Jump to content

Search the Community

Showing results for tags 'Hybrid'.



More search options

  • Search By Tags

    Type tags separated by commas.
  • Search By Author

Content Type


Forums

  • News and Views
    • Staff Reviews
    • Reader Reviews
    • Auto Show Coverage
    • Sales Figure Ticker
    • Editorials
    • Competitions
    • Industry News
    • Motorsports
  • Brand Discussion
    • Aston Martin
    • BMW Group
    • Daimler AG
    • Fiat-Chrysler Automobiles
    • Karma
    • Ferrari
    • Ford Motor Company
    • General Motors
    • Honda Motor Company
    • Hyundai Motor Group
    • Jaguar-Land Rover
    • Lotus
    • Mazda
    • McLaren Automotive
    • Nissan-Renault Alliance
    • SAAB / NEVS
    • Subaru
    • Suzuki
    • Tesla
    • Toyota Motor Corporation
    • Chinese Automakers
    • Volkswagen Automotive Group
    • Volvo
    • The British
    • The Italians
    • The French
  • Heritage Marques
    • Pontiac
    • HUMMER
    • Saturn
    • Oldsmobile
    • Mercury
  • Forum Information
    • New Member Check-In
    • Site News & Updates
    • Forum Feedback
    • Newsletters
  • Social Central
    • The Lounge
    • Motorcycles
    • Member Design Showcase
    • Member's Rides Showcase
    • Member Marketplace
    • Auctions and Classifieds
    • Merchandise Lookout
    • Sponsor Forum
    • Electronics & Technology
    • Rated R
  • Tech Corner
    • Tech Section
    • Product Questions and Reviews
    • Project Car Chronicles
    • Recalls and TSBs
    • Alternative Fuels & Propulsion
    • Powertrain
  • Design Studio
  • Cadillac Appreciation Club's Cadillac Discussion
  • European Car Lovers's Topics

Categories

  • Auto Shows
    • Detroit Auto Show
    • Chicago Auto Show
    • New York Auto Show
    • Los Angeles Auto Show
    • Geneva Auto Show
    • Consumer Electronics Show (CES)
    • Shanghai Auto Show
    • Frankfurt International Motor Show
    • Tokyo Motor Show
    • Paris Motor Show
    • SEMA
  • Opinion
  • News
    • Acura
    • Alfa Romeo
    • Alternative Fuels
    • Aston Martin
    • Audi
    • Automotive Industry
    • Bentley
    • BMW
    • Buick
    • Cadillac
    • Chevrolet
    • Chrysler
    • Dodge
    • Ducati
    • Ferrari
    • Fiat
    • Ford
    • Genesis
    • GM News
    • GMC
    • Holden
    • Honda
    • Hyundai
    • Infiniti
    • Jaguar
    • Jeep
    • Karma
    • Kia
    • Lamborghini
    • Land Rover
    • Lexus
    • Lincoln
    • Maserati
    • Mazda
    • McLaren
    • Mercedes Benz
    • MINI
    • Mitsubishi
    • Nissan
    • Opel/Vauxhall
    • Porsche
    • Ram Trucks
    • Rolls-Royce
    • Saab / NEVS
    • Sales Figures
    • Scion
    • SMART
    • Subaru
    • Tesla
    • Toyota
    • Volkswagen
    • Volvo
  • Reviews
  • Deal Alert

Blogs

There are no results to display.

There are no results to display.


Find results in...

Find results that contain...


Date Created

  • Start

    End


Last Updated

  • Start

    End


Filter by number of...

Joined

  • Start

    End


Group


Website URL


GooglePlus


Skype


Location


Interests

Found 167 results

  1. Subaru trademarks "Evoltis" for First Hybrid Subarus has filed with the US Patent and Trademark office for the auto name Evoltis. This will be their first Hybrid based on the Toyota Prius powertrain. Many are hoping that unlike Toyota, Subaru will do their due diligence to build it as an AWD auto. Autoblog story
  2. William Maley

    Review: 2017 Hyundai Ioniq SEL

    Can any automaker out-do the Toyota Prius? Some have tried and ultimately have failed in one way or another. But the latest challenger, the Hyundai Ioniq, appears to be a formidable opponent. On paper, the Ioniq boasts higher fuel economy figures than the Prius. It also features a design that will not scare people away. We spent a week in the midlevel SEL to find out if the Prius needs to watch its back. The Ioniq’s design appears to be heavily influenced by the second and third-generation Prius. This is shown in the overall profile and rear tailgate design. The front end comes with a large hexagonal grille, raked projector headlights, and deep cuts in the bumpers enclosing a set of LEDs. The only downside to the Ioniq’s design is the plastic rectangle around the Hyundai emblem on the front. It looks out of place, but that houses the radar system needed for the automatic braking and adaptive cruise control systems. “It seems quite normal,” will be thought of many when they come inside the Ioniq. There is no futuristic design, joystick controller for the transmission, or endless acres of white plastic trim. This is an interior you might expect to find in the Elantra compact sedan. Material quality is similar to what you’ll find in a Toyota Prius - a mix of hard and soft plastics. The control layout is simple and is within easy reach for those sitting up front. The SEL comes with cloth upholstery and a power driver’s seat. Finding a comfortable position isn’t too hard with the power adjustments and a tilt-telescoping steering wheel. But the Ioniq’s front seats do falter on long trips. I found myself squirming around the seat after driving the vehicle for an hour. The back comes up slightly short in terms of head and legroom for taller passengers. For example, I’m 5’9” and my head was touching the headliner. A 7-inch infotainment system featuring Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration is standard on all Ioniqs. A larger 8-inch system with navigation is only available on the top-line Limited trim. Hyundai offers one of the better infotainment systems with an easy-to-understand interface, quick performance, and having physical shortcut buttons to various functions. The only thing I wished Hyundai would do is making the 8-inch screen standard. This would make it easier to read the information at a quick glance. Hyundai employs a 1.6L Atkinson Cycle four-cylinder engine, a 32 kW electric motor, and a Lithium-ion Polymer battery for the Ioniq’s hybrid powertrain. Total output is rated at 139 horsepower, 18 more than in the Prius. Around town, the Ioniq is noticeably faster than the Prius. I had no problems with keeping up with the flow of traffic. Sport mode does sharpen acceleration, but it will eat into fuel economy. Like the Prius, the Ioniq does struggle with getting up to speed on the freeway. The six-speed dual-clutch automatic didn’t exhibit the hesitation to drop down a gear or the clunky gear changes that I experienced in the Kia Niro. It delivered smooth and quick shifts. The EPA rates the 2017 Ioniq SEL at 55 City/54 Highway/55 Combined - better the 54/50/52 for the Prius. My average for the week was a disappointing 45 mpg. Some of this can be explained by the extremely cold temps that hit the Detroit-area only a couple days into my loan. This caused the gas engine to run constantly to keep the vehicle warm. Like the Prius, the Ioniq is surprisingly fun to drive. There is little body roll and the vehicle quickly transitions from one turn to another. Steering has decent weight when turning, but is devoid of feel, something common in the class. The Ioniq comes up slightly short in terms of ride quality. On rough roads, the Ioniq lets in more bumps than the Prius. There is also a fair amount of tire roar that comes inside when driving on the freeway. Pricing is a strong point for the Ioniq. The midlevel SEL trim begins at $23,950. With the optional tech package (adds adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning) and floor mats, the as-tested price comes to $25,910. Taking into account what you get for the price, the Ioniq continues Hyundai’s reputation of delivering a lot of car for the money. As my time with the Ioniq was coming to a close, I found myself stumped between choosing the Ioniq and Prius. The Ioniq has the less outlandish design, better performance, higher fuel economy figures (on paper), and value. But the Prius can hold its own as it has a better balance between ride and handling, slightly larger back seat, and impressive real-world fuel economy figures. Plus, the Prius name holds a lot more recognition than the Ioniq. Despite the positives, the Ioniq finds itself between a rock and hard place. Disclaimer: Hyundai Provided the Ioniq, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas Year: 2017 Make: Hyundai Model: Ioniq Trim: SEL Engine: 1.6L GDI Atkinson Cycle Four-Cylinder, Electric Motor Driveline: Six-Speed Dual-Clutch Transmission, Front-Wheel Drive Horsepower @ RPM: 104 @ 5,700 (Gas), 43 @ 0 (Electric), 139 (Combined) Torque @ RPM: 109 @ 4,000 (Gas), 125 @ 0 (Electric) Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 55/54/55 Curb Weight: 3,031 lbs Location of Manufacture: Ulsan, South Korea Base Price: $23,950 As Tested Price: $25,910 (Includes $835.00 Destination Charge) Options: Tech Package - $1,000.00 Carpeted Floor Mats - $125.00 View full article
  3. William Maley

