0:32 Elon Musk Hires Help to Take Tesla Private
0:59 August Car Sales Expected to Be Up
1:20 Open Wheel Racing Returns to Australia
2:16 BMW Reveals Production Z4
2:41 Infiniti Prototype 10 Concept
3:17 Audi Unveils PB-18 e-Tron
4:29 Jaguar to Build Classic Electric E-Types
5:33 Why We Hate Warning Labels
On today’s show….Elon Musk takes a huge step forward in his quest to take Tesla private…man are there a lot of cool concept cars making their debut at the Pebble Beach Concours this weekend…and we’ll tell you how much we hate all the warning labels that you’ll find on today’s cars. All that and more coming right up on Autoline Daily.
This is Autoline Daily the show for enthusiasts of the automotive industry.
ELON MUSK HIRES HELP TO TAKE TESLA PRIVATE
There’s been a lot of skepticism over whether or not Elon Musk will be able to take Tesla private. But he’s putting together a team to make it happen. Last week, he revealed Goldman Sachs and private equity firm will be advisers. And Bloomberg reports Elon also just hired Morgan Stanley to assist in the process as well. This is a pretty big development and indicates Elon is not fooling around about taking Tesla private.
AUGUST CAR SALES EXPECTED TO BE UP
Car sales in the U.S. are expected to be up once again this month. WardsAuto forecasts that automakers will sell 1.5 million vehicles in August, which is a 2.6% gain compared to a year ago, on a daily selling rate basis. And the SAAR is expected to hit a healthy 17 million units.
OPEN WHEEL RACING RETURNS TO AUSTRALIA
Open wheel racing is returning to Australia with an IndyCar like series. The vehicles will feature a new FIA-approved chassis, a carbon fiber monocoque, and a halo to protect the drivers head. The cars will be powered by a Ford 5.0L V8 engine that cranks out 560 horsepower. The new series kicks off next year but the teams, drivers and schedule are yet to be announced.
Pebble Beach is supposed to be a concours that features classic cars. But automakers have turned it into one of the best auto shows for concept cars in the world. That’s coming up.
BMW REVEALS PRODUCTION Z4
Man is there a lot of action at the Pebble Beach Concours that takes place this weekend. Last year, BMW unveiled a concept version of the Z4 and this year the company is showing off the production model, but more specifically the M version. The convertible two-seater is powered by an updated version of its 3.0L inline 6-cylinder engine, which is able to go from 0 to 60 MPH in just 4.4 seconds.
INFINITI PROTOTYPE 10 CONCEPT
Infiniti has been teasing its Prototype 10 concept car all month long, but if finally made its public debut at Pebble. This is the first concept car from Infiniti lead by Karim Habib, INFINITI’s new Executive Design Director. The car is an electric, open-wheel monoposto, in other words a single-seater. Habib says it’s a retro-roadster that evokes the spirit of early Californian speedsters. He also says this is a design exercise that hints at the future form language that we’ll see in all Infiniti’s.
AUDI UNVEILS PB 18 E-TRON
The electric monoposto theme continues at Pebble with Audi unveiling the PB 18 e-Tron concept, with PB standing for Pebble Beach. Not only does it have a strikingly eye-grabbing design, it boasts some pretty good numbers. How does 764 horsepower and a curb weight of 3,417 lbs. (1,550 kg) sound to you? That’s about one horsepower for every four and a half pounds, which is a terrific power-to-weight ratio. Note how the grille design doubles as a functional radiator inlet. In other words, the grille is not just stuck on the front end. It’s flanked by air intakes for air curtains and super thin headlamps. This is a drive by wire car, with the steering, throttle and brakes all electronically operated. And that allows the driver’s position to be quickly adjusted for either left-hand steering, or for a central location like in a race car. Here are some more stats. A 95-kilowatt hour battery pack, 311 miles of driving range, and 15 minutes to fully recharge with an 800-volt charger.
JAGUAR TO BUILD CLASSIC ELECTRIC E-TYPES
And later this evening at Pebble, Jaguar will unveil this electric version of the classic E-Type. The concept gets a 40-kWh pack, that delivers 170 miles of range. LED headlamps, new instrumentation and an optional touchscreen are the only nods to the modern world. The electric powertrain is about the same weight and size as the original engine and transmission, so it rides, drives and brakes almost like the original. Jaguar is actually going to build and sell a limited number of these cars, and when we learn more about when and for how much, we’ll let you know.
Man do I hate all the warning labels that come on new cars. And coming up next, I’ll tell you how much I hate them.
WHY WE HATE WARNING LABELS
It’s just amazing how many warning labels are on cars these days. When you open the driver’s door, you’ll typically see two or three warning labels on the door jamb. In fact, you’ll see warning labels on every door jamb. And there’s warning labels on both sun visors.
If you pop the hood you’ll see about four warning labels stuck on the inside of it. Then there’s a warning label on the brake reservoir, one on the fuse box, one on the fan shroud, and another on the radiator cap.
I wonder if anyone has ever read any of these warning labels. And I wonder if they have made any improvement in safety whatsoever. Seems to me this is more about regulatory overkill than it is about making cars safer.
Anyway, that’s how I see it and we welcome your comments and opinions. But with that we wrap up today’s show, thanks for watching and please join us back again here on Monday.
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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.