Audi is preparing to make a big step into the electrification of the drivetrain, with the unveiling of a very cool A3 e-tron plug-in hybrid at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show. The model can be driven in in three different modes: combustion engine, electric drive or in hybrid mode.
The new A3 e-tron combines a 1.4 TFSI engine with an output of 150 horsepower, with an electric motor that generates a total of 75 kW (100 horsepower). With a total output of 204 horsepower and a peak torque of 258 pound-feet, the A3 e-tron will sprint from 0 to 60 mph in just 7.6 seconds and will be capable to hit a top speed of 137 mph.
In electric mode the A3 e-tron has a driving range of 50 kilometers (31 miles) and can hit a top speed of 80 mph. In plug-in version it delivers a fuel economy of 156.81 US mpg and emits only 35 grams of C)2 per km (56.33 grams per mile). The hybrid drivetrain is combined with a six-speed e-S tronic, which transfers the power to the front wheels.
More details will likely be revealed at the Geneva Auto show, and we’ll update you as soon as Audi releases these details.
At the 2013 Geneva Motor Show, Mitsubishi will unveil a pretty impressive lineup of concept cars that previews the company’s future strategy market. One of them will be the GR-HEV - a concept car that applies the HEV technology for the first time to a one-tonne pickup truck.
This HEV technology combines a clean-diesel engine with electric motors in order to obtain a vehicle that is simple and more affordable than any other electric vehicle. The concept also uses Mitsubishi’s renowned full-time 4WD technology that includes the Super All Wheel Control (S-AWC) integrated vehicle dynamics control system driveline. This system helps the concept deliver high traction and driving performance under all road conditions.
Mitsubishi revealed no details on the concept’s specifications just yet, but it did promise it will deliver an ambitious target of CO2 emissions below 149 g/km, far better than the segment average.
Full details will be unveiled during the concept’s official debut in Geneva.
Believe it or not, Subaru doesn’t have a single hybrid model in its lineup, but according to Kenichi Yamamoto, director of product management and coordination at Subaru of America, things are going to change. This change is set to start in March at the 2013 New York Auto Show, as Suby will unveil its first hybrid model. He made the confirmation in an interview with The Detroit Bureau, when he confirmed that parent company, Fuji Heavy Industries, is indeed working on a hybrid model.
This move shouldn’t be any surprise to anyone, considering other Japanese companies, like Toyota, Honda and Nissan, already offer plenty of hybrid vehicles.
While Yamamoto offered no other details on the hybrid drivetrain, it will most likely be inspired by the drivetrain in the Subaru Advanced Tourer Concept, which was unveiled at the 2011 Tokyo Motor Show. This was a hybrid vehicle that combined a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-four engine with an electric motor.
We uncertain which model will be the first to feature this hybrid drivetrain, but it has been rumored that the honor will go to the Forester SUV. By 2015, however, we expect to see the same treatment applied to most of the models in the Suby lineup, because Subaru has promised to boost its fleet fuel economy by 30 percent.
We’ll keep an eye on this topic and see if anything of interest comes of it. Maybe a performance hybrid model will be spawned by this new development.
Back at the 2011 Shanghai Motor Show, BMW unveiled a 5-Series plug-in concept car that allowed an emission-free driving range of about 47 miles, at a speed not more than 37 mph. It now looks like that concept is about to become reality, as our spy photographers have caught the car testing for the first time. Of course, we expect some improvements in the production version, but either way it sounds very promising.
What make us think this is indeed a plug-in hybrid version of the BMW 5-Series? Well, the answer is quite simple: there is an easy-to-spot small fuel door hiding the charging port, plus that the port has a red sticker over it that warns of "high voltage" and tells the driver not to open the charging port.
The problem is that when BMW unveiled the concept version, it announced it was an "e-car from China for China," so most likely this model will land only on Chinese shores, for now.
Hit the jump to read more about the 2014 BMW 5-Series Plug-in Hybrid. Full story
What we can tell you for sure at this point is that Kia is a huge fan of cartoon superheroes. Until now, we have seen models inspired by Batman, Aquaman, The Flash, Cyborg and Green Lantern, and as you can see, there is someone missing on this list. Yes, you are right: Superman!
This doesn’t mean that Kia forgot about him. The most likely reason is that the automaker couldn’t find an auto show to unveil the superman-inspired Optima. Well, the wait is over, as the Superman-inspired Optima Hybrid made its debut at the 2013 Chicago Auto Show debut.
