Cars Plugin cars

Models

view thumbnails grid view horizontal compact blog view
2019 Volkswagen Tiguan PHEV/GTE

2019 Volkswagen Tiguan PHEV/GTE

A model that could pose a serious threat to the competition

When Volkswagen debuted the second-generation Tiguan for the 2016 model year, it debuted alongside the Tiguan PHEV GTE Concept – a model that served as a preview for the upcoming Tiguan PHEV. Now, it looks like the production version of the Tiguan PHEV is about to make its debut as it was spotted with zero camo cruising around public streets. As you can see it’s not all that different from the standard Tiguan, but it does have its differences. If the concept is any representation of what we can expect, and it obviously is, the production model should deliver between 210 and 220 horsepower and offer up some 30 miles of all-electric range for those of you with a short commute.

Read more
Subaru's First Plug-In Model Will Probably Be Called "Evoltis"

Subaru’s First Plug-In Model Will Probably Be Called "Evoltis"

Where you taking this, Subaru?

With competition in the electrified passenger car segment heating up with every product cycle, one major automaker, in particular, seems a bit late to the party - Subaru. However, according to a recent spat of rumors, that could be changing very soon.

Continue reading for the full story.

Read more
MINI Countryman Panamericana Plug-In Hybrid Is Ready To Go The Distance

MINI Countryman Panamericana Plug-In Hybrid Is Ready To Go The Distance

Enough hybrid power and practical upgrades to bridge a few continents

The 2018 New York International Auto Show is now in full swing, and MINI is getting in on the action with the debut of a unique new version of the Cooper SE Countryman ALL4. Rocking a select group of updates “specially designed for extremely challenging routes,” it’s a fresh take on mixing electric and gasoline motivation in a stylish British package.

Continue reading for the full story.

Read more
Report: Don't Expect to see a Plug-In Hybrid from Aston Martin Anytime Soon

Report: Don’t Expect to see a Plug-In Hybrid from Aston Martin Anytime Soon

We could see an electric sports car soon

Aston Martin CEO Andy Palmer has steered the British automaker into prosperous waters on the back of an aggressive push to become a bigger player in the premium car market. The company has so far pushed the right buttons, but just because Aston’s fortunes are rolling at the moment, it doesn’t mean the company’s going to enter segments that it has no plans of going into. One of those segments is the plug-in hybrid sect, and if Palmer is to be believed, plug-in hybrid Aston Martins are not included in the company’s plans.

Read more
2018 Mercedes-Benz GLC F-Cell

2018 Mercedes-Benz GLC F-Cell

Mercedes looks to enter the Hydrogen SUV market the GLC F-CELL

Man-made climate change is a hot topic and, regardless of your beliefs about the effect of man-made emissions on the global climate, it’s inevitable that the internal combustion engine will eventually be all but wiped out of existence. With various world governments committing to an all-out ban of non-electric vehicles, automakers aren’t slowing down the process either, with just about every major manufacturer having jumped on the alternative fuels wagon in one way or another in recent years. Mercedes, for example, is following Toyota’s lead and looking to hydrogen as a viable solution to combat emissions and has already proven its viability with cars like the B-Class F-CELL and the Citaro FuelCELL-Hybrid – two vehicles that have logged more than seven million miles in test runs. Now, Mercedes has introduced the GLC F-Cell, the world’s first plug-in fuel-cell vehicle. As such, the GLC F-Cell promises as much as 301 miles from just 9.7 pounds of hydrogen and the 13.8-kWh battery. And, it does so while producing around 200 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque– more than enough to get you up to speed.

