All posts in “Rides”

We May Have Found Out What Engine the New Ford Bronco Has

There are plenty of exciting new products rolling into Ford dealerships in the next few years — the 760-horsepower Shelby GT500, a Mustang-inspired electric performance crossover, a tiny off-roader — but perhaps none has whipped up as much frenzy as the 2021 Ford Bronco due to arrive next year. Ford, for the most part, has played its cards close to the vest with the new Bronco, revealing little beyond the basic silhouette. That’s left enthusiasts scrambling to find information however they can — including some odd places.

Like, for example, the auto parts reference computer at an automotive store. Which is exactly where Off-Road.com found out that the 2021 Ford Bronco will apparently pack a 2.3-liter four-cylinder engine.

One of the website’s correspondents stumbled upon the listing while poking around the parts lookup tool at a Canadian Tire. To verify this, Gear Patrol checked out the online version of the tool on Canadian Tire’s website; sure enough, searching under 2021 model year vehicles revealed a single result — a Ford Bronco with a 2.3-liter four-cylinder engine.

A quck survey of Ford’s engine lineup reveals but one engine matching that displacement: the turbocharged EcoBoost inline-four found in various states of tune under the hood of the now-defunct Focus RS, the base Mustang…and, most notably, the Ford Ranger. In Ranger form, the engine cranks out 270 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque, and comes connected solely to a 10-speed automatic transmission. Given that the new Bronco will be based on the Ranger’s chassis, it’s no surprise to hear that it would pack the same engine found in the pickup (at least, here in America).

Of course, it’s possible that some overzealous Canadian Tire employee simply guessed what engine will be crammed into Ford’s new off-roader, and that the new Bronco will show up with a different powertrain entirely. But our instincts tell us this seems more like an honest mistake made by someone with inside access to the Bronco’s mechanical specs than an auto parts database programmer deciding to go wild with the system. Here’s hoping Ford pulls the wraps off the vehicle soon enough and clears things up once and for all.

Curtiss Warhawk Bike

Curtiss Motorcycles has done it again. At this point, should we even be surprised? The shop has put out a coterie of impressive custom jobs in years past. Its newest, called the Curtiss Warhawk, is no different. Like its siblings, the bike is a beastly bang-up job that says, “Screw it. We’re not about subtle.”

Indeed, it’s immediately apparent just after one glance that this is no ordinary ride. But explore its innards and you’ll find an equally impressive array of specs to match. First off, there’s a 132 cubic-inch triple cashaft V-twin engine. That amounts to 150 brake horsepower output — on a bike that weighs 570 pounds.

The chassis, an aluminum monocoque, features a double wishbone parallelogram front fork. There’s also a fabricated rear aluminum swing arm to round out the metallic profile. Top speed is rated at over 165mph. How much does it cost? Well, you can get this one for your garage just for the low, low price of $112,00.

By the way, this is the first Curtiss motorcycle in 105 years, if you can believe that. It’s also the last Curtiss to feature a Petrol V-twin engine. If this is something you think you want, act fast. The shop will make just 36 examples, so you better get that check ready stat. This is also the first and last of its kind, just so you know. Curtiss, which changes its name this year, will switch to all-electric propulsion for their builds moving forward. What a swan song, though.

CHECK IT OUT

Photos courtesy of Curtiss Motorcycles

Lightyear One Solar Electric Car

The automotive industry is marketing electric vehicles as zero-emission alternatives to raise environmental awareness. However, depending on how your local power grid generates electricity, it might not meet the qualifications. In concept, these models are indeed emission-free, but the need to plug it in will make you think otherwise. If you want to cast all doubt aside, the Lightyear One is the all-electric machine that rightfully earns the aforementioned classification.

To be clear, the Lightyear One can still charge using the outlet or charging stations, it has an ace up its sleeve. A closer inspection reveals the innovative approach that the EV takes to keep its batteries juiced up. State-of-the-art solar cells are covering the roof as well as the hood. There are 16.5 feet of these soaking up the rays under a durable sheet of safety glass.

The company claims that it is robust enough to support a full-grown adult. Likewise, these are not your standard solar cells, because each panel works independently. Moreover, these reportedly generate 20 percent more energy than traditional models. Although it can in theory fully charge the batteries, it will take way longer than plugging it in.

The Lightyear One can manage about 450 miles on a full charge but will be longer when the solar cells do their job. We believe that solar charging is its biggest feature that other EVs will eventually adapt later on. Each of the in-wheel motors reduces energy loss and provides exceptional handling during your drive. Pre-orders are now available with 500 examples available for the first run and a 2021 delivery date.

Reserve yours here

Images courtesy of Lightyear

Curtiss Zeus Bobber Motorcycle

Here comes another electric project from Curtiss, the Zeus Bobber Motorcycle. Curtiss isn’t messing around — this one is an absolute banger. Remember the Hera? Consider that a mere precursor to what the automaker has brought to us now. Its trend of making hyper-futuristic bikes continues here, with the Zeus Bobber fitting right inside a Scott Ridley sci-fi flick.

The modular design comes in a sleek, glossy black paint job, paired with an aluminum frame and solid carbon wheels. As a result, it is both light — just 475 pounds — but still very strong.

