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green cars

  green cars are good for the environment, saving gas, reducing CO2 emissions and use recycling materials

Famous for dropping more horsepower and torque in nearly every available Volvo model, ranging from the small C30 hatch to the V60 wagon, Polestar just added a new vehicle to its high-performance lineup. This time around, the Swedes got a hold of Volvo’s V60 D6 Plug-in Hybrid wagon, turning it into a more powerful, yet still fuel efficient vehicle. Unlike other Polestar-tweaked Volvos, the hybrid wagon comes with minor, barely-noticeable exterior changes. On the flip-side, the powertrain updates are obvious enough to to make the package appealing to those in need of more horsepower and torque.

Polestar’s major achievement with the V60 D6 Plug-In Hybrid is that, although the wagon is slightly more powerful and quicker, mileage and CO2 emissions remain the same. That’s just about any driver’s dream and it says a lot about the company’s vast experience with Volvo engines. As expected, Polestar only touched the vehicle’s diesel engine, leaving the electric motor in its stock form. Read on to find out why the V60 D6 is the most powerful diesel model wearing a Volvo badge.

Click past the jump to read more about the Volvo V60 D6 Plug-in Hybrid by Polestar.

Launched for the 2011 model year, the Chevrolet Volt is GM’s first volume plug-in hybrid vehicle. Also sold as the Holden Volt, Vauxhall Ampera and Opel Ampera around the world, the five-door compact has already won numerous awards, including the 2011 North American Car of the Year. The most advanced version of the Volt uses a 17 kWh battery that enables it to return a range of 38 miles in all-electric mode. The electric motor, which delivers 149 horses and 273 pound-feet of torque, is aided by a 1.4-liter, inline-four gasoline engine. The conventional unit sends 84 ponies and 67 pound-feet to the front wheels. Both "generators" use a multi-mode electric transaxle to propel the vehicle from 0 to 60 mph in 8.7 seconds and up to a top speed of 100 mph. Combined fuel economy sits at 62 mpge, while gasoline range is rate at 40 mpg highway and 35 mpg city. Come 2015, the current Volt is being replaced by a redesigned, second-generation vehicle.

Rumors about a second-gen Volt arriving for the 2016 model year have been floating around for more than a year now. GM has finally confirmed the new Volt is being readied for 2015 Detroit Auto Show debut. Currently the best selling plug-in vehicle in the U.S. market with more than 65,000 units delivered, the 2016 Volt has big shoes to fill. Details are slim as of August 2014, but GM has dropped a few hints about the upcoming Volt in the past. Read on to find out more.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2016 Chevrolet Volt.

The Toyota Prius has been around since 2001 and very rarely have we ever used the words "elegant" and "luxurious" to describe it. But Toyota is determined to infuse those two things on the 2015 Prius with the unveiling of the Persona Series Special Edition . Yes, the Toyota Prius is getting a special edition treatment. But that’s not even the most surprising part about this whole thing. Believe it or not, the Prius Persona Series Special Edition actually looks pretty darn good. Who knew!

This is actually the second time we’ve seen a Persona Series Prius, as Toyota released one in 2013 too. It comes with plenty of exterior and interior upgrades that really bring out a side of the Prius we rarely get to see. That’s about as big a compliment you can throw at the hybrid sedan that doesn’t involve its outstanding fuel efficiency.

The Toyota Prius Persona Series Special Edition will arrive in dealerships in September with a price of $26,985. Another $325 will be added to that total if customers opt for the Blizzard Pearl exterior paint.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Toyota Prius Persona Series Special Edition.

Posted on by Nico DeMattia  

BMW is continuing its plan to make the transition to electric vehicles as simple as possible. The i3 is already a huge step in the right direction, as it introduces a Carbon Fiber Reinforced Plastic chassis, aluminum sub frames and a small gasoline range extender all at a relatively low price. The main goal is to get people into electric vehicles by taking as much of the compromise out of the equation as possible. Well, BMW i BMW i s now going one step further with the introduction of the i DC Fast Chargers and the ChargeNow DC Fast Program. BMW developed the i DC Fast Charger with the help of Bosch Automotive Service Solutions. The i DC Fast Charger is a small (31-by-19-by-12 inches), 100-pound box that owners can mount to a wall that will charge the battery up to 80 percent in 30 minutes. The i3’s Fast Charger will set you back to the tune of $6,548, which is cheap in comparison to most DC Fast Chargers. A standard charger will “fill up the tank” in about 6 to 8 hours. With that in mind the Fast Charger seems worth the premium, especially considering it’s a slick-looking, smallish unit that will fit nicely in most garages.

