No. 1018
October 16, 2019

About The UjianNasional@PeterMDeLorenzo Author, commentator, influencer. "The Consigliere." Editor-in-Chief of

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On The Surface



Editor-In-Chief's Note: After an interminable seven long years, GM has finely seen the light to appoint a Chief Marketing Officer. Deborah Wahl, who had been functioning in that role for Cadillac, now becomes the first CMO for General Motors since former CEO Dan "Captain Queeg" Akerson railroaded Joel Ewanick out of that position in 2012. Wahl, who has worked at McDonald's and Chrysler in her past CMO lives before her Cadillac assignment began in March of 2018, now takes the reins of all marketing at GM, something that has been so desperately needed and so long overdue that it stopped being even mildly amusing six-and-one-half years ago. Deborah is exceedingly smart and and one of the best and the brightest, and I see great things in GM's marketing future across all of its divisions. This is a big-time positive move for GM -PMD

Editor-In-Chief's Note: As I predicted a while back, Fiat is going to discontinue production of the current-generation Fiat 500 and 500e in North America. Current inventory of the 2019 Fiat 500 and 500e will last into 2020. Fiat will continue to offer the Fiat 500X, the Fiat 124 Spider roadster and the Fiat 500L in North America. Will that be enough to sustain the brand in the USA? No. -PMD
(Porsche images)
Porsche officially unveiled the Taycan today (Sept. 4), its first fully-electric sports car. "The Taycan links our heritage to the future. It carries forward the success story of our brand -- a brand that has fascinated and thrilled people the world over for more than 70 years," said Oliver Blume, Chairman of the Executive Board of Porsche AG, who opened the world premiere in Berlin, "This day marks the start of a new era." The four-door sports sedan is a unique package, according to Porsche PR minions, offering characteristic Porsche performance and connectivity with everyday usability. At the same time, Porsche says that its "highly advanced production methods and the features of the Taycan are setting new standards in the fields of sustainability and digitalization." "We promised a true Porsche for the age of electric mobility: a fascinating sports car that not only excites in terms of its technology and driving dynamics, but also sparks a passion in people all over the world, just like its legendary predecessors have done. Now we are delivering on this promise," said Michael Steiner, Member of the Executive Board of Porsche AG Research and Development. The first models in the new series are the Taycan Turbo S and Taycan Turbo. (Editor-In-Chief's Note: Turbo? Really? Talk about lame. -PMD) They are at the cutting edge of Porsche E-Performance and are among the most powerful production models that the sports car manufacturer currently has in its product range. Less powerful variants of these all-wheel drive vehicles will follow this year, and the first derivative to be added will be the Taycan Cross Turismo at the end of next year. By 2022, Porsche will have invested more than 6.6 billion dollars in electric mobility. 
The top-of-the-range Taycan Turbo S can generate up to 750HP (560 kW) of power in combination with Launch Control and overboost, while the Taycan Turbo can produce up to 670HP (500 kW). The Taycan Turbo S can accelerate from zero to 60 mph in 2.6 seconds, while the Taycan Turbo does it in 3.0 seconds. The top track speed of both all-wheel-drive models is 161 mph. The Taycan is the first production vehicle with a system voltage of 800 volts instead of the commonly used 400 volts for electric cars. This is a particular advantage for Taycan drivers on the road: under ideal conditions, the charging time from five to 80 percent State of Charge (SoC) is just 22.5 minutes, with a maximum charging power (peak) of up to 270 kW. The overall capacity of the 800V high voltage battery is 93.4 kWh. Taycan drivers can comfortably charge their cars with up to 9.6 kW of alternating current (AC) at home using a standard SAE J1772 connector. The EPA range estimate for North American market is pending for both vehicles. 
A completely new architecture is employed in the interior of the Taycan. The free-standing, curved instrument cluster forms the highest point on the dashboard. A central, 10.9-inch infotainment display and an optional passenger display are combined to form an integrated glass band in a black-panel look. All user interfaces have been designed from scratch for the Taycan. The number of classic hardware controls such as switches and buttons has been greatly reduced. Instead, control is intelligent and intuitive, using touch operation or the voice control function, which responds to the command "Hey Porsche". (Really? Wow.) With the Taycan, Porsche offers an entirely leather-free interior option for the first time (We think this is really excellent, by the way.). Interiors made from innovative recycled materials underscore the sustainable concept of the electric sports car. "Foot garages" - recesses in the battery in the rear foot well - ensure seating comfort for rear seat passengers while allowing the typically low roof height found on sports cars. Two luggage compartments are available: the front compartment has a capacity of 2.8 cubic feet and the rear, 12.9 cubic feet. 
A glass-look Porsche logo has been integrated into the light bar at the rear.
The Taycan has a coefficient of drag value as low as 0.22.
Porsche uses a centrally-networked control system for the Taycan chassis. The integrated Porsche 4D Chassis Control analyzes and synchronizes all chassis systems in real time. The chassis systems include adaptive air suspension with three-chamber technology including PASM (Porsche Active Suspension Management) electronic damper control, as well as the optional Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control Sport (PDCC Sport) electromechanical roll stabilization system including Porsche Torque Vectoring Plus (PTV Plus). The all-wheel drive control with two electric motors and the recuperation system are unique. At up to 265 kW, the potential recuperation power is significantly higher than that of competitors. Driving tests have shown that approximately 90 percent of everyday braking is performed by the electric motors alone, without the hydraulic brake system being activated. 
The Taycan Turbo S and Taycan Turbo have two electric motors, one on the front axle and one on the rear axle, thus making the cars all-wheel drive. The electric motor, transmission and pulse-controlled inverter are each combined into a compact drive module. The modules have the highest power density (kW per cubic foot of package space) of all electric powertrains on the market today. A special feature of the electric motors are the "hairpin" windings of the stator coils. This technology makes it possible to incorporate more copper in the stator, increasing power output and torque while maintaining the same component volume. The two-speed transmission installed on the rear axle is an innovation developed by Porsche. First gear lets the Taycan prioritize acceleration from a standing start, while second gear, with its long gear ratio, ensures high efficiency and equally high power reserves while traveling at high speeds. Multiple driving modes allow drivers to tailor their experience on the road. The different mode profiles follow the same philosophy as in other Porsche model series, but are supplemented by a special setting that maximizes efficient operation. The four driving modes that are available include "Normal," "Sport," "Sport Plus," and "Range." In addition, individual systems can be configured as required in the "Individual" mode. 
The world premiere of the Porsche Taycan took place simultaneously in North America, China and Europe. These three continents are the most important sales markets for Porsche's new electric sports car. The event locations are also a synonym for three ways of sustainable energy management, according to Porsche PR minions. With Niagara Falls at the border between the US state of New York and the Canadian province of Ontario representing hydropower, a solar farm in Neuhardenberg near Berlin representing solar power and a wind farm on Pingtan Island, less than a mile from the Chinese city of Fuzhou in the province of Fujian representing wind power. How much? Bring lots of ca$h-ola, folks. The Taycan Turbo starts at $150,900; the more powerful Taycan Turbo S at $185,000.

