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Found 123 results

  1. There have been some rumors floating around for the past couple of years that BMW was planning to offer a 3-Series with a fully electric powertrain. Some new spy shots reveal that may come to fruition. At first glance, this looks like a normal 3-Series sedan. But on the front doors, there is a label that reads "Electric Test Vehicle". BMW has also tried to disguise the fact this is an electric by attaching tailpipes, but the spy photographer says its a pure EV. Not much is known about the electric powertrain or batteries. This mule was seen testing with a Tesla Model 3, suggesting that BMW sees it a direct competitor to the 3-Series EV. To do that, the model would need a range of over 200 miles. But sources at BMW tell Motor Trend that the range could be as close to 300 miles. We do know the next 3-Series will transition the CLAR platform that uses a combination of steel, aluminum, and carbon fiber. It also looks like that the design will not change that much from the current model. The next 3-Series is expected to debut at the Paris Motor Show in October. Whether we see the EV version is unclear. Source: Motor Trend View full article
  2. There have been some rumors floating around for the past couple of years that BMW was planning to offer a 3-Series with a fully electric powertrain. Some new spy shots reveal that may come to fruition. At first glance, this looks like a normal 3-Series sedan. But on the front doors, there is a label that reads "Electric Test Vehicle". BMW has also tried to disguise the fact this is an electric by attaching tailpipes, but the spy photographer says its a pure EV. Not much is known about the electric powertrain or batteries. This mule was seen testing with a Tesla Model 3, suggesting that BMW sees it a direct competitor to the 3-Series EV. To do that, the model would need a range of over 200 miles. But sources at BMW tell Motor Trend that the range could be as close to 300 miles. We do know the next 3-Series will transition the CLAR platform that uses a combination of steel, aluminum, and carbon fiber. It also looks like that the design will not change that much from the current model. The next 3-Series is expected to debut at the Paris Motor Show in October. Whether we see the EV version is unclear. Source: Motor Trend
  3. William Maley

    Volvo Plans A XC40 EV

    It was thought for a time that Volvo's first electric vehicle would be a compact hatchback that took some design ideas from the Concept 40.2. Then we heard that the XC40 would be the first electric vehicle. Now we have gotten some clarification. “It’s not a secret any more that the first full electric Volvo is on its way with the XC40 coming. It will arrive very soon after the Polestar 2. That is the first to come that’s not exotic. We’ll start with XC40 and then on it will come step after step into our model range. The next car will be the next-generation XC90," said Volvo design chief Thomas Ingenlath. The Polestar 2, a midsize sedan is expected to go into production in 2019. That puts the launch of the XC40 EV sometime in 2020 or so. Ingenlath said Volvo would only produce electric versions of the current lineup, not build out new models like other automakers. Polestar will handle build electric models that stand out. "To look at new formats, new bodystyles and non-traditional elements, we founded Polestar to take care of that end of the scope. We developed that strategy: full electrification of the Volvo range, making it a natural part of the offer, and at the same time developing new, unconventional elements in the Polestar brand." Source: Autocar
  4. William Maley

    Volvo News: Volvo Plans A XC40 EV

    It was thought for a time that Volvo's first electric vehicle would be a compact hatchback that took some design ideas from the Concept 40.2. Then we heard that the XC40 would be the first electric vehicle. Now we have gotten some clarification. “It’s not a secret any more that the first full electric Volvo is on its way with the XC40 coming. It will arrive very soon after the Polestar 2. That is the first to come that’s not exotic. We’ll start with XC40 and then on it will come step after step into our model range. The next car will be the next-generation XC90," said Volvo design chief Thomas Ingenlath. The Polestar 2, a midsize sedan is expected to go into production in 2019. That puts the launch of the XC40 EV sometime in 2020 or so. Ingenlath said Volvo would only produce electric versions of the current lineup, not build out new models like other automakers. Polestar will handle build electric models that stand out. "To look at new formats, new bodystyles and non-traditional elements, we founded Polestar to take care of that end of the scope. We developed that strategy: full electrification of the Volvo range, making it a natural part of the offer, and at the same time developing new, unconventional elements in the Polestar brand." Source: Autocar View full article
  5. Last week, we brought you news that Bentley is planning to catch up on the electrification trend that a number of other automakers are ahead on. We now have some possible details as to some of their plans. The next-generation Flying Spur, due out towards the end of the year could be the second Bentley model to be offered with a hybrid powertrain. "Obviously Bentayga is our highest volume car so that’s the first one we have to hybridise. The next volume car is probably going to be the saloon car, so if you wanted a second car just for compliance, then that would normally be the next selection," said Bentley CEO Adrian Hallmark to Autocar. Hallmark said "possibly" when asked if said sedan could be the Flying Spur. He said a decision would come in the next six months. Then there is the successor to the Mulsanne. Autocar has learned that Bentley is debating whether or not they will do "a like-for-like replacement" to the current Mulsanne or something else. One possibility is to make the replacement a pure electric vehicle as a forward-looking flagship model. This could happen if next-generation battery technology arrives before the end of the Mulsanne's production run - expected in the early 2020s. Source: Autocar, 2
