hatchback

hatchback

  A hatchback is a type of automobile design, consisting of a passenger cabin which includes an integrated cargo space, accessed from behind by a hatch or flip-up window. Hatchbacks are also often called three-doors (two entry doors and the hatch) or five-doors (four entry doors and the hatch) cars.

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.

BMW’s brand-new Family Active Sports Tourer (FAST) is inching closer to production. A batch of new spy shots we just received in our inbox reveals the Germans have begun testing the MPV-like crossover outside city limits, as they’re looking to asses the vehicle’s behavior and fuel consumption on longer routes.

Sure, the FAST is still a long way off with the official launch to take place sometime in 2015, but these extensive testing sessions can only mean one thing: BMW wants this new niche vehicle it’s creating to make a major impact on today’s unforgiving market.

The prototype spotted stretching its legs somewhere in Germany is actually the same crossover we saw in early July 2014. The vehicle is still covered in swirly camouflage, with nearly no details left out in the open. In fact, very few things have changed so far, as BMW continues to focus on chassis and powertrain testing.

Click past the jump to read more about BMW FAST.

The second-generation Smart ForFour has a lot of redeeming qualities about it. The fact that it’s bigger than the ForTwo is already a plus on its own, but its front section also looks a lot more modern than I thought it would. So yeah, I’m a fan of the ForFour and I’m actually excited to hear that Smart decided to introduce the ForFour’s own "Edition 1" model.

It’s just like what big brother Mercedes has done with some of its recent models, only with a Smart badge. But don’t let the badge fool you because the ForFour Edition 1 is actually a pretty cool model that’s got its own checklist of exclusive features.

The Graphite Gray primary hue is a good start to the look of the ForFour Edition 1. Add the Lava Orange exterior highlights, and you get a nice two-tone finish going on. There’s also a new black front grille and a panoramic roof with sunblind. The latter feature, in particular, is the kind of luxury feature you normally don’t see in a ForFour.

Moving on, the ForFour Edition 1 also gets the treat of a new set of 16-inch, black alloy wheels, a lowered sports suspension that drops the ride by 10 mm (0.39 inches), and a chromed tailpipe.

Smart has made no indication on when it plans to launch the ForFour Edition 1, but it’s a good bet that it’s going to be soon because a Smart that looks like this deserves to be in dealerships sooner than later.

Click past the jump to read more about the Smart ForFour Edition 1

Source: MB Passion

Launched in 2004, six years after the introduction of the ForTwo and one year after the Roadster went on sale, the ForFour became Smart’s third automobile. Unlike its previous offerings, the ForFour offered seating for five people and was only sold in Europe. Four engines were available at launch, including a 1.1-liter three-cylinder, a 1.3-liter four-cylinder, a 1.5-liter four-pot, all working on gasoline, and a 1.5-liter inline-three diesel. Transmissions included a five-speed manual and a six-speed semi-automatic. At the time, the ForFour was the only Smart car offered with a manual. Slow sales prompted the company to axe the ForFour in 2006, after only three years of production. Rumors about Smart ’s plan to revive the ForFour nameplate surfaced in 2012. Heading into the 2015 model year, the second-gen model is finally here as a longer, four-door version of the ForTwo.

Unlike its predecessor, the new ForFour borrows its styling cues and drivetrain layout from its smaller sibling. Once a front-engined car, the ForFour evolved into a rear-engined vehicle, while keeping its front-wheel-drive. Jointly developed with Renault , the new ForFour shares about 70 percent of its parts with the third-generation Renault Twingo, while its powertrains are shared with the 2015 ForTwo .

Click past the jump to find out more about the second-generation Smart ForFour.

For 2015, 10 years after its introduction, the Toyota Yaris is getting its second restyling with revised looks inside and out, a quieter cabin, a fuel-efficient engine, and all the versatility that comes with the three- and five-door versions. The U.S.-spec Yaris debuted in 2005 with lots of spunk and clever packing wrapped in an inexpensive sub-compact. Offered in both the three-door and five-door hatchback styles, the Yaris filled a niche near at the bottom of Toyota’s lineup. Refreshed in 2011, the Yaris continued its mission largely unchanged, save for a more modern design. Now for 2015, Toyota is improving the Yaris with more refinement and a better driving experience, while still retaining its superb value proposition. Starting at just $14,485, the Yaris makes a great city car or a sweet first car for a teenager. Its 1.5-liter inline four-cylinder will keep curious teens out of trouble with Johnny Law, while the expansive cargo area and decent back seat might land them in trouble with mom and dad.

Toyota has resolved a few of the complaints that plagued the previous-generation Yaris, namely the NHV levels inside the cabin. More sound insulation and more premium interior materials help push the Yaris’ feel upmarket, while it still keeps its low price point. With three trim models and two body lengths to chose from, the Yaris is a pretty customizable hatchback .

With the updated features and added benefits, Toyota may see the Yaris climb back up the sales charts to the level of its glory days in 2008 when sales of the hatch topped 100,000 units. Selling only 21,343 units in 2013, the Yaris was apparently in desperate need of a makeover. Let’s see what Toyota has done to turn up the heat.