    Review: 2017 Hyundai Ioniq SEL

    Can any automaker out-do the Toyota Prius? Some have tried and ultimately have failed in one way or another. But the latest challenger, the Hyundai Ioniq, appears to be a formidable opponent. On paper, the Ioniq boasts higher fuel economy figures than the Prius. It also features a design that will not scare people away. We spent a week in the midlevel SEL to find out if the Prius needs to watch its back. The Ioniq’s design appears to be heavily influenced by the second and third-generation Prius. This is shown in the overall profile and rear tailgate design. The front end comes with a large hexagonal grille, raked projector headlights, and deep cuts in the bumpers enclosing a set of LEDs. The only downside to the Ioniq’s design is the plastic rectangle around the Hyundai emblem on the front. It looks out of place, but that houses the radar system needed for the automatic braking and adaptive cruise control systems. “It seems quite normal,” will be thought of many when they come inside the Ioniq. There is no futuristic design, joystick controller for the transmission, or endless acres of white plastic trim. This is an interior you might expect to find in the Elantra compact sedan. Material quality is similar to what you’ll find in a Toyota Prius - a mix of hard and soft plastics. The control layout is simple and is within easy reach for those sitting up front. The SEL comes with cloth upholstery and a power driver’s seat. Finding a comfortable position isn’t too hard with the power adjustments and a tilt-telescoping steering wheel. But the Ioniq’s front seats do falter on long trips. I found myself squirming around the seat after driving the vehicle for an hour. The back comes up slightly short in terms of head and legroom for taller passengers. For example, I’m 5’9” and my head was touching the headliner. A 7-inch infotainment system featuring Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration is standard on all Ioniqs. A larger 8-inch system with navigation is only available on the top-line Limited trim. Hyundai offers one of the better infotainment systems with an easy-to-understand interface, quick performance, and having physical shortcut buttons to various functions. The only thing I wished Hyundai would do is making the 8-inch screen standard. This would make it easier to read the information at a quick glance. Hyundai employs a 1.6L Atkinson Cycle four-cylinder engine, a 32 kW electric motor, and a Lithium-ion Polymer battery for the Ioniq’s hybrid powertrain. Total output is rated at 139 horsepower, 18 more than in the Prius. Around town, the Ioniq is noticeably faster than the Prius. I had no problems with keeping up with the flow of traffic. Sport mode does sharpen acceleration, but it will eat into fuel economy. Like the Prius, the Ioniq does struggle with getting up to speed on the freeway. The six-speed dual-clutch automatic didn’t exhibit the hesitation to drop down a gear or the clunky gear changes that I experienced in the Kia Niro. It delivered smooth and quick shifts. The EPA rates the 2017 Ioniq SEL at 55 City/54 Highway/55 Combined - better the 54/50/52 for the Prius. My average for the week was a disappointing 45 mpg. Some of this can be explained by the extremely cold temps that hit the Detroit-area only a couple days into my loan. This caused the gas engine to run constantly to keep the vehicle warm. Like the Prius, the Ioniq is surprisingly fun to drive. There is little body roll and the vehicle quickly transitions from one turn to another. Steering has decent weight when turning, but is devoid of feel, something common in the class. The Ioniq comes up slightly short in terms of ride quality. On rough roads, the Ioniq lets in more bumps than the Prius. There is also a fair amount of tire roar that comes inside when driving on the freeway. Pricing is a strong point for the Ioniq. The midlevel SEL trim begins at $23,950. With the optional tech package (adds adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning) and floor mats, the as-tested price comes to $25,910. Taking into account what you get for the price, the Ioniq continues Hyundai’s reputation of delivering a lot of car for the money. As my time with the Ioniq was coming to a close, I found myself stumped between choosing the Ioniq and Prius. The Ioniq has the less outlandish design, better performance, higher fuel economy figures (on paper), and value. But the Prius can hold its own as it has a better balance between ride and handling, slightly larger back seat, and impressive real-world fuel economy figures. Plus, the Prius name holds a lot more recognition than the Ioniq. Despite the positives, the Ioniq finds itself between a rock and hard place. Disclaimer: Hyundai Provided the Ioniq, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas Year: 2017 Make: Hyundai Model: Ioniq Trim: SEL Engine: 1.6L GDI Atkinson Cycle Four-Cylinder, Electric Motor Driveline: Six-Speed Dual-Clutch Transmission, Front-Wheel Drive Horsepower @ RPM: 104 @ 5,700 (Gas), 43 @ 0 (Electric), 139 (Combined) Torque @ RPM: 109 @ 4,000 (Gas), 125 @ 0 (Electric) Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 55/54/55 Curb Weight: 3,031 lbs Location of Manufacture: Ulsan, South Korea Base Price: $23,950 As Tested Price: $25,910 (Includes $835.00 Destination Charge) Options: Tech Package - $1,000.00 Carpeted Floor Mats - $125.00
  4. Following a few months after the debut of the refreshed Sonata, Hyundai used the Chicago Auto Show to debut the 2018 Sonata Hybrid and Plug-In Hybrid. Like the gas counterpart, the hybrid models feature new front and rear end styling, revised wheel designs (16 and 17-inches), and LED headlights. The interior is mostly the same as the standard model aside from a different instrument cluster and additional screens pertaining to hybrid system for the infotainment system. Qi wireless charging for smartphones is available as an option. Under the hoods of the Sonata Hybrid and Plug-In Hybrid is a 2.0L direct-injected four-cylinder producing 154 horsepower and 140 pound-feet of torque. This is matched with an electric motor in the six-speed automatic transmission - 35kW for the hybrid and 50 kW for the plug-in. Total output stands at 193 horsepower for the hybrid and 202 hp for the plug-in. The Hybrid features a 1.76 kWh lithium-ion polymer battery pack, while the Plug-In boasts a larger 9.8 kWh lithium-ion polymer battery pack. Hyundai says the Sonata Hybrid SE is estimated to return 39 City/45 Highway/42 Combined and have a total range of more than 650 miles - about the length from Detroit to Chicago and back. The Plug-In has an estimated electric-only range of 27 miles and is able to be recharged in less than 3 hours when plugged into a level 2 charger. The Sonata Hybrid arrives sometime in the first quarter and the Plug-In will follow in the second quarter. Source: Hyundai Press Release is on Page 2 Hyundai Reveals 2018 Sonata Hybrid and Plug-in Hybrid Models at Chicago Auto Show Sonata Hybrid and Plug-in Hybrid models receive extensive exterior redesign New instrument panel center stack, steering and infotainment features wheel New available safety features include Automatic Emergency Braking and Lane Keep Assist Steering and suspension refined for improved ride and handling CHICAGO, Feb. 8, 2018 – Hyundai today unveiled its redesigned 2018 Sonata Hybrid and Plug-in Hybrid models at the Chicago Auto Show, the largest in the U.S. 2018 Sonata Hybrid/Plug-in Hybrid Highlights New front/rear fascia design, grille, hood, front fenders, rear deck lid, headlights/taillights New 16-inch and 17-inch eco-spoke wheel designs New LED headlights with cornering Dynamic Bending Light (DBL) function New instrument panel center stack, steering wheel and available heated steering wheel New, stiffer front anti-roll bar and recalibrated steering assistance feel New, more rigid rear-trailing-arm design with retuned bushings for responsiveness Standard Blind-spot detection with Rear Cross-traffic Alert and Lane Change Assist Newly available Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB) and Lane Keep Assist New, upgraded audio/video navigation system with new Bird’s Eye View map perspective New HERE HD Traffic (Real-time Traffic Service – non-paid subscription) Qi wireless phone charging on navigation-equipped models New rear USB charging port New three-year complimentary Blue Link Connected Car, Remote and Guidance on Blue Link-equipped models (Guidance requires navigation) Repackaged standard and available content for outstanding customer value The new Sonata Hybrid and Plug-in Hybrid feature a comprehensive exterior and interior redesign, safety, suspension and new and improved infotainment and connectivity features. The 2018 Hybrid and Plug-in will be produced in Asan, Korea, with Hybrid availability in the first quarter of 2018 and Plug-in availability in the second quarter of 2018. “Our new 2018 Sonata Hybrid and Plug-in models add appeal in every area, from exterior to interior design, handling, steering, ride comfort, safety and infotainment,” said Mike O’Brien, vice president of Product, Corporate and Digital Planning at Hyundai Motor America. “When combined with Hyundai’s outstanding value and efficiency, the new Sonata Hybrid and Plug-in are sure to attract even more eco-focused buyers.” The new Sonata exterior design conveys a new appearance from every vantage point, including new wheel designs. On the inside, a new instrument panel center stack, steering wheel, available audio/video navigation system, wireless phone charging and rear USB charge port further enhance the interior experience. HYBRID POWERTRAIN The heart of the 2018 Sonata Hybrid is a 2.0-liter Nu GDI four-cylinder engine coupled with a six-speed automatic transmission that houses a powerful 38 kW electric motor and clutch where the torque converter would normally be found. Sonata Hybrid’s Transmission-Mounted Electrical Device (TMED) delivers the same responsive, engaging driving characteristics Sonata owners expect while improving fuel economy through the use of a larger electric motor. This innovative transmission uses an electric oil pump, which helps improve efficiency. It is possible for Sonata Hybrid to operate solely on electric power at speeds up to 75 mph by decoupling the gasoline engine from the rest of the drivetrain. Sonata Hybrid’s Nu engine produces 154 horsepower and 140 lb. ft. of torque. The electric motor produces 38 kW (51 horsepower) and 151 lb. ft. of torque. Hybrid system net power is 193 horsepower at 6,000 rpm. Sonata Hybrid SE has preliminary internal estimates of 39 mpg in the city, 45 mpg on the highway and 42 mpg combined. The Sonata Hybrid’s total range is estimated at more than 650 miles under typical driving conditions. The lithium-ion polymer battery pack capacity is 1.76 kWh and the battery pack fits under the trunk floor, which allows for a flat trunk floor as well as available 60/40 split-folding rear seats. Sonata Hybrid offers 13.3 cu. ft. of cargo volume, thanks to the compact battery pack dimensions and efficient design. Locating the battery pack beneath the trunk floor helps improve cargo volume and total interior volume with 106.1 cu. ft., the most in its segment. PLUG-IN HYBRID POWERTRAIN Although the Sonata Plug-in Hybrid is very technologically advanced, it drives similarly to the regular Sonata Hybrid, but with the additional benefit of extended all-electric range. A 9.8 kWh lithium-ion polymer battery pack, more than five times larger than the Sonata Hybrid’s battery, gives the Sonata Plug-in Hybrid an EPA-estimated all-electric range of up to 27 miles, and it can recharge in less than three hours with a level-two charger. It offers the best of both worlds by providing the power delivery of a hybrid gasoline engine, perfect for long trips, with the additional benefit of environmentally-friendly all-electric range for commuting. As a result, many consumers will be able to complete their daily commute without using a single drop of fuel, and total estimated range is an impressive 590 miles. The Sonata Plug-in Hybrid uses a six-speed automatic transmission with Hyundai’s Transmission-Mounted Electrical Device (TMED), a 50 kW electric motor, in place of a torque converter. The 50 kW electric motor is 32 percent more powerful than the motor used in Sonata Hybrid and allows EV operation at higher engine load and speed. A 2.0-liter Nu four-cylinder GDI engine coupled with the electric motor allows the Sonata Plug-in Hybrid to operate just like the Sonata Hybrid once the onboard battery charge is depleted. The Sonata Plug-in Nu engine produces 154 horsepower and 140 lb. ft. of torque and the total system output is 202 horsepower at 6,000 rpm. SAFETY FEATURES 2018 Sonata Hybrid and Plug-in come standard with seven airbags, including a driver’s knee airbag. Electronic Stability Control, Vehicle Stability Management, Traction Control, ABS and a Tire Pressure Monitoring System with individual tire pressure display and a rearview camera are also standard. LED headlamps are optional and LED taillights and DRLs are standard. Hyundai engineers implemented many active safety technologies for the Sonata Hybrid and Plug-in to assist drivers and help prevent accidents. No longer reserved for luxury cars, advanced safety technologies, such as Blind Spot Detection with Rear Cross Traffic Alert is standard. Available advanced safety features include Automatic Emergency Braking, Lane Keep Assist and Automatic High Beam Assist. The Sonata Hybrid and Plug-in advanced Blind Spot Detection system is designed to alert drivers of an approaching vehicle in the next lane if the turn signal is activated. Drivers are first alerted of a vehicle in the blind spot by warning lights in the side mirrors. When the turn signal is activated, the Lane Change Assist system determines the closing speed of any vehicle in the adjacent lane to determine if the lane change is safe. If the system determines the vehicle in the other lane is closing too quickly, it sounds an audible alarm to warn the driver that the lane change is unsafe. The Lane Keep Assist uses a forward-facing camera to recognize lane markers. If the system detects the vehicle is headed outside the lane markers, a warning on the instrument cluster illuminates and an audible sound alerts the driver. Rear Cross-traffic Alert (RCTA) is another standard feature that uses advanced technologies from the Blind Spot Detection system. RCTA scans the areas to each side of the Sonata when drivers are backing out of parking spaces. If the system detects another vehicle is approaching from the side, the Sonata driver is given an audible alert. This system is another tool that helps Sonata drivers benefit from active safety technologies. CONVENIENCE FEATURES The Sonata Hybrid delivers the convenience technology one would expect in a luxury vehicle in an incredibly efficient mid-size hybrid sedan. Hyundai’s Hands-free Smart Trunk is available as well as an electronic parking brake with automatic vehicle hold, an Integrated Memory System for driver’s seat and side mirrors, segment-exclusive rear window sunshades, ventilated front seats, power front seats with adjustable driver lumbar support and Smart Cruise Control featuring stop/start capability. MULTIMEDIA TECHNOLOGY Sonata Hybrid and Plug-in offer an eight-inch color touchscreen navigation system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration, iPod/USB and auxiliary inputs, SiriusXM satellite radio and Bluetooth phone connectivity with phonebook transfer and voice-recognition. Available upgrades include a nine-speaker Infinity premium audio system with subwoofer and external Infinity amplifier. The available eight-inch navigation system offers a map and music split-screen display and the ability to record SiriusXM presets one to six. For 2018, this navigation system also adds Bird’s Eye View map perspective capability. Switching to a preset station in the middle of your favorite song won’t be an annoyance any longer; simply rewind up to 22 minutes to listen to the full song or catch up on sports broadcasts. SiriusXM Travel Link provides access to traffic information, sports scores, weather, stock prices, fuel prices and local movie times. AERODYNAMICS Sonata Hybrid and Plug-in use the same functional design cues to improve the drag coefficient to an industry-leading 0.24 Cd. NEXT-GENERATION BLUE LINK CONNECTED CAR SYSTEM Sonata Hybrid and Plug-in Blue Link-equipped models include three years of complimentary Blue Link services, with enhanced safety, diagnostic, remote and voice navigation services. Blue Link brings connectivity directly into the car with technologies like Remote Start with Climate Control, Remote Door Lock/Unlock, Car Finder, Enhanced Roadside Assistance, and Stolen Vehicle Recovery. Blue Link features can be accessed via buttons on the rearview mirror, the MyHyundai.com web portal, the MyHyundai with Blue Link smartphone app, the Amazon Alexa Blue Link skill, and the Blue Link Google Assistant app. Some features can also be controlled via Android Wear and Apple Watch smartwatch apps. The latest release of the Blue Link smartphone app includes: Widgets for easy access to remote features Ability to send Point-of-Interest data to vehicle navigation system (if so equipped) Access to Blue Link notification settings More details on specific Blue Link-equipped vehicles available at www.hyundaibluelink.com. MYHYUNDAI with BLUE LINK APP Owners can manage and monitor the Sonata Plug-In Hybrid remotely via the Blue Link smartphone app. With the app, owners can access real-time data from their Sonata Plug-in and perform specific commands like starting the engine and locking doors. Plus, users can search for points of interest using Google with voice or text and have the directions when they start their Sonata Plug-in. For Sonata Plug-in owners who will charge at their residence, one of the most useful features of the app is the ability to manage their Plug-in charging schedule. Owners are given vehicle charging options that they can select while in the car, but users can also manage them remotely via their smartphone. Immediate charge is the simplest option, as charging begins as soon as the Sonata Plug-in Hybrid is plugged-in. A distinctive instrument cluster provides Sonata Plug-in Hybrid drivers with additional information about the vehicle’s functions. A charge indicator is located on top of the dashboard to make it easy to see the state of charge from outside the vehicle. Individuals that have different electric rates at off-peak times may want to schedule the charge to reduce cost as well as reduce peak demand on the electricity grid. Users can do that with the new app based on time and date. For example, charging could be set to start at 10 p.m. on Wednesdays and Thursdays on a weekly basis. Connected Car Services: Remote Start with Climate Control and defroster Remote Lock/Unlock Vehicle Diagnostics/status Stolen Vehicle Recovery Car Finder Connected Plug-in Hybrid Charge Management Services: Start or stop charging Set-up charging schedule with days of the week and time Current battery level with real-time electric and fuel range Real-time fuel range Plug status (in/out) Charge status Time left until fully charged SONATA PLUG-IN AVAILABILITY AND TAX CREDITS The Sonata Plug-in Hybrid will be distributed in California, Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island and Vermont, but customers in any of the other states can custom order the vehicle at their local Hyundai dealer. Sonata Plug-in Hybrid buyers are currently eligible for a $4,919 federal tax credit. These tax credits reduce the amount of federal tax the purchaser is liable for, making them much more valuable+ than tax deductions. In addition, the Sonata Plug-in Hybrid is eligible for HOV-lane access in certain states.
