Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Chevrolet Bolt EV Charge In Canada With $42,795 MSRP Price Tag

Photo Credit: Chris Nagy

At the 2015 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, General Motors' volume-leading division Chevrolet made a bold presentation of a concept representing the notion of the bowtie brand's first serious production vehicle not to be powered by an internal combustion engine. Besides the existence of the all-electric Bolt EV Concept, Chevrolet made a bold-looking pledge of an affordable battery-powered vehicle that can be driven to a range beyond 200 miles (320 kilometers). The original Bolt EV Concept quickly morphed into the production-ready all-electric concept car preserving a surprisingly hefty account of the design features touted on the auto show floor almost two years ago. A subcompact hatchback with a share of economy and technology, the 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV will soon need to face the test of persuading a mass market to realistically consider an option to gasoline power.

As the early 2017 arrival of the all-electric Chevy is being prepped, the remaining formal details of the Bolt EV is being released. The two factors of range and price boasted through the creation of the concept car are the primary attributes that must transfer to the production car to be successful. Earlier this month, the pivotal range numbers for the potentially game-changing electric car was released exceeding expectations. Through EPA testing in the United States, the 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV reach a maximum estimated distance of 383 kilometers (238 miles).

On September 20th, Chevrolet finally announced the price consumers will accept in the decision for an electric car future.  For the Canadian market, the base LT trim version of the 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV will wear an MSRP of $42,795. Initially appearing somewhat staggering for a small car, several provinces offer electric vehicle incentives that will reduce the overall cost by more than one-quarter. In the province of Ontario, the estimated cost of the Bolt EV LT after benefits is calculated at $31,434. In addition to Ontario, provinces of British Columbia and Quebec will also provide major rebates to buyers of the Bolt EV.

Standard features included with the base sticker price of the 2017 Bolt EV LT includes DC Fast charging compatibility, Michelin self-sealing tires, 10.2-inch diagonal color touch-screen control center, rearview camera and a steering wheel paddle system called 'Regen on Demand'. Chevrolet's electric car will also incorporate a function allowing drivers to match and compare their driving styles against other drivers in a manner to promote greater range efficiency. A Premier version of the 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV is also going to be available with a higher price that adds surround camera as well as leather seating featuring heated comfort for both front and rear passengers.

Proving to be an effective answer as a relatively affordable electric vehicles suited for a large sum of everyday drivers, the Chevrolet Bolt EV is seen as direct competition to the Model 3 that was heavily-publicized by Tesla Motors.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Fastest Bug On the Salt Flats: Volkswagen Beetle Exceeds 205 Miles Per Hour at Bonneville

Photo Credit: Volkswagen of America

1935 was defined by two milestone events in automotive history. In Germany, the first two prototypes of the 'People's Car" were  constructed with guidance of Ferdinand Porsche. These vehicles quickly emerged as the precursor of the Volkswagen Beetle serving as an influential design ranked alongside the Ford Model T in significance. In the United States on a massive bed of salt in Utah, British speed record setter Sir Malcolm Campbell bettered an effort from a previous outing on Daytona Beach. On September 3rd of 1935, Campbell piloting his Rolls-Royce engined Blue Bird sailed to a 301.129-mile per hour land speed that stood for two years. 80 years after both moments, Volkswagen and the Bonneville Salt Flats combine for a new historic achievement.

The stage for land speed records since the early part of the 20th century, the Bonneville Salt Flats, the sight of a yellow compact car exceeding the performance threshold defining most supercars could be the wackiest if it wasn't the Volkswagen Beetle (one of the world's most versatile vehicles). For the 2016 Utah Salt Flats Racing Association World of Speed event, a specially-configured version of the modern Volkswagen, the Beetle LSR (Land Speed Record) roared through a flying mile at a speed of 205.122 miles per hour with the speedometer eventually reading 208 miles per hour through the run.

Piloted by Automobile magazine's contributing editor Preston Lerner through the Bonneville Speedway located near Wendover, Utah, the Volkswagen Beetle LSR featured a lowered suspension, limited-slip differential, a Salt Flat wheel/tire combination and an stripped interior outfitted with a roll cage as well as race seat. However, the main source for the 205.122-mile per hour success was a heavily-modified version of the Volkswagen EA888 turbocharged, direct-injected 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine found in the stock 210-horsepower Beetle R-Line. Producing insane horsepower similarly seen in the Beetle race car used in the Red Bull Global RallyCross Series, the gasoline engine was souped-up by upgraded by new pistons, camshaft, connecting rods and a meaner turbocharger system. The Volkswagen Beetle LSR's 543 horsepower and 421 pound-feet of torque measured at the flywheel arrives from the engine said to have produced greater than 600 horsepower. 

Talking about his 205.122-mile per hour record conforming to Southern California Timing Association G/BGC rules, Preston Lerner described the effort in the Volkswagen Beetle LSR, "as a serious thrill. "We had enough power to go even faster if the salt hadn't been so sketchy. But seeing 208 miles per hour briefly on the digital readout was an experience I'll never forget." said Lerner.


Friday, September 16, 2016

Bidding Farewell To Last Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution Results In Sizable Charity Auction Bids

Photo Credit: Mitsubishi Motors North America


At noontime eastern time on September 15th, a 1600th and final vehicle in Mitsubishi Motor's performance lineage in North America was sold. For a week, a 303-horsepower 2015 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution Final Edition was the focus of a monumental event capping the 11-year history of the car in North America.

Through an Ebay charity auction aiding Feeding America Riverside & San Bernardino Counties and Second Harvest Food Back of Orange Country, bidding for the last 2015 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution sport sedan resulted in a victory for the party that agreed to pay $76,400 US ($100,412.56 Canadian). Over $30,000 US above the retail sticker assigned to the Lancer Evolution Final Edition, the 60 bids used within the Ebay auction were devoted to a well-dressed Diamond White Pearl coloured car wearing significant US1600 numbering on an interior plaque. 

