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A close up of the front end of a grey BMW XS.

Automotive news through September 2019

In current auto news, analysts say that BMW should buy Jaguar Land Rover from Tata Motors. BMW is rapidly expanding its lineup while Jaguar seems to be struggling to gain momentum, with the exception of its F-Type. This has not gone unnoticed by the analysts on Wall Street. Sanford C. Berenstein analysts say that BMW should buy Jaguar Land Rover from India’s Tata Motors.

When asked to clarify, analyst Max Warburton says that “BMW is overcapitalized and awash with cash. It has run into the limits of growth for product range and brand.” He continues, “JLR is severely challenged, both operationally and financially, but could massively lower both its fixed and variable costs under the wing of a bigger partner.”

The impetus for such an action, according to the research report is that by buying JLR for $11.2 billion, it could add 20 percent to BMW’s earnings. It could also add almost a quarter to BMW’s volumes. This research report is riding on the heels of a recent announcement between the two companies made in June. BMW and JLR announced a collaboration for next-generation electrification technology. Could future collaborations be in store between the two manufacturers, and could something even bigger be in store? We will have to wait and see.

Daimler Stops Developing Internal Combustion Engines

It seems as though the Germans are going after Tesla. The first to attack was Porsche with the development of the Porsche Taycan. Next is Daimler, the parent company of Mercedes-Benz.

According to German magazine Auto Motor und Sport, Daimler development chief Markus Schaefer recently said that the company does not have any current plans to develop next-generation combustion engines. It is instead focusing on new electric powertrains.

Don’t assume that this is the end of gasoline-powered AMG power plants. He notes that they still might work on some specific parts to improve upon their existing engines. Expect Daimler to continue to produce their current gasoline engine lineup to the end of its lifecycle, which could be another couple of years

Tesla Sued by the New Jersey Dealer Association

A white Tesla Model X is driving on a road with the sun setting behind it.

Tesla seems to be in the news quite a bit this past week. Unfortunately, it has not all been positive. Tesla is known for innovation, not only in terms of its vehicles but also with its direct-to-consumer sales model, much to the ire of automobile dealers across the country.

One association has decided it has had enough. The New Jersey Dealer’s Association is suing Tesla for violating franchise laws. Tesla is not alone in being sued by the organization. State regulators have been served in a separate suit. The New Jersey Dealer’s Association alleges that Tesla failed to enforce fair rules and regulations that apply to both automobile manufacturers and dealers. These include consumer protection, franchise, and advertising laws.

Porsche’s 718 Replacements will be Electric

It appears as though the electric vehicle revolution is in full swing, at least in Germany. At the recent Porsche Taycan launch event, Lutz Meschke, deputy chairman of the board, shed additional light on the auto manufacturer’s push into electric vehicles.

Top Gear is reporting that when asked by a reporter about electrification of the 718, Mr. Meschke said: “The 718 just fits EV, doesn’t it?” When asked whether an electric Cayman would have all-wheel-drive, he responded, “Yes, it needs to be, that makes sense.”

In 2022, Porsche will roll out an all-electric version of their top-seller, the Porsche Macan. It is to be based on a new “PPE” electric platform being co-developed with Audi. Because of the timing and Mr. Meschke’s comment, one can assume that the next-generation Porsche Boxster and Cayman will also use the platform.

Audi confirms initiative for high-performance electrification

When hybrid and electrification first emerged, it was all about the economy. With the German’s aggressive embrace of electrification, are we at the dawn of the era of “high-performance” electrification?

Like Porsche, Audi has been transitioning its line to electric vehicles for some time now. It looks like Audi’s high-performance Audi Sport division is also jumping on the bandwagon, at least partially.

Speaking at a media roundtable on the sidelines of the recent Frankfurt Auto Show, one of the automaker’s co-directors, Oliver Hoffman said: “electrification is the foundation of Audi Sport.” When pressed, he indicated that the fourth-generation RS 6 and second-generation RS 7 both use a mild 48-volt hybrid system to improve fuel economy.

