Rohan

A wanderlust, a foodie, an amateur photographer and a die hard automobile enthusiast. Gifted with the art of playing with words (and sentences) I've been writing (initially started with satirical writing) for a couple of years. Meet me on a good day and i'll definitely narrate my story (with a cup of tea and hopefully some delicious pakoda's) on how writing scripted my life. Happy reading :)

Best Hybrid Electric cars

Ever wonder what it’d be like to own a hybrid or an EV (Electric Vehicle)? Here’s your chance to view, visualize and may be drive a car based on your choice. There are plenty of Hybrid electric cars in the market but, have you wondered which car is the best bet for your money? Here’s an article that saves you all the trouble of collecting vital information about the car you want to buy, the following article will give you a clear picture on the best and top rated reliable hybrid electric cars in the year 2016-17.

While saving all the theatrics, this article focuses on the vital features of the car, its long-term usage and its impact on your wallet.

6. Audi A3-E-tron:

If the brand name isn’t enough, this car is a beauty. Mighty power combined with pure performance and infused with a eco-friendly blend of hybrid power, this Hatchback is set to thrill. In all fairness, albeit its EPA rating of 83-86 MPGe, the vehicle averages out fairly with 45-50 MPGe and still gets the better out of its competition.

Key features:

To start with, the E-tron comes powered with a 1.4-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine that powers up 204 hp with 258 lb-ft of torque with a grizzly 6-speed automatic transmission. You can go berserk with the Audi yet respect nature. The car is priced at an onward tag of $ 39,850/- and is spacious enough for 5-passengers.

5. Chevrolet Volt:

Chevy Volt has built a pretty eco befriending image and it also makes this car pretty fun to drive despite the differences of opinions. This car without range anxiety of pure electric vehicles comes with a gasoline-hybrid power train that offers impeccable all-electric range with greater efficiency and improved acceleration. The car clocks in a 58 MPGe.

 Key features:

Priced at $ 34,085, its engine is capable of churning out 194 Hp with a top speed of 104 mph and that’s not at all bad if you’d want to go places.

4. Ford C-Max:

When you count in a hybrid, do consider a Ford. Ford’s C-Max is one such example of a hybrid that combines class and eco-friendliness. The vehicle is pretty much a conventional hatchback.

Key Features:

The C-Max comes with a DOHC 16-valve Atkinson-cycle 2.0 –liter inline-4 141 hp producing engine with 129 lb-ft permanent magnet synchronous AC electric motor. The vehicle comes with an EPA of 40-42/36-37 mpg. The C-Max is priced at $ 25,045/-.

3. Lexus CT 200 H:

If you’re into the relentless pursuit of fuel efficiency—but you can’t take the doorstop style of the Toyota Prius—the CT200h may be what you seek. Utilizing the same hybrid-power train technology as the Prius, the CT200h offers excellent fuel economy and a more stylish and luxurious interior. Not surprisingly, with a total of 134 hp on hand, the CT200h is painfully slow.

Key Features:

The vehicle comes with a DOHC 16-valve Atkinson-cycle 1.8-liter inline-4, 98 hp, 105 lb-ft; permanent-magnet synchronous AC electric motor, 80 hp, 153 lb-ft; combined power rating, 134 hp; 1.3-kWh nickel-metal-hydride battery pack. The car has an economy of 43/40 Mpg and comes with a tag of $ 32,300/-.

2. Honda CR-Z:

Honda’s CR-Z is a pretty ambitious attempt at making a sporty hybrid and this comes infused with adventurous styling and much more than meets the eye. The good news is that it’s the only hybrid car that comes without a manual. It has a 6-speed transmission but the bad news is that this car clocks a speed of just 130 hp. It also has a 1.5 liter 4-cylinder that pairs with an electric motor and has an EPA rating of 36-39 with optional CVT.

Key features:

The car has standard features including Bluetooth capacity, Automatic climate control and cruise control. It tags a price of $ 21,130/- and has a 1.5 liter 4-cylinder engine with 130 hp along with 6-speed manual transmission.

1. Toyota Prius Prime:

The name Prius is sure to pop up when a hybrid is involved. Reason you ask? Is there a better hybrid out there? Perhaps not, and now people have a better option than to go in for the conventional Prius. Introducing the Prius Pime, a plug-in hybrid that comes with an electric motos and a 4-cylinder gas engine team with a larger battery than the regular prius.

 Key features:

The Prius Prime has the capacity of yielding up to 25 miles of electric-only range; its 124 MPGe rating beats the Chevy Volt’s 106 MPGe. An 11.6-inch touch screen infotainment system is standard. Behind the wheel, the Prius Prime feels quite nimble, smoothly taking curves; its ride is compliant, too, and its steering is among the best, hybrid or not. Its priced at $ 27,965 and carries a 1.8 liter 4 cylinder engine with  121 Hp along with CVT transmission along with 105 lb-ft of torque.

Bottom Line:

These are by far the best and the most reliable Hybrid electric cars out there. If you think otherwise, please drop in your views 🙂

Alternative fuels and fuel-powered vehicles

Fuel isn’t getting any cheaper but with the rise in population, there is plenty of demand for vehicles. While there are various alternative fuels, alternative vehicles to gasoline, there are hybrids, electric cars too. But, what if there were cars that run on alternative fuels that sound too wacky to be true? Sounds like I’m goofing around right? But, the following article speaks otherwise. You’re sure to be baffled and stunned after reading the various alternative sources that can power vehicle.

