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Daimler bringing resurrected Maybach name to 2014 LA and Guangzhou auto shows

04/21/2014   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: LA Auto Show, Sedans/Saloons, Mercedes Benz, Misc. Auto Shows, Luxury

Maybach 62, front three-quarter view

According to a report in Reuters, we will get to know the new face of Maybach at this year's Los Angeles Auto Show and Guangzhou Motor Show. The revival of the name has been in the news for a while now, but what hasn't been clear is where it will fit in with other models like the coming Pullman. The Reuters piece says it will be "used to adorn an exclusive version of its S-Class limousine," but the real punch is reading that it is expected to "cost more than double the 165,000-euro ($228,000) asking price of its current flagship, the Mercedes-Benz S600."

The base price of a 2012 Maybach 57, the year the brand died, was $376,300. If Reuters is correct, and depending on how much "more" is added to "double," the price of Maybach just as a trim level and not as a standalone brand could still carry a gaudy premium for what the article calls "soft-touch leather and bespoke materials." True, that listed euro price will be higher than our own S600 - which we don't know the price of yet. But our 2103 S600 cost $160,300, which - again, assuming the double-down price is correct - would have a Maybach buyer staring at a $321,000 bill, or more, before he puts his Conway Stewart pen to work on options.

On the other hand, that still leaves room for a Maybach-branded S-Class to tout its cost difference relative to the Rolls-Royce Phantom, which currently starts at $402,940; if you have a third hand, though, the Bentley Mulsanne is "only" $303,700. We look forward to the LA show to find out exactly how Daimler is going to spice and slice this one up. As for that Pullman, Reuters says it will be a state limousine that has an additional, rear-facing bench in the chauffeured quarters. A camouflaged version of the reported limo - all 21 feet of it - was spotted recently in Germany.

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VW modular platform strategy goes all-in on EVs

01/08/2014   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: EV/Plug-in, Volkswagen, AutoblogGreen Exclusive, LA Auto Show

VW Golf EV

The Volkswagen Group has already revealed or put on sale a broad slate of new electric vehicles: the E-up, the E-Golf (shown above), the Porsche 918 Spyder, the Panamera S E-Hybrid and the XL1. In 2014, there will be at least six more models, including the A3 Sportback E-Tron. And after that? Well, to hear Rudolf Krebs, Group Commissioner For Electric Vehicle Drive Systems, tell it, VW's future is full of plug-in goodness. "With our platform strategy, it is quite easy to bring a lot of electrified vehicles to the market for the different brands in a very short time," he said.

"We try, with a minimum of those components, to produce a maximum number of variants of cars"

That strategy starts with three platforms: MQB for small cars, MLB for midsize models and MSB for sporty and premium products (there's also the NSF for cars like the E-up). Speaking to AutoblogGreen, Krebs said VW has designed modules, things like engines and electric components (think: AC compressor, on-board chargers and battery management systems), to be used across all three platforms and across all brands all. "We try, with a minimum of those components, to produce a maximum number of variants of cars," he said. "This is only possible if, at an early stage of the design of new vehicles, we implement the idea that these cars are not only designed for gasoline and diesel powertrains but that we can also include CNG concepts, flex-fuel concepts, pure electric vehicles or plug-in hybrid vehicles. With minor changes in the body in white, we can produce those vehicles, bumper-to-bumper, in one factory."

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BMW i3 EV will have lower insurance, repair costs thanks to carbon fiber

12/12/2013   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Emerging Technologies, EV/Plug-in, BMW, AutoblogGreen Exclusive, LA Auto Show

BMW i3 production carbon fiber

What you see above is the carbon fiber frame that underpins the BMW i3. This lightweight material will allow the plug-in vehicle to set itself apart from the competition in a lot of ways (weight, most importantly, but also space and rigidity), but what we didn't expect was that the newfangled bits will help keep repair and insurance costs down. It may sound counterintuitive, but that's what Manuel Sattig, the communications manager for BMW i, told AutoblogGreen recently. It does make sense but, like so much else in this new, plug-in vehicle universe, it requires a new way of thinking.

