AD #3125 – Mercedes EQS Most Aerodynamic Production Car; Top Foreign Brands in China; GM Sues Ford

July 26th, 2021 at 11:37am

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Runtime: 8:50

0:08 GM Recalling Chevy Bolts Over Battery Fires
1:14 U.S. July Car Sales Expected to Drop
1:43 Top Foreign Brands in China
3:07 General Motors Sues Ford Over “BlueCruise” Name
3:57 Mercedes Claims EQS Is Most Aerodynamic Production Car
5:02 BMW Reveals Bike & Scooter Concept
6:32 Rivian Raises Another $2.5 Billion
7:05 Rivian To Open Charging Stations in Tennessee State Parks
7:30 Concours At St. John’s

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45 Comments to “AD #3125 – Mercedes EQS Most Aerodynamic Production Car; Top Foreign Brands in China; GM Sues Ford”

  1. joe Says:

    Ford will find itself wrong by using the word Cruise in it’s EV self driving name.

  2. Albemarle Says:

    How long is the Rivian truck expected to stay in the lot at Tennessee state parks? With their large batteries it would take many hours to get a meaningful charge before someone else could use the charging station. The stations would also be used by regular EVs, Jeeps, Hummers, Lightnings, etc..

  3. MJB Says:

    I know Mercedes’ goal was to achieve the lowest drag coefficient possible with the EQS, but the styling sure is suffering as a result. Whatever they’re going to charge for that car, I would not be happy paying for such an underwhelming design statement. The two-toned paint job tries to help it out, but IMHO just doesn’t work well enough.

  4. MJB Says:

    This trademark violation suit by GM could be a hard one to win. I see their point, but at what point do we eventually run out of commonly used verbs because they have all been trademarked as product names? Will Tom Cruise be named in the lawsuit as well?

  5. Don Sherman Says:

    ‘ The “most aerodynamic production car’ (Mercedes EQS) would have minimal frontal area and no lift at the wheels. You reported nothing regarding those critically important objectives.

  6. Buzzerd Says:

    GM lawsuit sounds very thin. Why waste money on something like this? Kind of stupid in my mind.

  7. Don Sherman Says:

    Noticed the Chrysler Turbine idling at 20,000 rpm at Sunday’s concours. That might have something to do with its abysmal fuel efficiency.

  8. Lambo2015 Says:

    Interesting that BMW is tossing around the E-scooter idea. When I was working at Ford 7 years ago they were trying to develop the same thing. Everyone wants to offer a foldable scooter so you can drive to the city and ride your scooter the last couple miles to your office? Seems like a great concept as long as you are in a state that has the climate for such a thing. Just don’t see too many men or women in suits riding a scooter in the snow to get to work in Detroit. Or even if your in Florida where they get that 20 min shower everyday. Just seems to be a good for California thing.

  9. Lambo2015 Says:

    I’m kind of surprised to hear Rivian is being backed by Ford. Especially as ford just released the Plug-in F-series. Is that just financial backing or more of a partnership and sharing of technology?

  10. wmb Says:

    Personally, IMHO, they should have sacrificed some of the EQS’s aerodynamics, so that they could have maintained the exterior shape and appearance of the original concept. The concept was incredible, but the actual vehicle looks nice, but as others have said, the shape is somewhat awkward. It’s not bad, but it’s just not the greatness that was hoped for with the concept! Could they have done without 10 or 20 miles of range, if that would have meant the could have kept the look of the concept? That being said, I’m sure they will still sell every one they make. That’s because the EQS is a true luxury EV. Tesla’s are not! They sell vehicles at ICE luxury car prices, because the tech is expensive (But this is a good thing, for now Tesla can see what they need to do to truly compete with established luxury brands! Their tech is proven, but it’s now the aesthetics, customer interfaces, as well as quality control they have to get on top of). The Taycan is a EV sport sedan. The e-tron GT may may be the closes BEV to the EQS, but with it being made from the bones of the Taycan, even it doesn’t directly compete with the EQS. Next up will be the Lucid Air, the BMW i7 and the new Jaguar XJ (…want a minute…was that the sound of a toilet flushing regarding the new XJ?) To see what they bring to the luxury BEV table digital showroom. When competition is good, the consumer is the winner!