With the price of $ 4.00 a gallon, gas prices aren’t a distant memory and hence alternative fuels are all the rage to cut expenditures. What would happen if the vehicles ran out of the existing fuels, how would travel be possible then? Between hydrogen fuel cells, bio diesel, electricity and compressed air, the industrialized world is hard at work creating the next generation of non-oil consuming vehicles. These new, eco-friendly chariots deserve at least as much attention and fanfare as the fuels that power them, especially these 7 models that are certainly worth propagating.

7. Hydrogen fuel cells:

Hydrogen powered cars… Hmmmm, why didn’t I think of that? Well, anyways the prospect of hydrogen-powered cars has been enticing eco-friendly motorists for years. In fact, car-makers are grappling with a whole host of technical challenges to efficiently store hydrogen in a vehicle or how to prevent it from freezing and/or catching fire and this has not stopped the creation process of fuel-efficient, hydrogen-powered proof of concept cars. Mercedes Benz is one such company that has taken that one extra step to bring out a luxuriant bad boy into the market with a hefty price tag.

6. Compressed air:

Compressed air? You’ve got to be kidding, or may be not. This is quite tantalizing among all other alternate fuel sources because its Compressed AIR!!.  That’s pretty much what it takes to get this car on the go. The concept was designed by French engineers and was supposed to be available to American drivers by 2010. The AIRPOD works on a similar concept and albeit its challenges, it is noteworthy. The concept that was designed on compressed air required nothing more than compressed air to cruise around at the speed of 35 MPG. The advantage is that this car is supposedly an affordable one and is to bag a price tag of $ 20,000/-.

5. Vegetable Oil:

This is a drool worthy concept to environmentalists and tree huggers. The idea of developing a car that runs on Vegetable oil seems pretty wacky to say the least. Ever since the idea was first proposed, the reality is pretty much in existence from its proposed state. Experts at Volkswagen have developed with their clean conscience a bio diesel-powered beetle and this requires very little waiting time. There is a fleet readily available for sale/rent. HQ in Maui, this is the nation’s first ever Bio-Beetle, so yaay for environmentalists.

4. Ethanol

Most of us are already using ethanol in our vehicles, as federal law requires a certain percentage of it to be in the gasoline we buy. But by 2010, Suzuki Motor Company begin selling cars that are completely, 100% powered by it. Where’s the car if its real you ask?

There’s a picture below that proves the point. The first ever car to run on this technology was the E25 sedan that was to go on sale in Brazil.

 

3. H20 (Gulp!! Yes, you read that right…WATER!!)

Japanese car (called the Genepax) can travel roughly 80 kilometers per hour, for an hour, on just one liter of water as its fuel source. Hydrogen electrons from water power this car in order to produce electricity that in turn is used to power up this car. To all the critics who so dismissively assumed no car could ever run on water, the Genepax is a most welcome retort!  Meanwhile, there is another car being developed in India by a small autopreneur who is using a similar concept.

2. Electrical power

Bzzrrrttt, hell yeah!! If a car can run on veggie oil, why not electricity? Believe you me, this is possible and this is no fantasy. There is a vehicle that has been designed by the French automaker we all love (Peugeot) who conceptualized this car and this car looks pretty space age-ish with its flaunt worthy 2 seats and such. Its 2 huge front wheels can also rotate at different speeds and swivel a full 360 degrees. There has been no announcement on when this car would come to reality, but doesn’t just reading all of this motivate you? I sure am!!

1. Wood pellets (aka Biomass)

“How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?”

If the above astonishments haven’t taken you by surprise, then how about a dose of wood? The car pictured here literally rubs on wooden pellets. That’s right – essentially the same thing one might burn in a wood stove or campfire for heat is what powers this rugged, outdoors-y vehicle. Its all part of what is known as biomass, a catchall term referring to living and recently dead biological material that can be used as fuel.

Bottom Line:

Hope these alternative sources have blown your mind, if not try some vegetable oil 😛

 

2016 BMW X5 xDrive40e

BMW is a known player in the field of plug-in hybrid vehicles or PHEVs. After having debuted its super fabulous i8 super car in the year 2014, the bars have certainly been raised and now its time to perform better. Its 2016 and the market demands more, owing to change in the trends and preferences, the company has launched the X5 xDrive40e series that also happens to be BMW’s 1st non i-brand PHEV. This also entails upon the German automaker’s entry into the small yet expanding luxury PHEV SUV segment. Albeit it’s new entry, the xDrive40e is built on the tried and true X5 car platform.

This is reminiscent of the X5 that was one of the first luxury SUV’s that had debuted around 17 years ago and now the X5 xDrive 40e takes the same tradition that involved combining sophisticated utility along with fun, performance along with standard all-wheel drive together in one fat and luxurious package. BMW adds to this limited electric-only operation via a lithium-ion battery pack and emission-free operation—but it all comes at a premium price.

What powers this machine?

The 2016 BMW X5 xdrive 40e comes with a 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder gasoline powered engine that has 240 HP power and an additional 111-horse power electric motor. The total power generated by this beast is 308 Hp and that’s no joke. Power is sent to all four wheels via an eight-speed automatic transmission with Sport and Manual shift modes.

Interiors and features:

In terms of features, this vehicle comes equipped with xenon adaptive headlights with dynamic auto-leveling along with Corona rings, LED fog lights, hill descent control, adaptive cruise control, power-folding and heated side mirrors, four-way power-adjustable front seats with lumbar support and driver’s seat memory functions, keyless entry and ignition, a sliding panoramic moon-roof with a power interior sunshade, front and rear parking sensors, and interior ambient lighting. On the tech side, you get the BMW Assist tele-matics system, Bluetooth for phone and audio, BMW Online and BMW Apps connectivity, the iDrive infotainment interface with a touchpad controller, a navigation system with a 10.2-inch display and real-time traffic information, 3D maps, and a 200GB hard drive.

