Connect with us

Autos

Bugatti and Rimac are a good fit

Published

on

Rimac CEO Mate Rimac with Porsche Taycan

Rumors have circulated since last fall that Volkswagen Group could end up selling its Bugatti hypercar brand to Rimac, and now the CEO of fellow VW Group brand Porsche has made comments that add credibility to the possibility.

“At the moment there are intense deliberations on how Bugatti can be developed in the best possible way; Rimac could play a role here because the brands are a good technological fit,” Porsche CEO Oliver Blume told Germany’s Automobilwoche (subscription required) in an interview published Sunday.

Blume, who is also a member of VW Group’s management board, said there are “various scenarios” being discussed and that he believed a solution will be decided upon within the first half of 2021.

Porsche already owns 15.5% of Croatian electric-vehicle technology company Rimac, but CAR reported last Sept. that Porsche’s stake could be increased to 49% in a deal that would see Bugatti sold to Rimac.

Rimac CEO Mate Rimac with Porsche Taycan

The move would give VW Group leading EV technology to rival Tesla. Rimac is also a leader at software development, including in the areas of connectivity, self-driving systems, and systems integration.

In return, Rimac would have a prestigious brand to promote its cutting-edge, high-performance EV technology. It would also gain Bugatti’s advanced production facility in Molsheim, France.

Hyundai Motor Group also owns about 14% of Rimac while CEO and founder Mate Rimac has the biggest stake at just over 47%.

Blume’s latest comments come just a week after Germany’s Manager Magazin reported that VW Group is considering a Porsche spinoff. According to the report, VW Group is considering floating up to 25% of Porsche to raise funds for its extensive EV and software development programs.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Autos

SCG 007 Le Mans Hypercar revealed, and she’s a beauty

Published

on

By

Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus 007 Le Mans Hypercar race car's V-8 engine

In 1967, Ford and its GT40 took first place overall in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. No American team racing its own car has done so since, but that could change with the 2021 season of the World Endurance Championship whose highlight is the French classic.

Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus, based in Danbury, Connecticut, is looking to take the win and beat the world again. It will do so by competing in the 2021 WEC season as Glickenhaus Racing, in the new Le Mans Hypercar class with the 007.

After an extensive build process, the first 007 hit Italy’s Vallelunga racetrack on Thursday for its initial shakedown test, with Romain Dumas behind the wheel. Specific tests included calibration of the car’s steering, transmission and newly developed V-8. The V-8 is a bespoke 3.5-liter twin-turbocharged mill developed by France’s Pipo Moteurs.

Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus 007 Le Mans Hypercar race car’s V-8 engine

SCG hasn’t provided any specs but LMH rules call for a maximum 670 hp. The LMH class, like the faster LMP1 class it replaces, allows for both hybrid and non-hybrid entries. This year non-hybrid LMP1 cars will be allowed to compete and in 2022 the regulations will allow cars from IMSA’s new LMDh class as well. Balance of Performance rules will be used to equalize the playing field.

SCG had planned to go down the hybrid route but last year decided to drop this due to the weight and complexity it would add to the 007. LMH cars need to meet a minimum weight of 2,270 pounds.

SCG was the first to commit to the LMH class, though it’s not entirely on its own. The company has teamed up with Joest Racing and Sauber to help with the 007’s development and also the car’s racing campaign. And Podium Advanced Technologies was tapped to construct the 007. The Italian engineering outfit has helped multiple other teams deliver class wins in the 24 Hours of Le Mans over the past decade.

Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus 007 Le Mans Hypercar race car

Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus 007 Le Mans Hypercar race car

The next stop for the 007 will be the official pre-season test, known as the Prologue, which is scheduled to take place at Portugal’s Portimao racetrack from March 30-31. The first round of the 2021 WEC season will also be at Portimao on April 4. The main event, the 24 Hours of Le Mans, will run June 12-13.

LMH aims to reestablish a relationship between the top race cars and road cars, in contrast to the previous LMP1 prototypes. The rules require teams to build road cars with a similar powertrain concept to the race car. SCG plans to offer a road-going version of the 007, with the company previously listing a price of about $2.1 million.

SCG will go up against Toyota and Germany’s ByKolles in the LMH class this season. Peugeot is set to join the fray most likely in 2022 and Ferrari this week said it will be there in 2023.

