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  Resonabled Priced Car

The Kia Picanto is not a model you’ll find zipping through the streets of the U.S., but it has been a relative hit in developing markets, thanks to its low price, and even in the U.K., thanks to its stellar gas mileage. In the 2013 model year, Kia is releasing a series of “Originals” 3-door collection.

The most recent addition to this new collection of 3-door Kias is the all-new Picanto City. This model is, from the outward appearance, almost identical to any 3-door Picanto you’ll see frolicking through the streets of the U.K., but under the hood, in the wallet, and at the pump, it is much different than you would expect.

The U.K. super-mini segment is already overcrowded, so how well can Kia expect to do with this ultra-economic super-mini car?

Click past the jump to read our full review on the 2013 Kia Picanto City and find out how well it stacks up to the growing list of super-minis in the U.K.

With the Paris Auto Show quickly approaching, we are awaiting the release of the GTI version of the Golf Mk VII . Unfortunately, VW has been pretty stingy with its information on the upcoming GTI trim, but the sneakiness that is the Internet, has picked up on some images and information on the upcoming Golf VII GTI Concept that is reportedly a near-production version.

We have already received just about all of the information available on the 2013 Golf Mk VII, but this sports edition is one that tuners everywhere seek out. The outgoing GTI is peppy enough, boasting a 200-horsepower, 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine that rips off a 0-to-60 sprint in just 7.3 seconds. While that’s no Ferrari, it is pretty sweet for a hatchback that gets 33 mpg on the highway.

With the performance and stylish appearance that the 2013 Golf VII GTI offers up, can VW really do anything to make this compact hatch even more desirable?

Click past the jump to read our full review on the Volkswagen Golf VII GTI to find out.

Source: Auto Bild
Tesla Model S

In the world of electric vehicles, Tesla is busy placing the finishing touches on the Sistine Chapel while the rest of the automotive world is still fumbling around with paint-by-numbers kits. Tesla managed to pull off making an EV lineup that is sexy, efficient, range-heavy, and cost effective while the rest just can’t keep up.

We knew that Tesla had its new “Supercharger ” that it was working on, but we were none too sure exactly what it was going to end up being. Well, now we know. The Superchargers are a line of charging stations that Tesla is building to help make driving EVs nearly as convenient as combustion vehicles by providing extremely fast charges.

Tesla announced that the initial six chargers will all been high-traffic corridors in California and will be 100 percent fueled by sunlight, which makes them 100 percent green too. They can provide 100 Kw of power in just 30 minutes, which is good for about three hours of driving at 60 mph. In the future, Tesla plans to crank them up to 120 Kw. To boot, Tesla also announced that these Supercharger stations will be completely free of charge for Tesla Model S owners to use.

Tesla plans to extend the Supercharger network next year to other high-traffic areas and eventually plans to have enough stations to travel from Vancouver to San Diego, Miami to Montreal, and L.A. to New York in an electric vehicle without worrying about discharging the batteries. For Tesla Model S Tesla Model S owners, this would mean completely cost-free travel across the country, sans wear and tear on the car and food.

We must tip our hats again to the genius that is Tesla. How exactly it pulls off these types of advancements in technology without going belly up is beyond us. Let’s just hope it can keep this trend up and get us away from fossil fuels altogether and into EVs that put most gasoline-powered cars to shame.

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Honda FCX Clarity

Since 2009, Honda has had hydrogen fuel cell vehicles running around in Europe and in 2011, Honda joined the Clean Energy Partnership in Europe to help bring hydrogen fuel cell vehicles to the forefront. Now Honda is set to expand its hydrogen fuel cell vehicle production in a huge way by replacing the existing FCX Clarity with an all-new fuel cell vehicle in 2015. What’s more is that this car will be marketed in Japan and the U.S., as well as Europe.

Hydrogen fuel cell vehicles use hydrogen to create electricity and the electricity is used to power the car. This means that there is literally no non-renewable fuel used and the only emissions created are water vapor. The details are still pretty sketchy on the entire project and Honda has pretty much only let us in on a little bit of information. In a statement, Honda stated that this new fuel cell vehicle will “showcase further technological advancement and significant cost reduction that Honda has accomplished.”

The latter statement is thanks to a new manufacturing process that Honda will adopt that allows it to produce its cars at the same time around the world, as opposed to staggering the production around the globe. Per Honda’s research, and general consensus agreement, this will reduce the cost of producing all Hondas, not just FCVs.

