Aston Martin Could End Up on the Stock Market Real Soon
Aston Martin’s reemergence as a force in the auto industry has the company thinking big. It’s not big in the sense of a new supercar or hypercar. It’s big in the sense of floating the company on the stock market. According to Reuters, Aston Martin’s major shareholders, Italian private equity fund Investindustrial and a group of Kuwaiti investors, are looking to cash in on the brand’s rising sales. Investment bank Lazard has been brought in to work on a preliminary plan that could either result in an initial public offering (IPO) or a trade sale to a separate automaker.
Word Has it the Tesla Semi Performance Specs are the Real McCoy
Are Tesla’s electric semi trucks really capable of sprinting from 0 to 60 mph in just five seconds on their own and 20 seconds with a full load behind them? Better yet, can these trucks really hit a top speed of 65 mph while going up a five-percent grade? Since we’re already asking these questions, do these trucks really have the range to travel up to 500 miles? All these numbers were presented by Tesla during the electric truck’s unveiling last month. Almost all of them are mind-blowing by industry standards so, naturally, the specs came with plenty of skepticism. Are these specs real or fabricated? Well, according to Electrek, a transporter that participated in the Tesla Semi test program confirmed that the specs are, in fact, real — or at least most of them are.
Cadillac Could Drop the ATS Sedan in 2019 Because Coupes Rule
The Cadillac ATS is a good example of a car that needs a high sales volume in order to remain relevant in a competitive market. The coupe version of the entry-level model has been able to pull its own weight in that regard. Unfortunately, the sedan version hasn’t had as much success. It’s no wonder then that Cadillac appears to be ready to cut ties with this version of the ATS as documents received by The Truth About Cars show that Caddy’s 2019 product lineup will hit the market without the ATS sedan.
New Player In The Flying Car Race Promises To Have One In The Air Next Year
The race to put an actual flying car in the air has a new contender, and it’s promising to bring its vision to reality as early as next year. The company calls itself “Samson,” and it’s based in Oregon. More importantly, it revealed last week that it has a model, called the Switchblade, that features the functionality of a traditional car to go with the ability to actually take off and fly. In other words, Samson is promising the future’s arrival in a year’s time.
BMW Is Poised To Become Best-Selling Luxury Car Brand in China
BMW is in the last stages of taking victory in China as the top-selling luxury brand in 2017, narrowly edging out rivals Mercedes-Benz and Audi. Through November 2017, the Bavarian automaker has sold 542,362 units in China, barely a hair over Mercedes, which has sold 539,728 units in the same time frame. For its part, Audi fell from being the top-seller in China to third on the list with 528,706 sold units in 2017.
Geely Looking To Acquire Daimler AG Stock
Geely is plucking assets left and right. First, it was Volvo. Then it turned its attention to Lynk & Co, the London Taxi Company, and, most recently, Lotus. Now it looks like the Chinese auto conglomerate is looking to dip its hands into one of the world’s most prestigious auto brands. A report from China Central Television revealed that Geely is looking to acquire a small take in Daimler AG, the parent company of a certain German automaker that calls itself Mercedes-Benz.
Ferrari Plans Increased Production Of Its Models
The rising demand for high-end exotic cars means that even the most stubborn of automakers will need to take advantage of the opportunities that come with it. Take Ferrari, for example. The Italian marque has resisted the urge to increase production of its models, arguing that it would ruin the exclusivity that’s normally associated with the Prancing Horse. But the company has since had a change of heart and with it, a change of priorities. The short-term goal in Maranello is to increase production in its facilities in order for the company to reach its target of selling 9,000 models a year by 2018.
2019 GM Pickups May Have Carbon Fiber Beds
General Motors might be using carbon fiber construction within the cargo bed of its next-generation 2019 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra. The news comes from an insider close to GM who spoke with The Wall Street Journal. Apparently, GM will use the composite beds to save weight while adding strength. Only higher-end trims will be available with the composite box, though its availability could spread throughout the lineup.
The move would come as an alternative to aluminum, which Chevrolet has relentlessly poked fun at Ford for using with its 2015-current F-150. TV commercials and other ads have portrayed Ford’s aluminum beds as weaker than Chevy’s steel beds. Moving to carbon fiber would reduce the bed’s weight while providing more strength than aluminum – or so the insider says.
We can expect GM to debut its new pickups at the 2018 Detroit Auto show in January or the Chicago Auto Show in February. Sales will likely begin in the third or fourth quarter of 2018. GM hasn’t commented on the WSJ report or alluded to carbon fiber being present. There is also no word on whether the beds would be an extra-cost option or come as standard equipment on LTZ or High Country models. We should find out more in the coming weeks, so stay tuned to TopSpeed.com for the latest.
