AD #1259 – Infiniti Developing New EV, Special-Edition Fiat 500, 2015 Legacy Concept

November 15th, 2013 at 11:52am

Runtime: 6:45

- Infiniti Developing New EV
- DOJ Expects More Supplier Fines
- Special-Edition Fiat 500
- 2015 Legacy Concept
- Barn Find Revealed
- Autoline This Week Preview

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Hello and welcome to a brand new Autoline Daily. I’m Sean McElroy filling in for John today. But now let’s look at today’s top stories.

Infiniti is planning on developing a new battery electric car that will debut in the 2018-2020 timeframe. About 6 months ago Infiniti’s new CEO Johan de Nysschen cancelled plans to build the LE, an electric concept car that was trotted out at several auto shows. But its overly curvaceous and busy design did not exactly generate rave reviews. And its range and performance was not what de Nysschen wanted, either. “We need an Infiniti electric car, not an Infiniti version of the Leaf,” he told Autoline Daily yesterday at a media event for the Q50. But cancelling the LE means Infiniti will not be in the EV segment for at least another 5 years.

Over the past several years the U.S. Justice Department has fined dozens of auto suppliers and sent several executives to prison over a price fixing scheme. But the Detroit News reports that the DOJ isn’t close to being done with the investigation and expects more prosecutions. So far a total of 21 companies and 21 executives have plead guilty and have agreed to pay $1.6 billion in fines. The DOJ says nearly 25 million cars sold in the U.S. over the past decade have been affected by the price-fixing.

2014 marks the 57th anniversary of Fiat’s Nuova Cinquecento, or new 500, and to celebrate the company will offer a special-edition 500 that was inspired by the original. Called the 1957 Edition for the year it was first offered, the car features unique paint colors, 16-inch wheels and interior treatments. It’s still powered by a 1.4 liter MultiAir engine that’s mated to either a 5-speed manual or 6-speed automatic, but it does boast a sport-tuned suspension. The 1957 Edition will take its first bow at the L.A. Auto Show next week and will arrive at dealerships in the Spring of 2014.

And speaking of L.A. debuts, to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the car, Subaru will show off a new 2015 LEGACY CONCEPT. The car gives us a look at future Legacy styling cues with its new hexagonal grille, which is very similar to the one on the teased WRX image. It also gets hawk-eye-like front and rear lighting and a strong character line down its side. No other details were released yet, but we will report on them as soon as they are.

We’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, that the Autoline viewers are some of the most knowledgeable people out there. It took you a matter of moments to sus out the identity of our Barn Find from Las Vegas. As it was pointed out, the car is a customized Kia Optima and the logo on the back is an aftermarket Kia emblem. This particular car happens to be the work of Karbon Koncepts, who claim to be the number one supplier of carbon fiber and performance products for Kia and Hyundai vehicles. Thank you to everyone that participated and if you have a Barn Find of your own, please send it our way to

Coming up next, a peek into the Chinese auto industry.

As most of you know, John visited China last month. In the following clip from Autoline This Week, he asks Dazong Wang from Ophoenix Capital Management about the Chinese automotive industry’s plans to move into global markets.

(The ATW preview is only available in the video version of today’s show.)

Also joining John is Amedeo Felisa, the head of Ferrari and Delphi’s Chief Technology Officer, Jeff Owens, to talk about their operations in China. And as always you can watch that entire episode right now at our website,

But that’s a wrap for today, have a great weekend and please join us again on Monday.

44 Comments to “AD #1259 – Infiniti Developing New EV, Special-Edition Fiat 500, 2015 Legacy Concept”

  1. Bradley Says:

    What!?!? Nothing on the JCVD Volvo commercial. :)

    I especially enjoyed it. YouTube Epic Split if you are curious.

    The Legacy styling is approaching TOTAL ME TOO. If the AWD and Boxer engine remain, I am happy. But I wish the Legacy would downsize. They should have came out with a new Large model as opposed to making the Impreza and Legacy bigger. I suppose if the Justy comes back to fill where the Impreza was 15 years ago…I’d be ok.

