Volkswagen’s EV plan could include electrified pickup

When Volkswagen first introduced its plan to completely revamp its lineup with fully hybrid and electric vehicles, the company had hoped to add 75 electric models to its portfolio of models by 2029. The bulk of these would have been crafted on the all new MEB platform, with the resulting surge in offerings greatly increasing Volkswagen’s compliance with tightening emissions standards. But many electric upstarts have emerged since then, and the unwelcome emergence of COVID-19 also had a role in completely altering the automotive landscape. But that does not mean VW is down and out in its plans for electrification. …

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Cleveland CycleWerks Unveils Retro Inspired Falcon EV Motorcycle

Electrification is rapidly becoming an emerging force in multiple aspects of the motoring world. But while the application of the technology in cars is still overcoming some hurdles, the opposite is true in the motorcycle landscape with an explosion of offerings and contenders. This surge has certainly captured our attention (so much so that this author is working on purchasing a Zero branded bike) and we always like seeing who enters the ring next. In this instance, it is the folks at Cleveland CycleWerks who have unveiled their all new Falcon model. As the name implies, the company is based …

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2021 LOTUS EVIJA – USA Arrivals in Sept 2020 – Walkaround at Amelia Island Concours

Evaya is how it is said!  This stunning machine that is just six months from its first owners has a tricky name to pronounce.  As noted in the video Evija means first of its kind and the pronunciation takes Latin. This smooth beauty is quite an awesome step into the future for Lotus with its all-electric 2000HP drivetrain the most potent to ever be installed on any road car – ever. Watch the vid for more info on the car – with smooth viewing thanks to shooting this on the latest GoPro Hero8.   2021 LOTUS EVIJA – Detailed Walkaround …

Read more 2021 LOTUS EVIJA – USA Arrivals in Sept 2020 – Walkaround at Amelia Island Concours

Product Review – Accell AxFast Level 2 Electric Vehicle Portable Charger – By Carl Malek

With electric vehicles rapidly becoming more of a presence in the lives of the American consumer, the quest to try and create products that can better necessitate the unique demands and challenges that EV ownership brings can be a very daunting task for companies. One of these firms trying to improve things for EV buyers is Accell. The California based company has made a name for themselves when it comes to creating portable electric charging products for buyers looking to bring EV charging wherever they go. The company kindly invited us to try one of their newest products the AxFast …

Read more Product Review – Accell AxFast Level 2 Electric Vehicle Portable Charger – By Carl Malek

Sony shocks with Vision-S Concept Preview.

Watch out Tesla! Apple beaten to the punch! Sony previews their entry into the future of the automobile. Doing what only a true electronics giant can, Sony touches every aspect of the modern automobile with its legacy of moving electrons to provide customers with style and substance. In the age where many automobile analysts espouse that people don’t want to drive their cars, they want to drive their iPhones, it appears that Sony has embraced that and lined every nook and cranny with portable device feature goodness. DriveMan or “Drive your Walk-Man”, perhaps? Sony Vision-S Official Page Quick Specs (More …

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2019 Subaru Crosstrek Plug-in Hybrid Review by Ben Lewis

Subaru loves to go their own way. That’s one of the things we love about them. We recently tested the WRX – a powerful sports sedan with rally-car DNA. The new Forester, a crossover with that same feel of something a little different from the mainstream. Need a 3-row SUV? You can get the Ascent, and enjoy that Subaru goodness in a larger package. It takes real engineering talent to stay true to your school (cue Beach Boys), and still meet, compete, and beat other vehicles in your segment. So, now we have the all-new Crosstrek Hybrid – the company’s …

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Road Test Review – 2019 Jaguar I-Pace EV400 First Edition – By Carl Malek

When Jaguar first announced that it was formally entering the EV vehicle market, we we’re admittedly a bit skeptical at first. The thought of a company with a history of electrical problems building a pure EV? Blasphemy, some might say when first presented with the thought. But after years of development, the Jaguar I-Pace has finally begun trickling its way into dealerships, and it is out to change perceptions, while also establishing Jaguar as a mainstream contender to the Tesla Model X. But can the I-Pace rise above the others to deliver a distinctly unique driving experience? We had a …

Read more Road Test Review – 2019 Jaguar I-Pace EV400 First Edition – By Carl Malek

2019 Jaguar i-Pace EV400 – First Drive Review – By Becky Antioco

The Jaguar I-Pace is everything you’d expect from a luxury car, and more than you would from an electric vehicle (EV). The case for EVs, in general, is complex, with considerations like environmental impact, practicality, range anxiety, and issues of substance and style coming into play. I’d argue that the I-Pace has the last two, in spades. I-Pace’s accolades are many: World Car of the Year, World Car Design of the Year, and World Green Car for 2019, European Car of the Year, and one of AutoTrader’s Best New Cars for 2019, to name a few. Yet, judging by sales …

Read more 2019 Jaguar i-Pace EV400 – First Drive Review – By Becky Antioco

2019 Kia Niro EV – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

Cynics that we are, we are slowly becoming fans of Electric Vehicles. While we still love the sound of a good engine, there’s a lot to love about the newest wave of fully electric and plug-in hybrid models. Our favorite plug-in may be the Honda Clarity,  whose futuristic good looks and reasonable 47 miles of EV mode range won us over. More important was the Hyundai Kona Electric, with an amazing 258-mile Tesla-baiting range, and great fun-to-drive spirit. We could easily drive it every day. Maybe the Kona is a little too small? Good news, we now have the Kia …

Read more 2019 Kia Niro EV – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

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Insider: What You Need To Know About Electric Bikes

If you own a regular bike, it may be time for you to upgrade to an electric bike. An e-bike has a powered drive system. The battery-powered drive system makes all the difference. You will not get late to work because you will ride faster. You will not get sweaty because the energy you use up while riding it is little if any. Better yet, you will climb hilly terrains and unleveled roads with ease. So, in case you were asking what the best bike to buy is to get yourself an e-bike.   Picking the best electric bike that …

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2019 Hyundai Kona Electric – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

We just spent another week in Kona, and although we’re not tan, we can’t wait to go back. This is our second visit – after our first trip, we came back singing praises for its Island Style, the strong performance, and loads of equipment for the buck. And in many ways the Kona EV is even better. Slicker and Sleeker We loved the regular Kona’s style, and it had a tough, aggressive vibe to it. For the EV, Hyundai has decided to go a little more futuristic, a little more upscale. It starts with the grille. Well, it’s a grille …

Read more 2019 Hyundai Kona Electric – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

2019 Nissan LEAF SL – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

Ok, let’s start with Good News, Bad News. The Good News – for 2019 there’s a new LEAF PLUS model with more power, enhanced tech and improved range. The Bad News – There wasn’t one in the fleet to test, so we go the current 40 KWH battery model. Actually, it’s not that bad, in fact after spending a week with our LEAF, we’re not sure most buyers will need that new PLUS model. A new LEAF Introduced as a 2018 model, the all-new builds on the goodness that made the previous – and continues to be – the world’s …

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Is It Really Worth Giving Your ID For a GAC Motor Press Kit? We Find Out, Part 1 of a Two Part Series (Video)

Amid all the glitz and glamour that defines the North American International Auto Show, one particular company has stood out over the years, GAC. GAC (or Trumpchi as their cars are known in China) is a Chinese automotive company that has bold plans for the U.S. market in the near future. Unlike other auto companies and suppliers here at the 2019 North American International Auto Show, GAC insists that you give them your business card or other form of ID before they give you one of their press kits. But is the cost of a slice of your identity really …

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2019 Infiniti QX Inspiration Concept – EV SUV Debut Gallery

This new QX Inspiration from Infiniti takes a few minutes to really sink in.  At first glance the design is just impossibly puffy and rounded. Marshmallows come to mind. But spend a few more taps in the slideshow.  You discover really cool proportions, surface detailing and LED executions.  And this is all just the outside! THe cabin is perhaps more special.  Very sumptuous and inviting even in photos.  This is a luxury car cabin that beckons — and that is not always the case with Infiniti’s sterile German rivals. 2019 Infiniti QX Inspiration Concept – EV SUV Debut Gallery

