Hyundai Motor has joined forces with Incheon International Airport Corporation (IIAC), Hyundai Engineering & Construction Company and KT Corporation to take its Urban Air Mobility (UAM) programme to the next stage, including conducting test flights.
In January the automaker unveiled a personal air vehicle (PAV) concept at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. Called S-A1, the ‘flying taxi’ is driven by multiple electrically driven rotors, giving it a range of 60 miles (100km) and a cruising speed of up to 180 mph at an altitude of up to 600 metres.
The four partners signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) earlier this month with the aim of launching a commercial flying taxi service by 2028.
In June the South Korean government announced a national ‘UAM Roadmap’ outlining the steps needed to commercialise UAM vehicles in the country.
Hyundai Motor said it would align its UAM programme with the roadmap and would also join the Korean UAM Grand Challenge, the public private joint demonstration project that provides the basis for jointly studying the construction and operation of ‘vertiports’, or airports for UAM vehicles.
Hyundai would push forward with the development of the overall UAM vehicle business while IIAC would look to establish the required infrastructure and would study the feasibility of utilising UAMs vehicles as airport shuttles, Hyundai Construction would be responsible for building the vertiports and transit hubs and KT would install the communication infrastructure.
Jaiwon Shin, executive vice president and head of Urban Air Mobility Division at Hyundai Motor, said: “The breadth and depth of this partnership shows what it will take to build a comprehensive UAM ecosystem to serve megacities like Seoul. Building a robust infrastructure and business model is just as important as developing innovative UAM vehicles. This partnership demonstrates Hyundai’s commitment to facilitating progress for humanity by ushering in a new era of urban air mobility that will revolutioniSe transportation.”
GM raises production of electric vehicles, repositions Chevrolet Bolt
General Motors Company says said it is increasing its electric vehicle assembly plans, raising production of the EV Chevrolet Bolt and other vehicles.
GM reported its highest quarterly sales of the Chevrolet Bolt EV and Bolt EUV, which totalled 14,709 vehicles. Bolt sales are down by 11 per cent for the first nine months of the year compared to the same period last year.
In June, GM said it would sharply cut Bolt prices after it halted sales for six months following a battery recall.
Autoblog reported the GM as saying on Monday it would specifically boost Bolt production for global markets to more than 70,000 in 2023 from about 44,000 vehicles this year.
Bolt sales in 2021 hit a record annual high of 24,828 vehicles.
The largest US automaker said it was moving up body shop upgrades at its Detroit Factory ZERO for Silverado EV production in 2023 and taking other steps to prepare.
GM will suspend the production of the GMC HUMMER EV pickup for several weeks starting in late November to prepare for that production jump, it said.
Cadillac Lyriq production will increase in the fourth quarter and GM plans additional production shifts for GMC Hummer EVs in 2023, it said.
The automaker stated that its 2023 EV launches, including the Chevrolet Silverado EV, Chevrolet Blazer EV and Chevrolet Equinox EV, were on schedule.
GM’s EV sales are still a small fraction of US sales. Out of 1.65 million US vehicles sold in the first nine months of the year, GM sold 22,012 Bolts, 782 Hummer EV pickups and 36 Lyriq SUVs.
GM and LG Energy Solution’s joint venture Ultium Cells LLC is considering a site in Indiana for a fourth $2.4 billion US battery cell manufacturing plant, the venture said in August.
Maserati GranTurismo returns, this time with electric folgore model
Luxury sports car maker Maserati has unveiled its new GranTurismo model ahead of an official launch next year for the brand’s first car fully-electric version.
Maserati, the luxury brand of automaker Stellantis, rolled out the new GranTurismo on Monday, according to Reuters, returning the to sporty coupe which has seen many iterations over the years, but now with the option for 100 per cent electric propulsion.
Folgore is the name that Maserati applies to its electric vehicles and the new GranTurismo Folgore will sit alongside Modena and Trofeo versions, both powered by a 3-litre V6 engine, as you might expect, reports Pocketlint, an online auto journal.
But the Folgore takes Maserati in a new direction and creates something rather unique for those looking for a high-end electric sports car. As this is the GranTurismo it only has the two doors, but there’s four seats, the long, low, body designed for sporty driving in comfort.
Maserati, which returned to an operating profit last year, has promised fully-electric or folgore – versions of all its cars by 2025, as part of a wider turnaround plan.
It said in a statement the electric powertrain for the new grand tourer (GT) would be derived from Formula E technology, where the Italian brand will start competing next year.
The automaker said the new GranTurismo will also be available with a three-litre, six-cylinder internal combustion engine (ICE), in two versions capable of 490 and 500 horse powers.
Both the fully-electric and the ICE versions would have an indicative starting price of around 200,000 euros ($195.000), just below the entry price for a Ferrari car.
The GranTurismo will be produced at Stellantis’ Mirafiori plant in Turin, Italy.
Maserati will provide further details of the new car at its official presentation in the first quarter of next year, while sales are expected to start in the second quarter.
Toyota ending FJ Cruiser production, reveals special Final Edition
Toyota has announced that it will discontinue the production of the FJ Cruiser in the Middle East by December 2022. But before that happens, the leading automaker says it will introduce a special Final Edition.
The FJ Cruiser has been sold in the Middle East since 2007 and has continued to survive even after being pulled from all other markets. The car was retired from the American market at the end of the 2014 model year but it lived on in several overseas markets. Sales in Australia ended in 2016.
Toyota on Monday said only 1,000 units of the Final Edition model would be produced, each differentiated from the standard model through a host of special touches.
Toyota has not released images of the SUV yet but official importer Abdul Latif Jameel Motors notes the commemorative trim will receive a single-tone beige paint job, beige upholstery, and beige interior trim. The grille, bumpers, door mirror caps, exterior door handles, and spare tire cover will be finished in black to add a touch of contrast, and each Final Edition will wear specific emblems.
Colours and trim aside, the FJ sold in the Middle East looks a lot like the FJ that was available in the United States. The specifications sheet looks similar as well.
Power for the Final Edition model comes from Toyota’s tried-and-true 4.0-liter V6, rated at 270 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque, increases of 10 and nine, respectively, compared to the American model. The list of standard features includes Active Traction Control (A-TRAC) technology, a Crawl Control function, and an electronically-locking rear differential.
For the 2023 FJ Cruiser Final Edition, deliveries are expected to start in the fourth quarter of 2022, according to multiple sources including Carscoops,Jalopnik and Autoblog.
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