The Truth About Cars » Hybrid http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Wed, 01 Jul 2015 12:00:53 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.2 The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars no The Truth About Cars editors@ttac.com editors@ttac.com (The Truth About Cars) 2006-2009 The Truth About Cars The Truth About Cars » Hybrid http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/themes/ttac-theme/images/logo.gif http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/category/news-blog/hybrid/ Toyota Prius SUV Reportedly Under Development http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/toyota-prius-suv-reportedly-under-development/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/toyota-prius-suv-reportedly-under-development/#comments Mon, 22 Jun 2015 19:00:18 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1097417 The Toyota Prius can be had in compact, wagon and original recipe, but there may soon be another addition to the family: an SUV. The Prius SUV would be developed via its partnership with Mazda, and would likely be a production-ready version of the C-HR Concept from last year’s Paris Auto Show, AutoGuide writes. The […]

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Toyota-C-HR-Concept-3

The Toyota Prius can be had in compact, wagon and original recipe, but there may soon be another addition to the family: an SUV.

The Prius SUV would be developed via its partnership with Mazda, and would likely be a production-ready version of the C-HR Concept from last year’s Paris Auto Show, AutoGuide writes.

The partnership between the two automakers allows for powertrain technologies to be exchanged regarding new models. Thus, one idea for the SUV would be Mazda’s 1.5-liter SkyActiv diesel for a hybrid-diesel variant, as well as one without electric motors for European markets. Mazda, meanwhile, would use Toyota’s technology to bring its first EV to market, set to meet the ZEV standards set for 2018 by California’s government.

(Photo credit: Mike Schlee/AutoGuide)

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Subaru Launches Impreza Sport Hybrid In Japan http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/subaru-launches-impreza-sport-hybrid-in-japan/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/subaru-launches-impreza-sport-hybrid-in-japan/#comments Fri, 19 Jun 2015 15:00:49 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1095785 Consumers in Japan will soon be able to purchase a new hybrid from Subaru, in the form of the Impreza Sport Hybrid. Power for the newest Impreza variant comes from a 2.0-liter DOHC flat-four paired with an electric motor, and is sent to all corners through a CVT. Fuel economy is expected to hit 20.4 […]

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IMPREZA SPORT HYBRID 2.0i-S EyeSight low

Consumers in Japan will soon be able to purchase a new hybrid from Subaru, in the form of the Impreza Sport Hybrid.

Power for the newest Impreza variant comes from a 2.0-liter DOHC flat-four paired with an electric motor, and is sent to all corners through a CVT. Fuel economy is expected to hit 20.4 km/liter; range and power figures weren’t made available.

The Impreza Sport Hybrid comes standard with Subaru’s EyeSight camera system, which works with the hybrid system’s Eco-Cruise Control to “make the maximum use of electric vehicle driving and regenerative braking when Adaptive Cruise Control is operating, thereby improving fuel consumption under everyday conditions.”

Other features include: enhanced aero; larger and wider wheels for better grip and fuel economy; hydraulic engine mounts; and a range of colors, including a pair of blue pearl paints and crystal black silica.

Price of admission starts at ¥2,505,600 ($20,366 USD) with consumption tax for the standard model, ¥2,635,200 ($21,418) for the 2.0i-S. Both come with Japan’s Eco-Car tax incentives, reducing acquisition and tonnage taxes to 80 percent and 75 percent respectively.

The newest Impreza variant is only the second hybrid launched by the automaker, coming two years after the XV Hybrid. Subaru expects to sell 500/month once sales begin July 10.

(Photo credit: Subaru)

IMPREZA SPORT HYBRID 2.0i-S EyeSight low Subaru Impreza Sport Hybrid Subaru Impreza Sport Hybrid Boxer Subaru Impreza Sport Hybrid Transmission Subaru Impreza Sport Hybrid powertrain Subaru Impreza Sport Hybrid Powertrain Overhead

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BMW i8 PHEV Unit Wins 2015 International Engine of the Year Award http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/bmw-i8-phev-unit-wins-2015-international-engine-of-the-year-award/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/bmw-i8-phev-unit-wins-2015-international-engine-of-the-year-award/#comments Thu, 18 Jun 2015 16:00:07 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1095217 The BMW i8’s 1.5-liter 3-cylinder PHEV unit is the winner of this year’s International Engine of the Year award, beating out Ford by seven points in voting. In addition to taking the overall prize, the 1.5-liter also took home the top prizes in the New Engine and 1.4-Litre to 1.8-Litre categories, while falling short of […]

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2015 BMW i8

The BMW i8’s 1.5-liter 3-cylinder PHEV unit is the winner of this year’s International Engine of the Year award, beating out Ford by seven points in voting.

In addition to taking the overall prize, the 1.5-liter also took home the top prizes in the New Engine and 1.4-Litre to 1.8-Litre categories, while falling short of beating Tesla for the Green Engine category. BMW also took home the top prize in the 2.5-Litre to 3-Litre category with the 3.0-liter twin-turbo six under the bonnets of the M3 and M4.

Other winners include Ford’s 999cc turbo-three (Sub 1-Litre), PSA Peugeot Citroen’s 1.2-liter turbo-three (1-Litre to 1.4-Litre), the Mercedes-AMG 2.0-litre in the CLA45/GLA45 (1.8-Litre to 2-Litre), Audi’s 2.5-liter turbo-five (2-Litre to 2.5-Litre), McLaren’s 3.8-liter twin-turbo V8 (3-Litre to 4-Litre), and the Ferrari 4.5-liter V8 (Above 4-Litre, Performance Engine).

