Listen to “AD #3434 – Corvette EV Coming in 2026; Toyota Reveals New EV; Honda Opens Battery Swapping Station for Motorcycles” on Spreaker.
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0:00 GM Q3 Earnings Better Than Last Year
1:06 Corvette EV Coming in 2026
2:08 Tesla Won’t Get Approval For Unmanned Driving in 2022
3:19 Toyota Reveals New bZ3 for China
4:25 Toyota Crown Starts at $40,000
5:31 Honda Opens Battery Swapping Station for Motorcycles
6:43 Mercedes-AMG Comes Out with One Expensive C-Class
7:55 Ford Refreshed the Escape
9:34 Kia Stinger Production Ending Next Year
This is Autoline Daily, the show dedicated to enthusiasts of the global automotive industry.
GM Q3 EARNING BETTER THAN LAST YEAR
General Motors reported its third quarter earnings and they were substantially better than a year ago. Revenue came in at nearly $42 billion, which was $15 billion higher than last year. It posted an adjusted EBIT profit of nearly $4.2 billion and a net profit of $3.3 billion which was a 7.9% profit margin. Earlier this year GM had nearly 95,000 vehicles in inventory that it could not sell because they were missing computer chips. Now those vehicles are getting the chips they need which helped the company boost its top line. Also, in a letter to shareholders CEO Mary Barra says they’re going to boost production of the Bolt and Bolt EUV from 44,000 this year to 70,000 next year. She says in the third quarter GM captured over 8% of the U.S. EV segment.
CORVETTE EV COMING IN 2026
Speaking of GM, we all know that an electric Corvette is coming. Even GM’s top execs acknowledge that. But now we may know exactly when it’s coming out. Autoforecast Solutions reports that the Corvette EV will go into production in May of 2026, less than 4 years from now. But here’s the big surprise. It will not be built at the Corvette plant in Bowling Green, Kentucky. Autoforecast says it will be made at GM’s Grand River plant in Lansing, Michigan. Autoforecast says that plant will also make a large electric Buick SUV and a large electric Cadillac sedan. We fully expect the electric ‘Vette to be an SUV in a move to expand the brand. All this also suggests that GM will continue to make piston powered ‘Vettes at the same time it makes electric ones.
TESLA WON’T GET APPROVAL FOR UNMANNED DRIVING THIS YEAR
Tesla’s planned fleet of self-driving vehicles is going to have to wait a little longer. Elon Musk says it will not get the regulatory approval it needs to test vehicles without a driver this year. The automaker’s Full Self Driving or FSD Software is still just a Level 2 system that requires the driver to take over at certain times. Tesla is supposed to come out with an upgrade to FSD by the end of the year that will expand its capabilities. It will still require a human behind the wheel, but the driver won’t have to touch the controls as much.
TOYOTA REVEALS ALL-ELECTRIC bZ3 FOR CHINA
Toyota revealed the second model in its bZ lineup of all-electric vehicles, the bZ3. The sedan was co-developed with BYD and FAW and it will be produced by and sold through the Toyota FAW dealer network in China. The EV is powered by BYD’s Blade lithium-ion LFP batteries but Toyota did not reveal the capacity of the pack. It did say it has an estimated range of 600 kilometers or nearly 373 miles based on the Chinese Light Duty Test cycle. Toyota also claims the battery will retain 90% of its capacity after ten years. The company didn’t reveal too many other details about the bZ3, but it has a coefficient of drag of 0.218, is based on Toyota’s e-TNGA platform and the battery structure, cooling, control and safety monitoring systems were all newly designed for the car.
NEW TOYOTA CROWN STARTS AT $40,000
And Toyota is also revealing more details about the Crown sedan that’s replacing the Avalon in the U.S. It’s available in three trims and it’s offered with two hybrid setups. It comes standard with a 2.5L 4-cylinder that’s paired with two electric motors and an electronically controlled CVT, which gets an EPA-estimated 41 MPG combined. The other hybrid powertrain pairs two motors with a 2.4L turbocharged 4-cylinder that’s mated to a six-speed automatic. It has an EPA-estimated 30 MPG combined. The new model is also getting delayed. When Toyota first revealed it back in July, the company said it would arrive at dealerships by the end of the year. Now Toyota says it’s expected to arrive at dealerships early next year. The Crown starts just below $40,000 and the top Platinum trim starts at just over $52,000.
HONDA OPENS BATTERY SWAPPING STATION FOR MOTORCYCLES
Honda continues to expand its battery swapping business. The company already offers portable swappable batteries for motorcycles and other mobile products. And now it is making swapping stations for those batteries, with the first one beginning operation today in Japan. When a user wants to make a swap, they just have to tap a panel on the station with an authentication card and a LED display will indicate which battery is charged and good to use. Users make payments through the same system which is managed by Honda’s Power Pack Cloud system.
MERCEDES-AMG COMES OUT WITH ONE EXPENSIVE C-CLASS
Mercedes-AMG is adding what is essentially a cosmetic package to the highest performance 80,000 dollars plus version of the C-Class sedan. The F1 Edition of the C 63 S E PERFORMANCE comes with the same AMG-exclusive, in-house developed hybrid powertrain. A 2.0L turbocharged 4-cylinder engine is paired with an electric motor and high-performance battery mounted on the rear axle. Combined the system produces 500 kW or 680 horsepower and launches the car from 0-100 km/h in 3.4 seconds. The F1 Edition, which is available on both the sedan and wagon, features a unique alpine grey paint finish, an aero package that includes a larger front splitter and rear spoiler, 20-inch AMG wheels, black and red accents that are picked up on exterior and interior – even the carbon fiber parts use a red thread. No word on pricing but we bet it creeps up near $100-grand.
FORD UPDATES THE ESCAPE
Ford just updated the Escape. Besides some modest styling changes it now offers an optional 13.2-inch display screen, cloud-connected SYNC4 Technology and a new driver assist system with what Ford calls Intersection Assist, which will warn drivers of a potential collision while turning at an intersection. For the first time the Escape also gets the ST-Line trim. But remember this is not a real ST. It’s meant to give you the look of the ST without all the extra performance. But you’ll be easily able to spot the ST-Line models. They come with a monochromatic paint job and a large rear spoiler. Inside, there’s red stitching, and a flat bottom steering wheel. The ST-Line comes standard with a 180 horsepower 1.5 liter engine and there’s an optional 2-liter with 250 horsepower, and the hybrid powertrain is also offered on the ST line. But there is now a plug-in hybrid available for the non-ST models with a 2.5 liter Atkinson-cycle engine and 210 horsepower and 37 miles of electric range. Interestingly, there’s a Charge Mode where drivers can use the engine to recharge the battery while they drive so they can drive in electric mode later. The updated Escape will go on sale early next year. And remember the Escape is the same as the Kuga in Europe, so we’d expect to see the same changes.
KIA STINGER PRODUCTION ENDING NEXT YEAR
But while new cars are coming out, others are going away. Reports out of South Korea say Kia will stop producing the Stinger in April of next year. Despite a refresh in 2021, it only sold about 13,500 Stingers last year and less than half that so far this year. As of right now there’s no replacement in pipeline.
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.