Lordstown Doesn’t Have Money to Build Endurance EV Pickup

Lordstown Motors, an EV startup based in an Ohio town of the same name, doesn’t have enough money to start building trucks by the end of the year as previously promised. That revelation came in a regulatory filing on Tuesday and was first reported by the Wall Street Journal. Lordstown’s inability to start production on its first product raises serious questions about the viability of the company and how long it can continue operating.

Lordstown had originally promised that it would start building its Endurance pickup truck, with a promised 600 horsepower and roughly 250 miles of range, early this year. Fleet customers were supposed to get first dibs at the trucks, and Lordstown said private customers could expect delivery by the end of the year. However, by this spring it was clear production had never begun. The Endurance was unveiled last summer with then Vice President Mike Pence in attendance.

This isn’t the first we’ve heard of trouble at the startup. It was the subject in March of a report from investment research firm Hindenburg Research, which said the company had misled investors and may have been lying about pre-orders for its truck (the company says it has 100,000 pre-orders from fleet customers). Also in March, the Lordstown confirmed it was the subject of a Securities and Exchange Commission investigation.

Even without its apparently serious financial problems, Lordstown was facing new and stiff competition on the EV pickup front. Ford unveiled an EV version of its bestselling F-150 last month and claims to have raked in tens of thousands of pre-orders in the first days after the reveal.



Hyundai, GM serious about ‘flying car’ efforts

Hyundai Motor Co and General Motors Co. said on Monday they are pushing ahead with developing flying cars, with the South Korean company expressing optimism it could have an air-taxi service in operation as soon as 2025.

A GM executive said it could take until 2030 for air-taxi services to overcome technical and regulatory hurdles and reach commercialization.

The zero-emissions aircraft, which take off and land like helicopters and carry passengers and cargo, are being developed by a number of startups as well as aircraft makers and automakers, but they face a long road to profitability.

Hyundai is ahead of its previously stated timetable for rolling out air-mobility vehicles, Jose Munoz, the company’s global chief operating officer, said in an interview broadcast on Monday at the Reuters Events Car of the Future conference.

Munoz, who is also CEO of Hyundai North America, previously said urban air taxis would be in operation at major U.S. airports by 2028 and perhaps earlier. He told Reuters on Monday it could possibly happen before 2025.

“We see this market as a significant growth opportunity,” Munoz said, adding he was “very confident” of the technology’s development.

Hyundai is developing air taxis powered by electric batteries that can transport five to six people from highly congested urban centers to airports.

Is this the future of the Automotive Industry?

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Bentley: New Bentayga Hybrid launches in UK and Europe

The Bentayga Hybrid is now available to order for customers in the United Kingdom and Europe. Following introduction in the launch markets of the USA and China, the Bentayga Hybrid continues to bring unrivalled, electrified serenity to the luxury SUV sector around the world.

Following the launch of the Bentayga V8 and Bentayga Speed last summer, the Bentayga Hybrid is the third model in the most successful luxury SUV portfolio the segment has ever seen. The first generation Bentayga Hybrid accounted for one in every five of Bentaygas manufactured, and the introduction of the second generation is likely to increase that ratio – 45 per cent of Bentayga orders in China since launch have been for the hybrid version.

Providing a simplified offer for customers, the latest generation Bentayga Hybrid is available at the same base price as a Bentayga V8 – focusing the customer choice on powertrain preference rather than cost.

Delivering the same level of comfort and luxury, yet with a quieter and more refined driving experience, the Bentayga Hybrid brings a selection of new technologies and connected car services, positioning the new product as the most technically advanced Bentayga to date.

The exterior and interior design emphasises Bentley design DNA across the entire model range, giving Bentley the freshest and most modern product family of any luxury car company. Furthermore, the Bentayga Hybrid is the first step on Bentley’s path to having an electrified offering for every model in the range within the next three years, ahead of Bentley’s first BEV in 2025 and as part of Bentley’s revolutionary Beyond100 strategy that will see the iconic brand become the world’s leading sustainable luxury mobility company.

Introducing the very latest on-board technology and an even more cosseting cabin, the new Bentayga is significantly revised both inside and out from the previous generation. The Bentayga Hybrid is available with a four or five-seat configuration and can be personalised further with a vast selection of optional content including Blackline and Styling Specifications, with Blackline now being ordered on more than a third of customer cars.

The Bentayga Hybrid offers the ultimate in electric luxury, with smooth and silent progress through urban environments, whilst having the grand touring capability to escape the city and explore further. Customers of the Bentayga Hybrid can escape the noise of the city through the refined and acoustically-isolated serenity of the cabin without engine interference, using up to 25 miles of electric-only range (WLTP), before physically leaving the city behind with the comfort of a total combined range of 430 miles (WLTP).

Bentley’s research shows over 90 per cent of customers use their first-generation Bentayga Hybrid on a daily basis or several times a week, and nearly 100 per cent of customers use EV mode, with half of them consistently undertaking journeys of less than 30 miles.