    #9.) I think Ford is hoping that Rivian stock takes office like Tesla whrn their vehicles go on sell. Also, Rivian’s truck is a tweaner, between the Ranger and the F-150, so not direct competition. I believe the R1T is also projected to have more electric range, costs more and is more directed to the outdoorsy type, while the F-150 is more the everyman or woman.

  11. Rey Says:

    GM has run out of ideas, and with the Bolt recall costing money needs to sue, everybody get in line now, GM going to sue everybody who has Cruise control in their car,Tom Cruise better change his name,GM wants a few million$$$

  12. Kevin A Says:

    Why does the EQS have mirrors? I thought everyone was going with low profile cameras to improve the aero.

  13. Kevin A Says:

    What percent of Bolts have caught fire? How does that percent compare to ICE cars, even Pinto’s?

  14. Kevin A Says:

    I like the BMW e scooter. It would be a great way to get home when your BMW has problems. It reminds me of the joke about Chevy pickup trucks having heated tailgates as an option. That way, your hands don’t get cold when the truck breaks in the winter and you have to push it.

  15. JWH Says:

    Agree that the word cruise is part of the generic public vocabulary for many years & do not believe that GM has a strong case.

  16. Druff Says:

    WOW is that beautiful, looking at the Mercedes it looks like the future may finally be here. Auto makers have been teasing these looks for years. Now if they would only get the charging network up and running in this country, count me in.

  17. Kate McLeod Says:

    Ford couldn’t come up with another word to replace cruise. They have a dictionary, right? It should know better.

  18. XA351GT Says:

    How many ICE vehicles are on the highways today? Not just new cars but total? So only 100 seems very small compared to 5 EVs and the total number of them produced so far . What are the %s Throwing numbers like 100 vs 5 with nothing to relate it to is misleading. Also it doesn’t usually take 7 hours to put a out a ICE vehicle and there is no chance of electrocution so there is that. Elephant in the room is EVs are still not ready for prime time.

  19. Jase Says:

    Tesla claims that the refreshed Model S is still more aerodynamic than this new Mercedes when you account for the wheels in motion.

  20. Drew Says:

    Frivolous. GM needs to revamp its legal department. They sued Stellantis (then FCA) over the UAW scandal and lost. Now they want to stake claim to a term that has been genetically used in “the” industry for over 50 years. I suppose their lawyers are Buckeye grads… :)

  21. Sean Wagner Says:

    Holy moly. A Stout Scarab! With a sterling morsel of automotive history thrown in for good measure.

    7 Don – Idling at 20’000 rpm seems like, well, a lot. Modern turbochargers can go up to 100’000, but they’re pretty small. It’s probably impossible to find original bearings in good condition for such an exotic engine.

  22. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I took a short ride in one of those turbine cars in 1964 when a Chrysler interviwer had one at Purdue. The impressive thing about it was the way it looked. From my memory, too much whistling noise made its way into the cabin.

  23. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I don’t know how the Bolt’s fire rate compares to other EVs, but when I searched for data on the topic a few weeks ago, I found that the overall fire rate for ICE cars is substantially higher than for EVs, but the fire death rate for EVs is higher. I speculated that the high EV death rate might be because of people being “locked in” their burning cars, at least with Teslas, which have electric door latches and less-than-convenient emergency mechanical releases in some cases.

  24. Sean Wagner Says:

    23 Kit – I found out that Tesla voluntarily publishes safety data, including fires. They’re very much less frequent than for ICEs. Here:

    Scroll down for the vehicle fire data.

  25. Kit Gerhart Says:

    24 Tesla’s data should be pretty good compared to other reported data from police agencies, etc.

    This has me thinking about a recent case in Florida where a young guy was sentenced to prison for 20+ years for killing a woman and her kid walking across a street, while racing a friend with his Mustang at 100 mph on a beachside street. He apparent got the car as an HS graduation present a few days before. A newspaper article about it said in the few days he had the car, the onboard data logging saw numerous cases of very high speed driving, including 162 mph on I-75. Does anyone here know if data logging from newer cars is readily available to courts, law enforcement, etc., or does it vary by state/municipality? It appears that the data may have been an important factor in the results of that trial.

