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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.

 

2019 Peugeot 208 GTi Hot Hatch To Come In Pure EV Form

peugeot 208 gti (1)

We’ve been pretty excited with the 2019 Peugeot 208 GTi hot hatch when it was introduced, but it looks like there’s another reason to party. According to the French automaker, it is lining up a pure electric form of the 208 GTi hot hatch. The electric vehicle (EV) variant will sit alongside the petrol version when both are introduced at next spring’s Geneva Motor Show.

The arrival of an EV form will mean Peugeot will switch to a new architecture, preferably the Common Modular Platform or CMP, which offers much-improved efficiency, cheaper build costs and, crucially, the scope for pure-electric variants.

This is not really a surprise since we’re expecting that an EV form will come. Earlier, Peugeot announced that the next 208 will arrive in two versions: the CMP (also known as the EMP1) and the e-CMP. However, what’s surprising to us is the fact that the electric 208 will also be offered as a GTi.

Peugeot head Jean-Pierre Imparato spoke to Auto Express and said that full details of the cars will be revealed in March, just in time for the show in Switzerland. He added that each time the brand comes up with a new model, it will be offered in an electrified form, so it will still be up to the buyers to choose the powertrain they want.

A pure EV form is being offered in the GTi version because Imparato does not want “to generate [a] difference between EV and combustion-engined models.” Aside from this tidbit, Peugeot is also working on manufacturing and developing high-performance vehicles with electrified powertrains.

Just last year, it has been revealed that the French company is developing a 300-bhp hybrid version of the 3008. There are also other concepts, though the most notable is the 308 R Hybrid.

Photos via Auto Express

The Mercedes-Benz EQC is Nearly Ready for Production

mercedes-benz eqc (6)

The Mercedes-Benz EQC is not having a time-off anytime soon. After enduring a harsh winter testing in Sweden, the standalone, all-electric sport utility vehicle is now being tested in the Iberian Peninsula. The test is to ensure that Mercedes is on schedule for the planned production of the unit.

According to the Global Media Site of Daimler, the EQC withstood its earlier winter testing under minus 35 degrees Celsius. This time, it is being evaluated in the very hot temperatures of the Iberian region that can go up to 50 degrees Celsius.

The rigorous summer testing aims to see the effects of extreme heat to the key components of the electric vehicle, particularly to its battery, air conditioning unit and control units. Those are in addition to the assessment of the effects of hot climate to the driving dynamics and interior comfort of the SUV.

Key Challenges Faced by the Mercedes-Benz EQC

One key challenge that Mercedes wishes to address is the cooling system of the EQC’s battery pack. Under a very cold climate, the battery only loses some of its power. However, in extreme heat, the unit risks sustaining damage.

Aside from the cooling system, the luxury car maker also wants to know how the charging system of the auto will react to the scorching weather. The process will involve completely emptying the charge of the battery too in order to further assess the effects.

Next, the test will reveal if the indicated time for pre-climatization of the EQC’s cabin is sufficient. The Mercedes engineers will pay special attention as well to the result of the punishing heat to the vehicle’s air conditioning compressor.

Lastly, the summer trials will show where fine dust tends to build-up within the components of the EV.

Mercedes-Benz EQC Official Photos

The official photos of the Mercedes-Benz EQC show the EV wrapped in heavy camouflage, which hides its key styling features. Based on the photos, the production version of the SUV does not look so different from its concept version though.

Tesla Model Y To Be Revealed On March 15

tesla model y

There are some pretty outrageous things that have been said on Elon Musk’s Twitter account, and another crazy claim from the Tesla CEO is that the Model Y will be revealed on March 15. Yes, as in 10 months from this date.

When Musk said that the reveal date is on March 15, Twitter handle @DMC_Ryan remarked that the date was “oddly specific” and that he cannot tell if the Tesla CEO is serious or not. Musk answered, “I just made that up, because the Ides of March sounded good” but followed it up with “But consider it real.” He added that Tesla could unveil the Model Y anytime from late 2018 to middle of next year, so March 15 sounds about right.

That’s a pretty big window for a schedule, considering that there is still a lot of drama surrounding the Model 3’s production. Tesla can’t even settle the production issues of the Model 3 and then, there’s the Tesla Semi. Throwing in the Model Y into the fray is a bit crazy, but nothing is crazier than Tesla, Musk, and their production and delivery dates all thrown together.

If the Model Y will debut on March 15, it will begin its production by mid-2020, barring other issues. Of course, we’re all assuming that the Model Y’s production will befall the same fates as the Model S, the Model X, and the Model 3, all of which suffered from delays in production and delivery.

There is no hate here. We’re just pointing out the obvious that Tesla has made some erroneous promises in the past and have not kept them. With Tesla’s past representative of what could happen, it certainly means we will encounter some trouble along the way. But since we’re pretty excited about this small electric SUV, we’re hoping Musk will finally make true his overzealous timeframe.