The biggest issue that Honda will run into in the U.S. is the hydrogen-delivery infrastructure. You can’t really head on down to your local BP station and top off your hydrogen tanks at will. It definitely takes a little planning and we are interested to see what Honda has up its sleeves for this. Don’t be shocked to start seeing Honda offering up filling stations at local dealerships that sell these cars.

We’ll keep you up to date on the production and details on this upcoming Honda FCV.

Okay, so the 2013 Smart Fortwo may not be our No. 1 pick for top sports car of the year, but it’s still a neat concept. It gets 34 mpg city and 38 highway and pumps out 70 horsepower from its 1-liter 3-cylinder engine, plus it’s only $12K brand new. Though it may not hold up in the “cool” department, its advertising department sure knows how to get you looking.

Here’s a good look at exactly just how creative these folks are getting in order to have you even catch a glimpse of the fortwo. Here you have a pair of professional skateboarders in Kilian Martin and Alfredo Urban doing something that is rarely seen in the skateboarding world, take a tandem ride and actually pulling off some pretty impressive moves.

As a former wannabe skater, I can tell you that even executing a kick flip by yourself is taxing enough, but to do so with two people on a single board is impressive. Beyond that, you have these guys interacting with one another all while keeping the board straight and making sure they don’t fall off and break something.

This commercial really brings back the old blue jeans commercials from the late 1990s where there is all of this distracting cool stuff going on – hot chicks, cool cars, a big party, etc. – then at the very end you catch a quick glimpse of the jeans. Well, this is the same way, only you catch a quick 5-second glimpse of the 2013 smart fortwo, which just jumped up a notch on our coolness level.

Anyways, have a look above and check out the sweet stunts these two pull off. Even if you’ve never stepped on a skateboard, you can’t help but be impressed by the athletic ability and concentration by these two.

BMW has been working on a 3-cylinder variant of its Twin-Power engines for quite a while now and we have all been a little skeptical on a BMW 3-banger. Rightfully so, we must say, as the only 3-cylinder engine that really sticks in our minds is the 60-something horsepower over-sized paperweight that GM used in the Metro many years ago. If you owned one of these, you know exactly what we’re talking about.

Then again, this is BMW we’re talking about and this is the era of low-displacement-high-horsepower engines, so our hopes remain high for this Bimmer 3-pot. Well, we can finally put to rest part of the mystery behind this new engine, as BMW has just released some basic info on this line of engines.

BMW plans to release the 3-cylinder models in both gasoline and diesel power and the lineup will begin with the 1.5-liter unit that we expect to see in the Concept Active Tourer. These engines will all boast BMW’s now-famed Twin-Power technology, which introduces the power of twin turbochargers with only one twin-scroll blower.

Per the report, these 3-cylinder engines will boast between 120 horsepower and 220 horsepower, the latter we expect to see in the upcoming i8 , and between 133 and 177 pound-feet of torque when being fed gasoline. The diesel variants will feature between 80 and 180 horsepower, and 165 and 243 pound-feet of torque. From what we are seeing here, these engines will be very impressive from top to bottom; even the 80-horsepower diesel will feature a high level of torque to get it moving.

One thing that may concern buyers is the cost of producing these engines, but BMW is countering this by engineering them so like-fueled engines share 60 percent of their components and even the gas and diesel models share 40 percent of their components with one another. This helps lower the cost of production, thereby lowering the engine’s impact on your wallet.

Another part that will lighten the load on your wallet is these engines’ fuel economy, but BMW has yet to release that information. We’ll keep an eye out for that.

Source: CarScoop

In 2011, Ssangyong debuted the XIV-1 crossover concept, but it never saw production. In 2012 at the Geneva Motor Show, Ssangyong brought the more modern and convertible XIV-2 , but it still had no release details attached with it. Now, Ssangyong is bringing another variant to the XIV concept lineup in the form of the E-XIV.

The E-XIV, much like its predecessors, has no anticipated release date, but it is expected to debut at the 2012 Paris Motor Show. The E-XIV is a huge step forward for the developing automaker, as it disposes of the traditional gasoline and diesel engines in favor of an electric drivetrain that uses a small gasoline engine to extend its range.

The details are very scarce, but we can tell that the front fascia of the E-XIV is slightly different than that on the XIV-2, as it lacks the air-intake ducts and plastic insert on the front fascia. In the place of the plastic insert are a series of small holes, but we are unsure of their purpose. On the rear en, you can see that there is really no difference between the E-XIV and the XIV-2, with exception to the illuminated “E-VIX” logo on the rear fascia. We also know that it’ll measure in at 163.2 inches long x 70.8 inches wide x 62.4 inches high and have a 102-inch wheelbase.

