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3 Things To Know About The 2020 Aston Martin Rapide E


The Aston Martin Rapide E is the all-electric version of the company’s four-door sedan and also happens to be its first electric vehicle. We first saw it as a concept called the Rapide E in 2016 but the production model just made its debut at the 2019 Shanghai Auto Show.

Instead of the 6.0-liter V-12 engine we’ve come to love in the regular Rapide, we’re faced with a battery pack and a pair of electric motors that can generate a whopping 602 horsepower and 701 pound-feet of torque. That’s 50 horses and 236 pound-feet of torque more than what the gasoline-powered Rapide S makes.

It Has Zero Emissions

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Aston Martin takes pride in the fact that its very first all-electric vehicle will have zero emissions. Thanks to the company’s collaboration with Williams Advanced Engineering, this has been made possible.

Williams manufactures battery systems for Formula E cars, which gives it extensive knowledge on how high-performance electric drivetrains operates. Lagonda, a subsidiary brand under the Aston Martin name, will take over as the zero-emission luxury brand but the Rapide E will first introduce the market to the concept.

It Has Better Aerodynamics

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Technically, EVs have lower cooling requirements compared to gasoline-powered vehicles. This allowed Aston Martin’s engineers to redesign the front and rear fascias to minimize airflow and improve the car’s aerodynamics, which is important in trying to increase the car’s range. The result is that the Rapide E looks identical to the gasoline-powered Rapide design-wise but the aggressive styling brings it closer to the Rapide AMR.

It Has A More Modern Interior

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While Rapide’s brand suffers from having an outdated interior compared to Aston Martin’s newer sports cars and grand tourers such as the DB11, the Vantage, and the DBS Superleggera, the Rapide E thankfully addressed some of these concerns. Its interior still looks similar to the regular sedan but it now has a 10-inch digital instrument cluster that gives the cabin a more modern vibe compared to the regular Rapide. The display gives info about the car’s motor power levels, real-time energy consumption meter, regenerative performance, and battery status.

GM Is Planning An Electric Pickup Truck

 

gm pickup truck

We might have just heard the first true plan from GM to come up with an electric pickup truck. During the company’s quarterly earnings call, GM CEO Mary Barra said they intend to create an all-electric future that has a complete range of electric vehicles, including full-size pickups.

The last we’ve heard, GM is merely “considering” the possibility of engineering an electric pickup truck, as well as a number of SUVs. When asked about the plans, Barra formerly said “stay tuned” in reference to the probability of GM creating a pickup truck that will compete with Tesla’s truck.

Barra’s statement now is a bit more specific than all the things we heard from GM’s official statements. Although still in line with the company’s generic and vague statements about an all-electric pickup truck, the GM CEO said the company believes that an EV future is where the company should be heading.

Both GM and Amazon previously had plans to invest in startup electric carmaker Rivian months ago, but it was only Amazon that inked the deal for a $700-million round of funding. Rivian introduced both an electric pickup truck and SUV, which impressed GM and Amazon.

Earlier this month, Ford also invested heavily in Rivian. The $500-million investment is said to confirm plans for Ford and Rivian to engineer an all-electric vehicle together.

With both Ford and Amazon riding on Rivian’s coattails and with no GM in sight, it looks like the latter will stay in-house for its EV plans. Just last month, GM said it would develop a Chevrolet EV that will be manufactured at the same factory that makes the Bolt EV. The new Chevrolet EV will reportedly use an “advanced version” of the Bolt’s architecture.

GM has been reluctant to reveal any substantial details about its plan to manufacture an electric pickup truck but judging from Barra’s statements, it looks like an EV truck is definitely in the pipeline for the company.

 

The BMW i4 EV Interior Is Just Your Average Joe

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The new BMW i4 EV has been spotted testing a couple of times before and its prototype gave us a good glimpse of how it will look like outside. These recent photos are going to give us more to talk about though. For the first time since we were first teased of its coming, the BMW i4’s interior came front and center.

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And does it really surprise us that it looks like an average BMW? In fact, it is so normal that there was nothing that stood out to us in the new spy shots. Since the BMW i4 looks like a regular BMW from outside, the fact that its cabin hasn’t been upgraded to a funky little number should not come as a shock.

We’re just a little curious why BMW did not follow the same path as the i3. Though the BMW i3 is a bit dated at this point, its interior is still funky cool and modern. But with the i4, even if it comes from its i division, the German automaker seems to want to return to being just a normal luxury car.

While most of the interior is still covered with camouflage, we now have a clear view of the infotainment screen, the climate control, and the gear shift. These major components of the car’s cabin are enough for us to judge that the i4’s interior is anything other than ordinary.

The direction that BMW took with the i4’s interior is in stark contrast to what the Tesla Model 3 is working on. Tesla is reportedly thinking of reinventing the typical car interior though we don’t have any proof that the EV maker is set on that path. Once both cars are on sale, we’ll see if BMW was right about keeping its EV’s cabin simple and practical.

There’s still a long way to go before we see the final production version of the BMW i4. The car is slated to enter production in 2021 and BMW has high expectations for it, promising a 372-mile range as the minimum. The car is said to be able to hit 62 mph from a standstill in under four seconds.

