Alfa Romeo Returns to Formula 1 in 2018 via Sauber

AutoInformed.com on Alfa Romeo Returns to F1

A long history.

After 30 years of absence and financial and marketing struggles, Alfa Romeo now owned by a bailed out Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) today signed a multiyear technical and commercial partnership agreement with Swiss Sauber F1 Team to run  in the Formula 1 world championship beginning with the 2018 season.

The single-seat race cars  will carry the  colors and logo of Alfa Romeo with Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team the team’s Title Sponsor, and will be equipped – no surprise – with 2018 Ferrari engines, not Ram diesels. Continue reading

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Dieselgate Once Again – Porsche to Fix Dirty V6 Diesels

AutoInformed.comBack at the very end of July, Porsche in an arrangement with the German Federal Motor Transport Authority, aka KBA, recalled Cayenne 3-liter V6 Diesel models in the EU6 emissions class. The profitable subsidiary of the Volkswagen Group – which produced the largest diesel emission fraud in history by using so-called defeat devices or software – claimed to have noticed “irregularities in the engine control software during internal investigations.” About 21,500 vehicles in Europe from model years 2014 to 2017 are affected, including 6,000 in Germany. (Above Left: The irony is hybrids deliver nearly the fuel economy of diesels without cheating or illegally polluting the air.)

It is no coincidence that in June, the respected German Magazine Der Spiegel first reported the “irregularities.” It also pointed out the existence of a cheating cartel consisting of Audi, BMW, Daimler, Volkswagen and Porsche that lasted for many years. The outgoing German government was complicit in allowing the cartel and the emissions in the view of critics because so many jobs were at stake.
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Automated, Connected and Electric Vehicles – ACE

AutoInformed.com on ACE

Click to enlarge.

The Center for Automotive Research notes the automotive industry is changing at a record rate with vehicle technologies such as automated driver assist systems (ADAS), connected and automated vehicles (CAV), and advanced powertrains. These have the clout to transform both the product and therefore the industry.

Thus, a new acronym – automated, connected, and electric (ACE) automotive technologies that in laughable jargon “will enable new mobility paradigms, new companies, and new business and revenue models that have the potential to alter the way consumers interact with vehicles.” Perhaps humorous but also serious since taken together, these new vehicle technologies – and unknown ones – and new mobility services are key to advancing the “shared economy.” Continue reading

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Audi e-tron FE04 to open Formula E Season in December

AutoInformed.com on Formula E

Audi e-tron FE04 #1 Lucas di Grassi.

The race cars of Team Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler are on their way to Hong Kong where the opening race of the new 2018 Formula E season will take place on December 2 and 3. The 1.860-kilometer race track is on the waterfront and past the Ferris wheel. The other temporary circuit uses public streets and has a long straight that is good for passing. It is followed by a technically challenging section with tight turns. The track surface poses an additional challenge, as it changes from tarmac to concrete. On Saturday, 43 and on Sunday, 45 laps will be driven.

The racing series – if it can be called racing – where teams must switch cars because recharging the batteries takes too long and they can’t go the racing distance – is nonetheless highly competitive. Continue reading

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GAC Motor GM8 Minivan at 2018 NAIAS. Sold in US by 2019

AutoInformed.com on Chinese GAC Coming to US

Coming to the U.S. in late 2019.

What’s claimed to be China’s fastest growing automaker by themselves, GAC Motor, debuted the brand’s first MPV – GM8 – at the 2017 Guangzhou International Automobile Exhibition on this month, saying it will be at NAIAS in January “highlighting advanced design concepts and forward-looking technologies.”

(Above: GAC GM8 MPV debuts in China in December at a price range of 180,000-270,000 yuan – US $27,000-41,000.)

The GM8 was created on GAC Motor’s level C platform and has captain’s seating, intelligent technologies and up-to-date safety and security equipment. Continue reading

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Violence Against Women at Work – A Trade Union Issue

Autoinformed.com on Workplace Violence Against Women

Unions can help end the violence.

“Not in my union, not in my workplace,” is the challenge  global Union is issuing a challenge to affiliated trade unions to take the pledge and commit to taking action to stop violence against women. IndustriALL has launched a new video to mark the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women on 25 November.

Violence against women remains one of the most tolerated violations of human rights and trade unions says IndustriALL have a responsibility to defend and promote women’s rights.
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Black Magic – Winter Tires Prove All-Seasons Are Anything But

AutoInformed.com Winter Tire Testing - sll rights reserved

Dedicated snow tires are clearly the best choice.

In Michigan I call it the folly of physics-ignorant drivers since they lose control – a skidding tire has no traction – making them passengers as the car heads toward the center median, shoulder, guardrail or a multi-vehicle accident during wintry conditions.

The first snowfall every year puts the non-Newtonians on view – hapless drivers on the road with inadequate tires driving toward the potentially dire consequences of a zero coefficient of friction where the rubber meets the road.

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le coq sportif Sponsors 2018 Renault Sport Formula One Team

AutoInformed.com on Formula One Marketing

The Renault Sport Formula One Team has a new team kit supplier – le coq sportif (sic). The 19th century brand has multiple deals with athletes in football, cycling, tennis and rugby. Financial terms were not disclosed in what is an obscenely expensive form of auto racing when actually occurs.

