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0:08 Car Sales Down Sharply in China
1:04 California Proposes ICE to ZEV Conversion Rebate
1:39 Lamborghini Wants E-Fuel Hybrids in Its Line-Up Beyond 2030
2:51 Toyota & Lexus Share New Product Details
6:44 Supercar Maker Rimac Wants to Become Tier 1 Supplier
7:29 Mercedes-AMG Reveals Supercar with F1 Technology
8:41 BMW Unveils New X1 & iX1
This is Autoline Daily, the show dedicated to enthusiasts of the global automotive industry.
CAR SALES DOWN SHARPLY IN CHINA
Car sales in China were down sharply in April because of COVID lockdowns. According to LMC Automotive, passenger vehicle sales were just shy of 990,000 vehicles, a drop of 43.5% compared to a year ago. And light commercial vehicle sales were down 52%. Combined, the light vehicle market dropped 45% to 1.17 million units. Production was also impacted by the lockdowns and decreased about 44% in April. And while lockdowns did start to ease in April, LMC says production won’t be back to normal until the end of June. But there was one exception, BYD’s production was up 137% in April because it’s highly self-sufficient in the supply of parts and components.
CALIFORNIA PROPOSES ICE TO ZEV CONVERSION REBATE
California wants cleaner cars on its roads. And while it’s proposed to ban sales of new ICE vehicles by 2035, there’s still millions of piston-powered cars on its roads. So, to help make those vehicles more environmentally friendly, the California Assembly just passed legislation to provide owners with a $2,000 rebate for converting their gasoline or diesel-powered cars to a zero-emission vehicle. The SEMA-sponsored bill still needs to be approved by California’s Senate.
LAMBORGHINI WANTS E-FUEL HYBRIDS IN ITS LINE-UP BEYOND 2030
And speaking of lowering the carbon footprint of ICE vehicles, Lamborghini’s CEO Stephen Winkelmann says the automaker wants two hybrid cars in its line-up after 2030 that run on synthetic fuels or e-fuel, which can greatly reduce carbon emissions. But he admits that there will need to be government assistance to make e-fuels more wide spread. And we’ve heard similar concerns from other powertrain executives at car companies that say that e-fuels will take too long to get to the market and will cost too much to prevent a wholesale conversion to electric vehicles.
TOYOTA & LEXUS SHARE NEW PRODUCT DETAILS
You’re going to see a ton of coverage about Toyota and Lexus all over the media today. That’s because the American arm of Toyota is holding its national press rollout this week at its headquarters in Plano, Texas with media from all over the country. Here are some of the highlights that we’ve learned so far.
• Toyota confirmed that the GR GT3 Concept car from Gazoo Racing that was shown in January this year is getting productionized. So we expect to hear about an actual production date when the manufacturing engineers get their job done.
• Lexus gets an all-new RX, the crossover that created the luxury crossovers segment nearly two decades ago. It gets an interesting variation on the Lexus spindle grille that blends a bit more into the body. And customers get four powertrains to choose from including a 2.4-liter gasoline engine, a 2.5 liter hybrid, and plug-in hybrid, as well as a 2.4 liter hybrid with more performance for the RX500h. That powertrain spits out 367 horsepower and 406 pound feet of torque and is expected to deliver 26 miles to the gallon. Most interestingly it has a rear e-axle for all wheel drive.
• Lexus also showed us its first BEV, the RZ450e. It’s the Lexus version of Toyota’s BZ4x. Note that it too has an interesting variation of the spindle grille, but not as interesting as on the new RX. One thing that will be different from the Toyota version, though, is the yoke steering wheel. This should be better than other yoke designs because it’s a steer-by-wire system with only 300 degrees of steering wheel travel. And it’s speed sensitive. That means you shouldn’t need any hand-over-hand turning of the steering wheel.
• While the RZ450e is the first BEV from Lexus, it says its entire line-up will be electric by 2035. It also showed some concept drawings of what those cars may look like. That includes some very swoopy 2-door and 4-door sedans, which we think look like they were inspired by Porsche’s Mission e.
• Toyota revealed that production teams have been modifying Sienna minivan platforms that can be sold to mobility providers. The modifications include a new vehicle control interface that allows the vans to be compatible with 3rd-party autonomous technology. Toyota has already delivered examples to customers Aurora Innovation and May Mobility.
• We also got to drive the all-new Toyota Sequoia full size SUV. And while we’d like to tell you all about it, that info is under embargo until next week.
SUPERCAR MAKER RIMAC WANTS TO BECOME TIER 1 SUPPLIER
Here’s something we hadn’t heard before. Supercar maker, Rimac, wants to become a Tier 1 supplier. It recently kicked off a new funding round that raised 500 million euro that it will use to speed up development of technology for global car manufacturers. Rimac currently makes high-performance batteries and e-axles that are used by Koenigsegg and Pininfarina. But it also owns Bugatti, has a partnership with Porsche and Hyundai and Kia gave it 80 million euro to develop high-performance EVs and fuel cells. Porsche was part of this newest funding round, but it included other non-automotive companies as well, like Softbank and Goldman Sachs.
MERCEDES-AMG REVEALS SUPERCAR WITH F1 TECHNOLOGY
After years of sketches, tests and teases, here’s the Mercedes-AMG ONE. For a quick refresher, this is the two-seat supercar that features Formula 1 tech, gobs of horsepower and is still street legal. On the gas-burning side of the equation, there’s a turbocharged V6 engine that makes 574 horsepower, which doesn’t sound all that impressive, but at 1.6L it makes an astounding 359 HP per liter. But it’s not done there yet. It also features an electric motor on the crankshaft, there’s the electric motor of the electric exhaust gas turbocharger and two electric motors that drive the front wheels. Put it all together and the Mercedes-AMG ONE makes 782 kW or over 1,060 horsepower. We’ve only begun to scratch the surface of all the details on this car, which debuts at the Goodwood Festival of Speed later this month, so we’ll provide a link to the press release if you’d like to learn more.
BMW UNVEILS NEW X1 & iX1
But since only a handful of people will ever know what it’s like to drive that car, let’s get back to something a little more our speed. Here’s the all-new BMW X1. Styling wise, the lighting has been thinned out, the twin-kidney grille is bigger and a little more upright and the accent elements, around the lower fascias and rocker panels, are more angular than before. The interior is highlighted by two screens combined into one curved display and we’d note it looks like most of the controls have been moved to the end of the center armrest. We talked about the all-electric version recently, the iX1, so let’s fill in some details. It will have two electric motors that combine for AWD and an output of 230 kW or 313 horsepower and will do 0-100 km/h in 5.7 seconds. While no word on battery size, BMW estimates range between 413 and 438 kilometers, which is 257 to 272 miles. There will also be gas, diesel, mild hybrid and plug-in hybrid versions of the X1, depending on the market. The new BMW X1 will start its launch in October.
But that’s it for today, thanks for watching.
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Seamus and Sean McElroy cover the latest news in the automotive industry for Autoline Daily.