In real world terms, the majority of journeys can be achieved completely in electric only, with zero emissions, delivering more benefits environmentally and building on Bentley’s new reputation for sustainability for the future.

The Bentayga Hybrid is the first of two new Bentley hybrids due to enter production this year, with the next to break cover this summer. The Bentayga Hybrid is available to order in the UK and Europe now, with deliveries beginning in the coming weeks.




Spied: 2022 Toyota Corolla Cross 

A spy photographer in Colorado has caught Toyota’s upcoming compact crossover testing on public roads.  

The Corolla Cross, as it is expected to be known in North America, will be Toyota’s answer to the Jeep Renegade, Ford EcoSport, Kia Seltos, Mazda CX-30, and the Chevrolet TrailBlazer.  

Built from an abbreviated version of Toyota’s modular TNGA-C platform, the new model shares DNA with the current Corolla and Prius, as well as the Lexus UX and Honda CH-R. Compared to the RAV4, the newcomer will arrive lower, narrower, and significantly shorter.  

Under the hood, speculation points to a 140 HP 1.8 L four-cylinder paired to an efficient continuously-variable transmission. A hybrid option is also expected, teaming a meeker four-cylinder with an electric motor for a net 170 HP through the same CVT. Neither powertrain is likely to drink much fuel on weekend sojourns from the suburbs to the local Provincial Park. 

The camouflaged Colorado vehicles appear consistent with those already on sale in Thailand, so we aren’t holding our breath for any big surprises. Prospective shoppers should, however, remember that trims and final details will likely change to suit North American market preferences and legislative requirements.  

Production should be starting soon, likely at a new Toyota-Mazda plant being readied in the U.S.  



2022 BMW 2-Series coming soon!

One of the fan-favorite model of BMW is coming out with a new and updated version. Even as new front-wheel-drive sedan variants crop up around it, the new 2022 2-series will continue to offer a rear-wheel-drive coupe model with either an inline-four or an inline-six engine. BMW has confirmed that the M240i model will offer a more powerful turbo 3.0-liter inline-six with 382 horsepower, while we expect the 230i to continue with a turbo 2.0-liter inline-four with around 250 hp.

So far BMW has only shared details about the M240i’s eight-speed automatic transmission, which has us worried that the more powerful 2er might drop its manual-transmission option. We sincerely hope that a six-speed manual will still be offered at least on the 230i. Both engine choices will be offered with either rear- or all-wheel drive.

More information is coming in late July or early August and the 2-series should arrive at U.S. dealerships by this fall. The rear-drive 230i and M240i xDrive will go on sale first, with the 230i xDrive and rear-drive M240i arriving later, possibly for the 2023 model year.

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The New F-150 Electric

American car company Ford getting ready to unveil its all-electric F-15.

Ford is getting ready to reveal its all-electric pickup truck, which will be called the F-150 Lighting. It’ll be revealed at the company’s headquarters in Dearborn, Michigan on May 19, and livestreamed across more than 30 platforms, including Facebook and YouTube, as well as on screens in Las Vegas, and in Times Square in New York.

The “Lightning” name was originally used on two generations of the high-performance F-150 SVT Lightning, built from 1993 to 1995; and then from 1999 to 2004 — both definitely ran on gasoline.

The F-150 is already available as a full hybrid, and Ford said the Lightning will offer the “power, payload and towing capability” expected of all its trucks. The company said it can even power your house in a power outage, so it’ll no doubt have the same onboard generator that’s available on the F-150 Hybrid.

In 2019, Ford used a prototype electric F-150 to pull a train, weighing more than 1 million pounds, down a track for 1,000 feet. The F-150 Lightning will be built at Ford’s Rouge Complex in Michigan, and is expected to launch in mid-2022 as a model-year-2023 truck.

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The New Mini

The original Mini of 1959 was 10ft long and 4ft 6in wide. The “new” Mini hatch that went on sale 20 years ago was both two feet longer and wider.  Some might read this as a metaphor for 21st-century excess.

People in general, have become bigger, so too have the new mini. The millennial MINI. Here is a all-new look at the 3 or 5 doors hatchback or convertible mini cooper. Oh did I say it comes in an electric version as well?

The electric mini comes in three performances the classic, sport, or the fancy John Cooper Works design.



LONDON (Reuters) – Swedish carmaker Volvo Cars said on Monday it has signed an agreement to provide cars to the autonomous driving technology unit of China’s top ride-hailing firm, Didi Chuxing, for its self-driving test fleet.

Volvo will provide XC90 SUVs equipped with backup steering and braking systems that DiDi Autonomous Driving will integrate with Didi Gemini, its new self-driving hardware platform.

Didi is currently working toward an initial public offering with a valuation of at least $100 billion.

Just last week self-driving startup Cruise, which is backed by General Motors Co, said it had raised $2.75 billion in its latest funding round from investors including Walmart Inc, taking its valuation to over $30 billion.

Volvo Cars, which is owned by China’s Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co Ltd, will initially provide Didi with hundreds of vehicles, with the aim of adding more as the self-driving test fleet expands, head of strategy Alexander Petrofski told Reuters.

