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Posts Tagged ‘plug-in hybrid’

Luxury Plug-Ins Shift Emphasis on Performance

Emphasis shifts from mileage.

by on Apr.02, 2018

The production Aviator's fastest powertrain package will pair a turbo-six with electric drive.

When the first hybrids came to market nearly two decades ago, the emphasis was on mileage, the original Honda Insight delivering as much as 70 miles per gallon, albeit at the expense of what might be described as the fun-to-drive factor.

That approach carried over as more advanced, battery-based models came to market – and as luxury brands started to plug in with vehicles like the Cadillac ELR. Based on the Mainstream Chevrolet Volt, Caddy’s first plug-in hybrid was lavishly equipped but took almost 10 seconds to get from 0 to 60.

Performance News!

A visit to this year’s New York Auto Show will reveal a wide array of PHEVs, and among mass market brands, like Chevy, Honda, Hyundai and Toyota, fuel economy is still the primary target. But it’s another matter entirely among luxury brands, such as BMW, Lincoln, Mercedes-Benz and Volvo. There’s no question they’re also using battery power to boost mileage, but they’re also putting a premium on performance.

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Polestar’s First EV Looks Like Modern Take on Classic Volvo P1800

Order bank opens next week in 18 global markets.

by on Mar.07, 2018

The Volvo P1800 reborn? Not quite. This is the all-new Polestar 1 performance PHEV.

It started out as a motorsports contender then went on to become Volvo’s in-house performance tuner. But with the debut of the Polestar 1 at this week’s Geneva Motor Show, Polestar formally transitions into Volvo’s high-performance sub-brand.

And it will focus exclusively on vehicles with electrified drivetrains. The Polestar 1 features a twin-motor plug-in hybrid coupe churning out an impressive 600 horsepower. Pure battery-electric offerings will follow, company officials said, while adding that they plan to take a novel approach to selling their low-volume, high-performance offerings.

Insight!

“We will focus on electric mobility and make it a reality by having something that is not just a dogmatic electric vehicle but something that is desirable to drive,” said Thomas Ingenlath, the former head of Volvo design who, late last year, was reassigned to run Polestar.

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Karma Finally Ready to Deliver 1st Revero Plug-in

Reborn Fisker debuts with first-ever TV spot.

by on May.03, 2017

The first Karma Revero plug-ins will be delivered to buyers in California and Florida this month.

Better late than never, it seems, for the Karma Revero.

The reborn version of the Fisker Karma plug-in hybrid sports sedan is finally being delivered to its first customers this month after an unexpected delay. And Karma Automotive, which bought the assets of Fisker out of bankruptcy, is marking the rebirth with the car’s first-ever television commercial.

Breaking News!

“The spot marks the rebirth of one of the most honored silhouettes in automotive history,” said Karma Chief Revenue Officer Jim Taylor, of the ad that aired on CBS during the U.S. Open Polo Championship. “We felt this moment in time deserved to be recognized.”

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In a Class By Itself: 2017 Volvo XC90 E-AWD

Plug-in hybrid puts the emphasis on performance.

by on Mar.17, 2017

The design of the Volvo XC90 balances ruggedness with a modern, wind-swept appearance.

Say the word, “hybrid,” and you’re likely to think of a small, quirky little sedan or hatchback that trades performance for mileage. That might fit traditional gas-electric models like the Toyota Prius, but if you’re talking about the 2017 Volvo XC90 T8 E-AWD you’re in for a pleasant surprise.

Sure, this plug-in hybrid gets some great mileage numbers, at 54 MPGe. But the T8 version of Volvo’s flagship SUV also happens to be its most powerful, delivering performance that matches up to what key competitors are delivering with far less efficiency.

Reviews You Can Trust!

The Volvo XC90 T8 anchors the unique strategy that Volvo outlined a few years back and which it is now rolling into place with the completion of the 90-Series and the debut of the new XC60 at the Geneva Motor Show this month. Unlike competitors who largely rely on V-6s and 8s, especially in their bigger models, Volvo has an all-four strategy. And, as we learned during our time behind the wheel of this SUV plug-in, small really can be beautiful.

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First Drive: Karma Revero

Electric déjà vu.

by on Oct.24, 2016

The Fisker Karma is back and ready to roll again, albeit renamed the Karma Revero.

The look is familiar – though the hand-painted logo is clearly new, and it gives you a hint this isn’t the original Fisker Karma.

First of all, it’s now called the Karma Revero, and it’s the work of the Chinese-owned, California-based company that took over the assets of Fisker Automotive when that start-up went bankrupt four years ago.

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Fisker, you may recall, was named for Henrik Fisker, the Danish designer perhaps best known for penning the luscious Aston Martin DB9. Like Tesla Motors founder Elon Musk, Fisker had hoped to challenge the established automotive order, in this case with a family of plug-in hybrids. But just about everything that could go wrong did go wrong and Fisker Automotive went bust barely a year after the first Karma rolled into showrooms.

