|20 Jan, 2017
If you follow AutoZine closely, you should know Paolo Stanzani very
well. The Italian engineer defined the Lamborghini as we know today.
Born in 1936, Stanzani was graduated from Bologna University with a
degree in mechanical engineering. He joined Lamborghini shortly
afterwards and quickly became the right-hand man of engineering chief
Giampaolo Dallara. Together with designer Marcello Gandini and test
driver Bob Wallace they built the definitive supercar, Miura. When
Dallara left in 1967, Stanzani took over his post and created a string
of fancy machines, Espada, Islero, Jarama, Miura S / SV, Urraco and
ultimately Countach. Following the departure of Ferruccio Lamborghini,
he also left Sant'Agata in 1974.
The three creators of
Miura united last year to celebrate its 50th anniversary
However, that was not the end of his automotive journey. In 1987,
Italian tycoon Romano Artioli bought the rights of Bugatti and hired
Stanzani to design a new 4-wheel-drive supercar. That was EB110. It is
fair to say nobody has engineered more supercars than him, and nobody
had a bigger impact to the supercar world, too.
Stanzani passed away on Jan 18th, 2017 at the age of 80. Car
enthusiasts will remember him forever.
|19 Jan, 2017
Commodore Motorsport edition
Production of Holden Commodore as well as its Australian plant will
terminate on October 20th this year. Before that happens, Holden is
introducing one last special edition to clear the stocks of components.
The Commodore Motorsport edition is said to be based on the existing
SS-V Red Line, but I would say it is closer to the export version
Chevrolet SS, because it shares the latter's 415 hp LS3 6.2 V8,
Magnetic Ride Control suspension as well as bucket seats. To enhance
track worthiness, it gets 20-inch forged alloy wheels, Brembo compound
disc brakes, stiffer rear subframe bushings, engine and transmission
oil coolers, not to mention the extra aero kits and body decals. A
total of 1800 cars will be built, including its premium version
Commodore Director and pickup version Commodore Magnum Ute.
|18 Jan, 2017
Mustang also gets
American cars are no longer updated every model year, but still they
get revisions more frequently than others. Ford Mustang gets its first
facelift after just over 2 years. As you can see, the new car's front
end looks noticeably sleeker than before, more like GT350, thanks to a
curvier bonnet, redesigned grille and front bumper. The headlamps are
now full LED as standard. Changes to the rear are far more subtle. You
might not spot the differences if not seeing the V8 GT has switched
from dual to quad-exhaust pipes.
As for mechanical changes, the new car has dropped the 3.7-liter V6 but
improved both the 2.3-liter Ecoboost four and 5.0-liter V8. The former
gets overboost function to enable more torque, while the V8 finally has
its port injection upgraded to dual-mode (direct + port) injection.
This enables its compression ratio to be raised from 11.0:1 to 12.0:1,
guaranteeing a higher redline as well as increased power and torque.
However, Ford has not released any figures for both engines yet. The V8
also gets an optional variable exhaust whose Sport mode opens a valve
to enhance exhaust note. The 6-speed automatic transmission of the old
car has been upgraded to the Ford-GM 10-speed auto which has made debut
on Chevy Camaro ZL1. It should improve fuel economy, smoothness and
performance. The Tremec 6-speed manual remains, but in the case of V8
it is now mated with a new dual-mass flywheel and twin-plate clutch.
In the chassis, the new car gets optional magnetorheological adaptive
dampers from the GT350 to improve ride quality. Suspensions are also
retuned with new dampers, anti-roll bars and bushings.
Inside, the biggest change to the cabin is the new 12-inch digital
instrument (optional). Its switchable configuration includes a track
mode with lap timer. Other changes are rather subtle, including new
seat materials, softer upper door panels, leather wrapped center
console and soft padding on transmission tunnel. All are made in
response to criticisms.
|17 Jan, 2017
4 and a half years since the last major revision, AutoZine has been
given a mild facelift to improve its readability on both desktop and
mobile devices. The home page and new car reports should fit better to
screen width now, and the main text should appear larger than before on
mobile phones. The page design is still very old-school, but given the
limited time available to me, I would rather spend time on writting.
