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  1. As stricter fuel economy and emission regulations come into play, automakers are scrambling to figure out solutions that meet the regulations while retaining power. Porsche believes the solution is a plug-in hybrid system for the iconic 911. Car and Driver spoke with Erhard Mössle, engineering boss for the 911 Turbo, Carrera 4, and Targa revealed that Porsche is working on a plug-in hybrid system for the next-generation 911. “We are working on different solutions. We are developing a pure-electric car like the Mission E, and of course we are discussing plug-in solutions as well for the 911,” said Mössle. But trying to fit a hybrid system in the 911 is a difficult task. “I think that takes some time to bring to market, with the packaging problems of the car. There are a lot of problems to solve before [then].” One problem is where to put the batteries for the hybrid system. Do you put them up front? In the floor? Mössle admits this is one of the big issues that is facing the engineering team. This is why the plug-in hybrid model will be with next-generation 911 - due out in 2020. It gives them a clean slate to figure out a solution. Source: Car and Driver
  2. After launching a number of teasers and doing a slow drip of information, Hyundai has finally revealed the Ioniq to the South Korean marketplace. If you're wondering about the name, it is a mashup of "ion" and "unique". The Ioniq's exterior is largely diticated on aerodynamic effiency. The shape is very familar to the likes of the Toyota Prius and Chevrolet Volt. But Hyundai says the design gives the Ioniq e a drag coefficient of just 0.24. Now the big thing with the Ioniq is that is capable of having a hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and electric powertrains thanks to a new platform specifically built for this purpose. At the moment, Hyundai is dishing out the specs on the hybrid version which will come with a new 1.6-liter four-cylinder (104 horsepower and 108 pound-feet of torque) paired with an electric motor (43 horsepower). Combined power output stands at 139 horsepower and 195 pound-feet. A six-speed dual-clutch automatic routes power to the front-wheels. A lithium-ion polymer battery pack provides power to the electric motor. Hyundai hasn't revealed the overall range for the Ioniq hybrid, but did reveal that it will travel on electric mode at speeds of up to 75 MPH. The Ioniq will debut at the Geneva Motor Show and New York Auto Show in March. We'll likely learn more details about the hybrid, along with the introductions of the plug-in and electric models. Source: Hyundai Press Release is on Page 2 Hyundai IONIQ Hybrid Breaking Hybrid Stereotypes Electric, plug-in hybrid and hybrid powertrains available in a single body type, a world first IONIQ delivers entertaining drive through all-new platform and responsive powertrains IONIQ Hybrid combines newly developed engine and electric motor for class-leading fuel economy Unique and future-looking design influenced by efficiency and technology January 14, 2015 – Hyundai Motor Company, South Korea’s largest automaker, has unveiled the IONIQ, its advanced, alternative-fuel compact vehicle due for launch in 2016. The car will be available with an electric, plug-in gasoline/electric hybrid (HEV), or gasoline/electric hybrid powertrain, with the IONIQ Hybrid variant the first to come to market. “The launching event announced the start of new future mobility and our will for technological innovation to the world. Hyundai Motor will spearhead efforts to become the global number two in the green car market by introducing over 22 models in the eco-friendly car line-up by 2020,” said Moon-Sik Kwon, Vice Chairman at Hyundai Motor R&D Center. “IONIQ has been developed incorporating all of our technological capacities. The hybrid, pursuing the highest efficiency in its class, is economically efficient and stays true to the fundamentals of a car by delivering the fun to drive through a modern design and dynamic driving performance,” he added. The IONIQ Hybrid responds to rapidly changing customer lifestyles by breaking the mold for hybrid vehicles as it not only offers class-leading fuel efficiency but also a fun, responsive drive and attractive design, a unique mix not yet achieved by a hybrid vehicle. The IONIQ Hybrid is equipped with a newly developed, dedicated 1.6 GDI four-cylinder Kappa engine and a 32kW (43.5PS) electric motor, which is fed by an advanced Lithium-Ion polymer battery. The two powertrains have combined maximum output of 103.6kW (141PS) and 27kg.m (265Nm) of torque. A newly developed six-speed dual-clutch transmission (6DCT) provides responsive performance and a slick gear shift, resulting in an entertaining drive, and good fuel economy. The IONIQ’s coupe-like silhouette is streamlined to manage airflow, this characteristic combines with active and passive aero features to help it achieve an outstanding Cd-value of just 0.24, making it one of the most aerodynamic cars on the market. To suit customers’ varied lifestyles, the IONIQ also offers a host of advanced comfort, convenience, safety connectivity features, including Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, catering for the vast majority of smartphone users. A 7-inch TFT information cluster brings a high-tech appearance to the cockpit, displaying a range of digital gauges in high resolution, including a number of hybrid-specific displays. Based on an exclusive new platform, the driving performance of the IONIQ is similar to that of a regular compact car, thanks to its responsive hybrid powertrain. Ride and handling as well as noise, vibration and harshness levels are specially tuned to contribute to a superior ride quality as well as being quiet and comfortable on long journeys. To complement the IONIQ’s long list of high-tech features, a host of innovative future-ready active and passive safety features protect the driver and passenger. Electronic systems like Autonomous Emergency Brake, Lane Keeping Assist System / Lane Departure Warning System, and a Blind Spot Detection with Rear Cross Traffic Alert provide guidance to avoid any accident. Seven airbags including a knee-airbag for the driver, as well as structural body enhancements, enabled by adapting 53% of the body with Advanced High Strength Steel, gives the IONIQ’s chassis superior rigidity for responsive handling and enhanced safety. The new car’s name references elements of its creation. An ion is an electrically-charged atom, linking to the car’s clever combination of electrified powertrains. The second part of the name references the unique offering it brings to the Hyundai range, demonstrating the brand’s environmental commitment and willingness to maximize choice for its customers. Finally, the Q is depicted in the car’s logo as a visual breakthrough, acknowledging the fresh new approach of this advanced, low-emission model. Contents 01: Styling Eco-friendly meets high-tech 02: Powertrains Efficient and ultra-low emission 03: Advanced engineering and technology Setting IONIQ apart 04: Driving Performance Efficient mobility without compromise 05: Comfort and convenience Top-class comfort, trend-setting convenience 06: Safety Innovative active and passive safety features 01 Styling: Eco-friendly meets high-tech The IONIQ calls upon two key influences – efficiency and technology – in its design, which combine to create a unique and future-looking appearance. Throughout the IONIQ’s development, engineers and designers worked hand-in-hand to ensure that form and function evolved simultaneously. These eco-friendly and high-tech aims are met consistently throughout the IONIQ, while the joined-up development process influences the attractive styling of the car more than any other rival as form and function combine seamlessly. The IONIQ’s distinguished exterior design sets the model apart from other hybrid electric vehicles as the styling builds the car’s high-tech features into its design, emphasizing the model’s eco-friendly image. Exterior Design In crafting the exterior appearance of the IONIQ, Hyundai Motor’s designers concentrated on the car’s future-orientated character, which is at the heart of its appeal. A fluid exterior shape and natural air flow channels emphasize the aerodynamic body lines and volumes that communicate the IONIQ’s eco-friendly credentials while also conveying its performance abilities. A sporty, hatchback-like profile sets the IONIQ apart from other hybrid models with the car’s distinguished exterior design contributing to its attractive styling. The IONIQ’s sleek exterior shape is inspired by aerodynamic efficiency complementing the soft lines and surfaces that trace the car’s outline. Its exterior panels are designed to flex to boost aerodynamics further, which, when combined with various other smart efficiency solutions, produces class-leading Cd-value of just 0.24. In addition to the IONIQ’s supple body shape, further design details contribute towards Hyundai Motor’s aim of achieving an eco design matching high levels of technology. At the front of the car, the refined shape of the headlights and Hyundai Motor’s signature hexagonal grille visually depict the purity of IONIQ as an eco-friendly car. Contrasting colors at the base of the bumper add a special flair, while nine exterior colors are available and can be paired with a choice of three interior options. A unique radiator grille, with HID headlights set above C-shaped LED light distinguishes the front of the car, while specially-designed 15/17-inch wheels differentiate the hybrid vehicle from its electric and plug-in hybrid siblings. Interior Design Just as with the car’s exterior design, the interior of the IONIQ captures the model’s futuristic perspective and draws on the car’s eco-friendly and hybrid credentials. A ‘Purified High-Tech’ concept was established, which then evolved into the refined interior of the IONIQ. A recurring smooth, elegant and clutter-free theme meets a warm feeling inside the IONIQ as efficient use of interior space complements a logical, structured approach applied to the layout of controls. Eco-friendly materials are used to create a simple and clean look throughout the car, giving the interior a spacious, sleek, light and purified feel. 02 Powertrains: Efficient and ultra-low emission Developed to strive for the world’s highest hybrid fuel efficiency without compromising the driving performance, the IONIQ Hybrid is equipped with a newly developed, dedicated 1.6 GDI four-cylinder Kappa engine. The 1.6 GDI powerplant delivers 77kW (105PS) at 5,700rpm while providing maximum torque of 15.0kg.m (147Nm) at 4,000rpm. It is combined