BMW to Invest in New Plant

BMW will spend 1 Billion USD to create a new plant in Debrecen, Hungary, where it will manufacture electric autos. The new manufacturing plant will have a limit of 150,000 autos every year, and will have the capacity to create both electric and fuel burning vehicles.

That in spite of the fact that the organization’s authorities have gone by our nation a few times and Bucharest authorities have talked about at the central station of the Bavarian manufacturer in Munich about the possibility of a plant in Romania.

BMW claims that the new speculation will help extend Europe’s building limit, offering around 45 percent of the gathering’s autos, with 1.1 million units sold.

Before the finish of June, the BMW Group has developed in numerous business sectors over the region, with auto conveyances totaling in excess of 560,000 units, a 1.2 percent expansion over a similar period a year ago.

The Hungarian city of Debrecen was picked for the plant, suitable strategic connections and vicinity to the system of providers. Notwithstanding the plant group, numerous occupations will be made for parts and specialist co-ops, both inside the new generation office and in the area.

A year ago, 2.5 million0 of BMW, MINI and Rolls-Royce autos were created, a notable high.

Aston Martin Engineers Accept Challenge

Engineers at Aston Martin are trying to figure out how to make a manual gearbox and the AMG V8 engine in the Vantage play nice. This model will probably use the quad-exhaust system and feature a seven-speed gearbox.

This will be the company’s first manual offering in the last decade. While engineers had a similar challenge with the Vantage ZF eight-speed, the challenger is more intense as this new engine has never been married to this gearbox.

This model vantage will offer 600bhp, almost 100bhp more than the standard model. However, drivers wanting the manual may have to settle for a slightly slower top speed. On the other hand they are likely to gain some seconds in the 0-62mph category.

The new variant demonstrates that Aston Martin is listening to those drivers who want a more classic driving experience.

Ford Announces new Mustang Bullitt to Hit UK this Fall

Ford has announced the 475bhp Mustang Bullitt will be available in the UK this September.

The special edition muscle car will come in at £47,145. This is only about 6K more than a standard 5.0 liter GT. The Bullitt will add 8-ball gear knob, green stitching, and Recaro seats. Also included with the Bullitt will be driver memory seats and mirrors, cross-traffic alerts, blind spot monitor, premium sound system and sat-navigation.

This is the third Mustang Bullitt to pay homage to the car that appeared in the famous Bullitt film. This Bullitt features 458bhp and 388lb ft. It also has an upgraded induction system and intake manifold.

It will come with Dark Highland Green paint, though black will also be available. It will feature gunmetal finished 19inc torque thrust aluminum wheels. Also, red brake calipers and a black front grill.

This new edition is a fitting tribute to the Steve McQueen classic.

Cadillac Makes Two Moves to Up Its Technology Game

GM announced they are going to integrate their Super Cruise system—a hands-free option for highway travel originally available in only the Cadillac CT6—to the entire Cadillac brand in 2020 and then the GM brand as well.

GM stated that Super Cruise is a feature that people come into dealerships and ask about. It was intended as a reaction to Tesla’s autonomous system. Super Cruise is the first driver assist system to use LiDAR for data mapping, cameras, sensors and GPS to drive a vehicle. However, the system is much more conservative in some regards. Super Cruise using a facial recognition technology to gauge driver alertness.

If a driver is completely unresponsive Super Cruise brings the vehicle to a complete stop and contacts a rescue team via OnStar—Super Cruise requires a service plan with OnStar.

Cadillac is also releasing their new V2X communication technology by 2023. V2X is a term used in the auto industry meaning “vehicle to everything” communication. The industry views it as a new path forward in automotive safety features. This technology would allow a vehicle to talk to everything from pieces of infrastructure or the smartphone in a pedestrian’s pocket.

Considering the Q8, would an Audi Q9 challenge Ranger Rover’s King-of-the-Hill Status?

When Audi launched their Q8 luxury SUV in Shenzhen, China there was one, big unanswered question—would there be an even larger, more luxurious model, a Q9? There is no detailed answer to the question at this time, but the Q8 is tops when it comes to luxury SUVs.

It will cost potential owners just around 65k pounds at its launch later in the summer in the UK, although it is anticipated that some packages will top out around 100k pounds  as higher-tech, sportier and more luxurious upgrades are tacked on by high-end buyers. It has also been publicly confirmed that a plug-in hybrid Q8 and a Q8-RS high performance version will join the lineup.

Audi thinks there is room in the market to challenge SUV masterminds Range Rover, who currently rule without challenge in the 80k-120k pound sector of high end SUV sales. A Q9 focusing on technology, luxury and status could help Audi take over some the Ranger Rovers unchallenged market space. If such a Q9 were produced it might would be to the Range Rover as the Q8 is to the Range Rover Sport.

Although Audi is set firmly on releasing an even higher end SUV in the Q9, they’ve currently not said anything about trying their hand at the entry-level market with a vehicle smaller than the Q2.

Will Smartphones Replace Car Keys?