With hydrogen availability expanding, that’s certainly good news, but we’re not there quite yet. Outside of the electric and hydrogen powertrain, the GLC F-Cell also sports its own unique look in comparison to the ICE-powered GLC-Class, so it will even stand out in the crowd. Now, it may not have that internal combustion engine or even the 241 horsepower afforded by the standard model’s 2.0-liter, but it will still please all of you purists out there as it does have all of the Mercedes DNA that you’ve come to love and find it impossible to live without. So, now that the GLC F-Cell has made its official debut at the Frankfurt Auto Show, let’s take a good look at it and see what it’s all about.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2018 Mercedes-Benz GLC F-Cell.

Read more
Opel Announces First Hybrid Vehicle at Frankfurt Auto Show

Opel Announces First Hybrid Vehicle at Frankfurt Auto Show

The German firm jumps on the hybrid bandwagon with Grandland X

Recently purchased by the Peugeot-Citroen Group (PSA) from General Motors, German automaker Opel unveiled the new Grandland X crossover at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show. Bu,t while adding a third SUV to the lineup is big news for Opel, the Grandland X isn’t exactly breaking news material, as the vehicle was previewed back in April. However, there’s big news in the fact that this SUV will get a hybrid drivetrain. And the important thing here is that the Grandland X will be the company’s very first plug-in hybrid vehicle. Now that’s something to get excited about.

As a refresher, the Grandland X joins Opel’s still somewhat limited crossover lineup, which only includes the Crossland X and the popular Mokka X. Nearly eight inches longer than the Crossland X, the Grandland X is built around PSA’s EMP2 platform, shared with vehicles like the Citroen C5 Aircross, Peugeot 3008, 4008, and 5008. Actually, the Grandland X shares most of its underpinnings with the Peugeot 3008, which was updated from a minivan-like vehicle into a full-fledged crossover in 2016. The only thing we don’t know yet is when the hybrid Grandland X will hit the market.

Continue reading for the full story.

Read more
2019 Bentley Bentayga Plug-In Hybrid

2019 Bentley Bentayga Plug-In Hybrid

The firm’s first-ever hybrid vehicle is almost here!

Introduced in late 2015, the Bentayga is Bentley’s first-ever SUV. It’s also the most expensive and luxurious, factory-built SUV in the world as of 2017, as well as the quickest to 60 mph and the fastest in terms of top speed thanks to its brand-new, 600-horsepower W-12 engine. In 2016, the Bentayga also became the first Bentley to use a diesel engine, something that seemed incredible a few years back. Come 2017, and the rumors that the British firm is also working on a hybrid drivetrain for the SUV have been confirmed by a new prototype that was spotted testing in the wild.

Sporting an additional "fuel" cap, this test car was also registered with the British licensing agency as a hybrid vehicle, so there’s no doubt that Bentley is indeed stepping into the electrified territory. What’s still a mystery is the drivetrain, although I’m very positive that the electric motor is paired to a Porsche-sourced V-6 gasoline engine. There’s no word as to when it will break cover, but it’s safe to assume that Bentley’s first hybrid will show itself to the world by the end of 2017. Most likely it will happen at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September.

Continue reading to learn more about the Bentley Bentayga Plug-In Hybrid.

Read more
Volvo To Sell Only Hybrids in 2019; Promises 5 EVs by 2021

Volvo To Sell Only Hybrids in 2019; Promises 5 EVs by 2021

Bye-bye gasoline- and diesel-only drivetrains!

Swedish automaker Volvo has just announced that every car it launches from 2019 onward will have an electric motor, in a move to gradually phase out and replace internal combustion engines with more efficient and environmentally friendly drivetrains. While this doesn’t mean that Volvo will give up on gasoline and diesel engines altogether, it will make it the first premium carmaker that puts an electric motor in each and every vehicle in its lineup. And on top of turning its current cars into hybrids, Volvo also plans to launch five all-electric vehicles between 2019 and 2021. Not many details are available, but Volvo says three will be Volvo models, while to will be high-performance Polestar versions.

