Archives – February 27, 2015

What to Expect from 2016’s Toyota Prius

Toyota_-_Prius_Plug-in_HYBRIDThe Toyota Prius was for a time one of the leading alternative-energy statements. Although there was a sales decline over the past years, this will be rectified in the car’s fourth generation. Despite the fact that there was an 11% decline in sales in 2014, 123,000 units were still delivered with respect to fleet and consumer purchases. This implies that despite being overshadowed by plug-in models such as Chevrolet’s Volt, Nissan Leaf and Model S by Tesla, Prius sales were almost double the combined total of the mentioned models. Generally, the sales rate of hybrid cars in the United States had gone down by 1% within the last three years. This is mainly because of improved conventional options and inexpensive gasoline.

Toyota is therefore putting a lot of effort into coming up with a novel liftback, hoping to make it special. There are also plans to develop a plug-in version that is improved. Toyota however, hopes to expand its market dominance of Hybrid Synergy Drive with the new Liftback. Currently, the automaker’s hybrid cars make up 70% of the United States market. Perhaps Toyota has become its own success’ victim since it has to work extra hard to overshadow its competitors. This is a good thing for the potential buyer though. The photos of the new Prius Liftback have not been officially shown by Toyota. Some of the design cues might be coined from the CH-R Concept.

One of the primary expectations for the new Prius is two battery options. Toyota has been known to be a company that is somewhat conservative. Toyota’s Senior Managing Officer of Powertrain, Koei Saga, said that there is a potential for an improved Prius of a base level and that will have a li-ion battery. Although it has not been confirmed, this could imply that the Liftback variants would have two different mpg ratings. It has also been speculated that the new Prius will have a mpg of more than 55. Toyota has previously stated that one of its goals is to develop a model that is more than the current 50 mpg. Coming up with such a model will increase Toyota’s competitive edge, especially with respect to models like the faster Ford C-Max hybrid car.

Part of Toyota’s plan entails a novel hybrid system and its engine that is thermally efficient. The automaker hopes that the fuel efficiency of its hybrid cars such as Prius will be improved. Another possible option for the new Toyota Prius is an all-wheel drive. Although Prius is a car with front-wheel drive, drivers have always appreciated extra traction.



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BMW i5/i7 Plug-in Hybrid Hopes to Overshadow Tesla’s Model S

bmw i8Tesla’s Model S P85D, with almost 1-g of acceleration, long range and a blistering 0-60 time is undoubtedly one of the leading luxury electric cars in the current market. Additionally, it is one of the fastest sedans on sale and this has raised serious concerns from competitors such as Audi, Porsche and Jaguar. Even the BMW with its i3 electric car and i8 plug-in car is also scared. Like other car manufacturers, BMW is rumored to have plans of coming up with a luxury plug-in. This automaker is getting ready to develop a full-sized plug-in hybrid car on the 5-series platform. The new model is expected to have approximately 400 kilowatts as the total power output. It will have an electric motor that will produce 152 kilowatts and a gasoline engine of 245 horsepower. The rear end of the car will have an electric motor of 70 kilowatt.

At present, BMW has referred to the car in question as the P18 Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle project. The car will be designed in such a way that it will primarily operate using electric power for a longer distance. The range in electric mode is projected to be at 80 miles. Gasoline operation will only occur at speeds of more than 40 mph when necessary. The car will have an unspecified battery that will be situated at the down center while the engine will be fitted next to a large electric motor. Under the rear seats, there will be a small fuel tank. Unlike the Model S, this new model by BMW will not have an uninterrupted cabin. The new model has a high likelihood of entering the market as the BMW i7 or i5; a sports sedan of low emission that will have an adaptive drivetrain. Some of the most likely target markets include North American, Chinese and European markets.

Consequently, the new model will have a more conventional design and outlook compared to BMW i8 or i3. However, there will be a few similar light construction materials so as to comply with the strict emission standards. This car is definitely set to be a major competitor or even overshadow the Tesla S model. Some of the concerns that might be raised concerning the new BMW model include range and performance. However, the new version’s 80-mile range on pure electric power is much lower than that offered by Tesla’s model S and its performance of 0-60 miles per hour is also lower than Tesla’s.



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