Daimler Announces Strategic Partnership with Tesla Motors

Yesterday, we brought you a story about a webcast that would air this morning at 7 am. The webcast, provided by Daimler, was a press conference in which they would announce their electro mobility plans for the future and reveal a strategic partnership. We had hinted at the partner being Tesla, and our guess turned out to be spot on.

During the webcast this morning, Daimler announced a partnership with Tesla Motors. According to Daimler, the deal is a double digit million dollar deal that will give them nearly a 10% stake in Tesla. The collaboration calls for both companies to work together on a Smart car EV due out in 2012, as well as other future electric vehicles.

The partnership will allow Daimler to use proven technology to bring their electric vehicles to market quickly. According to Daimler board member Thomas Weber, "The first priority was to find the quickest and most straight forward solution. We are about to combine the best of the old and new school. We are both deeply convinced that electric powertrains will play a major role in sustainability mobility."

Details of the entire deal are limited at this point. But it works out as follows, Tesla will supply battery packs and electric powertrains to Daimler and in return they will receive auto manufacturing and design expertise in areas including safety requirements and mass production of vehicles.

The partnership will give Daimler an edge in bringing electric vehicles to market quickly by using the proven parts from Tesla and will allow Tesla to produce more vehicles at a lower price point.

Look for more information about the Daimler, Tesla partnership as details about the deal become available.

Volkswagen bringing new EV concept to Frankfurt

According to a report on Auto Express in the U.K., Volkswagen plans to debut a new eco-friendly car concept at the upcoming Frankfurt Motor Show in September that could potentially rival the Chevy Volt-based Opel Ampera in Europe. Unlike the automaker's previous green concepts like the hybrid Golf TwinDrive and diesel-powered BlueSport Roadster, the new and as-yet unnamed concept will be fully electric.

Beyond that, details are scarce. There's some speculation that the new EV may be based on the Volkswagen's New Small Family architecture that underpins the tiny Up! city car concept that was first seen way back in 2007, but that's not yet confirmed. In any case, the Frankfurt-bound electric vehicle is likely to use lithium ion batteries supplied by Toshiba.

Audi Q5 Custom Concept - Worthersee Tour 2009

The 28th W├Ârthersee Tour in Austria kicks off on May 20 and ends on the 23rd. The show is a gathering of auto enthusiasts, including those who love the Audi brand. For the latter a special Audi Q5 will be showcased on the Audi stand.

Clad in massive 21-inch wheels with a 7 twin-spoke design, the vehicle is no ordinary Q5. Its track has been widened by 90mm (3.54 inches) while the ride height is 60mm (2.36 inches) lower. The exterior paint colour is called Daytona Gray. Some red paint applications were made on the rims, the roof rails, the front skirt and the rear spoiler. Other fittings include a panoramic roof and ceramic brakes.

There is an S4 connection to this Q5 in that the engine is the same supercharged 3.0 TFSI V6 that powers the S4. Power is not the same 246kW (334hp) though, it has been increased to a sports car-rivalling 300kW (408hp). Torque is 500Nm between 3,000rpm and 5,500rpm. Like a performance car this custom concept is said to whistle away from 0 - 100km/h in 4.4 seconds and top off at a governed 250km/h.

Some features and equipment include the rear view parking assistant camera, S Line sports seats, stainless steel-plated pedals and voice control.

Volkswagen Bluesport Roadster New concept

Due to the distinct lack of people spending money on emotional purchases, Volkswagen is reportedly thinking that now might not be the best time to introduce a sport two-seat roadster. That's bad news for fans of the firm's BlueSport concept from this year's Detroit Auto Show. Despite the favorable fuel mileage (up to 62 miles per gallon in Eco Mode) earned by the car's mid-mounted 2.0-liter turbodiesel four cylinder engine, the German automaker isn't sure it could sell enough copies of the Roadster to turn a profit.

Channel 4 in the UK quotes an unnamed insider (aren't they all?) as saying, "It is a niche product, and especially in crisis times like this it will be a challenge to come up with a volume we could require to earn money with it." Sounds like the car's future is mostly dependent on the duration of the global economic downturn.