  6. Last week, we brought you news that Bentley is planning to catch up on the electrification trend that a number of other automakers are ahead on. We now have some possible details as to some of their plans. The next-generation Flying Spur, due out towards the end of the year could be the second Bentley model to be offered with a hybrid powertrain. "Obviously Bentayga is our highest volume car so that’s the first one we have to hybridise. The next volume car is probably going to be the saloon car, so if you wanted a second car just for compliance, then that would normally be the next selection," said Bentley CEO Adrian Hallmark to Autocar. Hallmark said "possibly" when asked if said sedan could be the Flying Spur. He said a decision would come in the next six months. Then there is the successor to the Mulsanne. Autocar has learned that Bentley is debating whether or not they will do "a like-for-like replacement" to the current Mulsanne or something else. One possibility is to make the replacement a pure electric vehicle as a forward-looking flagship model. This could happen if next-generation battery technology arrives before the end of the Mulsanne's production run - expected in the early 2020s. Source: Autocar, 2 View full article
  7. Buick is expanding their electrified options in China with the introduction of the Velite 6 plug-in hybrid and electric. They'll join the the Buick Velite 5 - a rebadged Chevrolet Volt. The design is interesting to say in the least with a fair number of creases and a blacked-out rear pillar on this hatchback body. Arriving first is the plug-in hybrid which is comprised of a 1.5L four-cylinder, two AC permanent-magnet synchronous motors, and lithium-ion battery pack. With a full tank of gas and fully charged battery, Buick estimates a range of 700 kilometers (about 435 miles). Not much is known about the electric variant, aside from Buick saying the model "will adopt a new-generation pure electric drive system to offer customers a smooth, quiet and natural driving experience." The electric variant will arrive next year. Both Velite 6 models will come with Buick's new eConnect cloud connectivity system. Different drivers can setup their own accounts to personalize settings for navigation, audio, and internet use. eConnect will also provide real-time intergration of WeChat, a Chinese social media service. Owners can use their smartphone as the key for the Velite 6. Source: Buick Buick VELITE 6 Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle and Enspire All-Electric Concept SUV Make Global Debut in China WUZHEN – The Buick VELITE 6 plug-in hybrid electric vehicle and the Buick Enspire all-electric concept SUV made their global debut this evening at a launch event in the scenic Chinese city of Wuzhen, Zhejiang. Buick also announced that the VELITE 6 plug-in hybrid electric vehicle will be launched this year and its sibling, the VELITE 6 electric vehicle, will be introduced in China at a later date. Buick VELITE 6 Buick is focused on electrification, connectivity, intelligence and sharing in line with its Buick Blue new energy vehicle strategy. The VELITE 6 represents the latest application of this strategy. The two VELITE 6 models leverage electrification and connectivity technology from SAIC-GM’s parent companies, including Buick’s newest electric propulsion technology and connectivity technology. They are based on the VELITE Concept new energy vehicle that was unveiled in November 2016. The VELITE 6 has a dynamic posture coupled with a wide stance. The modern, streamlined shape aptly represents the innovative exterior styling that matches the new nameplate’s exciting technological character. The high-performance propulsion system of the VELITE 6 plug-in hybrid electric vehicle is composed of an EVT electronically controlled variable transmission, two AC permanent-magnet synchronous motors with a high-performance lithium-ion battery, and a 1.5L naturally aspirated engine especially tuned for hybrid vehicles. The motors and engine efficiently optimize power in different driving modes – such as the hybrid-driven mode of the motor and the engine, the single-driven mode of the motor, and the single-driven mode of the engine. It has a range of 700 km and combined fuel consumption of 1.4 liters/100 km. The new-generation modular high-performance ternary lithium-ion battery pack will be assembled at the new state-of-the-art SAIC-GM Power Battery Development Center in Shanghai. The battery incorporates leading battery heat management technology, providing independent and uniform temperature control of each battery unit via liquid cooling. This will ensure a longer life cycle and more stable performance. The VELITE 6 electric vehicle will adopt a new-generation pure electric drive system to offer customers a smooth, quiet and natural driving experience. The flexible and open cloud-based Buick eConnect technology in both models enables cutting-edge services and over-the-air update capability. With exclusive accounts, users can personalize their settings for OnStar, navigation, internet use and more. Music and destinations can be sent to the car display screen via WeChat in real time, for one-button navigation and listening. Users can also directly receive information about their vehicles’ condition and recommended maintenance. VELITE 6 users’ smartphones serve as a virtual key to enter and start the vehicle. They can authorize others to use their vehicles through their phones as well. Additional functions and new features will continuously be added to improve the user experience.