Among the American manufacturers, Tesla also placed sixth in the overall category, while Ford scored fifth, third and fifth respectively in the 1.4-Litre to 1.8-Litre, 2-Litre to 2.5-Litre, and Green Engine categories. FCA took home sixth in both Above 4-Litre and Performance Engine categories with its 6.2-liter Hellcat V8s, as well as fifth in the Sub 1-Litre category (GM’s Opel took second), and sixth in the 1.4-Litre to 1.8-Litre category.

(Photo credit: domantasm./Flickr/CC BY 2.0)

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Chart Of The Day: The Discontinued Honda Accord Plug-In Hybrid Was All Kinds Of Rare http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/chart-day-discontinued-honda-accord-plug-hybrid-kinds-rare/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/06/chart-day-discontinued-honda-accord-plug-hybrid-kinds-rare/#comments Wed, 17 Jun 2015 13:00:06 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1093281 You thought you saw one once, didn’t you? A hint of blue trim was visible in the distance; some unique badging, as well. But then when you Googled the images at home later, you realized that no, the front fascia was too normal. You saw the ninth-generation Honda Accord’s hybrid model, not the plug-in hybrid. […]

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Honda Accord Plug-In Hybrid Sales Chart

You thought you saw one once, didn’t you? A hint of blue trim was visible in the distance; some unique badging, as well.

But then when you Googled the images at home later, you realized that no, the front fascia was too normal. You saw the ninth-generation Honda Accord’s hybrid model, not the plug-in hybrid.

Indeed, spotting a Honda Accord Plug-In Hybrid is now statistically not all that different from catching a glimpse of a Porsche 918 Spyder. You roar ahead, trying to get a closer look, but it’s already pulled into Jerry Seinfeld’s exclusive parking garage. Or in the case of the Plug-In Hybrid, a Honda executive’s enclosed charging station.

As if Honda dealers haven’t had a hard enough time stocking Accord Hybrids, the Accord Plug-In Hybrid was so rarely built that only 1,030 have been sold in the United States since the car arrived in January 2013. That’s an average of 36 sales per month. No wonder Honda is, wait for it, pulling the plug

Yes, the current version of the Honda Accord Plug-In Hybrid is done for. Only fifteen have left showrooms over the course of the last three months. We’re now some 20 months removed from the Plug-In’s best ever month of 71 sales. After reporting 526 Plug-In sales in 2013, volume slid 15% to 449 units last year. Year-to-date, the Accord PHEV is down 64% to just 55 units.

accord pi hybrid

Meanwhile, May 2015 turned out to be the non-Plug-In Accord Hybrid’s best month in a year with 1,463 sales, equal to 4.5% of the overall Accord lineup’s volume last month. In 2014, for every Accord PHEV sold, American Honda sold 31 copies of the Accord Hybrid. Over the course of its 29 months, the Plug-In accounted for just 0.12% of all U.S. Accord sales.

Total Accord sales are down 16% so far this year, which makes it America’s fifth-best-selling car, down from third at this stage of 2014.

Timothy Cain is the founder of GoodCarBadCar.net, which obsesses over the free and frequent publication of U.S. and Canadian auto sales figures. Follow on Twitter @goodcarbadcar and on Facebook.

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2016 Chevrolet Volt On Sale In California, Google, Apple Systems Coming This Summer http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/2016-chevrolet-volt-on-sale-in-california-google-apple-systems-coming-this-summer/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/2016-chevrolet-volt-on-sale-in-california-google-apple-systems-coming-this-summer/#comments Thu, 28 May 2015 20:00:21 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1077578 California consumers will be the first to buy the 2016 Chevrolet Volt, which will have Google’s and Apple’s infotainment systems beginning this summer. The second-gen PHEV is available for ordering in California starting Thursday, Inside EVs reports, with deliveries set for August. Oregon and the Northeast will join in late August with delivery in early […]

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2016 Chevrolet Volt

California consumers will be the first to buy the 2016 Chevrolet Volt, which will have Google’s and Apple’s infotainment systems beginning this summer.

The second-gen PHEV is available for ordering in California starting Thursday, Inside EVs reports, with deliveries set for August. Oregon and the Northeast will join in late August with delivery in early October, while the rest of the nation can put their orders in beginning October 1 for deliveries starting in November. Price of admission begins at $33,995 MSRP.

When those Volts are delivered, they will be among the first in Chevrolet’s lineup to have Google’s Android Auto and Apple’s CarPlay systems, Autoblog notes. Joining the Volt will this summer will be the 2016 Cruze, Camaro, Spark and Malibu equipped with MyLink and seven-inch touchscreen. Overall, 14 2016 models will have the systems across all trims.

The decision to offer both systems came down to providing consumers choice, GM’s connected-vehicle experience chief Alicia Boler-Davis said, adding “no two customers are alike, and we cannot expect a single solution that works for every driver in every situation.”

The announcement follows Hyundai’s move to introduce Android Auto to the 2015 Sonata Tuesday, with CarPlay to follow later.

[Source: Chevrolet]

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Possible Fourth-Gen Toyota Prius Prototype Caught In The Wild http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/possible-fourth-gen-toyota-prius-prototype-caught-in-the-wild/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/possible-fourth-gen-toyota-prius-prototype-caught-in-the-wild/#comments Mon, 18 May 2015 16:00:28 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1070114 Out and about at a Chevron in Baker, Calif. this weekend, a PriusChat forum member happened upon what could be the fourth-gen Toyota Prius. The member, Savior1974, whipped out his smartphone to roll film on the find, heavily disguised as prototypes are wont to do, AutoGuide reports. Whether the Prius was a mule or something […]

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2016 Toyota Prius Getting Gas At Vons

Out and about at a Chevron in Baker, Calif. this weekend, a PriusChat forum member happened upon what could be the fourth-gen Toyota Prius.

