2017 BMW i3 EV Tested: Style Over Substance

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What It Is: BMW’s i sub-brand was announced in 2011, but its first product, the i3, didn’t launch until the second half of 2013. BMW’s first mass-produced battery-electric vehicle, the i3 was followed quickly by the i8 hybrid sports car. The i3 is a funky hatchback with rear-hinged back doors, integrated taillights hidden behind a glass panel, a carbon-fiber-reinforced-plastic structure, and concept-car styling inside and out. A lithium-ion battery pack is housed in the floor, and a rear-mounted electric motor drives the rear wheels. READ MORE ››

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2017 BMW i3 EV – Quick Test

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2018 Subaru Outback in Depth: At Home in the Backwoods and on the Boulevard

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Subaru calls it an SUV, but the Outback is really a station wagon with ground clearance, and its capability as both a cargo hauler and an all-weather companion appeals to buyers with adventure on the mind. Subaru’s signature horizontally opposed engines—a 2.5-liter four-cylinder and a 3.6-liter six-cylinder—provide good fuel economy, but the Outback lacks the fun-to-drive nature we look for in a car. Safety takes the front seat in the Outback, though, and in addition to stellar crash-test results, Subaru offers a suite of active safety features such as automated emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, and automatic high-beam headlamps. All-wheel drive is standard—a hallmark of the Subaru brand—and helps the Outback earn its reputation as an outdoorsman’s carryall. READ MORE ››

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2018 Subaru Outback – In-Depth Review

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2019 Toyota Prius V Spied in Crossover Clothing

2019 Toyota Prius V (spy photo)

What It Is: The next-generation version of Toyota’s Prius V hatchback caught testing at the last location you’d suspect to find a Prius: Germany’s Nürburgring circuit. Location aside, the new V is a substantial departure from today’s model, which is a homely, slightly bulbous wagonlet that looks almost vanlike. The V is sold alongside the Prius’s traditional five-door liftback and compact-hatch C forms, and this new version ditches the old V’s dowdy duds for a taller ride height and a more SUV-like shape. READ MORE ››

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2019 Toyota Prius V Spied Looking Actually Handsome – Future Cars

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Gravity in Technicolor: 2017 Los Angeles Red Bull Soapbox Race

Gravity in Technicolor: 2017 Los Angeles Red Bull Soapbox RaceTeam Fresh PrinceTeam Fresh Prince scored sixth for creativity and earned 41 out of 50 points for its showmanship in the skit at the starting line, but the painfully pokey 110-second time on the hill—due to a minor incident from which the team recovered—relegated it to 27th overall.5 Buds and a SubUndeniably cute, this entry was ranked 23rd for creativity, which combined with a 45th-place skit performance and a middling 72-second run to result in a 37th-place overall finish.Team Star Wars LegoTeam Star Wars LegoA Van Damme Fast SoapboxO.J. & the White BroncoTeam JetsonsSrirachcarManheim SpeedwagonSpicy NoodleThe RocketeerHeisenberg ExpressDo It!

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Phew! Audi’s Confusing New Naming Scheme Won’t Be Used in U.S.

2019 Audi A8

Audi’s new powertrain naming scheme won’t be applied to the brand’s U.S. models, according to Audi spokespeople. 

Less than two months ago, the German brand announced that the all-new 2019 Audi A8 will introduce a new powertrain naming scheme for the brand. The automaker will trade in the familiar displacement-based scheme used today—such as 2.0T and 3.0T—for a two-digit number ranging from 30 to 70 in increments of five. The numbers applied to each new Audi model will reflect the powertrain’s power output.

Still, the two digits are largely arbitrary and represent a power range, not a specific output figure. For example, Audis marked 30 will produce between 109 and 129 horsepower, while those bearing a 45 badge make between 227 and 248 horsepower. Confused yet?

Fortunately, Audi’s U.S. customers won’t have to deal with this head-scratching naming scheme—at least for the time being.

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Silently Storming Pikes Peak: Volkswagen Returning to Hill Climb with an EV

Volkswagen Pikes Peak EV

Volkswagen doesn’t mince words when describing the electric race car it has announced plans to campaign at the 2018 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb: “The new motorsport project is part of Volkswagen’s process of transforming itself into the leading producer of electric vehicles.” (And, you know, forget that whole diesel cheating thing—a key driver for the brand’s pivot to EV development.) Whatever its motivations, VW’s decision to return to Pikes Peak for the first time since 1987 is exciting.

For starters, the prototype car VW plans to field at the famed hill-climb event will be an all-wheel-drive, fully electric car wearing what appear to be appropriately wild aerodynamic body addenda. At least that’s what we can tell from the single darkened image that VW has released of the low, sleek car. Volkswagen is chasing the hill-climb record for EVs, which currently stands at eight minutes, 57.2 seconds. The course is 12.4 miles long and rises 4725 feet to the finish line at 14,115 feet.

Not only does the electric race car need to outdo that course record, though, it also needs to outcool the last car Volkswagen ran up Pikes Peak: a twin-engined Golf that DNF’d in 1987. The automaker’s push to flood its lineup with EVs by 2025—cars that should benefit from development exercises such as this Pikes Peak run—is admirable, but a Golf hatchback with two engines? Those are big shoes to fill.

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Form Meets Function in the New Genesis G80 Sport

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Against the amber-tinged and menacing late-summer sky, a variety of thoughtful exterior details jump out to help differentiate the 2018 Genesis G80 Sport from its less potent siblings. Looking closer, Genesis imbued the model with subtle gestures that hint at the powerful engine and purposefully engineered performance bits beneath the surface. We asked automotive photographer Kevin McCauley to help pull out the unique elements of the car against the backdrop of the golden hour in New York’s Hudson Valley.

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The Genesis G80 Sport, the first ever sports sedan from the brand, is a balanced expression of what’s to come. “I think it’s exciting to see a new performance sedan,” said McCauley, “and how it has gone against all these industry-standard clichés with some of the details and finishing.”

Touches of copper—a new brand signature—make their debut here, accenting the Sport-specific dimensional grille. Smoked LED headlights are set off with tasteful accents of the precious metal, while neatly textured wheel center caps complete the transformation. “It’s really rare to see something with a hue to it,” McCauley adds. “It stands out, but it’s not overbearing.” It’s these unique expressions of performance that help elevate the Genesis G80 Sport to a level of intrigue that makes it perfect for civilized jaunts through the New York countryside.

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