Newsflash: nieuwe Hyundai Tucson N wordt 295 pk sterk

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+++ Chinese internet search giant Baidu Inc launched APOLLO GO ROBOTAXI , its self-driving taxi service, to the public in Beijing, becoming the first company to carry passengers in autonomous vehicles in the capital. The company will operate a fleet of 40 vehicles in a manned autonomous driving test area covering 700 kilometers of road, with routes including residential and business areas in Yizhuang, Haidian and Shunyi districts. People in Beijing can experience the Apollo Go Robotaxi service after registering on Baidu Maps or the Apollo website. The move came after the Beijing-based tech giant opened the Apollo Go Robotaxi service in Cangzhou, Hebei province in August, extending robotaxi coverage to the downtown area of a city for the first time in China. In April, Baidu opened its self-driving taxi service in Changsha, Hunan province. Robotaxi provides free rides to passengers across an area of 130 square kilometers. Li Zhenyu, corporate vice-president of Baidu and general manager of the company’s intelligent driving group, said Baidu Apollo will continue to push forward the commercial application of autonomous driving. “With our technology and platform advantages, we will contribute more to the development of autonomous driving and smart transportation in Beijing and support the city to become a world-leading AI innovation hub”, Li added. Baidu secured 40 licenses to test self-driving vehicles carrying passengers on designated roads in Beijing on December 30, 2019. After 8 months of small-scale manned testing, the Baidu Apollo robotaxi fleet has completed road tests totaling 519.000 kilometers in Beijing and obtained permission to open up to the general public. +++ 

+++ With new models like the Bentayga and Continental GT in its range, it would be reasonable to expect BENTLEY to be chasing ever-growing sales. However, during a recent interview, boss Adrian Hallmark said the British brand is not aiming for annual sales growth. “We’re not aiming for 15.000 or even 13.000”, Hallmark told. Hallmark added that Bentley has sold around 10.000 vehicles annually since 2007. Indeed, it has sold at least 10.000 vehicles for each of the past 7 years and, in 2019, sold a total of 11.006 vehicles. Based on Hallmark’s statements, it seems the 5 % sales growth Bentley enjoyed in 2019 compared to 2018 was just a happy accident and not something the company set out to achieve. According to Hallmark, Bentley is looking to increase its profitability not by selling more cars but instead working to increase the profitability of each car it sells. For example, the Continental GT already sells for 22 % above its list price on average. Bentley’s bestselling vehicle in 2019 was the Continental GT, which enjoyed a sales jump of 54 % compared to the previous year, helped by the addition of V8-powered Coupe and Convertible variants. The second bestselling Bentley in 2019 was the Bentayga, enjoying an 18 % rise in sales over 2018. +++ 

+++ Car makers are “struggling” to publish all model-variant CO2 and MPG figures in time to hit the deadline for the new WLTP fuel economy rules on 1 January 2021, according to a report by industry consultant Jato Dynamics. “This isn’t about the test itself or compliance with the test but the massive data flows to inform customers and dealers about new CO2 and MPG figures, and some car makers are struggling with that”, said Olivier Pejis, head of European sales leasing at Jato. “There’s also the issue of offices being closed for 3 months during Covid shutdowns, cutting the time available to work on this”. With around 15 million new cars sold in Europe every year, each with a unique specification of parts and the bulk of each model subject to multiple spec changes during the buying process, the data involved is enormous. “The only source for these numbers is the OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer, so every car that is specified needs a CO2 and MPG figure supplied from the car maker. The demand for highly accurate information is immense”, said Pejis. The CO2 figures of built cars also contribute to a manufacturer’s CO2 fleet average. The target is around 95 g/km, depending on a number of factors, and is the basis for huge EU fines if the limit is breached. The detailed spec of every new car sold from 1 January 2021 will have a bearing on its unique CO2 and MPG figures, which will stay with the car for its life and dictate the road tax and company car tax due on it. “This is very complex and it’s new to everyone, so it’s not surprising that some car makers are better at it than others”, said Pejis. A source at a major car maker said the process of introducing new WLTP figures on price lists had been “challenging”. They said: “We feel we’re on top of it. But others may not have started so early and may be finding it more difficult”. +++ 