A large group of tech companies and auto manufactures are collaborating in an effort to replace car keys with smartphone technology. BMW, Toyota, Honda, GM and VW have created a super-group with LG, Panasonic, Bosch, Samsung and Apple to form the CCC—Car Connectivity Consortium.

Recently the group announced their new “Digital Key Release 1.0” specification. This standard is intended to lay out a system for locking, unlocking and starting a car with just a compatible smart device and software.

While it is true that smartphone-vehicle connectivity is fairly limited at the moment, some companies are integrating companion apps that can do things like track and monitor paired vehicles. Volvo is one of these companies. Yet so far Tesla is the only auto maker that lets drivers “throw away the key” completely.

The super group CCC wants their protocol of standardization to offer a very high level of security while also offering lots of user options. The protocol would be based around a technology currently employed by Apple Pay and Android Wallet—NFC or near field communication. As the name suggests it operates over a very short range. It is also more secure than radio frequency chips (like in current keyless entry systems).

The CCC is working on a version 2.0, which is expected to be released in early 2019.

Jaguar Pilots “Carpe” Subscription Lease Vehicle Service

Jaguar/Land Rover is putting its newest commercial offering via its InMotion Ventures arm—this service will be a subscription based lease program on select vehicles. The service will be tested in the company’s home market of the UK before possibly branching out to other markets.

One pricing example the company gave was 1,134 pounds a month for a Jaguar E-Pace compact SUV. That included local taxes. For something like a Range Rover Sport, one is looking at 2,224 pounds a month. Carpe launched in the UK, officially, after its trial run from Jan-May this year.

JLR noted that the successful trial tells them that there is a demand for more flexible leasing. Something between a rental car and a 2-3 year lease. JLR wants to expand the available packages. Once JLR tests its home market with various packages and vehicles (like the Jag F-type or the I-Pace full electric), it may consider other markets.

JLR is falling in line behind other high-end automakers like Volvo, Porsche, BMW and Mercedes-Benz in offering this kind of short-term leasing based on a monthly fee. Carpe contracts are 12 months, unlimited mileage, and no deposit is needed.



New Porsche Cayenne to Best Competitors?

Porsche’s new Cayenne model, due in ’19, looks like it’ll give the BMW X6 and Mercedes GLE Coupe a run for their money. Rumor has it sales in the UK will begin as early as the 4th quarter in 2019. The Cayenne coupe is going to much resemble its sibling and be built at the Leipzig, Germany Porsche factory.

The new model Cayenne will get the front-end style of its sister model, the 3rd gen Cayenne, but the front bumper will be an all new design. It will, however, feature a lift-back style tailgate, much like its rivals. New rear and side windows and the redesigned tailgate will give it an updated, more sporty style much like the 2nd gen Panamera.

Coming to the road with a 440bhp version of the twin-turbo 2.9 liter V6 or the 550bhp twin-turbo 4 liter V8 it’s clear that Porsche intends the new Cayenne as a performance model. As of yet no diesel version of the model are in the works.

New Apple/Volkswagen Partnership to Create Driverless Shuttles

Apple and Volkswagen have teamed up to create a cadre of driverless shuttle vehicles for private mass transit. VW’s T6 Transporter will be get Apple’s driverless tech installed inside it. Apple approached others such as Nissan, BMW, McLaren and Mercedes-Benz before finding a partner in Volkswagen.

The Apple/VW autonomous shuttle development is located at Italdesign outside of Turin—the VW Transporters are getting new seats, dashboards and of course the required sensors and computers. Unsurprisingly the Transporters are also getting converted to electric power.

VW’s partnership with Apple is not its first affiliation with another company in the world of autonomous vehicles. VW has also teamed up with ride-sharing Moia, owned by the company Aurora. Aurora also is working with Hyundai on driverless tech.

While the Moia tech will be available to the public, as of now the partnership with Apple is a purely private venture. The driverless Transporters from VW will be used by Apple to shuttle employees between their two sites in Silicon Valley.

GM Testing the Waters of Smaller Engines

The 2019 Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra 1500 pickups will be the first in a fleet of new full-sized pickup trucks from automaker GMC that will feature a four-cylinder engine option. This will represent a major sea change for some loyal customers. Ford’s success with its v-6 EcoBoost engines may have already proven that a V-8 engine doesn’t have to be the standard. And modern advances in engineering have made smaller engines in larger vehicles a very real option.

The new 2.7 liter, inline four-cylinder will feature what GM is calling Active Fuel Management. This technology will allow the engine to switch over to a two-cylinder mode for “light load conditions.”

The new engine represents a keystone moment for General Motors as it is the first time they will put a four-cylinder engine in a full-size pickup and it is the first engine in a pickup to use the AFM two-cylinder technology.

The new inline four turbo engine is rated at 348 pound-feet of torque and 310hp with an 8-speed automatic transmission. GM hopes to compete in fuel efficiency against Ford’s F-150 that features an aluminum body and V-6 EcoBoost engine.