The ProMaster City Commercial Green Car of the Year

What do you consider when choosing a commercial vehicle? Some of the most crucial factors are cargo space, payload capacity as well as maneuverability and the usual-Fuel efficiency. Here’s the solution that fits into all the categories that’s named Ram ProMaster City.

This happens to be the commercial green car of the year award from Green car journal and this is no ordinary green car, it’s a lot more, here’s more that you should know about this vehicle.

To start with, the Ram ProMaster City is a small vehicle available in cargo van or wagon configurations. This vehicle impressively offers a brilliantly spacious cargo space while still being small enough to easily travel through busy city streets and also secure those hard to find parking spaces.

While taking into consideration the various other potential commercial vehicles in the United States of America weighing environmental attributes alongside traditional touchstones that define what customers seek such as functionality along with features such as versatility, safety, value along with style. It’s no doubt that the winner that was selected from a number of finalists by a Green Truck of the Year Jury had comprised of jury members who were automotive experts as well as Green Car Journal staff and the winner was the Ram ProMaster City.

About Ram Truck Brand:
Since its launch as a stand-alone division in 2009, the Ram Truck brand has steadily emerged as an industry leader with America’s longest-lasting line of pickups.

Creating a distinct identity for Ram trucks has allowed the brand to concentrate on core customers and the features they find valuable. Whether focusing on a family that uses a Ram 1500 day-in and day-out, a hard-working Ram 3500 Heavy Duty owner or a business that depends on its Ram ProMaster commercial van every day for deliveries, Ram has the truck market covered.

Most capable fullsize off-road pickup — Ram Power Wagon

Truck customers, from half-ton to commercial, have a demanding range of needs and require their vehicles to provide high levels of capability. Ram trucks are designed to deliver a total package.

Winning wasn’t easy and it did not happen overnight. The vehicle takes commitment to innovation, capability, and efficiency along with durability. Ram trucks invest substantially in its products, infusing them with great looks, refined interiors, durable engines and exclusive features that further enhance their capabilities.

Ram continues to beat the competition in the most sought-after titles:

Longest-lasting line of pickups

Best-in-class ride and handling with exclusive link coil rear and auto-level air suspensions

Best-in-class fuel economy and longest range with exclusive EcoDiesel – 29 mpg and 754 miles with Ram 1500

Best-in-class gas towing — 16,320 pounds with Ram 2500

Highest snowplow rating — Ram 2500 and 3500

Most interior space with Ram Mega Cab

 

The ProMaster City comes with a mighty strong and durable 2.4 L 4-cylinder gasoline engine that was recognized for environmental attributes along with traditional features that customers seek that include functionality, versatility, safety along with value as well as style.

In terms of Fuel Economy, the Ram ProMaster has the best-in-class fuel economy of approximately 28 mpg on the highway, a cargo capacity of 131.7 cubic feet as well as 1883 lb of payload capacity. The vehicle combines to deliver more work per load with less fuel, making the ProMaster City America’s most efficient work van.

It also aggressively competes in the compact class 1 van segment with a focus on commercial customer needs and total cost of ownership.

“The ProMaster City is just one of our full line of Ram commercial vehicles from Class 1 vans to Class 5 trucks that deliver durability, capability and a low cost of ownership,” said Mike Manley, Head of Jeep Brand and Ram Brand, FCA. “The ProMaster City is just one of our full line of Ram commercial vehicles from Class 1 vans to Class 5 trucks that deliver durability, capability and a low cost of ownership.”

 

The ProMaster City delivers exactly what small businesses, tradesmen and fleets need with its class-leading fuel efficiency, ease of carrying and loading cargo and maneuverability in an urban environment,” said Ron Cogan, editor and publisher of Green Car Journal and greencarjournal.com “Higher efficiency means less fuel use, lower operating costs and lower carbon emissions, important attributes for fleets that wish to operate vehicles with lower environmental impact.”

Bottom Line:

With sales crossing over 1.3 million units and the success soaring greater heights, the Ram ProMaster City is the most efficient, and the most interesting car in production. It is undoubtedly the best commercial green car of the year.

Airpod: The car, not the apple ear-hangers

Has this ever happened to you? Have you ever felt so good to the point where you thought that the world was your court and you ruled every game? That’s pretty much what a start up company by the name Zero Pollution Motors had going for them.

