Category: cars

May 30, 2019 Off

Ferrari’s first plug-in hybrid is here — and it’s faster than ever

By Jill T Frey

Ferrari has finally cracked open the door for electrification. The Italian supercar manufacturer unveiled the SF90 Stradale, its first plug-in hybrid.

Purists might turn their noses up to Stradale’s mere 15.5 miles of all electric range. But it’s a milestone for Ferrari nonetheless, and marks a shift in the company’s views and portfolio.

Now, some of the important nuts and bolts. The Stradale has a V8 turbo engine that produces 780 cv (or about 769 horsepower), which the company says is the highest power output of any 8-cylinder Ferraris in its history. Another 216 hp is produced by three electric motors. The motors are located between the engine and 8-speed dual clutch transmission on the rear axle, and two on the front axle.

When combined, the vehicle can travel from 0 to 62 miles per hour in 2.5 seconds.

You can check out the video below to see the supercar … Read the rest

May 28, 2019 Off

The all-electric Honda e is bringing its side view mirrors inside

By Jill T Frey

Honda e, the compact electric vehicle that’s coming to market in spring 2020, is bringing its side-view mirrors inside. The company confirmed Tuesday that its side-camera-mirror system, which was on the prototype version, will be a standard feature when the car enters production. 

The side-camera-mirror system includes two six-inch screens, situated on the left and right sides of the dashboard, that provide live images of traffic. Honda argues that the tech reduces aerodynamic drag by 90% compared to conventional door mirrors, for an overall 3.8% improvement for the entire vehicle. This, in turn, can help with the battery’s efficiency and range.

The mirrors also improve visibility, Honda says, adding that the camera unit housings are shaped to prevent water drops on the lens. The lens also has a water-repellent coating to prevent residual water build up.

You can check out how it works in the video below.

The driver can … Read the rest

May 15, 2019 Off

Tesla issues battery software update after Hong Kong vehicle fire

By Jill T Frey

Tesla has started pushing out a software update that will change battery charge and thermal management settings in Model S sedans and Model X SUVs following a fire in a parked vehicle in Hong Kong earlier this week.

The software update, which Tesla says is being done out of “an abundance of caution,” is supposed to “protect the battery and improve its longevity.” The over-the-air software update will not be made to Model 3 vehicles.

Tesla has not yet identified the cause of the fire or found any issues with the battery pack. But the company said it will act if it discovers a problem.

“The safety of our customers is our top priority, and if we do identify an issue, we will do whatever is necessary to address it,” Tesla said in a statement.

Here is the company’s statement in its entirety on the software update:

We currently have

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May 9, 2019 Off

VW’s new electric hatchback receives 10,000 pre-orders in first 24 hours

By Jill T Frey

Volkswagen opened up pre-orders in Europe at a launch event Wednesday for a special edition of the first model in its new all-electric ID brand. Within 24 hours, the company received more than 10,000 registrations, a result that suggests growing demand for electric vehicles.

VW revealed Wednesday the name, some pricing and range specs for the first model in its multi-billion-dollar effort to produce and sell a portfolio of electric vehicles. This first model, known as the ID.3, is an electric hatchback that will be offered in three battery options, with ranges between 330 and up to 550 kilometers (205 miles to 341 miles) in accordance with WLTP. The WLTP, or Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure, is the European standard to measure energy consumption and emissions.

Customer interest in the special edition “ID.3 1” — which will be limited to 30,000 vehicles — is “significantly exceeding the brand’s expectations, … Read the rest

April 29, 2019 Off

Daimler pulls the plug on electric smart car sales in US, Canada

By Jill T Frey

Daimler is ending sales of its diminutive all-electric smart fortwo cars in the U.S. and Canada, officially pulling the plug on a vehicle that has struggled to gain ground in North America as the German automaker prepares to bring the brand to China, TechCrunch has learned.

Smart won’t be sold in the U.S. and Canada after the 2019 model year, Daimler AG confirmed after two sources familiar with the decision shared the information with TechCrunch.

“After much careful consideration, smart will discontinue its battery-electric smart EQ fortwo model in the U.S. and Canadian markets at the conclusion of MY2019,” a Daimler AG spokesperson wrote in an emailed statement. “A number of factors, including a declining micro-car market in the U.S. and Canada, combined with high homologation costs for a low volume model are central to this decision.”

MBUSA and Mercedes-Benz Canada will continue to provide owners of gasoline-powered and electric … Read the rest

April 29, 2019 Off

2019 Audi RS 5 review: A bruising high-tech cruiser

By Jill T Frey

The Audi RS 5 Sportback is an animal. Tamed, sure, but not domesticated. It’s important to remember as one day, maybe next week or next year or both, the RS 5 will revert to its natural state and become fervid, wild and unforgiving.

The RS 5 sedan shares a similar look to the everyday Audi A5 and S5. The RS 5 is a different animal altogether. At a moments notice it can go from a Home Depot hauler to a street brawler. Even in its most mild form, the RS 5 feels like a cat ready to pounce, but click few settings, and the cat turns feral.

This five-door sedan is raw and unhinged, and there’s an unnatural brutally under the numerous electronic systems. Its twin-turbo 2.9L power plant roars while the Audi all-wheel drive system keeps the rubber on the tarmac. It’s insane, and like most vacations, it’s lovely … Read the rest