ChargeNow DC Fast is a program BMW has developed with the help of NRG eVgo, and will offer unlimited, no cost, 30-minute charging for i3 drivers in California until December 2015. This will help reduce range anxiety considerably on long trips through The Golden State. To access the ChargeNow DC Fast program, i3 owners must equip the DC Fast charger option, and sign up for a ChargeNow Card. Doing so will give owners access to all eVgo DC Fast chargers across California. Even at a price though, the ChargeNow program will help dramatically in the implementation of electric vehicles as primary cars for households. It still takes a bit longer than stopping at a gas station, but if placed properly, these ChargeNow stations can provide some resting time or even some sightseeing on long trips. This in tandem with the i DC Fast Charger in the home and the i3 becomes a very useful and eco-friendly option.

Click past the jump to read more about BMW’s new i DC Fast Chargers And ChargeNow DC Fast Programs.

Posted on by Austin Taylor  

The trendy and gorgeous Audi A7 is receiving a facelift for 2015, and with it comes a new 3.0 TDI Ultra model that pushes the turbo-diesel to new heights of efficiency and cleanliness. Introduced in 2012 to compete with the Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class , the A7 was an immediate hit. Combining arguably the best styling in the segment, a sumptuous interior, and excellent performance, it’s no wonder this car was so well-received. It wasn’t just consumers who were impressed; the A7 won several awards, including the Automobile Magazine 2012 Car of the Year Award. Autoweek featured the A7 in its "Best of the Best" feature, and, in general The A7 has been at or near the top in virtually every comparison test since its arrival on the U.S. scene.

The TDI version, introduced here just this year, has also been praised. In a recent road test of the 2014 Audi A7 TDI, Car and Driver exclaimed themselves "drunk on diesel." They were particularly enamored with the TDI’s endless 428 pound-feet of torque and excellent efficiency, with a 30 mpg combined rating.

Not one to rest on its laurels, however, Audi is giving the A7 TDI a new Ultra version to help reduce consumption and emissions even more.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Audi A7 Sportback 3.0 TDI ultra.

Posted on by Simona  

Volkswagen ’s dream of developing a 235-mpg car (1 liter per 100 kilometers) has finally been realized, as the new XL1 will be making its world debut at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show. To make things even better, the first details have been released today. Volkswagen describes it as "a spectacular appearance – a car of the future, built for today."

On the exterior, the model remains pretty much identical to the concept unveiled at the 2011 Qatar Motor Show, including those cool gullwing doors. Still, the car is a little bit better than VW hoped, because its fuel consumption goes down to an impressive 0.9 liters per 100 kilometers, or 261 U.S. mpg.

The model will be unveiled next month at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show and the first production batch will consist of just 50 units, with any other unit being developed on demand.

Updated 6/27/2014: Volkswagen has announced that the XL1 is ready for launch, and the first car was delivered to a German buyer in May 2014. It is also now available in the UK at £98,515 ($167,736 as of 6/27/2014) on the road.

Hit the jump to read more about the new Volkswagen XL1.

The original Prius hit the streets of America back in 2000 with its Corolla -like looks and a funky hybrid-electric drive that was unlike anything else on U.S. roads except the two-seat Honda Insight. That first-generation Prius was replaced in 2004 with the familiar hunchback turtle look we’re all used to. The second generation is where Toyota really gained ground with hybrid sales, moving over 600,000 cars before the third-generation Prius took over in 2009. With the new model, the Prius gained a few reshaped exterior panels and a more futuristic interior while retaining is stellar fuel economy numbers. Since then, Toyota has moved over 710,000 third-gen cars.

I recently found myself behind the wheel of a 2014 Toyota Prius with the “Three Model” option package. One level up from the base model my tester came equipped with some nice features like a 6.1-inch touch screen in the center dash, Sirius XM radio, navigation, Toyota’s smart key entry and start system, and power windows. But despite those features, the car still felt very basic. Cloth seats, a rubber steering wheel, manual seats, and hard plastics everywhere kept the car feeling rather down-market.

Besides the interior’s shortcomings, the Prius performed just as you’d expect: slow and efficient. So does the car live up to all the hype that’s been following it all these years? Click past the jump to find out.