“For us this is a tremendous opportunity because we gain real-world know-how and get to test our vehicles in a real-world environment,” Petrofski said. “This is something we will benefit from when we start rolling out this technology in applications for our customers.”

Petrofski said a few of the vehicles have already been delivered to Didi.

Volvo began providing test cars to Uber’s autonomous driving unit back in 2016. Uber Technologies Inc sold that business to self-driving car startup Aurora last year and is still using Volvo vehicles.

“This (new agreement with Didi) is in line with our vision to be the partner of choice on a global level” for self-driving fleets, said Volvo’s head of autonomous driving strategy, Johan Taws.

The built-in backup systems and safety features on Volvo’s XC90 cars, combined with Didi’s self-driving system ,will eventually allow the cars to operate without safety drivers in robotaxi services, Volvo said.



5 Diesel Cars That Time Forgot

  1. Oldsmobile Monte Carlo
    Just as gas prices started heading down, Chevrolet stuffed an Oldsmobile diesel into the Monte Carlo for the 1982 model year. This was the same unit that debuted in the 1979 model-year GM cars—the 5.7-liter LF9 V8 engine with 120 hp on tap. The LF7 4.3-liter V8 diesel was on the menu as well, producing 90 hp. 1984 would be the last year of the diesels for the Monte Carlo, with their share of the Monte Carlo sales dipping into mere hundreds of units. We can just picture one of these at Barrett-Jackson’s Scottsdale sale in the year 2050, as the last remaining 1984 Monte Carlo diesel is started on the auction block to applause from the crowd.

2. Peugeot 604

Styled by Pininfarina, the Peugeot 604 was the marque’s counterpoint to Citroën’s futuristic CX sedan, and in terms of design and philosophy the two couldn’t be more different. The U.S. version, however, was primarily known for two things: first, for having positively gigantic DOT rubber bumpers (great for sitting on), and second, for making good use of the somewhat-maligned PRV V6 engine. The three dozen prospective stateside buyers also received the option of a turbocharged diesel version, in the form of the 2,304cc Indenor inline-four badged as the 604 GTD.

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3. Volkswagen Dasher
The first-generation Volkswagen Passat was sold as the Dasher in the U.S. Neither the gasoline nor the diesel model was particularly dashing but rather soberly designed in that familiar German way. The good news was that the 1.5-liter inline-four appeared on the market in 1979, so at least it wasn’t terribly late to the party. The bad news was that it produced all of 47 hp. That meant a 0-to-60-mph jog of just under 20 seconds. This fact failed to dent Dasher sales, which remained steady during this period.

4. Chevrolet Caprice

It wasn’t just Oldsmobile and Cadillac that got diesel engines in the early 1980s (just as the business case for them was evaporating). GM spread the diesel love around, with woody-sided Chevrolet Caprice Classic wagon receiving the massive 5,737 cc diesel V8 engine for 1980 through 1985. Early units churned out 120 hp, while later versions produced all of 105 hp. Needless to say, this was not an energy-efficient engine by any stretch. Sales by the end of the production run had tapered off for the diesel model, as gas was back in vogue.

5.Oldsmobile Cutlass Salon Brougham

The Oldsmobile Cutlass Salon Brougham, or “Bro” for short, was one of the first cars to receive the storied Olds diesel. Contrary to gearhead urban legend, the engine was not adapted from a gasoline version even if there are similarities in their construction and specs. Fraught with issues, the 4.3-liter LF7 V8 had trouble with water contamination because not enough thought was given to the fuel delivery system. The engines could also barely cope with the higher pressures inherent in diesel combustion. Head gasket failures at relatively low mileage intervals were common, but the only replacement parts were more of the same thing, so repairs only bought owners some time until a repeat of the same problems.

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TOYOTA and its redesigned GR86

Almost five months after Subaru unveiled its all-new 2022 BRZ, Toyota has taken the wraps off its new GR 86 in Japan. The two companies have once again collaborated to take this RWD and relatively low-priced sports car into its next generation.

This time around, its name incorporates GR, for Toyota Gazoo Racing. It follows the company’s GR Supra and also the GR Yaris, a hot hatch that – unfortunately – isn’t scheduled to come to North America.

The 86 was initially sold here as the Scion FR-S when it launched for 2012. When the Scion sub-brand was discontinued, the car reverted to its global-market 86 name. The car was jointly developed by the two companies – Toyota owns a stake in Subaru – but it’s mostly Subaru under the skin.

This means a Subaru horizontally-opposed “boxer” four-cylinder engine, but this time it’s a 2.4L, rather than the current 2.0L. That engine makes 205 horsepower, while the 2.4L is rated at 232 horsepower and 184 lb-ft of torque. Transmission choices are a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic.

Toyota claims the car’s zero-to-100 km/h acceleration has shaved to 6.3 seconds, down from 7.4 seconds, and engine response has been improved.

Those are the Japanese-market specifications, and we’ll likely get a slight modification when it arrives here. Subaru is advertising 228 horsepower in its U.S.-market 2022 BRZ.

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