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The News for April 27th, 2018

Greg Kachadurian April 27, 2018 The News! 25 Comments

Welcome to the Redusernab News! As always, this is a weekly recap of some of the biggest stories in the automotive industry without the fluff or bull. There’s also just a little opinion of mine because I can. This week:

  • Ford does the inevitable and plans to cut most of their cars in US by 2020

  • BMW unveils all-electric X3 concept, production version coming soon

  • Jaguar celebrates 50 years of the XJ with special edition

  • McLaren paints part of a dragon on a car

  • What’s your automotive news?

Ford is cutting most passenger cars in US market

Normally shareholder reports are the most boring pieces of reading material you can find, but Ford’s press release for their Q1 earnings drew a lot of attention. Buried within a bullet list of how Ford plans to “create long term value” is a huge announcement regarding the fate of Ford’s passenger car lineup in America. It’s uh… almost all going away.

Ford claims that by 2020, 90% of the Ford portfolio in North America will be trucks, SUVs, and commercial vehicles. The other 10% will be made up by the only two cars to survive this huge cut, and those will be the Mustang and the all-new Focus Active, which is basically a Focus made into a lifted soft-roader that they’re calling a crossover. So yes, the normal Focus, Fiesta, Taurus, and maybe the C-Max (which they do still make) are all dead in North America by 2020 and the only true car remaining by then will be the Mustang.

The causes are predictable – slowing car sales made worse by America’s love affair with sitting slightly higher above the road than everyone else and how much money is still being printed by existing trucks and SUVs. Of the cars being axed, the Fusion was the best-selling with 209,000 units sold last year followed by the Focus at 153,000. Those aren’t necessarily bad numbers and that should be enough to make it profitable, but not enough profit for Ford to keep them on our shores.

With so many vehicles going out to pasture, Ford said they’re exploring new “’white space’ vehicle silhouettes that
combine the best attributes of cars and utilities” – so basically, more cars like the slightly taller Focus Active.

If you want a new Ford car, you better hurry. If you want a Mustang before it too becomes a crossover, double hurry.

[Sources: Ford, sales numbers via ]

BMW iX3 Concept

BMW has recommitted themselves to more electrification with the debut of the all-electric iX3 Concept. It’s scheduled for production soon and will be just the third production model born from BMW’s ‘i’ electric sub-brand. It’s also the first to be converted from an existing car in their lineup which proves a point.

The X3 is a core part of the BMW lineup which makes this a pretty big move for them. It’ll be the first to use BMW’s new 5th generation eDrive technology (which I’m sure is better and stuff) and will blaze a trial for a flexible vehicle architecture that will more easily allow for gas, hybrid, or full electric version of all upcoming models that use it. This is the first core model to go all-electric and it’s going to open the flood gates for more to follow.

The all-electric powertrain in the iX3 consists of an electric motor capable of 200kW/270hp and a high-voltage battery pack that should deliver 249 miles of driving range per charge. The kidney grilles, as far as I can tell, are purely a design element.

There’s not much else they’re willing to talk about but we’ll know more when we inch closer to its launch date, which I don’t expect to be very far away.

Jaguar XJ50 celebrates 50 years of the XJ

Jaguar’s flagship since 1968 has been some form of the XJ which happens to be turning 50 this year. That’s reason enough to celebrate with a special edition XJ50 model just before the all-new XJ is expected. It’s one last hurrah for the current generation XJ that’s been on sale since 2009 and played a big role in rejuvenating the brand.

The XJ50 is an appearance package that adds special bumpers, a black grille, and unique 20″ wheels featuring a gloss black diamond-turned finish. Just four of the existing paint colors are available and those are Fuji White, Loire Blue, Rosello Red, and Santorini Black. It’s available exclusively in the longer wheelbase and can be ordered with either the supercarged V6 (AWD or RWD) or the 470-hp supercharged V8.

It isn’t really anything groundbreaking but it gave me an excuse to show pictures of a Jaguar XJ again.

[Source: Jaguar]

McLaren 570GT MSO Cabbeen Collection

Hey guys did you see this cool announcement from McLaren they partnered with Chinese fashion designer Mr. Cabbeen to paint part of a gold dragon on a McLaren 570GT.

[Source: McLaren]

What’s your automotive news?

That’s all I’ve got for you this week, so now it’s your turn. If you saw anything, fixed something, broke everything, or otherwise did anything even remotely car related that you want to share with your fellow hoon, sound off in the comments.