2017 VW E-Golf SEL Premium – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

OK, we’re a little late to the EV game. We recently tested the Soul EV, and came away charmed by the unique driving experience, and the way Kia made the electric Soul feel special and unique – like driving a car of the future. Which is a great counterpoint to the VW Golf EV. While the Kia celebrates its EV-ness, the Golf plays it the other way – it completely feels like any other Golf, the only difference is that it has a different way of fueling up. For someone with EV anxiety, or who just wants to go electric …

Read more 2017 VW E-Golf SEL Premium – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

2018 Kia Soul EV+ Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

You may have heard the term “Range Anxiety” when it comes to Electric Vehicles. (EV to you and me). It describes the nervousness you have over not having enough range to get where you’re going. With a gas car, it’s a stop at the local sip ‘n go. But with an EV, if you can find a place to plug in, it’s still between 45 minutes to a couple hours to get a meaningful charge. But now we have a new term. EV Anxiety? This is different. For many of us enthusiasts, we look at the EV as the death …

Read more 2018 Kia Soul EV+ Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

2018 Honda Clarity Plug-in Hybrid – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

A friend just asked about buying a Diesel-engine car. Diesel? Really? It seems like that boat has sailed a while ago, with VW’s diesel-gate putting the powertrain on the chopping block for most passenger cars. Hybrids and EV’s are where it’s going – for their combination of low or zero emissions, hefty government subsidies (ok, those may go away) and driving fun. Yes, driving fun. And one of the most interesting of these vehicles is the new Honda Clarity. A new way to roll Well, the Honda Clarity actually gives you three ways to roll – if you’re on the …

Read more 2018 Honda Clarity Plug-in Hybrid – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

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Update1 – 2017 Lamborghini Terzo Millennio

Updated with high-res photos. Lambo just whipped the wraps off the newest, hottest Lambo yet: the Terzo Millennio.  This third wave hypercar aims to make electric exotic.  And make it sexy. Tough ask! The new Lambo TM aims to revolutionize materials and packaging to go even more mid-engined than Aventador or Centenario.  Cab farther forward.  More extreme rakes to all glass.  And extreme aero taking more precedence than beauty.  We see Lambo’s wild pipedream of what their flagship might be in 2025. Only fairly lousy images and no tech specs available yet.  Watch this space for better materials when available. …

Read more Update1 – 2017 Lamborghini Terzo Millennio

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Designer Showcase – N.01 Autonomous Race Car Concept By Fernando Pastre Fertonani

Gorgeous new designs out of Brazil this week from Fernando Fertonani! This fresh Masters in Transportation Design SPD Milan grad has penned out a look a driverless endurance racecar of the future. Imagine this as an LMP1 competitor and its rigid bodysides, shrouded front axle and massive wings make beautiful sense.  The open rear tires with central drive system appear to be designed for cooling – wrapped in blocky linear wings that form bodywork and tail stabilizers.  Massive electric motors inside each wheel hub reinforce the thrust this is designed to handle. Instead of a tall cockpit area and mid-mounted …

Read more Designer Showcase – N.01 Autonomous Race Car Concept By Fernando Pastre Fertonani

2017 TOKYO Motor Show LIVE – Top Ten Sexiest Debuts

Tokyo is full of EVs and stand-tall vans per usual.  But this year the eco flavor has a lot more speed and outdoorsiness.  Cars like the Nissan IMx — a preview of a Juke replacement running 400+ electric ponies.  Taller ride height and gravel-busting looks are part of the Subaru VISIV concept’s rallytough looks. We even love the new Mitsubishi Mazda is on a roll with its gorgeous Vision Coupe concept — a light teaser of where the humble Mazda6 is going in the future.  Same for the sexy shrink-wrapped KAI Concept for its 2019 Mazda3 flavors. Cars like the …

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Situation Analysis: Can 2017 i Vision Dynamics Concept Save BMW?

Sometimes I just want to shake BMW like a British nanny. What are you thinking, bad BMW baby!!!!? The X7 Concept, Z4 Concept and 8 Series concepts are all fairly new design ideas for the IAA BMW stand in Frankfurt this year.  A new M5 and X3 are the production cars with some fresh excitement around them.  A new BMW i3S looks slightly less hideous from the front and will be quicker than the base model.  None of these models is the silver bullet BMW needs to get back to brand health.  And sales growth. The X7’s design is shockingly …

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2017 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid – Road Test Review

Ioniq is really a charmer on the road.  This is a car that can out-eco a Prius and yet also sling itself around corners like a balanced Lotus. 50 mpg has never been so easy, or fun!  No plugs needed and no range anxiety.  Ioniq is good enough to make you really rethink the logic of a full EV.  This just seems so much smarter and more versatile.  It is a seamless normal-car replacement.  Smoother than a normal sedan’s drivetrain and just as easy to own. We spent a week testing the Ioniq’s limits in a high-performance drive video.  And …

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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: …

Read more 2017 ItalDesign x Airbus Pop.Up – Concept Debrief

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 …

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

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 …

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

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 …

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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 …

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

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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 …

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

2017 Toyota Prius PRIME – HD Road Test Review

Our hopes about Prius Prime were through the roof.  Gorgeous new looks.  A battery pack 10X as large as the most thrifty standard Prius.  Luxed-up cabin and 20 miles of EV range? It seemed like a winning formula on paper, and it is a winner in the flesh on the road. We spent a happy week in the Prime to see how this Super Prius compares versus young gun Hyundai Ioniq as well as full EVs like the eGolf, Focus Electric or even a pre-owned Tesla.  ANd how about the upcoming Honda Clarity Plugin? There is great and less-great news to …

Read more 2017 Toyota Prius PRIME – HD Road Test Review

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 …

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3.2s 2017 Renault ZOE e-SPORT Concept Is Geneva Highlight

RenaultSport has found itself at the apex between F1 and Formula E in 2017.  They also produce one of the biggest range of EVs available.  No one is better prepared to take track-fast electrics to the street. The new Zoe e-Sport promises just that.  With a widebody style like the iconic Renault rally rockets, and a matte blue paintwork that happily recalls past Clio V6s. 460HP is the power allowed for this hatch smaller than a Ford Fiesta.  With almost a third of the total vehicle weight as batteries, this ZOE e-Sport might even have some midengine dynamics to add …

Read more 3.2s 2017 Renault ZOE e-SPORT Concept Is Geneva Highlight

2017 Hyundai IONIQ Electric – First Drive Review w/ Video

The sleeper hit of the Hyundai Ioniq launch? The full EV! This will be the rarest of the three Ioniq models as it will be sold in California only for the first year.  [First arrivals around April/May in stores, by the way, and Ioniq EV can be special-ordered nationwide at that time too.] It was not just the incredible normalcy about the EV drive Ioniq that makes it surprising.  Really it’s the thoroughness of the engineering and exceptional value this car represents. Hold your horses, though!  Let’s discuss what this car offers, how it looks, drives and feels.  Click play below …

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World Debut – 2016 GLM G4 is Four-Door HyperEV Out of Japan

One of the most stunning vehicles at the Paris motor show?  This unknown entry from a Japanese startup called GLM. Their debut model is dubbed the G4, an all-electric supersedan with stellar performance and untouchable style. Think of the size of a Lamborghini Huracan or Gallardo, but stretched lengthwise and integrating four doors.  Still an ultra-low roof and brutal, mid-engine proportions… but expressed for a new era.  This is a car that competes with the Tesla Model S, but is a cool half-foot shorter and far more extreme overall. The closest spritual predecessor of this model is surely the Fisker/VLF …

