Mercedes is planning an all new concept vehicle that will put it’s sights directly on the Tesla S. Competition for the Tesla is limited as not many automakers have ventured into the high end luxury EV space. Mercedes’ new concept is nearing it’s debut and it is rumored that the car will be similar size and stature to the Tesla as well as being an all wheel drive vehicle.
From a statement released by Jurgen Schenk, Mercedes-Benz E-Drive system integration director, “We will deliver something, which if you would scale it in the Mercedes rank of all the other vehicles, it will be in the top three for power. If you look into the first 100m it will be very, very fast.” He goes on to state that the new concept “could be dangerously fast, even the first version.”
Big power quads are being churned out by a company called Nazareth out of France. These unique quads typically have the heart of automakers like BMW or Maserati and with power in the 400-500hp range. Their newest creation goes a little more green and quiet by utilizing a high powered electric motor.
The electric motors send power to both rear wheels in the area of 80hp. That doesn’t sound like a lot at all, but what’s impressive is the 361lb/ft of torque that is immediately at your disposal. Their new quad is called the E-Wazuma and it’s surely to provide an exhilarating ride.
The once Fisker company has gone through quite some changes. It is now officially known as Karma Automotive and was bought by China’s Wanxiang Group. Fisker’s very well known Karma also went through an identity change during this transition. Being called the Karma will no longer work as the company name is now Karma. So the new company has rebranded the vehicles with the name Revero which can be ordered by customer later this year with an August delivery date.
The Chinese owned company now runs all manufacturing operations out of the US. Jim Taylor, a former General Motors executive now Karma’s CMO, stated that the company has continued to support the original 1,950 owners with service and electronic upgrades to their vehicles. The original owners will be in the company of a new batch of owners really soon.
The new Karma Revero will have a host of new updates. The major upgrade is the drivetrain will be supplied by BMW and will be the company’s electric powertrain. Taylor says, “There are huge, serious, major upgrades throughout the electronics systems, wiring, charging, battery. All of which won’t be be visible to the naked eye.” This will allow Karma to keep the exterior beauty of the vehicle as intended but bring its technology and driveability up to today’s standards.
The Model 3 has been shrouded by secrecy and an insane amount of customer demand ever since its existence was first leaked by Elon Musk. After last night’s Tesla press conference, we now know that the Model 3 is priced at $35,000 US for the base model. The luxury brand’s newest model should will have a minimum range of 340 kilometres on a full charge and offer 0-60mph times of under 6 seconds. Faster versions will be available, as will an all wheel drive version at a higher price.
The Model 3 is a four door sedan that has the looks of a mix between the Model S and the Model X. The demand for the Model 3 is primarily driven by the desire of consumers to own a Tesla and secondly a direct result of its affordable entry price. The Model 3 is basically a smaller and stripped down version of the $101,000 US Model S, while maintaining features such as Autopilot. Supercharging will also come standard, allowing owners to easily drive long distance road trips.
Ophir Gotlieb, CEO of Capital Market Labs, says “This isn’t going to be thought of as a $35,000 car, it’s going to be viewed as a $150,000 car on sale.” Elon Musk has said he hopes to sell 500,000 vehicles a year by 2020, and according to Gotlieb Tesla could easily surpass. “That opinion is based on every market survey I’ve seen, which is absolutely staggering with respect to how many people desperately want a Tesla, whether they own an electric vehicle or not” said Gotlieb.
McLaren is no stranger to EV technology as has both developed and integrated some of the most state of the art technology into their P1 supercar. With no more production of the P1 in sight, the company is setting its sights on developing a completed electric successor to the P1. This falls in line with McLaren’s recent announcement of their “Track22” business plan where the company talks about the introduction of fully electric prototype vehicles on the horizon.
McLaren’s business plan points to the development of 15 all new or successor vehicles. There’s no saying which model will get the full electric treatment, but an EV P1 successor would be an interesting endeavor. The British automaker plans to continue development of gas and hybrid powerplants so us petrol heads can still have something to look forward to.
As a petrol head parent myself, its always fun to include the kids in anything car related. With two powerwheels to go around the house already, the Actev Arrow Smart Kart might be another new addition to the family. Unlike most powerwheels where once the kid gets behind the wheel you as a parent can’t do anything except hover and yell “Watch Out!”, Actev’s Smart Kart gives parent’s back that control all via their smartphone.