    Fiat would sell me one of the actual vintage 500s if they sold it. Ugh, safety and other government laws prohibit that.

  2. ColoradoKid Says:

    WHAT ???

    Nothing on GM selling cars to Iran ????

  3. HtG Says:


    No Ford news to be found today? You’re not even trying, Sean.

  4. C-Tech Says:

    If you actually read the article GM did not sell the cars directly to Iran. It was a long string of shell companies who manuvered this deal. I would not be surprised if you dig hard enough you will find other sanctioned items being smuggled or shipped to wealthy Iranians.

  5. Mike Says:

    The Chinese auto market looks so like a bubble to me. They play by a totally different set of rules i.e. much of their capital machinery is supplied by their government i.e. much of their capital is un-controlled funds borrowed from their local money lenders. i.e. a lot of what they do depends on coal for energy and no pollution considerations apply. You can go on and on; the object is to find away to avoid getting hurt when that house of cards collapses.

  6. C-Tech Says:

    The Truth about cars is sometimes the speculation about cars. Call the agents of S.H.I.E.L.D or X-files, even Harold Finch at Persons of Interest.

  7. Dave Foley Says:

    It still makes me laugh that the DOJ is even going after these companies for fixing prices on their wiring harnesses. Although I’m sure this practice it did cause the price of a car to go up by probably more than just a few bucks, but the net effect to the industry wasn’t to cripple it. The car companies just passed the cost on, and people still bought their stuff.

    Contrast that scenario to how the banks handled the entire mortgage industry. With reckless abandon they pushed products, and wrote mortgages on things that had no reason to be allowed. Talk about immoral. And now the world’s economy is struggling to even find itself. Yet how many bank executives have been charged? None.

    John was right about how the auto industry apparently doesn’t have good enough lobbyists in Washington, but the business to learn from isn’t the oil industry, it’s the banks.

    Dont mind me. I’m just tilting at windmills here.

  8. Chuck Grenci Says:

    #5 Mike
    You might be right (about the Chinese bubble),but I don’t think you are, at least not yet (I am open to correction), but if you are, it is one heck of a very very large bubble. That being said, so when is the bubble so big that it doesn’t matter anymore? Just some of my miscellaneous ramblings.

  9. Bradley Says:

    What!?!? Nothing on the JCVD Volvo commercial. :)

    I especially enjoyed it. YouTube Epic Split if you are curious.

    The Legacy styling is approaching TOTAL ME TOO. If the AWD and Boxer engine remain, I am happy. But I wish the Legacy would downsize. They should have came out with a new Large model as opposed to making the Impreza and Legacy bigger. I suppose if the Justy comes back to fill where the Impreza was 15 years ago…I’d be ok.

    Fiat would sell me one of the actual vintage 500s if they sold it. Ugh, safety and other government laws prohibit that.

    Although I did laugh watching the ATS commercial again..”It’s Armageddon outside”..I guess a bad commercial is worth something.

  10. Bradley Says:


    JCVD and Volvo are at 9 Million hits in over just one day.

    The Cadillac ATS commercial is just shy of 2 million hits in almost one year.

    A bit of humor with a bit of OMG, always makes a good ad.

    Although I did laugh watching the ATS commercial again..”It’s Armageddon outside”..I guess a bad commercial is worth something.

  11. ColoradoKid Says:


    The Truth is … if’n ya digs hard enough is those Camaros are being sold thru GM’s ‘ partner ‘ in crime …. PSA .. with GM’s full knowledge I might add …. But of course .. if’n ya digs just a bit harder you’ll also discover GM is currently spending millions on lobbyists in DC right this very moment … to extend NAFTA trade agreements to include Indochina so’s they can move more For US consumption production to the area ( specifically Vietnam ) to take advantage of the near slave labor wages there

    GM of course being such mighty fine ‘ patriots ‘ and ever so grateful to the US tax payer for bailing them out as well as absorbing what’ll be best case scenario some $10 billion in losses .

