Electricity Won't Kill the Fun, Porsche Promises

Porsche threw a party at its museum on Thursday, marking and celebrating 70 years of sports cars. The first vehicle to bear the Porsche name was registered on June 8, 1948 – a 356 “No.1” Roadster. With it, Ferry Porsche’s dream of a sports car turned into a reality.

Mixed in with the event’s nostalgia was a look to the future, as CEO Oliver Blume outlined a three-pronged strategy to diversify its lineup. The three pillars? Plug-in hybrids, combustion-engined sports cars, and sporty electric vehicles.

Read more
Its Eyes Are Just Coming In: Kia Niro EV Concept Bows at CES

Earlier this year, Tim tested the new Kia Niro, finding it to be a perfectly non-offensive crossover, one that goes about its business with little fuss – which, let’s be honest, is what a good slice of the buying public looks for in a new car.

At the Consumer Electronic Show in Vegas this week, Kia added to the Niro’s lineage with an all-electric version of the compact machine, saying it will offer a range of 238 miles. If that number sounds familiar, it should. It is the exact figure Chevrolet promises for the Bolt.

Read more
Tesla Roadster: Guess Who's Back, Back Again?

The Roadster’s back. Tell a friend.

Not that you’ll need to, of course. Elon Musk and Company seemingly pulled off the impossible last night in California, blowing up the internets by upstaging Tesla’s own semi truck reveal with a carefully choreographed “one more thing” moment.

Read more
British Chemical Company Proceeding With 'Defender-inspired' Ride

Last year, we reported on how British chemical company Ineos had approached Land Rover, asking for permission to build a copy of its now-deceased Defender. Land Rover responded unequivocally, stating, “There is no way this is happening.”

Hold on, not so fast there.

Read more
No More Regrets: Tesla Will Now Upgrade Your Ludicrous-less P90D For an Insane Price

For Tesla Model S P90D owners who have concluded they won’t soil their firm, supportive seats if given the chance to go faster, well, they’re in luck.

Tesla Motors is offering to bring “Ludicrous” mode to owners of the top-end Model S as an aftermarket upgrade, assuming their wallet can match their need to blow everything else out of the water.

Read more
2016 BMW I8 Review - The 'Affordable' Plug-In Supercar

“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
New Porsche Mission E is a Shot Fired Up Tesla's Nose

Porsche announced Friday that it would build its Mission E car — an all-electric sedan with looks that a Panamera would kill for — and sell the car by 2020. The Mission E concept was announced at Frankfurt earlier this year.

In addition to the car’s 0-60 mph time in under 3.5 seconds, the Mission E (no word on whether that is the final name) will also boast a 310-mile range and an 800-volt charge capability that could recharge the battery up to 80 percent in 15 minutes, providing you can find a charger for it.

Porsche didn’t announce pricing or availability yet, because presumably they’re figuring out exactly how much people will be willing to pay for the Stuttgart coat of arms and how many sales they’ve already lost to Tesla.

Read more
Piston Slap: Greenwashing the Fuel of the Devil?

BT writes:

Why aren’t we seeing diesel/electric hybrid cars and light duty trucks? Wouldn’t the fuel economy be phenomenal? Gas hybrids do well in their own right, as do diesels. So what’s holding up the diesel/electric Passat? Many cities have gone to diesel/electric buses for fuel savings, so we know the technology is real for passenger vehicles. Is the combined torque simply too much for mere mortals to use responsibly?

What gives, Sajeev?

Read more
No More LNTs for Volkswagen Diesels; Phaeton Goes All-electric

Volkswagen in Germany announced Tuesday that its diesel cars on sale in Europe and the U.S. would be fitted with an emissions-scrubbing urea tank instead of a lean nitrogen-oxide trap and the automaker would develop further its all-electric vehicles, starting with the Phaeton.

“The Volkswagen brand is repositioning itself for the future. We are becoming more efficient, we are giving our product range and our core technologies a new focus, and we are creating room for forward-looking technologies by speeding up the efficiency program,” Volkswagen passenger cars board chairman Herbert Diess said in a statement.

The automaker announced it would trim €1 billion ($1.1 billion) from current projects, but didn’t specify what [s]three-row SUVs[/s] those projects would be.

