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  1. As stricter fuel economy and emission regulations come into play, automakers are scrambling to figure out solutions that meet the regulations while retaining power. Porsche believes the solution is a plug-in hybrid system for the iconic 911. Car and Driver spoke with Erhard Mössle, engineering boss for the 911 Turbo, Carrera 4, and Targa revealed that Porsche is working on a plug-in hybrid system for the next-generation 911. “We are working on different solutions. We are developing a pure-electric car like the Mission E, and of course we are discussing plug-in solutions as well for the 911,” said Mössle. But trying to fit a hybrid system in the 911 is a difficult task. “I think that takes some time to bring to market, with the packaging problems of the car. There are a lot of problems to solve before [then].” One problem is where to put the batteries for the hybrid system. Do you put them up front? In the floor? Mössle admits this is one of the big issues that is facing the engineering team. This is why the plug-in hybrid model will be with next-generation 911 - due out in 2020. It gives them a clean slate to figure out a solution. Source: Car and Driver
  2. Infiniti is taking on a flagship as its next big project. Automotive News has learned from a source that the luxury automaker has begun work on flagship model featuring a plug-in hybrid powertrain. The source says work has begun at Nissan's r&d center in England and is currently benchmarking the Mercedes-Benz S-Class plug-in hybrid and Porsche Panamera E-Hybrid. The flagship could be a production version of the Q80 Inspiration concept shown at the Paris Motor Show last year. The vehicle boasted a hybrid system with a new twin-turbo 3.0L V6 engine. At the show, Infiniti announced that a model like this would be launched in three to five years. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
  3. BMW has revealed the plug-in hybrid variants of the 7-Series. Known as the 7-Series iPerformance, the models feature technolgies from BMW's i subbrand. There will be three variants of the 7-Series iPerformance on offer; the 740e, 740Le, and 740Le xDrive. All feature a powertrain that is comprised of a 2.0L turbo-four and electric motor delivering a total output of 326 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque. This is paired with an eight-speed automatic and either rear or all-wheel drive. A 9.2 kWh lithium-ion battery pack sits underneath the rear seat. BMW says the 7-Series iPerformance can hit 60 MPH between 5.3 to 5.5 seconds. On the EU test cycle, the model has an electric range of 25 to 30 miles. There are a couple of other tricks up the 7-Series iPerformance's sleeve, Adaptive Driving Mode: Designed to provide the best powertrain and suspension settings based on driver input and data from the navigation system. Battery Control: Driver can tell the vehicle how much of a battery change needs to be maintained (between 30 to 100 percent). BMW says this system allows a driver to only use the gas engine on the highway to save the battery charge. (This is similar to the Hold mode on the Chevrolet Volt). BMW has confirmed to Autoblog that the 7-Series iPerformance will be available in the U.S. in August. Source: BMW, Autoblog Press Release is on Page 2 The new BMW 740e iPerformance, the new BMW 740Le iPerformance, the new BMW 740Le xDrive iPerformance. The BMW eDrive drive system technology developed for BMW i cars has arrived in the new BMW 7 Series model range in the shape of three plug-in hybrid luxury sedans. The trio source their power from the myriad talents of a latest-generation four-cylinder petrol engine with BMW TwinPower Turbo technology and an electric motor. Together, they deliver a system output of 240 kW/326 hp. The new BMW 740e iPerformance with standard wheelbase and the new BMW 740Le iPerformance with long wheelbase capture the imagination with supreme dynamics, yet also record average petrol consumption of 2.2 – 2.0 litres per 100 kilometres / 128.4 – 141.2 mpg imp and CO2 emissions of 50 – 45 grams per kilometre (BMW 740Le iPerformance: 51 – 45 g/km). In the new BMW 740Le xDrive iPerformance (petrol consumption combined: 2.5 – 2.1 l/100 km [113 – 134.5 mpg imp]; CO2 emissions combined: 56 –49 g/km), intelligent all-wheel drive distributes the combined power of the combustion engine and electric motor permanently and as required between the front and rear wheels. The plug-in hybrid variants of the new BMW 7 Series allow top-level driving pleasure, long-distance comfort and luxury to be experienced in combination with all-electric, locally emission-free mobility as well. The BMW iPerformance Automobiles represent the most rigorous implementation yet of Efficient Dynamics in vehicles from the BMW brand. Both BMW eDrive and the body structure with Carbon Core are rooted in know-how from BMW i. When it comes to charging the high-voltage battery, customers benefit from innovative products and services originally developed for BMW i. The BMW 740e iPerformance, BMW 740Le iPerformance and BMW 740Le xDrive iPerformance can also be specified as an option with anti-dazzle BMW Laserlight, which celebrated its world premiere in the BMW i8 plug-in hybrid sports car. Intelligent energy management optimises the interplay of the combustion engine and electric motor. The electric boost function provides a noticeable increase in dynamic vigour – expressed most prominently by the powertrain’s instantaneous responses – and combines with enhanced efficiency courtesy of the electric assist function and the opportunity to drive through town and cross-country on electric power only to create a unique symbiosis of driving pleasure and sustainability. The maximum electric range, as per the EU test cycle for plug-in hybrid vehicles, is 44 – 48 kilometres / 27 – 30 miles for the BMW 740e iPerformance and BMW 740Le iPerformance, or 41 – 45 kilometres / 25 – 28 miles for the BMW 740Le xDrive iPerformance (figures may vary depending on the tyre format specified). The best of two worlds: BMW eDrive and BMW TwinPower Turbo technology. The combustion engine with BMW TwinPower Turbo technology employed by the plug-in hybrid variants of the new BMW 7 Series is a member of the new Efficient Dynamics engine family. Developing maximum output of 190 kW/258 hp, it is the most powerful four-cylinder engine ever fitted in a series-produced BMW. Instantaneous power delivery and peak torque of 400 Newton metres (295 lb-ft) – on tap across a wide rev range (1,550 – 4,400 rpm) – imbue the 2.0-litre unit with vivaciously sporty yet also poised and authoritative performance. In addition, the new engine displays outstanding refinement. The electric drive system, based on the principle of a permanently excited synchronous motor, boasts exceptionally high power density with a maximum output of 83 kW/113 hp. As is characteristic for electric drive systems, it serves up its peak torque of 250 Newton metres (184 lb-ft) from the word go. The boost effect for the combustion engine provides the driver with thrillingly instantaneous responses. Furthermore, the electric motor takes on the role of a generator which – depending on the hybrid function selected – is powered either by recuperating braking energy or by efficiently raising the engine’s load points. It then feeds the energy it generates into the high-voltage battery. The electric motor is fully integrated into the eight-speed Steptronic transmission. This ensures that pure-electric driving, the dynamics-enhancing electric boost function and the recuperation of braking energy are all extremely efficient. The eight-speed Steptronic transmission has outstanding internal efficiency, top-class shift dynamics and shift comfort, and a compact construction. Gearshift paddles on the steering wheel are available as an option, enabling the driver to make manual gear selections with exceptional swiftness and the greatest of ease. Working together intelligently, the combustion engine and electric drive system bring a system output of 240 kW/326 hp and a combined peak torque of 500 Newton metres (369 lb-ft) to the table. Immediate response to every movement of the accelerator and sustained delivery of dynamic power allow the BMW 740e iPerformance to dash from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 5.4 seconds and the BMW 740Le iPerformance to complete the same sprint in 5.5 seconds. The cars’ sporty driving characteristics are accompanied by extraordinarily low petrol consumption and emissions. The BMW 740e iPerformance and BMW 740Le iPerformance both record combined petrol consumption of 2.2 – 2.0 litres per 100 kilometres (128.4 – 141.2 mpg imp). The CO2 emissions associated with petrol consumption are 50 – 45 grams per kilometre (figures as calculated in the EU test cycle for plug-in hybrid vehicles, may vary depending on the tyre format specified). The exceptional efficiency of the BMW eDrive technology developed using know-how from BMW i is revealed once again in all-electric, locally emission-free driving. The electric power consumption of the plug-in hybrid luxury sedans, as calculated in the EU test cycle, stands at 13.3 – 12.5 kWh per 100 kilometres for the BMW 740e iPerformance and 13.3 – 12.6 kWh per 100 kilometres for the BMW 740Le iPerformance (figures may vary depending on the tyre format specified). BMW 740Le xDrive iPerformance: permanent all-wheel drive also applies to all-electric driving. The BMW 740Le xDrive iPerformance follows in the tyre tracks of the BMW X5 xDrive40e iPerformance Sports Activity Vehicle as the brand’s second model to distribute its power permanently to all four wheels in pure-electric driving, when the combustion engine cuts in and when both drive systems are in use at the same time. The intelligent all-wheel-drive system ensures supreme traction, optimised directional stability and enhanced agility through enthusiastically taken corners in all weather and road conditions. Perfectly executed power distribution between the front and rear wheels gives the BMW 740Le xDrive iPerformance extremely dynamic accelerative ability, with the journey from rest to 100 km/h (62 mph) completed in 5.3 seconds. Yet the petrol consumption of the BMW 740Le xDrive iPerformance is just 2.5 – 2.1 litres per 100 kilometres (113 – 134.5 mpg imp) combined, while the associated CO2 emissions are 56 – 49 grams per kilometre (figures as calculated in the EU test cycle for plug-in hybrid vehicles, may vary depending on the tyre format specified). The combined electric power consumption of the BMW 740Le xDrive iPerformance in the EU test cycle comes in at between 13.9 and 13.2 kWh per 100 kilometres (figures may vary depending on the tyre format specified). eDrive button allows powertrain control to be configured as desired. The driver can use the eDrive button on the centre console to change how the plug-in hybrid drive system operates. In the AUTO eDRIVE hybrid function, intelligent energy management ensures the combustion engine and electric motor work together with maximum efficiency and to dynamically optimised effect. The operating strategy defaults to all-electric mode at low and moderate speeds to utilise the advantages of locally emission-free mobility as widely as possible. The combustion engine only joins the fray at a speed of around 80 km/h (50 mph) or under heavy throttle applications. The driver can switch to the MAX eDRIVE pure-electric mode at the touch of a button. In this setting the car is powered exclusively by the electric motor, although the combustion engine can be brought into play at any time by pushing the accelerator into kickdown. In the MAX eDRIVE setting, the BMW iPerformance variants of the new BMW 7 Series have a pure-electric top speed of 140 km/h (87 mph). The Battery Control setting allows the charge of the high-voltage battery to be set manually. The driver can input a target value between 30 and 100 per cent of maximum charge, which is then available for pure-electric driving later in the journey. For example, electric power can be held back or even increased while on the motorway so it can be used subsequently for locally emission-free driving in town. Driving Experience Control switch with ADAPTIVE mode, clearly noticeable differentiation between SPORT, COMFORT and ECO PRO mode. The plug-in hybrid variants of the new BMW 7 Series are also equipped as standard with the newly designed Driving Experience Control switch on the centre console. At the touch of a button, the driver can activate a vehicle setting that optimises dynamics, comfort or efficiency. The range of characters encompassed by ECO PRO, COMFORT and SPORT modes are even more clearly defined than with conventionally powered vehicles. Beyond this, the Driving Experience Control switch offers the option of selecting ADAPTIVE mode. In this setting, the car’s responses adapt noticeably to the driver’s style and route profile. High-voltage lithium-ion battery: developed specifically for the models at hand, integrated with space-saving skill. The high-voltage lithium-ion battery has a gross capacity of 9.2 kWh and net capacity of 7.4 kWh. It is accommodated underneath the rear seat bench in a space-saving position that also provides optimum crash safety. The BMW iPerformance variants of the new BMW 7 Series therefore also benefit from a level surface in the luggage compartment, which offers a capacity of 420 litres. The stowage volume and practicality of the load area set the benchmark in the luxury plug-in hybrid sedan segment. The energy flow between the high-voltage battery, electric motor and charger is controlled by power electronics likewise developed specifically for these models. The power electronics also regulate the supply of energy from the high-voltage battery to the 12V onboard electrical system via a voltage transformer. Simple, hassle-free and flexible charging thanks to innovative products and services von BMW 360° ELECTRIC. The high-voltage battery can be topped up with energy from any domestic power socket, a Wallbox designed for higher currents or public charging stations. The battery can be fully charged in under four hours from a domestic power socket and in under three hours from a BMW i Wallbox. Added to which, BMW 360° ELECTRIC includes the ChargeNow service, which grants straightforward access to partner charging stations and can also be used for the convenient billing of monthly energy costs. Standard specification includes auxiliary air conditioning. The high level of standard specification for the BMW 740e iPerformance, BMW 740Le iPerformance and BMW 740Le xDrive iPerformance includes LED headlights, the BMW Display Key, the ConnectedDrive navigation package, smartphone integration with inductive charging facility for the phone battery, and an iDrive operating system expanded to include a touchscreen function for the Control Display and the globally unique BMW gesture control feature. Customers can also look forward to auxiliary heating and air conditioning, which allow them to prepare the car’s interior temperature in advance. The heating and air conditioning system of the plug-in hybrid models is supplied with energy from the high-voltage battery. When the car’s battery is being charged, the auxiliary air conditioning function is powered by the mains supply. The charger connection for the high-voltage battery can be found under the flap in the left-hand front side panel. The high-set position of the connection makes the charging process easier. Standard equipment includes a charging cable for use with a domestic power socket, which can be stored in a bag in the boot area to save space. Inside the BMW 740e iPerformance, BMW 740Le iPerformance and BMW 740Le xDrive iPerformance, the most prominent hybrid-specific features include – in addition to the eDrive button – special graphic displays in the instrument cluster and Control Display. On the outside, the transfer of technology from BMW i is flagged up by “eDrive” badges on the C-pillars, the BMW i logo on the front side panels (left and right), BMW kidney grille bars in BMW i Blue and blue hub covers. Exceptional efficiency coupled with driving pleasure, long-distance comfort and made-to-measure luxury. The iPerformance variants of the BMW 7 Series model range bring together exceptional efficiency and a form of luxurious driving pleasure and long-distance comfort that speaks to both the present and the future. Both the front and rear seats can be specified as an option with comfort seats, active seat ventilation, a massage function with Vitality Programme and the Heat Comfort package. Maximising personal wellbeing in the rear compartment of the BMW 740Le iPerformance and BMW 740Le xDrive iPerformance, meanwhile, is the Executive Lounge option. Moreover, the Sky Lounge Panorama glass roof is also available for these models. The selection of driver assistance systems includes the new-generation BMW Head-Up Display as well as the Parking Assistant, Driving Assistant, Driving Assistant Plus and Surround View systems. The iPerformance variants of the new BMW 7 Series can also be ordered as an option with the M Sport package, Pure Excellence exterior design and interior design packages and BMW Individual Design Composition. Flexible and efficient production of electric drive systems in model-specific configurations. The BMW Group uses the knowledge gained in the development of BMW i cars for the production of its own electric motors and high-voltage batteries. BMW eDrive technology is also employed in the BMW iPerformance models. The company’s stand-out expertise in the field of electric drive systems is reflected not only in the exceptional performance of the electric motors and high-voltage batteries, but also in efficient production methods. An intelligent modular system for eDrive technology and a flexible production concept enable the BMW Group to respond quickly and precisely to customer requirements the world over.
