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Chairman says BMW will make 100,000 electric vehicles a year by 2020

03/20/2014   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: EV/Plug-in, Hydrogen, Manufacturing/Plants, BMW

BMW i3

We know demand for the BMW i3 has been high, both in the US and Europe. It appears that BMW's crystal ball is showing a steady increase in interest between now and 2020. By that year, according to Norbert Reithofer, chairman of the board of management for BMW AG, the company expects to build 100,000 units a year. That's not quite as EVs many as Tesla is talking about for 2020 (500,000), but it would represent quite an increase from the roughly 20,000 units that the best-selling plug-in vehicles moved in 2013.

Reithofer told Automotive News that plug-in vehicle production would steadily increase by 2018 before hitting full stride at the end of the decade. He also made sure to clarify that there was external pressure to make 100,000 EVs a year: "we will be forced to build them in a six digits figure to comply with stricter emission rules."

The plug-in electric vehicles are just one part of BMW's effort to reduce emissions. In prepared remarks delivered at the company's annual accounts press conference (available in full below), Reithofer said, "Customer demand [for i3] is exceeding our expectations. ... We believe the electric motor is a future technology for zero-emission driving in urban areas. Battery technology will continue to progress. ... When it comes to emission-free long-distance driving, however, electric cars featuring hydrogen fuel cell technology offer great potential." He didn't say how many fuel cell cars BMW expects to make and sell in 2020, but BMW's collaboration with Daimler and Renault-Nissan is supposed to launch the "world's first affordable, mass-market fuel cell electric vehicles as early as 2017."

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R&T chases down a burglar in the million-mile Miata

08/05/2014   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Time Warp, Convertibles, Economy, Sports/GTs, Mazda, Read This

Road and Track Million-Mile Miata

Is the answer always Mazda Miata? We discussed this in passing on the Autoblog Podcast earlier this week, and most assuredly the answer is "no." For example, the little MX-5 would be a terrible people carrier, and it'd be useless off road. You can't really tow anything of substance with it, either. Still, if push came to shove, it's satisfying to know that the diminutive roadster could eke out a career as a chase vehicle for the police.

That fact was proven when Road & Track editor Chris Cantle did something that he himself recognizes as "stupid." Upon returning home, Cantle discovered a "twenty-something" actively burgling his home. The resulting story is easily one of the more entertaining episodes to come out of the 1990 MX-5's service to the team at R&T and, we're guessing, will be one of the highlights of the Million-Mile Miata challenge.

Be sure to head over to Road & Track for a full retelling of the chase from Cantle, as well as a follow-up on the saga.

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Audi A8's active suspension will even protect you in a crash

06/22/2017   [Original: Autoblog]
Category:

Filed under: Videos,Audi,Emerging Technologies,Technology,Sedan,Luxury It also helps ride and handling.Continue reading Audi A8's active suspension will even protect you in a crash Audi A8's active suspension will even protect you in a crash originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 22 Jun 2017 14:00:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
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Autoblog Podcast #71

07/19/2007   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Motorsports, Podcasts, Spy Photos, Trends, RR of the Day

We're shooting from the hip this week for Podcast #71. Rather than prepare, we're going with gut reactions. Starting it off, we mull over the loss of the USGP from Indianapolis, and postulate on where else F1 may pop up in the US. An F1 race on the Vegas strip would be the bomb. Staying with motorsports, we marvel at how Team SARD spanked everyone extremely hard at Tokachi with a hybridized Supra GT. We're sure that racing will improve the hybrid breed at a much steeper pace than conventional powerplants. In other racing news, Dale Junior has split from Budweiser, so he'll have new livery to plaster all over his left-turn machine.

Moving on from racing, we ponder the leakage and eventual announcement of the Porsche 911 GT2. It's as unassuming as a Porsche can get, but it packs 530 horsepower and uses the rear wheels to push top speed to the 200 MPH realm, while being a docile everyday car. While Porsches always make us giddy little schoolboys, Subaru's recent model line revisions have us alternating between cheers and jeers. The good: the Legacy SUS, or whatever the heck they call their Outback sedan is kaput. The bad: so is the straight Legacy wagon. We devolve into a styling review of Subaru's new corporate language for a while before surfacing again to discuss the inanity surrounding presidential candidates and hybrid vehicles. Idiocy, 'nuff said.

