Our reporters empty their notebooks to round up this week’s gossip from across the automotive industry
The future of the Mazda MX-5
The Mazda MX-5 will continue to thrive even if Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) doesn’t commit to building a next-gen version of the Fiat 124 Spider. Mazda R&D chief Kiyoshi Fujiwara said: “FCA of course helps, but the car can survive without them. There isn’t a word in our dictionary for ‘quit’ with the MX-5.”
A new direction for the Shogun?
Mitsubishi has yet to decide a direction for the replacement of its Shogun 4×4. The sixth-gen Shogun was launched at the Paris show in 2006, but the firm is for now focusing on two new soft-roaders and updating the Outlander. Design chief Tsunehiro Kunimoto said a new design direction for the Shogun “is unclear”. The global market for tough 4x4s is shrinking, making the decision harder, he added.
GKN’s electric future
GKN driveline wants to become a manufacturer of complete electric drive systems that can be used on multiple platforms. “Our job will be to integrate electric motors into an adaptable drive module,” said Theo Gassman, GKN’s director of advanced engineering and eDrive systems. “It’ll be up to the manufacturer to give the car its own DNA by making the parts the end user touches and sees.”
Porsche guns for Tesla
Porsche boss Oliver Blume says the firm’s proposed 800V EV charging system would outperform Tesla’s Supercharger, currently billed by its maker as “the world’s fastest” EV charger. Tesla owners would be able to use the new chargers via adapters, said Blume, and the door was open for the US car maker to join the ongoing crossmanufacturer project.