0:29 Geneva Buzz: Trade War Worries
1:03 BMW M8 Gran Coupe
1:20 Honda CR-V Refresh
1:53 At Aston, Lagonda Means Electric
3:15 Land Rover’s Gigantic Coupe
3:52 Porsche’s Mission E CUV
5:11 Mercedes Uses Digital Light
5:46 Toyota Brings Back the Supra
6:15 Nissan’s Radical Formula E
On today’s show… the buzz on the floor at Geneva is all about a trade war… Porsche fires another warning shot at Tesla with an electric crossover… and Land Rover explores whether two doors are better than four. All that and more coming right up on Autoline Daily.
This is Autoline Daily the show for enthusiasts of the automotive industry.
GENEVA BUZZ: TRADE WAR WORRIES
The Geneva auto show is going on right now and we’ve got a lot of new products to show you. But even though the cars should be the stars, Bloomberg reports that all that is being overshadowed by talk about a possible trade war. President Trump threatened to raise import tariffs on European cars if the EU retaliates against new US tariffs on imported steel and aluminum.And then there’s all the uncertainty around NAFTA and Brexit. Put it all together and automakers are deeply worried about the impact on their business.
BMW M8 GRAN COUPE
OK, now to the show. BMW revealed the Concept M8 Gran Coupe. The company didn’t reveal any details about its powertrain or technology because it’s just a showcase of the car’s future design direction. BMW plans to introduce the production version next year.
HONDA CR-V REFRESH
Honda introduced the European version of the CR-V. The new model is longer and wider than the outgoing model and it has the option for seven seats for the first time. Two powertrains are offered, a 1.5L gasoline engine that can be mated to a CVT or a six-speed manual. And a hybrid version, that features a 2.0L gasoline engine combined with two electric motors. The gasoline model goes on sale in Europe this fall while the hybrid won’t be available until early next year.
AT ASTON, LAGONDA MEANS ELECTRIC
Aston Martin is creating a new brand for its electric vehicles called Lagonda. And it gave a hint at what the models will look like with the Lagonda Vision Concept. It’s been designed to use solid-state batteries that will provide a range up to 400 miles and its equipped with Level 4 autonomous driving. The company plans to start producing Lagonda models in 2021.
Why in the world would someone buy a gigantic SUV with only two doors? That’s coming up next.
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LAND ROVER’S GIGANTIC COUPE
Automakers are constantly exploring for new market niches and Land Rover decided it ought to roll the dice with a 2-door version of its giant Range Rover. Removing two doors does give it a nice long look with appealing proportions. It’s actually a 4-seater with beautifully quilted seats that come in a number of different color combinations. It’s powered by a supercharged V8 with 557 horsepower. Called the SV Coupe it will be hand-built by Land Rover’s Special Vehicle Operations and it’s priced at $296,000 for the US market.
PORSCHE’S MISSION E CUV
And since crossovers are what people want, Porsche unveiled the Mission E Cross Turismo, which is a CUV version of its Mission E electric car. It looks like they tacked on the rear end of the Panamera. The 600 horsepower, all-wheel-drive four seater has design cues to make it look off-road ready. Note the protection on the wheel well arches, on the rocker panels, and the pseudo skid-plates front and rear. The interior is beautifully crafted to be clean looking, yet not as sparse as a Tesla. Thanks to Porsche’s 800-volt electric architecture, the Cross Turismo can get 250 miles of range in only 15 minutes. But that’s if you can find any of Porsche’s special charging stations that use liquid cooled cables to they don’t melt. Good luck finding one of those stations. None of them have been built yet.
Coming up next, Nissan unveils a radically different design for Formula E.
MERCEDES USES DIGITAL LIGHT
We’ve seen concepts for headlights that can project images on the ground, but Mercedes will actually be bringing it to market. Each lamp has over one million micro-reflectors and Mercedes will use the images to help communicate with the driver. The lights are able show weather conditions, like a snowflake when it’s snowing, give navigation directions with arrows or even warn of construction ahead. The technology, called DIGITAL LIGHT will only be available on select Mercedes-Maybach models, so you know the system is still crazy expensive.
TOYOTA BRINGS BACK THE SUPRA
Toyota teased a new racing concept recently and now we’re getting our first look at the GR Supra Racing Concept. As with previous Supra models, it’s a front engine, rear drive layout and Toyota says the concept demonstrates its commitment to bringing the Supra back to the market. Even though this is a race car, you can imagine what a production version will look like by removing the massive splitter, fender flares, rear wing and diffuser.
NISSAN’S RADICAL FORMULA E
And speaking of race cars, Nissan showed off what its first car in the Formula E racing series will look like. And the real story here is how radically different the cars will look for the 5th season. As Alfonso Albaisa, head of global design said the first time he saw the car, it looks “like an EV-powered supersonic bird in flight.” The cars also feature an entirely new battery and powertrain package, which provides more power and range and gets rid of the need to swap into a new car in the middle of a race. The 5th season is expected to start in December of this year.
And with that we wrap up today’s show. Thanks for watching and we’ll be right back here again tomorrow.
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John McElroy is an influential thought leader in the automotive industry. He is a journalist, lecturer, commentator and entrepreneur. He created “Autoline Daily,” the first industry webcast of industry news and analysis.