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Lexus Execs Want A Production Version Of The LF-1 Limitless Concept Really Bad 20
Jan
Posted by Michael Gauthier in concepts, Detroit-Auto-Show, Hybrids, LEXUS, Lexus Concept, Reports on 01 20th, 2018


Lexus unveiled the LF-1 Limitless concept at the North American International Auto Show, and its executives can barely contain their excitement over a possible production version.
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60 Percent Of Cars In UK Will Need To Be Ultra-Low Emissions To Meet EU Targets 19
Jan
Posted by Brad Anderson in Electric Vehicles, Hybrids, Hydrogen, Reports, Tech on 01 19th, 2018


A report by the Committee on Climate Change in the UK says that 60 per cent of all new cars and vans sold in the country will need to be ultra-low emission vehicles (ULEVs) by 2030 to meet EU targets.
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Electric AMGs Are Coming But Not Before Launching New 805HP Hybrids 18
Jan
Posted by Michael Karkafiris in AMG, Electric Vehicles, Hybrids, mercedes, Mercedes AMG, PHEV, Reports on 01 18th, 2018


It goes without saying that since all the major car makers are planning an army of electric vehicles for the near future, performance brands like Mercedes AMG are going to dive into the action sooner or later. It’s inevitable.
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BMW Is Indeed Considering A More Powerful i8 Variant 17
Jan
Posted by Brad Anderson in BMW, BMW i8, Hybrids, Reports, Tech on 01 17th, 2018


BMW is investigating the possibility of launching a more powerful version of its i8 hybrid sports car on the back of customer demand for such a vehicle.
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Infiniti To Become A “Highly Electrified Brand” 17
Jan
Posted by Brad Anderson in Electric Vehicles, Hybrids, Infiniti, Reports on 01 17th, 2018


To further differentiate itself from Nissan, luxury brand Infiniti will aggressively adopt electrification, Nissan chief executive Hiroto Saikawa has revealed at the Detroit Auto Show.
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2019 Lexus LS Launches In The U.S. Priced Cheaper Than Old Model 15
Jan
Posted by Michael Karkafiris in Hybrids, LEXUS, Lexus LS, new cars, prices on 01 15th, 2018


Lexus is launching the new LS luxury sedan in the US market with an entry price that’s actually cheaper than its predecessor.

The new Lexus LS starts from $75,995, including a $995 destination and handling fee, making it $3,820 cheaper than the outgoing long-wheelbase model. The hybrid LS 500h has a starting price of $80,505.

The launch of the company’s new flagship sedan will be accompanied by a new commercial during the 2018 Super Bowl next month.

“The 2018 LS is one of the most important launches in our brand’s history, so it makes sense for us to use a stage like the Super Bowl to showcase it to our customers. The LS not only offers unsurpassed performance, style and luxury, its competitive pricing makes it a great value as well,” said Lexus Group Vice President and Division General Manager, Jeff Bracken.

Based on the company’s latest GA-L platform, the new Lexus LS is offered with an all-new twin-turbo 3.5-liter V6 engine that makes 416hp and 442lb-ft of torque, 30hp and 75lb-ft more than its naturally aspirated V8 predecessor.

The hybrid LS500h uses the same Multistage Hybrid System that debuted in the LC500h Coupe, combining a 3.5-liter V6 that runs on the Atkinson cycle with two electric motors for a total of 354hp.

Every new Lexus LS model comes loaded with the Safety System+ as standard. This includes a Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection, Intelligent High Beam headlamps, Lane Departure Alert and All-Speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control with Lane Keep Assist. Customers can opt for the Lexus Safety System+ A that adds Pedestrian Alert, Active Steering Assist, Front Cross Traffic Alert, Road Sign Assist, Lane Departure Alert with road edge detection and the semi-autonomous Lexus CoDrive which combines Lane Trace Assist and All-Speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control.



Note: Lexus LS500 F-Sport pictured

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2019 Toyota Avalon Arrives In Detroit With Fresh Styling And Tech 15
Jan
Posted by Cristian Gnaticov in Detroit-Auto-Show, featured, Galleries, Hybrids, new cars, TOYOTA, Toyota Avalon on 01 15th, 2018


Despite most consumers flocking to crossovers and SUVs, Toyota is not ready to put its traditional saloons aside, unveiling the fifth generation Avalon during the 2018 Detroit Auto Show.

