It was only yesterday when our spies caught what looked like an all-electric BMW M2 test mule testing in northern Europe and now we have fresh photos to share. This time around, the M2 in question is the traditional inline-six model with its rear-wheel-drive layout, and hopefully, a manual gearbox to boot. It was spotted just outside of the Nürburgring wearing a lot of makeup to hide its production body.
BMW has yet to reveal the next-generation 2 Series Coupe, but it seems the range-topping model is not far behind considering the test vehicle appears virtually ready to lose the camouflage. From the huge front brakes to the quad exhausts, it’s pretty easy to tell this version will sit at the top of the food chain in the 2er hierarchy.
The heavy disguise does its job of completely masking the car’s design, but you can tell the M2 has a different door handle design, with a hilariously fake white door handle sticker above it. Zoom in and there are tiny rivets holding in place additional layers of camo around the rear pillar, presumably to better conceal the Hofmeister kink. A subtle trunk lid spoiler further denotes this isn’t your run-of-the-mill 2 Series.
The standard coupe and its high-performance M2 counterpart will be the only models from BMW’s 2 Series lineup to retain the RWD layout as the Active Tourer minivan and the Gran Coupe are both based on a front-wheel-drive architecture, with available xDrive. We haven’t seen spy shots of a future convertible that would also retain the tail-happy layout, so we don’t know whether there will be another 2 Series with a folding roof.
Expect BMW M to cram the new M4’s 3.0-liter in the engine bay, but dialed down so that it wouldn’t step on its big brother’s toes. We’re hearing it will have more than 400 horsepower even in its base form, with subsequent spicy derivatives to add ponies later this decade.
The standard 2 Series Coupe could possibly debut before the end of the year, so the M2 should be unveiled at some point in 2022.
Britain in talks with 6 firms about building gigafactories for EV batteries
Britain is in talks with six companies about building gigafactories to produce batteries for electric vehicles (EV), the Financial Times reported on Wednesday, citing people briefed on the discussions.
Car makers Ford Motor Co and Nissan Motor Co Ltd, conglomerates LG Corp and Samsung, and start-ups Britishvolt and InoBat Auto are in talks with the British government or local authorities about locations for potential factories and financial support, the report added .
(Reporting by Kanishka Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Himani Sarkar)
EBay to sell South Korean unit for about $3.6 billion to Shinsegae, Naver
EBay Korea is the country’s third-largest e-commerce firm with market share of about 12.8% in 2020, according to Euromonitor. It operates the platforms Gmarket, Auction and G9.
Shinsegae, Naver and eBay Korea declined to comment.
Lotte Shopping had also been in the running, the Korea Economic Daily and other newspapers said, citing unnamed investment banking sources.
South Korea represents the world’s fourth largest e-commerce market. Driven by the coronavirus pandemic, e-commerce has soared to account for 35.8% of the retail market in 2020 compared with 28.6% in 2019, according to Euromonitor data.
Shinsegae and Naver formed a retail and e-commerce partnership in March by taking stakes worth 250 billion won in each other’s affiliates.
($1 = 1,117.7000 won)
(Reporting by Joyce Lee; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)
Canada launches long-awaited auction of 5G spectrum
The 3,500 MHz is a spectrum companies need to provide 5G, which requires more bandwidth to expand internet capabilities.The auction, initially scheduled for June 2020, is expected to take several weeks with Canadian government selling off 1,504 licenses in 172 service areas.
Smaller operators are going into the auction complaining that recent regulatory rulings have further tilted the scales in the favour of the country’s three biggest telecoms companies – BCE, Telus and Rogers Communications Inc – which together control around 90% of the market as a share of revenue.
Canadian mobile and internet consumers, meanwhile, have complained for years that their bills are among the world’s steepest. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government has threatened to take action if the providers did not cut bills by 25%.
The last auction of the 600 MHz spectrum raised C$3.5 billion ($2.87 billion) for the government.
The companies have defended themselves, saying the prices they charge are falling.
Some 23 bidders including regional players such as Cogeco and Quebec’s Videotron are participating in the process. Shaw Communications did not apply to participate due to a $16 billion takeover bid from Rogers. Lawmakers and analysts have warned that market concentration will intensify if that acquisition proceeds.
In May, after Canada‘s telecoms regulator issued a ruling largely in favour of the big three on pricing for smaller companies’ access to broadband networks, internet service provider TekSavvy Inc withdrew from the auction, citing the decision.
Some experts say the government has been trying to level the playing field with its decision to set aside a proportion of spectrum in certain areas for smaller companies.
Gregory Taylor, a spectrum expert and associate professor at the University of Calgary, said he was pleased the government was auctioning off smaller geographic areas of coverage.
In previous auctions where the license covered whole provinces, “small providers could not participate because they could not hope to cover the range that was required in the license,” Taylor said.
Smaller geographic areas mean they have a better chance of fulfilling the requirements for the license, such as providing service to 90% of the population within five years of the issuance date.
The auction has no scheduled end date, although the federal ministry in charge of the spectrum auction has said winners would be announced within five days of bidding completion.
($1 = 1.2181 Canadian dollars)
(Reporting by Moira Warburton in Vancouver; Editing by David Gregorio)
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