+++ Sales of new-energy vehicles (NEVs) in CHINA posted robust growth in August, as the world’s largest auto market steadily expands its recovery, industry data showed. About 109.000 NEVs were sold last month; up 25.8 % year-on-year, according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM). In the first 8 months, about 596.000 NEVs were sold; down 26.4 % year-on-year. CAAM data also showed China’s auto market maintained its recovery momentum last month, as increasing demand and strengthening incentives have pushed positive market growth. The country’s total automobile output hit 2.12 million units in August; up 6.3 % year-on-year, while total sales hit 2.19 million units; up 11.6 % year-on-year. China’s auto market, hit by COVID-19, began to recover in April thanks to unleashed pent-up demand and encouraging policies, with sales rising 4.4 % year-on-year. This ended a contraction streak over the past 21 months, according to CAAM. +++ 

+++ It is no secret that electrification is coming to the C8-generation CORVETTE and the new ‘Vette will get its first taste of electrification for the 2023 model year. The first hybrid Corvette model will have either 1 or 2 electric motors at the front axle, making it all-wheel drive and giving it more power than the regular Stingray. Interestingly, though, the car may not be marketed as a hybrid. The Corvette in question will instead be marketed as having an ‘eAWD’ system. It is unclear if this model will be a plug-in hybrid, but that appears unlikely. It also remains unconfirmed if it will be able to travel short distances on electric power alone. The eAWD system will be offered on Stingray and Convertible models. Moreover, while the feature is supposed to arrive for the 2023 model year, there’s a possibility we may not see it until 2024. Back in March, it was revealed that the owner’s manual of the C8 Corvette shows a fuse for a Pedestrian Friendly Alert Function. That is the same fuse that the Chevrolet Bolt uses to alert pedestrians of its presence and points towards the possibility of a hybrid Corvette model, perhaps the eAWD variant in question, having an all-electric driving mode. The eAWD Corvette model won’t be the only new variant on offer, as it is also claimed the new Grand Sport will be a hybrid, as will the flagship Zora, which should have upwards of 1.000 hp and 1.322 Nm. +++ 

+++ You’ve likely already heard that Tesla CEO Elon Musk met with Volkswagen boss Herbert DIESS during a recent trip to Germany. We learned rather quickly that Musk got to test drive the all-electric ID.3 on the airport runway. He also got to check out the upcoming ID.4. There was, once again, speculation of a potential VW / Tesla partnership, but Diess has made it clear that that’s not happening. The fact that people assumed this might mean some sort of cooperation does make sense. It’s not often that a CEO allows another CEO to drive a competing car and to see a product ahead of its official reveal. Usually, automakers hire someone or even purchase a car to benchmark it. However, while Musk is not likely to benchmark Volkswagen’s EVs, the German automaker has looked to Tesla’s vehicles as guidance. In fact, Diess shared that he also got to drive the Tesla Model Y, which he calls a reference for Volkswagen in many ways: “Of course I also tested a Tesla Model Y – with my colleague Frank Welsch. This car is for us in many aspects (not in all!) a reference: user experience, updatability, driving features, performance of the top of the range models, charging network, range”. Diess went on to say that the Model Y, much like the ID.3, has a major advantage since it’s built as an EV from the ground up. Unlike other automakers, Tesla and VW aren’t building electric vehicles on an ICE platform, though VW did in the past. Diess says other automakers won’t be able to produce the best EVs if they continue to rely on petrol-car platforms. +++ 

+++ GENERAL MOTORS is working on a number of electric vehicles including the Cadillac Lyriq and Hummer pickup. While we already know a bit about them, the company has revealed the upcoming models will have a nearly wireless battery management system (wBMS). While that doesn’t sound too exciting, GM said the system should speed electric vehicle development as it means engineers won’t have to “develop specific communications systems or redesign complex wiring schemes for each new vehicle”. The wBMS also can also receive over-the-air updates and this means new features can be added over time. While the system isn’t completely wireless, it reduces the amount of wiring in the batteries by up to 90 %. This helps to reduce weight while also freeing up for space which can be used for increasing battery capacity. Besides those benefits, the wBMS will help “balance chemistry within the individual battery cell groups for optimal performance”, It can also perform real-time battery health checks and “refocus the network of modules and sensors as needed” to help safeguard battery health. When the battery is ready to be retried from vehicle use, the wBMS allows for easy repurposing in secondary applications such as a power storage bank. As GM explained, “When the wireless packs are capacity-reduced to the point where they are no longer ideal for optimum vehicle performance, but still functional as consistent power supplies, they can be combined with other wireless battery packs to form clean power generators. This can be done without a redesign or overhaul of the battery management system traditionally required in second-life usage”. The wireless battery monitoring system will be standard on electric vehicles with Ultium batteries, and GM’s executive director of global electrification and battery systems, Kent Helfrich, said: “The wireless system represents the epitome of Ultium’s configurability and should help GM build profitable EVs at scale”. +++ 