Read more World Debut – 2016 GLM G4 is Four-Door HyperEV Out of Japan

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2016 Volkswagen ID Concept

This is it! A near-production EV platform that VW will take global in three dozen flavors. Promising tech and ambition for a company still neck-deep in trouble. Some elements of the ID are more production-ready than others.  Details like the shrouded mirror-cams and roof sensor pods are actually farther out than the core architecture. The ID EV runs a flatpack battery and spaceframe chassis, a la tesla, but with a price that is hopefully a bit more Model 3 than Model S. The cabin is now enormously roomy for a Golf-length car.  Slightly formless elements of the design are aero-dynamic …

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BMW Unveils Updated 2017 i3 with Giant New 33kWh Battery – By Carl Malek

  When BMW first unveiled the i3, it brought several innovations to the electric vehicle segment, while also allowing the company to launch its green minded i brand. However, with the current trend towards bigger batteries, the tiny i3 found itself slowly falling behind rivals when it came to driving range. BMW has rectified this flaw with the unveiling of the updated 2017 i3. Known formally as the 2017 BMW i3 (94 Ah) the second chapter of the i3 doesn’t focus so much on its long moniker, but rather on giving buyers more driving range than before. This is made …

Read more BMW Unveils Updated 2017 i3 with Giant New 33kWh Battery – By Carl Malek

2017 PRIUS PRIME – Live Photos and Tech Preview – CF Tail, 84mph eVmax

Some really cool new tech and solutions all around the upcoming 2017 Toyota Prius Prime. Quick points on this advanced PHEV flagship: First dual motor/generator unit for the EV system promises much quicker acceleration.  The Prius PHEV was the quickest in the group before, so this is great news! Redesigned nose and tail, with NSX-style new face up front, and carbon-fiber/LED tail that is all-new versus the new 2017 Prius and the 2017 Mirai FCEV. New cabin with giant central touchscreen, a la Tesla, and a full-length central battery placement. Four seats and almost 50/50 weight distribution with low center …

Read more 2017 PRIUS PRIME – Live Photos and Tech Preview – CF Tail, 84mph eVmax

RoboRace Launches Driverless Formula E Series – Signs Daniel Simon as Lead Designer

Formula E is quite a hit so far, with a global schedule and many new entries for the 2016 and 2017 seasons.  Even Jaguar is signed up for next year! These McLaren-powered electric racecars have overcome much skepticism already as a green F1 rival.  And they are taking things much further today. RoboRace.  RoboCar. RoboWin!? Daniel Simon is kindof an asshole but is a genius designer.  His book Cosmic Motors is visually outstanding, if VERY light on actual story value or depth of universe. Put it this way: if it were a PDF, you’d be through it in under 90 …

Read more RoboRace Launches Driverless Formula E Series – Signs Daniel Simon as Lead Designer

2016 nanoFlowcell QUANTiNO – AWD EV Aims Squarely at BMW i3 via Revolutionary Battery Tech

NanoFlowcell is the stunning startup trying to make energy from ordinary salt water. A revolutionary new battery chemistry is at the heart of the firm’s products to date.  Cars like the super-exotic Quant F — a four-seater with gorgeous gullwing doors opening the entire bodyside. Looking like a stretched Porsche 918 Spyder, the main quant prototype is still a stunner. But what about production feasibility?  FOr that, the plan has evolved into this slick electric hatchback.  A premium model aimed right at the BMW i3, the QUANTiNO majors on realistic goals.  Four electric motors — one at each corner — …

Read more 2016 nanoFlowcell QUANTiNO – AWD EV Aims Squarely at BMW i3 via Revolutionary Battery Tech

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NAIAS 2016 – Showfloor MEGA Gallery – Day One in 180 Photos

Uh oh!  Detroit’s NAIAS is so intense for 2016, we are well past our peak of effective coverage.  What comes next?  Deep hand and forearm soreness from so much typing.  And… alas… into just outright bitchiness about some of the more questionable model reveals.  Cough… Acura, cough-cough… But we will power through!   Resist the snark! Part of that is sharing the latest showfloor photos… en masse. =] Here are 180 images from press preview day one at the Detroit North American International Auto Show.   NAIAS 2016 – Showfloor MEGA Gallery    

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2017 Chrysler PACIFICA Is All-New Minivan – PHEV Hybrid, Luxury and Tech to Leapfrog Sienna/Odyssey

Welcome to the next Town & Country: the all-new Pacifica! This name-swap is quite justified when you take a peek at the seriously all-new platform, drivetrain, interior and exterior of the next-gen Chrysler minivan. The impressive details abound from every seat: the seven-seater has a stunningly advanced offering for families from July of this year when the new vans hit showrooms. What is the big deal, beyond a very swish new exterior design? Where to begin!  The biggest news is the first-ever plug-in hybrid offering in the van segment. Dubbed simply the Pacifica Hybrid, the EV tech is quite sophisticated. Not …

Read more 2017 Chrysler PACIFICA Is All-New Minivan – PHEV Hybrid, Luxury and Tech to Leapfrog Sienna/Odyssey

Chevrolet Unveils 2017 Bolt EV at CES

Barra Delivers! 2017 Chevrolet BOLT EV – $30k Price and 200+ Mile Range Should Worry i3, Leaf and Prius PHEV

Disbelief?  Awe?  Wonder? Trying to find the right description to pick my jaw up off my desk. The new Chevy Bolt EV is almost surreal at its CES reveal this week.  Just a year ago, the Bolt concept wowed Detroit with its big range promises, practical shape and interesting cabin tech.  Few people — this author included — ever expected a production car to be so close on the horizon. But here it is, folks!  The massive promises from General Motors about their future electric product plans were not just hot air! The 2017 Bolt EV promises a 200-mile-plus battery range …

Read more Barra Delivers! 2017 Chevrolet BOLT EV – $30k Price and 200+ Mile Range Should Worry i3, Leaf and Prius PHEV

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2016 Faraday Future FFZERO1 Concept Throws Down Gauntlet – Now or Never, Laggards

Well, this is it!  Nearly 24 hours after the leaks began, and a full 12 since the press conference in Vegas last night, the Faraday Future concept car for CES is now in clear focus. Before you get too excited about a full reveal — with the normal specs, pricing and a production roadmap —it is best to temper expectations. This fantasy concept from Faraday Future is not headed for the road. Nor is it really headed for any race series. But racetracks? That is another story.  The quad-motor, AWD EV promises 1000+ horsepower and a 200-mph-plus top speed.  The electric motors are …

Read more 2016 Faraday Future FFZERO1 Concept Throws Down Gauntlet – Now or Never, Laggards

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Concept Debrief – 2011 Volkswagen NILS – Govt-Funded EV Commuter Now Seems Like Unfathomably Bad Joke

It is very, very challenging to read (and write) about VW’s eco mobility ideas in light of the company’s current emissions scandals. The “diesel issue” — as it is known in German — really puts all the last ten years of innovative, visionary concept cars in the shameful, punishment corner of the automotive universe. What about the “C02 issue”?  Oh, that has resolved itself.  Not a pattern of lies and systemic fraud.  Hooray! Super, super trustworthy company, obviously. Beyond that obligatory caveat… This NILS concept shows how seriously the VAG once took its mission to mass-produce zero-emissions automobiles. VW was actually …

Read more Concept Debrief – 2011 Volkswagen NILS – Govt-Funded EV Commuter Now Seems Like Unfathomably Bad Joke

Buy, Sell or Hold? Ford EV Push Promises Dozen New Hybrids in 5 Years

Ford is making a giant hoopla over a very unexciting announcement. One mostly sans cars, by the way, excluding the 2016 Focus Electric and teased ______ Energi PHEV. The plan lacks a catchy name for now, so let’s just call it e-Ford for short. Will e-Ford be able to make a big market impact from the 4.5-billion investment over the next half-decade?  And is Ford really the one to pursue this?  Their tech, as many know all too well, is woeful at times. They kept paying SONY and Microsoft ridiculous licensing and tech-services fees for MyFord Touch long after the …