They had invented a compressed-air powered car called the AIRPOD, and then apple had to name their wireless pieces of musical earrings Airpods too. Anyhow, let’s clear the confusion, the Airpod car costs $10,000 and is pretty sweet where as the Airpods from apple are $149 or so and perform the same things your earphones can do but without wires, so yeah, if that helps let’s get on to the juicy part about this article.

Pat Boone, a legendary pop music star along with his entrepreneurial friend Ethan Tucker were able to strike gold with their investor friend Robert Herjavec to the point where ABC’s hit series “Shark Tank” had them on and an investment of $5million or a 50% share deal was struck.

To add a couple of cherries and make this deal diabetic (so to speak) the deal involved creating an effective sales network in the United States. Zero pollution motors needed the money to set up an assembly plant in Hawaiiin order to produce the city car that was capable of traveling up to 50 mph with an 80-mile range. An approximate time of 4 minutes to fill up the air tank is all it takes for this car to drive as the cleanest car on the U.S. roads.

But, what could go wrong with this start up that was achieving so much in so little time? A Lot! Well, the story took an abrupt turn when the company posted the following on their Facebook page:

“Robert (Herjavec) backed out of the deal made last year after waiting 9 months. Now we are free to have other investors! Are you in?”

The episode was aired in May 2015 and it seemed to be originally filmed somewhere in the late 2014 or perhaps the early 2015. This is somewhat a classic tale of what tends to happen in advanced vehicle technologies, especially by start up companies that are trying to make it as an automobile manufacturer. The harsh reality is that investors back off if they become concerned about the happenings internally with the management and that doesn’t end too well. Once that’s done, the confidence is lost, and the financials is another horror story better not spoken of. This is the reality and it is definitely an incredibly capital intensive business to make it in and the requirement of skilled and experienced personnel is a must.

A risk that wasn’t worth risking:

The company was heading onto an untapped segment that was to compete with other alternative technologies in order to take out big sharks in the Oil segment and create another source of travel, well that sounds like a perfect startup plan but doesn’t materialize too well.

There is speculation that compressed-air cars are getting plenty of interest in global markets and that the Airpod idea wasn’t completely bad. In fact, Motor Development International (MDI) along with their founder, Guy Negre have been behind the AIRpod from its origination and that MDI has been working with Tata Motors to build the car through Zero Pollution Motors in Hawaii and then ship some of the Airpods back to India.

The Airpod was designed in order to make urban mobility easier and safer. These days consumers that are concerned about overdeveloped cities and air pollution seems to be of hindrance, these vehicles are essential. One of the vital facts that cannot be ignored is that technology inspires enthusiasm and plenty of interest. People have the money and require new and upgraded technology in order to be in touch with the latest development and people are truly fascinated by development even if it comes at a price.

The odds are stacked against the round and futuristic AIRPOD bringing it to roads and compressed air-powered vehicles as passenger vehicles. The technology is pretty intriguing where the tanks with compressed air are heated and the air is sent into cylinders of a piston engine. The fueling will be fast and economical but, the main intent is to cut the emissions and it is assured that the emissions might be clean and eco-friendly. The AIRPOD may drop down to costing to only $3700 to build before it sells for $10,000/-.

 

Bottom Line:

With all that’s said and done, I truly hope to see the Airpod live in action (not for the sake of tree hugging eco-maniacs) just to see new technology and innovation in action. It’s sad to imagine the condition of various automobile startups who had to throw in the towel but I hope that AIRPOD returns with something solid.

 

Mercedes Vision Van: The Effin Sweet deal from Merc

Mercedes-Benz has come a very long way and how! The company has some pretty mean machines that have given some of the menacingly good looks in the automobile industry a tough sweat. The brand was built for sustainability, confidence and prestige. And now, the company is expanding its horizons into logistics.

It’s not a new story that Mercedes-Benz had its foot falling into the logistics sector. However, the company has come up with something pretty radical and this is certain to change the future of logistics.

Most of you might not have the foggiest of ideas about Matternet. Well, it’s a tech startup company dealing with drones. But what do they have to do with Mercedes you ask?