+++ GORDON MURRAY AUTOMOTIVE unveiled the T.50 earlier this year, and the company is already envisioning future models besides the recently announced T.50s. Founder Gordon Murray said “I’d like the next car to be a little bit more conventional in architecture, and even more usable”. He went on to say the vehicle would be exciting, but not as extreme as the T.50. As he explained, that’s the company’s halo car and he doesn’t want future models to take away from it. While he didn’t go into specifics, Murray did drop a few hints. He said GMA models will be the lightest and best engineered vehicles in their segment as well as the best to drive. However, they won’t necessarily be the fastest or most powerful. Murray described horsepower wars as “madness” and said the problem with chasing specs is that you’re eventually “going to get beaten”. He went on to say people remember great cars such as the McLaren F1, not how much horsepower it had. While some people will probably be disappointed that GMA won’t be chasing high horsepower ratings, Murray said future models would be more accessible than the T.50 and T.50s. That’s a good thing as the T.50 cost €2.6 million (without taxes), and is now sold out, while the T.50s will set you back €3.4 million. It remains unclear when GMA’s next car will be introduced, but the T.50 won’t go into production until 2022.  The T.50s will follow shortly thereafter in early 2023. +++ 

+++ Hyundai’s luxury brand GENESIS has unveiled the partially facelifted version of its G70 sedan ahead of its release next month. The new version features a wide and deep grille and quad headlamps, as seen in the brand’s latest lineup including the flagship G80 midsize sedan and the GV80 SUV. +++ 

+++ Maserati has revealed plans for a new midsize premium crossover, which will slot into the company’s line-up beneath the Levante. Called the GRECALE , it will compete against established rivals such as the Porsche Macan and BMW X4 when it reaches the European market in 2022. The Grecale will be built on the same platform as the Alfa Romeo Stelvio, but it’ll be powered by the same twin-turbocharged 3.0-litre V6 engine used in the recently launched MC20 supercar. Performance figures for the SUV are yet to be confirmed, but the Nettuno engine is capable of producing 630 hp and 730 Nm. Like the MC20, Maserati will also offer the Grecale with a pure-electric powertrain. Power and torque figures for the electric model are yet to be confirmed, but Maserati has suggested that the architecture will feature the latest 800 volt technology (like the Porsche Taycan) and support up to 300 kW rapid-charging. The Grecale will also introduce a new badging structure for Maserati. From 2022, all of the company’s pure-electric models will carry the “Folgore” suffix which, rather fittingly, translates from Italian into English as “lightning”. To bridge the gap between the 2 extremes, Maserati will also offer a range of electrified powertrains. Again, specifications are unconfirmed, but 1 option available to Maserati is the 330 hp 2.0-litre mild-hybrid petrol engine from the Ghibli, whose mounting points are compatible with the Stelvio’s platform. Maserati has set  a number of targets for the Grecale; the company claims it will have the greatest top speed of any SUV in its class, while also being the fastest accelerating, best handling and most spacious. Ambitiously, Maserati also plans to go up against the Germans in terms of technology, claiming the Grecale will offer the best in class sound system. The Grecale will feature the usual Maserati styling cues. Up front, there’ll be a broad, slatted radiator grille and vented wings. The SUV’s rear looks akin to the Levante’s with a similarly shaped tailgate, diffuser and quad-exit exhaust system. Maserati’s teaser for the new Grecale follows the company’s recent announcement on its product strategy. The brand says it will introduce 13 new cars over the next 3 years, 7 of which will be unveiled before 2022. Maserati’s revamped range will also include a host of new hybrid models and a replacement for the Gran Turismo. +++ 