Read more Buy, Sell or Hold? Ford EV Push Promises Dozen New Hybrids in 5 Years

2016 Citroen E-MEHARI Is Production-Bound EV Beach Car

Think of the original 1950-1980s MEHARI Citroen like a French Volkswagen Thing. Mostly open bodywork in corrugated panels increase the monocoque strength dramatically, allowing both cars to haul much more than their car-shaped siblings. Some of the first continental pickup trucks, if you will. The 2016 model shares some of the silly and playful beach spirit of the original MEHARI, but with more focus on stressfree driving than do-it-all utility. The E-MEHARI is not a concept, and is headed for sale in France in Spring 2016. It is a full EV with (we believe) front-drive for its advanced lithium metal …

Read more 2016 Citroen E-MEHARI Is Production-Bound EV Beach Car

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2015 Nissan IDS Concept is Autopilot EV with Sharply Stylish Aero

Here is a pretty interesting concept car from Nissan for the Tokyo auto show: the IDS. This rolling showcase shows the latest Nissan vision for a sporty, ultra-efficient battery-electric vehicle of the future. One might think of this as a superLeaf, as well as a look at the tech expected to underpin the redesigned ~2017 Leaf. The major upgrades are everywhere: exterior design is all-new and aggressively sleek in the wind tunnel. The cabin is a future-tech fantasy of touchscreens and AI controls, including a fully autonomous drive mode. Under the actually-pretty-stylish nose and its extreme lower splitter, next-gen LEDs …

Read more 2015 Nissan IDS Concept is Autopilot EV with Sharply Stylish Aero

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2016 Tesla Model X – Mouth-Watering Tech and Speed; Sleeker Nose for $140k 7-Seater

Watch this on The Scene. WIRED drive video embed alpha Tesla unveiled the Model X last night with some seriously impressive tech specs, cabin features and range estimates. But first: the nose. This is the biggest and most dramatic change versus the near-production models previewed at SEMA and elsewhere over the last three years. Replacing the gloss-black grille shell is a smooth one-piece painted bumper. Just a sliver of black grille remains up at the hood edge. This black grille houses the sharp Tesla T badge, making a point into the bodycolored bumper below. EXTERIOR The look is quite unique …

Read more 2016 Tesla Model X – Mouth-Watering Tech and Speed; Sleeker Nose for $140k 7-Seater

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2015 Peugeot FRACTAL Concept – EVCC Explores 3D-Printed Materials

Updated with Official Details and Photos 9.17.15 Here is a gorgeous bit of unsanctioned, uncaptioned news!  All 25 photos of Peugeot’s upcoming Frankfurt concept car are live a bit early this morning. And they show some sweet, sexy new angles for next-gen Pugs! The Fractal concept is the first near-production application of the blocky, angular and geometric new design ethos seen on the Exalt concept, 2008 DKR racer and a few other concepts recently, including the Peugeot Vision Gran Turismo hypercar. An ultra-wide but very low and lean design, the shape is unlike anything else on the market — and …

Read more 2015 Peugeot FRACTAL Concept – EVCC Explores 3D-Printed Materials

2015 Porsche Mission E – See Under Its Pajun-Previewing Panels Via 88 New Images and Animations

Updated 9.16.15 We absolutely crave this machine. Ultra low, wide and expressive — the design is absolutely breathtaking. The engineering and tech down below is arguably even more impressive, however. The flat battery pack below the entire floorplan offers a suite of challenges versus a normal monocoque, but also presents some fascinating new opportunities. And Porsche is clearly relishing the new-found freedom of not finding room for an big engine at either end, or in the middle. The compact drive system allows most of the rulebook on safety, production feasibility and passenger comfort to be torn up. Rewritten for a …

Read more 2015 Porsche Mission E – See Under Its Pajun-Previewing Panels Via 88 New Images and Animations

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Updated1 with 50 New Pics – 2015 Nissan GRIPZ Concept Rally Racer

This Nissan GRIPZ Concept is out and stunning!  Bold and sculptural lines take on a new level of layered surfacing, unique spoilers and evolved design themes. There is good news and not-so-good news to share, however. The good is that this compact crossover is gorgeous and previews a next generation of Nissan SUVs and crossovers. Everything from the next Frontier to the next Armada may wear designs influenced by the GRIPZ. Nissan calls this new form language ’emotionalgeometry.’ The not-great news is that this concept does not, after all, run a twin-turbo V6 — as we speculated last week. No, …

Read more Updated1 with 50 New Pics – 2015 Nissan GRIPZ Concept Rally Racer

Update1 with 25 New Photos – 2015 Audi E-Tron Quattro Concept is Sexy but Pointless EV SUV

Updated with 25 Live Frankfurt PhotosThis is the latest Audi fantasy concept. And it is not named Prologue. Yay! But it is just as exhausting to behold. The E-Tron Quattro is a 100-percent electric SUV concept promising 310 miles of range and AWD traction. In truth, though, the idea of an EV SUV is the most ridiculous thing we can even fathom. Electric vehicles and SUV adventures are anathema. They do not mix. Imagine going skiing from Denver to Vail or Breckenridge, a three hour mountain drive climbing thousands of feet on steep mountain roads. It is snowing, with fresh …

Read more Update1 with 25 New Photos – 2015 Audi E-Tron Quattro Concept is Sexy but Pointless EV SUV

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3.5s 2015 Porsche Mission E – 600HP Concept Is 4-Door Battery Boxster!?

  A fascinating look inside the future Porsche lineup today via Frankfurt’s IAA. The just-revealed Mission E is absolutely breathtaking. Reviewing the images, my mouth was wide open in giddy shock and delight. Imagine the smooth and flowing bathtub Porsche silhouette, with curves like a 550 Spyder and stance like a super Cayman. The put in a beautifully minimal overhang at either end and four doors under an ultra low and lean roof. The look has every bit of the original Boxster concept’s star power. Running an all-new battery electric powertrain, the vehicle promises great things for future supercoupe buyers. …

Read more 3.5s 2015 Porsche Mission E – 600HP Concept Is 4-Door Battery Boxster!?

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2016 Nissan LEAF Scores Big EV Range Bump With New Li-ion Battery and Touchscreens

  The Nissan Leaf is a cult hit. Like Tesla zealots or early Prius adopters, LEAF-ers absolutely love the machine. Up and down the west coast, Atlanta and DC — the Leaf is as common a sight as an Altima. These cities and regions have pushed hard to roll out charging infrastructure in their city centers and beyond, with helpful tax incentives to buyers also part of the mix. But since the Leaf went on sale in 2010, there has not been a huge incentive for these loyal ‘silent mafia’ of EV drivers to upgrade to the new Leaf. A …

Read more 2016 Nissan LEAF Scores Big EV Range Bump With New Li-ion Battery and Touchscreens

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2016 TESLA Model X – Fug EV SUV May Carry $150k Sticker As Gas Falls Below 2 Bucks

  The Model X SUV is big news for Tesla — a reminder that the company actually makes cars versus headlines. Amid the inventions and novel solutions for the first seven-seat, AWD EV SUV lurks a pair of big concerns for Tesla and car lovers alike: the Model X’s awkward design and expected obese pricetag. Morbidly obese pricetag? Perhaps…. INTRO The Tesla hype machine can be seriously exhausting. The company relies on fairly gratuitous financial PR outreach — juicing NASDAQ:TSLA with every snippet of info rehashed by analysts ad nauseam. The entire operation starts to feel like a boilerroom pump …

Read more 2016 TESLA Model X – Fug EV SUV May Carry $150k Sticker As Gas Falls Below 2 Bucks

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Toroidion Reveals 1340HP, Quad-Motor EV Hypercar Prototype in Monaco

The holy grail for EV hypercars is more motors. Just look at the huge leap in performance with the new Tesla P85D AWD model — boasting nearly 700-horsepower and able to blast to 60-mph quicker than ever before. But with more motors comes more complexity — particularly when it comes to the power delivery in anything but a straight line. The system needs to be a virtual supercomputer to handle fairly typical torque-vectoring needs. Toroidion is a startup supercar company from Finland that hopes its LeMans racing technology can create one of the quickest hypercars of all time. Designed with …

Read more Toroidion Reveals 1340HP, Quad-Motor EV Hypercar Prototype in Monaco

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RM Andrews 2015 – Real 2011 TRON Light Cycle EV Bike – Just 25k!?

