Jaguar Land Rover Leads Research Group Looking Into Electric Car Tech

At the 2013 Frankfurt Auto Show next week Land Rover will show off new hybrid versions of its Range Rover and Range Rover Sport SUVs, but the company isn’t slowing the pace of its green car development as it has announced today it is spearheading a new research project looking to further develop hybrid and electric car technology. The new...
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Lexus Previews New NX Crossover With Frankfurt Auto Show Concept

Lexus’ concept car for the 2013 Frankfurt Auto Show is a preview of the automaker’s new compact crossover due to go on sale next year. That compact crossover will be called the NX and a stylized version of it will be on display next week in Frankfurt in the form of the LF-NX concept car. The LF-NX has an aggressive look to it...
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Toyota Yaris Hybrid-R Concept Hints At Great Things To Come

The debut of Toyota’s new Yaris Hybrid-R concept car at the 2013 Frankfurt Auto Show represents the Japanese automaker’s first foray into the world of high-performance hybrids for road car applications. Toyota has been racing a hybrid Le Mans prototype for the past two years but this is the first time the automaker is demonstrating the...
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Ford Going Premium With New Vignale Sub-Brand

Ford is going after buyers in the near-premium segment by announcing a new luxury-oriented sub-brand called Vignale (pronounced: Vin-ya-lay), which makes its formal debut at the 2013 Frankfurt Auto Show next week. Vignale will provide Ford with upmarket offerings in markets where its Lincoln brand isn’t sold, which means we’re unlikely...
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Transformers 4 Movie Name And Poster Released

Hollywood director Michael Bay has confirmed that the name of the upcoming fourth instalment of the Transformers movie franchise will be Transformers 4: Age Of Extinction. Along with the latest revelation, Bay also posted up the first of the film’s promotional posters, which confirms a June 27, 2014 release date and shows a stylized number...
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World Debut Of Porsche’s 918 Spyder PHEV In Frankfurt

The Porsche 918 Spyder will be celebrating its debut at this year’s International Motor Show (IAA) in Frankfurt.

Porsche sets the tone by stating “the super sports car with plug-in hybrid drive marks the beginning of a new era for sports car manufacturing. Never before has a super car designed for everyday use offered such an impressive dynamic performance combined with the fuel consumption of a compact car.”

Porsche also believes the Porsche 918 Spyder is taking on a pioneering role similar to that of the 911 when it was unveiled at the IAA fifty years ago.

In addition, the new Panamera lineup will be expanded; the first plug-in hybrid for Porsche, the Panamera S E-Hybrid will be presented, but also on show will be the Panamera Diesel, which now offers an output of 300 horsepower.

Sorry, but stop dreaming right now; the Panamera Diesel will not be offered in the U.S. market.

Designed from the start to be a high-performance hybrid, the 918 Spyder boasts 887 horsepower and the virtually silent propulsion of an electric vehicle. The vehicle is able to accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in less than 2.8 seconds and offers an average standard fuel consumption of between 3.0 and 3.3 liters per100 kilometers.

The 918 Spyder combines a combustion engine with an electric motor-based drive to further optimize the dynamic performance of the vehicle.

More 918 Spyder technical details will be revealed in Frankfurt.

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Sport quattro Celebrated With Audi Sport quattro Concept PHEV

In celebration of the 30th birthday of the Sport quattro, Audi will present what it calls its legitimate successor at the 2013 IAA in Frankfurt, the Audi Sport quattro concept show car.

The Audi Sport quattro concept show car continues, according to Audi, the grand quattro tradition, with a coupe design and plug-in hybrid powertrain providing a total of 700 horsepower.

In Audi’s world, quattro is more than just a technology – quattro is a philosophy. Audi said the term stands for driving safety and sportiness, technical competence and a dynamic approach to life.

Since the debut of the “Ur-quattro” in 1980, Audi has sold more than five million cars with permanent all-wheel drive.

One legendary Audi classic is the Sport quattro, which made its debut at the 1983 IAA and was designed as a homologation model for the World Rally Championship. With 306 horsepower and many technical innovations, it was considered a supercar in its day.

Audi_Sport_quattro_Concept_rearqThe short wheelbase, which transformed the handling, gave the Sport quattro an unmistakable look. The competition car wrote racing history: Walter Röhrl drove it to a convincing victory in the 1987 Pike’s Peak International Hill Climb in Colorado, U.S.A.

In the spirit of this previous performance, the plug-in hybrid drive contributes to make the Audi Sport quattro concept a breathtakingly dynamic coupe. Total system output is 700 hp and torque stands at 590.05 pound-feet. Power is transmitted through a modified eight-speed tiptronic transmission to the quattro powertrain, which features a sport differential on the rear axle.

Audi said that according to the applicable standard, the show car consumes on average 2.5 liters of fuel per 100 kilometers (94.09 US mpg).

The combustion engine known as 4.0 TFSI is a four-liter, twin-turbo V8. It produces by itself 560 hp and 516.29 pound-feet of torque. Cylinder on demand (COD), which deactivates four cylinders under part load, and a start-stop system contribute to the efficiency of the engine.

Located between the 4.0 TFSI gasoline engine and the transmission is a disc-shaped electric motor producing 110 kilowatt and 295.02 pound-feet of torque. Audi revealed it draws its traction energy from a liquid-cooled lithium-ion battery located in the rear with a capacity of 14.1 kilowatt-hour.