Have a good weekend.

[Image © 2018 Redusernab/Greg Kachadurian]

  • GTXcellent

    Great news on the Wrangler – I have a build date of 5/9!

    Bad news on the Wrangler – there is a shortage of rail cars creating a 60 day shipping back-log. Looks like it’ll still be around the 4th of July before I can participate in the all-heralded (and very overblown) “Jeep Wave”

    • Zentropy

      I envy you on the Wrangler purchase– I sold my CJ-7 once I had kids, but think it’s time to get a family-friendly Unlimited (my wife disagrees). Just please don’t participate in the “Jeep Wave”. It’s a truck, not a club.

  • outback_ute

    At first I thought we were having a new XJ, that looked the same as the old one like so many new luxury cars do these days (Audi!).

    The XJ50 looks much better than the 40th anniversary car.

  • That McLaren is okay, I guess, but it’s no Lockheed Model 901.

  • 0A5599

    If Ford rethinks the decision to get rid of most of their car models, they can always introduce the next Fiesta/Taurus/Torino by calling it a Mustang special edition.

    • Or they could just develop a sedan, a wagon, and so forth based on the Mustang platform and call them Falcons.

      • kogashiwa

        This ought to happen regardless.

      • outback_ute

        There are probably also some people at Broadmeadows who would be happy to take that on too

      • Zentropy

        Yes! A Stateside, Mustang-based Falcon Wagon would absolutely be my next car purchase, so long as it was available with a 6-speed.

    • Zentropy

  • I was listening to the other podcast, and suddenly realised that I knew more about cars than Matt and Lane.
    (Well, about one specific car: the Arzt 928 with widened Golf 1 body – which they took for a drive train and interior mule. Admitted, it’s rare, obscure, and badly documented in German, pre-internet, but everyone should know Volker Arzt from my home town and his œvre.)
    Humble as I am, I didn’t comment on this.

    Also, the gas bottle arrived yesterday, expect pics of horrible welding spots throughout the coming months.

    • Monkey10is

      +1 for Arzt appreciation.

  • Batshitbox

    Nine (9) miles to the gallon! My new 1991 E-250 Econoline got 9 MPG with just a 500 lb motorcycle in the back. My 1991 GMC hovered in the 14 – 16 mpg range loaded or not. Both trucks are 4500 – 5000 lbs, but the GMC had throttle body injection and a 5.0, where the Ford has multi port (I thought that was better?) and a 5.8. The other difference is the Ford has 3/4 ton axles, but really?

    A new air filter and some fuel injector cleaner are top of the list.

    Meanwhile, junked and heavily tattooed Cadillac stretch.

    • ptschett

      FWIW I got about 12 MPG out of my grandpa’s ’95 F-150 4×4 (5.8/auto/extended cab) when I borrowed it while my Thunderbird was getting its most recent transmission rebuild. But that was about a dozen years ago now.

      • Alff

        That’s what my ’93 with the same configuration saw, laden or not. Only towing dragged it down.

    • Scoutdude

      Something definitely isn’t right, My Nantuckets with the Carbed 351 250 would do ~12 MPG being used in my mobile auto repair business back in the day, which was packed full of tools and didn’t do much freeway. The 150 that saw lesser use in my real estate activities would pull down 14~15. My High Top 09 Fake150 with the 4.6l and 4.10 gears gets 14~15 in light use.

    • Zentropy

      That seems really low. My father’s extended E-350 (1993?) with the 351 would regularly return 16-17 mpg, and that’s with 1-ton suspension.

  • Looks like Ford will have to run “Mustangs” in the Nascar Cup series.

    • That will cease, I guess. There is a NASTRUCK cup I presume?

    • outback_ute

      That had already been announced, although the news was overshadowed because it was also announced that the Mustang will be run in V8 Supercars….

    • Vairship

      I believe the correct name for the series is NASCAR CUV, not CUP.

  • Borkwagen

    XJ50>XJ40. Or is it?

    • Rover 1

      I’ll just have two of those Jags.

      The XJC and the Series Three thanks, both with the V12.

  • Sjalabais

    @mdharrell: you wouldn’t happen to be in need of a truck/trailer combo in “your size”?:

  • je zalanka

    ford should mass produce the ford gt in order to bring the price down to where working stiffs can afford it without going thru a mortgage company. that alone would increase their bottom line.

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