  4. Genesis is following in the footsteps of other luxury automakers by planning a number of plug-in models. Speaking with Automotive News, Hyundai Motor America' CEO Dave Zuchowski said Genesis and Hyundai are working on a number of plug-in hybrid vehicles. Zuchowski explained the brands see this a stepping stone to hydrogen vehicles. "Some of those [plug-in hybrids] will take the form of the Genesis side of our business. We believe alternative-propulsion engines are going to be really important -- even more important in the luxury market than they are in the mainstream market," said Zuchowski. Zuchowski kept quiet on Genesis vehicles will get the plug-in treatment. But considering Genesis' lineup in the near future will include will include a couple of SUVs and a small compact sedan to join the G80 midsize sedan and G90 flagship, we wouldn't be surprised if one of those SUVs and the G90 get the plug-in option. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
  5. Honda is getting serious with its green cred as they have announced an updated Accord Hybrid for 2017 and two more models joining the Clarity Fuel Cell in the U.S. We'll begin with the 2017 Accord Hybrid. The model took a break for the 2016 model year as Honda updated the Accord lineup with a revised look and new tech. But the Hybrid as a 2017 model with all of the changes seen on the 2016 model - updated exterior and the addition of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The big news is with the Accord Hybrid's powertrain. The 2017 model uses the next-generation of Honda's two-motor hybrid system with a revised 2.0L i-VTEC Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder engine, a more compact electric motor, and improved electronics. The changes increase horsepower from 196 to 212. Fuel economy figures for the 2017 Accord Hybrid stand at 49 City/47 Highway/48 Combined. These numbers are slightly different from the 2015 model which boasted 50 City/45 Highway47 Combined. This is due to Honda having to certify the fuel economy numbers under new, stricter EPA drive-cycle test requirements for 2017. Standard equipment includes a backup camera, remote start, and Honda Sensing (suite of safety tech such as collision avoidance braking, lane keep assist, adaptive cruise control, etc). Higher trims get a new 7-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto; heated rear seats, and front and rear parking sensors. Pricing hasn't been announced, but Honda says the 2017 Accord Hybrid will be arriving at dealers towards the end of spring. Honda Clarity To Get Two New Members Honda hasn't even started selling the Clarity Fuel Cell in the U.S. (specifically California), but they have announced two new variations of it. For 2017, Honda will offer a fully electric and a plug-in hybrid version. Details are scarce on both models, but Honda says the Clarity EV will be sold in California first before moving to other markets. The Clarity plug-in hybrid will be sold in all 50 states and offer 40 miles of electric-only range. Source: Honda Press Releases are on Page 2 The Best Gets Better: More Powerful, Fuel Efficient and Technologically Advanced 2017 Accord Hybrid Launching this Spring Apr 21, 2016 - TORRANCE, Calif. Next-generation two-motor hybrid powertrain expected to receive class-leading EPA fuel economy ratings; including 49 mpg city Most powerful and refined midsize hybrid sedan with 212 total combined horsepower Honda Sensing™ safety and driver-assistive technologies standard Doubled production capacity for expected sales increase Honda will bolster its Accord lineup with the launch of the 2017 Accord Hybrid this spring, featuring a more powerful and efficient second-generation two-motor hybrid powertrain that has the highest EPA fuel economy ratings of any midsize hybrid sedan and delivers the most power. With improved production methods and supplies of hybrid components, Honda is anticipating significant growth in sales of Accord Hybrid and is targeting annual sales to be more than double its previous best of just under 14,000 vehicles in 2014. "The new Honda Accord Hybrid is the ultimate Accord – the most refined, technologically sophisticated and, of course, most fuel efficient in the lineup," said John Mendel, Executive Vice President of the American Honda Motor Co., Inc. "With Accord already America's most popular car three years running and the best-selling midsize car to younger buyers, we think this new hybrid model will add considerable momentum for the Honda brand." In addition to its more powerful and fuel efficient hybrid powertrain, the 2017 Accord Hybrid carries the substantial upgrades made to the entire Accord lineup for model year 2016. This includes the latest technology Honda has to offer, including the available Display Audio with Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto™, and the Honda Sensing™ suite of advanced safety and driver-assistive technologies, to be offered as standard equipment on all new 2017 Accord Hybrids. Hybrid-exclusive design features include a special aluminum hood and wheels, blue highlighted LED headlights and taillights and "Hybrid" exterior badging. A more compact hybrid battery pack increases trunk capacity to a midsize hybrid class-leading 13.5 cu.-ft. Combining the next generation of Honda's two-motor hybrid system with an ultra-efficient 2.0-liter i-VTEC Atkinson Cycle engine, the 2017 Accord Hybrid powertrain will achieve peak combined output of 212 horsepower, the highest of any midsize hybrid sedan and up 16 horsepower over the 2015 Accord Hybrid. EPA fuel economy ratings of 49/47/48 (city/highway/combined)1 put the Accord Hybrid at the top of the class for ratings, making it the most powerful and fuel efficient midsize hybrid sedan in America. These EPA fuel economy ratings are based on new, more stringent ratings requirements enacted by the U.S. EPA for the 2017 model year. Based on the new requirements, Honda estimates the 2015 Accord Hybrid ratings would be 48/45/47 (actually rated at 50/45/47 under the previous method), indicating a +1/+2/+1 increase for the 2017 model over the previous version. The Accord Hybrid's two-motor hybrid powertrain takes an elegant and innovative approach to hybrid power, eliminating the need for a conventional mechanical transmission. The Accord Hybrid's powertrain seamlessly transitions between three operations: EV Drive – using its electric propulsion motor and lithium ion battery pack drives the front wheels for short distances under light loads (with the engine turned off) Hybrid Drive – the electric propulsion motor drives the front wheels while the gasoline engine powers a second motor/generator to supplement electrical current drawn from the battery pack Engine Drive – using a lock-up clutch mechanism to connect the engine and propulsion motor, the front wheels are driven by both the motor and gasoline engine. With its next-generation Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ (ACE™) body structure and Honda Sensing™ technology, the 2017 Accord is anticipated to receive the highest available crash safety rating from the U.S. government – a 5-Star Overall Vehicle Score from the NHTSA – and a similar top rating of TOP SAFETY PICK+ from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). The 2017 Accord Hybrid will be available in three trims – Hybrid, Hybrid EX-L and Hybrid Touring – and all grades will feature increased levels of standard and available equipment. New standard features include a wide angle rearview camera, remote engine start and Honda Sensing™, which includes Collision Mitigation Braking System™ (CMBS™), Lane Keeping Assist (LKAS), Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC), Road Departure Mitigation (RDM), Lane Departure Warning (LDW) and Forward Collision Warning (FCW). Available new features on upper trims include a 7-inch Display Audio touchscreen with Android Auto™ and Apple CarPlayâ compatibility, heated rear seats, and front and rear parking sensors. The Accord has been named a Car and Driver magazine "10Best" an unprecedented 30 times and has been the most popular car in America with retail car buyers for three consecutive years.2 The Accord is on track to earn a fourth straight year as America's most popular car with sales up 12.3 percent through the first three months of 2016. Accord also is the most popular midsize car with Millennials and has been #1 with under-35-year-olds for four consecutive years and leads all other cars in America, except Honda's own Civic, in sales to under under-35 car buyers since 2010.3 The 2017 Honda Accord Hybrid will make its first public appearance at the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, Calif., as part of the aquarium's Earth Day weekend celebrations on April 23-24. Honda Takes Bold Step with Honda Clarity Series; Fuel Cell, Battery Electric and Plug-In Hybrid Variants to Leverage Common Platform Apr 21, 2016 - DETROIT Clarity Fuel Cell gets two electrified siblings – the Clarity Electric and the Clarity Plug-in Hybrid – both launching in 2017 New trio of Clarity vehicles provide unparalleled choices to customers through three different electric powertrain options All Clarity vehicles will offer spacious, five-passenger seating, premium features and interior appointments; consumers can learn more at http://www.automobiles.honda.com/Clarity DETROIT – Honda today announced that the upcoming Clarity Fuel Cell will be joined by two additional variants, the Clarity Electric and Clarity Plug-in Hybrid, launching in the U.S. in 2017. The addition of two new Clarity vehicles, based on the same platform underpinning the new Clarity Fuel Cell, makes Clarity the first vehicle in the industry to offer fuel cell, electric and plug-in hybrid technology on one model platform, offering Honda customers an expanded array of electrified vehicle choices to suit their individual tastes and driving needs. Following the U.S. launch of the Clarity Fuel Cell in late 2016, the Clarity Electric will go on-sale in 2017. The Clarity Electric will be the first affordable, midsize, five-passenger battery electric vehicle (BEV) to offer premium content and features. The third vehicle in the Clarity series, the Clarity Plug-In Hybrid, will launch in all 50 states later in 2017 and will be the volume leader in the series, seamlessly combining an all-electric driving range in excess of 40 miles with a hyper-efficient gasoline-hybrid extended range mode. With elegant exterior styling, the Clarity series of vehicles will also offer spacious interiors outfitted with premium, environmentally-responsible materials and thoughtful, stylish design cues. The Clarity series will also feature advanced technologies, including Display Audio with Android Auto™ and Apple CarPlay™ as well as standard Honda Sensing™ safety and driver-assistive technology. "The Honda Clarity Series will provide customers with a well-equipped, premium, midsize vehicle with range of ultra low-carbon powertrain options to suit their lifestyle needs," said John Mendel, executive vice president, Automobile Division, American Honda Motor Co., Inc. "This Honda trio of dedicated, advanced technology vehicles, along with the expanded application of two- and three-motor hybrid systems to our core models, represents a strong commitment to Honda's future and will help create a new volume pillar for electrified vehicle sales." All of the Clarity models will leverage the platform that has enabled the Clarity Fuel Cell's low, wide and aerodynamic proportions and spacious five-passenger cabin. This shared platform strategy also enables flexibility in responding to infrastructure and market developments, and the ability to provide customers nationwide with an ultra-low carbon vehicle that meets their lifestyle needs while expanding the market for Honda advanced technology products. The first of the Clarity Series to launch will be the Clarity Fuel Cell, Honda's most technologically advanced vehicle ever, slated to begin deliveries to customers in select California markets in late 2016. The Clarity Fuel Cell will have a targeted monthly lease price of under $500. Technological innovations to the Clarity Fuel Cell include a fuel cell stack that is 33 percent more compact than its predecessor with a 60 percent increase in power density compared to the outgoing Honda FCX Clarity. The more compact fuel cell and integrated powertrain, comparable in size to a V-6 engine, now fit entirely under the hood of the car, allowing for a more spacious cabin with seating for five adult passengers. The new Clarity Fuel Cell will feature an anticipated U.S. EPA driving range in excess of 300 miles, with a refueling time of approximately three to five minutes, roughly equivalent to customers' experience with gasoline refueling. In addition to the Clarity series, a reengineered 2017 Accord Hybrid will go on-sale this spring, delivering both top-of-class power and fuel efficiency in a midsize hybrid sedan, as Honda seeks to grow sales of electrified vehicles – hybrids, plug-in hybrids, battery electric vehicles and fuel cell vehicles. On a global basis, Honda is aiming to have electrified vehicles account for two-thirds of its vehicles sales around 2030. Customers interested in the Clarity vehicles are encouraged to visit http://www.automobiles.honda.com/Clarity where they can receive more information and sign up for the opportunity to become a Clarity Fuel Cell customer.