Wish for this year: entering the 20th Anniversary (yes, incredible), my
target is to continue the update of Technical School, although it is
unlikely to finish this year. Thankfully (or sadly), car manufacturers
are introducing fewer cars now and turning resources to crossovers and
SUVs, so I will have fewer new cars to write about, and more time can
be spent elsewhere.
|17 Jan, 2017
2016 sales result
Renault group sold 3,182,625 cars last year, an impressive 13.3 percent
2015. Sales by brand:
Renault: 2,487,309 units (+14.2%)
Dacia: 584,219 units (+6.0%)
Renault Samsung: 111,097 units (+38.8%)
Caterham 2016 sales result
Caterham reported the best sales result since 1996 with more than 600
cars sold. 55 percent of them were bought by UK customers.
|11 Jan, 2017
F-Type facelift and 400 Sport
4 years after its launch, Jaguar F-Type has received its first
facelift. The 2 vertical intakes at each side of its front bumper have
been replaced with one larger and rounder intake, whose shape varies
across models. The headlights are converted to full-LED. Inside, the
cabin gets a pair of new, lighter seats with better lateral support and
larger range of adjustment, and an overhauled infotainment system.
There are no changes to the mechanical side, but given the
self-destruction of Porsche 718, the Jaguar has little to be worried
If that's not enough, then you may opt for the new special edition 400
Sport. As indicated by its name, its supercharged V6 is tuned to
produce a full 400 horsepower instead of the existing car's 380 hp. The
car also gets standard LSD, 20-inch wheels and larger brakes.
|11 Jan, 2017
Vmotion 2.0 concept
Nissan Vmotion 2.0 is an interesting concept. Ignore the glasshouse
which is unrealistic for production, most design elements could be
applied to the upcoming production cars of Nissan and Infiniti. It
promises a brighter future for the brands, and could be a bad news to
|11 Jan, 2017
show short comment
What a disappointing
Detroit show! This is probably the least attractive Detroit auto show
since AutoZine started reporting almost 20 years ago. For the first
time ever, GM, Ford and FCA concentrated on trucks and forgot to bring
any new cars to the show, not a single one! European manufacturers are
slightly keener, but Mercedes-AMG GT C is just the coupe version of the
Roadster we already know, while Porsche 911 GTS is hardly big news.
That leaves the limelight to fall on Toyota. Both its Camry and Lexus
LS are radically styled and catch a lot of attention. However, best of
the show is undoubtedly Kia Stinger, which is well engineered to take
on the German sports sedans, and has a beauty that most European rivals
struggle to match. It will be a big boost to the image of Kia.
As for concept cars, this Detroit show is also disappointing.
Volkswagen shows the I.D. Buzz concept which is no more than a
modernized Microbus (what's so innovative?). Nissan Vmotion 2.0 is the
only concept worth a place at this column, though a large part of its
beauty comes from the unrealistic fast-angle and flush glasshouse.
Again, car makers put most of their money on SUVs and crossovers.
|11 Jan, 2017
group 2016 sales result
Volkswagen group sold 10,312,400 cars last year, up 3.8 percent on
2015. That is very likely to put it ahead of Toyota, which forecasted
to finish the year at 10.09 million cars last month.
Breakdown of the sales figures:
Volkswagen: 5,987,800 units (+2.8%)
Audi: 1,871,300 units (+3.8%)
Skoda: 1,127,700 units (+6.8%)
Seat: 410,200 units (+2.6%)
Porsche: 237,800 units (+5.6%)
VW commercial: 480,100 units (+11.4%)
MAN: 102,200 units (-0.2%)
Scania: 80,800 units (+5.5%)
|10 Jan, 2017
Under the leadership of Akio Toyoda, Toyota group has shifted its
design strategy towards the radical side in recent years. New cars like
Prius, Mirai, Aygo, C-HR, Lexus IS, NX, RX, RC and LC are all deemed to
most radically styled cars in their respective classes, washing away
the conservative image traditionally associated with the group. This
radical theme now extends to its best selling family car, Camry.