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Toyota Delays Launch of Plug-in Prius Prime

U.S. sales not planned to start until winter.

by on Aug.03, 2016

The plug-in Toyota Prius Prime made its global debut at the NY Auto Show last March.

(Ed. Note: Toyota has now clarified details of the U.S. launch. See details, below.)

Toyota Motor Co. is delaying the start of production for its new plug-in model, the Prius Prime.

The move is expected to push back the availability of the new model in the Japanese market. The U.S. launch, TheDetroitBureau.com has been advised, will begin in November, but will be slower than originally planned.

Stay Plugged In!

The exact reason for the delay hasn’t been stated, though spokesperson Kayo Doi was quoted telling reporters in Japan that, “We decided we want to take our time and more care before starting mass manufacturing.” The launch of production will be slower than original planned, a U.S. official added.

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Mitsubishi Hints at High-End Plug-in with Ground Tourer Concept

New show car could signal big ute above the current Outlander line.

by on Jun.30, 2016

PHEV will debut at Paris Motor Show.

The 2016 auto show circuit has barely wrapped up but we’re already getting a first hint of what’s to come for the start of the 2017 season when Mitsubishi will roll into the Paris Motor Show with a new, high-end SUV concept.

Make that a premium plug-in prototype dubbed the Mitsubishi Ground Tourer, something the automaker calls “the latest expression of (its) design ambitions.”

All in the Concept!

Targeted to ride above the Mitsubishi Outlander, the Ground Tourer concept also “further expresses” the struggling Japanese automaker’s push into battery-electric propulsion, with a plug-in hybrid driveline meant to deliver “effortless cruising in all driving conditions on and off-road.”

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All New German Cars Must Be Emission-Free by 2030

Government hopes to boost lagging demand with new incentives.

by on Jun.20, 2016

The shape of things to come? A prototype of Porsche's Mission E battery-electric vehicle.

It may be the home of the Autobahn, with its largely unlimited speeds, but in little more than a decade, German motorists will have to manage both those highways and local roads driving zero-emission vehicles, according to a senior government official. All new vehicles registered after that date will need run on batteries or hydrogen.

While a number of countries, including the U.S., are taking steps to increase the use of battery and other alternative powertrain technologies, Germany is laying out plans for an aggressive shift away from gasoline and diesel, said Deputy Economy Minister Rainer Baake, speaking at climate forum sponsored by the Tagesspiegel newspaper in Berlin.

We Keep You Plugged In!

“Fact is there’s been no reduction at all in CO2 emissions by transport since 1990,” said Baake. “We don’t have any answers to cut truck emissions right now but we do have answers for cars.”

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Chevrolet Volt Plugs into the Battery Car Sales Lead

Nissan Leaf loses momentum despite increased range.

by on Jun.02, 2016

The second-gen Chevy Volt got a new, roomier design, better performance and longer EV-mode range.

After seemingly coming unplugged, the newly redesigned Chevrolet Volt has charged into the U.S. sales lead among plug-based vehicles, overtaking long-time rival Nissan Leaf.

That’s based on the likelihood that at least 10% of the demand for the Tesla Model S has come from abroad through the end of May, a strong likelihood considering the long-range electric sedan now is being marketed in a number of countries, including China and the European Union.

Green Tech!

Even factoring out those overseas sales, and with a number of manufacturers not yet breaking out May battery-car numbers, there’s good reason for EV advocates to celebrate. After taking a tumble last year in the wake of a sharp downturn in gas prices, sales of plug-based vehicles have been recharged in recent month.

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Hyundai Aiming for #2 in Green Vehicle Market

Korean maker and partner Kia will launch 26 “eco” models by 2020.

by on May.25, 2016

The Hyundai Ioniq will be offered with hybrid, plug-in and EV versions.

Hyundai has big plans for the “eco” market, with the maker planning to introduce 26 new hybrid, plug-in, battery-electric and fuel-cell  vehicles between now and 2020, a blitz that begins with this year’s launch of the new Ioniq model.

The challenge, said the head of the Korean carmaker’s green car program, will be winning over motorists who’ve so far shown a reluctance to buy battery and hydrogen cars in large numbers. But, facing increasingly stringent emissions and mileage mandates, Hyundai – and its rivals – have no choice but to bring cleaner, more energy-efficient products to market, said executive Byung Ki Ahn.

Plug In!

“We’re making a serious effort to be the number two producer of EVs and fuel-cell vehicles,” said Ahn, the director of the Eco-Vehicle Performance Development Group for Hyundai and partner Kia. “I don’t think we can beat Toyota right away.”

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