The member, Savior1974, whipped out his smartphone to roll film on the find, heavily disguised as prototypes are wont to do, AutoGuide reports. Whether the Prius was a mule or something more, however, could not be confirmed.

The upcoming Prius was held back for further refinement to its styling — which may take cues from the C-HR Concept from last year’s Paris Auto Show — and to prepare it for Toyota’s New Global Architecture modular platform.

The new hybrid is set for production by the end of this year, with its showroom debut expected the following spring.

[Photo credit: Savior1974/PriusChat]

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Ellinghaus: Original Cadillac ELR Price Of Admission ‘A Mouthful’ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/ellinghaus-original-cadillac-elr-price-of-admission-a-mouthful/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/ellinghaus-original-cadillac-elr-price-of-admission-a-mouthful/#comments Thu, 14 May 2015 14:01:22 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1068474 In part due to its Chevrolet roots, the Cadillac ELR is now selling for up to 35 percent less than its original $76,000 price tag. Out of all of the electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles selling below MSRP due to lower fuel prices at the pump, the current ELR has seen the largest discount from […]

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2016-Cadillac-ELR-005

In part due to its Chevrolet roots, the Cadillac ELR is now selling for up to 35 percent less than its original $76,000 price tag.

Out of all of the electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles selling below MSRP due to lower fuel prices at the pump, the current ELR has seen the largest discount from the original sticker, Bloomberg reports. Nearly 2,000 units have left the showroom over the past 18 months, with some dealerships going as low as $50,000 to make room for a model that will actually leave in a few days (i.e. the Escalade).

Cadillac originally established the high price of admission for its Tesla fighter because of the standard features it offered, despite its PHEV technology coming from the $35,000 Chevrolet Volt. Thus, the brand “overestimated” its customers would discover its competitors “were naked at that price,” according to marketing boss Uwe Ellinghaus.

Another justification was if the ELR were priced closely above the Volt, PHEV shoppers would have gone for the latter instead. Branding also played a role in the pricing, intending to signal to consumers the ELR was a Cadillac through and through, from its badging and design, to the olive wood trim and 10-speaker Bose audio system.

Though these failures have guaranteed the PHEV will not see a second generation, the 2016 edition will at least begin the model’s ride into the sunset on a more even keel. Pricing is set to begin at $66,000 before federal incentives, while power will increase to 233 horsepower and 373 lb-ft of torque from the current edition’s 217 horses and 295 lb-ft of torque.

[Photo credit: Cadillac]

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Colorado Offers Tax Credits On Used EVs, PHEVs http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/colorado-offers-tax-credits-on-used-evs-phevs/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/colorado-offers-tax-credits-on-used-evs-phevs/#comments Wed, 13 May 2015 18:00:12 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1067546 Shopping for a used PHEV or EV in Colorado? You still may be able to take a tax credit, thanks to the state’s structuring of its EV purchase tax credit. The credit — up to $6,000 — can be applied to used PHEV or EV purchases so long as it wasn’t claimed already via VIN […]

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Tesla Roadster In Colorado Showroom Circa August 2011

Shopping for a used PHEV or EV in Colorado? You still may be able to take a tax credit, thanks to the state’s structuring of its EV purchase tax credit.

The credit — up to $6,000 — can be applied to used PHEV or EV purchases so long as it wasn’t claimed already via VIN registration, Green Car Reports says. Though most Colorado-based offerings likely already have the credit cashed-in, out-of-state imports are the biggest beneficiaries.

Per an anonymous source, a Colorado resident could purchase a vehicle registered out-of-state for at least three years after originally leaving the lot, then bring the car back home to register its VIN as used in Colorado, legally claiming the credit on their next tax return in so doing.

According to the publication, the used PHEV/EV credit is the only one of its type in the United States, as the focus of tax incentives is on new vehicles.

[Photo credit: Eric Lumsden/Flickr/CC BY-ND 2.0]

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Müller: Porsche 911 PHEV Under Negotiation For Production http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/muller-porsche-911-phev-under-negotiation-for-production/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/muller-porsche-911-phev-under-negotiation-for-production/#comments Wed, 13 May 2015 15:00:56 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1067306 Could there be a Porsche 911 PHEV on the showroom floor in the future? The decision to build and market one could be made sometime this year. Porsche CEO Matthias Müller said a plug-in variant of the iconic vehicle could happen, alongside PHEVs of every other model in the automaker’s lineup, Automotive News reports: That […]

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911 50th Anniversary Edition _6_

Could there be a Porsche 911 PHEV on the showroom floor in the future? The decision to build and market one could be made sometime this year.

Porsche CEO Matthias Müller said a plug-in variant of the iconic vehicle could happen, alongside PHEVs of every other model in the automaker’s lineup, Automotive News reports:

That is a technique which we at Porsche are very familiar with, so we can suppose that we could have plug-ins all over the model range, not only to save fuel but also to boost the performance of these cars.

Mueller adds the decision to press ahead with a Porsche 911 PHEV is under negotiation, stating the technology “is the solution for the nearer future.”

Porsche sells three PHEVs thus far: the 918 Spyder, Cayenne and Panamera. Of the latter two, the Cayenne is projected to make up between 10 and 12 percent of overall U.S. sales of the crossover in 2015, while 15 percent of overall U.S. Panamera sales are of the PHEV variant. The 918, meanwhile, sold out its 918-unit limited edition run last December.

