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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.

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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