+++ The forthcoming HUMMER electric vehicle will feature a ‘Crab Mode’ when it hits the market. The car manufacturer has provided no details about this feature other than sharing a single image of the Crab Mode badge. This image was posted across social media with the tagline “Real revolutionaries forge their own direction”. What will Crab Mode entail? Some media outlets suggest that it will be similar to the Tank Turn feature of the upcoming Rivian R1T and R1S that allows the electric vehicles to spin on their own axis, much like what a tank with tracks can do. Others believe General Motors’s Crab Mode will work alongside a 4-wheel steering system that will allow the Hummer EV to drive diagonally, much like how a crab walks. While a lot of mystery surrounds the driving model, we shouldn’t have to wait too long to find out more as GM is expected to unveil the Hummer EV in the coming months before it hits the market in the fall of 2021. GM has previously confirmed the vehicle will have an electric powertrain pumping out 1.000 hp and 15.574 Nm, reportedly enough to send the truck to 60 mph (96 km/h) in as little as 3 seconds. I still don’t know how many electric motors the Hummer EV will have, but most reports point towards it featuring either 2 or 3 motors. It’s also unconfirmed how large the battery pack of the vehicle will be. With that being said, GM has previously said the batteries it is developing will have capacities ranging from 50 kWh to 200 kWh. +++ 

+++ HYUNDAI said that it will launch a global “Hydrogen to you” campaign starting in Europe to promote sustainable energy hydrogen with its fuel cell vehicle Nexo. The automaker said the campaign will promote its leadership in hydrogen fuel cell technology, sustainable future mobility and the establishment of hydrogen ecosystem via video and social media from this month until next August. The “Hydrogen to you” campaign is aimed at professionals in the automotive, mobility and tech areas as well as influencers in music, fashion and photo sector. Working with Hyundai in the campaign are German professionals, including tech YouTuber AlexiBexi, future mobility journalist Don Dahlmann, Mobilegeeks founder Nicole Scott and automotive influencer JP Kraemer. Other influencers include fashion model Toni Dreher-Adenuga, science YouTuber Jacob Beautemps, architectural photographer, Konrad Langer and designer Peggy Gou. Germany currently has more than 60 hydrogen charging stations, and plans to supply 400 charging stations and 270.000 hydrogen cars by 2023 years through an aggressive hydrogen-friendly policy. Hyundai plans to expand its “Hydrogen to you” campaign to major global cities in Asia and North America in 2021 so that more customers can experience Nexo. Nexo sold 4.987 units last year, ranking first in the global market for hydrogen-powered vehicles. Hyundai plans to increase annual sales of hydrogen-powered vehicles to 110.000 units by 2025 and establish an annual production system of 500.000 hydrogen-powered vehicles by 2030. Hyundai said that it is launching the campaign this month, starting in Berlin, and it will go on for a year. Hyundai wants to promote “sustainable future mobility and the establishment of a hydrogen ecosystem via video and social media”. It will expand the campaign to Asia and North America next year. +++ 

+++ LAMBORGHINI has celebrated an important production milestone with the 10.000th Aventador assembled in Sant’Agata Bolognese. The milestone model is an SVJ Roadster, finished in Grigio Acheso (grey) over a Rosso Mimir (red) interior, and will be heading to Thailand. Packing a naturally aspirated 6.5-liter V12, which is good for 770 hp and 720 Nm in this version of the flagship supercar, the Aventador SVJ Roadster comes with a 7-speed gearbox and all-wheel drive. It does the 0-100 km/h in 2.9 seconds and can max out at over 350 km/h. The Aventador’s story began in 2011, when the 700 hp LP700-4 entered production. The fixed-roof model was followed by the Roadster version in November of 2012, which came with 2 carbon fiber removable sections, each one weighing less than 6 kg, and redesigned rear pillars to provide the proper support to the detachable roof. Earlier that year, the stunning Aventador J was shown to the world in Geneva. The one-off speedster had 700 hp available on tap and a maximum speed of more than 300 km/h. The saga continued with the Aventador S in 2016, with aerodynamic enhancements, redesigned suspension and more power (740 hp) produced by the V12. In 2018, the Aventador SVJ broke cover with more upgrades and set a lap record for production cars on the Nurburgring Nordschleife, after lapping the 26.6 km long course in 6 minutes and 44.97 seconds. The Super Veloce Jota (SVJ) was limited to 900 units, while production of the SVJ 63, which paid homage to the company’s founding in 1963, was limited to 63 units for the Coupe and 63 for the Roadster. The Aventador was also turned into an art car last year, with the project being dubbed the Aventador S by Skyler Grey. +++ 

