I will try my best to provide detailed info on various cars and what is like to live with them, I have already produced a few for Jaguar-car-forums, I will do my best to be unbiased, but it will be hard for some cars. I will re-produce press releases and copy from other motoring news.

Saturday, 16 April 2016

The Tesla Model S gets a facelift inline with the Model X and Model III, the brand is now ready to dominate.

Tesla Motors on Tuesday introduced the first major styling update for the Model S since its launch in 2012, scrapping the electric sedan’s signature blacked-out nose cone for a smooth, grille-free look similar to that of the Model X crossover.
By their nature, electric cars have no need for a grille because there is no engine under the hood to cool. The decision to remove the grille from the nose of the Model S suggests the demands of the internal-combustion engine may no longer hold such power over expectations for car design -- at least among Tesla customers.

Also on Tuesday, the Palo Alto, California, automaker opened an online “design studio” for a cheaper version of the Model X with a base price of $80,000 with shipping. The cheapest version of the crossover, dubbed the 75D, has a 75-kilowatt-hour battery pack offering 237 miles of range and a 0-to-60-mph (97kph) time of 6 seconds.
Pricing for the Model S, which starts at $71,500 in the U.S. with a 70-kilowatt-hour battery pack and a rear-wheel-drive configuration, remains unchanged after the face-lift.
However, Tesla upgraded the standard charger in the Model S from 40 amps to 48 amps for quicker recharging and added, as an option, a HEPA-rated air filtration system already available on the Model X crossover.
The air filtration system, which has a maximum setting called “bioweapon defense mode,” is part of a $3,000 premium upgrade package that also includes leather seats, upgraded LED lighting and a power liftgate.
Tesla is building the freshened Model S at its factory in Fremont, California, with deliveries beginning in May for new orders.
The company is offering a May delivery for customers who place a new order for the Model X in top-of-the-line 90D and P90D trims. Deliveries of the 75D will follow starting in June.
Gabe Nelson

Volkswagen looks at the possibility of cutting or reducing bonuses whilst the Diesel Scandal still has not been sorted.

I find it quite disappointing that they are voting on this rather than just doing it, the fact that Volkswagen conned the buying public, the world over, not just once, but TWICE, as this is the second time they have been caught doing the exact same thing.
Why not just stop all bonuses for the period of time whilst the issues are being dealt with, it would go someway to placating people, by showing that VW has screwed up big time, and they are prepared to deal with it, at a level that the public can, to some small extent, see they are ready to deal with it, but i very much doubt they will, afterall, the bonuses will get paid, and that would be a hige kick in the teeth to those that have been treated diabolically by VW.
Volkswagen may make significant cuts to bonuses for senior managers, people familiar with the matter told Reuters, in an attempt to resolve an internal dispute over executive pay following the diesel emissions scandal at the automaker.
Lower Saxony, VW's second-largest shareholder, and the company's powerful labor leaders have called for executive bonuses to be scrapped or cut as Europe's largest automaker counts the multi-billion-euro costs of its diesel emissions scandal. 

VW's nine executives in 2014 earned about 70 million euros ($80 million) in total compensation, including 54 million euros in variable pay, according to company data. That is almost double the 37 million euros rival Daimler paid its top managers in fixed and flexible remuneration last year.
VW's supervisory and management boards are discussing models that may entail a significant reduction in variable pay, the people said, without giving more specific details.
The two boards are agreed "that in light of the company's current situation, an example must be set on the matter of executive compensation," one of the people said.
Volkswagen declined to comment.
Lower bonus payments would also affect former finance chief Hans Dieter Poetsch who, when taking the lower paid job of chairman last October, negotiated a deal to be compensated for the remainder of his more generous CFO contract which expires at the end of next year, the people said.
The 2015 deal would have earned Poetsch a supplement of at least 10 million euros, sources close to the supervisory board said. News of the payment sparked anger among politicians and labor representatives.
"The different models being discussed and coordinated at the moment represent an appropriate and fair solution for all parties concerned," one of the people said.
Pressure has been mounting on VW to give way and to trim executive bonuses after a meeting of the supervisory board's steering committee on Monday ended without an agreement.
Stephan Weil, prime minister of Lower Saxony which holds a 20 percent stake in VW and has two seats on its supervisory board which signs off on executive pay, will brief lawmakers in a debate about the crisis at VW on Wednesday.
The compromise discussed on Tuesday is due to be approved by the supervisory board on April 22 and the details will be published with VW's annual report on April 28, the people said.

