electric cars

electric cars

Very few cars in this world can match burnout wits with a muscle car as revered as the 1968 Pontiac Firebird 400 so at first glance, you’d be excused if you laughed when you saw that a Tesla Model S was taking a stab it.

But hey, you can’t judge a book by its cover, right?

It sounds crazy, but the Tesla Model S, despite being electrically-powered, can do burnouts with the best of ’em. Granted, performing burnouts in a Model S is a little trickier than on a Firebird 400, so you have to excuse the electric sedan ’s short bursts of tire smoke.

William Hawkins II, the guy who owns both cars, admitted that disabling traction control on the Model S only allows you to achieve a certain amount of smoke, not nearly enough to compete with the Firebird 400. But in the end, that Model S burnout could be described as a little more impressive given what the car has to work with compared to the Pontiac, which, let’s be honest, was created for things like this.

So give the Tesla Model S its due props for earning its burnout keep. Impressive for a car that runs on electricity.

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

Source: YouTube
Koenigsegg Agera R BLT

I have come to know and love Tesla , though I try to keep our love affair under wraps for the most part. It’s not fair for myself — a journalist — to attest my love for a brand, but in this case, I feel I am in good enough company to let that little tidbit of information out.

The reason I feel so comfortable doing so is that Christian von Koenigsegg — yeah, the dude who some of the most bad-ass supercars in the world are named after — wears his love for the electric car manufacturer on his shoulder. Yup, he actually drives a Tesla Model S every day. Let that sink in for a second; the guy could drive any one of his hypercars to work, but he prefers his Model S.

He went on to say that he feels that about 80 percent of the cars sold by the year 2020 will be electric.

An added twist to this story is that when Koenigsegg was in the market to snatch up the now-defunct Saab , its intentions were to manufacture and sell all-electric cars. This may have led to Mr Koenigsegg singing a different tune had that gone through.

No matter what way you slice it, it is pretty cool to have him give Tesla the ol’ hat tip.

Click past the jump to read about the car he loves so much.

Last week Tesla undertook a world-record continental crossing with what it dubbed the Tesla Cross Country Rally. The goal was simple; take a pair of Model S sedans from Los Angeles to New York while spending an absolute minimum of time charging by using the new Supercharger network.

As if that wasn’t enough of a challenge, the team decided to take a northern route during what has been one of this country’s worst winters in decades. Along the journey the team encountered temperatures well below zero, closed interstates, and more than a foot of snow in some places.

Despite all these challenges, a full seventy-six hours after leaving Los Angeles, the team rolled into New York City. The total trip was 3,427 miles and the team only spent 15 hours and 57 minutes tied to a charger.

The going was tough enough that one of the gasoline powered support vehicles for the trip suffered a breakdown.

I was part of a cross country record attempt last year with Audi , and I can attest that this type of journey is anything but easy. It is a grueling punishment of your mental and physical health. Aside from the sleep deprivation, sitting in a car for that length causes cramps, muscle spasms and many other maladies.

I personally applaud Tesla for their outstanding effort.

If you would like to see some of the crazy weather they traveled through, as well as see a few more facts about the journey, click the play button on the video we have above.

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

The Chicago Auto Show has officially arrived and Kia is getting things started off with a few milestone announcements; starting with the all-new 2015 Soul EV.

The Soul EV represents the first ever all-electric , zero-emissions vehicle from the Korean company on U.S. soil. On top of its electric propulsion system, the Kia EV was recognized by the Underwriters Laboratory (UL) for integrating more than 20 bio-friendly materials in the construction.

Kia is promising up to 100 miles of “real world” range out of its lithium battery and says that interior space is barely impacted by the addition of the addition of the electron storage.

Kia hopes to have the new Soul EV in dealerships by this fall with California, Oregon, New York, New Jersey and Maryland as the first markets. These regions were chosen for their relatively large EV infrastructures.

Has Kia finally created a stylish and practical EV that buyers are looking for?

Updated 09/11/2014: Kia revealed prices for the new Soul EV which is now available at dealers nationwide. The model will be offered in two trims: Base and Plus, with prices starting from $33,700 - not including federal tax rebate of $7,500.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2014 Kia Soul EV.

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


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