 

 

 

Did We Just See The Tesla Model Y?

tesla model y

When Tesla released a hype video to show us what they have in store in the future, we are not prepared to actually see any cloaked or uncloaked version of the Tesla Model Y, an SUV crossover that’s to come in 2020. The video is pleasant enough to watch and there are a lot of exciting things that we can watch out for, but come the 0:15 mark, there’s something that might surprise everyone.

Observers noted that the video teased a new vehicle. Is the Model Y crossover? The vehicle is Tesla’s next step towards joining the market for mass car production and officially turning away from being a manufacturer of luxury or performance EVs.

So, why did we think that what we saw was a cloaked version of the Model Y? It looks to have the same sill and door profiles as the Model 3 on which the Model Y is based. The rear door shutline pairing with the rear wheel also looks identical to the compact sedan. Aside from that, we haven’t seen much to give us anything to talk about the new Model Y.

Tesla is working on different variants of the Model 3, including a dual-motor variant, but that’s only when weekly production of Model 3 reaches 5,000 cars per week. It’s entirely possible, of course, that the tease is just that… a tease… and that what’s under the cloak is simply another Model 3.

After all, the Model Y isn’t expected until 2020, based on the latest comment from Tesla CEO Elon Musk himself. He also said that the production of the Model Y will require a new facility as the company’s Fremont, California production site is “jammed to the gills” and “crazy packed” with vehicle production.

Musk has always been media savvy and quite an expert on generating buzz about his genius productions. So, maybe we just fell into another one of his tricks, huh?

Watch the video below and pause it within the 15-second mark to see it yourself:

Take A Look At The Tesla Model 3 EV’s Debut In Beijing

tesla model 3 (3)

Tesla is giving Beijing a taste of its Model 3 as the latest EV vehicle from Elon Musk’s company made its debut at the 2018 Beijing Auto Show. This came ahead of the official launch of the Tesla Model 3 in China and also before the company receives full authority to produce the vehicle in the market.

This is not the first Tesla Model 3 in the country, of course. Rich private citizens have already started importing the vehicle from the US, which is not recommended given the many different specifications in terms of wattage and outputs in the vehicle. We do know that US and China do not share the same power capacities and even format.

Still, the vehicle debuting at the Beijing Auto Show is the first one that Tesla itself brought to the Asian giant. But while Tesla is already introducing the vehicle to the Chinese market, it won’t be seen in dealerships until next year, when it will have its official launch.

Reportedly, Tesla Model 3 will be available as an import from the US first much like the Model S and Model X. Tesla is working on domestically manufacturing the vehicles to save on cost and reduce the final price of the vehicle. Practically, this is a good move both for Tesla and the Chinese market. Logistic costs and import fees could double the cost of a vehicle that is essential in helping Chinese commuters reduce their carbon footprint.

Currently, Tesla’s import duties is at 25%. This effectively limits the company’s demand in the world’s largest automotive market, though reports pointed out that Tesla’s presence has grown significantly. To keep growing (it has the lead in foreign electric car sales in China), Tesla has to somehow convince the Chinese government to allow it to produce the vehicle domestically.

Elon Musk To Push Through With Tesla Model Y

tesla model y

Elon Musk’s Tesla is making the ambitious plan to commence production of its Model Y in November 2019. Reports from Reuters said that Musk is accepting preliminary bids for supplier contracts of the Tesla Model Y, which will be a more affordable version of the Model X.

The Model Y was first teased at Tesla’s Annual Shareholder meeting in 2017. That time, Musk said that the Model Y will be built on an entirely new platform. But the Tesla CEO recently admitted that feat was ambitious and the Model Y will instead be using the same architecture as the Model 3, Tesla’s latest production car.

If the production of the Model Y will continue, that will be in November 2019 at the Fremont factory in California. Two years after, the production will move to China.

This may sound all too exciting, but remember that Tesla is under fire now for its issues with the production of Model 3. What’s up with that, anyway? The sedan had 500,000 initial orders in refundable deposits in July last year. The company, however, failed to deliver the cars on time. There was an initial promise for these to be ready by November 2017, but that did not come into fruition.

Earlier this month, Tesla tried to convince investors and the general public that the production was getting better, doubling during the first quarter of 2018 and increasing to 5000 units per week in the second quarter.

As for the Tesla Model Y, the “ultimatum” is November 2019, which means that the company might skip the pre-production phase at all. We’re hoping these reports are false because safety is very important in these electric vehicles. A Model X crashed because of the Autopilot feature’s failure, so it makes no sense for Tesla to escalate the production of the Model Y when there are still clear issues with its previous model.

Peugeot Has No Plans For Dedicated EV

peugeot

Peugeot CEO Jean-Phillipe Imparato made a surprising claim recently when he said that the brand has no plans of creating a dedicated EV anytime soon. This statement was made at a time when every car manufacturer, from Kia to Ferrari, is working on EV concepts and dedicating a team to produce them faster.

