The general impression one gets after scanning through the details and picture of this Beetle is that it looks production-ready, whether it’d be the exterior or interior we are talking about. In fact, Volkswagen itself has said it “looks production ready” and “shows the potential for a new production version of the sportiest Beetle ever.”
is reporting that the Dune “Concept”, which is based on the Beetle R-Line, may be the next special-edition Beetle variant to be made, providing a more rugged alternative for fans of the litter bugger. Its off-road inspired exterior features skid plates, brushed aluminum rocker panels, roof-mounted skis, a higher ride height and 19-inch aluminum wheels.
Providing power is a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 210 horsepower, and driving that power to the front wheels via an electronic XDS differential is a six-speed DSG dual-clutch transmission.
Volkswagen is likely currently gauging customer reactions to the Dune Concept before approving it for production.
Tesla Ends Referral Program To Cut Costs, Improve Profits
The incentives add “too much cost” to the cars, especially the Model 3.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk has announced that the company’s referral program, which entices buyers with a series of unique incentives that helped drive sales, will come to an end on Feb 1, 2019.
The program allows owners to give friends six to nine free months of Supercharging with the purchase of a new Model 3, Model S, or Model X. Owners receive a laser-etched photo of themselves launched into deep space for their first referral, a signed wall connector or a miniature Model S for their kids for the second referral, and special wheels for their third.
Tesla decided to end the referral program because it was “adding too much cost to the cars, especially Model 3.”
Musk has told employees that the Model 3 still costs at least $38,000 to build, requiring significant reductions to make a profit on the upcoming bare-bones base model, which will have a starting price of $35,000 in the U.S.
Ford Is Making fully Electric F-150 Pickup Truck
The company is aiming to ‘futureproof’ its best-selling vehicle.
Ford has confirmed that it’s working on an all-fully electric F-150 pickup in preparation for the auto industry’s impeding shift towards battery power.
The F-Series was the United States’ best-selling truck in 2018, the 42nd consecutive year it’s held that title, and the most popular vehicle of any kind for the 35th straight year. However, with an increasingly-threatening Tesla very enthusiastic about building an all-electric pickup and several new upstarts like Rivian fielding similar projects, Ford is no longer only contending with General Motors and FCA in the segment. It can’t afford to rest on its laurels.
“We’re going to be electrifying the F-Series — battery electric and hybrid,” Jim Farley, the company’s president of global markets, said, acknowledging that a pure battery-powered variant is necessary to “futureproof” the model’s success.
Not long before this revelation, Ford and Volkswagen announced an automotive alliance that has the development of midsize pickups as a focal point. The German automaker has made it well known its intention to dominate the EV boom; its relative expertise in electrification could spill over to the the F-150.
What you think about the idea of an all-electric Ford F-150? Yay or nay?
Ford And VW Form Global Automotive Alliance
The two automakers will focus on trucks, vans and mobility solutions.
Ford and Volkswagen have entered into a global automotive alliance to jointly develop both vehicles in existing market segments and future mobility solutions.
Unlike the Renault Nissan Mitsubishi alliance or other strategic partnership in the industry. neither company will have a financial stake in the other, at least not initially. The partnership was formed solely to mitigate vehicle development costs.
The first programs to benefit will be medium-sized pickup trucks and other commercial vehicles in the European market, with Volkswagen relying on Ford’s expertise in the area. Expect to see their first products to hit the market as early as 2022.
Ford and Volkswagen also signed a memorandum of understanding to investigate collaboration on autonomous vehicles, mobility services and electric vehicles and are already in the process of exploring opportunities.
“Over time, this alliance will help both companies create value and meet the needs of our customers and society,” stated Ford CEO Jim Hackett. “It will not only drive significant efficiencies and help both companies improve their fitness, but also gives us the opportunity to collaborate on shaping the next era of mobility.”
The fact that neither company owns a stake in the other should result in smoother sailing than experienced by Renault and Nisan.