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0:07 Tesla Cuts Delivery Time
0:54 Geely Sees 50% EV Sales In 2023
1:22 Chery To Make Cars in Russia
2:59 Dodge Charger Daytona Signals End of ICE Muscle Cars
5:06 GM Builds Up Defense Business
5:51 U.S. Traffic Fatalities Up Despite New Safety Equipment
7:27 Porsche 911 GT3 Gets DRS
8:57 Acura Unveils Hybrid GTP Race Car
This is Autoline Daily, the show dedicated to enthusiasts of the global automotive industry.
TESLA CUTS DELIVERY TIME
Have you ordered a new car recently? Chances are you had to endure an agonizing time waiting to get it. Not at Tesla, at least not in China. Thanks to plant upgrades, Tesla is ramping up production at its factory in Shanghai and slashed wait times for delivery. It now takes only 4 to 8 weeks to get a Model Y in China. Model 3 wait times are between 12 to 20 weeks. Previously, it took 8 to 24 weeks. Tesla is targeting to build 22,000 Model Ys and 3s combined a week in Shanghai. That’s a big number. Most assembly plants from legacy automakers would build about 6,000 vehicles a week, and that includes overtime.
GEELY SEES 50% EV SALES IN 2023
Speaking of EVs, Chinese automaker Geely says next year half the vehicles it sells will be EVs. BEVS and PHEVS currently account for 30% of its sales. In the first half of the year, Geely’s EV sales were 4 times higher compared to a year ago, while sales of its ICE vehicles fell 20%, and that’s a storyline we expect to hear from more and more legacy automakers.
CHERY TO MAKE CARS IN RUSSIA
Most automakers closed down their operations in Russia after it invaded Ukraine, but Chinese automaker Chery hopes to start making cars there soon. It wants to boost sales in Russia to between 80,000 and 100,000 cars annually, compared to 41,000 last year. Chery’s main production base is in China but it also builds vehicles in 15 other countries, mainly in the Middle East, southeast Asia and South America. Most of those factories outside China aren’t owned by Chery and they manufacture vehicles made from complete or semi-knocked down kits. And that’s probably how Chery will want to do it in Russia, since sanctions are making it hard for Russia to make things on its own.
DODGE CHARGER DAYTONA SIGNALS END OF ICE MUSCLE CARS
There are three iconic engines that earned their place in the hearts of muscle car fanatics. Ford’s flat-head V8, the small block Chevy V8 and Chrysler’s Hemi. They represent the Ice Age in its glory. But here’s the car that’s relegating them to the history books–the all-electric Dodge Charger Daytona SRT. For now, Dodge is saying this is a concept car, but make no mistake. This car is going into production. The designers really nailed it with this car. The wide, short grille is reminiscent of the ‘67 Charger. And note how the taillights mimic the front end. The body sides are uncluttered and muscular. And the rear sail panel gives it a real fastback look. Inside, the Charger Daytona looks purposeful and modern, but avoids looking too techy. Dodge didn’t release too many details. We know it comes with an 800-volt architecture that Dodge actually branded with the Banshee name, and even gave it its own badge. We also know this will be a gut-wrenching, visceral muscle car with an “exhaust” note that can hit 126 decibels. Yes, you heard that right, the exhaust note. Dodge came up with a noise amplifier that it calls the Fratzonic Chambered Exhaust system. Tim Kuniskis, the head of the Dodge brand, says the electric Charger will be faster than today’s Hellcat Charger and just as loud. Unfortunately, the production version will not come out until 2024 and we’re probably not going to get a whole lot more details until then. But if you’d like to get more info that Dodge released, then click on the link in today’s show notes. If you’re watching this on YouTube, then scroll down below the screen to where it says Show More, click that on, and you’ll see the links. But before you do that, what do you think about the Charger Daytona SRT? Are hard core gear heads really going to go for it? Or is this going to bring in a whole new generation of muscle car fanatics?
GM BUILDS UP DEFENSE BUSINESS
General Motors is slowly but surely building up its defense business. Back in June, it announced plans to expand into Canada and it created a new international unit to make defense vehicles for foreign countries. Now, it’s partnering with the German defense company Rheinmetall to compete for the U.S. Army’s Common Tactical Truck program. They’re going to make a modified version of Rheinmetall’s HX3 military vehicle. The Army is expected to choose a winner for the program in December and could purchase up to 5,700 vehicles at a value around $5 billion. By the end of the decade GM expects its Defense unit to generate $1 billion a year in revenue.
U.S. TRAFFIC FATALITIES UP DESPITE NEW SAFETY EQUIPMENT
Despite all the safety equipment, stronger body structures and advanced driver assistance technology going into cars these days, traffic accidents and fatalities are actually going up, not down. NHTSA says more people were killed in traffic accidents in the first quarter of this year than in the last 20 years. 9,560 to be exact. That’s up 7% from last year. Now, with population growth and more cars on the road, it shouldn’t come as a shock that fatalities are up. That’s why NHTSA always measures fatalities by deaths per 100 million miles driven. But even that went up. There were 1.27 people killed per 100 million miles driven, compared to 1.25 before. The puzzling question is, why are fatalities going up when cars are demonstrably becoming safer? NHTSA didn’t provide any answers, but pointed to speeding, driving distracted and impaired drivers.
PORSCHE 911 GT3 GETS DRS
Active aerodynamics has a pedigreed history. Mercedes-Benz used an air brake on the back of its race cars at Le Mans in 1955, which significantly improved the braking of the car. A decade later the Chaparral 2E used a moveable wing for downforce and braking. More recently, we’ve seen rear spoilers that deploy at speeds over 50 miles an hour, and grille shutters that close off the radiator opening, all with the idea of making a vehicle more aerodynamic. And now the new Porsche 911 GT3 RS has some notable active aero applications. It uses continuously adjustable wings in the front and on the two-part rear wing that provide more than 900 pounds of downforce at 124 mph, three times as much as a current 911 GT3. At 177 mph, total downforce is 1,895 lbs, or the equivalent of a Porsche 356 A.
Just like you may have seen in Formula One the new GT3 has a DRS or drag reduction system. It uses a hydraulic ram to flatten out the rear wing elements to reduce drag and increase speeds on the straights at tracks. During hard braking at high speeds, it functions as an airbrake to maximize deceleration–just like Mercedes did at Le Mans 67 years ago.
ACURA UNVEILS HYBRID GTP RACE CAR
Speaking of race cars, Acura unveiled its new GTP race car that will run in IMSA’s WeatherTech championship. For the first time in the series, the GTP cars will be hybrids. Acura uses a twin-turbo 2.4-liter V6 that puts out 500 kilowatts of power. That’s 670 horsepower. And it’s mated to an electric motor from Bosch that’s powered by a battery pack from Williams Engineering. That adds 67 horsepower of continuous power, and 241 peak horsepower. In fact, IndyCar is going to use a similar powertrain starting in 2024, which could greatly reduce costs for both series.
Say, are autonomous cars ever going to make it into production? Or is the technology impossible to perfect? And what about Lidar? Do you really need that or not? That’s the topic on Autoline After Hours this afternoon when Mike Ramsey from Gartner Research will join us and I invite you to listen in.
And that brings us to the end of today’s report, thanks for making Autoline Daily a part of your day.
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Seamus and Sean McElroy cover the latest news in the automotive industry for Autoline Daily.