Category Archives: GREEN CAR
Lexus has taken the wraps off a refreshed 2014 CT 200h at the Guangzhou Motor Show in China, updating the car for the first time since its debut as a 2011 car model. It will also be appearing at the LA Auto Show today.
Out of Lexus’ current lineup, the CT 200h is the final model to receive the automaker’s spindle grille treatment, with this being the first major update to the car since its launch in 2010. Other exterior changes include newly designed 16- and 17-inch alloy wheels and a revised rear appearance with a more horizontal structure.
VW is launching the next Up! concept, the E-Up!, a fully electric car which should be perfectly suited to city driving. It has lithium-ion batteries stored in the floor, and an electric motor with a peak power of around 80 hp. Continuous output is 55 hp, enough to propel the E-Up! from 0 to 62 mph in an acceptable 11.3 seconds, although top speed is an entirely unimpressive 84 mph (which we believe to be governed).
VW hasn’t disclosed the weight of the E-Up!, but the maximum range is a mere 81 miles. Figure 60 miles as a more realistic figure. Recharging from your household electrical outlet takes as long as five hours. It can be done at night, but if you think like us and get annoyed waiting for that gas tank to be filled up in a dull five minutes, prepare for a real test of your patience. The E-Up! is only for you if you have access to parking with an electrical outlet. Sounds easy, but good luck finding it in a European city at night, unless you have your own garage space for what will likely be a politically correct, second or third car-as-accessory.
That said, we find the E-Up! interesting not only for its save-the-earth powertrain, but also for hinting at what will become a family of cars with far more mainstream appeal. This is a small car; the E-Up! is just 125.6 inches long, 64.6 inches wide, and it stands 57.9 inches tall. Seating is arranged in a 3+1 configuration, similar to that of the Toyota iQ.
The exterior carries over the basic idea of the first Up! concept, although the side-window treatment and the proportions have become significantly more conventional. The front end evokes memories of the Beetle, says VW, apparently forgetting that it makes an entire car that evokes memories of the Beetle.
Inside, the look is frugal, but that’s appropriate for an entry-level, compact, and lightweight car (we figure that versions with the internal combustion engine will indeed be far lighter than the current Polo, the next model up the size ladder). A touch-screen system forms the basis for much of the interaction between car and driver.
One of the few really cool things about electric cars is the eerily silent acceleration. So when VW development chief Ulrich Hackenberg showed a simulation of a traditional engine sound for the E-Up! at the launch of the concept prior to the Frankfurt auto show, it struck us as somewhat counterintuitive.
In any event, we can live with the Up!’s looks, we like its reasonable size, and we hope it signals the beginning of a significant reduction in the weight of vehicles but please give us a turbocharged gasoline version, just for the sake of comparison. And while you are at it, keep the unsightly greenish yellow to yourselves. 2014 VW e-UP starting price of €26,900 in Germany ($34,496/£23188 at current exchange rates)…
The all-new 2014 Subaru XV Crosstrek Hybrid will be arriving at AutoNation Subaru West. The XV Crosstrek Hybrid is Subaru’s first-ever production hybrid vehicle and when it goes on sale it will be America’s most fuel-efficient and lowest-emission AWD hybrid crossover. Here AutoNation Subaru West has provided our customers with a preview of all the fantastic features of the all-new 2014 XV Crosstrek Hybrid.
You are treated to a number of great new design and comfort features with the 2014 Subaru XV Crosstrek Hybrid. Inside the spacious and comfortable interior of the XV Crosstrek Hybrid you’ll find 50.2 cubic feet of maximum cargo space. The included All-Weather Package provides you with heated front seats, heated exterior mirrors, and a windshield wiper de-icer. Subaru also created an exclusive new exterior color for the XV Crosstrek Hybrid; Plasma Green Pearl, which helps to spotlight the Crosstrek Hybrid’s environmental character. And with the XV Crosstrek Hybrid you’re still provided with the same great capability and versatility that you’ve come to expect from the gas model, such as 8.7 inches of ground clearance.
Standard on the 2014 XV Crosstrek Hybrid is a Color Multi-Function Display which makes it easy for you to see the hybrid system’s energy flow, even taking into account your current driving conditions. The display uses switching screens to show you both important information about driving operation and fun entertainment content. Better yet the screens can be seen from any seat in the Crosstrek. Also standard on the XV Crosstrek Hybrid is a rear vision camera which will allow you to spot obstacles behind you more easily when you’re backing up. And the 2014 XV Crosstrek Hybrid continues Subaru’s long standing commitment to safety.
You and your family will feel surrounded by exceptional safety with the Ring Shaped Frame Reinforcement body structure and the Subaru Advanced Airbag System, which includes front seat head/chest side impact airbags, side curtain airbags, and a driver’s knee airbag. To protect you and your passenger’s spines and necks from serious injury in a rear-end collision the XV Crosstrek Hybrid’s front and rear seats feature whiplash protection.
