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0:07 Porsche Breaks Ground on eFuel Plant
1:04 Ford Hires Lowe’s Online Guru
1:49 Tesla’s Unique Way Around New Mexico’s Direct Sales Ban
2:17 Tesla Patents Laser Beam Windshield Wipers
3:29 Electric Navigator & Expedition Coming
4:23 Toyota Corolla Cross Hybrid Details
5:30 Nissan Launching Limited-Edition GT-Rs in Japan
7:04 Jaguar F-Pace SVR is a Beast
This is Autoline Daily, the show dedicated to enthusiasts of the global automotive industry.
PORSCHE BREAKS GOUND ON eFUEL PLANT
Governments around the world are moving forward with plans to ban the sale of cars with internal combustion engines but Porsche is doing what it can to save them. It just broke ground on a new plant in Chile that will produce synthetic fuel. The low-carbon fuel is made from hydrogen and CO2 that is captured from the atmosphere, which produces methanol that is then converted into fuel for vehicles. It reduces CO2 emissions by up to 85%. Porsche will use it in race cars starting next year and afterwards it will be available in Europe at ExxonMobil stations. Could green fuels save the piston engine? Maybe. But it’s going to take massive investments from the oil industry. And it’s going to be much more expensive than today’s gasoline. It will sell for two euros per liter which is about $9 per gallon.
FORD HIRES LOWE’S ONLINE GURU
The Ford Motor Company sees a digital, connected and electric future, so CEO Jim Farley is building a team of experts so it doesn’t get left behind. He just hired Mike Amend, a 43-year-old who helped Lowe’s nearly triple its online sales. At Ford, his job will be to help translate customer needs into software solutions. Like Doug Field, who was just hired away from Apple, Amend will report directly to Jim Farley and will work closely with Hau Thai-Tang, the company’s chief product platform and operations officer. It’s not everyday you see a traditional automaker look for top talent outside the industry and actually get them.
TESLA’S UNIQUE WAY AROUND NEW MEXICO’S DIRECT SALES BAN
Tesla has come with a clever solution to New Mexico’s ban of selling vehicles directly to consumers without going through a dealership. The company partnered with a native tribe and opened a store and service center on tribal land just north of Santa Fe. This is an interesting way to get around the direct sales ban but as Electrek points out it will only work for tribal lands that are close to big cities.
TESLA PATENTS LASER BEAM WINDSHIELD WIPERS
And in other Tesla news, the company just received a patent for laser beam windshield wipers. Yep, you heard that right. Tesla describes the technology as “pulsed laser beams cleaning of debris on glass articles in vehicles and photovoltaic assemblies.” That suggests it could also be used for solar panels. Who knows if this will ever end up on a production vehicle but it’s a pretty wild idea, which is kind of something that we’ve come to expect from Tesla.
ELECTRIC NAVIGATOR & EXPEDITION COMING
We’ve got some important future product updates from Autoforecast Solutions. It reports that the Ford F-150 Lighting officially goes into production in February, 2022. That suggests that deliveries to customers will probably start in April. Then in 2026 Ford is coming out with fully electric versions of the Expedition and Lincoln Navigator SUVs. They’ll be built at the company’s assembly plant in Kentucky, and will undoubtedly be built on the company’s all-new BEV architecture. To get to the market quickly with the Lightning pickup Ford used the existing F-150 platform to make it. But it also started work on an all-new BEV architecture that will be more efficient, and it will use that platform for the next generation Lightning, as well as the Expedition and Navigator.
TOYOTA COROLLA CROSS HYBRID REVEALED IN JAPAN
As we mentioned in our review of the new Toyota Corolla Cross the other day, there’s going to be a hybrid version for global markets and now we’re learning a little about it as it makes its debut in Japan. Right away you may notice some different styling. We’re not sure if this will be the look of the hybrid for other markets, but the grille is mounted lower in the front fascia, rather than between the headlamps, which is replaced with a body-color panel that features the Corolla logo for the Japanese market. There’s also a mild change in the rear bumper as well. Under the hood of the Corolla Cross Hybrid is a 1.8L engine mated to a hybrid transaxle and motor. Electric all-wheel drive is available and the battery pack looks like it’s mounted under the body in the back of the vehicle, so it shouldn’t impact interior space. While power output wasn’t revealed, for comparison, the gas version in the U.S. features a nearly 170 horsepower 2.0L engine that can drive either the front or all four wheels.
NISSAN LAUNCHING LIMITED-EDITION GT-Rs IN JAPAN
Sticking in Japan for a moment, Nissan is launching two limited-edition versions of the GT-R in the country. Called T-spec because they’re inspired by the words ‘trend’ and ‘traction,’ only 100 will be made. The cars are highlighted by unique paint colors, called Midnight Purple and Millennium Jade, but also feature exclusive carbon ceramic brakes, a carbon-fiber rear spoiler, unique wheels that are wider, weight reduction below the suspension springs as well as an exclusive engine cover, badge for the front and rear and interior design. Sales kick off in October.
JAGUAR F-PACE SVR IS A BEAST
The Jaguar F-Pace SVR is a beast. When you push the Start button, the engine doesn’t turn on as much as this beast snarls to life with a roar. Everything about this high performance SUV is intimidating, starting with the most basic specs: a supercharged 5-liter V8 with 550 horsepower and 516 pound feet of torque, all funneled through the all wheel drive system. Giant 22-inch wheels make sure all that power goes straight to the pavement and propels this thing down the road as fast as you dare take it. And take our word for it, you’ll run out of dare before you run out of power.
Inside, the SVR feels as safe as a main battlefield tank. The body structure is incredibly robust, while the dashboard, console and armrests provide a cocoon of protection around you, and the firmly bolstered seats hold you snugly in place. It feels like you could drive through brick walls and barely notice the impact, especially if you have the excellent Meridian sound system pounding out your favorite tunes.
Yes, for those of you who need to know there’s a bunch of new connectivity stuff. The infotainment system, which Jaguar calls Pivi Pro, responds instantly to the touch thanks to a faster processor. And there’s a long list of standard safety equipment. But if you’re really so interested in touchscreens and lane keep assist, why don’t you go buy a Prius or something like that instead?
The F-Pace SVR is a driver’s car. Poseurs and wannabes need not apply. Please don’t buy a car like this to impress your friends. Buy it to impress yourself. But you better be sure your bank is OK with you making a withdrawal like this. The one we got to test drive cost $97,400.
If you’ve got that kind of money to burn you’ll be pleased with your purchase. Just make sure that you lock this beast safely away in a cage at the end of every day.
Hyundai is on a tear when it comes to bringing out new products. It may have the fastest product cadence in the business. So what’s next on the list? That’s what we want to find out and that’s why we invited Olabisi Boyle, the vice president of product planning for Hyundai Motor America, to join us on Autoline After Hours this Thursday. If you’ve got a question you’d like us to ask her, tweet it to us, or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
And that wraps up today’s report, thanks for watching.
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Seamus and Sean McElroy cover the latest news in the automotive industry for Autoline Daily.