Continue Reading

Autos

Toyota begins construction of its smart city

Published

on

By

Toyota's Woven City

Just before the coronavirus pandemic hit, at the 2020 Consumer Electronics Show, Toyota announced an ambitious plan to build an entire city in Japan as a showcase for futuristic tech. Despite everything that’s happened since that announcement, Toyota is still going ahead with this scheme.

Toyota held a groundbreaking ceremony for the project, dubbed Woven City, Tuesday at a construction site adjacent to one of its former factories. The automaker didn’t give any other updates on construction, or on its efforts to recruit people to live in the city.

Woven City will be built from the ground up on 175 acres of land at the base of Japan’s iconic Mt. Fuji. At its CES 2020 press conference, Toyota said the city would allow for testing and development of autonomous vehicles, robotics, smart-home systems, and other future tech in a real-world environment.

The name Woven City comes from the use of designated streets for three types of traffic: faster vehicles, mixed usage for lower-speed personal mobility devices (such as scooters), and pedestrians, as well as pedestrian-only zones. There will also be one underground road to transport goods, according to Toyota. The name also refers to Toyota’s roots in the textile industry.

Toyota’s Woven City

Toyota previously said it would deploy working versions of its e-Palette and LQ concepts in Woven City, plus an assortment of scooters and mobility aids for the pedestrian-only areas. The e-Palette is a reconfigurable box-shaped autonomous vehicle designed for both ride-sharing and delivery services, while the LQ is a small hatchback with an AI interface and some degree of autonomous-driving capability.

Danish architect Bjarke Ingels, whose team designed Google’s Mountain View headquarters, was commissioned to design the city, which will be built from sustainable materials and powered by renewable energy, including hydrogen fuel cells (a Toyota favorite) and rooftop solar panels.

Toyota also previously said homes would have robots and sensors to monitor occupants’ health, and that all buildings, vehicles, and people would be connected through a citywide network managed by AI.

Initially, Woven City will have just 360 residents, mostly older adults, families with young children and inventors. Toyota plans to eventually house more than 2,000 people, including some of its own employees, in the futuristic city.

Continue Reading

Autos

Tesla won’t maintain growth as industry catches up

Published

on

By

Incoming BMW CEO Oliver Zipse

Tesla humbled the established German luxury automakers by leading the way for electric cars, but the rest of the industry is catching up, BMW’s chief executive believes.

Despite the coronavirus pandemic, Tesla’s 2020 deliveries were up nearly 36% from 2019, at just under 500,000 cars, the automaker said in its year-end financial results call. Tesla is also expanding, with new factories in Germany and Texas scheduled to come online, alongside its existing California and China plants, in 2021.

“It won’t be easy for Tesla to continue at that speed because the rest of the industry is moving ahead big time,” BMW CEO Oliver Zipse told Bloomberg Monday during the DLD All Stars tech conference, a gathering of tech visionaries.

Established automakers were not prepared for the Tesla Model S when it launched in 2012, and they are still struggling to match Tesla, which is now planning to launch a version of the Model S with more than 500 miles of range. Most German luxury brands are just beginning to roll out high-volume EVs and they are struggling to hit 300 miles of range.

Incoming BMW CEO Oliver Zipse

The Texas factory will build the Cybertruck, targeting the most popular vehicle segment in the U.S., and CEO Elon Musk has teased an entry-level $25,000 EV as well.

However, German automakers are finally beginning to ramp up production of EVs. BMW has several new models in the works, including the iX SUV, i4 sedan, and an electric version of the next-generation 7-Series. They’ll join the iX3 (which isn’t sold in the U.S.) and Mini Cooper SE, both of which debuted last year. The automaker plans to launch 25 electrified models by 2023, with more than half all-electric.

Mercedes-Benz plans to have eight EVs under its new EQ sub-brand by 2022. That includes the EQC crossover and EQV minivan already on sale in Europe, the upcoming EQA and EQB compact crossovers, as well as larger EQE and EQS models—each in sedan an SUV body styles. The EQS sedan starts production in Sindelfingen, Germany, later this year, while the SUV version, along with the EQE SUV, will be built in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, starting in 2022.

The Volkswagen Group may already be ahead of Tesla in Europe at least. It sold more EVs than Tesla in that market last year, and delivered 231,600 globally—more than triple its 2019 total. VW is adding the ID.4 crossover to its lineup in both Europe and the U.S. this year. Audi will get its own version, dubbed Q4 E-Tron, along with the Porsche Taycan-based E-Tron GT this year.

Continue Reading

Trending