green cars

green cars

  eco friendly vehicle using low c02 emission or no emission at all.

Hybrids and plug-ins are becoming big business these days and even the generally performance-oriented big dogs are getting in on the action. Spy photographers just recently snapped these photos of a modified 3 Series during some cold-weather testing.

If the “Hybrid Test Vehicle” sticker on the driver’s door didn’t spell it out well enough, the hint of an electric charging port door just aft of the left, front tire should provide a hint to what BMW ’s working on. BMW’s iconic 3 Series is going electric. At least just partially.

Not much is know about the powertrain of this test mule, but we’d suspect it’s a similar set up to what BMW was testing with in the X5 eDrive . It featured a turbocharged four-cylinder paired to a 95-horsepower electric motor and advanced Li-ion batter back. The combo was good for a 0-60 time of less than seven seconds and an all-electric range of roughly 20 miles. Fuel consumption is said to average 62 mpg when both systems work simultaneously.

That gas engine, electric motor-combination would likely result in more impressive performance numbers in the lighter, smaller 3 Series. Pure speculation through educated guessing have us figuring the BMW 3 eDrive could achieve closer to 25 miles of all-electric driving and an increased overall fuel efficiency of 65 mpg. The X5’s all-electric top speed is 75 mph, but with less wind resistance, the 3 would likely reach closer to 80 or 90 mph.

Only time will tell as BMW develops this and it i-line vehicles, like the upcoming i3 and smokin’ hot i8 .

Click pas the jump for info on the standard BMW 3 Series sedans

Kia continued its eco-onslaught today at the Chicago Auto Show when it introduced the 2014 Optima Hybrid. It features a revised exterior design similar to the refresh the base gasoline sedan just received heightens the visuals, while some specific hybrid additions increase aerodynamic efficiency. Tons of high-tech equipment and increased levels of safety make this Optima Hybrid sedan ready to storm the market.

The new Optima Hybrid’s gas-electric combination powertrain is good for 199 horsepower and 235 lb-ft of torque. Thanks to this hybrid setup, Kia is promising an EPA-estimated 36 mpg in the city, 40 mpg on the highway, and a combined overall fuel economy of 38 mpg.

The latest Kia Optima sedan has been garnering lots of praise since its refresh this year, and it is nice to see this same level of refinement being applied to the Hybrid . The new design is both and refreshing in a world of “me-too” sedan styling.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2014 Kia Optima Hybrid.

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.

Do you want a Toyota Camry Hybrid that looks less boring? Toyota believes you do, and so for the 2014.5 lineup, Toyota is releasing the Camry Hybrid SE Limited Edition. This is the same 40-plus-mpg Camry Hybrid you know and love, but it has been given an extra dose of visual pizzazz, thanks to a full body kit that includes a unique front fascia, new headlamps, side rockers, rear bumper and valence, and a rear spoiler. The SE Limited Edition also comes with 17-inch wheels and low-profile tires.

If this looks like the perfect new car for you, you need to run to the dealership immediately, as Toyota says that only 5,000 of these will be built. Since it is based on the standard Camry SE, the SE Limited Edition Hybrid will be offered all the same great colors as the SE, but will feature unique badging to identify its significance.

I have a hard time believing that there is a huge market of buyers that were holding off on purchasing a Camry Hybrid based on looks alone, but Toyota is a multi-billion dollar organization and I am not. They probably know best.

The Camry Hybrid SE Limited Edition will carry a sticker price $27,845 — a $1,500 premium over the standard car — and it will be available with an upgrade package that adds a moonroof and the Display Audio stereo with Navigation. Price for the Upgrade package is $2,215.

Click past the jump to read more about the standard 2014 Toyota Camry Hybrid.

Diesels seem to be breaking their oil-burning, noisy, smokey stigmas that have haunted them for decades as more and more automakers are now offering clean diesels in their lineups. The latest huge influx of diesel models hails from Audi .

The German automaker, which is owned by Volkswagen Group, has announced a huge diesel push with 11 new TDI “Ultra” models, including the new A6 TDI Ultra detailed here. For starters, the "Ultra" in the TDI Ultra name is Audi’s designation for sustainable mobility that is fully available for everyday use — a long explanation for a TDI A6 that gets darn good fuel mileage while not hindering its common usability.