Read more
Interest in Hybrid Cars the Same, But Not When Money is Involved

Two stories paint an interesting present reality for hybrid and electric vehicles in America. Interest in hybrid vehicles has stayed consistent for the last two years among people in the U.S., AutoGuide is reporting. But apparently dealers and buyers can’t keep their hands off of those cars in Connecticut, where that state recently offered up to $3,000 on the hoods of those cars, Automotive News is reporting.

According to a Harris Poll, 48 percent of polled Americans say they would consider a hybrid vehicle next time they’re in the market for a car, which is roughly the same number of people who said so in 2013. Interest in electric and plug-in hybrid cars was up slightly to 21 and 29 percent of respondents, respectively.

Getting people to pull the trigger on that purchase, it seems, is still a matter of dangling a tangible benefit — fuel economy and environmental benefit may still not be enough.

Read more
2016 Volvo XC90 First Drive (With Video)

Volvo seems to be on the long road to recovery. Although sales have continued to slip in the USA, the numbers were up worldwide last year. In an interesting twist, 2014 was also the first year more Volvos were sold in China than North America. That could be cause-and-effect since Volvo had been more focused on their European-only new compact sedan and wagon. 2016 finally showers some Swedish love on America with a complete redesign of the XC90, the SUV originally designed for us. Because China is now a bigger market than we are, this XC90 isn’t just for us, but for China and the growing number of big crossovers clogging up Europe as well.

Read more
Review: 2014 Chevrolet Spark EV (With Video)

Outside North America, this little blue pill of an A-segment car is known as the Daewoo Matiz Creative. It may look an obsolete computer peripheral (or a pregnant roller skate), but GM claims that the Chevrolet Spark has more torque than a Ferrari 458 Italia. As a self-described technology lover, and card-carrying resident of the Left Coast, I had to check it out.

Read more
New Mustang May Eventually Offer Diesel, Hybrid and Even Electric Powertrains

Traditionalists put off by Ford’s decision to offer the next generation Mustang with a four cylinder engine may have their heads spin by other powertrain choices Ford is considering for the new car as it tries to make it a global brand. According to global powertrain chief Bob Fascetti, speaking to GoAuto at the Sydney, Australia part of the simultaneous worldwide reveal of the latest Mustang, Ford is weighing producing diesel, hybrid and electric versions. It won’t happen anytime soon, but the door has been left open.

Read more
First Drive Review: 2014 Honda Accord Hybrid (With Video)

As of October, the most fuel-efficient mid-sized sedan in America is the Honda Accord. Or so Honda says. After all, Ford has been trumpeting a matching 47 MPG combined from their Fusion. Who is right? And more importantly, can the Accord get Honda back into the hybrid game after having lost the initial hybrid battles with their maligned Integrated Motor Assist system? Honda invited us to sample the 2014 Accord Hybrid as well as a smorgasbord of competitive products to find out.

Read more
Saab 9-3 Back in Production

After years of rumors and speculations of the will they/won’t they variety, a brand-new Saab 9-3 has – finally! – managed to roll down the assembly line! Don’t be fooled by the fact that this new Saab looks just like the 2009 models the company was building when it was spun off from GM’s bankruptcy, however. This car features all-new components designed by Saab engineers and manufactured in Trollhättan, Sweden.

Read more
  • EBFlex They are getting rid of the Charger and Challenger for a modern day Neon?just end it Dodge, you had a great run
  • Garrett Frankly, I don’t understand why some of the manufacturers haven’t lobbied for more areas, or built their own. Imagine being able to access a local Jeep park, at a reasonable membership fee. Or a Land Rover one for a lot more. That’s money worth throwing down.
  • Lou_BC Developing "off-road parks" in areas with higher populations and a lack of public access land would be a good idea. It would be great to be paired with licensed off-road instructors. Set up costs would be relatively low. I took an entry level off-road course a few years ago with my son's Cherokee. It was fun. I'd like to take a winching course and an advanced driving course.
  • ToolGuy If you want a new Toyota, plan to buy it in the next 4 years.
  • ToolGuy The real question is - with all the value they add and all the sacrifices they make - do automotive journalists make too little. 😉