Without any big car shows, June often is not a huge automotive news month. Still, some big new model reveals took place, juicy details have leaked about future cars, plus other surprising developments in the industry.
9. GM Claims C8 Corvette Will Be Ultra Secure
You might’ve heard the upcoming C8 Corvette will be un-tunable, and now GM brass is addressing that rumor directly. GM President Mark Reuss revealed the Global B platform will be ultra-secure, but it’s all to prevent hacking attempts, since it apparently will allow for over-the-air updates. That kind of securing means not just anyone can flash the ECU, but it sounds like GM will allow approved shops to tune the new ‘Vette.
8. Mercedes-Benz Rolls Out the GLB for Production
Mercedes-Benz has fattened its SUV lineup with a new, smaller three-row SUV, the GLB. Using the same platform as the A-Class, this vehicle is geared more toward off-roading than most other Mercedes models, although it’s a far cry from the legendary G-Wagen. At least it has the Energizing Coach, which monitors your stress level through a compatible wearable wristband or smartwatch.
7. Juicy Details About Tesla Truck Leak
Tesla’s own CEO, Elon Musk, stirred the pot by throwing out some “rumors” for the brand’s upcoming pickup truck. Among the details is supposedly a starting price of $49,000 or less, a 300,000 pound tow rating, 500ish-mile range, and a dynamic self-adjusting suspension. Critics have taken issue with some of these claims, especially the tow rating. Conveniently, this info leaks just when Tesla is looking to drum up some fresh finances.
6. Chevy Announces New Trailblazer
Following in the footsteps of the Blazer, Chevy revealed the all-new Trailblazer. It uses the same sporty styling as its larger sibling. Instead of replacing the Trax or Equinox, the Trailblazer will slot between the two, further filling out the brand’s SUV portfolio. Already, Chevy is using its Real People, Not Actors commercials to compare the Trailblazer’s styling to the Range Rover.
5. 2020 Ram 1500 Claims Torque Crown
Right after Chevy announced the 3.0-liter Duramax engine for the Silverado 1500, Fiat Chrysler revealed the 3.0-liter EcoDiesel for the Ram 1500 has been revised. With 480 lb.-ft of torque on tap, Ram comes out on top. What’s more, the new EcoDiesel allows the Ram 1500 to tow more than the competition. Naturally, GM and Ford fans are seeing red.
4. BMW Rolls Out New M8 Lineup
It was like Christmas in June when BMW suddenly revealed the new M8 Coupe and Convertible. They use the same 4.4-liter turbo V-8 as the M5, packing a 600-horsepower punch. For those who want an even faster car, BMW also revealed a Competition variant of the M8 Coupe and Convertible, tacking on an extra 17 horsepower. The BMW M8 Competition Coupe can do 0-60 in a flat 3.0 seconds. Nice.
3. Jeep Gladiator Prices are Soaring
Cox Automotive found that the average price shoppers paid for a Jeep Gladiator in May was $56,403. That might sound high, especially considering the new truck has a base MSRP of $33,545 and the Rubicon starts at only $43,545. While some dealers no doubt have marked prices way beyond that, the fact the Gladiator Launch Edition costs $62,310 probably has more to do with the high average. Since production for the limited edition is capped at just 4,190 vehicles, the average price should fall by a lot for June.
2. U.S. and China New Car Sales Bottoming Out
New car sales have dipped way low in the United States and China, with demanding sinking to great Recession levels. Two factors are being cited by analysts. One is a tidal wave of lease returns luring shoppers away from new cars. The second is the soaring cost of new cars, something far too many in the industry have been ignoring or flat-out denied is a problem. There’s no telling how long this drop in demand will last.
1. Fiat Chrysler and Renault Won’t Merge
The big news story in May was the proposal put forth by Fiat Chrysler to merge as an equal partner with French automaker Renault. By early June the deal was off, thanks to FCA withdrawing it, citing “the political conditions in France.” Many think the complicated and souring connection with Nissan is the real reason for the deal going south.