Fan of the 2011 movie or not, this TRON light cycle custom is a sweet bike. A fully operation electric motorcycle, this one-off recreation is the LED-lit dream bike for its incredible riding position, huge power from a 96-volt direct drive, and massive grip and stability thanks to the super-wide tires. The estimate is remarkably affordable: no reserve and a sale between $25k and $40k when it crosses the block in May at the Andrews Collection RM Auction. Here are a few photos of TRON Legacy movie bike for comparison. Near-exact, but with a real rider — maybe you…!   Real …

Read more RM Andrews 2015 – Real 2011 TRON Light Cycle EV Bike – Just 25k!?

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2016 Audi R8 e-tron Revealed In Geneva – 3.9s EV Is Only Rear-Drive R8

The new R8 e-tron is indeed a real thing! After the last model was cancelled in near-production form — despite years of testing and R&D — the R8 e-tron was never a sure thing for this generation. Audi is indeed selling this new R8 EV to customers — with orders taken later this year. Performance is quite slow versus the Tesla Model S. The R8 e-tron hums its way to 62-mph in 3.9-seconds before hitting a Vmax of just 153-mph. Overall range when driven gently is more than 250 miles. The design is massaged nicely with a grille inset in …

Read more 2016 Audi R8 e-tron Revealed In Geneva – 3.9s EV Is Only Rear-Drive R8

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2015 Chevrolet BOLT Concept Previews All-New EV 5-Door Arriving Within a Year

We are big bears on EV adoption overall, and love seeing Elon Musk squirm. In that regard, the Bolt is a fun new entry to the rapidly-irrelevant EV model niche. The Bolt is a relatively exciting surprise from Chevrolet: the new five-door EV concept that is a lightly-veiled production model arriving within a year to Chevy showrooms. The new Bolt EV concept shows the potential of a utility and family-friendly package with EV underpinnings. No pricing has been quoted, but expect this package to sticker from about $35,000 before tax incentives bring its costs to about $30,000. It is most …

Read more 2015 Chevrolet BOLT Concept Previews All-New EV 5-Door Arriving Within a Year

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Concept Flashback – 2008 Dodge ZEO Was EV Tesla-Fighter

The 2008 Dodge ZEO was conceived in a world of $150-per-barrel oil in 2006 and 2007, when the full electrification of the car seemed inevitable. The freedom to run a flat-pack of Li-Ion batteries in the floor of the vehicle offered Dodge a chance to break out of typical packaging constraints. We see some great elements in the ZEO, including its finished four-seat cabin and spectacular doors. But the design is a bit busier than the Dodge ideal, especially around the nose. Lack of air intakes means the ZEO and its crossbar grille just seem a bit scrunched and silly …

Read more Concept Flashback – 2008 Dodge ZEO Was EV Tesla-Fighter

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2015 BULTACO Rapitan and Rapitan Sport Bring Are EV Superbikes To Take On Ducati

EV is Electric Vehicle. How about an Electric Bike? Would this category be EB’s? A handful of electric motorcycles have been released so far, but only in extremely limited numbers with a super-premium price. With its flagship concepts the Rapitan and Rapitan Sport, Bultaco hopes to democratize the silent and super-torquey motocycle market. Production is coming along nicely since the launch Brinco pedal/EV hybrid started taking orders this month. A new distrubition deal with extreme sports retailer Ski World in Madrid and Barcelona is just the start. Watch this space for production updates of the new Bultaco superbikes in the …

Read more 2015 BULTACO Rapitan and Rapitan Sport Bring Are EV Superbikes To Take On Ducati

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2015 Bultaco Brinco is New Hybrid EV DirtBike – Priced From $8k But Going Fast!

  The 2015 Bultaco Brinco a cool idea, design and execution from the reborn Spanish bike-maker Bultaco. It is a pedal and EV-powered all-terrain bike with the chunky rubber to take on mountain trails, but the cool and sleek shape to make city commutes a cool adventure too. The major problem with battery-powered motorcycles until now has been their crazy pricing. Sure, they are fast and full of potential, but generally cost $40,000-plus. That is two loaded BMW sportbikes. They usually weighed as much as two other gasoline-powered motorcycles, too. This new Bultaco Brinco solves for three problems: lightweight design, …

Read more 2015 Bultaco Brinco is New Hybrid EV DirtBike – Priced From $8k But Going Fast!

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Concept Flashback – 2008 Peugeot RC HYbrid4 Finally Turned Design Tide

After highlighting two of Peugeot’s less-impressive achievements from 2006 in the 907 and 908 RC, we are eager to show how the brand turned its style page — to a far better step in the right direction. The 2008 RC HYbrid4 takes some of the initial sketches from the 908 RC to fruition, but is not burdened by a giant mid-engine package in its proportions. In addition to showing a promising and crisp new style, the HYbrid4 was a showcase for Peugeot’s then-new hybrid AWD powertrain. Running a unique electric motor and battery on the back axle but a normal …

Read more Concept Flashback – 2008 Peugeot RC HYbrid4 Finally Turned Design Tide

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Concept Flashback – 2001 Toyota FXS Roadster Was Riviera-Style EV Supercar

The Toyota FXS concept from 2001 was one of the first full vehicle ideas from the Nice, France-based Toyota ED2 studio. Short for Toyota European Design and Development, ED2 has since delivered a variety of cool and not-so-cool production cars — including the latest Yaris and the unloved Lexus SC430 of the mid-2000s. This concept is important because it showed an innovative hybrid powertrain with an ultra-smooth underbody and sleekness in all its exterior shapes. A steep drop-nose style established thed FXS as a super sports car, as does the chopped windshield and cab-backward propotion. The rear taillamp in a …

Read more Concept Flashback – 2001 Toyota FXS Roadster Was Riviera-Style EV Supercar

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2016 Toyota Mirai FCV Priced From $58,000 in Cali From October 2015 + 56 New Photos!

  Updated 11.25.14 Toyota just announced that the Mirai will indeed be on sale in the US in Fall 2015 — but only in California initially. Pricing in the US of $58,000 closely matches the Japanese-spec model, which is rumored to already be on the way to their domestic showrooms. Further markets will be added when there is hydrogen recharging infrastructure in place. The other major update is the first look at the interior of the Mirai – as shown below. This brings a fairly revolutionary dash and infotech design interface. Where the Mirai varies from the fourth-gen 2017 Prius …

Read more 2016 Toyota Mirai FCV Priced From $58,000 in Cali From October 2015 + 56 New Photos!

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Update2 – 2016 Toyota FCV Named ‘Mirai’ – On Sale October 2015!

Updated 11.17.14  Second update today: Toyota just announced that the Mirai will indeed be on sale in the US in Fall 2015 — but only in California initially. Further markets will be added when there is hydrogen recharging infrastructure in place. The other major update is the first look at the interior of the Mirai – as shown below. PREVIOUS Toyota just revealed the official name of its upcoming fuel-cell vehicle: the Mirai. Mirai is pronounced “mi-rye” and means Future in Japanese, as explained by CEO Akio Toyoda in the announcement below. We are very eager for this car’s launch …

Read more Update2 – 2016 Toyota FCV Named ‘Mirai’ – On Sale October 2015!