Click past the jump for the full review of the 2014 Toyota Prius

The culture of open-source information just got a massive supporter. Tesla Motors has voluntarily revoked every patent the company previously held in the field of electric-powered vehicles, opening up other companies to use Tesla’s original ideas for free.

The unprecedented move comes as Tesla Motors’ founder and CEO Elon Musk released a statement citing his passion for zero-emissions vehicles and his belief in the growing need for such vehicles. “Given that annual new vehicle production is approaching 100 million per year and the global fleet is approximately 2 billion cars, it is impossible for Tesla to build electric cars fast enough to address the carbon crisis.”

With that, the company is now open to sharing its discoveries and innovations in developing, building, selling, and recharging electric vehicles. Well-established automakers like General Motors, Ford Motor Company, Toyota Motor Corporation, and others will now have free access to Tesla’s once-protected innovations.

Musk further elaborates in his candidly written letter that the electric car industry and eventually the world will benefit from having access to open-sourced and rapidly evolving technology.

Tesla originally held patents on its developments out of fear the large automakers would copy the technology and snuff out Tesla’s small operation. However, now that Tesla has made a such a name for itself and has a well-established (yet still rapidly growing) network of Supercharger recharging stations, that likelihood has diminished. What’s more, Musk points out that out of the 100-million vehicles produced annually, less than one percent of those are zero emissions. Thus far, Tesla’s competition seems noticeably absent.

Click past the jump to read more about Tesla’s giveaway.

Audi is adding to the number of A3 models that are available with the very efficient 1.4-liter, I-4, TFSI engine currently sipping gasoline in Europe. The impressive powertrain is now available in the four-door sedan, three-door hatch, five-door Sportback, and of course, the Cabriolet pictured above.

Audi is offering the engine with a choice of transmissions: standard six-speed manual or seven-speed S tronic dual-clutch. The highly engineered mechanics inside the engine allow for outstanding fuel efficiency to the tune of nearly 50 mpg on the European combined cycle. The engine’s carbon footprint is equally impressive, emitting only 175.4 grams of C02 per mile.

Though the engine does well at sipping fuel, it lacks somewhat on power. Its horsepower rating is listed at 150 and it propels the car to 62 mph in an underwhelming 8.1 seconds. Then again, 50 mpg is a pretty solid trade off for losing nearly every light-to-light drag race.

If torque is what’s needed, Audi also offers the 1.6-liter, TDI engine in the A3 Ultra. Making 110 horsepower, the turbo diesel consumes fuel at the sparse rate of 71.3 mpg. Its clean-diesel technology also keeps it from cutting holes in the atmosphere, emitting only 141.6 grams per mile. The TDI is available in both the four-door sedan and three-door hatchback versions.

Sadly, it seems Audi will be keeping these fuel-efficient models away from these United States, likely due to regulations and red tape.

Click past the jump to read more about the Audi A3 1.4 TFSI Cabriolet Ultra.

It’s been 25 years since Audi launched its TDI engine, and the Germans are celebrating the milestone by introducing a diesel-powered Audi RS5 . Just a concept vehicle for now, the RS5 had its regular V-8 engine replaced by an oil-burning 3.0-liter TDI that features the company’s new electric turbo unit.

What’s so special about that, you may ask? Well, is appears that Audi somehow managed to enable its electric turbo to provide maximum torque from just 1,250 rpm. The unit basically ensures there’s no turbo lag until the regular turbos kick in at 3,000 rpm, turning the RS5 TDI Concept into a major breakthrough.

With that pesky turbo lag out of the way, the diesel RS5 is quite a performer too, needing only four seconds to accelerate from naught to 62 mph. Of course, that wouldn’t be possible without help from the 385 ponies and the 553 pound-feet of torque under the hood. Needless to say, the RS5 TDI is the fastest six-cylinder diesel vehicle ever developed within the Volkswagen Group .

But will this concept vehicle make it in to production to become the company’s first diesel RS? Unfortunately, Audi has yet to make a statement on that, but we have a hunch this new electric turbo technology will become more than just an experiment. We wouldn’t be surprised to see the RS5 TDI hop on the assembly line over the next couple of years, but, if that doesn’t happen, the electric turbo will find its way into other production cars.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2014 Audi RS 5 TDI Concept.

Source: Autobild

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