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You also might be interested: mazda, mazda6, next-generation, sedan, rwd, toyota, dodge, dodge challenger, dodge charger, maserati ghibli, pininfarina, production, mercedes-benz, fwd, mercedes-benz sl-class

Next generation Mazda6 may be getting an RWD platform

According to Japanese website Car Sensor, Mazda recently claimed that they might borrow a platform from Toyota, which they will use for the next generation Mazda6, so this can be given a rear-wheel drive option. But to make things even better, the chassis might underpin the production version of the RX-Vision concept as well.

As part of the move up market, the Japanese automaker will give the Mazda6 the rear wheel drive they are planning. But they will also change the design so it features a long nose and shorter front overhang, giving the sedan a more upscale look. As for the engine, the fourth generation Mazda6 will probably share the company’s Skyactiv X spark controlled compression engine, including the mild-hybrid system believed to be of the 48-volt flavour.

What’s very important for Mazda’s plan is to make sure that they continue to have a good relationship with Toyota. Currently, both automakers have entered a collaboration and they are developing a factory in the United States. They have also been sharing some commercial vehicles in Japan. Furthermore, both companies admit that sharing future platforms would be possible. The future Mazda6’s rear drive chassis will likely be the same as the future generation Lexus IS and GS, says Car Sensor.

Read the entire article Next generation Mazda6 may be getting an RWD platform

Dodge Challenger and Charger to come with Maserati's Ghibli architecture

In a recent report by Automotive News, we learned that FCA is no longer pursuing its original plans in using Alfa Romeo’s Giorgio architecture on both the Dodge Charger and Dodge Challenger. Instead, it will be using the new platform that will underpin Maserati’s new sedan. Automotive News however didn’t name the source of this information.

It is also said that Fiat Chrysler Automotive will be giving both of its vehicle models the final refresh for the 2019 model year before the arrival of its all-new generation range two years after. By that time, the two Dodge models would have already moved on to Maserati Ghibli’s architecture and shall no longer use the ongoing models’ current platform. To add some new twists to the current vehicle lineups, FCA for now has cooked up some special edition packages both for the Dodge Charger and Challenger.

Suffice it to say, Alfa Romeo’s Giorgio RWD architecture will still be used on one of the upcoming generation’s Dodge model -- the Journey SUV. With its intentions in building the most driver-centric sport utility vehicle, FCA will be taking Alfa Rome Stelvio’s engine designs. The next generation SUV range is expected to arrive at the showrooms in 2019 and will soon be manufactured and produced in Italy. Currently, FCA is producing its SUVs in Mexico.

Read the entire article Dodge Challenger and Charger to come with Maserati's Ghibli architecture

Pininfarina teams up with Iran Khodro to develop modular platform

Mahindra group-owned automotive design firm Pininfarina may be commonly noted for its sensational coachbuilding efforts, but now Pininfarina is planning to expand its portfolio. The Italian automaker has possibly signed a deal with Iranian automotive company Iran Khodro following a flurry of electric cars unveiled at Auto Shanghai show. The said deal will see Iran Khodro, which produced vehicles for Iranian Samand, Peugeot and Renault to be sold in Iran, to reportedly produce a new platform.

Previously, Iran Khodro heavily depended on platforms from different automakers, primarily France's PSA Group. Now the said platform that they will be working on will be a modular chassis that is made specifically to be utilized in at least 4 different vehicles. The platform will approximately cost around €70 million ($76 million) to develop.

The first phase is a passenger car that will be made for the midsize category and will take the form of either a small SUV or a sedan, perhaps. A total of 3 years will span for the agreement done between Pininfarina and IKCO, and will not only include the platform development, but will also tackle concept architecture, body design, as well as a product development throughout virtual and physical validation.

Read the entire article Pininfarina teams up with Iran Khodro to develop modular platform

Mercedes-Benz will offer eight new models from its new front-wheel drive platform

Mercedes-Benz has never been this pleased with its front-wheel drive models. After all, the German premium carmaker’s front-wheel drive models have been posting excellent sales. It seems Mercedes can’t hold its intentions any further as it is already planning to expand its front-wheel drive lineup by three more models, from the current five to eight new premium vehicles.

This comes after Ola Kallenius, chief of the Mercedes-Benz brand, disclosed to Car and Driver that the next generation of the premium carmaker’s front-wheel drive platform will underpin eight new models. The second generation of the platform – the Modular Front-wheel-drive Architecture 2 or MFA2 – is expected to be stiffer and lighter than the first generation, thanks to a more extensive use of high-strength steel.

Just like the first-generation Modular Front-wheel-drive Architecture (MFA), MFA2 will not only accommodate front-wheel drive layouts but will also cover all-wheel drive configurations as well. However, the new MFA2 platform would be more flexible, as it allows for more variations in wheelbase and track widths – the reason why it could underpin eight new Mercedes-Benz models.