2020 Kia Soul EV Improves Range And Efficiency

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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.

GMC Joins Bandwagon, Considering An Electric Pickup Truck

2019 GMC Sierra Elevation pickup truckjpg

GMC is joining the number of brands that will produce an electric pickup truck. The announcement comes after Tesla and Rivian also said they have plans to make an electric pickup. Ford added that they will build an electric version of the F-150 at some point in the future.

Duncan Aldred, the vice president of GMC, was quoted by Detroit Bureau that the company is considering developing and building an electric pickup truck.

But for now, all eyes are on the Rivian R1T, which debuted at the Los Angeles auto show in November. The model is said to have a range of 400 miles with its largest battery pack. We should be seeing it on the roads very soon.

Tesla, on the other hand, has given no details of its plan to build a pickup truck but Elon Musk said it might arrive after the release of the Model Y small utility. Given the problems that Tesla has been having with its Model 3 production, we’re not expecting the electrified pickup truck to arrive anytime soon.

Ford, for its part, has not provided clues about its plan for an all-electric F-150 truck.

It is still unclear when GM will introduce its potential pickup truck, though there are talks about it. Like with Ford, we might see the electric trucks way down the line when all the vehicles on the road start going electric. Then again, there’s also a possibility it will come sooner than expected. It was reported sometime back that GM is preparing a new electric architecture that will arrive by 2021.

The new electric architecture will first be used on a new Cadillac and it will also be the same platform that could fit an electric pickup truck in the future. GM wants to introduce as many as 20 new electric vehicles by 2023.

 

2021 BMW i4 EV Electric Car Shows Influence From Vision Dynamics Concept

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Spy photos of the 2021 BMW i4 electric car showed that it did follow last year’s i Vision Dynamics concept as can be seen from its four-door coupe silhouette, angular c-pillar, a decklid with a slight ducktail spoiler lip, and a front end with a sloping roof.

The i4 was confirmed by BMW chairman Harald Krüger at the Paris Auto Show in October last year. Dubbed as the i4, this will be the group’s fifth fully electric “core” model. This is also the fourth EV that BMW produced between now and 2021.

According to the i Vision Dynamics concept, the i4 will have an electric range of 373 miles, a top speed of 125 mph, and a 0-to-62 mph time of 4.0 seconds. But unlike the current i3 and i8, the i4 won’t be made with a carbon-fiber structure.

The spy shots, which showed the i4 in camouflage while riding on the back of a car carrier, hinted of small kidney grilles out front though it is also possible the production model will carry the concept’s burly and massive conjoined kidney grilles. It’s hard to see anything else with all that camouflage but the headlights and the taillights are not production units yet. Similar to the 4-Series Gran Coupe, the i4 might be a liftback with a large hatchback opening perfect for outdoor adventure.

The BMW Group is expected to release three other new EVs over the next three years. This year, it will be the Mini Electric, which was previewed as a concept last year. The production car will sit close to the concept and will share the powertrain of the refreshed i3, which has a range of 153 miles.

Up next is the iX3 in 2020, which was also previewed as a concept. This is the electronic version of the X3 crossover. It carries a 70.0-kWh battery pack with a range of 249 miles on the European cycle.

Finally, the iNext should arrive in 2021. Previewed through the Vision iNext concept, this will be BMW’s tech flagship and will have a range of 373 miles, reaching 60 mph in less than four seconds.

New Polestar 2 To Rival Tesla Model 3 Will Arrive Soon

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Polestar, the new electric carmaker joining the fray, is coming up with its new model, the Polestar 2, in the hopes of rivaling the Tesla Model 3. The company teased us with a few shots of the new model, which is expected to be revealed in the coming weeks.

The first teaser shot was an aerial view of the Polestar 2. It shows a four-door coupe-like variant of the Polestar 1. A full-width light bar, which was confirmed in a second teaser photo, runs across the car’s rear end. The roof is one large panel made of glass.

Compared to the Tesla Model 3, this car looks like a regular small sports sedan. But here’s the clincher: Polestar said it will offer a range of 300 miles and 400 horsepower. Final specifications will be released as the company moves forward to the production date, which might be later this year or early next year.

polestar 2 teaser (2)

It was only in late 2017 when Volvo started its Polestar performance arm into a standalone brand that will focus on developing electrified vehicles. The aim is to engineer a variety of electric cars that will not sacrifice performance and power. The first model arrived in the form of the plug-in hybrid Polestar 1.

Polestar isn’t taking it slow when it comes to developing these new high-performance electrified cars. It is currently constructing its own plant in Chengdu, China and confirmed a Polestar 1, 2, and 3. The Polestar 3 will be a small SUV that’s due in 2022.

The Polestar 2 should make its debut in March at the Geneva International Motor Show. This is also the first vehicle that will carry the Android-based infotainment system that will feature in future Polestar and Volvo cars.

The Polestar 2 will also target the lower bracket of the market. Unlike the Polestar 1, which has a starting price of $155,000, the Polestar 2 will follow Tesla Model 3’s pricing of $40,000.