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2016 Toyota FCV On Sale October 2015! Fuel Cells Now Less Vaporware, More EVent H20rizon

Are those typos in the headline? No, just some attempted cleverness. The FCV is an EV and H20 event horizon. VAPORWARE? Fuel cells helped define the term vaporware. Vaporware is now a ubiquitous silicon valley description of long-term possibilities that are always on the distant horizon. Part of the reason fuel cell Hydrogen vehicles have earned and propelled this bit of jargon is that their main byproduct is water vapor by converting hydrogen into electricity for a battery pack. The other reason is that companies have been researching this technology for more and 30 years, with no production models to …

Read more 2016 Toyota FCV On Sale October 2015! Fuel Cells Now Less Vaporware, More EVent H20rizon

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Concept Flashback – 2004 Toyota MTRC – Off-Road EV Racer With Adjustable Ground Clearance

Any huge fans of radio-controlled cars out there? Yep, that is what we thought. Almost all of us! The baja racer design of many off-road cars and trucks makes them fast over almost any surface, indestructible and, above all, fun! How to bring that joyful rally racing function to a life-sized prototype? One that can have a wild body shape, self-lifting suspension and a smooth underbody (and big splitters) to maximize downforce? The Toyota MTRC stands for Motor Triathlon Race Car — and employs a variety of very smart techniques for making a life-size RC car. Tandem seating and in-wheel …

Read more Concept Flashback – 2004 Toyota MTRC – Off-Road EV Racer With Adjustable Ground Clearance

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Update1 With 50 New Photos – 2014 Renault Eolab Concept PHEV Is Not Ebola-Proof

  The Renault Ebola Eolab concept PHEV is back with 50 new photos! Renault reads the newspaper, right? How could they let a name so close to the deadliest disease known to man be attached to the back of a damn-sexy concept car previewing a PHEV Megane? We especially like the orange-red accent color that appears to be bleeding out the Eolab’s grille and under its floating A-pillars. Classy. Eolab. Ebola. Pretty close. We are excited for the upcoming Chevrolet Cancer and Vauxhall SIDS. Or how about the new Volkswagen HIV? Mazda Malaria? Opel Polio?     PREVIOUS Ahh! What …

Read more Update1 With 50 New Photos – 2014 Renault Eolab Concept PHEV Is Not Ebola-Proof

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2014 Nissan Sentra NISMO Concept + Altima NISMO Rendering with V6, Six-Speed Manual, LSD and Nismo Tuning

Updated 10.11.14 With 35 Photos and Altima NISMO Renderings We love the NISMO strategy at Nissan. The sporty overhaul of conventional models has always been a secret weapon of the German premium brands, and Nissan appears to be taking this niche strategy to the broader market via the $21,000 Juke NISMO and hopefully this Sentra NISMO in the future. A 2016 Maxima NISMO has been teased and is virtually a sure thing when the hot future Maxima debuts this winter at one of the big auto shows.   But let’s step back a moment and think closely about the potential …

Read more 2014 Nissan Sentra NISMO Concept + Altima NISMO Rendering with V6, Six-Speed Manual, LSD and Nismo Tuning

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4.3s, 400HP 2015 VENTURI America EV SUV Reaches Limited-Production!

Exciting news from Venturi in Paris this week! The well-resolved America dune-buggy has a redesigned powertrain and will now grow past concept and prototype stages. Limited-production of the EV off-roader begins in early 2015 — but there is a catch. Only 25 initial copies of this innovative and stylish crossover will be made. Performance stats are looking very impressive, however, and the carbon-kevlar tub will make this thing unstoppable on the rough stuff. And likely a fun canyon-carver on hard surfaces or, gasp, tarmac! TECHNICAL MASTERPIECE   (Sorry for the watermark.) SPECIFICATIONS Like the Local Motors Rally Fighter and many …

Read more 4.3s, 400HP 2015 VENTURI America EV SUV Reaches Limited-Production!

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Part Two: 2011 Audi Urban Concept SPYDER is 2-Seater for Scooter-Phobes

PART TWO: Showcasing through a few favorite concept cars ahead of the Paris Motor Show! This  2010 Urban Concept from Audi is a battery EV design to be ultra-light and ultra-efficiency, while also packing the maneuverable of a scooter. Okay, that would be one large scooter… but still. It is easy to pilot around and the enclosed cockpit promises far more safety and security than anything on two wheels. A standard steering wheel and pedals make this a perfect machine for those who would never feel safe on a motorcycle, but do not require anything as huge as a Smartcar. …

Read more Part Two: 2011 Audi Urban Concept SPYDER is 2-Seater for Scooter-Phobes

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2011 Audi Urban Concept is 2-Seat Commuter EV For Stylish Yuppies

Showcasing through a few favorite concept cars ahead of the Paris Motor Show! This  2010 Urban Concept from Audi is a battery EV design to be ultra-light and ultra-efficiency, while also packing the maneuverable of a scooter. Okay, that would be one large scooter… but still. It is easy to pilot around and the enclosed cockpit promises far more safety and security than anything on two wheels. A standard steering wheel and pedals make this a perfect machine for those who would never feel safe on a motorcycle, but do not require anything as huge as a Smartcar. It is …

Read more 2011 Audi Urban Concept is 2-Seat Commuter EV For Stylish Yuppies

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Concept Debrief – 2010 Audi e-tron and e-tron Spyder

The e-tron and e-tron Spyder were the ultimate in concept teases. They two stylish two-door models were once thought to preview a possible R4 or R5 line of sportscars to slot in below the R8 and its $100,000 base price. But after being evaluated, the business case was deemed to be a non-starter: the $50,000 pricing of these hypothetical sportsters was deemed too close to the topline TT and TTS roadster models. In addition, electric engines and the proposed 100-percent battery EV would easily double the proposed prices — delivering a totally unfeasible solution to Audi’s sporty ambitions. So after …

Read more Concept Debrief – 2010 Audi e-tron and e-tron Spyder

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2008 Mitsubishi Concept RA Previewed a 5th-Gen Eclipse GSR with Evo AWD and Turbo Tech

In July, we expressed pure horror at Mitsubishi’s latest design direction, as shown by the alarmingly-hideous trio of Genever 2014 concepts at the bottom of this page. So when did it all go so strange in the Mitsubishi design department? We are afraid that the amazing 2008 Concept RA is another casualty from the global economic crisis between 2008 and 2013. One of many great ideas put of hold indefinitely, the Concept Ra was widely believed to be a preview of the fifth-generation Eclipse sportscar. No longer sharing a god-awful chassis with Chrysler, the Eclipse was set to return to …

Read more 2008 Mitsubishi Concept RA Previewed a 5th-Gen Eclipse GSR with Evo AWD and Turbo Tech

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2014 Renault Eolab Concept is Ultra-Aerodynamic Innovation Showcase

Ahh! What a terrible, terrible name for a pretty cool concept, Renault. The focus of this machine is to maximize the efficiency of an EV powertrain in a holistic way. This means aero as well as weight and management and materials innovation. The car is said to preview an EV that will be larger than the current ZOE hatchback and will integrate many of these features into a production car. The drag coefficient of the Eolab concept is just 0.235, which is very good but not very much better than the slipperiest new cars available in 2015 – like the …

Read more 2014 Renault Eolab Concept is Ultra-Aerodynamic Innovation Showcase

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Concept Flashback – 2011 Nissan Esflow Showed Potential EV Mini-Z

Once upon a time… As recently as the 2011 Tokyo auto show… Nissan was more excited about its EV technology’s prospects, and less terrified by the scale of the huge EV investment that is still not working as we enter 2015. The possibilities in 2011 seemed endless for new packaging and new powertrain layouts. No longer enslaved to front-drive or rear-drive platforms by engine location, the battery EV revolution was indeed promising. But how to inject a little fun into the extremely dull and practical sales appeal of the Leaf EV. Enter the ESFLOW concept. With proportions and detailing like …

Read more Concept Flashback – 2011 Nissan Esflow Showed Potential EV Mini-Z

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Road Test Review – 2014 Toyota Prius Plug-In Is Quietly Excellent, More Iso-Tank Than Eco-Warrior

