Our reporters empty their notebooks to round up this week's gossip from across the automotive industry
17 January 2017

This week's gossip from the automotive industry has news of the future of the Mazda MX-5 and the Mitsubishi Shogun 4x4, Porsche guns for Tesla and GKN's electric future.

The future of the Mazda MX-5

The Mazda MX-5 will continue to thrive even if Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) doesn’t commit to building a next-gen version of the Fiat 124 Spider. Mazda R&D chief Kiyoshi Fujiwara said: “FCA of course helps, but the car can survive without them. There isn’t a word in our dictionary for ‘quit’ with the MX-5.”

Read more: 2016 Mazda MX-5 Icon review, Mazda MX-5 long-term test review: final report

A new direction for the Shogun?

Mitsubishi has yet to decide a direction for the replacement of its Shogun 4x4. The sixth-gen Shogun was launched at the Paris show in 2006, but the firm is for now focusing on two new soft-roaders and updating the Outlander. Design chief Tsunehiro Kunimoto said a new design direction for the Shogun “is unclear”. The global market for tough 4x4s is shrinking, making the decision harder, he added. 

Read more: Mitusbishi Qashqai rival to launch in 2017, Nissan, Renault and Mitsubishi to share EV platforms

GKN's electric future

GKN driveline wants to become a manufacturer of complete electric drive systems that can be used on multiple platforms. “Our job will be to integrate electric motors into an adaptable drive module,” said Theo Gassman, GKN’s director of advanced engineering and eDrive systems. “It’ll be up to the manufacturer to give the car its own DNA by making the parts the end user touches and sees.”

Read more: GKN’s integrated electric drive system could transform the EV market

Porsche guns for Tesla

Porsche boss Oliver Blume says the firm’s proposed 800V EV charging system would outperform Tesla’s Supercharger, currently billed by its maker as “the world’s fastest” EV charger. Tesla owners would be able to use the new chargers via adapters, said Blume, and the door was open for the US car maker to join the ongoing crossmanufacturer project.

Read more: Tesla Model 3 owners will have to pay to use Superchargers, Tesla Model S P90D review

Our Verdict

Here is the fourth-gen Mazda MX-5 - the definitive small sports car

Fourth-generation MX-5 heads back to the roadster's roots

Join the debate


17 January 2017
Now we at the outset of an EV revolution can the manufactures agree on a standard for super chargers NOW.

typos1 - Just can’t respect opinion

17 January 2017
It's a bit premature for Mazda to consider what happens if Fiat decides not to continue isn't it? Maybe the 124 is already judged a failure, or perhaps Mazda is anticipating fallout from Dieselgate 2?


17 January 2017
Its a tough decision for Mitsubishi, they are between a rock and a hard place.
Yes the market for tough 4x4's is shrinking, however what future for them in yet another 'soft roader'? Already too many RR Sports/X5's/ML/Q7's....all premium loaded.
Mitsubishi tries to think of themselves as 'Premium' (certainly their parts prices are! - despite the quality being frankly poor. But their interior quality just doesn't cut-it in the premium market, cheap looking and definitely non-ergonomic although robust in use.
So I guess they have to decide which segment of the market they are appealing to? I don't think anyone will buy a Shogun which isn't a workhorse any more than they would buy a soft-roader Land Cruiser.
Fact is Shoguns may be a small market place, but in the UK for example, they are a profitable model and virtually sell themselves without pouring huge marketing budget at it, so my view is that since Mitsubishi is still a small player with relatively modest market share expectations, they should continue to build a tough 4x4 for the seventh generation Shogun . No reason for them not to continue to compete against Land Cruiser.

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