  8. Buick is expanding their electrified options in China with the introduction of the Velite 6 plug-in hybrid and electric. They'll join the the Buick Velite 5 - a rebadged Chevrolet Volt. The design is interesting to say in the least with a fair number of creases and a blacked-out rear pillar on this hatchback body. Arriving first is the plug-in hybrid which is comprised of a 1.5L four-cylinder, two AC permanent-magnet synchronous motors, and lithium-ion battery pack. With a full tank of gas and fully charged battery, Buick estimates a range of 700 kilometers (about 435 miles). Not much is known about the electric variant, aside from Buick saying the model "will adopt a new-generation pure electric drive system to offer customers a smooth, quiet and natural driving experience." The electric variant will arrive next year. Both Velite 6 models will come with Buick's new eConnect cloud connectivity system. Different drivers can setup their own accounts to personalize settings for navigation, audio, and internet use. eConnect will also provide real-time intergration of WeChat, a Chinese social media service. Owners can use their smartphone as the key for the Velite 6. Source: Buick Buick VELITE 6 Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle and Enspire All-Electric Concept SUV Make Global Debut in China WUZHEN – The Buick VELITE 6 plug-in hybrid electric vehicle and the Buick Enspire all-electric concept SUV made their global debut this evening at a launch event in the scenic Chinese city of Wuzhen, Zhejiang. Buick also announced that the VELITE 6 plug-in hybrid electric vehicle will be launched this year and its sibling, the VELITE 6 electric vehicle, will be introduced in China at a later date. Buick VELITE 6 Buick is focused on electrification, connectivity, intelligence and sharing in line with its Buick Blue new energy vehicle strategy. The VELITE 6 represents the latest application of this strategy. The two VELITE 6 models leverage electrification and connectivity technology from SAIC-GM’s parent companies, including Buick’s newest electric propulsion technology and connectivity technology. They are based on the VELITE Concept new energy vehicle that was unveiled in November 2016. The VELITE 6 has a dynamic posture coupled with a wide stance. The modern, streamlined shape aptly represents the innovative exterior styling that matches the new nameplate’s exciting technological character. The high-performance propulsion system of the VELITE 6 plug-in hybrid electric vehicle is composed of an EVT electronically controlled variable transmission, two AC permanent-magnet synchronous motors with a high-performance lithium-ion battery, and a 1.5L naturally aspirated engine especially tuned for hybrid vehicles. The motors and engine efficiently optimize power in different driving modes – such as the hybrid-driven mode of the motor and the engine, the single-driven mode of the motor, and the single-driven mode of the engine. It has a range of 700 km and combined fuel consumption of 1.4 liters/100 km. The new-generation modular high-performance ternary lithium-ion battery pack will be assembled at the new state-of-the-art SAIC-GM Power Battery Development Center in Shanghai. The battery incorporates leading battery heat management technology, providing independent and uniform temperature control of each battery unit via liquid cooling. This will ensure a longer life cycle and more stable performance. The VELITE 6 electric vehicle will adopt a new-generation pure electric drive system to offer customers a smooth, quiet and natural driving experience. The flexible and open cloud-based Buick eConnect technology in both models enables cutting-edge services and over-the-air update capability. With exclusive accounts, users can personalize their settings for OnStar, navigation, internet use and more. Music and destinations can be sent to the car display screen via WeChat in real time, for one-button navigation and listening. Users can also directly receive information about their vehicles’ condition and recommended maintenance. VELITE 6 users’ smartphones serve as a virtual key to enter and start the vehicle. They can authorize others to use their vehicles through their phones as well. Additional functions and new features will continuously be added to improve the user experience. View full article
  9. Lexus offers two powertains for the LS; a twin-turbo V6 producing 415 horsepower and a hybrid system featuring a 3.5L V6 that makes 354 horsepower. But Lexus is considering adding more powertains to their flagship sedan. Toshio Asahi, chief engineer for the LS told Australian outlet GoAuto that all powertrain options including a plug-in hybrid, hydrogen, and electric were “all on the table” for the current model. The most likely reason for this is competitors such as BMW and Mercedes-Benz have plug-in hybrid models of their flagship sedans and are working on new electric models. There is also the elephant in the room known as the Tesla Model S. Hydrogen isn't that much a surprise. Parent company Toyota has been pushing hydrogen for a number of years. But the lack of an extensive hydrogen infrastructure has limited its appeal and caused Toyota to put more focus on electrics. It should be noted that the LF-FC concept shown in 2015 was a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle. On the electric front, Toyota has been working on solid-state batteries that promise more range and quicker charging. Plans are to have batteries go into production beginning in 2022. Asahi also mentioned that engineers are looking into improving the current hybrid powertrain - possibly adding more power. Source: GoAuto View full article