The car has been designed in cooperation with Super Street magazine, but except an aggressive body kit and the Superman-inspired coloration we see nothing "super" about this Optima. It gets customer fenders that make it a little bit wider, a beveled front grille resembling Superman’s belt and red headlights. The concept is painted in a very cool blue combined with Superman’s unmistakable chest emblem on the hood and red elements added on the trunk.
The interior features the same blue and red color combination and gets Superman’s iconic "S" shield integrated into the seats and steering wheel.
And that’s pretty much all the super stuffs added in the new Superman-inspired Kia Optima. Was it worth? Most likely not, but is always good to discover your inner-child.
While most of you are waiting to see a production version of the Porsche 918 Spyder, our spy photographers have caught two new prototypes during their first cold weather testing in Northern Sweden. As you can see, one of the prototypes is still wearing that cool white Martini racing livery, while the second one is wearing a cool grey racing livery.
Just as a reminder, the powertrain of the 918 Spyder will combine a 4.6-liter V-8 engine delivering a total of 570 horsepower with a pair of electric motors - one powering the front axle and one on the rear. This hybrid system will deliver a total of 795 horsepower and, according to Porsche, it will hit a top speed of 202 mph.
The car already scored some amazing results, as it lapped Nurburgring in a time of 7:14.
The production version will debut in September 2013 and will be priced at about $1 million.
Last time we caught the upcoming 235 mpg Volkswagen XL1 was back in August. Now our spy photographers have caught the production version of Volkswagen XL1
The production-version XL1 will combine two engines: a small two-cylinder Turbo Diesel Injection (TDI) engine delivering a total of 30 horsepower and a 30-horsepower electric motor. Both engines will send the power to the rear wheels via a seven-speed DSG transmission.
The XL1 will be offered with gullwing doors and an interior that looks pretty similar to the one revealed in the concept version. It will also borrow from its concept cousin the very narrow rear track and the wheels sitting far inside the body. The wheels will be covered by full wheel covers to help the aerodynamics.
The new Volkswagen XL1 is expected to be unveiled at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show and will hit the market later this year.
The Detroit Auto Show just isn’t a place to see all-new model, it is also a great place to get juicy news for future developments. Included in the news gathered from Detroit is that Bentley has finally felt the itch to develop a plug-in Hybrid model after a successful track record of announcing cars powered by fuel-chugging V-8s and W-12s.
With Rolls Royce already jumping onto the bandwagon with the Phantom 102EX, Bentley CEO Dr Wolfgang Schreiber has announced plans to introduce a green variant to Bentley’s lineup.
Such a variant will grace the bodies of the Bentleys starting within three years, as Schreiber is quoted saying “It might actually be too late for diesel now, plug-in hybrids offer an even better fuel economy and don’t alienate petrol-only markets, we won’t see them for the next three years, but for us a plug-in hybrid is a must.”
Bear in mind though, that the decision for a hybrid model hasn’t been confirmed by the board as diesel power is still in the cards. However, given the fact that diesel power isn’t very popular in Bentley’s strong markets — Middle East, U.S and China — a plug in hybrid system will most likely be the favorite choice among the Bentley Boys, according to Dr Schreiber.
If such a project takes off, expect the hybrid system to be developed by Volkswagen in coordination with Audi and Porsche. Details are still scarce on what particular system will be used. So, once they roll in, we’ll post them as soon as possible
Previous rumors suggested that Acura could be finally unveiling the production version of the Acura NSX supercar at the 2013 Detroit Auto Show. However, it looks like the company decided to tease us a little bit more, as the Detroit Show only yielded another evolution of the NSX Concept. Acura did, however, confirm that this new concept could offer "a first-ever look at one possible direction for the next-generation NSX interior design."
Translated this means that the production version will look pretty much similar to all those concepts we have seen in the past few years and that when the production version finally drops onto the market, it will offer no surprises.
Just like with the previous concept versions, the new one is defined by clean, modern and simple surfacing, and the interior was founded on a "Human Support Cockpit" theme.
Hit the jump to read more about the 2013 Acura NSX Concept. Full story
Displaying the kind of new technology they’re developing over there in Germany, Volkswagen is headed to the 2013 North American International Auto Show with an SUV concept that could very well be the peg for which VW bases their future production models on.
It’s called the CrossBlue Concept and by the sheer level of technology used on this SUV, you’d think that this is going to be all-conquering machine that can survive the apocalypse.
We’re not going to go that far because the CrossBlue is still, after all, a concept and any talk of production is still up for debate. Be that as it may, there’s plenty to like about the CrossBlue - and a few things not to like about it - a lot of which involves the highly sophisticated powertrain that makes use of a diesel engine, a hybrid system, and electric motors.
Find out more about the Volkswagen CrossBlue Concept after the jump Full story