INTRO: Here is the scene: you are in traffic. It is a work-day and you are behind a dawdling Prius. ‘How the **** is that car going so slowly!? Oh, this guy is coasting up to red lights now!?’ Cue the inpatient passing maneuver/lane change or silent sulking while looking at the familiar Prius tail shape. Has this ever happened to you? We bet it has. The difference for sports-car drivers – or drivers who push every machine like a sports-car? Slight annoyance gives way to murderous rage after a few stoplights like this. And not just hatred for the …

Read more Road Test Review – 2014 Toyota Prius Plug-In Is Quietly Excellent, More Iso-Tank Than Eco-Warrior

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Charleston Cars and Coffee Mini Gallery – 2011 TESLA Roadster

It is really, really easy to hate Tesla Motors. As a VC-backed startup that has made a successful ‘exit’ into the stock market, they are a hero to many in the Silicon Valley area. They also have a tangible, physical product sold in an established and very competitive industry. But even so, Tesla is immensely irritating to observe. The owner of this Roadster was definitely smelling her own smug farts early and often. Luckily, Tesla’s cars are actually pretty good. Only a handful of photos of this lovely 2011 Tesla Roadster, but it is definitely still a rare machine. And …

Read more Charleston Cars and Coffee Mini Gallery – 2011 TESLA Roadster

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2011 Peugeot EX1 is Part EV Quad-Bike and Part Track-Day Supercar

As part of our continuing delve into the latest Peugeot design renaissance, the EX1 is exciting for a few reasons. It is gorgeous and fresh and extremely interesting from a design perspective, fast as all hell in a straight line with a 62-mph sprint in 3.5-seconds, and also quicker than anything else from France around the Nurburgring. The design itself is perhaps the most critical element for the EX1’s lasting importance: it shows a completely fresh idea on form sculpting, a new nose, and new layered surfacing techniques not seen before from PSA, the parent company. The idea of a …

Read more 2011 Peugeot EX1 is Part EV Quad-Bike and Part Track-Day Supercar

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OP_ED: Latest Mitsubishi Exterior Designs Are Bizarre and Alarming

Mitsubishi is doing great on a few fronts, and simply keeping its head above water on other fronts. In the realm of PHEV and battery-electric vehicles, the firm is on a great trajectory. The iMiEV has been a pretty large global seller over the last five years by EV standards, and the new Outlander is fully prepped for a PHEV drivetrain that is already on sale in Japan and the UK, along with a few other markets. The SUV and pickup truck model ranges are still relatively robust sellers, with modern diesel engines and a butch appeal in their style. …

Read more OP_ED: Latest Mitsubishi Exterior Designs Are Bizarre and Alarming

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Concept Flashback – 2007 Nissan Round Box Is Leaf/Cube/iQ Roadster Mashup

Here is a fun one! Back in 2007, this little city run-about might have earned a photo or two in a small concepts section of our car magazines. At least, this is what I tell myself to justify not remembering it at all! The design is actually pretty appealing in its interpretation of a Scion iQ or Smart Fortwo competitor. The best aspect of the squat aesthetic and wide proportions, which become much slimmer moving from the wheel areas and up into the glasshouse. One element slid through to production almost intact on the Nissan Leaf EV — the headlights! …

Read more Concept Flashback – 2007 Nissan Round Box Is Leaf/Cube/iQ Roadster Mashup

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600HP MiEV Evolution III Mitsubishi Zaps Pikes Peak Clouds with 9-min, 8-sec One-Two Finish

600HP MiEV Evolution III Mitsubishi Zaps Pikes Peak Clouds Last year Mitsubishi had high hopes for the current-gen MiEV Evo to scorch the competition in the international Pikes Peak hillclimb, but left a bit disappointed. Knowing their intensive engineering focus as a company, we bet the team started to refine the car even further on the plane ride home. Enhancements began immediately and are actually remarkably comprehensive. They come down to two general areas of improvement: Mechanical changes seeking grip – increased grip more than ~60-percent with tires that went from 260-series widths all around to 330-series widths – better …

Read more 600HP MiEV Evolution III Mitsubishi Zaps Pikes Peak Clouds with 9-min, 8-sec One-Two Finish

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Nissan and GranTurismo Evolution Detailed – 150+ Nissans Drive-able in GT6

Did you see the teaser photo Nissan just released of the NC2020 GT1?! I will include it here… due to the huge excitement I feel at this moment! You are surely wondering: is this the next GT-R? The answer is likely a “No, but….” No, this Vision GT6 concept is not the real thing coming as the R36 generation of the legendary GT-R Nissan. But it will influence the real thing – particularly with what looks like some kind of e-Boost or hybrid technology in the powertrain package. We are just speculating based on the appearance of the wheels in …

Read more Nissan and GranTurismo Evolution Detailed – 150+ Nissans Drive-able in GT6

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Nissan BladeGlider Concept Is DeltaWing MX-5

Nissan today revealed an exciting new prototype sports car that blends the best thinking in racing ev tech, track-day lightness, and Z-car purity. As a pinched nose design, the BladeGlider is most similar, in negineering terms, to the Nissan-backed 2012 DeltaWing experimental LeMans entry. Sharing key rear-axle torque vectoring should allow the BladeGlider to have the precision and incredible pace of the DelaWing — but the affordable pricing and market potential of a Mazda MX-5 competitor. Interesting. Confusing. Exciting.  

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JDM Nissan Leaf NISMO Upgrades Include ECU Reflash + Special 80th Anniversary Colors – Jealous?

I have been so hard on the poor Nissan Leaf, which I have never driven nor even seen very often in person. Despite not really writing about it in general, I do clearly recall referring (in print) to its design as “an ugly duckling.” You see… these reviews clatter from my brain onto the internet pretty quickly. And often the words can’t really be taken back…. With the debut of the Lannia concept in Beijing last month, the Leaf looks ready to turn into a rather more beautiful swan in the next few years. Until then, the Japanese-market Leaf continues …

Read more JDM Nissan Leaf NISMO Upgrades Include ECU Reflash + Special 80th Anniversary Colors – Jealous?

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2014 Nissan Lannia Concept Shows No Tailpipes – May Preview Next Leaf EV

Surely, Tom, you must just have meant to say “No tailpipe emissions…?” Nope. No tailpipes whatsoever on this Beijing 2014 concept car from Nissan. It is quite pretty and unique from all sides, and has instant allure and attractiveness. This is all a good sign for Nissan in China, where local teams have played a critical part in the Lannia’s design and development. The only angle that proves this is not a sports car is the rear three-quarter, which brings things back down to Earth with a pretty eco-minded appearance. The lack of tailpipes, overall size match, and EV aspirations …

Read more 2014 Nissan Lannia Concept Shows No Tailpipes – May Preview Next Leaf EV

BMW ConnectedDrive Only for Geeks? Nope! Meet The Drift-O-Matic 235i and 650i Gran Coupe

Many of us have seen the old version of automated cars — the ones with robotic inputs for the gas and brake pedals, plus a strange rig to actually move the steering wheel left and right. This is a decidedly manual type of setup. Part of the big push toward electrically-operated steering is energy efficiency, of course. But the other big part is in automation of the actual control inputs. BMW looks like it has gotten pretty far up this self-driving path — to the point where it is demonstrating cars in a high-speed drift scenario! Surely a scary thrillride …

Read more BMW ConnectedDrive Only for Geeks? Nope! Meet The Drift-O-Matic 235i and 650i Gran Coupe

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BMW Debuts Solar Carport and Triples Carbon-Fiber Output at Hydro-Powered Washington Factory

The BMW i strategy is full-steam ahead — literally. Hydroelectric power in Washinton state is making it the global carbo-fiber manufacturing hub for the BMW Group, with an extra $200-million investment announced today. This will double the facility’s output and will help BMW meet strong i3 and i8 demand, as well as support the supply chain for the expected new BMW i models. i5 and i2? i4 and i1? It really could be anything. No announcements or even concepts have indicated which number BMW might be next on the i-Makeovers list — so it really is anyone’s guess. But considering …

