AD #2700 – GM May Revive Hummer as All-Electric Brand, Ford Botches Explorer Launch, Audi Adds A6 Plug-In Hybrid

October 21st, 2019 at 11:50am

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Runtime: 8:40

0:07 Ford Botches Explorer Launch
1:00 UAW Deal Helps GM Save Billions
1:57 Chevy Bolt Gets Increased Range
2:27 Karma Revero Impressions
3:17 Hyundai Creates Custom Cruise Control Using AI
4:02 PSA Electrifies Compact Vans
4:47 GM May Revive Hummer as All-Electric Brand
6:35 Audi Adds A6 Plug-In Hybrid
7:30 Conductive Ink Used for Heated Seats

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61 Comments to “AD #2700 – GM May Revive Hummer as All-Electric Brand, Ford Botches Explorer Launch, Audi Adds A6 Plug-In Hybrid”

  1. Larry D. Says:

    A. I doubt that heated armrests will become more popular, because they are unnecessary, since most people driving in cold weather always have some jacket, anorak, coat, or blazer on. I never felt I had cold elbows, ever, in my 42 years in the snowbelt. For the same reason, seat backs are also less important to heat than seat bottoms.

    B. GM and every other dirty ICE maker needs to have ALL their EVs under a NEW division which will ONLY make EVs. In the case of GM, using the Hummer name will not fit well, however, since they are associated with the worst guzzlers.

  2. Larry D. Says:

    C. “So what did GM get out of the deal? It retained the right to close an assembly plant..”

    Seriously? Will you ever buy a share of any publicly held corporation where it has to obtain the permission of its hugely overpaid, poorly performing (SEE YOUR FORD Chicago plant story!) workers to open or close a plant? I sure never will.

    D. The Audi hybrid looks GORGEOUS, and the 33 mile range is long enough to ensure it will meet its goal, which is to drive on pure EV when in the downtown areas of Europe’s major cities, which areas are always rather limited and not a humongous area like that formed by LA and its 40 or so satellite cities.

  3. Terrence Quinn Says:

    Didn’t GM sell the Hummer name and design to a Chinese company way back when?

  4. Lambo2015 Says:

    Bolt at $37,495 which looks just like the spark at $13,220(which both sound like EVs) means you’ll save enough gas in 22 years to pay for the difference in sticker price. Great buy!

    Id take a heated steering wheel or cooled seats over armrest any day. Don’t see the need for heated armrests either.

    Also agree that GM should create a division for the EVs alone but they wont for a couple reasons. First being each division has ICE vehicles that help pay for the EVs. and two each division will want their version of EV as they become more popular.

  5. Larry D. Says:

    John, I took your invitation and just watched the entire Karma Video.

    You did not say anything about the ridiculously tiny interior room, especially in the clausrtrophobic rear seat. IF this was a two-door coupe, I would not mind as much, but 4 doors? For children only?

    The new grille is much worse than the old ‘toothy’ one. The old Fisker logo, however, with its blues and reds and whites, looked too similar with the BMW based upscale ALPINA logo.

    But the killer is the noise from the ‘launch’ at the end of the video. I thought there was something very wrong with the engine when I heard it first early in the video, but when I heard it again I assumed this has to be its normal (but still god-awful) sound. Ferrari has nothing to worry about here…

  6. Larry D. Says:

    4 exactly. I forgot to mention heated steering wheel, which I had in the 740 but not in the Merc diesel. In contrast, the seat bottom in the BMW had just one setting while the Merc has three (high med and low heat).

  7. Larry D. Says:

    4 spot on on the Bolt too, except maybe it is SOnic hatch based, not the even smaller Spark. Still, the SoOnic hatch would be less than half the Bolt’s price, even loaded.

  8. ChuckGrenci Says:

    Heated seats nice but I’d trade for a heated steering wheel. Some/a lot of people may not need one but this old guy with perpetual cold hands surely appreciated a heated ‘wheel’ on my last couple of Cadillacs. Sadly my latest Cadillac, a CT6 has the seats but not the wheel.

    Hummer could still work, especially as an electric; to borrow Mazda’s rotary catch phrase and paraphrase it a bit: a piston engine goes boing, boing and an electric goes Hmmmmm.

    The Audi hybrid looked IMO about twenty years old (styling wise). As do a lot of the VW’s of late.

    Too bad for Ford’s launch; it appeared that their ad campaign was just about spot-on but if the vehicle has issues that’s not a good thing.

