Archives – December 2, 2016

MINI Unveils a New Countryman at the Auto Show in LA

2017 MINI Clubman

2017 MINI Clubman

The 2017 Countryman is one of the largest vehicles produced by the MINI automaker. This car has improved engines, advanced tech, and a plug-in version. MINI hatch was the first model to be released followed by Clubman. The brand owned by BMW has now released a new MINI Countryman. Since the rebirth of MINI, this model is Countryman’s second-generation. Official pictures were first available for public viewing last month. All three new iterations of the Countryman were debuted at the LA Auto Show, including the new Countryman plug-in hybrid, dubbed the SE ALL4.

The Countryman whose starting price is less than $35,000 is set to reach the UK market in February. The new Countryman was reviewed by Auto Express, which gave details on the new design adopted for the new model.  Auto Express emphasized on the toughness and ruggedness of the new design. According to Nicolas Griebner, the head of product at MINI UK, this car is clearly suited for having an adventure in. Regardless of the fact the Countryman has a new platform; its design can still be recognized as MINI’s. All the Countryman models come equipped with faux leather upholstery, Mini connected infotainment systems, rear parking sensors, rearview camera, sunroof, automatic headlights and Bluetooth.

In comparison to the previous model, the new Countryman model is longer by 200mm and wider by 30mm. Regarding its size, it lies in between Audi’s Q3 and Q2, with both cars being key competitors. Its wheelbase is longer by 75mm to give it a rear legroom that is 50mm more. Additionally, with it’s fold down, sliding rear seats it has 16 cubic feet of cargo space.

Accompanying the extra size is a design emphasizing the elements of a sports utility vehicle. Most of the vehicles have silver roof rails as well as sill plates. Both of these features work with a high shoulder line and sculpted sides to give the car a trendy outlook. Griebner added that the Countryman is by far the most masculine design that MINI has ever produced. The wide grille, pop-out tail-lamps, as well as large-sized LED headlights are features coined from the MINI hatch. The number plate at the rear end has now been shifted to the bootlid. The customization of the Countryman is what distinguishes it from its competitors. It has alloy wheels, contrasting black-colored roof and a unique blue paint available.


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Toyota’s 2017 Prius Prime versus Chevrolet’s 2017 Volt

Tech Times

Tech Times

The new Chevy Volt and the Prius Prime are plug-in hybrids with high-volume. They slightly differ in the terms of energy efficiency. The Prius Prime is Toyota’s new plug-in model of the best-selling and most popular hybrid car worldwide. The Chevy Volt, which was officially launched last year and is an improved version of the initial range-extended electric vehicle. Both cars are now major competitors in the ever expanding market for plug-in vehicles and the key question is how they match up.

One of the key similarities between the two is that both are compact cars, five-door hatchbacks. Although they have aerodynamic designs, their executions are very different. Of the two cars, the Prius Prime by Toyota is the newer. From the viewpoint of most onlookers, the Prime is an improved version of the standard Prius hybrid. The Prius plug-in has a front end that is not only new, but also more aggressive. Its taillights are also horizontal and not as vertical as those of the original Prius. Most of the models also have a touch-screen display comparable to that of a tablet. The Chevy Volt, which is currently in its 2nd year, is still a low sleek car with a racy shape and a good-looking interior.

While the Chevy Volt can accommodate five passengers, the Prius is a four-seater. Despite offering a fifth position for a seat, the fifth person in the Volt has to perch on the padded battery hump . Hence, the Volt is best suited for short trips if you’re carrying 5 people. The powertrain of the Prius has an output of 121 horsepower combined with an APA rating of 25 miles. This range should be delivered in most cases. Its battery pack is 8.8 kilowatt per hour and is situated under the load bay and rear seat. With a horsepower of 149 and a range rating of 53 miles, the Volt is clearly quicker compared to the Prius Prime. The ultimate winner on fuel economy is the Prius Prime, however, with a combined rating of 54 mpg in comparison to Chevy Volt’s 42 mpg.

Driving the new Prius feels better compared to its predecessor. It feels more like a normal car and less like a Prius. If there is any battery capacity available, the default mode of the Prime is all-electric. This is contrary to the first Prius plug-in whose electric capability was limited. Since its default is all electric, the driving experience of the Prius Prime is now similar to that of Chevy Volt. There is enough power up to speeds of 75 mph.


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