There is a plan to bring carbon fiber to the rest of the BMW fleet.

When BMW started Project i in 2007, the company began with a figurative plain sheet of paper. There were some rules, of course. "Every idea, every technology, every revolution or new material that we came up with for BMW i eventually had to enable the rest of the BMW Group," Sattig said. "Which means, yes, there is a plan to bring carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) to the rest of our fleet." The extent to which BMW will integrate carbon fiber into other model ranges is still being evaluated, and Sattig said BMW is first and foremost focused on launching the i3 and i8 and figuring out how, exactly, carbon fiber works in a series production vehicle. Still, dreams are big, and Sattig called CFRP, "the lightweight material of the future for the entire company."

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Autoblog Podcast #359

11/28/2013   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: LA Auto Show, Podcasts, Tokyo Motor Show

Autoblog Podcast logo

Episode #359 of the Autoblog podcast is here, and this week, Dan Roth, Michael Harley and Jonathon Ramsey talk about the LA Auto Show, Tokyo Motor Show, and the release of the Car and Driver 10Best list. We start with what's in the garage and finish up with some of your questions, and for those of you who hung with us live on our UStream channel, thanks for taking the time. You can follow along after the jump with our Q&A. Thanks for listening!

Autoblog Podcast #359:

Topics:

  • Los Angeles Auto Show recap
  • Tokyo Motor Show recap
  • Car and Driver 2014 10Best list released
In the Autoblog Garage:
  • 2015 Nissan GT-R
  • 2014 Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG Edition 507
  • 2014 Kia Sorento SX

Hosts: Dan Roth, Jonathon Ramsey, Michael Harley

Runtime: 01:47:40


Get the podcast:

[UStream] Listen live on Mondays at 10 PM Eastern at UStream

[iTunes] Subscribe to the Autoblog Podcast in iTunes

[RSS] Add the Autoblog Podcast feed to your RSS aggregator

[MP3] Download the MP3 directly

Feedback:

Email: Podcast at Autoblog dot com

Review the show in iTunes

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Video: A closer look at the 2015 Porsche Macan

11/27/2013   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: LA Auto Show, Sports/GTs, Videos, Crossovers/CUVs, Porsche, Luxury

2015 Porsche Macan video

He assured us that "this is a sports car."

Porsche took the wraps off its all-new 2015 Macan at the LA Auto Show last week, and while it's easy to write it off as just a badge-engineered version of the Audi Q5, you'd be very, very wrong. For starters, 75 percent of the car's platform was re-engineered by the Porsche team, and with a choice of two twin-turbocharged engines, the Macan should absolutely live up to the brand's pedigree.

During the LA show, West Coast Editor Michael Harley spoke with Mike DePetro from Porsche Cars North America, who assured us that "this is a sports car." The Macan has unique suspension tuning, beefy brakes, a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, and comes packing either 340 or 400 horsepower, depending on trim. Heck, you can even get it with launch control.

There's a whole lot more to the Macan story, and you can hear all about it in Harley's interview with DePetro below.

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Video: A closer look at the 2015 Chevy Colorado

11/27/2013   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: LA Auto Show, Trucks/Pickups, Videos, Chevrolet

2015 Chevy Colorado

The 2015 Chevy Colorado was one of last week's big debuts at the LA Auto Show, so big that our editors ranked it second in our list of Top Five debuts from the show. We thought Chevy's reentry into the midsize pickup market deserved a closer look, so we sent West Coast Editor Mike Harley to talk to Jeff Luke, chief engineer of midsize and fullsize trucks for Chevrolet.

What he learned goes deeper than what our lenses could capture when the truck debuted on stage in LA. From segment-leading box sizes to fuel-saving aerodynamics to what this little Bowtie with a bed shares with its big brother, Luke gives us the low down on how Chevy hopes to compete in a segment of, let's face it, aged competitors. Scroll down and hit play to watch for yourself.

