Volkswagen Will Try to Enter the Luxury SUV Segment Again With the I.D. Lounge, Framed As a Touareg-Sized EV
Volkswagen is really doubling down on its electrified offerings as of late, adding a range of battery-powered models to a variety of segments and previewing each with a series of concepts tagged with the I.D. sub-branding. Now, we’re getting some info on what the production I.D. models will bring to the table, including a new SUV rumored to be called the I.D. Lounge.
Tesla powertrain and batteries completely transform this Audi RS5
The Audi RS5, built between 2010 and 2015, was powered by a screaming, high-revving, V-8 engine and was widely acknowledged as being one of the best of its kind. However, what do you do when your car doesn’t have an engine or its engine is junk and you need to replace it with something else? How about you slot in a Tesla motor and battery pack to see how that transforms the car.
2019 Hyundai Kona Electric
Although Hyundai didn’t offer an SUV until the Terracan was introduced in 2001 (the 1991 Galloper doesn’t really count since it was a rebadged Mitsubishi), the Korean firm now has four different crossovers on offer. The latest to join the family is the Kona, and it’s the company’s first subcompact offering. But more importantly, it’s the first subcompact SUV to get an all-electric version. Unveiled in February 2018, the Kona Electric is the first of its kind on the European market and crosses the pond to the U.S. for 2019.
Much like any other EV or hybrid based on a conventional vehicle, the Kona Electric is very similar to the gasoline-powered Kona. The styling carries over with a few changes inside and out, while the equipment lines remain pretty much the same. It’s the drivetrain that makes a big difference, as the Kona Electric doesn’t use dinosaur juice. What’s more, the Kona Electric comes with impressive performance and range of a crossover that will cost significantly less than the expensive Tesla Model X. Let’s find out more about that in the review below.
Update 12/12/2018 We’ve updated this review with fresh images of the 2019 Hyundai Kona Electric take at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto show. Check them out in the gallery below!
Porsche Came Up with a Pretty Slick Way to Electrify the 992-Gen 2020 Porsche 911
It’s not even 2019, and we’re already talking about the hybridized version of the new 992-generation Porsche 911. Yes, the plug-in model will only be unveiled in late 2020 for the 2021 model but August Achleitner, Porsche’s current head of sports car development, has already shed some light on how the German company prepared for this move.
We knew ever since the new 911 was presented to the world at the L.A. Auto Show that it would have some built-in features that would, later on, make the adaptation of a hybrid powertrain simpler. Now, we get a bit of insight of how Porsche is working to fit the battery pack and the electric motors onto the 911s platform.
How Much is the Audi E-Tron GT Concept Going to Change as it Shifts Into Production?
We were all stunned by the looks of Audi’s E-Tron GT Concept that the German Automaker unexpectedly unveiled at the L.A. Autoshow. The electric four-door coupe is slated to become the benchmark performance model in the E-Tron range and is co-developed with Audi’s competition arm, Audi Sport. What is more, the outlandish design is set to remain vastly unchanged when the car enters production in 2020, if we are to believe Audi’s design boss, Marc Lichte.
I’m a fan of the E-Tron GT Concept, and I’m not a fan of too many new cars. That’s why I wrote in my previous pieces on the subject of this car that I hope it will remain intact - from a visual standpoint - when it hits showrooms in less than two year’s time. Now, we hear that Marc Lichte confirmed to the media at a roundtable organized during the L.A. Auto Show that most of the sheet metal we see on the concept will be carried over to the production car. You can imagine some alterations will be made, mostly in the name of safety, but that should be it.
Pininfarina’s Upcoming Electric SUV Will Just Be a Coachbuilt Rivian SUV
Pininfarina, the company that once acted as Ferrari’s favorite coachbuilder, will soon be in the business of making cars of its own. A supercar is planned, named PF0, as well as three SUVs. The fastest of the lot, known as PF1, will use the same platform as the Rivian R1S SUV and will target Lamborghini’s Urus in terms of performance.
It’s been almost 90 years since Battista Farina funded the Pinin Farina coachbuilding company and over half a century since the company’s name was changed to Pininfarina. Many cars have featured Pininfarina bodies over the years, beyond the countless Prancing Horses, and, now, a fleet of SUVs is in the oven beside the company’s own supercar.
2020 Lynk & Co 01 Coupe
Get ready for yet another coupe-like SUV, this time from a fledgling manufacturer that has yet to establish itself: Lynk & Co. This time the vehicle in question currently doesn’t yet have a name, but we do know it is the more rakish and slightly less practical version of the high-riding 01 model.
The vehicle was recently spotted by our spies under thick camouflage, but we are able to make out its BMW X6-inspired rear end design, as well as the same front end as on the 01 - the car in the photos looks like it’s the same until the B-pillar, but from there on its roofline dips in fastback style.