  5. Following a few months after the debut of the refreshed Sonata, Hyundai used the Chicago Auto Show to debut the 2018 Sonata Hybrid and Plug-In Hybrid. Like the gas counterpart, the hybrid models feature new front and rear end styling, revised wheel designs (16 and 17-inches), and LED headlights. The interior is mostly the same as the standard model aside from a different instrument cluster and additional screens pertaining to hybrid system for the infotainment system. Qi wireless charging for smartphones is available as an option. Under the hoods of the Sonata Hybrid and Plug-In Hybrid is a 2.0L direct-injected four-cylinder producing 154 horsepower and 140 pound-feet of torque. This is matched with an electric motor in the six-speed automatic transmission - 35kW for the hybrid and 50 kW for the plug-in. Total output stands at 193 horsepower for the hybrid and 202 hp for the plug-in. The Hybrid features a 1.76 kWh lithium-ion polymer battery pack, while the Plug-In boasts a larger 9.8 kWh lithium-ion polymer battery pack. Hyundai says the Sonata Hybrid SE is estimated to return 39 City/45 Highway/42 Combined and have a total range of more than 650 miles - about the length from Detroit to Chicago and back. The Plug-In has an estimated electric-only range of 27 miles and is able to be recharged in less than 3 hours when plugged into a level 2 charger. The Sonata Hybrid arrives sometime in the first quarter and the Plug-In will follow in the second quarter. Source: Hyundai Press Release is on Page 2 Hyundai Reveals 2018 Sonata Hybrid and Plug-in Hybrid Models at Chicago Auto Show Sonata Hybrid and Plug-in Hybrid models receive extensive exterior redesign New instrument panel center stack, steering and infotainment features wheel New available safety features include Automatic Emergency Braking and Lane Keep Assist Steering and suspension refined for improved ride and handling CHICAGO, Feb. 8, 2018 – Hyundai today unveiled its redesigned 2018 Sonata Hybrid and Plug-in Hybrid models at the Chicago Auto Show, the largest in the U.S. 2018 Sonata Hybrid/Plug-in Hybrid Highlights New front/rear fascia design, grille, hood, front fenders, rear deck lid, headlights/taillights New 16-inch and 17-inch eco-spoke wheel designs New LED headlights with cornering Dynamic Bending Light (DBL) function New instrument panel center stack, steering wheel and available heated steering wheel New, stiffer front anti-roll bar and recalibrated steering assistance feel New, more rigid rear-trailing-arm design with retuned bushings for responsiveness Standard Blind-spot detection with Rear Cross-traffic Alert and Lane Change Assist Newly available Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB) and Lane Keep Assist New, upgraded audio/video navigation system with new Bird’s Eye View map perspective New HERE HD Traffic (Real-time Traffic Service – non-paid subscription) Qi wireless phone charging on navigation-equipped models New rear USB charging port New three-year complimentary Blue Link Connected Car, Remote and Guidance on Blue Link-equipped models (Guidance requires navigation) Repackaged standard and available content for outstanding customer value The new Sonata Hybrid and Plug-in Hybrid feature a comprehensive exterior and interior redesign, safety, suspension and new and improved infotainment and connectivity features. The 2018 Hybrid and Plug-in will be produced in Asan, Korea, with Hybrid availability in the first quarter of 2018 and Plug-in availability in the second quarter of 2018. “Our new 2018 Sonata Hybrid and Plug-in models add appeal in every area, from exterior to interior design, handling, steering, ride comfort, safety and infotainment,” said Mike O’Brien, vice president of Product, Corporate and Digital Planning at Hyundai Motor America. “When combined with Hyundai’s outstanding value and efficiency, the new Sonata Hybrid and Plug-in are sure to attract even more eco-focused buyers.” The new Sonata exterior design conveys a new appearance from every vantage point, including new wheel designs. On the inside, a new instrument panel center stack, steering wheel, available audio/video navigation system, wireless phone charging and rear USB charge port further enhance the interior experience. HYBRID POWERTRAIN The heart of the 2018 Sonata Hybrid is a 2.0-liter Nu GDI four-cylinder engine coupled with a six-speed automatic transmission that houses a powerful 38 kW electric motor and clutch where the torque converter would normally be found. Sonata Hybrid’s Transmission-Mounted Electrical Device (TMED) delivers the same responsive, engaging driving characteristics Sonata owners expect while improving fuel economy through the use of a larger electric motor. This innovative transmission uses an electric oil pump, which helps improve efficiency. It is possible for Sonata Hybrid to operate solely on electric power at speeds up to 75 mph by decoupling the gasoline engine from the rest of the drivetrain. Sonata Hybrid’s Nu engine produces 154 horsepower and 140 lb. ft. of torque. The electric motor produces 38 kW (51 horsepower) and 151 lb. ft. of torque. Hybrid system net power is 193 horsepower at 6,000 rpm. Sonata Hybrid SE has preliminary internal estimates of 39 mpg in the city, 45 mpg on the highway and 42 mpg combined. The Sonata Hybrid’s total range is estimated at more than 650 miles under typical driving conditions. The lithium-ion polymer battery pack capacity is 1.76 kWh and the battery pack fits under the trunk floor, which allows for a flat trunk floor as well as available 60/40 split-folding rear seats. Sonata Hybrid offers 13.3 cu. ft. of cargo volume, thanks to the compact battery pack dimensions and efficient design. Locating the battery pack beneath the trunk floor helps improve cargo volume and total interior volume with 106.1 cu. ft., the most in its segment. PLUG-IN HYBRID POWERTRAIN Although the Sonata Plug-in Hybrid is very technologically advanced, it drives similarly to the regular Sonata Hybrid, but with the additional benefit of extended all-electric range. A 9.8 kWh lithium-ion polymer battery pack, more than five times larger than the Sonata Hybrid’s battery, gives the Sonata Plug-in Hybrid an EPA-estimated all-electric range of up to 27 miles, and it can recharge in less than three hours with a level-two charger. It offers the best of both worlds by providing the power delivery of a hybrid gasoline engine, perfect for long trips, with the additional benefit of environmentally-friendly all-electric range for commuting. As a result, many consumers will be able to complete their daily commute without using a single drop of fuel, and total estimated range is an impressive 590 miles. The Sonata Plug-in Hybrid uses a six-speed automatic transmission with Hyundai’s Transmission-Mounted Electrical Device (TMED), a 50 kW electric motor, in place of a torque converter. The 50 kW electric motor is 32 percent more powerful than the motor used in Sonata Hybrid and allows EV operation at higher engine load and speed. A 2.0-liter Nu four-cylinder GDI engine coupled with the electric motor allows the Sonata Plug-in Hybrid to operate just like the Sonata Hybrid once the onboard battery charge is depleted. The Sonata Plug-in Nu engine produces 154 horsepower and 140 lb. ft. of torque and the total system output is 202 horsepower at 6,000 rpm. SAFETY FEATURES 2018 Sonata Hybrid and Plug-in come standard with seven airbags, including a driver’s knee airbag. Electronic Stability Control, Vehicle Stability Management, Traction Control, ABS and a Tire Pressure Monitoring System with individual tire pressure display and a rearview camera are also standard. LED headlamps are optional and LED taillights and DRLs are standard. Hyundai engineers implemented many active safety technologies for the Sonata Hybrid and Plug-in to assist drivers and help prevent accidents. No longer reserved for luxury cars, advanced safety technologies, such as Blind Spot Detection with Rear Cross Traffic Alert is standard. Available advanced safety features include Automatic Emergency Braking, Lane Keep Assist and Automatic High Beam Assist. The Sonata Hybrid and Plug-in advanced Blind Spot Detection system is designed to alert drivers of an approaching vehicle in the next lane if the turn signal is activated. Drivers are first alerted of a vehicle in the blind spot by warning lights in the side mirrors. When the turn signal is activated, the Lane Change Assist system determines the closing speed of any vehicle in the adjacent lane to determine if the lane change is safe. If the system determines the vehicle in the other lane is closing too quickly, it sounds an audible alarm to warn the driver that the lane change is unsafe. The Lane Keep Assist uses a forward-facing camera to recognize lane markers. If the system detects the vehicle is headed outside the lane markers, a warning on the instrument cluster illuminates and an audible sound alerts the driver. Rear Cross-traffic Alert (RCTA) is another standard feature that uses advanced technologies from the Blind Spot Detection system. RCTA scans the areas to each side of the Sonata when drivers are backing out of parking spaces. If the system detects another vehicle is approaching from the side, the Sonata driver is given an audible alert. This system is another tool that helps Sonata drivers benefit from active safety technologies. CONVENIENCE FEATURES The Sonata Hybrid delivers the convenience technology one would expect in a luxury vehicle in an incredibly efficient mid-size hybrid sedan. Hyundai’s Hands-free Smart Trunk is available as well as an electronic parking brake with automatic vehicle hold, an Integrated Memory System for driver’s seat and side mirrors, segment-exclusive rear window sunshades, ventilated front seats, power front seats with adjustable driver lumbar support and Smart Cruise Control featuring stop/start capability. MULTIMEDIA TECHNOLOGY Sonata Hybrid and Plug-in offer an eight-inch color touchscreen navigation system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration, iPod/USB and auxiliary inputs, SiriusXM satellite radio and Bluetooth phone connectivity with phonebook transfer and voice-recognition. Available upgrades include a nine-speaker Infinity premium audio system with subwoofer and external Infinity amplifier. The available eight-inch navigation system offers a map and music split-screen display and the ability to record SiriusXM presets one to six. For 2018, this navigation system also adds Bird’s Eye View map perspective capability. Switching to a preset station in the middle of your favorite song won’t be an annoyance any longer; simply rewind up to 22 minutes to listen to the full song or catch up on sports broadcasts. SiriusXM Travel Link provides access to traffic information, sports scores, weather, stock prices, fuel prices and local movie times. AERODYNAMICS Sonata Hybrid and Plug-in use the same functional design cues to improve the drag coefficient to an industry-leading 0.24 Cd. NEXT-GENERATION BLUE LINK CONNECTED CAR SYSTEM Sonata Hybrid and Plug-in Blue Link-equipped models include three years of complimentary Blue Link services, with enhanced safety, diagnostic, remote and voice navigation services. Blue Link brings connectivity directly into the car with technologies like Remote Start with Climate Control, Remote Door Lock/Unlock, Car Finder, Enhanced Roadside Assistance, and Stolen Vehicle Recovery. Blue Link features can be accessed via buttons on the rearview mirror, the MyHyundai.com web portal, the MyHyundai with Blue Link smartphone app, the Amazon Alexa Blue Link skill, and the Blue Link Google Assistant app. Some features can also be controlled via Android Wear and Apple Watch smartwatch apps. The latest release of the Blue Link smartphone app includes: Widgets for easy access to remote features Ability to send Point-of-Interest data to vehicle navigation system (if so equipped) Access to Blue Link notification settings More details on specific Blue Link-equipped vehicles available at www.hyundaibluelink.com. MYHYUNDAI with BLUE LINK APP Owners can manage and monitor the Sonata Plug-In Hybrid remotely via the Blue Link smartphone app. With the app, owners can access real-time data from their Sonata Plug-in and perform specific commands like starting the engine and locking doors. Plus, users can search for points of interest using Google with voice or text and have the directions when they start their Sonata Plug-in. For Sonata Plug-in owners who will charge at their residence, one of the most useful features of the app is the ability to manage their Plug-in charging schedule. Owners are given vehicle charging options that they can select while in the car, but users can also manage them remotely via their smartphone. Immediate charge is the simplest option, as charging begins as soon as the Sonata Plug-in Hybrid is plugged-in. A distinctive instrument cluster provides Sonata Plug-in Hybrid drivers with additional information about the vehicle’s functions. A charge indicator is located on top of the dashboard to make it easy to see the state of charge from outside the vehicle. Individuals that have different electric rates at off-peak times may want to schedule the charge to reduce cost as well as reduce peak demand on the electricity grid. Users can do that with the new app based on time and date. For example, charging could be set to start at 10 p.m. on Wednesdays and Thursdays on a weekly basis. Connected Car Services: Remote Start with Climate Control and defroster Remote Lock/Unlock Vehicle Diagnostics/status Stolen Vehicle Recovery Car Finder Connected Plug-in Hybrid Charge Management Services: Start or stop charging Set-up charging schedule with days of the week and time Current battery level with real-time electric and fuel range Real-time fuel range Plug status (in/out) Charge status Time left until fully charged SONATA PLUG-IN AVAILABILITY AND TAX CREDITS The Sonata Plug-in Hybrid will be distributed in California, Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island and Vermont, but customers in any of the other states can custom order the vehicle at their local Hyundai dealer. Sonata Plug-in Hybrid buyers are currently eligible for a $4,919 federal tax credit. These tax credits reduce the amount of federal tax the purchaser is liable for, making them much more valuable+ than tax deductions. In addition, the Sonata Plug-in Hybrid is eligible for HOV-lane access in certain states. View full article
  6. Genesis is working on a new sports car that will be utilizing a plug-in hybrid powertrain. This information comes to us via Australian outlet Wheels who spoke with two senior executives from Hyundai at the Consumer Electronics Show. “We are definitely doing it. I’m actually reviewing the project next week, after CES. I can’t tell you much more about it, but we are definitely doing it. We are not going autonomous for all of our cars!" said Hyundai design vice-president Luc Donckerwolke. Hyundai's vice-chairman of research and development, Woong-chul Yang acknowledged the project, saying the coupe would be a two-seater, feature some sort of electrification, and be under the watchful eye of the N performance division. “We are very much interested in it and as far as I’m concerned I’d love to promote that [a sportscar]. That’s something our brand needs at this time. The people working at N will be working on that, but how we put it in the N or maybe above N … it’s pretty high performance. It’s serious,” said Yang. “We cannot say it will just be hybrid,” he said “but we will use electric motors and batteries to make it more performance. Some areas we cannot just overcome by putting a big ICE [internal combustion engine], we like to minimise as much as possible the ICE and use the best application of electric motors. That means not only efficiency but also performance can be very much optimised using both powertrains. Certainly we will put some electric powerplant in there.” Right now, the project is still in the design stage and it will likely be years before the coupe sees the light of day. Source: Wheels
  7. Genesis is working on a new sports car that will be utilizing a plug-in hybrid powertrain. This information comes to us via Australian outlet Wheels who spoke with two senior executives from Hyundai at the Consumer Electronics Show. “We are definitely doing it. I’m actually reviewing the project next week, after CES. I can’t tell you much more about it, but we are definitely doing it. We are not going autonomous for all of our cars!" said Hyundai design vice-president Luc Donckerwolke. Hyundai's vice-chairman of research and development, Woong-chul Yang acknowledged the project, saying the coupe would be a two-seater, feature some sort of electrification, and be under the watchful eye of the N performance division. “We are very much interested in it and as far as I’m concerned I’d love to promote that [a sportscar]. That’s something our brand needs at this time. The people working at N will be working on that, but how we put it in the N or maybe above N … it’s pretty high performance. It’s serious,” said Yang. “We cannot say it will just be hybrid,” he said “but we will use electric motors and batteries to make it more performance. Some areas we cannot just overcome by putting a big ICE [internal combustion engine], we like to minimise as much as possible the ICE and use the best application of electric motors. That means not only efficiency but also performance can be very much optimised using both powertrains. Certainly we will put some electric powerplant in there.” Right now, the project is still in the design stage and it will likely be years before the coupe sees the light of day. Source: Wheels View full article
  8. Updated: 3:10 pm est with additional pictures Honda released a teaser image today, ahead of the 2018 North American International Auto Show, of a prototype of the forthcoming Honda Insight. This will mark the third time Honda uses the Insight name. The original Insight was the first hybrid offered in the US. A small two-seater, the Insight never caught hold. The second time around, Honda went for a Prius-shaped compact hatchback and the CR-Z sporty hatchback hybrid, still customers stayed away. The new teaser image reveals little, beyond the new Insight's shape. The prototype shares a profile now more closely related to the Civic sedan, though perhaps a bit more swoopy in the rear. The new Insight will be a five passenger sedan positioned above the Civic in the lineup. We expect the Insight to be powered by the same hybrid system as the larger Accord Hybrid. The Honda Insight Prototype will be revealed on January 15th. Click here to follow all 2018 Detroit Auto Show News. Click here to follow Honda News.
  9. Updated: 3:10 pm est with additional pictures Honda released a teaser image today, ahead of the 2018 North American International Auto Show, of a prototype of the forthcoming Honda Insight. This will mark the third time Honda uses the Insight name. The original Insight was the first hybrid offered in the US. A small two-seater, the Insight never caught hold. The second time around, Honda went for a Prius-shaped compact hatchback and the CR-Z sporty hatchback hybrid, still customers stayed away. The new teaser image reveals little, beyond the new Insight's shape. The prototype shares a profile now more closely related to the Civic sedan, though perhaps a bit more swoopy in the rear. The new Insight will be a five passenger sedan positioned above the Civic in the lineup. We expect the Insight to be powered by the same hybrid system as the larger Accord Hybrid. The Honda Insight Prototype will be revealed on January 15th. Click here to follow all 2018 Detroit Auto Show News. Click here to follow Honda News. View full article
  10. William Maley