It’s got a suspension system that’s fully adjustable for racing and commuting. And the lithium-ion battery pushes the vehicle up to 280 miles. The electric motor generates 190 ponies, which is aplenty for an electric vehicle, and you get 145 pound-feet of torque, for good measure. That rounds to zero to 62mph in just 2.1 seconds, which is pretty amazing. And it’s so gorgeous to the point of looking fake. But trust us, this is no concept. It’s very, very real, and you can put an order for one now, if you got money to burn.

The bike is expected to roll off the assembly line in 2020, which is a bit further down the road, to be frank. If you really want it, you can deposit $6,000 now and wait to pay the full price of $60,000 once it hits the road. Hit the link below to learn how to order one now.

BUY IT HERE

Photos courtesy of Curtiss

Lamborghini Urus ABT Sportsline Tuning

High-performance carmakers all constantly compete to release top-tier rides that will stand out. However, this usually floods the market with supercars and hypercars that speed-loving consumers will quickly snap up. Once in a while, something unique rolls out the factory that becomes a sensation of its own. In 2017, Lamborghini made a bold move and unveiled a modern SUV. This was the second unusual departure for the brand following the release of the LM002. Now the ABT racing team is taking the latest model and creating the Lamborghini Urus ABT Sportsline model.

As expected from the group, it will be tweaking the stock version with a whirlwind of upgrades. The goal to push the high-end SUV further up the ladder. Perhaps their ultimate goal is to unlock all of the hidden potentials within the Urus. The group will be tuning the engine control unit (ECU) of the 4-liter twin-turbo V8 to add another 59 horsepower and 44 lb-ft of torque. This pushes the total output up to 710 horsepower with 671 lb-ft of torque.

We’re looking at a top speed of 189.5 miles per hour and a 0-60 mph time of 3.4 seconds. This is not the first tuning job available for the Italian SUV. Earlier this year, in preparation for a one-make rallycross event, the Lamborghini Urus ST-X concept caught us by surprise. Instead of messing around with its engine, engineers are substituting some of its metal parts with carbon fiber instead. The process will reportedly reduce its overall weight by 25 percent. However, we’ll gladly choose the Lamborghini Urus ABT Sportsline upgrade over the former.

Learn more about it here

Images courtesy of ABT Sportsline

These Are the Most American Cars and Trucks On Sale

“Buy American.” It’s a saying with deep roots in the national psyche, a two-word phrase that unites patriotism and capitalism into a single expression. Well-made products can be built anywhere, of course, but we take special pride in those goods made right here in the U.S.A. And that goes double for cars, where brand loyalties can run thick as blood and companies often define themselves as much on their country of origin as they do any other trait.

But badges, like looks, can be deceiving. Many cars made by Detroit’s Big Three are actually assembled abroad, while plenty of vehicles coming from companies headquartered in other countries are screwed together right here between sea and shining sea. To help cut through the confusion, the folks at Cars.com have put together a list of the new cars and trucks on sale today that qualify as the most American-made rides you can buy off a showroom floor, based on both where they’re built and where the parts used to make them come from.

As it turns out, American brands make up only four of the top 10 cars and trucks on the list. (And in fact, one of them isn’t represented there at all; Ford doesn’t even show up until spot no. 13.) The other six, interestingly enough, not only come from a “foreign” brand, they all come from the same automaker: Honda. The carmaker pops up again once more before the 15-car-strong list wraps up, giving it nearly half the entries on the list between its Honda and Acura brands. Toyota comes in strong at the end, as well — thus giving Japanese automakers 60% of all the most American-made cars and trucks on sale today.

The complete list of the 15 most American-made vehicles, starting with the most American and working on down:

  1. Jeep Cherokee
  2. Honda Odyssey
  3. Honda Ridgeline
  4. Honda Passport
  5. Chevrolet Corvette
  6. Acura MDX
  7. Honda Pilot
  8. Chevrolet Colorado
  9. GMC Canyon
  10. Acura RDX
  11. Chevrolet Camaro
  12. Toyota Avalon
  13. Ford F-150
  14. Honda Accord
  15. Toyota Tundra
Gear Patrol Magazine: Issue Ten

We’re proud to present the Innovation Issue. In our newest magazine we take a look at how boundaries are being pushed in everything from virtual reality, to coffee farming and more. Learn More Here

BMW Vision M Next concept debuts, shows the way forward for BMW M

Today marks the next step in BMW’s “Next” concept program, previewing the company’s future. It’s the most exciting step, too, because this particular concept is called the BMW Vision M Next. As this “Next” ground is still relatively untrodden, we’ll make it clear that M means the same thing here as it does for every BMW M car. This particular firecracker is meant to give us a taste of what’s coming to BMW’s M division, electrification and all.

The shape and stature of the car instantly screams i8 at us. However, the actual design and styling is new and unique to itself. More than anything, it looks like a worthy evolution of the i8, previewed in concept form. When we get to the powertrain details, it sounds even more like such a vehicle. BMW didn’t make it a fully electric car. Instead, it’s a plug-in hybrid with a turbocharged four-cylinder drinking gasoline. We aren’t privy to the engine’s specs, but BMW says the combined system output is 600 horsepower. That’s good for 0-62 mph in 3.0 seconds and a top speed of 186 mph. Recalling the i8, that car has a turbocharged three-cylinder combined with an electric motor that makes 369 horsepower in total. The M Next is capable of driving 62 miles electric-only on a full charge, while the i8 is only capable of 18 miles. Needless to say, the M Next is a huge step forward in every way.