The Audi Sport quattro concept can cover up to 50 kilometers (31.07 miles) on electric power alone, per Audi; an intelligent management system controls the interplay between the two drives as needed, and the driver can choose between various operating modes.

A choice of three modes is available. EV mode is for purely electric driving; Hybrid mode for maximum efficiency and Sport mode for maximum performance.

In EV mode, only the electric motor is active. With a peak electric output of 110 kilowatt and 295.02 lb-ft of torque, electric driving both inside and outside the city is possible. An active accelerator indicates the transition to hybrid operation to the driver so that he/she can consciously control the switch between electric and hybrid vehicle.

In Hybrid mode, environmental and route data are used to compute the optimal use of the electric motor and combustion engine for fuel efficiency and implement this via the operating strategy. If navigation is active, the route is optimized for efficiency. This mode also includes the ability to customize the operating strategy. If the driver wants to retain a certain amount of electric range or to drive certain route segments on electric power, they can use the Hold or Charge function to precisely adjust the charge of the battery even without charging from the power grid.

In Sport mode, the operating strategy sets the drive system for maximum power and performance. The electric boost function supports the combustion engine in all driving situations. The energy management system ensures that the battery always has sufficient charge.

Audi said that when the V8 and the electric motor work together, the Audi Sport quattro concept accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 3.7 seconds – much like the powerful Audi rally cars once did. Its top speed is 305 km/h (189.52 mph).

Audi explained the lightweight construction concept also plays a large part in this dynamic performance. The occupant cell combines ultra-high-strength steel panels and cast aluminum structural elements. The doors and fenders are made of aluminum, and the roof, the engine hood and the rear hatch are made of carbon fiber-reinforced polymer.

The result is a curb weight including the battery pack of 1,850 kilograms (4,078.55 pounds).

With a wheelbase of 2,784 millimeters (109.61 in), it is 4,602 millimeters (181.18 in) long; width stands at 1,964 millimeters (77.32 in), and very low at 1,386 millimeters (54.57 in).

Like the original Audi Sport quattro, the Audi Sport quattro concept was designed in the spirit of racing. For Audi, none of its design solutions are an end unto themselves.

Several of these design solutions are, per Audi, an homage to the quattro models of the early 1980s. These include the angular, flat C-pillars and the rectangular double headlights featuring Audi’s groundbreaking Matrix LED technology, which will be available by the end of this year in the refreshed Audi A8.

Two very flat structures are visible inside the headlight. The wrap-around daytime running lights together with the central low-beam units and the Audi Matrix LED make for a sporty, determined look. The headlights and tail lights are a reinterpretation of lightweight construction. The headlights forsake fascia, exposing the LED heat sinks, while the tail lights reduce glass and housing to a minimum.

The LED high-beam unit of the Audi Matrix LED headlights is comprised of numerous individual diodes. The individual LEDs, which work in tandem with upstream lenses and reflectors, always deliver excellent illumination. They are activated, deactivated or dimmed individually according to the situation. With the number of LEDs, their arrangement and the size and design of the headlights, the new technology offers many fascinating possibilities.


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Lotus Says Bulleta RF22 is “Vapor” or In Other Words, BS [Update: Bulleta Motors Responds]

Do you remember the Bulleta RF22 sports car project based on the underpinnings of the Lotus Evora, pictures of which we showed you last Friday? Some of you questioned the legitimacy of the concept and if we are to believe Lotus, you were very right to do so.

Besides the fact that the site has gone offline, now prompting a suspicious download, [edit, it's back online again] we received an email message from Kevin Smith, Lotus Cars USA Marketing and PR Communications Executive, in which he eloquently places the project on its deathbed even before its birth…

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Admired BMW Alpina Reminds Us of Previous Owner

Bob Murphy is a bit of a legend among BMW 2002 Tii enthusiasts, but his car might be even more of a legend. Bob outfitted the meticulously maintained 1974 BMW 2002 Tii with some of the best and most rare parts from two rare 2002 models: the 2002 Turbo and the Alpina A4S. After all this time and work, it shocked the community when, in 2008, Bob put his 2002 up for sale after 33 years of ownership and with only 26,326 miles on the odometer.

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Chevy Cruze and VW Jetta Diesel Models’ Driving Range Claims are Put to the Test

The main incentive towards buying a diesel-burning car is to reap the efficiency benefits it brings along (not this one, though). Moreover, there’s the advantage of excellent low- and mid-range pulling power, and the newfound silent running characteristics of the latest-generation units, two of which are found under the bonnets of the Chevy Cruze 2.0TD and Volkswagen Jetta TDI. Read more »
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Bentley Previews 521HP Continental GT V8 S ahead of Frankfurt Show [w/Videos]

The V8 range of the latest Bentley Continental has been enhanced with a new top version that adds the letter “S” to the model’s name. Available as both a coupe and convertible, the Continental GT V8 S come with the most powerful version of the twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V8 engine, rated at 521 hp (528PS) and 680 Nm (502 lb-ft) of torque. That is 21 hp (27PS) and 20 Nm (15 lb-ft) more than the standard Continental GT V8. Read more »
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Audi Sport quattro Concept: Not Imaginary This Time?

The last Audi quattro concept was brilliant: dashing lines, furious power, low weight. But despite hints that it might see production, nothing ever came of the car. That may change. It may not change, too. But here we have the new Audi Sport quattro concept, previewed ahead of its Frankfurt auto show debut, where it will once again tempt our souls...
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