(Lamborghini images)
This is the new Lamborghini 
Sián, which means flash of lightning in the Bolognese dialect, and it will be the first electric hybrid application in a Lamborghini production car. It starts with the iconic Lamborghini V12, incorporates the world-first use of a supercapacitor in its hybrid system and utilizes unique materials-science applications. It produces a combined thermal and electric power of 819HP (602 kW), making it the most powerful Lamborghini ever produced. It also has the lowest weight-to-power ratio ever offered in the Lamborghini V12 family, which means it can accelerate from 0-100 km/h in under 2.8 seconds and reaches a top speed of over 350 km/h. It will be produced in a limited series of just 63 units, honoring the foundation year of Automobili Lamborghini, and it will make its debut at the Frankfurt IAA motor show. And you guessed it, they're already sold out.
The new Bentley Continental GT V8 is equipped with a new-generation 4.0-litre, twin-turbocharged engine developing 542HP (550 PS) and 568 lb.ft (770 Nm) of torque. "Designed, engineered and handcrafted in Crewe, Great Britain, the third generation Continental GT V8 and GT V8 Convertible combine driver-focussed performance with exquisite refinement and cutting-edge technology," Bentley PR minions say. Excellent weight distribution makes the dynamic GT V8 feel even more agile and responsive, according to the British luxury automaker. Top speed is 198 mph, and it accelerates from 0-60 mph in 3.9 seconds for the Coupe and 0-60 mph in 4.0 seconds for the Convertible.