Underpinned by the TNGA architecture, the car is now longer, wider, and lower than before, with 196in (4,978mm) in length, 72.8in (1,849mm) in width, 56.5in (1,435mm) in height, and a 113in (2,870mm) long wheelbase.

It features new styling, with a very large grille at the front flanked by slim headlights with incorporated DRLs, a muscular yet sporty profile, and a redesigned rear end, with new taillights connected by a prominent strip.

Toyota’s new Entune 3.0 infotainment system dominates the central console and provides access to connected services, Wi-Fi hotspot, and sound system, among others. Audiophiles can go ahead and get the optional JBL 7.1-channel system, which boasts 1,200-watt. Qi wireless mobile device charger, Toyota Remote Connect with Smartwatch, Amazon Alexa Connectivity, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are also part of the offerings, along with up to 5 USB ports, and a selection of wood and leather trims.

There’s a new 7-inch display in the instrument cluster as well, which allows users to see the vehicle information, safety settings, navigation, and other functions, while the addition of a 10-inch head-up display, said to be the largest in the segment, should earn extra points for the car.

Powering the 2019 Toyota Avalon are two engines: an upgraded version of the 3.5-liter V6, with an 8-speed automatic gearbox, and a 2.5-liter four-cylinder hybrid, with a 650-volt electric motor and CVT.

No power figures have been released yet, but these appear to be very similar to the units that power the Camry, and in the latter, the V6 makes 301hp (305PS) and 267lb-ft (362Nm) of torque, whereas the smaller one is rated at 203hp (206PS) and 184lb-ft (249Nm) of torque.

Other changes made to the new Avalon include the active variable suspension with adaptive damping, shock absorbers at each corner with solenoid control valves for independent wheel control, front and rear G sensors, and a multilink setup at the rear.

Users will get to choose between one of three driving modes on all trim levels – Eco, Normal, and Sport, while those that sit behind the wheel of the Touring grades will get a fourth one, called Sport+. Elsewhere, the 2019 Toyota Avalon benefits from active noise control, engine sound enhancement, a new exhaust system, and intake sound generator.

A suite of safety systems equip the car, including the standard Toyota Safety Sense P, which offers Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection, Full-Speed Range Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist, and Automatic High Beams.

Other driving assistance features available are the Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Back Guide Monitor, Panoramic View Monitor with Alert, and Intelligence Clearance Sonar with Rear Cross Traffic Braking system.

Toyota will start taking orders for the 2019 Avalon in late spring, with pricing to be announced at a later date.

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2019 Honda Insight Looks Surprisingly Good In Type-R Guise 13
Jan
Posted by Sergiu Tudose in honda, Honda Insight, Hybrids, Renderings on 01 13th, 2018


Even though Honda is unlikely to build a performance-oriented version of the new Insight, we can’t help but give them credit for at least making the new one much more attractive than its predecessor.

As is the case with newly-launched cars, X-Tomi created a rendering of the 2019 Insight, showing how a hypothetical Type R version might look. His list of changes including new bumpers, a rear wing, bigger wheels (and brakes) and a dark grille, mirrors and roof.

The simple fact that this car doesn’t look ridiculous with all this extra stuff on is a testament to the real model’s successful redesign. Also, in case anybody forgot what the Insight used to look like, here’s a reminder. Not one of Honda’s finest moments, was it?

Now, for argument’s sake, let’s just say that Honda does launch an Insight Type-R. The question is, would it be more attractive than the Civic Type-R? Well, they belong in different segments, but the render doesn’t look as over-styled as the Civic Type-R, which some people might actually appreciate.



Mid-Engine Corvette Will Reportedly Skip Detroit But Offer A Hybrid Powertrain With 1,000+ HP 12
Jan
Posted by Michael Gauthier in Chevrolet, Corvette, Detroit-Auto-Show, Hybrids, Reports on 01 12th, 2018


The mid-engine Corvette rumor mill kicked into high gear following the release of several CAD drawings in December but fans hoping to see the model at the North American International Auto Show next week are reportedly out of luck.

