electric cars

electric cars

Tesla Model S

It’s been a while since we’ve heard an update on Tesla , as it’s remained relatively quiet for the past few months — except for the fire issues. Well the silence is now broken, as the always-vocal Elon Musk has confirmed that the Model S will receive and all-wheel-drive option.

We already assumed that this was in the works, given the Model X — Tesla’s upcoming SUV — will be all-wheel drive and that it will share some of its drivetrain with its sedan sibling. We expect to see the Model X sometime in 2015, so the AWD version of the Model S will likely arrive in the late 2015 model year or early 2016.

Imagining the extra traction in bad weather is awesome, but what really gets me amped up is the thought of how this will affect the performance of the already fast sedan. The Model S Performance already hits 60 mph in an insane 4.2 seconds, and AWD may push that down into the sub-4-second range, rivaling gas-guzzling supercars .

On top of this fantastic news, Musk also outlined plans to release higher-capacity batteries for next year, and how he expects the new "giga factory" to reduce battery costs by up to 40 percent, making Tesla cars more affordable.

Click past the jump to read more about the Model S.

Audi Q7

Audi ’s upcoming Q8 sports SUV is due for production in 2017 and will be squarely aimed at the BMW X6 , Range Rover Sport ,Mercedes MLC , and Porsche Cayenne — all likely contenders in performance SUV segment.

But word is out that Audi has a special version of the Q8 readying for production — the Q8 e-tron. This all-electric SUV will be aimed directly at the upcoming Tesla Model X SUV.

The good folks over at AutoCar have reports from senior company sources that the battery and electric powertrain technology in the upcoming Audi R8 e-tron supercar is destined for the Q8 e-tron as well. Audi engineers are said to be reaching for a 370-mile, all-electric range from the SUV with help from a projected increase in battery pack performance over the coming years. While the R8 e-tron is currently still in development, its range is roughly 250 miles on a single charge and power output is rated at 376 horsepower.

The Q8 e-tron will likely feature an all-wheel-drive setup to make most of its SUV roots while on uneven terrain. On the track or drag strip, this AWD system will provide superior traction when .

The design of the Q8 has a sportier, more coupe-like flow to both the roof and belt lines. Its lower, sloping roofline sandwiches smaller windows in between the high and rising beltline in the same fashion Mercedes has done with its CLA four-door coupes.

This move represents Audi’s suspicion that demand will steeply rise for zero-emissions luxury vehicles perfectly matched for in-city use in the near future. Among the Q8 e-tron, Audi will offer conventional gasoline, diesel and a plug-in hybrid powertrains for the upcoming SUV as well.

Click past the jump to read more the on Audi Q8 and Tesla Model X

Note: Future Audi Q7 pictured here.

Source: Autocar

If you’re the BMW i3 , you’re probably sweating over all the attention the BMW i8 is generating, and there’s good reason for that. The i8, after all, is like the stud athlete of the family, whereas the i3 is the the little brother struggling to come out of big bro’s shadow.

But don’t tell that to Lumma Design, the noted BMW tuner who loves the i3 equally. In fact, the new CLR i8 program developed for the i8 also has an i3 counterpart: the CLR i3 Concept.

Like the CLR i8, the CLR i3 also comes with a comprehensive body kit that’s become tantamount to an awesome makeover for the BMW i3. The new front lip spoiler adds a more aggressive appearance to the hatchback, whereas the new hood, which is made from carbon fiber from the looks of it, is the kind of high-end stamp you normally see supercars receive. Same goes for the carbon-fiber side skirts and the set of 22-inch alloy wheels.

The CLR i3 program also looks like it’s ripe to receive a performance upgrade. After all, you make this hatch look as good as it does, thanks to all those cosmetic and aerodynamic changes, without a matching performance tune.

We’re waiting for the complete program for the i3, Lumma Design. You got off to a great start with the aero mods; now’s the time to finish it off with a bang the BMW i3 deserves.

Click past the jump to read about the BMW i3

Source: Lumma Design

Any car that gets the kind of attention that the BMW i8 has received is going to be on the radar of a lot of aftermarket companies. It’s not so much a question on if a tuner will build a program for it as it is when somebody will be the first to do it.