With a total sales number of 389,000 units, the Camry was still the
best selling car in the USA last year. However, that number represented
a 9.5 percent decline, so the new generation comes at the right time.
Like the new Lexus LS we saw yesterday, the new Camry is made much
lower, sleeker and sportier. Its nose is slimmer, its back faster and
its roof is lowered by 30mm to 1440mm. The car gets 20mm wider at
1840mm and 10mm longer at 4860mm. The bonnet is set as much as 40mm
lower than the old car's. The design details are also sharper and more
aggressive, especially the big and wide whale mouth. Again the sport
models (SE and XSE) employ different front end design, extra aero kits
and larger, 19-inch wheels shod with wider tires. Will average American
families prefer it? We have to see, but we definitely do.
The new car is benefited from the TNGA platform of new Prius. It is not
only lighter but most importantly has the rear struts replaced with
double-wishbone suspensions in a bid to improve handling and ride. The
body is strengthened by 30 percent which helps refinement, while center
of gravity is lowered to enhance handling. The wheelbase has been
lengthened by 50mm to 2825mm to match the new class norm and release a
bit more interior space. Fears about the lower roof can be relieved by
knowing that the seats are also lowered, by 25mm and 30mm front and
rear respectively, so headroom should be unaltered.
There are fewer surprises under the bonnet, but nonetheless everything
is improved. Again the engine range consists of a 3.5-liter V6,
2.5-liter long-stroke four-pot and the Hybrid model combines that
four-port with CVT and electric motors. Both engines finally get direct
injection to enhance power and fuel efficiency, among them the V6 even
employs the D-4S dual injection which reverts to port injection at
higher load. No output figures have been released, but insiders said
about 10 percent of improvement. The
4-cylinder, now called "Dynamic Force", gains also VVT-iE electric
variable valve timing and higher compression ratio. I guess it runs at
Atkinson cycle, because its thermal efficiency is claimed to be 40
percent, equals to the 1.8-liter Atkinson-cycle engine of Prius. The
outgoing 6-speed automatic transmission has been upgraded to an
8-speeder to aid fuel economy further.
Inside, the dashboard design is certainly more interesting than the
bland one on the old car. As expected, it is served with updated
infotainment system with larger touchscreen.
|10 Jan, 2017
2016 sales result
Last year was another record year to Lamborghini. It sold 3457 cars - 2353 Huracans and
1104 Aventadors. That was 212 cars up from a year ago, not bad
considering McLaren was chasing hard.
|9 Jan, 2017
Tesla Model S is so successful that it outsells all other conventional
F-segment luxury cars in USA, including Mercedes S-class. No wonder the
generation Lexus LS500 has its exterior styling inspired heavily by the
Tesla. Its low and sleek bonnet, low shoulder line, fastback-style roof
line and especially the shape of the rear quarter window and C-pillar
have strong resemblance to the Tesla, more so than the LC coupe
which is supposed to share a lot of genes. However, to realize this
coupe-like appearance Lexus needs to work hard on the mechanical
aspect. The new GA-L (global architecture-luxury) platform, shared with
LC, not only employs lots of high-strength steel and aluminum parts
(mostly in the sheet metal) but it also emphasizes on low placement of
engine and compact suspensions. This enables the bonnet to be lowered
by 30mm compared with the old car, and the front fenders can be set
remarkably close to the wheel arches and 20-inch wheels. At the back,
the boot lid is lowered by 40mm to help the sleek profile. As a result,
the new LS looks sportier and lighter than any F-segment limousines we
have seen - well, with the exception of Aston Martin Rapide and
Lagonda, of course.
