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Hybrid Cars

Lincoln Is Going Electric, Could That Save The Brand?

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New Lincoln Continental, grille logo

Similar Volvo and several other premium brands, Lincoln has plans to go entirely electric, offering only hybrid versions of its entire vehicle lineup.

This shouldn’t come as a surprise seeing as Lincoln already offers a hybrid version of the MKZ and there are reports of a hybrid Navigator SUV, but could an entirely hybrid lineup give the brand an edge over Cadillac and other luxury brands?

According to , each model in the Lincoln lineup that’s redesigned in the future will get a hybrid version, and the first all-new hybrid Lincoln models to arrive will be the hybrid Navigator and MKC crossover. A hybrid version of the upcoming Aviator crossover is schedules to arrive in 2019 and will be followed by a new MKZ in 2020, as well as a redesigned Continental in 2022.

The overall plan is part of Ford Motors’ grand goal to offer hybrid versions of all of its U.S. models by 2022. The American automaker could also introduce a fully-electric Lincoln to secure the brand’s future in ever-so-important China.

What do you think — is this a smart direction for Lincoln to take? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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Detroit Auto Show

New, 2019 RAM 1500 Debuts With Massive Touchscreen, Hybrid Tech

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New, 2019 RAM 1500 Limited

Hot on the heel of the new Silverado’s unveiling, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles took the wraps off the all-new, 2019 RAM 1500 at the 2018 North American International Auto Show, ushering in a new generation of the truck wars.

Like Chevy’s half-tonne pickup, the new RAM 1500 is an improvement over its predecessor in virtually every way, shape or form. It is larger and roomier yet lighter and more fuel-efficient, more luxurious and high-tech, more versatile, and — if you were to ask us — more attractive inside and out. It also tows more.

A nearly four-inch longer length gives it more interior volume, while the increased use of high-strength steel and aluminum components, including high-strength steel frame, an aluminum tailgate and hood, and composite upper control arms, make it 225 pounds lighter.

A new ‘eTorque’ mild hybrid system centered around a 48-volt battery and a belt-drive motor generator unit improves both fuel efficiency and output, adding up to 90 pound-feet of torque for the 3.6-liter V6 and up to 130 pound-feet for the 5.7-liter HEMI V8.

The Pentastar V6 now produces 305 horsepower and 269 pound-feet of torque, while the HEMI V8 is rated higher at 395 horsepower and 410 pound-feet. Both engines are mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission.

A diesel engine will eventually be added and possibly even a turbocharged four-cylinder.

The redesigned RAM 1500 is lower and wider, giving it a more refined and slightly sportier appearance. Unlike the Silverado, the overall styling doesn’t deviate too much from before, though RAM’s designers ditched some of the blunt, big-rig character that defined the previous generations for a handsomer and even classier look. The trademark crosshair grille is gone as a result.

The smoother proportions along with a .357 drag coefficient and active grille shutters enhance the truck’s aerodynamic efficiency, which FCA claims is best in segment.

One of the biggest highlights and likely a major selling-point of the new RAM 1500 is the optional 12-inch Uconnect touchscreen that spans the entire center stack, providing a large spread for the 360-degree camera and split-screen views. Rear seat passengers benefit from more legroom in the full four-door crew cab version, while Air suspension contributes to a cozier on-road ride as well as load leveling and off-road capabilities.

Overall material quality is up, and naturally, a broad range of safety and convenience technology is available.

Is the new, 2019 RAM 1500 refreshing or revolting, and how do you think it compares to the latest Chevrolet Silverado and Ford F-150? Share you thoughts in the comments below.

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Honda

New Honda Insight Prototype Marks Return Of Insight Hybrid

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New, 2019 Honda Insight Prototype

The Honda Insight hybrid is back but not as the car you expected.

After two attempts to take on the Toyota Prius, Honda has reinvented the Insight back as a stylish hybrid sedan positioned between the Civic and Accord, featuring styling that’s a mesh of the two. It’s no longer a funky-looking hatchback and, frankly, will upset far fewer people than the rather polarizing Prius.

The new Insight debuted as a prototype, but as is typical with all Honda prototypes, the production model will be virtually identical visually and mechanically. It is powered by the Japanese automaker’s two-motor hybrid system, which consists of a 1.5L gas engine and an electric motor backed by a lithium-ion battery pack, with both motors transitioning smoothly between each other in everyday use.

You might never need to stop at a gas station because the Insight will operate mainly as an electric vehicle, with its gas engine primarily serving as a generator for the car’s battery pack. However, should you, Honda is targeting a combined city/highway EPA rating of over 50 mpg — much better than the previous Insight, which barely managed to compete against the Prius.

Essentially the hybrid version of the Civic, the Insight will offer more room, comfort and on-board tech than its gasoline-powered counterpart, including a customizable 8-inch touchscreen display that allows users to create home screen shortcuts, a 7-inch LCD gauge cluster, and WiFi-enabled over-the-air system updates.

Honda hasn’t fared well with its dedicated hybrid vehicles, having recently put the poor-selling CR-Z hybrid sports car out of its misery. Add to that the added competition from Hyundai with the Ioniq and Kia with its Niro hybrid, and we don’t think the company risked skimping on its third attempt at the segment.

The production Honda Insight is scheduled to go on sale in 2018. Would you choose it over the latest Toyota Prius?

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Coupe

Porsche Making Gas-Electric 911 To Take On New Tesla Roadster?

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Porsche 911 GTS Club Coupe

Likely caught off guard by the ridiculously bonkers performance of the new Tesla Roadster electric sports car, Porsche is now working on a gas-electric Porsche 911 after previously shelving plans for such a model.

Tesla’s new Roadster can accelerate from 0 to 62 mph (100 km/h) in under 2 seconds (1.9 secs, to be precise) and to 100 mph (161 km/h) in only 4.2 seconds, a level of performance unmatched by any production car to date, not even the mighty, 1,479 horsepower Bugatti Chiron. Production begins in 2020.

According to , the Porsche 911 Hybrid will be introduced a few years after the next-generation 911 arrives in 2019, meaning it could it hit the market around the same time the Tesla Roadster does.

As a hybrid, the 911 won’t be a fully electric vehicle like the Roadster, with Porsche targeting an electric driving range around 40 miles compared to the Tesla’s 620-mile range.

Porsche has yet to confirm development of the car, but a spokesman confirmed to Bloomberg that the next 911 allows integration of an electric powertrain. The German automaker was even reported to be looking at solid-state battery technology for future electrified versions of the 911 and Boxster.

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