The Carchive: The Ford Fairlane (NC)

It’s Friday. I’ve eaten a massive jacket potato with baked beans, the sun’s gone down and there’s a bottle of Rioja warming by the hi-fi amplifier. This can only mean one thing – it’s time to relax with a smooth, refreshing car brochure. Welcome back to The Carchive. Growing up ...
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Deadspin It’s Probably Time To Start Worrying About Sammy Watkins | The Muse Artists Call for a Boyc

Deadspin It’s Probably Time To Start Worrying About Sammy Watkins | The Muse Artists Call for a Boycott of Kelley Walker’s ‘Irresponsible and Offensive’ St. Louis Exhibition | Gizmodo Massive Earthquake Along the San Andreas Fault Is Disturbingly Imminent | The Slot ‘Check Out Sex Tape,’ Presidential Candidate Tweets at 5 AM |


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‘Mobility’ Could Be $5 Trillion Industry in 10 Years but the Costs Projected To Be High

Market value will be enormous for the global mobility industry – about $5 trillion over the next decade, an industry executive said.

Andreas Mai, who recently served as the director of smart connected vehicles at Cisco Systems, estimated that $5 trillion will come from autonomous vehicles, ride-sharing networks, and connectivity. Maj spoke Thursday during the World Mobility Leadership Forum in Romulus, Mich.

Mai sees the additional value of mobility being created from the transfer of the market from one stakeholder to another.

“Some people will lose,” Mai said during the conference.

Automakers are trying out new business models to build alternative revenue streams and technologies. Mobility services and technologies is a fast-changing landscape for automakers as they compete with technology giants and startups.

Ford Motor Co. recently acquired shuttle service Chariot and forged a partnership with bike-share program Motivate. The automaker sees the importance of tapping the market value by turning to low-fixed cost and less capital revenue streams like Chariot and Motivate, said Ford executive chairman Bill Ford.

“This addressable market out here is three times our traditional addressable market,” Ford said. “If we do nothing … we would be a low-margin assembler of other people’s technologies.”

Earlier this month, Ford executives told investors it intends to generate a 20 percent return on its new mobility services. That would be more than twice the profit margin from its traditional business, according to Detroit Free-Press.

Executive chairman Ford offered his observations on how that can happen when no one yet knows how much people are willing to pay for these new mobility options. Over time, these business ventures will be less capital intensive with revenue streams that aren’t tied heavily into fixed costs. He also cautioned that not all of these new mobility ventures will be panning out, reported Detroit Free-Press.

SEE ALSO:  Ford Leverages Its Past and Present Toward a Mobility Solutions Future

Volvo sees it a bit differently through its partnership with technology supplier Autoliv to develop self-driving software available to car buyers for an additional $10,000.

“We believe it is a product we can sell commercially,” Volvo CEO Hakan Samuelsson said during the conference. “We feel that this is something that makes a premium car very attractive, and it makes a premium car more profitable.”

Automakers are making strategic partnerships with technology companies for automated and advanced systems, along with building their own new departments in Silicon Valley. There are still many issues to address, including regulation, ethics, and how long it will take for adoption of the new technologies to take hold, Ford said.

“We have to be incredibly open-minded, incredibly nimble and not presume to know anything,” Ford said. “It’ll be like the early days of the auto industry. Business models will spring up, many will fail … there will be lots of reforming of ideas, and eventually, collectively, we’ll get to the answer.”

Automotive News

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Porsche Panamera 4 E-Hybrid Plug-in Takes the Stage at Paris Motor Show

Porsche’s plush 2018 Panamera 4 E-Hybrid plug-in, one of two gasoline plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV) planned to join the new Panamera line, made its debut at the Paris Motor Show.
The Panamera was the German performance automaker’s first four-door sedan when it debuted in 2009, and was a polarizing entry that was met with either a love or hate response, but proved to be successful.