The drivers and the members of Renault Sport Formula One Team during the 2018 season will wear a variant of the sports brand. Continue reading

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Protect the American Worker Trump – Says NLA

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Luddites alliterates better with Lyft not Uber, which covered up a user data breach of 65 million accounts. One wonders if an autonomous computer program was responsible.

The National Limousine Association (http://limo.org)  says president Trump should protect the American worker given Uber’s open push for autonomous vehicles. In an open letter excerpted below, Co-Founder Scott Solombrino responds to Uber’s move from its current model of ride-sharing using freelance drivers to owning a fleet of autonomous cars.

“As you are aware (debatable, if not refutable – editor), our country was founded on the principal that hard working Americans have a standard set of protections afforded to them by law, and that all reasonable efforts will be made to keep people employed who have a desire and ability to work… individuals have faced increasing threats as jobs become automated. The latest of these threats is coming from autonomous motor vehicles …  and the views and practices put forth by the companies advocating for their development.
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Another Crossover! Hyundai KONA Debuts at LA Auto Show

AutoInformed.com on Crossover SUVs

Another crossover SUV.

Hyundai is unveiling the US-production version of its KONA crossover at the Los Angeles Auto Show. It appears to be a thoroughly mainstream entry from a company that missed its current global forecast after years of rapid expansion.

Hyundai claims that the “Kona carves a unique place in the Hyundai CUV lineup with a distinctly fresh design and animated color. It will come in the U.S. with a 1.6-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine with a 7-speed transmission. Kona also has LED Headlights, Taillights, and running lamps a 2.0-liter Atkinson Cycle engine with a 6-speed A/T. Continue reading

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GAC Motor to Export Trumpchi Vehicles to US in late 2019

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Daimler took the Beijing Jeep plant with it, among other assets, when it sold Chrysler. GAC now builds Jeep and Fiat models in China for FCA.

Cars made by an arm of the GAC Group, the parent company of Trumpchi cars – we are not making this name up – will be exported to the U.S. late in 2019, presumably as 2020 models.

One hopes they will be suited better to their purpose than their coincidental namesake, which might not survive the ocean voyage. GAC hopes it will be the first Chinese car brand to succeed in the U.S. market, despite years of promises from other firms. Trumpchi’s GS8 mid-size sport utility vehicle and its spacious GM8 minivan – the debut or debacle vehicles – are said by pundits to have reasonable levels of quality. We will see. Continue reading

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WEC: TOYOTA WINS IN BAHRAIN

TOYOTA Gazoo Racing won for the fifth time in the 6 Hours of Bahrain, ending the nine-race 2017 FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) season with a victory. It was bittersweet because Porsche had clinched both the manufacturers’ and drivers’ title at the penultimate race of the season in Shanghai and is withdrawing from LMP1. Shanghaied! Porsche Takes Third Straight Endurance Driver’s Title

“As a team, we have stuck together through thick and thin over the years, said Andreas Seidl of Porsche fame. “This last run-out in competitive conditions was indeed depressing; yet at the same time, I felt a deep gratitude. Gratitude for the fact that I have been able to be part of this chapter of Porsche motorsport history, for the successes and, above all, for the fact that we got through four years without any accidents that resulted in injuries.” Continue reading

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Autonomous Cars Dream or Nightmare?

AutoInformed.com on Auotnomous Vehicles

Autonomous driving – NASA technologies at space age costs?

Does one ever dream about cars? Maybe after attending an auto show or a Concours if one is a collector? Sure, it happens all the time. Especially when one has been coveting the latest Chevy Corvette ZO6, Mercedes-Benz AMG GTS or maybe an Aston Martin V12 Vantage ES with new seven-speed manual worthy of 007 fame.

But emerging from a dead sleep with visions of what THE future of the driving world will be, for me, was totally unexpected. Yes, I’ve written about self-driving or so-called autonomous cars and their potential perils, and objections to finding oneself unable to tromp the gas pedal or brake or turn a non-existent steering wheel around a hairpin curve. Continue reading

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Slow News Night – 2018 Nissan Midnight Models

AutoInformed.com on Nissan Midnight EditionsFor Nissan in 2018, black is the new black, just like Henry Ford’s Model T with its fast-drying paint that upped production. This time it’s a marketing move to increase revenues. and foremost to shut out a thriving aftermarket in blackout kits.

Nissan says it has sold 50,000 Midnight Edition 2017, including up to 80% of Maxima SR models and typically one-third of other models’ applicable grades. Now Nissan is expanding the lineup to include Frontier, TITAN and TITAN XD models. Continue reading

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Crossover Mania: 3-Row Lexus RX Debuts at Los Angeles

AutoInformed.com on Crossover SUVs - RX350Even one of the leading passenger car makers in the world cannot stop the flood tide (tsunami?)  of increasing demand – globally – for crossover SUVs. The Lexus RX – the original SUV built from a car platform – debuting in the U.S. at the Chicago Auto Show 20 years ago – will get three rows of seats. Its latest world premiere of the upcoming 2018 RX350L model is at the 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show and industry conferences at the beginning of December. It will have both gasoline and – curiously – diesel engines.

 

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