According to Hoffman, hybridization of the Audi-Sport lineup will do two things. First, it will allow Audi Sport vehicles to travel through busy urban centers without drawing the attention of regulators. In other words, with several large cities throughout the world looking to ban gasoline-powered vehicles in the future, hybridization would allow Audi Sport vehicles to be used legally wherever they are sold.

The second benefit of hybridization is that it will inject performance into the drivetrain when needed. For example, both Porsche and FIA use Kinetic Energy Recovery Systems (KERS) in racing applications to store kinetic energy created during braking to create acceleration for later use. Performance-oriented hybridization is increasingly using such technology in race applications.

New Model of the Toyota Corolla Unveiled in Japan

Toyota Motor Company rolled out the 12th generation of the Toyota Corolla in Japan on Tuesday, the first wholly redesigned sedan in seven years. Following the lead of the recently redesigned Toyota Camry, the Corolla has a sportier design and lower center of gravity than the model it replaces. It also comes with the latest safety equipment that detects pedestrians and bicycles at night. In Japan, the new Corolla is offered with two types of gasoline engines, a 1.8-liter 4-cylinder engine as well as a 1.2-liter engine. A 1.8-liter engine coupled with a hybrid electric motor is also available.

As the new Corolla was unveiled for the Japanese market, Toyota also launched the Corolla Touring wagon and the Corolla Sport hatchback. It remains to be seen if these Corolla models are intended for only the Japanese market or if they will hit U.S. shores in the future.

Details Emerge on the Upcoming Ferrari SUV

First Porsche, then Bentley, Rolls Royce, Lamborghini, Aston Martin, and now Ferrari. After watching the success of its competitors, in 2018, Ferrari announced it was jumping on the SUV bandwagon. And now, the details are starting to emerge about Ferrari’s upcoming SUV. Initially scheduled to arrive in 2020, its introduction was changed to 2022 to allow Ferrari more time to develop “the world’s fastest SUV,” a record now held by the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk.

The rear end of the upcoming Ferrari Purosangue, which is a popular topic in current auto news, in the desert at night.

Known internally as “Purosangue” (“Pureblood”), details remain scarce. When asked about the project, chief technical officer Michael Leiters responded: “I think we have found a concept and a package which is on one side a real SUV and will convince SUV customers to buy it, but on the other side there’s a huge differentiation of concept to existing SUV’s.”

Understandably, there are three years of development time ahead before we see the Ferrari SUV in the flesh as the team is hectic over that time. At least 15 new Ferrari models are scheduled to be released by 2023 in two different categories: mid-engined supercars and front-engine GT-style cars.

So early on in the development cycle of the Purosange, several decisions have yet to be made, such as what type of engine to use, drivetrain, suspension, interior, and so forth.

Hertz to Offer 750 Horsepower Chevrolet Camaros for Rent

Starting in October, you can rent a specially prepared Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 or Chevrolet Camaro SS from select Hertz rent-a-car locations. Only 224 highly modified Camaros are being added to the Hertz fleet in the United States.

Partnering with Hedrick Motorsports, Hertz is rolling out a limited edition 2020 Camaro ZL1 and 2020 Camaro SS muscle cars for rental car duty. Work by the Hedricks Team on the ZL1 consists of replacing the stock supercharger with a Callaway blower, increasing output to 750 horsepower.

Exterior changes consist of custom Hertz wheels and a new paint scheme. Minor modifications to the interior of the car consist of a dashboard plaque and embroidered headrests.

Modifications to the 2020 Chevrolet Camaro SS consist of new cold air intake and cat-back exhaust, increasing output to 480 horsepower. A motorsports strut bar is added to the front suspension to improve cornering. A total of 200 2020 Chevrolet Camaro SS and 24 2020 Chevrolet ZL1s will be offered at airport locations in California, Florida, North Carolina, Georgia, and Texas starting mid-October.

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