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.

The first wave of BMW i3 units have come ashore here in the United State, with the first few i3 sales going to some prominent figures within the green community. BMW i3 No. one was delivered to Boston resident Charles Rabie who is also a Tufts University professor of practice, electric vehicle proponent, and current owner of a BMW ActiveE.

The i3 represents BMW’s first all-electric vehicle intended for mass consumption. It utilizes a hybrid-synchronous electric motor that produces 170 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque powering the rear wheels with a range up to 100 miles. Power is stored in a 22-kWh lithium-ion battery that can be recharged in 30 minutes when connected to a fast-charge station or roughly eight hours with a conventional home charger.

What’s more, a range-extender model is available with a 650 cc, two-cylinder gasoline engine. The little engine only produces 34 horsepower, but pushes the i3’s total range to 180 miles of everyday driving. The engine works well for doubling the i3’s range, but it also increases the car’s overall cost by some $4,000. Then again, on a car costing over $46,000, an additional $4k isn’t a bad price for the ability to drive twice as far.

Also atop the list of folks getting an early i3 is Ashlan Gorse Cousteau. She is a former E! Entertainment correspondent and the wife of Philippe Cousteau, who happens to be the grandson of Jacques Cousteau, the famous French explorer. It surely is a small world.

Click past the jump to read more about the BMW i3

Posted on by TB +  

The Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive is very different from the norm for Mercedes. Instead of the big V-8s featured across the network, this little car hums along silently on batteries driving its front wheels. It will be the first all-electric vehicle from Mercedes-Benz, and the first of any B-Class to cross the pond. This matches the latest company strategy to fatten the range of models from all sides.

Most of the systems that charge and run the little B-Class will be shared with its bright-yellow sibling: the upcoming SLS AMG Coupe E-Cell . Both systems are part of a deep tech partnership between Mercedes parent company Daimler and Tesla. Fruit from this sharing agreement has been limited to date, and arguably, some of the most sour fruit on the branch via the Smart ED . That car ran Tesla Roadster parts, but downsized. The resulting “car” was appallingly slow. Tesla didn’t seem to be sharing the good, M5-beating stuff yet.

This is set to change when the B-Class Electric Drive hits U.S. showrooms in January 2014. The model will arrive in dealers first before a limited roll-out in Europe.

As Mercedes’ first viable EV, the B-Class Electric is a complete package that excels in its mission of effortless city efficiency plus Mercedes-levels safety, durability, luxury and ownership experience.

Updated 04/30/2014: Mercedes announced prices for the 2014 B-Class Electric Drive which will go on sale in summer 2014. The model will be priced at $41,450, excluding $925 destination and delivery. Customers may be eligible for federal tax credits (which run up to $7,500).

Click past the jump for the full review.

The Volkswagen Golf Mk VII is one of our favorite sports hatchbacks for a reason. it’s combination of sporty styling and aggressive performance capabilities has made into one of the finest hot hatches on the market. But even with what it already has, there’s always room for improvement. That’s where MTM comes into the picture with its new program for the Golf R Mk VII that makes it even more maddening out on the road.

MTM is one of Germany’s finest tuners with a specific touch of expertise on Volkswagen models. So, when the company announces that it has a new Golf R 4Motion program to share, we take notice. After all, when you have a pocket rocket like the Golf with 300 ponies already under its hood, you’re interested to see what kind of magic MTM can work.

The result is pretty incredible. Using its famed M-Cantronic module, MTM was able to turn an already powerful sports hatch into a truly mind-blowing thrill ride, improving the hatchback’s output to a tidy 360 horsepower and 332 pound-feet of torque — 64 horsepower and 52 pound-feet more than the base Golf R. MTM claims a 0-to-62-mph time of 4.2 seconds with the DSG transmission, which is a huge drop from its stock 4.9-second sprint time. Top speed remains unchanged at 155 mph.

What’s more, this kit takes just 90 minutes to install and will only set you back €2,055 ($2,842) installed.

Click past the jump to read more about the Volkswagen Golf 7 R 4Motion By MTM.