The standard audio system features CD/DVD, AM/FM HD Radio, satellite radio, USB, aux-in, and 20GB of storage for audio files. Special PHEV tech includes BMW eDrive with range and charging-status display, charging station search, charging timer, and cabin preconditioning via the My BMW Remote app.

The M Sport trim adds 20-inch M wheels, an aerodynamic kit, special exterior trim, an M steering wheel with paddle shifters, aluminum roof rails, multi-contoured front seats, interior wood trim, and an anthracite headliner.

How technically sound is this car?

The biggest technical advantage of the BMW X5 x Drive 40 e is the PHEV technology that comes on board. An eDrive button in the center console is used to click through the power train settings. The default Auto mode allows the gas engine and electric drive systems to work together, while Max locks the vehicle into all-electric mode until the battery is depleted. There’s also a Save Battery setting that conserves the battery’s energy for Max use later. There is an iDriver controller and a touch pad on top that although takes some getting used to but it’s a nice and convenient management option. As with all BMWs, the xDrive40e uses hybrid connectivity, so some features are available via an embedded SIM card, such as online search, while others, like several streaming music services, are delivered through the BMW Apps platform and your smart phone.

 

Pricing:

Getting onto the most essential part of this article, the pricing. In terms of pricing, the 2016 BMW X5 xdrive 40e comes with an introductory price of $ 62,000 and comes available in various trims. Pay an extra $ 1100 and get the luxury line, while the xLine is priced at $ 2000 extra. The Sports costs $ 4350 more. The additional accessories carry a separate price tag in case you require any of them.

Performance:

In terms of performance, the xDrive40e offers superb spirited performance that comes with quick acceleration and incredible handling. A point to be noted is that this car only has a minimum of 14 miles of electric-only range and has a fuel economy of 25 mpg on highways. It takes around 3 hours to charge the battery with the 3.6 kW onboard charger with 240-volt. While the factory-supplied 120-volt charging cord that plugs into any standard wall socket takes about seven hours to recharge a completely depleted battery. That’s sadly a turnoff for electric cars.

Bottom Line:

The main question arises that is this vehicle worth the money and is the worth spending 60K+ on? Well, if you take plenty of short trips in electric-only mode, the vehicle would be a safe bet.

 

 

Mercedes-Benz GLE 550e — Hybrid thrill

Its up up & away for Mercedes, the company’s famous model named GLE 550e is getting an overhaul and the company’s recent announcement on the 2017 model that’s a plug-in hybrid is great news for buyers. The GLE 550 e that’s confusingly carries the 500 e badge in Europe is here to make an impression. The world premier is expected soon at the New York International Auto Show.

Until recent times, luxury SUV’s along with plugging in options did not really go well. Yet, with the introduction of the 2015 Porsche Cayenne S E-Hybrid, the upcoming 2016 BMW X5 xDrive40e, and soon the 2016 Mercedes-Benz GLE550e Plug-In Hybrid, this corner of the market has entirely changed.

All three offer a modest range of around 20 miles of all-electric driving, as part of multi-mode hybrid systems that aim to provide performance that’s as quick—or quicker—than their base gasoline counterparts. Mercedes is not only giving its competitors a sweat, the car will be the third plug-in hybrid to be added to the Mercedes-Benz model range. The GLE550e follows the 2015 Mercedes-Benz S550 Plug-In Hybrid and the 2016 C350e, and it will be followed by at least one more plug-in hybrid—a version of the new 2016 GLC (GLK replacement)—in the near future, likely for the 2017 model year.

Lets take a closer look at this vehicle shall we?

Engine:

The GLE 550 e is likely to be equipped with V6 gas engine and a seven-speed automatic transmission, combined with an electric motor for total system power of 436 hp, 479 ft lbs of torque and of course it’s AWD. Its Electric motor is only 85 kW (340 Nm), although according to Mercedes-Benz, that’s strong enough to reach 130 km/h (80 mph) in all-electric mode. The relatively small battery pack of 8.8 kWh can be recharged in two hours, but electric range is stated at just 30 km (19 miles). If you often use all-electric mode, fuel economy could be 3.3-l/100 km (over 70 mpg). The GLE 550e 4Matic with plug-in hybrid drive combines the power and refinement of a V8 but consumes fuel of a 3-liter car and carries the versatility of a premium SUV.

The car has a selector switch on the center console and the instrument cluster that offers the driver a choice between four specific operating modes:

  1. HYBRID: The system control automatically selects the most sensible operating mode with combustion engine and/or electric motor for optimizing the overall energy balance.
  2. E-Mode: This happens to be the all-electric drive.
  3. E-Save: this mode preserves the current state of charge of the battery to be able to drive on all-electric power at a later time, for example in urban traffic
  4. Charge: Battery is charged while driving and when the vehicle is stationary.

 

The compact hybrid module is fully integrated into the seven-speed 7G-TRONIC PLUS automatic transmission. The electrical energy is stored in a lithium-ion battery with energy content of 8.8 kWh, which can be recharged using public charging stations, the wall box charger at home or on a conventional 220-volt power outlet. The charging time using the wall box charger or the charging station is around two hours.

IDS Management:

IDS or Intelligent drive system management is perhaps one of the best strategies adopted by Mercedes. The strategy for efficient driving has always been anticipatory driving without unnecessary braking and accelerating. This is even more important in a hybrid model: because braking maneuvers serve not only to deliver deceleration, but are also used to recover kinetic energy. The route or the traffic also has influence on the most efficient charging and discharging of the high-voltage battery. For this reason the intelligent drive system management aids the driver with specific control strategies in adopting the most efficient driving style.” This strategy is sure to bring a competitive edge over the other manufacturers.

