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 BMW 2 Series Active Tourer may have been a disappointing appearance to most brand enthusiasts, due to its front-wheel-drive layout, but the Bavarian manufacturer hopes to score big with the compact MPV in both North America and Europe.

The regular 2 Series Active Tourer, which is powered by a tiny, 1.5-liter, inline-three unit rated at 136 horsepower, will be followed by an M Sport version with a plug-in hybrid model to arrive shortly after.

Unlike its gasoline-exclusive counterparts, which will require an xDrive option to get all four wheels moving, the plug-in hybrid will feature an all-wheel-drive setup by default. Although BMW has yet to reveal any details, the same three-cylinder engine is likely to be in charge of the front axle, while an electric motor will be added to take care of the rear wheels.

Total output is expected to sit around the 200-horsepower mark, with 136 horsepower coming from the conventional mill and the rest provided by the silent, battery-powered motor. As for mileage, the Active Tourer Plug-in Hybrid should return at least 50 mpg when using both units, though it won’t be able to travel more than around 20 miles in EV mode.

Styling-wise, the hybrid version won’t be any different than the gasoline Active Hybrid, with only a few badges to highlight its greener nature. The MPV has already been spotted testing in Germany so we might see it in production form by the end of the year.

Click past the jump to read more about the BMW 2 Series Active Tourer Plug-In Hybrid.

Launched in 2012 as Hyundai ’s first compact with a turbocharged engine, the Veloster Turbo is being facelifted for the 2015 model year, with a camouflaged prototype already stretching its wheels around the company’s research and development center in Germany .

Although details are scarce and the vehicle is hidden under a thick wrap, it’s more than obvious that the Veloster Turbo is getting the same Fluidic Sculpture 2.0 treatment as the company’s larger, premium cars.

The update will begin with a new, larger front grille and will continue with a revised front bumper and headlamps. Round back, the rear bumper and the taillights will also change shape.

What we can see in these spy shots is a set of new wheels, which come in a twin five-spoke format and are finished in a bi-color pattern. A great improvement over the fan-like, cheap-looking rims offered on the current compact .

Some interior updates are likely to be implemented as well, beginning with a revised Supervision Cluster and ending with more soft-touch surfaces and other amenities that keep a cabin modern.

Engine-wise, we wouldn’t be surprised to see Hyundai keeping the 1.6-liter four-pot at 201 horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque. A small improvement in fuel economy — now standing at 27 mpg city and 38 mpg highway — is likely though.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Hyundai Veloster Turbo Facelift.

The Volkswagen Golf R 400 Concept made its debut at the 2014 Beijing Auto Show and immediately, the hot hatch became one of the most exciting models on display. The positive reception was heard all the way in Germany and in response, VW has confirmed that the Golf R 400 Concept won’t be a concept for very long. Equally important, Volkswagen’s R&D boss Heinz-Jakob Neusser also revealed that the production model will produce more horsepower than the "400" in its name will alludes to.

All this should ring music to the ears of those pining to see a production version of the Golf R 400 Concept. Once its built, the Golf R 400 will end up being the crown jewel of the entire Golf lineup, which already includes luminaries like the Golf GTI and the Golf R .

All that though and we still can’t get over the treat of seeing a 2.0-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder engine inside the sports hatch packing 400 horsepower. On top of that, it will also carry a dual-clutch automatic transmission and a 4Motion all-wheel-drive system.

Though specific performance details haven’t been announced, it’s reasonable to expect a 0-yo-60-mph time of under four seconds to go with a top speed of 174 mph. In the end, those numbers may even be conservative, if the production model has more than 400 ponies on tap.

Note: Concept version pictured here.

Click past the jump to read more about the Volkswagen Golf R400.

While we often have praise for automakers who create interesting marketing videos, Hyundai’s latest one had us totally up in knots. Produced presumably by its German arm, Hyundai has produced a ten-minute promotional video of the European-spec i10 by slamming together scene reprisals from 70 different movies.

If you’re looking for any sense of this video , you’re probably not going to get any because the video is about as confusing, strange, and downright bizarre as any promo video we’ve seen in recent memory.

We’re going to stop short of calling it pointless because the mere fact that I’m writing this and you’re reading it means that Hyundai accomplished its goal of getting people to talk about this video. So props to Hyundai for that, but that still doesn’t take away from the fact that even after multiple viewings, the entire point of the video, other than to show the i10 in various scenes, still escapes us.

Maybe we have to watch it while our senses are impaired? Who knows, maybe a few glasses of something special will make for a totally different level of appreciation for this video.

Mercedes ’ AMG Performance Studio is up to its old tricks again and if we didn’t know any better, we’d say that it has a particular fondness for the Mercedes A45 AMG . Remember back in January when the Performance Studio launched the Petronas Green Edition ? Well, its following it up with a new one-off creation called "Erika."

At the onset, Erika will instantly draws attention because of its matte black exterior and the unique pink accents on the grille, mirrors, and rear spoiler. The side graphics also do their part in bringing out the splashiness of this one-off wonder.

Erika’s pink theme continues inside with the pink contrast stitching on the two-tone sports seats and the matching floor mats. As if those aren’t enough, AMG Performance Studio also applied more pink touches on the door sill plates and the air vents.

Under the hood of this custom A45 AMG lies a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that produces a stout 360 horsepower and 332 pound-feet of torque while mated to a seven-speed AMG SPEEDSHIFT dual-clutch transmission that sends power to the car’s all-wheel-drive system.

Despite all that cosmetic work, it’s still capable of hitting 62 mph in 4.6 seconds and a top speed of 155 mph. That’s a pretty good combination, especially considering Mother’s day is just around the corner.

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

Source: AMG Facebook

The next-generation Ford Focus RS is still about a couple of years away and, although the company has yet to confirm its development, reports about the high performance hatchback keep pouring in with all sorts of details.

The latest piece comes from Britain’s Auto Express, who almost managed to pull a confirmation from a couple of Ford representatives during a recent company event in Italy .

"Let’s say there’s a strong desire. Something like that makes a great halo car," Ford of Europe CEO Barb Samardzich said when asked about a successor to the RS. While this statement doesn’t shed too much light on the car’s development, a Ford spokesman hinted that the company is hands deep into a new superhatch.

"We have a rich heritage of RS cars, and we’re not about to let any competitors overtake us in that respect. You can rest assured that Martin (Smith, director of design at Ford of Europe) and his team are fully focused on the future of our performance strategy," he stressed.

Although no details were squeezed out of the two officials, Auto Express claims the new RS could arrive with as much as 350 horsepower under the hood. The figure matches the output available on the limited edition Focus RS500 and represents a 20-horsepower bump over previous reports. As we’ve already mentioned, the hatch will be motivated by a 2.3-liter, four-pot EcoBoost engine similar to the one fitted in the 2015 Mustang .

The new RS is also expected to arrive sometime in 2016 and wear a sticker of around £27,000, which is nearly $46,000 at current exchange rates. There’s no word as to when the vehicle will reach U.S. shores, but stay tuned to TopSpeed for more details.

Click past the jump to read more about the future Ford Focus RS.

Source: AutoExpress

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

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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

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