Our reporters empty their notebooks to round up this week’s gossip from across the automotive industry
This week’s gossip from the automotive industry has news of Toyota’s alternative fuel ambitions, What’s planned for the Bugatti Chiron, Lada’s plans outside of Russia, and who is most likely to produce the next great powertrain.
Toyota hydrogen fuel cell bus:
Toyota will launch a hydrogen fuel cell bus in Tokyo next year, using an upscaled version of the powertrain in the Mirai. Around 100 hydrogen buses will be on the roads in Tokyo in time for the 2020 Olympics, each with the capacity to carry 78 passengers over a 124-mile range. By 2030, Toyota hopes all new buses in Japan will be hydrogen-powered.
The last of its kind:
The Chiron’s quad-turbocharged 8.0-litre W16 remains the most powerful production engine in the world, but Bugatti boss Stefan Winkelmann can already confirm it will not be replaced by a comparable unit.
“Sooner or later, the legislation will force everybody to take radical steps,” he said. “There will be no new 16-cylinder. This will be the last of its kind.”
Lada’s return to Western Europe:
Russian maker Lada, now owned by Renault, has no current plans to return to western Europe, including the UK, because of increasing regulations and the presence of Dacia as Renault’s affordable brand. However, the boss of Lada parent company Avtovaz, Yves Caracatzanis, said the firm could “discuss if there is interest in specific niche models”, such as the 2022 successor to the Niva 4×4.
Small car firm powertrains:
Small firms are better placed to launch innovative powertrains than established car makers, reckons Alexander Klose, vice president of Chinese start-up Aiways – the brand behind the RG Nathalie. “There’s some disadvantage because we’re smaller, but we’re completely liberated from all this legacy of petrol and diesel cars,” he said.