with a newly developed, very efficient six-speed dual-clutch transmission (6DCT) and, in collaboration with the 32kW (43.5PS) electric motor, offers a maximum output of 103.6kW (141PS) at 5700rpm and 27.0kg.m (265Nm) of torque in first gear 24.0kgf.m / 235Nm in second to sixth. The IONIQ Hybrid outperforms all other hybrid electric competitors in this segment while still providing a fun, responsive drive, an attractive design and comprehensive state of the art convenience features. Six-speed dual-clutch transmission The IONIQ Hybrid and Plug-in hybrid both feature a six-speed dual-clutch transmission (6DCT), which boasts best-in-class transfer efficiency through the use of low-friction bearings and low-viscosity transmission oil. Capitalizing on the latest generation of transmission technology, the IONIQ achieves its unique mix of driving performance and excellent fuel efficiency through intelligently set gear ratios combined with a sophisticated shift strategy, which transfers power smoothly from gear to gear. Differentiating itself from other hybrid cars, which are often criticized for ‘rubber band-like’ acceleration, the sporty and fun to drive IONIQ uses its 6DCT to engage the driver and harness the electric and combustion technologies to best effect. Enhancing further the car’s fuel efficiency and dynamic driving characteristics, the driver can also select SPORT or ECO modes. The SPORT function holds lower gears longer and combines power from the engine and electric motor to reward the driver with maximized performance. In ECO mode, the 6DCT optimizes the gear selection for fuel economy, shifting up earlier to higher gears to achieve class-leading fuel economy. Compact and powerful electric motor The 1.6 GDI engine is accompanied by a 32kW (43.5PS) electric motor, which also adds another 17.3kg.m (170Nm) to the system at maximum output. It enables the IONIQ Hybrid to operate in pure electric mode at speeds up to 120kph, maximizing efficiency and minimizing CO2 emissions. The electric power is generated by a permanent magnet synchronous motor and was specifically developed for world-class efficiency. To achieve this, parts of the motor were optimized by reducing the thickness of core components (electrical steel sheet) by up to 10% and adopting rectangular-section copper wire to decrease core and copper loss. Lithium-Ion polymer battery Hyundai Motor engineers decided to use a Lithium-Ion polymer battery pack for the IONIQ Hybrid - instead of conventional nickel-metal-hydride batteries. This provides lower memory sensitivity, excellent charge / discharge efficiency and an outstanding maximum output. Efficient packaging was also taken into consideration as the battery system is located underneath the rear seats so that the usability of the passenger cabin and cargo area is entirely uncompromised. The complete set of hybrid powertrain components was designed to be very compact and highly efficient. The combined extra weight of the hybrid technology therefore only adds minimal additional weight to the IONIQ but, significantly increases its efficiency. 03 Advanced engineering and technology: Setting IONIQ apart IONIQ’s engineers did not only focus on making the powertrain as efficient as possible, they set out to create a car that excelled in design, comfort and convenience of infotainment. Applying the latest technologies and engineering techniques to these areas enhances the IONIQ’s appeal and elevates its status against competitors. Aerodynamic IONIQ’s sleek, coupe-like silhouette and its simple, carefully wrought contours assist the efficient management of airflow around the exterior. Additional applications like front wheel air curtains, an external active air flap, a rear spoiler and diffuser, side sill moldings, floor undercover and a closed wheel design all contribute to the car’s efficiency in its goal to offer the world’s best hybrid fuel efficiency. Comfort and convenience To provide a pleasant, comfortable and refreshing climate in the car without using unnecessary amounts of energy, IONIQ’s climate control can be switched to an efficient operation mode. Due to a maximum utilization of the inside air when air-conditioning or heating, ventilation losses can be minimized and the overall efficiency of the system increases. Also, the dual-zone climate control can be set to ‘driver only’ mode, reducing the load of the air-conditioning and heating to work more efficiently. Another Hyundai-first and a key characteristic of the IONIQ is its innovative use of recycled materials or eco-friendly materials. For example, the interior door covers are made from recycled plastic combined with powdered wood and volcanic stone. While providing the same quality appearance and noise damping performance, the weight is reduced by 20% compared to conventional cladding material. The softer, more natural feel is achieved alongside less reliance on oil-based products. The eco-consciousness extends to other areas of the car too. Raw materials extracted from sugar cane are partly applied on the headlining and carpet helping to improve quality of air inside the car and the recyclability of vehicle parts at end of life. Eco-friendly paint with ingredients extracted from soybean oil are used to achieve lustrous metallic colors on some of the components. ECO-DAS The ECO-DAS (Eco-Driving Assistant System) set-up makes best use of several unique technologies in order to make the IONIQ as efficient as possible. ECO-DAS assesses the driving route set in the satellite navigation system and current traffic levels. The system enables the most efficient battery charging or extra motor assistance as required by the predicted road conditions. The advanced system encourages efficient coasting by informing the driver of changes in speed limit or road conditions, allowing the car to travel the same distance, in the same time, without the need for harsh acceleration or braking. This utilization of key technologies and smart driving processes ultimately improves fuel efficiency while also optimizing battery capacity and lengthening the electric range deliverable from a single charge. Infotainment To suit customers’ varied lifestyles, the IONIQ features state-of-the-art infotainment and connectivity features. The IONIQ is equipped with a new generation high-resolution 7-inch TFT-information cluster. With a resolution of 1280x720 pixels, it displays all types of gauges (speedometer, ECO, state of charge, fuel etc.) including hybrid-specific displays like the current system operation or status. Depending on the selected drive mode, background color and gauges are adapted to always provide the most important and useful information as well as In fa relaxed or sporty atmosphere through the colors used. The IONIQ will cater for drivers looking to integrate their smart phone with the vehicle’s infotainment system by providing both Apply CarPlay and Android Auto. Both systems enable users to connect their devices to deliver and control music, telephone or navigation functions on screen. The seamless connectivity allows drivers and passengers to stay connected while remaining focused on the road. To ensure occupants’ phones are always charged, IONIQ also offers a wireless inductive charging pad (Qi standard) for mobile phones, set among the other cutting-edge features inside the car. Weight reduction One of the main questions throughout every single development step of the IONIQ was, where weight could be cut without compromising the goal to also create a fun-to—drive and comfortable car. The IONIQ uses aluminum in the hood and tailgate, which reduces weight by 12.4kg compared to the conventional steel option without any disadvantages in noise or vibration. The weight loss strategy also extended to less obvious areas like the cargo-screen cover. Due to a higher usage of light-weight components and a more compact optimized build, the cargo-screen cover of the IONIQ is around 25% lighter than the version used in other Hyundai models. 04 Driving Performance: Efficient mobility without compromise Driving performance of the IONIQ is better than any hybrid car in its class thanks to its hybrid powertrain, which is specially adapted for the IONIQ to deliver efficient mobility without compromise. Ride and handling, as well as noise, vibration and harshness levels, are specially tuned to contribute towards superior ride quality, while insulation in the dash minimizes engine noise. Damping in the floor panels as well as enhanced A- and B-pillar fillings, thicker window glass and noise cancelling film on the windshield further improve the quiet and comfortable ride. A sporty gear shift is achieved with the six-speed dual-clutch transmission, which adds to the ‘fun to drive’ element and overall pleasure of driving the IONIQ. The 6DCT helps maintain the model’s exciting driving sensation and can be switched from the pre-set ECO mode into SPORT mode, rewarding the driver with later gear shifts and using more engine power to maximize performance. The application of a multi-link rear suspension system with dual lower arm enhances ride comfort while a proportionately large use of aluminum for front and rear suspension components saves around 10kg of weight compared to conventional means. A reduction of 2.3kg per front lower arm unit saves 4.6kg at the front of the car, while 7.14kg is saved at the IONIQ’s rear with each unit shedding 3.57kg. Responsiveness and feedback from the steering system is clear and precise, with an increased steering gear ratio that helps to compound the IONIQ’s sporty and responsive feel while reinforcing the car’s ‘fun to drive’ character. Braking force is optimized to get the most out of the hybrid system’s regenerative braking system, in turn helping the IONIQ maintain a healthy state of charge (SOC). The regenerative braking system also operates to reduce noise, using the third generation of the brand’s energy recuperating stopping system. An Integrated Brake Assist Unit (iBAU) and Pressure Source Unit (PSU) also contribute to quieter operation than competitors. This also helps ensure ultra-low friction for maximum energy recuperation and efficiency. A collaboration with tire manufacturer Michelin gives IONIQ enhanced levels of efficiency as the car is fitted with low rolling resistance tires for better fuel economy, plus the car’s larger 17-inch wheels are fitted with silica tires for better performance. The multi-link suspension system has been adapted in order to work most efficiently with low rolling resistance tires. 