2018 BMW iNext Concept
As each of the major automakers vie for technological supremacy, the space between blue-sky concept cars and their production-based realities is starting to blur. The latest to step into this space is the BMW iNext, an autonomous, battery-powered SUV that comes stuffed with the Bavarian’s latest and greatest ideas for the next generation.
“The iNext project will provide our building blocks for the future, from which the entire company and all its brands are set to benefit,” said BMW Group Chairman of the Board of Management, Harald Krüger. That means that over the next several years, this thing will provide the guidance for not just BMW’s line, but the Mini line as well, both of which are promised to offer “in-car integration of the strategic innovation fields Autonomy + Connectivity + Electric + Services,” according to BMW. Indeed, now that BMW has been doing the EV thing for more than a decade at this point, it’s about time the company stepped up its game. Read on to see how.
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2019 BMW X5 xDrive45e iPerformance
The BMW X5 xDrive45e iPerformance is the latest iteration of the company’s midsize luxury SUV. Introduced for the 2019 model year, it replaces the xDrive40e based on the previous-generation (F15) crossover.
On top of the new exterior design and interior features that come with each new generation, the xDrive45e iPerformance also boasts major changes under the hood. Not only did BMW replaced the old four-cylinder with an inline-six mill, but the hybrid drivetrain is also more powerful and delivers superior performance. The X5 also emits less CO2 than before and runs more miles on electric power alone. But more about that, as well as on how it compares with its rivals, in the review below.
2019 Mercedes-Benz EQC
The Mercedes-Benz EQC is the company’s first all-electric crossover. Previewed by a concept car shown at the 2016 Paris Motor Show, the EQC made its debut two years later. Aimed at competitor like the Jaguar I-Pace, Tesla Model X, and the upcoming BMW iX3, the EQC is also Mercedes’ first car under the EQ brand.
Unveiled in Stockholm, Sweden on September 4, the EQC will make its auto show debut in Paris in early October. Under development for many years, the EQC is the result of Mercedes’ commitment to launch a full lineup of all-electric vehicles under the EQ brand, which stands for "electric intelligence." Although similar in size to the GLC, the EQC rides on a brand-new platform and sports a design of its own. It also debuts the company’s new-generation battery and electric motor assembly. Let’s find out more about it in the review below.
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2018 Kalashnikov CV-1 (Russian EV)
Kalashnikov made a car called the CV-1. Yes, that Kalashnikov - the producer of the AK-47 - a rifle that helped a lot in shaping the world. Or obliterating it. It depends how you look at it. Now, when the company is doing all it can to reinvent its business by launching a fashion brand, selling phone cases and what not, one part of Kalashnikov actually made a concept car. It’s electric, it looks like a 1970s Russian wagon, and it should fight Tesla. I am not joking.
Presenting the car at the International Army-2018 forum, Sofia Ivanova, Kalashnikov Spokeswoman said “We’re speaking about competing namely with Tesla because it is currently a very successful project in the field of electric vehicles. We expect that, at minimum, we won’t fall behind them.”
Well, some bold words are coming from Ivanova, so I was wondering if there’s any real truth to this. Should Elon Musk and Tesla be afraid? Should the car world as a whole be afraid of the Kalashnikov CV-1?
2018 Vauxhall GT X Experimental
The Vauxhall GT X Experimental is a concept car that previews the company’s next-generation design language. The same cues will be used by sister company Opel in the 2020s.
It’s been a while since the British company that produces rebadged Opel and Chevrolet models made headlines. Barely known outside the United Kingdom, Vauxhall usually only made the news when it rolled out performance-rated models equipped with the "VXR" badge. Come 2018, and the Brits came into the spotlight with an original concept car. It’s called the GT X Experimental, and it’s a tiny, four-meter-long EV that combined styling characteristics of compact SUVs, hatchbacks, and coupes. It’s also the brand’s first semi-autonomous vehicle.