Imparato is confident that Peugeot will reach its carbon dioxide emissions target for 2021. Car manufacturers in Europe are mandated to keep a check on emissions produced by their vehicles in an aim to lessen CO2 emissions by 2021. The Peugeot head said the brand does not need to launch an electric vehicle and take a hit to reach the target. To protect the operation of the French automaker, Imparato said there are plans to launch a mix of powertrains.

However, this does not mean that the company is anti-EV. While Imparato sees no need for a dedicated EV for now, he did say that he wants Peugeot to lead the way for electrification. By 2019, 8% of Peugeot’s model lineup will be electrified. By 2020, that number will be 50%. He believes that the transition to electrified vehicles should not be done in the future. It should be today.

Imparato is not closing Peugeot’s door on EV. He did say that he would want a dedicated EV for the brand in the coming 10 years. For now, though, what they can offer is a “modular platform” that will cover all markets—electric, hybrid, petrol, and diesel.

Peugeot’s clear plans should be trusted, considering that it reported a sales growth of 10.4% in the previous year. Its siblings, the Citroen and DS, reported negative growth. Imparato said the export of vehicles helped Peugeot grow exponentially. However, China and Germany and many other countries will ban Internal Combustion Engines by 2025. Let’s see how Peugeot will play through this.

Hyundai Kona Electric Showcases Powertrain Versatility

Hyundai Kona Electric (1)

The Hyundai Kona Electric was introduced last week at the New York Auto Show, marking another level of versatility that the brand is bringing to its US utility lineup.

The Kona Electric is a pure EV subcompact crossover that go an estimated 250 miles on a single charge. It’s part of the series of announcements that Hyundai made to introduce an all-new lineup. Last February, the South Korean automaker said that the redesigned Santa Fe will have a diesel option in 2019, which marks Hyundai’s first diesel in the US market. The fuel-powered Nexo will also continue to be around to build on the brand’s “hydrogen legacy.”

The Kona Electric will be rolled out to targeted markets only. Hyundai said that the EV subcompact crossover will be produced in Ulsan, Korea, and will be initially available in California. Later on, other states with California’s zero-emission vehicle regulations will follow the launch. The availability will start in the fourth quarter of 2018.

What the Kona EV brings to the table is “peace of mind” and “flexibility,” according to Hyundai Motor America COO Brian Smith. Why? The 250-mile range is father than the capability of EVs before the Kona EV. Previous EVs can only muster up around 100 or 150 miles.

The closest competitor of the Kona EV is the Chevy Bolt, a hatchback that has the capacity of 238 miles in a single charge. Though Tesla Model 3 has a 220-mile range, it is a sedan and does not fall under the same category as the Kona.

A lot of cross-shopping will happen, Smith claims, as customers who want EVs suddenly have the option of buying a CUV because it’s out in the market now. The 250-mile range will also allow many people to go two to three days without charging, and that’s a big factor to consider.

The Kona EV gets 19.2 cubic feet of rear cargo space, which is the same as the gasoline version of the crossover. Pricing details have not been announced yet.

2019 Jaguar I-Pace Giving Tesla A Run For Its Money

2019 jaguar i-pace (1)

Oh, there’s nothing much here except Jaguar revealed that its all-electric I-Pace is due to be released and distributed next year. That only means one thing: Tesla’s monopoly of the EV market is done and over. For years, whenever some rich dude wanted a cool, sexy, functional, and reliable electric vehicle, all he has to choose from are Tesla products. That’s about to change now.

If there’s anything we learned from Tesla regarding EVs it’s that an electric car must have a long driving range and the recharging of battery must be convenient. Now that luxury automakers like Jaguar dipped their well-engineered minds into the market, Tesla will have serious competitions in this market. The new 2019 Jaguar I-Pace is the first luxury EV to roll into distributorship.

Two e-Machines

According to reports, the I-Pace is going to be powered by two electric motors, or e-machines in Jaguar jargon. The first one is responsible for driving the front wheels and the second one will be driving the rear wheels through concentric drive transmissions. The I-Pace is a pure electric five-passenger luxury crossover SUV with a standard all-wheel drive.

Everything is developed in-house at Jaguar, including the permanent magnet motors, the battery concept and design, and the software that controls the powertrain and manages the battery. There’s no confirmation from the luxury automaker about the outputs for the I-Pace, but Patel confirmed that it will have an output of 400 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque. It will also have a range of 300 miles before a recharge is needed.

There are no details yet about the pricing, but Jaguar said that it will release the list on March 6, 2018, which isn’t really too far from where we are now. Once it goes on sale, the I-Pace will be offered in three trim levels: S, SE, and HSE. There’s, of course, a limited production First Edition version that will be priced higher than the actual production model.

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