On a lighter note, we discuss the rumored sequel to Disney/Pixar's "Cars." Not surprising when you consider how lucrative the tie-ins usually are. Off entertainment and on to entertaining cars, we ogle the leaked pictures of the FPV Falcon, and discuss the future plans of that platform here in the US. It does look mean, so thanks to that janitor who picked these renderings out of the trash. Our pithy cavalcade keeps rolling along, and we chew over Bob Lutz's latest comments about the future of diesel powerplants in the US. It's odd that Bob is cool on diesel just as GM is poised to roll out new oil-burners. Wrapping up, we put out the call to action again for the Reader Ride - add your pix to the Flickr pool and include details! The hour duration of Podcast #71 will give you enjoyment to and from work, enjoy!

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Bugatti releases new palette for Veyron Hermes

08/29/2008   [Original: Bugatti via Autoblog]
Category: Supercars, Bugatti, Brabus, Special/Limited Editions

Click above for hi-res gallery of the Bugatti Veyron Fbg par Hermes

We know what you're thinking, because we're in the same lamentable position ourselves: you'd totally order up that uber-exclusive Hermes edition Veyron, but you're not a big fan of the brown and tan paint scheme. Fortunately Bugatti has heard your cries, brother, and announced the availability of new color options for the Veyron Fbg.

The announcement actually came from Monterey but was quickly overshadowed, somewhat ironically, by the unveiling of the open-top Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport and the subsequent auction of its first example for $3.2 million. The unveiling of the new-tint Hermes Veyrons took place at the Quail motorsport gathering on Monterey Peninsula, where Bugatti revealed the four new color schemes available: "indigo blue and vermilion", "indigo blue and lime green", " black and garance red" and "Prussian blue and blue jean". We're not entirely sure what all these colors are, exactly, and given that Bugatti put them in quotation marks, we're not sure they're sure, either. They undoubtedly would have shown us pictures of all four, but given that these 1.5 million euro hyper-exotics are made to order and available only from the end of the year, we doubt examples of each color option have been made yet. Of course they all come decked out with the H-pattern grille, eight-spoke wheels, lavish calfskin interior and exclusive package of specially-made Hermes luggage.

Follow the jump for all the details, and check out the gallery below to see the new black and "garance red" Veyron Fbg par Hermes, which we like to call the "Autoblog Edition".

Gallery: New Colors: Bugatti Veyron Fbg par Hermes

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VIDEO: Sultan of Michigan's car collection one of nicest we've ever seen

03/28/2009   [Original: Andrew Weber; MidwestSCC.com via Autoblog]
Category: Sports/GTs, Etc., Videos, Supercars, Audi, BMW, Buick, Chevrolet, Chrysler, Dodge, GM, Lamborghini, Maserati, Mercedes Benz, Porsche, Rolls Royce, Ferrari, Saleen, Alfa Romeo, Callaway, AMG, Special/Limited Editions

Click above to watch the video after the jump

We've been through a lot of great car collections and museums over the years, but even we have to admit that we've never seen a private collection like this. Assembled by a shadowy figure known only as "The Sultan of Michigan," this cache has something for car enthusiasts of most every stripe, although the focus is clearly on vintage and present-day muscle and Eighties-and-up supercars. Truck enthusiasts, vintage foreign guys and brass car enthusiasts will largely have to look elsewhere, but it's a magnificent collection, with the most flabbergasting thing being that it appears to be up-to-the-minute current.

The whereabouts and ownership of the collection are two things that the owner prefers to keep private - we actually have confirmation on both, but prefer to respect privacies. What we can confirm is that this treasure trove is, in fact, located in Michigan, which is both heartening (to know that such wealth and mechanical beauty still exists in the state) and somewhat confounding (as the area lacks truly great winding roads on which to exploit much of the machinery). In either case, the collection is generally kept under wraps, although periodically we understand that the owner invites in selected parties to share in the gorgeousness. Some of the folks at MidwestSSC.com are obviously part of the 'inner circle' judging by the video and this photo gallery. Follow the jump to take the tour for yourself. Thanks to Andrew Weber for use of his video, and we appreciate the tips, Justin and Evan!

