Currently reading: Autocar confidential: Lexus, Bentley, Mazda, Hyundai
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 Bentley's autonomous past, Lexus' design struggles, Mazda's interior changes and Hyundai's name change decision.

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.”

Read more: Bentley Bentayga Diesel road trip - sacrilege or common sense?2017 Bentley Continental Supersports is fastest accelerating Bentley yet

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.”

Read more: Hardcore Lexus LC F primed for 2018 launch2017 Lexus IS300h Luxury review

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.

Read more: Driving a V6-powered Mazda MX-5 Rocketeer, 2017 Mazda CX-5 revealed at LA motor show

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

Join the debate

Add a comment…
LP in Brighton 14 February 2017

Hyundai name change

I can't believe that a simple name change is responsible for the current successor the Tucson. There must be other factors involved here, such as the latter being a better product, or marketed better. I honestly think that if a product is any good it will sell whatever the name. He'll, there is any number of successful cars out there with silly names to prove it.
Bullfinch 14 February 2017

Don't give up the day job.

Herr Dürheimer's joke is neither funny nor true. Bentley was conceived very much as a driver's car and one doubts W.O. would have had much time for anybody who hired a man to do the job instead.