Magna Steyr is an Austrian company that specializes in designing cars and platforms. The company was involved in the development of many popular models including the BMW X3, Jeep Grand Cherokee, and even the Chrysler 300C.
At the 2008 Geneva Motor Show, the company revealed a pretty innovative concept named the Mila Alpin. Built as a compact SUV, the Mila Alpin concept features a modular platform that can be used to house a hybrid system or even an electric powertrain. Thanks to its modular design, the concept’s platform can be used as a base by more than one automaker.
The Magna Steyr Mila Alpin concept has a 3+1 seats configuration and is capable of climbing 45 degree inclines. After it was revealed to the public, the Magna Steyr Mila Alpin managed to attract BMW and Mercedes’ attention which expressed their interest in the modular platform developed by the company. Both companies plan to launch new models and also want to reduce their costs of development, so the solutions offered by the Mila Alpin concept seem to perfectly fit their needs.
Hit the jump for more information on the Magna Steyr Mila Alpin. Full story
Th!nk used to work with Ford on a small city car, but after a while, the collaboration was interrupted and the Norwegian company continued to work on its project alone. Fortunately, it managed to finish the electric car and even launched it on the market with a huge starting price of $49,500 (including taxes).
Th!nk had much bigger plans, however, and is currently working on a new vehicle which puts practicality and comfort on top of the list. The new vehicle was presented in concept form in 2008 and judging by its tasty looks, it could certainly be received with more interest than the tiny City.
The Ox will be powered by a 60 kW electric motor paired with a pack of sodium or lithium-ion batteries which store enough juice to offer a range of 200 km. The Th!nk Ox can transport up to five passengers, being much roomier than its small sibling.
In the near future, Th!nk will also develop a sport version using the same modular platform as the Ox.
Find out more on the Th!nk Ox after the jump. Full story
Until recently, the world of automotive industry was relatively quiet, as there weren’t many new manufacturers who dared to enter in this game, mostly because the combustion engines are very complicated and not anyone is able to come up with a good unit.
Things are starting to change pretty fast, though. As the electric drive trains are relatively easy to develop and a battery provider can be found pretty easy, we are assaulted by new brands that want to try their luck in this new segment.
One of the newest companies that entered the EV playground comes from the aluminum industry and it’s named Tazzari. It is an Italian company specializing in manufacturing aluminum parts. Since the company knows almost everything about aluminum, it has designed its new vehicle with a cast-aluminum frame which makes it lightweight.
The power comes from a 15 kW asynchronous three-phase motor which is paired with a pack of lithium ion batteries. The Tazzari Zero is already available on the market and its price starts at $26,500 (excluding taxes).
Hit the jump for more information on the Tazzari Zero. Full story
Volkswagen has been really busy with its compact European hatchback, the Polo, as of late. First Vee-Dub released the Polo R-Line, then it teased us with the Polo WRC Street, and the latest was the high-performance Polo R. As per usual, none of those models are making it to the U.S. – sigh – but our U.K. friends get to tell us all about them.
VW is at it again by giving our Euro readers yet another version of the Polo to whip around. This time, however, this one is a hybrid of sorts. No, not an electric-gas hybrid, but rather a nice mixture of performance and fuel economy – kinda like eating fat- and sugar-free ice cream, but it still actually tastes like ice cream.
So how tasty is this Ben and Jerry’s sans the fat and sugar? Does it still have the tasty peanut butter-filled pretzels and chucks of chocolate in it, or is more like what you really get when you buy “healthy” ice cream: tasteless frozen skim milk with chunks of strange, chewy mess obviously sweetened with saccharine?
Click past the jump to read our review and find out. Full story
The Wrightspeed X1 is basically an Ariel Atom with an electric motor at its heart. The conversion to electricity was made by Ian Wright, an engineer that has a lot of experience with hybrid and electric systems.
The electric power train comes from AC Propulsion and is the same one that powers the famous Tesla Roadster.
Thanks to its lightweight construction and strong engine, the Wrightspeed X1 is capable of going from 0 to 60 mph in only 3.07 seconds, making it one of the fastest electric cars ever built. This, unfortunately, wasn’t enough to beat the Bugatti Veyron and, as a result, Mr. Wright is planning a hybrid model which should do a better job in beating its infamous rival. For the moment, however, the X1 is just a prototype with the price tag set at a whopping $150,000.
Hit the jump for more details on the Wrightspeed X1. Full story
Toyota is slowly announcing the trim levels for the Prius’ 2013 model year and it has been relatively “blah” so far. Toyota is at least attempting to spice things up – or at least mailing in its attempt – by releasing a :ahem: “Special Edition” model that it has dubbed the Prius Persona Series.
This so-called special edition has pretty much just two things that are special about it. The first is a black-cherry paint job that can only be found on the Persona Series model. Also unique to this model are the darker-finished 17-inch wheels and the “Persona Series” badges on the outside. In addition to the black-cherry paint, you can also opt for black and Blizzard Pearl.