SEE ALSO: 2014 Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid vs. Tesla Model S – Video

Deliveries of the Panamera S-E-Hybrid plug-in began in the U.S. in 2013 and it wasn’t Porsche’s best example of engineering, as shown by sales of just 1,511 through the end of August.

Set to arrive in the middle of 2017, the all-new 2018 Panamera 4 E-Hybrid plug-in erases the deficiencies of the outgoing model.

For example, it turns in some pretty impressive performance numbers: Total-system power of 462 horsepower, pavement-powdering twist of 516 pounds-feet of total-system torque, zero-to-60 mph sprints in the mid 4’s and a top speed of 172 mph.

All that eco-friendly hybrid churn is channeled to all four wheels through an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission.

However, should the driver on a given trip prefer frugality to fury, this plug-in hybrid is said to provide an electric-power-only range of up to 31 miles.

That’s based on the overly generous New European Driving Cycle (NEDC) rated range, a U.S. EPA number has not been given, but might be around 20 20 miles, compared to 15 mpg for the outgoing 2016 S E-Hybrid..

SEE ALSO: Porsche’s Mission E Tesla Fighter on Track for 2020 Launch

Under the coupe-like four-door’s lithe sheetmetal is a 2.9-liter 330 horsepower twin-turbo V-6 borrowed from Audi.

That’s aided and abetted by a 136 horsepower electric motor and a liquid-cooled 14.1-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack — up from a 9.4 kWh pack in the previous Panamera plug-in hybrid.

That combination can motivate the new Panamera plug-in via the primary electric-assist hybrid mode or with electric-only power.

Unlike its predecessor, which required its accelerator to be at 80 percent to engage the electric motor in what Porsche called E-Boost, the 2018 model can unleash all of the electric output at any time.

The battery can be charged in 5.8 hours using a standard 3.6 kW charger, while an optional 7.2 kW charger reduces the charging time to 3.6 hours.

There are two modes that save drivers the trouble of plugging in to recharge the batteries.

The E-Hold setting keeps the charge roughly at a constant level, and E-Charge conveniently but somewhat inefficiently uses the gasoline engine to recharge the battery pack.

To let bystanders know you are a tree hugging Porsche lover, the Panamera 4 E-Hybrid features exterior green badges and, egads, green brake calipers.

As usual for a new car introduction, pricing for the 2018 Panamera 4 E-Hybrid was not released, but a beginning sticker price could be around $110,000.

Porsche-Panamera-hybrid-Front Porsche-Panamera-hybrid-Rear Porsche-Panamera-hybrid-Side Porsche-Panamera-hybrid-Badge orsche-Panamera-hybrid-Charging Porsche-Panamera-hybrid-Interior Porsche-Panamera-hybrid-Reae-Interior


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Volvo Ready to Bring Out Autonomous Technology in Five Years for $10,000 Premium

Buyers interested in a luxury self-driving car will be willing to pay a $10,000 premium, according to Volvo’s chief.

Speaking Thursday at the World Mobility Leadership Forum in Romulus, Mich., Volvo CEO Håkan Samuelsson said that the automaker expects to have both fully automated and semi-autonomous vehicles available within five years.

“Autonomous technology will make premium cars more attractive and profitable,” Samuelsson told reporters following his speech at the conference. “Once you drive it, you don’t want to be without it.”

Volvo is taking a dual-track approach in bringing these vehicles to market, he said. Both tracks will be based on the XC90 CUV’s Scalable Product Architecture, into two different styles of self-driving vehicles – one with fully automated and the other semi-autonomous systems.

One track will involve Volvo XC90s using control software developed by ride-hailing company Uber. They’ll be tested out through Uber’s self-driving car project in Pittsburgh. Volvo says these will be built as Level 5 fully autonomous vehicles.

Self-driving car from Volvo's Drive Me program.

Self-driving car from Volvo’s Drive Me program.

The second track will be a Volvo XC90 developed and sold in the retail market, he said. That will be equipped with a steering wheel and pedals in a semi-autonomous system. That would meet Level 4 standards.