The firm added that these five cars will be supplemented by a range of gasoline and diesel plug-in hybrid and mild hybrid options on all models, which confirms that the EVs will be built on the current scalable platforms, meaning they will carry familiar nameplates. Expect a hatchback, a sedan, and a crossover to be the first to gain all-electric drivetrains. “This is about the customer,” said Håkan Samuelsson, Volvo president and chief executive. “People increasingly demand electrified cars and we want to respond to our customers’ current and future needs. You can now pick and choose whichever electrified Volvo you wish.”

Continue reading for the full story.

Read more
2018 Honda Clarity

2018 Honda Clarity

Expanding the line with a new Hydrogen Hybrid

Honda introduced the Clarity nameplate back in 2008 with the FCX Clarity, a mid-size, five-passenger, four-door sedan equipped with a hydrogen-powered electric motor. Based on the FCX Concept vehicle from 2006, the original Clarity was the first hydrogen fuel cell passenger car ever offered for general public consumption. Production of the original Clarity ended in 2014 with just a handful of units sold, but now it’s back, with Honda reintroducing the nameplate in December of 2016. The basics are the same, including the four-door sedan body style bristling with nerdy cuts and details, while under the hood you’ll find a hydrogen fuel cell powertrain. Joining the H2-powered model now is two other powertrains, including an all-electric and plug-in hybrid variant, both of which were unveiled earlier this year at the New York International Auto Show.

With three options on the table, Honda hopes to bump up U.S. sales to 75,000 units over the course of the next four years, representing a five-fold increase in electric vehicle sales overall. This also coincides with goals of making two out of every three vehicles sold an electrified green alternative by the year 2030. “The Honda Clarity is aimed at accelerating the deployment of advanced electrified powertrain technology and bringing electrified vehicles further into the mainstream,” said Jeff Conrad, senior vice president of American Honda Motor Co., Inc. “The Clarity series also heralds the advancement of our Honda Electrification Initiative, representing our investment in the full spectrum of electric-vehicle technologies.” Can the Clarity deliver?

Update: 06/12/2017: Honda has just announced a new leasing program for the Honda Clarity Electric. Check out the “Prices” section below to learn all about it.

Read more
Jaguar Exec Shuts Door On Brand Developing Fuel Cell Vehicles

Jaguar Exec Shuts Door On Brand Developing Fuel Cell Vehicles

Company’s focus will be on developing electric vehicles

Jaguar may be fully invested in the development of electric vehicles, but that doesn’t mean it’s embracing other low-emissions vehicles. Jaguar Land Rover technical director Wolfgang Ziebart made that point very clear at the Los Angeles Auto Show when he outright dismissed hydrogen-powered fuel cell vehicles. In his own words, Ziebart called FCVs “complete nonsense,” in large part because of their poor efficiency relative to battery electric vehicles.

At the heart of Ziebart’s disdain for FCVs is the well-to-wheel relationship from the energy source to the vehicle. According to Jaguar’s point man in the development of the I-Pace EV SUV, the whole process of producing hydrogen and them compressing and cooling them for use in a fuel cell vehicle is a lot less efficient compared to outrightly using electric energy. “You “You end up with a well to wheel efficiency of roughly 30 percent for hydrogen, as opposed to more or less well to wheel 70 percent efficiency for a battery electric vehicle,” Ziebart explained. “So the efficiency of putting the electric energy directly into a battery is about twice as high as the efficiency of producing and using hydrogen.”

To be fair, Ziebart did concede that there’s a place for hydrogen-powered vehicles if somebody finds a way to improve the whole process of improving the infrastructure for hydrogen production, including producing and distributing the energy without compromising its efficiency. Electric energy just makes more sense at this point, and for what it’s worth, Ziebart’s comments is all part of continued discussions among people within the industry of the short- and long-term benefits of fuel cell technology.

