A modified Nissan LEAF is set to enter the 2017 Mongol Rally. Piloted by Electric Vehicle enthusiasts ‘Plug In Adventures’ the LEAF will be the first all-electric car to drive the 10,000 miles from Goodwood to Mongolia. Slimmer wheels with narrow tyres have been fitted and the rear seats taken out, while extra plates have been welded underneath to protect against rough terrain. Charging will be a challenge as the team heads further east, however the LEAF will accept a 240v ‘Commando connection’ even in the most remote areas. The Mongol Rally gets underway on the 16 July.
Bentley has revealed the all-electric EXP 12 Speed 6e concept. The open-top sports car previews the luxury brand’s electric car strategy and features a new, advanced powertrain which includes rapid inductive charging. Cutting-edge technology and fine materials combine inside the luxurious cabin with plenty of leather and a handmade cut-away steering wheel which comes with an instant boost button on top. Bentley’s electric car roll-out kicks off with a hybrid Bentayga in 2018.
Renault has taken its all electric ZOE hatchback and added some Formula E race-car knowhow, to create the striking ZOE e-sport concept. The battery-powered hot-hatch is driven by two electric motors delivering a total system output of almost 460bhp - launching it from rest to 62mph in just over 3-seconds. Aerodynamics additions include a flat undercarriage, a rear diffuser and a large carbon fibre tailgate spoiler.
Toyota has revealed its second generation Prius Plug-in. The new car can now achieve a higher maximum EV speed of 84mph, and can also cover twice the distance of its predecessor, more than 30 miles. The Prius Plug-in also debuts a world first range-extending solar roof delivering a 'pumping charge' to the main hybrid battery which, in itself has doubled in capacity. On-the-road prices start at £29,195 after the UK Government’s plug-in car grant.
Formula E race team NextEV has launched a new brand - NIO - with its EP9 road car. Powered by four high-performance inboard motors with four individual gearboxes, it pumps out the equivalent of 1,360 PS for a 0-124mph time of 7.1 seconds and a top speed of 194mph. The electric supercar has also set a new lap record at the Nürburgring - completing the 20.8km ‘Green Hell’ in 7min 5secs - making it the fastest electric car in the world. With an interchangeable battery system, the EP9 is designed to be charged in 45 minutes and has a range of 265 miles.
Jaguar has revealed its first-ever electric vehicle - the I-PACE Concept - in Los Angeles. The I-PACE combines five-seater SUV versatility with an F-Type inspired, lower driving position. 0-60 is dispatched in under 5 seconds thanks to 400PS and 700Nm of instant torque from the front and rear electric motors. The battery pack sits flat between the axles, offering a predicted range of over 310 miles, and can be 80% recharged in 90 minutes. A production-ready I-PACE will be revealed in late 2017 going on sale in 2018.
Paris saw the unveiling of some new super-sexy Grand Touring cars. Ferrari pulled the covers off its new GTC4Lusso T. Replacing its predecessor’s V12 engine with a turbo-charged 3.9-litre V8, the new model is aimed at buyers seeking a sportscar that is drivable on a daily basis, says Ferrari. Switching from four-wheel-drive to rear-wheel-drive has reduced weight, making it only a tenth of a second slower from 0-62mph than the V12. Porsche revealed the Panamera 4 E-Hybrid which was making its world debut at the Paris Show. The all-wheel drive super-coupé’s electric motor combines with a 2.9-litre V6 petrol engine to deliver a total system torque of 700 Nm – enough for a 0-62mph time of 4.6 seconds, or a 31 mile range in pure electric mode. And finally, there was a show debut for the Mercedes AMG GT R. Joining the new Roadster model, the hard-top GT R - finished in a Nurburgring-inspired ‘Green Hell’ paintwork- is powered by a 4.0-litre V8 with 585bhp for a 0-62 time of 3.6 seconds, and a top speed of 198mph.
As the Paris Motor show enters its final week, we round-up some of the top concept cars making the headlines. Mercedes revealed its new Generation EQ SUV. Said to preview how future Mercedes electric cars might look, the concept is powered by two electric motors and has a range of up to 310 miles. Volkswagen unveiled its new zero-emissions I.D. concept. Based on an all-new vehicle architecture, VW says the I.D. will be the first of a new fleet when it launches in 2020, with prices comparable to those of the current Golf. The Lexus UX features rear-hinged doors, sharp lines and a coupe like roofline. The concept is expected to heavily influence a forthcoming CT200h hatchback replacement in a more SUV-like guise. Meanwhile, Mitsubishi pulled the covers off its GT-PHEV Concept. The GT stands for Ground Tourer, with the large SUV’s plug-in hybrid system using three electric motors and a 2.5-litre petrol engine for a combined hybrid cruising range of over 720 miles and CO2 emissions as low as 26g/km.
With the Paris Motor Show in full swing we take a look at some of the homegrown concept cars that are making the headlines. Renault revealed its super sexy all-electric Trezor concept. Featuring a power unit borrowed from the Renault Formula E team, it boasts 350 brake horse power and can accelerate from 0 to 62mph in under four seconds. Not to be outdone, Peugeot brought along its Fractal concept which has an electric motor on each axle delivering a combined total output of just over 200bhp. Described as an urban coupé, it comes with a removable roof to turn it into a stylish cabriolet. Citroën meanwhile, debuted its new CXPERIENCE petrol-electric plug-in hybrid concept. At just 1.37m tall, the low slung prototype features rear-hinged doors and a concave rear window for improved aerodynamics.