IIHS rates the 2016 Ford F-150 pickup its Top Safety Pick for SuperCrew and SuperCab configurations

  • Insurance Institute for Highway Safety rates the 2016 Ford F-150 pickup its Top Safety Pick for SuperCrew and SuperCab configurations – the only large pickup to earn this recognition
  • Superb crash test performance of new Ford F-150 – including highest possible rating in small overlap front crash test – is enabled by high-strength steel in the frame; high-strength, military-grade, aluminum alloy in the body; and smart engineering
  • 2016 Ford F-150 – the toughest, smartest, most capable and safest F-150 ever – is the only full-size, light-duty truck to earn National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s highest rating, a five-star Overall Vehicle Score and five-star rating for driver and passenger for all crash test modes and cab configurations – SuperCrew, SuperCab and Regular Cab
The 2016 Ford F-150 – the toughest, smartest, most capable and safest F-150 ever – is the only large pickup to earn an Insurance Institute for Highway Safety Top Safety Pick for SuperCrew and SuperCab configurations.

Class-leading crash test performance of the new Ford F-150 is enabled by the use of high-strength steel in the frame; high-strength, military-grade, aluminum alloy in the body; and smart engineering, which also help to save up to 700 pounds of weight to enable best-in-class ratings for towing, payload and EPA-estimated gasoline fuel economy.

“From the moment our team set out to design and build the new F-150, we knew it had to be best-in-class,” said Raj Nair, Ford executive vice president, Global Product Development, and chief technical officer. “This Insurance Institute for Highway Safety Top Safety Pick is another example of Ford’s commitment to building the toughest, smartest, most capable and safest F-150 ever.”

A cross-functional group of Ford truck veterans worked thousands of hours to deliver improved durability, capability, fuel economy and safety. The team created 31 safety-related innovations – including new structures that manage crash forces, and joining methods that were tested virtually with supercomputer simulations, then retested in Ford’s advanced laboratories to engineer the safest F-150 ever.

These smart innovations include a patented extruded aluminum roof crossmember and additional frame crossmember to help improve crash resilience.

To manage crash forces in the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety small overlap front crash test, Ford created a system of innovations that work together to help protect the driver. Nylon hinge pillar reinforcements save weight, and in conjunction with specially designed wheel blockers, work to control crash forces while also providing additional safety.

“The same innovative approach applied to every other attribute of the 2016 F-150 is exemplified in our commitment to safety,” said Nair. “We spent thousands of hours engineering, designing and developing multiple safety features that work together in the event of an accident.”

F-150 is the only full-size, light-duty truck to earn National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s highest rating, a five-star Overall Vehicle Score and a five-star rating for driver and passenger for all crash test modes and cab configurations – SuperCrew, SuperCab and Regular Cab.

USA - Millennials choose ILX at a greater rate than any other model in the segment, and see's huge growth.

  • Millennials choose ILX at a greater rate than any other model in segment1
  • ILX continues strong sales through first quarter of 2016
  • 12-month year-over-year ILX sales up over 40 percent
The 2017 Acura ILX has gone on sale from April 13, retaining the popular enhancements introduced last year that helped make it one of the most popular models in the entry luxury segment. The manufacturer's suggested retail price (MSRP)2 of the 2017 ILX starts at $27,990.

As Acura's most affordable sport sedan and serving as the gateway to the Acura lineup, the ILX has captured a higher rate of under 35 year olds than any other vehicle in the entry-luxury sedan segment since 20101. Also, with KBB.com naming Acura as the luxury brand with the lowest projected 5-year cost of ownership and Edmunds.com voting the brand as the 2015 Best Retained Value® Luxury Brand, the ILX is a wise choice for gateway luxury vehicle customers.
The ILX received significant upgrades for the 2016 model year including styling, powertrain, technology, luxury refinement and safety features. The 2017 ILX carries over the freshened exterior styling including Acura's signature Jewel Eye® LED headlights, 201 horsepower3 2.4-liter direct-injected DOHC i-VTEC engine paired with an 8-speed dual clutch transmission with paddle-controlled Sequential Sport Shift, and signature Acura technologies such as the available AcuraWatch™ suite of safety and driver-assistive technologies. The 2017 ILX is available in three new exterior colors, Lunar Silver Metallic, Modern Steel Metallic and San Marino Red. The ILX is also available in Bellanova White Pearl, Crystal Black Pearl and Catalina Blue Pearl.
2017 ILX Pricing and EPA Fuel Economy Ratings
ModelMSRP2EPA MPG4 Ratings
ILX with AcuraWatch™ Plus Package$29,29025/35/29
ILX with Premium Package$29,99025/35/29
ILX with Premium & A-SPEC Package$31,98025/35/29
ILX with Tech Plus Package$32,99025/35/29
ILX with Tech Plus & A-SPEC Package$34,98025/35/29
The 2017 ILX is available in three grades – the standard ILX, the ILX with Premium Package, and the line-topping ILX Tech Plus Package; in addition an A-SPEC Package is available with the Premium and Tech Plus grades. The ILX A-SPEC Package further accentuates the ILX's premium and performance image with sporty side sill garnishes, a trunk spoiler, front fog lights, 18-inch, 10-spoke machined alloy wheels, and several unique interior appearance touches. View, build and price a 2017 Acura ILX at www.acura.com.