At the very least, Ziebart’s position on the issue is backed by a recent study by scientists at Stanford University and the Technical University of Munich that was published in the journal Energy. According to the study, battery electric vehicles offer a more affordable way to reduce carbon dioxide emissions than cars powered by hydrogen, citing lower costs and higher energy efficiency as the main reasons for the advantage.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

Read more
Kia to Launch 14 New Alternative-Fuel Vehicles by the Turn of the Decade

Kia to Launch 14 New Alternative-Fuel Vehicles by the Turn of the Decade

The South Korean brand looks to spark new hybrids, EV’s, and a FCV by 2020

The standard internal combustion engine is seeing competition from all sorts of possible substitutions, and now, it looks like Kia will add to the mix through the release of over a dozen new models. For the moment, there are little to no specifics, but the plan does include 14 new models equipped with alternative powertrains, including all-electrics and hybrids, as well as a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle. The new high-tech offerings will supposedly see a release over the course of the next four years, with the fuel cell vehicle arriving towards the end of that schedule in 2020.

The news comes courtesy of the U.K. publication AutoCar, which quotes Kia’s European head, Michael Cole. Cole told the outlet about Kia’s plans to release the new lineup globally by the end of the decade as the automaker attempts to broaden its sales numbers and its customer base.

Kia recently released its new Niro Hybrid Utility Vehicle, and is expected to add a plug-in EV variant of the same model sometime soon. The extra EV compact crossover should help bolster Kia’s current alternative powertrain lineup, with older offerings including the Optima hybrid and Soul EV.

Additional future models include a forthcoming Optima hybrid wagon. As for models with more conventional powertrains, Kia is expected to release a small Nissan Juke fighter sometime soon, as well as a sportier halo car that’ll be a production version of the 2011 GT concept.

Continue reading for the full story.

Read more
2017 Hyundai Sonata Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle

2017 Hyundai Sonata Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle

Plug in & get 27 miles of electric range, but you’ll pay $8,600 more for it

Hyundai’s sixth-generation Sonata (2009 – 2014) sold pretty well here in the U.S., but over in the brand’s home turf, South Korea, the car didn’t exactly exceed sales expectations. As such, 2014 brought the seventh generation model to S. Korea, which ultimately came stateside for 2015. Featuring styling cues from the Hyundai HCD-14 Concept, the car utilizes Hyundai’s Fluidic Sculpture 2.0 design language that brings together things like a new grille design, new headlight lenses, LED foglights, an all-new dashboard, and there’s even a dual-clutch, seven-speed transmission available for certain models. Come 2016, and Hyundai released the Sonata Hybrid with pared a 2.0-liter engine with a 51 horsepower electric motor to provide fuel economy as high as 44 mph while cruising the interstate. With the Hybrid already on the road, it should come as no surprise that Hyundai has finally announced a plug-in variant of the Sonata Hybrid that offers an all-electric range of 27 miles and 99 MPGe when operating in EV mode.

While the new plug-in model uses the same 2.0-liter, four-cylinder the electric motor has been upgraded from 38 kW to 50 kW. That means that the new plug-in hybrid is actually a little more powerful. But, there is a tradeoff. See, the Sonata hybrid pulls 39 mpg in the city, 44 mpg on the highway, and 42 mpg combined. While it seems like a plug-in hybrid would be more fuel efficient, this model actually gets 39 mpg combined when operating in hybrid mode. So, unless you plan to actually make use of that all-electric range on a regular basis, you might want to consider the regular hybrid over the plug-in model. But, more about that later.

For now, let’s take a look at the DNA that makes up the new plug-in Sonata and everything that it brings to the table.

Continue reading to learn more about the Hyundai Sonata Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle.

Read more
2018 Porsche Panamera 4 E-Hybrid

2018 Porsche Panamera 4 E-Hybrid

More power, better EV range, and 911-inspired styling

The Porsche faithful had pitchforks and torches in hand when the Panamera debuted, but after a few model years they have come to realize that it is a necessary evil to keep awesome cars like the 911 GT3 and the 918 Spyder in production. Redesigned in 2016, the sedan now sports a revised exterior with 911-inspired cues, a redesigned interior with updated technologies, and more powerful engines. The second-generation also brought a new hybrid model, with a more powerful and efficient drivetrain, into showrooms.

