Sales of Jaguar Land Rover’s (JLR) long-awaited new version of its rugged Defender 90 4×4 have been delayed until September as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Production delays resulting from the pandemic had already caused the launch of the new model to be put-back from its initially scheduled date of February and now customers are being told that orders of the smaller Defender 90 have now been delayed until September.
Prices of the Slovakia-built Defender 90 have also been put on ice, according to a statement issued on JLR’s Land Rover UK website.
While the larger Defender 110 is available to order and collect from UK retailers now, it said: “As a result of the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic to our production plants globally, Defender 90 production has been delayed.
“We anticipate Defender 90 will be available to order from early September 2020. Current prices are indicative only.”
Prices for the Defender 90 start at £40,290.
The all-new Defender is built at JLR’s manufacturing facility in Nitra, Slovakia.
Today (July 31) Autocar reported that the factory, which employs 2800 workers and has an annual capacity of 150,000 vehicles, is currently running on just one shift, with JLR yet to confirm when it will resume its normal, two- or three-shift operations.
Last month JLR has announced that it will launch commercial versions of the new Defender 90 and 100 and restore the Hard Top name to rugged 4×4’s range offering.
Claiming to be Land Rover’s most capable and durable commercial vehicle ever, Hard Top versions of the Defender will feature a central front-row jump seat option to provide space for three, while Software-Over-The-Air will deliver updates without visiting a franchised car retailer.
Hard Top models will also offer a 3,500kg towing capacity with optional Advanced Tow Assist technology to effortlessly pull and manoeuvre trailers.
Volkswagen to make electric car cells, battery packs in U.S.
The company said it plans to break ground for a laboratory in Chattanooga to develop and test cells and battery packs for its upcoming car models assembled in the U.S., with the goal of a fully operational lab by spring 2021.
“A lot of auto companies will farm out the development and testing of batteries to another company, and some will actually do the work of developing and testing in-house. We are doing the latter,” said Wolfgang Maluche, vice president of engineering, Volkswagen of America.
Volkswagen’s plan to produce its own cells and battery packs for electric vehicles in the United States follows an emissions scandal at the company, which admitted to using illegal software to cheat pollution tests in the country.
The scandal has cost Volkswagen 30 billion euros ($35.51 billion) in fines, penalties and vehicle buyback costs worldwide.
Insourcing electric vehicle cells and battery packs reinforces Volkswagen as one of the most ambitious traditional carmakers in the electric vehicle domain, Credit Suisse analyst Dan Levy said.
Last year, the carmaker said it would invest $800 million to build a new electric vehicle at its plant in Chattanooga.
The Aston Martin Rapide leads this month’s list of discounts
Aston Martin was an early entrant into the coupe-shaped sedan battlefield with its rakish Rapide. It was first shown in concept form in 2006 at the Detroit Auto Show before finally going into production in 2010. Ten years have passed since then, and this could well be your last chance to drive a new Rapide off your neighborhood Aston Martin dealership’s lot as the four-door is replaced by the DBX crossover.
If you’ve got your eye on a new Rapide — and congratulations if so — you’ll be pleased to know that you can snag a 2019 model for the low price of just $217,484. Sure, that’s still a lot of money, but it’s $24,341 off the car’s average $241,825 sticker price. That’s the largest monetary savings of August, 2020, and it represents a discount of a little over 10%. And even if the Rapide is getting a little long in the tooth, it’s still a strikingly beautiful machine, particularly in its most recent AMR guise.
Looking for something different but still extremely rapid? The 2019 Acura NSX is selling for an average transaction price of $142,141. That’s an 11% savings off its sticker of $159,703. Or you could opt for a Maserati Quattroporte if you’d like the convenience of a luxury sedan but not the price of the Aston Martin – the four-door Trident-badged machine’s average transaction price this month of $107,372 is a 12.4% discount.
And if none of that is up your alley, you could go full baller with a Rolls-Royce Cullinan SUV for $320,085. That’s a savings of $12,665 off the car’s average retail price of $332,750. Just think of how much Grey Poupon you could afford with all that leftover cash.
For a look at the best new car deals in America based on the percentage discount off their suggested asking prices, check out our monthly recap here. And when you’re ready to buy, click here for the Autoblog Smart Buy program, which brings you a hassle-free buying experience with over 9,000 Certified Dealers nationwide.
This Toyota Tercel promises minimalism, ’80s-style
We’re guessing it’s been a while since you’ve seen one of these: Toyota’s humble Tercel, the brand’s longtime entry-level model, an econo-box that resided below the Corolla. This 1983 model is for sale right now on eBay Motors, looking just as you remember. That is, if you remember.
These cars have all but disappeared from American roads despite the fact that the Tercel was quite popular in its day, owing to its combination of an ultra-low sticker price and its high fuel economy. And yet, as those of us who were around in the ’80s and ’90s can attest, the cars were pretty much invisible even back then. Now, though, the tiny Toyota turns heads — it did ours, at least.
This is the second-generation Tercel, which switched to front-wheel drive. This two-door hatchback body style was the most commonly seen, although there was also a four-door hatchback and the better-known all-wheel-driver Tercel wagon. As an SR5, this Tercel is the fanciest available trim level, but it was still pretty parsimonious.
The included original window sticker (!) shows a starting price of $6,618. That includes power front disc brakes but not power steering, which was optioned here for $185. This buyer also ticked the boxes for alloy wheels ($265), a rear window wiper/washer ($90), and carpeted floor mats ($46). The biggest extravagance was a power sunroof for $460. Air conditioning, however, was a bridge too far.
Under the hood, a 1.5-liter engine dishes up 62 horsepower, and since this is an SR5, the driver can track its ministrations with the standard tachometer. It’s fair to say that the new owner will be working the five-speed stick pretty hard to wring the most out of this engine, but just imagine the smile on your face as you motor simply, the way they did back in the Reagan era. After all, not everyone back then was a yuppie or a “Greed-is-good” Wall Street leveraged buyout king. This was a car for the victims of LBOs.
The window sticker shows that this Tercel was originally Light Yellow, and the seller acknowledges that the current golden hue is a respray. The body, though, appears laser-straight — thank that gentle California climate. And the cloth-and-vinyl buckets seats, those carpeted floor mats, and that AM/FM radio all appear well preserved. So far, one bidder has a raised a virtual paddle, offering $3,000. With five days to go, there’s plenty of time for the price to climb. Or not. Whoever ends up with this Tercel will likely have the only one for miles around. Oh, what a feelin’!
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