2017 ItalDesign x Airbus Pop.Up – Concept Debrief

Maybe all those ‘flying car’ dreamers and visionaries were just too smart – by half. What if a self-piloted EV road module was left behind when your drone-copter arrives?  That self-driving EV skateboard could drive itself home or to meet you later at the office.  Meanwhile, your transport pod will be under the eight counter-rotating blades of the quad-copter above you? Pretty intense in how real this fantasy traffic-avoider feels.  Thrilled to have the big brains of Giugiaro and Airbus working together to flesh out the idea. Here is a crude animation of how this will work. The insight is rock solid: three innovations are coming to maturity in a few years at the same time.  Each a game-changer: — long-range EVs — self-driving cars — heavy-lift UAV quadcopters The Pop.Up is impressively finished as an engineering exercise.  60-mile range for the drone, and a max (unladen) flying speed of 60-mph as …

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Novitec Debuts Tesla Model X Stage One Bodykit, Vossen 22s and CCBs

Welcome to Hell! Electric cars heading to the supertuning boutique? Yes, the day has come, folks. Just kidding. The Tesla X is already over $100k easily and rips to 100-mph like a stabbed rat.  So why not upgrade its style and stance to match? If you’re like us, you loathe the Tesla roofline and bloated surfaces.  But realize: the looks outside, and the glasshouse in particular, are basically just there to create ridiculously airy cabins.  The same reason there is a double-height windshield — to make the X feel like a legit spaceship.  Once you accept that — and know its insane performance — you start to make peace with the eggy shape. Novitec is launching  carbon bodykit pieces for the nose, sills and finned diffuser panel.  They are subtle but do slam the appearance, visually.  The VOssen alloys are cool in 22-inch size for a unique reason.  As Novitec …

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Road Test Review – 2017 Hyundai Ioniq Electric Limited – By Carl Malek

Once considered rolling science experiments 15 to 20 years ago, electric vehicles are seeing a resurgence in both relevance and importance to a new generation of car buyers. When I was growing up in Metro Detroit, it was in a GM household, and the infamous EV-1 was the symbol of GM’s brief but compelling trip into the world of mass market vehicle electrification. Tremendous progress has been made since then (case in point the Chevrolet Bolt), and electric vehicles are slowly making the transition from curiosity, to mass market reality. But does this mean that electric vehicles are at long last a viable alternative to traditional gasoline powered automobiles? Or is there still work that needs to be done? To find out, we slipped behind the wheel of the 2017 Hyundai Ioniq Electric, and were determined to answer this compelling question.     The exterior styling of our Electric Blue …

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200MPH 2017 Vanda Dendrobrium Joins Goodwood FoS Lineup

  Geneva was filthy with million-dollar exoptics this year.  And at least half of those were from new brands with electric propulsion. The Vanda Electrics entry is one of the most compelling, visually, for its modern and carved track appeal.  A no-fluff machine clearly designed for laptimes!   Ground-effect aero, power doors and canopy and floating wheels?  Dreamy! Concept hypercars have a bad reputation for not being real, however.  And Dendrobrium’s lack of tech specs makes one worry a bit.   The targets are simple enough for any EV hypercar: 3.0-seconds to 60-mph, 200-mph top speed and a range of about 200 miles.  This would make for a Tesla-fast McLaren rival at any track worldwide. But no one has seen it run so far.  And the electric tractor of the homepage for VandaElectrics.com does not inspire confidence.  Is this just a halo branding exercise or will be it made and …

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2017 VW ID Crozz Concept – Goofy Preview of Future E-SUV