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General Motors To Fall Short Of 2017 500K Electrified-Vehicle Milestone http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/general-motors-fall-short-2017-500k-electrified-vehicle-milestone/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/general-motors-fall-short-2017-500k-electrified-vehicle-milestone/#comments Fri, 08 May 2015 16:00:58 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1064210 General Motors announced Thursday it would fall short of its goal of having 500,000 electrified vehicles on the road by 2017. GM said 180,834 EVs, PHEVs, two-mode hybrids, and vehicles equipped with the automaker’s eAssist hit the road in 2014, up from 153,034 in 2013 and 39,843 in 2011, The Detroit News reports. The census […]

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2015 Chevrolet Bolt EV Concept all electric vehicle – front ex

General Motors announced Thursday it would fall short of its goal of having 500,000 electrified vehicles on the road by 2017.

GM said 180,834 EVs, PHEVs, two-mode hybrids, and vehicles equipped with the automaker’s eAssist hit the road in 2014, up from 153,034 in 2013 and 39,843 in 2011, The Detroit News reports. The census counts vehicles from MY 2010 forward.

Regarding the future, GM said it would fall short of its 2017 goal alongside the industry as a whole as demand for electrified vehicles haven’t kept up with the automaker’s initial forecast. The automaker pointed to lower gas prices and increased demand for trucks, crossovers and SUVs as the cause behind the lukewarm progress.

Despite this, the automaker said it would continue with its electrification program, which includes the upcoming second-gen Chevrolet Volt, Cadillac’s new CT6 PHEV variant, and the Bolt EV aimed at Tesla’s Model 3, which GM expects to sell in all 50 states for $30,000 after federal tax rebates.

In the meantime, GM believes it can best handle both low fuel prices and ever-tightening fuel economy standards by improving upon the internal combustion engine and lightweighting.

The statement follows a similar instance from U.S. Department of Energy secretary Ernest Moniz made earlier this year, who stated the U.S. wouldn’t have 1 million electric vehicles on the road by the end of 2015.

[Photo credit: Chevrolet]

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Aston Martin All-In On SUV, Lamborghini Still On Fence http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/aston-martin-suv-lamborghini-still-fence/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/aston-martin-suv-lamborghini-still-fence/#comments Fri, 01 May 2015 14:00:07 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1058346 Aston Martin is entering the high-end luxury SUV/crossover game, while Lamborghini is still debating whether or not the LM002 needs a successor. Aston Martin Lagonda announced Thursday it would commit £200 million ($305 million USD) to expanding its lineup. The capital investment will be in the form of preference shares, with the first £100 million […]

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Aston Martin Logo

Aston Martin is entering the high-end luxury SUV/crossover game, while Lamborghini is still debating whether or not the LM002 needs a successor.

Aston Martin Lagonda announced Thursday it would commit £200 million ($305 million USD) to expanding its lineup. The capital investment will be in the form of preference shares, with the first £100 million ($152 million) already issued and the remainder doled out over the next 12 months.

What does that investment buy? A new “luxury crossover GT” based upon the DBX concept shown at the 2015 Geneva and Shanghai auto shows, for one. CEO Andy Palmer said as much in the press release:

This additional long-term funding, will enable us to add extra model lines and broaden our presence in the luxury market segment by the end of the decade. The DBX concept, has generated interest far beyond our expectations. The additional investment announced today will allow us to realise the DBX and other new luxury vehicles that will form the strongest and most diverse portfolio in our history.

Meanwhile, Lamborghini is still thinking about adding an SUV to its lineup, though no decision has been made, as CEO Stephan Winkelmann told Autoblog last month:

If we do a third model, then it’s better to have the SUV as this is a growing segment, a more emotional segment, a segment which is very well-distributed in terms of volume all over the planet. And therefore this is a car which is more likely.

The potential successor of Lamborghini’s sole outing in the SUV market – the LM002 – would have a design more appealling to current Lamborghini owners. It would also bring a significant amount of sales to the brand: the Urus concept from 2012 was projected to move 3,000 units per year; the brand itself sold 2,530 units in 2014.

Winkelmann adds the SUV would be the perfect platform for a hybrid powertrain, citing the SUV’s packaging and weight behind the reasoning.

[Photo credit: Aston Martin]

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Honda Civic Hatch “Near Identical” To NY Coupe Concept, Will Get Hybrid http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/honda-civic-hatch-near-identical-ny-coupe-concept-will-get-hybrid/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/honda-civic-hatch-near-identical-ny-coupe-concept-will-get-hybrid/#comments Fri, 01 May 2015 10:59:33 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1058010 If a report from Britain’s AutoExpress is to be believed, the front clip of the next-generation Honda Civic hatchback – due to arrive in North America for the first time since 2000 (in non-Si form) – will look “near identical” to the Civic Coupe concept revealed in New York. Head of Honda UK, Philip Crossman, […]

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Civic Concept

If a report from Britain’s AutoExpress is to be believed, the front clip of the next-generation Honda Civic hatchback – due to arrive in North America for the first time since 2000 (in non-Si form) – will look “near identical” to the Civic Coupe concept revealed in New York.

Head of Honda UK, Philip Crossman, told the UK outlet the next Civic hatchback will only differ from the coupe at the rear third of the car and all sheetmetal fore of that will be the same. In addition to a coupe, sedan, and hatchback, AutoExpress also posits a new Tourer model will likely be available, though we can’t see this version of the Civic coming to our shores.

The Civic will ride on a common architecture for both European and North American models. Under hood will be a brand new drivetrain with a hybrid version available later.

“We’ll come back with a class-leading hybrid powertrain in the next five years,” said Crossman, “and it’s likely to make as much impact as the VTEC valve system.”