The new car is 5235mm long (25mm longer than the LWB old car), 1900mm
(+25mm), 1450mm tall (-30mm) and runs a 3125mm wheelbase (+35mm). To
relieve rear headroom, the sunroof does not run the full length of the
roof. Behind the sunroof the roof is sculpted to free up a little more
headroom, although the sense of airiness is inevitably hampered. By
using lighter materials, the monocoque body is said to be more than
90kg lighter than the old ones, although it would be difficult to slip
under the 2 tons mark. Like LC coupe, the suspensions are multi-link
setup all around. Air suspension is optional on the luxury flagship
As suggested by its name, the LS500 is powered by the same
high-revving, loud-barking 5-liter V8 of LC500... No, just kidding!
Lexus has learned the bad habit of German rivals to fool you with the
numbers. The LS500 is actually powered by a 3.5-liter twin-turbo V6
which produces comparable power to a 5-liter V8, i.e. 415 horsepower
and 442 pound-foot of torque. That's less than the turbocharged V8s of
Mercedes S500/S550 and BMW 750i, but more than their six-cylinder
models, including Mercedes' forthcoming electric-charger straight-six
with 408 hp, but then the Lexus V6 is half a liter larger. Sadly, Lexus
said it has no plan for a more powerful V8, a decision in common with
Cadillac CT6. Although the LS500 is good for 0-60 mph in 4.5 seconds,
matching its V8 rivals, it will lose out on image. The V6 mates with
the Aisin 10-speed automatic which has debuted on LC500.
The car's interior design is radical and artistically sculpted. It
combines an LFA-style instrument with a flowing dashboard and 12.3-inch
recessed TFT screen.
|9 Jan, 2017
The AMG GT range has received a refresh. Outside, the key difference is
the use of the angrier "Panamericana" grille with vertical elements,
which has been introduced on the GT C Roadster recently. It is
supplemented with active grille shutter.
Both the base AMG GT and GT S have their engines uprated. The former
now produces 476 hp and 465 lbft, up 14 hp and 23 lbft to match exactly
the Roadster version. The GT S' output is lifted by 12 hp and 15 lbft
to 522 hp and 494 lbft.
Meanwhile, the coupe now also gets the GT C model, which shares the 557
hp / 516 lbft tune with the GT C Roadster. Mind you, both cars have
wider rear fenders to accommodate larger rear tires and wider track.
Moreover, they are added with active rear-wheel steering to improve
|9 Jan, 2017
Chevrolet Bolt has beaten Hyundai Genesis G90 and Volvo S90 to win
North American Car of the Year title. BTW, truck of the year goes to
Honda Ridgeline and the new award utility of the year is won by
Chrysler Pacifica MPV.
JLR 2016 sales result
Jaguar Land Rover has set new sales record again last year. It sold
583,313 units, up 20 percent year on year. Jaguar contributed to the
larger portion of the growth, which increased 77 percent to a record
148,730 units, thanks mostly to the F-Pace (45,973 units), XE and new
XF. Land Rover sales grew 8 percent to 434,583 units. Its best seller
was the new Land Rover Discovery Sport with 122,460 units sold.
Rolls-Royce 2016 sales result
Rolls-Royce sales rebounded to 4011 cars last year, up from 3785 cars a
year ago but still trails the 2014 result by 52 units.
Volkswagen brand 2016 sales result
Hit by dieselgate scandal, last year was very difficult to Volkswagen
group especially its core Volkswagen brand. Still, the brand managed to
sell 2.8 percent more cars during the year, with a total of 5,823,400
units. However, the growth was mainly driven by a 14 percent increase
China, which accounted for as much as 45 percent of all its unit
sales. Most other markets, including North America and Europe saw
decline of sales.
|9 Jan, 2017
Stinger 4-door coupe
Mercedes has CLA and CLS, BMW has 4-Series and 6-Series Gran Coupe,
Audi has A5 Sportback and A7. Until now, 4-door coupes seem to be the
playful idea of German luxury car makers. This is no longer true,
because Kia is launching its first 4-door coupe, Stinger.