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Military Using B-52 Bombers, F-16 Fighter Jets, and Drones to Reshape Afghanistan; Push out Taliban
Military warfare is a subject that flies by my head on most occasions. I don’t know much about it, and I’m not well-versed in the world of tactical operations. But there is something to be said about a recent report that revealed the U.S. Air Force using B52 bombers, F-16 fighter jets, and drones to literally reshape the terrain in Afghanistan with the goal of doing away with secret mountain passes that can be used by militants and extremists.
Celebrity Special – Happy Birthday Manny Pacquiao!
Manny Pacquiao is widely acknowledged as one of the most accomplished boxers of all time, ranking pound-for-pound amongst the very best in the sport. He’s the only eight-division world champion in the history of boxing, the first boxer to win the lineal championship in five different weight classes, and he’s accumulated an incredible eleven major world titles. Manny is also the first boxer to win major world titles in four of the original eight weight classes, including flyweight, featherweight, lightweight, and welterweight.
Clearly, the man is a beast in the ring. However, Manny isn’t a one-trick pony, and enjoys a wide spread of interests that include basketball, music, and politics. In 2014, Manny got involved in the Philippine Basketball Association as a team owner and as a means of cross-training. As a singer, Manny has recorded two albums, an EP, and several singles between 2006 and 2015. Finally, in 2007, Manny launched his political career in his native Philippines, winning a seat as congressman in 2010 in a landslide victory over an entrenched opponent.
With so much going on in his life, its surprising Manny has room for anything else. However, he’s also a huge car lover, and his collection is impressive. Forbes pointed to Manny as the second highest paid athlete in the world in 2015, which undoubtedly helps to fuel his passion for collecting expensive rides, most of which are finished in either black or dark grey. Highlights include a Ferrari 458 Italia, a Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano, a Mercedes-Benz SL 550, a Porsche Cayenne Turbo, a Lamborghini Aventador, a Hummer H2, and a Lincoln Navigator. Manny even has a Mitsubishi Montero when he doesn’t wanna rock the flash of the other rides in his garage.
Here’s to hoping he adds another set of wheels this year!
Happy Birthday, Manny!
Porsche Introduced the 911 GT3 Touring Package In Response To 911 R Resale Prices
Remember the Porsche 911 GT3 Touring Package that Porsche released a few months ago? Turns out, Porsche had reasons for releasing that version of the 911, and it had nothing to do with adding another iteration for the sake of having one. According to 911 boss August Achleitner, the 911 T was created in part as a response to the ridiculous second-hand price the Porsche 911 R is going for these days. It’s rare for an automaker like Porsche to bother itself with what’s happening in the second-hand car market, but, apparently, the bigwigs at Stuttgart didn’t like how flippers have gone amok over the super rare 911 R by jacking up its price to seven figures. So, it responded with the 911 GT3 Touring Package, a more affordable version of the 911 R that’s cheaper and has no set production number.
Introducing The Snoozeliner: The Bus You Want to Travel the Country In
Long-distance public commutes can be tricky, especially if you’re just off of a long day at work. You sit down, close your eyes, and before you know it, you’re dozing off, completely unaware of your surroundings. One stop turns to two, two turns to five, and when you wake up, you’re over ten stops past your own. This happens to a lot of commuters, which makes the idea of the Snoozeliner more appealing.
Renault Promises 6,000 Models Per Year from New Alpine Plant
Renault’s push to bring the revived Alpine brand back from the dead took another positive step recently when the French automaker invested in plant capacity to accelerate its plans to build up to 6,000 sports cars per year under the Alpine brand. All in all, Renault has spent a little over $42 million in upgrading its production facility in Dieppe, France to accommodate the production of the much-hyped A110 sports car.
New Ban from Major Airlines Just Made your Smart Luggage Worthless
Smart luggage has become the rage in the US these days, thanks in part to its myriad of features that make it useful for charging phones, locking remotely, and being tracked via GPS. But, the very essence of what makes these pieces of luggage “smart” is now being threatened by airlines, a handful of whom announced that by January 15, 2018, smart luggage with non-removable lithium-ion batteries will not be allowed onto their planes. Basically, if you want to check in your traceable luggage, you have to make them untraceable.
Craziness: Uber Charges $14,000 for a 21-Minute Ride!
We all have our Uber horror stories, especially those that involve alarming surge prices. I’ll take a leap of faith, though, and say that none of our experiences are as astonishing as the one a rider from Toronto just experienced when he was charged over $18,500 Canadian ($14,400 USD) for a five-mile, 20-minute ride. That’s beyond astonishing. That’s outright ridiculous.
PepsiCo Orders Up 100 Semi Trucks from Tesla
Add PepsiCo to the growing number of companies that are buying in on Tesla’s new electric truck. The food and beverage giant has reserved 100 units of the electric semis, joining the likes of Wal-Mart, Anheuser-Busch, and Sysco as the first wave of companies that are buying into what the electric car maker is selling. The electric trucks are seen as affordable alternatives to diesel trucks with the range and cargo capacity to compete with its traditional counterparts.