The heart of the matter is a 2.0-liter, four cylinder diesel that produces 190 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque that pushes the A6 from 0 to 60 mph in 8.2 seconds while achieving 53 mpg highway. With stats like that, we don’t mind hugging trees and filing up next to big rigs. Keeping all those trees happy, however, is Audi’s high efficiency SCR system that removes nitrogen oxides from the exhaust. The new system also lets the A6 pass the stringent Euro 6 emission standards with ease.

Backing the 2.0-liter TDI are two optional transmissions: a six-speed manual transmission is standard, followed by the optional seven-speed dual-clutch S tronic automatic. However, opting for the slap-paddle gearbox shoots the A6’s price up €2,250 — roughly $3,000 at the current exchange rates — making rowing your own gears sound evermore attractive.

Furthering the A6 ’s efficiency is the standard start-stop system and driver information center that helps keep track of good driving behavior.

Pricing for the A6 Avant TDI Ultra starts at €42,250 (about$57,000 at today’s exchange rates) and the A6 sedan TDI Ultra starts a little lower at €39,900 (around $54,000). Sales will begin sometime in the first quarter of 2014 and there are no plans yet to release any Ultra models in the U.S.

Click past the jump to read more about the standard Audi A6.

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
Posted on by Simona  
Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid

Toyota unveiled the Prius hybrid back in 1997 and since then, the model has been through three generational changes — the latest one was revealed in 2009. When Toyota released the Prius, it quickly known as the face of hybrid vehicles. With competition starting to become fiercer each year, Toyota needs to keep improving the Prius to keep it in the No. 1 slot in the hybrid market in it next generation.

Rumors suggest that the next-generation Prius will take its market dominance to a whole new level. Toyota will go for a completely revised look and will move it to New Global Architecture platform that will make it lighter and cheaper to develop.This revised look is anticipated to give the Prius a sportier look than the current model, much like the difference between the last-generation Corolla and the current generation.

According to a report from Automotive News, the next-generation Prius “will have a new type of hybrid system," with a new, ultra-efficient gasoline engine and powerful, lightweight lithium-ion batteries. This new engine will achieve thermal efficiency rates above 40 percent — up from the current 38.5% — which will help deliver around an 8-percent increase in fuel economy.

Expect the fourth-generation Toyota Prius to be put on sale sometime in 2015.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Toyota Prius.

Note: Current model pictured here.

Crash safety is an important thing and vehicles these days are safer than ever before. But the auto industry took a hard hit when the Institute of Insurance and Highway Safety recently released its review of 11 subcompact minicars for the 2013 and 2014 model years.

Out of 11 cars tested in the IIHS’s small overlap crash test, only the Chevy Spark received an “acceptable” rating while the other contenders got lesser scores of “marginal” or “poor.” None of the cars earned the best rating of “good.” With the Spark’s advantage in the small overlap test, combined with its “good” ratings in the IIHS’ other crash tests, the Spark was awarded a 2014 Top Safety Pick.

The small overlap test has gotten its share of flack since its introduction in August 2012. Automakers complain the test wasn’t announced far enough in advance for new models already in development to accommodate the new crash standards. It appears the Honda Fit , Fiat 500 , Hyundai Accent , Nissan Versa , Mitsubishi Mirage , and the Toyota Prius C were the ones who missed the memo – all scoring the lowest score of “poor.” The Ford Fiesta , Toyota Yaris , Kia Rio , and Mazda2 fared a bit better with a score of “marginal.”

Mind you, the small overlap crash is only one test out of several conducted by the IIHS including the moderate overlap and side impact. Clicking past the jump will shows the complete video chronicles of the 11 mincars.

Click past the jump to watch the IIHS crash these 11 minicars

Posted on by Tushar  
BMW i8 Concept Spyder

When BMW first unveiled the new i-brand cars, the world did not expect the concepts to become reality in such a short time. When a conceptual design study is undertaken, most of the time the designers are let lose on to a clean sheet of paper and come up with the best possible show car for the occasion. In recent times, BMW has shown us some production ready concepts, but the i8 always seemed way ahead of its time.

In 2012, BMW unveiled the i8 Spyder Concept . Based on the coupe, the i8 Spyder has been confirmed for production in 2015. We could expect the electric sports car to be available in showrooms in the latter part of 2015. The open-top version wouls use the same composite materials and architecture unique to BMW’s i-range of cars which also includes thei3 hatchback .

Although, its too early to comment on the pricing of the upcoming BMW i8 Spyder , we expect it to cost slightly more than the coupe. Performance shouldn’t affected despite the roof being chopped off.

Click past the jump to read in detail about the 2015 BMW i8 Spyder


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