The Stinger takes a very long time to realize. Back in 2011 Frankfurt
motor show, Kia already previewed the GT concept which was very close
to the Stinger in shape and layout (it even had the same 3.3 V6 turbo
engine!). In 2014 Detroit motor show, it showed another concept called
GT4 Stinger, but it had little in common with the production car
bearing the same name. The luxury 4-door coupe had long been a pet
project of group design chief Peter Schreyer, and he apparently got the
support of the management. To realize the car with proper performance
and handling, Hyundai group even hunted BMW M division engineering
chief Albert Biermann, and tested the car extensively at Nurburgring.
The Stinger is built on a new rear-drive platform to be shared with
Hyundai's Genesis G70 (which is to rival BMW 3-Series etc.). The car
targets at BMW 4-Series Gran Coupe and Audi S5 Sportback, but it is
considerably larger, measuring 4830mm in length, 1870mm in width and
1400mm in height, with a wheelbase of 2905mm. 55 percent of its body is
made of high-strenght steel to guarantee high rigidity, but sources
said it won't be lightweight, with the V6 model tipping the scale at
over 1900 kg! The heft might imply that the platform is adapted from
the larger Genesis G80 and G90, although it has the multi-link front
suspension replaced with simpler MacPherson struts like BMW. The rear
axle is suspended on 5-link setup. Fitted as standard are adaptive
dampers and, for the first time
on Kia, selectable driving modes. Like Genesis cars, 4-wheel-drive
system is optional.
There are 2 engines for selection and both are taken from the parts
pool. The base engine is a 2-liter GDI turbo four, producing
an estimated 255 hp and 260 lbft, which is good enough to match BMW
430i or Audi A5 Sportback 2.0TFSI, if not Alfa Romeo Giulia Ti (280hp).
However, the extra weight means you had better to opt for the 3.3-liter
GDI twin-turbo V6, which comes from Genesis G90 and produces 370 hp and
lbft of torque. Coupling to Hyundai's own 8-speed automatic
transmission (as does the four-pot engine), the V6 car is good for 0-60
mph in 4.9 seconds. It might struggle to match BMW 440i or Audi S5
Sportback, but at least its top speed is unrestricted at 167 mph.
To cope with its mass, the V6 model employs stronger Brembo brakes
consisting of 350mm vented discs and 4-piston calipers up front, and
340mm vented discs and 2-pot calipers at the rear. Its 19-inch wheels
wear 225/40 and 255/35 tires front and rear.
The most promising thing about the Stinger is not its performance or
chassis, but the styling. At the first glance it looks as if a polished
Kia K5 (Optima), but in fact its proportion is very different
because of the FR platform. Its bonnet is long, cabin is set rearward,
and the shoulder is more pronounced. The glasshouse more tappered and
the overall shape is a lot sleeker. Highlight is the triangular
C-pillar, which is not complicated with rear quarter window as the
latter is moved to the door. Up front, the mesh version of Tiger-nose
grille gives it enough character to stop the criticisms saying it
copied BMW's double-kidney grille. Overall, the exterior design is more
attractive than either 4-Series Gran Coupe or A5 Sportback.
The interior looks good, too. Its center console is oriented towards
the driver in BMW-style. The triple circular air vents and high
transmission tunnel promote the sporty theme. Build quality looks high.
It will be interesting to see how the Kia goes against its German
rivals on the road. Its extra size and weight might put it in
disadvantage, but the more space and tasteful design might win back
points. Running similar philosophies, Lexus and Infiniti should be
|9 Jan, 2017
With the easy tuning nature of turbocharged engines, the development of
911 GTS cannot be easier! This is also why the new GTS arrives so early
- just one year after the 991.2 Carrera and Carrera S, rather than at
final year of its model lifecycle. It makes the 911 family ever more
crowded. Compared with Carrera S, its 3.6-liter twin-turbo flat-six is
boosted by 30 horsepower to 450 hp, while max. torque is lifted by 37
lbft to 406 lbft, released at a higher rev range between 2150 and 5500
rpm. As a result, top speed is lifted by 3 mph to 194 mph and 0-60 mph
is cut by two-tenths to 3.5 seconds for the fastest version equipped
with PDK and Sport Chrono.