  6. Last month, Hyundai introduced the world to the new Ioniq. What makes this vehicle unique is how it can accommodate a hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and electric powertrain without making any drastic changes to the vehicle. This is due a new platform built for hybrid and electric vehicles. Hyundai only provided details on the hybrid model at the time. But today, the Korean automaker revealed details on the plug-in and EV models before their debut at the Geneva Motor Show next month. The Ioniq Plug-In comes with the same 1.6L four-cylinder (104 horsepower and 108 pound-feet of torque), but features a 60 horsepower electric motor and larger 9.3 kWh lithium-ion polymer battery. Hyundai hasn't divulged total output of the system, but does say it will have a range of 31 Miles on electric power. The Ioniq EV features an electric motor producing 118 horsepower, and a 28 kWh battery. Top speed is said to be 103 mph and overall range is estimated to be 155 Miles. We'll have even more details, including a possible release date when Hyundai brings the Ioniq to the New York Auto Show later in March. Source: Hyundai Press Release is on Page 2 All-New Hyundai IONIQ line-up electrifies Geneva Motor Show World’s first vehicle platform with three electrified powertrains offers low- to zero-emission mobility accessible to everyone Innovative IONIQ delivers uncompromised driving experience and design Unveiling of the IONIQ line-up at the Geneva Motor Show is available live stream: media, enthusiasts and fans worldwide can be part of the experience February 24, 2016 - At the Geneva Motor Show 2016, Hyundai Motor is introducing the All-New Hyundai IONIQ line-up consisting of: IONIQ Hybrid, IONIQ Electric and IONIQ Plug-in. As the world’s first model offering three electrified powertrains, IONIQ will make low-to zero-emission mobility accessible to everyone. This new approach delivers an uncompromised design and driving experience through innovative technology, latest connectivity and safety technologies. The All-New Hyundai IONIQ is an important milestone of Hyundai Motor’s sustainability strategy, bringing to life the brand’s new thinking through new innovative technologies and extending the company’s product range to support further organic sales growth in Europe and other markets. “IONIQ is an important step forward for our brand in Europe. We are bringing a unique new approach to e-mobility, without compromising on design, driving pleasure and new connectivity features. And we’re making it accessible to more customers by further extending our product line-up,” said Jochen Sengpiehl, Vice President Marketing at Hyundai Motor Europe. The IONIQ Hybrid and IONIQ Plug-in both feature the new Kappa 1.6 GDI, direct injection petrol, four-cylinder engine with a class-leading thermal efficiency of 40 percent, delivering 105 PS and 147 Nm of torque. The engine has been tailored to the hybrid application and is combined with the directly responding, smooth shifting six-speed double clutch transmission – differentiating the IONIQ from its competitors with a more dynamic driving experience. The mated electric motor enables pure electric driving and delivers instant torque as the chassis with rear multi-link suspension greatly enhancing driving dynamics. The IONIQ Hybrid’s electric motor delivers 32 kW (43.5 PS) with maximum torque of 170 Nm, powered by a lithium-ion-polymer battery with 1.56 kWh capacity positioned under the rear seats. In combination with the 1.6-GDI engine, IONIQ Hybrid offers a system output of 103.6 kW (141 PS) and up to 265 Nm of torque accelerating to a top speed of 185 km/h with targeted CO2 emissions as low as 79 g/km (combined). Drivers choosing the IONIQ Plug-in can safely rely on over 50 kilometres of estimated pure electric driving range powered by the potent 8.9 kWh lithium-ion polymer battery. The 45kW (61 PS) electric motor together with the 1.6 GDI four-cylinder Kappa engine targets CO2 emissions as low as 32 g/km. The IONIQ Electric offers pure e-mobility through a 28 kWh lithium-ion-polymer battery for an estimated range of over 250 km. The instantly available maximum torque of 295 Nm is delivered by the electric motor with maximum output of 88 kW (120 PS) through the single-speed reducer transmission accelerating the car up to 165 km/h. The IONIQ line-up provides an enhanced customer experience inside through state-of-the art connectivity features like Android Auto, Apple Car Play as well as Tom Tom live services and wireless charging of your smartphone. Furthermore, the driving experience becomes digital through the 7-inch TFT instrument cluster displaying all key driver information. A holistic and innovative safety package including Autonomous Emergency Braking, Lane Keep Assist System, Blind Spot Detection, Rear Cross Traffic Alert and Smart Cruise Control ensures high safety levels for drivers and passengers alike. All versions feature the sleek aerodynamic silhouette with a class-leading Cd value of 0.24 that complements the soft lines and surfaces tracing the All-New IONIQ’s outline. A fluid exterior shape and natural air flow channels emphasize the aerodynamic body lines and volumes. Blue accents in the IONIQ Hybrid and IONIQ Plug-in emphasize specific elements on the exterior and completing a seamless design in the interior. The IONIQ Electric features exclusive copper coloured accents, creating an impression that electricity flows through the car’s interior inspired by the trait of copper being a conductor for electricity. “With our pioneering ix35 Fuel Cell electric vehicle and several hybrid and plug-in hybrid models sold around the world, Hyundai Motor already has a proven capability in electrified powertrains. Now, with the launch of our first dedicated model, we are taking the lead as the only car manufacturer with hybrid, electric, plug-in hybrid and fuel cell vehicles in production,” said Thomas A. Schmid, Chief Operating Officer at Hyundai Motor Europe. The All-New Hyundai IONIQ Line-up will celebrate its world premiere at the Geneva Motor Show on March 1 during the Hyundai Press Conference at 10:30 CET on the Hyundai stand (No. 1040).
  7. A new report from Green Car Reports says Mercedes-Benz is planning to launch three plug-in hybrid models by 2016 or so. We know two of those models have been confirmed. The first is a S-Class Plug-In Hybrid due out next spring. The model will utilize a turbocharged 3.0L V6 gas engine and a 80 kW electric motor. Following the S-Class will be the C-Class plug-in hybrid in the fall. The third model is reportedly the ML-Class. The model is expected to get a refresh for the 2016 model year and a plug-in variant is expected in the refresh. It is expected to arrive around the same time as the C-Class. Source: Green Car Reports 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.
  8. A few years ago, Rolls-Royce introduced an all electric Phantom concept named the 102EX. The concept was shown to customers to gage reaction as to whether or not Rolls should not continue this project. Customers weren't interested and Rolls stopped work on the project. That doesn't mean Rolls isn't looking into other ways to be more environmentally-friendly. Rolls-Royce CEO Torsten Müller-Ötvös tells Auto Express the company is considering a plug-in hybrid powertrain for its vehicles in the next few years. “It will be essential in two years, maybe not from customer demand but through legal regulation on emissions,” said Müller-Ötvös. Most likely Rolls-Royce will borrow the technology from its parent company BMW who is currently working on a plug-in hybrid powertrain for the X5. Its unclear whether or not Rolls-Royce will put this powertrain in the Phantom or Ghost. Source: Auto Express 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.
  9. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com July 10, 2013 According to a report from carsales.com.au, Mercedes-Benz is readying a Plug-In Hybrid version of the new S-Class for the Frankfurt Motor Show in September. This news comes from David McCarthy, Senior Manager Corporate Communications at Mercedes-Benz Australia. Autocar has a bit more information on this, saying the hybrid will use a V6 engine paired with an electric motor and a battery pack. No word on horsepower, range, or fuel economy at the moment. Source: carsales.com.au, Autocar 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.
  10. By William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com May 22, 2013 According to What Car? Lexus is planning to build a IS Coupe that will go sale next year. The IS Coupe is expected to carry many of the design elements and cues seen on the LF-CC. Powertrains are likely to be similar to the sedan; 2.5L and 3.5L V6 engines. Also in the cards is a next-generation IS-F. Much like the last IS-F, the new model would use a V8 engine. No word on a possible release date. Source: What Car? 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.
  11. By William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com April 3, 2013 Porsche has unveiled the refreshed 2014 Panamera before its showing at the Shanghai Motor Show later this month and the big news isn't the exterior, its what's underneath the skin. Let's get the minor changes out of the way before we fully dive in. The 2014 Panamera gets minor changes in the exterior with new headlights, a liftgate with a wider rear window, more steeply angled rear window, and a more rounded rear end. Now onto what's under the skin. The 2014 Panamera S and 4S models say farewell to the 4.8L V8 engine and hello to a new 3.0L twin-turbo V6 that produces 420 horsepower and 384 pound-feet of torque. Compared to the 4.8L V8, the new V6 makes 20 horsepower and 15 pound-feet more. Fuel economy is also expected to rise with the new V6. Next is the most intriguing powertrain choice in the Panamera lineup, the new S E-Hybrid model. Taking the place of the Panamera S Hybrid for 2014, the new Panamera S E-Hybrid builds on top of the technology of the S Hybrid by installing a larger lithium-ion battery pack and more powerful electric motor. Porsche says the battery pack can recharge in under three hours from a 240-volt charger and cam travel about 20 miles on electrical power alone. Total output of the Panamera S E-Hybrid stands at 416 horsepower and 435 pound-feet of torque, mated to an eight-speed Tiptronic S transmission. Performance figures stand at 5.2 seconds to get up to 60 MPH and a top speed of 167 MPH. Porsche isn't revealing fuel economy numbers at this time. Finishing off the the new 2014 Panamera is the new Executive model. Available on the 4S, Turbo, and Turbo S trim levels, the Executive adds 5.9 inches to the length of the wheelbase and get more standard equipment such as air suspension with Porsche Active Suspension Management. Porsche says the new Panamera arrives in showrooms in late 2013. Pricing is as followed, Panamera -- $78,100 Panamera 4 -- $82,800 Panamera S -- $93,200 Panamera 4S -- $98,300 Panamera S E-Hybrid -- $99,000 Panamera GTS -- $113,400 Panamera 4S Executive -- $125,600 Panamera Turbo -- $141,300 Panamera Turbo Executive -- $161,100 *Note: Prices don't include $975 destination charge. Source: Porsche William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. Press Release is on Page 2 The new Porsche Panamera New Plug-in Hybrid and Extended Wheelbase Variants Added to Revised Panamera Range Atlanta. Porsche is introducing its first plug-in hybrid and two new extended wheelbase variants with the second generation of the Panamera. The new Panamera S E-Hybrid produces 416 total system horsepower and is joined by Panamera 4S Executive and Panamera Turbo Executive models in the revised Panamera lineup. Further, S models are now powered by an entirely new 3.0-liter V6 engine with twin turbochargers. The broadest model range in its class has been further expanded, now consisting of nine models for the U.S. market. New and further-developed technologies offer improved performance while also enhancing fuel efficiency and comfort. The new Panamera is characterized by tighter lines, more pronounced contours and newly shaped body elements. The refreshed Panamera celebrates its world debut at Auto China in Shanghai, which opens on April 21, where further details on the new models will be revealed. Panamera S E-Hybrid sets new standards in performance, efficiency, and convenience in everyday use. The new Panamera S E-Hybrid improves upon the concept offered by the previous Panamera S Hybrid with a more powerful electric motor, a higher-performance battery that supplies more energy and is able be recharged from home or public vehicle charging stations. The electric drive produces 95 hp, more than double the power of the previous model's electric motor (47 hp). Electricity is stored in a newly developed lithium-ion battery, which at 9.4 kWh has increased capacity over the previous battery (1.7 kWh). Via the integrated on-board charging componentry and the standard Porsche Universal Charger (AC), the battery can reach full charge within approximately two and a half hours when connected to a 240V power source. The Panamera S E-Hybrid expands upon the driving performance of the previous generation, while fuel consumption is reduced when compared to the previous Panamera S Hybrid. Final U.S. EPA fuel economy ratings will be available closer to launch. Simultaneously, its electric-only driving performance is substantially improved, enhancing acceleration, range, and top speed. Electric-only driving is possible without any fuel consumption or local emissions, which is especially advantageous in city driving. The electric driving range of the Panamera S E-Hybrid is estimated to be greater than 20 miles based upon current NEDC testing. Driving range may vary in real world operation, due to the effects of environmental conditions, terrain, air conditioning and heating use, driving style and other factors. The Panamera S E-Hybrid can reach up to 84 mph in all-electric operation. The Panamera S E-hybrid is capable of accelerating from a standstill to 60 mph in 5.2 seconds, an improvement of a half second when compared to the Panamera S Hybrid. An electric boost function helps in instances where maximum acceleration is desired, when the electric motor works in tandem with the combustion engine during acceleration. Electric boost is also available when a kick-down switch in the throttle pedal is activated by the driver during acceleration. The car's top track speed is 167 mph. The parallel full hybrid system developed by Porsche also offers "coasting" at higher speeds, a mode wherein the internal combustion engine is turned off and the electric motors use vehicle momentum to generate electricity that is stored in the lithium-ion battery. The Panamera S E-Hybrid also includes an entirely new range of convenience functions which can be activated and operated by Porsche Car Connect, a mobile app available for Android and iOS-powered devices. These functions include a charge status indicator and the ability to control the vehicle's new auxiliary climate control option, which enables vehicle preheating or cooling via the Porsche Car Connect app. These functions can also be programmed from inside the vehicle. A mobile device may also be used for remote access to vehicle information, such as remaining driving range or vehicle location. Other functions not specific to the hybrid drive will also be available as options for other Panamera models via the Porsche Car Connect mobile app. Long wheelbase, spacious rear seating area: Executive models feature extra comfort The two full-sized rear bucket seats offered in the Panamera have proven so successful that Porsche is expanding this generous rear passenger compartment room with two new Panamera Executive models. The new Panamera 4S Executive and Panamera Turbo Executive models feature a wheelbase extended by 5.9 inches, enabling even more rear seating comfort and come with an extensive range of standard features. For example, all Executive models are equipped with Adaptive air-suspension featuring Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM), which combines superior performance and enhanced ride comfort. More performance and efficiency in a smaller powerplant: the new twin-turbo V6 engine Increasing both performance and efficiency has long been a core Porsche philosophy. In the new Panamera, this approach takes form in a 3.0-liter V6 engine with twin turbochargers. The twin-turbo V6 replaces the naturally aspirated 4.8-liter V8 engine in the previous-generation Panamera S and Panamera 4S. The new bi-turbo engine is also used in the Executive version of the Panamera 4S. The engine's figures themselves are indicators of progress: increases of 20 hp and 15 lb-ft torque when compared to the outgoing V8 engine. Carefully-managed turbocharging ensures that the maximum 384 lb-ft torque is available across most of the twin-turbo V6's operating range. With the exception of the Panamera S E-Hybrid, all Panamera models are equipped with the seven-speed Porsche Doppelkupplungsgetriebe (PDK); the Panamera S E-Hybrid uses the eight-speed Tiptronic S automatic. The PDK transmission works in tandem with other vehicle systems to enhance fuel savings in the new generation Panamera. For example, the optimized engine Auto Start Stop feature now turns the engine off earlier while coasting to a stop. With the exception of the Panamera GTS, models with PDK also offer a coasting function in which the clutches open in overrun allowing the engine to idle and the vehicle to coast freely. This function can significantly improve fuel economy, especially when traveling on the highway. Revised exterior with a new option: LED headlights Exterior design changes of the new Panamera are extensive. The tighter and more prominent lines up front are especially apparent in the larger air intakes and the transition to the headlights. Perhaps the most distinguishing feature of the new generation Panamera is a new trunk lid; its laterally stretched glass emphasizes the vehicle's width and makes for a more aggressive stance. Rear body proportions were also changed. A larger automatically deploying spoiler and a tighter transition to the rear lights complement the treatment at the front of the vehicle noted above. The new Panamera continues the tradition of multiple options that enable owners to customize the look and function of their vehicles. Full-LED headlights, which lend the new generation a striking appearance, are now an option. In addition, an expanded lineup of assistance systems is available for safety and convenience. The revised adaptive cruise control system is now offered with Porsche Active Safe (PAS). This system visually and audibly alerts the driver in the event of a sudden decrease in following distance and briefly tugs on the brakes. It can also intervene in the braking process and apply increased braking pressure in an emergency braking situation, if required. Another new feature, camera-based lane departure warning, offers greater convenience and safety in city and highway travel. The new generation of Panamera models will be available starting late in 2013. Panamera Turbo S and Panamera Turbo S Executive variants will be available in 2014. Pricing details are as follows: Panamera -- $78,100 Panamera 4 -- $82,800 Panamera S -- $93,200 Panamera 4S -- $98,300 Panamera S E-Hybrid -- $99,000 Panamera GTS -- $113,400 Panamera 4S Executive -- $125,600 Panamera Turbo -- $141,300 Panamera Turbo Executive -- $161,100 *Base pricing does not include options, taxes, dealer charges, and a destination fee of $975.
