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Daily Archives: July 19, 2018

New Nissan Leaf Gets Larger Battery With 200HP Capacity

nissan leaf

If you want a more powerful engine for your EV, you will be happy to know that the 2019 Nissan Leaf will get a new long-range version. Called the Leaf E-Plus, this model will have a larger battery that enables a more powerful motor with 200 horsepower.

Brian Maragano, Nissan’s head of EV marketing and sales strategy, didn’t mention the battery’s capacity. Previous rumors and slip-ups from Nissan in 2016 and by a Swiss charging station builder indicated that the new battery will be a 60-kWh pack. That’s a pretty huge step up from the 40 kWh battery that is in the current model.

With 200 horsepower, the new Nissan Leaf will be 53 horses more powerful than the standard 2018 Nissan Leaf.

But that’s not all. Owners will also get to enjoy a longer range. Though Maragano did not give specific figures, we’re expecting that the new 60-kWh battery pack can do beyond 200 miles on a single charge. If the figure is correct, that’s a 74-mile jump from the current model’s 151-mile range. During the My Nissan Leaf forum, posters have somehow hinted that the new long-range Leaf can have a 225-horsepower engine.

Once these numbers have been confirmed, it means that the new Nissan Leaf E-Plus will compete directly with the entry-level Tesla Model 3 and the Chevrolet Bolt. The Model 3 packs a 50-kWh battery that produces 197 horsepower and has a 220-mile range. The Bolt, on the other hand, has a decent rap sheet—60-kWh battery, 200 horsepower, and a 238-mile range.

Nissan decided to skip this year’s Paris Motor Show, so we’ll probably see the Leaf E-Plus during the LA Auto Show in November. The standard 2019  Leaf will be the first one to be introduced, followed by the E-Plus probably in early 2019.

Lexus F Models May Get A Bespoke F Hybrid GT

lexus gs f lexus ux

Over the years, Lexus has introduced a number of electrified vehicles— the NX, RX, ES, GS, LS, and LC. The company’s F models surprisingly did not introduce an electric version, though will change sooner rather than later.

In a report from Auto Express, Lexus’ Yoshihiro Sawa admitted that there is a strong possibility that a hybrid variant will be made available for the F model. There might even be a standalone GT model. He said in the report that “one solution” to address the lack of EV variants in the F lineup is a “pure GT car.” It could be a hybrid with an electric motor and a strong engine that will give “a different drive feel.”

The F models are fitted with twin-turbocharged engines, which is either a V8 or a V10, but Sawa said they could not stick with the same engines for the hybrid model if they want it to stand out. The F sub-brand, he added, needs to use a variety of powertrain options in the future.

He believes that the auto industry is merely in a “transitional period,” where EVs are trendy. “… but three years later, who knows? People like the sound, the dynamics [of combustion engines]. I think we cannot stick to the one solution when it comes to providing emotion.”

The Lexus UX small crossover is the model that’s a natural fit for a pure EV, Sawa said. The model will arrive later this year and the company already confirmed there will be a hybrid version that offers more power than the gas powertrain. Pretty neat, right?

The F models are not only being built to be trendy in the inside. Lexus wants it to attract new customers as well with its new take on the exterior such as the controversial spindle grille. As much as there are polarizing opinions about the grille, it has created quite an interest among potential buyers.

 

Facelift Of 2019 Audi TTS Leaked

audi tts facelift (1) audi tts facelift (2)

We all know that Audi has been working on an upgraded version of the TT RS, but we were not sure that there will be some tweaks on the lower trim levels too. The leaked images from Autoblog of the mid-level Audi TTS showed that it will get revised front and rear fascias. Does it mean that we’ll see a whole new look for the lower trim TTS?

Up front, the most recognizable difference is the new grille insert. It now houses a mesh of oval-shaped openings instead of the multitude of slates we have seen in the regular models. Another element that has been changed is the addition of large silver scoops, which blend to the silver chin spoiler, to the outboard grilles.

At the back, the Audi TTS now have a pair of vents placed below the taillights. The crease that separates the bumper section now blends into the edges of the vents and the rear diffuser has been restyled, though it remains to have the same size as the current model. To add more shape to the car and better emphasize the changes in the diffuser section, Audi also added new silver accents. These also create a more unified and dynamic look as they blend with the silver-accented front fascia.

The leaked photos are official images from Audi, which gives us a slight hint when we will see the launching of this upgraded Audi TTS. Perhaps, during an auto show this fall? Based on what we have seen on the leaked photos, everything is superficial for now, which means we’re not expecting any earth-shattering changes for the interior and the powertrains.

Just like the TT RS we have seen testing, there’s a good chance that Audi will give this TTS a few more horsepower. Of course, any tweaks mean an increase in price and probably, availability? Let’s find out soon.

 

3 Things We Should Expect From The 2019 Volkswagen T-Roc GTI

Rendering of the Volkswagen T-Roc GTI by X-Tomi Design.

Rendering of the Volkswagen T-Roc GTI by X-Tomi Design.

It’s rare to see an automaker come up with a performance version of a compact crossover SUV. It’s unusual in this certain segment, but Volkswagen may like the challenge of this idea. The T-Roc was launched in 2017, becoming the smallest crossover in VW’s lineup.

With the likes of the Nissan Juke, Toyota C-HR, and Renault Captur. A beefed-up version of the T-Roc was spotted testing on public roads, and it confirmed suspicions that VW is gearing to create a whole new market for performance-oriented compact crossovers.

1. Exterior

volkswagen t-roc gti (1)

The T-Roc R-Line has a sporty appearance, so we think that the GTI will be loosely based on that exterior. It adds, among others, horizontal slats to the bumper grille, splitter-like elements up front, sports black wheel arch extensions, body-colored side skirts, new wheels, and the trademark red stripe across the grille.

The bumper will be taller and will give the GTI a more planted look. The sides will feature the usual black window trim, side skirt extensions, and a fancier set of wheels.

2. Interior

The T-Roc’s interior will be a little cramped, of course. This is a compact crossover, after all. It would have a premium feel all throughout the cabin, though—from the dashboard to the comfortable seats to the infotainment system. Some upgrades the GTI could bring are turning the colored inserts and the paddle shifters red since it’s the traditional GTI color.

The steering wheel is expected to have a more aggressive design with red accents. The standard seats will be replaced with sportier units with heavier bolstering and maybe even integrated headrests. The standard T-Roc comes with a 6.5-inch infotainment screen but the GTI will likely have the 8-inch version. This will come with a CD player, Discover Media, and a navigation system. The 11.7-inch instrument cluster will display a ton of information—drivetrain info, phone apps, and a media library.

3. Performance

The Golf GTI uses a turbocharged four-pot engine that produces 217 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. the T-Roc GTI could use the same engine with the same output. Currently, the range-topping T-Roc gets 187 horses and236 pound-feet of torque, so the increase of 30 ponies and 20 pound-feet makes sense.

 

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