Hagerty is reporting the C8 will likely debut in Detroit but it isn’t expected to be unveiled until next year. This isn’t a complete surprise as Chevrolet recently unveiled the Corvette ZR1 but it’s disappointing nonetheless.

One thing that’s certainly not disappointing is the C8’s engine lineup as Hagerty is reporting the model will likely be offered with an upgraded version of the company’s 6.2-liter LT1 V8 engine. The engine will reportedly produce up to 600 hp (447 kW) thanks to a higher compression ratio and a less restrictive exhaust. Other engines are expected to be added to the lineup after launch and the report says the company has expressed interest in a flat-plane crank V8 like the one used in the Ford Mustang Shelby GT350.

The most interesting rumor revolves around a range-topping variant which would make the ZR1 look weak by comparison. The model will reportedly have a twin-turbo V8 engine that powers the rear wheels and an electric motor that powers the front wheels. This setup would give the model all-wheel drive and a reported output of 1,000+ hp (745 kW).

While manual transmissions have been a hallmark of the Corvette, the C8 will reportedly eschew them for a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic with paddle shifters. That will probably annoy a number of fans but DCTs offer a number of benefits including improved acceleration.

The manual transmission might not make the jump to the next-generation, but GM’s focus on lightweight construction surely will. The report says the car will use a hydroformed aluminum space frame chassis as well as lightweight components such as carbon fiber and magnesium. We can also expect carbon-ceramic brakes and lightweight fiberglass springs.

There have been constant rumors about how much the mid-engine Corvette will cost but the latest report says pricing will start at around $70,000.

Photo Credits: CarPix for CarScoops

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Kia’s Current Sportage And Next Cee’d To Feature Mild-Hybrid Tech 10
Jan
Posted by Cristian Gnaticov in Electric Vehicles, Geneva Motor Show, Hybrids, Kia, Kia Ceed, Kia Sportage, Reports on 01 10th, 2018


Like all manufacturers, Kia has to meet stricter emissions targets in Europe, and to do so it will electrify some of its models and launch some EVs.

The current Sportage and next generation Cee’d are two models that will arrive with a 48V mild-hybrid technology, Hyundai’s R&D chief, Woong Chul Yang, told AutoExpress.

“For Europe, there is demand for mild-hybrid 48-volt technology, so we are working on that for the Sportage, and for medium-sized SUVs, and we are working on that for the new Cee’d. This is to meet all those tough CO2 requirements”, Yang said.

The third-generation Kia Cee’d appears to be ready, in South Korea at least, where the car was recently spotted without any camo at all. However, it will make its European premiere at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show in March.

Aside from the confirmed mild-hybrid technology in Europe, the 2019 Cee’d will use several three- and four-cylinder petrol and diesel engines, most of which (if not all) will be shared with its Hyundai “cousin”, the i30.

Kia will also launch a fully electric variant of the Niro later this year, as previewed by the concept that debuted at CES, while the Stonic sub-compact SUV is also tipped to get an all-electric version as well.

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Hyundai’s Genesis Going After Ferrari And Porsche With New Supercar Project 9
Jan
Posted by Cristian Gnaticov in CES, Genesis, Hybrids, Hyundai, Reports on 01 9th, 2018


The sky seems to be the limit for Hyundai’s Genesis brand, as the Koreans are reportedly working on a supercar project that will supposedly lead to the creation of a Ferrari and Porsche challenge.

At least in terms of performance and perhaps even in looks, because it’s one thing matching those established brands on paper, and another actually competing with them and poaching their clientele.

The information was confirmed to WheelsMag by Hyundai Design VP Luc Donckerwolke and Vice-Chairman of R&D Woong-chul Yang, during CES 2018 in Las Vegas.

“We are definitely doing it. I’m actually reviewing the project next week, after CES. I can’t tell you much more about it, but we are definitely doing it. We are not going autonomous for all of our cars”, Donckerwolke said.

Contrary to popular belief that a halo supercar from Genesis would have nothing to do with the Hyundai N arm, Yang added that it will likely be developed by the performance division, under the close watch of Albert Biermann, who is the former BMW M chief.