+++ MASERATI has outlined its bold revival plan, with 13 new models (including battery electric variants of each) due by the end of 2024 as the firm seeks to re-establish itself as a luxury sports car brand. The revival plan began with the launch of the new MC20 supercar, which will serve as a halo model for the long-running Italian brand. Launched with a 630 hp twin-turbo V6 engine, the model will also gain a full electric variant in 2022, and every Maserati launched from now on will feature an electrified version. Maserati’s fully electric models will start to arrive in 2022 and will all be branded Folgore, meaning thunderbolt in Italian. All the EVs will have a three-motor set-up, with 1 motor on the front axle and 2 on the rear. That will enable all-wheel-drive and torque vectoring, with power able to be adjusted to each axle depending on traction. The EV system will use 800 Volt technology enabling charging rates of up to 300 kW, with silicon carbide inverters. Used in Formula 1 and Formula E powertrains, Maserati claims it will allow for more efficient running and longer range. The model blitz will begin when the MC20 goes on sale next year. It will be followed by the firm’s Grecale, based heavily on sister firm Alfa Romeo’s Stelvio. The new GranTurismo and GranCabrio will also launch next year, with the full electric versions of both coming in 2022. They will be engineered in Modena and built at the company’s Turin production plant. The electric versions of the MC20 and Grecale will also arrive that year. By 2023, an all-new Quattroporte will arrive with combustion and full electric variants. It will be followed by the next-generation Levante, again with both combustion and EV powertrains. The company expects SUVs to make up to 70 % of sales by 2025, at which point it will offer an electrified version of every one of its models. By 2025, the average age of its line-up should be less than 2 years old. Maserati also plans to expand its customisation options through a new Fuoriserie programme, which will see a new “car tailoring” shop created at its Modena headquarters. Customers will be able to hand-craft their cars from a choice of 3 basic collections, across the entire model range. +++ 

+++ When Maserati unveiled the MC20 earlier this week, the company confirmed plans for an electric variant. However, they didn’t say much about the upcoming model. That’s changing today as Maserati’s upcoming range of electric vehicles will be dubbed Folgore which is Italian for “thunder”. There’s no word on specifications at this point, but the MC20 Folgore will “absolutely be more powerful” than the standard model which has a twin-turbo 3.0-liter V6 engine that produces 630 hp and 730 Nm. It enables the car to run from 0-100 km/h in less than 2.9 seconds, before hitting a top speed in excess of 325 km/h. Furthermore, the MC20 Folgore is slated to have a 300 kW fast charging capability and a lithium-ion battery pack that is mounted behind the firewall for “weight distribution reasons”. While the MC20 Folgore will be the company’s electric halo car, it won’t be their first EV. That honor will go to upcoming GranTurismo as the MC20 Folgore will debut sometime after the MC20 Convertible as a 2023 model. That’s a ways off, but it appears the MC20 Folgore will feature unique styling to improve aerodynamics and help distance it from the standard model. As Maserati’s head of design, Klaus Busse, explained “We are trying to avoid unnecessary air openings and air outlets, in contrast to some of our competitors that seem to depend on them to convey a message”. +++ 

+++ MCLAREN has put its Woking headquarters up for sale in an attempt to strengthen its balance sheet against the ongoing impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. The property, which is one of the world’s most iconic motorsport HQs, has been in McLaren’s hands since it was built in 2004, but now the British firm has instructed property agent Colliers to begin marketing a sale-and-leaseback for €225 million. The Woking HQ comprises 3 buildings: the original Stirling Prize-shortlisted McLaren Technology Centre, the newer McLaren Production Centre, which is used primarily for manufacturing McLaren Automotive road cars, and the McLaren Thought Leadership Centre. All 3 buildings are part of the proposed sale-and-leaseback. Should a buyer be found, McLaren will lose ownership of the prestigious property. However, as per the terms of the offer, it would remain at the Woking site, leasing the property back from the buyer over a period of years. A McLaren spokesperson told that the company is yet to confirm a final price for the property but is expecting offers “in excess of €225 million”. McLaren expects the HQ to be sold by the end of this financial year. “The potential sale and leaseback of our global headquarters and the appointment of banks to advise us on a debt restructuring and equity raise are part of the comprehensive refinancing strategy that we announced earlier this year”, a McLaren spokesperson told. “Building on the shorter-term measures that we put in place over the summer, these initiatives will deliver a stronger balance sheet and ensure that McLaren Group has a sustainable platform for long-term growth and investment”. The sale is McLaren’s latest bid to improve its cash flows in response to the coronavirus pandemic, which has severely affected its revenues. In May, it cut 1.200 jobs (more than a quarter of its workforce) across its Applied, Automotive and Racing divisions. It also sought to borrow up to €300 million against its classic car collection and Woking HQ, securing a €170 million loan from the National Bank of Bahrain. “This is undoubtedly a challenging time for our company and particularly our people, but we plan to emerge as an efficient, sustainable business with a clear course for returning to growth”, said McLaren Group executive chairman Paul Walsh. “McLaren Applied has also already refocused to strategically prioritise proven, high-growth revenue streams”. McLaren cited the cancellation of motorsport events, the suspension of manufacturing, the shortage of car sales globally and reduced demand for technology solutions, all driven by the Covid-19 crisis, as the cause of its troubles. +++ 