  26. WineGeek Says:

    Sean your comments on ICE fires is out of place. The ICEs have been around for many, many years. and usually the one that ignites is old, poorly maintained and it ignites because of these factors. The Bolt is a brand new vehicle and it is spontaneously combusting due to a badly designed or executed battery. Comparing the two types of vehicles is out of place and most people will understand as adoption gains steam and there are less fires percentage wise.

  27. George Ricci Says:

    20. Gm is still pursuing the case 6th Circuit court and they are suing ex-UAW and ex-board director Joseph Ashton.

  28. XA351GT Says:

    When tesla has 250 Million cars in service then we can compare them to ICE vehicles. It’s apples and oranges at this point.

  29. Drew Says:

    @25 – Kit, the data is the property of the vehicle owner. Vehicle owner permission or a court order is required before an OEM can retrieve the data in most circumstances (OEM’s may retrieve “anonymous“ data for service and quality efforts).

  30. Kit Gerhart Says:

    29 The court must have ordered access to the data. The whole story makes you wonder why parents would buy that car for their 18 year old kid, even if they could afford to. It must have been something beyond a regular Mustang GT to be going 162, even briefly, on a busy interstate.

  31. Drew Says:

    @30 – A simple case of More Money Than Brains. Eleven years ago, my over-achieving 20-year old earned a 2010 Mustang V6 Pony Package… not a GT. My kids learned that they were rewarded for their achievements, and punished for transgressions (15 months later, she learned how to use public transportation).

  32. cwolf Says:

    The fire comparisons made can be twisted a million ways and are meaningless. Of course ICE fires are more frequent due to vast numbers and there is no reported reason; as far as you know it could be a result of a roll over and started by a downed electrical line. There is no causes listed. But the Bolts have caught fire several times after the initial blaze. It can be reasoned the other EVs are no better or safer.
    Does anyone know the outcome of the Bolt owners who’s car caught fire. I believe GM didn’t replace the car or offer a fair value. Rather they let the insurance companies screw the owners so GM could get off the hook.
    Until there are better laws protecting EV owners from manufacturer defects, I believe you have to have a screw loose to buy one.

  33. Ernest Packer Says:

    GM may have a basis for a law suite. As a retired Ford employee, we were not allowed to use the name “cruise control”. We were told it was a trademark of GM’s. For decades until 2013 Ford used the name “speed control”. With the word “cruise” tied to GM in the past GM may still believe that word belongs to them.

  34. Kit Gerhart Says:

    32 According to this, spontaneous Bolt fires aren’t covered by warranty. Hard to believe. Is that the case with Tesla and Porsche?

  35. Earl Says:

    1, 4 If GM takes Ford to court will they bring in that clown from Texas Ted Cruz. He’ll come up with some crazy testimony.

  36. Sean Wagner Says:

    32 cwolf – Actually, the data on vehicle fires is very good. After doing some research as a layman, I’m impressed. I wish an expert say in vehicle insurance would weigh in.

    Valid comparisons can absolutely be made, and Teslas as a percentage of their marque burn about ten times less often [!] than ICE cars.

    What this does not take into account is the age of the fleet, for instance.

    I’ve written before that sometimes, what doesn’t happen merits attention, and while Tesla had an awful time learning how to mass produce the Model 3, it turned out to be remarkably free of serious flaws in general.

    Compare that to all the recalls for vehicle fires that have plagued BMW or Honda or now gm.
    At least the Bolt’s current travails are largely confined to North America. The car has become almost unusable in its current restricted state.