    Rumorpile: Porsche Reconsiders 911 Hybrid

    The idea of Porsche doing a 911 hybrid has come and gone, and it seems to be coming once again. Bloomberg has learned from sources at Porsche that they are considering a hybrid powertrain for their iconic sports car once again. If given the green light, it would appear a few years after the launch of the next-generation 911 (due sometime next year) and possibly offer up to 40 miles of electric-only range. A problem that engineers are working on is trying to cut down battery weight the handling characteristics the vehicle is known for. It should be noted the Porsche has been going back and forth on this idea since 2014. Back in May, Porsche's head of development for the 718 and 911 said plans for 911 plug-in hybrid were canceled last year due to weight concerns and not being able to make much a profit as they would with a standard 911. Source: Bloomberg
  11. The idea of Porsche doing a 911 hybrid has come and gone, and it seems to be coming once again. Bloomberg has learned from sources at Porsche that they are considering a hybrid powertrain for their iconic sports car once again. If given the green light, it would appear a few years after the launch of the next-generation 911 (due sometime next year) and possibly offer up to 40 miles of electric-only range. A problem that engineers are working on is trying to cut down battery weight the handling characteristics the vehicle is known for. It should be noted the Porsche has been going back and forth on this idea since 2014. Back in May, Porsche's head of development for the 718 and 911 said plans for 911 plug-in hybrid were canceled last year due to weight concerns and not being able to make much a profit as they would with a standard 911. Source: Bloomberg View full article
  12. William Maley

    Next Subaru WRX STI May Go Hybrid

    When the next-generation Subaru WRX STI arrives sometime in 2020 or so, it will not have the turbocharged 2.5L boxer-four engine. Speaking with Dutch automotive site AutoRAI, Subaru Europe's General Manager of sales and marketing manager David Dello Stritto said the current engine would not be able to meet upcoming emission standards. "CO2 emissions are becoming increasingly important and the current 2.5-liter four-cylinder turbo boxer engine simply can not continue to be used in the future. We do not say goodbye to the WRX STI, the car belongs to Subaru, but there will be a period where we will temporarily not run WRX STI," explained Dello Stritto. We've previously heard that Subaru is considering using a hybrid power for the next WRX and WRX STI. When asked by AutoRAI about this, Dello Stritto said it was "something we have to investigate." "Subaru is awaiting what the market developments are, and sets the concept for that." Source: AutoRAI
  13. When the next-generation Subaru WRX STI arrives sometime in 2020 or so, it will not have the turbocharged 2.5L boxer-four engine. Speaking with Dutch automotive site AutoRAI, Subaru Europe's General Manager of sales and marketing manager David Dello Stritto said the current engine would not be able to meet upcoming emission standards. "CO2 emissions are becoming increasingly important and the current 2.5-liter four-cylinder turbo boxer engine simply can not continue to be used in the future. We do not say goodbye to the WRX STI, the car belongs to Subaru, but there will be a period where we will temporarily not run WRX STI," explained Dello Stritto. We've previously heard that Subaru is considering using a hybrid power for the next WRX and WRX STI. When asked by AutoRAI about this, Dello Stritto said it was "something we have to investigate." "Subaru is awaiting what the market developments are, and sets the concept for that." Source: AutoRAI View full article
  14. William Maley

    Quick Drive: 2014 Lexus RX 450h

    Time for a pop quiz everyone. Your question: What was the first luxury crossover that was offered with a hybrid powertrain? Time is up! The answer is the Lexus RX. The first hybrid RX was introduced back 2004 and has gone through a number of revisions up to the model seen here; the 2014 Lexus RX 450h. Is it worth the almost $7,000 more over the standard RX 350 to save some gas? Like the last RX I drove last year, the RX 450h has gotten some design tweaks. The most noticeable change is up front with the addition of the spindle grille and new headlights. Like the previous RX, I found myself wondering if the spindle grille works on the RX. After a week, I found myself saying no. The RX 450h comes with Lexus' Hybrid Drive system which pairs a 3.5L DOHC V6 and three electric motors on all-wheel drive models. Front-wheel drive models feature two. This produces a total output of 295 horsepower. The powertrain provided adequate power no matter the situation, putting it in the midpack of luxury crossovers when talking about crossovers. There are four different drive modes available in the RX. First is Eco which increases throttle resistance and reduces power from the climate control system to improve efficiency. I ran this mode for most of the week and didn't noticed that the throttle had more resistance whenever I put my foot down. Next is Sport which tweaks the throttle to make it a bit ore lively. I drove with this mode briefly, but I couldn't tell any difference in the throttle when it was in this mode or normal. EV mode is next which allows the vehicle to run on electric power alone. I found this to be more of a gimmick than an actual feature as it only let me drive a limited distance and below 25. Wrapping up the modes is Normal which offers a nice balance between Eco and Sport. The transmission is a CVT and for the most part, the transmission does its job well. You don't notice it's a CVT till you put your foot to the floor and CVT groan makes an appearance. Keep your foot off the floor and CVT keeps to itself. Fuel economy is rated by the EPA at 30 City/28 Highway/29 Combined. My week in the RX hybrid netted me 26.9 MPG. Somewhat disappointing as I had the vehicle in Eco mode for most of the week. As for the RX 450h's ride, I was confused. I was expecting a comfortable and smooth riding crossover. But instead, I got a firm riding crossover. The ride was a bit bouncy and I could feel most bumps. As I wrote in my notes, 'I think Lexus' ride engineers mixed up the suspension settings for the RX 350 F-Sport and RX 450h'. The steering also felt a bit off. It wasn't too light or heavy, but felt like there was a lot of resistance when I was turning the wheel. After spending a week with the RX 450h and reading through my notes, I can say that you are better off passing on the RX 450h. The added cost for the hybrid does give you slightly better fuel economy, but offers a worse ride and steering than the standard RX. You're better off sticking with the regular RX 350. Disclaimer: Lexus Provided the RX 450h, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas Year: 2014 Make: Lexus Model: RX Trim: 450h Engine: 3.5L DOHC 24-valve with VVT-i, Three 650V Electric Motors Driveline: CVT, All-Wheel Drive Horsepower @ RPM: 245 @ 6,000 (3.5L V6), 155 @ 0 (Front Electric Motor), 67 @ 0 (Rear Electric Motor), 295 (Total Output) Torque @ RPM: 234 @ 4,800 Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 30/28/29 Curb Weight: 4,520 lbs Location of Manufacture: Cambridge, Ontario Base Price: $47,810 As Tested Price: $55,550 (Includes $910.00 Destination Charge) Options: Premium Package - $3,060 Navigation System w/Voice Command - $2,275 Mark Levinson Premium Surround Sound - $995 William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. Click here to view the article
  15. William Maley

