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Tag: Cars Technica (Page 1 of 71)

Becoming Genesis—the 2018 G80 Sport


There are really two key things you need to know about the Genesis G80 Sport. First, it's a sport-oriented midsize luxury sedan from the new Korean brand, Genesis. Second, while it wears a new nameplate, it remains what it was—a Hyundai.

When Hyundai decided to launch a new premium brand along the lines of Toyota's Lexus and Nissan's Infiniti in 2015, it made a couple crucial decisions. Unlike Lexus and Infiniti, it would launch with existing product. And, it would take the name of Hyundai's existing mid-size sedan, the Genesis, as its own.

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Daimler begins construction on a $562 million lithium-ion battery in Germany

Enlarge / From Daimler's press page: "Federal Chancellor Dr. Angela Merkel in a conversation with Dieter Zetsche (Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars) and two employees of Accumotive accompanied by Minister President of Saxony Stanislaw Tillich as well as Markus Schäfer (Member of the Divisional Board of Mercedes-Benz Cars, Production and Supply Chain) and Frank Blome (Managing Director Deutsche Accumotive GmbH & Co. KG)." (credit: Daimler)

On Monday, German Chancellor Angela Merkel visited the site of a future lithium-ion battery factory in the eastern German town of Kamenz. The factory is being developed by Mercedes-Benz manufacturer Daimler, which will devote approximately €500 million (or $562 million) to churning out batteries for electric vehicles and stationary storage.

If the project seems similar to Tesla’s Nevada-based Gigafactory, you wouldn’t be alone in making that comparison. Tesla and Panasonic partnered to devote $5 billion to building a lithium-ion battery factory outside of Reno, Nevada, and the electric-car maker has said it hopes to produce 35 gigawatt-hours of auto and stationary batteries by 2018.

Daimler didn’t give any projections for its factory’s potential capacity, but it did say that its investment would quadruple the size of an existing battery factory on the site, which is run by Accumotive, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Daimler. The German automaker is also pledging another €500 million to expand battery production worldwide. And if all goes well at the Kamenz site, Daimler says it will “go into operation in mid-2018.”

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2018 Audi SQ5: A danger to sports sedans or window dressing over good bones?


There's a danger with SUVs, but not the kind you might suspect. Should any lingering doubts exist that SUVs have inherited the automotive Earth, chew on this: Audi, the most recent luxury brand to the SUV playpen in the US, now counts 24 percent of all its USA sales from the Q5 column. But that's not dangerous. One other luxury car brand offers a staggering five different SUV models. But even that's not dangerous.

The danger is that, through better suspension (including sophisticated electronics that change to your whim or situational input) and better tires, SUVs are getting closer and closer in performance level to sports sedans. The danger is that even though the SUV already killed the American station wagon market, it's not satisfied. The SUV is coming after the hot sports sedan.

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Elon Musk says “hardware 2” Teslas will get better self-driving software in June

Enlarge (credit: Yuriko Nakao/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Tesla CEO Elon Musk took to Twitter on Sunday night to let the world know that a revised version of the company's semi-autonomous Autopilot software would arrive on compatible cars next month.

The release will be for the most recent versions of the Model S sedan and Model X SUV, built from October 2016 onward. Earlier Teslas—known as HW1 or "hardware 1" vehicles—used sensors and algorithms from Mobileye (like many other semi-autonomous cars).

However, following a fatal crash in May 2016 that garnered a lot of media attention, the relationship between Tesla and Mobileye broke down, and the former decided to develop its own sensor suite and software. (An NHTSA investigation into the crash revealed that the car's software was not to blame for the accident and that virtually every automatic emergency braking system would also have failed to activate given the specific circumstances of the crash.)

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Nissan Leaf EV enters 10,000-mile Mongol Rally


With the public charging infrastructure for electric cars expanding apace and Tesla Superchargers popping up like mushrooms, the concept of driving a few hundred miles in an EV is no longer as absurd a suggestion as it was just a couple of years ago. But ten thousand miles across Europe and central Asia? Come on now.

That’s exactly what Chris Ramsey of Plug In Adventures plans to do, entering an all-electric Nissan Leaf in the 2017 Mongol Rally charity run. It’s the first time an electric vehicle has entered the event.

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