  10. William Maley

    Lexus Considers More Powertrain Options for LS

    Lexus offers two powertains for the LS; a twin-turbo V6 producing 415 horsepower and a hybrid system featuring a 3.5L V6 that makes 354 horsepower. But Lexus is considering adding more powertains to their flagship sedan. Toshio Asahi, chief engineer for the LS told Australian outlet GoAuto that all powertrain options including a plug-in hybrid, hydrogen, and electric were “all on the table” for the current model. The most likely reason for this is competitors such as BMW and Mercedes-Benz have plug-in hybrid models of their flagship sedans and are working on new electric models. There is also the elephant in the room known as the Tesla Model S. Hydrogen isn't that much a surprise. Parent company Toyota has been pushing hydrogen for a number of years. But the lack of an extensive hydrogen infrastructure has limited its appeal and caused Toyota to put more focus on electrics. It should be noted that the LF-FC concept shown in 2015 was a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle. On the electric front, Toyota has been working on solid-state batteries that promise more range and quicker charging. Plans are to have batteries go into production beginning in 2022. Asahi also mentioned that engineers are looking into improving the current hybrid powertrain - possibly adding more power. Source: GoAuto
  11. Last month, we reported that work had begun on the next-generation Jaguar XJ. The company's director of design Ian Callum said it would be "something quite special." What that may mean is the next XJ transition to being an electric-only model. Autocar has learned that Jaguar is planning to reinvent the XJ into being a fully-electric model to take on the like of the Tesla Model S, and provide an interesting alternative to the Mercedes-Benz S-Class. Design-wise, the XJ will morph into a 5-door model - something akin to an Audi A7 we're guessing. It will also debut a new design language that will be used on future models. In terms of platform, the new XJ will use an all-new platform that will be shared with an upcoming model from Land Rover - the Road Rover we reported in the Rumorpile back in September. The platform will be capable of being equipped with internal-combustion or electric powertrains. For the XJ, it is believed that twin electric motors will be used to power and provide AWD. Autocar expects the car launch in 2019. Source: Autocar
  12. Last month, we reported that work had begun on the next-generation Jaguar XJ. The company's director of design Ian Callum said it would be "something quite special." What that may mean is the next XJ transition to being an electric-only model. Autocar has learned that Jaguar is planning to reinvent the XJ into being a fully-electric model to take on the like of the Tesla Model S, and provide an interesting alternative to the Mercedes-Benz S-Class. Design-wise, the XJ will morph into a 5-door model - something akin to an Audi A7 we're guessing. It will also debut a new design language that will be used on future models. In terms of platform, the new XJ will use an all-new platform that will be shared with an upcoming model from Land Rover - the Road Rover we reported in the Rumorpile back in September. The platform will be capable of being equipped with internal-combustion or electric powertrains. For the XJ, it is believed that twin electric motors will be used to power and provide AWD. Autocar expects the car launch in 2019. Source: Autocar View full article
  13. Ford and General Motors have differing views on autonomous vehicles. GM is planning on launching a number of Chevrolet Bolt EVs in various urban markets in 2019 for a ride-hailing service. Ford, on the other hand, is taking a different approach in terms of powertrain and use. Ford's top sales executive, Jim Farley said their autonomous vehicle - due in 2021 - will be a hybrid vehicle with a focus on commercial applications. Farley explained that going with a hybrid powertrain would allow their vehicles to stay on the road longer thanks to a longer range when compared to EVs. The company expects their autonomous vehicles to be on the road for roughly 20 hours a day. Using an electric vehicle for this type of task doesn't make business sense as they would need to recharge constantly. "Anytime you're not carrying goods and people, you're losing money. The most important thing is uptime and profitability. What we see is the [hybrid] is a much better cost-of-ownership model," said Farley. The constant recharging also brings up another negative for electric vehicles, frequent replacement of the batteries due to increased degradation. Ford has already announced a pilot program with Domino's pizza to do deliveries in a self-driving plan. Next year, Ford will this commercial idea to the test by putting a fleet of vehicles in a "yet-to-be-named test city" with a number of partners. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required) View full article