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

The Volkswagen Golf has succeeded in ways very few of its contemporaries have. It’s in its seventh generation for crying out loud! That’s more than what other models can say for themselves. Ever since it was released in 1974, the Golf has built a reputation as the godfather of the modern-day sports hatch. But even with its age, the Golf is still a strong presence in the hatchback market, so much so that the model is still turning heads wherever it goes. The 2015 Golf TDI is the latest in a series of new Golf models that are now available in the market. Yes, it’s got a diesel engine but it’s a new diesel engine. That counts for something.

It was also the recipient of aesthetic tweaks that makes its design fit for the times. Some might even say that the Golf looks better than ever before, which is about as big of a compliment as you can give to the hatch that most people believe blazed the trail for its kind.

Click past the jump to read more about 2015 Volkswagen Golf TDI

Vaeth continues to prove how much it loves working on Mercedes models. The German tuner has time and again created some of the best programs on the market. It’s easy to see why a lot of Merc customers who can’t afford to send their babies to Brabus opt for Vaeth instead. So here’s some good news for owners of the Mercedes A45 AMG ; Vaeth has built a program for the hot hatch, and it’s incredible.

One of the things we like about Vaeth is how it can create an impressive program without going too far with its kit. Some tuners are able to go that route but those programs are more about keeping with their personalities. Vaeth doesn’t do that because it sticks to function and purpose more than anything else.

The A45 AMG program is still comprehensive. It comes with aerodynamic updates, interior improvements, a new sports chassis, a new set of wheels, and of course, an engine upgrade.

But even with all those enhancements, the overall result doesn’t take away the A45 AMG’s hot hatch identity. That’s the mark of an aftermarket company that knows what it’s doing and doesn’t shy away from it just because others prefer style over substance.

Click past the jump to read more about the Mercedes A45 AMG By Vaeth.

The Nissan Versa Note is the smallest and cheapest hatch you can get from Nissan . It was built to provide the highest level of space and equipment for the lowest possible price. The car has been a solid seller for Nissan in the past, but for 2014 it is all-new. A new exterior shape comes to the car , along with a fresh interior design and new gadgets that have been pulled from some of the much more expensive cars in the Nissan family.

With a new design, revised equipment levels, improved interior space and the promise even better fuel economy, the Versa Note is offering a lot. Has Nissan had to cut corners on build quality and refinement to hit a price target? Will the increased fuel economy come at the cost of driving fun?

I was handed the keys to a top-level model with every bell and whistle Nissan could throw at it. Would the cheap five-door win me over, or did Nissan drop the ball with its reinvented people mover?

Read on to see what we thought about the 2014 Nissan Versa Note.

The Smart ForTwo will never be mistaken as a fast and powerful car and everyone knows that speed really isn’t its selling point. Knowing that has actually led us to ponder one of life’s most important questions: why would Brabus , a bastion of aftermarket power and performance, waste its time on a ForTwo?

The German aftermarket company has actually worked on the ForTwo before so an answer to the aforementioned question is really irrelevant at this point. Apparently, Brabus likes the ForTwo enough to turn it into its own version of a pocket rocket.

Recently, our master spy photographers managed to take a handful of photos of the Brabus-prepred Smart ForTwo. It’s heavily decked in camouflage so its hard to make out the exact work the German tuner did on the small city car.

It’s still unclear as to how much power Brabus has in store for the new Smart ForTwo. Rumors are circulating that this ForTwo will receive close to 120 horsepower under its hood. That’s an incredible number for a car of this size.

The 2015 Smart ForTwo by Brabus is expected to hit the showroom floor sooner than later, but before that, we’re anticipating it to be unveiled in a major auto show, possibly at Geneva in March 2015.

Click past the jump to read more about the Smart ForTwo By Brabus.

We love Ken Block’s Gymkhana series like everybody else, but we have to admit, this new video may have topped them all. Yup. All six of them. This new video, which we assume is being prepared as its own series, is called Boobkhana. The name pretty much says it all, doesn’t it?

In it, Block finds himself in Nagoya, Japan to perform a unique take of his famous Gymkhana stunts. But there is something different about this particular tire-screeching, smoke-creating run. Actually, there are two things different about it, or maybe even four depending on what you’re actually counting.

A lot of elements of Gymkhana are there, but as an added treat, Block invited a pair of, shall we say, "well-endowed" Japanese models to join him on his run. The two beautiful ladies are Rui Kiriyama and Yukie Kawamura and yes, they’re the obvious reasons why this video was coined “Boobkhana!”

The video pretty much shows you what it’s all about. Block performs his trademark stunts, spinning and screeching his Ford Fiesta through the course. But you can’t help but be a little distracted by his beautiful passengers and their "assets." Trust us when we tell you: it gets really, really distracting.

In the end, everybody got what they came for. Block stoked his adrenaline juices. Kiriyama and Kawamura were shrieking and screaming as they should. And we got what was offered to us, and then some.


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