Mazda is studying the potential of offering all-wheel-drive sedans eventually. But such a product may come sooner than expected, if this website from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is any indication. While searching for 2018 Mazda6 crash test ratings on the site, we found results for both front- and all-wheel-drive versions. Both cars receive an overall five-star rating.Recently, Mazda’s North America CEO Masahiro Moro opened up to CarAdvice on this subject. He indicated there’s a layout issue that would prevent combining the new 2.5-liter turbocharged engine in the Mazda6 with all-wheel drive.However, he also noted there is plenty of demand for all-wheel drive cars in the U.S. “Four-wheel drive becomes a premium cue for U.S. consumers, and obviously, I have asked our R&D department to think about how we can accommodate four-wheel drive capability in the future,” he said.The 2018 Mazda6 goes on sale this spring, but will it … [Read more...] about Will the 2018 Mazda6 Offer All-Wheel Drive in the U.S.?
Future u s open sites
Do you live in the U.S. and need service work done on your McLaren F1? McLaren Philadelphia can help—owners in North America no longer have to ship their cars to the U.K. for annual maintenance.The new shop is one of only two service facilities outside of McLaren Special Operations (MSO) in Woking, U.K., authorized to work on the F1 road car.The facility is separate from the company’s Philadelphia retail shop and is located at a remote site to ensure customer discretion and privacy, we are informed.MSO-trained technicians offer complete F1 service, ranging from basic annual maintenance to full system refreshes, and major renovations. Bespoke services are available for its heritage cars including the SLR, P1, and 650S.The McLaren F1 had a limited production run of only 106 units and the company never officially imported the exclusive car here, but it is believed that there are more than 20 F1s in North America today.The F1 features a 6.1-liter V-12 engine that delivers 627 … [Read more...] about McLaren F1 Service Center Opens in the U.S.
In an effort to bolster battery science and manufacturing prospects in the United States and stay on top of a global industry valued at $42 billion – and growing about 8 percent annually – the Department of Energy is set to fund the new Joint Center for Energy Storage Research, to the tune of up to $120 million over the next five years. JCESR (pronounced “J Caesar”) will be headed by Illinois’ Argonne National Laboratory, one of the nation’s leading research and development institutes that has also left its fingerprints all over the Chevrolet Volt’s lithium-ion battery chemistry. JCESR’s purpose is to accelerate battery R&D for transportation and power grid applications, which could have an enormous technological impact on future plug-in hybrids and electric vehicles, plus their life source. Collaborations between research entities and private companies are not uncommon, but JCESR’s scale, parties involved, level of federal and … [Read more...] about New JCESR Consortium Aims to Make U.S. a Battery Powerhouse
Last year, Mercedes-Benz announced that it would move its U.S. headquarters from Montvale, N.J., to Atlanta, Ga. Now, the automaker has unveiled the first rendering of its new facilities in Sandy Springs. The automaker announced that construction will start this spring, with a target completion date of early 2018. That’s a year after the projected grand opening of the headquarters announced in January 2015. The Montvale headquarters may have been home to the German automaker for over 40 years, but Mercedes-Benz says that the move is an important opportunity for the future of the company. Located at the corner of Abernathy and Barfield Road near the intersection of the Georgia 400 and Interstate 285, the new 225,000 sq. ft. Mercedes-Benz headquarters will sit on a 12-acre campus on the south side of a 76-acre property formerly owned by the Glenridge Hall historical site. Mercedes’ new four-story building will feature architectural elements designed to provide a … [Read more...] about Mercedes-Benz Reveals Rendering of New U.S. Headquarters
Volvo will build the next-generation XC90 SUV in 2021 at a plant under construction in South Carolina, the automaker announced today, increasing its investment to $1.1 billion. Volvo was initially building a $500 million assembly plant near Charleston that is scheduled to open in the fall of 2018 and produce the S60, a sedan that is currently being built in China. The U.S. will become the sole global source of the S60 sedan when production in China is phased out in early 2019. The plant was designed to accommodate a second vehicle. Now we know it is the XC90, a vehicle Motor Trend previously identified as the likely candidate for a number of reasons: The XC90 and S60 are on the same Scalable Platform Architecture which will make assembly easier. The XC90 was launched in 2015; by spring 2019 it will be the oldest vehicle in the lineup so the timing lines up. U.S. assembly makes sense given the popularity of large SUVs in North America. Volvo saw sales drop in the early months of the … [Read more...] about Volvo to Build Next-Gen XC90 in U.S. in 2021