+++ The ‘ NEW CAR SMELL ’ is on its way out, as regulatory bodies turn their attention to airborne chemicals emitted by plastics, glues, textiles and other materials that make up car interiors, pressuring manufacturers to adopt purer, odourless alternatives. 8 substances that commonly diffuse from car interiors, particularly in the early stages of cars’ lives, have been identified as having an adverse effect on occupants. Dubbed volatile organic compounds (VOCs), they are: acetaldehyde, acrolein, benzene, ethylbenzene, formaldehyde, styrene, toluene and xylene. Their scents can induce allergy-like reactions in some people, such as eye irritation, sneezing, dizziness, shortness of breath, fatigue, nausea and headaches, and their strength varies with the car’s exposure to heat and light. “It doesn’t just evaporate and then disappear”, said Nick Molden, CEO of testing company Emissions Analytics. “It will evaporate into the cabin and then, in the evening, when it cools down, it will be reabsorbed by the surfaces. And it will re-evaporate again the next day, so when you mix it all up in a sort of VOC soup, then expose it to sunlight, you basically have a biosphere of VOCs, which can last quite a long time”. Symptoms are reported most frequently in Asia. A 2005 survey of 800 new car buyers by South Korea’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport found that 51.5 % experienced at least one sensation of what it termed ‘sick car syndrome’, leading the country to establish local standards for VOCs in 2007. Similar initiatives exist in Japan and Russia. Interior smell is consistently cited as one of the biggest complaints, if not the biggest, among new car buyers in Chinese JD Power owner satisfaction surveys, and China introduced its voluntary GB/T 27630-2011 “guideline for air quality assessment of passenger cars” in 2012, which covers testing methods and maximum interior emissions. This is due to become mandatory for M1-class vehicles (passenger models with up to 8 seats) in July 2021, forcing manufacturers to replace existing materials with inodorous equivalents if they are to continue operating in the world’s largest new car market. The United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) has been monitoring the issue since November 2014 and updated its guidance on car interior air quality standards and testing in June. Although not yet adopted by any country, this offers a framework for governments keen to introduce regulation and, if widely implemented, would create consistency across international markets. Known as Mutual Resolution Three, it “will encourage the reduced use of materials, and chemicals that can be harmful to humans and the increased use of emission-friendly materials, improving the air quality in the passenger cabin”. According to Molden, people should notice nothing more than “a less smelly car”, although there may be some quiet price rises as firms pass on the cost of new materials. “They will require all of their suppliers to test swatches of carpet, bits of leather etc and be able to evidence that they meet these regulations”, he said. “Then they have to type-approve to make sure that it still meets the limits when you stick it all together”. +++ 

+++ NISSAN has stepped up its teaser campaign for the upcoming Z sports car, with a new video previewing its engine note and confirming it will arrive with a manual transmission. The 33-second video seemingly confirms the presence of a V6 powertrain, likely a twin-turbocharged unit expected to produce around 400 hp. The clip also revealed several other small details about the long-awaited successor to the 370Z, including the redesigned ‘Z’ logo, LED headlights and distinctive alloy wheels, which are shod in ‘Nissan Z’-branded rubber. Little else of the Z Proto, which is set to be officially revealed on the 16th of September, has been made official. The Japanese firm previously announced that the Z Proto will preview the new model that’s due in 2021. The production version of the car is set to use the 400Z title. +++ 