Read more BMW Debuts Solar Carport and Triples Carbon-Fiber Output at Hydro-Powered Washington Factory

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VENTURI Taking its Visionary EV Future-Tech to Bonneville and Formula E Racetracks

PART ONE: INTRO TO BRILLIANT CONCEPTS You cannot fault Venturi Automobiles for their ambition – here is a company with the power to envision and make concept cars that might even fail the Rinspeed or ItalDesign “reality check” test. Wild ideas like a solar streamliner for commuters, the Antarctic shuttle on treads, and the America off-road cabrio concept are certainly enticing for their rarity and bold vision. The Volage concept is perhaps the most feasible as a sale-able vehicle — with unique ideas present even six years since its first look as a concept in 2008.   PART TWO: HARSH …

Read more VENTURI Taking its Visionary EV Future-Tech to Bonneville and Formula E Racetracks

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Future Car Renderings – 2016 BMW i4 Imagined as Much-Lower, Much-Cooler Machine

Today is the third or fourth time we have tried to get on-board with the BMW i3 via the online builder and the mechanical specifications. The i3 is a fantastically-interesting, futuristic, and brilliant solution to low-emissions motoring: priced from $41,000 as the pure EV model, the premium for the Range-Extender gasoline option up front is just a few thousand extra – well worth it in my opinion. But the style!? Where is the style of the future? In the past? We hope not. But my word – this i3 makes the Prius look sexy and slinky. It is best compared …

Read more Future Car Renderings – 2016 BMW i4 Imagined as Much-Lower, Much-Cooler Machine

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VIDEO — Andy Stella’s Top 5 Cars to Street Park in Chicago, Year-round! Wrangler, MINI… Jaguar XJ?

By Special Contributor Andy Stella Spring is almost here in Chicago, and you know what that means: people forget that they just spent six months acting surprised every time it snowed. With snow comes decreased street width, huge banks plowed against our cars, and mounds of Honda Fit-sized snow piles taking up precious parking space. Once the snow clears, we must not forget to let some practicality guide our summer car shopping! What is my experience, you ask? Well, before I lived in Chicago, I endured even colder, snowier winters in Minnesota while attending college, and before that, I was …

Read more VIDEO — Andy Stella’s Top 5 Cars to Street Park in Chicago, Year-round! Wrangler, MINI… Jaguar XJ?

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QOROS e-BIQE Concept Is Human Pedal Power + Plug-in Electricity

 QOROS e-BIQE Concept Is Human Pedal Power + Plug-in Electricity QOROS is showing some real promise lately. Here is the basic idea behind the QOROS brand: World-best European engineering, branding and safety expertise. Built in low-cost China, but to German quality standards. The idea certainly has promise, and some huge-name executives behind the efforts. Most of them are German OEM refugees — who know a thing or two about excellent quality, safety, performance and handling on two wheels, four, or 18. If there is one core template for (real) global transport exports from China, it will be led by a …

Read more QOROS e-BIQE Concept Is Human Pedal Power + Plug-in Electricity

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OP-ED: Tesla Increasing Already-Hefty Risks + Online Build Shows $72k Model S Is Tech Vanguard Bargain vs. Accord PHEV at $45k

As my Tweets previewed a few minutes ago: “When you or I flip a coin, there are two possible total outcomes. When Tesla flips a coin, it lands as a still-spinning Rubik’s Cube.” PART 1: DEVILS ADVOCATE DISCLAIMER — OPINIONS ONLY We have been pretty hard on Tesla recently for a variety of reasons that have little to do with the excellence of the firm’s main product: the Model S sedan. Before you write this off as uninformed Tesla ‘hating,’ please note a few things about his article right at the top:   The Model S is ** by far** …

Read more OP-ED: Tesla Increasing Already-Hefty Risks + Online Build Shows $72k Model S Is Tech Vanguard Bargain vs. Accord PHEV at $45k

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2015 VW e-Golf a Snooze, But its EV Tech Also Powers Very Cute e-Up Lite and EcoMotion Van

The Volkswagen e-Golf, e-Up! and Up Lite will join the Detroit auto show festivities, with the Golf BEV debuting its all-new battery and powertrains in 2015 production form. Featured in the cover image is the Frankfurt e-Co-Motion van concept. The newest is the Up! Lite, which appears to bring some of the cool tech and style of the XL1 exotic prototype. I called it the e-Up! Lite before by mistake, the up!Lite appears to be a PHEV of some kind. The 2015 VW e-Golf is a fully electric vehicle, evolving and refining some of the components previewed under the Blue-e-motion concept …

Read more 2015 VW e-Golf a Snooze, But its EV Tech Also Powers Very Cute e-Up Lite and EcoMotion Van

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2014 Scion iQ Glams Up With Two-Tone Styles. But Base Looks Best

The Scion iQ is still not a frequent sight in urban centers, two years since its arrival for American buyers. Why is this? For the new year, all iQ’s bring toughscreen controls for the center console. Overall, the iQ at $15,000 new is still a very ingenious package versus the much pricier, worse-driving and far less fashionable Smart Fortwo. The key difference for the iQ is width: this is as wide as any normal Corolla on the roads – which does wonders for driver confidence even on the U.S. highways. The 2014 iQ gets a tasty new grey paint finish …

Read more 2014 Scion iQ Glams Up With Two-Tone Styles. But Base Looks Best

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Hottest LA Debuts: CrossBlue Coupe Wearing Tough New VW Truck Face

  Five-seat SUV concept is based off the new MQB architecture and features a plug-in V6 gasoline-electric hybrid drivetrain Concept features dramatic new interpretation of Volkswagen design DNA 415-horsepower gasoline-hybrid concept is capable of 70 MPGe The vehicle can travel up to 13 miles as an EV Top speed of 147 mph; 0 to 60 mph in just 5.8 seconds VW CrossBlue Coupe – Concept – Exterior Gallery VW CrossBlue Coupe – Concept – Tech Gallery VW CrossBlue Coupe – Concept – Interior Gallery   Animations

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Nissan Sentra NISMO – Now This Is A Sport Compact

Nissan brought all the big guns to the auto shows in LA and Tokyo this week, with no less than ten stunning debuts. From the BladeGlider – a light-weight DeltaWing EV sports car – to the 2015 GT-R, the news is coming faster than one man can type it up! One interesting tidbit to start with is the Nissan Sentra NISMO concept. First off, the car looks outstanding. It has a deep drop in ride height, totally reworked grilles, and a red-accented lower air splitter like the best NISMO race cars. The Juke NISMO RS also bowed this week, promising …

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WOW! Nissan BladeGlider Concept Is Stunning – But Confusing

WOW! Nissan BladeGlider Concept Is Stunning – But Confusing Nissan today revealed an exciting new prototype sports car that blends the best thinking in racing EV tech, track-day lightness, and Z-car purity. As a pinched nose design, the BladeGlider is most similar, in negineering terms, to the Nissan-backed 2012 DeltaWing experimental LeMans entry. Sharing key rear-axle torque vectoring should allow the BladeGlider to have the precision and incredible pace of the DelaWing — but the affordable pricing and market potential of a Mazda MX-5 competitor. Interesting. Confusing. Exciting.  

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2014 Chevrolet Spark EV – First-Glimpse Photos Inside and Out – Looks Cute In White!

2014 Chevrolet Spark EV – First-Glimpse Photos Inside and Out – Looks Cute In White! We did not get a chance to silently disappear in the Spark EV, but those who did came back full of praise.   The cabin is dramatically lifted from its original roots with high-tech kit everywhere, plus a few glossy accents for good fun. The 2014 Chevrolet Spark EV also wears a gorgeous shade of “Escalade white” that looks really nice in almost any situation. It also keeps things cool in the warm West Coast climates who will see the fist Spark EV’s for sale …

Read more 2014 Chevrolet Spark EV – First-Glimpse Photos Inside and Out – Looks Cute In White!