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Small Lexus SUV Hybrid to Use Rav4 Platform

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2013 Toyota RAV4

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Having reported earlier that Lexus was working on a small hybrid SUV that will compete with the likes of the Audi Q3 and BMW X1, a new report claims the new model will borrow extensively from the Toyota Rav4 and Lexus IS.

According to Automotive News Europe, the new compact crossover, which will slot under the latest Lexus RX450h, will be based on the Rav4’s platform and use the same hybrid system found in the IS 300h sedan, which pairs a 2.5L four-cylinder engine to an electric motor.

The mid-size SUV (compact crossover in North America) segment is red hot in Europe, with overall sales in 2012 rising by 24 percent to 407,512 vehicles. In response to the popularity of models like the Q3, Nissan’s Juke and Opel Mokka, automakers have been racing to add small SUVs to their lineups.

A concept version of the SUV will be unveiled at the Tokyo Auto Show in November, while the production version will bow at Geneva in March 2014.

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Mini

MINI Rocketman Concept Is Being Developed

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MINI Rocketman, Classic MINI

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The model will be developed and built in China by Great Wall and sold around the world.

Not long after unveiling its first all-electric, the Cooper SE, MINI might already be working on its second electric vehicle.

According to senior source at BMW that spoke with Autocar, the British automaker has approved the Rocketman concept for production. The new model will be built in China as part of a partnership between BMW and Great Wall Motors and should arrive by 2022.

“We’re advancing plans for a model along the lines of the Rocketman,” the source stated. “It’s a car we have been looking at for a long time, but to build it profitably at the price point we think customers are prepared to pay, you need a joint venture partner to share costs. Great Wall Motors has provided that opportunity with a shared electric car platform that will be used by Mini”

Ora R1 Electric Car

Although production will take place in China, MINI’s new electric car will be sold worldwide. Autocar speculates it will be a variation of the Ora R1, an electric car that’s cheaper than any new car sold in North America.

The cute little Ora R1 (pictured immediately above) looks like a Honda E and Smart ForFour hybrid. It is powered by an electric drivetrain that consists of an 30.7-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack and an electric motor rated at 47 horsepower and 92 pound-feet of torque, though buyers have the option of a bigger, 33-kilowatt-hour pack.

Mini hasn’t made anything official, but if the report is accurate, expect a vehicle that looks little like the Rocketman.

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Bentley

Bentley EXP 100 GT Is An Ultra Luxury Electric Car For The Future

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bentley exp 100 gt concept, EV

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The British automaker celebrates its centianial with an excellent demonstration of extravagance.

Bentley turned 100 years old in 2019, and as part of it’s birthday celebration, unveiled a stunning electric car concept that looks to the future.

The EXP 100 GT concept is a vision of a Grand Tourer for 2035. It rides on an all-electric platform, provides a choice between fully autonomous operation and human-piloted driving, and features a flexible interior with three different seating configurations.

At 19-feet long and 7.8-feet wide, and with a curb weight of 4,188 pounds (1890 kg), the EXP 100 GT is a very large coupe with great visual presence. Designers blended proportions of Bentley’s historic grand tourers and futuristic elements to craft a GT car “for the world of 2035.” You will definitely notice the massive illuminated grille (it’s comprised of 6,000 LEDs) and round, beveled headlights.

The interior is flush with sustainable yet luxurious materials such as 5,000-year-old copper-infused riverwood, British farmed wool carpets, and embroidered cotton surfaces.

Power for the EXP 100 GT comes from four electric motors that can easily accelerate its large heft from 0 to 60 mph (96 km/h) in less than 2.5 seconds on route to a top speed of 186 mph (299 km/h). The battery pack delivers an estimated driving range of 435 miles (700 km) and can be recharged up to 80 percent capacity in only 15 minutes.

Since the EXP 100 GT is a vision of the future, autonomous driving technology is a centerpiece of it’s design. Drivers will have five self driving modes to choose from: Enhance, Cocoon, Capture, Re-Live and Customize.

“The Bentley EXP 100 GT represents the kind of cars we want to make in the future,” stated Stefan Sielaff, Director of Design. “Like those iconic Bentleys of the past, this car connects with its passengers’ emotions and helps them experience and safeguard the memories of the really extraordinary journeys they take.”

Do you like how it turned out?

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Hatchbacks

This Is The Last Volkswagen Beetle Made

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Last VW Beetle

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The day has come to say farewell to the iconic hatchback… again.

Volkswagen has stopped production of the VW Beetle after building the last Beetle (pictured) on July 10, 2019 at its plant in Pueblo, Mexico. Painted in Denim Blue, the two-door hatchback that rolled off the assembly line will be displayed at the company’s local museum in Puebla, Mexico.

Conceived by Adolf Hitler in 1939, just in time for World War 2, the VW Beetle has been one of the most successful vehicles in automotive history. Post-war production began in 1949, and by 1955, there were 1 million Beetles on the road.

The “people’s car” eventually made its way to North America as the Type 1 and was an instant hit. At its peak in 1968, U.S. Beetle sales hit 563,522 units, accounting for 40 percent of global Beetle production.

German production of the first-generation Beetle ceased in 1978, but the design lived on a while longer in Mexico, where it was built until 2003. VW decided to resurrect the Beetle in 1998 — calling it the New Beetle, it sold more than 1.2 million units of the car between 1998 and 2010.

The third generation Beetle arrived in 2011. With more than 500,000 units built, it was the least successful of the three Beetles.

“It’s impossible to imagine where Volkswagen would be without the Beetle,” said Scott Keogh, President and CEO, Volkswagen Group of America. “From its first import in 1949 to today’s retro-inspired design, it has showcased our company’s ability to fit round pegs into square holes of the automotive industry. While its time has come, the role it has played in the evolution of our brand will be forever cherished.”

In all, VW built a total of 21.5 million Beetles during the model’s multi-decade run, nearly 5 million of which were sold in the United States. The Puebla plant that produced the Beetles since 1967 will transition to making a small SUV for the North American market.

Rumor as it that the Beetle will be reborn as a four-door electric car sometime in the future. Would you like to see that?

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