The crossover and SUV market, being what it is, has been sliced and diced into discrete chunks. There are the behemoths: true full-size SUVs like the Chevy Suburban. There's the luxury market, where the relevance of "utility" sometimes falls into question. Then there are the subcompacts, cars like the A wee SUV New to the US market in 2018, Ford's bite-size crossover sits below the Escape in Ford's soon-to-be-sedan-less lineup, and it has an attractive sticker price. The base model, the EcoSport S, starts at $19,995 and offers a 1.0-liter turbocharged, direct-injected three-cylinder engine. The model we tested, the SES, begins at $26,880. Engine size is doubled, with a 2.0L four-cylinder direct-injection Ti-VCT engine. That's paired with a six-speed transmission and all-wheel drive (on the SES only; the other three models are front-wheel drive). Safety-wise, the EcoSport has side air-curtain tech for both the front and back seats, roll stability control, and Ford's SOS Post-Crash Alert … [Read more...] about Review: Ford crosses over into the mini-SUV segment with tiny EcoSport
It’s been an electrifying month for the German auto industry. Mercedes-Benz presented its first all-electric SUV. BMW offered a glimpse of its upcoming EV strategy by unveiling a concept car. And Audi is going electric, as well. On Monday, the company celebrated the premiere of its first completely battery-powered car, the E-tron. Audi’s release party in San Francisco was especially unlikely when you consider what happened just three years ago. As a part of Volkswagen Group, Audi played a central role in developing and installing illegal software in 11 million diesel cars in order to trick emissions tests. On September 18th, 2015, the US Environmental Protection Agency informed the public about VW’s and Audi’s violation of the Clean Air Act, causing government agencies around the world to launch investigations. Dieselgate became the biggest scandal to rock the car industry in decades, and within three years, Volkswagen Group was forced to pay around $30 billion … [Read more...] about You thought Dieselgate was over? It’s not.
SAN FRANCISCO—Luxury electric SUVs must be like buses: you wait ages for one and then three show up all at once. That's certainly how it feels right now—first it was the Mercedes-Benz EQC, then last week BMW showed us the iNext, and on Monday night it was the Audi e-tron. This one is going to reach showrooms first—production just started at a carbon-neutral plant in Belgium in the past few weeks, and US deliveries are scheduled to begin in mid-2019. That's sufficiently far off that Audi is still in the process of homologating the US version for sale, so some of its vital statistics are still TBA. We can't tell you how exactly much power you get for $74,800, although the European version is 300kW (402hp), if that helps. It hasn't undergone EPA testing yet, so there's no official word of how many miles of range the 95kWh lithium-ion battery provides. (Again, if it's helpful, the e-tron earned a 400km range on the very different European WLTP test.) those side-view … [Read more...] about The coolest tech in Audi’s new e-tron electric SUV is banned in the US
Elon Musk's August 7 tweet that he had "funding secured" to take Tesla private has become the subject of a criminal investigation by the Justice Department, Bloomberg reports, citing two anonymous sources. The involvement of the Justice Department would be significant because the Securities and Exchange Commission—which has been investigating the case for several weeks—only has the power to bring civil charges. Tesla's share price dropped by about 6 percent in the minutes after Bloomberg reported the news. While Musk's initial tweet claimed he had "funding secured" to buy out existing shareholders, he soon admitted he didn't actually have anything in writing. Days before the tweet, he had a meeting with Saudi Arabia's sovereign wealth fund and emerged from the meeting convinced that the Saudis would be willing to fund a deal. said Stephen Diamond, an expert on securities law at Santa Clara University, in an interview with Ars last month. A backlash from shareholders forced … [Read more...] about Report: Tesla facing criminal probe over “funding secured” tweet
The European Commission is opening an investigation into a leading group of car manufacturers over whether they colluded on clean emissions technologies. The so-called “circle of five” car manufacturers includes BMW, Mercedes Benz, Volkswagen, Audi, and Porsche. “If proven, this collusion may have denied consumers the opportunity to buy less polluting cars, despite the technology being available to the manufacturers,” says Margrethe Vestager, the European Commissioner for Competition. The EU Commission is concerned that the deployment of emissions limiting technologies may have been hampered by meetings between BMW, Daimler (which owns Mercedes Benz) and the VW Group (owners of Volkswagen, Audi and Porsche). In particular, the development and rollout of “Selective Catalytic Reduction” systems for diesel engines and “Otto Particulate Filters” for petrol engines are thought to have been affected. The news comes in the wake of a massive … [Read more...] about BMW, Daimler, and VW probed by EU over possible cartel activity