“We are very much interested in it, and as far as I’m concerned, I’d love to promote that. That’s something our brand needs at this time. The people working at N will be working on that, but how we put it in the N or maybe above N… it’s pretty high performance. It’s serious”, commented Yang.

The project will likely arrive in the coming years with a two-door body style, being powered by a small internal combustion engine, backed up by electric motors and batteries.

It should also be something to look at, given that Donckerwolke gave a helping hand in the design of the Lamborghini Diablo and Gallardo, from his position within the Volkswagen Group.

Reporting directly to Luc Donckerwolke, who is the Head of Genesis Design, is Alexander Selipanov, who’s name probably doesn’t say anything to the vast majority, but he is the man that helped design the Bugatti Chiron.

Note: Hyundai N 2025 Vision Gran Turismo pictured

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Is This McLaren’s Upcoming BP23 Three-Seater Hypercar? 7
Jan
Posted by Andreas Tsaousis in DRS, Film, Hybrids, IPAS, mclaren, McLaren F1, McLaren P1, McLaren Senna, McLaren Videos, video on 01 7th, 2018


Even though it has increased its range considerably in just a few years and having just announced that it posted record sales in 2017, McLaren is not resting at its laurels but is preparing a new hypercar that will belong in its Ultimate Series.

Code-named BP23, for Bespoke Project 2 with 3 seats (perhaps the Bespoke Project 1 was the Senna), it is the spiritual successor to the iconic F1, which also featured three seats and a central driving position. It also held the world speed record from 1992, with 240.1 mph (386.4 km/h), until 2005, when the Koenigsegg CCR upstaged it, posting a 241.63 mph (388.87 km/h) v-max.

Now, McLaren itself has already shown us a couple of images of a camouflaged prototype with chief tester Chris Goodwin, who has since moved to Aston Martin, at the driver’s seat. It also stated that it will be the Grand Tourer of the Ultimate Series, and at the same time “the fastest ever McLaren”, though we don’t know if this includes the Senna or not.

Anyhow, a prototype that looks a lot like the one Woking has posted was recently captured on video. It was, unsurprisingly, covered in camo and, as the description says, lacked a third seat, which could mean that it is an early, 720S-based test mule, which makes sense, as the production car isn’t expected until 2019.

Like all McLarens, the BP23 will use the MonoCage carbon fiber chassis, most likely in an evolved form, and since it’s an Ultimate Series, we figure it will be powered by a hybrid powertrain, just like the P1, comprising of the twin-turbo 4.0-liter V8 that made its debut in the 720S along with an electric motor for a total output in excess of 1,000HP.

We also expect the latest iteration of the company’s electrohydraulic suspension that does away with roll bars, plus the Formula 1-inspired Instant Power Assist System (IPAS), which gives an instant boost in acceleration via the electric motor, and Drag Reduction System (DRS) that were introduced in the P1.

The BP23 will be produced in just 106 examples, all of which are already spoken for, and in all likelihood will be launched with a different name. Being a three-seater, we have a hunch that its designation will include the F1 moniker in some way, though this is just our guess. Pity they have wasted used the Senna name already, isn’t it?

Video



Electric And Hybrid Vehicles Now Account For Over Half Of Norway’s Car Sales 7
Jan
Posted by Brad Anderson in Electric Vehicles, Hybrids, IEA, OFV, Reports on 01 7th, 2018


Last year, electric vehicles and hybrids accounted for 52 per cent of all new car sales in Norway, a significant 12 per cent increase over 2016, Reuters reports.

The key reason for such high demand stems from the generous incentives the Norwegian government offers to EV buyers. Included among these incentives are a variety of tax breaks, free use of many road tolls and often free parking and charging services.

“No one else is close. For the first time, we have a fossil fuel market share below 50 percent,” Norwegian Road Federation (OFV) chief Oeyvind Solberg Thorsen said. “The shift has gone faster than we’d thought, and the big car makers say they’re going all in to produce non-fossil cars.”

According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), which excludes hybrid vehicles with small electric motors that can’t be plugged in from its figures, electric car sales in Norway accounted for 39 per cent of the automotive market, easily putting Norway ahead of any other country. In fact, the Netherlands scored second with just 6.4 per cent of its vehicle sales being EVs.