    Assuming of course once again … you actually ‘ dig ‘ a little to find out the ‘ truth ‘ ;-)

    FYI ; TTAC though far from perfect has hit it on the nose more often than not as well as scooping every other automotive news on a fair number of occasions on some pretty significant issues I might add .


    Speaking of which …..

    WHAT ??? No TESLA factory fire in the news either this week ???

    Gotta love it . First three TESLA S’s go up in flames – then Musk refuses to initiate a recall – a week after which his factory goes up in flames [ poetic justice ] injuring three employees – this being TESLA’s 2nd major OSHA violation btw – all while the delusional and the ‘ fix ‘ continue to raise TESLA’s stock prices


    #8 Dig a little deeper … Mike’s right on the money

  12. ColoradoKid Says:

    Bradley – 10 – Seriously … would you rather watch JCVD make a bit of a fool of himself on top of some Volvo trucks …. or a bunch of Suburban Urban Hipster wanna be’s pretending to drive a Cadillac ATS fridge fast thru some CGI enhanced exotic locales ?

    Pretty much a no brainer IMO … JCVD hands down !

  13. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Today, I visited a few car dealers “for fun,” and saw a CLA up close for the first time. Basically, I thought it looked really good on the outside, but less so on the inside, at least not $38K worth, which was the sticker of the one in the showroom. To me, the IP and console, etc. of the C250 sitting next to it looked better, but I may be biased, knowing the the C is a real Benz.

    Also, the people at the dealership were pleasant, even though I told them I was wasn’t in the market for a car. I also visited the BMW dealer, and they were also pleasant, and willing to talk about their cars, even though they knew I was just “looking around.”

    Unfortunately, and this will make CK happy, the people at a Chevy dealer I visited were not so pleasant, and tried to sell me something, even though I made it clear that I was not in the market. I emailed Chevy through their web site, and emailed that dealership telling about my experience. It will be interesting to see what responses I get, if any. Dealerships need to make a visit pleasant for anyone who walks in the door, because they don’t know squat about what someone may buy, based on how they look, or what they drive into the lot.

  14. HtG Says:

    I wouldn’t mind seeing GM capitalize on improved relations with Iran. Lots of balls in the air, right now. Who knows, maybe the Company gave the nod to the company, ping-pong style.

  15. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Maybe GM is actually getting something out of the PSA deal, if it is helping them sell more Camaros.

  16. HtG Says:

    Friday night lawsuit!

    EPA has released a proposed rule that would waive the requirement for ethanol to be blended to 15% for 1914. This is a proposed rule that begins a 60 comment period. Check WaPo for the story(on my phone).

  17. HtG Says:

    2014 sorry. I’ve got 1914 on the brain

  18. HtG Says:

    WaPo on EPA proposed rule

    It’s a proposed rule, not final, so expect pitchforks

  19. XA351GT Says:

    Sorry ,but Chinese companies coming over here to me sounds like to me that they can’t do their research so they’ll partner up with a US company copy all the tech. take it home and have the slave labor produce it at near zero cost and then under cut every company that helped them. Sorry ,but any company that gets in bed them deserves to get screwed over.

  20. pedro fernandez Says:

    #19 Welcome to the new world order, my friend!

  21. Bradley Says:


    Yes, and I am sure the JCVD Volvo commercial cost a fraction of the ATS commercial. It’s now at 13.6 Million hits in 3 days.

  22. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Here is info on the Tesla factory “fire.” It was an accident involving aluminum die casting equipment.–finance.html

  23. G.A.Branigan Says:

    Now it’s time for something completely different…kinda:

  24. pedro fernandez Says:

    GA do you think it will work? imagine the efficiency, reliability, durability of a diesel, w/o the high cost of diesel fuel. Sounds too good to be true

  25. Kit Gerhart Says:

    23, It sounds complicated, having both a supercharger and turbo, EGR through the valves, etc., but the diesel efficiency on gas is impressive. I suspect it would need a lot of work to be production ready, but that’s a very interesting concept, at least for the US, with gas being significantly cheaper than diesel fuel.