  37. Lambo2015 Says:

    Considering that GM’s suggestion to owners to not park in the garage when charging. Tells me that the fires are a manufacturers defect that occurs while charging. I don’t know of any ICE vehicles that just spontaneously combust while parked in the garage or even at the gas station. Sure people have created fires at gas pumps from static charges but its something they have done not the car just randomly bursting into flames. Same goes for most of the other ICE fires. As already mentioned poor maintenance and oily build ups from leaks not fixed (owners doing) cause many ICE fires.
    That’s the biggest difference here when comparing the level of fires from ICE and EVs. Take away all the fires due to collisions and poor maintenance and you’ll find ICEs probably have a very low amounts of fires from just normal use. However the EVs are catching fire from no reason of the owner. Not poor maintenance or years of use but most are fairly new vehicles and without warning.
    If you really want a better comparison look at ICE vs EVs that caught fire within the first 3 years of service and not due to collision. That would give you a better picture of whats really going on.

  38. cwolf Says:

    Sean, while there is good data on vehicle fires, the conclusions to correct the flaw are often weak and attempts to overcome them are not as ambitious as the drive to keep increasing production of these same vehicles.
    Most manufacturers have built in safety measures to shut off the battery after an accident or when the air bag is deployed. However, this action prevents the doors from unlocking. Trying to use the Jaws-of-Life to remove the door could kill the responder if the main power cord is severed. I think correcting these issues is just as important as the automatic shut-off. Actually, each of these issues should have been apart of the initial design.
    There is little doubt in my mind EV insurance rates will dramaticlly increase in the future. When the main fuse is blown within the battery pack, the repair shop has no alternative but to return the battery to the manufacturer for repair or replacement. Some battery replacement costs can be close to the cars value! so what does the owner do? Better yet, how will the insurance companies react?
    There remain too many issues with EV’s for them to become prime time. (IMO)

  39. cwolf Says:

    Don’t EV’s still have a 12V battery? If it were a seperate system, the doors could automatically be made to unlock after an accident occures.
    It could also be used as a backup power system to activate a secondary fire extinguishing system if needed.

  40. Kit Gerhart Says:

    36 I know of one ICE vehicle that spontaneously combusted. It was a coworker’s Geo Prism, or maybe the earlier version with a different name. It had a manual transmission and was parked in gear. From what the closest witness(s) saw, it spontaneously started cranking the engine, driving it up to a curb which, I think, stalled the starter, rather than running over the curb. After a while, an under-hood fire erupted. I don’t know exactly what wires or other electrical parts got hot enough to start a fire, but something started a fire that included gasoline.

  41. Kit Gerhart Says:

    39 Most EVs have a 12 volt battery, which is still lead-acid. I’ve read that someone, maybe Hyundai, is using a section of the “big” battery for the 12v to run lights, control electronics, etc.

  42. Lambo2015 Says:

    40 Again that sounds like a maintenance issue. They had a short somewhere that caused the starter to engage. Could have been created from something as simple as driving over a curb and damaging the starter wires. When ICE vehicles have just burst into flames it is typically an electrical short. Had another student in HS put his own car stereo in and ran wires under the seat. They got worn and ignited some paper under the seat burnt the car up in the school parking lot.

    The problem is a battery especially from an EV has an enormous amount of energy and they generate lots of heat while recharging or quickly discharging. Melt an insulator and there you go.


    42) The way I interpret the Geo Prism example, an electrical fault started a fire which then caused a secondary ignition to the fuel source. So if we can’t keep simple electrical systems in control on a Geo Prism(Toyota Corolla), Why do we expect that to not happen on a fully electric vehicle? Is there some magic that makes BEV electric wiring somehow safer than the wiring of a Toyota Corolla?

    Now, the interesting thing would be, did the owner of the Geo install an aftermarket remote starter system as was so popular at that time? The description sounds like an aftermarket remote start system was added if there was not a short in the starting circuit. I could see one of those old cheap aftermarket systems randomly starting a car. That was an extremely common complaint back in those days due to poor wiring by the installers and/or poor quality from those cheap systems. Should not have been installed on a manual transmission car, but a lot of installers back then looked the other way or the owner installed it themselves(which would increase the likelihood that you would get random start faults). If that was the case, then once again the fire was due to the actions of the owner, not the car just spontaneously combusting by itself.

  44. Kit Gerhart Says:

    42,43 This happened years ago, when the car was only a few years old. I don’t know if there was any aftermarket stuff on it, but knowing the owner I’d be a little surprise if there was.

  45. Ed Says:

    The Mercedes EQS … looks like a big civic with two tone paint.