China-based GAC will dip its toe in the U.S. market with first model offerings

GAC Trumpchi GS8
China-based GAC will attend next week’s Detroit Auto Show to introduce four models designed for its Trumpchi brand. The government-owned company hopes to begin selling cars on our shores before the end of the decade.

The first car is a crossover named GS7. It’s billed as a new model, but French website LeBlogAuto has learned the GS7 will essentially be a shorter version of the long-wheelbase, Land Cruiser-esque GS8 (pictured above) that was introduced in China last year. Ready for production, the soft-roader is expected to receive a turbocharged, 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine.

Next up is a crossover-coupe openly inspired by the BMW X6 and the Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupe. Named ENspirit, the model will debut as a close-to-production concept equipped with state-of-the-art connectivity features. A second concept named GE3 will give show-goers a preview of GAC’s upcoming compact crossover powered by an all-electric drivetrain. Finally, the brand will introduce a plug-in hybrid variant of the existing Trumpchi GA8.

GAC began attending the Detroit Auto Show in 2013, though its presence went largely unnoticed at first. It’s still not the star of the event, but this year the company paid to display its models on the main floor of the Cobo Center, ensuring it receives as much exposure as bigger, more established automakers. Company executives hope the publicity will bring GAC closer to its long-held goal of entering the United States market.

Details about GAC’s upcoming American offensive are scant as of writing. However, the idea of a Chinese brand sending its cars to the United States isn’t as far-fetched as it was a couple of years ago. None are currently operating in our market, but Volvo launched the Chinese-built S60L in 2014, and Buick’s Envision crossover wears a “made in China” label.


Rivian CEO R.J. Scaringe wants his startup to be the Patagonia of electric cars

Rivian is the latest startup hyping new electric cars. But unlike most other startups, Rivian is focusing on off-road vehicles. It launched an electric pickup truck and SUV at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show. CEO R.J. Scaringe explains the…
Android Army

Why commercials in Android Auto could turn your dashboard into a dumpster fire

Google announced some tweaks to the Android Auto experience, focused on making messaging and media easier, but I worry about the future of the platform. For better or worse, there’s a real chance our dashboards could turn into dumpster…
Smart Home

Is old-school Airstream finally embracing smart home technology?

Airstream's vintage-looking trailers have a huge audience but its 2019 Classic camping trailers are getting a modern upgrade with the addition of app-controlled smart home technology to bring modern convenience online.

Did that car just wink at you? Daimler previews car-to-pedestrian signals

Eager to show off progress with autonomous cars and perhaps do some consumer softening as well, Daimler and Bosch previewed car-to-pedestrian communications. A sensor-loaded Mercedes S appears to wink to acknowledge a pedestrian's presence.

Uber is about to restart self-driving car tests but on a reduced scale

Uber is reported to be on the verge of restarting its autonomous-car test program. The company halted it in March 2018 following a fatal accident involving one of its vehicles, but its cars could be back on the road within weeks.

Bosch is developing a Rosetta Stone for autonomous and connected cars

Bosch and start-up Veniam want to create a common language that autonomous and connected cars can use. The two firms have developed a connectivity unit that transcends the national boundaries of technology.

Aston Martin bets classic car owners will choose volts over carburetors

Aston Martin has converted one of its most sought-after classic models to run on electricity instead of gasoline. The roadster uses electric components sourced from the upcoming Rapide E sedan.

Volkswagen may be planning a tougher challenge for its all-electric I.D. R

The Volkswagen I.D. R electric race car may head to the Nürburgring in 2019 for a lap-record attempt, according to a new report. Volkswagen will reportedly aim to set the quickest lap time ever by an electric car.

600-hp, $155K Polestar 1 is the alluring Volvo coupe you’ve been waiting for

Volvo's return to the coupe segment just took an interesting turn: the model will join the Polestar lineup, and it will get a 600-hp plug-in hybrid powertrain. The Polestar 1 will be built in China starting in 2019.

The Aston Martin Vanquish Zagato Shooting Brake is the sexiest wagon ever

Aston Martin has revealed new photos of the limited-production Vanquish Zagato Shooting Brake. The Vanquish Zagato line now includes the Shooting Brake, Coupe, Volante, and Speedster, each with bespoke styling.

Nissan and Italdesign’s GT-R50 concept will become a $1.1 million reality

The Nissan GT-R50 is a customized sports car built to celebrate the 50th anniversaries of both the GT-R and design firm Italdesign. Underneath the sleek bodywork sits a 710-horsepower engine fortified with race car components.

Ford’s new Shelby GT500 Mustang will have 3D-printed brake parts

Ford's new $45 million Advanced Manufacturing Center will focus on emerging technologies, including 3D printing. One of the staff's first jobs is to print parts for the 700-horsepower Shelby GT500 Mustang.
Product Review

Audi built an electric SUV for buyers who want gasoline-free to mean stress-free

We finally got to spend time behind the wheel of the electric 2019 Audi E-Tron bustling cities and arid desert of the United Arab Emirates to see how it compares with Jaguar and Tesla's competitors.

Car-branded phones need to make a U-turn if they ever want to impress

Your car and your smartphone are becoming one, yet smartphones branded or co-created by car companies are a problem. We look at the history, some examples of the best and worst, then share hopes for the future.