05 Comfort and convenience: Top-class comfort, trend-setting convenience The IONIQ delivers great driver and passenger convenience, bringing to the segment a range of considerations that other dedicated hybrid vehicles may have compromised on in the past. All hybrid components of IONIQ are cleverly packaged to not compromise space, flexibility or usability of the interior. In fact, IONIQ offers best-in-class cargo space by positioning the hybrid’s battery underneath the rear seats. Moreover, the rear seats can fold flat providing a cargo space of up to 750 liters, allowing large pieces of luggage to be stowed with ease, plus flexible daily usability. It also offers great front and rear headroom, plus comprehensive shoulder and leg room in the front and back, while a memory function driver’s seat and heated front and rear seats invite occupants for a relaxing ride. 06 Safety: Innovative active and passive safety features The IONIQ boasts a light yet rigid body as a result of advanced design, construction methods and materials. Featuring 53% Advanced High Strength Steel, the IONIQ’s chassis benefits from superior rigidity for responsive handling and is extremely safe, with high impact energy absorption and minimized distortion to protect passengers in the event of a collision. To complement the IONIQ’s long list of advanced convenience technologies, a host of innovative future-ready active and passive safety features protect the driver and passengers. These electronic assistive systems are class-leading as IONIQ continues to break the mold for hybrid vehicles. The long list of active safety features includes Blind Spot Detection, which works directly alongside Lane Change Assist and Blind Spot Detection with Rear Cross Traffic Alert to warn the driver of any surrounding vehicles, passengers or other objects that may lead to a collision if unnoticed while the car is in motion. A Lane Departure Warning System (LDWS) and Lane Keeping Assist System (LKAS) are of use when driving on the highway. The systems alert the driver if unsafe movements are made while the car is driving by sensing the car’s position in relation to highway lanes. The LDWS sounds an alarm before the car moves over white lines on the road, while the LKAS warns the driver acoustically and visually before inducing corrective steering to guide the driver back to a safe position. The car is also fitted with an Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) system, an advanced active safety feature that alerts drivers to emergency situations, braking autonomously if required. Using front radar and camera sensors, AEB operates in three stages. Initially warning the driver visually and acoustically, it controls the brake according to the collision danger stage, and applies maximum braking force right before the moment of collision. When a vehicle or pedestrian is sensed in front of the IONIQ, the system is activated, operating at speeds of 10km/h or above and minimizes damage when a collision is unavoidable. Using front radar sensors, Smart Cruise Control allows a constant speed and distance to be maintained from the vehicle ahead without depressing the accelerator or brake pedals, it is automatically cancelled when the speed of the car drops to 10kph or below. Additionally, a Tire Pressure Monitoring System ensures the IONIQ’s tires are always suitably inflated. Around the interior of the IONIQ, a total of seven airbags are available. Including a knee airbag for the driver, they are placed to protect the vehicle’s occupants in the event of a collision. Body structure improvements to the car mean it is strong and durable in the event of a crash - complemented by a high-strength fiber-reinforced rear bumper.
  3. Ford announced yesterday a massive investment for electric and hybrid vehicles. Mark Fields, CEO of Ford says the company plans on spending $4.5 billion by 2020 to bring out 13 electric and hybrid models, increasing the current percentage of electric and hybrid models from 13 to 40 percent. Now this announcement comes at an interesting time as sales of electric and hybrid vehicles are dropping due to low gas prices. According to Autodata Corp, sales of Ford's hybrids through November dropped 25 percent to 59,301 vehicles. The Nissan Leaf saw sales drop 41 percent through November. “Certainly, the gas prices that we’re seeing right now don’t help the electric-vehicle sales. We’ve got a lot to do to inform and educate the customer about the advantages of not just the battery-electric vehicles, but plug-in hybrids in particular and hybrids,” said Raj Nair, Ford's product development chief. But Ford is looking to the future with this investment as stricter emission standards are coming. “We’re going to see more and more companies invest in electrified vehicles because at the moment there’s some very stringent 2025 emission standards. The way to get there is using electrification. It’s a significant investment, but it’s the way the industry is moving forward,” said Michelle Krebs, senior analyst at AutoTrader.com. Source: Bloomberg
  4. Now for something completely out of left field. A report from Motoring.com.au says the next-generation Subaru WRX STI could go hybrid. A source tells the Australian website that the Japanese automaker has two hybrid systems under development as a way to increase performance while improving fuel economy and emission levels. The first system pairs a turbocharged 2.0L boxer-four with an electric motor and six-speed dual-clutch automatic. Total output of this stands at 321 horsepower, about 20 horsepower more than the current STI. The other system is a plug-in hybrid that would have the turbocharged engine powering the front wheels, while the back wheels will be solely powered by an electric motor on the rear axle. The report says we could be seeing the hybrid STI next year, followed by the plug-in a year later. Source: Motoring.com.au
  5. Hyundai is giving us a first look at its upcoming hybrid vehicle called the Ioniq. The Korean automaker says the vehicle will be the first to offer three powertrain options in a single body. What are those three powertrains you might ask? They are a hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and electric powertrain. The Ioniq will use a new platform that was designed from the ground-up for this vehicle and promises to deliver efficiency and fun to drive characteristics. "Hyundai Motor has a heritage of building innovative, fuel-efficient vehicles, so we are proud to advance our eco-friendly car line-up with the introduction of IONIQ. Our vision for future mobility focuses on choice, with a variety of powertrain options to suit customers' varied lifestyles, without compromising on design or driving enjoyment. IONIQ embodies Hyundai Motor's vision to shift the automotive paradigm and future mobility; IONIQ is the fruit of our efforts to become the leader in the global green car market," said said Woong-Chul Yang, Head of Hyundai Motor R&D Center. Hyundai will unveil the Ioniq in South Korea next month. It will make appearances at the Geneva Motor Show and New York Auto Show. Source: Hyundai Press Release is on Page 2 Hyundai Motor introduces IONIQ, the first car to offer a choice of three electrified powertrains Electric, plug-in hybrid and hybrid powertrains available in a single body type, a world first The IONIQ breaks hybrid stereotype by delivering entertaining drive alongside class-leading fuel economy and appealing design Global launch set for January 2016 in Korea, followed by Geneva and New York auto shows, an important step as Hyundai Motor works to be global green car market leader December 7, 2015 – Hyundai Motor has announced the name of its advanced, alternative-fuel compact vehicle due for launch in 2016: the Hyundai IONIQ [pronunciation: a?|?:n?k]. The car will be available with electric, plug-in gasoline/electric hybrid, or gasoline/electric hybrid powertrain – the first car from any manufacturer to offer customers these three powertrain options in a single body type. As part of Hyundai Motor’s ambition to chart the direction of future mobility, while enhancing the lives of its customers, the IONIQ responds to rapidly changing customer lifestyles by breaking the mold for hybrid vehicles. As the world’s first model to offer customers the choice of three powertrain options, the IONIQ combines class-leading fuel efficiency with a fun, responsive drive and attractive design, a unique mix not yet achieved by a hybrid vehicle. Woong-Chul Yang, Head of Hyundai Motor R&D Center said, “Hyundai Motor has a heritage of building innovative, fuel-efficient vehicles, so we are proud to advance our eco-friendly car line-up with the introduction of IONIQ. Our vision for future mobility focuses on choice, with a variety of powertrain options to suit customers’ varied lifestyles, without compromising on design or driving enjoyment. IONIQ embodies Hyundai Motor’s vision to shift the automotive paradigm and future mobility; IONIQ is the fruit of our efforts to become the leader in the global green car market.” The new car’s name references elements of its creation. An ion is an electrically-charged atom, linking to the car’s clever combination of electrified powertrains. The second part of the name references the unique offering it brings to the Hyundai range, demonstrating the brand’s environmental commitment and willingness to maximize choice for its customers. Finally, the Q is depicted in the car’s logo as a visual breakthrough, acknowledging the fresh new approach of this advanced, low-emission model. Based on an exclusive new platform, made specifically for the car’s multi-powertrain options, the IONIQ chassis is optimized to deliver responsive handling while remaining efficient in each of its three powertrain configurations. In its fully-electric (EV) form, the IONIQ is powered by a high capacity, ultra-efficient lithium ion battery. The plug-in hybrid (PHEV) version combines a fuel-efficient energy with battery power obtained by charging the car with electricity, boosting its range while cutting its emissions. Finally, the hybrid (HEV) utilizes the gasoline engine and motion of the car to charge the on-board battery, which returns enhanced efficiency by supplementing the engine’s power. Hyundai Motor is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of hybrid vehicles and is committed to a future vehicle line-up comprising low- to zero-emission vehicles. This latest leap forward builds on Hyundai Motor’s heritage of world-first environmental developments. In 2013, Hyundai Motor became the first car manufacturer to mass-produce a hydrogen-fueled vehicle, the Tucson Fuel Cell (ix35 Fuel Cell in some markets). Following its world premiere in Korea in January, the IONIQ is due to be shown at the Geneva International Motor Show, followed by the New York Auto Show, both in March 2016.
