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Hatchbacks

Renault Eolab Concept is All About Ultra-Low Fuel Consumption

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Renault EOLAB Hybrid Car

French automaker Renault S.A.’s pursuit of ultra-low fuel consumption has manifested itself in the hybrid car you see here. Not only does the Renault Eolab Concept preview a feasible B-segment car that will launch before 2020, but its various innovations will also find their way into other Renault cars.

Described as an environmental prototype with nearly 100 technological innovations, the Eolab delivers ultra-low fuel consumption of only 1l/100km (282 mpg UK or 235 mpg US) and CO2 emissions of 22g/km, while “maintaining established B-segment levels of performance, practicality and affordability.” To achieve such low figures, Renault’s engineers focused on three main areas: minimising weight, enhancing aerodynamics, and using “Z.E. Hybrid” technology.

The use of a multi-material body shell combining steel, aluminium and composites, as well as a remarkable magnesium roof that tips the scales at barely 4kg, enables the French concept to tip the scale at a very low 955 kg (2,105 lbs), making it about 400 kg (882 lbs) less than an equivalent Clio hatchback.

That lightweight body is complimented by an aerodynamic design that slices through air efficiently, with movable devices such as active front spoiler and active flaps that deploy at speeds in excess of 70 km/h (43 mph) to get as much airflow as possible to stay attached to the vehicle. Renault claims a drag coefficient of 0.235 Cd, which is 30 percent better than the Clio.

Finally, the Eolap Concept employs Z.E. Hybrid technology, a compact and affordable hybrid powertrain that combines a 1.0-liter three-cylinder petrol engine, a 6.7 kWh battery and a clutchless three-gear transmission with an integrated electric motor to deliver ultra-low fuel consumption with zero-emission mobility for journeys of less than 60 km (37 miles) and at speeds of up to 120 km/h (74 mph). The petrol unit produces 74 horsepower (75 PS) and 95 Nm (70 lb-ft.) of torque, while the electric motor adds an additional 67 hp (50kW) and 200 Nm (147 lb-ft.).

The Renault Eolab Concept is an impressive vehicle, but Volkswagen has managed to beat its performance figures with a production car — the XL1 hybrid — that delivers 0.9l/100 km (313.9 mpg UK or 261.3 mpg US) and 21g/km of CO2. It’s worth nothing that the ultra-low fuel consumption German hybrid car does so using a diesel engine as oppose to a gasoline unit and is by no means affordable with a bank-breaking price tag of £98,515 (~ $159,800 or €123,500) in the UK.

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Fiat

Fiat 500L Goes Extra Black For 2019 With Urbana Edition

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2019 Fiat 500L Urbana Edition, black MPV

Yes, the 500L is still sold in North American, and it’s just gotten darker.

Fiat has brought back the Urbana Edition for the 2019 500L Trekking trim in hopes of enticing more people to buy the ostensibly forgotten five-door, five passenger MPV.

Outside, the 500L Urbana Edition comes with a blackout theme complete with dark 17-inch aluminum wheels, door handles, body-side moldings, fog lamps, side mirrors and fascias.

Buyers can choose from five exterior paint colors — Black, Bronzo Metallizato bronze, Bianco white, Grigio Scuro gray, and Verde Bosco green — four of which can be matched with a black contrasting roof.

Inside, the dashboard dons a copper 500 logo and the seats are upholstered in black leather with copper contrast stitching.

Power for the 500L Trekking comes exclusively from a 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that produces 160 horsepower (119 kilowatts) and 184 pound-feet (250 Newton-meters) of torque, transmitted to the wheels by a six-speed automatic transmission.

The 500L has struggled to find success in the United States. Last year, Fiat delivered just 1,413 units in all of 2018, representing a 15 percent drop from the volume in 2017.

Deliveries of the Fiat 500L Urbana Edition begin in spring 2019, with pricing starting at $23,920. Have you been enticed to get one?

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Hatchbacks

Toyota Kills The Prius C, Replaces It With Corolla Hybrid

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2018 Toyota Prius C Hybrid Hatchback

Buyers are encouraged to go for the new Corolla Hybrid instead.

Now that there is a hybrid version of the popular Corolla, Toyota figures it has one too many small hybrid vehicles in its lineup. It has quietly killed off the Prius C hybrid to give more breathing room for both the regular Prius and Corolla hybrid.

The Prius C debuted in 2011 as a smaller alternative to the Prius Liftback, but the Corolla Hybrid is bigger and more efficient, matching the standard Prius’s 52-mpg combined rating in the United States compared to the Prius C’s 46-mpg combined rating.

“You’re probably not going to see Prius C for long,” Toyota marketing vice president Ed Laukes told . “The Prius C has served its purpose well.”

The fuel-sipping Corolla is intended to maximize sales of Toyota’s hybrid powertrain platform by appealing to a broader group of customers who may be put off by the Prius’ polarizing looks but still want extremely good fuel efficiency.

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Crossovers

New, 2020 Kia Soul EV Has 243 Mile (391 Km) Driving Range

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New, 2020 Kia Soul EV

Kia’s quirky crossover joins the high-range electric vehicle group.

The EPA has given the 2020 Kia Soul EV a driving range of up to 243 miles (391 km) on a single charge, placing it in the same class as the Chevrolet Bolt, Tesla Model 3, Hyundai Kona Electric, Kia Niro EV and Nissan LEAF e+, all of which get over 200 miles (322 km).

In fact, the Soul EV uses the same 64 kWh battery pack as the Kona Electric and Niro. Power is provided by an electric motor that generates 201-horsepower and 291 lb-ft. of torque and can be modulated with four driving modes: Eco, Comfort, Sport and Eco+, which automatically adjust power output, regenerative braking, climate control settings, and set speed limits to help manage overall efficiency.

Similar to the Niro and Kona EVs, it will charge at around 100kW for at least the first 50 percent of charge. A DC Fast Charge port comes standard.

The 2020 Kia Soul EV goes on sale in the second half of 2019.

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