In a move combining the legacy of the American muscle car with cutting-edge automotive technology, Shelby has unveiled a new limited edition Cobra, fitted with a carbon fibre body shell weighing a mere 88 lbs. The Shelby Cobra “Diamond Edition”, designed to recognize the iconic car’s sixtieth anniversary on the road, is limited to ten models, each running for the low, low price of $1.2 million. The automaker says the Cobra’s body has been completely engineered in autoclave-cured carbon fibre, including the floor and doors, allowing overall body weight to be significantly reduced.
NISSAN MELTS THE ICE
Nissan and the internal combustion engine have officially parted ways, making the brand the first Japanese automaker to announce a full stop to the development of ICE technology in every market but the U.S. Though the company has already ended gas engine sales in Europe, it will carry on the limited development of gas engines, mainly to serve the demand for pickup trucks like the Nissan Titan, in the U.S. market. This announcement will not affect hybrid engines, however, which will continue to be developed by Nissan.
CARBON AND LIGHTNING
On March 2, Ford announced its intent to split the company into two units. The Ford Model E division would focus on electrical vehicles (EVs) while the Ford Blue division specializes in carbon- producing internal combustion vehicles. In its press release, the automaker states divisions would operate as distinct businesses, but continue to share best practices and technologies. This is one of the elements in the Ford plus plan of maintaining shareholder interests with 10 percent earnings before interest and taxes and producing more than two million EVs by 2026.
“Our ambition with Ford plus is to become a truly great, world-changing company again, and that requires focus, “ said Jim Farley, CEO of Ford. “We are going all in, creating separate but complementary businesses that give us start-up speed and unbridled innovation.”
INGERSOLL AFTER APRIL
The last Chevy Equinox is scheduled for completion on April 29, making it the last fossil-fuel-dependent vehicle to be assembled at Ingersoll’s CAMI Assembly Plant. UNIFOR Local 88, the union representing workers at GM CAMI Assembly says this is a milestone for the hundreds of employees who worked at the plant for over 30 years. “We’re actually on six days a week right now, trying to build every last Equinox we can,” said Local 88 Chair Mike Van Boekel, adding the CAMI Plant will shut down to retool for Brightdrop electric vehicles until October or November.
Proving they can provide some bang with the buck, a new report from Kelley Blue Book has named Tesla’s Model 3 as the most cost-effective choice in the luxury EV market segment over a five- year period. When accounting for typical vehicle-related costs like insurance, maintenance costs, fuel costs, taxes and registration fees for the first five years of a vehicle’s lifespan, the Model 3 ended up at the top of the list for KBB’s “5-year Cost to Own Awards.” According to KBB’s data, the Model 3 has a 5-year cost-to-own of $48,233, which is $16,411 better than the segment average.
Volvo dealerships on the U.S.’s east coast are due for a major equipment upgrade as the Swedish automaker announced that artificial intelligence vehicle inspection tech will be provided to Volvo dealers in the region. The company says the goal behind this decision is to equip U.S. retailers with Israel-based UVeye’s AI vehicle inspection systems “to improve customer satisfaction and business efficiencies.” The camera-based inspection system uses machine learning technologies and AI to check tires, underbody components and vehicle exteriors for defects, missing parts and other safety-related issues in seconds, according to Volvo. Volvo’s v-p of U.S. sales operations, Rick Bryant said that this move will help expedite the trade-in appraisal process and create digital “vehicle health” reports with photos that can be shared with owners. Volvo is offering its dealers one of the three following UVeye inspection systems: Helios, an underbody scanner that detects a wide range of problems from frame damage to oil leakage and corrosion; Artemis, a tire system that identifies tire brand, basic specifications, air pressure, tread depth, sidewall damage, and if a vehicle’s tires are mismatched; and Atlas, a system that provides 360-degree exterior scans and detects damage such as dents, scratches, and rust on critical components including bumpers, mirrors, door locks, grilles, and windows.