Peugeot and Beneteau have a Boat Concept and we Want It!
Automakers have a history of venturing into the open seas on occasion. Aston Martin is known for this. Over the years, we’ve even seen the likes of Bentley, Abarth, and a host of others dip their toes in the boat industry. Now it looks like Peugeot is trying to get a slice of that pie with a new creation called the Sea Drive Concept. Yes, it’s a boat. Sadly, it’s a concept.
PSA: Don’t Blindly Use Navigation in California Wildfire Zones!
Unless you’ve bee living under a rock, it’s impossible to ignore the series of wildfires that are happening in California and not feel for those who are affected. The fire, called the Thomas Fire, has laid waste to at least 200,000 acres of land, left more than 85,000 households without power, and forced come to 100,000 people to evacuate their homes. It’s a serious disaster that has affected so many lives. Mandatory evacuations are taking place all over Los Angeles as some areas are literally wind gusts away from being affected. In the event that you live in a potential danger zone, heed our advice on this one critical aspect of your evacuation: don’t hastily follow routes that are suggested by GPS devices.
Australia Getting the Chevy Camaro SS, Colorado, and Silverado HD Through HSV
Living in Australia and feeling depressed over Holden being shut down? Can’t get your V-8 fix now that Holden Special Vehicles (HSV) is no longer building cool, beefed-up versions of the Commodore? Well, here’s some good news for ya: HSV just announced that it will convert the Camaro SS to right-hand drive for the Australian market starting 2018. The announcement is part of a new agreement struck between HSV and Holden, which will work together to bring new GM vehicles Down Under. The brands also unveiled a joint logo that now contains the lion and helmet used by Holden and HSV in the past.
The Camaro will be brought to Australia in SS trim, powered by the naturally aspirated, 6.2-liter V-8. No four-cylinder or V-6 options, but also no ZL1. It will also be the higher-level 2SS version with various performance and convenience upgrades. No info on pricing yet, but expect it to be more expensive than the competing Ford Mustang GT after the right-hand-drive conversion. Production will begin in July 2018.
Alongside the Camaro SS, HSV will also modify the the Colorado and heavy-duty Silverado 2500HD for right-hand-drive use. The Colorado will also wear a "SportsCat" badge and will continue to use a Holden logo as it did until now. The Silverado 2500HD, on the other hand, will sold as a Chevrolet, just like the Camaro SS. The Colorado will be available in two versions, but none will get more power. However, a hotter version of the truck is likely to be followed as a direct rival for the upcoming Ford Ranger Raptor. The Colorado SportsCat will go into production in late January as HSV first Chevrolet conversion. Silverado conversions will commence in April 2018.
Budweiser Deliveries Get Electrified: Anheuser-Busch orders 40 Tesla Semis
Tesla has been racking up pre-orders for its all-electric Semi truck since its debut in mid-November, with Anheuser-Busch being one of the latest corporations and the first brewer to join the fray. Anheuser-Busch has reportedly ordered 40 Tesla Semis, making the second-largest order in the truck’s short history. Food giant Sysco announced its pre-order of 50 Semis shortly after AB.
Ford Defies Donald Trump; Moves Electric Crossover Production From Michigan To Mexico
Ford has made an about-face on its plan to produce an electric crossover in its facility in Flat Rock, Michigan. Instead of building in its home state, the American automaker will now produce the model in its production plant in Cuautitlan, Mexico. The 2020 timetable for the production of the crossover still stands; it’s just going to happen outside of the U.S. now. Somewhere, wherever he is U.S. President Donald Trump is not a happy camper.
Torque Wars Continue as Ford Boosts Super Duty Power Stroke Torque to 935 Pound-Feet
Because pickup trucks usually carry heavy loads other than their bodies, acceleration is important in getting these vehicles to move. That’s why torque numbers are just as important, maybe even more, as horsepower in this segment. This explains why Ford and Ram have been engaged in a perpetual battle of “can-you-top-this?” with regards to the amount of torque their models can produce. Well, it’s Ford’s turn atop the mountain after the automaker announced that for 2018, the Super Duty line’s 6.7-liter Power Stroke V-8 diesel engine packs 450 horsepower and 935 pound-feet of torque, edging out Ram’s 6.7-liter Cummins inline-six turbodiesel engine by five pound-feet of torque.
GM’s New In-Car Marketplace Could Lead to More Distracted Driving
General Motors’ grand idea to introduce an in-car digital marketplace is a good idea…on paper. It accomplishes what GM describes as the system does make it easier for us to order food, pay for coffee, or even redeem gas coupons. It’s actually a great idea if you’re a passenger in a car. It’s when you’re the driver of the car that the marketplace idea immediately turns sour.