Well, it looks like Lumma Design already has the leg up over the competition.

The German tuning firm is jumping in on the i8 phenomenon with a preview of what it plans to do with BMW ’s all-new electric sports car .

Nothing is final as of yet, but the preliminary announcement from Lumma has the i8 receiving a host of high-tech carbon components, including a new front spoiler, new side skirts and a new rear bumper with an integrated diffuser tacked on to it.

In addition, the aptly named CLR I8 program also gets a fancy set of new wheels and the most distinguishable modification of them all, tailor-made stickers — yes, stickers — that change the blue accents on the standard i8 into a shade of green that, quite frankly, looks a lot better than the standard blue hue. And if anything, it goes with the eco-friendliness of the electric hybrid. Just sayin’...

No performance upgrades have been announced, but rest assured we’re going to expect significantly more than the 362-horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque output of the standard i8.

Audi R8 E-Tron

And so, the Audi R8 e-tron saga rolls on.

A report late last year indicated that Audi was indeed reconsidering launching the R8 e-tron, but the report remained unconfirmed until last night at the 2014 NAIAS . The four-ring company’s technical chief Ulrich Hackenberg made the confirmation when he told Auto Express that he is "discussing the project with the board."

The run-around regarding the future of the R8 e-tron has taken more turns than an endurance racer on the Nurburgring , with numerous delays plaguing the development of the vehicle culminating in another report that Audi was going to develop the vehicle solely for research purposes.

But now that the word has officially come from the horse’s mouth, we’re going to believe Hackenberg’s recent proclamation. He did stop short of saying when the official launch is going to be, but with the way automakers have embraced the idea of electric sports cars recently — the BMW i8 , for one, is coming very soon — Audi’s decision to bring back the R8 e-tron was a move done in large part to keep up with the competition.

The car’s development has progressed to the point that Audi can just pick up where it left of so it shouldn’t take too long to see a production model — we hope. With the next-gen R8 just around the corner, don’t be surprised to see the e-tron version sooner rather than later.

Click past the jump to read more about the Audi e-tron

Source: AutoExpress

Whenever the end of the year is upon us, we all spend enough time to take a break from all the holiday shopping to reflect on the year that was.

The same holds true in the automotive industry, except that instead of merely reminiscing, there are those that are in positions to hand out what they deem are the best cars of the year. Last week, 48 journalists from North America voted on the North American Car and Truck of the Year, whittling down the list to three finalists in each category with the winners being announced at the 2014 North American International Auto Show this coming January.

Well, Europe has its equivalent in the aptly named "Car of the Year jury." It consists of 58 members from 22 countries in Europe with representation depending on a specific country’s market size and its "importance in car manufacturing."

A subjective criteria, but okay, we’ll roll with it.

What’s important is that the list of contenders for the prestigious award has been narrowed down to seven finalists, all of which have as much chance as the other to succeed the seventh-generation Volkswagen Golf . The winner will be announced at the Geneva Motor Show in March, giving the "Car of the Year" jury enough time to exhaust every analytical measure possible before making a decision on which car to vote for.

Good luck to all the finalists!

Click past the jump to read about the seven finalists for the Car of the Year award

Posted on by Tushar  
Tesla Model S

If electric car makers are to flourish in this highly competitive industry, then the cost of ownership needs to come down. Although, the electric car won’t replace conventionally powered cars any time soon, the high pace of the developments in electric car technology could one day allow automakers, like Tesla , to offer products at more affordable prices.

Tesla is now looking to spread its business into more mainstream cars for the masses, and this includes a midsize sedan that will be priced below the current Tesla Model S .

The new sedan, dubbed the Model, E will be revealed at the 2015 Detroit Motor Show with deliveries scheduled for early 2016. Chief designer, Franz von Holzhauzen, has told AutoBild that the midsized 3 Series competitor should be out in a years time. The new electric sedan is expected to be priced in the $30,000 to $40,000 bracket.

We are still awaiting more details about the upcoming Model E sedan. That said, we expect it to feature familiar Tesla styling with a wide oval grille and clean lines. The exterior and interior design would in all likelihood be influenced by the Model S which has now been widely accepted in the market.

