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0:08 Tesla FSD Spikes Up To $15,000
0:46 Porsche Macan EV Will Match ICE in Sales
1:14 Hyundai To Fast-Forward U.S. EV Plant
2:55 Audi Shows Another EV Concept
3:24 Kia EV6 GT Gets 576 HP
4:17 Buick Envista Unveiled in China
4:50 Bentley W12 Hints at EV Future
6:04 Evetta Open Air Evokes Original Isetta
6:44 Street Tires = More EV Range
7:28 Adient Thin-Seat Perfect for EVs
This is Autoline Daily, the show dedicated to enthusiasts of the global automotive industry.
TESLA FSD SPIKES UP TO $15,000
Remember when Tesla only charged $5,000 for Full Self Driving? That’s what it cost when it first came out. Then it went to $6,000 then 7 and 8 and 10 and 12. And now it’s going to $15,000. That’s a staggering price for what is a Level II ADAS system. The price jump comes with the release of the latest FSD Beta update, which is how Tesla is justifying why it costs so much. Elon Musk says Tesla will honor the current $12,000 price for orders made before the price hike kicks in on September 5th.
PORSCHE MACAN EV WILL MATCH ICE IN SALES
It looks like Porsche thinks the electric version of the Macan is going to be as popular as the piston powered one. The company’s head of production told a German magazine that it expects to produce as many electric Macan’s as it does ICE versions. Porsche currently makes more than 80,000 Macans a year and the electric version is expected to launch in 2023 or 2024.
HYUNDAI TO FAST-FORWARD U.S. EV PLANT
The so-called Inflation Reduction Act was written to force more foreign automakers to build more EVs and batteries in the US, and it looks like it’s already working. Hyundai says it could break ground sooner on its new EV plant in Georgia. If EVs are not made in North America and if the batteries are not made in the US, you don’t get any tax credits for EVs. Hyundai was going to start construction next year but could start this year. And production could start in the second half of 2024, at a rate of 300,000 EVs a year. South Korea is not happy with the new law and filed a complaint with the World Trade Organization, saying it violates WTO rules and a free trade agreement between the U.S. and South Korea.
AUDI SHOWS ANOTHER EV CONCEPT
Audi has been teasing its EV future with its sphere concepts – the skyphere, grandsphere and urbansphere. Well, now meet the activesphere. It looks to be a high-riding coupe that Audi says is for active lifestyles – both on and off-road. The only other thing we really know at the moment is that it will be capable of autonomous driving. But we’ll learn more when it debuts early next year.
KIA EV6 GT GETS 576 HP
Did you ever think you’d see the day when a production Kia can beat a Ferrari and Lamborghini in a drag race? That day is here. Kia is launching the GT version of the EV6, which features two electric motors that combine for 430 kW or 576 horsepower and will do 0-60 in 3.4 seconds. That’s a big jump up from the next most powerful version, which has 239 kW or 320 horsepower. The GT also comes with sport suspension with electronically controlled dampers, unique front suspension components, electronic Limited Slip Differential, larger front and rear brakes, sport tires and even features neon accents. The EV6 GT goes on sale in the U.S. in the fourth quarter.
BUICK ENVISTA UNVEILED IN CHINA
Buick is getting an all-new compact crossover for the Chinese market, called the Envista. This could be the first production model to wear Buick’s brand-new logo and whose styling is very similar to the Electra-X concept. That model is meant to be a BEV, but the only info Buick is providing on the Envista right now is that it will have a “segment-leading smart propulsion system.” But we should learn more when it debuts at the Chengdu Motor Show later this month.
BENTLEY W12 HINTS AT EV FUTURE
Bentley is showing a glimpse into its electric future with a gas guzzling 12-cylinder. The new Mulliner Batur is a two-door grand touring coupe that previews its design direction and features a 740-horsepower version of the aforementioned 6.0L W12 engine. Only 18 examples will be made at a starting price of 1.65 million pounds, which doesn’t include options like 3D printed 18K gold accents. Even so, every model has already been reserved and deliveries start in the middle of next year.
EVETTA OPEN AIR EVOKES ORIGINAL ISETTA
What is it about the Isetta, that dinky little microcar that first came out in Europe nearly 70 years ago? Last year we showed you the Microlino, an electric copy of the car from the Swiss company called Micro. And now take a look at this copy called the Evetta Open Air from a German startup called ElectricBrands. It’s got an 18-kilowatt hour battery, about 125 miles of range and a top speed of 55 miles an hour. The company is taking pre-orders but it’s a bit pricey. 20,000 euros for the hardtop and 33,000 for the convertible.
STREET TIRES = MORE EV RANGE
There’s a fascinating report from Car and Driver. It took off the 20-inch all-terrain tires on a Rivian pickup and replaced them with 22-inch all weather tires. And that added 60 miles of range while driving at 75 miles an hour. That shows the significant impact that tires have on electric vehicles. Actually, it applies to ICE vehicles as well. Big tires look fantastic, but they detract from the ride and handling of a vehicle because they add so much more unsprung mass. C and D said both sets of tires had about the same braking distance, but the street tires improved acceleration and cornering.
ADIENT THIN-SEAT PERFECT FOR EVs
Speaking of making EVs go farther, take a look at this ultra-thin seat from the supplier Adient. The seat bottom and back are made from recyclable thermoplastic, and they integrate components like seat fans right into the structure. Despite using thin foam, the seats are quite comfortable. We know because we sat in one. But here’s what really caught our attention. When automakers mount EV batteries in the floor of a vehicle they also have to add headroom for passengers. Adding headroom adds weight. But the thin seat, which is 30% thinner than a regular seat, provides enough headroom without raising the roof of the car. So not only is the seat lighter, it helps create an overall lighter design.
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Seamus and Sean McElroy cover the latest news in the automotive industry for Autoline Daily.