  12. Volkswagen is turning towards plug-in hybrid technology for the majority of its models till longer range batteries become a reality. This was announced at Volkswagen's annual media conference yesterday by Volkswagen Group CEO Martin Winterkorn. Why plug-in hybrid tech? Winterkorn explained that plug-in hybrids are the best stop-gap technology with reducing emissions without sacrificing range. Now that doesn't mean Volkswagen isn't stopping work on electric vehicles. The automaker is currently working on electric systems that will have a range of more than 300 miles. One other note; the Volkswagen Golf GTE plug-in hybrid will be coming to the U.S. next year. This news was relayed to Automotive News by Volkswagen r&d boss Hans-Jakob Neusser. The GTE packs a turbocharged 1.4L and a electric motor to produce a combined 201 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
  13. BMW announced today that it plans on offering a plug-in hybrid version on "all its core-brand models," in the future. The plug-in hybrids will utilize battery and motor technologies from the i3 and i8 models. “All BMW Group models benefit from BMW i. The fundamental technology involved in battery cells, electric motors and the power electronics will be used in our upcoming plug-in hybrid models. When it comes to the electrification of the drivetrain, we are deliberately developing a wide-ranging expertise in order to offer our customers worldwide the ideal solution," said Herbert Diess, member of the board for BMW's development. At a event in Miramas, France, the automaker will debut a 3 Series plug-in hybrid prototype which features a turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder and the electric motor from BMW's i models. Source: BMW Press Release is on Page 2 New generation of plug-in hybrid models Munich/Miramas. The BMW Group is preparing to follow up its innovative and revolutionary BMW i models with plug-in hybrid versions of the core-brand models. In Miramas, France, it will present a BMW 3 Series plug-in hybrid prototype and a new generation of hybrid vehicle concepts incorporating technology already used in BMW i models. Long term, the BMW Group is planning to offer plug-in hybrid versions of all its core-brand models. Herbert Diess, Member of the Board of Management BMW AG, Development, said: “All BMW Group models benefit from BMW i. The fundamental technology involved in battery cells, electric motors and the power electronics will be used in our upcoming plug-in hybrid models. When it comes to the electrification of the drivetrain, we are deliberately developing a wide-ranging expertise in order to offer our customers worldwide the ideal solution. The plug-in hybrid models presented in Miramas are equipped with a highly efficient internal combustion engine and an electric motor powered by an externally rechargeable high-voltage battery. Shorter-distance urban trips or commutes can be completed on electric power only. On longer journeys, the vehicle will usually operate in “combined mode”, with both systems working together. The BMW 3 Series plug-in hybrid prototype combines a four-cylinder petrol engine with an electric motor. The internal combustion engine is based on the TwinPower Turbo four-cylinder petrol engine that has already twice been voted “International Engine of the Year”. The electric motor and power electronics are directly based on the BMW eDrive technology already used in the BMW i3 and BMW i8 models. The prototype’s lithium-ion battery, including the battery management system and the high-efficiency direct cooling system, are likewise based on BMW i experience and know-how. The plug-in hybrid technology is so flexible that it can be integrated in a wide variety of vehicle concepts. It will therefore be possible to deploy it rapidly across the BMW model range. The route to sustainable mobility in the future will be a multitrack one. The already efficient combustion engines will be even more economical. All-electric vehicles like the BMW i3 are tailored to urban mobility requirements while plug-in hybrids are more appropriate for longer-distance journeys. Beyond this, in the long term electric mobility in conjunction with hydrogen fuel cell technology could also be a viable option. The focus of our Efficient Dynamics strategy is the electrification of the power train. This is an area in which we will continue to expand in the coming years. The plug-in technology will be one key lever to bring high performance vehicles well below 100 g / km CO2, while retaining the driving pleasure and driving dynamics of a BMW. We will also continue to develop fully electric mobility. Hydrogen fuel-cells will remain a key issue when it comes to drivetrain development, especially relating to its sustainable production. Key eDrive technologies developed in-house All the important eDrive technologies and components are developed in-house, and from next year they will all be built at the BMW plant in Dingolfing. This programme is set to create over 200 new jobs around electro-mobility at the BMW plant in Dingolfing. Many tens of millions of euros will be invested at this plant over the next five years. “Our accumulated expertise guarantees us a competitive edge,” stated Harald Krüger, Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG, Production. “This can be seen not only in the performance data of the BMW electric motors but also in our highly efficient production process.” Since the BMW Group expects to be building a wide range of electric drive components in the future, production will be organised around an intelligent eDrive component-sharing system. This means that one and the same production line will be able to build high-voltage battery modules not just for the BMW i8 but also for the future BMW X5 eDrive. In the case of complete battery packs, too, the new production lines will be designed for a flexible production mix: it will be possible to build battery packs for a number of different future models all on the same lines. Highly electrified hybrids With the ongoing development and refinement of hybrid drive systems under the EfficientDynamics programme, the aim is to maximise the amount of time the vehicles are able to spend in electric mode. To ensure that this increased electric operation goes hand in hand with typical BMW dynamic performance, everyday practicality and maximum long-distance capability, the BMW Group’s future hybrids will be “highly electrified”. Highlights of this future Power eDrive technology will include much more powerful electric motors and batteries with twice the capacity of present versions. The drive systems used in these future hybrid systems will offer combined outputs in excess of 500 kW. Also, the capacity of the lithium-ion batteries – up to 20 kilowatt hours – will be greatly in excess of current hybrid systems . Coupled with an increased all-electric driving range of up to 100 kilometres (62 miles), this will make it possible to operate in locally emission-free pure-electric mode on virtually all day-to-day trips .
  14. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com September 5, 2012 Last month, Honda unveiled the ninth-generation Accord sedan and coupe. At the time, Honda only talked about the design and that more information would come out in the fall. Well, fall has arrived and Honda has spilled more details on the new Accord. Starting with the powertrains, most Accords will come equipped with Honda's EarthDreams 2.4L direct-injected four-cylinder producing 185 HP and 181 lb-ft of torque. If you get the Accord Sport, the power jumps to 189 HP and 182 lb-ft of torque. Transmissions will be either a six-speed manual or a CVT. Honda says the four-cylinder with the CVT will get fuel economy numbers of 27 City/36 Highway. A new 3.5L V6 is also available producing 278 HP and 252 lb-ft of torque. The V6 sedan will only be available with a six-speed automatic with steering-wheel paddles. The coupe has the choice between the automatic or a six-speed manual. Fuel economy for the V6 is 21 City/34 Highway. Other mechanical changes include electric power steering and a new strut front suspension. Inside the Accord, the dash trades the stacked layout for a single wraparound piece with fewer center controls. Standard equipment on all models include dual-zone climate control, a touch screen audio system with Pandora radio and Bluetooth, rearview camera, tilting-and-telescoping steering wheel with audio controls, automatic headlights, and active noise canceling. Move up the trims and you can get a moonroof, power seats, a navigation system, keyless access with push-button start and heated leather seats. Safety features on the new Accord include side airbags, antilock brakes, and electronic stability control. Optional is a forward-collision warning which alerts drivers when they're about to hit something and LaneWatch which uses a camera on the side of the car to display what's in your blind spot on the screen. The new Accord sedan will go on sale later on in the month, with the coupe following along a month after. Pricing hasn't been announced. But that's not all! Also today, Honda introduced the Accord Plug-In Hybrid. The plug-in marks a shift for Honda as this model abandons the IMA (Integrated Motor Assist) and uses a downsized version of the 2.4L four-cylinder, 124-kW electric motor, and a lithium-ion battery pack. Honda estimates total output to be 196 HP and 226 lb-ft of torque. Electric-only range is expected to be about 15 miles, while total range is expected to be over 500 miles. Recharging time for the lithium-ion battery can take up to an hour on 240V outlet or three hours on 120V outlet. The plug-in hybrid differs from the normal Accord due to a new front grille treatment, aerodynamic alloy wheels, blue-tinted headlights, and hybrid badges. Inside, the Accord Plug-In comes fully loaded and has the requisite charge, power, and efficiency gauges and screens. The Accord Plug-In Hybrid goes on sale early next year. There also will be a conventional Accord Hybrid coming next summer. 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. Press release for the Accord sedan and coupe are on Page 3 Press release for the Accord Plug-In is on Page 4 All-New 2013 Honda Accord Brings Remarkable Levels of Luxury, Agility, Efficiency and Sophistication to Midsize Segment’s Legendary Nameplate Ninth-generation Accord offers all-new direct-injected powertrain, class-leading safety innovations and upcoming plug-in hybrid model TORRANCE, Calif., Sept. 5, 2012 – Honda today announced the all-new 2013 Accord Sedan and Coupe, a storied nameplate that will once again redefine sophistication, efficiency and driving joy in the midsize class. Completely redesigned for 2013, the all-new Honda Accord provides a host of powertrain, engineering, electronic and safety firsts combined with Honda’s trademark visibility and smart design. Better, not bigger, the completely new Honda Accord lineup includes Sedan and Coupe models powered by 4-cylinder, V-6 and hybrid powertrains, teamed to manual, automatic and continuously variable transmission (CVT) options. The 2013 Honda Accord Sedan goes on sale September 19, 2012, with the Coupe to follow on October 15, 2012. An all-new, two-motor 2014 Accord Plug-in Hybrid (PHEV) Sedan is scheduled to debut in early 2013, followed by a conventional hybrid based on the same powertrain architecture in the summer of 2013. Using the most high-strength steel in the model’s history, the 2013 Honda Accord Sedan and Coupe bodies combine sophisticated and athletic styling with remarkable aerodynamic streamlining. Revised Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ (ACE™) body structures improve frontal crash safety, making the all-new Accord one of few midsize offerings expected to excel in the upcoming small-overlap frontal barrier crash test. All-new Earth Dreams™ powertrains include the first U.S. application of Honda’s next-generation 2.4-liter direct-injected 4-cylinder engine. The 2013 Accord Sedan and Coupe will also offer a more powerful and efficient V-6, and in early 2013, an all-new two-motor 2014 Accord Plug-in Hybrid (PHEV) Sedan will debut. Four transmissions are available, including the first-ever application of a continuously variable transmission (CVT) on 2.4-liter 4-cylinder models, a six-speed automatic on V-6 models, and unique 6-speed manual transmissions on 2.4-liter 4-cylinder models and the 3.5-liter V-6 Coupe. Fuel efficiency is the best ever for an Accord in the EPA Midsize class, with 4-cylinder models earning up to an EPA 36 mpg highway rating1 and V-6 models getting up to an EPA 34 mpg highway rating.1 Other new Accord technologies include the first application of the all-new cloud-based HondaLink™ system, which lets drivers put away their smartphones and still stay connected to the people, music and social media they love. Also debuting on the 2013 Accord is the exclusive available Honda LaneWatch™ blind-spot display, which uses a camera system mounted on the passenger mirror for an enhanced view of the passenger-side roadway. The all-new 2013 Honda Accord also receives a rearview camera and an Expanded View Driver's Mirror as standard equipment. New Accord Technology Honda’s first use of direct injection (DI) in North America contributes to the 2.4-liter inline 4-cylinder engine’s excellent fuel efficiency and low emissions. A new Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT), available with the 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine, contributes to the Accord’s improved fuel efficiency. Honda’s unique G-Design Shift logic creates a connected feel and provides a more immediate acceleration response than conventional automatics or other CVT designs. New MacPherson-strut front suspension improves ride and handling qualities, while also reducing interior noise, vibration and harshness (NVH). The new lighter aluminum and steel front subframe also uses a proprietary Honda friction-stir welding process. Three features highly coveted by consumers are now standard on every new Accord: Bluetooth® HandsFreeLink®, USB/iPod® integration and rearview camera. No other manufacturer provides this level of standard equipment. Honda’s Expanded View Driver's Mirror is also now standard equipment on every Accord. All Accord models feature standard Econ button with Eco Assist™ Included on Accord EX, EX-L and Touring Sedan models and EX-L Coupe, Honda LaneWatch™ Blind Spot Display provides an expanded rear view of the passenger side roadway through the intelligent Multi-Information Display (i-MID). All-new Smart Entry & Push Button Start included on Accord EX, EX-L and Touring models. Included on EX-L and Touring Sedan and EX-L Coupe models, Forward Collision Warning (FCW) alerts the driver when a potential collision with another vehicle ahead is detected. Included on Accord EX-L and Touring models, Lane Departure Warning (LDW) alerts the driver when lane drift is detected without a turn signal in use. New SmartVent™ side airbags mitigate the risk of excessive airbag deployment force while eliminating the need for the prior Accord’s Occupant Position Detection System (OPDS). SmartVent also allows improved heating of the passenger seatback on EX-L and Touring models. The Accord Touring Sedan offers Honda’s first light emitting diode (LED) projector headlights for improved visibility. In addition, LED daytime running lights (DRLs) are found on V-6 powered models, while LED brake lights come on all EX-L and Touring models. Exclusive to the Touring Sedan, Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) allows the driver to set a desired speed and a distance interval behind the vehicle ahead. The all-new available HondaLink™ connected-car system allows owners to put their smartphones away and still stay connected to their favorite digital content. Model Lineup The 2013 Honda Accord Sedan will be available in six model choices, including an all-new top-spec Touring trim (LX, Sport, EX, EX-L, EX-L V6, and Touring), with the 2014 Accord Plug-In Hybrid Sedan arriving early in 2013. The striking 2013 Honda Accord Coupe will be available in four model choices (LX-S, EX, EX-L and EX-L V6). The 2013 Accord Sedan is available in nine exterior colors, including four metallic and five pearl colors. All-new colors include Champagne Frost Pearl, Hematite Metallic, Modern Steel Metallic and Obsidian Blue Pearl. The 2013 Accord Coupe is available in seven exterior colors, including two metallic, five pearl and one solid color. All-new colors include Modern Steel Metallic, Still Night Pearl, Tiger Eye Pearl and White Orchid Pearl. Powertrain As in previous generations, two gasoline engines are available on the 2013 Honda Accord Sedan and Coupe. These include a new Earth Dreams™ 2.4-liter 4-cylinder with Honda’s first use of direct injection in North America, and an Earth Dreams™ 3.5-liter V-6 with revised VTEC + VCM functions. The base 185-horsepower (hp) 4-cylinder engine is coupled to a choice of an efficient new continuously variable transmission (CVT), or a new fun-to-shift 6-speed manual transmission on selected models. The Accord Sport Sedan model provides a 189-horsepower version of the 2.4-liter 4-cylinder. Meanwhile, Accord V-6 models feature a 278-horsepower 3.5-liter engine coupled to a 6-speed automatic or, in the