Oh, nothing, they simply have a joint collaboration with Mercedes-Benz Vans to create what’s called a “Vision Van”. If that ain’t sweet, I don’t know what is.

Mercedes-Benz has a very strong van portfolio outside the US. It’s built a name for itself in logistics, and now, it’s showcasing the next generation of cargo vans with the Vision Van. It’s only a concept, but too hot to handle, how I wish it were coming to production like this. This revolutionary measure is sure to change the way small packages are delivered across short distances. Now, small things will come in this sweet package.

The vision behind the vision van is pretty simple. The company is looking to change the process of delivery by introducing the Vision Van and this comes with plenty of innovative technologies put together in one bundle of technology. The vehicle is designed for last-mile delivery operations thus setting the standard for future generations of vans. The all-electric automobile is the first van worldwide to fully digitally connect all people and processes involved in delivery, from distribution center to recipient. The vehicle is turn equipped with an automated cargo space, as well as integrated delivery drones.

The company also takes advantage of such design elements and then on the transporter could then deliver multiple packages simultaneously to a given area, even by air, isn’t that effin cool?

Behind the Vision:

The Vision Van features a 75 kW electric drive, has a range of 80 kilometers to roughly 270 kilometers and is emission free.In addition, Mercedes-Benz is also working on innovative leasing, rental and sharing models, tailored to the needs of van customers. The Vision Van is, of course, electric, with a battery good for about 168 miles, which is perfect for a day of last-mile deliveries. Its electric drive train means it won’t be locked out of cities that ban gas-or-diesel-powered vehicles. There are also two drones strapped to the roof, which can deliver packages into more congested areas. LED lights on the van will signal when the drones are taking off, or when the vehicle is stopped for a delivery. But the flashy bits on the outside hide the real meat and potatoes of the Vision Van. It’s essentially a logistics center on wheels, loaded with tech to better facilitate deliveries. The van features a package dispenser, special robot-operated racking systems, and a computer terminal provides relevant information for the driver.

What’s the driver’s role you ask?

Hmmm…..Speaking of the driver, S/he will have a particular goal that appears to be handing packages to other people. There are no controls in the cabin, just LED lights and a dashboard covered with logistical information (drone flight data, route planning, etc.). The van will drive itself around in accordance with the pre-planned delivery route. Talk about an easy job. There is still a joystick, though, in case the driver needs to take control.

That’s the future of logistics — a complete minimization of the human element. No more rifling around the back of a truck to find a box, no more human error at all, really. It’s almost like Mercedes-Benz is trying to get rid of the human entirely. Thankfully, we, the bundles of meat and bones, since computers can’t sign the dotted line and actually purchase the vans have something to do if I do say so myself.

Sieber, the director of design brands and operations claims that the process behind sculpting this tech-novation (Yeah made up word by fusing technology and innovation. See, I can be smart too (Or may be not) Sigh!!) involves great deal of emotions and much more than meets the eye.

He says that the simplicity and purity is maintained even on the inside. There is a joystick command and simple instruments along with the delivery instructions to drivers that pop up on a display that shines through the blue material which covers the sculptured, horizontal arc that spans the entire front of the cabin.

Lights are used as signals to a great extent, from colour-coded parcel shelves signaling the next item to be extracted, to the floor in the cabin signaling whether it is safe to exit the single side door, to the massive front display that can transmit messages to the rest of the world about drones landing or intention to turn – a matrix in the grille measures 2000×500 in LEDs, and gives enormous scope for communicating with the surroundings.

Bottom Line:

Yeah, I wish I could say STFU and take my money but, No. Mullah is just not too easy to get, unless you’re willing to offer me something big J. Anyhow, this was the vision van by Mercedes-Benz, hope our visions materialize soon too. Happy reading folks J

 

 

 

Mercedes-Benz C350 Plug-In Hybrid and S550 Plug-In Hybrid

Hybrid technology is picking up quite well in the market. However, it isn’t doing so well in the European market. The hybrid derivatives of German premium vehicles cannot really be termed smashing success. One such entrant is the C-Class that is a response to the growing trend of electrification and this is driven largely by the tightening fuel-economy and emission standards and so here’s our take on the Benz C350 Plug in hybrid as well as the S550 plug-in hybrid.