Spied testing in 2015, the new Panamera 4 E-Hybrid was unveiled ahead of the 2016 Paris Motor Show and will cross the pond to the U.S. in mid-2017. Once it arrives here, North American drivers will gain access to the fastest and most powerful luxury hybrid on the market and the sportiest looking Panamera to date. Essentially a four-door 911 with a V-6 and an electric motor under the hood, the Panamera 4 E-Hybrid has evolved to the point that it can give most Tesla Model S variants a run for their money.

The new Panamera hybrid essentially marks the beginning of a new era, one in which hybrid, efficient drivetrains, luxury features, and sporty designs can be had under the same roof. Keep reading to find out what makes Porsche’s new four-door hybrid special.

Updated 10/03/2016: We added a series of images taken during the car’s official debut at the 2016 Paris Auto Show.

Continue reading to learn more about the Porsche Panamera 4 E-Hybrid.

Read more
2017 BMW X1 xDrive25Le iPerformance

2017 BMW X1 xDrive25Le iPerformance

BMW’s LWB plug-in SUV for the Chinese market

BMW fired the first shot of a new war against Audi and Mercedes when it introduced the X1 in 2009 as its entry-level and resident mini SUV. Audi and Mercedes quickly returned fire, launching the Audi Q3 and the Mercedes GLA. Fast forward to 2016 and we still find the Q3, GLA, and X1 duking it out, but the X1 evolved into a second-generation model for 2016. With China being a pretty big market for BMW, and let’s not forget the Chinese love for long-wheelbase cars, it came as no surprise that the 2017 model year comes with an X1 LWB. In base form, it is powered by a 1.5-liter three-cylinder with a measly 136 horsepower, but it does come with a somewhat premium interior to go with some sport exterior looks – for a small SUV anyway. Like all other LWB models from BMW, the car was practically the same inside and out in comparison to is shorter brother, but that’s about to change a little bit as BMW has just announced an electrified X1 LWB that borrows a drivetrain from its cousin, the 225xe Active Tourer.

I know, that sounds like a mouthful, and let’s be honest, the name is ridiculously long, but it does speak to the electric nature of China’s latest plug-in hybrid model. While I advise you not to get your hopes up for any big styling differences, as there are none, the electrified drivetrain promises excellent fuel economy while the innovative battery location prevents any major loss to interior space or comfort. On top of that, it comes with a little extra power and technically it has all-wheel drive as well, thanks to the addition of that electric motor. So with that said, let’s revisit to overall styling of the X1 LWB and talk more about this hybrid drivetrain that turns the wheels and gets you from point A to point B.

Continue reading to learn more about the BMW X1 xDrive25Le iPerformance.

Read more
2016 - 2017 Audi A3 Sportback e-tron

2016 - 2017 Audi A3 Sportback e-tron

The e-tron gets a few new standard features for 2017

Audi had been touting the electrification of its models for quite a while, but it was all talk until January of 2016 when the brand released the 2016 Audi A3 Sportback e-tron. In typical Audi fashion, the A3 e-tron was nearly identical to its gasoline and diesel drinking brethren. Well, aside from a hidden charging port and a fancy little badge to demonstrate the cars electrified presence on the road, that is. Available with just one engine, a 1.4-liter four-cylinder, and an electric motor, the e-tron delivers just over 200 horsepower and can hit the 60-mph sprint in less than eight seconds. It’s not wildly impressive, but the car does offer around 31 miles of all-electric driving for those of you with a really short daily commute.

Another cool feature about the e-tron is Audi’s collaboration with SunPower. Through SunPower, Audi is able to offer charging via solar panels at your home. Of course, this probably won’t be cheap, but if don’t mind paying for the technology, it could save you a little money in the long run. Plus, you know, it’s good for the environment too.

