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0:07 Ex-VW CEO to Pay for Dieselgate Role
0:48 Daimler & Nokia License Mobile Tech
1:14 Helio Castroneves Wins the Indy 500 Again
1:44 Future F-150 & Transit Production Updates
2:38 Russian Luxury Car Enters Production
3:23 BMW Rolls Out Big OTA Update
4:17 New Bentayga Hybrid Launches in Europe
5:40 Stellantis & Italy Talk Battery Plants
6:28 Hella Uses Ultra-Wideband Tech for Safety
7:13 Rimac Reveals Nevera EV Hypercar
This is Autoline Daily, the show dedicated to enthusiasts of the global automotive industry.
EX-VW CEO TO PAY 10 MILLION EURO
Volkswagen and its former CEO, Martin Winterkorn, have agreed to a settlement over his involvement in the automaker’s diesel emission scandal. Earlier this year, VW said Winterkorn breached his duty of care while leading the company and would seek damages against him. Now Business Insider reports that Winterkorn has agreed to pay 10 million euros or $12 million in damages. Both VW and Winterkorn declined to comment. Volkswagen has paid more than 32 billion euros in fines and legal fees, after it admitted to installing software in its engines to cheat on emission tests.
DAIMLER & NOKIA AGREE TO LICENSE TECHNOLOGY
In other legal news, late last year Nokia won a lawsuit against Daimler over licensing of technology patents. Daimler set out to appeal that decision but has come to an agreement with Nokia instead. Under the deal, Nokia will license mobile telecommunications technology to Daimler and get some sort of payment in return. But the terms weren’t revealed.
HELIO CASTRONEVES WINS THE INDY 500 AGAIN
What a race we saw on Sunday. Helio Castroneves took the lead of the Indianapolis 500 with only two laps to go and took the checkered flag less than half a second ahead of second place. It was a battle of the aging veterans against the young upstarts, as well as Chevrolet versus Honda. And it was the 46 year old Castroneves in his Honda powered race car who put an exclamation point on who won those battles.
FUTURE F-150 & TRANSIT PRODUCTION UPDATES
We’ve got some future product updates from Autoforecast Solutions. The next generation F-150 will go into production in August of 2025. And the next generation Ford Transit goes into production in Europe and the U.S. around August of 2028.
RUSSIAN LUXURY CAR ENTERS PRODUCTION
Russia would prefer that its billionaire oligarchs buy Russian-made limousines instead of importing Rolls-Royces and Bentleys. So meet the Aurus Senat, which just started rolling down the assembly line. It’s clearly a knock off of a Rolls Royce design, with a bit of Bentley thrown in. Powered by a twin turbo 4.4 liter V8 with nearly 600 horsepower. Priced at $245,000. They only expect to make a couple of hundred a year. That doesn’t sound like enough to make this car profitable, but Vladimir Putin is supporting the effort, so we think any oligarch with any kind of connection to the Kremlin is going to buy one.
BMW ROLLS OUT BIG OTA UPDATE
BMW is rolling out a new over-the-air update that will improve more than 1.3 million vehicles worldwide. The headline of the article touts the addition of Amazon Alexa, but we think the real benefits of OTA updates are reflected in the other upgrades. Not only were improvements made to make finding a destination easier, like the One-Box Search for typing in a place or address, but also the ability to shut off Lane Departure Warning and not have it come back on the next key cycle, a correction to show the proper music cover art when a track is changed and a fix to some surround view displays that were not showing up correctly. It’s little annoyances like that, that sour customers on a brand. But now they’re an easy fix, most of which can be done in the comfort of one’s own home.
BENTLEY BENTAYGA HYBRID AVAILABLE IN EUROPE
The new Bentley Bentayga Hybrid is now available to order in Europe. There’s no real changes to the powertrain. It’s still powered by a turbocharged 3.0L V6 engine that’s paired to an electric motor, which combines for 443 horsepower. With a 17.3 kWh battery pack, the Bentayga Hybrid is rated at 25 miles or 40 kilometers of range on the WLTP test cycle. There are some minor changes to the exterior styling, which we see reflected mostly in the lower front fascia. The biggest changes come to the interior, which features a redesigned dash, instrument cluster, door trim and steering wheel. Bentley says this is the first of two new hybrids to enter production this year.
ITALY & STELLANTIS IN TALKS ABOUT BATTERY PLANTS
With the shift to electrification, more and more automakers are investing in new plants to manufacture batteries. Just last week, both Nissan and Ford announced plans to open battery plants. And now Bloomberg reports that the Italian government is in talks with Stellantis to invest in EV battery manufacturing in the country. Chairman John Elkann and CEO Carlos Tavares met with Italy’s economic development minister last week to discuss the possibility but both sides declined to comment. The talks are still in the early stages and no final decision has been made. By the middle of the decade, Stellantis expects one-third of its sales in Europe will be electric, so it needs to boost battery supplies to make that happen.
HELLA USES ULTRA-WIDEBAND TECH FOR SAFETY
Car thieves can hack into your car by capturing the signal from your remote key fob. So the supplier Hella says it can eliminate that threat with ultra-wideband technology. It uses the near field communication, or NFC, setting on your smartphone. It does not use an app and will work even if you don’t have an internet or network connection. It also allows you to get in your car hands free. When you’re two meters or 6.5 feet away the car will automatically unlock, and you can start the engine once your phone is in the car. It sounds like Hella already has a customer. It says the Smart Car Access system will go into production in two years.
RIMAC REVEALS NEVERA EV HYPERCAR
Specialty vehicle maker Rimac, unveiled its all-electric Nevera hypercar. The vehicle debuted in 2018 as a concept called the C_Two but it’s getting a name change for the production version. It features a 120-kWh battery along with four surface-mounted permanent magnet motors that drive the four wheels individually. Thanks to that setup, the Nevera cranks out 1,914 horsepower, has a top speed of 258 MPH and moves from 0 to 60 MPH in just 1.85 seconds. It features a number of aerodynamic elements to give it a 0.3 coefficient of drag, when it’s in its “low drag” mode. It’s also available with an artificial intelligence driver coach, which uses cameras, sensors and radars, to improve the driver’s on track performance. The Nevera carries a 2-million-euro price tag and only 150 will be built at its production site in Croatia.
But that wraps up today’s show, thanks for watching.
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Seamus and Sean McElroy cover the latest news in the automotive industry for Autoline Daily.