C 350 Plug-In Hybrid:

The C 350 plug-in Hybrid is purely electric and looks quite elegant, sporty and it is a combination of luxury and prestige. It spreads a green message and at the same time, this vehicle makes an impression.

Performance

The C350 Plug-in hybrid starts off in a near-silent electric mode. The vehicle has an electric output of up to 80 horsepower that is available for driving in the electric mode with delivery of up to 251 lb-feet of torque. The vehicle comes with a 1.9-liter four-cylinder gas engine produces 208 of its own horsepower married to 258 lb ft of torque. The vehicle accelerates to 60 miles per hour in just 6 seconds. The driver is in control of the system by the way of four hybrid-related operating modes:

  1. E-Mode:  All-electric driving while the battery holds sufficient charge.
  2. Hybrid: All electric, gas-alone, gas with boosts of electric power, or whatever combination yields the greatest efficiency.
  3. E-Save: Rely on the gas engine with little or no help from the electric motor, in order to reserve energy in the battery for later use.
  4. Charge. The combustion engine is not only on, but some of the fuel is consumed to pump energy in the battery pack.

Range:

The C-Class carries a liquid cooled 220-pound battery pack with a capacity of 6.2 kilowatt-hours. The car has a 240-volt outlet to take you around for at least 20 miles without using any gasoline. In case your daily commute is below 20 miles, you can charge throughout the day and this helps you eliminate visits to the gas station and emissions from its tailpipe.

Charging:

Pretty much like the hybrid electric cars, the C-350 Plug-in Hybrid reclaims energy during braking and coasting. The 240-volt charging station produces enough power to go around for 20 miles but a 120-volt source will take overnight to charge.

Cargo Room and space:

The C350 isn’t a big car but it has spacious front seats and the back seats are generally considered adequate in terms of legroom. The truck capacity is also 11.8 cubic feet and this makes room for the battery pack. The vehicle has a conventional instrument cluster and comes with a small eco meter along with an energy-flow screen.

Price

Pricing for the plug-in C-Class $46,415 and this is an aggressively priced tag that takes the likes of competitors like BMW and Audi.

Mercedes-Benz S550 Plug-In Hybrid

 

If you’re looking for something flawless in the automobile industry, you’re probably mentioning an S-Class. The power, comfort and price including fuel efficiency is the best with an S-Class. The S550 Plug-in Hybrid derives all benefits of the Mercedes flagship sedan and this vehicle is here to thrill, here is more about this car:

S-550:

The synonym for style, performance, comfort, opulence, exquisiteness and a stunner is the S-Class. The S-Class is widely regarded as one of the finest luxury cars you can buy. The exterior styling—as with every feature inside and out—exudes class and refinement, with sleek lines providing elegance to a large comfortable sedan.

Performance:

The S550 comprises of a gas powered 329 HP V6 engine as well as an 85 kW electric motor that pulls out the juice from an 8.7 kW hour battery with an integrated 7-speed automatic transmission. This whizzes the vehicle from 0 to 60 mph in just 5.2 seconds.

The vehicle has 4-different modes that allow drivers to decide and emphasize when to use or save the battery’s energy.

Range:

Plugging in the vehicle every night, the S550 hybrid works its magic and this vehicle is likely to break 40 miles per gallon on an average.

 

Charging:

There isn’t anything unusual about S550’s charging process. If the pack is completely depleted, you can fully replenish it in about two hours from a 240-volt charging station. Or if you choose to use a standard 120-volt outlet, expect a charging time closer to four or five hours.

Cargo Room:

The Mercedes S-Class sits at the top of the list for most luxurious and comfortable interiors. The detailing of the appointments is impressive: diamond-stitched leather, soft touch armrests, footrests for backseat passengers and Alcantara lining on the ceiling. This vehicle leaves no leeway for the user to find faults in it. And yet, on the plug-in model, Mercedes engineers use part of the trunk to store the battery pack—thereby its capacity from a cavernous 18.7 cubic feet to a merely decent 13.9 cubes.

 

Price

No pricing yet available, but a conventional S550 starts just below $100,000. Options and enhanced packages will easily send the bottom line to above $130,000.