V-6 Coupe, a 6-speed manual transmission. In early 2013, the 2014 Accord Plug-In Hybrid will debut Honda’s new 2.0-liter 4-cylinder two-motor plug-in hybrid system. Available in the Sedan only, this system operates continuously through three modes – all-electric, gasoline-electric and direct-drive – to maximize fuel efficiency. Body Crisply styled and aerodynamically efficient, the 2013 Accord Sedan and Coupe body designs are the most sophisticated in Accord history. The 2013 Accord unit-body uses 55.8-percent high-tensile steel, more than in any previous Accord. In addition, 17.2-percent of the steel is now grade 780, 980 and 1,500 – extremely high grades that have never before been used in any Accord. This contributes to higher body rigidity and reduced weight, which directly benefits ride and handling, interior quietness, performance and efficiency and long-term durability. With its contoured body-sides, the Sedan’s exterior design is sleek, bold and decisive, while the Coupe’s design is rakish, taut and athletic. Extensive use of under-covers improve aerodynamics for increased fuel efficiency, while other advances include available LED headlights, DRLs and brake lights, mirror-mounted turn signals, and the standard Expanded View Driver’s Mirror that increases the driver’s field of vision by 4.2 degrees. Chassis Literally every aspect of the Accord’s chassis was reviewed or redesigned to create the best possible driving experience. Altogether, the highly rigid unit-body, refined suspension technology and advanced electronics define the 2013 Accord chassis as the most capable in model history. The new Accord is quieter and more responsive on city streets, smoother and more composed on the highway, and even more faithful to the driver’s wishes on winding roads. New features for Accord include a MacPherson strut front suspension, a steel and aluminum front subframe and electric power steering (EPS). Standard Active Noise Control (ANC) and Active Sound Control (ASC) on both 4-cylinder and V-6 models counteract engine noise, particularly at high rpm. The lightweight MacPherson strut front suspension improves ride and handling qualities while also reducing interior noise, vibration and harshness (NVH). The new aluminum and steel front subframe reduces weight and, in conjunction with the new independent multi-link rear suspension, further reduces NVH. Careful aerodynamic tailoring of the underbody and suspension systems provides additional noise reductions. The new EPS setup uses an electric motor to assist the rack-and-pinion steering rather than the hydraulic assist of the previous Accord. The result is reduced steering effort and fuel consumption, with improved precision, feel and stability. Alloy wheels are now standard across the Accord model range, and range in size from 16 to 18 inches. Four-wheel disc brakes are also standard, as is Electronic Brake Distribution (EBD) with Brake Assist, a 4-channel Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Vehicle Stability Assist™ (VSA®) with Traction Control, and a Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS). Hill start assist is also now standard on the Accord. Interior A completely new interior provides a level of luxury and craftsmanship never before seen in the Accord. Available in Black, Gray and Ivory cloth or leather, the interior combines welcoming comfort with an impressive range of available technologies. Standard features include redesigned seating, dual-zone automatic climate control and simplified controls and instrumentation. Compared to the prior edition, both the 2013 Accord Sedan and Coupe offer spacious accommodations for five passengers, and a roomy trunk with a flatter load floor for greater utility. Although the Accord's length has decreased over three inches and the wheelbase is almost an inch shorter, key interior dimensions grow. Rear legroom increases over an inch, both front and rear shoulder room increase, and trunk space is up over a cubic foot. Altogether, the interior is remarkably quiet, stylish and upscale, with high-quality materials, exemplary fit and finish, and advanced seating comfort and ergonomics. Contemporary onboard electronics help the Accord driver seamlessly interface with the latest generation of compatible personal mobile electronics. Standard features on all Accords include a bright, full-color 8-inch (diagonal) “intelligent” Multi-Information Display (i-MID), Bluetooth®2 HandsFreeLink® phone interface, Pandora® internet radio interface and an SMS text messaging feature. A new available Audio with touchscreen display and the Honda Satellite-Linked Navigation System™ with Voice Recognition and FM Traffic is also available. The 2013 Accord is also the first Honda product to offer available HondaLink™ technology, which works with the owner’s compatible smartphone to connect the Accord with music and media resources such as Aha™ by Harman, internet apps, roadside assistance and more. Forward Collision Warning (FCW), Lane Departure Warning (LDW) and Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) are also available. Safety The 2013 Accord Sedan and Coupe offer the greatest range of active and passive safety features in Honda history. Vehicle Stability Assist™ (VSA®) is standard on all Accord models, and available new technologies include Forward Collision Warning (FCW) and Lane Departure Warning (LDW). Collision safety engineering includes the updated Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ (ACE™) body structure, which improves occupant protection and crash compatibility in frontal collisions, and the most extensive use of high-strength steel in Accord history. The Accord’s impact-absorbing front body design can even help attenuate energy in the event of a frontal collision with a pedestrian. Passive-safety features include six airbags, including dual-stage, multiple-threshold front airbags, front side airbags, and side curtain airbags. New SmartVent™ side airbags reduce the risk of excessive airbag deployment force and eliminate the need for the Accord’s previous Occupant Position Detection System (OPDS). Based on internal testing, both the 2013 Accord Sedan and Coupe are expected to earn a TOP SAFETY PICK rating from the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS) and 5-star ratings in federal National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) crash tests3. Manufacturing Celebrating 30 years of Accord production in the United States, the all-new 2013 Honda represents the expanding capabilities of Honda in North America. Virtually every aspect of the Accord was developed, tested and finalized by Honda associates throughout California and Ohio. The Accord is produced4 in Ohio by Honda of America Mfg. Inc. using domestic and globally sourced parts. All-New 2014 Honda Accord Plug-In Hybrid SedanMelds Power, Luxury and Efficiency with Electric-Only Driving Mode Honda’s first plug-in hybrid combines extensive standard features and estimated driving range over 500 miles TORRANCE, Calif., Sept. 5, 2012 – The 2014 Honda Accord Plug-in Hybrid Sedan will provide the athleticism and craftsmanship of the all-new Accord platform, charged with a remarkable dose of hybrid efficiency and electric torque. Set to go on sale in early 2013, the 2014 Accord Plug-in Hybrid (PHEV) Sedan will offer premium technology, exceptional cabin space, the ability to run in an all-electric mode for 10 to 15 miles1 and a calculated1 total driving range over 500 miles. The 2014 Accord Plug-in Hybrid Sedan features one of four efficient new powertrains for the all-new Accord. The Accord Plug-in Hybrid will also serve as the basis for a conventional hybrid version of the Accord Sedan, which will join the Honda Accord lineup in the summer of 2013. The 2014 Accord Plug-in Hybrid is powered by Honda’s first two-motor hybrid system, and uses a new Earth DreamsTM 2.0-liter i-VTEC 4-cylinder engine producing 137 horsepower, teamed with a powerful 124-kilowatt (kW) electric motor. Electric driving is supported by a 6.7 kilowatt-hour (kWh) lithium-ion (Li-Ion) battery, and total system output is 196 horsepower. To maximize driving efficiency, the uniquely designed two-motor hybrid system allows the Accord PHEV powertrain to move seamlessly between all-electric EV Drive, gasoline-electric Hybrid Drive; and direct Engine Drive. Fuel efficiency for the 2014 Honda Accord Plug-in Hybrid is expected to exceed 100 MPG-e, and it’s also expected to receive an Enhanced AT-PZEV rating from the California Air Resources Board (CARB). Beyond its function as a full-electric vehicle, owners of the 2014 Accord PHEV will be able to choose two additional driving modes to manage battery capacity and tailor the capabilities of the plug-in Accord to their own commute. In its default upon start-up, the Accord PHEV acts as a pure electric vehicle and will continue on in full-electric mode until battery capacity necessitates the automatic switch to gas/electric hybrid operation. At higher speeds or under high demand for acceleration, the gasoline engine can kick in to provide additional power. In “HV” mode, the plug-in Accord acts as a conventional hybrid, blending motor power between gasoline and electric to maximize fuel efficiency while maintaining the battery charge level. In “HV Charge” mode, the Accord PHEV blends gasoline and electric power while also augmenting the battery charge level. The 2014 Accord Plug-In Hybrid Sedan will feature an electric servo braking system similar to the setup on the Honda Fit EV, which allows for exceptionally natural brake pedal feel, while extending the range over which the regenerative braking can take place. In addition to its efficient powertrain, the Accord PHEV features remarkably swift charging times. The plug-in Accord can be fully charged from a low-charge indication point in less than three hours using a standard 120-volt household electrical outlet, and in less than one hour using a 240-volt “Level-2” charger. The free HondaLink™ EV smartphone application will allow owners to easily monitor the charging state of the Accord PHEV. Based on the Touring trim level of standard Accord Sedan, the 2014 Honda Accord Plug-in Hybrid Sedan will feature three exterior color choices, including two standard Accord shades (White Orchid Pearl, Crystal Black Pearl) plus a model-exclusive Burnished Silver Metallic exterior color choice. The Accord PHEV will also feature a weight-saving aluminum hood, 17-inch forged alloy wheels, a unique front bumper along with enhanced underbody aerodynamic treatments. A host of visibility technologies are standard on the 2014 Accord PHEV, including a rearview camera, an expanded-view driver’s mirror, Honda’s new LaneWatch™ blind-spot display, LED headlights, LED daytime running lights (DRL), and LED mirror-mounted turn indicators. Standard Features The Accord PHEV is available in a single highly equipped trim level, based on the standard features of the premium Accord Touring model. Standard Accord PHEV features include: Bluetooth® HandsFreeLink® USB/iPod® connectivity Dual-zone automatic climate control Pandora® internet radio compatibility Smart Start and Smart Entry Honda LaneWatch™ Honda Satellite-Linked Navigation System™ with Voice Recognition2 Multi-view rearview camera HondaLink™ EV telematics system Heated front seats Auto-dimming rearview mirror Leather-wrapped steering wheel Driver’s 10-way power seat with 2-position memory HomeLink® Intelligent Multi-Information Display (i-MID) Audio with touchscreen interface Forward Collision Warning (FCW) Lane Departure Warning (LDW) Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) Bio-Fabric seating surfaces Expanded-view driver’s mirror LED mirror-mounted turn signals LED Daytime Running Lights (DRL) LED headlights Fog lights Chrome-plated door handles Decklid spoiler Powertrain The Earth Dreams technology used on the Accord PHEV includes an i-VTEC 2.0-liter 4-cylinder Atkinson-cycle gasoline engine coupled with a two-motor hybrid drive system. The hybrid system features a 124-kW electric motor powered by a 6.7-kWh Li-Ion battery pack. The gasoline engine produces a maximum 137 horsepower (hp) at 6200 rpm. In conjunction with the two-motor hybrid-drive system, the total power output peaks at 196 hp, which surpasses the Toyota Prius Plug-In Hybrid, Chevrolet Volt and projected output of the Ford Fusion Energi plug-in hybrid. The EarthDreams engine horsepower alone surpasses the total gas-electric output of the Prius Plug-In Hybrid. Although not finalized at press time, anticipated fuel economy ratings for the 2014 Accord PHEV are expected to exceed 100 MPG-e1 in full-electric mode, provide a 10- to 15-mile1 EV driving range and a calculated1 total driving range over 500 miles. When in gasoline-only mode, it is expected to return one of the top EPA fuel economy ratings among mid-size sedans, and is also expected to earn an Enhanced AT-PZEV rating from the California Air Resources Board (CARB). The two-motor hybrid system in the 2014 Accord Plug-in Hybrid allows power from the gasoline engine to flow directly to the front wheels, power the generator to supply electrical propulsion or even charge the battery pack. The Accord PHEV hybrid system moves seamlessly and automatically through its three powertrain states to maximize performance, efficiency and range. From a low-charge indicator point3, recharge time for the Li-Ion battery pack when plugged into a standard 120-volt wall outlet is less than three hours, among the fastest in the Accord PHEV’s class. And when plugged into a Level-2, 240-volt charger the recharge time is less than one hour – the quickest in the class. This is about half the required charge time of the Prius Plug-In Hybrid. The battery pack is mounted above the rear suspension, which helps maintain interior and trunk space and provides protection for the battery pack in a collision. Body The Accord body received further improvements in weight reduction, aerodynamic efficiency and rolling resistance in its transformation to Accord PHEV. All are designed to help Accord PHEV drivers maximize their driving range from every watt of electrical energy and every gallon of gasoline. Weight reduction features include: All-aluminum front subframe 17-inch forged aluminum wheels Aluminum brake pedal Aluminum hood Aluminum rear bumper beam Puncture repair kit (in place of gasoline-engine Accord’s spare wheel and tire) Aerodynamic advancements include: Powertrain undercover Cabin floor undercovers Rear decklid spoiler Aerodynamic wheel covers Reductions in rolling resistance include: Low rolling-resistance tires Low-friction wheel bearings Chassis The Accord PHEV chassis begins with the core engineering of the Accord Sedan, but then adds an all-aluminum front subframe (replacing the steel and aluminum version on the gasoline-engine Accord). The Accord PHEV uses proprietary 17-inch forged-aluminum wheels with a special low-aero drag design, fitted with 225/50-17 tires. As with the gasoline-engine Accord models, the Accord PHEV uses an electric power steering (EPS) system that automatically adjusts the amount of steering assist for conditions. The EPS system is more efficient than a traditional hydraulic system, and it operates consistently whether the vehicle is using electricity, gasoline, or both. The Accord PHEV features a braking system similar to the system in the Honda Fit EV, which provides fully electronic control of the hydraulic brake system. This system results in an improvement in regenerative braking efficiency compared to a hydraulic booster system used in other hybrids. Interior Sophisticated and contemporary, the redesigned 2013 Accord Sedan interior serves as the ideal basis for the 2014 Accord PHEV interior. Like the Fit EV, the Accord PHEV features a next-gen Honda Bio Fabric seat material, a new fabric that offers conventional softness and durability, but with reduced manufacturing environmental impact. The interior features several brighter trim accents and is available in gray to compliment the choice of three exterior colors. With the Accord PHEV’s free and convenient HondaLink™ EV smartphone app, owners can remotely schedule charging of the Li-Ion battery pack (taking advantage of “off-peak” electricity rates), monitor the state of charge, and even pre-warm or pre-cool the vehicle’s interior while charging before they drive. This suite of capabilities is similar to those offered on the new 2013 Fit EV. HondaLink EV features include: Charge scheduling Charge status Charge complete notification Drive range display Charge station locator HVAC pre-conditioning Safety Like the all-new Accord, the new Accord PHEV offers a greater range of standard active and passive safety features than any other vehicle in Honda history. These include Vehicle Stability Assist™ (VSA®) Forward Collision Warning (FCW) and Lane Departure Warning (LDW). The Accord PHEV also has an Acoustic Vehicle Alerting System (AVAS) to audibly warn pedestrians when it is approaching in EV Drive mode. Based on internal testing, the 2014 Accord PHEV is expected to earn a TOP SAFETY PICK rating from the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS) and 5-Star ratings in federal National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) tests. Manufacturing The 2014 Accord Plug-in Hybrid Sedan will be built in Sayama, Japan.
