0:29 Lamborghini Sales on Fire
0:55 Maserati Unveils High Performance Levante
1:33 Genesis G70 Details
3:05 Honda & Panasonic Test Swappable Batteries
3:40 Tesla Loses $7,500 Tax Credit
4:37 Autonomous Vehicle Fail
5:19 Mercedes Resurrects 1930’s Land Speed Record Car
6:54 Seats About to Become Smart Devices
On today’s show…sales at Lamborghini are on fire…Mercedes rolls out a land speed record car from the 1930’s…and Lear bulks up its technological muscles. All that and more coming right up on Autoline Daily.
This is Autoline Daily the show for enthusiasts of the automotive industry.
LAMBORGHINI SALES ON FIRE
Lamborghini just set a sales record for the first half of the year. It sold 3,327 Huracans and Aventadors, up 11% from a year ago. That’s more cars than it sold for an entire year only 5 years ago. And the future looks bright. Sales of Lambo’s first SUV, the Urus, go on sale this month. We think that Lamborghini is on track to double its sales in the next couple of years.
MASERATI UNVEILS HIGH PERFORMANCE LEVANTE
Speaking of Italian performance, Maserati just unveiled a hot version of the Levante SUV at the Goodwood Festival of Speed. It’s called the GTS. Its 3.8 liter Ferrari twin turbo V8 was tweaked to deliver 550 horsepower and 531 foot-pounds of torque. That gives it a power to weight ratio of only 8.6 pounds per horsepower, which puts it in the super car category. Maserati says it will do 0 to 100 kilometers per hour in only 4.2 seconds. Not bad for an SUV.
GENESIS G70 DETAILS
We just got a chance to test drive the new Genesis G70, and while driving impressions remain under embargo until next week, here are some important details about the car. It sits on a rear drive platform called C2, which is actually a longer wheelbase version of the Kia Stinger which has received rave reviews. Power comes from a 2-liter turbo producing 252 horsepower and 260 pound feet of torque, or a 3.3 liter V6 turbo, producing 365 horsepower and 376 foot pounds. Power is fed through an 8-speed automatic that features rev matching and will hold gear while cornering. Or, rejoice enthusiasts, there is a 6-speed manual available with the two liter. You also get dynamic torque vectoring, launch control and Brembo brakes. And you can completely shut off electronic stability control in Sport mode, which can be a ton of fun on a track. Oh yes, all-wheel-drive is also available. We’ll have more info and driving impressions next week.
Have you seen this wild land speed car that Mercedes made in the 1930’s? That’s coming up next.
HONDA & PANASONIC TEST SWAPPABLE BATTERIES
Honda and Panasonic are teaming up to test electric motorcycles with swappable batteries. They’ll install charging stations at several dozen locations in Indonesia to charge Honda’s Mobile Power Pack. You just grab one of those fully-charged ones anytime you need it. This is a perfect application of swappable batteries because they’re small enough to store a bunch of them at the charging stations and swap them out easily. Tesla and a company called Better Place tried swappable batteries with cars, but those efforts never really caught on because it’s just too complicated.
TESLA LOSES $7,500 TAX CREDIT
Speaking of Tesla, it just delivered its 200,000th car in the U.S., which means its $7,500 federal tax credits will start to run out. But they don’t go away immediately. Buyers who get their Tesla by December 31st of this year get the full incentive. However, every six months after that, the tax credit gets cut in half. For example, buyers who receive their Tesla in the first six months in 2019 will receive a $3,750 and then it drops to $1,875. GM is also closing in on 200,000 EV sales, it sold 184,000 through June, so it faces the same issue. This will put the companies at a competitive disadvantage to their competitors, and that’s why Tesla and GM are lobbying Congress to extend the full credit. But so far, no luck.
AUTONOMOUS VEHICLE FAIL
If you ever wondered if autonomous cars really need all those sensors sticking out of them here’s proof that they do. Siemens along with the UK’s Cranfield University decided to enter, a 1965 Ford Mustang in Goodwood’s Hillclimb. But instead of using all the usual AV technology, the team created a 3D map of the course using a drone and data from a vehicle equipped with a laser. So all the Mustang had to do was drive on a predetermined path. But the result is giving autonomous cars a bad name. The Mustang inched along, weaving back and forth, and would have hit a hay bale or two if not for the human behind the wheel. It looked more like a drunk driver.
MERCEDES RESURRECTS 1930’s LAND SPEED RECORD CAR
In the 1930’s famous race car driver Hans Stuck wanted to break the land speed record of 595 km/h or about 370 MPH. Along with a board member from Daimler, an air force general and an engineer named Ferdinand Porsche they created the Mercedes-Benz T 80. It had a tubular spaceframe with the panels molded over to create a very aerodynamic body that even features small wings off the side. But that’s all that’s small. Total length is more than 8 meters or over 26 feet. Each of the 6 wheels, yes 6, are more than a meter or nearly 4 feet in diameter. And the massive V12 engine can produce up to 3,500 horsepower. The team set its sights on a speed of 650 km/h or about 400 MPH. But after 4 years of development, World War II broke out and the vehicle was never used. But the T 80 lives on in a permanent exhibition at the Mercedes-Benz Museum.
Coming up next, Lear explains why the seats in your car are about to become a lot more intelligent.
SEATS ABOUT TO BECOME SMART DEVICES
The auto industry is undergoing massive technological change. That’s why Lear, a traditional seat supplier, is building up its technical capabilities to keep pace with the change. On Autoline This Week, Ray Scott, the CEO of Lear, describes how the company is turning car seats into smart devices.
(The ATW preview is only available in the video version of today’s show.)
For more about Lear, you can watch that entire discussion right now on our website, Autoline.tv or you can find it on our YouTube channel.
But that’s it for today, thanks for watching and have a great weekend.
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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.