  9. Kit Gerhart Says:

    4 I assume you weren’t serious about comparing the Bolt and Spark, other than price. The Bolt is much bigger, roomier, and quicker. It’s still too expensive, though.

    Now that I’m in a generally warm place in the winter, I don’t care about heated seats, steering wheel, arm rests, or anything else, except basic cabin heat.

    Using Hummer as an EV brand would be stupid, kind of like electric Harley-Davidson bikes. The brand images, and EVness don’t fit at all.

    The A6 plug-in hybrid looks nice, except for the price, especially if it gets hybrid-like mpg after going the 33 electric miles.

  10. Larry D. Says:

    9 let’s be clear: The Bolt is NOT VOlt sized, regardless if they came up with some creative accounting to make it have more cargo room or other irrelevant feature, as if it was a delivery van. The Volt-Cruze is Civic-Corolla sized, and the Bolt is SONIC sized, a smaller car like the Honda Fit or the Yaris. This is what it is based on, it has an extremely short length, around 160 ” or so, that should NOT be good on long trips.

  11. Larry D. Says:

    9 and furthermore, when he said you pay it back in 20 years, Lambo was too generous, because he omitted the time value of money, inflation etc. Payback time is OK if it is one or two years, but when the Bolt costs TWICE what the Sonic Hatch costs, you will actually NEVER EVER get paid back.

  12. Kit Gerhart Says:

    7 I looked up Bolt, Spark, and Sonic hatch on the CR site. The Bolt is 21 inches longer than the Spark, but only 5 inches longer than the Sonic hatch. The Spark and Sonic are much closer in cabin space. It looks like the Sonic hatch packaging is not very good with that truncated rear end.

    Of course, if you want an ICE Chevy, with more room than any of those, a base Equinox is about $13K cheaper than a Bolt, and significantly bigger, and roomier.

  13. Buzzerd Says:

    I have heated/cooled seats and steering wheel in my truck and love them. Armrest? meh.. doesn’t seem that necessary.
    After Hours was another good show with maximum Bob.

  14. Kit Gerhart Says:

    The Bolt is 64 inches long. It is apparently very efficiently packaged, having almost as much rear seat legroom and cargo space as a Camry, which is 28 inches longer. The Bolt is 6 inches taller, though, which helps with packaging, as with the Honda Fit which is roomy, for its length.

  15. Bob White Says:

    I was considering an Aviator but now that I know that quality control is a basketcase, I will look elsewhere.

  16. Kit Gerhart Says:

    15 Wait a couple years, and maybe it will be ok.

  17. Larry D. Says:

    15 Save your $ and buy its Ford clone the Explorer, after they fix it. Personally, I would not touch either with a ten foot pole, or any other breadvan on stilts SUV-Crossover, for that matter.

  18. Lambo2015 Says:

    12 Sorry I recalculated using the price of the Sonic and its fuel economy numbers and you would save enough gas in 19 years instead of 22. As Larry said that’s without considering the interest of the $22,075 difference your paying up front. Anyway around it EVs are not about saving money. Your doing something for the environment or you just like EVs for the performance/ride. Currently they do not offer any cost savings.

  19. Barry T Says:

    John, thank you for keeping us up-to-date on automotive technology advances! I thought the innovation for heated seats was pretty cool… (no pun). I don’t know how people get off track and start wringing their hands about whether or not armrests should be heated LOL

  20. Larry D. Says:

    14 instead of choosing the most unpopular vehicle type in the USA (the Bolt is between a hatch and a small mivinan),

    GM product planners could have saved billions in development and offered an all-electric Volt, which would be far more mainstream. Who wants to pay $40k for a small delivery van?

  21. Lambo2015 Says:

    8 Yeah I own a Cadillac CTS and a Ram and both have heated seats while the Ram is the one with heated steering wheel and mirrors. Kind of crazy the difference from a 2012 and 2018 when it comes to electronics. I have more features on the RAM which is not even a loaded version. Just bighorn addition.

  22. Steve Hen Says:

    Unreal that the workers botched a new product that’s seen so much promotional value on its start … Ranger … unfortunately the buyers will be the ones that suffer even though Ford supposedly sent them elsewhere for repairs.

  23. Lambo2015 Says:

    19 Barry I don’t think anyone was off topic as the segment closed with the statement that this conductive ink would be perfect for heated arm rests which are becoming more popular.
    I believe people were just saying that just because it can become easier to do doesn’t always mean it should be done. There was a segment a while back about heated seatbelts too. Which I suppose all these things might be expected in a high end luxury brand where you get things you may not even need. But for mainstream vehicles it shows most people could care less about heated arm rests.