As before, the GTS employs the wider body of Carrera 4 to enhance
roadholding. PASM is fitted standard. Cosmetic changes are limited. The
front bumper intake design is remarkably close to the last GTS. At the
rear, the taillights have been altered a little, while a black stripe
is added between the taillights. This stripe is replaced by a light
stripe on 4-wheel-drive version.
|6 Jan, 2017
Remember the first Bentley Continental Supersports
Introduced in 2009, it was not only the most powerful, the fastest but
also the most exciting model of the Continental GT range. Now the
nameplate returns. Its W12 engine has received larger turbochargers and
uprated intercoolers to boost output to 710 hp and 750 lbft. That's 80
hp and 160 lbft more than the old car! It is also significantly more
powerful than any other current Continental models. For your reference:
Continental GT V8 S: 528 hp / 502 lbft
Continental GT3-R: 580 hp / 516 lbft
Continental GT: 575 hp / 516 lbft
Continental GT Speed: 625 hp / 590 lbft
Supersports: 710 hp / 750 lbft
To cope with the increased output, the ZF 8-speed automatic
transmission gets a strengthened torque converter, and the engine gets
stronger main and conrod bearings. With a top speed of 209 mph, the
Supersports edges out Ferrari GTC4 Lusso (208 mph) to be the world's
fastest luxury 4-seater, although its rear seats are not suitable for
adults, unlike the case of Ferrari. In terms of 0-60 mph, the result is
reversed. While the Bentley is already very quick at 3.4 seconds, the
Ferrari is a tenth quicker. The next fastest accelerating Bentley, the
limited edition Continental GT3-R, took 3.6 seconds.
Bentley said the SS is the lightest model in the Continental range.
Well, at 2290 kg, it might be slightly lighter but not going to be
described as light. While the old SS went as far as ditching the rear
seats and using carbon-fiber-shell front seats, the new SS did neither.
It doesn't want to sacrifice any luxury, so weight saving is limited to
the standard fitment of carbon-ceramic brakes, light alloy wheels and
carbon aero kits. The big rear spoiler you see in these pictures are
optional, which may drag down its top speed and lose the "fastest
luxury 4-seater" title. The new front bumper and front splitter,
however, is good enough to distinguish the new Supersports from lesser
models. Another feature is the pair of bonnet vents.
The lower and stiffer suspension tuning seems to be benefited by the
GT3-R program, as is the brake-actuated torque vectoring. The
4-wheel-drive system is left unchanged with its 40:60 torque bias
fault. Since it uses Torsen C center differential, there is little
adjustability. The 21-inch forged alloy wheels and large ceramic brakes
are also carried over from the GT3-R.
With heavier engine, I don't think the Supersports could rival GT3-R
for pure driving thrills. However, its extra power and speed in
combination of luxury interior is still a good selling point. Moreover,
in this class, buyers do care if they are buying the range topper. The
SS starts at £213,000 for the coupe and £234,000 for the
GTC convertible, more than Ferrari 488 GTB / Spider and matches GTC4
Lusso. In this crazy world, the more expensive the more it is sought
|6 Jan, 2017
sales result 2016
Last year was a very successful year to McLaren, as it doubled its
sales to 3286 cars, which should be very close to Aston Martin and
Lamborghini, if not Ferrari. The increase is driven by the cheaper
Sports series (570S / 570GT / 540C), which amounts to 2031 cars, while
the Super series (650S / Spider / 675LT) sold 1255 units.
No more Mercedes-based Infiniti
Currently, Nissan is using Mercedes MFA platform (A-class / B-class /
GLA-class) for building its Infiniti Q30 and QX30 hatchbacks.
Originally it planned to use the next generation MFA platform, due next
year, for the basis of a Q40 sedan and the next generation Q30/QX30.