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Mitsubishi Evo To Return In Electrified Crossover Form http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/04/mitsubishi-evo-return-electrified-crossover-form/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/04/mitsubishi-evo-return-electrified-crossover-form/#comments Tue, 28 Apr 2015 18:00:10 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1055665 Though the Mitsubishi Evo as we know it will soon fade into history, the Evo nameplate will return in the form of an electrified crossover. Mitsubishi boss Tetsuro Aikawa told Autocar that the future Evo would be linked to EV and PHEV technologies: In the future, we would like to launch such a vehicle with […]

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Mitsubishi Concept XR-PHEV II

Though the Mitsubishi Evo as we know it will soon fade into history, the Evo nameplate will return in the form of an electrified crossover.

Mitsubishi boss Tetsuro Aikawa told Autocar that the future Evo would be linked to EV and PHEV technologies:

In the future, we would like to launch such a vehicle with Evo characteristics. In Japanese, when you pronounce ‘Oh’ [in Evo], it means ‘king’. So we would like to launch this type of car, featuring EV and PHEV technology, which is the ultimate of its kind. ‘EV’ for electric vehicle, ‘O’ for king – Evo.

As for what that Evo may resemble, speculation points to the next-gen ASX crossover, based upon the XR-PHEV II concept featured at this year’s Geneva Auto Show. The ASX Evo would follow in the footsteps of the previous Lancer-based icon, with power from its PHEV drivetrain funnelled to all corners instead of only the front pair as done on the standard ASX.

That said, the wait may likely be a long one. According to Aikawa, a significant number of base ASX models would have to be sold prior to bringing the ASX Evo to the assembly line, as those sales are what fund R&D for the higher-performance model.

[Photo credit: Mitsubishi]

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Shanghai 2015: Audi Showcases Prologue Concept, A6 L, Q7 E-Tron Models http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/04/shanghai-2015-audi-showcases-prologue-concept-a6-l-q7-e-tron-models/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/04/shanghai-2015-audi-showcases-prologue-concept-a6-l-q7-e-tron-models/#comments Mon, 20 Apr 2015 19:00:52 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1048601 Audi showcased the new A6 L and Q7 e-tron models at the 2015 Shanghai Auto Show, as well as the prologue allroad concept. First up is the Audi A6 L e-tron, the automaker’s first PHEV specifically tailored to the Chinese domestic market. The e-tron model is based upon the A6 L that is already on […]

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Auto Shanghai 2015

Audi showcased the new A6 L and Q7 e-tron models at the 2015 Shanghai Auto Show, as well as the prologue allroad concept.

Audi A6 L e-tron (Angebot im chinesischen Markt)

First up is the Audi A6 L e-tron, the automaker’s first PHEV specifically tailored to the Chinese domestic market. The e-tron model is based upon the A6 L that is already on sale in said market.

Power for the A6 L e-tron comes from a parallel hybrid system combining a 2.0-liter four-cylinder making 211 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque, and an electric motor fed by a 14.1-kWh lithium-ion pack capable of 124 horsepower and 162 lb-ft of torque.

Once fed to the front corners via an eight-speed tiptronic automatic, maximum output comes out to 245 horses and 369 lb-ft of torque, which is good for moving the 4,409-lb from nil to 62 mph in 8.4 seconds, topping out at a limit of 130 mph or 84 mph in electric-only mode. Electric-only range comes to 31 miles, with overall travel totalling 547 miles. Fuel economy is 2.2 liters per 107 miles travelled, and charging time can range between two and eight hours depending on infrastructure.

The driver can choose from four modes of travel, ranging from hybrid and the aforementioned EV modes, to battery hold and battery charge modes. The latter two allow the driver to either store energy or recharge the battery as needed.

Other features include: 18-inch alloys; LED light guides in the air ducts; MMI navigation system; and 11.9 cu ft of cargo space.

The A6 L e-tron is set to hit showrooms from the FAW-Volkswagen facility in Changchun in 2016.

Audi Q7 e-tron 2.0 TFSI quattro (Angebot im chinesischen Markt)

The Audi Q7 e-tron is the automaker’s first PHEV to combine the 2.0-liter TFSI engine with the storied quattro AWD system. Here, total output to all four corners — via eight-speed tiptronic — comes to 367 horsepower and 516 lb-ft of torque, good for pushing the crossover from zero to 62 in 5.9 seconds, topping out at 137 mph. Range in electric-mode is 33 miles, while overall range is 634 miles. Fuel economy is 2.5 liters per 100 kilometers.

Upon startup, travel is strictly electric until the driver pushes down the “active accelerator pedal beyond a certain point of resistance” to activate the four-cylinder. Said resistance is determined by the hybrid system’s requirements.

Aside from the power, the Q7 e-tron offers new electromechanical power steering and lighter five-link wheel suspension, as well as an HVAC unit that uses waste heat generated by the hybrid system’s electrical components for warming the cabin, and NVIDIA Tegra 30-powered MMI connected-vehicle system. Other features include: electronic stability; torque vectoring; 19- and 20-inch wheels; Bose and Bang & Olufsen sound systems; smartphone inductive charging; HUD; and climate-controlled front seats with massage function.

Like the A6 L e-tron, the Q7 e-tron is set to hit showrooms next year.

Audi prologue allroad

Finally, the Audi prologue allroad concept serves as a hint of what future allroad models could look like. This includes a long front clip and a rapidly dropping roofline with D-pillars that are flat to give the concept a more athletic appearance. Laser headlamps, LED light guides and tail lamps, aluminum accents, wide wheel flares, and a flat, wide grill contribute to the overall aesthetic, as well.

Inside, “lithely drawn lines and slender geometric bodies convey the impression of expanse, serenity and lightness.” Three touch displays up front include one for the passenger to configure infotainment options that can then be swiped over to the driver via the right-side driver display or the virtual cockpit behind the steering wheel.