  15. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com August 21, 2012 Since February of this year, Bentley has said they're looking into the plug-in hybrid powertrain for their upcoming SUV. But the SUV isn't the only vehicle that Bentley is considering for a hybrid. Car and Driver learned from former Bentley CEO, Wolfgang Dürheimer that future Bentley models, including the SUV, will be available with a plug-in hybrid option. Also being worked on for future Bentley model are diesel engines. Dürheimer reveals that prototype vehicles with diesel engines are up and running. Dürheimer didn't reveal any details, but Car and Driver speculates that Bentley will use Audi’s next-generation V8 diesel engine producing more than 400 HP. There is some bad news with Bentley's powertrains. The venerable 6.75L (or 6 3/4) twin-turbo V8 used in the Mulsanne will be retired. “I believe the 6.75-liter V-8 can retire,” said Dürheimer. The reason? Bentley is setting itself to be VW's center for 12-cylinder engines. Having your flagship model using a V8 is a no-no. However, the change won't be happening until the next generation Mulsanne is released, and no one knows when that will be happening. Source: Car and Driver 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. BMW has revealed the plug-in hybrid variants of the 7-Series. Known as the 7-Series iPerformance, the models feature technolgies from BMW's i subbrand. There will be three variants of the 7-Series iPerformance on offer; the 740e, 740Le, and 740Le xDrive. All feature a powertrain that is comprised of a 2.0L turbo-four and electric motor delivering a total output of 326 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque. This is paired with an eight-speed automatic and either rear or all-wheel drive. A 9.2 kWh lithium-ion battery pack sits underneath the rear seat. BMW says the 7-Series iPerformance can hit 60 MPH between 5.3 to 5.5 seconds. On the EU test cycle, the model has an electric range of 25 to 30 miles. There are a couple of other tricks up the 7-Series iPerformance's sleeve, Adaptive Driving Mode: Designed to provide the best powertrain and suspension settings based on driver input and data from the navigation system. Battery Control: Driver can tell the vehicle how much of a battery change needs to be maintained (between 30 to 100 percent). BMW says this system allows a driver to only use the gas engine on the highway to save the battery charge. (This is similar to the Hold mode on the Chevrolet Volt). BMW has confirmed to Autoblog that the 7-Series iPerformance will be available in the U.S. in August. Source: BMW, Autoblog Press Release is on Page 2 The new BMW 740e iPerformance, the new BMW 740Le iPerformance, the new BMW 740Le xDrive iPerformance. The BMW eDrive drive system technology developed for BMW i cars has arrived in the new BMW 7 Series model range in the shape of three plug-in hybrid luxury sedans. The trio source their power from the myriad talents of a latest-generation four-cylinder petrol engine with BMW TwinPower Turbo technology and an electric motor. Together, they deliver a system output of 240 kW/326 hp. The new BMW 740e iPerformance with standard wheelbase and the new BMW 740Le iPerformance with long wheelbase capture the imagination with supreme dynamics, yet also record average petrol consumption of 2.2 – 2.0 litres per 100 kilometres / 128.4 – 141.2 mpg imp and CO2 emissions of 50 – 45 grams per kilometre (BMW 740Le iPerformance: 51 – 45 g/km). In the new BMW 740Le xDrive iPerformance (petrol consumption combined: 2.5 – 2.1 l/100 km [113 – 134.5 mpg imp]; CO2 emissions combined: 56 –49 g/km), intelligent all-wheel drive distributes the combined power of the combustion engine and electric motor permanently and as required between the front and rear wheels. The plug-in hybrid variants of the new BMW 7 Series allow top-level driving pleasure, long-distance comfort and luxury to be experienced in combination with all-electric, locally emission-free mobility as well. The BMW iPerformance Automobiles represent the most rigorous implementation yet of Efficient Dynamics in vehicles from the BMW brand. Both BMW eDrive and the body structure with Carbon Core are rooted in know-how from BMW i. When it comes to charging the high-voltage battery, customers benefit from innovative products and services originally developed for BMW i. The BMW 740e iPerformance, BMW 740Le iPerformance and BMW 740Le xDrive iPerformance can also be specified as an option with anti-dazzle BMW Laserlight, which celebrated its world premiere in the BMW i8 plug-in hybrid sports car. Intelligent energy management optimises the interplay of the combustion engine and electric motor. The electric boost function provides a noticeable increase in dynamic vigour – expressed most prominently by the powertrain’s instantaneous responses – and combines with enhanced efficiency courtesy of the electric assist function and the opportunity to drive through town and cross-country on electric power only to create a unique symbiosis of driving pleasure and sustainability. The maximum electric range, as per the EU test cycle for plug-in hybrid vehicles, is 44 – 48 kilometres / 27 – 30 miles for the BMW 740e iPerformance and BMW 740Le iPerformance, or 41 – 45 kilometres / 25 – 28 miles for the BMW 740Le xDrive iPerformance (figures may vary depending on the tyre format specified). The best of two worlds: BMW eDrive and BMW TwinPower Turbo technology. The combustion engine with BMW TwinPower Turbo technology employed by the plug-in hybrid variants of the new BMW 7 Series is a member of the new Efficient Dynamics engine family. Developing maximum output of 190 kW/258 hp, it is the most powerful four-cylinder engine ever fitted in a series-produced BMW. Instantaneous power delivery and peak torque of 400 Newton metres (295 lb-ft) – on tap across a wide rev range (1,550 – 4,400 rpm) – imbue the 2.0-litre unit with vivaciously sporty yet also poised and authoritative performance. In addition, the new engine displays outstanding refinement. The electric drive system, based on the principle of a permanently excited synchronous motor, boasts exceptionally high power density with a maximum output of 83 kW/113 hp. As is characteristic for electric drive systems, it serves up its peak torque of 250 Newton metres (184 lb-ft) from the word go. The boost effect for the combustion engine provides the driver with thrillingly instantaneous responses. Furthermore, the electric motor takes on the role of a generator which – depending on the hybrid function selected – is powered either by recuperating braking energy or by efficiently raising the engine’s load points. It then feeds the energy it generates into the high-voltage battery. The electric motor is fully integrated into the eight-speed Steptronic transmission. This ensures that pure-electric driving, the dynamics-enhancing electric boost function and the recuperation of braking energy are all extremely efficient. The eight-speed Steptronic transmission has outstanding internal efficiency, top-class shift dynamics and shift comfort, and a compact construction. Gearshift paddles on the steering wheel are available as an option, enabling the driver to make manual gear selections with exceptional swiftness and the greatest of ease. Working together intelligently, the combustion engine and electric drive system bring a system output of 240 kW/326 hp and a combined peak torque of 500 Newton metres (369 lb-ft) to the table. Immediate response to every movement of the accelerator and sustained delivery of dynamic power allow the BMW 740e iPerformance to dash from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 5.4 seconds and the BMW 740Le iPerformance to complete the same sprint in 5.5 seconds. The cars’ sporty driving characteristics are accompanied by extraordinarily low petrol consumption and emissions. The BMW 740e iPerformance and BMW 740Le iPerformance both record combined petrol consumption of 2.2 – 2.0 litres per 100 kilometres (128.4 – 141.2 mpg imp). The CO2 emissions associated with petrol consumption are 50 – 45 grams per kilometre (figures as calculated in the EU test cycle for plug-in hybrid vehicles, may vary depending on the tyre format specified). The exceptional efficiency of the BMW eDrive technology developed using know-how from BMW i is revealed once again in all-electric, locally emission-free driving. The electric power consumption of the plug-in hybrid luxury sedans, as calculated in the EU test cycle, stands at 13.3 – 12.5 kWh per 100 kilometres for the BMW 740e iPerformance and 13.3 – 12.6 kWh per 100 kilometres for the BMW 740Le iPerformance (figures may vary depending on the tyre format specified). BMW 740Le xDrive iPerformance: permanent all-wheel drive also applies to all-electric driving. The BMW 740Le xDrive iPerformance follows in the tyre tracks of the BMW X5 xDrive40e iPerformance Sports Activity Vehicle as the brand’s second model to distribute its power permanently to all four wheels in pure-electric driving, when the combustion engine cuts in and when both drive systems are in use at the same time. The intelligent all-wheel-drive system ensures supreme traction, optimised directional stability and enhanced agility through enthusiastically taken corners in all weather and road conditions. Perfectly executed power distribution between the front and rear wheels gives the BMW 740Le xDrive iPerformance extremely dynamic accelerative ability, with the journey from rest to 100 km/h (62 mph) completed in 5.3 seconds. Yet the petrol consumption of the BMW 740Le xDrive iPerformance is just 2.5 – 2.1 litres per 100 kilometres (113 – 134.5 mpg imp) combined, while the associated CO2 emissions are 56 – 49 grams per kilometre (figures as calculated in the EU test cycle for plug-in hybrid vehicles, may vary depending on the tyre format specified). The combined electric power consumption of the BMW 740Le xDrive iPerformance in the EU test cycle comes in at between 13.9 and 13.2 kWh per 100 kilometres (figures may vary depending on the tyre format specified). eDrive button allows powertrain control to be configured as desired. The driver can use the eDrive button on the centre console to change how the plug-in hybrid drive system operates. In the AUTO eDRIVE hybrid function, intelligent energy management ensures the combustion engine and electric motor work together with maximum efficiency and to dynamically optimised effect. The operating strategy defaults to all-electric mode at low and moderate speeds to utilise the advantages of locally emission-free mobility as widely as possible. The combustion engine only joins the fray at a speed of around 80 km/h (50 mph) or under heavy throttle applications. The driver can switch to the MAX eDRIVE pure-electric mode at the touch of a button. In this setting the car is powered exclusively by the electric motor, although the combustion engine can be brought into play at any time by pushing the accelerator into kickdown. In the MAX eDRIVE setting, the BMW iPerformance variants of the new BMW 7 Series have a pure-electric top speed of 140 km/h (87 mph). The Battery Control setting allows the charge of the high-voltage battery to be set manually. The driver can input a target value between 30 and 100 per cent of maximum charge, which is then available for pure-electric driving later in the journey. For example, electric power can be held back or even increased while on the motorway so it can be used subsequently for locally emission-free driving in town. Driving Experience Control switch with ADAPTIVE mode, clearly noticeable differentiation between SPORT, COMFORT and ECO PRO mode. The plug-in hybrid variants of the new BMW 7 Series are also equipped as standard with the newly designed Driving Experience Control switch on the centre console. At the touch of a button, the driver can activate a vehicle setting that optimises dynamics, comfort or efficiency. The range of characters encompassed by ECO PRO, COMFORT and SPORT modes are even more clearly defined than with conventionally powered vehicles. Beyond this, the Driving Experience Control switch offers the option of selecting ADAPTIVE mode. In this setting, the car’s responses adapt noticeably to the driver’s style and route profile. High-voltage lithium-ion battery: developed specifically for the models at hand, integrated with space-saving skill. The high-voltage lithium-ion battery has a gross capacity of 9.2 kWh and net capacity of 7.4 kWh. It is accommodated underneath the rear seat bench in a space-saving position that also provides optimum crash safety. The BMW iPerformance variants of the new BMW 7 Series therefore also benefit from a level surface in the luggage compartment, which offers a capacity of 420 litres. The stowage volume and practicality of the load area set the benchmark in the luxury plug-in hybrid sedan segment. The energy flow between the high-voltage battery, electric motor and charger is controlled by power electronics likewise developed specifically for these models. The power electronics also regulate the supply of energy from the high-voltage battery to the 12V onboard electrical system via a voltage transformer. Simple, hassle-free and flexible charging thanks to innovative products and services von BMW 360° ELECTRIC. The high-voltage battery can be topped up with energy from any domestic power socket, a Wallbox designed for higher currents or public charging stations. The battery can be fully charged in under four hours from a domestic power socket and in under three hours from a BMW i Wallbox. Added to which, BMW 360° ELECTRIC includes the ChargeNow service, which grants straightforward access to partner charging stations and can also be used for the convenient billing of monthly energy costs. Standard specification includes auxiliary air conditioning. The high level of standard specification for the BMW 740e iPerformance, BMW 740Le iPerformance and BMW 740Le xDrive iPerformance includes LED headlights, the BMW Display Key, the ConnectedDrive navigation package, smartphone integration with inductive charging facility for the phone battery, and an iDrive operating system expanded to include a touchscreen function for the Control Display and the globally unique BMW gesture control feature. Customers can also look forward to auxiliary heating and air conditioning, which allow them to prepare the car’s interior temperature in advance. The heating and air conditioning system of the plug-in hybrid models is supplied with energy from the high-voltage battery. When the car’s battery is being charged, the auxiliary air conditioning function is powered by the mains supply. The charger connection for the high-voltage battery can be found under the flap in the left-hand front side panel. The high-set position of the connection makes the charging process easier. Standard equipment includes a charging cable for use with a domestic power socket, which can be stored in a bag in the boot area to save space. Inside the BMW 740e iPerformance, BMW 740Le iPerformance and BMW 740Le xDrive iPerformance, the most prominent hybrid-specific features include – in addition to the eDrive button – special graphic displays in the instrument cluster and Control Display. On the outside, the transfer of technology from BMW i is flagged up by “eDrive” badges on the C-pillars, the BMW i logo on the front side panels (left and right), BMW kidney grille bars in BMW i Blue and blue hub covers. Exceptional efficiency coupled with driving pleasure, long-distance comfort and made-to-measure luxury. The iPerformance variants of the BMW 7 Series model range bring together exceptional efficiency and a form of luxurious driving pleasure and long-distance comfort that speaks to both the present and the future. Both the front and rear seats can be specified as an option with comfort seats, active seat ventilation, a massage function with Vitality Programme and the Heat Comfort package. Maximising personal wellbeing in the rear compartment of the BMW 740Le iPerformance and BMW 740Le xDrive iPerformance, meanwhile, is the Executive Lounge option. Moreover, the Sky Lounge Panorama glass roof is also available for these models. The selection of driver assistance systems includes the new-generation BMW Head-Up Display as well as the Parking Assistant, Driving Assistant, Driving Assistant Plus and Surround View systems. The iPerformance variants of the new BMW 7 Series can also be ordered as an option with the M Sport package, Pure Excellence exterior design and interior design packages and BMW Individual Design Composition. Flexible and efficient production of electric drive systems in model-specific configurations. The BMW Group uses the knowledge gained in the development of BMW i cars for the production of its own electric motors and high-voltage batteries. BMW eDrive technology is also employed in the BMW iPerformance models. The company’s stand-out expertise in the field of electric drive systems is reflected not only in the exceptional performance of the electric motors and high-voltage batteries, but also in efficient production methods. An intelligent modular system for eDrive technology and a flexible production concept enable the BMW Group to respond quickly and precisely to customer requirements the world over. View full article
