AutoComplete: Land Rover's long-awaited Defender debuts in Frankfurt and more
Welcome to Road Shows Auto Complete, your weekly round up of the biggest news in the automotive world.
This week we've got news on two new Convertible Ferrari's, an electric Sedu, and GM's big break recall.
But first let's start with Land Rover's new defender.
It's been a long time in the making, but Land Rover have finally released its new Defender, and holy hell does it look great.
Peers will undoubtedly complain about its unibody construction and its independent suspension.
But, for those of us who have embraced modern vehicle construction There's a lot to be stoked about.
The new defender has better departure and break over angles in the old one, as well as more ground clearance and the ability to wade through nearly a meter of water.
Sure, the new defenders approach angle is marginally worse than before, but that's a seriously minor gripe.
And did we mention that it's available with steel wheels and that they look Amazing.
The best part of it all is that pricing for the four door 110 version starts at just under $50,000.
Now we don't know how much the smaller, two door 90 version will cost, but we bet it's a little bit cheaper and And that's Jeep Wrangler money.
Now if you'll excuse us, we're gonna waste the rest of the day on the US version's configurator.
It's looking like Ferrari caught a wicked case of convertible fever in Germany, because it just debuted both the F8 Spider KK the drop top version of the bonkers F8 tribute And the 812 GTS aka the staggeringly good looking vert version of the 812 super fast.
These two items are a part of a series of five new Ferrari that will see before the years out.
Also included in that list is the already debuted SF 90 Strivali.
The mid engine turbo charged V8 powered F8 and the front engine naturally aspirated V12 of the 812 may not share a ton of features beyond their relatively similar power and torque figures.
But we love that Ferrari has gone all in on the cowl behind the head rest look for both cars.
But adds just enough SP1 and SP2 to get our hearts really going.
Bugatti hot rodded a Chiron and took it around its test track to set a certified speed record of 304 miles per hour.
Main members of the press, ourselves included.
We're a little bit critical of the fact that this Chiron was so wildly different from the spec the standard car.
Well, it turns out that Bugatti had an answer to that up its sleeve.
Well, sort of anyway, with plans to release a series of 300 Chiron's that share the record setting cars specs DeLara source carbon fiber body included.
The fact of that selling these cars makes the whole fastest production car thing less dubious, but again we'd still like to see what a totally bog standard Chiron would do in similar circumstances.
The advent of gig economy companies like Uber and Lyft have been a great way for people to make some extra cash by driving around.
As long as you're cool with your car smelling like barf on occasion.
But if you work for them you're not actually considered an employee.
And as such, you're not subject to any of the protections put in place for employees of companies.
Instead you're considered a freelancer.
And as any millennial in a creative industry will tell you.
Freelancing is kind of a bummer.
That's all about to change in California though, because the state just passed a bill stating that a company has to put someone on it's payroll if that company controls how he or she performs a task, or if the work is part of a company's standard business.
This means that these newly minted employees will get access to things like unemployment insurance, and more importantly, will be guaranteed a minimum wage.
We're very curious to see how the companies that make up the gig economy react to this one.
Earlier this year, General Motors issued a recall for 310,000 trucks and SUVs over concerns that a vacuum pump in the braking system could weaken, and reduce the effectiveness of their brakes.
Well guess what, my dudes.
That recall is back and it's been expanded to 3.5 million vehicles, specifically the Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra and their 1,500, 2,500 and 3,500 variants from the 2014 to 2018 model years.
And the Chevy Tahoe Suburban, GMC Yukon and Cadillac Escalade from the 2015 to 2018 model years.
Weirdly, GM's fix doesn't involve replacing the pump.
Instead, it's going to use a software fix to tell a backup pump that's already installed in the vehicle to engage more quickly.
Owners of affected vehicles have already started receiving notifications as of September 6th.
Just in case you've been living under a rock for the last year or so, things aren't looking especially sunny for the folks at Nissan.
First, they have their problem of low sales and an aging product line.
Then they have the whole debaco with Carlos Goan and now things are about to get worse since Nissan CEO Hiroto Saikawa just announced his resignation.
Why is he resigning?
I mean, he's only had that job for two years, right?
Well, it turns out he was improperly overpaid for his work as CEO.
Now, unlike Ghosn, Saikawa's pay wasn't illegal, just well outside the company's policy, so don't expect Mr. Saikawa to truly enter the Ghosn zone.
The powers that be at the Nissan Renault Mitsubishi Alliance are already considering options for his replacement, and that replacement will be named by a committee sometime in the very near future.
Whoever is in charge of Audi's concepts seems to have finally lost their darn mind.
Because the brand's latest electric autonomous concept is truly bananas.
It's called the AI:Trail, and not only is it powered by four independent electric motors, packing gnarly looking custom 35 inch tires, evil futuristic dune buggy styling and level four autonomy, it has freaking drones for headlights.
Yeah, you heard that correctly.
This concept has drones Four headlights.
The system is called Audi Light Pathfinders and when they are buzzing around lighting up the trail, they're docked and charging on the AI Trail's roof.
Now is this thing going anywhere near production?
We'd bet not.
Is it an excellent concept despite that?
BMW's getting in on the hydrogen fuel cell game with its I hydrogen next test vehicle which is based on the current generation X5.
The goal for the program is to find other means of electrification that don't rely on the power grid for juice.
Hydrogen fuel cells are an established, but still developing way of doing that, and we're seeing more manufacturers get in on the tech, like Hyundai and Toyota.
BMW isn't totally committed yet to having a production FCV by itself from post date of 2025.
Is instead of waiting to see what the market demand is like, we'll keep our fingers crossed that it actually follows through.
And that the hydrogen filling infrastructure gets a little more robust.
Tesla has been putting out this strong weird divorced dad vibe lately.
Since Porsche's Taycan has come out and become something of a media darling.
Don't worry, we'll explain what we mean.
See, the Big T was previously content to kick back in Fremont and just talk about how its cars are the best in the world.
But now, there's real competition, AKA Mom's new boyfriend Porsche.
Tesla's scrambling to try and publicize that it's setting lap records even if some of those claims are a little on the hinkey side.
For example, Tesla is claiming that it's set a lap record at Laguna Seca with a time of one minute 36.555 seconds.
Which handily beats the previous record set by Jaguars very silly project eight sit in.
The part where things get a little murky is that while a special edition, Jag's vehicle was technically a production car.
While Tesla's car appears to be modified based on the Model 3 steering wheel we can see in the video.
And if that's changed who knows what else has been tweaked so you know.
Still good work.
Elan on doing a fast lap in a car with four doors I guess the world is becoming an increasingly strange and frightening place.
But there are still good things that everyone can unite behind.
Those things are called personal watercraft, AKA jet skis, AKA Sea-Doos, and we'll be damned if Canadian manufacturer BRP didn't just debut an electric Sea-Doo as a concept, at its Club BRP event in Las Vegas.
Currently the our piece of evaluating the market and customer interest and blah blah blah and it's not guaranteed for production.
But we're out here trying to live our best Kenny powers fantasies while also reducing our carbon footprint.
Currently we don't have any performance specs for the electric cd but it's important to remember The words of the late, great Bill Hicks.
Money can't buy happiness, but it can buy a jet ski, and you never see an unhappy person riding a jet ski.
That's it for Auto Complete.
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And we'll see you again next week.
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