CHINA - Jaguar launches the new Long-wheelbase XFL in China for that market only, for now, watch out XJ !!!!

  • All-new Jaguar XFL is the first Jaguar to be built at Chery Jaguar Land Rover's Changshu plant
  • Demonstrates Jaguar Land Rover's continued commitment to the delivery of lightweight vehicles globally
  • Jaguar Land Rover is bringing its world-leading aluminium technology to the joint venture, creating China's first purpose-built aluminium body shop 
Jaguar Land Rover today confirmed plans to introduce the first Jaguar vehicle to its joint venture plant in China. Developed exclusively for Chinese customers, the all-new Jaguar XF Long wheelbase (XFL) is the third vehicle to be built by the company's joint venture, with Chery Automobile Company Ltd, in less than two years.
From the all-aluminium Jaguar XJ, F-TYPE, Range Rover and Range Rover Sport to the new aluminium intensive modular architecture that supports the Jaguar XE, XF and F-PACE, advanced lightweight technology has been a crucial element of Jaguar Land Rover strategy's throughout its history. It continues to lead the industry in the development of advanced aluminium architectures today to reduce weight in order to improve fuel efficiency, emissions and handling of its vehicles.
Murray Dietsch, President of Chery Jaguar Land Rover, said: "Jaguar Land Rover is a world-leader in the production of aluminium vehicles and is one of the largest producers of aluminium bodies globally."
"The arrival of the all-new Jaguar XFL brings the best of this experience and technology to Changshu. It is an important milestone for the team at Chery Jaguar Land Rover."
The Jaguar XFL will be built in China's first purpose-built aluminium body shop based at the state-of-the-art Chery Jaguar Land Rover manufacturing facility in Changshu. The body shop is almost 50,000m² body shop and contains a fully flexible production line including more than 300 robots.
Inaugural sales of the China-made Jaguar XFL will begin in the second half of the year and further details will be released at the Beijing Motor Show at the end of the month.  
Jaguar Land Rover in China
Jaguar Land Rover first established a presence in China just over a decade ago and has a long-term commitment to its Chinese customers.
The company has developed a compelling CSR programme in China creating the Jaguar Land Rover Children and Dream Fund, working with the Soong Ching Ling Foundation. Jaguar Land Rover China has committed to invest RMB 50 million over three years in an initiative that supports and develops underprivileged young people.
Jaguar Land Rover is committed to inspiring the future generation of Chinese automotive engineers. In the last five years, more than 500 apprentices have graduated from the apprentice training programme in China. 
Building Jaguar Land Rover's global footprint 
Jaguar Land Rover has made significant progress in building its international manufacturing presence over the last year. Since the beginning of 2015, it has confirmed plans for a new manufacturing facility in Slovakia, started production of the Range Rover Evoque & Land Rover Discovery in China; almost completed its plant in Brazil; agreed a new manufacturing partnership with Magna Steyr in Austria and introduced three new vehicles to its local assembly facility in India. 
The creation of new international plants provides additional production capacity supplementing that of Jaguar Land Rover's three vehicle plants in the UK. It allows Jaguar Land Rover to offer its customers even more exciting new models, protect against currency fluctuations and create a globally competitive business. 

Mercedes boosted sales faster BMW in the Q1, moving the brand closer to becoming the #1 Luxury brand.

Mercedes-Benz boosted sales twice as fast as BMW in the first quarter, moving the brand closer to clinching the lead in the world's luxury-car market for the first time in a decade.
The Daimler luxury unit's brand deliveries soared 13 percent worldwide to 483,487 vehicles through March, data from the automaker showed last week, compared with a 6 percent increase to 478,743 cars for BMW Group's namesake brand, announced in a statement today.

Sales of third-placed Audi rose 4 percent to 455,750 in the first three months, the Volkswagen Group unit said in a statement today.
Mercedes has declared it wants to overtake BMW by 2020, a goal it may hit early due to the popularity of all-new models including the GLC SUV. Sales momentum will probably accelerate during the second half, with the new E-class sedan, a key vehicle for the business market, hitting showrooms.
Mercedes was also helped in the first quarter by a 26 percent increase to more than 150,000 of its compact cars such as the A class.

BMW has an older product lineup by comparison, with key models including its E-class equivalent, the 5-series sedan, not due for a refresh until next year.
Monthly tallies still put BMW ahead of Mercedes for March. BMW delivered 201,352 cars, a gain of 2.9 percent. Mercedes sales climbed 8.4 percent to 198,921 autos. Audi volume was up 4.6 percent to 186,100.