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Kia bigwig reportedly says mass-produced fuel cell cars would cost $50,000 if made today

07/24/2009   [Original: Galway Independent via

Kia Borrego FCEV - Click above for high-res image gallery

Let's face it: Hydrogen technology still has a ways to go before there's any real chance that we'll all be driving fuel cell cars in lieu of electric or fossil fuel-burning machines. Chief among the issues confronting the widespread adoption of hydrogen for automotive use is manufacturing cost, though that obstacle is currently being worked on. According to Byung Ki-Ahn, general manager of Kia's Mabuk-ri site, "Even if we were producing 50,000 fuel cell cars a year, they would currently have to cost $50,000 each."

While it would be easy for hydrogen proponents to latch on to this statement as good news - and, if true, that pricing is considerably better than we would have predicted - there's more to overcome than just the pricey fuel cell stack. For instance, even if Kia were indeed building 50,000 fuel cell cars per year, there would need to be an adequate infrastructure to support those vehicles. Further, a low cost and eco-friendly process for capturing, storing and transporting large amounts of hydrogen still needs to be developed.

Regardless, it's clear that Kia, along with corporate cousin Hyundai, believe these issues will be worked out in time. When asked where the Korean automaker currently sits on a production-ready hydrogen vehicle, Ki-Ahn said, "On a scale of one to 10, I'd say we we're at six or seven. Before 2020, many people will be hearing about fuel cell vehicles made by Hyundai-Kia."

Gallery: Kia Borrego FCEV

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Official: Canadian brochure reveals updated 2012 Suzuki Grand Vitara Urban

02/26/2012   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: SUVs, Suzuki, Canada, Montreal Auto Show

Grand Vitara Urban

It's more a rear-lift than a facelift, since only the back end has changed on the 2012 Suzuki Grand Vitara Urban offered in Canada. There are two noteworthy changes for the decontented model, the first being that Suzuki swapped the full-sized spare tire for a temporary "donut" spare and moved it from the rear gate to underneath the floor of the cargo area.

The other big change is the price: a current Vitara JL starts at $28,135 CAD, the revised model goes down in price to $26,995 CAD. For comparison, that new price equates to $27,007 USD, nearly $1,700 more expensive than the base price of the top-dog Grand Vitara Limited AT 4WD, which starts at $25,379 USD here.

It's been speculated that the changes are meant to lure more female customers (Vitara buyers are 60-percent male). Other specs and features haven't changed, which appears to make this a stopgap while everyone waits on the 2013 Grand Vitara, which will sit on a stretched version of the Kizashi platform.

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Kawasaki recounts the highs and lows of the 2014 Isle of Man TT

07/30/2014   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Motorsports, Videos, Motorcycles, Racing

Kawasaki at the Isle of Man

There's no event in the world of motorsports quite like the annual Isle of Man TT. The course is long and treacherous, the scenery breathtaking, the motorcycles fast and the riders like gods on celestial chariots of two wheels. It's an amazing experience, and one that Kawasaki has decided to focus its efforts on, capturing the highs and lows of its time on the Isle in video form.

If there's any one motorcycle manufacturer that has had a foothold on the TT, it's Honda, representing most of the top riders of the last few decades, but more recently there has been surging participation from the likes of BMW, Suzuki, Yamaha, the aforementioned Kawasaki and others. At the 2014 running, Kawasaki performed pretty well for itself, scoring victories in the sidecar and Lightweight TT classes and reaching the podium in Superstock.

Scroll down below for all the action.

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Sell your own: 1999 Mercedes-Benz SL

06/22/2017   [Original: Autoblog]
Category:

Filed under: Ownership,Mercedes-Benz,Used Car Buying,Convertible,Luxury If you're hoping to bridge the socioeconomic gap, try a pre-owned Mercedes.Continue reading Sell your own: 1999 Mercedes-Benz SL Sell your own: 1999 Mercedes-Benz SL originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 22 Jun 2017 10:00:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
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