  6. Kia is very keen on teasing us. Last week, we showed off some renderings of the next-generation Cadenza that will be going on sale sometime next year. Now Kia has revealed a couple of renderings for an all-new hybrid model. Called the Niro, Kia describes this upcoming model as a Hybrid Utility Vehicle (HUV). Most likely, the Niro will share the platform and powertrain that will be used on Hyundai's upcoming hybrid model. It is expected that Kia will show the Niro at either the Detroit or Chicago Auto Show next year, with sales beginning sometime after. Source: Kia Press Release is on Page 2 Kia to launch all-new Niro Hybrid Utility Vehicle Kia has today announced its plans to introduce an all-new low emissions vehicle to its growing model line-up. The Niro – labelled a Hybrid Utility Vehicle (HUV) – represents a new concept from the Korean car brand, and marks the development of Kia's first dedicated eco-car platform. Niro will maintain all the practicality and appeal of a compact SUV, while offering greater fuel economy. Engineered from the ground up as a dedicated hybrid vehicle, its attractive, modern styling will help the car stand out in a traditionally conservative sector. The Niro's all-new platform has been engineered in isolation from existing Kia models, and is designed to accommodate a specific set of environmentally-conscious technologies and next-generation powertrains
  7. In light of the Bentley Bentayga coming out in the near future, Mercedes-Benz is contemplating whether or not to build a competitor, possibly under the Maybach name. Andreas Zygan, Mercedes director of development for SUVs tells Automotive News that the demands for ultra-luxury crossovers and SUVs are on the rise. Consider Lamborghini and Rolls-Royce are planning SUVs that will debut in the near future. "We are looking at everything that is going on with that segment," said Zygan. "There's an appetite, a market for that. When we get to that point that we expand the Maybach offering -- and we will expand the Maybach offering -- that would be a natural place to go," said Mercedes-Benz USA CEO Steve Cannon. Cannon points out that the German brand sells a large amount of GL-Class SUV filled with options, along with the G-Wagon. Zygan declined to comment as to when Mercedes-Benz could make a decision. Sticking with Mercedes-Benz for another moment, a product planner tells Autoblog the company believes that hybrids will be better than diesels in the long run. This is due to stricter standards in terms of emissions, which is driving up the costs producing a diesel powertrain. "Yes, diesel is technically complex, and very expensive. The additives to reduce particulate matter are very costly. You'll see more hybrids to meet the changing regulations," said a source. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required), Autoblog
  8. With all the news surrounding Tesla fighters, it seems we have forgotten about the competitors to the Toyota Prius. But luckily Hyundai has been working on such a vehicle to take on the Prius. A fresh set of spy shots have come in of their Prius fighter this week. Now the shots show Hyundai taking some design ideas from the current Prius in terms of exterior styling. We also have the first shots of the interior which boasts a different gauge cluster complete with Eco/Power gauge. Autoblog says recent rumors have Hyundai's new hybrid being based on the next-generation Elantra and use a medium-sized lithium-polymer battery pack that could offer 38 miles of electric power. The gas engine will possibly be a 1.6L four-cylinder. But there is another twist to this story. A source tells Green Car Reports that Hyundai will offer a electric-only version of their Prius fighter sometime after the regular model is launched. A Hyundai spokesman declined to comment on the rumor. Source: Autoblog, Green Car Reports
  9. The long wait for the Acura NSX continues. Automobile reports that Acura has pushed back production from this fall to next Spring due to a change in engine layout. The original plan was to use a naturally-aspirated V6 for the vehicle, but it was decided to add turbochargers to the engine. This has caused Acura to build a bespoke twin-turbo V6 and change the engine layout to a longitudinal configuration. This delay puts the transformation from the NSX being a concept car to production car at about four years. One item that is still up in the air is when the Acura NSX will go on sale. Jon Ikeda, Acura VP and general manager tells the magazine that meeting with dealers in October will hold the answer. Source: Automobile
  10. The Nissan Rogue crossover is proving to be a very popular vehicle for the brand. Through the first half of the year, Nissan has moved 135,397 Rogues - making this the second best-selling model behind the Altima. According to Automotive News, Nissan will be tapping its Kyushu, Japan factory to produce an extra 100,000 Rogues starting next year. This will help give Nissan the ability to sell 300,000 Rogues. Automotive News also reports that the company will be introducing two new variants of the Rogue in the future. According to two sources, Nissan will launch a hybrid Rogue next year. Following this will be the smaller Qashqai crossover. Based on the Rogue's platform, the Qashqai is about 10 inches shorter and two inches narrower. This is expected to be the replacement for the Rogue Select, which is the last-generation Rogue. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
  11. The midsize sedan field has changed drastically within the past few years. New models are now standing in the spotlight, while older and more established models are beginning to fall flat. The Toyota Camry is beginning to feel some of the pressure. While it still is one of the top selling vehicles in the U.S., the likes of the Honda Accord, Nissan Altima, and Ford Fusion are eating into its sales. Toyota knew it was time to make some changes to keep the Camry on top. The result is the 2015 Camry. I spent a week in the Camry SE Hybrid to see if these changes help or hurt. The 2015 Camry is quite a departure in terms of design. Whereas previous-generations were more reserved and somewhat boring to look at, the 2015 model is quite out there. From a long, slim chrome bar paired with a massive mesh grille up front, to character lines along the side, this Camry has style. A set of grey, 17-inch wheels and hybrid badging finish off the finish off the Hybrid SE. I’m not to keen on the Camry’s overall design, but I have to admit this is the most exciting Camry in a while. The interior is also a departure from previous Camrys. There is some style throughout the interior with slight curves on the dash panels and grey stitching on certain interior pieces. There is also more soft-touch materials used throughout to make the cabin a bit more pleasing to touch. The center stack gets a seven-inch touchscreen with Toyota’s Entune infotainment system, and a set of large buttons and knobs to control it and the climate control system. Some might complain and make fun of the giant buttons and knobs that Toyota employs., Bbut in the age of using small buttons which are difficult to find, or capacitive-touch buttons which can be hit and miss, I appreciate Toyota’s decision to keep it simple. One item I wish Toyota would fix is the touchscreen as it appears to be washed out in any condition. SE models get a set of sport seats with what Toyota calls ‘sport fabric material’ - a combination of their SofTex vinyl and patterned fabric. Finding a comfortable position in the front is no problem thanks to good support from the seats and a number of adjustments - power for the driver, manual for the passenger. The back seat has no shortage of head and legroom for even the tallest of passengers. See Page 2 Powertrain and Ride Impressions One item Toyota did not dare mess with is the hybrid powertrain. Like on the larger Avalon Hybrid, the Camry Hybrid uses a 2.5L Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder paired with an electric motor to produce a total output 200 horsepower. This powertrain is paired to a CVT. There are also three different drive modes which varies power output: Drive: Goes between electric, gas, and hybrid modes automatically. Eco: Restricts throttle response and use of the A/C compressor EV: Runs the vehicle solely on electric power if the vehicle is under 25 MPH The Camry Hybrid is quite the potent vehicle. Leaving a stop light, I was shocked at how it was able to leap off and get moving at a quick rate. Maybe it was due to me thinking I was driving a Prius XL. But the reason for this fast response is due to the 199 pound-feet of torque from the electric motor which is available from 0 to 1,500 rpm. More impressive was how the Camry Hybrid did around town and on the freeway as the powertrain was able to get up to speed at a reasonable rate. I had to remind myself that this a hybrid and not a basic four-cylinder model. Fuel economy is rated at 40 City/38 Highway/40 Combined for the hybrid. My average for the week was around 37 MPG. This was due to frigid weather I was driving in. Now the Hybrid SE model is new for this generation of Camry Hybrid which includes a sport-tuned suspension. Does this make the Camry Hybrid sportier? I have to say no. In the corners, the car felt somewhat squishy - possibly due to the low-rolling resistance tires. Also, the steering felt very rubbery and had no feel. If you want a midsize hybrid sedan that is somewhat fun to drive, I would point you in the direction of the Honda Accord Hybrid. But for day-to-day driving, the Camry Hybrid is quite good. Even with the sport-tuned suspension, the vehicle still kept bumps and imperfections at bay. Wind and road noise were kept at acceptable levels. At the end of my week with the Camry Hybrid SE, I felt that most of these changes have helped the Camry. It may not be the most exciting to look at or to drive, but Toyota focused on improving the basics which will help it in the sales chart. As for the SE trim, I think its a half-baked idea. They have the looks down, now Toyota just needs to work on making the driving a tiny bit more sporting. Disclaimer: Toyota Provided the Camry Hybrid, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas Year: 2015 Make: Toyota Model: Camry Trim: Hybrid SE Engine: Hybrid Synergy Drive (2.5L DOHC 16-valve VVT-i four-cylinder, 105 kW Electric Motor) Driveline: CVT, Front-Wheel Drive Horsepower @ RPM: 156 @ 5,700 (Gas), 200 (Total Output) Torque @ RPM: 156 @ 4,500 (Gas), 199 @ 0-1,500 (Electric) Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 40/38/40 Curb Weight: 3,565 lbs Location of Manufacture: Georgetown, KY Base Price: $27,995 As Tested Price: $32,987 (Includes $825.00 Destination Charge) Options: Entune Premium Audio with Navigation and App Suite - $1,300.00 Power Tilt/Slide Moonroof - $915.00 Remote Start - $499.00 Clear Protective Film - $395.00 VIP RS3200 Plus Security System - $359.00 Four Season Floor Mat Package - $325.00 Illuminated Door Sill Enhancements - $299.00 Wireless Charging for Electronics - $75.00