BMW likes to use a lot of colorful language to explain and detail its styling decisions, but we can stick to the important stuff. Those kidney grilles are rather eye-catching. Even though it may not look it at first glance, they’re blanked off with a transparent layer of bodywork. The pattern visible in the grille was actually laser-etched in there, and is also illuminated. Fancy stuff. Another interesting bit is the headlight technology. BMW calls it “Laser Wire” lighting. Glass fibers coated with phosphorous are used to produce the elements, which results in an extremely thin form that we see with one stacked on top of each other. BMW used the same tech to create the taillights, and you’ll notice floating BMW roundels floating inside the element, too. The rear “window” design is meant to remind of the BMW M1, which happens to be a glorious car design to take inspiration from. In the M Next’s case, the three-piece louvres are made of glass. We’d be remiss if we didn’t mention all the glorious orange used throughout the car. BMW calls it “Thrilling Orange,” and it’s thrilling indeed.

Also worthy of discussion is the rather spartan and technology-infused interior. We’re not so sure about the design from the photos BMW provided us with, but make your own judgments. There are three displays, all directly in front of the driver. Massive infotainment screens need not apply in the M Next. The first display comprises two tiny screens on the steering wheel, followed by a curved glass display where one would expect an instrument cluster. Finally, an AR (augmented reality) head-up display stretches across part of the windshield to offer even more information at a glance. The point here is to make all the displays fall in the driver’s line of sight. Whether that distracts the driver with display overload, or takes pressure away from looking to the center infotainment display is still up to the jury to decide. BMW does point out that it’s opposite the goal of the Vision iNext, which attempts to make the technology accessible to everybody in the car.

One neat interior feature we’d love to see on today’s cars is a gyroscopic cup holder. BMW says it’s able to compensate for strong lateral and longitudinal forces, which would be great when you’re trying to accelerate through an on-ramp with the morning coffee in tow. There’s no indication of when we might see any of the technologies previewed in the M Next, but it could serve as a point of reference for an i8 successor or even a standalone M car.

Tesla Truckla

Given enough time, Elon Musk will eventually push Tesla to add more EV models to its lineup. Right now, we’re looking at the Model S, Model X, and Model 3 as its available offerings. Meanwhile, the Roadster, Semi, And Model 3 are on its way soon. So far, we have a sedan, a coupe, a crossover SUV, and a semi-trailer truck, but we know there will be more. On the other hand, if you have the skills, the time, the tools, and the willingness to destroy a perfectly good Model 3, then check out the Tesla Truckla.

What we’re looking at here is a custom all-electric single-cab pickup truck. To give credit where it’s due, this is one impressive work that showcases what Tesla can potentially offer in the future. The mad scientist behind this project is Simone Luna Louise Söderlund Giertz or just Simone Giertz for short. This Swedish mechanical maven loves to tinker around with robotics and also dabbles around as an inventor, TV host, and a YouTuber.

Her DIY masterpiece takes a brand new Tesla Model 3, an angle grinder, a welder, and some elbow grease to complete. In our opinion, the process is cringe-worthy because you’re seeing a pristine sedan getting cut up like it’s in a gory slasher movie. The part of the video where she starts to key the trunk makes us tear up. Anyway, her team started off by stripping off the interior of the vehicle then proceeded to remove the beams and the rear structure of the car. Thankfully, after installing the bed as well as the cargo rack, the Tesla Truckla becomes one awesome ride

Check out her YouTube channel here

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Image and video courtesy of Simone Giertz

Electric Ford Mustang By Charge Automotive

We all know that most major automotive manufacturers are shifting production away from conventional petrol-driven engines. However, your favorite car brand might not be on the list just yet. Although concept models are on show, production might not start until a few years from now. On the other hand, you might want to rely on other means to get what you want. Thankfully, one company is a step ahead with the electric Ford Mustang by Charge Automotive.

You read that right, this awesome ride is the work of a British group that specializes in upgrading classic automobiles. Gearheads all over know that the Ford Mustang is one of the most iconic American sports car ever.

Others might disagree, but the Blue Oval certainly made a masterpiece of a muscle car with this model. Charge Automotive is preparing only 499 examples of this all-electric machine. Furthermore, what’s noticeably cool about it is the pure retro aesthetics of these 1960 pony cars.

However, if you’re looking for the galloping horse emblem, it’s not there. Despite the familiar form factor, Charge Automotive is slapping their own logo onto this EV. Perhaps, it’s intentional to let the world know that you’re not inside a gas-guzzling beast, but cruising along on board an eco-friendly coupe.

The electric Ford Mustang features cutting-edge technology within that will be obvious inside the cabin. Instead of a vintage interior, you’re getting a modern setup with touch displays and the works. The electric powertrain promises up to 536 horsepower with 5,532 lb-ft of torque. Top speed maxes out at 149 mph with a 0-60 mph sprint of a little over three seconds. Charge Automotive claims that the 64 kWh battery should be good for at least 200 miles.