For 2017, the A3 e-tron carries over unchanged for the most part. It does take on a couple of small updates, and there are some new options available that really add to the overall luxuriousness of the car. Pricing for the 2017 model year has also changed a bit, but nothing too drastic. With that said, let’s take a look at the 2016 – 2017 Audi A3 e-tron and talk about the minor changes that come with the 2017 model year.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2016 – 2017 Audi A3 Sportback e-tron.

Read more
Volkswagen Lays Down Goal Of One Million EV And Plug-In Models By 2025

Volkswagen Lays Down Goal Of One Million EV And Plug-In Models By 2025

It’s a big challenge, even for one of the world’s biggest automakers

The Volkswagen Group is making a bold proclamation by announcing that it expects to have one million electric and plug-in hybrid models in the market by 2025. The number sounds ambitious on the surface, but with the expectation of carbon dioxide emission limits becoming stricter in major markets, one million EVs and plug-in hybrids in nine years is the target VW is setting for itself in order to meet the demands for these cars.

The challenge is real for Volkswagen and the company knows that it’s been brought about by circumstances outside of its control. To its credit, steps are already being made to get to that lofty number, including increasing the number of models it plans to release in the coming years. Right now, the VW group has a total of three EVs and six plug-in hybrids in the market.

Volkswagen accounts for four of those models – e-Up, e-Golf, Golf GTE, and Passat GTE – with Audi having three – R8 e-tron, A3 Sportback e-tron, and Q7 e-tron quattro – and Porsche having the other two – Panamera S E-Hybrid and Cayenne S E-Hybrid. More models are expected to join in the coming years, including two models – Porsche’s Mission E electric car and Audi’s e-tron quattro – that the automaker is developing to compete against Tesla. All told, Volkswagen wants to have at least 20 new electric and plug-in hybrid models in the market by 2020.

VW has also begun preparations to build a modular architecture, called MEB, for battery electric cars. This standard platform should make it easier for the company to design all sorts of vehicle types compared to what it currently uses on models like the e-Golf. Development of the MEB platform is expected to start this October.

Volkswagen brand production chief Thomas Ulbrich is confident that the goal of one million vehicles can be attained, saying that the automaker is capable of building at least 75,000 electric and plug-in hybrid models a year once the demand rises for these models when more markets begin putting a premium on having EVs and plug-in hybrids in the fold. It’s too early to tell if one million EVs and plug-in hybrids by 2025 is an attainable goal. But if anybody can pull it off, Volkswagen’s as good a choice as any automaker to get it done.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

Read more
Hyundai Considers Plug-in Hybrids For Its Genesis Brand

Hyundai Considers Plug-in Hybrids For Its Genesis Brand

The new luxury brand might spread its wings faster than expected

It’s no secret that automakers are making the push toward the electrification of vehicles, and finally, plug-in hybrids are starting to make way in the eyes of the consumers. According to Edmunds, plug-in vehicle sales have jumped 40 percent in the first quarter of 2016 compared to the same period last year. With plug-ins garnering that kind of consumer interest, it’s no surprise that Hyundai’s luxurious Genesis brand is looking to add new plug-in variants to its lineup.

For a brand that’s just barely spread its wings, it might come off as being a quick move, but other luxury brands like Mercedes and BMW are already in the plug-in game. Dave Zuchowski, the CEO of Hyundai Motor America, says that the new plug-in hybrids will be an intermediate step before hydrogen fuel cell vehicles begin to make a big foothold in the market. When speaking of these new plug-in models, Zuchowski said, “Some of those [plug-in hybrids] will take the form of the Genesis side of our business. We believe alternative-propulsion engines are going to be really important – even more important in the luxury market than they are in the mainstream market.”