    Quick Drive: 2014 Lexus RX 450h

    Time for a pop quiz everyone. Your question: What was the first luxury crossover that was offered with a hybrid powertrain? Time is up! The answer is the Lexus RX. The first hybrid RX was introduced back 2004 and has gone through a number of revisions up to the model seen here; the 2014 Lexus RX 450h. Is it worth the almost $7,000 more over the standard RX 350 to save some gas? Like the last RX I drove last year, the RX 450h has gotten some design tweaks. The most noticeable change is up front with the addition of the spindle grille and new headlights. Like the previous RX, I found myself wondering if the spindle grille works on the RX. After a week, I found myself saying no. The RX 450h comes with Lexus' Hybrid Drive system which pairs a 3.5L DOHC V6 and three electric motors on all-wheel drive models. Front-wheel drive models feature two. This produces a total output of 295 horsepower. The powertrain provided adequate power no matter the situation, putting it in the midpack of luxury crossovers when talking about crossovers. There are four different drive modes available in the RX. First is Eco which increases throttle resistance and reduces power from the climate control system to improve efficiency. I ran this mode for most of the week and didn't noticed that the throttle had more resistance whenever I put my foot down. Next is Sport which tweaks the throttle to make it a bit ore lively. I drove with this mode briefly, but I couldn't tell any difference in the throttle when it was in this mode or normal. EV mode is next which allows the vehicle to run on electric power alone. I found this to be more of a gimmick than an actual feature as it only let me drive a limited distance and below 25. Wrapping up the modes is Normal which offers a nice balance between Eco and Sport. The transmission is a CVT and for the most part, the transmission does its job well. You don't notice it's a CVT till you put your foot to the floor and CVT groan makes an appearance. Keep your foot off the floor and CVT keeps to itself. Fuel economy is rated by the EPA at 30 City/28 Highway/29 Combined. My week in the RX hybrid netted me 26.9 MPG. Somewhat disappointing as I had the vehicle in Eco mode for most of the week. As for the RX 450h's ride, I was confused. I was expecting a comfortable and smooth riding crossover. But instead, I got a firm riding crossover. The ride was a bit bouncy and I could feel most bumps. As I wrote in my notes, 'I think Lexus' ride engineers mixed up the suspension settings for the RX 350 F-Sport and RX 450h'. The steering also felt a bit off. It wasn't too light or heavy, but felt like there was a lot of resistance when I was turning the wheel. After spending a week with the RX 450h and reading through my notes, I can say that you are better off passing on the RX 450h. The added cost for the hybrid does give you slightly better fuel economy, but offers a worse ride and steering than the standard RX. You're better off sticking with the regular RX 350. Disclaimer: Lexus Provided the RX 450h, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas Year: 2014 Make: Lexus Model: RX Trim: 450h Engine: 3.5L DOHC 24-valve with VVT-i, Three 650V Electric Motors Driveline: CVT, All-Wheel Drive Horsepower @ RPM: 245 @ 6,000 (3.5L V6), 155 @ 0 (Front Electric Motor), 67 @ 0 (Rear Electric Motor), 295 (Total Output) Torque @ RPM: 234 @ 4,800 Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 30/28/29 Curb Weight: 4,520 lbs Location of Manufacture: Cambridge, Ontario Base Price: $47,810 As Tested Price: $55,550 (Includes $910.00 Destination Charge) Options: Premium Package - $3,060 Navigation System w/Voice Command - $2,275 Mark Levinson Premium Surround Sound - $995 William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
  16. Lamborghini has been hesitant to move on from their naturally aspirated V10 and V12 engines to hybrid powertrains for their sports cars. “When they come to Lamborghini, they are asking for the power and performance of our naturally aspirated engines,” he said. “That’s why we have already decided that the next-generation V12 will stay naturally aspirated and it is one reason why the [Aventador] remains unique,” said Lamborghini's Commercial boss Federico Foschini a few months back to Autocar. But Lamborghini is working on a hybrid powertrain for the successor to the Huracán. “The [next] Huracán – that car will need hybridisation. Hybridisation is the answer, not [full] electric,” said Lamborghini boss Stefano Domenicali. Unlike the Urus, which will be the company's first plug-in hybrid vehicle, the Huracán's replacement brings a set of challenges. Packing a heavy hybrid powertrain into an SUV is no problem. Doing the same for a sports car is a big no-no. “It’s easier in our first plug-in hybrid, the Urus, because the ambition of the car in terms of packaging and weight is not so difficult. But this is one mission. It’s not the Lamborghini super-sports car mission," said Maurizio Reggiani, Lamborghini's R&D head. Reggiani added that current battery technology is not feasible for current supercars. “The issue today is the storage of energy. If I go to a track, I need to run all the laps that I want. But today, the problem is that if you go, you are only able to run one and a half laps [flat out].” Lamborghini's sister brand, Porsche has been investigating the use of lighter solid-state batteries which could solve this issues talked about by Reggiani. Lamborghini is also working with other industry experts to see if a solution can be figured out. The Huracán's replacement is due out in 2022. Source: Autocar
  17. Lamborghini has been hesitant to move on from their naturally aspirated V10 and V12 engines to hybrid powertrains for their sports cars. “When they come to Lamborghini, they are asking for the power and performance of our naturally aspirated engines,” he said. “That’s why we have already decided that the next-generation V12 will stay naturally aspirated and it is one reason why the [Aventador] remains unique,” said Lamborghini's Commercial boss Federico Foschini a few months back to Autocar. But Lamborghini is working on a hybrid powertrain for the successor to the Huracán. “The [next] Huracán – that car will need hybridisation. Hybridisation is the answer, not [full] electric,” said Lamborghini boss Stefano Domenicali. Unlike the Urus, which will be the company's first plug-in hybrid vehicle, the Huracán's replacement brings a set of challenges. Packing a heavy hybrid powertrain into an SUV is no problem. Doing the same for a sports car is a big no-no. “It’s easier in our first plug-in hybrid, the Urus, because the ambition of the car in terms of packaging and weight is not so difficult. But this is one mission. It’s not the Lamborghini super-sports car mission," said Maurizio Reggiani, Lamborghini's R&D head. Reggiani added that current battery technology is not feasible for current supercars. “The issue today is the storage of energy. If I go to a track, I need to run all the laps that I want. But today, the problem is that if you go, you are only able to run one and a half laps [flat out].” Lamborghini's sister brand, Porsche has been investigating the use of lighter solid-state batteries which could solve this issues talked about by Reggiani. Lamborghini is also working with other industry experts to see if a solution can be figured out. The Huracán's replacement is due out in 2022. Source: Autocar View full article
  18. It was just a few months ago that Volvo announced their in-house performance arm, Polestar would be spun off to become a standalone brand. It would focus on building high-performance electric vehicles, though as we reported in the rumorpile back in the summer, their first model would be a plug-in hybrid coupe. That rumor was right on the money as the brand unveiled the Polestar 1 at an event in Shanghai. The Polestar 1 looks to be the production model of the Volvo Concept Coupe shown a few years back. The front end is very reminiscent of recent Volvo models with a concave grille and Thor's Hammer headlights. The rear end echoes the Concept Coupe with C-Shaped taillights and short trunk lid. With an overall length of 177.2-inches, the Polestar 1 is about six inches shorter than the BMW 4-Series Coupe. Inside the coupe, it is again like Volvo's 90 Series models with a large touchscreen, steering wheel, and even the crystal gearshift. With all of this similarity to other Volvo models, you can't help but wonder if there is anything original to the Polestar 1. The brand says 50 percent of the coupe's parts are specific to the P1. It begins with the body where the majority of panels are made out of carbon fiber, saving 506 pounds, The hybrid powertrain is comprised of a 2.0L Drive-E engine driving the front axle and two electric motors on the rear axle. Total output is rated at 600 horsepower and 738 pound-feet of torque. Polestar says when the 1 is put into its 'Pure' mode (EV mode), it can travel up to 93 miles. Quick note, when the Polestar 1 is in pure mode, the electric motors offer a total output of 218 horsepower. A 34-kWh provides the electric juice. No information was given on 0-60 mph, top speed, or recharging time. The suspension features the Öhlins’ Continuously Controlled Electronic Suspension (CESi). This system monitors the road and driver inputs, adjust damping within 2 milliseconds to deliver optimal handling. CESi also allows for driver-selected modes, though details on this are being kept under wraps. Bringing the Polestar 1 to a stop are a set of Akebono brakes with six-piston calipers and large 15.7-inch discs. “The Polestar 1 is a Performance Electric Hybrid, but with the longest pure electric range of any hybrid car in the world, we consider it an electric car with support from an internal combustion engine. All future cars from Polestar will be Electric Performance Vehicles but the Polestar 1 bridges today’s technology with the future, offering the perfect drivetrain for a Grand Touring Coupé that's likely to be used over longer distances as well as shorter, faster, enjoyable journeys,” said Polestar CEO Thomas Ingenlath. Polestar 1 will be built a new assembly plant in Chengdu, China that will be finished in mid-2018. Production of the coupe will follow a year later. Polestar plans on build 500 1s every year that you can through a new online-only ordering process. You cannot buy one outright however. A buyer will have to choose either a two or three-year subscription. But that subscription includes insurance and maintence. The order books for the Polestar 1 are open right now. Polestar also announced two forthcoming models called the 2 and 3. Both models will be full electric vehicles. Polestar 2 will be a midsize sedan that will compete with the Tesla Model 3, and the Polestar 3 will be an SUV. Production of the Polestar 2 will begin towards the end of 2019. No date was given as to when production of the Polestar 3 would start. Source: Polestar Press Release is on Page 2 Polestar unveils its first car – the Polestar 1 – and reveals its vision to be the new electric performance brand Polestar, Volvo Car Group’s performance brand, has today revealed its future as a new standalone electric performance brand. Polestar has confirmed the company’s first three models, a new purpose-built production facility in China and a new,customer-focussed route to market with all-inclusive subscription-based services that will set a new industry benchmark for performance car buyers. The company’s first car, Polestar 1, will start production in mid-2019. As an Electric Performance Hybrid, the car can travel up to 150km on pure electric power alone - the longest full electric range of any hybrid car on the market. In combination with its four-cylinder Volvo Drive-E engine, the Polestar 1 delivers 600hp and 1,000Nm of torque, placing the car firmly within the performance car segment. Polestar will act as a technology spearhead for the Volvo Car Group, bringing new technology and performance attributes to market. At the same time, Polestar will benefit from technological and engineering synergies within Volvo Cars and significant economies of scale as a result. These synergies will allow Polestar to accelerate the design, development and building of its electrified performance cars. Thomas Ingenlath, Chief Executive Officer of Polestar said; “Polestar 1 is the first car to carry the Polestar on the bonnet. A beautiful GT with amazing technology packed into it - a great start for our new Polestar brand. All future cars from Polestar will feature a fully electric drivetrain, delivering on our brand vision of being the new standalone electric performance brand". Pure, Progressive, Performance - a portfolio of Polestar models The first car from Polestar, named Polestar 1, will form a halo for the future Polestar brand. The Polestar 1 is a two-door, 2+2 seater Grand Tourer Coupé with an ‘Electric Performance Hybrid’ drivetrain. A maximum of 500 cars per year will be built. All cars will be offered on a subscription basis, with customers benefitting from the convenience of a single, all-inclusive payment that can be topped up by additional on-demand services if required. Showcasing Polestar’s technology spearhead role, the Polestar 1 is based upon Volvo’s Scalable Platform Architecture (SPA) but approximately 50% is new and bespoke, created by Polestar’s engineers. Polestar 1 measures 4.5m in length compared with the 5.15m of the S90. This involved removing 320mm from the wheelbase and another 200mm in the rear to create the car’s powerful, sporty proportions. A further example of the technology spearhead role is an all-new double electric motor system driving both rear wheels, connected together by planetary gears. Producing 218hp, plus the support of an Integrated Starter Generator, the Polestar 1 in Pure mode, is a rear wheel drive Electric performance car with up to 150km of range. This distance ensures that many customers will only ever use the car in full electric mode. For those needing increased range, or wanting to exploit the full performance attributes of the Polestar 1, the double electric rear motors combine with a Volvo Drive-E two-litre four-cylinder petrol engine, powering the front wheels. In Power mode, the Polestar 1 delivers a total of 600hp and 1,000Nm of torque. Thomas Ingenlath, Chief Executive Officer of Polestar, continued; “The Polestar 1 is a Performance Electric Hybrid, but with the longest pure electric range of any hybrid car in the world, we consider it an electric car with support from an internal combustion engine. All future cars from Polestar will be Electric Performance Vehicles but the Polestar 1 bridges today’s technology with the future, offering the perfect drivetrain for a Grand Touring Coupé that's likely to be used over longer distances as well as shorter, faster, enjoyable journeys”. When the driver enters the first corner in their Polestar 1, the car further differentiates itself from its electric car competitors. This is what Polestar defines as Progressive Performance. Polestar’s experience of fitting Öhlins suspension to all its previous performance road cars has been harnessed, with Polestar 1 fitted with a state-of-the-art chassis, including the all-new Öhlins Continuously Controlled Electronic Suspension (CESi) - the world’s first car to be fitted with this advanced chassis technology. Each Öhlins shock absorber is fitted with a new electronic valve, installed for the first time on any road car in conjunction with Öhlins shock absorbers. The valve constantly monitors the driver inputs and road surface conditions, reacting in two milliseconds, to immediately change the ride characteristics to the prevailing demands. For the first time on an Öhlins suspension, the driver can also make changes to the suspension settings within the car, constantly able to tailor the chassis damping and ride quality to their own requirements. Complementing the suspension technology is a powerful braking system to provide the driver with total confidence in all driving situations. Manufactured by Akebono, the 6-piston brake callipers and 400-millimetre discs provide maximum stopping capability. Weight distribution of 48F:52R also ensures the car delivers class-leading handling. The Polestar 1 also brings other new technologies to the market for the Group. Thanks to the double electric rear axle’s planetary gears, torque vectoring features for the first time, separating the power from each of the electric rear motors to drive the car through corners, rather than convention traction control systems that brake the inner rear wheel, slowing the car in bends. As another first for the Group, the major body parts of the Polestar 