Inside the Merc:

On the inside, the GLE 550e is pretty spacious, with second-row seats that would be plenty comfortable for adults on long trips. The one thing that isn’t offered in the GLE is a third row; you’ll need to move up to the GL—due to be re-launched late this year as the GLS—for that. And we’ll have to assume at some point that a GLS plug-in is in the works, too. With the perfect combination of luxury, technology, elegance and plenty more, this is one heck of a ride.

Bottom Line:

Technology mated with fine luxury is what the current market demands and Mercedes seems to fulfill that promise quite well.

 

Ford C-Max Energi: This vehicle has all the energy to keep you going

There are those who love nature and then there are those who don’t care much about it. Its good to know that there are people who would like to do something good for the environment.  It isn’t a doubt that Toyota Prius has done pretty well as it can’t be confused for a gas only car. Ford had decided to take that to another level in the U.S simply by releasing the hybrid and plug-in C-Max. The model itself is available in Europe with gasoline and diesel-only power plants. The C-Max dates back to 2003 in Europe but until it got a facelift in 2007 and it is now known as Ford Focus C-Max. The name change came when ford decided that it wanted to have “Max” branded line of multi-purpose vehicles. The first plug-in energy back was introduced to North American International Auto Show in 2011. In the year 2013, the company launched a 5-seater model. Initially there was to be a 7-seater variant in the U.S but those plans were eventually cancelled before the launch. Ford C-Max Hybrid and C-Max Energi are practically the same in most aspects, but the Energi has a much larger battery pack than its hybrid brethren – allowing it to achieve electric-only operation and higher fuel economy numbers. Let’s take a deeper look at the 2016 Ford C-Max Energi.

Outside:

U.S of A isn’t really used to seeing car’s that carry the design shape of the C-max. The styling of the C-Max Enerji is quite popular in various other markets.

The vehicle is built on the same architecture of the focus but it is about 8-inches taller and this makes it look a little weird. The facelift version has done the C-Max a lot of justice compared to other models. The company attached a hexagonal grille later that other Ford models have and the headlights have been revised to give it a sleeker and a pointed look. The vehicle comes in a plentitude of colors such as Ingot silver, Kona Blue, Magnetic, Tectonic, Shadow black and Oxford white. There are a few optional colors include white platinum for a $595 premium and ruby red for a $395 premium. Additionally, the vehicle comes with a reverse sensing system, remote start, 17-inch, 15-spoke alloy wheels are all standard across other models too. It also has options such as bumper protection inserts with splashguards, hands free powered lift gate along with free powered lift gate and panoramic fixed glass roof with rear view camera.

Inside:

The vehicle comes with a leather interior that is available in Charcoal Black or medium Light Stone. It also has standard features that include leather-trimmed seats, Ambient lighting on the door panels and under the dash, Sync 3 infotainment system, Sirius XM radio and heated seats. Optional upgrades include Sony Audio with Sync 3, HD radio and navigation, or a premium Audio and Navigation package that also include voice activation and Sirius XM travel. All-weather rubber mats can be optioned for $175 extra, and a charge cord bag can be picked up for an extra $65.

Drive train:

The C-Max Energi is equipped with the same 2.0-liter, Atkinson-Cycle, four-cylinder engine as the standard C-Max Hybrid. It is mated to an electronic CVT transmission and puts out 141 horsepower and 129 pound-feet of torque. In the C-Max, engine only operation brings fuel economy ratings of 40 mpg in the city and 36 mpg on the highway – leading to a combined rating of 38 mpg.

The Energi model uses a permanent magnet AC synchronous motor, but on the energy, a 7.6KWh lithium-ion battery powers it. When running in charge sustain mode the battery has a peak of 35 KW, but in charge depletion mode, the battery is capable of putting out 68 KW. When plugged into a standard 120-volt outlet, it takes about seven hours to fully charge the battery. On a 240-volt plug, it takes just 2.5 hours.

Price:

The main crux of this article is how much this vehicle worth. Well, the C-Max starts out at $31,770 before options, registration, and fees. That is a $4,600 premium over the Hybrid SEL trim and a $7,600 premium of the Standard Hybrid SE model. Fully Equipped with all options (including the $595 white-platinum paint) the Energi tops out at $38,565.

Bottom Line:

The Ford C-Max Energi is a pretty good car built for sustainability, performance and longevity. You’d definitely like this car for what its worth and if you wish to go premium on the color, you can choose the premium white platinum paint and stand out in the crowd.

2016 Porsche Cayenne Hybrid and Porsche Panamera Hybrid

You just know it when you see a Porsche, your heart thumps more than it ordinarily does. One such vehicle that goes beastly on the roads and gentle on Mother Nature is the Porsche Cayenne Hybrid 2016 edition. With notable looks, sumptuous interiors and an outstanding driving experience, here is a detailed analysis on the 2016 Porsche Cayenne Hybrid. This is no simple car folks, this car’s performance, quality and technology contributed to its prestigious 2016 Best Luxury Brand Award.