  24. Larry D. Says:

    19 How in the world are we “off topic”
    for suggesting that THE TOPIC, Heated armtests, is an IDIOTIC idea that is wasteful and unnecessary??????

    You may want to consult your dictionary, search for the meaning of “off topic”.

  25. Sean McElroy Says:

    @Terrence #3 – A Chinese company, Sichuan Tengzhong Heavy Industrial Machinery Company, said it was going to buy Hummer in 2009, but withdrew its offer. GM still owns the right to the Hummer brand.

  26. Sean McElroy Says:

    Not too long ago I sat in an interior concept that had heating elements behind several panels (the glove box door, center console & door panel). Along with a heated seat, it created a warmth that enveloped the passenger. I found it quite nice. I wonder if a heated arm rest would be like a poor mans version of this? Used more for a radiated heat. As we all know, with ICE vehicles, the heated seats and steering wheel warm up much faster than air coming out of the vents.

  27. MJB Says:

    #1. Sorry Larry D., but I’m calling you out on your conclusion that heated seats are unnecessary. You’re just plain wrong there buddy – ;)

    They’re no more unnecessary than key-less entry or key-less start. The dead of winter is not the only time that heated seats are useful. I use mine the moment temps are low enough to give me chills. Which is long before I’m donning a full-length down-filled parka.

    btw, cooled seats are equally as useful – especially on long road trips in the summer months. Even with the AC on, there’s usually a need to keep the bottom side cool after you’ve been sitting more than an hour…

  28. Lambo2015 Says:

    The Hummer pictured today, had something interesting. I noticed it had a rear suicide door. Did GM consider a throwback to the original Blazer with a removable hardtop and seating for 5. Looks like the front seats still had a permanent top but a full removable top would be better and bring the Wrangler some competition.
    If not for seating not sure what the rear doors to a bed would be for.

  29. Lambo2015 Says:

    27 Absolutely agree. Anyone who has traveled with a female in the car knows the importance of the dual climate control. There has been more than a few times I have had the A/C on while my female passenger will have her heated seat on. They’re always cold.

  30. Carl Says:

    Bring back the Hummer. But as a electric vehicle – that’s insanity and a deal killer. Those things are heavy (with a gas engine). Make it electric and you are looking at what a 8,000 SUV with a range of maybe 100 real life miles. Forget about going off road, where you going to charge the thing. One last thing, can you imagine how much more it would cost to go full electric with the motors and battery pack. Ouch!

  31. Larry D. Says:

    MJB: instead of FALSE CHARGES, SHOW ME where I EVER said that heated SEATS are not needed????
    I NEVER said that and I use them ALL THE TIME and I miss the heated STEERING wheel in my 740Il that my Mercs do not have.

    MY POINT was that heated ARMRESTS are unnecessary, not any of the above.


  32. Lambo2015 Says:

    30 If they brought back the Hummer in similar size of a wrangler it would not be 8000 lbs.

    Plus being electric they could put in a drive system like this link and provide incredible ground clearance.

  33. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I now spend the winter where it is warm, so I have no desire for heated seats, steering wheels, arm rests, etc. When living up north, I had a car or two with heated seats, and they were nice, especially in a car with leather or vinyl seats. With cloth, the seats warm up very quickly, just from sitting on them.

    I understand the manufacturers this stuff standard on a lot of mid and upper trim vehicles, because it doesn’t cost much more to put it on all of them. Also, it would be good to have the heated stuff when the vehicle is re-sold, even if the original owner is in south Florida.

    As far as heated steering wheels, I never saw the point. I would be wearing gloves if it’s cold enough for the steering wheel to freeze my hands. Now a cooled steering wheel…. That would be nice when the car is in the sun on a hot day, if it could be pre-cooled without wasting too much energy.

  34. Larry D. Says:

    33 where it’s warm and humid, even if it’s just warm, I would like my seats to be cooled as well. I have never had cooled seats and don’t know if they are as effective as heated seat bottoms and steering wheels (which both are excellent, and better than heating the cabin with a cold start, which takes forever).

  35. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Hummer going away was good riddance of vehicles designed to make it less safe for other road users, with their 3 foot high bumpers, so they would do the most harm to occupants of other vehicles in a crash.