Mazda 6 sedan will come from Hofu, Japan, after production of this generation ends, the automaker said in a statement. Mazda’s family sedan is currently built at the Auto Alliance International plant in Flat Rock, Michigan, under the same roof as is the Ford Mustang. Japanese production of the 6 won’t be new—a slightly smaller version of the car is built there now, for sale in Japan and elsewhere—but the decision to shift the site of production shows the cracks in Mazda’s U.S. business. The company also referred to the 6’s replacement as Mazda’s “next mid-size car” rather than as the 6, but we read this as Mazda simply addressing a global audience; the 6 carries different names elsewhere.While the previous generation of the 6 both accounted for a boost in sales and helped further Mazda’s sporty image, the current car hasn’t caught on with shoppers. In the first five months of 2011, the company shifted only 13,604 … [Read more...] about Next-Gen Mazda 6 to Be Built in Japan, Casting Some Doubt on Future of Flat Rock, Michigan, Factory
At about the same time Barack Obama was figuring out where to store his paper clips and Post-it notes in the Oval Office, Fiat S.p.A. and Chrysler LLC were busy trying to inaugurate a new partnership that almost no one saw coming. News that Fiat will take a 35-percent stake in struggling Chrysler (the majority of which is owned by Cerberus Capital Management) could not come at a better time. If any of Detroit’s Big Three would fall, Chrysler would be the first, and this alliance at least gives the Pentastar a glint of hope for survival. A dearth of new product suggested that Chrysler was merely buying time before the creditors came knocking or its government loan money ran dry. Even with the $4 billion it received last month from the U.S. government, Chrysler’s near-term prospects for recovery appeared slim to none. Some might say they still appear that way. With little in the way of global sales to generate cash flow—unlike, say, … [Read more...] about Chrysler and Fiat Alliance: Future Product Speculation
BMW has reportedly spent billions of dollars so far on developing various aspects of its carbon fiber intensive and electric powered i series of cars. The Bavarian automaker obviously wants to get that money back and more so it is now using high profile events to launch the i subbrand in North America, including buying ads during the opening ceremony and other broadcasts from the Winter Olympics currently being held in Sochi, Russia. The first of three ads that BMW will be running during the NBC network’s coverage of the Olympic games is called “Hello Future” and uses a 1964 recording of futurist Arthur C. Clarke to promote the $136,000 i8 hybrid super car. A second ad for the i8 is called “Sighting“, showing people’s reaction to first seeing the car. The more mass market $41,300 i3 is being sold with “SHHH“, depicting a teenager using his father’s silent i3 to sneak a nighttime joyride with a girl he’s trying to … [Read more...] about BMW Uses Olympics, Chicago Auto Show to Market i Series in U.S., Offers Loaners to Offset Range Anxiety
Does spending on a robust charging network sell electric cars? Or do we first need enough electric cars to justify investment in that infrastructure? Automakers have faced these chicken-or-egg questions ever since all-electric models like the Nissan Leaf and the BMW i3 were first announced.DC fast charging has been at the core of the debate. While today’s 50-kW CHAdeMo or Combined Charging System (CCS)/Combo fast chargers can restore 75 miles or more of usable range in about half an hour, their usefulness decreases as we look beyond today’s crop of around 30-kWh small cars to the many models expected over the next several years that will pack 90 kWh or more.The answer, of course, is more power—in the form of 150-kW and 350-kW fast charging. But it’s not as simple as that. Electrical systems need to be upgraded in many cases; vehicle charging systems and battery packs aren’t equipped for it; and neither the hardware nor a finalized standard for it exists … [Read more...] about First U.S. 350-kW Charging Station Will Allow Speedy L.A.–Vegas EV Road Trips
Failure to conquer the U.S. market could be the undoing of Volkswagen Group CEO Martin Winterkorn if Ferdinand Piëch, the head of VW’s supervisory board, gets his way. Just last week, things looked splendid in Winterkorn’s world. With two years remaining on his contract as CEO, his eyes were firmly set on a subsequent five-year tenure as Piëch’s successor at the top of VW’s supervisory board. That world has been shattered by a few choice words delivered by Piëch through the German magazine Der Spiegel, in which he said, “There is a distance between me and Winterkorn.” The message to Winterkorn: Your time is up.So what’s happening, and why now? At a cursory glance, the VW Group appears to be in good shape. Together with GM and Toyota, it is a top contender for the spot of the number-one global carmaker; its stable includes some of the most profitable and prestigious nameplates the business has to offer. But closer analysis reveals … [Read more...] about VW Drama: Why Piëch Wants Winterkorn Out—and What the Future May Hold