Underneath, the new Model E could use a similar powertrain as the Model S. Batteries will be stowed away in the floor, and electric motors will drive the rear wheels. Tesla will almost certainly lower the output of the electric motor to help increase the overall range and lower the price.

Also helping lower the price, the Model E will likely have a few less interior features as the Models S.

We’ll keep an eye out for more information on the upcoming Model E, and bring you more information as it becomes available.

Click past the jump to read a brief overview of Tesla’s history.

(*Image Note: The above image is of the Model S, not the Model E.

Source: AutoBild
Posted on by Tushar  
Audi R8

We are witnessing the evolution of the electric car . With the world’s biggest players having entered the market, we could expect development in this field to happen at a brisk pace. BMW already has its i Series in place and Mercedes-Benz is still pondering over the SLS AMG Electric Drive . Audi, on the other hand, shocked the world when it announced the scrapping of the R8 e-tron.

As we speak, folks at Audi are reconsidering the decisions they made in axing the R8 e-tron program. Yes, Audi is currently looking at options to put the R8 e-tron in to limited production by the end of 2014. The Audi R8 e-tron was the latest zero-emissions concept coming out of the Ingolstadt factory and now a select few among us could even own one. In order to facilitate the production of the new two-seat electric sports car , Audi has made a number changes to its research and engineering divisions, spending lots of money in the process.

Such an investment could only mean, positive steps have been taken in order to make the R8 e-tron a reality. Being a Volkswagen Group entity, Audi also benefits from research and development being done by its sister company for the VW e-Up , e-Golf and the XL1 hyper-mileage car.

It’s pretty crazy how quickly things can change in the automotive world...

Click past the jump to read more about the Audi R8 e-tron

Source: Autocar

When Venturi , the company that brought us the VBB-3 , announced its plans to enter the 2014 Formula E Championship with Hollywood A-lister, Leonardo DiCaprio, by its side, it not only added some much needed star power to the young racing series, but it also brought in another team that will compete in the series’ inaugural season next year.

The addition of the Venturi-DiCaprio team meant that a total of five constructors have now signed up for the series, which is scheduled to have its first ever race in Beijing, China on September 13, 2014.

Having DiCaprio as part of the Venturi team is important on a lot of facets. For one, his involvement will undoubtedly give the series a household name that it can attach itself to in order to attract mainstream fans and media alike.

It also validates DiCaprio’s commitment and reputation as one of the foremost proponents of eco friendliness. "The future of our planet depends on our ability to embrace fuel-efficient, clean-energy vehicles," the Gatsby star said.

"Venturi Grand Prix has shown tremendous foresight in their decision to create an environmentally friendly racing team, and I am happy to be a part of this effort.”

But the most important aspect of Venturi’s entry to Formula E means that the roster of constructors that are joining the series is growing and it has some pretty highly regarded teams. More are expected to announce their plans of joining Formula E in the coming months, and judging by the teams that have already confirmed their participation, we’re confident that more auto brands will join in sooner than later.

Click past the jump to read a primer for the 2014 Formula E season

Posted on by Simona  

Nissan unveiled the Leaf in 2010, and there were no major updates until the 2013 model year when it was updated with a new, lower priced Leaf S grade, an array of new features for the Leaf SL grade, new option packages with available Around View Monitor and an available 6.6 kW onboard charger that reduces 220V charging time to four hours. Additionally, Nissan increased cargo space to 24 cubic feet with the 2nd row seat upright by relocating the onboard charger to the front of the vehicle.

For the 2014 model year, the model continues pretty much unchanged, with the only addition including a RearView Monitor standard on all grades and an updated EV-IT functionality with voice destination entry and SMS readout.

The 2014 Leaf will go on sale in late December 2013, and prices will be announced at a later date. As usual, the model will be offered three grades: S, SV and SL models.

Updated 01/08/2014: Nissan officially announced prices for the 2014 Leaf which is on sale now at Nissan dealers nationwide. Prices will start from $28,980 for the S version and will go up to $35,020 for the SL version.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2014 Nissan Leaf.


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