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0:07 Tesla Model S First with EPA-Rated 400 Mile Range
0:46 Highlights of Mary Barra Press Conference
3:09 COVID-19 Could Permanently Change Mobility
4:48 New Bronco Reveal Falls On OJ’s Birthday
5:45 Ford Mustang Mach 1 Back After 17 Year Absence
7:19 Nissan Reveals All-New Rogue
8:43 Lexus IS Refresh More Edgy
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TESLA MODEL S 1ST WITH EPA-RATED 400 MILE RANGE
The Tesla Model S is the first electric vehicle to hit 400 miles on the EPA test. The company announced that all of its Long Range Plus Model S vehicles now have an EPA rated 402 miles of range. Engineers were able to boost the range through mass reduction, aero wheels and tires and increasing the efficiency of the drive unit. Lucid Motors’ Air Sedan, which will launch next year, is also expected to have more than 400 miles of range. So that prompted Tesla to make sure it got there first.
HIGHLIGHTS OF MARY BARRA PRESS CONFERENCE
In a press conference yesterday organized by the Automotive Press Association, GM CEO Mary Barra covered a range of topics that General Motors is dealing with right now. Here are some of the highlights.
Barra says GM is in a leadership position when it comes to taking a stand against racism, but recognizes it needs to do more. GM initiated listening sessions with employees to learn how they perceive their workplace and how the company treats them. And it is surveying employees and using focus groups to measure their awareness of racism, not just within GM, but how they treat suppliers and dealers.
Barra said the Cruise Origin electric autonomous vehicle will launch after the launches of the Hummer and Cadillac Lyric EVs. GM is going to do online reveals using augmented reality for its full-size SUVs and its new lineup of electric vehicles. GM does well in the middle of the U.S., but EV growth is on the coasts, so she sees that as a growth opportunity for GM.
Barra said once a COVID-19 vaccine is available people will want on-demand mobility with no driver in the car. She also said that geofenced autonomous vehicles are a lot closer than most people realize and not just for fleets, but for individual ownership as well. She also said the recovery of the car market will depend on how well people follow CDC guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Barra also addressed accusations by President Trump that he had to use the Defense Production Act to force GM to start manufacturing ventilators. GM had started that process at least a week before the President made that accusation. Barra said there was some confusion at the White House as to what GM was already doing. She said she has since spoken to the President and that everything was resolved.
COVID-19 COULD PERMANENTLY CHANGE MOBILITY
As we’ve reported, more people seem to be ditching mass transit in favor of personal mobility due to COVID-19. But with more people driving individually, that means there will be more traffic. We recently spoke with Annie Chang, the Head of New Mobility at SAE International, who just published a report about how mobility will change due to COVID. And she explained the consequences of more traffic.
Annie Chang, Head of New Mobility, SAE International
“I think that is a very likely scenario unfortunately. And that will further exacerbate all the issues that we have, the externalities related to private vehicles on the road, such as air pollution, traffic congestion and road safety issues. I think that is the fear we’re currently faced with, we meaning the cities, the civil engineers or urban planners. That we are perhaps driving to a “hell” scenario, where we emerge finally from the pandemic only to be locked down by traffic, right? So I think there needs to be a lot of action that needs to take place at this time to nudge the people, the individuals, to select their travel modes with sustainability and safety in mind at the society level.”
You can watch that full interview on our YouTube channel. You can also find a link to the SAE’s full report in today’s transcript or the description box below.
NEW BRONCO REVEAL FALLS ON OJ’S BIRTHDAY
Ford is going to reveal the new Bronco on July 9th, which as it turns out is the birthday of football star OJ Simpson. Twenty six years ago Simpson famously was riding in a white Ford Bronco that was involved in a slow, 60-mile police chase that was televised. The police wanted to arrest Simpson who was accused of murdering his wife. And for anyone who watched that chase or saw news reports about it, that white Ford Bronco is indelibly etched in their minds. So what do you think? Is Ford crazy to launch the new Bronco on OJ’s birthday? Or is it crazy like a fox because of all the publicity that will generate? You can leave your comments below.
MUSTANG MACH 1 BACK AFTER 17 YEAR ABSENCE
The new Mustang Mach 1 is here. Under the hood is a specially calibrated 5.0L V8 that is projected to make 480 horsepower and 420 lb-ft of torque. The engine also features parts from the GT350, like the intake manifolds, oil filter adapter and oil cooler, which increases engine cooling capability. Customers can choose between a Tremec 6-speed manual or a 10-speed automatic with an upgraded torque converter and unique tuning. To improve ride and handling, MagneRide shocks are standard, stiffer sway bars and front springs are fitted to the car and the steering feel is heavier. Fake headlights inside the grille edges is a nod to classic Mach 1s, but the entire front end is optimised for better aerodynamics as well. The belly pan is extended 20 inches rearward compared to the Mustang GT and fitted with underwings and airfoils. A front splitter and rear spoiler improve downforce and when paired with the Handling Package, the Mach 1 has about 150% more downforce than a Mustang GT. To make sure customers feel like they’re in a special Mustang, the Mach 1 comes with a unique instrument panel with aluminum accents, black seats with an accent stripe, new door sill plates, cue ball shifter knob and special badging. The new Mustang Mach 1 hits dealerships in the U.S. and Canada in the spring of next year.
NISSAN REVEALS ALL-NEW ROGUE
Nissan unwrapped the all-new Rogue. Styling is a big departure from the current model, but we wonder if Hyundai designers will be mad that Nissan stole the front end off of the Palisade? Look how the front end is rounded, the lighting elements are separated, there’s a horizontal air inlet below the grille and even their grilles have a similar shape. But Nissan is clearly going for a more upscale look with the Rogue. Note how the overall design is less angular, the body side kickup by the rear door is pushed back, the body lines of the rear extend to edges of the vehicle to accentuate its width and the taillamps are less-bulky and wrap around the sides more. That upscale look carries through to the interior. We dig this two-tone look with diamond stitched seats as well as the black finish on the material around the shifter. Other interior highlights include a 7- or 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, a 9-inch center display screen and head up display, a first for the Rogue. There is only one engine option for the new Rogue in the U.S.; a 2.5L 4-cylinder that makes 181 horsepower and can be mated to front- or all-wheel drive. The new Nissan Rogue goes on sale in the U.S. this fall.
LEXUS IS REFRESH MORE EDGY
And while the Rogue smoothed out its design, the new Lexus IS is more hard edged than before. Note the lines around the headlamps and air vents as well as the lower side character line that kicks up hard to the rear end. The taillamps no longer extend down towards the rear tires, but a light bar across the entire rear end now connects the two together. The car comes standard with a 2.0 L 4-cylinder engine, but a 3.5L V6 in two power outputs, 260 horsepower and 311, is also available. The V6s can be paired with all-wheel drive, otherwise rear-drive is standard. All engines are mated to an 8-speed automatic. There’s new interior trim options and an 8-inch display is standard, but a 10.3-inch screen is available as well. The new Lexus IS hits U.S. dealers this fall.
But that’s it for today, thanks for watching and please join us 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.