Its interior and engine range will be the same, although the coupe variant of the SUV may come with sportier suspension tuning and slightly less emphasis on comfort - this is also what other manufacturers that have such vehicles do to give these models more than just a visual differentiation.
And in the not too distant future, we may start to see lots of Lynk & Co vehicles not only in Europe but also the States. Geely, the Chinese automotive giant that owns Lynk & Co (as well as Volvo), is examining possibilities to open manufacturing facilities in Gent, Belgiu as well as in North Carolina.
Volkswagen won’t abandon combustion engines but will focus on EVs beyond 2026
Volkswagen’s plans with the I.D. family are undoubtedly grand, and the German manufacturer is going to great lengths to make sure their upcoming EVs will be best-sellers from the word go, but internal combustion engines won’t be killed off by the end of 2026 as previously reported.
Remember VW’s plans to build 1,000,000 EVs a year by 2025? Well, the car maker from Wolfsburg is now aiming to roll out 15,000,000 cars based on the new MEB platform in the first wave. That calls for a continuous flow of money that will see Volkswagen cut costs by eliminating some of the ICE models from its lineup and curtail redundancies in various administrative departments.
Word Has It Volkswagen Is Developing an ID Electric Beach Buggy
Volkswagen might be working hard to broaden its cutting-edge electric offerings as of late, but it isn’t forgetting where it came from, digging deep into its catalogue of classic hits to mate the new with the old. Now, the latest VW icon to get EV’d could be the ever-lovable Beach Buggy.
Ford Won’t Use the Mach 1 Name On An SUV - It’ll Use the Newly Patented Mach-E
The crossover craze continues unabated, and rumor has it Ford is getting in on the action with a new electrified model that could carry some DNA over from the Mustang, including a name derived from the iconic Mach 1. However, diehards will be pleased to know the fresh utility vehicle most likely will receive a new nameplate all its own - “Mach-E.”
2020 Toyota Corolla Hybrid
Toyota just introduced a brand-new generation for the Corolla this year, with both a head-turning hatchback and a smart sedan making the body style lineup. Now, Toyota is adding yet another model with a new hybrid variant, ushering in an even-greener option for the compact four-door segment. Standout features for the 2020 Toyota Corolla hybrid include a comfortable ride, loads of technology and features, and as an added bonus, upwards of 52 mpg combined thanks to the drivetrain that’s borrowed from the Toyota Prius.
Faraday Future Lays Off More Employees as it Dies a Slow, Miserable Death
Faraday Future is being ripped apart piece by piece as it dies a slow, agonizing death. After running short on funds in October this year, Faraday’s downfall began as it announced a number of layoffs and financial setbacks. After living under the rock for a month, when it was assumed that Faraday may come back with some sort of positivity, the company decided to play the blame-game and lay-off more employees.
You Can Now Pay to Have an EV Powertrain Bolted into Your Classic Aston Martin
Although a noble thought by Aston Martin, this basically kills the whole point. Wondering what we are talking about? Aston Martin Works plans to protect the classic cars in the future by allowing them to live as Zero Emission Vehicles (ZEVs). It has produced the first model under its plan called the Heritage EV Programme.
Tesla Model S Drove On Autopilot and Saved The Drunk Driver’s Life
We have been hearing stories about how the autonomous system has failed in cars and even killed people in some cases. How about we talk about a life-saving incident for a change? A 45-year old man in his Tesla Model S was spotted by the cops cruising on an expressway fast asleep. They chased the car for minutes before successfully stopping it. Imagine the dire consequences had it not been for the Autopilot system.
Introducing Omega, a $2.5 Million Electric Lotus Hypercar Aimed At the Bugatti Chiron
With the performance scene moving towards ever-more advanced battery-powered mega-machines, some companies will inevitably get left behind in the electron dust. Luckily, it looks like Lotus won’t be among them, as it was just revealed that the Hethel-based brand might be working on a brand-new all-electric hypercar!
Toyota has pulled the wraps off its refreshed Prius at the 2018 LA auto show which brings a more toned down appearance and optional all-wheel drive to the table. It isn’t any significantly more efficient or any faster, but its less aggressive styling will be a pleasing comeback for some, while the new all-wheel drive is apparently going to be really popular.
Projected sales for the Prius AWD-e say up to 25 percent of all cars sold will have the option, despite the fact that it does have a small negative impact on overall efficiency - the main reason you went for a Prius in the first place. The most frugal Prius, the L Eco trim, can still hit a claimed 56 mpg combined.
Aside from the subtle restyling and addition of all-wheel drive, the 2019 Toyota Prius also gets interior updates, extra tech, and a simplified trim structure to help buyers and dealers alike understand the range better.
