RUMOUR HAS IT...
BMW marks electric with an X
BMW has revealed its first full-electric SUV model
BMW revealed its first full-electric SUV model, the iX3 at the Beijing motor show. The new iX3 features an electric motor generating 200kW and BMW claims a range of over 400km on a single charge. The iX3 is to go on sale in SA in 2019 or 2020 but it will not be built alongside the new X3 at BMW’s SA production facility in Rosslyn. All iX3 models for now will be built in China as part of the brand’s joint venture with Brilliance Automotive.
8 Series marketing continues
BMW is on a massive offensive in marketing its new 8 Series coupe and convertible models. After revealing the concept last year, it has put the M8 on race tracks, released details of the 8 Series’ development and design and now it has revealed more details, including pictures of the camouflaged models, after it allowed some international motoring hacks to drive the prototypes in Wales. The model driven was the M850i xDrive coupe which BMW says will combine luxury and driving dynamics -obviously.
Ford cans cars
Ford says it will no longer sell cars in the US. That statement needs clarifying of course because the US company is not stopping selling automobiles, but instead ditching traditional sedans and hatchbacks to only sell crossovers, SUVs and pick-ups. The only exception to this is, and you can probably guess, the Mustang. There is one area of confusion over the Blue Oval’s statement though, in that it is testing autonomous cars (mostly sedans) for ride-hailing services so perhaps Dearborn does not see autonomous cars as actual cars.
Bosch to save diesel?
Diesel sales in Europe are plummeting. It all started with the Volkswagen Group Dieselgate scandal but then politicians started condemning diesel too and people became concerned, not so much about emissions but about the resale value of their diesel model. New figures, however, show that average CO2 emissions from new cars went up by 0.4% to 118.5g/km in 2017 in Europe. Petrol produces more CO2 than diesel but diesel could make a comeback as Bosch has developed technology that dramatically reduces NOx emissions from diesel cars. If diesel emissions can be the same or even less than petrol then the global auto industry will certainly breathe a collective sigh of relief.
Happy Birthday Land Rover
April 30th was world Land Rover Day. Granted, it was not on the international calendar,, but it marked the 70th anniversary of the day the first Land Rover, a Series 1, debuted at the Amsterdam motor show back in 1948. Ralf Speth, Jaguar Land Rover CEO, said: "Land Rover was born with the launch of a single vehicle. Today our family of SUVs is testament to the pioneering spirit of innovation that has characterised Land Rover for seven decades. Our family of Defender, Discovery and Range Rover models provides unrivalled capability, versatility and luxury, giving us the perfect foundation for another 70 years of success." Now seems like a good time to reveal the new Defender, then Land Rover.
Will people R8 the V6?
Audi recently confirmed that it is planning a V6 version of its R8 sportscar, but now it has been spotted testing in Germany. It will arrive as part of a facelift for the whole R8 range in 2020 that will see the model gain a bigger grille as part of a frontal design along the theme of the new A6 and A7 as well as slightly smaller "blades" on the side. The likely engine choice seems to be the 2.9l V6 from the current RS5.
Updates coming fast for Mercedes
Mercedes-Benz SA launches its new GLC63 and GLE63 AMG models later this month, but before you get too excited, the parent company is also testing brand new GLC and GLE models, to debut in 2019. There are big changes to the interior, with infotainment and screens similar to those in the new C-Class. Also, new engines, the inline-six powerplants included, will also arrive in the new CLS and possibly a GLC 400d to add to the GLC 350d. The new models are only likely to go on sale in SA in 2020, so if you really want the current AMG versions, well go on then.
BMW goes hyper
Virgin and BMW Designworks have been working on a hyperloop system for Dubai. The companies say that once built, the passenger capsule, electromagnetically propelled through a vacuum tube, could reach speeds up to 1,080km/h, potentially traveling from Dubai to Abu Dhabi in as little as 12 minutes. Virgin Hyperloop One is currently negotiating the next stage of development with the aim of building the world’s first hyperloop transportation system in the Middle East.