  17. Honda is getting serious with its green cred as they have announced an updated Accord Hybrid for 2017 and two more models joining the Clarity Fuel Cell in the U.S. We'll begin with the 2017 Accord Hybrid. The model took a break for the 2016 model year as Honda updated the Accord lineup with a revised look and new tech. But the Hybrid as a 2017 model with all of the changes seen on the 2016 model - updated exterior and the addition of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The big news is with the Accord Hybrid's powertrain. The 2017 model uses the next-generation of Honda's two-motor hybrid system with a revised 2.0L i-VTEC Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder engine, a more compact electric motor, and improved electronics. The changes increase horsepower from 196 to 212. Fuel economy figures for the 2017 Accord Hybrid stand at 49 City/47 Highway/48 Combined. These numbers are slightly different from the 2015 model which boasted 50 City/45 Highway47 Combined. This is due to Honda having to certify the fuel economy numbers under new, stricter EPA drive-cycle test requirements for 2017. Standard equipment includes a backup camera, remote start, and Honda Sensing (suite of safety tech such as collision avoidance braking, lane keep assist, adaptive cruise control, etc). Higher trims get a new 7-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto; heated rear seats, and front and rear parking sensors. Pricing hasn't been announced, but Honda says the 2017 Accord Hybrid will be arriving at dealers towards the end of spring. Honda Clarity To Get Two New Members Honda hasn't even started selling the Clarity Fuel Cell in the U.S. (specifically California), but they have announced two new variations of it. For 2017, Honda will offer a fully electric and a plug-in hybrid version. Details are scarce on both models, but Honda says the Clarity EV will be sold in California first before moving to other markets. The Clarity plug-in hybrid will be sold in all 50 states and offer 40 miles of electric-only range. Source: Honda Press Releases are on Page 2 The Best Gets Better: More Powerful, Fuel Efficient and Technologically Advanced 2017 Accord Hybrid Launching this Spring Apr 21, 2016 - TORRANCE, Calif. Next-generation two-motor hybrid powertrain expected to receive class-leading EPA fuel economy ratings; including 49 mpg city Most powerful and refined midsize hybrid sedan with 212 total combined horsepower Honda Sensing™ safety and driver-assistive technologies standard Doubled production capacity for expected sales increase Honda will bolster its Accord lineup with the launch of the 2017 Accord Hybrid this spring, featuring a more powerful and efficient second-generation two-motor hybrid powertrain that has the highest EPA fuel economy ratings of any midsize hybrid sedan and delivers the most power. With improved production methods and supplies of hybrid components, Honda is anticipating significant growth in sales of Accord Hybrid and is targeting annual sales to be more than double its previous best of just under 14,000 vehicles in 2014. "The new Honda Accord Hybrid is the ultimate Accord – the most refined, technologically sophisticated and, of course, most fuel efficient in the lineup," said John Mendel, Executive Vice President of the American Honda Motor Co., Inc. "With Accord already America's most popular car three years running and the best-selling midsize car to younger buyers, we think this new hybrid model will add considerable momentum for the Honda brand." In addition to its more powerful and fuel efficient hybrid powertrain, the 2017 Accord Hybrid carries the substantial upgrades made to the entire Accord lineup for model year 2016. This includes the latest technology Honda has to offer, including the available Display Audio with Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto™, and the Honda Sensing™ suite of advanced safety and driver-assistive technologies, to be offered as standard equipment on all new 2017 Accord Hybrids. Hybrid-exclusive design features include a special aluminum hood and wheels, blue highlighted LED headlights and taillights and "Hybrid" exterior badging. A more compact hybrid battery pack increases trunk capacity to a midsize hybrid class-leading 13.5 cu.-ft. Combining the next generation of Honda's two-motor hybrid system with an ultra-efficient 2.0-liter i-VTEC Atkinson Cycle engine, the 2017 Accord Hybrid powertrain will achieve peak combined output of 212 horsepower, the highest of any midsize hybrid sedan and up 16 horsepower over the 2015 Accord Hybrid. EPA fuel economy ratings of 49/47/48 (city/highway/combined)1 put the Accord Hybrid at the top of the class for ratings, making it the most powerful and fuel efficient midsize hybrid sedan in America. These EPA fuel economy ratings are based on new, more stringent ratings requirements enacted by the U.S. EPA for the 2017 model year. Based on the new requirements, Honda estimates the 2015 Accord Hybrid ratings would be 48/45/47 (actually rated at 50/45/47 under the previous method), indicating a +1/+2/+1 increase for the 2017 model over the previous version. The Accord Hybrid's two-motor hybrid powertrain takes an elegant and innovative approach to hybrid power, eliminating the need for a conventional mechanical transmission. The Accord Hybrid's powertrain seamlessly transitions between three operations: EV Drive – using its electric propulsion motor and lithium ion battery pack drives the front wheels for short distances under light loads (with the engine turned off) Hybrid Drive – the electric propulsion motor drives the front wheels while the gasoline engine powers a second motor/generator to supplement electrical current drawn from the battery pack Engine Drive – using a lock-up clutch mechanism to connect the engine and propulsion motor, the front wheels are driven by both the motor and gasoline engine. With its next-generation Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ (ACE™) body structure and Honda Sensing™ technology, the 2017 Accord is anticipated to receive the highest available crash safety rating from the U.S. government – a 5-Star Overall Vehicle Score from the NHTSA – and a similar top rating of TOP SAFETY PICK+ from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). The 2017 Accord Hybrid will be available in three trims – Hybrid, Hybrid EX-L and Hybrid Touring – and all grades will feature increased levels of standard and available equipment. New standard features include a wide angle rearview camera, remote engine start and Honda Sensing™, which includes Collision Mitigation Braking System™ (CMBS™), Lane Keeping Assist (LKAS), Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC), Road Departure Mitigation (RDM), Lane Departure Warning (LDW) and Forward Collision Warning (FCW). Available new features on upper trims include a 7-inch Display Audio touchscreen with Android Auto™ and Apple CarPlayâ compatibility, heated rear seats, and front and rear parking sensors. The Accord has been named a Car and Driver magazine "10Best" an unprecedented 30 times and has been the most popular car in America with retail car buyers for three consecutive years.2 The Accord is on track to earn a fourth straight year as America's most popular car with sales up 12.3 percent through the first three months of 2016. Accord also is the most popular midsize car with Millennials and has been #1 with under-35-year-olds for four consecutive years and leads all other cars in America, except Honda's own Civic, in sales to under under-35 car buyers since 2010.3 The 2017 Honda Accord Hybrid will make its first public appearance at the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, Calif., as part of the aquarium's Earth Day weekend celebrations on April 23-24. Honda Takes Bold Step with Honda Clarity Series; Fuel Cell, Battery Electric and Plug-In Hybrid Variants to Leverage Common Platform Apr 21, 2016 - DETROIT Clarity Fuel Cell gets two electrified siblings – the Clarity Electric and the Clarity Plug-in Hybrid – both launching in 2017 New trio of Clarity vehicles provide unparalleled choices to customers through three different electric powertrain options All Clarity vehicles will offer spacious, five-passenger seating, premium features and interior appointments; consumers can learn more at http://www.automobiles.honda.com/Clarity DETROIT – Honda today announced that the upcoming Clarity Fuel Cell will be joined by two additional variants, the Clarity Electric and Clarity Plug-in Hybrid, launching in the U.S. in 2017. The addition of two new Clarity vehicles, based on the same platform underpinning the new Clarity Fuel Cell, makes Clarity the first vehicle in the industry to offer fuel cell, electric and plug-in hybrid technology on one model platform, offering Honda customers an expanded array of electrified vehicle choices to suit their individual tastes and driving needs. Following the U.S. launch of the Clarity Fuel Cell in late 2016, the Clarity Electric will go on-sale in 2017. The Clarity Electric will be the first affordable, midsize, five-passenger battery electric vehicle (BEV) to offer premium content and features. The third vehicle in the Clarity series, the Clarity Plug-In Hybrid, will launch in all 50 states later in 2017 and will be the volume leader in the series, seamlessly combining an all-electric driving range in excess of 40 miles with a hyper-efficient gasoline-hybrid extended range mode. With elegant exterior styling, the Clarity series of vehicles will also offer spacious interiors outfitted with premium, environmentally-responsible materials and thoughtful, stylish design cues. The Clarity series will also feature advanced technologies, including Display Audio with Android Auto™ and Apple CarPlay™ as well as standard Honda Sensing™ safety and driver-assistive technology. "The Honda Clarity Series will provide customers with a well-equipped, premium, midsize vehicle with range of ultra low-carbon powertrain options to suit their lifestyle needs," said John Mendel, executive vice president, Automobile Division, American Honda Motor Co., Inc. "This Honda trio of dedicated, advanced technology vehicles, along with the expanded application of two- and three-motor hybrid systems to our core models, represents a strong commitment to Honda's future and will help create a new volume pillar for electrified vehicle sales." All of the Clarity models will leverage the platform that has enabled the Clarity Fuel Cell's low, wide and aerodynamic proportions and spacious five-passenger cabin. This shared platform strategy also enables flexibility in responding to infrastructure and market developments, and the ability to provide customers nationwide with an ultra-low carbon vehicle that meets their lifestyle needs while expanding the market for Honda advanced technology products. The first of the Clarity Series to launch will be the Clarity Fuel Cell, Honda's most technologically advanced vehicle ever, slated to begin deliveries to customers in select California markets in late 2016. The Clarity Fuel Cell will have a targeted monthly lease price of under $500. Technological innovations to the Clarity Fuel Cell include a fuel cell stack that is 33 percent more compact than its predecessor with a 60 percent increase in power density compared to the outgoing Honda FCX Clarity. The more compact fuel cell and integrated powertrain, comparable in size to a V-6 engine, now fit entirely under the hood of the car, allowing for a more spacious cabin with seating for five adult passengers. The new Clarity Fuel Cell will feature an anticipated U.S. EPA driving range in excess of 300 miles, with a refueling time of approximately three to five minutes, roughly equivalent to customers' experience with gasoline refueling. In addition to the Clarity series, a reengineered 2017 Accord Hybrid will go on-sale this spring, delivering both top-of-class power and fuel efficiency in a midsize hybrid sedan, as Honda seeks to grow sales of electrified vehicles – hybrids, plug-in hybrids, battery electric vehicles and fuel cell vehicles. On a global basis, Honda is aiming to have electrified vehicles account for two-thirds of its vehicles sales around 2030. Customers interested in the Clarity vehicles are encouraged to visit http://www.automobiles.honda.com/Clarity where they can receive more information and sign up for the opportunity to become a Clarity Fuel Cell customer. View full article
  18. Genesis is following in the footsteps of other luxury automakers by planning a number of plug-in models. Speaking with Automotive News, Hyundai Motor America' CEO Dave Zuchowski said Genesis and Hyundai are working on a number of plug-in hybrid vehicles. Zuchowski explained the brands see this a stepping stone to hydrogen vehicles. "Some of those [plug-in hybrids] will take the form of the Genesis side of our business. We believe alternative-propulsion engines are going to be really important -- even more important in the luxury market than they are in the mainstream market," said Zuchowski. Zuchowski kept quiet on Genesis vehicles will get the plug-in treatment. But considering Genesis' lineup in the near future will include will include a couple of SUVs and a small compact sedan to join the G80 midsize sedan and G90 flagship, we wouldn't be surprised if one of those SUVs and the G90 get the plug-in option. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required) View full article
  19. Infiniti is taking on a flagship as its next big project. Automotive News has learned from a source that the luxury automaker has begun work on flagship model featuring a plug-in hybrid powertrain. The source says work has begun at Nissan's r&d center in England and is currently benchmarking the Mercedes-Benz S-Class plug-in hybrid and Porsche Panamera E-Hybrid. The flagship could be a production version of the Q80 Inspiration concept shown at the Paris Motor Show last year. The vehicle boasted a hybrid system with a new twin-turbo 3.0L V6 engine. At the show, Infiniti announced that a model like this would be launched in three to five years. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required) View full article
