The car from Apple and Hyundai will arrive in 2024, but you will not be able to buy it

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To be just indiscretions, they are increasingly precise and detailed. It all started before Christmas, when a Reuters launch reported that Apple had returned to thinking about its car project. Then came the news on the negotiation with Hyundai Motor Company, which the Korean group had confirmed, on the possible location of the production, on the hypothesized signing of the agreement and on the estimated production.

Close agreement
Now, despite the fact that neither Cupertino nor Seoul have received confirmations (but not even denials), the outlines of the operation seem even clearer, at least on the basis of rumors intercepted by the Korean newspaper DongA Ilbo and also on the basis of news that bounces from Germany .

Apple would be ready to sign an agreement that provides for an investment of 3.6 billion dollars (3 billion euros) in the project together with Kia, the Hyundai subsidiary, whose stock soared on the stock market, gaining 14.5%. The deal would allow the bitten apple giant to produce its cars in the United States: Kia has a factory in Georgia. The cars will be electric and intended for autonomous driving. Initial production should be 100,000 units a year to reach 400,000 when fully operational and would begin in 2024. Apple and Kia could sign the agreement as early as February 17, that is, in advance of the times leaked previously when talking generically about the group Hyundai, who were talking about March.

And that Apple is serious seems to be confirmed by the news released by Business Insider. The newspaper found that the headhunters of the American company have hired Manfred Harrer, vice president with responsibility for Chassis Development (the most recent official photos show him with Oliver Blume, the CEO of Porsche, on the occasion of the world premiere of the Taycan) who had also previously been in charge of Operation Cayenne. An assumption, that of Harrer (with Porsche since 2007), which seems to suggest Apple’s intention to intervene directly on the chassis as well. It remains to be seen when Harrer will be able to take up service as he is required to comply with the non-compete clause if the new job is in the same industry.

Perhaps even more significant is the official announcement that Apple’s hardware manager Dan Riccio will be leaving his post to John Ternus to devote himself full-time to a “new project” at Apple. In Cupertino parlance, this is how the company unofficially announces a new product category.

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The voices
Well-known TF Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo believes Apple will outsource parts production and assembly to auto makers with whom it will make deals. Electric vehicles contain about 40-50 times more parts than a smartphone, the analyst points out, suggesting that Apple will need to rely on the resources of automakers if it hopes to create a functional car in a reasonable time. Tim Cook’s company will not initially be able to rely on a dedicated supply chain, as he did for the iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch, for example.

Thus, according to Kuo, the first Apple Car will be built on Hyundai’s electric vehicle platform. Unveiled last December, E-GMP is a platform dedicated to battery electric vehicles that allows the mounting of two motors, adopts five-link rear suspension, integrated drive axle, battery cells, charging system and other chassis components. According to the company, the system has a maximum range of around 460km on a full charge and can be charged up to 80% in 18 minutes. Acceleration from 0 to 100 km / h in the high-performance configuration is less than 3.5 seconds, with a top speed of almost 250 km / h. Hyundai will use the E-GMP platform for several models that will debut this year with both its flagship brand and Kia’s.

If the first Apple Car is successful, the company could open up to other partners in different geographic areas; among the names circulating are GM and PSA, now part of Stellantis after the merger with FCA.

Unveiled last December, Hyundai’s E-GMP platform has a maximum range of around 460km and reaches a top speed of nearly 250km / h. It will be adopted on several models coming this year with the Hyadai and Kia brands, but it could also become the basis for Apple’s electric vehicle

For companies
Yesterday is the CNBC indiscretion that Apple will launch a fully autonomous vehicle designed to operate without a human driver, intended not for individual consumers but for taxi companies, companies, institutions, and perhaps delivery services. The Cupertino electric car would therefore be used mainly in the city and would not immediately enter into direct competition with Tesla (which however announced that it is also interested in completely autonomous cars, to be used as a robotaxi).

In 2019, Apple bought the self-driving shuttle and car kit startup, acquiring dozens of employees, cars and other assets to add to its Project Titan autonomous vehicle development team. Earlier, apparently in 2018, Apple had signed an agreement with Volkswagen to convert a number of T6 Transporter vans into autonomous shuttles for the Palo Alto to Infinite Loop (PAIL) pilot program.

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