Find out more about it here

Images courtesy of Charge Automotive

2004 Mercedes-Benz Unimog U500 On Auction

Depending on the auction scene you are following, supercars, one-offs, and other high-performance rides will be on display. On the flipside, if you’re after items that are quirky and maybe odd, there are times when it can pop up. One such instance is the recent posting about a 2004 Mercedes-Benz Unimog U500.

For those seeing it for the first time, it looks like a strange hybrid between a pickup truck and a tractor. This is a multi-purpose machine that can handle the most demanding workloads and won’t even break a sweat.

Powering this beast is a 6.4-liter Mercedes-Benz OM906LA turbo-diesel inline-six. This reliable powerplant produces 260 horsepower at 2,200 rpm along with an impressive 700 lb-ft of torque. Using an 8-speed manual transmission it delivers all that power to all four of its wheels. Furthermore, portal axles give the Unimog U500 a towering ground clearance. The 20-inch wheel comes with a central tire inflation system and sits on Michelin X tires.

The original configuration features a single cab enough for two people, but this one flaunts a crew cab from Plastisol. Meanwhile, it’s also sporting a three-way dump bed sourced from a Unimog model with a shorter wheelbase. Likewise, a custom rollover bar with LED lighting and a spare tire mount are welcome upgrades to the package.

Inside the cabin is a utilitarian setup with gray vinyl upholstery and splashes of blue plastic all around. Next, is the floating center console where all of the various controls are accessible. This 2004 Mercedes-Benz Unimog U500 may not appeal to everyone, but it certainly has a badass appeal that will call out to a buyer out there.

Bid for it here

Images courtesy of Bring A Trailer

1975 Ferrari 312T On Auction

When you’re religiously following vehicle auction blocks, once in a while a gem goes up for sale. By some stroke of luck, you can sometimes stumble upon ultra rare items that immediately causes a frenzy among collectors everywhere. It looks like this moment is upon us as a 1975 Ferrari 312T will be up for bidding soon. It is one of the more impressive items that will be in the lineup at the 2019 Gooding & Company Pebble Beach event in mid-August.

What makes this race car so desirable is the fact that it was driven by the legendary Niki Lauda. Sadly, the three-time world champion passed away on May 20 of this year. Formula One fanatics will recognize it as the machine that helped rack up his victories on the race track. Moreover, it is reportedly one of the five built by Ferrari to compete in the 1975 season labeled chassis 022. The 312T owes its design to Mauro Forghieri, the brand’s mechanical engineer

For those wondering what the “T” in the 312T means, it refers to the transverse engine-mounting setup. This configuration enhances the race car’s cornering capabilities, which alongside the exceptional driving skills of Lauda, produced consistent podium appearances.

Powering the 1975 Ferrari 312T is a Flat-12 engine that can produce up to 500 horsepower. We can already imagine the bidding to skyrocket up to insane amounts. Nonetheless, this is hardly out of the ordinary given the pedigree and history of this superb specimen. We can’t say for certain until the hammer falls during the auction and one lucky buyer walks away with the prize.

Learn more here

Images courtesy of Gooding & Company

Ferrari shows off SF90’s four powertrain modes in new video

The Ferrari SF90 is the newest foal in the Maranello stable, and Ferrari continues to parade it for the crowds. A new video shows how the plug-in hybrid’s four powertrain modes work, controlled by buttons on the lower left side of the steering wheel. The greenest mode gets a button marked “eD,” for electric driving (now that Smart’s effectively dead here, someone had to pick up the eD moniker). In that guise, the 7.9-kWh battery mounted transversely behind the seats sends energy to the two e-motors up front, and can power the SF90 for up to 15 miles as a front-wheel-drive coupe.

Next up, the “H” button turns the SF90 into a hybrid, with a priority on maximum efficiency. The battery sends its power to the dual e-motors in front and the third e-motor between the engine and transmission, with the 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 firing to work the rear wheels as well. Under low loads, the control logic can switch from Hybrid mode to pure electric driving, then reengage the ICE on demand.

Above that, a checkered flag icon represents Performance mode. Here, the ICE is always running, with the priority on keeping the battery charged.

The gutsiest mode gets a clock icon, representing Qualify. This extracts all the performance available, the video indicating this is where the 1,000 CV, or 986 horsepower, comes into play. It isn’t clear if Qualify is the only mode that unlocks peak horsepower, of if Performance can do so as well. In fact, we’re still not sure what the SF90’s effective horsepower is; Ferrari added the V8’s 769 hp to the three e-motors’ 217 hp to reach that total output figure, which isn’t how this is usually done.

We’ll undoubtedly get more answers once the first drives hit the interwebs. We already have a lot of questions about that intense steering wheel and its “View Max” touch controller, and the rather comely 16-inch display.

Land Rover Range Rover Velar Project Kahn P300 Pace Car

Earlier this week, we received exciting news about an upcoming armored SUV with insane power. We’re talking about the 1,000 horsepower 2020 Rezvani Tank, which is an insane upgrade over its predecessor. So far, it’s one ride that shaping up to be a monster for good reason. However, before the week ends, we are getting word that another badass SUV is on show. Therefore, its time to check out the Land Rover Range Rover Velar Project Kahn P300 Pace Car.

