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Archive for the ‘Paris’ Category

Infiniti Set to Abandon Western European Market

Weak demand leading Nissan’s luxury brand to focus on Europe, China.

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Mar.12, 2019

The concept version of the Infiniti Q30 debuted at the Frankfurt Motor Show as part of the brand's push to become an EU presence.

Infiniti has come to recognize there are limits to its global growth plans, the Nissan luxury brand announcing it will pull out of Western Europe by early next year.

Going forward, the brand will limit its scope to just two markets: the U.S. and China. Along with ending sales in Europe, Infiniti also will halt production of the Q30 and QX30 models at Nissan’s assembly plant in Sunderland, England. The parent company has raised questions about the broader viability of that plant as Britain struggles to manage its planned exit from the European Union later this month.

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A broader restructuring by Infiniti will see the luxury marque pair back on its overall product line-up, the brand’s new global CEO told TheDetroitBureau.com during an interview earlier this year.

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Detroit Auto Show Not Ready to Wave Goodbye to Winter

Final January run to see over 30 new models debut.

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Dec.10, 2018

Toyota showed us a well-camouflaged Supra with chief engineer Tetsuya Tada at the Goodwood Festival.

The Detroit Auto Dealers Association has inked a seven-year deal with the City of Detroit that will ensure that the North American International Auto Show keeps running through at least the latter part of the next decade.

The deal also locks down the move from January to June that DADA, the sponsor of the show, announced earlier this year. That is expected to prove critical if the Detroit Auto Show is to regain its former glory or, at the very least, keep from slipping into second-tier status, something that seemed all too likely in the wake of a painfully quiet 2018 event that saw a single official media day wrap up the new car debuts shortly after noon.

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The 2019 North American International Auto Show will clearly not have the luster of years past. Virtually the entire European contingent – including brands like Audi, BMW, Jaguar and Meredes-Benz – plan to sit it out. But there will still be enough on the calendar to keep the spotlight lit. Among the products set to make their official debut at the Cobo Hall convention center are the long-awaited Toyota Supra and the Lexus RC F which is being hailed as the brand’s fastest and most powerful model ever, save for its limited-edition LFA supercar.

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First Look: BMW M340i and M340i xDrive

Official debut coming at LA Auto Show.

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Nov.13, 2018

The new BMW M340i and M340i xDrive models will reach U.S. showrooms next spring.

The rush is on. With just weeks to go before this year’s U.S. auto show season kicks off in Los Angeles, automakers are rushing to give us a preview of what they’ll have on hand in the City of Angels.

For BMW, the big news will be the debut of the 2020 M340i and M340i xDrive sedans, and the Bavarians have proffered up this first look at the range-topping model. While we’ll have to wait to get a look at the next-gen M3, these M Performance sedans are impressive in their own right, sharing an updated twin-scroll turbocharged 3.0-liter straight six making 382 horsepower and 369 pounded-feet of torque.

Auto Show News!

This marks the first time the 3-Series will be offered with an M Performance package, what some have dubbed M-Light. We’ll have to wait for the Los Angeles Auto Show to get all the specs on the 2020 BMW M340i models, but preliminary specs suggest 0 to 60 times of around 4.2 seconds, with top speed electronically limited at 155 mph.

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EZ-Ultimo: A Design Bruce Wayne, aka Batman, Could Enjoy

Autonomous ride-sharing concept would target only the most elite customers.

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Oct.04, 2018

Renault designers must have been given the freedom to indulge themselves with the EZ-Ultimo concept shown in Paris.

Only the French could have gone to market with vehicles like the DS9 and the 2CV – the deux chevaux, as it was better known. And only the French could have rolled out some of the wild and crazy concepts that populated this year’s Paris Motor Show.

As the media days wrap up, the public will be treated to the retro-futuristic Peugeot e-Legend concept, as well as the DS E-Tense, an electric supercar. But easily one of the most talked-about cars at an otherwise light Paris show was also one of the strangest, Renault’s EZ-Ultimo, which has alternately been compared to the Batmobile and “a rolling palace.”

Global News!

But the best way to think about this fully driverless prototype is the marriage of a personal jet and a ride-share vehicle – one that is completely autonomous. (more…)

Lexus Lets its Emotions Flow With New RC Coupe

New model offers improved ride and handling.

by Michael Strong on Oct.03, 2018

The 2019 Lexus RC 300 couple ensure the brand has at least one compelling offering from a design perspective.

Lexus designers have been charged with the task of creating more emotion-evoking vehicles in recent years. However, the RC has always been that buzz-generating offering from Toyota’s luxury brand and the 2019 model shown in Paris continues that trend.

The exterior of the coupe gets an evolutionary upgrade rather than wholesale redesign with tweaks to the sporty look that also give it an elegant feel. However, those changes include updates to the aerodynamics to give it a“sharper and more refined” drive philosophy that was introduced by the LC, officials note.

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The changes include a new front bumper corner that flows down from the headlamps and a grille mesh pattern comprising shapes which gradually transform from top to bottom, creating an intriguing visual tension, Lexus says. The vertical arrangement of the extra-small triple LED headlamps and new L-shaped LED clearance lamps add to the car’s elegance. (more…)

Future of Alliance with Nissan/Renault the Big Question as Zetsche Prepares to End Role as Daimler CEO

Zetche and Nissan/Renault’s Ghosn insist there is more to come during Paris new conference.