  12. Late last year, I had the chance to pilot the 2014 Lexus ES 350. In my review I said that while the new ES is a noticeable improvement over the old one, competitors such as the Buick LaCrosse have surpassed it. But Lexus has an possible ace up their sleeve and it happens to be the hybrid version of ES. Not many competitors offer a fuel efficient version, so does it give the ES an edge? What differentiates the ES 300h from the ES 350? Not much from the exterior aside from blue tint on the badge, hybrid badges on the door sills, and the"h" on the rear badge. The interior is the same aside from a new instrument cluster with an eco/power gauge and a EV mode button. One item I do have to call out on the ES 300h’s interior is the optional Bamboo trim. Not only is it sharp looking, but adds a nice touch of class to the interior. Power comes from Lexus’ Hybrid Drive system which pairs a 2.0L four-cylinder and a electric motor producing a total output of 200 horsepower. A CVT sends power to the front wheels. This powertrain seems more attune the ES’ mission of providing a smooth and quiet ride. The powertrain is able to get the vehicle moving without much stress or noise in city traffic. Merging onto freeway or trying to make a pass does reveal some noisy clatter from the engine. The CVT doesn’t help matters as the drone that plagues many CVTs when you push further down on the accelerator pedal comes in. Fuel economy for the ES 300h is rated 40 City/39 Highway/40 Combined. My week saw an average of 37 MPG. This was slightly disappointing, but at the time I was driving the ES Hybrid, temps were below freezing which would explain the drop. As for ride and handling, the ES 300h follows in the footsteps of the standard ES 350. The suspension provides a smooth ride. Any imperfections on the road are dealt with and don’t make they way into the cabin. Also not making an appearance inside the cabin is road and wind noise, Thanks to thicker windows and added insulation, the ES is a very quiet car. Helping matters is one of the smoothest transitions from hybrid power to electric power. The only way to know that the hybrid system has kicked on or off is a EV Mode light in the instrument cluster. If your planning to tackle the winding roads, then leave the ES Hybrid at home. Like the standard ES, the hybrid shows a bit of body roll and steering doesn’t have any sign of feel. If I was considering an ES, I would go for the 300h since it fits the ideals of the model - a quiet and comfortable ride paired with a somewhat upscale cabin. Add in the fuel economy and the ES 300h might be a compelling choice for those who just want something luxurious. But for almost the same price as this ES 300h, you can get into a fully loaded Toyota Avalon Hybrid which offers most of the same features as the ES, along with a much better look and a more sporty drive if you are interested in that. So while the ES 300h does give a slight edge to ES, it gets undercut by another member of the family. Disclaimer: Lexus Provided the ES300h, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas Year: 2015 Make: ES Model: 300h Trim: N/A Engine: 2.5L DOHC, 16-Valve with VVT-i Four-Cylinder, Electric Motor Driveline: Front-Wheel Drive, CVT Horsepower @ RPM: (Gas) 156 @ 5,700, (Total) 200 Torque @ RPM: (Gas) 156 @ 4,500 Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 40/39/40 Curb Weight: 3,660 lbs Location of Manufacture: Miyawaka, Fukuoka Base Price: $40,430 As Tested Price: $46,995 (Includes $925.00 Destination Charge) Options: Hard Disk Drive Navigation system with Backup Camera - $1,795 Luxury Package - $1,370 HID Headlamps - $565.00 Blind Spot Monitoring with Rear Cross Traffic Alert - $500.00 Intuitive Parking Assist - $500.00 Power Trunk Closer - $400.00 Bamboo & Leather Trimmed Steering Wheel - $300.00 Power Rear Sunshade - $210.00
  13. Earlier this month, Cadillac revealed the CT6 and XT5 in Berlin ahead of their official European launch in September. At the present moment, the brand will be selling the vehicles through 45 dealers in 12 countries. Speaking with Autocar, Cadillac Europe’s head of product management Barnabas Vincze says they plan on doubling that by 2020 as part of a plan to achieve “organic growth” rather than going after volume. This shows in the sales goal as Cadillac wants to boost sales from about 550 vehicles last year to around 900-1000. For the time being, the CT6 and XT5 will be equipped only with gas engines. Down the road, Vincze says “all types of different powertrains were on the table as options” in the future, and the brand was “looking at them all now. For now, we bring high-performance petrols to market.” Also, Cadillac will be adding more crossovers to their European lineup. These include a model sitting between the XT5 and Escalade, and two small crossovers. “Crossovers will be key to us,” said Vincze. Source: Autocar
  14. Remember the Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid? Most likely not as it made up a sliver of overall Jetta sales - about one percent according to Volkswagen spokesman. For the 2017 model year, the Jetta Hybrid will dropped from the lineup. Some of reason as to why the Jetta Hybrid wasn't a big seller was the high price. According to Automotive News, the Jetta Hybrid only came in the top SEL Premium trim that starts at $31,940. This is slightly hard to ask when the base starts at $18,500. Also, hybrid and electric vehicles have been taking tumble due to low gas prices and consumers drifting towards SUVs and crossovers. But the big reason we believe is that like most other hybrids, the Jetta Hybrid was overshadowed by the Prius. We actually reviewed the Jetta Hybrid back in 2013 and really couldn't make the case as to why anyone should consider it Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required) Pic Credit: William Maley for Cheers & Gears
  15. Despite the diesel scandal that has engulfed Volkswagen, the fuel is still going strong in Europe. But that could be changing with stricter emission standards coming and regulators starting to keep a keen eye on automakers. Volvo CEO Hakan Samuelsson believes with these changes, many automakers will switch from diesel to hybrid vehicles. “It is a very attractive alternative to a diesel engine. It offers much lower CO2 levels but more or less the same performance in both horsepower and torque. On cost, I would say that within a couple of years we will see a crossover, the diesel getting more expensive and the [hybrid system] going down,” said Samuelsson. “Diesels will be more expensive, they will have much more advanced after-treatment with additional fluids that have to be filled not once a year, but probably every time you refuel the car.” Volvo has one hybrid system in the form of the T8 Twin-Engine found in the 90 Series (S90, V90, and XC90), and recently introduced the T5 Twin-Engine that will be used in the upcoming 40 Series. While fuel economy and emission figures still need to be worked on the T5, Car and Driver were told the T5 Twin-Engine would achieve fuel economy figures similar to a comparable diesel and 95 g/km of CO2. But that doesn't mean Volvo will not be building diesel vehicles in the near future. “I think that it’s very realistic that the percentage will go down. If it will go down to zero, I think we don’t need to speculate—let the future decide, let customers decide. We are flexible enough that we can make petrol and diesels on the same line, basically,” said Samuelsson. Source: Car and Driver
  16. Infiniti and high-performance vehicles just never seem to happen. We hear about plans and see concepts that preview an upcoming model. Then, the plans fall through. The latest victim was the Q50 Eau Rouge concept that was officially canceled last year. Still, Infiniti isn't giving up the dream. Infiniti's European boss François Goupil de Bouille tells Autocar that the brand knows it needs a halo vehicle (such as performance model) and hinted that hybrid power could be used for it. “Having halo cars is important, but historically brands develop their base and then add in these higher-end models. One day the question will come for Infiniti, but at the moment our focus is on building the core," Goupil de Bouille said. (In terms of Europe, not North America. -WM) “But if you look at what we are doing in F1 then you can see some possibilities. We worked closely with Red Bull, but now with Renault we are more integrated than ever and have taken charge of the hybrid modules on the F1 car. That gives an idea of the direction in which we are going in terms of performance and, while no decisions have been taken for road cars, when we are ready to discuss it, there is one opportunity there.” But like previous times with any talk of an Infiniti performance vehicle, we'll believe when we see it. Source: Autocar