No ordinary performance:

The 2016 Porsche Cayenne Hybrid is plenty powerful for a luxury SUV. It has a 3.0-liter V6 engine and an electric motor, which produce a combined 416 horsepower. The  2016 BMW X5,  in comparison, is rated at only 300 horsepower. It is said that the Cayenne Hybrid has quick acceleration and ample power, and some think it’s nearly as muscular as the gas-only Cayenne, particularly when in Sport mode. However, Only one transmission is available – the eight-speed Tiptronic automatic. Its shifts are lightning fast and well timed. You can also pick your own gear using paddle shifters on the steering wheel or the gear selector’s manual mode. All-wheel drive is standard. It’s a fun and sporty plug-in hybrid, tuned with driving enthusiasts especially in mind. But don’t be misled by the hybrid label: The Cayenne Hybrid isn’t the vehicle to pick if you’re looking to lower your carbon footprint with a fuel-efficient vehicle. Though a few electric-only miles can be extracted, the Cayenne Hybrid’s fuel economy is paltry compared to other hybrid vehicles. Instead, the most impressive advantage of the electric motor comes into play during extreme acceleration, when it helps launch this midsize hybrid SUV to 60 mph in only 5.4 seconds.

Porsche Panamera:

The Porsche Panamera starts off its range with the 310-horsepower base V6 to the ballistic 570-hp Turbo S), eco-friendliness (there’s a plug-in hybrid model), poor-weather friendliness (all-wheel drive is available) and interior space (regular and “Executive” extended-wheelbase models). And then there’s the abundant equipment. Although the Panamera boasts more standard features than the typical Porsche sports car at the right amount of money.

 

Luxury on the Inside:

This is perhaps the most ultimate luxury of now. The Porsche Cayenne Hybrid is designed with exquisite craftsmanship and posh materials. The cabin is full of leather, which wraps the seats, center console, gear selector, and door handles. More than two dozen options are available if you want even more leather in your Cayenne Hybrid cabin. Surfaces that aren’t covered in leather are finished in soft-touch materials, or you can upgrade your accents to carbon fiber, brushed aluminum, or one of four natural woods that include yachting mahogany too. This vehicle not only looks luxurious, its uber comfortable as well. Its front seats look stunning and come with eight-way power adjustments and rear seats that slide and recline. To spoil yourself and your passengers even further, add on heated seats throughout, ventilated front seats, or sport seats with 18-way power adjustments. There is even enough room in the back seats for adults. If that’s not it, the car has a power moon roof, rain sensing wipers, heated exterior mirrors and a power lift gate.

In terms of cargo space and storage, the Cayenne Hybrid has 20.5 cubic feet of cargo space. Fold these seats down, and space expands to 59.7 cubic feet. Sadly, the Cayenne hybrid has lesser cargo space than its rivals. This is one space where the competitors get roomier than the Cayenne Hybrid. The rear seats in the Cayenne Hybrid are split 40/20/40, which grant you a little extra leeway when configuring your cargo area. These seats don’t fold flat though.

Pan into Panamera:

The base rear-wheel-drive Panamera and all-wheel-drive Panamera 4 are powered by a V6 and include 18-inch wheels, automatic bi-xenon headlights, LED running lights, front and rear parking sensors, power-folding and auto-dimming mirrors, automatic wipers, cruise control, a sunroof, a power lift gate, dual-zone automatic climate control, heated eight-way power front seats, partial leather upholstery, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel and a 60/40-split rear seatback.

 

 

 Cayenne’s Prime technology:

Innovation is definitely in this ride and the cayenne hybrid hosts a plethora of innovative technologies. To start with, the car has Porsche Communication Management (PCM) that is the brand’s innovative infotainment platform. In addition it has navigation, and communication functions with one tap that has swipe, pinch, and rotate menus on the 7-inch touch screen. PCM even offers additional menus when it senses your finger near an area of the screen. This system also features Bluetooth connectivity, a USB port, an auxiliary port, and a hard drive navigation module. After a short initiation, PCM is easy to use, without the lag that some interfaces struggle with. This car has an abundance of buttons, if you’re not into buttons, you will dislike this car. They adorn the steering wheel, border the touch screen, and completely cover the center stack. The value of this design decision depends on how you prefer to interact with your vehicle. If you enjoy the one-stop infotainment center, the number of redundant buttons may seem excessive. On the other hand, if you like the eyes-free convenience of a button, or if touch screens in general make you cringe, you won’t be tied to the PCM when driving a Cayenne Hybrid. You need to know the placement of buttons because it would definitely make you feel like a pilot in the cockpit.

Panamera Technology:

Standard tech features include a navigation system, a 7-inch central touchscreen, smartphone app integration, Bluetooth connectivity and an 11-speaker sound system with satellite and HD radios, an auxiliary audio jack, a USB port and a media player interface. The Edition trims add special badging and design cues, the Turbo’s 19-inch wheels, two-tone leather upholstery, a power-adjustable sport steering wheel, 10-way power front seats with four-way lumbar adjustment and memory functions and heated rear seats. Other than the design elements, this equipment is optional on other Panamera models.

Cayenne Pricing:

The vehicle comes in 1 trim level; the Cayenne S E Hybrid. Even without any extra add-ons, the base model is equipped with plenty of high-end comforts, as you would expect when spending almost $80,000 on a vehicle with the Porsche badge. If you still want more, Porsche offers three different packages to augment your interior or your performance.

Panamera Pricing:

Panamera is priced competitively albeit the competition. The vehicle ranges between $ 97,000 to $ 120,000/-.

Bottom Line:

If you’re into technology and wish to be on the greener side of the roads and life, The Cayenne Hybrid you’d want in your garage.

Meanwhile, if you’re into sports cars and live on the edge and pay a little attention to green cars, then the Panamera from Porsche is your bet.