1 are made from carbon fibre. This lightweight material, more commonly found in supercars, gives the car three significant advantages. Firstly a substantial body weight reduction of 230kg by building in lighter Carbon Fibre. Secondly, an increase in torsional stiffness of 45%, from 22Nmm-2 to 32Nmm-2. And additionally, a lower centre of gravity. Reducing the weight of the upper body panels by using lightweight Carbon Fibre lowers the centre of gravity for the Polestar 1 and results in better handling, performance and drivability on an open and flowing road. “Most electric cars are fast - that’s a product of the attributes of an electric motor. However, for Polestar, performance is far more holistic than just straight-line speed. It’s about acceleration, of course, but it’s also about cornering, braking, suspension control, chassis feedback and steering feel. This is what Polestar calls Progressive Performance,” said Thomas Ingenlath. Polestar 2 and Polestar 3 to follow. All future Polestar cars will feature a fully electric powertrain. Polestar 2 will start production later in 2019 and will be the first battery electric vehicle (BEV) from the Volvo Car Group. Polestar 2 will be a mid-sized fully-electric car that will join the competition around the Tesla Model 3. Polestar 2 is currently in the engineering phase and will start production before the end of 2019, delivering higher volumes than Polestar 1. Polestar 3 is in the finishing stages of design and will be a larger SUV-style BEV, creating a modern expression of electric performance and driving dynamics, and sitting between Polestar 1 and Polestar 2 in terms of volume and pricing. “Being part of the Volvo Car Group enables Polestar to design, develop and engineer our cars using the processes of a well-established car company but at the same time, enables us to experiment with new technology in lower volume cars outside the mainstream segments. This pace of development means as we announce the future of the company, we can also already confirm that a portfolio of three Polestar cars will be on sale within the next four year timescale,” continued Thomas Ingenlath. A contemporary approach for modern performance customers. Polestar brings a fresh approach to taking vehicles to market, removing all the hassle and allowing the customer to focus on what’s important: the driving experience. At the heart of the Polestar customer offer is a monthly subscription payment. This all-inclusive, no deposit, flat monthly payment ensures that the customer need never concern themselves with the inconvenience or cost of depreciation, insurance and maintenance and all Polestars will be offered on this basis. The subscription also includes pick-up and delivery servicing where Polestar contacts the customer to arrange a convenient time for scheduled maintenance. It will also consists of a number of car rental days and access to a range of concierge services. Polestar also recognises that its customers can’t always plan their future motoring requirements. For this reason, Polestar on-demand services are available. Simply ordered online or through a Polestar app and added to the one monthly invoice, further reducing the “hassle” traditionally associated with car usage. As an example, a customer needs the short-term use of a roof box for a forthcoming skiing holiday. At a time and location specified by the owner, Polestar will supply, fit and subsequently remove the roof box, just adding a small incremental usage charge to their monthly invoice. Polestar offers extended concierge services, tailored to the requirements of the most demanding customers. Included is services such as the extended use of a larger Volvo car domestically and internationally for when the driver needs additional load capacity during long family holidays, for example. Other features include the ability to book a car wash and valet at a time and location convenient to the customer. Polestar’s own Phone-as-Key technology is the main enabler of its concierge services. Using an easy-to-use app on Apple or Android devices, the driver can gain access to the car without using a key if required. More importantly, the app allows the owner to virtually pass a key to a third-party concierge or driver to facilitate the collection of the car to re-charge it, service it and more, without the owner ever leaving their home or office. The subscription will be for a fixed term of two or three years. At the end of the contract, the customer simply returns the car, or Polestar collects it and delivers their next Polestar experience. Polestar will then refurbish the vehicle and prepare it for a secondary subscription as a high-quality pre-owned Polestar car. “Our vision is that the Polestar subscription model and services that we will offer will define the Polestar brand as much as our cars will. Services that exceed the needs, desires and expectations of the premium performance car customer are at the heart of Polestar, removing the inconvenience of ownership and allowing customers to purely concentrate on the pleasure of driving a Polestar car,” said Jonathan Goodman, Chief Operating Officer of Polestar. Access Polestar wherever, whenever and however. Polestar makes the entire user experience as convenient and effortless as possible, catering to the customer’s desired choice of interaction channel (digital or physical). All features, from test drives, subscription offers and on demand services are ordered online. The customer never needs to visit a Polestar environment if they don’t want to. Polestar also recognises that as a new entrant into the electrified automotive segment, customers still want to physically engage with the brand. The digital approach will therefore be complemented by the creation of a network of stand-alone retail Spaces around the world. These Spaces will be staffed by Product experts who can assist in demonstrating and explaining the Polestar car’s content and carrying out test drives should the customer wish to do so. Polestar facilities will not be located within an existing Volvo retailer showroom. The target date for the opening of the first Polestar Space is Q1-2019, followed by a ramp up as volumes grow. Polestar’s customers will have the confidence of knowing all aftersales servicing work will be carried out by selected Volvo retailers, giving the Polestar customer the peace of mind that their car will be looked after by a fully trained and professional network, but without the need for the customer to ever visit the Volvo retailer thanks to pick up and delivery servicing The order books for the new Polestar 1 open on 17 October 2017, with Polestar able to take expressions of interest from prospective customers immediately. Polestar Production Centre Polestar cars will be built in China. To facilitate this, Volvo Cars has formed a joint venture with two companies within its parent company, Zhejiang Geely Holding. This JV is capitalised with 5B RMB (640M Euro) of equity to support Polestar’s development. Polestar remains a subsidiary of Volvo Car Group and will be fully consolidated into Volvo Car Group. The new Polestar 1 will be built in a state-of-the-art, purpose-built Polestar Production Centre in Chengdu, China. Currently under construction and due for completion in mid-2018, the new Polestar Production Centre has been carefully created together with international award-winning architects, Snöhetta from Norway. The new Polestar Production Centre will also house one of the first Polestar Spaces, with a customer test track constructed within the campus to enable potential customers to evaluate the car to extremes not possible on public roads. When complete, the new Polestar Production Centre will be the most environmentally-responsible car factory in China, and one of the most efficient in the world, with a target of Gold status in the globally-recognised LEED ratings (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design). “Our new Polestar Production Centre is no ordinary car factory,” said Jonathan Goodman, Chief Operating Officer of Polestar. “It is designed for the low volume production of Polestar 1 but is also being designed to cater for the larger volumes of the future. The Production Centre has also been designed to act as a strong representation of our brand as well as a state-of-the-art production facility”. View full article
  19. It was just a few months ago that Volvo announced their in-house performance arm, Polestar would be spun off to become a standalone brand. It would focus on building high-performance electric vehicles, though as we reported in the rumorpile back in the summer, their first model would be a plug-in hybrid coupe. That rumor was right on the money as the brand unveiled the Polestar 1 at an event in Shanghai. The Polestar 1 looks to be the production model of the Volvo Concept Coupe shown a few years back. The front end is very reminiscent of recent Volvo models with a concave grille and Thor's Hammer headlights. The rear end echoes the Concept Coupe with C-Shaped taillights and short trunk lid. With an overall length of 177.2-inches, the Polestar 1 is about six inches shorter than the BMW 4-Series Coupe. Inside the coupe, it is again like Volvo's 90 Series models with a large touchscreen, steering wheel, and even the crystal gearshift. With all of this similarity to other Volvo models, you can't help but wonder if there is anything original to the Polestar 1. The brand says 50 percent of the coupe's parts are specific to the P1. It begins with the body where the majority of panels are made out of carbon fiber, saving 506 pounds, The hybrid powertrain is comprised of a 2.0L Drive-E engine driving the front axle and two electric motors on the rear axle. Total output is rated at 600 horsepower and 738 pound-feet of torque. Polestar says when the 1 is put into its 'Pure' mode (EV mode), it can travel up to 93 miles. Quick note, when the Polestar 1 is in pure mode, the electric motors offer a total output of 218 horsepower. A 34-kWh provides the electric juice. No information was given on 0-60 mph, top speed, or recharging time. The suspension features the Öhlins’ Continuously Controlled Electronic Suspension (CESi). This system monitors the road and driver inputs, adjust damping within 2 milliseconds to deliver optimal handling. CESi also allows for driver-selected modes, though details on this are being kept under wraps. Bringing the Polestar 1 to a stop are a set of Akebono brakes with six-piston calipers and large 15.7-inch discs. “The Polestar 1 is a Performance Electric Hybrid, but with the longest pure electric range of any hybrid car in the world, we consider it an electric car with support from an internal combustion engine. All future cars from Polestar will be Electric Performance Vehicles but the Polestar 1 bridges today’s technology with the future, offering the perfect drivetrain for a Grand Touring Coupé that's likely to be used over longer distances as well as shorter, faster, enjoyable journeys,” said Polestar CEO Thomas Ingenlath. Polestar 1 will be built a new assembly plant in Chengdu, China that will be finished in mid-2018. Production of the coupe will follow a year later. Polestar plans on build 500 1s every year that you can through a new online-only ordering process. You cannot buy one outright however. A buyer will have to choose either a two or three-year subscription. But that subscription includes insurance and maintence. The order books for the Polestar 1 are open right now. Polestar also announced two forthcoming models called the 2 and 3. Both models will be full electric vehicles. Polestar 2 will be a midsize sedan that will compete with the Tesla Model 3, and the Polestar 3 will be an SUV. Production of the Polestar 2 will begin towards the end of 2019. No date was given as to when production of the Polestar 3 would start. Source: Polestar Press Release is on Page 2 Polestar unveils its first car – the Polestar 1 – and reveals its vision to be the new electric performance brand Polestar, Volvo Car Group’s performance brand, has today revealed its future as a new standalone electric performance brand. Polestar has confirmed the company’s first three models, a new purpose-built production facility in China and a new,customer-focussed route to market with all-inclusive subscription-based services that will set a new industry benchmark for performance car buyers. The company’s first car, Polestar 1, will start production in mid-2019. As an Electric Performance Hybrid, the car can travel up to 150km on pure electric power alone - the longest full electric range of any hybrid car on the market. In combination with its four-cylinder Volvo Drive-E engine, the Polestar 1 delivers 600hp and 1,000Nm of torque, placing the car firmly within the performance car segment. Polestar will act as a technology spearhead for the Volvo Car Group, bringing new technology and performance attributes to market. At the same time, Polestar will benefit from technological and engineering synergies within Volvo Cars and significant economies of scale as a result. These synergies will allow Polestar to accelerate the design, development and building of its electrified performance cars. Thomas Ingenlath, Chief Executive Officer of Polestar said; “Polestar 1 is the first car to carry the Polestar on the bonnet. A beautiful GT with amazing technology packed into it - a great start for our new Polestar brand. All future cars from Polestar will feature a fully electric drivetrain, delivering on our brand vision of being the new standalone electric performance brand". Pure, Progressive, Performance - a portfolio of Polestar models The first car from Polestar, named Polestar 1, will form a halo for the future Polestar brand. The Polestar 1 is a two-door, 2+2 seater Grand Tourer Coupé with an ‘Electric Performance Hybrid’ drivetrain. A maximum of 500 cars per year will be built. All cars will be offered on a subscription basis, with customers benefitting from the convenience of a single, all-inclusive payment that can be topped up by additional on-demand services if required. Showcasing Polestar’s technology spearhead role, the Polestar 1 is based upon Volvo’s Scalable Platform Architecture (SPA) but approximately 50% is new and bespoke, created by Polestar’s engineers. Polestar 1 measures 4.5m in length compared with the 5.15m of the S90. This involved removing 320mm from the wheelbase and another 200mm in the rear to create the car’s powerful, sporty proportions. A further example of the technology spearhead role is an all-new double electric motor system driving both rear wheels, connected together by planetary gears. Producing 218hp, plus the support of an Integrated Starter Generator, the Polestar 1 in Pure mode, is a rear wheel drive Electric performance car with up to 150km of range. This distance ensures that many customers will only ever use the car in full electric mode. For those needing increased range, or wanting to exploit the full performance attributes of the Polestar 1, the double electric rear motors combine with a Volvo Drive-E two-litre four-cylinder petrol engine, powering the front wheels. In Power mode, the Polestar 1 delivers a total of 600hp and 1,000Nm of torque. Thomas Ingenlath, Chief Executive Officer of Polestar, continued; “The Polestar 1 is a Performance Electric Hybrid, but with the longest pure electric range of any hybrid car in the world, we consider it an electric car with support from an internal combustion engine. All future cars from Polestar will be Electric Performance Vehicles but the Polestar 1 bridges today’s technology with the future, offering the perfect drivetrain for a Grand Touring Coupé that's likely to be used over longer distances as well as shorter, faster, enjoyable journeys”. When the driver enters the first corner in their Polestar 1, the car further differentiates itself from its electric car competitors. This is what Polestar defines as Progressive Performance. Polestar’s experience of fitting Öhlins suspension to all its previous performance road cars has been harnessed, with Polestar 1 fitted with a state-of-the-art chassis, including the all-new Öhlins Continuously Controlled Electronic Suspension (CESi) - the world’s first car to be fitted with this advanced chassis technology. Each Öhlins shock absorber is fitted with a new electronic valve, installed for the first time on any road car in conjunction with Öhlins shock absorbers. The valve constantly monitors the driver inputs and road surface conditions, reacting in two milliseconds, to immediately change the ride characteristics to the prevailing demands. For the first time on an Öhlins suspension, the driver can also make changes to the suspension settings within the