Lincoln no longer sells sedans in the US — it’s crossovers and SUVs or nothing at all from Ford’s luxury division these days. But at the recent Auto Gaungzhou show in China, Lincoln unveiled its new Zephyr sedan, which will be produced in China for the Chinese market.
“The all-new Lincoln Zephyr reimagines design and technology to meet the discerning expectations and aspirations of China’s Generation Z, ushering in a new era for the brand centered around intelligent mobility,” Lincoln said in its announcement.
Apparently, none of Lincoln’s American customers still want a sedan, because according to Lincoln president Joy Falotico, “We are committed to listening to the needs of our customers and the all-new Zephyr is a perfect example of this. The all-new Lincoln Zephyr is specifically designed for the young, Chinese customer.”
The car’s interior features a full-width of the dashboard display with a 27-inch configurable touch screen, four “relaxing” modes, digital scents and 128-color ambient lighting options.
Buick displays Smart Pod concept
Also at Auto Guangzhou 2021, Buick unveiled its Smart Pod concept, an electric-powered autonomous minivan designed to provide “a safe, comfortable and intelligent experience for work and relaxation while commuting.”
Buick also showed a concept for its next-generation GL8 (Chinese-market) Flagship vehicle. While the Smart Pod was designed in the US, the GL8 Flagship was created by GM design staff in China.
Nissan displays Ambition 2030 concepts
Nissan has unveiled Ambition 2030, the automaker’s vision for an electrified vehicle fleet for the next decade and beyond. The company says it plans to launch 23 new electrified Nissan or Infiniti models — hybrids and 15 purely EVs — and that by 2030 half of its global production will be EVs.
Nissan plans to introduce its own all-solid-state batteries by 2028 to propel its electric vehicles and said it expects those batteries to achieve a cost parity between EV and gasoline vehicles.
To showcase what it plans, Nissan revealed four concept vehicles — Max-Out, a 2-seat roadster with a passenger seat that slides and folds to increased cargo capacity; Surf-Out, an all-terrain pickup truck; Hang-Out, a “mobile living space” with theater-style seating and a huge screen for entertaining those riding along; and Chill-Out, a crossover utility vehicle.
“The role of companies to address societal needs is increasingly heightened,” chief executive Makoto Uchida is quoted. “With Nissan Ambition 2030, we will drive the new age of electrification, advance technologies to reduce carbon footprint and pursue new business opportunities. We want to transform Nissan to become a sustainable company that is truly needed by customers and society.”
Nissan said virtually all of its new vehicles will be equipped with autonomous technology by 2030.
Yomper: A Jimny in new guise
British start-up Yomper has unveiled its new sport utility vehicle designed for use by small businesses, farmers and leisure users. Based on the underpinnings of the Suzuki Jimny SUV, the Yomper is available in two versions — Bergan with a pickup bed or Commercial with a drop-side rear flatbed.
Pricing begins at less than £20,000 ($27,000).
Yompers are a product of Samson Engineering, which has history in building commercial trailers and construction equipment, and are built on a longer wheelbase than is used by Suzuki.
“We’ve always worked in an environment where we apply advanced engineering principles to meet the specific demands of a job,” Yomper chief executive Giles Walker is quoted.
“So when I heard from a lot of people in my local community – many of whom are farmers – about the lack of a suitable small utility SUV on the market I decided it would be a great opportunity to create one. You can’t buy an inexpensive go-anywhere working vehicle anymore, so I decided to make one.
“As an off-road and trials bike enthusiast myself, I know what makes a good SUV, so the natural choice for the base vehicle was the Suzuki Jimny – cheap, affordable and reliable, yet small enough to go where other off-roaders can’t and with exceptional off-road capabilities, without the issue of a heavy off road ‘tire print’.”
Power is provided by Suzuki’s 1.3-liter gasoline engine.
Honda sees fatality-free future
Honda says safety technologies it has in development could prevent traffic-collision fatalities involving its motorcycles and automobiles by 2050. The company says the use of artificial intelligence and a network that connects road users could make a zero-fatality future possible.
Honda says it will equip all of its models in major markets with new sensing technology by 2030, and has the same target date for its newest motorcycle safety systems. The company said its aim is to eliminate human error from the roads.