 

Kia boosting hybrid; electric rides by 2020

Kia is increasing its plans to get into the market and it is continuing its plans to significantly increase the number of green cars in its future lineup. The company is the child company of Hyundai and they hope to become the second biggest seller of green cars worldwide after Toyota.  This is going to involve more hybrids, plug-in hybrids, battery-electric cars and some hydrogen fuel-sell cars.

Michael Cole, in a tellurian lineup’s European trainer pronounced, “the sum will embody new variants of existent models, such as a hybrid chronicle of a Kia Optima hire automobile sole in Europe, and a plug-in hybrid chronicle of a Niro hybrid application vehicle”.

The total of this is going to include a new variant of existing models, such as a hybrid version of the Kia Optima station wagon sold in Europe, and a plug-in hybrid version of the Niro Hybrid utility vehicle. Its hybrid and plug-in hybrid power trains are lifted from the Hyundai Sonata, which shares a platform with the Optima.

In 2016 Chicago Auto Show, the Niro is Kia’s first dedicated hybrid model and Kia calls it a crossover, but the Niro’s styling is somewhere between wagon and SUV, and it will launch with only front-wheel drive available. The Soul EV will most likely be the only battery-electric model for now. The electric version of the funky compact Soul is only sold at certain dealers in the U.S states deemed by Kia to be sufficiently electric-car-friendly. European boss Cole also said Kia will launch its first production hydrogen fuel-cell car “around 2020.”

The proposal suggests that the new model would likely use the second-generation fuel-cell power train being developed for parent Hyundai’s next hydrogen model. The next fuel cell Hyundai is expected to roll out in time for the 2018 Winter Olympics, which are to be held in South Korea. A Kia variant would likely follow, though little else is known about it at this point. Hyundai has hinted that its next fuel-cell vehicle will be another crossover, replacing the current Tucson Fuel Cell.

Kia may follow Hyundai’s lead and offer a fuel-cell crossover as well, but no details about the model have been confirmed.

Meanwhile, the launch of the Hyundai Ioniq hatchback with hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and battery-electric power trains will likely go a long way toward meeting Hyundai/Kia’s ambitious green-car goal.

Here’s and example as to how Kia is setting up measures of creating hybrids, the 2017 Kia Niro cuts a fine example on how the strategy is working slowly but on the right track.

 The 2017 Kia Niro:

The 2017 Kia Niro is a dedicated subcompact hybrid crossover; the only one on the market, and it offers a good way to combine high fuel efficiency with ever-more-popular crossover styling.

The 2017 Kia Niro breaks new ground as the first dedicated hybrid crossover SUV–which is to say, there’s no gasoline-only Niro. It joins the world’s limited roster of dedicated hybrids, which is headed by the Toyota Prius, now in its fourth generation. The latest entry besides the Niro is the Hyundai Ioniq hatchback, which shares underpinnings with the new Niro.

Given the surging popularity of car-based crossover utility vehicles, the subcompact Niro may find an audience among buyers of small SUVs who want high fuel efficiency–Kia is targeting an EPA rating of 50 mpg combined–but avoid conventional hatchbacks. While the newest Kia has a crossover shape, however, Kia has not yet mentioned offering all-wheel drive–but we suspect it’s on the way. And for the smallest SUVs, often used mostly in cities, that may not be as much of a drawback as for larger family haulers.

The lines of the Kia Niro neatly split the difference between what could be considered a conventional wagon and a genuine utility vehicle. It’s just thick enough through the cowl and front end to qualify as a sleek crossover, led off by the characteristic Kia grille and etched in smoothly rounded lines. Think of it as a sleeker, butcher version of the similarly sized Kia Soul tall wagon, if you like.

 

Power train:

That power train uses a 103-horsepower direct-injected 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine, running on the ultra-efficient Atkinson Cycle, combined with the company’s own six-speed dual-clutch transmission. In between those two components, a 32-kilowatt (43-hp) electric motor contributes its own torque and can propel the car on its own under some driving conditions. Kia quotes combined power output at 146 hp and 195 lb-ft of torque. The company said its “strong and confident” look is atypical of dedicated hybrids, and indeed there’s almost nothing in its lines to indicate the advanced powertrain underneath. Despite the crossover shape, though, Kia says careful aerodynamic work has reduced the drag coefficient to 0.29, low for any kind of utility vehicle.

Bottom Line:

Kia seems like a pretty confident brand guided by its parent company, Hyundai. The company seems to have plenty of promise and potential that should give a boost of hybrid cars by the year 2020.

Mc laren P1: A Formidable Electric beast

Cars fulfill various purposes and then there are those that are meant for something else. This article deals with the latter.

The Mc laren P1 is probably the best driver’s car in the world and this article is intended on proving why. Although it isn’t necessarily the loudest, the most technically dazzling, the lightest or the most powerful, its just the best and the most rewarding supercar to drive on the road and probably the most frequent on a circuit. The McLaren hinted on he next hyper car, a fully-electric car at the Geneva Motor show.

The McLaren is designed to perfection with carbon fibre- chassis racing cars since the MP4/1 of 1981 and has made only composite cars since. The inspiration behind the Mercedes Benz SLR Mclaren in 2003 came from F1.

Design:

The vehicle’s carbon fiber bodywork sits over a composite mono-coque whose central tub weighs just 90 kilos. The vehicle flaunts a bespoke structure that incorporates a roof, holds the hybrid’s battery and electronics and houses the snorkel that feeds air into the turbochargers.

Engine:

The vehicle’s electric motor contributes a staggering total of 903 bhp. It has a good drive ability and this is one of McLaren’s greatest achievements. Its powertrain is married to a 7-speed dual clutch auto transmission through which torque is limited to around 664 lb ft. The vehicle’s suspension is an extension of the system by the 12C a hydro-pneumatic set-up that controls springing and damping. McLaren addresses to this system as Race Active Chassis Control (RCC).

