Auto News for May 31
Those who have been following this column know that I love starting off with interesting new models and concepts.
The Peugeot L550 R Hybrid concept certainly fits that description. It is very low to the ground and will do a 0-62 mph run in a scant 2.5 seconds its maker says. The 500 horsepower plug-in hybrid also sports two electric motors, one front and one rear plus a 270 hp gas engine. Because it is dubbed a hybrid race car it seats only one and you will note the lack of a conventional steering wheel. Two holograms show information in dual disc displays and it offers a virtual co-pilot an amplified real-time racing experience through a virtual reality headset. It is pictured with the L45 that won the Indy 500 on May 30, 1916 backed by a team called the “Charlatans.” We have come a long way in 100 years.
Global fiscal year sales rose 13 percent at Jaguar-Land Rover, but a charge for the Takata airbag recall in the U.S. cut into earnings. Sales in North America rose a not insignificant 27 percent thanks to a sharp increase in demand for Jags.
July 29 will be a big day for Tesla for that is when it will host the grand opening of its giga-battery factory outside Reno. The word came in an email to customers.
Fiat Chrysler is implementing a second shift and recalling about 500 workers to assemble its Maserati Levante SUV in Italy. It will arrive here by early October and enter European showrooms this spring. Here at home, the Levante will carry a 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6 good for either 345 horsepower or 424 horsepower. Prices will start at $83,000 according to the Detroit News.
The first recorded automobile accident involving two vehicles occurred on May 28, 1896 in New York City. Henry Wells of Springfield, Massachusetts was driving a new Duryea Motor Wagon, the first automobile model to be made and sold in the U.S. Unfortunately, he collided with Evelyn Thomas of New York, riding a bicycle. Thomas went to the hospital with a broken leg, and Wells spent the night in jail. This from the Census Bureau.