(BMW Images)
BMW is releasing two exclusive editions to pump up sales of its struggling BMW i lineup of electric and PHEV vehicles. The first is the i3s Edition RoadStyle, which takes the purely electric s model and adds Fluid Black paint 
with E-Copper finishing touches to the kidney grille inlays, front bumper air deflectors and side skirt accents. The 20-inch double-spoke light alloy BMW i wheels are finished in Jet Black. The cabin features a Dalbergia Brown natural leather interior with a Dark Oak matt fine wood trim and exclusive headrests embroidered with “Edition RoadStyle”. The all-electric i3s is powered by an eDrive motor producing 181HP @ 4,100 rpm and 199 lb-ft of torque from 0 rpm. A 120 Ah/42.2 kWh battery promises a range of up to 153 miles and a 0 to 60 mph sprint of 6.8 seconds. The lightweight Carbon-fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) passenger cell allows for a total curb weight of 3,040 lbs. The BMW i3s applies the concept of sustainability throughout using recycled plastics, renewable raw materials and natural fibers. Over 80 percent of the surfaces visible to the passengers are made from recycled materials or renewable resources. Just under 1000 units of the special edition i3s will be available worldwide. 
The i8 Ultimate Sophisto Edition (catchy name, that) will be available in Coupe and Roadster models, both featuring Sophisto Grey metallic paint with E-Copper accents applied to the 20-inch radial-spoke BMW i light alloy wheels, kidney grille inserts and side skirt accents. The tailgate inlay is finished in High-gloss Black while C-pillar trim elements are in Shadowline. The brake calipers are also painted High-gloss Black and feature blue detailing and BMW i badging. The i8 Coupe and Convertible Ultimate Sophisto Edition combine 369HP and 420 lb-ft of torque with all-wheel drive, a CFRP passenger cell and an aluminum chassis to deliver an emotion-stirring, visceral driving experience. The i8 Coupe will sprint to 60 mph from a standstill in 4.2 seconds with the Roadster right behind in 4.4 seconds, all while delivering 69 MPGe.
The door sill plates display the words “Ultimate Sophisto Edition” and an interior badge adds the car’s status as being “1 of 200”. E-Copper detailing carries into the i8’s interior 
with special details and interior touches. 
The i8 Ultimate Sophisto Edition will be limited to 200 units globally, first-come, first-serve and will mark the end of production for "the most successful plug-in hybrid sports car in the world," according to BMW PR minions. Editor's Note: Okay, so which is it - the i8 is "the most successful plug-in hybrid sports car in the world" - or as we said at the top, BMW is releasing these two special editions because it needs "to pump up sales of its struggling BMW i lineup of electric and PHEV vehicles"??? Just askin'... -WG
Volkswagen has achieved another major milestone with its electric ID.R racer, this time on Tianmen Mountain in China. Romain Dumas completed the 10.906-kilometre “China Challenge” to “Heaven’s Gate” – a 131.5-meter natural arch which encompasses 99 tight corners on the Tianmen Mountain road - in 7:38.585 minutes, a new record. Some of the corners have a radius of just six meters, followed by short sprints, fast winding sections with speeds of up to 230 km/h, and hard braking maneuvers in extremely narrow tunnels. The ID.R is driven by two electric motors with a total system performance of 500 kW (680 PS), riding on tailor-made Bridgestone Potenza tires. The ID.R currently holds the records on Pikes Peak, the Goodwood Festival of Speed, the electric lap record on the Nürburgring-Nordschleife, and now the fastest time for an ascent of Tianmen Mountain in China. “A new record on a truly spectacular road – Volkswagen and the ID.R have once again shown what the electromobility of the future is already capable of today,” said Ralf Brandstätter, Chief Operating Officer of the Volkswagen Passenger Cars brand. “Not only has it proven that electric cars like the ID.R can break established records and set new benchmarks, but the ID.R also shows how emotive and exciting the mobility of the future is.”
Bugatti is the first manufacturer to break the 300-mile-an-hour barrier. On a test track in Germany, a near production prototype derivative of the hyper sports car Chiron surpassed the magic limit with a speed of 304.773 mph (490.484 km/h). A world record. "What a record! We're overjoyed to be the first manufacturer ever to have achieved a speed of more than 300 miles per hour. It’s a milestone for eternity. I would like to thank the whole team and driver Andy Wallace for this outstanding performance,” says Stephan Winkelmann, President of Bugatti. Sounds flat-out crazy to us. Watch it here.