Now it has cancelled the plan due to cost concern. It is known that
Nissan found the projected prices and volume of its cars do not justify
the costs it will bear in the joint venture. This implies that, while
Infiniti has increased its sales last year by 7 percent, its business
model is not as optimistic. Now Mercedes has to go alone in the
project. In particular, the new Mexican factory originally planned to
build the small cars of both firms will have problem to reach economy
|5 Jan, 2017
Future FF 91: does it have a future?
Faraday Future FF 91 is an electric crossover like Tesla Model X, but
it is even larger, faster, more advanced and more luxurious - if it
could be realized. The car is huge, measuring 5.25m in length, 2.28m in
width, 1.59m in height, and its maker does not talk about its weight
(maybe close to 3 tons?). Its specifications are spectacular: 4
electric motors with a combined output of 1050 horsepower and 1327 lbft
of torque, 0-60 mph sprint in 2.39 seconds (faster than Tesla Model S
P100D!) and a range of 700 km (435 miles) on a single charge from its
huge, 130 kWh battery. All these are peerless.
The car is also as futuristic as its name suggested. You open the doors
not by keys or keyless fob, but the car's camera recognizes you by face
detection and opens the doors automatically. The car will even drive
and park itself, using an expensive 3D Lidar (laser radar), 13 radars,
10 cameras and 12 ultrasonic sensors to read the road.
Unfortunately, everything is doubtful. Faraday Future is a new
California-based company founded by Chinese IT products / Entertainment
company LeEco. LeEco has been expanding rapidly in the last couple of
years, stretching its arms to TV networks, music business and electric
cars (through Faraday Future and LeSEE). As China's economy is cooling
down and capital supply is getting tight, LeEco is being troubled by
heavy debts. Last month, its TV company in Hong Kong had to cut a
significant portion of its staffs. Meanwhile, construction of the
Faraday Future factory in Nevada stopped as it failed to pay the bills
of construction company. Knowing this background, you may understand
why the company rushed to unveil the FF 91 even though the prototype
does not work properly - embarrassingly, it failed to park itself on
the stage in its world debut. Now it starts taking a deposit of
US$5000, hoping this can generate cashflow to save the game. But how
much will the final car cost? When will it be ready for delivery? The
firm declines to say. Yes, the deposit is said to be refundable, but
what if the company goes into bankruptcy overnight?
|5 Jan, 2017
Picanto / Morning
Kia has unveiled the new generation Picanto, or what they call Morning
back in South Korea. The A-segment city car keeps its body shape
unchanged but it gains a more aggressive nose and mouth, a kick at the
lower edge of rear side window and a change to C-shape taillights. In
these photos, it also features unusually sporty 195/45 tires and
16-inch alloy wheels, so it is obvious that Kia wants to inject a
The new car keeps the 3595mm length, 1595mm width and 1485mm height
unchanged, but wheelbase gains 15mm to 2400mm, which should make its
already remarkable cabin space even more competitive. The new body is
made of 44.3 percent of high-strength steel, up from 22 percent of the
old car. Moreover, it uses a lot of structural adhesives to enhance
rigidity, improve NVH suppression and crash safety. Speaking of safety,
the addition of brake-actuated torque vectoring should help.
The powertrain is unchanged. It is still that 1.0-liter Kappa
3-cylinder mating with 5-speed manual or 4-speed automatic. In Korea,
the engine is rated at 76 hp and 70 lbft. When it is exported to
Europe, expect its output will drop to 66 hp as in the case of sister
car Hyundai i10, but a 87 hp 1.25-liter four-cylinder may be added.
Despite the sporty look, it is by no means a hot hatch.
The interior is completely redesigned such that it has no clues to the
old car's. It looks more funky yet more functional, with a touchscreen
topping the center console.
|5 Jan, 2017
sales result 2016
Infiniti brand sold 230,000 vehicles globally last year, up 7 percent
from a year ago. However, it still trails the big players Mercedes,
BMW, Audi and Lexus by a long way (even Porsche is selling more cars
now). USA is still by far its largest market with 138,000 units sold.
China came second with 42,000 units.
Tesla sales result 2016
Tesla delivered 76,230 cars last year, short of the forecast of 80,000
units, again due to production delay.