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Archive for the ‘Designers’ Category

Karma Set to Debut Three “All-New” Models in Shanghai

List includes next-gen Revero and first all-electric model.

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Mar.08, 2019

Karma is promising to reveal its "New Dawn" product portfolio at the 2019 Auto Shanghai.

Its been nearly a decade since the original Fisker Karma made its debut and though the plug-in hybrid sports car still looks surprisingly fresh, there’s no question it is living on borrowed time.

With only a few minor modifications, the PHEV is today known as the Karma Revero, the sole product of a Chinese-owned company that purchased the assets of the bankrupt Fisker Automotive back in 2013. But now, it seems, Karma Automotive is finally ready to update its line-up.

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Based in the Silicon Valley mecca of Palo Alto, the automaker says it will reveal three “all-new” models at Auto Shanghai 2019 next month. What it is calling its “New Dawn” product line-up includes not only an all-new version of the Karma Revero but also an all-electric model, as well. The third product appears to be a concept that Karma has developed in partnership with the Italian design house Pininfarina. (more…)

Pininfarina’s Battista EV Quietly Punches Out 1,900 HP

But don’t expect to get that 280 miles range when you’re pushing 217 mph.

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Mar.06, 2019

The Automobili Pininfarina Battista makes its debut at the Geneva Motor Show.

There are plenty of skeptics when it comes to battery-electric vehicles, but resistance seems to be fading among serious performance fans, and a quick tour of this week’s Geneva Motor Show may help explain why.

Among the fastest and most powerful cars making their debut, the majority use some form of battery-based technology, including plug-ins like the Aston Martin AM RB 003, and the all-electric Pininfarina Battista.

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The first battery supercar from the legendary Italian design house, the Battista will produce a jaw-dropping 1,900 horsepower and 1,696 pound-feet of torque, making it one of the most powerful, street-legal vehicles ever unleashed. How fast? Pininfarina claims it will hit 60 in less than two seconds and top out at 217 mph. (more…)

Bugatti Marks 110th Anniversary with $19M Hypercar

La Voiture Noire debuts at Geneva Motor Show

by Michael Strong on Mar.05, 2019

Bugatti's Stephan Winkelmann reveals the most expensive production car ever made: the $19 million La Voiture Noire.

Bugatti needed a way to mark its 110th anniversary. So how does a French sports car brand known for its luxurious, powerful and ohmigosh expensive vehicles celebrate? By building the most expensive new car ever made: La Voiture Noire.

“The true form of luxury is individuality. ‘La Voiture Noire’ is now at the cutting edge of automobile production. It is a sculptural beauty with unique technology, the ideal grand tourisme,” said Bugatti President Stephan Winkelmann.

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This is a coupé with the comfort of a luxury limousine and the power of a hyper sports car, he added. That special, one-off hypercar hit the show floor at the Geneva Motor Show with a price tag of $19 million … and it was already paid for. (more…)

Mazda Marks Miata’s 30th With Party, Special Edition

Carrot-colored 30th Anniversary Edition will start at $35,915.

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Feb.08, 2019

Mazda Motors North America President Masahiro Moro introduces the 30th anniversary limited-edition Mazda MX-5 Miata in Chicago.

February in Chicago isn’t normally what you’d call convertible season, but on a cold and blustery morning almost 30 years ago to the day, Mazda took ragtop fans and, indeed, the rest of the auto industry, by surprise with the debut of the original Miata roadster.

While never a major seller, the pint-sized two-seater also known as the MX-5 captured the hearts – and checkbooks – of those who wanted something that put the emphasis on pure driving fun, inspiring a wave of imitations from Mazda’s Japanese, German and U.S. rivals.

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On another cold and blustery day in the Windy City, Mazda pulled the wraps off a special, commemorative edition of the fourth-generation Miata Thursday. And to mark the occasion, it brought to its Chicago Auto Show news conference not only some of the roadster’s most loyal fans, but some of the folks who helped create the little car. (more…)

Ford, Harley Reconnect for New Harley-Davidson F-150

Truck is back after seven-year hiatus.

by Joseph Szczesny on Feb.08, 2019

Ford and Harley-Davidson are together again with a new Harley-Davidson F-150 for 2019.

Two iconic brands are teaming up again to create a unique product that appeals to customers of both brands with a new version of the popular Harley-Davidson F-150.

“Motorcycle enthusiasts can once again enjoy dramatic Harley-Davidson design cues in the number one selling vehicle in America, the Ford F-150,” said Brad Richards, vice president of design and styling for Harley-Davidson Motor Co.