The name is definitely a mouthful, but with the slew of upgrades Kahn is throwing in, it deserves to keep it. What we love about this custom job is the sleek and stealthy appearance of the matte black colorway it’s sporting. The shop calls it Satin Black with Bronze detailing and it looks absolutely stunning on the SUV. Moreover, the 23-inch Pace Car Wheels come in a Dark Bronze tint that adds a layer of elegance to its ebony aesthetics.

Meanwhile, we’re also seeing generous amounts of carbon fiber components that help with overall weight reduction. To match the classy exterior of the SUV, the interior sports a matching tone, which is exceptional. All of the seats feature Herringbone-quilted and perforated leather upholstery, while the doors panels also get a leather treatment. Owners will likewise find that almost everything inside is covered in premium leatherwork. It’s not every day that you can drape about 90 percent of a vehicle in black and get away it. However, the Range Rover Velar Project Kahn P300 Pace Car manages to do so with style.

Get it here

Images courtesy of Kahn

Ford Has a New Version of the GT It Will Show at Goodwood

A More Extreme Ford GT?

The 2019 Goodwood Festival of Speed should be a fantastic event with some of the most impressive and amazing cars in the entire world. Now, there is another good reason to pay attention to the event. Ford recently teased a shot of a new version of its GT that will appear at Goodwood. The company released the images and the information that it would share “exciting Ford GT supercar news” on July 4 at 4:45 a.m. EDT.

Hermann Salenbauch from Ford Performance and Larry Holt from Multimatic will be the two people who will give the announcement. Right now, what those two men will be discussing is a bit up in the air. Ford did not let any more information slip out beyond the fact that it will be exciting news. 

The car in the teaser image is just more or less a dark outline. However, that dark outline does show a huge rear wing and what appears to be a roof scoop. There are a few possibilities. It could be a special one-off build, a new limited edition run of the car, or some kind of new racing variant. 

Ford already has plenty coming to Goodwood, including the new Focus ST, the Mustang Shelby GT500, the Ranger Raptor, and Ken Block’s vehicles and Vaughn Gittin Jr.’s wild rides. We have a feeling, though, that the GT news will steal the show.

Another Ford GT is coming, and this is it

Get excited, everyone. There’s another Ford GT coming. Ford just dropped this teaser of a shadowy, winged GT supercar staring back at us, and it certainly has our hearts pounding.

Sadly, information about the unnamed GT version is even scarcer than most teasers we typically get. Here’s the text direct from the Blue Oval: “Ford will make a special Ford GT supercar announcement during a dedicated press conference from 4:45 a.m. EDT, July 4, at the 2019 Goodwood Festival of Speed.”

Multimatic will be on site for the announcement, with chief technical officer Larry Holt in tow. If you’re in the UK for Goodwood, you’ll want to be at the Ford stand in the Drift Paddock for the news. And that’s all the official information available for the time being.

So for now we’re left to gaze at this great teaser photo Ford provided us. The wing is absolutely massive, like race car levels of massive. Also, it has a roof scoop, which is something the normal Ford GT doesn’t have. Beyond these couple of details, it’s hard to tell much of anything apart from the Ford GT we already know and love. Clearly, Ford is after something a bit racier with this version. We’ll have to wait until Independence Day to see the car in full, as a new American supercar makes its world debut in the country we declared independence from on that day’s anniversary.

The Complete Electric Car Buying Guide: Every Model, Explained

Electric cars are the future. At least, that’s the idea most automakers are banking on. Elon Musk and Tesla have shown off the immense potential for battery electric vehicles (also known as BEVs), delivering models that offer prodigious range equal to gas-powered equivalents and “ludicrous” acceleration that exceeds most internal-combustion cars.

The biggest hurdle for automakers looking to build new EVs is battery technology; power storage units remain heavy, cumbersome and expensive compared with gasoline. So far, battery limitations have been one of the main constraints what types of BEVs can be made, who can afford them, and how much — if any — profit automakers can make from them. But that’s starting to change. The 2020 model year should be a tipping point for EVs, with heavyweight manufacturers like Porsche and Mercedes-Benz diving into the mix, as well as intriguing startups like Rivian launching new vehicles.

That’s not to say the electric car marketplace is barren right now, however: Early adopters can still choose from an array of compelling options. Here, then, we present the Gear Patrol guide for every battery electric vehicle currently available for sale in the U.S.

Charging

Level 1 Charging: A standard 120-volt wall outlet. It can take 24 hours or more to fully charge an EV.

Level 2 Charging: Most home charging systems and public charge points; they deliver power at 240 volts, and charge vehicles about five to six times faster than Level 1. These can add significant range in a few hours, or fully charge a vehicle overnight. Almost every electric vehicle is compatible with a Level 2 charger.

Level 3 Charging: Refers to a number of methods that generally deliver a “fast charge,” raising a battery to 80 percent in less than an hour. These chargers are less common. Not all EVs accept Level 3 charging.

Plugs

SAE J1772: The standard five-pin connector used on most Level 2 charging systems.

CCS: “Combined charging system.” Combines the five-pin SAE J1772 “J-plug” with an additional plug to accommodate DC fast-charging.

CHAdeMO: DC-only fast-charging connector, most commonly used on Japanese and Korean vehicles.  

Tesla Supercharger: Tesla uses its own proprietary connectors that accommodate fast charging, which they call “Supercharging.” Tesla sells SAE J1772 and CHAdeMO adapters. European Teslas are fitted with a CCS plug.