Power for the prologue allroad comes from a 4.0-liter turbo-V8 mated to an eight-speed tiptronic with integrated electric motor. The hybrid setup is good for 734 horsepower and 664 lb-ft of torque, pushing the concept from nil to 62 in 3.5 seconds. Electric-only range is 34 miles, and fuel economy comes to 2.4 liters per 100 kilometers travelled.

Other features include: Audi wireless charging; 20-inch carbon-fiber ceramic discs; air suspension with controlled damping; quattro AWD system; open-pored, dark fine-grain ash veneer bezels; OLED center console; and Unicum and Alcantara leathers.

Audi A6 L e-tron Gallery

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Audi Q7 e-tron Gallery

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Audi prologue allroad concept Gallery

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Study: Battery Pack Costs Fell 14 Percent Annually Over Seven Years http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/04/study-battery-pack-costs-fell-14-percent-annually-seven-years/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/04/study-battery-pack-costs-fell-14-percent-annually-seven-years/#comments Thu, 16 Apr 2015 12:00:54 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1045226 Though the most expensive part of an EV or PHEV is its battery pack, a new study shows those costs are falling at a hefty clip. According to Green Car Reports, a study by the Stockholm Environment Institute in Stockholm, Sweden found that the cost of a battery pack fell 14 percent per year between […]

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2016 Chevrolet Volt battery

Though the most expensive part of an EV or PHEV is its battery pack, a new study shows those costs are falling at a hefty clip.

According to Green Car Reports, a study by the Stockholm Environment Institute in Stockholm, Sweden found that the cost of a battery pack fell 14 percent per year between 2007 and 2014, coming down from over $1,000 USD per kWh, to around $410/kWh; market-leading EV makers saw their costs decline 8 percent annually to $300/kWh over the same period.

The study’s findings are the result of data from 85 cost estimates found in peer-reviewed academic journals, as well as reports from automakers, analysts and the media. However, the authors note that since battery producers and automakers almost never disclose the actual costs for those cells, the study is incomplete at best.

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Shanghai 2015: Volvo S60L T6 Twin Engine Ready For The Spotlight http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/04/shanghai-2015-volvo-s60l-t6-twin-engine-ready-spotlight/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/04/shanghai-2015-volvo-s60l-t6-twin-engine-ready-spotlight/#comments Thu, 16 Apr 2015 10:00:54 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1045066 Debuting alongside the XC90 Excellence at the 2015 Shanghai Auto Show, the Volvo S60L T6 Twin Engine PHEV brings hybrid power to the Sino-Swede party. The S60L Twin Engine will arrive in Chinese showrooms from Volvo’s plant in Chengdu April 22, and is powered by a Drive-E 2-liter four up front with a 50-kW electric […]

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Debuting alongside the XC90 Excellence at the 2015 Shanghai Auto Show, the Volvo S60L T6 Twin Engine PHEV brings hybrid power to the Sino-Swede party.

The S60L Twin Engine will arrive in Chinese showrooms from Volvo’s plant in Chengdu April 22, and is powered by a Drive-E 2-liter four up front with a 50-kW electric motor on the rear axle; the latter is fed by “an energy-optimized” 11.2 kWH lithium-ion pack. Total output comes to 306 horses and 406 lb-ft of torque, and range tops out at 33 miles in electric-only travel.

Volvo says that the PHEV’s green credentials allows would-be owners to bypass the standard license-plate process — lotteries and auctions — in cities such as Shanghai, where the car “fulfills the relevant environmental regulations.”

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2016 Cadillac ELR Drops In Price, Gains In Power http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/04/2016-cadillac-elr-drops-price-gains-power/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/04/2016-cadillac-elr-drops-price-gains-power/#comments Wed, 15 Apr 2015 17:19:51 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1044866 The Cadillac ELR may be heading off into the sunset soon, but the premium PHEV still has a few tricks left up its sleeve. After federal tax credits, the 2016 ELR will start with a price of $58,495, just nearly $18,000 less than the original price tag of $75,000 when it first hit showrooms in […]

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The Cadillac ELR may be heading off into the sunset soon, but the premium PHEV still has a few tricks left up its sleeve.

After federal tax credits, the 2016 ELR will start with a price of $58,495, just nearly $18,000 less than the original price tag of $75,000 when it first hit showrooms in late 2013.

For that starting price, new ELR owners will also benefit from a few upgrades over the MY 2014 and 2015 editions, one of which is an improved Sport driving mode. The improved mode — part of the optional Performance Package — helps push the PHEV from 0-60 in 6.4 seconds, 1.5 seconds faster than the recent model; top speed comes to 106 mph, 130 mph with the aforementioned package.

The ELR’s hybrid system gets a makeover, as well, with a new lithium-ion pack capable of 17.1 kWh of capacity that’s good for 39 miles of electric-only travel; the Performance Package option knocks that range down to 35 miles. Overall power from the system, which pairs the pack with a 1.4-liter gasoline engine — comes to 233 horses and 373 lb-ft of torque, while total range falls 10 miles to 330 miles. Recharge time takes around five hours when plugged into a 240-volt charger.

Other features include the aforementioned Performance Package, which adds 20-inch wheels and summer-only tires mounted over Brembo brakes and vented rotors as well as the new Sport mode, and improvements to the ELR’s electric power steering and continuous damping control; OnStar with 4G LTE; three USB ports; 8-inch configurable driver instrument and information displays; magnetic inductive charging for passengers’ smartphones; standard Wi-Fi; and on-demand regenerative braking.

Per Cadillac CEO Johan de Nysschen via AutoGuide, the ELR won’t see a second generation, likely due to low sales; 1,310 left the lot in 2014, and 311 had been purchased or leased through the first three months of 2015.