Read the entire article Mercedes-Benz will offer eight new models from its new front-wheel drive platform

The 2019 Mercedes-Benz SL is reportedly to share the same platform with an Mercedes-AMG GT. Not exactly the one you’ve seen on the photos that have previously surfaced on the Internet. Speculations developed after a supposedly shorter SL Coupe was caught being tested at the Green Hell several weeks ago. But recent reports suggest otherwise.

Autocar says that Mercedes-Benz is now considering an AMG GT platform and will likely come with four types of engines. It is also believed that the SL65 and SL600’s V12 engines may no longer be included in their options. This is probably because of the stricter guidelines with regard to emissions.

Instead, there’s going to be a choice between the E63’s 603hp 5.5 litre V8 twin turbocharger, a couple of turbocharged 6-cylinders with either 450hp or 402 hp and a 470hp 4.0 litre V8.

Read the entire article 2019 Mercedes-Benz SL will share platform with the AMG GT

Fiat Chrysler is reported to continue with its line-up of large cars well until 2020. Both the Dodge Challenger and the Dodge Charger are not expected to have any redesigns through the Giorgio platform all the way to the 2021 model year. This is true as well for the Chrysler 300 sedans. This information was revealed by Automotive News citing two sources.

The Giorgio platform mentioned forms the basis of the Alfa Romeo Giulia, the same vehicle that is expected to begin sales by the end of this year in North America. With regards to this platform, it is likely that for the North American market, the platform would be made wider and longer for it to be used for the Challenger and the Charger. In addition, the Giorgio platform has the needed rigidity to help the brand make a comeback on the convertible market. Should this happen, it would be the brand’s return to this segment after it stopped production of the Chrysler 200 Convertible back in 2014.

According to FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne, the platform’s versatility was no accident as it was created at the same time as the launching of the Giulia. He adds that the architecture has more than proven its worth and the best benefit that it gives in terms of technical development is that it can be used on a wide array of applications.

Read the entire article Dodge Challenger, Charger, Chrysler 300 will not get a new platform until 2020

In 2014, Subaru announced its management vision, Prominence 2020. In line with this, the brand is launching the Subaru Global Platform as part of the six initiatives to fulfill its vision of enhancing the brand further.

Featuring horizontally-opposed engines, EyeSight technology, and Symmetrical All-Wheel-Drive (AWD) system, the new Subaru Global Platform will be all about the standard foundation of Subaru's next-generation models.

FHI President Yasuyuki Yoshinaga stated that the Subaru Global Platform brings Subaru's automotive system to a whole new level. It also marks a new milestone in the evolution of Subaru's offering value, "Enjoyment and Peace of Mind.” Moreover, the Subaru Global Platform is a culmination of the "know-how" that Subaru has developed through the years.

Read the entire article Subaru launches Global Platform as part of plan to meet

If Valeo’s plans proceed without a hitch, it will be able to offer self-driving vehicle platforms to automakers before this decade ends. Valeo, an auto parts maker based in France, intends to utilize its partner Safran’s drone software and other military technologies.

Last Friday, Valeo was demonstrating autonomous car and other prototype systems that were jointly developed with Safran. Valeo revealed that the first applications may be available to its automaker buyers in the next three years.

The two French companies have a research and development deal forged in 2013. They’re in collaboration to build self-driving systems with final applications that range from hatchbacks to unmanned aircraft.

Read the entire article Valeo, Safran work together to create self-driving vehicle platforms

Bentley is already working on the next-generation Continental and according to the latest reports from autocar, this model will use the same platform as the next-generation Porsche Panamera. Called MSB, the new platform will be engineered for Porsche’s characteristics, which means that the new Bentley Continental will get even more sportier.

What’s more interesting is that Bentley will receive a new V8 engine from Porsche rather than the current V8 powerplants designed by Audi.

Thanks to the new platform, the new Bentley Continental will ditch the current front transaxle with a system able to drive the front wheels via a ‘quill shaft’ which is driven form the rear of the transmission.

Read the entire article Next-generation Bentley Continental will get Panamera’s MSB platform

Volkswagen Group and Mercedes-Benz are urging other carmakers to set up separate platforms for data on vehicle use to avoid sending sensitive customer information to Google. According to VW Group chief executive Martin Winterkorn, while carmakers seek connection to Google's data systems, they still want to be the “masters of our own cars."

He noted that there could be potential conflict when making data available. Due to increasing demand from customer for seamless connectivity, carmakers are seeking better ways to make more Internet services available in their offering. Carmakers are also seeking to install systems allowing vehicle-to-vehicle communication.

