BMW has officially unveiled the BMW i8, slightly ahead of its debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show that kicked off today. The hybrid sportscar is a two + two coupe with doors that go up and futuristic design cues that will be sure to turn heads. Power comes from a 1.5-liter, turbocharged, three-cylinder engine that cranks out 231 horses and 236 lb-ft. of torque which is then mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. Add in the electric motor and you get an additional 131 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque through a two-speed automatic to the front wheels. That’s all-wheel drive motion with 362 horses and 320 lb-ft of torque, with a 0-62 time of 4.4 seconds. Fuel economy figures are impressive as well with 94 miles per gallon and a full charge coming from a 110-volt outlet in less than four hours. BMW Charging Stations can bring that time down to 1.5 hours.
BMW has officially taken the covers off the all-electric i3, the first of the German automaker’s i family of vehicles. The i3 blends sustainable design while using cutting-edge materials like Carbon Fiber Reinforced Plastics to lighten the build while creating a streamlined exterior for improved aerodynamic efficiency. The i3 features a 170 horsepower electric powertrain that goes from 0-60 mph in 7 seconds. Full charge time takes roughly three hours with a range of 80 to 100 miles coming from a single charge. The i3 with Range Extender is also due to be released, which introduces a two-cylinder gas engine to double the driving range.
With a pricetag starting at about $41,000, look for the waiting lists to grow rather quickly.
We recently had the opportunity to test drive the Rolls-Royce 102EX, also known as the Phantom Experimental Electric (EE). It’s the world’s first battery electric vehicle for the ultra-luxury segment and one we see being showcased as a benchmark for other brands in the industry. There’s a growing demand for alternative drive-train options and that’s something the British coachmaker noticed before deciding to build the Phantom EE. Rolls-Royce is known for blending luxury with timeless design and the Phantom has been looked at as one of the most elegant designs in recent years and one that’s seen by many as a modern-day classic. The Phantom EE began here, as the original Phantom’s aluminum shell serves as the design base and though this is strictly an experimental model for the time being, no detail was spared. The hand craftsmanship, fine detailing and iconic design cues like the pantheon grille and the Spirit of Ecstasy are all showcased here, as the only thing removed from the original Phantom were the naturally aspirated 6.75-litre V12 petrol engine and 6-speed gearbox.
Guess going public this week wasn’t enough excitement for electric-car maker Tesla and CEO Elon Musk as they’ve done a fresh update to their extremely successful Roadster 2.0. Here’s what the man had to say about this new beauty.
These improvements are a direct result of customer feedback and come only a year after release of Roadster 2.0, showing an exceptionally rapid pace of innovation. Where feasible, we will also offer existing customers the ability to purchase the upgrades now available in version 2.5.
There are a handful upgrades including a new front fascia with diffusing vents, a new rear diffuser, directional forged wheels available in both silver and black, new seats with more comfort/lumbar support, power control hardware that enables spirited driving in exceptionally hot climates, an optional 7″ touchscreen display with a rear back-up camera and interior sound reduction including new front fender liner material make the cabin even quieter.
UK’s Evo Design is set to debut its high-performance electric superbike, the EV-o RR at the TTXGP zero-emissions gran prix on the Isle of Man. Evo collaborated with Xenophya on the motorcycle, which features a lightweight carbon fiber monocoque chassis, forkless single-sided front suspension and twin electric battery-powered engines from Green Motorsport. No word yet on performance specs or production plans, but TTXGP race rules require that competing bikes be offered for sale at its conclusionn for no more than $30,000.
The Zero S is the latest electric bike from Zero Motorcycles, and is their first street legal motorcycle. The Zero S has 31 horsepower and 62.5lb ft of torque, reaching top speeds of 60mph.
The clutchless, one-speed bike has a battery that will let you roam for 60 miles before having to charge it (4 hours ’til full). It uses aircraft-grade aluminum for the body and a custom “Z-Force” power pack for enhanced accleration.
Want one? Drop a $1,000 down payment and it’s yours. (more…)
This week, Range Rover’s set to unveil the Liberty Electric Range Rover that will get 200 miles on one full charge. Pretty good, right? It’s been designed by a team out of Oxford and could hit dealerships by next year. Pricing is looking at £95,000 to £125,000. Hefty price for going green, but if you’ve got it, then why not, right?
Zero emissions and a whole lot of overall savings will definitely entice consumers into getting in the driver seat of one of these. Most electric cars on the market are much cheaper, but they also don’t get 200 miles on charge.
Performance and luxurious details are trademarks for Range Rover, and the Liberty Electric will not sacrifice neither. It’s accepted to have “swift acceleration and a high top speed, while costing 80 percent less to run than a gasoline equivalent.
Other innovations include roof mounted solar panels, which will provide additional charge for the batteries as well as powering some of the car’s electrics while it is stopped. Some versions will also have technology designed to extend the car’s range even further.
California electric sports car-maker Tesla Motors has announced its plans to build a plant that will cost a whopping $250 million and be located in Silicon Valley. The plant produce sedans that will hopefully hit the highways by 2010.
The Tesla Roadster has grabbed everyone’s attention, even California’s Governor, the Arnold. The car’s got solid environmental credentials, and with the technological pioneering the brand resembles, we weren’t surprised that San Jose will be the place for its plant.
Tesla Chief Executive Ze’ev Drori said he expects manufacturing of the five-passenger, $60,000 Model S sedan to hit a rate of over 15,000 a year by the last quarter of 2011. Tesla will build the factory on its own. They definitely have the capital to do so, with money coming from private equity financing of $100 million, the U.S. Department of Energy approving $150 million in loan guarantees, and California offering significant tax breaks.
Let the building begin, Tesla, so that we can push out 225 miles off one charge. That’s pretty hefty, compared to the 40 miles the new Volt offers. Boy, do we love competition.
It looks better than we first suspected from all the spy shots. Heck, we can actually see ourselves buying one and popping a Por Homme banner on it. The Chevrolet Volt was revealed at GM’s 100th year celebration.
So what did you expect it to be? Well, the 2011 Chevy Volt is a 5-door front-wheel-drive sedan known as Extended-Range Electric Vehicle, or E-REV. It can go 40 miles on electric-power alone with its lithium-ion battery. And for all the miles you put on after the first 40, a gasoline/E85-powered engine kicks. No word on the efficiency of the E85-side of the engine. The Chevy Volt’s electric drive unit produces 150-hp and 273 lb-ft of torque and has a top speed of 100 mph.
Charging isn’t too difficult. The 2011 Chevrolet Volt can be plugged into a standard household 120v outlet or a 240v. The Volt’s battery will reach full charge in 8 hours when plugged into a 120v outlet and 3 hours when plugged into a 240v. GM is estimating a cost of 80 cents per day for a full charge and 40 miles of electric driving – not bad at all. The General is estimating a cost of two cents per mile compared to 12 cents per mile when using gas priced at $3.60.
The number’s are looking good and we hope that the Volt is as good on the road as it is in the showroom.
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2011 Chevrolet Volt:
Head over to eGMCarTech to check out the full press release and more pics.