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

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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

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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…)

By on January 6, 2015

HOV-sticker

Last September saw the end of the availability of 55,000 HOV lane stickers for California’s plug-in hybrids – but another slate has been able available.

(Read More…)

By on August 7, 2014

2016-Chevrolet-Volt-Teaser   The first teaser shot of the Chevrolet Volt has emerged, with the car debuting at the 2015 North American International Auto Show. (Read More…)

By on August 4, 2014

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How do you help move the Cadillac ELR? Simple: drop the price down to one that the market will bear.

(Read More…)

By on July 21, 2014

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The Opel Ampera, an Opel-badged Chevrolet Volt, will be killed off in Europe due to slow sales.

(Read More…)

By on July 8, 2014

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Volvo’s newest SUV, the 2015 XC90, will have a wide range of powertrain options, including a a twin-charged 4-cylinder engine making 400 horsepower, with fewer CO2 emissions than a Toyota Prius.

(Read More…)

By on April 3, 2014

So far, Cadillac has moved just 180 units of the ELR in 2014 – at that pace, Cadillac stands to sell just 720 units in 2014, far short of the often-stated 2,000-3,000 unit annual sales target.

(Read More…)

By on February 20, 2014

golfgte

Joining the Volkswagen GTI and GTD is the new Golf GTE, a performance plug-in hybrid that puts down as much power as a GTI. According to AutoExpress, a prototype they drove last year hit 62 mph in 7.6 seconds while emitting 60 percent less CO2 than a Toyota Prius. Power comes from a 1.4L TSI 4-cylinder engine making 148 horsepower, mated to a 108 horsepower electric motor.

By on October 11, 2013

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Pricing for the Cadillac ELR has been announced, and the swoopy Caddy coupe with the Voltec powertrain has been stickered at an astonishing $75,995, not including the $7,500 federal tax credit as well as other incentives.

One can make the argument that there will be a market for a premium plug-in that wealthy buyers can write off as an expense in one form another, personally, I think GM is out of their mind.

(Read More…)

By on July 22, 2013

2013 Chevrolet Volt Exterior, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes

The Chevrolet Volt may be the most maligned and least understood car on the market. After a week of strange questions and bipolar reactions to GM’s plug-in hybrid, I came to a conclusion. GM’s marketing of the Volt stinks. By calling the Volt an “Electric Vehicle (EV) with a range extender,” a huge segment of the population can’t get past “Electric” and immediately cross the Volt off their list. There is also [strangely] a segment of the population that says, “that’s great but I want a hybrid.”  Guess what? The Volt is a hybrid.

(Read More…)

Recent Comments

  • Andrzej N: Very good review,that’s a nice change for TTAC. Hope to see more like it :)
  • rpn453: No, for everything. Combustion engines pollute regardless, so why bother with that expense?
  • TW5: @ sportyaccordy 2017 is the midterm congressional review. Our congress currently has a docket of healthcare...
  • golden2husky: …The fact that cars honestly too old to matter any more are FORCED to undergo a recall that can...
  • Matt Posky: There does seem to be a bit of a witch-hunt taking place in Germany ever since VW “confessed”...

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