car, constantly able to tailor the chassis damping and ride quality to their own requirements. Complementing the suspension technology is a powerful braking system to provide the driver with total confidence in all driving situations. Manufactured by Akebono, the 6-piston brake callipers and 400-millimetre discs provide maximum stopping capability. Weight distribution of 48F:52R also ensures the car delivers class-leading handling. The Polestar 1 also brings other new technologies to the market for the Group. Thanks to the double electric rear axle’s planetary gears, torque vectoring features for the first time, separating the power from each of the electric rear motors to drive the car through corners, rather than convention traction control systems that brake the inner rear wheel, slowing the car in bends. As another first for the Group, the major body parts of the Polestar 1 are made from carbon fibre. This lightweight material, more commonly found in supercars, gives the car three significant advantages. Firstly a substantial body weight reduction of 230kg by building in lighter Carbon Fibre. Secondly, an increase in torsional stiffness of 45%, from 22Nmm-2 to 32Nmm-2. And additionally, a lower centre of gravity. Reducing the weight of the upper body panels by using lightweight Carbon Fibre lowers the centre of gravity for the Polestar 1 and results in better handling, performance and drivability on an open and flowing road. “Most electric cars are fast - that’s a product of the attributes of an electric motor. However, for Polestar, performance is far more holistic than just straight-line speed. It’s about acceleration, of course, but it’s also about cornering, braking, suspension control, chassis feedback and steering feel. This is what Polestar calls Progressive Performance,” said Thomas Ingenlath. Polestar 2 and Polestar 3 to follow. All future Polestar cars will feature a fully electric powertrain. Polestar 2 will start production later in 2019 and will be the first battery electric vehicle (BEV) from the Volvo Car Group. Polestar 2 will be a mid-sized fully-electric car that will join the competition around the Tesla Model 3. Polestar 2 is currently in the engineering phase and will start production before the end of 2019, delivering higher volumes than Polestar 1. Polestar 3 is in the finishing stages of design and will be a larger SUV-style BEV, creating a modern expression of electric performance and driving dynamics, and sitting between Polestar 1 and Polestar 2 in terms of volume and pricing. “Being part of the Volvo Car Group enables Polestar to design, develop and engineer our cars using the processes of a well-established car company but at the same time, enables us to experiment with new technology in lower volume cars outside the mainstream segments. This pace of development means as we announce the future of the company, we can also already confirm that a portfolio of three Polestar cars will be on sale within the next four year timescale,” continued Thomas Ingenlath. A contemporary approach for modern performance customers. Polestar brings a fresh approach to taking vehicles to market, removing all the hassle and allowing the customer to focus on what’s important: the driving experience. At the heart of the Polestar customer offer is a monthly subscription payment. This all-inclusive, no deposit, flat monthly payment ensures that the customer need never concern themselves with the inconvenience or cost of depreciation, insurance and maintenance and all Polestars will be offered on this basis. The subscription also includes pick-up and delivery servicing where Polestar contacts the customer to arrange a convenient time for scheduled maintenance. It will also consists of a number of car rental days and access to a range of concierge services. Polestar also recognises that its customers can’t always plan their future motoring requirements. For this reason, Polestar on-demand services are available. Simply ordered online or through a Polestar app and added to the one monthly invoice, further reducing the “hassle” traditionally associated with car usage. As an example, a customer needs the short-term use of a roof box for a forthcoming skiing holiday. At a time and location specified by the owner, Polestar will supply, fit and subsequently remove the roof box, just adding a small incremental usage charge to their monthly invoice. Polestar offers extended concierge services, tailored to the requirements of the most demanding customers. Included is services such as the extended use of a larger Volvo car domestically and internationally for when the driver needs additional load capacity during long family holidays, for example. Other features include the ability to book a car wash and valet at a time and location convenient to the customer. Polestar’s own Phone-as-Key technology is the main enabler of its concierge services. Using an easy-to-use app on Apple or Android devices, the driver can gain access to the car without using a key if required. More importantly, the app allows the owner to virtually pass a key to a third-party concierge or driver to facilitate the collection of the car to re-charge it, service it and more, without the owner ever leaving their home or office. The subscription will be for a fixed term of two or three years. At the end of the contract, the customer simply returns the car, or Polestar collects it and delivers their next Polestar experience. Polestar will then refurbish the vehicle and prepare it for a secondary subscription as a high-quality pre-owned Polestar car. “Our vision is that the Polestar subscription model and services that we will offer will define the Polestar brand as much as our cars will. Services that exceed the needs, desires and expectations of the premium performance car customer are at the heart of Polestar, removing the inconvenience of ownership and allowing customers to purely concentrate on the pleasure of driving a Polestar car,” said Jonathan Goodman, Chief Operating Officer of Polestar. Access Polestar wherever, whenever and however. Polestar makes the entire user experience as convenient and effortless as possible, catering to the customer’s desired choice of interaction channel (digital or physical). All features, from test drives, subscription offers and on demand services are ordered online. The customer never needs to visit a Polestar environment if they don’t want to. Polestar also recognises that as a new entrant into the electrified automotive segment, customers still want to physically engage with the brand. The digital approach will therefore be complemented by the creation of a network of stand-alone retail Spaces around the world. These Spaces will be staffed by Product experts who can assist in demonstrating and explaining the Polestar car’s content and carrying out test drives should the customer wish to do so. Polestar facilities will not be located within an existing Volvo retailer showroom. The target date for the opening of the first Polestar Space is Q1-2019, followed by a ramp up as volumes grow. Polestar’s customers will have the confidence of knowing all aftersales servicing work will be carried out by selected Volvo retailers, giving the Polestar customer the peace of mind that their car will be looked after by a fully trained and professional network, but without the need for the customer to ever visit the Volvo retailer thanks to pick up and delivery servicing The order books for the new Polestar 1 open on 17 October 2017, with Polestar able to take expressions of interest from prospective customers immediately. Polestar Production Centre Polestar cars will be built in China. To facilitate this, Volvo Cars has formed a joint venture with two companies within its parent company, Zhejiang Geely Holding. This JV is capitalised with 5B RMB (640M Euro) of equity to support Polestar’s development. Polestar remains a subsidiary of Volvo Car Group and will be fully consolidated into Volvo Car Group. The new Polestar 1 will be built in a state-of-the-art, purpose-built Polestar Production Centre in Chengdu, China. Currently under construction and due for completion in mid-2018, the new Polestar Production Centre has been carefully created together with international award-winning architects, Snöhetta from Norway. The new Polestar Production Centre will also house one of the first Polestar Spaces, with a customer test track constructed within the campus to enable potential customers to evaluate the car to extremes not possible on public roads. When complete, the new Polestar Production Centre will be the most environmentally-responsible car factory in China, and one of the most efficient in the world, with a target of Gold status in the globally-recognised LEED ratings (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design). “Our new Polestar Production Centre is no ordinary car factory,” said Jonathan Goodman, Chief Operating Officer of Polestar. “It is designed for the low volume production of Polestar 1 but is also being designed to cater for the larger volumes of the future. The Production Centre has also been designed to act as a strong representation of our brand as well as a state-of-the-art production facility”.
  20. The electrification future that is coming will help automakers with meeting upcoming emission targets. But it also means that enthusiasts may be left in the dark for having something fun to drive. Toyota's GR HV Sports concept sounds like on paper that the electrified future might not be so bad. The GR HV Sports concept looks to be a heavily modified 86 coupe with a new front that is said to be inspired from the TS050 Hybrid LMP1 race car, removable targa top, and altered rear end with the new taillights and diffuser. The interior looks like your standard 86 aside from a new digital instrument cluster and an interesting transmission arrangement. The center stack comes with a row of buttons that engages the various gears (park, reverse, drive, etc). A special M button enables the use of the shifter to give the impression of a six-speed manual. Toyota isn't saying much about the GR HV Sports concept's mechanicals aside from it having a hybrid system of some sort and the battery pack being placed where the back seat would be. We'll hopefully learn more details when it debuts at the Tokyo Motor Show later this month. Source: Toyota Press Release is on Page 2 Toyota to Unveil GR HV SPORTS concept at Tokyo Motor Show 2017 Presenting a new way of enjoying cars Toyota City, Japan, October 6, 2017―Toyota Motor Corporation (Toyota) is set to unveil the GR HV SPORTS concept car at its worldwide premiere at the 45th Tokyo Motor Show 2017, taking place from October 25 through November 5 at Tokyo Big Sight. The GR HV SPORTS concept represents a new way to enjoy cars by integrating the thrill of a sports car with the environmental friendliness of an eco-car. Main Features The design is reminiscent of TOYOTA GAZOO Racing's TS050 Hybrid racing car that competes in the World Endurance Championship (WEC). Features a targa top that was also used for Toyota's legendary convertible sports cars, the Toyota Sports 800 (a.k.a. Yotahachi) and the Supra Powered by THS-R (Toyota Hybrid System-Racing) that is infused with hybrid technology refined by the TS050 Hybrid Design While completely embodying functionality as a genuine sports car, the GR HV SPORTS concept features LED headlights, aluminum wheels, and a rear diffuser similar to the TS050 Hybrid. The design evokes Toyota's bond with motor sports. The matte black body color expresses power and aggressiveness. Interior A selection switch to choose the automatic gear position is located in the center cluster to achieve a racing car-like ambience. The push button ignition switch is playfully located on the shift knob. Enjoyment of control Drivers can delight in the performance of THS-R in a genuine sports car while experiencing a sense of freedom thanks to the targa top. Switching to manual mode is possible with the single press of a button, and 6-speed manual-style driving with H-pattern shifting can be enjoyed (the car is an automatic). The hybrid battery is mounted near the center of the vehicle. Installing the heavy battery in the center contributes to improved performance as a sports car. View full article
  21. The electrification future that is coming will help automakers with meeting upcoming emission targets. But it also means that enthusiasts may be left in the dark for having something fun to drive. Toyota's GR HV Sports concept sounds like on paper that the electrified future might not be so bad. The GR HV Sports concept looks to be a heavily modified 86 coupe with a new front that is said to be inspired from the TS050 Hybrid LMP1 race car, removable targa top, and altered rear end with the new taillights and diffuser. The interior looks like your standard 86 aside from a new digital instrument cluster and an interesting transmission arrangement. The center stack comes with a row of buttons that engages the various gears (park, reverse, drive, etc). A special M button enables the use of the shifter to give the impression of a six-speed manual. Toyota isn't saying much about the GR HV Sports concept's mechanicals aside from it having a hybrid system of some sort and the battery pack being placed where the back seat would be. We'll hopefully learn more details when it debuts at the Tokyo Motor Show later this month. Source: Toyota Press Release is on Page 2 Toyota to Unveil GR HV SPORTS concept at Tokyo Motor Show 2017 Presenting a new way of enjoying cars Toyota City, Japan, October 6, 2017―Toyota Motor Corporation (Toyota) is set to unveil the GR HV SPORTS concept car at its worldwide premiere at the 45th Tokyo Motor Show 2017, taking place from October 25 through November 5 at Tokyo Big Sight. The GR HV SPORTS concept represents a new way to enjoy cars by integrating the thrill of a sports car with the environmental friendliness of an eco-car. Main Features The design is reminiscent of TOYOTA GAZOO Racing's TS050 Hybrid racing car that competes in the World Endurance Championship (WEC). Features a targa top that was also used for Toyota's legendary convertible sports cars, the Toyota Sports 800 (a.k.a. Yotahachi) and the Supra Powered by THS-R (Toyota Hybrid System-Racing) that is infused with hybrid technology refined by the TS050 Hybrid Design While completely embodying functionality as a genuine sports car, the GR HV SPORTS concept features LED headlights, aluminum wheels, and a rear diffuser similar to the TS050 Hybrid. The design evokes Toyota's bond with motor sports. The matte black body color expresses power and aggressiveness. Interior A selection switch to choose the automatic gear position is located in the center cluster to achieve a racing car-like ambience. The push button ignition switch is playfully located on the shift knob. Enjoyment of control Drivers can delight in the performance of THS-R in a genuine sports car while experiencing a sense of freedom thanks to the targa top. Switching to manual mode is possible with the single press of a button, and 6-speed manual-style driving with H-pattern shifting can be enjoyed (the car is an automatic). The hybrid battery is mounted near the center of the vehicle. Installing the heavy battery in the center contributes to improved performance as a sports car.
  22. Land Rover will be offering plug-in hybrid variants of Range Rover and Range Rover Sport next spring. This news comes from Jaguar Land Rover CEO Ralf Speth at the Frankfurt Motor Show last week. The models will pair JLR's 2.0L four-cylinder Ingenium gas engine with an electric motor. EV range is said to be about 30 miles when the battery is charged - although the range could be based on the European cycle. No power ratings were given for hybrid system. More details on the plug-in hybrid models will be announced next month. Land Rover has sold a hybrid version of the Range Rover for a few years in Europe, but it uses a diesel engine. Source: Motoring, Motor Trend View full article
  23. Land Rover will be offering plug-in hybrid variants of Range Rover and Range Rover Sport next spring. This news comes from Jaguar Land Rover CEO Ralf Speth at the Frankfurt Motor Show last week. The models will pair JLR's 2.0L four-cylinder Ingenium gas engine with an electric motor. EV range is said to be about 30 miles when the battery is charged - although the range could be based on the European cycle. No power ratings were given for hybrid system. More details on the plug-in hybrid models will be announced next month. Land Rover has sold a hybrid version of the Range Rover for a few years in Europe, but it uses a diesel engine. Source: Motoring, Motor Trend
  24. William Maley