  26. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Cold starting might be a problem, if it needs hot exhaust for the gasoline to autoignite. Glow plugs, like regular diesels?

  27. C-Tech Says:

    @ #13 I see you got similar treatment that my girlfriend got when she was looking for a new car. She ultimately bought the used BMW X5, but GM did have 2 chances before she made the final decision.

    The JCVD Volvo truck commercial is great.

  28. C-Tech Says:

    @ #23 GA it does not mention if it needs a glow-plug at start up. I do wonder about the long-term costs, especially with both a supercharger and turbocharger. If the cost of Diesel fuel goes down, will it really matter? Could this engine work on natural gas/propane?

  29. Kit Gerhart Says:

    My email to Chevy got their attention. I received a phone call, which I missed, and then an email giving a phone number and extention to call back about my experience. I’ll call them next week, and ser what they have to say.

  30. Kit Gerhart Says:

    28, I’ve read that for an engine to work as a diesel, i.e. achieve autoignition with propane or nat gas, you need to inject a small amout of diesel fuel along with the other fuel.

  31. pedro fernandez Says:

    Kit when I went new car shopping with my sister we went to a Chevy dealer to see the then new Equinox, they were so high up on that car that their asking price for the most basic model was way over her budget, when we told the salesman what we had to work with, he simply walked away w/o a word.

  32. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Chevy dealers in Florida, and for that matter, Toyota dealers, have a problem with knowing how to deal with customers. Do Mercedes and BMW have training programs for sales people? If so, GM and Toyota need to check them out.

  33. pedro fernandez Says:

    From what I’ve seen, it seems that high end brand salesmen have a better retention rate than those who work for lesser brands, I guess if the money is good and you develop a good clientele, word of mouth at the country club, bar or Doctor’s meetings gets you more well-off customers

  34. HtG Says:

    Happy Sunday, Gents. I’ve linked to some photo sets below via Flickr. There’s one set of 26 photos from the recent Concour d’Elegance in Scarsdale,NY, and a set of 4 shots from this morning that compare a Porsche 944 and my shy little Civic against some modern steel. If you first click a set, and then the little box icon near the right side of the page, Flickr will show the pics full size.

  35. pedro fernandez Says:

    HtG, your Civic looks really nice, I wouldn’t even dream to dump it at all, mine has not fared as well, however!

  36. HtG Says:

    Thanks, Pedro. I’ve been lucky. Isn’t it something how similar in size the Civic is to the Mini?

  37. pedro fernandez Says:

    Nah, not really, I’d take the Civic anytime over the Mini or the Miata, that one looks like a toy next to yours.

  38. Htg Says:


    Lap 18 and they just told Vettel to go for distance rather than speed. So I’m going shopping. See ya, Bernie, this ain’t F1.

  39. T. Bejma Says:


    Nice pics HTG. Love the Sabra and the Caddy. That 944 looks in FINE shape. Don’t see too many that nice. Thanks for sharing!

  40. HtG Says:

    39 TB, I talked to the owner of the Sabra. He said the Ford engine made about 85hp and the fiberglass body helped the car weigh only about 1600lbs. I think he said the car was lots of fun to drive. ;)

    Also, of the 170 units made, 120 or so we’re imported to Belgium. The owner didn’t know why that was the case.

    I’m thinking now that I should have sent a pic of the Sabra to Autoline for the barn find segment.

  41. Kit Gerhart Says:

    34, Thanks for the photos. I’m away from home and checked them out on my phone, but they will better on a bigger screen.

  42. Kit Gerhart Says:

    35, 36, 37
    The Civic is probably about 500 pounds lighter than the MINI, even though it would have a lot more cabin space. Nice Civic, even though it’s not the hatch :-)

  43. HtG Says:

    42 Yep, I’d rather have had a hatch. The Mini’s weight ranges from 2535 in base stick to 2712 for auto Cooper S.(higher for JC Works) My Civic is 2460, maybe more with the AC. It’ll be interesting to see how low the next Miata gets.

    Cars sure have gotten big.

  44. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Your Civic is heavier than I realized. I always liked that generation of Civics.