At this point, Hyundai and Genesis have remained quiet about what models will be the first to get a battery back and plug-in port. We know that the first vehicles will be on sale soon, and will be followed by a compact sedan and a set of crossovers by the time 2020 rolls around. The chances are that the brand won’t take that long to present a plug-in variant of at least the G80, if not the G90, and one of the future crossovers will be another likely candidate.

Continue reading for the full story.

Read more
2017 Hyundai Ioniq

2017 Hyundai Ioniq

Is it good enough to give the almighty Prius a run for its money?

Despite the number of hybrid vehicles introduced over the last dozen years or so, none have really been able to take too big of a bite out of the sales figures for the poster child of hybrids, the Toyota Prius. Hyundai looks to change all of that with its own dedicated hybrid hatchback. The big news is that the model, dubbed Ioniq, also feature an all-electric drivetrain as in addition to the more familiar hybrid and plug-in hybrid setups you get with the Prius. As for the name, the company says it references "elements of its creation." An ion is an electrically-charged atom, linking to the car’s "clever combination of electrified powertrains," while the second part of the name references it unique place in the Hyundai lineup. Finally, the "Q" is depicted in the vehicle’s logo "as a visual breakthrough, acknowledging the fresh new approach of this advanced, low-emission model."

Granted, the Ioniq comes with a lot of fancy words, but the new nameplate does have at least one thing to brag about: it’s the first production car to offer hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and electric drivetrain in the same exterior package. Having unveiled the Ioniq to local media at its Namyang R&D Center in South Korea, Hyundai displayed the car at both the Geneva Motor Show and New York Auto Show in 2016. Will it have what it takes to give the popular Toyota Prius a run for its money? Find out in the review below.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2017 Hyundai Ioniq.

Read more

Latest Videos:

2016 Chevrolet Volt

2016 Chevrolet Volt

The second-generation Volt brings improvements in every department

Launched for the 2011 model year, the Chevrolet Volt is GM’s first volume plug-in hybrid vehicle. Also sold as the Holden Volt, Vauxhall Ampera and Opel Ampera around the world, the five-door compact has already won numerous awards, including the 2011 North American Car of the Year. The most advanced version of the Volt used a 17-kWh battery that enabled it to return a range of 38 miles in all-electric mode. For 2016, the current Volt is being replaced by a redesigned, second-generation vehicle that delivers enhanced fuel economy from its revised gasoline generator, better performance and a greater electric-only range.

The new Volt has been revamped inside and out, with emphasis on a sportier exterior design and a brand-new drivetrain that’s significantly lighter than its predecessor. The five-door compact is also slightly bigger in its second generation, allowing Chevy to not only increase legroom front and rear, but enable the Volt — previously a four-seater — to offer seating for five. Read on for the full run-down.

Updated 09/13/2016: The 2017 Chevrolet Volt scored a Top Safety Pick+ award for its crash performance from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Check the "Safety" section for the full details.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2016 Chevrolet Volt.

Read more
2015 Mercedes-Benz "Concept IAA"

2015 Mercedes-Benz "Concept IAA"

When it comes to concept cars, Mercedes-Benz is arguably one of the most active carmakers in the industry, rolling out stunning show cars on a regular basis. Recent creations include the 2013 Mercedes-Benz Vision Grand Turismo concept and the self-driving 2015 Mercedes-Benz F 015 Luxury In Motion, but none were as dramatic as the Concept IAA, which made its public debut at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show.

Short for Intelligent Aerodynamic Automobile (and not Frankfurt’s official IAA, or Internationale Automobil-Ausstellung, name), the Concept IAA is Mercedes’ latest effort toward perfecting aerodynamics and improving fuel economy by resolving "the conflicting aims of functionality and aesthetics."

"The Concept IAA continues our series of visionary concept cars," explained Gorden Wagener, Head of Design at Daimler AG. "The symbiosis of alluring forms showcasing intelligent aerodynamics is an expression of our unique Mercedes-Benz design philosophy."