The inaugural FIA World Rallycross Championship is set to open its season this weekend at Montalegre, Portugal, and just ahead of the start of this new series, one team has already dropped teasers on the car it plans to use for the year. EKS is competing in the World RX Championship and its got a driver in Mattias who has won just about everything he’s competed in. More importantly, Ekström and EKS are preparing a hellacious race car in the name of the EKS Audi S1 Supercar.

The car itself is based on the Audi S1, except that this one has been modified and customized for the sole purpose of turning it into a powerful race car. Preparations to turn the EKS S1 Supercar into a full-fledged racer are already underway, and the early returns are nothing short of incredible. One of the details that has been divulged about the S1 is its powertrain, which comes in the form of a 2.0-liter turbo four with 600 horsepower, all-wheel drive and a 0-to-60-mph time of 1.9 seconds.

Ekström will be debuting the S1 Supercar in time for the World RX stage of Great Britain, the second race of the World RX season. The Swedish driver is going to compete against an impressive lineup of drivers that include Tanner Foust, Ken Block, and Jacques Villeneuve. But with a car like the EKS S1 Supercar at his disposal, we’re confident that Ekström and EKS will field a competitive team in the first season of the World RX Championship.

Click past the jump to read more about the Audi S1 Supercar By EKS.

Source: EKS Facebook

It hasn’t been long since we’ve shown you footage of a Nissan GT-R Spec-V burning on the Nurburgring track and, unfortunately, we have to get back on the "sports cars on fire" topic with a Ferrari FF as the main character.

It’s widely known that Ferraris are likely to go up in flames if handled inappropriately, but the FF shooting brake wasn’t one of them. At least not to the same extent as the 458 Italia , which had to be recalled after several models burned to a crisp.

Ferrari FF fires have been isolated for now, with the previous incident having occurred in Poland a couple of years ago, but, as of today, the number of FFs totaled by flames increased by one. It all happened in Hong Kong, where an owner lost its beloved vehicle shortly after exiting a tunnel.

According to local reports, the fire started from the FF’s engine compartment, with smoke quickly turning into a fire that spread rapidly by swallowing both the nose of the car and the interior. There’s no official word as to what may have caused the fire, but it’s believed it may have something to do with an electrical short.

Interestingly enough, the FF in question was being delivered to its owner after being inspected at the local Ferrari service center the day before.

Click past the jump to read more about the Ferrari FF.

Like most Japanese automakers, Nissan has come up with an array of technologies that aim to improve the automobiles in its lineup. The GT-R ’s advanced powertrain and chassis, the Leaf EV and its upcoming autonomous vehicle come to mind.

While the self-driving Nissan is still at least five years away and will probably arrive alongside similar vehicles from Toyota or Ford , the company has just announced a brand-new technology that might become available on production cars in the future.

This time we’re not talking about a revolutionary engine or a vehicle that runs on alternative fuels, but an innovative paint technology that repels the mud, rain and the dirt automobiles are subjected to each and every day. In short, Nissan claims it has created a self-cleaning car with help from a super-hydrophobic and oleophobic paint.

Dubbed Ultra-Every Dry, the innovation consists of a special coating that creates "a protective layer of air" between the paint and the environment that stops water and dirt from leaving marks on the car’s body. To demonstrate the technology, Nissan used an Euro-spec Note model that had one side coated with the said paint, while the other remained as it came from the factory.

The result is pretty impressive, but it won’t run car washes out of business just yet. The product is still in its testing phase and Nissan says there are currently no plan for the technology to be offered to the public. However, the feature could become available as a "future aftermarket option" at a date that has yet to be unveiled.

Video and more details after the jump.

Ken Block’s Gymkhana series has given us a lot of incredible hooning memories over the past years. None of them, though, have been able to incorporate the sport of football into the mix. Well, there’s always a time for firsts and recently, the curiousity of seeing football and Gymkhana together in one video has finally been answered.

As expected, Block and his trusty Ford Fiesta RXC are part of the stunt. Joining them for this particular video, though, is no other than FC Barcelona and Brazil star Neymar Jr.

To be honest, we were left scratching our heads on the entire purpose of the video, other than to highlight the things Block and Neymar do best. First, Neymar tries to score goals with Block’s Fiesta serving as the goalkeeper. After that, it was Block’s turn to do the kicking, or at least a variation of it with his Fiesta RXC.