  20. BMW announced today that it plans on offering a plug-in hybrid version on "all its core-brand models," in the future. The plug-in hybrids will utilize battery and motor technologies from the i3 and i8 models. “All BMW Group models benefit from BMW i. The fundamental technology involved in battery cells, electric motors and the power electronics will be used in our upcoming plug-in hybrid models. When it comes to the electrification of the drivetrain, we are deliberately developing a wide-ranging expertise in order to offer our customers worldwide the ideal solution," said Herbert Diess, member of the board for BMW's development. At a event in Miramas, France, the automaker will debut a 3 Series plug-in hybrid prototype which features a turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder and the electric motor from BMW's i models. Source: BMW Press Release is on Page 2 New generation of plug-in hybrid models Munich/Miramas. The BMW Group is preparing to follow up its innovative and revolutionary BMW i models with plug-in hybrid versions of the core-brand models. In Miramas, France, it will present a BMW 3 Series plug-in hybrid prototype and a new generation of hybrid vehicle concepts incorporating technology already used in BMW i models. Long term, the BMW Group is planning to offer plug-in hybrid versions of all its core-brand models. Herbert Diess, Member of the Board of Management BMW AG, Development, said: “All BMW Group models benefit from BMW i. The fundamental technology involved in battery cells, electric motors and the power electronics will be used in our upcoming plug-in hybrid models. When it comes to the electrification of the drivetrain, we are deliberately developing a wide-ranging expertise in order to offer our customers worldwide the ideal solution. The plug-in hybrid models presented in Miramas are equipped with a highly efficient internal combustion engine and an electric motor powered by an externally rechargeable high-voltage battery. Shorter-distance urban trips or commutes can be completed on electric power only. On longer journeys, the vehicle will usually operate in “combined mode”, with both systems working together. The BMW 3 Series plug-in hybrid prototype combines a four-cylinder petrol engine with an electric motor. The internal combustion engine is based on the TwinPower Turbo four-cylinder petrol engine that has already twice been voted “International Engine of the Year”. The electric motor and power electronics are directly based on the BMW eDrive technology already used in the BMW i3 and BMW i8 models. The prototype’s lithium-ion battery, including the battery management system and the high-efficiency direct cooling system, are likewise based on BMW i experience and know-how. The plug-in hybrid technology is so flexible that it can be integrated in a wide variety of vehicle concepts. It will therefore be possible to deploy it rapidly across the BMW model range. The route to sustainable mobility in the future will be a multitrack one. The already efficient combustion engines will be even more economical. All-electric vehicles like the BMW i3 are tailored to urban mobility requirements while plug-in hybrids are more appropriate for longer-distance journeys. Beyond this, in the long term electric mobility in conjunction with hydrogen fuel cell technology could also be a viable option. The focus of our Efficient Dynamics strategy is the electrification of the power train. This is an area in which we will continue to expand in the coming years. The plug-in technology will be one key lever to bring high performance vehicles well below 100 g / km CO2, while retaining the driving pleasure and driving dynamics of a BMW. We will also continue to develop fully electric mobility. Hydrogen fuel-cells will remain a key issue when it comes to drivetrain development, especially relating to its sustainable production. Key eDrive technologies developed in-house All the important eDrive technologies and components are developed in-house, and from next year they will all be built at the BMW plant in Dingolfing. This programme is set to create over 200 new jobs around electro-mobility at the BMW plant in Dingolfing. Many tens of millions of euros will be invested at this plant over the next five years. “Our accumulated expertise guarantees us a competitive edge,” stated Harald Krüger, Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG, Production. “This can be seen not only in the performance data of the BMW electric motors but also in our highly efficient production process.” Since the BMW Group expects to be building a wide range of electric drive components in the future, production will be organised around an intelligent eDrive component-sharing system. This means that one and the same production line will be able to build high-voltage battery modules not just for the BMW i8 but also for the future BMW X5 eDrive. In the case of complete battery packs, too, the new production lines will be designed for a flexible production mix: it will be possible to build battery packs for a number of different future models all on the same lines. Highly electrified hybrids With the ongoing development and refinement of hybrid drive systems under the EfficientDynamics programme, the aim is to maximise the amount of time the vehicles are able to spend in electric mode. To ensure that this increased electric operation goes hand in hand with typical BMW dynamic performance, everyday practicality and maximum long-distance capability, the BMW Group’s future hybrids will be “highly electrified”. Highlights of this future Power eDrive technology will include much more powerful electric motors and batteries with twice the capacity of present versions. The drive systems used in these future hybrid systems will offer combined outputs in excess of 500 kW. Also, the capacity of the lithium-ion batteries – up to 20 kilowatt hours – will be greatly in excess of current hybrid systems . Coupled with an increased all-electric driving range of up to 100 kilometres (62 miles), this will make it possible to operate in locally emission-free pure-electric mode on virtually all day-to-day trips . View full article
  21. Volkswagen is turning towards plug-in hybrid technology for the majority of its models till longer range batteries become a reality. This was announced at Volkswagen's annual media conference yesterday by Volkswagen Group CEO Martin Winterkorn. Why plug-in hybrid tech? Winterkorn explained that plug-in hybrids are the best stop-gap technology with reducing emissions without sacrificing range. Now that doesn't mean Volkswagen isn't stopping work on electric vehicles. The automaker is currently working on electric systems that will have a range of more than 300 miles. One other note; the Volkswagen Golf GTE plug-in hybrid will be coming to the U.S. next year. This news was relayed to Automotive News by Volkswagen r&d boss Hans-Jakob Neusser. The GTE packs a turbocharged 1.4L and a electric motor to produce a combined 201 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required) View full article
  22. Last month, Hyundai introduced the world to the new Ioniq. What makes this vehicle unique is how it can accommodate a hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and electric powertrain without making any drastic changes to the vehicle. This is due a new platform built for hybrid and electric vehicles. Hyundai only provided details on the hybrid model at the time. But today, the Korean automaker revealed details on the plug-in and EV models before their debut at the Geneva Motor Show next month. The Ioniq Plug-In comes with the same 1.6L four-cylinder (104 horsepower and 108 pound-feet of torque), but features a 60 horsepower electric motor and larger 9.3 kWh lithium-ion polymer battery. Hyundai hasn't divulged total output of the system, but does say it will have a range of 31 Miles on electric power. The Ioniq EV features an electric motor producing 118 horsepower, and a 28 kWh battery. Top speed is said to be 103 mph and overall range is estimated to be 155 Miles. We'll have even more details, including a possible release date when Hyundai brings the Ioniq to the New York Auto Show later in March. Source: Hyundai Press Release is on Page 2 All-New Hyundai IONIQ line-up electrifies Geneva Motor Show World’s first vehicle platform with three electrified powertrains offers low- to zero-emission mobility accessible to everyone Innovative IONIQ delivers uncompromised driving experience and design Unveiling of the IONIQ line-up at the Geneva Motor Show is available live stream: media, enthusiasts and fans worldwide can be part of the experience February 24, 2016 - At the Geneva Motor Show 2016, Hyundai Motor is introducing the All-New Hyundai IONIQ line-up consisting of: IONIQ Hybrid, IONIQ Electric and IONIQ Plug-in. As the world’s first model offering three electrified powertrains, IONIQ will make low-to zero-emission mobility accessible to everyone. This new approach delivers an uncompromised design and driving experience through innovative technology, latest connectivity and safety technologies. The All-New Hyundai IONIQ is an important milestone of Hyundai Motor’s sustainability strategy, bringing to life the brand’s new thinking through new innovative technologies and extending the company’s product range to support further organic sales growth in Europe and other markets. “IONIQ is an important step forward for our brand in Europe. We are bringing a unique new approach to e-mobility, without compromising on design, driving pleasure and new connectivity features. And we’re making it accessible to more customers by further extending our product line-up,” said Jochen Sengpiehl, Vice President Marketing at Hyundai Motor Europe. The IONIQ Hybrid and IONIQ Plug-in both feature the new Kappa 1.6 GDI, direct injection petrol, four-cylinder engine with a class-leading thermal efficiency of 40 percent, delivering 105 PS and 147 Nm of torque. The engine has been tailored to the hybrid application and is combined with the directly responding, smooth shifting six-speed double clutch transmission – differentiating the IONIQ from its competitors with a more dynamic driving experience. The mated electric motor enables pure electric driving and delivers instant torque as the chassis with rear multi-link suspension greatly enhancing driving dynamics. The IONIQ Hybrid’s electric motor delivers 32 kW (43.5 PS) with maximum torque of 170 Nm, powered by a lithium-ion-polymer battery with 1.56 kWh capacity positioned under the rear seats. In combination with the 1.6-GDI engine, IONIQ Hybrid offers a system output of 103.6 kW (141 PS) and up to 265 Nm of torque accelerating to a top speed of 185 km/h with targeted CO2 emissions as low as 79 g/km (combined). Drivers choosing the IONIQ Plug-in can safely rely on over 50 kilometres of estimated pure electric driving range powered by the potent 8.9 kWh lithium-ion polymer battery. The 45kW (61 PS) electric motor together with the 1.6 GDI four-cylinder Kappa engine targets CO2 emissions as low as 32 g/km. The IONIQ Electric offers pure e-mobility through a 28 kWh lithium-ion-polymer battery for an estimated range of over 250 km. The instantly available maximum torque of 295 Nm is delivered by the electric motor with maximum output of 88 kW (120 PS) through the single-speed reducer transmission accelerating the car up to 165 km/h. The IONIQ line-up provides an enhanced customer experience inside through state-of-the art connectivity features like Android Auto, Apple Car Play as well as Tom Tom live services and wireless charging of your smartphone. Furthermore, the driving experience becomes digital through the 7-inch TFT instrument cluster displaying all key driver information. A holistic and innovative safety package including Autonomous Emergency Braking, Lane Keep Assist System, Blind Spot Detection, Rear Cross Traffic Alert and Smart Cruise Control ensures high safety levels for drivers and passengers alike. All versions feature the sleek aerodynamic silhouette with a class-leading Cd value of 0.24 that complements the soft lines and surfaces tracing the All-New IONIQ’s outline. A fluid exterior shape and natural air flow channels emphasize the aerodynamic body lines and volumes. Blue accents in the IONIQ Hybrid and IONIQ Plug-in emphasize specific elements on the exterior and completing a seamless design in the interior. The IONIQ Electric features exclusive copper coloured accents, creating an impression that electricity flows through the car’s interior inspired by the trait of copper being a conductor for electricity. “With our pioneering ix35 Fuel Cell electric vehicle and several hybrid and plug-in hybrid models sold around the world, Hyundai Motor already has a proven capability in electrified powertrains. Now, with the launch of our first dedicated model, we are taking the lead as the only car manufacturer with hybrid, electric, plug-in hybrid and fuel cell vehicles in production,” said Thomas A. Schmid, Chief Operating Officer at Hyundai Motor Europe. The All-New Hyundai IONIQ Line-up will celebrate its world premiere at the Geneva Motor Show on March 1 during the Hyundai Press Conference at 10:30 CET on the Hyundai stand (No. 1040). View full article
  23. As stricter fuel economy and emission regulations come into play, automakers are scrambling to figure out solutions that meet the regulations while retaining power. Porsche believes the solution is a plug-in hybrid system for the iconic 911. Car and Driver spoke with Erhard Mössle, engineering boss for the 911 Turbo, Carrera 4, and Targa revealed that Porsche is working on a plug-in hybrid system for the next-generation 911. “We are working on different solutions. We are developing a pure-electric car like the Mission E, and of course we are discussing plug-in solutions as well for the 911,” said Mössle. But trying to fit a hybrid system in the 911 is a difficult task. “I think that takes some time to bring to market, with the packaging problems of the car. There are a lot of problems to solve before [then].” One problem is where to put the batteries for the hybrid system. Do you put them up front? In the floor? Mössle admits this is one of the big issues that is facing the engineering team. This is why the plug-in hybrid model will be with next-generation 911 - due out in 2020. It gives them a clean slate to figure out a solution. Source: Car and Driver View full article
  24. A new report from Green Car Reports says Mercedes-Benz is planning to launch three plug-in hybrid models by 2016 or so. We know two of those models have been confirmed. The first is a S-Class Plug-In Hybrid due out next spring. The model will utilize a turbocharged 3.0L V6 gas engine and a 80 kW electric motor. Following the S-Class will be the C-Class plug-in hybrid in the fall. The third model is reportedly the ML-Class. The model is expected to get a refresh for the 2016 model year and a plug-in variant is expected in the refresh. It is expected to arrive around the same time as the C-Class. Source: Green Car Reports 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. View full article
  25. A few years ago, Rolls-Royce introduced an all electric Phantom concept named the 102EX. The concept was shown to customers to gage reaction as to whether or not Rolls should not continue this project. Customers weren't interested and Rolls stopped work on the project. That doesn't mean Rolls isn't looking into other ways to be more environmentally-friendly. Rolls-Royce CEO Torsten Müller-Ötvös tells Auto Express the company is considering a plug-in hybrid powertrain for its vehicles in the next few years. “It will be essential in two years, maybe not from customer demand but through legal regulation on emissions,” said Müller-Ötvös. Most likely Rolls-Royce will borrow the technology from its parent company BMW who is currently working on a plug-in hybrid powertrain for the X5. Its unclear whether or not Rolls-Royce will put this powertrain in the Phantom or Ghost. Source: Auto Express 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. View full article

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