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And the First Volkswagen XL1 Goes to…a German Doctor

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Volkswagen XL1 hybrid owner

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As one of its most significant engineering achievements in decades, the €110,000 ($149,666 / £89,353) Volkswagen XL1 won’t be a sales hit, but it will likely provide Volkswagen with a lot of green cred. The first unit to be delivered went to Dr. Christian Malorny, a resident in Berlin, Germany, who chose his car with an Oryx White pearl effect exterior color and a Titan Black / Pearl Gray interior.

“The XL1 has inspired me from the beginning and I am very pleased to be driving my own from now on. With its visionary design and high-tech appearance, Volkswagen has dared something new and innovative,” Malorny said. The vehicle was handed over to him by Thomas Zahn, Director of Sales and Marketing Germany Volkswagen Passenger Cars.

As a refresher, the futuristic XL1 is the most fuel-efficient series-production car in the world. Constructed out of extremely lightweight carbon fiber reinforced plastics, and weighing just 795 kg (1,752 lbs), it averages 0.9 L/100km (261.3 mpg US / 313.8 mpg UK) and can travel up to 50 km (31 miles) on electricity alone. Power is sourced from a plug-in hybrid powertrain that consists of a 47 horsepower (48 PS) TDI engine, a 20 kW (27 hp / 27 PS) electric motor and a 5.5 kWh lithium-ion battery.

Also contributing to its impressive fuel economy are advanced aerodynamics (drag coefficient of 0.189) and an extremely low center of gravity (1,153 mm/45.4 inch in height).

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BMW

BMW Vision M Concept Is A Stunning And Futuristic M1

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BMW Vision M Next Concept hybrid supercar

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Does this concept preview a more-powerful i8 successor or even a supercar wearing the M1 badge?

BMW has unveiled the BMW Vision M Next concept, a design study that could do the iconic M1 some serious justice, though it also looks like a next-generation i8. Like modern concept cars, it is an electrified vehicle with autonomous tech.

More specifically, the Vision M Next concept is powered by a rear-mounted turbocharged four-cylinder engine and two electric motors — one on each axle — that generate a combined output of 600 horsepower, enough power for a 0-62 mph (100 km/h) acceleration time of 3.0 seconds and a top speed of 186 mph (299 km/h).

The electric drivetrain is also capable enough to let the Vision M Next travel up to 62 miles (100 km) without the gas engine.

In keeping up with the Jones, the BMW Vision M Next concept features autonomous driving capability for when you have places to go but just don’t feel like driving all that much. It can also park itself after reaching your destination.

Depending on who you ask, the futuristic exterior looks like a sci-fi M1 (it gives of strong TRON vibes) or a more angular i8 with unique color blocking at both ends. The front and rear portions are finished in a matte neon Thrilling Orange paint job that pop against the rest of the exterior’s silk-matte Cast Silver metallic paintwork, while the front rims have a traditional silver-and-black two-tone finish and the rear sets boast Thrilling Orange inserts that match the body.

The interior is just as radical as the exterior and is accessed via gullwing doors that can be opened and closed with a mere glance thanks to a facial recognition system. The cockpit features a sleek digital dashboard, a curved glass center display, and an augmented reality head-up display.

BMW says the Vision M Next “provides a glimpse into the future of sporty driving” but didn’t announce any production plans. Would you like to see it go from concept to reality? Let us know in the comments below.

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Acura

Hotter Acura NSX Type R With 650 HP Is Speeding Your Way

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2019 Acura NSX Thermal Orange

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In addition to the extra power and unique styling touches, expect suspension and brake upgrades.

Acura is reportedly working on a higher performance NSX adorned with the Type R badge.

The Acura NSX Type R will benefit from a long list of performance upgrades to should allow it to better compete with the McLaren 570S and other rivals, not the least of which is an increase in total output from 573 to 650 horsepower.

According to Forbes, Acura’s flagship supercar will also have a stiffer suspension, steering enhancements, bigger carbon-ceramic brakes, unique carbon aerodynamic elements, and interior enhancements.

The improvements should drive pricing above $200,000 — a premium of at least $40,000 over the basic NSX.

If the report is true, the Acura NSX Type R will make its official debut at the 2019 Tokyo Motor Show. What are you hoping to see?

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Hybrid Cars

Maserati Will “Never” Be All-Electric, Here’s Why

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Maserati Alfieri Sports Car Concept, front quarter

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“This is a brand that needs combustion engines” and “raw emotion.”

Maserati promises that its electrification push won’t result in a lineup consisting entirely of pure battery-powered vehicles.

When parent company Fiat Chrysler Automobiles vowed in 2017 that every new Maserati model would be electrified starting in 2019, it didn’t make clear what that entailed exactly. We presumed the initiative would begin with a series of mild hybrids before expanding to plug-in cars.

Well, Maserati North America head Al Gardner has provided some clarification, revealing that the luxury marque will never become an all-electric brand.

“This is a brand that needs combustion engines,” he said in an interview with Motor Trend. “It needs that raw emotion.”

In fact, Gardner wants to see Maserati return to its motorsport roots. It was founded as a race car company in 1914 and remained race-focused until 1947 when it introduced the A6 grand tourer.

FCA is hard at work on several hybrid and plug-in hybrid powertrains and an all-electric version of the upcoming Alfieri sports car (pictured), with the intent of having a full suite of electrified Maserati vehicles by the end of 2022.

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