From there, it was just Block doing a whole lot tire smoking and Neymar performing his impressionable football skills. In the end, the two settled for a 3-3 tie in the "try-to-score-a-goal" competition, but like a lot of people who’ve seen the video, we were left more confused as to the point of the whole thing.

The stunts were definitely cool, but it hardly painted the right picture to make the story interesting.

The fact that Audi is working on a brand-new RS3 model ever since the third-generation A3 was unveiled in 2012 is no longer a secret, but the details around the high-performance compact are still under wraps. And the same goes for the production version that was spotted testing recently.

The vehicle in question is a Sportback version of the RS3 and, judging by the photos we’ve just received, the five-door has received a more aggressive front bumper with large air intakes and the company’s fresh headlamps and taillights.

Also notable when compared to the previous model are the wider fenders and a dual-exhaust configuration instead of the familiar twin setup. What’s more, the exhaust tips appear to have been embedded in the rear bumper, whereas the preceding RS3 Sportback had them mounted below the piece, in the diffuser-like skirt.

While these exterior tweaks are in line with the updates added to the new A3 and pretty much expected, the RS3 might hide something completely different under the hood.

Click past the jump to read more about the Audi RS3.

Lapping the Nurburging in under seven minutes has become a regular occurence among the most powerful supercars in the world. But unbeknownst to most people is another battle among front-wheel-drive production vehicles to break the eight-minute mark around the ’Ring. Renault is one of those companies that’s vying for that record and it’s prepared to break that mark with a new campaign to finally lap the Nurburgring in under eight minutes.

The company’s performance arm, Renault Sport, is preparing a car that has one purpose in life: setting a sub-8-minute lap and reclaim the record set by the Mégane Trophy in 2011 when it clocked a time of 8:07.9.

That time has since been broken by the Seat Leon Cupra 280 last month when it clocked a time of 7:58.4, making it the first front-wheel-drive production car to clock a lap time of under eight minutes. But Renault isn’t prepared to concede the record just yet, so the company has a new campaign with the social media hashtag #Under8 to reclaim the record.

What’s become very clear is that Renault is leaving no stones unturned in this new pursuit, enlisting the help of companies like Michelin, Akrapovic, Öhlins, and BRM to help it break the Leon Cupra 280’s record. The company has made no announcement on the car it will use for this record-breaking attempt, but all signs seem to point to a new and improved iteration of the Megane .

Renault Sport has set a timetable for a June attempt at breaking under eight minutes and if there’s one thing we’ve come to know about automakers and their bragging rights, the company will treat this attempt with the seriousness it deserves.

Click past the jump to read more about Renault’s previous Megane RS 265 Trophy Record.

One of the less talked about but no less exciting cars of the Beijing Motor Show is this Lexus of China-built CT BG 200h. Customized with a “more personalized design language,” the concept looks the part of a racer with its carbon-fiber exterior bits and bespoke paint job.

The concept is based on the 2014 Lexus CT 200h F Sport , though this finished product drastically builds off the stock car. The large spindle grille has new mesh, while the front chin splitter is much larger and includes little winglets on corners. The added aero work continues around the side with finned rocker panels and finned rear bumper edges.

Out back, the carbon-fiber rear fascia is much more aggressive in looks and functionality. Topping the car is a carbon-fiber wing mounted atop the rear hatch for additional downforce. The unique black and white paint scheme accented with gold stripes and black thin-spoke wheels, give a whole new look to the otherwise average CT 200h.

The décor inside the concept is of a similar motif, sporting carbon-fiber pieces and continuing the exterior color combination.

Unfortunately, Lexus hasn’t mentioned anything about matching the exterior’s racy theme with more horsepower or a retuned suspension. Looks like the concept — which it will likely stay — must make do with the ho-hum 134 horsepower from the 1.8-liter I-4 and the hybrid drive system. That means 0-60 times will still take 9.8 seconds and its top speed will be limited to 113 mph.

Click past the jump to read more about the Lexus CT BG Concept.

Source: Car Watch

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