2019 Ford Territory
Although it will never come to the U.S. in this guise (or any other I am afraid), I feel that we should know all there is to know about the new Ford Territory. This very car may showcase the future of Ford crossovers. Revealed for the Chinese market only, the Ford Territory is actually a reimagination of the famous Territory sold in Australia. However, unlike the Australian car which was a full-fledged Ford product, the newest Ford Territory is actually a rebadged JMC Yusheng S330. Ford developed it with Jiangling Motors Corporation (JMC) to give Chinese customers another option in the sea of similar compact SUVs available there.
The Range Rover Sport P400e Plug-In Hybrid Can Drive Using Electricity Alone
As expected, even Land Rover had to go all hybrid with its luxurious Range Rover offering. For the new model year, the British producers of awesome SUVs revealed the 2019 Range Rover Sport Plug-in Hybrid. It is a car capable of traveling on hybrid power or using electric-only propulsion. Now available in the U.S., the Range Rover Sport P400e Plug-In Hybrid price comes at $78,300 which falls right in between the HSE Td6 and the HSE Dynamic.
The Nissan Leaf Nismo Has Been Unveiled, But It May Leave You Disappointed
Since the introduction of the first Nissan Leaf, the automotive world has been quite eager to see what the Nissan performance division Nismo can do with the electric hatch. The race-ready Nismo Leaf RC was the first one to appear, but it was just too radical. Then, over the years, Nissan played around with some pseudo spirited versions never giving us a true Nismo Leaf. All that until October 25, 2017, when the Japanese company showcased the Nissan Leaf Nismo Concept.
Fast forward to today.
Nine months of the gestation period gave birth to a Leaf Nismo only available in Japan and wearing much the same attire as the concept version. Yet, I am far more interested in what Nismo did to that 147 horsepower drivetrain.
2020 BMW iX3
Like most automakers out there, BMW announced plans to add a large number of electrified models, but while some companies are already offering a handful of EVs and hybrids, BMW doesn’t have much to offer beyond the i3 electric hatchback and the i8 hybrid sports car. But that’s about to change soon, as BMW developed a new-generation eDrive platform that will underpin a number of vehicles in the future. The new drivetrain made its debut in the iX3 Concept, which previews a production model based on the familiar X3 crossover.
Showcased at the 2018 Beijing Motor Show, the iX3 is a mildly revised X3 on the outside. This is a sign that BMW wants its electric lineup to be familiar to company enthusiasts and it’s a hint that upcoming EVs will share design cues with the conventional Bimmers instead of getting their own unique styling, like the i3. Specs and performance details are slim as of this writing, but BMW promises an innovative drivetrain layout, an output of at least 270 horsepower, and mileage of at least 400 km (249 miles). A prototype of the production model was already spotted in the wild, so it may be unveiled early next year. Let’s find out more in the speculative review below.
Continue reading to learn more about the BMW iX3.
2019 Porsche Cayenne E-Hybrid
Porsche updated the Cayenne for the 2018 model year, but the hybrid version wasn’t quite ready. Now that the 2019 models are about to roll into dealers, Porsche has finally pulled the covers off of the new 2019 Porsche Cayenne E-Hybrid, a direct replacement for the Cayenne S E-Hybrid. It brings some serious improvements to the table over its predecessor and the standard Cayenne too. We’re talking about things like faster acceleration, more electric range, better efficiency, and increased power, among other things. It also brings all of the new styling cues and technology introduced with the 2018 Cayenne to the hybrid market.
2019 Hyundai Nexo
Hydrogen fuel cell technology has been making headlines in the auto industry for a few decades now, with many claiming it’s the future of the fossil-free automobile. However, unlike the electric car market, the hydrogen segment has evolved rather slow, with most automakers opting to stay away from the big development costs and the expensive carbon-fiber fuel tanks. Until Toyota debuted the Mirai, Hyundai was the only company that actually launched a production model. The ix35 FCEV, also known as the Tuscon FCEV in some markets, was introduced in 2013. After several tests, full-scale production began in 2015 and examples were delivered in more than 20 countries worldwide. Come 2018 and Hyundai wants to take things up a notch with a brand-new model, called the Nexo.