Mopar celebrates a decade of factory-vehicle customization with the unveiling of the Mopar ’19 Dodge Challenger. Based on the 2019 Dodge Challenger R/T Scat Pack, the Mopar ’19 Challenger carries several exterior and interior features only available on this limited production Mopar-branded muscle car. Available in either Pitch Black or White Knuckle, the Mopar ’19 Challenger starts with the R/T Scat Pack model and adds unique Mopar Shakedown graphics accented with asymmetrical Mopar Blue center stripes that run from the top of the front fascia to the rear decklid spoiler. A Shaker Hood package by Mopar provides a hint of vintage styling with an active, air-gulping scoop flanked with Shaker badges on both sides. Functional black hood pins provide a classic look. Out back, the rear decklid spoiler carries a unique Mopar Design badge. Standard 20-inch x 9-inch forged aluminum wheels riding on Goodyear P245/45ZR20 performance tires are enhanced with genuine Mopar-branded center caps and valve stem caps. Mopar wheel locks are standard. It is powered by the 392-cubic inch HEMI® V-8 with 485HP and 475 lb.-ft. of torque. A six-speed manual gearbox is standard, while a quick-shifting TorqueFlite eight-speed automatic transmission is optional. A Mopar cold air intake delivers performance-enhancing airflow to the engine. Mopar strut tower braces help increase structural rigidity of the chassis for sharper handling. The braces and strut caps are silver-coated to dress up the underhood appearance. 
Stopping power is provided by Brembo four-wheel disc performance brakes with red calipers. On the inside, performance front cloth seats wear a two-tone Mopar logo embroidered into the seat backs and a custom Mopar ’19 instrument panel badge adorns the passenger-side air vent. Completing the standard interior accessories are premium Berber floor mats and polished door-sill guards with the Challenger logo. With a starting U.S. MSRP of $45,835, dealer orders for the Mopar ’19 Dodge Challenger open in September 2019. Vehicles are expected to begin arriving in dealerships in the fourth quarter 2019. 

Editor-In-Chief's Note: A new ad campaign for EVs by Electrify America goes about it all the wrong way and fails miserably. Our resident AE EV expert, Allen Bukoff, explains why. -PMD

Me and my innovative new vehicle. We're just normal.

by Allen Bukoff

Detroit. Electrify America and their San Francisco ad agency have a new campaign for electric vehicles:  "EVs are NORMAL NOW." This is wrong. It's also a weird way to try to sneak a revolutionary transportation transition past the public.

EVs are quite different from ICE vehicles. In lots of different ways -- large and small. There are many ways in which EVs are better -- sometimes a lot better (and more fun), as in instant torque and acceleration.

The new ad campaign by Electrify America and Eleven seems to be based on the idea that people are scared of EVs and of anything that might make them look "abnormal."  If they can reassure people that EVs are really just normal and okay now, a lot more people will consider them. As the recent AutoThink EV study has shown, people aren't leery of EVs, mostly they have condescending negative attitudes about EVs, many of which are inaccurate and out of date. Proclaiming EVs as being "normal" is not going to fix that.

Eleven must not have even talked to any EV owners/drivers. EV vehicle owners as a group generally rave about their vehicles and will bore you talking about how special (i.e., un-normal and great their driving and ownership experience has been -- compared to their ICE vehicle experience. Very few EV drivers are even considering going back -- trading their EV back in for an ICE vehicle. EVs are NOT normal vehicles.

Eleven and Electrify America must also have completely failed to study the advertising for the Volt. Chevrolet and their ad agencies -- Goodby Silverstein & Partners and then Commonwealth//McCann -- spent nearly ten years trying to pass the Volt off as being mostly just a regular car (e.g., "More Car Than Electric"), and it is now a case study in advertising failure.

What a super-dumb way to try to build desire and excitement for such a major and still innovative product purchase: it's just normal, it's like everything else, it's really nothing special. 

To ad insult to injury, Eleven has created several videos that illustrate how things can become "normal" by comparing EVs to the past: early internet email and online dating. EVs ARE ABOUT THE FUTURE! Show people that. Don't tie them to the quirky past.

I'm beginning to think EV advertising is completely cursed.


AE Song Lyrics of the Week:

Sometimes I'm right and I can be wrong
My own beliefs are in my song
The butcher, the banker, the drummer and then
Makes no difference what group I'm in
I am everyday people, yeah, yeah
There is a blue one
Who can't accept the green one
For living with a fat one
Trying to be a skinny one
Different strokes
For different folks
And so on and so on
And scooby dooby dooby
Oh sha sha
We got to live together

"Everyday People" - Sly and The Family Stone