Hyundai challenged NEWCARNET’s very own Massimo Pini to take a driving test – with a difference…
His wrists, fingers and ear were hooked up to a series of sensors designed to monitor his emotional state behind the wheel for a special Driving Emotion Test.
Our driver was monitored during a 45-minute trip through busy London streets using clever facial coding technology developed by Hyundai, working with expert behavioural psychologists.
Taking his seat as one of the very first people in the UK to sample the brand new IONIQ Hybrid model, our Editor-in-Chief was subjected to something of an assault on the senses:
• A variety of drinks and snacks were fed to him
• He was blasted with loud music as well as the sound of car horns and irate drivers
• A range of scents and smells - some pleasant, some less so - were introduced to the interior
Despite the heating also being cranked up a number of times with the windows closed to get him all ‘hot and bothered’, Massimo seemed to come through the Driving Emotion Test relatively unscathed.
But the proof of the pudding will be in the final results, when his score will be benchmarked against 1,000 respondents from a nationwide study.
One week ago this Hyundai was in Seoul, South Korea. Currently it is the only hybrid Hyundai IONIQ in the UK and NEWCARNET Editor-in-Chief Massimo Pini was among the first to get behind the wheel for an exclusive drive on the streets of London.
Driving impressions are still under embargo until October 3, but you can get a closer look at the car on the move.
The IONIQ is the world's first vehicle to be built on a platform that can accommodate a choice of three electrified powertrains - Hybrid, Electric and Plug-in.
Kia has revealed its first plug-in hybrid model for the UK - the Optima PHEV. With an all-electric range of up to 33 miles the new model combines a 2.0-litre petrol engine with a 50kW electric motor for a total power output of 202bhp. Model specific aerodynamic, styling and technology contributes towards the hybrid Optima’s low CO2 emissions of 37g/km and potential fuel economy of up to 176mpg. The Kia Optima PHEV is priced at £31,495 after applying the Government's £2,500 plug-in car grant.
Nissan engineers have created a new prototype of the all-electric LEAF - with a whopping 75 percent increase in driving range. Removing the rear seats, they were able to shoehorn a 48 kWh battery in the back, double the size of the production car’s standard unit. The prototype was built to compete in a new ECOseries motorsport event, which rewards efficiency and fuel economy rather than outright speed.. and it seems the extra hours put in by the team duly paid off as they took first place.
In a World Exclusive, NEWCARNET has secured the first images of a brand new electric hypercar concept – the GVA Eclipse. Designed by a British-led team at China-based automotive design company, Global Vehicle Architecture, the stunning full-sized prototype is projected to be joining the 200mph club thanks in part to a ground-breaking aerodynamic concept. Lifting the side windows upwards allows the bodywork to be sculpted so airflow can be channelled down the sides of the car – similar to the solution adopted by Le Mans racers. Patents are currently pending and the designers bullishly describe the GVA Eclipse as ‘very much production orientated and not just a flight of fancy.’
Volvo has unveiled two new small concept cars - the 40.1 and 40.2 - both built on a new compact platform. The SUV and hatchback mark the official launch of Volvo’s new small car strategy. The Swedish company plans to expand into the market for premium small cars, aiming to compete with its global competitors in the next four years. The concepts feature a bold exterior and interior design as well as ‘industry-leading’ connectivity and autonomous drive technologies, while the new range will also include electric and plug-in hybrid models.
Indian manufacturing giant Mahindra has entered the UK automotive market with its e2o electric car. Launched at London's Design Museum, the three-door hatchback has been created for urban commuting, and will be available in two trim levels. The city car includes 'connected’ features such as a smartphone app which allows you to control many of the cars functions remotely. With running costs from as low £10 a month for those travelling under 8,000 miles a year, prices for the e2o will start at £12,995 OTR.
Tesla has revealed its all-new electric car, the Model 3. The final step in Tesla’s master plan - a mass market, affordable car - the model 3 combines an all-electric real world driving range of at least 215 miles, with a 0-60 time of under 6 seconds. The Model 3 starts at $35 dollars in the US and will come with free access to Tesla’s Supercharging network as standard as well as Auto pilot hardware. First customer deliveries are set for 2017 and Tesla claims to have already taken over 250 thousand orders.
Toyota pulled the covers off the first ever Hybrid version of the RAV4, at the 2015 New York Auto Show. The Hybrid's powertrain combines a 2.5-litre petrol engine with an electric motor, plus an additional motor powering the rear axle to deliver electronic all-wheel drive. The unveiling of the hybrid coincides with a revamp of the entire RAV4 range, which includes exterior styling tweaks, an improved cabin and additional technology and safety features. The Toyota RAV4 Hybrid is set to arrive in the UK early next year.
Lexus has unveiled its all-new RX at the 2015 New York Auto Show. The SUV's new front end features a spindle grille design with a chrome-finished border, LED headlamps and redesigned fog lights. Blacked-out C-pillars create a floating roof effect, while new 20-inch alloy wheels can be customised. The hybrid powertrain features an a total system output around 300bhp while a 3.5-litre V6 petrol engine version will also be available when the new RX goes on sale in later 2015.
We run you through our A-Z of the 2015 Geneva Motor Show - from Aston Martin to Zero Emission vehicles, its all here!