The tsunami of EV crossovers in development from all brands is starting to worry us.  Where will demand for these E-SUVs (trademark!:) come from when these all arrive together in late 2018?! Automakers near and far are sure that these vehicles are the way forward.  Expensive vehicles as a way to offset the giant costs of the battery packs needed for 300 miles.  The same size batteries would be needed for a compact size car, but who would buy that?  As such, EV crossovers do make some sense, and will let carmakers in the US keep selling a load of guzzlers and still make CAFE targets. The VW ID Crozz has a silly name but a serious mission.  A combo of the ID and Buzz concepts from recent shows, the Crozz is a goofy look at an electric SUV about the size of Tiguan. Crozz, unfortunately, has a silly style …

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Update1 – 2017 Audi e-Tron Sportback Concept – Previews Q5-Sized 2019 EV

Audi’s astounding sales growth is slowing to a near halt lately.  The firm needs to expand its range horizontally as well as vertically with new model sizes.  The horizontal expansion will add hybrid variants and EVs to similar sizes of Audi’s we know and love today. Unlike just swapping engines, these e-tron models require to be unique platforms from the ground up. There is simply no other way to incorporate flat-pack batteries (a la Tesla) in a conventional chassis. A fresh hint at Audi’s new mission is the 2017 E-Tron Sportback concept.  This full EV just bowed in Shanghai with a 95 KwH battery pack, AWD with a rear bias and 0-62-mph sprints in 4.6 seconds. It is promised for production in 2019 with a full suite of high-tech lighting and piloted driving tech.  The four-seater cabin and fastback roofline are chic executions that show real promise for goosing Audi’s upward …

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4.0s, 400HP Jaguar I-PACE Concept – Design Analysis: Is It Sexy?

The Jaguar I-Pace has a hard name to overcome.  And when it was first shown in silver, it had a mountain to climb for good style, too. Too generic EV, they said. FastForward two months and the I-Pace is back in striking red paint with dark details.  More fitting, perhaps, for the first credible Model X rival. Going full electric for the i-pace means the proportions are radically rethought.  Yes, this is crossover territory, but with a chopped (and hard to digest) nose and nonexistent overhangs.  A lower roof and much lower ride height than F-Pace.  But looking wide as XJ and quite short.  Curious, indeed.  It is a fine line between crossovers, tall wagons and jacked-up hatchbacks.  Let’s be generous and call this a low-roof crossover. Best to take a closer look before rushing to judgement on the i_pace, then? Hopefully we’ll be able to type it rapidly by the time …

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2018 LUCID AIR – $60k EV Limo Is Dream Tesla Rival

Pretty fascinating new make at the NY auto show this year.  Lucid out of California, a startup set to take on Tesla.  How will they succeed where others failed?  Similar talent pools help, while Tesla’s current market cap makes an investment in Lucid seem genius.  What can take down a killer startup?  An even more-killer startup. Lucid is making big promises and is taking reservations for their launch model now.  This is a real-deal car versus a one-off concept.  But still, production remains some time off into the future.  Likely about a year from now. Let’s focus elsewhere: the powertrain with three levels of power and range.  Stock is 240 miles and 400HP to the rear wheels.  Upgrades to 350 or 400 miles are available, as is AWD and up to 1000HP.  Big promises indeed.  Pricing will rise radically (about $15k) with the bigger battery options.  Like the Model S, expect to …

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Audi Q8 Confirmed for 2019 Modelyear [22 New Photos]

We love the designs of both Q8 concepts seen so far: the original in blue at Detroit and this new Q8 Sport Concept from Geneva and NY auto shows.  The bodycolor intake flares in front are gorgeous, the new nose and tail are shockingly cool and fender flares always win friends.  We only dislike its slightly nerdy roofline in profile. After the deeply dull A4/A5 and Q5/Q7 refreshes lately, Audi is showing some design elan with their new Q8 concepts.  This four-seat plugin hybrid (Q8) promises supreme comfort for four.  A platform share with the Q7 moves the back seat rearward to focused on legroom and reclined comfort for just the second row.  No third row, then. Q8 Sport is similar but uses a mild hybrid system versus the full PHEV setup shown on the blue Q8. What this luxury/sport SUV indicates is that Audi’s model expansion has yet to slow …

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