Interiors:

There isn’t a great deal in the P1. At least nothing out of the ordinary to brag about. There are no carpets, there’s soundproofing and then there’s a fixed-back carbon fibre seats that has a little cushioning. The exteriors are quite sinewy and the p1’s innards seem pretty conventional for such a beastly machine. Although, there isn’t anything that the P1 lacks in terms of theatrics and power. The car has an F-1 influenced steering wheel with buttons for the DRS and KERS in the form of the IPAS electric motor system.

Performance:

If you want to go from 0-60mph faster than the P1’s 2.8sec, or from 0-100mph faster than its 5.2sec, or cover a standing quarter mile more quickly (10.2sec at 147.5mph and climbing fast). But it’s the nature of the P1’s delivery, rather than its savagery, that is just as impressive. The P1 fires to an extremely loud idle – there are cars that drive at 50mph with less interior volume than a stationary P1 – but apart from the volume, there is no hint of its 238bhp- per-litre specific output or 8250rpm rev limit. It’s a clean, civil engine note and initial response is fine, too.

In all, the performance is pretty good. In the lower gears, it gives the deftly judged traction control a hard time, but dry traction is always impressive. Such is the severity of the initial acceleration allowed by the launch control system that rolling on to MIRA’s mile straight at, say, approaching 70mph buys only 5mph at the far end compared with a standing start.

And although the P1 never automatically cuts the engine to drive on the motor alone you can select an all-electric drive mode, in which the P1 is merely brisk. McLaren says this is useful if there’s a city in which you cannot drive an internally combusted vehicle, but given that the electric range is only six miles, it’s hard not to think that McLaren really made it just because it could and thought it would be fun. If a million-dollar car can’t be a bit of fun, what can be? In electric mode, the noises are more space port than race track, but in any mode the P1 sounds unusual; rather than explosions, the sound is dominated by vast quantities of air being inducted or forced through the turbochargers. It’s not traditionally intoxicating, but it’s pleasant enough.

Braking is superb. The discs are made from what McLaren claims is a new form of carbon-ceramic material, and they stop the P1 from 60mph – on part-worn tires on a just-dried surface – in only 2.26sec. They also only want 40.9m to haul the car up from 70mph, when we consider anything less than 50m to be fine.

But it’s the resistance to fade and their consistency that is most outstanding. Pedal feel is good – medium weighted and easily modulated, because there’s no battery regeneration to upset their feel. They’re at their best after a couple of warm-up stops, but from then on they’re indefatigable.

 

Price & rivals:

The McLaren P1’s price tag is £866,000 and it’s pretty understandable because of the features and everything that comes along with it. The P1 is limited to 375 units in order to maintain its exclusivity according to the company. Some of the competition involves Ferrari La Ferrari as well as the Porsche 928 Spyder. The Ferrari is a rear-wheel drive car like the McLaren but has no dedicated all-electric, city friendly mode. Porsche’s offering does retain an all-electric capability but sends its power to all 4-wheels. The P1 is one of the most affordable hyper-cars of today.

 

Audi A3 Sportback e-tron and BMW 330e

Audi A3 Sports back E-Tron:

Similar to the Audi A3 sedan and the cabriolet, the A3 sportsback e-tron has a host of changes both on the inside and outside.

Engine:

As before, the 2017 A3 e-tron carries forward the turbocharged 1.4-liter engine as well as an electric motor to thrust 204 horsepower and boasts 258 lb-ft of torque to the front wheels via a 6-speed automatic transmission. This helps the A3 e-tron go from 0-60 mph in a respectable 6.4 seconds. Sadly, this vehicle has a less-impressive EV range of just 16 miles as well as EPA combined rating of 83 MPGe.

 

Inside & Outside:

Without a renewed look, this vehicle wouldn’t be what it is. The exterior revisions include revised front and rear fascias including head and tail lights that evolve the hatchback’s attractive looks. A $1350 Sport package adds 18-inch, 15-spoke wheels and a roof spoiler, as well as sport seats and a three-spoke flat-bottom steering wheel with paddle shifters. The A3 is available in Premium Plus and prestige trims that are priced between $ 42,950 and $ 48,500/.

 

2016 BMW 330e:

Trimming C02 footprints is a great thing and the Toyota Prius is the first thing that comes to mind. The 2016 BMW 330e sedan takes lessons from BMW’s i3 and i8 models along with plug-in hybrid versions of the standard cars. This continues to resolve the classic rub between low consumption and high performance.

 

Engine:

The power train components are a 180-horsepower 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-four in the usual under hood location, teamed with an eight-speed automatic transmission and an 87-hp electric motor/generator. The AC power provider replaces the torque converter inside the ZF 8HP gearbox. Computer-controlled servos and clutches provide manual and automatic command over gear ratios and three different propulsion modes. A 7.6-kWh air-cooled lithium-ion battery lives unobtrusively under the trunk floor, while the 10.8-gallon gas tank rests beneath the rear seat. There is a eDrive button that helps you experience combustion-free driving, with a Max eDrive mode on the console, you’re sure to have a great time.