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“The strong reaction by the public to the concept truck at our anniversary event encouraged us to move the 2019 Harley-Davidson edition Ford F-150 into production. We look forward to fulling the dreams of fans who overwhelmingly asked for this special truck,” he added. (more…)

VW Plugs In With New Dune Buggy Concept

Retro design, futuristic powertrain; concept to debut in Geneva.

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Jan.31, 2019

Volkswagen is bringing a new electric concept to the Geneva Motor Show in March – what's old is new again!

Volkswagen is going back to the future with a ‘60s-tinged concept coming to the Geneva Motor Show in a little more than a month.

The show car is modelled after the classic dune buggies that hit American roads and beaches back in the 1960s and 1970s. But the new iteration offers something very different under the hood – or, more accurately, under the floorboards, the buggy concept making use of the same, modular electric drivetrain that will power an assortment of upcoming Volkswagen products.

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“A buggy is more than a car. It is vibrancy and energy on four wheels,” suggested VW’s global design chief Klaus Bischoff. “These attributes are embodied by the new e-buggy, which demonstrates how a modern, non-retro interpretation of a classic can look and, more than anything else, the emotional bond that electric mobility can create.” (more…)

Toyota Set to Unleash Flood of 19 New Products

More utility vehicles in the works, but don’t expect it to abandon sedans.

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Jan.28, 2019

The new Toyota Supra made its street-version debut at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

Toyota will be flooding U.S. showrooms with 19 new models during the next three years, a senior official said last weekend, a list that includes the next-generation Supra, Corolla and Corolla Hybrid.

Expect to see more utility vehicles in the Japanese automaker’s line-up, but don’t expect to see Toyota abandon the passenger car market. If anything, it hopes to pick up some of the slack as its Detroit-based rivals trim back their own sedan and coupe lines.

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“We’re still committed to being a full-line manufacturer, Toyota brand chief Jack Hollis told trade publication Automotive News following a “make meeting” with dealers at the annual National Automobile Dealers Association convention. (more…)

Infiniti, Ford, Lexus Walk Off with NAIAS Design Awards

Automotive design celebrated at annual event.

by Joseph Szczesny on Jan.18, 2019

Infiniti's QX Inspiration EV concept was the big winner in this year's Eyes on Design competition taking home three awards.

Throughout the course of its 30-year run, the North American International Auto Show in Detroit’s Cobo Center became known as a “designers’ show” because of the large number of concept cars that emerged during the annual press preview.

For 2019, the tradition carried on with the annual “Eyes on Design” Award singling out three vehicles, one from Infiniti, one from Lexus and one from Ford for honors.

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One of the big winners this year was Infiniti, which walked off with honors in three separate categories. (more…)

BMW Updates Flagship 7 Series

In an SUV era does it matter?

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Jan.16, 2019

BMW's new flagship model, the 7 Series, is ready to hit the road, borrowing some styling cues from the X7.

In an era of exotic SUVs like the Rolls-Royce Cullinan, Bentley Bentayga and Lamborghini Urus, do sedans really matter anymore? Can a conventional four-door model still be considered a “flagship?”

That’s a question BMW is trying to answer with the launch of the updated, 2020 7 Series. But it’s takes just one look to recognize which side of the product line-up is influencing the other. With the all-new X7 set to roll into showrooms in short order, it looks like the SUV is setting the tone for the sedan.

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Just one glance at the image shown here and you’ll see what that means. As a midcycle update, there’s a limit to what the Bavarian marque can achieve, since it won’t be able to change the underlying platform for a few years. Nonetheless, you can’t miss the massive new version of the traditional BMW double-kidney grille that looks like it was lifted whole from the new X7. (more…)

Nissan Hopes To Electrify With Debut of IMs Concept

Detroit show car hints at expanded line-up of battery-electric vehicles.

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Jan.14, 2019

Nissan's IMs concept hits the Detroit Auto Show just after the company rolled out its longest-range Leaf ever.

Barely a week after unveiling the latest – and first truly long-range – version of its Leaf battery-electric vehicle, Nissan is offering a glimpse at where it is “imagining” its future in the form of the all-electric IMs “elevated sports sedan.”

The concept vehicle debuting at the North American International Auto Show pushes the envelope when it comes to three key trends: the shift from sedans and coupes to SUVs and CUVs. It also features a pure BEV drivetrain, a technology Nissan promises will dominate its line-up moving forward. The show car also adds autonomous driving capabilities. Add them together and, Nissan suggests, its future models will feature a distinctly different approach to design, as well.

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“Advances in electric vehicle technology and autonomous driving have allowed our designers to break free of the platform and packaging rules that constrain traditional passenger vehicles, to create a completely new type of car,” said Alfonso Albaisa, senior vice president for design at Nissan. “The IMs explores the limits of sedan design with an approach that elevates the category in both look and functionality.” (more…)