Such in-car systems have lead technology giants like Google and Apple to see an opportunity to expand their services. In fact, these tech companies are offering systems that allow people to connect to the Internet even while on the go.

Read the entire article VW and Mercedes call on carmakers to have separate data platforms

Infiniti made quite a buzz with its Q80 Inspiration Concept at the 2014 Paris Motor Show and it appears that things will get very interesting for the Japanese brand. According to Francois Goupil de Bouille a.k.a. Infiniti’s European chief, the production version of the Q80 Inspiration Concept will hit the market within to five years and will take on vehicles such as the BMW 6-Series Gran Coupe, Mercedes-Benz CLS or the Porsche Panamera.

Francois Goupil de Bouille said that the Q80 Inspiration is not only a design study, but also company’s new entry into the large premium segment. In the concept form, the Q80 Inspiration uses a twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 petrol engine complemented by a hybrid system.

The total output delivered is 550 hp, while CO2 emissions are 129 g/km. Designed in London and Japan, the new Infiniti Q80 Inspiration Concept is described as an upper-premium fastback sedan.

Read the entire article Upcoming Infiniti Q80 could get a modular RWD architecture from Mercedes-Benz

The new BMW X1 compact SUV will be the second front-wheel-drive model that will be underpinned by the group's UKL1 platform, following the 2-series Active Tourer. The second-generation X1 will be the first modern-era BMW to be powered by the front-wheel drive. BMW will start selling the Active Tourer in Europe in September and the new X1 in June 2015.

Sources privy with BMW said the carmaker is planning to build a third model on the platform -- the X2 SUV, a three-door vehicle with a four-seat interior and will resemble the larger X6 SUV.

New X2 will also be rolled out in summer 2015 and will be one of 10 derivatives that BMW plans to be underpinned by the front-wheel-drive architecture in the future. BMW also use the UKL1 platform for its new Mini, is planning to further streamline operations by developing the new X1 and X2 jointly with the second-generation Mini Countryman and Clubman.

Read the entire article Next-generation BMW X1 to sit on the new UKL1 platform, will be front-wheel drive

Volkswagen's decision to add extra production shifts in Germany for the Golf hatchback is not only attributable to strong demand, but also to problems adjusting to its new MQB platform, sources told Reuters. The MQB modular platform is expected to result to big savings as it uses more common parts across its increasing number of models.

According to a worker at Volkswagen's Wolfsburg site, the carmaker’s push to build more models has proven to be tricky on some assembly lines, leading to delays and overtime. He said that VW is having many “self-inflicted troubles.”

He added that this has forced some workers to work overtime, which has become totally unnecessary in some cases. Volkswagen has seen its sales – including those from it premium brands – surged significantly in recent years. Its sales have soared more than a half to around 9.7 million vehicles in 2013 and is expected to top 10 million units in sales this year.

Read the entire article New MQB platform adds problems for Volkswagen

It appears that Aston Martin has a marvelous year as the British manufacturer reported a gross profit in 2013 of 167.1 million pounds. Still, the operating was just 1.5 million pounds. According to the press release, the revenue increased by 13 percent thanks to the successful Vanquish Coupe and the launch of the Vanquish Volante as well as the V12 Vantage S models in Q4.

What’s more interesting is that Aston Martin also announced the development of a completely new VH platform that will be used by its next-generation sports cars. For those who don’t know, Aston Martin also announced a partnership with Daimler AG that will bring cutting edge electrical and electronic expertise.

Daimler will also deliver bespoke V8 powertrains. Aston Martin says that this will be the biggest investment programme in its 101-year history as it prepares the ground for new products in the future. Aston Martin also expanded its dealer network as it opened new showrooms in Mexico and Thailand.

Read the entire article Aston Martin announces the development of next-generation VH platform

BMW and Mercedes-Benz are cutting the number of their vehicle architecture to speed development as well as reduce costs. Herbert Diess, board member for r&d at BMW, disclosed that from the current five platforms, BMW and Mini will use only two architectures -- one for front-wheel drive and another for rear-wheel drive.

The BMW i3 electric and i8 plug-in hybrid, however, are not part of the architecture consolidation. Thomas Weber, head of worldwide r&d for Mercedes-Benz, disclosed that the carmaker’s vehicles will be underpinned by four architectures, down from nine five years ago. Common architectures enable vehicles to share parts and assembly equipment.

Weber said that savings from consolidation "are huge," adding that it would also improve quality. Weber also noted that shared platforms will allow them to significantly cut the time to market for new and redesigned models. "You will see how many vehicles we can now bring to market. It would not be possible without this approach," Weber said.