The Actev Smart Kart is an electric powered kids kart that’s suitable for children between the ages of 5-9. The frame is built out of steel and the pedals are adjustable to grow with the kid. The kart uses two 250 watt electric motors that have a driving time of around 45 minutes. Top speed is 12mph and recharge time varies between 8.5 hours with the standard charger or 1.5 hours with the rapid charger.
The kart can be controlled via an app on the parent’s phones which allow for limitations of top speed, distance restriction so kids don’t wander off, and an emergency stop function. The kart also has optional body work that can be purchased and customized to suit your own taste. Later this year, Actev will be releasing a set of plastic wheels that will convert this turn on a dime kart to mini drifting monster.
The Arrow Smart Kart sells for $600USD and is currently available for pre-orders online.
The Morgan Company has been teasing about a new entrant into the EV car sector and they recently unveiled their contender at the 2016Geneva International Motor Show. The company has not been known to make subtle looking vehicles, so what better way to display their EV technology than to put it all into their three-wheeled roadster.
The Morgan EV3, being built on the three-wheeled platform, is a great way to introduce EV technology to the market place. The vehicle itself is small and relatively light weight having overall less components to it that its four wheeled counterparts. The EV3 weighs in at a mere 1000lbs and uses a 63hp electric motor.
Additional weight savings all around can be in thanks to am ample use of carbon fiber. The light weight material can be found on the hood, tonneau cover and side panels. The EV3 also doesn’t have a roof which just helps with weight management. The EV3 gets a 150 mile range on a full charge and will do 0-100km/h in just under nine seconds. The EV3 won’t be breaking any top speed records either as it reaches a top velocity of 90mph.
Production of the EV3 will begin later this year and we hope to see it in showrooms before the end of 2016. Prices will start at around $42,000 USD.
Volkswagen’s concept transport vehicle dubbed the Budd-e gives us a peak into the automaker’s mindset on green design production vehicles. The Budd-e concept was debuted at the 2016 Consumers Electronics Show in Las Vegas earlier this year.
What the Budd-e has going for it is a spacious interior cabin with configurable seating positions all thanks to a flat cabin floor. Below the floors hides the vehicles batteries which are used to power electric motors which power the front and rear axels. The batteries span the entire length of the floor which gives the Budd-e an estimated 233 mile range. Having no gas tank, the Budd-e offers an extensive amount of storage space both inside the cabin, and also in a stowaway compartment that extends from the back bumper and into the belly of the vehicle.
The Budd-e is a nicely package vehicle that offers a lot of unique features. The only thing it doesn’t offer is soul. Volkswagen enthusiasts have been longing for the manufacturer to debut a replacement for the much beloved Microbus. Volkswagen created the concept Bulli which echoed much of the classic design and tied bus lovers over for a little while. Then finally this year they released the Budd-e and have stated that much of the concept design elements will likely make its way into the production vehicle. Unfortunately, for many bus enthusiasts, this is like taking a punch to the gut.
Here’s to hoping that when the Budd-e does go into production, which is estimated to be around 2020, that Volkswagen will adapt some more of the classic designs into the new car to continue the Microbus’ legacy.
Porsche CEO Oliver Blume made it pretty clear, “One wants to drive a Porsche by oneself.” With that statement, Porsche lays out it’s plans, or lack thereof, for engineering autonomous driving features into any of their cars.
I don’t think any Porsche enthusiast would’ve ever doubted this direction from the company. Porsche has a rich history in motor racing and has translated much of what they’ve learned on the track to the cars that they build for the road. They build performance cars, and more importantly, they build performance cars for drivers. Although this is one piece of new technology the company is not adopting, Porsche breaks many other technological boundaries. Take for example their 918 which exemplifies modern day racing technology adapted to its truest form for the road.
Another technology Porsche isn’t afraid to take head on is electric power. Blume eventually wants every Porsche in his stable to be available with a hybrid powertrain option and this could become a reality as soon as 2018. Word has been circulating for a while about a possible plug in version of a 911. Taking what they learned from the 918 spyder and adapting it to the 911 platform will make this legendary car even more legendary.
The Spyker name has been around for a while, but as a company, their decisions and investment ventures leave much to be desired. After some reorganizing post bankruptcy, the Spyker brand is now aligned with an American aviation company and packing some new found energy around producing electric performance vehicles.
Rumors is that Spyker is going to unveil a new concept car at the Geneva Motor Show at it will be an electric vehicle. This is quite a departure from Spyker’s choice of powerplants in past concept and production vehicles which were mainly big V8s or V6s. But what will very much likely remain is Spyker’s history of producing some of the finest looking and amazingly detailed finished vehicles.