After an initial driveline shudder, there’s quite less a whisper as the car motor towards the future. With a gentle accelerator pressure, the iPerformance will motor up to a top speed of 75 mph for a maximum of 14 miles according to BMW. There’s the turtle mode that when pressed deeper on the accelerator pedal executes a safe pass and this automatically fires up the turbo four-cylinder. The second mode is called an Auto eDrive that happens to be a default setting. The only difference from the Max setting is that the baton passes from electric propulsion to engine power at 50 mph. The 3rd choice available through eDrive button is a Save Battery mode that ensures that the car does not squander stored electrical energy before it’s needed. The AC machine operates as a generator powered by the engine to replenish the battery to the 50% level that assures a few miles of zero-emissions driving. There are static charging options available as well and it has a standard 120-volt plug will replenish a fully depleted battery overnight approximately 7 to 8 hours. BMW sells a 240-volt i Wallbox for $1080 plus installation, which drops the charge time to two-and-a-half hours.

 

Inside & outside:

The most remarkable aspect of the 330e is hoe unexceptional it seems, especially alongside the brand’s daring “i-badged machines”. The vehicles could be mistaken for a run-of-the-mill 320d diesel. The only green status on this car is the subtle eDrive badges on the C-Pillars and an extra filler flap in the front wing for charging.  On the inside, the vehicle is virtually indistinguishable from standard models. The eDrive button is placed behind the gear level, while ahead of the driver there’s a small power gauge just below the rev counter. The BMW’s starter button and the dash displays springs into life, but there’s no sound from under the bonnet.

 

Bottom Line:

With the need for more electric hybrids in the markets, luxury car manufacturers are getting their hands completely green thereby sending the green message. The competition is on a constant rise even in the luxury hybrid car segment and the performance is quite stunning as well.

First off, the Audi A3 Sportsback e-tron is an exceptional car, secondly the BMW 330e also happens to be a great car. The drawback with these cars is that there is no distinguishing feature in either of these cars. However, when it comes to performance, both the vehicles do not fail and the power unleashed is massive.

Self driven Truck: Uber+Otto=happiness :)

It was the 20th of October 2016, when an 18-wheeler tractor trailer pulled into Colorado Springs, and in it was Sparkly liquid gold (Beer!!) and a Sh#t load of it bearing 50 freakin thousand frost cans of Budweisers. What’s abnormal about that you think? Normally, this wouldn’t matter but what would your reaction be when you came to know that the truck was driving itself?

Nope, I’m not drunk and I certainly am in my right senses (at least I think I am). This is the first time ever that commercial cargo was shipped with no one taking charge of the wheel. It all started 120 miles away at an Anheuser-Busch facility in Loveland, Colorado where a Volvo big rig that was equipped with cameras and sensors was one of the 5 owned by Otto. Otto is a San Francisco based self-driving truck company that was acquired by Uber in August. The truck was piloted to a weigh station in Fort Collins and from there on the vehicle drove itself for 100 miles without any human intervention to Colorado Springs and the driver monitoring the 2-hour trip from the sleeper berth.

The truck was outfitted with $ 30,000 worth of hardware and software from San Francisco. You’d think so momentous an occasion would have involved something more glamorous than 50,000 cans of Budweiser, but there it is. The drive was as mundane as the beer in the trailer. At 12:30 am, after leaving the brewery in Fort Collins and merging onto Interstate 25, an Otto driver punched a switch labeled “engage,” and, once sure autonomous mode had, in fact, engaged, climbed out of his seat. He buckled the safety belt behind him; to keep the warning chime from driving him crazy as the truck trundled 120 miles south to Colorado Springs. Uber bought Otto for roughly $680 million and this deal is totally worth it.

 

The tricky part though is that the technology works only on the highway where it doesn’t have to tackle the tricky variables like jaywalking pedestrians, four-way stops, or kids on bicycles. It maintains a safe following distance, and changes lanes only when absolutely necessary.

“The technology is ready to start doing these commercial pilots,” says Otto co-founder Lior Ron. “Over the next couple of years, we’ll continue to develop the tech, so it’s actually ready to encounter every condition on the road.”

If he can nail that, Ron says he can make trucking a local profession. “You can imagine a future where those trucks are essentially a virtual train on a software rail, on the highway,” he says.

 

Hardware:

Otto’s hardware works on any truck with an automatic transmission, and the retrofit doesn’t look like much. Three LIDAR laser detection units dot the cab and trailer, radar bolts to the bumper and a high-precision camera sits above the windshield. Inside this are a few hints of a human-free future that include 2 red, dollar-sized buttons that shut off the autonomous system with one near the steering wheel, the other in the sleeper cab behind the seats and the on/off switch, labeled “Engage.” A bank of computers turns all that data into driving directions, and an Uber engineer keeps tabs on it all. Although autonomous cars are pretty awesome, trucks are more practical and sensible.

Facts:

The trucking industry hauls 70 percent of United State’s freight of about 11 billion tons annually. But the drivers aren’t enough and the American Trucking Association pegs the shortfall at 48,000 drivers, and says it could hit 175,000 by 2024.

That said, there are roughly around 400,0000 truck crashes every year according to federal statistics and this kills around 4000 people. Who is to be blamed? Humans of course. “We think that self-driving technologies can improve safety, reduce emissions, and improve operational efficiencies of our shipments,” says James Sembrot, who handles logistics for Anheuser-Busch and worked with Otto on the October test run.

Bottom Line:

Otto is moving on a rapid phase. The company launched in January and quickly brought out its first truck. By May, it had a working prototype with a fleet of 6 trucks roaming interstates in the San Francisco bay Area with engineers pushing software tweaks weekly and major updates every month or so. Currently, the company is working on smoothing out the acceleration and braking as well as improving the lane control systems. Longer-term goals include predicting how other drivers are likely to behave, navigating construction zones, and dealing with hazards like sudden bad weather.

We are in the future and it’s time to innovate, create and make the world a better and more efficient place to live.