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Monthly Archives: March 2019

Pininfarina Battista Hypercar Catches Everyone’s Attention in Geneva

The new Pininfarina Battista is now the world’s most powerful road-legal hypercar. The new vehicle overtakes the likes of Koenigsegg and Hennessey Performance in terms of speed. The unit is also highlighted by its all-electric powertrain.

The Pininfarina Battista was unveiled at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show. The new hypercar produces 1,900 hp from its four electric motors made by Rimac Automobili. Each electric motor is assigned to each wheel of the auto. Its whooping performance is complemented by the carbon fiber materials used in its body as well as an active rear wing.

The enormous output and lightweight construction of the Pininfarina Battista launch it from 0-60 mph in only 1.9 seconds. Automobili Pininfarina, the maker of the Battista, claimed that the vehicle is even faster than the acceleration of an F-16 jet. On the other hand, the car’s max speed is capped at 217 mph.

It should be noted that the battery of the auto also comes from Rimac. In full charge, the electric range of the vehicle can go as far as 280 miles.

The other key technical details about the Pininfarina Battista are still under wraps. However, its maker informed us that its production will start in 2020. Only 150 samples of the hypercar will be made, and each unit will carry a price of $2.2 million.

Automobili Pininfarina is based in Germany. The company is owned by Mahindra Group, an Indian multinational conglomerate. Pininfarina CEO Michael Perschke confirmed that 40 percent of the car’s global construction is already reserved. In the US, it is already close to 70 percent. They expect to sell all Pininfarina Battistas after the 2019 Pebble Beach car show in August.

Volkswagen Turns Jetta Into a Separate Brand in China

volkswagen jetta

Capitalizing on the success of the Jetta range in China, Volkswagen has decided to transform it into a separate company within the giant Asian country. The plans for the spin-off Jetta brand was announced by the German automaker last week.

According to Volkswagen, the Jetta brand will focus on making cars for China. It will be launched as a joint venture with First Auto Works, which happens to be a state-owned Chinese car company.

Upon launch, Jetta will be offering in its dealerships its existing sedan and two SUV models. There are speculations that the models might come as electric vehicles, and the predictions are not far-fetched considering the strong push of the Chinese government for car companies to gradually shift to “zero emission” or “new energy” products.

Analysts laud the bold decision of Volkswagen calling it a “very smart strategic move”. Alysha Webb, an LA-based journalist told The Verge that the Jetta has a long standing history in China as a dependable car. Therefore, taking VW’s best-selling model and making it adapt into the Chinese market under a separate nameplate will significantly help expand the company’s reach. Meanwhile, Jurgen Stackmann, VW’s board member and in charge of sales, likened the Jetta to the Beetle in the way that it brought mobility to the masses.

So far, details about the arrival of the new models for the new Jetta brand are scarce. All we know is that the new joint venture aims to reach out to more customers through “innovative sales formats” like digital showrooms and mobile sales trucks. Jetta will also have its own network of dealerships in China.

We don’t know yet whether the vehicles that will be produced under the Jetta brand will be sold outside China or not.

2020 Kia Soul EV Improves Range And Efficiency

kia soul ev (1)

South Korean automaker Kia needs only one model-year to improve the driving range and efficiency of its newest 2020 Kia Soul EV. According to the latest rating by the EPA, the new Soul EV can last for 243 miles, up four miles compared to the Kia Niro EV.

It still lags behind Hyundai’s Kona EV, which has a 258-mile range. Interestingly, the Soul EV uses the same 64 kWh battery pack that’s found in the Niro EV and the smaller Hyundai Kona EV. This is a huge step up for the Soul EV as the 2019 model only has a rating of 111 miles from the EPA. The Soul EV started with a 93-mile range.

Each of the 64-kWh liquid-cooled battery packs has five large modules of pouch cells with three oriented lengthwise under the passenger floor and two stacked crosswise under the rear seat area. The difference lies in the fact that Kia used the cells from SK Innovation while Hyundai used the LG Chem cells.

This new Soul EV is also more energy-efficient. Its EPA combined rating is 114 MPGe versus the 108 MPGe rating for the 2019 model.

The current Soul EV has a starting price of $33,950 while the Kona EV is priced at $36,450. While we don’t have the official price range for the newest models, we imagine the prices will be in the same ballpark figure as the current models. The Niro EV should be competing with the Kona EV, though the former will be more expensive.

The 2020 Soul EV was unveiled during the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show. The new model will also have 291 pound-feet of torque, just like the Kona and Niro EVs. But the 2020 model will come with a CCS DC fast-charging, allowing the Soul EV to charge at around 100kW for at least the first 50 percent of charge.

The car will enter the production phase by the second half of this year.

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