  17. This year's New York Auto Show saw Nissan reveal a facelifted GT-R complete with a new front end and a more powerful version of the twin-turbo V6 engine. But Nissan is hard at work on designing the next generation GT-R. Automotive News spoke with Nissan's chief creative officer, Shiro Nakamura. Nakamura said one of the key goals with the next GT-R is to boost the efficiency of the twin-turbo V6 and there is the possibility of the vehicle using a hybrid system. "Electrification is almost inevitable for any car. If the next-generation GT-R has some electrification, nobody would be surprised at that time," said Nakamura. Deciding the powertrain configuration will play a key role into how the next GT-R is designed. Nakamura admits redesigning the GT-R will be a challenge. "It's very tough to redesign this car, but we are starting now." Nakamura believes the GT-R still looks good because it doesn't try to copy or follow design trends. "To my eye, it still doesn't look old because it's not influenced by anything. If it tries to capture some trend, it would look dated," said Nakamura. The goals with the GT-R redesign is to improve overall aerodynamics and performance. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required) Pic Credit: Newspress USA
  18. China will be getting a fuel-sipping version of the new LaCrosse in the near future. The automaker revealed the LaCrosse Hybrid at an event yesterday in Shanghai. The hybrid system is comprised of a 1.8L SIDI four-cylinder, electric variable transmission, and a 1.5 KwH lithium-ion battery. Buick is keeping quiet on performance specs, but does say the model will reach 62 miles per hour in 8.9 seconds and return 4.7 liters per 100 kilometers (about 50 MPG). Compared to the last-generation LaCrosse eAssist, the new LaCrosse Hybrid is 35 percent more efficient. Other fuel saving tricks include grille shutters, electronic climate control compressor, and a thermal energy recycling system that is tied into the exhaust. The LaCrosse Hybrid marks the beginning of a five-year rollout of ten eco-friendly vehicles that will be launched in China. “GM’s leadership in electrification technologies, now and in the future, are coming to Buick in China. In fact, over the next five years, we will roll out more than 10 new energy vehicles in China, including several models for Buick. That includes full hybrids, plug-in hybrids and extended-range electric vehicles,” said Larry Nitz, GM executive director of Global Propulsion Systems. Source: Buick Press Release is on Page 2 Buick LaCrosse Hybrid Electric Vehicle Makes Global Debut in Shanghai SHANGHAI – The all-new Buick LaCrosse Hybrid Electric Vehicle (HEV) made its global debut today at the 2016 Buick Day event in Shanghai, where the award-winning Buick Avista concept was also shown for the first time in China. Both models will be appearing on the Buick stand at Auto China 2016 in Beijing, which begins on April 25. “GM’s leadership in electrification technologies, now and in the future, are coming to Buick in China,” said Larry Nitz, GM executive director of Global Propulsion Systems, at the event. “In fact, over the next five years, we will roll out more than 10 new energy vehicles in China, including several models for Buick. That includes full hybrids, plug-in hybrids and extended-range electric vehicles.” Buick LaCrosse HEV supports Drive to Green strategy A major component of SAIC-GM's Drive to Green strategy, the LaCrosse HEV adopts the same design language and technological advances as the recently introduced all-new LaCrosse, along with segment-leading hybrid powertrain technologies. The LaCrosse HEV is powered by a 1.8L SIDI engine that is paired with an electric variable transmission and a 1.5-kWh high-performance lithium battery unit. Its green pedigree is supported by numerous advanced technologies such as an electronic climate control compressor, electronic power steering, exhaust thermal energy recycling, and active grille open and close that maximize its efficiency. The LaCrosse HEV offers comprehensive fuel economy of 4.7 L/100 km. This represents a 35 percent decrease in fuel consumption from the LaCrosse with eAssist that is powered by a smart hybrid powertrain, yet the LaCrosse HEV sprints from 0 to 100 km/h in 8.9 seconds. SAIC-GM also released the all-new “Buick Blue” logo for the brand’s green product lineup at Buick Brand Day. The introduction of the LaCrosse HEV and “Buick Blue” logo represents Buick’s focus on upgrading its conventional powertrains and promoting green technologies. Buick earlier introduced eco-friendly models in China that include the LaCrosse with eAssist and LaCrosse Eco-Hybrid. Buick Avista concept highlights brand’s future sporty styling Developed by GM's global design team, the Avista concept embodies Buick's new design language, sophisticated performance and advanced technologies. Shown for the first time at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit in January, it points to the future direction of the brand’s sporty styling. The Avista has an arresting appearance, with flowing, uninterrupted body lines and a 2+2 modern cockpit that is clean, simple and elegant. It is powered by a twin-turbocharged 3.0L V-6 engine that produces 298 kW of maximum power. The engine is supported by an eight-speed automatic transmission. The vehicle has adopted a great deal of carbon fiber and aluminum materials along with 3D-printed door and seat trims. It includes trendsetting technologies such as Buick’s next-generation QuietTuning, the advanced Air Quality System and the Buick IntelliLink infotainment system. Its Magnetic Ride Control suspension delivers more precise body motion control than ever.
  19. We know that Ford is hard at work on diesel option for the 2017 F-150, along with Hybrid model that is due out in 2020. Now there is a possible third powertrain that Ford is working on. Automobile and AutoGuide got their hands on new spy shots showing off an F-150 mule with the front fenders and hood covered. On the passenger side fender, there appears to be a door for a possible charging port (the video below gives a better view of it). The spy photographer also noted the engine would turn off at various points and the humming noise of an electric motor taking its place. Automobile speculates that along with the electric motor, there is likely the 2.7L EcoBoost V6 and ten-speed automatic transmission. Source: Automobile, AutoGuide
  20. Nissan's first attempt at a hybrid crossover - the Pathfinder Hybrid - was a disaster in terms of sales and was pulled from the lineup last year. But the Japanese automaker is giving it another try. Car and Driver discovered that the EPA reveal the existence of a Murano Hybrid by publishing fuel economy numbers for the front and all-wheel drive versions. Nissan currently sells the Murano Hybrid in China where it uses a 2.5L supercharged four-cylinder and electric motor, the same powertrain found in the Pathfinder Hybrid. For those interested, the Murano Hybrid is rated at 28 City/31 Highway/29 Combined for the front-wheel drive model and 26 City/30 Highway/28 Combined for the all-wheel drive model. Nissan wouldn't comment if the Murano Hybrid is coming to America. But considering the EPA has certified it, there is a chance it will come. Source: Car and Driver, EPA
  21. At the 2016 New York Auto Show, Hyundai took the wraps off the 2017 Hyundai Ionic. Clearly aimed directly at Prius buyers, the Ioniq challenges the market leader by offering three powertrain variants in a single body-style. Additionally, the Ioniq is offering more conventional styling compared to the very polarizing new look of the Pruis. The three powertrains offered are standard hybrid - 104 horsepower, 109 lb-ft of torque, 1.6 liter direct injected Atkinson-cycle 4-cylinder - 44 horsepower, 125 lb-ft electric motor feeding from a 1.56 kW LiO battery. The combined systems produced 139 horsepower. Power is routed to the front wheels through a 6-speed dual-clutch transmission Plug-In Hybrid - Uses the same gasoline engine as above, but replaces the electric motor with a 60 horsepower unit and a 8.9 kWh Lithium-Ion battery. No mention of combined system power, but expect it to be more than the standard hybrid. The Plug-In will allow for up to 25 miles of electric only driving. Full Electric - Features 110 mile driving range from the 28 kWh, output is 120 horsepower and 215 lb-ft of torque, driving the front wheels through a single speed transmission. A big part of the Ioniq story is the use of a new Lithium-Ion polymer battery. The use of polymer batteries rather than standard lithium-ion allows the weight of the battery to be reduced by up to 20% and allows for greater packaging efficiency. The battery is mounted low and wide under the rear passenger seat minimizing any loss of passenger room. Charging the Ioniq EV to 80% takes only 20 minutes on a Level 3 DC fast-charger. Adding to the efficiency of the Ioniq is the class leading 0.24 drag coefficient. Inside, the interior design is fairly conventional layout. During the press conference, Hyundai pointed out that the gauge cluster is in front of the driver "Where it should be", in a thinly veiled zing at Toyota. In an effort to further reduce petroleum use, the door panels the use a combination of plastic, powdered wood, and volcanic stone, the exterior paint is plant based oil, and the headliner fabric and carpet is made from sugar cane extract. Hyundai isn't yet talking specific MPG numbers for the hybrids, but they do say it will beat the Toyota Prius.