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Confirmed: Saleen hints at upcoming 'S8' supercar

11/27/2013   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Aftermarket, LA Auto Show, Coupes, Sports/GTs, MISC

Saleen S7

During the unveiling of its commemorative SA-30 models at the LA Auto Show, Steve Saleen mentioned that his company was working on the development of a new supercar as a followup to the 2000-2004 Saleen S7 (shown above).

"We haven't forgotten about the supercar genre," Saleen said. "We are working on what we'll call the 'S8' and the continuation of the American supercar."

The last we heard of a supercar from Saleen was the S5S Raptor that made its grand entrance at the 2008 New York Auto Show, but that seemed to get lost in the shuffle when Saleen, Inc. was sold off in 2009. At that point, Saleen had already moved on to form SMS Supercars, but after reacquiring the Saleen name and brand last year, it would appear the supercar is definitely back on the table.

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A closer look at the 2015 Chevy Colorado

11/27/2013   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: LA Auto Show, Trucks/Pickups, Videos, Chevrolet

2015 Chevy Colorado

The 2015 Chevy Colorado was one of last week's big debuts at the LA Auto Show, so big that our editors ranked it second in our list of Top Five debuts from the show. We thought Chevy's reentry into the midsize pickup market deserved a closer look, so we sent West Coast Editor Mike Harley to talk to Jeff Luke, chief engineer of midsize and fullsize trucks for Chevrolet.

What he learned goes deeper than what our lenses could capture when the truck debuted on stage in LA. From segment-leading box sizes to fuel-saving aerodynamics to what this little Bowtie with a bed shares with its big brother, Luke gives us the low down on how Chevy hopes to compete in a segment of, let's face it, aged competitors. Scroll down and hit play to watch for yourself.

Continue reading A closer look at the 2015 Chevy Colorado

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Video: A closer look at the 2015 Subaru WRX

11/27/2013   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: LA Auto Show, Sedans/Saloons, Sports/GTs, Videos, Subaru

2015 Subaru WRX video

For enthusiasts, the debut of the 2015 Subaru WRX was arguably one of the more important happenings at last week's LA Auto Show. After all, the 'Rex has been one of our perennial favorite all-weather sports cars, able to offer big thrills in any clime thanks to its turbocharged engine, manual gearbox and top-notch all-wheel-drive system.

For 2015, some big changes have been made to our favorite Subie, including the removal of the hatchback body style and availability of a continuously variable transmission. Of course, there's also the new, 2.0-liter turbocharged inline four-cylinder engine, not to mention the completely revised styling.

Lots of talking points, for sure, so West Coast Editor Michael Harley chatted with Dominick Infante, national manager of product communications for Subaru USA, who promises us that this car will be the "best-handling WRX ever." As for that CVT, Infante assures us that it was "designed for a sports car" and that the company aims to change the minds of people (like us, admittedly) who have a hard time warming up to the idea of this transmission in a package like the WRX.

We'll get our first drive of the 2015 WRX next month, but for now, scroll down to have a closer look at Subaru's new and improved hot hatch sedan.

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Submit your questions for Autoblog Podcast #359 LIVE!

11/26/2013   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: LA Auto Show, Etc., Tokyo Motor Show

Autoblog podcast graphic

We're set to record Autoblog Podcast #359 tonight, and we'll be joined by Michael Harley and Jonathon Ramsey to recap the Los Angeles Auto Show and Tokyo Motor Show. Check out the topics below, drop us your questions and comments via our Q&A module, and don't forget to subscribe to the Autoblog Podcast in iTunes if you haven't already done so. To take it all in live, tune in to our UStream (audio only) channel at 10:00 PM Eastern tonight.

Discussion Topics for Autoblog Podcast Episode #359

  • Los Angeles Auto Show recap
  • Tokyo Motor Show recap
  • Car & Driver 2014 10Best list released

[RSS] Add the Autoblog Podcast feed to your RSS aggregator

Voices Heard Media

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