Bentley's autonomous past
Wolfgang Dürheimer claims Bentley has been ahead of the curve, having invented autonomous driving a century ago. The Bentley CEO said: “Autonomous driving for us is old news. After all, Bentley customers have enjoyed autonomous driving for nearly 100 years, thanks to their voicecontrolled chauffeurs.”
Lexus' design struggles
A saloon is a much harder car to design than a hatchback or an SUV, according to the Lexus LS’s design chief, Koichi Suga. “With an SUV or hatchback, you design the front and then close out at the back. With a saloon, you need to work on shape and proportions, and you have a boot so need to add more finishing touches at the rear end. You also have the front and rear pillar angles. This all makes it more challenging.”
Mazda's interior changes
Mazda R&D boss Kiyoshi Fujiwara has revealed that it’s the interiors of Mazda’s models that will evolve most as the current generation of cars is replaced up to 2020. The main dynamic development will be the addition of the G-Vectoring torque control system to every model in the range apart from the Mazda MX-5.
Hyundai's reasonings behind a name change
Hyundai's u-turn on the naming of its small SUV, from ix35 to Hyundai Tucson, was customer-led. Tony Whitehorn, Hyundai UK’s CEO, said buyers vastly preferred the Tucson name. At its best, the ix35 achieved 16,000 UK sales per year. Since the Tucson name was reintroduced, annual sales have increased to 26,000.
Read more: Hyundai ix35 Fuel Cell long-term test review: first report, Hyundai Tucson review