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Nissan Considering Hybrid Variant Of Rogue For US Market http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/04/nissan-considering-hybrid-variant-rogue-us-market/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/04/nissan-considering-hybrid-variant-rogue-us-market/#comments Wed, 15 Apr 2015 13:00:28 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1044746 Known as the X-Trail or Qashqai in Japan and other global markets, the Nissan Rogue could soon come in hybrid form for the U.S. market. Automotive News reports the X-Trail Hybrid could be rebadged as a Rogue Hybrid, both crossovers using a single-motor, dual-clutch hybrid system; the X-Trail Hybrid is expected to hold 40 percent […]

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Known as the X-Trail or Qashqai in Japan and other global markets, the Nissan Rogue could soon come in hybrid form for the U.S. market.

Automotive News reports the X-Trail Hybrid could be rebadged as a Rogue Hybrid, both crossovers using a single-motor, dual-clutch hybrid system; the X-Trail Hybrid is expected to hold 40 percent of overall X-Trail sales after it goes on sale in Japan this May.

Though Nissan didn’t mention whether it had plans to sell the hybrid overseas, the crossover’s engineer, Nobusuke Toukura, said the company was thinking about a Rogue hybrid model for the United States, citing increasing consumer demand for hybrids and stricter emissions rules over the next five years.

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ChargePoint Bringing Charging To Condos, Apartments With New Service http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/04/chargepoint-bringing-charging-condos-apartments-new-service/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/04/chargepoint-bringing-charging-condos-apartments-new-service/#comments Wed, 15 Apr 2015 12:00:47 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1044722 Live in a condo or an apartment and would drive a PHEV or an EV if only you could charge it? Charging-station producer ChargePoint might have the solution. The company’s Multifamily Home Service aims to bring charging stations to condominiums and apartment buildings that currently lack the facilities to charge a tenant’s electrified vehicle of […]

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Live in a condo or an apartment and would drive a PHEV or an EV if only you could charge it? Charging-station producer ChargePoint might have the solution.

The company’s Multifamily Home Service aims to bring charging stations to condominiums and apartment buildings that currently lack the facilities to charge a tenant’s electrified vehicle of choice. Property owners would foot the bill for installation of ChargePoint’s Level 2 charging station, as well as set the price for charging. In turn, the company will bill the tenants who subscribe a one-time activation fee and a monthly subscription fee; the tenant can also pay the property owner for charging via their ChargePoint account.

Finally, as the subscription service would last as long as the tenant resides in the building on a month-to-month basis, the service can be deactivated once the tenant moves out or replaces their electrified ride for one that doesn’t require a plug, and can be reactivated when a new tenant with a plug-in vehicle moves into the building.

As for how much it would cost to wire a parking stall for the service, or how much owners could charge for electricity, ChargePoint did not explain at this time.

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IHS: PHEVs To Overtake EVs In Europe Within Two Years http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/04/ihs-phevs-overtake-evs-europe-within-two-years/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/04/ihs-phevs-overtake-evs-europe-within-two-years/#comments Mon, 13 Apr 2015 14:00:44 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1043242 Electric vehicles are doing well in Europe, but their dominance over PHEVs may soon draw to a close. Automotive News Europe reports sales of EVs in Europe jumped 73 percent to 58,244 units in 2014, while sales of PHEVs climbed 29 percent in the same period to 39,547, according to industry group ACEA. The best-selling […]

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Electric vehicles are doing well in Europe, but their dominance over PHEVs may soon draw to a close.

Automotive News Europe reports sales of EVs in Europe jumped 73 percent to 58,244 units in 2014, while sales of PHEVs climbed 29 percent in the same period to 39,547, according to industry group ACEA. The best-selling EV and PHEV in 2014 were the Nissan Leaf and Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV (15,134 units vs. 19,855), while the largest markets were Norway for EVs (18,090 units), Netherlands for PHEVs (9,938).

According to IHS Automotive senior analyst Ben Scott, PHEVs will overtake EVs this year or in 2016 as far as production goes, forecasting 1.35 million units by 2020, and 2.7 million by 2025. Meanwhile, EV sales will be under 1 million by 2020, as consumers are likely to choose PHEVs for their flexibility in range and use over electric-only vehicles.

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Toyota Delivers Increased Incentives For Prius Models In April http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/04/toyota-delivers-increased-incentives-prius-models-april/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/04/toyota-delivers-increased-incentives-prius-models-april/#comments Thu, 09 Apr 2015 11:00:29 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1041001 Live in California and shopping for a Toyota Prius? Your bank account will love this news. CarsDirect reports Toyota has dropped a number of rebate incentives on the hood of the hybrid and its siblings for the month of April, going as high as 9.8 percent off MSRP. Thus, one could come away with not […]

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Live in California and shopping for a Toyota Prius? Your bank account will love this news.

CarsDirect reports Toyota has dropped a number of rebate incentives on the hood of the hybrid and its siblings for the month of April, going as high as 9.8 percent off MSRP. Thus, one could come away with not only a Prius c, but also a $2,000 discount off of the price, beginning at $20,365 before the dealer discounts come into play.

Alas, that incentive is for the 2014 model; the 2015 version comes with a $750 rebate. Meanwhile, the original Prius, as well as the Prius v and Prius Plug-in, come with a $500 boost in incentives. The incentive campaign will come to a close May 4.

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Citroën Aircross Concept Ready For Shanghai Debut http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/04/citroen-aircross-concept-ready-shanghai-debut/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/04/citroen-aircross-concept-ready-shanghai-debut/#comments Thu, 09 Apr 2015 10:00:38 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1040857 Coming to the 2015 Shanghai Auto Show is the Citroën Aircross crossover concept, whose looks harken back to when designs took after jelly beans. The Audi Q5-sized PHEV rides on 22-inch wheels shod in custom Continental tires, and is motivated by a 1.6-liter turbo-four producing 218 horsepower and 203 lb-ft of torque, paired with an […]

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Coming to the 2015 Shanghai Auto Show is the Citroën Aircross crossover concept, whose looks harken back to when designs took after jelly beans.