    Review: 2017 Kia Niro EX

    The Kia Niro is the Korean automaker’s first dedicated hybrid vehicle. But if you look at any of marketing materials, you will notice that ‘hybrid’ doesn’t appear anywhere. Take for example this line from a TV ad: “We call this the Kia Niro, but that’s only because ‘breakthrough, game-changing crossover that gets over 40 miles per gallon combined and is really fun to drive’ just wouldn’t fit on the back.” It is a smart move by Kia as more people are buying crossovers like they’re going out of style and it reflects in the sales. In July, Kia moved 2,763 Niros. The Hyundai Ioniq, its sister model only moved 1,252 units. This left us wondering; how does the Niro stack not only as a hybrid vehicle but also as a crossover? We got to spend a week in the midlevel EX to find out. We couldn’t decide if the Niro was more wagon or crossover in terms of the overall design. For the former, the Niro has the two-box design you see on a wagon - separate spaces for the engine and passengers/cargo. The body features smooth, rounded lines that not only gives more credence to the wagon idea but also helps with aerodynamics - the Niro has a drag coefficient of 0.29. For the latter, there is a fair amount of lower body cladding to give the illusion of a taller ride height. Other crossover cues include a faux rear skid plate and roof rails. No matter which side of the argument you come down on, you’ll most likely agree that the Niro looks quite conventional for a hybrid vehicle. The Niro’s interior is very straightforward and normal for a hybrid model. It looks like any other Kia vehicle we have driven with a fair amount of high-quality plastics, the simple control arrangement of the center stack, and a clear set of gauges. The seats were upholstered in cloth and leather and felt nice to sit on for short trips. Longer trips revealed the seats to be lacking in support. Rear seat passengers will like the decent amount of head and legroom on offer. Being a clean sheet design and not taking an existing vehicle to hybridize means Kia was able to maximize the cargo area. Open the rear tailgate you’re greeted with a flat floor, not a raised floor like competitors. Space measures out to 19.4 cubic feet behind the rear seats and 54.5 cubic feet when folded. This puts the Niro towards the top of the class when compared to other subcompact crossovers. Only the Honda HR-V offers a more spacious cargo area - 24.3 and 58.8 when equipped with FWD. Most Niros get a 7-inch touchscreen with Kia’s UVO infotainment system. The top-line Touring comes with an 8-inch screen and navigation. Kia’s UVO system is beginning to show its age as competitors begin to introduce updated interfaces and brighter screens, but it is still one of easiest systems to use. A logical layout for the interface, quick performance, and physical shortcut buttons keep it at the top of our favorite infotainment systems' list. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto is standard across the board. We found the Apple CarPlay integration to be seamless with the system quickly finding our iPhone 7 Plus and bringing up the CarPlay interface. Power comes from a hybrid system comprised of a 1.6L GDI four-cylinder (104 horsepower and 109 pound-feet) and electric motor (43 hp and 125 lb-ft). Total output stands at 139 hp and 195 lb-ft. This is paired with a six-speed dual-clutch transmission and front-wheel drive. Before you ask, Kia isn’t planning on offering all-wheel drive on the Niro for the time being. The Niro feels slightly quicker than the Prius in around-town driving thanks to the higher torque figure from the electric motor. Stay light on the throttle and the Niro can get up to 40 mph on just electric power alone. But the Niro begins to show some weakness at higher speeds as it takes a long time to reach them. This makes merging or passing a somewhat tricky proposition. Kia also needs to do some more work on smoothing out some of hybrid system’s rough edges. At various times, there was a delay from us putting our foot on the accelerator pedal to the powertrain responding. We also noticed surges and pulsation from the powertrain at low-speeds. Kia and sister brand, Hyundai have stood out by not equipping their hybrid vehicles with CVTs. Instead, they tend to go for either an automatic or in the case of the Niro, a dual-clutch transmission. The upside to this is that the Niro feels like a normal vehicle as it doesn’t have the loud droning from the CVT during hard acceleration. But the dual-clutch does introduce some other headaches. Gear changes are noticeable and at times as the transmission seems hesitant to go down a gear when you need to get up and go. Most Niro models will have EPA figures of 51 City/46 Highway/49 Combined. We saw an average of 51.2 mpg in mostly city driving. The base FE returns figures of 49/52/50 and the top-line Touring comes in at 46/40/43. This mostly comes down to weight and various features fitted to each model. For example, the Touring is the only model to come with 18-inch wheels. The Niro is a bit of mixed bag in terms of ride and handling. On smooth and slightly bumpy roads, the Niro does a good job of soaking up bumps. This changes when driven on a rough road as passengers will be bouncing around somewhat. Going through a corner, the Niro exhibits a fair amount of body roll, making you think twice about having some fun. Steering is not particularly quick but does exhibit a nice amount of weight when turning. Wind and road noise is quite noticeable on the highway, but quiets down somewhat when driven in an urban area. Judging the Kia Niro depends on how to look at it. As a crossover, the Niro scores quite well as it offers plenty of space and the tall ride height many buyers are looking for. The lack of all-wheel drive might make it a tough sell. From the hybrid perspective, the Niro begins to lose some ground. It offers slightly better performance than the Prius around town, but struggles when getting up to highway speeds. There also the need for the hybrid system and dual-clutch automatic to go back in the workshop for the various rough edges to be smoothed over. Kia made a wise move by designing the Niro as a crossover and it is paying off. It offers the plus points of the Prius without the exuberant design. But the Niro has some issues that Kia needs to address ASAP or it may lose out on this golden opportunity the model currently has. Disclaimer: Kia Provided the Niro, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas Year: 2017 Make: Kia Model: Niro Trim: EX Engine: 1.6L DOHC GDI Atkinson Cycle Four-Cylinder, Electric Motor Driveline: Six-Speed Dual-Clutch Automatic, Front-Wheel Drive Horsepower @ RPM: 104 @ 5,700 (1.6L), 43 @ 0 (Electric), 139 (Total Output) Torque @ RPM: 109 @ 4,000 (1.6L), 125 @ 0 (Electric), 195 (Total Output) Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 51/46/49 Curb Weight: 3,161 lbs Location of Manufacture: Hwaseong, South Korea Base Price: $25,700 As Tested Price: $28,895 (Includes $895.00 Destination Charge) Options: Sunroof & Advanced Technology Package - $2,300.00 View full article
  25. William Maley

    Review: 2017 Kia Niro EX

    The Kia Niro is the Korean automaker’s first dedicated hybrid vehicle. But if you look at any of marketing materials, you will notice that ‘hybrid’ doesn’t appear anywhere. Take for example this line from a TV ad: “We call this the Kia Niro, but that’s only because ‘breakthrough, game-changing crossover that gets over 40 miles per gallon combined and is really fun to drive’ just wouldn’t fit on the back.” It is a smart move by Kia as more people are buying crossovers like they’re going out of style and it reflects in the sales. In July, Kia moved 2,763 Niros. The Hyundai Ioniq, its sister model only moved 1,252 units. This left us wondering; how does the Niro stack not only as a hybrid vehicle but also as a crossover? We got to spend a week in the midlevel EX to find out. We couldn’t decide if the Niro was more wagon or crossover in terms of the overall design. For the former, the Niro has the two-box design you see on a wagon - separate spaces for the engine and passengers/cargo. The body features smooth, rounded lines that not only gives more credence to the wagon idea but also helps with aerodynamics - the Niro has a drag coefficient of 0.29. For the latter, there is a fair amount of lower body cladding to give the illusion of a taller ride height. Other crossover cues include a faux rear skid plate and roof rails. No matter which side of the argument you come down on, you’ll most likely agree that the Niro looks quite conventional for a hybrid vehicle. The Niro’s interior is very straightforward and normal for a hybrid model. It looks like any other Kia vehicle we have driven with a fair amount of high-quality plastics, the simple control arrangement of the center stack, and a clear set of gauges. The seats were upholstered in cloth and leather and felt nice to sit on for short trips. Longer trips revealed the seats to be lacking in support. Rear seat passengers will like the decent amount of head and legroom on offer. Being a clean sheet design and not taking an existing vehicle to hybridize means Kia was able to maximize the cargo area. Open the rear tailgate you’re greeted with a flat floor, not a raised floor like competitors. Space measures out to 19.4 cubic feet behind the rear seats and 54.5 cubic feet when folded. This puts the Niro towards the top of the class when compared to other subcompact crossovers. Only the Honda HR-V offers a more spacious cargo area - 24.3 and 58.8 when equipped with FWD. Most Niros get a 7-inch touchscreen with Kia’s UVO infotainment system. The top-line Touring comes with an 8-inch screen and navigation. Kia’s UVO system is beginning to show its age as competitors begin to introduce updated interfaces and brighter screens, but it is still one of easiest systems to use. A logical layout for the interface, quick performance, and physical shortcut buttons keep it at the top of our favorite infotainment systems' list. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto is standard across the board. We found the Apple CarPlay integration to be seamless with the system quickly finding our iPhone 7 Plus and bringing up the CarPlay interface. Power comes from a hybrid system comprised of a 1.6L GDI four-cylinder (104 horsepower and 109 pound-feet) and electric motor (43 hp and 125 lb-ft). Total output stands at 139 hp and 195 lb-ft. This is paired with a six-speed dual-clutch transmission and front-wheel drive. Before you ask, Kia isn’t planning on offering all-wheel drive on the Niro for the time being. The Niro feels slightly quicker than the Prius in around-town driving thanks to the higher torque figure from the electric motor. Stay light on the throttle and the Niro can get up to 40 mph on just electric power alone. But the Niro begins to show some weakness at higher speeds as it takes a long time to reach them. This makes merging or passing a somewhat tricky proposition. Kia also needs to do some more work on smoothing out some of hybrid system’s rough edges. At various times, there was a delay from us putting our foot on the accelerator pedal to the powertrain responding. We also noticed surges and pulsation from the powertrain at low-speeds. Kia and sister brand, Hyundai have stood out by not equipping their hybrid vehicles with CVTs. Instead, they tend to go for either an automatic or in the case of the Niro, a dual-clutch transmission. The upside to this is that the Niro feels like a normal vehicle as it doesn’t have the loud droning from the CVT during hard acceleration. But the dual-clutch does introduce some other headaches. Gear changes are noticeable and at times as the transmission seems hesitant to go down a gear when you need to get up and go. Most Niro models will have EPA figures of 51 City/46 Highway/49 Combined. We saw an average of 51.2 mpg in mostly city driving. The base FE returns figures of 49/52/50 and the top-line Touring comes in at 46/40/43. This mostly comes down to weight and various features fitted to each model. For example, the Touring is the only model to come with 18-inch wheels. The Niro is a bit of mixed bag in terms of ride and handling. On smooth and slightly bumpy roads, the Niro does a good job of soaking up bumps. This changes when driven on a rough road as passengers will be bouncing around somewhat. Going through a corner, the Niro exhibits a fair amount of body roll, making you think twice about having some fun. Steering is not particularly quick but does exhibit a nice amount of weight when turning. Wind and road noise is quite noticeable on the highway, but quiets down somewhat when driven in an urban area. Judging the Kia Niro depends on how to look at it. As a crossover, the Niro scores quite well as it offers plenty of space and the tall ride height many buyers are looking for. The lack of all-wheel drive might make it a tough sell. From the hybrid perspective, the Niro begins to lose some ground. It offers slightly better performance than the Prius around town, but struggles when getting up to highway speeds. There also the need for the hybrid system and dual-clutch automatic to go back in the workshop for the various rough edges to be smoothed over. Kia made a wise move by designing the Niro as a crossover and it is paying off. It offers the plus points of the Prius without the exuberant design. But the Niro has some issues that Kia needs to address ASAP or it may lose out on this golden opportunity the model currently has. Disclaimer: Kia Provided the Niro, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas Year: 2017 Make: Kia Model: Niro Trim: EX Engine: 1.6L DOHC GDI Atkinson Cycle Four-Cylinder, Electric Motor Driveline: Six-Speed Dual-Clutch Automatic, Front-Wheel Drive Horsepower @ RPM: 104 @ 5,700 (1.6L), 43 @ 0 (Electric), 139 (Total Output) Torque @ RPM: 109 @ 4,000 (1.6L), 125 @ 0 (Electric), 195 (Total Output) Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 51/46/49 Curb Weight: 3,161 lbs Location of Manufacture: Hwaseong, South Korea Base Price: $25,700 As Tested Price: $28,895 (Includes $895.00 Destination Charge) Options: Sunroof & Advanced Technology Package - $2,300.00

About us

CheersandGears.com - Founded 2001

We  Cars

Get in touch

Follow us

Recent tweets

facebook

×