+++ The whole world currently bets SOLID STATE BATTERIES will be a revolution in energy storage. Some bet even their own money on that, such as Volkswagen and Bill Gates are doing with QuantumScape. But there’s a man that begs to disagree: Gene Berdichevsky. If you are not familiar with the name, he was the engineer in charge of the Roadster battery pack. After leaving Tesla, he started Sila Nanotechnologies and said SSBs are a “false hope”. I know this because of a white paper he released with the other co-founder of Sila Nanotechnologies, Gleb Yushin. In that document, both men also predict that the future lies in lithium-ion. They believe it will reach a price of $50/kWh in the next 5 to 10 years. That would happen with the help of 2 new kinds of cathodes, based either on metal fluoride or sulfur. The white paper says that pairing them with silicon anode may lead to the $50/kWh price by 2030 and $30/kWh by 2040. Also, according to the paper, solid-state batteries face several technical difficulties that would be very challenging to overcome. Apart from dendrite formation, their solid electrolytes would be prone to micro-cracking, for example. There is also an issue with the investments currently being made. All battery factories currently being built aim to manufacture regular lithium-ion batteries. Solid-state cells would probably require different machinery and building technics that would demand more investments should they prove to work. In other words, as disruptive as lithium-ion cells were to legacy automakers and their investments in internal combustion engines, solid-state batteries would also represent a massive disruption on the investments currently made on regular lithium-ion batteries. Both authors say they would be glad to be wrong about these predictions for the sake of the electric car revolution, but are they? The discussion they raise is very relevant, especially if no company presents a feasible solid-state battery as soon as possible. +++ 

+++ It would appear that TESLA plans on exporting Model 3 cars built at the carmaker’s Shanghai plant to markets such as Europe, according to people familiar with the matter. Those individuals claim that these China-built Model 3s will enter production in Q4 of this year, and that their target markets include not just Europe, but also Singapore, Australia and New Zealand. Shipments could start either by the end of 2020 or in early 2021. Tesla also wants to ramp up production in China as competition in the space intensifies: local rival BYD already has a strong footing in the world’s largest car market. As for Europe, where EV sales have more than doubled between January to July of this year (compared to 2019), Tesla will face major competition from the Volkswagen Group, Polestar / Volvo and Mercedes-Benz. The EV-maker is of course also building a factory near Berlin, in Germany, with Elon Musk targeting a mid-2021 production start, which is highly ambitious. In China, Tesla currently moves around 11.000 units per month, all domestically sold. By comparison, rivals such as NIO are averaging just 3.500 cars. Meanwhile, markets such as Singapore, Australia and New Zealand have trailed both Europe and China in EV adoption, and should present a larger challenge for Tesla, who might need to make some changes to its assembly line in Shanghai in order to target these right-hand drive countries. +++ 

+++ Hyundai will soon reveal the next-generation TUCSON . The teaser campaign is already in full swing, with photos showing the model receiving a substantial and stunning redesign. However, the design is just one part of the next-gen Tucson’s enticing equation. A new report allegedly reveals the output for both the upcoming Tucson N Line and the full-blown N model. According to the report, the next-generation Tucson N will sport a turbocharged 2.5-litre 4-cylinder engine that’ll make 295 hp and 420 Nm. The less-powerful N Line will feature a hybrid powertrain, utilising the brand’s 1.6-litre four-cylinder. The combined output is 230 hp and 350 Nm. The report also reveals the regular Tucson will feature a non-hybrid 1.6-litre making 180 hp and 264 Nm. It’s not clear if there’ll be other engines. The teaser campaign has revealed much of the crossover’s exterior design with the lighting elements at the front and rear drawing the most attention. Hyundai also teased the interior, though they’re renderings rather than actual photos. However, we can see that it’s packed with technology. There is a digital instrument cluster, while the large, 10.25-inch infotainment display appears to feature a flying buttress design. The automaker will make the crossover in two wheelbase lengths: a long version for the US, China and South Korea, and a shorter wheelbase version for Europe and the Middle East. I don’t know if Hyundai will reveal the entire Tucson at once or roll out the standard model, but I hope we will get all the details soon. Hyundai has an attractive product on its hands, and a sporty, nearly 300 hp version sounds fun. +++

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