2020 Kia Soul EV
Ever since the Kia Soul first broke into the auto scene in 2009, it has carved its own path unique path in the auto industry. Almost ten years later, the Soul is entering its third-generation, and it includes an improved EV model as well. The 2020 Kia Soul EV has arrived, and it’s a far departure from what we know of the Soul’s all-electric model. It has a fresh new look and, more importantly, a bigger battery pack to go with a more potent electric motor. You think that the 2020 Soul EV is the still the same electric crossover from year’s past? You’d be wrong. The 2020 Kia Soul EV will launch sometime in mid-2019 but pricing figures have yet to be announced.
2020 Rivian R1T Pickup
Just before its official unveiling at the 2018 LA Auto Show, a new Michigan-based EV company revealed its first vehicle - an electric pickup truck called the Rivian R1T Pickup. I remember the buzz on the Internet when Tesla unveiled its Tesla Semi and that mad roadster some years ago. On one of the photographs, clever Tesla marketing gurus sketched what will become the Tesla Pickup. Well, Rivian beat them to the punch on that one. Or has it?
The company called known as Rivian has been around since 2009 and, while it actually did dwell into supercar making at the very start, rationalization brought the company much closer to the ground. Almost ten years after the story started, Rivian CEO, RJ Scaringe, actually decided to tell the world what the Rivian is all about. You haven’t heard a lot about the company until now, have you?
He revealed its intentions at just the right time - after the company acquired a Mitsubishi factory in Normal, Illinois. That’s the place where this sexy pickup (well, I think it’s kinda strange sexy) will be eventually produced. Obviously, Rivian wanted to present itself with a bit of a bang. Acquiring what once was a Mitsubishi factory is a bit like a bomb, especially when you take into account plans to introduce an electric SUV in a few years. Now, we have a pickup - it is 90-percent production ready and brings enough EV promises for us to pay some real attention to it.
Presenting the R1T before Tesla unveiled its pickup truck may very well be the right move. Rivian wants to cash in on people who are actually interested in this kind of thing. If you don’t know them, don’t worry, they will emerge just like Tesla Model S lovers emerged.
So, what’s the Rivian R1T all about?
Someone Hacked the Tesla Model 3 To Run YouTube and Ubuntu Linux
Tesla’s "people’s car." the Model 3, was thought to be harder to crack into than the Model S and Model X that proved to be a field day for hackers. However, we’re now seeing a Model 3 owner on Reddit showcase his ability to run YouTube and Ubuntu on his car.
This is not the first instance of a Model 3 getting hacked into. Earlier this year, an owner, who goes by the name of ’Ingineerix’ online, was able to crack open Tesla’s ’Factory Mode’ to reveal interesting information about the car’s full battery pack capacity, information that Tesla only offered as a range figure.
If You’re Waiting for a 992-Gen Porsche 911 Hybrid, Don’t Hold Your Breath
Were you excited to see the new Porsche Carrera S and Carrera 4S at the Los Angeles Auto Show? Who wasn’t? The eighth-generation of the 911 is more refined than ever and is all set to carry the rich legacy of this renowned model. However, another bit of news that grabbed eyeballs is that there might be a hybrid version of the 911. Before you get your hopes high, the 911 hybrid is still at least four years away.
The 2019 Crosstrek is Subaru’s first plug-in hybrid vehicle, and it’s set to go on sale in 2019. Like all PHEVs, it has some all-electric range, and it can even cruise close to highway speeds on electricity alone. And, when its gasoline engine and electrification work in tandem, it can result in excellent fuel economy figures. Unlike many plug-in versions of regular models, the Crosstrek Hybrid doesn’t really shout about what it is. There are some details that give it away, though and if one passes by in full EV mode, the lack of engine sound will also give it away. Inside it’s quite simple and minimalist, and far less extravagant to look a than any modern plug-in Toyota and Honda model. But, it does have a decent infotainment screen and the build quality does make up for its lack of design flair to a degree.
Update 12/3/2018: We’ve updated this review with new images taken at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show. Check them out in the gallery below!
Will the Next Mercedes-AMG SLS Electric Drive Birth From the 2020 AMG GT?
Remember the atrociously green electric Mercedes-AMG SLS unveiled back in 2011, called the E-Cell? The production version it spawned was a bit of a flop, but Mercedes-Benz is more serious than ever about electrification and Tobias Möers, the boss of AMG, is confident that a new electric sports car is on the way.
It’s been almost a decade since Mercedes-Benz tested the waters with an eco-friendly version of the mighty SLS. At the time, the car was considered as nothing more than a way for Mercedes to flex its tech-savvy muscles but now, on the brink of 2019, we view EVs differently, and that car might be the stepping stone for AMG’s next flagship electric sports car.