  14. Ford and General Motors have differing views on autonomous vehicles. GM is planning on launching a number of Chevrolet Bolt EVs in various urban markets in 2019 for a ride-hailing service. Ford, on the other hand, is taking a different approach in terms of powertrain and use. Ford's top sales executive, Jim Farley said their autonomous vehicle - due in 2021 - will be a hybrid vehicle with a focus on commercial applications. Farley explained that going with a hybrid powertrain would allow their vehicles to stay on the road longer thanks to a longer range when compared to EVs. The company expects their autonomous vehicles to be on the road for roughly 20 hours a day. Using an electric vehicle for this type of task doesn't make business sense as they would need to recharge constantly. "Anytime you're not carrying goods and people, you're losing money. The most important thing is uptime and profitability. What we see is the [hybrid] is a much better cost-of-ownership model," said Farley. The constant recharging also brings up another negative for electric vehicles, frequent replacement of the batteries due to increased degradation. Ford has already announced a pilot program with Domino's pizza to do deliveries in a self-driving plan. Next year, Ford will this commercial idea to the test by putting a fleet of vehicles in a "yet-to-be-named test city" with a number of partners. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
  15. William Maley

    Porsche Plans To Have A Second EV Model By 2025

    With stricter CO2 emission regulations looming over the horizon from the European Union, Porsche is getting ready by launching a second electric vehicle to comply with them. According to Automotive News Europe, the EU is proposing a 30 percent reduction in CO2 emissions for new car fleets by 2030 - less than 67 grams per kilometer under the current NEDC testing cycle. Half of that must be achieved by 2025 as part of a milestone. Porsche's plan at the moment is to have more than half of its sales come from electrified vehicles, That includes the launch of the Mission EV and hybrid/plug-in hybrid vehicles. "Technically we certainly won’t struggle with that [target]," said Porsche development chief Michael Steiner. "The attractiveness [of Porsche's electrified lineup] should lead to a powertrain mix that ensures we are compliant." Steiner also said that Porsche is working on a second EV, but it would not be a sports car. "We're starting with a sporty four-door concept in the Mission E positioned between the 911 and the Panamera, so it's logical that we will look to balance our lineup with a product in a different segment such as an SUV." As we reported back in June, Porsche CEO Oliver Blume said the company is working on two new electric SUVs. One is a coupe-SUV (think BMW X6/Mercedes GLE-Cass) and the other is the next-generation Macan which is expected to go full electric only. Source: Automotive News Europe (Subscription Required)
  16. With stricter CO2 emission regulations looming over the horizon from the European Union, Porsche is getting ready by launching a second electric vehicle to comply with them. According to Automotive News Europe, the EU is proposing a 30 percent reduction in CO2 emissions for new car fleets by 2030 - less than 67 grams per kilometer under the current NEDC testing cycle. Half of that must be achieved by 2025 as part of a milestone. Porsche's plan at the moment is to have more than half of its sales come from electrified vehicles, That includes the launch of the Mission EV and hybrid/plug-in hybrid vehicles. "Technically we certainly won’t struggle with that [target]," said Porsche development chief Michael Steiner. "The attractiveness [of Porsche's electrified lineup] should lead to a powertrain mix that ensures we are compliant." Steiner also said that Porsche is working on a second EV, but it would not be a sports car. "We're starting with a sporty four-door concept in the Mission E positioned between the 911 and the Panamera, so it's logical that we will look to balance our lineup with a product in a different segment such as an SUV." As we reported back in June, Porsche CEO Oliver Blume said the company is working on two new electric SUVs. One is a coupe-SUV (think BMW X6/Mercedes GLE-Cass) and the other is the next-generation Macan which is expected to go full electric only. Source: Automotive News Europe (Subscription Required) View full article
  17. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com August 13, 2012 Chrysler hasn't been the strongest proponent of electric vehicles since it has been together with Fiat. "You're not looking at a guy who's as scared as the rest of them. I'm not scared, I just won't do it. I just will not do it. I think we're smoking illegal materials if we think we're going to make those [profitably]," said Fiat/Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne in a interview with Automobile Magazine back in July. This might be an odd thing to say since Fiat is working on a 500 EV that will go into production later this year. However, Marchionne has been on record saying the 500 EV will lose money and is a "compliance car", a vehicle that will meet requirements for sales of a certain number of zero-emission vehicles in the state of California. However it seems Chrysler is taking some small steps off this belief. “We do believe in electrification, sparingly and for the right kinds of targeted applications. We’re developing technology for commercialization, preparing for the shift when consumers start pulling them into the marketplace,” said Chrysler's vice president and head of engineering for engine and electrified propulsion Bob Lee this past week at the Center for Automotive Research conference in Acme, Michigan. For the time being, Chrysler will put more focus on diesel, CNG, hybrid powered cars. Source: Bloomberg 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