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New Renault Clio Reportedly Coming To Paris Show, Diesels Are Uncertain 6
Jan
Posted by Cristian Gnaticov in Autonomous, Hybrids, Paris Auto Show, renault, Renault Clio, Reports on 01 6th, 2018


The current Renault Clio has been in production since 2012, making it one of the oldest cars in the supermini segment, but the French brand will introduce the fifth generation later this year.

Coming as early as the 2018 Paris Auto Show in September, prior to its on sale date scheduled for 2019, the B-segment car will basically be an evolution of the fourth generation model, says AutoExpress. Visually, it will be inspired by the Symbioz Concept and its larger sibling, the new Megane.

Looking to keep production costs as low as possible, Renault will continue to offer the next Clio based on the CMF-B architecture, albeit with a few modifications, which will give it access to a variety of petrol engines, including the turbocharged 0.9-liter three-cylinder, and the new 1.3-liter unit.

It’s unclear at the moment whether any dCi diesel mills will make their way into the car, as the French manufacturer is still weighing in on this decision as the market is moving away from oil burners.

While diesels may be uncertain, the 2019 Renault Clio will get the 48V hybrid technology, paired to a small petrol engine, which will lead to lower emissions and improved fuel consumption. A plug-in hybrid variant has been apparently ruled out, though.

Moreover, the publication reports that the French brand’s next-gen supermini will play its part in their electrified future, so we’re probably looking at a new Zoe too, in the coming years.

The 2019 Renault Clio is also expected to adopt basic semi-autonomous driving, which will allow it to steer, accelerate, and brake on its own, raising the bar for other cars in the subcompact sector. Nevertheless, don’t expect to read the paper behind the wheel, because drivers will be obliged to keep their hands on the steering wheel at all times.

Note: Renault Symbioz Concept pictured

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2019 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Likely Getting Diesel-Electric Hybrid 6
Jan
Posted by Cristian Gnaticov in diesel, Geneva Motor Show, Hybrids, mercedes, Mercedes C-Class, PHEV, Reports on 01 6th, 2018


In a surprising move, Mercedes-Benz has reportedly decided to offer the updated C-Class with a diesel plug-in hybrid powertrain.

According to Autocar, this version of the revamped C-Class will be named the C400d EQ Power and feature a zero-emission range of up to 31 miles (50km). Moreover, it will be joined by a new petrol-electric version, called the C400 EQ Power.

Both will use an updated version of the electric motor used on the current petrol-electric C350e PHEV that’s delivering an extra 41hp to the wheels, in addition to a tweaked charging system, which will provide quicker charging times, according to undisclosed sources that are familiar with the issue.

The rest of the 2019 Mercedes-Benz C-Class models will benefit from new 2.0-liter four-cylinder petrol and diesel units, with extra power and lower CO2 emissions.

Diesels will churn out 148hp, 192hp, and 241hp in the C200d, C220d, and C300d, respectively. One of the petrol options will get 188hp in the C200 EQ Boost that’s named that way to highlight the implementation of a mild hybrid setup with a 48V electric architecture that adds an extra 17hp of electric boost for short periods of time, and a belt-driven alternator.

The upcoming C300, on the other hand, doesn’t have a hybrid function, but comes with 255hp, up 13hp compared to the current car, thanks to increased turbo boost pressure.

At the higher end of the range, the C43 models are believed to retain the 3.0-liter V6 engine, but with a minor power boost, whereas the top-of-the-tine C63 will get an updated version of the 4.0-liter V8 with new twin-scroll turbochargers.

Depending on the selected model, the facelifted C-Class will come with either a 6-speed manual or a new 9-speed automatic gearbox that replaces the 7-speed auto offered on the current models.

Styling changes to the 2019 Mercedes-Benz C-Class are expected to be discreet, with modified lighting units, bumpers, and a new diamond pattern grille insert on AMGs. The range-topping versions will get Adaptive Highbeam Assist Plus headlights as seen on the E-Class and S-Class.

The facelifted Mercedes-Benz C-Class is expected to mark its first public debut in March, at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show.

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