Other Useful EV Terms

BEV: “Battery-electric vehicle.” Used interchangeably with “EV” to describe electric vehicles.

Federal Tax Credit: In America, EVs come with a $7,500 federal tax credit that lowers the effective cost of purchase. The tax credit begins to phase out after a manufacturer sells 200,000 electric vehicles.

ICE-ing: Internal combustion enthusiasts parking their large trucks in a manner to block public charging points.

kWh: “Kilowatt-hour.” This is the energy unit used to measure battery capacity. 

MPGe: Miles per gallon equivalent.” Designed to measure how many miles an EV will travel on the energy equivalent of one gallon of gas. Works as a vague basis of comparison between internal-combustion and electric vehicles.

One-Pedal Driving: Many EVs use a regenerative braking system, where lifting off the accelerator causes the electric motor to create resistance and braking, sending electricty to the battery. This permits the driver, for the most part, to drive without using the brake pedal. It improves efficiency in stop-and-go traffic. Most cars will let the driver adjust the system’s strength.

Range Anxiety: Fear that an EV won’t be able to travel sufficiently far on a charge. Considered a major barrier to widespread EV adoption.

Torque: The rotational equivalent of linear force, which provides forward acceleration in a vehicle. Internal combustion engines must build their revolutions to a specific speed range to achieve peak torque, while EVs reach peak torque immediately, enabling tghem to accelerate more quickly and feel quicker still.

WLTP: The World Harmonized Light Vehicles Test Procedure, used for testing efficiency and energy emissions in non-U.S. markets. Manufacturers often cite it because it gives a more favorable range estimate than America testing, which is closer to real-world driving.

Audi

Audi recently debuted the E-tron, a midsize luxury crossover. It is the first of 12 electric Audi models set to launch by 2025. The E-tron looks like a standard Audi SUV, all the way down to the (unnecessary) grille. The e-tron SUV’s two electric motors generate a maximum of a combined 402 horsepower and 490 lb-ft of torque, and accelerate it from 0 to 60 mph in 5.5 seconds.

While the E-Tron SUV’s EPA range of 204 miles disappoints compared to its closest competitors, the Jaguar I-Pace and Tesla Model X, Audi would counter that by saying using only 88 percent of battery capacity improves battery lifetime and reliability. Nevertheless, at 74 MPGe, the e-tron SUV is the least energy efficient electric vehicle produced by a major manufacturer.

Model:

  • Audi e-Tron SUV

Engine:

  • Dual motors, all-wheel-drive, 95-kWh battery

EPA Range:

Base Price: $74,800

BMW

BMW’s only pure electric vehicle, for now, is the i3, a subcompact hatchback that debuted in 2013. The i3 is a bit of a throwback to the early 2010s, when EVs needed quirky, avant-garde designs to appeal to early adopters. There are two trims: the standard i3 that makes 170 hp and a sportier i3s making 181 hp. Both can achieve 153 miles of EPA range. Those willing to tolerate some vehicular emissions can bump the range to 200 miles with a gasoline range extender.

The major knock on the i3 is that the competition has caught up since 2013. Cars like the Chevy Bolt and Tesla Model 3 offer far better performance, space and range, at a similar–if not lower–price point.

Models:

Engine:

  • Rear motor, rear-wheel-drive, 42-kWh battery

EPA Range:

Base Price: $44,450

Chevrolet

Chevrolet makes the pure electric Bolt, which is not to be confused with the soon-to-be-discontinued Volt, a plug-in hybrid. The Bolt is a small hatchback with an engine producing 200 hp and 266 lb-ft of torque. It has an EPA range of 238 miles. The Bolt is well-regarded for its capability, but not so much for its looks. Chevy markets the Bolt as the affordable EV, with a base price of $36,060 before any tax incentives. But the Bolt and is about to become less affordable; the $7,500 federal tax credit began its graduated phase-out in April 2019.

Model:

  • Chevrolet Bolt EV

Engine:

  • Front motor, front-wheel-drive, 60-kWh battery

EPA Range:

Base Price: $36,060

Fiat

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Fiat is expected to reveal its exciting electrified future at the 2020 Geneva Auto Show. For now, Fiat offers the ill-supported 500e. It has all the practicality drawbacks of the standard Fiat 500, with the added charm of only being sold in California and Oregon. The 500e is reasonably powered, at 111 hp and 147 lb-ft. The trouble is the 84-mile EPA range, which limits the 500e to being a city car, and makes it a poor value compared to the alternatives.

Model:

Engine:

  • Front engine, FWD, 24-kWh battery

EPA Range:

Base Price: $33,210

Honda

Honda uses the “Clarity” name for its stable of super-clean vehicles, including a pure BEV, a plug-in hybrid, and a hydrogen fuel cell car. The Clarity Electric debuted for the 2017 model year. It’s a midsize sedan making 160 hp and 221 lb-ft. But,there are some downsides: the Clarity Electric’s EPA range is only 89 miles; it is only available in California and Oregon; and we can’t give you a base price because you can only lease it, for $199 per month on a three-year lease with $1,799 down.