Introduced at the Consumer Electronics Show, the event where automakers launch their high-tech products for a few years now, the Nexo will replace the ix35/Tucson FCEV. And the new hydrogen-powered EV is a significant departure from its predecessor. Not only riding on a new platform, it also features a unique design, a brand-new interior, and bespoke technology. And unlike many vehicles we usually see at the Consumer Electronics Show, the Nexo is ready to go into production and will become available in select markets later in 2018. Let’s find out more about Hyundai’s next-generation FCEV in the review below.
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2019 Nio EP9
Founded in 2014 in Shanghai, China, Nio has quickly grown to become a major industry player, establishing itself as a force to be reckoned with in the world of electric vehicles and self-driving technology. Boasting over 2,000 employees spread out over 13 locations globally, Nio is known for creations like Eve, a forward-thinking autonomous concept, and the ES8, a seven-passenger high-performance all-electric SUV, as well as its involvement in the Formula E championship with powertrain support for the Nio 003 race car. However, the start-up is best known for this – the EP9, a high-performance all-electric speed machine aimed squarely at all things quick and internal combustion-propelled. Inspired by the FIA’s Le Mans Prototype regulations, the Nio EP9 is street legal, but has made a name for itself setting some very impressive records on the track, including a sprint around the Nurburgring’s north loop in just 6 minutes, 45 seconds, a run around the Circuit Paul Ricard in 1 minute 52.78 seconds, and a lap of the Circuit of the Americas in 2 minutes 1.11 seconds. Granted, these records were done on track-only slick tires, but it’s impressive stuff all the same.
So then – what makes this thing tick? Is it just an overblown blender, or is there more to it? Read on for the details.
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2018 Polestar 1
Originally named Flash Engineering and rebranded in 2005, Polestar is Volvo’s go-to when it comes to performance applications. Now, however, Polestar has broken away from the mothership, seeking its own destiny as a “standalone electric performance brand.” The Polestar 1 is the company’s first effort in that role, promising huge hybrid power, stylish GT car looks, a classy interior, and even a new take on modern car ownership models. It’s an ambitious undertaking and, if successful, it will undoubtedly shake things up across the industry. However, the question remains – will Polestar have what it takes to fend for itself?
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2019 Land Rover Range Rover Sport P400e
The Range Rover Sport is getting a facelift and thorough update for the 2019 model year, along with an all-new gasoline-electric hybrid variant called the P400e. In addition to the new exterior and swanky updated, technology-laden interior, the 2019 Range Rover Sport P400e will offer 31 miles of all-electric driving from its 13.1-kWh lithium-ion battery paired with a 2.0-liter gasoline four-cylinder. But this isn’t some slowpoke Prius. Rather, the P400e packs 404 combined horsepower and 472 pound-feet of combined torque to shoot this all-aluminum SUV to 60 mph in just 6.7 seconds with a top speed of 137 mph while also being able to squeeze out 101 MPGe on the European scale when driving conservatively.
The 2019 Range Rover Sport P400e is part of Jaguar Land Rover’s recent promise to have an electrified variant of each of its vehicles by 2020. The P400e joins the all-electric Jaguar I-Pace crossover as the second member of JLR’s new-age lineup. Obviously, we can expect many more JLR vehicles coming with similar hybrid powertrains in the near future, especially since 2020 is only two model years away. While we have no insider information on the subject, it would be a safe bet JLR will use hybrid systems very similar to the P400e’s in the majority of its vehicles. The range will include everything from the sporty Jaguar F-Type to the luxury-minded Range Rover. Until then, let’s take a look at the 2019 Range Rover Sport P400e, its hybrid drivetrain, and its updated aesthetics and technology.
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