  18. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com August 13, 2012 Chrysler hasn't been the strongest proponent of electric vehicles since it has been together with Fiat. "You're not looking at a guy who's as scared as the rest of them. I'm not scared, I just won't do it. I just will not do it. I think we're smoking illegal materials if we think we're going to make those [profitably]," said Fiat/Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne in a interview with Automobile Magazine back in July. This might be an odd thing to say since Fiat is working on a 500 EV that will go into production later this year. However, Marchionne has been on record saying the 500 EV will lose money and is a "compliance car", a vehicle that will meet requirements for sales of a certain number of zero-emission vehicles in the state of California. However it seems Chrysler is taking some small steps off this belief. “We do believe in electrification, sparingly and for the right kinds of targeted applications. We’re developing technology for commercialization, preparing for the shift when consumers start pulling them into the marketplace,” said Chrysler's vice president and head of engineering for engine and electrified propulsion Bob Lee this past week at the Center for Automotive Research conference in Acme, Michigan. For the time being, Chrysler will put more focus on diesel, CNG, hybrid powered cars. Source: Bloomberg 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.
  19. Do you remember the Volkswagen Kübelwagen? You might know it better as the Thing sold in 1970s. Volkswagen could be bringing it back as an electric vehicle. Speaking with Car and Driver, Volkswagen brand boss Herbert Diess said the upcoming MEB (Modular Electrification Toolkit) architecture might be the perfect platform to bring back some of the company's iconic vehicles like the Thing. “MEB is flexible—rear-wheel drive, front-wheel drive, all-wheel drive—and we have so many emotional concepts. I don’t know if you remember the Kübelwagen. This Thing is a nice car. Then there are all the buggies, the kit cars. We have the bus. We have the various derivatives of the bus. We have so many exciting concepts in our history that we don’t have to do a Beetle,” said Diess. This possible idea isn't that all surprising as Volkswagen as the I.D. Buzz was inspired by the Microbus. Speaking of the Beetle, Car and Driver asked if there will be a replacement for this model. As we have reported previously, the Beetle could be canned due to poor sales. “No decision yet. The next decision on the electric cars will be, ‘What kind of emotional concepts do we need?’ [A decision] might happen next year. This Beetle won’t go electric; the next one might, if there is a next one. We have a good chance on the electric side to do derivatives and emotional derivatives. It’s probably more efficient to do so than in [internal combustion] cars,” said Diess. “We could [build an electric Beetle], because it is rear-wheel drive, no grille. If we wanted to do a Beetle electrically, it would be much better than the current car. Much closer to the history of the Beetle. [But] I think the Microbus is a much better emotional concept for the brand than the Beetle. If you go to California, everybody would say it’s the bus.” Source: Car and Driver View full article
  20. William Maley

    Thing Could Make A Return to Volkswagen

    Do you remember the Volkswagen Kübelwagen? You might know it better as the Thing sold in 1970s. Volkswagen could be bringing it back as an electric vehicle. Speaking with Car and Driver, Volkswagen brand boss Herbert Diess said the upcoming MEB (Modular Electrification Toolkit) architecture might be the perfect platform to bring back some of the company's iconic vehicles like the Thing. “MEB is flexible—rear-wheel drive, front-wheel drive, all-wheel drive—and we have so many emotional concepts. I don’t know if you remember the Kübelwagen. This Thing is a nice car. Then there are all the buggies, the kit cars. We have the bus. We have the various derivatives of the bus. We have so many exciting concepts in our history that we don’t have to do a Beetle,” said Diess. This possible idea isn't that all surprising as Volkswagen as the I.D. Buzz was inspired by the Microbus. Speaking of the Beetle, Car and Driver asked if there will be a replacement for this model. As we have reported previously, the Beetle could be canned due to poor sales. “No decision yet. The next decision on the electric cars will be, ‘What kind of emotional concepts do we need?’ [A decision] might happen next year. This Beetle won’t go electric; the next one might, if there is a next one. We have a good chance on the electric side to do derivatives and emotional derivatives. It’s probably more efficient to do so than in [internal combustion] cars,” said Diess. “We could [build an electric Beetle], because it is rear-wheel drive, no grille. If we wanted to do a Beetle electrically, it would be much better than the current car. Much closer to the history of the Beetle. [But] I think the Microbus is a much better emotional concept for the brand than the Beetle. If you go to California, everybody would say it’s the bus.” Source: Car and Driver
