Pictured this morning is the last Rolls-Royce Phantom produced at the factory in Goodwood, Sussex, Great Britain. The current model first appeared in 2003 with a V12 engine and what one writer called a ride quality that made cobbled streets feel like carpet. Demand was strong and it carried the noble and rich to destinations around the world. The final edition was commissioned by a Rolls-Royce collector and sports many custom features such as lamb’s wool carpets and the Spirit of Ecstasy statuette is made from solid silver. Rolls will produce a new model of the Phantom, but details have been shrouded in secrecy.
GM and Honda is announced the establishment of the industry’s first joint venture to mass produce an advanced hydrogen fuel cell system to be used in future products from each company. It will operate within GM’s existing battery pack manufacturing facility in Michigan. Mass production of fuel cell systems is expected to begin around 2020 and create nearly 100 new jobs. The companies are making equal investments totaling $85 million in the joint venture. Fuel cell vehicles can operate on hydrogen made from renewable sources such as wind and biomass. Water vapor is the only emission from fuel cell vehicles.
Times are tough for Mitsubishi. It has struggled over the years to make inroads in the U.S. market. Now the company has seen its quarterly profit fall by 81 percent, according to Automotive News. A good chunk of this was penalties related to the company’s admitted overstating of fuel economy in some vehicles sold in Japan. Sales were also flat in every world market except its homeland, Japan.
McLaren Automotive has announced a strategic project to design and develop technology for the next generation of powertrains. Working with a number of partners including BMW Group, the project will develop new combustion technology that will deliver a higher output per capacity than currently possible. It also aims to further facilitate CO2 reductions while simultaneously increasing engine output. The technology is destined for application in future McLaren engines.