Bottom Line:

Both the cars are mighty powerful. The S-550 has sheer elegance and massive power. The C 350, an affordable yet stylish luxury.

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.

 

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.

Karma Automotive: Get Served what you deserve!

Do you believe in karma? Well, sometimes karma might take plenty of time to show its action. But, here’s a karma that is pretty fast and too damn furious on roads.

A familiar name in the name of automobiles, Karma Automotive (previously known as Fisker) a califonia-based world class automobile manufacturer was launched in order to provide a path to a more sustainable future with its world-class luxury.

The name “Karma” was chosen because it was relevant to both the old and new brands while providing quite an inspirational message that embodies the manufacturer’s purpose. The company is based on the principle of cause and effect. This implies that a particular action creates your future.

The year was 2008 when the masses were pretty conscious about environmental friendliness. However, the electric cars back then were considered lame and did not ring a bell to buyers. In fact, even for people who belong to the elite category; such as Leonardo Dicaprio, the apex of going green was a Toyota Prius.

This is where Henrik Fisker planned on bringing in something different. This Danish designer made his name with some of the most amazing machines like BMW Z8, Aston Martin DB9 and more. In 2007, the company was formed and bringing out luxury and style in the electric segment made it one of the most premium selling cars.

The company snagged some VC cash and then after various efforts, the company named Fisker Automotive was formed in Irvine, California. A year later, Karma automotive was formed. Just like the Volt from Chevy, the vehicle had a plug-in hybrid drivetrain that was powered by electricity until the battery went flat. Later it used a gas engine as a generator so users would never be stranded.

However, unlike the Volt, this vehicle was freaking awesome and had curves that made it look like it was formed from a single piece of gentle melted metal and could pull 0 to 60 in just 5.9 seconds. That was FAST!!

 

Later, the automobile industry in America crumbled and Fisker had offered a new way. Forbes had put the same on the cover under the headline “The Next Detroit.”

Soon after, the US Department of Energy had promised $ 528.7 million and Fisker pledged to start production within 18 months. While he would begin with the luxury market, he wanted to build economical electric cars for the massed within the succeeding years.

Bankruptcy:

2013 was a terrible year for Fisker Automotive. Chinese auto parts giant named Wanxiang Group bought the company’s assets and everything else that remained of the unit at $ 150 million. Today, Wnaxiang is funding a comeback story and its Karma’s Revero.

Currently, the new Karma automotive team based in Moreno Valley California has spent the past 27 months eliminating the car’s many flaws and updating it with 5 years of technical advances.

Revero:

Karma Revero brought out the Revero that reminds us of its predecessors. The exteriors of the car are pretty much similar. This is however, an overly complicated electric with unorthodox looking gear setup. It has glass inserts in the dash and the doors look slightly futuristic.

The rear seats seem pretty cramped and its big batteries leave little trunk space. It does have solar roof that has been updated to give it a great appearance and comes in handy. During real sunny conditions, the car produces 200 watts of electricity per hour and this is enough to power 1.5 miles of emissions-free driving per day.

Unlike its predecessor, however, the Revero works. Crucially, Karma updated the drivetrain. Twin electric motors drive the rear wheels, powered by a 23-kilowatt-hour battery. General Motors makes the two-liter, four-cylinder turbocharged engine that works as a generator when power runs low. (GM’s not making the engine anymore, so once Karma runs through its stock, it’ll need a new solution.) For now, the Revero will go 50 miles on electricity and deliver 20 miles per gallon when the engine’s running. That’s a bit short of the 2016 Chevy Volt’s 53 all-electric miles and 42 mpg, but Karma’s car thrashes the Detroiter on looks and style.

Bottom line:

Karma made it to time’s 50 best inventions, automobile design of the year and top gear’s luxury car of the year. This definitely had to attract attention and within no time, Al gore put his order in early. Usher had given one to Justin Bieber who in turn wrapped it in chrome. In 2011, Dicaprio took delivery of his karma. It wasn’t a walk in the park for Fisker all this way.

The company outsourced everything, low-headcount and faced engineering problems. It also had poor reliability issues, missing deadlines and delayed loan payments. This steadily improved and the company announced the price of the car to $ 80,000. The production models are sure to fetch more than 6 figures.