The small car version, possibly electric or hybrid as well, has become a must for all manufacturers in the race to comply with EU and US anti-pollution norms. In light of this, while it’s never been officially confirmed, BMW’s prototypes are ready for testing the most efficient combination for an electric car. Until now the only public model was the E1 concept from 1991.
But waiting time and rumours are finally over as Norbert Reithofer has said to the Die Zeit publication: “It will be a car with a completely new look, with two engines available. One of the two will be a highly efficiant internal combustion engine, while the other will be purely electric.”
EDF (Électricité De France) and Toyota plans for testing of the hybrid plug-in are developing as after the first tests in France, in September 2007, the two companies are now experimenting on the streets of Britain. The tests are being undertaken mostly in suburban areas to study the necessary infrastructure required for these vehicles. The tests will continue for the next 12 months.
The first test car will used by EDF staff as if it were part of the fleet of company cars, to evaluate the realistic possibilities of daily use of a plug-in. The Prius used is equipped with a new recharge system, studied to be compatible with the next generation “refuel” stations. EDF has already installed 40 of these stations, but over the next months that number is likely to grow.
The first figures of the Prius plug-in are clear: compared to the current version, over a 25 km course, fuel consumption is reduced by up to 60 percent! This is an excellent result for a project still at the beginning of its research.
Source | GreenCarCongress
Renault’s got its new Megane, Peugeot its Rc and so as not to leave the competition with all the glory, Citroen is presenting its Hypnos Hybrid Crossover Concept.
With a name like this, you’d like the concept would be a mess - exaggerated, risky and eventually a has-been. But Citroen has really hit the nail on the head - this is an authentic car with energetic lines which will make the competition take notice.
This excellent concept, offered with a mix of the style of a sports coupé and the practicality of a SUV, is equipped with a double engine of 200hp with fuel efficiency and emissions limited to 4.5 litres per 100 km, and 120 grams of CO2 per km. Unfortunately we can’t add anything else, but we’re really curious to see more at the Paris show.
Via | CarScoop (Thanks to Bugatti&91 for the tip)
Hyundai will present an important model for the company at the Paris motor show in October. The i20, which will substitute the Getz and provide greater commercial reward, will be revealed.
The i20 is a five-door with a longer wheel base providing more space for rear passengers. Sales should start at the beginning of 2009 for this smartly designed, European car. The look was developed at Hyundai’s European Style Centre, located in Germany.
Which is why it has a touch of German character about it - we even think it has a hint of Opel Corsa in the bonnet and windscreen. In addition to the i20, Hyundai will also present its i20 i-blue concept, a concept dedicated to fuel efficiency and low emissions. We will also see the Santa Fe hybrid and the iX55 sports utility that was recently shown in Moscow.
Source | Autoblog.com
While the competition will only heat up at the Paris motor show, tomorrow Honda is already revealing the shots of a new hybrid concept car that will give the market a clear idea of the challenger to the Toyota Prius. According to some reports the debut of the final version will occur in January in Detroit.
John Kingston, manager of the development of alternative cars at Honda, has revealed how important this new hybrid will be to the future of Honda. “It is a very important car for Honda and our future direction. This is a car that will change customer perception of hybrids.”
He has also underlined that the strong point of this model will be the price: “Hybrids have to be made more affordable - the key barrier to hybrid sales is price.” Constructed on a totally new platform, this five-door hatch will likely be equipped with a totally new engine from the Civic Hybrid.
Source | CarScoop
Whether the pursuit of multiple hybrid models will be very profitable or not, Fisker has plans to produce three different versions of its Karma plug-in hybrid technology. The company has limited experience in this niche market but plans to produce a range of cars.
Vic Doolan, board member at the Finnish company, has revealed that the aim will be to have 3.3 percent market share in the luxury segment by 2012. The first roll-out of cars will take place in 2010, at 7,500 vehicles, a number expected to double by 2011. The company is adding to its sedan version a coupé, a cabriolet, and even a SUV - each to be produced in 7,500 units a year.
Source | MotorAuthority
More sightings of the next generation Toyota Prius prototype have occurred, and while it’s difficult to get an idea of the overall look, these new shots give us a chance to check out the interior.
It appears more sporty, and the central gear stick is of particular note, compared to the joystick of the current version. The touch screen and general driving position have also been lowered.
The new Toyota Prius should be released in the course of 2009, with the “old” nickel batteries and similar dimensions and volume to the current model, although station wagon and cabriolet versions are currently being developed.
In a board of directors meeting a few days ago, Norbert Reithofer, BMW president, announced some important strategies that the company will undertake in the near future. The good news for purists of the brand is that “project X7″ has been definitively cancelled.
The next efforts in the SUV category will be concentrated on a hybrid version of the X6; the car will adopt the technology that we will see on the Series 7 hybrid in arrival in the second half of 2009. Some more good news comes in the form of BMW soon having a four-door GT seed (probably the CS road version). Unfortunately no information on a time frame for this project was provided. A mini SUB has been given free reign as well, in addition to the next generation Rolls-Royce Phantom which will be commercialised over the next few months.
Via | BMWblog
The next Toyota Prius is expected in the course of 2009, and preparations are currently underway for the heir to what we could define as the first true mass hybrid. The photos you see here come from AutoWeek and the European headquarters of the Japanese company.
The heavy camouflage means no judgement on the car’s style can be made, but it appears to point to similarities to the current model. What is certain in that the new Prius will have cleaner lines than the current model: the roof, for example, will be carpeted with solar panels which should guarantee the functioning of the air conditioning, and a plug-in model is currently planned.
The next generation Toyota Prius will be available for sale in the course of the next year, and will produced in higher numbers - a good 70 percent more than the current according to Automative News.
To make for new assembly lines required for such a strong increase in production, next April the Japanese company should move production to its minivan Wish chain Tsutsumi facilities, where two models are currently produced.
It’s an excellent opportunity for the company in the American market, strangled by petrol prices, which is just crying out for hybrid vehicles. Long waiting lists demonstrate this, some of many months, and the 281,300 units sold last year.
To enter the US market in the best possible way, Toyota will also move some of the Prius production to a Mississippi facility, where together with the Tsutsumi factory, 480,000 units a year will be produced.