Currently reading: Autocar confidential: Smart, Mini, NextEV, 3D-printing
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 Smart's car-sharing scheme, 3D printing cars, Brexit's effect on Mini and NextEV's vision of the future.

Sharing your Mercedes-Benz S-Class?

Smart product manager Rouven Remp said the city car brand is better suited than its owner, Mercedes, to execute a car sharing scheme – which it will launch early next year. He said, joking: “If you would ask me personally, I think you’d be rather reluctant to share your S-Class. With a Smart, it’s a bit easier.”

Read more: 2017 Smart Fortwo Electric Drive review, Smart to lead Mercedes' assault on car sharing next year

Is 3D-printing the future?

Divergent 3D, a California-based tech firm that displayed a 3D-printed car at the LA motor show, has done a technology exploration deal with PSA Group chief Carlos Tavares. Divergent 3D CEO Kevin Czinger said the process removes 50% of chassis weight and 75% of parts.

Read more: Honda reveals 3D printed electric car, How 3D printing could revolutionise the car industry

Brexit's effect on Mini

Mini says operations at its Oxford plant are currently unaffected by the result of the Brexit vote. Mini boss Peter Schwarzenbauer said it remained “business as usual” and would be so for some time because, unlike Nissan and its Sunderland plant, Mini has no imminent investment decisions to make about its plant.

Read more: 2017 Mini Countryman JCW - new spy pictures, Electric Mini to launch as fifth 'superhero model' in 2019

"Car 3.0"

NextEV boss Padma Warrior laid out her vision for the next evolutionary step change in the development of the car at the LA show. Warrior painted a picture of what she called “Car 3.0” as being a self-driving electric vehicle that learns about its occupant’s habits and adapts its behaviour accordingly.

Read more: Nio EP9 electric supercar is first of several new NextEV modelsNextEV boss predicts a major car technology revolution is coming


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Car review

Third-generation Mini hatchback comes with a range of new engines, more equipment and a practical five-door shape, but is it stretching the Mini name too far?

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ptl465 29 November 2016


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