Read the entire article BMW and Mercedes are reducing number of platforms

Renault-Nissan will roll out two shared vehicle platforms -- with each underpinning over 3 million vehicles -- by 2016 as part of a cost-cutting plan, chief executive Carlos Ghosn disclosed. While rival carmakers build multiple vehicles and derivatives from one platform, Ghosn wants more and has even predicted that by 2016, the entire auto industry will have only five platforms underpinning a huge number of vehicles.

"We are going to be really leveraging better than most of our competitors in size and scale," Ghosn told Automotive News. "If you have the right strategy and product, size matters. Size will really protect you from your competition."

The first so-called Common Module Family platform is bound to underpin C/D-segment sedans, crossovers and SUVs, including the Rogue. Around 75 percent of the carmakers’ total vehicle output will be underpinned by four platforms by the end of the decade.

Read the entire article Renault-Nissan to launch 2 shared vehicle platforms by 2016

GMC will soon be getting one truck that doesn’t share a platform with its cousins at Chevrolet. Currently, GMC and Chevrolet trucks are underpinned by same or similar platforms, even while the former is overhauling its lineup. Responding on the question whether the market would someday see a non-Chevrolet GMC vehicle, GM global product chief answered: "Oh, yes, you will."

While he declined to provide details on the vehicle or development timing, he touted GMC's strong prices and appeal to non-GM consumers as reasons to spend more in the brand. "The health of GMC is astonishingly good from a consideration standpoint," Reuss remarked. While Chevy and GMC trucks share platforms, they are usually distinguished by their different designs.

Likewise, although the stand-alone GMC truck could be considered a departure from the GM’s platform-sharing strategy, Reuss noted that the carmaker is not returning to the days when GMC has its autonomous product development operations with its own engines and platforms.

Read the entire article GMC to get a truck based on unshared platform

Fiat is developing a new plan to revive its struggling Alfa Romeo brand, according to Fiat-Chrysler chief executive Sergio Marchionne. The new plan will be the fourth in nine years for Alfa Romeo, which has suffered a 30-percent drop in sales in the first nine months of 2013 to 51,000 units, according to the Europe's auto industry association. Marchionne said that they are determined to “reshape the Alfa Romeo platform” and that they will be in a position to “outline more” at the end of the first quarter of 2014."

Sources within the carmaker told Automotive News that a small team of engineers is currently developing a new, flexible rear- and all-wheel-drive platform that is expected to underpin at least four new Alfa Romeo models: the Giulia mid-sized sedan and wagon, a large flagship sedan and a mid-sized sports utility vehicle.

The team is reporting directly to Harald Wester, Fiat-Chrysler's chief technical officer and the chief executive of Alfa Romeo and Maserati.

Read the entire article New flexible platform for Alfa Romeo is under development

Land Rover may offer a new Range Rover model underpinned by the new aluminium platform developed by parent Jaguar Land Rover.  A source told Automotive News Europe that the new Range Rover model would fill a gap between the Evoque and the Range Rover Sport. Jaguar Land Rover’s new modular aluminum platform, announced at the 2013 Frankfurt Auto Show in September, would form the basis of a new Jaguar sedan due in 2015 that will target the BMW 3-series and 5-series.

The carmaker also revealed the Jaguar C-X17 crossover concept that is underpinned by the platform. According to analyst Max Warburton at Bernstein Research, the new Range Rover will be vital in making the aluminium platform profitable. He wrote in a recent report on Jaguar Land Rover that the new Range Rover will have higher pricing, higher volumes and higher contribution margins than any of the carmaker’s variants.

He added that they believe that the JLR’s product planners expect the L560 – the new Range Rover model -- to sell up to 80,000 units. Jaguar Land Rover is making a £1.5-billion investment (EUR1.79 billion) to develop the new platform. Warburton predicts that the new Range Rover will be assembled alongside a production version of the Jaguar crossover concept – the C-X17 -- on the same platform.

Read the entire article New Range Rover model might share aluminium platform with Jaguar crossover

The launch costs of Volkswagen’s highly adaptable "MQB" vehicle platform have been weighing down its profits and the carmaker may fail to achieve its savings targets, according to analysts. Analysts are now looking at the VW’s results for the third quarter of 2013 to see how the program is making progress as the carmaker builds more vehicles underpinned by the MQB platform.

MQB -- a German acronym for "modular transverse matrix" – allows VW to design the small and medium front-wheel-drive models of its four biggest car brands using just a single platform. The platform underpins up to 4 million vehicles annually, including the Golf and Audi A3.

The MQB platform boasts of a higher degree of plug-and-play modularity and parts commonality than at Toyota and General Motors Co. It was regarded by analysts as the philosopher's stone for VW, which is aiming to become the largest and most profitable carmaker in the world.

Read the entire article VW admits that high costs of creating MQB platform affect targets