On the inside, Toyota will fit the Prius Persona Series with black SofTex seats with red accent stitching. For those that don’t know, SofTex is imitation leather that Toyota patented earlier this year. Also wrapped in charcoal-colored SofTex with black accents and red contrasting stitching is the steering wheel.
Lastly, the Prius Persona Series gets dark chrome accents throughout the interior, including on the steering wheel, gear shifter ring, arm rest, door handles, and front cup holders. Other than those additions, the Prius Persona Series comes with the same 134-horsepower, 1.8-liter engine that the base Prius Two comes with.
Toyota has priced this special model at $27,890, which is about $1,300 more than the 2013 Prius Three. At least this is a step in the right direction for the Prius, but we are still waiting for Toyota to find a way to really make the Prius “cool.” The wait shall continue…
Nowadays, if you want to get from point A to B as soon as possible, you have two simple options: get behind the steering wheel of a car or jump on a motorcycle. Unfortunately, you can’t make a compromise and choose a little bit of both. Well not really, as this will going to change soon.
We’re happy to announce that a San Francisco based company named Lit Motors has developed a unique vehicle which offers a perfect mix between the agility of a motorcycle and the comfort of a car. Their new vehicle is an innovative piece of machinery and it’s pretty safe to say that it has the potential to transform the way we look at personal transportation.
This innovative vehicle will not only help you move easier through the traffic without getting wet when it rains, but it is also very efficient, being powered by electric energy.
Technically, the C-1 is an enclosed motorcycle, but its most significant feature is its extraordinary self balance, being able to drive forward and in reverse without falling over – a feature that can’t be found at any motorcycle, but is common for any car.
Lit Motors hopes to launch the C-1 on the market by the end of 2014 with a price tag of about $24,000.
Hit the jump for more information on the Lit Motor C-1. Full story
So BMW and Peugeot Citroën (PSA) were once a happy couple, just humming along in a deal that would help bring more hybrid and EV technology to both brands. All was well and good, and the relationship was blossoming into a mutually beneficial deal with no signs of issues. That was until General Motors decided to start flirting with the French automaker.
PSA decided that the grass was indeed greener on the other side and formed a deal with GM to increase its stake in producing vehicles with the American automaker. This apparently is a fatal blow to the deal between BMW and PSA, but BMW isn’t letting PSA get away Scott-free. Part of the BMW-PSA deal was that the two automakers would jointly build a factory to manufacture the hybrid and EV technology and BMW is holding PSA to its promises by demanding €50 million, according to media outlets in France.
With the automotive world in Europe seeing the same types of struggles that the U.S. auto industry went through just a few years ago, €50 million is a lot of money for PSA to pony up. PSA hasn’t yet issued a response to Bimmer’s claim, but chances are this is ultimately the fatal blow to the once-promising BMW-PSA deal.
We’re curious if the upcoming i8 hybrid was secretly a part of the hybrid technology that the two were planning to share. If so, this could be a key reason that BMW has been eerily quiet about the much-anticipated i8. We’ll keep an eye on this situation and let you know what comes of it.
The MyCar was conceived by Giorgetto Giugiaro of Italdesign in 2003, but only after five years did it make its official debut wearing Nice’s (No Internal Combustion Engine) badge. The electric car was designed to be driven around the city and is targeted to budget buyers, being priced at around $15,500.
The Nice MyCar is built on a steel tubular space frame with a tubular roll bar and its body is made of lightweight fiberglass reinforced plastic. The stopping power is assured by disc brakes while the ride quality is kept in check by independent front and rear suspensions.
Unlike other new EVs, the Nice MyCar uses lead acid batteries to power the car, which is an older technology when compared to the lithium ion packs. Like other EVs, thanks to its green nature, the MyCar is exempt from the Congestion Charge.
Hit the jump for more information on the Nice MyCar. Full story
We saw the Acura NSX Concept at the 2012 Detroit Auto Show and we were all pretty much amazed by it. Unfortunately, at that time, Honda had no concrete idea of when the NSX would see production, and left us hanging by telling us that it would be in showrooms within three years. Since then, we have speculated about just as far as we can.
Well, according to Auto Express, that speculation may be over sooner than we expected, as it is reporting that a Honda rep said that the production NSX would debut at the 2013 Detroit Auto Show. Oddly enough, this is the same exact show that the 2014 Corvette will debut at. Looks as if we are in for a new-sports-car showdown to launch 2013.
The exact details of the NSX are really unknown, but according to Auto Express’s report, the production NSX will be “identical” to the concept model we saw this past January. Additionally, the Acura NSX will wear a “Honda” badge in the UK, as is standard for many UK-sold Acuras. In the U.S., however, we expect it to retain the Acura name.
We’ll keep an eye out for more information on the upcoming NSX and we’ll watch out for any confirmation from Honda regarding this rumored unveiling.