  22. A lot of the high-performance sub-brands have been thinking about the future and the possibility of using turbocharged four-cylinders or all-wheel drive. BMW's M division isn't going down that trail of thought yet. Speaking with Australian outlet Motoring, BMW M's head of product management, Carsten Pries says for the time being, the division will focus on developing models with the six cylinders and rear-wheel drive. “If you also look at the M performance models we have added over the last three or four years they have rear-wheel drive as the standard setting and also have six cylinder engines. These are cars that attract new people to the M brand [and its core models] and that is very important,” said Pries. “This combination of six cylinder engines and rear-wheel drive is not just a USP in marketing terms but it is something that really attracts people to our brand. This is obviously not something you can just talk about but also something you can experience and enjoy." It should be noted that M does have two models with all-wheel drive, the X5 and X6 M models. We assume Pries is referring to M's sedans and coupes with these comments. Pries does admit that the current strategy could change in the near future. “If the framework changes in the future, we have to look then at what we can do in terms of a [providing] a proper or decent M offer,” said Pries. Source: Motoring
  23. Last month, Hyundai introduced the world to the new Ioniq. What makes this vehicle unique is how it can accommodate a hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and electric powertrain without making any drastic changes to the vehicle. This is due a new platform built for hybrid and electric vehicles. Hyundai only provided details on the hybrid model at the time. But today, the Korean automaker revealed details on the plug-in and EV models before their debut at the Geneva Motor Show next month. The Ioniq Plug-In comes with the same 1.6L four-cylinder (104 horsepower and 108 pound-feet of torque), but features a 60 horsepower electric motor and larger 9.3 kWh lithium-ion polymer battery. Hyundai hasn't divulged total output of the system, but does say it will have a range of 31 Miles on electric power. The Ioniq EV features an electric motor producing 118 horsepower, and a 28 kWh battery. Top speed is said to be 103 mph and overall range is estimated to be 155 Miles. We'll have even more details, including a possible release date when Hyundai brings the Ioniq to the New York Auto Show later in March. Source: Hyundai Press Release is on Page 2 All-New Hyundai IONIQ line-up electrifies Geneva Motor Show World’s first vehicle platform with three electrified powertrains offers low- to zero-emission mobility accessible to everyone Innovative IONIQ delivers uncompromised driving experience and design Unveiling of the IONIQ line-up at the Geneva Motor Show is available live stream: media, enthusiasts and fans worldwide can be part of the experience February 24, 2016 - At the Geneva Motor Show 2016, Hyundai Motor is introducing the All-New Hyundai IONIQ line-up consisting of: IONIQ Hybrid, IONIQ Electric and IONIQ Plug-in. As the world’s first model offering three electrified powertrains, IONIQ will make low-to zero-emission mobility accessible to everyone. This new approach delivers an uncompromised design and driving experience through innovative technology, latest connectivity and safety technologies. The All-New Hyundai IONIQ is an important milestone of Hyundai Motor’s sustainability strategy, bringing to life the brand’s new thinking through new innovative technologies and extending the company’s product range to support further organic sales growth in Europe and other markets. “IONIQ is an important step forward for our brand in Europe. We are bringing a unique new approach to e-mobility, without compromising on design, driving pleasure and new connectivity features. And we’re making it accessible to more customers by further extending our product line-up,” said Jochen Sengpiehl, Vice President Marketing at Hyundai Motor Europe. The IONIQ Hybrid and IONIQ Plug-in both feature the new Kappa 1.6 GDI, direct injection petrol, four-cylinder engine with a class-leading thermal efficiency of 40 percent, delivering 105 PS and 147 Nm of torque. The engine has been tailored to the hybrid application and is combined with the directly responding, smooth shifting six-speed double clutch transmission – differentiating the IONIQ from its competitors with a more dynamic driving experience. The mated electric motor enables pure electric driving and delivers instant torque as the chassis with rear multi-link suspension greatly enhancing driving dynamics. The IONIQ Hybrid’s electric motor delivers 32 kW (43.5 PS) with maximum torque of 170 Nm, powered by a lithium-ion-polymer battery with 1.56 kWh capacity positioned under the rear seats. In combination with the 1.6-GDI engine, IONIQ Hybrid offers a system output of 103.6 kW (141 PS) and up to 265 Nm of torque accelerating to a top speed of 185 km/h with targeted CO2 emissions as low as 79 g/km (combined). Drivers choosing the IONIQ Plug-in can safely rely on over 50 kilometres of estimated pure electric driving range powered by the potent 8.9 kWh lithium-ion polymer battery. The 45kW (61 PS) electric motor together with the 1.6 GDI four-cylinder Kappa engine targets CO2 emissions as low as 32 g/km. The IONIQ Electric offers pure e-mobility through a 28 kWh lithium-ion-polymer battery for an estimated range of over 250 km. The instantly available maximum torque of 295 Nm is delivered by the electric motor with maximum output of 88 kW (120 PS) through the single-speed reducer transmission accelerating the car up to 165 km/h. The IONIQ line-up provides an enhanced customer experience inside through state-of-the art connectivity features like Android Auto, Apple Car Play as well as Tom Tom live services and wireless charging of your smartphone. Furthermore, the driving experience becomes digital through the 7-inch TFT instrument cluster displaying all key driver information. A holistic and innovative safety package including Autonomous Emergency Braking, Lane Keep Assist System, Blind Spot Detection, Rear Cross Traffic Alert and Smart Cruise Control ensures high safety levels for drivers and passengers alike. All versions feature the sleek aerodynamic silhouette with a class-leading Cd value of 0.24 that complements the soft lines and surfaces tracing the All-New IONIQ’s outline. A fluid exterior shape and natural air flow channels emphasize the aerodynamic body lines and volumes. Blue accents in the IONIQ Hybrid and IONIQ Plug-in emphasize specific elements on the exterior and completing a seamless design in the interior. The IONIQ Electric features exclusive copper coloured accents, creating an impression that electricity flows through the car’s interior inspired by the trait of copper being a conductor for electricity. “With our pioneering ix35 Fuel Cell electric vehicle and several hybrid and plug-in hybrid models sold around the world, Hyundai Motor already has a proven capability in electrified powertrains. Now, with the launch of our first dedicated model, we are taking the lead as the only car manufacturer with hybrid, electric, plug-in hybrid and fuel cell vehicles in production,” said Thomas A. Schmid, Chief Operating Officer at Hyundai Motor Europe. The All-New Hyundai IONIQ Line-up will celebrate its world premiere at the Geneva Motor Show on March 1 during the Hyundai Press Conference at 10:30 CET on the Hyundai stand (No. 1040).
  24. Wait, didn't Lexus only tease the LC 500h a few days ago? Yes, they did. But today, the Japanese luxury brand has decided to spill the beans on the hybrid version of the LC before its official debut in Geneva next month. The big news about the LC 500h is the Lexus Multi-Stage Hybrid System. This new system is built specifically for performance vehicles. For the LC 500h, the system includes a 3.5L V6 (295 horsepower and 257 pound-feet of torque), an electric motor, a hybrid transmission, and a lithium-ion battery pack. Total output stands at 354 horsepower and Lexus claims a 0-60 MPH time of sub-five seconds. The hybrid transmission is an interesting piece to the Multi-Stage Hybrid System. It uses a four-speed automatic transmission and an electric motor that Lexus claims "much more direct connection between the accelerator pedal and vehicle acceleration." How does the hybrid transmission accomplish this? We're not fully sure and Lexus doesn't have a clear enough explanation in their press release. If Lexus provides an explanation in the near future, we'll update this piece. The LC 500h uses Lexus' new GA-L platform that uses a combination of high-strength steel and aluminium suspension components in an effort to reduce weight. Other weight saving tricks include aluminum hood and fenders; aluminum front suspension towers, carbon fiber door structures; and an optional carbon fiber roof. No mention of when we'll see the LC 500h at dealers. Source: Lexus Press Release is on Page 2 World Premiere of the All-New Lexus LC 500h Features Next-Generation Lexus Multi Stage Hybrid System and an All-New Platform Dynamic luxury - a more elegant, evocative, and fluid interpretation of Lexus L-finesse design philosophy Brand-new Multi Stage Hybrid System offers exhilarating performance and greater efficiency Ultra-rigid yet light body with multi-link suspension for precision handling GENEVA, Feb. 18, 2016 – First revealed by Akio Toyoda at the 2016 North America International Auto Show, the styling, performance and craftsmanship of the new Lexus LC 500 clearly position it as the flagship coupe of the Lexus lineup. Inspired by the acclaimed LF-LC concept that debuted in 2012, the LC represents a shift in Lexus’ engineering processes and design direction, and marks the beginning of a new phase for the Lexus brand. Following the world premiere of the V8-powered LC 500, Lexus introduces the All-New LC 500h which features the world’s first Multi Stage Hybrid System, the next generation of hybrid powertrains specifically designed for performance vehicles. Seduction & Technology Design Combining avant garde elegance with dynamic coupe proportions, the seductive form of the new LC 500h remains remarkably true to the key design elements, proportions and visual dynamism of the award-winning LF-LC concept car that inspired it. The LC 500h is enveloped by a glamorous exterior which represents a uniquely evocative, more fluid interpretation of Lexus' L-finesse design philosophy. With a long 2,870 mm (112.9 in) wheelbase, compact 920 mm (36.2 in) front and 970 mm (38.2 in) rear overhangs and a notably low bonnet line, the coupe's athletic profile is characterised by a sweeping roofline which tapers from the central position of the occupants, creating a uniquely human-centred silhouette. Front and