And visionary is right, as the IAA is a self-transforming vehicle that literally changes the shape of its body in order to achieve a very low drag coefficient. Keep reading for the full details.

Updated 09/22/2015: We’ve added a series of new photos we took at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show. Find them in the "Pictures" tab.

Continue reading to learn more about the Mercedes-Benz "Concept IAA".

Read more
2016 Volkswagen Tiguan GTE

2016 Volkswagen Tiguan GTE

When it comes to hybrids, Volkswagen offers only three as of 2015. But that’s about to change, and the Tiguan GTE concept that will debut at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show proves it.

The third vehicle to receive Volkswagen’s new GTE badge, the Tiguan is also the company’s first plug-in hybrid SUV. Although just a concept car, the Tiguan GTE is most certainly set to become a production model and hit the market sometime in 2016, albeit without the innovative solar module integrated into the roof.

The GTE Concept will be unveiled alongside the second-generation 2016 Volkswagen Tiguan, which rides on Volkswagen’s MQB platform. Slightly bigger, but lighter than its predecessor, the new Tiguan lends its redesigned exterior and interior to the GTE. The concept does feature a few styling cues of its own, but more about that, as well as the crossover’s hybrid drivetrain, in the review below.

Continue reading to learn more about the Volkswagen Tiguan GTE.

Read more
2016 BMW 330e Plug-In Hybrid

2016 BMW 330e Plug-In Hybrid

Ever since it made its debut in 1975, the BMW 3 Series has become the face of the Bavarian company’s automotive portfolio. Six generations and five body styles later, the 3 Series is still hitting its stride as BMW’s best-selling model, accounting for almost 30 percent of the company’s annual automotive sales volume. The launch of the BMW 330e, the first hybrid model of the 3 Series family, is the latest variation of the popular line and one that BMW believes will be the next step in the 3 Series’ continued evolution.

The 330e isn’t BMW’s first venture into the world of hybrid vehicles. That distinction belongs to the 2015 BMW i8 and 2015 BMW i3. But the 330e does have a distinction of its own as the first Bimmer from an already existing line to get the hybrid treatment. BMW used technology developed for both the i8 and i3 to carve down this new road for the 3 Series, confident that the 330e will be able to pick up where the two “i” models left off and showcase the advancements the company has made in hybrid technology to a more mainstream audience.

Whether the 330e can accomplish that remains to be seen. But that’s a topic for another time. The 300e will be unveiled at the Frankfurt Auto Show next week.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2016 BMW 330e Plug-In Hybrid.

Read more
2016 BMW 225xe Plug-in Hybrid

2016 BMW 225xe Plug-in Hybrid

BMW gave us a bit of a shock with the 2014 BMW 2 Series Active Tourer. At first there was fear that the model would compromise the Identity of the BMW name. Aside from the fact that it is a lower-cost vehicle, it is also front-wheel drive, which skews away from traditional BMW engineering. To some, the front end says, “yes, I am a BMW,” but the rest of the vehicle – including the drivetrain – just didn’t quite fit what some expect from a Bimmer.

Now that the 2 Series has established itself in the market, BMW has decided to add a plug-in hybrid variant of the Active Tourer model. The new model will use the same 1.5-liter, three-cylinder engine from the base-model 2 Series, but it will also have an electric motor in the rear. This design means the hybrid version will have front-wheel drive, all-wheel drive and rear-wheel drive (when running on the electric motor only.) Even though the 2 Series fell outside of the normal BMW mold, BMW still managed to supply a vehicle that meets the desires of consumers. The new 225XE hybrid will have a lot of the same features of the non-hybrid version, but will be different in its own way. The 225XE should debut along with the new 330E plug-in hybrid at the Frankfurt Auto Show next week.

Read on to see my review of the new 225XE.

Continue reading to learn more about the BMW 225xe Plug-in Hybrid.

Read more