  21. FAPTurbo

    Review - 2014 FIAT 500e

    FIAT's 500e is an odd vehicle, in that it's one of the industry's better EV efforts and yet it's publicly loathed by FIAT's own CEO. Though sold only in California and Oregon, a number of 500e's are coming off lease, needing new homes. Unlike many Americans in late 2016 who swore they'd move to Canada, FIAT 500e's are actually following through on those plans, aware of Canada's love of cheap and cheerful compacts. Juicy Jolt A couple diminutive expats ended up at a nearby lot, one of which was a bright, juicy orange with a white accented spoiler, air dam and mirrors. Despite being a fairly old vehicle, this colour combination is akin to a Scaramucci-esque botox and bake, turning this familiar 10 year old design into a charismatic creamsicle-coloured cherub. Though a dated interior, the 500e's cream white dash and matching faux-leather seats spruce the space up enough to take eyes off of the hard plastics. Orange accents on the doors and the seating add a playful, premium flair, albeit once your hand's drawn to them, do you realize this is still an economy car. Buttons and dials are close at hand and easy to use, and felt relatively satisfying to press, save for the one blank 'dead' button below the climate controls. I wish companies would make the effort to turn dead buttons into something, even if it's redundant functionality. A single digital display occupies the gauge pod, providing easy to read speed, mileage and remaining power information. Like some other electrics and hybrids, the 500e provides feedback on your driving; green for being energy efficient, red for not. It's not as gamified as Ford's use of green leaves in their system but it works well enough. Using manual controls, finding a comfortable seating position for my 6'3 frame was easy, with legroom to spare. The seats didn't feel as if I'd slid into a penalty box, and I felt well supported. Aside from the chunky B-pillars, the seats provided a commanding view of the road, moreso than some other cars I've driven in this class. Rear space is adequate for a grocery run, and with the seats folded down, the 500e is surprisingly spacious. The Cinquecento With Zip Upon starting the vehicle, an other-worldly digital screech pierced the cabin for over three seconds and my nightmares forever. The sound was similar to someone holding a microphone near a speaker. This apparently was an issue with the head-unit which the dealer promised would be fixed. However, upon looking through some paperwork, it seems attempts to fix the issue had taken place by the prior dealer. Having something like this happen on a fairly new car speaks volumes about FIAT's quality. But after you hit 'D' on the centre console and hit the road, the 500e's gremlins took a back seat in what is a genuinely fun runabout. Acceleration from 0 - 50km/h is brisk, and I found myself taking the right lane at red lights to get the jump on everyone else. While nowhere as visceral as a Tesla's take-off, the FIAT springs forward with just enough brio to put a cheeky smirk on your face, not unlike the one you had when you drove a go-kart for the first time. Dancing through traffic is a breeze with the 500e's instant torque and diminutive proportions. Zipping in and out of lanes, and around city corners is good fun, despite the hard, mileage-oriented tires and extra 600 lbs from the batteries, as well as the large B-pillar on the left side which creates a sizeable blind spot. The 500e's steering is engaging enough for most of us, and the car would likely be an entertaining cliffside drive alternative to its Abarth cousin. Parking the FIAT is simple, with it's small stature and included sensors making it easy to whip in and out of stalls, and in-between cars, even with the blind sports impeding vision. Best of all, the 500e's driver likely won't have to hunt for a spot very long, with plenty of EV-specific stalls in parkades. With about 150 kilometers of range, the 500e's is suitable for the average Canadian commute of 17km to work. (Insert Stereotypical Italian Phrase Here) I didn't have an opportunity to take the 500e on the freeway, nor charge it. Range is a respectable 150km, which is competitive considering a current-year base model Nissan Leaf and standard Smart Electric clock in at 135km and 160km respectively, while the FIAT offers arguably more spirited handling and panache. At used prices hovering around $15,000 CAD and fairly low mileages, the 500e makes a great deal of sense as a primary car for people living in or adjacent to a city. I have two major concerns: First, is that FIAT's battery warranty is not applicable in Canada. This means that owners will have to pay out of pocket in the event of issues. Dealers are being fairly up-front about this, however some of their ads promise 'free powertrain warranty' or 'free lifetime engine warranty,' which don't apply to the battery system and while likely from a template, are dubious. Second of course, is FIAT's own reliability track record, which reinforces my first concern.
