Our reporters empty their notebooks to round up a week in gossip from across the automotive industry
In this week’s round-up of automotive gossip, we hear why compact is the flavour of the month at Mercedes-Benz, how Volkswagen’s insane ID R racer will inform development of future electric models, and more.
Compact like sardines in a tin can
The recently launched GLB is the eighth model in Mercedes-Benz’s compact car line-up – and Mathias Geisen, the firm’s director of compact car product management, has refused to rule out adding more in the future. While insisting the firm has no current plans to expand the range further, Geisen said: “Ten years ago, nobody expected we would offer eight compact cars, so never say never. But we’ve got a really good balance now.”
Audi’s bespoke beams
The Audi Q4 e-tron will be the first car to offer personalised lights when it’s launched in 2021. Design boss Marc Lichte said there’ll be up to 25 options for front and rear light signatures.
Volkswagen: learning from the best
Although the 671bhp Volkswagen ID R that set the Nürburgring lap record for EVs uses different batteries from VW’s forthcoming ID electric car range, it is providing valuable data about how to boost battery efficiency, according to VW Motorsport technical boss François Xavier Demaison. He said: “We are working closely with road car engineers and lessons we’re learning on both sides are pushing battery development.”
Hyundai’s new design a-gender
“We need less macho cars” says Hyundai–Kia’s vice-president of design, Luc Donckerwolke. “We have a high proportion of female designers within HMC [Hyundai Motor Company]. A woman designed the new Tucson. When I did my rounds, she told me to go away and not look, because she hadn’t fully resolved her design. I liked that. They have to take a more aggressive approach with the engineers.”