  36. Larry D. Says:

    Upscale cars, even used ones from 2007 or later (S class) also have massage-capable driver’s and passenger seats, maybe all seats for some models. I haven’t tried those either. I have not had any permanent back pain issues yet, so I don’t need them, but need is one thing and want is another, I may want them because they are fun.

  37. Kit Gerhart Says:

    33 I’ve never had cooled seats, but I’d probably like them. Does anyone here know how they work? Do they cool a liquid going through tubes under the seat cover, using the regular A/C system, or something else?

  38. ChuckGrenci Says:

    There are two types of cooled seats. One is a cooled thermocouple that actually cools the seat surface and the other way to cool your ‘rear end’ is with ventilated seats that drawn air through the ventilated seats (basically using your sweat to cool you through accelerated evaporation. I’ve had ventilated and they work but have heard of the alternate cooling method that have also been reported to cool well.

  39. Lambo2015 Says:

    37 My wife has cooled seats in her Jeep grand Cherokee. The seating material is perforated and there is a small fan under the seat which pulls air near an AC duct and circulates it up from the bottom of the seat and yes is only in the cushion not the back. Its very nice again when the female in the car is cold and has the temperature too high I will turn the seat cooler on and stay comfortable.

  40. Kit Gerhart Says:

    38,39 Thanks for the info. You can tell I didn’t know much about cooled seats.

  41. Buzzerd Says:

    @33- heated steering wheel because when it’s minus 30 and you grab a piece of metal wrap with vinyl they don’t make gloves warm enough. ;)

  42. Bobby T Says:

    I love my heated steering wheel. I prefer to drive without gloves, so it is nice to have even in Oct in Michigan. I liked it better in my 2017 Explorer because if I turn it on, then the next time I start the car it comes on. On my 2019 Flex I have to turn it on each time I restart. Same with the heated seats

  43. Larry D. Says:

    I wonder, heated steering wheel being such a simple AND useful contraption, if one cannot find some aftermarket gadget that heats a wheel that came without heating from the factory.

  44. Kit Gerhart Says:

    41,42 It never got -30 where I was up north, and I always wore gloves when it was cold enough to freeze my hand to the door handle or steering wheel, at least until the cabin heat gets going well. I never found myself wanting a heated steering wheel, but people want them, so it makes sense to offer them.

    43 They could probably make heated steering wheel covers that plug into the lighter socket, but the power cord would need to be configured and installed properly to avoid it getting tangled when you turn the wheel.


    26) Exactly correct. A heated armrest would not make much sense for an ICE car because the engine heat does an excellent job getting the cabin up to temp. Thus this would be a luxury item on an ICE.

    An electric car has extensive use of radiative heat sources because they do not have a huge heater in the form of a gas engine with a heater core. In this application it would be useful as an additional radiative heat source and not necessarily a luxury feature even though it would likely be marketed as one.

  46. Lambo2015 Says:

    42 My Ram has a setting that allows the heated seats and wheel to automatically come on if the temp is below (I think 40F). Ram was thinking cause having things automatic sometimes is nice but I like the flexability to turn them off too. It can also be set to automatically turn on when using the remote starter.

  47. Larry D. Says:

    44 People do not want them irrationally, they like to have heated steering wheels because they work and they are very convenient. Many times you don’t want to wear gloves when you drive, esp thick winter gloves that make your fingers less precise when you have to press or turn tiny buttons etc. But even with the gloves on, it feels much better with the heat on the wheel. When it is too hot, you just turn it off. I doubt this feature adds more than $10-20 to the COST of building any car,so it is also a very cost-effective accessory. Further, it adds little weight on the car, if this is a consideration.

  48. Larry D. Says:

    Last Sat morning I had to scrape the ice from my windshield, then left the car out in the sun until 11 AM, and when I took it to do my weekly shopping, it was like a furnace! In 4 short hours space. I really wanted to use the AC but it sounded ridiculous. So I opened some windows halfway (due to the sun I could not use the sunroof) and finally I just used the fan without the A/C in the third of about 9 -10 speeds.

  49. Larry D. Says:

    8 The Audi looks NOTHING like Audis of 20 years ago. Top end luxury cars have strong styling cues so you cannot confuse them with any other make, maybe this confused you.

    On the contrary, it is the Chevy SILVERADO that looks exactly like that of 20 years ago, and that fact has severely hit its sales.

    As for VWs, they have EXCELLENT, tasteful exterior styling, but some of them (esp the Passat built in TN, even the upscale version I once rented) have very cheap interiors.