Model:

  • Honda Clarity Electric

Engine:

  • Front engine, FWD, 25.5-kWh battery

EPA Range:

Base Price: $199 per month lease

Hyundai

Hyundai offers two electric vehicles. The first is the Ioniq, a compact four-door hatchback that debuted in 2017. Its engine produces 118 hp and 218 lb-ft and it boasts a 124-mile EPA range. At 136 MPGe, the Ioniq Electric is the most efficient EPA-rated electric vehicle. It is only sold in 10 states: California, Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island and Vermont.

The other option is the Kona EV, which debuted in the U.S. for the 2019 model year. The Kona EV is more of a mass-market vehicle, a full-fledged competitor for the Tesla Model 3. It’s an electrified version of the Kona subcompact crossover, with 201 hp and 291 lb-ft of torque. Its EPA range of 258 miles is the highest among non-Tesla electric vehicles. The Kona Electric was named the North American Utility Vehicle of the Year.

Model:

  • Ioniq Electric
  • Kona Electric

Engines:

  • Ioniq: Front engine, FWD, 28-kWh battery
  • Kona: Front engine, FWD, 64-kWh battery

EPA Range:

  • Ioniq: 124 miles
  • Kona: 258 miles

Base Price:

Jaguar

Designed by famed British designer Ian Callum, the Jaguar I-Pace is an electric performance SUV. The dual-motor system produces 394 hp and 512 lb-ft of torque. It can hit 60 mph in 4.5 seconds and a top speed of 124 mph. The impressive I-Pace won Car of the Year, World Car of the Year, and Design of the Year at the World Car Awards. All that performance and style do come with an efficiency drawback, though: The EPA rates it at just 76 MPGe, only slightly above the Audi e-tron SUV.

Model:

Engine:

  • Dual motor, AWD, 90-kWh battery

EPA Range:

Base Price: $69,500

Kia

Kia offers the Niro EV, a small crossover. It is similar — though not identical — to its corporate cousin, the Hyundai Kona EV. The Niro is built on the same platform as the Kona; its engine also makes 201 hp and 291 lb-ft, and battery size  is the same at 64 kWh. The Kona EV is more efficient, per EPA ratings, while the Niro EV is bigger and slightly more expensive. 

Model:

Engine:

  • Front motor, FWD, 64-kWh battery

EPA Range:

Base Price: $38,500

Nissan

The Nissan Leaf is a compact four-door hatchback. It first debuted in 2010, with the second generation coming out for the 2018 model year. The Leaf comes in two versions, the Leaf and the Leaf Plus. The Leaf is the entry-level EV, offering 147 hp and 236lb-ft, a base price under $30,000, and a range of 150 miles. The more expensive Leaf Plus is a competitor for the Kona EV, Bolt and Model 3. It is more powerful, packing 214 hp and 250 lb-ft, and has a longer EPA range of 226 miles thanks to its a bigger 62-kWh battery.

Model:

  • Leaf
  • Leaf Plus

Engine:

  • Front motor, FWD, 40-kWh battery
  • Front motor, FWD, 62-kWh battery

EPA Range:

  • Leaf: 150 miles
  • Leaf Plus: 226 miles

Base Price: $29,990

Tesla

Tesla has redefined the paradigm for electric vehicles, producing cars with an unmatched combination of performance, range and practicality. With more than 250,000 sales in 2018, the brand has also shown the mass-market potential for BEVs. Tesla’s ambition and success, however, have been tempered by concerns about build quality, safety and the company’s long-term stability. Tesla’s federal tax credit dips to $1,875 on July 1, 2019, and expires at the end of the year.

At present, Tesla offers three electric vehicles. The Model S is a four-door liftback sedan that entered production in 2012. It comes in three trims: Standard Range (285 miles of range, 0-60 mph in 4.0 seconds), Long Range (370 miles of range, 0-60 mph in 3.7 sec), and Performance (345 miles of range, 0-60 mph in 3.0 sec). For an additional $20,000, you can purchase “Ludicrous Mode” for Performance models; that improves the 0-60 mph acceleration to just 2.4 seconds.

The Model X is a mid-size luxury SUV Tesla began producing in 2015. Like the Model S, it has been simplified to three trims: Standard Range (255 miles, 0-60 mph in 4.6 sec), Long Range (325 miles, 0-60 mph in 4.4 sec), and Performance (305 miles, 0-60 mph in 3.4 sec). Ludicrous Mode will bring the latter Model X’s 0-60 time down to 2.7 seconds.

The Model 3 is a four-door fastback sedan that entered production in 2017. It was both the best-selling electric vehicle and best-selling luxury vehicle in the U.S. in 2018. There is a base RWD model, the Standard Range Plus (240 miles of range,  0-60 mph in 5.3sec) that comes with what Tesla describes as a “partial premium interior.” There are also AWD Long Range (310 miles,  0-60 mph in 4.4 sec) and Performance (310 miles, 0-60 mph in 3.2 sec) trims. None of the Model 3s offer Ludicrous Mode.

The company is taking orders on the upcoming Model Y compact crossover. Tesla also has a pickup truck purported to be more capable than the Ford F-150 and Porsche 911 in the works, as well as the Tesla Roadster, which purportedly will do 0-60 mph in 1.9 seconds, top out at more than 250 mph, and offer a 620-mile range.

