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Hatchbacks

Volkswagen Beetle Dune Concept Approved for Production

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Volkswagen Beetle Dune Concept 1

After months of dropping big hints, Volkswagen has finally approved the Beetle Dune Concept for production and will likely launch it in early 2016.

According to UK magazine , the decision was made two months ago in May. The production Beetle Dune will be 29 mm (1 inch) wider and have a 50 mm (2 inches) higher ride height than the regular Beetle. Despite its rugged appearance, it will not be equipped with an all-wheel drive system.

Power could very well be provided by the Beetle lineup’s 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, which in the concept produces 210 horsepower. That power is sent to the front wheels via a six-speed DSG dual-clutch automatic transmission, allowing the ‘rugged’ German hatchback to accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 7.3 seconds and reach a top speed of 227 km/h (141 mph).

Click here for more details on the Volkswagen Beetle Dune Concept

The Dune treatment will be offered on both the standard Beetle and the Beetle Convertible. Expect it to command a price premium of around a $4,000.

Hatchbacks

China’s Ora R1 Electric Car Is Cheaper Than Every New Car In America

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China Ora R1 Cheap Electric Car

Not only does the R1 not only undercut the price of every electric car in North America, but it’s also cheaper than any new car in the region, bar none.

Ora, an electric car-only brand created by Chinese automaker Great Wall, has released a cute little hatchback that, with a bargain basement starting price of less than $10,000 and class-competitive driving range, will definitely get some attention if sold in the United States or Canada.

Designers chose to go with a soft, friendly design that has a strong resemblance to the Smart Forfour, especially the side profile.

China Ora R1 Cheap Electric Car interior

The same could be said about the simple, clean and surprisingly attractive interior, with its round gauges, three-spoke steering wheel, and tablet-like screen for the infotainment system.

According to , the entry-level version of the Ora R1 has up to 192 miles (309 km) of range — comparable to a base Nissan Leaf — while the most expensive variant can travel 217 miles (349 km) before the battery is drained.

The Ora R1 is currently on sale in China, with the base model starting at about $8,700 after government incentives are factored in. The longer-range variant is priced at roughly $11,000.

It’s not known if the R1 will be sold in North America, Europe or elsewhere around the world, but Great Wall wants to expand the Ora brand outside of China. Would you consider buying one?

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Fiat

Fiat Is Developing New 500e Electric Car

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Fiat 500e charging

The electric Italian supermini is getting a second lease on life.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has confirmed that it’s working on a new 500e, one built on a dedicated small Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV) platform that that will provide better all-around performance.

The Fiat 500e is arguably the cutest electric vehicle market on the market, but it was built to comply with U.S. fleet fuel economy standards and not necessarily to sell en masse. Things will likely be different with the second generation model. stated:

“Mirafiori will represent the first installation of a full BEV platform applied on the new Fiat 500, capable of scaling to other applications worldwide,” stated FCA CEO Mike Manley. “Additional investments across our Jeep, Alfa Romeo, and Fiat brands will realize the benefits of existing plant capacity as well as scale and sourcing efficiencies from a common vehicle architecture, and Plug-in Hybrid Electric propulsion (PHEV) system, while preserving traits unique to the brands.”

Not much else is known about the next Fiat 500e, but it’s likely to remain a cute electric vehicle. What are you hoping to see?

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Hatchbacks

All-New, 2020 Kia Soul Arrives With More Funk, Fun And Tech

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New 2020 Kia Soul GT Line Turbo

Kia’s segment-defying compact hatchback gets a bit more soulful.

The funky Kia Soul has returned for round three with a more interesting styling, a roomier interior, and fancier tech.

Kia decided to keep everything that buyers loved about the Soul, particularly its boxy, space-maximizing proportions, so the Soul’s deign updates are fairly conservative compared to the previous model. However, a larger, more aggressive grille flanked by slimmer headlights, C-pillars shaped like airplane wings, and new wraparound boomerang-shaped taillights give it a more modern look.

The interior, on the other hand, has been thoroughly redesigned, complete with a 10.25-inch touchscreen and an available 8-inch head-up display and a 640-watt Harman Kardon audio system. The infotainment system is compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and a 1.2-inch longer wheelbase means slightly more cargo capacity for hauling things.

The 2020 Soul is also available with a long list of safety tech that includes Forward Collision Avoidance, Lane Keeping Assist, Lane Changing Assist, Driver Attention Warning, Blind-spot Collision Warning, Rear Cross Collision Warning, and Smart Cruise Control.

Buyers will have the choice of several engines, include a base 2.0L four-cylinder with 147-hp and 132 lb-ft. of torque that’s mated to a six-speed manual or Kia’s new Intelligent Variable Transmission, and for those looking for more power, a 1.6L turbocharged four-cylinder rated at 201-hp and 195 lb-ft., paired with a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission.

If you really want to get funky, the zero-emissions Soul EV is motivated by a 201-hp electric motor and a 64 kWh battery pack.

The 2020 Kia Soul premiers several new trim levels, including the sporty GT-Line, rugged X-Line and EX Designer Collection with a two-tone roof. North American sales begin in the first half of 2019.

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