  22. Volvo stunned the world last Wednesday when they announced beginning in 2019, they would begin to phase out gas only vehicles and replacing them with hybrid and electric models. The company claims this strategy heralds "a new chapter in automotive history". This move is an about-face for the Swedish automaker. Previously, the company said electric vehicles didn't make a great business case. But there is more to this decision than meets the eye. Automotive News reports that a key reason for Volvo's electrification plans comes down to the increasing regulation on carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in three key markets; Europe, China, and U.S. Tim Urquhart, principal analyst at IHS Markit tells AN that Volvo would struggle to meet the tougher targets on their larger vehicle without some sort of electrification. "They've looked at the targets, and thought, we need to take serious action." Another reason comes in part from the fallout of the Volkswagen diesel emission scandal. Automakers in Europe were using diesel engines as they produced 15 to 20 percent less CO2 emissions. But the backlash against diesel after the scandal has caused buyers to look elsewhere. In Germany for example, sales of diesel vehicles dropped to 39 percent in June - this figure was almost 50 percent the same time last year. "Diesel was their main weapon of choice to hit these regulations. Now they have to come up with a plan B," said Matthias Schmidt, automotive market analyst for AID. According to data from AID, 83 percent Volvo's 2016 sales in Europe were comprised of diesels. This is high when compared to BMW (73 percent), Mercedes-Benz (73 percent), and Audi (68 percent). Only Land Rover (96 percent) and Jaguar (84 percent) were higher. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
  23. Volvo stunned the world last Wednesday when they announced beginning in 2019, they would begin to phase out gas only vehicles and replacing them with hybrid and electric models. The company claims this strategy heralds "a new chapter in automotive history". This move is an about-face for the Swedish automaker. Previously, the company said electric vehicles didn't make a great business case. But there is more to this decision than meets the eye. Automotive News reports that a key reason for Volvo's electrification plans comes down to the increasing regulation on carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in three key markets; Europe, China, and U.S. Tim Urquhart, principal analyst at IHS Markit tells AN that Volvo would struggle to meet the tougher targets on their larger vehicle without some sort of electrification. "They've looked at the targets, and thought, we need to take serious action." Another reason comes in part from the fallout of the Volkswagen diesel emission scandal. Automakers in Europe were using diesel engines as they produced 15 to 20 percent less CO2 emissions. But the backlash against diesel after the scandal has caused buyers to look elsewhere. In Germany for example, sales of diesel vehicles dropped to 39 percent in June - this figure was almost 50 percent the same time last year. "Diesel was their main weapon of choice to hit these regulations. Now they have to come up with a plan B," said Matthias Schmidt, automotive market analyst for AID. According to data from AID, 83 percent Volvo's 2016 sales in Europe were comprised of diesels. This is high when compared to BMW (73 percent), Mercedes-Benz (73 percent), and Audi (68 percent). Only Land Rover (96 percent) and Jaguar (84 percent) were higher. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required) View full article
  24. It is no secret that German automakers are busy developing vehicles to challenge the Tesla Model S and X. But there has been barely a peep about something to take on the Model 3. But that is changing according to a report from Germany’s Handelsblatt. Sources at BMW tell the publication that the company will be showing off a 3-Series electric at the Frankfurt Motor Show later this year. The model is said to have a range of 248 miles (400 km) and will directly compete against the upcoming Model 3. BMW declined to comment on this report. The report doesn't say if this new electric will be based on the current or next 3-Series. Our hunch is that it will be the next-generation as it will be making its debut sometime next year. The model that could be shown at Frankfurt could be a concept to give us some idea of what BMW has planned. Nevertheless, we will be keeping a close watch on this story. Source: Handelsblatt (Subscription Required)
  25. It is no secret that German automakers are busy developing vehicles to challenge the Tesla Model S and X. But there has been barely a peep about something to take on the Model 3. But that is changing according to a report from Germany’s Handelsblatt. Sources at BMW tell the publication that the company will be showing off a 3-Series electric at the Frankfurt Motor Show later this year. The model is said to have a range of 248 miles (400 km) and will directly compete against the upcoming Model 3. BMW declined to comment on this report. The report doesn't say if this new electric will be based on the current or next 3-Series. Our hunch is that it will be the next-generation as it will be making its debut sometime next year. The model that could be shown at Frankfurt could be a concept to give us some idea of what BMW has planned. Nevertheless, we will be keeping a close watch on this story. Source: Handelsblatt (Subscription Required) View full article

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