rear wings that house wide, large diameter wheels flare away from the centre position of the occupants, whilst the door sides are pulled inwards to create a powerfully three-dimensional form—in plan view, a new spindle architecture shape which mirrors Lexus' signature spindle grille. To the front, the latest interpretation of that spindle grille motif features chrome trim and a radical new mesh design of varying visual tension. The LC 500h's unique lighting signature combines independent, arrowhead Daytime Running Lights (DRL) with a triple LED headlamp unit, the ultra-compact engineering of which has helped to maintain the coupe’s low bonnet line and short front overhang. To the rear, the sweeping cabin roofline tapers between broad, muscular rear wheel arches to reinforce the LC 500h's wide, stable stance. The rear lamp signature is equally unique, a sequence of increasingly strongly lit L-shaped LED lamps that creates an exceptional three-dimensional impression. The outstanding driving dynamics of the LC 500h are also reflected in subtle yet functional aerodynamic measures. Front and rear wheel arch venting improves high speed stability, and a rear diffuser and active rear spoiler further manage airflow during performance driving. The new LC 500h will be available with a choice of bespoke, 20" cast and 20" and 21" forged aluminium alloy wheels. Driving Pleasure & Comfort The all-new interior design of the LC 500h reflects the exterior design theme of dynamic luxury with a cabin that combines all the elegance, quality and sophistication of a Lexus premium coupe with high driving pleasure and comfort for passenger. Whilst the front passenger area is shaped to spread out towards the front, creating a comfortable and welcoming space, the driving position has been painstakingly created to invite spirited driving, and promote driver confidence through an intuitive control layout and ergonomic excellence. The driver's hip point has been engineered to be as close as possible to the coupe's centre of gravity, maximising feedback from the vehicle to the driver. And the holding performance of the seats has been enhanced through a renewed focus on the cross-section design. Particular attention has been paid to the design of a new steering wheel, which features a change in cross-sectional shape throughout the rim circumference to accommodate variations in grip and the twisting of the wrist during operation. And new, larger magnesium alloy paddle shifters have been shaped for easier reach and a more positive action. All information displays have been carefully arranged in order of importance by their proximity to the driver's sight line. The instrument binnacle itself houses a variation of the innovative driver's meter with moving centre ring from the LFA, and the centre console features a next-generation touch pad for the Remote Touch Interface (RTI). The 2017 Lexus multimedia package debuts with the LC, and features faster, more flexible software enabling future enhancements and an updated graphic user interface. Listeners will also be treated to an exceptional audio experience inside the cabin: in addition to the available audiophile-worthy Mark Levinson audio package, a new premium Pioneer audio system comes as standard equipment. Throughout the new interior, the quality and finish of upholstery, hand-stitched leather centre console and dash pad, and drape forming Alcantara door trim, reflect a level of Takumi craftsmanship and attention to detail for which Lexus is globally renowned. Multi Stage Hybrid System The Multi Stage Hybrid System was developed with opposing goals in mind: to create a hybrid with a more sporting and engaging driving experience by closely aligning engine speed with throttle inputs, and to achieve the best possible balance of power and fuel consumption. The new Multi Stage Hybrid System marries the elements of a traditional full hybrid powertrain -including a 3.5 litre V6 petrol engine, a powerful electric motor and a lithium-ion battery pack to a 4-speed automatic gearbox mounted at the rear of the hybrid transmission. The electric motor generates better acceleration feel than a conventional engine, and adding physical gears more closely aligns engine rpm with the driver’s inputs. The result is a much more direct connection between the accelerator pedal and vehicle acceleration, and 0-100 km/h times well into the sub-5 second range The Lexus Multi Stage Hybrid System also features ‘M’ Mode—the first driver-initiated gear shifts offered on a Lexus full hybrid powertrain. ‘M’ Mode gives drivers the ability to initiate direct and responsive gear shifts for the most sporting and engaging drive yet from a Lexus hybrid. A new lightweight and compact electric motor and a lithium-ion battery offset the weight of the added automatic transmission, and so the Multi Stage Hybrid System weighs the same as the current hybrid powertrain—an amazing feat of engineering. All-New Platform Heralding a new generation of more engaging and responsive vehicles, the new LC 500h has been designed to offer customers a significantly sharper, more refined driving experience. It combines the superior ride quality befitting a flagship luxury sports coupe with an engaging, dynamic drive and a depth of character unlike that of any previous Lexus. The LC 500h is the first Lexus to benefit from the company's all-new, premium rear-wheel drive platform; part of a new corporate global architecture for luxury vehicles (GA-L). The underpinnings of this new coupe will become the blueprint for future front-engine/rear-wheel drive Lexus models. Platform design is fundamental to dynamic handling characteristics. At the outset, Lexus engineers focused on what they refer to as the LC 500h's “inertia specification”, placing most of the vehicle mass, including the engine and occupants, as low and centralised as possible within the chassis. The powertrain mass is located behind the front axle line creating a “front mid-ship” layout while very short front and rear overhangs push the large diameter tyres to the vehicle extremities. The wheels are shod with run-flat tyres that eliminate the weight and weight-distribution penalty of a full-size spare tyre, while driver hip and heel points have been substantially lowered. The centre of gravity has been further lowered by the introduction of numerous technical innovations which reduce the body weight of the LC 500h. These include aluminium front hood and fenders, aluminium door skins mounted on a carbon fibre structure, a carbon and glass composite boot lid, aluminium front suspension towers, ultra-compact LED headlamps, available forged alloy wheels and carbon fibre roof. The extensive use of strategically located high-tensile steel body structures reduces weight, improves weight-distribution and increases body rigidity, all of which promote consistent, predictable handling behaviour and sharper steering responses. Particular attention has been paid to the development of the LC 500h's multi-link front suspension system, adopted to allow for the vehicle's large diameter wheels while at the same time accommodating a very low bonnet line. The system features two upper and two lower control arms, with double ball joints on each arm. This arrangement optimises suspension geometry to facilitate precise control from driver inputs and road conditions, creating a more precise steering response. Optimising the sharpness in both steering and suspension movement, sprung weight has been reduced as much as possible through the extensive use of lightweight, forged aluminium componentry. And the system demonstrates exceptional rigidity under lateral g loading. In combination, these chassis and suspension development measures offer an entirely natural, non-taxing driving experience which combines sharp responses, exceptional handing balance and straight line stability with the ride comfort appropriate to a Lexus flagship coupe. Class-Leading Safety Standards The new LC 500h is fitted, as standard, with the Lexus Safety System +, a newly developed portfolio of active safety technologies designed to help prevent or mitigate collisions across a wide range of traffic situations. Combining a camera and millimetre-wave radar for a high level of detection performance, the Lexus Safety System+ features a Pre-Crash Safety (PCS) system with a pedestrian detection function, which helps prevent or mitigate the severity of collisions, All-speed Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane-Keeping Assist (LKA), and Automatic High Beam (AHB) headlamp technology.
  25. We really shouldn't be surprised by this news, but we were. Lexus announced today they will be showing hybrid version of the recently revealed LC 500 at next month's Geneva Motor Show. The LC 500h will come with the company's next-generation hybrid powertrain, the Lexus Multi-Stage Hybrid System. Lexus is keeping quiet on the details for the new hybrid system, but rumors have the hybrid model using a V6 paired with an electric motor producing 470 horsepower or so. Expect slight changes such as discrete hybrid badging and a new instrument cluster. Source: Lexus Press Release is on Page 2 Lexus at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show World Premiere of the LC 500h luxury coupe with next-generation Lexus Multi Stage Hybrid System European Premiere of the LF-FC concept GENEVA, Feb. 15, 2016 -- Lexus will unveil the hybrid version of its all-new LC luxury coupe at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show. The LC 500h is equipped with Lexus’ next generation hybrid powertrain, the Lexus Multi Stage Hybrid System, providing enhanced driving pleasure, more performance, and greater efficiency. The LC was first revealed at the 2016 North America International Auto Show. Its styling, performance and craftsmanship position the vehicle as Lexus’ flagship coupe. The LC also utilizes Lexus’ new architecture that promises enhanced dynamic capability. Inspired by the acclaimed LF-LC concept that debuted in 2012, the LC represents a shift in Lexus’ engineering processes and design ideologies, and marks the beginning of a new phase for the Lexus brand. Its outstanding visual appeal has been unanimously praised following the Detroit reveal, and recognized by professionals who granted LC EyesOn Design awards for Production Car and Best Designed Interior at the 2016 NAIAS. Lexus will also display the LF-FC concept at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show. LF-FC is a visionary new vehicle that offers a peek into the design and technology direction of Lexus’ future flagship sedan. Initially revealed at the 2015 Tokyo Motor Show, the LF-FC is powered by a high output fuel cell system. It also features an advanced touchless human machine interface as well as automated driving technologies.

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