By on March 23, 2016

2017 Toyota Prius Prime Front 3/4, Image: Toyota

In the nearly 20 years it’s been on the market, the Toyota Prius has become an icon of eco-friendly motoring. Now, Toyota wants to build on the legend with a new, more upmarket version called Prius Prime. It comes equipped with plug-in charging, but it should be much more than the previous-generation Prius Plug-In. While the Plug-In was basically nothing more than a basic Prius with a larger battery and electric plug, the Prime is supposed to add style and luxury.

(Read More…)

By on March 15, 2016

2016 Toyota Prius

Toyota is hoping to break the internet with an alluring butt shot of an upcoming Prius variant.

That, a new guy will turn around Lada (again), Buick says you’ll never drive an Avista, the second GM ignition trial begins, and Google’s got its eye out for buses … after the break!

(Read More…)

By on January 24, 2016

Cadillac China

China’s finance minister said Saturday that the government will end green car subsidies by 2021 and let its market dictate whether EVs or plug-in hybrid can sell on their own in the country, Reuters reported.

Lou Jiwei told reporters that the government would cut subsidies by 20 percent over the next two years, by 40 percent before 2020 and eventually end subsidies altogether by 2021, according to the report.

China surpassed the U.S. last year in electric car sales, in part because of the government’s aggressive support. Few electric cars made in China are available outside the country, however its expected that Cadillac will build in China and sell in the U.S. a plug-in version of its CT6 sedan.

(Read More…)

By on January 14, 2016

Trading Places

Investors aren’t necessarily drinking automakers’ Kool-Aid that 2016 will be full of beer and Skittles.

That, the China-made Cadillac CT6 that’ll eventually get here, El Chapo’s cheapo getaway car and General Motors’ questions get down and dirty … after the break!

(Read More…)

By on January 11, 2016

Location Front Quarter Volvo S90 Mussel Blue

After winning the North American Truck of the Year award with the excellent XC90, Volvo is clearly on a roll. Get it? Volvo is Latin for “I roll.”

No? Never mind.

Following up the SUV is a new large luxury sedan, the S90, sharing much with the big truck.

(There once was a time when CUVs were developed from sedans. What a world we live in.)

(Read More…)

By on January 11, 2016

tiguan_gte_active_concept__5816

Volkswagen unveiled a new plug-in hybrid concept for the Tiguan, featuring more aggressive styling than the standard model launched in Frankfurt. Interestingly, Volkswagen has positioned the gas-electric CUV as a more fun-to-drive truck than the standard vehicle.

In other words, it’s a Tiguan Trailhawk.

(Read More…)

By on January 6, 2016

2016 BMW i8 Hybrid Exterior Front

“Looks like sex, goes like stink” is the usual supercar mantra, but BMW’s guru was humming a different tune when penning the i8.

You see, the i8 isn’t just a sexy car with “butterfly doors.” It’s also a production prototype of sorts styled after BMW’s 2009 Vision EfficientDynamics concept.

Most supercars have exotic engines with high cylinder counts and drink premium gasoline at an alarming rate. BMW’s mission with the i8 was to make an efficient supercar and at the same time production-test technologies that will trickle down to its higher volume cars over time.

The i8’s efficiency is the key to understanding this sexy German. The i8 isn’t the best handling supercar, or even the best handling BMW. Neither is it the fastest BMW, the most luxurious BMW, or (oddly enough) the most efficient BMW. Instead, the i8 delivers M235i like lateral grip, M4 like acceleration, fuel economy that bests the 320i by a few miles per gallon and lines so sexy I got a thumbs up from a passing F430.

This isn’t your average sports car.

(Read More…)

By on December 7, 2015

IONIQ image

Hyundai announced Monday it would bring back silliness to car names and make the world’s first hybrid, plug-in hybrid and all-electric vehicle available in the same body, catering decadently to an individual’s fondness for electrons.

The Ioniq — which sounds like it’s spelled — will be unveiled January in South Korea and later next year in Geneva and New York. It will go on sale next year.

According to the automaker, Ioniq is the type of car people have been asking for: a model named after slightly obfuscated common words to fit with an over-stretched marketing philosophy rather than alphanumeric letters and symbols that require no creativity whatsoever. (God, I miss the Integra.) (Read More…)

By on August 9, 2015

news-2016-audi-a3-etron-exterior-09

Audi announced this week that its plug-in hybrid version of the A3, dubbed A3 Sportback e-tron, will go on sale in October and cost $38,825 to start — $47,725 in Prestige trim — before federal and state incentives.

The car, which combines an 8.8 kWh battery and a 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, will make a combined 204 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. Fuel economy and range for all-electric driving hasn’t been announced by the automaker, although some reports peg the EV range at 30 miles.

The A3 plug-in hybrid will be the first Audi to run (at least partially) on electricity in the States.

(Read More…)

By on August 7, 2015

2015 BMW i3 orange

In addition to the battery-powered (or is it a hybrid?) i3 and i8 cars, BMW may build an electrified X3-sized crossover, 5-series sedan and perhaps a larger Tesla Model X-sized SUV in its “i” car range, The Detroit Bureau is reporting.

The speculation comes from BMW chief Harald Krueger who said there was room in the “i” range for something else.

“Between the i3 and the i8, there is space if you look at it from the number point of view,” Harald Krueger said in an interview with the German newspaper F.A.S.

Precisely four numbers are between 3 and 8. Let’s speculate! (Read More…)

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