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Oct.03, 2018

Zetsche and Ghosn first met when the German exec was working at Freightliner and the Brazilian-born Ghosn worked for Michelin.

Since launching the first in a broad series of joint ventures nine years ago, Daimler AG and the Nissan/Renault/Mitsubishi Alliance have generated what they claim to be billions of dollars in “synergies” that have allowed them to expand their product lines and grow into new markets.

But in recent months, the future of that partnership has come under question. The last major new project was announced three years ago. And now, with Daimler Chief Executive Dieter Zetsche planning to relinquish the CEO title next year, that has raised new questions about whether his successor, Ola Kallenius, would keep the alliance going.

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“Without the chemistry between us, maybe this wouldn’t have happened,” said Zetsche, during a joint news conference with Nissan/Renault/Mitsubishi Alliance chief Carlos Ghosn. But considering the results the partnership has generated, “I don’t see from my perspective why the momentum in this relationship should change.”

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Euro Football Legend David Beckham Lends a Hand To Vietnam’s New VinFast Brand

Asian automaker set to launch production by mid-2019.

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Oct.02, 2018

The VinFast Lux A 2.0 is based on the prior-generation BMW 5-Series platform.

There have been a few surprising moments at an otherwise lackluster 2018 Paris Motor Show, and several of them came from sources you wouldn’t expect, notably the debut of the first two new models from Vietnam’s first real carmaker, VinFast.

Of course, it didn’t hurt to have European football star David Beckham on the stand when the Lux A sedan and Lux SA sport-utility vehicle rolled out on Tuesday morning. The two will go into production by the third quarter of 2019 at an all-new factory build largely upon land reclaimed from Haiphong Harbor. Giving real meaning to the second part of its name, VinFast plans to add two more models, one all-electric, to its line-up by the end of next year.

Beyond the Headlines!

“Our ultimate goal is to become a world-class automobile manufacturer with a footprint in markets around the world,” said the start-up’s CEO Jim DeLuca, a former General Motors Asia hand who came out of retirement to help launch the company in 2017. (more…)

Ferrari’s New Monza Models Put a Modern Spin on Classic Designs

Two supercars will mark a limited run – and you’ll have to be invited to buy one.

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Oct.02, 2018

Ferrari plans to sell just 499 of its first two "Icona Ferrari" models like the SP1. No prices were announced, but assume well into seven figures.

Ferrari has a long and glorious history, its many fans are quick to point out, and the carmaker now plans to mine that heritage for a new line of retro-futuristic models that will be sold through a new collection dubbed “Icona Ferrari.”

That will start off with the Monza SP1 and SP2 supercars making their formal debut at the Paris Motor Show today. Ferrari said at its news conference that it plans to build just 499 of them. It will offer them, it suggested, “to our best customers.” In fact, potential buyers will have to be invited just to stand in line.

Retro cars!

The forward-into-the-past design of the two Monza models is meant to harken back to one of the most glorious eras of racing, back in the 1950s and 1960s, when Ferrari dominated the European motor sports circuit. (more…)

Toyota Supra Set to Debut at 2019 Detroit Auto Show

Disappointment, again, in Paris.

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Oct.02, 2018

With each passing day, the Toyota Supra inches closer to reality, including this heavily camouflaged model at Goodwood.

Supra fans, rejoice!

Every major auto show during the last two years has brought with it a flurry of rumors suggesting the reborn Toyota sports car would finally make its debut, hopes only to be dashed when the Supra was a no-show. And that happened again in Paris, Toyota defying hope and speculation it would finally pull the covers off the production model.

Insight!

But now, it seems, we have official or, at least, semi-official word that the long wait will soon be over. Just stay patient until January when, according to the Facebook channel operated by Toyota’s German subsidiary, the Supra will make its appearance at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. (more…)

First Look: 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLE is More Luxurious – and More Capable

Mild hybrid system lets it hop out of trouble.

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Oct.02, 2018

The 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLE hits the stage at the Paris Motor Show. The fourth-generation of the midsize luxury ute is loaded with convenience tech.

There are few things worse than finding yourself dug into sand and unable to move, but the 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLE will offer a novel way of getting out of that mess, literally hopping up and down until its wheels gain traction.

What the German automaker describes as “Free-Driving Mode” is just one of the new and sometimes novel features that will debut on its next-generation midsize sport-ute. Able to seat up to seven adults with an optional third row, the remake of the popular midsize SUV is both more luxurious and more capable, based on what was shown when the 2020 Mercedes GLE made its debut at the Paris Motor Show this morning. At least some of the credit goes to the new 48-volt mild-hybrid technology built into the GLE 450 on display at the show.

Auto Show News!

Originally known as the Mercedes-Benz M-Class, the midsize model helped touch off one of the most dramatic transformations in the luxury automotive market when it debuted in the 1998 model-year. There were plenty of skeptics who questioned the idea of a high-line SUV but, today, conventional sport-utility vehicles and crossovers dominate the market, with even Aston Martin, Ferrari and Rolls-Royce set to join the club. (more…)