Audi has long been pondering over filling the vacant spot between the A1 and the A3 and now the official word is that the Audi A2, slated to fit in the bracket will be a pure electric commuter. Banishing previous reports of the arrival of a fossil fuel driven car, the A2 will be an all-electric variant which will challenge the likes of the BMW Megacity which will arrive in 2013. Comparing the previous A2 and the fresh arrival, the difference will also be in the usage of a steel space-frame. The similarity between the two would be the continuance of the one-box style design. [via WCF]
Do not confuse the Nissan Leaf with this because this concept comes from the Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation. The original name of the concept vehicle is Ye Zi which means ‘leaf’ and this concept probably gathers energy for mobility from the surrounding environment. Amazingly, the Ye Zi isn’t just a leaf in the name; the concept vehicle is shaped like a leaf too. Interestingly SAIC Leaf isn’t a zero emission vehicle but a negative emission automobile and SAIC will have to explain that bit in detail. The car body is itself made of metal-organic framework that can absorb CO2 and water to generate an electric current and oxygen.
BMW is desperate to jump on the green bandwagon and as per the company sources the German automobile brand is targeting to produce hydrogen fuel cell vehicles by 2014. The targeted drive-train for the hydrogen fuel cell options includes a petrol engine clubbed with a 5 kW fuel cell, and an 82 kW ( 110 hp) electric motor. At low speeds it is the hydrogen fuel cell that will power the rear wheels and when there is a need to pelt, the petrol engine will kick in to power the front wheels. It is noteworthy that both combinations can also work together to render speedy acceleration.
Hyundai is keen to extend its green bandwagon and it will be at the New York Auto Show revealing its 2011 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid. A teaser image of the Hybrid automobile has been revealed by Hyundai and it gives us a glimpse of the distinctive looking front fascia.
The 2011 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid will be a far cry from its non-hybrid version in terms of design. The front will feature a new-large mouthed grille, new headlamps and a sporty looking bumper with bigger air-intakes.
The Sonata Hybrid is supposed to feature the Blue Drive hybrid system and in its case, the combination will involve a 2.4 liter, 4-cylinder petrol engine, and a 30 kW electric motor with 205 Nm (151 lb-ft) of torque. The combo will be mated to a six-speed automatic transmission while the motor alone will be powered by lithium-polymer batteries.
Look for the 2011 Sonata Hybrid unveiling at New York on March 31.
Porsche is over-reliant on the sales of its Cayenne SUV and therefore a range expansion comes across as no surprise. The latest addition to the second generation lineage of the Cayenne S model will be a hybrid version which is set for its North American debut at the New York Auto Show next week.
The hybrid version features a combination of a supercharged 3.0-liter 333-horsepower engine and a 47 hp electric motor. The combined output is an appreciable 380 hp while the maximum torque is 428 lb-ft. The combination is mated to a decoupling clutch where the SUV keeps switching between the two modes. Purely, as an all-electric commuter, the Porsche Cayenne S Hybrid has a range of 60 kilometers. Once unveiled, the Porsche Cayenne S Hybrid should be available in the market later in the year.
Both North America and Europe have an evolving premium compact segment and the first hybrid variant from the category, the Lexus CT 200h will make it to the US market in early 2011. The hybrid commuter is scheduled for a debut at the upcoming 2010 New York International Auto and it is a likely Audi A1 contender. The front wheel driven CT 200h will come with a combination of a 1.8 liter four-cylinder VVT-i gasoline engine and a magnet synchronous electric motor powered by nickel-metal hydride batteries. The exact performance details are not yet available but it is expected to better the 134bhp that the Prius puts out.
To make the EVs mainstream, it is important that big auto manufacturing names think about introducing small EVs in huge car markets such as the US. Chrysler is thinking on these lines and hence it has announced the Fiat 500EV for the American market. While the combustion engine Fiat 500 will go on sale later this year in the US, the Fiat 500 EV will begin production in 2012. Chrysler will be looking to price the small EV competitively as the Chevrolet Volt and Mini Cooper E also will look to target the market No great details about the Fiat 500 EV have been revealed but it is told that the US edition will undergo further development at the Chrysler head-quarters in Auburn Hills, Michigan.
The Next Generation Mercedes Benz S-Class lineage will also have a plug-in hybrid version is no secret and now Mercedes is touting the S Class plug-in hybrid to fetch a whopping 81mpg. Daimler has already achieved 78 mpg (3.0 L/100km) with its Mercedes Vision S 500 plug-in hybrid at the Frankfurt event last year so therefore 81mpg for the S-Class plug-in is a step ahead.
The S-Class plug-in will fetch 81mpg courtesy of a combination of 3.0-liter V-6 gasoline engine-direct injection and piezo injectors-integrated with a 44 kW electric motor. Singly, on the batteries, the semi-electric commuter will have a range of 20 miles with speeds up to 68mph. The only drawback as far as the next-generation S-Class plug-in hybrid is concerned will be its pricing.