On the roof, instead of boasting a “convertible” top, the E-XIV features a glass roof and solar panels, meaning that this hybrid would use solar energy too. That would be a huge revolution in the industry, but it may be purely theory now, in the case of Ssangyong.

We’ll just have to wait and see what Ssangyong rolls out on September 29th to see if this solar hybrid is a reality or just another non-production brainchild.

We know what you’re thinking... No, Fisker didn’t break the world record for number of smoldering EVs, though it may be a record. Rather Fisker is obviously burning for a little positive pub, as it set two nearly unknown records.

A total of 45 Karma owners were gathered by Fisker’s Dutch arm and simultaneously charged their Karmas . This sets the record for number of single-branded vehicles charging at the same time. Burning up a record set by John and Susan Johnson of Schenectady, NY, who at one time charged their two Nissan Leafs (or is it “Leaves”) at the same time one evening. We’re kidding, of course; we have no clue who held the record before and likely neither does the former owner.

We wonder if all of these Karma owners were there to get their flaming recall fixed, or maybe to pay Karma to upgrade their cruddy navigation system. Either way, this Fisker was on fire that day, as it also had a hand in setting a second record, which was the highest number of mixed-brand electric vehicles to be charged simultaneously, which is now set at 50. This scorches the record of 43 set back in May by DBT CEV – don’t worry, we’ve never heard of them either – a manufacturer of charging stations and equipment.

We wonder if they had a bonfire party to celebrate the event? No need to ask one of the EV owners for a match, Fisker always brings its own to these kinds of events.

Congrats on smoking the competition, Fisker!

Click past the jump to read Fisker’s press release, hot off of the press.

CNG and LPG Gasses: Is there a future for going natural?

We often bring up the CAFE standards, as they directly impact our covering of supercars that obviously do not fit into this plan. As much as we hate to admit it, fossil fuels are at about a quarter tank right now and fading fast, so something had to be done.

First came the “Gas Guzzler” tax, but that had very little impact, as the folks buying those types of cars could afford the extra several thousand dollars. With our backs against the wall, gasoline prices over $4 per gallon and the current CAFE standards expiring in 2016, the government stepped in and began composing an extension to the CAFE standards, which would push the average mpg of all cars and light trucks up to 54.5 mpg by 2025.

There was some battle over these standards being unconstitutional and unnecessary, but ultimately the courts and all sides of the government came to the conclusion that it was a necessary evil. Now this law has become official, as it has successfully passed its final obstacle, the pen of Barack Obama.

The new law takes effect in the 2017 model year, but there is a chance that Mitt Romney could beat Obama and he made it clear that he would immediately repeal the CAFE standards and move more toward encouragement than legislation. We’re not a political site, but it’s likely too late for encouragement to move the mpg needle fast enough.

We have already outlined what the supercar realm may look like by the year 2020, with high-strung 4-cylinders powering our fastest cars instead of massive V-12 engines. This can also cause a push toward LPG, CNG or hydrogen in the future, as the new law includes incentives for natural gas and fuel cell vehicles. We’ll have to wait and see exactly what happens, but the changes in the next 13 years will be drastic.

Click past the jump to read the press release about the finalization of these standards.

Source: Money News

In 2007, Toyota released an all-new hatchback model that was based on the Toyota Corolla and dubbed it the Auris , in most markets. In fact, in the Australian and New Zealand markets, the Auris is called the Corolla Hatchback.

Since its debut in 2007, the Auris has remained relatively unchanged, but also vastly popular. We have heard rumors that a newly redesigned Auris would hit showrooms soon, but no one knew exactly how far Toyota would take its design. All of that is in the past now, as Toyota has chosen to release a plethora of information on this revamped hatchback.

Not all of the details are available yet, but there is enough information and plenty of pictures to help us come to an initial determination if this model will continue its success or simply fizzle away.

UPDATE 08/29/12: We’re not quite sure what Toyota’s rationale was when they released the new commercial ad for the Auris. At the very least, though, it’s something that catches your attention from the get-go. Titled "DAS × AURIS BUTTOCKS DRIVE!!”, the commercial features Avu-chan, a 19-year old lead singer of a Japanese glamrock band that also happens to be a transgender woman. Check out the video and see the commercial for yourself!

To find out exactly what we think of the 2013 Toyota Auris/Corolla , click past the jump.


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