  50. Larry D. Says:

    8 BTW for decades Audis were reputed to have the best interiors in the Auto business, and their exterior styling was great too, especially when they finally lengthened the wheelbases. FEW cars look as Gorgeous as the A5 coupe, and the sedans are up there too. AND This is NOT my personal opinion only, it is also the consensus of the indstry.

  51. Kit Gerhart Says:

    47 The electric feature I would have liked when up north, would have been an electrically heated windshield. When it was very cold, even when driving off with a clean windshield, it would sometimes frost up after driving a few hundred feet, so I couldn’t see out. Ford offered heated windshields in Tauruses for a while, and maybe they are offered in some cars now, but they should be available as an option on all vehicles sold in cold climates.


    51) It is still offered on Ford vehicles in Europe. Maybe there is some FMVSS requirement which prevents them from being used in cars in the USA. I don’t really know. It sure was nice on a cold winter morning in Europe though.

    I know that the Taurus windshield was super expensive to replace back then. You can no longer get this windshield if you needed it in a Taurus of that vintage. If you could find one, the cost of the replacement would be an insurance write off LOL.

  53. cwolf Says:

    I had an “86″ Taurus with an “insta-clear” windshield. It worked great for Michigan winters and began defrosting every inch of the window in about a minute. Its gold tint was a give-away.
    I think the 86 was Taurus’s first year and was one of our favorite cars mainly because of the seats and ride. The seats were wider and cushier back then. A couple years later they were not padded and hard as a rock.

  54. Kit Gerhart Says:

    52 I just saw that VW also offers heated windshields, in Europe.

  55. Larry D. Says:

    51 That’s very true. All cars have heated/defrost rear window but I rarely waited for it to work, I would scrape the ice manually.

    Surprisingly, none that I know have heated/defrost windshields. I wonder why, maybe the lines on the glass would irritate the driver/passenger.

  56. Larry D. Says:

    I checked and there is a ton of aftermarket heated steering wheel covers that cost as low as $32 and up to $119 or more.

  57. Lambo2015 Says:

    55 Maybe this printed ink that was touted as being good for arm rests would be good to defrost windsheild’s, if thin enough or transparent enough.
    49 Your right the Audi’s look like nothing (nothing special) Beyond the TT and the R8 Audi doesn’t have anything that stands out. As for VW they are even worse. Tasteful exteriors? I guess beauty is in the eye of the beholder cause VW has nothing attractive in their lineup that I could find. If one passed me on the road I would probably not even notice it. None of which would make me do a double take.

  58. Lambo2015 Says:

    The heated wheels will become more popular as the touch screens continue to be more popular, and they don’t work very well with a glove on.
    I see more and more makers offering gloves with the ability to use a touch screen in the tip of the gloves mainly because of cell phones but they are typically the thin ones.

  59. MJB Says:


    Yeah, you got me, Larry. I misread your post.

    But you need to ease up with your over-heated, overly dogmatic responses. You seem to always be on a hair trigger. What is your problem, man? Get a grip. You take yourself way too seriously.

  60. Lambo2015 Says:

    59 Anyone can become a self-proclaimed expert as there is no criteria for posting other than having access to a computer.

    Many folks try to be exactly the opposite of what they are in real life, especially when they hate their real life. They feel they are lacking something and need to bully others to get a feeling of superiority. They are rude and inconsiderate and act in a way they never would in person because its easy to hide behind a screen miles away, unknown to anyone of their true identity. MJB don’t bother trying to offer advice its been done many many times and this is just who he is. Its like having the AD daily troll to chime in and get people riled up.

  61. JWH Says:

    Many opinions on heated seats, cooled seats, heated armrests, heated steering wheel, which is OK. We all vary in what we prefer, & also where we live.
    Happen to be in SE Michigan, & I cannot remember the last time I wore a coat driving a car. Someone was nice enough to invent heaters for automobiles. That being said, & remembering it’s personal preference for me, I’ve had heated seats since 1996 & while I do not turn them when ambient is over 40F, heated seats are on my list for new vehicles. We’ve got a 2016 & 2018 with cooled seats which as #38 stated, I believe both of them use a fan to blow air through the seat. I’ve used them to make sure they function, however, do not energize them very often. The 2018 has a heated steering wheel, & when in the depths of winter is nice, although I do turn it off after 5 to 10 minutes (becomes too warm for me). We did not specifically select heated steering wheel – it was part of option package we wanted. I can’t imagine heated arm rests ever being on my shopping list.