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0:07 NHTSA Investigates Tesla Crash Again
0:40 Tesla Updates FSD
1:15 China & Russia May Collaborate on New Car
2:13 First Sketch of the Honda Prologue
3:33 Genesis GV60 U.S. Prices & Specs
4:31 Buick’s Super-Luxury Chinese Van
5:11 Renault Reveals Fuel Cell Crossover Concept
7:33 Mercedes Unveils New Luxury Strategy
8:51 Ford’s Farley Becoming a Podcaster
9:53 Do You Know What Car This Is?
This is Autoline Daily, the show dedicated to enthusiasts of the global automotive industry.
NHTSA INVESTIGATES TESLA, AGAIN
Tesla is running into problems with NHTSA again. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is investigating a crash that happened earlier this month in California. Three people were killed when the Model S they were traveling in crashed into construction equipment. The police have not confirmed if Autopilot was in use during the accident. But of the 35 investigations NHTSA has conducted into Tesla since 2016, only three were determined not to be using Autopilot.
TESLA UPDATES FSD
At the same time, Tesla is making progress with its Full Self Driving Beta software and just introduced another update. It says it used 250,000 video clips from its fleet of 100,000 users to teach its cars new behaviors. The technology allows owners to set a destination in the navigation system and have the car drive to that location autonomously. But it’s still considered a Level 2 system because the driver needs to keep their hands on the steering wheel and be ready to take control at any moment.
CHINA & RUSSIA MAY WORK ON NEW CAR PROJECT
Earlier this week we reported that Russia wants to revive the Moskvich name. When Renault pulled out of the country because of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Russia nationalized Renault’s operations there. Well now Kamaz, a Russian company that makes heavy trucks, is in talks with Chinese automaker JAC to have it design and engineer the car. And here’s the real surprise. They say it will go into production in the Renault assembly plant in the fourth quarter of this year. Here’s our Autoline Insight. The only way for it to happen this fast is for Kamaz to just re-badge an existing car from JAC, and JAC ships assembly kits to Moscow. In industry jargon they call it CKD, complete knockdown kits. JAC would put all the parts in crates, ship them off to Moscow, and Kamaz would weld them up and bolt them together.
FIRST SKETCH OF THE HONDA-GM EV
Here’s our first real look at the Honda Prologue, the electric SUV that’s built off GM’s Ultium platform. Designers say they were going for a clean, simple and rugged look with strong influence from the Honda e. I don’t see the resemblance, but I think they hit on the other points pretty well. Honda says the Prologue will go on sale in the U.S. in 2024, with vehicles based on its e:Architecture coming in 2026. So, right now it’s working with dealers to improve their look, install charging stations and purchase the tools and equipment they’ll need to work on electric cars. The dealers with the most EV sales potential will be the first to get the upgrades.
GENESIS GV60 U.S. PRICES & SPECS
The all-electric Genesis GV60 is now on sale in the U.S. There’s two versions available, both come standard with AWD, but one has more power and nicer materials. The lesser horsepower version, which has 248 miles of range from a 77.4 kWh battery pack, will start at about $60,000, including destination charges. The 429 horsepower version, which has 235 miles of range from the same pack, starts at roughly $69,000. You may also remember this is the vehicle that lets you unlock the doors with your face using an infra-red camera system. And Genesis announced a deal with Electrify America in conjunction with the launch of the GV60. Owners will get 3-years of free 30-minute charging sessions at any of its locations.
BUICK’S SUPER-LUXURY CHINESE VAN
Do you remember this wild van Buick revealed in China? It previews the newest version of its luxury van, called the GL8. Well, now Buick is coming out with an even more luxurious version, called the CENTURY. Not only will it feature a unique two-tone paint job, but an extended wheelbase allows for a truly unique interior with ample leg room and a large, foldable display screen that can separate the front from the back. Buick doesn’t say exactly when the GL8 CENTURY will be fully revealed, other than it will be unveiled at an upcoming event.
RENAULT REVEALS FUEL CELL CROSSOVER CONCEPT
Here’s another step forward for fuel cells, this time as a range extender. Renault unveiled a new concept called the Scenic Vision. It’s powered by a hybrid electric and hydrogen powertrain, which consists of a 16-kW fuel cell, a 40-kWh battery and a 160-kW electric motor. Thanks to the fuel cell range extender, the battery could be smaller, which cuts weight. It has a range of 800 kilometers or just under 500 miles, without having to stop to charge the battery. Renault says it’s more sustainable, 70% of the vehicle is made out of recycled materials and 95% of it can be recycled. Renault also claims its carbon footprint is 75% smaller than a typical battery electric vehicle. The design of this concept car is a preview of a BEV version that will come out in 2024. Same goes for its interior. But the fuel-cell concept won’t hit the market until at least 2030.
NISSAN Z ON AUTOLINE AFTER HOURS
Want to learn more about how Nissan pumped some new life into its iconic Z sports car? That’s the topic on Autoline After Hours today. We’ll have Christian Spenser from Nissan to fill in all the details. So join John and Gary as well as Gary Witzenburg when the show gets going at 3 pm eastern time this afternoon.
MERCEDES UNVEILS NEW LUXURY STRATEGY
Mercedes-Benz has set its long-term goal to become the most valuable luxury car brand in the world. And here’s how it plans to get there. It’s breaking up its portfolio into three main columns; Top-End Luxury, Core Luxury and Entry Luxury. And now more than 75% of its investments will go to Top-End and Core Luxury segments. Of its Top-End Luxury; Maybach, AMG and G-Class will all come with their own EV characteristics and greater individualization. Core Luxury, that’s vehicles like the all-new E-Class and EQE and will include an all-new vehicle for the Chinese market that’s built on the same platform. And finally comes Entry Luxury. It will be limited to just four model variants, but even those too will be moved more upscale compared to their current counterparts. By the middle of the decade, Mercedes says it’s striving for an operating margin as high as 14% in good times or as low as 8% in really bad times. But we’re not really all that impressed by that. Ford’s operating margin is around 8% and last year Chrysler hit 16%.
FORD’S JIM FARLEY BECOMING A PODCASTER
Seems like everyone is getting into podcasting these days. And that even includes the Chief Executive Officer of the Ford Motor Company. Jim Farley is going to start hosting his own podcasts on Spotify starting next Wednesday. The show is called Drive and his guests will be celebrities and enthusiasts talking about cars and how they connect with people. The first guests include people like Dax Shepard, the actor and comedian; Jimmy Kimmel, the comedian and talk show host; Jochen Zeitz, who’s the CEO of Harley Davidson; Emelia Hartford, a Youtuber who builds and races cars; Charles Gordon-Lennox, the Duke of Richmond and the founder of the Goodwood Festival of Speed; Patrice Banks, founder of the Girls Auto Clinic; and football G.O.A.T. Tom Brady. That’s a pretty good lineup, and Farley could have a pretty good show on his hands.
DO YOU KNOW WHAT THIS CAR IS?
Before we go, we’ve got this great Barn Find to show you. Only it’s not in a barn. Autoline Daily viewer Doug Burrows found this beauty deep in the woods on Drummond Island in Michigan. And he wants to know what it is. And so we want to tap into the collective wisdom of the Autoline audience to try and identify it. Can you identify it, or even have any kind of clue? If so, post it in the comments section, or drop us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll try to get the answer in tomorrow’s show.
But that’s a wrap for today. Thanks for joining us.
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Seamus and Sean McElroy cover the latest news in the automotive industry for Autoline Daily.