Speaking in regards to the active contest for the last of the last for a sport compact legend, Don Swearingen, executive vice president and chief operating officer for Mitsubishi Motors North America commented, "It's a fitting and deserving finality to the Evolution nameplate to go out with so much excitement and make an impact that is sure to last a very long time to drive out hunger." The vehicle auction also highlighted September's ongoing National Hunger Action Month activities. "Thousands of hungry men, women and children will benefit from Mitsubishi's commitment to the people in our community and the funds will help drive out hunger in our local communities this holiday season." said the Chief Executive Officer of Feeding America Riverside | San Bernardino Bill Carnegie representing one of the organizations helped by the 1600th Lancer Evolution's auction. 

The sale of the US1600 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution Final Edition is not the first time the auto company has handed keys of an end-of-the-line high-performance vehicle in the name of charity. In October 2011, Mitsubishi auctioned off the final Eclipse sport coupe to benefit the Japan Red Cross as the aftermath of an earthquake and tsunami the previous March necessitated a massive recovery effect. In that occasion a special 2012 Mitsubishi Eclipse Coupe SE (given the GT model's 265-horsepower 3.8-liter  V-6 making it a one-off trimmed model), sold at Mecum Auctions for $35,000. Mitsubishi also sold the first example of the 2015 Lancer Evolution Final Edition to help the MS Society last year. On that occasion, $46,200 was generated through bidding.   

With the auction saying farewell to the last Final Edition model for the Lancer Evolution, Mitsubishi has officially put 10 generations of automotive heritage to rest. Immediate plans for the brand to champion a more economical vehicle lineup may not instantly invoke the same stimulation as a high-powered turbocharged, all-wheel drive compact sedan. However, as surreal as it would be to believe the production existence of a 300-plus horsepower small road rocket, Mitsubishi has the opportunity to garner a new level of future automotive recognition.


Monday, September 12, 2016

Recharging A Plug-In Hybrid Luxury Dream: The Karma Revero

Photo Credit: Karma Automotive

At the turn of the decade, the prospect for automobiles moving with literally a revised kind of energy was becoming not only a means to reduce gasoline consumption but a future fashion icon. In the late 2000s, inflated fuel prices eventually hurt everyone in the pocketbook as both the working class as well as the wealthier elite. In fact buyers who could afford high-end luxury vehicles, there was a humanizing reality when poor fuel mileage of their heavyweight premium cruisers combined with potentially lower income as a result of a massive global economic recession of 2008. While markets rebounded, fresh memories has led to creative visions of a new luxury car genre attempting to exploit electrified powertrains for an uncompromising road-going performance.

In 2007, a start-up auto company seeing an entry position in a premium electrified vehicle category conceiving a plug-in hybrid sedan. Co-founded by Bernhard Koehler Henrik Fisker, an automotive designer who gained acclaimed reviews on sculpting the BMW Z8 and Aston Martin DB9, Fisker Automotive quickly unveiled a sexy-looking four-door the company pledged to produce. Despite being a stunningly sophisticated design, the Fisker Karma was propelled by a pair of electric motors combined with a 2.0-liter General Motors Ecotec four-cylinder engine. In addition to the unique power unit, the Karma sedan also incorporated a number of environmentally-conscious features such as the use of recycled glass, rescued wood used for trim materials, water-based paint leather sourced from humane producers and a solar panel roof section.

Despite or perhaps due to the ambitious launch of the Fisker Karma, the car's brief production history was complicated by delays at the start and other scenarios. Lithium-ion battery problems requiring recalls and the loss of hundreds due to Hurricane Sandy, Fisker Automotive filed for bankruptcy in 2013. Purchased by Wanxiang Group (a Chinese company that also bought battery supplier A123 Systems, the remains of the car company was reshaped as Karma Automotive where it has been bracing for a relaunch.

This revival of the plug-in hybrid luxury product under Karma Automotive has finally reached fruition through the reintroduction of Fisker's one and only production car as a repackaged model. Now known as the Karma Revero, the low-profile sedan retains its familiar look. Listed as a base price of $130,000 US, the 2017 Revero is noticeably more expensive than the Fisker Karma the plug-in hybrid luxury sedan has been derived from. Roughly $28,000 more than the starting price of the 2013 Fisker model, the Karma Revero comes with a few minor upgrades.

On the outside, Karma's new badging are revealed as uniquely hand-painted meaning the finer details of each emblem will leave no two vehicles precisely alike. Inside, Karma enlisted the assistance of Rightware Kanzi user interface software for the digital cockpit and infotainment technology inside the Revero. This same software is currently used in Audi vehicles such as the A3, TT sports car and R8 supercar for the MMI and Virtual Cockpit. The Karma Revero's interior emphasizes high-level interior comfort for four adult occupants.

The Karma Revero's powertrain appears largely unchanged from the Fisker with exception to a new 21.4 KWh lithium-ion battery. The electrical propulsion system on the plug-in hybrid luxury sedan has also been enhanced by components supplied by German automaker BMW. One suspected contribution is the electric charging system of the Revero accepting 120-volt and 240-volt electrical charging as well as a DC quick charging system feeding the vehicle with 480 volts. Through quick charging, it takes just 24 minutes to provide enough energy to replenish the battery to an 80 percent level. A unique solar panel charging system on the Revero can also feed a trickle charge to the battery. According to Karma, a full charge through realized solar charging after one week outside.    

Part of the initial ten dealerships for Karma Automotive is two retailers in Canada. Karma Montreal is operated by Holand Automotive while Karma Uptown Toronto is part of Grand Touring Automobiles.