The Audi Q5-sized PHEV rides on 22-inch wheels shod in custom Continental tires, and is motivated by a 1.6-liter turbo-four producing 218 horsepower and 203 lb-ft of torque, paired with an electric motor on the rear axle contributing an additional 95 horses and 147 lb-ft of torque; total output is 313 horsepower and 250 lb-ft of torque. Nil to 62 occurs in 4.5 seconds, electric-only range comes to 31 miles, and combined fuel economy is 166 mpg.

Part of the Aircross’ design includes so-called “Alloy Bumps,” which are meant to protect the Aircross from lateral impacts thanks to their motorsport-derived aluminum honeycomb structure. Meanwhile, the PHEV’s enhanced aero package — such as the “Air Signs” rear-window trim and “Air Curtains” air intakes up front — improve the concept’s aerodynamic profile beyond the initial design.

Inside, the driver is greeted by a pair of 12-inch panoramic HD screens “inspired by the worlds of fashion and modern furniture design,” one of which can be transferred from passenger to passenger via hand gestures. All occupants can also enjoy a pair of webcams mounted on either side of the cabin’s door frames, which can take photos of the outside world to be shared via social networking, as well as to gain information for use with the Aircross’ navigation system.

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BMW i3 Models Now Available Through Amazon Japan http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/04/bmw-i3-models-now-available-amazon-japan/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/04/bmw-i3-models-now-available-amazon-japan/#comments Wed, 08 Apr 2015 11:00:07 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1039553 You can order a lot things from Amazon, including books, CDs and giant drums of lubricant. If you’re in Japan, though, you can also order a BMW i3. Yahoo Maktoob News reports sales of the i3 began on Wednesday, a move BMW Japan hopes “will cover the entire market more thoroughly” alongside the 46 dealers […]

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You can order a lot things from Amazon, including books, CDs and giant drums of lubricant. If you’re in Japan, though, you can also order a BMW i3.

Yahoo Maktoob News reports sales of the i3 began on Wednesday, a move BMW Japan hopes “will cover the entire market more thoroughly” alongside the 46 dealers already selling the model in Japan, widening the sales channel while providing more convenience to potential owners in so doing.

Those who do order their i3 will have their choice of either the electric-only model or the range-extender version. However, the purchase will only be completed once BMW calls up the would-be owner to request documentation regarding parking and charging space for the vehicle.

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Cadillac CT6 Coming To Shanghai In Hybrid Form http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/04/cadillac-ct6-coming-shanghai-hybrid-form/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/04/cadillac-ct6-coming-shanghai-hybrid-form/#comments Mon, 06 Apr 2015 12:00:42 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1039073 After its global debut at the 2015 New York Auto Show, the Cadillac CT6 will arrive wearing a hybrid badge at the 2015 Shanghai Motor Show in late April. According to Autoblog, General Motors product boss Mark Reuss said as much when interviewed by the publication about work on the hybrid model, while a Cadillac […]

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After its global debut at the 2015 New York Auto Show, the Cadillac CT6 will arrive wearing a hybrid badge at the 2015 Shanghai Motor Show in late April.

According to Autoblog, General Motors product boss Mark Reuss said as much when interviewed by the publication about work on the hybrid model, while a Cadillac representative could only say that variants would be forthcoming.

Speaking of variants, Reuss adds that the flagship sedan could wear a V-Series badge, though it may be a while before such a thing arrives:

The [CT6] architecture is certainly capable of doing it. The question is who’s going to buy the CT6? What kind of person? And do we need a V-Series off of that is the question we haven’t answered yet. It’s certainly capable of doing it … we’ve certainly thought about it.

As for the hybrid, little was mentioned about the powertrain beyond the possibility that it could be a PHEV in the vein of the Chevrolet Volt and 2016 Malibu Hybrid.

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SsangYong XAV Concept Debuts At 2015 Seoul Motor Show http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/04/ssangyong-xav-concept-debuts-2015-seoul-motor-show/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/04/ssangyong-xav-concept-debuts-2015-seoul-motor-show/#comments Mon, 06 Apr 2015 10:00:18 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1038905 While most of the eyes were on the latest and greatest debuting in New York, the SsangYong XAV concept SUV hit the ramp at the 2015 Seoul Motor Show. Power for the XAV — short for eXciting Authentic SUV — comes from a hybrid powertrain featuring a 1.6-liter engine paired to a so-called e-4WD system […]

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While most of the eyes were on the latest and greatest debuting in New York, the SsangYong XAV concept SUV hit the ramp at the 2015 Seoul Motor Show.

Power for the XAV — short for eXciting Authentic SUV — comes from a hybrid powertrain featuring a 1.6-liter engine paired to a so-called e-4WD system that places electric motors to the front and rear wheels, linked to a lithium-ion pack. No power figures were given for the setup.

SsangYong says the design for the concept is meant to evoke an “authentic” SUV experience, with strong masculine lines up front — also a retro design based on the automaker’s second-gen Korando; the first was a Jeep CJ-7 clone — and an equally strong backside with storage space for tools and emergency equipment, augmented by an oversized rear bumper.

Speaking of the Korando, the XAV is a preview of what the fourth-gen SUV could look like, and would join the smaller Tivoli in SsangYong’s collection as it and its parent company, Mahindra & Mahindra, look for a way to break into the North American market.

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The post SsangYong XAV Concept Debuts At 2015 Seoul Motor Show appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

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