Standard on the 2014 XV Crosstrek Hybrid is a 4-cylinder BOXER engine which features an integrated electric motor and Lineartronic® continuously variable transmission. The integrated starter/generator includes an auto start/stop function and brake regeneration. Conveniently installed under the rear cargo area is a 13.5kW, 100V nickel-metal-hydride battery. With the electric motor you’ll have 13.4 horsepower and 48 lb.-ft. of torque. With the gas engine you’ll have 148 horsepower and 145 lb.-ft. of torque.
With the Active Torque Split version of the Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive the system will send power to all four wheels and adjust the torque in response to the road conditions, cornering, and acceleration. To better handle the weight of the battery, as well as to provide you with improved handling, steering, and ride Subaru has re-engineered the chassis of the XV Crosstrek Hybrid.
The 2014 Subaru XV Crosstrek starts around $22,000, and at that level, the value equation is strong. All Crosstreks start with the Premium trim level–there’s no base trim and come with air conditioning, power accessories, cruise control, and keyless entry. Of course, the brand’s all-wheel drive is a standard fitting on every Crosstrek as well.
Move up to the top-level Limited trim, and you’ll add leather upholstery, leather shift-knob and steering-wheel trim, automatic climate control, and a fold-down rear-seat armrest with cupholders for rear passengers. The Limited model’s audio system includes a 4.3-inch display screen, HD Radio, and a rearview camera. Options include a navigation system built into the same display, including voice control, XM NavTraffic, and the ability to receive text messages…
Porsche is updating its controversial Panamera sedan for 2014, giving it some slightly revised front and rear styling and adding a few new models — the total number of offered trims is now nine. Joining the lineup is a new plug-in hybrid, called the Panamera S E-Hybrid, replacing 2013’s conventional hybrid sedan. Joining the plug-in Porsche are two new extended-wheelbase models, which stretch the car a full 5.9 inches between the wheels, affording rear-seat passengers a considerable bump in legroom.
The base 2014 Porsche Panamera and Panamera 4 (all-wheel drive) are largely unchanged aside from the updated styling, which now features the option of LED headlights. Both use the 3.6-liter naturally aspirated V-6 making 310 horsepower and 295 pounds-feet of torque. Stepping up from there is the Panamera S and 4S, which replace last year’s 4.8-liter V-8 with a new 3.0-liter twin-turbo V-6 making 20 more horsepower than the outgoing motor; they’re now rated at 420 hp and 384 pounds-feet of torque.
Slotting above the S is the S E-Hybrid, featuring a combination of a 3.0-liter naturally aspirated V-6 and a 95-hp electric motor. Porsche puts total system horsepower at 416 and 435 pounds-feet of torque, but that torque arrives at a super-low 1,250 rpm, meaning the Hybrid is nearly as fast to 60 mph as the normal S model and faster than the base Panamera by nearly 0.8 seconds.
The Panamera GTS comes next, wearing the Turbo’s bodywork but the 4S’ engine, followed by the Turbo all-wheel-drive model that features a 4.8-liter turbocharged V-8 good for a whopping 520 hp and 516 pounds-feet of torque. All models use Porsche’s PDK twin-clutch automatic transmission except the E-Hybrid, which sticks with the company’s eight-speed Tiptronic automatic.
The E-Hybrid is Porsche’s first plug-in model and features some significant changes over the previous Panamera Hybrid. The electric portion of the drivetrain is now twice as powerful, producing 95 hp, and draws from a much bigger 9.4-kwh lithium-ion battery. Porsche says that when connected to a 240-volt charger, the E-Hybrid recharges in just 2.5 hours.
The car can operate in electric-only mode for up to 20 miles, depending on driving conditions, style, weather and terrain. Top speed in electric mode is limited to 84 mph and rises to 167 mph in combined hybrid mode. A new smartphone app will be available to allow E-Hybrid owners to monitor the vehicle remotely, as most manufacturers with plug-in electric vehicles have. No EPA fuel economy figures are available for the E-Hybrid. Sure to cause more controversy, however, is the arrival of a new extended wheelbase model, dubbed the Executive.
The extra length will be available in two models, the Panamera 4S Executive and the Turbo Executive, with those two models’ different powertrains. The stretch adds 5.9 inches to the wheelbase, all of it seemingly coming in the back seat. Given the new Panamera’s planned debut at this month’s Shanghai Motor Show, it is a virtual certainty that the Executive model is aimed squarely at the Chinese market, where being driven in such an expensive luxury vehicle is far more common for owners than driving one.
On Sale: September 2013
Base Price: $79,075
Drivetrain: 310-hp, 295-lb-ft 3.6-liter V6; rwd, 7-speed PDK transmission
Curb Weight: 3,902 lbs
0-60 mph: 5.7 sec