The retail model will utilize control software developed jointly with Swedish automotive safety-systems supplier Autoliv. It’s expected to be ready by 2021, Samuelsson said.

The company plans to roll out 100 of these retail models next year for testing in the U.K., and then in China the following year. Volvo has been active in self-driving testing through its Drive Me program.


Volvo and Uber will be splitting the reported $300 million development cost for the self-driving car project. Uber thinks these self-driving vehicles can be placed into regular service within five years.

Drivers of the retail models with Level 4 will be able to go along highways without the driver monitoring. The automaker will be positioning the technology as a step up from its current Pilot Assist system that requires the driver to keep his hands in frequent contact with the steering wheel.

Samuelson sees a clear division between the currently available, less sophisticated driver assist technology and the more sophisticated system being developed. The more advanced system will be able to fully pilot itself and then signal to the driver in a gradual process when it’s time to retake control of the car.

SEE ALSO:  Volvo Targets 2021 For Self-Driving Car

Ford has been part of the Uber test project in Pittsburgh, and says that it will be rolling out autonomous vehicles around 2025. Ford says that it will be skipping a level and going to fully autonomous vehicles without steering wheels or pedals.

Samuelson believes Volvo’s long-held reputation for safety will give it a leg up in the autonomous-vehicle market.

“We think safety will be paramount (to consumers), which is one of the most valuable assets of Volvo and Autoliv,” he said.

Volvo is also looking into carsharing business as another mobility profit center. Volvo car owners would be able to loan out their vehicles when not in use. It could cut into profitability if it causes Volvo to sell fewer cars, he said, “but we should try not to resist it.”

Ward’s Auto

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Hot Rod Garage drag races all of its project cars

Tony Angelo and Lucky Costa have brought all of the current Hot Rod Garage project vehicles out to the drag strip. The location is the quarter-mile stretch at Fontana’s Auto Club Dragway. The lineup is a wide array of muscle machines; ranging from a diesel-burning truck to a ratty Camaro, a ...
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Jeep reportedly eyeing sub-Renegade SUV

2017 Jeep RenegadeJeep is looking to expand it's small SUV reach, and to that end it's being reported that the automaker is looking to introduce a newcomer to the lineup. According to Autocar, Jeep boss Mike Manley has explained that he's quite confident that a pint-sized SUV will be an important place for Jeep in the future. This is where a smaller Jeep can do...
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Daimler Unveils New Electric Brand Through Generation EQ Concept in Paris

Daimler previewed its new EQ electric car brand yesterday through the Generation EQ concept at the Paris Motor Show.

It’s the first step in launching 10 new battery-electric models by 2025 in Daimler’s strategy to become the global leader in electric vehicle technology. The German automaker expects electric cars to account for 15 to 25 percent of its global sales by 2025, CEO Dieter Zetsche said at the auto show.

Mercedes previewed the first EQ brand model at the show. Zetsche confirmed what has been rumored for several weeks – that the new electric cars will be launched under the EQ brands.

“EQ stands for a comprehensive electric ecosystem of services, technologies and innovations,” Zetsche said.

The Generation EQ concept is an electric small crossover. Daimler said that it will have a range up to 500 kilometers (311 miles). While not specified, that range estimate is probably based in European NEDC standards and would be much less than 310 miles under U.S. Environmental Protection Agency measures.

SEE ALSO:  Mercedes-Benz New All-Electric Vehicles Could Be Named EQ

The Generation EQ is a “close-to-production” concept. It’s being built on an architecture developed specifically for battery-electric models. The basic architecture is suitable for SUVs, sedans, coupes and other model series, the company said.

“The wheelbase and track width as well as all other system components, especially the batteries, are variable thanks to the modular building-block system,” Daimler said.

Generation EQ will be powered by an electric drive system with two electric motors, and all-wheel drive to deliver high-level performance. Its system output will be capable of being increased up to 300 kW due to its scalable battery components, Daimler said.

Automotive News

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