Listen to “AD #2995 – GM May Expand the Corvette Lineup; Ford Teases Bronco Pickup; How to Understand EPA EV Ratings” on Spreaker.
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0:08 GM May Expand the Corvette Lineup
0:48 Ford Teases Bronco Pickup
1:12 ZF Jumps into Lidar Business
1:40 Toyota Wants to Combine Race Skills with Automated Driving
3:20 Kia Continues to Revamp the Brand
4:22 Nissan Unveils Wild Van Concept
4:59 How to Understand EPA EV Ratings
6:35 Palisade A Smart Addition to Hyundai’s Lineup
7:33 Sandy Munro Bullish On 3-Wheel Electric Cars
This is Autoline Daily, the show dedicated to enthusiasts of the global automotive industry.
GM MAY EXPAND THE CORVETTE LINEUP
GM could expand the Corvette lineup. We’ve heard these rumors before, but Bloomberg reports designers are working on several Corvette-brand concept vehicles to extend the line. But if GM goes ahead, any new Corvette model will be fully electric. First out of the blocks will likely be a performance SUV, and probably wouldn’t be out until 2025 or sometime after that. Who knows? Over time, the Corvette brand could take on the likes of Porsche. Look, Ford is trying to do the same thing with the Mach-E. If it sells well, we think Ford will consider expanding the Mustang lineup even more.
FORD TEASES BRONCO PICKUP
And it goes beyond Mustang. Ford released a video detailing the design process for the new Bronco and eagle eye viewers noticed a storyboard in the background with a pickup version of the 4-door Bronco. Ford believes that Bronco can become an entire brand with its own lineup of vehicles. And it sure would make sense to offer something to compete with the Jeep Gladiator.
ZF JUMPS INTO LIDAR BUSINESS
It’s amazing how many companies are jumping into the lidar business and now the supplier ZF is the latest. It will produce solid-state lidars for Ibeo, a company ZF holds a 40% stake in, and SICK, which will develop the system design and software for the lidar sensor. The lidar is designed for industrial applications, like for automated guided vehicles, forklifts and other automated machinery.
TOYOTA WANTS TO COMBINE RACE SKILLS WITH AUTOMATED DRIVING
Speaking of autonomous vehicles, Toyota teamed up with Stanford University to see if they can combine the instincts of race car drivers with automated driving technology. The automaker says people will make maneuvers to avoid crashes that are beyond their abilities, so it wants to create algorithms that allow automated vehicles to handle the most challenging emergencies, using data generated from professional drivers. Toyota’s goal is to design a new level of active safety technology that can be shared with other companies.
KIA CONTINUES TO REVAMP THE BRAND
Kia is shaking things up. Last week, it unveiled a new logo and now the automaker is dropping “Motors” from its corporate name and will just be Kia. And its new brand slogan is “Movement that inspires.” The name change and slogan signals its transition from a traditional manufacturing company to its focus on EVs, mobility products and services and purpose built vehicles. It also announced plans to introduce seven new battery electric vehicles by 2027, that will be based on the Hyundai Group’s Electric-Global Modular Platform. The first one will be unveiled the first quarter of this year, a crossover with over 500 kilometers of range or about 310 miles. It will be the first model to wear its new logo. Kia is targeting half a million BEV sales by 2026. But the automaker isn’t done revamping the brand yet and will reveal details about its design direction in the coming weeks.
NISSAN UNVEILS WILD VAN CONCEPT
While most gatherings are still on hold due to the pandemic, many auto shows are going virtual so people can still get their fix. And Nissan’s showing off an interesting concept for the Tokyo auto show, called the NV350 Caravan Office Pod. The interior features an office space with a desk, room for a chair and computer. The best part of this mobile work space is that if the weather is nice outside, the whole setup slides out, allowing for a little bit of fresh air. However, if that wasn’t relaxing enough, there’s a lounger set up on the roof.
HOW TO UNDERSTAND EPA EV RATINGS
They say that range anxiety is one of the things holding back sales of EVs. And we find that using the EPA’s ratings can cause confusion, until you understand what’s going on. Here’s what we mean. The EPA rates the Mustang Mach-E as using 37 kilowatt hours to go 100 miles. Another way to state that is the Extended Range all-wheel-drive Mach-E gets 2.7 miles per kilowatt hour. And since it has an 88-kilowatt hour battery the math is easy: 88 times 2.7 comes to 237 miles of range. But the EPA says it has a range of 270 miles. So where do those extra 33 miles come from? We asked. The EPA test cycle involves acceleration and deceleration, and deceleration provides regenerative braking. That regen puts electricity back into the battery. So 12% of the Mach-E’s rated range comes from regen. By comparison, a Tesla Model Y Performance all-wheel-drive gets 18% of its range from regen. And so, regen is yet another example of where Tesla’s are more efficient than other EVs.
PALISADE A SMART ADDITION TO HYUNDAI’S LINEUP
The Hyundai Palisade recently rolled through the Autoline Garage and it was good to get back into it again. If you’d like to take a deep dive into all the details, check out the Autoline After Hours we did when Hyundai launched it, show number 469. It’s all there.
The Palisade was a smart addition to the Hyundai lineup. Last year, Hyundai sold more than 82,000 of them in the U.S. market. That put it ahead of the Kia Telluride and Subaru Ascent. We think it could do even better this year.
Prices for the Palisade range from a base of $34,000 to nearly fifty grand for a fully loaded model. The base model comes quite well equipped, but if you want a big screen, leather and all-wheel-drive, you’re going to step up to the higher price levels. Here’s the bottom line. If you’re looking for a big, comfortable crossover with plenty of V6 power, the Hyundai Palisade deserves to go on your shopping list.
SANDY MUNRO BULLISH ON 3-WHEEL ELECTRIC CARS
Sandy Munro was on Autoline After Hours yesterday and we covered a lot of topics. For example, he’s about to go on a road trip with a 2021 Tesla Model 3 to do cold weather testing to see how much driving range drops off. He talked about solid state batteries and how they will revolutionize electric cars. And he thinks that 3-wheel electric cars are the key to getting low cost EVs. Take a look.
“If you get a chance to drive one of these things, you change your mind in a hurry. You don’t notice there isn’t a fourth wheel. But I’ll tell you, you notice the difference when you find out that the corner you normally pay for isn’t there–the corner being one of those wheels–meaning lighter weight. That means more fuel efficiency, or in this case, battery efficiency, on and on. There are a lot of reasons for going to three wheels.”
Speaking of electric cars, Magna tells us that EV startups are knocking on its door. They’re interested in having Magna build vehicles for them. We interviewed Frank Klein at Magna Steyr as part of our CES coverage and you can watch that interview right now on our website. Just look for the Autoline On The Road section, or find it on our YouTube channel.
But that brings us to the end of this week. Thanks for watching and we hope to see you back here again 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.