Models:

  • Model S
  • Model X
  • Model 3

Engine:

  • Model S: Dual motor, AWD, 100-kWh battery
  • Model X: Dual motor, AWD, 75-, 90- or 100-kWh battery
  • Model 3: Rear motor, RWD 50-kWh battery; Dual Motor AWD  62- or 75-kWh battery

EPA Range:

  • Model S: 285-370 miles
  • Model X: 255-325 miles
  • Model 3: 240-310 miles

Base Price:

Volkswagen

The E-Golf is Volkswagen’s early attempt at an EV, one that launched in 2015. It got somewhat lost in the shuffle following the Dieselgate scandal and the carmaker’s decision to launch the upcoming ID range of electric vehicles. It’s a well-hidden gem, a practical-yet-fun-to-drive VW Golf that happens to run on electricity. Its 134-hp, 214-lb-ft powertrain gives it a fun-to-drive dynamic much like the rest of its siblings. The major sticking point, however, is the 125-mile range — which may be adequate for most driving, but doesn’t match up to the competition in 2019.

Model:

Engine:

  • Front motor, FWD, 35.8-kWh battery

EPA Range:

Base Price: $31,895

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Pininfarina Battista gets a small redesign, still looks the business

The Pininfarina Battista may be the wildest car revealed this year. It’s an all-electric supercar with 1,900 horsepower that promises a 0-60 mph time of under 2 seconds. Piloting one sounds akin to a jump to hyperspace. The only bad thing we can say about it now is that you can’t buy one yet — even so, a small redesign was revealed at the Turin Motor Show. None of the performance specs have budged, but there are a few styling elements that have been tweaked.

Pininfarina justifies the changes in the name of aerodynamics. Testing done after the car’s initial debut in Geneva showed that things could be improved, so Pininfarina set out to do so. The lower front grille area has been massaged with some reshaping. Additional elements have been added inside the front opening with a couple extra slats framing the honeycomb grille. Also, the side mirrors have been drastically redone, looking far more exotic and slippery than before. It’s safe to say that all these noticeable changes don’t do anything to change our opinion about how fantastic it looks.

Here’s a comparison — the redesigned Battista in blue is on top, the original is below in white.

Pininfarina Battista updateBattista old front end

We’re told to expect the next stages of wind tunnel and road testing to take place this summer in Italy. Will there be further changes to the design after this? Who knows. We do know that the plan for making just 150 of them hasn’t changed, though. The latest from Pininfarina says to expect a driving range of about 280 miles and a top speed of 217 mph. A 0-180 mph time of 12 seconds is quoted as an official acceleration figure, too. Production is supposed to begin in 2020, and we expect that to go on for some time after in order to build all 150 cars.

2020 Rezvani Tank SUV

We’re so thrilled to bring you another badass ride courtesy of the folks from Rezvani. This is so special because the company is completely redesigning its SUV platform into something way better. This is a company who knows that men are kids at heart who just want a ride that’s utterly ridiculous, but cool nonetheless. We’re talking about aesthetics that ooze pure machismo from any angle. Just look at the original Tank model that continues to impress us even until today. Now it’s ready to give is the 2020 Rezvani Tank and we are genuinely hyped about it.

So far, Rezvani is holding off on most of the spec sheet for this menacing machine. However, they’re willing to feed us exciting tidbits that will keep us on the edge of our seats. First of all, let’s recall that its predecessor was already touting an exceptional 500 horsepower from its 6.4-liter V8 engine. Buyers also have the option to upgrade it into a 6.2-liter Dodge Hellcat V8 for up to 707 horsepower. Meanwhile, the 2020 version of the Tank offers a similar service but tunes the output to an insane 1,000 horsepower.

Furthermore, were likewise looking at a new suspension system that they’re sourcing from Fox Racing. You probably already know that the outgoing model was a fully-armored beast that eats bullets for breakfast. We’re guessing that the 2020 Rezvani Tank will sport the same personal protection package. Moreover, it appears that the Military Edition will throw in a military-grade electromagnetic pulse (EMP) protection system. It seems that this new model is shaping up to be on a whole new league of its own.

Check it out here

Images courtesy of Rezvani

The Pininfarina Battista Gets a Design Update

A New Face for a Car That Will Rip Your Face Off

The Turin Auto Show in Italy is in for a treat. The Pininfarina Battista will be there sporting some design updates. A concept version of the car appeared at the Geneva Motor Show, and the one at the Turin Auto Show will be an updated design, featuring a new face for the car

The car gets a single wide, low piece up front instead of the dual-fin setup that was on the concept. It’s actually a much more attractive car. It will be shown in a gorgeous new color, Blu Iconica (blue). The new look comes after extensive aerodynamic testing was performed on the car. Luca Borgogno, the car’s designer seemed pleased with the finished result. He also sounded thrilled with the ability to showcase the next stages of the vehicle.

Since its debut at this year’s Geneva auto show, the Battista has stunned audiences all around the world with its beauty and purity of design. I am pleased to be presenting it with these latest masterstrokes that make the form of the car even more beautiful and elegant, and true to Pininfarina’s design principles.

The Battista features a four electric motor powertrain setup. The car offers 1,877 horsepower and 1,696 pound-feet of torque. That translates to a 0-60 mph time of two seconds and a top speed of 217 mph. Pininfarina will build only 150 of the cars and they will each cost $2.26 million.