses three new variants of the 2020 Kia Soul which were introduced at the Los Angeles Auto Show and will go on sale in the first half of next year.

The new Soul will offer a 147 horsepower 2.0-liter Nu four-cylinder engine mated to a 6-speed manual transmission or Intelligent Variable Transmission or a 201 horsepower 1.6-liter twin-scroll turbocharged I-4 GDI engine matched with a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission. The Soul is available in LX, S, X-Line, GT-Line, EX, “EX Designer Collection” trim levels. The all-electric, battery-powered 2020 Soul EV has 201 horsepower with a new state-of-the-art liquid-cooled lithium ion polymer 64 kWh battery. Click here to view interview.

2018 LA Auto Show Video: Porsche Cars NA CEO Klaus Zellmer

Porsche Cars North America President and CEO Klaus Zellmer discusses the new Porsche 911, Macan, Cayenne, Panamera, autonomous vehicles and the electric Taycan at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show.

Please click here to watch the interview.

All-New Mazda3 Sedan and Hatchback Coming Early Next Year

The all-new Mazda3, fully redesigned, will be rolled out to global markets starting from North America in early 2019. Hatchback model shown above.

Sunday, December 9, 2018

2018 LA Auto Show Video: Erwin Raphael, Genesis Motor America

Erwin Raphael, General Manager, Genesis Motor America, discusses the 2019 Genesis G70 sedan and its recent awards:
2019 MotorTrend Car of the Year,
2019 Car and Driver 10Best Award,
2019 North American Car of the Year top-three finalist,
“Best Deluxe Car” by the Hispanic Motor Press.

Click here to watch interview.