 

 

3 Things We Learned From The 2020 Volkswagen ID Neo Spy Video


The 2020 Volkswagen ID Neo has been spotted testing in its prototype form. The ID Neo will be the first model under VW’s family of ID electric cars. The arrival of the ID Neo comes in an opportune time as VW plans to transition its company to an electric car manufacturer.

It Is Going To Be A Compact Hatch

There are no questions in our minds that the all-new ID Neo is going to be a compact hatch that looks like straight off the minivan newsletter. We’ve already seen this in 2016 as VW allowed a preview of its ID Neo Concept whose production version is scheduled for a late 2019 showdown with the rest of its competitions.

It Is Not Going To Be Available In The US

Buyers will be sad to know that the first model of Volkswagen’s ID cars is not going to be available in the US. What VW did is to introduce an entirely different line of ID cars in America, specifically a small crossover SUV based on 2017’s ID Crozz concept. That should arrive sometime in 2020. Another “spiritual successor” to VW’s Microbus that is based on 2017’s ID Buzz concept is also a possibility. This is scheduled for a 2022 introduction and will likely be joined by a commercial version.

It Is Going To Have A Conventional Design

We should not be surprised that the ID Neo will have a rather traditional design. The design elements are very similar to what we saw on the concept, though the production version is going to use conventional side mirrors rather than the concept’s camera-based system. It will also come with conventional door handles to replace the concept’s electric mechanism.

The vehicle’s single-electric motor at the rear axle will produce around 167 horsepower and multiple battery options that can go the distance—between 250 and 370 miles in range.

Mazda Readies Its First All-Electric Car As A Standalone Model

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Mazda is gearing up for the launch of its first all-electric car, which is due in 2020. Although the car won’t look dramatically different from all of the current Mazda models, the Japanese company said that the coming all-electric car will be a standalone model and it won’t be a part of its collaboration with fellow Japanese automaker Toyota.

Apparently, Mazda has been working on this EV even before its tie-up with Toyota was finalized. Ironically, the partnership created by these two giants in the auto industry is to jointly develop EVs.

Because this will be a standalone model, Mazda’s first EV will not simply be an electric version of an already existing model. Other than this little but all-important tidbit, we don’t have any information about what kind of configuration or exterior detailing this first Mazda EV will arrive with.

When it comes to its body style, we can do a bit of imagining and rendering. There’s no reason why Mazda will divert from what it has seemingly specialized in the past—a high-riding crossover. This will effectively take advantage of the popularity of this segment right now. Aside from that, taller vehicles will allow more space for the easier packaging of the battery modules while still maintaining good cabin size for the passengers.

Mazda, however, has always been a carmaker that sets the trends rather than the one that follows them. This means the first EV might not be a crossover or an SUV. It may be like just another model off Mazda’s factories, albeit with a battery pack.

According to a report from Autocar, Ikuo Maeda, Mazda’s design chief, doesn’t want the upcoming EV “to look digital” while its European design boss said they “don’t want to make an EV to look like a fridge like some other car makers.” This means the new EV will not stick out like a sore thumb and it will be styled like all the other cars in the Mazda range.

Want a bit more to imagine? Mazda’s design language can be seen in its latest iteration of the Mazda 3 hatch and sedan. If the new EV will look anything like the Mazda 3, then our expectations have just been boosted.

Jaguar Is Turning Fully Electric?

jaguar

Jaguar may be transforming into a fully-electric luxury brand in the near future. It is believed that Jaguar’s bosses are drafting an outline strategy which would phase out the gasoline-powered vehicles from the Jag’s lineup within the next decade. The conventional vehicle range might be phased out in five to seven years and will be fully replaced by electric vehicles.

Publicly, Jaguar has already stated that all new models it will launch starting in 2020 will offer some sort of hybrid powertrain. Still, a move to sell exclusively battery- or electric-powered vehicles is a big leap.

It is believed that the new Jaguar I-Pace, which is a pure-electric crossover, is just the first step to revamp Jag’s whole lineup. Under the plans being considered, the next vehicle from Jaguar would be a full-on luxury electric saloon that will replace the XJ. That will come within the next two years and will direct compete with Porsche’s upcoming Taycan and Tesla Model S.

The next vehicle will be a second electric crossover but slightly larger than the I-Pace. The plan is for it to replace the Jaguar XE and XF sedans once they reached the end of their life cycles, which is around 2023. After that, there will be a second-generation I-Pace while the current E-Pace and F-Pace crossovers will be discontinued. Jaguar’s F-Type sports car could also be phased out and replaced by an electric sports car.

Based on this, Jaguar’s lineup will be fully electric by 2026 except for the upcoming three-row J-Pace crossover.

According to early estimates, a four- or five-model all-electric Jaguar lineup can sell as many as 300,000 units a year. The company will benefit from the higher retail prices of a trend that sees the luxury vehicle market switching to electric and battery power.

While this might sound like a big risk for Jaguar, we must remember that the company has done much of the engineering legwork to make this possible. Thanks to the I-Pace, they now have technology developed for many components of an electric car, including electric motors, platforms, and battery packs that can be used on a variety of models.

 

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